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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. Dr. Jack

    Dr. Jack Well-Known Member

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    Before commenting, I would like to apologize for not responding as quickly as I would like. My time here could be labeled "Me free time"; which sometimes isn't much.

    Please allow me to make a few comments, as concisely as possible. Theologians have debated these subjects for quite some time. If the Reformed position was as strong Scripurally as some believe, there would be no debate. If we are to claim a Sola Scriptura position, we should be able to support our position with Scripture.

    The subject of this thread is the inconsistencies of 1) the Covenant of Redemption; 2) the Covenant of Works; and 3) the Covenant of Grace.

    Here is the main problem ... the Covenant of Redemption being made prior to the other two covenants, demands the transgression of Adam. It doesn't simply "allow" it. When God determined that He would be the Redeemer PRIOR to the creation, that of necessity means that it wasn't that God would simply ALLOW Adam to transgress, it required it.

    I see in your comment above the continual use of the word "allow" when referring to the word "decree". Allow simply falls short of the requirement of a sinner in need of a Redeemer.

    God determined Himself to be the Redeemer because He knew Adam would sin. The question is, did God determine the events of the Garden of Eden, or did God simply know the events of the Garden of Eden via His omniscience?

    What is the difference?

    If man truly, and freely without any intervention on God's part, then Adam is solely responsible. However, if God not only decreed Adam to transgress, but also determined the events in the Garden of Eden that would bring forth Adam's transgression, then God shares in the responsibility of the transgression of Adam. This is not an minor point. Rather, it must be understood that this one transgression would also condemn the entire human race. This means that, if Adam acted alone, without any intervention from God, Adam is also responsible for the entire human race. However, if God intervened with Adam's transgression, He is also responsible for the fall of the entire human race.

    The inconsistency of these Covenants is that since God determines all events, and God is the cause of all events, then God cannot make Covenants that hold man accountable, for what He has determined.
     
  2. His student

    His student Well-Known Member

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    Dr. Jack,

    Good to have you back here. My apologies for the long "asides" which FreeGrace2 and I have been involved in. I intend not to continue with them as of now.

    I say "asides". But they really have been pertinent to the discussion you raised in the OP. But what they have been are the classic straw man charges against Calvinists that their use of the words "1st cause" regarding God demand that He be charged with culpability in sin if they are true.

    My posts to FreeGrace2 have been rebuttals to show that Calvinists are quite clear that that is not what they mean by the term.

    It's all been said now and I hope he will agree and leave off posting to me along the lines of his "test" and we can return to discussing this idea of the covenants with you as we should have done all along.

    It's the middle of the night now so this post won't address the one you just posted. I want to do what you and I have agreed is best in our conversation on the side - namely take one subject at a time and not carry on and on.

    I'll get back to you tomorrow when I can think and write more clearly and concisely on the subject of the OP which you have rightly just brought back into focus.

    I hope FreeGrace2 will do that as well. But if he doesn't and continues with the straw man I will try hard not to answer him and to stay back on the idea of addressing the OP directly.

    Thanks for bringing us back into focus and off the useless straw man and straw man rebuttal posts I have been drawn into.:)
     
  3. FreeGrace2

    FreeGrace2 Senior Veteran

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    I asked:
    "OK, has God decreed everything that occurs?"
    No, He didn't decree sin. He allowed sin to occur. He knew it would occur, and allowed it. That's a far cry from making a decree, imo.

    And, sin is NOT good. So don't kid yourself.

    Does Rom 8:28 appy to the "decree to sin" as well? lol

    You opened your post with saying that EVERYTHING that occurs has been decreed by God. That has to include sin.

    So, you are admitting, maybe unwittingly, that sin is good.

    But you said everything that occurs has been decreed. And sin occurs. So you are talking double speak here.

    It's NOT my perspective that God is evil. My perspective is that Calvinism makes God to be evil for decreeing evil, which He didn't.

