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306 thoughts on “Support

  1. I think it would be good if you could make subscribing easier to your website. I see nowhere to do so. thx.

    1. Hello Thomas and welcome.

      If you are referring to this website – it follows the typical “WordPress” environment – consistent with a “Blog” site.
      Since you’ve made a submission – I think you’ve successfully subscribed.


    2. How does one create a new post or comment on this site as opposed to a reply? Thanks.

      1. Hello wpeters123 and welcome.
        On any given article to the bottom of the page – and look for a post submission field.
        Then you won’t be replying to any specific post.

    3. I have been a donor for this past year in the 10.00 category. Where do I get the free download that you offer? Thank you! God bless your ministry. I think it’s really needed.

      1. Hello Karla,
        And we sincerely thank you!

        Let me pass your question on to SOT101 admin
        I’ll get back to you.


  2. Can someone guide me to the article that John Piper wrote that if he was a Christian for 25 years and then if he committed a murder, then he would have to doubt the fact that he was actually saved 25 years ago…or something to that extent. I heard Leighton address it somewhere but I am not sure which video and hence I am asking for your help

    1. Hi Bevin,
      I can’t point that exact article to you – perhaps someone else here is familiar with that article and can point it to you.
      However, I can tell you – the concept you are describing is pretty much consistent – as a general part of the Calvinist belief system.

      I can tell you this from personal experience. Years ago , I had a personal friend who got drawn into a Calvinist church and who was accused of committing a certain sin by the pastor of that church.

      If he lied and acknowledged the sin the pastor accused him of – then the pastor would declare that he was *REALLY* saved. And conversely, if he spoke the truth and did not acknowledge the sin the pastor accused him of – then as far as the pastor was concerned he was never a *REAL* believer.

      The pastor put him out of the church until he made up his mind. If he told a lie and agreed with the pastor he could return. If he told the truth he would be considered a false Christian and rejected by that congregation.

      It makes sense that Calvinists do this. They do not *REALLY* know if a person is saved or not. Calvin himself taught that the vast majority of the church is filled with people who are given a FALSE Salvation.

      John Calvin
      “He holds it [Salvation] out as a savor of death, and as the occasion for severer condemnation”
      ” he illumines them only for a time to partake of it”
      “and strikes them with even greater blindness”

      Because of this – Calvinists tend to watch each others behavior – like one reads tea-leafs.
      If they see certain patterns in a fellow believer’s behavior – they may assume that person was given a FALSE salvation.

  3. Has Dr Leighton Flowers addressed the concept of whether God is atemporal (eternal present) as Augustine believed or that time (logical sequence) is part of God’s existence? How does this impact Soteriology?

    Dr. Richard Holland’s book argues that the incarnation creates problems for Augustine’s perspective and that the early church fathers before Augustine disagreed.

    I suspect an atemporal being would be distant and impersonal to a creature that experiences logical sequences (aka time).

    1. Hello Philip and welcome

      Dr. Flowers – due to a heavy schedule – normally doesn’t have the time to interact with posters here.
      But you may find him on Facebook – if you are a FB user.

      I personally haven’t heard him speak about that aspect of Augustinian thinking.
      It sounds like it might be a topic Open Theism advocates might very well be interested in.

      br,d :-]

  4. Hello Dr.I was at work and unable to watch live discussion ,I did watch later however.The question about works and faith was answered a little out of context. Paul is speaking to the Grecian Jews and gentiles in Romans and when he says it is not according to works he is more specifically referring to circumcision,as he mentions that it is not as if God’s promise has failed. Paul also emphasized that Abraham (believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness(faith is belief not a work).Works does however refer to the law in its totality but in Paul’s letter the former proselytizing of people into Judaism was culminated with circumcision. No flesh will glory in my sight is problaby illustrating this as well. Great show!!!

      1. I must admit the debate or war between Dr Flowers and J White has had some positive effects on discovering answers to poor exegesis of scriptures however I can’t help but wonder if Dr Flowers is being lead out to sea by Dr White. The more than argumentative calvinist has obviously rejected Dr Flowers view of salvation and continued confrontation seems to be more heated and unproductive everytime they clash. Get Him away from this puppet before this philosophical shark gets him to far from land.

