Can you “cause” someone to love you “freely?”

Below is an article from one of our Arminian friends who makes a robust case against the Calvinist’s claim of irresistible grace not violating human freedom and responsibility.  Enjoy!

(to see the entire article CLICK HERE)

 

Arminian Perspectives

Below is a recent response to a Calvinist in a discussion forum which addresses the oft repeated Calvinist claim that while God works in the elect irresistibly, the elect still freely come to Christ in such a way that their free will is not violated. In other words, Calvinists often say that it is a misrepresentation of Calvinism to suggest that God saves people “against their will”, while it seems that their theological claims cannot actually avoid that logical conclusion.  This is a part of a conversation I recently had with a Calvinist that made this claim:

Calvinist: “My wife made me willing to love her the first time I saw her. She was so appealing to me I knew that I had to have her. That is what the Lord does to His people. He makes us willing by showing us our desperate need of Him and then the…

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42 thoughts on “Can you “cause” someone to love you “freely?”

  1. “Below is a recent response to a Calvinist in a discussion forum which addresses the oft repeated Calvinist claim that while God works in the elect irresistibly, the elect still freely come to Christ in such a way that their free will is not violated. ”

    Nothing like picking on a Calvinist who is probably a newbie. There are two aspects to the Calvinist claim of “irresistible grace.” First is that God changes a person’s situation and second, the appeal of Christ.

    So what does God do “irresistibly” in the sinner?

    1. Ephesians 2 tells us, “because of his great love for us, God…made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions…” So, God takes dead people and gives them life.

    2. Colossians 1 tells us, “God has rescued us from the dominion of darkness.” So, God rescues the unsaved from the dominion of darkness.

    3. 2 Corinthians 4 tells us, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ…” So, God takes blind people and enables them to see.

    4. Ephesians 2 tells us, “it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” So, God graciously conveys faith to the unsaved.

    5 John 6 tells us, “No-one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.” So, God draws the sinner to Christ

    How does God irresistibly affect a sinner – (1) God gives life to a dead sinner, (2) God removes the sinner from an ugly situation, (3) God enables the blind sinner to see, (4) God gives the sinner faith, (5) God draws the sinner to Christ. Now the sinner, having been affected by God in ways unknown to him, is prepared to receive the gospel.

    Do we need to rehearse the reasons why Christ would be irresistible to people so affected by God?

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    1. How does God irresistibly affect a sinner – (1) God gives life to a dead sinner, (2) God removes the sinner from an ugly situation, (3) God enables the blind sinner to see, (4) God gives the sinner faith, (5) God draws the sinner to Christ. Now the sinner, having been affected by God in ways unknown to him, is prepared to receive the gospel.

      All of which only reinforces the analogy.

      Like

  2. What is a love potion?
    Why are there “white” witches and “black” witches who perform the same exact spells, working from the same exact source of power…..howbeit, one for “good” and one for “evil”?
    Why do we see a dualism of both good and evil in yin-yang and the occult?
    Are these things reflections of God, or are they simply reflections of the demonic?
    Since the dualism of good-evil, yin-yang, which we find in the occult, is a fundamental component of both Gnosticism and NeoPlatonism, how did this dualism find its way into Christian doctrine?

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    1. BR D.

      It has been argued by some that Augustine’s prior commitment to Gnosticism had later influenced his Christian Theology and that this new slant in Christian Theology would eventually become mainstream through Luther and Calvin. Some say this shift began (or became most prevalent) in his debates with the Pelagians- moving too far in the opposite direction (into determinism, despite that fact that Augustine had embraced LFW when he first converted to Christianity), while others suggest it began prior to Augustine’s involvement in the Pelagian controversy. For example:

      http://examiningcalvinism.blogspot.com/2009/10/augustine-manichaeism-and-good.html

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The article concludes, “It appears to be a theology that was born out of Augustine’s research of Gnosticism.”

        Then, again, maybe it is a theology that was born out of Augustine’s study of the Scriptures.