    What God decreed was free will! :swoon: Which is not evil or sin.

    Because He is perfectly good. And He never decreed evil or sin.

    I sure don't believe Calvinism, which makes God the first cause (decree) of evil.

    Nonsense. He decreed free will, in which individuals, whether angelic or human, chose to sin. Sin comes from His creatures. He didn't decree that they would sin.

    Calvinism is confused terribly. And all of the double speak that Calvinists tend to do doesn't change that fact.

    Thesee doctrines aren't difficult at all. It's just that Calvinists have them WRONG.

    Nonsense.

    Your view has God decreeing evil and sin. Nonsense.

    Yes, you've already made that point. Which I totally disagree with.

    Allowing or permitting cerrtain actions doesn't rise to the level of decreeing.

    There you go. It's free will, from which we get free choices, that God has decreed.

    He decreed that angels and man are free to sin. He didn't decree sin.

    Yes, more repetition. And evil and sin are not good. Not even close.

    This is just more double speak.

    You have just pronounced that God is the cause of sin. Nonsense. Absurd.

    Do you not realize that this isn't decreeing evil or sin? So you are still guilty of double speak.

    If God decreed sin, He alone is the cause of sin. The first cause. Free will would have no part in what men (or angels) do. Nonsense.

    You're going to have to explain what "premo" means. My intent is on defending the truth of God's word, not arguing.

    And I still find double speak and wrong views in what you've posted.

    What you keep missing is the actual act of sin or evil. According to your repetitions, God decreed everything, so that would mean He also decreed evil to occur.

    Nonsense. He decreed that creatures have a free will, with which to decide their own choices. Sin comes from creatures as the first cause. Not the nonsense of God being the first cause of everything.

    I do agree with this. But NOT that God decreed everything, because that would have to include sin and evil.

    Don't be silly. Because God is omniscient, He clearly knew what would happen when creatures were given free will. He decreed free will, not sin.

    I know that free will is a problem for Calvinists. But God decreed free will, NOT sin.

    If God did decree evil to occur, then He is evil. Period. He decreed free will, from which evil did come.

    Of course this is true. What ISN'T true is that God decreed evil to occur. Evil comes from opportunity, which brings in free will.

    More double speak. Yes, He allows sin to occur, but that isn't a decree.

    Is this just another way to push the unbiblical Calvinist doctrine of unconditional election?

    I've just pointed out what's false about your views.

    Well, thank you for such freedom. :)

    I've read the WCF. I didn't find anything that supports their views.

    A great challenge. But not in this post. It's quite long enough.

    Do you have a problem with answering tough questions?
     
  4. FreeGrace2

    FreeGrace2 Senior Veteran

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    Let's start with a dictionary definition of "decree" from: DECREE | meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary

    an official statement that something must happen:

    So, the official Calvinist position is that God decreed that sin MUST happen. Nonsense.

    God decreed free will, by which He knew (omniscience) that sin would happen.

    But, Calvinists are guilty of double speak in trying to (unsuccessfully) defend their views.
     
  5. Dr. Jack

    Dr. Jack Well-Known Member

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    Please allow me to address this matter of free will by sharing some things taught by Calvinists on the subject.

    The Frankfurt cases, otherwise known as Frankfurt counterexamples.

    This is the child of Calvinistic theology, to justify what Calvinism calls Compatiblism. Compatiblism is the teaching that (according to Calvinism) the Sovereign decreed, and determined will of God is “compatible” with the freewill of man.

    Here is why Compatiblism is necessary. God's knowledge of the future (foreknowledge) is based on what He decrees, and determines to take place. According to Calvinism, God's sovereignty is “thereby neither is God the author of sin,[2] nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.[3]"
    (Westminster Confession of faith 3.1)

    Here is the complete portion of what was presented.

    The following is from the Confession from 1647.

