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peter lumpkins


Just a quick clarification. I posted this essay somewhat hasty. Too much of a hurry! That said, my evaluation of Timmy Brister's piece on Dr. Garrett was not entirely fair. While I stand by my comment that he hardly engaged at all what Dr. Garrett wrote, he did write more than about monergism. Take a look at his post and evaluate it yourself.

Grace. With that, I am...




does not the canons of dort lead to a very fatalistic theology?


peter lumpkins


Hey, my brother. From my view, the Canons of Dort set in motion the ugly, scholastic Calvinism that logically led to historic HyperCalvinism. Given my belief about Dort, it is curious to me precisely why Founders would desire to defend it as "historic, evangelical Calvinism" as does Dr. Ascol.

And, to answer your question about "fatalism," I have to say that Dortian Calvinism, from my side of the street, is difficult to defend from charges of hard determinism.

Note this from the Canons:

"But when God accomplishes His good pleasure in the elect...He not only *causes the gospel to be externally preached to them* and powerfully illuminates their minds by His Holy Spirit, that they may rightly under and discern the things of the Spirit of God; but by the efficacy of the same regenerating Spirit He pervades the inmost recesses of man...He opens the closed and softens the hardened heart, and circumcises that which was uncircumcised; infuses new qualities into the will, which, though heretofore dead, He quickens; from being evil, disobedient, and refractory, He renders it good, obedient, and pliable; actuates and strengthens it, that like a good tree, it may bring forth the fruits of good actions."

Dort really is a viable threat to evangelism, it seems to me.

Great Lord's Day tomorrow. With that, I am...


Debbie Kaufman

david: How can God being in control of all be fatalistic? I trust God to do whatever He deems fit to do. Wouldn't not believing in monergism be almost the equivalent of atheistic in belief? Either God is God or not.



i believe that God is sovereign. i believe that He is absolutely in control. i reject hard determinism, or fatalism. i really dont believe that the bible teaches that...at all. i have no problem believing that God is sovereign, and that He's carrying out His predestined plans...while at the same time believing that man really does have to make choices...is responsible...and God really does want to save all people. i,like spurgeon, believe in both the soveriegnty of God and the responsibility of man. that they are both equally true, and how they come together....no man knows.....no woman either! :)



:) well said david.

Debbie Kaufman

Two questions: IF God wants to save all people, why aren't all saved?

Two: I cannot use the word fatalistic. The definition of fatalistic is the same as flipping a coin, what are the chances of it coming up head? Tails? That is not how God works. I believe Calvinism to be seeing things from God's viewpoint, and what you are saying, seeing it from a human viewpoint. It seems that we choose, and we do but God is not wringing his hands hoping and wondering whether we choose or not. We choose because God does a work in us through the Holy Spirit to open our eyes to see God as he really is, our sin for what it really is and Christ for what He has done and who He really is. At this point we cannot help but desire and choose Christ.

Also you have verses to contend with such as Job 42:19 which says

10And 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. 11Then 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.

Notice specifically: And they showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him.

And you did not fully answer my question concerning not believing God is in full control of everything is the same as being an atheist. Too many passages in scripture show the sovereignty of God. Paul's conversion is a great example of hundreds of others I could give along with this passage in Job. Genesis and Joseph: What you meant for evil, God meant for good. This says God allowed it to happen for a greater purpose.

Debbie Kaufman

BTW: Man is responsible but yet has the inability to choose God. Romans points this out over and over again. Lydia in Acts is another example of how God works.

Debbie Kaufman

david: side note: if you really read Spurgeon, he does not believe man has the ability to choose God. He was a TULIP-five pointer.

Debbie Kaufman

Peter: The Canons of Dort is all about monergism and total inability. Read here:



Dear Debbie,

My your Lord's Day experience must have generated some vociferous energy. One is confused as to where to begin to take his shovel and dig.

First, my sister Debbie, you will need to explain further how fatalism/fatalistic is defined as "the same as flipping a coin, what are the chances of it coming up head? Tails?" A quick glance at the dictionary lends these two senses:

1. The doctrine that all events are predetermined by fate and are therefore unalterable.

2. Acceptance of the belief that all events are predetermined and inevitable.

I'm quite sure that David, while possessing reservations about the first nuance (because of the suggestion that God is not in control but some type of "fate" is), would have little reservation with the second. That is the type of "fatalism" or "fatalistic" overtones we both see in the stronger versions of Calvinism. And, if you do not believe such, Debbie, know you possess my express permission--presumably David's as well-- not to.

