Summarize Traditionalism

I was recently asked if there was one passage that succinctly summarizes the Traditional perspective. Of course, no one passage says everything that could be said for any soteriological worldview, but if I were forced to choose one passage it would be this one:

“Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Blessed is the one who always trembles before God, but whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble.” – Proverbs‬ ‭28:13-14‬ ‭

For a more detailed explanation on what Traditionalism stands for please watch this:

317 thoughts on “Summarize Traditionalism

  1. What a blessed passage that sums up God’s promises to His elect! For we know that only the elect “confesses and renounces” their sins and only the elect “always trembles before God..” We know from many other Scriptures that the non-elect will “conceal their sin” and “harden their heart” because it’s their nature to do so.

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    1. Unfortunately, for the Calvinist, nothing is “certain” concerning his faith, or salvation or predestination while he exists in this life.

      For Calvin teaches that within the fold of Calvinist believers (which may include Troy) there are a -quote “Large number of hypocrites who have nothing of Christ but the name and outward appearance”.

      And for these Calvinist’s – Calvin insists that god is -quote “holding salvation out to them as a scepter of greater condemnation”

      And for these Calvinist’s – Calvin insists that god will eventually -quote “strike them with even greater blindness”

      These Calvinists are reserved by god for a superior from of eternity in torment.
      So no Calvinist (in this life) has any real certainty whether he is one of the “elect” or whether god is deceiving him into believing he is “elect”.

      This is why Dr. Erich Fromm – Ph.D Social Psychologist in his book “Escape from Freedom” writes:

      “Again as with Luther, fundamental doubts result in a person’s quest for absolute certainty; but though the doctrine of predestination gave the certainty of salvation for an unknown few, the doubt remained in the background of the believer’s mind, and had to be silenced again and again by an overgrowing, emphasis, that the religious community to which one belonged, represented that part of mankind which had been chosen by God”

      Dr. From also noted that Calvinism produces within the believe a psychology of works while the believe makes-believe otherwise.

      -quote “One possible way to escape this unbearable state of uncertainty and a paralyzing feeling of one’s own insignificance, is the very trait which became so prominent in Calvinism: the development of a hyper-activity and striving for productivity. Activity in this sense assumes a compulsory quality: the individual has to be active in order to subdue underlying feelings of doubt and powerlessness.

      THIS KIND OF ACTIVITY WORKS TO PROMOTE A SENSE OF CONFIDENCE AND CONCILIATION.

      Dr. David Rock, director of the NeuroLeadership Institute writes:

      “The human brain craves certainty, and responds to uncertainty as it does pain. A sense of uncertainty about the future generates a strong threat or ‘alert’ response in the limbic system. The brain detects something is wrong, and an ability to focus on other issues diminishes. The brain doesn’t like uncertainty – it’s like a type of pain, something to be avoided.”

      So the Calvinist uses a form of psychological self-reinforcements to ward away subconscious feelings of dread.

      Dr Fromm writes concerning Calvinism’s hyper-activity:
      -quote
      “However, human effort in Calvinist doctrine has yet another psychological meaning. The fact that one did not tire in that unceasing effort, and the one succeeded in one’s moral as well as secular work, functions as a more or less distinct sign of being one of the chosen ones.

      The irrationality of such compulsive effort is that the activity is not meant to create a desired end, but merely served to indicate whether or not something will occur which has been determined beforehand, independent of one’s own activity or control. This mechanism is a
      well-known characteristic of compulsive neurotics.”

      In other words Calvinists use adherence to doctrine and defense of doctrine as a form of reading tea leaves.
      These activities serve as man-made INDICATORS that god’s intent for the Calvinist is good and not evil.

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  2. Leighton:

    I was going to try to comment quickly to thank you and predict that you would soon have a response with someone adding to the Scriptures like this….

    “Whoever conceals [the chosen will not—-all unchosen will] their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses [only the chosen can confess] and renounces them finds mercy [ if they are chosen]. Blessed is the one [the chosen one] who always trembles before God, but whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble [but all will harden if they are not chosen].” – Proverbs‬ ‭28:13-14‬

    But of course Troy beat me to it —-once again adding to Scripture!

    Two brief points Troy:

    1. God could have easily put “individually chosen” or in any of these kinds of verses….but He didnt.

    2. Interpreted your way (with the addition of your presuppositions), what does this verse teach us? Nothing.

    You say it is a promise to the elect but you missed the two warnings. Does it teach the elect something? No. It is irrelevant. They dont need a warning about concealing or not concealing…..they were drawn irresistibly.

    Does it teach the non-elect?

    Who are the warnings for?

    —Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper—
    —Whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble—

    Once again with your adding-to-scripture, the warnings are useless words.

    The chosen cant harden and the non-chosen cannot help but harden. Useless warnings again.

    After being a Calvinist for years, it is this very kind of text that helped me understand the God of the Bible.

    He includes so many thousands of passages that state “whosoever” ‘the one” “whoever” “blessed is the one who…” “be careful not to…” “why have you…” “chose for yourselves today….” “seek first the kingdom…” and they ALL appear to mean “all” “everyone.”

    I got soooooo tired of saying “It doesnt mean what it says since we know……(here add one of the 15-20 key verses with Calvinist interpretation) …”

    How 15-20 verses (that indeed can easily have a non-Calvinistic interpretation) can trump the thousands of other verses, I just do know.

    That is what caused me to leave Calvinism (even though I had a Bible degree from a Calvinist school).

    But you are choosing to believe Calvinism, and that’s okay since you are free to choose.

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    1. FOM – One of the main false presuppositions that Calvinists tenaciously hold to in defense of their loyalty to determinism is that God never intended any of the Scriptures to be read and understood by the unregenerate mind! To them the gospels were not written for the unregenerate. None of the OT was written for the unregenerate in Israel. And all of the universal invitations and warnings in Scripture were not written or originally preached for everyone, but just for the regenerate.

      Of course we get no indication from Moses or any author of the Gospels that they thought they were only writing to the regenerate. In fact John says clearly that the reader may only get life after he comes to believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God, based on what he has read and understood from his gospel! (20:30) John was clearly thinking he was writing to unregenerate unbelievers!

      I pray that God will convict many Calvinists to reject this false presupposition that causes them to deny the truth of Scripture!

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      1. brianwagner writes, “One of the main false presuppositions that Calvinists tenaciously hold to in defense of their loyalty to determinism is that God never intended any of the Scriptures to be read and understood by the unregenerate mind! To them the gospels were not written for the unregenerate.”

        I knew that you would have to desert Total Depravity one day and now that day has come.

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      2. Roger, you should have known by now that I don’t believe the Scripture teaches we receive guilt from Adam. 😎 And though the nature we received from Adam has the inclination towards sin which God allows it to commit when the conscience matures (Rom 7:9, 11:32), the Scriptures has innate power and always divides the thoughts and intents of all who read it (Heb 4:12)… at least prodding them to make the choice to seek, or not to seek, further understanding because it sounds true.

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      3. brianwagner writes, “I don’t believe the Scripture teaches we receive guilt from Adam.”

        Does this distinction mean anything? We still suffer the effects of Adam’s sin – spiritual death and separation from God, physical death, a life of toil. In John 3, “…unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” Thus, a person must be born again – this by God’s grace – in order to be saved. So, no guilt, but people are still separated from God and cannot enter heaven – unless God acts.

        Then, “the Scriptures has innate power and always divides the thoughts and intents of all who read it (Heb 4:12)… at least prodding them to make the choice to seek, or not to seek, further understanding because it sounds true.”

        Only when wielded by the Holy Spirit – not by itself. Thus, in the parable, “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart…this is the man who hears the word, and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away…this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.” Then 1 Corinthians, “…the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness…we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” So, without the call of God, the lost perish despite whatever innate power you attribute to the word.

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      4. Roger… the guilt is spiritual death and it is not placed upon the soul until its own personal sin. See the words life and death in Rom 7:9.

        And the general statements of Jews and Gentiles and their reaction to the gospel should not keep someone like you from believing that God can enable each one individually at their own time to freely choose against the grain of their culture and be led to regeneration… but not irresistibly. Especially note that Paul didn’t say it is a stumbling block to each and every Jew or foolishness to each and every Gentile like Paul says God gives mercy to each and every Jew and Gentile (Rom 11:32).

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      5. brianwagner writes, ” the guilt is spiritual death and it is not placed upon the soul until its own personal sin. See the words life and death in Rom 7:9.”

        Yet, babies still die before they commit personal sin. For what sin were they punished by God? I guess those who never hear the Scriptures or the commandments are the most fortunate. However, I think Paul speaks here of the commandments making him aware of his sin. He was spiritually dead all along and did not realize it.

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      6. brianwagenr writes, “…physical death is not spiritual death or everlasting punishment…”

        Physical death is still a punishment specifically tied to Adam’s sin. Why should people who have no personal sin be punished for something Adam did? In addition, Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 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.” This seems to say that a person cannot enter heaven unless they are first born again. Was that the case before Adam sinned or after? If after, it seems that people who have no personal sin must still be born again in order to enter heaven. Why would that be so?

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      7. Adam would need grace to live forever. It evidently was available to him in the tree of life… but he had not been given everlasting life yet. The new birth is available to all who place their faith in Jesus. Praise His Name!

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      8. brianwagner writes, “Paul says God gives mercy to each and every Jew and Gentile (Rom 11:32).”

        Or Paul says that God gives mercy to both Jew and gentile – “each and every” being your personal eisegesis, but maybe, you are just an Universalist.

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      9. brianwagner writes, “the point is the word “all” is in Rom 11:32… it is not in 1Cor 1:23.”

        Unless “all” is defined as “Jews plus gentiles.”

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      10. The term “all” in Rom 11:32 is defined by the action – committed to disobedience. So unless you don’t want that action to mean “each and every” one is effected by the Adamic nature… you have a problem making “all” mean a generic “all mankind” that allows for some exceptions.

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      11. brianwagner writes, “you have a problem making “all” mean a generic “all mankind””

        I define it to mean, “Jew and gentile.” In the preceding verses, Paul addresses Israel and gentiles so we can carry that distinction into v32. We can expand the verse to read this context, “For God has shut up all – whether a Jew or a gentile – in disobedience that He might show mercy to all – whether a Jew or a gentile.”. Paul established this context in Romans 1, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek,” and I see him speaking in this context throughout the letter.

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      12. How many Jews and Gentiles does “all” mean Roger when it comes to their being committed to disobedience by God? Your denial of the obvious just saying “all” means “Jew and Gentile” is very sad!

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      13. brianwagner writes, “How many Jews and Gentiles does “all” mean…”

        Paul writes, in 1 Corinthians 15, “as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.”

        So now we can explain “ALL.”

        ““For God has shut up all [who belong to Adam – whether a Jew or a gentile] in disobedience that He might show mercy to all [who belong to Christ – whether a Jew or a gentile].”

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  3. Good evening, I’ve listened to and read a great portion of the material on this website and maybe commented once before. However, I read two recent posts today and was introduced to Troy. I’d just like to say I hope from all of Troy’s enthusiasm and passion visiting this site he’ll join us in the traditionalist camp one day. He’s here for some reason??? By God’s grace may it be so. May God’s grace also be upon our neighbors in Texas from the flood.
    Blessings,
    Patrick

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    1. I’m sorry Patrick but I view Traditionalist theology as heresy on so many different levels that I would never countenance the idea of being a purveyor of it. I actually believe that all who support and teach this should repent and reconsider their approach to Scripture.

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    2. Patrick writes
      I hope from all of Troy’s enthusiasm and passion visiting this site he’ll join us in the traditionalist camp one day. He’s here for some reason??? By God’s grace may it be so. May God’s grace also be upon our neighbors in Texas from the flood.
      Blessings,
      Patrick

      A wonderful sentiment Patrick – and well said!!!!
      I heartily agree – for the Lord is well able to deliver us from all ensnarements.

      Thanks! :-]

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  4. There are four distinct truths set out in the proverb:

    – Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper,
    – the one who confesses and renounces [their sins] finds mercy.
    – Blessed is the one who always trembles before God,
    – whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble.

    Everyone agrees to these four truths. If this summarizes the Traditionalist perspective, then the Traditionalist has not distinguished himself from the Calvinist, Arminian, Roman Catholic, Universlist, or anyone else. To call oneself a Traditionalist has no meaning if this verse means anything. There must be more to the Traditionalist than this.

    I guess I have to listen to the podcast now.

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  5. In the podcast, Leighton makes a reference to Pelagius and being (negatively) labeled as a Pelagian or “semi-Pelagian” to really rile people up (name calling).

    Pelagius was the adversary of the determinist hero Augustine.

    Has anyone spent any time researching some the off-the-chart positions of Augustine?

    Frank Viola did it here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/frankviola/shockingbeliefsofaugustine/

    I would be very hesitant to hold him up as a hero in any regard considering (according to Viola research)…..he believed:

    1. Sex was for procreation only, never pleasure.
    2. Contraception out ! (that fits if you believe in deterministic sovereignty…why would even consider contraception?)
    3. Baptism (infant) was for regeneration. Unbaptized babies go to hell.
    4. Believers can use force against heretics (no surprise there!!!!)
    5. The Eucharist was necessary for salvation …..all pretty Catholic so far!
    6. Alms-giving is essential for redemption (I take it back, now it sounds like Islam)
    7. Falling from grace is possible…..well there goes the “P” in TULIP
    8. Mary was a perpetual virgin (back to Catholic again)
    9. Prayer for the dead (yep, Catholic)

    Also he read no Hebrew and little Greek so he depended on a poor Latin translation.

    He did, however, give us infused justification (at infant baptism). He is the main hero of Calvin.

    So let’s hold that Augustinian banner high!

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    1. Great observations FOM! Augustine is not a “father” of my faith! Sproul, of course, calls Augustine a “great theologian”, plus heaps many more superlatives upon him when given the chance. How can we trust someone who confidently taught the things you listed, that Augustine taught, as any authority for what should be recognized as orthodoxy? These false teachings expose the truth that their hermeneutics and sense of authority of Scripture are woefully deficient.

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      1. Of course Sproul loves Augustine….they both baptize babies. But Sproul walks his back from the regeneration cliff.

        Interesting….that Sproul baptizes babies while affirming that it is NOT for salvation….but only as a sign of the covenant.

        Now, no doubt some of the infants that he (and Reformed churches) have baptized are not “the elect”. I mean if it were 100% sure that all the infants they baptized were the elect they would only need to do (as Augustine did) baptized them and “presto” they are in.

        But no….Sproul says it does not regenerate (like hero Augustine says). So what does it do?

        Once again you have Reformed guys baptizing babies that will grow up and not be part of the elect. Wow….what a concept. Baptized as a witness to the covenant, yet not elect. So, again, as we so often say when discussing this….What’s the point?

        I can see Sproul with the happy parents in front of the ornate bowl-on-pedestal that he uses to sprinkle babies.

        Special moment all dressed up and grandparents there watching and snapping photos…..

        Sproul sprinkles the 8-day-old chubby cherub…..while joyful tears run down them parents’ cheek.

        Then he tells them they must raised the child in the covenant….and teach him the ways of the Lord.

        Then he reminds them that all of this has nothing to do with the child’s eternal state since that is out of their hands and has been decided (quite possibly negatively) by the Lord before time began.

        Special moments in the Reformed Church!

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      2. FOH… What Sproul doesn’t tell those parents is that giving this so-called sign of the new covenant to their infant without knowing if their infant is or will be a member of the new covenant elect, also keeps their child from being obedient to Christ later in personally submitting to the sign of the new covenant as “an answer of their good conscience to God” (1Pet 3:21) which can only happen after their conscience becomes “good” through faith and the washing caused by regeneration (Titus 3-5, Acts 15:7-9).

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      3. Brian:
        I learned something painful recently on the mission field where I serve.

        A national colleague, a newly-minted, cage-Calvinist (who had been 40 years just fine referring to himself as a non-Calvinist) told some of our parishioners that they could not be members or serve in our fellowship since they had only been baptized in a reformed church as infants.

        That is his choice. They will now live as second class citizens in the church, since they do not want to be re-baptized.

        The irony begins here. He is now a sword-swinging Calvinist and proud of it. What he wont grasp is that whereas he requires that these adults be re-baptized to be in fellowship…..Calvin forbid it!

        Calvin did not allow any ana-baptists (re-baptizers) in his whole city (which he rules with an iron fist). He forbade and punish any who were baptized as adults saying that their infant baptism was sufficient.

        This included those born/baptized in the Catholic church. And included Calvin himself.

        I dont think all the people who fawn over their hero Calvin realize that he was baptized Catholic and refused to be re-baptized after he “came to understand the doctrines of grace.” And he severely punished anyone who did.

        Why anyone would want to take on his name is a mystery to me!

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      4. FOH… So called church membership and participation has to be worked out from Scriptures just like the subject of baptism! The problem is that believer’s baptism is clear. Baptism is for believers, disciples, repenters, those who have called on the name of the Lord, and is an answer of their good conscience to God. It cannot be for infants.

        As for your Diotrephes leader not allowing those who had been sprinkled to serve in the congregation… I would ask him if based on their profession of faith in Jesus, he believes they were baptized already by God’s Spirit into Christ’s body, His church. Since he probably does believe they are fellow members with him in the body of Christ, the Church… then he should also feel a responsibility to shepherd them and equip them for works of service in the body, using their spiritual gifts… if he is a true shepherd.

        They on the other hand should be willing to submit to studying all the passages with him on the subject of baptism and to face their unscriptural reasons for their loyalty to infant baptism. Isolating them from service will only isolate them from being willing to study these things. If God has accepted them as members in His Church and is using them in His service outside of the congregation… I am sure there is a place they can serve inside it! Don’t you?

        But I have seen those who finally have the light come on to see their personal responsibility to testify to what the Spirit did in adding them to the merits of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection when they personally placed their faith in Jesus. That testimony did not happen when they were infants and was not theirs!

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      5. Brian:
        Thanks for taking the time on that response.

        I dont have his ear any more since he became a Calvinist. He is now completely being taught and mentored by web sites.

        But, my point in all that was the hypocrisy. He a Calvin lover insisting that they be re-baptized when Calvin would throw them in the river for doing it!

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      6. FOH writes, “That is his choice. They will now live as second class citizens in the church, since they do not want to be re-baptized.”

        Sounds like some within the Baptist church – some don’t accept baptism unless it is immersion and some don’t accept immersion unless it is done in a baptist church. Most understand that baptism is a sign and the form used to baptize is not critical.

        Then, “Why anyone would want to take on his name is a mystery to me!”

        Not his name, just his theology and that after being sifted through the Scriptures for several hundred years.

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      7. Right on!!!

        N.T. Wright calls Calvin a “Catholic with a small C”

        Every tree brings forth fruits after its own kind.

        Calvin made god in his own image – and his progeny do the same to Calvinism!
        How ironic!!! 😀

        The LORD Almighty planned it, to expose the proud in all their splendor and to humble all who are renowned on the earth.

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      8. brianwagner writes, “…in personally submitting to the sign of the new covenant as “an answer of their good conscience to God” (1Pet 3:21) which can only happen after their conscience becomes “good” through faith and the washing caused by regeneration (Titus 3-5, Acts 15:7-9).”

        I wasn’t sure if you were still explaining Calvinism or trying to contrast Calvinism with something else that also seems to be Calvinism.

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      9. You still don’t get it that faith is a gift given in the nature of man when he is physically born in the image of God and he can freely exercise it in the gospel or abstain from exercising it when he hears the gospel. If he does exercise his faith in the gospel God gives the spiritual birth through that faith.

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      10. FOH writes, “it would be good to hear in what way our Calvinist brothers think that man was created (is created) in the image of God.”

        Is that relevant? What matters is to identify what changed when Adam sinned. Here, the Calvinist says that the spirit died breaking the relationship that Adam had with God – this requires a new birth to restore that relationship. Until man’s relationship to God is restored to that which existed before Adam sinned, the person continues to be hostile to God explaining why Paul says in 1 Corinthians, “…we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”

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      11. rhutchin writes “What matters is to identify what changed when Adam sinned.”

        And what Calvinism REALLY teaches is:
        “What matters is to identify how god “rendered certain” Adam’s every neurological impulse making Adam sin”

        Calvin’s “author of evil” deity like the Calvinist magician’s favorite magical rabbit.
        He can make it appear and then dispensary auto-magically at will! 😀

        SO FUNNY!

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      12. brianwagner writes, “You still don’t get it that faith is a gift given in the nature of man when he is physically born in the image of God…”

        Yet Paul says, “…faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ….” arguing against your position.

        Then, “…he can freely exercise it in the gospel or abstain from exercising it when he hears the gospel. If he does exercise his faith in the gospel God gives the spiritual birth through that faith.”

        I we define “faith” as in Hebrews 1 – “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” – then that which is “hoped for” and “not seen” refers to eternal life. A person could reject the gospel when he has faith, but there is no reason to think that he does. Of course, if the person has not been born again and is still in the flesh, then he has no faith – that person naturally rejects the gospel..

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      13. Rhutchin:

        You so often quote “faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ….” (which is true by the way, but not in the “literal” way you always use it.

        If you were consistent in your “literal” application of this…

        (a) no one could have faith unless they heard
        (b) deaf people cannot have faith
        (c) what people must hear is the literal word of Christ (definition please).

        So please quit making that verse say more than it says (again!). Once again only half of the verse is used. So out-of-context!

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      14. FOH writes, “So please quit making that verse say more than it says (again!). Once again only half of the verse is used. So out-of-context!”

        I think people understand “hear” to refer to a spiritual comprehension of the word and this results from the Holy Spirit working through the gospel (whether physically heard or personal reading) to convey God’s gift of faith to people; that faith then being expressed as belief in Christ. I don’t understand why you would say this is out-of-context since you never explain the imaginative statements you dream up.

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      15. 1. you used it in a literal sense to rebut Brian.
        2. I encouraged you to either be literal all the way or stop making it say what you want
        3. Then you go non-literal again.

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      16. FOH writes, “1. you used it in a literal sense to rebut Brian.
        2. I encouraged you to either be literal all the way or stop making it say what you want
        3. Then you go non-literal again.”

