Why did this Happen!?

IS YOUR THEOLOGY “PREACHABLE?”

A good test as whether or not your theology is accurate is whether or not it’s tenable, practical and teachable. Can you plainly state what you believe on Sunday morning behind the pulpit, even after the largest mass shooting in history?

I can and would clearly tell my congregation: 

“This event was an act of evil that God hated. He didn’t want this to happen and because He intimately knows those affected I believe His heart is more grieved than any one of us. But know this! God is the redeemer of all evil. He will bring justice. Good can only come from these types of atrocities because our God is good, gracious and works to redeem all things for a greater purpose. Why did this happen? Because of sin. God hasn’t created a world of puppets who do everything He wants them to do. He has created real free moral beings who are able to do evil and bring destruction. This is why we must continue to seek Him, repent of our sin and beg Him to do His will here on earth as it is in heaven…”

But can our consistent Calvinistic preachers say the same thing? Will you hear any Calvinists say what John Piper of Desiring God Ministries has posted on their website?

“God . . . brings about all things in accordance with his will. In other words, it isn’t just that God manages to turn the evil aspects of our world to good for those who love him; it is rather that he himself brings about these evil aspects for his glory and his people’s good. This includes—as incredible and as unacceptable as it may currently seem—God’s having even brought about the Nazis’ brutality at Birkenau and Auschwitz as well as the terrible killings of Dennis Rader and even the sexual abuse of a young child… Nothing that exists or occurs falls outside God’s ordaining will. Nothing, including no evil person or thing or event or deed. God’s foreordination is the ultimate reason why everything comes about, including the existence of all evil persons and things and the occurrence of any evil acts or events. And so it is not inappropriate to take God to be the creator, the sender, the permitter, and sometimes even the instigator of evil… Nothing — no evil thing or person or event or deed — falls outside God’s ordaining will. Nothing arises, exists, or endures independently of God’s will. So when even the worst of evils befall us, they do not ultimately come from anywhere other than God’s hand.” <From Desiring God with John Piper—Reference below>

Will any Calvinist in America plainly and clearly come out and actually utter these words this Sunday? 

Some may say, “Oh, it’s too soon for that Leighton, we should let the nation grieve.”

It should never be too soon to speak truth in gentleness and love, especially when the nation is asking “Why!?” I’m not ashamed to tell people exactly why I think this evil came to pass and to preach my theology plainly, are you?

In this video I compare and contrast John Piper’s response to moral evil with that of CS Lewis (and others like Ravi Zacharias):

Desiring God reference: Mark R. Talbot, “’All the Good That Is Ours in Christ’: Seeing God’s Gracious Hand in the Hurts Others Do to Us,” in John Piper and Justin Taylor (eds.), Suffering and the Sovereignty of God (Wheaton: Crossway, 2006), 31-77 (quote from p. 42).

169 thoughts on “Why did this Happen!?

    1. Joseph:

      No one is saying that someone’s blindness can NOT be the work of God.

      We are only saying that you cannot say (from a passages like this one) that Scripture supports the idea that all evil is from God’s hand.

      Now….the context.

      Jesus says, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” And then He heals the man.

      That is what the Scripture teaches. No problem. God has the right to make someone blind and heal him to demonstrate His glory.

      But one cannot (should not) extrapolate from this that all evil in the world is therefore His doing. Why do that? Is that good exegesis?

      Was Christ trying to give us “doctrine” here?

      No, He said “this happened” —to this man!!!

      This particular case of blindness was for the reason He stated. That actually works against the all-evil-is-from-God idea. He does not say “all blindness is from God” —- but “this happened”.

      Notice also that Jesus then spits and make mud to put on the blind eyes. Should we make (or should the disciples have made) a “doctrine” out of that? Meaning: every time one heals blindness, one has to spit and make mud?

      Again, is it Christ’s intention to give us “universally-applicable doctrine” here? A pattern? If so…. we should have seen a lot more spitting!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is neither what I am saying. I was giving an example of Christ saying God did this in order that He might be glorified.

        another example I would use if I may, is the story of Joseph. When his brothers are scared he may retaliate after Jacob dies, Joseph said that they meant the act of selling him into slavery for evil, but God meant for that very same act as good, so that many would be kept alive.

        It’s a marvelous mystery indeed.

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      2. You certainly may use that, since it is in Scripture. You must also know that this is the go-to passage for James White and the determinist crowd.

        Again…. no one is saying that God cannot cause a difficult thing in someone’s life (something that appears to be evil) to bring about better good. But to extrapolate from this that all evil is thus from God is bad exegesis.

        Notice in the Piper quote how he waffles (caps are mine for emphasis)….

        “In other words, it isn’t just that God manages to turn the evil aspects of our world to good for those who love him; it is rather that he himself BRINGS ABOUT these evil aspects for his glory and his people’s good. This includes—as incredible and as unacceptable as it may currently seem—God’s having even BROUGHT ABOUT the Nazis’ brutality at Birkenau and Auschwitz as well as the terrible killings of Dennis Rader and even the sexual abuse of a young child… Nothing that exists or occurs falls outside God’s ordaining will. Nothing, including no evil person or thing or event or deed. God’s foreordination is the ultimate reason why everything comes about, including the existence of all evil persons and things and the occurrence of any evil acts or events. And so it is not inappropriate to take God to be the creator, the sender, the PERMITTER, and SOMETIMES even the instigator of evil… Nothing — no evil thing or person or event or deed — falls outside God’s ordaining will. Nothing arises, exists, or endures independently of God’s will. So when even the worst of evils befall us, they do not ultimately come from anywhere other than God’s hand.”

        You see…Piper softens it to say “permitter” (God does not “allow”—He ordains!—-screams Calvin” and Piper).

        He softens it to say “sometimes”. Why? There is no “sometimes” in the rest of that quote. It is all evil all the time.

        Now…. is that the overall message or theme of the Bible? Is that what we awaken to find in our personal time with God and His word?

        “Help me Lord today to be obedient to you….and when I am not….know that this too ….my evil and sin…. are for your glory!”

        If we come to the Bible with the answers….we can certainly scaffold a few verses here and there to prove it!

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      3. I’m not coming to the Bible with the answers. As I read through the Bible I am confronted with passages like the ones in Exodus where God hardens Pharaoh’s heart, where He causes Eli’s two sons not to obey Eli, because it was God’s will to put them to death, then to fulfill His promise that the house of Eli would no longer be Priests when Abiathar sided against Solomon and was removed as high priest and Zadok took his place. Or as I recently read in Isaiah 63:17, “O LORD, why do you make us wander from your ways and harden our heart, so that we fear you not? Return for the sake of your servants, the tribes of your heritage.”

        I don’t want to come to the Bible, as I am sure you do not want to either, as one who already thinks he knows everything. But rather as one who reads Scripture and has it change us (as it will do whether we want to or not, because it is living and active and will cut to the sinew and discern the thoughts and hearts of us).

        My reading has lead me to embrace the Doctrines of Grace as what Scripture teaches.

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      4. Joseph:

        I did not adopt the 5 points of Calvin by reading the Bible. I got it from books (no blogs at the time) and from aggressive friends who taught it to me (using a verse here and there).

        I came out of it by reading the Bible in huge portions everyday and seeing that, to every one verse that I “understood” to confirm it, I saw hundreds that did not.

        My testimony is clearly seen in the previous posts of this site.

        Again, no one is saying that God cannot do what He wants to do (case of Eli etc), but those examples tell us that this is what He did in those cases. It is not good exegesis to take a given story and say…. “therefore all evil is from God.” It would have been easy enough for God to tell us that.

        But what He does say in thousands of places is…

        Why did you do that evil?

        I never planned for you to do that evil…

        Oh how I longed for you to turn back to me….

        50, righteous, no 40, no 30, no 20.

        God relented…repented….regretted….

        If you do right….I will not judge you…but if not…

        Even though I promised to bless you, I will not…if you turn from Me.

        Oh Jerusalem …how I longed to gather you…but you would not.

        Sin is crouching at your door, and you must dominate it….

        Rahab and Ruth become part of the “chosen people” by faith….

        Koran and others of the “chosen people” are excluded through rebellion….

        When I am lifted up, I will draw all men to myself….

        Seek first the kingdom of God (spoken to a multitude)…..

        This list could go on for thousands of verses, in hundreds of contexts, in all forms of literature (Pentateuch, history, prophets, psalms, proverbs, narrative, gospels, acts, epistles)….everywhere.

        What to do with all of that teaching…. if it is not to teach us …. and help us exercise personal faith?

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      5. I got my understanding of God’s Sovereignty from reading Scriptures. And it encourages me to proclaim the Gospel in my writing and my speaking to people I meet,

        I see it in Scripture. I know its truth. And I proclaim the Gospel in word and deed, working out my salvation in fear and trembling because I know it is God who works in me both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

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      6. Joseph:
        I do not doubt that you think that. And I mean no personal offense here.

        In all my years as a Calvinist, and the many years since leaving…. and working in pastoral and full-time Christian work, I have never met anyone who found Calvinism on their own.

        Your use of the the phrase “Doctrines of Grace” and other phrases and go-to passages, demonstrate that you have been nourishing (finding) this idea from the help of others (and/or blogs and sites).

        There is nothing wrong per se in having instruction help from others…. but the problem is in then telling yourself that you came upon it quite innocently while reading the Bible.

        I have never see that be the case because when reading we see the thousands of passages I mentioned (and could mention more!) and we are naturally drawn to a personal God who interacts with his creation…. not the stiff, impersonal, immutable, impassible, all-controlling, ordained-all-things-before-time, Greek-philosophy, God of Calvinism.

        That God has to be taught to us.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. FOH: “That God has to be taught to us.”

        A hearty ‘amen’! No one would find the God of Calvinism from casual reading. Even the much-revered Calvinist ‘Pink’ admits that it takes careful instruction to indoctrinate, er, teach a person Calvinist theology.

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      8. Absolutely Right On!!

        And the fact that:
        1) Calvinism puts a supreme emphasis on the sacredness of the doctrine
        2) Calvinist pastors actually brood over their memberships assimilation of the doctrine
        3) Some Calvinist pastors will teach Calvinist doctrine while hiding it from their congregations
        4) 99% of ministry in Calvinism is teaching
        5) The doctrine sets the Calvinist apart from all other Christians – making them perceive themselves as superior Christians
        6) The absolute flood of Calvinist materials – NEVER labeled as Calvinist

        These are sure indicators the system is man reliant.
        But even more, the fact that Calvinists themselves consistently work to propagate it using surreptitious means – is a red-flag that Calvinists themselves don’t trust the Holy Spirit for its propagation or to support their recruitment insensitives.

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      9. You’re imposing something on me for coming to my own conclusion through reading the Bible. Just because you didn’t come to that through reading the Bible, doesn’t mean others aren’t genuine when they come to the knowledge of God’s Sovereignty through reading, Brother.

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      10. One of my best friends, Steve Nguyn, was raised by an atheist and a budhist. He started reading the Bible and came to the BSM and would ask some people how they could come to the conclusion of Arminianism when he said it was clear when he read it on his own that God was Sovereign. People are different.

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      11. Joseph:
        One of my best friends, Steve Nguyn, was raised by an atheist and a budhist. He started reading the Bible and came to the BSM and would ask some people how they could come to the conclusion of Arminianism when he said it was clear when he read it on his own that God was Sovereign. People are different.

        Hi Joseph and welcome!!!

        For a person to read scripture and conclude that God is Sovereign is not unique to Calvinism which represents approximately 5 percent of the total world population of Christianity.

        However, to read scripture and conclude John Calvin’s definition of Sovereignty – in which god first-conceives/decrees/renders certain all sin and evil – is a phenomenon the other 95% of the worlds Christian population obviously don’t experience.

        One can jump to the conclusion – those 5% who read scripture that way are inspired by the Holy Spirit and the other 95% are not.
        But I certainly wouldn’t consider that conclusion trustworthy.

        Blessings!

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      12. Perhaps you have an update and can sight a legitimate source?
        Please to don’t bother sighting a “reformed” source – we all know how trustworthy they are.

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      13. Woah. That’s some pretty heavy bias there. This is from Wikipedia. But would you elaborate why you prejudge a site because it leans Reformed, as opposed non reformed?

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calvinism#Spread
        The World Communion of Reformed Churches, which includes some United Churches (most of these are primarily Reformed; see Uniting and united churches for details), has 80 million believers.[22] WCRC is the third largest Christian communion in the world, after the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches.[21]

        Many conservative Reformed churches which are strongly Calvinistic formed the World Reformed Fellowship which has about 70 member denominations. Most are not part of the World Communion of Reformed Churches because of its ecumenial attire. The International Conference of Reformed Churches is another conservative association.

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      14. Here are the numbers I’ve gleaned from the Pew research poles as stated by each group
        Numbers are approximate due to quantities

        — Protestants ———–
        Adventists 25,000.00
        Anabaptist 2,100,000
        Anglican 85,000,000
        Baptist 79,000,000
        Reformed 100,000,000
        Lutheran 3,600,000
        Methodist 12,100,000
        Pentecostals 279,000,000

        Protestant total 560,825,000.00
        Catholic 520,000,000
        Orthodox 2,630,000
        ———————————————–
        TOTAL CHRISTIAN WORLD POPULATION: 1,083,455,000.00

        Reformed% of total: 0.092297327
        We know there are wars in the Baptist and the Pentecostal camps over Calvinist surreptitious activities – so there will be some reformed numbers in those camps. But that doesn’t make the reformed percentage go up by any significant margin.

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      15. The World Communion of Reformed Churches is the third largest Christian communion in the world, behind only Catholocism and Eastern Orthodoxy. And that doesn’t include nearly all of Reformed Christianity, just one set of churches.

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      16. Well said!!!

        When someone is reciting memorized catch-phrases – double-think mantras – and thought-stopping cliches.
        These are a dead giveaway of where these devices are at work. :-]

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      17. FOH writes, “God has the right to make someone blind and heal him to demonstrate His glory.”

        A thoroughly Calvinist statement. One that gives many people heartburn. God has the right to drown the world, destroy Sodom and the cities, and condemn the unrighteous to hell – all after the counsel of His will, reflecting His infinite understanding and wisdom, and all for His glory.

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    2. //Do you mean like when Christ told His disciples in front of the blind man that God willed he would be born blind in order that Christ would get glory for healing him?// I think you need to read the passage again. It says nothing about God willing the man to be born blind nor does it say anything about God’s glory. The man’s blindness provided an opportunity for Jesus to heal and display God’s work. It was not a result of sin. That’s all it says.

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  1. Leighton:

    Thanks. In these pages I have previously posted these two ideas that go along your post. One I share again below.

    No one really believes the Calvinist position (deep down). Meaning: it makes no difference in their normal life. As you said “it is never too soon to speak truth…” If one holds this position, he should say “Praise God” when all things happen—-since “they are all for His glory.”

    My newly-minted-Calvinist national colleague only speaks in grieving terms about his mid-thirties-year-old daughter who is living a rebellious unbelieving life (on her third live-in relationship) —after following Christ for 10 years. He is clear that she is “outside God’s will” and needs to “turn to Christ” (though she declares that she never will).

