Frustrated By The State of the World?

Why do both Calvinists and Provisionists get so frustrated with the inane doctrinal beliefs and the harmful immoral behavior of others? I find myself agreeing with many of my Calvinistic brother’s quotes on social media about the ever-growing ills of our secular society. I share in their frustrations and join with them in their appeals for Christians to stand against the tide of secularism and outright godlessness so often prevalent in our world today.

But, to be honest, I cannot help wonder how my Calvinistic brother’s expressions of frustration toward the state of the world are warranted. Given their belief that “God has sovereignly and unchangeably decreed whatsoever comes to pass for the praise of His own glory,” (WCF III.1) it seems that their expressions of rebuke and dismay are misdirected if they are to remain consistent with their doctrine. Why align the decisive cause of all things to the Self-glorifying decree of God on the one hand while rebuking people for merely doing what God unchangeably decreed them to do on the other?

The world is exactly as God decreed it to be and could not be otherwise, right? Surely, in lamenting the state of the world, the Calvinist is not suggesting God’s eternal decree has been thwarted. It seems to be the consistent Calvinist only has two rational options.

Misdirected Frustration

The first option is this: Shouldn’t a consistent Calvinist direct his frustrations toward God rather than the world? According to the claims of Calvin, it is God who determined the bad beliefs and behaviors Calvinists are lamenting. You may want to suggest; “But you haven’t read Romans 9, Leighton! The answer to your question is: Who are you to answer back to God?”

You may be surprised to hear that I have, indeed, read Romans 9. I wrote my doctoral dissertation and a book about it, in fact. The question for Calvinists is, “Have you objectively considered interpretations of Romans 9 other than what the Calvinistic tradition has taught you?” In my experience, few Calvinists are even aware of what scholars on “the other side” say about their favorite proof texts and rarely take the time to objectively consider another perspective. And, do you know what!? That frustrates me because I believe they could do otherwise. I don’t believe God has predestined them to interpret Romans 9 wrongly, so it’s perfectly rational for me to be frustrated with them when they do so.

But, where is the rationale for a Calvinist to express frustration about my beliefs regarding Romans 9? Shouldn’t they express their frustration with the One they claim is calling the shots? And when they do express this frustration, shouldn’t we respond to them by simply quoting Romans 9 out of its context by saying, “Who are you O man to talk back to God?” If God forms Leighton into a Provisionist rather than a Calvinist, who are you to question Him? 🤷‍♂️

Take a Deep Breath and Accept It

The only other rational option is to become at peace with the state of the world. You don’t have to take my word for it, the co-host of the popular Just Thinking Podcast, Darrel B. Harrison puts it this way:

Be at peace with any circumstance and any outcome. So, if you feel angry about the number of aborted babies in America, or feel worried about political climate, or even if your child dies tragically in a car accident…or maybe just some good ‘ol frustration at fellow Christians teaching bad theology…you shouldn’t. You should be at peace with everything.

Of course, there is already a philosophy that expresses his moral imperative. It’s called Stoicism:

Strikingly similar to the ethic described by Mr. Harrison.

What do you think, reader? It seems to me the only grounding for angst regarding the state of the world, and those who teach false doctrine in the Church, is if people could do otherwise.

If people cannot do otherwise, then pour your frustration on to the One who ultimately decided the state of the world or recognize your frustration as inappropriate in light of God’s meticulous Providence and become stoically at peace.

1,446 thoughts on “Frustrated By The State of the World?

  1. And of course every single word of your article above was unchangeably ordained as part of “whatsoever comes to pass”, so no Calvinist can consistently object to it.

    1. Welcome Pastor Loz

      And yes!!! You get the picture!

      The key word there is “consistently” – as in “Logically Consistent” :-]

    2. Pastor Loz writes, “And of course every single word of your article above was unchangeably ordained as part of “whatsoever comes to pass”, so no Calvinist can consistently object to it.”

      Do you mean to say that God could have been ignorant of the article or of any word in it prior to its appearance in this forum? Could not God have ordained it for people to discuss and investigate much like the Bereans did upon hearing the things Paul preached?

  2. This is called Calvinism’s *AS-IF* thinking pattern.

    For the Calvinist – the most SACRED AND DIVINE TRUTH in the universe is:

    1) Every part of WHATSOEVER comes to pass – is the direct byproduct of infallible decrees.
    2) Every part of WHATSOEVER comes to pass – is the IMMUTABLE will of Calvin’s god.
    3) Every part of WHATSOEVER comes to pass – is the MANIFEST GLORY of Calvin’s god

    But they are to go about their office AS-IF the most sacred and divine proposition in the universe is FALSE

    That’s why it is called *AS-IF* thinking .

  3. But isn’t the Calvinists’ vocalised frustration at the state of the world also something which is divinely decreed?

    1. Exactly!
      And the doctrine tells them everything that is infallibly decreed – is the Divine Will and for the express purpose of Divine Glory And they therefore should rejoice is whatsoever comes to pass.

      But they know how that would look to the Non-Calvinist Bible reader
      They know the Non-Calvinist Bible reader would reject such things.

      So the Calvinist is forced to do what Elijah spoke of.
      They are forced to halt between two opinions.

      They are to hold the underlying foundational doctrine of Exhaustive Determinism as TRUE
      But they must go about living and speaking *AS-IF* that doctrine is FALSE

      That is why Calvinist language is a DOUBLE-SPEAK language.

  4. Everything is determined by the Lord from eternity, including all who are saved, have we not been predestined by the Lord? Have we not been chosen according to God’s foreknowledge? Is it not written in Is.46:10, “I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please”? Was God unjust during the time that billions of people died without the knowledge of Jesus during the time (4 thousand Years) that Israel was the chosen people and only they had access to salvation? If Calvinists are so wrong what explains the fact that the greatest preachers of the Gospel have always been Calvinists? We always have a hard time remembering the name of an Arminian.

    1. Filemon, You must new here. But it’s NOT nearly as cut-and-dried as you make it seem. I suggest you read the other posts/comment sections of this blog, for much of what you brought up has already been addressed. I can sense the “mic drop” in your comment, but it’s so nearly as cut-and-dried as you make it seem.

      And you know the saying “Two wrong don’t make a right”?

      Well, “Many wrong preachers doesn’t make their theology right.” Just because there’s a lot of bad theology going around out there by many people (who spread it to many more people) doesn’t automatically make them more right in their views. (And am I to assume you’ve never heard of Billy Graham then?)

      And “greatest” is a debatable, subjective term. If you think it’s “great” to spread a theology that teaches that God only loves a few people, that Jesus only died for those few people, that everyone else was created for damnation, that God causes sin and evil for His pleasure and glory, that He punishes man for the sin He caused them to do, and that nothing we do really matters because it’s all been predestined from the beginning and because God controls everything we do and think and decide, … then sure, I guess you could say that many of the “greatest” preachers of the (Calvinist) gospel were Calvinists.

      [And yet, I wonder why these Calvinists bother to preach the (Calvinist) gospel because, in their theology, the elect are already chosen for salvation and regenerated (saved and born again) before ever hearing the gospel, and the non-elect can never respond to the gospel because they won’t be regenerated. In Calvinism, what does the gospel accomplish anyway, other than to make the elected people who are already saved realize that they are already saved? Calvinism is satanically brilliant, using the gospel to destroy the gospel!]

      1. And I’m not saying that Billy Graham was an Arminian, just that he wasn’t Calvinist. It’s wrong to assume there are only two types of Christian theology, Calvinist or Arminian.

      2. I reread my first paragraph again, and it got all messed up as I added changes to it. It should read: “You must be new here…. but it’s NOT nearly as cut-and-dried as you make it seem.” (If the moderator can, could you fix this for me? Thanks)

      3. Heather writes, ” In Calvinism, what does the gospel accomplish anyway, other than to make the elected people who are already saved realize that they are already saved?”

        Calvinists understand that God uses the preaching of the gospel to draw His elect out of the world. Is in not God who calls men to preach the gospel – to plant and water – when it is God who gives the increase. Does anyone have anything that he has not received from God?

      4. Rhutchin: “Calvinists understand that God uses the preaching of the gospel to draw His elect out of the world. ”

        Like I said: They are already elected/saved. So the gospel, in Calvinism, has no power to save anyone. All it does is make the elect realize they are elect. The gospel, in Calvinism, has no effect on anyone’s belief or predestined destiny. Leave it to Satan to find a way to use the gospel to make the gospel superfluous and unnecessary for salvation.

      5. Heather write, “Like I said: They are already elected/saved. So the gospel, in Calvinism, has no power to save anyone.”

        Given that God is omniscient and knew the elect and non-elect before He created the world, then there is no denying that some are destined for salvation and some are not. However, all people still start out the same – each is born with a corrupt nature and without faith. There is a time and place for those whom God will save to be given a new heart and then faith to believe in Christ. The preaching of the gospel is the means that God uses to bring His elect to faith in Christ. No gospel; no salvation. The dispute between Calvinists and non-Calvinists who say that God is omniscient is how a person comes to be one of God’s elect.

        If you want to deny these things, you may do so.

      6. rhutchin
        By God’s decree as a consequence of Adam’s sin

        br.d
        Adam’s sin – which Calvin’s god’s infallible decree did NOT PERMIT Adam to NOT commit. :-]

      7. rhutchin: “By God’s decree as a consequence of Adam’s sin”
        br.d: “Adam’s sin – which Calvin’s god’s infallible decree did NOT PERMIT Adam to NOT commit. ”

        This because Adam was made imperfect and that imperfection was enshrined in God’s decree and explains why Adam could not do other than he did.

      8. rhutchin
        This because Adam was made imperfect

        br.d
        And no one here knows how that INFALLIBLY came to pass – wink wink!!! ;-D

      9. John Calvin
        -quote
        For it did not take place BY REASON OF NATURE that, by the guilt of one parent, all were cut off from salvation . . . .
        Since this CANNOT BE ASCRIBED TO NATURE it is perfectly clear that it has come forth from……god
        (Institutes)

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

      10. I am not replying for Rhutchin’s sake, but for others who might be reading. And I know this has been covered many times, so I’ll keep it as brief as I can. (And then Rhutchin can have the last word.)

        Calvinists don’t just think that God foreknew who would be saved and who wouldn’t. They believe God predestined who would be saved and who wouldn’t. In Calvinism, He essentially bestowed salvation on the elect before the beginning of time. Therefore, their salvation is not the result of their response to the gospel; their belief in the gospel (caused/forced on them by Calvi-god) is the result of their election/salvation. This flips the Bible on its head.

        [And before Rhutchin denies that Calvi-god “causes/forces” faith on the elect, here is a different comment of his from a different post: “The work of the Holy Spirit to give a person a new birth could be likened to giving a person a drug. In both cases, the person is changed, and the change is irresistibly wrought on the person. The person has no idea what happened – all he knows is that one minute he hates God and the next minute he doesn’t…. The new birth is accomplished by the Holy Spirit without the knowledge of the person, so it is irresistible.” In Calvinism, you don’t do anything to become saved. You don’t love God because you chose to or wanted to, or because of the gospel, or out of gratitude for what He did for us or how much He loves us. It just happens TO you, without your decision or cooperation or even your knowledge. If that’s not “cause/force” then I don’t know what is.]

        And note that Rhutchin says “The preaching of the gospel is the means that God uses to bring His elect to faith in Christ.” He’s trying to make it sound like he (like Calvinists) believe that faith comes from hearing the gospel, that the gospel leads to faith.

        But let’s explore other things he’s said in different comment sections:

        “The gospel is the source of faith and that faith then exercises belief in the gospel. We have no faith without the hearing of the gospel. The gospel produces faith. That faith is then fueled by the hearing of the gospel to believe in Christ.”

        This is a doozy! So here he says you can’t have faith without the gospel, that the gospel comes before – and leads to – faith. But he also says, in the exact same sentences, that faith has to come before – that it leads to – belief in the gospel: “faith then exercises belief in the gospel” and “That faith is then fueled by the hearing of the gospel…” (in order for faith to be fueled by something, it has to be there first).

        And he also says, in a different comment: “In the presence of faith, the preaching of the gospel results in salvation.” Here again he says that faith has to be there first, in order for the elect to be able to respond to the gospel and be saved.

        So let me get this straight: In Calvinism, faith is needed for believing the gospel AND the gospel is needed for having faith!?! Yep, makes perfect sense, Calvinists!

        Rhutchin also says in a different comment section: “The gospel is the means by which a person is born again, receives faith, and believes.”

        So he says here that the gospel comes before – and leads to – being born again and having faith. But this is a clear contradiction of what he has said in other comments at Soteriology 101 about how we have to be born again first, before we can hear the gospel and have faith: “The new birth makes it possible for a person to hear the gospel” and “Calvinists actually say that faith results from a work performed by God in the heart of the individual (i.e. the new birth or regeneration)…” and (as he just said above) “There is a time and place for those whom God will save to be given a new heart and then faith to believe in Christ.”

        Notice that in those comments being born again comes first, then hearing the gospel, and then having faith. Whereas earlier he said it’s the gospel first, then born again, then faith: “The gospel is the means by which a person is born again, receives faith, and believes.”

        So let me get this straight: In Calvinism, you need to hear the gospel to be born again AND you need to be born again to hear the gospel!?! Yep, makes perfect sense, Calvinists!

        (And yet Calvinists wonder why we don’t don’t trust what they say and hate debating them! This is why we say that debating a Calvinist is like wrestling a greased pig. Never trust what a Calvinist says. They say what’s convenient in one place, but contradict it in another. Or they say one thing that sounds biblical, but have so many secret layers and different meanings of words that it completely changes what they first said.)

        And now I will let Rhutchin have the last word.

      11. Heather writes, “Therefore, [the Elect’s] salvation is not the result of their response to the gospel; their belief in the gospel (caused/forced on them by Calvi-god) is the result of their election/salvation. ”

        The elect do respond to the gospel and do so because of the faith conveyed to them through hearing the gospel. Without faith, a person would think the gospel to be foolishness and would reject the gospel. Receiving faith is likened to the blind man receiving his sight – he sees everything differently after receiving his sight. So, a person who receives faith sees the gospel differently that when he had no faith. More important, a person with faith willfully accepts the gospel and does so joyfully. So, Heather is right to say God forces people to accept the gospel by giving them faith but they are not forced to do something that is against their will as their will is now affected by the faith they were given.

        Then, “So let me get this straight: In Calvinism, faith is needed for believing the gospel AND the gospel is needed for having faith!?! ”

        Isn’t this true for non-Calvinists also. Without faith, does anyone believe the gospel? Without the preaching of the gospel, can anyone receive faith? [We should understand that when the gospel speaks of faith, it means faith in Christ.]

        Then, “Notice that in those comments being born again comes first, then hearing the gospel, and then having faith. Whereas earlier he said it’s the gospel first, then born again, then faith: “The gospel is the means by which a person is born again, receives faith, and believes.”

        The gospel makes it possible to receive faith; a person cannot receive faith apart from hearing the gospel. However, Peter writes, “love one another from the heart fervently: having been born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, through the word of God, which lives and remains forever. ” While it is the Holy Spirit who initiates the born again experience, He does it through the gospel. So, apart from hearing the gospel, a person cannot be born again. However, it is by being born again that a person is able to see the kingdom of heaven and then to enter the kingdom of heaven – i.e., to be saved. A person cannot be born again apart from hearing the gospel and being born again enables faith which also comes by hearing the gospel. What seems beyond dispute that the born again experience and faith both precede a person entering the kingdom of heaven or being saved.

        If Heather can explain this better than she understands the Calvinists to do, I hope she will do so.

    2. Filemon says: “Was God unjust during the time that billions of people died without the knowledge of Jesus during the time (4 thousand Years) that Israel was the chosen people and only they had access to salvation?”

      God says: “No foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord should say, ‘The Lord will exclude me from his people …’. For the Lord says this: ‘… As for the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord, and to become his servants – all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold firmly to my covenant – I will bring them to my holy mountain and let them rejoice in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be acceptable on my altar, for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.'” (Isaiah 56:3-8)

      The study notes in my Bible (Tony Evans Study Bible) says that “Gentiles who believed in the God of Israel and bound themselves to Him had a place within His covenant community in the Old Testament dispensation. Here they were assured that they would also share in the kingdom with Israel, including sharing in Israel’s regathering to enjoy God’s salvation and blessings under Christ’s righteous rule.”

      Also, James 2:25 says that Rahab (a Gentile woman) was justified by works. She is listed among the “giants of faith” in Hebrews 11:31, yet she was a Gentile (and a prostitute). If only Israel could be saved in Old Testament times, how could the Bible say she was justified (saved)?

      Do you know how the Tony Evans’ study notes answers the question of “How can Rahab be recognized alongside Abraham and Moses as a hero in the Hall of Faith?”

      He says – and all you Calvinists should love this – “It’s simple. God tells us ‘Your ways are not my ways’ (Isa. 55:8)”

      I love that! (Tony Evans is a far better theologian than any Calvinist theologian out there. In fact, he’s the pastor we watch online – for years now – after leaving our Calvinist church. Because he understands God’s Word as it was written.)

      And I wonder how Israel – in those 4 thousand Old Testament years – could have had saving knowledge of Jesus (according to Filemon) if Jesus didn’t come until the New Testament, 2 thousand years ago. Interesting!

      Filemon also says: “If Calvinists are so wrong what explains the fact that the greatest preachers of the Gospel have always been Calvinists?”

      Heather says: If Calvinists are so right then why do they keep getting Scripture so wrong?

      1. Filemon:
        “If Calvinists are so wrong what explains the fact that the greatest preachers of the Gospel have always been Calvinists?”

        br.d
        My question to Filemon is this:

        Do you think telling people that the reason they were created/designed – is more than likely for eternal torment in a lake of fire for his good pleasure – would result in a successful preaching of the Gospel?

        If that is not what they preached – then they didn’t preach the gospel of Calvinism.

        That answers your question. :-]

      2. br.d
        My question to Filemon is this:

        Do you think telling people that the reason they were created/designed – is more than likely for eternal torment in a lake of fire for his good pleasure – would result in a successful preaching of the Gospel?

        If that is not what they preached – then they didn’t preach the gospel of Calvinism.

        roland:
        Br.d, there is no such thing as the “gospel of Calvinism.” There is only the gospel of Jesus Christ. That’s what Calvinist preach. To say that there is a “gospel of Calvinism” is to ignore Christian history that includes such men as Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield, two Calvinist preachers who were at the forefront of the Great Awakening. Calvinists don’t tell people “that the reason they were created/designed – is more than likely for eternal torment in a lake of fire for his good pleasure –…” That’s not how Calvinists preach the Gospel. But, if someone was to ask if that is what the Bible teaches, we won’t shy away from it either.

        The doctrine of hell is one of the primary reasons many people reject Christianity. Do non-calvinists preachers tell their hearers that if they reject the Gospel they will suffer for eternity and be cast into a lake of fire? Or do they “hide” the “bad part” of their theology? If so, then they’re not telling the truth. Under your standard, non-calvinists are just as guilty of Calvinism.

        br.d
        If that is not what they preached – then they didn’t preach the gospel of Calvinism.

        roland
        yes, that is not what they preached because there is no gospel of Calvinism. I would encourage you to read some Calvinist sermons to get an understanding of what we really preach and teach.

      3. Roland
        Br.d, there is no such thing as the “gospel of Calvinism.”

        br.d
        Now you are simply playing SEMANTIC games

        If they did not preach that – then they did not preach that which is TRUE for Calvinism.
        Which simply shows – they had to EVADE telling THE WHOLE TRUTH (according to Calvinism) in order be successful.

      4. br.d
        Now you are simply playing SEMANTIC games

        roland
        I’m not the one who is claiming there is a “gospel of Calvinism.” You are saying that. I’d like to know of a prominent Calvinist that has said what you are saying we say. All the Calvinists that I have read would deny what you are saying. I’m asking for evidence of your statement.

        br.d
        If they did not preach that – then they did not preach that which is TRUE for Calvinism.
        Which simply shows – they had to EVADE telling THE WHOLE TRUTH (according to Calvinism) in order be successful.

        roland
        We don’t evade our doctrines. You can find plenty quotes from Calvinists who affirm our beliefs. That’s not what you accused Calvinists of. You accused us of not preaching the ‘gospel of Calvinism’ but now you are saying we don’t tell the whole truth. We don’t deny our doctrine, if someone denies Calvinism, then they are not a Calvinist, at least generally because I know some claim to be 4 point or 3 point Calvinist.

      5. Roland
        I’m not the one who is claiming there is a “gospel of Calvinism.” You are saying that.

        br.d
        And how many Calvinists over the years have declared the non-Calvinist gospel to be a “gospel of man”?
        If there can be a “gospel of man” then there can be a “gospel of Calvinism”

        What’s good for the goose – is good for the gander.
        Unless you are ok with a false balance? :-]

      6. br.d writes, “If there can be a “gospel of man” then there can be a “gospel of Calvinism”

        There is the gospel of Jesus Christ and there is the gospel of man. All Calvinists preach the gospel of Jesus Christ – even the parts about the sheep and the goats and the wide and narrow roads where many find the wide road and few the narrow road. They preach that God gives the increase from their preaching and that all that God gives to Christ will come to Christ.

      7. rhuthcin
        There is the gospel of Jesus Christ and there is the gospel of man. All Calvinists preach the gospel of Jesus Christ

        br.d
        Nah!
        If the Calvinist can call the non-Calvinist gospel the “gospel of man” – then the non-Calvinist can call the Calvinist gospel the “gospel of Calvinism”.

        Unless a false balance is ok for you? :-]

      8. br.d writes, “If the Calvinist can call the non-Calvinist gospel the “gospel of man” – then the non-Calvinist can call the Calvinist gospel the “gospel of Calvinism”.”

        There is the gospel of Jesus Christ (or the gospel of Calvinism, if you must) and its antithesis, the gospel of man. If the non-Calvinist subscribes to a gospel of man, he can call the Calvinist gospel the “gospel of Calvinism”.

      9. br.d
        This is a case in which doubling-down comes off looking like dumbing-down! :-]

        If the Calvinist can call the non-Calvinist gospel the “gospel of man” – then the non-Calvinist can call the Calvinist gospel the “gospel of Calvinism”. Unless a false balance is OK for you?

        But then – since you keep repeating the same thing over and over – apparently a false balance is ok for you.

      10. Well said, Br.d.: “Do you think telling people that the reason they were created/designed – is more than likely for eternal torment in a lake of fire for his good pleasure – would result in a successful preaching of the Gospel? If that is not what they preached – then they didn’t preach the gospel of Calvinism.”

        The reason they are so “successful” is because they aren’t being totally honest about the bad, unbiblical parts of their theology. Anyone can be successful if they hide/disguise the parts of their theology that will make people reject it.

      11. Well said Heather!
        The criminal who has the ability to hide his crimes is successful.

        And we already know that Calvinists go about their office *AS-IF* the underlying proposition of Calvinism is FALSE.
        And every Calvinist intuitively knows that he must.

        Because if he doesn’t – he won’t be successful :-]

      12. br.d writes, “we already know that Calvinists go about their office *AS-IF* the underlying proposition of Calvinism is FALSE.
        And every Calvinist intuitively knows that he must.”

        No, the Calvinist goes about as if the underlying proposition of Calvinism is TRUE – for it is in that truth, that God does as He pleases and uses their preaching to accomplish His purpose, that gives them encouragement to preach the gospel.

      13. br.d
        We already know that Calvinists go about their office *AS-IF* the underlying proposition of Calvinism is FALSE.
        And every Calvinist intuitively knows that he must.”

        rhutchin
        No, the Calvinist goes about as if the underlying proposition of Calvinism is TRUE

        br.d
        Oh yea – that explains the consistent stream of posts you make – in which you follow John Calvin’s instructions – going about *AS-IF* something wasn’t determined in every part.

        Good one rhutchin! ;

        This one reminds me of a river in Egypt called DE-NIAL! ;-D

      14. rhutchin: “No, the Calvinist goes about as if the underlying proposition of Calvinism is TRUE”
        br.d: “Oh yea – that explains the consistent stream of posts you make – in which you follow John Calvin’s instructions – going about *AS-IF* something wasn’t determined in every part.”

        My posts are consistent with God having a perfect understanding of His creation so that everything in His creation was determined by God at the creation.

      15. br.d
        Oh yea – that explains the consistent stream of posts you make – in which you follow John Calvin’s instructions – going about *AS-IF* something wasn’t determined in every part.”

        rhutchin
        My posts are consistent with God having a perfect understanding of His creation so that everything in His creation was determined by God at the creation.

        br.d
        And Bill Clinton didn’t have X with that woman Monica!

        The hilarious part is – all we have to do is wait for you to provide another example
        Because you can’t stop yourself from providing them! :-]

      16. Heather
        The reason they are so “successful” is because they aren’t being totally honest about the bad, unbiblical parts of their theology. Anyone can be successful if they hide/disguise the parts of their theology that will make people reject it.

        Roland
        The reason Calvinist preachers like George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards, two preachers who were at the forefront of the Great Awakening, were so successful is that they relied and trusted on God and God’s Word to do the work of salvation. The openly declared God’s truth without hiding anything.
        Have you ever read “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” by Jonathan Edwards? If you have or even plan on to, I’d like to know what Jonathan Edwards is hiding about the “bad parts” of his theology.

        Here’s some quotes from George Whitefield, this is what he preached to crowds as large as 20,000. Whitefield was a Calvinist yet a fervent evangelist crossing the Atlantic Ocean from England to America multiple times to preach to the lost.

        This, however, is my comfort, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday today, and forever.” He saw me from all eternity; He gave me being; He called me in time; He freely justified me through faith in His blood; He has in part sanctified me by His spirit; He will preserve me underneath His everlasting arms, til time shall be no more. Oh the blessedness of these evangelical truths! These are indeed gospel; they are glad tidings of great joy to all that have ears to hear.”

        “Whoever reads the gospel with a single eye, and sincere intentions, will find, that our blessed Lord took all opportunities of reminding his disciples that His Kingdom was not of this world; that His doctrine was a doctrine of the Cross; and that their professing themselves to be His followers, would call them to a constant state of voluntary suffering and self-denial.”

        On idleness after becoming a Christian: “A true faith in Jesus Christ will not suffer us to be idle. No, it is an active, lively, restless principle; it fills the heart, so that it cannot be easy ’til it is doing something for Jesus Christ.”

        “If your souls were not immortal, and you in danger of losing them, I would not thus speak unto you; but the love of your souls constrains me to speak: methinks this would constrain me to speak unto you forever.”

        On relying on God as the source of salvation, not ourselves:
        “What! Get to heaven on your own strength? Why, you might as well try to climb to the moon on a rope of sand!”

        If you want to know what Gospel Calvinists have historically preached and what we presently preach, then I would encourage you to read some Calvinist authors, just a suggestion.

      17. Roland
        The reason Calvinist preachers like George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards, two preachers who were at the forefront of the Great Awakening, were so successful is that they relied and trusted on God

        br.d
        Roland – did they tell people that in all probability those people were specifically designed/created for eternal torment in a lake of fire – for his good pleasure?

        If they did not tell them that – then the gospel they preached was not true to Calvinism.

      18. br.d
        Roland – did they tell people that in all probability those people were specifically designed/created for eternal torment in a lake of fire – for his good pleasure?

        If they did not tell them that – then the gospel they preached was not true to Calvinism.

        roland
        I would like to see a quote from a prominent Calvinist who identifies the Gospel as you claim we do. What Calvinists has ever said, “the Gospel is this: the people in all probability were specifically designed/created for eternal torment in a lake of fire for God’s good pleasure.”

        Unless you can show me a quote, it’s all conjecture that Calvinists preach that or are even required to preach that. Calvinists’ examples of preaching is taken from the Word of God.

      19. Roland
        I would like to see a quote from a prominent Calvinist who identifies the Gospel as you claim we do.

        br.d
        Roland – what is the definition of LYING BY OMISSION?

      20. br.d
        Roland – what is the definition of LYING BY OMISSION?

        roland
        Now you are evading what I ask for about a Calvinist quote of the Gospel. You won’t find one because that is not what Calvinists believe, preach, or teach. Now you are accusing Calvinists of lying by omission.

        Calvinist theology is vast. We have doctrines about everything, God, Christ, Scripture, Anthropology, Church, Sin, etc. Unless I misunderstand what you are saying, it seems like you are saying that if we don’t tell a person EVERYTHING we believe as Calvinists, then we are LYING BY OMISSION. That’s a high standard that I don’t think anybody can meet. I don’t even think the apostles met that standard when they were preaching in the book of Acts. Did the apostles tell everybody everything about the Gospel or even Jesus Christ every time they preached?

      21. br.d
        Roland – what is the definition of LYING BY OMISSION?

        roland
        Now you are evading what I ask for about a Calvinist quote of the Gospel.
        You won’t find one because – that is not what Calvinists believe……

        br.d
        John Calvin
        -quote
        God knows what he has determined to do with regard to us
        If he has decreed our salvation, he will bring us to it in his own time
        If he has DOOMED US TO DEATH it is vain for us to fight against it.

        Individuals are born….DOOMED FROM THE WOMB to certain death, and are to glorify him by their destruction
        (Institutes)

        For you to tell me – that is not what Calvinists believe – is not merely lying by omission – its outright lying.

        Its the equivalent of saying John Calvin is not a Calvinist

        What the problem Roland – why can’t we speak the TRUTH?

        Perhaps because we would not be successful if we did?

      22. JOHN CALVIN’S GOSPEL

        John Calvin
        -quote
        God knows what he has determined to do with regard to us
        If he has decreed our salvation, he will bring us to it in his own time
        If he has DOOMED US TO DEATH it is vain for us to fight against it.

        Individuals are born….DOOMED FROM THE WOMB to certain death, and are to glorify him by their destruction
        (Institutes)

        That is part of the “gospel” for Calvinism

        If a Calvinist does not preach this – then the “gospel” they are preaching is not TRUE to Calvinism

      23. br.d
        That is part of the “gospel” for Calvinism

        If a Calvinist does not preach this – then the “gospel” they are preaching is not TRUE to Calvinism

        roland
        Where’s the other part of the quote where John Calvin says, “THIS IS THE GOSPEL God knows what he has determined to do with regard to us
        If he has decreed our salvation, he will bring us to it in his own time
        If he has DOOMED US TO DEATH it is vain for us to fight against it.”

        br.d
        If a Calvinist does not preach this – then the “gospel” they are preaching is not TRUE to Calvinism

        roland
        Which prominent Calvinist holds to this position that the true Gospel must include God’s decree to damn some people to hell?

        I won’t deny what Calvin said, as it is part of our theology, but I will deny that is “the gospel of Calvinism.”

      24. Roland
        Where’s the other part of the quote where John Calvin says, “THIS IS THE GOSPEL God knows what he has determined to do with regard to us
        If he has decreed our salvation, he will bring us to it in his own time
        If he has DOOMED US TO DEATH it is vain for us to fight against it.”

        br.d
        Any intelligent person knows – the term “gospel” is in refers to things having to do with salvation.
        Hence John Calvin’s quotes are part of Calvinism’s FULL representation of the “gospel”

        The question then is – why doesn’t the Calvinist tell the WHOLE TRUTH?

        Roland
        Which prominent Calvinist holds to this position that the true Gospel must include God’s decree to damn some people to hell?

        br.d
        What you are asking here is – which prominent Calvinist holds a position of the gospel that is TRUE to Calvinism?

        Obviously – success in this case is accomplished by NOT being TRUE to Calvinism.

        And that is the answer to Filemon’s question

      25. br.d
        Any intelligent person knows – the term “gospel” is in refers to things having to do with salvation.
        Hence John Calvin’s quotes are part of Calvinism’s FULL representation of the “gospel

        roland
        There is no such thing as “Calvinism’s FULL representation of the gospel” in the manner in which you are stating it. It’s just not true. That’s the problem I have with what you are saying.

        br.d
        The question then is – why doesn’t the Calvinist tell the WHOLE TRUTH?

        roland
        the WHOLE TRUTH according to who? According to what YOU believe Calvinists hold as the WHOLE TRUTH? Or according to what Calvinists KNOW and BELIEVE is the WHOLE TRUTH?

        I reiterate that you are accusing Calvinists of something we don’t believe without evidence.

      26. Roland
        There is no such thing as “Calvinism’s FULL representation of the gospel” in the manner in which YOU are stating it. It’s just not true. That’s the problem I have with what you are saying.

        br.d
        The manner in which I am stating – or the manner in which Calvinism – via John Calvin is stating?

        Why do you need to evade the TRUTH?

        roland
        the WHOLE TRUTH according to who?

        br.d
        I give you quotes from the father of Calvinism – and you say according to who

        Why do you need to evade the TRUTH?

        Roland
        I reiterate that you are accusing Calvinists of something WE don’t believe without evidence.

        br.d
        This just tells me you do not include John Calvin in your definition of WE
        Which is just one more example of playing SEMANTIC games.

        Why do you need to evade the TRUTH?

      27. BTW
        What did you say the definition of lying by omission is?

        But perhaps you won’t want to answer – so I’ll provide it for you

        Lying by omission:
        Omission lying can be defined as the deliberate withholding of pertinent facts or information.
        Incomplete information is provided to ensure the recipient will act differently than they would if they had been given the full information.

        In other words, it is deceiving someone not by what is said, but by WHAT IS NOT SAID

        So why does the Calvinist preacher need to be deceptive in order to be successful at preaching the gospel?

      28. BTW
        What did you say the definition of lying by omission is?

        roland
        I didn’t provide a definition because I don’t see the relevance of it. But since you provided a definition, thank you, you have only dug a deeper hole for yourself.
        First, you wrote earlier that there is a “gospel of Calvinism.” I ask for a quote from a prominent Calvinist who defines a “gospel of Calvinism.” You have not provided it because we do not believe such a thing exists as a “gospel of Calvinism.” You have provided an answer. You have no evidence that we believe such a thing.
        Second, you then accused Calvinists of lying by omission. So, according to your accusation, we DELIBERATELY WITHHOLD PERTINENT FACTS OR INFORMATION SO THAT THE RECIPIENT WILL ACT DIFFERENTLY IF THEY HAD ALL THE INFORMATION.
        Now I ask: when has a prominent Calvinists written or said, “I am deliberately withholding the doctrine of God’s decree so that the hearers will not reject what I am saying?”
        I’ve written before that we don’t hide anything. You can find our beliefs in our confessions, catechisms, sermons, books, articles, etc. We openly declare our doctrines.

      29. Roland
        I didn’t provide a definition because I don’t see the relevance of it.

        br.d
        This tells me you don’t see the relevance
        Which simply means – the shoe that fits – we refuse to wear.

        Roland
        So, according to your accusation, we DELIBERATELY WITHHOLD PERTINENT FACTS OR INFORMATION SO THAT THE RECIPIENT WILL ACT DIFFERENTLY IF THEY HAD ALL THE INFORMATION.

        br.d
        When something is the TRUTH – it is not an accusation :-]
        Why can’t you tell the TRUTH?

        Roland
        Now I ask: when has a prominent Calvinists written or said, “I am deliberately withholding the doctrine of God’s decree so that the hearers will not reject what I am saying”

        br.d
        DUH!
        When did Bill Clinton say: “I had Xual relations with that woman Monica Lewinsky”

        Of course he didn’t say that!
        Because he didn’t tell the TRUTH!
        Same thing with Calvinists.

        The good news here is – while you claim I am digging myself into a deeper hole – the SOT101 reader can discern the games you are playing.

        And that brings us back to the same question.
        Why can’t you tell the TRUTH?

        I love it – how God can turn things for the good! :-]

      30. br.d
        Roland – this last exchange with you regarding Calvinist’s FULL representation of the gospel – reveals that your assertion that Dr. Flowers misrepresents Calvinism – is a fabrication which you invented.

        Your strategy follows:
        1) You present a CHERRY-PICKED representation of Calvinism
        2) You claim it is the ONLY TRUE representation of Calvinism
        3) Your CHERRY-PICKED representation of Calvinism strategically omits information that Dr. Flowers does not omit

        Since Dr. Flowers’s representation is not identical to your representation – you can then claim Dr. Flowers is misrepresenting Calvinism.

        The whole strategy here – is simply one big SEMANTIC shell game.

        This reveals – a whole lot more about Calvinism – than anything else.

      31. br.d
        Since Dr. Flowers’s representation is not identical to your representation – you can then claim Dr. Flowers is misrepresenting Calvinism

        roland
        No, I never said Dr. Flower’s representation needs to be IDENTICAL to mine. But it should he close. Let me give you some examples of Dr. Flowers REPRESENTATION of Calvinism and Calvinists. The quotes are taken from Dr. Flowers’s youtube video Saved by GRACE ALONE through FAITH ALONE?

        “But again, Calvinists have to paint the Arminian or the non-Calvinist or the provisionist in the worst possible light in order to sell the very difficult pill of reprobation that they’re trying to get you to swallow. I know it’s a pejorative way of putting it.” 14:30 mark

        This is what Dr. Flowers says in the video. He knows he’s putting our position in a “PEJORATIVE WAY” but he doesn’t care. He doesn’t like it when Calvinists do it but it’s ok for him?

        At another point in the video Dr. Flowers says that James White is equating belief with merits. Later on in the video around, 15:45, White clearly says that an autonomous act in belief is “not an act that merits or anything else.” White is clearing saying that he does not equate belief as meritorious but Dr. Flowers says he does!
        40:05: Dr Flowers and Winger both say White is equaling belief with a work. Flowers says it is implicit but White never even mentions work or hints at it. Yet Dr. Flowers says White is doing this.

        That’s the misrepresentation I am saying Dr. Flowers commits.

      32. roland
        No, I never said Dr. Flower’s representation needs to be IDENTICAL to mine.

        br.d
        Well – here you simply continue in the same SEMANTIC game.
        You make a distinction between what you say by inference – from what you say by explicit statement.

        The good news is – everyone can see the game! :-]

        Roland
        Leighton Flowers
        -quote
        “But again, Calvinists have to paint the Arminian or the non-Calvinist or the provisionist in the worst possible light in order to sell the very difficult pill of reprobation that they’re trying to get you to swallow. I know it’s a pejorative way of putting it.” 14:30 mark

        This is what Dr. Flowers says in the video. He knows he’s putting our position in a “PEJORATIVE WAY” but he doesn’t care. He doesn’t like it when Calvinists do it but it’s ok for him?

        br.d
        The fallacy here – is the assumption that the WAY something is enunciated equates a misrepresentation.
        I can say “2×3=6” in a pejorative way – but that does not make it FALSE.

        Dr. Flowers is absolutely correct – when he says – the difference between his representation and the Calvinists – is simply the fact that the Calvinist representation is strategically designed to paint Calvinism in a light that is calculated as the most acceptable to the recipient.

        This is the strategy of the FALSE advertisement.
        Highlight the good, camouflage the bad, and hide the ugly.

        Roland
        At another point in the video Dr. Flowers says that James White is equating belief with merits. Later on in the video around, 15:45, White clearly says that an autonomous act in belief is “not an act that merits or anything else.” White is clearing saying that he does not equate belief as meritorious but Dr. Flowers says he does!

        br.d
        This just tells you can’t tell the difference between James White’s representation of the Non-Calvinist – and James White’s representation of the Calvinist. When James White was equating belief with merits – he was not representing that as the Calvinist perspective – but as the non-Calvinist persepective.

        So what Dr. Flowers was showing there is a consistent STRAW-MAN argument which Calvinists hope they can get away with – in their representation of Non-Calvinism.

        So all you’re revealing here is an example of how Calvinists misrepresent others :-]

        My argument still stands
        Calvinists create a CHERRY-PICKED representation of Calvinism – by omitting critical unpalatable TRUTHS.
        And when someone speaks the WHOLE TRUTH – the Calvinist calls it a misrepresentation.

        All this tells us – is Calvinists can’t tell the WHOLE TRUTH.