        You are talking “physical” and not “literal.” Hard to tell, since you don’t explain things well. In the “literal” sense one must “hear” the word. This is accomplished through the power of the Holy Spirit and this occurs when one physically hears the word or physically reads the word or may occur as one is ruminating over what he read or physically heard (e.g., preached). In context, Paul speaks of the word being preached but “which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.” (1 Corinthians 2)

        Brian argued, “faith is a gift given in the nature of man when he is physically born in the image of God.” I argued against that maintaining that faith comes by hearing… You seem to have little idea what the verse means and just let your imagination run wild.

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      17. The context, Roger, is Rom 10, not 1Cor 2… though they don’t contradict. In Rom 10 Paul says they all have “heard” 10:18, and “the word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart (that is, the word of faith which we preach).” That doesn’t sound like a message unable to be believed by any all and by all who will humble themselves to receive it! That is what Paul is teaching!

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      18. brianwagner writes, “In Rom 10 Paul says they all have “heard” 10:18, and “the word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart (that is, the word of faith which we preach).” That doesn’t sound like a message unable to be believed by any all and by all who will humble themselves to receive it! That is what Paul is teaching!”

        Paul continues where you leave off. “there is no difference between Jew and Gentile–the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” There is a problem, however, “But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” How does Paul explain this, “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.” Then Paul argues that Israel heard and understood but still rejected the message. Now, Paul explains, ““I was found by those who did not seek me; I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me. But concerning Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.” Israel “heard” and “understood” and rejected the message. In Hebrews 4, we read, “For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.”

        The conclusion to Paul’s argument is that Israel heard and understood the gospel but did not have faith by which they could accept the message. Therefore, it rejected that message. Then, we get into Romans 11 where Paul explains that it is God who has reserved a remnant chosen by grace – “What Israel sought so earnestly it did not obtain, but the elect did. The others were hardened,…” This goes back to Romans 9, where Paul said, “God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.”

        So, we do have a message that should be believed by all, but only those on whom God has mercy do believe while the others are hardened and do not believe. If we had only Romans 10, we would think that all people have heard the gospel and all should believe. What is baffling is that all do not believe and the reason for that is explained in chap 9 and 11.

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      19. Paul is talking about the faith that is in the right object… in Christ and His righteousness. That faith can not come into existence without hearing the preaching of the gospel about Christ. So we agree to a point. But the ability to exercise belief in the gospel is innate from birth, but cannot be exercised as the right faith until the right message is offered. There is no hint of regeneration in Rom 10 needed to make the gospel able to be heard and believed. You are imposing that. Paul goes on to exclaim all have heard at some point! 10:18.

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      20. brianwagner writes, ‘But the ability to exercise belief in the gospel is innate from birth, but cannot be exercised as the right faith until the right message is offered. ”

        OK. Even Calvinists could agree with that with the remaining issue being the necessity of the Holy Spirit to be involved to provide the “right” message.

        Then, “There is no hint of regeneration in Rom 10 needed to make the gospel able to be heard and believed. You are imposing that. Paul goes on to exclaim all have heard at some point! 10:18.”

        I see Paul establishing that foundation in Romans 9. Paul picks it up again in Romans 11, “I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be!…In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice.”

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      21. brianwagner writes, “There is no regeneration in Rom 9 either.”

        Sure there is. “…it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants….in order that God’s purpose according to His choice might stand, not because of works, but because of Him who calls,…So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy….What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works….”

        God’s involvement is that of mercy – to do something to people (the children of promise) that enables them to exercise the faith that He gives them. If God’s actions do not encompass “regeneration” then what is happening that results in the “children of promise” coming to salvation and not the children of flesh? How do the gentiles who are spiritually dead and have no faith attain righteousness? They are made spiritually alive – this by God’s mercy – and then given faith – this also by God’s mercy – by which they attain righteousness. The intimate involvement of God is salvation is plainly seen in Romans 9 as His actions (whether we call them regenerative or something else) are the reason people are saved.

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      22. Roger, you are going over the evidence that clearly shows God does do His part… and He waits with longsuffering for man to do his part, which is the personal mixing of his faith with the message God gave him. They then are made “seed”… “children of promise”… receiving God’s righteousness through that faith they expressed in His merciful message. (So… yes, regeneration is hinted at in the word “seed” in Rom 9, but not the regeneration taught by Calvinism that puts life before becoming children of promise).

        There is no regeneration before the faith is expressed… or to say it another way… NO righteousness-less life given and then faith given and then righteousness given and then everlasting life given! That is the ridiculous construct Calvinism and you want me to believe because of its/your loyalty to determinism. But, I assure you that I will never believe what I see is so opposite of what God has told us in His Word so clearly about His mercy and His offer of salvation to all! Praise His Name!

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      23. brianwagner writes, “…He waits with longsuffering for man to do his part, which is the personal mixing of his faith with the message God gave him.”

        Just for clarification, your view is synergistic in that God must do X and man must do Y, so that if God did not do X or man did not do Y, then the person could not be saved and both God and man freely choose whether to do X and Y.

        Then, “NO righteousness-less life given and then faith given and then righteousness given and then everlasting life given!”

        We know that the unsaved are not righteous and are contrasted often in the Psalms and Proverbs and defined in Malachi.

        “The LORD tests the righteous and the wicked, And the one who loves violence His soul hates.” )Psalm 11)
        “The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked, But He blesses the dwelling of the righteous.” (Proverbs 3)
        “The wages of the righteous is life, The income of the wicked, punishment.” (Proverbs 10)
        “The thoughts of the righteous are just, But the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.” (Proverbs 12)
        “So you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.” (Malachi 3)

        “The thoughts of the wicked are deceitful” and ““The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?” Two different Hebrews words are translated as “deceitful,” one being stronger than the other but both expressing the same idea. Thus, the necessity of Ezekiel 36, where God says, ““Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. “And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. “And you will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God.” This speaks of Israel, but we should not think that the non-Jew was better than the Jew or different, so that God would have to do the same thing with them, if not more, but certainly not less.

        One may rightly conclude, as the Calvinist does, that God must change the heart of the wicked else, the wicked will continue in his wickedness – Thus, e.g., God had to open Lydia’s heart. So, it is that David pleads with God to “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me – Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation.” David knows that he cannot change his heart nor renew a dead spirit within him. Yet these are necessary – which David knows in his fleshly wisdom. Of course, David is unique, so the unsaved are not to be compared to David unless God establishes that same unique relationship with them which God certainly does with the children of promise of Romans 9.

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      24. Yes… synergism according to God’s sovereign plan, though the “work” and “obedience” of the gospel is no meritorious work, earning salvation. It fulfills the God ordained condition to which God promises to respond monergistically with the new birth. The person is wicked up until the new birth in his standing before God, but God reaches out in love to him and enables him to hear and understand that He must seek mercy and humble himself in faith to receive it. Praise His Name.

        But you have regeneration of the wicked and then pleasing faith by the wicked before he becomes righteous… so how is that different? Your regeneration/life is for the pre-selected, and my illumination is for each and every… but both are before righteousness is received and the person is still wicked! And both are responded to freely in our opinions (though I say your irresistibility idea makes a mockery of the meaning of the word “free”, and you say God cannot enable such a free response so that the will would still be able to reject His grace).

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      25. brianwagner writes, “God reaches out in love to him and enables him to hear and understand that He must seek mercy and humble himself in faith to receive it”

        A very Calvinistic statement. God is the one who reaches out. God is the one who enables the unsaved to hear and understand. What does the person then understand – ‘that He must seek mercy and humble himself in faith to receive it” All God needs to do is give the person faith and it is a done deal. Of course, when “God…enables him to hear and understand….” it is by grace and irresistible.

        Then, “you say God cannot enable such a free response so that the will would still be able to reject His grace).”

        Jesus said, “…I am the truth…” Then, He said, “…you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Calvinists don’t say that the person cannot reject the truth – they say he won’t simply because he is truly free having been made free by the truth.

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      26. Your are taking a verse out of context Roger if you think the “truth sets free” means regeneration. Jesus was speaking those words to believers – John 8: “31To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

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      27. brianwagner writes, “if you think the “truth sets free” means regeneration. ”

        I think the verse actually means that truth sets a person free. If you believe in a “free” will, then isn’t the will able to exercise the greatest degree of freedom where the truth is known and the least degree of freedom when ignorance and lies cloud one’s judgment. Regeneration is a work of the Holy Spirit regardless when that regeneration occurs. However, it seems to me that the ability of a person to exercise free will is greatest when his spirit has been regenerated than when the person is spiritually dead.

        Then, “Jesus was speaking those words to believers…”

        I agree. So, what does Jesus say? “If you hold to my teaching…Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

        This is an universal truth. It is obviously true for those who profess Christ, because Jesus says it to those who do profess Him. It also applies equally to unbelievers – if they would hold to the teaching of Christ, they also would know the truth. The problem, though, is that they do not hold to the teaching of Jesus; on the contrary, they are hostile to that teaching. Thus, they cannot be free but continue in their slavery to sin, and sin rules over them such that being in the flesh, they do not subject themselves to the law of God (do not hold to the teaching of Jesus), for they are not even able to do so.

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      28. You are representing the truth Roger when you said, “that the ability of a person to exercise free will is greatest when his spirit has been regenerated”. You have the false inference to the reader that you believe there is a lesser ability to exercise free will in those who are not regenerated.

        But then you clarify by saying about the unregenerate, “they cannot be free but continue in their slavery to sin….they are not even able to do so.” You thus continue to believe God’s light is not enabling for the unregenerate mind to know the truth it gives. Jesus was talking to believers that needed to freely choose to know the truth that could set them free in sanctification. They were able to reject that choice. The unbeliever is told by Jesus elsewhere to believe in the light to become children of light (12:35-36)… they are free to choose to believe that truth and be set free unto salvation!

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      29. Brian,

        Jesus was also talking to unbelievers when he said “seek first the kingdom” and when he said “come unto me all you who labor and I will give you rest” and when he said “oh Jerusalem Jerusalem you who have slain the prophets I would have gathered you but you would not.”

        All of those were invitations to unbelievers or sadness to unbelievers that did not come when he called. He wouldn’t have had sadness or any kind of regret if it was never his intention to call them.

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      30. Amen, FOH! And have you ever noticed that the children of Jerusalem who killed the prophets (vs 37) were identified by Jesus a few verses earlier as the scribes and Pharisees (vs 31) who were children of those who killed the prophets. If we had a video of that Matt 23 message… I think we would have seen and heard more sorrow from the Lord when He spoke those 8 “Woe unto you…” warnings that day.

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      31. Yes and so many of his Parables were taught for unbelievers.
        Luke 15 teaching about the prodigal son who he said was dead twice and yet he came to his senses in a faraway land and came back to a waiting father.

        The wedding Feast parable where the invited people didn’t come and so he said go out and ask people in the highways and byways open up the doors to everyone is what he saying.

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      32. FOH writes, “Yes and so many of his Parables were taught for unbelievers.”

        Yet in Mark 4, Jesus tells us the opposite, “Jesus said to His disciples, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.”

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      33. brianwagner writes, “…have you ever noticed that the children of Jerusalem who killed the prophets (vs 37) were identified by Jesus a few verses earlier as the scribes and Pharisees (vs 31)…”

        29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous,…
        31 “Consequently you bear witness against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.
        37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.”

        Is it not “Jerusalem” which Jesus uses as a synonym for the scribes and Pharisees of that time (and by extension to all who ruled Israel/Judah in previous generations of whom they are sons) and “children” refer to the people over whom they ruled. Jesus is speaking to the scribes and Pharisees of that day who would not have their children to be gathered by God’s prophet (Jesus) even as their fathers opposed God’s prophets.

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      34. Calvinists read in the scripture what they’ve been taught to see in the scripture – just like Catholics are taught to see Mary in an ink blot.

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      35. The children of those who killed the prophets is the same in 23:31 and 23:37 even if they were leaders or the followers who the threw the stones their leaders told them to. It’s a shame you don’t see the mercy Jesus had for all, including Pharisees and scribes (Mark 3:5, 10:21, John 3).

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      36. brianwagner writes, ” It’s a shame you don’t see the mercy Jesus had for all, including Pharisees and scribes (Mark 3:5, 10:21, John 3).”

        Clearly, God saved even Pharisees and scribes – He didn’t each and every one of them, or do you think He did?

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      37. Hi fromoverhere,

        Great comment!!

        Don’t you find it interesting double-speak with Calvinists statements like:
        “god’s salvlific intention is sincere for a given soul, but not in such a way that god intends salvation for that soul” :-]

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      38. br.d writes, “Calvinists statements like: “god’s salvlific intention is sincere for a given soul, but not in such a way that god intends salvation for that soul”

        The Calvinist says, “God’s salvific intention is sincere for His elect, and in such a way that God intends salvation for His elect.”

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      39. br.d writes, “Calvinists statements like: “god’s salvlific intention is sincere for a given soul, but not in such a way that god intends salvation for that soul”

        rhutchin writes:
        The Calvinist says, “God’s salvific intention is sincere for His elect, and in such a way that God intends salvation for His elect.”

        Yup – The Calvinist’s strength is manipulating language – and he can say both and not blink.

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      40. FOH writes, “when he said “oh Jerusalem Jerusalem you who have slain the prophets I would have gathered you but you would not.”

        Just to be clear. You do know that this is NOT what Jesus said, don’t you?

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      41. Brian writes, “But then you clarify by saying about the unregenerate, “they cannot be free but continue in their slavery to sin….they are not even able to do so.” You thus continue to believe God’s light is not enabling for the unregenerate mind to know the truth it gives. Jesus was talking to believers that needed to freely choose to know the truth that could set them free in sanctification. They were able to reject that choice. The unbeliever is told by Jesus elsewhere to believe in the light to become children of light (12:35-36)… they are free to choose to believe that truth and be set free unto salvation!”
        This type of reasoning from the Scriptures Brian demonstrates that God has not brought you to truth and is allowing you to believe a lie sir. May He grant you the necessary humility and faith to hear Christ’s voice. You are attempting to understand the Scriptures with human reasoning absent the HS and it’s just not working for you. Your comments demonstrate this fact.

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      42. Troy, you would need to claim omniscience, in order to definitively decide that I am in a lost spiritual condition. I am surprised that there is not a flashing red light in your sensibilities, if you are reading the Scriptures and also reading what I have written about my trust in Christ’s finished work. I have clearly proclaimed the gospel of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! I hope you will take some time in self-examination of your condemnatory spirit that you just expressed concerning me.

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      43. Agreed Brian!!

        It is very much this “We know the truth and all others are either blind or lost or worse.. demon-led” that has turned me off so much against my former position of a calvinist. there is no need for this kind of aggressive attitude by Calvinists.
        What is worse, and actually humorous, is that they tell us that we need to believe their position when, according to their position, we can’t believe it unless we’ve been told/given faith/commanded/ ordained by God to believe it.

        Honestly I want to ask Troy, could Brian actually make the choice to start believing that way ….would that be his free will choice?

        Does he have the power or will or ability to start believing what you believe?

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      44. Thanks for this post fromoverhere

        I would like to get your thoughts on something I believe is the case with Calvinism, since you mentioned both demonic elements as well as the fact that you were turned away from your former position of believing Calvinism.

        I believe – for reasons I won’t detail here – that Calvinism is the enemy’s strategy for neutralizing the church’s ability to war against principalities and powers. Calvinism’s strength is its ability to manipulate language, with a reliance upon misleading language.

        And its weakness is an absence of spiritual discernment – as observed by the spirit of pride, respecting of persons, and the prevalence of pretense and puffery – which are not discerned as sin in Calvinism.

        Would love to hear any thoughts you might have on that.
        Thanks in advance

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      45. Fromoverhere writes, “Honestly I want to ask Troy, could Brian actually make the choice to start believing that way ….would that be his free will choice?
        Does he have the power or will or ability to start believing what you believe?”
        No he does not Fromoverhere! If Brian is not a true believer (and I don’t claim to know whether he is or not), he has not choice in the matter of his salvation. God must first regenerate him through the HS applying the Word to his heart, and only then will Brian freely choose to follow Christ. Outside of this there’s no possibility of salvation for Brian. Salvation is 100% of the Lord!!!

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      46. Troy, you would need to claim omniscience,

        YES! That – in fact – is what they actually do posture – howbeit subtly!!!

        I have see Calvinists postulate minute details about exactly what things god decrees and what he does not degree, what he predestines and what he does not predestine – AS-IF they were some kind of divine deity standing next to god watching everything he has ever done.

        An obvious indicator – that most of their super-apostle posturing is nothing more then vain imaginations.

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      47. There’s no condemnation here brother. You are not humbling yourself to ALL that Scripture teaches and you’re espousing and teaching a gospel that can’t save. I stand by my statement that God has blinded you to the truth and, believe it or not, I have been praying for you brother. I’m sorry if you take this as a condemnation, but it certainly is a rebukement from one brother to another. As teachers of the Word, we are held to a higher standard and an even greater condemnation should we lead astray His people. This is no light matter.
        Also, professing Christ is never THE evidence of salvation. The evidence of true saving faith is an earnest and ongoing desire to do ALL that God teaches in His Word. That includes even those things that our flesh doesn’t like or even those things that aren’t logical to our puny little finite brains.
        We study to show ourselves approved and we humbly submit to all that God teaches us.
        Confession with the mouth should only be a sign of what has SUPERNATURALLY occurred in the heart.

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      48. Thank you Troy that you were not dogmatically saying that you think I am lost. I can assure you I believe the Lord and His Holy Spirit has not only confirmed the truth of the gospel in my heart and mind but also the truth of the sound doctrine I have been sharing from the Scripture concerning the merciful light He gives to each person, enabling them to choose to seek Him.

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      49. Just remember as a teacher we will receive the greater condemnation brother Brian.

        Brian, I think your mature enough to discern this is all testosterone! 😀

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      50. And you’re telling me that?
        The human ego is really something!
        It points a finger at someone else while being totally oblivious it has 4 fingers pointing right back at itself.
        The grace of god is given to the believer to not think of himself more highly then he ought.
        But that takes maturity – and maturity comes with in the fiery furnace of affliction.

        No TRUE bible scholar would ever treat Brian in the demeaning and condescending manner you do.
        And they would (without hesitation) relegate that behavior to testosterone.
        Nuf-said.

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      51. Paul rebuked Peter face to face and I’m doing the same with my brother Brian. Truth is truth and we are to uphold truth and if our brother is in error, we are to rebuke them in love. Any rebukement will come across as condescending because you’re telling someone that they’re wrong or in rebellion.
        We’re not just here to exchange ideas. We’re discussing matters of eternal significance and that relate to one’s soul existence. This is not a battle of wits to see whose “ism” is correct. We’re discussing the mind of God Himself and this should be taken very seriously!
        Again I’ll reiterate..if your doctrine doesn’t measure up to tota scriptura, then you’re teaching a lie.

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      52. And yours, Troy, doesn’t measure up to tota Scriptura! 😉 But just me saying that does not prove anything… nor does you just saying that! I have all the verses pointing to God making determinations after creation, all the conditional, subjunctive statements that point to an unsettled future, all the universal commands and promises that point to God’s recognition of man’s ability to respond to His revealed will in a positive way, and all the verses clearly indicating that God has given light to everyone to be able to seek Him. That is pointing to tota Scriptura.

        You, on the other hand, have not shown one clear verse that God predetermined everything before creation, nor adequately from grammar or context overturned the evidence I have given from the verses I share. God is a merciful God to everyone for some good reason… It can’t be so that He will feel better damning those who never were able from birth to benefit from His mercy to lead them to an opportunity of salvation… making them individually responsible for rejecting it.

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      53. My dear Brian you have not proven from Scripture any of what you’ve just claimed sir. The verses you have provided simply demonstrate God’s predetermined interactions with His creation. All that God has said and done within creation were already predetermined by Him BEFORE He created. This MUST be so if God is both omniscient and omnipotent. The future can never be “unsettled” for a Being who knows the end from the beginning. Your view of God is simply ludicrous Brian. God had a predetermined plan for all things and the Bible is clear on this matter. Why would a Creator create a creation and not know its future outcome. If you really think about what you’re proposing Brian, it really borders on blasphemy sir.
        You are unwilling to accept the fact that all of God’s actions within time were already predetermined by Him before He even created. You must deal/struggle with this truth Brian for all of your proof texts simply prove what God has decreed to do within His own creation. However, none of your verses disprove that God already planned to interact with His creation in the manner in which He has. You are REFUSING to believe the truth that you see before your eyes my dear brother for you KNOW that the future could never be “unsettled” for an omniscient God. It’s really a non-sequitur to believe your view of God. But, once again, this is something you must struggle with.

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      54. Just you saying so, and again without evidence, doesn’t make it so, Troy. I know you believe the truth is what others have said to be true and “orthodox”, and you feel very convinced and satisfied in your position.

        But your evidence is non-existent, imo, and does not overturn what I have shared as evidence that clearly shows God has sovereignly partly determined the future and has left it partly undetermined… and that He graciously gives sufficient grace for all to freely choose to serk Him.

        I would rather you put forth evidence and we discuss specific verses like we have done before. But your profession of holding the higher ground by professing that your position has tota Scriptura or orthodoxy in its favor… without discussing specific verses… is rather annoying. 😉

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      55. brianwagner to Troy writes, “But your evidence is non-existent, imo, and does not overturn what I have shared as evidence…”

        We have 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 Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man of My purpose from a far country. Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it.”

        The key points here are “My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure.” and “I have planned it, surely I will do it.”

        So, has God planned each and every event or something less? Does God’s purpose extend to each nad every event of hsitiry or something less?

        Isaiah 14 has, ” The LORD of hosts has sworn saying, “Surely, just as I have intended so it has happened, and just as I have planned so it will stand,…This is the plan devised against the whole earth; and this is the hand that is stretched out against all the nations. For the LORD of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate it? And as for His stretched-out hand, who can turn it back?”

        This supports God’s plan extending to each and every event in history – “plan devised against the whole earth;…all the nations…”

        Then Ecclesiates 3, “God has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end…I know that everything God does will endure for ever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him. Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before; and God will call the past to account.”

