1a) Troy’s first question deals with the Calvinist doctrine of Preterition in lieu of God’s universal saving love. In other words, how can God love everyone if He has allegedly “passed by” most, as per “Westminster” terminology.
James White responded by stating that a) God has differentiated degrees of love, and b) is not required to provide an “opportunity” for anyone to be saved, and if God saved even as little as just one person, then that would be an amazing display of grace.
My thought would be to first target the concept of “kinds, levels and types” of love. Turn to Luke 10:30-37 and ask yourself whether the priest and Levite demonstrated a “kind, level or type” of love to the Samaritan, whom they “passed by.” Surely, the answer would have to be “no,” and that would be significant, because the debate would therefore no longer center on whether God has undifferentiated “kinds, levels and types” of love, but whether Preterition is any kind of love at all. This will eliminate the “degrees of love” defense, and reduce it to a more straightforward matter of “loving vs. not loving.” Once that’s done, James White can never go back to a “kinds of love” defense. Now he’s left with two classes: Those God sovereignly elects to love vs. those God sovereignly elects to hate, and it’s not a matter of “dead, rebel sinners” first hating God, because according to the Westminster, God first hated them by deterministically scripting whatsoever comes to pass, whatsoever they should ever say and do. Once that’s set in place, it’s time for John 3:16. James White states that the “reason for the giving [of the Son] was so that believers might be saved.” However, in actuality, the reason for the Father’s giving of His Son was so that “the world” (whom He loves) would have a Savior, and on that account, whosoever in the world that should believe in Him, would not perish but have eternal life. It’s fairly straightforward stuff, but White must play a shell-game with John 3:16 in order shift the object of the Father’s love from “the world” to “believers,” and by extension, those elected to believe.
So that’s the issue. First establish the basis of love (by dispatching the “kinds of love” defense), and then apply Scripture, in terms of who God said that He loved. From there, it’s just a matter of James White having to spin John 3:16, and then ultimately retreat to Romans 9:13, in which he stated in Debating Calvinism: “No matter how one understands ‘JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED’ (Romans 9:13), this verse alone should be enough to refute such an errant view of God’s love.” (Debating Calvinism, p.268) From there, you can simply point out that Paul was quoting Malachi 1:2-4, and the rest is academic, as “Esau” was defined as “Edom,” in whom God said that He was “indignant forever” on account of their betrayal of Israel during the Babylonian captivity, as recorded in the book of Obadiah, rather than an arbitrary, sovereign election to hatred, and besides, no matter how far we get from God, He has still made a provision for our redemption through His Son, in which even the worst of us can be redeemed, as the apostle Paul had confessed to being the worst of the worst on account of having murdered Christians. (1st Corinthians 15:9)
1b) The next issue raised is whether God needs evil to accomplish good, or whether God simply uses evil to accomplish good.
James White responds by deferring to his Westminster “traditions” by assuming an all-encompassing “creative decree.” He then states that “God does not force anyone to commit evil,” and explains how God is “restraining evil” which he “permits to come into existence,” but which is little more than double-talk, when he just finished describing an all-encompassing decree of Determinism! That’s what I find particularly fascinating with his approach. The consistent theme of James White is that he is not straightforward in how he articulates his theology.
James White then responds with the question of whether God, with His exhaustive omniscience, foreknowing that by creating the fact of freedom, will someday result in the acts of sin, means that by proceeding ahead with such a future anyway, means that God has a specific “purpose” for sin. First of all, it should be pointed out, that if God has a purpose for sin-A, then He does not have a purpose for sins B through Z, and hence a depraved person’s freedom to commit sins B through Z, stands in opposition to the alleged “purpose” of sin-A, and thus the freedom of a depraved person to commit sins B through Z, must be eliminated, and reduced down to only the desire to commit sin-A, and thus the “free will” of Compatibilism is really nothing more than the freedom to do that which is scripted, to the exclusion of all other “free” choices, and hence, Compatibilism, in that sense, is reduced to nothing more than a thorough-going Hard Determinism, and in fact, is why some Calvinists indeed reject Compatibilism in favor of Hard Determinism. For more on this point, see here.
James White asks, “Which is it? Does God create with a purpose for sin, or not?” The answer is no. It first needs to be pointed out that there are things in which God specifically stated that He did not decree, such as the command to commit child sacrifice, as recorded at Jeremiah 32:35. For more on this verse, see here.
Second, as Norman Geisler stated, “God made the fact of freedom; we are responsible for the acts of freedom.” (Chosen But Free, p.23) For more on this point, see here.
So God has created a world with the fact of freedom, which has resulted in the acts of freedom, and God uses our acts of freedom, even the sinful ones, in order to bring about good, namely Calvary, as recorded at Acts 2:23. This stands opposed to the perspective that God has scripted sin “by necessity” in order to bring about a scripted good, in order for God to be able to display His various attributes. The difference is that either God foreknows our acts of freedom and determines His interaction accordingly, or God scripts whatsoever comes to pass. Usually the Calvinist complaint is “how” God could then know the future, without having determined it, which is a question that White asked in Debating Calvinism on p.163. For more on this point, see here.
His perspective, then, is that God must script everything, in order to foreknow anything. This represents a rather odd presentation of the omniscience of an eternal Being, who exists independent of time. As C.S. Lewis pointed out, for such an eternal Being, all time must seem as one “eternal now,” and on that account, God can know the future self-determined choices of others, possessing the power of contrary choice, without having to determine them, because He is present in what we call “the future,” and such knowledge is not merely “passive knowledge,” because God is interacting. God can relay such prophecy as Revelation 20:7-9, in terms of what others do, and then state what He does in response. So it’s by no means merely passive.
Traditionally, Calvinists have defended the “author of sin” charge on the basis that God uses “secondary causes,” but once again, even this defense is refuted by Scripture, when God rejected King David’s secondary-causes when bringing about the murder of Uriah. For more on that point, see here.
2) The next issue by Troy Brooks concerns a salvation without repentance. Yes, Calvinists do believe that God regenerates without repentance, but then White attempts to distinguish “regeneration” from “salvation” in Debating Calvinism on p.293.
