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Jul 21, 2015

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G. C.

Ever hear of the Flood? Genesis 6 through 9? I think a lot of kids died. Women, too. Even penguins and puppies died. Might want to review that...

James  Surnear

You know there was this one time.God had this one guy up on a cross. That one guy was worth a hole lot more that any woman and children. Even cute puppies. How come you don't have a problem with that

Rob Reece

In addition to the comment above read numbers 16 when the family of Koran was killed, it actually says God caused the earth to swallow them and send them to sheol.

Rob Reece

*Korah

Lydia

I guess this means Calvinists won't seek medical intervention to prolong life. Wait! Piper sought treatment for his prostrate cancer.

Lydia

You know there was this one time.God had this one guy up on a "cross. "

And here I thought Jesus was God in the flesh. Doesnt make it much of a sacrifice if another God put him there.

Max

"Everybody who dies, dies because God wills that they die ... God decides when your last heartbeat will be ..."

Recently, a young man in our community died in a tragic auto accident. Raised in church, he was a star athlete and at the top of his class academically. The highway patrol estimated that he was driving 90+ mph when he approached the tight 30 mph curve. Violating a law of physics, centrifugal force propelled his car off the curve and into a fiery crash which took his life. A promising life was ended by a personal choice to speed. The young man made a terrible decision that stopped his last heartbeat, not God.

dr, james willingham

On Oct. 30, 1972 my brother-in-law called to tell me that my family, that is, my step-father, mother, and two half sisters were all dead, that they burned up in a fire. A little later that morning, I learned from a cousin in St. Louis that my step-father had murdered my mother, my half sisters, set the house afire, and then shot himself. During that terrible week I wrote a statement which I read at the funeral of my four family members. In it I stated that while we did not believe God causes evil, in that evil comes from God, we did believe the He controls it, that it is a part of His plan by permission and that the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, the worst crime in history was, indeed, decreed and determined by the will of God, and yet those who executed the plan did it freely under no compulsion but their own sinful natures. There is an asymmetrical nature to the issue of sin. While God decrees it it, He does so in a way that permits men to do what they want. Dr. Piper's exegesis of Roma. 9 takes the passive rendering of the voice concerning the vessels fitted for destruction. However, the voice of the verb in the Greek can also be rendered as the middle, meaning that that they fitted themselves for destruction. All God has to do to for men to commit such sins is to simply remove His restraining hand, and they will go to any excesses.

While Calvin often made strong statements on the issue, Dr. Mohler quoted a letter he had written to a member whose husband had died and used the term which he, Calvin, had said should never be used, namely, permission. The question and answer session and that comment with Dr. Eric Hankins, following the latter's address to the seminary student body, elicited laughter. What is interesting to me is that the writers on Predestination, e.g., Zanchius, John Gill, and others, often use the idea of permisso or permissio (I think it is from the latin) to indicate that sin does not come from God as James points out in James 1:13-17. On Monday I was reading in Vol.III of the works of John Robinson, the pastor of the Pilgrims who did not make it to the new world. He used the terms of permission concerning sin and even referred to the Canons of Dordt for support of what he was saying. Now we know from the law of fractals that even chaos has an order to it, and that might well explain the control God maintains over sin without being the cause of it in the sense that sin comes from Him.

As one who has suffered many tragedies in life (and there are those who have suffered worse, far worse), I can say that I do not blame God for the sins that were committed. However, I do believe that He controls them to make them to turn out for good. The absolute proof that this is true is the crucifixion of our Lord, the most terrible sin ever committed by man, and yet God had a purpose in it, the greatest of purposes, the redemption and salvation of sinners, like me and so many others that no one can number them except God. The thought that God has such control gave me hope, and all the liberal students in the class jumped all over me (for I read the paper in a doctoral class at SEBTS), but the professor, who had been the pastor of President Harry Truman, spoke up and said, that if he did not believe God had control over such things, he did not know what he would do, for he had a son who was living in off-campus housing and one night the space heater leaked gas and he died.) That stopped the liberals from their attack on me, when I had even pointed out that God did not cause the sin, that He only controlled it to make it turn out for good, and the cross was the proof that I offered.