      2. Hello Mike and welcome.

        Personally, I was struck with the large numbers of youtube comments under one of the last videos
        And how accurately those commenters recognize Calvinism’s world of double-speak talking-points.
        Those videos – even though Dr. Flowers suffers through them – are having an educating effect.

  5. I’m wondering where your christian values are? And so far I don’t see any. Don’t buy Calvinism, no problem, not the case with you folks… no your only Christ filled mission in life is to rant about Calvinism rather than to extend the church of Christ. If you spent 1/1000 of the time evangelizing just think of what you may accomplish.
    Your theology is in the tank from my perspective but I’m only interested in the Gospel. So let the wind blow your hair where it may. Do you love Christ? Do you honor the Father? Are you filled with the Holy Spirit?
    I don’t see any of that in your continuous rant about Calvinism!! Instead of ranting give someone like MacArthur a call have a televised debate shake hands and go your way.
    I could personally give you a lot of facts why Calvinism is right, but if the truth be known you’re really not interested in the truth. Nor am I interested in bending your ear trying to persuade you that you may be wrong…….it’s not important. All the people I witness to have never heard me preach Calvinism. As Paul said I want to learn nothing among men except Christ and Him crucified.

    Best of luck with your ranting?
    Dave Smith

    1. YES!!!! Thank you for saying exactly what I’ve been thinking. This whole web site is NOT “FOR GOD” instead almost every page is “AGAINST CALVINISM”. Didn’t Jesus tell us something like….Go into the world and preach the gospel and make disciples of men? The more I listen to Leighton Flowers…the more I believe Calvinism.

      1. Hello Sara and welcome.

        Something interesting to think about:
        IF Calvinism is true –
        Then “Whatsoever comes to pass” here at SOT101 was decreed to infallibly come to pass.

        So Calvin’s god decreeing “NOT FOR GOD” come to pass – is reason for further believing Calvin’s god?


      2. Sara,

        Since you say that this web site is not for God, then conclude that you believe in calvinism, then your statement is an oxymoron.

        In other words, if it’s not, then it is, hence calvinism, and hence, calvinism makes no sense at all.

        Ed Chapman

      3. Sara, “Go into the world and preach the gospel and make disciples of men?”

        What if Dr. Flowers argues against Calvinism because he believes is violates and harms that principle? What if Dr. Flower’s professional life is dedicated to evangelism as the Director of Apologetics and Evangelism for Texas Baptists? Will you take his viewpoint seriously, then?

    2. You’re concerned about the Gospel? I wonder if your almighty idol has a ‘gospel’. Do you know that the Gospel is called Good News?

      1. Hello Mainframe Supertasker and welcome.

        I didn’t respond to Dave Smith’s emotional post – and perhaps I should have.
        It is true – the content we focus on here often shines a spotlight on logical conclusions about Calvinism which a Calvinist may not like.
        I probably didn’t respond to Dave Smith’s post because it didn’t rise to the point of being demonstrably aggressive.

  6. I purchased the tip toe through Tulip and now I can’t get back to the download page to continue the course. please help

    1. Hey Jeremy, when you purchased it you received an email with the download links in it as well. Check your spam folder for that email if it isn’t in your inbox.

      If you need me to resend it please email me at the address given on the store page. Thanks!

  7. Hi. Just wondering if Dr. Flowers has plans on addressing 1 Samuel 16:14 at some point? If not it might be a good topic of conversation. Blessings, Cal

    1. Hello Calvin Smith and welcome.
      Dr. Flowers, due to high demands has not had the liberty of interacting with participants and thus questions here.
      But if you are a FaceBook user – you may readily find him there.

  8. Good morning!

    If one uses Zelle to become a supporter, does that qualify for the free download? Can Soteriology 101 send a tax receipt for these types of donations?

    I have been sending a monthly donation via Zelle (Navy Federal Credit Union) since October 2019, and want to make sure you are receiving the donation.

    Thanks for the help!


  9. I would like to quote Dr. Flowers and his book, “The Potters Promise”. I see that it was published by Trinity Academic Press but I can’t find a city and state. Where is the publisher located? Thanks.

