Born Unable to Believe? – Soteriology 101: Former Calvinistic Professor discusses Doctrines of Salvation
Dr. Leighton Flowers responds further to Dr. Brian Abasciano and other Arminians who insist 1 Cor. 12:3 must be supporting the concept of an innate inability to believe the gospel apart from an unmediated working of the Spirit within the heart of the sinner giving them back that moral capacity (referred to as Prevenient Grace). To SUPPORT this broadcast, please click here: https://soteriology101.com/support/ Subscribe to the Soteriology 101 Newsletter here: http://www.soteriology101.com/newsletter Is Calvinism all Leighton talks about? https://soteriology101.com/2017/09/22/is-calvinism-all-you-talk-about/ DOWNLOAD OUR APP: LINK FOR ANDROIDS: https://play.google.com/store/apps/de… LINK FOR APPLE: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/soterio… Go to http://www.ridgemax.co for all you software development needs! Show them some love for their support of Soteriology101!!! To ORDER Dr. Flowers Curriculum “Tiptoeing Through Tulip,” please click here: https://soteriology101.com/shop/ To listen to the audio only, be sure to subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, or one of the other podcast players found here: https://soteriology101.com/home/ For more about Traditionalism (or Provisionism), please visit http://www.soteriology101.com Dr. Flowers’ book, “The Potter’s Promise,” can be found here: https://www.amazon.com/Potters-Promis… Dr. Flowers’ book, “God’s Provision for All” can be found here: https://www.amazon.com/Gods-Provision… To engage with other believers cordially join our Facebook group: https://m.facebook.com/groups/1806702… For updates and news, follow us at: http://www.facebook/Soteriology101 Or @soteriology101 on Twitter Please SHARE on Facebook and Twitter and help spread the word! To learn more about other ministries and teachings from Dr. Flowers, go here: https://soteriology101.com/2017/09/22… To become a Patreon supporter or make a one-time donation: https://soteriology101.com/support/
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Any thoughts on the dilemma Calvinists now face viz a viz astronomers recent observations? Apparently the newer “telescopes” have helped verify Einstein’s theory of relativity. Quantum physics has moved on from workable equations to observable phenomena. Particularly regarding properties and behavior of light. This is significant because it proves that time is part of the created universe, like gravity, matter, energy etc. Doesn’t this blow up all the fancy supralapsarianistic-expeealadotious (sorry I couldn’t resist) concepts?
First, I should make it clear that I am NOT a Calvinist. However, your post seems to imply that the Calvinists’ supralapsarian/infralapsarian debate involves the CHRONOLOGICAL order of God’s decree whereas I understand this debate to involve the LOGICAL order of God’s decree — i.e., such views don’t necessarily rule out time being part of God’s creation. Indeed, I believe many Calvinists do believe that time is part of God’s creation.
You claim that evidence for Einstein’s theories of Relativity and/or Quantum Physics “proves that time is part of the created universe, like gravity, matter, energy etc.” How so? Could you explain?
I would like to look at the whole issue from the perspective.of God’s action rather than man’s response.
Under what circumstance could would God disappear from the intersection with mankinds events.
Predetermined events down to minutest details would propose In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth and then sits outside of events watching everything come to pass that He already determined would come to pass. God has no need to intervene in our lives nor will He.
This is a picture of an uncaring, uninvolved in our daily lives type of Greek god who has no resemblance to the God of Scripture who Loves with an everlasting love . He is not sitting idly by watching us in our pain and struggles while He says I ordained it so before the earth was formed. As with Jerusalem when Jesus said “oh Jerusalem Jerusalem How often I would have.gathered you under my wings as a hen doth her chicks but you WOULD not” He calls today and moves into and also upon our daily lives.but many WILL not and it is not because.they COULD NOT.
Hello Plowboy3 and welcome
Very insightful post!
Yes – under scrutiny of LOGIC – we will see that in Calvinism there are two categories of events.
1) Events “Rendered-Certain” to infallibly come to pass
2) Events NOT “Rendered-Certain” to come to pass – which by their nature are not going to come to pass anyway.
Now LOGIC shows us
Event (1) by its very nature cannot be prevented – at pain of falsifying what is infallible.
And with event (2) there is nothing to prevent – since that event is not going to come to pass anyway.
Do you remember the Holodeck on the Star Trek Next Generation series?
The Holodeck is a computer which creates computer SIMULATED scenarios of reality
Computers are 100% determined – just like Calvinists are.
Now the Calvinist needs some form of divine prevention – because he sees it within the general narrative of scripture.
So he has to figure out a way to have it – in a world in which every nano-second is predetermined by a divine program.
Therefore the closest he can get to it is a computer SIMULATION of it.
Net result – the Calvinist brain exists in his own little Holodeck.. :-]
I could not find a link to email Leighton. Is that cowardice? 🤔
Leighton’s faulty premise was that according to the Westminster confession, calvinists must agree that God ordained Beth Moore from all eternity to preach the gospel supposing that people “get saved” by her “preaching the gospel”.
Here is what calvinists believe about God’s foreordination of all false preachers.
Jude 1:4 KJV — For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Even all false preachers were before written to that particular condemnation.
I have yet to hear a woman preach the gospel which is according to the scriptures. That’s because God will never call a woman to preach.
Apparently that also applies to Leighton.
What a horrible end to find out, like undoubtedly Billy Graham did, that your whole life of religion was a lie.
And a damnable lie at that.
Hello Steve and welcome
Let me address your statements one at a time
I could not find a link to email Leighton. Is that cowardice?
Dr. Flowers has a YouTube channel in which he engages with Calvinists all the time.
Its a simple matter of going there and participating.
Also – Dr. Flowers is on FaceBook.
So if you are an FB user – you can interact there as well.
Leighton’s faulty premise was that according to the Westminster confession, calvinists must agree that God ordained Beth Moore from all eternity to preach the gospel supposing that people “get saved” by her “preaching the gospel”.
His argument follows from the Calvinist premise that “NOTHING HAPPENS” that is not knowingly and willingly decreed.
If [X] happens – then [X] must have been knowingly and willingly decreed
if [X] does not happen – then [X] did not happen because it was NOT knowingly and willingly decreed
Therefore – if [Beth Moore preaches the Gospel] happens – then it was knowingly and willingly decreed – and Beth Moore cannot DO OTHERWISE – because DOING OTHERWISE would falsify the doctrine of decrees.
On the “get saved” part – Dr. Flowers will tell you that saving someone is a divine act – and Beth Moore is human.
On your statement about false preachers – you need to be a little more intellectually honest.
You defer from using the words INFALLIBLE DECREE – and instead use the word “foreordination”
Let me reword your statement so that it conforms to Calvinisms doctrine of decrees.
Here is what Calvinists believe about god decreeing people to infallibly function as false preachers.