Second, as for why all aren't saved, "He that believeth not is condemned already..." People remain unsaved because they refuse to come to terms with their sin and God's sole Solution. They "love darkness rather than light."

More significantly, you appear to assume that just because God desires something be done, that something *must* come to pass. You query: "*IF* God wants to save all people, why aren't all saved?" (asterisks mine).

I imagine, my sister, God desires me to pray more than I do...and witness...and give alms to the poor...and, and, and, etc more than I do. But I do not. Does this frustrate His sovereignty? Does this threaten His reign? Or, could it be that God *secretly desires* me to disobey Him while on the surface it only appears that *it is I who desires to disobey* Him?

Third, to suggest, Debbie, that those believers who do not hold to "monergism" is akin to embracing "atheism"--were it not so slanderous to untold millions of believers--it could offer us all a nice, good belly-roll.

Do you not realize, my sister, via your unguarded, careless language, you indict, The Church of the Nazarene, The Churches of God, virtually the entire family of Pentecostal believers, Lutherans, Methodists, a whole family of Baptist believers, not to mention many of the Reformers themselves as embracing a view with atheistic overtones? What are you thinking?

I tell you what, Debbie. When you leave the parking lot next Sunday and drive by the First Nazarene Church of Enid or the First Assembly of God in Enid, or the First Methodist Church of Enid, be sure to stop and give them your sincerest regards in Christian love and fellowship from your Baptist church. And, of course, do not forget to remind them that their non-monergistic view is akin to godless atheism.

Finally, Debbie, I have already read the link you offered me. I cited it numerous times in the post. And, once you load the link, if you will click ctrl/F, I'll give you a nice shiny dime for every time the Canons mention "monergism."

Now, where was I? Oh, yes...Ummmm. That cup of *Rising Moon* (Martinez, dark roast, very smooth, but a bittery, bark taste) is simply so refreshing on a Lord's Day afternoon.

Grace, Debbie. With that, I am...



well said Peter :)
Now you guys know my position faqirly well, so I'm not going to insult your intelligences by silly invective.
Let me tell you a story instead.
I have a very good friend who is Church of the Nazarene. He was lecturer in theology in their college in PNG for 16 years. He came home for furlough, and, of all things, joined my church for 9 months (I was preaching through Romans at the time which would ahve been stessful to him, and I had to wind him back a few times in bible study groups from preaching a 2nd blessing theology, which was stressful to me).
We chatted often about the various viewpoints. My greatest concern for him was that his position heaped upon him unnecessary guilt and anxiety: If any were lost anywhere, it was his fault for not making the gospel known clearly to them. If they were lost, could he not lose his salvation because he has not been diligent enough to bring the good news of Christ to them, and compel them to salvation.
He saw me as indolent about the lost, as I trusted God to bring those across my path that would be saved, as I witnessed to them, and compelled them to salvation in Christ.
My question to you is:
"Which attitude to the lost is most influential upon the lost as they hear the gospel?"

peter lumpkins


I appreciate your story and often feel that we SBCers in the States could possess such an open comfort with authentic Believers in other theological families as you seem to enjoy with your Nazarene friend.

As to your question, though, I'm afraid I do not quite understand it. If you are asking which frame of mind/attitude, together with its *visible* characteristics, would a person to whom one is witnessing most likely be attracted, I would have to say, "Why, you, of course." Better to project a positive, confident image that God is in charge of the situation than a sniveling, fearsome loathing about not only the failure of one's self, but the horrid possibility that one will cook in the same oven as the other pig, if not quite enough has been performed to spare the poor animal.

On the other hand, if you are querying about precisely which attitude is most influential upon the lost as they hear the gospel preached, I would have to say "Ultimately, neither." One is definitively *not* saved by influential attitudes but by belief in the Gospel. While attitudes may offer *some* type of influence--positive or negative--attitudes, surely offer no *causal* connections whatsoever. At least, that is my take on it.

In evangelism classes I teach in local Church settings, I often remind folks that it is virtually impossible to botch an evangelistic witness. Witnesses in Acts told Who Jesus was and What He did. If one tells Who Jesus is (The Savior) and What Jesus did (He saved me from my sin by dying on a Cross but God raised Him from the dead), then a credible witness has taken place.

I like one definition of evangelism I learned in seminary:

"Evangelism is one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread."

or, a more technical definition I recall: "Evangelism is presenting the Gospel--the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus--in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results to God."

Sorry, Grosey. I got carried away :^) With that, I am...



Oh Peter, that latter definition reminds me of one Lewis Drummond gave in an evangelism class I took.