White responds by calling Troy Brooks “ignorant.” This is classic White-speak. Geisler did a fantastic job of exposing White-speak in the appendix of Chosen But Free. It should be noted that this methodology is directly in contrast to the apostle Paul, who instructs: “The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.” (2nd Timothy 2:24-26)
James White explains: “they are changed…they are made ‘new creatures.’” White raises this point in Debating Calvinism on p.191, which is also something that I quote extensively: “When the time comes in God’s sovereign providence to bring to spiritual life each of those for whom Christ died, the Spirit of God will not only effectively accomplish that work of regeneration but that new creature in Christ will, unfailingly, believe in Jesus Christ (‘all that the Father gives Me will come to Me’). Hence, we are not saved ‘without’ faith, but at the same time, Christ’s atonement is not rendered useless and vain without the addition of libertarian free will.” (Debating Calvinism, p.191)
The fundamental issue is that according to the theology of James White, a person must become preemptively birthed “in Christ” in order to unfailingly come to Christ. In other words, all that which is in Christ, namely regeneration, a new heart, a new spirit, a new nature, ect., is the vehicle by which a person may freely come to Christ initially, just as a seasoned Christian freely comes to Christ repeatedly. For they ride in the same vehicle, the vehicle of Regeneration. The problem is that it’s impossible for an unbeliever to be “in Christ.” Unbelievers, we are told by Christ, remain condemned, as per John 3:18. In contrast, those who are in Christ, are “now no longer under condemnation,” as per Romans 8:1. So there is no such animal as an unbeliever in Christ, and moreover, Ephesians 1:13 outlines the order of operations in becoming sealed in Christ: Hears the Gospel, believes in the Gospel and then is sealed in Christ. Moreover, Romans 8:33 marks the identity of the New Covenant “elect” by confirming that they are free from condemnation, which we know as a distinguishing feature of those in Christ, that is, Christians. That means that there is no such animal as an “elect unbeliever.” On that account, the methodology of James White is severely challenged, whether he chooses to recognize it or not.
3) Taking on Total Inability, Troy Brooks then explains that man has the ability to “choose” good. Arminianism would agree, only insomuch that God’s grace makes it possible (i.e. the Holy Spirit seeking, drawing, knocking, convicting, pricking, piercing and even opening unregenerate hearts to respond to His call). It should be noted that both Arminians and Calvinists stand in agreement on the fundamental necessity of God’s preceding grace (i.e. Prevenient Grace), though the difference is that Arminianism holds such Prevenient Grace as resistible, whereas Calvinism holds it as irresistible. However, the argument of R.C. Sproul is that such Arminianism, becomes a “distinction without a difference” (What is Reformed Theology?, p.187), when contrasted with Pelagianism, since both require that with the appropriation of such preceding grace, it is still ultimately left to the individual to respond to God, and why does one respond and not another? For more, see here. Obviously the common denominator is “Free Will,” and it is fair for Calvinists to point that out. However, Arminians prefer that Calvinists instead refer to it as “Freed Will,” that is, freed by grace to believe, and honestly, who are the Calvinists to say that God cannot condescend to man on this level? Is God not sovereign enough to deal with mankind in any manner that He chooses? So what if God should give man the ability to make a freed choice? White warns Brooks about standing before God someday after using such rhetoric as “robots,” but I would warn Calvinists about using rhetoric like calling God a “feeble” “impotent” “lackey,” and a “cosmic bellhop,” and in White’s own words, “a weak and beggarly miser,” if God chose to condescend to man in a non-Calvinistic manner, and.regardless, God still gets the last word anyway, when every knee shall bow. (Philippians 2:10-11) Whether man takes the “way of escape” or not, as per 1st Corinthians 10:13, God is no less sovereign, and God still remains in control since He perpetually limits our range of choices, insomuch that He does not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able to handle.
4) Troy Brooks raises the question of why God would plead for the salvation of some, if He has no intention of granting them any opportunity to receive His offer? This is actually a fantastic point, because Calvinism makes a mockery of the patience of God. For in “what” is God being patient, if He has appointed an irresistible grace for some, while withholding the means of repentance for others? This is just another example of Scripture being incompatible with Calvinism.
James White’s defense is that the “command to repent is extended to all people.” As a 5-Point Calvinist, that’s a major flaw on his part. For to even tell someone to repent, is to imply that they have a Savior to whom such repentance will be received, and hence you are essentially telling them that Jesus died for them. This is why careful Calvinists are noted for saying that Jesus died “for sin” (not necessarily yours, unless you are one of the Calvinistically elect), rather than to stand with the apostle Paul and affirm that Jesus died for “our sins,” according to the “gospel” that he described at 1st Corinthians 15:3. For more on this point, see here.
James White then states that “there is not a single person who wants to be saved who will not be saved. The problem is that there is none who want to be saved, until God, by His Spirit, grants spiritual life.” I would just love for him to try to explain that to the Jehovah’s Witnesses with whom he debates. Believe me, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who we would recognize as being lost, absolutely do “want” to be saved, which is why they work so hard for it. It is said that when a Jehovah’s Witness goes door to door, it is not to save you, but to save themselves. For they are told by their Watchtower elders that unless they put in the approved amount of time in field work, they will not be spared at Armageddon. So they want to be saved, but the problem is that they are putting their trust in men (the Watchtower organization), rather than putting their trust in Christ. For more on this point, see here.
White adds the familiar phrase of “I do not know who the elect are,” and hence he preaches to “all men,” but not “all men” (of course) in the individual and distributive sense, but only in terms of “groups” of men. (sarcasm off). I’m going to add a rather radical thought. I know who the elect are. The elect are redeemed, born again Christians. After all, Romans 8:33 tells us that they are free from condemnation, which we know to be a distinguishing feature of those who are in Christ, that is, believers (i.e. Christians). Essentially, White’s comment echoes the traditional rhetoric of Calvinists who state, “we don’t know who the elect are.”
Next, White gets a little animated by saying that God, as depicted by Arminians, has “failed,” if men should reject and spurn His grace. I wonder if White has ever contemplated his “tradition” with Matthew 22:2, in terms of Jesus’ parable of the king who gave a mass invitation to a wedding feast, but which was rejected by many. For more on this point, see here.
5) Troy Brooks next raises his concern over the “contradictory,” dual willed, secrecy theories of Calvinism.
White responds by affirming that God has two wills, but does White acknowledge that according to his theology, these wills, at times, contradict one another? Take for instance, Ezekiel 33:7-11, in which God states that He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. Now by the Calvinistic “script” theory, in which God’s “creative decree” predetermines whatsoever comes to pass, you would have the apparent contradiction between what God says that He takes no pleasure in, versus what Calvinists insist that God has secretly decreed. This is perhaps what Troy Brooks had intended, by his charge that Calvinism espouses a form of Dualism, in which God’s will is set apart as double and contradictory.
6) The final issue raised by Troy Brooks is that if, according to Calvinism, that God could save all (unilaterally and monergistically with an Irresistible Grace), then why doesn’t He, or is the God according to Calvinists, less loving than men?
White answers by stating that God has chosen not to give all men an Irresistible Grace, because “God chose to demonstrate the full range of His attributes.”
I find it amazing that, according to Calvinists like James White, God needs to send people to Hell (viz. the “immutable script,” the “creative decree”), in order for God to be able to show everyone just how good He is. I wonder if James White has ever contemplated whether God would have gotten more glory by decreeing him to Hell, rather than some other poor “arbitrary soul” viz. Unconditional Reprobation. Perhaps he thinks it’s “the other guy” who makes a better fit for helping God display His attributes. It’s like the old Calvinist saying:
“We are the Lord’s elected few,
Let all the rest be damned;
There’s room enough in hell for you,
We won’t have heaven crammed!”
(The Other Side of Calvinism, p.300)
Excellent post Richard.