      1. It’s for an academic paper. So yes, I need that level of detail.

  10. Something interesting from Keller about what sends people to Hell…their choices. (53:00 mark)
    See youtube: Questioning Christianity – Why we can Believe in Jesus

    1. Thank you John!
      You do know however – in Calvinism – people are not the true determiners of their choices.
      In Calvinism whatsoever comes to pass – including human perceptions of reality, human thoughts, human choices, human desires etc – are all determined *FOR* each person by Calvin’s god.

      So like a self-driving car comes to a 4-way stop and makes a choice to turn left in order to get on the highway – in Calvinism is works the same way. The program determines the choice the self-driving car will make. And Calvin’s god likewise determines the desires and choices every person will have.

      And Calvin’s god designs/programs the vast majority of his creatures for eternal torment.

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

  11. Greetings, Leighton!
    I appreciate what you do on your channel, that is to spread the word of God’s love for all people. I noticed your Youtube channel is a Brave verified Creator. Yet I have not seen you in any way ask for donations though Brave. Since you are a Youtube Creator verified with Brave, you can accept donations from Brave users like me.(Brave is a wonderful web browser) I earn around $5.00 every month from watching ads from Brave. You do not have to include this in one of your videos, but just put it in the “gifts” links for donations in the support page. Basically, people would click that BAT triangle in the search bar and would be able to tip you in no time. Some of us kids do not have permissions of using real money, but with Brave, crypto money is possible. I have a heart of supporting your ministry. God kept you humble for so long! It would take a great deal for me to deal with those other theologians who worship Calvin’s idol.
    This site is not a Brave verified Creator yet. You can link your website too in where you linked your Youtube channel along with it.
    For all this, i assume you know that your Youtube channel is linked to by your knowledge. If it is not, then it may be of some concern for you.
    Please affirm that you’re the one owning your Youtube channel on
    I am a new Creation in Christ, I was saved almost exactly a year ago. : and thankfully was not introduced to Calvinism soon.
    May the LORD bless you and your ministry –

    1. Hello Mainframe Supertasker

      Dr. Flowers, due to scheduling conflicts does not appear here at SOT101 very often.
      You may however find him at Facebook.
      We will make sure your comment here about gift/donations etc is passed on to him.
      Sincere thanks

  12. Hi everyone. It would be a good idea to read on Danielism, the synergistic position that reconciles the Sovereignty of God to man’s free will more than convincingly – never heard before. Get this concise account today by visiting – look for Calvinism, Arminianism, Danileism – The Third Position.

    1. Hello David Daniels and welcome

      Although I’ve not heard of Danileism – it would have to be the 5th position rather than the 3rd :-]

    1. Hello Roy,
      Can you give a little more info on what the podcast would be about?


  13. Hi. I love your podcast and listen regularly. I really looked forward to the app, but it just crashes on any and every iPhone and iPad I have installed it on. Each is running the latest iOS and range in age from 5 years old to 3 months old. I have no problems with any other app on any of these devices

    1. Hello Robert and welcome.
      I’m sorry to hear the app crashes on your device!
      Perhaps there are compatibility information provided with the app that may provide an answer as to why.
      I’ll convey your issue to Dr. Flowers – and thank you for trying and submitting your report.


  14. I just have to say I’m so thankful for this ministry. I’ve read The Potter’s Promise once and about to start again. I struggled with the teachings of Calvinism for years, but I didn’t know how to refute them. The book and website has given me great clarity. Please keep doing what you do Dr Flowers and God bless!

    1. Thank you so very much Denver – for your wonderful testimony – and your very kind remarks.
      I will be happy to pass these on to Dr. Flowers!


  15. Can you recommend a commentary on Ephesians that is not from the Calvinistic approach?

    1. Hello Larry and welcome.
      Anything by Gordon Fee, and/or N.T. Wright are going to be free of Calvinist presuppositions.
      You may also want to look at “Studies in Ephesians: 25 Lessons for Group – by Jack Cottrell ”

      BTW: Commentaries by their very nature have a tendency to be more opinion than not.
      The ultra Reformed commentaries of John Gill for example – where he comes across one verse after another – and blatantly argues it can’t possibly mean what it clearly says – because God forbid anything contradict his sacred Calvinist hypnosis.

