« New Resource: articles from Baptist media sources concerning Calvinism in the Southern Baptist Convention by Peter Lumpkins | Main | Response to Whomever He Wills: Part II by David Allen »

Aug 10, 2012

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Mike Chitwood

I have read Whosoever Will and I am reading Whomever He Wills right now. I have also read Salvation and Sovereignty by Ken Keathley who is a contributor of Whosoever Will. Having said this my intention is not to say one position is right over the other in this post. Instead I think we need to come up with fair terms for each side. The contributors based on the two books I mentioned already (Whosoever Will & Salvation and Sovereignty) are better defined as Molinists. Not all of them would call themselves that but they certainly are not five point Arminians either.
I think both Reformed/Calvinists in the SBC and those who classify themselves as not being Reformed/Calvinist need to recognize there are theologies in between Arminianism and Calvinism. By not acknowledging that there are other alternatives that people embrace we are doing both sides a disservice and causing further division by assuming that one side is something they are not. Even on the Reformed/Calvinist side there is a title for them called "Amyraldism." These terms need to be used fairly because it is causing more divide than needed.
Even if one does not use the terms I have listed above lets clearly communicate what we and others really are than only defaulting to the two options of Calvinism and Arminianism. This is imperative so that we can properly understand one another. It is imperative we properly understand one another so we can MOVE ON. As a convention in the SBC we are spending too much time on this subject with one another and not enough time with those who are lost and need to hear the Gospel. No matter if we believe in "whomever He wills" or "whosoever will" we should ask ourselves, "whoever will go and tell?" We need to agree to disagree and unite where we can so we can proclaim the Gospel message that everyone is a sinner and needs the atoning work and love of Jesus Christ so we can have an eternal hope and hope in this life.

Jeremy Crowder

To me this is a very simple matter. If you define yourself at all using T.U.L.I.P. your a Calvinist on some level. If you define yourself at all using the Five Articles of Remonstrance your an Arminian. If you define yourself by the "Traditional Statement" your a Traditionalist. The idea that you have to be 100% consistent is also something to reconsider. Most people journey between at least two of those groups they either go over to an Arminian Baptist denomination like Free Will or General Baptist or even a Methodist denom. then Back to the SBC or.. They grow up Tradtional and go to Southern Seminary and become a Calvinist then later return to beings Traditionalist etc. This is just simple truth we are all reading the Bible and the Bible as we read it comes across differently we sometimes find something in a verse we didn't before etc. It's not just Trads that have it rough OSAS Arminians and 4 Point Calvinists are scorned as well. Why? How small does people want to make the tent. At the end of the day if Church just has people that agree with us we go to Church alone. Traditionalists, Arminians, and others seem to get this better than five point calvinists but hopefully they will wake up to the clear truth here.

David Benjamin Hewitt

Dr. Lumpkins -- as I read what you posted regarding this book, there was one thing that troubled me -- there wasn't any exegesis cited. Of course, perhaps I am preliminary; this is after all your first citation from Dr. Allen or anyone in critiquing the book. However, in Dr. Allen's writing, I saw what I consider a trend when many on the "traditional" side look at more Reformed writings; they take what Reformed SBCers say in their strong convictions and interpret that as a harsh "tone" and perhaps even an attempt to "foreclose on the discussion." Perhaps I am mistaken in interpreting Dr. Allen this way, but it isn't the first time I've encountered something along this wording.

Very rarely is it assumed that people opposed to us doctrinally (and yes, I will quickly admit Calvinists are not immune to what I have just mentioned) are trying to communicate to us with their and our best interests at heart, that, though they say things strongly, are seeking to act lovingly -- this is, after all, an exercise among brothers.

Be all that as it may, I do know that we Reformed Baptists have expressed frustration toward "traditionals" including yourself and Drs. Allen and Lemke, some of it justified, some of it probably going beyond what is appropriate, and for the latter, should I have ever been party to it, I'll ask forgiveness now. The reason(s) for the frustration, however, I think are valid.

Very often when these kind of reviews such as you have posted come out, they are long on analysis of "tone" and motives, and short on exegesis. In order to address the issue and really say something, one must take the Scripture passage that another uses (trusting the other person was trying to be honest with the text) examine it closely for consistency (for all truth must of necessity be consistent), and then by careful exegesis show the error of your opponent and then present positive exegesis of what the passage really means. If this does not happen, there is little point in conversing about theological topics at all, if any.

As an example, I was please to see in your last post on this book the mentioning of Scripture's use of the "dead" metaphor and that you said it was merely a term of separation. I would agree that it is referring to separation, as one who is dead in sins is indeed separated from God, but it means more than that. I would say that the Bible's use of the term and the concept goes beyond mere separation, and am prepared to defend that exegetically.

I was also very pleased to see you and Jim and Lydia discuss the issue of divine determinism, for I like you believe it to be foundational to this discussion. There are a host of passages we can exegete to discuss this most important issue, some of which I mentioned here in a post I did many years ago; still agree with it completely. :) I don't know if this thread would be a good place to elaborate on any of it; probably not, but you of course are the arbiter in such things. :)

Until next comment,
sdg,
dbh

Lydia

"as I read what you posted regarding this book, there was one thing that troubled me -- there wasn't any exegesis cited. "

Hi DBH,

What an irenic comment! Good for you. As to your comment above, I have come to believe for a while now that exegesis is a big waste of time between Calvinists and Non Calvinists.

Isn't it really the hermeneutic that is the problem? The grand scheme, if you will. I do not think Calvinists can help reading the Augustinian/CAlvin filter back into scripture. It is their filter for all understanding.

Most of us define "dead" as separated from God. Most of us do not define total depravity as humans having no volition. Some of us do not think it Glorifies God to declare humans are basically puppets on God's string. Some of us do not think it is an "either/or" hermeneutic but a "both/and" in the way God interacts with His creation after the fall.

If you take the current discussion on David Barton over at Voices, you see some of the underlying problem that some do not think about. (Personally I think Barton over reaches) Over the last 10 years I have had many New Calvinists tell me that the enlightenment was evil. Or that it elevated man over God. Some have told me that we cannot understand God's Sovereignty because we have never lived under a monarch. Or that the American Revolution violated scripture. We defied a king and therefore went against teaching in Romans. This view is an underlying themein much of Calvinism. Some NC are not really aware it is there. But it is. And they will accuse you of loving your country more than you love God. We saw this up close and personal when a family member came back from working with Piper and that caused me to delve a bit deeper into this part of the Calvinistic thinking.

