Calvinism and the Problem of Damnation and Hell

by Ronnie W. Rogers
https://ronniewrogers.com/2021/11/08/calvinism-and-the-problem-of-damnation-and-hell/

Calvinism’s exclusive doctrines position it in an untenable place when it comes to people spending eternity in hell. They offer various responses to allay the indefensible entailments of Calvinism that consign people to hell (the reprobate non-elect class). Here are a few: first, some say they deserve to be there. While that is true, it does not tell us why they are there since the people in heaven equally deserve to be in hell. Second, some say it is so God can show his full glory in both love and wrath. But damning people to hell is unnecessary for God to show his wrath or holiness since no one needed to suffer God’s wrath to demonstrate his holiness because Christ suffering his wrath for our sin is the quintessential display of God’s wrath.[1]

Third, some say people in hell chose to reject God. But people are not in hell simply because they chose to reject God, for the very people in heaven rejected God before he overpowered them with efficacious grace. If God had overpowered the ones in hell, they would have accepted him; hence the missing element is God’s overpowering grace. We also know people are not in hell to highlight God’s compassion, love, and grace by pedestaling his contrasting wrath and holiness; the death of Christ sufficiently displayed that. We also know they are not in hell because God was unwilling to do what was necessary for them to not be in hell. Because the death of Christ sufficiently took away the sin of the world (John 1:29; 1 John 2:2).

Once we dismiss the pleasantries of Calvinism, the only reason some are in heaven and some are in hell is because it pleased God for them to be there. Notwithstanding the weak and misleading arguments to the contrary by many Calvinists, I maintain all consistent Calvinists inevitably believe in double predestination. They either believe God actively predestined some to hell, as Calvin does, or he did so by choosing not to offer what would have surely delivered them from hell to heaven, which is unconditional election and selective regeneration. Calvin refers to this cold, inescapable reality as the product of God’s wish, pleasure, and counsel.[2]

Commenting on what Paul says in Romans 9, John Calvin candidly explains, “He [Paul] concludes that God has mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth (Rom 9:18). You see how he refers both to the mere pleasure of God. Therefore, if we cannot assign any reason for his bestowing mercy on his people, but just that it so pleases him, neither can we have any reason for his reprobating others but his will[3] (italics added). Calvin further says the reprobate are doomed in God’s “hidden purpose” while simultaneously (and quite contradictorily) maintaining “so wonderful is his love towards mankind that he would have them all to be saved.”[4] Calvin classifies God’s good pleasure to doom this innumerable group of people, whom he created, to such a ghastly and unalterable fate, which he did not have to choose, as “incomprehensible judgment.”[5]

Similarly, the Canons of Dort assert, “Moreover, Holy Scripture . . . further bears witness that not all people have been chosen but that some have not been chosen or have been passed by in God’s eternal election—those, that is, concerning whom God, on the basis of his entirely free, most just, irreproachable, and unchangeable good pleasure, made the following decision: to leave them in the common misery into which, by their own fault, they have plunged themselves; not to grant them saving faith and the grace of conversion, but finally to condemn and eternally punish them”[6] (italics added).

Fast forward to eternity. Imagine all the redeemed, unconditionally elected according to Calvinism, are standing on the precipice of hell in which untold billions of people suffer unimaginable, unquenchable, and unparalleled agony and torment. While the elect gaze into the cauldron of hell, one of the unconditionally elect exclaims God is holy. And that proclamation is immediately and worshipfully met by thunderous amens and hallelujahs since, whether redeemed or judged, God’s perfect and unlimited righteousness and holiness are irrefutably evident to all.

Then another of the unconditionally elect, caught up in the moment, resoundingly declares that God is love. An eerie pause follows this declaration. A hollow cavern of silence. A silence not from or awakening calmness, but a silence invoked by an insurmountable contradiction. A silence wherein an attribute of God is suppressed by the conquest of evidence; a silence like never before. It is not one of awe and glorious wonder but one of confusion and demoralization of the elect.

While God clearly dealt with the elect and the damned in holiness, and the elect in love, it is impossible to truthfully say God dealt with the damned, the reprobate, in perfect love, salvific love. Seeking to explain how God is perfect love and yet withholds his salvific love from those he created and predetermined for eternal torment is like trying to explain God as perfect holiness if he did not deal with all people and sin in perfect holiness.

Moreover, seeking to dismiss this contradiction of God’s perfect love by appealing to such as how God’s withholding his power at times does not equal that he is not omnipotent is fallacious. The reason this argument is fallacious is because love is a moral attribute like holiness and power is not. Consequently, he may display or withhold exercising his omnipotence based on his moral attributes, but his moral nature of perfect holiness, righteousness, and love is always perfectly present. Calvinism calls this type of inescapable dilemma a “mystery.” Anywhere else, it is called what it is, a tragic contradiction in Calvinism, that depicts God unlike the God of Scripture.


[1] Even if people in hell were necessary, a point I do not concede, it seems probable that far fewer reprobates are necessary, and maybe only one would sufficiently display God’s wrath.
[2] John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, translated by Henry Beveridge (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1997), vol. 2, bk. 3, chap. 21, sec. 7, pg. 210.
[3] John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion (Bellingham: WA: Logos Bible Software, 2010).
[4] John Calvin, “Commentaries on the Second Epistle of Peter,” Commentaries on the Catholic Epistles, edited by John Owen (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1979), 419. Logos electronic edition.
[5] John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, translated by Henry Beveridge (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1997), vol. 2, bk. 3, chap. 21, sec. 7, pg. 211.
[6] Canons of Dort, First Head of Doctrine, article 15.

207 thoughts on “Calvinism and the Problem of Damnation and Hell

  1. This is a long article with long paragraphs.  For clarity sake I will summarize here.

    Why people spend eternity in hell according to Calvinism:

    1. “They deserve to be there.”  But so do people in heaven. 

    2. “So God can show his full glory in both love and wrath.” Nope. Christ suffering God’s wrath for our sin is the quintessential display of God’s wrath.  No other example needed. 

    3. “People in hell chose to reject God.”  Nope. People in heaven rejected God before He overpowered them with efficacious grace. If God had overpowered the ones in hell, they would have accepted him too. The missing element is God’s overpowering grace, not their choosing.  

    3. A. “to highlight God’s compassion, love, and grace by contrasting wrath and holiness.” Nope. (see above)
    3. B. “because God was unwilling to do what was necessary for them to not be in hell.”  Nope. Because the death of Christ was sufficient for the sin of the world (John 1:29; 1 John 2:2).

    4. What is left?  The reason some are in heaven and some are in hell is because it pleased God for them to be there. Quote Calvin. Quote Canons of Dort.  

    “God is Holy”  (the unjust in hell experience His wrath)

    “God is Love” (the unjust in hell were predestined to be there).  Nah!  That’s not love in any sense of the word.  Those billions and billions were never loved by God in a way that Scripture talks about. 

    Does that pretty much sum it up, Calvinist friends?

    1. I would humbly submit that 1 should be replaced with the following:

      1) In Calvinism – at the foundation of the world – the vast majority of human souls are specifically created/designed – expressly and intentionally – for eternal torment in a lake of fire – in order to satisfy the good pleasure of the THEOS.

  2. One thing that no calvinist has ever been able to explain: why God chose to consign / pass over (take your pick, the quandary is the same) the “non-elect” to hell, when in Ezekiel 18:23 God clearly states that His PREFERENCE is for the wicked (every human being) to turn and live, rather than die. Every calvinist “explanation” shows their version of God to be insincere in this statement.

  3. A more TRUTH-TELLING “T” for the Calvinist TULIP

    “T” Totally Predestined Nature:
    The underlying foundation of the doctrine stipulates that whatsoever comes to pass concerning nature (i.e., all created things and all movements of nature at any instance in time) are infallibly decreed prior to creation. Whatever the state of man’s nature is at any instance in time, is therefore totally determined before any man is ever created. Since on this view, 100% of whatsoever comes to pass is exclusively up to a divine mind, it goes without saying that absolutely nothing about the condition of man’s nature at any instance in time, is ever up to any man. And this would be the case for Adam, who is created late within the sequence of created things. So, it would be more forthcoming or truth-telling, for the “T” in TULIP to stand for “Totally Predestined Nature”.

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

  4. Why warn about hell if a person doesn’t have potential to go there?? But Jesus talked about hell 3x more than heaven. When calvinist say “seeking the lost” the term “lost” doesn’t mean lost n going to hell bc the “elect” is never in danger of hell.

    1. Hello James and welcome

      In my mind – the better question is – why warn man about that which you give man absolutely NO CHOICE in the matter of?

      In Calvinism – every micro-second of whatsoever comes to pass – is 100% predestined at the foundation of the world.
      Leaving absolutely NOTHING about anything UP TO any man.

      Why would a perfect being – treat what he knows to be TRUE AS-IF it is FALSE?

      Calvin’s god creates man – granting man NO CHOICE in the matter of anything
      But then treats what he created AS-IF it is the opposite of what it is.

  5. Is every statement you make always right.
    Is every doctrine you have ever believed completely pure.
    John Calvin makes one statement, and his followers make a doctrine of it

    He (Paul) concludes that God has mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardens (Rom 9:18). You see how he refers both to the mere pleasure of God. Therefore, if we cannot assign any reason for his bestowing mercy on his people, but just that it so pleases him, neither can we have any reason for his reprobating others but his will. Calvin further says the reprobate are doomed in God’s “hidden purpose” while simultaneously maintaining “so wonderful is his love towards mankind that he would have them all to be saved. Calvin classifies God’s good pleasure to doom this innumerable group of people, whom he created, to such a ghastly and unalterable fate, which he did not have to choose, as incomprehensible judgment.

    But both the whole and individual, specific narrative of scripture continually refutes that.
    Besides God is a person, not a principle, not a theory, not a doctrine, nor some words written on paper.
    He is Love and He Loves.
    He is just as Jesus revealed Him to be, recorded in the Gospels.
    A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you also must love one another. John 13:34
    One has to wonder how they can trust God when you see him as being so unpredictable and as having a rationality so different to us.

    1. Hello John and welcome

      Your conclusion is identical to that of C.S. Lewis – where he concludes – “we know not what we worship”

      When you boil it down – what John Calvin is essentially claiming (without coming out and saying it of-course) is he is endowed with DIVINE SUPER GNOSIS

      And if what he says appears like DOUBLE-SPEAK to you – then the answer is to NOT THINK – just swallow! :-]

  6. Interesting that Calvin appeals to Romans 9:18 for his position, while you appeal to some fictitious situation that you dreamt up. Really shows the difference in approach beautifully.

    1. Hello spurcalluth and welcome

      More precisely – John Calvin appealed to some DOUBLE-MINDED position on Romans 9:18 that he dreamt up :-]

      1. It seems that the non-Calvinist position here is to just avoid talking about Romans 9:18 as much as humanly possible instead of actually engaging with what the verse says. I’d rather be a Calvinist that can deal with all of Scripture than a non-Calvinist that has to ignore parts of Scripture in order to have a good night’s sleep.

      2. spurcalluth,

        You had said:
        “It seems that the non-Calvinist position here is to just avoid talking about Romans 9:18 as much as humanly possible instead of actually engaging with what the verse says. I’d rather be a Calvinist that can deal with all of Scripture than a non-Calvinist that has to ignore parts of Scripture in order to have a good night’s sleep.

        My response:

        OK, so let’s talk about verse 18 then. Actually, we non-Calvinists have discussed Romans 9 at length in other blog posts.

        Verse 18
        Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

        But in order to talk about verse 18, we have to back up to put a context to it. Let’s at least back up to the previous verse, verse 17, shall we?

        Verse 17
        For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.

        Now, what’s very important is the very first word in verse 18, “THEREFORE”.

        So, verse 18 is telling us to BACKUP a bit.

        The very first word in verse 17, “FOR” also tells us to back it up a bit, as well.

        The very first word in verse 16, “SO” also tells us to back it up a bit.

        The same with “FOR” in verse 15.

        And so on, and so on until you reach verse 1.

        The conversation begins with Paul discussing his BRETHREN, the Jews. Not us lowly Gentiles.

        And the converstaion from all of Romans 9-11 is about the Jews trying to obtain RIGHTEOUSNESS under the law, vs. the Gentiles obtaining RIGHTEOUSNESS by FAITH, in that the Jews under the law are the ones FITTED FOR DESTRUCTION, by nature of the law of Moses, and Gentiles (AND JEWS) UNDER FAITH are fitted for MERCY, Gentiles, by the way, were never under the Law of Moses to begin with.

        The Pharaoh, verse 17, yes, God hardened the Pharaoh’s heart…IN ORDER TO SHOW GOD’S POWER THRU HIM. The verse you wish to provide is proving the exact opposite of your premise. The Pharaoh got mercy DUE TO God “using” him.

        The Pharaoh was not a Jew.

        Romans 11
        30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:

        31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.

        32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

        So, to conclude…you concentrate on HARDEN, and DESTRUCTION, while we concentrate on MERCY, which is what Romans 9-11 is REALLY all about. God’s MERCY on the Jews, because the JEWS are BLINDED by God for HIS PURPOSE (God, being the Potter here), because God shows his POWER through the Jews.

        My last sentence is the MOST important of this comment. This is all about God’s MERCY on the Jews for which God uses the Jews for DESTRUCTION FOR THE PURPOSE OF SHOWING HIS POWER amongst the Gentiles.

        But Calvinism has a different twist. I also find that FORMER Calvinists have a different twist, as well. Thank God I was neither.

        Ed Chapman

      3. Thanks, Ed, you have given me much to think about. I’ll definitely keep this in mind the next time I read through Romans, and see if and how it fits into the reading. Ultimately, I believe it’s not about who is right and who is wrong among us people, but about understanding, believing, trusting, and obeying what God has said to us. So if your interpretation makes more sense to me, that’s what I’m going to go with regardless of whom I will then start disagreeing with.

      4. Yes, over the years that I’ve been studying, I agree with you. We don’t have all the answers, but we have some, and we can share what we think we know, and I think God is pleased with that. Iron sharpens Iron is stated for a reason.

      5. And there is the pattern of your thinking revealed
        DOUBLE-MINDED is not two minds thinking – it is one mind thinking against itself.
        That is why scripture warns against it.

        Benevolence would hope – you will stop and take the time to ponder the pattern of your thinking in regard to its reliability?
        Its the difference between walking a clean walk – vs stepping into one doodoo after another.
        Love hopes all things!

      6. Now you’re simply jumping off a cliff into self-sabotaging emotions
        Why would you do that to yourself?

      7. You’re right, I was getting emotional. I shouldn’t have gotten emotional. I’m just frustrated that after all the exchanges we’ve had, I am still not one wit closer to a different interpretation of Romans 9:18 than when we started our conversation. It’s frustrating that you want me to believe something else, but you won’t tell me what that something else is.

      8. I didn’t say I wanted you to believe something else.
        What I’m asking you do to is stop and take the time to examine the way you’ve been taught to think.
        If you’ve been conditioned to TURN OFF your brain and simply accept what someone has taught you to think.

      9. What I notice is that you still haven’t given me any other interpretation of Romans 9:18. If there is one interpretation of Romans 9:18 (the one Calvin gave) and one absolute avoidance of interpreting Romans 9:18 on the other hand, what am I supposed to do? Just ignore Romans 9:18 like you do? I’m sorry, I won’t do that. So please give me an alternative interpretation of Romans 9:18 or shut your mouth. I don’t need sanctimonious insults from non-Calvinists. Nobody does. What everybody needs is the best, clearest understanding of Scripture so we can know what it was that God said to us, not doctrinal battles centered in insulting the other guy.

      10. From my experience – talking with a Calvinist about scripture – is like riding in a taxi driven by a gorilla
        Its an act of futility.

        The *REAL* topic should be whether one’s thinking is RATIONAL or not.
        If one can’t recognize that – then any conversation is doomed.

      11. Okay, so you just refuse to talk about Scripture. Well then, I have no reason to believe that you have my well-being in mind. I can just assume that since you don’t want me to know what God said, the logical conclusion is that you hate me. Why else would you not follow the example of the apostles who, wherever they came, expounded the Scriptures in the synagogues (i.e., among Jews who in most cases hated the Messiah)? It must be that you think I am not only worthy of hell, but that you will do everything in your power to make sure that that is where I end up. Well then, I guess I don’t need to talk to you anymore. I’ll continue being a Calvinist, and you can continue to hate Calvinists. Have a good life.

      12. This last post contains so many non-sequiturs – it serves as a wonderful example of what I was just describing.
        The Lord is so good!!!

        Calvinists frequently remind me of the girl whose parents are trying to reason with her concerning her boyfriend Billy – because Billy is physically beating her. Her answer to their concern is: “You simply hate Billy”

        I do hope you will take something valuable away from this conversation!
        Blessings!

      13. BTW:
        In Calvinism you don’t have choice – because you are not granted the function of choice.

        For every INCLINATION there is one infallibly decreed option
        And all alternative options are infallibly EXCLUDED
        Because any alternative of that which is infallibly decreed would falsify the infallible decree – which the infallible decree does not permit.

        Therefore in Calvinism:
        1) There is ever only one RENDERED-CERTAIN option available to you
        2) You are given NO CHOICE as to what that option will be
        3) You are given NO CHOICE about what your role will be in that option.

        Therefore it logically follows – for the Calvinist – the perception of having or making a choice – is a predestined illusion.

      14. Good answers, Br.d, and Chapmaned. Funny how spurcalluth asks for alternative explanations to Romans 9:18 but doesn’t even acknowledge that Chapmaned gave him one.

        And here are a few things to consider about Romans 9:18 (not that it will change a Calvinist’s mind): In the concordance (original Greek, with Vine’s Expository Dictionary), the word “hardens” is a retributive hardening (punishment) for people who have continually resisted God’s lovingkindness and patience. They brought the hardening on themselves for resisting God. God did not randomly choose to harden them.

        Also, Chapmaned pointed out the “fitted for destruction” verse. In the concordance (with Vine’s), “fitted” has to do with the people’s destiny being tied to their character. They fitted themselves for destruction by how they chose to be. It’s not that God formed them to be that way.

        And as Chapmaned pointed out, the chapter is about Israel. It’s about the fact that God does not have to save Jews just because they are part of Israel (they don’t earn salvation just because they follow the law or have a certain bloodline, God can still punish them even though they are His “chosen” race) and that God has the right (in His mercy) to open the door of salvation up to the Gentiles even though they are not part of Israel. That’s what Romans 9 is all about. The Jews were jealous that God would extend salvation to the Gentiles too. They thought they were special – that they deserved to be saved, never condemned – because of their genealogy and because they followed the Law, unlike the Gentiles. But because Israel rejected Jesus, they brought condemnation and a partial-hardening on themselves, and God extended the offer of salvation to the Gentiles, allowing them to be grafted spiritually into the “chosen” race, Israel, if they believe in Jesus.

        Understanding it this way, properly, in context, keeps God’s character and the rest of the Bible intact, whereas the Calvinist way destroys God’s character, His Word, the Gospel, Jesus’s sacrifice, and most people’s chance for salvation.

        Also, spurcalleth, just because Calvin refers to a verse – just because anyone refers to a verse – doesn’t mean they understand it correctly or are godly (Satan knows how to quote Scripture too, while subtly twisting it). There are many false teachers, many cult leaders who use the Bible wrong. Be a Berean! Don’t just take what someone else says as truth just because they quote a verse. Research it to see if they are using it properly.

      15. Heather, it is not very charitable to just assume the worst of people without knowing what the real situation is. When I left the website on Friday afternoon, I had not yet received any explanation from a provisionist position about Romans 9:18. I could not acknowledge Ed’s explanation because I had not seen Ed’s explanation. This is the first time I have a chance to return to the discussion. Now you can of course claim that I maliciously chose to spend time with my wife instead of hanging around on this website all weekend, but I know that it was not done with malice, so if you do choose to accuse me of malice, just know that you choose the way of falsehood rather than truth.

      16. Spurcalleth, I didn’t realize that your comment which showed up after chapmaned’s was actually written earlier than his. Since it was after his, I thought it meant you commented after seeing his comment but ignored it. Sorry about not checking the time stamp on the comments.

        However, it’s ironic for you to criticize my “uncharitable” attitude and to accuse me of thinking the worst of you when you are doing the same thing to Brdmod, accusing him of hating you and of hating Calvinists, of thinking you are worthy of hell and trying to get you there, saying he’s good at being a jerk, insinuating he has zero minds, etc.. And you accuse me of accusing you of maliciousness(?) for being with your wife. No need to be so dramatic.

