Human Autonomy: A Defense of Divine Holiness

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I was recently accused of “worshipping the idol of human autonomy.” Have those who bring this kind of harsh accusation really unpacked the meaning of these terms, or sought to understand our intentions? I suspect most have not.

Websters defines “autonomous” simply as “undertaken or carried on without outside control.” The term “autonomous” describes things that function separately or independently. For instance, once you move out of your parents’ house, and get your own job, you will be an autonomous member of the family. This adjective autonomous is often used of countries, regions, or groups that have the right to govern themselves. Autonomous is from Greek autonomos “independent,” from autos “self” plus nomos “law.” <link>

Some wrongly assume that my use of this term is meant to suggest that mankind’s existence, sustenance and natural abilities are independent of God altogether. This is absurd, of course. Paul asked his readers, “What do you have that you did not receive?” (1 Cor. 4:7), which strongly implies that all our abilities, including the ability to make choices, is given to us by a good and gracious God.

We can affirm that “God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him,” (Ps. 115:3) while still holding on to the equally valid truth that, “the highest heavens belong to the LORD, but the earth he has given to mankind” (Ps. 115:16). This means it pleases God to give man a certain level of “autonomy” or “separateness.”  This is a biblical view of divine sovereignty and human autonomy.  As A.W. Tozer rightly explains:

“God sovereignly decreed that man should be free to exercise moral choice, and man from the beginning has fulfilled that decree by making his choice between good and evil. When he chooses to do evil, he does not thereby countervail the sovereign will of God but fulfills it, inasmuch as the eternal decree decided not which choice the man should make but that he should be free to make it. If in His absolute freedom God has willed to give man limited freedom, who is there to stay His hand or say, ‘What doest thou?’ Man’s will is free because God is sovereign. A God less than sovereign could not bestow moral freedom upon His creatures. He would be afraid to do so.” – A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy: The Attributes of God

Some Calvinists have wrongly concluded that the Traditionalist seeks to downplay the sovereignty of God and highlight the autonomy of man, when in reality we seek to maintain the right biblical understanding of man’s autonomy so as to better highlight the Sovereignty, Love and Holiness of our God.

I have already unpacked the attribute of God’s Sovereignty HERE and God’s Love HERE, so I would now like to turn our attention to the attribute of God’s Holiness. If you notice that the Tozer quote above is from his book, “The Knowledge of the Holy.”  Tozer’s intentions, like that of the Traditionalist, is in defense of God’s Holiness, not an attempt to undermine other equally important attributes of our good God.

I suspect that Tozer, like myself, would wholeheartedly agree with John Piper’s teaching on God’s Holiness here:

“Every effort to define the holiness of God ultimately winds up by saying: God is holy means God is God. Let me illustrate. The root meaning of holy is probably to cut or separate. A holy thing is cut off from and separated from common (we would say secular) use. Earthly things and persons are holy as they are distinct from the world and devoted to God. So the Bible speaks of holy ground (Exodus 3:5), holy assemblies (Exodus 12:16), holy sabbaths (Exodus 16:23), a holy nation (Exodus 19:6); holy garments (Exodus 28:2), a holy city (Nehemiah 11:1), holy promises (Psalm 105:42), holy men (2 Peter 1:21) and women (1 Peter 3:5), holy scriptures (2 Timothy 3:15), holy hands (1 Timothy 2:8), a holy kiss (Romans 16:16), and a holy faith (Jude 20). Almost anything can become holy if it is separated from the common and devoted to God.

But notice what happens when this definition is applied to God himself. From what can you separate God to make him holy? The very god-ness of God means that he is separate from all that is not God. There is an infinite qualitative difference between Creator and creature. God is one of a kind. Sui generis. In a class by himself. In that sense he is utterly holy. But then you have said no more than that he is God.” – John Piper (emphasis added) <link>

Notice the common term used to describe God’s Holiness and man’s autonomy? The word “separate” is referenced in both definitions. This is significant.

Some Calvinists fail to see that the Traditionalists defense of man’s separateness (autonomy) is actually in defense of God’s Holiness, or as Piper put it, God’s separateness “from all that is not God.” But, in a world of divine meticulous control of all things, what is left to be considered “separate” in any meaningful sense of the word?

One would think that sinful intentions would be included in “all that is not God,” yet many Calvinistic scholars affirm that man’s sinful intentions are unchangeably predetermined or brought about by God so as to glorify Himself (see HERE).

We must understand that John Piper, while holding to the same definition of Holiness as Tozer (or Traditionalists), comes to a very different conclusion about the nature of our thrice Holy God.

Continuing with the quote above, Piper concludes:

“If the holiness of a man derives from being separated from the world and devoted to God, to whom is God devoted so as to derive his holiness? To no one but himself. <link>”

Piper fails to relate his understanding of God’s Holiness (separateness) to the nature of morally accountable creatures (as autonomously separate), but instead uses this attribute to emphasize his Calvinistic view of God’s self-seeking nature. Piper is arguing that God is all about Himself because there is no “higher reality than God to which He must conform in order to be holy.” In other words, God is all about God because there is nothing more Holy than God. But, what does this even mean unless you establish that which God has separated Himself from in the meticulously determined world of Piper’s Calvinism? How can one celebrate God being about God unless you separate that which is not about God from that which is about God? What exactly can be deemed as “separated” in a worldview where absolutely everything is brought about by God for God? Holiness loses its meaning in a deterministic worldview because nothing can be described in any significant way as being “separate” from God and His will.

It is senseless to speak of God’s Holiness (as separateness) unless there is something outside of God from which to separate. God cannot be separated from Himself or His own choices. And if you insist on the one hand that God is unchangeably determining all creature’s sinful inclinations so as to glorify Himself, then how can you on the other hand claim that God is wholly separate from those same sinful, yet self-glorifying means?  You might as well be claiming A is not A (God is separate but not separate).

Listen, either God is implicated in moral evil or He is not. He is either Holy or He is not. He is either separate (an affirmation of both Divine Holiness and human autonomy) or He is not (a denial of both Divine Holiness and human autonomy). Do not allow the Calvinists to have their cake and eat it too on this point.

John Piper takes the attribute of Holiness to teach that “God is all about Himself.” Whereas, Tozer takes the attribute of Holiness to teach that while God would be perfectly just to be all about Himself and His own glorification, He graciously chooses to glorify undeserving creatures who have separated themselves from Him through autonomously sinful choices.

Traditionalists, like myself, simply believe that Tozer is right and Piper is wrong.


(portions of this article are taken from an earlier blog post)

155 thoughts on “Human Autonomy: A Defense of Divine Holiness

  1. Dr. Flowers writes, “Websters defines “autonomous” simply as “undertaken or carried on without outside control.” The term “autonomous” describes things that function separately or independently….This adjective autonomous is often used of countries, regions, or groups that have the right to govern themselves.”

    The force of autonomy is the “independence” of the person. One may be separated from another and not independent. So, when you speak of people being autonomous, do you really mean that they are independent from God or just independent of other people? If you are being accused of worshipping the idol of human autonomy, then people must think you are claiming independence from God. If that is your intent, then the complaint seems justified although worshipping seems a little strong given that you don’t seem to think you are doing that. Nonetheless, if you have people. or anything else, that is both separate from and independent of God, then you have effectively created an idol (or so it seems to me; and others).

    Calvinists say that people are always subordinate to God because He is sovereign, so people can only do that which God first approves (or, OKs).

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  2. Dr. Flowers writes, “Notice the common term used to describe God’s Holiness and man’s autonomy? The word “separate” is referenced in both definitions. This is significant.”

    In saying that God is separate because He is holy, the term, “separate,” means that God is creator and man, His creation – the separation between God and man is because of who God is and who man is in relation to God. They cannot be one and the same. Under autonomy, the term, “separate,” refers to the rule of God, the creator, over man, the creation. It denotes the independence of man from God and the ability of man to rule himself without interference from God – separate here denotes man’s freedom from God’s rule. However, man can never be separate from God’s rule and can never be autonomous with respect to God because God is sovereign and any freedom man has is given to him by God. God’s will is always superior to man’s will and man’s will must always be subordinate to God’s will – man’s freedom is not absolute. Man can be autonomous with respect to creation to say that nothing in creation has rule over him or autonomous with respect to the law as to say that the law does not rule over him.

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  3. This was totally excellent. I find it ironic how frequently the Theological Determinist asserts X and then denies X, totally oblivious to the self contradiction.

    For example, you might have a Calvinist say: “You just don’t understand Reformed doctrine. God uses the FREE CHOICES of men to accomplish His predetermined purposes”.

    Such a statement is totally illogical if one asserts that human autonomy does not exist in any form or to any degree.
    One does not have to believe that autonomy exists to be able to see the logical contradiction.

    It logically follows, if man has absolutely no degree of autonomy, then man is simply a complex biological instrument and not an agent, in any meaningful sense. Calvinists simply reject the logical entailment of determinism….that man functions as a robot. But in order for man not to be a robot, he must have some degree of autonomy, no matter how minuscule.

    If God is not controlling man with a radio-controlled “immutable decrees” module, then man must have some degree of autonomy.
    Even a wind-up toy has some degree of autonomy, but everything that it does can be predicted by Newtonian laws and interactions of its internal parts.

    Like Alvin Plantinga says, Theological Determinism is like locking a man in a prison cell and telling he is free to leave any time he likes.

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    1. br.d writes, “God uses the FREE CHOICES of men to accomplish His predetermined purposes”.
      Such a statement is totally illogical if one asserts that human autonomy does not exist in any form or to any degree…”

      The key phrase here is, “in any form.” Calvinists say that man cannot be autonomous with respect to God because God is an absolute sovereign. Calvinists have no problem with man being autonomous with respect to creation – recognizing that such autonomy can be restricted.

      Then, “Calvinists simply reject the logical entailment of determinism….that man functions as a robot.”

      That is why Calvinists are Theological Determinists and not determinists which is a secular term with God absent.

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      1. rhutchin writes:

        “Calvinists say that man cannot be autonomous with respect to God”
        That is because Calvinists are forced into all sorts of sophist doublespeak.
        If God determines ALL human thoughts choices and actions ( as Calvinists assert) then it logically follows that man’s thoughts, choices and actions are not autonomous at all. Any human agentic relationship to creation is simply a superfluous.

        “FREE” choices in Calvinism are thus simply Calvinistic illusory doublespeak.
        And that is why Calvin himself instructs his followers to – quote “go about your office **AS IF** nothing is determined in any part”

        So the poor Calvinist is forced to publicly assert, indeterminism doesn’t exist, while acting **AS-IF** it does, in order to retain a sense of normalcy and mimic a biblical sense of personal responsibility.

        Then:
        “That is why Calvinists are Theological Determinists and not determinists which is a secular term with God absent.”

        Here is a good example of magical thinking and a childish error in categorical logic.
        An apple doesn’t magically lose its entailments as FRUIT just because its not an orange.
        And Theological Determinism doesn’t magically lose its logical DETERMINISM entailments just because its not secular determinism.

        But like the ever-ready bunny, the poor Calvinist is forced to speak in circles, in a double-think world, filled with magical thinking. 😀

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      2. br.d writes, “If God determines ALL human thoughts choices and actions ( as Calvinists assert) then it logically follows that man’s thoughts, choices and actions are not autonomous at all. Any human agentic relationship to creation is simply a superfluous.”

        I’d like to see a logical proof of your position that shows, “…it logically follows that …”

        Then, ““FREE” choices in Calvinism are thus simply Calvinistic illusory doublespeak.”

        Calvinism is clear on this. The free choices a person makes are nor coerced and accurately represent the person’s wants and desires – people do not make spontaneous choices devoid of reason.

        Then, “And Theological Determinism doesn’t magically lose its logical DETERMINISM entailments just because its not secular determinism.”

        Under a secular determinism, future events are determined by past events; this is external to the individual; and the individual cannot overcome that determinism – the individual is sovereignly controlled by external events. Under Theological determinism, the individual becomes an active agent in determining his future through the choices he makes. The individual’s choices are subject to God’s sovereign approval and God’s approval or disapproval determines the final outcome.

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      3. …”the active agent in determining” something that was eternally immutably determined already… Now that’s a contradiction that not only makes my head hurt… but my heart too! 🙁

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      4. brianwagner writes, “…”the active agent in determining” something that was eternally immutably determined already… Now that’s a contradiction that not only makes my head hurt…”

        Your issue is not with God being the determiner of all things. Your issue is that I don’t say that God determined everything in the past. Even though God “determined” to create the universe, there came the point where God carried out that decision. Thus, even though God has determined all things in the past, there comes the point where God carries out His decisions – e.g., the destruction of Sodom; the impregnation of Mary. It is legitimate to describe God as the agent determining all things to mean that He brings about all things in the course of time. So, to avoid confusion with you, perhaps I should have written that God is the active agent bringing about all things that He has determined.

        I don’t see why you get exercised over this. You allow that God knows all possible future outcomes. You think that God decides what He will do as events come about in time even though He could have decided (my position) what He would do ahead of time and waited to act in the course of time. God makes the same decision under either scenario, so we both have God taking the same action. Your technical objection does not change that. You are sensitive to that so that’s the way you are. When I comment on something you say, I try to be aware of your sensitivities, but when I comment to others who are not so sensitive, I tend not to do so. I am sorry that I make your head hurt.

