THE REDUNDANCY OF SATAN ON CALVINISM

Calvinism’s doctrine of Total Inability suggests that all people are born as “spiritual corpses,” morally unable to see, hear, understand and repent even in response to God’s own inspired truth. But this seems contradictory to what some leading Calvinists teach regarding the impact Satan has in our world.

For example, in an article titled, “Satan’s Ten Strategies Against You,” Calvinistic Pastor, John Piper, mentions this about the the great deceiver, Satan:

“1) He blinds the minds of unbelievers.

“The god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:4). So he not only speaks what is false. He hides what is true. He keeps us from seeing the treasure of the gospel. He lets us see facts, even proofs, but not preciousness.

2) Satan plucks the word of God out of people’s hearts and chokes faith.

Jesus told the parable of the four soils in Mark 4:1–9. In it, the seed of the word of God is sown, and some falls on the path and birds quickly take it away. He explains in verse 15, “Satan immediately comes and takes away the word which was sown in them.” Satan snatches the word because he hates faith which the word produces (Romans 10:17).

Paul expresses his concern for the faith of the Thessalonians like this: “I sent to learn about your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and our labor would be in vain” (1 Thessalonians 3:5). Paul knew that Satan’s design is to choke off the faith of people who have heard the word of God.”

Does this effort of Satan strike anyone as being completely unnecessary if the claims of Calvinism are true regarding man’s Total Inability from birth?

If we are born completely unable to see, hear, understand or respond willingly to the word of God, as the doctrine of Total Inability suggests, wouldn’t Satan’s work to blind people and snatch away the word be completely unnecessary and redundant?

Imagine visiting your local cemetery and discovering they hired a person to put blind folds and ear plugs on the corpses lest they respond willingly to the sights and sounds around the graveyard. Would this strike you as peculiar?

If you asked the cemetery’s director of operations why such an employee was hired and he sarcastically and confidently said, “Well, there are means to accomplish the ends. How do you think we keep corpses from responding to the sights and sounds around the graveyard except by means?” How would you reply

Wouldn’t you ask, “But, sir, why are the means of blindfolds and ear plugs necessary given their corpse like condition?”

If he were to reply by rolling his eyes in disgust and saying, “You obviously know nothing about running a cemetery! How dare you question our methods. If you were more intelligent or insightful you would know the answer to this question already, so move along.” How then would you reply?

Would you conclude he was mentally unfit to do his job? Would you try and reason with him further? What is the appropriate response to something that appears to be blatantly contradictory and absurd?

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353 thoughts on “THE REDUNDANCY OF SATAN ON CALVINISM

    1. I agree!

      But like the statue of Dagon that kept falling before the arc – had priests dedicated to standing it back up on its feet, putting its head back on, and keeping it polished – we have Calvinists unrelentingly devoted to the same ministry. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Thanks Leighton. I’ve thought and written of this exact idea before as well.
    Surely Satan knows Calvinism as well as anyone. If Satan knows and understands Calvinism, then why then does he work so hard to deceive, blind, confuse, and delude? If 1 Cor 2 means what the Calvinist says it means, that the natural man from birth can not/has not the ability to understand and comprehend scripture as to be saved through it, and only if God first does another work of “regeneration before salvation” in them can they understand and comprehend it, then why is Satan so diligent to make sure men do not see the light of the gospel and work so hard to take the word away that was sown in them? According to Calvinism, men cannot see the light anyway and they cannot understand the word that was sown in them anyway, so why work so hard to take away the light and understanding? According to Calvinism Satan has no work to do to in keeping men from hearing and understanding the gospel! This makes the verses Leighton cited above meaningless.

    In addition, if God is going to do an irresistible work on certain people and their salvation is assured, then there’s nothing Satan can do to keep that person from being saved anyway, so again, what real work is there for him to do (in relation to hindering their salvation).

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  2. Leighton Flowers… don’t you know that Lucifer skipped classes in heaven when they taught the angels Calvinism?

    And you should know that he has not been convinced yet after millennia of observation of God’s sovereignty that irresistible grace makes it impossible for him to effectively help keep people from salvation.

    And it should be surprising to you that the evil one actually believes Jesus evaluation of his taking the seed from hard hearts… “lest they believe and are saved” (Luke 8:12). Isn’t it funny that he worries that even hard hearts are in “danger” of getting saved?

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    1. brianwagner writes, “And it should be surprising to you that the evil one actually believes Jesus evaluation of his taking the seed from hard hearts… “lest they believe and are saved” (Luke 8:12). Isn’t it funny that he worries that even hard hearts are in “danger” of getting saved?”

      This correctly points to the necessity of the word to salvation. If a person is never presented with the word, that person cannot be saved. Satan can take the word from a person’s heart but this can only be done by God’s decree. We might then conclude that some are not saved because God condemns them to hell without giving them a chance to repond to the word – this seems to be the idea behind judicial hardening to which Dr. Flowers referred in his explanation of Romans 9. Thus, the plight of some people is truly hopeless as God gives them over to Satan (also 2 Corinthians 4). There will be people in the world whose actions are so depraved that they stand out from the general population.

      However, does hearing the word necessarily lead to salvation? No, as shown by the next two soils. Thus, the word is preached to some who fear for their lives but some only temporarily, and others only until their love for the world overcomes the word that they heard. There is here no guarantee that a person hearing the word will be saved. This may describe the tares within the church who seek salvation on their own terms and keep their depraved passions under control so as to live as good neighbors enjoying as much of worldly pleasure as is convenient.

      Then we are introduced to another factor necessary to salvation – good soil. The word was rejected in the earlier instances because those hearing the word were not “good soil.” Jesus does not define “good soil” or how it comes about in some people and not others but He does say that such people bear fruit with perseverance. By fruit, we are drawn to the fruit of the spirit which spirit is given to those who believe and those who believe do so with the faith that God gives to them. We can conclude that God prepares a person – makes them good soil – so that they can receive the word and be saved.

      The phrase “lest they believe and be saved” points to a salvation that cannot happen unless God decrees it to happen and by His providence brings that salvation to pass. How hopeless and terrible is the plight of those that God passes over (or leaves to their free will).

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      1. Roger… must I keep pointing out how you continue to hide behind the present tense, as if God “condemns” the hard soil after they become hard, and “decrees” good soil to come into existence after it once was hard.

        But determinism demands those verbs should be past tense, for God condemned most to be born and remain everlastingly as hard soil, and decreed some to be made good soil, also before they were born.

        Jesus did not directly speak about how the first three soils become good soil. You suggest it was God’s work, though there is nothing in the context to support that. I believe Jesus commanded the unbelieving listeners to figure it out… don’t be hard, don’t be shallow, don’t be trapped.

        His command, “He that has ears to hear, let him hear” has been twisted to infer that Jesus meant only some have ears with a spiritual hearing… but it clearly means nothing more than, “If you have two ears that can hear, listen carefully to what I’m saying.” They would be able to recall Hosea’s exhortation also –

        Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you. Hosea 10:12

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      2. brianwagner writes, “must I keep pointing out how you continue to hide behind the present tense, as if God “condemns” the hard soil after they become hard, and “decrees” good soil to come into existence after it once was hard.”

        I think the distinction here is between God’s decrees and God’s providence. God decrees all things in eternity past. God’s providence is to implement His decrees in the course of time. God decreed to impregnate Mary in eternity past but actually physically impregnated Mary in the course of time (i.e., 6-7 BC or so). So, when I use the present tense, I am thinking in terms of God’s providence and you are thinking in terms of God’s decrees. We are not thinking in the same context. As long as that happens, you will just have to repeat over and over that I hide behind the present tense – c’est la vie.

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      3. …”decrees all things in eternity past” that means “decreed”… not “decrees”. …”implements His decrees in time”… that means they were previously made decrees… thus “decreed”… not “decrees”.

        Such is life with one who does not want to represent determinism in clear unequivocal language! 😉

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      4. rhutchin writes:
        God decreed to impregnate Mary in eternity past but actually physically IMPREGNATED Mary in the course of time.

        This word “impregnated” is perhaps a good description of the mechanism Calvin’s god uses to “actualize” sins and evils.
        He IMPREGNATES sins and evils into people who function as birthing chambers for them.

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      5. br.d writes, “He IMPREGNATES sins and evils into people who function as birthing chambers for them.”

        Calvinism follows Christ on this point – ““For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man;“ (Matthew 15) and ““The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.” (Luke 6)

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      6. rhutchin writes:
        Calvinism follows Christ on this point ….[insert any random verse here]

        William Lane Craig responds:
        It needs to be kept in mind that Universal Divine Determinism (aka Calvinism) is an INTERPRETATION of Scripture.

        An interpretation that some Reformed divines themselves regard as irreconcilable with other clear teachings of Scripture.
        – Four Views on Divine Providence

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  3. Dr. Flowers writes, “f we are born completely unable to see, hear, understand or respond willingly to the word of God, as the doctrine of Total Inability suggests, wouldn’t Satan’s work to blind people and snatch away the word be completely unnecessary and redundant?”

    As much as this verse should be perplexing to Calvinists, it should equally be perplexing to non-Calvinists. The doctrine of TD accurately reflects John 6, where Jesus says, “No one can come to me…” and John 3, “unless one is born again, he cannot see, or enter, the kingdom of God.” Then, “…the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.” Many other verses are cited to support the doctrine of TD, so that it can be argued that no one can be saved except God do something. The Calvinists say saving grace, the Arminians say prevenient grace and Dr. Flowers now seems to argue that grace is not even necessary – except as a response to the grateful sinner who wants God to put His seal of approval on him.

    However, is Dr. Flowers ready to reject the notion that the spirit of man is dead within him as a consequence of Adam’s sin. Here in 2 Corinthians 4, we see Satan blinding the “minds” of those who are spiritually dead. Dr. Flowers is right to want to delve into this further. In the parable of the sower, the contrast is between the good soil and the bad soil. It is only the bad soil – those already perishing – from whom Satan is able to snatch the word, or worldly pleasure or hardship able to snuff out. That there is good soil for the word to fall upon suggests that God has prepared that soil so that it is able receive the word.

    In 1 Corinthians 3, Paul writes, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.” Thus, the preaching/teaching of the gospel has no effect without God producing growth. If the gospel is veiled and Satan able to blind men’s minds, we might conclude that God has not shown interest in producing growth in those people or has not prepared the soil to receive the word.

    Does not 2 Corinthians 4 reiterate that which Paul said in Romans 9, “God has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.” If God is not saving a person, Satan has the power to blind the minds of such people. Dr. Flowers asks a good question – Why? While i don’t have an answer, I suspect there is more here than meets the eye and I don’t see anyone jumping in to harmonize this with the rest of Scripture.

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  4. ““1) He blinds the minds of unbelievers.

    “The god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:4). So he not only speaks what is false. He hides what is true. He keeps us from seeing the treasure of the gospel. He lets us see facts, even proofs, but not preciousness.”

    What is tragic and appalling is that, in reality, Calvinism boldly teaches that it is not Satan but God that ‘has blinded the minds of the unbelievers’ – by cursing men with so-called ‘Total Depravity’. Calvinism teaches that it is God who curses man with an inability to know and understand the gospel, who desires ‘to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ’ because that gospel light was not intended for most of them. Calvinism asserts that God ‘hides what is true. He keeps us from seeing the treasure of the gospel. He lets us see facts, even proofs, but not preciousness.’ How is it that Piper condemns such behavior when it is alleged to apply to Satan, yet calmly teaches it as God’s behavior?

    “2) Satan plucks the word of God out of people’s hearts and chokes faith.

    Jesus told the parable of the four soils in Mark 4:1–9. In it, the seed of the word of God is sown, and some falls on the path and birds quickly take it away. He explains in verse 15, “Satan immediately comes and takes away the word which was sown in them.” Satan snatches the word because he hates faith which the word produces (Romans 10:17).”

    This is absolutely contrary to the assertions of Calvinism, which states that faith is a gift given irresistibly and irrevocably to those whom God has chosen and predetermined to receive it. Is Piper proposing that Satan is capable of snatching away the faith that God has given as an irrevocable gift to his elect ones?

    The problem for Calvinists like Piper is that scripture is so clearly, painfully contrary to everything their system of theology asserts. No pastor could ignore the entire Word of God and just focus on a handful of distorted passages; so Calvinists must try to get away with teaching messages that contradict their own theology, and hope that no one notices. Once I broke free of the mind control that kept me from thinking, I discovered that my Calvinist pastor did this weekly. Constant double talk, and teaching things that were not even possible under Calvinism. And no one seemed to notice, because they were all under his thrall.

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  5. They teach ,God sovernly determined everything that comes to pass, right! Then that includes what Satan does ,so no one should speak or warn against Satan blinding eyes,etc. lest they be found fighting the sovereign determinations of God. However , if someone like Piper warns against Satan , then God must have determined him to do so from eternity past. This is getting tricky or sticky or just plain confusing . Since Jesus is God, God was just explaining in the parable of the sower , what He had predetermined to happen. So how can anybody really be responsible for anything? So we are to preach the Gospel to the world , while God has already determined who will respond . The Bible says ” whosoever will” “Let him take the water of life freely” Rev 22:17 last sentence. The Bible can’t say “whosoever will” if it is really only God ‘s will who will be saved. More confusion! Thanks again for the work you are doing Leighton, God Bless!

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    1. BB writes, “so no one should speak or warn against Satan blinding eyes,etc. lest they be found fighting the sovereign determinations of God.”

      Of course, everyone should. The point is to make people aware of their dire circumstances – i.e., that they are being duped by Satan. Knowing this, they can take action. The Biblical example is Nineveh to whom God sent Jonah – God wanting the Ninevites to know their fate provoking them to repent. They were to serve as an example to Israel, to whom God was also sending prophets with the same message.

      Then, “So how can anybody really be responsible for anything?”

      You do the crime, you do the time.

      Then, “So we are to preach the Gospel to the world , while God has already determined who will respond ”

      Do you mean to argue that God is not omniscient and did not know who would be saved when He created the world?

      Then, “The Bible says ” whosoever will” “Let him take the water of life freely” Rev 22:17 last sentence. The Bible can’t say “whosoever will” if it is really only God ‘s will who will be saved.”

      God can certainly will to save “whosoever will.” God can then will to save even more people from among those who reject Christ (as the Calvinists claim), can’t He?

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      1. “Knowing this, they can take action.” Now there is a loaded smokescreen statement from a determinist, if I ever heard one.

        It is basically saying that though determinism is really true we should all live like non-determinists! Or – though Calvinism speaks the real truth about God… we should live like the Scripture speaks about God! Or – though God’s secret will has most people damned before creation… we should live like His revealed will that everyone repents is actually possible!

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      2. Great post Brian!!!

        Yes you hit the nail on the head.
        Its Calvinism’s AS-IF thinking

        Calvin’s god authors all things which come to pass AS-IF he doesn’t

        Some day god is going to open the curtain and let us understand how Calvinist indoctrination works at getting people to parrot its double-speak. 😀

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      3. brianwagner writes, ““Knowing this, they can take action.” Now there is a loaded smokescreen statement from a determinist, if I ever heard one.
        It is basically saying that though determinism is really true we should all live like non-determinists!”

        Oh Brian, do you not know better?? John 3 says, “whosoever will” but Jesus says, in John 6, “No one can come to me…” No matter how often the Scriptures say, “whosoever will,” (or, to paraphrase, “they can take action”), we know that the person who is spiritually dead never wills to be saved (except on his terms). We should live as determinists knowing that God is in control of everything and is working all things after the counsel of His will.

        Then, “…we should live like His revealed will that everyone repents is actually possible!”

        That’s not a problem. Would you have a problem with God saving some (even all, if such is possible) of those who refuse to repent as the Calvinists say He does?

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      4. “The point is to make people aware of their dire circumstances – i.e., that they are being duped by Satan. Knowing this, they can take action.” I hear statements and even pastoral invitations similar to this all the time (urging those in his hearing to act on the gospel message he just heard) from Calvinist pastors. I am excited and happy to hear these invitations, but I can’t help but think when I hear them “that’s a great invitation and thank God you’re giving it, but do you not recognize it totally contradicts what you say you believe in your Calvinist systematic? What you say you believe is that they cannot, they have not the ability, to be aware of their dire circumstances or that they are being duped by Satan.”
        The Calvinist teaches that a person doesn’t have the ability to do exactly what RHutchin just wrote that they are to do, become aware of their circumstances and that they are being duped by Satan and to take action. Calvinists are adamant about their systematic when discussing theology, but it just doesn’t preach very well.

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      5. Hello andyb2015
        If you’re new to SOT101 I give you a warm welcome!!!

        Also if you are new, I feel its only fair to warn you that back and forth dialog with rhutchin will keep you going in endless circles.

        As Christians we automatically assume honesty and sincerity from other professing Christians.
        But you should know rhutchin is not here with that strategy.

        rhutchin does what we call the “dancing boxer” routine.
        He’ll try to lure you in circles, dancing around your points, looking for an opening to get in a jab.

        Participants here at SOT101 engage him as a way to draw out Calvinist contradictions and double-speak. And then disengage when its obvious hes going in circles.

        Hope you don’t mind if I warn you in advance. :-]

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      6. andyb2015 writes, “The Calvinist teaches that a person doesn’t have the ability to do exactly what RHutchin just wrote that they are to do, become aware of their circumstances and that they are being duped by Satan and to take action.”

        If a person does not have the ability to be aware of his circumstances and that he is being duped by Satan and to take action, then he rejects salvation. If a person is aware of his circumstances and that he is being duped by Satan and to take action, then he accepts salvation. That explains why some people respond to an invitation and some do not. An invitation is one means pastors use to separate God’s elect from the reprobate – except it can give wrong results – the reprobate can respond to an invitation for reasons having nothing to do with salvation.

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  6. CALVINISM’S “FREE” VS. “NOT-FREE” RATIO

    Calvinists like to say humans are free in Calvin’s scheme.
    But “free” vs. “not-free” in respect to what?

    FREE:
    In Calvinism human thoughts/choices/actions are “free” in respect to:
    1) You’re free to think whatever Calvin’s god determines you to think.
    2) You’re free to choose whatever Calvin’s god determines you to choose.
    3) You’re free to act in whatever way Calvin’s god determines you to act.

    That is it! In Calvinism, that is the full extent of human freedom.

    NOT-FREE:
    In Calvinism human thoughts/choices/actions are “not-free” in respect to:
    1) You’re not-free to not-think what Calvin’s god determined you to think.
    2) You’re not-free to not-choose what Calvin’s god determined you to choose.
    3) You’re not-free to not-act in the way Calvin’s god determined you to act.
    4) You’re not-free to think any alternative-thought from what Calvin’s god determined you to think.
    5) You’re not-free to choose any alternative-choice from what Calvin’s god determined you to choose.
    6) You’re not-free to act any alternative-act from what Calvin’s god determined you to act.

    This ratio of “free” vs. “not-free” allows us to compare Calvinism’s “free” to other forms of “free”.

    Oh there is one more thing!
    Calvin’s god induces illusions into the minds of Calvinists to deceive them into believing they are “free” in respect to things in which they are not. These illusions make “not-free” AS-IF “free”.

    Now it goes without saying the Calvinist is free to have illusions god determines him to have.
    Then it follows, the Calvinist has the luxury of (6) illusions, where “not-free” exists AS-IF “free”.

    Now that is a deal!!! 😀

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    1. brd writes, “In Calvinism human thoughts/choices/actions are “free” in respect to:
      1) You’re free to think whatever Calvin’s god determines you to think.
      2) You’re free to choose whatever Calvin’s god determines you to choose.
      3) You’re free to act in whatever way Calvin’s god determines you to act.
      That is it! In Calvinism, that is the full extent of human freedom.”

      Translation: Man’s will is subordinate to God’s will. br.d appears to think otherwise – that there are times when God’s will is subordinate to man’s will.

      Then, “This ratio of “free” vs. “not-free” allows us to compare Calvinism’s “free” to other forms of “free”.”

      The other forms of free have God’s will subordinate to man’s will. That makes man God.

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      1. Thank you rhutchin for providing consistent Calvinist responses.
        SOT101 readers get to see how the beguiling double-speak works. 😀

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  7. CALVINIST MINISTRIES – LUCIFER – AND THE PARABLE OF THE TARES:

    The Parable of the Tares is one of the parables of Jesus depicting 1) a sower of good seed, and 2) an enemy who secretly and sows fake seed, which temporarily appear as good seed, but whose end is to be burned in fire. According to the common interpretation, the good seed are true persons of Christ, and the fake seed are persons designed to temporarily mimic the true ones. The enemy who sows the fake seed is generally attributed to Lucifer.

    Interestingly; nowhere in the parable does Jesus infer, the enemy is a representative or employee of the sower who plants the good seed. But John Calvin appears to conceive it that way:

    -quote:
    This church [of Calvinist believers] is MINGLED with MANY hypocrites who have nothing of Christ but the name and outward appearance. Even those to who he [Calvin’s god] holds it [salvation] out as a savor of death and as the occasion of severer condemnation. He causes those whom he illumines ONLY FOR A TIME to partake of it [salvation]. Then he forsakes them……and strikes them with even greater blindness”. – John Calvin. (Institutes 4.1.7 and 3.24.8)

    Calvin in these passages is asserting that his god ILLUMINES MANY Calvinists. He sows the seed of a fake gospel into them, designed to mimic the real one. He does this to deceive them into believing they are elect, saved, and bound for heaven. But this divinely induced deception is temporary.
    He is holding salvation out to MANY Calvinists whom he deceives as a -quote: “savor of death and severer condemnation”. So these Calvinists end up with a greater condemnation than they would have had , had he not deceived them by sowing a fake gospel seed into them. We can assume this god does this to increase their torment in the lake of fire.

    Calvin doesn’t expressly say Lucifer sows these fake gospel seeds. But that is the common interpretation of the parable. Its obvious, in real life, the Calvinist sower of the fake gospel seed must be Calvinist ministries who sow the gospel. We would assume then that Calvinist ministries are unknowingly functioning as Lucifer – going about sowing a fake gospel seed, perhaps also deceived by god into believing the seed they are sowing is the real McCoy.

    So it follows that part of the Calvinist minister’s divine assignment, is to function as Lucifer.

    Here we have at least one activity, which Calvinist ministries perform, functioning as Lucifer on Calvin’s god’s behalf. This makes us wonder what other functions Calvinist ministries perform as Lucifer?

    It would seem like a huge waste of a good Calvinist minister, to not have him simply doing one single function as Lucifer, when he could be doing so much more in that capacity!

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    1. Thank you, Br. D., For the links to Calvin’s words. There is the similar teaching in 3.2.11-12.

      Calvin clearly says there that what God does to some reprobate is that He “instills in their mind” and “illumines their mind” to make them think they are elect “in their own judgment” … “the better to convict them.” He’s not talking about Rom 1 reprobate minds that are easily recognized by their immorality… he says that these reprobate have a “resemblance and affinity” with the elect.

      And this temporary faith was not created by them… but given to them in their minds by God according to Calvin. He says they are given a “taste of heavenly gifts” and a “temporary faith”. How can anyone really agree with him on this? Does God really do such deception “the better to convict” the lost? I refuse to believe this about God.

      It is one thing to harden someone after they refused grace that sufficiently leads to salvation, or to harden someone for a purpose and then afterward give them an opportunity to freely receive or refuse grace.

      But to make someone think they are “elect” so that you can pour more guilt on them even though they never were able to freely receive or refuse saving grace… Not my God!

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      1. Excellent point and I totally agree!!

        What I see also in this is the difference between letting the data of scripture lead one’s belief vs. believing something and manipulating scripture to make it affirm one’s belief

        Calvin has developed his labyrinth theory on a deity (supposedly the god of scripture) who, in accordance with Augustine’s Gnostic/NeoPlatonism, is immutable, utilitarian, and voluntaristic.

        Calvin is then obligated to explicate how this theoretical god operates in accord with scripture.
        In order to masquerade as a super Apostle, knowing all of the secrets of the god of scripture, Calvin’s imaginations become a growing labyrinth of contradictions and twisted conceptions which then have to be defended as logical and somehow moral.

        That is how we get to a god who deceives people into believing they are saved for the express purpose of magnifying their torment in the lake of fire – for his good pleasure.
        The more Calvin explicates, the more twisted the answers become – in order to fit the mold Calvin has cast.

        As we can see from the logical implications of that post on Calvinist ministers sowing a fake gospel, functioning as Lucifer on god’s behalf – the more we can see the Pandora’s box Calvin created.

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      2. brianwagner writes, “And this temporary faith was not created by them… but given to them in their minds by God according to Calvin. He says they are given a “taste of heavenly gifts” and a “temporary faith”. How can anyone really agree with him on this?”

        OK. The world is waiting for a better explanation of the tares in the church than Calvin offers. Why don’t you just give us a better one, so we can move on and thereafter footnote Calvin’s explanation??

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      3. OK. The world is waiting for a better explanation of the tares in the church than Calvin offers.

        Brian – this one made me almost laugh out of my chair!!!

        P. T. Barnum said “There’s a sucker born every minute” 😀

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      4. Rhutchin writes: “The world is waiting for a better explanation of the tares in the church than Calvin offers.”

        Actually not. Much of the modern world has moved on from early, pagan fatalism. Most people understand things like choice, which not only explains life so much better than mystical Calvinism but also grants to the individual the belief that his life and his choices have meaning. Thus, an individual who chose to follow God, then, as Jesus’ parables suggest, may eventually decide the road is too hard, too confining or too lacking in personal pleasure and turn back to a life of sin.

        Most people also understand hypocrisy, or pretending to be a believer, either for personal, business, political or social reasons. Take every politician who decides to run for president – amazing how they all find ‘religion’ first.

        Truly, the most bizarre and unlikely explanation for ‘tares’ is that God created them and planted them himself (using his tool, Satan, to preserve his image). Particularly if one reads scripture’s account, which clearly speaks of God planting good seed, and an enemy sneaking in to sow the tares furtively.

        Calvinism must, to be true to its system, assert that Satan – and all evildoers – are mere hatchet men who do God’s dirty work for him. It is telling that Calvinism presents more of a Godfather who manipulates and controls others to get what he wants, rather than the scriptural God who, while utterly sovereign and omnipotent, restrains himself from immediately punishing the freely chosen horrific acts of men in hopes of calling them to repentance.

        Why would anyone buy into the cruel, unjust, unloving picture of God that Calvinism paints? With my elderly mother I assert that common sense refuses to even consider such absurd, blasphemous claims. All the ‘for his own glory’ cries in the world are poor excuses for the rank evil and injustice Calvinism paints God with. It is truly an unpreachable theology, and figuring out what to do with Satan is merely one of its many headaches. Distortion, distraction and deception are its only hope.

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      5. Any explanation that doesn’t agree with Calvin’s disgusting view of promoting injustice with God… is better. But no-one is born a tare. And if after becoming a tare by choosing to follow the evil one and rejecting the truth… I can see there are a number of reasons for allowing those tares to continue in the world and not to kill them.

        As for false disciples in the church… the Lord didn’t put them there and it is important to practice church discipline and gospel preaching to help keep the testimony of the church pure and strong.

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      6. Actually no – the Gnosticism which influenced Augustine’s doctrines was Christian Gnosticism.
        You will find Christians today arguing that Gnosticism did not have a Christian constituency because of its aberrant doctrines.
        But this is simply a straw-man argument. For example, Basilides (mid 100 BC) taught that his doctrines were taught to him by Matthias, the Apostle who took Judas’ place. Valentinus, also of the same time period was initially being considered as a Catholic bishop. Christian Gnosticism was wide-spread throughout parts of Asia and the Roman empire. And by the time the Catholic monarchy was being established, there were Christian Gnostic monasteries in numerous places.

        That explains how Augustine as he grew in ecclesiastical power within the Catholic hierarchy, retained a remnant of Gnostic conceptions in his understanding of god and cosmos. Teachings from the Gnostics which he could not find reason to reject.
        Augustinian scholars sight his doctrines concerning the sinfulness of sex as an example of Gnostic conceptions he never rejected.

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      7. lol…. BrD. I’m ok using the term “Christian” is broad terms for any who use it in self-identification… but I like to try sometimes to reclaim it those who only profess the true gospel. There has been a renewal of Calvinism… but more scary to me is the watering down of the gospel between Evangelicals and Sacramentalists in the last decades.

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      8. Interesting!
        I guess I’m not in the arena you are in, so I don’t know about that concern.
        I do know about the new-age creeping into Evangelical churches.
        And I do consider that a very serious concern.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. I was trying to explain what Calvinism teaches to my dear elderly mother, and she just laughed out loud! She said ‘You don’t even have to know the bible to know that’s false . . . plain common sense tells you.’ I thought it was sweet that I could not convince her that anyone who calls themselves a believer believes that God does not love and desire all men to be saved. Yes sirree, Calvinism runs contrary to both scripture and common sense, which is why it must engage in subterfuge and doublespeak. No one, with even the slightest common sense, would believe it if presented honestly and with all of its troubling ramifications.

        Liked by 2 people

      10. Thanks truthseeker00,

        Yes, I know Christian sisters who laugh when anyone refers to Calvinism.
        And some of them even all it demonic.

        Once they understand – Calvin’s god programs every human thought, choice, and action – they get a clear picture.
        Its a theology any self respecting robot would embrace! :-]

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      11. brianwagner writes, “Any explanation that doesn’t agree with Calvin’s disgusting view of promoting injustice with God… is better.”

        I think you might agree with Calvin’s assessment that “This church is mingled with many hypocrites who have nothing of Christ but the name and outward appearance.” Calvin explains, “In this Church there is a very large mixture of hypocrites, who have nothing of Christ but the name and outward appearance: of ambitious avaricious, envious, evil-speaking men, some also of impure lives, who are tolerated for a time, either because their guilt cannot be legally established, or because due strictness of discipline is not always observed.” You seem to agree with this.

        To explain the hypocrites in the church, Calvin says, “Sometimes, however, he communicates [the gospel] also to those whom he enlightens only for a time, and whom afterwards, in just punishment for their ingratitude, he abandons and smites with greater blindness.” You don’t like this. So, a better explanation awaits but you don’t seem to know what it should be.

        Then, “…no-one is born a tare.”

        I agree. While I think all people are born spiritually dead, a tare is that person who has heard the gospel and appropriated it for his selfish purposes and enters the church for an evil purpose. The contention is whether God put them there. The Scriptures seems clear that the enemy (Satan) has done this whose purpose is to destroy the church. However, Calvin can still be correct in describing God’s role in this for even Satan can only accomplish God’s purposes (as the numbering of Israel by David explains or the harsh treatment of Job).

        Nonetheless, it is a difficult subject and only Calvin seems to have ventured to deal with it.

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      12. There is a clear difference between someone who knows he is not trusting in Jesus for salvation, but who is a hypocrite pretending to be trusting Jesus, and the someone who has been tricked by God to believe they are trusting in Jesus and are one of the elect! That Calvin teaches that God should do such trickery is just plain harmful teaching dishonoring to God and the Scriptures! And that some intelligent people would even try to defend such obvious false teaching is amazing! It should alarm them that they would be so susceptible to cultish loyalty.

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      13. Brian, I wholeheartedly agree that the concept of God actually creating and planting false ‘tares’ within his own Body, whom he cruelly deceives into believing they are ‘elect’, then gleefully reveals their actual hopeless estate, is Beyond the pale, even for Calvinism. I cannot imagine anyone being willing to accept such an unscriptural and immoral assertion against a Holy God. It suggests either an inexcusable misunderstanding of who God is – as revealed in his Creation and written/living Word – or an intentional agenda to defame him.