        (If Brdmod won’t get into Scripture with a Calvinist, it’s because he’s been around the block a few times and knows how fruitless it is, unless and until a Calvinist is willing to see that they might be wrong.)

        Have a good life.

      17. Hi Heather. The problem I had with BRDMOD was that he might know some Calvinists, heck, he might know many Calvinists, and he might think that none of them want to understand Scripture, but he has never interacted with me and therefore does not know me. Based on his zero knowledge of me, he decided that I don’t care what Scripture says, that I have already declared enmity with Scripture, and that I have hardened my heart against God. My unsavoury interaction with him was a result of his assumptions about me. Now, you might think that I am just using the schoolyard excuse “teacher, he hit first”. Maybe you’re right. But I don’t think a Christian should be denying anyone else the truth of Scripture as they see it, on the basis of what other people have done. It certainly took Paul a LONG time and a LOT of physical pain before he said, “You know what, Jews, I won’t be talking to you anymore”, and if a Jew after that still came and wanted to find out more, I don’t think Paul would have denied him. You judge if that is a godly attitude or if Paul should have been more like BRDMOD.

    2. Spurcalluth:
      Interesting that Calvin appeals to Romans 9:18 for his position, while you appeal to some fictitious situation that you dreamt up. Really shows the difference in approach beautifully.

      roland
      You’re definitely right about the non-calvinist approach, it is a dream. Or as the article’s author wrote in the sixth paragraph “Imagine…” Non-calvinists have to “dream” or “imagine” situations in order to argue against the Calvinist position. As Calvinists, we cite and reason from Scripture unlike non-calvinists who reason to Scripture and impress their rationalism onto Scripture. It is the reason why I embraced Calvinism after I realized that all non-calvinists have a few things in common. First, they begin with non-biblical presuppositions. Second, they reason from an anthropomorphic foundation. Third, and there’s probably more, they place reason over revelation. According to non-calvinists if it an argument doesn’t make sense or conform to the laws of logic, then it is not biblical.

      1. Hello Roland
        I hope this finds you well.

        The idea that the Calvinist finds his basis in scripture is itself a dream.
        The Calvinist makes scripture say what he wants it to say – and then claims the process is the reverse. :-]

        I can’t tell you how many times – a Calvinist will come here a quote a verse – and his quote literally REMOVES words from the text and REPLACES them with words he has been taught by some Calvinist teacher – in order to make the text say what they want it to say.

        That is about a clear a sign as anyone needs! :-]

        The second strategy is to alter the meaning of a word in a verse – in order to FORCE that word to mean what the Calvinist needs it to mean.

      2. The humorous part of Calvinism is observing how many square-circles and married-bachelors the Calvinist can pull out of a magical hat – and then claim he got them from scripture! 😀

      3. brdmod:
        The Calvinist makes scripture say what he wants it to say – and then claims the process is the reverse. :-]

        roland
        I have not read every post by every Calvinists on this site but I have heard many non-calvinists do what you are accusing Calvinists of doing, which I do not deny. But here are a few examples of non-calvinists William Lane Craig and Leighton Flowers changing the meaning of words and in Leighton’s case, completing putting another word in the text that is not even there.

        First, Craig several years back in the Unbelievable podcast with Justin Brierly and Paul Helm made the statement that in Romans 8:29 God’s foreknowledge is about human decisions. But that is not what the text says. Yes, as a Calvinist, I believe Scripture teaches that God’s knowledge is perfect, He knows all humans future decisions. I agree with Craig. However, Craig’s error occurs when he says that foreknowledge in Romans 8:29 refers to decisions when in reality God’s foreknowledge refers to people whom He foreknew.
        Romans 8:29
        New King James Version
        29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

        God foreknew certain individuals to be predestined to Christ’s image. Leon Morris in his Romans commentary argues that the predestined are God’s people, page 333.

        Second, Flowers concludes in his youtube, “Isaiah 10 De-Calvinized” that God only permitted Assyria to plunder Israel. That is not what the text says. Read Isaiah 10:5–12 and nowhere is the idea or concept or word “permitted” in the text. God is very active in the text. But Flowers would have his followers to believe that God is a sort of gatekeeper who only opens the gate to “permit” Assyria to do what they please. Here’s the link
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ee4uCxMm30

        At 4:43 Leighton says: “God removes His hand of protection and PERMITS the Assyrians to follow their own libertarianly freewill.”

        The text nowhere indicates that God is permitting. Quite the contrary, God is sending, giving, and even causes Assyria to commit actions. Isaiah 10:7 Yet he (referring to Assyria) does not mean so; Nor does his heart think so.

      4. Roland
        First, Craig several years back in the Unbelievable podcast with Justin Brierly and Paul Helm made the statement that in Romans 8:29 God’s foreknowledge is about human decisions. But that is not what the text says.

        br.d
        That is a commentary about a text – which is not the same thing as altering the words in the text.
        Every commentary you will ever get your hands on does that :-]

        Roland
        I believe Scripture teaches…….

        br.d
        And there is a problem.
        How many times have I heard a Calvinist or a Jehovah’s Witness, etc – claim what the scripture “teaches” and often by quoting verses which may literally have nothing to do what what is being asserted.

        We’ve made jokes about it here – like asking a Calvinist to please provide a verse which EXPLICITLY says what he claims – and please don’t quote from the Beatitudes! 😀

      5. So, Roland, you chose to embrace Calvinism after coming to certain realizations, huh? So much for God’s (Calvi-god’s) sovereign control, huh, when your own logical reasoning made you become a Calvinist. [And yet I seem to remember someone saying in another post that they don’t use human logic when evaluating biblical truth, meaning that you won’t give any weight to the logical arguments of non-Calvinists against Calvinism. So I guess it’s okay for you to use human logic to get into Calvinism, just not to get out of it, huh? And for the record, non-Calvinists reject Calvinism not because it doesn’t conform to the laws of logic but because when we look logically at what Calvinism teaches compared to what Scripture clearly says and at God’s revealed character, we can see that Calvinism contradicts Scripture and destroys God’s character. And that’s why we call Calvinism unbiblical.]

      6. Heather:
        [And yet I seem to remember someone saying in another post that they don’t use human logic when evaluating biblical truth, meaning that you won’t give any weight to the logical arguments of non-Calvinists against Calvinism

        roland
        I have never written that I “won’t give any weight to the logical arguments of non-Calvinists against Calvinism.” I did in the past. I used to believe that God gave us libertarian freewill not on the basis of Scripture, as there is no Scripture making such a proposition, but on the basis that God would be unfair or unjust if humans do not have libertarian freewill. I know you know the arguments and I used to believe them. I will agree with a person who makes the argument that if humans do not freely choose to love God, how can that be love?

        I would even agree with the human example that if a husband and wife love each other, which they should, then each must have made a libertarian free decision to love each other. If they did not, then it is not love. If either were “forced” into the marriage, then it is not love. I would have fully agreed with this example and I would have reasoned from this example upward and applied it towards the example of God and Christians.

        However, I later rejected such examples on the basis that Scripture nowhere presents the relationship between God and His people in this manner. Yes, I know, Ephesians 5 speaks about Christ and His Church being Christ’s bride. But reasoning from human analogies to God is not biblical. There are many problems with humans analogies because they disregard, sometimes, human nature and they don’t take into account God’s nature. There’s a lot more to this but for time’s sake on this point I’ll stop here.

        Heather:
        So I guess it’s okay for you to use human logic to get into Calvinism, just not to get out of it, huh?

        roland
        I don’t believe I used human logic to get into Calvinism. I was convinced of Calvinism through reading Scripture that supports Calvinism. I believe Calvinism is a biblically valid position to hold.

        Heather:And for the record, non-Calvinists reject Calvinism not because it doesn’t conform to the laws of logic but because when we look logically at what Calvinism teaches compared to what Scripture clearly says and at God’s revealed character, we can see that Calvinism contradicts Scripture and destroys God’s character. And that’s why we call Calvinism unbiblical.]

        roland
        No, for the other record, there are many on here that only appeal to syllogisms, logical concepts, and logical fallacies when arguing against Calvinism. Someone even wrote that there is no point in citing Bible verses for Calvinists because we do not listen (something along those lines). You wrote “because when we look LOGICALLY at what Calvinism teaches…” I would rather look at all viewpoints SCRIPTURALLY and not logically.

        I agree with you: “what Scripture clearly says.” What does Ephesians 1:4? That God chose us in Him before the foundation of the world! The doctrine of election is clearly taught in Scripture. It is the non-calvinists that is required, due to their non-biblical presuppositions, to twist Scripture and give it a meaning to conform to their presuppositions. I believe Calvinism is more clearly seen in Scripture than all non-calvinistic interpretations such as provisionism, arminianism, and molinism.

        Thanks for reading and I appreciate your cordial comments and response, Heather.

      7. Roland,

        Why do you put a punctuation mark at the end of the word “world” in Ephesians 1:4?

        My point, if one was to put a punctuation mark there, then the next sentence makes no sense.

        Take it out, and then the sentence makes sense, and you will not have the same conclusion as you do with it.

        That conclusion, to me, explains that the words after the word “world ” is what God chose FOR “US”. NOT that we were chosen.

        That punctuation mark makes all the difference in the world, pun intended, to the interpretation of the sentence.

        Ed Chapman

      8. Roland,

        Why do you put a punctuation mark at the end of the word “world” in Ephesians 1:4?

        My point, if one was to put a punctuation mark there, then the next sentence makes no sense.

        Take it out, and then the sentence makes sense, and you will not have the same conclusion as you do with it.

        That conclusion, to me, explains that the words after the word “world ” is what God chose FOR “US”. NOT that we were chosen.

        That punctuation mark makes all the difference in the world, pun intended, to the interpretation of the sentence.

        Ed Chapman

      9. Roland says: “I would rather look at all viewpoints SCRIPTURALLY …”

        Heather: That’s what “…compared to what Scripture clearly says and at God’s revealed character…” means.

        And then you add “… and not logically.”

        Heather: Well, I would rather look at all views Scripturally AND logically. Because there are many who use Scripture but twist it. And so logic (our God-given ability to think and reason and examine things, etc.) is needed to see if it represents Scripture accurately.

        I do agree with you that human analogies can have problems and cannot be used to decide what’s biblical or not. But they can be used to help explain what’s biblical, to make it more understandable. (I don’t speak for all non-Calvinists, and I am sure that you are right that there are those who misuse analogies and logic, using it as the basis for their beliefs. On both sides, Calvinist and non-Calvinist.)

        I however disagree that the Bible doesn’t show God relating to free-will people. I think believing God gave people free-will is the only proper, commonsense way to understand things like God calling people to believe in Him, saying that He wants all to be saved and no one to perish, that He loves all and that Jesus died for all, that He holds out His hands to those who reject Him, that He didn’t command the people to sacrifice their children to Baal, that the king of Israel set free a man that God determined should die, that Jesus wanted to gather Israel to Him but they were not willing, that the people stopped up their ears and hardened their hearts and would not listen to God, that “woe to the obstinate children who carry out plans that are not Mine,” that the people made the hearts of the righteous sad when God Himself did not make them sad, that there will be rewards for obedience and penalties for disobedience, etc.

        Free-will (the God-given right to make decisions about whether we obey God or not, believe in Jesus or not) is the only way to understand those verses in a plain, no-hidden-meaning, no-contradiction way and to still keep God’s revealed character intact. The other way, Calvinism’s way, makes God unjust, untrustworthy, unloving to most, ungracious to most, the cause of sin, glorified by evil, etc., and it involves reading into Scripture things that aren’t there, taking verses out of context, breaking many biblical concepts up into “two different kinds, one for the elect and one for the non-elect,” stretching things past what Scripture reveals, adding multiple layers that aren’t there, that contradict the plain understanding of Scripture, etc..

        Personally, I think most Calvinists are more concerned with defending Calvinism and prominent Calvinist leaders than they are with understanding what Scripture really teaches. I think they secretly like being part of an elite, specially-chosen group and having “special knowledge” of God’s “hidden meanings” that the average person doesn’t get. And it’s hard to give that up, to realize you’re just like everyone else, that anyone, even a child, can understand the gospel, that anyone can be saved.

        [And you caught me on the “cordial” thing. I wasn’t being very cordial to you, was I? Sorry about that. My irritation with spurcalleth’s attitude came out in my response to you. My apologies.]

        Blessings to you.

      10. Chapmaned says: “That conclusion, to me, explains that the words after the word “world ” is what God chose FOR “US”. NOT that we were chosen.”

        Well said! They don’t finish the sentence. Instead they stop with “He chose us,” making it sound like Calvinist predestination/election. But it’s not that certain people were “chosen” to be saved, but that those who are “in Him” (and anyone can be in Him) are chosen to be holy and blameless in His sight.

        And how do we come to be “in Him”?

        “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,” (Ephesians 1:13).

        Notice that they were not “in Him” until they believed. And they did not get the Holy Spirit until they believed. But in Calvinism, all the elect are chosen before time began, and they get the Holy Spirit before they believe, in order to cause them to believe. So which one is right?

        Anyone who becomes “in Him” (and anyone can), as a result of believing in Jesus, will be seen as holy and blameless in God’s sight because they accepted Jesus’s sacrifice on their behalf, wiping away their sins in God’s eyes.

        God bless!

      11. Heather,

        That’s exactly right!! And there is two more like verses, just like that, too, and the conclusions are the same.

        I find it funny that br.d had previously said that calvinists make verses say what they want it to say, to where Roland disagreed. But just this one verse, Ephesians 1:4, proves br.d correct.

        Now, regarding Roman’s 9:18, they isolate, rather than giving context. It’s obvious that the whole conversation begins in verse 1, and ends at the end of chapter 11.

        Let me give another example, that I believe ALL church’s got wrong…Communion.

        If you isolated a verse or two…maybe 3 verse, you get… Communion.

        But… let’s put context to it, and when you do, it’s not about Communion at all.

        It’s about a church banquet, about manners, about how to conduct yourself at the dinner table, not about eating a cracker and drinking grape juice to remember the Lord’s Death. The whole chapter must be read, not just a verse.

        These are reasons that I’m non-denom Christian. I can’t let dead people decide for me what to believe.

        Ed Chapman

  7. 1 cor 1:27 explains calvinists….

    but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise…

    Calvinists are supposed to be the intellectuals…God offers a simple gospel they can’t understand.

    1. Hello Utahozzie and welcome

      I appreciated your comments and understand its rational.
      However I think you’ll eventually discover its much worse than that.
      Calvinism is a system of DOUBLE-MINDEDNESS
      It forces the Calvinist to live in a DOUBLE-MINDED state about his belief system
      And that is why Calvinist language is saturated with DOUBLE-SPEAK.

  8. Roland wrote: “I agree with you: “what Scripture clearly says.” What does Ephesians 1:4? That God chose us in Him before the foundation of the world! The doctrine of election is clearly taught in Scripture. It is the non-calvinists that is required, due to their non-biblical presuppositions, to twist Scripture and give it a meaning to conform to their presuppositions.”

    Yes, the doctrine of election is clearly taught in Scripture, including the verse above, just not the calvinist version of election. Please note the two words in that verse calvinists always like to ignore. IN HIM. When were you in Christ, and how were you in Christ? Paul himself said that Andronicus and Junia were in Christ before Paul. He explains that we are in Christ by faith – in other words at the point when we believe, and not before. None of us existed to be in Christ before the foundation of the world. God’s choice was made at that point. Christ was the original elect One and we step into that corporate category when we believe.

    Shock horror, a non-calvinist interprets Scripture, and does so differently to you! Do you even acknowledge that there are alternative possible interpretations of Scripture than those propagated by your favorite philosophical theorists?

    1. Pastor Loz:
      When were you in Christ, and how were you in Christ?
      Roland:
      According to Ephesians chapter 1, the Ephesian believers were in Christ before the foundation of the world (see verse 4). I would also add that ALL BELIEVERS were in Christ before the foundation of the world. I was in Christ before the foundation of the world by God’s own choice (see verse 4 again).
      Also see Ephesians 1:6, note that “He MADE us accepted in the Beloved.” Any sinner that is in Christ is MADE to be in Christ by God.
      6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

      Pastor Loz
      None of us existed to be in Christ before the foundation of the world.

      Roland
      In order for us to be in Christ before the foundation of the world, we must have existed? Could God have known about our existence before the foundation of the world?

      Pastor Loz
      God’s choice was made at that point.

      Roland
      God’s choice is made at the point we believe? Is that what you mean by “at that point?”

      Pastor Loz
      Christ was the original elect One and we step into that corporate category when we believe.

      Roland
      So when Paul uses the nouns “us” and “we” in verses 3-12, about ten times, it is just a “corporate category” of people? It is not the Ephesians that Paul wrote to? It does not include all believers over all time?

      Pastor Loz
      Shock horror, a non-calvinist interprets Scripture, and does so differently to you! Do you even acknowledge that there are alternative possible interpretations of Scripture than those propagated by your favorite philosophical theorists?

      rolnad
      No shock or horror here. I acknowledge alternative possible interpretations of Scripture. If anything it seems non-Calvinists cannot acknowledge alternative possible interpretations of Scripture. Especially Dr. Flowers, he has a whole ministry dedicated to converting Christians out of Calvinism!
      In my Christian reformed church I attend you can find three different eschatological views, historical premillennialism, amillennialism, and post-millennialism. I have brothers in Christ that I can read a section of eschatological verses and we can have three different interpretations or perspectives on the verses and have complete unity in Christ. Our church sees eschatology as having one core truth: one day Jesus returns to destroy the works of the devil and establish his kingdom on Earth. Everything apart from that we grant each other grace. We humbly admit our ignorance to the end times yet rejoice in the truth that Christ is returning some day!
      I don’t “favorite philosophical theorists” as I read mostly theology and not philosophy.

      Thanks, for reading, have blessed day.

      1. Pastor Loz: When were you in Christ, and how were you in Christ?

        Roland: According to Ephesians chapter 1, the Ephesian believers were in Christ before the foundation of the world (see verse 4). I would also add that ALL BELIEVERS were in Christ before the foundation of the world. I was in Christ before the foundation of the world by God’s own choice (see verse 4 again).

        Pastor Loz: In Acts 16:7, Paul says, “Greet Andronicus and Junia…THEY WERE IN CHRIST BEFORE I WAS”. This verse alone destroys your assertion that believers were in Christ before the foundation of the world. if your assertion was true, then Andronicus and Junia would not have been in Christ any longer than Paul. Secondly, no-one was a believer before the foundation of the world. You BECOME a believer at the point in time when you believe, and not one second before. Before that, you were an UNBELIEVER. You were not born believing. Thus to follow your train of thought, the UNBELIEVING ELECT were in Christ BEFORE they believed. So you have unbelievers being in Christ, which is absolute nonsense.

        Roland: Also see Ephesians 1:6, note that “He MADE us accepted in the Beloved.” Any sinner that is in Christ is MADE to be in Christ by God. 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

        Pastor Loz: Do you see what you did there? You changed the meaning of the verse. It does not say He made us to be in Christ. It says he made us accepted IN THE BELOVED. We are in Christ the Beloved from the point in time when we believe. See Ephesians 1:13

        Pastor Loz: None of us existed to be in Christ before the foundation of the world.

        Roland: In order for us to be in Christ before the foundation of the world, we must have existed? Could God have known about our existence before the foundation of the world?

        Pastor Loz: God knew about our existence before the foundation of the world. That is completely different from us actually existing. God knows things before they happen. God knows about people’s existence before they exist.

        Pastor Loz: God’s choice was made at that point.

        Roland: God’s choice is made at the point we believe? Is that what you mean by “at that point?”

        Pastor Loz: No, that is not what I mean. God’s choice that those who are in Christ are saved, blessed, sanctified, glorified etc. was made before the foundation of the world. He chose the corporate category, knowing which individuals would come to be in that category at the point in time when they believe.

        Pastor Loz: Christ was the original elect One and we step into that corporate category when we believe.

        Roland: So when Paul uses the nouns “us” and “we” in verses 3-12, about ten times, it is just a “corporate category” of people? It is not the Ephesians that Paul wrote to? It does not include all believers over all time?

        Pastor Loz: It is a corporate category that consists of individuals foreknown by God. Those individuals are believers. All believes. The category in no way excludes the identity of the individuals within it. That is a false distinction calvinists make in their attempt to deny the truth of corporate election.