Why is this underlying theme present in Calvinistic thought? Why do they interpret Romans so woodenly not taking in the fact that even was man talking to God and poetry? Inspired? yes! But should we be praying imprecatory prayers, too? And as for the command to obey the governing authorities, should we take that to mean a Monarchy or state church is God' will for us for all time? Or should we take in the political atomosphere of the time Romans was written into consideration since most of the Jews had fled under Claudius and were streaming back in after Nero (who was more tolerant early on) and this most likely included Jewish believers. Taking all of Romans into consideration cannot we not see this would affect relationships of all the house churches in Rome at the time with all the cultural differences between Jews and Gentiles,again? (As I write this, I cannot help but think of Martin Luther's role in the peasants war--when it comes to obeying government. Do people really think Henry the 8th was God's choice? Or man's doings? If we start looking at historical events AFTER Christ as decrees from God, we Impugn His Character!)

Here is the problem: If we admit man has volition, then the whole Calvinist house of cards falls. And man's volition is the theme of our country's founding. Man has "rights" given by God. Or, are man's rights only given by a few select humans via God's choice? This is basically the whole Augustinian overlay in a nutshell. Calvinists unwittinly put a mediator between Christ and humans. They don't see it and that is ok. I will never convince them of it.

Calvinism is the perfect doctrine for a state church and for Monarchies. It is not a good doctrine for a free people who govern themselves as in choosing their leaders. That is why their ecclesiology is so different. And it does not work well with the "priesthood of believer" unless that concept is redefined to fit the Augustine overlay with a few that must lead the ignorant masses. (Neo Platonic)

In the end, Calvinism maps hierarchy to a few given the truth who must lead the masses. Quite frankly, the Enlightenment, ushered in by the printing press, lead to horrors like the French Revolution (ironically a state church country) also gave us the American Revolution and man's inalienable rights given by God. As in all things, sopme use it for good and others for evil.

We again see the whole "either/or" type thinking coming out of Calvinist thought. Where it is really "both/and". We can start to see where God decreeing every single event, thought, action becomes a HUGE problem. And it impunes His Character.

Lydia

"Why do they interpret Romans so woodenly not taking in the fact that even was man talking to God and poetry?"

oops! I meant to say "interpret the Pslams quoted in Romans so woodenly...."

David Benjamin Hewitt

Wow, Lydia, that is a lot to sort through. I'll give it a go.

You said:
"What an irenic comment! Good for you. As to your comment above, I have come to believe for a while now that exegesis is a big waste of time between Calvinists and Non Calvinists."

Well, you are mistaken. The Scripture is the battlefield for any right thinking. If you are going to say, "I believe you are wrong," as you surely believe I am wrong (though you didn't represent me completely correctly in your comments) then I suppose I could just say, "so what"? If it is merely about opinions, then there isn't any room for discussion, because it would be like my trying to convince you that a certain kind of ice cream is the best when you prefer another.

However, if it can be demonstrated that the Bible says X and I believe not-X, then you have grounds to say I am wrong, and to do so objectively. I have no right whatsoever to refuse to accept what you say if you can demonstrate that my position on a particular Bible passage is not taking into account proper hermeneutics (ie, context (textual and historical), grammatico-historial, theological, redemptive-historical, etc) and thus is inconsistent with the meaning of a passage. I bow the knee to God and submit to God's revelation in what He have given in the Bible; I must not think differently, and if it can be shown that I have, I will change my position. And since you mentioned hermeneutics yourself:

"Isn't it really the hermeneutic that is the problem? The grand scheme, if you will. I do not think Calvinists can help reading the Augustinian/CAlvin filter back into scripture. It is their filter for all understanding."

Truth is, I've never read a complete work by either Calvin or Augustine. :) Surprised? I do have Calvin's Institutes on my Kindle, but have only read part of it. I agree with him in some areas, disagree in others. The reason for that is because of exegesis. There is a reason I am a Baptist, and it is because of the biblical teaching that only believers are to be baptized, and what the Bible has to say about church government. Your broad-sweeping statement is an over-generalization.

"Most of us define "dead" as separated from God. Most of us do not define total depravity as humans having no volition. Some of us do not think it Glorifies God to declare humans are basically puppets on God's string. Some of us do not think it is an "either/or" hermeneutic but a "both/and" in the way God interacts with His creation after the fall."

I of course define "dead" as more than that. Which one of us is right? Exegesis of Scripture must decide. We are people of the book, not of our own opinions, right? Exegesis can be hard work, but it is necessary work. John 3, Ephesians 1 and Romans 3 (which you reference) are good places to go for the issue of being dead.

By the way, I do not believe that humans have no volition. To my knowledge, no Calvinist does. Calvin didn't believe it (read enough of him to know this). JP Boyce didn't believe that man has no volition. In a more modern context, James White doesn't believe it, John Piper doesn't, John MacArthur doesn't, Mark Dever, Tom Ascol, Tom Nettles, and I could go on for a long time. Man has volition; we make choices. We make real choices, and we are held accountable for the actions we take and choices we make. You are quite mistaken in saying that Calvinists do not believe man has volition.

At the same time, I would affirm that God has complete and total control over all things, having determined everything. I express my thoughts and a small part of the biblical testimony on the matter in the article with the link I provided, so I won't expound on it further here.

Your "either/or" and "both/and" is something I didn't understand -- would you flesh that out further? I affirm a both/and situation with regard to God's decree and man's volition; God is both absolutely sovereign over all things as well as man being responsible for his sin and choices.

"If you take the current discussion on David Barton over at Voices, you see some of the underlying problem that some do not think about."

I don't read "voices" and don't really much in the blogosphere at all anymore; other things take my time. I do drop in here once in a great while though, so hello. :)

"Why is this underlying theme present in Calvinistic thought? Why do they interpret the Psalms quoted in Romans so woodenly not taking in the fact that even was man talking to God and poetry? Inspired? yes! But should we be praying imprecatory prayers, too? And as for the command to obey the governing authorities, should we take that to mean a Monarchy or state church is God' will for us for all time? Or should we take in the political atomosphere of the time Romans was written into consideration since most of the Jews had fled under Claudius and were streaming back in after Nero (who was more tolerant early on) and this most likely included Jewish believers. Taking all of Romans into consideration cannot we not see this would affect relationships of all the house churches in Rome at the time with all the cultural differences between Jews and Gentiles,again? (As I write this, I cannot help but think of Martin Luther's role in the peasants war--when it comes to obeying government. Do people really think Henry the 8th was God's choice? Or man's doings? If we start looking at historical events AFTER Christ as decrees from God, we Impugn His Character!)"

