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Predestination and Calvinism

childeye

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God saying "if this is how you want it, that's how you could have it" is just God allowing us our free will to make ourselves miserable.
This makes me think of Jesus weeping over Jerusalem. The Holy Spirit is a sweet sorrow.
 

ivdavid

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It doesn't explain WHY God allows it to exist.
How do you explain to a parent why their child is dying when a good and loving God would be able to stop it?
How do you explain the very concepts of "good", "love", "power over death to stop it" in all their degrees if there was no concept of death - could that at least partially answer the Why?

I've heard testimonies where parents say they realized that if they being evil could love their children so much that they felt ripped apart in their dying - how much more the God-head would have felt ripped apart at the cross, and consequently how much God's love for man must be to endure such a sacrifice. And simultaneously how perfect and righteous His ways must be to be Just in justifying undeserving sinners at the cross.

If God hadn't counselled this world as it is, I suppose we couldn't have knowledge of God as He desires us to know Him.
 

OzSpen

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Does calvinism state that God causes evil - all their statements of faith I've come across so far never seem to imply this and in most cases, even clarify that it isn't so. So where is this coming from?

It is coming from Calvinists. You need to broaden your reading of Calvinism.

I think you should take a read of R C Sproul Jr's view of God creating sin (this is NOT R C Sproul Sr) in, 'Taking Calvinism Too Far: R.C. Sproul Jr.’s Evil-Creating Deity'. In this article it states that R C Sproul Jr, the Calvinist, 'asks: “Isn’t it impossible for God to do evil?” He acknowledges that God can’t sin. This isn’t much of a consolation, as Sproul Jr. goes on to say: “I am not accusing God of sinning; I am suggesting that he created sin” (p. 54)'.

John Frame, a Calvinist, wrote:
For us, the question arises as to whether God can be the efficient cause of sin, without being to blame for it. The older theologians denied that God was the efficient cause of sin . . . [in part] because they identified cause with authorship. But if . . . the connection between cause and blame in modern language is no stronger than the connection between ordination and blame, then it seems to me that it is not wrong to say that God causes evil and sin. Certainly we should employ such language cautiously, however, in view of the long history of its rejection in the tradition (Does God "cause" sin?)

Why don't you take a read of the article about supralapsarian Calvinist, John Piper, 'John Piper on Man's Sin and God's Sovereignty'.

Oz
 

OzSpen

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Ozp

False statement not supported by scriptures because them unbelieving enemies that Christ died for are reconciled to God while they are enemies Rom 5:10!

I refuted that false allegation in #611. Aren't you reading what I write? The interpretation of Rom 5:10 is found in reading Rom 5:10-11 (ESV):
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

These 2 verses confirm that reconciliation must be 'received' by an individual for reconciliation to be effected for that person.

Oz
 

Deborah13

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I was so sure that you couldn't have meant that calvinists believe God causes evil, that I only lightly touched upon its absurdity. I mean, why are we even discussing this - I am yet to come across a person on this forum who believes God causes evil. We've got unambiguous Scripture like James 1:13 to not even contest this as a discussion. Does calvinism state that God causes evil - all their statements of faith I've come across so far never seem to imply this and in most cases, even clarify that it isn't so. So where is this coming from?
This thread is about predestination and Calvinism, that is why it is brought up.

John Calvin said, "Nothing is more absurd than that anything should happen without God ordaining it."

Matt Slick said this.....
"God's predestination does not mean that we cannot make free will choices. God predestines in and through our choices because God is all-knowing and all-powerful. He knows what we will do because He knows all things. He cannot not know all things. So, whatever you choose to do out of your own free volition is known. But His knowing doesn't mean you don't freely choose."
So does this say that God looked into the future, saw what all of the choices of all men would be, and then predestined them to be that way? I don't think that is what Calvin had in mind when he spoke of God's Sovereignty, and predestination being the ordained will of God, but OK.
Then I wonder why would Calvin teach two calls. One which is effectual and one which is 'general' and will not be effectual?
God would not need to call men differently if God knew he would not accept the call and He had ordained that he wouldn't. Hmm..
And it would appear that Matt's conclusion is the man was the one who chose his destination, not the God had chosen him.
 
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Hospes

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I always find it curious when a non-Calvinist knows more about what a Calvinist believes than the Calvinist does. If only they would show some deference to let those who believe something speak for themselves. They could then stop vanquishing straw men and find better use of their time. Who knows, they may even turn their efforts to fighting enemies outside the Bride of Christ.
 