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      14. TS00
        I agree with both of you. The way that they arrived at this is what I called scaffolding. One verse ( interpreted their way) on top of another verse on top of another verse and one day they arrived at these outrageous conclusions.

        They continue on their merry way thinking it must be true because “scripture teaches this….” Without ever realizing how outrageous these claims add up to be.

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      15. FOH writes, ” One verse ( interpreted their way) on top of another verse on top of another verse and one day they arrived at these outrageous conclusions.”

        Isn’t that the proper way to understand the Scriptures – harmonize all the verses that speak to an issue? If one does not harmonize the Scriptures, how is one to understand the Scriptures without pitting one Scripture against another?

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      16. ts00 to brianwagner writes, “I wholeheartedly agree that the concept of God actually creating and planting false ‘tares’ within his own Body, whom he cruelly deceives into believing they are ‘elect’, then gleefully reveals their actual hopeless estate, is Beyond the pale, even for Calvinism.”

        Then offer a credible explanation that says otherwise. Don’t complain because Calvin addresses tough issues that you are unable to handle – you can respectfully disagree by pointing out relevant Scriptures that should be considered.

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      17. brianwagner writes, “There is a clear difference between someone who knows he is not trusting in Jesus for salvation, but who is a hypocrite pretending to be trusting Jesus, and the someone who has been tricked by God to believe they are trusting in Jesus and are one of the elect! ”

        I don’t see a difference. The definition is Matthew 7, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” I think these people are trusting in their works and are convinced that they are saved. Perhaps these are ones that God has given over to Satan, “if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ,…”

        Then, “That Calvin teaches that God should do such trickery is just plain harmful teaching dishonoring to God and the Scriptures!”

        However, we have, “for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:” (2 Thessalonians 11) and “Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee.” ( 2 Kings 22; 2 Chronicles 18)

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      18. The ones in Matt 7, 2Thess 2, and the OT examples of lying spirits were not believing in the gospel, and they knew they weren’t. The ones in Matthew thought their works were sufficient. The ones in 2Thess had rejected the truth of the gospel. And the lying spirits in the OT weren’t convincing people to trust God for salvation.

        It still is surprising that some are not embarrassed by their diligent efforts, trying to defend Calvin’s false teaching that God makes some believe they are elect by the enlightenment of the true gospel but with a temporary faith… just so God can make them more guilty! Cult leaders love that kind of loyalty!

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      19. Rhutchin writes: “. . . a tare is that person who has heard the gospel and appropriated it for his selfish purposes and enters the church for an evil purpose. The contention is whether God put them there. The Scriptures seems clear that the enemy (Satan) has done this whose purpose is to destroy the church.”

        It is my sad opinion that this describes Constantine, Augustine and Calvin, among others. It would be more accurate to say that they sought to substitute the Institutional Church and its Orthodoxy (authoritarian dogma) for the true, non-hierarchical Body of Christ and the spirit-led life. Sadly, they were very effective, and most believers falsely assume that ‘The Church’ is synonymous with the Body of Christ. Historically, it has been the power struggle over who controls and what institutes ‘The Church’ that has led to religious tyranny, Inquisitions and murder of ‘heretics’ throughout the centuries. Consequently, the genuine Body of Christ was effectively murdered or co-opted, and to this day remains mostly within ‘The Church’, mostly ignorant of its genuine history. Some suggest that it is to this situation that Rev. 18:4 speaks, when it commands ‘Come out of her, my people.’ And no, God did not ‘put them there’, anymore than he ordained any of the other Evil that men have imagined and produced against his desire and will.

        Liked by 1 person

      20. ts00 writes, “Consequently, the genuine Body of Christ was effectively murdered or co-opted, and to this day remains mostly within ‘The Church’, mostly ignorant of its genuine history.”

        Calvin said, “…those who, by a profession of faith, enter the Church, but are not at all invested with the sanctification of Christ. Such disgraces to his Church, such cankers God will not always tolerate, but will cast them forth as their turpitude deserves….while hypocrites pretend to piety, just as if they were true worshipers of God, Christ declares that they will ultimately be ejected from the place which they improperly occupy, as it is said in the psalm, “Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart,” (Psa 15: 1, 2). Again in another passage, “This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob,” (Psa 24: 6). And thus the Spirit exhorts believers to patience, and not to murmur because Ishmaelites are mingled with them in the Church since the mask will at length be torn off, and they will be ejected with disgrace.” (Book 3:24:8)

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    2. br.d writes, “Interestingly; nowhere in the parable does Jesus infer, the enemy is a representative or employee of the sower who plants the good seed. But John Calvin appears to conceive it that way:”

      Satan’s will is subordinate to God’s will.

      Then, “Calvin in these passages is asserting that his god ILLUMINES MANY Calvinists. He sows the seed of a fake gospel into them,…”

      This is not unique to Calvinism. I suspect every pastor has stories of people who make false professions or seek salvation by works and sit in his pews every week. Even Jesus noted, ““Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you;…” Calvin offered one explanation for this. br.d does not like it, but he doesn’t have a credible way to explain it other than to recognize that it is a problem for all churches.

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      1. br.d writes, “Interestingly; nowhere in the parable does Jesus infer, the enemy is a representative or employee of the sower who plants the good seed. But John Calvin appears to conceive it that way:”

        rhutchin responds
        Satan’s will is subordinate to God’s will.
        Thank you for acknowledging my point even if you did it with an irrelevant red-herring designed as an evasion.

        This reminds me of the “look there is a squirrel!” 🙂

        br d
        “Calvin in these passages is asserting that his god ILLUMINES MANY Calvinists. He sows the seed of a fake gospel into them,…”

        rhutch responds
        This is not unique to Calvinism.

        Here the Calvinist tries to shift the point to something else as an evasion tactic.
        Just how many bible teachers (outside of Calvinism) teach believers god deceives them into believing they are saved so he can magnify their torment in hell. 🙂

        Calvinist double-think is just to funny!! 😀

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  8. In response to Rutchin’s comments to BB…
    If God determines Satan dupe them, then why would God determine someone to undupe them? God did not determine Nineveh to live wicked, but God did send Jonah to warn them of judgement for their wickedness. If God determined me to do the crime and I can do nothing but the crime, then I justly have a right to whine…at the judgement. The truth is, all will give an account to God for the crimes (sins) they determined to do, not God. Therefore, they are accountable for their sins.

    God knowing who would be saved does not prove God determined who would be saved.

    Rutchin rights…”God can certainly will to save whosoever will”.

    He not only can, He did. You got it right! God’s will is that whosoever, anyone, everyone, whom by their own will, will put their faith in Christ alone will be saved. Sounds a little synergistic. Our will enjoins with God’s will to be saved. For He is not willing that any should perish. So now it is up to us, by our will, to believe.

    Yes, I agree with Leighton, it is obviously redundant for Satan to blind the dead in sin who are incapable of seeing the Salvation of God. Why would He waste His time when He could focus all His efforts on attacking the Church of Jesus Christ? May we all represent God in all of His Glory.

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    1. BB:
      You are right that God did not determine for Ninevah to live wickedly.

      You error is in responding to some on this blog. There is no way to talk sense to them.

      You will have this over and over…..

      God doesnt determine evil…and yet for them He determines all things (but not evil).

      God only allows men to sin….does not will it….and yet He wills all things.

      God never “allows” man to do anything since He is sovereign and “necessarily” has to ordain all things.

      God “not stopping someone from sinning” is the same as God causing someone to sin.

      ———
      You can try to make some/any sense out of it, or you can fall into the trap I did when new to this blog and try to answer it, but I wouldn’t .
      But hey…that’s your choice!

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      1. FOH to br.d writes, “You are right that God did not determine for Ninevah to live wickedly.”

        Who do you think determined that Nineveh (or the Ninevites)? Didn’t they freely (within the context of being spiritually dead and morally corrupt) choose to do so? Why do you oppose the idea that God could have intervened to turn the hearts of the Ninevites to righteousness?

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    2. Calvinism demands that God be the determining cause of all things. That leaves Calvinists with the dastardly claim that God himself inspires and controls the evil actions of Satan and men. Non-determinists have the rational explanation that there is a true enemy of God – Satan – who actively seeks to tempt men to disobey God’s revealed will of harmless, selfless living, as well as to wreak as much havoc and destruction in God’s good creation as possible.

      So which is it? Is God playing games, pitting himself against himself, as Calvinism is forced to suggest and attempts to hide? Or, can we believe scripture’s claims that God is wholly good, never tempts any man to sin, hates evil and desires that all resist and turn from it? Did God ordain sin, provide a limited atonement, then randomly and irresistibly apply it to a chosen few, or did God so love the world that he provided atonement for all, dying not merely for his foreknown friends, but even his enemies, who he knew would reject his precious offer?

      Those who want truthful answers should search scripture, rather than follow the frequently distorted reasoning of men.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ts00 writes, “Calvinism demands that God be the determining cause of all things. That leaves Calvinists with the dastardly claim that God himself inspires and controls the evil actions of Satan and men.”

        This is wrong. That God determines all things requires only that God control all things to get what He wants. For example, where two options are possible, God acts to ensure one option over the other – a person comes to a fork in the road and must choose whether to go to the right or to the left; God blocks the road to the right causing the person to choose the remaining option to go to the left. God is not required to inspire the person to want to choose one way or the other.

        Then, “Non-determinists have the rational explanation that there is a true enemy of God – Satan – who actively seeks to tempt men…”

        Everyone agrees to this. The issue is whether God rules over Satan and Satan can only act as God decides – as in the example of the fork in the road; Satan has the power to do “A” or “B” and God denies Satan the ability to do “A” with the result that Satan does “B.”

        Then, “…did God so love the world that he provided atonement for all, dying not merely for his foreknown friends, but even his enemies, who he knew would reject his precious offer? ”

        Given that God acts with purpose in all that He does, what do you see as God’s purpose for providing atonement for those He knew would reject His offer?

        Just a technical point – You actually meant to say, “providing the possibility for atonement.” If God provided an atonement for all, then necessarily all would be atoned and all would be saved.

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      2. Rhutchin writes: “You actually meant to say, “providing the possibility for atonement.” If God provided an atonement for all, then necessarily all would be atoned and all would be saved.”

        Actually, you do me a disservice to assign me either Calvinism’s forensic approach to salvation or the belief that the atonement for all sin did not take place at the moment Jesus died. I do not believe that Jesus’ death nearly ‘provided the possibility for atonement’. Jesus was indeed the lamb that taketh away the sin of the world, which truly and fully took place in a moment of time. Thanks be to God, sin was atoned for, once and for all, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior! No man need ever pay the just penalty for his own sin, unless he willfully refuses to renounce it, rejecting the benefits of the pardon that Jesus provided for all sin. The atonement for sin is not a possibility that may or may not happen. I will leave you to do your own homework, and study the scriptures to see what they say about sin, atonement and law. The law was nailed to the cross, meaning that no man need ever be judged for his inability to perfectly keep the law. Thus, Paul can rightly say that there is no longer any condemnation for those who trust in Jesus’ finished work.

        I also reject the conception that atonement involves Jesus’ perfect keeping of the law in our place. Salvation cannot come from works of the Law, neither by us or by Jesus. Jesus perfectly kept the law, because he was the Son of God, and did nothing other than his Father’s will, but that only made him a spotless lamb, it did not provide atonement. Atonement was provided by the shedding of Jesus’ blood, which is not a potential, but a one time, past event. We do not look to some future, potential atonement, but trust in the accomplished, once for all atonement; this allows us to hope in a future, promised salvation from our current mortal, unglorified state into the immortal, glorified likeness of Jesus our Lord.

        The systematics of Calvinism demand great distortions of nearly every aspect of salvation, from the imaginary Total Depravity to a forensic rather than genuine freedom from sin, and so on. Jesus did not give us a bandaid for our mortal wound. He did not die in order to give us a nifty robe under which we may continue performing the same old deadly sins; he died to free us from the power and destruction of sin. He died to deliver us, not to cover us. Calvinism redefines most of the significant scriptural terms concerning sin and salvation in order to fit them into their faulty system. What they end up with is a license to continue boldly in their sin, and no incentive to allow God to begin the work of conforming them to the image of Christ. This they glibly excuse as a desire to not seek ‘merit’; again, predicated by their distortion of the accomplished atonement of Jesus Christ. No man can ever ‘merit’ atonement, but it is a mute point, because Jesus already finished that work. You cannot build a proper understanding of salvation on the faulty foundation of Calvinism.

        Nor do I care a whit if Calvinists call scriptural thinking ‘Pelagianism’, ‘Arminianisn’, ‘heresy’ or any other scary name they use to manipulate and control people. Whatever aspects of Pelagian’s beliefs aligned with scripture – and, alas, we know little about it, since his works were almost completely destroyed by his enemies – I stand with him on. Indeed, what few points Calvin got right, I stand with, but I am not and never will be a Calvinist.

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      3. ys00 writes, “sin was atoned for, once and for all, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior! No man need ever pay the just penalty for his own sin, unless…”

        If you are going to add “unless,” then you have to change the language to “the possibility that sin was atoned” thereby allowing for the atonement to require that a person willfully renounce his sin and accept the benefits of the pardon that Jesus provided for all sin. So, did Jesus actually provide a pardon for all sin or did Jesus make it possible for one to receive a pardon upon meeting certain requirements – i.e., renounce his sin and accept the pardon? Better watch out – br.d is going to get you for double-speak.

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      4. Rhutchin, the ‘unless’ concerning atonement has to do with whether or not the finished work is applied, not finished. Indeed, there are conditions on the receipt of this gift, which include believing in its reality and fullness, and a willingness to abandon sin and rebellion in order to receive it as offered.

        Acknowledging that man is required to meet God’s set condition – genuine, transformative faith – in order to receive the benefit of Jesus’ sacrificial atonement is entirely different than asserting a potential or limited atonement in the Calvinist sense. Its application is, in a sense, limited – to those who respond in faith, as required by God. But it is finished, universally offered and available to all who believe in and receive it. Calvinists believe in a twisted version of this, in which Jesus only died for some, then magically ‘gifted’ the ability to believe it to that set number. In truth, scripture’s call is always for man to respond to God and his promises with faith, a word that demands, by definition, a deliberate, optional choice to believe in that which is promised or proclaimed, but not yet seen. Defining faith as a passively unsought and mystically received gift turns it into a nonsense concept, utterly untrue to all common sense applications of the word and its synonyms.

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      5. ts00 writes, “there are conditions on the receipt of this gift, which include believing in its reality and fullness, and a willingness to abandon sin and rebellion in order to receive it as offered.”

        If there are conditions attached to receiving anything, then it cannot be a gift. You seem to be saying that it is a gift that God makes it available if one meets certain conditions. Ephesians 2 seems clear to me – “…by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;” If you want to make faith to be “believing in its reality and fullness, and a willingness to abandon sin and rebellion in order to receive it as offered” and include that as part of the gift – as Calvinists do – that is fine.

        Then, “Calvinists believe in a twisted version of this, in which Jesus only died for some, then magically ‘gifted’ the ability to believe it to that set number. ”

        That is because Calvinists believe that God is omniscient and knew those who would be saved when He created the world. Why would God be sending Christ to die for someone that He knew would not be saved?? He would not as the Scriptures make clear. Your explanation fits only if God is not omniscient – and you seem to be conflicted on this point.

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      6. rhutchin writes:
        This is wrong. That God determines all things requires only that God control all things to get what He wants. For example, WHERE TWO OPTIONS ARE POSSIBLE, God acts to ensure one option over the other.

        irrelevant red-herring:

        In Theological Determinism, IT IS LOGICALLY IMPOSSIBLE for Calvin’s deity to actualize TWO OPTIONS. He can actualize [A] or he can actualize [NOT A].
        But he can’t actual both because one logically negates the other.

        Therefore in Calvinism TWO OPTIONS are IMPOSSIBLE to actualize and thus irrelevant.
        For the Calvinist to talk about TWO OPTIONS is a Calvinist ILLUSION.
        Determinism entails only only single unique predestined future for all events.

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      7. br.d writes, “Therefore in Calvinism TWO OPTIONS are IMPOSSIBLE to actualize and thus irrelevant.”

        This is one reason that I like Molinism. Prior to creation all events are known as possibilities to God following the Molinist explanation. God then decides what world He will create. It is when God makes that decision that two options become impossible. When God created the world, only one possible world is created. In the course of time, God is working all things according to His will and He does close doors and open doors as He had planned in eternity past – all of history unfolds in line with God’s omniscience.

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      8. br.d writes,
        “Therefore in Calvinism TWO OPTIONS are IMPOSSIBLE to actualize and thus irrelevant.”

        rhutchin writes:
        This is one reason that I like Molinism.

        This is exactly what I’ve been explaining – where the Calvinist wants certain CHARACTERISTICS of Libertarian freedom (which logically exist in Molinism) that are LOGICALLY IMPOSSIBLE in Calvinism.

        The Calvinist wants Determinism AS-IF NOT-Determinism

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      9. br.d writes, “where the Calvinist wants certain CHARACTERISTICS of Libertarian freedom (which logically exist in Molinism) that are LOGICALLY IMPOSSIBLE in Calvinism.”

        LOL. Molinism has God knowing all possible worlds before one is created. Thus, you have LFW being exercised by a person before the person even exists. Sometimes, you say really funny things in an effort to deny Calvinism. After God creates the world, all events in that world are determined under Molinism – as Calvinism explains. Even you know this to be so.

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      10. br.d writes, “where the Calvinist wants certain CHARACTERISTICS of Libertarian freedom (which logically exist in Molinism) that are LOGICALLY IMPOSSIBLE in Calvinism.”

        rhutchin writes:
        LOL. Molinism has God knowing all possible worlds before one is created. Thus, you have LFW being exercised by a person before the person even exists. Sometimes, you say really funny things in an effort to deny Calvinism. After God creates the world, all events in that world are determined under Molinism – as Calvinism explains. Even you know this to be so.

        This simply shows your consistent strategy of asserting your imaginations as real.

        William Lane Craig asked about Libertarian Free Will in Molinism:
        -quote:
        “Molinism presupposes libertarian free will as opposed to compatibilism?”

        Dr. Craig:
        “Molina was an unrelenting libertarian about freedom. He was not a compatibilist. He believed that human beings have significant freedom to act as they choose independent of being causally determined.”

        “I think that the Bible teaches we are libertarian free agents. And so the burden of proof is enormous, I think, on the determinist to show that we are not ourselves libertarian free agents. They are not like machines or puppets [as in Theological Determinism] that do not have the ability to make free choices, and therefore would be irresponsible for their moral choices”.- end quote

        http://www.reasonablefaith.org/more-questions-on-free-will

        http://www.reasonablefaith.org/questions-on-molinism-compatibilism-and-free-will

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      11. br.d writes, “William Lane Craig asked about Libertarian Free Will in Molinism:
        -quote: “Molinism presupposes libertarian free will as opposed to compatibilism?”

        LOL. By “presupposes,” Craig means, “We can’t prove it, so we will assume it. Like you, I don’t think Craig ever defines what he means by LFW nor does he explain how LFW opposes compatibilism.

        Then, “Molina was an unrelenting libertarian about freedom. He was not a compatibilist. He believed that human beings have significant freedom to act as they choose independent of being causally determined.”

        Of course, this says nothing substantive. Molina never defined what he meant by “significant freedom” did he? Probably not, since this is a term Craig coined to describe what he thinks Molina advocated. I don’t think Molina went into much detail about his system as we find people inferring much more than what Molina actually said. That’s OK, but they make it sound like Molina’s system has been substantially vetted when it has not.

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      12. William Lane Craig:
        Yes Molinism presupposes libertarian free will as opposed to compatibilism

        rhutchin who is the superior intellect over Dr. Craig writes:
        LOL. By “presupposes,” Craig means, “We can’t prove it, so we will assume it. Like you, I don’t think Craig ever defines what he means by LFW nor does he explain how LFW opposes compatibilism.

        William Lane Craig:
        Molina was an unrelenting libertarian about freedom. He was not a compatibilist. He believed that human beings have significant freedom to act as they choose independent of being causally determined.

        rhutchin who is the superior intellect over Dr. Craig writes:
        “Of course, this says nothing substantive. …..etc etc etc…

        Thanks rhutchin for acknowledging that you were wrong when you asserted Molinism does not contain Libertarian Free will.
        You use “The Calvinist Says” as your argument for 99% of your assertions.
        And you then when “William Lane Craig says” you claim his logic is faulty.

        Why don’t you publish your claims of Dr. Craig’s inferiority in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, or the International Journal for Philosophy of Religion – where Dr. Craig publishes internationally recognized articles?
        And then let us know how it goes!! 😉

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      13. br.d writes, “Thanks rhutchin for acknowledging that you were wrong when you asserted Molinism does not contain Libertarian Free will.”

        I don’t think we know that Molinism contains LFW. As far as I have read, Molina never defined what he means by the freedom he presumed people to exercise in God’s mind before creation. That such freedom is exercised in God’s mind before people even exist has been a sticking point for some – both Calvinists and non-Calvinists.. Craig just ignores the issue – at least, I haven’t found anything on his website where he goes into this.

        Then, “…when “William Lane Craig says” you claim his logic is faulty.”

        If I actually said that, then I’ll retract it. What I always mean to say in such situations is that Craig does not explain the basis for his presuppositions and why they should be accepted.

        Like

      14. William Lane Craig answers:
        Yes – “Molinism presupposes libertarian free will as opposed to compatibilism”

        William Lane Craig answers:
        “Molina was an unrelenting libertarian about freedom. He was not a compatibilist. He believed that human beings have significant freedom to act as they choose independent of being causally determined.”

        rhutchin responds
        I don’t think we know that Molinism contains LFW. As far as I have read, Molina never defined what he means by the freedom he presumed people to exercise in God’s mind before creation. That such freedom is exercised in God’s mind before people even exist has been a sticking point for some – both Calvinists and non-Calvinists.. CRAIG JUST IGNORES THE ISSUE – at least, I haven’t found anything on his website where he goes into this.

        br.d
        You say “The Calvinist says” AS-IF that is supposed to settle the question.
        But when “William Lane Craig says” you claim his logic is faulty.”

        rhutchin:
        If I actually said that, then I’ll retract it. What I always mean to say….Craig does not explain the basis for his presuppositions and why they should be accepted.

        Again I urge you to publish your claims of Dr. Craig’s inferiority in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, or the International Journal for Philosophy of Religion – where Dr. Craig publishes internationally recognized articles?

        And then let us know how it goes!! 😉

        Like

    3. BB writes, “If God determined me to do the crime and I can do nothing but the crime, then I justly have a right to whine…at the judgement.”

      Whine about what – being born spiritually dead and morally corrupt? If you steal regardless the circumstances of your stealing, you still stole – not only that you wanted to steal and you enjoyed the benefits of that which you stole.. I don’t see a basis for you to whine. Your argument seems to be – Yes, I did steal, but it wasn’t my fault.

      Then, “God knowing who would be saved does not prove God determined who would be saved.”

      I agree. However, it does mean that those who would be saved were determined (by whatever means) and those who would not be saved were determined. The argument is only about those who were determined to be saved.

      Then, “God’s will is that whosoever, anyone, everyone, whom by their own will, will put their faith in Christ alone will be saved.”

      I agree. The argument concerns those who willfully refuse to put their faith in Christ. Does God have the right to save some of those truly depraved individuals as Calvinists claim?

      Then, “I agree with Leighton, it is obviously redundant for Satan to blind the dead in sin who are incapable of seeing the Salvation of God.”

      It is an interesting problem. This seems to mean that God gives Satan freedom to blind those that God does not want saved. Thus, we kinda have a reverse plan of salvation. Rather than God saving whom He will, God condemns whom He will.

      Like

  9. John MacArthur is another person like Piper who theologizes like a Calvinist but preaches like he is not. From his message on the Devil. CAPS are mine.

    “Is there a devil? You better believe it. Who is he? He’s a person. He’s a spirit. He’s a fallen angel. And he’s active and aggressive in the war against God and God’s PURPOSES in the world today. I close with this. Every person sitting in this auditorium and every person on the face of the globe is either a child of God or a child of Satan. You’re on one side or the other. Is that right? Jesus said, “He that is not with Me is against Me.” Now, if you want to align yourself up with this fallen creature who is doomed and damned, and all who have party with him equally so, that’s YOUR CHOICE. Jesus even said, surely with a broken heart, “You will not come unto Me that you might have life.” You CAN be on God’s side by COMING to Christ. And Christian, if you’re knowing now what Satan is, and what he is doing, and how tragic his fall was, and what this kingdom is really all about, I trust it gives you new impetus to FIGHT the battle, to RESIST the devil, to not let him have a foothold in your life, to not let him gain an advantage over you. Don’t give him an inch. God deserves all your glory, all your praise, all your life. Satan already has been defeated at the cross, but, boy, for a DEAD enemy, he sure kicks and struggles, and he’ll continue to do that until the end. And we must IDENTIFY with God and STRUGGLE and WRESTLE, realizing who our enemy is, for His glory and in His power.”

    Look how much he places in the hands of man and Satan!

    Like

    1. Great examples!!!

      -quote:
      He is active and aggressive in the war AGAINST God and God’s purposes?

      Not if one is a logically consistent intellectually honest Calvinist.

      -quote:
      You’re either on one side or the other?

      More double-speak – In Calvin’s god encompasses both sides.
      Calvinism incorporates Gnostic/NeoPlatonic (yin/yang) dualism.
      Which teaches that God is made up of good/evil in “undifferentiated form” = “Not displaying variations or differences”
      R.C. Sproul uses this very word to describe Calvin’s god.
      “undifferentiated form” means the deity exists in both sides.

      -quote:
      He that is not with Me is against Me – that’s YOUR CHOICE?

      Not if one is a logically consistent intellectually honest Calvinist.
      Creature’s choices are programmed for them at the foundation of the world by Calvin’s god
      But Calvin instructs his disciples to go about their office AS-IF their choices were NOT settled before they were born.
      This instruction is to compensate for the psychological dread one would embrace otherwise.

      These are all excellent examples of Calvinist AS-IF thinking and Calvinist double-speak
      Thanks for the post FOH! :-]

      Like

    2. FOH, on Piper:

      Look how much Calvinism he contradicts in one little passage!

      1. There is a ‘war’ on God’s purposes. This contradicts Calvinism’s claim that God sovereignly, without challenge determines whatsoever comes to pass.
      2. Man can ‘choose’ to align himself with Satan. This contradicts Calvinism’s claim that all men are aligned with Satan, unless and until God unilaterally regenerates them and makes them ‘able’ to believe and turn from sin.
      3. Man can ‘Come’ to Christ if he dislikes Satan’s agenda. This contradicts Calvinism’s claim that no man can ‘come’ to Christ without being irresistibly drawn, after first being irresistibly regenerated. What blatant
      4. Man can ‘Fight’, ‘Struggle’, ‘Wrestle’ and ‘Resist’ the devil. This contradicts Calvinism’s claim that man is Totally Depraved and can do nothing but sin, unless God unilaterally regenerates him and gives him the ability to desire to fight and resist the devil.
      5. Satan, being ‘dead’ can struggle and resist to the end of time. This contradicts Calvinism’s claim that ‘dead’ men are mere corpses who have no volition, who can neither know or choose what is right, until and unless they are made alive by God.

      This is the trick my former pastor used. Preach the through scripture as it presents itself, without acknowledging that the theology contradicts the teaching. Should the rare question arise, in marches ‘Compatibilism’ to declare that both, opposite, contradictory things are true, no discussion necessary! Unfortunately, the modern mind has been primed by nonsense and absurdity through the media – from childhood cartoons to sitcoms to ‘reality’ tv – to have no qualms about accepting the illogical and impossible without question.

      Like

      1. Was going to share my amazement that Piper dare present Jesus as ‘heartbroken’ over those who ‘will not come’ when his theology clearly, unarguably asserts that no one CAN come unless chosen and enabled. Mind-blowing dishonesty.

        Like

      2. ts00 writes, “Was going to share my amazement that Piper dare present Jesus as ‘heartbroken’ over those who ‘will not come’ when his theology clearly, unarguably asserts that no one CAN come unless chosen and enabled. ”

        ““No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him;…” (John 6:44)

        “Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God…The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3)

        It is God who chooses whom He will draw working in concert with His spirit to regenerate whom He will. Of those whom God chooses not to save (and who will have nothing to do with Him), “The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. So the LORD said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth–men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air–for I am grieved that I have made them.” (Genesis 6)

        There is no dishonesty in the conclusions Piper draws from such verses – your complaint can only be that he has misunderstood what these verses tell us. So, do you understand these verses to tell Piper where he went wrong??

        Like

      3. Excellent post!!

        William Lane Craig – when in dialog with Calvinist philosophers/theologians says:
        “Sadly, yet consistently, Calvinists fail to enunciate the radical distinctions logically inherent in their system”.

        Dr. Craig is a always the gentleman so he uses soft language to basically state that Calvinists are often not intellectually honest.

        Dr. Jerry Walls states: The Calvinist’s wants to say God desires ALL men saved. But frame it in a way guaranteed to mislead all who are untutored in the subtleties of their language.

        The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy – Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) sights the exact same concern:

        -quote:
        John Feinberg, for example, describes his theological determinist position as that view that “God’s decree covers and controls all things” (2001, p. 504), while Paul Helm, another staunch theological determinist of the Calvinist variety, simply says that God’s providence is “extended to all that He has created” (1993, p. 39). The problem with such characterizations is that they are subject to multiple interpretations. These statements can be interpreted to AFFIRM Theological Determinism and DENY Theological Determinism at the same time.

        What this article is saying is that Calvinists statements are curiously yet observably SELF CONTRADICTING.

        The standard Calvinist propositional statement formula is:
        [ALL P ARE Q] but in such a way that [SOME P ARE NOT Q]

        Anyone familiar with the square of opposition knows this as a direct self contradiction – phrased to camouflage the contradiction.

        If Calvinism REALLY is the TRUE gospel message – then it follows the TRUE gospel message is double-speak.

        Like

      4. Good post. A lot of it stems from philosophical commitments to certain definitions of things like “sovereignty.” I’ve had Calvinists complain about articles I’ve written about the problems of theological determinism, only for them to declare that all compatibilism means is that free will is compatible with sovereignty. It shows a pretty elementary understanding of philosophy (or rather, no understanding of philosophy at all); compatibilism means the alleged compatibility of free will and DETERMINISM, not sovereignty, unless one begs the question that determinism and sovereignty are identical. Of course, that is not granted, but a lot of Calvinists have trouble grasping this.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. leesomniac writes, “compatibilism means the alleged compatibility of free will and DETERMINISM, not sovereignty, unless one begs the question that determinism and sovereignty are identical.”

        Calvinists say that without sovereignty, there could be no determinism. It is not that sovereignty and determinism are identical but that sovereignty begets determinism. I think it was the non-Calvinists seeking to dispute the Calvinists who made the argument one of sovereignty vs free will – which it seems to reduce to as determinism requires that God be sovereign.

        Like

      6. Calvinists say….
        Calvin says…..
        The Calvinist says…..

        SOT101 readers – take special note the strategy behind using a phrase like: “What Calvinists say”

        When we understand that 99% of Calvinism’s power is an expertise in shady language, it becomes clear why Calvinists always defer to various subtle strategies in: “What Calvinists say”

        “What Calvinists say”
        “What Politicians say”
        “What Advertisements say”

        What is totally absent in this phrase is any claim, obligation or being held accountable of honesty.
        And that makes this phrase a very cunningly useful phrase.

        Like

      7. I agree with this totally leesomniac!

        But its also been my observation that Calvnism’s lexicon is wildly ad-hoc.
        Their usage of language is much like their usage of scripture — – they co-opt it.
        Very equivocal and duplicitous.