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      5. Carrying out a determination is not making a determination! Dance all you like, Roger! A determination already made can not LATER have an active agent involved in making that determination… carrying it out, yes, but not in actually making it, since it was made already.

        And if it was made already… it can not be made again… And a determination made by and after an active agent’s involvement is a new determination, not an already made one. And the Scripture has an abundance of examples of new determinations being made by God after creation which clearly contradicts that all was determined before creation… no matter how you try to deny it. I wish you would love logic more, Roger!

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      6. brianwagner writes, “Carrying out a determination is not making a determination!”

        Carrying out a determination (i.e., a decision) requires that a determination/decision have been made.

        Then, “A determination already made can not LATER have an active agent involved in making that determination… carrying it out, yes, but not in actually making it, since it was made already.”

        OK.

        Then, “the Scripture has an abundance of examples of new determinations being made by God after creation which clearly contradicts that all was determined before creation… no matter how you try to deny it.”

        The Scripture also says that God has also specifically determined some future events and generally determined all future events. Are we to deny that?

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      7. Thank you, Roger, for saying “OK” which I take as an admission that you have come to recognize the contradiction you made in your previous statement about man being an active agent in “MAKING” the determination.

        The Scripture no where “says that God has…generally determined all future events”, whatever you may mean by “generally”. So yes, we are to deny that, since Scripture clearly has God making new determinations after creation began.

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      8. brianwagner writes, “I take as an admission that you have come to recognize the contradiction you made in your previous statement about man being an active agent in “MAKING” the determination.”

        Ooops! A miscommunication. I quoted this: “A determination already made can not LATER have an active agent involved in making that determination… carrying it out, yes, but not in actually making it, since it was made already.” I agreed to that. Not sure how you teased out a contradiction from that. I even read it a couple times and don’t see a contradiction in what I quoted.

        Then, “The Scripture no where “says that God has…generally determined all future events”, whatever you may mean by “generally”.”

        You already know that I will quote Isaiah on this because everyone else does.

        Isaiah 41
        21 “Present your case [for your gods],” the LORD says. “Bring forward your strong arguments,” The King of Jacob says.
        22 Let [your gods] bring forth and declare to us what is going to take place;…announce to us what is coming.
        23 Declare the things that are going to come afterward, That we may know that you are gods;…
        26 Who has declared this from the beginning, that we might know? Or from former times, that we may say, “He is right!”? Surely there was no one who declared, Surely there was no one who proclaimed, Surely there was no one who heard your words.
        Isaiah 44
        6 “Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me.
        7 ‘And who is like Me?…let them declare to them the things that are coming And the events that are going to take place.
        8 ‘…Have I not long since announced it to you and declared it? And you are My witnesses. Is there any God besides Me, Or is there any other Rock? I know of none.’”
        Isaiah 46
        9 “…I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me,
        10 Declaring the end from the beginning And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’;
        11 …Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it.

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      9. Roger you will have to go back and read what you wrote and my first response. You said “ok” to my response which clearly contradicted what you first wrote.

        And you know the verses in Isaiah only logically prove as necessary that God can declare a future event that will happen. Nothing in those verses prove that God is generally saying all is predetermined. If anything it is generally saying that God can do so because He can predetermine an event because He has the power to guarantee it’s fulfillment. The other verses I have given you prove determinations were made after creation, contradicting your position that all was predetermined before creation.

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      10. brianwagner writes, “you will have to go back and read what you wrote and my first response. You said “ok” to my response which clearly contradicted what you first wrote.”

        I agreed to this statement you made, ” A determination already made can not LATER have an active agent involved in making that determination… carrying it out, yes, but not in actually making it, since it was made already.” Your focus is on my using the term, “determining,” for a decision already determined. I don’t have the sensitivity on this that you do. To take an example. If God determined to save Josephine today, then I see no grammatical problem in saying that God is determining Josephine’s salvation today because God is now doing specific things in Josephine’s life to make her salvation a reality as He earlier determined to do – e.g., bringing her under the hearing of the gospel, convicting her of sin, etc. You are sensitive to this and have problems with it; I don’t. Jospehine is not saved just because God determined that she would be saved; Josephine is saved because God takes certain actions to bring about her salvation as He determined to do.

        Then, “you know the verses in Isaiah only logically prove as necessary that God can declare a future event that will happen.”

        OK. Then we ask, how can God declare a future event that has not happened? If pushed to do so, does He only then determine it so that He can declare it, or can God declare it because He has already determined it. I take the force of Isaiah’s argument to be that God can declare the future because He has already determined it. The challenge to the false gods is to declare the future and thereby establish that they, the false idols, have determined that future and not God. Thus, Isaiah’s point is that God has determined the future and can declare that future – the false gods cannot declare the future because they cannot supplant God and determine the future.

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      11. Roger… I thought you were savvy at reasoning… but now I am beginning to wonder. You just said – “If God determined to save Josephine today, then I see no grammatical problem in saying that God is determining Josephine’s salvation today because God is now doing specific things in Josephine’s life to make her salvation a reality as He earlier determined to do.” Is He determining Josephine’s salvation, which means it was not determined until then, or is He just carrying out what He determined already before, which was to save her.

        First you agree with me that determining is not the same as carrying out what was determined, now you again equate the two… that determining is the same as saying it was determined, and you see NO grammatical problem… really?! You DO see the difference between saying something is completed and then saying it is being completed, don’t you?

        You originally said – “the individual becomes an active agent in determining his future through the choices he makes” and that made my head hurt. It’s still hurting! For you agreed with my objection which contradicts that statement… but now again you are saying the same thing as before. And you see no contradiction… Really?

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      12. brianwagner writes, “you agree with me that determining is not the same as carrying out what was determined, now you again equate the two… ”

        Let’s try to end the confusion. I am saying that “determining” IS the same as “carrying out what was determined.” God determined (He made a decision) in eternity past to save Josephine in 2017. Today, in 2017, God is determining – He is causing certain events to occur – that will bring Josephine to salvation. Those things that God is now “determining” are things He had also determined to do back in eternity past when He decided to save Josephine – they are part of God’s plan. God had a plan to save Josephine that included taking steps 1, 2, 3… and those steps occur in a logical order and they occur in the course of time.

        So, I am not saying “that determining is the same as saying it was determined,” and I “see NO grammatical problem… really!”

        Then, “You do no the difference between saying something is completed and then saying it is being completed, don’t you?”

        Yes. However, from God’s perspective, all things have been determined in the sense that He has made decisions about (or ordained) all things. At the same time, not all things have come to pass and God’s plan can be described as a work in action that is being completed even as we watch.

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      13. And, Roger, since you feel comfortable with saying that His plan has been planned but is also still being planned, which later phrase you think means carrying out the plan that was already planned though you call it still being planned… I don’t think I will feel comfortable trying to reason with you about these things… for you are clearly using contradictory sentences. I’m sorry you cannot see it. God’s perspective and the Scripture’s perspective are never contradictory like that.

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      14. According to the square of opposition, an (A) proposition is a direct logical contradiction to an (O) proposition
        An (A) Proposition is always UNIVERSAL in scope and strictly asserts X WITHOUT EXCEPTION.

        (A) Proposition:
        **ALL** things (without exception), are determined at the foundation of the world by god

        (O) Proposition:
        **SOME** things are determined NOT at the foundation of the world by god

        The (O) Proposition directly denies via contradiction, the non-exception clause of the (A) proposition.

        These types of contradictory statements are made constantly by Calvinists as ad-hoc rescues.
        This is why I say that Calvinists consistently assert X only to later deny X

        Another way of saying this would be
        **ALL** things (without exception) are determined at the foundation of the world by god, but not in such a way that **ALL** things (without exception are determined at the foundation of the world by god. Because SOME things are determined NOT at the foundation of the world by god.

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      15. br.d writes, “These types of contradictory statements are made constantly by Calvinists as ad-hoc rescues.”

        How about providing an example to illustrate what you are trying to show. The all/some language is not an example and a specific example would go a long way to explaining your complaint against Calvinism.

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      16. brianwagner writes, “since you feel comfortable with saying that His plan has been planned but is also still being planned,…”

        I think we had focused on the term, “determined.” So, God determined (or ordained) all things in eternity past (thus, His plan) and is currently determining, or carrying out, those actions relevant to today, as included in the plan. God planned all things in eternity past and is now carrying out that plan. If you can view the terms I use in their proper context, I don’t think you will have trouble with contradictions.

        We both seem to agree that God has a plan and regardless whether one of us has God making that plan in eternity past or developing it in the course of time, it is still the same plan in terms of outcomes.

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      17. sorry, Roger… If you could have one testimony from English Grammar teacher or Logic teacher critique what you have said and tell me they agree with you… we can continue. You are clearly contradicting yourself saying determined means it being determined later. It is so sad, really…

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      18. Exactly Correct!!

        Its the equivalent of saying:

        **ALL** the eggs (without exception) are in basket A,
        YET
        **SOME** of the eggs are also in basket B.

        The two statements are logical contradictions to each other.

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      19. brianwagner writes, “You are clearly contradicting yourself saying determined means it being determined later.”

        I don’t know how you saw this in the comments I wrote.

        This discussion has centered on the verb, “determine,” and two particular forms of that verb: (1) past tense – determined and (2) participle – determining. I used “determined” in the sense of actions by God in eternity past – God determined that He would save Josephine in 2017. I used “determining” of ongoing action into the present – God is determining the salvation of Josephine in 2017. I specifically defined “determining” as “carrying out” to emphasize that it is a present action.

        Any dictionary will define the word, “determine,” something like (1) to fix conclusively or authoritatively or (2) settle or decide by choice of alternatives or possibilities. I looked at several dictionaries available online and they pretty much agreed on this.

        The hangup seems to be the use of the participle form of the verb to depict ongoing action into the present. e.g., God is determining X which describes action God is taking to determine X in the present (today). I don’t see why this is a problem.

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      20. And that is the problem…you don’t see your contradiction, Roger. That is why I wait for you to find a grammarian or logician that you respect to give their testimony to either affirm or deny your clear abuse of grammar and logic in this instance. Maybe they can help you see it. Until then…

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      21. See your contradiction here:

        http://www.fallacyfiles.org/redefine.html

        What you have is called “arbitrary redefinition” and specifically, “LOW” redefinition.
        Calvinists consistently evade the rules of logic because Calvinism is reliant upon double-think.

        BTW: This post is for the benefit of open minded readers.
        There is no expectation a Calvinist will have the capacity to acknowledge logical rules, due to an unflinching investment.
        Its called “investor’s bias”.

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      22. br.d writes, “What you have is called “arbitrary redefinition” and specifically, “LOW” redefinition.”

        I take advantage of the Miriam-Webster meaning of “determine” that is available online. I emphasize the past tense of the verb, “determined,” – e.g., God determined (or decided) to save Josephine in 2017 in eternity past – and then the participle form, “determining,” – e.g., God is determining (bringing about that specific outcome) that Josephine will come to salvation in 2017.

        Maybe you could try to explain how I am misusing the this verb – determine. Brian has given up, but never really tried. In the end, maybe all I will need to do is find another word to use to convey the same meaning.

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      23. Again as normal you evade evidence and manufacture smoke screens.
        Your taking advantage of a word definition in order to evade the rules of logic.

        If you REALLY want to know your logical error, (no evidence to show that as true) then refer to the previous posts where I’ve spelled it out. As Brian has consistently told you, you consistently evade the law of non-contradiction in order to retain magical thinking.

        *ALL* of the eggs (without exception) are in basket A.
        Yet
        *SOME* of the eggs are also in basket B.

        See if you can discern the error.

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      24. br.d writes:
        “**ALL** the eggs (without exception) are in basket A,
        YET
        **SOME** of the eggs are also in basket B.

        These two statements are logical contradictions to each other
        Lets see if you can discern the error”

        rhutchin responds:
        “I think you have an active imagination.”

        Wonderful!
        This then is an excellent example for our readers at SOT101!!
        The Calvinist’s strength is in language evolving over time, designed to camouflage self-contradictions.
        Above is an example of an error in categorical logic – high-school level the Calvinist is unable to discern.

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      25. br.d writes, “Above is an example of an error in categorical logic – high-school level the Calvinist is unable to discern.”

        What is not discernible is what this has to do with Calvinism. Maybe you could go into more detail using examples from Calvinist doctrines. This is a good opportunity for you to start explaining the things you say.

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      26. Ok, we can try it one more time, for the sake of SOT101 readers, but you’re probably not going to get it.

        Lets assume you do see the contradiction in the eggs and basket propositions, which I used to make it simple.

        Eggs = events which come to pass
        Basket A = A time window called “The foundation of the world”
        Basket B = A time window occurring now

        I’m going to assume you are rational enough to recognize that the window in time occurring now cannot be conflated with the window in time called “The foundation of the world”, which occurred millennia ago.

        Here are the two contradictory propositions again:

        **ALL** events (without exception) are determined in Window A
        Yet
        **SOME** events are determined in Window B

        See if you can discern the error now.
        But if your consistent, you’ll make believe no contradiction exists.

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      27. br.d writes, “**ALL** events (without exception) are determined in Window A Yet
        **SOME** events are determined in Window B
        See if you can discern the error now.”