      2. Roland, That’s good you guys can gracefully have different end-times views. But eschatology is one thing; soteriology is another. It’s easy to admit ignorance about and be more tolerant of different end-times views because it’s about prophecy, things that haven’t happened yet, and no one can know for sure till we get there. And it’s not as detrimental if we’re wrong about our views of when Jesus comes back.

        But when it comes to our soteriological views – about things God’s already clearly revealed to us about who He is, how He operates, who Jesus died for, who can be saved, how we’re saved, how God deals with sin (and if He “ordains” – causes – sin or not), what He expects from us, etc. – the stakes are much higher. That’s why it’s more important to make sure you get this one right, because people’s souls, God’s character, Jesus’s death, and the gospel message are at stake.

        Also (I am asking this gently, not with snark), what are you afraid will happen because of Dr. Flowers ministry? Really? Will it affect Calvi-god’s plans and those he predestined to heaven (or hell)? Did Calvi-god not ordain this ministry for his glory and pleasure and purposes? Is Dr. Flowers really the one in control of this ministry, or is he just clay in the Potter’s hands? If Calvinists (such as James White) give God glory for child rape, then surely Calvinists can give God glory for a blog they don’t like or agree with. (And I find it telling that you say Dr. Flowers is “converting Christians out of Calvinism.” Not out of “Christianity” but “Calvinism” – not away from “Christ” but away from “Calvin” – as if you know deep-down that they’re not the same thing, that Calvinism is something different than/in addition to basic Christianity.)

        And I think that what really matters is not that we acknowledge alternative explanations of Scripture to other people, but to God, that we admit to Him that our views on this could be wrong, asking Him to correct us if we’re wrong and to lead us into truth. In my journey of comparing Calvinism with the Bible to figure out if Calvinism was right or wrong, I would regularly ask God to tell me if I was wrong, that I wanted to know His truth even if it meant finding out I’ve been misunderstanding things all along.

        And although it might not seem like it (tone of voice doesn’t come across online), my less-than-“cordial” comment to you before was not meant to sound so harsh. I only realized how harsh it sounded after I reread it when it was posted. I meant it more like a “wink, wink, nudge, nudge” kind of comment, like how we might say things in a “fun” verbal sparring match with a frenemy. Contrary to what you might think, there’s something I like about you, Roland. I can sense an honesty and respectfulness in your comments, as if you’re someone who could be trusted even by someone on “the other side.” Anyway, that’s why I apologize again for my harsh/rude-sounding comment. Blessings to you!

      3. If I serve a Calvi-god, then I guess you serve a Flowery-false-god. I think the jibes are unnecessary, but if you insist on adding them in what you write, then don’t go crying when other people say “fine, we’ll play that game”. Of course, I see non-Calvinists whining about it all the time when Calvinists just join in the same game of toss-the-insult.

      4. Heather
        And I think that what really matters is not that we acknowledge alternative explanations of Scripture to other people, but to God, that we admit to Him that our views on this could be wrong, asking Him to correct us if we’re wrong and to lead us into truth.

        roland
        Agree with your comment and your whole response to my comment. I came to soteriology 101 and I read Dr. Flowers’s book God’s Provision for All because I wanted to learn if there are better alternatives to Calvinism. I may not seem like it but I am open to other alternatives to Calvinism but I have yet to find one.

        Heather
        In my journey of comparing Calvinism with the Bible to figure out if Calvinism was right or wrong,

        roland
        I was saved in a non-calvinist church. I did not begin to study Calvinism until I was a Christian at least 5- years. I read bible verses in Scripture that seemed to me from just reading my Bible without any commentary from anybody, that taught Calvinism even though I had never heard of Calvinism. Texts such as Romans 8, 9-11, John 6, Ephesians 1, Acts 4:27-8. When I asked my non-Calvinist pastors what a text such as John 6:44 meant, they would say something like, “well, God wants everyone to be saved so Jesus really doesn’t mean that no one can come to the Father unless the Father draws him.” Or I clearly remember one of my pastor explaining Romans 8:29 to me as God looking down the tunnel of time, knowing who would believe in Jesus, and then predestining them to be believers. I believed what pastors said about the verses but once I came across men such as R.C. Sproul and John MacArthur, not knowing they were Calvinists, I heard them saying that Jesus is saying exactly what He means to say and no, God did not look down the tunnel of time to see our decisions, He foreknew people, and predestined people.
        At first, I rejected that form of thinking because I thought, “if God only chooses some people to salvation, then that is not fair,” but as I read more and more Calvinistic authors I became convinced that Calvinism offers a biblical understanding of salvation and God. I can sympathize with a Christian or a non-christian who rejects Calvinism. I can understand why Calvinism is rejected. I just can come to personally reject what Calvinism believes about divine revelation and teaches about God and salvation.

        Heather
        Anyway, that’s why I apologize again for my harsh/rude-sounding comment. Blessings to you!

        roland
        We have a misunderstanding. I NEVER took any of your comments as rude or harsh. No need to apologize. I sincerely believe you have been cordial in our discourse.
        True, vocal inflections and tone are lost in online discussions. This is why I don’t get into theological discussions on social media. This is the only place I express my theological convictions online. I actually came here to learn about provisionism not to make arguments for Calvinism. Blessings to you!

        If you respond and I don’t respond, don’t take any offense as I have a very busy week ahead of me and I won’t have time to post but I will probably read any responses that come to my inbox. Thanks for reading.

      5. Roland, I agree that there are some verses that sound Calvinist, until I studied them much deeper, viewed them in context, and crossed-referenced them with other Scriptures. Since all of these have been looked at in various places on this blog, I’ll just briefly say:

        Romans 9 is about Israel and Gentiles as groups, about God choosing to punish Israel for their resistance to Jesus and to extend salvation to the Gentiles. It’s not about individual salvation.

        In John 6, I agree that no one can come to God unless God draws Him, I just don’t see where it says God only draws a few, certain, pre-selected people or that “draws” means “causes to believe.” John also says (12:32) that Jesus will draw all men to Him. God works in all men’s hearts to lead them to Christ, which is why there is no excuse for not believing, per Romans 1:19-20. But He leaves the decision of how we will respond up to us, which is why Jesus could call to people, like the Jews, and yet they could resist Him, being unwilling to come to Him. If I mailed 100 invitations to a party, those who came could say they were drawn/invited. And they couldn’t have come unless I drew/invited them, But it doesn’t mean they were the only ones invited or that they were forced to come. If we come to Jesus, it’s because He drew us (because He draws all), but if we don’t come, it’s because we rejected His drawing (because God gave us the right to choose).

        In Ephesians 1, whoever chooses to believe in Jesus will be “in Him” (we join the “in Him” group after we believe, Eph. 1:13), and God has predestined that everyone who is in Him will be seen as holy and blameless in His sight. The destiny of the “in Him” group has been predestined, not who ends up in that group. It’s like the destiny of a plane being predetermined, but not who gets on the plane. That’s up to us.

        About Acts 4:27-8, just because God preplanned that Jesus would die and how Jesus would die doesn’t mean He had to preplan/force the people to do it or that they had no choice to do anything differently. I believe God, in His foreknowledge, knew what those people at that time would be like and what they would choose to do when put in that circumstance, and so He knew He could work it into His plans. God didn’t cause the people to be wicked to get His plans done (which is what Calvinism would say, and it’s an attack on God’s character). But He knew what they were like and what they would choose, and He incorporated it (their self-chosen wickedness/sins) into His plans.

        And about “foreknew/foreknow,” I once read a Calvinist who said that he decided that whenever he saw that God “foreknew” people, he would just read it as God “forechose” them. That’s very sketchy to me, to just decide for himself that a word means something else so that it better fits his theology.

        While I can see how these verses could seem Calvinist at first or when read a certain way, I think there’s a different, better, more accurate understanding of them (the non-Calvinist way) which is Scriptural, keeps the rest of the Bible intact, and doesn’t damage God’s character the way Calvinism does.

        God bless. And enjoy your week!

      6. Good post Heather!
        Now when Roland tries to pit Calvinistic logic up against your scripture verses – you can reject his assertions by claiming he is pitting scripture up against logic – and you don’t allow scripture to be treated that way – therefore his arguments are UN-Scriptural and therefore invalid!

        Since that strategy works for him – he should have no problem with that working for you! 😀

      7. Spurcalleth, Just so you know, I don’t use “Calvi-god” as a jibe necessarily, but more as a way to keep it clear which version of God I am talking about, the Calvinist or non-Calvinist one. Because they are not the same. And so if I say things like “Calvi-god predestined who will be saved,” I specify “Calvi-god” because I do not believe the God of the Bible does predestine who will be saved.

        And trust me, I won’t be crying about anything you say here. I don’t take your kind of insults personally. I have way too much going on in life to be that concerned about what you think.

      8. Roland: “We have a misunderstanding. I NEVER took any of your comments as rude or harsh. No need to apologize. I sincerely believe you have been cordial in our discourse.”

        Thank you. That’s kind of you. I guess it’s not so much a misunderstanding, but when you graciously overlooked the harsh-sounding sarcasm in my comment and ended your comment with a gentle “Thanks for reading and I appreciate your cordial comments and response, Heather”, it made me realize that I wasn’t at all cordial in my comment to you. It convicted me. So even though you never actually called me out on it, your gentle reply convicted me, and made me read my comment in a new light, and that made me want to apologize. I respect you enough, Roland, to say I’m sorry and to make sure you weren’t offended. Like I said, there’s something I like about you, a good-heartedness. 🙂

        And thank you, Brdmod. I truly believe that Calvinists (and all of us at some point) read into Scripture things that aren’t there or come at it with certain presuppositions. That’s just human nature, because we all have our own frames of reference. (And it takes effort and a little help sometimes to realize we are doing it, to read it in a different light. And that’s why I point out these other, more-biblical ways to read Scripture, in the hopes that it helps someone see the light.) However, I think Calvinist pastors and theologians exploit that human tendency by first preconditioning people to interpret verses their way, and then leading people to “discover it,” just like they taught them. But the people don’t even realize that the Calvinist interpretation was first implanted in their heads.

        Such as my pastor first telling people that “dead” means “like a dead body that can’t do anything but lay there all dead,” and then leading people to verses about how we are dead in our sins. We’ve been preconditioned to see “dead” as “just like a dead body, totally unable to do anything, even think about/want/seek God, unless and until God causes it to happen, because, after all, dead bodies can’t do anything.” And yet no one stops to question the difference between “dead bodies” and “spiritual death/dead in sin” (which means spiritual separation from God, not that we can’t think or make decisions). We read “like dead bodies” into the verse because we’ve been trained to. It’s amazing how often Calvinists do this. I’m not saying that there aren’t verses that do sound Calvinist without reading into them, but those are almost always corrected when we read it in context or in relation to other verses or with the help of a good concordance. God bless!

  9. br.d
    Its not the same thing at all – as removing words from verses and replacing them with different words necessary to make that verse say what one wants it to say.

    roland
    Sorry my friend but that was not commentary. That is Craig inserting words into the text that are not there. The text does not say that God foreknew human decisions but that God foreknew persons. Ten years ago I would have agreed with Craig that God foreknew our decisions and then God chose us on the basis of our decisions. I reject that conclusion on the basis that Romans 8:29 does not say, “For those decisions that God foreknew, He also predestined….” Romans 8:29 says, “For those WHOM He foreknew…”

    Craig lays a non-biblical foundation for his argument that God foreknew human decisions, therefore, God has middle knowledge of all human decisions, or all possible human decisions.

    1. Roland
      Sorry my friend but that was not commentary. That is Craig inserting words into the text that are not there

      br.d
      Was he quoting a verse – or commenting on that verse?

      1. br.d
        Was he quoting a verse – or commenting on that verse?

        roland
        No, Craig did not quote the verse, Paul Helm did. Here’s a portion I transcribed from the podcast, these are Dr. Craig’s words in quotations.
        “Well, the first link in the chain is foreknowledge. Right? Prognosko, Whom he foreknew and if that encompasses middle knowledge. Then there is just no problem. And I would say…”
        Then he quotes Acts 4:28-29 and argues that God’s foreknowledge is Herod’s decisions and the others decisions about crucifying Christ. Dr. Craig is objecting the proposition that Romans 8:28-30 is a tricky text for the molinist but he argues it is not only if “foreknowledge” in Romans 8:29 includes middle knowledge, middle knowledge according to Craig is the decisions of creatures. He is clearly arguing that foreknowledge in Romans 8:29 is not of persons but of persons’ actions.

    2. BTW: Dr. Craig does not believe what assume – ie. that a person is chosen based on that person’s decision.
      Somehow you mixed Dr. Craig up with someone else.

      Dr. Craig believes in Middle-Knowledge
      Middle-Knowledge is comprehensive knowledge of what the creature WOULD choose given a Libertarian choice.
      It has nothing to do with how divine decisions concerning anything are made.
      So on that system divine decisions are not determined by what choices the creature will make – as you assume.
      You appear to have mixed Dr. Craig’s position up with the positions of others – whom you derived from someplace else.

      1. brdmod:
        BTW: Dr. Craig does not believe what assume – ie. that a person is chosen based on that person’s decision.
        Somehow you mixed Dr. Craig up with someone else.

        roland
        That is not what I understood from what I have read of Craig and middle knowledge and what I heard in his comments on Unbelievable podcast. Dr. Craig clearly states on the podcast that God chooses the circumstance where the person makes a particular choice according to the world God desires. It is clear that the circumstances and the “free choice” of the creature are the basis of the world God desires. So God is dependent upon middle knowledge. Dr. Craig throughout the podcast tries to guard God’s foreknowledge and libertarian freewill but the middle knowledge theory fails to do so. I wish Dr. Helm had been a little more vocal but Dr. Craig and Justin Brierly did not allow Dr. Helm as much speaking time as Dr. Craig got. Dr. Craig interrupted several times as well as Brierly. Dr. Helm was not allowed to finish some of his thoughts.

        Yes, a person is chosen on the basis of that person’s decision according to the circumstances that cause the person to make such a decision in middle knowledge. In Molinism God is not free to choose persons to be in Christ that is what Dr. Helm and Calvinism objects to in Molinism.

      2. roland
        Dr. Craig clearly states on the podcast that God chooses the circumstance where the person makes a particular choice according to the world God desires.

        br.d
        Correct!
        But its not the case that the human decision determined the divine decision.

        The human decision determines the human decision.
        Where in Calvinism – the human is not granted the function of choice – and the human decision is determined *FOR* the human rather than *BUY* the human

        Roland
        It is clear that the circumstances and the “free choice” of the creature are the basis of the world God desires.

        br.d
        Correct! But that doesn’t logically equate to a human functioning as the determiner of a divine determination.

        Roland
        So God is dependent upon middle knowledge.

        br.d
        Not any more “dependent” than he would be on any other type of knowledge.
        A perfect mind has knowledge that TRUE cannot equal FALSE
        A perfect mind has knowledge that he cannot lie to himself

        The term “dependence” can be equivocal and therefore deceptive in its inferences
        With the word “dependence” you seem to be inferring that that knowledge has power over him.
        Thus on that way of thinking – the knowledge that he cannot lie to himself – has power over him and represents a weakness on his part.

        Roland:
        Dr. Craig throughout the podcast tries to guard God’s foreknowledge and libertarian freewill but the middle knowledge theory fails to do so

        br.d
        In you imagination – yes! :-]
        But remember – as you always remind everyone here – your conclusions are absent the application of LOGIC.
        You reject the use of LOGIC in the examination of any Calvinist position – because doing so is to use LOGIC to examine scripture
        Which means – for you – the Calvinist position and scripture are one and the same.

        Roland:
        I wish Dr. Helm had been a little more vocal

        br.d
        I wish Dr, Helm had been more intellectually honest
        1) He used the term “permission” in a deceptive misleading manner – in regard to sins and evils.
        2) He evaded the meaning of the word “Author” saying he didn’t know what it meant in the context
        3) When he was asked “what kind of free will does the Calvinist have” he evaded answering that question.

        Dr. Craig could have easily corrected the record on all 3 of those evasions.
        But in doing so he would have insulted Dr. Helms – and he is too much of a gentleman to do that.

      3. br.d
        The human decision determines the human decision.

        roland
        Agree, the human decision is not determining the divine decision however, Molinism does make God’s decision dependent upon the circumstances available to Him. And there is no freewill of the creature in Molinism as the creature’s decisions are determined by the circumstances the creature is in. There is no libertarian freewill in Molinism, it is just an illusion. The circumstances the creature is in are determining the creature’s decisions.

        br.d
        Where in Calvinism – the human is not granted the function of choice – and the human decision is determined *FOR* the human rather than *BUY* the human

        roland
        Yes, there is divine determination in Calvinism, as demonstrated also in the Bible, Acts 4:27-28, yet Scripture DOES NOT set human choices against God’s divine determination! Calvinism takes this revealed truth in God’s Word at its simple, plain reading. We don’t try to make “sense” of it or seek to give a “logical” explanation of how human choices and God’s divine determinations operate. There are a lot of Calvinists, so they’re maybe some who do this. I will admit ignorance of all Calvinist authors.

        br.d
        With the word “dependence” you seem to be inferring that that knowledge has power over him.

        roland
        Yes, under non-calvinist perspectives God is SUBJECT to knowledge. In Calvinism, we believe that God’s knowledge comes from His decree. His knowledge of creation and creaturely decisions.
        In Molinism, God’s knowledge comes from the circumstances He sorts through in order to “create”, I would argue that God is building a world in Moliinism because He uses the “parts”, i.e., circumstances, that He uses to create the world He desires.
        Non-calvinists positions portray God as a passive observer or spectator, whether it is Molinism or whether it is classical Arminianism.
        Scripture does not portray God as a passive observer, see Ephesians 1 and observe how active God is in the salvation of His people.

        br.d
        But remember – as you always remind everyone here – your conclusions are absent the application of LOGIC.
        You reject the use of LOGIC in the examination of any Calvinist position – because doing so is to use LOGIC to examine scripture
        Which means – for you – the Calvinist position and scripture are one and the same.

        roland
        I thought I have stated this multiple times as to how I believe Scripture and logic relate.
        First, I do not SUBJECT Scripture to logical tests. It seems on this blog most like to argue that Scripture must make sense or be logical in order to be true. My position is that even if it does not make sense to me or conforms to a logical test, Scripture is true because it is God’s revelation. See Acts 4:27-28 of an example of how I believe Scripture, God, reveals to us that human choices are compatible with divine determination. I don’t seek to make sense of this verse I take it as a plain and simple reading of divine revelation from God.
        Yes, Herod, Pontius Pilate, the Gentiles, and Israel chose to crucify Christ yet God had determined they would do this and yes, they are still guilty and accountable for their decisions to kill Christ. That’s my position and I don’t need Calvinism to hold it. All I need is plain, simple reading of divine revelation!
        Second, I do not reject logic to analyze theological and philosophical positions. I think I’m very open to logic and philosophy and the examination of theological positions. If I have portrayed myself as so, then I need to learn to better communicate my position regarding logic.
        Finally, see my first point regarding my position you allege that “the Calvinist position and Scripture are one and the same.” Calvinism derives its position from text such as Acts 4:27-28 but Calvinism is not Scripture.

        I add a few observations from the podcast that has been the subject of my discourse with others. The first comment shows how Molinism is not compatible with Scripture as Dr. Craig, again misquotes Scripture, inserting a word that is not there and he misinterprets God’s actions as Peter prayed them.

        51:35 mark Dr. Craig misquotes Acts 4:27-28 he uses thy will and thy plan when the text says “to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.” Again, Dr. Craig is reading the text disregarding God’s active hand and what God’s purpose determined before to be done. Dr. Craig makes God to be a passive observer, which is not the way the Bible presents God.

        Also, at 1:03 mark Dr. Craig states that God would not exercise a type of divine coercion but that God will respect people’s wills where He will say, “I’m not going to make you go to heaven. If you choose to reject me and my grace and my love for you, then I will allow you to do so.”
        Yet, Molinism does not permit libertarian freewill because God is choosing the circumstances in which God knows the creature will make such and such a decision, so that God “builds” the world He desires. The creature is not truly free as Dr. Craig attempts to argue, the creature’s decisions are determined by the circumstance that God puts the creature in.