      1. Thank you for your information about the commentators Gordon Fee and N T Wright. I could not fine any Ephesians commentaries by those two authors but I will be ordering the other recommendation you made about the 27 lesson study.

        Is there a forum on this site to ask theological questions about any topic? I have a question about Ephesians 1:1-14 and the pronouns that Paul uses.

      2. Hi Larry… Here’s my view. Eph 1, 4

        Determinists have always tried to read too much into that verse that Paul wrote in a context about blessings we now have, now that we are in Christ. Some of those blessings were given to Him (the only Elect one) before creation, to be shared with all who would later be joined to Him and become one of the elect in Him.

        The pronoun “us” is being used in a general reference, anachronistic sense, like me saying – “We chased the Native Americans before the Revolution so that they would live west of the Appalachian Mtn range.”

        Another similar example would be the Levites in David’s day who were chosen to carry the ark. David said, as recorded in 1Chr 15:2 – “No one but the Levites may carry the ark of God, because the Lord chose them to carry the ark of the Lord and to minister before him forever.”

        Any Levite that day could have said to another Levite – “God chose us in Aaron, before Israel entered the promised land, to carry the ark of the Lord and to minister before him forever.” Of course, he would not have had the ridiculous thought that God had his name written down in a book during Aaron’s time, along with the names of all future Levites. He would not think that he individually or physically would be ministering before the Lord forever in this special task as a priest. He would just be using the “us” as a pronoun of reference with a corporate connection because of the promise made to Aaron, and because of his being added into Aaron’s lineage by physical birth.

        We say, with Paul, we have the same privileges granted to the Son of God before creation that go to any in His lineage, since we are now joined to Him by spiritual birth through our personal faith. We now have the blessing to stand holy and blameless before God as one of God’s chosen in the Chosen One – Christ.

        Questions to ask a determinist:
        When God supposedly “chose” you before creation, were you unchosen at some point and then chosen? What did God see when He supposedly chose you… just your name, your life up to the point where He decided He wanted to get involved noticeably to you, your whole life forever and all His involvement in it already? What did “you” mean when He chose “you” back then before you existed? Trying to answer these questions will hopefully help them see they are being dogmatic about a premise – determinism – that Paul wasn’t even trying to teach about in this passage, and which is illogical when using the words “chose… before the foundation of the world” if no actual choice was made.

      3. Thank you for those thoughts they were helpful. John Phillips in his commentary on Ephesians says that because God is infinite, He is beyond time so when the scripture says “before the foundation of the world” that is for our understanding. To God all time is present. What do you think?

        I’ve also read that the verses 1-14 is one sentence in the greek. (but if greek doesn’t have punctuation how are sentences determined.I don’t know greek.). In verse 12 Paul seems to have the “we” refer to the Jewish Christians and the you to the Gentile. If this is one sentence and if Paul is carrying the same thought throughout, would the us and we in verse 4 also be referring to the Jewish Christians?

      4. Larry… Here’s my view. 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 consists of 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?

        The premise that reality is both 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, than the sequential one, and a competing reality would be contradictory to the word “reality” anyway.

        His foreknowledge is dynamic therefore, each time He makes a decision His knowing goes from “will happen” to “has happened”. It is not static. His understanding is infinite (Ps 147:5). He knows all the possibilities that still exist to decide upon, to cause one or permit another, and He knows all things that are already determined by Him that limit those possibilities.

        Some like the illustration of God as in a blimp watching the full parade below. But for a sight from 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 to see or as a finished story 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 existed before creation and were sequential (with 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 a non-sequential reality? This philosophical reasoning would be a perspective that also makes man’s normal perspective in Scripture actually faulty, for Scripture reveals the future as not yet existing, but in these scholars’ “reality” it is already existing as completed (forever). But God’s reality as revealed in Scripture is the only true one.

      5. Wonderfully stated Brian!

        I would also like to point out the ALTERED REALITY that a believer unwittingly is forced to embrace in the process of embracing Calvinism with its underlying core “Theological Determinism”.

        Of course we know – that Calvinism has its own vernacular.
        It does not use the term “Sequential” to describe events – but rather uses the phrase “Whatsoever comes to pass”.