        I see your error. To represent the Calvinist position, you should have:

        **SOME** events are BEING determined (or brought to pass) in Window B (in the present) as God implements the Plan He determined in Window A (or eternity past).

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      28. Really Roger??? – **SOME** events are BEING determined (or brought to pass) ????? Let me be your teacher – Go to the white board and write 100 times — “BEING determined” DOES NOT MEAN “brought to pass” what was already determined! —

        Maybe that will help counter some of the brainwashing you have experienced!

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      29. Good catch Brian!!
        I think this particular contradiction is a Goliath double-think strong-hold for rhutchin.
        This is a Calvinistic HIGH-PLACE for rhutchin.

        If he can’t conflate past-tense “determined” with current-tense “determined” then he is forced to explain the assertion that god RESISTS or PREVENTS an event from occurring (current-tense) when god determined (past-tense) that very event to infallibly occur.

        For example, the issue of the children of Israel throwing their children into the fire of Moloch, which god declares in scripture “It never came into my mind that they would do such a thing”.

        Because that contradicts Calvinism’s grandiose proposition, that god (at the foundation of the world) meticulously determined **ALL** events (past tense) to occur infallibly. And as such **ALL** events are unavoidable, inevitable, fated to occur.

        So it makes no sense to say god RESISTS event X today, when he decreed (past-tense) event X to infallibly occur yesterday.
        We obviously have a conception of a double-minded deity here.
        Which is exactly what you consistently have in Calvinism, and what they don’t want you to see! :-]

        I suspect also, rhutchin’s imagining that Theological Determinism doesn’t have the logical entailments of Determinism are threatened by his giving up this contradiction.

        So this one has a Goliath strong-hold on his mind.

        Liked by 1 person

      30. brianwagner writes, “Really Roger???”

        A person works with what he is given. I know we understand your issues here, but br.d is still learning the basics.

        Then, “BEING determined” DOES NOT MEAN “brought to pass” what was already determined!”

        On this we disagree.

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      31. Wow, Roger… You really are a Jekyll and Hyde… which one wrote – brianwagner writes, “You said the meanings were the same… ”
        Then, let’s correct the record. If I said that, then I am correcting the record.

        You have some explaining to do, I think!

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      32. brianwagner writes, “brianwagner writes, “You said the meanings were the same… ”

        You wrote, earlier, “I am waiting for you to produce scholarly evidence for your opinion – already determined and still being determined mean the same thing… and that such a obviously contradictory premise is not true just because you say so!”

        I agreed with you that the terms, “already determined” and “still being determined” do not mean the same thing. The term, “already determined” (where already is redundant) refers, by example, to actions God took in eternity past and “still being determined” (where “still” is redundant) refers to actions God is taking in the present – and such actions can be consistent with God’s previous actions/decisions/decrees and be the means to bring about those actions/decisions/decrees.

        This argument seems to turn on the way in which the participle of a verb is to be understood. I take the participle to refer to ongoing actions in the present which, from all that I have read, is legitimate.

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      33. So now the record stands once again uncorrected… And I wait again for the scholarly evidence from what you say you’ve “read” that agrees that determined and being determined can both be true statements said at the same time for the same event.

        My guess is any grammarian or logician worth their degrees will say that you keep painting yourself into a corner on this one, Roger. I’m really surprised you are not ashamed of this contradiction that you are defending. I would even love to hear what your Calvinist pastor would say when you ask him if determined and being determined mean the same thing.

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      34. brainwagner writes, “that determined and being determined can both be true statements said at the same time for the same event. ”

        Both of us seem to agree that they are not “at the same time for the same event. ” I am mystified that there is confusion on this.

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      35. Equivocal language!
        Both Brian and I interpreted your language to that effect.
        Brian is coming at it from more of a grammatical view, while I’ve been coming at it strictly from a fallacy of contradiction.

        Let A = events which come to pass
        Let B = the category: “A time-window called the foundation of the world”

        IF **ALL** A are determined in B, then it is a contradiction to say **SOME** A are determined outside of B.

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      36. Roger… for the sake of trying to understand why you can’t see the contradiction in your thinking and statements concerning divine determination… name an event that you can make a statement about that is being determined that you can not make a statement that the same event was already determined before creation. Thanks.

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      37. brianwagner writes, “name an event that you can make a statement about that is being determined that you can not make a statement that the same event was already determined before creation.”

        That’s illuminating. I think I may be seeing your problem. The distinction I have been making is between God’s plan (God determined) and the implementation of that plan (the event being determined in real time).

        Secular example.
        1. The supply and demand of a product determine its price at any given time. (General law operational from the beginning.)
        2. The price of product X today is being determined by the supply and demand of product X in May 2017. (Specific application of the law in time.)

        Scripture example.
        1. God determined to impregnate Mary in eternity past as part of His plan of salvation.
        2. The impregnation of Mary was being determined by God in real time in 6 BC or so.

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      38. I really don’t expect you to be so sloppy in explanations, Roger. The secular example is the difference in having determined a law… not an event. That of course allows for later freely causing various events that display the out working of that law.

        The second example is truly contradictory… Once determined before creation that the incarnation would happen at a certain time… to determine it again is impossible without the previous determination first being rejected and then reestablished again as a renewed determination… which I know is not what you are suggesting.

        Own the contradiction… or find some scholarly support for it… But quit trying to defend that it is not a contradiction. People choose to believe in contradictions all the time. Just say that is what you are doing… And that will make me feel a little better about your mindset.

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      39. brianwagner writes, “The secular example is the difference in having determined a law… not an event.”

        It serves to illustrate that something can be determined in general while still being determined in specific instances. God has a plan that He determined in eternity past and the individual parts of that plan are now being determined by God in real time as He carries out His plan.

        Then, “to determine it again is impossible without the previous determination first being rejected and then reestablished again as a renewed determination”

        We have a disagreement over the proper use of the participle in speech. As we are not able to resolve how we view the use of the English language, we are having this discussion. We have been going nowhere for some time solely because of the way we view the participle. It is our disagreement over the Participle that explains why I do not see a contradiction and you do. We each read unique and different meanings in the participle as I have used it. Nothing we have said or will say is going to change that.

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      40. It has nothing to do, Roger, with the participle but with the timing and completion of the determination. A determination completed can not be said as being made or completed later… I’m praying you will allow this interaction between us to become a turning point where you will openly recognize your loyalty to this obvious contradiction.

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      41. Another point:

        rhutchin writes “God has a plan that He determined in eternity past and the individual parts of that plan are now being determined ”

        A direct contradiction to John Calvin

        -quote:
        “Hence as to future time, because the issue of all things is hidden from us, each ought to so to apply himself to his office, **AS THOUGH** NOTHING WERE DETERMINED ABOUT ANY PART” (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God – John Calvin – page 171)

        For John Calvin to assert this statement, only affirms his core proposition that **ALL** things are determined at the foundation of the world. It also confirms Calvinism is double-think.

        Here at SOT101 examples of Calvinists ASSERTING X only to later DENY X just keep on coming like the ever-ready bunny! 😛

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      42. All we need do is wait…and you yourself will post confirmations of this particular example of Calvin’s double-think .

        Calvin’s system is permeated with double-think.
        We’re very fortunate to have a Calvinist here who will keep providing fresh examples. 😉

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      43. brianwagner writes, “It has nothing to do, Roger, with the participle but with the timing and completion of the determination.

        I agree. The participle, “determining,” tells us about the timing and completion of the determination. God determined to do X – we now have a determination. Now, God is determining, in time, those events necessary to bring X about. We seem to differ on the definition and use of the participle.

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      44. God is not determining something that is determined… that is a contradiction. The RC use the same contradictory reasoning whdn they say Christ died for our sins… but He is still suffering for them in each Mass.

        False theology always ends up contradicting clear Scriptures. You are free to believe a contradiction is true… I would just like to hear you say, Roger, “I believe that this contradiction that God is determining things that are determined already is true!” Can you say that for me? 😉

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      45. brianwagner writes, “God is not determining something that is determined…”

        God is bringing to reality that which He planned and determined.

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      46. “bringing to reality”……whatever in the world that means!!
        But I suspect what your trying to assert but evade saying is “god is determining today what he already determined yesterday” 😉

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      47. rhutchin writes:
        “God has a plan that He determined in eternity past and the individual parts of that plan are now being determined by God in real time as He carries out His plan.”

        I was waiting for you to get to this, thanks to Brian’s persistent insistence in truth and honesty.

        If it is true that – quote “individual parts of that plan are now being determined”, then it follows that NOT **ALL** parts of that plan were determined in eternity past.

        This assertion is a denial of Calvinism’s core proposition, that **ALL** things which come to pass WERE determined at the foundation of the world.

        Rhutchin again provides another EXAMPLE of how Calvinists ASSERT X ONLY TO LATER DENY X.

        Thank you rhutchin!

        As I’ve said. you provide the examples and I provide the analysis.
        Never any need for you to ask me to provide examples you claim I can’t provide.
        I simply wait for you to provide examples all by yourself. 😀

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      48. bw writes, “If it is true that – quote “individual parts of that plan are now being determined”, then it follows that NOT **ALL** parts of that plan were determined in eternity past.”

        Two different meanings are in play here. We can say that God determined all things. Then, we can say that all things are being determined by God. Those statements say two different things. What is lacking in each statement is context – particularly some sense of the timing of the actions by God. We can say that God determined all things in eternity past, one of which was the birth of Jesus. Then we can say that God brought about the events leading to the birth of Christ in real time in order to bring about the birth of Christ. God determined in eternity past that He would impregnate Mary. In 6 BC or so, God then impregnated Mary and we can say that God determined her pregnancy because He physically brought it about.

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      49. bw writes, “If it is true that – quote “individual parts of that plan are now being determined”, then it follows that NOT **ALL** parts of that plan were determined in eternity past.”

        rhutchin writes:
        “Two different meanings are in play here. We can say that God determined **ALL** things. Then, we can say that **ALL** things are being determined by God. Those statements say two different things.

        Sorry my statement is categorically true and logic is again what your attempting to evade.
        Appealing to grammar and context is a red herring.

        Thanks for helping our readers observe Calvinistic contradictions.
        Excellent examples…keep them coming rhutchin. :-]

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      50. br.d writes, “Appealing to grammar and context is a red herring.”

        Consideration of grammar and context is always necessary to sound exegesis.

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      51. So now you are appealing to “sound” exegesis (so called ) while (as normal) evading the law of non-contradiction.
        What else is new!

        Its absolutely no wonder you find William Lane Craig, Ravi Zacharias, Alvin Plantinga and Peter Van Inwagen non-understandable.
        That would make perfect sense…as there is no way double-think can comprehend rational reasoning.
        Double-think is antithetical to logic, and as you like to demonstrate, always evading the law of non-contradiction.

        And that reminds me, I read somewhere, John Piper counsels Calvinists not to rely on logic when promoting Calvinism.
        Guess we know why!!! 😛

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      52. And you still refuse, Roger, to show one bit of evidence from what you have read to show that others in Calvinism believe that OF all that was determined before creation (which is everything in their view) that there are things that are still being determined after creation!

        Everything was determined, but things are still being determined…which is consistent you say, and the “being determined” is the means of carrying out all that was determined… which was everything… and you don’t see the contradiction! Please, Please get someone you respect to look at our conversation to try to help you come into a more logical frame of mind on this. There must be someone you respect. I recommended your pastor. If you do not have someone… that should set off some alarm bells for you to consider! And I await a scholarly quote to confirm your view has been recognized by others that claim to follow Jesus! Thanks.

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      53. The Calvinist graven image speaks with forked tongue.

        “And those who make them WILL BE LIKE UNTO THEM” – Psalm 115:8

        A biblical principle: The worshiper becomes like unto the deity – – in this case speaking with forked tongue

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      54. So funny!!!

        There are two things that are infinite.
        The size of the universe, and rhutchin’s pretense.
        And no one is sure about the size of the universe. 😉

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      55. More ad-hoc rescues.
        Your obviously not savvy enough to understand basic categorical logic.

        There is an elementary-school grammatical difference between “Determined” (past tense) and “Determining” (current tense).
        But that has nothing to do with categorical logic.

        You’re thinking follows this mode:
        ALL of your eggs (i.e., things determined) are in basket A (within the category of the foundation of the world)
        And yet
        SOME of your eggs (things determined) are in basket B (outside of the category of the foundation of the world)

        Result = categorical contradiction.
        Just one of many of contradictions you haven’t the ability to discern.

        Perhaps your condition is predestined??

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      56. Here rhutchin goes into his classic “greased pig” mode.
        The strategy is to go in endless circles, wear out the patience of one’s interlocutor, and then start over.
        Once people recognize the strategy, they stop taking the bait.

        Its gets much more entertaining to watch rhutchin go into his “shadow boxing” mode. 😀

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      57. Exactly Brian!
        That is why we can see that the Calvinist is tricked by what he declares an illusion.
        He asserts X is an illusion, and then declares X is real.