    It only takes minutes to find Calvinist teaching that even the open unbelief of sinners is for God’s glory since it highlights His grace.

    In truth her unbelief is just as ordained and beautiful and glorifying as the belief of his other children. Why is he not then rejoicing that his daughter’s rebellion and wicked lifestyle are not then just as ordained to bring about God’s glory?

    Because in the end —-a true determinist cannot practice what he preaches.

    No, in fact he does not even “preach what he preaches.” You will hear many sermons based on the faith of those in Scripture or others who have come to Christ. But you will never hear a sermon about how beautiful and God-glorifying it is when people hold on to their rebellion….. especially if it the pastor’s daughter.

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    1. FOH writes, “No one really believes the Calvinist position (deep down).”

      Of course they do. How can anyone deal with the things they see happening in the world without believing that God is in control. I don’t think people can, and I see that conclusion supported by an increasing trend in suicide.

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      1. wildswanderer writes, “Because telling people that God is actually pulling the trigger through a murderer that he has chosen to kill their children is so comforting…”

        Not comforting except to those whose faith is in God. But people know that an omnipotent God could have stopped the murderer and did not. Don’t they? Don’t you??

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      2. rhutchin writes:
        But people know that an omnipotent God could have stopped the murderer and did not. Don’t they? Don’t you??

        Like the Calvinist who drove his car to the liquor store
        He could have stopped his car from going there but he didn’t

        More good examples of Calvinism’s beguiling double-talk. 😀

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      3. br.d writes, “Like the Calvinist who drove his car to the liquor store He could have stopped his car from going there but he didn’t.”

        You messed up the analogy – Likening people to whom God has given freedom to act to cars misses the mark. It should be “Like the Calvinist who saw the man enter the liquor store to rob it and could have stopped him but he didn’t.”

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      4. br.d writes, “Like the Calvinist who drove his car to the liquor store He could have stopped his car from going there but he didn’t.”

        rhutchin responds
        You messed up the analogy – Likening people to whom God has given freedom to act to cars misses the mark. It should be “Like the Calvinist who saw the man enter the liquor store to rob it and could have stopped him but he didn’t.”

        – quote:
        wills of men are so governed as to move exactly in the course which he [Calvin’s god] has destined.”
        – John Calvin – institutes 1:16.8

        -quote;
        “Men do nothing save at the secret instigation of God” – John Calvin institutes 1:18.1

        -quote:
        Nor would God have effected by the hand of man what he decreed, unless he worked in their hearts TO MAKE THEM WILL before they acted. – John Calvin Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God

        – quote
        they are not only bound by his fetters but are FORCED to do him service” – John Calvin, Institutes 1:17.11

        – quote:
        “But those who, while they profess to be the disciples of Christ, still seek for free-will in man, ………labor under manifold delusion….” – John Calvin, Institutes 1:15.8

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      5. br.d quotes Calvin:
        “…wills of men are so governed as to move exactly in the course which he [Calvin’s god] has destined.”
        – John Calvin – institutes 1:16.8”

        God gave us Isaiah 10:

        5 Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger And the staff in whose hands is My indignation,
        6 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.
        7 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.
        8 For it says, “Are not my princes all kings?
        9 “Is not Calno like Carchemish, Or Hamath like Arpad, Or Samaria like Damascus?
        10 “As my hand has reached to the kingdoms of the idols, Whose graven images were greater than those of Jerusalem and Samaria,
        11 Shall I not do to Jerusalem and her images Just as I have done to Samaria and her idols?”
        12 So it will be that when the Lord has completed all His work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, He will say, “I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the pomp of his haughtiness.”

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      6. God gave us Isaiah 10:

        And god also gave us all those double-think Calvinists with their beguiling double-talk.
        We’re very blessed 😀

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      7. You do realize that there is a difference between causing all sins versus not preventing all sin right? There’s nothing comforting about a god who complains about evil and at the same time causes evil.

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      8. wildswanderer
        You do realize that there is a difference between causing all sins versus not preventing all sin right? There’s nothing comforting about a god who complains about evil and at the same time causes evil.

        Hello Wildswanderer and welcome!!!

        Just to let you know in advance – one of rhutchin’s strategies is to represent Calvinism AS-IF it has libertarian free-will, in which “do otherwise” and “alternative possibilities” have real existence.
        Which in Calvinism they don’t.

        But the Calvinist can play-act like they do.
        So I agree with you that rhutchin’s statements are directly contradictory to his belief system – Theological Fatalism/Determinism in which all human thoughts/choices/actions are predestined.

        But Calvinists don’t like the logical implications of Calvin’s god being the author of evil.
        So they use double-talk and they make-believe aspects of libertarian free will exist in their system.
        In other words, rhutchin is playing a game of double-speak.

        Newcomers to SOT101 are taken in by it at first – assuming intellectual honesty.
        But they eventually learn how the con job works.

        Just saying this to prevent you from getting lured down a rabbit hole. :-]

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      9. wildswanderer writes, “You do realize that there is a difference between causing all sins versus not preventing all sin right?”

        “Causing” and “not preventing” are the same in the case of an absolute sovereign. As God is an absolute sovereign, He has the final say in all that happens. He can cause events directly (e.g., the flood, impregnation of Mary, etc.) or He can cause events through secondary agents (e.g., Assyria in the destruction of Israel, the Jews in the stoning of Stephan, etc.) who are restrained by God until released to accomplish His purposes. As God can permanently prevent any event, His action to not prevent is the ultimate cause of the event. This does not negate the free will of the agent as Isaiah 10 explains in the case of the Assyrians.

        Then, “There’s nothing comforting about a god who complains about evil and at the same time causes evil.”

        The comforting part is that we know God exercises absolute control over the evil that people seek to do, and we can ask God to exercise His control on our behalf toward our good which is what He promises in Romans 8.

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      10. “The comforting part is that we know God exercises absolute control over the evil that people seek to do, and we can ask God to exercise His control on our behalf toward our good which is what He promises in Romans 8.”

        If God is already absolutely controlling all evil, then how in the world is asking him anything going to change anything? You’re swallowing all kinds of blatant contradictions. And it’s all extra Biblical, so what you really have is philosophy, not sound theology. But that isn’t what bothers me as much as the fact that determinism makes the incarnation irreverent.

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      11. Wildswanderer to rhutchin:
        You’re swallowing all kinds of blatant contradictions. And it’s all extra Biblical, so what you really have is philosophy, not sound theology.

        WELL SAID!!!
        And I heartily agree!!! :-]

        Liked by 1 person

      12. wildswanderer writes, “If God is already absolutely controlling all evil, then how in the world is asking him anything going to change anything?”

        God is in absolute control of all people – He works all things according to the counsel of His will. In James, God tells His elect to ask for wisdom when they need it. If a person asks for wisdom, he receives wisdom, otherwise not. God told Israel to obey His laws and He would bless them. God tells His elect to ask for His blessing (e.g., wisdom) and they will receive it. Can you identify the contradiction here or the part that you think is extra-biblical? When a person believes, he receives God’s spirit and God’s spirit is always prompting the believer to act on what the Scriptures say.

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      13. wildswanderer writes, “The obvious contradiction is that if God is predestinating everything then asking is pointless.”

        Because God has predestinated everything then asking must gain certain results – of course, even if God had not predestinated all things, asking would still gain certain results. There is no contradiction – at least none that you are able to explain.

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      14. WW
        Yes the Incarnation (you mentioned above) is one thing that becomes irrelevant.

        We could also say that it becomes very difficult to understand what to do against evil when it is in fact God causing it. As I said in a previous post, we stand on the sidewalk to offer women an alternate at abortion clinics, but when they come out having done it, should we congratulate them for having done God’s sovereign will??

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      15. If one is a consistent Calvinist, you should and you should also go the prison and high five the murderers for carrying out God’s will. A certain person whose name begins with R on here is working very hard to deny the implications of his system, which is no different than scientific determanism, which says that everything we do is inevitable because of the way the universe is set up. It makes little difference if God is in the picture or not and makes for some strange bedfellows. At least many of the other Calvinists I’ve had conversations in here on wordpress will come right out and deny free will exists. Then, we can have an honest conversation. Personally, I’ve come to believe that if they really believed and understood their system they would see God as evil or they would wake up and see that’s it’s nothing less than blasphemy to say that the Holy Triune God causes evil, and they would run to free will with open arms.

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      16. WW:
        I have also commented on several pages that the Calvin quotes showing his deteminism are very similar to Islamic quotes of Qadar “fate”.

        In a nutshell, nothing we do can change anything because it has all been determined/ ordained/ willed by God/Allah.

        Sure we can pray for things…but even those prayers were predetermined.

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      17. Yes!!
        William Lane Craig refers to this on Calvinism by asking how the Calvinist came to believe in Calvinism – was his belief caused by rational reasoning or predestined? If predestined, then it was his unavoidable fate rational reasoning or not.
        But then as he contemplates that question, he realizes that contemplation is also predestined.
        And his realization of that contemplation being predestined is also predestined.
        And his realization of that realization is also predestined.
        And so forth – Ad Infinitum
        Dr. Craig says that because of this effect, Calvinism cannot rationally affirm itself – because the occurrence of the Calvinist’s thoughts are not up to him.

        Lovely belief system!! 🙂

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      18. br.d writes, “…was his belief caused by rational reasoning or predestined?”

        It was predestined as we read in Ephesians 1, “God chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us. In all wisdom and insight.”

        Thus, coming to believe the Scriptures (i.e., to believe Calvinism) is the direct result of God’s work of grace in the lives of His elect.

        Then, “…because of this effect, Calvinism cannot rationally affirm itself – because the occurrence of the Calvinist’s thoughts are not up to him.”

        That is why the Calvinist affirms the Scriptures and does so rationally. “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)

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      19. FOH writes, “In a nutshell, nothing we do can change anything because it has all been determined/ ordained/ willed by God/…”

        This starts with God being omniscient. This is the point where your disagreement begins.

        Then, “Sure we can pray for things…but even those prayers were predetermined.”

        More importantly, the outcomes have been determined also. A person who asks for those things God promises receives those things.

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      20. Hi wildswanderer,
        You make an interesting point that I think others have noticed.
        The business of “Scientific Determinism” or as some would call it “Natural Determinism”.
        It is extremely similar to Theological Determinism.

        Determinism is the thesis that all things which come to pass do so as the consequence of:
        A) Something/Someone as an antecedent determinant – which determines what event will come to pass
        and
        B) That event comes to pass controlled/governed by the laws of nature/physics.

        Theological Determinism inserts a THEOS (i.e. greek for god) as the:
        A) “Someone who is the antecedent determinant”
        and
        B) These events which come to pass controlled/governed by laws of nature/physics.

        Take the example of the Calvinist god wanting to throw a new born baby into the fire of Moloch
        But the Calvinist god doesn’t want to bear responsibility for throwing the baby into the fire of Moloch
        So the Calvinist god uses the laws of nature/physics – by arranging things in such a way to bring about the end result.
        For example, the Calvinist god can simply hold the baby over the fire.
        While he is hold the baby, the Calvinist would say he is “restraining” or “preventing” the baby from being burned in the fire.
        When he lets go, the Calvinist would say he “permitted” the baby to be burned in the fire.
        But John Calvin makes a distinction on the word “permit” be qualifying it as “Bare” permission.
        “Bare” permission is the word “permit” in its orthodox/standard meaning of “allow”, “let pass” etc.
        Calvin sternly say that in no way is god simply doing that because that does not infer enough CAUSAL sovereignty on god’s part.
        Calvin wants to say that god CAUSES the baby to be burned in the fire of Moloch.
        But he also wants to say that god is not responsible.
        Gravity is to blame, or the way the wind blowing was to blame or the nature of the baby is to blame.
        Thus blame is put on B) those controlled/governed laws of nature/physics.
        This is how Calvinist can blame Adam’s fall on the nature of Adam (its blaming the laws of nature/physics instead of god)

        So Calvinists embrace Theological Determinism in which god is the NECESSARY CAUSE all sins/evils.
        But they blame nature or physics instead of Calvin’s god who plays the NECESSARY CAUSAL part
        The laws of nature/physics are whatever they are, at the time the event occurs but they are not necessary.
        Calvin’s god can use anything he wants to – to bring about sin/evil events.

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      21. br.d writes, “some would call it “Natural Determinism”. It is extremely similar to Theological Determinism.”

        The key word here being “similar.” Natural determinism says that fate, or impersonal forces, determine all things and do so with no purpose or goal. Theological determinism says that a personal god determines all things according to the counsel of His will – thereby reflecting his infinite understanding of all things and His wisdom – in order to to accomplish His good purposes.

        Then, “So Calvinists embrace Theological Determinism in which god is the NECESSARY CAUSE all sins/evils.”

        By “necessary cause” is meant the final arbiter of all that happens – which must be true because of sovereignty – working through the free will actions of people.

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      22. wildswanderer writes, “A certain person whose name begins with R on here is working very hard to deny the implications of his system,”

        From Isaiah 10 we get the following points:

        1. God uses Assyrian to punish Israel – “…Assyria, the rod of My anger And the staff in whose hands is My indignation,… I send it against a godless nation”
        2. Assyria is a willing participant in God’s hands – “[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.”
        3. “God will punish Assyria for what it does to Israel – “[God] will say, “I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the pomp of his haughtiness.”

        There are other examples of God using agents – Job, Judas, Pilate. I don’t deny these three points. Do you?

        Then, “At least many of the other Calvinists I’ve had conversations in here on wordpress will come right out and deny free will exists.”

        What they are denying is that “Libertarian Free Will” exists – this because there is not a definition of LFW that is unique from that free will accepted by Calvinists which is freedom from coercion – Calvin would say that people act voluntarily.

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      23. I take it you mean unwilling participant? I see free will all over the place in these passages. Israel freely disobeying God. The Asyrian King freely deciding to destroy Israel. And God freely deciding to use a Syria to punish Israel. God can do what he wants, that is not a calvinist concept. We all agree that God is sovereign. But that doesn’t mean that he is controlling every action of anybody in this story. Just the opposite, everybody is doing what they think is right in their own eyes and God is bringing some good out of all the evil. That only means that he is wise, not all determining.

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      24. WW
        You mention that closing phrase of Judges 21: 25
        25 In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

        Just like the book of Joshua closes out, 24:5 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

        Of course all of these verses had to “interpreted” through approved lenses when I was a Calvinist.

        Joshua was not REALLY telling them they had a choice.

        Judges did not REALLY mean they were doing what was right (or wrong) in their own eyes…only what they were programmed to do.

        Liked by 1 person

      25. FOH writes, “Of course all of these verses had to “interpreted” through approved lenses when I was a Calvinist.”

        I think everyone understands these verses pretty much the same. Calvinists add that Adam’s sin resulted in spiritual deadness in people. Thus, to do right in their own eyes would be relative to their situation and not objectively viewed from God’s position. The Choice that Joshua puts before the people is interesting – he gives them two options and then says that he is taking a third option.

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      26. wildswanderer writes, “I take it you mean unwilling participant? ”

        Context portrays the Assyrians as willing – just being themselves – but unaware that they are God’s agent to accomplish His will for Israel.