Only God has the power and the purpose to transform evil into good as He did in the great sufferings and death of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who was delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God. In Acts 4 it is even said that those who crucified our Lord did whatever His hand and counsel determined before to be done (Acts 4:28). Our God did not cause the sin in that sin comes from Him, but He sure did control it to make it turn out for good as Joseph said in Genesis 50:20.

peter lumpkins

All,

As for citing either God's "right" to judge His creation (the flood) or Jesus' cross-work to save humankind and ultimately end all evil as an answer to the question about whether God determinately wills babies to be aborted, die an incubator, or 12 year old girls to be molested by an adult man whom God also determinatly willed to be a sexual pervert in order to carry out his decree that the 12 year old girl be molested is in any way persuasive to you I shall leave in your hands. I can tell you flatout, however, it does nothing to satisfy me. As Wesley indicated, that may explain in some form what to be sovereign means, but it also makes God into a Sovereign Devil rather than the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

With that, I am...
Peter

Max

When we allow the teachings and traditions of mere men to steer us through Scripture, rather than the Holy Spirit, we we will read it wrong most times.

Max

When Jesus told us to pray "Deliver us from evil", was He suggesting that we pray for deliverance from God's sovereignty?

peter lumpkins

Dr. Willingham,

I appreciate your gentle spirit. I also possess a profound respect for the courage displayed in bearing many adversities in life the way you have. May our Lord continue to strengthen you.

Even so, appealing to God's permission no more assists the deterministic framework you've embraced in your High Calvinism than it did Gill in his. Nor is God's permission the intent of Piper's words. "It's right for God to slaughter women and children anytime he pleases... Everybody who dies, dies because God wills that they die...So God is God! He rules and governs everything...God is not beholden to us at all. He doesn't owe us anything." Instead Piper suggests God wills [i.e. determines...decrees] their death. There's no room for permission here.

And, given strict Calvinism's deterministic framework, permission cannot seem to work in its theodicy no matter how often Calvinists such as yourself attempt an appeal to it. So you can either have your cake or eat it. But you cannot have both.

For the record, employing permission in understanding God's Providence is primarily an Arminian strategy not a Calvinistic one--see here and here.  It seems to me you'd be better off appealing to mystery rather than permission.

Thanks for your contributions.

With that, I am...

Peter

Scott Shaver

You just can't get rid of the "determinsim" without deletion or modification of a "point" or two.

dr, james willingham

Dear Peter:

I appreciate your kind response, and I appreciate the fact that we can differ and still communicate. The deterministic framework to which you refer is offset by the permission. This follows the idea of a different scientific method than the present analytical one which offers a hypothesis and cites only that evidence which supports it and then states the null hypothesis which says it ain't so and fails to discuss the evidence for that position. That is why I said the theology with which we are dealing is asymmetrical or, as some say, paradoxical. Other terms have been suggested. In any case, the method offered here is that which states, if the rule is true and the exceptions are true, then the truth is both the rule and the exceptions. There is a reason why God presents to us such seemingly irreconcilable truths, truths with two concepts that admit of no resolution in this world, and such ideas are not meant to be reconciled. They are meant to be held together, producing a tension, a desirable tension in the mind of the believer which enables the believer to be balanced, flexible, creative, constant, and magnetic, responding appropriately to each given situation, whether that situation calls for an emphasis on purpose (determinism) or a stress on responsibility as every person must give an account for his or her conduct.