        Isaiah 30, “Woe to the rebellious children,” declares the LORD, “Who execute a plan, but not Mine,…” This speaks to God’s plan covering Israel; not surprising. However, we could legitimately extend “rebellious children” to all people. Supporting this is Jeremiah 30, “20 Therefore hear the plan of the LORD which He has planned against Edom, and His purposes which He has purposed against the inhabitants of Teman:”

        Acts 2, ” this [Christ], delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.” Acts, 4, “You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur.” Then Ephesians 3, tells of the mystery, “…you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed…to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel,…”

        Proverbs 16, “The LORD has made everything for its own purpose, Even the wicked for the day of evil.” So 1 John 3, “The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil.”

        Colossians 1, “For by [Christ] all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things have been created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” Al things created through Christ and for Him – speaking to purpose – and then “holding all things together so as to accomplish that purpose.

        In Daniel, we see the future described through the dreams/visions primarily of Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel. This future involves the whole earth. Then there are the prophecies of Ezekiel, Christ, Paul, and Revelation. etc. regarding the end times which times can begin with the cross and extend to the second coming of Christ.

        Ephesians 1, “God works all things after the counsel of His will,…”

        Hebrews 6 speaks of “…the unchangeableness of His purpose…”

        Ephesians 2, “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Also, Romans 8, “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Then Romans 9, “God did so in order that He might make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory,…”

        From these and other Scriptures, there is clear evidence that God has an eternal plan that cannot be thwarted and His purposes were established from the beginning. While you have identified verses which can give the impression that God has not really sorted everything out, these verses must be subordinate to those verses which clearly present God as carrying out His plans for each and every person, plans devised in eternity past. God’s eternal plan and purpose cannot be undone by the verses you have cited.

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      56. God planned “it” does not mean planned “everything”, and the Scripture clearly reveals what He has planned contains and allows for conditional elements and things He had not planned, but others did, like you quoted yourself… God is working in all things… even things He designed to be conditional, for a superior purpose… which includes the exercise of His and man’s free will in a relationship of love.

        It is surprising that you allow your loyalty to the idea of determinism of all things before creation, which none of those verses you quoted say forthrightly, to overthrow the evidence of what God is doing in His freewill love relationship with man even as we speak… which is only possible if everything has not been predetermined.

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      57. brianwagner writes, “… God is working in all things…”

        “…according to His purpose working all things after the counsel of His will…” God’s working is subordinate to His purpose with His purpose subordinate to His will. God’s will establishes His purpose that together are the cause of His working. I doubt that God ad hocs any of this.

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      58. Roger… you and I have looked at this verse (Eph 1:11) before. Purpose is having an end in mind… which doesn’t require only one way to get there. Counsel is the plan, which obviously from Scripture includes conditional elements, which also confirms there is more than one way to fulfill that purpose… and the last word is “will”, meaning desire… which clearly includes wanting a love relationship with man based on freewill choices to accept love and give love, requiring also the opportunity for freewill rejection too.

        What a compassionate, merciful God we have!

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      59. Brian writes, “Roger… you and I have looked at this verse (Eph 1:11) before. Purpose is having an end in mind… which doesn’t require only one way to get there. Counsel is the plan, which obviously from Scripture includes conditional elements, which also confirms there is more than one way to fulfill that purpose… and the last word is “will”, meaning desire… which clearly includes wanting a love relationship with man based on freewill choices to accept love and give love, requiring also the opportunity for freewill rejection too.”
        This is all contrived but it’s not biblical. God’s purposes are reflective of one decree. This decree is reflective of His desires.
        Isaiah 46:10 makes it so clear that God is accomplishing His own purposes according to a single decree that was determined “from the beginning”. And there’s absolutely nothing that any of us can do to thwart that decree because it was determined long before we were born. As much as we hate this, God has determined/decreed/willed/purposes it from the beginning.

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      60. Brian writes, ” I have shared as evidence that clearly shows God has sovereignly partly determined the future and has left it partly undetermined… and that He graciously gives sufficient grace for all to freely choose to serk Him.”
        But this is not true!! The verses you’ve provided don’t prove your premise Brian AT ALL!! However, let’s return to the Scriptures brother..
        God says the following in Isaiah 46:10 – “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure…”
        Now I’m sure you will find some way of twisting this verse to fit your ideology Brian, but it will not nullify the plain teaching of this text. God is teaching us here that, not only does He declare what’s going to happen in the future (which nullifies your “unsettled future” theory), but He’s actually doing all that He desires to do from beginning to end to accomplish HIS future pleasure. “Counsel” is synonymous with His will/desire/decree/plan. This verse demonstrates God’s decree being accomplished by both His omniscience and His omnipotence. In other words, He can declare the end from the beginning because He Himself is accomplishing it by doing all His pleasure.
        Of course this should remind you of what God says through the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 1:11 – “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will…”
        But then you say that God determines only SOME things but not ALL things. That doesn’t even sound right, let alone make any theological sense. If He only determines SOME things, then those things that He doesn’t determine could impinge on His future determinations and this is an impossibility. Brian you just haven’t thought this out to its logical conclusion my friend. You have developed a system that comforts your flesh but it’s not according to truth.
        God says in Isaiah 42:9 “Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.”
        The fulfillment of prophecy throughout Scripture also demonstrates a meticulous plan. In order for all these prophecies to have been fulfilled with meticulous precision, ALL things would have had to work according to God’s intentions. The fulfillment of prophecy includes births, locations, supernatural signs, people placed in authority, deaths, etc, etc. All of these events MUST occur in a meticulous pattern over periods of time. There’s no way that some things occur outside of His will and all these events come to fruition anyway. An open future is literally impossible if prophecy is to be fulfilled!!
        Regarding your statement that God gives EVERY person the sufficient grace to seek Him..if this is true, why does God say in Romans 3:11 “…there is NONE that seeketh after God.” Does none actually mean none or does it mean something else? And isn’t it true that God actually seeks us according to Jesus in Luke 19:10?
        But then there are other verses in the OT that command mankind to seek the Lord (Is. 55:6). So how do we HARMONIZE these verses and not cause them to contradict each other? I’ll listen to your explanation brother before I provide mines.
        ‭‭

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      61. Look closely at the verses you listed. None say before creation. A couple say “declare… things…” but not “all” things. One verse does say God is working all things according to His purpose, which Scripture clearly teaches includes giving grace to all who are not able to seek and who are not seeking until He enables them.

        You think He does that enablement to seek just for a preselected group through giving each of them regeneration. But the Scripture clearly declares His mercy for all to enable them to have the choice to seek. Acts 17:26-27, Rom 11:32.

        Praise His Name that He is freely working out His sovereign purpose which includes allowing man to exercise free will in response to the light when He gives it to them. Heb 3:7-8, John 12:35-36.

        It is sad that He is not honored more for His mercy to all!

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      62. Brian I don’t think you are going to get anywhere. Troy is going to do what I did and what many did and come back to the same for five or six verses that say something vague about “declaring” etc.

        I think the overall problem is that they come to the scripture with the definition of what sovereignty must mean. Also they cannot distinguish the difference between “God can do what He wants” and “everything that happens is what God wants.”

        They are not the same thing. God says over and over He can do what he wants or He will do what He wants. That is not the same as saying everything that happens is what He wants.

        In fact thousands of verses in the Bible show us that people do things he does not want but that somehow never manages to sink in past those five or six verses that say “end from the beginning” or something similarly vague.

        For as big of a Doctrine as “predetermined every thought and dust particle” is you would think there was something a little bit more clear than these four or five vague verses. But that’s all it seems to take for some people to then interpret all the rest of the Bible through these lenses.

        Liked by 1 person

      63. Fromoverhere Isaiah 46:10 is very clear. We just despise its teaching because it impunes upon our flesh and our unwillingness to submit to the complete control of our Creator. However, our assent to its truth does not determine its veracity.

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      64. Excellent post formoverhere

        A clear indicator of indoctrination at work.

        But on top of that you have their own internal love-hate relationship with the concept of a god who authors “ALL’ things, when their mind considers “ALL” includes sin and evil.

        That is where the double-think comes into play.

        God determines all things, but not in such a way that god determines all things.

        And the Calvinist gives himself the authority to determine just exactly what god determines and doesn’t determine.
        And the Calvinist gives himself the authority of saying “god determined A” – in one argument
        And then saying “god DID NOT determine A” – in another argument
        oblivious to the contradiction.

        So Calvinism is a double-think belief system – obsessing over determinism – and the Calvinist is the REAL determiner – not god.

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      65. br.d writes, “God determines all things, but not in such a way that god determines all things.”

        This is wrong. God determines all things – some things through direct action and some things through secondary causes. God determined the crucifixion of Christ and this was carried out by the Jews and the Romans whose desires and actions God could have restrained but did not.

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      66. br.d writes, “God determines all things, but not in such a way that god determines all things.”

        That statement is a good example of the nature of Calvinism’s equivocal language.
        Calvinists – of course naturally agree/disagree with it. 😀

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      67. You’re only repeating the same fallacies Brian. Also, the verses don’t have to say “before” when the verses say “..the end FROM the beginning..” If God was present at the beginning, then His determinations, by definition, MUST be BEFORE the beginning. As I said, you’re just not thinking these things through before you state them Brian. Your responses only demonstrate that you’re stubbornly holding to a view that is easily refuted.
        Brian writes, “It is sad that He is not honored more for His mercy to all!” What’s sad is that you’re trying to dictate to whom God should show mercy according to YOUR thinking. What’s behind your view of God is the thinking that God owes ALL men the equal opportunity to freely choose Him. This is comforting to the flesh but it’s not biblical brother. You don’t have to admit this but your comments betray your thoughts and the attitude of your heart. You actually believe God owes all creation the same grace and mercy. God owes us NOTHING!!!

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      68. Correct Troy… God owes us nothing… that is the beauty of His mercy… He owes Himself to be true to His Word… which promised mercy and light to everyone! Praise His Name.

        I am happily repeating what the Word actually says. You are making verses say more than they do. It is so sad that you don’t see that yet.

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      69. Brian you have yet to rebut any of the verses that I’ve provided in support of God’s meticulous plan which He has determined BEFORE creation. Can we get your thoughts on Isaiah 46:10 please sir? I’m really interested in knowing how you would exegete the passage. Thank you!

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      70. We been through this passage before. And I just commented on it again clearly pointing to the words that show you are trying to prove too much from it. God is confirming His ability to declare an outcome from the beginning of His setting it in motion.

        There is nothing in the verse about an all encompassing decree before creation. God is just affirming His sovereignty and omnipotence. What He plans and promises openly by declaration to complete will be done!

        That is not the same as God saying, “I meticulously planned before creation, with no allowance of freewill for Myself or the man that I create in My image, everything that will happen as one decree.” If you can’t see that you are reading that into that verse… I suggest you ask your pastor if he thinks you are reading it in there.

        For you definitely are!

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      71. Brian writes, “God is confirming His ability to declare an outcome from the beginning of His setting it in motion.” But the verse says, “I declare…” Where does it say Brian that He has the “ability to declare”? Let God speak to you sir instead of trying to stubbornly hold to a fallacy. The verse says what He is actually doing!
        Brian writes, “There is nothing in the verse about an all encompassing decree before creation.” The verse says, “…the end FROM the beginning..” Where was God at the beginning Brian??? Was He not BEFORE the beginning? You’re in denial brother! Let His Word speak to you!
        Brian writes, “That is not the same as God saying, “I meticulously planned before creation, with no allowance of freewill for Myself or the man that I create in My image, everything that will happen as one decree.”
        God’s meticulous plan INCLUDES the freewil choices of men. God is orchestrating those freewill choices to accomplish His meticulous purposes. How do we know this? Because in both Isaiah 46:10 and Ephesians 1:11 God says “…I will do ALL my pleasure” and “who works ALL things after the counsel of His own will..” Allow the verses to speak to you. They are clear if you just get your flesh out of the way Brian.

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      72. God has confirmed to me from His Word what those verses mean. What a merciful powerful loving God we serve!

        God did say, “declares from”, which does not mean “declared before” and “beginning” does not meaning “creation” for God gives tge definition of it in the Hebrew parallel thought of the next phrase… “from ancient times”.

        And “the end” is not talking about the end of everything but only of the “things” He declares. You just do not want to believe that this declaration can be made by His free will decision after creation. Yet that fits well with how God describes His interaction. There is not comment of everything based on a pre-creation decree in Is 46:10.

        Neither is there in Eph 1:11. You see it there because you want it there. And you have to deny the normal meaning of a freewill choice to do it.

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      73. Brian writes, “God has confirmed to me from His Word what those verses mean. What a merciful powerful loving God we serve!”
        This statement is one of rebellion and only confirms that you will believe whatever you want to believe even though it doesn’t comport with all of Scripture. You’re in a very dangerous place Brian. Also, God is actually blinding you through your own arrogance and stubbornness. May God truly grant you grace to believe HIS truth sir.

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      74. It’s amazing the omniscient sounding discernment you profess for yourself and boldly proclaim, Troy. I would suggest you show that sentence you quoted from me, also to your pastor, and ask him if he discerns it as a “statement … of rebellion.”

        God is not blinding me, Troy. I bask in His love, grace and clear understanding from reading His Word according to normal rules of grammar and context without thinking understanding must come through the filters others have placed upon the Scriptures.

        Rom 14:4 – Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.

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      75. Brian 14:4 does not speak to this situation. The context has to do with judging others for frivolous things that don’t involve the Gospel. To the contrary, what you are espousing is of the utmost importance to the Gospel. Truth is truth and if you’re not teaching truth, then I, as a fellow believer, have the command to come to you and tell you that you’re in error.
        If I did not do this, then I don’t love you as a fellow brother in Christ. You are espousing and teaching heresy Brian!

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      76. Actually the extent of what and how God determined things before creation is indeed a doubtful matter (Rom 14:1). Your relating it to the gospel is what is very dangerous… ! I am sad for you, Troy. I am grieved for your hardness of heart and your unteachable spirit in the light of clear Biblical evidence. I believe I do not bring out the best in you, to help you to seek the truth… so I will return to not responding to your posts when you jump in on conversations I am having. I mean no spite towards you by that decision to not respond to you. I am praying for you.

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      77. As a reformed-commission pastor of 32+ years and an overseas missionary, I confirm what you just said Brian.

        There is no reason for Troy’s aggressive spirit.

        There is no reason to equate your discussion of God’s omniscience/ planning to the level of gospel heresy.

        And even if these were the same level, I see no reason for Troy to so quickly/ arrogantly pull out the heretic/ blasphemy card (judge and jury).

        I am afraid that immaturity often hides behind zeal.

        If I continue to post on this site it will mostly be to provide the biblical position of the post, not to respond to unnecessary youthful zeal gone wild.

        Liked by 1 person

      78. Troy – from an onlooker’s perspective, you really appear to be oblivious to how much you point the finger at others, while being totally oblivious to the 4 fingers pointing back to yourself.

        In the academic world of biblical scholarship – your contribution would be considered unsound as it consistently manifests immature self conceit.

        I know you don’t like this kind of feed-back but its good for you to get it from somewhere.

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      79. Br.d i respect your opinion. But we will agree to disagree. I will continue to point out when someone’s teaching is in error for we are called to do that. Just because someone names the name of Christ, does not make that person a sound biblical teacher. Our teachings must be tested and if they fall short of tota scriptura, we are to renounce that teaching and seek to find truth throughout Scripture. This is serious business sir!! We’re not hear to just exchange ideas about the Bible. We’re here to espouse and teach TRUTH!!

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      80. You’re free to represent yourself concerning what you are here for.

        Since your not god, I will enjoy the liberty of representing myself and what I am here for.
        But its totally understandable one would maneuver to position himself in the chief seat – that’s what Calvinists do. :-]
        We know them by their fruits.

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      81. Br.d writes, “You’re free to represent yourself concerning what you are here for.” Are you sure that you meant to say this brother? For we as Christians no longer represent ourselves sir. We are now ambassadors of Christ. So now we are bound to represent Him and whatever TRUTH He reveals to us. All of us should be representing Christ, not our own ideologies and isms.

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      82. Its not that complicated, grandiose, or superlative.

        Dr. Flowers has this web-site which is called SOT101.
        The Lord delivered him out of the ensnarement of Calvinism.
        He has a benevolent burden to help others be discerning enough to prevent getting lured into it.

        Some participants are here as a representatives of Calvinism – damage control – spin masters – etc.
        Some participants are here for exchange of information etc – you can ask them if you like.
        I’m here with a burden also which parallels Dr. Flowers – although I am the least of these and no one special.
        My burden is to help people to see the degree to which Calvinism has its roots in Augustine’s Gnostic NeoPlatonist syncretisms – why it manifests Gnosticism’s dualistic “good-evil” cosmology – why it is reliant upon dishonest language tricks – and why it engenders a psychology of double-think.

        Sociologists will affirm – people use dishonest language on a consistent basis simply for pragmatic reasons – it works for them.
        Generally – Christians tend to be naive and unprepared for discerning when professing Christians operate in dishonesties.
        These Christians are vulnerable to getting lured in by the cunning craftiness of men.

        However, in vain is the net spread in the sight of any bird.
        Alert that Christian to be on the lookout for Calvinism’s linguistic tricks – teach him what to look for – and he can fish for himself.
        Nothing grandiose needed.

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      83. I’m not here to represent Calvinism. I’m here to represent Christ and His Word. The problem with Soteriology101 is that it’s designed to combat an “ism” and that limits its ability to understand Scripture. Those who focus on disproving something will automatically be deficient in understanding the Scriptures because they will ALWAYS look at every verse in light of their own ideology and not allow the ENTIRE Bible to speak for itself.
        The issue here is not whether Calvinism, Arminianism, or Traditionalism are true. The issue is what does God’s Word say and are we willing to bow in humility to ALL that it teaches even though it damages our flesh or goes against human wisdom/logic.
        We should all be here representing the voice of Christ and His voice only speaks ONE truth!

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      84. I have given my personal testimony and answer to this kind of thinking many times. It was in holding to the reformed theology that I read the Bible over and over and found hundreds and thousands of places where it didn’t line up

        so when you keep saying “all the Bible” and the “entire Bible” it kind of puzzles me. Because reformed theology is really based on very few verses but not the entire Bible because God over and over says things that don’t match reformed theology.

        But they are explained away with a “we know it can’t mean that” attitude because of reformed presuppositions.

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      85. But they are explained away with a “we know it can’t mean that” attitude because of reformed presuppositions

        This is absolutely correct and leading Bible scholars recognize and warn bible readers about how this works.
        1) The bible reader believes that scripture affirms truth and does not affirm falsehoods – therefore he is not going to go data-mining scripture to affirm concepts he believes are false.
        2) If a bible reader is convinced – the sun orbits around the earth is unquestionable truth – he is guaranteed to find verses in scripture to affirm what for him is unquestionable truth.

        Even the reverend sun myung moon understands the psychology at work in this process.
        He teaches people “unquestionable truths” .
        He then gives them a bible in which they are guaranteed to find verses affirming those “unquestionable truths”.

        Proverbs tells us an easily influenced person -quote “believes every word”.

        If the Calvinist wants to read scripture under the influence of the Holy Spirit *ALONE* – he must critically question everything he has been taught as Calvinism’s “unquestionable truths”.
        Until then, he is guaranteed to find verses which affirm them.

        Great post fromoverhere!! :-]

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      86. well, I can understand that position and I can see the intuition behind it is well intended – so appreciated.

        But think about the doctrinal controversies that existed in the days of the early church.
        Think about the times in the O.T. God warned believers not to embrace pagan belief systems.

        When a human mixes two paint colors together – the result is one single color.
        Once they are mixed together, he doesn’t have the power to return them back to their original colors.
        When he looks at the resulting color, he doesn’t have the power to discern the original colors either.
        That is the way syncretism works.

        Believers in the O.T. mixed the teachings of God with baal and moloch etc.
        After mixing them together, God’s people didn’t have the power to discern what was of baal from what was of God – etc.
        That is the way syncretism works.

        The Apostolic ministry in the N.T. had to deal with this issue with both the Jewish and gentile believers.
        A young person sits under the teaching of a bible teacher whose tradition of interpretation has unwittingly mixed constituents of Gnosticism and NeoPlatonism into Christian doctrine.
        That young person is awed by certain persons of influence in the church.
        He has no awareness of the syncretisms he is being taught – he looks adoringly through rose colored glasses.

        He is lured by religious pride, being taught that his association with that guild puts him in an “elect” and superior group.
        He knows enough to not boast about himself – but he can acquire personal prestige by “vicarious pride” – pride in the superiority of the tradition and the guild of “respected persons” he belongs to.

        Would you want him to be set free from what ensnares him?

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      87. Br.d let me ask you a couple of questions:

        a) is their objective truth in the Bible apart from subjective reasoning on the part of the creature and

        b) if truth is objective, then is it knowable?

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      88. You’ll have to make sure every one of your terms is clearly defined.
        And also, bring all hidden suppositions into the light where they can be clearly seen.

        Else dialog will be doomed from the start.
        Why don’t you start with the first question.

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      89. I’m not looking for some intricate philosophical response and this is not a trick question.
        a) is the truth in the Bible true, regardless of man’s reasoning abilities and
        b) is that truth knowable?

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      90. FOH… in your years as a Christian leader espousing deterministic theology… did you ever say to the unbeliever – “Wait for God to give you faith and repentance which He may have predetermined for you to have before creation” since you believed that idea was the true view of the gospel, at least as defined by some in the reformed camp? Or did you instead appeal to their unregenerate will and say – “Humble yourself, repent of your sins and trust in Jesus”?

        Or did you ever pray, “Lord, I pray that there are some among this crowd that are your elect and that you will give them the new birth so that they will understand and accept my gospel invitation, and thank you for decreeing that I should pray this prayer and for causing me to do it”? Or did you pray – “Lord open up the hearts of each and every person here today to understanding and want to accept this gospel message.”

        It seems to me that to be consistent with one’s theology it should be seen in their words in evangelism and prayer. Were your words in evangelism and prayer ever consistent with your reformed theology and when they were, did it make you feel uncomfortable? Thanks.

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      91. Brian:
        It has been a long time since I was a Calvinist. I am still a devout follower of Christ, pastor, and missionary.

        I will try to remember honestly the answers to your questions:

        1. Did I ever say “Wait for God to give you faith and repentance which He may have predetermined for you to have before creation”
        No. I preached “God loves you and Christ died for you.” at first since that is what I had heard the message to be when I came to Christ (remember I was not saved in a Calvinist context. I got on the YRR wave in So Cal in late 70’s when it was just starting —maybe as a ‘safe haven’ to the Jesus people movement).

