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Problems with arguing against predestination

Discussion in 'Salvation (Soteriology)' started by HenryM, Jun 22, 2017.

  1. sdowney717

    sdowney717 Newbie

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    Well, people may think God sends invitations to each and every single human being when reading the parable, but perhaps hundreds of millions were born and died never hearing the gospel, and still do today. So they got no invitation. How can they believe in Christ if they never hear?
    Paul makes the same argument in Romans 10
    The world of Paul was evangelized to the end of the known world, so v18 was true, but those living in North and South America, Paul never reached.

    Romans 10
    14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:

    “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,
    Who bring glad tidings of good things!”

    16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” 17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

    18 But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed:

    “Their sound has gone out to all the earth,
    And their words to the ends of the world.”

    They can't hear unless they are sent by God, and God at that time sent no one to the American continent, so God sent them no invitation..
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2017
  2. pescador

    pescador Newbie Supporter

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    I suggest that you read your bible more carefully instead of lifting verses out of context to prove your predetermined doctrine. I'm not going to pluck verses as you do. You should read Ephesians if you want to understand why you're totally wrong.
     
  3. Marvin Knox

    Marvin Knox Senior Veteran

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    I agree.

    People often seem to forget what the Lord told us.

    "Who-so-ever has - to him more will be given and to him who does not have - even what he thinks he has will be taken away."

    If we believe ALL that the scriptures say on a paradoxical doctrine - i.e. men are predestined to make certain choices out of their own free will - then the Lord will let us progress on to understanding some other things related to soteriology and God's sovereignty and the free will of men in general.

    If a person insists that only one side can be correct and they choose which side they prefer, usually the non-Reformed side (as per the OP's observation), they will forever argue with straw men and never come to the truth.

    That's the problem we see happening here now IMO.
     
  4. Marvin Knox

    Marvin Knox Senior Veteran

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    Marvin Knox said:
    "As a result they believe incorrectly that Calvinists cannot logically believe both sides of the paradox and be logically coherent."


    No - A paradox is not a contradiction but an "apparent" contradiction, which, in fact, is not a contradiction.

    If I had said that Calvinists logically believe both sides of a contradiction. One could quite correctly call baloney on me and say that that is in itself a contradiction and a logical absurdity just as saying that one can create himself would be.

    But I did not say the latter - I said the former.

    I realize that the way you saw my belief did sound absurd. That's the way this doctrine seems to most anti-Calvinists.

    But in fact the reason it seems absurd is because it is a straw man and not at all what I believe.

    Actually it's only the "straw man" which people put up when arguing about this doctrine which makes the Presbyterians and such ( including me I suppose) seem confused.

    If you take our doctrine just as it is written - in the WCF for instance - it is not ridiculous.

    I don't know how many times I've written it out for all to see. But here we go again.

    "God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established........Although, in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first Cause, all things come to pass immutably, and infallibly; yet, by the same providence, He orders them to fall out, according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently."

    Every Reformed theologian I know of denies that God "authors", predetermines", "assigns", "dictates", "forces" or any other straw man words we see used concerning the making of choices by men.

    Now, people constantly tell us that we do mean those things when we talk about predestination. We say "no we don't" and you say "yes you do" - over and over and over again.

    Then the misrepresentations hurled through those words are compounded with talk of "robots", "puppets", and God knows what other misrepresentations people can think up to charge us with.

    How would it feel is I were to tell you that you believe and teach that salvation isn't by grace alone? I know that some Calvinists charge things like that and they shouldn't. But then IMO it's really only a kind of pay back for all the false charges they have to suffer almost every time their beliefs are discussed here in the forum.

    Now, I know, that you and others will likely tell us that we cannot possibly believe these words as written in the WCF - that they are contradictory. But you would be wrong. We do believe them - because both sides of this issue are in the scriptures and we believe both sides rather than cherry pick our favorite side of the issue as some do.