So per Calvinism’s doctrine of decrees – Calvin’s god decrees some people to infallibly function as false preachers.
I have yet to hear a woman preach the gospel which is according to the scriptures
So here you are describing the perception which Calvin’s god decreed to infallibly come to pass within your brain.
Does Calvin’s god have the liberty of decreeing FALSE PERCEPTIONS infallibly come to pass within your brain on this or any other matter?
Your closing comments simply follow from your thinking patterns – so they can be dismissed.
And yet it was a woman who first preached the gospel to the 11 apostles, while they were sulking about the death of Jesus, thinking that they bet on the wrong guy. Besides, I never read anywhere that God won’t call women PREACHERS. The word is TEACH, not preach.
The only thing that men do is EXPOSITORY preaching anyway. They read line by line, precept by precept.
All that is, is READING.
So… you don’t want women to read?
Neither do the Taliban.
Here is a quote from Wikipedia on a certain co-worker of Paul’s whose name was “Junia”
From the Greek Ἰουνία’ or Ἰουνίας
In the Greek society – it was a woman’s name.
There has been dispute surrounding both Junia’s gender and apostolic status, although she has been viewed as female through most of Christian history as well as by the majority of scholars.
I think my question to Steve – concerning Calvin’s god having the liberty of decreeing FALSE PERCEPTIONS to infallibly come to pass within Steve’s brain – hits the bulls-eye!
It is a question Calvinists do not like answering – because it interferes with their self-perception of being divine! 😀
Ya, my issue with Steve was his statement:
“I have yet to hear a woman preach the gospel which is according to the scriptures. That’s because God will never call a woman to preach”
If any woman has ever read 1 Cor 15, out loud,then she has just preached the gospel according to the scriptures.
And as you have noted, scripture proves that women were indeed called to preach.
Then we have this…
And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.
Priscilla is included in the word, “THEY”.
She expounded the gospel to a man. Imagine that!
No one told her, “Shut up, woman!”
So, when one states that God doesn’t call women to preach the gospel…I beg to differ.
Those same people would have ostracized the Prophetess’ of the Bible.
And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;
Steve would have said that she has no authority to speak for God, because God doesn’t call women.
And we wonder why abuse is so rampant in churches today.
Priscilla is included in the word, “THEY”.
Yes – and Greek scholars will tell you that within the Greek vernacular – the standard practice when naming a couple – the first name mentioned typically represents the name of greater authority.
So some Bible scholars take the position that Priscilla was viewed in Paul’s eye’s as the primary person between the two of them. That – and other indicators within the N.T. is what makes scholars believe women were integral in ministry and operated with authority – during the early church.
Hey thanks Nathanael. Not sure what order without chronology would be. Order of importance or preference? All the Calvinists I’ve run into say things like “eternity past”. Wouldn’t anything related to foreordination involve a past for God? I like CS Lewis’ statement that “God exists in a great unbounded now”. Some Calvinists also seem to equate eternity with infinity. Which makes sense if you believe God is infinite as opposed to eternal. I’m not an astronomer or very well versed in quantum physics. But you can check out some of the really interesting articles from the past two years in the periodicals like National Geographic.
Welcome Steve! The issue of defining eternity past and future is a very important one. Here are my thoughts.
Ps 90, 2 Sequential Reality
There are two definitions for “time”. One is connected only to creation… it is the measurement of matter in motion. The other is connected to reality which is from God’s nature.
Reality is sequential events… befores and afters going backwards infinitely and forwards infinitely. “from everlasting to everlasting” (Ps 90:2)… “who was and is and is to come” (Rev 4:8). There were events of communication, relationship, and decision making in the Godhead before creation of space and matter… right?
A reality that is sequential and non-sequential for God at the same “time” is a logical contradiction borrowed into Christianity from neo-platonism. The Scripture gives no other “competing” reality for God’s presence, which is contradictory to the word “reality” anyway.
His foreknowledge is dynamic therefore and not static. His understanding is infinite (Ps 147:5). He knows all the possibilities that still exist and all things that are already determined that limit those possibilities.
Some like the illustration of God as a blimp watching the full parade below. But for a blimp to watch a parade, the full parade has to exist. The future does not exist as a completed entity to watch either as a place or in God’s mind.
Reality is only sequential, and comes from God’s eternal nature – “from everlasting to everlasting” (Ps 90:2), “who was and is and is to come” (Rev 4:8). Relationship and communication in the Godhead before creation were sequential (befores and afters).
The underlying important issue is – does God’s mind reflect univocally the sequential reality of His Word, or have scholars discovered in their philosophical reasoning that God hid from Scripture His perspective of reality? It would be a perspective that also makes man’s perspective in Scripture actually faulty, for Scripture makes the future as not yet existing, but in reality it is already existing as completed (forever), for God’s reality is the only true one.
Hey Brian. Thanks so much for that response. I needed to read through it a couple of times to make sure I was tracking. It is a logical and scriptural assessment of the time conundrum. I’m still left feeling that at the end of the day it seems to fall back on squeezing eternity back into a timed perspective. I guess I’ll have to fall into the more abstract and philosophical category. I’m more ok with leaving some things labeled mystery and or above my pay grade these days. After 50 plus years of bible reading, study, sermons and conversations i’ve actually come to believe that the human mind plus the bible equals the devil’s playground. Sounds terrible I know. But I’ve decided to go the “spiritual” route and ask God for guidance (His Holy Spirit) in meditative contemplative prayer. It’s been a time of awesome growth. I have less fear of intimacy with God and others, as well as more peace and acceptance. Sorry to go all “touchy feely” on a thread that is supposed to be more intellectual. But sincerely thanks again for the clear answer. Great food for thought.
Hey Steve, some great questions! You stated “Not sure what order without chronology would be. Order of importance or preference?” Well, I’m not sure either. Different flavors of Calvinist may mean different things by this. I suspect that what most mean by “logical order” concerns God’s priorities in His decree(s). Supralapsarian Robert L. Reymond, states* “…since God’s decree is eternal with no chronological antecedence or subsequence in it, there was never a moment when people, viewed as fallen and created people, did not certainly exist as well in it.” Take it for what it’s worth, I guess.
You also stated “All the Calvinists I’ve run into say things like ‘eternity past’.” Paul Helm, a Calvinist** who wrote the chapter “Divine Timeless Eternity” in “Four Views: God and Time”***, states “Though this view (let us call it ‘eternalism’) has an impressive pedigree in the history of western Theism — it is the ‘mainstream’ view represented by Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, Calvin and hosts of others — there is reason to think that it is very much the minority view among contemporary theologians and philosophers of religion.” Maybe you’ve been interacting with the views of the latter rather than the former.