        Later I realized —–that I could not tell people “God loves you and Christ died for you.” I have shared on these pages how I crushed my then-girlfriend by telling her that I was not sure we should pray for her father’s salvation. I understood that this decision was God’s and had been made already…..so praying FOR his salvation when in fact it was God’s will to damn him, was praying against God’s will.

        2. Good question. At first I prayed ….
        “Lord open up the hearts of each and every person here today to understanding and want to accept this gospel message.”
        But then I realized —per the way I was discipled into Calvinism that I could not/ should not pray this. It is a prayer I still hear often in Calvinist circles but it has no sense.

        Asking to Lord to open the ears of those He wills to damn is at best a prayer falling on His deaf ears, and at worst a prayer against the will of God.

        I was taught that God gives you the prayers to pray for people. But I saw many people (Calvinists) pray for salvation for others who then never came. I was confused on how it was that they continued to teach that God gave them the prayer to ask Him for the salvation of others, only see them not come.

        3. My words were consistent with non-calvinist Christianity at first. As I progressed I learned NOT to pray for salvation (why pray against God’s will?) and I learned NOT to tell people that God loves them (who knows who God loves?). So yes I got more and more consistent.

        In my opinion….books, prayers, and sermons by Calvinist are very inconsistent since they often theologize like a Calvinist but act like an Arminian. I gave a case in point on a recent post by Leighton and I will repost it here in a min….but do not want this one to get too long.

        Liked by 1 person

      92. Like Billy Graham, Piper, MacArthur and every other person that ever says to anyone, “God loves you” or has ever sung “Jesus loves me this I know,” or “Jesus loves the little children.”

        I realize that all these things are getting rinsed out of Calvinist churches, but that is my point….they were (are still in most churches) a part of the fabric of evangelical churches in the last couple hundred years. You have to be taught (like I was when a young calvinist) that God does not love the world. I thought I was writing that clearly.

        Liked by 1 person

      93. FOH writes, “Like Billy Graham, Piper, MacArthur and every other person that ever says to anyone, “God loves you” …”

        Everyone knows the Calvinist is right on this – Just because someone tells a person that God loves him does not mean that God will save that person. A lot of people are being told that God loves them but they will still end up in hell. However, for His elect, “God begins a good work in them and God will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”

        Then, “You have to be taught (like I was when a young calvinist) that God does not love the world. I thought I was writing that clearly.”

        It seems clear to me that you flunked that course.

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      94. FOH writes, ” I preached “God loves you and Christ died for you.””

        rhutchin responds:
        A fine universalist theology.

        And yet each Calvinist believes god has “universally” predestined him to salvation while also believing what Calvin teaches. That god may be holding salvation to his as a -quote “sebre of greater condemnation”. And will eventually -quote “strike him with even greater blindness”. Using the ILLUSION OF SALVATION as a means to magnify his eternal torment.

        And no Calvinist (i.e. man) knows whether or not his “election” is “certain” because such knowledge is god’s SECRET.

        Who wouldn’t want to be a Calvinist and believe god has all of that wonderful destiny in store for him! 😀

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      95. br.d writes, “And no Calvinist (i.e. man) knows whether or not his “election” is “certain” because such knowledge is god’s SECRET.”

        And the non-Calvinist is no better because of Matthew 7.

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      96. And the non-Calvinist is no better because of Matthew 7.

        If that is true, then all it proves is that Calvinism is no better. 🙂
        Which we already knew.

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      97. Calvinist are very inconsistent since they often theologize like a Calvinist but act like an Arminian.

        Yes this is said by many!!
        And it is actually consistent with Calvin himself – who basically instructs his disciples to:

        A) Believe that god determines ALL things without exception – down to the slightest vibration of every atom
        Yet:
        B) Go about one’s office AS-IF nothing is determined in any part.

        We observe the current Calvinists here at SOT101 expressing those contradictions consistently.
        But of-course they don’t see any contradiction.

        Any and all information you can provide on this – from your experience coming out of Calvinism would be greatly appreciated.

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      98. Brian:
        This is in answer to your “how did you act as a Calvinist FOH” letter. It is in answer to your inconsistent Calvinist questions.

        It is a bit long, but I put it hear for the reader who may happen by and need it.

        ————
        Leighton mentions Total Depravity and how that is the foundation for the whole philosophy of Calvinism.

        I just glanced at a new book that has been translated in the country where I serve. I went on line and found the English (original) text. Below is the preface of the book “Not By Sight” written by Jon Bloom (forward John Piper) of Desiring God.

        His short message illustrates the point that whereas they may theologize about Total Depravity….they preach like man can hear God’s voice and exercise faith.

        This is a book retelling 35 Bible stories about faith.

        In the whole book it never talks about God limiting salvation (you only talk about that when you theologize—-not in books that retells 35 Bible stories!!). All 35 of his Bible stories are about how people need to exercise faith.

        The entire lesson and theme of the book is that every person needs to exercise faith. Here is Desiring God’s Jon Bloom…

        —————-

        A WORD TO THE READER

        WHAT DOES JESUS REALLY want from you? So much needs to be said. But boiled down to one sentence it’s this: “Believe in God; believe also in me” ( John 14:1). That’s why when the apostle John wrote his gospel, he used some form of the word “believe” eighty-five times in twenty-one chapters. What he remembered Jesus emphasizing in his teaching and preaching was believing.
        .
        Whether or not you believe in Jesus is the most important issue of your life because “whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” ( John 3:36).

        You see, “without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Heb.11:6). But believing in Jesus is very difficult. It’s difficult because “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19), and he works with all his might to blind “the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2Cor. 4:4). And he is constantly trying to lead believers astray (Matt.24:24).

        Because of this, it is crucial that followers of Jesus learn to “walk by faith, not by sight” (2Cor. 5:7). In other words, we must learn to trust God’s promises more than we trust our perceptions. This theme is woven through the Bible from beginning to end. The purpose of this little book is to imaginatively reflect on the real experiences of real people in the Bible in order to help you grasp and live what it means to “trust in the LORD with all your heart, and not lean on your own understanding” (Prov. 3:5). Its goal is to help you believe in Jesus while living in a very confusing and painful world.Jesus said, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent” ( John 6:29). My prayer is that God will use this book to encourage you in the most important work you will ever do in your life.

        —————
        Notice that the book has not yet started and he is preaching like an Arminian!!

        Believe (found 85 times in John!!) Sounds like it’s possible!

        “Whoever believes and obeys the son” (notice not once here —nor anywhere in the book— does he say “’Whoever’ actually means ‘all kinds of people’ or ‘God’s chosen.’”

        Bloom quotes….Without faith it is impossible to please God —–and Bloom even says we must seek Him —–sounds good! sounds possible!!! Elsewhere of course they all claim we cannot seek God per the very poetic passage in Romans 3. But again….he is telling everyone….”Seek God.”

        But believing is difficult……oh here it comes……the staunch Calvinist is gonna say it is difficult (impossible) unless God gives you faith!

        NO!!!!! He says it is difficult (not impossible) because of Satan!

        Satan has to blind the minds of unbelievers or else they would see! He is not giving any (ANY!) credit to God for revealing or giving faith. It is all about you versus Satan.

        Then he adds that Satan is constantly trying to lead believers astray! This guy is no Calvinist! Believers cant be led astray!!

        Then…it is crucial that we walk by faith. It sounds so personal, so doable. So human. Well, so …. man-centered. The whole book is man-centered. But he “gets away with it” cuz Piper (his boss) knows that he isnt. But still it solidifies the theologized like a Calvinist but teach like an Arminian idea.

        We must “learn” to trust God’s promises. He doesn’t give that faith to us?

        The goal of the book is to help us believe in Jesus. We need help? I thought we got that faith given to us??

        The most important work we will ever do is to believe in Jesus. Work?

        Wow! No wonder this publishing house in my country decided to translate this book—He sounds like an Arminian Nazarene!

        This kind of Theologize-like-an-anabaptist-drowning-Calvinist, but preach like Wesley illustrates to me that IT MAKES NO REAL DIFFERENCE to be a Calvinist.

        Bloom is so inconsistent with his theology ….and he hasnt even told one Bible story (all of which are about personal faith) yet!!

        We haven’t even passed the preface yet and it is all about you, you, you, you-must, you-can, by-faith, have-faith.

        Very man-centered this “Calvinist”!

        This comes from Piper and Desiring God which are both telling you to “desire” (a choice) God, and “dont waste your life.”

        Because they realize —despite their determinist philosophy —that we all have choices to make. And those choices make a difference.

        Liked by 1 person

      99. FOH writes, “Leighton mentions Total Depravity and how that is the foundation for the whole philosophy of Calvinism.”

        Half right. Calvinist theology rests on two pillars – (1) The Doctrine of God and (2) The Doctrine of Man. New Calvinists will often find themselves consumed with the Doctrine of God.

        Like

      100. Half right. Calvinist theology rests on two pillars – (1) The Doctrine of God and (2) The Doctrine of Man. New Calvinists will often find themselves consumed with the Doctrine of God.

        William Lane Craig would say Calvinism is based upon the philosophy of Universal Divine Determinism.
        And scripture is read following an exegetical rule that all scripture MUST affirm Universal Divine Determinism.

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      101. br.d writes, “And scripture is read following an exegetical rule that all scripture MUST affirm Universal Divine Determinism.”

        Under Calvinism, all Scripture affirms that God is omni this and that, that God is sovereign, etc, as per the Doctrine of God. Universal Divine determinism is then derived from the Doctrine of God. Because Craig cannot challenge the Calvinists on their Doctrine of God, he chose to confuse the issue.

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      102. rhutchin writes:
        Universal Divine determinism is then derived from the Doctrine of God. Because Dr. William Lane Craig cannot challenge the Calvinists on their Doctrine of God, he chose to confuse the issue.

        Since we already know Calvinism has a reputation of using dishonest half-truth language games – intelligence would indicate the confusion is on the other foot. And this statement can then be understood as a good example of Reverse Attribution error. 🙂

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      103. Br.D,
        Remember also that Piper is the founder of the “Dont waste your life” campaign.

        When I see my Calvinist friends roll up with that bumper sticker on…..I just say to myself…

        They theologize like Calvinists but live like Arminians.

        We ALL live as if the things we do matter …..and they do!

        Certainly I am “altering the future” if I do or dont remain faithful to my wife.

        Consider this real life situation.

        Calvinist pastor in his study with a sobbing couple. The wife is wailing cuz her husband told her last night that he has been cheating on her with multiple women for years.

        The pastor consoles them.

        The husband (who has been under the determinist teaching for years) says to the pastor….

        “Was this not in fact God’s predetermined / ordained / decreed will pastor?”

        The Calvinist pastor is stuck.

        If he says yes (which he must believe)…..the wife goes catatonic —-no doubt leaving the office and church never to return.

        If he says no…..then he in fact undermines what he has been teaching them.

        He no doubt pulls out some wordsmith, two-will, explanation that cannot be found in the Bible….but is in fact created for situations just as this.

        But even with two wills……one of them….”God’s sovereign will” did in fact will/ ordain/ decree that the husband cheat on his wife.

        There is just no way around that.

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      104. He no doubt pulls out some wordsmith, two-will, explanation that cannot be found in the Bible….but is in fact created for situations just as this.

        But even with two wills……one of them….”God’s sovereign will” did in fact will/ ordain/ decree that the husband cheat on his wife.

        There is just no way around that.

        Absolutely right!!
        As a matter of fact I have heard of at least one case in which a Calvinist pastor having an affair – did play the “god determined it therefore I could not avoid it” card.

        There are documented cased in the history, of the Greco-Roma society where husbands murdered their wives etc, and then when brought before the law used “Fate of the gods” as their defense argument – since their society believed strongly in the “Fates”.

        The fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree! :-]

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      105. Brian:
        Let me give you another story. This is 20 years ago, after I had left Calvinism.

        We had a team of people visiting our ministry country and we were passing out flyer invitations (mailboxes which is allow in our country) for a free NT and home Bible studies. After a long hot day the young visitors did not want to go farther but I said, “why not just one more set of low-income apartments over there?” No. “Sure, come on, you can do it.” Okay. So we did.

        Of the 14,000 passed out that week, we only got 14 responses. Of them only one person agreed to the Bible Study. We had studies in that household for 5 years, patiently answering every question. A full five years later the adults put their trust in Christ and were baptized.

        Of course we give all glory to God for His patience and grace towards all and His strength for us.

        We do also recognize that it was the physical passing out of the flyers….the extra mile, as it were, that allowed them to have the contact. This is what Paul is constantly talking about: becoming all things to all me, buffeting his body, persuading people…”that he might win some.”

        God, in His sovereignty has woven in a human element … seen in the “blessed are the feet of those who bring good news” …. and in the “all things to all men to win some…” and in the “whosoever will may come”… and in the “choose for yourselves this day”…

        There are just far too many human elements in (ALL of!!!) Scripture to discount them all with 2-3-4 verses interpreted a certain way.

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      106. Thank you for the honesty and humility in sharing what you have learned and what God used to open your eyes to the deceptiveness of Calvinism and its harmful influence on the motivation for evangelism and prayer. I know that many who have just read what you shared will be encouraged by your affirmation of what they have already thought and seen in the inconsistency of Calvinism in what its followers teach with how they often evangelize and pray.

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      107. FOH writes, “There are just far too many human elements in (ALL of!!!) Scripture to discount them all with 2-3-4 verses interpreted a certain way.”

        Calvinists understand the human element. Nonetheless, they still know that, “it is God who began a good work in you and it is God who will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” It is God who draws, God who opens the heart to the gospel; God who gives the new birth; God who gives faith, God who convicts of sin, God who calls, God who justifies, God who glorifies, etc. All man really does is do what God tells him – what else should we expect.

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      108. Even Calvinism is synergistic. There is no such thing as monergism (underlined here in my post as a non-word).

        No matter how hard one tries to rinse out the participation idea, it still takes some human participation.

        Man may be “dead” but he listens.

        Even in the faith come from God formula, Calvinist proclaim that this comes by hearing, and preaching. Preaching is participation.

        I mean of course one can go back and remove human participation by saying even preachers only do what God tells us ….but any reader knows that makes us robots. There has to be some willful participation….alternative….robots. fun, fun fun!

        And of course a HUGE doctrine like that (we are robots) ought to be so very clear in the Word but it has be built with a half verse here and there. More fun!

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      109. brianwagner writing to FOH, “It seems to me that to be consistent with one’s theology it should be seen in their words in evangelism and prayer.”

        Calvinist Theology is simple, “…there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.” So, the Calvinist prays, “my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.”

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      110. rhutching writes:
        “Calvinist Theology is simple, “…there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.” So, the Calvinist prays, “my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.”

        Interesting how Arminian that statement is!!!

        If it is true that Norman Geisler presents Arminianism as Calvinism – we can see by the example above – he is certainly not alone. 😀

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      111. I am afraid that immaturity often hides behind zeal.

        Great post fromoverhere.

        Troy has been getting feedback on the topic of immaturity and being puffed up – ever since he started posting here.
        And I’m guessing this is the only environment where he is getting that kind of feed-back.

        But Its quite possible his pastor’s influence is part of what we’re seeing here.

        I’m not sure how prevalent delusions of grandeur are with Calvinist pastors, but there is one pastor in the area where I live, who has it bad, and has his congregants follow him around like little ducklings – all carrying their black-leather bound KJVs.

        Its really quite a sight to see. :-]
        But of-course I feel bad for the people who believe in him.

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      112. No sir Brian! I’m not speaking of your fallacious view of our God. I’m speaking of your view of Salvation which is really the crux of the Gospel. Your view of Salvation is heretical and it can’t save. Our message must be true in order for God the HS to apply it to the hearts of His elect. And this is why what you teach and espouse is quite dangerous! I strongly urge you to humbly rethink your beliefs and approach to Scripture and allow God the HS to speak to you.
        This has nothing to do with me being omniscient or arrogant. I’m calling you to the table to simply bow before ALL of Scripture and at this point you’re not. Remember the Pharisees were also convinced that God had spoken to them.
        What we teach MUST agree with the entire witness of the Bible. If not, we’re in error.

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      113. Paul was writing to the churches in Rome not long after the Jews were allowed to return to Rome in A.D. 54.
        Jewish Christians continuing in O.T. food-traditions, would have been returning to areas where gentile Christians were coming out of pagan food-traditions offered to idols. The two are bound to cause conflicts based upon perspective.

        The Jewish Christians can accuse gentile Christians of being compromised, and the gentile Christians accuse the Jewish Christians of the same. And they can still both call each other “Brother” – with obvious disrespect – while vainly imagining themselves right and the other wrong.

        Paul’s warning about Christians condemning one another is based upon a sound principle. Its not respectful of scripture to put every verse in the bible into a convenient box.

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      114. Br.d writes, “Paul’s warning about Christians condemning one another is based upon a sound principle. Its not respectful of scripture to put every verse in the bible into a convenient box.”
        This is YOUR assessment of the passage. However, it cannot be used as a proof that we’re not to confront each other if one is teaching heresy and that heresy is detrimental to the Gospel message. Romans 14 does NOT speak to this sir.

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      115. brianwagner writes, “A couple say “declare… things…” but not “all” things.”

        The challenge by Isaiah is for the fake gods of Israel to tell anything that will happen in the future that they will bring about. Isaiah prevents a contrast – God says that He declares all things; let the false gods declare just one thing.

        Then, “One verse does say God is working all things according to His purpose,…”

        A purpose established by His will. Even a casual reading of Scripture says that God does not ad hoc anything – there is no plan B. As Paul explained to the Greeks in Athens (Acts 17), “The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; neither is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all life and breath and all things;” Are we to think that God is making it up as He goes?

        Then, “…which Scripture clearly teaches includes giving grace to all who are not able to seek and who are not seeking until He enables them.”

        But then, God apparently gives more grace to His elect to bring them to salvation. As people are saved by grace, God must discriminate in the grace that He bestows on His elect because they come to salvation.

        Then, “You think He does that enablement to seek just for a preselected group through giving each of them regeneration. But the Scripture clearly declares His mercy for all to enable them to have the choice to seek. Acts 17:26-27, Rom 11:32.”

        I observe that God’s elect come to salvation and others do not.

        Then, “Praise His Name that He is freely working out His sovereign purpose which includes allowing man to exercise free will in response to the light when He gives it to them. Heb 3:7-8, John 12:35-36.”

        OK. Let’s allow that some do freely choose salvation under your philosophy. It is with those who reject salvation that Calvinism concerns itself, and it is from this truly depraved group that Calvinism says God chooses whom He will save.

        Then, “It is sad that He is not honored more for His mercy to all!”

        But such is the depravity of people to reject God’s mercy.

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      116. You are getting a little sloppy in your dancing again, Roger! 😉 You know that Is 46:10 does not say, “… He declares all things…” It basically says that the things He declares comes to past. But I am sure you don’t believe that everything that was predetermined was also declared. The word “declare” does not mean predetermined… but revelation of what was predetermined. Right?

        I disagree vehemently that a “casual reading” does not reveal a plan B. You just do not want to believe what normal grammar does to your imposed theological grid that you placed upon Scripture. Conditional prophecies, all 3rd class subjunctives, all universal invitations and warnings, and verses stating God is still making determinations demonstrate clearly that their are plan B’s, F’s, T’s etc. All of them good… and available for God to exercise His perfect free will, utilizing His infinite understanding that is not locked into a deterministic cage made for Him by theologians and philosophers.

        There are no individual beloved/elect before they are joined to Christ (Rom 9:25), so no one receives more grace because of a predetermined status. God gives sufficient grace to efficiently choose freely to seek or not to seek Him. And those who seek will find! Praise His Name!

        “But such is the depravity of people to reject God’s mercy.” Amen… even for Christians and non-Christians alike… and its done freely many times, in spite of being enabled to choose to accept it!

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      117. Ok, I see that is our position – which you fully allow forj yourself.
        Then you won’t mind other – mature participants- identifying it for what it is. :-]
        No problem for me.

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      118. There are too many holes and inconsistencies in Brian’s theology that I’ve pointed out to him. These inconsistencies are glaring. I actually believe Brian knows that these inconsistencies exist but just refuses to acknowledge them due to pride. I welcome dialogue as a means to determine truth. I don’t think Brian has that mindset. He believes that he has already arrived in spite of his inconsistencies.

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      119. It is very sad for me to see you speak to and about Brian this way.

        If you knew him personally, you could rebuke him privately for lying and pride. But to do it without knowing him and in a public forum is sad.

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      120. It is very sad for me to see you speak to and about Brian this way.

        If you knew him personally, you could rebuke him privately for lying and pride. But to do it without knowing him and in a public forum is sad.

        You got it right fromoverhere!

        Not to difficult to understand the source….. σαρκικοί – I’m sure Brian understands. :-]

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      121. FOH I respect your opinion. But we will agree to disagree. Truth is truth and we are mandated to CONTEND for it, albeit in love.

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      122. Troy writes
        He [Brian] believes that he has already arrived in spite of his inconsistencies.

        For me, this statement is a great example of Freudian Reverse Attribution Error. :-]

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      123. very true Troy… that is why I want to be only dogmatic on what the Scripture clearly says according to normal rules of grammar and context, and rejecting all contradictions that others proclaim while they are hiding behind words like “orthodoxy”, “analogy of faith”, and “anthropomorphism”.

        And I reject the views also of those who just dogmatically proclaim verses (or Scriptures as a whole) say things that they want them to say when the actual words in the context and grammar of those proof texts don’t actually say support their dogmatic statements. They might indeed suggest the possibilty of the meanings they profess for them… yet they must overturn other very clear Scriptures for the meanings they extrapolate from those proof texts to be true.