        The only position that consistently argues for libertarian freewill is a position that denies God’s perfect knowledge of future events and future human choices, decisions, and actions. A person only has true libertarian freewill if that person’s decisions are not determined and are known. If the person’s decisions are foreknown, then those decisions are not truly free in the libertarian sense, because once those decisions are actualized or realized, and they are foreknown, the must conform to the foreknowledge, of God. If they don’t conform to God’s foreknowledge, then God’s knowledge is not perfect, God is not perfect and this position is open theism.

        Thanks, for reading, sorry for the long post, I won’t be back for awhile if you respond, I have a long week ahead of me, and posting on soteriology 101 is not a top priority, even if I may make it seem so!

      4. roland: Yes, under non-calvinist perspectives God is SUBJECT to knowledge. In Calvinism, we believe that God’s knowledge comes from His decree. His knowledge of creation and creaturely decisions.

        pastor loz: what does that even mean? You are setting up a false scenario where God is either subject to knowledge or He is not. It’s meaningless. Knowlegde is not something anyone is subject to, or it is subject to them. God knows because He is omniscient. He knows because He knows. And you even set up your own circular statement. God’s knowledge comes from His knowledge.

        roland: The only position that consistently argues for libertarian freewill is a position that denies God’s perfect knowledge of future events and future human choices, decisions, and actions.

        pastor loz: complete + utter bull. You actually limit God with that statement, because by it you claim that God CANNOT perfectly know future freewill choices. The irony. God can and does know every genuine free will choice. Because He is God. Because He is omnisicient. Inherently. Quite apart from the fact that He is omnitemporal.

        roland: A person only has true libertarian freewill if that person’s decisions are not determined and are known. If the person’s decisions are foreknown, then those decisions are not truly free in the libertarian sense, because once those decisions are actualized or realized, and they are foreknown, the must conform to the foreknowledge, of God. If they don’t conform to God’s foreknowledge, then God’s knowledge is not perfect, God is not perfect and this position is open theism.

        pastor loz: again, you set up a non-existent false conflict between God’s perfect foreknowledge and free will. God knows what a person will freely choose. If they would have chosen differently to what they actually did, God would have perfectly foreknown that alternative scenario. You actually don’t know the difference between foreknowledge and predetermination. God foreknows the things He predetermines, the things He doesn’t predetermine, and every counter-factual. He’s clever like that, unlike your version who can only foreknow something if He predetermined it.

      5. Pastor Loz
        Knowlegde is not something anyone is subject to, or it is subject to them.

        roland
        So, when you make a decision, any kind of decision, you do not need knowledge to make that decision? You don’t LEARN about something in order to make a decision?
        Allow me to give you an example. Let’s say you want to purchase a home. Do you purchase a home without learning or acquiring knowledge of that home? Do you want to know price? How many rooms? Square footage?
        Are you married? Did you marry your spouse without getting to know her? Was your decision to marry, if you are married, subject to what you knew about your spouse? If so, then your decision was subject to the knowledge you acquired about your spouse.
        If you learn or acquire knowledge about the home you seek to purchase, then your decision is subject to that knowledge. Unless you buy homes or make decisions without knowledge.

        Roland
        God does not learn. If God learns, then that means He lacks something, and He is not perfect or at the very least there was a moment in time where God was not omniscient. The ramifications of this are many.

        Pastor Loz
        unlike your version who can only foreknow something if He predetermined it.

        roland
        I don’t think I have ever stated that God “can only foreknow something if He predetermined it.” I don’t believe that. God KNOWS everything BECAUSE He decreed it. I also agree that God knows all possibilities as well. God knows all that has happened, what will happen, and what COULD have happened.
        Only what comes to pass is what has God decreed. I know Molinists like to point to subjunctive conditionals to justify their belief in middle knowledge. They cite verses such as Matthew 11:21. I agree with the Molinists that if the works which were done in those cities, were done in the other cities, then yes they would have repented. But the works were not done because God did not decree for the works to be done there.

      6. Pastor Loz: Knowledge is not something anyone is subject to, or it is subject to them.

        roland: when you make a decision, any kind of decision, you do not need knowledge to make that decision? You don’t LEARN about something in order to make a decision? Let’s say you want to purchase a home. Do you purchase a home without learning or acquiring knowledge of that home? If you learn or acquire knowledge about the home you seek to purchase, then your decision is subject to that knowledge. God does not learn. If God learns, then that means He lacks something, and He is not perfect or at the very least there was a moment in time where God was not omniscient. The ramifications of this are many.

        Pastor Loz: You are confusing / conflating several things here. How knowledge is acquired, and how knowledge is used / why it is needed. Firstly, the fact that I acquire and use knowledge in order to make informed decisions does not make me SUBJECT to that knowledge. I could make decisions without that knowledge, if I chose to do so. It’s poor terminology.

        Secondly, I don’t recall saying anywhere that God learns. God does not need to learn, because He is inherently omniscient. In and of Himself. He already knows everything there is to know, therefore there is never a point at which God does not know something. Thus God does not need to learn, because there is no new knowledge for Him to acquire. If God knows something BECAUSE He decreed it, then logically His knowledge FOLLOWS the decree and is dependent upon it. Therefore, before God made the decree, He did not know that thing. That is where calvinist thinking inevitably leads you.

    3. Roland – I have a recorded copy of that interview and took the time to re-listen to it – and you got it wrong.

      Romans 8:29 comes up in the conversation at approximately minute 47.
      Dr. Craig responds to that verse by pointing out that the Greek word προέγνω “Foreknew” is consistent with a form of knowledge that is complete and comprehensive and there is no lack of knowledge concerning the characteristics of created creatures.

      It other words – it is consistent with Middle-Knowledge

      Dr. Craig did not bring up the verse – nor did he quote the verse – he commented on a Greek word in the verse.
      Any person who misquotes verses in scripture is not going to be considered an internationally recognized scholar – such as Dr. Craig is.

      However – if you listen to that interview again – I would point out Dr. Helm’s speaks through both sides of his mouth concerning divine permission.
      When it comes to sins he states they are permitted.
      Then later in a back and forth between himself and Dr. Craig – it becomes obvious Dr. Helms is hemming an hawing on the subject.
      Dr. Craig points out – in Calvinism – everything that comes to pass is divinely CAUSED

      Therefore divine permission in Calvinism is as follows:
      1) What is divinely CAUSED is permitted
      2) What is NOT divinely CAUSED is NOT permitted

      I find it very disheartening the Paul Helms – who is supposed to be scholar – should be so heavily engaged in Calvinism’s DOUBLE-SPEAK language.

      One more confirmation – that Calvinist statements consistently function to MASQUERADE Calvinism – in order to make it APPEAR to be something it isn’t – and to HIDE what it actually is.

      And that aspect of Calvinism for me – becomes the RED-FLAG that the Calvinist himself secretly recognizes something is wrong with it.

    4. Roland – here is some further evidence concerning how the function of choice – as it is NORMATIVELY understood – doesn’t exist in Calvinism.

      – According to the online Etymological Dictionary, to choose, means to “select from two or more”.
      – The American Heritage Dictionary has: “To select from a number of possible alternatives”.
      – The Merriam Webster Dictionary has: “To make a selection – to take an alternative”.
      – The Online Free Dictionary has: “To select from a number of possible alternatives; decide on and pick out”.
      – The online Cambridge Dictionary has: “To decide what you want from two or more things or possibilities”.
      – The online KJV Dictionary has: “To pick out; to select; to take by way of preference from two or more things offered”

      We should be able to see that a NECESSARY CONDITION for the function of choice – is a minimum of 2 options from which to select – and the ability to select or NOT select.

      Now in Calvinism – every human selection is infallibly decreed to be specifically what it is
      And no alternative of that which is infallibly decreed is possible

      Therefore in Calvinism
      1) There is never more than ONE option granted existence and thus made available for man to select
      2) Man is granted NO CHOICE as to what that option will be
      3) Man is granted NO CHOICE as to whether he will select that option or not.

      In Calvinism – the function of choice occurs at the foundation of the world – where there are multiple options available to the THEOS from which to select.

      So logically prior to the decree – there are multiple options available to the THEOS from which to select
      And the existence of multiple options satisfies the NECESSARY condition for “Choice”

      However, logically posterior to the decree – a “Choice” (past tense) has been made.
      That “Choice” cannot be un-made
      It cannot be re-made
      The THEOS cannot go back and un-make that choice and re-do it over
      That choice has become FIXED and is no longer available as a choice to make.

      When the decree is RENDERED-CERTAIN – the existence of all other options – from that which was decreed – become infallibly EXCLUDED

      Therefore in Calvinism
      1) Man is never granted more than one option to select
      2) Man is given NO CHOICE about what that option will be
      3) Man is given NO CHOICE about whether or not he will select that option.

      Therefore in Calvinism
      1) Any human perception of multiple options available to a human from which to select – exist only as predestined illusions.
      They represent alternatives of that which was infallibly decreed
      And no alternative of that which is infallibly decreed has the possibility of existing.
      Their EXCLUSION at the foundation of the world – is RENDERED-CERTAIN by the infallible decree

      2) Any human perceptions of being the determiner of a selection also exist only as predestined illusions.

      1. brdmod:
        Therefore in Calvinism
        1) Man is never granted more than one option to select

        roland
        So when I walk into a restaurant and there are ten different options for a main course dinner, only one of those options is available to me? Are you saying that I am not really looking at ten different options on the menu, just one? What happens if I choose two options?

        brdmod:
        2) Man is given NO CHOICE about what that option will be

        roland
        So is my option really only one option? Or are there really ten options in front of me? Let’s say that there are five other restaurants in the area but I choose the steakhouse. The five other restaurants are not really there? They’re an illusion? I could not drive towards the steakhouse and at the last second, turn towards the Italian restaurant? The steakhouse is an illusion but the Italian restaurant is not an illusion because my choice ( again that I did not make, no option either) actualizes either the steakhouse or Italian?

        brdmod:
        3) Man is given NO CHOICE about whether or not he will select that option.

        roland
        When I eventually make a choice (but according to you I’m not really making it) that choice was not made by me? Let’s say I pick the steak dinner, medium well, baked potato with sour cream, bacon, butter, chives, and sour cream, all those choices I made to build my potato to my desire and liking, was the only NO CHOICE I made from a selection that I did not opt for?

      2. roland: So when I walk into a restaurant and there are ten different options for a main course dinner, only one of those options is available to me? Are you saying that I am not really looking at ten different options on the menu, just one? What happens if I choose two options?

        This is exactly where calvinism runs into the problem of actual real life. In real life, all ten options for the dinner are genuinely available to you. In calvinism, they only APPEAR to be available to you, because regardless of how many options are on the menu, the calvinist version of God has already unchangeably ordained which one of those options you will choose, and you cannot choose otherwise than what He has decreed. Same with any choice of restaurants. In real life you actually choose the restaurant and all the menu options. In calvinism you THINK you are choosing but you are actually only following an unchanegable, pre-ordained script.

      3. Roland:
        So when I walk into a restaurant and there are ten different options for a main course dinner, only one of those options is available to me?

        Br.d
        If a THEOS infallibly decrees you to select option-1 then he must make option-1 available to you, or else he is invalidating his own decree.
        The decree is infallible – which means it cannot be invalidated. So whatever option you are infallibly decreed to select must be available for you to select. And in order for option-1 to be available to you it must exist. So along with the decree that you will infallibly to select option-1 is the additional decree that option-1 will exist and thus be available for you select.

        Consequently – the existence of option-1 is RENDERED-CERTAIN
        And the event of you selecting option-1 is RENDERED-CERTAIN.
        Those represent that which has been infallibly decreed.

        And any alternatives of the infallible decree are NOT possible because they falsify the infallible decree – which is not possible.

        So all other options (because they represent alternatives of that which is infallibly decreed) are not granted existence.
        And that which does not exist within creation is not available to the creature.
        Additionally – the event of you selecting them is not granted existence.

        Now on the issue of perceptions – look at it this way.
        A THEOS decrees that you will infallibly select option-1
        That THEOS is a perfect being – and he does not have FALSE Perceptions.
        He knows that he decreed you to infallibly select option-1
        He knows that he made option-1 available for you to select
        He knows he brought the event of you selecting option-1 into existence.
        He knows any alternative of that which he decreed is NOT possible.
        He knows he did not decree you to select any option other than option-1
        He knows any alternative of you selecting option-1 will have no existence.
        He knows the event of you selecting anything other than option-1 will have no existence.

        Therefore he knows option-1 is the only option he made available to you to select
        And his PERCEPTION of what he knows is perfect and cannot be wrong.
        So if your PERCEPTION disagrees with his PERCEPTION then your perception must be FALSE
        And a FALSE PERCEPTION is what we call an illusion.

  10. SPURCALLUTH
    NOVEMBER 14, 2021 AT 10:28 PM

    Hi Heather. The problem I had with BRDMOD was that he might know some Calvinists, heck, he might know many Calvinists, and he might think that none of them want to understand Scripture, but he has never interacted with me and therefore does not know me. Based on his zero knowledge of me, he decided that I don’t care what Scripture says,

    br.d
    He decided you didn’t care about what scripture says.

    And you discerned that with your SUPER DIVINE ESP powers – which give you divine knowledge of what is going on inside peoples minds!
    Too funny!!! ;-D

    1. Well, gee, br.d, I guess if someone tells me they won’t talk to me about what Scripture says, I come to the conclusion that they won’t talk to me about what Scripture says FOR A REASON. I guess I must be insane to think that people do things for reasons.

      1. Well you made a rational statement that time!
        Yes there was a reason.
        And I did clearly communicate it to you.
        But then you ended with another IRRATIONAL conclusion.
        Do rational people think it insane to think that people do things for reasons?
        Again – I would ask you to consider whether some of these responses are emotional – and why one would do that to one’s self.

      2. brd.mod, I honestly don’t understand why you keep asking me why I would do “that” to myself? What do you mean? Do you mean “why would you have emotions”? I have emotions because I am human. Do you mean “why would you have emotional attachment to soteriological doctrine”? Again, because I’m human. I assume these are not the questions that you have in mind, because it would be very strange of you to question why I act like a normal human. So what is your question supposed to mean? I’m not asking this to be argumentative, condescending, or anything like that. I really just want to know what it is that you are asking, because you have now asked it more than once and I still have no idea how to answer your question. I want this to be a place where I can (minimally) civilly and maybe even(maximally) as a friend discuss matters of soteriology. So far, I don’t think either I or anyone who has been responding to me have been doing a particularly good job of that. And I think the first place to start is to try to communicate clearly.

      3. That being said, it is late where I live, so I will only be able to read your response in the morning. May God bless you and keep you. Some people here say I believe in a Calvi-god; I guess that’s the God that I pray will bless and keep you. I hope that’s good enough for now. 🙂

      4. Emotions are often self-sabotaging.
        They are a way of shooting one’s self in the foot.

        I did appreciate your interaction with the other good people who interact here.
        Perhaps with you and I – its an issue of dramatic difference in how we approach things.

        If you are happy to interact with others here – and you find doing so valuable – then that is good – because that is what SOT101 is for.
        And I’m very glad to see it!

      5. SPURCALLUTH wrote Well, gee, br.d, I guess if someone tells me they won’t talk to me about what Scripture says, I come to the conclusion that they won’t talk to me about what Scripture says FOR A REASON. I guess I must be insane to think that people do things for reasons.

        Pastor Loz: In calvnist philosophical theory, there is only one reason that anyone does anything. And that is because their version of God unchangeably ordained it. All other “reasons” are just illusions.

      6. Spurcalluth, do you reject the Westminster Confession Of Faith, where it states that God unchangeably ordains whatsoever comes to pass Do you reject the fact that “whatsoever comes to pass” includes absolutely everything that happens, including every sin, and every objection by a non-calvinist to calvinist teaching?

      7. Hi Pastor Loz. What I reject is the implication that God decreeing everything implies that God decrees that man does not have creaturely free will. I’ve come up with an illustration to explain creaturely free will. If you like, I’ll tell you how I understand it. If you don’t like, you can tell me that you’re not interested.

      8. spurcqlluth; Hi Pastor Loz. What I reject is the implication that God decreeing everything implies that God decrees that man does not have creaturely free will. I’ve come up with an illustration to explain creaturely free will. If you like, I’ll tell you how I understand it.

        Yes by all means feel free to share your illustration. I look forward to seeing how man has a genuine choice between two or more alternatives in your illustration, and his choice is not limited by God’s decree.

      9. So the way I understand creaturely free will is as follows: Suppose it is raining outside. Before I leave the house, I have some options: I can put on a raincoat, I can take an umbrella, I can walk in the rain, I can wait for the rain to subside. What I cannot do is will the rain to end. God can do that, of course, because He has the kind of will that is not limited by circumstances, but we have the kind of will that has to submit to certain sorts of circumstances. I make this disclaimer, because there are some kinds of circumstances that we have a limited amount of control over. For instance, when I wake up on a Thursday morning, I can choose to go to work or I can choose to remain in bed and potentially lose my job. I cannot will it to be Friday morning instead. God can will whatsoever He wills whenever He wills. Now, having said all of this, you can see that my idea of the interaction between God’s will and my will is substantially different from how you interpret Calvinism. Okay. If my view of God’s will is not Calvinistic, but instead something else, that’s no skin off my teeth. I don’t have to compulsively agree with Calvin in everything. Maybe that makes me a non-Calvinist, I don’t know. For instance, I am a credobaptist, and Calvin had very little patience for credobaptists (he would’ve called them anabaptists). I think there are places, significant ones, where I do agree with Calvin, and that’s why I call myself a Calvinist, but if that is an inaccurate description, then I’d like to find out what a better description would be.

      10. Hello spurcalluth
        If you are trying to LIVE as a Calvinist – then you will be both affirming and denying the doctrine.
        That is the only way a human can actually LIVE as a Calvinist.

        The doctrine stipulates “WHATSOEVER” comes to pass – does so as the direct consequence of an infallible decree.
        The term WHATSOEVER means “Without Exception”

        Thus every impulse that comes to pass within the Calvinist’s brain are AUTHORED by an external mind and come to pass irresistibly within his brain.
        Which means – he has no say in the matter of any impulse that comes to pass – within his brain or his body.

        And since it is psychologically impossible to LIVE that way – the Calvinist is in a constant state of claiming to affirm the doctrine while denying it.

        The Non-Calvinist doesn’t have that problem because he’s not trying to LIVE as a Calvinist.
        So it makes perfect sense that you would reject a Non-Calvinist interpretation of Calvinism.

        Blessings!

  11. Roland:
    Molinism does make God’s decision dependent upon the circumstances available to Him.

    br.d
    Nope!
    Simply because he is the one who determines what those circumstances will be.

    Rolanda
    And there is no freewill of the creature in Molinism as the creature’s decisions are determined by the circumstances the creature is in.

    br.d
    What a Frankenstein you have created in your mind concerning this!!!

    – The Circumstances are determined solely and exclusively by the THEOS
    – The THEOS merely permits the creature to
    1) Have the function of choice – where multiple options are made available from which to select
    2) The creatures is “MERELY” permitted to be the determiner of that selection

    Roland:
    There is no libertarian freewill in Molinism, it is just an illusion

    br.d
    You don’t even realize how self-contradicting your Frankenstein image of this is!!

    If it were the case that the human decision was solely and exclusively determined by the THEOS – then yes – the function of choice for the human would be an illusion.

    But in that case – all of your other assertions would LOGICALLY be FALSE
    Which would make it the case that you are utterly contradicting yourself

    Roland:
    The circumstances the creature is in are determining the creature’s decisions.

    br.d
    This is another part of your Frankenstein image of Molinism

    with Molinism – just as it is in Calvinism -the circumstances determine the limitations made available to the creature.

    Where Molinism deviates from Calvinism – is where those limitations are NOT EXHAUSTIVE as they are in Calvinism
    Remember – Calvinism is “Exhaustive” Divine Determinism – in which absolutely NOTHING is left UP TO the creature.

    Roland:
    [According to Calvinism] Scripture DOES NOT set human choices against God’s divine determination!

    br.d
    Now you are Denying your own belief system – because in Calvinism there is no such thing as humans having the function of choice at all.

    Remember – in Calvinism:
    1) Any instance in which you PERCEIVE alternatives from that which has been infallibly decreed (i.e. multiple options) as available for you to select is an predestined illusion

    2) Any instance in which you PERCEIVE yourself as the DETERMINER of any selection is a predestined illusion

    Roland:
    Calvinism takes this revealed truth in God’s Word at its simple, plain reading

    br.d
    Yea right!
    The Calvinist holds the proposition that ALL things without exception are solely and exclusively determined by an external mind
    And he claims that to be divine sacred TRUTH derived from scripture

    And then he goes about his office AS-IF the divine sacred TRUTH derived from scripture is FALSE

    And that is supposed to be a Holy Spirit Inspired belief system!
    Too funny!