        Now the core and SACRED PROPOSITION of Calvinism – is that a THEOS – before making creation (i.e. the Solar system, sun, moon, earth, atomic particles, man, animals etc) determined “Whatsoever will come to pass” in the course of time – with all created things.

        But a critical aspect of that determination is that this THEOS makes “Whatsoever comes to pass” do so INFALLIBLY

        For example, take the rotation of the earth 360 degrees every 24 hours.
        This means that the earth is rotating .004 degrees per second.
        Now according the Calvin’s doctrine, the earths every micro-movement occurs INFALLIBLY

        But the earth is a natural entity.
        And nature is a FALLIBLE entity.
        Nature does not have the ability to do something INFALLIBLY

        So in Calvinism – the earth is not just moving all by itself – or by laws of physics – but rather the earth is BEING MOVED by a THEOS who makes the earths movement occur INFALLIBLY

        And how does that apply to you?
        How does that apply to Adam in the garden?

        Every neurological impulse that will come to pass within Adam’s brain – represents an electro-neurological movement.
        And in Calvinism those electro-neurological movements in Adam’s brain don’t just come to pass all by themselves, because they come to pass INFALLIBLY

        Adam does not have any ability to make something occur INFALLIBLY
        So they are not movements that Adam has any control over.

        So what the Calvinist ends up with (per the underlying doctrine) is that he has absolutely no control over anything that comes to pass with his mind or with his body.

        Every neurological impulse that comes to pass within his brain – was decreed to do so – and occurs INFALLIBLY

        And Adam (i.e. mankind) as a natural entity – does not have the power to resist or alter anything that is established as INFALLIBLE

        The bottom line in Calvinism then – man is not in control of any of his mental or physical functions.
        And every perception which comes to pass within his brain WAS 100% determined by an external mind (i.e. THEOS).
        He does not know what reality is.
        He only knows what perceptions were decreed to INFALLIBLY come to pass within his mind.

        How then does the Calvinist live a life of cognitive normalcy?

        John Calvin understood this dilemma and he gave instructions:
        “Go about your office *AS-IF* nothing is determined in any part”

        So in Calvinism you have a sacred core proposition – that all things are determined in every part.
        And for the Calvinist, that proposition is the MOST SACRED proposition taught by scripture.

        And yet he is forced to go about his life *AS-IF* the MOST SACRED proposition taught by scripture is FALSE.
        And that is why we find that Calvinism forces the believer in to a state of DOUBLE-MINDEDNESS

      6. One of the ways the Greek language differs from English is in word order.
        In English you may say: “Sally gave the Bible to Bill”
        So you understand who gave the Bible to who – by the word order in that sentence.

        While in the Greek language the word order could be swapped around.
        So the way the Greeks distinguished who gave the Bible to who – is by adding textual indicators – (like a suffix) at the ending of certain words.

        There are complete sentences in the Greek language.
        But you are correct, they did not end a sentence with a special mark (the period) like we do in English.
        But once you learn the grammatical rules – then you understand the sentence.

      7. Larry – you may also be interested in checking out Brian Abasciano comments on Ephesians.
        I think you can google for them.
        He doesn’t have an official commentary on Ephesians – but he’s a well regarded scholar in inter-textual analysis of the Greek.

        Also, take a look at Beyond the Fundamentals – with Kevin Thompson
        I believe he has 2 or 3 youtube videos on Ephesians you might find informative.

      8. I just received the book by Jack Cottrell “Studies in Ephesians”. As I was looking at the book I came across this statement on page 200, it is on Ephesians 4:1-6. Dr. Cottrell states, “The church and its leaders should believe and teach that baptism is indeed a salvation event, i.e., that in the moment of the immersion, God is performing the saving actions that He promised to perform: 1) to justify the person being baptized by forgiving all of his or her sins and cancelling all condemnation, and 2) to bestow. upon that person the gift of the indwelling and sanctifying Holy Spirit.

        I’ve always been taught and believe that baptism is a sign and a step in obedience that happens after salvation. What are your thoughts?

      9. Yes, that is a typical issue here and there in the church
        With different people holding varied degrees of insistence upon it – and some none at all.

