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.

1,711 thoughts on “Calvinism and the Problem of Damnation and Hell

  1. br.d What is your reply to this article from Carm.org “Why does God create people He knows will go to hell?”
    by Matt Slick | Aug 7, 2009 | , the article says
    “The answer to the question of why God would create someone knowing he will go to hell is found in Romans 9:21-23 which says,

    “…does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use, and another for common use? 22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? 23 And He did so in order that He might make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory.”

    So, according to the Bible, it seems that God patiently endured the “bad” people so that He could express His great riches upon the people who go to heaven. These evil people freely choose to be evil, and if God were to stop them from existing then He would have to, in effect, stop people from being born who would never hear the gospel and who would reject the gospel.

    But still, even the people going to hell can have a purpose in this life. There are many non-Christians who have advanced medicine, technology, and helped other people a great deal. God has ordained that they perform work which is ultimately for His glory since he has blessed even the lost with gifting – in accordance with them being made in God’s image. But, they reject God and are without excuse (Romans 1:20).

    Finally, there is a logical problem with not creating people who go to hell. It would mean that no one would go to heaven. You see, without the crucifixion, no one could be saved. But, in order for Jesus to be crucified, evil people had to lie about Him and murder Him. His crucifixion is the means by which we are saved. So, if God doesn’t create people He knows will go to hell, then there would have been no crucifixion by which people could be saved. In that case, all people would go to hell. Therefore, if God was to not make anyone who would go to hell, then He would not make anyone at all.”

    1. JeffW
      br.d What is your reply to this article from Carm.org “Why does God create people He knows will go to hell?”

      br.d
      Jeff – how long will you allow yourself to be deceived by these deceptive language tricks???

      1)
      Why can’t Calvinist’s tell the TRUTH about divine knowledge in Calvinism – instead of using deceptive language designed to HIDE the TRUTH?

      How does Calvin’s god KNOW someone will go to hell?

      John Calvin
      –quote
      he foresees the things which are to happen simply because he has DECREED they so happen.

      John Calvin
      -quote
      He foresees future events only in CONSEQUENCE of his decree.

      John Calvin
      -quote
      He consequently foreknew because HE SO ORDAINED BY HIS DECREE

      2)
      Why can’t Calvinist’s tell the TRUTH about Calvin’s god who DESIGNS/CREATES people specifically for eternal torment in a lake of fire – instead of using deceptive language designed to HIDE the TRUTH

      John Calvin
      -quote
      By the eternal GOOD PLEASURE of god THOUGH THE REASON DOES NOT APPEAR, they are NOT *FOUND* but *MADE* worthy of destruction. – (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of god)

      So the TRUTH in Calvinism – is that the only reason people go to hell – is that Calvin’s god SPECIALLY DESIGNS/CREATES people specifically for eternal torment in the lake of fire
      And he creates them for eternal torment *FOR HIS GOOD PLEASURE*

      JeffW
      does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use, and another for common use?

      br.d
      The divine creator the world has the right do create creatures any way he wants to.
      But in Calvinism – as we clearly see above – Calvin’s god DESIGNS/CREATES people for eternal torment *FOR HIS GOOD PLEASURE*

      So here are 4 questions for you Jeff

      1) Is Calvin’s god FORCED to design/create his creatures for eternal torment?

      2) Does he have no other choice?

      3) Is he limited such that he cannot create them for any other purpose?

      4) What kind of PLEASURE is it that creates/designs creatures specifically for eternal torment?

      JeffW
      22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?

      br.d
      Lets put this in the PROPER perspective in Calvinism

      John Calvin
      -quote
      The creatures…are so governed by the secret counsel of God, that *NOTHING* happens but what he has knowingly and willingly decreed.

      So Jeff – here is a question for you:
      1) Why does Calvin’s god want to demonstrate his wrath against the very things he decrees to infallibly come to pass – since according to the doctrine *NOTHING* can come to pass that he didn’t knowingly and willing decree?

      2) Is it possible for a fallible creature to be or do otherwise than what that creature was infallibly decreed to be and do?

      JeffW
      So, according to the Bible, it seems that God patiently endured the “bad” people so that He could express His great riches upon the people who go to heaven.

      br.d
      That makes perfect sense from a NON-Calvinist perspective.
      But in Calvinism – what Calvin’s god is enduring is his own decrees.

      Jeff – in Calvinism *NOTHING* happens that is not knowingly and willingly decreed

      So Jeff – please tell me why people are “bad” in Calvinism?

      JeffW
      These evil people freely choose to be evil,

      br.d
      Jeff – do you know anything about CREATURELY FREEDOM in Calvinism?

      1) The creature is FREE to be/do what Calvin’s god decreed the creature would infallibly be/do

      2) The creature is NOT FREE to be/do anything other than what Calvin’s god decreed the creature to infallibly be/do

      It is logically impossible for a fallible creature to falsify an infallible decree.
      So in Calvinism – creatures don’t have the type of FREEDOM that NORMAL people consider FREEDOM.

      JeffW
      Finally, there is a logical problem with not creating people who go to hell. It would mean that no one would go to heaven.

      br.d
      I applaud you for trying to apply analytical thinking!!!
      But this argument fails.

      Calvin’s god is OMNIPOTENT.
      Which means he is not limited to any MEANS in which he will have things resolved.

      Remember – Calvin’s AUTHORS every impulse that will come to pass in every person’s brain.

      Calvin’s god is perfectly free and perfectly capable of decreeing humans to always have “good” and “holy” impulses come to pass within their brains.

      He does not have to AUTHOR sinful evil impulses to come to pass in anyone’s brain if he doesn’t want to.

      The fallacy in your thinking is what is called NECESSARY CONDITIONS.

      Because Calvin’s god is not limited
      1) It is not a NECESSARY CONDITION for Jesus to be crucified.
      2) It is not a NECESSARY CONDITION for any person to have a sinful evil impulse in their brain.
      3) it is not a NECESSARY CONDITION that Calvin’s god decrees sinful evil impulses to come to pass in people’s brains.

      Therefore – that line of reasoning fails.

      Jeff – how long will you continue to not see through the deceptive language at Calvinist web-sites???1

    2. <<>>

      In Calvinism, people do not “freely choose” to be evil, because they are not free to choose anything else. They are unchangeably ordained to choose evil, such that they cannot choose otherwise. That is not a choice. Calvinists have to re-define “freely choose”

      <<>>

      In Calvinism, they are not without excuse. They have the best and perfect excuse – total inability. In addition, they are not rejecting God, because God has never intended or genuinely offered Himself to them. He has already rejected them so there is nothing and no-one for them to reject. But yes, it is consistent with the callous narcissism of Calvinism that the non-elect can have some purely utilitarian purpose for the benefit of the elect.

      <<>>

      That is one of the most ridiculous, circular arguments ever invented. If God operated according to meticulous pre-determinism, He could just as easily create everyone to be perfectly sinless, so that they would go to Heaven without the need for any crucifixion. It is akin to the idea of a doctor who has to create a virus in the laboratory and make sure everyone is infected with it, just so he can develop an antidote and administer it to a few, to make himself look good. Or Piper’s equally ridiculous argument that God cannot be fully glorified without evil, because without evil He could not express wrath, and wrath is a necessary part of His glory.

      1. Calvinist statements almost always entail the process of trying to sell bottles of EVIL to the NON-Calvinist consumer – by wrapping them in a pretty package in order to HIDE what is inside.

    3. Jeff: “What is your reply to this article from Carm.org “Why does God create people He knows will go to hell?””

      Heather: Obviously this whole article is built on the presupposition that God predestined the non-elect to hell. And if the whole foundation is wrong, then everything built on top of it is wrong too. Matt Slick is trying to argue for why God would create people that He predestined for hell, but the whole idea of God predestining people for hell is wrong from the very beginning. (And what a convoluted bunch of nonsense his article is!) And it would be foolish to answer a fool (Slick) in his folly, to try to debate the specific points he made when it’s all based on demonic lies anyway (and on verses taken out of context).

      (And it’s totally deceptive for him to state it as God simply “knowing” people will go to hell when he really means God predestines/causes them to go to hell. It’s one thing for God to give all people the chance to be saved but to know that most will choose of their own free-will to reject Him, but it’s quite another for Him to create/cause people to be totally unable to believe in Him because He predestined them for hell).

  2. br.d , I’m interested in getting many different points of view, I visit many
    Non-Calvinist Christian websites also. What Bible verses and their Contexts do you think destroy Calvinism and cannot be explained away by Calvinism ?
    Some argue that humans do have some degree of Free Will & Free Choice in Calvinism.. the old Compatibalism VS Determinism debate. How else do you think we or Science can show Calvinism to be true or partially true, compared to Arminianism, Provisionism , etc.
    Is it possible for someone to be a
    Lutheran Calvinist ? I had a good friend several years ago who was Lutheran. Can someone be both Lutheran and Calvinist ?
    And do you believe Calvinism is Psychologically harmful to people and produces “bad fruit” ? There are many different ways to Interpret Scripture, just as there are different ways people interpret the U.S. Constitution, how can we ever know which Interpretation is Correct?

    1. Ok – lets do this then.
      From now on – when you have a Calvinist web-site to chat about – we’ll walk through their statements together – and instead of you asking me questions – I’ll play the teacher

      I’ll give you FACTS about Calvinism which pertain to the statement in question.

      And then I’ll ask you to exercise LOGICAL thinking – so that you can learn to use LOGICAL thinking as a tool – to see where and when Calvinist statements utilize deceptive language.

      That way you’ll be learning to discern these things for yourself.
      And when you visit Calvinist web-sites you’ll be able to easily see through all of their deceptive language.

      So – from now on – instead of you asking me my opinion – I’ll give you FACTS about Calvinism – that the Calvinist web-sites are hiding from you – and you can ask yourself the questions you would be asking me – and you’ll be able to easily answer those questions yourself.

      I’ll teach you how to fish for yourself – instead of me doing the fishing for you! 😀

      That way – you’ll learn how to see through Calvinist statements that are designed to paint FALSE PICTURES of Calvinism in order to make it look acceptable.

    2. Hi Jeff… Here are the main verses I point to.
      Pulling Petals Off the TULIP

      After looking at the meaning of these following clear verses as they relate to the TULIP, I would see myself as 1/2 T and 1/2 P in agreement with Calvinists. 🙂

      T – 1/2 pulled off
      Rom 11:32 For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all. [The first part of this passage agrees with one part of Calvinism’s view of Total Depravity, but not the second part]

      John 1:9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.

      U – Pulled off
      Rom 9:25 As He says also in Hosea: “I will call them My people, who were not My people, And her beloved, who was not beloved.”

      2Pet 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning [His] promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing [planning] that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

      L – Pulled off
      1John 2:2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

      2Pet 2:1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, [and] bring on themselves swift destruction.

      I – Pulled off
      Mark 7:14 When He had called all the multitude to [Himself,] He said to them, “Hear Me, everyone, and understand:”

      Heb 3:7-8 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness,”

      P – 1/2 Pulled off
      Eph 1:13-14 In Him you also [trusted,] after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. [This passage agrees with one part of Calvinism’s view of Eternal Security, but not its rejection of carnality]

      Heb 5:12-14 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need [someone] to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes [only] of milk [is] unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, [that is,] those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

    3. JeffW
      Some argue that humans do have some degree of Free Will & Free Choice in Calvinism

      br.d
      I’ve explained this very clearly to you before Jeff
      And I’m concerned that you are not using your mind to think clearly.

      Here is the question for you Jeff

      If the following things are TRUE
      1) God decrees that you will infallibly do [X]
      2) The only option God gives you – is the option to do [X]
      3) God does not grant you the ability to refrain from doing [X]

      Are you granted a choice about whether or not you will do [X]?

    4. Jeff: What Bible verses and their Contexts do you think destroy Calvinism and cannot be explained away by Calvinism?

      Heather: If I may (and I hope I am not offending anyone by jumping in here), I’d also like to throw some verses out there for consideration:

      1. Consider Lydia from Acts 16 and the believers who didn’t yet have the Holy Spirit in Acts 19. Calvinists say the elect get the Holy Spirit first, in order to cause them to have faith, but these passages show believers who do not yet have the Holy Spirit. If Calvinism is true. how can there be believers who don’t first have the Holy Spirit? Answer: Calvinism is wrong. The Holy Spirit comes to us after we believe, as a result of our belief (as seen in other verses), not in order to make us believe. [Calvinists use Lydia from Acts 16:14 as an example of God opening someone’s heart to cause them to believe. They say “See, it says God opened her heart to believe.” But it does not say that. It says he “opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message,” which I believe is the message of the need for baptism. Because that’s the next thing she does. And it’s what happened in Acts 19 too. Lydia does not support Calvinism. It actually contradicts it. According to their own logic, her heart wasn’t opened to believe yet and so she would be a totally depraved, unregenerated person who couldn’t do any good or seek God until God opened her heart. But here she was worshipping God anyway before God supposedly “opened her heart to believe,” which would be impossible in Calvinism.]

      2. “But the man who has settled the matter in his own mind, who is under no compulsion but who has control over his own will, and who has made up his mind not to marry the virgin – this man also does the right thing.” (1 Corinthians 7:37, NIV)

      Calvinism essentially believes that God controls our wills. But in this verse, Paul clearly refers to the fact that we can make up our own minds about issues, without being under compulsion to choose what we do, that we are in “control” over our wills. This clearly goes against Calvinism. It puts the responsibility for our decisions and desires and actions on us, not on God.

      But interestingly, and very tellingly, the ESV (the Calvinist Bible) changes “has control over his own will” to “but having his desire under control.” Of all the typical word-for-word translations, that’s the only one that words it that way: “having his desire under control.” To me, this is a deliberate attempt to sneak Calvinism in, by putting less “control” in man’s hands over his will than what the Bible originally said. “Having control over his will” is active. The control is done by the person. He has control over his will. But “having his desire under control” doesn’t have to mean the man himself is doing the controlling. It’s just saying his desire is under control. But by whom?

      Calvinists would say that people’s desires are controlled by the nature that God gave us. And the nature God gives us comes with certain desires that we have to obey, and we cannot choose anything different. So if He gave you the “unregenerated nature” which comes only with the desire to sin and reject Him, then you will only always want to sin/reject Him and you can only always choose to sin/reject Him. You can’t choose anything different and can’t even want to choose anything different because your predestined nature determines that you will desire to sin and only to sin.