        The Calvinist asserts that “alternate possibilities” do not exist and are NOT REAL, and are only illusions to people.
        The Calvinist then asserts that God allows humans to choose alternate possibilities **AS-IF** alternate possibilities ARE REAL.
        When its convenient, the Calvinist asserts X as an illusion, and later when its convenient he asserts X is real.
        That is why Dr. Jerry Walls calls Calvinists “magicians”.
        And that is why observers identify Calvinism as double-think, and Calvinist language, double-speak.

        When the blind lead the blind, they all fall into the same ditch.

        Liked by 1 person

      58. I’d like to see a logical proof of your position that shows, “…it logically follows that …”

        That is easy, lets first go to the ad-hoc rescue you manufactured out of your imagination:
        rhutchin:
        Theological determinism does not have the logical entailments of theological determinism.

        rhutchin:
        “Under a secular determinism, future events are determined by PAST EVENT”

        Exactly as it is in theological determinism, where the determining force are IMMUTABLE DECREES at the foundation of the world, which occur as PAST EVENTS.

        rhutchin on secular determinism:
        “this is *EXTERNAL* to the individual; and the individual cannot OVERCOME that determinism”
        IMMUTABLE DECREES occurring in the past, make future events INEVITABLE, and man is powerless to OVERCOME what is inevitable.

        rhutchin on theological determinism:
        ” – the individual is sovereignly controlled by *EXTERNAL* events. ”
        You made the correlation here all by yourself by calling them both EXTERNAL determining forces!!

        rhutchin:
        “Under Theological determinism, the individual becomes an active agent in determining his future through the choices he makes.”

        This is Calvinism’s **AS-IF** thinking where illusions are real.
        You consistently assert that “alternative possibilities” are only illusions to humans who THINK they make free choices, while god (foreknows through foreordination) everything they will infallibly do, in such a way that all events are inevitable and man is powerless to do otherwise. The assertion that man is an AGENT in Calvinism is nothing more the Calvinist tricked by his own declared illusion.

        rhutchin:
        “The individual’s choices are subject to God’s sovereign APPROVAL and God’s approval or disapproval determines the FINAL OUTCOME.”

        This is more double-speak. In Calvinism, god foreknows every future event as the CONSEQUENCE of foreordination.
        God APPROVES of whatever he infallibly decrees, and the FINAL OUTCOME occurs according to those decrees, and man is powerless to alter whatever FINAL OUTCOME god decrees will obtain.

        Thus it logically follows, and its also evident that “FREE” choices in Calvinism are simply Calvinists tricked by what they assert as illusion.
        In Calvin’s **AS-IF** thinking, illusions are treated **AS-IF** they are real.

        To say “Calvinists are clear on this” is simply the process of Calvinists popping semantic rabbits out of hats with fingers crossed behind back.

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  4. Leighton’s argument that the separateness (or the autonomy) of man is necessary to demonstrate the holiness of God is a misdirection. The real question is whether the separateness or the autonomy of man has anything to do with salvation? The answer: No!

    Who does the work of regeneration when a person is saved? Does God do the regenerating, or does man do it himself? How does a person obtain the faith to believe unto salvation? Does God do the work of imparting the faith to believe? or does that person conjure up faith within himself to believe? How does a person believe when others do not? Does God do the work in the heart of man to cause a person to believe? Or does that person autonomously will the belief?

    Jesus explained to Nicodemus what happens when a person is born again…

    “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:6-8

    Belief unto salvation cannot be autonomously willed up by man. The wind, i.e., the Spirit of the Living God, blows where it wishes, instead of where man wishes it to be. The one who believes (often happens unexpectedly) can hear the sound of the wind, but that person does not know where the wind came from or where it went. The Spirit of God, the truly autonomous One, determines who is born of the Spirit.

    This is why those who are saved are born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:13)

    Yes, the autonomy of man is separate from God, and this points to the separateness and/or holiness of God. However, God’s holiness did not prevent Him from bridging this seemingly insurmountable gap when He sent His only Son into the world to be a ransom for many, and then when He sent His Spirit to overcome and overrule the autonomy of man, which does not choose God in the first place (apart from the regenerating work of the Spirit of God), so that faith is imparted as a gift to His elect so that they believe unto salvation.

    Leighton extols the virtues of being autonomous, as if that is something to be honored and desired. He provides the definition of autonomy as something that is carried on without outside control, such as being independent, or establishing one’s own rule for himself. How well does the autonomy of man stack up to the words of Jesus? Consider what happened in Matthew 19…

    “And behold, a man came up to him [Jesus], saying, ‘Teacher, what good deed must I do to have keternal life?’ And he said to him, ‘Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.’ He said to him, ‘Which ones?’ And Jesus said, ‘You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ The young man said to him, ‘All these I have kept. What do I still lack?’ Jesus said to him, ‘If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.’ When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions…”

    It is interesting that Jesus’s standard for this man’s salvation was perfection (“If you would be perfect..”). Considering that this man, by his own free will, autonomously kept all the commandments listed by Jesus, yet this man was not perfect. Could this man’s autonomy have taken him to the next level to fulfill the last commandment given to him by Jesus, in order to achieve perfection? Clearly the answer is no.

    When Jesus then said to His disciples that it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God, the disciples understandably were greatly astonished, saying, “Who can then be saved?”

    What was His answer?

    “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

    The bottom line… Salvation is thoroughly a work of God, not a by-product of an autonomous choice of man.

    Insisting that the autonomy of man is essential or is needed in the process of salvation is a willful rejection of giving God all the glory due unto His name. Those who persistently advocate for synergism end up worshipping the idol of human autonomy. Suggested reading for those who are wondering if they may be worshipping that idol: Augustus Toplady’s The Golden Idol of Freewill http://www.fivesolas.com/toplady.htm

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    1. Doesn’t this fail to take into consideration the *CORE* proposition of Calvinism.
      As recognized by Aristotle’s square of opposition, it expresses as a Universal Positive Proposition:

      ALL events which have ontological existence, do so only because god decrees them to

      Every logical proposition has its own unique logical entailments.
      It is required of the intellectually honest Christian, to analyze that propositions logical entailments with intellectual honesty.
      IMHO: Intellectual honesty is where Calvinism always fails, retreating instead into the safe haven of double-speak.

      quote:
      “Sadly, but consistently, Calvinists always fail to enunciate the radical distinctions, logically entailed within their system”.
      – Dr. William Lane Craig

      quote:
      “If it wasn’t for Calvinism’s misleading rhetoric, Calvinism would loose all credibility in two years”
      – Dr. Jerry Walls

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  5. Thanks Leighton for the use of logic to define how God has created and allowed for free will. But I’ve found it’s very hard to stop the Calvinist from “having his cake and eating it too” in conversations about such subjects! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. brianwagner writes, “Thanks Leighton for the use of logic to define how God has created and allowed for free will. ”

      I take this to play off this statement by Dr. Flowers, “[God] graciously chooses to glorify undeserving creatures who have separated themselves from Him through autonomously sinful choices.”

      I don’t see an issue with Calvinism here. Dr. Flowers has defined “autonomous” to be “separate” and everyone believes that Adam separated himself from God when he ate the fruit and his children have followed suit ever since. If “autonomous” means that people are free to separate themselves from God and sin, then no one disagrees. Does Dr. Flowers intend “autonomous” to mean something else and create an issue with Calvinism?

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  6. I like what Jerry Walls said. “The real issue is God’s character. The issue is not Biblical authority. We agree on that. The issue is not whether God is fully sovereignty. We agree on that. The real issue is this: Whether God truly loves all the world and does what He CAN to promote the well-being of all the children He has created.” Once you remove libertarian or contra-causal freedom, you can’t provide a consistent answer to the problem of evil and suffering in the world which leads to an attack on God’s holy character. Consistent Calvinism makes God the author of sin.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Markus writes, “The real issue is this: Whether God truly loves all the world and does what He CAN to promote the well-being of all the children He has created.”

      Not exactly. God could easily save everyone as the Universalists argue that He CAN and DOES. Unless Walls has become an Universlist, he really means to say, “…and does what He WANTS TO DO to promote the well-being of SOME NUMBER OF the children He has created – as many as freely choose to believe.”

      Then, “Once you remove libertarian or contra-causal freedom, you can’t provide a consistent answer to the problem of evil and suffering in the world which leads to an attack on God’s holy character.”

      The problem of evil is an atheist creation that has fooled many believers. Should we also follow the atheists and multiply our sins so that God’s grace may abound?

      Then, “Consistent Calvinism makes God the author of sin.”

      Consistent Calvinism gives God control over sin but does not make God the author of sin. Unless, by author, you mean that God defines sin by the laws to which He subjects people. If God gave no laws, there would be no sin.

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      1. You wrote, “God could easily save everyone as the Universalists argue that He CAN and DOES.” You’re begging the question. You’re assuming that there’s no libertarian or contra-causal freewill. Universalism is only possible under Calvinism. Once you add libertarian freedom to the equation, saving EVERYONE becomes logically impossible UNLESS everyone would want to get saved which would make you wonder if everyone really has libertarian freedom or not! So no, under my worldview God CANNOT save everyone for the same reason He cannot make a stone too heavy He can’t lift because it is logically absurd and impossible. The only way He can save everyone is if He didn’t give them libertarian freedom and if He didn’t want to give them libertarian freedom, He would simply create them such that they would never sin, and so they would never need redemption either.

        You then wrote, “The problem of evil is an atheist creation that has fooled many believers.” No sir. The problem of evil is a logical and legitimate question that needs to be answered. I understand that you’re afraid to provide an answer for legitimate questions like the problem of evil because without libertarian freedom, God becomes the author of evil and sin so the fact that you don’t like the consistent conclusions of your worldview is understandable but also evidence to the fact that your’e suppressing the truth in unrighteousness.

        And finally you wrote, “Consistent Calvinism gives God control over sin but does not make God the author of sin. Unless, by author, you mean that God defines sin by the laws to which He subjects people. If God gave no laws, there would be no sin.” Not so sir. Consistent Calvinism makes God the author of evil and sin and no by the author of sin I do not mean God giving laws. Removing libertarian freedom destroys the concept of rationality(the ability to think critically and weigh BOTH sides of the argument) as well as responsibility(the ability to respond BOTH positively and negatively to a rational argument). Your worldview not only makes God the author of evil and sin, but also fails to make sense of this very conversation and ultimately makes God responsible for whoever is wrong.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Markus writes, “You wrote, “God could easily save everyone as the Universalists argue that He CAN and DOES.” You’re begging the question. You’re assuming that there’s no libertarian or contra-causal freewill.”

        Libertarian free will is irrelevant. The relevant point is that God is sovereign and can bring about any outcome He wants. If you want people to have LFW so that they can make a personal decision on whether they want to be saved, that is fine. That does not prevent God saving those truly depraved people who make a bad LFW decision to reject salvation. Giving people LFW does not negate God’s ability to override bad decisions and save whoever He wants.

        Then, “under my worldview God CANNOT save everyone for the same reason He cannot make a stone too heavy He can’t lift because it is logically absurd and impossible.”

        That is a false conclusion. God would not be able to save anyone He wanted ONLY if He said that He would limit His power and save only those who make a LFW decision to accept salvation. God has not limited Himself in this way. We see this in His treatment of Saul of Tarsus. Even though Saul made an LFW decision to oppose Christ, God intervened to change his mind. Thus, God has reserved to Himself the right to override bad LFW decisions when He wants.

        Then, “The problem of evil is a logical and legitimate question that needs to be answered.”

        The problem of evil is not a question; it is a logical argument atheists created in an attempt to disprove that God exists. That argument raises questions, so is that your point? Regardless, what do you see as logical and legitimate in the argument posed by the atheists?

        Then, “Removing libertarian freedom destroys the concept of rationality (the ability to think critically and weigh BOTH sides of the argument)…”

        Not really. Giving a person LFW does not mean that they have either the knowledge or the understanding to “think critically and weigh BOTH sides of the argument.” They can only do so within the constraints of what they know and understand. What does Christ say on the Cross. “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23) Paul wrote, “if they had understood it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory;” (1 Corinthians 2) Having LFW does not mean that a person has the knowledge or understanding to consider fully both sides of an argument.

        Not having LFW also does not mean that a person cannot think critically or weigh the evidence at hand. LFW says that a person can choose between A and ~A. People without LFW can also choose between A and ~A. The LFW argument is presented to support the position that every person is able to rationally consider the salvation God offers. Of course, this requires that the person also have knowledge of salvation (he must hear the gospel preached) and an understanding of salvation. This is not always the case, even if people generally have LFW.

        Then, “Removing libertarian freedom destroys…responsibility (the ability to respond BOTH positively and negatively to a rational argument).”

        However, removing LFW does not destroy the ability of people to sin and it is sin that prevents a person entering heaven. The whole LFW argument was developed to provide a way for a person to deal with his sin in order to enter heaven (i.e., to negate Total depravity). Without LFW, a person is still responsible for his sin. Note the argument Paul makes in Romans 2, “you are without excuse, every man of you who passes judgment, for in that you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.” One does not need LFW to act selfishly.

        Then, “Your worldview not only makes God the author of evil and sin, but also fails to make sense of this very conversation and ultimately makes God responsible for whoever is wrong.”

        Unfortunately, you have been unable to explain why this is so.