      33. br.d
        All this tells us – is Calvinists can’t tell the WHOLE TRUTH.

        roland
        I show you quotes from a video where Dr. Flowers misrepresents James White
        James White “said NOT A”
        Leighton Flowers “James White said IS A”

        I’m too old to know how to insert a facepalm meme because I’m at a loss for words and thoughts. I show something plainly from a video and I get accused of PLAYING SEMANTICS!!!

      34. roland
        I show you quotes from a video where Dr. Flowers misrepresents James White
        James White “said NOT A”
        Leighton Flowers “James White said IS A”

        br.d
        If you are referring to the last two quotes you provided – they are not “A vs NOT A”
        Simply read my answers

        Additionally – since you don’t allow for Calvinism to be scrutinized by LOGIC – (which is not uncommon for Calvinists) then its understandable your familiarity with LOGIC is going to be poor.

        Let me ask you a question
        The Jehovah’s Witness representation of their doctrine – is that their doctrine is TRUE.
        In that regard – is your representation of their doctrine similar, equal to, or close to theirs?

      35. br.d
        Additionally – since you don’t allow for Calvinism to be scrutinized by LOGIC – (which is not uncommon for Calvinists) then its understandable your familiarity with LOGIC is going to be poor

        roland
        How many times do I need restate this: I HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH YOU USING LOGIC TO PROVE CALVINISM IS WRONG. WHAT I WILL NOT DO IS SUBJECT GOD’S WORD TO LOGIC. I’ve said this at least on three occasions but you insists that I am not in agreement with you.

        br.d
        Let me ask you a question
        The Jehovah’s Witness representation of their doctrine – is that their doctrine is TRUE.
        In that regard – is your representation of their doctrine similar, equal to, or close to theirs?

        roland
        My doctrine is not similar to Jehovah’s Witnesses in the areas that I am familiar with JW doctrine such as God being triune, Jesus is God, the Holy Spirit is God, salvation is by grace alone through faith alone, I deny JW annihilation doctrine, I deny JW belief of exclusivity to God, soul sleep, and I’m pretty sure I forgot something.

        If you are talking about HOW I represent Calvinism? Is that what you mean? What are you getting at? Are you saying that Calvinists represent their doctrine in the SAME MANNER as JWs?

      36. roland
        How many times do I need restate this: I HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH YOU USING LOGIC TO PROVE CALVINISM IS WRONG. WHAT I WILL NOT DO IS SUBJECT GOD’S WORD TO LOGIC. I’ve said this at least on three occasions but you insists that I am not in agreement with you.

        br.d
        The problem with this – is that every time I started to apply LOGIC to Calvinism – you said we were going to hit a wall – because for you that would be subjecting LOGIC to scripture.

        So this doesn’t fly!

        Let me ask you a question
        The Jehovah’s Witness representation of their doctrine – is that their doctrine is TRUE.
        In that regard – is your representation of their doctrine similar, equal to, or close to theirs?

        roland
        My doctrine is not similar to Jehovah’s Witnesses ……

        br.d
        That is beside the point
        Please go back and read the question again and please provide an answer.
        You can explain why your answer is YEA or NAY if you like
        But some kind of YEA or NAY is needed.

      37. br.d
        The problem with this – is that every time I started to apply LOGIC to Calvinism – you said we were going to hit a wall – because for you that would be subjecting LOGIC to scripture.

        roland
        Hopefully I can clear this up. This is the biggest challenge with online discussions: the hearer cannot hear the speaker’s vocal inflections, see the speaker’s facial expression, body language, etc. This challenge is inherent in online discussions.

        I have no problem with you applying logic to Calvinism. When you critique a doctrine of Calvinism or prove it ILLOGICAL, IRRATIONAL, etc. I am going to appeal to SCRIPTURE to defend it. Where’s the wall we are going to hit? I believe the wall we will hit is when I begin to respond with Scripture. A back and forth begins with “that’s not what the text means” or “you’re taking it out of context” or “what about this verse that says this” and on and on and on….It can then become an endless exercise of quoting Scripture. I’ve had many of these discussions with JWs and Mormons.

        Also, I’m not an evidentialist, a rationalist, a philosopher, a logician, an apologist. When I was in college I took an elective about Christian apologetics. I loved it, I wanted to be an apologist just like William Lane Craig, I learned about the cosmological argument, the teleological argument, the ontological argument for the existence of God. I went out with our church’s outreach team, locked and loaded. I began to realize that I was relying on logic to try to win over sinners to Christ. I abandoned these approaches and embraced a presuppositional approach to evangelism and apologetics.
        Presuppositional apologetics argues from the foundations of a worldview. It is not so much concerned with logical analysis, even though it is there, it’s more concerned about exposing the false suppositions of a worldview, belief, doctrine, etc. An example would an atheist who judges moral actions to be horrible, terrible, bad. But where does the atheist get his standard to judge? He has to “borrow” it from the Christian worldview or at least Christian/Judeo standards. That’s how I operate “logically.”

        Last thing, remember when I asked you about how you know Jesus is God? I noticed you did not appeal to logic, reason, philosophy, you just seemed to accept it as the best understanding we have. Belief in Jesus is a foundation of Christian theology, it is central. The Bible doesn’t “make an argument” for Christ’s deity or subject it to a logical syllogism, it is declared to be true and it is. That’s sort of how presuppositional approach apologetics. Surprisingly RC Sproul rejected presuppositionalism and used a more classical apologetic in his approach. He said that a presuppositional approach does not require an apologist to do his homework. Which is true! We don’t need to learn a whole lot of “stuff”, you just need to be able to identify a person’s presuppositions and work from there. It is much more complex than I wrote it but that’s basically it.

      38. br.d
        The problem with this – is that every time I started to apply LOGIC to Calvinism – you said we were going to hit a wall – because for you that would be subjecting LOGIC to scripture.

        roland
        Hopefully I can clear this up. This is the biggest challenge with online discussions: the hearer cannot hear the speaker’s vocal inflections, see the speaker’s facial expression, body language, etc. This challenge is inherent in online discussions.

        br.d
        Roland – the fact is – the underlying inference of scrutinizing scripture’s compliance to LOGIC – is the inference that scripture is not LOGICAL. The only person who would infer such a thing is an Atheist. I think you should be able to tell I’m not an Atheist.

        Roland
        I have no problem with you applying logic to Calvinism.

        br.d
        If that is TRUE – then you won’t be telling me we are bumping up against a wall!

        But if I attempt to scrutinize Calvinism or an aspect of it with LOGIC and you tell me we are bumping up against a wall – then I’ll know it actually wasn’t TRUE. :-]

      39. br.d
        scripture’s compliance to LOGIC

        roland
        This is where we disagree. I don’t believe Scripture is in compliance with logic. That would mean that logic is above Scripture. Which I reject as I believe God is transcendental. He transcends concepts such as logic. Scripture is God-breathed, Jesus is the logos, the Word. Logic must comply to the truth as Jesus and God’s Word declare and not the other way around.
        When you test something by something else, you are subjecting on thing to another. If I test Scripture by logic, I am subject the Scripture to logic. I would be making logic the standard of truth.

      40. roland
        This is where we disagree. I don’t believe Scripture is in compliance with logic.

        br.d
        Where you ever got the idea that I was trying to hold scripture in compliance to LOGIC is a mystery to me!

        But lets see if we bump up against that wall again when I attempt to scrutinize Calvinism with LOGIC. :-]

      41. br.d
        Let me ask you a question
        The Jehovah’s Witness representation of their doctrine – is that their doctrine is TRUE.
        In that regard – is your representation of their doctrine similar, equal to, or close to theirs?

        roland
        NAY, it is not similar to their representation.

      42. br.d
        Let me ask you a question
        The Jehovah’s Witness representation of their doctrine – is that their doctrine is TRUE.
        In that regard – is your representation of their doctrine similar, equal to, or close to theirs?

        roland
        NAY, it is not similar to their representation.

        br.d
        And as an example – you would say – the Jehovah’s Witness doctrine is NOT TRUE
        Correct?

      43. br.d
        And as an example – you would say – the Jehovah’s Witness doctrine is NOT TRUE
        Correct?

        roland
        Yes, the JW’s doctrine is not true.

      44. br.d
        And as an example – you would say – the Jehovah’s Witness doctrine is NOT TRUE
        Correct?

        roland
        Yes, the JW’s doctrine is not true.

        br.d
        Ok – here one of your arguments to me regarding Calvinism being misrepresented

        So now we can use one of your arguments to me in which you assert I misrepresent Calvinism.
        You asked me
        “What prominent Calvinist says that the majority of the human race are designed/created for eternal torment in the lake of fire”?

        Your question here poses the argument – that if no prominent Calvinist says my statement – then my statement misrepresents Calvinism.

        So lets use that your argument to your representation of Jehovah’s Witness

        Here is your argument back to you:
        What prominent Jehovah’s Witness will say that the Jehovah’S Witness doctrine is NOT TRUE?

        Since no prominent Jehovah’s Witness says your statement – then your statement misrepresents the Jehovah’s Witness

        That is according to your argument
        However, I say that your argument is fallacious.
        I say that your claim that Jehovah’s Witness doctrine is NOT TRUE – is not a misrepresentation of their doctrine

      45. br.d
        So lets use that your argument to your representation of Jehovah’s Witness

        roland
        What did you just prove? Nothing. You put tother a syllogism without any regard to the veracity of the premises. All you did was turn my argument around and use it to prove your point. It’s not the same as me saying what you say about Calvinism.

        br.d
        Your question here poses the argument – that if no prominent Calvinist says my statement – then my statement misrepresents Calvinism.

        roland
        Again, I am responding to YOUR CLAIMS ABOUT WHAT CALVINISM TEACHES. You say CALVINISM TEACHES XXX. I ask you WHAT PROMINENT CALVINISTS TEACHING XXX. You cannot find a quote, you never will, and therefore, you are misrepresenting what we believe.

        If a non-Christian says, “Christians teach that there is one God in three persons, therefore, since God is three persons, they worship three Gods.”
        What you say that is a misrepresentation of Christianity? Or is it alone a misrepresentation if it doesn’t violate a logical norm?

      46. roland
        What did you just prove? Nothing. You put tother a syllogism without any regard to the veracity of the premises. All you did was turn my argument around and use it to prove your point.

        br.d
        BINGO!
        So by applying your argument to your representation of Jehovah’s Witness – you should be able to see that your argument is fallacious.

        Roland
        It’s not the same as me saying what you say about Calvinism.

        br.d
        This statement reveals more immaturity on your part concerning LOGIC
        I used a standard test – used in LOGIC – to validate your argument.
        I took the FORM of your argument – and applied it to a different case – to see how it would work
        LOGIC tells us – if your argument is valid in one case – then it is valid in any case.
        And under that test – it became obvious the argument is fallacious

        roland
        Again, I am responding to YOUR CLAIMS ABOUT WHAT CALVINISM TEACHES. You say CALVINISM TEACHES XXX. I ask you WHAT PROMINENT CALVINISTS TEACHING XXX. You cannot find a quote, you never will, and therefore, you are misrepresenting what we believe.

        br.d
        Correct!
        LOGIC tells us – If your argument is valid for your belief system – then it is also valid for any belief system

        When we applied it to the belief system of the JWs – it became obvious that it was fallacious
        This is a common test in LOGIC to validate whether an argument is fallacious or not
        Your argument failed.

        Roland
        If a non-Christian says, “Christians teach that there is one God in three persons, therefore, since God is three persons, they worship three Gods.”

        br.d
        That argument fails – simply because it commits the fallacy of non-sequitur

        A VALID logical argument concerning that would be:
        “Christians teach that there is one God in three persons – therefore they worship one God in three persons”

        If you want to provide an example of Dr. Flowers misrepresenting Calvinism – you need to make sure that the FORM of Dr. Flowers argument is VALID. If the FORM is LOGICALLY valid – and the CONTENT is false – then you can have a misrepresentation.

        If the FORM of the statement that Dr. Flowers makes is LOGICALLY valid – and the conclusion LOGICALLY follows – then that statement cannot be misrepresentation of the TRUTH.

        In such case – it would be considered a TRUTH-STATEMENT about Calvinism – which the Calvinist is not willing to make.
        Just because Dr. Flowers is willing to tell a TRUTH that the Calvinist is not willing to tell – does equate to misrepresentation.
        It simply shows Dr. Flowers is willing to tell a certain TRUTH about Calvinism – that the Calvinist is not willing to reveal.

      47. br.d
        Just because Dr. Flowers is willing to tell a TRUTH that the Calvinist is not willing to tell – does equate to misrepresentation.
        It simply shows Dr. Flowers is willing to tell a certain TRUTH about Calvinism – that the Calvinist is not willing to reveal.

        roland
        No, what Dr. Flowers is doing is making a misrepresentation. Misrepresentation
        the action or offense of giving a false or misleading account of the nature of something.

        Dr. Flowers is giving a false or misleading account of Calvinism. He is saying things that we do not believe or teach. It is so simple to see but since it is not LOGIC, you don’t want to believe it. It is common sense but since you are on Dr. Flowers side, you won’t admit to it. That’s why you resort to logic to defend Dr. Flowers misrepresentation of Calvinism.
        Calvinists see it because we know what we teach and believe. And you accuse me of playing semantical games.

      48. roland
        No, what Dr. Flowers is doing is making a misrepresentation. Misrepresentation

        br.d
        Well – I’ve take the time to step you through a LOGICAL test – to show you that one of your arguments breaks down.
        You’ve responded – by simply making another claim.

        A claim – is nothing more than a claim – until it can be LOGICALLY shown to be TRUE.
        You can make another argument if you want to – and we can put that argument to the test.
        But if your next argument is no better than the last one – its also going to fail.

        At minimum – I think this has been a good exercise for you.

      49. br.d
        At minimum – I think this has been a good exercise for you.

        roland
        It has been but just because LOGIC disproves my argument doesn’t make my claim that Dr Flowers misrepresent Calvinists false. What you have shown is that my claim does not meet a logical test. I agree it doesn’t. Therefore, my claim is fallacious, and therefore false.

        In sum, according to you and I would presume all logicians, my claim is false, Dr. Flowers does not misrepresent Calvinism and my petition that a prominent Calvinists quote be given is illogical or irrational. You proved that to me with the JWs argument. However, since I am not convinced that my petition is irrational, it is the logical and rational conclusion that I am immature in logic.

      50. Roland
        In sum, according to you and I would presume all logicians, my claim is false,

        br.d
        That argument at least.
        And as I said – I’m will to hear a different argument – but we will put that one to the test also.

        Roland
        Dr. Flowers does not misrepresent Calvinism and my petition that a prominent Calvinists quote be given is illogical or irrational.

        br.d
        Its not clear what you mean by “prominent Calvinists quote be given is illogical or irrational”

        Roland
        You proved that to me with the JWs argument. However, since I am not convinced that my petition is irrational, it is the logical and rational conclusion that I am immature in logic.

        br.d
        LOGIC is a practice and a discipline.
        It takes time to learn.
        But as you can see – its a powerful tool for discerning.

        Here is something you might find interesting
        In the discipline of syllogisms there are a total of 256 possible syllogisms that can be made.
        And out of that number – all but 24 of them are logically fallacious.

        This shows us how high the probability of our thinking can be fallacious.
        With odds like that – It almost makes a person wonder how we humans get much of anything right!
        The difference between you and I – is simply that I’ve been focused on it for a while. :-]

      51. br.d
        The difference between you and I – is simply that I’ve been focused on it for a while. :-]

        roland
        Yes, I concede, you are far more apt as using logic than I am. I was focused not so much on logic but on philosophy for about two years. I’ve since abandoned it in the sense that I don’t it up as the ultimate authority in my life.

      52. br.d
        That is according to your argument
        However, I say that your argument is fallacious.
        I say that your claim that Jehovah’s Witness doctrine is NOT TRUE – is not a misrepresentation of their doctrine

        roland
        So, then according to your argument JWs doctrine is NOT TRUE but TRUE because of my fallacious argument. Got it! So, then it is illogical to ask that a prominent representative of any belief system be given in order to correct a misrepresentation is fallacious, therefore, the misrepresentation is true. Got it! It all makes cents, what was I thinking?

      53. roland
        So, then according to your argument JWs doctrine is NOT TRUE but TRUE because of my fallacious argument.

        br.d
        Roland – it can’t be both NOT TRUE and TRUE – that is a contradiction.

        What the test shows – is that your argument for misrepresentation commits a logical fallacy.
        The test we’ve used – does nothing to show whether JW’s doctrine is TRUE or FALSE
        The test is focused solely on the issue of representation

        Roland
        Got it! So, then it is illogical to ask that a prominent representative of any belief system be given in order to correct a misrepresentation

        br.d
        Take that question and again apply to the JWs.

        Do you automatically say YES to every representation a JW makes concerning JW doctrine just because a prominent JW makes it?
        Somehow I don’t think so.

        Again – if your argument works for your belief system – then it works for every belief system.
        And I’m hoping – by stepping you through that LOGICAL test – you can see that It doesn’t

      54. br.d
        This just tells you can’t tell the difference between James White’s representation of the Non-Calvinist – and James White’s representation of the Calvinist. When James White was equating belief with merits – he was not representing that as the Calvinist perspective – but as the non-Calvinist persepective.

        roland
        I suggest you watch the video. Because James White is EXCLUDING the argument that BELIEF IS MERITORIOUS. HE’S EXCLUDING IT. HE’S NOT MAKING IT. HE SAYS SO IN THE VIDEO.
        Dr. Flowers then says that James White is saying BELIEF IS MERITORIOUS.

        Dr Flowers is saying White is saying something that White is explicitly NOT SAYING. I don’t know how much clearer to misrepresenting a person can get? I would also add that Mike Winger is saying the exact same thing as Dr. Flowers. They’re both saying that James White said BELIEF IS MERITORIOUS when James White said NO! I don’t get how that is not clear.

      55. roland
        James White is EXCLUDING the argument that BELIEF IS MERITORIOUS. HE’S EXCLUDING IT. HE’S NOT MAKING IT. HE SAYS SO IN THE VIDEO.

        br.d
        He is excluding it as what LOGICALLY follows for Calvinism – or what LOGICALLY follows from non-Calvinism?

        Roland
        Dr. Flowers then says that James White is saying BELIEF IS MERITORIOUS.

        br.d
        As a representation of what LOGICALLY follows in Calvinism – or as a representation of what LOGICALLY follows in Non-Calvinism?

        Roland
        Dr Flowers is saying White is saying something that White is explicitly NOT SAYING.

        br.d
        You continue to make the same error over and over.
        You fail to distinguish the difference between what is stated “Inferentially” from what is said “Explicitly”
        Do you need me to help you to understand that?

      56. br.d
        He is excluding it as what LOGICALLY follows for Calvinism – or what LOGICALLY follows from non-Calvinism?

        roland
        Neither. James White is not bringing up the argument that belief is meritorious, he’s excluding it from the discussion. But Dr. Flowers insists that White is making the argument. Here’s a brief outline of the video segment I’m referring to:
        The issue White is addressing is that non-Calvinists (Mike Winger) believe the choice to repent or believe is an AUTONOMOUS ACT because non-Calvinists do not believe in effectual grace. NO EFFECTUAL GRACE = AUTONOMOUS ACT TO BELIEVE.
        Dr. Flowers does not address White’s claim of believing being an AUTONOMOUS ACT. Dr. Flowers brings up other things that he thinks are addressing the claim but he doesn’t. However, Dr. Flowers keeps insisting that this is White’s argument. I can understand why Dr. Flowers brings this up because there are Calvinists who accuse non-Calvinists of believing that an AUTONOMOUS ACT of believing in Christ is works. I don’t believe that non-Calvinists are saying this or believe this. I accept Dr. Flowers’s argument that provisionists believe salvation is by grace. But provisionists don’t believe in irresistible or effectual grace, Calvinists do, that’s the disagreement.

        White is saying non-Calvinists must believe faith (believing) is an AUTONOMOUS ACT because they deny effectual or irresistible grace. So, White does not make the argument about faith being a work, he does not infer it, etc. but Dr. Flowers kept insisting that White is making the argument.

      57. I’ll get the video and see if I can decipher how you are interpreting the conversation
        I’ll get back to you

      58. Roland
        MAY 7, 2021 AT 11:57 AM
        At another point in the video Dr. Flowers says that James White is equating belief with merits.

        br.d
        Ok I have the exact transcript for that section of the video

        Minute 3:26
        James White – talking about Mike Winger
        -quote
        He’s [Mike Winger] assuming that works are meritorious, and are earning something……

        Dr. Flowers – responding to James White
        -quote
        “Actually Mike wasn’t saying he believes that works are meritorious, or that faith is meritorious.
        What he [Mike] is saying, is that Calvinists often accuse us of believing that because faith is our response to God, our free response, that it is meriting something. And that is the accusation brought against us by many Calvinists.

        Dr. Flower’s then address James White directly
        -quote
        You may not make that mistake Dr. White, but it is common for Calvinists to accuse us of believing that we are earning or meriting our own salvation……

        So Roland
        I have no idea how you got that messed up the way you did.
        But Dr. Flowers is not accusing James White of holding to faith as meritorious – i.e. equating belief as merits.

        So it was as I assumed it would be.

      59. br.dSo Roland
        I have no idea how you got that messed up the way you did.
        But Dr. Flowers is not accusing James White of holding to faith as meritorious – i.e. equating belief as merits.

        So it was as I assumed it would be.

        roland
        Go on to the video at 15:45 and 40:05, James White is saying what I said he said. It is in there, I have it in my notes. My notes start at the 5:40 mark.

      60. On my system – from minute 15:45 to 15:52 James white is talking
        -quote
        “Not an act that merits, but it is an autonomous act, that could, if not undertaken, make everything else that god has done fail.”

        During this time period Dr. Flowers is not speaking.
        I what I understand James White as saying – is that on Calvinism the “act” is not man’s “act” but a divine “act” which is autonomous.

        On my system – Mike Winger is speaking at minute 40:04 to 40:16
        -quote
        “It is no work that I do. It is just that I believe. The assumption that is underlying what he is saying is that my belief itself, my choice to trust in Christ, that itself is a work that I do”

        If I understand Mike Winger here – he appears to be wanting to correct a false accusation he believes faith is meritorious.

        Dr. Flowers is not speaking during that window of time either.

      61. br.d
        I what I understand James White as saying – is that on Calvinism the “act” is not man’s “act” but a divine “act” which is autonomous.

        roland
        I don’t think White is addressing this at all. He ask, after Winger says that White is accusing him of equating belief with works, White asks, “Did you notice that I did not use that term (I think he’s referring to meritorious)?” Then Dr. Flowers says” Just because you didn’t doesn’t meant it isn’t used quite regularly.” Dr. Flowers counties “I have heard you (referring to White) imply that we are earning or meriting salvation by faith.”

        Regarding autonomous act, White is arguing that this is the non-Calvinist view, it is a libertarian freewill act or as White put it, which Dr. Flowers rejected, an autonomous (having the freedom to act independently).

        I think we are hearing two different arguments. I don’t hear White making an assumption of Winger’s beliefs that faith is meritorious.

      62. roland
        Dr. Flowers counters “I have heard you (referring to White) imply that we are earning or meriting salvation by faith.”

        br.d
        And that would be exemplified at Minute 3:26

        Where James White is talking about Mike Winger
        -quote
        He’s [Mike Winger] assuming that works are meritorious, and are earning something……

        Roland
        Regarding autonomous act, White is arguing that this is the non-Calvinist view

        br.d
        And did you know that that argument commits the fallacy of equivocation?
        There are two SENSES in which the term “autonomous” can be applied.
        1) Metaphysical autonomy
        2) Functional autonomy

        Which one is James white referring to?
        Does he qualify this anywhere?

        Metaphysical autonomy is totally irrational
        It would mean that man creates himself.

        Functional autonomy infers that man has functionality that is independent of divine control.

        Roland
        , it is a libertarian freewill act or as White put it, which Dr. Flowers rejected, an autonomous (having the freedom to act independently).

        br.e
        At what point in the video are you hearing this?
        its apparent that the minutes in my system may be a little off from yours.

        Roland
        I think we are hearing two different arguments. I don’t hear White making an assumption of Winger’s beliefs that faith is meritorious.

        br.d
        The video is titled ” Saved by GRACE ALONE through FAITH ALONE?”

        The very first clip that Dr. Flowers plays of White – is White saying this
        -quote
        He’s [Mike Winger] assuming that works are meritorious, and are earning something……

      63. br.d
        Which one is James white referring to?
        Does he qualify this anywhere?

        roland
        No he doesn’t but I would assume functional autonomy.

        br.e
        At what point in the video are you hearing this?
        its apparent that the minutes in my system may be a little off from yours.

        roland
        According to my notes it starts at 40:05. I didn’t note how long this portion lasted but I believe it was about 90 seconds but I could be wrong.

        br.d
        The video is titled ” Saved by GRACE ALONE through FAITH ALONE?”

        The very first clip that Dr. Flowers plays of White – is White saying this
        -quote
        He’s [Mike Winger] assuming that works are meritorious, and are earning something……

        roland
        But later on in the video White is excluding this argument that belief equals merit. I hear White focusing on the issue of whether the choice to believe or repent is an autonomous (that is an independent) act or is it by effectual or irresistible grace. That’s what I understand White saying. Maybe it is because I move and live within the Calvinists echo chamber.

      64. br.d
        Which one is James white referring to?
        Does he qualify this anywhere?

        roland
        No he doesn’t but I would assume functional autonomy.

        br.d
        Ok – lets examine that.
        What you are saying is – in Calvinism – man’s functionality is totally dependent upon divine control – right?

      65. br.d
        Ok – lets examine that.
        What you are saying is – in Calvinism – man’s functionality is totally dependent upon divine control – right?

        Roland
        Yes, as Paul preached in Acts 17:28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’
        And as Jesus taught His disciples in John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

        So, yes in Calvinism, man’s functionality is totally dependent upon divine control. We draw this doctrine from Scripture.

      66. Roland
        So, yes in Calvinism, man’s functionality is totally dependent upon divine control.

        br.d
        That is consistent with Theological Determinism – and a compatibilist view of freedom

        Is it right for me to assume you reject the existence of Libertarian Freedom as available to humans – and accept the existence of compatibilist freedom?

      67. br.d
        That is consistent with Theological Determinism – and a compatibilist view of freedom

        Is it right for me to assume you reject the existence of Libertarian Freedom as available to humans – and accept the existence of compatibilist freedom?

        roland
        Yes, I reject libertarian freewill unless the exception that humans will act freely according to their sinful nature is considered. Yes, I believe compatibilist freedom is the most biblical concept we have available to us today.

      68. roland
        Yes, I reject libertarian freewill unless the exception that humans will act freely according to their sinful nature is considered.

        br.d
        Well – acting according to one’s nature can be applicable to both Libertarian or Compatibilist freedom.

        Pretty much all Calvinist scholars today acknowledge – if Theological Determinism is TRUE – then Libertarian Freedom does not exist for humans in any form.

        Pauls Helm’s for example will say that the Westminster Confession affirms Determinism/Compatibilism
        And Libertarian and Compatibilist freedom mutually exclude one another.
        And thus for Helm’s Libertarian Freedom is ruled out as non-existent for humans.

      69. br.d
        Pauls Helm’s for example will say that the Westminster Confession affirms Determinism/Compatibilism
        And Libertarian and Compatibilist freedom mutually exclude one another.
        And thus for Helm’s Libertarian Freedom is ruled out as non-existent for humans.

        roland
        I’m not familiar with Paul Helm as I’ve never read any of his works. I can agree with him that Libertarian and Compatibilist freedom exclude one another.

        My only issue with Helm’s ruling out Libertarian freedom is if he is willing to make an exception that man’s fallen nature be included in Libertarian freedom. If not, then I can still agree with him. The issue of human nature is more of a nuance.

      70. Roland
        My only issue with Helm’s ruling out Libertarian freedom is if he is willing to make an exception that man’s fallen nature be included in Libertarian freedom. If not, then I can still agree with him. The issue of human nature is more of a nuance.

        br.d
        This is interesting!
        Are you saying that man has Libertarian freedom to determine his nature – which would mean that his nature is not determined at the foundation of the world?

      71. br.d
        This is interesting!
        Are you saying that man has Libertarian freedom to determine his nature – which would mean that his nature is not determined at the foundation of the world?

        Roland
        No, I must have misstated what I mean. I mean that man’s nature determines his “libertarian freedom.” We can only act, choose, decide, etc. ACCORDING to our fallen nature. That’s what I mean.

      72. br.d
        Are you saying that man has Libertarian freedom to determine his nature – which would mean that his nature is not determined at the foundation of the world?

        Roland
        No, I must have misstated what I mean. I mean that man’s nature determines his “libertarian freedom.” We can only act, choose, decide, etc. ACCORDING to our fallen nature. That’s what I mean.

        br.d
        Oh!
        Well – if man’s nature is 100% determined at the foundation of the world – and man’s freedom is compatible with what is determined – then we have Compatibilist freedom.

        And we can’t have both at the same time
        Because what ever is Libertarian – entails man as the DETERMINATIVE determiner.

        And if man is the DETERMINATIVE determiner – then that rules out a THEOS as the DETERMINATIVE determiner.
        And if that is the case – we no longer have a THEOS who determines 100% of everything.

        So it seems LOGICAL to me – to say that on Calvinism – man’s nature is determined at the foundation of the world.
        And man’s functionality – as you have said – is Non-Autonomous – which means it is totally dependent upon what is determined.
        And since Libertarian Freedom and Compatibilist Freedom mutually exclude each other – we can only have one or the other.

      73. br.d
        What you are saying is – in Calvinism – man’s functionality is totally dependent upon divine control – right?

        roland
        Yes. Exodus 3:19-20
        19 But I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not even by a mighty hand. 20 So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My wonders which I will do in its midst; and after that he will let you go.
        Here, pharaoh could not function without God, at least with regards with letting Israel go.

        Deuteronomy 32:39
        39 ‘Now see that I, even I, am He,
        And there is no God besides Me;
        I kill and I make alive;
        I wound and I heal;
        Nor is there any who can deliver from My hand

        Again, God’s control is seen in life and death, health and sickness, and none can deliver from His hand.

        Isaiah 43:13
        When I act, who can reverse it?

        No one can reverse God’s actions.

      74. br.d
        What you are saying is – in Calvinism – man’s functionality is totally dependent upon divine control – right?

        roland
        Yes……..

        br.d
        Ok then – we should be able to unpackage compatibilist freedom

        The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy defines Compatibilism as follows:
        -quote
        Compatibilism is the thesis that free will is compatible with determinism.

        So in Calvinism – we have Theological Determinism.
        This is stated as “Whatsoever comes to pass – does so by infallible decree – at the foundation of the world”

        Therefore – on that view – the freedom of all created things – must be compatible with what is determined.

      75. br.d
        Therefore – on that view – the freedom of all created things – must be compatible with what is determined.

        roland
        Yes. Bruce Ware puts it this way in his book God’s Greater Glory: “While never minimizing either the genuineness of human choosing nor the moral responsibility attached to human choice, Scripture presents God as having ultimate and exacting control over just what happens.”

        John Frame in his book The Doctrine of God adds this:
        “To say that God’s controlling power is efficacious is simply to say that it always accomplishes its purpose. God never fails to acomplish what he sets out to do. Creatures may oppose him, to be sure, but they cannot prevail.”

        Yes, God is in control, yet humans are free.

      76. br.d
        Therefore – on that view – the freedom of all created things – must be compatible with what is determined.

        roland
        Yes……

        br.d
        Ok – so we have a world in which Determinism is the rule – with freedom that must be compatible with what is determined.

        And we then have the LOGICAL contra-positive:
        Freedom that is NOT compatible with what is determined – does not exist.

      77. br.d
        And we then have the LOGICAL contra-positive:
        Freedom that is NOT compatible with what is determined – does not exist.

        roland
        Here is where we are going to hit the wall I often bring up in our discussions. I’m going to guess that logic is your ultimate authority? If so, then we are at that wall.
        I see what you are saying about the contra-positive but I cannot make a logical argument against this. I am going to appeal to Scripture that shows that God’s control is compatible with human decisions or choices.

        Let me explain to you what I am interpreting your argument as being. I interpret your appeal to logic as a means by which I will be shown some sort of logical fallacy. I cannot go there as I don’t know how. I appeal to Scripture in my defense. So, my argument will be what Scripture teaches us but your argument will be what logic shows us.

      78. br.d
        And we then have the LOGICAL contra-positive:
        Freedom that is NOT compatible with what is determined – does not exist.

        roland
        Here is where we are going to hit the wall I often bring up in our discussions. I’m going to guess that logic is your ultimate authority? If so, then we are at that wall.

        br.d
        Well – I would suggest you think this through.
        It is certainly not be my position that scripture is ILLOGICAL
        But a human INTERPRETATION of scripture can resolve to being fallacious
        For example – there are people who believe the scripture teaches the earth is flat.

        You presented a few scriptures – which are INTERPRETED as affirming compatibilist freedom.
        And you did say that you have no problem using LOGIC to analyze Calvinism – or a Calvinist INTERPRETATION.

        So if we are to use LOGIC – then we would be using it to test an INTERPRETATION.
        We wouldn’t be using it to test scripture.

        Unless it is your position that the Calvinist’s INTERPRETATION is canon – and thus equal to scripture?

      79. br.d
        Well – I would suggest you think this through.
        It is certainly not be my position that scripture is ILLOGICAL
        But a human INTERPRETATION of scripture can resolve to being fallacious
        For example – there are people who believe the scripture teaches the earth is flat.

        roland
        I’m willing to think this through. I’ve been enjoying our discussion as we have managed to refrain from insults and I’m willing to listen to you. Good, I agree with you that scripture is ILLOGICAL. Yes, a human INTERPRETATION of Scripture can be fallacious. I’ve never read or heard the argument that Scriptures teaches the earth is flat. New to me.

        br.d
        You presented a few scriptures – which are INTERPRETED as affirming compatibilist freedom.
        And you did say that you have no problem using LOGIC to analyze Calvinism – or a Calvinist INTERPRETATION.

        roland
        Yes, I agree with your statement but we’re getting close to that wall.

        br.d
        So if we are to use LOGIC – then we would be using it to test an INTERPRETATION.
        We wouldn’t be using it to test scripture

        roland
        Yes, again I agree with what you are saying. We’re close to that wall. I believe the Calvinist, at this point I prefer a Reformed interpretation, of Scripture is closer to Scripture than other types of interpretations. As you use logic to analyze the Reformed interpretation of Scripture, I’m going to appeal more to Scripture than logic.

        br.d
        Unless it is your position that the Calvinist’s INTERPRETATION is canon – and thus equal to scripture?

        roland
        How many times do I have to repeat this? It is not my position that “the Calvinist’s INTERPRETATION is canon – and thus equal to scripture?

        John Calvin was a man so there are issues with his interpretation of Scripture. He laid a foundation from which many men have built upon and at the same time challenged. The Reformed tradition has built upon that foundation through the Puritans, the Dutch Reformed, the American puritans, etc. So, I don’t hold Calvin to that highest regard of Scripture. This is my last one for the night. I might have time tomorrow but it will definitely be evening. Thanks for the discourse.

      80. roland
        As you use logic to analyze the Reformed interpretation of Scripture, I’m going to appeal more to Scripture than logic.

        br.d
        Ok – perhaps we could agree to proceed in a certain manner?

        I can present what I understand as what is LOGICAL concerning this subject.
        And I’m happy for you to analyze my LOGIC – to see if you can find anything that is fallacious with it.
        And then if you don’t see anything fallacious with it – and you think that it infers scripture is ILLOGICAL – you an tell me.

        How does that sound?

      81. br.d
        You continue to make the same error over and over.
        You fail to distinguish the difference between what is stated “Inferentially” from what is said “Explicitly”
        Do you need me to help you to understand that?

        roland
        I know the difference. White was not inferring or explicitly making the argument that FAITH IS MERITORIOUS but Dr. Flowers insisted he was. I don’t need there are plenty of online dictionaries!

      82. Roland
        I know the difference. White was not inferring or explicitly making the argument that FAITH IS MERITORIOUS but Dr. Flowers insisted he was. I don’t need there are plenty of online dictionaries!

        br.d
        You do know that Calvinists will typically claim that a non-Calvinist is boasting – when a non-Calvinist says he believed – without it being irresistible.

        And the reasoning behind that Calvinist claim – is that it LOGICALLY follows – boasting equates to a meritorious work.
        Therefore the Calvinist will claim that non-Calvinists make faith into a meritorious work.

        I have a suspicion Dr. Flowers may be referring to that claim – but I’ll watch the video.

      83. br.d
        Roland – I might be able to help you – in your understanding of LOGIC.

        Firstly- in LOGIC – to basic distinctions exist for statements.
        1) FORM
        2) CONTENT

        The CONTENT of a statement may be fallacious – which will make that statement fallacious
        The FORM of a statement may also be fallacious – which will make that statement fallacious

        This is where we get the standard list of FORMAL fallacies.
        These are fallacies of FORM

        So let’s take your argument concerning Dr. Flowers – and lets analyze its FORM

        We will call Dr. Flowers: “Person_A”
        We will call Calvinism: “Person_B”

        Lets call your argument the “Misrepresentation” argument

        Now let me craft a statement which provides an approximation of your argument:

        When Person_A represents Person_B using a representation that is not equal to, similar to, or close enough to, Person_B’s representation of Person_B, then Person_A is misrepresenting Person_B.

        Does my approximation statement work for you?
        If not – can you please restate it so that it does.

      84. There have been “successful” Calvinist preachers as well as “successful” non-Calvinist preacher (The Wesley brothers, Billy Graham, and AW Tozer did pretty well).

        It silly to talk about this since God allows many people a part in the kingdom work like Jonathan Edwards. Edwards was not only successful as s preacher but as a multiple slave owner …and very successful at arguing that slavery should remain legal. Bravo.

        So “success” as we know it is not a barometer.

      85. Heather writes, “Anyone can be successful if they hide/disguise the parts of their theology that will make people reject it.”

        Jesus commanded, “Go, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I commanded you.” So, the disciples went out planting and watering confident that God, who gives the increase, would do just that. There are always people who will reject the preaching of the gospel no matter what a preacher preaches or what he leaves out – It is still God who uses that preaching to save His elect no matter how many reject the gospel or why they reject it.

      86. rhutchinI
        it is still God who uses that preaching to save His elect no matter how many reject the gospel or why they reject it.

        br.d
        And NOT telling the TRUTH is all part of the TRUE gospel :-]

      87. Roland: “I would like to see a quote from a prominent Calvinist who identifies the Gospel as you claim we do.”

        Have you never heard of Calvinism’s very own TULIP? It’s right there in the L. Limited Atonement. Calvi-Jesus didn’t die for most people, therefore they were created for hell. Or would Calvinists say the non-elect were created for heaven? Because those are the only two options if God created us for a certain destination. (And I don’t want any of that Calvinist “God just passed over them” stuff. It’s just a softer, deceptive way of saying “God created them knowing that their only possible destination was hell, with no chance of going to heaven.”)

        And you can deny that it’s called the “gospel of Calvinism” if you want to. But it doesn’t change anything. I have found that Calvinists regularly deny certain things (“We don’t SAY that,” they claim), while slipping those same beliefs in farther down the line somewhere in a disguised way. It’s all part of how Calvinism operates. (They’re right that they don’t SAY it. They HIDE it.)

        As Br.d. rightly points out: “They had to EVADE telling THE WHOLE TRUTH (according to Calvinism) in order be successful.”

        After being hired at our church, it took my strong, dogmatic Calvinist pastor several years to finally mention TULIP and the word “Calvinism.” He carefully, gently laid the Calvinist groundwork over years, only revealing bits and pieces of his Calvinist theology at a time, like a slow dribble. Why? Why can’t he just come right out and share TULIP in all its horrible “glory” at the very beginning if it’s so great and biblical? Why are Calvinists so afraid that the way they present the Calvinist gospel will scare people off, and so they have to be careful how they word things? Are they really afraid they can scare the elect off somehow? How contradictory!