        Like

      8. ts00 writes, “3. Man can ‘Come’ to Christ if he dislikes Satan’s agenda. This contradicts Calvinism’s claim that no man can ‘come’ to Christ without being irresistibly drawn, after first being irresistibly regenerated.”

        Coming to Christ is a spiritual response – a person is born spiritually dead and cannot respond spiritually to the gospel. As a logical argument involving no more than the ability to reason, coming to Christ is the most logical action to take. Yet, people always make act illogically on this issue. Perhaps that is because God has given them over to Satan (2 Corinthians 4:4), However Romans 1 tells us, “Professing to be wise, they became fools,…” If salvation were a matter of simple logic, all would come to Christ.

        Like

  10. ANOTHER CONFIRMATION OF CALVINIST BEGUILING DOUBLE-TALK

    I just bumped into a blog-site where I was given the pleasure of discovering yet another confirmation of Calvinist beguiling double-speak.

    -quote:
    “I do screen those who waste my time with what amounts to assertions that a cat isn’t exactly a cat because it starts walking. It’s already a cat, but not yet. A cat and a walking cat are distinct, but never separate.
    That’s where I draw the line. I draw the line with those who do Reformed speak.”

    Like

      1. That would be totally fun!! 😀
        My prayer is that all Christians who are sincere followers of Jesus will learn Calvinism is double-speak.

        Like

  11. More info for Brian on Christian Gnostics:

    Dr. Elaine Pagels of Princeton in her book “The Gnostic Gospels” writes:

    -quote:
    “Were Catholic Christians included in the TRUE church, the body of Christ? The Eastern branch of Valentinians said no. They maintained that Christ’s body, the church, was “purely spiritual”, consisting only of those who were spiritual, who had received GNOSIS. Theodotus, the great teacher of the Eastern School, defined the TRUE church as “the chosen race”, those “chosen before the foundation of the world”. Their salvation was predestined, certain, and exclusive.”

    Do you see language constituents enunciated by the Valentinians found in Calvinism?
    Language is an incredible barometer – it gives us indicators of human conceptions.
    The Language of Calvinism is permeated with conceptions of dualism (yin/yang).
    We need but look in the Christian time-line – before and during Augustine – to discover its evolutions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. br.d quoting Pagels, “…Theodotus, the great teacher of the Eastern School, defined the TRUE church as “the chosen race”, those “chosen before the foundation of the world”. Their salvation was predestined, certain, and exclusive.”

      So, we have someone taking the Scriptures and adding his own twist – “the church, was ‘purely spiritual.’” Later we find Augustinian/Calvinist theology taking those same Scriptures but rejecting the unique twist of the Valentinians. So that neither proves nor implies anything. If anything, it shows that the Augustinian/Calvinist position is uniquely different from the Valentinian position on this point. That is common in commentaries where one person draws one meaning from a passage while another person rejects that. Big deal!!

      Like

  12. CALVINIST ETHICS – ON DISHONESTY

    Is there a time when Calvinist dishonesty is deemed right?
    Yes – when defending Calvinism against criticisms – especially in public forums.

    Is there a time when Calvinist dishonesty is deemed wrong?
    Yes – when speaking with another Calvinist behind closed doors – unless that Calvinist is questioning Calvinism.

    “He who tells the truth need not discipline himself in the proficiency of rendering half-truths” – Mark Twain paraphrased.

    Like

  13. Rhutchin writes: “. . . a tare is that person who has heard the gospel and appropriated it for his selfish purposes and enters the church for an evil purpose. The contention is whether God put them there. The Scriptures seems clear that the enemy (Satan) has done this whose purpose is to destroy the church.”

    Firstly: Leave it to Calvinism to manufacture its own ad-hoc definitions form bible terms (in this case Tare) for its own selfish ends.

    Secondly: What the Scripture makes clear and what Calvin teaches are in no way the say.
    So for a Calvinist to masquerade scripture as affirming what Calvin teaches – namely:

    1) Calvin’s god deceives Calvinist ministers into functioning in the capacity of Lucifer to minister a fake gospel to people.
    2) Calvin’s god deceives believers into believing the gospel given is true, they are bought by the blood of the lamb, filled with his spirit, and bride of Christ.
    3) And all that spiderweb of deception and manipulation just so Calvin’s god can magnify the torments of creatures

    – Reveals how amoral Calvinism is.
    – Reveals Calvinism’s gratuitous and selfish use to scripture.

    Like

    1. br.d writes, “Firstly: Leave it to Calvinism to manufacture its own ad-hoc definitions form bible terms (in this case Tare) for its own selfish ends.”

      The Scripture in question comes form Matthew 13:
      36 Then He left the multitudes, and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”
      37 And He answered and said, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man,
      38 and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one;
      39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels.
      40 “Therefore just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age.
      41 “The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness,
      42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

      You can offer a second opinion of “tares” from this passage.

      Like

      1. I don’t need to provide an ad-hoc self-ingratiating definition.
        The definition Jesus provides is what God intended it to be.

        The tares are the sons of the evil one.

        Now its your turn to detail where in scripture it tells us that god
        1) Deceives Calvinist ministers to function as Lucifer and present a fake gospel
        2) Deceives Calvinist believers into believing they are bought by Christ’s blood
        3) For the express purpose of magnifying their torment in the lake of fire.

        Please provide scriptures which EXPRESSLY teach these things.

        Like

  14. “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. ”
    1st John 1:8
    8 “The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.”
    1st John 3:8
    I don’t know how it could be much clearer, that what the devil does is not God’s will in any way, shape or form.

    Like

    1. WW:
      You are right. It is easily understandable from Scripture that the Devil not doing God’s will. The opposite is unbiblical, illogical, and counter intuitive.

      But……get ready for some illogical response that “since God is omniscient” He “necessarily” (that word will have to be in the statement) has ordained all things, including all of Satan’s actions and “plans against God’s purpose.”

      Yes…I know that means that God is decreeing that Satan work against His decrees…. and subsequently means that all of us who yield to temptation (that the Word tells us does not come from God….but “necessarily” must come from God) are actually doing God’s will!

      So….live it up boys! Cuz whatever you do….”necessarily” must have been decreed by God!!!

      Only “resist the Devil” until you can’t —then give in, cuz that is God’s will too!

      Like

      1. A truly god-honoring robot would absolutely love that belief system!!!
        He can be “Desiring God” and doing Lucifer’s work at the same time.

        Who wouldn’t want that!! 😀

        Like

      2. FOH writes, “But……get ready for some illogical response that “since God is omniscient” He “necessarily” (that word will have to be in the statement) has ordained all things, including all of Satan’s actions and “plans against God’s purpose.””

        If a person believes that God is omniscient, then, necessarily, all things have been ordained. You raise the point that God can foreknow events that He himself does not ordain. How does God know these things? He learns them by, for example, looking into the future to discover what will happen. If God learns anything, then God is not omniscient as His original ignorance (lack of omniscience) was satisfied by learning. If God does not ordain all things, then God cannot be omniscient – a position I believe you have advocated before (if not, you should correct the record)..

        Like

    2. wildswanderer writes, “I don’t know how it could be much clearer, that what the devil does is not God’s will in any way, shape or form.”

      You are saying that Satan is independent of God and not subject to God’s sovereign rule. You disagree with the Calvinists who say that all things are subject to God’s sovereign rule and nothing acts independent of God. There are two positions on this; you take one and the Calvinist takes the other.

      Like

  15. MOST FREELY AND THE EFT MODULE

    Imagine the world’s leading expert in Neuroscience who developed a new module, which he calls the EFT (Externally-Formed-Thought) module. This man is not only the leading expert in Neuroscience, but also the leading expert in Artificial Intelligence. The module represents a major breakthrough as the module was grown in a laboratory by genetic alteration of human stem cells.

    The EFT module is a biological organism, made up of postsynaptic, neurotransmitter receptor cells, sensitive to minute digital signals transmitted within the 3 gigahertz range. Receptors sensitive to these signals transform them into neurological stimulation processes in the normal mode of human cognition (i.e., thoughts). These neuro-processes within the human target are indistinguishable from normal excitatory postsynaptic processes, resulting in the target experiencing absolutely normal human perception. However, the target does not have any self-forming thoughts. The target’s thoughts are pre-determined and externally formed. That is why the module is called the EFT (Externally-Formed-Thought) module.

    A notorious criminal sentenced to death by lethal injection, volunteered as the first human target for experimentation. Each night during sleep, the scientist used a special computer program which formed a quantity of thoughts for the target’s next day. The target would awake and go about his daily business, totally unaware, his thoughts were externally predetermined. Included in day’s thoughts was the perception that his thoughts were self-formed, originating from himself, and not pre-determined by an external intelligence.

    One day, a reporter accused the scientist of taking away the target’s free will. But the scientist argued that everything the target did, he did -quote: “MOST FREELY”.

    Thoughts the target had, were actually the target’s own thoughts. The fact that thoughts were predetermined by an external intelligence did not take away the target’s free will, the scientist argued.

    The choices the target makes, are derived from the predetermined, externally formed thoughts, and thus, the scientist argued, the target’s choices are indeed the target’s own choices. The actions of the target are derived from the target’s own choices, the scientist argued, so they are indeed the target’s own actions. So the scientist concluded, THIS REPRESENTS AN ACCOUNT OF FREE WILL. Therefore target has free will, and is therefore responsible for all of his thoughts, choices, and actions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. br.d writes, “Each night during sleep, the scientist used a special computer program which formed a quantity of thoughts for the target’s next day…Thoughts the target had, were actually the target’s own thoughts.”

      If the thoughts are implanted from an outside source (the computer program), then those thoughts are not the target’s own thoughts but the thoughts of the person who constructed the computer program. Your example cannot apply to people as the Scripture is clear that a person’s thoughts come from his heart and not an outside source.

      Like

      1. Word games do not cause all determining to mean something less than all determining.
        ” You disagree with the Calvinists who say that all things are subject to God’s sovereign rule and nothing acts independent of God. There are two positions on this; you take one and the Calvinist takes the other”
        This is not even close to the Calvinists actual position, which is to redefine sovereignty so that means total control. Which means if Satan does something he is programmed directly by God to do it. Directly contradicting the scriptures which say that God is actively opposing Satan. You think God cannot learn anything, yet the scriptures also it say that Jesus learned things. Perhaps you should have less Allegiance to philosophical Notions and more to aligning yourself with with scripture. The question of how God can know things without ordaining them just strikes me as silly. He can know them if he chooses just by virtue of being himself.

        Like

      2. ww writes, “This is not even close to the Calvinists actual position, which is to redefine sovereignty so that means total control.”

        Sovereign actually does mean total control. What do you think it means??

        Like

      3. Noun
        a supreme ruler, especially a monarch.
        adjective
        1.
        possessing supreme or ultimate power.
        Or:
        a :one possessing or held to possess supreme political power or sovereignty
        b :one that exercises supreme authority within a limited sphere
        c :an acknowledged leader.
        Nobody who read the Bible with no preconceived ideas would conclude that God was all controlling. From the very first he is allowing man to have free choices even if it’s something so simple as what the name the animals. Man has limited but genuine freedom. To think otherwise you have to impose an outside philosophy on the Word, instead of Simply letting it speak for itself. Determinism is a gnostic Pagan concept.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. ww writes, “Nobody who read the Bible with no preconceived ideas would conclude that God was all controlling.”

        We conclude that God is the supreme ruler, possessing supreme or ultimate power over His creation. We conclude that God is in control of His creation.

        Then, ” From the very first he is allowing man to have free choices even if it’s something so simple as what the name the animals. Man has limited but genuine freedom.”

        The issue here is whether man’s freedom to choose is subordinate to God’s freedom to choose. By the definition you provided, He is – as the Calvinists say.

        Like

      5. Rhutchin writes: “The issue here is whether man’s freedom to choose is subordinate to God’s freedom to choose.”

        As Br.D. says, this is just another Red Herring. Few, if any, believers doubt God’s genuine sovereignty – just the Calvinist definition thereof. Any freedom to choose that man possesses, along with all other things he has, is given to him by God. There is no question about whom is subordinate to whom. God designed and created man in his likeness, with the power of reason and the freedom to choose his own actions. God alone could do such a thing, and doing so did not render him less sovereign, as wise thinkers have argued for centuries. The rest of the creation is limited to the sort of mindless, robotic controlling that Calvinism falsely assigns to man.

        Without question, giving his creatures any degree of autonomy demanded God’s decision to put some limits on his own control of his creation, just as any sovereign commander surrenders control in granting decision-making authority to his subordinates. Supreme rulers are not compelled to surrender power, but must freely choose to do so. This really is not difficult to understand. It takes place in every hierarchical setting, with the exception of a few controlling tyrants who usually self destruct in their efforts to keep an iron grip on all things.

        Like

      6. Well said WW,

        Even “controlling tyrants” —-even the worst or best of them, cannot force their constituents to think, feel, love, as —- “necessarily” the Calvinist version of God is doing.

        Yes, the biblical account shows that God surrendered some of what He could have kept, when He gave certain freedoms to man.

        Like

      7. FOH writes, “Even “controlling tyrants” —-even the worst or best of them, cannot force their constituents to think, feel, love, as —- “necessarily” the Calvinist version of God is doing.”

        This is wrong. Calvinism is clear – the heart of man is the source of those things he thinks, feels, loves, etc. Even a former Calvinist knows this.

        Then, “Yes, the biblical account shows that God surrendered some of what He could have kept, when He gave certain freedoms to man.”

        All basically agree on this. God gives people freedom to act without interference from Him – but only to the extent that His will is done.

        Like

      8. tr00 writes, “Few, if any, believers doubt God’s genuine sovereignty – just the Calvinist definition thereof.”

        So, how does “genuine sovereignty” differ from the Calvinist definition of sovereignty?

        Then, “The rest of the creation is limited to the sort of mindless, robotic controlling that Calvinism falsely assigns to man.”

        Fortunately, Calvinism does not do this. At least, no one here can explain how it does.

        Then, “Without question, giving his creatures any degree of autonomy demanded God’s decision to put some limits on his own control of his creation, just as any sovereign commander surrenders control in granting decision-making authority to his subordinates. ”

        In saying this, do you still hold with your earlier statement, “Any freedom to choose that man possesses, along with all other things he has, is given to him by God. There is no question about whom is subordinate to whom.” If so, then autonomy (relative to God) cannot exist so long as the individual is subordinate to God.

        Then, “just as any sovereign commander surrenders control in granting decision-making authority to his subordinates.”

        I think you are conflating the subordinate (noun) describing one’s position relative to another and subordinate (adjective) as one’s submission to the authority of another. A subordinate may be free to make decisions but those decisions must be consistent with the will of him to whom he is subordinate – if not he would not be subordinate.

        Like

      9. rhutch writes:
        So, how does “genuine sovereignty” differ from the Calvinist definition of sovereignty?

        Calvin’s definition of sovereignty follows the puppet/robot facsimile.

        Like

      10. ww writes,
        “Nobody who reads the Bible without preconceived ideas would conclude that God was ALL CONTROLLING.”

        rhutchin responds:
        We conclude that God is the supreme ruler, possessing supreme or ultimate power over His creation. We conclude that God is in control of His creation.

        SOT101 readers please notice how the Calvinist will always rock back and forth between Calvinism’s extreme position making Calvin’s god the author of evil and humans function as puppets.
        So he can’t stay there long – he rocks over to the general Christian (non-Calvnist) position, hiding behind the camouflage of ambiguous terms like “supreme” and “ultimate”.

        But all Calvinism’s beguiling double-talk is to no avail.
        For he does (at least secretly) hold that Calvin’s god controls people AS-IF they are puppets.

        Like

      11. Another issue is whether God is compelled by his own attributes. If God is forced to use his power simply by virtue of having that power, that would make him some thing less than all powerful. And Jesus is our model here course who chose to limit himself and submit rather than forcing submission in everybody

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      12. Yes – this is also discussed in Christian Philosophy.
        If it is true that Libertarian free will does not exist – then it does not exist for god – therefore god does not have Libertarian free will.

        If god at T1 decrees he will do X at T2, then god is not free to do otherwise at T2.

        The typical Calvinist response to this is yet another irrelevant red herring:
        “god does not have to do otherwise at T2”.

        But this serves only to affirm the conclusion: god is not free to do otherwise at T2.
        The same limited form of freedom that applies to creatures in Calvinism also applies to Calvin’s god.

        The way Calvinists often try to escape this, is by ascribing CHARACTERISTICS of Libertarian freedom which are LOGICALLY IMPOSSIBLE within Calvinism’s compatiblist freedom, while simply REJECTING THE “Libertarian” LABEL.

        This is like saying, my shoe is not a shoe its a modified sandal.
        A rose is still a rose – no mater what-else one tries to name it.

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      13. br.d writes, “If it is true that Libertarian free will does not exist – then it does not exist for god – therefore god does not have Libertarian free will.”

        This is you rambling incoherently. If LFW does exist, it can only exist for God – this because God is omniscient, omnipotent, etc. and possesses infinite understanding of all things while able to make perfectly wise decisions. People, being less than God, cannot have LFW – however, philosophers finally decide to define it. To make God and man equal on any point is nonsensical.

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      14. WW writes, “If God is forced to use his power simply by virtue of having that power, that would make him some thing less than all powerful.”

        Everyone agrees that God is free to exercise his power any way He wants. The issue is whether man’s free exercise of power is subordinate to God’s free exercise of power as the Calvinists claim. The Calvinist claim follows if we conclude that God is the supreme ruler, possessing supreme or ultimate power over His creation. We conclude that God is in control of His creation.

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      15. No, the only common sense conclusion is that God CAN control his creation if he chooses. The Calvinist conclusion also cancels out any responsibility man has for his actions. If my will is necessarily subordinate to God’s will, how is it that I am to blame for my sin?
        rhutchin has always confused rule with control, I suppose in a attempt to make capatibalism look more like actual free will. br.d makes an excellent point, if God pre ordains everything, then God has no freedom and in fact, is a slave to his own will. Not to mention that Satan would also be doing God’s will in this odd scenario, and we would have to praise Satan for being a good Calvinist and doing exactly what God pre determined him to do.
        Do you suppose John Piper looks both ways before crossing the street?

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      16. ww writes, “the only common sense conclusion is that God CAN control his creation if he chooses.”

        Everyone agrees on that point. We know that God is in control of His creation. It’s the extent to which He exercises that control that is at issue.

        Then, “The Calvinist conclusion also cancels out any responsibility man has for his actions. If my will is necessarily subordinate to God’s will, how is it that I am to blame for my sin?”

        God does not compel you to sin — the desire comes from your heart and you act on it. – but only to the extent that God gives you freedom to do so.

        Then, “rhutchin has always confused rule with control, I suppose in a attempt to make capatibalism look more like actual free will.”

        Absolute rule begets absolute control. No confusion there.

        Then, “br.d makes an excellent point, if God pre ordains everything, then God has no freedom and in fact, is a slave to his own will.”

        As God pre ordains everything, God exercised His freedom in pre-ordaining everything. No one speaks of God being free to make a decision He has already made.

        Then, “Not to mention that Satan would also be doing God’s will in this odd scenario, and we would have to praise Satan for being a good Calvinist and doing exactly what God pre determined him to do.”

        Satan’s will, necessarily, is subordinate to God’s will. If that were not so, then Satan would be God.

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      17. WW:

        Get ready for some illogical, unbiblical, two-sided logic that —-based on their definition of what sovereignty MUST mean, God “necessarily” is causing Satan to do all the things that are opposing the will of God.

        We are to “resist the Devil” but wink-wink….he is really actually doing God’s will all along.

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      18. From the Viewpoint of a random discussion I don’t really care what anyone believes about this stuff. But from a practical standpoint? To imply that God is author of all sin is blasphemy. And that ticks me off and it should tick us all off. For someone to say that Satan is God’s servant means that it’s God’s idea to have children sold into prostitution. That it was God’s idea for one of our friends to take his own life. And it’s at that point in the discussion when I lose my patience and say as sure as hell exists, that is not my God or the god of the Bible and certainly not the God displayed on the cross. Calvinists are a lot like Job’s friends. They think they have God all figured out with their systematic theology, and God says to them repent of your arrogance and trust me as Job did.

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      19. Yes – John Calvin postures as a Super Apostle and Calvinists follow after him right into the same ditch.

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

        The Catholic church did everything it could to prevent the general public from direct access to scripture. They burned young mothers alive for teaching their children the Lord’s prayer, and massacred whole villages to keep them from scripture.

        It eventually became evident they were fight a losing battle.
        So they switched strategies – if we can’t keep the scripture from them we’ll stand over their shoulders and be their infallible interpreter, and indoctrinate them to read scripture our way.

        Calvin, as a “Catholic with a small C” carried on that tradition. Calvinists are indoctrinated in his interpretations and boldly claim that without Calvin, Protestants wouldn’t know how to read scripture and understand it.

        Thus Calvin for them functions as is Super Apostle.

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      20. WW:

        It is easy to see why you get upset.

        Let me encourage you to take the humble road in this. Paul languished in jail while others were doing things he did not like. And yet he rejoiced that the name of Christ was preached.

        Yes….. when you drilled down to all that determinists are teaching it is upsetting to see them make God the author of child prostitution (and He is not!), but in actual daily life very few drill down this far or contemplate that.

        You seem as upset against this teaching as young Troy seems at those of us who do not accept this teaching (he often uses terms like blasphemy, heresy, and false teaching).

        So one is claiming the other a heretic because he is too “man-centered” and does not agree that God controls all things (even child prostitution…”for His glory”) and the other is accusing blasphemy back at him because he is promoting a God that determines every action (including the most heinous evil).

        You cannot both be right. But you both can be civil.

        Preach Christ and Him crucified. Eyes fixed on Jesus.

        We all err…..even in our choice of doctrine.

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      21. fromoverhere.
        Thanks and I agree that most will not take it there. I have my moments, but I do not actually believe my Calvinist brothers and sister are heretics.
        I’m not so sure about Calvin himself, but that’s for God to judge.
        I’m also a very easy going person most of the time. When I see those posts calling arminians reprobates, I am quite puzzled and amused.
        And I’m quite sure there are places where we all err in doctrine. But thanks for the reminder. It’s more fun to mess with their minds then to get mad at them anyway.
        And every once in awhile I need the reminder that for most Christians, this debate isn’t even on the radar, and we should be too busy loving others to Christ to spend much time on these side issues…

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      22. ww writes, “To imply that God is author of all sin is blasphemy.”

        Under one definition of “author” it would be blasphemy; under a different definition, it would not. What is your definition of “author”?

        Then, “For someone to say that Satan is God’s servant means that it’s God’s idea to have children sold into prostitution.”

        Do you really want to make Satan, God? Either Satan is God’s servant or God is Satan’s servant.

        Then, “That it was God’s idea for one of our friends to take his own life.”

        Do you really think that God is not present when any person takes their life; that God is powerless to prevent it; and that such deaths do not have purpose. Are you a humanist??

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      23. Apparently in your Calvinist Bible it reads “Job, have you considered my servant Satan”, instead of “have you considered my servant Job.” I can understand why you must be confused and make contradictory statements.

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      24. ww writes, “You either get sarcasm or you don’t, I guess.”

        No sarcasm intended. Just a straightforward assessment. Like you, most non-Calvinists make statements that they cannot support, or do not try to support, with any reasonable explanation. You are welcome to change that pattern.

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      25. Do you encourage depressed people to take thier lives and fulfill God’s purpose? Your conclusions are immoral and of no practical use. God’s will is always redemption, Satan’s is always destruction. If God can bring good even from the evil that happens, how much more can he bring good from righteous actions? Your false religion blinds you from seeing that every evil choice is against God’s will. Read the Word without your Calvinist lenses on, and let the Spirit guide you, instead of false teachers.

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      26. ww writes, “Read the Word without your Calvinist lenses on, and let the Spirit guide you, instead of false teachers.”

        LOL. Non-Calvinists can never explain anything.

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      27. WW, I think we all realize by now that Rhutchin is, by necessity, in perpetual smokescreen mode. It must be incredibly tiring, to continuously backpedal in an attempt to pretend you believe in the God of scripture, to try to mean all things to all people and, most of all, to constantly have to pretend logical inconsistency is rational.

        ‘God controls whatsoever happens’ and ‘Man chooses his own actions freely’. ‘God conceives and preordains even man’s sinful, evil actions’ and ‘Evil arises from man’s own wicked heart’. ‘God is love’ and ‘God created countless men with no possibility of anything but misery and eternal torment’. It all started when the mighty Divines tried to assert that God was the cause of all evil, but not the author. Who can blame President Bill Clinton for trying the same trick – ‘It all depends on your definition of ‘is” I think I even saw that Rhutchin used that very line with the word ‘author’, although perhaps it was tongue in cheek? I really hope so. Few people struggle to know what ‘author’ means. It is only deceivers who constantly attempt to redefine words in order to disguise the ugly truth behind their words.

        Poor Rhutchin, and other Calvinists, will pretend that contradictory, oppositional statements can be equally true until they turn blue in the face and pass out. THEY HAVE NO OTHER CHOICE. (pun intended) He knows we are on to him, but just keeps blowing smoke, in case some naive onlooker stumbles into the conversation, and might be prey for his misleading and deceptive responses.

        At times I am tempted to codify shortcuts for Rhutchin’s comments, just to save time. Something like:

        A. Name Calling
        B. As-If statement
        C. Logical Impossibility
        D. Distraction (Flying Squirrel comments)
        ETC. . . .

        Maybe we could ask admin to post it at the top of the comments section?

        Liked by 2 people

      28. I was just watching a video on facebook where John Macauthor trys to reconcile human freedom with God’s sovereignty and of course, the only answer he can give is that it’s a mystery, because he starts with the assumption that sovereignty must mean total control. With predominant teachers spreading such nonsense it’s easy to see why Rhutchins exist.
        It’s like a dense fog that makes it impossible to see or share God’s love clearly.
        I noticed he’s back to the flying squirrel. “You humanist!” And the bit about choosing to believe one of two options, that God is Satan’s servant or vice versa, is quite amusing. I’ll take the scriptural truth behind door number three.

        Liked by 1 person

      29. WW – I can’t tell you how much the ‘flying squirrel’ concept has meant to me. It not only makes me laugh, but reminds me that this is all a deliberate (learned and/or indoctrinated) strategy to defend the indefensible. The flying squirrel has become the image I call to mind that prevents me from getting worked up when one of these loyalists are working all of their defense strategies to preserve their belief system in the face of the undistorted Word and indisputable logic. For that I thank you!

        Liked by 2 people

      30. Glad to be the comic relief, lol. A sense of humor is certainly a requirement to keep from getting too angry at the loyalists. I’m just glad to be able to participate, as I know for sure that I am not anything close to an educated theologian.

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      31. WW, I think many of us here are not only seeking to understand more fully, but to share the lovely, hope infused truth of the genuine gospel message that God loves us and desires an eternal, personal relationship with us. This struck home with me when one of my Calvinism-indoctrinated friends was recently diagnosed with late-stage cancer. More than anything I want to share with this precious believer that God is good, and does not CAUSE the evils that befall us, but will definitely work in and through them to bring good out of them. There is an enormous difference between believing God struck you with cancer, and believing that God temporarily permits but mourns the ongoing damage rebellious man has wreaked upon all life on this planet, including cancer. God promises to strengthen, encourage and walk with us, along with offering the blessed hope of a day when the suffering of this world is no more. I have no desire to debate such friends – merely to give them real hope.

        Liked by 1 person

      32. I see this so often and not just in Calvinists, instead of laying our suffering on God, we secretly blame him for it.. A family member had a bad wreck and broke her back and she was saying that everything happens for a reason and I could tell that what she was thinking was that she committed some sin that God was punishing her for. My answer was something like, yes and sometimes the reason is that someone was stupid and makes a bad decision. Like the other driver that was at fault. It’s very easy to go down that road, kind of like Job’s friends did, by constantly telling him that the bad that happened to him was because of his sin. Of course, this will end up with a person thinking terrible things about God and finding it hard to trust him. Jesus rebukes sickness, he doesn’t claim to have caused it…. Of course some people go to the other extreme and follow the health and wealth crowd. We should keep foremost in our minds that Jesus’ answer to suffering was to suffer with us and for us. That’s the gospel, not man’s supposition that everything happens for a reason. Sorry for preaching, I know you don’t need to hear it… 🙂

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      33. I have a question I would like to pose of you and WW.

        I recently read a testimony of a fellow who was brought up into Calvinism – went to seminary etc.
        In his testimony about coming out of Calvinism, he said the starting-point was Calvin’s doctrine of “Perseverance”.

        He started a personal study of the scriptures which exhort the believer, and he said this time he wasn’t reading them through the lens of a Calvinist interpreter. He called that the “loose thread” which God started pulling in the fabric of indoctrination – and which God kept pulling until the whole system unraveled.

        I’m wondering if that is a common starting-point for people for whom the flash-light of truth comes on – and they start coming out of Calvinism’s grip?

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      34. br.d writes, “In his testimony about coming out of Calvinism, he said the starting-point was Calvin’s doctrine of “Perseverance”.”

        Looks like he disagrees with the “P” in TULIP. Do you?

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      35. br.d wrote, “In his testimony about coming out of Calvinism, he said the starting-point was Calvin’s doctrine of “Perseverance”.”
        rhutchin responded, “Looks like he disagrees with the “P” in TULIP. Do you?”

        br.d then said, “The TULIP is window dressing.
        The foundation and corner-stone is Universal Divine Causal Determinism.”

        LOL!!! br.d doesn’t seem to know what he thinks.

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      36. br.d then said, “The TULIP is window dressing.
        The foundation and corner-stone is Universal Divine Causal Determinism.”

        LOL!!! br.d doesn’t seem to know what he thinks.

        Another blind claim without any rational reasoning – I’ve been keeping count – you’re in the thousands now. 😉

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      37. ts00 writes, “More than anything I want to share with this precious believer that God is good, and does not CAUSE the evils that befall us, but will definitely work in and through them to bring good out of them.”

        Every Calvinist knows, or should know, that it all began when Adam sinned and is getting worse and will do so until Christ returns. Every Calvinist knows, or should know, that God works all things according to the counsel of His will so that everything that happens has a purpose. Finally, to your point, every Calvinist knows, or should know, that God is working all things for good on behalf of His elect.

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      38. rhutchin writes
        “Every Calvinist knows, or should know, that it [SIN and EVIL] all began when Adam sinned”

        Sure they do!!! Wink- wink! 😉

        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.”

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      39. br.d writes, “The other 99 totally depraved sheep, he sent to a torture chamber to be viciously tortured to death.”

        By calling them sheep, Jesus identifies them as His elect. The depraved are called goats.

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      40. It didn’t take me long to realize that one of the things rhutchin really needs – is to be taken seriously.
        Rhutchin’s posts made me contemplate how children commonly answer questions concerning reality.
        Basically, they rely on their imagination, and when they take themselves seriously they believe whatever they imagine to be true.
        That made me start to realize how characteristic process is of John Calvin in his writings.
        Alot of “so-called” explanations are things he simply manufactures out of his imagination.

        Take for example, the idea that god hands out salvation temporarily to believers, deceiving them into believing they are saved in order to magnify their torments in the lake of fire. Where would Calvin dream up such a notion?

        Its so totally easy to see a self-willed child imagining such things.
        But Calvin totally believed his own imaginations – and treated them as if they were infallible.

        Calvin’s contribution to Christianity was an over active imagination, a willingness to paint god as evil, and a super inflated ego, in order to assume himself right and the whole church (accept for Augustine) wrong.

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      41. br.d writes, “Take for example, the idea that god hands out salvation temporarily to believers, deceiving them into believing they are saved in order to magnify their torments in the lake of fire. Where would Calvin dream up such a notion?”