Loved this post Richard. Great job!
James White refuses to respond to my response to his video response. He stops short in his thoughts all too often.
I recently responded to his "What Does Total Depravity Mean?" Youtube video
Everyone should get Dave Hunt's "Debating Calvinism Book Box"
Some recent comments on this Blog post were deleted since they were off-topic and inflammatory.
If you wish to comment, please restrict it to the relevant matter involving the specific dialogue between James White and Troy Brooks.
I would like to comment on the final part. Calvinist respond that God niether needed Evil nor response to Evil. God himself is glory. Glory is who He is, his being and His essence. When God permits the fall, it is to the glory of his name. Anything God does is glory. So when God who is intrinsically glorious does something we should ascribe glory to His name. Scripture is clear on this: read the Psalm.
OSAS Arminians believe all that God does is righteous and holy and true and to His glory. That's not the issue as both parties, OSAS Arminians and Calvinists, believe God is glorious. The question is then what ideas and actions constitute glory?
Remember Satan masquerades as an angel of light and has a counterfeit salvation of God's redemptive design. It is just a facade. The issue is how evil it is what you call God's glory by how your god acts doing things that for us would be evil, so how can God's standards be below our own? You're just constructing an evil god in your own evil image to maintain that selfish life you have always relished.
Your fault is seen in the immorality of your god when you said, "Calvinist respond that God never responds to Evil." Since your god doesn't respond to evil accordingly and righteously then your god is evil.
How evil it is to send someone to Hell with no grace or opportunity for salvation when it was not their fault they were born into sin, like throwing the Jews into the gas chambers for no other reason they were born Jews. Surely that is not just inglorious but Satanic.
It is also evil to force your alleged salvation onto people, for love is never irresistibly imposed. The Aryan race is a lie. They had a choice to refuse such ideology they were irresistibly selected. They had the free choice to not pompously and obnoxiously, pridefully erecting themselves on a pedestal, assume they were irresistibly selected.
I pray one day you repent, come to the cross as a helpless sinner, believe in and receive Christ to be regenerated (saved), accepting the God who provides sufficient grace to all to have the free choice. The very God who died on the cross for the sins of the whole world! Your god can't do that, he's impotent. He can't do that. This is something your god can't do so God trumps your god every time. If you choose to remain as you are, you will go to Hell. I have told you the truth. It's up to you now to change your life by the grace of God.
- Well there is intrinsic glory which is who God is and Ascriptive glory which is what we are all prescribed or commanded to do. So the question is what do you mean by glory?
-I am not sure what you mean when you say God's standards be below our own? What does this mean?
Also Calvinist would not say that we are constructing an evil god to fit our evil image in order to maintain that selfish life. What Calvinism says is that God is the one who saves the soul from His wrath by the blood of His son Jesus Christ so that having faith in Him by the grace of God the sinner would repent from a life of sin. Romans 6:4; Ephesians 2:1-10
- Of course that is not what I mean. What I mean is that evil is not also soveriegn to the point that God is to be responding to it. It is not like something bad happened and God is trying his best to fix the problem. The other false idea is that God needs evil. God does not need anything. I think even the arminian would agree with this. However, The scriptures declare that God uses evil so that evil is not sovereign. Read about the enslavement of Joseph or even about the account of Jesus Christ cruxifixion. Was it not both a form of evil and God's sovereign act ultimately? Romans 3:21-31
- Actually the scripture never says that. God is perfectly just to send any man to hell because of sin (Romans 1:18-3:20) not because they disbelieve. That is why calvinist say that all men have sinned and fell both the elect and non-elect. Men are born sinners because Adam was the represented head of man, when Christ came He is the second adam (another word of this is recapitulation). Thus all who are in Adam are accursed because of sin, and all who are in Christ are reconciled and redeemed Romans 5. So the question is More why does God save?
- You have a miss understanding of irresistible grace. It does not mean that you are forced against your will. Remember regeneration is a doctrine that says that the Spirit changes the mind set so that you will believe freely. It is sufficient grace because it is grace that does its purpose. Further it is not that there are no resisting of grace. Obviously Paul is an example of this when it says that Paul was kicking against the goads in Acts 26:14. But there will become a time when God's grace will prevail.
1 John 5:1
- Actually the scriptures say that Christians had received Christ not accepted Christ. you receive a ticket not accept a ticket. While you say calvinist limit the power of the cross you also limit the power of the cross in its ability to save anyone. Further some have also limited the atonement by saying that if you were the only one that Christ came to save he would still do it. 1 Corinthians 4:7, Philippians 1:29, Ephesians 2:8-9
If it is evil for you to pass on two children drowning, not to do all you can to help them, and your god doesn’t, how can God have standards below our own? You would go to jail for negligent homicide, so would your god-your sick and twisted god you make your selfish image. You misunderstand Arminians. We don’t say God is merely trying to fix the problem, but rather He does all He does righteously, no more, no less. Since you agree Arminians don’t believe God needs evil then why bring it up? God uses evil for good but He doesn’t need it. Nowhere do the Scriptures say God sends a person to Hell for being born into sin.
He sends them to Hell because even though He has provided them sufficient grace to have the free choice to receive His saving grace as helpless sinners, they refuse to search God out with all their hearts. They go to Hell because they disbelieve not because they were born into sin. It is so wrong to blame and create someone for Hell when they had no choice to receive the solution. What a dastardly god you worship. Read Rom. 1.18-3.20 again.
You asked whom does God save? God saves those who genuinely and sincerely search God out with all their heart, for they shall surely find Him, to receive the gift of repentance and faith to be regenerated by the grace of God. Your god can’t do this. Nowhere does the Bible say you can’t believe before regeneration. God is constantly imploring people to believe in Him to be regenerated. “Regeneration” is used twice in the Bible, once pertaining to the regeneration of the world, and once to the new birth or born-again experience. Never is it used in the sense Calvinists would have you believe.
Grace is not sufficient if it has an evil purpose- in the case of Calvinism-because it only can irresistibly impose regeneration and passes over billions never giving them sufficient grace to have to the free choice, like Hitler sent the Jews to the gas chambers just because they were born Jews. You’re a sick bastard! God says you can freely believe in Him to be regenerated, that’s why He pleads with you and implores you to believe in Him, giving you the free choice.
You can resist grace, in fact, you do, because you admit you refuse to repent and believe in Chris to be regenerated so you are going to Hell. Paul was never irresistibly selected, but God gave him the free choice. Many refuse God’s grace and prefer to pompously assume they were irresistibly selected like Hitler’s Aryan race and Calvinists. The cross is not limited by God giving the offer of salvation to all, it’s unlimited. Whereas, in Calvinism it is pathetically only limited.
This is what you said, "If it is evil for you to pass on two children drowning, not to do all you can to help them, and your god doesn’t, how can God have standards below our own?" My response is: that is not what Calvinist proclaim. Calvinist says that these two children are worse than just them drowning. The two children have sinned against God. God does not have to save these two children. Does God have to save anyone? Would not God be perfectly just to send everyone to hell? Further thought is that God does not retraint the reprobate or the unregenerate soul they reject God's holy law and gospel on their own accord - God does not have to work in them something which is already there.