You asked “Wouldn’t anything related to foreordination involve a past for God?” Interesting question. As I stated in an earlier post, I believe “that time was never created (any more than were the moral law and the laws of logic) but has always been part of God’s orderly nature. Time is what gives events their sequence, their order.” So I ask a similar question: If time was created, wouldn’t this involve a time before time was created in God’s past? By the way, I believe that what is referred to as “time dialation” would be better labeled as “process dilation” — i.e., just because CLOCKS slow in the presence of gravity, or when traveling at high speeds — doesn’t mean that TIME has slowed down; it means, in my view, that the processes that MARK or MEASURE time slow down. (Perhaps I shouldn’t even use the word “measure,” because I believe time is non-physical — metaphysical, if you will.) I don’t believe God is “in time” or “time-bound” but rather that God does things in order (or sequence) and enables us to do the same.
Regarding C.S. Lewis’s “great unbounded now”, I asked in an earlier post: “If God stands outside of time and sees all of time in His eternal ‘now’/’present’ seeing everything as ‘now’ and nothing as ‘past’ or ‘future’ (untensed view), then (because God sees things as they really are) nothing IS ‘past’ or ‘future’. If so, even our very existence is uncertain, since God would not see our nonexistence as ‘past’ and our existence as ‘present’; rather, He would see both our existence and our nonexistence as ‘now.’ Does God really see our former unregenerate state and our current regenerate state as equally real, equally ‘now’? Does He eternally see our sins in existence (as ‘now’)? When one’s view implies that God can’t tell whether we exist or not, then I think it is fair to say that such a view seriously impugns God’s omniscience.”
* “Perspectives on Election: 5 Views” (Chad Owen Brand, ed.; 2006, B&H Publishing Group) p65
** Helm authored the chapter “The Augustinian-Calvinist View” in “Divine Foreknowledge: Four Views” (James K. Beilby and Paul R. Eddy eds.; 2001, Intervarsity Press)
*** “Four Views: God and Time” (Gregory E. Ganssle, ed.; 2001, Intervarsity Press) p28
Good points and questions. The “unbounded now” requires abstract thought and a stretch toward something that would never satisfy a more linear and left brain approach. Any question along the lines of “if there is anywhere, anyone, or anything outside of time, what time is it there?” are self defeating.
I was listening to an Apologea Studios Youtube video with Jeff Durbin today and came across a statement he made when witnessing to some young ladies at an abortion rally. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aiyHYjFcX50 The time in the video is 28:30 when he makes a statement about God’s law being written on our hearts so that inside each one of us has the ability to “know” what is right and wrong. First of all, I love the work he does in the pro-life movement and I commend him on his efforts. However, I do believe his Calvinistic leanings might get in his way sometimes, as demonstrated with the Mormon community questioning his Calvinism rather than facing the gospel question. But when making this Truth statement about God’s law being written on our hearts, isn’t that a bit of a contradiction according to Calvinism?
What I mean to say is this. God giving us His law by writing it on our hearts, then damning us for not even being able to respond to it before time began, makes about as much sense as going into a foreign country, then posting laws in a language that nobody can understand, and then sentencing those who break that law even though they can’t read or write.
I find it nonsensical that God would “write His laws on our hearts” without us being able to make a choice to follow them or not. According to some Calvinists, the non-elect don’t even have the ability to “want to” seek God. If they don’t have any ability to respond to God’s law, then why bother writing on their hearts? That seems just like your analogy of the leopard being condemned for having spots, when God’s law says if you have spots, then you will be condemned.
Anyhow, I thought the video was a great video overall, but I find that Jeff has a tendency to pander to the people he is witnessing to. He says, “God bless you” a lot, when the people he is trying to reach should not be blessed at all for what they are doing. But I still commend his passion for the lost. Fortunately these ladies on the video didn’t know his Calvinist leanings or they might have told him that they had an abortion because God make them have an abortion. That would end the conversation.
Hi Rich! Many good observations. Leighton is easier to catch on his FB page – Soteriology101 You are correct that it makes more sense to think general revelation, like “the work of the law” written (not the law itself) in their hearts, is for a positive reason. That view seems more honoring to God’s glory, which is more about mercy than judgment.
All I can say is thank you so much, Dr Flowers, for being the voice that you are! I used to be a Calvinist myself, albeit an inconsistent one. Always been taught the Calvinistic understanding of Ephesians 1, Romans 9, etc growing up, but God’s amazing love for me and the whole world has been my anchor in life. Without His great love, this life would be truly without hope… I couldn’t even have the strength to get out of bed in the morning.
My dear little sister, my best friend, unfortunately was a strong Calvinist up until she left the faith 6 months ago. Calvinism had stolen and twisted her understanding of God’s love I’m afraid. We would spend a lot of time discussing these matters of election, love, predestination, and reprobation, but even I was stuck with my Calvinistic lenses on. I’m convinced that God became nothing more than a dictator to her… Things came to a head when she would pray and pray for God to effectually save her friend (who she is now living with as her boyfriend), but there was no change. She cried and cried and I believe she was truly without hope that God actually loved him, since she believed that He would effectually save those He self-sacrificial loves.
I will continue to listen to you, support you, and help spread the word! God Bless you, sir, I mean that.
Welcome Ben. Thank you for your encouraging words. I will make sure Leighton sees them. And I will pray for your sister this morning. God wants her and her boyfriend to come to the assurance of His love through His Word!
Hi, I just wanted to ask Dr.Flowers if he could do a show about the differences between the traditional view and the Armenian view and if he could do a show discussing the traditional view and and babies as far as what or when a child actually is accountable for sin and what happens when they die. I love the show but it would be good to hear shows from time to time actually explaining how a non calvanist views these and other issues. I think this would be especially helpful for people who are leaving the calvanist view point. i do not know any other way to contact Dr.Flowers so I hope this comment will reach him.
Rom 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
Rom 11:34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
I recently found and am really enjoying your podcast and finding much of the content to be pointed and gently spoken in love at the same time. Thank you so much. Upon scrolling upon scrolling through your many episodes, I found so much time dedicated to the topic of predestination vs free will and the permanence of salvation but I am unable to find anything focusing on the theories of atonement. Recently I have been in discussions with Jehovah’s Witnesses and I have had to process why I do not believe that Jesus’ death is merely representational but substitutionary. Do you have anything on this, and if not, could you spend some time on this niche of Soteriology?
Hi Troy and thank you for your kind words!
Due to many responsibilities Dr. Flowers is not regularly here at this blog site.
However you may find him on FaceBook.
If you are a FB user – I urge you to look for him there.