A lot here. First, by "the Psalms quoted in Romans" I presume you to mean Romans 3, as Romans 13 (the passage about governing authorities) is not in poetic form. Not completely sure what you mean by "woodenly literal" either with regard to them; are you suggesting that we must interpret everything taken from poetic passages as figurative language down to the last letter and therefore not have it be binding on us at all with regard to faith and practice? Paul's mere citation of it in Romans 3 to buttress his teaching there would seem to defeat that idea.

Romans 13:1-2 ESV Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. (2) Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.
Romans 13:6 ESV For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing.

This is something that cannot merely refer to authority of house churches after Jewish returning when Nero came to power, and in fact, cannot refer to churches at all. You don't pay taxes to a church. :) Paul is explicitly teaching that any and all authorities that exist are appointed by God, and in this particular case was making reference to the authorities of Rome opposed to the church. Given the Roman government's persecution of Christians, the Roman Christians would most likely be tempted to ignore those Romans officials who would have authority over them. Paul's statement doesn't allow them to do that. Of course, should Rome prescribe something that God forbids, then Christians would have to ignore that command. The modern day application should be obvious. And yes, it means that God ordained Henry VIII, as well as criminals like Adolph Hitler. It was also right and just for the Allied powers to overthrow Hitler -- which was also ordained of God. ;)

With regard to whether or not the colonies were right in throwing off England, even Calvinists are divided on that one. MacArthur would say we were wrong; my pastor would say we were right. Me? Well, I will let you speculate. :)

With regard to not being able to understand God's sovereignty since we are not in a monarchy, I would disagree. It might make it more difficult, but not impossible.

"Here is the problem: If we admit man has volition, then the whole Calvinist house of cards falls. And man's volition is the theme of our country's founding. Man has "rights" given by God. Or, are man's rights only given by a few select humans via God's choice? This is basically the whole Augustinian overlay in a nutshell. Calvinists unwittinly put a mediator between Christ and humans. They don't see it and that is ok. I will never convince them of it."

Man does have volition; I and every other Calvinist I know affirms that, as I stated above. That alone seems to undercut your entire premise here, though I admit I have no idea what you are talking about when you say that Calvinists put a mediator between Christ and man. That is anathema, and was a large part of what the Reformation was about, as Rome had done just that with the pope and even their sacerdotal priests. They still do.

"Calvinism is the perfect doctrine for a state church and for Monarchies. It is not a good doctrine for a free people who govern themselves as in choosing their leaders. That is why their ecclesiology is so different. And it does not work well with the "priesthood of believer" unless that concept is redefined to fit the Augustine overlay with a few that must lead the ignorant masses."

But you see, I firmly believe that exegesis of Scripture affirms "Calvinistic doctrine." It has nothing to do with a country's government (and our Federal system, by the way, was largely influenced by Calvinistic thinking). The priesthood of the believer is important in that we can all come to God and need no priest; there is no New Testament priest, save Christ Himself. I deplore the "ignorance of the masses" and only wish everyone in all our churches were of great understanding of biblical doctrine, most importantly those of Justification, the Trinity, and Scripture.

"In the end, Calvinism maps hierarchy to a few given the truth who must lead the masses."

This is a gratuitous assertion with which I disagree completely. Lydia, if this is what you truly believe, then you have embraced a falsehood; no other way to put that, I'm afraid. It is simply not true.

By the way, without the printing press, the Reformation would not have been possible, as the Reformer's works, most notably, the Bible itself translated into the common tongue, would not have been able to have been distributed. It is Rome, not the children of the Reformation, that took great issue with the printing press. :)

May God bless you this day.
sdg,
dbh

Lydia

"And yes, it means that God ordained Henry VIII, as well as criminals like Adolph Hitler. It was also right and just for the Allied powers to overthrow Hitler -- which was also ordained of God. "

DBH, I don't have time to go into the whole repsonse so I will mention only a few. As to above, you just hit on a contradiction. A contradiction that unwittingly makes God the author of a heinous evil.

Hitler was ordained by God as Governing authority of Germany and takeover of Europe AND to wipe out as many Jews as possible? (Oh, and getting the Lutheran church on board quoting Martin Luther on Jews, btw) YET, you also claim the
Allies were then ordained by God to decimate the very government He previously ordained?

My goodness how this Impugns a Holy God!

God was on both sides of the Civil war, too, according to some historical sources. In fact, one of our SBC Founders, Boyce, thought that slavery was a good thing as it made it possible to disciple the slaves properly. Christianity by force of the magistrate. Kind of like Calvin. :o)

There is no shortage of irony that Martin Luther was German and hated "reason".

Lydia

one more:

"Man does have volition; I and every other Calvinist I know affirms that, as I stated above. That alone seems to undercut your entire premise here, though I admit I have no idea what you are talking about when you say that Calvinists put a mediator between Christ and man. That is anathema, and was a large part of what the Reformation was about, as Rome had done just that with the pope and even their sacerdotal priests. They still do."

We probably do not agree on what volition means. But anyway...the "REformation" was about "reforming the Catholic church". They replaced sacraments with a man center stage preaching. Not Christ Himself center stage. A step in the right direction, I will agree. But they had no intention of getting rid of the idea of religion by force and still LOVED the idea of a state church. Mandatory attendance which negates the whole idea of "election" if one uses logic. How would they know who the REAL Christians were if they were compelled by the magistrate to attend and practice the sacraments such as infant baptism, etc? The whole idea is illogical.

The step children of the Reformation are a better example. They put their lives on the line for truth. My goodness Zwingli ended up hunting his own students to be drowned as a third baptism even after agreeing with them!

These men who used the arm of the "state" church to force people to practice their religion were ordained by God to do so?

The only way to sell Calvinism or the Reformation as a way for us is to ignore it's practices from history.

David Benjamin Hewitt

Ordain does not equal "morally approve" you know. :)

Also, you didn't interact with the Romans 13 text.

Either way, this is getting a bit away from the subject, except to say that no, this is not a contradiction, and no, it it does not impugn a Holy God. There are two rather clear examples in the Scriptures that we can look at, seeing that God decreed/ordained something that He didn't morally approve of, even one similar to the allies kicking out Hitler idea.

Judges 14:1-4 ESV Samson went down to Timnah, and at Timnah he saw one of the daughters of the Philistines. (2) Then he came up and told his father and mother, "I saw one of the daughters of the Philistines at Timnah. Now get her for me as my wife." (3) But his father and mother said to him, "Is there not a woman among the daughters of your relatives, or among all our people, that you must go to take a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?" But Samson said to his father, "Get her for me, for she is right in my eyes." (4) His father and mother did not know that it was from the LORD, for he was seeking an opportunity against the Philistines. At that time the Philistines ruled over Israel.