        Like

      2. Kangaroodort writes:
        “It has been argued by some that Augustine’s prior commitment to Gnosticism….”

        Yes, thanks Kangarrodort!
        I very much agree with you! Augustine has been pretty heavily scrutinized over the centuries. He certainly was a brilliant man.
        But it is commonly held in academia that his time-period was heavily saturated with Gnosticism. I have some collected notes I can post on the pervasiveness of Gnosticism and how it was assimilated into Catholicism, and how significantly wide-spread it was. There were Gnostic monasteries in numerous places, throughout Asia and Egypt. Also, that Plato was highly exonerated in the Catholic church during Augustine’s period is also well documented. Catholic thinkers even went so far as to call Plato the “Great Master” of the church.

        A number of scholars have traced the elements of Gnostic thought in Augustine’s conceptions of human depravity.
        And they also attribute NeoPlatonism as a lens through which he viewed God and the universe. Both Gnosticism and NeoPlatonism held in common, a dualistic (Yin-Yang) conception of the universe, in which good and evil are both necessary components of the “ONE”. The doctrines of Plotinus (NeoPlatonism) held that evil is beautiful, in that it is a manifestation of the glory of the “ONE”. Augustine’s confessions show in one place, a representation of a form of mystical meditation that was practiced by the NeoPlatonists.

        This good-evil, yin-gang, dualism is noted heavily in Augustine’s thought, and also attributed to Johnathon Edwards, on some of his conceptions of the necessity, and beauty of evil, and how he sees it as a manifestation of God’s glory by virtue of contrast. Something like “God’s brightness would not be so bright if it weren’t for the darkness of evil”. This conception essentially makes God dependent upon evil, in order to manifest his glory.

        One can see the characteristic “Yin-Yang”ness within Calvinism. For example, God predestines some to the light, and some to darkness. God designs some as vessels of honor and some as vessels of dishonor, some designed for glory, others designed for eternal torment. Jerry Walls notes that he often asks Calvinists: God could have easily created all humans to love and serve him…so why didn’t he? And they often answer, that God needs evil in order to manifest the fullness of his nature. In my view, that is the essence of the doctrine of yin-yang synchronized into Christian doctrine.
        Blessing my friend!!

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      3. br. d writes (quoting Olsen), “God could have easily created all humans to love and serve him…so why didn’t he?”

        The correct response is that the Scriptures do no answer that question.

        Like

  3. br.d asks, “…how did this dualism find its way into Christian doctrine?”

    Such is the nature of sinful humanity – seeking its own glory in that which it calls “good.”

    Like

    1. Hi amyrabatya,
      Are you referring to the picture of the pill being put into the drink?
      I’m not familiar with “roofies”??….sounds funny though. :-]

      Like

    1. kangaroodort writes:

      “So you agree that the analogy of the drugged woman is an accurate description of Calvinism’s irresistible grace (since you think Calvinism is scriptural). Good to know.”

      Hi kangaroodort,
      I’m not sure who your post was addressed to, but I hope you don’t mind a non-calvinist (me) answering on the drugged drink analogy?

      Personally, I think a hex, or spell, or love potion, much more accurately reflects the characteristics found in Calvinism’s conception of “irresistible” grace. Since the person is controlled, not by a tangible elixir, but by a spirit power. I think one would be hard pressed to find biblical examples of the Holy Spirit influencing a person in such a dramatic way as to make one passionately love today, what one utterly despised yesterday. But such a process of controlling a person is found indeed characteristic of occult…witchcraft…hexes, spells, incantations, etc….in which a person’s faculties are altered by a spirit power.

      Roger Olson, agrees that Calvinism’s conception of grace, represents the act of **LOADING** a biblical concept, with Theological Voluntarism, because Augustinian/Calvinism sees god through a Voluntaristic lens.