You also missunderstood what I was saying about being born into sin. What I meant was that these people are sinners (being in Adam - Read Romans 5 and also by their own sins).
You said, "They go to Hell because they disbelieve not because they were born into sin. It is so wrong to blame and create someone for Hell when they had no choice to receive the solution. What a dastardly god you worship." My response: 1. Is disbelief a sin? if it is then why did not Christ bear the sin? if it is not then why are they sent to hell? 2. Again God does not create something necessarily for Hell. You have misunderstood the concept of regeneration. After God has shown Himself clearly (Romans 1:18-19) and have sent them rain from heaven (Acts 14:17) they still have hated God by their own unrighteousness and have committed themselves to Idolatry worship.
You said, " Nowhere does the Bible say you can’t believe before regeneration." My response: Is faith not a spiritual act of worship? John 3:16, Romans 12:1-2, 1 John 5:1
Can you show me in Scripture where he pleads for you?
Hello Troy and Kirk,
I'd like to jump in on this discussion, and add a few questions to toss around. I also would like to start a new post on it, in response to another comment that James White made in regard to Roger Olson's new book. I'll post it tonight. The common point that Kirk touched upon was when he made mention of the fact that Calvinism teaches that man is justly deserving of wrath. James White made the same point to Roger Olson in that A is wrong to accuse the Calvinistic perspective of God into a "moral monster" (because He saves so few when He could just as easily save all) since MAN is the moral monster who has sinned and is justly deserving of wrath. There's a logic problem there. Sometimes you have to remind Calvinists that they are Calvinists, and that they believe that God determines everything, even the moral-monster actions of man. C's will then bring up 1st causes and 2nd causes, and that's also what I want to get into.
One of the questions, if you want to consider it ahead of time, is whether a person is "justly deserving of wrath" before he is even born? (From the A perspective, you could say yes, if perhaps God is viewing it from a foreknowledge standpoint). But can C say that a pre-born is "worthy of wrath," before he is even born, and done a single thing, either good or bad? Imagine your own [hypothetical] child, which hasn't been born yet. Are they worthy of wrath? Next consider Determinism, in which there is no such thing as "independent action," and if there is no such thing as independent action, then there is no such thing as "independent thought," from which, an independent action may take place. If there are no free thoughts, no rogue thoughts, but only pre-scripted thoughts, then God is sinning against Himself through man which He has created, and prescripted the thoughts and intentions of his heart. Determinism is a slippery slope, and James White will defer to 1st Causes and 2nd Causes every single time, and sometimes Compatibilism too, although Compatibilism should not be seriously taken, since it does nothing to distance itself from raw determinism. Posting tonight.
The other question for a C is this: Is God sovereign over thought? (By C standards) Does God determine the thoughts and intentions of the heart?
That's right under Calvinism it is all just a facade since their god causes everything. Also, I am not going to allow Calvinists to highjack words such as a fairly benign word like "reformation". We know the reformation is "justification by faith" so to highjack it and call calvinism reformation is conniving. What do Calvinists reform anyway? They introduce a lie. Same as "compatibilism" another harmless word. God's infinite foreknowledge is compatible with free will because God can foreknow our free choices. At the end of the day Calvinism is evil because sending your child to Hell because they were born the way you made them is sick and twisted. Calvinists get off on this, and they refuse to repent and believe in Christ to be regenerated so they will go to Hell. They don't have a conscience to realize this is not genuine that's why they are going to Hell. They don't have this conscience because they don't come to God with all their heart sincerely. It really is as simple as that.
Q - "One of the questions, if you want to consider it ahead of time, is whether a person is "justly deserving of wrath" before he is even born?"
A - Yes. Keep in mind once again that the decree to elect some men to salvation and reprobate the rest to damnation is not itself condemnation. Further is that when the fall was decreed it was decreed so as both the Elect and Reprobate are both fallen and both need to repent. Reprobation is not Condemnation. Reprobation is simply God's choosing to pass some men by with His Grace so that they remain in their unregenerate state.
Further eternal life is a state only to be recieved in Christ Jesus. So by nature a child deserves the wrath of God even before they are born because they are in Adam by nature.
Read Jude 3-4
Q - "Is God sovereign over thought? (By C standards) Does God determine the thoughts and intentions of the heart?"
A - Sure is. God is sovereign over thought. Romans 1 says that simply by removing His hand from the sinner does it cause the sinner to sin and to even experience God's wrath. Also take 1 Samuel 2:22-25
Our thoughts dictate what we do. John 4:23-24 allures this.
Passing over people, not giving them sufficient grace to have the free choice, is condemning them unjustly since it was not their fault they were born into sin. And a loving and righteous God would never put a person in Hell unless he really deserved it. It is very abusive to insist "both need to repent" yet only those that were allegedly irresitibly made to repented. Just as it is wrong for us to falsely accuse someone so is it for your god of Calvinism.
True grace does not make us robots, but enables us to have the free choice to control our thoughts or not control them even to be demonically possesed when one claims whatever they do God made them do it.
I am sorry that is how you feel about such things. I believe what you have said is merely a caricature of what Calvinist believe.
I would say that God did not create anyone evil. As when God elected and reprobated he made His choice unconditionally. I would also say that when God created both of them that they were created good and not evil. with regards to why God would allow evil in the world I cannot say. Scripture does tell us God is good and sovereign. If he actually wills evil then it could be that He does so with a different purpose for God is not Evil, therefore when He wills evil he does so with a purpose other than the evil intent. Or there are others in the camp who deem it sufficient not to say that God simply ordained evil to occur and not really to will it. Ordaining is far different from willing.
I never said we were robots. I don't think we are necessarily robots. Here is why: because man is not a calculator you simply put information in and then it spits out the schematics. You give a man a truth and he still acts the same way. Truth does not entail a man living righteously or forsaking sin. Grace is.
Yes. I would believe that God's sovereignty and man's responsibility is compatible. Calvinist would not adhere to the doctrine of Equal Ultimacy.
Have a nice day. I am glad I had gotten the chance to talk to you and to learn more about how to relate this stuff to one who holds the opposite position.
I ran out of time last night for the new post, though, that may have worked out for the best, in order to flesh out some additional thoughts.
You affirmed that God is indeed “sovereign over thought.” (Does that include the thoughts of demons as well?) I’ve never found a major Calvinist author willing to go on record as saying that God decreed the thoughts and intentions of the heart, which heart, God says is a deceitful heart, and above all, wicked. If you know of any such author or quote, I’d love to be able to cite it. Realize, of course, that by affirming that God is sovereign over thought, and in a way that Calvinism defines what sovereignty means, it would mean that God both decrees the *acts* of wickedness, and the *thoughts* of wickedness, which thoughts, generate the decreed act. Would it not be awkward, though, to say that man is justly deserving of punishment for the *acts* of wickedness, when yet God is sovereign over the thoughts which resulted in the acts for which he is being judged?
