Four Calvinistic Proof-Texts for Determinism

Let’s go through four main biblical examples referenced from our Calvinistic brethren seeking to support their case for Divine determinism of all things (sometimes referred to as “sovereignty”).

  1. Joseph being sold by his brothers into slavery: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Gen. 50:20
  2. The King of Assyria is used to bring judgment on Israel. Is. 10
  3. Pharaoh hardened by God to accomplish the Passover: “But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart and he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had said to Moses.” Ex. 9:13
  4. The Crucifixion of Jesus: “This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men,[a] put him to death by nailing him to the cross…They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.” Acts 2:23; 4:28

Traditionalists believe at times throughout history God does intervene to determine some things. That is what makes these things “of God” and uniquely supernatural. We also believe God uses means similar to what some Calvinists describe in these instances. We do not believe, however, these unique divine determinations prove God’s meticulous determination of all things, especially man’s evil intentions. In fact, in every one of the instances listed above, the purpose of God’s unique intervention is clearly redemptive. I refuse to believe God is merely seeking to redeem the very evil intentions and actions that He Himself predetermined.

How does God bring about His good purposes through the evil choices of libertarianly free creatures?

Hardening

To be clear on this point there are two kinds of hardening taught in scripture.

  • Self-hardening: This is where a morally accountable person, who is able to refrain or not refrain from given moral actions (libertarianly free), grows stubborn or calloused in his own ways. People are not born already calloused, but if they continue to suppress the truth they eventually will be cut off and thus unable to see, hear, understand so as to turn (Acts 28:27-28).
  • Judicial-hardening: This is God’s active role in blinding an already rebellious person in their rebellion so as to prevent their repentance for a time. Once one is cut off in their rebellion God may use their bad behavior to bring about His plan. God’s motive is ALWAYS to accomplish a greater redemptive purpose through their rebellious actions (often including the potential redemption even of those being judicially blinded).

On Traditionalism, judicial hardening is simply hiding or confusing the revelation of truth that could otherwise lead to repentance (Mark 4:11-12; Rom. 11:8). So God is not said to have caused or enticed anyone to intend moral evil. He simply lets them continue down their already libertarianly free, self-hardened path and cuts them off from any revelation that might convince them to repent prior to His redemptive purpose being served.  An example of this is Jesus’ use of parables so as to keep the Jewish leaders of the day from recognizing Him as their Messiah (Mark 4 — this referred to as the “Messianic Secret,” and you can read more about that topic HERE.)

Consider this analogy:  Suppose my 4 year old daughter was told that she is not to take cookies from the cookie jar. In another room, out of sight, I see into the kitchen that my daughter is looking at the cookie jar. She looks around the room to see if anyone is watching. As a parent, I can tell what she is thinking. She is about to steal a cookie and she knows she is not supposed to.

Now, I could step into the room so that she sees me prior to her committing this sin. Upon seeing me she would forego her evil plot and give up the idea of getting the cookie (at least until the next time she was alone). However, suppose I decide to not step into the room. I remain out of sight to allow her to be tempted and then pounce into action to catch her with her hand in the cookie jar.

Now, by not stepping in at the moment I saw she was being tempted did I cause the temptation? No. I allowed it to continue, but I did not cause it. I did not determine for her to desire to steal. I could have prevented the action by simply showing myself, but I chose not to do so.

This is like judicial hardening. By simply hiding the truth (i.e. that I was present and watching) I allowed my daughter to be tempted and to act in sin. Am I in any way culpable for that sin? No. I merely allowed it though I could have stopped it.

Could God have stepped into the 1st century and clearly shown Himself in Christ to make all the Jews of that time believe Him? Of course. He could have ordained a “Damascus road experience” with all the Jews if He wanted to. He didn’t.

