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This is the forum to discuss the spectrum of views within Christianity on God's foreknowledge and election such as Calvinism, Arminianism, Molinism, Open Theism, Process Theism, Restrictivism, and Inclusivism, Christian Universalism and what these all are about anyway. Who is saved and when is/was their salvation certain? How does God exercise His sovereignty and how powerful is He? Is God timeless and immutable? Does a triune God help better understand God's love for mankind?

While this area is for the discussion of these doctrines within historic Christianity, all theists interested in discussing these areas within the presuppositions of and respect for the Christian framework are welcome to participate here. This is not the area for debate between nontheists and theists, additionally, there may be some topics that within the Moderator's discretion fall so outside the bounds of mainstream evangelical doctrine that may be more appropriately placed within Comparative Religions 101 Nontheists seeking only theistic participation only in a manner that does not seek to undermine the faith of others are also welcome - but we ask that Moderator approval be obtained beforehand.

Atheists are welcome to discuss and debate these issues in the Apologetics 301 or General Theistics 101 forum without such restrictions. Theists who wish to discuss these issues outside the parameters of orthodox Christian doctrine are invited to Unorthodox Theology 201.

Remember, our forum rules apply here as well. If you haven't read them now would be a good time.

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  • #31
    "When a person settles it Biblically, intellectually and emotionally, that God has ultimate control of all things, including evil, and that this is gracious and precious beyond words, then a marvelous stability and depth come into that person's life" (John Piper)
    "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

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    • #32
      Originally posted by lee_merrill View Post
      "When a person settles it Biblically, intellectually and emotionally, that God has ultimate control of all things, including evil, and that this is gracious and precious beyond words, then a marvelous stability and depth come into that person's life" (John Piper)
      I am done here Lee. I am guessing you are a hypercalvinist. I don't have any desire to keep arguing this with you.

      Proud Member of Da Blonde's Axis of Evil, Adam's Dirty Dozen, Dee Dee's Goon Squad, Tweb's In-Crowd, The Brood of Vipers & Exorcised by Ty & Dee Dee, and the only person who ever banned rogue06!

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Sparko View Post
        I am done here Lee. I am guessing you are a hypercalvinist. I don't have any desire to keep arguing this with you.
        Blessing to you then and best wishes,

        Lee
        "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Sparko View Post
          I am done here Lee. I am guessing you are a hypercalvinist. I don't have any desire to keep arguing this with you.
          From what I have read, Lees' ( or Pipers for that matter ) view is not representing a hyper Calvinist view......but simply.... classic Calvinism.
          “Every promise of Scripture is a writing of God, which may be pleaded before Him with this reasonable request, ‘Do as Thou hast said.’ The Heavenly Father will not break His Word to His own child.”― Charles H. Spurgeon

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Sentient 6 View Post
            From what I have read, Lees' ( or Pipers for that matter ) view is not representing a hyper Calvinist view......but simply.... classic Calvinism.
            The more I read about Calvinism (both pro and con), the more pernicious it seems. The gospel message more or less assumes free will. "What must we do to be saved?" "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." Without a choice, that is utterly meaningless.
            Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

            Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
            sigpic
            I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

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            • #36
              Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
              The more I read about Calvinism (both pro and con), the more pernicious it seems. The gospel message more or less assumes free will. "What must we do to be saved?" "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." Without a choice, that is utterly meaningless.
              Unless faith has a cause!

              "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ." (Romans 10:17)

              "... he greatly helped those who had believed through grace..." (Acts 18:27)

              "A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul." (Acts 16:14)

              I believe that believers can freely choose, but until we are given life by the Spirit, we are dead in transgressions and sins, and slaves to sin (John 8:34).

              Blessings,
              Lee
              "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
                The more I read about Calvinism (both pro and con), the more pernicious it seems. The gospel message more or less assumes free will. "What must we do to be saved?" "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." Without a choice, that is utterly meaningless.
                Calvinism doesn't deny that sinners have a free will. Mankind freely rebel against God and freely love their sin more than God. That's what they choose of their own will. They freely reject the Gospel message when they hear it. That's what they desire to do. That is what is in their heart.