I have spent more than 50 years thinking, reflecting, researching the Bible and how believers have interpreted and/or understood these realities. Like the pastor of President Truman said, "If I did not believe in God's control over the terrible events, I do not know what I would do." My miseries and sufferings find their resolution in the higher purpose of God without distracting in the slightest from the reality of responsibility. Dr. George W. Truett summed up the issue in his superb remark in his address at the Celebration of the Centennial of the birth of C.H. Spurgeon in London in 1934 that Calvinism presses down upon the brow of man the crown of responsibility. How? By insisting that God is sovereign over all, and that each individual must answer to that Sovereign Being.

I remember from the days of my Atheism, when I argued, "How could there be a god and let little children suffer?" Understood was the fact that I meant suffer as I had suffered due to the loss of both parents due to divorce. Interestingly enough, when the Lord met me in my last year of high school, I did not even think of my question. All I thought of was getting away from that awesome person. Later, on that evening, after I had received His forgiveness of my sins and experienced the joy of His salvation, I still did not recall my question. Years passed before I really gave it much thought. Many more miseries came my way as I indicated above. However, I remember in the face of such difficulties which children suffer that the Bible teaches that the sufferings of this present life are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed to or in or for us (Roms.8:18). The miseries, the sufferings, the tribulations, the griefs, defeats, disappointments, despairs, you name it, none or all of them together is worthy of comparison with what is coming. Is that not true?

God bless and give us all light on this important matter.

peter lumpkins

Dr. Willingham,

Thanks again. And know that the brand of Calvinism you describe, in your words, as "asymmetrical or, as some say, paradoxical" is the brand of Calvinism I recently argued was similarly to Criswell's brand. He could say in one breathe, "I'm a strict Calvinist" and in the next breathe, "If God saves you, you're going to have to do your part. God did His part when Jesus died on the cross!" (by "your part" Criswell was not thinking of "works salvation"; rather, he was speaking about a genuine faith transaction). Hence, I have little quibbles with Calvinists of this stripe even if I do not agree with one side of their equation.

What's troublesome is, the kind of Calvinism you've described is definitively not the kind of Calvinism going on in Baptist circles today. There's no paradoxical notion at all. Baptist Calvinism, by and large, is systematic, rationalisticly-driven compatible Calvinism. In short, the Baptist Calvinism reigning supreme in our seminaries, Founders Ministries, and the YRR is nothing less than neo-scholasticism. There's no paradox between God's sovereignty and human free will because there's really no such thing as genuine free moral agency. For them, God is Sovereign God, and thus, in Piper's words, "Everybody who dies, dies because God wills that they die." For Piper and others, it's determinism minus the permission you cited I'm afraid. The sole difference between this kind of Calvinism and Fatalism is a Personal Deity unalterably decreeing even before people are born their fate.

With that, I am...
Peter


Alex Guggenheim

Piper's view lacks a theologically mature nuance regarding God's will. While everything that happens is under God's sovereignty, not all that occurs is God's will.

This speaks to Piper and most all modern Calvinists and their faulty definition of divine sovereignty which they define as absolute control instead of its proper meaning of ultimate rule.

Hence, one should speak of terrible events perpetrated by the will of man as permitted by means of God's decreed will of volitional freedom which is sovereignly incorporated by God into his plan for mankind, i.e. ultimate rule. IOW, God decreed to permit man personal sovereignty for which each man will answer thus, the judgment seat.

God can take any life by personal will or by command carried by other agents and has, at times, as revealed in the Bible but that is in the context of his personal (hence, perfect) will, a decision he, personally, made which is a far cry from the will of others deciding for themselves under divine sovereign rulership which permits this though in many cases it is against God's stated will yet, he ultimately or sovereignly rules in such events.

peter lumpkins

Hi Alex,

Thank you for participating. You and I have very similar views pertaining to God's Sovereignty. I like the distinction you make between absolute control on one hand (something many, including me, often identify as "meticulous sovereignty") and ultimate rule on the other. Modern day Baptist Calvinists too often insist upon the former when speaking of God's sovereignty rather than some form of the latter which, in my estimation, is the root of much of the conflict over Calvinism in the SBC.

