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Quoting Calvin

Discussion in 'Denomination Specific Theology' started by zippy2006, Jul 18, 2017.

  1. AlexDTX

    AlexDTX Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Which is also true for the Bible.
     
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  2. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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    While I know that Calvin taught that God designed for moral evil to be in his creation I'm not aware of Calvin calling God the "author" of moral evil. This passage from Calvin may be referring to "evils" in the sense of "calamities". I would have to read it in its context. The Westminster Standards, which are heavily based on Calvin and within his tradition, uses these words:

    "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, not is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established." (WCF 3.1)

    It's important for Calvinists to say that while God ordained sin to come to pass he is not the author of sin. This means that sin comes from the creatures and that God himself does not sin. An example of this is found in Genesis 50 when Joseph is recounting his ordeals to his brothers. He said of their sin: "You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good." God ordained the actions of Joseph's brothers. They were agents in those scenes and God was an agent. They meant those actions for evil but God meant the same actions for good. A profound mystery!

    Yes God ordains sin.

    Yes God uses the sins of others to execute his justice. He used sinful Babylon to destroy Jerusalem (Habakkuk 1:5-11) and then later punished Babylon for this (Habakkuk 2:6-20)!​



    Yeah no problems here. Calvin rightly taught this biblical truth. Proverbs 16:4.

    I don't see anywhere in these quotes where Calvin mentions the free will of man. Calvin taught that man has free will so long as we understand the concept in the compatibalist sense.
     
  3. Monk Brendan

    Monk Brendan Well-Known Member Supporter

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    How does this glorify God? How does anyone sent to hell glorify God?
     
  4. Hammster

    Hammster Our weapons are Word, Water, Bread, Wine. Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    God's justice glorifies Him.
     
  5. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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    God is glorified by justly punishing sinners.
     
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  6. Monk Brendan

    Monk Brendan Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Forgive me for speaking, but God did not force satan to become evil. Lucifer was the tip of the spear, if you will. He was, outside of God, the most beautiful thing in the universe. However, he also had pride, not the justifiable pride that God had made him the wonderful, but an arrogant pride, "I will be like the most High." That type of pride IS evil, and it IS a sin. Satan IS the author of sin and evil. God did not design it. God did not create it. But because satan had free will, he could come up with such an idea on his own.
     
  7. Monk Brendan

    Monk Brendan Well-Known Member Supporter

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    And that is poor answer, as it denies God's mercy. God's justice must balance with God's mercy. If He is only justice, then ALL will end up in hell. If he denies His justice, and only uses mercy, then sin is let into heaven, and we are just as bad off as we are now.
     
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  8. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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    To say that God is glorified when his justice is displayed is not to say that God is not merciful. He is also glorified in his mercy. But God does indeed justly punish sinners. God is glorified even in the destruction of Jerusalem. God is glorified at all times and in everything he does. And this includes justly punishing the wicked.
     
  9. Hammster

    Hammster Our weapons are Word, Water, Bread, Wine. Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    Where did I deny mercy?
     
  10. Monk Brendan

    Monk Brendan Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I did not say YOU yourself, personally. It is Calvin that denies it,
    Calvin, in making God such an inflexible being has created a monster with NO mercy, and only 5 (for instance) out of the dead in 9/11 got to heaven, and the rest, no matter how pious, no matter how much they loved God, no matter how secure they were in their salvation went straight to hell. That is Calvin denying God's mercy. That is why I find his teachings reprehensible.
     
  11. zippy2006

    zippy2006 Dragonsworn

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    Thanks for your response. I am familiar with this passage from the WCF and I think it deviates from Calvin. While it is possible that Calvin meant calamities rather than moral evil, this would surprise me in light of his all-encompassing understanding of God's sovereignty.

    Calvin disliked the term "free will" because he thought it created misunderstandings but was willing to use it alongside heavy explanation. His real concern was to safeguard man's responsibility more than man's freedom, and he believed that responsibility was compatible with necessity but not compatible with coercion.

    Yet the common sense position is that necessity destroys responsibility and freedom, and that free will is incompatible with determinism. That is why I (justifiably) see Calvin's claims as a denial of free will. And I hardly think Calvin would disagree considering what is commonly meant by "free will."
     
  12. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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    Is this really what is commonly meant by "free will" or "freedom"? In philosophical conversations, which are far from common, this may be the meaning. But in every day usage "free" means "I can do what I want" and "not free" means "I cannot do what I want". Man is certainly free in this sense in the Calvinist worldview. Unless a man is in prison or otherwise constrained he is able to do as he pleases.
     
  13. Hammster

    Hammster Our weapons are Word, Water, Bread, Wine. Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    Where are you getting that from?
     
  14. Monk Brendan

    Monk Brendan Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Read my recent posting on the other thread you are stewing.
     
  15. Monk Brendan

    Monk Brendan Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Where did Calvin get this from?
     
  16. Hammster

    Hammster Our weapons are Word, Water, Bread, Wine. Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    ???
     
  17. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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  18. zippy2006

    zippy2006 Dragonsworn

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    Let's look at the dictionary definition:
    1. voluntary choice or decision
    2. freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention
    Calvinism certainly excludes (2), but does it exclude (1)? I think a basic condition of a choice or decision (and freedom) is the ability to have chosen otherwise. If I am shown apples and oranges and I choose an apple, the common view of choice holds that I could have chosen an orange. For Calvin, there is no possibility to choose otherwise.
     
  19. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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    Calvinism excludes (2) but does not exclude (1). Sinners voluntarily sin and regenerate worshippers of God voluntarily worship him. This is all we Calvinists mean when we say "freedom". This is usually what the common person means when they use this word in casual conversation. No need to dive any deeper.
     
  20. Truthfrees

    Truthfrees Well-Known Member Supporter

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    i totally agree, but i guess calvin says God forced satan to become evil

    i was wanting a quote from calvin's writings saying this
     
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