Arminian Permission vs. Calvinist Permission

by Duane Waller

In keeping with Calvinism having “the same vocabulary but a different dictionary” – this is one of Calvinism’s most pronounced examples.

Here is where we should introduce the understanding of normative vs nonnormative use of language.

When we say we have the normative understanding of [X] – we are referring to the understanding of [X] which the preponderance of a people world-wide understand.     

Something that is normative within one sub-culture may not be normative for a different sub-culture. But there are things that are normative for the preponderance of all human beings worldwide.

Determinism is a non-normative belief system.

So, it should be understandable to us that the Determinist is going to have non-normative conceptions. And he is therefore going to have non-normative senses in which he uses words.

The normative definition for the term “Permission” is found within the etymological dictionary:
The term “permit,” derived from the Latin permettere is defined as: To let pass, to let go, to let loose, to give up, to hand over, to allow, or to grant.   

Augustinian Calvinism

Calvin’s conception of God has a unique characteristic – that God does not let anything. For Calvin, the concepts of God letting something pass, letting something go, letting something loose, or handing over something, is simply anathema.

Calvin follows the mode of Augustine in creating a non-normative definition for the term “permission”

John Calvin:
“When he [Augustine] uses the term permission, the meaning which he attaches to it will best appear from a single passage (De Trinity. lib. 3 cap. 4), where he proves that the will of God is the supreme and primary *cause* of all things….” (Institutes, emphasis added)

So the sense in which Calvin is going to understand “Divine Permission” is not going to be the normative sense in which the word “permission” has been historically understood. Calvin, and especially his modern-day followers, want to use the word “permission” even though he rejects the normative definition – as it applies to divine permission.

Being a good Augustinian means re-defining the term “permission” making it synonymous with the term cause.  We will then find Calvin using the term “permission” as a replacement word for cause (much like modern-day Calvinists will use the word ‘grant’ or ‘enable’ a replacement for the word cause).

This makes perfect sense from a Deterministic perspective – if we lay out the following formula
1) What is divinely caused is permitted
2) What is not divinely cause is not permitted.

Firstly:
We understand that if [X] is infallibly decreed to come to pass – then [X] must be permitted to come to pass – or else we have a house that is divided against itself.

Secondly:
We understand that no alternative of that which is infallibly decreed is permitted at pain of falsifying the infallible decree.

So Calvin now has an altered definition for “permission” which essentially means cause.

However – Calvin now faces debates with non-Determinist contemporaries who are arguing against his Institutes; arguing that sin and evil are “permitted”. Calvin rejects this and says:

“Hence a distinction has been invented between doing and permitting because too many it seemed altogether inexplicable how Satan and all the wicked are so under the hand and authority of God, that he directs their malice to whatever end he pleases, and employs their iniquities to execute his judgments” (Institutes 18.1, emphasis added).

Here Calvin refuses to acknowledge the sense in which the term “permission” is being used by his detractors, which is in fact the normative sense for the word “permission”.

Augustine is actually the one who invents a new sense for the term “permission”. Calvin argues that Augustine’s ad-hoc definition of “permission” is now the normative definition for the term “permission” and claims the normative definition to be an “invention”.

In order to be able to use the word “permission” then – Calvin has to add a new qualifier for the term “permission” so as to distinguish it from the normative sense in which it is understood.

Calvin uses two qualifiers, “bare” and “mere”, to describe the non-determinist sense of the word “permission” as it is historically understood.

Following in the Footsteps

Following Calvin’s lead – Phil Johnson of John MacArthur’s Grace to You Ministries now claims the Arminian (i.e. Non-Determinist) has a certain sense for the term “permission”.  What Johnson is failing to divulge, however, is that the Arminian sense for the term “permission” is in fact the normative sense.

So what we see then – is the Arminian (i.e. non-Determinist) sense for the word “permission” is actually the normative sense in which everyone in the world uses this term. Everyone, that is, except for Calvin and his followers but only when speaking about soteriology—because when they aren’t speaking about soteriology they too will often resort to the normative use of this term leading to much confusion.

The problem then arises when Calvinists are inconsistent in the way they use the term permission. They use it within statements – to infer the normative sense in which it is used. And they do this strategically because unconsciously they are internally uncomfortable with the logical consequences of Determinism – making God the author of evil.

So they quietly equivocate when they use the term “permission” allowing non-Calvinists to be mislead by the way they use the term within their statements.

In this way, the Calvinist sneaks a non-Deterministic sense for the term “permission” into his statements – in order to evade language that would infer a god who is the author of evil.

Dr. Flowers did a broadcast on this topic recently!

92 thoughts on “Arminian Permission vs. Calvinist Permission

  1. The non-normative use of many words by Calvinists is very telling. They must retain scriptural terms to be accepted by bible-believing Christians, yet they wish to impose a non-normative meaning on words, sentences and doctrines, often without acknowledging this dodge. It is just such antics that lead many to view Calvinism as sneaky and deceptive. Both on these pages, and on the Sot101 FB discussion page, you will see an endless string of Calvinists attempting to redefine terms, seeking to retain the official teaching of earlier Calvinists, while softening its meaning to something most people can find acceptable.

    It would seem more logical, and honest, to simply discard the faulty and inconsistent teachings of Calvinism, and start over reckoning with the meaning of scriptures you have been trained to see one particular way.

    1. Excellent points TS00
      And totally agree!!
      I guess its pretty clear – if Calvinists didn’t hide their belief system behind a smoke screen of misleading terms – Calvinism would go the way of the dinosaur. And they intuitively know that. And that’s why they hide behind misleading language.
      I think also – at the same time – they use the misleading language to lie to themselves as well.

      1. I tend to agree with your last point, although I suspect that it is a subconscious action necessary to eliminate painful cognitive dissonance. I literally have seen the panic in the eyes of a Calvinist being led to admit to concepts too frightening to openly deal with. I pitied him, and didn’t press the issues. I could only pray that God would bring him to the point of being able to surrender his preconceived notions, as well as the safety and security of his Reformed camp. It is not an easy thing to do when you have crafted your life and identity around your theological framework. It is like becoming an alien or orphan, which, btw, scripture tells us we pretty much are in this world.

      2. Wow!
        Totally understood TS00!
        I can definitely see how that would be frightening to anyone.
        At one time I had a curiosity about religious cults and what kind of people get drawn into them.
        I soon learned that scientists and people with PHDs are part of the population who do.
        And once those people are fully entrenched in that belief system – they will be there for life.

        For example – I saw a documentary presented by followers of David Koresh who survived the burning of the compound and all the people who burned alive within it.

        In that documentary – they are much older now of course – but they still firmly believe him a true prophet.
        And they will probably believe that for the rest of their lives.

        So I can see how difficult it is to shake a Calvinist mind free from its DOUBLE-THINK belief system.

  2. I agree with the thrust of this article: That mainstream Calvinists use an idiosyncratic view of both “permission” and of “decree,” that they don’t go adequately call this out in their material unless pushed, and that the resulting implicit equivocations allow them to “eat + have cake.” These equivocations become “utile errors” that serve the appearance of coherence of their system.

    However, I have two pedantic concerns that I think are important to point out:

    (1) First, the author is using an informal (some may say improper) definition of “normative.” What is “normal” is called the “descriptive.” What “ought to be” is called the “normative.” Now, with language and communication, one might argue that what definition is normal is *also* what ought to be! This quirk means that some folks *do* use normative to mean “normal.” However, in a formal context, the push is to avoid this.

    (2) Second, the Calvinist and Christian Determinist positions are being conflated. Calvinists are a subset of Christian Determinists, but most Calvinists, it turns out, are sloppy determinists, and are forced to clean up the slop using stipulative definitions as critiqued in the article. We can forgive Calvin for sneering “a distinction has been invented between doing and permitting” because we didn’t discover the *mechanism* by which a distinction emerges under determinism until the 1960s-70s: Lorenzian Chaos (chaos as understood under Chaos Theory).

    Chaos is wrongly described as “making things unpredictable,” but this isn’t true; rather, it breaks the “proximity,” and even what we might call the “teleological fidelity,” between far-off effects and nearby causes.

    Imagine that God decides to make a milkshake with bananas, ice, cream, and using a blender. Even though he can arbitrate the ingredients down to the molecule, by including “using a blender” he has limited himself in a way that “allows teleological drift” — all he can do is push buttons from that point onward (speeds & duration). The slice of the blade and molecular interference yield Lorenzian Chaos from here.

    In the above thought experiment, there may be no way to create a perfect milkshake in terms of both “no chunks of ice” and “not too pulverized.” Notice what just happened. A chaos engine, plus the willful self-limitation of God, has opened the door to teleological drift such that a theodicean confounder has emerged — all without offending perfect foreknowledge. Sound familiar?

    What this means is that, because of chaos, the bridge from “strict ontological causation” to “strict teleological causation” has been broken. A totally sovereign God, even with a deterministic system, has a way to let things drift — go free-of-his-micromanagement. Putting it crudely, chaos takes a chainsaw to the finer puppet strings. A chaos engine is a freedom engine, not just for human behavior, but the behavior of all creatures (lions, mosquitoes, bacteria — this is a win!) and even non-thinking phenomena (grains of sand, spinning asteroids, natural disasters — this is a win!).

    This approach to sovereignty and theodicy is *compatible* with any view of causation or free will (you don’t have to be a determinist to “use” it). It’s simple fact that we observe Lorenzian Chaos *everywhere*, so we might spend a few minutes pondering why God would build a universe with that feature.

    Finally, once we have that “broken bridge,” we can easily employ both monergistic language/perspectives and synergistic language/perspectives — just as Scripture does. Yet, we’d find ourselves leaning more heavily on synergistic language — just as Scripture does, and as Arminians do, to their credit. In a strange way, this opens the door to Arminian Determinism, for anyone who cares to walk through.

    1. Hello stanrock – nice to see you again!
      Nice comments!
      I’m not familiar with Lorenzian Chaos – will have to look it up.
      Thanks!
      br.d

  3. “When we say we have the normative understanding of [X] – we are referring to the understanding of [X] which the preponderance of a people world-wide understand.”

    This is why I reject any form of libertarian freewill theology. It embraces “a people world-wide understand” of truths in the Bible. [X] can be any truth revealed in Scripture and all forms of libertarian freewill theology will embrace the “world’s” understanding and reject the Biblical understanding. LFW even rejects the nature of the “world” and mankind as revealed in Scripture. Under LFW man is free, he is not a slave to sin, his flesh, the world or satan. He has libertarian freewill which means he is the final determiner of all his actions. There is no such teaching in the Bible. This is why LFW proponents always appeal to logic and philosophy. This article is a perfect example.

    LFW proponents have good intentions. They seek to guard God against accusations such as God being the author of evil. But they begin with non-biblical presuppositions and since they have built their foundation upon ideas outside of God’s Word, they must ultimately appeal to logic and philosophy and not God’s Word.

    1. Actually every time you assume
      1) That multiple options such as [A] and [NOT A] are being set before you – all being available to you from which to choose – and
      2) That YOU are being MERELY permitted by Calvin’s god – to be the DETERMINER of which one you will choose –
      You are automatically assuming a Libertarian choice.

      In Calvinism – there is no such thing as:
      1) Multiple options such as [A] and [NOT A] being made available to the creature – and
      2) Calvin’s god MERELY permitting the creature to be the DETERMINER of any choice

      Therefore in Calvinism – there is no such thing as you having the function of choice.

      Which means – in Calvinism – there is no such thing as you being granted the function of Determining TRUE from FALSE on any matter.
      Which means – the Calvinist brain is not permitted to determine TRUE from FALSE on any matter.
      Because that would represent a Libertarian function.

      Congratulations!
      Your brain is not permitted to discern TRUE from FALSE on any matter! :-]

    2. Roland
      It embraces “a people world-wide understand” of truths in the Bible.

      br.d
      Well it would certainly affect what they presuppose in their interpretation of scripture
      Because they would presuppose humans are granted the function of choice

      So when scripture says “Behold I set before you life and death – choose life”
      That text – having been interpreted in the NORMATIVE sense – would not have any hidden misleading meaning – like it does for the Calvinist.

      For the Calvinist – the way that text would have to be interpreted is
      Person_A is having life set before him and Person_B is having death set before him
      And neither of them are given any REAL choice

      Which means they are both being lied to by god.

  4. “So the sense in which Calvin is going to understand “Divine Permission” is not going to be the normative sense in which the word “permission” has been historically understood. Calvin, and especially his modern-day followers, want to use the word “permission” even though he rejects the normative definition – as it applies to divine permission.”

    The quote above in the OP is totally wrong. It is a shaky attempt to go against God who can exercise His own sovereignty to all creations including satan. The limited freedom given to man for him to exercise within time and space is a proof of God’s providence. Job was afflicted by satan with permission from God, and satan cannot go beyond what was granted to him-this is limited power and freedom. Divine permission for God is a normal thing that He does over His creation. Unfortunately, the non-Calvinists cannot afford to go against it. Such action is a manifestation of non-submission and of a rebellious attitude to God.

    1. JT
      The quote above in the OP is totally wrong. It is a shaky attempt to go against God who can exercise His own sovereignty

      br.d
      Notice here how the Calvinist does not assert the statement is LOGICALLY FALSE – but rather the statement is -quote “wrong”.
      What is “wrong” about the statement?
      It doesn’t fit with the Calvinist’s MAGICAL THINKING
      And anything that doesn’t fit with the Calvinist’s MAGICAL THINKING – the Calvinist calls “wrong”. :-]

      Sorry JT
      An 8th grader can understand how the statement is LOGICALLY TRUE :-]

      1. br.d
        Notice here how the Calvinist does not assert the statement is LOGICALLY FALSE – but rather the statement is -quote “wrong”.
        What is “wrong” about the statement?

        roland
        What is really “wrong’ with the statement is that the statement sets LOGIC over God’s revelation. John Calvin is following divine revelation as revealed in the book of Job. Just because a statement is logically true or false it does not logically follow that it is biblically true or false. God’s divine revelation is not a revelation of logic, it is divine and to submit divine revelation to logic is an erroneous presupposition as it asserts logic to be the measure by which divine revelation is judged.

        Something else wrong with this quote is that it fails to state John Calvin’s teachings as found in his other writings. As an example, Calvin wrote this in his Sermons on Job Banner of Truth edition:

        “But let us note that when God gave Satan permission, it was not to please him. He was not moved by a benefit that he might have brought him, but God had ordained that in his counsel. Nor was he moved by Satan’s request or influenced to allow Job to be afflicted that way. He had already decreed it in his counsel before Satan said a word, before he made such a request. God was willing to afflict his servant and was waiting for a JUST CAUSE, which he has shown us, but if it were not known to us, we would still have to bow our heads and say that God is righteous and equitable in everything he does.”

        Non-calvinists will not allow Calvinists to assert that God, as divinely revealed in Scripture, uses different means to accomplish His will. Here, Calvin shows that he believes this as he writes of God’s ordaining, God’s decree, and God “waiting for a just cause” so that His decree will be worked out after the counsel of His own will. The non-calvinists cannot assert any of this from divine revelation as they have set libertarian freewill and logic over God’s decree. They don’t even believe God has a decree. Non-calvinists believe as shown in their arguments that divine revelation is measured by logic and God’s sovereignty is limited by man’s libertarian freewill. Both of these presuppositions are not biblically coherent.

      2. Roland
        What is really “wrong’ with the statement is that the statement sets LOGIC over God’s revelation.

        br.d
        Revelation according to who?

        Roland
        John Calvin is following divine revelation as revealed in the book of Job.

        br.d
        So now you are arguing that Augustine altering the meaning of the word “Permission” to make it mean CAUSE is by divine revelation.