Additionally, "meticulous sovereignty" or, in your words, "absolute control" seems to necessarily imply either a denial altogether of free moral agency for humankind or, at best, some kind of compatiblist definition of moral human freedom.

Paradoxicalists among us, whether right or wrong (or consistent or inconsistent is perhaps better), have historically been much more amenable to non-Calvinists since they have held a robust libertarian understanding of free moral agency right alongside what most of us would judge as meticulous sovereignty. Both those like myself and today's strict Baptist Calvinists usually count Paradoxicalists as inconsistent at best. We usually perceive their "paradox" more contradiction than mystery.

And the public rub comes, in my view, when a) strict Baptist Calvinists insist their view is either the only biblical view and/or their view is the only historic Baptist view; b) God's sovereignty must be defined as meticulous sovereignty; c) my view, if not heresy, comes darn close to it. For my part, a) - c) has been, for much of this conflict since 1982 at least, the official modus operandi of the Calvinist machine in the SBC.

Sorry, Alex. I didn't mean to get into denominational affairs. How rude of me! :^)

Have a great day.

With that, I am...
Peter

Paul

What the Reformed don't take into account is that the Lord, our Sovereign, has delegated responsibility to parents and earthly leaders. If those leaders are irresponsible they will affect those who are under their responsibility. This seems to be what it says in Deuteronomy 30:19 through 20. So, those who had no choice and died in the flood, or in Korah's rebellion, or in the Canaanite conquest died because of the unwillingness to fulfill God-given responsibility by their leaders, family or societal. These leaders will be judged by God for their irresponsibility and any of the innocents who died the righteous Lord will bring into his eternal paradise. As an aside, this is why it's crucial to have high standards for anyone who claims to be a prophet of God as Moses did,contra Gruden and Driscoll with their fallible prophets. Anyone who claims to be a prophet of God needs to be held to the highest standards. And for those of the YRR who commented here in such a shallow and flippant manner, this isn't just some hipster theologically minded discussion. I've come across more than one case of more tender hearted children of reformed--even of those who are in leadership, who rejected God saying that he was mean. And all the reform can ultimately respond with is you shouldn't point out that necessary implication of our theology. Even when I was a Calvinist, I came to realize that the clear thinkers who are actually going out with the gospel to reach the lost and answering their objections are virtually all non-Calvinists. That should've got me thinking sooner.

Dr. Willingham and Peter, the type of Calvinism you two are discussing, though I think it's confused, I can understand why someone would hold it and I don't see as many nor as serious practical problems to it. And I have a lot of respect for a number of Calvinist and their work who to hold this position.

Paul

I wrote :
Even when I was a Calvinist, I came to realize that the clear thinkers who are actually going out with the gospel to reach the lost and answering their objections are virtually all non-Calvinists.

I misspoke here. I should've said about 70 to 80% were non-Calvinists and a number of the Calvinists where of the mystery view. And while there were Calvinists of different kinds involved in Jewish evangelism, I found they were largely unknown for their work in Reformed circles,though these same Calvinists involved in Jewish evangelism were respected by non-Calvinists for their work.


Ernest Strauss

Flip Wilson blamed it on the Devil.
John Piper blamed it God.
39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. 40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? 41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth. John 9:39-41 (KJV)

Alex Guggenheim

Peter

Thank you for the response. I agree that the divine sovereignty issue is the root of some strong division in the SBC. My hope is that views and arguments similar to yours and mine and others will find a greater footing. Once people encounter these positions well articulated it bears fruit but often reformed absolutionists tend to be theological xenophobes and do not oermit tbeir ears anything but echoes.

Regards

AG

Scott Shaver

I don't think anybody is arguing "the right" of God over life and death. I think they're arguing against the portrayal of a God who seems indifferent if not delighted/glorified by the death of the "damned".