What is the it? The "it" of course was Samson's immoral desire to take a woman for a wife who was not an Israelite. His mother and father were right to object to what Samson was doing; this violated God's Law as revealed through Moses:

Deuteronomy 7:1-4 ESV "When the LORD your God brings you into the land that you are entering to take possession of it, and clears away many nations before you, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations more numerous and mightier than yourselves, (2) and when the LORD your God gives them over to you, and you defeat them, then you must devote them to complete destruction. You shall make no covenant with them and show no mercy to them. (3) You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons, (4) for they would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods. Then the anger of the LORD would be kindled against you, and he would destroy you quickly.

Though the Philistines were not one of the seven nations listed in Deuteronomy 7, they were one of the peoples of the land and thus fell under the same prohibition. Samson broken God's Law, yet this (that is, Samson breaking God's Law and going after that woman) was the purpose of God to seek an opportunity against the Philistines. Such is the testimony of Scripture, and we must deal with it. God brought about, through the culpable actions of human beings, His desire to damage the Philistines. There is much more, but a few passages in Isaiah bring out God's purposes for the nation of Assyria. God brought them to power; they did as He determined, and then He punished them for their sin as they did it:

Isaiah 10:5-16
Isaiah 37:21-29, especially 26 (see also 2 Kings 19)


Lydia, my discussion is not about the errors of men in history; as I said about Calvin, so I say about Luther, or Zwingli, or any other figure in the Reformation: there are some things with which I agree, some I do not. I am not holding any man up and saying, "be like him in all his ways!" In fact, I am not holding up any man at all.

The issue is the teaching of the Bible and what it says about our God and how He works, how He saves, how He glorifies His Name in this world.

If you are unwilling to examine Scripture and provide a response to what I have said biblically, then there isn't any point in continuing the conversation. You are throwing out red herrings about the errors of the reformers rather than dealing with the text of Scripture, and it is completely irrelevant.

sdg,
dbh

Jim G.

Hi David,

I think we can see God's determining hand in some portions of Scripture. But I don't think that seeing it in those portions allows us to legitimately infer that he determines all actions at all times. All we would need would be one single counterexample where God does not determine something and such an inference from the general to the universal would be rendered illegitimate. I would think two worthy counterexamples come from Jeremiah 19:5 and 32:35. If we are to take God at his word, I think he is clear that he did not foreordain Israel's sin, and if this is indeed the proper way to render these verses, then a theory of universal meticulous determinism fails on those two texts and should be dismissed altogether as a way of understanding God's actions in the world.

By the way, be careful how you interpret Proverbs (I read your link). Proverbs are meant to be generally true statements rather than universal, exhaustive truths. If they were universal, every single child raised up properly would be a fine adult. We know that is not always the case, although it is a general rule that should happen most of the time. Proverbs are not a good foundation on which to erect doctrines. General truths that usually happen - yes; airtight doctrines - no.

Jim G.

David Benjamin Hewitt

Hey Jim:

Thanks for your time and response. God's purpose in those two nearly identical statements was to make clear that God in no way commanded them to worship the Baals or to offer their children in the first; He didn't even think to do it. To say "nor did it come to my mind" is a way of emphasizing that God didn't command it and didn't even imply it in the least sense. This isn't speaking of God's eternal decree or sovereign will, but rather His commands and precepts. The word "decree" is used in the passage, but in that context it is used as a synonym for His command.

You are right to point out what Proverbs are, generally. They are general principles but not air-tight promises - that is, they often are. :) Such is certainly the case with Proverbs 22:6. However, such is not the case with:

Proverbs 1:10-16 ESV My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. (11) If they say, "Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood; let us ambush the innocent without reason; (12) like Sheol let us swallow them alive, and whole, like those who go down to the pit; (13) we shall find all precious goods, we shall fill our houses with plunder; (14) throw in your lot among us; we will all have one purse"-- (15) my son, do not walk in the way with them; hold back your foot from their paths, (16) for their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed blood.

or with....

Proverbs 3:5-7 ESV Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. (6) In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (7) Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.

I would submit that Proverbs 16 is of the kind of Proverbs that are always the case, such as what I mentioned in 1 and 3 above. Further, it is not merely an arguing from the general to the universal. There is an overriding passage in one of Paul's letters that seals the deal, so to speak, and there are others like it woven throughout Isaiah 40-48 and other parts of Scripture (I'd have to spend some time looking them up). Here is the one to which I refer:

Ephesians 1:11 ESV In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,

What does God work according to His will? He works "all things" according to His will. I don't claim to understand how all of that works, but I am forced by this passage of Scripture (among others) to believe that God, who is all powerful and all knowing and who does all that He pleases (Psalm 115:3) does work all things according to His will in some way that is beyond my full comprehension.

Thanks for taking the time to read the link, by the way. :)

sdg,
dbh

Lydia

"There are two rather clear examples in the Scriptures that we can look at, seeing that God decreed/ordained something that He didn't morally approve of, even one similar to the allies kicking out Hitler idea."

First of all, I agree with Jim G about examples in the OC which is what I meant about the "either/or" of the Calvinist hermeneutic vs the "both/and" of a non Calvinist hermeneutic.

So, we have a problem. God decrees heinous events He does not morally approve of in the New Covenant and that Glorifies Him? Hitler coming to power and wiping out 6 million Jews Glorified God? Then God plans for the allies to destroy the very authority He raised up...AFTER 6 million perish in gas chambers....

And all this....

.....After the Cross. After the Resurrection. After Israel is no longer theocracy? After God in the Flesh walked this earth and showed us how to live and after He sent his children the Holy Spirit. Gentiles are grafted in. We are to be Servants. Humble. Meek. Sermon on the Mount stuff.

I take into consideration that Israel was a Theocracy behaving badly and God is working through all kinds of people to discipline, etc. God always says so! And His many warnings are legion.

We forget something very important that happens later as a sort of culminating event---Ironically God was to be Israel's King but they begged for a king like the pagans had because they wanted to follow a great man instead of God. It was a rejection of God! God was not pleased or at least that is what scripture says. However, if a Calvinist, I must believe God planned it to happen exactly that way. And God must have feigned his displeasure since it is said in Scripture this made Him angry? How could it make Him angry if He planned it to happen exactly that way? All went to plan, right? Obviously it had to since the only logical place to go is that man has no volition since God plans all the horror in both Covenants down to meticulous detail. Even after the Holy Spirit is sent to dwell in us.