      Now on the issue of speaking half-truths, while carefully avoiding speaking the whole truth, certainly it can be said to be one of Calvinism’s pronounced character flaws. When one understands the logical implications that come with a doctrine that asserts, that all human neurological impulses are established as FAIT ACCOMPLI at the foundation of the world, millennia before the existence of any human, then one understands that conception entails every human neurological impulse as chosen by God. and it is not possible for a man to alter something that occurred (immutable decree) prior to that man’s existence. Therefore the man has no choice about what God has decreed his neurological impulses will be.

      One can ignore Ultimate Cause, while laying blame on proximate and secondary causes. But Vincent Cheung, in his honesty agrees that all proximate and secondary causes were also established as FAIT ACCOMPLI prior to the human race. And Cheung upbraids his Calvinist brethren for hiding behind them. So the truth is…all neurological impulses are “irresistible” and “monergistic” in Calvin’s system, which includes those neurological impulses that Adam and Eve had,prompting them to eat the forbidden fruit.

      I hold Vincent Cheung as one who holds to his Calvinism with integrity and honesty, and as a Christ honoring believer. Not trying to camouflage Calvin’s Voluntaristic conceptions from the public eye, for the sake of marketing strategies. Would that all Calvinists were as honest as he is!!

      Like

      1. BR.D,

        I was responding to Rhutchin’s comments above. If you scroll up you can see how that progressed. Unfortunately, there was no further “reply” button after his last comment, so I thought best to leave it at the bottom (which allowed for confusion).

        On the magic potion/spell idea, I actually mentioned that in the comments section of the post that Flowers links to (follow the link to see the comments) in response to someone who objected to the drugged woman analogy. You might want to read through that interaction.

        On Cheung, yes, I would say he is a consistent Calvinist in many ways unlike the more wishy washy inconsistent types. I think he is dead wrong, but admire his integrity in trying to fully embrace the unavoidable implications of Calvinism.

        Like

      2. kangaroodort writes, ” Unfortunately, there was no further “reply” button after his last comment,…’

        If you receive comments in your email, the email has a reply button that opens Sot 101 and generates a reply to that specific message. You just have to avoid confusion where others have already replied and I do that by quoting that section to which I am responding.

        Like

      3. br.d writes, “Now on the issue of speaking half-truths, while carefully avoiding speaking the whole truth, certainly it can be said to be one of Calvinism’s pronounced character flaws”

        How about providing examples of such things to see if they are things you just make up. If your ‘FAIT ACCOMPLI” serves as an example, then that just means you object to the Calvinist doctrines of the omniscience of God and sovereignty – which seems to be the two major arguments offered by non-Calvinist of integrity and honesty (like brianwagner).

        Like

      4. br.d writes, ” So the truth is…all neurological impulses are “irresistible” and “monergistic” in Calvin’s system, which includes those neurological impulses that Adam and Eve had, prompting them to eat the forbidden fruit.”

        Molinists would also be in this category. Only the Open Theists offer a rational opposition to this position. So, it again looks like you are solidly in the Open Theist camp.

        Like

  4. As well as reinforcing the Scriptural teaching on the depravity of the unsaved.

    So you agree that the analogy of the drugged woman is an accurate description of Calvinism’s irresistible grace (since you think Calvinism is scriptural). Good to know.

    Like

    1. I think it an accurate description of the unsaved person enslaved to sin – thereby requiring that God take action to save the person. God would do so by irresistibly removing the effect of the drugs. (akin to giving a dead person life, giving sight to the blind).

      Like

  5. The question: “God could have easily created all humans to love and serve him…so why didn’t he?” is posed by Jerry Walls. Not Roger Olson. I wouldn’t want Roger be misquoted. For any who haven’t see Dr. Wall’s presentation on Youtube, its excellent. Just look for the title: What’s Wrong With Calvinism – Understanding Calvinism. With Dr. Jerry L. Walls

    Dr. Walls also discusses the degree of equivocation he encounters within Calvinism, and laments its use of subtle rhetoric and lack of forthrightness. So if you haven’t seen it…..check it out! :-]

    Like

  6. Here is a question for the group.

    N.T. Wright, Alvin Plantinga, William lane Craig, Roger Olson, Jerry Walls, Peter van Inwagen and others, do not embrace the Augustinian/Calvin doctrine of Universal Divine Determinism, which posits that immutable decrees determine the FAIT ACCOMPLI of every neurological impulse that shall come to pass. Obviously….if they did, they would be Calvinists.