They have a hard time reconciling that with the earthly example of Christ.

dr, james willingham

Dear Scott: Our problem is that we lack the wherewithal to grasp a multitude of emotions (as God expresses such in the Bible. He weeps for the perishing; He also laughs at their calamities. When they plan to crucify His Son, He says that he shall have them in derision. The depth, multiplicity, subtlety, and His many ways of dealing with men creates a problem for us, our little methods and approaches and understandings being what they are while lacking in the ability to grasp a Being who is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent as well as Holy, Sovereign, Transcendent, immutable (though self changing), invisible, eternal, infinite, justice and wrath, and love and compassion.

Luke

Ernest,

Just for clarity, will you please state your intentions with the passage to which you referred? I think I see where you are going with that but I hesitate to say what you did not.

Dr. Willingham,
I think it is germane to the topic at hand or at least the implications are from where I sit. What exactly do you mean by "a Being who is...immutable(though self changing)"?

Thanks
luke

Scott Shaver

Dr. Willingham:

I've reached the age where I'm convinced that most of God's divine attributes are beyond my finite ability to comprehend this side of eternity. Consequently, the earthly example of Jesus Christ is the closest thing I have to explaining the mind and heart of God for us all.

Consequently, the challenge of understanding God's divine attributes is best left for another day....in eternity.

For now, I'll go with WHOSOEVER WILL....may come to Jesus in faith.

Lydia

"Consequently, the earthly example of Jesus Christ is the closest thing I have to explaining the mind and heart of God for us all."

Thank You, Scott. I totally agree. The writer of Hebrews tells us:

3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

Lydia

As to violence in the OT, here are some interesting short clips from a Prof at Asbury:

1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hotJ7p0f9I
2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGVn1gaSsAs

Scott Shaver

Exactly the verses that keep crashing in my ears, Lydia, every time I find myself engaged in a dialogue concerning Calvinism and Progressivism.

rhutchin

In all the examples of evil and suffering described in the above posts, the following is true:
1. God was present watching everything that happened down to the smallest detail and atrocity. Nothing was hidden from His eyes.
2. God had the ability to step in and stop whatever evil was unfolding before His eyes.
3. Because He is absolutely sovereign, God could not ignore what He was seeing. God had to decide either to intervene and stop the evil or do nothing thereby decreeing that the evil proceed to its conclusion.

We think to stand in judgment of God for watching evil play out and doing nothing about it. Maybe we are just hypocrites.

Today, the news is marked by two stories: (1) the death of a lion named Cecil, and (2) the secret videos of Planned Parenthood and its sale of the body parts from the babies it aborts. What are people most upset about - Cecil the lion.

People think that they have some right to judge God because He can watch all the evil described above and purposely choose not to do anything to stop it. God is righteous and can answer to the righteousness of His actions. We will stand before Him one day and be unable to answer to the unrighteousness of our actions. God is in control and He has everything under control - Whether we like it or not.

Scott Shaver

"the following is true:"

"God was present watching everything that happened down to the smallest detail and atrocity. Nothing was hiden from his eyes."

The following, like the above, is also true.

rhutchin was not there.....and ultimately has no idea in his limited tabernacle what choices were or were not/are not available to infinite God in a time-less realm.

From my perspective, the louder he squeals about "others standing in judgement of God" because God refuses to obey Calvin, the more guilty he appears of committing the charge he levels.

Just saying.

rhutchin

Shaver is correct. I only identified two choice God could have had. If Shaver thinks of any more, we can add them to the list.

Nothing about Calvin here, though.

Lydia

"We think to stand in judgment of God for watching evil play out and doing nothing about it. Maybe we are just hypocrites."

Nothing is further from the truth in my view. Do you think it is a sin to question the way Yahweh operates with His creation? Personally, I think that is how we learn and grow. I think He created us to question and consult with Him daily.

I am not so sure we understand the context of the OT very well. Not only from the way ancient cultures communicated but also how pagan and evil it was then.