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      124. But your view of “light” in the Bible is not CLEARLY taught. In fact, it’s anti-thetical to all that the Scriptures teach. You are dogmatic about a doctrine that is false when compared to all of Scripture.
        Also, your method of exegesis is not quite accurate. Whereas we do use “normal rules of grammar and context”, we MUST also allow the Bible to define its own terms by comparing how those terms are used throughout ALL of Scripture. This is why you have developed a false view of “light” which is dangerous because you actually teach this to others.
        The litmus test when ascertaining whether a doctrine is true is if jives with tota scriptura. If it doesn’t, then we must humble ourselves and study more until the HS guides us into truth.
        Also, “orthodoxy” has its place. Orthodoxy should never DETERMINE truth but it CAN be an evidence of truth as it has stood the test of time. Therefore, when someone attempts to teach a doctrine that’s contrary to orthodoxy, then we can measure that doctrine against the historical view of that particular doctrine. Again this does not DETERMINE truth, but can be an evidence of it since it’s time-tested.
        For example, your view of “light” is nothing more than a “prevenient grace” that you believe every human is endowed with and you base this mainly from one verse (John 1:9). However, when one tests your doctrine with other verses that explain what “light” is and does, it contradicts your view. So your view fails the litmus test – that doctrine must be CONSISTENTLY taught throughout Scripture. Your doctrine has proven to be false many many many times and thus has not withstood the test of time.
        Remember, when we’re teaching, we’re in essence teaching what “thus saith the Lord”. This is of the UTMOST IMPORTANCE!!

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      125. (A) They cannot be free but continue in their slavery to sin.

        (B) They commit their sins freely.

        Good examples of double-speak.

        However when one factors in the fact that on this view millennia before they were born – god predestined every choice they would ever make – making every choice their unavoidable fate – before they were born – what we really have is slavery to predestination.
        They cannot resist what god has predestined them to do – because he predestines them to not resist it.

        The will to sin may or may not be what god predestines an individual to will at any given moment.
        But whatever will god has predestined the individual to will – does not negate the fact that the will is predestined.
        So what we really have is slavery/bondage to whatever is predestined.

        Liked by 1 person

      126. br.d writes, “(A) They cannot be free but continue in their slavery to sin.
        (B) They commit their sins freely.
        Good examples of double-speak.”

        Why is this double-speak? That who are enslaved to sin (and thus not free) nonetheless exercise freedom of will in choosing to sin. In the sense that God has free will but cannot sin, the unsaved have free will but cannot but sin.

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      127. rutcin writes:

        In the sense that God has free will but CANNOT sin, the unsaved have free will but cannot but sin.

        It is one thing to assert man CANNOT do X and another thing to assert god CANNOT do X.

        I won’t go near such language because it comes to close to telling god what he CAN and CANNOT do.

        And we understand that in Calvinism “Man is free but not in such a way that man is free” . :-]

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      128. brianwagner writes, “You thus continue to believe God’s light is not enabling for the unregenerate mind to know the truth it gives.

        You say that light is “enabling.” What do you mean by “enabling”? Is this “enabling” a “change” of some kind?

        Then, “Jesus was talking to believers that needed to freely choose to know the truth that could set them free in sanctification. They were able to reject that choice. The unbeliever is told by Jesus elsewhere to believe in the light to become children of light (12:35-36)… they are free to choose to believe that truth and be set free unto salvation!”

        No conflict with the Calvinists here.

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      129. The enabling to each person by God’s light is to be “free to choose to believe that truth and be set free unto salvation”. And that is in great conflict with Calvinism!

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      130. brianwagner writes, “The enabling to each person by God’s light is to be “free to choose to believe that truth and be set free unto salvation”. And that is in great conflict with Calvinism!”

        What you call light, Calvinists cal regeneration. You and Calvinist describe the same “change” but give it different names.

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      131. Now you know that’s not true Roger… for the enabling light I amd John describe is given to each human! John 1:9. You must have known that.

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      132. brianwagner writes, “for the enabling light I and John describe is given to each human! John 1:9. You must have known that.”

        John 1 –“There was the true light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.”

        You have “enlightens” to mean “enables” (I think). We then read, “…as many as [were enlightened/enabled] received Him,…[even those] were born…of God.”

        Only those born of God received (believed in) Christ. Absent being born of God, we read, “Christ was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. Christ came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.”

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      133. Robert if Brian insists on believing his view of “light”, there’s no trying to convince him of unconditional election or irresistible grace because his mind is already closed to truth as he stubbornly wants to believe what he believes is truth concerning salvation. But, as I’ve stated previously, if your view cannot stand the test of tota scriptura, then your view is FALSE.

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      134. brianwagner writes, “You have the false inference to the reader that you believe there is a lesser ability to exercise free will in those who are not regenerated.”

        There is a difference in the degree (the extent to which it can be exercised) of free will. When Adam died, he incurred spiritual death immediately and physical death at a later time. Regeneration restores spiritual life to the person (according to the Calvinist). A person who is spiritually dead seeks his own. Paul speaks of the Jews in Romans 10, who “not knowing about God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.” So the physical ability to choose is the same for all but the unregenerate “not knowing about God’s righteousness…[cannot]…subject themselves to the righteousness of God.”

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      135. What I find fascinating is Sproul (after the pattern of pagan Catholicism) is putting a mark on an infants forehead.

        Always reminds me of Revelations 13.

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      136. “Interesting….that Sproul baptizes babies while affirming that it is NOT for salvation….but only as a sign of the covenant.”

        Sproul is consistent is saying that it is God who saves and “not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man,”

        Then, “Then he tells them they must raised the child in the covenant….and teach him the ways of the Lord.”

        This is because, “faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.”

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      137. And what is the infant baptism for?

        Is it a Biblical command to baptize babies?

        Is the baptism for the child? If so what does it do for him?

        Is the baptism for the adult? If so what does it do for the adult? Is that a Biblical thing that he is doing?

        You often hear them say “a child of the Covenant” when they’re baptizing. If that baptize child is not actually one of the elect then what way is it a child of the Covenant?

        Now we have a situation where that person is made in the image of God and baptized by believing parents right after birth as a child of the covenant, and yet might still be created for Destruction? That’s a very interesting combination.

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      138. FOH writes, “Is the baptism for the adult? If so what does it do for the adult? Is that a Biblical thing that he is doing?”

        Baptism is the presentation of oneself to God with the act of baptism demonstrating to the world that they are dedicated to – or immersed in – Christ. Infant baptism is the presentation of the child to God by the parents who dedicate themselves to raising the child in the fear and admonition of the lord. I have know that act – Baptists dedicate their children rather than baptize – to result in a demonstrable change in the lives of the parents. The purpose is the same either way.

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      139. Biiiiiiig difference.

        A Baptist dedicates and then the child grows up and if he becomes a believer gets baptized.

        In Sproul’s version—-that baptism is already done….he forbids another baptism. Calvin tortured people for doing it.

        You equated to dissimilar ideas. They are just not the same.

        Do you see how easily and casually you did that?

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      140. FOH writes, “You equated to dissimilar ideas. They are just not the same.”

        The problem is that some people think one must be baptized in order to be saved. Some people understand that a person is saved by grace through faith plus nothing.

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      141. what????

        I think I need to be done with this thread.

        You equated Sproul’s infant baptism (where one is forbidden later to be baptized as a believer) to a Baptist dedication (where the person is encouraged to be baptized as a believer).

        That is obviously an error you can see that….but you do not ever retract anything. You only throw up the next smoke screen.

        You would have more credibility if you would at least once ever say —-hummmm, good point!

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      142. I’m afraid we discovered long ago that rhuthin is here for strategic reasons and not for open-minded dialog.
        Although he feigns it enough to draw people in.
        But he’s just playing with people while looking for a weakness to exploit.
        Many have come and left wearied of it – even after being warned not to expect honesty.
        Christians find it very hard to not want to give another professing Christian the benefit of the doubt.
        But as they say – once bitten -twice shy.

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      143. to rutchin – You equated two dissimilar ideas. – Do you see how easily and casually you did that?

        Excellent Catch!!!
        Yes it works that way for them.
        Margaret Thaler Singer, Ph. D. calls it “Thought Reform”
        Young eager Calvinist are easily bought under the influence of socialization processes within the Calvinist fold.

        The brain can be conditioned to think in a certain way.

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      144. Here is what Sproul proudly puts on his web site.

        “It has been said that all of Western theology is a footnote to the work of Augustine. This is because no other writer, with the exception of the biblical authors, has had more influence on Christendom….. When Martin Luther and John Calvin were accused of teaching new doctrine, they pointed to Augustine as an example of one who had taught the things they were teaching.”

        Makes me want to re-think a lot of stuff that was declared from a bad Latin translation in the 400’s and just repeated, and repeated, and repeated over time until it became the golden calf and indisputable.

        Very puzzling how Sproul (and others) can pick and choose from Augustine’s many teachings, with a casual, “he did not know fully, but we know better now.”

        That is exactly how I feel about deterministic Calvinism…. we know better now! Phew! Let’s stop repeating the errors based on Augustine’s Platonist philosophy…..making them the truth by using half verses from here and there!

        Otherwise I just encourage Augustine/Calvin lovers to go the full mile and baptize babies (for salvation), venerate Mary, see salvation in the Eucharist, and …… persecute heretics that dont agree!!

        ps. you can start with me.

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      145. I totally agree on the way Calvinist paint their system as the “golden standard” and then without blushing cherry pick it to death with dishonest word games.

        Wouldn’t everyone love to sign-up for that!! 😉

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      146. “That is exactly how I feel about deterministic Calvinism…. we know better now! Phew! ”

        The problem is that no one can verbalize what it is that they know better and do so coherently in line with the Scriptures.

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      147. You keep saying that.

        Then you say “but I didnt listen to the podcast”

        This is not just a site where we take pot shots at each other. Leighton is laying out the soteriology piece by piece with Scripture.

        I suggest you quit saying that. It makes you look callous and trite.

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      148. FOH writes, “You keep saying that.”

        Well, we know that you can’t do it. I am still trying to figure out what Leighton is trying to say – and that after listening to some of his podcasts two and three times or more (for some parts).

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      149. maybe it is because your heart has been hardened and your ears have been closed lest you understand! sounds like it! smile!

        Like

      150. Right on Brian!!

        In the book of revelations John gets rebuked simply because he falls down at the sight of an angel.

        And yet Calvinists blatantly gloat over their own “respected persons” including Augustine.
        Calvinist’s psychological investment is so overt – it neutralizes discernment needed to prohibit one from honoring men.
        Paul would not hesitate to call this aspect of Calvinism “carnal”.

        Like

    2. Great post!!
      Yes some academics have researched Augustine and found his doctrines full of Gnosticism and NeoPlatonism.
      Augustine grew in political power within the Catholic system and eventually became so powerful, anyone who dared disagree with him would be banned or persecuted. After Augustine’s death, the Catholic church revised their stance on his doctrines – calling them “inventions”.

      Here are a few more links:

      http://www.protevi.com/john/SH/PDF/Neoplatonism.pdf

      http://pdxscholar.library.pdx.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1010&context=anthos_archives

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoplatonism_and_Christianity

      Like

  6. CALVINISM WINS THE PRIZE:

    What is a half-truth:

    A partial-truth.
    A deceptive statement that includes some element of truth.

    The statement might be partly true, and may even totally true.
    The key is – the statement is only PART OF THE WHOLE truth which is strategically hidden.

    Or it may use some deceptive element, such as strategically choosing terms which have double-meanings.
    Especially if the intent is to deceive, evade, or mislead.

    Altruistic dishonesty is often dishonesty justified through some rational.
    Calvinism’s altruistic dishonesty is dishonesty for the sake of group-image.
    Calvinists are mentored in a language, designed to defend that image.

    Calvinism’s language often works by presenting half-truths and double-speak.
    Once we learn to scrutinize every word, we can discover where the language is designed to mislead us.

    Winning the prize:
    Why any Christian would seek to win the prize of being the most subtle beast in the field is a mystery.
    But it is a prize many Calvinists are in no way inclined to lose.

    Like

  7. A CULTISH SIDE OF CALVNISM – By Micah Coate – page 225

    Another technique employed by [insert Calvinist here] ……is to REDEFINE TERMS that cover the harsh reality of a morally and rationally indefensible view.

    As Geisler (Chosen but free) points out:
    “A similar problem emerges when [insert Calvinist here] employs a kind of theological double-speak. For example, it affirms (A) Fallen humans can “will”, but yet they “have no independent will”; (B) Grace is “irresistible”, and yet “not coercive”; (C) depraved humans are “dead”, yet “alive enough” to bear responsibility for rejecting a gospel not offered; and (D) that god does not “force” anyone, but regenerates them “contrary to their will” (e.g. dragging them)”

    Calvinists have not produced a whole new book to support their theology as did the Mormons.
    They need only to explain-away those verses in the bible which contradict their system.

    As Geisler states:
    “This is done by REDEFINING WORDS AND TERMS with strategic meanings and by the use of theological double-speak.”

    Author Kent Rieske also explains how this is accomplished:
    “Calvinism consists of theological doctrines which use words found in the bible. However, Calvinism REDEFINES those words, takes them out of context, applies doctrines inappropriately, exaggerates meanings of words to the extreme, or in some other way distorts the original text, in order to make it match John Calvin’s theology.”

    ITS CALLED SHIFTING SEMANTIC MEANINGS
    Just like money-changers shift weights on their scales – to take advantage of unsuspecting customers – in Jesus’s day.

    Forewarned is forearmed.

    Like

      1. br.d writes, “As Geisler (Chosen but free) points out:”

        rhutch responds
        Yet Geisler portrays himself as a Calvinist in the book.

        Not ALL Calvinists are dishonest. :-]

        Like

      2. rhutch responds “Yet Geisler portrays himself as a Calvinist in the book.”
        Br.d responds, “Not ALL Calvinists are dishonest. :-]”

        Yet, clearly, Geisler advocates an Arminian philosophy and then deceitfully labels it a Calvinist Theology. How much more dishonest can a person be??

        Like

      3. rhutchin writes “Yet, clearly, Geisler advocates an Arminian philosophy and then deceitfully labels it a Calvinist Theology. How much more dishonest can a person be??”

        Now there you have 4 fingers pointed back on yourself – for you consistently advocate Arminian concepts which HONEST Calvinists reject as heresy – posturing them AS-IF Calvinism.

        So dishonesty is consistent within Calvinism – what else is new! 😀

        Like

      4. br.d writes, “Now there you have 4 fingers pointed back on yourself – for you consistently advocate Arminian concepts which HONEST Calvinists reject as heresy – posturing them AS-IF Calvinism.’

        But if you have examples, let’s work on them and straighten out your misconceptions.

        Like

      5. But if you have examples, let’s work on them and straighten out your misconceptions.

        I could never provide better examples that what you consistently provide.
        So we make a great team. You provide the examples – and I provide the analysis.
        Its a win-win situation. :-]

        Like

  8. I really messed that one up!!
    Lets try it again:

    rhutchin writes “What matters is to identify what changed when Adam sinned.”

    And what Calvinism REALLY teaches is:
    “What matters is to identify how god “rendered certain” Adam’s every neurological impulse making Adam sin”

    Calvin’s “author of evil” deity is like a magician’s favorite magical rabbit.
    He can make it appear and then disappear auto-magically at will! 😀

    SO FUNNY!

    Like

    1. rhutchin writes “What matters is to identify what changed when Adam sinned.”
      Br.d responds, ‘And what Calvinism REALLY teaches is:
      “What matters is to identify how god “rendered certain” Adam’s every neurological impulse making Adam sin”

      Not only does God render certain every neurological impulse by His restraint of those impulses, He holds Adam accountable for the neurological impulses that God does not restrain. In the same way, Pilate and the Jews conspired to crucify Christ and God made certain that they did so – yet God still holds them accountable for their actions. So it is with everyone – God restrains the desires we entertain in our minds and then holds us accountable for those desires.

      Like

      1. rhutchin writes – but as always we must fill in what he hides:

        “Not only does God render certain every neurological impulse by His restraint of those impulses,

        He holds Adam accountable for the neurological impulses that [HE RENDERS CERTAIN OCCUR IN ADAM’S BRAIN] and does not restrain [WHAT HE MAKES OCCUR].

        Then:
        God restrains the desires [GOD RENDERS CERTAIN] we entertain in our minds [WHICH HE MAKES COME TO PASS AS OUR UNAVOIDABLE FATE].
        And then he holds us accountable for those desires that [HE RENDERED CERTAIN WOULD COME TO PASS]

        Did you hear the story about the Calvinist who wanted to be like god?
        He drove his car to the liquor store – and did not restrain his car from going where he drove it! 😀

        HERE IS A FAMOUS CALVINIST QUOTE EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW:
        I know you think you understand what you thought I said.
        But I’m not sure you realize that what you heard, is not what I meant, when I said what I didn’t say. 😀

        Like

      2. br.d writes, “He holds Adam accountable for the neurological impulses that [HE RENDERS CERTAIN OCCUR IN ADAM’S BRAIN] and does not restrain [WHAT HE MAKES OCCUR].

        Then:
        God restrains the desires [GOD RENDERS CERTAIN] we entertain in our minds [WHICH HE MAKES COME TO PASS AS OUR UNAVOIDABLE FATE].
        And then he holds us accountable for those desires that [HE RENDERED CERTAIN WOULD COME TO PASS]”

        OK. That’s a start. Let’s continue to edit.

        “God holds Adam accountable for the neurological impulses that [HE RENDERS CERTAIN to OCCUR IN ADAM’S BRAIN through naturally occurring functions of the brain] that God does not restrain [thus HE MAKES these OCCUR through the natural functions of the brain]. God made man with a brain, thereby a mind, that reflects the nature of the person.”

        God restrains the desires [in doing so GOD RENDERS CERTAIN the strongest desires not restrained] we entertain in our minds [WHICH HE MAKES COME TO PASS AS OUR UNAVOIDABLE FATE by not restraining them]. And then he holds us accountable for those desires that [HE RENDERED CERTAIN WOULD COME TO PASS by not restraining them]”

        Like

      3. Very close rhutchin – you’ve almost got it!!!

        LETS CLEAR UP SOME PARTS THAT ARE STRATEGICALLY MISLEADING

        In Calvinism:
        A: God holds Adam accountable for the neurological impulses that HE RENDERS CERTAIN to OCCUR IN ADAM’S BRAIN MAKING THEM OCCUR AS “naturally occurring” functions of the brain – which God – AS HE CAUSES THEM – does not restrain.

        B: Thus CALVIN’S GOD MAKES these SPECIFIC NEUROLOGICAL IMPULSES OCCUR – BY CAUSING THEM TO OCCUR AS natural functions of the brain AND ALLOWS NO OTHER ALTERNATIVE IMPULSES TO NATURALLY OCCUR WITHIN THE BRAIN.

        C: God made man with a brain, thereby a mind, that reflects the nature of the person WHILE AT THE SAME TIME HE CONTROLS EVERY NEUROLOGICAL IMPULSE THAT OCCURS WITHIN THAT BRAIN.

        D: God restrains the desires WHICH HE DECREES TO OCCUR. In doing so GOD RENDERS CERTAIN WHICH DESIRES ARE THE the strongest desires IN SUCH A WAY THAT THOSE SPECIFIC DESIRES WHICH HE CAUSES – ARE not restrained] which we entertain in our minds AS OUR UNAVOIDABLE FATE by GOD not restraining them. And then he holds us accountable for those desires that HE RENDERED CERTAIN WOULD COME TO PASS WITHIN OUR BRAIN – AS OUR UNAVOIDABLE FATE by not restraining THOSE SPECIFIC DESIRES HE CAUSES TO OCCUR”.

        E: AND CALVINISTS STRATEGICALLY CALL EVIL THINGS GOD CAUSES TO OCCUR “NATURALLY OCCURRING” – IN ORDER TO MINIMIZE THE SPECTER OF GOD SPECIFICALLY CAUSE EVIL THINGS. CALVINISTS DO THIS IN OBEDIENCE TO CALVIN’S TEACHING, THAT THEY ARE TO – QUOTE “GO ABOUT THEIR OFFICE AS-IF NOTHING IS DETERMINED IN ANY PART”.

        There – I think we’ve removed a little more of the Calvinist dishonesty out of it. :-]

        Like

      4. br.d writes, “LETS CLEAR UP SOME PARTS THAT ARE STRATEGICALLY MISLEADING”

        Continuing edits to get it right. In Calvinism:
        A: God holds Adam accountable for the neurological impulses that HE RENDERS CERTAIN to OCCUR IN ADAM’S BRAIN having provided for THEM to OCCUR AS “naturally occurring” functions of the brain He created – which God – AS HE CAUSES THEM through the brain He gave to man – does not restrain.

        B: Thus CALVIN’S GOD MAKES these SPECIFIC NEUROLOGICAL IMPULSES naturally OCCURing – BY CAUSING THEM TO OCCUR AS natural functions of the brain through His sustaining of the brain as a living organ within man AND ALLOWS NO OTHER ALTERNATIVE IMPULSES TO NATURALLY OCCUR WITHIN THE BRAIN other that those generated by the brain (or heart) itself.

        C: God made man with a brain, thereby a mind, that reflects the nature of the person WHILE AT THE SAME TIME HE CONTROLS EVERY NEUROLOGICAL IMPULSE THAT OCCURS WITHIN THAT BRAIN through restraint or lack of restraint.

        D: God effects the desires WHICH HE DECREES TO OCCUR through the corrupted nature resulting from Adam’s sin. In doing so GOD RENDERS CERTAIN WHICH DESIRES ARE the strongest desires by His restraint of stronger desires IN SUCH A WAY THAT THOSE SPECIFIC DESIRES WHICH HE CAUSES through the unrestrained natural functions of the brain – ARE not restrained] which we entertain in our minds AS OUR UNAVOIDABLE FATE by GOD not restraining them. And then he holds us accountable for those desires that HE RENDERED CERTAIN WOULD COME TO PASS WITHIN OUR BRAIN – AS OUR UNAVOIDABLE FATE by not restraining THOSE SPECIFIC DESIRES HE CAUSES TO OCCUR through the unrestrained natural functions of the brain”.

        E: CALVINISTS STRATEGICALLY CALL EVIL THINGS GOD CAUSES TO OCCUR “NATURALLY OCCURRING” as they are the natural products of a corrupt nature – IN ORDER TO MINIMIZE THE SPECTER OF GOD SPECIFICALLY CAUSE EVIL THINGS directly. CALVINISTS DO THIS IN OBEDIENCE TO CALVIN’S TEACHING, THAT THEY ARE TO – QUOTE “GO ABOUT THEIR OFFICE AS-IF NOTHING IS DETERMINED IN ANY PART even though they know that God has determined all things as required by His omniscient knowledge”.