    Does that therefore make them….quote: “solidly in the Open Theist camp”?
    Thanks :-]

    Like

    1. br.d asks, “Does that therefore make them….quote: “solidly in the Open Theist camp”?”

      That would depend on their definition of omniscience. Do they hold that omniscience includes knowledge of “every neurological impulse that shall come to pass”? If they do, then it depends on their definition of sovereignty. If they do, they what is the problem?

      Like

      1. An Augustinian/Calvinist posts the following statement as rational to prove the Augustinian/Calvinist position on omniscience is the only logically coherent solution:

        “That would depend on their definition of omniscience. Do they hold that omniscience includes knowledge of “every neurological impulse that shall come to pass”? If they do, then it depends on their definition of sovereignty. If they do, they what is the problem?”

        Alvin Plantinga, William Lane Craig and Peter van Inwagan would say this statement can’t provide rationally coherent evidence for its assertion. The Augustinian/Calvinist doesn’t need logically coherent statements that conclusively defeat all other alternatives to Universal Divine Determinism, because they simply accept it by faith.
        Something like: [P therefore Q] Where P = Foreknowledge, and Q = Foreordination.

        Alternatives to the Augustinian/Calvinist assertion have existed for centuries. And believers, like Alvin Plantinga, William Lane Craig and Peter van Inwagen have found the Augustinian/Calvinist solution insufficient. What logically rational argument can the Augustinian/Calvinist provide, for them to **CONCLUSIVELY** show what the Augustinian/Calvinist asserts?

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      2. br.d writes, “Alternatives to the Augustinian/Calvinist assertion have existed for centuries. And believers, like Alvin Plantinga, William Lane Craig and Peter van Inwagen have found the Augustinian/Calvinist solution insufficient.”

        How about you explaining those alternatives, one at a time, and let’s sort out how they differ from Calvinism. Ground for good discussion there.

        Like

      3. “How about you explaining those alternatives, one at a time, and let’s sort out how they differ from Calvinism. Ground for good discussion there.”

        That was done sufficiently in the post where the history of this issue was summarized by an online encyclopedia article on this subject, and where Plantinga’s, and Craig’s positions were clearly stated. Clearly, N.T. Wright, Plantinga, Craig, Van inwagen, et-al, don’t find the Augustinian/Calvinist solution sufficient. And their positions have already been clearly stated.

        The assertions here at SOT101 have been consistently made: 1) omniscience proves the Augustinian/Calvinist position. 2) That that position is the most logically coherent position and that all others are in some way heretical. The case for that needs to be clearly explained, or else it fails to be sustainable.

        So the question is ….what evidence can the Augustinian/Calvinist provide to make that argument logically coherent and conclusive?
        What evidence does the Augustinian/Calvinist provide that proves, for example, how Plantinga’s or Craigs positions are invalid?
        Ground for good discussion.

        Like

      4. br.d writes, “That was done sufficiently in the post where the history of this issue…”

        Isn’t that the post where the cited arguments all ignored the issue of secondary causes?? How can you apply the adjective, “sufficiency,” to arguments that omit reference to a critical issue??

        Then, “The assertions here at SOT101 have been consistently made: 1) omniscience proves the Augustinian/Calvinist position. 2) That that position is the most logically coherent position and that all others are in some way heretical. The case for that needs to be clearly explained, or else it fails to be sustainable.”

        1. Omniscience. By omniscience, God knew the identities of those who would be saved and those who would be lost when He created the world. By omniscience, God knew every outcome that was to come about down to the wiggle of every atom. Omniscience makes every outcome in human activity from beginning to end absolutely certain (but not necessary, as Craig argues). Omniscience guarantees a fully deterministic world being created by God. The only sound argument against the Calvinist position is Open Theism and it succeeds because it denies that God is omniscience – specifically that God does not know all future outcomes. Until the non-Calvinist comes to gripe with the issue of omniscience – if they do not deny omniscience – he has no argument against Calvinism.