  5. EK writes, “The first option is this: Shouldn’t a consistent Calvinist direct his frustrations toward God rather than the world?”

    The Calvinist does; Calvinists tend to be like Habakkuk. Yet, Calvinists can get frustrated with people in the church. Before the last election, a man in my Bible study class said that Joe Biden was a man of character. So, this man of character would do everything he could to kill as many black babies as possible while he was in control of the government, and that is what he is doing. Yet, many church people justify abortion by saying that they favor helping the poor – just not the babies. There is a lot to get frustrated about with the church.

    1. rhutchin
      Calvinists can get frustrated with people in the church.

      br.d
      I might get frustrated with a computer program – but at the same time I’m cognizant that computers have COMPATIBILISTIC freedom.

      They are “Free” to be/do what the program determines because that “Freedom” is COMPATIBLE with what the program determines.

      But they are NOT “Free” to be/do otherwise – because that “Freedom” is not COMPATIBLE with what is determined.

      Interesting to ponder why the Calvinist treats what he believes to be TRUE *AS-IF* it is FALSE!

      Oh that’s right – Calvin instructs the Calvinist to go about his office *AS-IF* nothing is determined in any part.
      How could I forget that! :-]

  6. Eric,
    Thanks for that post.

    We go out on the sidewalk a couple times a week to offer abortion-bound women a choice. A choice, right?

    On the same sidewalk (sometimes) are beard-wearing, tat-branding, YRRs shouting out “truths of the Gospel”. In between their outcries directed at desperate women, they will turn to us and complain at how bad the country is, and how we need to do better to fight the wickedness.

    I have not (yet) chosen those moments to ask them how that works deterministically for them to insist that God decreed everything and yet act as if man has a choice in the matter.

  7. Filemon,
    I applaud you making a try at this, coming over from your native Portuguese. As Heather said, everything you mentioned has been addressed MANY times in these posts.

    It makes no sense to me to take a vague “end from the beginning” or “my purposes will stand” and retrofit them into Augustine’s (or Plato’s) deterministic philosophy. Those (cherry-picked) verses only say what you describe because you make them mean that.

    1. How can you explain John 17:12 where Jesus says that Judas was doomed to destruction to fulfill the Scripture, with Arminian logic he shouldn’t have been condemned, because he couldn’t have done otherwise. Please explain why God was not unjust when He chose Israel among all the other nations for 4.000 years dooming billions of people to destruction and if He chooses one man to be saved He is unjust by the same logic or show me where this is explained in your blog.

      Excuse me, but Heather has no knowledge to debate with anybody, and I advise him to begin reading Luther, Calvin, Augustine, Kierkegaard, Leibniz, and after those he can read Jonathan Edwards, by the way, satan was defeated by Jesus, he has no power anymore, if he is free like Heather wrote than Jesus failed in one of his duties. Everybody, even an illiterate person knows that faith comes from hearing the message, but nobody has the power to go to Jesus, unless he has God’s Grace, and faith doesn’t come from inside anyone it is a gift, we receive it from God, this is one of the reason the Gospel has to be preached and the Calvinists are the best doing this.

      1. Filemon writes, “Jesus says that Judas was doomed to destruction to fulfill the Scripture, with Arminian logic he shouldn’t have been condemned, because he couldn’t have done otherwise.”

        By God’s decree as a consequence of Adam’s sin, Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden and now faith is required to approach God and obtain righteousness, but no one is born with faith. This makes your statement true, “Everybody, even an illiterate person knows that faith comes from hearing the message, but nobody has the power to go to Jesus, unless he has God’s Grace, and faith doesn’t come from inside anyone it is a gift, we receive it from God, this is one of the reason(s) the Gospel has to be preached and the Calvinists are the best doing this.”

      2. rhutchin
        Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden

        br.d
        Calvinist Robert R. McLaughlin
        -quote
        “God merely PROGRAMMED into the divine decrees all our thoughts, motives, decisions and actions” (The Doctrine of Divine Decree)

        And the divine decrees (which includes every impulse permitted to come to pass within Adam and Eve’s brain) come to pass INFALLIBLY and IRRESISTIBLY.

        And that – as Paul Harvey would say – is the “Rest of the Story” :-]

      3. Hello Filemon
        The Non-Calvinist reading of that text does not assume Judas was programmed to robotically commit that sin.

        Additionally – the word “doomed” is added into that text as part of some English translations.

        The original Greek:
        μοι καὶ ἐφύλαξα καὶ οὐδεὶς ἐξ αὐτῶν ἀπώλετο εἰ μὴ ὁ υἱὸς τῆς ἀπωλείας ἵνα ἡ γραφὴ πληρωθῇ

        You have given Me. And I guarded [them] and none of them has perished if not the son of destruction that the Scripture might be fulfilled.

        In our English society, the word “doomed” is generally used to mean FATED
        And in such case Judas would have been powerless to resist fate – which would be the case in Calvinism.

        But there is no need for the Non-Calvinist to read a concept into the text which isn’t there.

      4. Filemon says: “Excuse me, but Heather has no knowledge to debate with anybody,”

        Wow, and you came to that conclusion after exactly one exchange between us. You must be incredibly insightful! And I can tell that you’re a fair, respectful, polite person who sticks to the issues and who really wants to have intelligent conversations and thoughtful, friendly debates. And so, welcome to Sot 101. Your presence here will really enrich the comment sections. (But I, of course, won’t be responding to anything you write because I have no knowledge to debate anyone. Now if you’ll excuse me, my empty air-head is floating away like a helium balloon, and I have to go catch it.)

      5. Filemon “Excuse me, but Heather has no knowledge to debate with anybody,”

        br.d
        This looks like an example of GNOSTICISM! :-]

      6. Heather – please continue to fully engage with any comment you wish.
        You are not to be treated in a disrespectful manner here!

        We’ve had Calvinists play those games here historically.
        But that behavior doesn’t fly these days

        Your thoughts and comments are welcome and respected here.
        br.d

      7. Thank you, brdmod. I truly am not bothered at all by an ignorant, baseless criticism from one random person who doesn’t know me at all. And while I might not comment TO Filemon, I may comment ABOUT what he says. 🙂

        (I’m taking a page from the Calvinist handbook: twist words or add other layers of meaning to get your way or to weasel out of any tight spot.)

      8. Filemon says: “… and I advise him to begin reading Luther, Calvin, Augustine, …”

        And that right there’s the problem! Shouldn’t it be “I advise you to read the Bible alone”? Calvinists want you to think they are basing their theology on the Bible alone, on the plain teachings of Scripture. They want you to think they are teaching biblical doctrine, not Calvinist doctrine. But it always comes back to their favorite Calvinist theologians. That’s very telling!

      9. Heather
        Shouldn’t it be “I advise you to read the Bible alone”?

        br.d
        For a Calvinist – that would be putting the cart before the horse! :-]

  8. The post is 100% to the point. There is a disconnect of cosmic proportions between exhaustive meticulous providence and how calvinists speak of people and events. There really isn’t a living room anywhere big enough to house that elephant.

  9. It is articles just like this that I doubt Leighton was ever a Calvinist who understood what the Bible says about God’s nature, His interaction with creation, anthropology, soteriology, HIs providence, His decree, His holiness, etc. I’ve really come to believe that Leighton is just spiritually gaslighting Calvinists. I think Leighton gets a kick out of aggravating Calvinists with his overt misrepresentations of Calvinistic doctrine and practice. This is why I should avoid this website but Leighton’s one string banjo sure has one high note that keeps ringing in my ear!

    1. Roland…You’ll need more specific examples than just a general proclamation like that or you could be accused of “gaslighting”! How about a direct quote or two from Leighton contrasted against as direct quote or two of the authoritative Calvinist source you think best represents Calvinism. Ok?

      1. Brian, really this whole article is a complete misrepresentation of Calvinist doctrine and practice. Here’s a quote from the article that I believe sums up Leighton’s supposed consistent Calvinist reaction to the state of the world:

        “But, to be honest, I cannot help wonder how my Calvinistic brother’s expressions of frustration toward the state of the world are warranted. Given their belief that “God has sovereignly and unchangeably decreed whatsoever comes to pass for the praise of His own glory,” (WCF III.1)”

        Leighton’s implication is that Calvinists should just be at peace with the state of the world. Leighton should know that as Calvinists God’s Word is “the only sufficient, certain and infallible rule” for us. Does God’s Word command us to accept things as they are such as abortion? Leighton is at least implying, if not directly, stating that because we believe God “works all things according to the counsel of His own will,” we should accept evils such as abortion.

        Basically Leighton is saying that Calvinist should just accept the state of the world because God decreed it and who are we (Calvinists in this case) to talk back to God. Leighton should know better, especially as a former Calvinists.

      2. Roland,
        Leighton’s implication is that Calvinists should just be at peace with the state of the world.

        br.d
        Not quite
        The question is – why isn’t the Calvinist at peace with that which his god infallibly decrees come to pass – since on Calvinism – everything that is infallibly decreed is a perfect manifestation of the divine will and is specifically designed to glorify himself?

        R. C Sproul answers that question for you
        -quote
        God ordains evil – and god only ordains that which is good.

        And did you not see the quote in the article by Calvinist – Darrel B. Harrison?
        -quote
        When as a Christian you are convinced of the sovereignty of god in that EVERYTHING that occurs in the world .both good and ILL – you not only are at peace with it – but also the outcome.

        That quote is a quote from a Calvinist – obviously not a misrepresentation!

        Roland
        Does God’s Word command us to accept things as they are such as abortion?

        Roland – consider the possibility that what the article is pointing to is a disconnect between the underlying core foundation of Universal Causal Divine Determinism (which sets Calvinism apart and makes it unique) and what you read in scripture.

      3. brdmod wrote:
        Roland – consider the possibility that what the article is pointing to is a disconnect between the underlying core foundation of Universal Causal Divine Determinism (which sets Calvinism apart and makes it unique) and what you read in scripture

        No, there is no disconnect from what Calvinists teach and practice and what I read in Scripture. Is there a sense that as a Christian I should be content? Yes, as Paul learned in Philippians 4:11-13, as well as Job 2:10. I would add that being content (at peace) in all things does not mean that I am to be indifferent to the sins in the world. Leighton is saying that a consistent Calvinist should be at peace because God ordains all things and Calvinists should be frustrated at God. Which we are not. As a Calvinists I seek God for help in receiving the good and the adversity but this does not mean I am to be indifferent to the state of the world. That’s not a biblical perspective and it’s not a Calvinistic perspective.

      4. Roland
        No, there is no disconnect from what Calvinists teach and practice and what I read in Scripture.

        br.d
        So then for you – these are what you are not at peace with
        1) The WORKS of Calvin’s god’s hand and mind
        2) The direct expression of his will
        3) The events he brings to pass specifically to manifest his glory

        Roland
        Being content (at peace) in all things does not mean that I am to be indifferent to the sins in the world.

        br.d
        Which means you don’t attribute the sins of the world to what the doctrine attributes them to:
        1) The WORKS of Calvin’s god’s hand and mind
        2) The direct expression of his will
        3) The events he brings to pass specifically to manifest his glory

        Or perhaps you are following a DOUBLE-MINDED doctrine?

        Roland
        As a Calvinists I seek God for help in receiving the good

        br.d
        But remember – in Calvinism – “Evil” is “good”

        R.C. Sproul
        -quote
        God ordains evil – and everything god ordains is good

        Jon Edwards – Evil is PART of the 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.

        So you also treat that proposition *AS-IF* it is not true

      5. Roland – here is how I would sum it up for you

        1) You are at peace with EVERYTHING that has been divinely decreed to INFALLIBLY come to pass
        2) You are NOT at peace with SOME things that have been divinely decreed to INFALLIBLY come to pass

      6. brdmod wrote:
        Roland – here is how I would sum it up for you

        1) You are at peace with EVERYTHING that has been divinely decreed to INFALLIBLY come to pass
        2) You are NOT at peace with SOME things that have been divinely decreed to INFALLIBLY come to pass

        I wrote: Yes, generally, I would agree with your summary.

      7. Roland,

        So you are saying that there are things happening that God does not want? God does not always get what He wants?

        Abortion is terrible, and we go out every week to offer a choice to women.

        But in Calvinism, yesterday’s abortion was what God wanted or it would not have happened. This aint rocket science.

        Simple question to you: Were yesterday’s abortions in your city what God wanted?

      8. FOH, thanks for the reply.
        You wrote:
        Simple question to you: Were yesterday’s abortions in your city what God wanted?

        I wrote: I would not say that God wanted abortions. I believe He decreed all things after the counsel of His own will. Does that include abortions? Yes, I believe He decreed them. He declared that they would be. Did He want them? No. Does this mean that God operates contrary to His own desires? Honestly, I don’t know. Scripture has not revealed to us these mysteries. Scripture does not say, specifically, that God decreed abortions, sin, etc. Isaiah 46:10 ” Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all my pleasure.”

        I don’t know how to read Isaiah 46:10 except in a plain reading. It says what it says. God dictates the purpose within history, beforehand. He dictates what will happen. He is sovereign, His purpose will stand, it cannot be changed, and is the product not of whim or arbitrariness, but of His pleasurable will. Thanks for reading.

      9. Roland,

        I know. I was there. I am (still) a Reformed church sent missionary (and former Calvinist).

        Isaiah 46 (remember…remember …. you are saying that God decreed all of last year’s abortions from this text).

        Remember the former things, those of long ago;
        I am God, and there is no other;
        I am God, and there is none like me.
        10 I make known the end from the beginning,
        from ancient times, what is still to come.
        I say, ‘My purpose will stand,
        and I will do all that I please.’
        11 From the east I summon a bird of prey;
        from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose.
        What I have said, that I will bring about;
        what I have planned, that I will do.

        ———-

        Really?

        Your “simple reading” mandates that this passage in prophetic, poetic Isaiah declares (without ambiguity) that God decreed all the millions of abortions in the world?

        Really? Someone would say that in a simple reading?

        Or would they take off their Calvinist lenses and say that God will do what He planned to do (which might be create a world where He wins despite man having free choices)?

        Someone (with no Reformed prejudice) would walk up to this passage and say, “Well I guess all of the million abortions were God’s doing”??

        Nah. They wouldnt. Only when they have learned the Reform tradition (as I did).

        His purpose will stand. He will get what He wants in the end cuz He rules. But no ruler (anywhere in the world or the Bible) always gets what he wants ….even in the hearts of his subjects…. or else they are mere puppets.

      10. You wrote:
        Nah. They wouldnt. Only when they have learned the Reform tradition (as I did).

        I wrote: I’ve addressed this in other discussions that I had with you. I came to Calvinism by reading Scripture. I was reading Scripture and I came across verses such as Romans 8, Ephesians 1, John 6, and others, that caused me to question the idea of libertarian freewill. My pastors always prefaced these verses with the idea that humans have libertarian freewill. Basically, they told that before you misunderstand Scripture, you must know that humans have freewill, and God would not violate that freewill. Then I can understand what God is saying in these verses, chapters. It was not until I heard RC Sproul’s teachings that I believe these verses clicked and made sense. So, I was not taught Reformed theology and then the Bible. It was the opposite.

        You wrote:
        Your “simple reading” mandates that this passage in prophetic, poetic Isaiah declares (without ambiguity) that God decreed all the millions of abortions in the world?

        Really? Someone would say that in a simple reading?

        I wrote: I wrote earlier that the Bible does not say the God decreed abortions. I wrote that God decreed all things, whatsoever comes to pass, if that includes abortions then God decreed them. I’m trying as best as I can to explain that God’s decree as revealed to us in Scripture is not exhaustive but general. From the general, we can reason, to the particular. However, I would not ascribe sin to God because Scripture does not ascribe sin to God. I know, I can’t explain this as you would like only as I understand it. Thanks for reading.

      11. Roland,

        I really have to say that I am surprised by this.

        This is the same way that most theological positions and cults started.  Everybody “struggles” with verses and passages.

        We all as new believers struggle with Jesus saying “My God, My God” and “I am going to your Father and my Father, your God and my God….”  Many a JW has stopped at my door (here and in my mission field country where they largely outnumber evangelicals) and said, “See, Jesus cant be God–do you have a three-headed God!?”

        It’s not the struggling with verses and passages that makes a position.  It’s the deciding who will give you the answers.  And you reinforced my assumptions with your statements below.  You did not come to Calvinism by reading Scripture!  You came to questions and puzzling passages by reading Scripture (For instance: “If anyone does not hate his mother….”).

        That’s fine!

        But…  “It was not until I heard RC Sproul’s teachings that I believe these verses clicked and made sense.”  Bingo!  Thousands….millions read CS Lewis, Gordon Fee, WL Craig, NT Wright, Greg Boyd when struggling with passages and come out as Arminians, Anabaptists, Pentecostals, Molinists, and Anglicans.  That’s fine too!

        But they cant claim that they came to that position “by reading Scripture.”

        IMO, one would never come to the idea that God decreed all abortions from reading Scripture…and you said so yourself.

        “I wrote earlier that the Bible does not say the God decreed abortions. I wrote that God decreed all things, whatsoever comes to pass…”
        But then you go on and say basically ….Well since we have a few phrases from confessions …I guess He did decree them.

        You see, you WANT to go with the idea that God is good and God is love (and did not decree/ desire/ take pleasure in evil), but you need to stick with man-made phrases like “God decreed all things” and “whatsoever comes to pass” (BTW, if quoting that phrase ahead of Scripture does not ring the “tilt” button in your mind, then I wont be able to say much to you).

        It appears to me that Calvinists take man-made ideas and phrases and elevate them as Scripture, even making them the lens by which they read all Scripture.  

        All Scripture must be read through the lens that God decreed “whatsoever comes to pass” so….ouch….even though I dont want to say it…yes He decreed for His own pleasure, things He hates and abhors…. uh….while not sinning (not “really” decreeing them) … and telling us not to allow and do those things!

        Why live such a conflicted theology that cannot be understood or explained?  

        All because some men decided that a few passages have to be read a certain way and they have to become the lens by which we see all other passages. 

        I just got tired of doing that, living so conflicted about God’s “good” nature.  So I put down AW Pink, Boettner (Sproul was just a newbie) and looked for simple, understandable, believable explanations for the few passages that got me started on my Reformed path.

        It is such a pleasure to read the Bible, knowing that God is good and the evil that exists was not His doing—-not just saying it (while firmly saying the exact opposite).  What a conflicted message:  He decreed and delighted in “whatsoever comes to pass” (the key, foundational phrase that is nowhere found in the Word)….but uh….not sin.    Good News!  Jesus may have died for you.

        Good News!  God may have a good plan for your life (or more likely, created you for wrath and torture).

        Good News!  We sidewalk counsel against abortion (crying and pleading with women), but we know in the end (the next day) that God actually wanted them to have those abortions (We didnt want them, but He did…Good News!).

        Good News!  God wants to have a personal relationship with you (which is not that “personal” since He gives you every impulse and desire you have).

        Good News!  Some of your family members (although baptized “into the fellowship of the church” as infants) may have been created for torture (as you may have been— only just being programmed to think that you are a believer)… and there is not one thing you can do about it.

        And all this Roland….. all this Good News cuz we allow some guys to come up with ideas and phrases like “decrees whatsoever comes to pass” and we elevate those ideas and make them be the lens by which we filter all things.  

        Good News! 

      12. Thanks for your reply and comments. There was a lot in your reply to comment on. I’ll do my best to respond.
        FOH wrote:
        Why live such a conflicted theology that cannot be understood or explained?

        I wrote: I don’t believe Reformed theology is conflicted theology. Just because I cannot understand something or fully explain it or make it reasonable, doesn’t mean I cannot accept it as truth. There are portions of Scripture that are not reasonable, logical, or whatever term a person wants to use, but I accept them because they are God breathed. Isaiah 45:7 says that God forms the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity, I the LORD, do all these things.

        Does it make sense that God makes both peace and calamity, light and darkness? From the provisionist’s perspective, God is good, so He cannot create darkness or calamity, because those are bad things. The provisionist has to reject some portions of Scripture based on their understanding of God’s goodness. The Calvinist doesn’t because our understanding of God is based on Scripture. If God says He created both peace and calamity, I accept it. I am not concerned with being double minded as I’ve been accused of.

        FOH wrote:It’s not the struggling with verses and passages that makes a position. It’s the deciding who will give you the answers.

        I wrote: Agree 100%. But there is more to this. It’s not that I just decided from whom I will receive the answers, the answers had to be tested from Scripture. I believe that the Reformed hermeneutic is the most Scriptural. We are willing to accept truths about God as they are clearly expressed in Scripture. Isaiah 46:9-10
        9 Remember the former things of old,
        For I am God, and there is no other;
        I am God, and there is none like Me,
        10 Declaring the end from the beginning,
        And from ancient times things that are not yet done,
        Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
        And I will do all My pleasure,’

        He declares the end from the beginning, things not yet done, His counsel shall stand, He will do all His pleasure. I zealously affirm what God expresses about Himself in Scripture.

        FOH wrote:It appears to me that Calvinists take man-made ideas and phrases and elevate them as Scripture, even making them the lens by which they read all Scripture.

        I wrote: They are not man-made ideas as they have been drawn from Scripture. I’ve never met a Reformed Christian who elevates our ideas to the level of Scripture, even though I know some who act like it, but they deny with words. Everybody has a lens through which they read all Scripture. We all come to conclusions about God at some point in our lives. I think it spiritually, intellectually, and emotionally it is healthy to have affirmations regarding God. Leighton is always talking about the goodness of God. He reads Scripture through this lens. Leighton says God is good, so everyone must have a chance to hear the Gospel. God is good, so everyone must be able to respond to the Gospel. I would say, probably most Calvinists, God is good and if everyone has not heard the Gospel, He is still good. God is good, even if man is fallen and is not able to respond to the Gospel. God’s goodness is unalterable because God is unalterable. I also believe that God’s goodness has been manifested throughout history. He does interact with creation and shows us His goodness.

        Has God been good to everyone? We would both say yes but we would probably have different perspectives. I don’t believe God must or even needs to choose to be good to everyone in the same manner. He loves the world but Scripture also declares the He hates sinners.
        Psalm 5:4-6
        4 For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness,
        Nor shall evil dwell with You.
        5 The boastful shall not stand in Your sight;
        You hate all workers of iniquity.
        6 You shall destroy those who speak falsehood;
        The Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

        How is it that God can love the world, yet hate sinners? Isn’t the world full of sinners? Haven’t we all fallen short of the glory of God? As a Calvinist I can hold to both of these truths, God’s love for the world and His hatred of sinners. Before embracing Calvinism, as Calvinist teach the Bible, I could not because my pastors would explain away God’s hatred of sinners. Sorry for the long posts. There is much more to say but for brevity’s sake I’ll stop here. Thanks for reading.

      13. Roland,

        I have to admit…you have the talking points down! You go Sproul!

        It is so simplistic though.

        Causes calamity. It NEVER says causes all calamity.

        Do you have children? Do you discipline them? Do you cause them pain?

        Let’s say you are a dad who believes in spanking or hard discipline. Are you causing them harm? Yes! But as discipline or judgement.

        Of course God rains down calamity (harm, judgement) on nations that resist Him and promote evil.

        But the Reformed position is simple. God CAUSED (before time) those nations to do evil so He could judge them (while blaming them).

        Non-Reformed Roland: Son, dont go there or I will cause you pain. Son goes. Roland causes pain (calamity).

        Reformed Roland: Son, dont go there or I will cause you pain. Roland TAKES son there, brings him home, and then causes pain to son for doing it.

        Eww. I’ll take non-Reformed Roland any day…..

        And that is the God of the Bible.

        Reformed God. Causes (decrees immutably before time) that pagans offer child sacrifice (calamity) … then shows how mighty He is by judging them (causing calamity).

        Yes He causes calamity. The second one above…but not the first. That wrathful, spiteful, conflicted God that you describe is only that way because you insist on a few verses meaning He causes ALL calamity. The Bible never says that. Aristotle- Augustine- Calvin brought it in and now people just accept it.

        I rejected it (as did Leighton and jillions of other former Calvinists) ….

        We reject the idea that God causes all calamity (child sacrifice) ….. but then again you could just say that we were decreed to reject it!

      14. Thanks for the reply, FOH.
        FOH wrote
        But the Reformed position is simple. God CAUSED (before time) those nations to do evil so He could judge them (while blaming them).

        I wrote: Yes, I believe Reformed theology is simple, as in easy to understand, we try not to complicate our beliefs. Yes, God caused… I would direct you to Isaiah 10 to take a look at what God did with the Assyrians and their king.

        FOH wrote:Yes He causes calamity. The second one above…but not the first. That wrathful, spiteful, conflicted God that you describe is only that way because you insist on a few verses meaning He causes ALL calamity. The Bible never says that. Aristotle- Augustine- Calvin brought it in and now people just accept it.

        I wrote: I agree, the text does not say that God causes all calamity. But then what about text that speak of God’s control over things? Are there persons, events, actions, etc. that are outside of God’s control? If so, what does that say about God? I believe Scripture teaches us that God is in control of both good and evil. Sometimes He causes the evil, sometimes He permits the evil. I also believe that Scripture teaches us that God is not evil but He is good.

        Thanks for reading.

      15. Thanks for the reply.
        You wrote:Your “simple reading” mandates that this passage in prophetic, poetic Isaiah declares (without ambiguity) that God decreed all the millions of abortions in the world?
        Really? Someone would say that in a simple reading?

        I wrote: I thought I made this clear in another post. I am not saying that a simple reading of this passage leads without ambiguity to the belief that God decreed all the millions of abortions in the world. I am saying that God decreed ‘from ancient times things that are not yet done.’ The things that are not yet done includes all things. So, yes, God decreed abortions but that is not a conclusion I reached from a simple reading of Isaiah 46.
        Do you see the error in your reading? You wrote that this passage is prophetic, poetic. So, does this mean that God has not literally declared the end from the beginning? So, in Isaiah 46:11Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man who executes My counsel, from a far country. Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it.

        When God says He has spoken it, He will bring it to pass, He has purposed it, He will do it, is that just poetic, prophetic language? Are saying that God doesn’t really mean He has spoken it, brought it to pass, purposed it, do it?
        This is what happens when we read Scripture through our lenses, worldview, paradigms, etc. We either embrace Scripture because it aligns with our lens, or we have to explain it in a manner that accords with our lens. My suspicion is that if you believe in libertarian freewill, this text presents a challenge to your lens. Because in a libertarian freewill perspective God cannot violate libertarian freewill. Because then it is not really libertarian freewill. That’s the wall Leighton has constructed, God will not trespass on this territory. As a Calvinist, I believe God can and does trespass all over our “libertarian” freewill because Scripture has many recordings of God doing so. We haven’t built walls around God, provisionists have.

      16. Roland,
        It never ceases to amaze me what Calvinists will wrench out of context.

        Isaiah is FULL of allegory, illusion, and poetry.

        “Go down, sit in the dust,
        Virgin Daughter Babylon; [Babylon is a virgin? a daughter?]
        sit on the ground without a throne,

        2 Take millstones and grind flour;
        take off your veil. [wearing a veil?]
        Lift up your skirts, bare your legs, [wearing a skirt?]
        and wade through the streams.
        3 Your nakedness will be exposed
        and your shame uncovered.
        I will take vengeance;
        I will spare no one.”

        4 Our Redeemer—the Lord Almighty is his name—
        is the Holy One of Israel.

        5 “Sit in silence, go into darkness,
        queen city of the Babylonians;
        no more will you be called
        queen of kingdoms.
        6 I was angry with my people [Why is He angry at His people for doing exactly what He decreed they do?]
        and desecrated my inheritance;

        —————– Isaiah goes on and on with imagery that you would not take literally or extrapolate from—–

        You run way too far with one half a verse…”end from the beginning” etc, making them all say what Aristotle or Mary-worshipping Augustine said. Making them say more than they say…. so that it confirms a deterministic position.

        I almost feel like you are repeating this nonsensical stuff to take up our time??

        I have little time for your kind of hermeneutic…..

        “I am saying that God decreed ‘from ancient times things that are not yet done.’ The things that are not yet done includes all things. So, yes, God decreed abortions….”

        One vague verse about God decreeing something…. you make it say that He decreed all things at all times…. and BAM…you have God wanting all those abortions. We dont want them…but He does. We fight against them…and plead with women (my wife and I do on the sidewalk all the time)…. but He really wants them all along.

        You run with that Good News! Yum!

      17. Thanks for your reply.
        FOH wrote: Isaiah is FULL of allegory, illusion, and poetry.

        I wrote: I agree there is some, I would not say FULL, allegory, illusion, and poetry. But the question is the text I quoted from Isaiah allegory, illusion, and poetry? If so, show me where, how, and why it is either allegory, illusion, and/or poetry.

        FOH wrote: I almost feel like you are repeating this nonsensical stuff to take up our time??

        I wrote: I don’t want to waste your time. If you feel like I am just repeating myself and you want to leave the discussion, I’m at peace with that, no offense taken. I will repeat myself because I only have what has been written. I can’t, don’t know, how to make up new stuff. There comes a point in discussion that it has reached its end.

        Thanks for reading.

      18. Roland:

        I said “bye” a minute ago but will come back in for one more comment…that I want you and others to see.

        Those who have been taught Reformed theology (by Sproul and others, as you admit) will take verses from this imagery in Isaiah and run way too far with them …all the while saying you are “simply” reading them. It really aint “simply” saying what you say…but you can claim it does.

        But then when you encounter the many, many passages that talk of God’s “love for all,” or Christ “dying for all,” or Christ “calling all men to Himself” …. or “never have I seen a faith like this in all Israel” or all the people that Hebrews 11 lifts up for their faith…. you say the reading is not so simple. We need help to understand that reading.

        Those hundreds of passages appear simple to us. In fact it appears much more clear then these “virgin” and “lift up your skirts” passages in Isaiah.

        But noooooo. Those Isaiah passages are “clear” and simple reading.

        But somehow these “God loves all” kinds of passages need a special insider understanding….

        Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.

        It just makes no sense…well yes it does….. you take the vague Isaiah passages and make them say what works for you and then discount or “help to interpret” all the pretty clear passages that dont work for you.

        It appears disingenuous that you take those imagery, vague “end from the beginning” “lift your skirt” passages as clear and the others as not.

        Christ told the masses/ multitude on the hillside…. “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

        In Mark 10, Christ loved the rich young ruler, and “had compassion toward him” and told him to follow Him. That is the Son of God loving someone, calling someone, and watching him resist His grace. That’s pretty simple reading. And resistible grace. Offered by a loving Christ.

        “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.”

        If you cannot see Sovereign God saying with His own mouth that He wanted men to come to Him but they resisted His call….that He did NOT get what He wanted…. that it would be disingenuous to say that He “really wanted them to resist—-and decreed it before time” then I pity that you cannot read the Scripture “simply”.

        Keep those Sproul-filter books close cuz you are gonna need them a LOT if you read through the Bible. Otherwise, just put those books aside and read the Bible simply.

      19. FOH writes, “If you cannot see Sovereign God saying with His own mouth that He wanted men to come to Him but they resisted His call….that He did NOT get what He wanted…. that it would be disingenuous to say that He “really wanted them to resist—-and decreed it before time” then I pity that you cannot read the Scripture “simply”. ”

        Among the verses, FOH seems to have torn out of his Bible –

        – “All those who the Father gives me will come to me. Him who comes to me I will in no way throw out.”
        – “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up in the last day.”
        – “And Jesus said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

      20. Here’ another quote from the article:
        The first option is this: Shouldn’t a consistent Calvinist direct his frustrations toward God rather than the world? According to the claims of Calvin, it is God who determined the bad beliefs and behaviors Calvinists are lamenting.

        As a former Calvinist, Leighton should know that this is not the Calvinist’s posture towards God’s will. If anything, history has shown that Calvinists, seek God to bear what He has decreed upon us. We look to God for strength, not in frustration, but knowing that He is omnipotent can relieve us of our afflictions. Have you ever read what some Calvinists write regarding suffering? Has Leighton ever read what we historically have believed and practiced regarding suffering?

      21. Roland
        As a former Calvinist, Leighton should know that this is not the Calvinist’s posture towards God’s will.

        br.d
        Correct – but that misses the question.
        The question asks if that posture is “coherent” with the doctrine or antagonistic to the doctrine?
        What the article means by “coherent” is LOGICALLY Coherent”.

        When a father does a work every day is it “coherent” for his son to treat his father’s work *AS-IF* it wasn’t his work?

      22. br.d
        Correct – but that misses the question.
        The question asks if that posture is “coherent” with the doctrine or antagonistic to the doctrine?
        What the article means by “coherent” is LOGICALLY Coherent”

        I wrote: Here’s one thing I will not do. I will not subject God’s Word to logical coherence. That’s not my test of whether doctrine is true or not. If I have to test Scripture by logical coherence, then logical coherence is my guide. I mention this because I have had discussions with others who want to test Scripture by logic or philosophy, which I will not do. So I will write things that are not logically coherent. You can attack that if you like, so be it.

        Here’s my response as to why I believe God ordain all things and that my frustration should not be directed at God. Hear Job’s words 2:10 But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

        Is Job correct to believe that we indeed accept good from God and shall we not accept adversity? It follows that Job’s statement is correct as “in all this Job did not sin with his lips.”

        But, this does not mean that I am to be indifferent regarding the state of the world. There are many admonitions to push back against the things of the world. Yes, but that’s where the non-Calvinists gets us, right? Because we believe that God ordained all things, then ultimately we are pushing back against God’s will. Is that logically coherent? No because we are pushing back on the very thing we claim to embrace, God’s will.

        Luke 2:49, Jesus said He must be about His Father’s business (we could say will). But yet Jesus prayed to the Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me, nevertheless, not as I will, but what you will.” If Jesus is God (which I believe), and He knows all things (which I believe), He must have known He was going to be crucified, why would He pray otherwise? Why would Jesus pray against His Father’s will?

      23. Roland
        I will not subject God’s Word to logical coherence.

        br.d
        I wonder how that fits with warnings in scripture against being double-minded.
        And Jesus’ commandment – “Let your yes be yes – and your no be no – for anything else comes of evil”

        A manifestation of LOGICAL incoherence is a YES-NO position – which Jesus commands against.

        So here is the question – and below is the answer
        I am at peace with everything that has infallibly come to pass?

        Answer
        YES-NO

      24. br.d wrote:br.d
        I wonder how that fits with warnings in scripture against being double-minded.
        And Jesus’ commandment – “Let your yes be yes – and your no be no – for anything else comes of evil”

        A manifestation of LOGICAL incoherence is a YES-NO position – which Jesus commands against.

        So here is the question – and below is the answer
        I am at peace with everything that has infallibly come to pass?

        Answer
        YES-NO

        I wrote: According to your way of thinking, logical coherence is YES or NO. Let me ask you this, does God hate sinners (Ps. 5:4-6)? YES or NO. Does God love the world (John 3:16)? YES or NO. Is the world made up of sinners? YES or NO. How can God love a world that is full of sinners He hates?

      25. Roland
        Let me ask you this

        br.d
        Sure – but these will be questions to test your answers as well :-]

        Roland
        Does God hate sinners (Ps. 5:4-6)?

        br.d
        Answer: Not from Psalm 5:4-6
        What is stated is: “He takes no PLEASURE from wickedness”

        So you would then say you are “at peace” with the following?

        John Calvin:
        -quote
        Hence they [humans] are merely INSTRUMENTS INTO WHICH god constantly INFUSES what energy he sees meet, and
        TURNS and converts to any purpose at his PLEASURE (Institutes)

        Roland
        Does God love the world (John 3:16)? YES or NO.

        br.d
        That’s what the verse says!
        So the answer for me must be YES

        But of course it must be YES-NO for you.

        Roland
        Is the world made up of sinners? YES or NO.

        br.d
        If any man say he is without sin he deceives himself
        So the answer would be YES for me.

        But for you we have the following:
        John Calvin
        -quote
        by the eternal GOOD PLEASURE of god…they are not found, but MADE worthy of destruction. (Concerning the eternal predestination of god)

        So the question here is – are you at at peace with what Calvin’s god has MADE?

        Roland
        How can God love a world that is full of sinners He hates?

        br.d
        This question is predicated on a false presupposition.
        So there is not answer for me to make on it.

      26. Thanks for your reply.
        br.d
        Answer: Not from Psalm 5:4-6
        What is stated is: “He takes no PLEASURE from wickedness”

        I wrote: You completely disregarded the second half of Psalm 5:5 You (God) hate all workers of iniquity.
        No, I am not “at peace” with Calvin’s quote. I agree with it but not in the sense of being “at peace.”

        br.d
        That’s what the verse says!
        So the answer for me must be YES

        But of course it must be YES-NO for you.

        I wrote: Not sure what you mean by “But of course it must be YES-NO for you.”

        br.d
        If any man say he is without sin he deceives himself
        So the answer would be YES for me.

        I wrote: Hey, we agree on something!

        br.d wrote: But for you we have the following:
        John Calvin
        -quote
        by the eternal GOOD PLEASURE of god…they are not found, but MADE worthy of destruction. (Concerning the eternal predestination of god)

        So the question here is – are you at at peace with what Calvin’s god has MADE?

        I wrote: Not sure about “but MADE worthy of destruction.” I have give this one more thought. I’d like to see Calvin’s quotes in context, I’ll look up later on.

        br.d
        This question is predicated on a false presupposition.
        So there is not answer for me to make on it.

        I wrote: I’d like to know what the false presupposition is in my question? Thanks for reading.

      27. You didn’t do the other half where you give actual quotes from Calvinist authorities to compare or contrast, so I’d still be interested if you have the time or interest.

        Thanks for your reply Brian. Sorry I did not as I do not have quotes from Calvinists authorities, I would need some time.

      28. But again – that misses the point – because it misses the question

        If a Calvinist authority quote asserts YES
        And a Calvinist authority quote asserts NO

        Then we are back to Jesus command against a YES-NO answer
        And we are back to scripture’s warning about double-mindedness

      29. Thank you Roland for replying with examples from the post as I requested. You didn’t do the other half where you give actual quotes from Calvinist authorities to compare or contrast, so I’d still be interested if you have the time or interest.

        I don’t think it is fair to suggest Leighton is asking Calvinists to “accept” evil as good in itself, but that it would seem consistent to expect a Calvinist to have peace for all the evil that God has decreed and even to be glorifying or thanking Him for decreeing each specific evil event, if they believe that such decreeing is true and God is pleased to have decreed each evil thing.

        Nor is Leighton, I don’t think, though I might be wrong, and he can speak for himself, saying that we shouldn’t take our frustrations in prayer to God. He seems to be wondering why Calvinists don’t be less expressive of frustrations with other people, knowing the frustration of man does not change the settled decreed will of God, already preset to work out only one way, according to Calvinists.

      30. Brian wrote:
        He seems to be wondering why Calvinists don’t be less expressive of frustrations with other people, knowing the frustration of man does not change the settled decreed will of God, already preset to work out only one way, according to Calvinists.

        I wrote:
        Thanks for the reply, you been kind in your responses, hopefully I have been as well. I know these are very important issues that can get emotional.
        I’m curious to know what you believe Scripture teaches regarding God’s foreknowledge? Does God have perfect foreknowledge of all future events? Do you hold to a Molinist position of middle knowledge? Are you an open theist (I don’t mean to be offensive just curious)? Do you hold to dynamic omniscience? What about Leighton? Is he a Molinist as well like William Lane Craig?

      31. Thank you Roland for the kind remarks. The simple response is that I do hold to dynamic foreknowledge. And Leighton’s view of foreknowledge seems to be appeal to mystery that divine foreknowledge includes knowing all libertarian freewill outcomes, though he wouldn’t call himself a Molinist or believer in Simple Foreknowledge, at least not yet. But you’ll have to ask him.