    If the Calvinist interpretation of scripture is TRUE – then scripture teaches the believer to be DOUBLE-MINDED 😀

    Roland:
    We don’t try to make “sense” of it or seek to give a “logical” explanation of how human choices and God’s divine determinations operate.

    br.d
    And that is one of the reasons – every Calvinist is forced into the pattern of claiming his doctrine as TRUE – while treating it AS-IF it is FALSE :-]

    The DOUBLE-MINDEDNESS of Calvinism.

    Roland:
    Yes, under non-calvinist perspectives God is SUBJECT to knowledge.

    br.d
    So on your thinking – his knowledge that he cannot lie to himself is a weakness – because he is SUBJECT to it.
    That’s what we get for waving off logic! :-]

    Roland:
    we believe that God’s knowledge comes from His decree.
    His knowledge of creation and creaturely decisions.

    br.d
    Here is an excellent example of Calvinism’s deceptive language pattern.

    Your first sentence is an EXPLICIT statement which asserts that all divine knowledge is the CONSEQUENCE of the decree
    Which is TRUE in Calvinism

    Your second statement is an INFERENTIAL statement which infers two FALSEHOODS:
    1) That divine knowledge is derived from observation of the creature
    2) That in Calvinism creatures have the function of choice

    And these statements appear to come out of you so automatically that your mind is oblivious to the DOUBLE-SPEAK

    Roland:
    I would argue that God is building a world in Moliinism because He uses the “parts”, i.e., circumstances, that He uses to create the world He desires.

    br.d
    Sure – no problem!
    Just remember – those are FEASIBLE or POSSIBLE worlds.
    In other words – he knows all of the POSSIBLE circumstances he could decree come to pass – and then out of those multiple options – he chooses which circumstance he wants to come to pass.

    Now if you examine that last statement I just made – what I just described is a LIBERTARIAN choice.
    Nothing different there – then there is in Calvinism

    Roland
    In Molinism, God’s knowledge comes from the circumstances He sorts through in order to “create”,

    br.d
    Here is where you fall into equivocal language again – by the words “comes from”
    And what you are inferring commits the fallacy of non-sequitur

    The divine knowledge of all possible circumstances available from which to select does not logically equate to his knowledge “coming” from those circumstances.

    That would be like saying his knowledge “comes from” what he can create
    In other words – what he can create INFORMS him of what he can create.
    There is very little that is RATIONAL in that conclusion.

    Roland:
    Non-calvinists positions portray God as a passive observer or spectator

    br.d
    AH!
    Here is where you distinguish what John Calvin called “MERE” permission.
    Calvin’s god does not “MERELY” permit anything.

    In Calvinism:
    1) What is divinely CAUSED is permitted
    2) What is NOT divinely CAUSED is NOT permitted

    Therefore Calvin’s god is not a “passive observer or spectator” of sins and evils.
    He is the AUTHOR of every sin and evil – because they are FIRST-CONCEIVED in his mind
    He then decrees them to infallibly and irresistibly come to pass
    And gives humans no choice in the matter of anything.

    Where on the Non-Calvinist system – “MERE” permission does exist.
    And you don’t have the “Author of evil” consequence.

    Roland:
    First, I do not SUBJECT Scripture to logical tests.

    br.d
    Here is where you conflate an INTERPRETATION of scripture with scripture itself
    You INFERENTIALLY don’t acknowledge Calvinism is an INTERPRETATION of scripture
    You INFER Calvinism and Scripture as one and the same thing
    Thus – you do not subject the Calvinist INTERPRETATION to logical tests

    Roland:
    The only position that consistently argues for libertarian freewill is a position that denies God’s perfect knowledge of future events and future human choices, decisions, and actions.

    br.d
    If that is TRUE – then Calvin’s god does not have the function of choice either.
    Because
    1) if you remove Libertarian choice – you are left with Determinism
    2) With Determinism his decisions are determined by factors outside of his control

    1. br.d
      What a Frankenstein you have created in your mind concerning this!!!

      roland
      I’m only following the Frankenstein monster of John Frame’s conclusion regarding libertarian freewill in Molinism. Frame writes: “on Craig’s view (William Lane Craig) God considers all possible worlds by his middle knowledge and then chooses to create one of them. In the world he chooses to create, someone named Peter exists, who, in these created circumstances, will deny Christ three times. Note that I said “will,” not “could” or “might”. Once God creates a world (including a world history) that includes Peter’s denial, that denial is inevitable.”
      Frame continues:
      “So what room is there in this scenario for libertarian freedom? Once Peter is created, his denial is inevitable – determined, one might say Craig has employed the concept of middle knowledge in order to maintain libertarian freedom together with divine foreknowledge. But at the moment of Peter’s terrible decision, how can he be said to have libertarian freedom? Rather, he can only deny Jesus because he is living in a world in which that denial is an ingredient. God determined before Peter was born that he would betray Jesus.”

      I can’t remember if I was having this conversation with you regarding Dr. Craig’s and Dr. Helm’s discussion on a podcast but this is what Dr. Helm was getting at when Dr. Craig was talking about God creating worlds in which God knows the creature’s freewill decisions and circumstances. Dr. Helm, denying Dr. Craig’s assertion that God loves each and every individual, states that God, in Molinism, is more concerned with worlds and circumstances than love for the individual. In Molinism God has created worlds that are feasible and circumstances that are desirable to God’s will. This is why according to Dr. Frame, Peter’s actions are just an “ingredient” in the whole recipe (worlds and circumstances) that were created by God according to Molina.

      br.d
      This is another part of your Frankenstein image of Molinism

      with Molinism – just as it is in Calvinism -the circumstances determine the limitations made available to the creature.

      roland
      Who makes “the circumstances determine the limitations made available to the creature”? God does in Molinism. God is determining the circumstances in which the creature will make the decision that God finds desirable to His will. That is exactly why middle knowledge is an unnecessary complication in knowledge. There is no need for middle knowledge because the knowledge that is in middle knowledge can be either in God’s necessary or free knowledge.
      “When God knows possible worlds, does he not also, by virtue of that knowledge, also know all possible free creatures and their possible actions?” John Frame “The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God” Sorry I don’t have page references as I’m reading from an electronic version of Frame’s book that only has locations.
      Libertarian freewill in Molinism is an illusion.

      1. Roland:
        I’m only following the Frankenstein monster of John Frame’s conclusion….

        Br.d If his conclusion is what you stated – then it is a Frankenstein image of Molinism :-]

        Roland: Frame writes: “on Craig’s view (William Lane Craig) God considers all possible worlds by his middle knowledge and then chooses to create one of them. In the world he chooses to create, someone named Peter exists, who, in these created circumstances, will deny Christ three times. “

        Br.d Not because Peter is decreed to infallibly and irresistibly deny Christ – but because Peter is “MERELY” permitted to make that choice

        Roland: Note that I said “will,” not “could” or “might”. Once God creates a world (including a world history) that includes Peter’s denial, that denial is inevitable.”

        Br.d That is where you misrepresent Molinism.
        You shouldn’t be complaining about Calvinism being misrepresented – when you do the very thing you complain about.

        As I said – in Molinism – Peter is “MERELY” permitted to be the determiner of his choices.
        The circumstance is determined by divine decree – not Peter’s choice.

        Roland: Frame continues – “So what room is there in this scenario for libertarian freedom? Once Peter is created, his denial is inevitable –

        Br.d Sorry that is FALSE.
        It would only be inevitable if Peter’s choice was infallibly decreed – which it isn’t in Molinism

        Roland: one might say Craig has employed the concept of middle knowledge in order to maintain libertarian freedom together with divine foreknowledge.

        Br.d Almost but not quite!
        Middle Knowledge is a part of divine omniscience – which facilitates perfect knowledge of what the creature WOULD do – given the creature is “MERELY” permitted to be the determiner of his choices.

        Roland: But at the moment of Peter’s terrible decision, how can he be said to have libertarian freedom?

        Br.d Because he was “MERELY” permitted to make that choice.
        Which by definition is a Libertarian Choice

        Roland: Rather, he can only deny Jesus because he is living in a world in which that denial is an ingredient.

        Br.d. That would be TRUE in Calvinism – but not in Molinism.
        In Molinism – Peter’s choice is not determined *FOR* Peter.
        It is determined *BY* Peter

        Roland: God determined before Peter was born that he would betray Jesus.

        Br.d: This is simply an attempt to affirm Calvinism at the expense of misrepresenting Molinism.
        What you need to notice here is that all of these statements are CLAIMS with no evidence
        If Frame can show through LOGIC that his claims are TRUE – then we have a different issue
        But so far – he provides NO EVIDENCE

        That is in contrast to my posts to you which clearly lay out valid logic which shows that according to Calvinism’s doctrine of decrees – there is no such thing as an alternative of that which is infallibly decreed – therefore the infallible decree excludes all but one option for the creature.
        And that removes the necessary condition for “choice”

        Roland: Who makes “the circumstances determine the limitations made available to the creature”? God does in Molinism.

        Br.d: Correct!
        The circumstances are determined *FOR* the creature – but the creatures choices are determined *BY* the creature.

        Roland:God is determining the circumstances in which the creature will make the decision that God finds desirable to His will.

        Br.d FALSE.
        The circumstances are determined – but those circumstances do not determine the creatures choices.

        Roland: That is exactly why middle knowledge is an unnecessary complication in knowledge.

        Br.d That’s because – your version of Molinism is an attempt to warp its shape into the shape of Calvinism.
        Calvinism is EXHAUSTIVE Divine Determinism
        Molinism is SEMI-Divine Determinism

        Roland: “When God knows possible worlds, does he not also, by virtue of that knowledge, also know all possible free creatures and their possible actions?”

        Br.d In Calvinism he knows what the creature WILL do because he determines what the creature will infallibly and irresistibly do
        In Molinism – he knows what the creature will do by perfect knowledge of the characteristics of the creature.
        By having perfect knowledge of the characteristics of the creature – he knows what the creature WOULD do in any circumstance.

        Roland: Libertarian freewill in Molinism is an illusion.

        Br.d In Calvinism – the human function of choice is an illusion
        It is the Calvinist’s secret strategy for robing a portion of Calvin’s god’s divine sovereignty.

        But Molinism is SEMI-Determinism
        Calvinism is EXHAUSTIVE Determinism.
        That is the difference.

        But I can understand the Calvinist wanting to distort Molinism into Calvinism’s image – out of jealousy.

      2. Again Roland – the difference between your presentation and mine is – I’ve take pains to lay out logical arguments which clearly show through logic – the logical consequences of the doctrine of decrees.

        So my post provides EVIDENCE by virtue of clear sequential logic

        Your post presents bold claims completely void of any LOGICAL evidence.

        The fact that you swallow claims without evidence simply because Frame says them – tells me how easy it is for someone to manipulate your mind.

        I suggest you read Proverbs 15:14

  12. Roland wrote: Roland: Non-calvinists positions portray God as a passive observer or spectator

    Now I know for sure that you are absolutely clueless about what non-calvinists believe. Revealing your ignorance like that doesn’t do you any favours.

    1. Pastor Loz
      Now I know for sure that you are absolutely clueless about what non-calvinists believe. Revealing your ignorance like that doesn’t do you any favours.

      roland
      Could you help me out by answering a few questions for me?
      How does God relate to knowledge? What do you believe the Bible teaches about God and knowledge?
      I appreciate your response. I’m curious to know, I’m not looking for an argument, I don’t know what you believe, it would me to understand your position or belief if you told me what it is, thanks.

      Before I became a Calvinist, I believed and was taught by my non-Calvinist pastors that God knew everything about man’s actions, decisions, thoughts, etc. then He created the heavens and the earth. God created, He knew all things before they were created, and that is why He is omniscient. God knew what we could do, what we would do, and what we did do in everything. I still believe almost the same thing but I now believe God knows because He decreed. I did not believe that before because I was never taught that God decreed everything into existence in creation.

      1. Roland, I don’t want to get in the middle of a conversation between you two, but how do you then explain the verse where God tells the king of Israel that they let go a man God determined should die? Or the verse where God says that the people made the righteous sad when God Himself did not make them sad? Just wondering. (I could look up the references if you can’t find it, but I am not at my computer right now.)

      2. Heather
        Or the verse where God says that the people made the righteous sad when God Himself did not make them sad? Just wondering. (I could look up the references if you can’t find it, but I am not at my computer right now.)

        roland
        I couldn’t find the first verse about the king and God determining the man to die but he was let go. I did find Ezekiel 13:22 “Because with lies you have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and you have strengthened the hands of the wicked, so that he does not turn from his wicked way to save his life.
        I’m going to guess that your question arises from the portion of the text that reads: “whom I (God) have not made sad.”
        How does a Calvinist interpret this text? I would say that this text is perfectly compatible with Calvinism. According to the Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF) Chapter 3 Paragraph 1 Of God’s Decree, a portion reads like this “nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures, nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.”
        I believe and confess that God has decreed all things, whatsoever comes to pass and I also believe that God does not violate man’s will nor liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather they are established by God’s decree.

        You might be thinking or asking, as I have in the past, how can a Calvinist say God has decreed all things or determined all things, is the primary cause of all things but there are Bible verses such as Ezekiel 13:22? There it says God did not make them sad. First, I would take it and understand the verse in its plain reading, immediate context. If I was to teach from this text my understanding, application would derive from the fact that God is not always the IMMEDIATE cause of an event. That’s why WCF says what it says regarding God’s decree, evil, sin, the creature’s will, liberty, contingencies, second causes, etc. Here, in Ezekiel 13:22, God is not the cause of the righteous’s sadness, the foolish prophets are the immediate cause.
        Second, I believe Scripture is in harmony. There are no contradiction in Scripture. So, I also take the verses that show God being the immediate cause of some event such as creation.
        I hope it is not confusing as I find it difficult to communicate these concepts in writing. I believe what Ezekiel 13:22 says, there, God did not cause their sadness. However, there are verses that do say God brings calamity. I would further say that God can bring calamity directly on someone or He can use another person or some circumstance. He can do the same with blessing. He can bless someone directly or use someone else to bless or use some circumstance. This to me is the appeal of Calvinistic thinking. It acknowledges that God is overall and is active or can be active in all. Sorry for the long response but thanks for asking and reading.

        Isaiah 45:7
        7 I form the light and create darkness,
        I make peace and create calamity;
        I, the Lord, do all these things.’

      3. Roland, The other reference is 1 Kings 20:42.

        And thank you for taking the time to answer this. But in my opinion, Calvinists let historical confessions of faith (written by other men, not God-inspired like Scripture is) teach them how to interpret Scripture according to what the confession assumes. Calvinists read Scripture through the lens of the confession, even when it doesn’t make sense, like the whole “second cause” thing – which really just means (in Calvinism) that God predestines something (first/ultimate cause) but then causes the person to do it as the “second cause,” like a controller programming a robot to do an action. It’s a convoluted, fancy, nonsensical explanation to try to hide the fact that God (in Calvinism) is the cause of everything, even sin and rebellion and unbelief. I think we could destroy just about any biblical teaching/truth if we started adding secondary layers and double meanings and “two different types of…” into Scripture when it’s not clearly there on its own. And that’s where the contradiction comes in. It’s not in Scripture itself; it’s from people adding layers that aren’t there, that alter God’s character and the plain teaching of His Word. Just my opinion. God bless!

      4. Heather:
        But in my opinion, Calvinists let historical confessions of faith (written by other men, not God-inspired like Scripture is) teach them how to interpret Scripture according to what the confession assumes.

        roland
        This was also a genuine concern of mine when I first began to study and embrace Reformed Christianity. Why confessions and catechisms? As a Reformed Christian, along with most Reformed Christians, we never seek to replace Holy Scripture with our confessions and catechisms, we view them as aids to interpret Scripture, great study guides to Christianity, and they are like mini systematic theologies. And YES, they are written by men. And YES (emphasis of importance and recognition, don’t take it as yelling) we not only let the historical confessions of faith teach us but we do so affirmatively CONFESSING the teachings as part of our historical faith and practice of Christianity.
        First, there are difficult Scriptures to interpret. That’s one reason why Reformed Christians use confessions and catechisms
        2 Peter 3:15-17
        15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, 16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are SOME THINGS HARD TO UNDERSTAND, which UNTAUGHT and UNSTABLE people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.
        17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked;

        So, as a Christian, I believe, along with my fellow Reformed Christians, that WE all need to be taught because some things in Scripture, specifically Paul’s letters, are hard to understand. For this reason, that we need to be taught, God gives men as pastors, teachers, etc. to the Church. We recognize historical Christians such as Augustine, Calvin, Luther, early Church fathers, as teachers of the Church.
        Ephesians 4:11
        11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
        And why did God give these offices to the Church?
        12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

        Heather
        Just my opinion.

        roland
        Agree with you, holding to a confession as an aid to understand the Bible is an “opinion,” as in something that is not commanded by Scripture. We are commanded to believe God in His Word but we are not commanded to believe men’s writings outside of God’s Word but extra-biblical writings can be of help as long as they are in accordance with Scripture. Thanks for reading, calvi-God (as in a blessing from the supreme, sovereign and omnipotent God!) bless!

      5. Aids to interpret scripture:
        Many years ago the writings of Plato were considered “Aids to interpret Scripture”
        Plato was called the “Midwife” – because his writings were said to aid in “Bringing Forth” the correct understanding of concepts within scripture – which the reader would not otherwise acquire.

        We should be able to see the consequence of such a practice.
        The writings of Plato – served as PRESUPPOSITIONS which the reader treated as CANON
        The reader convinced himself he was comparing “Scripture” with “Scripture”
        But the process involved using the “Scripture” of Plato – to compare with “Scripture” of the Bible
        The process requires treating the writings of Plato as CANON

        So the process entails raising PRESUPPOSITIONS which had their origin in Plato – and making those CANON within the readers mind.
        The reader then compares the CANON of Plato to the CANON of Scripture.
        And thereby derived a SUPERIOR understanding of Scripture

      6. This practice is equivalent today – to the American voter turning on CNN and using them as an “Aid to Interpret” current events.

        The fact that CNN is distorting and manipulating information in order to control the audiences’ “Interpretation” of current events is of no concern to the audience – because they have put their TRUST in CNN

        Their minds have been conditioned to treat CNN as a TRUSTED source
        So when CNN tells them lies – they swallow those lies without question.
        And any alternative news source is not only not TRUSTED but held in disdain.

        After their minds have swallowed the lies from CNN a condition known as confirmation bias sets in
        They cannot allow their minds to accept any information that contradicts CNN

        So when CNN manufactures 4 years of lies concerning the current president – the audience is oblivious they are being fed lies
        And after the lies become completely and totally obvious to everyone else – the CNN audience will NOT RECEIVE THE TRUTH because their minds are captured in the snare of confirmation bias.

        This is the consequence of trusting men.

      7. Heather,

        You might want to bring up the following to Calvinists:

        Jeremiah 32:35
        And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

        Jeremiah 19:5
        They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind:

        Jeriemiah 7:31
        And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart.

        I’d love to see the Tiny Tim tip toeing on that.

        Ed Chapman

      8. Ed Chapman: Heather, You might want to bring up the following to Calvinists:

        Jeremiah 32:35 And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

        Jeremiah 19:5 They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind:

        Jeriemiah 7:31 And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart.

        Ed Chapman////

        Pastor Loz: I think it would be helpful if Roland could offer a precise calvinistic definition of “neither came it into My mind / heart”. With or without the aid of creeds and confessions.

        Did God unchangeably decree for these things not to come into His own mind?

      9. Pastor Loz,

        You had said:
        ” I think it would be helpful if Roland could offer a precise calvinistic definition of “neither came it into My mind / heart”. With or without the aid of creeds and confessions.”

        I remember reading “confessions” of certain topics that are considered “Orthodox” to whatever denomination it is. And that denomination refuses to question those conclusions. These “confessions” are several hundreds of years old. The Catholics, almost 2000 years (Doctrine of Trinity).

        Since I began studying the bible, a lot of these “confessions”, I just have to scratch and shake my head thinking, “Where did these people come up with these goofy conclusions?” I can’t wrap my head around “orthodox”. Dead people decided FOR YOU, not allowing you to have a mind of your own.