        2. Th second point is irrelevant. It does not support Calvinism and only argues that other theologies are in error – and a key argument in this is the issue of omniscience.

        Finally,

        “So the question is ….what evidence can the Augustinian/Calvinist provide to make that argument logically coherent and conclusive?”

        Omniscience.

        “What evidence does the Augustinian/Calvinist provide that proves, for example, how Plantinga’s or Craigs positions are invalid?”

        They fail to address the issue of secondary causes (at least in the summary provided).

        Like

      5. br.d writes, “Alvin Plantinga, William Lane Craig and Peter van Inwagan would say this statement can’t provide rationally coherent evidence for its assertion.”

        Can you expand on this and explain what these people say?

        Like

  7. Another good quote from Calvinist Vincent Cheung – representing what he believes is “coherent” Calvinism:

    Summary
    Here is the way to avoid nonsense:

    1. Affirm absolute divine determinism.
    2. Deny all human freedom.
    3. Base moral responsibility on God’s sovereign decree to judge mankind.
    4. Answer almost all related objections by doing the following:
    a. Affirm that God is just and righteous by definition.
    b. Deny the unjustified premise, “responsibility presupposes freedom.”

    There is no twisting and turning, no philosophical gymnastics, and no need to redefine this and qualify that.
    God is sovereign, man is not free – and there is no problem.
    This is biblical, coherent, simple, and defensible.

    Like

    1. Presumably, Cheung would be more specific and say:

      2. Deny all human freedom. Affirm that all people are slaves to sin.
      3. Base moral responsibility on mankind’s actions and God’s sovereign decree to judge mankind’s actions.
      b. Deny the unjustified premise, “responsibility presupposes freedom” and affirm the premise, “responsibility presupposes the ability to sin.”

      Like

      1. br.d quotes, Cheung to say, “So-called “second causes” are considered the means by which God executes his immutable decrees; however, these second causes are not themselves self-existent, self-determined, self-caused, or self-powered.”

        The issue here is whether secondary causes are “self-powered.” If not then God, or some other force/influence, would have to motivate the unsaved to do evil. If unsaved people are “self-powered,” as Calvinists (apparently with the exception of Cheung) maintain, then their sin-nature powers them to engage in sinful activities. I have not found where Cheung expands on the “self-powered” issue and explains how he came to the conclusion that unsaved humanity is largely impotent unable to initiate and pursue evil activities without being moved to do so by God. Calvinism holds that sinful humanity is self-powered and self-motivated to sin without encouragement from God, but that God exercises perfect control on those motivations and on that sin that any person is finally able to accomplish.

        We need Cheung here to help sort out his position on such things. Too many loose ends otherwise.

        Like

      2. Rutching writes: “We need Cheung here to help sort out his position on such things. Too many loose ends otherwise.”

        Of course, we wouldn’t anticipate that, since he has his own web-site where he lays out his position extensively.
        Which by the way, I find great reading!!

        He has apparently engaged with various Calvinists on his position quite soundly and outlines his position very clearly, in his web-pages.

        I really enjoy his adherence to clear logic!! He’s not a game player or a magical thinker. Seeks to be as honest, which is really nice!
        Sees himself as logically consistent, in contrast to some of his Calvinist brethren.

        Great reading from that perspective!!

        I highly recommend it for anyone who wants see more of the variances in Calvinist positions.

        Like

  8. Historical – appeal “omniscience” proves Augustinian/Calvinism:
    Notes from Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Theological Determinism), and Reasonable Faith, (William Lane Craig).

    Quote:
    “Theological Determinism is the view that God determines every event that occurs in the history of the world. ”

    Prominent historical figures…Augustine, Aquinas, John Calvin.

    Two arguments for:
    1) For a future event [E] to be known at some time [T] (say, “in the beginning”), [E] must be DETERMINED at or prior to [T]. Otherwise, there would be no truth about [E] to be known at [T].