    I have absolutely no trouble at all understanding these issues. I sometimes marvel that people can't seem to grasp the truth of the matter. That's because I have believed all of the Word and I have it all in my theology and find it difficult to understand why all men who supposedly believe the Word of God would not strive to do that very thing.

    "To him who has - even more will be given."

    The big problem that you have shown by listing all of those scriptures you have referenced - which talk about free will in a "supposed" rebuttal against predestination - is that I, for instance, already believe every scripture you could possible list. After all, why wouldn't I believe the scriptures?

    The "problem" is on the other foot. You and others on your side will not believe the scriptures we list just as we believe the ones you list.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017
  5. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

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    That’s another subject for a later date.

    You say: “…that doesn't mean that His plea is fulfilled, as is evident from rest of the Bible.” And use to support the idea that God does not have to fulfill Christ’s pray (plea) request with: Christ pray in the garden not being fulfilled and quote scripture as saying: "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me." Was not fulfilled. But there is a huge difference between the two requests which is missed when; you cut part of Jesus garden pray out: He prayed: “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” The “but” makes it contingent on it being God’s will which it was not. In Christ pray to forgive all those involve in the crucifixion there is no “but” and Jesus and God being one makes it certain to be fulfilled. To cut out “Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Seems to be very misleading.

    We only have this one line of at least an hour long garden pray and it is repeated by Christ showing its importance, but since this is all we have it really must be for us to hear and know (which I see extremely important). As Jesus said “everything is possible for you.” So why is it impossible for God to do His part in forgiving of everyone involved in the cross and not possible to keep Jesus from going to the cross?

    Do you really think even one person given a tour of heaven and hell prior to ever sinning would keep from ever sinning and if they are going to sin even once what value would it have for them over what we have today?

    If I gave you a tour of hell and said: “Now, Love me or you spend eternity in hell, what kind of ‘love’ would you have for me”?

    Could I trust the sincerity of your Love after showing you heaven and hell and saying: “Love me in heaven or spend eternity in hell”?

    Would this reward punishment motivation be the kind of “love” you would want from your spouse?

    Is God’s Love some knee jerk reaction for Him or is it a free will thought-out decision He has made with alternatives?

    To say: “some better method is out there” is also say: “What we have now designed by God is poorly designed to meet the objective”.

    The conclusion is: “this world is actually the very best designed world to accomplish the objective”, so what is the objective?

    You say: “As far as Bible reveals, purpose for human is to glorify God. But some humans glorify God by being set up as "vessels prepared for destruction"

    (If we go on I will give you a full explanation of Romans 9, but for now let us understand potters in the first century did not make clay pigeons to be shot down, everything that left the potter’s shop had his mark on it some made for a common purpose and others made for a special purpose (Paul uses a very similar analogy with the same exact words in 2 Tim 2: 20. But there Paul also points out the common vessel can become an honored vessel.))

    Since this world was made by God it is just as glorious as heaven, but only in the fact it is the very best place for what it was designed to do. Humans, who fail to fulfill their earthly objective do not bring glory to God, but can help other willing individuals to fulfill their objective, as Paul said: “…he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory.

    The only way this messed up world we live in today is glorious as compared to the glorious Garden of Eden is the fact it is the best situation to help willing individuals fulfill their earthly objective and really the only place where mature adult humans can fulfill their objective. Adam and Eve as our best all human representatives did not (and really could not) fulfill their earthly objective in the Garden scenario, but outside the Garden after sinning they certainly could. Would you prefer to be in a place where your eternal close relationship with God was dependent on your personal ability to obey God (the Garden) or in a place where your eternal close relationship with God is dependent on your just accepting His charity (where you are today)? Do not get me wrong it is not easy to humbly accept needed charity (like the prodigal son did), but being a poor beggar wanting charity is not a work, by the first century definition of work.