        Fine if that is what you want to believe – go ahead and believe it

        But now the responsibility is on you to not DECEIVE people with words that you have altered the meanings of – in order to have your own personal DIVINE meanings for them – leaving everyone else is to be DECEIVED by the NON-NORMATIVE way you use them

        Roland
        Just because a statement is logically true or false it does not logically follow that it is biblically true or false.

        br.d
        Right! The Bible is NOT LOGICAL! :-]

        Roland
        God’s divine revelation is not a revelation of logic, it is divine and to submit divine revelation to logic is an erroneous presupposition as it asserts logic to be the measure by which divine revelation is judged.

        br.d
        And I suppose MAGICAL THINKING is also Biblical :-]

        Roland
        Something else wrong with this quote is that it fails to state John Calvin’s teachings as found in his other writings. As an example, Calvin wrote this in his Sermons on Job Banner of Truth edition:

        “But let us note that when God gave Satan permission,…..

        br.d
        FALSE
        The article has already addressed this – where it states – Calvin and current Calvinists use the word “Permission” – and other words – as REPLACEMENT words – for the word CAUSE
        And Calvin clearly states this is the case

        So in your quote from Calvin, simply replace the word “permission” or “permit” with the word CAUSE – and you have the Augustinian/Calvinist DIVINE REVELATION for the word “permission”

        Roland
        Non-calvinists will not allow Calvinists to assert that God, as divinely revealed in Scripture,

        br.d
        FALSE
        What the non-Calvinist asks is simply HONESTY instead of PURPOSEFULLY MISLEADING people with words they know people are going to misunderstand

        You can have all the revelation you want.
        You can claim the moon is made out of yellow and green cheese puffs is divine revelation if you want.

        Just be HONEST with people when you communicate.
        HONESTY is at issue.

      3. br.d
        You can have all the revelation you want.
        You can claim the moon is made out of yellow and green cheese puffs is divine revelation if you want.

        roland
        I will have all the divine revelation I want. It is not my revelation it is God’s revelation. If the Bible, which is divine revelation, revealed the moon to be made out of yellow and green cheese puffs I would believe it. But such a silly proposition is nowhere to be found in Scripture and it is therefore not divine relation. You appeal to absurdity because you know that your presupposition of God’s Word being subject to logic is an error.

      4. roland
        I will have all the divine revelation I want. It is not my revelation it is God’s revelation.

        br.d
        Right!

        When the Calvinist needs “god’s revelation” to be [A] – then “god’s revelation” MAGICALLY becomes [A]
        When the Calvinist needs “god’s revelation” to be [NOT A] – then “god’s revelation” MAGICALLY becomes [NOT A]

        And
        Calvinist_A declares “god’s revelation” to be [A]
        While Calvinist_B declares “god’s revelation” to be [NOT A]
        And in this case “god’s revelation” becomes MAGICALLY both a the same time

        Interesting how “god’s revelation” is so conveniently whatever the Calvinist wants it to be at any given moment.

        And only the Calvinist gets to determine what “god’s revelation” is! ;-D

      5. br.d
        Interesting how “god’s revelation” is so conveniently whatever the Calvinist wants it to be at any given moment.

        roland
        I don’t believe there is a prominent Calvinist that believes Calvinism is “god’s revelation.” And that we make “god’s revelation” to be whatever we want it to be. You really should read Calvinist literature if you want to understand what we are saying and not just literature that is critical of Calvinism. It would be appropriate to provide Calvinist sources that are accusing us of doing what you say we do. If you can’t provide any then all you have is straw man Calvinism, which is prevalent on this website.

      6. roland
        I don’t believe there is a prominent Calvinist that believes Calvinism is “god’s revelation.” And that we make “god’s revelation” to be whatever we want it to be.

        br.d
        Well – their certainly not going to acknowledge that are they!
        That would not be a very strategic move on their part!

        But the fact that you constantly conflate “god’s revelation” with Calvinism and never differentiate the two – serves as the obvious indicator! :-]

      7. Roland
        You really should read Calvinist literature if you want to understand what we are saying

        br.d
        Yea!
        That literature which strategically uses language to MISLEAD people!
        Case in point – per this article – by creating their own NON-NORMATIVE definitions for words
        And then framing those words in statements guaranteed to MISLEAD people
        All by divine revelation of course! :-]

        And then there are the Calvinists whom I quote John Calvin to
        And their response is: “I’m a Calvinist and we don’t believe that!”
        What a hoot!

        I’ve read enough Calvinist literature to easily recognize DOUBLE-SPEAK when I see it.

        And I have almost a dozen quotes from various Non-Calvinist authors – who have written over many centuries – who all agree that Calvinist literature contains DOUBLE-SPEAK

        So much for Calvinist literature! :-]

      8. Roland
        God’s divine revelation is not a revelation of logic, it is divine and to submit divine revelation to logic is an erroneous presupposition

        br.d
        How dare you use the words erroneous presupposition
        That is LOGICAL language – not Biblical language!

        Naughty Naughty Roland!

        You should be using Biblical language- not LOGICAL language! ;-D

      9. Roland
        Just because a statement is logically true or false it does not logically follow that it is biblically true or false.

        br.d
        This is totally hilarious!
        Trying to use the language of LOGIC to disqualify LOGIC!

        Calvinism must have been given to mankind as a form of entertainment! ;-D

      10. br.d
        This is totally hilarious!
        Trying to use the language of LOGIC to disqualify LOGIC!

        roland
        You misunderstood my statement. I am not trying to disqualify logic. I am trying to show you that God’s Word is not subject to logic. It is not measured by logic. If logic is the measure by which we judge divine revelation then this means that is it inferior to logic.

        Is this something you believe? Do you believe that God’s Word is inferior to logic? Does a Christian need to be a logician, trained in logic to understand Holy Scripture? Do you believe when the Church in Rome received Paul’s letter they could not understand it unless they had been trained in logic?

        This is what I hear you saying when you are constantly appealing to logical arguments. I understand how logic can be used to disprove Calvinism but I don’t need Calvinism to read in the Bible that God is sovereign, exercises His sovereignty however He pleases, and had decreed all things and works all things after the counsel of His own will yet not be the author of sin. Not because Calvin or any other Reformed theologian said it but because the Bible said it.

      11. Roland
        I am trying to show you that God’s Word is not subject to logic

        br,d
        This is simply a your manufactured straw-man
        This is been corrected multiple times for you – with you simply ignoring the correction.

        But for the sake of the SOT101 reader – because you don’t want to acknowledge the TRUTH

        No one is subjecting scripture to logic
        What is subjected to logic is CALVINIST THINKING

        The scripture doesn’t need to be subjected to logic because the scripture is NOT IRRATIONAL

        Calvinist THINKING is subject to logic because Calvinist THINKING is IRRATIONAL
        The SOT101 reader will be able to discern the difference – because their minds are not bound

      12. br.d
        The scripture doesn’t need to be subjected to logic because the scripture is NOT IRRATIONAL

        roland
        You believe the Scripture is rational. Do you believe the Gospel is rational as well? If so, how does man’s nature and a rational Gospel, if you believe the Gospel to be rational, operate together? Does the Holy Spirit play any role in how man sees the Gospel as rational?

        I would like to read your thoughts on this. I’ve heard a lot of non-calvinists teachers and preachers make this claim that any body can have understanding of the Gospel. I’ve heard and used to believe, that an appeal to being rational and believing the Gospel was true. The Gospel makes sense. It makes sense to believe the Gospel. Any body can do it. I now reject that idea on the basis of man’s fallen nature as well as Paul’s words to the Corinthians in
        1 Corinthians 1:18-25
        18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:
        “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
        And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”
        20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

        Basically, I’d like to know “what is your reading of it?”

      13. roland
        You believe the Scripture is rational. Do you believe the Gospel is rational as well?

        br.d
        Is the Gospel not a subset of scripture?

        Roland
        The Gospel makes sense.

        br.d
        What “makes sense” to one person may not “make sense” to another person

        Roland
        It makes sense to believe the Gospel

        br.,d
        Just because something “makes sense” to a person – doesn’t mean they will accept it.

        Roland
        Anybody can do it

        br.d
        Here is where the Calvinist OBFUSCATES the TRUTH concerning his doctrine.
        In Calvinism – what the creature “CAN DO” at any instance in time – is 100% determined by Calvin’s god
        Who give’s man no say and no choice in the matter of anything.

        So what man “CAN” do is not at contention
        But rather what DETERMINES what man “WILL” do

        The difference between the Calvinist and the Non-Calvinist reading of the verses you quoted is as follows

        The NON-Calvinist reading entails a god who “MERELY” permits man to have the function of choice.
        What LOGICALLY follows from that doctrine – is that Adam made a choice – which produced the natural “fallen” man.
        And the natural fallen man – who is “MERELY” permitted to have his own choice – chooses to set his mind on the things of the earth rather than the things of god.
        But since we have a god who “MERELY” permits man to have the function of choice – every man is “MERELY” permitted to make a choice that he is capable of making – and to be the DETERMINER of his own choice.

        Now man’s choice is compromised based upon many variations of the fallen condition.
        For example – an alcoholic many not have the ability to choose to stop drinking alcohol altogether.
        But he can choose to drink less alcohol today than he did yesterday.
        And taking choices that represent baby-steps he can eventually deliver himself from the addiction.
        And the No-Calvinist god has the option of giving man supernatural aid – such as divine healing to aid the process of deliverance

        In Calvinism however – Calvin’s god DETERMINES every impulse that will come to pass within man’s brain.
        In such case – man is permitted to be and do nothing more than what is determined by Calvin’s god.
        And per what LOGICALLY follows with the doctrine – Calvin’s god gives man NO CHOICE in the matter of anything.

        So that is the CORE difference between the two readings.

      14. Roland
        I don’t need Calvinism to read in the Bible that God is sovereign

        br.d
        Just as long as the Calvinist gets to determine what god is and what “sovereign” means! :-]

        And here is where we go back to my previous point – which you conveniently side-stepped

        The Calvinist is free to RE-DEFINE the meanings of any words in the English language he wants to RE-DEFINE

        But now lets watch how the Calvinist frames those words in his statements
        He frames them into statements in such a way as to guarantee the recipient will be MISLEAD by them.

        He tells himself he is not DECEIVING people – he is simply “ALLOWING” people to be mislead

        Thus:
        1) If the Calvinist mind has any cognitive awareness it should be aware that he is using language in a MISLEADING manner.

        2) If the Calvinist has any intellectual honesty he should be aware he is using language in a DECEPTIVE manner.

        3) The Calvinist does not acknowledge either

        CONCLUSION:
        The Calvinist uses language in a DECEPTIVE manner because it serves the purpose of making his belief system PALATABLE both for himself and for others.

      15. br.d
        CONCLUSION:
        The Calvinist uses language in a DECEPTIVE manner because it serves the purpose of making his belief system PALATABLE both for himself and for others.

        roland
        Pure conjecture. Since you do not engage with Calvinist literature you form your own Calvinism by your selective reading from sources critical of Calvinism. You will not find one prominent Calvinist saying the things you are saying. I’ve expressed to you before that we are not misleading anybody, we have expressly stated our beliefs in our confessions, catechisms, and other literature. Yet you continually persist in your straw man Calvinism. You cannot provide evidence of Calvinists saying I am going to use misleading language so that Calvinism is palatable to people. Your claim is absurd.

      16. br.d
        CONCLUSION:
        The Calvinist uses language in a DECEPTIVE manner because it serves the purpose of making his belief system PALATABLE both for himself and for others.

        roland
        Pure conjecture. Since you do not engage with Calvinist literature you form your own Calvinism by your selective reading from sources critical of Calvinism.

        br.d
        Nah!
        Simply scrutinize Calvinist language – and it becomes obvious.
        And I am certainly not alone in that observation.
        Calvinism’s reputation is of a DOUBLE-SPEAK language

        Roland
        You will not find one prominent Calvinist saying the things you are saying.

        br.d
        Just like you won’t find Hillary Clinton saying she wiped her email server :-]

        roland
        You cannot provide evidence of Calvinists saying I am going to use misleading language so that Calvinism is palatable to people. Your claim is absurd.

        br.d
        You cannot provide evidence of a prominent Calvinist saying he breaths 78.09% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen, 0.93% argon, 0.04% carbon dioxide, and other gases in meager amounts.

        Therefore the claim that he does is absurd :-]

    2. JT
      Job was afflicted by satan with permission from God

      br.d
      1) Augustine re-defines Divine “permission” as Divine CAUSE
      2) Calvin follows Augustine’s re-definition

      CONCLUSION:
      In Calvinism – Satan was CAUSED to afflict Job
      And in so doing Satan was “Permitted” to afflict Job

      John Calvin explains:
      -quote
      The devil and the whole train of the ungodly, can neither conceive, nor lift a finger to perpetrate what they have conceived, unless he COMMAND IT………….they are FORCED to do him service. (Institutes)

      Thus Calvin’s god “Permits” what Calvin’s god CAUSES

  5. [Nice to see you here again, TS00. I was wondering the other day how you are doing. 🙂 ]

    Oh, the many, many words that Calvinists twist or have secret, atypical meanings for. I wrote a post on this idea recently:

    https://anticalvinistrant.blogspot.com/2021/08/calvinism-101-free-will-choices-is-not.html

    And here are some of the highlights (I’ll try to keep it short, but I am going to fail miserably):

    To truly understand what Calvinism really teaches and how it totally destroys God’s Word and character, it is critical to understand their language. You see, Calvinists use the same words/ideas as non-Calvinists, but they have very different meanings behind them. But they won’t let you know at first what they really mean. They know that if they reveal too much too soon, they might scare you off. And so they need time to subtly train you to see things their way, to stealthily reel you into Calvinism, to manipulate you into shutting down your “red flag” radar. And so, at first, they will agree with us about the things most of us Christians believe. They agree with us on the surface. But underneath that, they have a deeper, secondary layer of meaning for all those words/ideas which contradict/override the things they first said, the things we would agree with. And so to help you know what Calvinists really believe, here are some of the words/ideas that we use and the different meanings Calvinists and non-Calvinists have….

    1. FREE-WILL/CHOICE:
    The non-Calvinist says free-will/choice means that God has given us the right and responsibility to make real choices among real options. Our actions and choices are not predestined, caused, controlled by God, even though He can and does know what we will choose, and He can and does work our choices into His plans.

    The Calvinist says free-will/choice means that God predestined which choice we will make and then He causes us to “freely choose” to make that choice, the only choice we could make. And He makes sure we “freely choose” it by giving us the human nature that contains the desire to do what He predestined (and only that desire) ….

    Created to choose the only thing God predestined us to choose, with no ability or option to choose anything else!?! Would you call this “free-will” or “choice”!?! I didn’t think so. But Calvinists know they have to call it “free will/choice” to make it sound like they believe man is really responsible for his sins. Because if they admitted to themselves and others that this isn’t really free-will or choice at all, then they would have to admit that they believe God is really responsible for man’s sins, which would make Him unrighteous and unjust for punishing us for the sins He made us commit. But instead of admitting how wrong they are, Calvinists just keep digging the hole deeper.

    2. HUMAN RESPONSIBILITY:
    Non-Calvinists would interpret this to mean that we really do make our own choices (God does not control our choices or predestine/force us to choose what we do), and so we really are responsible for them and can justly be held accountable for them.

    But when Calvinists say “human responsibility” (as in “The Bible teaches both God’s sovereignty and human responsibility. How does that work together? I don’t know. But the Bible teaches both, and so we have to just accept it.”), they don’t mean we get to make real choices among real options. They simply mean that even though God (Calvi-god) predestines, controls, causes everything we do, even our sins, we will still be held responsible for it. Because we “chose” it – even though God (Calvinism’s god) made sure that’s all we could choose by giving us the sinner-nature which contains only the desires to commit the sins He predestined us to do.

    If I gave a guy a magic potion that gave him the desire to kick every puppy he sees, and if he has to obey that desire (he has no ability to change it or resist it) … then who is really responsible for him kicking all those puppies? Normal, logical people would say that I am responsible for it. But Calvinists would say that the guy is responsible for it because he “chose” to do the thing he “desired” to do, and so he can be held accountable for it. It’s lunacy!