        Here’s some of the Scripture evidence to explain my view.

        Verses – future is not completely set in God’s foreknowledge.

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

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

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

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

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

        God’s mind conforms univocally with what He has revealed in His Word. It’s not locked in right now to seeing everything as “will be” or “is”. God’s foreknowledge is dynamic and includes also the truth about what “might be” or “might not be”.

        1. Was God waiting to see what Adam would call the animals, to know what they would be called?

        2. Was God waiting to see if Israel would take off their ornaments to know what He would do next?

        3. Was God saying He was devising a plan which means making decisions in His mind not made before about the future.

        4. Did Jesus affirm the disciples’ prayer could effect the setting of the date of Jerusalem’s fall, indicating Jesus’ believed it might not yet be set?

        5. Did Jesus pray about possible changes that could be made in God’s will because He knew such changes were indeed possible?

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

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

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

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

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

      32. Thanks for the reply, good stuff, I’m going to have to chew on this for a bit. I’ve never heard exactly what Leighton holds to that’s why I asked. But thanks for giving a thoughtful and biblical response to my question.,

      33. brianwagner writes, “…it would seem consistent to expect a Calvinist to have peace for all the evil that God has decreed and even to be glorifying or thanking Him for decreeing each specific evil event, if they believe that such decreeing is true and God is pleased to have decreed each evil thing. ”

        I see the Calvinist talking the position of Habakkuk, “For though the fig tree doesn’t flourish, Nor fruit be in the vines; The labor of the olive fails, The fields yield no food; The flocks are cut off from the fold, And there is no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in Yahweh. I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! Yahweh, the Lord, is my strength. He makes my feet like deer’s feet, And enables me to go in high places.”

      34. One more comment regarding Leighton’s views regarding Calvinism. His video titled “Where did all these Calvinists come from?” In the video he says that irresistible grace leads to an attitude of indifference regarding bringing people to church. “Why do I need to worry at all about what the lost think? If God wants to save them, He going to save them whether I’m doing hymns, whether my church’s bathrooms smell like, you know, the local pub…” He goes on to say that Calvinists shouldn’t worry how clean our bathrooms are. Here’s Leighton’s “representation” of Calvinism: God is sovereign, His grace is irresistible, therefore, don’t worry about the lost and don’t clean your church bathrooms.

        That’s not a fair representation of Calvinistic doctrine and practice. Look at Calvinists history, we are zealous for God’s glory and one way that His glory is manifested is through the preaching of His Gospel and the saving of souls. Calvinists do not teach to be indifferent and apathetic to those who are outside of Christ.

      35. Roland writes, “Look at Calvinists history, we are zealous for God’s glory and one way that His glory is manifested is through the preaching of His Gospel and the saving of souls.”

        Calvinists understand that God has chosen to save people through the preaching of the gospel. No preaching; no one gets saved. Calvinists also know that they only plant and water through preaching and it is God who gives the increase from that preaching. Certainly, God has determined who will be saved and who will not and just as certainly God has determined to save through the preaching by believers. That is why everyone, Calvinist or not, sends missionaries throughout the world. Everyone knows that God rewards the efforts of those who preach by using that preaching to save people. Just because God already knows those whom He will save does not detract from this – it enhances those efforts.

      36. rhutchin wrote:
        Calvinists understand that God has chosen to save people through the preaching of the gospel. No preaching; no one gets saved. Calvinists also know that they only plant and water through preaching and it is God who gives the increase from that preaching. Certainly, God has determined who will be saved and who will not and just as certainly God has determined to save through the preaching by believers. That is why everyone, Calvinist or not, sends missionaries throughout the world. Everyone knows that God rewards the efforts of those who preach by using that preaching to save people. Just because God already knows those whom He will save does not detract from this – it enhances those efforts.

        I wrote: I’m a Calvinist, I agree with everything you wrote. Did I misstate something in my comment that makes me appear to be something other than a Calvinist?

      37. Roland writes, “Did I misstate something in my comment that makes me appear to be something other than a Calvinist?”

        Nope. I was just reinforcing what you were saying.

      38. rhutchin
        Everyone knows that God rewards the efforts of those who preach

        br.d
        That would be like me rewarding my arduino for doing what I decreed it to do :-]

      39. rhutchin: “Everyone knows that God rewards the efforts of those who preach”
        br.d: “That would be like me rewarding my arduino for doing what I decreed it to do”

        God rewards those He calls to preach. Only br.d would confuse an arduino created by a human with a human created by God.

      40. rhutchin
        Only br.d would confuse an arduino created by a human with a human created by God.

        br.d
        Well – when we tell the WHOLE TRUTH and realize we are talking about Calvin’s god – then there is no confusion.
        They both have impulses that are 100% determined by an external mind – and not permitted to be/do otherwise.
        So if I were a good “consistent” Calvinist – I would reward my arduino for doing what I programmed it to do. :-]

      41. brdmod writes, “They both have impulses that are 100% determined by an external mind – and not permitted to be/do otherwise.”

        LOL!!!

      42. rhutchin
        LOL!!!

        br.d
        That is funny!
        Calvinists even laugh in DOUBLE-SPEAK! ;-]

      43. Fromoverhere: “I said “bye” a minute ago but will come back in for one more comment…that I want you and others to see.”

        I appreciate every time you comment. I always like reading what you write. And BR.D. (who I assume is the same as brdmod, right?) and Brianwagner and Reggie and everyone else who shares their insights against Calvinism. So keep ’em coming!

        I also appreciate that the Calvinists here take the time to explain their views. It helps us all get a clearer picture of the ways they twist Scripture and the word games they play to cover up the bad, unbiblical parts of their theology. So … keep it up too, guys! You’re helping in ways you can’t even imagine!

        And this is from comments farther below, but I’m putting it here. Filemon said that I was confusing God’s sovereignty with causality. But I agree with brdmod that it’s that Calvinists who do this, not us. It actually made me chuckle to see a Calvinist accusing me of the very thing that THEIR theology is guilty of, not mine.

      44. Heather wrote:
        I also appreciate that the Calvinists here take the time to explain their views. It helps us all get a clearer picture of the ways they twist Scripture and the word games they play to cover up the bad, unbiblical parts of their theology. So … keep it up too, guys! You’re helping in ways you can’t even imagine!

        Roland wrote: Calvinist do not twist Scripture. Can you give me an example where Calvinist twist Scripture? I gave several examples in other posts that show how Calvinist draw our doctrine from the plain and simple reading of Scripture. You accuse and you don’t give examples of your accusations.

      45. Roland says: “Can you give me an example where Calvinist twist Scripture?”

        Calvinists won’t agree with me, of course, and they will cite various other unrelated Scriptures to support their twisted views, but for starters …

        John 3:16: “For God so loved the world …” CALVINIST TWIST: “Oh, yeah, but ‘the world’ doesn’t mean all people. It means all the elect (or ‘the cosmos,’ as my Calvinist pastor said).” Or “Yeah, God loves the world, but He has two kinds of love: a saving one for the elect and a ‘gives you food and sunshine’ one for the non-elect.” Or “God saves those He loves, so if He doesn’t save the non-elect, it means He didn’t love them. So He doesn’t mean ‘all people’ here, just all kinds of people.” (They start from their own presuppositions and interpret Scripture according to it.)

        John 3:16 “that whoever believes in him will not perish …” And Romans 10:13 “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” CALVINIST TWIST: “This doesn’t mean that anyone can believe in Him and be saved, but just that all the believers – the elect – will believe in Him and be saved.”

        The Bible says “Seek me and live (Amos 5:4) … You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:13) … Choose this day whom you will serve (Joshua 24:15).” (And there’s many more “seek/choose” verses not listed here.) CALVINIST TWIST: “Yes, God says to seek Him, but He doesn’t mean you actually can seek Him until and unless He causes you to seek Him. And He will only cause the elect to do this, after He gives them new life.”

        The Bible says Jesus died for all people, all sins (Romans 5:18, 1 Timothy 2:6, 1 Timothy 4:10, Titus 2:11). CALVINIST TWIST: “Yes, but Jesus wouldn’t waste His blood on those who are predestined for hell, so Jesus really didn’t die for all people, just all kinds of people, all the elect.” (Once again, starting from their own presuppositions.)

        Romans 3:11 talks about the general condition of mankind when left to ourselves, that no one seeks God. This is why God didn’t leave us to ourselves. He wants us to seek Him and find Him. And so He created the nations (Acts 17:27) and put evidence of Himself in nature (Romans 1:20) and speaks to our hearts (Ecc. 3:11) – to lead us to know He’s real so that we can seek Him. CALVINIST TWIST: “‘No one seeks God’ means that no one can seek God, that it’s impossible for man to seek God unless God makes him do it. And He will only cause the elect to do this. No one else can seek God or think about God or even want God.”

        The Bible says that we get the Holy Spirit as a result of turning to God in faith. Acts 2:38: “Repent and be baptized … and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” CALVINIST TWIST: “Oh no, we need the Holy Spirit to make us born again before we can repent and turn to God in faith. And this only happens to the elect.” (In some cases, Calvinists don’t twist verses; they just flat-out ignore, deny, or defy them.)

        James 1:13-15 says God does not tempt anyone to sin. CALVINIST TWIST: “Yeah, He doesn’t ‘tempt’ anyone to sin, but He doesn’t have to because we do it willingly on our own …. because He gave us the sin-nature that comes only with the built-in desires to sin, never the desire to do good, and we can only make the choices that these built-in desires tell us to make, which for the non-elect means that they can only choose to sin and reject God because that’s the only desires that come with the unregenerated nature that God created them to have. God predestined their sins and rebellion from the beginning and orchestrates it all so that it works out just like He planned, but He doesn’t ‘force’ us to sin. He just gives us the nature that makes us ‘want’ to sin, and only to sin, all on our own. And we can’t choose anything else. Because if God wasn’t in control of all sin and evil – preplanning it, causing it – then He wouldn’t be God.”

        Romans 5:8 says that God demonstrates His love for sinners by sending Jesus to die for us. Romans 3:23 says we are all sinners. Therefore, God sent Jesus to die for all of us. CALVINIST TWIST: “Yes, but God meant there are two kinds of sinners, the elected ones and the non-elected ones. And so Romans 5:8 must be only about the elected ones because Jesus wouldn’t die for non-elected people. it would be a waste of His blood.”

        Romans 3:25-26 says that God demonstrates His justice by sending Jesus to the cross to punish sin. CALVINIST TWIST: “No, God created most people to be sinners so that He could show off His justice by punishing them in hell for sinning.”

        Romans 10:17 says that faith comes from hearing the Word of God. CALVINIST TWIST: “That’s right, faith comes from hearing. But (contradictorily), God has to give the elect faith first so that they can understand and respond to the Gospel.”

        Romans 2:4 says that God’s kindness is meant to lead us to repentance. CALVINIST TWIST: “Yes, but the non-elect can never repent, and so God’s kindness to them is just His way of showing a non-saving type of love to them, before sending them to hell for eternity for being the unbelievers He predestined them to be.”

        The Bible says there are things God never wanted or planned, that people made their own decisions contrary to what God wanted (Hosea 8:4, Isaiah 30:1, Jeremiah 19:4-5, 1 Kings 20:42, Acts 14:16, Matthew 23:37). CALVINIST TWIST: “God preplans and causes and controls everything! Or else He can’t be God.”

        2 Peter 3:9 says that God is not willing that any should perish. And 1 Timothy 2:4 says that God desires all men to be saved. CALVINIST TWIST: “Yes, but He only means He wants all the elect to be saved.” Or “Yes, He ‘desires’ all people to be saved but He has a greater desire than that: To show off His justice by punishing sin so that He can get glory and worship for it. And so He needed sinners to punish, and so He predestined many people to be unrepentant sinners so that He could put them in hell. He still ‘wants’ them to be saved. It makes Him sad to put them in hell. But He wanted glory/worship for punishing sin even more.”

        I could go on, but you get the picture.

        Calvinists trade in a clear, plain understanding of Scripture for their own twisted, contradictory version. They are upside-down but think they’re right-side up because they’ve been trained to see it that way. But if they have to add “Yes, but …” to all easily-understood verses, then it’s because they are trying too hard to make the Bible fit into their twisted theology. It would be so much easier and make so much more sense if they ditched their twisted theology and their Calvinist presuppositions/teachers … and just read the Bible in the plain, easily understood, consistent way it was written. Then they wouldn’t have the horrible contradictions and distortions that they have to work so hard to “fix.”

        I’ve said this before, but … If someone can’t see the damage Calvinism does to God’s Word and God’s character, then they either don’t really understand Calvinism or they don’t really understand God’s Word and character.

      46. Thanks for the reply, Heather, good stuff to interact with. First, I asked if you could provide Calvinists who twist Scripture. What you wrote to me was something your pastor said and I believe your own words that you believe Calvinists interpret Scripture in the way you described. I was looking for something along the lines of a Calvinist author who interprets John 3:16 as the world not being the world, stuff like that. I’m curious to know if you have read or heard Calvinist twist Scriptures and if you show me where they did it. Everyone has presuppositions and people should deny that they do. I admit I have presuppositions. I need to line them up with God’s word or get rid of them.

        Heather wrote:
        Calvinists won’t agree with me, of course, and they will cite various other unrelated Scriptures to support their twisted views, but for starters …

        Roland wrote:
        When someone begins their response with a statement like this from you above, I almost feel as if they are not going to listen or even interact with how I respond. Right away it leads me to believe that I am wasting my time. I won’t agree with everything you say, I suspect you won’t agree with me, but there are some points of agreement. Generally, as far as the Scripture you cited, I agree with what you are basically saying. I cannot deny the basic plain reading of Scripture. No Christian should deny the basic plain simple reading of Scripture.

        Regarding John 3:16 as a Calvinist, yes God does love the world, it plainly simply said so. He loved the world so much that He gave us Jesus. I agree that anyone can believe in Jesus. There are no requirements to believing in Jesus unlike the ethnic requirements in the Old Testament for a person to be a Jew. I know some people who were not ethnically Jewish were religiously Jewish. Generally, a Jewish person was an ethnic Jew. In the new covenant, that requirement and any other is absent. Remember who Jesus told this to, Nicodemus, a Pharisee. In one sense Jesus is telling Nicodemus that God’s love goes beyond Israel, it goes to the world.

        Regarding the whoever and everyone (Romans 10:13), I agree with you, whoever believes in Jesus will not perish. In Romans 10:13, yes, everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. From these two verses it sounds like you are saying that whoever and everyone has the ability or capacity to believe in Jesus. Because I don’t see it in the text. I believe you are inserting a presupposition into the text. Romans doesn’t read, Everyone, because everyone has the ability or the capacity, who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. This verse has nothing to do with man’s ability to respond to God’s call, it just tells that whoever does it will be saved. You are reading a presupposition of libertarian freewill into the text. Non-Calvinists make these kinds of implications all the time. The basic reasoning is this: since God calls everyone to believe, then we must all be able to believe because that would be vain of God to do so. That’s the non-Calvinist response, at least what I have encountered.

        Heather wrote:The Bible says “Seek me and live (Amos 5:4) … You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:13) … Choose this day whom you will serve (Joshua 24:15).” (And there’s many more “seek/choose” verses not listed here.) CALVINIST TWIST: “Yes, God says to seek Him, but He doesn’t mean you actually can seek Him until and unless He causes you to seek Him. And He will only cause the elect to do this, after He gives them new life.”

        Roland wrote: True, God calls us to seek Him and choose to serve Him. Yes, you are right, unless God gives a new heart, you will not seek God. We probably have different anthropologies. I believe men by nature are children of wrath as it says in Ephesians. I don’t believe Scripture teaches us that have libertarian freewill and can therefore choose, believe, and respond to God in a spiritually beneficial manner.

        Heather wrote: Romans 3:11 talks about the general condition of mankind when left to ourselves, that no one seeks God. This is why God didn’t leave us to ourselves. He wants us to seek Him and find Him. And so He created the nations (Acts 17:27) and put evidence of Himself in nature (Romans 1:20) and speaks to our hearts (Ecc. 3:11) – to lead us to know He’s real so that we can seek Him. CALVINIST TWIST: “‘No one seeks God’ means that no one can seek God, that it’s impossible for man to seek God unless God makes him do it. And He will only cause the elect to do this. No one else can seek God or think about God or even want God.”

        Roland wrote: Amen, no one seeks God, absolutely. It is not impossible for men to seek God, we do it all the time but in erroneous ways. Paul tells the men in Athens in Acts 17 they worship the God they do not know. Again, we should seek the Lord, grope, and in hope that we might find Him. But does everyone seek after the true of the Bible? That seems to be your implication. Paul also says, God commands all men to repent. Do you believe that we can obey God’s command to repent without the saving grace of God? Do we repent first, believe, and then we are born again? If I can obey God’s command to repent without His intervention, then I should be able to keep the Ten Commandments.

        Heather wrote: (In some cases, Calvinists don’t twist verses; they just flat-out ignore, deny, or defy them.)

        Roland wrote: Acts 17:14 Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul.

        The Lord opened Lydia’s heart! In your understanding of Scripture, it should not read that the Lord opened her heart but that Lydia allowed or permitted the Lord to open her heart or Lydia opened her own heart. Do you deny God opening Lydia’s heart? If you do, then you are denying Scripture.

        Heather wrote: CALVINIST TWIST: “Yes, but God meant there are two kinds of sinners, the elected ones and the non-elected ones. And so Romans 5:8 must be only about the elected ones because Jesus wouldn’t die for non-elected people. it would be a waste of His blood.”

        Roland wrote: Never heard a Calvinist say that there are two types of sinners. There is no such thing as an elected sinners, sinners are elected to be in Christ, not sin.

        All the choose/follow verses don’t tell us why or how a sinner comes to believe in Christ. Non-Calvinist just read into the text. Thanks for reading. I’ll respond to your comments later on.

      47. Heather wrote:
        CALVINIST TWIST: “No, God created most people to be sinners so that He could show off His justice by punishing them in hell for sinning.”

        Roland wrote: I’ve never heard a Calvinist say God shows off. That’s a very irreverent manner to speak about God. But the truth is all people are created sinners and most of them end up suffering God’s eternal punishment. Yes, God does send sinners to hell and He is glorified in His justice. Psalm 5:5 says that God hates all workers of iniquity. God hates sinners. Do you believe this or do you deny Scripture?

        Heather wrote:
        Romans 10:17 says that faith comes from hearing the Word of God. CALVINIST TWIST: “That’s right, faith comes from hearing. But (contradictorily), God has to give the elect faith first so that they can understand and respond to the Gospel.”

        Roland wrote: Do you believe God has given faith to everyone? If so, then the ones who believe in Jesus just know how to exercise their faith and the others don’t. I believe God grants faith to His elect, that’s what the Bible teaches, Ephesians 2:8 it is the gift of God.

        Heather wrote:
        Romans 2:4 says that God’s kindness is meant to lead us to repentance. CALVINIST TWIST: “Yes, but the non-elect can never repent, and so God’s kindness to them is just His way of showing a non-saving type of love to them, before sending them to hell for eternity for being the unbelievers He predestined them to be.”

        Roland wrote; you are reading your presuppositions into the text. It sounds as if you are saying that God’s kindness leads all to repentance. Is that what you are saying?

        Heather wrote:
        The Bible says there are things God never wanted or planned, that people made their own decisions contrary to what God wanted (Hosea 8:4, Isaiah 30:1, Jeremiah 19:4-5, 1 Kings 20:42, Acts 14:16, Matthew 23:37). CALVINIST TWIST: “God preplans and causes and controls everything! Or else He can’t be God.”

        Roland wrote: I agree with some of what you are saying. But the Bible does not teach that there are some things out of God’s control. One Reformed theologian put it this way: “If God did not control everything that happens, then He would not be the ultimate interpreter, the ultimate valuer, of everything. The value of some things would then be independent of God, which is to say that they would have no value. Our responsibility then, would be confused by two or more sources of value, possibly by two or more equally ultimate sources. Or we would be really responsible in some areas of life, but not in others. But in Scripture there is one standard, we are to do everything for God’s glory.”

        If you believe that there are things that God does not control or does not have authority over them, then this means that you believe you are morally responsible, ultimately, to someone else besides God.

        Do you know that Scripture condemns the men who crucified Jesus? Do you also know that their actions can be traced back to God?

        Acts 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;

        Acts 4:27-28 27 “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.

        God does predetermine everything, even Jesus’s death by Herod and Pontius Pilate. God determined this before to be done. In your understanding of Scripture God can’t do this because all the men who crucified Jesus have libertarian freewill and God would not “force” anybody to do anything that is contrary to their libertarian freewill.

        Heather wrote:
        2 Peter 3:9 says that God is not willing that any should perish. And 1 Timothy 2:4 says that God desires all men to be saved. CALVINIST TWIST: “Yes, but He only means He wants all the elect to be saved.” Or “Yes, He ‘desires’ all people to be saved but He has a greater desire than that: To show off His justice by punishing sin so that He can get glory and worship for it. And so He needed sinners to punish, and so He predestined many people to be unrepentant sinners so that He could put them in hell. He still ‘wants’ them to be saved. It makes Him sad to put them in hell. But He wanted glory/worship for punishing sin even more.”

        Roland wrote: Peter wrote his letter to Christians, not to non-Christians. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward US, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. The any in this verse is the US, that is the Christians along with Peter. You took that verse out of context. You are saying that the “any” in this verse means everyone, it does not, the “any” are the same as the “us” in this verse.

        I think you mentioned in another post that Calvinists confuse will/desire and God. I answered that statement with 1 Timothy 2:4. God does desire that all men be saved. That is God’s desire but it is not His will.

        Heather wrote:
        Calvinists trade in a clear, plain understanding of Scripture for their own twisted, contradictory version. They are upside-down but think they’re right-side up because they’ve been trained to see it that way. But if they have to add “Yes, but …” to all easily-understood verses, then it’s because they are trying too hard to make the Bible fit into their twisted theology. It would be so much easier and make so much more sense if they ditched their twisted theology and their Calvinist presuppositions/teachers … and just read the Bible in the plain, easily understood, consistent way it was written. Then they wouldn’t have the horrible contradictions and distortions that they have to work so hard to “fix.”

        Roland wrote: No, non-Calvinists have to inject their presuppositions of libertarian freewill into verses that show God is effectually sovereign in our salvation. I mentioned Lydia earlier and there are many other verses that teach God’s sovereignty in salvation.

        Heather wrote:
        I’ve said this before, but … If someone can’t see the damage Calvinism does to God’s Word and God’s character, then they either don’t really understand Calvinism or they don’t really understand God’s Word and character.

        Roland wrote: Calvinism does not damage God’s Word or character, if anything, we exalt it. Non-Calvinist are the ones who do it because they elevate man up to God’s level. You guys have built a wall that God is not permitted to cross, libertarian freewill. I really understand Calvinism. It is the non-Calvinist who do not understand it. That’s why Leighton and his followers always have to misrepresent Calvinism because if they teach it how Calvinist teach it, then Leighton will lose his followers, subscribers, etc. If Leighton and his followers showed others how Calvinism is drawn from Scripture then he would lose followers.

      48. Heather (posting again, cuz of your support, but not directly to any more of their round-n-round stuff),

        Well done!

        There was a YRR guy came on here a year ago and thought we just needed a little help and we would see the error of our non-Calvinist ways. He did not appreciate that I was an ordained, Reformed (denomination) church sent missionary of 30+ years, and former Calvinist.

        He said one time (before he slammed the door on his way out shouting “heretics!”) a standard line from Calvinists (about irresistible grace), “When Christ says come, you come!!!”

        I mentioned to him the rich young ruler who spoke directly with Christ (who “had compassion on him and loved him”). Christ told him “Come, follow me.” But, nah, he resisted. And the Word records it —-so we will know that Christ’s grace can be resisted! And the Word records it to show that Christ LOVED that man (most Calvinists who are brave enough, will admit that their philosophy teaches that Christ does not love all people). Christ loved him and called him…. but nope.

        I mentioned to him that two Gospels record Christ saying….”how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.”

        Christ wanted them to come….but they resisted. H “longed” for it. He “longed for” what He had decreed before time that they NOT do??

        Yes, the Calvinist philosophy insists …. but they will not bother/ dare to say this (they ignore or re-write a TON of Scripture—as you showed) …. insists that God ordained that people would resist Him, so that Christ could call them, and they could resist, and Christ could lament that the people resisted.

        Now that is one mixed up philosophy! You would never really know what it was that Christ wanted! Does He want what He decreed that you do before time (resist) or does He want you to “Come follow me.”?

        Hard to know guys….

        And Heather, you are right….what are they even doing here? I was decreed to come to Christ in a non-Calvinist church, only to attend a Calvinist Bible school and become an ordained Calvinist missionary….only to become an ardent Calvinism opponent. Leave me alone! I am only doing what I was decreed to do! Oppose Calvinism!

      49. FOH wrote:
        Yes, the Calvinist philosophy insists …. but they will not bother/ dare to say this (they ignore or re-write a TON of Scripture—as you showed)

        Roland wrote: Heather did not show that Calvinists rewrite Scripture. She wrote all that herself. When I asked her for examples of Calvinists twisting Scripture, she wrote general comments that she believes Calvinists say.

        I gave Heather the example of God opening Lydia’s heart in Acts 16. Under a non-Calvinist understanding of the text, as we believe that God did open her heart, what do the non-Calvinist believe? Did God need Lydia’s permission to open her heart? It is not in the text. If I held to a libertarian freewill position, I would have to deny God’s action in opening Lydia’s heart. So while you accuse Calvinist of not admitting to somethings, I wonder if you do the same.

        FOH wrote:
        Now that is one mixed up philosophy! You would never really know what it was that Christ wanted! Does He want what He decreed that you do before time (resist) or does He want you to “Come follow me.”?

        Roland wrote: Christ wants us to do what is written in His Word. I don’t see the problem with that and Calvinism.

        Seriously, I am asking this question in all seriousness. I’m not trying to be argumentative or trying to create some trap. Were you reformed for over 30 years? Did you live those 30 years with all these questions about the Bible and Calvinism? If so, if you were so conflicted, why did you stay for so long? Were you listening Calvinistic preaching while not believing what was preached?

        If I’m understanding what you wrote correctly, you are a patient man to bear something for so long without believing it.
        Me, I stayed in a non-Calvinist church for about 2 years, once I became Calvinist, I could not tolerate my pastor preaching around verses that teach about God’s sovereignty, election, predestination, etc.

      50. FOH I absolutley agree Heather gave plenty of contradictions clearly within Scripture of how they twist things… And you show very well how they make Jesus to be disingenuous ugh how very horrible!!!! It’s odd that they try/need to defend God, because as a non calvinist i understand God does not need me to defend His honor nor does He need me at all, but rather He allows me to be part of His story.. but of course we are to be on guard against false teachers, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies.. (hmm secretly) and we are to contend earnestly for the faith… which actually means something on our perspective… Also when you genuinely love someone you do defend them, but out of authentic love not out of an irresistible love, because that’s not love but rather a cleverly invented story… if i were a calvinist I think i would find most of Scripture a mandatory set of to do & not to do(works based salvation) (legalism) if I felt there was not libertarian freedom, because it wouldn’t be a guide or a lamp for my path nor as Hebrews 4:12 clearly states.. Wow (living and powerful)… I actually believe it is genuinely alive and can do what it clearly states.. What or who are they trusting?? (rhetorical) it seems trust is key… I’m trusting in a genuinely offered gift not merited nor irresistibly given..

        Psalm 18:30 NKJV — As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.

        Hebrews 4:12 NKJV — For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

        Yes Heather enjoy the sunshine 🌻

      51. FOH writes, “Yes, the Calvinist philosophy insists …. but they will not bother/ dare to say this (they ignore or re-write a TON of Scripture—as you showed) …. insists that God ordained that people would resist Him, so that Christ could call them, and they could resist, and Christ could lament that the people resisted.”

        Tell the part that you leave out. Calvinism says that no one is born with faith and that faith can only come through the hearing of the gospel. God ordained this as a consequence of Adam’s sin. That is why Jesus says, “No one can come to me…” People without faith will always resist God and His commandments and Christ when He calls them. FOH has taken faith out of the equation so that he can say, “[Calvinists] insists that God ordained that people would resist Him.” God ordained that people would be born without faith and it is that lack of faith that results in people resisting God. Naturally, FOH says, “Now that is one mixed up philosophy!” That’s what you get when you leave faith out of the equation. FOH is an “ardent Calvinism opponent” because of the issue of faith.

      52. Heather writes, “John 3:16 “that whoever believes in him will not perish …” And Romans 10:13 “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” CALVINIST TWIST: “This doesn’t mean that anyone can believe in Him and be saved, but just that all the believers – the elect – will believe in Him and be saved.”

        Calvinists take this to mean that only those who believe in Christ can, and will, be saved. Drawing from Romans 10, Calvinists say that “faith” is required to believe in Christ and call on His name. Faith only comes from hearing the gospel. People are not born with faith and because of this are Totally Depraved – they have no ability to be saved and cannot be saved until they hear the gospel and receive faith. All those who believe in Christ are called “the elect” regardless how one thinks they come to receive faith and believe in Christ.

        Then, “The Bible says “Seek me and live (Amos 5:4) … You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:13) … Choose this day whom you will serve (Joshua 24:15).” (And there’s many more “seek/choose” verses not listed here.) CALVINIST TWIST: “Yes, God says to seek Him, but He doesn’t mean you actually can seek Him until and unless He causes you to seek Him.”

        Calvinists say that no one seeks God, or Christ, until they hear the gospel and receive faith. A person without faith (who is Totally Depraved) considers the gospel to be foolishness and will not seek Christ until he receives faith. Calvinists say that faith is a gift from God given only to His elect. That is one way to explain why all who hear the gospel do not receive faith and do not believe in Christ. If Heather has another explanation, let her bring it forth.

        Then, “The Bible says Jesus died for all people, all sins (Romans 5:18, 1 Timothy 2:6, 1 Timothy 4:10, Titus 2:11). CALVINIST TWIST: “Yes, but Jesus wouldn’t waste His blood on those who are predestined for hell, so Jesus really didn’t die for all people, just all kinds of people, all the elect.”

        Following Ephesians 3, we can say that Jesus died for both Jews and gentiles, not necessarily each and every individual. The problem here is that God knew before He created the world those who would be saved and those who would never be saved. So, what purpose was served if Christ died for those who were never going to be saved? It is better to understand the term, “all,” to refer to Jews and gentiles.

        Then, ‘Romans 3:11 talks about the general condition of mankind when left to ourselves, that no one seeks God….CALVINIST TWIST: “‘No one seeks God’ means that no one can seek God, that it’s impossible for man to seek God unless God makes him do it. ”

        No one seeks God because no one has faith, and no one can have faith until they hear the gospel and receive faith. Romans 3 describes those who are without faith – those who are Totally Depraved.

        Then, “The Bible says that we get the Holy Spirit as a result of turning to God in faith. Acts 2:38: “Repent and be baptized … and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” CALVINIST TWIST: “Oh no, we need the Holy Spirit to make us born again before we can repent and turn to God in faith.”

        John 3 tells us that a person cannot see or enter the kingdom of God (i.e., be saved) until he is born again, a work of the Holy Spirit. In Ephesians 1, we read, “in whom you also [trusted], having heard the word of the truth, the gospel of your salvation,—in whom, having also believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,…” So, we need the Holy Spirit to regenerate us (i.e., born again) so that we can hear the gospel and receive faith and when we exercise faith to believe, we are given the Holy Spirit to live in us and preserve us.

      53. rhutchin
        Calvinists take this to mean that only those who believe in Christ can, and will, be saved.

        br.d
        CALVINIST INTERPRETATION
        Calvin’s god determines every impulse in the human brain – and does not permit any alternative impulse.
        In this case – the impulse is called “believe” :-]

      54. rhutchin
        Calvinists say that no one seeks God

        br.d
        Unless an impulse called “seek god” is infallibly decreed to irresistibly appear within the person’s brain! :-]

      55. rhutchin: “Calvinists say that no one seeks God”
        br.d: “Unless an impulse called “seek god” is infallibly decreed to irresistibly appear within the person’s brain!”

        That impulse is called “faith” and it is a gift from God.

      56. rhutchin
        That impulse is called “faith” and it is a gift from God.

        br.d
        Right – but don’t for the the SINFUL/EVIL impulse gift!
        And don’t forget the gift of FALSE faith that Calvin’s god gives!!

        Calvin says – he gives a -quote SENSE as can be felt, yet without the spirit of adoption.
        He -quote ILLUMINES them for a time – and then STRIKES them with greater blindness

        That’s a lot of gifts. :-]

      57. Heather writes, “Romans 5:8 says that God demonstrates His love for sinners by sending Jesus to die for us. Romans 3:23 says we are all sinners. Therefore, God sent Jesus to die for all of us. CALVINIST TWIST: “Yes, but God meant there are two kinds of sinners, the elected ones and the non-elected ones. And so Romans 5:8 must be only about the elected ones because Jesus wouldn’t die for non-elected people. it would be a waste of His blood.”

        Romans 5:8 says, “But God commends his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” So, who are the “we” and “us” to whom Paul refers? It would include Paul and those to whom he is writing. So, that would be believers (the elect). It may be that Christ died for those that were never to be saved, but this verse does not deal with them.

        Romans 3:23 says, “for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God;” So, who are the “all”? Earlier, Paul had written, “For we previously charged both Jews and Greeks, that they are all under sin. ” Paul continues in this context, so we read v23 as “for both Jews and Greeks have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God;” This is in line with Paul’s purpose in the early chapters of Romans to explain that the Jews are no different than the gentiles in God’s eyes as regards the need for salvation.

        So, there are not two types of sinners – both Jews and gentiles are sinners. Perhaps Heather can explain why God would send Christ to die for those whom God has no intention to save.

      58. rhutchin wrote:
        So, there are not two types of sinners – both Jews and gentiles are sinners. Perhaps Heather can explain why God would send Christ to die for those whom God has no intention to save.

        Great response. One of the things that frustrates me about Leighton and his followers is they will not allow us to use our beliefs, they always have to twist them before they answer. There is no Calvinists that I know of that believes there are two types of sinners, elect and non elect. But they insist that we have to hold these beliefs. Also, Heather could not produce one quote from a Calvinists who has “twisted” Scripture. If anything, Calvinists do the exegetical work, while Leighton and his followers do the analogical work.

      59. “…they will not allow us to use our beliefs…” is an emotive, code-phrase which means “they won’t first accept our worldview and answer assuming our worldview is true”.

        “They will not allow us to use our beliefs…” means we won’t let you question-beg and ask that you first show your work before you assume your view is true. I mean, really, could anyone actually possibly stop you from using your beliefs?

        “They always have to twist them…” accuses the Calvinist who does not hold his own Reformed teachers/preachers to the standard he holds the non-Reformed. Dr. Flowers plays Calvinists’ own words AT LENGTH, a courtesy none of us are afforded in return.

        “There is no Calvinists that I know of that believes…” but that’s not the standard in rational dialogue is it? In order for something to be true on a worldview, the standard is not “someone who adheres to that worldview must explicitly affirm that position”. Logical deduction and induction are valid ways at getting at the truth, are they not?

        “Insisting we hold these beliefs”. Nope. We’re either quoting Calvinists or we’re making rational arguments. Dr. Flowers never says anything to the effect of “What Calvinists REALLY believe is..”. He never says anything like this. What he does is make rational arguments leading to deductive or inductive logical conclusions regarding the theological and hermenuetical system of Reformed Theology. After making such an argument, then he claims that these conclusions are rational on Calvinism, even when Calvinists don’t believe them.

        In Calvinism, “exegetical” = “systematic harmonization of certain key texts in Scripture”.

      60. Eric: is an emotive, code-phrase which means “they won’t first accept our worldview and answer assuming our worldview is true”.

        I wrote: That’s not what I wrote. Do you see how Leighton and his followers always respond with statements or assumptions that are not our own? I am not saying that you must accept our worldview. I am saying that Leighton and his followers always misrepresent our views. That’s what I’m saying.

        Eric: means we won’t let you question-beg and ask that you first show your work before you assume your view is true. I mean, really, could anyone actually possibly stop you from using your beliefs?

        I wrote: Show me where I am question-begging. No, you can’t actually possible stop from me using my own beliefs. But, when Calvinists interact with Leighton and his followers, you tell us what Calvinism teaches. We believe God has determined all things, He uses means, at times He permits things, and He is not the author of evil. Leighton and his followers response: “Oh, God has decreed everything, He just put a floppy disk into a computer, you’re just a program, you don’t a choice, etc…” That’s what I mean. Rarely does Leighton or any of his followers engage us directly in what we are saying.
        Another thing that annoys me is Leighton and his followers constant appeals to logical fallacies. Instead of answering something, Leighton will appeal to logical fallacies. When Leighton and his followers are presented with a simple two option choice, such as God has perfect full knowledge or He doesn’t, this is a false dilemma or dichotomy. He does this beaus he doesn’t have an answer or he doesn’t want to answer.
        I watched Leighton’s video, Why James White is Unbelievable, last night. Most of his answers to James were all about logical fallacies. James says Leighton’s actions are cowardice because Leighton doesn’t take a firm stand on some issues. In the video Leighton at one point says he hold’s Boethius’s views regarding God’s knowledge, then within minutes, points to middle knowledge as an argument against God’s intentions in Genesis 50. Which one is it Boethius or Molina?

        Eric: Dr. Flowers plays Calvinists’ own words AT LENGTH, a courtesy none of us are afforded in return.

        I wrote: Leighton is the king of cut and paste videos of Calvinists. He does it all the time, only playing portions of John Piper, James White, RC Sproul, etc. Then James White does it when Leighton said God chooses sinners like humans choose choice meat and Leighton goes off the rails.

        Eric: but that’s not the standard in rational dialogue is it? In order for something to be true on a worldview, the standard is not “someone who adheres to that worldview must explicitly affirm that position”. Logical deduction and induction are valid ways at getting at the truth, are they not?

        I wrote: Again, you entirely missed the point of my statement. I was not making an argument for whether Calvinism is a true worldview or not. Yes, logical deduction and induction are valid ways at getting at truth. I agree. This is an example of how Leighton and his followers twist our own beliefs and doctrines. We do not believe there are elect and non elect sinners but again, Leighton and his followers know what we teach better than we know. so according to them we must believe in elect and non elect sinners.

        Eric: Nope. We’re either quoting Calvinists or we’re making rational arguments. Dr. Flowers never says anything to the effect of “What Calvinists REALLY believe is..”. He never says anything like this.

        I wrote: Sorry, but he does that all the time. That is what Leighton and his followers are all about… What Calvinists REALLY believe is…! Leighton’s whole life and ministry exists to teach what Calvinists really believe. Here’s one example in his debate with James White. He tells James in the video that Calvinists believe that men are judicially hardened. James tells him we born with a heart of stone as Scripture teaches us. But Leighton insists that Calvinists believe men are born judicially hardened.

        Eric: What he does is make rational arguments leading to deductive or inductive logical conclusions regarding the theological and hermenuetical system of Reformed Theology.

        I wrote: No he doesn’t. Here’s what Leighton does. He appeals to a logical fallacy, or he gives an analogy or takes our words, inserts them into an argument he has made, then comes to a logical and rational conclusion that Calvinism is false. That’s his method. In his video, Why James White is Unbelievable, he does this very thing. Leigthon’s argument is God determined everything, so man cannot make choices.

        However, we can point to Scripture that shows us both God’s determinations and man’s actions in those determinations. Acts 4:27-28 “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.

        The people who crucified Jesus chose to do those things yet God had determined them. But according Leighton, Calvinists REALLY believe we are robots. That is not what Scripture teaches us, that’s why Calvinists do exegetical work, Leighton does analogical work.