    People talk about: “The lack of knowledge is the problem”, thus you bring up giving everyone a tour of heaven and hell, but “knowledge” can puff up the person (providing the opposite of humility which is what they really need to accept pure charity). If the knowledge a person gains seems to provide a solution than the pursuit of more knowledge becomes the objective (you might ask Eve about this). The lowliest mature adult on earth can place his trust (faith) in a benevolent Creator, so your believing in God is a humbling activity, but that humility it what we need to accept God’s charity.

    This seems to answer most of your issues, but if it does not please re-ask the question.
     
  6. TheSeabass

    TheSeabass Well-Known Member

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    In post #86 you posted "Suppose that I am throwing a party and I send out invitations to many people requesting an RSVP I know in advance that even though many people have been notified, not everyone will respond. "

    To which I responded that the gospel call goes out to all.
     
  7. pescador

    pescador Newbie Supporter

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    Are you saying that in order for my example to be valid I need to send out invitations to the entire world? Obviously the gospel call goes it to all, but since I'm not God and can't invite everyone who has lived, is living, and will live I have to use a real life example. It's unfortunate that you don't understand what I'm saying. Or else you're trying to be argumentative. I have no interest in the latter.
     
  8. TheSeabass

    TheSeabass Well-Known Member

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    Yes.

    I am just pointing out the difference between the bible and Calvinism.

    Calvinism would say the people at the party were the only ones invited and were forced to be there whether they wanted to be there or not.

    The bible would say those at the party were the ones that answered the call. All were called and the ones at the party were the ones that answered the call and are there by their own free will

    A major night and day, 180 degree difference.
     
  9. pescador

    pescador Newbie Supporter

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    I am not a Calvinist; I don't belong to any denomination. To me, denominations are groups of Christians who band together to agree that they alone are right and everyone else is wrong. That is exclusionary! I'm not committed to any creed but to God through Jesus Christ.

    1 Corinthians 1:11-13: My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas; still another, “I follow Christ." Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul?

    I believe what the Bible says and how I am led by the Holy Spirit. Predestination is one of many subjects that is debated over and over, with the idea that "I am right and you are wrong." I don't buy into that kind of division of the body of Christ.
     
  10. TheSeabass

    TheSeabass Well-Known Member

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    I do not believe in denominationalism either. Ephesians 4:4-5 Christ has ONE body (church) that goes by ONE faith. So the idea there are many churchES that go by many different faithS is not to be found in the bible. Either people do not know how many ONE is or they simply reject the oneness of the church and the oneness of the faith

    The thread title:
    Problems with arguing against predestination

    I have no problem with predestination for the bible teaches it. I do have problems with CALVINISTIC predestination which the bible does not teach. As seen above there is a night and day difference between bible predestination and Calvinistic predestination. So there is a misunderstanding when a Calvinists tells me that I do not believe in predestination. Again, I do believe in BIBLICAL predestination not CALVINISTIC predestination.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017
  11. Butch5

    Butch5 Newbie Supporter

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    I believe in both, however, I suspect that my idea of Predestination and your's are quote different. In this post you didn't define what you mean by Predestination, so if you could do that it would most helpful.
     
  12. HenryM

    HenryM Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, even those who believe in predestination have different understanding of it. Nobody here (on earth) knows how much God is involved in moving His plan. Personally, I lean on the side that He is practically full in control. I mean, He controls if hair falls out of a man's head.

    I believe that not only is man's salvation predetermined, but what's also predetermined is the precise timing of being born again for each elected person.

    I don't think that we get to exercise much, if any, our free will while here. We have consciousness, and our consciousness works freely (though even that might not be 100% free, what is free anyway), but we get to act upon what God puts before us. So we have ideas, but God moves our lives within His plan, not ours. As a result, we end up where God wants us to be.

    What we are freely doing is witnessing our own life, basically. That's how I see it. We are witnessing our life and making sense of what we witness, how we feel about it, and what we believe about it. And God is judging each of us based on that - on how we process what happens during our life.