Deborah13

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I always find it curious when a non-Calvinist knows more about what a Calvinist believes than the Calvinist does.
I don't think this discussion was really about what individual Calvinists believe. Some will say that they are a 5,4,3, point Calvinist, so there are many different views within those who carry the Calvinist label.
I think the purpose of this thread was to discuss predestination and Calvinism. When I have mentioned someone like Matt Slick it is only to compare what he has said to what John Calvin taught himself about predestination.
This is only a discussion about the theology itself, not as an assault on Calvinists or their walk as Christians. It would be the same if we were discussing the Arminian theology.
From what I have been reading, such as the article written by Dr. Nelson Price, is that the two sides are coming closer together in unity. The animosity between the two is much less than it was a couple hundred years ago, that is for sure.
 

wondering

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It doesn't have to exist.
We have the free will to do anything we want. We can spend trillions of dollars on another war or we can spend them on medical research.
Man has the authority, the power, the ability to end most suffering. What does he do with that power? He starts a revolution to end suffering and kills everyone who doesn't agree with his solution.
We have evil in the world because we WANT evil in the world.
We have evil in the world because people don't trust God.

How do you change that?
Preach the Gospel.
Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey all things that Christ has commanded.
We could preach the gospel all we want to.
Not all will accept it. Jesus said the way is broad that leads to destruction
Mathew 7:13
He knew not everyone would accept the gospel, He knew not everyone would be saved - in fact the vast majority wouldn't.

Do you think the sin nature could be elimintated? It still exists even in believers.

Nature is infected with the sin nature. How do you take care of that?
Hurricanes kill people, earthquakes kill people. All of nature is waiting for redemption.
Romans 8.22

I don't believe we have evil in the world simply because not everyone is Christian.
It's a vital part of the make up of this life, and we don't know why.

Wondering
 

wondering

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wondering
This quote is from an article written by Dr. Nelson Price, who is a well recognized Southern Baptist preacher, etc.
Speaking about Act 13:48 -
The view that this passage teaches predestination was begun by Jerome who revised the old Latin in order to assert the coming to faith and salvation is the product of predestinatory eternal decree. Calvin became the exponent of the concept that those included in this decree are irresistibly brought to faith and all others are doomed by this decree.

There is nothing predestinarian about this verse. It simply means God foreknew who would make the wilful decision to trust Christ and affirmed for them eternal life. Again it should be noted foreknowledge does not mean God makes a thing happen.

In His foreknowledge God saw some would exercise their free will and repent and believe, while others would refuse to do so. Those who repent and believe are by God put in the ranks of the ones ordained to eternal life.

God is not depicted as ordaining the act of believing or the act of unbelief. These are acts of man’s free will.

Order of words is important. In this text “believed” comes first. Thus, “And as many as believed had been appointed to eternal life.” Upon believing their appointment to eternal life became a reality.

All who accept the gospel by faith are ordained to eternal life. To assert this text teaches preordination to life is to force both the word and the context to a meaning neither has.

http://www.nelsonprice.com/foreknowledge-and-predestination/

It is a long article but goes into the Greek language and words in scriptures that are used to teach Calvinism. I found it to be helpful and in agreement with my views, other than OSAS.
Acts 13:48 presents problems, as do other verses. The word "believe" as Nelson writes does not come first.
The idea of some being ordained, or appointed comes first, and then they believed.

In Young's Literal Translation, the believing comes first. Here it is:
"And the nations hearing were glad, and were glorifying the word of the Lord, and did believe, as many as were appointed to life age-during"
Which means that yes, they believed first, and THEY were appointed to life age-during (eternal).

I checked 5 different bibles and they all put the ordained/appointed before the believing.
This creates the problem. I ask myself why this is. Maybe the translators didn't know Greek as well as some do today. But they still should have kept with the concept of God loving everyone. IOW, was the translation tinted by what they believed? Maybe back 2,000 years ago the idea of predestination was a philosophical idea that affected Christianity also. Maybe they understood God as doing everything and attributed everything that happened to Him - not realizing that 1,500 years later Mr. Calvin would come up with this TULIP concept.

What I say is that we have to keep with the idea that God loves all and desires all to be saved - at least those that WISH to be saved. He's not going to force anyone because we are not those proverbial robots.

It's good that you posted the link, but who, on the Calvinist side, will even read it?

Wondering
 

wondering

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I agree wholeheartedly. I would add that Satan also induced a corrupt image of God, subtly implying that God was lying to them..This is why I don't believe in free will theology. That is, to be precise, I don't believe in a free will in the moral/immoral purview. For in all honesty before God, I can't help but to admit, that by portraying our station under God as a form of forced slavery, Satan's lie formed a desire/will for freedom, and an imaginary hope to have our own independent ability to choose what is right and wrong for ourselves, via the knowledge of good and evil, so as to become insubordinate, or self determined, a free moral agent. This phenomenon proves that a lie, when believed, has the power to induce a will/desire in a person after it's own design, and not the persons design.