        Matthew 7
        21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
        22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
        23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

        Matthew 13
        24 Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field.
        25 “But while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares also among the wheat, and went away.
        26 “But when the wheat sprang up and bore grain, then the tares became evident also.
        27 “And the slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’
        28 “And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ And the slaves *said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’
        29 “But he *said, ‘No; lest while you are gathering up the tares, you may root up the wheat with them.
        30 ‘Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

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      42. br.d writes,
        “Take for example, the idea that god hands out salvation temporarily to believers, deceiving them into believing they are saved in order to magnify their torments in the lake of fire.
        Where would Calvin dream up such a notion?”

        rhutch quotes scriptures which he interprets as affirming this notion.

        Thank you rhutchin for acknowledge – you believe Calvin’s god hands out salvation temporarily to believers, deceiving them into believing they are saved in order to magnify their torments in the lake of fire.

        But of course Calvin’s god isn’t doing that with you!!! 😉

        Like

      43. ww writes, “…he starts with the assumption that sovereignty must mean total control.”

        Calvinists claim that it does. Even non-Calvinists generally agree that it does with the result that discussions will focus on the extent to which God exercises His total control. Here is where definitions become important – if sovereignty is total control as the Calvinists claim, then their system is reasonable. If sovereignty is not total control as you claim, then the Calvinists are wrong. All you need to do is demonstrate that sovereignty does not mean total control, or concede the point and get down to the real issue – the extent to which God exercises His control..

        Like

      44. Read Genesis. Better yet, have some ten-year-old kid read Genesis. Seriously, that’s all you need to do. Then ask him why God punished Adam and Eve. Bet he says something like: “Because they did what God said not to do.” You don’t need to read Calvin’s Institutes to understand the Bible. All you need is a heart of a child. Some people who have apparently been educated Way Beyond their common sense, somehow equate Adam and Eve’s disobedience with God totally controlling them. Tis a strange notion.

        Like

      45. WW
        Why bother?

        We have all seen that when it is convenient they say “God allowed Adam to sin”…. Or God ” allows man to follow his fallen nature..” Which of course Adam didn’t have by the way.

        But then when they are in their real “necessarily sovereignty” mode they say that God controls everything ( every thought every action every sin).

        I think we have established that they say both of those things on a whim.

        They say absolutely contradictory terms at their own pleasure.

        Liked by 2 people

      46. FOH writes, “We have all seen that when it is convenient they say “God allowed Adam to sin”…. Or God ” allows man to follow his fallen nature..” Which of course Adam didn’t have by the way.”

        Calvinists should say, “God gave Adam freedom to sin,” and by that they mean that Adam could do his heart’s desire without interference from God. God, by His omniscience knows what Adam will choose to do and He will understand the reasons Adam chose such.

        Then, “But then when they are in their real “necessarily sovereignty” mode they say that God controls everything ( every thought every action every sin).”

        Nothing is ever outside God’s control. You were a Calvinist; you know the Scriptures cited to support this.

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      47. rhutch writes:
        Calvinists should say……….etc etc etc

        See how Calvinism is 99% language tricks.
        That’s the way beguiling double-talk works.
        Its all about “how they say it”. 🙂

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      48. ww writes, “Some people who have apparently been educated Way Beyond their common sense, somehow equate Adam and Eve’s disobedience with God totally controlling them. ”

        So, you would disagree on the following points:
        1. Satan could not enter the garden until God said that he could.
        2. God made Adam and Eve having perfect understanding of all their weaknesses
        3. God was present when Satan tempted Eve and then when Eve gave the fruit to Adam and he ate.
        4. God could have intervened to prevent Eve being tempted or Adam eating the fruit.
        5. A sovereign God who gave Satan freedom to enter the garden and who made Adam and Eve having perfect understanding of all their weaknesses and who was present during all that happened was not in total control of the situation.

        That is a strange notion.

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      49. There goes 5 squirrels!!

        Calvin’s god gave Satan the freedom to do only what Calvin’s god MADE Satan do.
        Same for Adam and Eve – no mater how much beguiling double-talk the Calvinist can manufacture

        Liked by 2 people

      50. br.d writes, “Calvin’s god gave Satan the freedom to do only what Calvin’s god MADE Satan do.”

        It was not necessary for God to make Satan do the things he did. Satan had a will and sought to do that which he desired. We see that illustrated in Job 1.

        Then, “Same for Adam and Eve – no mater how much beguiling double-talk the Calvinist can manufacture”

        Here, Genesis is clear. God made Adam and Eve, and Adam and Eve each choose to eat the fruit as an act of their wills.

        Like

      51. br.d writes,
        “Calvin’s god gave Satan the freedom to do only what Calvin’s god MADE Satan do.”

        rhutchin responds:
        It was NOT NECESSARY FOR GOD TO MAKE SATAN DO the things he did. Satan had a will and sought to do that which he desired. We see that illustrated in Job 1.

        irrelevant red-herring:
        Calvin’s god DOES make Satan do everything Satan does.
        Necessary has nothing to do with it unless you want to assert fatalism like other Calvinists do.

        br.d
        Same thing for Adam and Eve – no mater how much beguiling double-talk the Calvinist can manufacture”

        rhutchin responds
        Genesis is clear. God made Adam and Eve, and Adam and Eve each choose to eat the fruit as an act of their wills.

        Again, what scripture states and what is logically entailed in Calvinism are very different things.
        You’re burden is to show how scripture affirms Calvinism – where Calvin’s god first-conceives – then decrees every sin and every evil – and makes Adam’s thoughts come to pass as Adam’s inevitable unavoidable fate – determined before Adam was born.

        Your arguments consistently reveal a theology of quasi-Calvinism.
        The prophet Elijah says “How long will you halt between 2 opinions” – either your god determines ALL things or not.
        But you can’t have both.

        You consistently attempt to both affirm and deny Calvin’s first-principles.
        Ex Calvinist Daniel Gracely calls this “The Calvinist’s rocking horse”

        And that’s why we call your strategy beguiling double-talk.

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      52. br.d writes, “You’re burden is to show how scripture affirms Calvinism – where Calvin’s god first-conceives – …”

        I think all agree that there is nothing that can happen that was unknown to God from eternity past. God is omniscient with an infinite understanding of all things and there is nothing new that can happen that was unknown to God from eternity past.

        Then, “…then decrees every sin and every evil – ”

        God is omniscient. He knew all that would happen when He created the world as well as the means by which they would happen. His decree to create the world necessarily decreed all that would follow.

        Then, “and makes Adam’s thoughts come to pass as Adam’s inevitable unavoidable fate – determined before Adam was born.”

        While God knows a person’s thoughts before they form in the person’s mind and can block out any thoughts He wills, the Scriptures clearly attribute evil to the heart of a person.

        Proverbs 6 – “1A worthless person, a wicked man, Is the one who walks with a false mouth,…Who with perversity in his heart devises evil continually,…”

        Proverbs 12 – “Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil…”

        Jeremiah 12 – ““But they will say, ‘It’s hopeless! For we are going to follow our own plans, and each of us will act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.’”

        Matthew 15 – “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man;”

        Luke 6 – “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.”

        Like

      53. br.d writes, “You’re burden is to show how scripture affirms Calvinism – where Calvin’s god first-conceives – …”

        rhutchin responds
        I think all agree that there is nothing that can happen that was unknown to God from eternity past. God is omniscient…….

        Again with your denial of Calvin’s doctrine of (foreknowledge via decrees).
        Calvin’s god CANNOT know anything is true unless he first-conceives and then decrees it as true.
        Your simply attempting to deny your own theology.
        Calvin’s god doesn’t KNOW Adam’s sin by OBSERVATION.
        Calvin’s god KNOWS Adam’s sin because Calvin’s god first-conceives and then decrees Adam’s sin as Adam’s inevitable unavoidable fate.

        Your beguiling double-talk is simply not working for you. 😀

        Like

      54. How many angels can fit on that pin . . . is there any purpose whatsoever to all of this silly round and round talk? Those who refuse to be governed by the principles of honest communication – of using language in a forthright, discernible manner in order that all parties fully understand and agree on the meanings of the words used – cannot be reasoned with. They are not seeking truth and understanding; they are seeking to confuse and deceive.

        How nice it would be to discuss matters without this pointless distraction.

        Like

      55. Hi truthseeker00

        I totally agree. However, since Calvinists have developed a language of beguiling double-talk, to defend their doctrinal investments. And since there are SOT101 readers who don’t post but simply read the responses back and forth – I feel it behooves me to illuminate Calvinism’s beguiling double-talk points.

        I know the frustration here is that the Calvinist (rhutchin for example) will simply parrot a specific double-talk strategy repeatedly like a broken record, hoping each time people won’t be savvy enough to see through the deception.

        Since he uses repetition as his strategy I don’t see any alternative but to illuminate it when he presents it. But I would be open to suggestion.

        There was a time when rhutchin dominated SOT101 with his beguiling double-talk. But that time is no more as there are people savvy enough to see through it and illuminate.

        I’ve been depending on rhutchin to provide examples of Calvinism’s double-speak

        Like

      56. Br.D. Not intended as a rebuke; I understand where you are coming from, and respond for the same reasons. It is just annoying to see the same circular logic, same debunked concepts, same lack of logic circle through these pages again and again. I realize that there are readers who may be new to all of this, and need to become more educated to look carefully at what is being said and evaluate for sense and truth. I was just spouting off.

        Like

      57. Thanks! And I appreciate that very much!

        Yes – if it weren’t for the fact that the same self-contradicting arguments weren’t continuously repeated over and over, we could actually a collaborative dialog that moved in a forward direction. But of course the Calvinist is not going to want that.
        So I expect rhutchin is simply forced to keep chasing his own tail – repeating over and over – the same self-contradictions.

        Like

      58. br.d writes, “Again with your denial of Calvin’s doctrine of (foreknowledge via decrees).”

        No. Calvin held that God is omniscient and that God knows what He decrees and that God decrees all things. How all things come about is not to be attributed to solely to God’s omniscience or to His decrees as God works through His creation and their free actions to bring about all things.

        Then, “Calvin’s god CANNOT know anything is true unless he first-conceives and then decrees it as true.”

        And God knows how He will use freely acting secondary means to bring about that which He has decreed. Again, Isaiah 10 and the description of God’s use of Assyria illustrates this – something you do not, nor cannot, deny.

        Then, “Calvin’s god doesn’t KNOW Adam’s sin by OBSERVATION”

        No one disputes this point. Were it true, God could not be said to be omniscient.
        .
        Then, “Calvin’s god KNOWS Adam’s sin because Calvin’s god first-conceives and then decrees Adam’s sin as Adam’s inevitable unavoidable fate..”

        But this is not the issue. The issue is whether Adam’s desire to sin arises from within himself as Calvinists maintain is true because God gave Adam the ability though mind and reason to conceive freely things new to him and act freely to bring about his desires.

        Like

      59. br.d writes, “Again with your denial of Calvin’s doctrine of (foreknowledge via decrees).”

        rhutchin:
        No. Calvin held that God is omniscient and that God knows what He decrees and that God decrees all things. How all things come about is not to be attributed to solely to God’s omniscience or to His decrees as God works through His creation and their free actions to bring about all things.

        br.d
        Another excellent example of Calvinist beguiling double-talk.
        Calvin’s god CANNOT know anything is true unless he first decree it as true.
        Calvin’s god CANNOT know Adam’s sin unless he first-conceives ordains/decrees Adam’s sin occur as Adam’s inevitable unavoidable fate.

        rutchin:
        And God knows how He will use freely acting secondary means to bring about that which He has decreed. Again, Isaiah 10 and the description of God’s use of Assyria illustrates this – something you do not, nor cannot, deny.

        William Lane Craig has already address the fallacious appeal to secondary means.
        -quote:
        “Universal Divine Causal Determinism NULLIFIES HUMAN AGENCY. Since OUR CHOICES ARE NOT UP TO US but are CAUSED by God, human beings cannot be said to be real agents.

        They are mere instruments by means of which God acts to produce some effect, much like a man using a stick to move a stone. Of course, secondary causes retain all their properties and powers as intermediate causes…. just as a stick retains its properties and powers which make it suitable for the purposes of the one who uses it.

        But these intermediate causes are not agents themselves but mere instrumental causes, for THEY HAVE NO POWER TO INITIATE ACTION. …..This conclusion not only flies in the face of our knowledge of ourselves as agents but makes it inexplicable why God then treats us as agents, holding us responsible for what He CAUSED US AND USED US TO DO.”

        br.d
        Then, “Calvin’s god doesn’t KNOW Adam’s sin by OBSERVATION”
        “Calvin’s god KNOWS Adam’s sin because Calvin’s god first-conceives and then decrees Adam’s sin as Adam’s inevitable unavoidable fate..”

        rhutchin:
        This is not the issue. The issue is whether Adam’s desire to sin arises from within himself as vinists maintain is true because God gave Adam the ability though mind and reason to conceive freely things new to him and act freely to bring about his desires.

        br.d.
        A great example of Calvinist AS-IF thinking and beguiling double-talk
        Adam’s desire to sin arises from within himself AS-IF Calvin’s god did not “render” it upon Adam making Adam powerless in the matter.

        Jesus says: If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

        The real question is – how much of Calvinism is beguiling double-talk – how great is the darkness.

        Like

      60. “5. A sovereign God who gave Satan freedom to enter the garden and who made Adam and Eve having perfect understanding of all their weaknesses and who was present during all that happened was not in total control of the situation.
        That is a strange notion.”
        So, you believe that God orchestrated man’s fall and then punished us for sinning, when we had no option but sin. Makes perfect sense?
        God gave Satan freedom? Exactly, to give someone freedom by definition is to not control their actions. Of course, this is another direct contradiction to Satan only working as God’s mini me and always doing God’s bidding. You seem very confused.

        I give my children instructions on how to act. I teach them right from wrong. But they still sin and act in ways that are not in line with my teaching, even when I am right there in the room.
        God’s controlling nature is actually a great topic for a future blog post, that I’ve been wanting to get into for a long time, but there is a lot of research to it and I’m sure I’ll get disagreement from other Christians who have been taught to see God as all controlling. Nature is under a curse, Nature is groaning for redemption. A perfect God perfectly controlling nature would mean a perfect world. But we don’t live in Eden anymore. There is plenty in scripture to indicate that nature itself is corrupted by sin and that demonic activity can affect weather. We should be careful of saying “God is in control.” when the activity of the evil one is very real. We are not yet part of the new heavens and new earth where sin will be done away with and God will rule completely.

        Liked by 1 person

      61. ww writes, “I give my children instructions on how to act. I teach them right from wrong. But they still sin and act in ways that are not in line with my teaching, even when I am right there in the room.”

        You are human. Yous are not sovereign over your children and you exercise limited control over them. What do you expect??

        Then, “God’s controlling nature is actually a great topic for a future blog post, that I’ve been wanting to get into for a long time, but there is a lot of research to it and I’m sure I’ll get disagreement from other Christians who have been taught to see God as all controlling. ”

        I don’t think God’s nature is controlling given the freedom He gives people to sin. Certainly, by virtue of His omnipotence, God is in control of His creation and can exercise control over any part of His creation to any extent He wants.

        Then, “A perfect God perfectly controlling nature would mean a perfect world. ”

        And that is what we look forward to in heaven. Correct??

        Then, “There is plenty in scripture to indicate that nature itself is corrupted by sin… ”

        That’s what the Calvinists say.

        Then, “We should be careful of saying “God is in control.” when the activity of the evil one is very real.”

        If God were not in control of Satan, we would be in big trouble. Remember 2 Thessalonians 2
        3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,
        4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.
        5 Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things?
        6 And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he may be revealed.
        7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.
        8 And then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;
        9 that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders,
        10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.
        11 And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false,
        12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.

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      62. rhutchin
        August 23, 2016 at 8:09 pm
        I don’t know what the issue is here…..nothing escapes His [Calvin’s god’s] control

        rhutchin
        October 24, 2017 at 1:49 pm
        I don’t think God’s nature is controlling given the freedom He gives people

        Wonderful examples of beguiling double-talk thanks rhutchin 😀

        Like

      63. br.d writes, “Wonderful examples of beguiling double-talk thanks rhutchin.”

        I don’t understand the problem with the two statements. To be in control of all things and to be controlling all things are two different things. One can be in control of all things but not controlling – exercising control the same in all events or at all. Merriam-Webster defines controlling as “inclined to control others’ behavior.” That seems proper to me.

        Like

      64. br.d writes, “Wonderful examples of beguiling double-talk thanks rhutchin.”

        I don’t understand the problem with the two statements. To be in control of all things and to be controlling all things are two different things. One can be in control of all things but not controlling – exercising control the same in all events or at all. Merriam-Webster defines controlling as “inclined to control others’ behavior.” That seems proper to me.

        Of course it does.
        While you’re rocking on Calvnism’s rocking horse, asserting total sovereignty, a UNIVERSAL sense of control seems proper to you.
        Up until the point where you’re brain starts to register Calvin’s god as the author of evil.

        In order to escape that, you rock in the other direction towards a “distanced” NON-UNIVERSAL sense of divine control.
        And in that context, that seems proper to you.

        The logical conundrum for you is that you want both to be true at the same time.
        You want Calvin’s god’s control to be UNIVERSAL for good events.
        And NON-UNIVERSAL for sinful evil events.
        This is not based on logic but psychological escape mechanisms.

        Calvin harshly rebuked any disciples he found in your condition.

        Remember double-think is a condition which the person has absolutely no discernment of.

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      65. br.d writes, “Up until the point where you’re brain starts to register Calvin’s god as the author of evil.”

        That would depend on what you mean by “author.” We should both agree that no evil can be done that escapes God’s eye and God can restrain any, and all, evil acts He wills. That God does not intervene in the affairs of people to restrain all evil is said to make God the author of evil – and as God is sovereign, He must be the author of evil as He also is the author of good- so say the Calvinists.

        Like

      66. br.d writes, “Up until the point where you’re brain starts to register Calvin’s god as the author of evil.”

        rhutchin responds
        That would depend on what you mean by “author.”

        Another confirmation that Calvinism is 99% word tricks.

        Your arguments trying to portray Calvin’s god as KNOWING sins and evils by simple OBSERVATION is a direct denial of Calvin’s doctrine (Foreknowledge via decrees). Calvin’s god CANNOT know a a sins or evils are true unless he first-conceives and decrees them as true.
        Calvin’s god cannot know Adam will sin unless Calvin’s god first-conceives and decrees Adam’s sin.

        Again – your simply exemplifying your attempts to both affirm and deny Calvinism’ first-principles.
        Your assertions represent quasi-Calvinism. Or Calvinism Not-Calvinism.

        Who will be fooled by Calvinism’s beguiling double-talk. 😉

        Like

      67. I said, “That would depend on what you mean by “author.”
        br.d responded, “Another confirmation that Calvinism is 99% word tricks.”

        Then, let’s remove the tricks. Why don’t you provide your definition of “author” and see if we can agree to use that definition. If not, then I can show what I take “author” and maybe one of us just needs to use a different word in describing Calvinism.

        Then, “Your arguments trying to portray Calvin’s god as KNOWING sins and evils by simple OBSERVATION is a direct denial of Calvin’s doctrine (Foreknowledge via decrees). Calvin’s god CANNOT know a a sins or evils are true unless he first-conceives and decrees them as true.”

        I agree with Calvin on this. The issue is the manner in which God brings about His decrees. To say that God conceives and decrees what He conceives tells us nothing about the mechanism God uses to enforce His decrees. Here Calvin appeals to the use of secondary forces that operate on their own. For example, God has given people a mind that they use to obtain new information and act in their interests. God need not impel people to act but only restrain them. Calvinists speak of God opening doors and closing doors – manipulating secondary forces – to get those outcomes He has decreed. Isaiah 10 describes God’s use of Assyria to punish Israel as an example of God’s use of secondary forces.

        Then, “Again – your simply exemplifying your attempts to both affirm and deny Calvinism’ first-principles.”

        I think we have identified first principles – e.g., omniscience, sovereignty – on which we seem to take opposing positions. I affirm the first principles and argue their consistent use in Calvinist doctrine. You deny these first principles and argue that Calvinism is wrong because they got the first principles wrong. I then have to point you back to the Calvinist position, which, if accepted supports a consistent doctrine. In none of this do I affirm and deny the same position – if it appears that I do, then I need to improve my communication skills.

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      68. rhutchin:
        I said, “That would depend on what you mean by “author.”

        br.d
        “Another confirmation that Calvinism is 99% word tricks.”

        rhutchin:
        Why don’t you provide your definition of “author”

        br.d
        Calvin’s god’s authorship:
        A) First-Conceiving every sin and every evil millennia before creatures are born.
        Per Cavlins’s (Foreknowledge via decree) doctrine, this conception is not that of simple OBSERVATION.
        Every sin and evil is first-created in Calvin’s god’s mind to be later “rendered” upon the creature who is powerless in the matter.
        This is the first form of “Authorship” where sin and evil have their ORIGIN in the mind of Calvin’s god.

        B) Then decreeing every sin and evil to be actualized.
        MAKING Adam sin “rendering” each sin and evil upon Adam who is powerless in the matter.
        That is the second form of “Authorship”

        Per Van Iwangen’s NO CHOICE PRINCIPLE where (in Theological Determinism) events occur as inevitable and unavoidable, Adam has NO CHOICE in the matter.
        Adam is free ONLY to do what Calvin’s god MAKES him do.
        Adam CANNOT do otherwise.
        Per that definition of choice – Adam has NO CHOICE in the matter.

        Per Van Iwagen’s “Consequence Argument” sin and evil are the direct or indirect CONSEQUENCE not of the creature, but of Calvin’s creator – since sin and evil are birthed in the mind of Calvin’s god and then “rendered” upon the creature who is powerless in the matter.

        Like

      69. br.d writes, “A) First-Conceiving every sin and every evil millennia before creatures are born…
        Every sin and evil is first-created in Calvin’s god’s mind to be later “rendered” upon the creature who is powerless in the matter.
        This is the first form of “Authorship” where sin and evil have their ORIGIN in the mind of Calvin’s god.”

        You should have, “Every sin and evil is first-conceived…” It is later conceived in the minds of people created by God who then seek to act on the sin and evil acts they conceive.

        To say that authorship means that God conceives all things is something all should agree with. God is infinite in understanding – He knows all possibilities for the future. Who doesn’t agree with that??

        Then, “B) Then decreeing every sin and evil to be actualized.
        MAKING Adam sin “rendering” each sin and evil upon Adam who is powerless in the matter.
        That is the second form of “Authorship””

        The statement, “MAKING Adam sin…” is presumption and lacks support. God made Adam with the ability to reason and conceive many things, one of which was sin. God does not have to make Adam sin as He made Adam with the ability to sin.

        Then, “Adam is free ONLY to do what Calvin’s god MAKES him do.”

        Under Calvinism, Adam is free ONLY to do what God GAVE HIM THE ABILITY to do.

        Then, “Adam CANNOT do otherwise.
        Per that definition of choice – Adam has NO CHOICE in the matter.”

        This is by omniscience. Omniscience does not make Adam sin and is not the reason that he cannot do otherwise. Adam makes the decision to sin himself so the reason why Adam cannot do otherwise must rest within himself. But that is to say that Adam sins freely according to himself and has no choice other than to sin according to himself.

        Then, “Per Van Iwagen’s “Consequence Argument” sin and evil are the direct or indirect CONSEQUENCE not of the creature, but of Calvin’s creator – since sin and evil are birthed in the mind of Calvin’s god and then “rendered” upon the creature who is powerless in the matter.”

        Can you provide a citation where Van Iwagen actually says this?

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      70. br.d writes, “A) First-Conceiving every sin and every evil millennia before creatures are born…
        Every sin and evil is first-created in Calvin’s god’s mind to be later “rendered” upon the creature who is powerless in the matter.
        This is the first form of “Authorship” where sin and evil have their ORIGIN in the mind of Calvin’s god.”

        rhutchin responds
        “Every sin and evil is first-conceived in the mind of God…” It is later conceived in the minds of people created by God who then seek to act on the sin and evil acts they conceive.

        This is a great example of Calvinism’s AS-IF thinking.
        Calvin’s god “renders” sin and evil upon the creature
        AS-IF the creature has any power or say in the matter.

        William Lane Craig agrees:
        When a theology entails a divine determination upon a creature that the creature *SHALL* act in a *CERTAIN* way, then the creature is NOT FREE to act in a different way.

        With Theological determinism – given a series of causes up to some point, the effect at that point is completely predetermined. There is at that point NO FREEDOMto act in another way.

        For, given the prior series of causes, ONE’S CHOICE IS CAUSALLY NECESSARY.

        THAT IS TO SAY – THE CAUSES DETERMINE ONE’S CHOICE – NOT THE PERSON.

        rhutchin
        To say that authorship means that God conceives all things is something all should agree with. God is infinite in understanding – He knows all possibilities for the future. Who doesn’t agree with that??

        br.d
        Calvinist tactic – throw out irrelevant red herring masquerading as an answer

        br.d
        “B) Then decreeing every sin and evil to be actualized.
        MAKING Adam sin “rendering” each sin and evil upon Adam who is powerless in the matter.
        That is the second form of “Authorship””

        rhutchin:
        The statement, “MAKING Adam sin…” is presumption and lacks support. God made Adam with the ability to reason and conceive many things, one of which was sin. God does not have to make Adam sin as He made Adam with the ability to sin.

        br.d
        William Lane Craig uses this term to describe Calvinism “MAKING man do what he does”
        You can take that up with him. Let us know how that goes! 😉

        br.d
        Then, “Adam is free ONLY to do what Calvin’s god MAKES him do.”

        rhutchin:
        Under Calvinism, Adam is free ONLY to do what God GAVE HIM THE ABILITY to do.

        br.d
        This is a wonderful example of one of Calvinists deceptive half-truth!!

        Under Calvinism, Adam is free ONLY to do what God GAVE HIM THE ABILITY to do.
        Yes, and “renders” Adam powerless to do otherwise.

        br.d
        Then, “Adam CANNOT do otherwise.
        Per that definition of choice – Adam has NO CHOICE in the matter.”

        rhutchin:
        This is by omniscience. Omniscience does not make Adam sin and is not the reason that he cannot do otherwise. Adam makes the decision to sin himself so the reason why Adam cannot do otherwise must rest within himself. But that is to say that Adam sins freely according to himself and has no choice other than to sin according to himself.

        br.d
        Another great example of beguiling double-talk!!
        And who ordains/determines what sins Adam will sin “according to himself” – Calvin’s god!!

        br.d
        Then, “Per Van Iwagen’s “Consequence Argument” sin and evil are the direct or indirect CONSEQUENCE not of the creature, but of Calvin’s creator – since sin and evil are birthed in the mind of Calvin’s god and then “rendered” upon the creature who is powerless in the matter.”

        Didn’t post it as a quote – no citation needed.
        But here is a quote for you:

        The determinist/compatibilist is faced with two difficulties in showing “free will”.
        1. He must show that there are REAL multiple futures that are “open” to us.
        2. He must show that those multiple futures are “open” to us in a genuine sense of that word.

        As a Determinist/compatiblist (aka Calvnistw) why don’t you publish a peer reviewed article showing where Van Iwagen’s argument magically doesn’t apply to Calvinism.

        Let us know how that goes. 😉

        Like

      71. br.d writes, “Didn’t post it as a quote – no citation needed.”

        rhutchin
        I suspected that you made it up. thanks for the confirmation.

        One does not have to “make up” the truth. 😉

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      72. br.d writes, “One does not have to “make up” the truth.”

        LOL. You couldn’t get Inwagen to say what you wanted so you made it up. Thanks for the additional confirmation.

        Like

      73. br.d writes, “One does not have to “make up” the truth.”

        rhutchin:
        LOL. You couldn’t get Inwagen to say what you wanted so you made it up. Thanks for the additional confirmation.

        br.d
        LOL: This is simply reverse attribution error! 😀

        Like

      74. sin ToSinS”I don’t think God’s nature is controlling given the freedom He gives people to sin. Certainly, by virtue of His omnipotence, God is in control of His creation and can exercise control over any part of His creation to any extent He wants”
        Is it my imagination or is rh getting getting more sloppy about contradicting himself in every post? God gives man freedom to sin ? Now a corpse has freedom?
        God is controlling but he’s not really controlling? I’m not even sure that he believes what he’s saying, but he is certainly proving the point that determinism is gobbleygook.

        Like

      75. ww writes, “God gives man freedom to sin ? Now a corpse has freedom?”

        A man who is spiritually dead can be likened to a corpse as he is not able to respond to spiritual things and the message of the gospel falls dead at his feet. However, a person, still having a corrupt soul, is free to pursue fleshly desires to satisfy his physical needs or entertain his mind until such time as God draws him to Christ or withdraws His hand that preserves his life and the lifeless physical body falls dead.

        Then, “God is controlling but he’s not really controlling? I’m not even sure that he believes what he’s saying, but he is certainly proving the point that determinism is gobbleygook.”

        No. God is in control but not necessarily controlling. The men of Sodom were free to pursue their sexual perversions as God had decreed (in eternity past) not to exercise His omnipotent control to restrain their actions – God was not controlling in this case. At the same time, God exercised greater control in the life of Abraham – therefore, he was more controlling – intending to preserve Abraham and bless his posterity.

        Like

      76. So God foresaw Man’s Free actions and did not interfere. So man’s actions caused God’s actions. This is a far cry from God directly controlling every atom, which you have repeatedly claimed. Gooblygook.

        Like

      77. ww writes, “So God foresaw Man’s Free actions and did not interfere. So man’s actions caused God’s actions.”

        No. People are always in the position of reacting to situations in which God places them. God created Adam/Eve with minds and mental abilities whereby they were able to think and react to their circumstances. He put them into a garden to maintain it. Then God sent Satan into the garden to test them – that was not Satan’s purpose for going into the garden; Satan wanted to destroy what God had created.

        Like

      78. . “God is in control but not necessarily controlling. The men of Sodom were free to pursue their sexual perversions as God had decreed (in eternity past) not to exercise His omnipotent control to restrain their actions – God was not controlling in this ”
        “God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass;
        Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions;[4] yet has He not decreed anything because He foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions.” (From Westminster confession)
        EVERYTHING in reformed theology comes about only because God decrees it. The men of Sodom were free to sin? First there is no such thing as freedom in sin, only bondage. But that doesn’t matter, because according to your theology, they could do nothing else. God didn’t see thier sin and decide to allow it, that would be Arminianism. God chose thier sin for them before time existed. So cut the gooblygook about freedom. In your system, freedom can not exist.

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      79. Excellent post!!!!

        A great quote from the Calvinists confession:

        [4] yet has He not decreed anything because He foresaw it as future.

        This is a reference to Calvin’s (Foreknowledge via decree) doctrine.
        Calvin’s god CANNOT know anything is true unless he decree it true.
        Calvin’s god CANNOT simply “foresee” Adam’s sin “as future”.
        Calvin’s god Foreknows Adam’s sin because Calvin’s god decrees Adam’s sin and makes it Adam’s inevitable unavoidable fate.
        Calvin’s god “renders” each sin such that the creature is powerless in the matter.

        Liked by 1 person

      80. ww writes, “EVERYTHING in reformed theology comes about only because God decrees it.”

        I agree. But the issue here is the mechanism by which it comes about.

        Then, ” The men of Sodom were free to sin? First there is no such thing as freedom in sin, only bondage.”

        It was Christ who said that people were slaves to sin. People are also free to sin in that none is coerced to sin. Romans 2 explains why people are accountable for their sin.

        Then, “God chose their sin for them before time existed. So cut the gooblygook about freedom. In your system, freedom can not exist.”