      [So if a Calvinist says you can make “real choices,” they are being deceptive because they only mean you can make the choices that go with the desires of the nature God gave you. And the unregenerated person only has the desire to sin/reject God, and so they can only choose to sin/reject God. But Calvinists will still call this “making the choice you want to make,” even though God predestined the desires you have and the choices you make based on those desires, and you had no ability to choose otherwise. And then since you “wanted” to sin and reject God (because of the desires built into your God-given unregenerated nature), Calvinists will claim that you deserve the punishment and the eternal life in hell that you get. Because you “desired” to do what you did, even though you could only desire/do what God predestined. It’s disgusting how shamelessly deceptive Calvinism is!]

      But if God has “elected” you for salvation (lucky people!), then He will eventually replace your unregenerated nature with a “regenerated” one (through the work of the Holy Spirit who “wakes you up inside” and causes you to be believe and be saved), which brings with it the desires to obey and do good and seek God. And then you will be able to (and then you have to!) choose to obey and do good and seek God, because your desires are now under the control of the Holy Spirit.

      The way the ESV words this verse essentially changes it from “man controls his will/desires” (meaning then that man would have the ability to choose between various options, to decide which desires to follow, to change his mind, etc.) to “man’s desires are under control” (meaning, according to Calvinism, that they are under the control of the Holy Spirit, not of man, and so therefore man cannot really make his own decisions or choose between various options/desires). I would say that instead of faithfully translating the verse as it is, the translators clearly and shamelessly altered it to fit with Calvinism.

      3. A bunch of verses that contradict Calvinism and that Calvinists never have a good, reasonable answer for:

      Hosea 8:4 (God’s words): “They set up kings without my consent; they choose princes without my approval.”

      Jeremiah 19:5 (God’s own words): “They have built the high places to Baal to burn their sons in the fire as offerings to Baal – something I did not command or mention, nor did it enter my mind.”

      Isaiah 30:1: “Woe to the obstinate children,” declares the Lord, “to those who carry out plans that are not mine…”

      Psalm 33:10: “The Lord foils the plans of the nations …” (Does God first cause us to have plans but then He foils the plans He caused us to have? Silly and contradictory. What kind of a God is that?)

      Acts 14:16: “In the past, he [God] let nations go their own way.” (How is this possible if God’s plans are the only things that happen? If all ways are God’s ways, then how can He let someone go their own way?)

      1 Kings 20:42: “He said to the king, ‘This is what the Lord says: ‘You have set free a man I had determined should die.”” (So then Calvi-god predetermined that they didn’t carry out his predetermined plan!?! Does that make any sense? How “sovereign” can Calvi-god be if the thing he predetermined to happen didn’t happen? And then which one was his true Will: kill the man or don’t kill the man? If it’s “kill the man,” then Calvi-god caused the people to not do his Will (he willed that his Will didn’t get done). But if it’s “don’t kill the man,” then he gave a command at first to put the man to death that he didn’t really mean. Either way, it makes him untrustworthy and nonsensical.)

      And if God alone controls every single movement that everyone and everything makes, then why would He need to put “boundaries/limits” around things, such as when He put a boundary around the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden, and a limit on how far the sea can go in Job 38:11, and a protective hedge around Job and limits to what Satan could do to him in Job 1? Boundaries/limits are only needed when there is freedom to move within those boundaries.

      Just some verses to consider, verses which confound Calvinists.

      Jeff: “And do you believe Calvinism is Psychologically harmful to people and produces “bad fruit” ? There are many different ways to Interpret Scripture, just as there are different ways people interpret the U.S. Constitution, how can we ever know which Interpretation is Correct?”

      Heather: I think it is definitely harmful because it destroys God’s character, His love and His justice and His trustworthiness. If Calvinism is true, then God always says one thing but means another … and He gives fake offers of salvation to most people … and He loves a few but hates most … and He causes evil because it pleases and glorifies Him … and He commands people to do things He prevents them from doing (repenting, believing, obeying) … and He deliberately causes us to do things He commanded us not to do (sin, rebellion, unbelief) … and He punishes us for what He caused us to do, for things we had no control over. This makes Him unjust, unloving, and untrustworthy. A monster. How could this NOT damage someone’s heart and faith?

      And which interpretation is correct? I would say the one that comes closest to upholding what God clearly, plainly said in His Word when read in a commonsense way (commonsense would say that if God commands people to seek Him and to believe in Him then it means it is possible for us to seek Him and believe in Him, commonsense would say that if God says He loves all people and that He shows His love by sending Jesus to die for sinners then it means that He, out of His love, sent Jesus to die for all sinners, all people, commonsense would say that if God said He doesn’t want anyone to perish then He wouldn’t predestine/cause people to perish, etc.), instead of the one that adds secret layers and double meanings and that takes verses out of context and that splits biblical concepts into “two different types of…” when there is no Bible verse to support it and when it actually contradicts what God did plainly say.

      The gospel is not as complicated, hidden, convoluted, and mysterious as Calvinists make it out to be. It is simple and clear, easy enough for a child to understand, because God wants us to understand the truth and to believe it. Don’t let them make it tougher than it is. Read what God Himself said in His Word, and don’t let Calvinists trick you into their ideas of what God meant to say. Any theology that’s basically built on “Did God really say …?” is not from God!

  3. br.d & everyone else can Answer, My Question is , do we believe “Eternal Security” to be the same as “Once Saved Always Saved” or do you think it’s possible for a Christian who is Truly Saved to Possibly Sin so Severely that they will be Condemned to Hell when they die, ?
    Plus I have found these videos on YouTube that disagree with Dr. Flowers and say his Theology & Interpretation of Scripture is Wrong

    1.–1:02:14
    “A Critique of Leighton Flowers on Total Inability”

    7.3K views
    1 year ago

    Dr. Jordan B Cooper
    “This is a critique of Leighton Flowers’ recent comments on the subject of total inability.

    2.–“Leighton Flowers you are wrong”

    2.1K views
    1 year ago

    smart christian channel
    The flaw in Leighton Flower’s Theology.”

    3. “Reacting to Leighton Flowers’ Poll”

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    Dividing Line Highlights
    The second evening of the mini Conference on the solas is just 90 minutes away so we snuck a quick program from the AO Mobile …”

    4.”Leighton flower’s 1 Corinthians 2:14 “De-Calvinized” critique”

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    My friend Edwin and I analyze a video that about 1 Corinthians 2:14, on whether or not it teaches the doctrine of Total inability.”

    5.”Leighton Flowers you are wrong (still)”

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    “Why Leighton Flowers blocked me.
    Some claim Calvinism & some degree of “Free Will” can co-exist, Compatibalism , is there a Scientific way to Prove Determinism, this is far more complex than a Rubik’s cube

    1. JeffW…. What does it matter that there are individuals who made videos to express their disagreement with Leighton? The issue is what does Scripture say, and does Leighton or these others represent correct Scriptural teaching on a certain issue.

      As for OSAS, Leighton believes this is a biblical teaching and so do I. There are many Provisionists however who don’t. Here’s a passage I like pointing to in support.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      1. Brian: “What does it matter that there are individuals who made videos to express their disagreement with Leighton? The issue is what does Scripture say, and does Leighton or these others represent correct Scriptural teaching on a certain issue. As for OSAS, Leighton believes this is a biblical teaching and so do I.”

        Heather: Good answer, Brian. And I agree. I have studied this myself and came to the conclusion that the Bible teaches eternal security for true believers (not necessarily for those who just “pray a prayer” or who call themselves believers).

        When I was researching Calvinism to see what others say, it was hard to find people who were against Calvinism but who also believed in OSAS. It seems that in their desire/efforts to destroy Calvinism, they also get rid of eternal security, almost as if trying to make sure they have nothing in common with Calvinists. I however believe the Bible does not support Calvinism in general but that it does support eternal security, just not in the way Calvinists say.

        Calvinists believe that if God chose you to be one of the elect and gives you the Holy Spirit to cause you to be saved then He will keep you in the faith all the way to the end. I believe that God promises that He will give the Spirit to anyone who willingly chooses to believe in Jesus, and that the Spirit seals us for the day of redemption. Believers can still fall into sin and can lose eternal rewards, but they cannot lose their salvation.

        Here are some verses I think support OSAS:

        “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, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession – to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14) And “Now it is God who makes both of us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)

        After belief, we are sealed by God. I do not believe we can be unsealed. I do not believe God can be tricked by false claims of belief. And I do not believe the Holy Spirit pops in and out of people based on if they truly believe one day but lose their faith the next. How all-knowing could God be if He didn’t know who has real faith and who doesn’t?

        “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” (Ephesians 4:30)

        If we could lose the Holy Spirit, why would it just say to not grieve the Spirit who sealed you? Why wouldn’t it say something like “Don’t grieve the Spirit who sealed you, or else you might grieve Him so much that He unseals you”? This verse is saying that He sealed us, so let’s not disgrace Him or take God’s grace for granted. It’s saying “You’re a Christian, so live like it.” It’s not saying that He sealed us only as long as we behave ourselves well enough. It’s not saying that we can sin our way into not being a Christian anymore.

        (Besides, if it was saying that we could lose our salvation by sinning, at what point would the Spirit go from just being grieved to leaving us? I can’t find any verse that tells us where that line is, and it would be quite distressing if God intentionally left out a big guideline like that. I think that if we COULD lose our salvation – which I don’t think true believers can – I would say that the only way it could happen would be by directly, deliberately recanting our faith. I do not believe we can stumble or sin our way into losing our salvation because our eternal salvation is based on God’s promise and God’s work of sealing us, not on our efforts to maintain it. Besides, God knows that our efforts would never be good enough anyway. That’s why Jesus came and did the work for us, because we couldn’t do it ourselves.)

        “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (1 Corinthians 5:17)

        Notice that the old has gone; it’s not lurking in the background, waiting to reclaim you.

        “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” (John 5:24)

        I have yet to find a verse that says “and crossed back over to death.”

        A true believer can never fall away because God has sealed us. He has given us the Holy Spirit in us as His seal of ownership over us and as a guarantee of what is to come, a promise to come back and get us. We have become new creations and crossed from death to life. And even if we fall away for awhile or struggle with our faith, the Spirit will always be working on our hearts to call us back into a right relationship with God.

        “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son… And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” (Romans 8:29-30)

        If God foreknows you as one of those who will truly believe in Him, you are sealed and headed for glory. Whether we become a believer or not is not what is predestined. But what is predestined is that those who truly believe will reach glory in the end. That is a promise for all those who choose to believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior.

        This is my opinion on the question of eternal security.

      2. Clarification: “… I have studied this myself and came to the conclusion that the Bible teaches eternal security for true believers (not necessarily for those who just “pray a prayer” or who JUST call themselves believers BUT WHO REALLY AREN’T).”

        I’m sure you all know what I meant, but I wanted to clarify it anyway.

      3. …continuing….

        This also has monumental implications with texts like 1 Cor 10:13. Suffice it to say here, since Heather and Brian would affirm that their falling into sin ultimately is not “up to” them, but “God who makes both of us and you stand firm in Christ” (2 Cor 1:21-22, cited by Heather, taking a compatibilist reading) so as to shield them from final apostasy, they are now backed into a corner of defending compatibilism against incompatibilist objections. So on good days when Heather is not busy defending DCD when arguing for ES, theological schizophrenia seems to set in. See how she turns on a dime:

        Heather: Calvinism essentially believes that God controls our wills. But in this verse, Paul clearly refers to the fact that we can make up our own minds about issues, without being under compulsion to choose what we do, that we are in “control” over our wills. This clearly goes against Calvinism. It puts the responsibility for our decisions and desires and actions on us, not on God.

        But in order to guarantee her ES, and to ensure that her sinful will doesn’t push her to the brink of apostasy, she would inescapably have to read 2 Cor 1:21-22 in a compatibilistic sense! Let’s put this further in perspective.

        Set aside Heather strawmaning Calvinism. God offering “a way of escape” requires a plurality of voluntary control such that (i) they are able to bring either option voluntarily, (ii) intentionally, and (iii) rationally, without being coerced or compelled or otherwise causally determined by other agents. But on a day when Heather is a quasi-Calvinist, it is not “up to her”, she argues, to control her sinful actions, since her eternal security is ultimately “up to God” “who makes [her] stand firm in Christ.”

        As stated, in all things unrelated to ES, Heather champions LFW. However, when defending ES, LFW is dropped, and we get sermonizing that’s in distinguishable from “calvi-god.” Swap out some of the terms in her statement in favor of ES, and Heather arbitrarily switches the metaphysics of divine providence from creatures having LFW to compatiblism. So any arguments she deploys are meaningless because of ES.

        Can it be any clearer that provisionists have succumbed to a jumbled morass of biblical contradictions, and philosophical quackery. One piece of dogma, namely ES, determines when divine providence and true justice does not involve “controlling” our wills on the one hand; but on the other, after conversion, Heather and co., are happy to affirm a divine justice whereby God “controls” our wills.”

        What a mess!

        Heather, you cannot have your cake and it too. It’s obviously you haven’t carefully and systematically thought through so many issues.

        Heather: “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, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession – to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14) And “Now it is God who makes both of us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)

        Heather: After belief, we are sealed by God. I do not believe we can be unsealed. I do not believe God can be tricked by false claims of belief. And I do not believe the Holy Spirit pops in and out of people based on if they truly believe one day but lose their faith the next. How all-knowing could God be if He didn’t know who has real faith and who doesn’t.

        Correct! There is no evidence, like Brian’s “no one can be unborn, in the NT of anything resembling someone being “unsealed.” I’m afraid this is yet another strawman. Heather and Brian continue reaching for straws that no credible proponent of OA defends! So this is a misfire. As I’ve argued above, the position is that regenerated believers, while having still the ability to sin (posee pecare), can deliberately sin in such a was as to incur the wrath of God by committing specifically the sin of apostasy (see exegesis above Heb 10:26-29; cf. 6:4-6). Other sins that warrant exclusion from the community of God is the potential to revert to unbelief (Rom 11:17-24), and apathy (John 15:1-6).