It therefore doesn't take much to come to the conclusion, that to a person held captive in a lie, that the Truth of God has the power to enlighten and induce a will/desire in a person to submit or confess and to be subordinate to God. And that is why in all honesty before God, I must admit, that if I believe a lie that proposes that I can be free of authority under God, my will only comes under the authority of the liar, and I then serve a false god while thinking I'm free.

free will
noun

Simple Definition of free will
  • :the ability to choose how to act

  • :the ability to make choices that are not controlled by fate or God
Childeye,
I don't want to get started on this again - we've been through this a couple of times.
But I'll never understand how you can believe that just because I'm serving God, I have no free will.
"the ability to make choices that are not controlled by fate or God."

So do you think God controls every single choice I make?
Do you believe because God knows what is going to happen, that causes it to happen?
HOW is my choice controlled by God?
He can tell me not to do something by His word, for instance. Does this mean I'll obey it?
Because I'm subordinate to God, does this mean I'm not free?

I'd say that those serving satan are not free. Why? Because they truly are subjugated to an evil that does not allow them freedom. If you serve satan, your sin nature is in full control of everything you do. "Good" cannot exist in a lost person. However, "bad" can exist in a saved person precisely because of the sin nature, but it is held in check and does not have dominion over the God-serving person. The sin nature has dominion over the lost, satan-serving person.
Romans 6:14
Romans 6:6

Wondering
 

wondering

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John 9
And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. ...

Darkness exists so that God's Light can be made manifest.
He couldn't figure out another way?
Does your statement mean that God purposefully created evil?

Maybe evil exists so that we could have the choice of picking either the light or the dark so
a determination could be made as to where we will spend eternity?
This sounds rather mean too, though.
God is Love.

Wondering
 

wondering

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Ozp


False statement not supported by scriptures because them unbelieving enemies that Christ died for are reconciled to God while they are enemies Rom 5:10!
Beloved57

Your above is for Ozspen and I defer to him.

I'd just like to ask you if you know what "reconciled" means?

You "reconcile" with an enemy. You "make-up", you start a new friendship or relationship.

You do not reconcile with someone who is already your friend and with whom you have a good relationship.

WHILE WE ARE ENEMIES we are reconciled to God. We, the enemy, are reconciled to God.
Once we are friends with Him, reconciliation is no longer necessary.

It's easy.

Wondering
 

wondering

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To be more precise, God can go against Pharaoh's will if he wills evil - but God cannot go against Pharaoh's will if he wills good, for that is what God Himself wills. But yes, I agree with your beliefs on this.


I don't find this problematic as it is. But how does one define what is ordinary and as per nature when it comes to God's Mind (Rom 11:34)? Of course, when it comes to people rising from the dead and people walking on water, we clearly can distinguish between the ordinary and the exception - but it's a tad more difficult when it comes to salvation and its process, when a common understanding of it is yet to arise amongst all of us.
Okay - we agree pretty much on everything.
As far as defining what is ordinary as per nature:
I mean that God set up a system - the universe works on this system. If the wind moves at too fast a speed, a hurricane will ensue. We are in the ordinary as per nature. If, all of a sudden, someone prayed for the wind to stop and it did, THIS would be out of the ordinary as per nature. The same would hold true of a miracle cure.

As to other, more subtle occurrences, we will never know because it might seem to be of nature, but really God might have had a hand in the action. I do not believe, as I've already stated, that He interferes with nature on a regular basis.


I was attempting to explain that this isn't a calvinistic belief in the first place - that they too believe the same way as we do: that God is not the cause of evil, but merely permits it - and is sovereign over all in that He can always intervene and influence when He so chooses.


If you're referring to childeye, we go back a really long way - we quite agree with each other, just perhaps state it differently.
LOL. Yes. I was referring to Childeye. But it seems you and I agree more. Maybe it's just the way you present your ideas. I'm not too good with philosophy! But I respect all opinions.


Then let us agree upon this and rest.


If you mean 'choice between 2 outcomes' by 'free will', then yes - I too believe so.

There are 2 states one can find oneself in - 1. In the flesh and 2. No longer in the flesh but in the spirit - Rom 8:9.
If you're in state1, then you have no freedom - you are bound to sin in the flesh and you cannot but do evil. There is no choice of outcomes - it's just one outcome of walking by the flesh.
If you're in state2, you are freed to do good. Here you have choice between 2 outcomes - you could either walk by the spirit or by the flesh Gal 5:25, Rom 8:4.