But I am trying to figure out the point of the Cross and Resurrection if God decrees such heinous events instead of allowing them to occur as we live in a fallen world. When we start lining up New Covenant historical events with God decreeing them to happen, we end up one place: God as the author of evil. Sorry. No where else to go with it no matter how much we proof text passages.

Where is the promised Holy Spirit in all this? And for what purpose? Surely not the one we read in scripture. It does not fit your doctrine. It was all planned anyway down to each meticulous detail. To what effect the Holy Spirit?

There is no point in arguing passages and proof texts. I do not believe in the Augustinian/Calvin/Platonic God. I believe God created man with free will. Ability to reason, etc. I believe Man's sin in the Fall separated us from God. I believe evil entered the world and we are born in corrupted flesh into a corrupted world. I believe we have brains, can think and even reason.
I believe our salvation is mongeristic with the Holy Spirit convicting us of our sin and need for a Savior. I believe our sanctification is synergistic and that we can "choose" good and righteousness with the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

I believe God is Sovereign over His own Sovereignty that He can allow free will and it glorifies Him to do so. Much more than being a puppet master decreeing every molecule Calvinist God. I believe that as believers WE are now the temple where God resides so we hate the sin we once thought was no big deal and we battle the flesh daily growing in Holiness if we belong to Him. I do not think we are "totally unable" to respond to the Holy Spirit convicting us of our sin and need for a Savior. I think our free will in responding glorifies God even more. We even glorify God more when we actually OBEY the commands of Christ and we are able to do that.

If the Calvinist God decrees evil then what on earth does that say about the Calvinst followers who believe this? Makes me want to hide the silver and lock up the children.

Calvinists focus on authority to the negation of His mercy, His HESED, patience, long suffering with us, etc. By the time Calvinists get done, Jesus does not look a thing like the Jesus we read about in scripture! The humble lowly carpenter who preached the Sermon on the Mount. Why? Because they love the authority aspect more. Calvinists want that authority over others. They think that authority maps to them if they are one of the special anointed ones chosen to bring the Calvin doctrine to the ignorant masses. It is the legacy of Calvin and Augustine by way of Plato who brought us the underlying philosophy of the enlightened few who must lead the ignorant (totally incompetent) masses.

So, when Hitler took over Europe and gassed 6 million, Jesus had all power and authority over the earth. And Satan roamed it like a roaring lion. In fact, we could have saved 6 million lives if WE had recognized real evil sooner, say, Austria? We had the volition to do that. We even refused fleeing Jews sanctuary but that was decreed to, I suppose. But I suspect you think God was specifically controlling Chamberlain, too, for the outcome.

See, we are very far apart on what we believe scripture teaches overall. Why are we commanded to do things we cannot do? Why are we commanded to love if we cannot?

One last question, With God planning and decreeing all this evil such as the Holocaust... even in the New Covenant AFTER the Theocracy of Israel, the Cross, the Resurrection, the Holy Spirit being sent to guide us.....

what is left for Satan to do? Carry out the evil decrees for God?


BTW: If Solomon is responsible for the Proverbs, I take into consideration he had 600 wives when he wrote Proverbs 21:9 and others like it. :o

Jim G.

Hi David,

In all honesty, you just made Lydia's point without realizing it. It all comes down to interpretation. Our disagreements are not exegetical; they are hermeneutical. Of course I do not see a simple restatement of God's lack of command when he says "nor did it enter my mind." I see this as the sin Israel committed did not enter God's mind; therefore he neither decreed nor determined it. You see, "decree" can't really mean "decree" or else your position on this issue is in real trouble. But given your commitment to determinism, you must see it the way you do. Your theological commitment must guide your thinking in these texts, otherwise, "decree" would mean "decree." We're not at the level of exegesis. We're at the level of hermeneutics. When "decree" does not suit your commitments, you redefine it. When it does, you accept it at face value. That is not exegesis, my brother. That is hermeneutics, and bad hermeneutics at that.

You also made another point of Lydia's as she said utilizing Scripture in this debate is becoming more and more difficult. It is the hermeneutical lens through which we read Scripture that remains the problem. Case in point: your arbitrary division of Proverbs into proverbs and didactic statements of truth. Proverbs 1:10-16 is instructive and not a proverb to begin with. Proverbs 3:5-6 IS a proverb that illustrates a general truth - some people who love God get nothing but trouble in this life. Their paths are anything but straight. I can think of literally dozens of examples of such people - some famous, some not.

I will grant you "all" as "all" in Ephesians 1:11 if you grant me my "all" as "all" in 1 Timothy 2:4 and 2 Peter 3:9. :0) Again, hermeneutics.

If we want to really dig into Eph 1:11, we must consider the whole phrase "who [God] works all things according to the counsel of his will." The "all things" must line up according to the counsel of his will. What if his will is to give humans real, libertarian choice in some matters? Then to "work all things" in such an instance would be to allow a man or woman to make a libertarian choice. Do you see my point? The only way your interpretation holds is if you already commit to God's will being exhaustively deterministic to begin with. You are arguing in a big ol' circle. If God's method of providence is deterministic, then your way of reading Eph 1:11 must follow. If he is not deterministic, then Eph 1:11 can be read to say that God governs the world but has allowed humans libertarian choice on some matters in life. Again, hermeneutics. We read determinism INTO Eph 1:11 rather than OUT OF it. If we assume determinism, we get determinism. If we do not assume determinism, we don't get determinism.

I enjoy our discussion. I'm glad we can keep it civil, biblical, and not ad hominem.

Jim G.

Jim G.

Hi David,

I want to address one more thing you wrote:

"To say "nor did it come to my mind" is a way of emphasizing that God didn't command it and didn't even imply it in the least sense. This isn't speaking of God's eternal decree or sovereign will, but rather His commands and precepts."

Now I know that most determinists divide God's will into his hidden (also called decretive, secret, or sovereign) will and his revealed (also called preceptive) will. From your comment I quoted, I infer that you agree with this standard, deterministic division of the aspects of God's will. If I am wrong, you don't need to read any further, because it won't apply and I apologize in advance. But if I am right, keep reading.

My grave concern over such a division is that it is a direct attack upon God's integrity. I can read and understand the commandments, that is, I know what he does and does not want me to do. But there is, lurking in such a deterministic division, another "want" of God. He actually "wants" all sin that occur to occur. He "wants" them so bad that he has decreed them from all eternity and then rendered them certain in space-time. So God does not want sin to occur in the preceptive aspect of his will, but he "wants" (and not only that, but makes sure it happens as he decrees) sin to occur in the decretive aspect of his will. In deterministic thinking, the God who hates sin and tells us not to do it is the one who has thought it up, decreed it, and makes sure it is carried out, all the while saying he hates it. There is no meaningful way to protect the integrity of God in such a scenario. Yet it is the standard way in which determinists try to get God "off the hook," so to speak, for sin.