        God made man with the ability to conceive sin and to pursue sin. God does not have to compel people to sin or force them to sin against their will. Thereby, people are free to sin. If they are not free to sin, then explain how it is that they are not. Explain how God’s omniscience or decree forces anyone to sin – use Adam as an example and explain how God made Adam sin.

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      81. If you are a robot, who cares in what manner you are programmed? If God decrees, in your system it WILL happen. The means are irrelivant. It’s like discussing how a rapist lures in his victims, any way it happens, they are still victims.

        Like

      82. If you are a robot, who cares in what manner you are programmed? If God decrees, in your system it WILL happen. The means are irrelevant. It’s like discussing how a rapist lures in his victims, any way it happens, they are still victims.

        Excellent point and well said!!

        Like

      83. ww writes, “If you are a robot, who cares in what manner you are programmed?”

        Under Calvinism, no one is a robot which says that they could not think on their own apart from the dictates of the programmer. God created man with the ability to think on his own and make decisions. God requires that people obey His laws but people are not programmed to obey His laws. What we find is that people discriminate in the keeping of God’s laws, requiring that others keep the laws faithfully but choosing for themselves to keep the laws as it provides a perceived advantage to them. God tells people that they can ask God for help in specific circumstances but people are free to avail themselves of this help and some do while some do not showing that they are not programmed to one outcome or the other. God has created people with a soul consisting of a heart wherein resides their personal desires and a mind with which they reason and a will that considers the desires of the heart and the reasoning of the mind to make choices. This is generally the position that both Calvinists and non-Calvinist take. While some falsely accuse Calvinist of advocating that people are robots, they cannot condemn Calvinism without condemning non-Calvinists because both see God creating man with the same abilities to make decisions.

        The argument tis not about what abilities God gave to people but about God himself – His omniscience and His sovereignty – and the effect of Adam’s sin on peoples’ abilities.

        Like

      84. br.d writes, “In Calvinism humans have the same options as robots.”

        The Calvinists say, No. Both Calvinists and non-Calvinists take the same position on the freedom of the person to choice with all agreeing that God’s omniscience and God’s decrees still provide for freedom of people to choose – the cause of their choices being determined by their wills which Calvinism adds are subordinate to God’s will.

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      85. br.d writes, “In Calvinism humans have the same options as robots.”

        rhutchin:
        The Calvinists say, ……etc freedom of people to choose….their choices being determined by their wills

        br.d
        What Calvinist’s say is useless dishonest double-talk.

        -quote:
        I now see those expression as inconsistent with Calvinism – DOUBLE-TALK. My prayer I that some will se the beclouding double-talk as well and fall in love with the simple, straightforward message of Scripture and thereby become disenchanted Calvinists. – – Reflections of a Disenchanted Calvinist: The Disquieting Realities of Calvinism by Ronnie W. Rogers

        -quote:
        Calvinism’s DOUBLE-TALK – by DOUBLE-TALK I specially and only mean thinking, writing or speaking that obscures the disquieting realities of Calvinism…..but if one is unwilling to face these realities of Calvinism, he cannot be a consistent Calvinist. – Anyone Can Be Saved: A Defense of “Traditional” Southern Baptist Soteriology by David L. Allen, Eric Hankins, Adam Harwood.

        -quote:
        As our study continues, the sophistry of Calvinist DOUBLE-TALK will become more apparent. – A Cultish Side of Calvinism by Micah Coate

        -quote:
        In order to make such a theology tenable Calvinists then have to resort to DOUBLE-TALK in order to explain how human responsibility is still involved even though it isn’t – Calvinism’s Conflicts: An Examination of the Problems in Reformed Theology by Gilbert VanOrder, Jr

        -quote:
        When I was a Presbyterian, a teacher, a member of the P.C.A., I was deceived by that philosophical DOUBLE-TALK. When I was a false prophet for five years due to seminary brain-washing, I can out of NEO-Orthodox, I was ensnared by its paradoxical DOUBLE-TALK. – The Death of Calvinism by Edwin Vrell

        -quote:
        This is not a parody of the Calvinist’s position; it is exactly what their beliefs dictate; hence the need for their layers of circumvention and DOUBLE-TALK in their writings and teachings. ….. It goes to the very crux of the matter, and facing it squarely will help us cut through a great deal of the confusion, DOUBLE-TALK and deliberate obfuscation surrounding the issue. – The Calvinist Universalist: Is Evil a Distortion of Truth? Or Truth Itself?
        By Stephen Campana

        -quote:
        I sincerely believe that this an other such explanations are nothing but theological DOUBLE-TALK. To say that this is “sound biblical sense” …… is a sham. – Romans by Jack Cottrell

        -quote:
        Yet if god produces the will by irresistible force, then it is theological DOUBLE-TALK to say that we do it willingly. – Chosen But Free: A Balanced View of God’s Sovereignty and Free Will by Norman L. Geisler

        Liked by 1 person

      86. br.d provides 8 quotes out of books published by an array of authors – some of whom have been delivered out of Calvinism.

        One observation is consistent from all of these authors – and many more.

        Calvinism is beguiling double-talk.

        rhutch responds:
        From what I read, the whole double-talk complaint is a sham. Usually accompanied by imaginary claims and presuppositions.

        Right! 😉

        Like

      87. br.d writes, “One observation is consistent from all of these authors – and many more.”

        Claims are one thing. Proof of one’s claims is another. What proof do they offer other than imaginary claims and presupposition? All you describe is people singing from the same songbook like lemmings.

        Like

      88. rhutchin writes:
        Claims are one thing. Proof of one’s claims is another. What proof do they offer other than imaginary claims and presupposition? All you describe is people singing from the same songbook like lemmings.

        br.d
        What an excellent and accurate description of Calvinism!
        No one describes Calvinism better than the Calvinist – (without knowing it) 😀

        Like

      89. br.d writes, “No one describes Calvinism better than the Calvinist – (without knowing it)”

        That’s correct – which may explain why you seem to be such a failure in describing Calvinism.

        Like

      90. rhutchin: Claims are one thing. Proof of one’s claims is another. What proof do they offer other than imaginary claims and presupposition? All you describe is people singing from the same songbook like lemmings

        br.d writes, “No one describes Calvinism better than the Calvinist – (without knowing it)” 😀

        rhutcin
        That’s correct – which may explain why you seem to be such a failure in describing Calvinism.

        br.d
        Shining a flashlight on Calvinism’s logical entailments is a fun pastime.
        The only time the Calvinist describes Calvinism honestly is by exemplifying it.

        And for entertainment we plenty of good examples! 😀
        Thanks rhutchin.

        Like

      91. Every single decision, every single thought, that you have, you have solely because God chose it for you before he created anything. So says your deterministic philosophy. If true, You are a pre programed robot who only thinks he is making choices. Why go on about decisions or desires? They are not your decisions or desires, anymore than your computer can program itself.

        Like

      92. ww writes, “Every single decision, every single thought, that you have, you have solely because God chose it for you before he created anything. So says your deterministic philosophy. If true,”

        Don’t leave out the part where the mechanism is the free will of those involved.

        Then, “You are a pre programed robot who only thinks he is making choices. Why go on about decisions or desires? They are not your decisions or desires, anymore than your computer can program itself.”

        Of course, they are – as both Calvinists and non-Calvinists agree. All, except you perhaps, agree that God makes people with a mind and heart by which people can be creative and imagine all sorts of evil and then pursue a course of behavior to actualize their imaginations. Some say that Satan is active in prompting people to do evil, but all recognize that God is not.

        Liked by 1 person

      93. “Don’t leave out the part where the mechanism is the free will of those involved.” No it isn’t. What part of God not choosing anything based on man’s actions do you not understand? If I could pre-select every thought that goes through my my child’s mind in his lifetime and did so before he was born you’re going to tell me he still has free will? Gooblygook.

        Like

      94. I had said, “Don’t leave out the part where the mechanism is the free will of those involved.”
        ww responded, “No it isn’t.”

        Under Calvinism, God works through the free will of people to accomplish His purpose. Isaiah 10 illustrates how God uses the free will actions of Assyria to judge Israel. If you want to argue against the Calvinist position, then you need to argue that they have misunderstood Isaiah 10.

        Then, “What part of God not choosing anything based on man’s actions do you not understand? If I could pre-select every thought that goes through my my child’s mind in his lifetime and did so before he was born you’re going to tell me he still has free will? Gooblygook.”

        Yet, that is exactly what Isaiah 10 tells. God knows the thoughts and desires of the Assyrians and knew them before He created the world. God now uses the Assyrians as the means to accomplish His purpose. God does not force Assyria to act as it does; such is its nature and it does so in complete accord with its desires – i.e., it does so freely. What is Gooblygook about Isaiah 10??

        Liked by 1 person

      95. Lol, continues to use Arminian concepts such as foreknowledge to defend calvinism, while ignoring the confession that says foreknowledge only comes about after predetermination, thus failing logic 101.

        Like

      96. ww writes, “continues to use Arminian concepts such as foreknowledge to defend calvinism, while ignoring the confession that says foreknowledge only comes about after predetermination, thus failing logic 101.”

        To their credit, even Arminians realize that God knows the future perfectly with some denying omniscience (saying that God has to look into the future to learn what will happen). Calvinists say that God knows the future having decreed that future and is omniscient. I don’ see why you are having a problem with this. I think your problem is with Isaiah 10, so you are doing everything you can to avoid confronting that which God explains to us there.

        Like

      97. First off you weaken God’s omniscience by claiming that he has to determine the future in order to see the future, so Arminians have a higher view of God’s omniscience.
        All Isaiah 10 tells us in regards to the subject, is that God is a great strategist. To make it simple, if we are playing checkers and I know your every move before you make it, I win by my knowledge of all your future movies and choosing my moves correctly.
        If I have to predetermine your every thought to force you to make the moves I want you to, in order to win, I need no strategy whatsoever. I might as well be playing against a computer that I programmed.
        The problem I have is not Isaiah 10. The problem as you call it, is that God is love. Love is not one of his attributes, it is what he is, in essence. Love requires real choices, it doesn’t work on a pre-programmed script that one must follow. In your scenario, love is impossible. In fact, it makes God the author of all hate. It’s not about my free will, it’s about God’s glory being tarnished by a false view of his actions.

        Like

      98. WW:
        Great. I have posted here before that “God is love.”

        It never says “God is justice” (but God is just)

        Never says “God is mercy” (but God is merciful). etc etc….with many.

        You are correct….it is not an attribute. It is who He is. That is not said about anything else.

        Calvinist will always downplay that with “Yes He is loving but He is also just.”

        That is bad grammar and bad exegesis. He “is love,” not only loving.

        There is nothing “love” about giving a girl 15 years of sexual torture on this earth (till she dies of abuse and disease) and saying God loved her by giving her the sunshine…..and ordaining all of this to be so (precisely, unchangeably) before time began…. “For His glory”

        Liked by 1 person

      99. Wonderful! Illuminating and insightful!!

        Scripture doesn’t compromise god’s character as Calvinism does – masquerading Calvin’s monster.

        It never says “God is justice” (but God is JUST)
        Never says “God is mercy” (but God is full of merciful)
        Never intimates “God’s love is inconsistent” (but God is Love – Love is defined by God)

        It is not an attribute. – as Calvinist are forced to dissimulate.
        It is who He is. That is not said about anything else.

        Wonderful! Thanks FOH :-]

        Like

      100. POSSIBLE WORLDS COMPATIBLE WITH CALVINISMS FREE WILL.

        Calvinism has its own unique conception of human freedom/freewill. Calvin’s god-image does not “coerce” your thoughts/choices/wills/desires. He does not “force” you to have or do them. But the ones you have, are not first-conceived by you, they are first-conceived by him. And they are not first-determined by you – they are first-determined by him. Simply put, he determines what he will permit you to determine. Before you were born he determined every thought, choice and desire he will permit you to have throughout your lifetime.

        You are not free to have any thoughts he hasn’t determined and permitted you to think. You are not free to make any choices he hasn’t determined and permitted you to choose. You are not free to have any desire he hasn’t determined and permitted you to desire. And even though you have absolutely no freedom in any of these things, the Calvinist still asserts his definition of human “freedom/freewill is superior.

        Christian Philosophers – Dr. Alvin Plantinga for example, finds it interesting to consider how many possible imaginary worlds are perfectly compatible with Calvinism’s definition of human freedom/freewill. For any possible imaginary world to meet the criteria, all that is required, is that you must simply have the power/ability to do what you want – with an external intelligence determining what you want for you. The power/ability to have desires – with an external intelligence determining what you will desre for you. All of that is fine, just as long as the external intelligence is able to produce thoughts/choices/desires in some specialized way, that does not entail the use of force or coercion. It turns out; the small amount of freedom/freewill you actually end up with is relatively easy to produce.

        So put on your Calvin-imaginations hat and conceptualize your own imaginary possible world, compatible with Calvinism’s definition of human freedom/freewill – you’ll find doing so fun and illuminating.

        POSSIBLE WORLD #1:
        Imagine a world in which Calvin’s god-image, sits at a computer with special software called the “immutable-ordaining-determining-decreeing” program. The software displays a “NAME” field where the cursor is blinking. In this field he enters your name. The cursor drops to the next field where he enters all thoughts/choices/wills/desires you will be permitted to have.

        A micro-second after the ENTER button is pressed, thoughts/choices/wills/desires are “rendered” within your brain, each one at the exact place and time which he permits. And so it goes with every thought/choice/will/desire you have. This is the extent of your ability. The only thoughts/choices/wills/desires you can have, are those that originate from god’s “immutable-ordaining-determining-decreeing” software.

        And yet everything you do, you do “most freely” because nowhere in this process are thoughts/choices/desires forced on you. You simply think what you are permitted to think – want what you are permitted to want – desire what you are permitted to desire. And all that without any force or coercion.

        The Calvinist will, most likely reject your imaginary world out of hand. “God doesn’t work that way” they will say. But that simply misses the point altogether. The intent here is to brainstorm possible imaginary worlds, which can easily meet the criteria for Calvinism’s definition of human “freedom/freewill”.

        Liked by 1 person

      101. FOH writes, “I have posted here before that “God is love.”

        So, does that allow God to condemn some people to hell? If not, then how do you see God loving those He sends to hell?

        Then, “Calvinist will always downplay that with “Yes He is loving but He is also just.”

        No, the Calvinist says that God is not going to save everyone, and that love He has for those He saves is different than that love He has for those He sends to hell. As a former alleged Calvinist, you should know this.

        Then, “There is nothing “love” about giving a girl 15 years of sexual torture on this earth (till she dies of abuse and disease)…”

        Even you agree that God is present throughout that torture and God could have prevented it or brought it to an end any time He wanted. So, you play the hypocrite here, don’t you claiming that God is love and then there is nothing love here. Given that even you agree that God does this, what explains God’s actions other that He does it for His glory.

        Like

      102. ww writes, “First off you weaken God’s omniscience by claiming that he has to determine the future in order to see the future,…”

        By virtue of His sovereignty, God necessary decrees all things and this includes all things in the future. Then, God knows that which He decrees. If you don’t agree with the Calvinists on this, then you must appeal to mystery to explain God’s omniscience (unless you know otherwise). Whatever weakening you see cannot be explained by you – at least, I see no attempt by you to do so.

        Then “…so Arminians have a higher view of God’s omniscience.”

        Those Arminians who have God being ignorant until looking into the future to learn what happens end up denying omniscience. No higher view here. Otherwise, they too, appeal to mystery which, of course, is not a higher view.

        Then, “All Isaiah 10 tells us in regards to the subject, is that God is a great strategist. To make it simple, if we are playing checkers and I know your every move before you make it, I win by my knowledge of all your future movies and choosing my moves correctly.”

        Did you not read Isaiah 10?? God tells us that the Assyrians want to go out and rape and pillage. The Assyrians cannot invade Israel because God will not let them. Now, God says that He will remove His protection thereby freeing the Assyrians to invade Israel. God is not just a strategist – He is in total control of the situation. The Assyrians can only do what God wants done. The analogy to playing checkers is off the mark.

        Then, “If I have to predetermine your every thought to force you to make the moves I want you to, in order to win, I need no strategy whatsoever. I might as well be playing against a computer that I programmed.”

        As we see in Isaiah 10, God does not predetermine the desires of the Assyrians – those desires are the product of their corrupt nature. God merely restrains that which Assyria can do to that which God wants done.

        Then, “The problem as you call it, is that God is love. Love is not one of his attributes, it is what he is, in essence. Love requires real choices, it doesn’t work on a pre-programmed script that one must follow. In your scenario, love is impossible. In fact, it makes God the author of all hate. It’s not about my free will, it’s about God’s glory being tarnished by a false view of his actions.

        OK. That is the argument made by the Universalists. So, are you an Universalist? Nothing bad about being an Universalist so don’t be ashamed to admit to it.

        Like

      103. No. I’m not a universalist, as you well know. Are you an atheist? Because lot of atheist believe in determinism. See how ridiculous it sounds when you accuse someone of heresy because they disagree with you? The squirrels certainly are active.

        “By virtue of His sovereignty, God necessary decrees all things and this includes all things in the future.”

        “As we see in Isaiah 10, God does not predetermine the desires of the Assyrians…”

        Yawn, once again you contradict yourself in every post. Opps, everything only means everything when it’s convenient for you to mean everything. I can no longer take this conversation seriously. Adios!

        Like

      104. ww writes, “No. I’m not a universalist,…”

        Then, what is your purpose in using the arguments of Universalists if not to promote the Universalist claims?? How does your appeal to Universalism support your cause??

        Then, “…a lot of atheist believe in determinism.”

        No atheist I know believes in Theological Determinism. They believe in that determinism that says past events and the laws of nature determine all things. Do you not understand the significance in leaving God out of the equation.

        Then, “Yawn, once again you contradict yourself in every post.”

        OK. I should have said, “God does not make the Assyrians desire evil.” Necessarily, God determines that they desire evil given that He could have prevented those desires and ddid not.

        Like

      105. What mechanism does Calvin’s god use to transfer a sinful/evil thought from his mind into a human’s brain?

        Does he simply drop each sinful/evil thought and desire in the human brain, or does he use some kind of magic?

        Since determinism is the thesis that all [B] are cause by an antecedent [A] there must be come kind of causal chain of movements in order for Calvin’s god to produce them within the human brain.

        So please detail the physics that are at work in the movement of at least one sinful evil thought or desire – from Calvin’s god’s mind into a person’s brain.

        Like

      106. br.d writes, “What mechanism does Calvin’s god use to transfer a sinful/evil thought from his mind into a human’s brain?

        None. Instead, God uses inheritance from Adam to his posterity who inherit Adam’s corrupt nature and then become even more corrupt.

        Then, “Since determinism is the thesis that all [B] are cause by an antecedent [A] there must be come kind of causal chain of movements in order for Calvin’s god to produce them within the human brain.”

        The antecedent event is Adam’s sin. That act by Adam resulted in spiritual death and alienation from God as well as corrupting his nature both conditions then transferred to his posterity through inheritance.

        Like

      107. br.d writes, “What mechanism does Calvin’s god use to transfer a sinful/evil thought from his mind into a human’s brain?

        rhutchin
        None. Instead, God uses inheritance from Adam to his posterity who inherit Adam’s corrupt nature and then become even more corrupt.

        br.d
        This is COHERENT determinism where every [B] is caused by an antecedent [A]?
        This NON-explanation looks more like magic.

        “Since determinism is the thesis that all [B] are caused by an antecedent [A] there must be come kind of causal chain of movements in order for Calvin’s god to produce sinful/evil thought into the human brain.”

        rhutchin:
        The antecedent event is Adam’s sin.

        br.d
        So far, Calvinism’s “so called” superior explanation is – the last domino is the antecedent of the last domino. With your explanation so far, Calvinism gets an “A” in magical thinking, and a “D” in elementary logic.

        Its apparent Calvinism is a dog chasing its own tail in this line of inquiry. 😛

        Like

      108. br.d writes, “This NON-explanation looks more like magic.”

        I think most people understand the concept of children inheriting traits from their parents. It does seem somewhat magical – one might wish that people were born as blank slates where their character would not be influenced by what they inherit from their parents.

        Then, “So far, Calvinism’s “so called” superior explanation is – the last domino is the antecedent of the last domino. With your explanation so far, Calvinism gets an “A” in magical thinking, and a “D” in elementary logic.”

        Nonetheless, the concept is easy to follow. God creates Adam with the ability to choose the direction in which he will take his life. Adam is confronted with the choice to eat the fruit. He eats and falls from grace – his relationship to God is now broken and dead. Adam becomes the first domino to fall and his fall impacts all the dominoes that follow (his posterity). While you think it is magical and not logical, I think most people understand what happened.

        Like

      109. br.d writes, “What mechanism does Calvin’s god use to transfer a sinful/evil thought from his mind into a human’s brain?

        rhutchin
        None. Instead, God uses inheritance from Adam to his posterity who inherit Adam’s corrupt nature and then become even more corrupt.

        br.d
        This is COHERENT determinism where every [B] is caused by an antecedent [A]?
        This NON-explanation of [B] causing [B] causing [B] looks more like magic.

        rhutchin:
        It does seem somewhat magical.

        br.d
        Its looking more like a Harry Potter commercial every day! 🙂

        rhutchin:
        The concept is easy to follow. God creates Adam with the ability to choose the direction in which he will take his life.

        br.d
        This is COHERENT determinism where Adam has NO POWER to “do otherwise”?

        rhutchin
        October 23, 2017 at 5:08 pm
        From Adam’s point of view, he PERCEIVED that he was free to do otherwise.

        br.d
        AH! Thank you for showing how Calvinism’s freewill is an ILLUSION.
        Predestining ILLUSIONS must be fun for Calvin’s imaginary god.

        You are right – this concept is easy to follow – as easy as the dog follows its tail! 😛

        Like

      110. br.d writes, “This is COHERENT determinism where Adam has NO POWER to “do otherwise”?

        Adam had the power to do otherwise. It was certain that he would not use his power to do otherwise. Adam was faced with the decision to eat the fruit or not eat the fruit – Adam perceived, accurately, the choice before him. He was able to choose either way. His will was to eat the fruit and it was this will that God could have changed but decreed not to do so. All this was known by God through His omniscience which encompassed the end result as well as the means to that end.

        Like

      111. Br.d
        “Adam is not free to do otherwise than what Calvin’s god-image predestined Adam to do.”

        rhutchin
        October 28, 2017 at 3:55 pm
        Adam had the power to do otherwise.

        Sorry rhutchin you previously asserted Calvin’s god created “do otherwise” as an ILLUSION for Adam.

        rhutchin
        October 23, 2017 at 5:08 pm
        From Adam’s point of view, he PERCEIVED that he was free to do otherwise.

        Peter Van Iwagen confirms, in Determinism/Compatibilism “do otherwise” doesn’t exist as REAL.

        Having REAL free will, he says, is like coming to a fork in a path, and having both of those forks OPEN to you in a way that is REAL and not an ILLUSION. That is, having the ability to bring it about that you go down either of those paths. If, you are limited such that you have the power to ONLY to go down one path and not the other, then you lack free will with respect to the direction you will go.

        If determinism is true, then antecedent causal events allow for only one unique future.
        THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A FORKING PATH IN CALVINISM.

        Van Inwagen argues the determinist/compatibilist is faced with two difficulties in showing “free will”.
        1. He must show that there are REAL multiple futures that are “open” to us.
        2. He must show that those multiple futures are “open” to us in a genuine sense of that word.

        Alvin Plantinga agrees: (notes from God Freedom and Evil)
        Suppose that all of a man’s actions are causally determined and that he couldn’t in any occasion, have made any choice or performed any action different from what he was causally determined to make. It could still be true that if he had been determined to “do otherwise” he would “do otherwise” being determined to do otherwise, and as such the determinist claims this as his free will.

        One might as well claim that being in jail doesn’t really limit one’s freedom on the grounds that if one were not in jail he’d be free to come and go as he pleased.

        Again – Thank you rhutchin for showing how Calvinism’s freewill is an ILLUSION.
        Predestining ILLUSIONS must be fun for Calvin’s imaginary god. 😀

        Like

      112. br.d writes, “If, you are limited such that you have the power to ONLY to go down one path and not the other, then you lack free will with respect to the direction you will go.”

        This means that one is equally disposed to going down either fork. That is fine. It just means that there are very few decisions in life that fit this. Certainly the salvation decision in not one of them.

        Then, “If determinism is true, then antecedent causal events allow for only one unique future.
        THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A FORKING PATH IN CALVINISM.”

        Of course there are. The difference is that Calvinism recognizes that people are not equally disposed to available options in decision-making but normally will prefer one fork to another and often that preference will be significant in favor of one option. Jesus said in John 6 that no one could come to me, so in that case, that option is not available.

        Then, “Van Inwagen argues the determinist/compatibilist is faced with two difficulties in showing “free will”.”

        Van Inwagnen and Plantinga argue that there are few decisions in life that can be described as “free will.” Most decisions made by people are determined by a variety of factors including the information available to the person, the experiences of the person, the desires of the person, etc. Calvinism says that within the constraints of those factors, a person exercising free will. Van Iwagen argues that there is a higher form of free will that characterizes some decisions that people make; these decisions are rare.

        Like

      113. rhutch writes:
        Then, “Van Inwagen argues the determinist/compatibilist is faced with two difficulties in showing “free will”.”
        Van Inwagnen and Plantinga argue that there are few decisions in life that can be described as “free will.”

        br.d
        I provide material from Van Inwagen and Plantinga which are easily verifiable in their published writings.

        The Calvinist put words in their mouths and asserts they say whatever he wants them to say.
        Providing us with an excellent example of what Calvinist do with everything including scripture!

        I have the luxury of leaving it up to SOT101 readers to discern the difference. 😀
        The Calvinist doesn’t have that luxury.

        Like

      114. br.d writes, “The Calvinist put words in their mouths and asserts they say whatever he wants them to say.”

        You have used Van Inwagen (and Plantinga) to counter Calvinism. Unless, you have misunderstood them, they should espouse a freedom of will that is different than Calvinist free will. Correct?? Do you now mean to backtrack on Van Inwagen?

        Like

      115. rhutchin writes:
        You have used Van Inwagen (and Plantinga) to counter Calvinism. Unless, you have misunderstood them, they should espouse a freedom of will that is different than Calvinist free will. Correct?? Do you now mean to backtrack on Van Inwagen?

        br.d
        This reveals you’re lack of knowledge on both Van Inwagen and Plantinga’s arguments.
        I know it frustrating for you as people learn they can’t take you seriously.
        If you want them to, you’ll need to do your own homework.
        And not rely on them to do it for you.

        Like

      116. br.d writes, “This reveals you’re lack of knowledge on both Van Inwagen and Plantinga’s arguments.”

        I have that knowledge that you have presented. Perhaps, you need to sharpen your presentation and figure out what you want to say and whether you use the efforts of Van Inwagen and Plantinga correctly. It appears to me that you are now distancing yourself from what you have claimed of these men previously – even your knowledge seems to be lacking here. Perhaps, we should seek to emphasize the Scriptures and not the writings of men in discussions.

        Like

      117. br.d writes, “This reveals you’re lack of knowledge on both Van Inwagen and Plantinga’s arguments.”

        rhutchin:
        I have that knowledge that you have presented. Perhaps, you need to sharpen your presentation and figure out what you want to say and whether you use the efforts of Van Inwagen and Plantinga correctly. It appears to me that you are now distancing yourself from what you have claimed of these men previously – even your knowledge seems to be lacking here. Perhaps, we should seek to emphasize the Scriptures and not the writings of men in discussions.

        Those puffery tactics are all to easy to see.
        I’ve learned there is little to trust for the honesty in many of your strategies – which eventually devolve to a kindergarten playground bully.

        Yes I know scriptures are easy to manipulate – logic is not.
        The reason SOT101 participants don’t take you seriously is – you wast their time with endless double-think talking-points gambling that simply reciting them like a broken record will work for them, as surmised it does for you.

        This at least provides SOT101 readers with a clear view of Calvinist tactics and behavior to then consider the sociological influences which form them.
        So if nothing else, you’re helping to make lemon-aid out of a lemon. 😉

        Like

      118. br.d writes, “Those puffery tactics are all to easy to see.
        I’ve learned there is little to trust for the honesty in many of your strategies – which eventually devolve to a kindergarten playground bully.”

        You wrote comments citing well known people and I believed that what you said was essentially true. What’s the issue??

        Like

      119. Rhutchin writes: “Adam had the power to do otherwise. It was certain that he would not use his power to do otherwise. Adam was faced with the decision to eat the fruit or not eat the fruit – Adam perceived, accurately, the choice before him. He was able to choose either way. His will was to eat the fruit and it was this will that God could have changed but decreed not to do so. All this was known by God through His omniscience which encompassed the end result as well as the means to that end.”

        You can never just be honest and straight forward about what Calvinism teaches, can you? You just attempt to use meaningless phrases and sentences, like ‘Adam could do otherwise. It was certain that he would not use his power to do otherwise.’ Just nonsense. If you were honest you would admit that Calvinism demands that Adam could not do otherwise, because God had long ago ordained everything that he and every other creature would think, say or do. Or how about ‘All this was known by God through His omniscience which encompassed the end result as well as the means to that end’? What is that even supposed to mean? Everyone acknowledges that God knows all things, past present and future, as has been discussed here repeatedly. You know this, but in an attempt to disguise the undeniable Calvinist assertion that God not only knows but ordains and causes all things, you create mumbo-jumbo meaningless sentences.

        Any reasonable, half-coherent reader can see your constant scrambling to deny what your theology teaches. Why? If you are so ashamed of what you believe, maybe you should try something that you could proudly proclaim without having to pontificate in deliberately difficult to understand prose in order to try to have your cake and eat it too. No, it is not possible for God to be the determining cause of all things, while pretending that people have any real choice in anything they say or do. All the pompous, wordy sentences in the world cannot make A and not-A true at the same time, which even a child can grasp.

        Like

      120. Thank you truthseeker!

        This confirms what I’ve been posting for a long time.

        Calvinism’s language is the language of dishonesty.
        Examine every word in every sentence and you’ll discover phrases that are designed to hide evil or masquerade evil as good.

        Thanks truthseeker :-]

        Like

      121. ts00 writes, ” If you were honest you would admit that Calvinism demands that Adam could not do otherwise, because God had long ago ordained everything that he and every other creature would think, say or do.”

        This ignores the means that God ordains. Among those means are the thoughts and desires of people – e.g., Adam and Eve in the garden – and Satan. To offset the natural consequences where Satan tempts Eve to eat the fruit or Eve influences Adam to eat the fruit requires that Adam intervene to help Eve and/or Adam. Among His decrees God made was not to interfere in the garden. Adam had the ability to do otherwise but not the will. It is true that God had ordained everything that Adam and every other creature would think, say or do, but this did not require that God be the means for this to occur. God uses the wants and desires of people and Satan to accomplish that which He ordains. We see this illustrated when God gives Satan freedom to enter the garden, when God gives Satan influence over Job, the use of the Assyrians described in Isaiah 10, Satan’s manipulation of Judas, and the crucifixion of Christ. If you ignore “means” you cannot describe Calvinism accurately.

        Then, “Everyone acknowledges that God knows all things, past present and future, as has been discussed here repeatedly.”

        Then we all know that the future is certain and that future was determined when God created the world. Yet, some seem to insist that this is not the case.

        Then, “You know this, but in an attempt to disguise the undeniable Calvinist assertion that God not only knows but ordains and causes all things, you create mumbo-jumbo meaningless sentences.”

        This issue has to do with God’s sovereignty which some profess and then argue as if God is not sovereign.