Grosey:"Which attitude to the lost is most influential upon the lost as they hear the gospel?"

I think it takes a Spirit-filled attitude--full of Christ Himself who acts in His behalf through our vessel of imperfections. Love ya'll...selahV

Debbie Kaufman

Peter: I had a wonderful Sunday. You do however amaze me. I knew you were referring to the word monergism which the definition of monergism is found all through the Cannon of Dort which I have practically memorized I have read it so many times. I think you know that however, so again you are arguing a false argument. If the actual word monergism is not in the document, it's not speaking of monergism? Well then John 3:16 must not be speaking of salvation since it does not have the actual word salvation. That is of course ridiculous.

I would like to know which dictionary you used as I reject the second definition as being the true definition of fatalism. What is the Biblical definition? God is God Peter, whether one believes it or not doesn't matter. It won't change the fact that God is God. Deal with the passage in Job that I have given. Deal with the passage that says God has the king's heart and can turn it to and fro, however He wants to. Deal with the passage in Proverbs that tell us that even the roll of the dice, the picking of the straw is not chance, but God's doing. God is not asleep. He is not passive and inactive. Scripture is full of passages that show us that. I would hate to be in a world where God was not in full control of it.

Debbie Kaufman

Steve: I understand your question and think it is a very good one.

peter lumpkins


Here is your link, Debbie. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fatalism
As for a Biblical definition, be my guest.

Also, I am very much aware that the shiny new dime could not be claimed, Debbie. The problem is, for you, to deny Monergism implies atheism. And, it won't do to simply suggest that the entire Canons of Dort is thoroughly saturated with monergism. How would one find monergism? For what is one to look? Perhaps anything implying atheism? My sister, that simply makes no sense.

The fact is, most believers view monergism/synergism on a continum. If you ask me, "Who recreates me in Christ Jesus?", I answer monergistically, "God does." I can't recreate squat, with or without God's help.

If you ask me how faith is expressed in my heart toward Christ, or how I pray or how I interpret Scripture or how I walk across the room or how I am converted, I answer synergistically--I cooperate with God at work in me. I am not a piece of plywood; I am a human being.

I hope you can learn, Debbie to make proper distinctions when you attempt to converse. You write words that no NonCalvinist would deny:

"God is God Peter, whether one believes it or not doesn't matter" Why would you insult another believer, Debbie, by suggesting he/she denies that God is God?

"God is not asleep. He is not passive and inactive. Scripture is full of passages that show us that" Who has even implied such a thing on this thread? Not me. If so, where?

"I would hate to be in a world where God was not in full control of it." I would too. David was careful to write: "i believe that He is absolutely in control." Yet you simply hurry to the next comment without the least acknowledgment. Nor have I denied God is in control of this world.

What I do deny that you appear to embrace is that controlling an event is synonymous with determining all aspects of an event. For me, the two are not the same. The funny thing is, Debbie, most Calvinists would tend to agree with me. That's why they speak of "secondary causes" But from the way you rehearse the Scriptures, you bypass secondary causes, and entertain God causing all events--including evil--to be. If that's what you believe, be my guest. As for me, I want no part of it. Sorry.

Grace. With that, I am...



WOW, wild eyed and woolly,
and a bit scarey too
take care


Good Monday Morning Grosey! would that mean you just saw a frustrated kangaroo? Or do have you popped in without your morning coffee? :) :)

Peter, thanks for the control vs. determining of results sentence. I know this has been discussed on this thread before but it just rang my chimes with the succinctness this time. ah, sigh, I'm slow. selahV


Oh my goodness! Now not only do I deny the Sovereignty of God if I reject Calvinism, but I am now an atheist! Why on earth did I spend all that time in church yesterday!


Steve, I'm thinking about your question and it reminds me of another question asked by Calvinist - "why do some men/women believe and not others." I think I'm going to muddle what I want to say here, but Peter and SelahV have already given some good words and perhaps I can add a thought or two to further the discussion.

I believe anywhere, anytime the Gospel is presented that the Holy Spirit is present, working and wooing hearts. When the Gospel is rejected it's not a rejection of the speaker/presenter, but a rejection of the Holy Spirit. So to your question "which attitude is better?" uhh neither or both or I guess. I just know I'm responsible to present the Gospel, but I am not accountable for the results.

It's providential that during my study this morning I stumbled onto these verses: Acts 17:26-27 "And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the bouundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each of us, for In him we live and move and have our being."