Let me personalize this in an illustration. Suppose you had a boss who laid out clear rules for how you were to behave while at work. They were simple to understand, but sometimes hard to follow because they were exacting. Some behaviors were to be rewarded in the work environment, while others were to be punished, and again, the expectations were made crystal clear. Now suppose the boss, for reasons unknown to you, would put you in situations where you could not help but break the rules. You knew you were breaking the rules, but you could not do otherwise. You may have even liked breaking the rules, but the key here is that you could not do otherwise, and were summarily punished. Other times, the boss helped you keep the rules by coming to your aid and rewarded you for keeping the rules. There seemed (to you) to be no rhyme or reason for the boss's behavior, but the boss ALWAYS got what he planned, but not always what he wanted (according to the rules). Now, does your boss have integrity, and can you trust him?

Jim G.

David Benjamin Hewitt

First, Lydia - you seem to have a distinction where God is working completely differently in the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. I reject that distinction; I am not a Dispensationalist. :) There are some differences to be sure, but nothing on the level that you are suggesting.

Further, unlike Jim, you have refused to interact with Scripture on any level but are more content to fill your comments with emotional statements, even making accusations that somehow I worship a different God, the "Calvinist God" as you put it. You continually misrepresent what the Reformed position is, either because you do not understand the doctrine known as Compatibilism (or Concurrance I think is how Grudem put it) or simply reject it outright. With such I cannot continue a discussion. Once you desire to interact with the Biblical text, I'd be happy to continue. :)

Jim: late tonight, things I must finish. I plan to return unless Peter closes off the comments. :)

sdg,
dbh

peter lumpkins

Hey David

It looks like you, Lydia, and Jim have had some good exchange. I appreciate both Jim and Lydia’s remarks and regret I have been unavailable. And, since I have not taken the time except to scan the whole thread, I may repeat something they may have already mentioned.

First, why you’d think there needs to be exegetical concerns cited in a comparison of prefaces and introductions I cannot tell. Dr. Allen noted he was doing a preliminary comparison, offered what he believed to be examples of contrasts, and drew conclusions on those contrasts. So, contrary to your insistence that “[v}ery often when these kind of reviews…come out, they are long on analysis of "tone" and motives, and short on exegesis,” Allen clearly possessed no intent of addressing “exegesis”; but even if he did, there’s hardly arguments made in the sections Allen cited which possess exegetical concerns.

What is more, Allen challenged the reader to compare the two books’ introductory materials to discovery for themselves if his point had merit. I’ll challenge you to do the same. That strict Calvinists have earned for themselves a haughty reputation for being, for lack of a better term, theological snobs, cannot be attributed to any other source but Calvinists. I just finished the little book, Killing Calvinism by Greg Dutcher, a strict Calvinist himself, wherein he says in much stronger, provocative rhetoric, what Allen mentioned in his preliminary review. I commend it to you. 

Second, you owe me no apology, David. So far as I know, you’ve never been anything other than amicable and kind even if persistent and at times annoying (aren’t we all!! :^) in your exchanges with me. Even so, I respect your sincere intentions and not only happily accept your request but offer my sincere sorrow if I have offended you, my brother.

Third, as both Lydia and Jim mentioned, while exegetical issues matter much, what is inferred from the text, once it is historically-grammatically understood, remains just as significant in understanding what the text means to us. It’s what some call the bridge from then to now—or, in short, as Jim mentioned, hermeneutics. I think you agree with its significance.

Before I answer your example about “dead” I do want to address the way you framed the question concerning coming to the truth of a text. You state:

“…one must take the Scripture passage that another uses… examine it closely for consistency (for all truth must of necessity be consistent), and then by careful exegesis show the error of your opponent and then present positive exegesis of what the passage really means. If this does not happen, there is little point in conversing about theological topics at all, if any”

First, I am uncomfortable with your focus on debating Scripture. You obviously possess high regards (unhealthy regards??) for questioning another’s “use” of the Bible to “show the error of your opponent” what the Scripture “really” means. And, for you, apparently, no point—or in your words, “little point…at all, if any”--exists in theological conversation without this contentious beginning. I strongly disagree, David. Our biblical conversations with others cannot always—perhaps not even the majority of the time—either begin with or be about correction to an “opponent,” which, in my view, is entirely too narrow a focus for genuine dialog. This approach, I think, is what’s ruining Christian apologetics today, and I’m afraid it perhaps has taxed your own perspective somewhat. At least, that’s what I ‘m getting from the words you’ve penned (and please, understand: I’m not trying to subtly bushwhack your favorite apologist with this remark).

In short, I don’t want to engage people who just want to argue about the Bible which is why I often turn down challenges (some of which have been your own) to engage a particular issue not germane to my thinking at the particular time. For me, while that subject may be burning in my “opponent’s” mind, it is not burning in my mine. (additionally, if I get the impression the exchange will not accomplish any real progress toward understanding one another, I also often decline).

Second, just a word about your focus on “consistency.” As for the getting at what Scripture “really means” you insist one must “examine it closely for consistency (for all truth must of necessity be consistent)…” Now, while I believe in “consistency” to a certain extent, being consistent is definitively not a test for truth, David. “must of necessity”?  Are you Aristotelian here, or do you prefer St. Thomas Aquinas? Where does the Apostle Paul mention such a test for truth? I find it interesting that many Calvinists such as yourself wail away on sola scriptura but then sneak Aristotle in every chance they get—“must of necessity” (wink, wink). No, consistency is not a test for truth but most accept consistency as a test for falsity. That is, supposing A cannot be true if A is genuinely inconsistent, even if A is genuinely consistent does not make A true for falsity can be genuinely consistent as well. Hence, consistency is at best a test for falsity not truth

Now you mentioned my use of “dead” in Scripture as “merely a term of separation” and that you insisted it means more than that and was prepared to defend your assertion “exegetically.” First, let’s examine what I actually said about dead. After complaining about Barrett employing Lazarus as a “spiritual” lesson for post-Edenic spiritual death, I asked: “Where is fallen humanity's spiritual deadness literally described as "rotting" human flesh?” then stated:

The image Barrett projects must be prima facie denied and a more suitable Scriptural image substituted indicating what spiritual deadness looks like--separation...banishment from God's presence… Indeed death appears to be regularly pictured as separation in Scripture… Hence…to suppose spiritual death to be more like literal human flesh "rotting away" at the bottom of the ocean rather than what death appears to be consistently referenced in Scripture usage--i.e. separation--remains inexplicable.”

