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The inconsistencies of the Covenant of Redemption, the Covenant of Works, and the Covenant of Grace

Discussion in 'Salvation (Soteriology)' started by Dr. Jack, Mar 24, 2019.

  1. His student

    His student Well-Known Member

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    Love to.

    Of course the quote from Ecclesiastes is scripture and of course it’s valuable for our instruction.

    But, you being an ordained minister, I’m surprised that you would use it to make a case for chance and to deny that God has a purpose for everything that He brings to pass.

    Ecclesiastes is written to show us the utter futility of life from a strictly human standpoint. From that standpoint a lot of things seem random and seem to be happening by “chance”. From the viewpoint of “the preacher” in Ecclesiastes everything in life seemed to be random “vanity” or “meaningless”.

    But I assure you that from God’s view point it is not.

    You don’t believe that life is meaningless do you?

    The preacher wrongly says that things happen by chance. But God says it’s simply not so.

    The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD. - Proverbs 16:33
     
  2. Dr. Jack

    Dr. Jack Well-Known Member

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    What is the context of the each?

    9:11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.9:12 For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them. Ecclesiastes

    In the text I provided, God had Solomon simply say that not every event is ordered by the Lord, but that chance happens to us all, (even if it is from time, to time).

    16:33 The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD. Proverbs
    Now what is the "lot", and what was it's purpose?

    1:7 And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah. Jonah

    Lots were cast, (like throwing dice, or drawing straws), to determine certain things, in the case of Jonah, to see whom God was angry with.

    So the context of "lots" as used in the Scriptures was not EVEN then to be thought as "chance".

    21:1 The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will. Proverbs

    Again, back to the Scriptures:

    4:21 And the LORD said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go. Exodus

    God hardened Pharaoh's heart for a specific purpose "that he shall not let the people go".

    By hardening Pharoah's heart that he not let the Israelites go until the appointed time God:

    1) Taught Moses how much he could trust God.
    2) Taught the Egyptians to fear the God of the Israelites, to the point that even they begged Pharaoh to let the people go.
    3) Taught the Israelites that God could ...
    A) Separate them from the Egyptians in judgment.
    B) That the God of Abraham was still very much with them.
    C) Bring judgment upon them, if they chose to disobey Him.
    D) And would use Moses to deliver them.
    4) Taught Pharaoh that the God of Israel was in fact mightier than all the gods of Egypt, because He was the only true God.

    When God moves in the heart of a king, there is always a direct purpose.

    The description of "chance" in Ecclesiastes simply points to the fact that "each" time you get caught in the rain, or the battery goes dead in the remote control for the TV, it isn't "decreed by God".
     
  3. Dr. Jack

    Dr. Jack Well-Known Member

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    Ah, you have just entered the beautiful world of determinism, which, because of the words "immutably" and "infallibly" used in the WCF, that determinism reaches to "fatalism".

    Since you believe that there are NO random events, BECAUSE God is in control of "whatsoever comes to pass", that removes any free will choice from man altogether. That means Adam in the Garden of Eden was doing nothing more than following the very script which God Himself decreed, and ordaind.

    Again, there is no room for "free will" in any events that have been decreed from eternity.
     
  4. His student

    His student Well-Known Member

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    Call it what you want to call it. I'm just telling you what the Word of God teaches.
    Absolute nonsense.

    The choices made by men are many things. But random usually isn't one of them - unless the brain of the person in question is scrambled for some reason. Then, of course, his choices may be not only random but are made without culpability. We haven't been talking about those kinds of people.
    Of course there is. Jesus made free choices all the time which were decreed from eternity.
     
  5. His student

    His student Well-Known Member

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    So do you sir. You need to understand the term decree as used by the writers of the WCF. – and understand why they used it.

    Have you read my posts that talk in detail about the Word of God or were they just wasted time for me? It seems that you haven’t. I won’t repeat all I outlined for you before – just touch on a few points even though it’s a bit irritating that I spent so long posting outlines of these things only to have them ignored.