You also mentioned: “So by nature a child deserves the wrath of God even before they are born because they are in Adam by nature.” However, can you defend that statement in light of Ezekiel 18:20 which indicates that a person’s own sin is what declares him *worthy* of judgment, and not necessarily the actions of Adam per se: “The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father's iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son's iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself.” I would think that that would rule out pre-borns being held guilty for the sins of their parent, and ancestor, Adam. No?
What’s strange is that God does the Reprobating (election and non-election), and God is sovereign over thought, and yet man is worthy of wrath, not only for the thoughts that God sovereignly gives him, but also worthy of wrath before he even thinks the wicked thoughts that God gives him. Have I misunderstood you?
Everyone is here, and yet I'm late to a golf tournament. Back later this afternoon.
Richard, hope you are doing well.
"Would it not be awkward, though, to say that man is justly deserving of punishment for the *acts* of wickedness, when yet God is sovereign over the thoughts which resulted in the acts for which he is being judged?"
- I do not see why that is the case. Again I go back to Romans 1, where the men and women have distorted the truth of God and fashioned out of that truth an idol and then started to worship other idols. Because of this God removes His gracious hand from them so that they fall into sin.
This shows a consequence where God gives them over to their own lust and yet it also shows His wrath. So God is giving them over to their own debased minds. Likewise Augustine also says when the angels fell, they fell from Grace. What I mean is this that God Satan and demons fell they fell because God had removed His soveriegn hand from them and the reason why Michael and His angels remained is because God had left His Grace toward them. Does that make sense? There are some other verses that make this point, I will have to look them up for you. But I hope I have spoken clearly.
- On Ezekiel 18:20 - I agree with the verse. There are other verses too that make the point that When Adam fell who was the head he had also took the whole race with him so that both the elect and non-elect are fallen. 1 Corinthians 5 speaks of the leaven bread. Just as one drop of yeast ruins the whole batch of doe so does sin ruin the whole batch of doe. Romans 5:12-21 speaks of this as well. The proof that all are sinners who sin is that all die.
- what do you do with the verses that say it was that God tempted david and yet at the same time satan tempted david to take the census?
If you think it is "merely a caricature" then how so? Don't be coy and vague about it. Clearly what is evil for us is evil for your god for how can God's standards be below our own.
The Bible says be "not doubletongued" (1 Tim. 3.8). You said "I would say that God did not create anyone evil. As when God elected and reprobated he made His choice unconditionally." Since they were never given the choice in your kingdom then your god not only created them evil, but never gave them any opportunity of escape with any grace whatsoever. What love is that?
While you admit your faith doesn't answer the question why God allows evil in the world, Arminians know why evil is in the world, because it is a product of the free choice afforded to those who rebel and free will is not truly free if you don't have this free choice to be independent to God.
Ordaining is not different than willing. God wills or ordains His perfect design to be just as it is, allowing all such things to occur as they have occurred. This is His will. He ordains us by foreknowing our free choice. Your god can't do that so God trumps your god every time. I love that.
In your scheme which is entirely delusional though you may not want to admit your people are robots, in fact, they would be because they don't do anything other than what your god makes them do, never giving them the choice. Not so in Arminianism, for God provides us all with sufficient grace to have the free choice. Praise the Lord!
I think we can all see the real ultimate danger for the world besides rendering the Calvinist unsaved and going to Hell, is that when people begin to feel like they are entitled like Hitler's Aryan race, they begin to do horrible things and they escalate it, unless the good nations come into stop it.
When you assume you were irresistibly selected, thus never genuinely search out the truth with all your heart so that God would gift you with repentance and faith to be regenerated, you can't help but stimulate that overassuming pridefulness with sin and self that beget more sin and self. That's the result of erecting yourself on a pedestal. You think like Hitler did that the Jews or Arminians belong in the gas chambers just because they were born that way, that they should be passed over when they are drowning, and there was nothing they could do about it. Hence, the martydom of the saints though will be greatly rewarded. Praise the Lord!
Hello Kirk, and thank you for the kind words. C's comes in many forms and stripes, so what I'm saying may not apply to you, but I intend to highlight why A's are not C's, and they a snipet of the reservations upon which they hold in the rejection of Determinism. I will try to capture all of the points, but it's possible that some may be missed. This will take a couple of posts. One thing to point out, first though, is that A's do not accept the concept of "the elect and non-elect" in a way that you briefly described. A's reject that the non-elect even exist. A's reject that God created an upper caste of elect individuals. A's see this as a form of Christian Hinduism, that is, the have's and the have-nots, some born into an upper caste of the elect, and the rest born into the lower caste of the non-elect. A's see the Jews as the elect, because the Bible describes them as the chosen people, which the OT mentions quite frequently. Better yet, though, the OT also refers to Christs as THE elect One, and Christians comprising the elect insomuch as they are the body of Christ, the body of THE elect One, so that Christians are elect solely from the standpoint that they are in union and identification with Christ. I've written several articles on this point, which appear on the main examining Calvinism website, dealing with Election, Eph 1:4, John 6, Rom 9, ect, if you wish to review the A perspective further. Ok, now with the rest of the posts.
Let’s approach Romans 1 from the deterministic paradigm, in which man has indeed distorted the truth of God. But who predestined this? By C standards, hasn’t God decreed whatsoever comes to pass? Doesn’t actions require thoughts? Aren’t thoughts decreed in order to render the actions certain? It’s a slippery slope. For whatever they do, good or bad, 1) God has a decree. 2) God has a purpose in His decree, 3) God decrees thoughts in order to render decreed actions certain. That’s the Deterministic formula. Let’s look at it within the examples cited.
In terms of the Fall of Satan and demons, 1) God has a decree, in which God has decreed whatsoever comes to pass, and in His decree, God has decreed the Fall of Lucifer and a third of the angels with him. 2) God has a *purpose* in His decree. His purpose was for them to Fall. Conversely, God did not have a purpose in their remaining faithful, and hence, was not part of the decree in which God has decreed whatsoever comes to pass. 3) God is sovereign over thought, so that when their actions are decreed, their decreed thoughts render the decreed actions certain. If they had *impure motives* and acted like monsters, then who gave them those motives in order to achieve the specific, purpose-driven outcome, decreed when God determined whatsoever comes to pass? That’s what it all comes back to. Is God sovereign over thought, in a way that C’s say that God is sovereign over action? If so, then they think thoughts that God immutably gives them. If God is sovereign over thought, in a way that He is sovereign over action, then if there is no independent *action* then there is no independent *thought*. No rogue thoughts, no independent thoughts. All thoughts are divinely decreed, cradle to grave, just as all actions are divinely decreed, cradle to grave.