Please consider compressing the podcasts before posting. Some of the longer episodes are nearly 1 gig. It takes a bite out of my data allowance if I have to download with no wifi. Thanks
Hi, in this vídeo, Pipper says God elects because He saw who will believe. It is almost in the end, in the resume. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0TlZ-fn-IE&feature=share&fbclid=IwAR2hXl52e6HtqicDrAd_7PlTWokV8418SuCmSo93-QYhF7T26uqoXh0emz0
Feb 14. Cudnt find email address anywhere on your website so sending this from here.I watched your new youtube clip “Why Provisionism is not pelagianism”. FYI near the middle you mispelled fallacious as “fallous”. Dr Flowers, your continuous back and forth with White is gracious on your part, but unnecessary. White has pride and ego problems that prevent his hearing your points. James White- So much knowledge, So much ability, So little grace (sometimes). You are responding to a bully. I’ve seen a few of his debates where he cleary knew he held a senior and superior position in learning and could have taken a kind and humble posture to help his lesser learn doctrinal truths also. However, he held a firm condescending attitude and put another notch in his 150+ debate gun belt, and left town with another bloody victim lying in the street. By not humbling himself in a loving way, he forced his opponents to keep their guard up, and where learning could have taken place, contention remained. By being more concerned about upholding the debate format, he has on occasion lost a great opportunity for real ministry. But, he served his fans another DEBATE, WELL DONE!!! It sometimes seems he would rather be seen as winning the debate than winning the man (for Christ). He holds a Doctorate in hyper-correctness, and will not open his mind. We all suffer from pride and blind spots. Thx. I dont intend this to be a post, please remove it after giving it to Dr Flowers. Sorry, i have no savvy in electronic communication
Hello VM and welcome.
Dr. Flowers – due to a busy schedule is not often able to spend time here interacting with posters.
But you may find him on Facebook – if you are an FB user.
But I liked your comment on debate tactics.
And I agree – a Calvinist debate strategy is all to often driven by a spirit of one-up-manship rather than a love for TRUTH.
Although I don’t see that as a lack of kindness – but rather a “tell” that one internally knows when one’s position is weak logically.
Belligerent behavior serves as compensation for when one’s logic is on shaky grounds.
LF – I hope you can review the debate Sonny Hernandez and Kevin Thompson – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uT6dW65eLU
As as been pointed out by others, Dort introduces contradiction:
Election is the unchangeable purpose of God, whereby,BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, He hath out of mere
grace, according to the sovereign good pleasure of His own will, CHOSEN, from the whole human race, which HAD FALLEN through their own fault from their primitive state of rectitude into sin and destruction, a certain number of
persons to redemption in Christ, whom He from eternity appointed the Mediator and Head of the elect, and the
foundation of salvation.
No human “had fallen” before the foundation of the world.
John Calvin was a consistent supralapsarian. Dort and WCF tried to bridge supra/infra and just caused more contradictions.
In a recent episode Leighton mentioned that the Remonstrance podcast labeled him a “semi-pelagian”. Does anyone know which episode of Remonstrance he is referencing? Did Leighton reply?
I don’t know the exact podcast but that accusation is very much not a new one. Dr. David Allen wrote a great article last year explaining what Semi-Pelagian means historically and how that label doesn’t fit. Dr. Flowers has addressed this accusation and put it to rest in several videos. I recommend searching semi Pelagian on his YouTube channel to see what comes up. He also points out the boogie man fallacy which is guilt by association like like us Semi Roman Catholic because we believe in the trinity or calling a Calvinist semi gnostic because they believe in theistic fatalism.
Love your program, your very gratious to the like of John Piper who is under the judgement of John 2. He is Ecumenical and supports
Many false teachers. And his Hedonism Doctrin is from the pit of hell.
Hello Glen and welcome
Thank you for your very kind remarks!
Dr. Flowers – due to his schedule – is not here very often to interact with posters.
You may more readily find him on FaceBook if you are an FB user.
Very sincere blessings!
Really? I don’t like Flowers one bit. So to speak. I could lay out a “rational”, even “biblical” excuse for condemning him if I had a mind set on the flesh. But I won’t cuz I believe I can’t or shouldn’t judge Dr. Flowers that way. Or maybe you just don’t understand what John Piper actually believes, or teaches in regards to Christian Hedonism. I agree, not a good thing to call it. But think with me. If everything Bad is sin, and we can define it in such a way as to say its our delighting in anything other than God, than what Piper is saying is that the scripture, in so may ways and places calls us to treasure and delight in Christ. We should turn from idols, turn from making ourselves and creatures and the like our delight and make Yahweh our joy, our delight and our treasure. That I believe is what Piper is calling Christian Hedonism.
Calvinism, at its core I believe, is related to this and believe it or not, all of you that are unable to understand Reformed theology, Calvinism, etc, are missing it right here! HUH?! You say. Well, I remember when I was saved, 34 years ago, not raised in the church, knowing almost nothing, I had only known Christ for a few days. I had this thought. “I’m better than others because I had faith. I am special”. I clearly remember the Spirit rebuking me. Feeling the sternness of his clarity in saying to me that He gave me my faith. I’ve grown in knowledge all along. But it’s clear that I was born again, by the Spirit, was given faith. Not because of the voice but the scriptures. It’s a Logical order. Whether you want to say temporal I’m good with that. It’s the biblical point that I was given a heart of flesh.
It’s completely related to Piper and his Christian Hedonism because I was changed into a new creature that no longer valued myself and this world. It was then that I responded in repentance and faith. I treasure Christ and delight in Him. I went from being Of the Devil to being of God. All this libertarian free will, provisionist, whatever, may sound good, but its not consistent with the scriptures. We all have a will, but its enslaved pre-Salvation. I’d like to see Dr. Flowers walk slowly and carefully, or any of you walk through John 6 or Romans 8 and 9 or a host of other passages and put them all together, using the same hermenuetic we all use to come to major doctrines we all believe: The Trinity, resurrection, atonement on and on. If you were all consistent, you’d be singing the praises of Soveriegn God
Hello soter7 and welcome
You say – you believe you can make “rational” reasons for disagreeing with Dr. Flowers and agreeing with John Piper
Calvinism is John Piper’s belief system
Calvinism is predicated on Exhaustive Determinism
Exhaustive Determinism does not permit your brain to be the “determiner” of TRUE from FALSE on any matter.
On Determinism a THEOS determines 100% of the choices your brain makes.
You don’t believe what you believe through “rational” reasoning
You believe what you believe because an external mind determined what you will believe
So for you to think that you’ve come to your conclusion through “rational” reasoning is to deny Determinism
Which means you deny Calvinism
Which means you agree with Dr. Flowers and disagree with Dr. Piper
You don’t seem to understand reformed epistemology/soteriology. I appreciate your comments, but it betrays your error and why you don’t understand the scriptures and the Sovereignty of God. I suggest you ask the Spirit for guidance in this regard. A clue would be your argument itself. You seem to think I have no mind. That God thinks for me? That’s not at all my beliefs nor what the scriptures reveal. I never nor has Calvin or White said anything about Exhaustive Determinism in the way you so expressed. Again, Genesis 50, Isaiah 10, Acts 4 and John 6 and Ephesians 1. In fact, look at Philippians 2:12, 13. It gives a great treatise on the matter in regards to sanctification.