        Like

      5. rutchin writes:
        Continuing edits to get it right. In Calvinism:

        Yes but we have to clear up more added misleading subtleties.

        A: God holds Adam accountable for the neurological impulses that HE RENDERS CERTAIN to OCCUR IN ADAM’S BRAIN having provided for THEM to OCCUR AS “naturally occurring” functions of the brain He created – which God – AS HE CAUSES THEM through the brain He gave to man – does not restrain. BUT IN SUCH A WAY THAT HE DETERMINES EACH SPECIFIC IMPULSE AND ALLOWS NO ALTERNATIVE IMPULSE TO NATURALLY OCCUR.

        B: Thus CALVIN’S GOD MAKES these SPECIFIC NEUROLOGICAL IMPULSES naturally OCCURing – BY CAUSING THEM (I.e. EACH SPECIFIC IMPULSE) TO OCCUR AS natural functions of the brain AND YET BY DETERMINING EACH SPECIFIC IMPULSE – AND DOES THIS through His sustaining of the brain as a living organ within man AND ALLOWS NO OTHER ALTERNATIVE IMPULSES TO NATURALLY OCCUR WITHIN THE BRAIN other that those WHICH HE DECREES TO BE SPECIALLY generated by the brain (or heart) itself EACH IMPULSE BEING SPECIFICALLY DETERMINED BY GOD BEFORE THE PERSON WAS BORN.

        C: God made man with a brain, thereby a mind, that reflects the nature of the person WHILE AT THE SAME TIME HE CONTROLS EVERY NEUROLOGICAL IMPULSE THAT OCCURS WITHIN THAT BRAIN through restraint or lack of restraint BY THE PROCESS OF SPECIFICALLY DETERMINING EACH SPECIFIC IMPULSE AND ALLOWING NO ALTERNATIVE IMPULSE TO NATURALLY OCCUR. AND THIS LOGICALLY FOLLOWS FROM THE DOCTRINE OF THEOLOGICAL DETERMINISM WHERE EVERY SPECIFIC IMPULSE WITHOUT EXCEPTION IS DETERMINED IN THE REMOTE PAST BY A THEOS.

        D: God effects the desires WHICH HE DECREES TO OCCUR through the corrupted nature EACH ONE BEING SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED AND DETERMINED INTO ADAM resulting from Adam’s EACH SPECIFIC sin WHICH GOD DETERMINES TO NATURALLY OCCUR. In doing so GOD RENDERS CERTAIN WHICH DESIRES ARE the strongest desires by His restraint of stronger desires IN SUCH A WAY THAT THOSE SPECIFIC DESIRES WHICH HE CAUSES through the unrestrained natural functions of the brain – EACH AND EVERY SPECIFIC OF THESE IMPULSES WHICH ARE OR ARE not restrained] BY GOD AND which we entertain in our minds AS OUR UNAVOIDABLE FATE by GOD not restraining them. AND THIS IS HOW GOD IS ACTUALLY THE DIRECT CONTROLLER OF EVERY IMPULSE. And then he holds us accountable for those desires that HE RENDERED CERTAIN WOULD COME TO PASS WITHIN OUR BRAIN – AS OUR UNAVOIDABLE FATE by not restraining THOSE SPECIFIC DESIRES HE CAUSES TO OCCUR through the unrestrained natural functions of the brain. AND IN THIS WAY GOD IS THE PRIMARY CAUSE OF EACH SPECIFIC NATURALLY OCCURRING IMPULSE AND EACH IMPULSE IS DETERMINED SPECIFICALLY AS OUR UNAVOIDABLE FATE WHICH THE CALVINIST CALLS NATURALLY OCCURRING.

        E: CALVINISTS STRATEGICALLY CALL EVIL THINGS GOD CAUSES TO OCCUR “NATURALLY OCCURRING” as they are the natural products of a corrupt nature EACH SIN AND EVIL BEING SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED AND DETERMINED BY GOD BEFORE THE CREATURE IS BORN – IN ORDER TO MINIMIZE THE SPECTER OF GOD SPECIFICALLY CAUSING EVIL THINGS directly WHICH HE ACTUALLY DOES. BECAUSE CALVINISTS SEEK TO CREATE THE ILLUSION THAT GOD DIDN’T DETERMINE THEM AT ALL – AND THUS THE DOUBLE-SPEAK. CALVINISTS DO THIS IN OBEDIENCE TO CALVIN’S TEACHING, THAT THEY ARE TO – QUOTE “GO ABOUT THEIR OFFICE AS-IF NOTHING IS DETERMINED IN ANY PART even though they know that God has determined all things as required by His omniscient knowledge WHICH DEVIATES FROM ORTHODOXY IN THAT CALVIN’S DOCTRINE OF DIVINE KNOWLEDGE – WHICH ASSERTS THAT THE ONLY WAY GOD CAN KNOW SOMETHING AS CERTAIN IS IF HE FIRST CONCEIVES, DETERMINES AND RENDERS IT CERTAIN. SO THE READER SHOULD BE ABLE TO EASILY REVIEW CALVINIST LANGUAGE SUCH AS THIS, AND DISCERN THE PREVALENCE OF ITS DOUBLE-THINK.

        Like

      6. We are slowing getting to a good product.

        A: God holds Adam accountable for the neurological impulses (thoughts) that naturally occur as a consequence of Adam’s mind being active and God RENDERS these thoughts CERTAIN IN ADAM’S BRAIN to the extent that God does not restrain Adam’s thoughts (neurological impulses). God has provided for thoughts to OCCUR because they are “naturally occurring” functions of the brain God created. God is said to CAUSE Adam’s thoughts as it is God who gave Adam a brain (and mind) to think both good and bad thoughts and God does not restrain Adam’s thoughts when he could. Thus, God DETERMINES EACH SPECIFIC IMPULSE AND ALLOWS NO ALTERNATIVE IMPULSE TO NATURALLY OCCUR than those not restrained by Him

        B: Thus CALVIN’S GOD MAKES these SPECIFIC NEUROLOGICAL IMPULSES naturally OCCURing by virtue of the brain (and mind) he gave Adam – BY CAUSING THEM (I.e. EACH SPECIFIC IMPULSE) TO OCCUR AS natural functions of the brain AND YET BY DETERMINING EACH SPECIFIC IMPULSE – AND DOES THIS through His sustaining of the brain as a living organ within man AND ALLOWS NO OTHER ALTERNATIVE IMPULSES TO NATURALLY OCCUR WITHIN THE BRAIN other that those WHICH HE DECREES TO BE SPECIALLY generated by the brain (or mind) itself EACH IMPULSE BEING SPECIFICALLY known BY GOD BEFORE THE PERSON WAS BORN and determined at birth.

        C: God made man with a brain, thereby a mind, that reflects the nature of the person. AT THE SAME TIME, God exercises absolute control over EVERY NEUROLOGICAL IMPULSE THAT OCCURS WITHIN THAT BRAIN through restraint or lack of restraint. By these means (the degree to which God restrains Adam’s thoughts) we see a PROCESS whereby God SPECIFICALLY DETERMINES EACH SPECIFIC IMPULSE AND NO ALTERNATIVE IMPULSE will NATURALLY OCCUR other than those not restrained by God. Form THIS LOGICALLY FOLLOWS THE DOCTRINE OF THEOLOGICAL DETERMINISM WHERE EVERY SPECIFIC IMPULSE WITHOUT EXCEPTION IS DETERMINED IN THE REMOTE PAST BY A THEOS.

        D: God effects the desires WHICH HE DECREES TO OCCUR through the corrupted nature EACH desire BEING SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED AND DETERMINED INTO ADAM resulting from Adam’s freedom of will including EACH SPECIFIC sin WHICH GOD DETERMINES TO NATURALLY OCCUR. In doing so GOD RENDERS CERTAIN WHICH DESIRES ARE the strongest desires by His restraint of stronger desires IN SUCH A WAY THAT THOSE SPECIFIC DESIRES WHICH HE CAUSES through the unrestrained natural functions of the brain – EACH AND EVERY SPECIFIC OF THESE IMPULSES WHICH ARE OR ARE not restrained] BY GOD AND which we entertain in our minds AS OUR UNAVOIDABLE FATE by GOD not restraining them. AND THIS IS HOW GOD IS ACTUALLY THE DIRECT CONTROLLER OF EVERY IMPULSE. And then he holds us accountable for those desires that HE RENDERED CERTAIN WOULD COME TO PASS WITHIN OUR BRAIN – AS OUR UNAVOIDABLE FATE by not restraining THOSE SPECIFIC DESIRES HE CAUSES TO OCCUR through the unrestrained natural functions of the brain. IN THIS WAY GOD IS THE PRIMARY CAUSE OF EACH SPECIFIC NATURALLY OCCURRING IMPULSE AND EACH IMPULSE IS DETERMINED SPECIFICALLY AS OUR UNAVOIDABLE FATE WHICH THE CALVINIST CALLS NATURALLY OCCURRING.

        E: CALVINISTS STRATEGICALLY describe as EVIL THINGS GOD CAUSES through “NATURALLY OCCURRING” processes as they are the natural products of a corrupt nature. EACH SIN AND EVIL action is SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED AND DETERMINED BY GOD BEFORE THE CREATURE IS BORN – IN ORDER TO MINIMIZE THE SPECTER OF GOD SPECIFICALLY CAUSING EVIL THINGS directly WHICH HE ACTUALLY DOES. CALVINISTS advocate GOD ‘s control over all things even and say that God has determined all things as required by His omniscient knowledge WHICH is consistent with ORTHODOXY IN THAT CALVIN’S DOCTRINE OF DIVINE KNOWLEDGE – WHICH ASSERTS THAT THE ONLY WAY GOD CAN KNOW SOMETHING AS CERTAIN IS IF HE FIRST CONCEIVES, DETERMINES AND RENDERS IT CERTAIN. SO THE READER SHOULD BE ABLE TO EASILY REVIEW CALVINIST LANGUAGE SUCH AS THIS, AND DISCERN it’s validity

        Like

      7. I’ll have to ask if its ok to proceed further in the process of illuminating the deceptiveness of this.
        I think Dr. Flowers is not going to like people writing books.

        In the meantime I suggest SOT101 readers investigate the term “Naturally Occurring” in the context of Theological Determinism and how it deceptively implies “Natural Determinism” (i.e. the notion that neurological impulses are determined solely “naturally occurring” events or causes) which is a direct contradiction and an equivocation on the term/notion “Theological Determinism”.

        Will get back to you on it. :-]

        Like

      8. rhutchin writes:
        “Not only does God render certain every neurological impulse by His restraint of those impulses, He holds Adam accountable for the neurological impulses that God does not restrain”

        Like the Calvinist who drove his car to the liquor store restrains his car from going to the liquor store and then blames his car.

        We are well aware of how Calvinist double-speak works! 😀

        Like

  9. rhutchin write concerning Norman Geisler – Chosen but free

    “Yet, clearly, Geisler advocates an Arminian philosophy and then deceitfully labels it a Calvinist Theology. How much more dishonest can a person be??”

    However, to his credit, unlike Calvinists I dialog with – Geisler is honest about where he stands within the preponderance of Calvinism.
    He doesn’t posture himself as **THE** representative of all Calvinists “En Masse”.
    He makes it clear up front, within “general” Calvinism, where he agrees and disagrees.
    So Christians should give him points for that honesty, even if they don’t agree with Calvinism per se.

    Personally, I give big points to Calvinist Vincent Cheung for his honesty.
    Here is an example of his stance on god being the author of sin in Calvinism.
    http://www.vincentcheung.com/2005/03/01/the-author-of-sin/

    One Calvinist I dialog with, has responded to Cheung’s writings by attempting to massage and marginalize his statements, trying to distort them into saying what he wants them to say – which is a clear form of dishonest regard – one Calvinist for another.

    Like

    1. This is why I say that holding to an “ism” is fruitless and useless. I don’t support “isms” nor defending “isms”. I only argue what the Bible teaches. It’s hard to arrive at truth when one is trying to prove/disprove an “ism”.

      Like

    2. br.d writes, “He doesn’t posture himself as **THE** representative of all Calvinists “En Masse”. He makes it clear up front, within “general” Calvinism, where he agrees and disagrees.’

      Geisler disagrees with Calvinism on key issues and makes it clear that he is an advocate of Arminian philosophy.

      Then, “One Calvinist I dialog with, has responded to Cheung’s writings by attempting to massage and marginalize his statements,…”

      Cheung is pretty much on target from the limited things he has written that I have read. Is there anything particularly compelling that you think significant and downplayed by other Calvinists?

      Like

      1. br.d writes, “He doesn’t posture himself as **THE** representative of all Calvinists “En Masse”. He makes it clear up front, within “general” Calvinism, where he agrees and disagrees.’

        rutchin responds:
        Geisler disagrees with Calvinism on key issues and makes it clear that he is an advocate of Arminian philosophy.

        Good: Then you are indicating he is up-front and honest on where he deviates from Calvinist philosophy.

        Then:
        Cheung is pretty much on target from the limited things he has written that I have read. Is there anything particularly compelling that you think significant and downplayed by other Calvinists?

        Cheung is -quote: “pretty much on target” ?

        With your superior ability to critique other Calvinist’s (in this case Cheung), perhaps you might give us some tips on where he is not on target?

        Like

      2. br.d writes, “Good: Then you are indicating he is up-front and honest on where he deviates from Calvinist philosophy.”

        It is pretty obvious that you have not read Geisler’s book. Geisler is not up front with this. He openly advocates Arminian philosophy but claims to be a Calvinist. He makes no claim about deviating from Calvinism – rather he describes Arminianism as Calvinism and then says that he is a Calvinist. I think he is pretty devious in doing this.

        Like

  10. Having said that – if you saw a news article with a picture of a hooded man chopping of the head of an 8 year old Christian girl in Pakistan, you would probably be inclined to associate that person’s belief system (and pretty accurately) with an ism. :-]

    Like

  11. An artist determines to paint a picture which he first-concieves.
    For his medium, He selects:
    A certain package of oil based paints which are opaque in color.
    A heavy bristle brush.
    A dimpled and very stiff canvas.
    This is the medium he selects.

    The unique characteristics of each of these selected medium-constituents, will play a slightly determining role in the final outcome of the painting. The thickness of the paint. The unique shade of each color. The heaviness of the brush. And the dimpled surface of the canvas.

    Each will have some limited effect on the outcome of the final painting.
    And yet we understand, those constituents, along with the laws of nature in which they interact, are not the REAL determiners of the painting. We understand that the artist is the REAL determiner of the painting.

    It is the same way with Theological Determinism.
    God, as it were, is the painter.
    He first-conceives (i.e. determines Melania before we are born) what each unique painting (i.e. neurological impulse) will be.
    He selects a specific human brain and personality, in which he will cause specific neurological impulse(s) to occur.

    Melania in the past, God pre-programmed each neurological impulse to occur, as a pre-programmed event, designed to occur at a specified time, in a specified brain and personality, are nothing more than the medium he selects for these impulses to occur.

    Just like the characteristics of the brush, the opaque paint, and the dimpled canvas will have some limited effect on the outcome, the individual’s brain, and personality (i..e the nature of the individual) will have a slight effect on the final outcome as each pre-programmed neurological impulse occurs.

    Yet we understand, in Theological Determinism, the person selected by god, is not the REAL determiner of these events, but simply the medium upon which these impulses are pre-programmed to occur.
    And as such, we understand, the person with his unique biological/psychological makeup is not the REAL determiner of sinful evil events.

    Just like we understand the artist is the REAL determiner of the painting’s final outcome, God (in Theological Determinism) is the REAL determiner of every sinful evil neurological event.

    Now some Theological Determinists like to obfuscate this fact.
    So instead of being honest and calling these impulses pre-programmed by god, they will call them “naturally occurring” in an attempt to give the false impression, god is not authoring them – or the impression that they occur as the result of the characteristics of the human.
    But like the paint, the brush, and the canvas, the “naturally occurring” characteristics of the human (in Theological Determinism) are simply nothing more than the medium god selects – upon which he does his art-work.

    Like

    1. br.d writes, “Yet we understand, in Theological Determinism, the person selected by god, is not the REAL determiner of these events, but simply the medium upon which these impulses are pre-programmed to occur.
      And as such, we understand, the person with his unique biological/psychological makeup is not the REAL determiner of sinful evil events.”

      Not really. In Genesis 2-3, we read–
      26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
      27 And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
      7 the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

      So, God did not create man to be a painting on a canvas. He created man as a living being with a soul and spirit able to think creatively and commune with God. The man is able to think creatively to devise names for all the animals God brings to him and to appreciate all that God gives him in the garden, including Eve, and to make decisions as to whether to eat this fruit or that. Adam has real desires, especially for Eve, and may prefer one fruit over another at different times. That does not prevent God restraining the thoughts or desires that Adam has or leaving Adam alone to be manipulated by Eve or even Satan. Adam has a mind that is creative and he is a decision-maker even if his abilities can be restrained by God. There is no way Adam can be likened to a painting on a canvas.

      Like

      1. br.d writes,
        “We understand an artist and not his paint or canvas is the REAL determiner of what the painting will be”
        Likewise, we understand, in Theological Determinism, the person selected by god, is not the REAL determiner of these events, but simply the medium upon which these impulses are pre-programmed to occur.
        And as such, we understand, the person with his unique biological/psychological makeup is not the REAL determiner of sinful evil events.”

        rhutchin responds
        Not really – God did not create man to be a painting on a canvas.

        This is the fallacy of conflating ONTOLOGICAL with FUNCTIONAL so it misses the mark.

        The article does not assert god created man to be paint or canvas LITERALLY.
        Anyone smart enough to understand the artist is the REAL determiner of the the final outcome of the painting, and understands that in Theological Determinism – the THEOS is the REAL determiner of what the creature will be – will get the point.

        What matches up between the two, is WHO the REAL determiner is.
        And in Theological Determinism the REAL determiner is BY DEFINITION the THEOS.
        The ONTOLOGICAL makeup of the medium does not auto-magically negate the definition of Theological Determinism.
        So this response misses the mark – but is consistent.

        Like

      2. br.d writes, ” in Theological Determinism, the person selected by god, is not the REAL determiner of these events, but simply the medium upon which these impulses are pre-programmed to occur.”

        Not so. God made man with a free will and the ability to conceive new things. This does not mean that God is ignorant of this or not in control. It means that God does not have to cause man to think new things – God created man with the ability to do this without God’s help. God need only restrain the thoughts or actions of man as He wills. As God chooses to restrain or not restrain man, God becomes the determiner of what man does and man is His agent. So we read of the Assyrians, “Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger And the staff in whose hands is My indignation, I send it against a godless nation And commission it against the people of My fury To capture booty and to seize plunder, And to trample them down like mud in the streets. Yet it does not so intend Nor does it plan so in its heart, But rather it is its purpose to destroy, And to cut off many nations.”

        Like

      3. br.d writes, ” in Theological Determinism, the person selected by god, is not the REAL determiner of these events, but simply the medium upon which these impulses are pre-programmed to occur.”

        rhuthin writes
        Not so. God made man with a free will and the ability to conceive new things. This does not mean that God is …..not in control. It means that God does not have to cause man to think new things….etc.

        Sorry this denies theological determinism which asserts that ***EVERYTHING*** that comes to pass (obviously including what man thinks) was decreed by god millennia ago in the past – thus millennia ago what man thinks was fixed in the past along with **EVERYTHING*** else.

        Unless you want to argue:
        A) Man has the power to alter what god fixed in the past.
        Or
        B) Where it comes to pass that man thinks X – god did not decree it come to pass that man to think X.

        Like

  12. rhuthin writes
    Cheung as a Calvinist is -quote: “pretty much on target” ?

    br responds:
    With your superior ability to critique other Calvinist’s (in this case Cheung), perhaps you might give us some tips on where he is not on target?

    rhutchin as the superior one, you didn’t provide any tips on where Cheung is not on target
    I was hoping to see something of REAL substance – but nothing showed up.

    Like

    1. br.d writes, “rhutchin as the superior one, you didn’t provide any tips on where Cheung is not on target”

      Nothing comes to mind.

      Like

      1. rhutchin
        August 31, 2017 at 8:26 pm

        “Vincent Cheung is pretty much on target”

        br.d asks:
        rhutchin with your superior ability to critique other Calvinist’s (in this case Cheung), perhaps you might give us some tips on where he is not on target?

        rhutchin
        September 2, 2017 at 6:46 pm :
        “Nothing comes to mind.”

        Nothing?? Surely with your power to articulate every minute detail of what god decrees and doesn’t decree, what god wills and what god doesn’t will, – as if you’ve been his mini-me at his side for all eternity?

        And now nothing comes to mind??

        Good entertainment 😀

        Like

      2. br.d writes, “And now nothing comes to mind?? ”

        Yep. I don’t read Cheung very much and have not read him in some time.

        Like

      3. rhutchin
        August 31, 2017 at 8:26 pm

        “Vincent Cheung is pretty much on target”

        br.d asks:
        rhutchin with your superior ability to critique other Calvinist’s (in this case Cheung), perhaps you might give us some tips on where he is not on target?

        rhutchin
        September 2, 2017 at 6:46 pm :
        “Nothing comes to mind.”

        br.d
        Nothing?? Surely with your power to articulate every minute detail of what god decrees and doesn’t decree, what god wills and what god doesn’t will, – as if you’ve been his mini-me at his side for all eternity?
        And now nothing comes to mind??

        rhutchin:
        “Yep. I don’t read Cheung very much and have not read him in some time.”

        br.d
        Well – thanks for being consistent!!

        Like

  13. On Theological Determinism and the artist with his medium metaphor:

    William Lane Craig agrees:

    “On the Determinism view, the whole world becomes a vain and empty spectacle.
    There are no free agents in rebellion against God, whom God seeks to win through His love, and no one who freely responds to that love and freely gives his love and praise to God in return.
    The whole spectacle is a charade whose only REAL actor is God Himself.”

    http://www.reasonablefaith.org/molinism-vs-calvinism

    Like

  14. Would a Calvinist assert god as decreeing man free to do X – when god knows that he has made man doing X impossible?

    For example, we know that god has not made it possible for man to create “Ex nihilo” (create something out of nothing).