        She also misunderstands the concept of “sealing” in antiquity. In sigillography, scrolls for instance were sealed or engraved with a substance for purposes of authentication. They were used as identity markers to represent either an individual, religious or political party. Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb had engraved the Roman seal yet it was broken. The soldier responsible for guarding the tomb were executed by capital punishment because they failed to preserve the seal which was representative of the Roman Empire. Likewise, the “sealing of the Holy Spirit”, understood in its proper cultural milieu, serves as an identity marker for Christians.

        Heather’s anachronistic reading of “sealing” as a sort of impenetrable locking can be rejected. There is no lexical evidence that “sealing” is synonymous with divine bolting or locking in the ancient world.

        Heather: If we could lose the Holy Spirit, why would it just say to not grieve the Spirit who sealed you? Why wouldn’t it say something like “Don’t grieve the Spirit who sealed you, or else you might grieve Him so much that He unseals you”?

        Heather seems to be counseling the almighty by offering her sinful framework were OA to be the case. For instance, if such were the case, arguendo, then it shouldn’t have been written this way, i.e., “Don’t grieve the spirit who sealed you, or else you might grieve Him so much that He unseals you”?

        Hebrews 10:29 answers your worry directly: “has outraged the spirit of grace”.

        Heather: It’s not saying that we can sin our way into not being a Christian anymore.

        Again, trying reading your bible more widely, more comprehensibly: “For if we go sinning deliberately…how much more punishment, do you think, will be deserved…” (10:26-29).

        Heather: (Besides, if it was saying that we could lose our salvation by sinning, at what point would the Spirit go from just being grieved to leaving us? I can’t find any verse that tells us where that line is, and it would be quite distressing if God intentionally left out a big guideline like that.

        Yes indeed it would be “distressing”. But strawmans continue to pile up. For, the scriptural solution for sinful behavior is not condemnation, but confession (1 John 1:9), repentance (Ps 51:17), and divine discipline (Heb 12:6; cf., Prov 3:11-12). These are wonderful divine provisions. So no one can “loose their salvation” (whatever that means?) by sinning. Hence, the “guidelines” for sinful behavior, and so that also sidesteps Heather’s worry.

        Here’s another “big guideline”, and missed given the prejudices of ES. As ontological apostasy makes clear, the spectacular sins of apostasy and unbelief is where the line is drawn. The apostolic exhortations against apostasy and unbelief are issued precisely because regeneration does not rid the ability to sin. And if regeneration does not rid the ability to sin, we can potentially sin in such a way as to actually commit apostasy or revert to unbelief. (BTW, the former has the point of no return, while the latter “God is able to graft you in again” Rom 11:23, 24). So then, the apostolic warnings are buffers that target the specific intolerable sins of apostasy and unbelief.

        Heather: I think that if we COULD lose our salvation – which I don’t think true believers can – I would say that the only way it could happen would be by directly, deliberately recanting our faith.

        Correct! And that’s exactly what apostasy in essence is. Hence, the apostolic warnings in the NT.

        Calvinist Heather: I do not believe we can stumble or sin our way into losing our salvation because our eternal salvation is based on God’s promise and God’s work of sealing us, not on our efforts to maintain it.

        Really?! But…

        Provisionist Heather: But in this verse, Paul clearly refers to the fact that we can make up our own minds about issues, without being under compulsion to choose what we do, that we are in “control” over our wills. This clearly goes against Calvinism. It puts the responsibility for our decisions and desires and actions on us, not on God.

        As everyone can see, Heather’s metaphysic of agency vacillates on the whim of dogma. Unless she can come up with a cogent rapprochement, or offer a view of concurrence that characterizes God’s nature and character consistent across all possible worlds, this is the sort of clumsy theology we have on display here.

        Heather: I have yet to find a verse that says “and crossed back over to death.”

        If you autonomously tailor the terms of both apostasy and unbelief in such a way to arrive to a predetermined conclusion, you’re only coddling your tradition. This is the surest way to convince yourself.

        Suffice it to say, if you revert to unbelief, God himself will lop you off from the invisible ontological community, but if you repent, “God has the power to graft [you] in again” (Rom 11:23).

      4. A.B.

        Setting aside all of your gobbly gook…forgive me, but I like to KISS, if you know what I mean…I kinda agree with you, and I mostly don’t.

        This is so simple that a 2 year old can explain it.

        When one becomes a Christian, yes, they are sealed. But you can STOP BELIEVING at any time, and thus lose the salvation that you once had. That’s voluntary.

        Jesus (God) had disciples that walked away. And we are warned, several times, about losing [Hebrews 11:1]. I say [Hebrews 1] because of Calvinist definition of faith, rather than the biblical definition of faith.

        Yes, you can lose that seal. But those who CONTINUE to voluntarily [Hebrews 1], then their salvation is secure.

        Now, one thing that amuses me is that BOTH SIDES misses THIS very important aspect:

        1 Corinthians 15:56
        …the strength of sin is the law.

        Take the law away, SIN HAS NO POWER.

        Romans 4:15
        Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.

        The LAW WORKS WRATH.

        We are FREE FROM the law…of Moses, therefore, even when we sin, it has NO POWER over us, regarding salvation. We are secure in that sense. And it is further explained in Romans 7, that when Paul sins…it’s NOT HIM, but his body that is sinning.

        So yes, if we MAINTAIN our own [Hebrews 1], we are secure. But if we stop [Hebrews 1], then we lose our salvation (UNSEALED).

        It’s our own FREE WILL on whether we are saved, or not saved.

        Ed Chapman

      5. It’s simply the irony of ironies to read concessions, wittingly so, from provisionists who all day long decry divine causal determinism (DCD) to promote libertarian free will (LFW), but immediately hop on the DCD train and evacuate LFW to bolster “once saved always saved” (OSAS), or eternal security (ES). The arguments they launch against compatibilistic freedom, are immediately abandoned, passionately take a defense for the sake of eternal security (ES). Why aren’t they cognizant that “inconsistency” is not a virtue, but a demonstration of the weakness of their overall theology!

        Granted, we are not given any in depth theo-analytic explanation(s) beyond the platitudes of “cannot”, “will never”, “can never…loose your salvation.” However, if pressed on how God can guarantee such outcomes, bets are, that all the emphasis will fall on God’s creatorial omnipotence to causally determine human action such that, provisionists never sin to the point of apostasy. Inescapably, provisionists are necessitarians only where it suits them.

        I’ll simply show that provisionists, especially as Heather has opined, commit classic exegetical fallacies, cherry pick and engage in acontextual readings of the NT without the benefit of the broader theological landscape, and strawman in an attempt to look as if she and others have the argumentative edge.

        I’ll start with a sampling of the most powerful counterarguments for the negation of ES, namely ontological apostasy (OA).

        Hebrew 10:26-29 is the locus classicus. Here the inspired-regenerated author does not exempt himself “we” (ἡμῶν, v. 26), from a “fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries” (v. 27), if he too were to commit the sin of apostasy. The individual that does in fact commit apostasy (v. 29), is saved because he has experienced the remission of sins, having been sanctified “by the blood of the covenant” (v. 29c).

        The dative neuter pronominal phrase “by which” (ἐν ᾧ) indicates a subordinate clause, pointing back to the nearest antecedent in the main clause, namely “the blood of the covenant”. Therefore, the apostate’s sins have been forgiven (i.e., “sanctified”) by the medium of Christ’s blood.

        The punishment is “much worse”, a fortiori (πόσῳ v. 29a), precisely because: (1) the “blood of Christ” was previously rhetorically framed in a similar way with an a fortiori emphasis: “how much more will the blood of Christ…” (πόσῳ μᾶλλον 9:14); (2) the pastor has already made the argument that Christ’s blood “secures an eternal redemption” (9:12); and (3) unlike the animal rites, Christ blood actually does “redeem from transgressions” (v. 15), and his blood offering “has perfected for all time those are being sanctified” (10:14). Note that apostasy can, not merely grieve the spirit, but also “outrage the Spirit of grace” (v. 29c), thus triggering the a fortiori (“how much worse”, v. 29a) punishment. But before Provisio-quasi-Calvinists seize on the terms “eternal” and “perfect”, I’ll quickly cut any hopes to its knees.

        The phrase “eternal redemption”, and “perfected for all time” refers, not to the nature of possession, but to the nature and efficacy of Christ’s blood against Israel’s cultic rites (cf., 10:1, 4). In Hebrews, “eternal” is an idiom for the nature of the inheritance, not its possession. Otherwise, we would have the author incoherently generating a contradiction in a span of a few verses by issuing a needless threat, lumping a redeemed believer with a “fire that twill consume the adversaries.”

        It seems to me therefore, that believers who have experienced the redemptive action of Christ, can still “sin deliberately” (v. 26a)—libertarianly so—in such a way to: (a) “trample underfoot the son of God” (v. 29b); (b) “profane the blood of the covenant” (v. 29b); and (c) “outrage the spirit of grace” (v. 29c). “The pastor joins three culminative aorist participial phrases with one article to create a comprehensive description of this person.” And part of that description depicts his “sanctification” wrought by the means of “the blood of the covenant”. The pastor’s overall argument cogently plays right into a “sanctification” of redemption.

        If the thesis of ES holds, it’s difficult to square that born-again Christians do in fact have the potential to commit such heinous acts (i.e., “[a]-[c]”), unless the arrow of causal control and responsibility shifts to God via DCD.

        The second classic text is John 15:1-6. Here, as with Hebrews 10, the paraenesis has the identical thrust. Once again, the imagery of “fire” and “burned” is used as a warning against true believers: “If anyone does no abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned” (v. 6). The ground of contention is the actual soteriological status of the branches. There are good textual reasons to think they are solely saved individuals, and no good reason to think otherwise.

        First, the agent, omnisciently pruning the vine metaphor, is God himself. Second, I take the prepositional phrase “in me” (ἐν ἐμοὶ v. 2) as locatival or spherical. That is, all branches “in me” carries the nuance of incorporative union. We’re not given any other explanations, except that such union is presupposed in the strongest terms. It rings similar to the Pauline usage of incorporative union using the identical proposition governing the dative of location ἐν Χριστῷ (“in Christ”, Eph 1:3,4; 4:21; Rom 8:1). If John wanted to use a more vague term to obscure the redemptive status of the branches, the verbal form of “they follow” (ἀκολουθέω), or other verbal cognates, were at John’s disposal for immediate use (e.g., Jn 18:5). John, however, uses the strongest greek particle to describe these branches as already incorporated in Christ.

        Essentially, regenerated individuals are not exempt from the stern fiery warning of apathy from Jesus himself.

        Provisionists have a couple of strategies. They can simply reuse the Calvinist talking point, “Those branches are burned because they were never really “in me”. By way of reply, how is it possible—especially when the vinedresser is an omnipotent infalible knower—that any individual can autonomously, incorporate themselves “in Christ”? Is there any indication in the text individuals helping themselves into union with Christ? No! Is it possible that God can mistakenly incorporate an individual with spurious faith “in Christ”? Is it possible that the spirit can mistakenly bring a fraudulent believer into union with Christ? While it’s true that “weeds” are found in the “field” (ἀγρός Matt 13:24), or in the visible church, in this metaphor however, God is omnisciently pruning the vineyard in John 15 such that, what is depicted is the ontological (i.e., invisible) picture of the true people of God.

        So then, unless provisionists are willing to concede that the spirit also brings into union false believers “in Christ”, all those “in me”, it seems compelling that believers can forfeit final salvation due to unbelief and apathy, “that does not bear fruit” (v. 2).

        The other strategy would be to appeal to 1 John 2:19: “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.”

        A couple of issues: (1) I fail to see how this is relevant, apart from the fact that it’s the same author, and dealing with an entire different community and situation; (2) proponents of OA do not make the claim that false believers can apostatize. Rather, born-again believers can apostatize; (3) In John 15:1-2, those believers are “in Christ” by virtue of the “Father is the vinedresser” (v. 1); in 1 John 2:18-19, the referent of “they” (v. 19) are described as “many antichrists” (v. 18); (3) These antichrists Trojan-horsed their way into John’s community, and plainly says “they were never of us”; John 15:1 however, uses the strongest particle to denote they were in fact part of Christ, “in me” by God’s divine and infallible action.

        Overall, this commits the fallacy of irrelevant contexts, or illegitimate totality transfer; and begs the question against OA.

        A third rejoinder, and the one most often employed here, is to sidestep counterarguments, reassert alleged favorable prooftexts, and not care at all to resolve the contradiction generated by this move. The coherence of revelation takes a swipe at the cost of defending sheer dogma. As such, provisionism implies atheism.

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

        This is obviously false, and is contradicted by John 15:6, “If anyone does not abide in me…” The “if-then” (protasis-apodosis) construction cannot be denied. This is a third-class conditional. In the Greek it is ἐὰν + any mood and tense with the negative μή. That is exactly what we find in 15:6: ἐὰν μή…

        There are way too many Pauline pericopes where the “if-then” (protasis-apodosis) conditional clauses are stated, especially in soteriological contexts where we should never expect hem, if and only if, ES or something like it, is true. Here are a few:

        “he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if [εἴ] indeed you continue in the faith…” (Col. 1:22-23)

        “For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed [ἐάνπερ] we hold our original confidence firm to then end” (Heb 3:14).

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

        Contrary to Brian, both Jesus and Paul add conditions to salvation, namely, it is “up to you” to continue in a perpetual assent of faith. Indeed, divine speech acts can be “unconditional” given divine perfection and the impossibly for God to fail in all possible worlds. Perseverance and preservation needn’t be incompatible; neither does one mute the other and conversely. Moreover, divine action does not causally determine human assent of faith. That is exactly what is being debated, and so you shouldn’t continue to beg the question.

        Brian: So the phrase “will never thirst”, points normally to meaning this person who drinks will never again be an unbeliever. This phrase is a very emphatic negative statement in Greek – οὐ μὴ διψήσῃ εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα

        Indeed is the negation is emphatic. I’ll start with steelmaning Brian’s argument. John 10:28-29 is another alleged strong prooftext for ES. We get another emphatic negation – οὐ μὴ ἀπόλωνται – “will never perish”. The οὐ μὴ (“will never”) is a double negation, the strongest negation construction in the Greek. It suggests the impossibility of perishing from the moment of belief. Grammatically, it seems that ES has the textual edge here. It does not!

        For starters, the referent, as it is throughout John’s gospel, is God himself. No one should challenge divine omnipotence, except for atheists. It should to be the case, therefore, that both proponents and opponents of ES ought not in any way skirt around the double negation, if John is telescoping divine agency. Notice that human responsibility is nowhere discussed. So far, then, the double negation is not in any way threatened by OA if divine action is the sole concept in view. Provisionists, southern baptists, and Calvinists, however, explode the οὐ μὴ beyond what it is able to bear. How so?