Not only that but like Flowers, you never answered the content of my reply. Just as Flowers you can’t follow the flow of argument. You’re all I er the place. Eisegesis!! With the Bible and with your brother.
Brdmod…that is not what Piper believes, what I believe nor what Calvinism teaches. I am a reformed Biblicist. I say so because I resist the labels. I learned what I know by reading the scriptures. Not primarily from what other’s teach. That said, you mentioned exhaustive determinism. The Reformed faith has produced massive volumes of writings on the subject which you would do well to read. In short, though God has a decree, we do have a mind, a will and make choices. We have reasoning. Your mistaken. It’s your position that leads to a hopeless world without meaning. I would recommend listening to James White answering Leighton Flowers. Or read Pipers book The Providence of God. Better yet. Just read the scriptures and do so with a heart in submission to Christ.
…that is not what Piper believes
Can you be more specific?
. I am a reformed Biblicist.
That simply means you have been conditioned to interpret what you read in accordance to the reformed tradition
I resist the labels
You just labeled yourself a “reformed bibilicist” and didn’t realize that is a label?
. I learned what I know by reading the scriptures.
And so doesn’t the Jehovah Witness – and the Mormon – and ……well you get the point.
Not primarily from what other’s teach.
Just enough to read the bible the way the teach you to read it! ;-]
In short, though God has a decree
Yes Calvin’s god has a decree – with which he EXHAUSTIVELY DETERMINES whatsoever comes to pass. That is why Calvinism is classified as EXHAUSTIVE DIVINE DETERMINISM
Exhaustive = Everything without exception – whatsoever comes to pass
Divine = A reference to a THEOS
Determinism = The thesis that everything which comes to pass is determined by antecedent factors outside of human control
In Calvinism’s case the antecedent factors outside of human control – are infallible decrees
, we do have a mind, and a will
And per the doctrine of decrees – WHATSOEVER comes to pass in your mind and in your will are FIXED by infallible decree – and you have no say in the matter of that which is infallibly decreed.
and make choices
Please provide an example of a choice you are permitted to make as a Calvinist
In short I don’t believe what you just said 😂
Regarding your discussion with the Arminians in your podcast “Innate Inability?”: I think there is some confusion in the conversation because they are coming from a different view of eternal security than I think you are. They believe that someone is saved by grace but then has to do good works not to lose that salvation. Southern Baptists believe that once you are regenerated then you are a new creature that will never lose salvation. In their conversation, they are assuming that a saved person can get hardened and lose salvation. (Maybe they even think God needs to give an additional post-salvation “prevenient” work of grace to keep a saved person saved.) They are able to say man is not born hardened but still feel uneasy embracing what you believe because they disagree with how you see salvation.
I feel like some non-Southern Baptist Calvinists also have a confusion about Provisionism because of a basic difference in their conception of salvation. Unlike Provisionists that embrace a simple “John 3:16–Billy Graham–whoesoever will” form of salvation, they are hung up on a salvation that involves infant baptism, church membership, and the need for works to prove you are the chosen.
I would like for you to do a deep dive comparison of Calvinists vs. Southern Baptist Calvinists. Maybe it would be productive to see if there is some common ground that would pull Southern Baptist Calvinists back to their Provisionist roots — away from John Piper, John MacArthrur, and Rc Sproul, all of whom are not Southern Baptists.
Thanks for your podcast!
Hello Chuck ,
Dr. Flowers, due to a heavy schedule, is no here to interact with posters.
You may more readily find him on Facebook – if you are an FB user.
What provisionist roots? Traditional soteriology is relatively new. At least it wasn’t some majority view. I think maybe you’d do well to look at church history. The reformation was founded on an anti Arminian epistemology.
Thanks for posting information. I have recently discovered the outrageous lie of Dispensation Premillennial eschatology. I tried to find an Amillenial church and I was mostly finding Presbyterians as one of the few that still hold to Amill eschatology. However, I began to understand how differently they see soteriology than what I have been taught. I am still struggling to get my feet underneath me regarding this debate, but this scholar seems to be able to shed some very interesting light on the issues.
Leighton, I am listening to your podcast about how God chooses some and not others for “no apparent reason.” As you state this does not mean that God chooses some and chooses to not grant salvation to others for no revealed reason. As you say, Calvinist do teach and believe that God chooses some “for his glory.” As for Calvin’s teaching he clearly states that God does not choose the elect because of their good works or because of his foreknowledge. He makes it clear by writing concerning Romans 9:18 which reads,
“Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens who he wants to harden” Do you see Paul attributes both to God’s decision alone? If, then, we cannot determine a reason why he vouchsafes mercy on his own, except that it pleases him, neither shall we have any reason for rejecting others, other than his will. For when it is said that God hardens or shows mercy to whom he wills, men are warned by this to seek no cause outside his will.” (Institutes 3:22.11)
Calvin later says it is wicked to investigate the causes of God’s will.
Hello Bill and welcome,
Dr. Flowers due to his schedule – does not interact here very much.
You may more readily find him at Face book if you are an FB user.
Also, you might look on his Youtube series for a video on the subject you are asking about.
There is an android APP also for those videos which allows for search by topic.
If you don’t mind me adding my two cents – I would say – what sets the Calvinist/Reformed reading apart from all others is its adaptation of Universal Divine Causal Determinism (aka Exhaustive Determinism)
With Calvin it is automatically assumed that man absolutely nothing is ever UP TO the creature – but rather 100% of whatsoever comes to pass – is solely and exclusively UP TO a THEOS. Which means man is never permitted any choice on the matter of anything.
Since that is the case with Calvin – it makes sense that he would conceive of a THEOS who designed/creates the vast majority of the human population – specifically for eternal torment in the lake of fire – for his good pleasure.
And man of course – who has no choice in the matter of anything – has no say in the matter of what he is designed/created for.
The Non-Calvinist reading does not assume Universal Divine Causal Determinism – so they don’t assume what comes with it.
Yes, I agree. It is interesting that some Calvinists do not hood to UDCD. They say that we can still decide between turning left or right but when it comes to matters of salvation God is completely determining our choices.
You have to understand the Calvinist psychological response to the doctrine forces him into a state of DOUBLE-MINDEDNESS.
And you have to understand that when you listen to Calvinist statements such as you describe.
Look at this statement by Calvin himself
“All future things being uncertain to us, we hold them in suspense, AS THOUGH they might happen either one way or another.”
Here Calvin is acknowledging that it is LOGICALLY IMPOSSIBLE for anything to happen one way or another – because every event is RENDERED-CERTAIN.
Turning left can be RENDERED-CERTAIN.