Instead we see Christ telling his disciples to keep things quiet until the right time (Matt. 16:20). We see him hiding the truth in parables (Mark 4:11). WHY? If all people are born deaf, blind and unable to understand to the truth why would he need to do this? He did it because He did not want them to come to repentance YET (not until after he is crucified and raised up does he draw all men to himself). This PROVES that Jesus knew the truth was more than sufficient to draw the lost to repentance. He had a bigger redemptive purpose to accomplish through them first, so he blinded them from that enabling truth.

KEY POINT: Don’t allow the context of that judicial hardening of the Jews cloud your view of men’s inherent nature. Men are very much capable of hearing, seeing and repenting when confronted by the powerful gospel truth if they have not been judicially blinded to that truth (see Acts 28:27-28).

Application

1.  Joseph being sold by his brothers into slavery: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Gen. 50:20

Let’s consider another analogy: When a police officer sets up a speed trap he has one ultimate desire: to stop speeders for the safety of all. However, by hiding the truth of his presence he is ensuring that those who want to speed will continue to do so. Thus, in one sense he wants the speeders to continue to speed so as to catch them speeding, but his ultimate purpose is the same: to stop speeders for the safety of all. The police officer does not determine the speeders desire to speed in any way, he simply hides the truth so as to ensure the speeder will continue to speed, something they have contra-causally chosen to do.

God’s ultimate purpose, like that of police officer in our analogy above, is only good. The brother’s intention, like that of the speeders, is not good. God’s sovereign plan is to use their libertarianly evil choices to accomplish His good redemptive purpose, much like the officer’s plan to accomplish his purpose through the free choice of speeders. God’s intention is ONLY to redeem, save, and restore throughout this entire event, yet to do so he must permit evil men to fulfill their own evil desires.  There is no reason to suggest God determines the desires of the brothers anymore so than there is to suggest the police officer determines the desires of the speeder.

2.  The King of Assyria is used to bring judgment on Israel. Is. 10

In reference in Isaiah 10, Calvinistic apologist, Dr. James White argues:

“In one passage we have God’s holy intention of judging His people through the means of Assyria—yet God holds Assyria accountable for her sinful attitudes in being so used! God judges them on the basis of their intentions, and since they come against Israel with a haughty attitude that does not recognize God’s power and authority, they too are judged. This is compatibilism with clarity: God uses the sinful actions of the Assyrians for the good purpose of judging His people, and yet He judges the Assyrians for their sinful intentions. God’s action in His sovereignty is perfectly compatible with the responsible, and culpable, actions of sinful men.” -James White

Traditionalists, like myself, would agree that God used the evil intentions of the Assyrians to bring judgment on Israel. However, we do not believe that God “sovereignly brought about” those evil intentions. Thus, our view does not bring God’s Holiness into question or create issues with the concept of Divine culpability.

God’s wrath is often depicted in scripture as God’s permitting the natural consequences of moral evil, which is not a problem in a worldview where the moral evil is brought to pass by someone other than God. God’s wrath can literally be described as God separating Himself from us so that we experience the natural consequences of our free moral actions.

That is what we see happening in Isaiah 10. Instead of protecting Israel from Assyria (which He promised to do if they remained obedient), God removes His hand of protection and PERMITS the Assyrians to follow their own libertarianly free will. God does not cause or bring about the evil intentions of the Assyrians, so He is perfectly just to judge them for their rebellious action despite the fact that God USED their rebellion to accomplish divine judgment on Israel for their disobedience. The fact that God may have incited the already rebellious Assyrians to consider the already rebellious Israelites to be their next victims does not negate the Israelite and Assyrian people’s individual responsibility in becoming rebellious to begin with.

Would Calvinists have us believe God “sovereignly brought about” the disobedience of the Israelites and the Assyrians so as to use the Assyrian’s disobedient actions to judge the Israelite’s disobedient actions? What would be the point in that?