        Eric: In Calvinism, “exegetical” = “systematic harmonization of certain key texts in Scripture”.

        I wrote: You should watch James White presentation of Romans 9 in his debate with Leighton. James exegetes the text while Leighton appeals to verses outside of Romans 9 to create a system which he then pressed into Romans 9. James even asked Leighton if the way Leighton did his presentation is proper exegesis to show doctrines such as the Trinity. Leighton response is “no.” Leighton knew what he did was wrong exegesis. Leighton did not exegete Romans 9 he presented a variety of verses to show what the Bible really teaches about Romans 9.

      61. Roland

        “I am saying that Leighton and his followers always misrepresent our views. That’s what I’m saying.”

        Then you’re delusional or lying.

        “Do you see how Leighton and his followers always respond with statements or assumptions that are not our own?”

        No. I see us disagreeing. I see us making counter-arguments. I see us painstakingly representing Reformed theologians in their own words.

        “But, when Calvinists interact with Leighton and his followers, you tell us what Calvinism teaches.”

        Yes, by quoting Calvin and other Reformed theologians.

        “Rarely does Leighton or any of his followers engage us directly in what we are saying.”

        You’re living in a reality of your own making, my friend.

        “Another thing that annoys me is Leighton and his followers constant appeals to logical fallacies. Instead of answering something, Leighton will appeal to logical fallacies.”

        You’re annoyed we’re using reason?

        ” James says Leighton’s actions are cowardice because Leighton doesn’t take a firm stand on some issues.”

        This is amazing. So amazing. You’re so blinded by your bias that non-Cals using reason “annoys” you but you see no problem with White attributing emotions to his opponents and calling them “cowardly”. You actually believe White calling something “cowardly” is an argument but when Dr. Flowers makes actual arguments you go “muh feels”.

        “Leighton is the king of cut and paste videos of Calvinists.”

        You’re lying.

        “Then James White does it when Leighton said God chooses sinners like humans choose choice meat and Leighton goes off the rails.”

        If you don’t understand the difference between Dr. Flowers either play 10-20min sections (or the entire hour long sermon/teaching) and White playing 15 seconds of a video he admitted to not watching the context of…you’re just proving my point.

        “Leighton’s whole life and ministry exists to teach what Calvinists really believe.”

        Liar.

        “Here’s what Leighton does. He appeals to a logical fallacy…”

        I…I thought you just logical deductions and inductions are valid ways at getting at the truth? Which is it, is reason valid or not? Like…I’m not sure anymore…but you do realize that if your argument uses a logical fallacy then the argument is invalid or untrue…right?

        “James exegetes the text while Leighton appeals to verses outside of Romans 9 to create a system which he then pressed into Romans 9”

        Have you ever read a Bible commentary?

      62. Thanks Eric,

        1. Roland burst back onto the scene with these statements:
        —I doubt Leighton was ever a Calvinist who understood what the Bible says about God’s nature, His interaction with creation, anthropology, soteriology, HIs providence, His decree, His holiness, etc. (That is the old “you dont know Calvinism” approach).
        —I’ve really come to believe that Leighton is just spiritually gaslighting Calvinists.
        —I think Leighton gets a kick out of aggravating Calvinists with his overt misrepresentations of Calvinistic doctrine and practice.
        — Leighton’s one string banjo sure has one high note that keeps ringing in my ear!

        None of that adds to the conversation and is typically harsh. I dont see Leighton do that in the dozens of hours I have watched.

        2. To prove his point, Roland quotes this from the article:
        “But, to be honest, I cannot help wonder how my Calvinistic brother’s expressions of frustration toward the state of the world are warranted. Given their belief that “God has sovereignly and unchangeably decreed whatsoever comes to pass for the praise of His own glory,” (WCF III.1)”

        This is the author asking how it works that Calvinists hold to that position and then they are in any way frustrated at what God has chosen to bring about for His glory. That is not rocket science. That is a legitimate question.

        3. I discovered the problem!! The next thing that Roland says explains it all!!

        “Leighton’s implication is that Calvinists should just be at peace with the state of the world. Leighton should know that as Calvinists God’s Word is “the only sufficient, certain and infallible rule” for us. Does God’s Word command us to accept things as they are such as abortion? Leighton is at least implying, if not directly, stating that because we believe God “works all things according to the counsel of His own will,” we should accept evils such as abortion.”

        3.A. That is the point!!!! The Word does NOT command us to accept these evil things—-so why endorse a statement that says that God brought them about?

        3.B. Here is where Roland’s problem is….He EQUATES the WCF (man made) statement

        “God has sovereignly and unchangeably decreed whatsoever comes to pass for the praise of His own glory ”

        with the biblical statement …

        “works all things according to the counsel of His own will”

        Aha!! I found Roland’s problem!!!

        Those are not the same statement!

        We (non-Calvinists) have the biblical statement also (we just dont make it say what the WCF says). In fact…. it doesnt say that!

        You must go outside of the Scriptures to get a statement like the WCF one that Calvinists endorse and quote!

      63. Eric, thanks for the reply.

        “Then you’re delusional or lying.”

        I’m not the only Calvinist on this website that has come to the conclusion that Leighton misrepresents Calvinism.

        “No. I see us disagreeing. I see us making counter-arguments. I see us painstakingly representing Reformed theologians in their own words.”

        Yes, we disagree but I don’t always get countner-arguments from non-calvinists. Sometimes I get called names. I disagree that you guys “painstakingly representing Reformed theologians in their own words.” I admit, you guys do use Calvinist quotes, videos, and soundbites but sometimes they are taking out of context.

        “Yes, by quoting Calvin and other Reformed theologians.”

        Again, always in a bad light. I’ve had non-Calvinists on this website admit that it is not their responsibility to paint Calvinism in a good light. In other words, its ok to misrepresent.
        Are you a Trinitarian? Do you believe it is a misrepresentation to say that Trinitarians worship three gods? Because that’s what non-Calvinists do all the time. “God has determined everything, therefore humans are only robots.”

        “You’re annoyed we’re using reason?”

        No, I’m annoyed that Leighton uses logical fallacies to avoid answering questions. I was having a discussion with someone else on this site. I asked them these questions: Does God love the world (John 3:16) Yes or no, they answered this one YES. Does God hate all workers of iniquity Psalm 5:5? Yes or no they answered if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves. He did not answer yes or no. Is the world of made up of sinners, workers of iniquity? Yes or no, Yes. How can God love a world made up of sinners? His answer, “that’s false presumption. I can’t answer a question with a false presumption.” He avoided the question by appealing to a logical fallacy in the question I asked him and he did not show me my false presumption. That’s what I’m talking about.

        “You’re lying.”

        How? I’ve watched at least 20 of Leighton’s videos, he does it all the time.

        “Liar.”

        Again, show me where I’m lying. There are a few things I try to avoid when I have discussions with people who disagree with me. One, I avoid name calling. Two, I try to avoid intentional misrepresentations of their positions. I do ask questions for clarity. I try to understand opposing positions. It’s a good intellectual exercise to read opposing views.

        “Have you ever read a Bible commentary?”

        Plenty, I have over 100 bible commentaries in my personal library. I even have non-reformed commentators! Thanks for reading.

      64. Eric,
        This is a typical Calvinist ploy…. to pull a phrase out of context, make it say more than it does….and then establish doctrine from it.

        Roland uses the Ps 5:5 ply. My comments below in brackets.

        Listen to my words, Lord, [This the psalmist’s prayer and understanding of God]
        consider my lament.
        2 Hear my cry for help,
        my King and my God,
        for to you I pray.

        3 In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;
        in the morning I lay my requests before you
        and wait expectantly.
        4 For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness; [and yet David was a “man after God’s own heart….so this is not a doctrinal statement]
        with you, evil people are not welcome.[Ever? or while they are practicing evil?]
        5 The arrogant cannot stand
        in your presence.
        You hate all who do wrong; [That would include everyone—God hates everyone— if taken for the what Calvinist is saying]
        6 you destroy those who tell lies. [Tell a lie—get destroyed on the spot!!!]
        The bloodthirsty and deceitful
        you, Lord, detest.
        7 But I, by your great love,
        can come into your house; [But I get to come in…. cuz I did none of the above. Nah…. Cuz God loves]
        in reverence I bow down
        toward your holy temple.
        ——
        Way too many Calvinistic miles have been paved by a forced understanding of a partial verse in a psalm!!

        Nothing new here. Same old gotcha phrases and 40 filter verses.

        When I was a young guy and got suckered in….you know the one that got me? “Dead men dont make choices!”

        That’s just silly tactics. Jesus calls the prodigal son dead twice and he still came to his sense —and went to the Father—- while the father did nothing!

      65. FOH thanks for replying, at least to Eric. But hopefully you can reply to my questions below, thanks.

        FOH
        This is a typical Calvinist ploy…. to pull a phrase out of context, make it say more than it does….and then establish doctrine from it

        I wrote: How did I do this? Does the portion of the verse I used change in any way when in its context?

        FOH
        Way too many Calvinistic miles have been paved by a forced understanding of a partial verse in a psalm!!

        I wrote: How am I using this verse to prove Calvinism?

        FOH
        That’s just silly tactics. Jesus calls the prodigal son dead twice and he still came to his sense —and went to the Father—- while the father did nothing!

        I wrote: Are you saying that words can have more than one meaning?

        Thanks for reading.

      66. Roland
        Are you saying that words can have more than one meaning?

        br.d
        In the Calvinist use of language – this is especially the case.

        Take “unconditional” election for example.
        In Calvinism election is both “conditional” and “unconditional”.

        1) Election is “conditioned” upon the infallible decree
        2) Election is NOT “conditioned” upon anything having to do with man

        Not only is this the case with election in Calvinism – but it is the case with “Whatsoever comes to pass”.
        Because “Whatsoever comes to pass” is establishes solely and exclusively by infallible decrees before the existence of creation.

        Therefore all sin and evil are likewise “conditioned” upon the infallible decree – and thus NOT conditioned upon anything having to do with man.

      67. Thanks for the reply, br.d

        br.d
        In the Calvinist use of language – this is especially the case.

        Take “unconditional” election for example.
        In Calvinism election is both “conditional” and “unconditional”.

        I wrote: Would you say that this is the case with most use of language in Calvinism? If so, do you believe we as Calvinist are aware of this, ignore this, or refute it?
        I’m curious to know is this is how you understand Calvinism or how you have heard it taught? Thanks for reading.

      68. Roland
        Would you say that this is the case with most use of language in Calvinism?

        br.d
        I would say that it is a definite characteristic of Calvinist language.

        Calvinism is predicated on Universal Divine Causal Determinism
        Exhaustive Determinism – is a radical belief system – and is NON-NORMATIVE.

        This presents a psychological problem
        The Calvinist is going to have an urgency to make a NON-NORMATIVE belief system APPEAR NORMATIVE.
        And that is going to be observable in Calvinism’s language patterns

        If you examine Calvinist language from a LOGICAL perspective – you will discover there are many concepts within Calvinism thinking that are both TRUE and FALSE at the same time.

        Now the technical definition of a contradiction:
        A contradiction occurs when something resolves to being both TRUE and FALSE at the same time – and in the same SENSE.

        When you discover, there are concepts in Calvinism that are TRUE and FALSE at the same time – then in order to avoid contradiction – those terms must be a different SENSE. And this is why we see terms in Calvinism that have different meanings.

        Additionally – the technical definition of an equivocation is as follows:

        EQUIVOCATION:
        In logic equivocation occurs when the same term carries different senses.

        And then we have AMBIGUOUS language in Calvinism which is also problematic.
        This is common with advertisement language designed to hide an aspect of the product they don’t want you to see.

        For example – Calvinism is advertised as “Doctrines of Grace”
        Here the term “Grace” becomes equivocal – because the doctrine contains a divine potter who creates/designs the majority of the human race for eternal torment in the lake of fire. So if we label that a “Doctrine of Grace” then the word “Grace” equates to creating/designing people for eternal torment in the lake of fire. And we now have an altered meaning for the word “Grace”

      69. br.d
        For example – Calvinism is advertised as “Doctrines of Grace”
        Here the term “Grace” becomes equivocal – because the doctrine contains a divine potter who creates/designs the majority of the human race for eternal torment in the lake of fire. So if we label that a “Doctrine of Grace” then the word “Grace” equates to creating/designing people for eternal torment in the lake of fire. And we now have an altered meaning for the word “Grace”

        I wrote: That’s a misrepresentation of the doctrines of grace because that is not what Calvinists teach. You are giving a false account of what Calvinists believe and teach. Leighton and most people on here do it all the time. As one poster wrote to me, “It is not my responsibility to present Calvinism in a good light. ” That’s a basic Christian duty to be true.

        br.d
        I would say that it is a definite characteristic of Calvinist language.

        I wrote: How many Reformed works have you read? Because you were to read them you would notice that we do not speak, write, or teach the way you claim we do. That’s why Calvinists get so frustrated with noncalvinists because most of them just blabber about how unreasonable and illogical Calvinism is. You do it all the time just like one of your posts earlier regarding “CONDITION” and “UNCONDITIONAL.” Quote me a prominent Calvinists who speaks like this. You can’t because we don’t, therefore you are misrepresenting us.

        br.d
        Calvinism is predicated on Universal Divine Causal Determinism
        Exhaustive Determinism – is a radical belief system – and is NON-NORMATIVE.

        I wrote: The God of Scripture presents Himself in such a manner. When I show you a verse that shows how God controls all things you immediately resort to some logical fallacy. Show me a verse that says men have libertarian freewill? You can’t because there is no such verses. That’s why non-Calvinists always begin with appeals to emotion. They love the examples of God causing rape, abortion, child abuse, etc. They accuse Calvinists of making God the author of evil when we believe Scripture teaches otherwise.

        br.d
        If you examine Calvinist language from a LOGICAL perspective – you will discover there are many concepts within Calvinism thinking that are both TRUE and FALSE at the same time.

        I wrote: According to you. Again, show me a quote where a prominent Calvinists does this. You can’t but because you hate Calvinism so much your animus will continue to drive further and further into misrepresentations.

        br.d
        When you discover, there are concepts in Calvinism that are TRUE and FALSE at the same time – then in order to avoid contradiction – those terms must be a different SENSE. And this is why we see terms in Calvinism that have different meanings.

        I wrote: I’ll be waiting on that quote of Calvinists saying something is true and false at the same time in a different sense. Until then you believe this because you don’t want to believe the truth that God is sovereign and He exercises His sovereignty on earth and heaven. You deny God’s Word.

      70. Roland
        That’s a misrepresentation of the doctrines of grace because that is not what Calvinists teach.

        br.d
        Cmon Roland – you should know better than that!
        1) With the Calvinist interpretation of Romans 9 – we have a divine potter who creates vessels of honor and creates vessels of wrath fit for destruction.

        2) And John Calvin is very clear where he states:
        -quote
        “They are not found but MADE for destruction”
        “They are DOOMED from the womb”

        Perhaps you have a Calvinist teachers today who don’t dare to teach the WHOLE TRUTH about the doctrine.
        But that doesn’t mean I misrepresent it.

      71. br.d
        Cmon Roland – you should know better than that!
        1) With the Calvinist interpretation of Romans 9 – we have a divine potter who creates vessels of honor and creates vessels of wrath fit for destruction.

        I wrote: That’s right just as the text says, Romans 9:21. Take note Calvinists don’t run from God’s truths, we embrace them. If God sees fit to make vessels for destruction and some for honor, then He’s the potter, there is no unrighteousness with God. Calvinists don’t preach to tickle non-believers ears, non-Calvinists do. A non-Calvinists will explain these truths away with all their heart. They prefer the honor of men than the honor of God. Calvinists are faithful to the text of Scripture, that’s why we appeal to Scripture to prove God’s sovereignty, not analogies, not logic, not reason, not psychology, etc.
        Charles Spurgeon wrote, “Men will allow God to be everywhere except on His throne. There is no doctrine more hated by worldlings.”

      72. br.d
        Cmon Roland – you should know better than that!
        1) With the Calvinist interpretation of Romans 9 – we have a divine potter who creates vessels of honor and creates vessels of wrath fit for destruction.

        Roland
        That’s right just as the text says,

        br.d
        Well then – I’m not misrepresenting the doctrine!

        In Calvinism – “Doctrines of Grace” entails – a divine potter who designs/creates the majority of the human race for eternal torment in the lake if fire. Therefore the word “Grace” entails designing/creating the majority of the human race for eternal torment.

        Now you remember how I was telling you that Exhaustive Determinism is not a NON-NORMATIVE belief system?
        Now you can see how the word “Grace” in Calvinism has implications that are NON-NORMATIVE for the word “Grace”.

        “Doctrines of Grace” – in Calvinism – is misleading language.

      73. br.d
        Now you can see how the word “Grace” in Calvinism has implications that are NON-NORMATIVE for the word “Grace”.

        “Doctrines of Grace” – in Calvinism – is misleading language

        I wrote: This just shows your misunderstanding of the doctrines of grace. They are synonymous with TULIP. If you look at the acronym there is not a heading relating to the reprobate. Please, don’t mistake total depravity for reprobation because God saves some out of total depravity. The doctrines of grace refer to the saving grace of God for His elect. Calvinist do not use grace and reprobation interchangeably, you seem to think we do. Reprobation is part of Reformed theology but to associate reprobation with the doctrines of grace is not proper. But then you persist in believing that Calvinist language is contradictory and double-minded.

        Can you see how you are pressing two diametrically opposed ideas together? Grace and reprobation. That’s like being a non-Chrisian and saying, “You see Christianity does not save people, there is no salvation because there is eternal hell.” That’s what you sound like.

      74. Roland
        br.d
        Now you can see how the word “Grace” in Calvinism has implications that are NON-NORMATIVE for the word “Grace”.

        “Doctrines of Grace” – in Calvinism – is misleading language

        Roland
        This just shows your misunderstanding of the doctrines of grace. They are synonymous with TULIP.

        br.d
        Roland – I’ll put it to you in syllogism:
        1) “Doctrines of Grace” serves as an advertising phrase to describe Calvinist doctrine.
        2) The doctrine – among other things – contains the proposition that the majority of humans are created/designed for eternal torment in the lake of fire

        CONCLUSION:
        “Doctrines of Grace” serves as an advertising phrase which among other things contains the proposition that the majority of humans are created/designed for eternal torment in the lake of fire.

        Now according to the rules of syllogism – in order to reject the conclusion you must reject one of the premises.
        Which one of the premises to you reject?

      75. br.d:
        Now according to the rules of syllogism – in order to reject the conclusion you must reject one of the premises.
        Which one of the premises to you reject?

        Me: I reject both. I have never heard a Calvinist say that the doctrines of grace serve as an advertising phrase. Also, the doctrines of grace or TULIP do not contain the proposition that the majority of humans are created/designed for eternal torment in the lake of fire.
        Allow me to explain something about us: TULIP is synonymous with the doctrines of grace. But neither is synonymous with Calvinism even though informally it is. Calvinism is more in line with the phrase Reformed Theology. But sometimes Calvinism does refer to TULIP or Reformed Theology. Reformed Theology deals with broader doctrines while Calvinism is narrower in scope. Most of the confusion is with those outside of Calvinism not within. When I talk with a fellow Calvinist, we know exactly what we are saying regarding TULIP, the doctrines of grace, Calvinism, Reformed Theology.

      76. Roland
        I reject both.

        br.d
        Roland – how can you reject premise (2) after you just got done saying YES to it – and asserting it is in the bible?
        How in the world do you consider that rational??

        Roland
        I have never heard a Calvinist say that the doctrines of grace serve as an advertising phrase.

        br.d
        I did not say that Calvinist “say” it serves as an advertising phrase.
        I said it “SERVES” as an advertising phrase
        And it clearly does – because John John F. MacArthur for example – clearly uses it that way.

        Roland – I don’t think I can take you seriously any more.
        I think in rational terms – and I don’t think your mind works that way.

      77. br.d
        Roland – how can you reject premise (2) after you just got done saying YES to it – and asserting it is in the bible?
        How in the world do you consider that rational??

        Me: I think you’re confused. I was answering your questions regarding the doctrines of grace. What do you think I was answering?

      78. br.d
        Roland – I don’t think I can take you seriously any more.
        I think in rational terms – and I don’t think your mind works that way.

        Me: What did I say that was irrational? You asked me about doctrines of grace, advertising, and reprobation. I said I reject both of this premises. What are you referring to? We’re off track somewhere.

      79. You keep contradicting yourself.
        And then when I let you know you’ve contradicted yourself – you claim to not connect the dots
        At this point – I think its all a tap dance routine.
        Why don’t you call it a day – get some rest.
        There’s no sense in pursuing something that is useless.

      80. br.d
        You keep contradicting yourself.
        And then when I let you know you’ve contradicted yourself – you claim to not connect the dots
        At this point – I think its all a tap dance routine.
        Why don’t you call it a day – get some rest.
        There’s no sense in pursuing something that is useless.

        Me: I agree. I am going to sound like I’m contradicting myself at least to you. In my mind, and the minds of other Calvinists, I’m making perfect sense from a Calvinistic interpretation of the Scriptures. We are both coming from two different worldview, at least I suspect. You are looking for a reasonable defense of my unreasonable Calvinism. That’s how I used to see Calvinism, it did not make sense, it was not reasonable, it was not logical. I think I get where you are coming from. I’m ok with leaving it at this. If you want to walk away from the discussion with the conclusion that you are right, Calvinism is double-minded, it’s unreasonable, it’s fallacious, etc. I’m ok with that. I’m not going to change your mind, you are not going to change mine. It’s been a pleasure. If you have any more questions I’m here to answer from a Calvinist perspective, so don’t expect logic, reason, common sense, etc. I appeal to Scripture for answers. Calvinists hold to the belief that philosophy is the handmaiden of theology. And theology is the queen of all sciences. Blessings, thanks for reading. If you reply soon, you might get a delayed response, sorry.

      81. Here is a parable with a question:

        There once was a cereal company
        And the cereal they made – was mashed corn – with a very thick coating of sugar sprayed all over it
        The company represented the cereal as a health food

        A news organization did a story on the cereal and said it did not qualify as a health food
        The cereal company claimed the news organization was misrepresenting the cereal – because the news organization did not represent it as a health food.

        Is the cereal companies claim a valid claim?

      82. br.d
        The cereal company claimed the news organization was misrepresenting the cereal – because the news organization did not represent it as a health food.

        Is the cereal companies claim a valid claim?

        I wrote:
        No because the cereal company’s claim that their cereal is a health food is false. Unless, in your parable, cereal made with mashed corn and heavily coated in sugar is a health food.

        What’s the point you’re trying to make?

      83. Yes – but isn’t it true – that the cereal company’s representation and the news organization’s representation are different?

      84. Ok
        So we have the representation of the cereal company
        And we have the representation of the news organization
        And the cereal company observes the difference
        And as far as the cereal company is concerned – any representation that is different from theirs is a “Misrepresentation”

        How do you resolve this issue?

      85. br.d
        How do you resolve this issue?

        Me:
        You have to examine each claim for its veracity. In the parable you gave it is obvious that the cereal company’s claim is false. Regarding my claim that Calvinism is biblical, it is true. You say it is false.

        Here’s the wall we hit: We are interpreting the Bible from two different worldviews, paradigms. My worldview is that God is sovereign and your worldview is that God is not sovereign or that He does not exercise HIs sovereignty in the world as the Calvinist claims.

        The problem that is also present is that I present Bible verses to show that God is sovereign and He exercises His sovereignty and you reject them.

        I really do not have any way to “prove” my claim beyond presenting Bible verses as proof. You present your view with philosophy, logic, reason, rationality, etc. So, under my standard if the Bible says it, I believe it, as long as we not violating some hermeneutical principle or many other reasons. Under your standard if what I say, or any other Calvinists, does conform as truth under philosophy, logic, reason, rationality, etc. then it is not true, it must be rejected as not Biblical.

        I used to believe this: if it does not make sense, i.e., it is not reasonable, rational, violate some philosophical norm, it is not biblical. I no longer hold that as my standard. I used to reject Calvinism on the standard that God has given man libertarian freewill, without LFW, we really don’t make a choice, it’s not real, it’s not love, etc. I heard it all. It is a one dimensional approach to God and His interactions with creation. I always had doubts about it but I would reaffirm my standard with going to back to my reasoning. I believe there are many places in the Bible that show God is sovereign, He exercises His sovereignty, and man does not have libertarian freewill.

        We are at a huge wall. Our paradigms are heading towards a head on collision. I could be wrong in my assessment. Thanks for reading.

      86. Roland
        You have to examine each claim for its veracity. In the parable you gave it is obvious that the cereal company’s claim is false.

        br.d
        Ok but what is your argument that shows the cereal company’s claim is false?

      87. Roland
        My worldview is that God is sovereign and your worldview is that God is not sovereign

        br.d
        And who gives you the authority to misrepresent me?

        Do you know what Jesus calls it – when someone commits the very act they accuse others of? :-]

      88. Roland: “My worldview is that God is sovereign and your worldview is that God is not sovereign…”
        br.d: “And who gives you the authority to misrepresent me?”

        How did Roland misrepresent you? Shouldn’t you be able to show us how Roland misrepresented you before you demand anything from him?

      89. Roland
        My worldview is that God is sovereign and your worldview is that God is not sovereign…”

        br.d
        And who gives you the authority to misrepresent me?”

        rhutchin
        How did Roland misrepresent you?

        br.d
        Please provide a quote from me stating “God is not sovereign”

        Or – If your going to try to show that LOGICALLY – which Roland rejects doing – then you’ll have to prove that the ONLY definition of “sovereign” is the Calvinist definition.

        And then you’ll have to show how it is that only one small portion of Christianity (aka Calvinism) is the only part of Christianity which has the correct definition.

        Good luck with that! :-]

      90. Hey d w, I hope its ok if I chime in, as I saw my name mentioned in your post.

        d w
        Or – If you’re going to try to show that LOGICALLY – which Roland rejects doing – then you’ll have to prove that the ONLY definition of “sovereign” is the Calvinist definition.

        Roland
        I don’t reject logic in general. I reject logic in the sense that it is not the ultimate authority for me as a Christian. I believe the ultimate authority for the Christian is God’s Word. I know that is saying much as many branches claim it but we have so many different and competing claims about the Bible. I hope that clears my understanding of Christianity and logic.
        Here’s why I reject logic as the ultimate authority. I can write this syllogism
        God is not a man,
        Jesus is a man,
        Therefore, Jesus is not God.
        Premise one and two are both true, so my conclusion should be true. But it is not as Christians believe Jesus is God and man. The problem with logic is that in order to have logical conclusions we need true premises, a proper syllogism, and categories that comprise our premises. The problem between Calvinists and non-Calvinists is that we have huge disagreements on categories. So, I cannot make a logical argument, a syllogism, with a non-Calvinist because they reject our categories. That’s my problem with logic.

        d w
        And then you’ll have to show how it is that only one small portion of Christianity (aka Calvinism) is the only part of Christianity which has the correct definition

        roland
        See above paragraph, that’s the biggest problem between Calvinists and non-calvinists at least on this website. Defining sovereignty is easy. How God exercises His sovereignty is another disagreement between Calvinists and non-Calvinist. An example, non-Calvinist, not all, will say that God exercised His sovereignty by giving man libertarian freewill. Calvinists reject that. Calvinists believe that God exercises His sovereignty in and with His creation. Generally, non-Calvinists reject that. Thanks for reading.

      91. Roland
        I don’t reject logic

        br.d
        Well that’s good – you would soon be in an insane asylum if you did :-]

        Roland
        in general. I reject logic in the sense that it is not the ultimate authority for me as a Christian.

        br.d
        Why can’t you speak the TRUTH Roland?

        You reject applying LOGIC to your belief system.
        You reject allowing for any LOGIC that would result in a conclusion that does not fit in your belief system
        So if your belief system contained a married bachelor – you reject LOGIC in order to retain the married bachelor

        Roland
        I believe the ultimate authority for the Christian is God’s Word.

        br.d
        Your not telling the WHOLE TRUTH again.
        You have raised Calvinism’s tradition of interpretation up onto a pedestal and make it canon
        That is why – for you – examining Calvinism under the lens of LOGIC – is the equivalent of examining scripture

        Roland
        I know that is saying much as many branches claim it but we have so many different and competing claims about the Bible. I hope that clears my understanding of Christianity and logic.

        br.d
        I already know your situation.
        Any LOGIC that leads to a conclusion that doesn’t fit with the belief system is rejected.

        Roland
        Here’s why I reject logic as the ultimate authority. I can write this syllogism
        God is not a man,
        Jesus is a man,
        Therefore, Jesus is not God.

        br.d
        That is totally funny Roland!
        That syllogism says nothing about LOGIC! :-]

        A syllogism must have exactly 3 terms
        Your terms are: God, man, Jesus

        Additionally – your 2nd premise is FALSE
        Jesus is not just “a man”

        Jesus is: Fully man and fully God.

        Roland
        The problem between Calvinists and non-Calvinists is that we have huge disagreements on categories. So, I cannot make a logical argument, a syllogism, with a non-Calvinist because they reject our categories. That’s my problem with logic.

        br.d
        The problem here is not with LOGIC
        What you are revealing here – is called Calvinism’s CLOSED SYSTEM of logic.
        If your belief system requires married bachelors – and you make that your category – then you reject any LOGIC that shows that category to be fallacious.

        Roland
        Non-Calvinist will say that God exercised His sovereignty by giving man libertarian freewill. Calvinists reject that.

        br.d
        Actually – Calvinists don’t REALLY reject Libertarian Free will.
        They only tell themselves they reject it.
        Like a biological man convincing himself that he is a woman

        And I can easily show you through LOGIC how that is TRUE
        But that would upset your belief system – and we would be up against that wall again.

      92. br.d
        And I can easily show you through LOGIC how that is TRUE
        But that would upset your belief system – and we would be up against that wall again.

        roland
        When did I ever write that Calvinism is equal to God’s Word? When did I ever say that I will not subject Calvinism to logic?

        I’ve never written that. If I have, then I’ll make it clear that as a Calvinist I do not believe Calvinism is equal to God’s Word.

        br.d
        Additionally – your 2nd premise is FALSE
        Jesus is not just “a man”

        roland
        My second premise is false. Jesus is not a man? The text I cited below doesn’t says the Man-God Christ Jesus. It says Man Christ Jesus. Are you reading this into the text that Jesus is the God-Man? Wait, are you doing the same thing Calvinists do all the time? Are you reading something into the text that is not there? Are you imposing the belief that Jesus is not a man onto the text?
        1 Timothy 2:5-6
        5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,

        Wait, are saying that Pilate did not see a man when Jesus came out before the crowd? If Pilate did not see a man, what did he see?
        John 19:5
        5 Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, “Behold the Man!”

        br.d
        What you are revealing here – is called Calvinism’s CLOSED SYSTEM of logic.

        roland
        Are you saying that every system is open? Are you saying that if I take any system with truth claims that in order for that system to be valid it needs to be open?
        Reason is contrary to your thinking. Every system, at least its proponents, will claim it is a closed system by the terms they use within their system. I don’t understand how you can say that systems cannot be closed. At least that is the implication.

        br.d
        Actually – Calvinists don’t REALLY reject Libertarian Free will.
        They only tell themselves they reject it.
        Like a biological man convincing himself that he is a woman

        roland
        The common tactic I find on this website and throughout Dr. Flowers’ article and videos: non-calvinists REALLY KNOW what Calvinists believe. In order words, Calvinists are delusional.

        br.d
        And I can easily show you through LOGIC how that is TRUE
        But that would upset your belief system – and we would be up against that wall again

        roland
        I don’t doubt you can easily show me through LOGIC how TRUE that is. Your second statement is true in some sense. We will be up against that wall again but it won’t be because my belief system is upset.
        I’m sure you can disprove Calvinism by logic. I don’t doubt it. I agree.

      93. Roland
        roland
        When did I ever write that Calvinism is equal to God’s Word? When did I ever say that I will not subject Calvinism to logic?

        br.d
        I explained that for you
        You never answered my question about how old you are – or what year you are in school.

        Here it is again
        This time THINK it through

        You made Calvinism’s tradition of interpretation canon – when you declared – subjecting it to LOGIC – would be subjecting scripture to LOGIC.

        Therefore you raised Calvinism’s tradition of interpretation onto a pedestal and made it canon.

        br.d
        Additionally – your 2nd premise is FALSE
        Jesus is not just “a man”

        Roland
        My second premise is false. Jesus is not a man?

        br.d
        Roland – if you are an adult Christian – then know full well that Jesus is “Fully God and Fully man”

        Roland paraphrased
        Dr. Flowers says things about Calvinism that Calvinists do not say

        br.d
        What you are revealing here – is called Calvinism’s CLOSED SYSTEM of logic.

        Roland
        Are you saying that every system is open?

        br.d
        A CLOSES SYSTEM of logic occurs when social group has its own unique FORM of thinking – which they claim is logical.

        Actually – Calvinists don’t REALLY reject Libertarian Free will.
        They only tell themselves they reject it.
        Like a biological man convincing himself that he is a woman

        Roland
        The common tactic I find on this website and throughout Dr. Flowers’ article and videos: non-calvinists REALLY KNOW what Calvinists believe. In order words, Calvinists are delusional.

        br.d
        Now who is misrepresenting???
        Did I say “delusional” or did I say DOUBLE-MINDED??

        You charge non-Calvinists with misrepresenting Calvinists while you misrepresent non-Calvinists.

        What does Jesus call a person who accuses someone of the very things they do?
        But I’m sure you will conveniently ignore that question. :-]

        br.d
        And I can easily show you through LOGIC how that is TRUE
        But that would upset your belief system – and we would be up against that wall again

        Roland
        We will be up against that wall again but it won’t be because my belief system is upset.

        br.d
        Oh Really????
        Aren’t you going to raise Calvinism’s tradition of interpretation up onto a pedestal again and make it canon- by saying applying LOGIC to it would be applying LOGIC to scripture? :-]

        Roland
        I’m sure you can disprove Calvinism by logic. I don’t doubt it. I agree.

        br.d
        I guess that means – you aren’t interested in finding out why Calvinists don’t REALLY reject Libertarian Freedom – while telling themselves they do. :-]

      94. Last one for the day as I will not have access to my computer.

        br.d
        I explained that for you
        You never answered my question about how old you are – or what year you are in school.

        roland
        I won’t tell you my age but I’ve been a Christian for over twenty years, so I’m older than a teenager and at least in my twenties.

        br.d
        You made Calvinism’s tradition of interpretation canon – when you declared – subjecting it to LOGIC – would be subjecting scripture to LOGIC.

        Therefore you raised Calvinism’s tradition of interpretation onto a pedestal and made it canon.

        roland
        I don’t know why you keep insisting that I have raised Calvinism to canon. I’m going to openly declare this right now. I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT CALVINISM IS CANON OR IS EQUAL TO IT. I REJECT THAT IDEA. IF I HAVE EVER MADE THE EXPLICIT STATEMENT THAT CALVINISM IS CANON, I RECANT OF THAT STATEMENT. I SAID BEFORE YOU CAN DISPROVE CALVINISM BY LOGIC. I’M SAYING IT AGAIN: YOU CAN DISPROVE CALVINISM BY LOGIC. I HAVE WRITTEN THAT I WILL NOT SUBJECT GOD’S WORD TO LOGIC. THAT’S WHAT I BELIEVE. MY ULTIMATE AUTHORITY IS SCRIPTURE NOT LOGIC NOT CALVINISM. I HOPE THIS IS CLEAR AND RESOLVES ANY DOUBTS. I DON’T KNOW HOW TO MAKE IT CLEARER.

        I hope their is room in your personal worldview for people to take back statements that they have made in the past. If I have made that statement in the past: THAT CALVINISM IS CANON, IS GOD’S WORD, I WILL NOT SUBJECT CALVINISM, WHICH IS CANON, TO LOGIC, then I ask that I be permitted to withdraw that statement. I cannot defend such a statement that CALVINISM IS CANON, IS GOD’S WORD. So if I am not permitted to withdraw, I can’t defend it, you are just going to have to continue with the idea that I believe CALVINISM IS CANON, IS GOD’S WORD. Every time you refer to this in our discussion I will not answer it because I cannot defend such a position. So, you will be able to proceed with the statement that I believe CALVINISM IS CANON, IT IS GOD’S WORD and I can’t respond to it. You will have the last word each time you say that I believe CALVINISM IS CANON, IT IS GOD’S WORD.

        br.d
        Roland – if you are an adult Christian – then know full well that Jesus is “Fully God and Fully man”

        roland
        I am an adult Christian. But how do I know that Jesus is fully God and fully man? Is there some logical argument that proves Jesus is fully God and fully man? How does a non-Christian come to believe that Jesus is fully God and fully man?

        You say that I should “know full well,” but how do I know this?

        br.d
        What does Jesus call a person who accuses someone of the very things they do?
        But I’m sure you will conveniently ignore that question. :-]

        roland
        Hypocrite. I won’t ignore. I just answered. I came to this conclusion on the basis of what you wrote in another post. I don’t believe its hypocrisy and misrepresentation. To say that someone rejects something they really believe but don’t know is to at least imply that the person is delusional. It is the same game non-calvinists play. “Calvinists won’t say it, but here is what they really mean…” “Calvinists don’t really reject this, they really believe it, they just don’t know it or refuse to know it because…” In other words, we are delusional, you just won’t say it, or as non-calvinists insists on saying, “you’re not telling the whole truth.”

        br.d
        Oh Really????
        Aren’t you going to raise Calvinism’s tradition of interpretation up onto a pedestal again and make it canon- by saying applying LOGIC to it would be applying LOGIC to scripture? :-]

        I answered this above. Hopefully my response is sufficient to dismiss this charge.

        br.d
        I guess that means – you aren’t interested in finding out why Calvinists don’t REALLY reject Libertarian Freedom – while telling themselves they do. :-]

        roland
        Tell me why we reject libertarian freedom. I’m interested, I’ll read what you have to say. I probably won’t respond to today but I will read what you have to say.

      95. roland
        I don’t know why you keep insisting that I have raised Calvinism to canon. I’m going to openly declare this right now.

        br.d
        What you EXPLICITLY declare here – simply does not line up with what you NON-EXPLICITLY declared before.
        That is very common behavior with Calvinism :-]

        br.d
        Roland – if you are an adult Christian – then know full well that Jesus is “Fully God and Fully man”

        Roland
        You say that I should “know full well,” but how do I know this?

        br.d
        What you should know – is that that has been the ORTHODOX position for centuries.

        br.d
        What does Jesus call a person who accuses someone of the very things they do?
        But I’m sure you will conveniently ignore that question. :-]

        roland
        Hypocrite. I won’t ignore. I just answered.

        br.d
        Well then – if that is the case – will you continue doing it?

        Roland
        Tell me why we reject libertarian freedom. I’m interested, I’ll read what you have to say. I probably won’t respond to today but I will read what you have to say.

        br.d
        What I said was – Calvinist don’t REALLY reject Libertarian Freedom – they just tell themselves they do.

        Is that what you want to see shown LOGICALLY?

      96. Thanks for the reply, I have a really quick opportunity to ask you something, then I have to go back to “work”.
        br.d
        Roland – if you are an adult Christian – then know full well that Jesus is “Fully God and Fully man”

        br.d
        What you should know – is that that has been the ORTHODOX position for centuries.

        Roland
        Yes, I do know full well that Jesus is fully God and fully man.

        My question is HOW do you know that Jesus is fully God and fully man? Do you believe it because it is ORTHODOX? Do you believe because as Christian it is a core belief of Christianity? Do you believe it because you read it in Scripture and just believed it? Do you believe it because someone made a rational or logical argument for Christ’s deity and humanity? If it was by an argument, then can Jesus being God and man be true outside of the argument? Or must it conform to the argument (syllogism) in order to be true?