And turning right can be RENDERED-CERTAIN.
But they both can’t be RENDERED-CERTAIN because one cancels the other.
And they can’t be left OPEN for the human to decide because that is a denial of the doctrine.
But the Calvinist needs to perceive himself as having the LIBERTY to turn left or turn right.
The Calvinist needs to perceive himself the DETERMINER of whatsoever comes to pass within his brain.
He needs to perceive those things in order to have a sense of human normalcy.
But he has to deny his own doctrine in order to have those things.
He has to deny his own doctrine in order to claim he has the LIBERTY of making a choice.
So the very LIBERTY (i.e. Libertarian free will) he claims does not exist – is the very LIBERTY he claims to have.
He simply refuses to call that LIBERTY “Libertarian”
Calvinism is thus a belief system fraught with DOUBLE-MINDEDNESS
It seems to me that Calvinism in terms of being a type of determinism is more consistent than Armenianism. Cavlinists at least says that God is the determiner, while Armenians say there is a different determiner than God, and God only can see the determiner’s work (“He can look into the future to see what someone will choose.”)
There are only two outcomes for the Armenian view.
1. That God can change what happens when He sees something in the future He doesn’t like, which leads back to God being stronger than the determiner, but then God has to decide everything that is going to happen from some time of beginning (Thus Armenians become Calvinists.)
2. God CAN’T change anything in the future, because then He will have made the future He knew was true to be false. Thus Armenians have to believe in a power greater than God (the determiner).
In neither of these options can the individual have any say in the matter, because such individual’s full life was determined before he ever existed. I.e., no individual is his own determiner. Thus, no individual is responsible for his own good or evil acts, and no punishment or reward would be just for such acts.
Logically, the only way out of this conundrum is to allow individuals’ future actions and experiences not to solidify until they get to be the determiner of their own life, for either good or evil.
Armenians say there is a different determiner than God, and God only can see the determiner’s work (“He can look into the future to see what someone will choose.”)
No I don’t think this is correct.
I believe they would say
1) God is the “Ultimate” determiner
2) God is not an EXHAUSTIVE determiner in the sense that he MERELY permits them to be the Determiner of some things
but then God has to decide everything that is going to happen from some time of beginning (Thus Armenians become Calvinists.)
But with the caveats that I mentioned above – which isn’t Calvinism
God CAN’T change anything in the future, because then He will have made the future He knew was true to be false. Thus Armenians have to believe in a power greater than God (the determiner).
Not if you take into consideration – the correction a made to your first point
I appreciate your points above, but if God is making decisions in the far past, before we existed, based on things we will do after we exist, then He still is basing His decisions on a determiner that didn’t exist, if it’s not Him. Even if it’s a lower level determiner that’s not us, God still had to make the other determiner before He could use the information the determiner brings to the table. But He tells that He made all things in heaven and earth in 6 days, including Adam. So any predetermination before Adam means there is a “lesser” god that God made earlier that would not allow God to know anything about Adam or you and me until lesser god was created, but now Lesser god knows more than God. Settled theism Armenianism drags the believer kicking and screaming into Calvin’s arms, so that God can drag him kicking and screaming into eternal life.
Dr Leyton Flowers, Praise the Lord.
I am trying reach you but don’t see any place i could email you. Maybe this is the only way.
I actually have a question. I watched your full debate with Dr James White on Romans 9. I appreciate your exegesis and see how on this particular debate Dr James White does not consider the whole counsel (revelation since genesis) of God up untill that point in Romans 9 and just sticks to the phrases in Romas 8 i.e. the golden chain of redemption and Romans 9. Here is my question, and both of you did refer to this multiple times. I need more clarity on it and I hope you can help me get some on it. It is regarding Romans 9:23 & 24. These verses have been bothering me. You said in the debate that this calling is only referring to the jews and gentiles are introduced only from Vs 24 onwards. But the context in which he introduces gentiles is “Even us whom He also called not only among jews only but also from among the gentiles”. This seems to me that he is using the words “Even us” to include gentiles also in this calling. Can you please help me on this?
Appreciate your help. May the Lord continue to use you powerfully to proclaim His gospel for all to be saved.
Hello David and welcome!
Unfortunately, Dr. Flowers, due to his schedule, is not regularly here to interact with people.
You might more readily find him on face-book if you are an FB user.
You might also get a few people here who are not necessarily associated with Dr. Flowers – who may be interested in engaging with you on your question.
Hi David, you might want to search all the blog posts on this site for that verse reference to get Leighton’s view. Or better yet, buy his book, The Potter’s Promise, which is on Romans 9.
But my view of Romans 9:24 NKJV — even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? – is that you must first deal with what “prepared beforehand for glory” means in verse 23. I don’t see that as meaning before creation but prepared before they die through the new birth to be guaranteed the glory of heaven.
The word “called” also means “saved” here, that is called by His name. These verses do echo Rom 8:29-30. You can read my complete exegesis of those verses here – https://www.academia.edu/31030814/Romans_8_29_30_exegetical_dialog
May God bless and prosper your Ministry.
I would love to hear your feedback about Billy Graham’s video: https://youtube.com/shorts/fzyrJSo7L3g?feature=share
Hello Fabio and welcome
We would definitely agree with what Billy Graham is saying there.
Think about it this way.
1) In Calvinism we have a 100% meticulously predestined world where every movement of every molecule is predestined – and no impulse comes to pass within the human brain – unless that impulse is knowingly and willingly decreed.
2) A predestined event – by definition – is an event that is FIXED in the past. It cannot be both predestined and OPEN at the same time.
3) Therefore in a predestined world – for every human event – and every human impulse – there is never more than ONE SINGLE PREDESTINED RENDERED-CERTAIN option granted to the creature.
4) The STANDARD definition for the function of “CHOICE” is the ability to select from more than one option.
5) Since only one single option is ever granted to man – and since no ability to refrain is granted to man – then it follows man is not granted the function of “CHOICE”.
6) Since man is not granted the function of “CHOICE” it follows – man is not permitted the function of CHOOSING whether any matter is TRUE or FALSE
7) Since man is not permitted the ability to CHOOSE whether something is TRUE or FALSE – he is not permitted the ability to discern if any thing is TRUE or FALSE
8) Since man is not permitted the ability to discern whether anything is TRUE or FALSE – he is not permitted the ability to KNOW whether anything he thinks is TRUE or FALSE.
That is the dilemma the Calvinist unwittingly gets himself into.
The only way he can escape that dilemma is to deny his own doctrine.
And that is what Calvinists do.
They assert the doctrine in one statement – and then deny the doctrine in another.