        Some believers hold that Baptism is simply the outward manifestation of an inward work of the Lord – just like repentance from sin is.
        In other words, the Holy Spirit convicts a person of a given sin and that person repents and changes.
        And thus we have – the sanctification process – in general terms.

        Similarly, the Holy Spirit impresses upon a believer, the beauty of going through the process of water baptism – and the believer desires to do that to show his love and commitment to Jesus – and as a way to please him. Just as Jesus said to John the baptist “suffer it to be so now – so that I might fulfill all righteousness”. In other words, Jesus didn’t really need to be baptized in order to be 100% Jesus.
        He did it because it was recognized as a sign of commitment and love for the father.

        Other people get really fussy about water baptism, and some insist one is not really born again without it.
        But I generally think that is a minority view. And more often seen as a sign of imbalance and/or an obsession.

        Many years ago, I knew a believer who taught people that they should strive to experience REAL tongues of fire.
        In other words, we should strive to have literal tongues of fire hovering over our heads.
        And if we don’t get to that place of spirituality – then we are really not fully mature believers.
        But you can see that is an obsession and extremely unique.

        So IMHO, insisting that one is not born-again until after they dip in water, or get up in front of a congregation and recite prepared words, In my view is simply an obsession.

        But that’s just my position on the subject.
        And others may differ. :-]

      10. Welcome Larry! Here are some thoughts of mine you may want to consider.

        Believer’s Baptism the norm of Christianity

        First… the “Church” is something Jesus is building and has members joined spiritually to Him as one body through faith.

        Second… baptism as necessary after a profession of faith is taught in all Christian denominations for converts from outside Christendom.

        Third… immersion was the main mode of baptism practiced in all of Christendom until the 12th century.

        Fourth… infant baptism is not clearly taught anywhere in the NT, or in the first 300 years of Christianity as a common practice of many.

        Fifth… Peter is clear that baptism does not cleanse but is an answer of a conscience that is already “good” before God (1Pet 3:21).

        Sixth… Jesus commanded that disciples be made and then baptized as part of His great commission. When He said “baptizing them” He meant there has to be a “them” already made disciples that are to be the recipients of the baptism (Matt 28:19).

        Seventh… 1 Corinthians 1:17 NKJV — For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.

        Paul’s words in 1Cor 1:17 are key to show baptism is not part of the gospel! Also he said in 1Cor 4:15 that regeneration to those in Corinth was brought about through his preaching of the gospel… he baptized very few there.

        I also have found that the example of Cornelius’ conversion is the best to show a person who believes that baptism is necessary for salvation. Cornelius received the Spirit (10:47) and was baptized by the Spirit into the body of Christ (11:15-16) and had his heart purified by faith (15:7-9) all *before* he received water baptism (10:48).

  16. Dr Flowers, love the channel and videos on YouTube. Would you be willing to a video review of Gordon C Olson’s book “Getting the Gospel Right: A Balanced View of Salvation Truth”?


    1. Thank you Gary for you very kind words.
      Dr. Flowers – due to a busy schedule – is not able to participate here very much.
      But I will pass your kind comment and your request on to him.

      Sincere thanks

  17. Hello! I’d like to support Soteriology101, but when I click the link for monthly support, it takes me to Patreon but never loads the page for me. Help!

    1. Thank you Vicky – for letting us know.
      I will pass this on to SOT101 Admin – and get back to you.
      Someone will email you directly with an answer.


  18. Question for Dr. Flowers: If God chooses rulers by his own will (Daniel 2:21), how can a country democratically elect presidents, senators, etc using Libertarian Free Will? More specifically, how can a true democracy be a thing if Daniel 2:21 is true? Ps, I realize most “democracies” are actually republics, my question is more philosophical than realistic.

    1. Hello Ajay and welcome.

      Dr. Flowers – due to his schedule – if very infrequently here.
      You may more readily find him on face-book.

      However, on your question – if you don’t mind me answering
      You’ve posed a good question – that has to do with the general idea of man’s free will and how it can be understood to exist under the authority of God.

      There are two primary schools of thought on this.

      I remember Dr. Flowers using the analogy of a chess player.
      In the Calvinist line of thinking – God is the only player – and the chess pieces are humans.
      He moves them from one place to another on the board
      And he treats them *AS-IF* they were the author of their choices – instead of himself.