While one is just the outer man, they are influenced only by it. But when they are created anew as the inner man, they are influenced both by the outer man and the inner man - whichever man you keep feeding grows stronger than the other.
AMEN! I just finished replying to Childeye above and said exactly what you are, except I like how you explain it better! More concise. This, to me, is an important concept to understand. Jesus said, you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. John 8:32
And if we are free, we are free indeed!

Thanks for such a nice exchange.

Wondering
 
B

beloved57

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imo,
All men were, and some are, enemies of God. Until we/they receive the gift from God, reconciliation through His Son, they are under God's wrath, not because Jesus didn't die for them, but because they have not received Him.
If one goes into eternity in this state of not believing, they will be guilty of commenting the unforgivable sin. This is the thing that we should never pray for, that someone not receive the gift of salvation. It is God's desire that all men be saved.
If one does not believe that Jesus was/is the Son of God, they cannot believe that the miracles that He did were by the power of God, through the Holy Spirit. They can only attribute them to being done by a false prophet and the power to do them coming from satan or some natural means of a trick or a lie. Mark 3:28-30
Those enemies Christ died for are reconciled to God while they are enemies Rom 5:10, not under Gods Wrath.
 

OzSpen

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I always find it curious when a non-Calvinist knows more about what a Calvinist believes than the Calvinist does. If only they would show some deference to let those who believe something speak for themselves. They could then stop vanquishing straw men and find better use of their time. Who knows, they may even turn their efforts to fighting enemies outside the Bride of Christ.

When a non-Calvinist shows that what a Calvinist says is not true about Calvinism, that means the non-Calvinist is being like an obedient Berean, 'And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul's message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth' (Acts 17:11 NLT).

Oz
 
B

beloved57

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Beloved57

Your above is for Ozspen and I defer to him.

I'd just like to ask you if you know what "reconciled" means?

You "reconcile" with an enemy. You "make-up", you start a new friendship or relationship.

You do not reconcile with someone who is already your friend and with whom you have a good relationship.

WHILE WE ARE ENEMIES we are reconciled to God. We, the enemy, are reconciled to God.
Once we are friends with Him, reconciliation is no longer necessary.

It's easy.

Wondering
Look the word reconciled up in Rom 5:10 if you want to know what it means. That's your responsibility. The fact remains that those Christ died for are reconciled to God while they are enemies Rom 5:10, that doesn't apply to all mankind without exception since some people are under Gods Wrath as enemies Jn 3:36!
 
B

beloved57

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I refuted that false allegation in #611. Aren't you reading what I write? The interpretation of Rom 5:10 is found in reading Rom 5:10-11 (ESV):


These 2 verses confirm that reconciliation must be 'received' by an individual for reconciliation to be effected for that person.

Oz
You did not refute nothing, those Christ died for received the reconciliation while they were enemies, that is why they are reconciled to God while being enemies. It was applied to them while they were enemies, that is how they received it. You can't ignore what Rom 5:10 states!
 

wondering

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Look the word reconciled up in Rom 5:10 if you want to know what it means. That's your responsibility. The fact remains that those Christ died for are reconciled to God while they are enemies Rom 5:10, that doesn't apply to all mankind without exception since some people are under Gods Wrath as enemies Jn 3:36!
Beloved57
No need for me to look up the word Reconciliation.
I taught kids what it means for years.
I do believe that YOU need to discover what it means.

Even in your most recent post no. 638 you say:
that is why they are reconciled to God while being enemies. It was applied to them while they were enemies

This is normal. There is no contradiction. We are reconciled to God WHILE WE ARE ENEMIES.


End.

Wondering
 
B

beloved57

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Beloved57
No need for me to look up the word Reconciliation.
I taught kids what it means for years.
I do believe that YOU need to discover what it means.

Even in your most recent post no. 638 you say:
that is why they are reconciled to God while being enemies. It was applied to them while they were enemies

This is normal. There is no contradiction. We are reconciled to God WHILE WE ARE ENEMIES.


End.

Wondering
I know what it means. If you want to know then you look it up. Those Christ died for are reconciled to God while they are enemies and unbelievers Rom 5:10. That doesn't apply to all mankind without exception, sorry!
 
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beloved57

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Wondering

This is normal. There is nocontradiction. We are reconciled to God WHILE WE ARE ENEMIES.This is normal. There is nocontradiction. We are reconciled to God WHILE WE ARE ENEMIES.

It can't apply to everyone since some who are enemies are under Gods Wrath Jn 3:36. So you're giving a false conclusion.And it's a contradiction!
 
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