Thus the doctrine forces them into a state of DOUBLE-MINDEDNESS
I appreciate greatly the spirit in which the videos that I listened to were given, and was blessed to hear some of the things that I heard. However, I would comment on one point that was expressed that I feel is inconsistent, that is while assuming that Dr. Flowers believes the commonly held position that the Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Holy Ghost, and the Holy Ghost is not the Father. If one says that there are three distinct individuals that are supposed to equal one being, then once again, A = “not” A.
Are we not falling for a conflation of terms?
The sum of all parts which make up a toyota corolla when put together equals one toyota corolla.
But the tires on the toyota corolla do not equal the engine on the toyota corolla
Hi Dr Leighton Flowers, Thank you for all you do. Your youtube channel has been a blessing to me personally enhancing my studies and clarifying a lot many misconceptions.
I was studying Acts Chapter 11 and was wondering about verse 18. The context is about the report (about Gentiles getting saved) that is brought back to Jerusalem for consideration. Vs 17 talks about God giving the Holy Spirit after we believe which is instantaneous butt chronologically I believe is correct. However, Vs 18 talks about the conclusion of the matter and here it says “God has granted to the Gentiles also repentance that leads to life” (NASB). In my reference bible it links t 2 Corinthians 7:10 but the context here is different, Here it is talking about born again believers and how sorrow leads to repentance “leading” to salvation. My observation is that in both cases “Leads” is italicized.
Can you please help me with Acts 11:18 whether repentance that leads to salvation is granted by God which is a Calvanistic theory. I would like to hear from you what your take is on this verse in it’s context.
Doesn’t the bible tell you what leads one to repent?
What is it in Calvinism? What is it in non-Calvinism?
If I’m not mistaken, the law of Moses does, which is another way of saying, “The Knowledge of Sin”.
You gotta first know what you did wrong, before sorrow can come, then thru that sorrow comes, “I’m sorry that I stole that candy bar.”, or REPENTENCE.
Sounds like common sense stuff to me, unlike Calvinism where God must first turn something within your brain on to “lead” you somewhere.
Besides, it is AFTER repentence that one “receives the Holy Spirit”, which is the same as saying Born Again, or saved.
Or, in some households, after you tell your sister that you are sorry for punching her in the face (repent), you get an ice cream cone (Holy Spirit) from mom.
We grew up with that mindset long before we knew it was in the Bible. It’s called Mom and Dad.
Hello David and welcome
Unfortunately — Dr. Flowers – due to his busy schedule is unable to correspond with people here at this site
You may more readily find him on Facebook – if you are an FB user.
You may also get a few comments from people here who visit here to post.
But those comments do not represent Dr. Flowers of course.
But we do have Brian Wagner here who is a close friend to Dr. Flowers.
Lets see if he can answer your question.
Welcome David! Unfortunately Leighton rarely comes to this site to read comments. You’d have a better chance getting his attention on FB – Soteriology 101 Discussion Group site, or during one of his live podcasts, or visiting him in Texax. 😉
As for your question, the issue is that repentance basically means a change of mind, which includes changes in thinking before regeneration, leading to that moment (John 1:9, Rom 2:4), and also sometimes means the permanent change of mind which equals salvation, when God regenerates that faith commitment that was humbly offered, and makes it into a permanent life of repenting and believing (1John 5:1, Phil 1:29).
If you would like to discuss this further, I’d be glad to. Cornelius had been changing his mind (repenting) towards the enlightenment truth God had given him, and God gave him even more, until the moment he made a faith commitment in the gospel he heard, and then God gave Him a purified heart through that faith (Acts 15:7-9). Acts 11:18 actually could be easily seen as both God giving enlightenment to change Gentile minds, forcing them to make a decision for or against the gospel unto salvation, or God giving that permanent change of mind (salvation) to Gentiles (like He granted to the Ninevites at Jonah’s preaching) after they personally and freely repented at the preaching of the gospel by Peter. It is always grace through faith. The faith has to be in place first for the grace to go through it!
I wanted to thank you so much for your podcasts, articles, and books. I have been very encouraged and helped over the past few years since I heard of your program. I have been especially helped by the information that includes word studies, proof texts, and studies of Bible passages. It would take a long time to describe all the ways I have been edified (not to mention how I’ve been able to pass on the information to others close to me) in my walk with the Lord. Thank you very much. In Christ, Naomi. Isaiah 40
Thank you very much Naomi – for your kind and sincere words!
Dr. Flowers, due to his schedule, doesn’t have time to visit here.
But we will convey your kind words to him.
Dr. Flowers, you may know, has a youtube channel.
And you are very welcome to post to him during those.
He also is on Facebook – if you are an FB user.
Again – our very sincere thanks
And may the Lord continue to shine his flashlight of truth on you and guide you into true liberty!
Most recent podcast, “Does the Law accomplish it’s purpose”, volume was noticeably lower. Thanks!
Thank you for recent podcast (“The Most Hated Doctrine”)
Having heard a sermon at my church very similar to this I’m encouraged to have explained questions I had that unsettled me
I appreciate your respect, humility and kindness in presenting a different exposition of this text in John – that is so important
Thank you very much – for your kind words Naomi!!
We all love Dr. Flower’s ministry so very much!
The beating heart of Jesus – who longs to set people free – is manifest in Dr. Flower’s
My question has to do with soteriology and how it relates to Dispensationalism vs. Covenant Theology. I go to a reformed church and also attend an institute through my church. We’re taking a Covenant Theology class and one of the resources says that while Dispensationalists can be Arminians or modified Calvinists, Covenant Theologians are always Calvinist and usually 5-pointers.
Is there an incompatibility between Covenant Theology and Non-Calvinism/Provisionism? If not, how would Provisionists view the reformed doctrine of the pretemporal Covenant of Redemption within the Trinity, the Covenant of Works with Adam in Eden before the Fall, etc.?
Please help me understand. Covenant Theology seems much more in line with Scripture than Dispensationalism in my estimation. I’m also not a Calvinist and I’d like for my theology to be consistent.
Welcome Emily. Actually there are Arminians who believe in most of Covenant theology, and Convenant theologians who are Calvinists but believe in Premillennialism, which is something all Dispensationalists teach. But there are no Provisionists who are Calvinists.
Hello Emily – and welcome!
Is there an incompatibility between Covenant Theology and Non-Calvinism/Provisionism?
One aspect of this question – you might find interesting is the duplicitous nature of Covenant Theology as it exists upon the underlying platform of Reformed theology.
The foundational core of Calvinism is EXHAUSTIVE DIVINE DETERMINISM (EDD) as enunciated within Calvinism’s doctrine of decrees.
The creatures…are so governed by the secret counsel of god, that NOTHING HAPPENS but what he has knowingly and willingly decreed. (Institutes 1. 16. 3)
Calvinism’s TULIP does not originate with John Calvin
It originated from a booklet which was created some 100 years after Calvin’s Institutes
It later became codified by the Canons of Dort by the Synod of Dort in 1618.