                Btw, sometimes I don't care for the tag " Calvinism " because it implies the theology is more recent than what it is. This debate is as old as Pelagian disagreeing with Augustine praying " God command what thou will, and grant what thou commands. "
                “Every promise of Scripture is a writing of God, which may be pleaded before Him with this reasonable request, ‘Do as Thou hast said.’ The Heavenly Father will not break His Word to His own child.”― Charles H. Spurgeon

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by lee_merrill View Post
                  "If a trumpet is blown in a city will not the people tremble?
                  If a calamity occurs in a city has not the Lord done it?" (Amos 3:6)

                  The first statement is a general question, and so in context, the second statement would be general too.


                  How about this verse?

                  "I am the Lord, and there is no other,
                  The One forming light and creating darkness,
                  Causing well-being and creating calamity;
                  I am the Lord who does all these." (Isaiah 45:6–7)

                  Two general statements, to make the point clear.

                  And I think people say God allows calamity as in he doesn't ever create calamity, so I think I can take your point of view here and still disprove the statement that God does not do any such thing.

                  Blessings,
                  Lee
                  Since God is “always” at work, even in events one thinks of as bad, it makes sense to say something that goes beyond saying that God “allows” evil.
                  Besides, since God is Holy, how can God be - for a lack of a better word - defiled, by being at work in what we call evil ? To put it another way: if God is not at work in (say) a disaster or a sin (though in a way that does not compromise God’s character) how can God turn that disaster or sin to good ? As often, the cardinal instance of exactly this, is the Crucifixion, a (great) sin which God holily and graciously turned to (a far greater) good.

                  STM God can, and does, act “pro-actively” “within” evil, with no compromising of His Holiness or Goodness. And that this in no way implies that God is the Author of evil. Far from it. *Because* God is Good & Holy, it is unthinkable & impossible that He should be the Author of evil.
                  Last edited by Rushing Jaws; 01-06-2019, 12:53 AM.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Rushing Jaws View Post
                    ... if God is not at work in (say) a disaster or a sin (though in a way that does not compromise God’s character) how can God turn that disaster or sin to good ? As often, the cardinal instance of exactly this, is the Crucifixion, a (great) sin which God holily and graciously turned to (a far greater) good.
                    Well said...

                    Blessings,
                    Lee
                    "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                      God has a permissive will also. He can allow calamities to occur that are caused by other things or people. When someone murders others like in a mass shooting, I don't think you can say that God causes it, but he allows it to happen because he gives us free will and that includes the freedom to sin and harm others.
                      IMHO, it would be better to say something along the lines of “God is at work even in calamities”.

                      I think it is important to avoid speaking of events as though all of them were related in the same way to God or God’s intention. On the one hand, there is the need to avoid giving the impression that calamities occur despite God’s Providence. OTO, God’s action in calamities cannot be sacrificed to His Goodness and Holiness. The Shoah was an unspeakable calamity for the Jewish People - any Christian account of God that denies or diminishes its character for them, is a non-starter. It will simply not do to suggest that God inflicts horrors on any portion of mankind as impartially as He sends blessings. Such a notion would save the doctrine of Providence, at the expense of making God all but unknowable. Equally, God’s Holiness and Goodness cannot be sacrificed.

                      ISTM that God as revealed in Christ - perhaps especially on the Cross and thereafter - is not, as it were, judicially detached from good and evil, so as to be equally willing to cause either to happen. I think God has a positive bias in favour of doing good; and that this is why God commands Israel to “choose life”. “15See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, as well as death and disaster. 16For I am commanding you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, statutes, and ordinances, so that you may live and increase, and the LORD your God may bless you in the land that you are entering to possess.”

                      https://biblehub.com/deuteronomy/30-16.htm

                      IOW, both possibilities are available to Israel - but only one embodies God’s preference. Two are available, rather than just the one, in the sense that whichever is chosen at any point in Israel’s life, God is equally sovereign over either possibility. I think the passage reconciles the puzzle very neatly, by “making room” for Divine Providence, God’s Holiness, God’s Goodness, and for human freedom.