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      3. On the issue of CONSISTENT Calvinism, Dr. Jerry Walls makes an excellent analysis

        URL…youtube.com/watch?v=Daomzm3nyIg

        1) It is in fact INCONSISTENT Calvinists who deny the system doesn’t make god the author of sin.
        Calvinist Vincent Chung agrees:
        -quote:
        “When Reformed Christians are questioned on whether God is the “author of sin,” they are too quick to say, “No, God is not the author of sin.” And then they twist and turn and writhe on the floor, trying to give man some power of “self-determination,” and some kind of freedom that in their minds would render man culpable, and yet still leave God with total sovereignty.

        On the other hand, when someone alleges that my view of divine sovereignty makes God the author of sin, my reaction is “So what?”
        I HAVE NEVER COME ACROSS A DECENT EXPLANATION [FROM ANY CALVINIST] AS TO WHAT IS WRONG WITH GOD BEING THE AUTHOR OF SIN in any theological or philosophical work written by anybody from any perspective.”

        2) Consistent Calvinists, such as br.Chung bite the bullet because they believe twisting logic is dishonest.
        3) There are also CONFUSED Calvinists.

        Watch Dr. Jerry Walls youtube presentation (link above) and see how his analysis of these 3 types of Calvinists is sound.
        Too many Calvinist unfortunately, rely on magical thinking and double-speak, and avoid honesty.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. You’re still begging the question. You’re assuming there’s no libertarian freewill. If I decide not to go to school, and make it clear to my parents, the only way they can send me to school is by violating my free decision and forcing me to go to school. Changing someone’s mind against their will can only be done through force whether that force is obvious like dragging your kid to the school or whether it’s done through other means such as manipulating their genes or brain, etc. Given my worldview, God has given mankind libertarian freewill because He does not want to force Himself on them. If He wanted to force Himself on them, there would be no need for libertarian freewill and as a result a fallen world and then need for redemption and the Cross. Saving those who do not want to be saved is therefore logically absurd and impossible.

        As with your example with Paul, you’re begging the question again. You’re assuming that Paul did not want to get saved. You’re assuming that God could have revealed himself to someone other than Paul who has died without Christ, and still would have gotten the same reaction that he got from Paul. What if God chose to appear to Paul because He knew his heart and He knew that Paul is doing those things out of ignorance and a direct intervention would change Paul’s mind about the Cross? If that was the case, which is what I believe, then your assumption is a false one and as I said you’re begging the question and you’re assuming that there’s no libertarian freewill. Intervening and enlightening someone about a situation so that they would make the right choice does not mean that the person does not have libertarian freewill. Neither does it mean that the person is necessarily going to make the right choice(s) after they’re enlightened. Not to mention that direct and miraculous interventions by God like in Paul’s case were made so that God’s Word would not fail as we read in Romans 9. As Leighton has said in his exegesis of Romans 9, the distinction must be made between those chosen to bring the Word and those chosen to be saved as a result of believing in the Word.

        The problem of evil is indeed an argument against the goodness of God and you cannot defeat it without libertarian freewill. That’s the point of this article that you seem to be ignoring. If there was no libertarian freewill, then ultimately evil is to be blamed on God because God would become the author of sin and evil. You cannot apply your dodgy definition of sovereignty only to good things like salvation. You have to try to be consistent and if you do, you will have to apply your dodgy definition of sovereignty to bad things too which means you have to blame everything bad on God but you’re not consistent.

        Rationality presupposes the ability to think critically and thinking critically presupposes the ability to weigh both sides of the argument without a bias which requires us to have contra-causal freewill. Same with responsibility. It presupposes the ability to respond both positively and negatively to a rational argument which requires us to have contra-causal freewill. Denying contra-causal freewill fails to make sense of this very conversation. In other words, this very conversation presupposes the existence of contra-causal freewill and that Compatibilism and therefore Calvinism are false. I have actually made a video about this fascinating argument against your worldview. Here’s the link: https://youtu.be/ZUkhIaE3JVc

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Markus writes, “You’re still begging the question. You’re assuming there’s no libertarian freewill.”

        No. Look at your school example. Your complaint here is not that I assume no LFW but that I assume free will and override, through coercion, that free will. So your example supports me against my begging the question.

        Then, “God has given mankind libertarian freewill because He does not want to force Himself on them.”

        I think we could agree that this was true for Adam and Eve. God did not force Himself on Adam in order to prevent Adam eating the fruit and we see what happened – Adam freely choose to eat the fruit. The issue now is whether Adam’s sin had any effect on his posterity – the issue is Original Sin. I hold to the reformed doctrine of original sin and you do not (your position is that which Pelagius took against Augustine). Here, I am not assuming that LFW no longer exists; I am relying on an argument for that position – thus, your complaint is that the argument for Original Sin is not sound.

        Then, “If He wanted to force Himself on them, there would be no need for libertarian freewill and as a result a fallen world and then need for redemption and the Cross.”

        By “them” do you mean Adam and Eve? Here, we agree that had God forced Himself on Adam and prevented Adam eating the fruit, then there would be no fallen world. However, Adam can have LFW and God can still force Himself on Adam. LFW is not an issue.

        If you assume LFW for Adam’s posterity, but even you don’t seem to be saying that all people exercise LFW to salvation. Some people with LFW actually choose to reject salvation. So there is still room for God to force Himself on people with LFW who make bad decisions. Again, LFW is not an issue.

        Then “Saving those who do not want to be saved is therefore logically absurd and impossible.”

        Ask those whom God saves against their LFW choice to reject salvation and see if they think it “logically absurd and impossible.” I don’t understand how you get to this conclusion.

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      6. You’re still begging the question… It’s impossible to have a rational conversation with someone who keeps begging the question by assuming that there’s no libertarian freewill. You can’t argue against my position by assuming there’s no libertarian freewill. That’s question begging sir. People who believe that they have been “saved” against their will are simply deluded. Perhaps that’s why you keep begging the question because you can’t think outside of your delusion…

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Markus writes, “It’s impossible to have a rational conversation with someone who keeps begging the question by assuming that there’s no libertarian freewill.”

        There is no assumption of NO LFW on my part. I don’t make that assumption because LFW is not relevant to the issue.

        Then, “People who believe that they have been “saved” against their will are simply deluded.”

        Technically, no one is saved against their will. Calvinists hold that the will is regenerated removing it from slavery to sin whereupon the preaching of the gospel has its full effect and the person willingly is saved through faith.

        Even in your system, God conveys faith to a person through the preaching of the gospel without which the person could not be saved. The conveyance of faith is done without the person’s permission – technically, against their will.

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      8. You do. You keep begging the question by either assuming there’s no libertarian freewill or when you assume there is, your definition of libertarian freewill is not libertarian freewill but rather your own version of freewill which is not libertarian freewill at all. Also, changing someone’s mind without their permission is indeed an action against their will and if you believe that’s what God has done to you, then as I said, you’re simply deluded and self-deceived and I don’t see any point arguing with someone who believes that everything is being controlled by God and that we don’t have libertarian freewill. It’d be like trying to talk to a robot! No wonder why talking to compatibilists feels like talking to the wall! LOL!!! Goodbye!

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      9. Markus writes, “your definition of libertarian freewill is not libertarian freewill but rather your own version of freewill which is not libertarian freewill at all.”

        I am perfectly willing to use your definition. I use Dr. Flowers’ definition – the ability to choose otherwise – since he is a huge proponent of LFW but will use your definition. What is your definition?

        Then, “changing someone’s mind without their permission is indeed an action against their will and if you believe that’s what God has done to you, then as I said, you’re simply deluded and self-deceived”

        I don’t see how the conveyance of faith to a person when they hear the gospel preached can do anything other than change a person’s perspective on sin and salvation.

        Then, “I don’t see any point arguing with someone who believes that everything is being controlled by God and that we don’t have libertarian freewill.”

        God can decree, as sovereign, that people be free to exercise LFW without hindrance from Him. That is what He did with Adam and God seems to do it with everyone else. I don’t see a problem with God exercising His sovereignty to decree that people should roam free.

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      10. The ability to choose otherwise sounds fine. If we don’t have the ability to choose otherwise, then arguments are meaningless. You fizz Calvinism and I fizz anti-Calvinism and it’s just the way it is. We can’t help it. Arguments presuppose that we have the ability to think critically and change our mind based on evident reason and logic and therefore choose otherwise. If you still can’t see how without libertarian freewill everything becomes meaningless, it’s because of your delusion and the fact that you think you’re being used by God as the means by which people would convert to Calvinism and get truly saved while in reality you’re being abused by the Devil to deceive the ignorant and unstable through the same manipulative tactics that have worked on yourself! I rest my case…

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      11. Markus writes, “Arguments presuppose that we have the ability to think critically and change our mind based on evident reason and logic and therefore choose otherwise.”

        It is those arguments that are derived from the Scriptures and argue those Scriptures that change minds. Human opinions have no such force.

        Then, “If you still can’t see how without libertarian freewill everything becomes meaningless,…”

        To date, you have not made an argument for this to be true – either from the Scriptures or from personal argument. You only state that you think this to be so. It has nothing to do with me or what I am.

        Then, “…you think you’re being used by God as the means by which people would convert to Calvinism.”

        The purpose of these discussions is not to convert people to a particular theological position. It is to engage the Scriptures and determine that which they say.

        Finally, “I rest my case…”

        Other than offering your personal opinion on certain things, you have made no case for anything. You have no case to rest.

        For example, you offered your personal opinion that, “The only solution for this problem is blaming the evil on the people and the only way you can do that is through libertarian freewill otherwise you have to blame the evil on God.” That was it! No supporting argument; you made no case for this.

        On another occasion, you said, “your definition of libertarian freewill is not libertarian freewill but rather your own version of freewill which is not libertarian freewill at all.” Yet, you did not provide a definition for libertarian free will, nor did you argue for another definition. You made no case for your position.

        Then, you said, “Denying contra-causal freewill fails to make sense of this very conversation. In other words, this very conversation presupposes the existence of contra-causal freewill and that Compatibilism and therefore Calvinism are false.” Granted, you cited a video that you made on this, and I have not looked at it yet. Nonetheless, you could have summarized key points from that video to frame an argument. However, both compatibilism and LFW assume contra-causal freedom. Compatibilism adds that choices are made for reasons – i.e., based on one’s desires. You did not make an attempt to differentiate compatibilism from LFW (although you may have done so in the video).

        So, I think, I’ll go watch your video to see if you can develop rational arguments from the Scriptures.

        Like

      12. As you critique others, Roger, for their lack of evidence behind their statements… remember I am waiting for you to produce scholarly evidence for your opinion – already determined and still being determined mean the same thing… and that such a obviously contradictory premise is not true just because you say so!

        Like

      13. I second that!!
        We are all, in fact still waiting for rhutchin to acknowledge the irrationality of his ad-hoc rescues.

        Its obvious to me, all of rhutchin’s talk about RATIONAL dialog is nothing more than a smoke-screen.

        But I’m glad for the Calvinist contribution.
        The Calvinist provides the examples of double-think, others provide the analysis.
        Its a win-win situation. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      14. Yea, Br. D…. it’s a shame we can’t seem to get some other Calvinists or determinists, who have visited here, to stay in dialog with us. Maybe they have changed their positions and are heading into the “in the closet”, into their non-Calvinist phase, like Leighton went through for a number of years! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      15. Hi Brian,
        A fun way of looking at that is to identify it as canine behavior.
        If you look for it, you will see, rhutchins behavior follows a predictable repetitive pattern.
        1) Review all new posts, smelling each one for its scent.
        2) If the scent is not Calvinism affirming – pee on it.
        3) If the scent is Calvinism affirming, but is in contradiction to rhutchins scent (i.e., reasoning) – alert the Calvinist pooch who left the scent. (Note: This tips you off that rhutchin actually does have the ability to discern certain contradictions)

        Additionally, there is an agreement among Calvinists concerning public forums.
        They keep their disagreements behind closed doors, and don’t air them in public forums, for the simple reason, its impossible for a Calvinist to **POSTURE** having the truth, when his fellow Calvinists disagree with him in the same forum.

        Also, as soon as the other Calvinist pooches get the hint, rhutchin is the territorial dog at SOT101, they leave him with the territory.

        Its classic canine territorial behavior 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      16. brianwagner writes, “I am waiting for you to produce scholarly evidence for your opinion – already determined and still being determined mean the same thing…”

        Let me repeat, I do NOT believe that they do – I agree with you that “such a obviously contradictory premise is not true” so I don’t maintain that it is true. I think I have said that they result in the same outcomes. Thus, while I say God determined all things in eternity past and you same that God is still determining some things in the present, it is a technical disagreement as the outcome in each case is the same. Otherwise, I have made the distinction between determined (past tense) and determining (participle indicating ongoing action into the present) – but even here, I don’t maintain that they mean the same thing.

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      17. You said the meanings were the same… not just the outcomes… now you deny it… I hope your not married… if you are… I will start praying for your wife, Roger, 🙄

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      18. brianwagner writes, “You said the meanings were the same… ”

        Then, let’s correct the record. If I said that, then I am correcting the record. Can’t I be accorded that privilege with you?? Now, do you think that this correction is destructive to the arguments that I have been re-emphasizing in recent comments?