Regarding the question of David’s temptations, consider the example of Job 2:3 as an illustration of what is going on behind the scenes. Who was it that harmed Job? Job 1:12 states that it was given into the devil’s power to harm him, and the devil indeed harmed him. So the devil harmed Job. Simple enough. But there’s more. God also claims responsibility. At Job 2:3, God said: “You incited *Me against him*, to ruin him without cause.” God accepted ultimate responsibility for the devil’s actions, why?, because God permitted it, and the same may perhaps be said of the example involving David. The devil initiated the challenge in Heaven, and God consented to permit it, and hence God accepted ultimate responsibility for it, but through Job’s hardships, and perhaps David’s as well, God also gained a closer relationship. That’s the Arminian perspective, but notice how much darker it appears in the Deterministic perspective, which I described in the prior example. 1) God has determined whatsoever comes to pass. 2) God is sovereign over thought, just as He is sovereign over action. There is no independent action, there is no independent thought. 1) God decreed the fall of men and angels. 2) God had a purpose for the book of Job. 3) God decreed that Satan would sneak into Heaven and issue a challenge. 4) God decreed the thoughts which resulted in the actions. 5) The devil is simply following the thoughts which are immutably given to him to think. 6) God has a purpose in Job remaining faithful. 7) Job is given the *thoughts* corresponding to faithfulness.
No one, in this scenario, thinks thoughts that are exclusively their own. All is decreed, strings are pulled, decreed actions necessarily follow. Arminians embrace the Permissive Will of God, but Arminians reject Determinism, in which everything is decreed, in which all thoughts follow from the decreed will of God.
So, again, is God sovereign over the *thoughts* of demons, in the same way that God is sovereign over *actions* of demons?
Please excuse the typos in the first of these three posts. I just typed it without previewing.
Troy, good to hear from you, too. Here's my take on theology. God could have spelled everything out in black and white. When I was in dialogue with the Jehovah's Witnesses several years back, I was frustrated that God did not spell everything out in black in white, and I was frustrated that perhaps the differences in denominations was a problem of God's own making. The I came to another perspective. God wrote the Bible exactly as He wanted it, anticipating exactly what would result, in terms of all of the differences of views and denominations. Then I thought that God has an objective. I reasoned that the purpose of theology is to draw people closer to God, and to draw fellow believers closer to each other, in godly pursuit of their Creator, and also, to be a trap for those whose hearts are not right with God. For instance, those who seek a works-based-gospel, the Bible provides enough rope to hang themselves. I see JW's quoting Scripture. Gnostics, of all people, quoted Scripture (in their defense of Determinism). Arians quoted Scripture, in their denial of the Deity of Christ. Not to lump Catholics into the same boat, but Catholics quote Scripture to. Everyone quotes Scripture, but NOT everyone is correct in what they are quoting. I think it's important to remain humble and to use theology to draw closer to God and to each other. I think that God is honored in that. I'm done with beating people over the head. I don't sense that God was ever honored in it.
May I suggest to you that you don't need to beat people over the head, just tell the truth that the Calvinist is unsaved and going to Hell, because he refuses to repent and believe in Christ to be regenerated. He clearly rejects God of the Bible who provides sufficient grace for all to have the free choice. It really is no more complicated than that. They refuse to genuinely search God out with all their heart and instead, pridefully assume they were irresistibly selected and rationalize that mistaken assumption come Hell or highwater. How is that in any way shape or form a genuine coming to the cross as a helpless sinner to receive the Lord Jesus as Savior? Most of these Calvinists are historicists too so there again they reject the Lord Jesus who returns to reign on earth for 1000 years with His overcomers, e.g. such as MrWinknod I am having a long conversation with on Youtube.
As you can see he will never repent to give his life to Christ, but I think it is still helpful to show false Christians why they are wrong if not for any other reason so others can see to not be like them.
A loving God would never plead with you and implore you to believe in Him if He didn't give you sufficient grace to have the free choice. Otherwise he would be a sadistic and abusive bastard! Since Calvinists reject God of the Bible, so loving, so merciful, they will absolutely burn in the Lake of Fire for all eternity. And remember, I am not beating them over the head with this fact at all, just stating a truth which is easy for me to stake because God has given it to me to know. If God has not given you this awareness then by all means don't state what I have said, because you are not there yet in your understanding. It is not that the truth is unreasonable but it is unloved. My prayer is you don't make concessions for a loveless faith. Satan is trying to lead you to that contradictory middle ground.
Before I start I would like to hear your testimony? How did you come to know Christ Jesus as personal Lord and Saviour?
You said: "One thing to point out, first though, is that A's do not accept the concept of "the elect and non-elect" in a way that you briefly described. A's reject that the non-elect even exist. A's reject that God created an upper caste of elect individuals. A's see this as a form of Christian Hinduism, that is, the have's and the have-nots, some born into an upper caste of the elect, and the rest born into the lower caste of the non-elect."
My response: I understand that the Arminian's do not accept the calvinist understanding of elect and non-elect. But as to the point that Election and Non-election is a type of Christian Hinduism is not true. I have never heard of such ways of viewing it. I have heard of the Calvinist 'God' being like Allah. Can you tell me why the Arminians think this way about Election and Non-Election?
you said: "A's see the Jews as the elect, because the Bible describes them as the chosen people, which the OT mentions quite frequently. Better yet, though, the OT also refers to Christs as THE elect One, and Christians comprising the elect insomuch as they are the body of Christ, the body of THE elect One, so that Christians are elect solely from the standpoint that they are in union and identification with Christ."
My response: I understand that the Jews were God's chosen people. Romans 9:1-5 says that the Jews had the things pertaining to salvation. i.e. the law, the patriarch... ect. I also understand that Christ was the Chosen redeemer. Ephesians 3:7-13. Specifically around verses 9-11 it says that Christ is the eternal revelation. Hebrews also points this out very well. Can you please explain to me about the Christian being the elect solely from the standpoint that they are in union and identification with Christ? does this mean that the person is an elect in so far as they are part of the Church, so that it is not the individual necessarily who is elected, but it is the group per se?
With regards to your second post: Your first point seems to be fine. Your second point however I will challenge you on this which you said: "His purpose was for them to Fall." I think it goes a little deeper than this. For one Scripture seems to say that Satan had a pride within himself. God did not have to work this sin into Satan. It was already there. One of my good friends said that God is the ultimate good and wherever God is absent is where evil lies and I think I agree with him. My further challenge to you is this. That God's purpose for them to fall is salvific and not just so that they would fall. To make this clear I hope: If one of the aspects of God is that He creates then whatever He creates must have a plan and purpose. So He creates angels and some of them fall away. I think you should really read the City of God by St. Augustine. He draws this point much clearer than I can.
You also said this: "If they had *impure motives* and acted like monsters, then who gave them those motives in order to achieve the specific, purpose-driven outcome, decreed when God determined whatsoever comes to pass? That’s what it all comes back to. Is God sovereign over thought, in a way that C’s say that God is sovereign over action? If so, then they think thoughts that God immutably gives them."