                      Maybe this passage can show us how to think about the passage from Isaiah 45.6-7. That passage is part of an extended polemic against the gods of Babylon - it is not an academic essay on theodicy - and it is concerned with the reality and extent and uniqueness of God’s Power and Providence, since these in particular were what those man-assisted “gods” lacked. They have no control over events, whereas God’s Purpose for Israel, all of it, has been determined by His Wisdom: including the disaster of the Exile. Which means that these gods and their (supposed) doings were allowed for in God’s Purpose - they cannot take the credit. Marduk king of the gods cannot; and neither can his son Nabu, the god of wisdom. In fact, those two are so pathetic that they have to be carried by their worshippers !

                      Last edited by Rushing Jaws; 09-27-2019, 09:19 PM.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by lee_merrill View Post
                        Unless faith has a cause!

                        "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ." (Romans 10:17)

                        "... he greatly helped those who had believed through grace..." (Acts 18:27)

                        "A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul." (Acts 16:14)

                        I believe that believers can freely choose, but until we are given life by the Spirit, we are dead in transgressions and sins, and slaves to sin (John 8:34).

                        Blessings,
                        Lee
                        To me, ever since being in a few of these debates fifteen or more years ago at CARM, the idea that "RPF" -- Regeneration Precedes Faith -- has in practical terms been *the* key difference between Calvinistic and Arminian-like soteriologies.

                        I realize the Acts 16 citation does support that view. IMO, other passages such as John 1:12-14, John 3, 1 Pet. 1:23, and the verse you cited from Rom. 10 argue *against* RPF.
                        Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

                        Beige Nationalist.

                        "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

                        Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Sentient 6 View Post
                          Calvinism doesn't deny that sinners have a free will. Mankind freely rebel against God and freely love their sin more than God. That's what they choose of their own will. They freely reject the Gospel message when they hear it. That's what they desire to do. That is what is in their heart.

                          Btw, sometimes I don't care for the tag " Calvinism " because it implies the theology is more recent than what it is. This debate is as old as Pelagian disagreeing with Augustine praying " God command what thou will, and grant what thou commands. "
                          Do you equate Arminianism with Pelagianism?
                          Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

                          Beige Nationalist.

                          "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

                          Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Rushing Jaws View Post
                            Maybe this passage can show us how to think about the passage from Isaiah 45.6-7. That passage is part of an extended polemic against the gods of Babylon - it is not an academic essay on theodicy...
                            Yet general statements can be made in the process of a specific discussion, I believe this is one such general statement.

                            "I am the LORD, and there is no other;
                            apart from me there is no God.
                            I will strengthen you,
                            though you have not acknowledged me,
                            so that from the rising of the sun
                            to the place of its setting
                            people may know there is none besides me.
                            I am the LORD, and there is no other.
                            I form the light and create darkness,
                            I bring prosperity and create disaster;
                            I, the LORD, do all these things." (Isa. 45:5–7)

                            "I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God" is certainly a general statement here, and similarly with "I am the LORD, and there is no other. I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster..."

                            And this would include all disasters, including the Holocaust:

                            "Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?
                            Look around and see.
                            Is any suffering like my suffering
                            that was inflicted on me,
                            that the LORD brought on me..." (Lam. 1:12)

                            Blessings,
                            Lee
                            "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post
                              I realize the Acts 16 citation does support that view. IMO, other passages such as John 1:12-14, John 3, 1 Pet. 1:23, and the verse you cited from Rom. 10 argue *against* RPF.
                              "Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God." (John 1:12-13)

                              "Not born of human decision" here, and so I take "those who believed in his name" to be believing that Jesus was the Messiah.

                              "To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, 'If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.' " (Jn 8:31)

                              Yet later Jesus would say to these people "You belong to your father, the devil..." (v. 44), so their belief in his name was not saving faith.

                              Blessings,
                              Lee
                              "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Sentient 6 View Post
                                Calvinism doesn't deny that sinners have a free will. Mankind freely rebel against God and freely love their sin more than God. That's what they choose of their own will. They freely reject the Gospel message when they hear it. That's what they desire to do. That is what is in their heart.
                                If you can't make your case without playing word games....
                                Btw, sometimes I don't care for the tag " Calvinism " because it implies the theology is more recent than what it is. This debate is as old as Pelagian disagreeing with Augustine praying " God command what thou will, and grant what thou commands. "
                                That Pelagius believed wrongly does not absolve Augustine of error in over-correcting Pelagian error. I agree that Calvin was more or less taking Augustinian belief to its logical conclusion.
                                Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

                                Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
                                sigpic
                                I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

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