        Again, the double negation affirms the uncontroversial premise:

        P1: It is impossible that God will fail to preserve believers.

        But Brian and co., are smuggling another premise through the back door, namely, something like:

        P2: God omnipotently preserves believers by casually determining human agency.

        That is to say, sorta’ like, in an episode of The Book of Boba Fett, an X-wing officer orders the Mandalorian to relinquish pilot control for remote control and access to guarantee arriving at their desired destination. Is it indeed the fact though, that John is evacuating libertarian human agency and responsibility? Not at all.

        Though P1 is a necessary condition, it is insufficient for ES to obtain. However, P1&P2 jointly does logically instantiate ES. P2, as it stands, does not—cannot!—be sustained by the Greek negation. It makes a claim of modality, namely, such divine promises will obtain in all possible worlds. It’s a gargantuan assumption that needs to be argued for. It’s philosophically overloaded, and it collapses the Greek negation under its weight. It’s indispensable, however, to get the kind of ES provisionists defend.

        So ES cannot hold under the Johannine emphatic Greek negation, without presupposing compatibilism.

        I.H. Marshall lays it out pretty clearly, “The Lord himself must so work in my life that I am preserved from the possibility of falling away by his overruling of my sinful will. Thus we find that perseverance depends on a divine determinism that overrules what I myself apparently do in freedom. And so, although the Lord may let me fall into sin, he never lets me sin to such a degree that I become totally deaf to this voice. He overrules my will so that I remain faithful.”

        The upshot to the emphatic double negation οὐ μὴ in the Greek, as used by Brian, succumbs to the word-concept fallacy. Greg Lanier describes it this way, “equating a theological idea with a specific lexeme and assuming the use of the lexeme always engages the concept.” Among such linguistic fallacies, he goes on to say, “Despite the best efforts of scholars to stamp out the abuse of biblical language in ministry, common fallacies still creep into our preaching and teaching, often unnoticed. Many of these pitfalls are no doubt familiar to those in ministry, but it is worth being reminded of them. Three seem to have particular staying power.”

      6. I wonder A.B. how many will read your long confident and scholarly sounding response. I hope they will see you’ve dressed things up rhetorically, but your evidence is faulty.

        If you’re going to claim the high ground in exegesis. Don’t say ημών means “we”. The original reader of Heb 10:26 reads “of us”… and the whole book is about warning those “of us” professing Christ who have not yet entered into the rest of Christ, not having yet mixed with faith what they heard and professed.

        Hebrews 4:1-2 NKJV — Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest 👉any of you👈 seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, 👉not being mixed with faith👈 in those who heard it.

        It was funny to hear you make the accusation of “illegitimate totality transfer” when you then clearly try to smuggle conditional elements into verses with first class conditions (1Cor 15:2 & Col 1:23) where the truth of the protasis is assumed by the author, at least for argument sake. Even the clause with – ἐάνπερ – in Heb 3:14 sounds like a first class condition because of the assumed permanently completed action – γεγόναμεν – “having become” partners with Christ.

        But then you rape the clear unconditional ου μη promises of their clear meaning that the original hearers would have understood! Is it just so that you can think you hear the faint sounds of your theological conditions for OA also being totally transferred by you into those contexts?

        There is no “word concept fallacy”…. “never” means “never”, and God keeps His unconditional promises to those He makes His everlasting children by a birth from above. Praise His Name!

        I’ve nothing more to add, and will not continue this thread, since you and I have been through this before. But I felt I needed to respond for other readers. If they have questions for me I’ll be happy to answer them. Always wishing you the best, my online friend.

      7. Brian: …but your evidence is faulty.

        Ok, let’s have a look.

        Brian: If you’re going to claim the high ground in exegesis. Don’t say ημών means “we”. The original reader of Heb 10:26 reads “of us”… and the whole book is about warning those “of us” professing Christ who have not yet entered into the rest of Christ, not having yet mixed with faith what they heard and professed.

        A few remarks. First, the 1st person plural just is what it means to say either “we” or “us”. They’re interchangeable. No violence is done to the grammar. This is a difference without a distinction. Swap them out in either Heb 4 or 10, the same conclusion is left unscathed, namely, regenerated believers are being addressed.

        Second, by “professing” I take you to mean fraud believers. Let’s grant for the sake of argument Heb 4 is referring to a mixed audience. And, those who “have come short of it” demonstrate they were never really saved. Even if true, OA is not threatened by an evidence-inference reading of Heb 4. But ES is threatened in any instance where the pastor explicitly says the apostate who’s warned of hell fire, if he “deliberately sins”, has experienced the remission of sins (10:29).

        The question is continually begged on this: If ES is true, why does God threatened a regenerated believer, who’s sins have been forgiven, with “fury of fire that will consume the adversaries?

        Heb 10:26-29 compliments 4:1-2. Hebrews, or any other letter, should be read synthetically and coherently, not disparately and compartmentalized like you seem to be. The reason is clear why you won’t come anywhere near Heb 10:26-29. It’s way too damning for ES.

        Brian: It was funny to hear you make the accusation of “illegitimate totality transfer” when you then clearly try to smuggle conditional elements into verses with first class conditions (1Cor 15:2& Col 1:23) where the truth of the protasis is assumed by the author, at least for argument sake.

        Brian: Even the clause with – ἐάνπερ – in Heb 3:14 sounds like a first class condition because of the assumed permanently completed action – γεγόναμεν – “having become” partners with Christ. But then you rape the clear unconditional ου μη promises of their clear meaning that the original hearers would have understood! Is it just so that you can think you hear the faint sounds of your theological conditions for OA also being totally transferred by you into that context?

        First, granting such divine action is “permanent,” it still begs the question: Why would the author incoherently generate a contradiction, in a span of a few verses, by issuing a needless threat, lumping a redeemed believer with a “fire that twill consume the adversaries” if such permanence was unconditional?

        Second, it seems to me you’re relying on the perfect tense of γεγόναμεν to mean perfect in the sense of, not just past irreversibility irrevocable and unalterable, but future irreversibility as well. This too is fallacious. Daniel Wallace puts you on notice, “….this goes beyond grammar and is therefore misleading. Even more misleading is the notion, frequently found in commentaries, that the perfect tense denotes *permanent* or *eternal* results. Such a statement is akin to saying the aorist tense means “once-for-all.” Implications of this sort are to be drawn from considerations that are other than grammatical in nature. One must be careful not to read his or her theology into the syntax whenever it is convenient” (GGBB, 574).

        So the perfect tense is not identical to it being theologically “unconditional”. As Wallace explains, you will have to generate arguments on other grounds. You haven’t done so, and so you continue to beg the question against OA.

        Brian: There is no “word concept fallacy”…. “never” means “never”, and God keeps His unconditional promises to those He makes His everlasting children by a birth from above. Praise His Name!

        I agree, and this is not in any way inconsistent with OA. As I explained, no believer will question God’s omnipotent ability to fulfill his promises. But you’re going beyond divine omnipotence, to presupposing that God causally determines your sinful behavior in such a way as to avoid final apostasy. You’re presupposing that divine omnipotence over-determines human action and perseverance. I do not grant you the very assumption you need to argue for. You’re assuming what you must prove.

        The lexeme, therefore, does not engage the philosophical concept of compatiblism.

      8. Brian: “I wonder A.B. how many will read your long confident and scholarly sounding response….”

        I chose not to read it (I could tell right away how haughty-taughty and self-indulgent it was, and I don’t have time for that). But I’m glad you responded to it a little.

        Regardless of A.B.s arguments, I still think God can tell who really believes and who doesn’t. We might trick ourselves into thinking we are truly believers, but I don’t think we can trick God who knows us better than we know ourselves. I don’t think He can be fooled into giving the Spirit to someone who gives some phony declaration of faith. I think only those who truly believe will get the Spirit, and if you get the Spirit because of your true belief then you will be sealed with the Spirit and are on the path to glorification. And now, like Brian, I won’t comment on this thread anymore either.

    2. Jeff
      On the videos – of course if they are Calvinists – they are obviously going to assert Dr. Flowers is
      “Wrong”

      But what does “Wrong” mean???

      Take one of their statements in which they claim Dr. Flowers is “Wrong” and post that statement here

      Then we can unpackage it together.

      Again – Jeff – what is important here is that we don’t want you to be vulnerable such that you can’t see these things yourself.

      We don’t want you to be “ever learning and never coming to the knowledge of the TRUTH” in the subject of Calvinism and its claims

      We want to help you come to a place where you don’t need our help for you figure these things out yourself.

      So I’m here to help you in that process.

      So take one of their statements which they claim Dr. Flowers is “Wrong” and post it here – and you can I can discuss it and we can see what is supposedly *Wrong* with it.

      br.d

  4. br.d ScientificAmerican.com has an article by John Horgan headlined
    “Does Quantum Mechanics Rule Out Free Will?” and it aks,
    Superdeterminism, a radical quantum hypothesis, says our “choices” are illusory

    on March 10, 2022 Does Physics Support Calvinism ?

    1. Hello Jeffw
      Here are 2 questions for you on that subject:

      1) If Determinism is TRUE – is your brain granted the function of EVER KNOWING whether or not Determinism is TRUE?

      2) If Determinism is TRUE – is your brain granted the epistemic function of discerning TRUE from FALSE on any matter?

  5. br d , Thanks, so you looked up and read the entire article from ScientificAmerican.com ,
    Plus the book :
    Christian Soldier’s Battle Notes , Volume 1 (4th edition) by John Davis, has a good section on the Errors of Calvinism

    1. Hi Jeff
      You didn’t see my 2 questions to you on that subject?

      What are your answers for those questions?
      br.d

    1. You made an excellent guess!

      Lets un-package it:

      Let us say that Calvinist_X is sitting down to take a TRUE/FALSE exam.

      At TIME-T Calvinist_X reads the first question and his perception is that the answer is TRUE
      He then marks TRUE as the answer.

      However the correct answer is FALSE

      Now let us add Calvinism’s form of Determinism into the mix – which is enunciated by the doctrine of decrees

      The doctrine stipulates that at the foundation of the world – Calvin’s god chooses WHATSOEVER will come to pass within creation.

      So there is Calvin’s god – at the foundation of the world – making a decision about WHATSOEVER will come to pass with Calvinist_X at TIME-T.

      Calvin’s god had two options to choose from concerning what will come to pass with Calvinist_X at TIME-T

      1) Calvinist_X will perceive the answer to the question as TRUE and mark it as TRUE – with Calvin’s god knowing that the correct answer if FALSE.

      2) Calvinist_X will perceive the answer to the question as FALSE and mark it as FALSE – with Calvin’s god knowing that is the correct answer.

      In our case – what came to pass with Calvinist_X was option (1) and not option (2)
      So Calvin’s god must have had a reason to select option (1)
      Which means Calvin’s god must have had a reason to reject option (2)

      So now we know – option (1) was infallibly selected as that event which will be granted existence at TIME-T.

      Which means that option (2) was infallibly rejected as that event which will be granted existence at TIME-T

      So when TIME-T roles around – Calvinist_X is granted only ONE SINGLE RENDERED-CERTAIN OPTION. He will perceive the answer as TRUE and mark TRUE.

      The option of Calvinist_X’s brain perceiving FALSE as the answer – was not available to Calvinist_X because that option was EXCLUDED at the foundation of the world.

      Therefore at TIME-T when Calvinist_X reads the question – his brain is only granted ONE SINGLE RENDERED-CERTAIN option.

      His brain cannot choose between TRUE and FALSE – because the option of selecting FALSE is not available to him – because it was EXCLUDED by Calvin’s god at the foundation of the world.

      Therefore – Calvinist_X’s brain is not granted the function of choosing between TRUE and FALSE.
      His brain is only permitted to select TRUE as the answer.

      He does not select TRUE as the answer because he made a choice between TRUE and FALSE
      He does not have a choice between TRUE and FALSE – because the option of selecting FALSE does not exist for him.

      Another way to put this is this:
      A choice between TRUE and FALSE would have to be a LIBERTARIAN choice.
      Such a choice would require the ability for the creature to REFRAIN
      In choosing TRUE – he would be REFRAINING from choosing FALSE
      In choosing FALSE – he would be REFRAINING from choosing TRUE

      The ability to REFRAIN is a LIBERTARIAN function.
      And in Determinism (aka Calvinism) Libertarian Functionality does not exist for the creature.
      So there is no ability for the brain to choose between TRUE and FALSE

      Both ways of putting it – explain that on Determinism – the human brain is not granted the epistemic function of determining between TRUE and FALSE

      Greg Koukle provides a summary:
      -quote
      The problem with determinism is…..rationality would have no room to operate.
      Everyone of our thoughts dispositions and opinions would have been decided for us by factors completely out of our control.
      One could never judge between a good idea and a bad one.
      One would only hold beliefs [or have a given perception] because that was predetermined.

      Dr. John Searle (rationality in action)
      -quote
      Rationality is possible only where one has a CHOICE AMONG VARIOUS options.

      William Lane Craig:
      -quote
      When you come to realize that your decision to believe in determinism was itself determined and that even your present realization of that fact right now is likewise determined, a sort of vertigo sets in, for everything that you think, even this very thought itself, is outside your control.

      1. br.d , How would Calvinists explain Bible verses with words such as “Choose” and “If” such as
        Choose life, and if you do this or that which implies human beings have some degree of Freedom of Choice and free will, how can we ever know how to properly interpret the Bible.

      2. Hi Jeff,
        That is an excellent question!!

        Both the Atheist Determinist and the Theist Determinist (aka Calvinist) are in the same situation in that regard.

        Stephen Hawkings gave a presentation at Oxford – Lady Mitchel Hall in the 1980s.
        A number of Atheists who followed him came to that conference because he was a Determinist and also a genius. They all understood a certain reality about themselves.
        They adopted Determinism as their belief system
        But in order to retain a sense of NORMALCY and PERSONHOOD they discovered they had to live *AS-IF* Determinism is FALSE.

        Determinism – has a devastating affect on human “Choice” and human “Agency” because Determinism is the thesis that whatsoever comes to pass – does so by antecedent factors outside of human control.