    1st - something new here for the sake of any newbies reading along.

    For the record – I rather like the choice of the words “decree” and “ordain” because they adequately convey that God’s Word will not return to Him void but that it must come to pass.

    When the WCF talks about a decree, they are not talking about a decree just like that of an earthly king, even though it is a helpful metaphor. No one imagines that God has posted a notice on the doors of Heaven and earth outlining what will happen. No one imagines that God puts Post-it notes on the foreheads of men or angels outlining exactly what they are to do – including the choices they are to make. No one even imagines that He actually announces things from His throne in a loud voice for all to hear – even though He may well do that.

    When we talk about God’s decrees we are talking about the sending forth of His Word to accomplish all that He wants accomplished – just as with earthly kings (poor shadows of the King of Kings). Even more than with an earthly decree – God’s Word will accomplish everything He sends Him forth to accomplish.

    In the scriptures, the Word of God may be spoken by Him; it may be written by Him; and it can also be His living Word, the 1st born of all creation. Speaking of that Word, He tells us that everything existent was created and has it’s very “being” in Him, He being omnipresent and filling Heaven and earth. That includes you and me and everything that makes up the particular parameter we live in and make our choices in.

    You and the scriptures talk about what you have called counterfactuals. God knows those things that are not just as clearly as He knows those things that actually are. Amazingly He knows exactly what people will or will not choose to do under an infinite “number” of particular parameters. He gives us examples of that in the scriptures. What makes the difference between mere counterfactuals and reality is that God has sent forth His Word to accomplish one of these sets of parameters through His actions too numerous to number throughout history and in the present.

    Please let’s not get into any of those “His omniscience comes from His sovereignty according to Calvinism” dodges. God’s attributes are not divisible and the WCF doesn’t teach that they are.

    Obviously God doesn’t experience time in the same way we do. But He does talk about things as being sequential even in His realm. Therefore – we can use the term “decision” when talking about what parameters He has “chosen” to bring to pass – knowing full well every exact consequence of that decision vis-à-vis the free choices we will make within those parameters.

    So - God “decrees” what so ever comes to pass by sending forth His Word to set the parameters of His choice. Those God created and sustained parameters include all of history from the creation ex nihilo to your own existence including the number of hairs on your head and, based on examples in the scriptures, perhaps your developed personality which may even affect the choices you will make (but that’s getting ahead of ourselves).

    Now God has told us that within His Word and all that He is doing we have been given free will and play an important part in bringing what He has always known will happen to pass. I’m as amazed as you are that men can have true free will, in the sense we usually use that term, under circumstances where we have our very being in God’s Word and live in parameters He has seen to it will exist resulting in our known choices.

    But,- just like the WCF – God says so and I believe it even if I can’t fully understand it.,

    The difference between the WCF and me and you two guys is that we believe it all and say so. You think it’s contradictory to teach both sides of the equation and so you choose to only teach one side.

    And I will add here – IMO hold a view of our God which is rather shallow - presenting Him as a mere spectator in the affairs if men, rather than the way He describes Himself for us in the scriptures.

    Now some will undoubtedly bow the neck at the idea that He has decreed all that comes to pass. They will say that we are mere puppets under those circumstances.

    But, heh, don’t shoot me. I’m just the messenger. I didn’t write the book. I simply believe it and teach what it teaches.

    You guys like to leave the parts out that are unpalatable to you.

    I can’t speak for others. But I rather like being a cog in something grand that God is doing. I doesn’t bother me at all if all of my choices and actions were predestined from before the foundation of the world. He’s God and I’m not. I can live with that – particularly because I know I’m not just a puppet but I’m a person whom God loves so much He died for me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2019
  6. Dr. Jack

    Dr. Jack Well-Known Member

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    The key of course are the words, "everything that He brings to pass" ... I don't think God brings "sin" to pass ... only determinist do.