        Calvinisim has got to be the most idiotic interpretation of scripture of them all. I can’t understand why they refuse to quesiton a man that put his pants on the same way that I do.

        Ed Chapman

      10. chapmaned24
        I remember reading “confessions” of certain topics that are considered “Orthodox” to whatever denomination it is. And that denomination refuses to question those conclusions. These “confessions” are several hundreds of years old. The Catholics, almost 2000 years (Doctrine of Trinity).

        roland
        Would you be in agreement or disagreement with the Apostles’ Creed (I know it was not written by the Apostles but it contains the Apostles’ doctrine which is the doctrine they received from Christ), the Nicene Creed and its statement of orthodox faith of the early Church, its opposition to Arianism (Arius denied Christ’s equality with God the Father, he also believed that Jesus was created by God), and its affirmation of Christ’s divinity. What about the Athanasian Creed? Would you be in agreement with it as well?

        chapmaned24
        Since I began studying the bible, a lot of these “confessions”, I just have to scratch and shake my head thinking, “Where did these people come up with these goofy conclusions?”

        roland
        I’m curious to know which “confessions” cause you to come to the conclusions, “Where did these people come up with these goofy conclusions”?
        GOOFY CONCLUSIONS? Affirming belief in the God the Father, Almighty maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible is a GOOFY CONCLUSION?
        Affirming that Jesus Christ is God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten not made, being of one substance with the Father is a GOOFY CONCLUSION?
        Affirming belief in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, is a GOOFY CONCLUSION?

      11. Due to my limited ability to respond at the moment, I’ll have to respond to each on separate replies.

        First, I’m in disagreement with the apostles creed. I’m non-denomination. When I attend various churches, I’m always curious about the WE BELIEVE statements.

      12. The first question I ask myself is… who is WE? And how did WE come to the conclusions to firmly and boldly believe the WE BELIEVE statements.

      13. And regarding your response to pastor Loz, you basically passed on your conclusions to what others have said, and basically they said that those Jeremiah references don’t really mean what they say, therefore, pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

      14. So, what’s my creed about Jesus? My creed is that he is the ONLY God. I do not believe in the Nicean Creed that discusses 3 people playing the role of one God. God is a spirit, as Jesus noted in John chapter 4. And when I know that we humans are a spirit, dressed in a body, I learn even more about Jesus. Your spirit is the source of life of your body (James 2:26). In other words, you are a ghost in a body. Jesus is the body of God, not a separate person from the father. And yes, I know the pushback about Jesus throwing his voice when God said “This is my son…”. Finally, Revelation 1:8-18 verifies that Jesus is the ALMIGHTY. I’ve got a lot more just in that topic alone. Now, church fathers… they got Matthew 18 wrong, they got Grace wrong, purgatory wrong, birth control wrong, divorce and remarriage wrong, eschatology wrong, etc., etc. Listen to church fathers? Ha!

        Ed Chapman

      15. Oh, and you know what else church fathers got wrong. Communion, and what they call transub… whatever that word is. Dude, read the chapter. It’s about ethics and manners of how to conduct yourself at a church banquet. That’s it. Not about grape juice and a cracker. And they fooled the protestants in thinking its Communion. And you people boast about exegesis. Ha!

      16. Pastor Loz
        Ed Chapman////

        Pastor Loz: I think it would be helpful if Roland could offer a precise calvinistic definition of “neither came it into My mind / heart”. With or without the aid of creeds and confessions.

        roland
        I am not intellectually or spiritually apt to answer such a question. But I know men who are.
        “Does the phrase ‘nor did it enter my mind’ attribute ignorance to God? ‘Mind’ here is lev, meaning ‘hear.’ Heart is a frequent word in Scripture, but only rarely does it refer to God. In reference to men, phrases with lev (Hebrew for heart) that are translated ‘come into the mind’ or ‘come into the heart’ indicate not just the presence of an idea in the mind, but an intention or desire of the heart, as in 2 Chronicles 7:11 and Nehemiah 7:5. In Jeremiah 32:35, ‘nor did it enter my mind’ is parallel to ‘I never commanded.’ So these passages do not assert divine ignorance, but rather deny in the emphatic terms that human sacrifice was God’s intention or the desire of his heart.” John Frame The Doctrine of God

        “In reply, we argue that it is ridiculous to say that God had no idea that people would ever commit such sins, for God forbade child sacrifice in the law of Moses centuries before Jeremiah. The statements in Jeremiah about this horrible practice, ‘which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind’ (Jeremiah 19:5), mean that God never desired it of his people. Such atrocities are blatant violations of the revelation of God’s heart, mind, and will for his people, not something inconceivable to him.”
        Joel Beeke from Reformed Systematic Theology Volume 1 Revelation and God.

        In the citation above Dr. Beeke is objecting to the argument that God does not foresee all the sins that people will commit.
        This answer is from two prominent Reformed theologians and I didn’t have to resort the aid of creeds and confessions!

      17. Pastor Loz: I think it would be helpful if Roland could offer a precise calvinistic definition of “neither came it into My mind / heart”. With or without the aid of creeds and confessions.

        roland: “Does the phrase ‘nor did it enter my mind’ attribute ignorance to God? ‘Mind’ here is lev, meaning ‘heart.’ Heart is a frequent word in Scripture, but only rarely does it refer to God. In reference to men, phrases with lev (Hebrew for heart) that are translated ‘come into the mind’ or ‘come into the heart’ indicate not just the presence of an idea in the mind, but an intention or desire of the heart, as in 2 Chronicles 7:11 and Nehemiah 7:5. In Jeremiah 32:35, ‘nor did it enter my mind’ is parallel to ‘I never commanded.’ So these passages do not assert divine ignorance, but rather deny in the emphatic terms that human sacrifice was God’s intention or the desire of his heart.” John Frame The Doctrine of God

        “In reply, we argue that it is ridiculous to say that God had no idea that people would ever commit such sins, for God forbade child sacrifice in the law of Moses centuries before Jeremiah. The statements in Jeremiah about this horrible practice, ‘which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind’ (Jeremiah 19:5), mean that God never desired it of his people. Such atrocities are blatant violations of the revelation of God’s heart, mind, and will for his people, not something inconceivable to him.”
        Joel Beeke from Reformed Systematic Theology Volume 1 Revelation and God.

        In the citation above Dr. Beeke is objecting to the argument that God does not foresee all the sins that people will commit.
        This answer is from two prominent Reformed theologians and I didn’t have to resort the aid of creeds and confessions!

        Pastor Loz: All of that is irrelevant since only Open Theists argue this means God did not foresee the events, and I am not aware of anyone here arguing from an open theist point of view.

      18. roland
        Pastor Loz, here’s a post from Ed Chapman. He sounds like an open theist as these are the texts open theists often cite to prove their open theism. He brought them up, he may have posted them to you as well as when I replied, it replied to you. I think Heather may have brought these verses up as well.
        Ed Chapman: Heather, You might want to bring up the following to Calvinists:

        Jeremiah 32:35 And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

        Jeremiah 19:5 They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind:

        Jeriemiah 7:31 And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart.

      19. Roland,

        Since I only study the Bible, I’m always perplexed at new terminology that I never heard before, such as, “Open Theist”. I’m not down with these terminologies. I’m just down with common sense of reading comprehension. And if you determine that too be “Open Theist”, then stop be it. I don’t identify with organized religion terminologies. Just read, comprehend on your own, and tell me what you think it means, as a 5th grade student would, who has no clue what the definition of Open Theist actually means.

        Ed Chapman

      20. Roland says: “However, there are verses that do say God brings calamity. I would further say that God can bring calamity directly on someone or He can use another person or some circumstance. He can do the same with blessing. He can bless someone directly or use someone else to bless or use some circumstance. This to me is the appeal of Calvinistic thinking. It acknowledges that God is overall and is active or can be active in all.”

        I agree that God can bring calamity (or blessings), that He can use either in His plans. But it’s one thing for God to bring calamity, but it’s another for Him to predestine/control/cause sin that He commands us not to do. Causing calamity (for whatever purpose of His) doesn’t destroy His holiness, justice, and trustworthiness, but causing (though Calvinists won’t call it that, but it’s what it is: causing) the sin He commands us not to do does. And that, to me, is what makes Calvinism repulsive, dangerous, and demonic.

        I, too, believe God is overall and active in all, sometimes causing things (maybe calamity, maybe blessings, but never sin or evil ) and sometimes just allowing things (our decisions and actions, including sin. which we choose to do within the boundaries of the real free-will He gave us, not the fake “Calvinist” free-will which is being “free” to do only what God predestined you to do). And God is working in and over all things to incorporate our actions and choices (even ones He didn’t preplan/want/cause) into His overarching plans, working it all out for good and for His glory. He is a very big God who can handle any “curveball” thrown His way, weaving it into His plans. Whereas Calvinism’s god has to be the preplanner/controller/cause of everything, even sin, to make his plans work out. If there was even one piece of dust he didn’t actively control, he wouldn’t be god. This not only makes him a small god but an untrustworthy, unjust, unholy god for causing the sins he commands us not to do (punishing us for it) and for being glorified by it. Not in spite of it, but by it.

        Until a Calvinist realizes the damage Calvinism does to God’s character/Word (which they overlook in their effort to uphold their view of “sovereign”), they’ll never see what’s wrong with it or begin seeing what Scripture really teaches. Their view of God’s “sovereignty” – which is (though they might deny it) “God preplans/controls/causes all things, even sin, or else He can’t be God” – allows them to overlook the most horrible, unbiblical, God-dishonoring aspects of their theology. Because in Calvinism, a “sovereign” God can do whatever He wants, even causing child rape (but punishing people for it), for His glory. It’s tragic, in my opinion, that this theology appeals to people. It’s heartbreaking.

      21. Thanks for your thoughtful replies, Roland. I will be busy for awhile now (and I don’t get the notifications that say when there is a reply), so I am signing off for a bit and you can have the last word. God bless. And have a healthy, safe holiday season! (It’s been fun, thanks!) 🙂

      22. Roland: Non-calvinists positions portray God as a passive observer or spectator

        Pastor Loz: Now I know for sure that you are absolutely clueless about what non-calvinists believe. Revealing your ignorance like that doesn’t do you any favours.

        roland: Could you help me out by answering a few questions for me? How does God relate to knowledge? What do you believe the Bible teaches about God and knowledge? I appreciate your response. I’m curious to know, I’m not looking for an argument, I don’t know what you believe, it would me to understand your position or belief if you told me what it is, thanks.

        Pastor Loz: I believe the Bible teaches that God is omniscient. And His omniscience, which includes exhaustive foreknowledge, and knowledge of all counter-factuals, all possibilities and which of those possibilities are actualized is not dependent upon anything external to God. It is not dependent upon learning, because God already knows all there is to know. It is not dependent upon God’s decree, because that would mean His decree came first and His knowledge would follow what He had decreed. God knows purely and simply because He is God. That is the only reason He needs. Anything else diminishes His inherent omniscience.

        For God to know all things because He decreed them would also mean He knew of every sin that demons and humans commit precisely because He unchangeably ordained for them all to happen. And you can try to wriggle out of the logical conclusion to this, but it is unavoidable – that would mean that God is morally evil, meticulously predetermining every sin that He forbids, warns against, rebukes and punishes. That is NOT the holy God of the Bible.

  13. THE ENSNARED MIND OF THE IDEOLOGUE

    Imagine you have a road map, and there are roads, rivers, bridges, etc which exist in real life, but do not exist in the map, and are therefore not represented by the map.

    In the U.S. Army, soldiers are frequently sent out with maps and instructed to pencil in roads, rivers, bridges, etc, not reflected on the map. They were instructed to bring that information back to headquarters so that it could be used to update the map.

    But the ideologue mind does not work that way. The ideologue would never consider updating the map because his concern is honoring the map and defending its recognition.

    A person becomes an ideologue when that person insists on strict adherence to what exists on the map, instead of what exists in real life. That’s what happens to a person when they become entrapped by an ideology.

    A characteristic one can observe, is the pattern of the ideologue’s communication being like a kind of broken-record. The ideologue pays strict adherence to “scripts” created by the ideology. The purpose of the script is to defend, promote and affirm the honor and recognition of the ideology.

    Since the purpose of the script is not to portray reality, but to defend, promote, and affirm the ideology, the script will in all probability become self-contradicting. And those contradictions can be illuminated by logic.

    The mind of the ideologue must reject any logic which reveals contradictions, because the script has become the sacred and divine language of the ideology. And that which is sacred and divine is not to be subjected to logic.

    Updating the map or rejecting the script becomes unthinkable because they are sacred and divine. Examining the scripts with logic becomes unthinkable because to do so would be to subject that which is from above – to logic which is from below.

    Thus the mind of the ideologue remains captured by his honor, love, and defense of the map and the sacred scripts which have become its language.

    1. Interesting thoughts about ideology. My question to you is: is it your opinion that we should reject the map, defend the map, or change the map? A second question is: does it matter what the map is? I can imagine that it might, for instance, there is a big difference between the map being the Bible and the map being the Institutes of the Christian Religion (the book Calvin wrote). Of course, I don’t want to assume what your answers would be, so please don’t let me prescribe to you what you should answer (by giving examples, for instance), but rather please tell me what we should do with the ideology, in your opinion.

      1. When a map is not completely accurate – the Non-Calvinist approach would be to update it.
        In this analogy – scripture would be a part of the landscape – and the map one’s understanding of it.
        So all theologies would then represent a given understanding of the landscape.

        In the case of Calvinism’s map – one problem the Calvinist has – is a map that contradicts itself.
        And the movements of the Calvinist – because he follows a map which contradicts itself – will quite naturally resemble the movements of a rocking horse.

        Traveling in the direction of Exhaustive Divine Determinism and thinking he’s doing just fine.
        Until he gets close enough to its face to and starts to realize how unpalatable he finds it.
        Then he travels in the other direction away from it
        But that direction is what he holds in disdain – so he can’t travel very far in that direction before he finds it unpalatable
        So he switches back in the direction of Exhaustive Divine Determinism again.

        And he continues in his Rocking-Horse travels throughout his life as a Calvinist – one minute affirming – and the next minute denying the doctrine

      2. It’s certainly an interesting analogy. One problem I have is that it seems rather arbitrary, from a philosophical point of view, to assign Scripture the role of landscape rather than map. Isn’t Scripture a light unto our feet and a lamp unto our path (rather similar to a map) and our life the landscape? Or if it is, can you explain why Scripture has to be landscape as well? Can you be ideological about Scripture, or is that similar to saying that you are an idealist if you think things are real? I’d like you to flesh out this train of thought if you can.

      3. br.d
        Scripture must be a part of the landscape – because it represents that which is divinely given along with the rest of the landscape.
        The map represents a record of man’s understanding and interpretation of the objects found within the landscape.
        Unless you want to argue that scripture is not divinely given?

        spurcalluth
        Can you be ideological about Scripture?

        br.d
        Exactly!
        Every theology has a different understanding and interpretation of the landscape.
        And as the map of each theology is created – the objects recorded on that map represent aspects of that understanding and interpretation.

      4. It makes sense that Scripture can be part of the landscape because it is divinely given, but wouldn’t Psalm 119:105 still mean that it should be interpreted as a part of the map? Also, I think you misunderstood my question about people being ideological about Scripture. I did not mean that people are ideological about their interpretation of Scripture. Rather, I was wondering where the idea of ideology ends. Can someone be ideological about WHAT is Scripture, not necessarily about HOW TO INTERPRET Scripture? If not, why not? I remember someone here saying that they don’t listen to old dead guys. Well, Scripture was exclusively penned by old dead guys. Not a single human writer of Scripture is still alive today. Wouldn’t that mean that Scripture today is not Scripture from 2000 years ago?

      5. spurcalluth
        but wouldn’t Psalm 119:105 still mean that it should be interpreted as a part of the map?

        br.d
        Psalm 119:105 as well as any other part of scripture is not divinely given?
        For some reason you seem to want scripture to be divinely given and not divinely given.

        spurcalluth
        Can someone be ideological about WHAT is Scripture, not necessarily about HOW TO INTERPRET Scripture?

        br.d
        A person’s perception of WHAT scripture is – is no less an interpretation than a person’s perception of WHAT scripture says

        spurcalluth
        Scripture was exclusively penned by old dead guys.

        br.d
        You might want to slow and and think before you write.
        They were not dead when they were inspired by the Holy Spirit.

        Have you not read – “He is the God of the living, not the dead.”.

        spurcalluth
        Not a single human writer of Scripture is still alive today.
        Wouldn’t that mean that Scripture today is not Scripture from 2000 years ago?

        br.d
        You may not know it – but the Hebrew scribes had a way of validating a newly created copy of a book in the O.T.
        And if one letter was off in the whole manuscript they would burn the copy.

        And on the reliability of the transmission of the original text down through the years – textual scholars conclude – the purity of the text is of such a substantial nature that it is not jeopardized – even by its variants.

        The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.

      6. Hi brd.mod. I think you misunderstand me. I hold to the full divine inspiration of the Scriptures, and I don’t think that it is just a book written by old dead white (just to throw in a bit of CRT calumny in there, because these days people will insult holy things for completely idiotic reasons) guys. I believe Scripture is Divinely breathed out according to 2 Timothy 3, and is absolutely authoritative. What I am asking is whether you think there is any philosophical, rather than theological, reason to believe that the Bible is part of the landscape and not part of the map.

        My comment about the old dead guys was a slant attack on the idea that because someone has been dead for some centuries, they cannot be of any value to us today. Some of the people here think that Calvin, the Westminster divines, and the puritans are dismissible because they died. That sounds like a completely bogus and misguided argument to me. By that reasoning, we may dismiss Isaiah because (although, as you say, God is the God of the living, yet) he died centuries ago. I am not equating Calvin with Isaiah in terms of what they wrote, but I am equating them in the sense that they were men just like us, and working lungs is not the hallmark of sound logic, as some on this site would like to infer.

      7. Spurcalluth,

        You had said:
        “My comment about the old dead guys was a slant attack on the idea that because someone has been dead for some centuries, they cannot be of any value to us today. Some of the people here think that Calvin, the Westminster divines, and the puritans are dismissible because they died. That sounds like a completely bogus and misguided argument to me. By that reasoning, we may dismiss Isaiah because (although, as you say, God is the God of the living, yet) he died centuries ago. I am not equating Calvin with Isaiah in terms of what they wrote, but I am equating them in the sense that they were men just like us, and working lungs is not the hallmark of sound logic, as some on this site would like to infer.”

        My response:

        The whole bible is the LOGOS of God, and that is Jesus’ words written, not the writer, such as Isaiah, or David, etc. Jesus lives, David is DEAD AND BURIED.

        Acts 2:29
        Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.

        Our church fathers got a lot wrong, including Calvin, the Westminster Divines, the Puritans, yadda yadda yadda. The bible’s words are correct, it’s the people who interpret them that are whacko’s.

        Remember that next time you drink grape juice with a saltine. I’ve got some TUNA for that snack.

        Ed Chapman

      8. Hi Ed. That’s a lot of funk that I smell coming from what you’re shoveling. Did Isaiah take up a pen (or quill, or stylus, or whatever writing implement it was) and write down the book of Isaiah, or did he not? If you say he did, then that’s a dead guy’s writing that you’re interacting with. If you say he did not, then pray tell when did the book of Isaiah bodily descend from heaven?

      9. spurcalluth,

        You had said:
        “That’s a lot of funk that I smell coming from what you’re shoveling. Did Isaiah take up a pen (or quill, or stylus, or whatever writing implement it was) and write down the book of Isaiah, or did he not? If you say he did, then that’s a dead guy’s writing that you’re interacting with. If you say he did not, then pray tell when did the book of Isaiah bodily descend from heaven?”

        My response:
        “2 Timothy 3:16
        All scripture is given by inspiration of God

        There isn’t a book of Calvin written in the scriptures.

        Ed Chapman

      10. For all the DOUBLE-SPEAK and DOUBLE-TALK accusations flying around, a lot of it is coming from you. Don’t call others DOUBLE-SPEAKers when you are guilty of it yourself, or your hypocrisy will be found out. If not by me, then by someone else, and worst of all, in all cases by GOD.

      11. spurcalluth,

        What? What double speak? If you have something to accuse, bring it! Lay it out for all to see, regarding my alleged hypocrisy of double speak.

        Acts 25:19
        But had certain questions against him of their own superstition, and of one Jesus, which was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive.

