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Calvinism makes sense

Discussion in 'Debate with a Calvinist' started by mickyd1961, Oct 23, 2014.

  1. Randomelement

    Randomelement Newbie

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    I can not truthfully say I find myself in full agreement with all of that David but that is certainly an extremely interesting and intriguing perspective.
    God exist in all time simultaneously . :)
     
  2. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Senior Member Supporter

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    I believe that is considered the orthodox view of Omnipresence, though I could certainly be wrong. It's what I was taught anyway. God created time and space and He is bound by neither.

    --David
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2015
  3. [serious]

    [serious] 'As we treat the least of our brothers...' RIP GA Supporter

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    I'm unclear on why universal salvation would be LESS sensical than involuntary salvation irrespective of works, intent, or goodness.
     
  4. jten

    jten New Member

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    That God causes men to be sinners and then eternally punishes those men for being the sinners God cause them to be makes sense? Is just? Is loving?
     
  5. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Senior Member Supporter

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    Hi Jten, if that was true of God, that would make Him the undoubted Author of evil. It's not true however, nor is your understanding of Calvinism correct, if that's what you believe it teaches.

    Yours in Christ,
    David
     
  6. [serious]

    [serious] 'As we treat the least of our brothers...' RIP GA Supporter

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    It would be more helpful to actually tell him how calvinism departs from his understanding of it.
     
  7. TheSeabass

    TheSeabass Well-Known Member

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    Yet Calvinists have told me that God hardened Pharaoh's heart which would cause Pharaoh to disobey whereby God could then punish him for his disobedient hardened heart that God gave him.
     
  8. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Senior Member Supporter

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    Hi Jten, actually, I think that it was Moses who first taught us that, yes .. e.g. Exodus 10:20.
    I will try to.

    It was our first parents' choice to disobey God that caused/resulted in all of us becoming sinners, not God.

    Calvinism (along with the Bible) teaches that God made man in His own image .. Genesis 1:26-27 and upright .. Ecclesiastes 7:29. We also teach (along with the Bible) that God gave them (our progenitors) a single, direct commandment .. Genesis 2:15-17, which they (freely) chose to disobey .. Genesis 3:1-7, and that it was this sinful choice that resulted in sin and death entering our realm for the very first time .. Romans 5:12.

    We also teach that we fell into sin and death with them, since we, as their progeny, are begotten in their tarnished/fallen image. IOW, we are conceived/born with a sinful nature thanks to them (Psalm 51:5), dead (spiritually) in our trespasses and sins, and BY NATURE, children of wrath .. Ephesians 2:1-3.

    Calvinism doesn't teach that God causes us to sin, rather, that we make that choice all by ourselves .. e.g. James 1:13-15.

    Yours in Christ,
    David


    “God made men upright ... but they sought out many devices.”

    Ecclesiastes 7:29
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
  9. TheSeabass

    TheSeabass Well-Known Member

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    In my first post in this thread I posted "That God causes men to be sinners and then eternally punishes those men for being the sinners God cause them to be makes sense? Is just? Is loving?"

    You posted "It's not true however, nor is your understanding of Calvinism correct, if that's what you believe it teaches."

    Now what you post here makes my statement true, that God does cause men to be sinners and punishes them for being the sinners God caused them to be.

    Per Ex 10:20 there is many ways to harden a person's heart WITHOUT forcing/causing that person's heart to be hardened against his will. God hardened Pharaoh's heart by commanding Pharaoh to do something he did not want to do in letting the Israelites go. Since Pharaoh was put in a circumstance where he had to choose to either obey or disobey God, Pharaoh hardened his own heart (Exodus 8:15). But since God created the circumstance, it is in that sense God is said to harden Pharaoh's heart, are of speech called a metonymy.


    So from Exodus 10:20 are you telling me that Pharaoh chose all by himself to harden his own heart or God caused him to harden his heart against his own will. Many Calvinists have told me the latter is the case that God caused it.
     
  10. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Senior Member Supporter

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    Hi SB, the first thing to note here is that God is not causing "men" to be sinners (and then eternally punishing them for disobeying Him), rather, He's dealing with a single "man" who has chosen to "harden his heart" and disobey Him, a command that God gave directly to Pharaoh alone, I might add :preach:

    Secondly, Pharaoh's disobedience results in neither his death, nor his or anyone else's "eternal" punishment as far as we know. So this is a comparison of apples and oranges.

    In this particular case, God told Pharaoh to "let My people go", and the Scriptures clearly tell us that he would not not obey, that he hardened his heart towards God instead ... again and again and again. How, and to some degree "why" God stepped in toward the end and further hardened Pharaoh's heart is unclear (since Pharaoh seemed to be doing a perfectly good job of it all by himself :doh:), but that is what the Scriptures tell us, as well the reason "why" He did so.. cf Romans 9:17-18.