        Then, “Any reasonable, half-coherent reader can see your constant scrambling to deny what your theology teaches. Why?”

        What you call scrambling is nothing more than my efforts to correct the distortions and false statements that are made. people argue as universalists and then insist that they are not universalist. People claim agreement with omniscience and sovereignty and then argue as if such were not true. Then, we get statements as this as if you don’t know what you and others are doing.

        Like

      122. ts00 writes, ” If you were honest you would admit that Calvinism demands that Adam could not do otherwise, because God had long ago ordained everything that he and every other creature would think, say or do.”

        ruthin
        This ignores the means that God ordains……[insert religious posturing here].

        Has anyone noticed how when the Calvinist’s logic collapses – his next tactic is always dishonesty.
        And when a spot-light is shone on his dishonesty, all of a sudden he waxes eloquent with paraphrases of religious jargon.

        Does he learn these tactics from Jesus? I don’t think so.

        WAY TO FUNNY!!! 😀

        Like

      123. Rhutchin writes: “None. Instead, God uses inheritance from Adam to his posterity who inherit Adam’s corrupt nature and then become even more corrupt.”

        Wow. Can one be more than ‘totally’ depraved? 🙂

        Like

      124. Br.D, I was thinking about this stuff this morning while watching three squirrels scamper through the trees by my drive way. Is God controlling every twitch of the squirrel’s tail or does a squirrel have limited freedom? Funny, in Job God says he restrains the Leviathon, not that he controls the chaos the monster causes. Squirrels outside are awesome. (and tasty when my son shoots a few) Squirrels in these comments are only there to distract and confuse.

        Like

      125. ts00 writes, “I think I even saw that Rhutchin used that very line with the word ‘author’, although perhaps it was tongue in cheek?”

        definitions are important. In this case, it appears that Calvinists define “author” one way and non-Calvinists define it a different way. Reasonable discussion often requires the definition of terms. Doesn’t it??

        Then, “At times I am tempted to codify shortcuts for Rhutchin’s comments, just to save time. Something like:
        A. Name Calling
        B. As-If statement
        C. Logical Impossibility
        D. Distraction (Flying Squirrel comments)
        ETC. . . .”

        If I ever do these things, you need only explain how you think I did such. The problem is that you make accusations that you are not able to support. If you want to support your accusations, please do do and promote a good discussion.

        Like

      126. ww writes, “The Bible tells me Satan is opposing God, the Calvinists tell me Satan is God’s servant. Let’s see, who should I believe?”

        You should believe both. Satan does oppose God but can only do that which God gives him freedom to do. This is illustrated in the first chapter of Job where Satan complains that God will not let Satan touch Job. So, God relents once, then again but does not give Satan freedom to kill Job.

        Like

      127. ww writes, “The book of Job disproves determinism on so many levels. Among other things it demonstrates how much difference one man’s choice makes in the universe. ”

        Too bad, you are unable to support your statements with rational explanations. Can’t have everything, I guess!

        Like

      128. ww writes, “The Bible tells me Satan is opposing God, the Calvinists tell me Satan is God’s servant. Let’s see, who should I believe?”

        rhutchin responds
        You should believe both.

        I love it how Calvinists create an image of a two-faced god resisting, prohibiting, contradicting himself and speaking with a forked-tongue. 😀

        Like

      129. rhutchin writes:
        Do you suppose John Piper looks both ways before crossing the street?

        Dr. Tomis Kapitan provides the answer:

        -quote:
        “To locate an inconsistency within the beliefs of a deliberating determinist now seems easy; for as a deliberator, he takes his future act to be yet undetermined. But as a determinist, he assumes the very opposite – that his future is already determined and fixed in the past, such that everything he does was previously determined by factors beyond his control. Thus the ascription of rational-inconsistency within the mental state of the deliberating determinist is secured.”

        Dr. Tomis Kapitan – (1949-2016), Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus, Ph.D., of metaphysics, philosophy of language, and international ethics.

        Liked by 1 person

      130. br.d writes, “as a determinist, he assumes the very opposite – that his future is already determined and fixed in the past, such that everything he does was previously determined by factors beyond his control. ”

        The determinist says that God has determined all things but that God has not told him what He has determined.

        Like

      131. Dr. Tomis Kapitan – (1949-2016), Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus, Ph.D., of metaphysics, philosophy of language, and international ethics.

        -quote:
        “To locate an inconsistency within the beliefs of a deliberating determinist now seems easy; for as a deliberator, he takes his future act to be yet undetermined. But as a determinist, he assumes the very opposite – that his future is already determined and fixed in the past, such that everything he does was previously determined by factors beyond his control. Thus the ascription of rational-inconsistency within the mental state of the deliberating determinist is secured.”

        rhutchin responds:
        The determinist “SAYS” that God has determined all things but that God has not told him what He has determined.

        Notice how Calvinists are so heavily reliant upon irrelevant red herrings! 🙂

        Calvin understands the double-think inherent in his doctrine. So he teaches his disciples
        *ALL THINGS IN EVERY PART” are determined by god.
        But the Calvin’s disciple is to -quote “go about his office AS-IF nothing is determined in any part”

        Dr. Tomis Kapitan
        “Thus the ascription of rational-inconsistency within the mental state of the deliberating determinist is secured.”

        Double-think is the predestined fate of every good Calvinist. 😀

        Like

      132. WW writes: “Another issue is whether God is compelled by his own attributes. If God is forced to use his power simply by virtue of having that power, that would make him some thing less than all powerful. And Jesus is our model here course who chose to limit himself and submit rather than forcing submission in everybody.”

        This is correct. To be consistent, Calvinism would have to assert that Jesus could not be God, since he submitted to the will of evil men and allowed them to have power over him; even to crucify him. He explained that he could call ten thousand angels to assist, had he so desired, but instead he chose to subordinate his will to the will of evil, sinful men determined to have him killed. He also asserted more than once that he did not do his will, but only that of his Father, which is the conundrum that forced seemingly intelligent men to begin making all sorts of theological hot air about whether or not Jesus was subordinate to the Father. Their false system cannot allow for the simple fact that any person with genuine power can choose if, when, or how much of that power he chooses to surrender or delegate at any time. But that would too quickly lead to cracks in Calvinism’s foundations, so they must assert philosophical gobbledy gook to no end. Poor Calvinists – if only they knew how much simpler and less duplicitous life is as a non-Calvinist, relying on God-given reason and logic to make sense of his Word. As if God would give man an instruction book without any ability to figure out how to use it. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      133. ts00 to ww writes, “To be consistent, Calvinism would have to assert that Jesus could not be God, since he submitted to the will of evil men and allowed them to have power over him; even to crucify him.”

        This is wrong. Calvinists agree with the Scriptures wherein Jesus clearly says that He is God, and the Scriptures clearly tell us that God’s plan was for Jesus to be crucified. Christ submitted to God’s will who used evil men to carry out that will. Colossians 2 tells us, “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.”

        Like

      134. rhutchin writes:
        If the thoughts are implanted from an outside source (the computer program), then those thoughts are not the target’s own thoughts but the thoughts of the person who constructed the computer program. Your example cannot apply to people as the Scripture is clear that a person’s thoughts come from his heart and not an outside source.

        Irrelevant red-herring:

        Calvinist Paul Kjoss Helseth explains:

        -quote: “Scripture PRESUMES that determinism and human freedom are compatible, even though it DOES NOT EXPLAIN THE MECHANICS OF HOW THIS IS POSSIBLE, and “the method of this reconciliation cannot in this life be clearly perfectly explained by us.” – Four Views in Divine Providence

        1) In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism), the target’s thoughts, choices and actions are determined by an external intelligence prior to the target’s existence. (scientist or deity)
        2) Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) is not concerned with and does not explain the MECHANISMS by which this his done.
        3) In both system an external intelligence FIRST-CONCEIVES and then ACTUALIZED all of the target’s thoughts. (scientist or deity)
        3) Those two factors are exactly parallel in both cases.

        Conclusion:
        Whether or not the MECHANISM is identical is irrelevant since in Calvinism the MECHANISM CANNOT BE EXPLAINED.

        And besides that “The scientist says the target’s thoughts are his own”.

        Like

      135. br.d writes, “Conclusion: Whether or not the MECHANISM is identical is irrelevant since in Calvinism the MECHANISM CANNOT BE EXPLAINED.”

        I don’t think this is set doctrine in Calvinism. Part of that mechanism is that evil arises from the corrupt heart of a person. We also know that God controls the evil that people then want to manifest. Paul Kjoss Helseth has voiced his opinion and I don’t think it is shared among most Calvinists.

        Then, “1) In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism), the target’s thoughts, choices and actions are determined by an external intelligence prior to the target’s existence. (scientist or deity)”

        They are determined in the corrupt heart not by God (as your computer program example makes it). That God knows these thoughts does not determine them.

        Like

      136. rhutchin writes:
        In Calvnism god does not control people with a computer module wired to their brain.

        br.d writes, “Conclusion: Whether or not the MECHANISM is identical is irrelevant since in Calvinism the MECHANISM CANNOT BE EXPLAINED.”

        br. d posts a quote from Calvinist Paul Kjoss Helseth where he states THE MECHANISM by which god controls people is unknown and not explained in Calvinism

        rhutchin writes:
        I don’t think this is set doctrine in Calvinism. Part of that mechanism is that evil arises from the corrupt heart of a person.

        This is just yet another irrelevant red herring.
        In Calvinism, man’s condition is not THE MECHANISM. Man’s condition It is the CONSEQUENCE of god’s decrees.

        The reason Paul Kjoss Helseth does not appeal to your appeal is because he knows Dr. Craig would call it a childish error in rational reasoning.

        We also know that God controls the evil that people then want to manifest. Paul Kjoss Helseth has voiced his opinion and I don’t think it is shared among most Calvinists.

        br.d
        1) In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism), the target’s thoughts, choices and actions are determined by an external intelligence prior to the target’s existence. (scientist or deity)”

        rhutchin writes:
        They are determined in the corrupt heart not by God (as your computer program example makes it). That God knows these thoughts does not determine them.

        Here the Calvinist denies his own theology in order to escape from its entailments.
        In Calvinism Calvin’s god “FIRST-CONCEIVES” every evil thought at the foundation of the world. He He then later ACTUALIZES them within the creature.

        This affirms: 1) In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism), the target’s thoughts, choices and actions are determined by an external intelligence prior to the target’s existence. (scientist or deity)”

        Liked by 1 person

      137. br.d writes, “In Calvinism, man’s condition is not THE MECHANISM. Man’s condition It is the CONSEQUENCE of god’s decrees.”

        Those decrees provided Adam with the freedom to make choices. Your complaint is that God did not make Adam omniscient with infinite understanding and perfect wisdom thereby making Adam vulnerable to making bad decisions.

        Then, “In Calvinism Calvin’s god “FIRST-CONCEIVES” every evil thought at the foundation of the world. He He then later ACTUALIZES them within the creature.”

        This is half-right. God is able to conceive every possible event prior to creation – even you would not disagree on this. When God created Adam, He gave Adam the ability to reason and actualize events through decisions he could make.

        Then, “This affirms: 1) In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism), the target’s thoughts, choices and actions are determined by an external intelligence prior to the target’s existence. (scientist or deity)”

        This is wrong. God, the external intelligence, created Adam with the ability to think, make choices, and take actions based on his knowledge, reasoning ability, and physical attributes.

        Like

      138. br.d writes, “In Calvinism, man’s condition is not THE MECHANISM. Man’s condition It is the CONSEQUENCE of god’s decrees.”

        rhutchin responds:
        Those decrees provided Adam with the freedom to make choices.

        This is of course more of Calvinism’s beguiling double-speak.
        In Calvinism Adam is free to only make choices Calvin’s god MAKES him make.
        Adam is not free to do otherwise.
        Adam being omniscient or not is just another irrelevant red herring

        br.d
        “In Calvinism Calvin’s god “FIRST-CONCEIVES” every evil thought at the foundation of the world. He then later ACTUALIZES them within the creature.”

        rhutchin responds:
        This is half-right. God is able to conceive every possible event prior to creation ….etc…etc

        Look at the Molinistic language here: “god is ABLE to conceive” – when the truth in Calvinism is “god DOES first-conceive”

        In Calvinism, whether or not Adam’s choice to disobey was first-conceived by Calvin’s god as a “possible” choice or not is irrelevant.
        The fact is, Adam did not first-conceive that thought Calvin’s god conceived it.
        According to your own statements god then “decrees” the time for that thought to be actualized within Adam’s brain.
        Its obvious according to your own scheme Calvin’s god is the author of that thought – and not Adam.
        Unless you want to argue that Calvin’s god’s foreknowledge is based upon OBSERVATION of what creatures do.
        If so, you’ll be again denying a principle component of Calvinist doctrine.

        br.d
        “This affirms: 1) In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism), the target’s thoughts, choices and actions are determined by an external intelligence prior to the target’s existence. (scientist or deity)”

        rhutchin responds:
        This is wrong. God, the external intelligence, created Adam with the ability to think, make choices, and take actions based on his knowledge, reasoning ability, and physical attributes.

        This is of course more Calvinism’s beguiling double-talk.
        In Calvinism, Calvin’s god first-conceives a thought then decrees when that thought will be actualized in Adam’s brain.
        This is what the Calvinist tries to call “Adam’s ability to think”.
        A robot has the same options.

        In Calvinism Adam’s choices are the consequence of thoughts which Calvin’s god authored and then MADE Adam think.
        No matter how much Calvinists try to use beguiling double-talk to get around it.

        Like

      139. br.d writes, “This is of course more of Calvinism’s beguiling double-speak.
        In Calvinism Adam is free to only make choices Calvin’s god MAKES him make.”

        This is wrong. God did not make Adam sin and no Calvinist makes that claim. It is true that God knew that Adam would sin before He made Adam but most people believe this because they hold that God is omniscient. No one believes that God’s knowledge that Adam would sin was the cause of Adam choosing to sin. Adam had a choice to sin or not sin.”

        Then, “Adam is not free to do otherwise.”

        This is so because God is omniscient. However, from Adam’s point of view, he perceived that he was free to do otherwise.

        Then, “Adam being omniscient or not is just another irrelevant red herring”

        Not if you are trying to define what LFW means. LFW requires omniscience or it is not LFW – depending on how you define LFW. Given that no one has defined LFW – other than the ability to do otherwise which is the case for even lesser forms of free will – LFW reduces to non-coercive free will. We can, however, define LFW by God’s freedom of will and this is based on God’s omniscience. Using God’s freedom to choose as the standard for LFW, unless a person is omniscient, he cannot exercise LFW.

        Then, “In Calvinism, Calvin’s god first-conceives a thought then decrees when that thought will be actualized in Adam’s brain.”

        God conceives all things regarding the universe and did so before He created the universe. Even you don’t deny that do you?? God created Adam and gave Adam the ability to have many thoughts and to generate new thoughts as he learned things. God gave Adam the ability to turn his thoughts into physical action – for example Adam was able to name the animals God had created. As God, through His omniscience, knew all the decisions Adam would make, we can say that God decreed that Adam make those decisions when He created Adam. Your point must be that God is not omniscient – if not, you have no argument.

        Then, “In Calvinism Adam’s choices are the consequence of thoughts which Calvin’s god authored and then MADE Adam think.”

        Not in Calvinism. The Scriptures are clear – a person’s thoughts arise from the heart. God enabled this ability when He created Adam and God does not need to make a person think any specific thought.

        Like

      140. br.d writes, “This is of course more of Calvinism’s beguiling double-speak.
        In Calvinism Adam is free to only make choices Calvin’s god MAKES him make.”

        rhutchin responds:
        God did not make Adam sin and no Calvinist makes that claim.

        DUH! That is part of Calvinism’s beguiling double-talk. :-]

        rutchin writes:
        It is true that God knew that Adam would sin before He made Adam BUT MOST PEOPLE believe this because they hold that God is omniscient.

        Another excellent example of Calvinism’s beguiling double-talk.
        *MOST PEOPLE* believe they hold that as god is omniscient”

        This is simply an deceptive evasion.
        The discussion is not on *MOST PEOPLE* its about what logically follows in Calvinism.
        Calvinism does not hold Calvin’s god’s omniscience as MERE OBSERVATION.
        Calvinism asserts that Calvin’s god’s omniscience is the CONSEQUENCE OF IMMUTABLE DECREES
        The only way Calvin’s god can know Adam would sin is for Calvin’s god to decree Adam’s sin.
        Unless you want to argue he can (know via decree) ‘Adam does not sin’ and “Adam does sin” at the same time.

        rhutchin writes:
        No one believes that God’s knowledge that Adam would sin was the cause of Adam choosing to sin.

        1001 irrelevant red-herrings.

        rhutchin:
        Adam had a choice to sin or not sin.”

        This is as logically possible as god creating square-circles and false-truths.
        Your burden is to prove god can predestine Adam’s choice and not predestine it at the same time.

        rhutchin
        Then, “Adam is not free to do otherwise.”
        This is so because God is omniscient.

        We’ve already proven this is Calvinisms beguiling double-speak (see above)

        rhutchin:
        However, from Adam’s point of view, **HE PERCEIVED** that he was free to do otherwise.

        AH!!!
        Thank you for acknowledging a logical entailment of Theological Determinism!
        This confirms: In Theological Determinism “alternative possibilities” and “do otherwise” are illusions which Calvin’s god deceives Adam into believing. Alvin Plantinga, sights this and then states, when a person has no options such that they CAN ONLY DO what god makes them do, their actions are not worthy of praise or blame. The robot has the same option. A robot CANNOT “do otherwise” therefore what it does is not worthy of praise or blame.

        br.d
        “Adam being omniscient or not is just another irrelevant red herring”

        rhutchin:
        Not if you are trying to define what LFW means.

        This is simply more Calvinism’s double-speak:
        The truth is the Calvinist first asserts Libertarian Free will doesn’t exist while at the same time masquerading characteristics of Libertarian Free will – such as “do otherwise” into their theology in order to hide Calvin’s god (who is the author of evil) behind them.

        Your arguments asserting that LFW requires divine omniscience appear to be coming right out of your imagination. Otherwise you can provide un-refuted citations from an internationally recognized Christian philosopher.

        br.d
        “In Calvinism, Calvin’s god first-conceives a thought then decrees when that thought will be actualized in Adam’s brain.”

        rhutchin:
        God conceives all things regarding the universe and did so before He created the universe.

        Thank you for acknowledging my statement.

        rhutchin
        God gave Adam the ability to generate new thoughts….

        A great example of Calvinism’s beguiling double-talk right after you just acknowledged that Calvin’s god first-conceives Adam’s thoughts and then decrees when they will be actualized in Adam’s brain.

        rhutchin:
        As God, through His omniscience, knew all the decisions Adam would make, we can say that God decreed that Adam make those decisions when He created Adam.

        A WONDERFUL example of Calvinism’s beguiling double-talk!
        In Calvinism god cannot know Adam’s thought unless he decrees it.
        “WE CAN SAY” that god decreed Adam to make those decisions when he created Adam.

        Who is WE? Answer: Calvinist beguiling double-talk!
        More irrelelevent red-herrings

        Firstly Calvinism asserts Calvin’s god’s decrees occur at the foundation of the world.
        Now you want to make-believe Calvin’s god’s decree disappears from there and re-appears when Adam is created. A great example of beguiling double-talk.

        rhutch:
        Your point must be that God is not omniscient – if not, you have no argument.

        Your tactic here is to make aspects of Calvin’s doctrines (in this case foreknowledge via decrees) disappear. The Calvinist loves to make-believe his god is a magical disappearing rabbit. 😀

        br.d
        Then, “In Calvinism Adam’s choices are the consequence of thoughts which Calvin’s god authored and then MADE Adam think.”

        rhutchin:
        Not in Calvinism. The Scriptures are clear – a person’s thoughts arise from the heart. God enabled this ability when He created Adam and God does not need to make a person think any specific thought.

        More of Calvnism’s beguiling double-talk.
        This does nothing more that affirm, that what is logically entailed in Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) is contradictory to what is declared in scripture.

        Like

      141. Irrelevant red-herring:

        Calvinist Paul Kjoss Helseth explains:

        -quote: “Scripture PRESUMES that determinism and human freedom are compatible, even though it DOES NOT EXPLAIN THE MECHANICS OF HOW THIS IS POSSIBLE, and “the method of this reconciliation cannot in this life be clearly perfectly explained by us.” – Four Views in Divine Providence

        1) In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism), the target’s thoughts, choices and actions are determined by an external intelligence prior to the target’s existence. (scientist or deity)
        2) Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) is not concerned with and does not explain the MECHANISMS by which this his done.
        3) In both system an external intelligence FIRST-CONCEIVES and then ACTUALIZED all of the target’s thoughts. (scientist or deity)
        3) Those two factors are exactly parallel in both cases.

        Like

  16. Rhutchin writes:
    “You actually meant to say, “providing the possibility for atonement.” If God provided an atonement for all, then NECESSARILY all would be atoned and all would be saved.”

    This statement is a clear declaration of Theological Fatalism:

    William Lane Craig describes:
    -quote:
    1. NECESSARILY, if God foreknows that X will happen, then X will happen.
    2. God foreknows that X will happen.
    3. Therefore, NECESSARILY, X will happen.

    (So X cannot be free – everything that happens happens NECESSARILY.)

    That is the argument for theological fatalism. What I pointed out last time is that this argument is logically invalid.
    That is to say, it breaks the rules of logic.- end quote

    http://www.reasonablefaith.org/defenders-2-podcast/transcript/s3-15

    Thank you rhutchin for providing a good example of Calvinist Fatalism. 😉

    Like

    1. br.d writes, “(So X cannot be free – everything that happens happens NECESSARILY.)”

      Why not? That God knows that X will happen does not preclude it happening freely as God’s knowledge is not the cause of X. Where God provides an atonement for sin, then sin is atoned. It requires no action by the individual. The person is free; his condition changes.

      Only br.d would describe atonement for sin as fatalism.

      Like

      1. Now your simply trying to say the argument for fatalism is not an argument for fatalism.
        You can take that up with Dr. Craig and the historical Christian Philosophy.

        Like

  17. ALVIN PLANTINGA – ROBOTS VS. LIBERTARIAN FREE WILL

    Here Libertarian freedom is defined as:
    Choice made by person_2, but not because person_1 determined it as person_2’s only choice, (as is the case with compatibilist freewill). It also specifically includes more than one single option where alternative options are REAL and not ILLUSION (as is the case with compatiblist freewill). A person has the possibility, power, and feasibility to choose [A], and the possibility, power, and feasibility to choose [NOT-A]. And both [A] and [NOT-A] exist as REAL options. (which is not the case with compatiblist freewill) where only one single option exists as REAL and all other options exist as ILLUSIONS.

    Morally Significant kind Of Free Will:
    In part of Dr. Alvin Plantinga’s “Free Will Defense” he sights Libertarian free will is a “morally significant” kind of free will. In his view, an action is “morally significant” just when it is appropriate to evaluate that action from a moral perspective (for example, by ascribing moral praise or blame). Persons have “morally significant” free will if they are able to perform actions that are “morally significant”.

    Plantinga imagines a possible world where God creates creatures with a very limited kind of freedom. A world with persons who CAN only choose good options, and who CANNOT choose bad options. What would happen if one of them were faced with three possible courses of action – two of which were morally good and one morally bad?

    Such a person would not be free with respect to the morally bad option. That is to say, that person would not be able to choose any bad option, even if they had the ILLUSION they could. Our hypothetical person does, however, have complete freedom to decide which of the two good courses of action to take.

    Plantinga denies that any such person has “morally significant” free will. People in this world always perform morally good actions, but they deserve no credit for doing so because it is the only option they have. They CANNOT do wrong. So, when they perform the only action they CAN perform, they really are not doing anything praise worthy.

    Plantinga likens this world of people to robots. It would be ridiculous to give moral praise to a robot for putting your soda can in the recycle bin rather than the trash can – if that is the only thing the robot’s program allows it to do. Given the program running inside the robot and its exposure to an empty soda can, it’s going to take the can to the recycle bin.

    The robot doesn’t have two choices – it only has one.

    It doesn’t have the choice between alternative possibilities which exist as REAL.

    Therefore it is dubious to say that it has a choice in the matter at all.

    Similarly, the people in this possible world have no choice about being good. Since they are designed such that good is the only thing they CAN do, their options are the same as the robots. And they deserve no more praise or for doing the only thing they CAN do than the robot.

    Like

  18. br.d writes, “Therefore in Calvinism TWO OPTIONS are IMPOSSIBLE to actualize and thus irrelevant.”

    rhutchin writes:
    This is one reason that I like Molinism. Prior to creation all events are known as possibilities to God following the Molinist explanation. God then decides what world He will create…..
    When God created the world, only one possible world is created. ”

    This is not what is meant by TWO OPTIONS are IMPOSSIBLE.
    Christian Philosophers, when enunciating a unique characteristic of Libertarian Free Will are referring to PAP (principle of alternate possibilities) where more than one single option is possible at the time a human is faced with a choice.

    Peter Van Inwagen describes this as a fork in the road. Other Christian Philosophers use the phrase “A garden filled with many forks” to describe decision making in a world framed by Libertarian Free Will.

    In Calvinism before god commanded Adam to not obey, he has already determined Adam’s disobedience as the ONE SINGLE OPTION POSSIBLE. He then induced into Adam’s mind the ILLUSION of an ALTERNATIVE OPTION; namely obedience. In Theological Determinism when creatures make choices God has already pre-determined only ONE SINGLE OPTION AS POSSIBLE.

    With human choice, ALTERNATIVE POSSIBILITIES exist in Calvinism ONLY AS ILLUSIONS.

    Molinism, on the contrary affirms Libertarian Free Will, in which PAP (Alternative Possibilities) do exist as REAL for humans to choose.

    And besides that you’ve already reneged on Molinism:
    rhutchin
    October 14, 2017 at 5:57 pm
    “Molinism does not affirm Calvinism as it has nothing to do with Calvinism.”

    Like

  19. CALVINISM – EXAMPLES OF DOUBLE-SPEAK

    Russian propagandists say prostitution has long been wiped out.
    However, the way this is accomplished is simply by renaming it.
    Russia has: “priestesses of love”, “night stalkers” and “ladies who take tips”.

    China makes the same exact claim.
    Except euphemisms are crafted to better fit their culture.
    China has: “girls who sell their smiles”.

    North Korea staunchly says its society is so Utopian, crime is wiped out – it has no prisons.
    North Korea has: “labor reform camps for ideological re-education”.

    Calvinism makes similar claims by simply following the same language tricks.

    For its theology of dread and divine-good-evil
    Calvinism has: “doctrines of grace”.

    For human choices puppeteered by predestination-strings
    Calvinism has: “human choices occur most freely”

    For Calvin’s god who MAKES human’s do sinful things
    Calvinism has: “Total depravity”.

    Norman Geisler highlights a few more of what he calls Calvinism’s double-speak
    – Fallen humans can will, but yet they have no will (he sights Calvinist quotes)
    – Grace is irresistible, but yet it is not coercive
    – Humans are dead to the gospel, but yet alive enough to hear it and reject it

    Another good one:
    Calvin’s god’s decrees are the all-powerful, supreme force over all things in the universe.
    Calvinism has: A force that forces without forcing.

    Like

    1. br.d. writes, “Norman Geisler highlights a few more of what he calls Calvinism’s double-speak
      – Fallen humans can will, but yet they have no will (he sights Calvinist quotes)
      – Grace is irresistible, but yet it is not coercive
      – Humans are dead to the gospel, but yet alive enough to hear it and reject it”

      LOL!! It just shows that you should not believe everything Geisler says.

      – Fallen people have corrupt natures – they cannot will spiritual good; they can only will to do evil.
      – Grace is irresistible (Lazarus is a physical example) and enables people to make spiritual decisions; those decisions are not coerced.
      – Humans are dead in sin (spiritually dead) and therefore reject the gospel. Atheists – anyone – can understand what the gospel says.

      Did Geisler really phrase these statements as you presented them or did you edit them to make them funnier (and make fun of Geisler)?

      Then, “Calvin’s god’s decrees are the all-powerful, supreme force over all things in the universe.
      Calvinism has: A force that forces without forcing.”

      How this happens is illustrated in Job 1. Satan cannot touch Job until God decrees that he can – God does not force Satan to so anything but limits what Satan is free to do..

      Like

      1. br.d
        Then, “Calvin’s god’s decrees are the all-powerful, supreme force over all things in the universe.

        Calvinism has: A force that forces without forcing.”

        rhutchin responds
        How this happens is illustrated in Job 1. Satan cannot touch Job until God decrees that he can – God does not force Satan to so anything but limits what Satan is free to do..

        This is of course more of Calvnism’s beguiling double-talk
        Like usually you’re depiction totally leaves what Calvin’s god first-conceives and then decrees out of the picture.

        When it comes to Calvin’s god’s role in sin and evil, Calvinists love to make-believe their god is a magical disappearing rabbit. 😀
        His role in the events magically disappears – AS-IF he doesn’t “first-conceive” and then “decree” everything Satan does.

        Thank you for acknowledging that Calvinism has “A force that forces without forcing” 😀

        Like

  20. A SYLLOGISM ON CALVINISM & ADAM’S DISOBEDIENCE

    Syllogism Rule: In order to declare a Syllogism FALSE one must:
    A: Show at least one of its two Premises as FALSE
    Or
    B: Show how the Conclusion does not logically follow from its two Premises.

    Premise 1: Whatever Calvin’s god does not decree come to pass CANNOT come to pass.
    Premise 2: Adam’s choice to obey did not come to pass.

    Conclusion:
    Adam’s choice to obey COULD NOT come to pass because Calvin’s god did not decree it.

    Like

    1. BrD

      But wait….there’s more….

      According to the Calvinist position (and your Adam example), everything that did not happen, could not have happened (since obviously God did not decree it).

      A little later…. (from the Calvinist ESV)

      Gen 4:6 The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.”

      Here God is telling him (this is “ALL of Scripture” by the way)…..

      1. If he does well he will be accepted. Sounds like a sincere, possible offer from God to me!

      2. Sin (not God’s will) is crouching at his door.

      3. It desires to have him—but that is not what he should want.

      4. He must —-can! —-rule over it.

      According to your syllogism (if it did not happen it could not have happened) we have God contradicting Himself and His will 4 times:

      1. He could not have done well (since he didnt).

      2. God’s plan, not sin, was actually crouching at his door God wanted (since it did happen).

      3. Sin’s desire was really not contrary to God.

      4. Cain could not really have ruled over it (since he didnt)—- even though God said he must (could).

      This is just one of the thousands of place in “ALL of Scripture” that made no sense to me as a Calvinist.

      What this determinist philosophy leads us to is: once the sin is done and in the rear view mirror….Oh well, it must have been God’s sovereign will.

      Sorry Cain, you were told you could do well, and told that you could resist sin…..but you really couldn’t.

      Like

      1. Yes! Absolutely!! Excellent points FOH.

        Calvin’s god speaks with forked tongue.
        Calvin’s god bears false witness pretty much every time he expresses his intentions or his will.

        He deceives Adam into believing he wants Adam to obey – while MAKING Adam disobey.
        And as your exposition precisely detailed – he does the same thing to Cain.

        He does the same thing to Israel where he says “Behold I set before you life and death – choose life”

        If Calvinism is true, it logically follows, that statement is a deception.
        Calvin’s god CANNOT decree [A] and [NOT A] at the same time because they logically negate each other.

        If Libertarian Free Will is true, then God can truthfully say he is setting before each individual, life and death, as “alternative possibilities” which both exist as REAL.

        If Calvinism is true, Calvin’s god CANNOT decree both life and death for each individual, because in determinism all “alternate possibilities” exist only as illusions.