    "I. God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass;[1] yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin,[2] nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.[3]"
    (Westminster Confession of faith 3.1)

    Westminster Confession of Faith

    The problem for the Calvinist is “the will of the creatures”; and “the liberty or contingency of second causes”. Why is this a problem? The problem is that Calvinism confesses here that we have a will (which must be defined), and that there are “second causes".

    When Calvinism says man has a “will" what exactly does that mean? Does it mean “libertarian freewill", or does it mean simply that based on any knowledge revealed to us, (from any external source), we can extrapolate the knowledge we feel is useful, and allow it to influence our minds, for the purpose of making a choice between at least two options. This is normally what we refer to as “freewill".

    Freewill as described above, is NOT libertarian freewill. Libertarian freewill is that will which acts without any external source whatsoever. Hence, it is important for Calvinists to properly define exactly what is meant by, “the will of the creatures".

    Secondly, the Calvinist must deal with “second causes". Second causes are (technically) joined to first causes, unless proof (undeniable evidence) can be shown that the agent performing the action in question did so without any influence, or coercion from the first, or primary cause.

    We all know the infamous words of Aristotle concerning the stone, being moved by the stick, which is moved by the hand, which is moved by the man. The question is, is the man moved by God, or, did the man move the hand (and so forth), independent of any causality on God's part?

    This is where Calvinism makes a simple statement …
    "I. God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass;[1] yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin,[2] nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.[3]"
    (Westminster Confession of faith 3.1)

    … but fails to say how God can, or does, “from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass” without having any influence on “whatsoever comes to pass”.

    How does God insure that Adam would transgress the Prescriptive Law of God, (since Calvinism confesses that God does “unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass”, without coercing Adam in some way?

    It is the teaching of Calvinism that, out of necessity, Adam HAD NO CHOICE but to transgress in the Garden. Why? Because it was the decreed, and determined will of God.

    How then can the Calvinist say, “yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin,[2] nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.[3]"

    Since “God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass”, including the transgression of Adam in the Garden of Eden, how can God then not be “the author of sin,[2] nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.[3]"?

    Saying the sovereignty of God, and the will of man, along with the responsibilities of secondary causes are compatible, does not make it so.

    If Adam’s will could be influenced from any external source (unknowingly to Adam), and that external source played any part in Adam's choice to transgress in the Garden of Eden, that external force is at least accountable to the degree for which it influenced Adam's choice. Interestingly, Calvinists actually admit that God was in control of every aspect, and circumstance in the Garden of Eden, yet, because Adam himself chose to transgress, he is 100% responsible for his own action.

    This is where the Frankfurt counterexamples come into play.

    “Frankfurt cases (also known as Frankfurt counterexamples or Frankfurt-style cases) were presented by philosopher Harry Frankfurt in 1969 as counterexamples to the principle of alternate possibilities (PAP), which holds that an agent is morally responsible for an action only if that person could have done otherwise.” Frankfurt cases - Wikipedia

    Compatiblism in and of itself is a distraction from the real issue. This isn't a case of COULD HAVE Adam done differently. (Because if he could have, he would have done differently.) This is where Calvinism WANTS the attention.

    Why? Because as long as we ague the idea that Adam is only responsible IF he could have done differently, we avoid the issue of why Adam actually did trangress.

    The sovereign God of Calvinism (as explained above) has culpability of Adam's transgression in the Garden of Eden BECAUSE:
    1) God made the covenant of redemption prior to creation, meaning that God must create the very problem, for which only He could solve.
    2) God willfully decreed Adam to transgress.
    3) God willfully determined Adam to transgress.
    4) God placed Eve in the Garden, with the foreknown purpose of using her to entice Adam to transgress. 5) God placed Satan in the Garden for the foreknown purpose of causing Eve to entice Adam to transgress.
    6) The actual argument from Frankfurt shows that God manipulated the mind of Adam unknowingly to Adam.