Traditionalists do affirm that God may use the free rebellious actions of some to bring about the discipline or judgement of others. But we vehemently reject the notion that our thrice Holy God “brings about” the rebellion of morally free creatures.  He does not even tempt men to do evil, much less sovereignly and unchangeably determine that they will (James 1:13).

3.  Pharaoh hardened by God to accomplish the Passover: “But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart and he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had said to Moses.” Ex. 9:12

We believe Pharaoh chose to rebel against God by his libertarian free will, not God’s unchangeable decree.  Therefore, it is perfectly reasonable for God to blind Pharaoh in his rebellion so as to ensure he would remain in that condition until the redemptive purpose of the Passover was accomplishrd (a foreshadowing of Israel’s hardening to accomplish the true Passover with Christ).  The text never suggests that God refuses Pharaoh the ability to refrain or not refrain from his morally evil actions leading up to the point he was judicially hardened by God for a redemptive good.

4. The Crucifixion of Jesus: “This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross…They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.” Acts 2:23; 4:28

Many Calvinists argue something like this: If God determined the worse evil of all time without blame then we should be able to accept that God can determine all evil events without blame.

This is a common error of Calvinists.  They take unique examples of God working to bring about a good purpose through the evil intentions of mankind as proof that God (1) “sovereignly brought about” the evil intentions themselves and (2) that He “sovereignly works” in this same way at all times throughout history. In other words, if Calvinism is true then God worked to “sovereignly bring about” the redemption of a child abuser in the same way that He worked to “sovereignly bring about” the abuse of that child. This flies in the face of so much of what we read in scripture about the character and holiness of our God.

Appealing to God’s sovereign work to ensure the redemption of sin so as to prove that God sovereignly works to bring about all the sin that was redeemed is an absurd, self-defeating argument. It would be tantamount to arguing that because a police department set up a sting operation to catch a notorious drug dealer, that the police department is responsible for every single intention and action of that drug dealer at all times. Proof that the police department worked in secretive ways to hide their identities, use evil intentions, and work out the circumstances in such a way that the drug dealer would do what they wanted him to do (sell drugs) at that particular moment in time does not suggest that the police are in anyway responsible for all that drug dealer has done or ever will do. We celebrate and reward the actions of this police department because they are working to stop the drug activity, not because they are secretly causing all of it so as to stop some of it. Teaching that God brings about all sin based on how He brought about Calvary is like teaching that the police officer brings about every drug deal based on how he brought about one sting operation.

Yes, at times the scriptures do speak of God “hardening” men’s hearts (Ex. 7; Rm. 9), blinding them with a “spirit of stupor” (Rm. 11:8) and delaying their healing by use of parabolic language (Mk. 4:11-12, 34; Matt. 16:20), and He always does so for a redemptive good.  But the reason such passages stand out so distinctly from the rest of scripture is because of their uniqueness. If God worked this way in every instance these texts would make no sense. After all, what is there for God to harden, provoke, or restrain if not the autonomous will of creatures?

If everything is under the meticulous control of God’s sovereign work what is left to permit and/or restrain except that which He is already controlling? Is God merely restraining something that He previously determined? Why blind eyes from seeing something the were “naturally” predetermined not to see? Why put a parabolic blind fold on a corpse-like dead sinner incapable of seeing spiritual truth? These are questions many Calvinists seem unwilling to entertain at any depth. <for more CLICK HERE>

We must understand that God, like the police department in the analogy above, may be hiding His identity at times and working to use the evil intentions of bad men for a greater good, but that in no way impugns His character by suggesting He is “the cause of all things that are.” And it certainly does not suggest that every evil desire and intention is “brought about to glorify God” as explicitly taught by Calvinism.<link>

Also, I have no problem ‘blaming,’ or should I say ‘crediting,’ God with the redemption of sin as accomplished through the crucifixion.  While I agree that God did determine the cross by actively intervening in our fallen world to ensure it came to pass, by means of judicial hardening, I fail to see how that proves God likewise determined and actively worked to bring about all the sin that needed redemption on that cross.  Are we to believe God determined to redeem His very own determinations?