        In Calvinism, he would be decreeing life for one person and death for another person. But he would also be deceiving them with 2 FALSE statements.

        1) The choice of life or death is UP TO THEM when that is FALSE
        2) That both life and death exist as REAL “alternative possibilities” when that is FALSE.

        So once again, we’ve proven that Calvin’s god is a deceiver.

        Like

      2. br.d writes, “Calvin’s god bears false witness pretty much every time he expresses his intentions or his will.”

        This is wrong. God expresses His will through the Scriptures as all Calvinists assert. You can be so funny.

        Then, “He deceives Adam into believing he wants Adam to obey – while MAKING Adam disobey.”

        LOL. Actually, Calvinists maintain that Adam had free will and choose to disobey.

        Then, “Calvin’s god CANNOT decree [A] and [NOT A] at the same time because they logically negate each other.”

        Finally, you get something right. Of course, no god can do this – not sure you figured this out.

        Then, “If Libertarian Free Will is true,…”

        So funny – you can’t even define LFW, but still make imaginative claims about it.

        Like

      3. br.d writes,
        “Calvin’s god bears false witness pretty much every time he expresses his intentions or his will.”

        rhutchin reponds:
        This is wrong. God expresses His will through the Scriptures as all Calvinists assert. You can be so funny.

        irrelevant red-herring
        What is expressed through scripture is not at all the same as what logically follows in Calvinism.
        Thus the statement is correct – as it pertains to what logically follows in Calvinism
        It doesn’t matter “what Calvinists say” because Calvinists both affirm and deny their own theology.

        br.d
        In Calvinism god deceives Adam into believing he wants Adam to obey – while MAKING Adam disobey.”

        rhutchin responds
        LOL. Actually, Calvinists maintain that Adam had free will and choose to disobey.

        This is a great example of Calvinism’s beguiling double-talk.
        In Calvinism the will is “free” in respect to only one thing – it is free to be moved as Calvin’s god moves it.
        It is not “free’ to do otherwise.
        Robots have the same options without having to be human

        The rest of rutchin’s comments are consistent – unproven claims that must be defended with double-speak.

        Like

      4. br.d writes, “What is expressed through scripture is not at all the same as what logically follows in Calvinism.”

        Calvinism is Scripture based. If something does not follow from the Scriptures, then it is not part of Calvinist Theology.

        Then, “It doesn’t matter “what Calvinists say” because Calvinists both affirm and deny their own theology.”

        We disagree on this point.

        br.d
        In Calvinism god deceives Adam into believing he wants Adam to obey – while MAKING Adam disobey.”

        Then, “I had said “Calvinists maintain that Adam had free will and choose to disobey.”
        br.d responded, “This is a great example of Calvinism’s beguiling double-talk.”

        The problem here is that br.d cannot, or does not, support his claim. Instead, he makes a false claim, “In Calvinism the will is “free” in respect to only one thing – it is free to be moved as Calvin’s god moves it. It is not “free’ to do otherwise.” A thief has the option to rob a bank or not rob a bank. Should God arrange for policemen to be at the bank when the thief wants to rob it, then the presence of those policemen may influence his decisions. As Calvinist would say, “God opens doors and God closes doors.”

        Like

      5. your previous comments are not worth responding to so I’ll concentrate on this piece of double-think.

        rrhutchin writes:
        “Calvinists maintain that Adam had free will and choose to disobey.”

        br.d responded, “This is a great example of Calvinism’s beguiling double-talk.”
        This is a great example of Calvinism’s beguiling double-talk.
        In Calvinism the will is “free” in respect to only one thing – it is free to be moved as Calvin’s god moves it. I t is not “free’ to do otherwise.
        Robots have the same options without having to be human

        rhutchin
        A thief has the option to rob a bank or not rob a bank.

        You have to burden to show that the thief can have option [A] and its negation option [NOT A] when only one of those options has already be predestined. Or you have to show that god can create square-circles, married-bachelor, false-truths, and undetermined-determined choices..

        rhutchin
        Should God arrange for policemen to be at the bank when the thief wants to rob it, then the presence of those policemen may influence his decisions. As Calvinist would say, “God opens doors and God closes doors.”

        This is again Calvinist beguiling double-talk.
        In Calvinism the THEOS determines ALL things at the foundation of the world.
        That leaves nothing left for humans to determine.
        Unless you wan to argue that Calvin’s god doesn’t determine ALL things which come to pass.

        Like

      6. br.d writes, “This is again Calvinist beguiling double-talk.
        In Calvinism the THEOS determines ALL things at the foundation of the world.”

        This boils down to an argument over God’s omniscience. Calvinists say God is omniscient; you say that God is not omniscient.

        Like

      7. br.d writes,
        “This is again Calvinist beguiling double-talk.
        In Calvinism the THEOS determines ALL things at the foundation of the world.”

        rhutchin responds
        This boils down to an argument over God’s omniscience. Calvinists say God is omniscient; you say that God is not omniscient.

        More of Calvinism’s beguiling double-talk
        In Calvinism omniscience (more precisely foreknowledge) is a consequence of decrees.
        Calvin’s god CANNOT know anything is true unless he first-conceives and then decrees it is true.
        Calvin’s god CANNOT know Adam’s sin unless he first-conceives and then decrees Adam’s sin.
        Furthermore Calvin’s god doesn’t need omniscience in order to MAKE Adam sin.

        Like

      8. br.d wrote, “In Calvinism the THEOS determines ALL things at the foundation of the world.”
        rhutchin responded, “This boils down to an argument over God’s omniscience. Calvinists say God is omniscient; you say that God is not omniscient.
        br.d then responded, “In Calvinism omniscience (more precisely foreknowledge) is a consequence of decrees.”

        Regardless how God came to be omniscient, His omniscience determines all things.

        Then, “Calvin’s god CANNOT know anything is true unless he first-conceives and then decrees it is true.”

        That’s fine. Even if we attribute God’s omniscience to mystery, it still results in all things being determined.

        Then, “Calvin’s god CANNOT know Adam’s sin unless he first-conceives and then decrees Adam’s sin.”

        So???

        Then, “Furthermore Calvin’s god doesn’t need omniscience in order to MAKE Adam sin.”

        Irrelevant. It is because God is omniscient that ll things are determined. This boils down to an argument over God’s omniscience. Calvinists say God is omniscient; you say that God is not omniscient.

        Like

      9. FOH to br.d writes, “According to the Calvinist position (and your Adam example), everything that did not happen, could not have happened (since obviously God did not decree it).”

        The Calvinist presupposes that God is omniscient. Given that God is omniscient, “…everything that did not happen, could not have happened (since obviously God did not decree it).” Can we agree that we disagree on the issue of omniscience?

        Like

  21. ww writes, “To imply that God is author of all sin is blasphemy.”

    rhutchin writes:
    Under one definition of “author” it would be blasphemy; under a different definition, it would not. What is your definition of “author”?

    Let the SOT101 reader observe how much Calvinism is reliant upon language subtleties.
    And remember – the serpent is the most “subtle” beast in the field.

    Like

  22. truthseeker00

    The Calvinist’s tactical tool-box:

    A. Name Calling
    B. As-If statement
    C. Logical Impossibility
    D. Distraction (Flying Squirrel comments)
    E. 1001 irrelevant red-herrings which the Calvinist imagines refutes one of Calvinism’s logical entailments
    F. The “Dancing Boxer” routine
    G: The “Greased Pig” routine

    An excellent list is developing here!!

    A whole segment could be devoted to examples of Calvinism’s AS-IF thinking 😀

    Calvin’s god determines every thought the Calvinist has AS-IF Calvin’s god doesn’t determine every thought the Calvinist has.

    Like

  23. Peter Van Inwagen
    DETERMINISM IS A PATH WITH NO FORKS

    Peter van Inwagen points out, that in order for us to say one has a “free” will, we are obligated to identify what one is “free” to will vs. what one is “not free” to will. What one is “free” to determine, vs. what one is “not free” to determine.

    Van Inwagen starts out warning us about the spider-web of equivocal “senses” for the terms at play.
    Are you “free” to will rainfall to start in exactly 10 seconds and stop exactly 30 seconds later?

    In one sense – yes. If the word “determine” or “will” implies “wanting”, you are “free” to “want” it to occur. You are “free” to “imagine” it will occur, and you are “free” to have the illusion it will occur.
    But you are “not free” to MAKE it occur, because you don’t have the power to CAUSE it to occur. You don’t have the power to ACTUALIZE it such that it will occur. Nevertheless, by deploying equivocal misleading senses for terms: “determine”, “free” and “will”, you are “free” to “determine” or “will” it to occur, even though you are “not free” to CAUSE or MAKE it occur.

    Van Inwagen’s first step is to refuse to step into this spider web of equivocations. He asserts a strict and uni-vocal sense of the word “free” where he states, if you are powerless to ACTUALIZE, CAUSE, or MAKE an event occur, then you are “not free” with respect to that event’s occurrence. You are powerless to CAUSE or MAKE it precisely rain. And in that sense you do not have “free will” in respect to when it will rain.

    Van Inwagen moves from that clarification, to analyze what logically follows with “free will” by presenting the metaphor of a fork in the path in which we walk. Having “free will”, is like coming to a fork in a path, and having both of those forks as REAL options open to you, in such a way that you have the ability or power to bring it about that you CAN go down either of those paths. If you have the power to go down one path, but not the other, then the direction you go, is not “up to you”, and thus you lack “free will” with respect to which direction you will go. And so too, with all choices and decisions.

    Van Inwangen points out that in determinism, wherever multiple paths appear as choices or decisions, only one of them is actually real – the others are illusions. This is because every choice and decision has already been made for you – having already been pre-determined. And it is a logical impossibility for the determiner, to create a choice that is both determined and undetermined.

    A determiner cannot determine two paths [A] and [NOT A], at the same time, because they negate each other. Thus in determinism, every choice or decision is limited to only one single unique pre-determined future. It CAN either be [A] or it can be [NOT A]. But since [NOT A] negates [A], it cannot be both. And so it is logically impossible for a choice to be both “undetermined” and “determined”, since these logically negate each other.

    Van Inwagen argues the determinist/compatibilist is faced with two difficulties in showing “free will”.
    1) He must show that there are REAL multiple futures that are “open” to us.
    2) He must show that those multiple futures are “open” to us in a genuine sense of that word.

    Van Inwagen states: “compatibilists can make their doctrine **SEEM** like robust common sense only by sweeping a mystery under the carpet.”

    How god can create square-circles, married-bachelors, false-truths, and human choices as undetermined-determined choices. These are mysteries the compatiblist seeks to sweep under the carpet. Van Inwagen states: “…With logic it is possible to lift the carpet and display the hidden mystery.”

    Like

    1. From Wikipedia:

      1. Van Inwagen’s central argument (the Consequence Argument) for this view says that “If determinism is true, then our acts are the consequences of the laws of nature and events in the remote past. But it is not up to us what went on before we were born, and neither is it up to us what the laws of nature are. Therefore, the consequences of those things (including our present acts) are not up to us.”

      2. In a paper submitted to The Journal of Ethics entitled “How to Think about the Problem of Free Will,” Van Inwagen worries that the concept “free will” may be incoherent. He says “There are seemingly unanswerable arguments that (if they are indeed unanswerable) demonstrate that free will is incompatible with determinism. And there are seemingly unanswerable arguments that … demonstrate that free will is incompatible with indeterminism. But if free will is incompatible both with determinism and indeterminism, the concept ‘free will’ is incoherent, and the thing free will does not exist.”

      3. Van Inwagen concludes that “Free Will Remains a Mystery.”[12] In an article written in the third person called “Van Inwagen on Free Will,”[13] he describes the problem with his incompatibilist free will if random chance directly causes our actions.[14] He imagines that God causes the universe to revert a thousand times to exactly the same circumstances[15] that it was in at some earlier time and we could observe all the “replays.” If the agent’s actions are random, she sometimes “would have agent-caused the crucial brain event and sometimes (in seventy percent of the replays, let us say) she would not have… I conclude that even if an episode of agent causation is among the causal antecedents of every voluntary human action, these episodes do nothing to undermine the prima facie impossibility of an undetermined free act.”

      Van Inwagen recognized that there are problems with free will. That could help explain why no one can construct a definition of LFW that everyone is happy with.

      Like

      1. rhutchin writes:

        Van Inwagen recognized that there are problems with free will. That could help explain why no one can construct a definition of LFW that everyone is happy with.

        Van Inwagen produces two arguments “The consequence argument” and “The no choice principle”
        Both are very powerful arguments which illuminate the consequences of determinism.
        As well as illuminate how deceptive determinists are at trying to hide its logical entailments.

        And Calvin’s god has predestined double-think as your fate and double-talk as your strategy to get around them. 😀

        Like

      2. br.d writes, “Van Inwagen produces two arguments “The consequence argument” and “The no choice principle”
        Both are very powerful arguments which illuminate the consequences of determinism.
        As well as illuminate how deceptive determinists are at trying to hide its logical entailments.”

        Van Inwagen defines Determinism this way: “Determinism says that the past…and the laws of nature together determine everything, that they leave no open possibilities whatever.”

        If we apply Van Inwagne’s argument to the Scriptures, then we conclude that Adam’s sin has determined everything that happened subsequent to his sin. Consequent to Adam’s sin, people became spiritually dead and incapable of any spiritual good and the nature of people became corrupt and also incapable of spiritual good. This determined that people are Totally Depraved. Thus, spiritual death and a corrupt nature establish boundaries for the actions people could take. The issue then becomes whether people are free to act within those boundaries. That depends on the definition of “free.” That is why a definition of LFW is crucial to the argument and why the absence of a definition for LFW has essentially made it impossible to argue logically for LFW and deal with the consequential effects of Adam’s sin.

        If we then introduce God into the issue, we deal with Theological Determinism. Now, God can intervene and create a different past and even override the laws of nature. However, the free will problem still remains and the definition of “free will” and specifically, LFW is still crucial to this problem. Calvinists have simply said that “free will” is exercised whenever a person can choose to act free of coercion. The person is still Totally Depraved (until made spiritually alive) and can only act within the bounds of that depravity. His acts are free because his desires arise from his heart and he wills according to the desires of his heart. His actions are generally determined by the past (Adam’s sin and subsequent depravity) and his nature but specifically determined by his will (he acts according to his strongest desires).

        The argument is pretty straightforward – there is no double talk, nor is it necessary. The smokescreen thrown up by non-Calvinists is LFW and it is meaningless because non-Calvinists cannot define what they mean by LFW and when they try to define it, they end up agreeing with the Calvinists. The smart non-Calvinists then figure out that omniscience is the problem so we get the denial of omniscience.

        Like

      3. The error is in assuming Total Depravity to begin with. This is a mere – and I would say false – assertion as to what was actually meant by death being introduced into the creation with the first disobedience of man, that is, Adam. Take away this error, and there is no need for debating the manufactured concept called LFW.

        In reality, man retains the same freedom to act with which God created him. These actions have consequences, including death. Physical death – mortality – became an eventuality, which God promised to remedy. Thus the need for, and the reality of Jesus’ atonement. Spiritual death, or Depravity, is defined in Romans 1, and is the result of deliberately rejecting the truth about God which all men have been shown, including the rejection of the atonement offered through Jesus. No man is born spiritually dead, but becomes cold, hard and eventually dead to God by his stubborn resistance to God’s ongoing calls to repentance.

        Calvinism introduced into the Religion which became known as Protestant Christianity very faulty concepts, which today are mostly taken for granted as ‘orthodox’, and few dare to question. Though the ‘Rulers’ no longer have the power to burn heretics at the stake, a sincere, thoughtful believer will quickly find himself ostracized, condemned and/or expelled for questioning official, ascriptural definitions of genuine scriptural words and concepts.

        Words like ‘Sin’, ‘Salvation’, ‘Atonement’, ‘Justification’, ‘Depraved’, ‘Death’, etc. are given official, ‘orthodox’ definitions which, while mere assertions of some man or group of men, take on a divine, untouchable quality. The concepts are genuine; it is the definitions that not only allow but demand serious questioning, searching and seeking after wisdom from the Spirit in order to unravel their full meaning. The nasty little habit of institutions of staking out an unquestionable doctrinal position has led to the constant introduction of more and more ‘denominations’ of Christianity – which then stake out their own, slightly different doctrinal positions.

        Starting with John Calvin, Protestant Christianity taught that it is dangerous to allow men to think and study and come to spiritual conclusions by following the leading of the Spirit, but all men must be compelled to bow to the conclusions of superior, self-claimed experts who assert that they alone have the ability to declare ‘Truth’. They have assumed, inappropriately, the power that is God’s alone.

        The command of scripture is to not follow man at all, but to seek truth and understanding from the Spirit of God, whom Jesus died that we might receive. It is his role – not our ‘authoritative’ teachers, to lead men into understanding of the truths set forth in scripture. This is the ultimate problem with Calvinism, and every other tradition that sets forth ‘orthodox’ doctrinal standards to which all must bow unquestioningly. Men are taught to surrender the very ability to reason, think and seek that is necessary in order to hear, understand and follow the commands of God. In its place they are compelled to submit to the doctrines of men.

        Nor am I – and all free men, since the original Anabaptists and other ‘heretics’ – asserting that nothing can be asserted as ‘True’. Scriptural teaching can indeed be asserted as unquestionably ‘True’ – but its full meaning must be ferreted out by each believer. We are called to seek, study, meditate and question even the words of the Apostle Paul to see if they are indeed what scripture teaches. Odd that his teaching can be questioned, but not that of Popes, Calvin, Luther, the Westminster Divines or whomever your particular ‘gods’ are.

        All the back and forth, and debate over minute details are mere smokescreens. We have a responsibility to deal with the truth that God has revealed to all men – the truth that He is, and that He is Good, Loving, Just, Faithful and trustworthy (a rewarder of those who seek him). This does not require an intellectual grasp of confusing concepts, philosophical meanderings or theological treatises. It was demonstrated in a single act: the sacrificing of one’s own life for others, which God asserts is the true definition of love.

        All debates over whether love can deliberately damn men to hell with no recourse are absurd. All the twisting of words and concepts, of which the apostles warned, are designed to confuse, mislead and deceive. That is exactly what we have in Calvinism, and, sadly, much of institutional Religion.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. I heartily agree

        Calvinism is the results of Augustine’s synthesis of Catholic doctrine with Gnosticism’s (yin-yang) Dualism, and NeoPlatonism’s immutable deity – the “one”.

        That is why you get divine-good-evil, false-truth, and undetermined-determined human choices, and double-think in Calvinism.
        Calvinism follows Gnosticism’s (yin-yang) dualistic cosmology where all conceptions appear as antithetical pairs.

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      5. br.d writes, “Calvinism follows Gnosticism’s (yin-yang) dualistic cosmology where all conceptions appear as antithetical pairs.”

        Or it could be that Calvinism follows the Scriptures. Certainly, Calvinist doctrines are derived from Scripture.

        Like

      6. hmmm… – “Or it could be that Calvinism follows the Scriptures. Certainly, Calvinist doctrines are derived from Scripture.”

        Calvinism certainly is not following Scriptures when it constantly is saying verses don’t mean what they sound like they are saying, because God was so often speaking from man’s perspective in Scriptures, and not like Calvinists, who speak from His perspective in their writings! And Calvinist doctrines are not “derived from Scripture” but imposed upon it from definitions derived from man’s philosophy about timelessness and eternal immutable determinism.

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      7. Brian:
        As usual you are right.

        If you present any of the thousands of verses that show God repenting, regretting, reacting, pleased, saddened, giving choices, saying He will do something and later saying now He wont, making a sincere offer, rewarding those who seek Him, sparing people “for the sake of David,” or doing any sort of negotiation (Moses: “gonna destroy these people”; Abraham: “50, no 40, no 30…”—-to a reformed Calvinist, they will ALWAYS start the response with “We know that these verses do not mean what they appear to mean.”

        Now if one has 40-50 key interpret-through-Calvinist-lens verses he can SAY that he has taken Calvinism from Scripture. But what do do about the thousands and thousands of verses you have to discount in the process???

        Liked by 1 person

      8. FOH writes, “Now if one has 40-50 key interpret-through-Calvinist-lens verses he can SAY that he has taken Calvinism from Scripture. But what do do about the thousands and thousands of verses you have to discount in the process???”

        The need is to harmonize all the verses. Calvinists will do that. I don’t think you do that, do you?

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      9. rhutchin writes:
        The need is to harmonize all the verses. Calvinists will do that.

        We all know how Calvinism does that.
        1) Make the doctrine of Universal Divine Causal Determinism the most sacred of all things.

        2) Create a rule of interpretation:
        All scripture must affirm the sacred doctrine

        3) Co-opt all verses no matter how vague to affirm the sacred doctrine.
        Give those verses supreme precedence and weight over all other verses.

        4) Any verse which contradicts the sacred doctrine can be made void by philosophical argument.
        They can’t possible mean what they say.

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      10. br.d writes, “We all know how Calvinism does that.
        1) Make the doctrine of Universal Divine Causal Determinism the most sacred of all things.”

        But only if the Scriptures do so.

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      11. br.d writes, “We all know how Calvinism does that.
        1) Make the doctrine of Universal Divine Causal Determinism the most sacred of all things.”

        rhutchin responds:
        But only if the Scriptures do so.

        William Lane Craig debunks that notion as one of the first things he does.
        -quote:
        Helseth seems to provide two grounds for embracing Universal Divine Causal Determinism. The first and foremost consideration is that Scripture requires it. But is that really the case?

        It needs to be kept in mind that Universal Divine Causal Determinism is an interpretation of Scripture, an interpretation that some Reformed divines themselves regard as irreconcilable with other clear teachings of Scripture.”

        Many Calvinists only one one strategy – get around the problem with deceptive language and double-speak.

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      12. br.d quotes Craig, “It needs to be kept in mind that Universal Divine Causal Determinism is an interpretation of Scripture, an interpretation that some Reformed divines themselves regard as irreconcilable with other clear teachings of Scripture.”

        Universal Divine Causal Determinism is derived from two Calvinist doctrines – God is omniscient and God is sovereign. As we have seen on SAT101, these doctrines are contested. Some agree with the Calvinists that God is omniscient – some take the position that God is not omniscient. Sovereignty is also similarly contested. Nonetheless, as a matter of logical consistency, if we take God to be both omniscient and sovereign, then we can conclude that God has determined all things and we can point to the creation in Genesis 1 as the point where this happened physically – recognizing that God had determined all this in eternity past.

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      13. God is omniscient and sovereign as defined by Scriptures… not as defined by Plato, borrow by Roman Catholicism, and then imposed upon Scriptures by Calvinism. The Scripture’s definitions of omniscience and sovereignty do not support Calvinism’s eternal immutable predetermination of everything before creation, but Scripture clearly contradicts that premise of Calvinism.

        Just look at all the clear references to God declaring to make determinations after creation as an example of evidence that contradicts Calvinism premise. And please reject Calvinism’s attempt to justify that contradiction by suggesting that something that is determined before creation is also later determined again after creation… though Calvinists will try to affirm that contradiction as true… But God does not make up His mind twice about unconditional things once they are decided by Him. And He doesn’t speak deceptively about His determinations, saying some were being made after creation if it were true, as Calvinism claims, He already made all of them before creation.

        My God doesn’t deceive in His Word! And mankind is not edified to glorify Him by the philosophical/theological twisted premises and definitions of omniscience and sovereignty found in Calvinism that clearly infer that He does deceive.

        Liked by 1 person

      14. brianwagner writes, “God is omniscient and sovereign as defined by Scriptures……The Scripture’s definitions of omniscience and sovereignty do not support Calvinism’s eternal immutable predetermination of everything before creation, but Scripture clearly contradicts that premise of Calvinism.”

        That is the point of disagreement between you and the Calvinists.

        Then, “My God doesn’t deceive in His Word! ”

        The Calvinists say the same thing. So, it becomes an issue of the understanding of Scripture and how God uses prophets to instruct the people rather than speaking to them directly.

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      15. Inspiration is “speaking” directly. God actually spoke directly from heaven at Sinai, and through Jesus also. Each prophet that said – “Thus says the LORD” were giving direct quotes from God. Of course, the Calvinist would not bluntly say God is deceptive in His language… but you know that their denials are commonplace in their commentaries of Scripture that normal meanings of words describing God’s nature and action should not be maintained in many passages, but should be replaced with meanings that sound like the exact opposite.

        Lord willing, I will be documenting from Calvin and Gill some of the most obvious examples of this twisting of the clarity of Scripture to remain loyal to their deterministic premises which require the opposite meanings.

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      16. brian wagner writes, ” I will be documenting from Calvin and Gill some of the most obvious examples of this twisting of the clarity of Scripture to remain loyal to their deterministic premises which require the opposite meanings.”

        Great!!! If you need someone to review your work to make sure your biases don’t distort your results, I’m up for it.

        Liked by 1 person

      17. Brian,

        Once again your words are biblical (not heretical), and logical (at the same time!)….. but again….why bother?

        I have made reference in these pages to the hundreds of times God says something like “I the Sovereign Lord God Almighty, God of Israel…” (making sure we understand that He will now define sovereignty for us) and then goes on to say something like ….”If you…..I will… but if you dont I wont” ….or “why did you follow prophets I did not send?” ….or “if I tell them I am going to judge them, but they repent I will repent of the judgement I promised…”

        These hundreds of passages (in many books and types of books) all refute the determinist-fatalist philosophy that Calvinism comes down to.

        The only answers offered for these hundreds of passages: (A) It does not mean what it says (B) It means that but it means the contrary (“compatiblism”), or (C) mystery.

        That leaves us with a God who deceives us making us think that what we do makes a difference—-when in their philosophy it does not.

        Simple question to readers:

        Does anything you do make a difference? In what way? If you resist the devil is that better than not resisting? But if you didnt resist (and it is in the past) then was that God’s predetermined will also?

        Liked by 1 person

      18. FOH… I bother because I know the power of truth to break through the hardest hearts. It takes longer sometimes with some hearts… and I do not understand all that is involved in wielding the power of the sword of God’s Word in conjunction with prayer or why it takes longer with some than others… but as Paul said… I co-labor so that the grace of God will not be received in vain (2Cor 6:1)!

        Also… I bother for the edification of others who are already sound in this doctrine, but who need encouragement and example on how to share the truth in love with those who are still unsound. More are watching and reading then we might realize. I have learned that these other readers are probably smart enough to know that if someone else has “the last word” in a thread, it does not mean they had the right viewpoint or that their “last word” hasn’t already been answered Scripturally.

        These other readers have seen in each thread who might have control issues, or pride issues, and feel they need to have the last word or win. But more importantly, they see who is handling the Scriptures the best according to grammar, context, and reason, and who might be using deceptive debate tactics of deflection or double speak. We might be surprised at whose hearts are changing for good or being built up if we could see all the results of these discussions.

        I might be naive… but I don’t think many are being harmed on this site by reading the unsound doctrine that is shared by some and refuted by others. I just pray that my words never contribute to hardening someone in their unsound views about God and His wonderful salvation or to their receiving the grace of God in vain!

        Liked by 2 people

      19. Absolutely correct.

        Calvin starts out asserting his imaginations (derived from Augustine’s Gnostic/NeoPlatonist/Catholic inventions).
        But every proposition comes with its own logical entailments.
        And Calvinist realize Calvin’s doctrine logically entails Calvin’s god is the author of sin/evil.

        There are two approaches Calvinists traditionally take to get around the problem
        1) Appeal to mystery:
        How Calvin’s god authors evil without being evil is a mystery

        2) Beguiling double-speak:
        This is where Calvinists simply embrace a world of double-think and deploy deceptive language.
        Calvin’s god authors evil but in such a way that Calvin’s god doesn’t author evil.
        ALL things are determined by Calvin’s god – but in such a way that SOME things are not determined by Calvin’s god.

        rhutchin for example is reliant upon approach (2)
        Is thoroughly entrenched in and reliant upon that approach

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      20. You could have saved us a paragraph of double-speak and simply stated your ending proposition.
        -quote
        God has determined all this in eternity past

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      21. FOH, I don’t think they have over 20 that, when taken out of context, sound like Calvinism on their own. But I would like some time to take the works of Calvin’s Commentaries, or Gill’s and make a list of the exact quotes they use to undermine the clarity of God revealing His truth by saying things like – “He speaks here from man’s perspective…but we know this is not actually the truth.” It usually isn’t as crass as that, but almost from what I have read many places.

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      22. Brain:

        To be sure the number of verses is small-small.

        I say 40-50 cuz I am being generous to let them include Proverbs like rolling the dice in the lap (Piper builds a whole all-evil-is-from-God article on that!).

        In our 30+ years of overseas service we have distributed portions of Scripture to hundreds of biblically-illiterate people (several languages). There is no way that they could construct Calvinism reading simple-to-understand Gospel passages/ parables/ stories/ invitations (as WW and TS00 have so adeptly pointed out in these pages).

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      23. How about – “you do always resist the Holy Ghost”

        If I remember, Gill in his commentary actually states this verse can’t possibly mean what it says.

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      24. BrD… Here’s an example I just found… Notice Gill says, contrary to the context, “grace of God” cannot mean the offer of salvation. The context is 2Cor 5:20-6:2.
        2Cor 5:20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.”
        2Cor 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin [to be] sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
        2Cor 6:1 We then, [as] workers together [with Him] also plead with [you] not to receive the grace of God in vain.
        2Cor 6:2 For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now [is] the accepted time; behold, now [is] the day of salvation.

        And here’s what Gill says about “grace of God” since it doesn’t fit with his theology, in spite of the context. —
        “that ye receive not the grace of God in vain: by ‘the grace of God’, is not meant the grace of God in regeneration, and effectual calling, which can never be received in vain; for the grace of God never fails of producing a thorough work of conversion; nor is it ever lost, but is strictly connected with eternal, glory: but by it is meant either the doctrine of grace, the Gospel of Christ, so called, because it is a declaration of the love and grace of God to sinners, ascribes salvation in part, and in whole, to the free grace of God, and is a means of implanting and increasing grace in the hearts of men…. or else by the grace of God may be designed gifts of grace, qualifying for ministerial service; and the sense of the exhortation be, that they be careful that the gifts bestowed on them might not be neglected by them, but be used and improved to the advantage of the church, and the glory of Christ….”

        How a lover of God’s Word cannot feel guilty to make such a bold rejection of the context is beyond me!

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      25. Brian:

        The same king of gymnastics takes place on a regular basis about “God’s love.”

        As the new wave of the reformed movement (YRR and such) take on more momentum, more people are posting asking Piper and MacAurthur about their teachings that Christ died only for a very few and God does not love everyone.

        They quickly reply that God is love and God does love everyone! Then they go on…..well, let me just quote the very reformed-monergism site gotquestions.org.
        ———-

        “Your Father in heaven . . . causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:45). This is another example of God’s love for everyone—His merciful love, His benevolence extended to everyone, not just to Christians.

        God’s merciful love for the world is also manifested in that God gives people the opportunity to repent: “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise. . . . Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

        ———–

        Now there are two outrageously, fundamental problems with this song-and-dance.

        1. It is written from a Western perspective…..I mean we all have food and shelter, right? But the vast majority of world knows (and historically has known) many of these: poverty, disease, sexual enslavement, painful early death. So we cannot say (and how ridiculously American it looks to say) that just having life means that God loves you.

        Tell that to the 15-year-olds in Central Asia who are blinded at birth so that they cannot escape the sexual slavery they are sold into!! And if they are not the elect—-and face Hell— then dying at 23 of disease and abuse will be the the “love” they were all shown!!??

        How stupid is that —-to say the God loves everyone because (at least) He gives them sunshine!