    The following excerpt was taken from the above link concerning Franfurt:

    "Frankfurt's examples involve agents who are intuitively responsible for their behavior even though they lack the freedom to act otherwise. Here is a typical case:

    Donald is a Democrat and is likely to vote for the Democrats; in fact, only in one particular circumstance will he not: that is, if he thinks about the prospects of immediate American defeat in Iraq just prior to voting. Ms White, a representative of the Democratic Party, wants to ensure that Donald votes Democratic, so she secretly plants a device in Donald's head that, if activated, will force him to vote Democratic. Not wishing to reveal her presence unnecessarily, Ms White plans to activate the device only if Donald thinks about the Iraq War prior to voting. As things happen, Donald does not think about Iraq prior to voting, so Ms White thus sees no reason to activate the device, and Donald votes Democratic of his own accord. Apparently, Donald is responsible for voting Democratic although, owing to Ms. White's device, he lacks freedom to do otherwise."

    Is there a court in the land that would not hold a person who used his, or her power to accomplish such a list as seen above, culpable of coercing Adam. This is what the real subject of Compatiblism is about.
     
  6. Dr. Jack

    Dr. Jack Well-Known Member

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    Folks, The bottom line is that there is no Scripture that says God determines every event. God certainly did not determine Adam to sin.

    The problem is simple ... when we understand God can determine how to exercise His sovereignty as He wishes, we find that the sovereign will of God was, and will always be, to allow those who accept who, and what He is by faith, simply believing in Him, are those who are the elect.
     
  7. His student

    His student Well-Known Member

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    God was not the author of Adam's sin and God did not force or coerce Adam to sin. Reformed teaching is clear on that. He did not decree the sin of Adam. He decreed that the sin of Adam would occur according to Adams own choice.

    This has been the clear and unambiguous teaching of Reformed theologians for several hundred years now and as long as no one misrepresents that teaching and says that they teach otherwise there will be no argument from me.
    A little disjointed wording there. But I think I understand your meaning and if I do I couldn't agree more.
     
  8. His student

    His student Well-Known Member

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    Calvinists clearly and unambiguously tell us that they believe that God decreed the free will of man. They are also crystal clear that the free choices of men are not eliminated by God's decree that they occur - but rather that they are the means He uses to bring to pass what He has decreed or predestines to occur in time.

    When Calvinists speak of God's decreeing or predestining every thing that has occurred in history - it is only because they want to report what the scriptures themselves tell us.

    I could give you other examples from the scriptures. But - regarding the most foul sins the world has ever known or will ever know - the illegal trial and torture death of the innocent Son of God - the scriptures clearly say that they were planned and predestined by God Himself.

    "this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death." Acts 2:23

    "For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur." Acts 4:27-28
    No - perfect sense.

    Decree is a good word for it. Jesus Himself said that it must happen.

    “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day.” Luke 9:22

    the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” Luke 24:7

    How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? John 12:34

    "How then will the Scriptures be fulfilled, which say that it must happen this way?" Matthew 26:54

    “ For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment.” Luke 22:37

    “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Are ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and with staves to take me? I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but the scriptures must be fulfilled. Mark 14:48-49

    “Now He said to them, "These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled." Luke 24:44

    You have either been displaying here a willful disregard for the testimony of the scriptures regarding what they tell us must happen in various prophecies fulfilled or yet to be fulfilled - or you are simply ignorant of the basic relationship between the Word of God in His spoken, written and living form.

    I've seen this kind of thing so many times here in the forum and elsewhere. In their zeal to undermine what Reformed theology teaches - people put on the shelf some of the most basic truths in the scriptures or they are simply unschooled as to their truth.

    Everything we see in creation and the history of the creation is an expression of what God wants to accomplish. It has been and is being carried out by His Word which He sends forth to do just that. In Him all things consist.

    The problem I often run into here in the forum is the need for long drawn out posts because those I am talking to are in need of schooling concerning some of the most basic concepts in God's written Word. I'd much rather make short pithy posts. But they probably wouldn't get much done since the depth of the lack of thinking through these concepts fully is so great in many of those I am addressing.