        Revelation 1:18
        I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore.

        And

        Acts 2:29
        Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.

        Where is the double speak? Is David alive? Life requires a body, and to date, the resurrection hasn’t happened yet. Except for Jesus.

        Therefore, it is up to you to DISSECT the words of Jesus when he said that he is the God of the Living, and find out what he meant about that.

        If you didn’t study Acts 2, David, in Psalms, was talking about Jesus, and not about himself, and that is what the explanation of Acts 2:29 was all about. Because if you read Psalms, you’d kinda get an idea that David was speaking of himself, but he wasn’t.

        He was speaking of Jesus in a spiritual prophetic way.

        So how is Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob LIVING? That is what you have to answer. David won’t LIVE again until the resurrection. Therefore, you have a lot of studying to do to figure out what Jesus meant by what he said. Of those who have died, Jesus is the ONLY one living. Revelation 1:18. Can anyone else also proclaim Revelation 1:18 for themselves?

        Where is the double speak?

        Ed Chapman

      12. “And I certainly do not depend on dead people to decide for me.”
        “David won’t LIVE again until the resurrection.”
        “Because if you read Psalms, you’d kinda get an idea that David was speaking of himself, but he wasn’t.”

        These all are quotes from you. You admit that David wrote Psalms. You further admit that David is dead now. Lastly, you admit that you don’t listen to dead people, which includes David. Conclusion: You don’t believe ANY book in the Bible (all of them were written down by men now dead) and still want to call yourself a Christian. I demand by the Living God that you take one of these admissions of yours back. You can laugh me off, but you can’t laugh off your Creator on the Day of Judgment.

      13. spurcalluth,

        You had said:
        “You admit that David wrote Psalms”

        My response is the same as my last, in that scriputre is INSPIRED BY GOD, meaning that NO, DAVID DID NOT WRITE PSALMS, the Holy Ghost did THROUGH David.

        Ed Chapman

      14. Alright, when did the physical book that was copied, from which your English Bible book of Psalms was translated, physically descend from heaven instead of being written by David? This is the double-speak that I accuse you of. You don’t have anything of worth to add to this discussion, and I just want to make that very clear to everyone.

      15. Uh, the HOLY SPIRIT is EVERYWHERE. If you can find a way to negate out 2 Timothy 3:16
        All scripture is given by inspiration of God, then you would be correct. The purpose of the prophets, and David was a prophet, was to speak the words of God, not thier own words. Calvin was not a prophet of SCRIPTURE. All Calvin is doing is giving his opinion, and his opinion can be challenged, whereas David’s writings cannot be challenged.

      16. Oh my goodness, there! Right there! You said Calvin’s opinion can be challenged, but DAVID’S WRITINGS cannot be challenged!!!! Can you be so blind that you call it David’s writings IN A CONVERSATION ABOUT WHETHER THEY ARE DAVID’S WRITINGS and still deny that David wrote them? I don’t know for a fact that Calvin’s opinion is right, but I know well enough now to keep far away from whatever you are peddling, because apparently it makes you completely spiritually blind.

      17. You sure can’t comprehend, can you? Why can David’s writing not be challenged? Because they are not the words of David. As Jesus asked someone, John 8:43.

      18. You say that the Holy Spirit wrote Psalms through David. Although that is true, you are lying if you say that David did not write Psalms. You are claiming that there was no pen in the hand of David with which David, consciously and with free will, wrote the words that have been translated as “The LORD is my shepherd…”. You want to argue for free will, but when it comes to Scripture, you become a more horrific determinist and violator of free will than the worst Calvinist strawman you have ever constructed. Why the double-speak? Why must you insist on being a hypocrite? Repent, man, before God makes you regret your hard-heartedness!

      19. Yes, I argue Free Will, UNLESS it’s pertaining to JEWS. In my “OPINION”, Romans 9 is about the Jews, where Paul is giving the example of what God did with the Pharaoh, and the PURPOSE was not regarding salvation, aka SOTERIOLOGY 101, but to show God’s POWER. Therefore, God shows his power thru the destruction of the Jews, by means of using them. And he uses other nations as his battering ram against the Jews, and why? Because they are the only ones under the law of Moses, and their judgement comes during THIS lifetime, and if your read Romans 9-11 properly, you will see that they get mercy because of it. They are the elect. And because they are the elect, they are BLIND, as Romans 11 and many others shows, going all the way back to Deuteronomy *(Romans 11 references). The problem with Calvinism, is that they take what was meant for the Jews only, and make it a doctrine for EVERYONE. Only a FEW Jews are slated for GRACE during THIS life, and the rest remain blind. And it’s not due to what they have done, either. Paul wants them to be saved in this life, so that they don’t have to go thru the FINAL judgement of Revelation 8-16 ON EARTH *(THIS LIFE). Regarding the next, they get mercy because of what God put them thru during THIS LIFE. Gentiles don’t go thru what the Jews go thru. I know I said a mouthful here, and it will take a while to sink in, but that’s my take. And I know that most REFORMED will come back with, FOR THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE. But here is the thing, Jews CAN’T come to Christ until Jesus unblinds them to see Jesus as the Christ. But Gentiles are NOT BLIND. Calvinism makes it out that everyone blind, just because the Jews are. That’s not true. And last, in the bible alone, there are MANY things that are in that bible that APPEAR to be DOUBLE SPEAK. How do I know? Well, tell me what the PROMISED LAND AND PROMISED SEED are. Do it from an OT Expository Preaching manner only. When you are done, what does the NT say? It’s NOT THE SAME as what you discovered in the OT, I can tell you that. The end result is DOUBLE SPEAK.

      20. The funny thing about Calvinists rejection of Libertarian Freedom is – by what functionality are their brains permitted to determine TRUE from FALSE on any matter – if not by Libertarian functionality! :-]

        Talk about shooting oneself in the foot!

      21. brdmod,

        You had said:
        “The funny thing about Calvinists rejection of Libertarian Freedom is – by what functionality are their brains permitted to determine TRUE from FALSE on any matter – if not by Libertarian functionality! :-]

        Talk about shooting oneself in the foot!”

        My response:

        Let alone how to answer a waitress, Soup or salad? Baked, Mashed or Fries? Medium or Large? Rare or well done?

      22. It is hilarious!

        Ten easy lessons in how to hold a doctrine as sacred divine TRUTH
        And then having to treat that sacred divine doctrine *AS-IF* it is FALSE – in order to have any sense of NORMALCY! ;-D

      23. It might be hilarious, who knows these days, right? I don’t know if, in my over-emotiveness, I properly made my point. My point is that there surely are degrees of freedom, and just because I don’t think we have complete freedom like our Creator has, does not mean that I believe in the absolute absence of any freedom. I honestly don’t care if you call me a Calvinist or not. Calvin was a guy about 500 years ago that wrote pretty good commentaries on the Bible. That’s how I know him, anyway. He was not a prophet, an only-begotten Son of God, or whatever else you think that Calvinists think he was. I disagree that he was a man who put his pants on just like me, because I’m not sure what kind of clothing they had back then, but it sure wasn’t denims. But I agree with the sentiment that the statement is intended to convey: put him in a church today, teach him contemporary English, and he wouldn’t look that much different from Johnny Mac or RC what’s-wrong-with-you-people Sproul.

        You know what, I’m going to a little better than that. I’ll say that he was irresponsible with his physical health and that he was also a pretty lousy husband and father from what I could gather about his history. I think I would think pretty badly about a man of the house that spent all his time preaching and very little of his time taking care of the needs of his wife and children. And these are not slight faults. I could make excuses for him if I wanted to (it was a different time, they were fighting theological wars with their pens, yada yada yada) but I don’t think the excuses work particularly well. So if you think that just because I think I agree with his view on soteriology, that therefore I cannot bring myself so far as to criticize the man and try to do better, treating his work ethic as a cautionary tale, then you are mistaken. To get back to my original point, though, I believe we have a creaturely-free will that is compatible with God’s sovereignty. I think some people call this compatibilism. You can call it whatever you like.

      24. spurcalluth: My point is that there surely are degrees of freedom, and just because I don’t think we have complete freedom like our Creator has, does not mean that I believe in the absolute absence of any freedom.

        The critical point is whether we have genuine freedom to accept or reject the gift of salvation. If we do, then we can justly be held responsible and accountable for that choice. If we don’t then we can’t. But calvinists want it both ways.

        “Compatibilism” is a myth. It is no less deterministic than so-called “hard” determinism. All it does is to introduce an extra link in the deterministic causal change. Here’s why…

        1. God unchangeably ordained that man would fall, such that man could not choose otherwise.
        2. He unchangeably ordained that thenceforth, all people would inherit a sinful nature.
        3. He unchangeably ordained that this unchosen, inherited sinful nature would determine all of their desires.
        4. He unchangeably ordained that they would always choose in accordance with those desires.
        5. Thus the inescapable conclusion of 1-4 is that He unchangeably ordained that they would sin.

        “Compatibilism” jumps in at point 4 and says people choose to sin because they choose what they desire. However they conveniently neglect to mention how points 1-3 inevitably lead to point 4.

      25. Okay, I’m happy with (what I assume is) your proposal: don’t call me a compatibilist. In fact, I’ll do you one better: don’t call me a Calvinist. The name tag you stick on me doesn’t really change what I believe in any way. I don’t think I agree with your point 1 anyway, so I guess that would make me a non-Calvinist.

      26. Without being disrespectful I would have to say you come across as more of a Confusionist… What is it about point 1 of my chain that you don’t believe? Do you believe that Adam and Eve could genuinely have chosen not to sin, that the fall was not in any way decreed, unchangeably ordained by God?

      27. I appreciate the attempt at being respectful, although I am not sure that you succeeded in the end. I believe that Adam and Eve had the real, undeterministic choice to sin or not to sin. Just to be clear, I am not a follower of Confucius, lol.

      28. Do you believe that men have a genuine choice (as opposed to a calvinistic illusion of choice) to accept or reject the gift of salvation? If you DON’T believe they have that choice, do you believe that they are still responsible and accountable for rejecting the gospel (a gospel that was actually never intended for and is not backed by the atonement for them) and are therefore justly condemned to hell?

      29. To be honest, I don’t think the Calvinist “illusion of choice” is as illusory as you seem to think. But yes, I do believe that people have the choice to accept or reject the gift of salvation. I believe that, since all men everywhere are commanded to repent and believe, they will be held accountable if they do not repent and believe. I don’t think that God owes everyone, or anyone for that matter, the gift of salvation. That would be real double-speak: calling it a gift and at the same time demanding that God owes it to them. It would also completely contradict the fact that salvation is by grace, because what is paid due to being owed, is not grace but salary. Do you believe in the grace of salvation or the salary of salvation?

      30. spurcalluth: I don’t think the Calvinist “illusion of choice” is as illusory as you seem to think. I do believe that people have the choice to accept or reject the gift of salvation. I believe that, since all men everywhere are commanded to repent and believe, they will be held accountable if they do not repent and believe. I don’t think that God owes everyone, or anyone for that matter, the gift of salvation. That would be real double-speak: calling it a gift and at the same time demanding that God owes it to them. It would also completely contradict the fact that salvation is by grace, because what is paid due to being owed, is not grace but salary. Do you believe in the grace of salvation or the salary of salvation?

        In consistent calvinism, that choice is a complete illusion. The non-elect are unable to choose to accept and the elect are unable to choose to reject the gift. I call it a gift because that’s what the Bible teaches. It is undeserved and unearned, and the act of accepting it by faith is not a meritorious work. Salary doesn’t come into it. No biblical non-calvinist believes that God owes anyone salvation, but they believe He has graciously and sovereignly chosen to make it genuinely available to all and enable all to receive it.

      31. Okay. Do you believe that God was obligated to make salvation available for everyone? For anyone? For everyone if He made it available for some?

      32. SC: “Okay. Do you believe that God was obligated to make salvation available for everyone? For anyone? For everyone if He made it available for some?”

        I actually answered that question in my last response, since I said that it is an undeserved, unmerited gift that God does not owe to anyone, Thus anything He does in terms of providing, offering enabling is a love choice that He freely makes, not out of any obligation. The only obligation God has is to be true to His Word.

      33. For the Calvinist – I would turn that question around

        Does the Calvinist believe that Calvin’s god is obligated to create/design the vast majority of human souls for eternal torment in the lake of fire – and to hold them morally accountable for the sins and evils which he himself creates/designs them to do and makes them do irresistibly?

      34. I can’t answer for “the Calvinist”, whoever he or she may be. I can only answer for what I believe, and can then tell you that I suspect that Calvinism says the same. If it does not, my suspicion is wrong and “the Calvinist” would have to correct me on that.

        I believe that God is the One who makes the rules and that He is not obligated to some external set of rules on which He depends. To say that He is obligated would imply that He has a “superintendent” GOD (this time with three capital letters to show superiority) WHO is looking over His shoulder and making sure that He follows the rules HE set for Him. That is of course absurd.

        However, God (and here we dispense with the all-caps vs only one capital letter distinction) acts according to His nature, and He has the nature of a just judge. If He sends anyone to hell, it is justly done, and we know that He does send some to hell. Since you apparently know that it is the majority of human souls that end up there, you must have some estimates of the numbers. Can you give me an estimate (percentage-wise, or whatever method you prefer) of the number of people in hell? I’m just curious, and since we have established that you know this number, you can maybe indulge me in my curiosity. Since those that are in hell were sent there justly, I don’t believe that they have zero accountability, and therefore I don’t believe that God irresistibly makes them sin their entire lives. I do believe that some things that they do that are sinful, were planned by God for good. Unless you want to go down the rabbit hole of denying Genesis 50:20, thereby denying the divine inspiration of the books of Moses, and thereby renouncing Christ as a liar because He endorsed the Torah, you have to believe that as well. So, is this the place where you want to confess to believing that Christ is Satan himself, or is that not what you believe?

      35. spurcalluth:
        I believe that God is the One who makes the rules and that He is not obligated to some external set of rules on which He depends…

        br.d
        Which is simply another way of saying – he is not in subjection a domain of “Determinism” which does include external rules on which he would depend.

        So – you’ve just eliminated Determinism as the domain to which he is subject to
        And when we eliminate Determinism as that domain in which he is subject to – we are left with Libertarian functionality as part of his divine image.

        So he is NOT obligated to create/design the vast majority of human souls for eternal torment in a lake of fire
        Nor is he obligated to create/design people as INSTRUMENTS to infallibly and irresistibly commit sins and evils.

        And that is why John Calvin says – the reason Calvin’s god does that is -quote “For his good pleasure”

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

      36. The Institutes comes in many shapes and sizes, but I have not seen one that is less than 1000 pages yet. Where in the Institutes does he say this?

      37. If you go to http://www.ccel.org and to the copy of the Institutes there – you can then paste the sentence into the search field and find it.

        Or you could just as easily paste that statement into google and it should pull it up one or more Calvinist sites that way.

      38. spurcalluth
        I don’t think the Calvinist “illusion of choice” is as illusory as you seem to think

        That’s because the Calvinist doesn’t find that aspect of the doctrine emotionally palatable.

        But when the Calvinist takes the time to think it through logically – he can realize it is in fact TRUE that the function of choice for humans in Calvinism is non-existent.

        Look at it this way:
        1) Calvin’s god is at the foundation of the world – deliberating over what he is going to determine come to pass with Calvinist_X
        2) He sees all of the possibilities available to himself from which to select – for every event within Calvinist-X’s life
        3) And for every event – he makes a selection out of those options.
        For example – he can decree that Calvinist-X will be born with blue eyes – or brown eyes.
        He can decree that Calvinist-X will be born in the U.S. or in Europe or in Germany
        He has any number of possible options from which to select for Calvinist-X

        4) Out of those possible options – for every event within Calvinist-X’s life – he makes a selection.
        For example, he decrees Calvinist-X’s eyes will be blue, and decrees that Calvinist-X will be born in the U.S.

        5) So in this process – he is making a selection out of an array of possibilities – for every aspect of Calvinist-X’s life.
        6) Each selection out of those multiple options – represents the expression of his divine will concerning Calvinist-X
        7) And for every option that he chooses to select – he establishes the existence of that option with a decree – making it come to pass infallibly
        8) But as soon as he has made a selection – blue eyes for example – what happens to the other options that he chose not to select?
        If he decrees Calvinist-X will be born with blue eyes – then what has he done with the option of Calvinist-X being born with brown eyes?
        He’s made his selection.
        He’s established that selection with a divine decree
        That option which he selected becomes FIXED by decree – and will come to pass infallibly
        Which means – all alternatives which in his selection he rejected – are infallibly EXCLUDED

        9) So now lets apply that model to an event in Calvinist-X’s life.
        Lets Calvin’s god decrees that Calvinist-X will commit a certain sin at Time-T
        Calvin’s god also had the possibility of decreeing Calvinist-X would NOT sin at Time-T
        Calvin’s god had both options – sin or NOT sin at Time-T – available to select from.
        Out of those options – he choose the option of making Calvinist-X commit that sin at Time-T

        10) What happens to the other option of Calvinist-X NOT sinning at Time-T?
        Calvin’s god has EXCLUDED it as an option – and chosen have Calvinist-X sin at Time-T.
        Then Calvin’s god makes that option which he selected RENDERED-CERTAIN – and it is now infallible.

        Question:
        Is the option of not sinning at Time-T available to Calvinist-X?

        Answer:
        No
        Because that option was divinely rejected at the foundation of the world.
        And since it was divinely rejected – it has no possibility of existence.

        CONCLUSION:
        It is decreed that Calvinist-X will commit a sin at Time-T
        Calvinist-X committing that sin at Time-T is now FIXED by infallible decree – to come to pass infallibly

        Does Calvinist-X have any choice in the matter of whether he will sin at Time-T?
        NO!
        That choice was made at the foundation of the world
        And that option was divinely rejected.

        Therefore Calvinist-X is granted only one single option.
        Committing a sin at Time-T is the only option Calvinist-X is granted.

        Calvinist-X however – may have the PERCEPTION that he had a choice to NOT sin at Time-T
        But Calvin’s god knows that option was divinely rejected – and thus never available to Calvinist-X

        So Calvinist-X’s PERCEPTION of “Choice” is thus a predestined illusion.

      39. Okay, now do the same with Jacob’s brothers sending him to Egypt as a slave. And then contrast it with what you think happened. That way we can tell which option makes nonsense of Genesis 50:20.

      40. I’d appeal to argumentum-ad-too-stupid-to-rememberum to say that I don’t remember choosing an eye colour before being conceived, unless you’d rather refute that argumentum. I’d be happy to be proved less stupid than I think.

      41. The model fits for both situations simply because both are selected at the foundation of the world as an expression of the divine will – and FIXED to come to pass infallibly before you exist.

        Unless you want to argue that you are granted the power to alter that which is infallible?

      42. I’m sorry to see that you have not been able to prove me less stupid than I thought. I must confess that I have no idea what your reply means.

      43. Of course you don’t
        Your response is emotional in nature – how be it – posturing Latin language for fallacies – in order to hide behind.

        1) Multiple options exist for the divine will to select from at the foundation of the world – concerning every event that will come to pass.
        2) You do not exist at the foundation of the world. Thus the determination of your eye color as well as every sin you will commit at any Time-T are both equally made before you are conceived.

        Thus your emotional response with the flourish of “argumentum-ad-too-stupid-to-rememberum” backfires on itself.

        3) At the foundation of the world – the divine will makes its selection out of the options that are available
        4) In the case of the options of you committing any sin at Time-T – the selection of that option entails the REJECTION of all alternative options.
        5) Thus for every decree – there are two things established
        6) The event of you committing a sin at Time-T is THE divinely selected option representing the expression of the divine will
        7) In the process of selecting that one option as the expression of the divine will – all alternatives to that one option are simultaneously REJECTED
        8) The future existence of the option that is selected is RENDERED-CERTAIN
        9) The future NON-existence of all other options is also RENDERED-CERTAIN.
        10) Any event that is NOT granted existence – is NOT available to the creature.

        CONCLUSION:
        Calvinism’s doctrine of decrees logically eradicates all alternatives from that which is infallibly decreed.
        All alternatives from that which is infallibly decreed have no possibility of existence.
        That which has no possibility of existence is NOT available to the creature.

        Thus per the doctrine – every event which comes to pass – is FIXED at the foundation of the world.
        Which makes it the case that for every event – only one single option is available to the creature.