My response: I would disagree with you here. Here is why: For the Evil and For dead sinners God does not have to work in them a evil motive or evil thought. Although God permits it or ordains it but never is the author of evil. In 1 Samuel 2 we see that it was the purpose for God to put Eli's sons to death. How did He do this? First they were laying with the women, second they disobeyed their father, therefore they were put to death. We also have a clearer point about Jude who recieved money by handing Jesus over, and yet it was still the plan of the Lord to do such.
You said: "If God is sovereign over thought, in a way that He is sovereign over action, then if there is no independent *action* then there is no independent *thought*. No rogue thoughts, no independent thoughts. All thoughts are divinely decreed, cradle to grave, just as all actions are divinely decreed, cradle to grave."
My response: That is not necessarily true. I would contend that if there is independent action then there is no independent thought. Thoughts are necessary for actions right? So if there is independent action then what is thought? Our actions depend on thought. What we think stirs what we do.
I hope I made my points clear here.
I would agree to some of what you had said about Job. Here you have the idea about God permitting satan to do something. Notice how satan was not coerced to do something against his nature. But I would also contend that God's purpose was to show that Job was righteous which God said about Job and not Job to himself in chapter 1. I think this book also portreys the issue of preservation/persevarance of the saints.
As for David. It is unclear as what had happened. Scripture never says. But what it does say is that God incited david to sin against the Lord - showing it was His will for David to do such and also we see that it says that Satan incited david to sin against the Lord. Further remarks is - was David coerce to do something against his will? If so then how was it a sin? If not then how so?
Richard said this: "Everyone quotes Scripture, but NOT everyone is correct in what they are quoting. I think it's important to remain humble and to use theology to draw closer to God and to each other. I think that God is honored in that. I'm done with beating people over the head. I don't sense that God was ever honored in it."
I agree with this remark. Satan is a prime example of one who used scripture verse wrongly. I think also that true worship is not just based on hearing the word, but also right mind set on what the Scriptures are saying. John 4:23-24 presents the quality of worship as being spirit and truth.
Just realize there are no verses in Scripture that teach irresistibly imposed regeneration, nor a God who passes over people not giving them sufficient grace to have the free choice, so the Calvinist we find just inserts into the text each and every time that which is not explicitly stated. But we know a true, loving and righteous God who pleads with all and implores us all to believe in Him would not do so if He didn't give us sufficient grace to have the free choice, otherwise that is abusive and sadistic. Do you tell a person in a wheel chair to get up and jump through a hoop? The god of Calvinism is Satan or some evil spirit. Either way, not good.
Hope all is well. Eventful weekend.
In terms of Job, you wrote: “But I would also contend that God's purpose was to show that Job was righteous which God said about Job and not Job to himself in chapter 1. I think this book also portreys the issue of preservation/persevarance of the saints.”
Comments on the first sentence is addressed more broadly in the comments forthcoming, but as for the second sentence on the perseverance issue, realize that such a thing would (by C standards) be driven by Irresistible Grace [IG]. If you have an IG, you will persevere to the end (ect, ect), but notice that Satan never asks God, “God, take away the Irresistible Grace, and surely Job will do such and such.” Instead, Satan demands to remove material blessings. So if Satan knew about an IG, I find it bizarre that he wouldn’t make that as the basis for his challenge. Does Satan not know about Irresistible Grace? (Personally, I think that he knows that Calvinism and Irresistible Grace are untrue and therefore did not act upon it.)
In terms of David, you wrote: “But what it does say is that God incited david to sin against the Lord - showing it was His will for David to do such and also we see that it says that Satan incited david to sin against the Lord.” Yes, but I gave the example of Job, where the text says that 1) God harmed Job, and 2) the devil harmed Job, but we learn from behind the scenes, that God did so, solely from the standpoint of having permitted Satan to carry out his challenge, rather than God willing or wanting to harm Job. Apply the same principle to David’s situation, and presto, and which is bolstered further, by the fact that the Bible teaches that God does not tempt anyone to sin. I think that this is the perfect answer to how Arminians should respond to all C questions as it relates to David’s temptation. Give the example of Job.
You wrote: “Your second point however I will challenge you on this which you said: ‘His purpose was for them to Fall.’ I think it goes a little deeper than this. For one Scripture seems to say that Satan had a pride within himself.”
Wait…stop right there. Remember, you believe in Determinism, right? What does C teach about God having decreed whatsoever comes to pass? If God decreed everything, which includes all thoughts too, then, if Satan “had a pride within himself,” where did it come from?
You added, “God did not have to work this sin into Satan. It was already there.”
But you believe in predestination, right? By saying what you did, you are showing that you are a lot more Arminian in your thinking than you may realize, which I think is a good thing. :-)
You wrote: “One of my good friends said that God is the ultimate good and wherever God is absent…”
Again, stop right there. According to Determinism, God isn’t absent in anything, at all. Remember that according to C, everything is predetermined.
You wrote: “God does not have to work in them a evil motive or evil thought.”
But according to C, well, you know the drill.
Next you said, “Although God permits…”
Again, stop right there. Permission doesn’t work with Determinism. By even saying permission, you are showing that you are very Arminian in your thinking.
In terms of God’s plan of Calvary, foreknowledge is involved (Acts 2:23), and so I agree, “the plan of the Lord to do such” was contingent upon God's foreknowledge of sin already in place, and not that God had to work sin in the lives of Israel.
You wrote: “Our actions depend on thought. What we think stirs what we do.”
Exactly, and that’s exactly my point. If God decreed whatsoever comes to pass (as per the Westminster), that is, all actions, then we agree that He would logically have decreed all thought too, because, as you stated, “what we think stirs what we do.” So according to C, God decrees the thoughts and God decrees the actions, and hence, God is absent from absolutely nothing, and God is the author of all. But then C’s want to invoke what God “permits” and that simply doesn’t work. C’s want to say that God is the author of all, having decreed all, but is not the author of sin, and then A's point out the inconsistency, and C's often then point to antinomy and paradox and mystery.
You wrote: “Before I start I would like to hear your testimony? How did you come to know Christ Jesus as personal Lord and Saviour?”
Indeed, a great place to start, and thanks for asking. Here is a link to my SOF.
I also have a testimony posted in the following link here under the name of Richard Coords:
That is just a small segment of my testimony, but this an the SOF are a good place to start.
In terms of your question to elaborate on the the Hindu comparison and what Arminians believe about Election, let me point to two articles that I've written which will elaborate further:
Hi Richard and Blessings. I am press for time and frankly school is back in session and so I will not really be able to spend much on here due to business and all.
I would respond on all of what you had said but again I have to leave shortly. But I will try to touch up on a view things.
First as for the point about our actions being dependant on thought, it shows that we cannot truly have independant actions if we have independent thought. Either we will have independent actions or independent thought. Further what we think seems to be in correspondent to our nature. Thus when the Calvinist claim that you must be born again. It means that in order for our minds to think or percieve rightly about the Cross we must have a new spirit to percieve such. However, this is so hard to see in actual life because regeneration/faith happen simultaniously. It is sort of like trying to put a heirarchy to the fruits of the holy Spirit.