    I suppose that sounds more than a bit egotistical. But I know of no other way to make things clear.

    Oh - people think they have given it enough thought and perhaps it is quite a bit for them. But what we often see in their conclusions is the fulfillment of what the Lord said concerning those who do not have having even what they think they have taken away from them. E.g. - some of the truths they ignore in their zeal to refute Calvinism - make it impossible to grasp many of these deeper truths concerning decrees, predestination and the like.

    When Calvinists refer to the decrees of God - they are referring to them with the rather medieval term concerning the sending forth of the word of a monarch as to what must happen. That makes it a perfect term to use when describing what the omnipresent and providentially controlling God is doing in this age.

    The only way that you or anyone else can refute what Reformed doctrine puts forth on this particular subject is to misrepresent it and or say that they believe things different than they have clearly said they do.

    Concerning that - refer to my post just previous to this one.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2019
  9. Dr. Jack

    Dr. Jack Well-Known Member

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    Let me unpack this just a bit:

    "I. God from all eternity,"
    This is clearly an action by God, done in the eternal realm, outside of the realm of time.


    "did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will,"
    This is referring to an act that God did by His omniscience and sovereignty. God did this according to His will, what He desires.


    "freely",
    God did this action with no resistance, or influence.


    "and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass;"
    Whether or not we realize it or not, the word "unchangeably" means that the "whatsoever" that is "ordained" is set in stone. That means that since, (not if) God ordained events to be unchangeable, man has no power, or ability to do anything to the contrary. This teaching is known as "fatalism":

    Merriam Webster defines "fatalism" as:
    "Definition of fatalism : a doctrine that events are fixed in advance so that human beings are powerless to change them - also : a belief in or attitude determined by this doctrine"


    [1] yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin,
    Even though the previous part of the same sentence made the the declaration that God "unchangeable ordain[ed] whatsoever comes to pass;"; this part of the sentence serves as a sort of disclaimer in which the author can say, "even though God "unchangeable ordain[ed] whatsoever comes to pass"; if that "whatsoever" happens to be "sin", God didn't author it". How can a God "unchangeable ordain whatsoever comes to pass" prior to that event occurring, and not be the author of it?

    There is no way for me to unchangeable ordain a ball to be kicked into the air by Johnny; and not be the author of that event.


    [2] nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures;"
    This says that violence (force, or coercion) is not used against the "will" (that attribute which describes a person's desire to do, or not to do an action) of the creatures, (meaning mainly mankind as individuals).

    This however has no explanatory information. Again, as the statement preceding it, the will of the creature is assumed to be in harmony with the will of God, with no logical explanation as to why, or how, yet, since God hates sin, it begs the question of why sin was unchangeable ordain[ed] to occur, and how then did the will for sin originate?


    "nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.[3]" (Westminster Confession of faith 3.1)"
    This specifically deals with "cause", which is directly linked to culpability. This portion of the sentence shifts the cause of the event to the creater, rather than the Creator.

    However, the fact still remains that the "whatsover" was "unchangeable ordain[ed]. What must be explained is simply this: How can man be the cause to any event that occurs, since God is the one that ordained that event to occur?
     
  10. Dr. Jack

    Dr. Jack Well-Known Member

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    You really need to read my post on the Westminster Confession of faith 3.1. It does not say what you say. Furthermore, the Frankfurt cases explain the type of mechanism God uses to limit, or control the will. (I didn't just pull that out of thin air.) Calvinism uses "compatiblism" to say that the sovereignty of God, and the freewill of man are compatible. Harry Frankfurt is the philosopher that many Calvinists use to explain compatibilism. Frankfurt says that the will is limited by a particular person "secretly" controlling the brain of the other person.

    I can stand in front of a class and say, "There was no coercion". But then I must explain how I limited the person's will, without coercion.

    Let me give you a simple illustration:

    When speaking of electrical power, AC and DC are not compatible.