Still I cannot divorce the option that God created us with the free will to seek Him or not. We might have had a cure for the plague decades earlier except for the state church leaders teaching it was determined by God so who are we to step in if He won't stop it?

Lydia

"From my perspective, the louder he squeals about "others standing in judgement of God" because God refuses to obey Calvin, the more guilty he appears of committing the charge he levels."

This is true but there is another aspect of it that sends chills down my spine. Why on earth would we want people not to question what they are taught? Why wouldn't we encourage them to seek truth. That is not the case in the Reformed/Neo Cal movement. It is seen as automatic sin to question anything because one is accused of judging God or claiming we think He is not Sovereign. To me, it is simply the way to make good little lemmings that do not grow or mature in Christ. They do not dare question unless they risk being called heretics or shamed. God help our youth groups!

Besides, are they not familiar with how Jesus Christ operated as fully God yet the perfect Human? People questioned Jesus all the time. My goodness, one of the deepest convo's he had was with a half breed woman! The religious leaders of His own tribe were the ones who had the biggest problem with how He operated, ironically.

Lydia

2. God had the ability to step in and stop whatever evil was unfolding before His eyes."

Do you think He is asks us the same thing? Where is our responsibility to work toward stopping evil deeds against others?

Max

Lydia says "Where is our responsibility to work toward stopping evil deeds against others?"

God says "Any person who knows what is right to do but does not do it, to him it is sin."

Christiane Smith

Hi PETER,

when folks take that type of writing in sacred Scripture literally, they are making a big mistake . . . that kind of writing about the slaughter of children and babies of particular groups is called 'the Ban' by the Church. It is never to be taken literally, as it would contradict what Our Lord has shown us about God through His own mission to us here on Earth. God cannot contradict Himself. For those who are not familiar with 'the Ban', I recommend looking it up and I also recommend trusting Christ as the most complete and the fullest revelation we have ever had of Who God Is. From Our Lord alone, we can know that God is not a murderer of children. He permits things to happen, but He is not the cause of evil. So sad, what people will believe instead of trusting in Jesus, Peter. They should not think that their Father, their Abba, is a murderer of innocents.

Max

"... trusting Christ as the most complete and the fullest revelation we have ever had of Who God Is."

Amen Christiane! New Calvinists have a warped view of God, as evidenced by this piece on John Piper. If you listen closely to NC podcast sermons (I do), you will hear a lot about "God", only occasional mention of Jesus, and hardly a word about the Holy Spirit. It's sad to see a generation of young folks following this teaching. They don't see the triune God as they ought. In Christ, God gives a full and complete expression of Himself (Col 2:9). To view God as the cause of evil, who has the right "to slaughter women and children anytime he pleases" is to walk in an unbalanced relationship with the Lord. These folks would do better to spend more time in the Gospels getting to know Jesus than camping out in selected passages which can be twisted to fit theological presuppositions. We should have a healthy respect for God as judge, but not at the expense of missing the love of Christ as Saviour who is not willing that any should perish.

Scott Shaver

Returning Rutchin's parting shot:

"I only identified 2 choices God had...If Shaver thinks of any more..."

Precisely my point, Shaver does not dare to venture nature or number of choices available to God on His home turf according to His own infinite laws for fear of vocalizing my ignorance in the presence of both God and man.

Only an egocentric theologian would attempt such exercises in futility/vanity.

Les

I think rhutchin is correct in his 3 points. I'm wondering if Shaver or Lydia can actually show how he is wrong.

Scott Shaver

With all due respect Les, given the fact that you and rhutchin share similar "wiring" on this issue: Why should the fact that you "think" rutchin is correct successfully draw a response from those not as presumptiousa about comprehending the mind and operation of the infinite as you two?

You gotta come up with something more rational (or least more provocative) than that.