        So those Atheist Determinsts came to that conference to ask Hawkings how he deals with that.
        They were anticipating that with his genius mind – he had figured out a LOGICAL answer.
        But he ended up telling them he was just like them.
        He said – he believed in Determinism – but discovered he had to live *AS-IF* Determinism is FALSE in order to retain a sense of NORMALCY and PERSON-HOOD.

        Dr. Sean Carroll – a highly recognized theoretical physicist – also an Atheist Determinist has acknowledged the same thing. As a Determinist he has to live *AS-IF* his belief system is FALSE.

        John Calvin – as a Theist Determinist – came to the same conclusion
        -quote
        “All future things being uncertain to us, we hold them in suspense, *AS-IF* they might happen either one way or another.”

        Here Calvin is treating his doctrine *AS-IF* it is FALSE – because he knows a predestined event cannot possibly happen any other way than what it was predestined.

        John Calvin
        -quote
        “Hence as to future time, because the issue of all things is hidden from us, each ought to so to apply himself to his office, *AS-IF* nothing were determined about any part.” (Concerning the eternal predestination of God)

        Here Calvin is treating the doctrine *AS-IF* it is FALSE – because the doctrine specifically stipulates that EVERYTHING is determined in EVERY part.

        So every Calvinist follows this same behavior model.
        He claims his doctrine is TRUE – but he treats it *AS-IF* it is FALSE
        He claims his doctrine is what is taught by scripture
        But he treats what is taught by scripture *AS-IF* it is FALSE

        That is the way the Calvinist deals with verses like you mentioned.
        The doctrine stipulates that CHOICE is made at the foundation of the world – solely and exclusively by Calvin’s god.

        But the Calvinist lives *AS-IF* he is granted a CHOICE.
        Thus the Calvinist lives *AS-IF* his doctrine is FALSE

        Its a psychological response to the doctrine.

        Now many Calvinists do not want to acknowledge that they are in that conundrum.
        So he will find all sorts of ways of trying to tap-dance around it.
        But all of that tap-dancing is just a way of avoiding the reality of their situation.

  6. br.d , Plus a person typed online
    “The Bible sends mixed messages with some verses promoting Calvinism and others promoting Arminianism.

    Both systems produce logical problems and contradictions.” I wish God made the Bible Easier to Interpret

    1. Hi Jeff and I hope you are well!

      From my point of view – the greater percentage of scripture is logically incoherent with or in contradiction with Calvinism.

      Take for example the verses which council believers to make choices between good and evil.

      Let’s say you are asked to make a choice is between [A] and [NOT A] at TIME-T

      In Calvinism – per the doctrine of decrees – Calvin’s god is the one who decides whether you will select [A] or NOT A] at TIME-T.

      If he decrees that you will select [A] at TIME-T – then that event is granted existence.
      And the event of you selecting [NOT A] at TIME-T is NOT granted existence.

      Selecting [NOT A] is NOT available to you – because it would countervail the infallible decree
      And it is not possible for a fallible creature to countervail an infallible decree.

      So on Calvinism – you are never granted a choice between any 2 options.
      You are only granted ONE SINGLE PREDESTINED RENDERED-CERTAIN option.

      The god of Calvinism infallibly decrees what people will be – and they are powerless to be otherwise.
      And then condemns them for being what he decreed them to infallibly be *AS-IF* they had the power to be something other than what he decreed.

      Can you give me an example of something in scripture that you think is problematic for the Non-Calvinist?

  7. Br.d , Hope All is Well , I found these Calvinist videos by a guy named
    Hondo , the link is here , https://youtube.com/channel/UCF5GHFBt09RhZTGuPNnE1Wg , he says
    “God is Not like us , we humans are Not like God” in Support of Calvinism , yet we All Know the Bible says humans are created in God’s image . So I guess in some ways humans are like God, even though we are mere mortals

    1. Yes Jeff, and even after the fall, human beings are still somehow created in God’s likeness – James 3:9. I guess for the calvinist that would make God totally depraved.

    2. Hello Jeff – nice to hear from you – and I hope all is well with you also!

      I watched the first video that came up from the link you provided.
      The video of that video is “Please repent and believe in Jesus”

      Are you familiar with what is called a “Lie of omission”?

      A lie of omission – is a statement (or statements) – designed to deceive or mislead – by virtue of OMITTING critical information – which when NOT OMITTED – would not deceive or mislead.

      So – here is what I would ask you.

      1) Please watch Hondo’s short video Titled: Please repent and believe in Jesus:

      2) What critical information about Calvinism – is Honda obfuscating and thereby deceiving people about Calvinism – in that video?

      3) Why does Hondo have to deceive people – and lying about his belief system?

      4) Do you think lying to people is part of the TRUE Gospel?

      Thanks
      br.d

  8. br.d .. In response to the YouTube Video titled “The Best Argument Against Calvinism w Dr. Braxton Hunter”
    a person named
    stross
    stross typed the following comment
    1 month ago (edited)
    “As a former anti-calvinist, I remember when I found these arguments convincing myself. Much respect and love to those who still do. The problem of evil was probably my last stand before I embraced Calvinism and here is what changed my mind. First, the problem of evil is only a problem if there is no redemption. However both calvinist and non-calvinist believe that God can redeem evil action either by redeeming the person through the blood of Christ or using the situation for his glory by bring about some other good. The difference is this. Is God the kind of God who just allows evil to happen and then picks up the pieces leaving the evil action almost purposeless? Or is God the kind of God who preordains evil to happen so that his glory can shine forth in both his judgement of evil and his grace to the evil doer making every single evil action purposeful and for his glory.

    Think of the common example of a women being raped. In non-calvinist thinking, we only go as far as seeing this evil action as a means to deciding if God is a good God or not for determining that that would happen. However, a calvinist get’s to move forward and consider the possibility that God determined that to happen to bring about not only forgiveness in the heart of the woman, but salvation for the rapist should he believe in Christ. Something that only God can do in both cases. If both faith and forgiveness originate with God, this evil event just turned into an amazing gospel story where, yes, evil actions can be called evil appropriately, but to also consider the goodness of the gospel not only for the victim, but for the criminal as well since Jesus died for both equally.

    Now yes, the flip side of this is that God get’s off the hook because he wasn’t the one who determined the rape to occur in the first place, but that doesn’t solve the problem of evil for the non-calvinist because you now you have to explain why God would even allow that to happen. This is where open-theism really starts to make it’s way into our theology, because now we have to somehow get God off the hook for that as well which would necessitate some universe where God is a passive observer just allowing evil men to run rampant yet still believe that God works all thing for the good of those who love him? And for what? So that man can have “free will”?

    Now what if that redemption story doesn’t happen? The woman goes on traumatized and hating men and the rapist is possibly a repeat offender. In this scenario, God still get’s the glory, because he is the judge of the universe where all evil actions not covered by the blood of Christ will be brought to account. Believe it or not, the woman is still a sinner as well and if she doesn’t repent, her place will be the same as that of the rapist. Now is it fair for God to judge sinners who couldn’t have done otherwise? The apostle Pauls answer to this very objection:

    “But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?” (Rom. 9:20-21)

    In other words, God is the one with the free will here. We live and move and have our being in the hands of God and what is fair is not for us to determine since we are not the potter. Calvinism leads to a powerful God who works all things purposefully and for his glory where as the opposite is a rat race to constantly get God off the hook for the evil actions of men potentially leading to an open universe where God is just a passive observer. Personally, I’m more convinced of God’s free will over my free will.

    But what if it was God’s free will to give me free will? Sure we can say that, but scripturally it says:

    “What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory” (Rom. 9:22-23)

    It would seem that God’s free will choice was to prepare vessels of wrath so as to show forth his glory to vessels of mercy. Scripture says that much, but nowhere does it say that it was God’s free will choice to give us free will.

    In my eyes, I find great joy worshiping a God who does whatsoever he wills freely while I’m just a passive observer living, moving an having my being in him. Praise God that he chose to have mercy on me rather than leave me to my sin. I am unworthy even of his good favor as my creator let alone my redeemer. That’s what is convincing to me. It’s makes sense even if it humbles my existence to that of a piece of clay in the hands God who could have chosen otherwise with me. I’m just glad that he didn’t. All glory be to God!

    Much love, grace and peace to my brother in Christ.

    LATER ADDITION: As of May 29, 2022

    I wanted to added a further edit to my post as I’m getting a lot of messages from folks claiming that I believe that God is the author of sin or that God forces/causes/leads man to sin. If you’ve read my post and have come to that conclusion yourself. Please continue to read.

    So I can see how it would seem that I’m saying that God is the author of sin or that God causes sin. But please understand, that is not what I believe and that is not what I’m saying. Saying that God pre-ordains all things (including evil actions) is not the same thing as saying that he “causes” evil actions.

    The best way I can explain it is in the same terms as the doctrine of the Trinity and the Hypistatic Union of Christ, both historical Christian doctrines that appeal to mystery as to how they are humanly possible. How is it that God has eternally existed as one being and three persons? We don’t know. It’s a mystery hidden in God. How is it that Jesus in his nature can both be 100% God and 100% man? We don’t know. It’s a mystery hidden in God. But we affirm these things because the scripts teach them. My appeal here is that God’s sovereignty and mans will is in the same category. A mystery.

    How is it that God can both pre-ordain the wicked actions of men, hold them accountable for those actions and not be the one who caused those actions? I don’t know. It’s a mystery hidden in God. But I believe the scripture teaches both. Man is responsible for his actions while God pre-ordained their coming to pass. The clearest example of this is in Acts 4:27-28:

    “for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.”
    ‭‭Acts‬ ‭4:27-28‬ ‭ESV‬

    In other words, God predestined the wicked actions of men to crucify the Lord. On the other hand, I also believe that God does not tempt man to sin, but men are tempted by their own desires which gives birth to sin. (James 1:13-15) God made man upright be men sought out many schemes (Eccl. 7:29) But on the other hand, God made some vessels for wrath and some for mercy in which the vessels of wrath can not resist God’s will for them. Upon some he has mercy and upon others, he hardens (Romans 9:14-23). I’m sorry but I don’t find the “free will” argument to be a sufficient explanation for all these examples. I understand that “free will” is a simple enough cop out of an extremely difficult topic, but I don’t believe that that cop out is sufficient to explain what’s going on here. Therefore I believe it to be more biblically responsible to appeal to mystery as this matter has not been fully revealed to us.

    In saying all of that, I don’t believe we should diminish the seriousness of sin under any circumstance but neither should be diminish the sovereignty of God. I say we affirm both and appeal to mystery.

    As a final note, a mystery is not the same thing as a paradox. I do not claim to know the mechanism by which God pre-ordains all things yet is morally separate. And I believe for anyone to claim it as a paradox is claiming that they understand what the mechanism is. We should not claim to know something that God himself has not revealed. All I can say is that based on what scripture says is that there has to exist a great chasm between Gods decree and mans actions. But both must be upheld because the scripture can not be broken.”

    Blessings! ” What do you think of the comment by stross

    1. Ok Jeff – so this is a good test for you.

      Take this article written by Stross – and show me where Stross is
      1) Using deceitful language

      2) Painting a FALSE PICTURE of Calvinism

      3) Using fallacious reasoning

      We can use this as an example of what you should by now – be able to discern within Calvinist statements.

    2. br.d
      So Jeff,
      What I see is a combination of deceptive language and self-contradictions.

      Can you you see any of those?
      And if so – where do you see them?

      You should know enough about Calvinism’s doctrine of decrees by now – to be able to at least start to discern these things for yourself.

      But here is one hint for you from this article – on the issue of Calvin’s god “Redeeming” things.

      John Calvin
      -quote
      The creatures…are so governed by the secret counsel of god, that NOTHING HAPPENS but what he has knowingly and willingly decreed. (Institutes, 1, Chp 16, Par. 3)

      So here are a few questions:

      If NOTHING can come to pass – without an infallible decree
      Which means – that EVERYTHING that comes to pass – comes to pass infallibly

      Then:
      1) What events are available to “Redeem” except those events Calvin’s god decreed to infallibly come to pass?

      2) Why does Calvin’s god have to “Redeem” the very things he decrees?

      3) Is it logically possible for something that is infallible to be “Redeemed?

    3. Hi Jeff.

      Stross said “… Is God the kind of God who just allows evil to happen and then picks up the pieces leaving the evil action almost purposeless? Or is God the kind of God who preordains evil to happen so that his glory can shine forth in both his judgement of evil and his grace to the evil doer making every single evil action purposeful and for his glory….”

      (Br.d. may have hit some of these points, but I haven’t read all replies yet.)

      I think Stross is looking at it all wrong, asking the wrong questions. The real questions are more like these: “If God preordains evil (which, in Calvinism, does indeed mean preplans, controls, and ultimately causes evil, even though they deny it) and is glorified by evil (not just in spite of it, but by it) then how is He any different from Satan? Where does God begin and Satan end then? What kind of a God commands obedience/good for His glory when He has preordained to cause disobedience/evil for His glory? Which one was His real Will then – the good or the evil, obedience or disobedience – and how can we ever trust any command He gives us then, when He might actually want us to do the opposite of what He said? Is that not a divided, schizophrenic, deceptive, untrustworthy God? Is it really ‘redeeming’ anything when evil and sin is just as glorifying and ‘God-ordained’ as obedience, doing good, and fighting evil?”

      Also he assumes there’s only two options here (a classic Calvinist blunder): that either God helplessly watches everything that happens or else He preplans/causes/controls it. Can God not work in more complex ways that that, such as knowing the possible consequences of whatever choice we will make, deciding what to allow and what to block, and finding ways to work whatever we choose (good or bad, obedience or disobedience) into His plans, into good, even things He didn’t preplan or want or cause? Does it have to be that He either has no control at all or that He actively preplans/controls everything? (To be “in control,” as God really is, is far different than the Calvinist idea of “God controls everything.”)

      I believe that God is much more complex than the flat, two-dimensional Calvinist god. (And yet they accuse non-Calvinists of shrinking God!)

      Calvinists start with fundamental flaws in their thinking which creates terrible contradictions and paradoxes and damage to God and His Word. But instead of examining/correcting the fundamental flaws, they just keep trying to reason their way out of it, coming up with answers that seem like they solved the problems but that really just camouflage/ignore/deflect from them, ultimately digging themselves a deeper hole.