    Now assume I stand in front of a class and say, "AC and DC are compatible. My students would then ask me to explain how that is possible. The problem is ... you can't just say it, you must prove it!

    The answer Calvinists give is the Frankfurt cases. Just check the link I provided and read it for yourself! I'm not making this up!


    I KNOW that has been taught for hundreds of years ... but does that make it true? Yes, the Westminster Confession of faith does teach that, but, just like my illustration with AC and DC, you must PROVE IT!

    The Frankfurt cases is how the Calvinists try to PROVE IT. Read what Frankfurt says!
     
  11. His student

    His student Well-Known Member

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    I have.

    I believe it does say exactly what I say it says. Men have the choice to choose regardless of God predestining that those choices will occur in time.

    God ordained what comes to pass and what comes to pass is brought to pass by the free choices of men.

    I don't know how men who are said to have their very being in God and in the synapses of who's brains God is present in His entirely and without division are capable of acting in any way other than as puppets or robots as anti-Calvinists constantly say Calvinists teach. I don't know how beings who "consist" or "exist" in God's Word as He tells us they do, can have any meaningful relationship with God or be held responsible for any actions they take in their lives.

    But I, and the compilers of the WCF see in the scriptures that all that is true and we believe the scriptures and report what they teach. Our teaching is not contingent on our complete understanding of these things. It is only contingent on determining that the Lord has said so.

    That's apparently also the difference between you and me and our approach to the scriptures.
    Good for them. I'll just stick with what the WCF says to determine what Calvinists believe.

    Many Calvinists quote the "5-points" also to define what is and is not Calvinism. But they are wrong. I'll stick with the opinion of John Calvin concerning what is and is not Calvinism. He says that the atonement is not "limited" in the way modern so called Calvinists say that it was.

    No doubt you could point to some poster here in the forum who is commenting on a facet of Calvinism. He may not however be right.
    That's just the point. Reformed theology is not that Bod limits the person's will - with or without coercion.

    God can predestine an event such as the choices made by certain men - without taking away the ability to make those choices. In the same way He can predestine a great earthquake to occur at the death of Christ without taking away the natural laws of geology.
    That's the answer some Calvinists may give. It's not the answer all would give.

    If I may comment as one who does not identify as a full on Calvinist - neither do I. Neither, in so far as I read it, does the WCF.
    I don't have to "prove" anything. It has already been proven.

    The "proof" is in the Word of God. God clearly predestined (or decreed if you will) any number of sins shown to us in the scriptures. He, also, clearly says that those sins were committed by the will of men and that men will be held responsible for them.
    I did read what the Frankfurt says.

    Frankfurt/smankfurt.

    Frankfurt was delivered in 1969. Let me say that again - 1969. His argument is a Johnny come lately in the world of Reformed theology. What is more - most thinking Reformed theologians would disagree with His approach.

    The simple truth is that people who generally subscribe to the WCF have simply found it sufficient to repeat what the WCF says in order to say all that is necessary when speaking of compatibility.

    God ordains or predestines that sins will occur and the men who commit those sins are responsible for their sins. The reason being that "God is not 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."

    Couldn't have said it better myself.
     
  12. Dr. Jack

    Dr. Jack Well-Known Member

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    You stated:
    "God ordains or predestines that sins will occur and the men who commit those sins are responsible for their sins."

    Show me a single Scripture that states that.
     
  13. His student

    His student Well-Known Member

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    Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! Mathew 18:7

    "For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur." Acts 4:27-28

    "this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death." Acts 2:23

    "So then each of us will give an account of himself to God." Romans 14:12
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2019
  14. FreeGrace2

    FreeGrace2 Senior Veteran

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    And that is why they commit double speak. Consider their doctrine of election: God unconditionally elects certain people for salvation. They clarify further to explain that He then regenerates these elected ones so that they can believe, because their doctrine of depravity claims that unregenerate man cannot believe, which is nonsense.