        Then, “I see free will all over the place in these passages. Israel freely disobeying God. The Asyrian King freely deciding to destroy Israel. And God freely deciding to use a Syria to punish Israel.”

        As do the Calvinists – any distinction between non-coercive free will and LFW is irrelevant in these cases.

        Then, “God can do what he wants, that is not a calvinist concept.”

        I agree. Very little in Calvinism is unique only to Calvinism.

        Then, “We all agree that God is sovereign. But that doesn’t mean that he is controlling every action of anybody in this story. Just the opposite, everybody is doing what they think is right in their own eyes and God is bringing some good out of all the evil. That only means that he is wise, not all determining.”

        As God is sovereign, He determines the final outcome of every event – but not having to coerce people to act as He wants. The initial conditions are that people are spiritually dead and have a sin nature as a consequence of Adam’s sin. Granting those two points, God need only control the direction in which sinful people naturally are going. Satan wants to trouble Job but cannot because God has placed His protection around Job. The Assyrians want to invade Israel but cannot do so until God removes His protection over Israel.

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      27. No, the distinction between libertarian free will and compatibilism is actually very important in all these cases. You say the Assyrian King was not coerced, but according to your Calvinist leaders, his desires were given to him by God. When Piper says that God always controls all things Without exception I assume he means …..all things without exception. All your talk about restraining or not restraining becomes nonsense. God gives the king his desires, he causes the king to act according to his desires and then he punishes him for the very thing that he gave him. And this would be true with every individual who ever lived or else it is not total control. God bringing about his overall plan for nations only requires for God to be wise enough to react correctly to Man’s Free Will actions. And the fact that God has to remove protection around certain individuals only means that special protection is the exception not the rule. Nothing that you have proposed even comes close to being determinism. Just admit that you’re a functioning Arminian, trying to argue for something you don’t even believe in.

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      28. wildswanderer writes, “No, the distinction between libertarian free will and compatibilism is actually very important in all these cases. You say the Assyrian King was not coerced, but according to your Calvinist leaders, his desires were given to him by God.”

        This is because he was born spiritually dead and had a sin nature. So, is it your contention that people are not born spiritually dead and not with a sin nature?

        Then, “When Piper says that God always controls all things Without exception I assume he means …..all things without exception.”

        This from Ephesians 1, “God works all things after the counsel of His will,…” Do you think Piper is wrong to conclude this from the Scripture ?

        Then, “All your talk about restraining or not restraining becomes nonsense. God gives the king his desires, he causes the king to act according to his desires and then he punishes him for the very thing that he gave him.”

        This relates to the first comment above. Given that the Calvinist assumes the two conditions above, then God does cause the king to act according to the king’s desires and then punishes him for this. This is explicitly stated in Isaiah 10. Do you see Isaiah 10 telling us something different?

        Then, “And this would be true with every individual who ever lived or else it is not total control. God bringing about his overall plan for nations only requires for God to be wise enough to react correctly to Man’s Free Will actions.”

        That’s fine. Our point of disagreement is whether God knows the free will actions of people before they think of them and before they decide what they will do. I think you disagree that God is omniscient – Don’t you? However, if we premise that God is omniscient, then the Calvinist conclusions logically follow – Don’t they?

        Then, “And the fact that God has to remove protection around certain individuals only means that special protection is the exception not the rule.”

        Romans 8 tells us that “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Thus, we can logically conclude that God’s protection is the rule and not the exception.

        Then, “Nothing that you have proposed even comes close to being determinism. Just admit that you’re a functioning Arminian, trying to argue for something you don’t even believe in.”

        Arminians are basically Calvinists who say that God removes Total Depravity from all people – reducing to Pelagianism. The doctrines Arminians follow create an illogical system. I favor the logical system of the Calvinists.

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      29. Lol, logic? I have yet to see logic in your convuluted reasoning. The Assyrian King being born sinful somehow means God is controlling all his actions, and that God gives him his desires? Um, no, that would mean Satan is controlling his actions. And, no, if you or I or anyone works all things according to our will’s, all that means is we are able to do what we want and everything we do is according to our will’s. You presume that God causes everything, so you read that into the verse. In fact, the verse says to me that God cannot work evil, as evil does not dwell in him (Psalm 5:4) Evil is never God’s will, but he does bring good from evil for those who love him. Notice the good is conditional on our actions. We can’t expect God’s protection if we go against his will. Your usual insistence that I don’t believe that God is omniscient is getting old.

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      30. wildswanderer writes, “The Assyrian King being born sinful somehow means God is controlling all his actions, and that God gives him his desires?”

        The king’s desires come from his heart – his sinful nature. It is God who decrees his birth, so in that context, God gives him his desires consequent o his birth.

        Then, “Um, no, that would mean Satan is controlling his actions.”

        God does use Satan for His purposes. For example, we read that Satan entered into Judas and moved Judas to betray Jesus. In the garden, it was God who removed His protection over Adam and Eve giving Satan freedom to enter the garden. As Job illustrates, Satan can do no more than God decrees.

        Then, “…if you or I or anyone works all things according to our will’s, all that means is we are able to do what we want and everything we do is according to our will’s. ”

        There is a difference between, “working all things,” and “able to work all things.” We confirm this in Romans 8, where Paul says that God is working all things for good for His elect. This is supported by Ephesians 2, “…we (God’s elect] are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,…”

        Then, “You presume that God causes everything, so you read that into the verse.”

        Then, just take the verse exactly as it is written and don’t fudge to justify your opinions.

        The, “In fact, the verse says to me that God cannot work evil, as evil does not dwell in him (Psalm 5:4) Evil is never God’s will,…”

        OK. Now introduce the examples of Job, the Assyrians in Isaiah 10, and Habakkuk into this and explain how you think this works.

        Then, “[God] does bring good from evil for those who love him. Notice the good is conditional on our actions. We can’t expect God’s protection if we go against his will.”

        Exactly. I think you may be catching on – but slowly.

        Then, “Your usual insistence that I don’t believe that God is omniscient is getting old.”

        OK. So why do you have a problem with determinism?? As God is omniscient, the moment He created the universe, He determined every event in the future – else He would not be omniscient.

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      31. “OK. Now introduce the examples of Job, the Assyrians in Isaiah 10, and Habakkuk into this and explain how you think this works.”
        I have already done just that multiple times, as have others. You seem unable or more likely, unwilling to accept even the possibility that man’s free actions actually cause stuff to happen, so you create a mystery that isn’t there. If you can’t see the difference between God decreeing evil and God bringing good from it, I see no reason to continue endlessly reiterating the point, or continuing a fruitless discussion. Your final statement illustrates why: “As God is omniscient, the moment He created the universe, He determined every event in the future – else He would not be omniscient.”
        Only in a your false reality where God does not allow his creatures the dignity of causation. I find it interesting that you claim there is a moment when God created. If I wanted to emulate your behavior, I would accuse you of being an open theist because you seem to be saying God’s work is sequential. I pray that you will lose your allegiance to a systematic theology that only confuses and distorts God’s love and someday soon come to truly understand that love.

        Liked by 1 person

      32. wildswanderer writes, “I have already done just that multiple times, as have others. You seem unable or more likely, unwilling to accept even the possibility that man’s free actions actually cause stuff to happen, so you create a mystery that isn’t there.”

        Free will of people does not come into play in these examples, does it?? Job had no input into the things that happened to him. That was his complaint. In the case of the Assyrians, they were always wanting to invade Israel – it was God’s decision to give them the freedom to pursue their desires without which they could not do so. Same with the Chaldeans in Habakkuk.

        In these examples, the free will exercise by people is secondary. It is God who is the primary mover because without God taking action, nothing happens. Neither you, nor anyone else has ever addressed the role that God plays in bringing about certain events – and then all events. The Calvinist claim is that man’s free will is always subordinate to God’s will and no one has ever disputed that claim or showed how any person can, legitimately, operate independent of God’s will – other than expressing an opinion that it can happen (but it’s a mystery that cannot be explained).

        Then, “If you can’t see the difference between God decreeing evil and God bringing good from it, I see no reason to continue endlessly reiterating the point, or continuing a fruitless discussion.”

        That is not the point of dispute. Everyone agrees that God can bring good out the evil that men do. Here, we have three examples where evil outcomes cannot happen absent God’s decree. It seems that you are forced to capitulate on this – having to agree that God does bring about evil even though using secondary causes. Otherwise, you would not be deflecting on the three examples cited.

        Then, “Your final statement illustrates why: “As God is omniscient, the moment He created the universe, He determined every event in the future – else He would not be omniscient.”
        Only in a your false reality where God does not allow his creatures the dignity of causation. I find it interesting that you claim there is a moment when God created. If I wanted to emulate your behavior, I would accuse you of being an open theist because you seem to be saying God’s work is sequential.”

        The Open Theist claims much more than that God’s work is sequential. The Open Theist claims that God does not know the future – that God is not omniscient – thus, God can only act sequentially as events occur. The Calvinist claims that God arranges events sequentially but that this sequence of events was determined prior to the creation and was determined fully, at least, by creation.

        How the ” the dignity of causation” fits into this is a mystery that you are unable to explain. You are again deflecting in addressing the issue here – which begins with God’s omniscience. If you are going to pursue some theory of “dignity of causation,” it seems impossible for you to also hold that God is omniscient. I think you realize this and are forced to evade the issue as you are doing – evasion of issues being characteristic of those who don’t like Calvinism but have no arguments against Calvinism – and resorting to personal opinion in opposing Calvinism.

        Then, “I pray that you will lose your allegiance to a systematic theology that only confuses and distorts God’s love and someday soon come to truly understand that love.”

        Finally, the true motive for your opposition to Calvinism. If this is what motivates you, then you must understand that Universalism is the only position you can take (even Open Theism is not an option). That’s fine – but why not just concede the point and stop deflecting??

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      33. Funny how 90% of the Christians throughout history didn’t have a problem with both God seeing the future and man having free will. Apparently you’ve been given some secret knowledge that this is not possible. I’m not deflecting anything I just don’t have the patience for nonsensical discussions.

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      34. wildswanderer writes, “Funny how 90% of the Christians throughout history didn’t have a problem with both God seeing the future and man having free will.”

        Theologians do not have problems with omniscience and free will. The problem had been generated by philosophers who said that there is a problem. William Craig seems to have demonstrated that there is no problem.

        However, the problem is not between omniscience and free will. It is when the Calvinists say that omniscience settles the future and this means necessarily that the future is determined – a conclusion not really contested when one holds with omniscience. This then caused people to advocate against omniscience leading to Open Theism or something like Brian Wagner’s, futureism – both of which claim that the future is not settled.

        Then, “I’m not deflecting anything I just don’t have the patience for nonsensical discussions.”

        When you start addressing the Scriptures, we will know that you are not deflecting. Until then…you are reduced to making comments about “nonsensical discussions.” What else can you do??

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      35. “Theologians do not have problems with omniscience and free will. The problem had been generated by philosophers who said that there is a problem.”
        I’m glad to see you finally admitting that you are pushing a philosophy, not sound theology.

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      36. rhutchin writes:
        “Theologians do not have problems with omniscience and free will. The problem had been generated by philosophers who said that there is a problem.”

        Of course, this is nothing more than a child’s imagination!

        In Church history, Foreknowledge/Freewill questionings having to do with Fatalism and Determinism, started due to Catholic theologian’s syncretism with Greek Philosophy. As William Lane Craig points out in book “Divine Foreknowledge and Human Freedom” – quoting Dr. Susan Haack in her book “On a Theological Argument for Fatalism” where she notes this fact, calling it a needlessly (and confusing) elaborated version of Aristotle’s “De interpretione”, superimposing an omniscient god into to the arguments, constituting a gratuitous detour into Greek Fatalism.

        Outside of Christianity, the Greek Philosopher Plotinus (204-270 AD) took Plato’s doctrines of divine immutability and formulated them into a Greek religion. NeoPlatonism was born. Catholic theologians swallowed the camel. Augustine swallowed it whole – along with certain elements of Christian Gnosticism (predestination).

        Recorded dialogs in the church then started over Foreknowledge/Freewill, Fatalism, Determinism etc.

        In the middle ages, Thomas Aquinas made formulations about it. Boethius a Christian NeoPlatonist made formulations about it, William of Ockham made formulations (backtracking counterfactuals) about it (now embraced by Alvin Plantinga and William Lane Craig). In the 16th Century, Luis de Molina formulated “Middle Knowledge” (also embraced by Alvin Plantinga and William Lane Craig). In the 20th century, Open Theism started becoming discussed.

        The lineage of Christian philosophers continues on this topic, and it’s obvious the church is split into diverse opinions of which within which Theological Fatalism/Determinism (aka Calvinism) assumes a small fraction of the whole. The preponderance of Christianity assumes human responsibility for sin is based upon a libertarian formulation, in where god created a world in which creature’s choices are not robotically programed by god – as they are in Calvinism.

        Liked by 1 person

      37. wildswanderer writes, “I’m glad to see you finally admitting that you are pushing a philosophy, not sound theology.”

        The philosophers have a problem with omniscience and determinism – not Calvinism.

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      38. WW:

        Been trying to warn you of the waste of time with this.

        Not only is it a waste of time, but these determinist arguments lack logic and biblical support….and just go ’round-n-round.

        The worst part about all this is that the few cage-rage Calvinists that are on this site believe that others of us (who are vetted, evangelical pastors, missionaries, Bible teachers, caring fathers, church-goers, team leaders, Bible-believers, Christ-followers, care-providers-for-women-in-crisis (pro-life), and saved-by-grace) who have a different interpretation of the 40 key verses of Calvinism (paying more attention to the thousands of verses that opposed the determinist position) are…. infiltrating, heretical, universalist, deceivers.

        Fortunately I serve on committees, elder teams, and leadership teams with Calvinists who do not consider me all of the above negatives.

        Better use of time WW, to fix our eyes on Jesus.

        Draw near to God….and He will draw near to you. That is a promise from an omnipotent, omniscient, sovereign God, but does require something from us.

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      39. If its ok for me to add just a little to this:

        From my readings on indoctrination, thought-reform, and the characteristics of religious groups which exercise a high degree of what social psychologists call “Milieu control”. – for a Calvinist to “come out of her and be not partaker of her plagues” is going to represent a supernatural process of grace on God’s part. I agree with FOH’s point about going in circles.

        rhutchin has what we’ve learned to call a “dancing boxer” routine.
        He keeps you engaged in order to give the appearance of open-mindedness.
        But he’s just dancing around your points waiting for an opening to get in a jab.

        I believe this provides a sense of self empowerment and self importance – to be able to lead someone around in circles.
        Others have used dialog with him as opportunity get him to display Calvinistm’s beguiling double-think.
        Then disengage when it obvious he’s going in circles.

        Liked by 1 person

      40. FOH writes, “The worst part about all this is that…”

        No, the worst part is that you have no real argument against Calvinism and use the “thousands of verses” argument to dismiss key statements made in the Scriptures.