      If you’re interested, I wrote a little about this in a post I call “When Calvinism’s Bad Logic Traps Good Christians”: https://anticalvinistrant.blogspot.com/2019/11/when-calvinisms-bad-logic-traps-good.html

      Also, on a different note, you said “now you have to explain why God would even allow that (evil, rape) to happen…” I think that allowing evil to happen is a “natural” consequence of allowing people to make free-will decisions. When God decided that He would allow us to make real choices from real options with real consequences, He chose to voluntarily limit His control of us, of our choices. To allow people to choose to obey necessarily means also allowing people to choose to disobey, to sin. This does not mean God preplanned it that way or wanted it to happen or that He was helpless to stop it or that He did not know it was going to happen, just that He chose to “sit back” to a certain degree and let us make our choices, knowing how He will work it into His plans. (He knows what we will choose and can put us in situations that force us to choose what He knows we will choose, but that is not the same thing as predestining/causing/controlling us to pick what we do.) But He is always available for us to call on for His help, guidance, and comfort, and He promises to turn all bad things into good, even if He chose not to stop the evil. I think it’s flawed thinking to think that God gave us the right to have free-will but that He can/should stop all evil from happening. That’s not free-will anymore.

      Also, you said: “But what if it was God’s free will to give me free will? Sure we can say that, but scripturally it says: “What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory” (Rom. 9:22-23)

      Do you know that the Greek for “prepared for destruction” is “fitted for destruction,” and that it’s about a person’s destiny being tied to their character? It’s not about God fitting them for destruction, but about the people fitting themselves for destruction by how they chose to be. Also, since this verse is often said alongside the “God hardens whom He wants to harden” one … In the Greek, “hardens” is a retributive hardening, a punishment for first hardening your own heart and resisting God’s patient lovingkindness. It’s not something God does randomly to people before they made any choices; it’s a response to their choice to resist Him. He hands them over to the hardness of their own hearts, solidifying their decision to reject Him. This is far different than the Calvinist idea of “God hardens whom He wants to harden.” (And let’s not forget that these Romans chapters are about Israel and non-Israel nations, not about individual salvation.)

      And you said “In my eyes, I find great joy worshiping a God who does whatsoever he wills freely while I’m just a passive observer …” What would you say to a Christian living in sin, such as one having a long-term extra-marital affair, who uses the same line to excuse his affair? They are just a “passive observer,” while God alone determined that they should fall in love with someone who’s not his wife and carry on an affair with her. How could you answer that, especially given the Calvinist idea that everything that happens is God’s plan and His Will, for His pleasure and glory, and nothing different could have happened?

      And you also said “Praise God that he chose to have mercy on me rather than leave me to my sin.” Do you also praise God for choosing to leave most people in their sin? For predestining that most would sin, reject Him, and go to hell? Is that not also and equally praise-worthy in Calvinism, if God “ordains” everything for His pleasure and glory? Why should you praise God any more for your salvation than you would for others going to hell? What if you were one of the non-elect (or what if you find out later that you had “evanescent grace,” that fake grace that Calvi-god gives some people to make them think they are elect when they are not so that He can punish them more “justly” in hell)?

      And this brings us back to the question of “If both evil and good, if being saved or unsaved, are equally planned by God, caused by God and glorifying to God, then what difference is there between Him and Satan? How is Calvi-god any different from Satan when they both are pleased by evil, cause evil (yes, in Calvinism it is “cause,” despite their attempts to disguise it), are glorified by evil, want people to reject God, want people in hell, want people to sin, etc.?

      God bless you on your journey through all this. You sound like a deep thinker, and that’s a good thing. Just make sure to ask God’s opinion on the way, instead of just trying to reason things out on your own. Ask Him to examine your heart and mind and to correct any errors you might have about Him and His Word. God bless!

      1. And (in case it’s not clear), my questions are intended for a Calvinist to answer, not a non-Calvinist. As in “How would you answer these if Calvinism is true?” And so when I ask if you would praise God that He leaves most people in their sins (because it’s equally glorifying to Calvinism’s god), I mean “assuming Calvinism is true and God predestines people to hell.” But I do not believe He does. So my questions are for Calvinists to consider.

  9. br.d In response to the YouTube video “The Best Argument against Calvinism w/ Dr. Braxton Hunter”
    a person named
    stross typed
    1 month ago (edited)
    “As a former anti-calvinist, I remember when I found these arguments convincing myself. Much respect and love to those who still do. The problem of evil was probably my last stand before I embraced Calvinism and here is what changed my mind. First, the problem of evil is only a problem if there is no redemption. However both calvinist and non-calvinist believe that God can redeem evil action either by redeeming the person through the blood of Christ or using the situation for his glory by bring about some other good. The difference is this. Is God the kind of God who just allows evil to happen and then picks up the pieces leaving the evil action almost purposeless? Or is God the kind of God who preordains evil to happen so that his glory can shine forth in both his judgement of evil and his grace to the evil doer making every single evil action purposeful and for his glory.

    Think of the common example of a women being raped. In non-calvinist thinking, we only go as far as seeing this evil action as a means to deciding if God is a good God or not for determining that that would happen. However, a calvinist get’s to move forward and consider the possibility that God determined that to happen to bring about not only forgiveness in the heart of the woman, but salvation for the rapist should he believe in Christ. Something that only God can do in both cases. If both faith and forgiveness originate with God, this evil event just turned into an amazing gospel story where, yes, evil actions can be called evil appropriately, but to also consider the goodness of the gospel not only for the victim, but for the criminal as well since Jesus died for both equally.

    Now yes, the flip side of this is that God get’s off the hook because he wasn’t the one who determined the rape to occur in the first place, but that doesn’t solve the problem of evil for the non-calvinist because you now you have to explain why God would even allow that to happen. This is where open-theism really starts to make it’s way into our theology, because now we have to somehow get God off the hook for that as well which would necessitate some universe where God is a passive observer just allowing evil men to run rampant yet still believe that God works all thing for the good of those who love him? And for what? So that man can have “free will”?

    Now what if that redemption story doesn’t happen? The woman goes on traumatized and hating men and the rapist is possibly a repeat offender. In this scenario, God still get’s the glory, because he is the judge of the universe where all evil actions not covered by the blood of Christ will be brought to account. Believe it or not, the woman is still a sinner as well and if she doesn’t repent, her place will be the same as that of the rapist. Now is it fair for God to judge sinners who couldn’t have done otherwise? The apostle Pauls answer to this very objection:

    “But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?” (Rom. 9:20-21)

    In other words, God is the one with the free will here. We live and move and have our being in the hands of God and what is fair is not for us to determine since we are not the potter. Calvinism leads to a powerful God who works all things purposefully and for his glory where as the opposite is a rat race to constantly get God off the hook for the evil actions of men potentially leading to an open universe where God is just a passive observer. Personally, I’m more convinced of God’s free will over my free will.

    But what if it was God’s free will to give me free will? Sure we can say that, but scripturally it says:

    “What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory” (Rom. 9:22-23)

    It would seem that God’s free will choice was to prepare vessels of wrath so as to show forth his glory to vessels of mercy. Scripture says that much, but nowhere does it say that it was God’s free will choice to give us free will.

    In my eyes, I find great joy worshiping a God who does whatsoever he wills freely while I’m just a passive observer living, moving an having my being in him. Praise God that he chose to have mercy on me rather than leave me to my sin. I am unworthy even of his good favor as my creator let alone my redeemer. That’s what is convincing to me. It’s makes sense even if it humbles my existence to that of a piece of clay in the hands God who could have chosen otherwise with me. I’m just glad that he didn’t. All glory be to God!

    Much love, grace and peace to my brother in Christ.

    LATER ADDITION: As of May 29, 2022

    I wanted to added a further edit to my post as I’m getting a lot of messages from folks claiming that I believe that God is the author of sin or that God forces/causes/leads man to sin. If you’ve read my post and have come to that conclusion yourself. Please continue to read.

    So I can see how it would seem that I’m saying that God is the author of sin or that God causes sin. But please understand, that is not what I believe and that is not what I’m saying. Saying that God pre-ordains all things (including evil actions) is not the same thing as saying that he “causes” evil actions.

    The best way I can explain it is in the same terms as the doctrine of the Trinity and the Hypistatic Union of Christ, both historical Christian doctrines that appeal to mystery as to how they are humanly possible. How is it that God has eternally existed as one being and three persons? We don’t know. It’s a mystery hidden in God. How is it that Jesus in his nature can both be 100% God and 100% man? We don’t know. It’s a mystery hidden in God. But we affirm these things because the scripts teach them. My appeal here is that God’s sovereignty and mans will is in the same category. A mystery.

    How is it that God can both pre-ordain the wicked actions of men, hold them accountable for those actions and not be the one who caused those actions? I don’t know. It’s a mystery hidden in God. But I believe the scripture teaches both. Man is responsible for his actions while God pre-ordained their coming to pass. The clearest example of this is in Acts 4:27-28:

    “for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.”
    ‭‭Acts‬ ‭4:27-28‬ ‭ESV‬

    In other words, God predestined the wicked actions of men to crucify the Lord. On the other hand, I also believe that God does not tempt man to sin, but men are tempted by their own desires which gives birth to sin. (James 1:13-15) God made man upright be men sought out many schemes (Eccl. 7:29) But on the other hand, God made some vessels for wrath and some for mercy in which the vessels of wrath can not resist God’s will for them. Upon some he has mercy and upon others, he hardens (Romans 9:14-23). I’m sorry but I don’t find the “free will” argument to be a sufficient explanation for all these examples. I understand that “free will” is a simple enough cop out of an extremely difficult topic, but I don’t believe that that cop out is sufficient to explain what’s going on here. Therefore I believe it to be more biblically responsible to appeal to mystery as this matter has not been fully revealed to us.

    In saying all of that, I don’t believe we should diminish the seriousness of sin under any circumstance but neither should be diminish the sovereignty of God. I say we affirm both and appeal to mystery.

    As a final note, a mystery is not the same thing as a paradox. I do not claim to know the mechanism by which God pre-ordains all things yet is morally separate. And I believe for anyone to claim it as a paradox is claiming that they understand what the mechanism is. We should not claim to know something that God himself has not revealed. All I can say is that based on what scripture says is that there has to exist a great chasm between Gods decree and mans actions. But both must be upheld because the scripture can not be broken.

    Blessings!” What do you think of the comment by stross

      1. No problem Jeff!

        But I am interested in what you are able to discern as dishonesty within that article.
        See my 3 questions to you – in my response.

    1. Hello Jeff, you said: “I do not claim to know the mechanism by which God pre-ordains all things yet is morally separate. And I believe for anyone to claim it as a paradox is claiming that they understand what the mechanism is. We should not claim to know something that God himself has not revealed. All I can say is that based on what scripture says is that there has to exist a great chasm between Gods decree and mans actions. But both must be upheld because the scripture can not be broken.”

      Calvinists start with the presupposition that “sovereignty” (“God’s decrees”) means that God preplans, causes, controls all things, even sin and evil and unbelief. And then, since they can’t square that with Him holding us accountable for what HE “decrees,” they appeal to “mystery,” shaming people who would call it a paradox/contradiction, manipulating them into simply accepting it without question or pushback by making them feel like they are questioning God and denying His right to have “mysteries”. And Calvinists also set themselves up as more humble Christians for accepting these “mysteries” without question. (I’m not saying any of this harshly but to point out what’s going on in Calvinism behind the things they say, their errors and manipulation. And I may have said some of this already in other comments. Most of this stuff I wrote before, so I am just copying and pasting some of it.)

      Yes, there are things that are true mysteries in the Bible (such as the nature of the Trinity), but if we superimpose our own ideas onto the Bible, if we alter biblical concepts to fit our own ideas, creating error and contradiction along the way, we cannot appeal to “mystery” to smooth over the damage we do to God and His Word. (Calvinism relies on word tricks to make it seem more biblical than it is, to trick people into accepting it: they call contradictions “mysteries” … and use “God decrees/ordains sin” to cover up “God causes/authors sin” … and say things like “God didn’t predestine people to hell, He just didn’t predestine them to heaven; He ‘passed over’ them”, etc. But we all know what they mean, what they’re really saying. Except many Calvinists, it seems, who can’t see what they themselves are really saying or what Calvinism is really teaching.)

      My Calvinist pastor (ex-pastor – we left that church) once preached “The Bible teaches both God’s sovereignty and God holding us accountable for our sins. And so we have to accept them both as true. It teaches both these truths with no tension. It’s only we who have trouble accepting it and understanding it. But God has no problem with it.”

      [This is the same kind of thing you (Jeff) said. He basically presented a contradiction, blamed people for having a problem with it, and told us that we have to accept it as “truth,” even if it doesn’t make sense and we can’t understand it. Classic Calvinist tactics.]

      But, I say … Of course God doesn’t have a problem with what He teaches. And of course the Bible absolutely holds everything it says in perfect balance, without any tension. But it’s not the Bible I have a problem with. It’s the pastor’s Calvinist interpretation of the Bible that I have a problem with, the Calvinist ideas he calls “truths.” (Setting them up as “biblical truths” makes it harder for anyone to disagree with him because he’s made it clear that they would be disagreeing with the Bible and God if they do. Manipulation! Cult-like manipulation.)

      And the reason I have a problem with his interpretation of the Bible is because Calvinists misunderstand biblical ideas and verses from the very beginning, interpreting them through their Calvinist framework first. And when you misunderstand a biblical truth from the beginning, then it will indeed cause tension and problems with the rest of the Bible. It’s not the Bible’s fault and it’s not my fault for not accepting it; it’s the Calvinist’s fault for reinterpreting the Bible in unbiblical, Calvinist ways.

      My ex-pastor has also said that God “ordained” that Adam and Eve would sin … and He “ordained” the wickedness of the people in Jesus’s day so that they would crucify Him … and He “ordained” that a wicked nation would attack Israel but then He punishes the wicked nation for attacking Israel. And then the pastor said, “How can God ordain these evil things but not be held accountable for them? I don’t know. But the Bible teaches that God is sovereign over all and that man is responsible for his sins. And so I just accept this, even if I can’t understand it.” (And he said this with an attitude of “Look how humble I am to accept such difficult, confusing teachings I don’t fully understand. You should be this humble too!”)

      Now, if by “ordained” he meant that God knew it would happen and allowed it to happen and worked their choices into His plans, I could agree. And if by “sovereign” he meant that God is over and above all and that sometimes He causes things but other times He just allows things but that He never causes things He commands us not to do, then once again I could agree.