        I tried to provide as many options to the question as possible. If there is some other way by which anybody comes to believe that Jesus is both God and man, please, inform me. Thanks for reading.

      97. Roland
        My question is HOW do you know that Jesus is fully God and fully man?

        Do you believe it because it is ORTHODOX?

        br.d
        I accept it has the highest understanding we currently have.
        There are some things – especially at this time – we will never fully understand.
        For many of those things – one accepts what is considered to be the most sound reasoning.

      98. br.d
        I accept it has the highest understanding we currently have.
        There are some things – especially at this time – we will never fully understand.
        For many of those things – one accepts what is considered to be the most sound reasoning.

        Roland
        But you seem to lean on, stand on, rely on logic a lot. I thought by asking this question to you, you would present a logical argument to prove that Jesus is fully God and fully man.

        br.d
        For many of those things – one accepts what is considered to be the most sound reasoning.

        roland
        Would you be willing to flesh how “sound reasoning” and the deity and humanity of Christ relate? I’m curious, I’m not looking for an argument I’m just wondering, picking at your mind and thought process. Thanks.
        I say I’m not looking for an argument because sometimes I ask a question, and I get a very defensive response as if I am seeking to attack someone for something I’m interested in knowing. I’m not saying this has happened with you but just in general. I’d appreciate it, thanks.

      99. Roland
        But you seem to lean on, stand on, rely on logic a lot. I thought by asking this question to you, you would present a logical argument to prove that Jesus is fully God and fully man.

        br.d
        For many of those things – one accepts what is considered to be the most sound reasoning.

        Roland
        Would you be willing to flesh how “sound reasoning” and the deity and humanity of Christ relate? I’m curious,

        br.d
        It can be likened to Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. A crucial component of that is called the “Light Postulate”, which states that light in space travels at a constant speed. Well that part of the theory is unprovable because we have no way of measuring it. Even so – after all of these years since Einstein came up with the theory – not only has it not been proven wrong – but aspects of the Theory of Relativity are constantly being confirmed by advancements in science and technology. So until someone can find a way to refine it or improve on it – it is considered the most sound reasoning.

        However with Determinism – and its sub-groups (e.g. Natural Determinism and Theological Determinism) we actually have the opposite affect.

        Which I could detail for you – if we were to step through the reasons why Calvinists don’t REALLY reject Libertarian Freedom – but merely tell themselves they do.

      100. rhutchin: “How did Roland misrepresent you?”
        br.d: “Please provide a quote from me stating “God is not sovereign”

        I didn’t ask how Roland misquoted you but how did Roland misrepresent you. If you don’t want to answer that, that is fine – the discussion stops.

      101. rhutchin
        I didn’t ask how Roland misquoted you but how did Roland misrepresent

        br.d
        Why waste people’s time with idiocy?

        If I were to state that the Calvinist world view is that God is not sovereign – would that not be a misrepresentation of the Calvinist world view?

      102. rhutchin: “I didn’t ask how Roland misquoted you but how did Roland misrepresent you”
        br.d: “If I were to state that the Calvinist world view is that God is not sovereign – would that not be a misrepresentation of the Calvinist world view?”

        The issue is whether Roland misrepresented your position. If you had said, “the Calvinist world view is that God is not sovereign,” Roland could have quoted you as saying that. However, the original discussion was:

        Roland: “My worldview is that God is sovereign and your worldview is that God is not sovereign…”
        br.d: “And who gives you the authority to misrepresent me?”

        So, my question again is, “How did Roland misrepresent you?” Did Roland misrepresent your position in saying that “your worldview is that God is not sovereign”?

      103. rhutchin
        I didn’t ask how Roland misquoted you but how did Roland misrepresent you”

        br.d
        Why waste people’s time with idiocy!

        If I were to state that the Calvinist world view is that God is not sovereign – would that not be a misrepresentation of the Calvinist world view?”

        rhutchin
        The issue is whether Roland misrepresented your position.

        br.d
        And the idiocy continues!
        The issue is did Roland misrepresent someone’s world view – which intellectual honesty has the ability to see. :-]

      104. br.d
        And who gives you the authority to misrepresent me?

        Me: I’m assuming you disagree with the Calvinist view of God. We believe He is sovereign and exercises His sovereignty by interacting with His creation.
        Where’s our differences?

      105. Roland – Calvinism has its own unique definitions/inferences for divine sovereignty.

        But Calvinism is a human tradition of interpretation
        And there is no Calvinist that I know who has reached perfection.

        Additionally a human tradition of interpretation may attempt to raise itself up onto a pedestal and declare itself canon.

        But both of those patterns have been manifested historically in Catholicism
        And they follow in the footsteps of a Catholic religious spirit.
        And we are not talking about a holy spirit.

      106. br.d
        But Calvinism is a human tradition of interpretation
        And there is no Calvinist that I know who has reached perfection.

        All interpretations outside of the God’s Word are human traditions. The Apostles were the last humans to have a tradition that is Apostolic in tradition but still human. Once the Apostolic age ended, every interpretation has been human unless someone claims they received a divine tradition from God and can prove it.

        br.d
        But both of those patterns have been manifested historically in Catholicism

        It has been manifested in all other Christian branches as well, the Roman Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox just have the longest traditions. No Christians can claim not to have some residue of human in their tradition no matter how earnestly they declare otherwise.

      107. br.d
        But Calvinism is a human tradition of interpretation
        And there is no Calvinist that I know who has reached perfection.

        Roland
        All interpretations outside of the God’s Word are human traditions.

        br.d
        Well if you know that – then you know that Calvinism’s tradition of interpretation is not canon
        Therefore to tell someone they don’t hold to divine sovereignty – if they don’t hold to your tradition of it – is to raise your tradition up onto a pedestal and make it equal with scripture. Which is what Catholicism does.

        Roland
        It has been manifested in all other Christian branches as well, the Roman Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox just have the longest traditions.

        br.d
        You’re not getting the point.
        Arminians do not claim to have reached perfection – and they do not claim their tradition of interpretation is canon
        Neither to the Eastern Orthodox.

        Therefore you will not hear one of those believers tell someone – if you don’t hold to their definition of divine sovereignty – then you don’t hold to divine sovereignty. But Catholicism has done plenty of that throughout history.

      108. br.d
        Well if you know that – then you know that Calvinism’s tradition of interpretation is not canon
        Therefore to tell someone they don’t hold to divine sovereignty – if they don’t hold to your tradition of it – is to raise your tradition up onto a pedestal and make it equal with scripture. Which is what Catholicism does.

        roland
        I don’t believe I have ever raised Calvinism to canon! At least not intentionally.

        br.d
        You’re not getting the point.
        Arminians do not claim to have reached perfection – and they do not claim their tradition of interpretation is canon
        Neither to the Eastern Orthodox.

        roland
        I don’t know where I have raised my definition of divine sovereignty to canon. I believe I have clearly stated that the big difference between Calvinists definition of divine sovereignty and non-Calvinist definition is that we believe His sovereignty is more prominent than a non-Calvinist. At least generally. Even Leighton has said he believes God determines some things but not all. Calvinists believe all, generally, including second causes that He has decreed.

        br.d
        Therefore you will not hear one of those believers tell someone – if you don’t hold to their definition of divine sovereignty – then you don’t hold to divine sovereignty. But Catholicism has done plenty of that throughout history.

        roland
        I don’t believe I have ever said that non-Calvinists do not hold to divine sovereignty. However, I do believe that if a person believes that humans have libertarian freewill, then they definitely have diminished God’s sovereignty and have a different anthropology than Calvinists. The range of how people believe God is sovereign is expansive. There comes a point in that expanse that God does “lose” His sovereignty in their view.

      109. roland
        I don’t believe I have ever raised Calvinism to canon! At least not intentionally.

        br.d
        All that tells me is that you are either not WILLING to acknowledge the TRUTH
        You made Calvinism’s tradition of interpretation canon – when you declared that you would not allow the use of LOGIC to analyze it – because doing so would be to subject scripture to LOGIC.

        Roland
        I believe I have clearly stated that the big difference between Calvinists definition of divine sovereignty and non-Calvinist definition is that we believe His sovereignty is more prominent than a non-Calvinist.

        br.d
        Now you are simply lying!
        You claimed that I don’t hold to sovereignty
        Now you are trying to back-peddle

        Roland
        At least generally. Even Leighton has said he believes God determines some things but not all. Calvinists believe all

        br.d
        Yes – and the way you get around that – is to go about your office *AS-IF* some things are not determined in every part
        That’s why Calvinism is DOUBLE-MINDED

        Roland
        I don’t believe I have ever said that non-Calvinists do not hold to divine sovereignty.

        br.d
        Go back to your statement to me then.
        Perhaps you are not cognizant of a statement you make after you make it??

      110. Roland
        I no longer hold that as my standard. I used to reject Calvinism on the standard that God has given man libertarian freewill, without LFW,

        br.d
        Remember the wall you said we would hit if I approach Calvinism using LOGICAL thinking?

        What you’ve been showing me – is that you’ve come to reject any LOGICAL thinking – if that LOGICAL thinking reveals rational problems with the belief system.

        That is a major difference between you and I.

        The maintenance of your belief system requires you to give up something that the maintenance of my belief system doesn’t require I give up.

      111. Roland
        I really do not have any way to “prove” my claim beyond presenting Bible verses as proof.

        br.d
        You would be presenting an INTERPRETATION as proof.

        And we would be up against the same wall.
        Because I would examine that INTERPRETATION under the scrutiny of LOGIC
        And you’ve already told me multiple times – you reject that process.

      112. brdmod writes, “1) With the Calvinist interpretation of Romans 9 – we have a divine potter who creates vessels of honor and creates vessels of wrath fit for destruction.
        2) And John Calvin is very clear where he states:
        -quote
        “They are not found but MADE for destruction”
        “They are DOOMED from the womb””

        Romans 9 seems to be the source of the above when it says, “What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath made for destruction, and that he might make known the riches of his glory on vessels of mercy, which he prepared beforehand for glory,…”

      113. Roland
        How many Reformed works have you read? Because you were to read them you would notice that we do not speak, write, or teach the way you claim we do.

        br.d
        Oh I’m very familiar with Calvinism’s language patterns!!

        The reason I do not use Reformed language patterns is because I don’t find those language patterns intellectually honest.

        Take a look at these quotes from book authors – concerning Calvinist language.

        The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy – in its article on Theological Determinism writes this concerning the language used by Calvinist Paul Helm:
        “Paul Helm, another staunch theological determinist of the Calvinist variety, simply says that God’s providence is ‘extended to all that He has created’ (1993, p. 39). The problem with such characterizations is that they are subject to multiple interpretations, some of whom would be affirmed by theological indeterminists.”

        Dr. William Lane Craig, in his interactions with Calvinist Paul Kjoss Helseth, in the authoring of the book Four Views on Divine Providence writes:
        “A A. Hodge’s six-point summary of the classical Reformed view of divine providence, quoted by Paul Kjoss Helseth under ‘The True View of Providence Summarized’ falls short of expressing the radical distinctives of the Reformed position that Helseth defends.”

        Dr. Jerry Walls, in his presentation What’s wrong with Calvinism states:
        “If Calvinists didn’t rely so heavily on misleading rhetoric, their theology would lose all credibility within two years.”

        Norman Geisler in his book Chosen but Free writes:
        “Some Calvinists use smoke-and-mirror tactics to avoid the harsh implications of their view” (pg 104)
        “This is done by redefining terms and Theological Doublespeak” (pg 261)

        Laurence M. Vance in The Other Side of Calvinism writes about:
        “The confusing labyrinth of Calvinist terminology” (pg 556)

        Micah Coate in his book The Cultish side of Calvinism writes:
        “Calvinists arguments are buried in theological and grammatical doublespeak.”

        Ronnie W. Rogers, in his book Reflections of a Disenchanted Calvinist writes:
        As mentioned in several places throughout this book, within Calvinism there is a problem of what I call doubletalk. But I am not implying immoral or clandestine trickery. Nor am I suggesting conspiratorial deceit. I must admit that upon reflection on my time being a Calvinist, I did the same thing. I did not do this out ill motive or intent to deceive, or because of a lack of desire to be faithful to the scripture. Nor do I ascribe this to my Calvinist brothers. As a matter of fact, I did it because I believed Calvinism and the Scripture; and this brought about conflicts, or at least unconscious responses to the conflicts, which I now see as doubletalk. This doubletalk obscured the harsh realities of Calvinism and the inconsistencies between Scripture and Calvinism. ”

        Authors David L. Allen, Eric Hankins, and Adam Harwood in their book Anyone Can Be Saved: A Defense of “Traditional” Southern Baptist Soteriology write:
        “This is a clear example of what I call Calvinism’s double-talk. By double-talk, I specifically and only mean thinking….speaking in such a way that obscures the disquieting realities of Calvinism. If a person accepts these realities, then he can be a knowledgeable and consistent Calvinist. But if one is unwilling to face them and accept them, he cannot be a consistent Calvinist. Additionally, I am not calling anyone a double-talker nor is my use of this term intended in any sense to be a pejorative.”

        Gilbert VanOrder Jr in his book Calvinism’s Conflicts: An Examination of the Problems in Reformed Theology writes:
        “Calvinists then have to resort to double-talk in order to explain how human responsibility is still involved even though it isn’t. If a man can do nothing to change his condition, then he cannot be held responsible for changing his condition”.

        Ex-Calvinist Daniel Gracely in his book Calvinism a closer look writes:
        “Calvinist and Non-Calvinist do not share the same meaning of words….. Remember, Calvinism is merely the invoking of associative meaning, not real meaning. By ‘not real’ I mean that the meaning is destroyed in the overall thought of the clause or sentence. For, of course, at one level the Calvinist understands the general meaning of words. But when he strings them together in such a way that it forms an idea that is false…
        This is what I used to do as a Calvinist. I liken these non-sense statements, or propositions, to the riding of a rocking horse….. Thus, I would go back and forth in seesaw motion, lest on the one hand I find myself accusing God of insufficient sovereignty, or on the other hand find myself accusing God of authoring sin. All the while, there remained an illusion of movement towards truth, when in fact there was no real movement at all. At length I would allow the springs of dialectical tension to rest the rocking horse in the center, and then I would declare as harmonious propositions, which in fact, were totally contradictory to each other. Calvinist riders still ride out this scenario.”

        Francis Hodgson in his book The Calvinistic Doctrine of Predestination Examined and Refuted, 1855 writes:
        “The apology for this gross misapplication of language…..is found in their distressing emergency.
        In no other way can they, with any plausibility, meet their opponents.”

      114. Roland
        I’m curious to know is this is how you understand Calvinism or how you have heard it taught? Thanks for reading.

        br.d
        My introduction with Calvinism started with meeting a Calvinist pastor who could not tell his tiny congregation he was teaching them Calvinism for fear he would lose the little congregation he had. That became a red-flag that something was wrong.

        For many years I was an avid reader of various theological works
        I had a special fondness for F.F. Bruce and Gordon Fee
        I always had a few books on the que to read – and I happened to buy a book by Loraine Boettner.
        In that book I started noticing a form of hyper adoration focused on Calvin.
        A little bit of that goes a long way for me.

        As I continued to read – that adoration got more intense and shifted from hyper-adoration to hero-worship
        I got to about to the second chapter and it got so bad that it actually made me sick to my stomach.
        I actually threw that book in the trash.

        Then I discovered Dr. William Lane Craig – and became impressed with the degree of precision which he thinks.
        There are Atheists who joke that Dr. Craig’s precision in logic can -quote “put the fear of God into an Atheist”

        It was through Dr. Craig that I learned about Exhaustive Divine Determinism.
        That was 20 years ago – and examining Calvinism has been an interest ever since.

        Then a few years ago I was searching the internet on Calvinism and bumped into SOT101
        In Dr. Flowers youtube videos – he never ceases to impress me with his graciousness and humility – and I appreciate his logical thinking
        So here I am at SOT101 :-]

      115. br.d,

        I agree with your more than one meaning idea.

        Dead = Dead to sin (can still do it)
        Dead = Prodigal son, can still come to his senses (Father stays home—how ’bout that story!)

        Dead = (Calvinist) cannot respond.

        “Dead mean dont make choices!” I wonder why Paul says he “is all things to all men to win some!” He says he “persuades” men, “he proves it to men,” he “reasons with” men (surely dead men cannot reason), he “convinces” men.

        Nah… Calvinists make way to much out of that word dead. It does not match Paul’s speech at all!

        Calvinists have no answer for this.

      116. Oh yea!!!!
        There are words in Calvinism that are simply accordion words
        The Calvinist expands their meaning to whatever meets his temporary need – and then shrinks it for the same reasons.

        Calvinism’s power is manipulating language.

      117. I never ever get an answer about how “dead” is overused by Calvinists.

        How about that reformed professor who takes his class to a graveyard and says “preach to these corpses —it is the same thing!”

        Then he takes them back to classes to teach them apologetics, debate techniques, and how to make convincing messages. That is just dysfunctional!

        And besides it is not biblical. Christ himself said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” If Calvinists were right with their silly “Dead men dont make choices” then Christ would have said It was “the dead” who needed Him.

        No one ever responds to the various ways that dead is used by Calvinists …and how persuade, convince, reason with is used by Paul.

        Yeah, yeah….”secondary means” as if God first regenerates them, gives them faith, and then needs Paul to “persuade” them and reason with them.

        Crickets!

      118. FOH:
        And besides it is not biblical. Christ himself said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

        Me:
        Jesus used more than one analogy to convey His message. If what you say is true, that we are not spiritually dead, then Jesus would have said “I have come that they may have health.” Yes, He did come to heal, I agree, but He also said He came that they may have life as well. Christ used multiple parables to convey kingdom truths to His disciples and His hearers.

        John 10:10
        10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

      119. FOH writes, “How about that reformed professor who takes his class to a graveyard and says “preach to these corpses —it is the same thing!””

        The Calvinist understands that people without faith are like corpses – they cannot respond positively to the preaching of the gospel; the gospel is foolishness to people without faith. But then, God regenerates them and gives them faith and the rest is history.

      120. FOH writes, “Nah… Calvinists make way to much out of that word dead. It does not match Paul’s speech at all!
        Calvinists have no answer for this.”

        That’s because you cut out all the verses in your Bible that speak of faith. Even Paul knew that all his efforts – “he “persuades” men, “he proves it to men,” he “reasons with” men (surely dead men cannot reason), he “convinces” men,” – are but planting and watering – It is God who gives the increase and God draws people to Christ and gives them faith to believe in Christ. God uses Paul and Paul’s efforts to persuade, reason, and convince and by these methods, those whom God has given to Christ and then drawn to Christ will come to Christ.

        But then, you surely know this and have rejected it.

      121. rhutchin
        That’s because you cut out all the verses in your Bible that speak of

        br.d
        This is a great example of GNOSTOI! :-]

      122. rhutchin: “That’s because [FOH] cut out all the verses in your Bible that speak of faith”
        br.d: “This is a great example of GNOSTOIC! ”

        GNOSTOIC! – LOL!!!! It was nothing more than a reasonable observation.

      123. rhutchin
        GNOSTOI! – LOL!!!! It was nothing more than a reasonable observation.

        br.d
        Well that becomes a good example of what “reasonable” looks like in Calvinism! :-]

      124. Calvinist accuse us of being universalists. It is actually Calvinists that are (only they are mini-universalists).

        Universalists say God takes everyone cuz He wants to, and man has nothing to do with it.

        Calvinists say God takes (some of) everyone cuz He wants to, and man has nothing to do with it.

        Surprise!! Who knew!!

      125. FOH writes, “Calvinists say God takes (some of) everyone cuz He wants to, and man has nothing to do with it.”

        This from John 6, where Jesus said, “All those who the Father gives me will come to me. Him who comes to me I will in no way throw out.” God chooses whom to give to Christ and He chooses using the same method He used to choose Jacob over Esau as Paul describes in Romans 9, “For [Jacob and Esau] being not yet born, neither having done anything good or bad, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him who calls, it was said to Rebecca, “The elder will serve the younger.” Even as it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

        “Surprise!! Who knew!!” I think we can say that God knew.

      126. Roland
        I’m not the only Calvinist on this website that has come to the conclusion that Leighton misrepresents Calvinism

        br.d
        Which means nothing of course!
        This is called the “Bandwagon Fallacy” :-]

      127. br.d
        Which means nothing of course!
        This is called the “Bandwagon Fallacy” :-]

        I asked: Is Peter and the about three thousand that were saved in Acts 2 guilty of this logical fallacy (Bandwagon fallacy, I’ve never even heard of this one!)?

      128. Here is the official definition

        Bandwagon fallacy
        In argumentation theory, “Argumentum ad populum” is a fallacious argument that concludes that a proposition must be true because many people believe it.

        If one has a LOGICAL claim – then one is easily able to provide a LOGICAL argument to show how that claim is true.
        In this case – you’re claim is that Dr. Flowers misrepresents Calvinism

        So far – the arguments you’ve made – continue to be one misfire after another.
        Dr. Flowers disagrees with aspects of Calvinism – which he finds logically and morally problematic.

        Do you find any aspect of the Jehovah’s Witness problematic?
        And if you were to enunciate those things you find problematic about JWs – then following your pattern here – all they have to do is claim you are misrepresenting them.

        And that would make them right and you wrong?
        I think if you take the time to think that through you will understand how that just doesn’t work.

      129. br.d thanks for the information, learned a new logical fallacy

        br.d
        If one has a LOGICAL claim – then one is easily able to provide a LOGICAL argument to show how that claim is true.
        In this case – you’re claim is that Dr. Flowers misrepresents Calvinism

        I wrote: He doesn’t all the time you just can’t see it because of your bias, it has blinded you.

        br.d
        So far – the arguments you’ve made – continue to be one misfire after another.

        I wrote: I’m right on target. Leighton and his followers know it. That’s why Leighton has to keep making video after video and article after article. He knows he’s failing. That’s why the other day I read one of his followers say that Calvinism is growing because it is the delusion in the last days.

        br.d
        Dr. Flowers disagrees with aspects of Calvinism – which he finds logically and morally problematic.

        I wrote: The one thing he can’t do, and will never do, is refute Calvinism biblically. Leighton is really good at analogies. All day he can say, “it is like…” But, he can never cite a chapter and verse to prove provisionism. It’s not in the Bible.

        br.d
        Do you find any aspect of the Jehovah’s Witness problematic?
        And if you were to enunciate those things you find problematic about JWs – then following your pattern here – all they have to do is claim you are misrepresenting them.

        I wrote: I never have to misrepresent another belief. I just have to show them in the Bible where it refutes their belief. I have plenty of discussions with JWs, they no longer stop at my house because they know I will point them to John 1:1, 1:12, Hebrews 1, Philippians 2, Colossians 1, John 8, etc. I don’t get into a logical debate as to whether God became a man, that Jesus is the true God. I use the Word of God as that is my source of authority.

        br.d
        And that would make them right and you wrong?
        I think if you take the time to think that through you will understand how that just doesn’t work.

        I wrote: Making people right or wrong is not my job. I am not trusting in my arguments, logic, reason, etc. I’m trusting in God’s Word and the Holy Spirit to illuminate a person’s mind. There have been times where I got into discussions where I foolishly did not look to God’s Word. But I try to trust God to work this His Word.

        Honestly, I don’t ever expect anyone on Leighton’s website to be convinced by the verse I quote and the reasoning I make from the Scripture. Everybody, I don’t care who it is, believes they are right no matter how wrong they can be. Thanks for reading.

      130. br.d
        If one has a LOGICAL claim – then one is easily able to provide a LOGICAL argument to show how that claim is true.
        In this case – you’re claim is that Dr. Flowers misrepresents Calvinism

        Roland
        He doesn’t all the time you just can’t see it because of your bias, it has blinded you.

        br.d
        And this is your LOGICAL argument to show your claim is true!!
        Roland I hope you don’t take yourself seriously!
        So far – the arguments you’ve made – continue to be one misfire after another.

        Roland
        I wrote: I’m right on target. Leighton and his followers know it. That’s why Leighton has to keep making video after video and article after article. He knows he’s failing. That’s why the other day I read one of his followers say that Calvinism is growing because it is the delusion in the last days.

        br.d
        And I supposed he is also collaborating with aliens from Pluto! :-]

        Roland
        The one thing he can’t do, and will never do, is refute Calvinism biblically.

        br.d
        I’m sure that’s your opinion.
        But certainly not from my point of view.
        Calvinist interpretations of scripture tend to be IRRATIONAL

        Roland
        Leighton is really good at analogies.

        br.d
        Well – if you were alive in Jesus’ day – you probably wouldn’t like his analogies then.

        Roland
        I never have to misrepresent another belief.

        br.d
        That’s not the point.
        Tell me something you don’t like about the JWs
        All they have to do is say you are misrepresenting them
        Then they’ll have your argument

        Roland
        Making people right or wrong is not my job.

        br.d
        Where did I say anything about making PEOPLE right or wrong!

        Roland – how old are you?
        What grade are you in school?

      131. br.d
        Roland – how old are you?
        What grade are you in school?

        I wrote: I’m too young to understand memes! So, take a guess.

      132. br.dbr.d
        I’m sure that’s your opinion.
        But certainly not from my point of view.
        Calvinist interpretations of scripture tend to be IRRATIONAL

        I’m still waiting. Prominent Calvinist quote that shows how irrational our interpretations of Scripture are. Show me a quote from a prominent Calvinist who irrationally interprets Scripture.

      133. Roland
        Do you accept the Calvinist doctrine which stipulates that whatsoever comes to pass – does so by infallible decrees established before man is created?

      134. br.dRoland
        Do you accept the Calvinist doctrine which stipulates that whatsoever comes to pass – does so by infallible decrees established before man is created?

        Me: Yes.

      135. br.d
        Roland – Do you accept the Calvinist doctrine which stipulates that whatsoever comes to pass – does so by infallible decrees established before man is created?

        Roland
        Yes.

        br.d
        Ok cool!
        So then – isn’t it true that 100% of whatsoever comes to pass – is infallibly decreed before man is created – leaving ZERO% of whatsoever comes to pass UN-determined?

      136. br.d
        Ok cool!
        So then – isn’t it true that 100% of whatsoever comes to pass – is infallibly decreed before man is created – leaving ZERO% of whatsoever comes to pass UN-determined?

        Me: Yes. Nothing is undetermined. I reject Molinism, even though there are occasions in Scripture where God appears to lack knowledge about events, the clearer Scripture teaches the opposite. I reject open theism as well.

      137. br.d
        So then – isn’t it true that 100% of whatsoever comes to pass – is infallibly decreed before man is created – leaving ZERO% of whatsoever comes to pass UN-determined?

        Roland
        Yes

        br.d
        Ok – lets do a little logic.
        Let’s label “Whatsoever comes to pass” as [X]
        You’ve stated that 100% of [X] is determined at the foundation of the world before man is created
        You’ve stated that ZERO% of [X] is left UN-determined.

        So – seeing that we have 100% of [X] that is determined before man exists
        I’m sure you will agree that each [X] that is determined – represents a choice by the divine mind – correct?

      138. br.d
        Ok – lets do a little logic.
        Let’s label “Whatsoever comes to pass” as [X]
        You’ve stated that 100% of [X] is determined at the foundation of the world before man is created
        You’ve stated that ZERO% of [X] is left UN-determined.

        So – seeing that we have 100% of [X] that is determined before man exists
        I’m sure you will agree that each [X] that is determined – represents a choice by the divine mind – correct?

        Me: Ok, so here is where we are going to run into a wall. I’m anticipating that you are somehow going to disprove Calvinism by logic or that it is against reason. I’ve expressed this before, I do not subject the Word of God to logic, reason, philosophy, etc. If I do so, then my authority is something outside of God’s Word, which I reject.

        Allow me to explain to you how Calvinists, generally speaking as we are not a monolithic group, believe God’s decree, God’s determining of all things, God’s will, God’s plan, God’s counsel work together. This is the Westminster Confession of Faith’s standard in a generic but real sense because there is some variety. First, we believe that God has decreed whatsoever comes to pass. He has not only stated it but has determined. He will “will” it to be so. It has been His plan since eternity past. He has not sought the counsel of anyone. It comes from Him, flows from Him. There are very philosophical debates about all of this and that is too deep for me I avoid them. Some Calvinists get very dogmatic about this stuff, I’m just a layman, I don’t have a theology or philosophy degree.

        Basically, we believe God has decreed all things that have, are, and will come to pass. However, we also follow Scriptures teaching that God is not the author of sin or evil. Also, we believe He does not violate man’s will in the sense that He has to force people to accomplish His decree. Jesus told Pilate that no authority can be given to him except from above. God granted Pilate the authority to crucify Jesus but He did “force” Pilate to so do. Finally, we also believe God accomplishes His decree actively as well as passively. That is, sometimes He permits things to happen without being involved in an active manner. Last thing, we also believe in second causes but we hold God to be the primary cause of all things. Think of a car accident involving multiple rear end collision.

        This is a very broad and general view of the Reformed perspective of God’s decree. Every Christian has a perspective on God’s decree but for most outside of the Reformed tradition it is not as robust.

        Here’s the answer to your question: “represents a choice by the divine mind – correct?” If you are going to tell me that God has made all of our choices for us, I reject that premise. I will repeat again something that Leighton and his followers persistently set forth: we are not robots. Humans are not robots, programs, puppets, etc. I know that is the conclusion of many people, I used to believe Calvinism taught this because that’s what I was told. But I began to investigate Scripture and Reformed theologians who taught this truth, so I embraced it.

        Is that where you are going or am I wrong?Are you now going to tell me that this is the rational and logical conclusion to Calvinism or am I wrong?

      139. br.d: “Do you accept the Calvinist doctrine which stipulates that whatsoever comes to pass – does so by infallible decrees established before man is created?”
        Roland: “Yes.”

        God’s decree makes future events certain. It does not bring about those events. God’s decree contains within it all the actions God will take to accomplish His purposes and the responses of people to His actions. It is the interaction between God and man that brings about the events.

      140. rhutchin
        God’s decree makes future events certain. It does not bring about those events.

        br.d
        The phrase “bring about” is ambiguous language – and therefore misleading – and thus unreliable .

        To be precise: we have determinism – which is the thesis that every event is CAUSED by an antecedent event.
        In Calvinism the infallible decree is the necessary antecedent which CAUSES every event that comes to pass.

        Since a well informed Calvinist should know that – it raises the specter of why there is an inclination towards ambiguous language! :-]

      141. brdmod writes, “In Calvinism the infallible decree is the necessary antecedent which CAUSES every event that comes to pass.”

        This is wrong. The infallible decree is the necessary antecedent which gives certainty to every event that comes to pass; it does not cause any event. As God issues the decree, it is God who is the first, and remote, cause of every event that comes to pass but not the proximate cause in most cases. Obviously, God flooded the earth in the time of Noah and God raised Christ from the grave.

      142. rhutchin
        This is wrong.

        br.d
        “Wrong” for you means – it doesn’t fit Calvinist talking-points

        Causal Determinism – Stanford Encyclopedia:
        -quote
        Causal determinism is, roughly speaking, the idea that every event is CAUSED by antecedent events and conditions together with the laws of nature.

        Sorry rhutchin! :-]

      143. brdmod writes, “In Calvinism the infallible decree is the necessary antecedent which CAUSES every event that comes to pass.”
        rhutchin: “This is wrong.”
        br.d: “Wrong” for you means – it doesn’t fit Calvinist talking-points
        Causal Determinism – Stanford Encyclopedia:
        -quote
        Causal determinism is, roughly speaking, the idea that every event is CAUSED by antecedent events and conditions together with the laws of nature.
        Sorry rhutchin!”

        LOL!!! This issue here is not the definition of Causal Determinism. It is identifying the antecedent cause of every event. The infallible decree is not the cause of all future events. God is the cause because He issues the infallible decree.

      144. rhutchin
        LOL!!! This issue here is not the definition of Causal Determinism. It is identifying the antecedent cause of every event. The infallible decree is not the cause of all future events. God is the cause because He issues the infallible decree.

        br.d
        Thank you for affirming what I said

        The issuance of the infallible decree would certainly be the antecedent CAUSE of the infallible decree.

        But every event – within any given chain of events – has the infallible decree as an antecedent CAUSE.
        Therefore – it follows – the infallible decree is a necessary antecedent CAUSE for every event.

      145. br.d writes, “But every event – within any given chain of events – has the infallible decree as an antecedent CAUSE.”

        OK. Then everything between God’s decision to create and a future event is an antecedent cause also. That is what Calvinists call secondary causes. God is the first or remote cause with all intermediate actions being antecedent causes until the last cause that would then be the proximate cause.

      146. rhutchin
        OK. Then everything between God’s decision to create and a future event is an antecedent cause also.

        br.d
        Not quite.

        Every specific decision for every specific part – of every specific event.
        That’s why Calvin uses the language of things being determined -quote “In every part”

        And that is why Paul Helm’s says:
        -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 control of god (The Providence of God pg 22)

        And that is why Calvin says:
        -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)

        No specific decree = no specific impulse in your brain
        No decree at all = no impulse at all

        I understand why you have a intense urgency to somehow smuggle “MERE” permission into your depictions
        But it doesn’t exist in Calvinism.

        Absolutely NOTHING is “MERELY” permitted in Calvinism

        Whatever is CAUSED is PERMITTED
        Whatever is NOT CAUSED – is NOT PERMITTED.

        And Calvin’s god doesn’t’ look into his crystal ball of infinite understanding – which “MERELY” permits a person make a choice which he himself did not specifically first conceive and determine that person make.

        That is called a computer SIMULATION of LFW

        Or in your case – a divine HoloDeck :-]

      147. br.d
        Well – I’m going to guess you are perhaps 18?

        Me: Let’s get to some important questions, it is getting close to my night night time!

      148. Roland,

        “Again, show me where I’m lying.”

        Gladly. You are not making arguments/disagreeing when you are making objective fact-based claims about a person, the behavior, and their livelihood. These are the lies you are propagating right now.

        Lie 1: “I am saying that Leighton and his followers always misrepresent our views.”
        You are using the word “always”, you are lying. You aren’t pointing to a specific instance in which Dr. Flowers or myself have misrepresented Calvinists, you are making an objective statement about what “always” happens.

        Lie 2: “Leighton is the king of cut and paste videos of Calvinists.”
        This is a lie because it’s objectively the case that Dr. Flowers plays entire sermons, spending 1.5-3hrs playing entire sermons, and at the very least 10-20min clips of sermons. Playing a continuous 10min of a sermon is not “cut and paste” and you’re lying because you know that. You know that the standard of “cut and paste” is not “Plays RC Sproul in context for 10-30min” but you’re trying to make Dr. Flowers sound nefarious so you lie about what it is he is doing.

        Lie 3: “Leighton’s whole life and ministry exists to teach what Calvinists really believe.”
        You know that you don’t know what Dr. Flower’s life and ministry is like. You know that you don’t know what he does for a living, or you do know and you’re still lying. You know you don’t know this man personally or professionally, and you are claiming to know in order to make him look bad. You’re lying.

        You ought to retract these lies about a brother in Christ and repent of your motivation to paint him in the worst light possible.

        “No, I’m annoyed that Leighton uses logical fallacies to avoid answering questions.”

        Questions and arguments that employ logical fallacies are invalid questions/arguments and it’s literally the purpose of rational dialogue to point this out so we can get at the valid arguments/questions. It doesn’t matter if this annoys you. Make better arguments. Learn to reason. Learn the stronger arguments for your side and use those. Learn the strongest arguments on the other side then learn how to refute them. Fixing your emotions and weaknesses is not the job of your opponent.

        Re: Quoting Calvinists: “Again, always in a bad light. I’ve had non-Calvinists on this website admit that it is not their responsibility to paint Calvinism in a good light. In other words, its ok to misrepresent.”

        Yes, it’s literally not our job to use your flowery language to dress up Calvinism and make it sound more palatable to the ear. It’s not my job to tickle your ears and make you feel good about what I’m saying. You have a lot of emotionally charged euphemisms you are using in place of “disagreement”. “In a bad light” = disagreement. What we’re doing is quoting Calvinists and then disagreeing and your response is to come onto the Sot101 blog and complain we’re painting Calvinism in a bad light. It’s called disagreeing. Buck up kiddo, this is the realm of ideas. This is how this works.

        ” There are a few things I try to avoid when I have discussions with people who disagree with me. One, I avoid name calling. Two, I try to avoid intentional misrepresentations of their positions.”

        I cannot fathom how you think this is true. You used White calling Flowers “cowardly” as an example of a valid criticism and use broad-sweeping claims to make Flowers seems as nefarious and dastardly as possible. Like I said, you’re living in a world of your own creation where you’re the hero of the story and everyone else is the villain.

        “Plenty, I have over 100 bible commentaries in my personal library. I even have non-reformed commentators! Thanks for reading.”

        Great! Then you know is a valid biblical hermenuetic to go to biblical backgrounds, including other passages in the Bible that inform that context, to show the context of any passage you are about to exegete. That’s what Dr. Flowers did.

        Rich Pierce, in a personal 45min phone call I had with him recently, told me that James White saw the approach Flowers was taking and decided to not engage with it. White refused to stick with the debate format after hearing Flower’s opening statements. Flowers and White agreed to do a debate, White refused to honor that debate when he didn’t like the approach Flowers was taking.

      149. Hi Eric,
        I’ve personally come the point where I conclude that with many Calvinists the “misrepresentation” claim is senseless to try to resolve.

        I can present any number of TRUTH-STATEMENTS – which are absolutely true in Calvinism.

        But the problem the Calvinist has with those statements – is that they reveal aspects of the doctrine – which the Calvinist representation does not reveal.

        Therefore in the Calvinist’s mind – I am deviating from the Calvinistic representation.
        And any deviation from the Calvinistic representation (in the mind of the Calvinist) equates to misrepresenting Calvinism.

        Dr. Flowers has consistently stated – the underlying urgency behind the “misrepresentation” claim – is the fact that he does not paint Calvinism in the light they want it to be painted. Therefore he is misrepresenting it

        And there is no way to LOGICALLY resolve that issue.
        For me – it become a process of going around in endless circles – in any dialog.

        Just my two cents! :-]

      150. br.d
        I’ve personally come the point where I conclude that with many Calvinists the “misrepresentation” claim is senseless to try to resolve

        Roland: Yes, as a Calvinist, I agree.

        br.d
        I can present any number of TRUTH-STATEMENTS – which are absolutely true in Calvinism.

        Roland: This is the issue: TRUTH-STATEMENTS. I can also make TRUTH-STATEMENTS about non-calvinists that they would reject. I see them as logical conclusions to their arguments but they don’t. I do the same with Calvinism. I don’t believe the non-calvinist’s arguments are logical conclusions to what we believe because they will operate from a different premise than we do.

        br.d
        But the problem the Calvinist has with those statements – is that they reveal aspects of the doctrine – which the Calvinist representation does not reveal

        Roland: Agree but that is a problem that is inherent in all worldview. The Christian worldview has inherent representations that non-Christians can present but that will be rejected by the Christian.

        br.d
        Therefore in the Calvinist’s mind – I am deviating from the Calvinistic representation.
        And any deviation from the Calvinistic representation (in the mind of the Calvinist) equates to misrepresenting Calvinism.

        Roland: Yes, I agree.

        br.d
        Dr. Flowers has consistently stated – the underlying urgency behind the “misrepresentation” claim – is the fact that he does not paint Calvinism in the light they want it to be painted. Therefore he is misrepresenting it

        Roland: This is my biggest concern with Leighton and Calvinism. I believe he misrepresents Calvinism because he does not understand Calvinism. An example from his debate with James White is that Leighton could not distinguish between humans being born with a heart of stone and judicial hardening. He should know as a former Calvinist the distinction that Calvinists make but he continually “misrepresents” Calvinism as these being both the same and Calvinists making a “distinction without a difference.”