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      41. Fortunately I have a feature on my phone that allows me to just talk into it and it prints out the text. I have to do a little editing now and then but my short replies take almost no time at all. I went round and round with him enough in the past. I always assume there’s a couple undecided people reading that might benefit from seeing the lack of logic in Calvinism. I appreciate the advice though. I’m just a late person but I’m self-employed and I work alone so I have a lot of time to think about these issues.

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      42. WW:
        In response to this post and your 90% of history post I have two things to add.

        I think what you said (that you are able to talk into your phone) and the internet (in general) have sped up the YRR craze. When I first became a Calvinist (at the beginning of the wave —late 70’s early 80’s) we had to buy or borrow van Til, Pink and Boettner. Now you can just get blasted and brow-beaten by cage-rager 24-hours a day! Over and over they pound… “What, do you want to have a man-made Gospel!?” pound, pound.

        The second thing is this. It is true that 90% (figure is debatable) got along fine with the free-will idea (until the recent resurgence of all things reformed (sorry!!! not all things reformed…..most cage-ragers dont baptize babies, or switch to amil eschatology like Calvin).

        My point is when I was young the (mostly-Dutch) reformed people I knew were called the “frozen chosen.” Their theology did not need them to do much of anything.

        But now that Calvin has been infused into Bible churches, Baptist churches, Community churches and such, one can just pick and choose which parts of theology they want.

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      43. True. Although I will say that I was totally unaware of the whole debate until a few years ago. It was just not on my radar at all. I was introduced to Calvinism in a church that I attended for a decade. Many good people there, and the church had no official stand on it, but it just kind of crept in and like a frog being boiled slowly, I accepted it until I suddenly woke up to the implications, the realization that this is no different than fate. Now, I did not have a full picture of the doctrine at that time. I was just getting the bits and pieces that they were giving me, so I had to research on my own. When I started to push back by speaking up in a men’s group, I actually got the privilege of having a sermon prepared just for me, lol. Well and I suppose for everyone who was in the group. Basically, it was capatibilism, but by this time I knew enough to see through it and wasn’t buying the conclusions. Through all this, and for other reasons, we ended up leaving that church. The last thing I wanted to do was cause hard feelings or stir up conflict, and I knew I would have to speak my convictions if I stayed. But what you said about it being infused into churches that aren’t traditionally Calvinist strikes a chord with me, because it’s so insidious. Instead of just putting the implications out there for everyone to see it is kind of snuck in the back door with lofty sounding words, like God’s glory and sovereignty, badly defined..

        Liked by 2 people

      44. Thank you for this testimony WW!

        I had been an Evangelical believer for close to 30 years – and always thought Calvinism was an ancient half-hearted attempt to depart from Catholicism. Surely the church had discerned how ridiculous it was and grew out of it.

        I became aware of it from a brother who started working for the company I was working for. At first I thought he was from a Pharisee church. Women had to wear head-coverings and could not walk side by side with men – had to follow behind them.

        Every Monday this brother would brag about some doctrinal truth the pastor had taught them during their Sunday service. And he would boast that only a limited number of “TRUE” Christians understood it. The rest of the church was duped. For example, where the bible says god wills that *ALL* men be saved, it doesn’t mean *ALL*, it means god wills *SOME* men be saved.

        These were red flags that he was being indoctrinated. So I started to investigate his church and discovered the pastor was teaching Calvinism. I confronted the brother and asked him straight-out how long his pastor had been teaching Calvinism. He looked at me like I was from another planet. He said he didn’t know what Calvinism was.

        Turns out his pastor was teaching Calvinism deceptively – didn’t want his tiny congregation to know it – was afraid people leave.
        The more I discover about Calvinism the more I discover how pharisaical, deceptive, and dishonest it is.

        Thanks! :-]

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      45. Sometimes I wonder if the ‘Worship Wars’ centering on music style, as well as other extreme teachings like the laughing revivals were not instigated in order to scare people into the arms of Calvinism. Most of the people who entered my former Calvinist church were non-Calvinists fleeing the contemporary music of modern seeker churches. Almost without exception, they resisted the doctrine initially, but became gradually indoctrinated, mostly by keeping ‘the scary stuff’ out of the picture. I would say that few – including myself for a long time – fully grasped the full implications of Calvinism’s theological system. This appears to be deliberate. Scripture seems to suggest an endtimes state church to end all state churches – like Calvin’s Geneva on a worldwide scale. Calvinism is just the ticket for bringing such a thing to be.

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      46. TS00:

        I dont have the same negative and “conspiratorial” view that you have…. but….

        I will give one observation I have made.

        I visit books on Amazon a lot to read reviews. You can almost be assured that if you go to a book about the emerging church, open theism (or even the authors of these books writing on other issues!!) you will find 1-star “reviews” from cage-ragers. In almost every case that I have seen, they trash-talk the book with no indication of having read it. They will launch right into a diatribe on heresy….and then give Calvinist web sites. I mean it is trolling to the extreme.

        They must get a sense of “purifying the church” or “protecting God’s integrity” with their visceral attacks.

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      47. Hi truthseeker00,

        From my view-point on the Pentecostal problems like those you mentioned, I think the new-age movement has infiltrated into the church in ways the church does not discern. But this is not new. If you read some of the revival stories going back centuries you can see people doing all sorts of strange things. Part if it is a very bad understanding of submission to the Holy Spirit, where the believer is taught to relinquish volition of their senses or bodily functions with the idea the Holy Spirit will take over. What they are ignorant of is this is the exact process that disciples of necromancy and spiritism develop. There are principles at work. Teachings in the church on how to discern the actions of the Holy Spirit vs a counterfeit spirit are totally absent. Never in scripture to you see the Holy Spirit manipulating a human body. But we do see the boy who threw himself into the fire – whom Jesus delivered. Moses is commanded by god to hold up his rod so that Joshua can fight the battle, and he requires two men stand by him to help him hold it up. The Holy Spirit does not take over peoples bodies. But counterfeit spirits do. The Pentecostal church is dangerously lacking in teachers who understand these principles.
        And Calvinism in a Pentecostal setting would be 100 times worse, as there is absolutely zero discernment in Calvinism. Its all indoctrination.

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      48. WW:

        I’m not sure you realize how arch-typical your story is!

        I am glad you used the words “push back”. That is mostly the problem. People do not know where to go/ what do to for some push back.

        No one really comes to Christ as a Calvinist. We all have to be taught it.

        What usually happens is that someones “evangelizes” another person into Calvinism by one or more of several options:

        “Your gospel is man-centered”

        “You are saying that man is above God”

        “God is sovereign and therefore…

        “God is omniscient and therefore…

        “Dead men don’t make choices…”

        And then…as you said…. it is the frog in the pot and you slowly get reeled in. I did. My story is easily found on these pages. In a nutshell, what got me out was the daily reading of massive portions of Scripture —-but not through a lens and not just cherry-picking over and over and over the same texts. I soon found out that 99.whatever% of the Bible does not sound the least bit Calvinistic and you have to twist and torture it to make it fit!

        Another thing I came to is: what’s the point? Putting it all on the level of “fate” or Qadar (Islamic term for exactly what Islam and Calvinism teach) leaves one wondering what to do, or why try….. even our sin is His sovereign will.

        But be encouraged. As with many fads…..this may pass. I hope and pray it does before they get control of the whole Evangelical world and dump the rest of us in the river tied to millstones (that’s allowed you know)!

        Actually, I feel that this “return to the Reformation” or the “faith of our fathers” wave is partly just that…a reaction to other new movements (word of faith, hyper-Pentecostal, emerging church, open theism, etc) all seen as heretical to some. So when they are introduced to something “stable” “trustworthy” “older” etc…..it’s pretty easy to move that way. “Infiltrating” into normal Bible churches (what you said) is exactly what is happening.

        Of course they all think “I found this in the Word,” but (a) that is extremely unlikely (people dont stumble on TULIP), and (b) you CAN find it in the Word if you bring it TO the Word, and (c) they are somehow managing to focus on a few key verses and ignore the thousands of others that clearly teach non-Calvinist ideas (these thousands of verses were the reasons I moved away).

        Also be encouraged in the idea that it really doesnt mean anything to them. You would not get a “Don’t waste your life” campaign from Piper if he REALLY believed what he teaches. What we do does not matter in a deterministic-fate world. You cannot “waste” anything!

        I mean really Piper……what a man-centered campaign that was!!!! As if man can make choices that God has not already made!!

        He also would not write an article about Satan’s 10 strategies (https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/satan-s-ten-strategies-against-you) if he really believed that what we do does not matter or cannot change what is decreed/ preordained. Of course what we do matters (stand firm, draw near, resist)…. thus putting some responsibility on man. The whole article is either Satan-centered or man-centered.

        Besides….. calling his ministry “desiring God” —- is already a focus on what WE do to desire God. Man-centered!!!

        So, WW, rest in the assurance that they can theologize like they are determinist-fate Calvinists, but they still live like the rest of us.

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      49. WW: Unfortunately, the insidious creeping seems to be a deliberate, nationwide (worldwide?) strategy. People will reject Calvinism if confronted with its assertions honestly, so it is being ‘snuck in’ under the radar in many, many churches, in which the people often do not even know what Calvinism is, and the terminology is never used. I have heard good, solid pastors, after being under the influence of a Calvinist, begin teaching the dogma, without fully understanding it. They start quoting Grudem, Piper and MacArthur, and you know the indoctrination is pretty thick. Thanks to compatibilism, they do not grasp the full implications of the theology, and most never will unless they research independently. Very, very sad, and although it is hard to believe there could actually be a campaign to do this, it is too widespread to be coincidental.

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      50. You know I think I would put my former pastor into the category of someone who preached it without fully understanding it. He’s actually a great guy, just mislead in this area, IMO.

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      51. wildswanderer to FOH, “Calvinist strikes a chord with me, because it’s so insidious. Instead of just putting the implications out there for everyone to see it is kind of snuck in the back door with lofty sounding words, like God’s glory and sovereignty, badly defined.”

        Calvinism is straightforward –

        Doctrine of God – Omniscient, omnipotent, sovereign.
        Doctrine of Man – TULIP

        It’s famous for this – hardly insidious unless something is in la la land.

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      52. rhuthcin writes:
        “Causing” and “not preventing” are the same in the case of an absolute sovereign.

        – He [Calvin’s god] can CAUSE events directly or indirectly.

        – [What God causes] are restrained by God until they are released to accomplish His purposes.

        – His action to not prevent is the ultimate cause of the event.

        Lets put this all together:
        1)
        “First-conceiving”, “Causing”, “Decreeing”, “Ordaining”, “Predestining”, “Pre-determining”, “not preventing”, and “not restraining” : ALE ALL THE SAME in the Calvinist’s mind.

        2) ALL THINGS which come to pass are “First-conceived”, “Caused”, “Decreed”, “Ordained”, “Predestined”, “Pre-determined”, “not prevented”, and “Not restrained”.

        CONCLUSION:
        In Calvinism ****ALL SINS AND EVILS**** are “First-conceived”, “Caused”, “Decreed”, “Ordained”, “Predestined”, “Pre-determined”, “not prevented”, and “not restrained.

        But god is not the ULTIMATE CAUSE of sins and evils.
        His action to not prevent what he (DOES NOT PREVENT = CAUSES) is the ULTIMATE CAUSE.

        It all makes perfect sense!!! 😉

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      53. Rhutchin: ‘“Causing” and “not preventing” are the same in the case of an absolute sovereign.”

        Finally, Rhutchin is beginning to verbalize what he believes and albeit he still dances around with random grossly misapplied verses regarding God’s sovereignty i.e. Isaiah 10, he’s coming around to being honest-ish. For the last several years, he’s down played every verse and citation provided from the horse’s mouth himself (John Calvin) and tries to make a defense of his fatalist and deterministic calvinist god by trying to make Calvinism sound more palatable.

        I would rather a man be upfront and honest in his own systematic, then try to sell it on a non-calvinistic forum as sugar cookies, when in-fact we all know it’s main ingredient is arsenic.

        The Logical Conclusion and Implication of Rhutchin’s quote above:

        – When the Calvinist god “does not prevent” evil, it is because he’s is actually the one “causing” the evil. –

        Thank you Rhutchin for finally being consistent with your systematic and admitting to it.

        Liked by 1 person

      54. Simple writes, “When the Calvinist god “does not prevent” evil, it is because he’s is actually the one “causing” the evil.”

        “Cause” does not mean coerce. God did not coerce the Assyrians to act as they did – they were incited to act by their depraved nature. The Assyrians acted with freedom of will – that God caused the Assyrians to invade Israel through His power to restrain them does not mean that God coerced the Assyrians to do so. Still, the Assyrians are under God’s control and do as God wills as God’s agent to punish Israel – thus, God is said to be the cause of their action.

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      55. I didn’t see it this way at first – as rhutchin always plays the greased pig.
        But I can see you’re absolutely right and totally agree with you here.

        Thanks! :-]

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      56. Rhutchin: ““Causing” and “not preventing” are the same in the case of an absolute sovereign”

        I understand this to mean: “When the Calvinist god “does not prevent” evil, it is because he is actually the one “causing” the evil.”

        [Rhutchin Responded: “Cause” does not mean coerce.God did not coerce the Assyrians to act as they did – they were incited to act by their depraved nature. The Assyrians acted with freedom of will – that God caused the Assyrians to invade Israel through His power to restrain them does not mean that God coerced the Assyrians to do so. Still, the Assyrians are under God’s control and do as God wills as God’s agent to punish Israel – thus, God is said to be the cause of their action.”]

        You sound so confused. What does “coercion” have to do with any of this? If you haven’t realized it, the following words and ideas do not (or should not) exist in the Calvinist dictionary: “coerce”, “freedom of will”, and “restrain”.

        What is the Calvinist god “coercing” or “restraining” but his own will? He can’t coerce or restrain himself from doing what he has already pre-determined to do before the foundations of the world.

        You’re arguing circles in your own mind. Stop rationalizing and just believe…. believe in your own system and it’s logical implications. Its not that hard.

        This is the point that you’re trying to avoid or make palatable: Your god is the causer and the created of all things good and evil. The author of life and death, and of sin and evil and everything in between. He can neither be said to have allowed for secondary or tertiary agents because he is the Prime Mover of all things. He (the Calvinist god) is in ABSOLUTE CONTROL of every inkling of thought and movement of men and molecule in the universe, that NOTHING… NOTHING! moves on it’s own, but by his actual Moving or Doing.

        “Permission” and “restriant” are mere illusions that the weak Calvinist attempt to maintain. Maybe I’m just a better Calvinist than you. Because if I was a Calvinist, my god would rule the world with an iron fist, like John Piper’s and John Calvin’s. Cheers.

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      57. Simple asks, “What does “coercion” have to do with any of this?”

        Nothing. However, some jump to the erroneous conclusion that God must coerce people to do that which He is said to cause them to do. It is good to see that you do not do this.

        Then, “..the following words and ideas do not (or should not) exist in the Calvinist dictionary: “coerce”, “freedom of will”, and “restrain”.”

        I don’t see why not.

        Then, “What is the Calvinist god “coercing” or “restraining” but his own will?”

        God restrains or does not restrain the wills of people. Some falsely claim that God coerces people to sin.

        Then, “He can neither be said to have allowed for secondary or tertiary agents because he is the Prime Mover of all things.”