    Since I assume your are aware of God's sovereignty over all of His Creation, I'm a little confused by something you said above, "God hardened Pharaoh's heart by commanding him to do something he did not want to do". My response to that is something along the lines of, "too bad" :rolleyes: Do you really believe that God did something wrong when he issued that command to Pharaoh, or that He didn't have the right to make that demand of him? ... Or that Pharaoh had any right whatsoever to disobey Him?

    *(Perhaps a discussion of much of Romans 9 is needed if your answer to any of those questions is "yes" ;))

    The Bible tells us that Pharaoh chose to harden his own heart towards God, and that God stepped in later and continued the process. Just so I know that we're clear about this, you understand that it's the Bible that teaches this in Book of Exodus, right? (and that along with Calvinists, Arminians, Protestants, Catholics, Baptists, etc., ALL within the pale of orthodoxy believe it's true, because that's what the Bible tells us)

    Yours and His,
    David

    Isaiah 46
    9 "I am God, and there is no other;
    I am God, and there is no one like Me,
    10 Declaring the end from the beginning,
    And from ancient times things which have not been done,
    Saying, ‘My purpose will be established,

    And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’"
    .
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017
  11. TheSeabass

    TheSeabass Well-Known Member

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    1) God hardened Pharaoh's heart by commanding Pharaoh to do some thing Pharaoh did not want to do. Therefore God did not harden Pharaoh's heart directly against the will of Pharaoh but hardened his heart by creating a circumstance that caused Pharaoh to have to choose to obey or not obey and Pharaoh chose to harden his own heart. This is a common figure of speech called a metonymy. No different, for example, if you let a dog off its leash and the dog attacked another person injuring that person putting that person in the hospital. That person can get an attorney and sue for the injury you even though you did not lay a finger on that person. You will be sued for causing the injury for you created the circumstance that caused the person to be injured.

    --You created the circumstance (let dog off leash) that lead to the person being injured so you are said to cause the injury.

    --Likewise God created the circumstance (command Pharaoh to let the people go) that lead to Pharaoh choosing to disobey that command therefore God is said to cause the hardening of Pharaoh's heart.

    It is also the case that a common Hebraic idiom is being used where God is said to actively cause some thing to happen, when in reality all God did was allow it to happen. Example, in Job chapters 1 and 2 we read that God allowed Satan to inflict Job with various problems and ills, Job 1:12; Job 2:6. Yet by the end of the book of Job when Job had his assets and health restored it is said in Job 42:11 "Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an earring of gold."

    The Hebraic idiom here is the Lord is said to have brought all the evil upon Job when all the Lord did was allow Satan to do it.

    Yet in either case, a mytonymy or the Hebrew idiom God never caused Pharaoh to harden his heart against his own will.

    =====

    2) Romans 9:17 "
    For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth."

    The reason given that God raised Pharaoh up was to (1) show My power in thee and (2) that My name might be declared throughout all the earth. No reason is given here or elsewhere that the purpose of God raising Pharaoh up was to harden Pharaoh's heart against his own will.

    God commanded Pharaoh to 'let My people go. If Pharaoh had obeyed and let them God then God would have accomplished those two purposed in Rom 9:17 in showing His power over Pharaoh and God's named declared throughout the earth by causing this great king of Egypt to obey Him. Yet as we know Pharaoh of his own free will chose to disobey so God through the plagues showed His power over Pharaoh and magnified His name. Therefore it did not matter if Pharaoh chose to obey or disobey God was going to accomplish His 2 purposes found in Rom 9:17 and accomplish them WITHOUT having to viloate Pharaoh's free will by causing his heart to be hardened. God is not so weak where He must violate man's free will in order to accomplish His own purposes. It is not in the nature of God to violate man's free will this way.

    =====

    3) Exodus 8:15 "
    But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said."

    Here we have a verse that says Pharaoh hardened his own heart "
    as the Lord had said". Where prior to Ex 8:15 did the Lord say Pharaoh would harden his own heart? Could it be that in Exodus 4:21 when God said "...but I will harden his heart,..." that God was using the mytonymy where God knew He would create the circumstance that lead to Pharaoh hardening his own heart or the Hebrew idiom that God would allow him to harden his own heart? Most likely.

    =====

    4) You posted "
    The Bible tells us that Pharaoh chose to harden his own heart towards God, and that God stepped in later and continued the process." If this were the case, then Pharaoh initiated the hardening of his own heart by his own choice and God continued to do what Pharaoh was desiring for himself. Therefore God did not cause some thing upon Pharaoh that Pharaoh was not already desiring of his own will.