        Nobody likes being misrepresented. When James White criticized Leighton’s choice meat analogy, in his response Leighton was furious, about the very same things he does to Calvinists all the time. He calls us brothers in the Lord, then he gets together with other non-calvinist like Kevin Thompson, Warren McGrew, and others, then proceeds to mock God’s decree, misrepresent us, come to conclusions that Calvinists reject, distort premises from which Calvinists defend our beliefs, etc. Leighton’s tone is one of mockery even Mike Winger is more gracious than Leighton. I would expect more from Leighton since he claims to be a former Calvinist.

        br.d
        And there is no way to LOGICALLY resolve that issue.
        For me – it become a process of going around in endless circles – in any dialog.

        Roland: I agree.

      151. Roland:
        This is the issue: TRUTH-STATEMENTS. I can also make TRUTH-STATEMENTS about non-calvinists that they would reject.

        br.d
        And if those TRUTH-STATEMENTS are TRUE – then the non-Calvinist would be rejecting the TRUTH

        Roland
        I don’t believe the non-calvinist’s arguments are logical conclusions

        br.d
        Oh no you don’t – you’re not going to get away with that!

        You’ve stated multiple times – you don’t examine your belief system under the scrutiny of LOGIC
        So you don’t use LOGIC
        Which means you can’t find non-Calvinist arguments illogical.

        Roland
        The Christian worldview has inherent representations that non-Christians can present but that will be rejected by the Christian.

        br.d
        That may be TRUE for you – but it is not TRUE for me.

        The scripture says “Buy the TRUTH and sell it not”

        For me – the Christian who rejects TRUTH-STATEMENTS is disobeying scripture and choosing voluntary blindness

        Jesus lamented and said: The children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.

        When it comes to the point where an Atheist is wise enough to have TRUTH which a Christian cannot allow himself to accept – we are in a sad situation

      152. br.d
        That may be TRUE for you – but it is not TRUE for me.

        roland:
        Are you saying the problem of evil is not a problem in your view of Christianity? That’s a very big problem for every branch of Christianity. What about creation? Are saying that the issue of creation in Christianity is not a problem with non-Christians? Ultimate truth claims?

        br.d
        For me – the Christian who rejects TRUTH-STATEMENTS is disobeying scripture and choosing voluntary blindness

        roland:
        But that’s the big dispute: what are the TRUTH-STATEMENTS? I’m talking about disagreements Christians can have with non-Christians. How do you respond to an atheist who proposes a belief that he believes is true and a theist who rejects it?

        br.d
        When it comes to the point where an Atheist is wise enough to have TRUTH which a Christian cannot allow himself to accept – we are in a sad situation

        roland: Is not that the issue with atheism and Christianity? What is truth? Christians claim truth, atheists claim truth?

        I could be wrong. Do you have any peculiar views about these issues that an atheist would see as a TRUTH-STATEMENTS that they could not reject, argue against, put into a syllogism showing the claim to be false?

      153. br.d
        That may be TRUE for you – but it is not TRUE for me.

        roland:
        Are you saying the problem of evil is not a problem in your view of Christianity?

        br.d
        We were talking about TRUTH-STATEMENTS
        And you were saying that there are some TRUTH-STATEMENTS that a Christian will reject.
        That’s why I said “That may be TRUE for you but is not TRUE for me.

        The scripture says “Buy the TRUTH and sell it not”
        For me – the Christian who rejects TRUTH-STATEMENTS is disobeying scripture and choosing voluntary blindness

        Roland:
        But that’s the big dispute: what are the TRUTH-STATEMENTS? I’m talking about disagreements Christians can have with non-Christians.

        br.d
        A disagreement is not to be confused with a TRUTH-STATEMENT.
        A TRUTH-STATEMENT is a statement of TRUTH.
        That’s why I said to you – if a Non-Calvinist rejects a TRUTH-STATEMENT he is rejecting the TRUTH.

        Roland
        How do you respond to an atheist who proposes a belief that he believes is true and a theist who rejects it?

        br
        A belief is not the same thing as a TRUTH-STATEMENT.
        People can believe all sorts of things that are not TRUE.
        There are people in this world who believe the bible teaches the earth is flat.
        And people who believe all sorts of things that are LOGICALLY incoherent.

        Jesus said: “The children of this generation are wiser than the children of light”

        When it comes to the point where an Atheist is wise enough to have TRUTH which a Christian cannot allow himself to accept – we are in a sad situation

        Roland
        Is not that the issue with atheism and Christianity? What is truth? Christians claim truth, atheists claim truth?

        br.d
        Well they can claim to have a belief – which they believe is TRUE.
        But if what they hold as TRUTH is irrational – then they are claiming that TRUTH is irrational

        Roland
        I could be wrong. Do you have any peculiar views about these issues that an atheist would see as a TRUTH-STATEMENTS that they could not reject, argue against, put into a syllogism showing the claim to be false?

        br.d
        You could search for Youtube videos with Dr. William Lane Craig – who debates Atheists
        He’s the one they joke about – saying he’s the only person they know who can put the fear of God into an Atheist

        But there is another Youtube video
        The name of it is “Calvinism: Intrinsically Irrational”

        It is an Atheist’s examination of some claims made by a certain Calvinist theologian.
        Its sad to watch – because the Atheist has the ability to recognize LOGICAL FALLACIES which the Calvinist either does not see – or is willing to live with.

      154. br.d writes, “I can present any number of TRUTH-STATEMENTS – which are absolutely true in Calvinism.”

        You misrepresent Calvinism where you claim, “In Calvinism the infallible decree is the necessary antecedent which CAUSES every event that comes to pass.”

        You also misrepresent is the manner in which Calvinist come to truth statements. An example is where you say something like, “Universal Divine Causal Determinism is the foundation for Calvinism.”

      155. br.d
        I can present any number of TRUTH-STATEMENTS – which are absolutely true in Calvinism.”

        rhutchin
        You misrepresent Calvinism where you claim, “In Calvinism the infallible decree is the necessary antecedent which CAUSES every event that comes to pass.”

        br.d
        That’s the academic definition of Determinism
        But I can understand why it doesn’t work for you! :-]

        rhutchin
        You also misrepresent is the manner in which Calvinist come to truth statements. An example is where you say something like, “Universal Divine Causal Determinism is the foundation for Calvinism.

        br.d
        Which simply means – that is not your representation :-]

      156. br.d: “Which simply means – that is not your representation :-]”

        LOL!!! So, you the non-Calvinist get to dictate what Calvinism says no matter what Calvinism really says. LOL!!!

      157. br.d
        Which simply means – that is not your representation :-]”

        rhutchin
        LOL!!! So, you the non-Calvinist get to dictate what Calvinism says no matter what Calvinism really says. LOL!!!

        br.d
        Its entertaining to watch someone laughing at his own non sequiturs :-]

      158. Wow Eric,

        So much anger, immaturity, and falsehood in one place! I am sure that an apology from the young lad will be forthcoming after you laid it out so well.

      159. Eric, the block is hot bro, I’m dipping. I will admit to using hyperbolic language. I will not defend James White as I will admit he is arrogant. As far Leighton goes, I can only say I’ve seen enough of his videos, read his book about provisioinism, and interacted with those on this website to know that he comes off as hating us Calvinists. I will no longer make broad general claims about Leighton as I have in the past as you are right, that is not Christ-like. I’m going to tell you it is hard not to get frustrated with somebody who is making such great efforts to refute something a person holds as a strong, sincere belief.
        If you want specific instances of Leighton misrepresenting Calvinism, then you are going to have give me time, as I have seen them but I will document them as you believe I’m a liar. Thanks for reading.

      160. Roland,

        “Eric, the block is hot bro, I’m dipping.”

        I’m not quite sure what this means but I think you’re saying this conversation has become contentious. It seems to me that you came into this comment section with a heavy boot and kicked the door down. Knock next time and we’ll let you in.

        “I will no longer make broad general claims about Leighton as I have in the past as you are right, that is not Christ-like.”

        I appreciate that, but also it seems like it’s only a half-apology. Your claims were not merely “hyperbole” or “broad general claims”, they were also objectively fallacious in the way I outlined for you. But I’ll take what I can get.

        May I suggest that not only are you “annoyed” and “frustrated” by Dr. Flower’s criticisms of Calvinism, but that your emotional tie to these doctrines causes you to be unfairly biased against Dr. Flowers? Please hear me, I’m not asking you to agree with him, I’m asking if perhaps Dr. Flowers merely sincerely disagrees.

      161. Thanks for the reply, Eric.
        Eric
        I think you’re saying this conversation has become contentious. It seems to me that you came into this comment section with a heavy boot and kicked the door down. Knock next time and we’ll let you in.

        Me
        Yeah, that’s what I’m saying. My personal experience with online conversation is that once it becomes contentious, one party or both resort to insults, misunderstandings become more complicated, etc. I would rather leave the conversation as I don’t believe there is any way to repair such a contentious conversation. That’s what I mean but your reply doesn’t sound contentious except that you said I came into the comment section with a heavy boot… You have understand something about Dr. Flowers, he irks a lot of Calvinists, or at least our reactions to him. If I came in hot, then it was something I was reacting to that Dr. Flowers said or someone else said. I’ll try to refrain from coming in hot.

        Eric
        I appreciate that, but also it seems like it’s only a half-apology.

        Me
        I fully apologize, I did not intend to make a half-apology. Since my comments were false, I take them back, and I will refuse from writing in such a manner. I must have failed to express my apology as you took it as a half-apology. My fault.

        Eric
        they were also objectively fallacious in the way I outlined for you.

        Me
        I don’t believe that what I wrote about Dr. Flowers was objectively fallacious. I admit to hyperbole but at times Dr. Flowers has done the things I said he did. I have not had time to find videos or articles that show but I plan on doing so.

        Eric
        but that your emotional tie to these doctrines causes you to be unfairly biased against Dr. Flowers? Please hear me, I’m not asking you to agree with him, I’m asking if perhaps Dr. Flowers merely sincerely disagrees.

        Me
        My emotional ties to Calvinism? I’ll think and consider how I am emotionally tied to Calvinism, sure, that’s a reasonable request. Am I biased? Of course I have a bias towards non-Calvinist doctrine. Am I unfairly bias toward Dr. Flowers? I’m going to examine that as I believe he is unfairly bias towards Calvinists. No, I doubt I will ever agree with Dr. Flowers.
        Does he merely sincerely disagree? I don’t know. I don’t doubt his sincerity but I think his disagreement with Calvinism goes beyond that. I’m convinced Dr. Flowers has animus toward Calvinists and Calvinism.
        If he believes Calvinists are Christians, then why does he devote a website, articles, and videos solely towards Calvinism? Only Calvinism. I don’t get it. He runs an anti-Calvinist website. That sinks deep into my mind. Then those on this website call Calvinism a false gospel, heretical, the Calvinist god is equal to satan, etc. Yes, when I read these things about what other Christians believe about Calvinists, I respond in an emotional way but I shouldn’t.

        I can go on further. I know there are Calvinists who do it as well. James White is arrogant. I know we are just as bad if not worse. That should not be an excuse for either side. I’ve tried to engage in civil discourse, I have failed, I apologize. thanks for reading.

      162. Eric
        Please hear me, I’m not asking you to agree with him, I’m asking if perhaps Dr. Flowers merely sincerely disagrees.

        Me
        Yes, it is possible that Dr. Flowers merely sincerely disagrees but I addressed that in another post with you. Last night I took the time to watch three videos of different lengths as I believe it is wrong for me to accuse Dr. Flowers of something that I had no evidence of. In the three videos I watched, I’ll mention two for the sake of brevity, here’s what I found that I believe backs my claims that Dr. Flowers misrepresents Calvinism, Calvinists, and I would even say mock us.
        First, one video had an image in the introduction that showed John Piper and RC Sproul shaking hands. Piper says, God brings about every evil for HIs own glory,” then RC responds, “Indeed! Let’s spread the word.”

        That’s a misrepresentation of Calvinists spreading a message we do not spread. It is not the primary message of Calvinists that “God brings about every evil for His own glory.” Dr. Flowers should know better since he is a former Calvinist. Yes, it might just be Dr. Flowers having fun with a little entertainment for his viewers but to me I believe it’s a mockery and insult of Calvinist beliefs. It’s a misrepresentation.
        More from the video “CHOOSE DETERMINISM?” then there are several images of men drinking beer, smoking cigars, 1689 tattoos, that I can only assume are supposed to represent Calvinists.

        I have heard Dr. Flowers say that not all Calvinist drink alcohol, have tattoos, smoke cigars, etc. but why put forth an image of Calvinists that he believes is not representative of us? Unless he really believes that’s representative of us or maybe he’s just having fun with a little entertainment, maybe he’s mocking us, ridiculing us. I don’t’ know but it doesn’t seem fair.

        From the video “John 6: Lennox vs. White” I watched this whole video and took about four pages of notes. I have multiple quotes from the video where Dr. Flowers misrepresents us, our doctrine, does what he hates being accused of to James White, etc. Again, maybe Dr. Flowers is just having fun, maybe he’s frustrated, I can’t get to the exact intent of Dr. Flowers’ heart and mind.

        First example around the 18 minute mark: Dr. Flowers says, “Oh, these people were born of the devil.” He said this as to imply that this is what James White really believes the text says yet James never says such a thing. James speaking about the text doesn’t say what Dr. Flowers says James says. James says, “You can’t hear because you are not of God.” This is in reference to John 8.

        Second example around the 27:40 mark: Dr. Flowers says in regards to James, “Notice his little caveat, yeah, they can respond to it, but they can only respond in hatred, rebellion, and rejection of it.”
        Dr. Flowers then goes on to say that the Scripture points to many people who believe and there are righteous people. His implication is that Calvinists don’t believe text that talk about believing and being righteous. Dr. Flowers also says Calvinists “hyperfocus on just ‘no one is righteous, no not one.” I don’t even remember James White bringing this up from Romans 3

        Third example around 33:17 Dr. Flowers says “You have nothing within all of these text that teach the Calvinistic presupposition of this quote unquote sovereign decree.” Again, Dr. Flowers is putting words into James White as White doesn’t even mention any of this in his exegesis of John 6.

        Last example around 52:45 mark: Dr. Flowers reading side chat: “Leighton is not hearing what James is saying.” Leighton then says, “OK, I’m playing James White in front of me. Does that mean I don’t have have spiritual ears, or I’m not understanding what he is saying?”

        Dr. Flowers asks this with a condescending tone as if Calvinists teach that to understand Calvinism you need spiritual ears. His implication is that Calvinists equate Calvinism with having spiritual ears to hear Christ. I say this because the video refers to John 8:43, at least James White references it, where Jesus says “Because you are not able to listen to My word.”

        Also, around this mark Dr. Flowers says election is arbitrary, it’s a “divine lottery.” He knows Calvinists do not speak this way, even says in the video that we don’t like the word arbitrary, but yet he continues to use it. When has a prominent Calvinist ever referred to God’s election of sinners or anything else is Calvinism as a “divine lottery”?

        Last one: Dr. Flowers says “You (I think he’s referring to White) ignore what we are saying and rehash the same old, same old, they cannot, they cannot come without addressing who cannot come and why they cannot.”

        Here the conversation is about John 6. Dr. Flowers is saying that Calvinist have the same old answer to his objections. Yet, throughout most of the video Dr. Flowers does the same thing of “same old, same old,” he keeps referring to the audience of John 6 being hardened Israel from Romans.

        Sorry last one, really: Dr. Flowers “Lydia, a worshipper of God. I want her eyes to be open to the truth of who is the Son. So, I’m going to give her to the Son.” I think this is around the 44:36 mark.

        It is interesting that Dr. Flowers doesn’t mention that the text says God opened Lydia’s heart to hear the things Paul said. Why doesn’t he mention this? He accuse James White of not mentioning certain verses or part of verse, then does the same thing?

        There’s much more where he calls Calvinists gnostics, he implies that we read divine decree into every text of Scripture, he’s “standing against Calvinism!” as we if we are some big threat to Christianity. Dr. Flowers condescending, mocking tone just increases further into the video. I know this is a long post, if you read it Eric, thanks for reading. I don’t want to get into a back and forth with you about this. If you respond to any of this, you can have the last word. This took about three hours and I wouldn’t’ have time to this again for at least another week. If you have any questions I can respond with an answer. If you watch the same videos and come to different conclusions or refute what I say, I’m ok with that I feel no need to respond or defend what I have said in this post. God bless.

      163. Roland
        First, one video had an image in the introduction that showed John Piper and RC Sproul shaking hands. Piper says, God brings about every evil for HIs own glory,” then RC responds, “Indeed! Let’s spread the word.”

        That’s a misrepresentation of Calvinists spreading a message we do not spread

        br.d
        All you are saying here is that Calvinists don’t tell the WHOLE TRUTH :-]

      164. br.d
        All you are saying here is that Calvinists don’t tell the WHOLE TRUTH :-]

        roland
        The implication of Dr. Flowers cartoonish caricature of Calvinism is that we spread what Piper said as if it is Gospel. That’s what I am saying. We do not spread it as Gospel. I’ve never heard a prominent Calvinist go into a pulpit and begin to proclaim such a statement as Gospel.
        I’m curios to know where Dr. Flowers got such an interaction between Dr. Piper and Dr. Sproul? Did they really have this conversation? It would be nice to have the source. Or maybe it is another cut and paste job by Dr. Flowers to misrepresent Calvinism? Oh, no, Dr. Flowers is nothing but gracious to Calvinists, he would never do such a thing! He would never put words into Calvinists’ mouths!

        We don’t tell the whole truth? That’s another common tactic by non-calvinists. The accusation is that Calvinists are always hiding what they really mean, hiding what they are really saying, etc. How are we hiding what we believe? Do we have secret writings somewhere? If anything, Calvinists are very open about our beliefs. That’s why we have historically printed our confessions because we want people to know what we believe. We have 1000s upon 1000s of pieces of literature that openly declare what we believe. I don’t understand where this accusation comes from.

      165. roland
        The implication of Dr. Flowers cartoonish caricature of Calvinism is that we spread what Piper said as if it is Gospel.

        Here is the pattern to which you are referring:

        Person_A:
        We say that the formula [ 2 x 6 = 12] is TRUE

        Person_B:
        Well then – it LOGICALLY FOLLOWS – for you – the formula [12 / 2 = 6] is also TRUE

        Person_A:
        NO!
        You are misrepresenting us – we do not say that!

      166. Roland asks, “When has a prominent Calvinist ever referred to God’s election of sinners or anything else is Calvinism as a “divine lottery”?”

        There was a time when Dr. Flowers defined “arbitrary” as “according to the counsel of His will” with no input from anyone else. If he now defines it is a “divine lottery” then he is being unfair to Calvinists.

      167. Roland

        You’re right. There is no point in continuing to discuss with you because each of your examples, paragraph after paragraph, can be summarized simply like this: “I don’t like what Dr. Flowers is saying”. And you think that matters in rational discourse. You aren’t listening to what Dr. Flowers, or any Provisionist, is saying because you are offended. You don’t hold your own side, or yourself for that matter, to the same standard you hold Dr. Flowers because you are blinded by bias; this makes you hypocritical in your judgments. You’re unable to divorce your emotion and subjective dislike for the criticism of your dearly held theology from the actual ideas being expressed.

        I understand how this sounds and I can’t help it, and I truly mean this sincerely a way of helping you have a more productive time online in the soteriological controversies: You need to mature a little and become more educated about theological traditions outside of Calvinism. It’s not a productive use of your time to write multiple paragraphs expressing your subjective dislikes. Not being objective in your standards decreases your credibility and will lead to no one valuing what you have to say.

      168. Thanks for the reply, Eric. I wasn’t going to respond but I think what you wrote is unfair.

        Eric
        “I don’t like what Dr. Flowers is saying”. And you think that matters in rational discourse. You aren’t listening to what Dr. Flowers, or any Provisionist, is saying because you are offended.

        roland:
        I have been listening to Dr. Flowers. I have watched well over 20 of his videos, read a lot of the articles, and I read God’s Provision for All. I believe I understand what Dr. Flowers is saying. For you to say that I’m not listening is just wrong. I don’t get offended because somebody disagrees with my position. It’s not what Dr. Flowers is saying, it is what he is doing as I’ve pointed out in the past.

        Eric
        You don’t hold your own side, or yourself for that matter, to the same standard you hold Dr. Flowers because you are blinded by bias; this makes you hypocritical in your judgments.

        roland
        My “own side:” I try to hold my own side to the same standard. I agree with what others have said about James White, he is arrogant. I’m holding Dr. Flowers to the standard that he holds himself. I don’t see that I am holding Dr. Flowers to another standard. He set it. He opens his videos with a comment along the lines of how much he respects John Piper, RC Sproul, etc. then he misrepresents them.

        I gave you examples from the videos I watched but you just accused me of being subjective and not liking what Dr. Flowers had to say.

        Eric
        You need to mature a little and become more educated about theological traditions outside of Calvinism.

        roland
        True, I do need to mature. I’m not a fully mature man, I admit there’s room for growth. I act like a fool sometimes. I try to be mature on this site as I don’t resort to insults or name calling. In other posts you have called me a liar. Have I ever called you a derogatory name? Have I ever intentionally insulted you with direct language?

        Regarding my immaturity: you wrote in another post that my apology was half-hearted. I agree, it did sound half-hearted, so I restated my half-hearted apology and sought to clearly affirm a whole-hearted apology. I agreed with you in another post of some of the hyperbolic language I used was unfair and wrong. I wrote that I would refrain from doing so in future posts. Do immature people apologize? Do immature people admit when they’re wrong and turn from their wrong behavior?

        Regarding non-calvinist traditions: I’ve spent 10 years as a non-calvinist Christian, reading non-calvinist authors, preachers, teachers, etc. I’m here on soteriology101 to learn about provisionism, I read God’s Provision for All, I’ve listen to Dr. Flowers videos, read articles, etc. I’m trying to learn more. Do I fully understand Dr. Flowers and other provisionists? No. But I’ll continue to watch and read as I move from general beliefs to the nuances of provisionism.

        Eric
        Not being objective in your standards decreases your credibility and will lead to no one valuing what you have to say.

        roland
        Your statement is true as objectivity, credibility, and value do go together. I try to be objective as I possible can. I admit I have bias but I reject your belief that I am blinded by bias.
        I’ve tried to be friendly on this site, I’ve thanked Brian Wagner for his thoughtful responses to my inquires and have expressed my gratitude for his kindness in our discussions. I’ve also thanked Heather for her responses to me as well. I’ve also been grateful for my interactions with fromoverhere (FOH) and br.d as well.
        Eric, you seem to be very irate with me. Where ever have I offended you I apologize for such words or behavior. I was at least expecting you to mention that I tried to restate my apology wholeheartedly. If it is my accusations that Dr. Flowers misrepresents Calvinism and Calvinists that offends you I tried to provide evidence as to why I came to my conclusions. I’m not angry with anybody on this site, I don’t hate non-calvinists just disagree with them. I have not called anybody a derogatory name like liar. I had to respond as I believe your response was unfair You wrote things that I don’t believe I’m guilty of. Thanks for reading.

      169. Roland

        “Eric, you seem to be very irate with me. Where ever have I offended you I apologize for such words or behavior. I was at least expecting you to mention that I tried to restate my apology wholeheartedly. If it is my accusations that Dr. Flowers misrepresents Calvinism and Calvinists that offends you I tried to provide evidence as to why I came to my conclusions. I’m not angry with anybody on this site, I don’t hate non-calvinists just disagree with them. I have not called anybody a derogatory name like liar.”

        I’m not above emotion. Despite what I normally like to think, I’m an emotional person. But I’m not irate. That’s not the emotion I have while engaging with you. Falsehood drives me crazy; I become quickly frustrated by falsehood. For instance, when you say Dr. Flowers is knowingly misrepresenting Calvinism, that he was never a Calvinist despite his claim to have been one formerly, and that “his entire life and ministry is dedicated to tearing down Calvinism”…what are you calling him? You’re calling him a liar. So, yes, technically, I have not seen you say the words “Dr. Flowers is a liar”, but you are calling him a liar all the same.

        If you want to get technical, I don’t recall calling you a liar either. I pointed out the specific lies you are guilty of.

        “My “own side:” I try to hold my own side to the same standard. I agree with what others have said about James White, he is arrogant”

        But you don’t agree that this disqualifies him as a trustworthy source of criticism of Dr. Flowers. And you aren’t over on The Dividing Line socials or blog criticizing him for being arrogant. That’s your double standard. You consider White’s arrogance to be some sort of breach of decorum and nothing more. But when Dr. Flowers makes memes poking fun at Calvinism and makes jokes about Calvinism, you call it “unfair” count it as an example of his nefarious intent. That’s what makes you hypocritical.

        “I have been listening to Dr. Flowers. I have watched well over 20 of his videos, read a lot of the articles, and I read God’s Provision for All. I believe I understand what Dr. Flowers is saying.”

        You would be one of only a handful of Calvinists to accurately express our view of Romans 9, John 6, Eph 1, etc. I’m open to hearing you do so.

        Also, watching his videos and “listening” are not the same thing. One can hear without listening. More on this below…

        “In other posts you have called me a liar. Have I ever called you a derogatory name? Have I ever intentionally insulted you with direct language?”
        and then
        “Do immature people apologize? Do immature people admit when they’re wrong and turn from their wrong behavior?”

        So, which one is it? In the first quote, you suggested me calling you a liar (which I don’t remember doing) was inappropriate. But then, in the next quote, you admit your apology for lying was half-hearted. So which is it? Have you apologized for lying and, therefore, me pointing out the lies was completely appropriate? Or did you not lie at all and I was wrong in my accusation of dishonesty?

        “I gave you examples from the videos I watched but you just accused me of being subjective and not liking what Dr. Flowers had to say.”

        You’re right, it was just an accusation of subjectivity and I didn’t show my work. After this last response, I’m more hopeful that you are open to dialogue and so I’ll take each of your examples and show why your criticisms are completely subjective and accurately summarized as “I don’t like what Dr. Flowers is saying”. Here we go…

        “First example around the 18 minute mark: Dr. Flowers says, “Oh, these people were born of the devil.” He said this as to imply that this is what James White really believes the text says yet James never says such a thing. James speaking about the text doesn’t say what Dr. Flowers says James says. James says, “You can’t hear because you are not of God.” This is in reference to John 8.”

        Roland, c’mon man, if Jesus is telling the Pharisees “You can’t hear because you are not of God”, then what is Jesus saying they are “of”? The devil. Jesus directly makes this connection when He tells them “You are from below”. This is OBVIOUSLY how James White understands this verse. The Pharisees claim to be “of God” but they are not listening to Jesus because they are not “of God” and are instead “from below”.

        Then, all it takes is a small logically deduced step…
        A. Jesus says Pharisees are “of the devil/from below”
        B. James White believes the Reformed doctrine of Total Moral Inability from Birth is true
        C. James White believes B. is why the Pharisees do not believe in Jesus
        Conclusion: James White believes the Pharisees were born of the devil

        Since you are blinded by bias, though, you see Dr. Flowers as putting words in James White’s mouth instead of making a simple logical deduction. Dr. Flowers could be dead wrong about his deduction, and you’re free to say he is, but making logical deductions is not the same as claiming what James White has said.

        Your 2nd example: “His implication is that Calvinists don’t believe text that talk about believing and being righteous. Dr. Flowers also says Calvinists “hyperfocus on just ‘no one is righteous, no not one.” I don’t even remember James White bringing this up from Romans 3”

        So you don’t remember it therefore Dr. Flowers must be wrong? Do you see your bias at work here? Based upon your own memory you conclude Dr. Flowers must be putting words in James White’s mouth.

        And no, that’s not the implication. You’re putting words in Dr. Flowers’ mouth, hearing him as claiming Calvinists don’t believe in the Scriptures when what he’s doing is making the argument they are inconsistent and unbalanced when it comes to the Scriptures. I get that you don’t like that criticism, but he’s not telling you what you believe.

        “Third example around 33:17 Dr. Flowers says “You have nothing within all of these text that teach the Calvinistic presupposition of this quote unquote sovereign decree.” Again, Dr. Flowers is putting words into James White as White doesn’t even mention any of this in his exegesis of John 6.”

        This is the bias test, Roland. Put this same standard on James White and see if you would criticize White the same way. Is James White restricted from only saying words the Provisionists first say? Or is James White free to make inductions and/or deductions FROM the words of Provisionists and their writings?

        Likewise, since James White believes in a sovereign decree, and believes the God has sovereignly decreed which individuals would be the sheep of John 6, why is it inappropriate for Dr. Flowers to criticize these ideas in light of the text of John 6 even if James White didn’t use the words “sovereign decree” in his exegesis of John 6? If it’s just because you don’t like it, then fine, say that, but if James White is free to use words deduced/induced from what Provs believe, why isn’t Dr. Flowers as well?

        “Last example around 52:45 mark: Dr. Flowers reading side chat: “Leighton is not hearing what James is saying.” Leighton then says, “OK, I’m playing James White in front of me. Does that mean I don’t have have spiritual ears, or I’m not understanding what he is saying?””

        The irony of this one. You are objecting to Dr. Flowers explicitly defending himself from the accusation you are currently leveling against him right now, and this is offensive to you. Amazing. Your criticism here is telling:

        “Dr. Flowers asks this with a condescending tone as if Calvinists teach that to understand Calvinism you need spiritual ears. His implication is that Calvinists equate Calvinism with having spiritual ears to hear Christ.”

        If you are suggesting that Dr. Flowers’ response is invalid because of his condescending tone, then this is EXACTLY the double standard and hypocrisy I’m talking about on full display. Are James White’s teachings and responses invalid because of HIS constantly condescending tone?

        Your bias is on full display here too. You assume Dr. Flowers is pulling this “spiritual ears” idea out of thin air. Could he have possibly heard a Reformed teacher (or twenty) explicitly teach that acceptance of Calvinism is a sign of spiritual maturity?

      170. Eric, thanks for the reply.
        I’m not above emotion. Despite what I normally like to think, I’m an emotional person. But I’m not irate. That’s not the emotion I have while engaging with you. Falsehood drives me crazy; I become quickly frustrated by falsehood.

        roland
        I’m not above emotion either. I become quickly frustrated by misrepresentations. That’s why I get frustrated with Dr. Flowers, especially since he says he is a former Calvinist. If anybody should make a fair presentation of a belief or practice, it should be those who used to hold that belief or practice and no longer do. I believe all of as Christians know what it was like before Christ saved us. I can make a fair presentation of what it is like not to be a Christian.

        Eric
        If you want to get technical, I don’t recall calling you a liar either.

        Roland
        You did. After one of my comments in my post you simply typed the word: Liar. I’m not going to hold it against you or believe your less credible or sincere because you called me liar. I’ve done the same, discussions can be emotional and as a Christian I still struggle with my flesh.

        Eric
        But you don’t agree that this disqualifies him as a trustworthy source of criticism of Dr. Flowers. And you aren’t over on The Dividing Line socials or blog criticizing him for being arrogant. That’s your double standard.

        Roland
        I don’t think I have questioned whether a person’s character affects their being a trustworthy source of criticism. As far as Dr. Flowers is concerned, do I question his trustworthiness? On his claim of being a former Calvinist, I don’t see sufficient evidence that he was ever a Calvinist. However, I am not completely closed on this belief. Let’s say I see a video where Dr. Flowers is properly explaining Calvinism, then I take that belief back on the basis that I have seen sufficient evidence that his claim is true. On all other things related to provisionism I don’t question his trustworthiness.

        Eric
        But when Dr. Flowers makes memes poking fun at Calvinism and makes jokes about Calvinism, you call it “unfair” count it as an example of his nefarious intent. That’s what makes you hypocritical.

        roland
        It is hard for me believe what Dr. Flowers says sometimes based on his actions. His poking fun as Calvinists and Calvinism frustrates me. Does Dr. Flowers really believe Calvinism is dangerous to God’s character and His Word? If so, why does he joke about it. If he believes that winning somebody out of Calvinism is important, why does he poke fun at us? That’s no way to win somebody over. I don’t understand why he does it. As a Christian, I believe non believers are in danger, I don’t make fun of their spiritual condition.

        Eric
        You would be one of only a handful of Calvinists to accurately express our view of Romans 9, John 6, Eph 1, etc. I’m open to hearing you do so.

        roland
        Best as I can and it will probably be insufficient. On Romans 9, I believe that Dr. Flowers believes that the chapter is not soteriological but functional. That is, all that God is doing with the Jews is hardening them so that the Gospel will be carried out. I believe Dr. Flowers believes that election is not of individuals but is corporate. On John 6, Jesus is referring to His disciples not to all believers, the Jews who are not believing are hardened Israel. Besides that I can’t remember anything else. Ephesians 1 I remember watching a video where Dr. Flowers says that the verses teach that the election is “in Christ.” In other words, God’s election is about the method or manner of salvation not the election of individuals. The is all off the top of my head.

        Eric
        But then, in the next quote, you admit your apology for lying was half-hearted. So which is it?

        roland
        No, I did not admit that my apology was half-hearted. You said it sounded half-hearted, I apologized again with more clarity as I did not want to offer a half-hearted apology. You were right about my hyperbole but I don’t think I have lied about Dr. Flowers.

        Eric
        You’re right, it was just an accusation of subjectivity and I didn’t show my work. After this last response, I’m more hopeful that you are open to dialogue and so I’ll take each of your examples and show why your criticisms are completely subjective and accurately summarized as “I don’t like what Dr. Flowers is saying”.

        roland
        I don’t deny my subjectivity. The best way to handle this part of our discussion is for you to watch the video if you have time. If you just respond to my comments then I don’t think you will have a clear understanding of what I’m responding to. For this reason, I’m going to skip over your responses to my responses to Dr. Flowers in the video.

        Eric
        If you are suggesting that Dr. Flowers’ response is invalid because of his condescending tone, then this is EXACTLY the double standard and hypocrisy I’m talking about on full display.

        roland
        No, I am not suggesting that Dr. Flowers response is INVALID because of his tone. I try to look to a person’s arguments to examine them for truth before I look to their character or actions. We all fail in living up to our standards because we are sinners. The reason I get so frustrated with Dr. Flowers is that he says things like Calvinists are my brothers in Christ, let’s be fair to each other, etc. but then he does the same things he despises. Dr. White never does this, he doesn’t care about decorum, at least from what I know of him, so don’t ask me to hold Dr. White to this standard, he doesn’t have it.
        That frustrates me. I would respect Dr. Flowers more if he just came out and said that he really doesn’t believe Calvinists are Christians.We preach a false and heretical gospel. Then I can really know where he stands. At least it would seem like a firm conviction instead of the vicissitude I get from him now.

        Eric
        Your bias is on full display here too. You assume Dr. Flowers is pulling this “spiritual ears” idea out of thin air. Could he have possibly heard a Reformed teacher (or twenty) explicitly teach that acceptance of Calvinism is a sign of spiritual maturity?

        roland
        It is probable that he heard it from a Calvinist. I’ve heard Calvinists make some outlandish claims. But from watching the video it does not appear that was the case but I could be wrong. Eric, thanks for reading, I don’t know if I’ll respond back if you respond.

      171. Eric writes, “Dr. Flowers never says anything to the effect of “What Calvinists REALLY believe is..”.

        There is a reason for this. Dr. Flowers knows that Totally Depravity in Calvinism exists where faith is lacking. He will vehemently deny “Total Inability” but if you listen to everything he says, he always refers to “grace enabled faith” either in those words or similar words. If Dr. Flowers were to say, “Calvinists REALLY believe that lack of faith produces Total Depravity,” he would have a difficult time arguing against it because he appears to believe the same thing. It may be that Dr. Flowers really doesn’t understand Calvinism – which makes sense considering some of the arguments he makes – but if we grant that he really does understand Calvinism, then some of the things he says are really confused. So, if Dr. Flowers were to say anything to the effect of “What Calvinists REALLY believe,” he would have to address the confusing arguments he makes. I have noticed this with his comments of Total Inability (or Total Depravity) and the relationship of God’s omniscience to determinism.

      172. ” If Dr. Flowers were to say, “Calvinists REALLY believe that lack of faith produces Total Depravity,” he would have a difficult time arguing against it because he appears to believe the same thing.”

        That’s a great point that I have been making here.

        “It may be that Dr. Flowers really doesn’t understand Calvinism – which makes sense considering some of the arguments he makes – but if we grant that he really does understand Calvinism, then some of the things he says are really confused.”

        I have watched over 20 of Leighton’s videos, read one of his books and I have to the same conclusion as you. Completely agree, I also drew this conclusion from his arguments. I mentioned in another post that I don’t Leighton was ever Reformed but he was probably a TULIP Calvinist but beyond that he does’t seem to demonstrate sufficient knowledge to call himself a Calvinist or even Reformed.

        “So, if Dr. Flowers were to say anything to the effect of “What Calvinists REALLY believe,” he would have to address the confusing arguments he makes. I have noticed this with his comments of Total Inability (or Total Depravity) and the relationship of God’s omniscience to determinism.”

        Exactly. Dr. Flowers doesn’t seem to have a firm stance on either God’s determinism or omniscience. He seems to appeal to Molinism but I’ve heard him say that he believes God has full knowledge. Then he’ll say something like God’s knowledge about creaturely freewill decision in any possibility. It’s confusing. Even if he said he still working this out then I’d have no problem with that. That’s sound more honest then what is currently communicating.

      173. Roland, would you mind explaining how your comment “I agree that anyone can believe in Jesus” fits with your comment “unless God gives a new heart, you will not seek God” and your denial of “since God calls everyone to believe, then we must all be able to believe” and your agreement with Rhutchin that “Certainly, God has determined who will be saved and who will not…”?

        How can you say “anyone can believe” and yet hold those other beliefs? (This isn’t rhetorical. I’m asking seriously.) If the non-elect are never given a new heart (by God) then how can they believe in Jesus? Do you define “anyone” as all people, elect and non-elect, or as “only the elect”? If it’s “all people,” then how can you, as a Calvinist, say that the non-elect can believe in Jesus, when they will not be given a new heart or the faith to believe? But if it’s “only the elect,” then how can you say “anyone”?

        Also, I said: “CALVINIST TWIST: “No, God created most people to be sinners so that He could show off His justice by punishing them in hell for sinning.”

        And you replied: “I’ve never heard a Calvinist say God shows off. That’s a very irreverent manner to speak about God.”

        I agree with you about it being irreverent. Maybe you should tell that to my Calvinist pastor’s adult Calvinist son who wrote a post about how – after two weeks of contemplating why God would predestine people to hell – came to the conclusion that God predestined people to be unrepentant sinners because He wanted to have sinners to punish so that He could show off His justice so that He could get glory for it and worship Himself for being so just.

      174. Heather,

        As far as the “show off” it is just the sound of it that is a problem for them. If you say “demonstrate His justice” then you can created 95% of humanity for that torture.

        As for the “anyone can believe” many new, young Calvinists (after being pulled into the idea with books) will continue to say “We preach to all cuz we dont know who Christ died for.” When they develop the idea they will often say “Christ died for you. He is offering you a way out of your sin…to be right with God.”

        Often they will slip like this. Piper and MacArthur do it all the time. I have been in the audience when Calvinists do this (although when I was in MacArthur’s church it was before he became a Calvinists).

        The problem is that a Calvinist CANNOT preach to a random crowd, “Christ died for you!” They should say “Christ may have died for you!” but….nah…never heard one do that.

        Limited Atonement clearly states that man is NOT refusing God’s offer…cuz God is not even offering.

        So you have to reinterpret all those Bible verses that state that people are “refusing Him.” Ha! No one is refusing an offer they never received!

      175. FOH writes, “The problem is that a Calvinist CANNOT preach to a random crowd, “Christ died for you!” They should say “Christ may have died for you!” but….nah…never heard one do that.”