    But a Calvinist wanting to make certain assertions concerning mans free will, might assert god as decreeing man free to create “Ex nihilo” and free to NOT create “Ex nihilo” – AS-IF it god had made it possible – yet knowing he has not.

    This argument would work to make man culpable for not choosing to create “Ex nihilo”

    Like

    1. br.d writes, “Would a Calvinist assert god as decreeing man free to do X – when god knows that he has made man doing X impossible?”

      Obviously not. If God makes man doing X impossible, then certainly God does not decree that man is free to do X. However, where God knows that a person will choose to do X, the person is still free to choose to do ~X as God’s knowledge of the outcome does not limit the freedom a person exercises in choosing the outcome.

      Then, “But a Calvinist wanting to make certain assertions concerning mans free will, might assert god as decreeing man free to create “Ex nihilo” and free to NOT create “Ex nihilo” – AS-IF it god had made it possible – yet knowing he has not.”

      No Calvinist would assert this.

      Like

      1. Thanks rutchin

        This then leads to a second question.

        Where god does not decree X will come to pass, is it possible for X to come to pass?

        Like

      2. br.d asks, “Where god does not decree X will come to pass, is it possible for X to come to pass?”

        If God does not decree X. then X cannot come to pass. Nonetheless, X is still an option that man freely considers and can choose. That God has not decreed X does not prevent a person choosing to do X or force the person to choose ~X; it means that a person will not freely choose X.

        Like

      3. rhutchin writes:
        If God does not decree X. then X cannot come to pass. Nonetheless, X is still an option that man freely considers and can choose.

        Thanks – just want to make sure what you are saying a Calvinist would assert into 2 sections since you made multiple statements:
        (A)
        When the Calvinist states:
        “If God does not decree X then X cannot come to pass”

        Is that the equivalent of the Calvinist asserting:
        “If God does not decree X come to pass then X coming to pass IS NOT POSSIBLE?

        I would assume “cannot come to pass” is the equivalent of “IS NOT POSSIBLE”
        But need to make sure that is what the Calvinist thinks.

        (B)
        Then:
        That God has not decreed X does not prevent a person choosing to do X or force the person to choose ~X; it means that a person will not freely choose X.

        Again, lets make sure we understand what the Calvinist is asserting here
        1) Where god does not decree X come to pass – X coming to pass is NOT POSSIBLE.
        2) But that does not prevent a person choosing what is IMPOSSIBLE or force the person to choose what is IMPOSSIBLE.
        3) It means that person will not freely choose what is IMPOSSIBLE.

        Can you confirm (A) and (B- 1, 2 and 3) please?

        Like

      4. br.d writes, “Can you confirm (A) and (B- 1, 2 and 3) please?”

        That which God decrees may not be the cause of the decree. God decreed the flood of Noah and caused the flood. God decreed the crucifixion of Christ but did not cause it.

        Like

      5. Lets try this again and make it easier by doing these one at a time

        1) Does the Calvinist assert: Where god does not decree X come to pass – X coming to pass is NOT POSSIBLE?

        Like

      6. br.d writes, “1) Does the Calvinist assert: Where god does not decree X come to pass – X coming to pass is NOT POSSIBLE?”

        God may not decree the salvation of Joe by saying that He will not save Joe. However, Joe is still free to choose to believe in Christ and be saved as people like Brian assert under free will. So, we would be wrong to conclude that “X coming to pass is NOT POSSIBLE.” God’s decree is not necessarily the cause of that which He decrees.

        A truer statement would be, “Where God knows that X will not come to pass – X coming to pass is NOT POSSIBLE?” This is what Calvinist assert with the understanding that God’s knowledge does not make it impossible.

        Like

      7. rhutchin:
        A truer statement would be, “Where God knows that X will not come to pass – X coming to pass is NOT POSSIBLE?”

        Now that raises a need for further clarification:
        Would a Calvinist assert: “God’s knowledge of X not coming to pass CAUSES X to not be possible”?

        Like

      8. Did you get that Br.D? If God does not decree a particular choice for man it still can be freely considered and chosen by the man but it will not be chosen by the man… got it?

        Necessity by decree trumps ability that supposedly exists because one says it does… turning the word “free” in its head!

        Like

      9. Brian writes, “Necessity by decree trumps ability that supposedly exists because one says it does… turning the word “free” in its head!”
        I’m confused. Please elaborate brother Brian.

        Like

      10. Why do you keep calling Brian “brother?”

        Is he a brother in Christ? Have you not used the word heretic and blasphemer?
        Can you say…like I can that he is a brother in Christ?

        Like

      11. Fromoverhere Brian may very well be my brother in Christ. I don’t know his heart. However, I believe he’s in rebellion concerning certain doctrines in the Bible. I’m not Brian’s judge Fromoverhere. However I can judge whether his doctrine is false and harmful to the body of Christ.

        Like

      12. The word “free” as in “free-will” is used in a way that is highly misleading.

        Dr. Peter Van Inwagen – in many of his conferences or lectures – almost out-right refuses to use the word “Free” or “Free-will” because it means one thing to one person and something different to another person.

        When one realizes that Calvinism’s primary power is shifting semantic weights – one can understand why Calvinists strategically deploy terms with ambiguous and misleading meanings which they will out-right refuse to clarify.

        Like

      13. br.d writes, “one can understand why Calvinists strategically deploy terms with ambiguous and misleading meanings which they will out-right refuse to clarify.”

        In this case, Calvinism is unambiguous. Free will means freedom from coercion. The ambiguity comes form the LFW side who have yet to define free will that is substantially different from the Calvinist definition while claiming that LFW means more than just freedom from coercion.

        Like

      14. I like Dr. Alvin Plantinga’s explanation of Calvinist “Free-Will”
        Its like locking a person in a prison cell and telling them they are free to go anywhere they like and they are free to leave anytime they like.

        Calvinism’s “Free” is like Hotel California.
        You can check-out anytime you like – but you can never leave.

        Its all about recognizing Calvinism’s ILLUSION FACTOR. 🙂

        Like

      15. brianwagner writes, “Necessity by decree trumps ability that supposedly exists because one says it does… turning the word “free” in its head!”

        Now, all you need is a definition of “free” that does not reduce to the Calvinist definition of free meaning free from coercion. Contra-causal choice – that Dr. Flowers advocates – does not work because a person who is free from coercion under the Calvinist definition has contra-causal choice.

        Like

      16. Your word “free” in “free choice” does not mean “free from coercion” just because you say it does, when in the same breath you say the divine decree makes impossible any choice other then the decreed one. (Coercion is decreed in there somewhere… you just will not admit it). It is so sad that you remain loyal to such contradiction.

        Like

      17. There’s always that subtle hint of arrogance and condescension in your responses Brian. But yet you have such a hard time handling rebukement. Ironic isn’t it?

        Like

      18. brianwagner writes, “Your word “free” in “free choice” does not mean “free from coercion” just because you say it does, when in the same breath you say the divine decree makes impossible any choice other then the decreed one.”

        Do you have a definition of “free” that says anything more than “free from coercion.” Mike Ranieri had a good question in one of his comments: “Is one of the definitions of LFW the ability to sin or not to sin?” What say you?

        Like

      19. It’s not easy to converse with someone who sidesteps admitting the contradiction they espouse. A choice “free from coercion” is impossible if that choice was decreed as necessary.

        Like

      20. Dont worry Brian.

        Everybody can see that except determinist/ fatalists like calvinists and “In-sha’allah” Muslims, who believe that everything has been decreed by God.

        Like

      21. brianwagner writes, “A choice “free from coercion” is impossible if that choice was decreed as necessary.”

        Oh Brian!!! God decreed that you teach – are you being coerced to do so?

        Like

      22. Actually, He didn’t! He called me to teach… and gifted me to teach… and has provided opportunities for me to teach… but it was/is not an eternal immutable necessary decree that that I teach.

        Like

      23. Brain,
        Think about that.

        Every believer, ever day….in fact many times a day has decisions to make: should I teach another year? should I take the job at that school, should I get my doctorate…if so, which classes? Should I ask that girl out? again? marry her?

        Imagine the school recruiting fairs? All those Christian schools lined up making it look like they are the one for you!

        Urbana ….that big mission conference every 3 years…..with hundreds of organizations whispering they they are the right place for you to go.

        Decisions, decisions!

        What a wild (unbiblical) thought to think that every time we make a decision—even the bad ones (to go there, look at that, pride in my heart) are all immutably ordained from all time!!!

        That is just nuts! And it was ordained that I say that!

        Like

      24. William Lane Craig agrees:

        -quote:
        Universal causal determinism cannot be rationally affirmed. There is a sort of dizzying, self-defeating character to determinism.

        For if one comes to believe that determinism is true, one has to believe that the reason he has come to believe it is simply that he was determined to do so. One has not in fact been able to weigh the arguments pro and con and freely make up one’s mind on that basis.

        The difference between the person who weighs the arguments for determinism and rejects them and the person who weighs them and accepts them is wholly that one was DETERMINED BY CAUSAL FACTORS OUTSIDE HIMSELF to believe and the other not to believe.

        When you come to realize that YOUR DECISION TO BELIEVE IN DETERMINISM WAS ITSELF DETERMINED and that even your present realization of that fact right now is likewise determined, a sort of VERTIGO SETS IN, for everything that you think, EVEN THIS VERY THOUGHT IS OUTSIDE OF YOUR CONTROL.

        Determinism could be true; but it is very hard to see how it could ever be rationally affirmed, since its affirmation undermines the rationality of its affirmation.”

        https://arminiantheologyblog.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/william-lane-craig-determinism/

        Like

      25. FOH writes, “What a wild (unbiblical) thought to think that every time we make a decision—even the bad ones (to go there, look at that, pride in my heart) are all immutably ordained from all time!!!”

        “…the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6)

        “…the LORD searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts.” (1 Chronicles 28)

        An omnipotent God can turn a man’s thoughts this way or that. An omniscient God knows what He will do from eternity past. Nothing wild or unbiblical here.

        Like

      26. Do you realize how far you have outrun the text here?

        This is amazing !!

        The first proof text offered says “the LORD saw that the wickedness of man”

        That is perfect. He saw it…. He didn’t cause it!

        The second proof text says “the LORD searches all hearts”

        What? What is He searching for? We are discussing whether he CAUSED all of the wickedness in the heart, not what He saw it and searched for it!

        Like

      27. FOH writes, “That is perfect. He saw it…. He didn’t cause it!”

        Exactly what the Calvinists say. Did you sleep through that class?

        Then, “We are discussing whether he CAUSED all of the wickedness in the heart, not what He saw it and searched for it!”

        You complained about human decisions being ordained by God. I noted that God knows the thoughts of a person and can turn the thoughts of a person this way or that or do nothing and thereby ordain the decision. Even you do not try to argue against that.

        Like

      28. I am not sure we are discussing the same thing.

        You are a determinist. As proof you gave two texts that who that He sees and searches (interesting word—God “looking for something”), Naturally we would all understand that He searches our hearts for what we think & desire. Certainly NOT a proof text that He causes those things in our heart that He is searching.

        Your responses do not follow.

        Does God cause every action?

        If so….why did you provide two texts that say He sees and searches?

        Like

      29. FOH writes, “I am not sure we are discussing the same thing.”

        This that you said, “…every time we make a decision—[they]are all immutably ordained from all time!!!”

        I pointed out that God knows the thoughts of a person – prior to and leading to a decision – and God can turn the person from those thoughts or do nothing and let the person continue on that path thus God ordains the decision by His intervention or non-intervention.

        Like

      30. Oh…so that is what “ordained” means!!

        Thanks for clearing that up.

        I dont’ stop my kids from doing lots of stuff….but they have never told me that this means that I am making them (“ordaining” them) to do it.

        Knowing your kid will get picked on at school is not the same as hiring a bully to pick on him.

        Like

      31. FOH writes, “I dont’ stop my kids from doing lots of stuff….but they have never told me that this means that I am making them (“ordaining” them) to do it.”

        So! If you are God, then you know exactly what your kids will be doing and you are in complete control of all they do. You don’t stop your kids because their actions are your plan. You knew this when they were born. Everyone knows that the actions your kids take are exactly what you want them to do.

        Then, “Knowing your kid will get picked on at school is not the same as hiring a bully to pick on him.”

        How is that even relevant?? In Isaiah 10, speaks of Assyria and says ,”I send Assyria against a godless nation (Israel) And commission it against the people of My fury To capture booty and to seize plunder, And to trample them down like mud in the streets.” Does God have to hire them to do this? “Yet Assyria does not so intend Nor does it plan so in its heart, But rather it is its purpose to destroy, And to cut off many nations. For it says, “Are not my princes all kings?…Shall I not do to Jerusalem and her images Just as I have done to Samaria and her idols?” God does not have to pay people to do evil; they want to do evil; it is their nature to do evil. God need only restrain the evil that people go, and God does so and people have described it as a man controlling a puppet. In this case, the puppet has a heart set on evil and God restricts the damage the person can do. You don’t even have to be a Calvinist to understand these things.

        Like

      32. Again with the “god knows” red herring card.

        We sit back and watch the Calvinist get taken in by his own language tricks!!

        As proverbs states “The deceiver is caught in his own devices” 🙂

        Like

      33. rhutchin writes:
        “I pointed out that God knows the thoughts of a person – prior to and leading to a decision – and God can turn the person from those thoughts or do nothing and let the person continue on that path thus God ordains the decision by His intervention or non-intervention.”

        For the SOT101 reader:
        Notice how the language is dishonestly designed to infer “god knows” only through observation – and not by “authoring/causing”.

        This is classic Calvinist AS-IF thinking.
        A) Believe that god, millennia in the past – determined your every choice- as your unavoidable fate.
        and
        B) Go about your office AS-IF nothing is determined in any part.

        BTW:
        Did you hear the story about the Calvinist who drove his car to the liquor store?

        He “ordained” the car go to the liquor store.
        And he “did not restrain” the car from going to the liquor store.
        And he “did not intervene” in the car going to the liquor store.
        And for the car, it was a “naturally occurring” event. 😀

        Like

      34. Just a gentle reminder – rhutchin is in full-time posturing/gaming mode here.

        We’ve historically called him the “dancing boxer”.
        He dances around topics – posting tangential responses in order to stay in the game.
        But the strategy is to wait for an opportunity to make a jab or to gain points.

        Once one realizes the tactic – one learns to not be drawn in by it.

        Like

      35. How do you know He “called” you to teach? For God to have “called” you to teach would be an indication of His predetermination. But according to you, only SOME things are predetermined by God and the rest is left up to man. So how do you know FOR SURE that you were predetermined/called to be a gifted teacher? How do you know that your “calling” isn’t just YOUR determination?
        This question is open to the floor since Brian has decided not to further correspond with me.

        Like

      36. The whole Bible (tota scriptura for Latin lovers) is full of stories of God interacting with man:

        God telling Adam what to do, but he didnt.

        Cain/ Abel (God told Cain to rule over sin, but he didnt) (could Cain have or was God insincere?)

        Noah taking 100 years to build an ark because God told him that He regrets creating man.

        Abraham (rewarded for his faith) (negotiating with God over Sodom :50, 40, 30 etc) (taking Hagar: yikes!)

        Lot (being called righteous, but then offering up his daughters to the crowd and later sleeping with them)

        David (a man after God’s heart, yet….all those wives and bad decisions) (God giving David—yes David —3 choices for a punishment for his census sin). Did the man David make that decision God gave him?

        Jonah…disobeying….then obeying begrudginly

        Peter and Paul differing on issues

        Paul and Barnabas, John Mark

        Judas, one of the chosen

        Peter (one of the chosen, yet denying Christ).

        All the examples of faith in Hebrews 11.

        All of these real-person, real-time examples mean something, don’t they?

        They mean that God–in His sovereign will— and for his purposes (Eph 1:11) designed the world so that man matters. Our decisions matter. It certainly appears that way in tota scriptura. Now if one’s version of tota scriptura is “make sure to pay attention to the 15 debatable verses that you are taught can override all others” then there is not much we can say.

        I know…..because I did it…. that one can have the mindset that all of the thousands of personal examples in the Bible do NOT teach us what they appear to say…..because “we know better in light of our key verses that help us see through our lenses” …. but that cannot be called tota scriptura.

        So….certainly Brian can say that God—in his personal walk with Christ—- led him to teach. Brian had the choice to obey…..and was, no doubt, forced to make decisions (what school to study at, how many studies to take, what school to teach at)….. but that is the beauty of personal relationships!!!

        Like

      37. FOH when one is “called” to teach it’s not just something someone “responds” to. A divine “calling” is one that God the HS places in a person’s heart to preach/teach His Word. The divine calling is not validated by a human response. Remember many respond to the Gospel “call” but only few are actually “chosen”. So it’s not the response that determines a divine calling, for many profess to be teachers of the Word and they are, in fact, false teachers.
        But my point to Brian was – according to his theology, how can he know FOR SURE that he was “called” by God to teach, if he doesn’t know which events are determined by God and which are not. To be “called” by God is to be fulfilling a divine decree that includes Brian as a teacher of the Word. But how does Brian know that his “calling” is apart of God’s determinations? Just because he responded?? But even false teachers respond!

        Like

      38. brianwagner writes, “…it was/is not an eternal immutable necessary decree that that I teach.”

        Actually, you don’t really know. Even you allow God to determine some events, just not all events.

        Like

      39. Oh Brian!!! God decreed that you teach – are you being coerced to do so?

        This question presumes Brian believes in theological determinism and foreknowledge decreedally qualified – which he doesn’t.

        Like

      40. br.d writes, “This question presumes Brian believes in theological determinism and foreknowledge decreedally qualified – which he doesn’t.”

        Doesn’t matter what Brian believes; God decrees whatever He wants regardless what Brian believes.

        Like

      41. br.d writes, “Irrational and consistent.”

        You express a lot of personal opinions, but the interesting thing is that you are not able to explain or support the things you say. In this case, God decrees whatever He wants and God can do this without anyone, even Brian, believing that God is doing it.

        Like

      42. rhutchin writes:
        You express a lot of personal opinions, but the interesting thing is that you are not able to explain or support the things you say. In this case, God decrees whatever He wants and God can do this without anyone, even Brian, believing that God is doing it.

        This is a good indicator!
        It means I’m illuminating the dishonest tricks within Calvinist word games – and Calvinist double-speak is not working as planned.
        Thanks for letting me know. 😀

        Like

      43. “A person who is free from coercion under the Calvinist definition has contra-causal choice.”

        This of-course is based upon a surreptitiously hidden conditional-subjunctive, masquerading as libertarian “contra-causal”.

        In theological determinism (ala Calvinism) a person is ONLY free to choose what god, millennia in the remote past determined that person choose. And that person’s choice is fixed in the past. Thus that person’s future is already fixed and will obtain as that person’s fate.

        As William Lane Craig would say: In Calvinism, what a person chooses is UP TO GOD and thus not really up to the person.

        Peter Van Inwagen using the example of a fork in the road would say:
        In theological determinism, where god, millennia in the remote past has predetermined the person chose left – that person is NOT FREE to choose right. And where god, millennia in the remote past has predetermined the person choose right, that person is NOT FREE to choose left.

        Calvinism’s free-will has the exact same modality we see in robotic forms of free-will.
        Let’s call it ROBOTIC CONTRA-CAUSAL CHOICE.

        Like

      44. br.d writes, “This of-course is based upon a surreptitiously hidden conditional-subjunctive, masquerading as libertarian “contra-causal”.”

        It means that God’s knowledge of future events does not cause those events.

        Like

      45. br.d writes, “This of-course is based upon a surreptitiously hidden conditional-subjunctive, masquerading as libertarian “contra-causal”.”

        rhutchin responds:
        It means that God’s knowledge of future events does not cause those events.

        Classic Calvinist tangential red herring – also designed to mislead!

        In Calvinism god can ONLY know X is true where god decrees X is true.
        Thus it is not god’s knowledge that “causes” X – it is god’s decree that “causes” X.

        In Calvinism – in regard to the process of causation – god’s knowledge is supercilious.
        Calvinists assert the “knowledge” card as a red herring designed to lure you off the trail.
        Nice trick! – it works until recipients learn not to be taken in by it.

        But even more – its fun to watch Calvinists deceive themselves with it!! 🙂

        Like

      46. br.d writes, “In Calvinism god can ONLY know X is true where god decrees X is true.
        Thus it is not god’s knowledge that “causes” X – it is god’s decree that “causes” X.”

        Even God’s decree does not have to cause X. It can but does not have to do so.

        Like

      47. rhutchin writes:
        Even God’s decree does not have to cause X. It can but does not have to do so.

        This is interesting rhutchin – can you provide any quotes from John Calvin affirming that X can come to pass without God ordaining/decreeing X come to pass?

        Like

      48. rhutchin writes: “Even God’s decree does not have to cause X. It can but does not have to do so.”
        br.d asked, “Can you provide any quotes from John Calvin affirming that X can come to pass without God ordaining/decreeing X come to pass?”

        No. I think everyone agrees that everything God ordains/decrees does come to pass.

        Like

      49. br.d writes, “In Calvinism god can ONLY know X is true where god decrees X is true.
        Thus it is not god’s knowledge that “causes” X – it is god’s decree that “causes” X.”

        Even God’s decree does not have to cause X. It can but does not have to do so.

        rhutchin
        No. I think everyone agrees that everything God ordains/decrees does come to pass.

        Oh I see! I’m guessing you’re using secondary cause as a way to remove God as the cause.

        I’ll rephrase:
        “In Calvinism god can ONLY know X is true where god decrees X is true.
        Thus god’s knowledge does not “cause” X come to pass.
        It is God’s decree that is necessary in order to cause X to come to pass – either directly or through a causal chain.

        Like

      50. br.d writes, ““In Calvinism god can ONLY know X is true where god decrees X is true.
        Thus god’s knowledge does not “cause” X come to pass.
        It is God’s decree that is necessary in order to cause X to come to pass – either directly or through a causal chain.”