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      19. Thanks for correcting the record Roger. I hope you don’t mind when I point out clear contradictions in your conversation. I hope you will do the same for me. So I look forward to you using “determined” from now on when speaking your position of God’s predeterminations and not “determines” or “being determined” unless you switch to my view! Thanks.

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      20. brianwagner writes, “I hope you don’t mind when I point out clear contradictions in your conversation.”

        It is always good to clear up mistakes, especially when unintentional and confusing.

        Then, “So I look forward to you using “determined” from now on when speaking your position of God’s predeterminations and not “determines” or “being determined” unless you switch to my view!”

        So, I can use determining – guess not since you nixed the idea of being determined? I think I need to say that God is working out His plan in the historical context – like impregnating Mary at the proper time or arranging for Pilate and Herod to have their respective positions in Israel.

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      21. …much more consistent language with your position… Thanks. And I didn’t “nix” you speaking in a contradictory fashion… I just encouraged you to face and admit the contradiction for I assumed you wouldn’t want to speak that way.

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      22. Arguments from Scriptures are also made by humans and can therefore be reduced to “human opinions.” Studying the Bible in order to understand it presupposes a number of things and one of them is the existence of libertarian freewill or the ability to choose to believe discern the truth of an exegesis or interpretation. The level of willful ignorance in your comments is the very reason why I don’t want to engage any further. Not that I’m surprised. In fact, willful ignorance is exactly what I expect from people who are suppressing the truth in unrighteousness.

        Liked by 1 person

      23. I like 1Cor 7:37 as a good verse teaching about free will – 1Cor 7:37 “Nevertheless he who stands steadfast in his heart, having no necessity, but has power over his own will, and has so determined in his heart that he will ___________[fill in the blank], does well [if within the boundaries God’s permission].”

        Liked by 1 person

      24. AMEN!!

        I love Jesus’ two questions to the lawyer (i.e., debater of scripture), in Luke 10:26

        (1) “What does the scripture say” (2) “How do you read it”

        Notice how the lawyer in the scripture answers Jesus 1st question by quoting the text verbatim.
        He’s very crafty – just like Calvin the lawyer – (and the tree brings forth fruit after its kind)

        But also notice how he evades Jesus’s 2nd question.
        Another example consistent with Calvin and his progeny.

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      25. brianwagner writes, “I like 1Cor 7:37 as a good verse teaching about free will – 1Cor 7:37”

        Both Calvinists and non-Calvinists agree with you. The critical phrase you then use is, “[if within the boundaries [of] God’s permission]” – a thoroughly Calvinistic limitation that speaks to God’s sovereignty – sovereignty being a big deal with Calvinists.

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      26. Markus writes, “Arguments from Scriptures are also made by humans and can therefore be reduced to “human opinions.”

        True, but it is the proper starting point to discussions concerning the Scriptures.

        Then, “Studying the Bible in order to understand it presupposes a number of things and one of them is the existence of libertarian freewill or the ability to choose to believe discern the truth of an exegesis or interpretation.”

        Ordinary everyday, non-coercive free will works fine also.

        Then, “The level of willful ignorance in your comments is the very reason why I don’t want to engage any further. ”

        If you perceived ignorance, willful or otherwise, you should be able to explain why you think it is ignorance – the argument being generally of the form, “You don’t take this Scripture or that into account” (Brian Wagner can be used as a good example of this).

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      27. “Ordinary everyday, non-coercive free will works fine also.” No it does not. If you don’t have libertarian freewill or should I say the ability to choose to do/think otherwise, then you are not able to discern the truth of my arguments and therefore “studying the Bible” or any other argument including this one would be pointless. This is exactly the type of willful ignorance that I’m talking about. The Calvinist is trying to disprove the existence of the very thing he’s presupposing every time he makes an argument whether from the Scriptures or not. Talk about “human opinions.” Isn’t that what the Bible says? That fools take no pleasure in understanding but only in airing out their own opinions? After all, a consistent Calvinist has to only air out his own opinions and “hope” that his god may use them as the means by which he’s gonna bring about his determinations. This is of course all part of the matrix/delusion that the Calvinist is stuck in which is why I have very little hope for people who have managed to stuck themselves into this matrix because they’re not gonna have ears to listen even if they claim they do. They are a walking example of Proverbs 18:2

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      28. Have hope Markus… Leighton and others are examples that humbling oneself to reject Calvinism can happen after years of publicly teaching and defending Calvinism as a pastor, and even after helping to split a church over it!

        Liked by 1 person

      29. Yes, I agree.
        There have been at least 3 other occasional participants here at SOT101 who are ex-Calvinists.
        Or they might say ex-cult believers. 🙂

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      30. Markus writes, ““Ordinary everyday, non-coercive free will works fine also.” No it does not. If you don’t have libertarian freewill or should I say the ability to choose to do/think otherwise, then you are not able to discern the truth of my arguments…”

        Until you provide a coherent definition of libertarian free will that clearly differentiates itself from non-coercive free will, no progress will be made in this discussion.

        All definitions of free will include the ability to choose to do/think otherwise. Non-coercive free will adds that a person chooses consistent with his desires. What unique features does libertarian free will have?

        The ability to discern the “truth” of your arguments rests on the logical soundness of those arguments. Anyone who has free will of any definition is still able to reason and understand a logical argument. If you have a logical argument to make, then make it. So far, you have not presented any arguments but you do put forth many opinions.

        The rest of your comments were no more than a rambling diatribe stitching together your opinions. At least, I did not see anything else in them.

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      31. If you can only choose according to your desires, then you cannot choose otherwise and therefore you cannot discern the truth if you’re wrong. Another example of willful ignorance. You can continue to label my sound arguments against your worldview as “opinions” if it helps you sleep better at night.

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      32. Marksu writes, “f you can only choose according to your desires, then you cannot choose otherwise…”

        The constraints of desires does not limit one’s choices but only that which a person ultimately chooses from among the options available. Even Dr. Flowers allows for outside influences and inward desires to incline a person one way or the other under libertarian free will.

        Are you saying that libertarian free will choices are exercised free of desires – therefore spontaneously? We still need you to provide your definition of libertarian free will.

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      33. You said, “The constraints of desires does not limit one’s choices but only that which a person ultimately chooses from among the options available.” If the ability to discern the truth and amend your beliefs does not exist in the options available, then it does limit one’s choices and therefore arguments lose their meaning. Under libertarian freewill, outside influences and inward desires can indeed incline a person one way or the other but that does not mean the person cannot resist them or make a choice independent of outside influences and inward desires. However, under your version of freewill, Outside influences and inward desires dictate what a person believes or does and the individuals are not able to make an independent choice and therefore, arguments will be like two people throwing out their opinions at each other. In other words, arguments lose their meaning and become meaningless. You may say arguments are part of the outside influences that can cause one to change their mind about something under your version of “freewill” but in reality, they would only be able to cause such a change if A. It’s predetermined. OR B. They have libertarian freewill. You obviously don’t agree with B so you’re gonna have to go with A and prove my point that arguments under your version of freewill are meaningless because at the end of the day, we are bound to believe what your god has predetermined for us to believe and neither of us can help it. It’s just the way it is. You fizz Calvinism and I fizz Anti-Calvinism. It’s all predetermined by your god. The same thing happens under naturalism. You just have to replace your god with nature. The atheists fizz atheism and theists fizz theism. It’s all predetermined by nature. If it’s all predetermined, then why bother? Just get over it and get on with your life. Oh sorry I forgot that you don’t to choose so even you bothering must be predetermined but that won’t change the fact that logically speaking, arguments lose their true meaning; as I explain in my video, your version of freewill destroys both rationality and responsibility so every time you act like I’m not being rational and every time you hold me responsible for not being rational, you’re presupposing the existence of the very thing you’re trying to disprove regardless of whether your charges against me are true or not. It really doesn’t take a genius to agree with what I’m saying. Just as it doesn’t take a genius to agree that without God, everything becomes meaningless, yet atheists don’t agree because they’re suppressing the truth in unrighteousness. It’s not a matter of intellectual problem but a matter of suppressing the truth. You should sit down and think what are the reasons, biases, desires or outside influences are that are inclining you to suppress the truth and deny the obvious. Or maybe you’ve denied the obvious for so long that God has given you over to a reprobate mind and that’s why you can’t see the truth anymore. Either way, good luck trying to figure it out for yourself because I’m done here.

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      34. Markus writes, “If the ability to discern the truth and amend your beliefs does not exist in the options available, then it does limit one’s choices and therefore arguments lose their meaning.”

        This occurs through lack of knowledge and lack of understanding of what is known. However, the Scriptures provide complete knowledge and those Scriptures can be understood. Discerning the truth of the Scriptures requires that we not ignore any Scriptures as they speak to an issue and that we understand those Scriptures.

        Then, “Under libertarian freewill, outside influences and inward desires can indeed incline a person one way or the other but that does not mean the person cannot resist them or make a choice independent of outside influences and inward desires.”

        How does a person make choices “independent of outside influences and inward desires”? A choice is is the product of one’s knowledge and understanding (which come from outside influences) and one’s character and biases (which reflect inward influences). How does one overcome inward biases except through outward knowledge and understanding? How does one overcome outside influences except by inward character and biases? You allege that a person can “make a choice independent of outside influences and inward desires.” Can you explain how this happens? Other than flipping a coin to make a decision, how does a person choose outside himself and what he knows?

        Then, “However, under your version of freewill, Outside influences and inward desires dictate what a person believes or does and the individuals are not able to make an independent choice…”

        This holds true until you identify an alternative. Any alternative you identify would then seem to be an outside influence or an inward desire, causing you to reject them. To what can a person’s choices be attributed if not to outward influences and inward desires.

        Then, “…and therefore, arguments will be like two people throwing out their opinions at each other.”

        Those opinions will be based on knowledge and understanding. Opinions reflect a lack of knowledge and understanding. Through knowledge and understanding, opinions can become sound arguments. Thus, we seek to support opinions through sound arguments that reflect actual knowledge and understanding. In this manner, we prevent arguments losing their soundness.

        Then, “You may say arguments are part of the outside influences that can cause one to change their mind about something under your version of “freewill” but in reality, they would only be able to cause such a change if A. It’s predetermined. OR B. They have libertarian freewill. ”

        In either case, sound argument is still a sound argument. Sound arguments are determined sound on the basis of the validity of their premisses and conclusion. This is not affected by “free will.”

        Then, “You obviously don’t agree with B so you’re gonna have to go with A and prove my point that arguments under your version of freewill are meaningless because at the end of the day, we are bound to believe what your god has predetermined for us to believe and neither of us can help it. It’s just the way it is.”

        Sound arguments are never meaningless. Truth is truth regardless that which one wants to believe.

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      35. rhutchin writes:

        “Until you provide a coherent definition of libertarian free will that clearly differentiates itself from non-coercive free will, no progress will be made in this discussion.”

        Here is a statement from Alvin Plantinga on libertarian free will.
        But since it doesn’t fit into your confirmation-bias, it is guaranteed not to fit your category of “coherent”.

        “If a person is free with respect to a given action, then he is free to perform that action and free to refrain from performing it; no
        antecedent conditions and/or causal laws determine that he will perform the action, or that he won’t.” (Alvin Plantinga, GOD, FREEDOM, AND EVIL, page. 29)

        Logic is founded upon the primary law of non-contradiction – that nothing can EXIST and NOT EXIST at the same time.
        Calvinism, founded on double-think propositions, breaches the law of non-contradiction
        Calvinism retains credibility by framing its double-think within camouflaged language.

        In Calvinism:
        (1) No event can have ontological existence unless Calvin’s deity decrees it to have existence.
        (2) Calvin’s deity cannot foreknow any event, unless the deity decrees that event to have existence.
        Therefore it follows:
        (3) Calvin’s deity ONLY foreknows Adam’s choice to disobey because Adam’s choice to disobey was decreed to EXIST
        (4) Adam’s choice to NOT disobey DID NOT EXIST (law of non-contradiction)

        “Do otherwise”, “Alternate-possibilities”, and “The ability to refrain” do not EXIST in Calvinism.

        However, Calvin instructs his followers to use **AS-IF** thinking.
        – quote “Go about your office **AS-IF** nothing is determined in any part”

        This is what clues us in that Calvinism is based upon double-think.
        They can claim that god decreed Adam free to “do otherwise”, or “ability to refrain” using **AS-IF** thinking.

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      36. br.d writes, ““If a person is free with respect to a given action, then he is free to perform that action and free to refrain from performing it; no
        antecedent conditions and/or causal laws determine that he will perform the action, or that he won’t.” (Alvin Plantinga, GOD, FREEDOM, AND EVIL, page. 29)”

        This definition fits free will that is not coercive. I am pretty sure that Plantinga would argue against the idea that free will choices are spontaneous – i.e, made absent any influences, such as desires.

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      37. As always – – – the Calvinist must evade LOGIC, in order to cleave to his master DOUBLE-THINK.

        In this case, the red herring is: “choices are spontaneous – i.e, made absent any influences, such as desires”

        Plantinga defines “FREE WILL” as necessitating the existence of “THE ABILITY TO REFRAIN”, which does not exist in Calvinism.