        This is wrong. In the temptation of Job, Satan was God’s agent to test Job. God did not move Satan to act against Job; it was Satan’s desire to do so.

        Then, “NOTHING! moves on it’s own, but by his actual Moving or Doing.”

        This is wrong. When God creates a stream moving downhill, it then moves downhill on its own without God having to impel it downhill. Yet, the water moving downhill is under God’s rule and God must rule that it continue to move downhill without interference from Him. When God creates people with depraved natures, people seek out sin without God having to move them in that direction. Yet, God can intervene to restrain people from sin and people can sin only because God does not intervene to stop them doing so.

        Then, “Because if I was a Calvinist, my god would rule the world with an iron fist, like John Piper’s and John Calvin’s.”

        God does rule with an iron fist – working all things after the counsel of His will. Is there anything in God’s creation that is not under His rule or that acts outside the working of His will?

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  2. I have long proposed that Piper’s position on determinism and fatalism is identical to al-Qadar in Islam.

    I am not quick to draw anyone’s attention to Islam (or to appear to promote it), but Qadar is explained on these pages, https://islamqa.info/en/20806. While reading the explanation of “fate” in this answer, please notice the similarity to Piper’s position that God has ordained all things.

    Ironically, in Islam, God has ordained the rise of Christianity. And ….equally ironic, in Piper’s determinism God has ordained the rise of Islam.

    Curious that neither position can preach that the other is “wrong” in the sense that God has brought them both about.

    I believe that Leighton’s post shows that others of us that follow Christ can unequivocally say that God is not glorified in the teachings of Islam (or any other faith that removes deity from Christ).

    There is nothing God-glorifying in the violation of a small girl or the denigration of the name of Christ.

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  3. WONDERFUL POST!!!!

    FATE/DESTINY:
    Although often USED INTERCHANGEABLY, the words “FATE” and “DESTINY” have distinct connotations – yet they conclude the same ending result: Namely Causal Inevitability

    Traditional usage defines fate as a power or agency that PREDETERMINES and ORDERS the course of events.
    FATE defines events as ORDERED or INEVITABLE and UNAVOIDABLE. This is a concept based on the belief that there is a FIXED order within the universe, and in some conceptions, the cosmos.

    Classical and European mythology feature personified “fate spinners,” known as the Moirai in Greek mythology – the Parcae in Roman mythology – and the Norns in Norse mythology.

    The FATE determine the events of the world through the mystic spinning of threads that represent individual human fates.
    Fate is often conceived as being divinely inspired.

    DESTINY is used with regard to the FINALITY of events as they work themselves out; and to that same sense of DESTINY, projected into the future to become the flow of events as they inevitably WILL work themselves out.

    FATALISM refers to the belief that events fixed by FATE are IMMUTABLE (i.e., unchangeable) by any human agency. In other words, humans cannot alter their own fates or the fates of others.

    The idea of a god controlled DESTINY plays an important role in numerous religions.

    Followers of Ancient Greek religion regarded not only the Moirai but also the gods, particularly Zeus, as responsible for determining and rendering-certain DESTINY.

    Christian Gnosticism believed in FATE as something strict and IMMUTABLE, resulting in salvation only for “chosen ones.”

    Certain followers within Christianity consider God to be the only FORCE with control over one’s FATE and that he has a plan for every person. Many believe that humans all have [some form of] free will, which is contrasted with PREDESTINATION, although humans are naturally inclined [as a consequence of divine control] to act according to God’s desire.

    In Islam, FATE or qadar is the decree of Allah.
    FROM: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Destiny
    ——————————————————————————————————————–

    Since Calvinism embraces the doctrine of Causal Inevitability – its followers embrace both FATE and DESTINY interchangeably.
    And many within the Calvinist camp do not differentiate between Fatalism and Determinism – although some do.
    Since Fatalism and Determinism originate from the same modal species – when push comes to shove – one’s FATE in life – is one’s DESTINY in life – is one’s LOT in life.

    So any distinction between FATE and DESTINY is pragmatically only theoretical.

    Christian believers who embrace and promote the doctrine of all evil thoughts/choices/actions as predestined, occurring by the force of divine causal inevitability are likely to have significant cognitive conflicts due to this doctrines amoral consequences.

    We see these cognitive conflicts manifested by such believers in the form of double-think, which is enunciated with double-speak.
    Dishonesty is a human temptation – even when it is justified as altruistic.
    In order to obfuscate the amoral aspects of the doctrine – its followers develop a labyrinth of beguiling double-talk

    Every tree brings forth fruits after its own kind.

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  4. This is only one of the many reasons I strongly reject Calvinism. I eventually became troubled when I realized that the more troubling teachings of Calvinism – what R.C. Sproul calls the ‘scary stuff’ – had been mostly concealed from me and those I love. Only ‘hyper-Calvinists’ openly acknowledge what their theology genuinely, historically and necessarily asserts.

    Hiding behind the mask of ‘compatibilism’, modern Calvinism generally attempts to have its cake and eat it too. Calvinist teachers claim strict adherence to the Westminster Confession, but refuse to honestly teach it. They assert that God ordains – not ‘permits’, but ’causes’ – ‘whatsoever comes to pass’, then denounce the evil he ‘brings to pass’ as the work of the persons he ordained to carry it out.

    Calvinist pasors announce their horror and regret for the mass shootings, terrorism and abortion that their unspoken theology asserts were eternally, irresistibly decreed by God. Honesty and logic do not permit such doubletalk – why would they reject or regret that which God brought to pass for his own glory?

    It is time modern Calvinists wake up and look at the system of theology they proclaim, mostly without genuine understanding. They have been taught Calvinistic ‘Sovereignty’, without grasping its ugly underbelly of countless men designed without hope of redemption, doomed to destruction.

    Despite the WC’s hopeful but groundless assertion, you cannot have a God who determinitively ordains and controls all things without making him the author of evil. Inserting clever appeals to ‘secondary’ causes does not shift the responsibility for ‘all things’ that God irresistibly ordains to those whom he irresistibly controls to carry out his plan.

    The problem of evil demands one of three things:
    1. There is no God.
    2. There is a God, but he is not wholly ‘good’, as he ordained evil.
    3. There is a God, who is wholly good, who created creatures with the ability to resist his will, who used this ability to choose evil. He has called these creatures to turn from their evil, offers them pardon and will eventually punish those who reject his offer and continue in their own, rebellious ways.

    Calvinism attempts, illegitimately, to assert that there is a God who is wholly good, yet who – against his own nature – ordained evil into his creation. Appealing to the always erroneous ‘the end justifies the means’, Calvinists assert that ‘evil’ is ‘good’ because God ordains it for his own glory. In reality, evil is evil. Good and evil can never co-exist in the same being, as scripture teaches. A tree is always known by its fruit, and this is as true of God as it is of men.

    The goodness of God is revealed in granting genuine freedom of action to men, and providing atonement and forgiveness when they abuse that freedom to their own and others’ harm. If the evil men pursue is actually God’s idea, predetermined in ‘eternity past’ – as Calvinism undeniably asserts -then God IS evil.’

    This is no small matter. As an ambassador for God, we declare to the world who he is and what he is like. Each mentally adept individual is responsible for what he believes and teaches. That means investigating and understanding fully any belief ‘system’ before taking it on, or questioning those inherited. I would assert that it is best to never adopt a belief ‘system’ but to remain open to the leading of the Holy Spirit as he leads into greater understanding each and every day. The moment you adopt a ‘system’ or ‘ideology’ is the moment you stop thinking.
    My desire for all who have been persuaded to buy into Calvinism (Reformed Theology) is that they at least be open to ‘taking another look’. The good news is that there is a marvelous, beautiful interpretation of the gospel that allows all men to have hope, and to assert that God is wholly loving and good even in a world filled with evil.

    This interpretation has been held by the majority of so-called Christians before and after the so-called Reformation, and is viable and well defended by countless godly men and women. I urge you to seek to truly understand non-Calvinist christianity (not official Arminianinism per se, which holds to many of the errors of Calvinism).

    It proclaims the absolute, unfailing goodness, love and true grace of God. The God who so truly loved all men that he sent his own Son to die that they might have a second chance. It is such a patently different perspective than the Calvinist God who chooses the winners and the losers, and only loves a select few and throws the rest away.

    I can freely say, with Paul, that I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to every one who has faith. Thankfully, I don’t have to tack on Calvinism’s unspoken parenthesis that no one can actually have that faith unless God gives it to them, so in reality, it is not the power of salvation to every one, but only the select few God has chosen and given the ability to believe. If that’s what Paul means, why doesn’t he come right out and say it, without all the hiding behind ‘all you have to do is believe’ – wink, wink, if God waves his magic wand and makes you able to!

    Why does Paul then bemoan at length the ungodliness and wickedness of men – if he believes it was ordained by God? If that’s what God wanted, and irresistibly brought to pass, why are we even having a discussion? We should rejoice in the wickedness of the ordained wicked!

    Why does Paul assert that ‘what can be known of God is plain to all men, because God has shown it to them’, if men are born ‘dead’ and unable to know or respond to God as Calvinism asserts? Why does he assert that all men are without excuse, that they knew God but did not honor him, give thanks to him and became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened? Why does he say they became fools and exchanged the truth about God for a lie? Why does he say ‘For this reason’ – not for his mere good pleasure! – God gave them up to sin, to a base mind and improper conduct, if that isn’t really the reason? What can that even mean, if you believe all men were born Totally Depraved?

    All any thinking person needs to discount Calvinism is Romans 1. Read nothing but that for a year, and you will wonder how Calvinism can assert what it asserts – if you truly know what that is. Then move on to chapters 2-16 and you will begin to understand the true gospel. But Calvinists prefer to pretend that Romans begins and ends with chapter 9, which they ruefully distort into meaning something Paul was not even addressing.

    One gospel you can shamelessly declare, and with it offer hope to all men. The other is one most would understandably keep the details of under wraps, preferring to focus on doctrinal minutiae that is less damning. Literally. The true gospel allows you to declare to every hurting, needy individual you ever meet that God loves them and offers the promise of a better future. The false gospel of Calvinism asserts that this ‘good news’, this hope, alas, may or may not be for them, as it is limited to a select few, and the rest would have been better off if they had never been born, which at least Sproul ruefully acknowledges.

    At the very least, individuals need to understand and honestly own what they claim to believe, and be willing to state it openly rather than hide behind the euphemisms and doubletalk that most Calvinist teachers prefer. If you think God doesn’t love all men, Jesus did not die to offer all men life, and countless millions were destined for destruction by God before they were ever born, say so. If you think it’s acceptable that your own grandmother, child or best friend might have been predetermined to hell simply by God’s whim, when he could have chosen to ‘elect’ them to salvation, say so.

    If all you are interested in is your own ‘eternal security’ choose Calvinism. If you care about the hopeless and the lost, you best look elsewhere.

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    1. ts00 writes, “If you think God doesn’t love all men, Jesus did not die to offer all men life, and countless millions were destined for destruction by God before they were ever born, say so. ”

      I say so. I don’t see the Scriptures supporting universalism. Can we conclude that you do?

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  5. Dr. Flowers writes, “I can and would clearly tell my congregation: “This event was an act of evil that God hated. He didn’t want this to happen and because He intimately knows those affected I believe His heart is more grieved than any one of us.”

    Still, you know that God is omnipotent and had the power to step in and prevent the shooting. Even you realize that there is a time to preach the “milk” of the word and a time to deal with the “meat” of the word.

    At least, you haven’t forgotten all that you learned in Calvinism when you said, “Good can only come from these types of atrocities because our God is good, gracious and works to redeem all things for a greater purpose…God hasn’t created a world of puppets who do everything He wants them to do. He has created real free moral beings who are able to do evil and bring destruction. This is why we must continue to seek Him, repent of our sin and beg Him to do His will here on earth as it is in heaven…” Only the Calvinist can pray and, “beg Him to do His will here on earth as it is in heaven…”

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  6. Joseph stay true to God’s Word, no matter how much it mitigates against your flesh. Don’t trade the truth in for a lie just to appease your sinful nature and other men. The Scriptures are only meant for God’s people to understand (Jn. 10:27; 1 Cor. 2:14). God sends a “strong delusion” that allows mankind to misinterpret and misunderstand the truths of Scripture (2 Thes 2:11).

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    1. Troy writes:

      Joseph stay true to God’s Word, no matter how much it mitigates against your flesh. Don’t trade the truth in for a lie just to appease your sinful nature and other men. The Scriptures are only meant for God’s people to understand (Jn. 10:27; 1 Cor. 2:14). God sends a “strong delusion” that allows mankind to misinterpret and misunderstand the truths of Scripture (2 Thes 2:11).

      Let the SOT101 reader discern the “cloaked” language in this post. 🙂

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    1. There is no “good purpose” in the rape of a 3-year-old girl as James White says there is.

      He plays the moral high ground card saying something like “if we did not know it was God doing this for a purpose we would really be in a bad way.” How can that help?

      There is no comfort in saying “God ordained that those 15 girls be kidnapped and sold into sex slavery (only to die at 25 of some disease or abuse).”

      There is no Scriptural basis for saying such a thing. Yes, a few man-made creeds say it, and Calvin was definitely clear about saying it (did that not give him license to torture and kill as he did?).

      Scripture tells us that God hates this and we are to be grieved at it also. If we took the God-ordains-all-things approach like White an the He ordains sex slavery for His glory White-approach, we would / could/ should actually say “Praise God” when such atrocities happen. After all, they are ordained, planned, willed, predetermined, and carried out by Him for His glory. So why are these men shy about being delighted in these things?

      My wife and I stand weekly in front of an abortion clinic to offer physical/financial and emotional help to women going in. Because God does NOT want them to abort.

      Were I of my former Calvinist tradition, I would have to say to the ones coming out…. Praise God, you have just committed this heinous act by His ordained will and for His glory.

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      1. FOH writes, “There is no “good purpose” in the rape of a 3-year-old girl as James White says there is.”

        Fine. How about explaining why an omnipotent God does not prevent the rape of a 3-year-old girl when it serves no purpose and there is no basis for God not to prevent it.

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      2. FOH writes, “There is no “good purpose” in the rape of a 3-year-old girl as James White says there is.”

        rhutchin responds
        Fine. How about explaining why an omnipotent God does not prevent the rape of a 3-year-old girl when it serves no purpose and there is no basis for God not to prevent it.

        Irrelevant red herring
        What the Calvinist god knows, can/cannot doe is designed to evade the issue of evil.
        The issue is the Calvin’s omnipotent god who first-conceives/decrees and renders-certain a man violently rape a 3-year-old girl, as well as first-conceives/decrees and renders-certain the 3-year-old girl be violently raped.

        This is a great example of a Calvinists double-talk evasion.
        Thanks for the good example. 😀

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      3. FOH writes, “Were I of my former Calvinist tradition, I would have to say to the ones coming out…. Praise God, you have just committed this heinous act by His ordained will and for His glory.”

        You should say, “God has granted you freedom to commit this heinous act because so it was your desire, and now you must soon stand before God and give account of your action.”

