Sunday’s finally here, and making good on my earlier promise to share more from bob polo (what do you mean you don’t remember my promises?!) here he is in all of his. . Ahem “reformed” glory. Enjoy everyone, and for those of you with total recall, I added my old reply at the top, that was in part two so if you remember it well feel free to jump ahead to bob’s reply.
Morning buddy. With regards to your belief about having answered my questions by scripture. So to preserve the chronology of our conversation, could you help highlight whereabouts you’ve answered the upcoming questions by scripture based upon this message of yours: “Thank you for your response but the non reformed always ends up in emotions and philosophy with hypothetical illustrations, rather than going directly to scripture…”
1. The big question I have is to ask which of the two is given preferential place in terms of God’s revealed word to man? (with regards to biblical portraits of God).
2. My question to you is does a God who’s perfect in love make a global offer of the Gospel while disenabling us to actually accept the offer he himself made?
3. Does a God of perfect love demand you stop fornication while determining you to fornicate daily?
4. Does he have hidden wills and hidden loves awaiting to damn us for actions he’s made you and I do so to glorify himself, or is He a God who humbles Himself and set aside His concern for His own glory to get His hands dirty saving us?
How many of the four questions have you answered in the message I’ve previously referenced by use of scripture? Considering how brief you’ve kept the above referenced message I’m hard-pressed to find any serious answers (unless I’m being extremely generous/presumptuous). Perhaps these are indirect answers. The proof texting wasn’t particularly relevant insofar as questions 1 & 2 & 4 are concerned (although you can clarify).
Your supposed choice of company is more a reflection on how you imagine yourself sir. 😉 Jim Jones and David Koresh would proof text also (therein lies the rub). I’ve had the pleasure of sharing God’s word with you without having to proof text like a member of Charles Taze Russel’s Bible students group, although you appear not to have noticed the near thirty references without chapter and verse (due to which you’ve trotted out the old “non-Calvinists don’t use scripture” pony). It’s important to read my messages and to consider your reply very patiently, lest you continue to invent arguments and believe the other person to have composed many things which they simply haven’t. It’s like when our friends in the reformed camp insert [all sorts of men] into places it wasn’t in before.
For example you’ve kindly shared: “Was it relevant to the content of his preaching and did he give the quote philosophical validity?” After which you begin discerning private intentions again (it’s an unfortunate habit to have formed): “Seems you’re implying that Paul just randomly quoted a philosophical text. He didn’t.” You’re at liberty (at least in my world-view) to read my reply without having to construct points I’ve yet to argue. My own words clarified by “Paul quoted philosophers in order to make their point no different than how people today can do so in order to make an excellent point.” There’s got to be real care so as not to caricature the person you’ve been writing. If you’re unsure about anything I’ve shared it’s alright to ask rather than to invent an answer upon my behalf.
My point is to write how Paul, taught “at the feet of Gamaliel, [and] taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers” wasn’t ignorant of differing thought forms but rather made use of their wisdom and impact when appropriate. Broken clocks are right twice a day. Paul “quoted philosophers” as I’ve mentioned, my initial point actually punted towards their use of the Cretan philosopher Epimenides of Knossos (you’ve gotten carried away by the imaginings of the heart and went into commentary upon Acts 17). Their original quotation of the poem (which the learned Paul shared in part) goes: “They fashioned a tomb for thee [Zeus], O holy and high one. The Cretans, always liars, evil beasts, idle bellies! But thou art not dead: thou livest and abidest forever, For in thee we live and move and have our being.” Very familiar.
Paul made use of philosophers and even the dreaded philosophy via Plato’s theory of forms, Aristotle and others who to go into mentioning would lead our conversation too far afield. Acts 17, which you’ve brought into discussion upon my behalf (again an awful habit) doesn’t begin to describe Paul’s wealth of philosophic knowledge. Paul brought against people their debt of guilt because men everywhere are without excuse. An attempt at undermining the “shaky” ground of the reason as you’ve described it is by definition anti-intellectual (anti-pauline moreover). Cutting edge brain studies on our habit of inferring to design (AKA shaky reason) speaks volumes to the fact of God’s creative order. Being unable to read my message without regularly dipping into eisegesis or making additions wholesale doesn’t bode well for our study of the likes of Paul.