    =====

    5) To tie in to #4 point above, we see that Calvinism teaches the idea of total depravity, the "T" in TULIP. If total depravity were a true, bible teaching then Pharaoh would have had this depraved nature and therefore would have naturally disobeyed God without God ever having to cause Pharaoh to harden his heart against his own will. So what need or purpose was there for God to ever actively harden Pharaoh's heart when Pharaoh would have automatically and for a certainty disobeyed God anyway due to his "depraved nature"?
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2017
  12. [serious]

    [serious] 'As we treat the least of our brothers...' RIP GA Supporter

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    This seems to imply that the sins of the parents are heritable to the children, not by any virtue of what the children did or chose, but rather by accident of their birth. This would be theologically difficult for me to accept. While there is a bit of societal punishment that stretches generations (itself rather troublesome to me), individual punshments seem to be rather explicitly NOT heritable: “Fathers shall not be put to death for their sons, nor shall sons be put to death for their fathers; everyone shall be put to death for his own sin”
    The issue for me is that Calvinism doesn't seem to say that sinning is our choice, but rather something we have no capacity to not choose.
     
  13. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Senior Member Supporter

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    We are not held accountable for the sins of others, Serious, not even those of our first parents. Their sin "affected" us however, because we are their children, because we are begotten in 'their' tarnished image (instead of being created in God's, like they were). IOW, we inherited their fallen nature (just like we inherit many other things from our parents, but this is clearly the most pervasive of all :eek:).

    We still have the choice to sin, or not to sin, and we do so according to that which we desire most, like we do with all the other choices we make.

    BTW, the doctrine of Original Sin hardly began with the Reformers, rather, the Bible teaches it, and St. Augustine coined its name in the 4th Century.

    The Bible has a few things to say about this sinful nature stuff, and here's a small sampling:

    Psalm 51
    5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

    Romans 3
    9 What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin;
    10 as it is written,
    “THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;
    11 THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS,
    THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;
    12 ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS;
    THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD,
    THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.”

    Romans 5
    12 Through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned—


    Ephesians 2
    1 You were dead in your trespasses and sins,
    2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.
    3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

    1 Corinthians 15
    22 As in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.​

    Sin is mankind's most universal characteristic or trait. IOW, the entire lot of us are sinners by nature, the proof of which is clearly demonstrated by each person's thoughts and deeds throughout history. As they say, "Nobody's Perfect" ;)

    The thing is, a universal effect always has a single, proximate cause. God could be that "cause", but that's not what the Bible teaches us, nor does Calvinism. Rather, the Bible AND Calvinism teach us that we are the way we are because of our first parents, and the fact that we, as their children, inherited their fallen nature.

    So the Bible, the doctrine of Original Sin, and Calvinism, all teach the same thing, that we are sinners because we are Adam and Eve's progeny, NOT because God made us this way :preach:

    Yours and His,
    David
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2017
  14. Loren T.

    Loren T. Well-Known Member

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    The more I looked into Calvinism, the less sense it made. Prior to actually starting to look into it, I was almost convinced that some sort of compatibilism was correct. But capatbilism starting making less sense when I saw that it doesn't really make God any less controlling of man's actions. And if God controls all of man actions then necessarily God controls and causes sin.
     
  15. Apologetic_Warrior

    Apologetic_Warrior Pilgrim

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    In your studies of compatibilism, did you come across discussion of the implications of first and secondary causes? Whenever God created a being with a will capable of making choices contrary to His sovereign will, God freely chose to create secondary chains of cause, and therefore individual self-responsibility of the creature, beneath the Sovereign authority of God. This makes sense of causality to me, necessary Creator-creation distinctions. If we make no distinction, we will be led into all sorts of error.
     
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  16. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Senior Member Supporter

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    Hi Loren, so what is it that you have come to believe? Also, which systematic theology teaches that "God controls all of men's actions"?

    Thanks!

    --David
     
  17. Loren T.

    Loren T. Well-Known Member

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    I see no difference. If I hire a Hitman to be my secondary cause, I'm still responsible for his actions.
     
  18. Loren T.

    Loren T. Well-Known Member

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    I've found that Calvinists overwhelmingly agree that God's soverienty equals total control. I don't care much for titles. Wesleyan armininan would be in the ballpark.
     
  19. Apologetic_Warrior

    Apologetic_Warrior Pilgrim

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    An Augustianian after my own heart, how precious, how rare a jewel! One correction though the five points, as they are called, came after Calvin, as a response to the Remonstrants. Four of the five points are easily accounted for in Calvin's copious library of writings. His doctrine of atonement has been a subject of debate among scholars, because of some conflicting comments in his view on the atonement. However, in my opinion, there are implications and ways of harmonizing his writings pertaining to the atonement. You are correct, John Calvin was a Catholic, an Augustinian who sought to purify the Catholic Church of errors and heretical teachings, who along with others, viewed the Reformation as necessary in his time.
     
  20. Apologetic_Warrior

    Apologetic_Warrior Pilgrim

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    But your comparison assumes God is evil from the start. You might as well say that God is responsible for creating angels and men in the first place, He knew beforehand did He not?
     
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