First, I did not state as you assert “death” in Scripture to be “merely a term of separation” but that “death” was “regularly pictured” and “consistently referenced” as “separation,” and I did so over against Barrett’s unwarranted leap in insisting from John 11 that death—spiritual death—is like Lazarus’ dead body lying in a grave—“it stinketh” he says, quoting the KJV. My question to him is just as applicable to you, David: “Where is fallen humanity's spiritual deadness literally described as "rotting" human flesh?” It’s true Paul employs the image of “death” to describe a person’s prior spiritual condition before coming to Christ as in “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph 2:1ff). Yet there’s not a single exegetical reason to imagine Paul was thinking of being “dead” as in Lazarus’ dead rotting corpse lying in a grave or rotting human corpse at the bottom of an ocean as in Barrett’s imaginary. Those images are manufactured and imposed upon the text. Indeed Paul gives us several clues to understand what he means by the phrase “dead in trespasses and sins” in the immediate context—“in time past ye walked according to the course of this world…we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath…” (vv.2-3, all embolden here and below mine). A little later he adds, “at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world…(v.12).

Rather than looking at the contextual wrapper Paul envelops on these verses, Barrett, and apparently you, want to defend “exegetically” that “dead”—an in spiritual death—is equivalent to rotting human corpses. Be my guest. When you find a text which suggests such, I’ll be the first to concede your point. However, Lazarus does not count nor any text like Lazarus unless you can show that the author clearly intended to teach us about spiritual death—a death which Scripture consistently pictures as separation from God due to sin.

Finally, concerning divine determinism. You cite Eph. 1:11: “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will” (this is the KJV which says virtually the same as the ESV)

You then suggest your interpretation:

What does God work according to His will? He works "all things" according to His will. I don't claim to understand how all of that works, but I am forced by this passage of Scripture (among others) to believe that God, who is all powerful and all knowing and who does all that He pleases (Psalm 115:3) does work all things according to His will in some way that is beyond my full comprehension.

First, David, few of us would dispute how you’ve framed the interpretation. You “don't claim to understand how all of that works.” Neither do we. You insist this passage forces you to believe an all-powerful, all-knowing God “does all that He pleases.” So do we. And, you assert that He performs all things “in some way” beyond your “full comprehension.”  So do we. I would not dispute a single thing you’ve just written. The problem is, divine determinism is not what you’ve just asserted. Divine determinism means much, much more. And, you bring that out when you start going on about divine “decrees” in other comments. Your own confession states the classic formulation,

God hath decreed in himself, from all eternity, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely and unchangeably, all things, whatsoever comes to pass” (//http://www.reformed.org/documents/baptist_1689.html" target="_blank">link)

Now that’s divine determinism which is not at all what Eph 1:11 states. There is not a scintilla of contextual evidence that Paul was referring to “all” events from past eternity to future infinity. Paul is speaking of salvific issues here, the entire scope of human redemption He eternally planned as it teases itself out in history. He’s not attempting to state a sort of universal, monistic, cause-effect cosmology which, from my view, resembles more an Aristotelian “unmoved mover” arrangement than a biblical worldview. Calvinists routinely employ Eph 1:11 in this way, absolutizing the “all things” into some form of decretal cosmology, a decretalism not found here nor explicitly anywhere else in the Bible that I can tell. A meticulous, decretal interpretation of divine sovereignty must be inferred from Scriptural passages.

Indeed I know of no verses in which the "exegetical" details of a particular passage requires a decretalistic interpretation. If you do, I'd like to see a couple of them. Please do not attempt to be exhaustive. Just a couple (or even one) of the passages where it is exegetically undeniable that decretalism--i.e. divine determinism and foreordination for "whatsoever comes to pass"--must be the meaning of the text. For my part, I think Eph. 1:11 is the standard "goto" passage for decretalism such as you yourself embrace. Hence, if it cannot rightfully produce the interpretation, I doubt other passages can either.

Interestingly, as Jim rightly pointed out, Calvinists go out of their way penning lengthy apologies showing how “all” cannot mean “all” when it comes to passages referring to the purpose and/or design and/or intent of Christ’s redemptive cross-work, but then turn right around and claim the “all” things here suggest—or rather in your much stronger term, “force”—your acceptance of divine determinism. Nor can you find safe refuge in a “compatibilist” understanding where God somehow drecretally foreordains people to “freely” accept Him without raising even more questionable dilemmas. Importing philosophy into the discussion via Jonathan Edwards does us no favors, especially when we all confess sola scriptura.

Hope that’s a start.

With that, I am…

Peter

Lydia

"Further, unlike Jim, you have refused to interact with Scripture on any level but are more content to fill your comments with emotional statements, even making accusations that somehow I worship a different God, the "Calvinist God" as you put it."

1. Emotional: The most cold caluclating Nazi was acting on emotion when he slammed the gas chamber door shut. Funny how people will call Piper "passionate" but when it comes to women who are passionate about this debate on the other side, we are "emotional". I am well aquainted with that particular dig.

2. A Determinist, decretal, either/or God IS different than a both/and God.

I think this a reasonable question for the determinist God position: if God is directing every event including all evil then what is it Satan does? And does Satan carry them out to God's decree? How do Calvinists deal with that aspect?

Debbie Kaufman

Lydia: Do you think God did not know what was happening and was helpless to do anything about it? God is God Lydia.

A deterministst says que sera sera whatever will be will be. I believe God is in control of everything that happens. He is God and his ways or purposes are to point people to his Son and to Himself. Those are the reasons he does everything. Even allowing evil to abound. Satan is not in control, God is.

Debbie Kaufman

The Jews were eventually rescued and the camps closed down. The Nazis tried as war criminals. It is in history for all to read about so this will never happen again. God did that as well.

Debbie Kaufman

Thus the passage in scripture "What you meant for evil, God meant for good."(Genesis 50:20) And the LORD restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. Then came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and ate bread with him in his house. And they showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him. And each of them gave him a piece of money and a ring of gold.

(Job 42:10-11 ESV) The story of Job is another good example. He lost everything including his children to death. The last chapter in the book of Job says in verse 10, "Then came to him all his brothers and sisters to his house, and they showed him sympathy and comforted him, for all the evil the Lord has brought upon him.

peter lumpkins

"A deterministst says que sera sera whatever will be will be. I believe God is in control of everything that happens." Yes and this is precisely why determinism is so morally repugnant to non-determinists. All of the emotional blathering to the contrary about why the little girl was sexually abused by the no-good scoundrel, God actually planned the little girl's abuse. Why not celebrate it!