It is highly questionable that John Calvin would have ever accepted the TULIP because Calvin’s primary emphasis was on the doctrine of decrees – which is the underlying foundation of his doctrine.
And the TULIP (especially the “T” in the TULIP) functions to obfuscate the doctrine of decrees – thereby compromising Calvin’s emphasis on divine sovereignty. That is why Calvin would have rejected the TULIP.
Covenant Theology – in many respects also functions as an obfuscation or denial of the underlying doctrine of decrees.
For example – take this Covenant Theology related quote from Reformed author Mark Jones (The ‘Old’ Covenant)
God offered Adam a perfect and perpetual life if he did not violate God’s single commandment, but warned that death would follow if he disobeyed that commandment. Adam broke the covenant, thus standing condemned as representative for all mankind.
Per Calvin’s underlying doctrine of decrees – this statement is FALSE.
The doctrine of decrees stipulates – every man’s LOT in life is 100% meticulously predestined.
Consequently the only thing which is OFFERED to Adam – was that which was meticulously predestined.
It was predestined that Adam would infallibly eat the fruit.
Eating the fruit – was an integral part of the LOT which was OFFERED to Adam.
NOT eating the fruit – was NOT predestined.
Therefore – NOT eating the fruit was NOT part of the LOT which was OFFERED to Adam
So Adam was NOT OFFERED a perfect and perpetual life.
What was OFFERED to Adam – was eating the fruit – as well as that which followed afterwards.
Thanks dr.b!! This is really helpful!
So the reformed doctrine of the Cov of Works with Adam is a contradiction to their belief in EDD.
So, how would Provisionists understand the Covenant of Works before the fall? Would Provisionists hold to a pre-temporal Cov of Redemption?
On your first question about the contradiction – yes but there is a pattern to be aware of also.
That pattern has to do with the way words and terms are used.
The Calvinist will want to say – Adam was “OFFER” the option to NOT eat the fruit – as well as the option to eat the fruit.
But for the Calvinist that “OFFER” made in the form of a SEMANTIC FACADE.
It would be like me offering to give you something which I have absolutely no intent whatsoever to give you.
That is the way the Calvinist must understand the fact that the text does indicate God is giving Adam 2 options.
1) The option to eat the fruit
2) The option to NOT eat the fruit.
However – in Calvinism – a choice between those two options had to be made at the foundation of the world.
One option was selected as that which would be granted existence within creation
The other option was rejected as that which would be granted existence within creation.
A result of the doctrine of decrees is that for every human event – and every human impulse – there is never granted more than ONE SINGLE PREDESTINED RENDERED-CERTAIN OPTION.
And the creation is granted NO CHOICE in the matter of what that option will be – because it is Determined before the creature is created.
And nothing concerning the creature or the condition thereof affects what the decree will be.
The decree is -quote “Solely within himself”.
On your second question – I can’t answer for the Provisionist
I can only tell you what I personally would understand.
Prior to the fall – there is no “Officially” declared Covenant.
The existence of ALTERNATIVE POSSIBILITIES from which to choose exist for God.
And the ability to choose between those ALTERNATIVE POSSIBILITIES are part of the divine image of God
When God says “Let us make man in our image” a part of that image is the ability to choose between ALTERNATIVE POSSIBLITIES.
In Determinism – however – you may know from academia – that ALTERNATIVE POSSIBILITIES do not exist within the domain of creation.
Because all ALTERNATIVES from that which are divinely determined are EXCLUDED by the decree.
So ALTERNATIVE POSSIBILITIES do not exist for the creature to select from.
So in my view – the ALTERNATIVE POSSIBILITIES of [Obey] and [NOT Obey] were both granted to Adam.
And Adam was granted choice between those to possibilities.
Adam’s choice resulted in the consequence God had warned about – and that is how we have the fall.
Yes – to your first question.
The Calvinist however – will want to say there was an “OFFER” made to Adam.
But that “OFFER” was only made as a SEMANTIC FACADE.
In other words – it was limited to a verbal announcement which contained absolutely no intention of actuality.
In Calvinism – divine foreknowledge is simply knowledge of that which has been decreed.
At the time Adam is being warned about eating the fruit – the divine mind has full knowledge that he will not permit Adam to NOT eat the fruit.
It would be like me offering to give you something which I have already determined I am not going to give you.
I can claim that I “OFFERED” it to you simply because I vocalized words to that affect.
But in that case – I mislead you – because what I was really offering you was the exact opposite.
On your second question – I’m sorry to say I can’t answer it – because I am not personally a Provisionist
And in all of the years I’ve kept up with every article Dr. Flowers has made – I’ve never heard him refer to a Covenant of Works – whether prior to – or after the fall.
Br.D. It’s about time you become a Provisionist! 😁
Provisionism & Free Will
Provisionists believe the will is free from birth, able to accept or reject any initiative God takes to draw it towards salvation. There is no need for a “special drawing” or “special work” by God upon the will first.
All God’s initiatives, which He takes with each person, are *gracious* enablements/provisions to seek His mercy. Thus they are all “prevenient grace” to salvation.
All those gracious initiatives *must* be responded to by the free will, either with acceptance or rejection. Thus they are all provided as “irresistible grace” opportunities.
God starts in the womb, fearfully and wonderfully forming each person in His image and provides a plan that makes it possible to fulfill the chief end for each person to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. God graciously writes/provides the works of the law on the heart to help begin to push the conscience to seek deliverance.
Throughout life God will then graciously confront/provide each person a few times with truth from things like creation or gospel so that each time man must freely decide to trust or deny. (Job 33:14-30, John 1:9, Acts 17:26-27, Rom 1:19, 2:4, 10:18)
Nice post Brian!
Well – when Dr. Flowers says – Provisionism means whatever God requires of mankind – he makes provision for mankind to have – I heartily agree. That has always been my understanding of the Loving-Kindness of God.
As song I have loved for many years:
There were times, I know it, my feet were nigh slipping.
And only by grace did I stand.
And the load I carried, I knelt down below it.
But I did not let go of His hand.
He made streams in the desert, a way in the wilderness.
The waters He parted and there was dry land.
He made streams in the desert, a way in the wilderness.
Because I held to His hand.
Now the tempter untiring, drew grand conclusions of oh what a poor fool I am.
But through waves of worry and clouds of confusion – still I did not let go of His hand.
He made streams in the desert, a way in the wilderness.
The waters He parted and there was dry land.
He made streams in the desert, a way in the wilderness.
Because I held to His hand.
And so my brethren, commit to His keeping, your lives for Him to plan.
For though trials be grievous there’s no shame in weeping.
Just don’t let go of His hand.
He makes streams in the desert
A way in the wilderness
The waters he parted
And there was dry land
He makes streams in the desert, a way in the wilderness.
Just don’t let go of his hand.
The Lord is wonderful!!! :-]