        Like

      38. br.d writes, “(3) Calvin’s deity ONLY foreknows Adam’s choice to disobey because Adam’s choice to disobey was decreed to EXIST
        (4) Adam’s choice to NOT disobey DID NOT EXIST (law of non-contradiction)”

        As Craig has argued, all events were known to God at the point where He created the universe. This made all events certain but not necessary. That which then determined those events, and could only be by were by God’s decrees, could be traced to direct intervention by God in His creation or by passive non-intervention whereby natural events and choices occurred freely. There is no violation of the law of non-contradiction in God’s decrees.

        Like

      39. rhutchin writes:

        “As Craig has argued, all events were known to God at the point where He created the universe. This made all events CERTAIN but not necessary.

        Then:
        That which then DETERMINED THOSE EVENTS…COULD ONLY BE BY WERE GOD’S DECREES….illogical filler…illogical filler etc,

        More Calvinist dishonesty!
        Once again, you twist Dr. Craig’s statements posturing as asserting what he rejects.

        quote:
        God’s foreknowledge is sort of like an infallible barometer of future events. An infallible barometer will tell you with infallible correctness which way the weather will be. But the barometer DOESN’T DETERMINE the weather; the weather determines the barometer.”

        Thus god infallibly foreknows man’s choices without determining them.

        http://www.reasonablefaith.org/defenders-2-podcast/transcript/s3-14#ixzz4gbEizlY1

        My statement still stands:
        (1) Calvin’s deity can ONLY foreknow X where X is foreordained via decree
        (2) Whatever X Calvin’s deity does not foreknow DOES NOT HAVE EXISTENCE (contrapositive of 1)
        (3) Adam’s choice to disobey is what HAD EXISTENCE

        It thus follows:
        In Calvinism, Adam’s choice to NOT disobey DID NOT HAVE EXISTENCE (law of non-contradiction)

        Like

      40. Hii Markus,
        If you don’t mind, I add to your statement:

        The irony here in rhutchin’s insistence on being always right, is that Calvin also taught; “the many” believers in the church are there, deceived by god into believing they are saved, when they really aren’t.

        Calvin called them – quote “hypocrites in the church who have none of Christ but the outward form”

        Taking Calvin’s assertion as true, it follows that rhutchin may be one of “the many” in the Calvinist fold, who are only deceived into believing they are elect, saved etc. And in such case, they are still under the prince of the power of air, the god of this world.
        So who then can believe anything they say?

        Liked by 1 person

      41. br.d wrrites, “The irony here in rhutchin’s insistence on being always right,…”

        If you think my position is wrong, make an argument from the Scriptures to show that I am wrong. Otherwise, stop whining.

        Like

      42. No whining…just speaking the truth in love.

        However, your comment backfires on you….If you had any degree of honesty you wouldn’t see Christ-honoring participants here at SOT101 making comments about you the way they do.

        Masquerading as rational and masquerading as honest is obviously not working for you. 😀

        Like

      43. Markus writes, “The problem of evil is indeed an argument against the goodness of God…”

        That is you falling for the nonsense being spouted by the atheists. The Problem of Evil is an argument against the existence of God. Given that God exists, the argument fails.

        Then, “If there was no libertarian freewill, then ultimately evil is to be blamed on God because God would become the author of sin and evil.”

        EVERYBODY agrees that Adam had LFW and Adam sinned. It is because of Adam’s sin that his posterity is now evil.

        Then, “You cannot apply your dodgy definition of sovereignty only to good things like salvation. You have to try to be consistent and if you do, you will have to apply your dodgy definition of sovereignty to bad things too which means you have to blame everything bad on God but you’re not consistent.”

        God was sovereign; He did not force Himself on Adam to prevent Adam eating the fruit; Adam’s posterity is now evil; God is still sovereign. Your complaint is that God, as sovereign, is not forcing Himself on people to prevent them doing evil. But if God does force Himself on people to save them, you still have problems. God just can’t win with you.

        Like

      44. Markus writes, “The problem of evil is indeed an argument against the goodness of God…”

        rhutchin writes:
        “That is you falling for the nonsense being spouted by the atheists.”

        If Calvinism’s problem of evil is nonsense spouted by atheists, then it follows that Alvin Plantinga, Ravi Zacharias, and William Lane Craig, are atheists.

        Like

      45. br.d writes, “If Calvinism’s problem of evil is nonsense spouted by atheists, then it follows that Alvin Plantinga, Ravi Zacharias, and William Lane Craig, are atheists.”

        I suspect they understand that the Problem of Evil is an argument against the existence of God and is shown to be false because God exists. William Craig, in particular, has developed a sound argument for the existence of God that cannot be undone by the atheist attempt to show otherwise through an alleged problem of evil. Plantinga, Zacharias, and Craig have not been fooled by the atheists (and if they had been, that would not make them atheists).

        Like

      46. Perhaps I misunderstood the conversation. Yes, it is true that the existence of god has been debated between major Christian philosophers and atheists. William Lane Craig, for example is said to – quote “put the fear of god” in the atheist debater.

        Calvinism’s logical entailment (of god being the author of evil) is of course a separate concern for those philosophers I mentioned.

        Like

      47. br.d writes, “Calvinism’s logical entailment (of god being the author of evil) is of course a separate concern for those philosophers I mentioned.”

        And here, the issue seems to be what it means to be the “author of evil.”

        Like

      48. No sir. The problem of evil is to “prove” that God either does not exist or if He does, He is not good because there’s evil. The only solution for this problem is blaming the evil on the people and the only way you can do that is through libertarian freewill otherwise you have to blame the evil on God. The fact that you only apply your dodgy definition of sovereignty to salvation in the absence of libertarian freewill and refuse to apply it to the existence of evil or evil things shows that you’re not consistent and you’re suppressing the truth in unrighteousness. To insist that your contradictory and inconsistent worldview makes sense and God just can’t win with me is nothing more than wishful thinking on your part.

        Liked by 1 person

      49. Markus writes, “The problem of evil is to “prove” that God either does not exist…”

        At least we got you this far. That’s progress.

        Then, “…or if He does, He is not good because there’s evil.”

        The other option is that God is not omnipotent. Given that no one wants to argue that God is not omnipotent, the argument focuses on God being good. Even you should be able to see, from a cursory reading of the Scriptures, that those Scriptures declare that God is good and those same Scriptures declare that God uses evil to His good purposes. Thus, there is no contradiction between God being good and God tolerating the evil actions of people.

        Then, “The only solution for this problem is blaming the evil on the people and the only way you can do that is through libertarian freewill otherwise you have to blame the evil on God.”

        That is exactly what is done. Adam had LFW and Adam sinned opening the door for he and his posterity to engage in evil behavior. Even without LFW, people can still be held accountable for the evil they do so long as they are not coerced to do evil.

        Then, “The fact that you only apply your dodgy definition of sovereignty to salvation in the absence of libertarian freewill and refuse to apply it to the existence of evil or evil things shows that you’re not consistent and you’re suppressing the truth in unrighteousness.”

        Sovereignty works as well with LFW as it does with non coercive free will. God is sovereign regardless of any abilities of people, such as free will.

        Then, “To insist that your contradictory and inconsistent worldview makes sense and God just can’t win with me is nothing more than wishful thinking on your part.”

        Unfortunately, you seem incapable of explaining how I have a “contradictory and inconsistent worldview.” Pretty much all you have done is falsely claim that I need to deny LFW. Luther, in his “Bondage of the Will” does strongly argue that free will does not exist. Maybe you should write a rebuttal to Luther. I think he makes a sound argument from the Scriptures, but I see no real problem with LFW with regard to salvation. People freely reject God and God freely saves whom He will.

        Like

      50. You have it exactly right Markus!!

        There is also a significant aspect of Calvinistic DOUBLE-THINK, in regard to LFW.
        Calvin knew his doctrine produced acute internal anxieties, and he had to figure out a way to anesthetize psychological debilitating affects as these threatened receptivity to his doctrine.

        Calvin’s remedy for acute subconscious anxiety is to – quote “Go about your office **AS-IF** nothing is determined in any part”.

        In other words, the Calvinist is taught to **TESTIFY** that LFW does not exist, but **FUNCTION** AS-IF it LFW does exist, in order to retain a sense of normalcy in daily intercourse and to mimic a biblical sense of personal responsibility.

        UNFREE-FREEWILL is just one of the many oxymorons within Calvinism’s system of DOUBLE-THINK.

        Author John Stachniewski, in his book [The Persecutory Imagination: English Puritanism and the Literature of Religious Despair]
        writes: “Innumerable men and women in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were gripped by the anxiety, often conviction, that God had doomed them to hell. This condition of mind was commonly enmeshed with such circumstances as parental severity, social exclusion, and economic decline, which seemed to give cogency to a Calvinist theology specializing in the idea of divine rejection.”

        Dr. Erich Fromm – Ph.D Social Psychologist in [Escape from Freedom] writes:
        “Human efforts, in Calvinist believers served only as a means of FORECASTING the predetermined FATE; while at the same time, the heightened effort served as an emotional reassurance against an otherwise unbearable underlying feeling of powerlessness”

        Liked by 1 person

      51. Exactly. Their contradictory behavior is one of the major evidences that they are suppressing the truth in unrighteousness just like the atheists. It really doesn’t take a genius to figure out that without God everything becomes meaningless. Neither does it take a genius to figure out that without libertarian freewill, everything becomes meaningless! Consistent Calvinism not only makes a mockery of God’s character but also turns Him into the author of evil and sin. It’s a very destructive systematic and needs to be exposed. I would rather spend my time talking to people who have not yet been poisoned by this systematic. I don’t have much hope for the ones who have been poisoned already to the point that when I talk to them, I feel like I’m talking to the wall! LOL

        Like

      52. Thanks Markus!
        And I totally agree with you. Calvinism is best described by DR. Margaret Singer, as a “closed system of logic”.
        There is a significant degree of investors bias involved.
        We know that religious groups, such as the JWs, and the Moonies recruit and retain people as life-long believers.
        How do they retain such a long-term stronghold on people?
        Margaret Singer tells us they use socialization processes, and many religious groups use these processes intuitively, and without any knowledge of the degree to which people are manipulated.

        I am convinced if the Orthodox Christian can get an inside look at the psychological effects produced within the mind of the Calvinist believer, and the degree of indoctrination in DOUBLE-THINK they are exposed too, we can actually have compassion for the Calvinist who is ensnared in a world of DOUBLE-THINK.

        The carrot on the string, of course, is religious pride.

        Calvinist hyper-activity is actually a psychological byproduct of internal anxiety.
        The best way to warn Christians how not to fall into the ditch of Calvinism, is to help Christians realize the PSYCHOLOGY of Calvinism is unstable, as well as understand the logical entailment of it making god the author of evil.

        Debating theology with a Calvinist is most often the method they use to draw people into a spider’s web of DOUBLE-THINK.

        Blessings my friend!! :-]

        Liked by 1 person

      53. br.d writes, “How do they retain such a long-term stronghold on people?”

        By explaining the Scriptures in a straightforward and honest fashion. The truth sets people free.

        Like

      54. Some “gaslighting” going on….imo. But It’s hard to figure out what the selfish motive is. It’s very sad….

        Like

      55. With Calvinisms consistent reliance upon a certain degree of dishonesty in language and in strategy, no Orthodox Christian believes your statements rhutchin.

        A previous guest after dialog with you stated: “I don’t think its possible to get an honest answer from a Calvinist”

        You simply choose to ignore and rationalize away anything that does not affirm the sacred doctrine.

        Like

      56. br.d writes, “You simply choose to ignore and rationalize away anything that does not affirm the sacred doctrine.”

        That is because Calvinist doctrine is based solidly on the Scriptures. One can either argue that the Calvinists have not taken relevant Scriptures into account or have misunderstood the Scriptures that they do take into account – and you have not made any attempt to argue either way, so far.

        Like

      57. The third option, which has been perennially sited and which William Lane Craig has alluded to, is syncretism.

        Augustine, in contradiction to the church fathers years before him, synchronized Gnosticism, and NeoPlatonism into Catholic doctrine.

        English historian, Theodore Maynard, in The story of American Catholicism writes:

        “It has often be charged… that Catholicism has been overlaid with many pagan incrustations.
        Catholicism is ready to accept that charge – and to make it her boast.
        The great god Pan is not really dead, he is baptized.”

        Gnostic and NeoPlatonic constructs would be fully embraced by the Catholics of the 4th century, and Augustine would carry them forward, and in his eloquent writing, baptize them as Christian, just as the Roman church had baptized the great god Pan.

        Young John Calvin, at age 26, without any serious theological formation, published his Institutes in which he pretended to explain all the doctrine necessary for salvation. According to this young man, the whole body of the Post-Apostolic fathers erred in their interpretation of the Gospel. Only he, during his three short years of hasty private studies, understood the genuine meaning of the truths the entire world had missed.

        In Revelation 22:8, the fully spiritually matured Apostle John, fell down at the feet of an angel, and he was rebuked for doing even that.

        If John Calvin had, had the spiritual sense, he would not have fallen down in adoration for the man Augustine.

        Like

      58. Markus writes, “…without God everything becomes meaningless.”

        That is obvious to all.

        Then, “…without libertarian freewill, everything becomes meaningless! ”

        Why this is, no one seems able to explain.

        Like

      59. br.d writes, “Calvin’s remedy for acute subconscious anxiety is to – quote “Go about your office **AS-IF** nothing is determined in any part”.”