Debbie, you've delivered a powerful statement as to why we reject determinism.

With that, I am...
Peter

Debbie Kaufman

Believing that Almighty God is in control is not determinism which is also fatalism. So I reject determinism too. So do all Calvinists.

Tim Rogers

Debbie,

Let me say this in as loving a way as I can muster,"Are you crazy, or is it just your lack of understanding"? What you have attributed to Job is as outlandish as anything I have ever seen when it comes to exegesis.

For you to pull Job 42:10-11 out of context to prove that God brings evil on his own children is absolute preposterous. The problem is your statement

"Then came to him all his brothers and sisters to his house, and they showed him sympathy and comforted him, for all the evil the Lord has brought upon him.
Your statement pulls the verse completely out of context. Your first Scriptural reference refers beautifully to the concept and truth of evil when it comes to God. God did not cause evil but he allowed evil. God is not the "creator" of evil--Satan is. For a determinist it is God who created evil because everything is of God and man has no choice because even God directs the persons choices because people move towards their greatest desire. Your Genesis text points out it was Joseph's brothers who were the purveyors of the evil directed toward Joseph, not God. Your ripped out phrase in Job 42:11 completely leaves out Job 1:12. God had to give Satan permission to bring evil on Job. Certainly you would not say that a woman being raped by some evil being was because of God? If that is the case lets recall all the trials of the perverts and pedophiles in prison because they now have a perfect defense. "Oh, judge it was not my fault we need to arrest God and put him in prison because he is the one that caused this crime. I had no choice in this."

You see, Debbie, "que sera sera" never worked for Doris Day. And it is crazy for one to blame God for the Nazi death camps. Oh, wait, you did that too. May your tribe decrease.

God help us all.

Lydia

Peter, What is even more astonishing is that according to Debbie, God "determined" the evil done by those who are Born Again Christians, too! But I am still wondering what "God is God", means. I suppose we did not know that. :o)

Of course, I suppose it is meant to mean "God is a Determinist God" and in the end, none of us have any responsiblity for our behavior since God is decreeing it anyway?

Debbie thinks her words Glorify God when they actually do the opposite and it is morally repugnant. The Que sera sera doctine? God decreed the rape. The murder. I think not.

Debbie Kaufman

Tim: You just rewrote my entire comment. Again. I never said God causes evil. Satan does that. But Satan is on a leash. Call me crazy but scripture is clear and I could give many more scriptures. But to fight about it is something I will not do. Too much bloodshed already. I also can't make you "get it." I'm not the Holy Spirit nor will I try. Scripture is the final word and I know that you believe that too. Scripture says God is in control of everything including Christ's death on the Cross which was not a 'second option when the first one didn't work.'

Lydia: Everything that happens is under God's decree. Now you can demonize it if you like, but as I said the Bible, which the CR said is inerrant and I agree, says God is in control of everything.

Debbie Kaufman

Ephesians 1:11 says that God ordains all things that comes to pass. Thankfully that is the case, because the evil Satan would unleash would make this all a Sunday picnic. I can just believe what the Bible teaches(doctrine).

Debbie Kaufman

John 8:3-36 Jesus says Man does not have free will. We are responsible for our actions being born in sin, but a person will choose where there heart's desires are. You have heard the analogy of the choosing of chocolate over vanilla, or vice versa depending on which flavor one likes better. Good analogy even though old as the hills.

So there is a difference between free will and voluntary choice. The Bible says that those without Christ are in bondage to sin until Christ sets them free.

The CR fought for inerrancy which caused those such as myself to dig into the Bible, reading every single word. It's the only conclusion I can come too. The Bible points to Christ. From Genesis to Revelation. Christ as the only answer.

Lydia

"Tim: You just rewrote my entire comment. Again. I never said God causes evil. Satan does that. But Satan is on a leash. Call me crazy but scripture is clear and I could give many more scriptures."

Now why on earth warn us to be alert and of sober mind as our enemy, satan, roams the earth looking for someone to devour? It is all decreed. How can we be alert and of sober mind when God is in control of us and everything that happens? We are just automans.

"ut to fight about it is something I will not do. Too much bloodshed already."

This is liberal talk. And you fight about it all the time. You just don't recognize it as "fighting" when you do it.
In your world disagreement is violence. Makes it impossible to have a grown up convo.
But for someone who does not want to fight you are pretty good at firing first shots in comment streams accusing others of starting wars. In your world that is "peaceful" only the others are starting wars by daring to disagree.

"Scripture is the final word and I know that you believe that too. Scripture says God is in control of everything including Christ's death on the Cross which was not a 'second option when the first one didn't work.'"

If you think through the logical implications of what you have said in comments here and other places concerning the que sera sera doctrine of a Determinist God, the Cross and Resurrection were not even necessary. I understand you don't get that.

"ydia: Everything that happens is under God's decree. Now you can demonize it if you like, but as I said the Bible, which the CR said is inerrant and I agree, says God is in control of everything. "

"Demonize"? And you accuse others of fighting and "spilling blood" with their words? I guess it is the same thing when you do it. I am starting to see that theme in most of the YRR/NC movement.

"o there is a difference between free will and voluntary choice."

This one is interesting. My goodness how you guys parse everything!

So how it fleshes out is you are responsbile for your sin even though God decrees every single thing but you are not "able" to do anything righteous. So we have cognative ability when sinning but not when we do not sin. Ok, I get it.

Debbie Kaufman

Lydia: If that got you reeling, you ought to hear what I believe about God's Grace. :)With scripture to back it up with too.

Lydia

"Lydia: If that got you reeling, you ought to hear what I believe about God's Grace. :)With scripture to back it up with too. "

I know. It is reserved for a few who were chosen to be saved before Adam even sinned. The others have no choice. They were chosen for damnation. I know the drill. I just take Calvinism to it's logical conclusions.

Debbie Kaufman

And you would be wrong Lydia.

David Benjamin Hewitt

Hmmmm wondering if I should bound back in here. :) I was wanting to respond to what Jim and Peter said to me, but if I do, it will be a few days. I just don't have time M-W to do much other than church stuff. :) I plan to return, thought I would mention that so others wouldn't think I just up and left. :)

sdg,
dbh

David Benjamin Hewitt

I am currently working on a post responding to Jim's comments as well as yours, Peter. You two have sent me to the Scriptures -- which is an excellent thing! It may be a few days though, as events this week were a bit busier than I expected.

Looking forward to more discussion,
sdg,
dbh

The comments to this entry are closed.