What I think these verses are saying is that God determined what the best opportune time, place and circumstances on this planet to live based on our individual personalities and makeups everything that makes us us - He determined where exactly to place us so that we would have no excuse as to why we accept or reject Him because in His complete awesome total Sovereignty He gives everyone the exact same chance. He's so Sovereign that He does not have to have control of every single tittle and dot and yet still He is in absolute control.

So I'm just working that out in my head. Maybe someone can help me by correcting or expanding on the thought.


Peter - You said, "Second, as for why all aren't saved, 'He that believeth not is condemned already...' People remain unsaved because they refuse to come to terms with their sin and God's sole Solution. They 'love darkness rather than light.'"

My question for you is this: Why did you love light more than darkness on the day of your justification?

Mary - When you said this...

"Oh my goodness! Now not only do I deny the Sovereignty of God if I reject Calvinism, but I am now an atheist! Why on earth did I spend all that time in church yesterday! Why on earth did I spend all that time in church yesterday!"

...you forgot your smiley face... :)

If you meant it as a serious question then the answer is found in the word of God. I'll give you a hint...

...the tare is among the wheat, not seperated from it. :)

Have a great day!



Mary: And as you quoted, "in the HOPE that they might feel their way toward him and find him." This is God's desire (hope) that we will respond to His Son by drawing near to Him so that He can draw near to us. Without our desire to know Him and seek Him then He would not want to be part of our self-centered wicked sinful lifestyle. He is a Holy God and cannot look upon or be party to any sin. That is why we must be transformed through the working of His Spirit.

Does this negate the Spirit working in and around our lives to help us come to know Him? No. But I dare say, most folks would say who came to accept Jesus as Savior and Lord did so after they'd trashed their lives and ended up in some pig-pen of self-indulgence.

In my sty I came to realize how much odor I gave off by wallowing in the pen and by witnessing the life of Christians living their imperfect lives in an imperfect world, yet loving the God creator, I wanted what they had that I knew I didn't have. And it wasn't prosperity, either. It was peace and love and joy. Seeing those things exemplified in people created a hunger and thirst in me. That hunger took me on the pathway to the table where I came to receive the Bread of Life. But I had every opportunity to walk in the other direction of the fare offered in hopes that I'd partake of the Goodness of God.

Don't know that this helps, but it's how I see it. And I assume--tell me if I'm wrong, Peter--that it clumsily defines monergism and synergism to some degree. selahV


Sl1m: I know ya didn't address me, but could I venture a thought on that question to Peter? " Why did you love light more than darkness on the day of your justification?" Because I could see better in the light than the darkness when the contrast of where I stood in darkness was so evident against the Light Christ was showing me in His people that I didn't want to dwell any longer in the darkness. Truly, this is exactly where I was when I surrendered my life to the Re-maker of a sinful woman.

And of course, you know Mary was being a bit facetious with her rhetorical question. All who know her realize that she was not questioning her own purpose for being in church. :) and you do too, you silly goose. :)


Selah - I'm glad you could see the humor there. I was afraid it was a bit much after I wrote it.

Of course Mary was being facetious as no one here (I'm certain) is an atheist and no one here thinks any of the rest of us are atheists either. Her facetious comment brought out my facetious comment...which is why I gave her the all powerful...


For the record, I have never used the word facetious three times in less than 15 seconds.

Make that four times.

My question must remain though, and now even for you sister Selah. And I mean it in the most inquisitive, honest, and even rhetorical way that I can ask it...just as I did with Peter.

You said, "Because I could see better..."

Again, why could you see better?

Don't feel a need to answer as I may be starting to sound like...well...hmmm...I don't know? but I may not be sounding good. :)

My goal would be to just have you think about it as deeply as you can muster. Maybe deeper than you ever have before. That's all.

Blessings to all for a restful night.



Hello SL1M, If you'll look at the post I made after my facetious post which is before your facetious response and also above SelahV's explanation of my facetiousness, I think I've answered your question or answered what I perceive you think the natural response to your question will be. I certainly appreciate your certainty that we are not all atheist's here though I doubt the certainty that everyone else agrees with you. :):)

So your question:

"Why did you love light more than darkness on the day of your justification"

or perhaps you put it this way "Why do some people accept the free gift of salvation and others do not?"

Is it because God put something in them He didn't put in others? Did He create them in some special way so they would accept the gift while creating others in such a way that they wouldn't? My answer is Nope don't think so. I think He planned it all so perfectly and is so completely Sovereign that He made sure everybody gets the same chance.