    Calvinists have to trick themselves (and others) into thinking that they aren’t saying that God causes sin, when that’s exactly what they’re saying. They trick themselves into thinking that their cute, “clever” catchphrases of “God ordains sin but is not the author of sin” and “God predestines everything we do but is not responsible for our sins” fixes the problem, that it clears up the contradictions and terrible implications.

    It doesn’t.

    And this is why they have to try to shame you into not using logic to examine Calvinism, because they know Calvinism would fall apart under logical examination. Everyone but Calvinists can see that, in Calvinism, God is really responsible for “our choices,” not us. Everyone!

    3. GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY:
    Non-Calvinists and Calvinists both believe that God is sovereign. We just define it very differently. And this is a critical, fundamental, defining difference between our theologies.

    Non-Calvinists believe (rightly) that sovereignty is about the position of power that God holds. He is the most powerful being in the universe. He is over and above all. The ultimate authority, the final decision-maker…. And He exercises His sovereignty in one of two ways: either He allows things to happen (and figures out how to incorporate them into His plans) or He causes things to happen (but never sin or evil, even though He can and does work man’s self-chosen sins into His plans). God cannot cause sin/evil without compromising His righteousness, holiness, and justice. But He can still be righteous, holy, and just if He allows us to make our own sinful choices but then works them into His plans. Non-Calvinists believe that God is sovereign enough, wise enough, big enough, powerful enough to give us free-will, allowing us to make real choices, figuring out how to work our choices into His plans to get His overall Will accomplished.

    However, Calvinists don’t define sovereignty as “God is in the position of supreme power,” but as “God must always be using His supreme power all the time to preplan, cause, control everything that happens, even sin and evil, or else He’s not really a sovereign, all-powerful God.”

    Do you see what they’re doing here?

    They are telling God how He has to use His sovereign power in order for Him to be God. They are telling the King how He has to act in order to be King. That’s a dangerous thing to do. And in the process of changing “position of power” to “how God must use His power,” they destroy God’s Word and character, making Him the ultimate cause of the sins He commands us not to do, that He punishes us for.

    4. TOTAL DEPRAVITY/DEAD IN SIN:
    Non-Calvinists do believe that mankind is depraved, that we are “dead” in our sins, which means we are fallen, sinful, separated from God, and can’t get to heaven on our own. We need a Savior. We needed God to make it possible for us to be saved. And He did this by sending Jesus to die for our sins, making it possible for any and all people to believe in Jesus and to be saved. And He reaches out to all people – in creation (Romans 1:20), in our hearts (Ecc. 3:11), in His Word (John 20:31), etc. – to show us all that He is real, to give us all the chance to want Him, seek Him, believe in Him (Acts 17:27). But He leaves the choice up to us, whether we want to seek/believe in Him or ignore/reject Him (Joshua 24:15, Deut. 4:29, Amos 5:4, Is. 55:6, Heb. 11:6, etc.).

    But when Calvinists say “total depravity,” they do not simply mean that man is fallen, sinful, separated from God. They mean “total inability” – that people are so terribly, horribly depraved that there is nothing inside us that can want God or seek God or choose God or want to do good. Unless God makes us do it. And He only makes the elect do it. Calvinists wrongly interpret “dead in sin” to mean “dead like a dead body that can do absolutely nothing on its own – not even think or want or seek – but can only lay there all dead until God makes them alive again, and He will only make the elect alive but leaves everyone else dead.”

    But if being “spiritually dead in sin” means that we are braindead, that our brains can’t function or think or want/seek God, then why does God tell people to “seek Me and live” (Amos 5:4)? If they have to seek Him in order to live, then they are currently not living. They are “dead.” God is telling “dead people” to seek Him, which means that dead people can/should seek Him (contradicting the Calvinist belief that “dead” means “unable to seek God”) and that people are not brought to life until after they seek Him, as a result of seeking/finding Him (contradicting the Calvinist belief that God brings the elect to life first, in order to cause them to seek Him).

    It’s seek first, then live. Not Calvinism’s “live and then seek.” (Satan’s best tactics are to use God’s exact words, but to twist them or reverse them so subtly that we don’t notice the deception. The same words in a different order leads to a totally different meaning and, therefore, a totally different Gospel!)

    (Skipping #5)

    6. GRACE:
    Non-Calvinists would say that God gives grace to all people, meaning that He offers all people the opportunity to be saved. “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.” (Titus 2:11)

    But when Calvinists talk about grace, they are talking about two different types of grace. In Calvinism, God gives “saving grace” only to the elect, but He gives a “common grace” (food, rain, sunshine, breath) to the non-elect while they are on earth – before sending them to hell forever for being the unbelievers He predestined them to be. (If that’s grace, then what’s wrath?)

    (Skipping #7, 8, 9)

    10. THE WOLRD/ALL PEOPLE:
    When the Bible says God loves the world and that Jesus died for all people and that God wants everyone to be saved, non-Calvinists believe that this means that God loves the world (all individual people), that Jesus died for all individual people, and that God wants everyone (all individual people) to be saved.

    But Calvinists define “the world/all people” to mean “all kinds of people, the elect from all different nations.” Not all individual people. Therefore, in Calvinism, they mean “God loves the elect people from all over the world… Jesus died only for the elect people, from all over the world…. and God wants all the elect people (from all over the world) to be saved.”

    Big difference!

    11. WHOEVER BELIEVES… :

    “For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

    Non-Calvinists say that, in this verse, God is telling people how they can be saved. It’s an invitation to everyone to believe in Jesus. And anyone who chooses to believe in Jesus will have eternal life.

    But to Calvinists, this isn’t an invitation to all people or instructions about how anyone can be saved. It’s merely a description of how the elect are saved: “For God so loved the elect of the world that He gave his one and only Son, that the elect (those predestined to believe) will believe in him and shall not perish but have eternal life … and everyone else is out of luck because God doesn’t love them and Jesus didn’t die for them, and so they can never believe and be saved.”

    12. THE GOSPEL:
    Non-Calvinists believe that the Gospel message we need to share with everyone is that God loves them, Jesus died for them, and that they need to (and can) repent, believe in Jesus, and be saved.

    However, Calvinists do not believe these things are true. They believe God only really loves the elect, Jesus only died for the elect, and only the elect can and will be saved. And so for them, the Gospel is not about calling all people to repent, believe, and be saved; it’s about helping all the elect realize that they are one of the elect. It’s about drawing God’s elect out into the open, not about helping all sinners find salvation in Jesus.

    I’ve heard this illustration before, and it’s good one: Essentially, in Calvinism, the elect are like tigers who don’t know they are tigers. But one day, they walk up to a lake to get a drink, and they see their reflection in the water, and they realize “Oh, wow, I’m a tiger. I’ve always been a tiger. I just didn’t know it until now.” This is the Calvinist Gospel message: that some people out there are tigers (the saved elect). And this is the Calvinist evangelistic mission: to make all the tigers realize they are tigers and that they always were tigers. Nothing really changed. The elect don’t go from unsaved to saved. They just realized what their true condition was (in Calvinism): that they always were saved and on their way to heaven. [But I wonder how many Calvinists are truly saved if they “came to faith” by simply realizing that they are one of the “elect,” without any decision or commitment on their parts, without them choosing to put their faith in Him? If they believe faith/salvation happens to them, that they don’t have to do anything to get it, how many are deceived into thinking they are saved when they aren’t? Because they haven’t really done anything and haven’t taken any real responsibility for their choice to believe.]

    Calvinist evangelism is not about bringing all people, all sinners, to Jesus; it’s about drawing the elect out from the crowd. But does this sound like the Bible’s Gospel message to you? Like the Bible’s version of our evangelistic mission?

    “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel – which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!” (Galatians 1:6-8)

    Also, non-Calvinists say that the gospel leads to faith and being born again. That anyone can hear, understand, and respond to the Gospel. And when they do, when they put their faith in Jesus Christ in response to the Gospel, they will be saved.

    But Calvinists say that God has to give the elect faith first (He makes them born again first), so that they can get the ability to hear/understand/respond to the Gospel, to believe in Jesus.

    Having faith and being saved/born-again BEFORE hearing, understanding, responding to the Gospel and believing in Jesus Christ!?! Does that sound biblical to you!?! Or does it sound like the Gospel is superfluous in Calvinist theology, unnecessary, a foot-note?

    (Skipping #13)

    14. MYSTERY
    A non-Calvinist would say that a mystery, in the Bible, is either a newly-revealed bit of truth from one of the writers of the Bible (such as Colossians 1:26) or else it’s spiritual truths Christians can understand but not unbelievers (Luke 8:10) or, in a general sense, it would be something that human minds simply cannot understand fully (such as what God looks like or how exactly the supernatural world operates or what God was doing before He created the world, etc.).

    But to a Calvinist, “It’s a mystery” is how they try to explain away all contradictions and illogical problems in their theology (ones that contradict what God plainly said in the Bible, that destroy God’s character and trustworthiness, that flip the Gospel on its head, and that ruin people’s faith and chances for salvation), It’s how they try to manipulate you into turning off your “red flag radar,” to get you to accept illogical, irreconcilable contradictions, shaming you into feeling like an unhumble Christian who is questioning God if you examine Calvinism’s contradictions too closely.

    15. GOD’S WORD/SCRIPTURE:
    Non-Calvinists believe that God’s Word is God’s Word, that the Gospel message is straightforward, that God meant what He said and said what He meant the way He wrote it, and so He didn’t need Calvinist theologians to come along hundreds of years later to clarify it for Him. We believe that we – that anyone, even a child – can understand what God meant to say about salvation just by reading the Word in a commonsense way, as it was plainly written.

    But Calvinists believe that there is a deeper, secret level of meaning underneath everything God says (that God deliberately veiled the Gospel message to keep the non-elect from understanding/believing it, revealing it only to Calvinists) and that we need to spend months of deep study with Calvinist theologians, in Calvinist classes, reading hundreds of pages from Calvinists books to understand what God really meant to say. To a Calvinist, Calvinism IS the Gospel. Calvinism IS God’s Word. And so don’t believe Calvinist pastors when they say things like “I don’t preach Calvinism; I just preach the Gospel.” They cannot get away from preaching Calvinism because they believe Calvinism IS the Gospel. And so all they really mean is “I don’t want to scare you off or let you know that I’m pushing Calvinism on you. I want you to think I’m only preaching the Bible, as it is, without any theological bent. And so I am going to tell you that I’m not preaching Calvinism so that you trust me, so that you let your guard down, so that you shut off your ‘red flag radar.’ And then I will subtly, skillfully weave Calvinism into my sermons, using biblical words, phrases, and verses, so that you don’t even realize that I am dragging you deeper and deeper into Calvinism.”

    (Skipping #16)

    ———

    You want to see what a conversation with a Calvinist might be like? Read this not-so-imaginary one:

    Me: Do you believe God loves the world and that Jesus died for everyone?

    Calvinist: Absolutely!

    Me: So then can anyone believe in Jesus and be saved?

    Calvinist: Oh, yes. Anyone can be saved if they want to. Everyone who desires to be saved will be saved.

    Me: But doesn’t Calvinism teach that God forces people to either believe in Him or to reject Him?

    Calvinist: Of course not! People either believe in God or reject Him because that’s what they want to do. They choose to do what they want to do.

    Me: So then do we all have the chance, the ability, to believe in Jesus?

    Calvinist: Well, it takes faith to believe, right? So those who don’t have faith can’t believe, right?

    Me: But can anyone have faith?

    Calvinist: Well, God is sovereign, and so He decides whom to give faith to (to regenerate with the Holy Spirit) and whom to withhold it from. (Unless you think that you’re sovereign and that you saved yourself.) And those whom He gives faith to will believe.

    Me: But can those He doesn’t give faith to believe, if they want to?

    Calvinist: If you don’t have faith, you can’t believe. You won’t even want to believe. Faith is a gift [according to Calvinists], and God gives it to whomever He wants to, to those He loves and has chosen for salvation.

    Me: But I thought you said that God loves all people and that Jesus died for all people and that anyone can believe in Jesus.

    Calvinist: No, I said that God loves the world. He loves the elected people from all over the world, not all individual people. And yes, Jesus died for all people, but it means He died for all of His people only. Believers. The elect. Why would He die for those predestined to reject Him? That would be a waste of His blood and make His death ineffective. His blood is sufficient for everyone (it’s enough to cover all men’s sins) but it’s only efficient to save the elect (only the elect can be and will be saved by it). And I said that anyone can be saved if they want to, if that’s what they desire. But only the elect can and will desire to be saved. The non-elect can never and will never desire to be saved because they are totally depraved, unrepentant sinners. And totally depraved, unrepentant people don’t want God. They will always want to sin and choose to sin.

    Me: But who determines if we are elect or non-elect? Who determines if we have the desire to be saved or not?

    Calvinist: God does.

    Me: So then whose fault is it when we sin and reject God and go to hell? If God predestined this to happen and we can’t change it, then doesn’t that mean it’s His fault?

    Calvinist: No, of course not. God ordains sin but He is not the author of sin. People choose to sin and reject God because that’s what they wanted to do. And so they deserve their punishment.

    Me: But if (in Calvinism) faith is a gift God gives only to some people, and if He picks from the beginning who gets faith and who doesn’t, and if we can’t be saved without that faith, and if we can’t change what God predestined for us … then if God doesn’t give us faith doesn’t that make Him responsible for our unbelief, for us being in hell? And then isn’t it unfair for Him to put us in hell for something we didn’t deserve, that we had no control over, that He made us do?

    Calvinist: Sinners want to sin and reject God, so if someone rejects Him, it’s because that’s what they wanted to do. And so God is just for punishing them for it. No one deserves to go to heaven anyway. We all deserve hell. So if you want “fairness” then we should all be in hell. But God, out of His abundant love and grace, didn’t want all people to go to hell, so He graciously chose to save some people. But it’s not unfair for Him to let the rest go to hell for their sins, because that’s what we all deserve for our sins. God’s actually being very loving and gracious to save any of us, when no one deserves to be saved. It’s a mystery that we humans can’t understand. But we don’t have to understand it, because God does. And so you just have to trust Him.

    Me: But didn’t God make the sinner be a sinner in the first place and cause them to reject Him? And if so, then why does He command people to believe in Him and to obey Him when He made it impossible for them to do it? Isn’t that just fake commands then and a fake offer of salvation?

    Calvinist: It’s real commands, but God commands things He knows we can never do. He commands us to be holy knowing we can never be perfectly holy, right!?! And it’s a real offer of salvation, it’s just that the non-elect can’t accept it. Because they don’t want to. Because they don’t have faith. But God commands them to believe and obey so that they would be guilty of sin when they broke His commands, and then He could demonstrate His justice and wrath – and get glory for it – by punishing them for their sins.

    Me: But how can it be real “justice” if God punishes them for what He caused them to do?

    Calvinist: You’re deliberately trying to twist my words and misrepresent my beliefs. He doesn’t cause them to sin; He just allows them to carry out the sinful desires that are in their hearts, that come with their sin nature. Besides, God gets to decide what real justice is, not us. And who are you, O man, to talk back to Him anyway? He is the Potter and we are the clay, and so He has the right to do whatever He wants with us for His glory. Humble Christians don’t question Him or the Gospel.

    Me: But if God decides who to regenerate and who not to, doesn’t that mean that if He doesn’t regenerate you then He forced you to have the “sin nature” which made you want to …

    Calvinist: I’m done talking to you now. You just don’t get it.

    ———

    If you don’t see the damage that Calvinism does to God’s character, God’s Word, the Gospel, Jesus’s sacrifice, people’s faith, and their relationship with God, then you either don’t really understand the Bible or you don’t really understand Calvinism!

    My goal in writing all this is to open your eyes to the ways Calvinists hide what they really mean, how they manipulate you and strong-arm you into “agreeing” with them, and how they trap you into their twisted, philosophical paradigm. Calvinism survives on trapping unsuspecting people who don’t know what they’re really teaching. But the more you can recognize the hidden traps, their deceptions, the more you can avoid them and defeat them.