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    2. Yes I think that’s true Tom
      But I think there is another aspect of Calvnism associated with this topic.

      Calvinism is actually a form of “Moral Relativism”
      Jesus criticizes the scribes and pharisees saying: “do what they say but not what they do – because they are do not do what they say”

      But that characteristic is exactly the character portrayed in the deity we find in Calvinism.

      Consider a human father who commands his son to obey and threatens to throw him into a fire if he disobeys.
      But secretly the father WILLS the son not obey.
      And secretly the father engineers circumstances to guarantee the son cannot obey.

      The average person would call this father a sadist.
      But when its Calvin’s god – the answer is that Calvin’s god does not conform to biblical standards of morality.
      In other words – he doesn’t do what he says.
      Thus the character of Calvin’s deity is the very character Jesus criticizes.

      John Piper is fond of saying “you can trust that Calvin’s god will always DO RIGHT”
      But notice that DO RIGHT is meaningless because it doesn’t conform to any biblical standard.
      DO RIGHT could be good and DO RIGHT could be evil.
      For Piper, Calvin’s god throwing the son (in the story above) into the fire for disobeying – would be classified as DO RIGHT.
      Thus Calvin’s god’s morality is relative, un-achored to anything and therefore untrustworthy.

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      1. But wait….there’s more!

        In addition to all the sadistic things you mentioned, Calvin’s God also says to His chosen people…. “Go and do NOT like me” “Love all (I dont).” “Love your enemies (I dont).”

        “Return good for evil” “Forgive seventy times seven”

        All the while —-for His glory—- God is punishing people He has created “too dead” to respond. Never having loved them in any tangible way.

        One of the things that moved me out of Calvinism is the fact that we are commanded to love all, but Calvinism makes it clear (very clear, read the Calvin quotes) that God does not.

        When you are out witnessing with Calvinist friends and they reprimand you for saying “God loves you!” to people (saying “Dont say that. We cant say that since we dont know if He does.”) ….you gotta wonder!

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      2. FOH writes, “One of the things that moved me out of Calvinism is the fact that we are commanded to love all, but Calvinism makes it clear (very clear, read the Calvin quotes) that God does not.”

        Translation: God does not save everyone.

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      3. FOH writes, “One of the things that moved me out of Calvinism is the fact that we are commanded to love all, but Calvinism makes it clear (very clear, read the Calvin quotes) that God does not.”

        rhutchin responds: Translation: God does not save everyone.

        Analysis:
        Excellent example of Calvinist word gaming!!
        The confirms the posts earlier concerning Calvinist language tricks – a good percentage of it involves “distancing” language.

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      4. br.d writes, “Analysis:: Excellent example of Calvinist word gaming!!”

        If it were “word gaming,” you could explain how that is so. You cannot. FOH appeals to an Universalist argument that a loving God would save all people. The Universalist (and consistent Calvinist) concludes that God cannot love all people equally is He saves some and not all. Non-Calvinists, like br.d, have nothing to add and without thinking, resort to nonsensical statements like the above.

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      5. like br.d, have nothing to add and without thinking, resort to nonsensical statements like the above.

        Thanks for making my point! 😀

        Like

    3. Tom writes, “This is what James White believes as well, otherwise it would have no purpose. How sad!”

      Everything has a purpose because God works all things after the counsel of His will. If something has no purpose, God would not be sovereign and who wants a world where God is not sovereign? That would be sad!!

      Like

  7. THE CALVINIST ROCKING HORSE:

    Explained by ex-Calvinist Daniel Gracely in his book: CALVINISM: A CLOSER LOOK

    This is what I used to do as a Calvinist. I liken these non-sense statements, or propositions, to the RIDING OF A ROCKING HORSE.

    As a Calvinist rider, I would throw my weight forward toward my belief in the absolute sovereignty of God until I could go no further, whereupon I would recoil backwards toward my belief in human freedom.

    Thus I would go back and forth in seesaw motion, lest on the one hand I find myself accusing God of insufficient sovereignty, or on the other hand find myself accusing God of authoring sin.

    All the while, there remained an ILLUSION of movement towards truth, when in fact there was no real movement at all.

    At length I would allow the springs of dialectical tension to rest the rocking horse in the center, and then I would declare as harmonious propositions which, in fact, were totally contradictory to each other.

    Calvinist riders still ride out this scenario.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. br.d quoting Gracely, “As a Calvinist rider, I would throw my weight forward toward my belief in the absolute sovereignty of God until I could go no further, whereupon I would recoil backwards toward my belief in human freedom. ”

      This is not a Calvinist rider – to the Calvinist, human freedom is subordinate to God’s sovereign will. This is a person dealing with the the truth of God’s sovereignty and the conflict it creates with his desire for free will.

      Like

      1. br.d quoting Gracely, “As a Calvinist rider, I would throw my weight forward toward my belief in the absolute sovereignty of God until I could go no further, whereupon I would recoil backwards toward my belief in human freedom. ”

        rhutchin responds
        This is not a Calvinist rider – to the Calvinist, human freedom is subordinate to God’s sovereign will. This is a person dealing with the the truth of God’s sovereignty and the conflict it creates with his desire for free will.

        That’s your story and your sticken to it!!! 😀

        Like

      2. br.d writes, “That’s your story and your sticken to it!!!”

        That’s the way Gracely describes it. Let’s go with Gracely and just straighten out his thinking to reflect accurately the conflict in his mind.

        Like

  8. rhutchin responds
    This is not a Calvinist rider – to the Calvinist, human freedom is subordinate to God’s sovereign will. This is a person dealing with the the truth of God’s sovereignty and the conflict it creates with his desire for free will.

    Actually I was taken by this statement – it looks very much like a reflection of personal experience.

    It reminds me of a robot whose every neurological impulse is predestined – but who has the illusion they are not.

    DUH!!!! I forgot – that’s Calvinism!! 😀

    Like

  9. CALVINISM’S DOUBLE-TALK

    Excerpts from ex-Calvinist Ronnie W. Rogers
    From his book “Reflections of a Disenchanted Calvinist: The Disquieting Realities of Calvinism”

    Calvinism’s Double-talk:
    As mentioned on several occasions…within Calvinism there is a problem of what I call double-talk.

    By double-talk, I am referring to the inconsistencies between the irreducible tenets and the underlying logic of Calvinism, within the speech and writings,….of….some Calvinists.

    This double-talk is designed to obscure the harsh realities of Calvinism and the inconsistencies between Scripture and Calvinism – what I have now come to describe as disquieting realities of Calvinism.

    The double-talk is either an unconscious effort to personally avoid the harsh realities of Calvinism or an unwillingness to unguardedly express the true irreducible tenets, logic, corollaries, and austere truths of Calvinism…they will continue to give the same hollow responses to the dilemmas created by Calvinism.

    There are some Calvinists who seek to unabashedly celebrate these harsh realities of Calvinism, and I applaud them for their forthrightness if not for their correctness.

    For many years I viewed Calvinists’ and my own, simple handling of passages—without invoking the harsh realities of Calvinism-proclamations…absent of Calvinism’s logical corollaries…as a kinder, gentler Calvinism.

    But as now I clearly see those expressions as logically inconsistent with the underlying tenets of Calvinism and see it as simply double-talk. I no longer admire such sentiments, but desire the exposure of such incongruities as what they are – double-talk.

    My prayer is that some will see the be-clouding double-talk as well and fall in love with the simple, straightforward message of Scripture and thereby become disenchanted Calvinists.

    Like

    1. br.d writes, “CALVINISM’S DOUBLE-TALK
      Excerpts from ex-Calvinist Ronnie W. Rogers
      From his book “Reflections of a Disenchanted Calvinist: The Disquieting Realities of Calvinism”

      How about providing examples that Ronnie Rogers cites as double-talk?

      Like

      1. rhutchin writes:
        How about providing examples that Ronnie Rogers cites as double-talk?

        No need for anyone to provide examples – when you consistently provide some real doozys! 🙂
        I’m happy – you keep providing great examples – I provide the analysis.
        Its a win-win situation for everyone.

        Like

      2. br.d writes, “No need for anyone to provide examples – when you consistently provide some real doozys!”

        Translation: Ronnie Rogers doesn’t provide examples of Calvinist double-talk, so I have nothing to give you.

        Like

      3. I’m not sure if its better to think Rhutchin is a deliberate deceiver or just too dense to see the contradictions in nearly everything he says.

        As I’m sure he has had it explained to him countless times, if God ‘preordains’ whatsoever comes to pass down to the tiniest detail, then it doesn’t matter that he allegedly curses man with a depraved nature which then ‘inspires’ him to do that evil which God ordained and will ensure, one way or another, that he does. God irresistibly ordained whatsoever comes to pass, and it is going to happen NO MATTER WHAT.

        Just to make sure, he removes man’s desire and ability to do what is right, then – bam! – he intends to ‘punish’ these men he cursed with Total Inability to do anything but sin for sinning! I honestly don’t know how Calvinists can even think of standing before God after making such accusations. (They really must believe in that magic robe of righteousness that protects them from all of God’s just anger. Sure is going to be a shock when he sees right through that disguise!)

        It doesn’t matter if God sends pink elephants in polka dot bikinis to implore men to do Evil, or puts a gun to their heads – under Calvinism, he has predetermined every single thought, word, deed and movement of every molecule, and, by golly, they are going to do what he ordains them to do.

        Calvinists can pretend that these men are ‘guilty’ for doing the only thing they can possibly do thanks to God’s curse and meticulous control of their every thought, word, deed and molecule. They can trot out absurd claims until the cows – or elephants – come home, but they will never be believable or true. All who have any intelligence, logic and/or knowledge of God know that this heinous, ugly, unjust assertion cannot possibly be true of the perfectly Good, loving, holy and just God.

        By the way, that’s what ‘genuine’ faith is – “By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death; and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was attested as having pleased God. And 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.”

        Calvinism can – and does – try to make these verses, like so many others, absolutely meaningless by asserting that only those God magically regenerates can desire to seek him, but note that is not even close to what it says.

        It does not say that those who are given faith – ‘Thanks for he faith, God, now I believe in you!’ – will now want to seek God. Which doesn’t make sense anyway, because if you already have faith, you don’t need to seek God! Rather, it says that those who have faith please God!

        Having faith is not receiving an unsought gift, it is believing not only that God exists, but that he is good and just, a ‘rewarder’ of those who penitently seek him. It is not believing that he is a maniacal tyrant who cruelly curses men with an inability to seek him, then punishes most for this inability while letting a special chosen few off, scott free.

        Calvinists can never please God, according to Hebrews, because they CANNOT believe he is a rewarder of those who seek him. Their theology adamantly demands that God never rewards man for anything. That would suggest man can, by volitional, actually do something that pleases God – just like Paul says scripture attests of Enoch – for which they will receive a reward. I can’t wait for Rhutchin to call Paul – or God – a Pelagian!

        Due to their faulty theology, Calvinists can never believe that God is a rewarder! They believe he is the controller of those who seek him and the controller of those who do not seek him, thus speaking of rewards is absurd, illogical and forbidden. No man can do anything that pleases God. Except that the whole eleventh chapter of Hebrews details all of the things men who had faith in God did, because they believed they would be eventually rewarded for that faith, even if they suffered in the here and now.

        And NOWHERE does it, nor is it logically possible to, suggest that God first gave them faith, and then was ‘pleased’ that they ‘had’ it. ‘Wow, look at that faith of Abraham that I just gave to him!’ That would be stupid and absurd, and God is not stupid or absurd. Calvinists . . .

        Ah, all this Calvinists must desperately try to hide. After all, we wouldn’t want to suggest any man ever did anything to ‘earn’ or ‘merit’ his salvation, right? Except, as Dr. Flowers explains so well, pleasing God does not ‘merit’ salvation. Nothing ‘merits’ salvation – it is an undeserved gift, all of God.

        Demonstrating faith in God, in spite of a seemingly hopeless and evil world, pleases God, and he, of his own determiniation and power, through Jesus Christ, provided unmerited salvation for all those that please him. I honestly don’t think Paul would care if Augustine, Calvin or anyone else called him a Pelagian, and neither do I. Paul knows his gospel and he’s sticking to it.

        ​Sadly, Calvinists can never please God. They cannot believe that he is a rewarder of those who seek him, because their theology absolutely denies that he can possibly BE a rewarder. That, so they insist, would grant man some ‘part’ in his salvation.​

        ​No, God, must never ‘reward’ anyone. That would detract from his ‘sovereignty’. That would mean man can, and must, ‘do’ something for which God can give him a reward. ​Like ‘believe’, as scripture calls all men to do, and promises them the ‘reward’ of the most priceless gift of all time – unmerited pardon and eternal life!

        On Sat, Oct 7, 2017 at 3:22 PM, SOTERIOLOGY 101 wrote:

        > rhutchin commented: “br.d writes, “No need for anyone to provide examples > – when you consistently provide some real doozys!” Translation: Ronnie > Rogers doesn’t provide examples of Calvinist double-talk, so I have nothing > to give you.” >

        Like

      4. Yes, in rhutchins double-think world – Calvin’s god gives man the illusion of being responsible for sinful evil things Calvin’s god, solely within himself predestines before man was born.

        Calvin’s god god does this in order to have the some contrived excuse for picking man up and throwing man into the fire – for his good pleasure – which is what he wanted to do all along.

        He could have saved himself the charade – simply picked up the child and thrown him into the fire – without all of the double-think and the labyrinth of dishonesty.

        Lovely belief system!!

        Like

      5. br.d writes, “Calvin’s god gives man the illusion of being responsible for sinful evil things Calvin’s god, solely within himself predestines before man was born.”

        No. Not illusion – reality. The reality is that people are responsible for their actions. This is true regardless that God predestined those actions.

        Like

      6. br.d writes, “Calvin’s god gives man the illusion of being responsible for sinful evil things Calvin’s god, solely within himself predestines before man was born.”

        rhutchin writes;
        No. Not illusion – reality. The reality is that people are responsible for their actions. This is true regardless that God predestined those actions.

        This is merely a claim without any logical evidence.
        Why don’t you try to build a syllogism to see if you can make this claim true.

        So far, all you’ve done is redefined the word “reality” giving it the meaning “illusion”

        Like

      7. br.d writes, “Calvin’s god gives man the illusion of being responsible for sinful evil things Calvin’s god, solely within himself predestines before man was born.”

        rhutchin responds:
        No. Not illusion – reality. The reality is that people are responsible for their actions. This is true regardless that God predestined those actions.

        br.
        This is merely a claim without any logical evidence.
        Why don’t you try to build a syllogism to see if you can make this claim true.

        So far, all you’ve done is redefined the word “reality” giving it the meaning “illusion”

        rhutchin:
        Isaiah 10

        br.d
        That’s your syllogism? —- another doozy!!!! 🙂
        All you’ve done so far is show that you’ve been taught to embrace illusions as real.

        Like

      8. br.d writes, “That’s your syllogism? —- another doozy!!!!”

        rhutchin writes:
        br.d again demonstrates his fear of Isaiah 10.

        It ain’t what the Calvinist knows that gets em into trouble.
        Its what he knows for sure that just ain’t so! 😀

        Like

      9. Rhutchin: “The reality is that people are responsible for their actions. This is true regardless that God predestined those actions.”