        By causal chain, we can have agents who act freely (perhaps voluntarily) in accord with their desires to the extent that those desires, or the physical expression of those desires, are not restrained by God. Thus, it should be, “It is God’s decree that is necessary in order to bring X to pass…”

        Like

      51. br.d writes, ““In Calvinism god can ONLY know X is true where god decrees X is true.
        Thus god’s knowledge does not “cause” X come to pass.
        It is God’s decree that is necessary in order to cause X to come to pass – either directly or through a causal chain.”

        By causal chain, we can have agents who act freely (perhaps voluntarily) in accord with their desires to the extent that those desires, or the physical expression of those desires, are not restrained by God. Thus, it should be, “It is God’s decree that is necessary in order to bring X to pass…”

        I can’t agree with “Bring X to pass” because all moving components in a causal chain are causal – no mater where they are in the chain.
        A secondary causal component cannot cause itself.
        It must be caused – and god must cause it.
        Thus “god causes X to come to pass – either directly or through causal chain” is more logically consistent.

        As William Lane Craig describes it in Four Views on Divine Foreknowledge

        I am responsible for hitting the eight ball into the corner pocket, when I intentionally cause the cue ball to strike and force the eight ball into the corner pocket. So god is responsible for the evil events of creatures when he sets up causally determining circumstance that make their evil actions inevitable and unavoidable for the creatures. Helm cannot say that God did not intend for those evil acts to occur, for this would contradict God’s universal providence. They are planned by God and, while not directly caused by God, they are indirectly causally determined by God, thereby implicating God in the evil.

        Like

      52. br.d writes, “I can’t agree with “Bring X to pass” because all moving components in a causal chain are causal – no mater where they are in the chain.
        A secondary causal component cannot cause itself.
        It must be caused – and god must cause it.”

        OK. God created the universe and humans and thereby became the cause of all that proceeded from that. Nonetheless, elements along the causal chain can operate independently of other elements withing the causal chain. Adam chooses to eat the fruit but could have chosen not to eat the fruit – the reason Adam ate the fruit probably had much to do with Eve having already eaten the fruit, but we don’t know.

        Then, quoting Craig, “So god is responsible for the evil events of creatures when he sets up causally determining circumstance that make their evil actions inevitable and unavoidable for the creatures… They are planned by God and, while not directly caused by God, they are indirectly causally determined by God, thereby implicating God in the evil.”

        OK. Craig notes the obvious. The Calvinists make this same observation. So Craig came to the same conclusion as the Calvinists. The problem for Craig is that he doesn’t like this conclusion but doesn’t have a workable alternative to avoid this conclusion.

        Like

      53. br.d writes, “I can’t agree with “Bring X to pass” because all moving components in a causal chain are causal – no mater where they are in the chain.
        A secondary causal component cannot cause itself.
        It must be caused – and god must cause it.”

        rhutchin write:
        OK. God created the universe and humans and thereby became the cause of all that proceeded from that. Nonetheless, elements along the causal chain can operate independently of other elements withing the causal chain.

        Not so.
        Determinism cannot be both true and false at the same time.
        This is a tendency for you rhutchin.
        Perhaps its the Calvinist rocking-horse that Daniel Gracely describes – as what he did as a Calvinist.

        One asserts determinism unequivocally for “good” events and then equivocates on determinism for “evil” events.
        This may be done for altruistic reasons – but its a very obvious maneuver.

        The statement “God created the universe and humans and thereby became the cause of all….etc” is a typical enunciation for a NON-CALVINIST (i.e. non-deterministic) believer, and would be something John Calvin would sight as from his detractors and would respond with harsh rebuke.

        Then:
        Adam chooses to eat the fruit but could have chosen not to eat the fruit – the reason Adam ate the fruit probably had much to do with Eve having already eaten the fruit, but we don’t know.

        Its very obvious your trying to paint a picture that doesn’t have God in it.
        That should be a red flag for you!!

        Again, this is not consistent Calvinism – and Calvin himself would harshly rebuke it.

        Then:
        OK. Craig notes the obvious. The Calvinists make this same observation. So Craig came to the same conclusion as the Calvinists. The problem for Craig is that he doesn’t like this conclusion but doesn’t have a workable alternative to avoid this conclusion.

        This is just desperation talk.
        And look at how contradicting it is by reviewing how much effort there is in the statements before it which do everything but come to the same conclusion Dr. Craig enunciates.

        Like

      54. br.d writes, “Determinism cannot be both true and false at the same time.”

        How do you define the term, “determinism”?

        Like

      55. br.d writes, “Determinism cannot be both true and false at the same time.”

        rhuthchin
        How do you define the term, “determinism”?

        Using the academic standard definitions:

        Determinism is the philosophical position that for every event there exist antecedent conditions that could cause no other event.
        Determinism, often enunciated as CAUSAL DETERMINISM (which William Lane Craig sights as the case in Theological Determinism), is conceived as states of affairs, which follow the model of cause-and-effect, in which events within a given paradigm are bound by causality in such a way that any state (of an object or event) is completely determined by prior states.

        Theological determinism is the view that God determines every event that occurs in the history of the world. While there is much debate about which prominent historical figures were theological determinists, St. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin, and Gottfried Leibniz all espoused the view at least at certain points in their careers.

        Like

      56. br.d writes, “Determinism is the philosophical position that for every event there exist antecedent conditions that could cause no other event.”

        So, for every event, there is a reason for the event. That fits what I have read. Events that do not have a reason for their occurrence are rare if they occur at all. A salvation decision is deterministic as people have a reason for wanting to be saved.

        So, what do you see as the distinction between “Hard” and “Soft” determinism as both seem to say that every event has a reason for the event?

        br.d writes “Theological determinism is the view that God determines every event that occurs in the history of the world.”

        That just means that God, as sovereign, exercises absolute control over all events and each event is necessarily filtered through God and God has chosen (in eternity past) whether to restrain the event. It does not mean that God is the direct, or immediate, cause of the event.

        Like

      57. br.d writes, “Determinism is the philosophical position that for every event there exist antecedent conditions that could cause no other event.”

        rhutchin
        So, for every event, there is a reason for the event. That fits what I have read. Events that do not have a reason for their occurrence are rare if they occur at all. A salvation decision is deterministic as people have a reason for wanting to be saved.

        The academic standard definition does not use the word “reason” it uses the word “cause”
        e.g. For every event there exist antecedent conditions that could “cause” no other event.
        This response is consistent – and understood as an attempt to deny determinism in the context of evil events.
        Vincent Cheung calls it confused or compromised Calvinism.

        rhutchin:
        So, what do you see as the distinction between “Hard” and “Soft” determinism as both seem to say that every event has a reason for the event?
        Not according to the academic standard definition – For every event there exist antecedent conditions that could “cause” no other event.

        br.d writes
        “Theological determinism is the view that God determines every event that occurs in the history of the world.”

        rhutchin:
        That just means that God, as sovereign, exercises absolute control over all events and each event is necessarily filtered through God and God has chosen (in eternity past) whether to restrain the event. It does not mean that God is the direct, or immediate, cause of the event.

        This response is consistent – and understood as an attempt to deny determinism in the context of evil events.
        Vincent Cheung calls it confused or compromised Calvinism.
        You selected this one statement from the previous post and removed William Lane Craig connecting Determinism with Calvinism
        All can all see how obvious that is!

        Theological Determinism is academically defined as William Lane Craig, Peter Van Inwagen and Alvin Plantinga all site it.
        And William lane Craig states it as:

        -quote:
        I am responsible for hitting the eight ball into the corner pocket, when I intentionally cause the cue ball to strike and force the eight ball into the corner pocket. So god is responsible for the evil events of creatures when he sets up causally determining circumstances that make their evil actions inevitable and unavoidable for the creatures. Helm cannot say that God did not intend for those evil acts to occur, for this would contradict God’s universal providence. They are planned by God and, while not directly caused by God, they are indirectly causally determined by God, thereby implicating God in the evil.

        I think ex-Calvinist Daniel Gracley is right – we do see you following the classic movement of the Calvinist rocking-horse.
        Rocking back and forth between determinism and indeterminism.

        Like

      58. br.d writes, “The academic standard definition does not use the word “reason” it uses the word “cause”
        e.g. For every event there exist antecedent conditions that could “cause” no other event.”

        The “antecedent conditions that could “cause” no other event, ” are the reason for the event – as the reason, it explains why the event occurred. Because the event has a reason for its occurrence, it is deterministic. You seem to agree to that.

        Then, “This response is consistent – and understood as an attempt to deny determinism in the context of evil events.”

        No. My position is that it is deterministic. Any event for which there is a reason – there are antecedent conditions that could “cause” no other event – is deterministic.

        Then, “Rocking back and forth between determinism and indeterminism.”

        No rocking back and forth. However, people are not cue balls being hit by a cue stick. People, if compared to cue balls, would have a mind of their own and would make decisions to move under their own power without being hit. The issue is not that events are determined, but that people exercise free will because they are not coerced to choose a particular option except in consideration of antecedent conditions.

        Like

      59. br.d writes, “The “antecedent conditions that could “cause” no other event, ” are the CAUSE for the event. ”

        Yes. Antecedent conditions are the determining cause – the reason – explaining why the event occurs. This is one side of the equation. The other side describes the reasoning process the person follows in light of the antecedent conditions to decide what to do. The issue is whether the person exercises “free will” in doing this. The Calvinist says yes as the person is not coerced to act.

        Like

      60. rhutchin writes:
        The Calvinist says yes as the person is not coerced to act.

        We understand how this works rhutchin

        Like the Calvinist who drives his car to the liquor store doesn’t’ coerce his car.
        He just CAUSES the car to go there and makes it the car’s fate. 😀

        So funny!!!!

        Like

      61. br.d writes, “Like the Calvinist who drives his car to the liquor store doesn’t’ coerce his car.
        He just CAUSES the car to go there and makes it the car’s fate. ”

        Or “Like the Arminian who…” Or “Asian…Indian…Philosopher…XXX.” So what?

        Like

      62. br.d writes, “Like the Calvinist who drives his car to the liquor store doesn’t’ coerce his car.
        He just CAUSES the car to go there and makes it the car’s fate. ”

        rhutchin:
        Or “Like the Arminian who…” Or “Asian…Indian…Philosopher…XXX.” So what?

        So “coercion” is not a “necessary condition” for Theological Determinism.
        Just as it is not a “necessary condition” for Theological Fatalism – which is Theological Determinism’s modal twin.

        Fate doesn’t need “coercion” to “render certain” and make unavoidable – everything you think say and do.

        Like

      63. br.d writes, “So “coercion” is not a “necessary condition” for Theological Determinism.”

        Theological determinism says that God determines all things. Coercion is not required.

        Then, “Just as it is not a “necessary condition” for Theological Fatalism – which is Theological Determinism’s modal twin.”

        Theological Fatalism says that God’s omniscience makes all things certain (I think). Coercion is not required.

        Then, “Fate doesn’t need “coercion” to “render certain” and make unavoidable – everything you think say and do.”

        Fate exists in the absence of God – or the refusal of people to recognize God. If there actually were no God and fate ruled, then coercion might be the rule. Perhaps the philosophers have sorted this out.

        Like

      64. br.d writes, “So “coercion” is not a “necessary condition” for Theological Determinism.”

        rhutchin
        Theological determinism says that God determines all things. Coercion is not required.
        Exactly what I said :-]

        br.d
        “Just as it is not a “necessary condition” for Theological Fatalism – which is Theological Determinism’s modal twin.”

        rhutchin:
        Theological Fatalism says that God’s omniscience makes all things certain (I think).

        Close enough for government work! :-]
        It might be more accurate to say Theological Fatalism logically incorporates “the necessity of the past”.
        And “necessity of the past” countervails the possibility of free will in a libertarian sense.
        That’s one of the characteristics it shares with Theological Determinism.

        God’s omniscience makes the truth-value of all propositions “epistemically” certain to god.
        But philosophers of religion also acknowledge the logical coherence/legitimacy of backtracking counterfactuals which accommodate the compatibility of libertarian free will decisions with uncompromised divine omniscience.

        However, in Calvinism god also induces humans to have illusions of choice – obviously no epistemic certainty for the human.

        rhutchin:
        Coercion is not required.
        Yup :-]

        br.d
        Then, “Fate doesn’t need “coercion” to “render certain” and make unavoidable – everything you think say and do.”

        rhutchin
        Fate exists in the absence of God – or the refusal of people to recognize God.
        If there actually were no God and fate ruled, then coercion might be the rule. Perhaps the philosophers have sorted this out.

        Those statements would definitely not be embraced by Calvinists who are Theological Fatalists.
        And I’ve bumped into a few over the years.
        And again, coercion is not a “necessary condition” of Theological Fatalism. :-]

        Like

      65. Hi Brian,
        I’ve been involved in a home construction project for a few days – very exhausting work.
        Consequently had to let this laps for a few days – but working on getting caught up.

        But you are sharp as always!! :-]

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Hi rhutchin – I wanted to follow up on this one in case it got missed in all of the other topics:

    rhutchin writes:
    If God does not decree X. then X cannot come to pass. Nonetheless, X is still an option that man freely considers and can choose.

    Thanks – just want to make sure that you are saying a Calvinist would assert – in 2 sections – since you made multiple statements:
    (A)
    When the Calvinist states:
    “If God does not decree X then X cannot come to pass”

    Is that the equivalent of the Calvinist asserting:
    “If God does not decree X come to pass then X coming to pass IS IMPOSSIBLE?

    I would assume “cannot come to pass” is the equivalent of “IS IMPOSSIBLE”
    But need to make sure that accurately reflects what the Calvinist thinks.

    (B)
    Then:
    That God has not decreed X does not prevent a person choosing to do X or force the person to choose ~X; it means that a person will not freely choose X.

    Again, lets make sure we understand what the Calvinist would be asserting here
    1) Where god does not decree X come to pass – X coming to pass is NOT POSSIBLE.
    2) But that does not prevent a person choosing what is IMPOSSIBLE or force the person to choose what is IMPOSSIBLE.
    3) It means that person will not freely choose what is IMPOSSIBLE.

    Can you confirm (A) and (B- 1, 2 and 3) please?

    Like

  16. A question for rhutchin:

    Hi rhutchin on September 4, 2017 at 12:05 pm you wrote:
    “If God does not decree X. then X cannot come to pass.”

    Does “X cannot come to pass” = “X coming to pass is impossible”?

    Like

      1. br.d writes, “Does “X cannot come to pass” = “X coming to pass is impossible”?”

        rhutchin answers: No.

        This needs to be explained clearly
        You’ve already stated “Where God does not decree X, X cannot come to pass”

        Perhaps I can rephrase the question:

        If God does not decree X come to pass at time T is it possible for X to come to pass at time T?

        Like

      2. br.d writes, “If God does not decree X come to pass at time T is it possible for X to come to pass at time T?”

        Yes.

        Like

      3. br.d writes, “If God does not decree X come to pass at time T is it possible for X to come to pass at time T?”

        Yes.

        Interesting!!
        You are joining two statements: “X cannot come to pass at time T” AND “it is possible for X to come to pass at time T”
        How do you reconcile those two statements?

        Like

      4. br.d writes, “You are joining two statements: “X cannot come to pass at time T” AND “it is possible for X to come to pass at time T”
        How do you reconcile those two statements?”

        1. X cannot come to pass at time T
        2. Ceteris paribus, it is not possible for X to come to pass at time T”

        That X cannot come to pass at time T under the prevailing circumstances does not entail that it is impossible to X to come to pass under different circumstances. Change the circumstances and T comes to pass. You are confusing two concepts, that which cannot occur and that which is possible to occur treating them as if they are the same.

        Like

      5. br.d writes, “You are joining two statements: “X cannot come to pass at time T” AND “it is possible for X to come to pass at time T”
        How do you reconcile those two statements?”

        1. X cannot come to pass at time T
        2. Ceteris paribus, it is not possible for X to come to pass at time T”

        That X cannot come to pass at time T under the prevailing circumstances does not entail that it is impossible to X to come to pass under different circumstances. Change the circumstances and T comes to pass. You are confusing two concepts, that which cannot occur and that which is possible to occur treating them as if they are the same.

        I don’t see that is correct in this case, because the “necessary” circumstance has already been established as God does not decree X come to pass at time T. Those circumstances (or better stated as “that condition”) has already been established and is the same.

        So Ceteris paribus (i.e. the state of affairs – circumstances – condition) is established and remains: Namely that God does not decree X come to pass at time T.
        So how to you reconcile X cannot come to pass at time T with X is possible to come to pass at time T – given the fact that God does not decree X come to pass at time T?

        Like

      6. br.d writes, “So how to you reconcile X cannot come to pass at time T with X is possible to come to pass at time T – given the fact that God does not decree X come to pass at time T?”

        An event can be possible even if it cannot occur under certain circumstances. The possibility of an event relates to its logical and physical behavior. It is possible for the Red Sea to flow – and it actually does. If God restrains the waters of the Red Sea, then it cannot flow while God restrains the waters. That does not affect the possibility that the Red Sea can flow, and as soon as God stops restraining the waters, we expect them to flow again.

        Like

      7. br.d writes, “So how to you reconcile X cannot come to pass at time T with X is possible to come to pass at time T – given the fact that God does not decree X come to pass at time T?”

        rhutchin writes:
        An event can be possible even if it cannot occur under certain circumstances. The possibility of an event relates to its logical and physical behavior. It is possible for the Red Sea to flow – and it actually does. If God restrains the waters of the Red Sea, then it cannot flow while God restrains the waters. That does not affect the possibility that the Red Sea can flow, and as soon as God stops restraining the waters, we expect them to flow again.

        We’ve already established CIRCUMSTANCES as CONDITION A: “God does not decree X come to pass at time T” is TRUE
        The principle of bivalence states that every proposition has exactly one truth value, either true or false.

        Either “God does not decree X come to pass at time T” is TRUE or it is FALSE but it can’t be both.

        We’ve established it as TRUE.
        And based on that condition you’ve stated: “X CANNOT come to pass at time T”

        Remember – if you theorize that CONDITION A can change, then you are asserting CONDITION A is FALSE when it is TRUE.

        So – under CONDITION A: “God does not decree X come to pass at time T” is TRUE
        How do you reconcile
        “X cannot come to pass at time T”
        with
        “X is possible to come to pass at time T” – given the CIRCUMSTANCE or CONDITION For X coming to pass is FALSE

        Like

      8. br.d writes, “How do you reconcile
        “X cannot come to pass at time T”
        with
        “X is possible to come to pass at time T” – given the CIRCUMSTANCE or CONDITION For X coming to pass is FALSE”

        You also said, “The principle of bivalence states that every proposition has exactly one truth value, either true or false.” So, the need is to define fully and accurately the proposition in view.

        So, you need to incorporate, “given the CIRCUMSTANCE or CONDITION For X coming to pass is FALSE,” into the propositions.

        So, instead of ” “X cannot come to pass at time T” you should have something like, ““X cannot come to pass at time T under specific and unchangeable circumstances X, Y, Z.”

        In the statement “X is possible to come to pass at time T” the difficulty is your use of the word, “possible.” The term, possible, does not mean that something will come to pass but that X has the inherent potential to come to pass. Even when circumstances are restricted so as to permanently and completely prevent X coming to pass, you do not destroy the inherent potential of X to come to pass. X always carries the potential to come to pass even when impeded at a particular time under particular circumstances.

        Like

      9. rhutchin writes:
        In the statement “X is possible to come to pass at time T” the difficulty is your use of the word, “possible.” The term, possible, does not mean that something will come to pass but that X has the inherent potential to come to pass. Even when circumstances are restricted so as to permanently and completely prevent X coming to pass, you do not destroy the inherent potential of X to come to pass. X always carries the potential to come to pass even when impeded at a particular time under particular circumstances.

        Lets try adding another component to it then and see how that goes.

        Let (A) = god did not decree x come to pass at time T
        Let (B) = Because of (A) x CANNOT come to pass at time T
        Let (C) = God knows that both (A) and (B) are eternally true

        Question:
        Is it possible that x CAN come to pass at the same time that god knows (A)(B) are eternally true?

        Like

      10. br.d writes, “Is it possible that X CAN come to pass at the same time that god knows (A)(B) are eternally true?”

        A and B say the same thing.

        But, Yes. Remove God’s decree that X not come to pass and X could come to pass. Thus, it was possible for X to come to pass when God had decreed that X not come to pass. If it were not possible for X to come to pass, then it would not matter what God had decreed. It is because X can come to pass that God’s decree can prevent X coming to pass.

        Like

      11. br.d writes, “Is it possible that X CAN come to pass at the same time that god knows X CANNOT come to pass?”

        ruthcin
        ….Yes. Remove God’s decree that X not come to pass and X could come to pass. Thus, it was possible for X to come to pass when God had decreed that X not come to pass. If it were not possible for X to come to pass, then it would not matter what God had decreed. It is because X can come to pass that God’s decree can prevent X coming to pass.

        So you are saying at the same time that god knows X cannot come to pass, it is possible for x to come to pass.
        We can leave this at that. :-]

        Like

  17. br.d
    So you are saying at the same time that god knows X cannot come to pass, it is possible for x to come to pass.
    We can leave this at that. :-]

    Actually I’ve decided to revise this by bringing back my previous statement.

    Remember – if you theorize that CONDITION A can change, then you are asserting CONDITION A is FALSE when the question poses it as is TRUE.

    So the strategy here is for one party to consistently reject and SHIFT the terms of the question as it is posed.
    The strategy is obvious.

    But on the bright side, I learned a more specific detail about the dialog-maneuvers Calvinists use.
    And the critical role that compliance to standards plays – not only in the exchange of coins with money changers – but also in the exchange of rational reasoning.

    Like

    1. br.d writes, “Remember – if you theorize that CONDITION A can change, then you are asserting CONDITION A is FALSE when the question poses it as is TRUE.”

      Not that CONDITION A can change, but under different conditions, X is possible. If X were not possible, condition A does not matter.

      Like

      1. Again the strategy here is for one party to consistently EVADE and SHIFT the terms of the question as it is posed.
        Its obvious.

        Nuf-said :-]

        Like

      2. **IF** CONDITION A were not CONDITION A as presented honestly in the question…..we get it rhutchin.

        We’re not so simple minded we can’t see the tactic.

        Great example for SOT101 readers on how Calvinists maneuver in dialog.
        See – it worked out for the good. :-]

        Like

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