    2 Corinthians 11:13-15: “For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness.”

    Remember that I don’t think the average Calvinist is maliciously, deliberately trying to trick and trap people. I think they themselves are trapped, and they think they are being faithful Christians to share the “truth” as they’ve been taught by dogmatic Calvinists.

    Remember to BE A BEREAN!

    Acts 17:11: “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day [for themselves] to see if what Paul said was true.”

    1. Heather wrote:
      However, Calvinists don’t define sovereignty as “God is in the position of supreme power,” but as “God must always be using His supreme power all the time to preplan, cause, control everything that happens, even sin and evil, or else He’s not really a sovereign, all-powerful God.”

      roland:
      Good morning, I read your blogpost a couple times to get a better understanding of some your disagreements with Calvinism. I noticed you have some quotes with Calvinist definitions of words such as the one above. I was curious to know if the words in quotes such as the statements above are from Calvinist sources? Or are the statements in quotes your interpretation of Calvinist definitions?
      Thanks for reading, I would appreciate a response if possible as I would like to see the sources.

      1. Hello, Roland. And good morning to you too.

        And you ask a good question. Answer: No, these “Calvinist interpretations” are not actual quotes from Calvinists. They are my translation of what they really mean by the things they say. And I know Calvinists will cry “Foul” about that, claiming that it isn’t fair to put words in their mouths. But my focus is not to be fair to those who twist/misuse Scripture but to warn others about what Calvinists hide, to sum up what Calvinism is really teaching underneath the sugar-coating they apply. (And if I am being “unfair, then who’s the one really responsible for it? Who “ordained” it from the very beginning?)

        Calvinists will often say “We don’t say/teach that” about various things we point out. And they are right that they don’t “say/teach” it. In fact, they try very hard to hide it, to obscure it, to bury it under layers and layers of other things. But when their theology is examined closely and when it’s carried out to its logical conclusions, it’s exactly what their theology teaches. It’s the inevitable, fundamental conclusions of Calvinism. Even if they won’t admit it to themselves or others. (And so it’s no wonder Calvinists try so hard to condemn the use of “logic” when talking about their views. Calvinism falls apart under logic. Not to mention that it falls apart when compared to the plainest meanings of Scripture.)

        Get out while you still can, Roland. I’m serious. Calvinism is quicksand. And the longer you stay in it, the deeper you sink.

      2. Roland: God’s divine revelation is not a revelation of logic, it is divine and to submit divine revelation to logic is an erroneous presupposition as it asserts logic to be the measure by which divine revelation is judged.

        Roland: I am trying to show you that God’s Word is not subject to logic. It is not measured by logic. If logic is the measure by which we judge divine revelation then this means that is it inferior to logic.

        Roland: Do you believe that God’s Word is inferior to logic?

        This is analogous to asking can numbers and sets be inferior to their numeration! Outright silly.

        As usual, Calvinists’ are under the misplaced impression that they are doing God the ultimate service by revering divine revelation, even going so far as dichotomizing (not contradicting it) against logic. Unsurprisingly, we’re not given any argument for thinking this, only a sense of self-congratulatory autonomous euphemistic allegiance that Calvinists are the true gatekeepers of the sacredness of scripture.

        Let’s take a closer look to see the Calvinist’s absurd false dichotomy. Consider the mathematical proposition 2 + 2 = 4. This is true in all possible worlds. That is to say, in no circumstance is it’s falsity possible. Yet, Roland would have us believe that if divine revelation would teach 2 + 2 = 5, then, ipso facto, he would believe it to be true merely because, well, the Bible tells me so. And were he a Muslim, he would believe it because the Qu’ran tells him so, and so on. Not only does this sort of thinking succumbs Roland to the luck objection as to, why he thinks he’s a Christian and not Muslim, nothing in his thinking gives us reason to believe that the Bible is the only true source of divine revelation.

        In fact, he’s only offered a bare assertion with neither any evidence or an argument to substantiate it. In order for his challenge—“Do you believe that God’s Word is inferior to logic”—to have any sense, he would have to demonstrate his point by offering any proposition *p* that is true by way of logic that is instantiated in the real world, and whose analyticity is obviously true with little to zero negation, yet demonstrate that revelation reveals a truth or set of truths that either apparently (not actually) contradicts *p* or informs on *p* more than logic allows. Until he do so, Roland’s question is not only invalid, it a complete bust.

        Indeed, he who makes the claim shoulders the burden of proof.

        As John Frame (a Calvinist himself) said a long time ago in his classic debate with Michael Martin: “God presupposes logic, and logic presupposes God”. In other words, God is identical to logic, and conversely. It is an attribute of God such that, there is no possible world in which, say, x can be true logically, but x is the inverse in revelation. If the Qu’ran teaches that the “moon is made out of green cheese” it’s highly unlikely it would have the religious survivability and traction that it enjoys today—not to mention that such move strips Roland of any access of demonstrating competing religious texts of absurdity (i.e., Muslims claims that the sun sets in a muddy pool of water [18:86], and shooting stars are misiles for devils [67:5]!)

        Likewise, if the Bible were to each that the earth was flat. That would immediately falsify it’s divine claims for violating the correspondence theory of truth. For there is no good reason to think that God would reveal truth(s) that do not correspond to the very reality that hold in being. Therefore, there are no—and it would be metaphysically impossible that there be—instance(s) where logic yields a truth in the actual world that does not comport with revelation simply in virtue that at no time or instance is divine action (inspiration) disconnected from them attribute of logic and rationality which is a property of the divine mind. Again, Roland at anytime can offer a compelling counterexample to salvage his original claim.

        Since logic, like love, is necessarily had by the divine nature, a sound argument from logic can definitely be constructed to undercut if not altogether falsify any Calvinist doctrinal tenet(s) as ambiguously stated in their autonomous and fallible Johnny-come-late confessions. So here’s an argument from logic that falsifies another of Roland’s emotive pontification, and yet it is seen to be consistent with divine revelation. But first, let’s set up Roland’s scruple:

        Roland: Under LFW man is free, he is not a slave to sin, his flesh, the world or satan. He has libertarian freewill which means he is the final determiner of all his actions. There is no such teaching in the Bible. This is why LFW proponents always appeal to logic and philosophy. This article is a perfect example.

        Since Roland quibbles here that Calvinists are never cited properly, taken out of contexts, and fail to look at the broader canon of their writings, then it seems that he is likewise careful not to ascribing falsehoods in his opponents mouths. So here’s the first question before I offer a brief case that not only shows God himself presupposes LFW in revelation, to not do so yields hopeless contradictions in the Calvinist system.

        Question: What strong non-Calvinist scholars has you to understand that LFW is inconsistent with a pessimistic anthropology? Just name a couple along with their writings so I can look them up. Or, are you swallowing whole sale these strawmans because you’ve blindedly trusted Calvinists to properly represent the strongest non-Calvinist views?

        If Roland sincerely and robustly answers this question, it’ll perhaps provide a smidgen of confidence that he’s apt to engage actual arguments. We’ll see.

      3. A.B.
        If Roland sincerely and robustly answers this question, it’ll perhaps provide a smidgen of confidence that he’s apt to engage actual arguments. We’ll see.

        roland
        I don’t have much for you to see but here it goes!
        You will have to forgive as I suffer from great intellectual ineptitude so as to acquiesce any comprehension of your exceptional post. Your managing and maneuvering of logic, as well as its exceptional application to the false and dichotomizing committed by Calvinists of logic is beyond magnificent. It is too great a thing for me to bear. I could as much bear the heavy and solemn impressions of your intellect as I could that of Dr. Flowers stupendous exegesis of Scripture. You have ventured into intellectual landscape which I am reticent to trespass. I can only offer taciturn statements which ought not to intrude intelligence of high regard. I could express that any syllogism I offer in the marketplace of ideas is but bargain-basement. You have waded into waters too deep for me, I witlessly wallow in waters of waking whispers which dare not arouse the sleeping giant of intellect. That giant I cannot slay. Upon post-reading meditations I have concluded: I seriously had to focus, the connected chain of your somewhat disperse ideas meant I could not miss one single link or I would miss the meaning completely. It was awesome, it was a workout for the mind and I think in that sense your statement might be worth responding regardless of your ideological inclinations. If you judge my intellect to be squat, my reason to be miniscule, my vocabulary to be stubby, my arguments to be dwarf, you are warranted in your judgment. I dare not disavow a doctor of discernment only to droppingly drown in dialectical discussions distant of my dimensions. Please forgive a Calvinist, who is the Quintilian questing for the quantifiable qualifications of the determinist, by the querulous, quinine and quinoa quaffing fatalist, is as quaint as it is quotidian. I’m in a logical conundrum. It is giant structure encapsulating a star to drain it from its irrationality and turn it into a syllogism by injecting reason.

        I cannot respond. I am in the dismal disarray of dialectical death from suicide by syllogism. I have neither the strength nor the will, to impress upon such great ideological inclinations as you possess. I would be but a dwarf upon the ass of an Einstein because of my inaptitude of actual arguments.

        Hence, I offer subvention to this great challenge yet, if my weak reason shall endure my vain thoughts, and my selfish heart, courage may arouse itself to offer a weak response. And if so, beware, for in late doth the lion lay that slays buffoons and buffalos, only to be drowned by crocodiles in Denial!

      4. A.B.
        Question: What strong non-Calvinist scholars has you to understand that LFW is inconsistent with a pessimistic anthropology?

        roland
        You can start with Leighton Flowers. He has a whole youtube channel with videos about man being able to be “choice meats.” Here, he means choice not in the verb sense as in choose but in choice as in the adjective use. Humans can become “choice meats” and then God chooses us. He also has videos where he plainly states that man can humble himself as the prodigal son and believe. All apart from the work of God and out of libertarian freewill.
        Unless you don’t believe Leighton Flowers is a “strong non-Calvinist scholar?”

      5. Roland
        he [Leighton Flowers] plainly states that man can humble himself

        br,d
        Here is an interesting case!!

        Man having the function of “humbling his self” would logically require an LFW function – which doesn’t exist in Calvinism – right?

      6. I messed this one up!!!
        lets try it again

        Roland
        he [Leighton Flowers] plainly states that man can humble himself…….

        br,d
        Here is an interesting case!!

        Man having the function of “humbling his self” would logically require an LFW function – which doesn’t exist in Calvinism – right?

      7. br,d
        Here is an interesting case!!

        Man having the function of “humbling his self” would logically require an LFW function – which doesn’t exist in Calvinism – right?

        roland
        Did you misunderstand my statement? I am not arguing for LFW or man humbling his self apart from God’s grace and work. LFW is not something Calvinists argue for because we believe the Bible teaches us that we have a fallen nature, sinful inclinations, and other influences that affect our decisions and choices. Human decisions are never free in the purest application or definition of the word as LFW proponents argue. LFW is not found in the bible at all, it is a presumption brought to Scripture by LFW proponents, Scripture never declares that man’s will is free in the sense that man is the ultimate determiner of all his decisions, choices, etc.

      8. Sure
        But is the answer to this question TRUE or FALSE for the Calvinist?

        I’ll state the question again:

        Man having the function of “humbling his self” would logically require an LFW function – which doesn’t exist in Calvinism

        The answer is either TRUE or FALSE
        So I’m wondering which one it is?

      9. Brd: Man having the function of “humbling his self” would logically require an LFW function – which doesn’t exist in Calvinism – right?

        Unfortunately, this is an ongoing strawman. And it was evident in Flowers’ debate with Sean Cole. It’s overly simplistic an bound to be dismissed by Calvinist opponents who have a more sophisticated models of agential freedom. For instance, there are forms of compatibilism (i.e., agential guidance control) such as that of John Martin Fisher, Dana Nelkin, Guillame Bignon, and Michael Preciado, etc., that show that LFW is not necessary for agents to freely instantiated choices and sidesteps many popular and philosophical objections.

        Second, this is an ongoing strawman because no one argues that Adam’s fall takes away man’s causal powers and capacities. So, yes, man can humble himself, but so what? No one should say otherwise. The problem is that man inherits a corruption such that, nothing we do, although fully capable (provisionist’s premise), cannot be accepted (“can please God” as Paul puts in, Rom 8:7) by the divine holy standard.

        There are instances where God commands man to humble himself, in such cases, they are *already* endowed with grace to do so, and progressive revelation later powerfully demonstrates that apart from God’s grace man is *unable* (not capable) to desire God. Such passages are in no way distinct to a provisionist view of anthropology, and neither is it inconsistent with non-provisionist views.

        For this very reason, Flowers got completely stumped and genuflected in his debate when Sean Cole explained that Romans 8 does not have the grammatical evidence that Flowers deceptively continues to push.

        “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it dos not submit to God’s law; indeed, it *cannot* (v. 7).

        Some other versions translate, “it’s unable to do so”. There is no grammatical evidence, as Sean Cole exegetically and correctly pointed out, that Paul is issuing imperatives to believers. Rather, Paul uses verbs in the indicative case to suggest the actual state of affairs. The indicative verbs fixes Paul’s anthropology such that man has a moral (not capacity) inability. Paul is not issuing believers commandments. That’s why Paul can say, “and those who are in the flesh *cannot* please God (v. 8).

        Here’s a sampling of questions that provisionists has yet to offer substantive response that does justice to the language of the text:

        (Q): Do you agree with the Psalmist, and later theologized by Paul in Romans 5, that all humanity, at the moment of “conception”, are “GUILTY and “SINFUL” as clearly taught in Psalm 51:5: “Behold, I was brought forth in guilt, and in sin did my mother conceive me”?

        Do you believe, like David, that you are “guilty” and “sinful” from the moment of “conception”? Notice that I’m quoting David’s own words, and avoiding theological terms and phrases that are so overload as to be unhelpful. Sticking with the text is the best bet!

        (Q): Do you sin because you are sinful, or are you sinful because you have sinned?

        (Q): Is it your understanding that you are righteous in God’s eyes in virtue of what someone else’s actions (i.e., Christ) has done on your behalf? How can you make sense of provisionism’s philosophy of moral responsibility if it is the case that we are righteous before a holy God in virtue of what someone else did thousands of years ago?

        “So then, as through one offense the result was condemnation to all mankind, so also through one act of righteousness the result was justification of life to all mankind” (Rom 5:18).

        (Q) How can provisionists’ philosophy of moral responsibility reject Paul’s robust version that we are guilty of someone else’s actions, and yet accept an alien and vicarious righteousness of what someone else did?

        (Q) Isn’t it the case that Romans 8:7-8 is not arguing for a lack of moral capacity nor powers, but rather moral *inability* because of thoroughgoing corruption of sin from the moment of “conception” as David is inspired to reveal?

        “…people having been filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, and evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice; they are slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unfeeling, and unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also approve of those who practice them” (Romans 1:29-32).

        (Q) Isn’t that describing you and me prior to God’s initiating grace? Or would you say that provisionists believe we are “conceived” into this world with the same Edenic and Adamic innocence had by our first parents? Does not Paul explain universally our origin of corruption is inescapably grounded in the posterity of what someone did thousands of years ago in Romans 5?

      10. A.B.
        there are forms of compatibilism (i.e., agential guidance control) such as that of John Martin Fisher, Dana Nelkin, Guillame Bignon, and Michael Preciado, etc., that show that LFW is not necessary for agents to freely instantiated choices and sidesteps many popular and philosophical objections.

        br.d
        Thanks
        If I could concentrate only on this point for now.
        The only name I’m familiar with – which you’ve listed here – is Guilliam Bignon

        If I understand his argument it is designed to generate a FORM of “Do Otherwise” which would be classified as CONDITIONAL “Do Otherwise”.

        And based upon that FORM of “Do Otherwise” he believes he has created a FORM of “Do Otherwise” that is sufficient to argue for an “agents freely instantiated choice”.