      But Calvinists mean “God preplans, causes, and controls everything we do, even our sins and rebellion and unbelief and breaking His commands, and we had no choice to do anything differently.”

      And so, no, I cannot agree at all. And during his sermon, I wanted to burst out of my seat, jump up, and start waving my hands, yelling, “Maybe you can’t understand it, but I can! It’s easy to understand when you define things correctly, such as ‘sovereignty.’ But if you get that wrong from the beginning, then it will all be wrong and will cause tension that shouldn’t be there.”

      Biblically, sovereignty is about the position of power God is in – the ultimate, “over and above all” position of power, meaning that He watches over everything and decides what to allow, what to block, what to cause (but never sin or evil), and how to work it all together for His over-arching plans and goals. In His sovereign position, He has decided to voluntarily limit His control over our actions to a degree (it’s only Calvinists who have decided that denying God controls everything is the same as denying God’s sovereignty, the same as saying He controls nothing). He has decided to give us the right and responsibility to make real choices among real options, letting us be the kind of people we want to be. (And not in the “fake” Calvinist way of “choosing,” where we can only choose to do what God predetermined we would do.) But no matter what, He can work everything together into His over-arching plans, even things He didn’t want/cause, such as our sin.

      God did not plan/cause Adam and Eve to sin, but He did know they would choose to sin, and so He had a plan from the beginning to redeem it, to work it out for good. He did not plan/cause the wicked people to be wicked so that they would crucify Jesus. He just let them be the wicked people they wanted to be, and He worked it into His plans for our salvation. And He didn’t cause the wicked, violent nation that attacked Israel to be a wicked, violent nation. He simply let them be the wicked, violent people they wanted to be, and then He used their self-chosen wickedness to punish Israel before He punished them for being the wicked people they chose to be. (This is not unlike the police using a criminal in an undercover sting to catch other criminals. The cops didn’t cause the criminal to be a criminal; they just put his bad choices to good use first, before punishing him for being the criminal he chose to be.)

      And this is why God is not accountable for their (for our) sin and evil. Sovereignty does not mean that He preplans, causes, controls sin and evil. It just means that He has decided to let us make our own decisions, within boundaries, to be the sinful people we want to be and make the sinful decisions we want to make (and not in the Calvinist sense where God gives us the desires He predetermined we would have, causing us to “want” to do only the things He predestined we would do), and He works it into His plans. And so He is still sovereign while we are truly responsible for our sins.

      See! Easy to understand when you define things correctly, when you read and understand the Bible as it was written, not filtered through Calvinism first.

      Calvinism is not biblical. It twists verses/biblical concepts and redefines words to fit their Calvinism. They have decided, in contradiction to the plain teaching of the Bible, that in order for God to be a sovereign, all-powerful God, He must always be using His power all the time to preplan/control/cause everything, even sin and evil … or else He can’t be God. (Telling God how God has to act/be in order to be God is a dangerous thing.) And so it’s no wonder that they struggle with the times their theology doesn’t square with the plain teaching of the Bible.

      But instead of correcting their wrong Calvinist presuppositions, they just keep twisting more biblical concepts/verses to try to get out of the mess they made, digging themselves a deeper hole. And when they paint themselves into too tight a corner, they resort to things like “Oh, well, I guess we’ll never understand. These are God’s mysteries that we can’t figure out, and so we just have to accept it as true. He can do anything He wants for His glory. He is God and we are not, and so who are you to talk back to Him, anyway?” (Can we “talk back” to God anyway, if He is controlling everything we do?)

      If something doesn’t square with the Bible, instead of trying to find new ways to make the Bible fit your Calvinist framework, examine your Calvinist presuppositions first to see where they are wrong, to see the things you are reading into Scripture and how it contradicts the plain teaching of the Bible. And be wary of any theology or preacher who tries to convince you that God didn’t really mean what He said the way He said it, that there are deeper, hidden “truths” underneath verses (which changes the plain, clear meaning of those verses), and that you just have to accept what they tell you if you want to be a good, God-glorifying, humble Christian! That’s cult-like tactics and manipulation to ensnare people in a theology that seems good on the surface but is so wrong when those deceptive top-layers are pulled off!

  10. br.d , the website thegospelcoaliton.org has an article headlined

    “Degrees of Punishment in Hell”
    An Essay By Albert N. Martin • Fred Zaspel
    About how some people in Hell will have things much worst than others, different degrees of Punishment in Hell,
    I’m thinking of my 5th grade teacher , who is Jewish, I’m not sure if she is still alive , she doesn’t accept Christ, but she is a Very Nice Person, I just couldn’t imagine her Suffering in Hell Forever for Rejecting Christ, even if she was given a less severe punishment in Hell , than truly wicked people, I just couldn’t imagine her Suffering Forever in Hell. The fact is while Some Jews do accept Jesus as Lord and Savior , the Majority still do Not, and it’s Psychologically difficult for most Jews to accept Christ, because of 2,000 Years of Tragic
    Christian Anti-Semitism & Persecutions leading up to the Nazi Holocaust of World War II. It’s Extremely Difficult for Jews to Accept Christ, especially after the Holocaust. I like to think God will be just, fair, merciful and understanding, that if my 5th grade teacher was condemned to Hell for all Eternity, and she received a less severe punishment than the Truly Unrepentant Wicked, would that mean that God would stop loving her ? Does God no longer love those in Hell ? and the Lake of Fire. I personally like to think that if she dies without Christ, that Ultimately God will Find a Way to Get her into Heaven , even if it takes a long period of time. I just can’t bring myself to condemn my various other Non-Christian Friends to Hell for all Eternity , whatever Religion they are or if they have no Religion. I have too big of a Heart, who am I to Judge ? I help others whenever I can. How can the Saved in Heaven, truly Enjoy Heaven knowing that their Unsaved Friends, Relatives and Loved Ones are Suffering Forever in Hell. I’m an Evangelical Protestant, but I like to think God will find a way to at least ultimately eventually get most people into Heaven.

    1. Hello Jeff
      On this article about degrees of punishment in hell.
      I’m not sure if thinking about this – is really of much value.
      A lot of it is simply conjecture
      And the scripture does not put an emphasis on this topic – presenting it as something that would be any more than a warning – that hell is not going to be a fun place to be.

      1. br.d , I agree that Hell is not going to be a Fun place to be, but what do you speculate will be the ultimate fate of my
        5th grade teacher who is Jewish, if she dies without Christ ?

      2. Hi Jeff,
        For me – the scripture doesn’t provide explicit details on that question.
        So I don’t want to speculate concerning it.
        However – the scripture does tell us that God is no respecter of persons.
        So whether the person is Jewish or not is not going to make a difference.
        The differentiation scripture tells us – is whether or not a person chooses to believe on Jesus Christ as their savior.

        If your teacher were to ask a Calvinist – “What must I do to be saved”

        That Calvinist – if he TELLS THE TRUTH – will have to tell your teacher the following:

        1) Within the human population THE MANY are created for eternal torment in the lake of fire – for his good pleasure.

        2) THE FEW or created for salvation.

        3) If you are part of THE MANY then you cannot escape eternal torment in the lake of fire for his good pleasure.

        4) If you are part of THE FEW then you cannot escape salvation.

        The question is – when the Calvinist gives an answer to your teacher – will the Calvinist TELL THE TRUTH?
        And if not – then why not?

      3. Isn’t it great that you can just assume every Calvinist ever is a liar, and consequently on his/her way to hell (because that’s the ultimate destination of liars)? You don’t know whether Jews go the heaven or hell, but Calvinists FOR SURE are going to hell. Sometimes I understand what atheists say, “There’s no hate like Christian love”, except I really only feel that level of hate when I see comments on this website.

      4. spurcalluth
        Isn’t it great that you can just assume every Calvinist ever is a liar, and consequently on his/her way to hell….

        DW:
        Hello spurcalluth

        That is an interesting straw-man you’ve manufacture! ;-D
        Primary Modus operandi??

        I don’t think you are going to find me claiming ever Calvinist is on his way to hell.
        However – you may want to check in with John Calvin – whose doctrine stipulates – the MANY within the Calvinist fold are specifically created as CHAFF – and thus created/designed for that end.

        John Calvin
        -quote
        But the Lord….instills into their minds such a SENSE…..as can be felt WITHOUT the Spirit of adoption.
        (Institutes 3.2.11)

        -quote
        he ILLUMINES ONLY FOR A TIME to partake of it; then he……forsakes them…..and STRIKES THEM with even greater blindness (Institutes 3.24.8)

        Additionally – to the point of lying – it is a sin.
        And if any Calvinist says he is without sin – he deceives himself and the truth is not in him

        Now there are different types of lying.
        And there is a MODE of lying that is a BESETTING sin for all serious Calvinists.

        It is called “Altruistic Dishonesty” – which is typically defined as follows:

        “Altruistic dishonesty occurs when a person is working to protect a ‘target’.
        A high percentage of people who rationalize the use of dishonest language, experience some sub-level degree of discomfort, but which is effectively outweighed by rationalizations.

        And they generally do not regard their lies as lies.
        And this is especially true with people who are working to protect a ‘target’.”

        These are called “other-oriented” or “altruistic” dishonesties.
        Protecting the ‘target’ allows them to perceive themselves as honest rather than dishonest.
        For the sake of protecting the ‘target,’ a high percentage report they would have felt worse if they had been honest, because honesty would have revealed things about the “target” they do not want people to see.”

        The question for the Calvinist is – what is the “target” he is trying to protect?
        Is he trying to protect his “so called” god – from being the “AUTHOR OF EVIL”?

        He might like to tell himself – that is his motivation – in order to justify the use of dishonest language.
        But does a god who determines the movement of every molecule in the universe need a worm to protect him?

        The TRUE ‘target” is the Calvinist himself
        His Calvinism is a Wide Phylactery which he wears because he believes it makes him look superior.

        But when he wants to HIDE his Calvinism – he hides it under a NON-Calvinist mask

        Every man is human.
        And to sin is to be human.
        So every man sins.

        But the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin.

        But a belief system which teaches people to embrace dishonest language – as a part of their personal efficacy rather than a sin – brings its own price.

        Blessings!
        br.d

      5. It is true that to say that I don’t sin is a lie. However, to say that EVERYTHING that I say is a lie, is also a lie, and therefore also a sin. Might want to keep that in mind.

      6. spurcalluth:
        It is true that to say that I don’t sin is a lie. However, to say that EVERYTHING that I say is a lie, is also a lie, and therefore also a sin. Might want to keep that in mind.

        br.d
        What I would need to “keep in mind” about that – is that it is one more straw-man depiction. :-]

        I don’t think you are doing yourself any favors – by relying on the strategy of manufacturing straw-men depictions of others.

        Especially when those depictions are all to easy for people to recognize as depictions you yourself manufacture.
        Why would you do that to yourself?

      7. What I mean by “feeling that level of hate” is feeling it directed at me, just to make sure you can’t misconstrue what I say.

      8. spurcalluth
        What I mean by “feeling that level of hate” is feeling it directed at me, just to make sure you can’t misconstrue what I say.

        br.d
        You were obviously imagining something that didn’t exist.
        A follower of Christ – hates the sin – but loves the sinner.

    2. Jeff – its time you learned a few more things which logically follow in Calvinism.
      1) Multiple options for Calvin’s god – at the foundation of the world
      2) Divine choice between multiple options
      3) How multiple options are boiled down to ONE SINGLE option
      4) What does the phrase “Open Future” mean?
      5) What does the phrase “Closed Future” mean?
      6) What is the COMMON definition for the word “Choice”

      Here we are going to unpackage an example of Calvin’s god making a decree at the foundation of the world.

      Firstly – the doctrine stipulates NOTHING HAPPENS that is not decreed

      John Calvin
      -quote
      The creatures…are so governed by the secret counsel of god, that nothing happens but what he has knowingly and willingly
      decreed. (Institutes, 1, Chp 16, Par. 3)

      So – let us say Calvin’s god – at the foundation of the world – is deliberating about what month he wants you to be born on.
      – There are 12 months in the year
      – Therefore – he has 12 months to select from.
      – This is what we understand as “Multiple Options”
      – He has 12 possible options – from which to select – in his decision about what month he wants you to be born on.

      Now – he cannot select more than one month – because it is physically impossible for you to be born on more than one month.
      Out of the 12 options he has – he can only select ONE SINGLE OPTION.

      Once he selects that option – he then FIXES that month as the month you will be born on.
      That is then FIXED by infallible decree
      And by definition – that which is infallibly decreed – cannot be OTHERWISE than that which was decreed.

      So what does that mean for you?
      That means – that you are granted ONE SINGLE OPTION concerning the month you will be born.

      So you can see – this provides us with an example – of how everything in Calvinism works.

      Every human event and every human impulse – is first deliberated at the foundation of the world
      Prior to the decree – a selection is made – about what that event will be – or what that human impulse will be.

      Prior to the decree – multiple options exist for Calvin’s god to select from.
      He can choose from any number of events to come to pass at TIME-T
      He can choose from any number of human impulses he wants to come to pass within your brain at TIME-T

      But he cannot make events happen that are CONTRARY to each other – because one would negate the other.
      He can only choose ONE SINGLE PREDESTINED RENDERED-CERTAIN option.

      If for example – he chooses impulse [X] to come to pass within your brain at TIME-T
      He cannot also choose impulse [NOT X] to also come to pass within your brain at TIME-T
      Because [X] would negate [NOT X] and [NOT X] would negate [X]
      He can only choose ONE OPTION.

      That option is then FIXED by infallible decree
      And nothing CONTRARY to the infallible decree is permitted.

      In Philosophy – this is called a “Closed Future”

      Dr. Peter Van Inwagen
      -quote
      Determinism may now be defined: it is the thesis that there is at any instant exactly one physically possible future.

      So you should be able to see – the doctrine of decrees stipulates – humans are not granted “Multiple Options” for anything

      When a Calvinist is faced with making a decision between [X] and [NOT X]
      1) Only one of those options exists for him
      2) That option which was chosen at the foundation of the world
      3) That option was FIXED by infallible decree at the foundation of the world
      4) The other options is CONTRARY to that which was infallibly decreed – and therefore is not granted to the Calvinist
      5) If the Calvinist has the perception that he has multiple options – he is having an infallibly decreed FALSE PERCEPTION

      Do you see how that works in Calvinism?