        2. This Calvinist web site is so brainwashed that it cannot even see that the second way that they demonstrate God’s love He “gives people the opportunity to repent”!!!!

        In 100 place on this (gotquestions) site you can see them defend the idea that only the elect can repent (no opportunity is given or intended for the non-elect)….and yet they have the audacity to say “God’s merciful love for the world”…. is that He gives them the opportunity to repent. That is so insincere and two-faced. But they can’t even see that.

        Sure that appears loving to the .005% of humanity who repent……but certainly it cannot be co-opted to prove any love for the rest of the non-chosen (created to suffer).

        Simple open question: Does God love all people? If you say “no” you can be a Calvinist. If you say yes…..you had better come up with a better answer than these guys did.

        Like

      26. brianwagner writes, ” Notice Gill says, contrary to the context, “grace of God” cannot mean the offer of salvation.”

        This seems to be exactly what Gill is saying – that it is the offer of salvation or (2) below..

        Gill says it “..is not meant the grace of God in regeneration, and effectual calling,…” and that it is “either

        (1) the doctrine of grace, the Gospel of Christ, so called, because it is a declaration of the love and grace of God to sinners, ascribes salvation in part, and in whole, to the free grace of God, and is a means of implanting and increasing grace in the hearts of men….

        (2)or else by the grace of God may be designed gifts of grace, qualifying for ministerial service; and the sense of the exhortation be, that they be careful that the gifts bestowed on them might not be neglected by them, but be used and improved to the advantage of the church, and the glory of Christ….”

        Have you falsely accused Gill on this point or misstated your position or I just misunderstood your point?

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      27. Roger… perhaps I was too hard on Gill this time, if by “doctrine of grace” he meant the gospel opportunity given to all… and Paul was working so that it would not fail in its reception, because he knew it could be received by anyone leading to regeneration.

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      28. brianwagner writes, “… perhaps I was too hard on Gill this time, if by “doctrine of grace” he meant the gospel opportunity given to all… ”

        I think this verse is non-controversial and all understand it the same. As to the effect of the preaching of the gospel, God is free to use the preaching of the gospel to save as many as He wills to draw to Christ and to those passed over by God “it could be received by anyone leading to regeneration.”

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      29. You may think it is non-controversial Roger… but it is clearly an instance of the words “grace of God” being use for something that could be received in vain… and thus even though it is true grace, it is not irresistible, and yet is associated with salvation in some way. So that clearly contradicts, in my view, the teaching of Calvinism concerning the term “grace of God” relating to salvation as it is related in this context.

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      30. brianwagner writes, “… but it is clearly an instance of the words “grace of God” being use for something that could be received in vain… ”

        I agree. That would explain Matthew 7 and “Lord, Lord…” or the presence of tares in the church.

        Then, “thus even though it is true grace, it is not irresistible, and yet is associated with salvation in some way.”

        That is why Calvinists say that the preaching of the gospel is not sufficient by itself to produce salvation. Calvinists say that, generally, a person must be regenerated before they can receive the gospel with the specific example where God opened the heart of Lydia. So it is God’s grace to preach the gospel to all people. It is God’s grace to regenerate His elect to receive the gospel. There are many actions God takes in the salvation process all of which can be referred to, individually, as the grace of God.

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      31. It does not make sense for Paul to say he is working so that the grace of God in the gospel is not received in vain if he believed that it was all predetermined who would receive it in vain and who would not receive it in vain. He would know already that some would be given irresistible grace beforehand making it impossible for them to receive it in vain. He would not focus his efforts on others receiving it in vain, for he would believe they would never be able to receive it, except in vain.

        Paul must have missed his classes on Calvinism (or Plato’s Determinism) when he was in seminary! 😉

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      32. Brian,

        Another Calvin seminary tip Paul did not learn….”Don’t say ‘persuade’ people to Christ” since—how dare you Paul talk like you are persuading people to something they are predestined to!!

        How dare Paul say….”I am all things to all men to win some…” What is the “winning” about? it is a foregone conclusion that Paul is “stealing God’s glory” about.

        Speaking of which, my wife and I watched “The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel on Youtube last night. Great!

        For 70 mins you watch Lee and many historians, Bible teachers lay out the case for Christ….so that people can see the evidence, the rationale, the ‘proof’ as it were. All of it “man-centered”!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      33. Yes… that is very good! I’ve used that video on secular campuses when I taught Intro to Religion! (bootlegging the gospel). The current Hollywood movie version of his conversion is also a good tool to recommend to unsaved friends.

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      34. brian wagner writes, “It does not make sense for Paul to say…”

        Paul did as Christ commanded – “Go into all the world and preach the gospel.” Paul was certain that his preaching would not be wasted as God had many elect who needed to hear the gospel. I tend to think that Paul found it incredulous that the non-elect would not believe obvious truth. Of course, he said, “If our gospel is hid…”

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      35. Paul also said – Col 1:28 “Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.”

        It appears he believed such a goal was possible, at least theoretically.

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      36. Wonderful example Brian!!

        I think there is something more to be said about this also.
        I think Gill represents a generation of Calvinists who had little concern about the specter of making any scripture void which did not affirm the sacred doctrine.

        Calvinists today like Piper and White don’t appear to have the luxury of blatantly treating scripture the way Gill justified.
        These next generation Calvinists like Piper etc, rely much more heavily upon deceptive duplicitous double-speak language.

        Liked by 1 person

      37. I agree with this totally!!

        This was actually how I first understand how deceptive Calvinism is.
        I had a friend whose pastor was teaching Calvinism to his church deceptively.
        Every Monday this brother would come to me with some new testimony of how his pastor taught them a new verse which the whole church has interpreted wrong.

        Whenever anyone claims to have the ONLY TRUE interpretation and everyone else gets it wrong – warning alarms go off in my head.

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      38. Brian:

        I have submitted in these pages many, many long passages where “The LORD Almighty King of Israel” makes a statement or long series of statements through Jeremiah or Isaiah. These can include Him changing His plans (Potter, Jer 18) or saying “I did not send those prophets… I would have never done that…it didn’t even cross my mind.” (showing that not all that happens is His will).

        Other verses show how insincere it would be for God to invite (what clearly looks like all in the wedding parable and others) and yet not be sincere in the invitation.

        Many verses —like Cain (fallen Cain) being told he can dominate over sin…or (fallen) Zechariah and Elizabeth being called righteous and blameless.

        I have offered dozens of examples of types of Scriptures (many of them with 100’s of similar verses and passages elsewhere) that cannot be harmonized by Calvinists.

        No answers ever.

        Oh….yes….I forgot…. there are answers: (A) Those (thousands of) verses do not mean what they appear to mean; or (B) True! God does let men choose…but it is choosing what He has ordained (or some such have-it-both-ways response); or (C) mystery.

        I left Calvinism because I got tired of the thousands of verses being the exception —-and the 40-key verses being the rule!

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      39. br.d writes, “Calvinism follows Gnosticism’s (yin-yang) dualistic cosmology where all conceptions appear as antithetical pairs.”

        rhutchin responds
        Or it could be that Calvinism follows the Scriptures. Certainly, Calvinist doctrines are derived from Scripture.

        Ok then show us where the doctrine of ying-yang is affirmed in scripture?
        Show where scripture EXPLICITLY states that god is made up of good and evil in undifferentiated form.
        Where evil and good are both necessary parts of the “one”.

        Like

      40. Br.D

        No Calvinist will ever attempt to say God is both good and evil. They will state that He is good. But in many a convoluted way they will say that He brings about evil (in a good sort of way) for His glory.

        Now, when you juxtapose that to the idea that we cannot do this kind of evil…. (and His word stands firmly against it)….

        It turns out to be the same kind of ludicrous as a God who does not love all, commanding us to love all!

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      41. yes, I totally agree.
        But I think R.C. Sproul does actually use the language of Gnosticism to describe god.
        Something to the effect “all of his parts exist in undifferentiated form”

        This parallels the language of the Christian Gnostics in Augustine’s day.
        Augustine and Edwards both liked the idea of god’s glory manifest in the “antithesis” of good-evil, what is now called yin-yang.

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      42. br.d writes, “Ok then show us where the doctrine of ying-yang is affirmed in scripture?
        Show where scripture EXPLICITLY states that god is made up of good and evil in undifferentiated form.
        Where evil and good are both necessary parts of the “one”.”

        As these have nothing to do with Calvinism and nothing to do with the Scriptures, I don’t see any reason to pursue them?

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      43. br.d writes, “Ok then show us where the doctrine of ying-yang is affirmed in scripture?

        Show where scripture EXPLICITLY states that god is made up of good and evil in undifferentiated form.
        Where evil and good are both necessary parts of the “one”.”

        rhutchin:
        As these have nothing to do with Calvinism and nothing to do with the Scriptures, I don’t see any reason to pursue them?

        br.d
        Thanks for acknowledging that Calvinism’s Gnostic/NeoPlatonist constituents are not affirmed by scripture.
        But you will eventually both affirm them and deny them in your arguments.
        That’s how Calvinist double-speak works. 😉

        Like

      44. br.d writes, “Thanks for acknowledging that Calvinism’s Gnostic/NeoPlatonist constituents are not affirmed by scripture.”

        No such acknowledgement from me. I think you make up this stuff- I never read it in the Calvinist literature that I have.

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      45. br.d writes, “Van Inwagen produces two arguments “The consequence argument” and “The no choice principle”
        Both are very powerful arguments which illuminate the consequences of determinism.
        As well as illuminate how deceptive determinists are at trying to hide its logical entailments.”

        And Calvin’s god has predestined double-think as your fate and double-talk as your strategy to get around them. 😀

        rhutchin responds
        Van Inwagen defines Determinism this way: “Determinism says that the past…and the laws of nature together determine everything, that they leave no open possibilities whatever……ADAM’S SIN HAS DETERMINED EVERYTHING…..IF WE INTRODUCE GOD INTO THIS ISSUE.”

        Calvinists love to make-believe their god is a magical disappearing rabbit that they can make appear and disappear when/where they will.

        Notice how the Calvinist starts with ADAM being the “determiner” and not god. Then introduce God not as a “determiner” but as an observer. when the Calvinist has previously stated “God is the ONLY determiner in the universe”

        I knew you would try to use beguiling double-talk as your strategy. 🙂
        You assert Calvin’s god can create square-circles, married-bachelors and human choices that are undetermined-determined choices.

        Van Inwagen’s definition works thus:

        Determinism is the thesis that:
        1) Someone or something in the past functioned as the sole antecedent “determiner” of events that will come to pass.
        2) Events will come to pass within the boundaries of the laws of nature which exist at the time the event comes to pass.

        In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) there is only one single “determiner” of events which come to pass, – Calvin’s god.
        Those events which come to pass, do so, within the boundaries of the laws of nature which exist at the time the event occurs.
        Laws of nature entails any environmental condition which exists at the time the event comes to pass.

        In Adam’s case, Adam’s brain is the environment in which Calvin’s god actualizes a thought or choice which Calvin’s god determines thought an immutable decree millennia before Adam is born. So Adam’s condition constitutes the laws of nature which exist within the environment of Adam’s brain. In addition, in Calvinism, Adam is not the “determiner” of the laws of nature. Thus Adam is not the determiner of Adam’s condition – Calvin’s god is. Thus in Calvinism, Adam’s thoughts, choices, and condition are not “up to” Adam.

        In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) thoughts which Calvin’s god determines come to pass, occur as inevitable and unavoidable. Adam CANNOT think anything other-wise. Therefore Adam’s thoughts are not “up to” Adam.
        Obviously Adam is not free to determine thoughts since Calvin’s god is the one single “determiner” of ALL things in the universe.

        Van Inwagen would conclude:
        Adam is not free to obey and disobey since only one single future can exist as inevitable unavoidable fate – having been determined by Calvin’s god at the foundation of the world.

        Liked by 1 person

  24. PETER VAN INWAGEN’S NO CHOICE PRINCIPLE

    The No Choice Principle is developed in the following steps:

    First:
    Suppose that [P] was created millennia before you were born.
    For example: [P] is the formula 3 x 6 = 18
    Since [P] was created millennia before you were born – [P] for you now – is inevitable and unavoidable.

    Second:
    Suppose [Q] is a logical consequence that logically follows from [P].
    [Q] is the formula 18 / 6 = 3
    So now [P] and also [Q] (logical consequence of [P]) for you now – are inevitable and unavoidable.

    Two logical Conclusions follow from this:
    1) It is (and never was) “up to you” that [P].
    2) It is (and never was) “up to you” that [Q].

    Therefore YOU HAVE NO CHOICE that [P], and YOU HAVE NO CHOICE that [Q].

    This argument shows that in Theological Determinism which asserts that all [P]’s which come to pass, (all things which come to pass), were determined millennia before you were born, and there is not one single [P] or its consequence [Q] that is (or ever was) “up to you”.

    Finally:
    Since neither [P] or [Q] are (or ever were) “up to you”.
    AND since YOU HAVE NO CHOICE that [P] and YOU HAVE NO CHOICE that [Q]
    Then it follows, you cannot be praised or blamed that [P] – and you cannot be praised or blamed that [Q].

    The No Choice Principle applies to all things determined before you are born and which occur as inevitable and unavoidable.

    Like

    1. br.d writes, “This argument shows that in Theological Determinism which asserts that all [P]’s which come to pass, (all things which come to pass), were determined millennia before you were born, and there is not one single [P] or its consequence [Q] that is (or ever was) “up to you”. ”

      This is true if “…all [P]’s which come to pass, (all things which come to pass), were determined millennia BY X (where X is not the individual) before you were born…” However, it is possible in God’s plan that events are determined by the choices of people yet to be born. For example, Adam’s sin was determined to occur according to God’s omniscience but it was also determined by Adam’s choice. So, the question becomes, How free was Adam to make a choice that was determined by his will. We know that God’s omniscience by which Adam’s sin was certain, and therefore determined, did not cause or determine Adam’s chocie. So, how did Adam’s sin come to be determined? It was determined by a choice that Adam was to make willfully. Was that choice “free”? As the Calvinist defines free will, it was a free choice. What about LFW? LFW cannot deal with omniscience, so we don’t have a definition of LFW that could be used to determine if Adam’s choice was a LFW choice.

      Then, “The No Choice Principle applies to all things determined before you are born and which occur as inevitable and unavoidable.”

      The No Choice principle says that a person has no choice over outcomes over which he has no control. It applies to those choices determined by factors other than the will. It does not apply to choices by people made by an internal will. If the will is corrupted, it’s choices may be limited but he still has control over those choices. However, making the person’s control over his choices subordinate to God’s choices, limits the person to choices that coincides with God’s choices but it would still be his choice and free.

      Like

      1. rhutchin:
        This is true if “…all [P]’s which come to pass, (all things which come to pass), were determined millennia BY X (where X is not the individual) before you were born…” However, it is possible in God’s plan that events are determined by the choices of people yet to be born. For example, Adam’s sin was determined to occur according to

        br.d
        This can only be logically possible if you reject Calvinism’s first-principle:
        **ALL** things which come to pass are determined by Calvin’s god’s decrees at the foundation of the world.

        Your logical contradiction can be shown with the traditional Square of Opposition.
        https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/square/

        Calvinism’s first principle proposition states:
        ALL S ARE P
        ALL things UNIVERSALLY without exception are determined by Calvin’s god at the foundation of the world

        That is why William Lane Craig correctly identifies Calvinism as: **UNIVERSAL** divine causal determinism.

        You want to asset it is UNIVERSAL and NOT-UNIVERSAL at the same time – a direct contradiction.

        Typical Calvinist language for this contradiction follows:
        ALL S ARE P but in such a way that SOME S ARE NOT P

        I’ve told you that you’re only strategy for getting around both the “consequence argument” and the “no choice principle” are double-talk in which you are forced both affirm and deny Calvnism’s first principle of Calvin’s god being the ONLY SOLE Determiner in the universe. And all of your attempts do just exactly that.

        You want Calvin’s god to be able to do the logically impossible: Create UNIVERSAL-NOT-UNIVERSAL determinations and create DETERMINED-NON-DETERMINED events.

        You might just as well add square-circles, married-bachelors, false-truths to your list. 😉

        Like

  25. TS00,

    Yes, the Scripture is full of “a rewarder of those who seek him” and “come to me you who labor and are heavy-laden …..and I will give you rest.” These hundreds of invitations from our Sovereign Lord are sincere.

    How cheesy and outright deceptive that would be of any authority figure to offer respite, help, and comfort to those he knew were unable (and in fact he created to be unable—- “for his glory”). I find nothing sincere or glorifying in such a constructed philosophy.

    You know….. the Scripture is straightforward in the above example that debunks Calvinism twice in one verse. God does reward (Calvinism says He would never stoop to “reacting” to man). It is possible to seek Him (see also the many “seek ye first verses”) but Calvinism misinterprets Romans 3:10-11 (a poetic quote from the Psalms) to insist that man is so dead that he cannot seek.

    Luke 15. That “dead” son (Jesus calls him dead twice) “came to his senses” while the Father waited.

    Yes….. these sincere invitations show the loving, yet not-controlling, heart of God…. if we only take off our institutional glasses.

    Like

  26. wildswanderer

    br.d, I was thinking about this stuff this morning while watching three squirrels scamper through the trees by my drive way. Is God controlling every twitch of the squirrel’s tail or does a squirrel have limited freedom? Funny, in Job God says he restrains the Leviathon, not that he controls the chaos the monster causes. Squirrels outside are awesome. (and tasty when my son shoots a few) Squirrels in these comments are only there to distract and confuse.

    Interesting – I was thinking about Job and a teaching that Jesus gave.

    In Luke 17 Jesus is talking to his disciples about a Master-Slave relationship – where the Master dictates (i.e. determines) what the slave will do. 9. Does the Master THANK that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not!

    Theological determinism is clearly a Master-Slave relationship because Calvin’s god-image domes not permit people “do otherwise” than what he determines them to do. It doesn’t matter that he doesn’t “command” people to do what they do. The fact remains, just like the slave cannot “do otherwise” than the master determines, neither can humans in Calvinism. So human’s in Calvin’s conceptions have the same options that the salve does in Jesus’ conception.

    But then we turn to Job where:
    Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”

    Here God is commending Job’s character, behavior, and actions. Per what Jesus says in Luke 17, God’s relationship to Job cannot be a Master-Slave relationship because Jesus would be contradicting God’s commendations of Job.

    Its no wonder Calvinists are so intensely obsessed with hiding Calvin’s god-image which portrays humans as functioning slaves, with Calvin’s god-image the master – who like Jesus’ master, does not permit them to think otherwise, choose-otherwise, desire-otherwise, than what he determines.

    Calvinism logically entails a Master-Slave relationship that is contradicted by these scriptures.

    Like

    1. br.d writes, “in Job God says he restrains the Leviathon, not that he controls the chaos the monster causes.”

      If God “restrains” then God “controls” and the chaos caused by Leviathon can only happen as God losses His restraint (or control). That God restrains tells us that Leviathon is straining to do what it wills and is being brought into submission to what God wills. Leviathon only gets its way, and will, where its will coincides with God’s will. So it is with all things.

      Then, “…Calvin’s god-image domes not permit people “do otherwise” than what he determines them to do…”

      Nonetheless, people are doing what they want, and will, to do. People want to do A and have no desire, or will, to do ~A even though that option is available to them (they could do otherwise). People what to do A and/or B, but God’s restraint limits them to doing A. So, they do A in full accord with their wants, and will. So, they can do otherwise (~A) and cannot do otherwise (B). So, are their free in pursuing A? Calvinists say that they are.

      Then, “Its no wonder Calvinists are so intensely obsessed with hiding Calvin’s god-image which portrays humans as functioning slaves, with Calvin’s god-image the master – who like Jesus’ master, does not permit them to think otherwise, choose-otherwise, desire-otherwise, than what he determines.”

      Not really true. A person might be likened to a dog in a fenced yard. The dog wants to do A and B. B can only be done on the other side of the fence so that option is not available to it. Within the boundaries of the fence, the dog can do A or ~A. Its desire is to do A, so it does A. People are fenced it by their sinful nature. They want to do certain sins, A and B, but God limits them to A. They can then choose between sin or not sin and choose to sin as their desire to sin is stronger than their desire to not sin. They then freely pursue their sin with the freedom God has given them.

      Like

      1. rhutchin writes:

        br.d writes, “in Job God says he restrains the Leviathon, not that he controls the chaos the monster causes.”

        br.d didn’t write that – he was responding to it from a previous post.

        God must have created Calvinist’s as a form of entertainment! 😀

        Like

      2. rhuthcin writes:
        A person might be likened to a dog in a fenced yard. The dog wants to do…..etc etc

        br.d
        Does anyone notice how Calvin’s imaginary-god is totally absent from this picture?

        This is what we lovingly call: The Calvinist’s magical disappearing rabbit! 😀

        Like

  27. br.d
    October 23, 2017 at 11:50 am
    In Calvinism Adam’s choices are the consequence of thoughts which Calvin’s god authored and then MADE Adam think.

    rhutchin
    October 23, 2017 at 5:08 pm
    Not in Calvinism. As God, through His omniscience, knew all the decisions Adam would make, WE CAN SAY that God decreed that Adam make those decisions when He created Adam.

    br.d
    Interesting! So then it logically follows, if Calvin’s imaginary-god decreed all of Adam’s sinful thoughts and decisions when he created Adam, then “omniscience” in this case is nothing more than Calvin’s imaginary god knowing what sinful thoughts he programmed into Adam’s brain when he created Adam.

    At least Calvin’s imaginary-god has enough “omniscience” to know what he’s doing! 😀

    Like

  28. CALVINISM IS INTRINSICALLY IRRATIONAL – by Dan Courtney

    FOH and WW, if you haven’t seen this Youtube video yet, I think you’ll find it illuminating.

    Dan Courtney is an atheist.
    But this just makes the whole specter of Calvinism’s double-think that much more entertaining! 😀

    If you have a few minutes, check it out – towards the end Calvinist logic collapses.

    xxx.youtube.com/watch?v=h5hrTkrd1JI

    Like

  29. br.d
    October 21, 2017 at 10:10 am
    Calvinism has: A force that forces without forcing.”

    rhutchin
    October 22, 2017 at 6:38 pm
    How this happens is illustrated in Job 1……etc…etc

    br.
    Hmmm!! This leads me to see there are other things in Calvinism that follow this same model:

    1) Calvin’s imaginary god is able to “render” Adam’s sinning by using “A FORCE THAT FORCES WITHOUT FORCING”

    2) Calvin’s imaginary god is able to transmit sinful/evil thoughts from his mind into Adam’s brain by using “A TRANSMITTER THAT TRANSMITS WITHOUT TRANSMITTING.”

    3) Calvin’s imaginary god is able to manipulate Adam’s desire by using a “MANIPULATION THAT MANIPULATES WITHOUT MANIPULATING”.

    There must be more – its just a matter of getting rhutchin to extract them out of Calvinism’s shadow-land for us. 😀

    Like

    1. br.d writes, “1) Calvin’s imaginary god is able to “render” Adam’s sinning by using “A FORCE THAT FORCES WITHOUT FORCING”

      The force is Adam’s will.

      Then, “2) Calvin’s imaginary god is able to transmit sinful/evil thoughts from his mind into Adam’s brain by using “A TRANSMITTER THAT TRANSMITS WITHOUT TRANSMITTING.”

      The source of Adam’s thoughts is Adam’s own heart and mind.

      “3) Calvin’s imaginary god is able to manipulate Adam’s desire by using a “MANIPULATION THAT MANIPULATES WITHOUT MANIPULATING”.

      God uses Satan, through Eve, to test and manipulate Adam.

      Like

      1. br.d
        Calvin’s imaginary god is able to “render” Adam’s sinning by using “A FORCE THAT FORCES WITHOUT FORCING”

        rhutchin
        The force is Adam’s will.

        br.d
        Yes you’ve given us countless examples of Calvinism’s INCOHERENT determinism. 😀
        In Calvinism’s INCOHERENT determinism [B] is the antecedent of cause of [B] is the antecedent of cause of [B] is the antecedent of cause of [B]. We get the picture very clearly.

        Notice how the Calvin’s can make his imaginary god all of a sudden disappear from the picture.
        We jokingly call this Calvinism’s magical disappearing rabbit!
        Thanks rhutchin for the magic show 😀

        br.d
        Calvin’s imaginary god is able to transmit sinful/evil thoughts from his mind into Adam’s brain by using “A TRANSMITTER THAT TRANSMITS WITHOUT TRANSMITTING.”

        rhutchin:
        The source of Adam’s thoughts is Adam’s own heart and mind.

        br.d
        Second verse – same as the first – like a broken record – Calvinists are predestined to speak with forked-tongue 😀

        br.d
        Calvin’s imaginary god is able to manipulate Adam’s desire by using a “MANIPULATION THAT MANIPULATES WITHOUT MANIPULATING”.

        rhutchin:
        God uses Satan, through Eve, to test and manipulate Adam.

        br.d
        Thank you rhutchin for acknowledging that Calvin’s imaginary god manipulates Adam – even in your attempt make your imaginary god (magical rabbit) disappear.

        God has given us Calvinism as a good form of entertainment!
        Everyone gets a kick out watching a dog chase its own tail – or watching a con-artist believe his own con! 😀

        Like

      2. br.d writes, “God has given us Calvinism as a good form of entertainment!”

        LOL! At least we know that you have nothing substantive to say against Calvinism.

        Like

      3. br.d
        God has given us Calvinism as a good form of entertainment!
        Everyone gets a kick out watching a dog chase its own tail – or watching a con-artist believe his own con!

        rhutchin
        LOL! At least we know that you have nothing substantive to say against Calvinism.

        Another great example of AS-IF thinking!
        Thanks rhutchin 😀

        Like

  30. LOGICALLY INCOHERENT DETERMINISM AND MAGICAL THINKING

    Back around 300 BC in Athens, philosophically keen Epicurean Platonists who were Theological Determinists, tried to find ways of evading determinisms logical entailments. They postulated, human souls are made up of atoms, and atomic constituents of human souls are moved by the will of the gods, and as such all choices are predestined.

    The problem: how to evade Theological Determinisms logical entailments concerning free will, and still be perceived as a coherent determinist. In other words, how to both affirm determinism and then later deny determinism without getting caught. This is going to require some very cunning philosophical magicianry!

    One invention to extricate oneself from the nightmare of predestined choice, was to assert there are breaks in the chain of universal causation here and there. They postulated that atoms occasionally exhibit “random swerves”, affecting a break in the chain of causation, allowing for undetermined events to occur.

    Those among them philosophically savvy enough to recognize they were both affirming and denying their own belief system, would try to reason with them, but eventually shrug their shoulders and chalk it up to magical thinking.

    Interestingly enough, Theological Determinists of the Calvinists kind today still find themselves in the same conundrum. Whenever faced with questions concerning sinful/evil events, in which an enquirer attempts to lead the Calvinist back up each link in the causal chain, the closer the chain gets to Calvin’s god, the more panic-stricken the Calvinist gets.

    You’re simply attempting to take him to a place he totally refuses to go. And you’ll end up likening your efforts to chasing a greased pig. Take a tip from the philosophically savvy observers of the Epicureans, shrug your shoulders, and chalk it up to magical thinking. 😀

    Like

    1. br.d writes, “Whenever faced with questions concerning sinful/evil events, in which an enquirer attempts to lead the Calvinist back up each link in the causal chain, the closer the chain gets to Calvin’s god, the more panic-stricken the Calvinist gets.”

      No panic from Calvinists here. They note, and you ignore, the unique status of Adam and Eve being created in the image of God and their involvement in the first sin. You create a false scenario because you have no real argument against Calvinism – at least none that you have been able to present.

      Like

      1. Again, I shrug my shoulders and chalk it up to magical thinking. 😛
        You’re welcome to go in circles – I’ll watch and enjoy the entertainment.

        Like

  31. “If we are born completely unable to see, hear, understand or respond willingly to the word of God, as the doctrine of Total Inability suggests, wouldn’t Satan’s work to blind people and snatch away the word be completely unnecessary and redundant?”

    Hmm good point, unless, of course some of these inable dead men actually become live men.. oh wait, they do.

    So then what satan does makes more sense now, since Satan has fooled himself into thinking he can thwart the plans of God even though he knows what the outcome ultimately is, and he sees God saving some dead men, likewise he wants to keep the illumination of the word away from those dead men in hopes foolishly thinking he will prevent them from ever becoming saved, such as influencing situations for the non believer to give up because of the cares of this life and world system. Its really not that difficult to see. Of course it takes the Holy Spirit to bring that spiriual awakening from the word, not man. Satan doesnt know who god saves, but he foolishly thinks he has some influence in gods saving plan.Because otherwise satan would have to conclude any attempt he makes is futile and might as well just give up, but he doesnt.

    Like

    1. So jnthnmc… after all these thousands of years Satan hasn’t figured out determinism for all things is true… but you have! Hmmmm.

      And when Jesus said aboit hard hearts “lest they believe and are saved” (Luke 8:12) you knew Jesus only meant that Satan thought they might be ones who were able to believe and be saved… for you knew Jesus would never have meant those hard hearts really had a true chance of believing and being saved.

      I think I’ll stick with believing Jesus was always teaching unsaved that they were able to humble themselves and trust in His offer of mercy when they were given the truth from Him.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. JNTH
      It sounds like your interpretation is based on the idea that Satan wrote the Bible? Or based on what Satan believes?

      Let’s not forget that God wrote the Bible and says those things….not what Satan “thinks” he can do….but was he does.

      You can’t just make it say whatever you want, you know?

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Good post!

      This parallels the conception of Calvin’s god playing chess against himself – where the chess pieces are humans, satan, demons etc.

      The chess player moves one of the pieces (perhaps Satan) to speak specific words to Eve. Those words which Satan spoke however did not originate from Satan. For Calvin’s god first-conceived those words at the foundation of the world. He then “rendered” them through the mind and mouth of Satan. Thus the chess player moves one of the pieces on the chess board.

      The chess player then decides to move Eve, to believe the words he moved Satan to speak. He moves Eve to reiterate the words he “rendered” through Satan’s mind and mouth, moving Eve to speak them to Adam. But Eve is not the originator of the words she speaks any more than Satan is. Again, those words were first-conceived at the foundation of the world – and simply “rendered” through the mind and mouth of the chess piece (in this case Eve).

      And so the chess game continues – play after play – with each of the pieces moved about on the board – their every thought/choice/desire having been first-conceived at the foundation of the world – and simply “rendered” through their mind and mouth.

      In the meantime Calvin’s god treats these chess pieces *AS-IF* they were the originator of their thoughts/desires, treating them *AS-IF* he was not the source and originator of their thoughts choices desires and actions. He rewards a chess piece for good things he actualizes through them ,and punishes them for evil things he actualizes through them.

      Like

  32. JNTH

    Just for fun I read your post a couple more times to try to understand your hermeneutic. I still dont get all “just thinks” involved. But I did notice that you used the word “thwart”. That is a dead ringer. Nobody uses that word….unless they… well anyway.

    So it is important not to bring our opinion / position to the text. When we do, we can usually make any verse say what we want.

    Have a look at all the verses where Satan is an active opponent in the Word that God give us. Then ask….why? It doesnt say he “thinks” he blinds the eyes….

    Oh, and by the way…..read the Bible (open mind) and see how many times “The Sovereign Lord” says that He “planned something” but “since you did not…I will not” or “since you did X, I will now do Y.” It sounds very much —hundreds and hundreds of times— in God’s innerant, holy Word that He does not follow through with His original plan. And that, because of the actions of man.

    Should we use the word “thwart” for any of those hundreds of examples in Scripture?

    Liked by 1 person

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