      The non-Calvinist position is that God (for the most part) allows man to be the other player.
      And he allows man to be the author of his own choices.
      But God is in control of all circumstances – and people make choices according to their nature.
      And God, with his perfect intimate knowledge of each person’s nature – can maintain a form of control that does not reduce human functionality to that of a robot.

      When it comes to rulers – you will also notice a pattern in scripture.
      God judges a country and its people not only by the choices they make – but by the ruler’s choices they submit to.
      For example – God was going to destroy Ninevah – and warned them in advance.
      But the ruler of Ninevah instructed all the people to repent – and God forgave.

      On the Calvinist view – you have God making the people and the ruler of Ninevah do evil things.
      And then treating them *AS-IF* if they were the authors of the choices – me made them choose.

      On the non-Calvinist view – you have God allowing the people of Ninevah to be the authors of their choices.
      And holding them accountable for the choices they authored.

      Hope that makes sense.


    2. Daniel 2:21 does not state “God chooses ALL rulers”. He might intervene to have a certain ruler put in place to accomplish a particular plan but we should be careful not take the verse beyond what it states. If all rulers are put in place by God’s decrees as Calvinist teach, the consistent Calvinist observing a horribly wicked candidate who is vastly leading in the polls and reason it would be best to align with God’s will by voting for and supporting him. This thinking is broken!

      1. Hello Larry and welcome.

        I liked your analogy!
        One Calvinist would manufacture a reason to vote for the evil candidate and claim he was simply following scripture.
        Another Calvinist would manufacture a reason to vote against the evil candidate and claim he was simply following scripture.

        Then they would both boast themselves super Christians because their follow the super apostle John Calvin! :-]

  19. I’m trying to defend scriptures from my hard core Calvinist husband. I try talking to him and tell him that scriptures don’t contradict itself. But today I came upon 2 passages that have me worried that he will use this as a defense for Calvinism.
    How can I make sense of these two passages? They seem to contradict each other but I don’t believe that there are contradictions in scriptures but rather my understanding of them.

    Acts 9:7 – And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.

    Acts 22:9 – And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.

    1. Hello Regina,
      Are you familiar with the testimony of Lee Strobel and his work – The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus? Strobel was an avowed atheist, who was convinced that God, and the resurrection of Jesus was a man-made myth. And he set out to prove it. One of the weaknesses he initially thought would help him do that, was looking for scriptures which appear to contradict each other. Such is the case you have as your example. What he discovered is that such cases are technically not contradictions – they are rather differences in the testimony of an event from different people’s points of view. These are very common with investigations of crimes for example. You can have two people in the same room, give slightly different testimonies, because that is how each individual remembers the event.

      Technically, a contradiction is with logic. And in the case of Calvinism – many of its contradictions have to do with a proposition being treated as TRUE one minute and FALSE the next.

      The concept of divine permission is for example very problematic for Calvinists.
      John Calvin – following Augustine – rejects the standard definition of “PERMISSION” as it is commonly understood within language to mean to allow something with acquiescence or passive assent. So for example, a private in the army asks “permission to speak freely sir” to his commanding officer. And the commanding officer grants permission. In that form of permission the commanding officer does not DETERMINE the words the private will say. He “permits” or “allows” the private to be the DETERMINER of his own words. And John Calvin adamantly rejects any idea of acquiescence or passive assent – in regard to god. Calvin’s god – in that circumstance would not only grant the private permission to speak – but he would also determine what words the private would say.

      Divine permission in Calvinism takes the following logical form:
      – What is CAUSED is permitted
      – What is NOT-CAUSED is not permitted

      Consequently, Calvinists have two radically different definitions for the term “permission”. And they use the word “permission” as a replacement word for CAUSE. When they say “I don’t know why god permits evil” what they mean is “I don’t know why god CAUSES evil”.

      So John Calvin had a way of distinguishing the common understanding of permission.
      He called it “INACTIVE” permission, or “BARE” permission, or “MERE” permission.
      These for John Calvin are his way of distinguishing the common understanding of permission.
      And he calls the idea of this form of permission in regard to god – revolting and absurd.