Scott Shaver

But if you must.....and we've been over this from every imaginable angle, RUTCHIN is wrong because he begins with the misguided hunch that DETERMINISM is an accurate template for depicting the nature and attributes of HOLY GOD...despite the very conflict of that template with the words, example and teachings of GOD-MAN Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

Scott Shaver

Now watch this Lydia.

This explanation of my conviction regarding where rutchin "misses the mark" theologically, will be palatable for most on this thread with the exception of ........(fill in blank).

Les Prouty

Scott,

Ok. So maybe try it this way. Here is what I was referring to written by rhutchin:

1. God was present watching everything that happened down to the smallest detail and atrocity. Nothing was hidden from His eyes.

Do you disagree with this #1? If so, will you show how he is wrong? Or are some things hidden from God?

2. God had the ability to step in and stop whatever evil was unfolding before His eyes.

Do you disagree with this #2? If so, will you show how he is wrong? Or did God not have the ability to step in and stop whatever He sees going on?

3. Because He is absolutely sovereign, God could not ignore what He was seeing. God had to decide either to intervene and stop the evil or do nothing thereby decreeing that the evil proceed to its conclusion.

Do you disagree with this #3? If so, will you show how he is wrong? Or is there another option besides God intervening or not intervening?

Not very provocative I know. Just straightforward asking.

Scott Shaver

1. rutchin: "God was present watching everything that happened down to the smallest detail and atrocity. Nothing was hidden from his eyes".

Les: "Do you disagree with this #1.."

Shaver: Les, as indicated previously I am in general agreement with the statement where it touches on the omniscience of God (all knowing) to the full extent of the eternal destructive potential of evil (sin) and likewise the eternal, infinite scope of the remedy (propitiation) for sin...right down to the smallest detail if you wish...although I find it theologically arrogant to presume that God's mind/understanding in eternity past operates the same as ours in the here and now of the finite. I don't think it's the same kind of court with the same kind of laws you're used to/comfortable with.

Les Prouty

Scott I didn't see your two other postings at about the same time as mine. But here;s what I'm getting at. I really don't think the 3 points he makes are controversial. Seems to me all orthodox evangelicals agree that:

1. God sees all things that happen.
2. God has the ability to step in and stop any evil event from happening or not.
3. In any event, God decides to intervene or not.

Whatever other disagreements we may have, these 3 points seem agreeable to non Calvinists and Calvinists.

Do you agree?

Scott Shaver

Continued for Les.

2. Les and Rutchin: "God had the ability to step in stop whatever evil was unfolding before his eyes." Prouty- "Do you disagree with #2."

Shaver: Not only am I in agreement, Scripture confirms God did exactly that..."the Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the world."

Looks to me like God acted immediately in eternity past....if you have him on a earthly clock that is.

Scott Shaver

Finally, #3 for Les:

Rutchin is wrong, and you likewise (IMO) because you think God arbritrarily limited the number of souls Christ's sacrifice could save in a finite realm before those souls are tranlated to eternity.

The "Foreknowledge" of God does not LIMIT the capacity of Christ's atonement when the very procurer of that atonement said He would make salvation available by faith to all.

WHOSOEVER is how I believe faith recipients are generally categorized in the New Testament.

Les Prouty

Thanks Scott. One thing I don't understand on #3 by you is going into souls and the sacrifice of Christ. I think #3, as #1 and #2, is about God seeing an evil and whether He decides to intervene or not. rhutchin didn't mention anything about the atonement, did he? What did you bring the atonement into #3?

John Thomas

Blogposts, such as this one, is the reason I visit this site--and it's only when I need a laugh.

Scott Shaver

Les:

You and Rhutchin are convinced aren't you that your perspective on eternity past is similar to the perspective of God?

If you'll read again, you'll see that I addressed ALL your "#s" SPECIFICALLY, especially the question about "God seeing an evil and deciding whether or not to intervene." As stated previously....He DID INTERVENE.

Finally, I don't give a rats rear-end whether rutchin mentioned anything about the atonement or not.....I DID.

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