        Is that your understanding?
        Because if that is the case – I think his argument eventually fails

      11. Brd: Is that your understanding?
        Because if that is the case – I think his argument eventually fails

        One of the biggest complaints from the likes of Eli Ayala, Tyler Vela, and Bignon himself is that Bignon’s work is never properly addressed. His work in print is not adequately engaged and that’s why they don’t bat an eye when provisionists critique them. They will, correctly in my view, dismiss any paraphrasing of their arguments unless it is their own words and their own works in print that is engaged with. Unless provisionists deal with the strongest crean of the crop of compatibilism, the objections are way to simplistic to take serious. So why not simply, especially on this blog, quote Bignon at length, and offer compelling rebuttals! Best to run the argument in Bignon’s own words so everyone can see where the argument fails.

        And I could tell you’re not familiar with his works because Bignon carefully admits that his task is not to make a positive case for compatibilism but only to show that incompatibilists’ arguments ultimately fail. Since the incompatibilist thesis by definition shoulders the burden of proof. This is the first thing that will be lodged against you, and rightly so. So why not engage compatibilist philosophers in the strongest sense possible.

      12. Thanks
        Is the work you are referring to adequately presented within Bignon’s book “Excusing Sinners and Blaming God”?

      13. Brd: Thanks
        Is the work you are referring to adequately presented within Bignon’s book “Excusing Sinners and Blaming God”?

        The one thing about his book is that it is painfully missing an index. But it covers so much terrain, including a defense of the objection of the article in this post. Again, it’s always best to simply quote at length the strongest arguments and offer objections to advance the conversation.

        Here’s a Masters thesis that I think does a great job of explaining the compatibilist’s strategy of affirming the compatibility between determinism and human responsibility by invoking “guidance control” and “reasons responsiveness”—a strategy employed by Calvinists. You will constantly hear this maneuvers by Eli Ayala, Tyler Vela, Chris Date, etc.

        http://www.phil.gu.se/cdpf/C-uppsatsenJuho.pdf

        In case the link doesn’t prop up the PDF, simply google search it as “Assessing Historical Compatibilism” Institution of Philosophy, Linguistics and Scientific Theory by Juho Koistinen.

      14. Thank you very much for the link!
        And I’ll get the book also.

        And I know this sounds strange – but my personal focus on these issues has purposefully refrained from delving into moral implications – such as responsibility.

        My focus has been limited to logical consequences of Theological Determinism which serve to limit or sometimes mutually exclude human functions which are Libertarian or contra-causal in nature.

        And what I believe I observe with the Determinist – is those functions which are Libertarian in nature – are the very functions a Determinist is willing to give up.

        I believe my hope in refraining from moral arguments follows the model of Peter Van Inwagen’s “consequence argument”

        I have see Determinist responses to his argument – and all to often the Determinist himself assumes moral implications in Van Inwagen’s argument which the argument in fact does not extent itself to.

        So I have followed that line of processing myself because for me – moral arguments and arguments about responsibility simply add another dimension to what has to be considered – and all to often this leads people down endless rabbit holes.

        So I’ve tried as much as possible to refrain from entertaining arguments concerning morality or responsibility and just simply focus on how Theological Determinism limits or excludes various aspects of human functionality.

      15. I made a mistake here:

        And what I believe I observe with the Determinist – is those functions which are Libertarian in nature – are the very functions a Determinist is NOT willing to give up.

      16. Roland: You can start with Leighton Flowers. He has a whole youtube channel with videos about man being able to be “choice meats.” Here, he means choice not in the verb sense as in choose but in choice as in the adjective use. Humans can become “choice meats” and then God chooses us. He also has videos where he plainly states that man can humble himself as the prodigal son and believe. All apart from the work of God and out of libertarian freewill.
        Unless you don’t believe Leighton Flowers is a “strong non-Calvinist scholar?”

        Not by a long shot. He’s not published in any major academic publisher or shown work in peer-reviewed journals. The provisionists model is also Johnny-come-late methodology – although ultimately it offers no advancements in what it purports to contrast, and it can easily collapse into Reformed Arminianism when properly pressed.

        Provisionism has no historical pedigree whatsoever in classic historic Christianity. It’s truly a novelty only in the online corridor of his channel, and perhaps in his surrounding local area. It’s simply a waffling overreaction to a nemesis theology (i.e., Calvinism) that Flowers still cannot properly grasp.

        As you correctly point out, however, provisionism’s anthropology is de facto humanistic. There have been a series of fundamental questions regarding sin that Flowers has been unable to provide substantive responses. Most recently, his debate with Sean Cole shows him ducking crucial questions to certain texts do not (cannot!) cohere with his views.

        Suffice it to say, Flowers’ is definitely nowhere close to having the strongest non-Calvinist view. In fact, it’s the weakest. Again, as you rightly point out, his view can be easily undercut either by (1) exploiting his humanism and overly optimistic anthropology, or (2) show that he inescapably presupposes theological determinism in regards to the 5th point, namely, perseverance of the saints (although Southern baptists endorse this tenet in a way distinct from the Reformed confessions.)

        The upshot is, no one who holds to any form of “P” in TULIP cannot do so without presupposing some form of theological determinism.

      17. A.B.
        The upshot is, no one who holds to any form of “P” in TULIP cannot do so without presupposing some form of theological determinism.

        br.d
        I agree with this!

        I would also add that the “P” in the TULIP represents the Calvinist strategy make Theological Determinism APPEAR to be logically coherent with scripture. And in order to do this – he has to OBFUSCATE aspects of the very Theological Determinism he is committed to.

        Here is my reasoning:
        What is actually being preserved in this context?

        1) In Calvinism a person’s election status is FIXED by infallible decree at the foundation of the world
        2) In Calvinism a person’s election status is either infallibly TRUE or it is infallibly FALSE
        3) That which is FIXED by infallible decree is infallible – and cannot ever fall away from being infallible

        Therefore
        4) If the Calvinist’s election status is infallibly FALSE – then there is nothing to fall away from – and thus nothing to preserve
        5) If the Calvinist’s election status is infallibly TRUE – then it is impossible to fall away – and the need for something that is infallibly TRUE to persevere is a non-sequitur

        Thus I conclude – the Calvinist invented the “P” in the TULIP to function as a FACADE of what he finds depicted within scripture.

      18. I think the problem with the whole Calvinist idea of “God’s Word is not subject to logic” is that they use this to defend the ways Calvinism contradicts things that God clearly and plainly said, things that make sense in a commonsense way. I would agree that we can’t decisively subject things that God is unclear about or true biblical mysteries to our own logic. Nor can we use our own logic to try to override what God clearly says in His Word (such as how many people try to excuse certain sins by twisting Scripture).

        But the things God plainly says and the truths He clearly reveals will be logical and make sense and can be understood. (Or is God a God of chaos, disorder, and confusion?) If God said He wants people to seek Him and believe in Him, it’s logical to believe that it means we can. If God commands us not to sin, it’s logical to believe He wouldn’t predestine/cause us to sin. If He says He wants all people to be saved, it’s logical to believe that He wouldn’t create most people for hell, with no chance to be saved. If God said He loves the world and that Jesus died for all, then it’s logical to believe He means all people of the world and not just some people from all over the world.

        But the Calvinist’s problem is that their theology twists Scripture, it uses round-about, contradictory, and convoluted arguments, and it contradicts what God plainly said, the commonsense way of understanding what He clearly, repeatedly says … but then when people challenge them on it, they go “You can’t subject the Bible to logic,” which really just means “You can’t disagree with what Calvinism tells you that God really meant to say even when it seems to contradict what God clearly said.”

        It’s manipulation, that’s what it is! And I think it’s ridiculous and dangerous for Calvinists to try to convince people that God and His Word are illogical and can’t be understood, that God can’t be taken at His plain, clear Word. What demonic deceptions this opens the door to!

      19. Nice post Heather!

        It becomes quite interesting when we hear the Calvinist claim that he is granted the function of determining TRUE from FALSE on any proposition. Let alone determining TRUE from FALSE concerning a proposition having to do with scripture.

        Since “MERELY” permitting the human mind to choose whether a proposition is TRUE or FALSE would constitute a “contra-causal” choice – which logically entails a Libertarian function.

        And since the function of a “contra-causal” “Libertarian” choice doesn’t exist for the Calvinist.
        Then it logically follows – the function of determining whether a proposition is TRUE or FALSE – also doesn’t exist for the Calvinist.

        And yet – they would never agree to that!

        So what we observe with Calvinists is:
        At the same time the Calvinist claims there is no such thing as LFW for humans – he unwittingly assumes the function of LFW for himself.

        Hence the Calvinist position on LFW serves as one more example of how Calvinism is DOUBLE-MINDED :-]

      20. Heather: If He says He wants all people to be saved, it’s logical to believe that He wouldn’t create most people for hell, with no chance to be saved.

        Calvinists use the decree/perceptive will distinction to sidestep this idea. But I think you are absolutely correct! In fact, Roland earlier objected that nowhere in the Bible is LFW required. I will later quote a recent publication at length to not only undercut Roland’s assumption, but it expands your idea and offers and packages it as quote a damning objection. In fact, it so damaging that, when it was spelled out to Chris Date on a live stream, he looked as a dear in the headlights. All he could say was “I would have to think on that.” Even though he usually whips out rebuttals and objections for common objections. Stay tuned…

      21. A.B.
        In fact, Roland earlier objected that nowhere in the Bible is LFW required.

        roland
        I don’t recall writing this statement. I believe that God’s Word does not teach that humans possess LFW. Particular in the sense of a person’s will being the ultimate determiner of their choices and that there are no inclinations that at least influence human decisions.

      22. Roland
        LFW. Particular in the sense of a person’s will being the ultimate determiner of their choices

        br.d
        And since the function of determining TRUE from FALSE concerning any proposition requires a choice – you reject man as being granted the function of being the ultimate determiner of TRUE from FALSE concerning any proposition.

        Is that statement not TRUE?

      23. br.d
        And since the function of determining TRUE from FALSE concerning any proposition requires a choice – you reject man as being granted the function of being the ultimate determiner of TRUE from FALSE concerning any proposition.

        Is that statement not TRUE?

        roland
        No, that statement is not true. Man has been granted the function of choice according to God’s Word. We make many choices but those choices do not flow from LFW. I would also reject “the ultimate determiner of TRUE from FALSE concerning any proposition.” Humans do not determine truth, we recognize truth. We are not the ones who determined 2 + 2 = 4 to be true. We recognize it but we don’t determine it. Truth is determined, by this I mean defined, by God and humans can discover truth and recognize truth but we do not define truth nor determine truth.

      24. Roland
        I would also reject “the ultimate determiner of TRUE from FALSE concerning any proposition.”

        br.d
        Well – here you start by saying “NO”
        But what you are saying “NO” to – is not the question.
        You are saying “NO” to the proposition that man is not granted the function of choice – which was not the question.

        But you follow that by rejecting man as the “ultimate determiner of TRUE from FALSE concerning any proposition – which was the question.

        So your answer to the question is YES – man is not granted the function of being the ultimate determiner of TRUE from FALSE concerning any proposition.

        So your answer to the question is YES

        So having answered that
        Do you acknowledge – the process of discerning whether any proposition is TRUE or FALSE – requires making a choice between TRUE and FALSE concerning that proposition?

      25. br.d
        man is NOT granted the function of being the ultimate determiner of TRUE from FALSE concerning any proposition.

        roland
        That is not what I read in your previous post. I did not understand your previous post as man NOT granted … Here’s your previous post
        br.d
        And since the function of determining TRUE from FALSE concerning any proposition requires a choice – you reject man as being granted the function of being the ultimate determiner of TRUE from FALSE concerning any proposition.

        Is that statement not TRUE?

        roland
        Yes, I reject man being granted the FUNCTION of being the ultimate determiner… It appears from your post that my answer was not clear. Is that TRUE or FALSE? My answer was not clear?

      26. roland
        Yes, I reject man being granted the FUNCTION of being the ultimate determiner…

        br.d
        The question has to do with being the ultimate determiner between TRUE and FALSE on any proposition.

        In your answer to that question – posted this:
        Roland
        SEPTEMBER 1, 2021 AT 8:29 AM
        I would also reject “the ultimate determiner of TRUE from FALSE concerning any proposition.

        You disagreed with the question at first – but then (per your statement above) you proceeded to agree

        So since you agree that man is not the ultimate determiner of TRUE from FALSE concerning any proposition – then the next question is:

        Do you acknowledge – the process of discerning whether any proposition is TRUE or FALSE – requires making a choice between TRUE and FALSE concerning that proposition?

      27. br.d
        Do you acknowledge – the process of discerning whether any proposition is TRUE or FALSE – requires making a choice between TRUE and FALSE concerning that proposition?

        roland
        YES HUMANS MAKE CHOICES. THIS WOULD INCLUDE YOUR STATEMENT ABOVE. YES I ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR STATEMENT.
        NO HUMANS ARE NOT THE ULTIMATE DETERMINER OF TRUE AND FALSE.

        I’m obviously not being clear as I feel as if I am repeating myself. I’ve thought this over, read this over, and I can’t see how I am not being clear.
        Where’s the confusion?

      28. Ok good!
        No need to get emotional – if that is the case.

        So for you (1-2 below) is TRUE:
        1) Man is not granted the function of being the ULTIMATE determiner of TRUE from FALSE concerning any proposition.

        2) The process of discernment concerning any proposition – requires making a choice between TRUE and FALSE concerning that proposition.

        So the next question is:
        Would you say it is TRUE or FALSE – that the function of discernment is 100% subject to the function of PERCEPTION?

      29. Cool!
        Much appreciated!

        So for you (1-2 below) is TRUE:
        1) Man is not granted the function of being the ULTIMATE determiner of TRUE from FALSE concerning any proposition.

        2) The process of discernment concerning any proposition – requires making a choice between TRUE and FALSE concerning that proposition.

        So next question 3 is:
        Would you say it is TRUE or FALSE – that the function of discernment is 100% subject to the function of PERCEPTION?

      30. Here is the argument that left Calvinist Chris Date like a dear-in-the-headlights when posed to him. All he could muster was “….uh, I have to think on that”.

        To date, no Calvinist has produced any substantive objections to it. It can be found in “Theodicy of Love: cosmic Conflict and the Problem of Evil”, John C. Peckham (Baker Academic: Grand Rapids, MI, 2018), pp. 36-40.

        >>>>>>For God to have counterfactual desires is undoubtedly compatible with indeterminism, but the question is whether such desires are compatible with theological determinism. As omnipotent, God possesses the power to bring about any desire that is compatible with his other desires and his own nature. Unless God desires something opposed to his own nature—which would be absurd—to coherently maintain that any desire of God is unfulfilled, there must be some other desire that God wants more that is itself not compatible with God’s “lesser” desire.

        For Piper, “the greater value is the manifestation of the full range of God’s glory in wrath and mercy (Rom. 9:22–23) and the humbling of man so that he enjoys giving all credit to God for his salvation (1 Cor. 1:29).” For Piper’s appeal to a greater value to be effective, the greater value and lesser value must be incompatible in some way that even God could not determine that both obtain. Yet Piper’s supposition does not meet this standard. For Piper (as for most Christian theists), God’s actual glory cannot be increased. The purported value relative to God’s glory, then, could be relative only to the “manifestation” purported to cause creatures to recognize God’s glory. Yet if God causally determines the mental actions of humans, then he could make it the case immediately that every mind in the universe humbly and joyfully recognize “the full range” of God’s glory. There would be no incompatibility, then, between God actually saving everyone and everyone fully recognizing his glory.

        If God causally determines the mental actions of humans, then he could causally determine that each person directly and immediately possess all Christian virtues, unless such virtues themselves require indeterminism.

        In John Calvin’s view, at least, God does indeed causally determine the mental actions of humans. He writes that the “internal affections of men are not less ruled by the hand of God than their external actions are preceded by his eternal decree,” and therefore, “God performs not by the hands of men the things which He has decreed, without first working in their hearts the very will which precedes the acts they are to perform.”

        Given this kind of determinism, nothing could prevent God from instilling in every mind any value, virtue, or characteristic that he desires, unless there is something intrinsic to any such value, virtue, or characteristic such that God cannot determine it to obtain.

