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God creates the wicked?

Discussion in 'Ask a Calvinist' started by Ann77, Jun 30, 2020.

  1. JM

    JM Particular Baptist Supporter

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    A good example of hyper Calvinism:

    "How often it is said that the preaching of the gospel is the means of quickening dead sinners. But it is not so said in the Bible. Our Saviour said, "As the Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth whomsoever he will." And again, "It is the spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing." And again, "The hour is coming and now is when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live." "Yes," it is replied, "this is true, but the spirit sends that life or quickening power through the preaching of the word; the dead hear the voice of the Son of God in the gospel, believe and live." A little more thoughtful attention would cause them to reverse the order of those words, remembering that life must precede both hearing and believing. And in considering all the scriptures which are presented to sustain the idea that the preaching is instrumental in bringing the dead to life, such as the command to teach all nations, and the apostles' obedience to that command, and the declaration that many hearing the preaching believed, we must bear in mind that none but the living can be taught, or can believe."

    "To speak of the Lord using means and instrumentalities to bring his people from death to life appears to me derogatory to his majesty and power. It seems like limiting the Holy One of Israel. Although many who believe this would not limit him, but wish to honor his name. If such a thing were expressly declared in the scriptures that would settle it as the truth, but since it is not, it is always an inference. In defending the doctrine of means, one says, "The tool of the mechanic will of itself never accomplish anything, yet in all the mechanic's purposes the tool and its uses are included." And with this he illustrates how he supposes the gospel ministry has been appointed by God as instruments to be used in severing the stones from the rocks, and in building up the church. But the mechanic is dependent upon the tool. Is the Lord dependent upon the ministry to do that work? The very thought is limiting him. I know it is said that he has ordained the means with the end. But when the Bible talks that way, I will receive it. He has ordained everything, in a certain absolute sense. Nothing transpires but is in accordance with his eternal purpose. He has chosen to feed his people by the hand of poor sinners saved by grace, but he does not speak of them as means and instrumentalities. This is the inference of men, and is calculated to make them appear of some importance. And generally the means are said to be in men's hands, as though the Lord worked by means but men used the means. He works in and through them by his controlling and directing spirit, causing them to preach in such a way that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of man. But not to give life through them or through their preaching."

    To Whom Is The Gospel Preached? - Silas Durand
     
  2. JM

    JM Particular Baptist Supporter

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    [STAFF EDITED DELETED QUOTE]
    Living in a world where God is not sovereign, where things 'just happen' for no reasons whatsoever, a world where God is just trying to make the 'best of things' because He can't really do anything...is frightening.

    "I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment."

    Yours in the Lord,

    jm
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2020
  3. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran Supporter

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    I think Calvin's exposition goes beyond this. He thinks we should care about people and want the best for them. The way he answers Ann77's question is the following:

    "It ought to be observed that, when the example of God is held out for our imitation, this does not imply, that it would be becoming in us to do whatever God does. He frequently punishes the wicked, and drives the wicked out of the world. In this respect, he does not desire us to imitate him: for the judgment of the world, which is his prerogative, does not belong to us. But it is his will, that we should imitate his fatherly goodness and liberality."
     
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  4. JM

    JM Particular Baptist Supporter

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    As you know hedrick I'm a "Calvinist" because that's what people call me not because I follow Calvin.
     
  5. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Perhaps I should have quoted Jesus, but since this is "Ask a Calvinist," and I thought Calvin's answer was reasonable (given that we're operating within a Calvinist perspective), it made sense to quote him.
     
  6. Ann77

    Ann77 Member

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    I hope this doesn't cause any disagreement. I appreciate Hedrick's answer. This made me want to read more of Calvin, after I read Luther's commentary on Galatians. Does anyone know of a commentary
    from Calvin that would be easy to read and also help those that have assurance issues?
     
  7. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Simul Justus et Peccator Supporter

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    Hello @Ann77, actually, there is a bit more on that verse from Calvin, so in case you'd like to read it, here it is :) (I put the portion that Hedrick posited for us above in brackets, just FYI)

    Matthew 5
    44 “I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
    45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous."

    Calvin's Commentary on the Bible
    45.That ye may be the children of your Father who is in heaven. When he expressly declares, that no man will be a child of God, unless he loves those who hate him, who shall dare to say, that we are not bound to observe this doctrine? The statement amounts to this, “Whoever shall wish to be accounted a Christian, let him love his enemies.” It is truly horrible and monstrous, that the world should have been covered with such thick darkness, for three or four centuries, as not to see that it is an express command, and that every one who neglects it is struck out of the number of the children of God.

    [It ought to be observed that, when the example of God is held out for our imitation, this does not imply, that it would be becoming in us to do whatever God does. He frequently punishes the wicked, and drives the wicked out of the world. In this respect, he does not desire us to imitate him: for the judgment of the world, which is his prerogative, does not belong to us. But it is his will, that we should imitate his fatherly goodness and liberality.] This was perceived, not only by heathen philosophers, but by some wicked despisers of godliness, who have made this open confession, that in nothing do men resemble God more than in doing good. In short, Christ assures us, that this will be a mark of our adoption, if we are kind to the unthankful and evil. And yet you are not to understand, that our liberality makes us the children of God: but the same Spirit, who is the witness, (Romans 8:16,) earnest, (Ephesians 1:14,) and seal, (Ephesians 4:30,) of our free adoption, corrects the wicked affections of the flesh, which are opposed to charity. Christ therefore proves from the effect, that none are the children of God, but those who resemble him in gentleness and kindness.

    Luke says, and you shall be the children of the Highest. Not that any man acquires this honor for himself, or begins to be a child of God, when he loves his enemies; but because, when it is intended to excite us to do what is right, Scripture frequently employs this manner of speaking, and represents as a reward the free gifts of God. The reason is, he looks at the design of our calling, which is, that, in consequence of the likeness of God having been formed anew in us, we may live a devout and holy life. He maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust. He quotes two instances of the divine kindness toward us, which are not only well known to us, but common to all: and this very participation excites us the more powerfully to act in a similar manner towards each other, though, by a synecdoche, (422) he includes a vast number of other favors.

    --David
    p.s. - I'll see what I have of Calvin's on assurance, though I believe that his Institutes may end up being as good or even a better place to look than his commentaries will be.

    Finally, here is an interesting quote by Arminius concerning Calvin's Commentaries.

    "Next to the study of the Scriptures which I earnestly inculcate, I exhort my pupils to peruse Calvin’s Commentaries, which I extol in loftier terms than Helmich himself [a Dutch divine, 1551–1608]; for I affirm that he excels beyond comparison in the interpretation of Scripture, and that his commentaries ought to be more highly valued than all that is handed down to us by the library of the fathers; so that I acknowledge him to have possessed above most others, or rather above all other men, what may be called an eminent spirit of prophecy." ~Jacobus Arminius
    .
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2020
  8. ewq1938

    ewq1938 It's easy to say anything but hard to say nothing. Staff Member Supervisor Supporter

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    posts deleted - faith group vio.png
     
  9. JM

    JM Particular Baptist Supporter

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    I'm a "Calvinist" and this is Ask a Calvinist, you could have quoted me. :hug:
     
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