        While Calvin was an exceptional intellect, he blew it on this (assuming he actually said this). Calvin gives bad advice and should be ignored. I don’t know of any Calvinists who view life this way.

        Like

      60. The reason you don’t connect with Calvin’s double-think is called cognitive bias.
        Calvin’s statement is actually affirmed in many of your posts…howbeit, you don’t observe it.

        And that makes sense, and is why you repeatedly say you don’t understand William Lane Craig
        Its called the “see no evil” effect.

        This aspect of Calvinist thinking is however observed by numerous Orthodox Christians who frequently state it as:
        “Calvinists preach like determinists and live like inderminists”
        or
        “Calvinists rail against Arimians and then live like Arminians”

        From a philosophical perspective, its called “Asserting A” and then “Denying A”
        Its an obvious case of double-think.

        Liked by 1 person

      61. br.d writes, “And that makes sense, and is why you repeatedly say you don’t understand William Lane Craig”

        BUT, even you cannot explain the substance of Craig’s problems with Calvinism in context with his strong support for Molinist theology. So, it’s not just me.

        Like

      62. rhutchin writes:
        “BUT, even you cannot explain the substance of Craig’s problems with Calvinism in context with his strong support for Molinist theology. So, it’s not just me.”

        The problem here again, is your reputation for being dishonest simply over-shadows any trust in sincerity.

        William Lane Craig’s writings are not so esoteric that they require Einstein to understand them.
        The reason you don’t understand Dr. Craig’s statements concerning Calvinism is the same reason you don’t understand Alvin Plantinga’s, Peter Van Inwagen’s and Ravi Zacharias’.

        Remember the parable of the talents.
        There is no sense in providing more examples when you’ve simply buried the ones already given.

        If you sincerely want to understand Dr. Craig, then go to his web-site and read with an open mind.
        Ask the Lord to allow you to see what Dr. Craig is saying, if you really want to understand it.
        But that is not likely in your current state.

        As Brian has said, you’re so fully invested in the sacred doctrine, nothing that doesn’t affirm it can be acknowledged.

        I’m thanking the Lord he saved me years ago, from getting lured into Calvinism’s spider-web!
        God gave me enough discernment at that time, to recognize its religious pride and its forked tongue.
        And after further research, enough wisdom to recognize a psychology of double-think….yeah god!!

        Thank you Jesus for giving me wisdom and keeping me safe!!!

        Like

      63. br.d writes, “rhutchin writes:
        “BUT, even you cannot explain the substance of Craig’s problems with Calvinism in context with his strong support for Molinist theology. So, it’s not just me.”

        So, br.d proves my point by not trying to explain Craig in his comments. I knew it wasn’t just me.

        Like

  7. I’ve have been blessed by your teaching, when read God’s Word i see and understand what you write about,before i found your ministry i was becoming very depressed, i still was understanding the Bible prayerfully exactly { i believe} the way you teach it,and was filled with great joy and humility, then i found that my Pastor was teaching a calvinist prospective,it seemed to me as i followed the teaching that words in the Bible were changed and many truths were taken out of the texts, and like you have said i began to see God’s character changed and brought down to fit mans’ understanding. You have helped me redirect my anger and depression to prayer and patience. Romans when understood is the most beautiful book in the bible and because of you and Gods’ Grace i have found compassion for my brothers in Christ. i will not let my pride mock God, or cause division, thank you for your perserverance , you exalt God not man steven

    Liked by 3 people

  8. For Markus,
    Markus, please don’t leave frustrated.
    Everyone who engages in dialog with rhutchin will always resolve the impossibility of reasonable dialog with him.
    Over time, we’ve seen one after another engage with him and leave frustrated.
    Dialog with rhutchin is best likened to chasing a greased pig….he simply works to wear people out.

    ONCE YOU UNDERSTAND CALVINISM AS A SYSTEM OF DOUBLE-THINK, DIALOG WITH THEM WILL MAKE SENSE.

    Like

    1. br.d writes, “Dialog with rhutchin is best likened to chasing a greased pig….he simply works to wear people out.”

      The problem is that the non-Calvinist cannot explain what they believe and do so rationally. So, they blame others for their inadequacies.

      Like

      1. rhutchin writes:
        “The problem is that the non-Calvinist cannot explain what they believe and do so rationally. So, they blame others for their inadequacies.”

        Although this may sound plausible, in your case rhutchin, the problem is an open mind.
        Your behavior explains it all.
        You are not hear to accept anything explained rationally.
        You are hear to attack any post not complimentary to Calvinism.

        Jesus teaches his disciples not to cast pearls where they are guaranteed to be trampled on.

        Like

      2. br.d writes, “Although this may sound plausible, in your case rhutchin, the problem is an open mind.”

        Does this mean that you will start explaining what you believe from now on??

        Like

      3. Your posturing as rational, open minded, and honest has long ago lost all credibility.

        That’s what makes your contribution here as an example of Calvinism so profitable.

        Keep it coming rhutchin!! 😉

        Like

  9. I’m not sure Tozer would disagree here with Piper that “God is all about Himself,” for in the end our salvation does not make the focus on us.

    He, as a mystic, certainly sympathized with the centrality of God being our own focus—we are loved and blessed precisely because God is all about himself. We in a modern secular society are used to deriving our sense of our individual liberties, with the unalienable right to the pursuit of happiness. But Christ came and died because he loved the Father. The Father promised Christ a bride. The Spirit points us to Father and Son. In the self-absorption of the Trinity is where we can finally be freed and find the blessed rest of the curse of our own self-focus and self-absorption. We understand not the infinite, nor the blessedness of finally putting The Infinite in its proper place.

    In the natural we prefer a “consumer” mentality in God, where the focus is all on us—the customer is “always right,” because we immaturely see love as an action, giving to us our “Christmas presents.” God doesn’t put us above himself, he offers himself to us. We certainly know Christ does not put his love for us above the Father—that would be a sin; nor does the Father put us above Christ. There is nothing to fear in Piper’s message about the centrality and fitting self-absorption of God. It never leads to determinism. But in God loving us for the sake of his own great Name and Glory, we find our greatest comfort, in sourcing none of his faithful love in any attribute of our own.

    As someone said—”some things are loved because they are valuable, but other things are valuable because they are loved.” It’s the greatest comfort to be loved in the one who is Love, and find our value only in the love of the Trinity one for another, being allowed to be swept up in God’s own romance with himself. Love is far more than an action… oh, the cracked cisterns that have been thrown away in the name of “love.” Love is Three Persons in one God, offering salvation in their perfect love for one another. There’s only one place I belong, crucified to death in Christ. Thank God in his love for himself it can finally not be about me, but rather, the pleasure and glory of God, praise his name.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Br. D.

    You wrote of rhutchin:

    “Markus, please don’t leave frustrated.
    Everyone who engages in dialog with rhutchin will always resolve the impossibility of reasonable dialog with him.
    Over time, we’ve seen one after another engage with him and leave frustrated.
    Dialog with rhutchin is best likened to chasing a greased pig….he simply works to wear people out.”

    And:

    “Although this may sound plausible, in your case rhutchin, the problem is an open mind.
    Your behavior explains it all.
    You are not hear to accept anything explained rationally.
    You are hear to attack any post not complimentary to Calvinism.
    Jesus teaches his disciples not to cast pearls where they are guaranteed to be trampled on.”

    And:

    “Your posturing as rational, open minded, and honest has long ago lost all credibility.”

    Your words are accurate and true, so:

    Why do you keep interacting with him?

    Why, when I have advocated in the past that he be banned from posting here were you not more supportive of this suggestion?

    Like

    1. Hi Robert,
      You make excellent points and great observations.
      My answer, at least currently, is that I am using rhutchin as a way to make lemonade out of a lemon.

      I also stated in another post
      “Two things are infinite. The size of the universe, and rhutchin’s pretense.
      But I’m not sure about the size of the universe ” :-]

      rhutchin actually serves a wonderful purpose here at SOT101.
      His exculpatory arguments are classic examples of double-think and self-contradictions, camouflaged in equivocal language, which he has been taught by Calvinist mentors who have refined them over the years. Statements which appear to make sense if one is immature enough to take them face value. And may appear to mimic biblical emphasis, but inevitability break down under logical scrutiny.

      This provides excellent opportunities for anyone to analyze, dissect and shine a spot-light on them.
      Its a win-win situation for everyone!
      You may eventually choose to join the party! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And finding the best way to love those who are stuck… I think includes keeping the lines of communication open to some extent!

        Like

  11. Brian writes:

    “And finding the best way to love those who are stuck… I think includes keeping the lines of communication open to some extent!”

    I make a distinction between those who ignorantly reject the truth, or reject the truth because they really do not know any better: and those who have heard the truth, understand it, reject it, and keep rejecting it.

    It is the second type that Jesus was referring to when he said to His disciples if they reject the truth, shake the dust off you feet and move on to the next town. The concept is that these who reject the truth and do so knowingly, the disciples are not responsible for them, God will deal with them and judge them. These are not people who are merely ignorant, they are people who intentionally and repeatedly reject the truth when it is presented to them. Many people know that Jesus said this, I doubt many apply and follow those verses much. So they end up going in endless circles with intentional skeptics. They waste time when it could have and should have been used towards other people. I think some on the internet fit this profile, they have heard the truth, know it, understand it, and keep rejecting it, then naïve (or is it disobedient to Jesus’ words?) people just keep trying over and over to reach them.

    The NT has these verses about moving on, and leaving these folks, it also has verses on divisive folks. Apparently these are the verses that people know, but do not live out: at least not on the internet.

    Like

    1. Thanks for the comments Robert… but I think those teachings by Jesus and the apostles that you refer to are for when one determines someone is not a brother in Christ, and who is rejecting the gospel. I do not ascribe that situation to Roger.

      Like

    2. I do agree with you somewhat Robert….on the issue of casting pearls before someone who you already know will simply trample on them..or continuing to give talents to someone you already know will burry them…..are commands by Jesus that I believe I can put into practice here. There is no sense in being baited by someone posturing as open minded, only to find yourself trusting in feigned sincerity which eventually manifests itself as crafty dishonesty.

      So I do think your concerns can be put into practice here.
      Good points Robert!!

      Like

    3. Robert writes, “I make a distinction between those who ignorantly reject the truth, or reject the truth because they really do not know any better: and those who have heard the truth, understand it, reject it, and keep rejecting it.”

      There is the presumption that you know the truth. If you think you know the truth but cannot explain why it is the truth, what good is that? Much discussion here is involved with determining the truth and explaining it. Sometimes that process can be tedious.

      Like

  12. Rhutchin writes concerning quote from Calvin:

    -quote:
    “Hence as to future time, because the issue of all things is hidden from us, each ought to so to apply himself to his office, **AS THOUGH** NOTHING WERE DETERMINED ABOUT ANY PART” (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God – John Calvin – page 171)

    rhutchin:
    “Not everyone in the reformed community agrees with Calvin on this point.”

    Ok, lets assume, theoretically, that is true.
    You assert Calvin’s statement as NOT TRUE for you, and thus by your admission, (for you) its an example of contradiction (i.e., double-think).

    However, it is a quote from Calvin himself.
    So by your admission, it follows that Calvin is displaying a teaching (on this point) which is contradictory double-think.

    Secondly, if what you say is true, that SOME in the reformed community do not agree with Calvin (on this point).
    The it follows that SOME do.
    And in such case, by your admission, those SOME are also engaged in contradictory double-think.

    Can SOT101’s cute little greased-pig concoct another semantic shell-game to wiggle out of this one?
    If he is consistent….yes!
    Let us have fun and see how it appears. 🙂

    Like

    1. br.d writes, “You assert Calvin’s statement as NOT TRUE for you, and thus by your admission, (for you) its an example of contradiction (i.e., double-think).”

      No, I assert that Calvin has not taken a theological position here but has only provided advice to some people. There is no contradiction as there is no doctrine being contradicted.

      Like

      1. Calvinism is defined as Universal Divine Determinism, in which – quote “**ALL** things are DETERMINED at the foundation of the world, or -quote “in eternity past”.

        John Calvin writes:

        “Hence as to future time, because the issue of all things is hidden from us, each ought to so to apply himself to his office, **AS THOUGH** NOTHING WERE DETERMINED ABOUT ANY PART” (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God – John Calvin – page 171)

        rhutchin writes:
        There is no contradiction as there is no DOCTRINE being contradicted.

        Here we have two propositions:

        **ALL** things are DETERMINED by God at the foundation of the world
        AND
        **NOTHING IS DETERMINED BY GOD IN ANY PART**

        And for the Calvinist these are not contradictions.
        Great! Thank you for that example of double-think.

        It goes without saying that since you disagree with Calvin’s statement, then (on this point) you are in contradiction to (at least) his opinion.

        1) How do we know that your disagreement with Calvin is not simply your OPINION in disagreement with his OPINION?

        Concerning your assertion that some Calvinist statements are OPINION and some Calvinist statements are DOCTRINE.

        2) Please give us a quote from Calvin where he teaches exactly which of his statements are DOCTRINE, and which of them are OPINION.
        Otherwise we’ll know that this appeal is in fact the shell-game we were anticipating.

        Like

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