    Now you're substituting words in the text ... (that is what you wanted me to do with the WCF to make it say what you wanted it to say); but it doesn't use the word vanity, it uses the word "chance".

    Vanity means void or empty, that isn't the meaning of chance.

    No

    Maybe you should let God know that what He had the Preacher write, was wrong.

    Already addressed.
     
  7. Dr. Jack

    Dr. Jack Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely true. I also believe that.

    But I don't believe that God decrees or orders everthing that happens.

    He sure permits a lot of stuff, though.


    Amen![/QUOTE]
    It's just too simple ... isn't it?
     
  8. Dr. Jack

    Dr. Jack Well-Known Member

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    It's just too simple ... isn't it?[/QUOTE]
    Actually, the only thing I said was .. It's just too simple ... isn't it?
     
  9. Dr. Jack

    Dr. Jack Well-Known Member

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    I'm glad you finally said the truth ...

    "I doesn’t bother me at all if all of my choices and actions were predestined from before the foundation of the world."

    You are entitled to believe what you want ... I choose to believe differently. But the fact that you just said that God predestined your choices means that you have no choices.
     
  10. His student

    His student Well-Known Member

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    I didn't say that your quote said vanity. I said that the preacher said everything is vanity and I don't see you believing his opinion about that.
    What the preacher wrote was absolutely the way he saw things from his human viewpoint. That's exactly what God wants us to know so He can contrast human viewpoints with His own.

    The book is written to show us how sad and unfulfilling even the most prosperous life is when lived without God at it's center. From that point of view - everything seems random and of no real purpose.

    Study it Jack and take another look at the statement in the WCF while your at it.

    Everything in life has purpose when we allow ourselves to consider what God is doing through it all. That's the point of both.
     
  11. His student

    His student Well-Known Member

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    Simply not true.

    God can predestine the choices I make just as He can predestine anything else.

    God uses what the WCF calls "means" to bring to pass what He predestines to occur. One of those means is the free will of men.

    God no more has to eliminate my free will to predestine my choices than He needs to eliminate the laws of geology to predestine an earthquake in the Tribulation.

    It seems that you pretty much hear what you want to hear - with me as you did with the WCF statement.

    I did not say that God authored my choices. Otherwise I wouldn't have used the term "free will choices" now would I have?

    Nor did the WCF say God authors the sinful choices of men. Otherwise they wouldn't have specifically said that their choices were done out of their free will now would they have?

    Your entire critique is based on your hearing what you want to hear while ignoring part of what a person or confession says.

    That will do it for today - and maybe more. I've got a lot to do.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2019
  12. FreeGrace2

    FreeGrace2 Senior Veteran

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    I said:
    "But I don't believe that God decrees or orders everthing that happens.

    He sure permits a lot of stuff, though."
    Sure is!!
     
  13. Dr. Jack

    Dr. Jack Well-Known Member

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    But you are missing the key issue ...
    If God predestined Adam to transgress then Adam had no choice. If Adam had no choice, he is not culpable.

    We are not characters in a book, following a script which was written (and predestined) prior to creation.
     
  14. Dr. Jack

    Dr. Jack Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if anyone has ever told you that you sometimes make statements that don't make sense?

    You just stated ...
    So in the Garden of Eden, how exactly did God use Adam's free will to bring Adam's sin to pass?

    Remember, to predestinate something means that that is what absolutely must occur.

    Now free will means that Adam had the choice to do either. Now I do believe that God also gave Adam the ability to reason (think in a coherent manner about what is truth vs. a lie).

    God laid out the truth; and Satan lied. Adam had th choose 1) who was telling the truth; and 2) was acting outside of the truth worth the risk?

    I personally believe that despite the fact that Adam knew the truth, he chose to be with Eve, hoping for the best. He was obviously wrong.