Foreknowing that someone will libertarianly choose to sin, as I did with my daughter standing in front of the cookie jar, does not in any way imply such knowledge causes, determines or necessitates the desire of the sinner to sin.  There is no reason we cannot merely accept that God is able to foreknow the libertarianly free choices even though an element of mystery remains in the infinite nature of the One who knows.

In short, I believe God knows the choices of His creatures because He is omniscient, not because He is omni-deterministic.

9 thoughts on “Four Calvinistic Proof-Texts for Determinism

  1. God shares responsibility for the actions, but because he intended them for good, we assign credit rather than blame. I credit you with staying out of sight until your child touched the cookies.

    Now, if your wife says, “Who touched the cookies I was going to serve my book club!?,” you wouldn’t simply say, “It was our child!” You would also explain your share in responsibility for the cookies being touched. You were functionally omniscient in the context of the incident, and as such your OMISSIVE culpability is on full blast, just as if a plugged hair dryer was about to fall into somebody’s bathtub, and you choose not to stop it (but, of course, with a totally different motivation…). This is counterintuitive because, in most circumstances, we lack a lot of knowledge, and it is incidentally the case that omission is usually less intense than commission (for a number of reasons that we can explore, with thought experiments of their own). Anyhow, you’d be honest with your wife if you explained that the manner in which you chose to set-up and catch your child did indeed result in cookies being touched (and made ineligible for serving) — in that sense, though your child is blameworthy for touching them, it is also true that you sovereignly chose to suffer their being touched, and your wife might get irritated at you for that.

    All that being said, you and I agree that many Calvinists go far beyond what I’ve said here — that God has superordinate responsibility for whatever happens and “sticks,” and (I additionally afirm) that what happens is the result of deterministic processes (like human behaviors… I affirm). The idea that every bad thing is ancillary to God’s glory is pretty bananas. The Calvinists who say this are unfamiliar with what’s called “deterministic chaos,” whereby God is not necessarily a micromanager even under adequate determinism. Under deterministic chaos, evil can emerge as “noise,” is frequently suffered under the single plan of God (but not always), and is often turned-around for hidden uses (but not always). Furthermore, we retain meaningful senses of freedom, origination, and independence (but these EMERGE under deterministic chaos, rather than being spontaneous or stochastic). Replace “libertarianly” with “chaotically” (in the deterministic sense of chaos) and synergistic language, soteriology, and theology wins the day alongside determinism, rather than in opposition to it. Google “stanrock micromanaging” for more about how chaos theory interacts with issues of freedom and destiny.

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    1. Stan,

      I always appreciate your posts. I also agree that some Calvinists go too far with the meticulous determination and, as you say, superordinate responsiblity language. I don’t think most Calvinists see God as a micromanager, though sometimes their arguments can imply this.

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  2. There are many problems here.

    First and foremost are the explaining away of the four proof texts as exceptions. This is just a debating tactic. There really is no proof text that a Calvinist can use to illustrate their point because anything that smacks of overriding free will is simply an “exception to the rule.” “We Traditionalists believe that sometimes God overrides our free will; we believe that God determines some things; we believe in means; we are compatiblitstic…” The problem with this is that it only goes one way. Calvinists aren’t allowed to say that they believe in free will. And if a Calvinist tried to use the “exception” tactic on any of the favourite Traditionalist’s proof texts how far do you think they would get?

    The definition of Judicial-harding implies that God only hardens evil people for a short time. God would never harden someone so that they might die without making a free will decision. Is that what we see in scripture? God uses his foreknowledge to know that the groups of people—young and old—that he hardens—sometimes for a generation—would never change their minds!

    The 4 year old daughter analogy, like the traffic cop and sting operation analogies are like many human analogies that make no sense when they are applied to God. But even within our human judicial system we have entrapment laws.