        There is no use talking to someone who can embrace this sort of inanity. It demonstrates their thorough brainwashing and deliberately blind loyalty to a system, that will allow no logic, contradiction or absurdity to challenge their beliefs. An honest person admits when inconsistencies and anomalies challenge their viewpoint, and examine the issues to see where lies the problem. Ideologues cannot do this. The system and the group are too important to even consider the possibility that they might be in error. They will repeatedly dismiss even the most obvious inconsistency as nonexistent; A and not-A are both true, and that’s that. God predetermines all actions, yet men are responsible for what God determines, controls and brings to pass, that which they have been secretly and irresistibly induced/compelled to do. There is no hope for such persons, unless and until something in their lives leads them to be honest with truth.

        Like

      10. TS00,
        I was trying to tell you and WW that a while ago. No use ((But just remember October 05 you spelled it all out))

        While I first started to make comments on this site, I address these illogical ones by name in my response. I no longer do that. Besides, it only led to them calling me heretic, blasphemer, and other terms of derision.

        Agreed. There is no way to discuss the hundreds (thousands?) of verses that state outright that God does not like, agree with, originate, condone, will, decree man’s sinful actions (“nor did it even enter my mind” said the Lord), when the other person insists that God willed/ ordained/ decreed these actions in the first place.

        Like

      11. FOH writes, “I was trying to tell you and WW that a while ago.”

        As a former Calvinist, I suspect you are intimately familiar with Isaiah 10. br.d and ts00 could really use your help to defuse the Calvinist claims drawn from Isaiah 10 – claims that are giving them much heartburn – and you are the one to help them do it. Three heads are better than one.

        Like

      12. Poor Rhutchin, nobody’s taking your bait. Maybe, like me, people do not care to waste their time. When I do respond to something you say, it is as a springboard to encourage others’ thinking. Paul warns against people who seek to draw people into endless, repeated debate. I prefer to save my ‘pearls’ for those who are genuinely seeking and trying to understand Calvinism vs. its alternatives, not diehard Calvinist loyalists.

        Like

      13. A man after my own heart!

        Jesus teaches us not to throw Perls at someone whose only intention is to trample them in the mud.
        Well said!!

        Like

      14. br.d writes, “Jesus teaches us not to throw Perls at someone whose only intention is to trample them in the mud.”

        Of course, one must have pearls to throw. Pearls are the Scriptures. So, far ts00 is refusing to deal with the Scriptures – he has no pearls to throw.

        Like

      15. ts00 writes, “Poor Rhutchin, nobody’s taking your bait.”

        A reluctance to delve into the Scriptures?? That means you have read the Scriptures in question and cannot deal with them.

        Like

      16. br.d writes, “Here is an online article on “Kid Arrogance” that might help.”

        I liked this statement, “It’s about his preoccupation with being center stage, making sure everyone knows just how great he is.”

        How about if we all agree to give the Scriptures center stage and treat the Scriptures as great and superior to anything else – so superior that we will seek to determine what the Scriptures are telling us and stop arguing our perosnal opinions in place of the Scriptures.

        Like

      17. br.d writes, “Here is an online article on “Kid Arrogance” that might help.”

        I liked this statement, “It’s about his preoccupation with being center stage, making sure everyone knows just how great he is.”

        How about if we all agree to give the Scriptures center stage and treat the Scriptures as great and superior to anything else – so superior that we will seek to determine what the Scriptures are telling us and stop arguing our personal opinions in place of the Scriptures.

        Like

      18. ts00 writes, “Paul warns against people who seek to draw people into endless, repeated debate.”

        I’m pretty sure you made this up. Paul commended the Bereans because they investigated the Scriptures to see if they agreed with the things Paul was telling them. You are looking for a way out of dealing with the Scriptures and are having to resort to your imagination. The problem is that you are just not imaginative enough not to get caught.

        Like

      19. Paul warns about endless genealogies

        Paul also says:
        Charge them before God not to QUARREL ABOUT WORDS, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers.

        Both instructions from Paul are reflections of fatherly principles related to a son.

        Don’t get ensnared by someone who simply wants to lure you into endless circles
        For the sake of ingratiating his personal sense of efficacy.

        truthseeker00 is mature enough to understand the general principles behind Paul’s fatherly instructions.

        Like

      20. br.d writes, “truthseeker00 is mature enough to understand the general principles behind Paul’s fatherly instructions.”

        I agree. So, let’s follow Paul’s advice as he then says, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth. But avoid worldly and empty chatter…” Let’s give superiority to the Scriptures and seek to handle them accurately and leave out personal opinions.

        Like

      21. ts00 writes, “An honest person admits when inconsistencies and anomalies challenge their viewpoint, and examine the issues to see where lies the problem.”

        The problem here is that you don’t raise legitimate inconsistencies and anomalies – all you do is put forth some opinions. All you have to do is substantiate that the Scriptures agree with the positions you take. Since Isaiah 10 is a key passage, why not explain how it supports your scheme and not the Calvinist view.

        Like

      22. TS00:

        Let’s take Isaiah 10 for example against determinism.

        “10:1 Woe to those who make unjust laws, [because that wasn’t Me!]
        to those who issue oppressive decrees, [I would never decree anything oppressive—wasn’t Me!]
        2 to deprive the poor of their rights [not Me!]
        and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people,
        making widows their prey
        and robbing the fatherless.” [ditto, ditto, ditto….not Me!]

        Notice also in these kinds of passages that it is always judgement. Anyone proposing that God using nations to judge other nations means He is the author of all evil has no ground to stand on.

        We do not accuse the hangman of murder.

        The government executes as a judgement, not as murder.

        This is equivalent to saying “Because the state of Texas executed (killed) Mr X last month, all other killings/ murders done in that state are condoned by the government.”

        Like

      23. truthseeker00
        Yes I totally agree – I know that rhutchin is not here as an open minded participant but to give the APPEARANCE of refuting critiques against Calvinism.
        But I thoroughly agree – the entrenchment is obvious.

        However, from my perspective – he does provide SOT 101 readers with excellent examples of Calvinism’s beguiling double-speak and game playing. So god is able to use it for the good.

        Blessings and your contribution is appreciated!! :-]

        Like

      24. ts00 writes, “…if God ‘preordains’ whatsoever comes to pass down to the tiniest detail, then it doesn’t matter that he allegedly curses man with a depraved nature…”

        It certainly matters to the person who has the depraved nature. Even you should understand that.

        Then, “…which then ‘inspires’ him to do that evil which God ordained and will ensure, one way or another, that he does. God irresistibly ordained whatsoever comes to pass, and it is going to happen NO MATTER WHAT.”

        That is the conclusion the Calvinists arrived at. So, what is your point?

        Then, “Just to make sure, he removes man’s desire and ability to do what is right, then – bam! – he intends to ‘punish’ these men he cursed with Total Inability to do anything but sin for sinning!”

        The distinction here is between the Calvinist who says that Adam’s sin resulted in spiritual death and the Pelagian who says it did not. Do you mean to take the Pelagian position on this?

        Then, “(They really must believe in that magic robe of righteousness that protects them from all of God’s just anger….”

        Even the Pelagains believe that. Are not the Scriptures clear that the sins of God’s elect were imputed to Christ and Christ’s righteousness was imputed to God’s elect. If God’s elect are not covered by Christ’s righteousness, what will protect them from God’s judgment? What do you believe about this??

        Then, “[God] has predetermined every single thought, word, deed and movement of every molecule, and, by golly, they are going to do what he ordains them to do.”

        OK. What is the problem with that??

        Then, “All who have any intelligence, logic and/or knowledge of God know that this heinous, ugly, unjust assertion cannot possibly be true of the perfectly Good, loving, holy and just God.”

        OK. Now give us your take on Isaiah 10 regarding the Assyrians.

        Then, “that’s what ‘genuine’ faith is…he was attested as having pleased God.”

        Are you saying that genuine faith is that which pleases God. If so, you agree with the Calvinists.

        Then, “…by asserting that only those God magically regenerates can desire to seek him,…”

        Jesus says – very directly – “No one can come to me…” (John 6) Because of this, God must take action to draw a person to Christ or no would have any desire for Christ. If not, how do you understand John 6:44?

        Then, “It does not say that those who are given faith…”

        Doesn’t Ephesians 2 tell us that faith is a gift from God?? Do you think God changed His mind between Ephesians and Hebrews?

        Then, “Having faith is not receiving an unsought gift,…”

        Faith is an unsought gift isn’t it??

        Then, “Calvinists can never please God, according to Hebrews, because they CANNOT believe he is a rewarder of those who seek him.”

        Of course, they can. God gives a person faith. By this faith, a person seeks God. God rewards them by opening their hearts to the gospel. Paul makes these points. It is the Pelagian who disagrees with Paul. So, who do you side with?

        You express many opinions. You should support your opinions through the Scriptures to see if they hold up under the Scriptures.

        Like

      25. I’m not sure if its better to think Rhutchin is a deliberate deceiver or just too dense to see the contradictions in nearly everything he says.

        As I’m sure he has had it explained to him countless times, if God ‘preordains’ whatsoever comes to pass down to the tiniest detail, then it doesn’t matter that he allegedly curses man with a depraved nature which then ‘inspires’ him to do that evil which God ordained and will ensure, one way or another, that he does. God irresistibly ordained whatsoever comes to pass, and it is going to happen NO MATTER WHAT.

        Just to make sure, he removes man’s desire and ability to do what is right, then – bam! – he intends to ‘punish’ these men he cursed with Total Inability to do anything but sin for sinning! I honestly don’t know how Calvinists can even think of standing before God after making such accusations. (They really must believe in that magic robe of righteousness that protects them from all of God’s just anger. Sure is going to be a shock when he sees right through that disguise!)

        It doesn’t matter if God sends pink elephants in polka dot bikinis to implore men to do Evil, or puts a gun to their heads – under Calvinism, he has predetermined every single thought, word, deed and movement of every molecule, and, by golly, they are going to do what he ordains them to do.

        Calvinists can pretend that these men are ‘guilty’ for doing the only thing they can possibly do thanks to God’s curse and meticulous control of their every thought, word, deed and molecule. They can trot out absurd claims until the cows – or elephants – come home, but they will never be believable or true. All who have any intelligence, logic and/or knowledge of God know that this heinous, ugly, unjust assertion cannot possibly be true of the perfectly Good, loving, holy and just God.

        By the way, that’s what ‘genuine’ faith is – “By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death; and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was attested as having pleased God. And 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.”

        Calvinism can – and does – try to make these verses, like so many others, absolutely meaningless by asserting that only those God magically regenerates can desire to seek him, but note that is not even close to what it says.

        It does not say that those who are given faith – ‘Thanks for he faith, God, now I believe in you!’ – will now want to seek God. Which doesn’t make sense anyway, because if you already have faith, you don’t need to seek God! Rather, it says that those who have faith please God!

        Having faith is not receiving an unsought gift, it is believing not only that God exists, but that he is good and just, a ‘rewarder’ of those who penitently seek him. It is not believing that he is a maniacal tyrant who cruelly curses men with an inability to seek him, then punishes most for this inability while letting a special chosen few off, scott free.

        Calvinists can never please God, according to Hebrews, because they CANNOT believe he is a rewarder of those who seek him. Their theology adamantly demands that God never rewards man for anything. That would suggest man can, by volitional, actually do something that pleases God – just like Paul says scripture attests of Enoch – for which they will receive a reward. I can’t wait for Rhutchin to call Paul – or God – a Pelagian!

        Due to their faulty theology, Calvinists can never believe that God is a rewarder! They believe he is the controller of those who seek him and the controller of those who do not seek him, thus speaking of rewards is absurd, illogical and forbidden. No man can do anything that pleases God. Except that the whole eleventh chapter of Hebrews details all of the things men who had faith in God did, because they believed they would be eventually rewarded for that faith, even if they suffered in the here and now.

        And NOWHERE does it, nor is it logically possible to, suggest that God first gave them faith, and then was ‘pleased’ that they ‘had’ it. ‘Wow, look at that faith of Abraham that I just gave to him!’ That would be stupid and absurd, and God is not stupid or absurd. Calvinists . . .

        Ah, all this Calvinists must desperately try to hide. After all, we wouldn’t want to suggest any man ever did anything to ‘earn’ or ‘merit’ his salvation, right? Except, as Dr. Flowers explains so well, pleasing God does not ‘merit’ salvation. Nothing ‘merits’ salvation – it is an undeserved gift, all of God.

        Demonstrating faith in God, in spite of a seemingly hopeless and evil world, pleases God, and he, of his own determiniation and power, through Jesus Christ, provided unmerited salvation for all those that please him. I honestly don’t think Paul would care if Augustine, Calvin or anyone else called him a Pelagian, and neither do I. Paul knows his gospel and he’s sticking to it.

        ​Sadly, Calvinists can never please God. They cannot believe that he is a rewarder of those who seek him, because their theology absolutely denies that he can possibly BE a rewarder. That, so they insist, would grant man some ‘part’ in his salvation.​
        ​No, God, must never ‘reward’ anyone. That would detract from his ‘sovereignty’. That would mean man can, and must, ‘do’ something for which God can give him a reward. ​Like ‘believe’, as scripture calls all men to do, and promises them the ‘reward’ of the most priceless gift of all time – unmerited pardon and eternal life!

        Like

      26. Translation: Ronnie Rogers doesn’t provide examples of Calvinist double-talk, so I have nothing to give you.

        A totally expected translation! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      27. br.d writes, “Translation: Ronnie Rogers doesn’t provide examples of Calvinist double-talk, so I have nothing to give you.
        A totally expected translation! ”

        And accurate. If Rogers had provided examples of Calvinist double-talk, you could easily have cited at least one. You could not, so, he did not.

        Like

      28. Its not what the Calvinist knows that gets him into trouble.
        Its what he knows for sure that just ain’t so!! 😛

        Like

  10. CALVINISM’S DOUBLE-THINK VERSION OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD

    There once was a good shepherd who had 100 totally depraved sheep.

    For one of the totally depraved sheep, the good shepherd dedicated a room in his house, ensuring it all the lush comforts his good house could provide.

    The other 99 totally depraved sheep, he sent to a torture chamber to be viciously tortured to death.

    Once the shepherd’s good pleasure was accomplished, he turned to the one totally depraved sheep he had saved and said:

    “I have saved the one totally depraved sheep and passed over the 99, because the 99 were totally depraved.”

    Like

  11. CALVINISM’S VERSION OF GOD’S DIVINE “TO-DO” LIST

    1) Predestine the creation of the universe, earth and animals
    2) Predestine the creation of man
    3) Predestine man to sin – then command man to not sin
    4) Predestine Cain to murder his brother – repeat of (3)
    5) Predestine “few” children saved
    6) Predestine “many” children damned
    7) Throw “many” children into fire of Moloch
    8) Go tell John Calvin to stop making this stuff up!!