    The important thing is that Adam was not decreed, ordained, or predestined to choose the way he chose. Nonetheless, God by His foreknowledge knew the choice Adam would make.

    How then was God in control?

    Because God was prepared by also choosing to be man's Redeemer. Adam could not tell God; "God, you decreed me to sin, I had no choice".

    God knew it, but did not decree it.

    I wasn't aware the laws of physics, geology, and the ecosystem had any free will ... amazing ... I learn new things every day.

    No, I very much read exactly what is written. Words have meaning. I want you to think about this ... if a person already believes the essence of what is taught in the WCF (because they have been taught that previously), they will 1) not question what is written; 2) allow the WCF to give them 'clarity' of that which has previously been taught; 3) seem like the only viable truth; and 4) cause those people to defend it as truth, for the previous reasons.

    I do not agree with the WCF, therefore I must be wrong. Furthermore, since I do not simply comply with the argument you present, I must also be a liar, as you have previously charged.

    Okay, a simple lesson in 'ethics' when writing ...

    If John Smith authored an article in 1900 that said, "Adam will choose to eat the forbidden fruit in 1950, because I have decreed it", when Adam chooses to eat the forbidden fruit in 1950, Adam cannot say "I authored the idea that I would eat the forbidden fruit. Why?

    Because Adam was following a predetermined, prededestinated, decreed, or ordained script. The author of the Script was John Smith in 1900.

    No, it says God decreed sin.

    Incorrect, my critique has been based upon the Scriptural meaning of the words in the WCF. Since the purpose of the WCF is to expound, and clarify the Reformed Theology position on Scripture; it is not only reasonable, but necessary to use the Scriptural meaning of words used in any critique of the WCF.

    One cannot assert the meaning of words such as "decree", or "ordain" is any different than that which is used in Scripture, and then assert that the meaning is still Scriptural.


    Now if (according to you, and those who subscribe to Reformed Theology), God is in absolute control of every event, and nothing is random; God must be the Author, and cause of it, or He allowed a "random" event.

    It cannot be both ways, God cannot NOT have random events, and still not be the Author of some events. He must be the Author of all events since NONE are random.
     
  15. His student

    His student Well-Known Member

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    I'm not missing anything - you are.

    God predestined that Adam’s choice actually occur as He always knew they would if God Himself did certain things.

    God is not simply an observer in His creation. The scriptures don’t provide for that kind of shallow thinking. God is constantly acting through His Word creating and upholding the parameters in which men’s choices are made and even the existence of the men themselves.

    In choosing to do the particular actions that create the certain parameters in which the choices of individual men are made – He is bringing to pass exactly what He knew would come to pass if and when He did those particular innumerable actions.

    Within those confines we live and move and have our being and we make choices according to the freedom God gave us as creatures created in His image,

    The freedom we have, as the WCF so eloquently puts it, is established as we play our part in bringing to pass what God has predestined to occur.

    “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.

    I don’t think you’ve thought these concepts through on your own. I do believe that you have just run them through the grid of your dislike for Calvinism in general.

    I find that that’s usually the case in these debates with anti-Calvinists.

    That’s rather dangerous ground as I see things. You should not really be opening your mouth to teach if you haven’t thought through the concepts involved thoroughly on your own with the prayerful help of the Holy Spirit. You will incur a more strict judgment than if you just listened for a while to those who have.

    I have and I know where of I speak.
     
  16. Dr. Jack

    Dr. Jack Well-Known Member

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    Wow, "If God Himself did certain things". NOW we're getting somewhere! Maybe you can expend on that a little.

    You may "think" whatever you like.

    So when all else fails, tell me that I will suffer the judgment of God for speaking against Calvinism ... but wait ... according to you ... I am doing EXACTLY what God has predestined me to do! Since God is in control of this very conversation, how can I do otherwise?

    I remember once telling a charismatic that his use of tongues did not align with Scripture ... amazingly, he did the same thing! He told me I had blasphemed the Holy Spirit, I said, Well does that mean God will kill me? He said, God would, yet, that was some 27 years later ... here we are!