    For those who like human analogies, and with regard to Assyria: You have a vicious dog on a leash in your yard. Your children are permitted to play in the yard only at certain times. Your children disobey. So you cut the dog’s leash and your children are attacked and killed. Are you as a parent completely free of responsibility?

    “Are we to believe God determined to redeem His very own determinations?” Yes. God created man knowing he would sin.

    “There is no reason we cannot merely accept that God is able to foreknow the libertarianly free choices even though an element of mystery remains in the infinite nature of the One who knows.” I don’t think you fully understand in implications of this mystery but you ask for a pass on this but you’er not willing to extend the same courtesy to the mystery component in compatiblism.

    “In short, I believe God knows the choices of His creatures because He is omniscient, not because He is omni-deterministic.” Once again, you don’t understand the problem. Read some time travel paradox literature.

    “Merely to over-ride a human will (as His felt presence in any but the faintest and most mitigated degree would certainly do) would be for Him useless. He cannot ravish. He can only woo.” – C. S. Lewis

    “For the Wesleyan, the fact that God’s very nature is love means that he truly loves all persons and desires their salvation.” – Jerry Walls

    The issue as the Arminian has defined it is that God may never violate human free will. If every human being that ever lived or will ever live is not given an equally free choice to accept or reject God than all of human existence is just robots and puppets!

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    1. 1. There has to be a biblical reason to suggest God’s working to ensure redemption of sin proves his working to ensure all sin. It just doesn’t follow Mike. The burden is on you. This is fallacious.

      2. Give me an example of how a Calvinist could do this to us Mike. We aren’t depending on a fallacy like the Calvinist is (i.e. If God worked to ensure one sinful thing He must work to ensure all sinful things including the very desires that lead to that sinful thing)

      3. Where does it say he individually hardens people for generations?

      4. Entrapment laws? There’s the actual objector of Rom 9. Not the unconditionally rejected reprobate.

      4. Why is the dog vicious? Was he born that way? You reduced the Assyrian people, created in the image of God, to rabid animals who cannot control their behavior by that analogy. And it sounds like you are making God responsible, are you?

      I’m willing to accept the mystery I believe the Bible affords and I don’t believe it affords divine determinism of all things.

      Not agreeing with you isn’t equal to not understanding the problem, Mike. That’s a bit condescending. Just saying….

      be blessed

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 1. Sorry, but I don’t know what you getting at.
        2. Again, I’m not sure what point you are making. It sounds like you’re defending your double standard. Are you asking how a Calvinist could use the “exception” tactic against Traditionalism? Pick any verse that you think proves your point and the Calvinist can say that doesn’t count because it is an exception to the rule.
        3. Your endeavor to be quick and brief is leaving me confused as to how this relates to my point.
        4. For a guy who loves analogies you sure have a problem with understanding them. Whether the dog has a higher mind is irrelevant. Both the dog and the Assyrians are a threatening force. And it is known what will happen if that force is unrestrained. You need to think deeply about all the implications of the passage and not just explain so it fits neatly into your preconceived system.
        6. Have you ever talked to a really determinist? Determinists don’t like compatiblists just as much as libertarians don’t like compatiblists.
        7. Admitting you don’t understand something is the beginning of wisdom. I just told you that I don’t understand most of your responses to me. Am I condescending myself? The foreknowledge issue is best understood by understanding the time travel paradox. If you have explained this in one of your writings I apologize.

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      2. 1. Proof that I step in to manhandle my child to give him a shot for medical reasons doesn’t prove I always manhandle my child. Likewise, proof that God as worked (in some way) to ensure events like the crucifixion doesn’t prove God works to ensure all events (and evoke desires) in the same manner. It simply doesn’t follow. The burden is on the Calvinist to show the link. You can’t assume it.