        Calvinists can say that God loves both Jews and gentiles, black and white, rich and poor, etc. Christ paid the penalty for sin. For anyone to tell any individual that Christ died for him would be a lie if God has no intent to save that person. God already knows who will be saved and who will not and knew this before He created the world. As Jesus said, “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. ”

        Then, “Limited Atonement clearly states that man is NOT refusing God’s offer…cuz God is not even offering.”

        Total Depravity says that anyone without faith refuses God’s command to repent and believe the gospel. Limited atonement says that God has no intent to save all people.

        Then, “So you have to reinterpret all those Bible verses that state that people are “refusing Him.” Ha! No one is refusing an offer they never received!”

        No reinterpretation necessary. Just accept the Calvinist distinction – People without faith always refuse the gospel; people with faith always accept the gospel. Of course, FOH has already rejected that distinction.

      176. rhutchin
        Calvinists can say that God loves both Jews and gentiles, black and white, rich and poor, etc.

        br.d
        Yes – but they can’t say what KIND of love Calvin’s god has for them
        He might have a KIND of love that creates/designs them specifically for eternal torment in a lake of fire – for his good pleasure.

        That is the KIND of love he has for the MANY of the human race.
        He has a different KIND of love for a FEW.

      177. rhutchin: “Calvinists can say that God loves both Jews and gentiles, black and white, rich and poor, etc.”
        br.d: “Yes – but they can’t say what KIND of love Calvin’s god has for them”

        I think they can – its the Greek, “agape.”

        However, the love God has for the individual is a different love for those to whom He extends mercy than for those to whom He extends justice. At least, the one who received justice would argue that it was a different love from his perspective.

      178. rhutchin
        Calvinists can say that God loves both Jews and gentiles, black and white, rich and poor, etc.”

        br.d: “Yes – but they can’t say what KIND of love Calvin’s god has for them.

        The KIND of love Calvin’s god has for the “MANY” is the KIND of love that creates/designs them specifically for eternal torment in a lake of fire – for his good pleasure.

        The love Calvin’s god has for the “FEW” is a different KIND of love.

        rhutchin
        I think they can – its the Greek, “agape.”

        br.d
        Well – that provides a wonderful example of how many terms in Calvinism have NON-NORMATIVE meanings.
        In this case the term “agape”

        Another confirmation that Dr. Flowers is correct when he says: “Calvinist’s use the same words as everyone else does – they just have a different dictionary” :-]

      179. rhutchin: “I think they can – its the Greek, “agape.”
        br.d: “Well – that provides a wonderful example of how many terms in Calvinism have NON-NORMATIVE meanings.
        In this case the term “agape”

        I don’t see a non-normative meaning in the Calvinist understanding of agape. If Calvinists say that God loves both Jews and gentiles, black and white, rich and poor, etc. and then God saves Jews and gentiles, black and white, rich and poor, etc., then agape love expresses God’s love for the person in saving them. That seems to be a pretty normal understanding of agape. The love God has for people He does not save would not be agape. So, the real question is, “If non-Calvinists tell each individual that God loves them, what kind of love do they say God has for them?” Certainly not agape.

      180. rhutchin: “I think they can – its the Greek, “agape.”

        br.d
        Well – that provides a wonderful example of how many terms in Calvinism have NON-NORMATIVE meanings.
        In this case the term “agape”

        Which in this case – entails creating/designing the majority of one’s creatures for eternal torment in a lake of fire – for ones good pleasure

        rhutchin
        I don’t see a non-normative meaning in the Calvinist understanding of agape.

        br.d
        I wouldn’t expect you to! :-]

      181. Heather asks, “Roland, would you mind explaining how your comment “I agree that anyone can believe in Jesus” fits with your comment “unless God gives a new heart, you will not seek God”

        I think Roland means, that he agrees that anyone can believe in Jesus provided that they hear the gospel and receive faith through that hearing. If a person never hears about Jesus, he cannot believe in Jesus.

        Then, “…and your denial of “since God calls everyone to believe, then we must all be able to believe” and your agreement with Rhutchin that “Certainly, God has determined who will be saved and who will not…”? ”

        God commands everyone to repent and believe the gospel. There is then a general call made through the preacher to everyone physically hearing the gospel preached. However, as the preacher only plants and waters, whatever increase is attained is because God imparts faith to some but not to others so that God determines who will be saved and who will not.

        Then, “Also, I said: “CALVINIST TWIST: “No, God created most people to be sinners so that He could show off His justice by punishing them in hell for sinning.””

        As God withholds faith from all people at birth and the only way to receive faith is by hearing the gospel, then God created all people to be sinners. Of course, no sinner is able to enter heaven so no injustice is done to anyone denied entrance into heaven, and the punishment is just.

      182. Thanks for the reply Heather, and the question, I will do my best to answer as I struggle to communicate what I’m saying well. If you have any questions about response and answer, please reply, I’ll do my best to answer, thanks.

        Heather
        Roland, would you mind explaining how your comment “I agree that anyone can believe in Jesus” fits with your comment “unless God gives a new heart, you will not seek God” and your denial of “since God calls everyone to believe, then we must all be able to believe” and your agreement with Rhutchin that “Certainly, God has determined who will be saved and who will not…”?

        As far as anyone can believe, I believe it is the biblical teaching that anyone can believe. There is not requirement for belief besides believing. To many non-calvinists this sounds like a contradict, a paradox, double mindedness, double speak, but to us as Calvinists we believe any can be believe. However, I also said that unless God gives them a new heart, no one can seek God.
        Let me use an example from John 3, Jesus and Nicodemus. In this conversation we learn some very important truths, God loves the world, Nicodemus is Jew, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born from above (born again), and much more. So when I read these verses I hear Jesus saying God’s love is to the whole world, beyond Israel and its border, he speaks to a Jew who would have obviously believed in God’s love for Israel, and it takes the work of the Holy Spirit to enter the kingdom of God. We can discern from other Scriptures that the Holy Spirit is not given to everyone. So without the Holy Spirit no one can enter the kingdom of God. As far as anyone, I would further point to evidence as the classes of people who came to believe in Christ; slaves, Jews, Gentiles, woman, all types. So the kingdom of God is limited but while anyone can believe, it is only for those who believe. I hope that’s making sense.

        Heather
        How can you say “anyone can believe” and yet hold those other beliefs? (This isn’t rhetorical. I’m asking seriously.)

        I believe you are being sincere in your question. I tried to explain above. I would clarify by saying that all people can believe and I don’t mean that there is an inherent capacity in our nature to believe. I just mean its open to all people. But only some will believe. Yes, the willing to believe is only granted to the elect. I know I used to believe it was contradictory and foolish but I believe there is a biblical argument for the Calvinist position.

        Heather
        I agree with you about it being irreverent. Maybe you should tell that to my Calvinist pastor’s adult Calvinist son who wrote a post about how – after two weeks of contemplating why God would predestine people to hell – came to the conclusion that God predestined people to be unrepentant sinners because He wanted to have sinners to punish so that He could show off His justice so that He could get glory for it and worship Himself for being so just.

        I don’t know all Calvinists so I know there are some extreme Calvinists out there. I’ve met them like one who told me that only Calvinists are the true Christians, all others are not real Christians. I reject that on the basis that Calvinism is not the measure of being in Christ. How a person comes to believe is not as important as believing and trusting in Christ.
        The Bible does speak of God being glorified in all things or as Romans 11:33 says For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

        So if glory is forever to Him of whom and through whom and to whom are all things, that is God, then is there ever time where glory is not to Him? To me the answer is no. God is always glorified at all times. Yes, I believe God is always glorified, His justice is displayed at all times but also His love, mercy, kindness, goodness, etc.
        As Calvinist, I do not contemplate God predestining people to hell. We don’t believe God worship himself. I don’t agree with the Calvinist who said that, I’ve never heard any pastors or teacher in my church say that. But I’m not doubting what you said as Calvinists are not a monolithic group. We have some crazies, I’ve been called a crazy as well but not only for being a Calvinist. Thanks for reading.

        Anymore questions, please ask, I’ll try to respond with more clarity, I won’t take offense if you ask a rhetorical question, and I won’t be offended if you believe I’m wrong.

      183. Well, Roland, I do want to say thank you for taking the time to try to explain it to me. But it doesn’t make it more clear to me. In fact, yours and Rhutchin’s answers only make it worse, in my way of thinking. It sounds to me like long, fancy, convoluted answers as a way of saying “Yes, anyone can believe … but, no, not anyone can believe.”

        Clearly, you both mean that “anyone” equals “all types of people” … and not what commonsense would tell us that anyone means (“all individual people”). Therefore, it makes it deceptive for Calvinists to say “anyone can believe,” knowing that most people would interpret “anyone” to mean “all individual people.”

        And I would suggest that Calvinists do this on purpose, strategically omitting the “types of” so that they can say “all … people.” I think that, in their minds, they are not lying by omitting “types of” because at least the words they do use – “all … people” – are true.

        But as I said, I do thank you for taking the time to give a thoughtful, thorough, respectful answer. For that, you have my respect as well. 🙂

        [And to Fromoverhere: I agree with you and think your reply makes more sense. But I’m sure you already realize that. Thanks!]

      184. Heather:
        Calvinists: “Anyone can believe!!” As long as they are chosen.

        Henry Ford: you can have your Model T in any color you want…as long as it’s black!

    2. How egotistical of you Roland! Really!

      You know better than any former Calvinists!

      How about Josh Harris, personal choice of CJ Mahaney to take over a Calvinist church for 11 years….not denying all aspects of Calvinism.

      Really. What a statement!

      1. Hey FOH, good to hear from you again.

        You wrote:
        How egotistical of you Roland! Really!
        You know better than any former Calvinists!

        I wrote: I’m not trying to be egotistical. If I came off as so, I apologize. I’m just saying that I cannot believe that Leighton is a former Calvinist as he seems unable to articulate Calvinist doctrine. I’m curious to know how deep into Calvinism, Reformed theology, Leighton went. If he only held to the five points, TULIP, and rejected other doctrines of Calvinism, I can understand how he would not be able to articulate Calvinism. He seems to have a shallow understanding. But I’m probably wrong as I did not know Leighton when he was a Calvinist and I’ve never heard his testimony.
        Thanks for the reply.

      2. Well done, brother to back down from that. I appreciate it.

        I can call you brother cant I even though I am Christ-following former Calvinist? I hope so!

        Dont forget to answer my questions as to whether yesterday’s abortions in your city were what God wanted.

        No gotcha, just a sincere question.

      3. FOH to Roland asks, “Dont forget to answer my questions as to whether yesterday’s abortions in your city were what God wanted.”

        Yes – according to Ephesians 1, “God works all things after the counsel of his will; ” then, 1 Kings 22, “Now therefore, behold, Yahweh has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; and Yahweh has spoken evil concerning you. ” Then proverbs 15, “Yahweh’s eyes are everywhere, Keeping watch on the evil and the good. ” Then Proverbs 16, “Yahweh has made everything for its own end—Yes, even the wicked for the day of evil. ” Then Romans 9, “What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath made for destruction, and that he might make known the riches of his glory on vessels of mercy, which he prepared beforehand for glory, …”

      4. I dont get you guys. If last year’s abortions were God-wanted, God-decreed, God-desired, then what are we even talking about?

        If, for you, all the evil in the world that happens is what God wants…..then what is your point about anything?

        You got nothing guys. Eeew…. that is a conflicted, ugly God you are proposing.

        I will have to be done now….and I forgot, when I reengaged yesterday with Roland, that it was the same Roland that I had dis-engaged with before. Bye…..

      5. FOH writes, “If, for you, all the evil in the world that happens is what God wants…..then what is your point about anything?”

        Maybe you tore these verses out of your Bible also.

        – “The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil.”
        – “By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the LORD one turns away from evil.”
        – “The highway of the upright turns aside from evil; whoever guards his way preserves his life.”
        – “Be not envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them,”
        – “Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD understand it completely.”
        – “Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.’”

        If there were no evil, these verses would mean nothing.

      6. rhutchin
        If there were no evil, these verses would mean nothing.

        br.d
        And according to Calvinism – if there were not evil – then a critical PART of Calvin’s god’s divine glory would be missing.

        Jon Edwards
        -quote
        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.

      7. Great response. I’ve brought up those verses with others on here and they just flat out reject them. According to a person on here, 1 Kings 22 God did not put the lying spirit in their mouth, they just volunteered.

      8. FOH writes, “If, for you, all the evil in the world that happens is what God wants…..then what is your point about anything?”

        Rhutchin: “If there were no evil, these verses would mean nothing.”

        It seems to me that FOH isn’t denying that there’s evil in the world or that God wants us to oppose evil. He’s saying that it’s pointless for Calvinists to say God wants/causes/predestines all evil but then to still be bothered by evil and to act like we have a choice about it.

        And Rhutchin’s saying that they should oppose evil because God commands us to. Yet, whenever evil happens, it’s because Calvi-god had a secret, unspoken command (which contradicted his spoken, revealed command) where he actually wanted the person to commit the evil he commanded us not to do. Because he’s pleased by it and gets glory from it. Schizophrenic!

        So, in Calvinism, God ordains (preplans, controls) all that we do, whether we sin or obey, and then he controls/causes all people’s reactions to what happens, either making them horrified by evil or happy with it or whatever. What a silly, pointless charade by Calvi-god and Calvinists, acting as if anything we feel or think makes any difference at all. If we have no ability to have our own thoughts or feelings because Calvi-god controls it all, then it makes no difference at all how we respond to evil, because it’s all preplanned and controlled by Calvi-god and we’re simply acting out the prewritten role we have no choice about.

        [Why are you even here on this website, Rhutchin and Filemon, arguing for Calvinism – when Calvi-god created this website for his glory and pleasure, when he created us to oppose Calvinism for his glory and pleasure, and when we are just doing what he’s causing us to do? We have no control over our thoughts about Calvinism or the fact that we speak against it. So why are you here opposing us, opposing what Calvi-god predestined for his glory? Oh wait, let me guess: You have no control either over what you do. Calvi-god predestined for you to oppose us. He’s forcing you to leave comments on this site, for his pleasure and glory. Right? And he predestines what people think when they read our comments and yours. And he’s already predestined their destinies and they are just acting out their prewritten roles, so it really makes no difference what they think when they read this stuff. It’s all been predestined. We do not control our own thoughts or decisions. Whether we oppose or support Calvinism makes no difference at all because both are equally glorifying to Calvi-god, and it all happens exactly as he planned it, and it won’t change anyone’s destiny because their destinies have all been preplanned too. So really, if you left this site, never leaving any more comments in support of Calvinism, it would have the exact same effect on what happens in the end: Nothing! No effect! It all works out the same, with or without you. Makes life and everything we do a little pointless, doesn’t it?]

        In Calvinism, those verses Rhutchin listed mean nothing because whether we oppose or celebrate evil has already been predestined … and because Calvi-god controls our thoughts and feelings and actions … and because he has two conflicting Wills where he regularly commands one thing but wants/causes the opposite to happen (whatever happens – obedience or disobedience – was his Will, so it doesn’t really matter which we “choose”) … and because evil is no different than good in Calvi-god’s eyes (he predestined both for his glory and pleasure).

        I think a big problem in Calvinism is that they conflate God’s Will/desires with His plans. God’s plans will happen, in one way or another. He can use anything and everything to work His plans out, working our decisions (our self-chosen obedience or our self-chosen disobedience) into His plans. If someone refuses to obey, He can find someone else who will or He can work the disobedience into His plans. He’s got many ways of eventually getting His plans accomplished, and He does this with and through mankind. Such as, His plan was to get the Israelites out of Egypt and into Canaan, and His desire/Will was to get that first generation into Canaan. But the first group rebelled and grumbled against Him on the journey, and so He let them die off in the desert and took the next generation into Canaan. His desire did not get accomplished because that first generation refused to obey Him, but His plan got accomplished because He found a way to work it out in spite of their disobedience. And He didn’t have to control the people’s actions or thoughts to do this. They chose to rebel, and so He simply bypassed them and used the next generation to fulfill His plans, because they were willing to obey. He will work His plans out one way or another, but we can miss out on them if we choose to disobey. He lets us choose our part in the plans He wants to accomplish. If we reject Him and disobey, He’ll either work our disobedience into His plans or He’ll find someone else who will obey. Either way, His plans will get done.

        But God’s Will/desires are another thing. These are things He wants to have happen, but He doesn’t always force it or cause it to happen. He leaves it up to us, for the most part, to either do or not do these things. He wills that all people are saved, that orphans and widows are taken care of, that we do good to silence the ignorant talk of foolish people, that we rejoice and are thankful and pray always, etc. But do these things always happen? No! Because He doesn’t always cause His Will/desires to happen. His plans will get done eventually, but He allows us to either do or not do what He Wills/desires. [And this is something Calvinists simply cannot accept: that an all-powerful God would allow people to have a real choice, that He would allow us to affect what happens in our lives and on this earth. They think that since God is all-powerful, then He must use His power all the time to control everything, or else He can’t be God. But I say it’s a very dangerous thing to tell God how He has to act in order to be God! If He’s God – all-powerful and sovereign above all – then shouldn’t He get to decide how to use His sovereignty and power? And if He wants to voluntarily limit His power, to allow people to make real choices that have real consequences, then “Who are you, O Calvinist, to talk back to God? Doesn’t the Potter have the right to make people with free-will, if He wants to?” He is so powerful and wise and sovereign that He can work all things into His plans, even things He doesn’t preplan, cause, or want. Or are Calvinists going to say that He’s not that powerful, wise, and sovereign?)

        Calvinists conflate His plans with His Will/desires, lumping it all into one thing. And therefore, they conclude that everything He wants/wills will happen because He always does what He plans (as if His plans are the same thing as His Will/desires), and that everything that happens is because God planned it, wanted it, willed it. Not true! God will work His plans out eventually, but not everything happens because God planned it, wanted it, or willed it. He leaves it up to us to do what He wills/wants, and He allows us to work with Him in getting His plans done or to oppose His plans (and then pay the price).

        Just because God works His plans out (biblical) does not mean that everything that happens is because God planned it (Calvinism, unbiblical). Just because God wills/wants things to happen (biblical) doesn’t mean that everything that happens is because God willed/wanted it (Calvinism, unbiblical). In these things, Calvinist reasoning goes like this: Since all monkeys are animals, then all animals must be monkeys. And this causes a lot of problems in their theology. A lot of contradictions they can’t fix or explain away.

        Regarding evil and sin, Calvinism says that God has two wills that contradict each other: a revealed one where He commands us to not do something and an unspoken one where He commands us to do it. And they think this is perfectly okay … because “God is sovereign. Who are you, O man, to talk back to God?” But this is not a logical or acceptable response for saying that God commands one thing but causes the opposite, that God causes us to do the very sins He told us not to do (and then He punishes us for it). Calvinism does far too much damage to God’s character and the gospel to be able to fix it with a response that basically amounts to “Just shut up and accept what we teach you!”

        God does not have two conflicting wills. But, as Tony Evans says, He does have a conditional Will and and unconditional one. God has an unconditional Will, things He’s planned that He will work out, with or without our cooperation: He created the world, was born as a human, died on the cross, will redeem the world in the end and do away with evil, will make us all stand before the judgment seat, etc. These are plans that are not conditional on us.

        But He also has a conditional Will, things that He wants to do but He leaves it up to us to bring it about, to obey or disobey, to accept or reject: He wants all people to be saved but He leaves it up to us to accept or reject Jesus, He wants all people to seek Him and He gives us enough evidence of Himself to show He’s real but He leaves it up to us to want/seek Him or to go our own way, He wants us to be thankful … to pray … to obey …. to take care of the less fortunate … to share the gospel, etc., but He leaves all that up to us, etc. The blessings and effects of obedience are conditional on our decisions, on what we choose to do. And the choice is ours. He doesn’t force us to choose what we do. He can take whatever we do and work it into His plans, for good, but He doesn’t preplan/force us to do what we do. This is, biblically, how God is sovereign over all but we are still responsible for our choices.

        Whereas the Calvinist’s version of sovereignty (God ordains, preplans, causes, controls all things, even sin and evil) makes God a liar (for saying He wants one thing to happen when He really wants/preplanned the opposite) and wicked (He’s no different than Satan) and cruel (creating most people specifically for hell, pretending to give them a chance to be saved when they have no chance) and unjust (for punishing us for the things He made us do, things we had no control over),

        If Calvinists want to worship and defend that kind of god then that’s tragic for them. Because it’s not the God of the Bible. (And if it’s not the God of the Bible, then I wonder who it really is?)

      9. Heather writes “He’s saying that it’s pointless for Calvinists to say God wants/causes/predestines all evil but then to still be bothered by evil and to act like we have a choice about it. ”

        We know that God is present when evil actions occur and that He has the power to prevent any evil actions He wants. Because God is sovereign, the buck stops with Him. God has the final say on anything that happens, including evil actions, and nothing happens without God saying that it will happen – God cannot be passive or dismissive of anything that happens.

        So, what is the point of evil? Evil provides a means for God to test people and for people to see themselves as they are. Adam/Eve were given a command and to disobey was to commit an evil act. God gave them the ability to disobey (He could have acted in any number of ways to prevent that outcome) and sin (i.e., evil) was the result. People, including believers, always face temptations to disobey God and thereby do evil. God gives people the ability to sin and many do. Do people consciously choose to sin? Of course they do. People will do to others that which they would not want done to them. A person can rob another person knowing that he would not want to be robbed himself. It is in this distinction that a person condemns himself – regardless whether God knows it beforehand or because God decreed it to happen. Just because God has ordained all things does not make the world pointless. We all know that we will stand before God one day to give account of our lives and no one will be able to argue that he was not aware that he distinguished between what he did to others and what he wanted others to do to him.

        Heather can deny that God knows everything that happens and has the power to change any outcome He wants. Heather can deny that God is sovereign and exercises absolute rule over His creation and everything that happens in His creation. She can even call God schizophrenic because He commands obedience and then gives people the ability to disobey. That just means that she hides her head in the sand and refuses to face reality.

        God has given Heather self-awareness and as much as she would like to think that anything she does doesn’t make a difference because it is all ordained by God, she knows that what she does and she knows the reasons she does it – those reasons can reflect selfishness or covetousness or pride on her part. She also knows that she will be denied entry into heaven because of the things she does. If she is concerned about this, then she should thank God for opening her eyes to this. What she will not be able to do is stand before God and claim that she is innocent.

      10. Heather wrote:
        Yet, whenever evil happens, it’s because Calvi-god had a secret, unspoken command (which contradicted his spoken, revealed command) where he actually wanted the person to commit the evil he commanded us not to do. Because he’s pleased by it and gets glory from it. Schizophrenic!

        Roland wrote: You sound like you don’t believe that God operates in secret and that He cannot command something without speaking it. Does everything that God has said or will say revealed to humans? You seem to deny that God has an unrevealed will. Take a close look at Isaiah 10:5-7
        5“Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger
        And the staff in whose hand is My indignation.
        6 I will send him against an ungodly nation,
        And against the people of My wrath
        I will give him charge,
        To seize the spoil, to take the prey,
        And to tread them down like the mire of the streets.
        7 Yet he does not mean so,
        Nor does his heart think so;
        But it is in his heart to destroy,
        And cut off not a few nations.

        Isaiah teaches us some interesting truths that as Calvinists we embrace. First, Assyria is in God’s hand, this means that God is in control of them. Second, God sends them and gives them charge to seize and to take and to tread. Verse 7 is very interesting because it tells us that the Assyrian does not mean so nor does his heart think so but it is in his heart to destroy.
        Can you see how God uses the Assyrians’ desires for His own purposes? Can you see How God sends the Assyrians even though it is not the Assyrians’ will do go?

        Isaiah 10:12
        12 Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Lord has [b]performed all His work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, that He will say, “I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his haughty looks.”

        It gets even more interesting in verse 12. God punishes the Assyrian king for what God sends him to do. The non-Calvinist will deny this as true. The non-Calvinist refuses to acknowledge the Biblical truth that God is in control of everything. The Calvinist embraces this truth wholeheartedly. God is sovereign and He exercises His sovereignty in His creation. Thanks for reading

      11. Heather wrote:
        I think a big problem in Calvinism is that they conflate God’s Will/desires with His plans.

        Roland wrote: We do not conflate God’s will/desire. We actually hold these as distinct categories. It really is the non-Calvinist who conflates these categories. You can watch Leighton do it in his debate with James White. First Timothy 2:4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
        God desires that all men be saved. Has God willed this desire? No. How do I know this? Because there are people who are not saved and are in eternal punishment. So, as a Calvinist I do make distinctions, the non-Calvinist doesn’t. Because this is a common verse used by non-Calvinist to say that God either saves all men (universalist) or at least gives all men the ability and opportunity for salvation (Arminians, provisionists, basically any non-Calvinist). They see it as God’s will not desire.

        Heather wrote:
        Whereas the Calvinist’s version of sovereignty (God ordains, preplans, causes, controls all things, even sin and evil) makes God a liar (for saying He wants one thing to happen when He really wants/preplanned the opposite) and wicked (He’s no different than Satan) and cruel (creating most people specifically for hell, pretending to give them a chance to be saved when they have no chance) and unjust (for punishing us for the things He made us do, things we had no control over),

        Roland wrote: That’s a heavy charge. All Calvinists would deny most of your statement.

        Heather wrote:
        If Calvinists want to worship and defend that kind of god then that’s tragic for them. Because it’s not the God of the Bible. (And if it’s not the God of the Bible, then I wonder who it really is?)

        Roland wrote: We do worship the God of the Bible. It is the non-calvinist who does not worship the God of the Bible. In non-calvinist doctrine God does not control all things, when the Bible reveals that He does. Non-calvinism makes no sense to me because they teach that humans have libertarian freewill. If we have libertarian freewill then there is no reason to ask God to save sinners. According to non-calvinist, God has no say in the matter but it is all about person.
        Acts 16:14
        14 Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul.

        As Calvinists, we follow Paul’s pattern, we preach the Word of God and trust that the Lord will open the hearts of the hearers as He did with Lydia. The non-calvinist, according to their theology, have to deny this because God will not violate libertarian freewill. If He does, then it is not libertarian or free. But here in the Bible, we read that God opened Lydia’s heart. It does not say God forced it, He just opened it because that is God exercising His sovereignty in the salvation of the elect. A person cannot and will not heed the things of God unless God opens their heart. Thanks for reading.

      12. rhutchin says: “So, what is the point of evil? Evil provides a means for God to test people and for people to see themselves as they are.”

        That’s funny! Why would Calvinism’s god need to test people if he predetermines what they will choose anyway? It’s like testing a puppet on your hand to see what they would do.

        And why would people need to see themselves as they are? In Calvinism, does self-awareness have any effect on what a person has been predestined to choose, on the course of a person’s life, on their destiny?

        Which came first then: their self-awareness or what was predestined to happen? If self-awareness is first and it has an effect on what happens in their lives (their choices) then things weren’t really predestined. If their choices and the course of their life was predestined first, then it doesn’t make any difference if they became self-aware or not. In that case, self-awareness would be a footnote, meaningless, because it has no effect on their lives. And if Calvinism’s god fore-ordained (preplans/causes) both the self-awareness and the consequences of the self-awareness, then self-awareness is a sham because it’s not “self” anything.

      13. Heather asks, “Why would Calvinism’s god need to test people if he predetermines what they will choose anyway?”

        The testing shows the person where they stand with God. For believers, testing exposes the weaknesses of believers and provides assurance that God has saved them as testing drives them to God for help and deepens their reliance on God. For unbelievers, it shows that they don’t depend on God but can be a means that God is using to draw them to Christ. Ultimately, God’s purpose works through testing just as His purpose works through other means even if we don’t know what God’s predetermined plan is. God knows His plan and His testing is part of that plan. Of course, in the case of Eli’s sons, God’s purpose was to kill them and their testing led to that result. In the case of Abraham and Job, God’s testing solidified their faith.

      14. rhutchin
        The testing shows the person where they stand with God.

        br.d
        Well – in Calvinism – a sure way to know where one stands with Calvin’s god – is whether one DOESN’T end up in the lake of fire for his good pleasure along with the vast majority of the human population – which he lovingly designed for that purpose.

        Including that MASSIVE population of Calvinists – whom he -quote ILLUMINED for a time – and then STRUCK with greater blindness.

        There’s gonna be a whole lot of Calvinists seeing where they stand there!

      15. rhutchin says: “So, what is the point of evil? Evil provides a means for God to test people and for people to see themselves as they are.”

        br.d
        When it comes to the Calvinist career of HIDING THE TRUTH about Calvinism – rhutchin doesn’t need to worry about not having job security!!! ;-]

    3. Roland, You’ll have to excuse me for misunderstanding what you were asking. The way you wrote it sounded to me like you were asking about the typical ways Calvinists twist scripture, not for specific people who have done so. Yet, what I wrote are things I’ve read or heard from Calvinists time and time again, and so I’d say that if you want names of Calvinists who twist Scripture, the most complete answer I can give is “All of them.” Because it’s the Calvinism itself that’s twisted.

      Since I am pressed for time, I will only respond to a few things you wrote:

      1. “Right away it leads me to believe that I am wasting my time.”

      If you are wasting your time, it’s because God ordained it and it brings Him glory. So would it really be wasted? And do you really have control over what you do with your time?

      2. “The basic reasoning is this: since God calls everyone to believe, then we must all be able to believe because that would be vain of God to do so. That’s the non-Calvinist response, at least what I have encountered.”

      I’ll grant you that the “whosoever believes” verses don’t clearly say that all can believe. But I don’t think it should have to, because offering salvation to all people implies that they can accept that offer. Or else it wouldn’t be a real offer. It would be a pointless, meaningless, cruel joke. I think God’s character demonstrates that He wouldn’t command all people to believe while making it impossible for most to do so. To believe that “If God calls all to believe then it means that all are able to believe” is the best way to understand it, especially if we want to uphold God’s character. Because for God to act like He’s offering salvation to all while at the same time causing them to be unable to accept it makes Him a liar and untrustworthy. For Him to punish people for not believing when He made them be unbelievers, making it impossible for them to believe (because He wants them in hell, for His glory and pleasure), makes Him unjust and cruel. A monster. The Calvinist god is no better than Satan. In fact, the Calvinist god is worse than Satan because we at least expect this kind of stuff from Satan. We expect him to be a cruel, untrustworthy, unjust liar who delights in seeing people go to hell. But we wouldn’t expect that from God. Therefore, Calvi-god’s duplicitous nature – Satan on the inside, but “God” on the outside – is far worse.

      3. “Acts 17:14 Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. The Lord opened Lydia’s heart! In your understanding of Scripture, it should not read that the Lord opened her heart but that Lydia allowed or permitted the Lord to open her heart or Lydia opened her own heart. Do you deny God opening Lydia’s heart? If you do, then you are denying Scripture.”

      I don’t deny that God opened her heart. What I have a problem with is that Calvinists read into it that God opened her heart to believe the gospel. That is nowhere in the verse. (If it is, could you please find the verse for me?) All we know is that she was already a worshipper of God, that Paul preached something to her, and that God opened her heart.

      I would say that the best way to understand this verse is to compare it to something Paul told other believers just a few chapters later in Acts 19. In this passage, he is not preaching the salvation message to them but telling them about the need to get baptized into the Holy Spirit. (Notice that these men were disciples who hadn’t yet gotten the Spirit. This contradicts a Calvinist’s view that we need to get the Holy Spirit first in order to believe.) They were baptized immediately after hearing this.

      This is the same thing that happened to Lydia after hearing whatever message Paul preached to her. She got her family baptized. So I would venture to say that the best way to understand the Lydia passage, since we know she already worships God, is to say that Paul’s message was probably about the need for believers to be baptized, not about the need for sinners to believe. God helped her to see the importance of baptism. The way I see it, in Scripture God helps those who are seeking, who are sensitive to Him, to find Him and see Him more clearly. But they had to want it first. But if someone wants to be hard-hearted, He lets them be, sometimes even handing them over to their hardness more. But it’s what they chose first. Lydia was already a worshipper of God, believing in Him, seeking Him. And He helped her on the journey to see the next step: baptism.

      If Calvinism is true, though, how could Lydia be a worshipper of God before God caused her to believe? If He hadn’t yet regenerated her, then she was a “totally depraved, wicked, rebellious sinner” (as Calvinists call the unregenerated) who was worshipping God. My Calvinist pastor brilliantly explained it this way: “Yeah, it says that she was a worshipper of God, but she wasn’t saved yet.” Once again, this is nowhere in the verse. He (pathetically) read into it something that wasn’t there so that he could say that she wasn’t a believer yet and that God caused her to believe.

      Also, if Calvinism is true, how could the disciples in Acts 19 be believers without having yet gotten the Holy Spirit? How could they have repented before getting the Holy Spirit? (It says they already went through John’s baptism of repentance.) That would mean they were “totally depraved, wicked, rebellious sinners” who were disciples who had already repented. How does Calvinism makes sense of that? Can you find a verse that says that Lydia or those disciples were unbelievers? Or that Paul preached the salvation message? Or that the disciples got the Holy Spirit first, before repenting and believing?

      Calvinism itself twists Scripture to fit its views. Therefore, all those who adhere to it twist Scripture too. They have to, in order to maintain their Calvinism. And now I’ll let you have the last word. I’ve spent enough time typing today. (And I won’t even know if you reply because I don’t get notifications of replies. It’s one way I protect my time.) Blessings to you!

      1. I’m not sure how my comment got way down here (I must have clicked the wrong “reply” button), but it’s supposed to follow Roland’s comment that starts with: “Heather wrote: CALVINIST TWIST: “No, God created most people to be sinners so that He could show off His justice by punishing them in hell for sinning.””

        And with this, I’m bowing out. Spend too much time typing. I need to get out and enjoy the sunshine.

        (And thanks to Fromoverhere for jumping in again with your comment starting with “Heather (posting again, cuz of your support, but not directly to any more of their round-n-round stuff)”. I always enjoy hearing good stories about some of the silly, contradictory things Calvinists say and how much it conflicts with the Bible, and yet they can’t see it.)

      2. Thanks, Brdmod!

        And I did want to add one thing, to no one in particular:

        Non-Calvinists (like those here) don’t think we need a special type of theologian to tell us what God meant in His Word. Yes, there are some confusing parts, but we think anyone can understand the basic gospel message just by reading the Word for themselves.

        It’s the Calvinists who need Calvinist theologians and Calvinists books and Calvinists classes to spend months figuring out what God “meant” to say in His Word, all the “hidden, deeper messages” that are underneath (and that contradict) what He said. This alone should be really telling about who is reading scripture plainly and who isn’t.

        And at least we are trying to defend the idea that God speaks clearly, that He means what He says and says what He means, that He doesn’t make fake offers or deceive us about what’s possible, that He can be trusted (when He gives a command, He means it, without having a secondary, hidden plan where He wants us to disobey His spoken command), that He loves all people, that He really wants everyone in heaven, that He doesn’t punish people for sins He caused them to do, etc.

        While the Calvinists are trying to defend the idea that God has hidden layers and secondary meanings for the things He says, that He says one thing but means another, that He commands one thing but really wants the opposite to happen, that He gives fake offers and makes people think they have a choice and an effect on what happens when they really don’t, that He hates most people and wants most people in hell, that He’s glorified by sin and evil, that He punishes people for sins that He caused and that they had no control over or choice about, etc.

        That ought to tell us something about how sick and twisted their theology/”God” is (and who’s behind it)!

        And now, I’m off for a walk in the sunshine! (You enjoy your day, too, brdmod! Thanks for all you do. I get to bail when I want, but you have to read through all that’s posted here. God bless you for the time and effort you put into this website!)

      3. Heather wrote:
        It’s the Calvinists who need Calvinist theologians and Calvinists books and Calvinists classes to spend months figuring out what God “meant” to say in His Word, all the “hidden, deeper messages” that are underneath (and that contradict) what He said. This alone should be really telling about who is reading scripture plainly and who isn’t.

        Roland wrote:
        You really misunderstand Calvinism on this point. You need to look into church history especially medieval and Reformation church history. If anything, Calvinists historically have sought to translate the Bible into common language so everyone could read it. You are really wrong on this point. Luther, a Reformer though not a Calvinist, translated the Bible into German. There is much out there that clearly expresses this point about Calvinism, we want people to read God’s Word.

        Also, Calvinists hold to a position, doctrine, regarding Scripture called perspicuity. We believe Scripture is clear enough that anybody can read it and have a basic understanding of what God is saying. This does not mean that everyone who reads the Bible comes to an understanding of salvation but it does mean that God has made His Word clear enough for us not to be confuse about it. We also believe that God’s Holy Spirit gives true illumination of His Word.

        Also, putting the Scriptures into the layperson’s hand is one point that the Reformation was about. The Reformers had a strong desire, that they put into practice, that the Word of God could be read by a layperson. At the time of the Reformation the Roman Catholic Church, even to this day, did not believe that laypersons should have a copy of the Bible in their own language to read and to study. We do not believe we need Calvinist theologians, books, and classes to understand the “hidden, deeper messages.” It would be an unfortunate misstatement of the truth about Calvinism and having God’s Word in the common language. Blessings.

      4. Roland writes, ‘[Calvinists] believe Scripture is clear enough that anybody can read it and have a basic understanding of what God is saying.”

        Even the atheists have a basic understanding of what the Bible says however, to them, it is all foolishness and it will always be foolishness to them until God extends grace to them and gives them faith.

      5. rhutchin wrote:
        Even the atheists have a basic understanding of what the Bible says however, to them, it is all foolishness and it will always be foolishness to them until God extends grace to them and gives them faith.

        Roland wrote:
        You are right. The key difference is not that they don’t have a basic understanding, it’s whether they can receive Scripture as truth. Unless the Holy Spirit renews their hearts, opens their minds, it all foolishness. Non-Calvinists want to believe that the natural man, the unregenerate man, can come to faith without God’s grace. That’s why the non-calvinists does not believe that God opened Lydia’s heart. They explain it away so that it fits their libertarian freewill theology.

      6. Actually, Roland, most non-Calvinists I know believe grace is necessary to come to salvation which is what I think you mean when you say “come to faith”. God offers the grace and man must accept or reject it. Lydia was being drawn by grace that she was accepting before God opened her heart, which means – saved her.

        As for the Lydia story… there is not enough to be dogmatic about what “opened her heart” means. I personally take the tact that it probably means “regeneration”, for in agreeing with the Calvinist, I then point out that she was seeking God correctly before being born again.

        She “worshipped God” and was listening to Paul. I believe just like Cornelius, she believed the message of forgiveness through faith (Acts 10:43), and like him, had her heart purified through faith (Acts 15:7-9).

        The Calvinist tries to put her act of “faith” into the words “she attended unto the things which were spoken”. But that word – προσέχειν – has to do with careful attention to outward actions… not inward actions like “faith”. Luke is most likely talking about her presenting herself for baptism since she did believe Jesus had forgiven her.

        The Calvinist has to deal with Lydia seeking and understanding positively truth she was listening to, or he must believe the words of the gospel are like mumbo jumbo magic words that cause God to open hearts with this reformed “regeneration” of the will, and then they start to understand.

        It’s a lot to take on faith in their reading their theology into these texts, when Peter says clearly the gospel preaching is before regeneration, and one would assume it was understood and believed and not mumbo jumbo.

        1 Peter 1:23-25 NKJV — having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever….Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.

      7. Brian, thanks for the reply.

        Brian wrote:
        Actually, Roland, most non-Calvinists I know believe grace is necessary to come to salvation which is what I think you mean when you say “come to faith”. God offers there grace and man must accept or reject it.

        Roland wrote: True, most non-calvinists do believe grace is necessary. But I believe the point of disagreement is the type of grace needed to come to faith. As a Calvinist, I believe that God grants saving grace to some but not all. I also believe that God grants common grace to all as the rain pours on the just and unjust.

        Brian wrote:
        Lydia was being drawn by grace that she was accepting before God opened her heart, which means – saved her.

        Roland wrote: I agree with you that Lydia believed