    2) God cannot know a proposition unless it is true; and the proposition that some [E] will occur cannot be true at [T], unless [E] is DETERMINED at [T]; but then if God knows that [E] will occur, when nothing but God exists, it must be God Himself who ultimately DETERMINES every [E].

    This line of reasoning, then asserts, “omniscience” (to which foreknowledge is a subset), logically entails Universal Divine Determinism. And this view is often held in conjunction with Compatibilism, which seeks to allow for human moral culpability, as well as to escape the denial that the future is within man’s control, (which denial is an aspect of theological fatalism).

    Boethius’ answer:
    God exists outside of time altogether and knows all things from an eternal perspective such that the equivalency of foreknowledge and foreordination are not logically necessary.

    Molinism’s answer:
    Alvin Plantinga, in “God, Freedom & Evil” and “The Nature of Necessity”, argues that God can endow man with a counterfactual power over God’s past knowledge, infallibly allowing it to be the case that God knows what man will freely choose.

    William Lane Craig states: “In Theological Determinism, held by Jonathon Edwards for example, foreknowledge = foreordination. And man’s fall into sin was therefore predestined. But this view rests very uncomfortably with the idea that God is not the author of sin, and makes sin to be the result, not of Adam’s choice, but of God’s choice, which should make us all closely scrutinize such a doctrine. Others may equate God’s foreknowledge with necessity, by asserting the formula: (Necessarily), if God foreknows that [E] will happen, then [E] will happen (Necessarily). But this view is, in fact, Theological Fatalism. However, the Molinist can hold that God’s foreknowledge is chronologically prior to [E], with [E] being logically prior to God’s foreknowledge, making foreknowledge = foreordination logically unnecessary, and thus avoiding its implications of God being the author of sin. Therefore, in Molinism, God’s foreknowledge of future events does not make events fated to occur. So Molinism denies both the doctrine of Universal Divine Determinism, and the doctrine of necessity.

    Open Theism’s answer:
    God permits some future events to remain undetermined. This is not to be conflated with the idea that God is not omniscient. Rather, events are not true (or false) before those events occur; or, it is possible for there to be true propositions about undetermined events. Either way, open theists maintain that it is not a limitation on God not to know what He chooses to leave “open”. The Open Theist can say that God knows everything that is logically possible to know, but if God chooses to leave “open” future free acts of men, this is not any infringement upon God’s omniscience. And so, it in no way impinges God as a supremely perfect being.

    Since theologians and scholars, from Augustine forward, continue to debate over these conceptions, it should be obvious that these concerns will, in all probability, remain controversial. And in the end, people will embrace the conception, to which they have been influenced, or which seems most plausible or biblical to them.

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    1. br.d writes, “Notes from Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Theological Determinism), and Reasonable Faith, (William Lane Craig).”

      The Westminster Confession states regarding God’s eternal decree:

      I. God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.

      The key language here is, “…nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.”

      Notably, the above comments ignore discussion of secondary causes. The appeal to secondary causes distinguishes the active involvement of God to bring about a particular outcome against the passive restraint of a secondary cause to bring about a particular outcome. Examples:

      1. God restrains Satan such that Satan cannot enter the garden and then God loosens His restraint, so that Satan can enter the garden to destroy God’s creation. God is present in all that then occurs but has decreed that He will not intervene to protect Eve. Thus, Satan restrained by God but without encouragement by God tempts Eve.

      2. Joseph’s brothers, under the influence of Judah, purpose to kill Joseph. Judah is removed from the scene so as not to influence the brothers further and Midianite traders conveniently pass by providing opportunity for the brothers to sell Joseph. The brothers act without encouragement from God following their own sinful desires to the appointed end.

      3. The Jews are restrained from stoning Jesus and only are able to seek the death of Jesus at the appointed time. This is facilitated by God again loosening His restraint over Satan allowing Satan to enter Judas to bring about the appointed end. Satan requires no encouragement from God but takes advantage of opportunities provided when God gives him greater freedom to act.