        2. It doesn’t work both ways Mike. We’re not the ones making absolute declarations like the Calvinist. We take both the passages where it says God is at work and the passages where it says this didn’t even enter his mind (the whole counsel of God) to arrive at our conclusion that God works to ensure some thing but not all. Cals are the only ones just taking their proof texts of specific examples to conclude an absolute (i.e. If God determined events A, B & C then He must have determined events X, Y, Z and all other event along with every thought or desire leading to those events. You all have to prove that link. You cannot assume it. You have to do while considering the texts that clearly speak of God’s autonomy from evil and temptation too.

        3. I don’t know how to be more clear. Sorry.

        4. Both the dog and the Assyrians seemed to have no control over whatever lead them to be aggressors and thus a threat. That’s the problem with you analogy and it also happens to be a problem with your interpretation of the text IMO. Why wouldn’t I point that out?

        6. Find me a theistic determinist who doesnt affirm God determines the end and the means and that denies that men are choosing based on their greatest determined desire and I’ll be glad to speak with him. Otherwise he is just a compatiblist like most Cals.

        7. I’m well aware of the issues with foreknowledge and have discussed them extensively.

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      3. Thanks for the clarifications.

        1. If we were just talking about the crucifixion then you might have a point but you are really missing my point. Your article outlines 4 examples not just the one. And there are other examples where God violates the free will of man—which I’ve already pointed out that your system can not handle. My burden is that no matter how many examples the Calvinist gives they’re not enough—they’re always the exception. There’s always a way to spin the plain text to make it say what you want.

        2. I know you think that you’re trying to take a balanced and middle-of-the-road view of scripture but what I see is an extreme view of free will in direct opposition to determinism—ignoring the whole counsel and the ancient near eastern mindset. I realize that I might be going against the grain of some Calvinist apologists (just like your views go against traditional Arminians) but I’ve studied this debate for many years and it is compatiblism that is the middle ground. Compatiblism is not determinism—at least not for me!

        3. This one will just take to long to explain, so you can have this one if you want.

        4. You don’t get it. Let’s stay with your analogy but up the stakes to something that really matters. You watch your daughter walk out into busy traffic after you told her not to play in the street. You watch a truck heading directly towards her. You do nothing. Now, you did not make her walk into the street but as a parent are you completely free of responsibility?

        5. You are right. Theistic determinism is a term that Calvinists use as synonymous with compatiblism. I think they are wrong but I’m in the minority. I think they are wrong because of the many Calvinist philosophical texts that I have read and the general philosophical texts dealing with determinism, free will and compatiblism. Regardless of what I think personally one thing is crystal clear, the way the Traditionalist interprets determinism and free will is different than how a Calvinist interprets these terms no matter what they choose to call them. And unfortunately that is one of the big problems with the debate on both sides.

        6. Sorry, but I’ve read and listened to your discussions on foreknowledge—both yours and Braxton Hunter’s, and your discussions together and neither of you really understands the issue. To say that something can be known with certainty and also be indeterminate is illogical. That is why I recommend looking at the problem from a different angle—that of the time traveler paradox.

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  3. For Calvinists to object to their proof texts being exceptions is not valid. Every example is one of wicked men doing wicked things that God uses for other than they intend. Calvinists need to show that God gets men who were not going to sin to sin, and then other sinful men to react against them. The Calvinist has to show that God made non-drug dealers drug dealers in order to operate a sting on some. There is no problem with God using sinful men to redeem. There is an issue with God making people sin.

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  4. LEARNING TO RECOGNIZE CALVINISM’S UNIVOCAL – EQUIVOCAL LANGUAGE:

    Lets look at an example – here we have “Calvinism’s Ten Little Caveats” – Written by Calvinist Bob Moore:

    -quote:
    ALTHOUGH CALVINISTS USE THE SAME BASIC LANGUAGE [AS ARMINIANS], they don’t believe that many ARE ALLOWED to respond to the gospel. They believe that GOD GIVES TO THOSE HE WANTS, a spiritual birth that is the type of life that is persuadable. If God wants us, we will agree; if He doesn’t, we are already in disagreement with God’s SEEMING proposal to save us.-end quote

    Let’s analyze this language.
    Firstly: Notice the last sentence clearly asserts two IF-THEN conditionals:
    (1) If God wants man to agree, then man will agree
    (2) If God doesn’t want man to agree, then man will not agree

    Notice how Bob Moore expresses the IF-THEN conditional #2
    Here, Bob Moore has God offering a SEEMING proposal of salvation.