    Like

  12. CALVINISM: GOD KILLS A BABY WITH A BOULDER VS. GOD KILLS A BABY WITH A MAN

    Let us say that god arranges for a boulder to kill a baby. At the time god is holding the boulder, in Calvinist semantics: god is “preventing”, “withholding”. “restraining” the boulder from killing the baby. But god wants the baby to be killed by the boulder. So god releases the boulder. The boulder performs the action god determines. The boulder kills the baby.

    According to Calvinist appeal to secondary-causes, the boulder is responsible for killing the baby and not god because god did not directly kill the baby. He merely used the boulder as an instrument (appeal to secondary means) to kill the baby.

    FREE – NOT FREE – AND PAP:
    The boulder, once released by god, is FREE to kill the baby. But the boulder is NOT FREE to not kill the baby. In other words, the boulder is powerless to make it the case that any PAP (Alternative-Possibility) can occur.

    Now let us say that God arranges for a man to kill the baby. Again, while holding the man back, in Calvinist semantics: god “prevents”, “withholds”, “restrains” the man from killing the baby. But god wants the baby to be killed by the man. So god releases the man – the man performs the action God determines – the man kills the baby.

    Where the man analogy is logically identical to the boulder analogy:
    Just as the boulder does not have PAP – neither does the man. Just as the boulder is powerless to make it the case that any PAP (Alternative-possibility) can occur – in Calvinism the man is just as powerless to make it the case that any PAP (Alternative-Possibility) can occur.

    In Calvinism the man does not have PAP any more than the boulder does because PAP is logically eradicated.

    Since determinism/predestination eradicates PAP – the boulder and the man have identical functionality for god. They serve as instruments (appeal to secondary means) to carry out what god predestines/determines.

    The fact that a man is a biological entity having thoughts, choices and actions is CAUSALLY irrelevant in these events – because the boulder and the man are both powerless “do otherwise”. Since PAP is eradicated they are powerless to not function as god’s instrument.

    However, man does have something the boulder does not have – namely perception.
    And with perception comes illusion – namely the illusion that PAP exists as real – when in fact, in Calvinism, it does not.

    Since in in Calvinism PAP exists only as a human illusion, it follows that human culpability for sins and evils is also an illusion. In this scheme god uses boulders and men as secondary means to bring about what he wills to happen and boulders and men are powerless to do otherwise.

    It follows then, in Calvinism human culpability for sins and evil are the Calvinist’s illusion,

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    1. br.d writes, “It follows then, in Calvinism human culpability for sins and evil are the Calvinist’s illusion,”

      Isaiah 10
      5 “Destruction is certain for Assyria, the whip of my anger. Its military power is a club in my hand.
      6 Assyria will enslave my people, who are a godless nation. It will plunder them, trampling them like dirt beneath its feet.
      7 But the king of Assyria will not know that it is I who sent him. He will merely think he is attacking my people as part of his plan to conquer the world.
      8 He will say, ‘Each of my princes will soon be a king, ruling a conquered land.
      9 We will destroy Calno just as we did Carchemish. Hamath will fall before us as Arpad did. And we will destroy Samaria just as we did Damascus.
      10 Yes, we have finished off many a kingdom whose gods were far greater than those in Jerusalem and Samaria.
      11 So when we have defeated Samaria and her gods, we will destroy Jerusalem with hers.’”
      12 After the Lord has used the king of Assyria to accomplish his purposes in Jerusalem, he will turn against the king of Assyria and punish him–for he is proud and arrogant.

      Following br.d’s logic, in the Scriptures human culpability for sins and evil are God’s illusion.

      Like

      1. rhutchin writes:
        Following br.d’s logic, in the Scriptures human culpability for sins and evil are God’s illusion.

        Question Begging Fallacy:
        The fallacy of begging the question occurs when an argument’s premises assume the truth of the conclusion, instead of supporting it. Begging the question is also called arguing in a circle.

        Rhutchins statement asserts
        1) The verses listed are proof of Theological Determinism
        2) Thus Theological Determinism is affirmed by scripture
        Conclusion – br.d. logic denies scripture

        Premise 1) is simply rhutchin question begging – thus fallacious.

        Like

      2. br.d writes, “Rhutchins statement asserts
        1) The verses listed are proof of Theological Determinism
        2) Thus Theological Determinism is affirmed by scripture
        Conclusion – br.d. logic denies scripture

        Premise 1) is simply rhutchin question begging – thus fallacious.”

        Follow the discussion. You made an argument about PAP.
        Premise 1: Isaiah 10 addresses the issues br.d raised concerning PAP.
        Premise 2: br.d is afraid to address Isaiah 10’s relevance to the issues he raised
        Conclusion. br.d is making stuff up demonstrating that he has an active imagination.

        Side ? – Why do you call Alternative-Possibility PAP and not AP?

        Like

      3. Follow the discussion. You made an argument about PAP.
        Premise 1: Isaiah 10 addresses the issues br.d raised concerning PAP.
        Premise 2: br.d is afraid to address Isaiah 10’s relevance to the issues he raised
        Conclusion. br.d is making stuff up demonstrating that he has an active imagination.

        Side ? – Why do you call Alternative-Possibility PAP and not AP?

        Firstly, my analysis was correct – your assertion is that the verse proves Theological Determinism.
        Which is nothing more than question begging.

        Additionally there is nothing in those verses that assert god does or does not give people alternative possibilities. Your burden is to prove both. You also appeal to a PARTICULAR hoping to proof a UNIVERSAL. Fallacy of division – assuming that something true of a particular part must also be true of all of its parts.

        PAP = Principle of Alternative Possibilities.

        Like

      4. br.d writes {Firstly, my analysis was correct – your assertion is that the verse proves Theological Determinism.{”

        No, I asserted that Isaiah 10 is very clear in what it says. So, are you saying that Isaiah 10 proves Theological Determinism? or does not?

        There is no question begging here – only stating what Isaiah 10 is telling us.

        Like

      5. rhutchin
        No, I asserted that Isaiah 10 is very clear in what it says. So, are you saying that Isaiah 10 proves Theological Determinism? or does not?
        There is no question begging here – only stating what Isaiah 10 is telling us.

        This is so childish its just barely worth a response.
        You brought up the Isaiah 10 verses saying they prove something about PAP
        No evidence just quoting verses – then insisting they prove something (who knows what you imagined) about PAP.
        Now you want me to do your work for you?

        You’re not going anywhere here.
        And the childish nature of the responses are not worth an adult responding to.

        Like

      6. br.d

        Please take no offense by this. It looks like you have hit the point of no return like so many of us with some of endless repeating talking points that make no sense. it might be better in the long run for the discussion (and for those who come to SOT 101 for help) to have less “small talk” in the response boxes.

        All the chatter and one-liners back-and-forth make the responses with meat (like your great Calvin quotes, or material from W Lane Craig) so hard to find.

        Like

      7. I agree!
        Especially on this one!!
        No sense in filling up wasted space on silliness.
        Thanks for the brotherly tap! :-]

        Like

      8. FOH writes, “Please take no offense by this. It looks like you have hit the point of no return..”

        Not really bad. We have determined that a key point of disagreement is with God being omniscient. After that, I am not sure what the argument is.

        Like

      9. br.d writes, “No evidence just quoting verses…”

        Guess you did not read the verses (i.e., the evidence) – they are very straightforward and easy to understand, even for you.

        Like

  13. (1) Does Calvin’s god first-conceive, decree and fate, all sins and evils, because they are sinful and evil?
    Or
    (2) Are all sins and evils, sinful and evil, because Calvin’s god first-conceives, decrees, and fates them?

    Like

    1. br.d writes, “(1) Does Calvin’s god first-conceive, decree and fate, all sins and evils, because they are sinful and evil?
      Or
      (2) Are all sins and evils, sinful and evil, because Calvin’s god first-conceives, decrees, and fates them?”

      The error br.d makes is to think that God first-conceives evil thoughts in the heart (mind) of people.
      Job 15
      34 …the company of the godless is barren, And fire consumes the tents of the corrupt.
      35 They conceive mischief and bring forth iniquity, And their mind prepares deception.

      Proverbs 12
      20 Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil,…

      Jeremiah 17
      9 The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick;…

      Matthew 7
      21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries,
      22 deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness.
      23 All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.

      Psalm 10
      3 …the wicked boasts of his heart’s desire, And the greedy man curses and spurns the LORD.

      James 1
      13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.
      14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.
      15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.

      Evil desire is conceived in the heart of man. Yet, God knows the evil desires that will arise within the man and He can restrain those desires. Thus, David prays, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51) Also, “The plans of the heart belong to man, But the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.” (Proverbs 16) and “The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes.” (Proverbs 21)

      Nothing is evil because God decrees it. That which men do is evil because such things do not give glory to God. God decrees the thoughts of a man by not restraining those thoughts and they are evil by definition.

      As it is God who “works all things after the counsel of His will,” we know that God decrees all things – “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.” (Acts 15) Sin and evil acts arise from the heart of people.

      Like

      1. br.d writes, “(1) Does Calvin’s god first-conceive, decree and fate, all sins and evils, because they are sinful and evil?
        Or
        (2) Are all sins and evils, sinful and evil, because Calvin’s god first-conceives, decrees, and fates them?”

        rhutchin responds
        The error br.d makes is to think that God first-conceives evil thoughts in the heart (mind) of people.

        This response is totally misses the question.
        Calvin’s god first-conceives, decrees, and fates all sin and evil at the foundation of the world.
        People don’t exist at the foundation of the world.
        rhutchin’s response assumes they do – something contrived and outside the scope of the question

        rhutchins additional points continue in the same error
        Since poeple don’t exist when god first-conceives, decrees and fates all sin and evil statements about people are superfluous.

        The question pertains solely to God, first-conceiving, decreeing and fating sin and evil.
        Unless rhutchin wants to argue that god can’t first-conceive, decree or fate sin and evil all by himself.

        rhutchin then adds:
        Nothing is evil because God decrees it.

        Well that addresses at least half of the question – rhutchin says no to:
        (2) Are all sins and evils, sinful and evil, because Calvin’s god first-conceives, decrees, and fates them?”

        Which leaves us with:
        (1) Calvin’s god first-conceives, decrees and fates, all sins and evils, because they are sinful and evil?

        Like

      2. br.d writes, “Which leaves us with:
        (1) Calvin’s god first-conceives, decrees and fates, all sins and evils, because they are sinful and evil?”

        Which is only saying that God is omniscient and knows all that will happen even before He creates the world and all His works. So, let’s acknowledge the basic disagreement here – I say God is omniscient and you disagree. So, to help people understand your point here:

        (1) Under Calvinism, God is omniscient, so Calvin’s god first-conceives all things, as possible; He then defines sin and evil: then He decrees His works – to create people with the freedom to engage in sin and evil; and then decrees and fates, whatever sins and evils accord with His will, as reality.”

        Like

  14. Actually I got the ending wrong.
    Lets try again;

    rhutchin then adds:
    Nothing is evil because God **DECREES** it.

    This response only address 1/3 of question (2)
    (2) Are all sins and evils, sinful and evil, because Calvin’s god first-conceives, decrees, and fates them?”

    So this leaves open the following:
    (1) Calvin’s god first-conceives, decrees and fates, all sins and evils, because they are sinful and evil.
    or
    (2) All sins and evils, are sinful and evil, because Calvin’s god first-conceives, and fates them.

    Like

  15. CALVINISM: PHASES OF CALVIN’S GOD’S AUTHORSHIP OF A SINFUL EVENTS:

    Recently a Calvinist has provided details of how he conceives Calvin’s god authoring all sins and all evils.
    Using information provided from these conceptions we can develop phases of their authorship.

    [PHASE 1:] Calvin’s god first-conceives a specific sin or evil as POSSIBLE
    Since PHASE 1 occurs at the foundation of the world, the only author who exists is Calvin’s god.
    In PHASE 1 the sin/evil is not yet REAL – this comes in a later PHASE of authorship.

    [PHASE 2] Calvin’s god DEFINES the sinfulness of each specific sin – DEFINES the evilness of each specific evil.
    Since PHASE 2 occurs at the foundation of the world, the only author who exists is Calvin’s god.
    Additionally, since each sin’s sinfulness and each evil’s evilness is not defined until this point, it follows they are not sinful or evil – in and of themselves. This defining process is where Calvin’s god BESTOWS the sinfulness upon each sin, and BESTOWS the evilness upon each evil. Here Calvin’s god’s authors the quality or character of each sins sinfulness and each evils evilness.

    [PHASE 3] Calvin’s god via divine omniscience KNOWS what each sin and each evil is and will be.
    Via divine omniscience he KNOWS the quality or character – the sinfulness/evilness of what he has authored.
    Also via divine omniscience he KNOWS the (how/when/where and with what instruments) he will author to actualize each sin and evil. Phase 3 is needed – to be sighted – to remove culpability for all phases of authorship.

    [PHASE 4] Calvin’s god now “withholds”, “restrains”, “prohibits”, “does not permit”, each specific sin and specific evil from actualization (becoming REAL). Phase 4 is needed – to be sighted – to remove culpability for all phases of authorship.

    [PHASE 5] Calvin’s god decrees the (how/when/where and what instruments) to actualize each sin and each evil, making them come to pass with the force of causal inevitability (i.e. causing them to occur as fate). Phase 5 is where he authors them as REAL.

    REMOVE CULPABILITY ARGUMENTS:

    Argument from omniscience
    At [PHASE 3] Calvin’s god KNOWS the sinfulness and evilness he has and will author for each sinful/evil event.
    Since at this phase, Calvin’s god *merely* KNOWS all phases he has authored – he is not culpable.
    This is where the Calvinist MAKES-BELIEVE his god is absent in all Phases – if absent then not culpable.
    Of course, this is delusion because no phases of authorship can occur without Calvin’s God.
    In the Calvinist mind, Out-of-sight is out-of-mind.
    This is one of Calvinism’s disappearing acts.

    Argument from “restraint”:
    At [PHASE 5] Calvin’s god “withholds”, “restrains” etc.
    Again, since Calvin’s god *merely* “withholds/restrains” then his he is absent from Phases 1,2,3, and 5.
    Again, if Calvin’s god is absent – then he is non-culpable.
    But of course, this is delusional because no phases of authorship can occur without Calvin’s God.
    This is one of Calvinism’s disappearing acts.

    Argument from secondary causes:
    In all phases of his authorship, Calvin’s god never DIRECTLY actualizes the specific sin or evil – but he fates them to be actualized in association with instruments. Since he doesn’t actualize them DIRECTLY he is non-culpable.
    The irrationality of this logic is obvious.

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    1. br.d writes, “The irrationality of this logic is obvious.”

      As always, br.d deflects on addressing the specific Scriptures cited by Calvinists from which they draw the conclusion noted by br.d in his comments. This is common and unfortunate but instructive – br.d has no real basis to oppose Calvinism but just doesn’t like what Calvinism concludes from the Scriptures. As a consequence, we see petty comments like, “Of course, this is delusion…” or “The irrationality of this logic is obvious.” They are made without support and have no Scriptural support – which explains why br.d never wants to deal with the Scriptures. My suspicion is that br.d was once a hard core atheist and has never been able to escape bad habits formed under atheism. It’s great that br.d is no longer an atheist, but he needs to learn the Scriptures. As Paul said, “…do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

      Like

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