    Let's stick to discussing the subject; and not using scare tactics to discourage discussion.
     
  17. His student

    His student Well-Known Member

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    Yes they have. Some of them lack the Holy Spirit to help them. Some simply are so blinded by their hatred of Calvinism that they can't think straight.
    Adam made the choice to sin and Adam's predestined sin came to pass.
    Of course. Nor has anyone said otherwise - quite the opposite.
    You said once before that you saw Adam's situation as a set up. In a certain respect that is true. It doesn't change the fact that he made his choice without coercion.
    Don't be silly. That's something what's his name might say.
    Not necessarily. I disagree with the WCF in some areas and I am absolutely right IMO.

    It is not that you don't agree with me that would make your statements lies. It is your consciously saying things which you have been corrected on.

    For instance: No one ever said that God decreed Adam to sin. They have said that God decreed that Adam's sinful choice would actually occur.

    And yet you repeat the lie that they have said the former.
    No - it says that God decreed that sin would occur. The sin was authored by the sinner. The WCF and I couldn't have been more clear about that.
    Nonsense.
    Neither the WCF nor I claim to be scripture nor do we claim to be quoting scripture when giving our opinions about what the scriptures teach.

    In the use of the words decree and ordain we are using them in the way they occur in real life even today.

    The word of a monarch must be obeyed. The Word of the Lord must be obeyed as well.
    The sin of Adam was not a random or unknown event. It happened just as God knew it would if and when He Himself acted in certain ways.
     
  18. His student

    His student Well-Known Member

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    I have - in great detail. But you either ignore what I say or can't follow.
    I have not said that. What I have said is that you are in danger of a more strict judgment because you are teaching negatively on subjects you have not prayerfully thought completely through.
    By exercising your free will. Even the WCF says you can.
    I have told you no such thing.

    However, now that you mentioned it, your grieving of the Holy Spirit may give some insight into why you can't seem to think through this particular issue clearly.

    In think that'll be about it on this subject.

    You don't seem to want to grow - only argue.
     
  19. Dr. Jack

    Dr. Jack Well-Known Member

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    Go ahead, try again, I'll read your answer carefully.

    So here is what I need you to explain ...
    What EXACTLY did God do to get Adam to choose to sin in the Garden of Eden?
     
  20. His student

    His student Well-Known Member

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    He created a paradigm wherein Adam would choose sin just as He Himself always knew he would if and when He created that paradigm. You know the pertinent scriptures.

    We aren't told what "counterfactuals" would have resulted in Adam not choosing to sin.

    No mate taken from his side? No talking serpent? No fruit on the tree" No tree? No Satan? God not giving the command not to eat?

    Nor what factual actually was the tipping point for his sinning.

    God creating a mate for him? God putting a talking serpent in the garden? God putting a tree with fruit in the garden? God creating Satan? God giving the command to eat?

    Just know that God's Word was there and quite active if nothing else than as the means for Adam and Satan's and the tree's actual existence.

    These things not only don't happen in a vacuum. There are no vacuums. (Just as there is no such thing as chance.:)) God fills Heaven and earth and that Word of God (what the WCF calls His decree) will accomplish exactly what God sent Him forth to accomplish.

    You quite obviously have not heretofore thought through these things in a systematic and thorough manner. It seems that you have simply let your dislike for certain aspects of Calvinism color your thinking.

    You should take this opportunity to work through all of the concepts involved in these doctrines backward and forward as I have many times. I have not simply subscribed to this particular Reformed statement because some denomination told me to.

    You don't need to take a full 5 years to do it like the Westminster authors took. But do give it some time before you teach any more on this subject.

    And I shouldn't have to lead you through it with long drawn out posts on the internet. Considering your credentials it sounds like you should have all the skills to tackle it yourself.
     
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