    Notice both of these IF-THEN conditionals; clearly reveal a sufficient condition and a NECESSARY condition. Clearly, the sufficient condition is asserted as man’s agreement. And clearly, the NECESSARY condition is asserted as: “what God wants”.

    Now recall that Calvinists advertise this using a special label: “Unconditional” election.

    And yet, –quote: “what God wants” is clearly a NECESSARY condition (and the only condition) for man’s election.
    What then does the term “Unconditional” refer to?
    Answer: Man’s salvation is not based upon any condition (attributed to, or having to do with) man.
    It is based upon a condition (attributed to God, or having to do with) God.

    Notice here how Calvinist language is “univocal” in what it clearly and directly, unambiguously attributes to God.

    So man’s election really is “conditional” – its just not conditioned upon man.
    So this label “Unconditional” election, clearly omits where Calvinistic election really is conditional.
    A much more accurate label would be: “Conditional-Unconditional” election.

    Labels on a product are designed to allure consumer buy-in. The label “Sugar Free” does not mean the cereal doesn’t have sugar(s) in it. Nevertheless, a statistical percentage of un-critical thinking consumers buy products by virtue of misleading labels. Why does the product need a label that doesn’t tell the truth? Because something about the product, if stated, would reduce buy-in.

    Now further notice where Bob Moore asserts: “many are not ALLOWED to respond to the gospel”.

    Does this statement follow the “univocal” character of Bob Moore’s other statements where things are clearly and directly attributed to God? No it does not. Here the language is designed to be equivocal.
    Calvinist language consistently swings back and forth like a pendulum, between “univocal” and “equivocal”.
    The critical thinking Christian will notice when/where this occurs, understand it is strategic, and take necessary precaution.
    Remember, scripture warns, a fool believes every word. (Proverbs 14:15)

    This statement stops being univocal where it no longer clearly and directly attributes God. This is called “implicature” language.
    Clearly what is implied is that GOD alone is the determining agent who does not ALLOW the many to respond to the gospel.
    Language designed obfuscate what is meant and what is attributed is called “distancing” language.
    —————————————————————————————————————————-

    What we’ve learned about Calvinist language in this lesson:
    Clearly Calvinists have their own unique language.
    And yet Bob Moore writes “Calvinists use the same basic language as Arminians”
    But we observe Calvinist language as being univocal one minute and equivocal the next.

    Where Calvinist language is univocal is where it clearly and directly attributes something to God.
    Where Calvinist language is equivocal is where it ambiguously or obfuscates attributing something to God.

    Equivocal language is strategically used when a person wants to assert A now, and deny A later.
    Equivocal language is designed to facilitate duplicitous interpretations.
    Campaigning politicians often craft ingenious statements, designed to be interpreted as both Pro-Abortion and Anti-Abortion.
    Equivocal language is designed to capture two birds with one stone.

    So there is a kind of “yin-yang” to Calvinist language – part univocal, part equivocal.
    Remember, equivocal language is strategically used when a person wants to assert A now, and deny A later.

    The univocal parts of Calvinist language, assert A:
    Universal Theological Determinism, where the NECESSARY determining agent is clearly and directly attributed to God alone.

    The equivocal parts of Calvinist language, are designed to deny A:
    Some particular of Theological Determinism. Where God as the NECESSARY determining agent is obfuscated. And where attributing something clearly and directly to God becomes duplicitous.

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