    So, murderer is not judged for murder, because he was lead to murder, by satan, through God's decree, but is judged for how he felt and reasoned about murdering. That's, by the way, how God can send Assyrians to plow and destroy other nation, by His own decree, acting like His own ax, and then turn around and condemn to destruction those same Assyrians for the action He Himself lead them to do. (Isaiah 10:5-16)

    Saved, by the way, are also judged for work of their heart, so to speak, before Christ, and are getting or losing crowns and other heavenly inheritance upon judgement. But all keep salvation.

    I think whole life here is preparation for existence with God, for those who are saved. And God knows what is needed for people to go through in order to be able to exist with Him. We have no clue, on the other hand. So I don't think He is banking His eternity with humans on our decisions and plans and "free will". I think He is in full control of His plan. Bible speaks abundantly about it. He is molding people how He wants them molded. I do think that those who are saved will probably get to actually do "free will" on the other side. But life here is for preparation only. Per my view.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2017
  13. Butch5

    Butch5 Newbie Supporter

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    I don't see that idea of Predestination in the Scriptures. It's also contrary to the beliefs of the early Christians. Some of what you've explained here seems to come from Greek Philosophy. Calvin was a Stoic and espoused the teachings of Augustine whose teachings were counter to the Church. A lot of Calvin's teachings are based in Augustine's ideas and as such are not based on the Bible. Reformation Theology is also based on some of these same ideas. The Reformation doctrine of Predestination is not a Biblical teaching. It's based in the ideas of Augustine. Passages of Scripture are taken from their context in an attempt to support the doctrine. However, it is easy to show that when in their context the passages don't support this doctrine at all.
     
  14. HenryM

    HenryM Well-Known Member

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    Let's stick to the subject. Take a look at the passage I quoted, Isaiah 10:5-16, and explain it here through your understanding of man's free will.
     
  15. Butch5

    Butch5 Newbie Supporter

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    Can you explain what this has to do with Predestination as you see it?
     
  16. HenryM

    HenryM Well-Known Member

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    I asked you the question. Care to answer?
     
  17. Butch5

    Butch5 Newbie Supporter

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    Your topic is about Predestination. You gave an example. I said, "I don't see that idea in Scripture" and you post this passage that doesn't address predestination. I think I'm beginning to see why you don't find the discussion useful
     
  18. HenryM

    HenryM Well-Known Member

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    Hey, at least I answered your question, and it was rather long answer. I didn't bicker about it. And the quote I mentioned is about God's decrees, so it's about predestination. But I have to go back and forth with you just to get you to answer one simple question... Tells me a lot.
     
  19. Butch5

    Butch5 Newbie Supporter

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    You did explain and I acknowledged that. All I asked is how this passage addresses the idea of Predestination that you explained. I don't see how it does. It's a passage where God uses the Assyrians to judge Israel and then judges the king of Assyria for being haughty. What does that have to do with the idea of Predestination that you spoke of in your explanation? Sure God determined to use the Assyrians. However, that God used a particular nation to accomplish a purpose hardly proves that He determines every single thing that happens or that He predetermines who will and will not be saved.
     
  20. HenryM

    HenryM Well-Known Member

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    Predetermination is, at it's essence, about God working His plan. About God being in control. That includes choosing who is saved, and then saving them, but it encompasses whole God's work on His plan.

    My question about the quote I provided is how it fits with free will understanding of the man, because Assyrians didn't have a choice about it. God lead them to do what He wanted them to do, and then He punished them (seemingly) for doing what He lead them to do. I don't see you addressed heavy issue about that quote, but ok.

    You seem to shrug it off as an exception. Ok. Well, Bible is filled with revelations like that, plus there are many general proclamations that God moves His plan, not man's: "The Lord foils the plans of the nations, He thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations." "The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD." "The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, like the rivers of water, He turns it wherever He wishes." "A person's steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand their own way?"
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2017
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