      So, the above comments ignore the critical issue of secondary causes and essentially add nothing substantive to the discussion.

      Like

      1. Continued: the Augustinian/Calvinist claim that omniscience proves Augustinian/Calvinism, and responses from historical schools of thought which find the Augustinian/Calvinist solution insufficient.

        An online encyclopedia article, as well as statements from Alvin Plantinga, and William Lane Craig outlining in logical terms, why they see Augustinian/Calvinist solution fails, and appealing to alternatives, they consider more viable.

        In response to this, the Augustinian/Calvinist answered by stating that Plantinga’s, Craig’s, et-al, solutions, fail to take into consideration secondary causes.

        quote:
        “Notably, the above comments [Encyclopedia article and statements from Reasonable Faith] ignore discussion of secondary causes and add nothing substantive to the discussion.”

        But how can that be a solution? How is it that N.T. Wright, Alvin Plantinga, William Lane Craig, Peter van Inwagen, (and even Calvinist Vincent Cheung who rejects the Calvinist appeal to secondary causes) are not smart enough to factor them into the discussion…and therefore “case closed”. Does it take a PhD to understand the logical entailments of secondary causes?

        Further, to simply massage Vincent Cheung’s statements, in order to make them APPEAR to say something that he has consistently and forcibly rejected, can’t possibly be construed as an honest way to interact with his position. Cheung, looking at the issue from a perspective of logical coherence, agrees with Plantinga, and Craig. So an appeal to secondary causes fails for both the logically disciplined Calvlnist and the non-Calvnist alike. And the alternative positions, as provided by highly respected theologians cannot simply be brushed aside by claiming they “add nothing substantive to the discussion”

        Like

      2. br.d writes, “But how can that be a solution? How is it that N.T. Wright, Alvin Plantinga, William Lane Craig, Peter van Inwagen, …”

        This type of argument appeals to authority and is recognized as a an error in logic.

        Then, “Does it take a PhD to understand the logical entailments of secondary causes?”

        No. So, let’s put the arguments dealing with secondary causes on the table and see if they accomplish anything.

        Finally, “Vincent Cheung’s statements, in order to make them APPEAR to say something that he has consistently and forcibly rejected, can’t possibly be construed as an honest way to interact with his position.”

        The only way to resolve this is to have Cheung participating in the discussion to verify that comments being cited accurately reflects Calvinism as he understands it.

        You say nothing of substance in this comment, so why clutter the discussion with it?

        Like

      3. For the reader inclined to review for himself/herself, Vincent Cheung’s position on the WCF appeal to secondary causes, see his web-site: “http://www.vincentcheung.com/2010/06/02/wcf-secondary-causes-etc/”

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      4. Cheung’s analysis is not complete. He needs to address God’s restraint of a sinful humanity that is motivated to evil without any prompting form God. His writings appear to assume that no person would sin unless prompted to do so by God. Whether he means to take that position is not clear. The WCF assumes that sinful humanity is self motivated to sin by their nature and needs no prompting from God to do so.

        So, if appeal is to be made to Cheung, we need Cheung in the discussion to sort out issues he has not sorted out in his articles.

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  9. Rutchin writes; This type of argument appeals to authority and is recognized as a an error in logic.

    BTW: There are legitimate appeals to authority and there are illegitimate appeals.
    To appeal to the WCF as if it were an authoritative source to philosophical questions is indeed a fallacious.

    To summarize recognized authors, as an outline of the historical evolution of a philosophical issue is standard practice. Hens the encyclopedia article referenced.

    I’ll let the readers decide which posts are cluttering up the discussion. 😀

    Like

  10. “So if an appeal is to be made to Cheung, we need Cheung in the discussion to sort out THE ISSUES HE HAS NOT SORTED OUT IN HIS ARTICLES. ”

    Or we can just let him say it for himself and not let someone else put words in his mouth:

    web-site: “http://www.vincentcheung.com/2010/06/02/wcf-secondary-causes-etc/”

    Liked by 1 person

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