    So, Calvinists are trying to have their cake and eat it too.

    What they deny, but what is obviously true, is that God really makes the decision about who He will take to heaven, and then changes them so they will believe.

    So, rather than the biblical view that man is saved by grace THROUGH FAITH, their view is that man is saved by grace THROUGH ELECTION.

    Faith only has minor part in God's plan.

    But the Bible is quite clear; faith in God's Son is THE sole issue.

    Sure, they can easily claim 2 opposing ideas.

    They don't need to "report" what the Scriptures tell us. We can read for ourselves.

    Of course. But this doesn't get Calvinism off the hook.

    Acts 17:26 tells us that God places every human being when and where in history. All He does is put people where and when they need to be in order for them to carry out what they will do. That has nothing to do with Calvinism. It has to do with God's omniscience.

    Right. Because knew those who did that would do that. Not because He "decreed" that certain ones would do that.

    Ditto.

    I said:
    "Let's start with a dictionary definition of "decree" from: DECREE | meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary
    an official statement that something must happen: So, the official Calvinist position is that God decreed that sin MUST happen. Nonsense."
    What do you mean "no"? I just gave the definition of decree from a dictionary, and you say "no"? And what does the perfect sense (maybe you meant tense) mean to you?

    Because God is omniscient, of course He knows that what will happen MUST happen. Because He knows it, not because He decreed it to happen.

    But Calvinists don't understand that.

    You want to talk about "the most basic truths", huh.

    OK. Let's go.

    Total depravity. Yes, man is unable to save himself. But Calvinists go too far and claim that man is unable to believe on his own. He needs to be regenerated first. Nonsense.

    Unconditional election. First, election is to service, not salvation. So, yes, God does unconditionally elect every believer to service. Which is exactly what Eph 1:4 says. But since Calvinists link election to salvation, they go off the rails with using the word "unconditional", since salvation IS conditioned upon faith in Christ.

    Limited atonement. Christ died for everyone. Period. 2 Cor 5:14,15, Heb 2:9, 1 John 2:2. And don't give me this "world" means "world of the elect" nonsense.

    Irresistible grace. Just read Acts 7:51 about men who resist the Holy Spirit.

    Perseverance of the saints. If Calvinists refer to eternal security, then they are correct. But if they refer to all true believers not ceasing to believe, then Scripture refutes them.

    I just gave a synopsis of Calvin's TULIP and why it is wrong.

    So, please, address each of the points and show me from Scripture how I'm wrong.
     
  15. FreeGrace2

    FreeGrace2 Senior Veteran

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    Good example of double speak.
     
  16. His student

    His student Well-Known Member

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    I said, "The only way that you or anyone else can refute what Reformed doctrine puts forth on this particular subject is to misrepresent it and or say that they believe things different than they have clearly said they do."
    I take that back - there is another way- albeit a rather equivocal way.
    We've been talking about a particular subject. So you do a head fake and change the subject to something else - namely the 5-points of so called Calvinism, which I do not subscribe to as usually taught by the current crop of so called Calvinists.

    When you cannot refute my argument concerning the Word going forth and accomplishing everything God wants Him to accomplish - you simply change the subject.

    You obviously haven't thought through the concepts from the Word of God concerning the internal decree, vs. the spoken decree, vs. the written decree, vs. the living decree of God.

    Also obvious to me is that you don't want to try to incorporate all that the scriptures teach us into your theology - comparing scripture to scripture.
    Go for it.

    Just, please, do read all of it.
    The dozens of Westminster scholars did and they bounced the entirety of the scripture witness off of each other for over 5 years and came up with their rather insightful and concise statements concerning the giving forth of God's Word (His decrees) in relationship to the free will of men.

    You obviously want to argue about their use of the word decree - even though they went out of their way to show exactly what they meant by it and what they did not mean by it.

    You are completely free to substitute any word you want to for it and create your own catechism on the subjects at hand. You obviously believe you can do better.