      However this becomes a serious problem for the Calvinist because he doesn’t want to say his god is the CAUSE of every evil.
      So he will say that god “permits” or “allows” evil.
      But every time he does – he is in contradiction – because he is asserting “MERE” permission which doesn’t exist in Calvinism.

      So “MERE” permission is something that is TRUE for the Calvinist one minute and FALSE the next.
      And when you have something that is TRUE one minute and FALSE the next – you have a clear contradiction.

      Now that you understand that its gets even more radical:
      You ask a Calvinist if Calvin’s god “MERELY” permits his mind to determine TRUE from FALSE on any matter?

      He wants to say yes. But when he does – he is both contradicting and denying his own doctrine.
      To acknowledge that according to his doctrine – god does not permit his mind to determine TRUE from FALSE is extremely radical!
      It is so radical – he doesn’t even want to consider it!

      But take a look at the logical formula I presented above – and think again about the private and the commanding officer again.
      The commanding officer only permits the private to speak words – which the commanding officer CAUSES the private to speak.

      Now take that example and extrapolate it to the question of whether Calvin’s god permits the Calvinist brain to determine TRUE from FALSE.
      “MERE” permission does not exist in Calvinism.
      So Calvin’s god does not “MERELY” permit the Calvinist brain to determine TRUE from FALSE.
      Instead Calvin’s god CAUSES the Calvinist brain to PERCEIVE something as TRUE or to PERCEIVE something as FALSE.

      So we have the following possibilities:
      1) Calvin’s god determines the Calvinist brain to perceive something as TRUE which Calvin’s god knows is FALSE
      2) Calvin’s god determines the Calvinist brain to perceive something as FALSE which Calvin’s god knows is TRUE
      3) Calvin’s god determines the Calvinist brain to perceive something as TRUE which Calvin’s god knows is TRUE
      4) Calvin’s god determines the Calvinist brain to perceive something as FALSE which the Calvin’s god knows is FALSE

      You can see from (1-4) above that the Calvinist has a 50% chance of having a FALSE perception of something.
      It turns out – according to his doctrine – a Calvinist goes through his day having thousands of FALSE perceptions.
      Every time he perceives himself as the determiner of his own choices – he is having FALSE perception.
      Every time he perceives himself as having multiple options from which to choose – he is having a FALSE perception.
      And according to his doctrine – whatsoever comes to pass – does so by infallible decree.
      So a Calvinist is a person whose god decrees him to live out a life of infallibly decreed FALSE perceptions.
      That is how RADICAL Calvinism really is!!!
      And most Calvinists find it so very RADICAL – they won’t allow themselves to think about it.
      And that is why Calvinists avoid logical thinking.

      I hope I explained that – so it makes sense!

    2. Hi Regina, if you Google this question – “What did those with Saul hear?” – you’ll find the answer why this is not a contradiction … For example,

      If you are talking about why God allowed the men to hear sounds but not the words only Saul heard. It was because God was making a special call, not just to draw Saul to a salvation decision but to be an apostle. Saul heard the words, but that doesn’t mean he immediately understood them or was irresistibly drawn to obey them.

      He said himself that he had made the decision to obey what he heard in the vision. Acts 26:19 NKJV — “Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision,”

      But God does sufficiently call each person to seek Him and His salvation. He does it a few times in each person’s life. They are responsible to freely obey that call. Consider this…

      Heb 3, 7-8

      The warning is given, “Today if you hear His voice, harden not your heart.” Heb 3:7-8

      This warning passage in Hebrews makes no sense if Calvinism is applied to it. The Calvinist “elect” cannot harden once they hear, and the warning would be deceitful for they will never be lost. The Calvinist “reprobate” cannot hear and the warning would again be deceitful for it suggests there is hope for them if they repent, which they cannot do.

      But there is also a warning of judicial hardening for rejecting to believe His voice – Consider – 2Th 2:9-12 NKJV – The coming of the [lawless one] is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

      And – Pro 29:1 NKJV – He who is often rebuked, [and] hardens [his] neck, Will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.

      No-one is born reprobate. All are given a call to seek that they can understand and respond positively to. There is no excuse.

  20. I’ve seen others inquiring about the free download of the the TULIP course for Patreons but didn’t see an answer. Is this where I can find out?

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