Lordy, mercy, SL1M! you're tough to please. I'll try again.
Below I will write something. Assume if you would that what I write is the Light of which you speak. here goes:


You tell me what you see in contrast to the charcoal of the sin-darkened world. The tiniest light will shed itself into the darkness of a soul. In my case, the Light was before me, the darkness encompassed me. Jesus drew me to Himself and I stood there trying to decide which I'd rather have--His Light or the Abyss of satanic life. In a flash of decision (which I'm sure some would say was Christ forcing His way into my brain), I chose to surrender my blackness to His Light.

From that moment on, I never experienced or saw the darkness again except in the eyes of unbelievers.

Draw nigh unto God and He will draw nigh unto you. Could I chosen to walk away that day? Yes, but in my heart, I know I never would have seen the Light again. I truly believe that.

I saw Jesus magnified in the lives of Christians. I wanted what they had. At the time I thought it was love, joy and peace. I later discovered it was Jesus Himself they had as I walked into His presence that day.

How 'bout you? What do you see from your side of the Light? selahV

peter lumpkins


I trust you are well and our Lord extends His added blessings daily, my brother.

As for your fair question: "Why did you love light more than darkness on the day of your justification?"

My answer is not, I'd confidently imagine, so strangely dissimilar from either yours or Mary's, SL1M.

The reason I chose light over darkness is because God's gracious Spirit led me into the light...offered me a sweet mouthful of the Cross's sugar and it was unutterably delicious.

As I think back, though, I'm quite sure, SL1M, that God did not push me into to the light as necessarily it would demand, were it the light of an oncoming truck in the darkest night.

Nor was I pulled into the light as if I were captured by the irresistable attraction of a 10 ton Magnet.

Rather, it was like I was gently, yet inexplicably summoned to the light, as if it were the only place where Hope abounds.

There were no chains upon me to hold me on course. I am sure I could have made a run for it had I a mind to.
But the beauty of the light beaconed me and so persuaded me to come closer still and simply trust in what I found.

And, blessed paradox there I found. The light was made of wood and its rays was a dead Man, bled out, mangled...
suffering supreme. Yet, trusting in what the Voice revealed, Hope arose...sins parched...there I fully died but walked away forever alive.

Grace, SL1M. It's ever chilling to think what my Lord has done in me.

With that, I am...



:) folks.. to clarify most lovingly and most grciously,
the wild eyed and woolly sheep came back shorn!

(..... Aus>US translation:
"when you make wild accusations with woolly ideas in your head because you haven't adequately understood the questions, or the answers or the context in which those questions are asked, don't be surprised if someone shears your fleece for you, and shrinks you down 14 sizes or so" )

Now to move where the discussion has been today :
(from my message on Sunday:)

Sounds a lot like an old beautiful hymn:
I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew
He moved my soul to seek Him, seeking me.
It was not I that found, O Savior true;
No, I was found of Thee.
Thou didst reach forth Thy hand and mine enfold;
I walked and sank not on the storm vexed sea.
’Twas not so much that I on Thee took hold,
As Thou, dear Lord, on me.

"The same may be true for you. The Lord right now is seeking you and drawing you into a relationship with Himself.
The Lord has led you to the place in your life where you are right now, and the Lord Himself wants to take your hand and lead you from spiritual blindness to spiritual light. And that spiritual light begins when we recognize the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour and Lord. Will you trust the Lord as your Saviour right now?"

If some trusted the Lord today why did they? Because they were chosen from before the foundation of the world!
if some didn't why didn't they? They would not come to Him that they might have life!

Brethren : God' Sovereignty is plain. and Man's responsiblity is clear! And I'll preach BOTH!

peter lumpkins


I do not think those who take an interest in this thread or my posts in particular will likely bet against your summary, my Brother Grosey; "God' Sovereignty is plain. and Man's responsiblity is clear! And I'll preach BOTH!" Contrary to our Debbie's continued baseless charge leveled here, we give the hearty Amen and Amen.

Thus, if I quibble, I slightly but respectfully quibble with my Calvinist brother's sometimes mistaken notion--sincerely mistaken, but mistaken nonetheless--that the salvific process is causally determined. My view is, while God may causally determine some things, it does not follow that God causally determines all things.

Indeed, from the Scriptural data we possess, it stands obvious, at least to me, that God freely and causally determined to create a kosmos that possessed beings with real will to freely determine at least some things for themselves, albeit not without God's full, absolute control of the outcome. Control and determinism are not to be equated.

Grace, Grosey. Preach! With that, I am...



Thanks for the replies everyone. I was thinking I could write your replies for you and be pretty close. I was right. :)


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