    But I'm thinking that, like many other anti-Calvinists, you will just chant a vague mantra about free will and pretend that it solves all of the theological problems involved in this subject.

    Again - go for it. Hopefully we can compare notes on the other side of this life.:wave:
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2019
  17. Apologetic_Warrior

    Apologetic_Warrior Pilgrim

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    If you're looking for a cause for the fall of Adam, look no further than free will, guess we have an issue that God decreed free will or do we?

    Might be an issue IF the obedience of God's people did not please Him therefore giving Him no glory. And it might be an issue IF God had not designed His covenants in eternity, revealing them progressively in time, with an order. In eternity before the foundation of the world, it cannot be said that man is in the contractual agreement of parties in the Covenant of Redemption. Indeed it is an agreement of parties within the Godhead, usually with emphasis on the Father and Son. The Covenants of Works and Grace were revealed in time with man as a contractual party, and in the order of works and then grace. It is also important to recognize Christ as the Head of the Covenants of Works and Grace and His role in the fulfillment of them.

    Where Adam failed, Christ did not. The obedience of Christ and His righteousness is by grace imputed to His people that we might become the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).

    Well hopefully I have helped clear up some confusion here. I struggled with Covenant Theology for a long time, so frustrated, I put it on the back burner and mostly neglected study and thought for the longest time on the subject. To be honest, I couldn't even wrap my mind around it, until some time after becoming a Calvinist. Back then, my Covenantial understanding would probably be best described along the lines of a Plan A and Plan B, without any notion of a Covenant of Redemption, only a Covenant of Works and Grace. Only years after becoming a Calvinist and taking time to research and study did I come to formally recognize and acknowledge a Covenant of Redemption, which astounded me for former ignorance of the subject, as it was right there in my face all along so to speak. Wish you the best in sorting out Scripture with whatever understanding you currently have.
     
  18. FreeGrace2

    FreeGrace2 Senior Veteran

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    I was simmply pointing out that 5 point Calvinism isn't biblical. And having been defending one subject on Calvinism, you also do a head fake by dodging my challenge.

    Except I haven't tried to refute your argument about God's Word. Of course it goes forth and accomplishes everything God wants to accomplish. I can't even believe you would think was trying to do such a stupid thing.

    What I was pointing out was the error of God decreeing everything. He knows everything. And you can't prove that He decrees everything from Scripture.

    Yeah, sure. Just list the chapter and verses about all these so-called decrees that you speak of.

    That's exactly how I come to my understanding of Scripture.

    So, another minus point for you.

    I proved in my previous post that the 5points of Calvinism aren't biblical.

    So, if you want to defend al those Westminster scholars and what they bounced off each others heads, be my guest, and address each point and how and why my explanation isn't correct.

    [QUJOTE]You obviously want to argue about their use of the word decree - even though they went out of their way to show exactly what they meant by it and what they did not mean by it.[/QUOTE]
    Oh, I understood very well. They spoke out of both sides of their mouths. I call that double speak.

    Well, I did show that the 5 points are unbiblical.

    Did you previously claim that Calvinists have no problem with free will? So now you're claiming it's just a vague mantra. Interesting.

    Are you going to instruct me on my errors about the 5 points of Calvinism?
     
  19. FreeGrace2

    FreeGrace2 Senior Veteran

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    Do you mean that you became a Calvinist BEFORE wrapping your mind (understanding) Calvinism??? Wow. What an admission.
     
  20. Apologetic_Warrior

    Apologetic_Warrior Pilgrim

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    Uhh No. Covenant Theology is a distinctive of Reformed Theology, not so much emphasis to Calvinism. I have no idea how you twisted my intended meaning, except that you assumed this: Covenant Theology = Calvinism. Which is rather convenient if you ask me, considering the Doctrines of Grace are the essence of, the defining distinguishment of what is called Calvinism, but you knew this before flaming me.
     
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