        Further, if the divine actualization of two values is incompatible in some way, then to claim that God desires both values is to claim that he (counterfactually) desires that the actualization of the two values were not incompatible. However, if the incompatibility of the two values is subject to God’s will, then God could simply will that the two values be compatible. If, however, the incompatibility of the two values is intrinsic to reality and thus to God’s own nature, then for God to desire the compatibility of the two values would be to desire something that is contrary to his own nature. It seems, then, that the God of compatibilism cannot consistently have either unfulfilled actual or unfulfilled counterfactual desires. This is because there appears to be nothing that God could desire without self-contradiction that he could not causally determine to be the case.

        Consider again Piper’s claim that God’s glory somehow prevents God from fulfilling his desire to save everyone. If God causally determines the fact that God’s glory (somehow) requires that he causally determine some to be damned, then God could determine that this be otherwise. If, conversely, God’s glory is intrinsically such that it demands that some be deterministically damned, then for God to (even counterfactually) desire that none be damned would require that God desire something that contradicts his own nature and glory.

        Thus, given determinism, if God has unfulfilled desires, God either wills against his own will in a self-contradictory way or possesses desires that conflict with his own nature, amounting to another kind of self-contradiction. Therefore, if determinism is true, God would not have any unfulfilled desires (even counterfactual ones). This conclusion puts determinism in profound tension with the many biblical portrayals of God’s unfulfilled desires. To coherently claim that God has unfulfilled desires requires that there is some operative factor beyond God’s own will and nature. However, any such factor would by definition be a theologically indeterministic factor.

        This line of thought has major ramifications for the problem of evil. If theological determinism entails that God causally determines every occurrence (even the mental events of creatures), then God must have casually determined every occurrence of evil. On this view, even though “God could have created a world in which all persons freely did only the good at all times,” God causally determines every instance of evil, purportedly because God wants to manifest his glory or because God wants to achieve some other purportedly greater value. Even if one sets aside the conclusion reached above—that, if determinism is true, God could save everyone and make everyone fully recognize his glory—one wonders how deterministically damning people could bring God glory in the first place.<<<<<<

        I think this would suffice. I recommend reading this quite a few times with the goal of condensing it into a small package without sacrificing the full brunt of the argument.

      31. Thank you A.B.
        I will work through this – as there are quite a few steps to it.
        Much appreciate!
        br.d

      32. br.d
        So next question 3 is:
        Would you say it is TRUE or FALSE – that the function of discernment is 100% subject to the function of PERCEPTION?

        roland
        Yes but I believe there is a distinctly important difference between you and I. I am not operating from the premise or belief that unregenerate humans can perceive anything spiritual. Regenerate humans can perceive and discern spiritual matters. In order for me to properly respond to your question, in the context which I am perceiving and discerning, I would need to know whether you are speaking about regenerate or unregenerate humans.

        I’m guessing your next question will have to do with whether unregenerate men can perceive and discern spiritual matters such as the offer to believe in Christ? Unless it is not relevant to your line of reasoning.

      33. br.d
        So next question 3 is:
        Would you say it is TRUE or FALSE – that the function of discernment is 100% subject to the function of PERCEPTION?

        roland
        Yes

        br.d
        Ok Thanks – that settles question 3

        Roland
        but I believe there is a distinctly important difference between you and I. I am not operating from the premise or belief that unregenerate humans can perceive anything spiritual.

        br.d
        Not to worry – I’m not operating from that premise either.

        So here is where we are so far:

        For you (1-3 below) are TRUE:
        1) Man is not granted the function of being the ULTIMATE determiner of TRUE from FALSE concerning any proposition.

        2) The process of discernment concerning any proposition – requires making a choice between TRUE and FALSE concerning that proposition.

        3) The function of discernment is 100% subject to the function of PERCEPTION

        So this brings us to 4 which we derive as a logical conclusion:

        4) For you – man is not granted the function of being the ULTIMATE determiner of whether his PERCEPTIONS are TRUE or FALSE.

        This should be totally obvious – because in Calvinism – man is not the ULTIMATE determiner of anything

        So here is question 4
        4) For you – man is not granted the function of being the ULTIMATE determiner of whether his PERCEPTIONS are TRUE PERCEPTIONS or FALSE PERCEPTIONS.

        TRUE or FALSE?

      34. br.d
        So here is question 4
        4) For you – man is not granted the function of being the ULTIMATE determiner of whether his PERCEPTIONS are TRUE PERCEPTIONS or FALSE PERCEPTIONS.

        TRUE or FALSE?

        roland
        True with the qualifier ULTIMATE.

      35. br.d
        So here is question 4
        4) For you – man is not granted the function of being the ULTIMATE determiner of whether his PERCEPTIONS are TRUE PERCEPTIONS or FALSE PERCEPTIONS.

        TRUE or FALSE?

        roland
        True with the qualifier ULTIMATE.

        br.d
        Wonderful!

        Now this brings us to the following condition for man – according to how you see it.

        A) Calvin’s god is the ULTIMATE Determiner of man’s PERCEPTIONS

        B) Calvin’s god can determine man to have a TRUE PERCEPTION – and determine man to PERCEIVE that PERCEPTION as a TRUE PERCEPTION – which Calvin’s god within himself knows it is a TRUE PERCEPTION.

        C) Calvin’s god can determine man to have a FALSE PERCEPTION – and determine man to PERCEIVE that PERCEPTION as a TRUE PERCEPTION – which Calvin’s god within himself knows is a FALSE PERCEPTION.

        Therefore – Calvin’s god as the ULTIMATE Determiner of man’s PERCEPTIONS
        D) Determines man to have TRUE PERCEPTIONS – and to PERCEIVE those PERCEPTIONS as TRUE.

        E) Determines man to have FALSE PERCEPTIONS – and to PERCEIVE those PERCEPTIONS as TRUE.

        Are you in agreement at this point?

      36. br.d
        E) Determines man to have FALSE PERCEPTIONS – and to PERCEIVE those PERCEPTIONS as TRUE.

        roland
        Please explain this as I am having trouble understanding how God can determine man to have FALSE PERCEPTIONS and to PERCEIVE those PERCEPTIONS as TRUE.

        It sounds like you are saying that God determines man to have false perceptions to be true perceptions. I would not agree that God deceives people but God has revealed this in His Word:
        2 Thessalonians 2:11-12
        11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

      37. roland
        Please explain this as I am having trouble understanding how God can determine man to have FALSE PERCEPTIONS and to PERCEIVE those PERCEPTIONS as TRUE.

        br.d
        It makes perfect sense!
        And you can see it with two examples:

        Firstly:
        As a believer – you cannot claim to have reached perfection.
        If all of your PERCEPTIONS were TRUE PERCEPTIONS – then your PERCEPTIONS would be perfect – which you know is FALSE
        Therefore it must be the case that you have FALSE PERCEPTIONS which you PERCEIVE as TRUE

        Now we add to that – the doctrine of decrees – in which it is stipulated that “WHATSOEVER” comes to pass is established by infallible decree at the foundation of the world – before you exist.

        Therefore – according to the doctrine – in order for man to have FALSE PERCEPTIONS which man is to PERCEIVE as TRUE PERCEPTIONS – it must be the case that Calvin’s god determined that to be man’s condition

        Secondly:
        Many Calvinists will have as their personal testimony that they were born again prior to becoming Calvinists.
        Many Calvinists therefore have as their personal testimony that they were Arminian Christians before becoming Calvinist Christians.

        Now today as Calvinist Christians – they look back at the window in time in which they were Arminian Christians – and they acknowledge that they had PERCEPTIONS of things having to do with god and god’s word that they today recognize as FALSE PERCEPTIONS.

        But during that window of time in their lives in which they were Arminian – they PERCEIVED those PERCEPTIONS as TRUE PERCEPTIONS.

        But today as a Calvinist – they acknowledge those Arminian PERCEPTIONS were in fact FALSE PERCEPTIONS

        Thus during a window of time in their life – they had FALSE PERCEPTIONS of things pertaining to god and god’s word – which they PERCEIVED as TRUE PERCEPTIONS – which in fact were actually FALSE PERCEPTIONS.

        And again – according to the doctrine – those FALSE PERCEPTIONS – PERCEIVED as TRUE PERCEPTIONS would have had to have been determined by Calvin’s god – who is the ULTIMATE determiner of all human PERCEPTIONS.

        Does that make sense to you now?

      38. Does that make sense to you now?

        roland
        Yes it makes sense but as I suspected you’re getting at something. You left out a lot of what you’re saying.

      39. roland
        Yes

        br.d
        Good!
        I’m glad you agree

        Roland
        it makes sense but as I suspected you’re getting at something. You left out a lot of what you’re saying.

        br.d
        Yes – what we are establishing is an acknowledgment of man’s condition – where that condition according to the Calvinist understanding – is ULTIMATELY determined by Calvin’s god.

        So now you and I agree that according to the doctrine:

        Calvin’s god as the ULTIMATE Determiner of man’s PERCEPTIONS
        A) Determines man to have TRUE PERCEPTIONS – and to PERCEIVE those PERCEPTIONS as TRUE.

        B) Determines man to have FALSE PERCEPTIONS – and to PERCEIVE those PERCEPTIONS as TRUE.

        If you will examine that condition set again – you will see it is very much similar to what we humans call “Color blindness”

        Take for example – a man who is positioned in front of a table.
        And that table contains 100 plastic squares
        And a percentage of those squares are blue
        And a percentage of those squares are green.
        But the man PERCEIVES the color blue as the color green.
        So when he is asked what percentage of the squares are green his answer is 100%
        Because he sees all of the square as green – even though a percentage of them are blue.

        And we know that there are humans who are color blind.
        Which means they have FALSE PERCEPTIONS of certain colors – which they PERCEIVE as TRUE PERCEPTIONS

        And again – according to the doctrine – their PERCEPTIONS can only be what they are – having been determined by Calvin’s god.

        Now how does that apply to us?

        1) Man’s condition is infallibly decreed to PERCEIVE FALSE PERCEPTIONS as TRUE PERCEPTIONS
        2) Man’s condition is infallibly decreed to PERCEIVE TRUE PERCEPTIONS as TRUE PERCEPTIONS

        Notice here how man PERCEIVES both PERCEPTIONS as TRUE
        This is a form of infallibly decreed color blindness.

        The end result is that per this condition – man is unable to discern his FALSE PERCEPTIONS from his TRUE PERCEPTIONS.
        Because it was infallibly decreed that man PERCEIVE both PERCEPTIONS as TRUE PERCEPTIONS.

        Are you with me at this point?

      40. br.d
        And we know that there are humans who are color blind.
        Which means they have FALSE PERCEPTIONS of certain colors – which they PERCEIVE as TRUE PERCEPTIONS

        roland
        Your analogy of color blindness as a perception and truths derived from Scripture falls apart at this point. Color blindness is physical and truths from Scripture such as God’s sovereignty are not analogous to physical matter. We can’t “measure” God’s sovereignty, we don’t perceive it in the same way as color blindness. We can “measure” color blindness. I would reject that we perceive color blindness as we perceive truths from Scripture.

        br.d
        Notice here how man PERCEIVES both PERCEPTIONS as TRUE
        This is a form of infallibly decreed color blindness.

        roland
        I reject this statement on the basis that doctrine and color blindness are not analogous. They cannot be perceived the same way.

        br.d
        The end result is that per this condition – man is unable to discern his FALSE PERCEPTIONS from his TRUE PERCEPTIONS.
        Because it was infallibly decreed that man PERCEIVE both PERCEPTIONS as TRUE PERCEPTIONS.

        Are you with me at this point?

        roland
        I’m in agreement with this point but I disagree how you got here. But this portion of your statement “man is unable to discern his FALSE PERCEPTIONS from his TRUE PERCEPTIONS” cannot be considered apart from anthropology.

        As a Christian I hold to a biblical anthropology. It would be unbiblical for me to embrace the term “man” without qualifying whether “man” is in Christ or outside of Christ, whether man is regenerate or unregenerate. I cannot think of man being neutral because the Bible doesn’t present man this way. There’s a world of difference between a spiritually alive man and a spiritually dead man. Cornelius Van Til framed thinking and knowledge this way:

        “Whatever beliefs men might hold in common, therefore, have to be seen in light of the true and common knowledge of God that is the ground and foundation of any other belief. Thus, one either responds to that universal knowledge in conformity to God’s revelation, or one responds in idolatry (Rom. 1:23-25).”

        Whatever “common knowledge” you and I share about “man,” I, because I am a Christian, must respond to it in conformity with God’s revelation. There is no such thing for a Christian as “neutrality” if God’s Word has spoken to us about it. God has spoken to us about “man” as either being in Christ or outside of Christ, therefore, I can only respond to your conclusion about “man”, discernment, and false and true perceptions within the context of divine revelation. “Man” in your statement cannot be neutral, this “man” is either in Christ or outside of Christ.

      41. roland
        Your analogy of color blindness as a perception and truths derived from Scripture falls apart at this point. Color blindness is physical and truths from Scripture such as God’s sovereignty are not analogous to physical matter. We can’t “measure” God’s sovereignty, we don’t perceive it in the same way as color blindness. We can “measure” color blindness. I would reject that we perceive color blindness as we perceive truths from Scripture.

        br.d
        So now you are claiming – Calvin’s god is not the ULTIMATE determiner of “perceptions of truths derived from scripture” ?

      42. Roland
        But this portion of your statement “man is unable to discern his FALSE PERCEPTIONS from his TRUE PERCEPTIONS” cannot be considered apart from anthropology.

        br.d
        Anthropology is already assumed – by virtue of the fact that Anthropology along with everything else is ULTIMATELY determined by Calvin’s god

        The question is – is it TRUE or is it FALSE?

        One way you could prove that it is FALSE – is to tell me the exact percentage of the PERCEPTIONS which are apart of your thinking at this point in your life – are FALSE PERCEPTIONS.

        Can you discern what the percentage is?

      43. roland
        Whatever “common knowledge” you and I share about “man,” I, because I am a Christian, must respond to it in conformity with God’s revelation.

        br.d
        And who is the ULTIMATE determiner of your PERCEPTIONS of “God’s revelation” ?

      44. Roland: Under LFW man is free, he is not a slave to sin, his flesh, the world or satan. He has libertarian freewill which means he is the final determiner of all his actions. There is no such teaching in the Bible. This is why LFW proponents always appeal to logic and philosophy. This article is a perfect example.

        Roland: I believe that God’s Word does not teach that humans possess LFW.

        Roland: We are not the ones who determined 2 + 2 = 4 to be true. We recognize it but we don’t determine it. Truth is determined, by this I mean defined, by God and humans can discover truth and recognize truth but we do not define truth nor determine truth.

        Confusion and after confusion and after confusion. Before I introduce a death knell argument for thinking that, as Roland does, “I believe that God’s Word does not teach that humans possess LFW, I’ll provide some distinctions to unravel his most recent comments.

        Of course(!), nothing in the external world makes it true that 2 + 2 = 4. It’s truthmaker is God. But who is arguing that finite creatures determine the value of abstract truths?! Roland has collapsed all kinds of truth with abstract truths.

        But take the proposition p = “Roland sinned at t”, its truth is not up to God, but rather up to Roland, as is truth of the proposition p = “Romans was capable of sinning at t”. For there is real good evidence in the Bible that God omnipotently has endowed created beings with causal powers of whose source is internal, not external, to the agent. By sourcehood I simply mean the power to effect things in the external world originates with the agent. It is not determined, where “determined” means caused by something not to be identified with the agent. While true, as Anselm has taught, although God is the source of all that has ontological status, he has carved out a small space for created agency.

        So if God knows today that Roland will choose x tomorrow, and it necessary that Roland choose x tomorrow. It seems then that Roland’s actual choice is the ultimately originating source of God’s knowledge. The necessity which follows from God’s knowledge is then a logical and “consequent” necessity which follows from the fact of the event. It is certainly not causally determining. (BTW, it is impossible to prove determinism is true. See Richard Swinburne’s lecture online for this). While is a necessity (rendered infallibly certain), it is a necessity stemming from your own choice, what’s sometimes called self-imposed necessity. It is Roland choosing x tomorrow which makes it the case that you cannot do other than choose x tomorrow.