        And the creature is given NO CHOICE about what the option will be
        And the creature is given NO CHOICE as to his role in that option.

      44. I really did not think that anyone would take “argumentum-ad-too-stupid-to-rememberum” as posturing. I certainly did not mean it as posturing. I meant it as a bit of self-deprecating humour. Apparently that nuance got lost in the written medium. I apologize if I seemed to be posturing, that was not my intention.

      45. That’s ok
        I understand.
        At least I was able to lay out the logical consequences of the doctrine of decrees for you – so that you could see – the infallible decree does not give room for any deviation from that which it infallibly grants into existence.

        And since multiple options (a minimum of 2) is a necessary condition for the function of “Choice”
        And since the doctrine of decree does not grant more than one option to the creature for any event.

        Thus per the doctrine if follows – the function of “Choice” is reserved solely and exclusively as the expression of the divine will – in the exercise of divine sovereignty. Sovereignty which is not shared with the creature.

        A seed planted! :-]

      46. So are you saying that in Genesis 50:20, God is admitting to be the worst sinner in existence, and in fact infinitely far more evil than Satan could ever be? I am yet to hear what you think of Genesis 50:20, and I am eager to hear what it is that you have to say about that verse.

      47. What we are talking about is what logically follows with Calvinism’s doctrine – not what is stated in scripture.
        One is required to differentiate between the two.

        Any Calvinist who attempts to lay out logical arguments – say concerning Arminianism for example – does so by taking Arminian doctrine to its logical conclusions. That Calvinist clearly recognizes in doing so – he is differentiating from what is stated in scripture.

        But when it comes to a Non-Calvinist performing the same analysis of his doctrine – he all of a sudden can’t differentiate between the two.

        We can probably chalk that up to confirmation bias.

      48. Look, I could not conceivably care less what two theological camps that have been at each others’ throats for over 400 years have to teach or not teach. My interest is in what Scripture means. I only care what these camps teach in so far as it affects how I understand Scripture. Genesis 50:20 is used as a paradigm prooftext by Calvinists. I don’t really care what Calvin thought it meant. I am interested in what it means and what was intended by it. So please dispense with the Calvinist-Arminian backbiting and rhetoric talk, and tell me what you think the verse means. Because if I have to hear once more what a Calvinist says about decrees that involves double-talk and logical fallacies and denying human responsibility, I might scream. Who cares what the abstract concept “Calvinist” has to say about the matter? I’d much rather know what God says than what “Calvinist” says.

      49. spurcallluth:
        Genesis 50:20 is used as a paradigm prooftext by Calvinists. I don’t really care what Calvin thought it meant. I am interested in what it means and what was intended by it.
        Because if I have to hear once more what a Calvinist says about decrees that involves double-talk and logical fallacies and denying human responsibility, I might scream. Who cares what the abstract concept “Calvinist” has to say about the matter? I’d much rather know what God says than what “Calvinist” says.

        roland:
        Welcome to soteriology101! My personal experience has been that it is difficult to get the meaning out of a text from posters. I’ve written multiple times that I don’t need Calvin to tell me that God is sovereign, intervenes without human permission into human affairs just as Genesis 50:20 shows us. Non-calvinists can disprove Calvinism all they want but there is Scripture that shows what Calvin taught, trying to communicate that on this website is very difficult, at least for me, I have failed to do so.

      50. spurcallluth, and Roland,

        If you both would READ THE WHOLE STORY about the story of Joseph from beginning to end, then maybe Genesis 50:20 would make sense to you both, instead of just trying to figure it out from one verse.

        Does either of you see Jesus in that story, INSTEAD OF JOSEPH?

        Does either of you see THE JEWS in that story, instead of his 11 brothers?

        This is PROPHESY of Jesus and the Jewish people.

        Consider the dreams of Joseph at the beginning. Consider that they threw him in a PIT. Spiritually, what does the word PIT represent? Hell. That is a spiritual setting of the crucifixion of Jesus.

        After Joseph “rose from the pit”, so to speak…many years later he became the second in command of Egypt (seen spiritually as the SON OF GOD), and he was able to FEED HIS “BRETHREN”, aka his brothers who put him in the PIT.

        He HID himself from them (they didn’t recognize him).

        And in the end, Joseph couldn’t take it anymore hiding from them, and he FINALLY revealed himself to his brothers and FORGAVE THEM, and had mercy on them, because Joseph was in a position to surely punish them.

        Guys, that’s a prophesy of Jesus. Seriously.

        And now consider the Genesis 50:20. The Jews thought evil against Jesus, but God meant it for GOOD. What good came out of crucifying Jesus?

        Again, PONDER THIS:

        What good came out of crucifying Jesus?

        Instead of trying to prove Calvinism’s doctrines, the BLINDNESS that you see just in the story of Joseph is ONLY FOR THE JEWS, not the Gentiles. And Joseph’s brothers did not see Joseph as their brother.

        This STORY of Joseph is known as…FROM THE PIT TO THE PALACE, a Prophesy of Jesus. The palace is a SPRITUAL depiction of Jesus on the throne of his father (played by the Pharaoh, in the case of Joseph).

        The problem with REFORM or Calvinism, you all seem to be way to carnal in your EXPOSITORY preaching that you love so much. Ugggggghhhhhhh! I can’t stand expository preaching. You can’t learn anything from it.

        Ed Chapman

      51. spurcallluth, and Roland,

        Addendum to my last:

        In other words…it is thru the Jews that we learn about Jesus, thru the ACTIONS of the Jews is PROPHESY of Jesus.

        Take for example if you will, you expository preaching loving people…

        Jonah. WHo has ever heard a sermon on Jonah? In essance, the following is a sermon on Jonah in a very short explanation:

        Preacher:
        Jonah was a bad man because he didn’t want to go to Ninevah. So be OBEDIANT to God.

        That’s it in a nutshell.

        But you know what? His DISOBEDIENCE prophesied Jesus. In the bible, the PURPOSE of prophets is to prophesy about Jesus, not about CURRENT EVENTS in Ninevah.

        Matthew 12:39, 16:4, Luke 11:9
        But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:

        Other than that, WHERE DID JONAH PROPHESY ABOUT JESUS? He didn’t. His actions of disobedience is what prophesied about Jesus.

        What good came out of the disobedience of Jonah?

        This has NOTHTING to do with Calvinisms doctrines of ANYTHING.

        Ed Chapman

      52. brdmod:
        What we are talking about is what logically follows with Calvinism’s doctrine – not what is stated in scripture.

        roland
        The reason why I am a Calvinist is because of what is stated in Scripture. I understand the logical concerns and problems of Calvinism. Logically, Calvinism does lead to God being the cause of man’s sins. But Scripture says otherwise, Scripture does not follow logic in the sense that Scripture is not subject to logic.
        One reason, and the only reason I need, I reject non-Calvinist interpretations and understandings of Scripture is that their premises, their presuppositions are not biblical. All non-Calvinists begin with the unbiblical concept of libertarian freewill. Nowhere in Scripture is man presented as being or having libertarian freewill. There is always something that at least affects man’s freewill in some sense or degree.

      53. I don’t see any non-calvinist on here who defines free will as a will that is completely free from any constraints. However the freedom to genuinely choose between accepting and rejecting salvation is most certainly in the Bible and is what makes people responsible and accountable for their choice. John 5:40 is just one example. Jesus justly rebukes His audience because they REFUSE to come to Him. That is a CHOICE.

        As for your comment about Scripture and logic, that is something you simply hide behind as a pseudo-spiritual excuse for your inability to reconcile the irreconcilable contradictions your philosophical theory creates, like the common appeal to “mystery” or “paradox” where none exists

      54. Pastor Loz,

        You had said:
        “I don’t see any non-calvinist on here who defines free will as a will that is completely free from any constraints.”

        and

        “John 5:40 is just one example. Jesus justly rebukes His audience because they REFUSE to come to Him. That is a CHOICE.”

        My response:

        Jesus didn’t come but for the lost sheep of the House of Israel. They were already followers of God via the Law of Moses (*WORKS). Jesus is THE LAW OF FAITH (GRACE), and his followers are ALSO following God.

        Why did they (JEWS) refuse? Romans 11 explains:

        Romans 11:5, 7-8
        Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

        7 …and the rest were blinded.

        8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.

        Now, consider verse 7 above:

        John 9:39-41
        39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.

        40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?

        41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

        Jews can’t come to Jesus UNTIL…verse 39.

        Gentiles are NOT blind, and can come to Jesus freely, but not the Jews. The Jews are still God followers in the law of Works (Moses), until the end of time, when that which is perfect come. And, according to Romans 11, receive MERCY, because of that blindness that God himself put on them (Deuteronomy 29:4).

        Yes, the Pharaoh was “used” by God, as well as other nations as a battering ram against Israel to judge Israel. But the focus is always Israel, not the Gentiles, regardless of who God “uses”.

        Ed Chapman

      55. Pastor Loz,

        You had aksed spurcalluth the following:
        “Do you believe that Adam and Eve could genuinely have chosen not to sin, that the fall was not in any way decreed, unchangeably ordained by God?”

        My response to your question to him is, I’m all free will regarding that example. Why?

        Because God make us WEAK. 1 Cor 15:42-46 explains:

        Our bodies are:
        1. Planted as a dying body
        2. Planted in dishonor
        3. Planted in weakness
        4. Planted as a natural body (made of dirt)

        And that natural dying weak dishonorable body came first, before Adam sinned, not as a result of Adams sin:

        Verse 46
        Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

        God knew that Adam would sin, due to the NATURE of the WEAK dishonorable dying natural body that he clothed them with. It’s not that God decreed them to sin, it’s that he knew they would based on that weak dying body.

        The spiritual body is:
        1. Raised eternal, immortal
        2. Raised in glory
        3. Raised in power
        4. Raised as a spiritual body

        And verse 46 again, the weak natural body came first.

        This is part of my explanation as to why I don’t believe in “Original Sin”. The other part has to do with a TREE OF LIFE that God had to block after the fall, because Adam could have obtained eternal life in a fallen state, so that tree had power, both before, and after the fall, so God blocked access to it.

        Ed Chapman

      56. So you reckon that unless you can will God to no longer be God, you cannot know true from false. Either you must be the Creator, or you cannot tell true and false apart? Sounds like the lisping of the devil in Genesis 3 to me, but have your fun.

      57. Some more double-speak from our local double-speak expert. First you say that the Bible only appears to be busy with double-speak, but then you end up affirming that the end result of Scripture as a whole is double-speak. Tell me, is it double-speak or only the appearance of double-speak that you find in the Bible, because you have double-spoken so successfully that I don’t know what to make of it.

      58. spurcalluth,

        You had said:
        “Some more double-speak from our local double-speak expert. First you say that the Bible only appears to be busy with double-speak, but then you end up affirming that the end result of Scripture as a whole is double-speak. Tell me, is it double-speak or only the appearance of double-speak that you find in the Bible, because you have double-spoken so successfully that I don’t know what to make of it.”

        My response:
        I had said:
        “tell me what the PROMISED LAND AND PROMISED SEED are. Do it from an OT Expository Preaching manner only. When you are done, what does the NT say? It’s NOT THE SAME as what you discovered in the OT, I can tell you that. The end result is DOUBLE SPEAK. ”

        But you didn’t do it, did you?

        Ed Chapman

      59. No, I didn’t do it. Believe it or not, I am not your slave. You don’t just bark commands and I fearfully obey, hoping I won’t get a beating. What an arrogant, evil attitude for you to take!

      60. WHAT IS DOUBLE-SPEAK:

        William Lutz, an American linguist, in an interview on CSPAN concerning his book DoubleSpeak states:
        “Doublespeak is language designed to evade…..to make the unpleasant appear pleasant, the unattractive appear attractive, or at least tolerable.

        Basically, it’s language that pretends to communicate, but really doesn’t.
        It is language designed to mislead, while pretending not to.

        Doublespeak is not a slip of the tongue or a mistake in use of language. It’s exactly the opposite. It is language used by people who are very intelligent, and very sophisticated in the use of language. And know that you can do an awful lot with language.

        Doublespeak is not a matter of subjects and verbs agreeing; it is a matter of words and facts agreeing.

        Basic to doublespeak is incongruity, the incongruity between what is said or left unsaid, and what really is.
        It is the incongruity between the word and the referent, between seem and be, between the essential function of language—communication — and what doublespeak does — mislead, distort, inflate, circumvent, obfuscate.

        Double-speak works by taking advantage of the inherent implicitness of meaning conveyed through everyday language.

        It takes advantage of the fact that normal everyday language use is fundamentally cooperative.
        Doublespeak exploits these principles to do just the opposite: to appear like honest communication while actually HIDING INCRIMINATING FACTS. “

      61. WHAT IS LYING BY OMISSION:

        Lying by omission, otherwise known as exclusionary detailing, is lying by either omitting certain critical facts or by failing to correct a misconception.

        An example of lying by omission is found in the consistent repetition of specifically crafted talking-points which omit critical facts.
        Talking-points so designed result in guaranteeing unaware recipients are mislead.

        Frequently communicators who lie by omission justify doing so by arguing the omitted facts are not critical within the communicator’s mind.
        However – when facts are not omitted the recipient is not mislead.
        Therefore such facts may not be deemed critical to the communicator, but this serves to indicate, misleading people an acceptable practice.

      62. By the way, I’ll take you up on that offer of tuna 🙂 I’m a post-grad student; few offers of free food slips past me unnoticed and unused. So be careful about offering free food; you might just get taken up on the offer.

      63. Since I am a Christian who has some contact with the outside world, I have picked up another four-letter F word that I think people say shouldn’t be used. I am a married man, so this other four-letter word really encapsulates one of the things I really like…Anyway, few things are so nice as curling up at a warm Fire.

  14. TESTIMONY OF AN EX-CALVINIST – CALVINISM’S DOUBLE-TALK LANGUAGE

    Ronnie W. Rogers – Southern Baptist pastor

    I admit that [when I was a Calvinist] I was as guilty as any Calvinist for my quotidian reliance upon DOUBLE-TALK.

    My desire now is to help Calvinists see their use of this subtle rhetorical skill so that they may see the “disquieting realities of Calvinism,”

    Thereby enabling them to accurately determine whether or not they are a Calvinist.

    Added to the problem of DOUBLE-TALK is that so many who claim to be Calvinists, or Calvinistic, have so nuanced their Calvinism that it is no longer Calvinism, but rather a very personalized non-Calvinism Calvinism

  15. Sure is a whole lot of intellectual (VULGAR LANGUAGE EXCLUDED) going on here. Excuse the French but it’s just a lot of (VULGAR LANGUAGE EXCLUDED) I see in these comments. You guys are working too hard.

    His sheep hear His voice. This is the great controversy that frustrates free-willers, who are unable to hear His voice. Not Calvinism or any 5 point theology or pet doctrine. John 10 demonstrates the Alpha and Omega, creator of the universe incarnate speaking to those men who were unable to hear His voice or see His shape. He tells them “You don’t believe because you are not of my sheep.” He didn’t say “You are not my sheep because you don’t believe.”

    In other words He looks them in the eyes and says “I can see you everlastingly and I wasn’t sent to die for you. I’m not going to shed one drop of my precious blood for you.”

    In the end, there will only be Jacob and Esau. Those He has everlastingly loved and those He has passed by in the covenant of grace with His darling, well-pleasing Son. “For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”
    ‭‭Malachi‬ ‭3:6‬ ‭KJV‬‬

    “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is {the work of God}, that {ye believe on him} whom he hath sent.”
    ‭‭John‬ ‭6:29‬ ‭KJV‬‬

    Your only hope, and my only hope is that we hear His voice, and not the voices of “thieves and robbers.” John 10:8

    “who hath saved us, and called us with an {holy calling}, not according to our works, but according to his own {purpose} and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,”
    ‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭1:9‬ ‭KJV‬‬

    1. Hello Sinner Saved and welcome

      I excluded the vulgar language from your post.
      This is a Christian web-site which reflects the ethics of those who follow Jesus Christ.

      I always find it interesting when people pop-in here – who AUTO-MAGICALLY assume everything that comes out of their mouth – is EX-CATHEDRA!

      The fun part – is patiently watching – the inevitability of self-contradiction as integral in their thinking. :-]

      Blessings
      br.d

    2. Siner Saved,

      It’s quite interesting that you mentino John, where it is said that his sheep hear his voice. Why do I say that? Because Jesus was not talking to Gentiles at all here.

      John 10:16
      And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

      Gentiles are “OTHER SHEEP”.

      But Romans 11 explains the SHEEP, not the OTHER SHEEP, to wit:

      Romans 11:5
      5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

      But this goes with:

      Romans 11:8
      8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.

      Which is a reference to:

      Deuteronomy 29:4
      4 Yet the Lord hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day.

      When Jesus said:

      John 6:44
      No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

      Jesus was talking to Jews, not Gentiles. They were already God followers of the Law of Works (Moses). And JESUS is given those who the father slated for Grace, FROM THOSE GOD FOLLOWERS of the law of WORKS.

      Romans 11:5-7
      5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

      6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

      7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.

      So as you can see in verse 6, the believing Jews were transfered from works to grace. So you have to ask yourself, when were Gentiles ever in the WORKS catagory to begin with? Gentiles were NEVER in the works catagory.

      Gentiles are not blind, Jews are. They can’t come to Jesus unless Jesus unblinds them to see, to wit:

      John 9:39-41
      39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.

      40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?

      41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

      Are you getting it yet? You quote what Jesus said, but what Jesus said is not directed to you at all.

      Again, when were Gentiles ever under the Law of Moses? In other words, when were Gentiles ever in the catagory of WORKS, which you mention by quoting 2 Timothy 1:9? What works have we ever done as Gentiles?

      Ed Chapman

      1. I’m confused. Are you saying that OTHER SHEEP are not sheep? As far as I can tell, we know exactly two things about other sheep: 1.) They are sheep. 2.) They are other.

        So when Jesus says “My sheep hear My voice”, He is talking about sheep. Since other sheep are sheep, they hear His voice. Unless you want to prove that other sheep are instead pterodactyls and not sheep at all, as it would seem. Please provide evidence that other sheep are actually pterodactyls.

      2. No, I’m saying that other sheep are the gentiles. We are not the sheep that Jesus was discussing. Jesus didn’t come for us. He said that he didn’t come but for the most sheep of the house of Israel. Matthew 15:24, 10:6. He did not come for his OTHER SHEEP. For he said, on John 10:16 that we gentiles are not of the Jewish fold, and that we shall hear his voice. Up to that moment, he didn’t speak to us gentiles yet. Finishing the verse, THEN there will be one fold.

      3. Oh, you figure that Jesus did not come for us? Well then, why in the world are we spending so much time thinking about theology? Eat, drink, for tomorrow we die, and there is no hope of salvation for us anyway, so we might as well just fornicate and drink ourselves to death.

    3. Sinner saved: “In other words He looks them in the eyes and says “I can see you everlastingly and I wasn’t sent to die for you. I’m not going to shed one drop of my precious blood for you.”

      I think that you will remember these words of yours with horror and shame when you stand before the Lord in the end.

      1. “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have {boldness} in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.”
        ‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:17‬ ‭KJV‬‬

        I will only know boldness before God because of His doing and dying in (my) place. I pray you will be taught of God and abandon your false Christ. Not one soul is in hell right now for whom He died.

      2. Sinner Saved,

        Seems to me that you are the one following a different Jesus. Jesus died for EVERYONE, not just a select few. You have NO CLUE how to interpret the Bible. I see that when you mention Esau. I’ve had my interactions with THOSE people before. You are in a cult, plain and simple.

        Ed Chapman

      3. Ed Chapman,

        You could study the text for a millennium, but if our Lord and God does not sovereignly reveal to you “these are they which testify of me (Christ)” then His holy book will forever remain closed to you and you will continually twist his word to your own destruction. John 5:39

        Blessings only inside the ark,
        One of His sheep

      4. Sorry to bust your narcissistic bubble, but Jesus provided salvation for all and applies that salvation to all who believe. 1 Tim 4:10 is a verse that no Calvinist has been able to explain away. There are two common Calvinist attempts to do so and they both fail miserably. The “temporal Saviour” argument and the “only Saviour” argument. The latter is half true because Jesus is the only Saviour. But it doesn’t explain this verse, since in your philosophical theory, Jesus cannot be described as the Saviour of those who do not believe in any way at all. And before you reach for the standard straw man accusation of universalism, remember the difference between atonement and salvation, provision and appropriation. And read ROM 3:25 also

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