  11. br.d I just found out about this Calvinist book titled
    “The Five Points of Calvinism: Defined, Defended, and Documented” Paperback – March 12, 2004
    by David N. Steele , Have you read it ? How would you respond ? Plus if someone is a Calvinist Christian, 5-point, T.U.L.I.P.
    Calvinist, how can they truly be sure they are “Elect” “Chosen” or “Predestined” for Salvation,

    1. Hi Jeff – hope this finds you well!
      I’ve not read that book – but I’m pretty sure – I’ve read every argument Calvinists make.

      You must remember – the John Calvin faced a host of detractors in his day.
      And he wrote thousands of pages in response to the argument of those detractors.

      So the underlying FORM of the arguments we find in Calvinist writings today – are basically John Calvin’s argument re-worded – using current day vernacular.

      Calvinism’s TULIP is designed to HIDE the underlying core of the doctrine (the doctrine of decrees)

      Here is an experiment for you to try:

      Take these quotes from John Calvin – and print them out on a piece of paper.
      Put that piece of paper in front of yourself – and then review Calvinism’s TULIP as described by any Calvinist web-site.

      John Calvin
      -quote
      The creatures…are so governed by the secret counsel of god, that NOTHING HAPPENS but what he has knowingly and willingly
      decreed. (Institutes, 1, Chp 16, Par. 3)

      John Calvin
      -quote
      By the eternal good pleasure of god THOUGH THE REASON DOES NOT APPEAR, they are NOT FOUND but MADE worthy of destruction. – (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of god pg 121)

      As you are examining each point of the TULIP – ask yourself – where does the doctrine of decrees fit in into that point of the TULIP?

      Jeff:
      how can they truly be sure they are “Elect” “Chosen” or “Predestined” for Salvation,

      br.d
      Excellent and insightful question!

      The answer is – they are not granted CERTAINTY of what they have been created/designed for.

      1) As you can see from the second quote above – Calvin’s god creates the MANY specifically as “vessels of wrath” which he creates specifically for eternal torment. He creates the FEW for salvation.

      John Calvin
      -quote
      Some are pre-ordained to eternal life, others to eternal damnation, and accordingly as EACH HAS BEEN CREATED
      for one of these ends, we [Calvinists] say he has been predestined to life or death. (Concerning the eternal predestination of god)

      2) The ELECT are visible to god alone

      John Calvin
      -quote
      We are NOT bidden to distinguish between reprobate and elect – that is for god alone, not for us, to do (Institutes 4. 1. 3.)

      John Calvin
      -quote
      We must thus consider both God’s SECRET election and his INNER call. For he alone “knows who are his” (Institutes. 4. 1. 2.)

      3) Within the Calvinist interpretation of the “Wheat and the Chaff” – Calvin’s god creates a large percentage of believers as CHAFF.

      John Calvin
      -quote
      But because a SMALL and contemptible number are hidden in a HUGE multitude and a FEW grains of wheat
      are covered by a pile of chaff, we must leave to God alone the knowledge of his church, whose foundation is his SECRET election. (Institutes 4.1.4)

      4) Calvin’s god deceives believers whom he creates as CHAFF – with a FALSE SENSE of salvation

      John Calvin
      -quote
      But the Lord….instills into their minds such a SENSE of his goodness as can be felt WITHOUT the Spirit of adoption.
      (Institutes 3.2.11)

      John Calvin
      -quote
      he ILLUMINES only for a time to partake of it; then he justly forsakes them…..and strikes them with even greater blindness (Institutes 3.24.8)

      5) In Calvinism – the promises to the believer within scripture – are classified as the ENUNCIATED will of god – which in many cases is the direct opposite of the SECRET will of god.

      Therefore the Calvinist has no way of knowing if any of the promises in scripture apply to himself.
      And he has no way of knowing whether or not he was created as CHAFF – and for eternal torment in the lake of fire.

      Many Calvinists struggle with this for emotional reasons – and they will claim they have an ASSURANCE of salvation.

      Actually what they have is an ASSURANCE that decrees are infallible and the will of god is a SECRET

      1. Good answer, Br.d.

        A Calvinist has no assurance, not when Calvi-god decides who gets saved and who doesn’t, when we have no ability to make our own decision about it. Since the Calvinist cannot decide for themselves, they are at the mercy of Calvi-god to decide for them. They are at the mercy of a god who says one thing but means another, who gives some people evanescent grace which makes them think they are saved when they aren’t, who says he wants all people to be saved but who really wants most people in hell for his glory, who commands us not to sin but who causes us to sin for his glory, who punishes us for the things he causes us to do, etc.

        How could any Calvinist ever have any assurance about their salvation when the god they serve is deceptive, untrustworthy, unjust, and takes pleasure in and is glorified by sin, evil, and predestining people to hell just as much as he is by goodness, obedience, and predestining people to heaven? They can’t. And in order to know if they are really saved, they just have to wait and see if Calvi-god causes them to persevere all the way to the end or not.

        What kind of assurance is that, having to wring their hands till the end, over-examining every action, every thought, every sin to figure out if they are really saved or not, unable to know what Calvi-god really chose for them until the day they die?

        Whereas, non-Calvinists Christians have the assurance that if we do what God said we need to do (repent and believe) then He will do what He said He would do (save our souls) – because we know that He says what He means and means what He says, that He is trustworthy. And so when He says He wants all people to be saved, He means it, that He wants all people to be saved, which logically means that salvation is available to everyone. When He says Jesus died for all men, He means it, that all sins of all people are nailed to cross, and so we don’t have to die in our sins. When He says we need to repent and believe, we can trust that He means we can repent and believe, that all people can. And since we get to decide that for ourselves, we can know that we are saved if we choose to do what God said we need to do to be saved.

        And if we haven’t yet, if we find out someday that we weren’t really a Christian even if we thought we were (maybe like those who grew up in a church and knew the lingo but never really made their own personal decision to accept Jesus as Lord), then we can do something about it. We can change our destiny by choosing, at any time, to make Jesus our Lord and Savior … because we know that God gives the offer of salvation to everyone, that Jesus died for all sins of all men, and that anyone can believe in Him.

        The Calvinist, though, can never know if Calvi-Jesus died for them, if they got the real offer of salvation or the fake one, or if God gave them real grace/faith or the temporary, evanescent kind. And if they got the fake offer and fake faith, then there’s nothing they can do about it because Calvi-Jesus didn’t die for them and God will prevent them from believing and being saved because they were predestined for hell.

        But, hey, it’s for Calvi-god’s glory, right? So it’s all good and okay. Right?

      2. Heather
        Since the Calvinist cannot decide for themselves, they are at the mercy of Calvi-god to decide for them.

        br.d
        This is an excellent lead-in to a phenomenon within Calvinist language

        1)
        A Calvinist is a DETERMINIST

        Now listen to the following statement concerning Determinists

        Nationally Recognized Theoretical Physicist Sean Carroll – who is an Atheist Determinsit

        Sean Carroll
        -quote
        All people [and by this he means Determinsts] speak *AS-IF* people make decisions

        Dr. William Lane Craig
        -quote
        All Determinists recognize that they have to act *AS-IF* they have free will and can weigh options and DECIDE on what course of action to take, even though at the end of the day they are determined.

        John Calvin
        -quote
        “All future things being uncertain to us, we hold them in suspense, *AS-IF* they might happen either one way or another.”(Institutes 1. 16.9)

        John Calvin
        -quote
        “Hence as to future time, because the issue of all things is hidden from us, each ought to so to apply himself to his office, *AS-IF* nothing were determined about any part.” (Concerning the eternal predestination of god)

        Do you see the pattern here???

        What is the difference between these two statements:
        1) I hold [X] to be TRUE
        2) I hold [X] *AS-IF* it is TRUE

        Calvinist’s make hundreds of statements – designed to APPEAR as statement (1) – when in fact they are speaking statement (2)

        Per the doctrine of decrees – Calvinists do not really have the function of CHOICE.
        But they cannot acknowledge they do not have the function of CHOICE because it makes them appear SUB-human

        So they speak *AS-IF* they have the function of CHOICE – in order to hide the fact that they don’t

      3. Br.d.: “So they speak *AS-IF* they have the function of CHOICE – in order to hide the fact that they don’t”

        It’s funny that Calvinists will say that if we had a true ability to choose then God is less sovereign and gets less glory. But then they talk “as if” we have choice. Why would they damage Calvi-god’s glory and sovereignty like that? (And yet they are so proud of the fact that – in their minds – Calvinism is the most God-glorifying theology and holds God’s sovereignty in the highest regard.) But if us having no ability to choose is so honoring to Calvi-god’s sovereignty, why not proclaim it proudly? Why hide it? They do not practice what they preach.

      4. Yes!
        They are stuck in their own self made dilemma! :-]

        I had a Calvinist ask me a few days ago – “Doesn’t god have the right to rule over his creation?”
        And I responded – “Just as much as he has the right to design you to function as a robot”

        He wasn’t too happy with that – because his question backfired on himself! ;-D

  12. br.d , I have heard of some Calvinists
    using Romans 9:20 to defend Calvinism,
    Romans 9:20 says
    “But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” NIV
    What is your reply ?

    1. Hello jeffw1980,
      Good to hear from you.

      Remember – we are to always examine Calvinist arguments and statements with the anticipation of how irrational they are going to be.

      A statement that is a logical fallacy can be committed by anyone.
      It doesn’t require a Calvinist to commit a fallacy in thinking.

      So take lets take that argument and use it to defend the Jehovah’s Witness doctrine.

      Person_A tells a Jehovah’s Witness that Person_A would never worship the JW’s god.

      The JW looks at Person_A and quotes Romans 9:20
      “But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’”

      So here is the question for you to answer:
      Can you identify what the fallacy is in the JW’s argument?

  13. br.d , I have heard some Calvinists use
    Romans 9:20 to defend their Calvinism
    Romans 9:20 says
    “But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” NIV , how would you reply ?

    1. br.d , my mistake for accidentally posting the same comment twice,
      How would you respond to the
      Romans 9:20 Argument & the Bible verse
      Isaiah 55:8-9 used by some to Support Calvinism which says
      “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.
      “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” NIV From the book of Isaiah, that’s what I say a !!!

      1. br.d
        No problem at all Jeff!

        BTW: For as a second thing to consider concerning the Calvinist using that argument – the Calvinist has an additional problem to face that the NON-Calvinist does not have.

        Lets say a Calvinist is talking to an Atheist

        Atheist:
        I find your god disgusting.

        Calvinist:
        Who are you oh man to judge god.

        Atheist:
        AH But you are quoting the scripture – which according to your doctrine is classified as the “ENUNCIATED” will of god – which in most cases is the exact opposite of the “SECRET” will of god.

        And according to your doctrine – WHATSOEVER comes to pass – is FIXED at the foundation of the world – by the SECRET will of god – before humans are created.

        And according to your doctrine – you only know what the SECRET will of your god is by A Posteriori knowledge (i.e. knowledge after the fact).

        As Calvinist James White says:
        -quote
        We don’t know the contents of god’s decree until we look backwards.

        So now – what we see when we look backwards – is me finding your god disgusting.
        Therefore me finding your god disgusting was the content of god’s decree.
        And according to your doctrine – creation is not granted the liberty of countervailing an infallible decree.

        Therefore you god made me infallibly find your god disgusting.
        So whatever I think, say or do, is simply what your god decreed me to infallibly think, say and do

        I don’t think, say or do, anything on my own behalf – because those things are not determined by me.

        And the Atheist concludes with this:
        Thus – according to your doctrine – it is not actually the case that I am judging your god.

        Your god simply used my brain and my body to SIMULATE a person finding him disgusting.

  14. br.d , Another argument for Calvinism I’ve heard is
    Romans 11:33 which says “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!” Theology means the Study of God , I guess you can say Theology is a form of Science , maybe not an exact science, since there are countless interpretations, opinions and endless debates
    Like I said before, since much of the Bible is difficult to properly interpret and seems to hopelessly contradict itself. I like to think that when us Christians ultimately pass away and go to Heaven that God will give us the Perfect Interpretation of the Bible, on all topics and doctrine as only he can know, our finite human minds cannot fully comprehend it in this life

    1. br.d
      Hi Jeff

      With this argument – we have the same exact logical fallacy as with the last argument

      Millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses believe with unquestioning confidence – that the Watchtower Society’s positions on the Bible represent the only correct position – and any opinion to the contrary is simply in Biblical error.

      The Jehovah’s Witness teach that individuals are saved by the “grace of God”
      However – if a Jehovah’s Witness does not do special works dictated by the organization – that Jehovah’s Witness won’t be saved.

      Now any rational thinker can recognize that as a self-contradiction.

      And the Jehovah’s Witness has an answer for that:
      -quote
      The Jehovah’s Witness understands Romans 11:33 which tells us tthe inscrutable things of god appear as contradictions to the fallen man.

      “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! The Bible is difficult to properly interpret and seems to hopelessly contradict itself.

      So once again Jeff – the question for you is – do you recognize the logical fallacy in these arguments?

    2. Jeff – here is a parable for your opinion:

      Bill was sitting in his front porch enjoying his favorite ice-cold lemon tea
      There was knock on the door – Bill opened the door and it was a Jehovah’s Witness.

      JW:
      Hello, I wanted to give you a gift so that you could know that the Jehovah’s Witness is the most Biblical belief system in the world.

      The JW hands Bill a small pamphlet – and Bill reads the pamphlet

      Bill:
      This pamphlet supposed to be showing how the Jehovah’s Witness is the most Biblical belief system in the world?

      JW: Yes!

      Bill:
      Then I can clearly tell you that the Jehovah’s Witness belief system – as detailed in this pamphlet – is full of self-contradictions.

      JW:
      Well – the divine things of god will often appear as contradictions to the fallen mind.

      Bill:
      Oh – I did not say the things of god were self-contradictions!
      I said the things of Jehovah’s Witness are self-contradictions.

      JW:
      As I said – the divine things of god will often appear as contradictions to the fallen mind.

      Bill:
      No – you are not hearing me!
      I did not say the things of god were self-contradictions.
      I said the things of Jehovah’s Witness are self-contradictions.

      JW:
      Well – the divine things of god will often appear as contradictions to the fallen mind.

      Ok Jeff – what fallacy is the JW committing?

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