        But way a sec! The Calvinist simply can’t have God so passive as to obtain knowledge from what creatures would and actually do. For it seems, according to Roland’s sinful and fallible mind, God really cannot be in control if he leaves it up to creatures to be the sole determiners of their actions. R.C. Sprout has put it this way, “if there is one single molecule in the universe running around loose…, perhaps that one maverick molecule will lay waste all the grand and glorious plans that God has made and promised to us” (Chosen by God, pp. 26-27).

        But as Gregory Boyd damningly has remarked, “I frankly have trouble imagining a more impotent and insecure deity than one whose plans are threatened by a single maverick molecule!”

        Indeed, such is the implication. I have yet to hear an argument as to what exactly is metaphysically difficult for God to exercise full sovereignty of “all things” sans creation, yet while allowing creatures with created agency of their own. Why can’t Calvin’s (not Paul’s) God not keep track of millions of creatures with self-created agency but have full sovereignty over all his creation, as Ken Wilson as argued? Is Roland imposing and ascribing his creaturely sinful finite ineptitude of such incompatibility to an infinite being?

        Hope later today I can post the argument that demonstrates many scriptural passages we find in the Bible cannot make sense without presupposing LFW or indeterminism.

      45. A.B.
        For it seems, according to Roland’s sinful and fallible mind, God really cannot be in control if he leaves it up to creatures to be the sole determiners of their actions.

        roland
        No it is not according to my mind but according to divine revelation. God’s Word does not present God as if He is some passive observant. He’s always active in His creation. It is a simple revelation that is denied by non-calvinist because they cling to their humanist presupposition instead of simple, clear, revelations from God’s Words. Your argument shows this. You rely on logic to prove your point but you cannot quote Scripture to show that God is a passive observant with His arms crossed hoping could intervene but cannot because in His sovereignty He has given man libertarian freewill.

        2 Chronicles 16:9
        For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.”

        God shows Himself strong, that is, He is active in His creation and it is throughout the whole earth. I am not deist, Scripture doesn’t reveal God as winding the clock and letting it run.
        Ephesians 1:11
        11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,

        God works all things after the counsel of His will. He works, He doesn’t observe all things after the counsel of His own will. It is silly speculation to believe and teach that the God of Scripture is a passive observant in the affairs of His creation.

      46. A.B
        .Indeed, such is the implication. I have yet to hear an argument as to what exactly is metaphysically difficult for God to exercise full sovereignty of “all things” sans creation, yet while allowing creatures with created agency of their own. Why can’t Calvin’s (not Paul’s) God not keep track of millions of creatures with self-created agency but have full sovereignty over all his creation, as Ken Wilson as argued?

        roland
        The answer to Ken Wilson’s argument is that Scripture does not reveal God to be keeping track of millions of creatures with self-created agency but have full sovereignty over all his creation as Ken Wilson has argued.

        In other words God is not a celestial accountant.

        A.B.
        Is Roland imposing and ascribing his creaturely sinful finite ineptitude of such incompatibility to an infinite being?

        roland
        Where have I done this? Where have I imposed and ascribed to God my sinful and finite ineptitude? If anybody does this, it is non-calvinists who impose and ascribe to God impotence and vain imaginations of their hearts. This is why non-calvinists love to propose questions such as Ken Wilson. Could God do this and that and such and such? Couldn’t God do this or that? It is all vain and idolatrous imaginations.
        And when a Calvinists does not answer in the affirmative to the non-calvinist’s speculations, we get accused of limiting God such as you did. Calvinists begin their beliefs with the divine revelation of God. God has said in His Word that He works all things after the counsel of His own will yet He does not tempt nor is He the author of sin, then that is what I submit my fallible and sinful mind to. I don’t object to divine revelation on the basis of logic and philosophy. Nor do I create an idol whereby my vain imaginations have imposed on God actions and attributes that have not been revealed in His divine Word.

      47. A.B.
        For there is real good evidence in the Bible that God omnipotently has endowed created beings with causal powers of whose source is internal, not external, to the agent.

        roland
        What good evidence are you going to provide that God omnipotently endowed created beings with libertarian freewill or causal powers of whose source is internal, not external, to the agent.

        That is presumption commonly brought to Scripture by all non-calvinists. You can present an argument but you cannot present Scriptural evidence of this. There is plain and simple evidence of this in Scripture that created beings are not the primary cause, God is. A Christian does not need logical and philosophical enumerations, syllogisms, formulas, propositions, etc. to acquire knowledge from God’s divine revelation.

        A.B.
        I have yet to hear an argument as to what exactly is metaphysically difficult for God to exercise full sovereignty of “all things” sans creation, yet while allowing creatures with created agency of their own. Why can’t Calvin’s (not Paul’s) God not keep track of millions of creatures with self-created agency but have full sovereignty over all his creation, as Ken Wilson as argued?

        roland
        That is not the Calvinist’s burden, that’s yours. The answer to your question is because God has not revealed that He is doing so. You accused me of imposing my finite mind on God but it is really the non-calvinists who do this not us. Non-calvinists are the ones arguing that God can keep track of millions of creatures with self-created agency…

        Ken Wilson? The guy who wants to argue that only Calvinists have lenses on when it comes to interpreting Scripture and all non-calvinists don’t. Nobody comes to any text without some presuppositions.

      48. Roland
        That is presumption commonly brought to Scripture by all non-calvinists.

        br.d
        Exactly what I’ve been stating all along about Calvinist presumptions!

        But so far – you refuse to allow Calvinist presumptions to be tested by logic – because doing so would be to subject scripture to logic.

      49. C.S. Lewis famously stated: Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered.”

        And boy Calvinism is as bad as they come! So buckle up, and we’ll go through a couple of Roland’s own words to demonstrate the intellectual suicidal elements in his statements, and how insidious and nefarious are his statements over and against the plain scriptural disassociation of “evil” and “sin” from a holy God by the OT prophets and the NT apostles.

        In fact, so intellectual and biblical bankrupt are his statements that I’d rather challenge anyone else here on why they would dignify his comments by interacting with them. I’m responding, however, following Lewis’ premise.

        Roland: If the Bible, which is divine revelation, revealed the moon to be made out of yellow and green cheese puffs I would believe it.

        Brd: But so far – you refuse to allow Calvinist presumptions to be tested by logic – because doing so would be to subject scripture to logic.

        Exactly! Roland has disqualified himself from any sort of conversation that could be reasonable. More obviously he hasn’t demonstrated or offered any argument to suppose, as he dogmatically does, that there are at times a sharp asymmetry between logic and revelation in such a way that would deem God “inferior to logic”! Just one example of this will suffice. But he’ll just duck and dodge like he has the refutation I provided above. To properly respond, he would have to rebut it, show why John Frame (a Calvinist himself) is wrong, and provide examples of his alleged occasional incompatibility between logic and revelation—a charge made by atheist Michael Martin in his debate with John Frame. But let’s take a closer look at the implications of his statement, and run similar statements.

        Consider: If the Bible would teach that Christ can sin, “I would believe it”. If the Bible taught that you can arrive at an infinite number by successive addition, “I would believe it”. If the Bible taught that God can go from existence to non-existence, “I would believe it”. If the Bible taught that God created married-bachelors, “I would believe it.” If the Bible taught that God created a burrito so hot that he wouldn’t be able to eat it, “I would believe it”. If the bible taught that men can get pregnant, “I would believe it”. If the Bible taught that the divine mind and heart can *intend* *devise* and *arrange* Roland to kidnap and rape a child, “I would believe it” because God is sufficiently holy to *intend* sin yet so as to having no potential for evil 👿 to bring about moral evils. If the Bible taught that 1 + 1 = 3, “I would believe it” “because failure to believe it “would be to subject scripture to logic.” If the Bible taught that it is a virtue to throw infants in the air and unload several rounds on them with M4 carbines, “I would believe it” and do it because the moral constitution of the divine mind cannot be constrained or subjected to logic. Divine goodness is whatever God wills (i.e., universal possibilism). If God revealed and commanded murder and rape to be good, “I would believe it”.

        Logic and reason be damned!

        Roland is a textbook fideist. That is, a school 🏫 of thought that says “faith is in some sense independent of, if not outright adversarial toward, reason.” It doesn’t matter if Roland has said this explicitly or not, the implications are undeniable. Another damning implication is that he can never affirm nor deny other truth claims where revelation is utterly silent. For instance, how does he “discover” that the bible is the bible, when the term itself is never found anywhere in the 66 books?! How can he deny or affirm apocryphal books do not constitute part of the canon since, again, revelation is utterly silent on the matter? How can Roland deny or affirm the Quran as ancillary revelation of God if the Bible says nothing explicitly about it? Can Roland confidently answer all this questions without subjecting scripture to logic?

        He says, for example, that propositions like 2 + 2 = 4 is a truth that is “discovered” not determined by human reason. But notice he crucially (purposefully or ignorantly?) leaves out the very means by which such truth is discovered”, namely, he uses reason and logic to “discover” said truth. Revelation itself doesn’t affirm the very thing Roland believes to be true. So Roland repudiates logic to allegedly uphold revelation as non-inferior to logic, but can’t escape presupposing logic and reason to affirm the truth of said proposition? What sort of mental macabre is this! He can’t see it because Calvinism needn’t be reasonable nor logical—it just has to be “revealed”.

        If Roland, like many Calvinists, have to pay such a high intellectual price tag in order to pretend to come off as pious gatekeepers of the sanctity of divine revelation, it seems to yield opposite results.

        Does anyone really think this sort of thinking is worth entertaining any longer, even for fun!

        Let’s continue to press Roland’s fideism.

        Roland: What good evidence are you going to provide that God omnipotently endowed created beings with libertarian freewill or causal powers of whose source is internal, not external, to the agent.

        Again, he hasn’t substantiated or proven his own criteria. However, the answer to his question is so easy that it would be inexcusable not to oblige him.

        What is laughable about this is that Roland himself has yet to provide anything approaching a descent biblical argument for his Calvinist pantheism. He hasn’t given us any methodological or linguistic exegesis that substantiates his position, and by inverse, demonstrate such exegetical evidence to be inconsistent with rival understandings. All he’s given us is lazy perfunctory prooftexting. Since lax prooftexting is the best he’s got, it’s simply not worth offering the strongest exegesis because, as already evident, he ignores objections and simply continues to regurgitate his brand of fideism.

        When can you offer some (any!) examples of your own manufactured asymmetry between logic and revelation?!

        He also ignored John Peckham’s biblical argument from “unfulfilled desires” where he offers a reductio ad absurdum demonstrating Calvinism is outright false. If Chris Date, a strong and well-read Calvinist, got stumped to his face in a live stream like a deer-in-the-headlights, on what grounds would anyone think here that Roland can even begin to scratch Peckham’s argument. I don’t blame him for being an ostrich! Keep your head in the sand on that one.

        I won’t do a sophisticated exegesis here because Roland will ignore it. I’ll simply answer his question on his own terms, at his own level, namely, prooftexting since this is as far as his sophistication goes.

        Libertarians appeal to many texts that support leeway sourcehood agency. God proclaims “I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live” (Deut. 30:19). Here’s also Joshua’s exhortation to “choose for yourselves today whom you will serve,” Yahweh or the gods of Canaan (Josh. 24:15; cf. 1 Kings 18:21).

        What will Roland do here? Will he accept the plain implications of these texts, just as plainly as he expects non-Calvinist to accept the texts he quoted? Will Roland—using the very rationalism he alleges won’t subject to divine revelation—explain away the powerful intuitive reading of the text that it is “up to me” and not up to God to “choose” my own destiny? Can Roland do so strictly on contextual and exegetical grounds? Or will Roland commit the Calvinist sin by slipping into reason, logic (Calvinist logic, rather), and theologizing to counsel Moses and Joshua to have worded such questions in such a way to affirm that such “choice” is *really* “up to God” and not “up to man”? Can he salvage his Calvinist’s pantheism by strictly quoting the text itself to do all the explaining and modifying, or would he inescapably do autonomous violence to the text by repacking the text by cutting-n’-pasting from acontextual passages that he thinks favor his understanding, then Calvinize it on the texts I cited?

        Pay close attention what he does here. He will not be able to accept the plain and obvious reading of these texts without succumbing to the very thing he fears that will subordinate God to either reason, logic, or theologizing from the bowels of his autonomy. Again, keep in mind I’m making this argument on his own terms, at his level.

        Roland: A Christian does not need logical and philosophical enumerations, syllogisms, formulas, propositions, etc. to acquire knowledge from God’s divine revelation.

        We’ll see if he doesn’t violate his own standard. My bet is that he’s two-faced, as are some (not all) Calvinists when pressed.

        Roland: It is silly speculation to believe and teach that the God of Scripture is a passive observant in the affairs of His creation.

        Roland: The answer to your question is because God has not revealed that He is doing so. [Created a universe in which agents whose intentions and actions are primarily grounded or sourced within the agent himself as a prime mover.]

        Roland is either lying or embarrassingly ignorant of what has indeed been revealed with respect to agents possessing libertarian freedom. There are several passages that turn his unique brand of Calvinist pantheism on its head:

        “For the sons of Judah have done evil in my sight, declares the LORD…they have built the high places of Topheth…to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into my mind ” (Jer 7:31).

        “…and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or decree, nor did it come into my mind—“ Jer. 19:5.

        Let’s compare Jeremiah’s theology to the Westminster Confession of Faith: WCF 3.1: “God from all eternity did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet so as thereby neither is God the author of sin…”

        So according to Roland, we have the prophet Jeremiah’s “silly speculation” of agents intending and instantiating actions into being while God neither commanding, decreeing—even more damning for Roland!—God unequivocally ensuring such “evil” did not even enter “into my mind”! Roland, however, would have us believe this is “silly speculation”.

        Moreover, notice how Jeremiah writes his proto-theodicy in such a way to put conceptual and real distance, as far and wide as Jeremiah can muster from, God’s will, commandments, and even the divine mind of intentional mental states (“enter my mind” 7:31; 19:5). In contradistinction, the WCF closely associates “evil” and “sin” so as to identify it with the divine will and intention. We see clearly Roland’s self-deception to equate the WCF’s ideology with eliminating agents having freedom of the will with real aseity, and illegitimately interpolating such pagan (stoic determinism) ideology into the prophets and apostles.

        Can Roland Calvinize Jeremiah 19:5 without utilizing his autonomous “logical and philosophical enumerations, syllogism, formulas, propositions, etc,” that he so disparages! Whatever ad hoc excuse he comes up with, can he derive it from the context itself, or will he pull from the fallible and sinful WCF over and against the plain reading of Jeremiah?!

        Are there other texts that reveals that it is “up to” believers to maintain faith. There’s way too many passages, but here’s a sampling:

        “But you, believed, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Sprit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life” (Jude 1:20-21).

        “…and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain” (1 Cor 15:2).

        Notice here Paul and Jude’s “silly speculation” as well. They both squarely place the primary action and responsibility on the “you”! So Roland, let’s have it! How would you Calvinize such passages?

        Roland: A Christian does not need logical and philosophical enumerations, syllogisms, formulas, propositions, etc. to acquire knowledge from God’s divine revelation.

        Roland: It is silly speculation to believe and teach that the God of Scripture is a passive observant in the affairs of His creation.

        I can’t resist. Roland’s fideism proves too much! But, again, these are his standards, including his imposition of the fallible and pantheistic WCF. Therefore, let’s consider a few other passages keeping Roland’s fideism in the background. We have God asking questions such as Adam “Where are you?” (Gen 3:9). Then, later asking Eve, “What is this that you have done?” (3:13). In the Abel and Cain incident, God asks “Where is your brother Abel?” (4:9).

        On Roland’s standards, namely, not subjecting scripture to human logic, philosophical enumerations, syllogisms, formulas, propositions, etc., his god clearly lacks knowledge. Worse, Calvin’s god is also seen to be spatially confined:

        “I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent for my dwelling” (2 Sam 7:6).