Also as for your point that I may be more Arminian than I think I am. Well First as for this I would say perhaps it means you misunderstand the Calvinist position or better yet the supralapsarian position. Which is why I have continued to write to you and also because I enjoy this type of stuff.
As for the Irresistable Grace with Job and Satan. IG is not the issue. The issue is that does Job persevere? Why does he persevere? Job 1 God declares that Job is righteous. The declaration from satan is that Job is righteous because God had given him much in abundance and so by taking away those things Job would curse God and die. However, this is not the case. Why? I think it lies at the beginning when God does declare Job as righteous. Or better yet God justifies Job.
I hope this has been clear.
Thank you and likewise, I too am slammed at work.
Concerning Job, I really don’t understand how IG wouldn’t be the issue. If Job was given IG (which I'm certain that you would affirm), then could Job resist it? If not, then wouldn't the devil ultimately be fighting a lost cause? What am I missing? If Job didn't have an IG, and if he could have fallen await from the faith, then you are well within your rights to ask why he did not fall, and I would simply point to his sincerity and belief in God, and that the devil was wrong about him.
One add’l thought on David/Job. I had maintained that God took responsibility for harming Job, because He permitted the devil to proceed with his challenge, and that God took responsibility for tempting David, because He permitted the devil to proceed with his temptation (and knowing that in a similar situation, the devil demanded to sift Peter like wheat, too, as per Jesus’ statement in the Gospels), I gather that God did not want, wish or desire for Job’s faith to fail, David to succumb to the devil’s temptation or for Peter to deny Christ. I think that’s a point where we disagree, because you indicated that God had a purpose in David succumbing to the temptation. I didn't agree, and I also didn't feel that God was necessarily expressing a happy thought at Job 2:3. Take a look at that verse and let me know if you have a different take.
Regarding determinism and permission, I do not understand how the two could coexist, and almost every A publication makes this same point, but remember that Spurgeon also wrote of an instance where he tried to explain such things, and fellow C’s (hardline C’s, I suppose), demanded an explanation of logic, and Spurgeon confessed that he couldn’t provide it, but only that the Scriptures teach both, and that was sufficient. (Reference Spurgeon’s sermon on Jacob & Esau). Of course, as an A, I disagree that Scriptures teach determinism, but you get the point. Not all C's believe that it can be explained. I've heard the "parallel lines that meet in eternity" explanation more than once.
I realize that your time is limited, as is mine, but one more quick thought on Job/David.
You wrote: “But what it does say is that God incited David to sin against the Lord - showing it was His will for David to do such and also we see that it says that Satan incited David to sin against the Lord.”
But see, that’s where I disagree. It wasn’t God’s will for David to do such. God specifically said that He was "displeased." (1st Chronicles 21:7) That's why I don't think that it was God's will for David to get duped by Satan, no more than it was God’s will that Job waver in his faith, no more than it was God’s will that Peter deny Christ three times. Satan is the accuser; God permitted his challenges. Due to God’s anger against Israel, he wasn’t particularly motivated to want to defend Israel against Satan’s challenges, and hence permitted him to move David to issue the census.
Also, I'm a little puzzled at how independent action and independent thought are mutually exclusive. I have it the other way around, in that they are mutually inclusive. If there is no free action, there is no free thought. If there is free action, there is free thought to do it. Anyway, that was something that was puzzling me about your comment. I wasn't following the logic there.
On the issue of Irresistable Grace and your question about how is it not the issue. My response is that it is not the issue of the text. The text does not unless you can show me where Irresistable Grace is found or why you think it is even an issue. But I do not think that it is. I see that the issue of the text is that Satan makes a challenge against God. You may read the challenge in Job 1:8-12. The point here is that God declares that Job is blameless and upright (we see this actualized throughout Job) and yet satan brings a challenge against God that Job is not really upright. So Satan is allowed to bring about calamity because part of the challenge is that Job has been upright because much has been provided to him. So Satan says Challenges God to take away these the things.
I do not see these situations here in Job 1 and 2 as being the same situation as 2 samuel 24:1 and 1 Chronicles 22:1. Regarding 2 samuel. The text says that "the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, Go, number Israel and Judah." It is not clear why the Lord's anger was kindled the text does not say. It does say that the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he incited David. This verse is more liken to Romans 1:18-32 - more specifically it is verses 24; 26; and 28 that I am looking at. But the point of the section seems to say that Because unrighteous men and women supress the truth of God (which is clearly revealed because God reveals it) Men and Women are without excuse. So why are they under condemnation? because of their unrighteousness, and they have no excuse because what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. But because of their unrighteousness and so by their unrighteousness supressing the truth of God, they fashion for themselves idols of the created order to worship rather than to give thanks to God and worship Him. So we have in each three of those verses (listed above in this paragraph) that God gives them over to the lust of their hearts. When God hands someone over to the lust of their hearts it is seen as God's wrath or anger. Likewise in Davids situation God gives David over to the lust of his heart. Christians can suffer the discipline of the Lord but they do not experience God's wrath or condemnation like the non-christian (Romans 8 presents the reasons why). Paul tells the Corinthians in chapter 5 to remove the one who has committed the sexual immorality so that he may be saved in verses 2 and 5.
As for my point about thoughts and actions. My purpose was to say that usually a person acts on the basis of his thoughts or how he thinks or what he thinks. But as your point is that Thoughts and Actions are mutually inclusive. If i am understanding you correctly then Calvinist would not disagree that thoughts and actions are mutually inclusive. Let me explain how my mind is working with regards to my thoughts: If you read the westminster confession of faith says that man has liberty to do what he pleases, but that he does not have the ability to do that which is against his own nature to do. Scripture says in Romans 5:1-4 that death spread to all men because all sinned. The proof that man is a sinner is that he dies. So my their relation to Adam who was the type of the one to come, man is by nature a product of sin and thus die.
So my logic of thought is this: You have Thoughts which lead to Actions. But i wanted to get to the place where I may also say that our thoughts themselves are effected by who we are. Ephesians 4:17-18 clarifies this point that I am bringing up.
I don't know how God made it so I have God-consciousness in my spirit and self-consciousness of my soul, but I know He did it. Likewise, God pleads and implores us to believe in Him thus giving us sufficient grace to have the free choice, but I don't know how God reconciles His infinite foreknowledge with free will other than to say He exists outside of time and space so He can touch any point instantly. You don't need to know how God does this to know He does it.
I'm unsubscribing from this silly conversation you guys are having with sloppy grammar and spelling mistakes and petty self on a rampage. I don't want to see this nonsense in my inbox again!
Just know God pleads with you and implores you to believe in Him, thus it wouldn't make much sense if you didn't have the free choice to respond positively.
Otherwise, God would be an abusive sadistic bastard as the god of Calvinism is.
Repent and believe in Christ and thou shalt be saved/regenerated.
Praise the Lord! Amen.
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