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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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God's Desires

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  • God's Desires

    There are people who hold that God desires everyone to be saved and that He unconditionally elected some people to be saved, but passed by others. Let me explain what I mean by unconditionally elected. Unconditionally election means that God elects people to salvation by His own choice and not because of some future action they will perform, future decision they will make, or condition they will meet.

    If the following two statements are true, then does this mean that God's desires are frustrated? If God always gets what He wants and His desires are never frustrated, then are those two statements inconsistent with each other?
    • God desires everyone to be saved.
    • God did not elect some people for salvation.
    Last edited by Hornet; 06-25-2019, 05:13 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Hornet View Post
    There are people who hold that God desires everyone to be saved and that He unconditionally elected some people to be saved
    Also known as confessional Lutherans.
    ~Formerly known as Chrawnus~

    Comment


    • #3
      Every Christian should believe that the Bible is the Word of God in written form...and therefore God is trustworthy and that God cannot and will not deceive us. God therefore is our ultimate example of "Good". I would argue that Predestination (I really see no practical difference between single and double predestination) is simply logically incompatible with a "Good" God. The belief that God simply “passes over” some he could have easily saved. (single predestination) Because election to salvation is (supposedly) unconditional and saving grace is (supposedly) irresistible, so, damning them to hell, for his glory I think that truly undermines a belief in God’s ulitimate goodness....

      I also think that is especially true of the belief that God actively “designs, foreordains, and governs” eternal torment for the unbelievers who are (actively) chosen by God, for hell for his glory with no regard to any truly free choices they could make(double predestination)....

      I really don't see any big difference in the two...and yes, God desire's all to be saved and God does not elect some to salvation is inconsistent to say the least.
      "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

      "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Hornet View Post
        There are people who hold that God desires everyone to be saved...
        Peter seemed to think so.
        "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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        • #5
          Where do we get the idea that God gets everything he wants? Jesus prayed for his cup to be taken away from him, and didn't get what he wanted there.

          I've seen this particular question posed a lot as an argument for universalism. Universalists are good at philosophy because they don't have Scripture to work with.
          "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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          • #6
            Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
            Where do we get the idea that God gets everything he wants? Jesus prayed for his cup to be taken away from him, and didn't get what he wanted there.

            I've seen this particular question posed a lot as an argument for universalism. Universalists are good at philosophy because they don't have Scripture to work with.
            If it's God's desire that nobody perish, I think it's obvious that He doesn't always get His desire. That would circumvent our free will, yes?
            "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Chrawnus View Post
              Also known as confessional Lutherans.
              How would they answer the charge of inconsistency between those beliefs?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
                Where do we get the idea that God gets everything he wants? Jesus prayed for his cup to be taken away from him, and didn't get what he wanted there.

                I've seen this particular question posed a lot as an argument for universalism. Universalists are good at philosophy because they don't have Scripture to work with.
                Did Jesus have conflicting desires? On the one hand, He wanted the Father to remove His cup, but on the other hand, He wanted God's will to be done.

                There are people who think that if God does not get everything He wants, then His plan is frustrated and He is weak. They would say that if God gets everything He wants and universalism is false, then God does not desire the salvation of everyone.
                Last edited by Hornet; 06-25-2019, 11:40 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Hornet View Post
                  How would they answer the charge of inconsistency between those beliefs?
                  Depends on the individual, I guess. My guess is that atleast some of them would simply say that they believe that scripture teaches that God desires everyone to be saved, but that He has also unconditionally elected some people to be saved and that they hold those two beliefs despite the apparent inconsistency/tension between those two beliefs, even if they have no way of explaining how they mesh together.


                  I would guess that there are also Lutherans who have different answers to the question, but I'm not aware how those answer would look like.
                  ~Formerly known as Chrawnus~

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    When you point out a person's "double-think" the usual response is that the "double-thinking" person will decide that you're a heretic who doesn't appreciate divine mystery.
                    sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

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                    • #11
                      God desires us to have free will more than he desires all to be saved.

                      As he is all powerful, he could save everyone. But that would either mean 1> He is letting sinners into heaven or 2> he takes away everyone's free will. Neither of those outcomes would be "good" - so the good thing to do would be to allow free will and some people to not be saved by their own choice.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                        God desires us to have free will more than he desires all to be saved.

                        As he is all powerful, he could save everyone. But that would either mean 1> He is letting sinners into heaven or 2> he takes away everyone's free will. Neither of those outcomes would be "good" - so the good thing to do would be to allow free will and some people to not be saved by their own choice.
                        I heartily concur with you here! Standard Arminian doctrine explains scripture well here!

                        But, Hornet is looking at Calvinistic/Reformed interpretations. Calvinist/Reformed doctrine says that ONLY those whom God regenerates can ever accept Christ as Savior, (Unconditional Election) and if God does regenerate someone, they absolutely WILL accept Christ (Irresistible Grace), and, since under Calvinistic/Reformed Doctrine God's sovereignty means that everything that God wants to happen absolutely DOES happen, regardless of man's free will, (which they don't really believe in) the 2 statements in the OP are at least inconsistent, if not contradictory.
                        "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

                        "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Chrawnus View Post
                          Depends on the individual, I guess. My guess is that atleast some of them would simply say that they believe that scripture teaches that God desires everyone to be saved, but that He has also unconditionally elected some people to be saved and that they hold those two beliefs despite the apparent inconsistency/tension between those two beliefs, even if they have no way of explaining how they mesh together.

                          ...
                          That seems consistent with most of the Lutherans with whom I've interacted online. (The Lutherans I know IRL don't really talk theology.) Although there is an online Lutheran source (an individual church, IIRC) that hosts a PDF comparing and contrasting TULIP (Calvinism, of course), SCURF (their understanding of Arminianism) and TUURF (their summary of Lutheran views on soteriology), in my experience Lutherans don't really attempt that sort of systemization.
                          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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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                            God desires us to have free will more than he desires all to be saved.
                            But where is this backed up by Scripture?

                            As he is all powerful, he could save everyone. But that would either mean 1> He is letting sinners into heaven or 2> he takes away everyone's free will. Neither of those outcomes would be "good" - so the good thing to do would be to allow free will and some people to not be saved by their own choice.
                            But there is a Scriptural case that God has the ultimate decision in who will be saved, the analogies of salvation are passive on our part: new birth, creation, new life, "let there be light"!

                            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


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Littlejoe View Post
                              ... under Calvinistic/Reformed Doctrine God's sovereignty means that everything that God wants to happen absolutely DOES happen, regardless of man's free will, (which they don't really believe in) the 2 statements in the OP are at least inconsistent, if not contradictory.
                              PS 115:3 Our God is in heaven; all he pleases, he has done.
                              PS 135:6 All that pleases the Lord, he has done, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths.

                              So God's desires are not frustrated. And I believe there is room within God's will for free choices, but not outside God's will.

                              But if God's desires are not frustrated, and if God desires all to be saved (1 Tim. 2:4), then we may hope that all will be saved.

                              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)

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