        Again, can Roland salvage the orthodox historic view of God’s omnipresence without subjecting divine revelation to human logic and reason which is ubiquitously absent in the context of all the passages cited?

        Roland: If the Bible, which is divine revelation, revealed the moon to be made out of yellow and green cheese puffs I would believe it.

        Sure thing, that’s exactly what patristics and the history of philosophy has warned against every since since Tertulian first revealed the alleged chasm between revelation and reason. Let’s take another swipe at his fideism:

        “The mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the tress of the field shall clap their hands” (Is 55:12).

        Roland, by any chance has your fideism incited bullying and demagoguery for you believing that trees has hands? Is there any hope that God might causally determine you to use (not subject) linguistic reason and logic to inform you that such a text needn’t be taken in a wooden literal sense? Would scripture be made inferior to logic and linguistic semantic analysis, if it can be shown the Isaiah 55:12 utilizes a genre with “discoverable “literally devices that demonstrates that trees really don’t have hands, even though you’ve never seen such things in the real world?

        Ladies and gents, if the Bible, as Roland’s fideism unequivocally affirms, teaches “the moon to be made out of yellow and green cheese puffs I would believe it”, would it be surprising that, were he to reserve a one-way ticket 🎟 to the moon on Elon Musk’s Space-X, the first thing he’ll do on the moon is run his tongue on the floor for to take a little taste! That should not be surprising, any more surprising than Roland being seen walking through the forest 🌳 highfive-ing 👋 redwoods!

        Roland: God has said in His Word that He works all things after the counsel of His own will yet He does not tempt nor is He the author of sin, then that is what I submit my fallible and sinful mind to.

        More lies. There is a good reason why this statement is not a direct quotation from “His Word”. It’s because it is not biblical, full stop 🛑! It comes from sinful fallible men who endorse stoic and pantheistic views of sovereignty from antiquity, namely, pre-Socratic era. Roland is not in any way paraphrasing divine revelation, but a fallible source which he deems equally, if not more authoritative, than scripture itself. See how closely his talking points actually align with the Westminster Confession of Faith:

        WCF 3.1: “God from all eternity did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet so as thereby neither is God the author of sin…”

        That’s exactly what we expect from Calvinists, namely, an unvarnished and unconditional allegiance to a fallible document with pagan ideologies, and pass it off as though it were identical with scripture itself.

        Nowhere, anywhere, does scripture ever jointly mesh two controversial concepts as does WCF 3:1. Jeremiah separates God far and wide from evil, while the WCF teaches evil and sin to be identified with the divine mind and will! Roland deceitfully passes it off as “His word” (i.e, biblical) but he cannot produce any shred of biblical evidence of such a joint declaration from one sentence to the next as explicitly taught in WCF 3:1. He’s either lying 🤥 or he’s hopelessly indoctrinated that he can no longer distinguish between autonomous sinful fallible sources and divine revelation.

        Maybe we should be more charitable; after all, his bumbling thoughts and the incoherence of his statements are in fact his god’s thoughts, right! Roland is not the “primary cause” of his intentions and actions. He’s not even a person. He’s been inadvertently making a case, a mediocre one at that, on how biological computers can be free!

      50. Let’s summarize:

        1. Roland started out with an unchecked presupposition, namely, revelation can never be inferior or subordinated to logic. As it stands, he has yet to prove or substantiate it by providing an example of pointing to something that is obviously and indisputably logically true, yet scripture saying the contrary in such a way that, revelation takes precedence over incorrigible logic. On failure to demonstrate his commitment, all arguments here made from logic still through unperturbed.

        2. I quoted a prominent Calvinist, John Frame, where he argues that whatever is true in logic is identical to the divine mind, which in turn can never contradict revelation. In fact, the strongest Calvinists that I know, if not all of them, would denounce Roland’s fideism. Will Roland responsibly quote, or tell us, which Calvinist(s) take such a defenseless position? Who are you following?

        3. Roland has not offered any methodological, linguistic, nor semantic exegesis, but lax perfunctory prooftexting. He hasn’t offered any arguments to show how the texts he cited (e.g., Eph 1:11) are distinct to Calvinism, and inconsistent with rival views. He’s required to do both—which is standard procedure in presenting arguments and anticipating objections. In fact, all along, his theological talking points can be squarely identified with the Westminster Confession of Faith, not anything remotely biblical.

        4. Roland, like many Calvinists who traffic through here, scavenge through the comments of his opponents, seize on easy-pickins’, responds to them by mere dismissals or questions (which are not arguments), and ignores the substantive portions that he intentionally omits, and deludes himself thinking that he’s put the ball back in our court. For example, notice he completely ducked R.C. Sproul’s quotation above, but dismissed Greg Boyd’s rebuttal, when in fact, it was an easy refutation of Sproul’s comment. He also ducked John Frame’s that leaves Roland’s fideism in tatters. He regurgitates his position even when prominent Calvinists are antagonistic to anything remotely resembling fideism.

        5. Roland continues to ask for evidences and arguments, when a very strong has been offered, and like point 4 above, he ignored (I don’t blame him!) another scholar with expertise in this area. John Peckham has offered an argument from scripture’s “unfulfilled desires” concluding that anything like or close to Calvinism is outright false. I also pointed out that when John himself presented this argument to another prominent and strong Calvinist Chris Date, John staggered him and all that Chris could muster was “uhhh…I’d have to think about that!” If the likes of Chris Date was left stammered, in what universe can anyone think that Roland will begin to even flick John’s argument?!

        6. Roland’s fideism results in a plethora of absurdities, both in the external world and internal to the canon of scripture (see above). (Forgot to mention that Roland’s epistemology would also make him a flat-earther, Isa 7:11; Rev 7:1; 20:8 without violating any of his commitments). Roland also undercuts from underneath himself several conceptual tools necessary to avoid open theism, uphold divine omnipresence and immensity. Can Roland remain committed to his aversion towards “logical and philosophical enumerations, syllogisms, formulas, propositions”, and explain himself out the wild absurd views of God the passage quoted above show if one is wedded to fideism, and while rejecting “logical and philosophical enumerations, syllogisms, formulas, propositions”? Will Roland hypocritically help himself to non-revelatory explanations to get himself out of shambles?

        7. If Roland responds to this post, can anyone be confident that he’ll respond responsibly and comprehensible point by point, or will he, yet again, cherry pick what he can easily dismiss devoid of any serious argumentation? Will he utilize Hebrew exegesis and document scholarly evidence for us to check out in his efforts to Calvinize Jeremiah, Paul, Jude, Joshua etc.? Is he a troll internet-Calvinist victim to late-medieval confessional indoctrination, or is he a sincere seeker of truth? The only way to find out is, if he’s not willing to abandon the self-defeating nature of EDD, then at a minimum, either shows us which Calvinist you are following that endorses fideism, or abandone it, or defend it by giving us a couple of asymmetrical examples?

        8. Among his unsubstantiated commitments, he also says certain truths can be “discovered”. Sure, truths are discoverable, but the crucial question is by what means does Roland know such truths to be true if not by means of revelation. Does he use human reason? Does he use syllogisms? Does he use logic? Does he use formulas? Does he use propositions? By what epistemic means does he know such discoveries to be true if not by revelation?

        9. Here’s a punchline question for Roland’s fideism: Is the Bible falsifiable? Better yet, suppose, as we think you would grant, the Quran, Hindu Vedas, etc. are false. Again, without violating your own commitments (e.g., the Bible doesn’t state them to be outright false), by what epistemic means do you conclude they’re false? Would you use reason, logic, formulas, propositions, etc.? Is the Bible threatened in any way if were subjected to said epistemic means? Would it withstand any kind of scrupulous scrutiny? If the Bible is the very embodiment of the divine mind, which is an exact replica of both truth and logic because logic, according to John frame, James Anderson, Greg Welty, and many others, is identical to the divine mind, why would God’s thoughts be threatened in any way by reason, discoverable rules of inferences, and logic? Does Roland think that logic, it’s existence and global instantiation upon conscious agents, is grounded in something else but God? Are you a Platonist? Do you think it is grounded in platonic heavenly forms, therefore, we must be cautioned never to judge scripture by logic lest we make scripture inferior to it?

        10. I won’t be responding if Roland replies. He won’t respond responsibility and comprehensibly. He’ll cherry pick my comments, as we’ve seen him do, and then dismiss them and pose questions pretending to think that questions are substitute for arguments.

        I’ll close with what I began to remind the purpose of this reply: “Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered.”

        Lastly, for a great source on Jesus himself utilizing “logical and philosophical enumerations, syllogisms, formulas, propositions”, see Jonathan T. Pennington’s Jesus the Great Philosopher: Rediscovering the Wisdom Needed for the Good Life (Brazos Press: 2020); and Peter Kreft, The Philosophy of Jesus (St. Augustine Press: 2007).

      51. br.d
        Do you acknowledge – the process of discerning whether any proposition is TRUE or FALSE – requires making a choice between TRUE and FALSE concerning that proposition?

        roland
        Yes, I acknowledge “the process of discerning whether any proposition is TRUE or FALSE – requires making a choice between TRUE and FALSE concerning that proposition.” Yes, I acknowledge.

        You have made this argument before that in Calvinism man is not granted the function of choice. Are we going to go down this road again?

      52. roland
        Yes, I acknowledge “the process of discerning whether any proposition is TRUE or FALSE – requires making a choice between TRUE and FALSE concerning that proposition.” Yes, I acknowledge.

        You have made this argument before that in Calvinism man is not granted the function of choice. Are we going to go down this road again?

        br.d
        So far – we are not talking about man being granted the function of choice.
        So far – we are working from your position that man is not granted the function of being the ultimate determiner.

        On your last question of what road we are going down:
        If you answer to any question is YEA
        Then are you willing to make that answer YEA YEA as Jesus commands?
        Or if your answer to the question is NAY
        Are you willing for your answer to be NAY NAY as Jesus commands?

      53. And, Roland, about your comment starting with: “I don’t have much for you to see but here it goes!…”

        Ahh, you crack me up. Made me giggle. (I love some good sarcasm! Well done!)

      54. Heather
        And, Roland, about your comment starting with: “I don’t have much for you to see but here it goes!…”

        Ahh, you crack me up. Made me giggle. (I love some good sarcasm! Well done!)

        roland
        I succeeded as it was my intent to exercise a small amount of sarcasm in my post. At least you noticed, thanks. I love some sarcasm as well but I try not to offend and I also need to watch myself as I’ve offended in the past with improper sarcasm.

    2. Heather, I just stumbled onto your blog the other day. I wish I had found it 2 years ago! Your thoughts here reflect well the concerns I have with the calvinist system. Thank so much for the blog; being bold enough to say out loud what I can not is very refreshing and an encouragement. You have highlighted well some of the teaching I have witnessed in our previous (1689 London confession Reformed headcovering Baptist church).

      1. Oh that reminds me of my first experience with a Calvinist pastor
        He would bring members of his church to non-Calvinist church gatherings.
        They would all arrive in their cars together and park near each other.
        Most of them would all be carrying their black-leather bound KJV bibles.
        And they would all walk in behind the pastor
        They reminded me of little ducklings walking behind their mother.

        If I remember correctly – all of the women were required to walk behind their husbands.

        Best manifestation of what Paul called FORM of godliness I think I’ve ever seen! :-]

      2. Thank you, Carol! I really appreciate it. I began that blog out of frustration that no one at my ex-church seemed to care about our concerns with Calvinism and that it was taking over our church. (We are one of the very few that left because of it, that I know of.) And so since they wouldn’t listen, I figured I’d post all I was learning online for those who might want to hear it. It’s been a wild ride too, because once you jump into the “white rabbit hole” of exploring Calvinism, it just gets deeper and crazier. Curiouser and curiouser! Thanks for the encouragement. God bless! 🙂

  6. Man does not possess an absolute will, but God does. Man can only exercise his knowledge and limited freedom within the boundaries of time and space. Those things that belongs only to God remains hidden and man has to exercise faith in believing un-revealed things of God that are not seen. Believers can ask God anything He wants when praying, but not all of those request are granted to him. Starting from physical birth, we were not given any option to choose from, like: the name given to us, what race you like, what physical appearance you want, gender, height, etc. When we die physically, we cannot say to God we cannot die because we don’t give Him our permission, so where is the free will of br.d and his allies that believes in so called absolute free will” ? Too much idolizing the will of man putting man in a pedestal of even surpassing the Divine creator is a manifestation of rebellion, like that of satan, desiring to be like God and even to surpass his Creator. When dumped to earth and his demons, satan tempted Eve by disproving what God has said to Eve. : “you will not die, instead you will be like God knowing what is right and evil”:

    1. JT: Man does not possess an absolute will, but God does.

      DW: And what does “an absolute will” mean?

      JT: Man can only exercise his knowledge and limited freedom within the boundaries of time and space.

      DW: And what function of “knowledge” does Calvin’s god grant to man?
      I would suggest NO knowledge at all
      Since “knowledge” requires a degree of mental autonomy that doesn’t exist for man in Calvinism.

      JT: Those things that belongs only to God remains hidden and man has to exercise faith in believing un-revealed things of God that are not seen.

      DW: And what function of “exercise faith” does Calvin’s god grant to man?
      I would suggest man doesn’t have any function of “exercising faith” at all in Calvinism
      Since the function of “exercising faith” requires a degree of mental autonomy which doesn’t exist for man in Calvinism

      JT: Believers can ask God anything He wants when praying, but not all of those request are granted to him.

      DW: Oh REALLY?
      As if in Calvinism – man can have an impulse in his brain that Calvin’s god did not AUTHOR!!

      Calvinist’s are so hilarious!!
      They claim man has absolutely NO autonomy and then claim man can “ask Calvin’s god” something *AS-IF* man had the autonomy to do so. Can anyone spell DOUBLE-MINDED! :-]

      JT: Starting from physical birth, we were not given any option to choose from, like: the name given to us, what race you like, what physical appearance you want, gender, height, etc.

      DW: Correct!
      And in Calvinism man is not given any other choice either.
      Because the function of choice requires at minimum 2 options [A] and [NOT A] from which to select.
      And as soon as Calvin’s god has RENDERED-CERTAIN man will select option [A] Calvin’s god has also automatically RENDERED-CERTAIN option [NOT A] will be excluded and thus not available for man to select.

      Thus leaving only one single RENDERED-CERTAIN option ever available to man.
      And Calvin’s god gives man NO CHOICE in which option will be available for man to select.
      Therefore in Calvinism there is no such thing as man having the function of choice.

      JT: When we die physically, we cannot say to God we cannot die because we don’t give Him our permission, so where is the free will of br.d and his allies that believes in so called absolute free will” ?

      DW: This is a silly argument!
      Nobody claims man is free to have options that are logically impossible.
      But Calvin’s god has multiple options such as [A] and [NOT A] from which to select.
      Thus Calvin’s god has Libertarian choice.
      And if Calvin’s god can have Libertarian choice – then Libertarian choice obviously exists.
      To claim that it doesn’t is to claim Calvin’s god doesn’t have the function of choice along with man not having it.

      JT: Too much idolizing the will of man putting man in a pedestal of even surpassing the Divine creator is a manifestation of rebellion, like that of satan, desiring to be like God and even to surpass his Creator.

      DW: This argument backfires on the Calvinist.
      Because it can be just as easily be argued that the Calvinist simply idolizes a “principality and power” in the form of a man-made image of sovereignty.

      JT: When dumped to earth and his demons, satan tempted Eve by disproving what God has said to Eve , instead you will be like God knowing what is right and evil”:

      DW And according to Calvinism – Calvin’s god AUTHORED every impulse that would come to pass within Satan’s brain
      And Satan’s body being connected to his brain – was thus totally manipulated.
      Remember – in Calvinism the creature has NO AUTONOMY.

      Thus the same would be the case for Adam and Eve.
      Every impulse in their brains AUTHORED by Calvin’s god
      And since their bodies are connected to their brains – their bodies are thus totally manipulated by Calvin’s god.
      Remember – in Calvinism the creature has NO AUTONOMY.

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