With regards to the classic misuse of permissive and prescriptive decrees or hidden desires in God. In the Calvinist’s system of thought the idea of permissive will simply isn’t intelligible. Although for you and I let’s read an attempt at defining permissive decrees/wills: “The Permissive Will of God is that will which God does not decree to occur, nor is it His will since it is not in accordance with His Law. God’s permissive will is His will to permit sin to occur. God allows man to rebel against Him, and in this God permits people to do such things as lie, steal, etc.”
An idiosyncratic definition/use of “permission” such as the above simply doesn’t square with either the biblical usage or even wider commitments within Calvinism. People granting permission haven’t determined the choices of the person being allowed permission. In ordinary usage, outside of one’s narrow systematic, those of us who grant permission have powers to deny, and in many cases prefer that what’s done to not be done. By plain usage (the sort which myself and Dr. Flowers would use) people may permit an action they don’t determine or condone simply based upon the desire for some greater good. Just how the Bible itself uses the notion. That’s not an available option insofar as our friends in the Calvinist camp are concerned however. Everything’s determined by God for which no actions happen which they supposedly don’t prefer. The Reformed by their systematic are constrain to believe God “permits” choices, choices which are in reality determined to happen as they do based upon God’s control. He determines casually not merely ends but means also.
As if a train on a railroad track God’s permissive decree simply means to allow the links of their casual chain to carry on as he’s already determined. Permission isn’t an accurate word, for which the permissive decree is misleading and unintelligible. Those of us in the reformed camp are relying upon (ominous drumroll) philosophical presuppositions on the notion of permission. Having explained the failed nature of the permissive decree read with me and be overawed by the great Dr. Sproul as he waxes passionate. Calvinism they believe somehow underwrites notions of permission and libertarian freewill (although he does jump back into soft determinism later): “Adam jumped into the pit. In Adam we all jumped into the pit. God did not throw us into the pit. Adam was clearly warned about the pit. God told him to stay away. The consequences Adam experienced from being in the pit were a direct punishment for jumping into it.” They continued “Adam didn’t simply slip into sin; he jumped into it with both feet. We jumped headlong with him. God didn’t push us. He didn’t trick us. He gave us adequate and fair warning. The fault is ours and only ours.” (Chosen by God, p. 98).
Myself and Dr. Flowers can consistently use the language of permission, Bob. Calvinists can’t however. Dr. Sproul and Matt Slick’s use of permission causes objections ranging from “if God’s not causing certain actions, how is he to know what’s eventually going to happen?” into “What’s being permitted if not something other than God’s control over means and ends in the casual chain?” God doesn’t permit anything in the reformer’s systematic. They cause murder, incest and the worship of other gods and goddesses. No evil actions can be disentangled or isolated from the previously determined event/action in the casually determined chain. Dr. Flowers and myself can comfortably use the language of actions being permitted without being cajoled by an overbearing systematic into affirming hidden wills. We share a belief in librarian freewill.
Man’s bad character, which is often used in an attempt to prop up God’s permissive will, isn’t formed in a vacuum or subject to isolation. Rather characters are formed by an unbreakable chain of events and alternative choices (each of which the Calvinist insists are determined by God). So God’s permissive decree in the Calvinistic sense remains incoherent. Evil characters are determined by God’s billion year casual chain of events so to operate in an evil style. However, to add yet another layer of discomfort for the Calvinist, evil characters merely account for a person’s choice to behave in an immoral fashion, they’re not sufficient so to account for the kind of immoral act specifically. Evil characters account for the bare bones fact of evil, not the act of the immoral person.
When God in the reformer’s systematic determines a child abuser to drive by a school yard, the abuser is determined to act or have desires in accordance with their character. God however doesn’t allow him off of the leash as “permissive” decrees might suggest (for their very specific evil choice of picking little Kelly out from amongst the crowd of children for abduction must be accomplished also). Remember no link can be omitted from the casual chain. A determining God doesn’t “permit”, he promotes and prompts. Your use of compatibaism simply doesn’t mesh when you’ve written “All I can say is I believe the evil thoughts and intentions of men are compatible with the holy thoughts and intentions of God’s decree.” Rather, the evil intentions of men are formed, determined and executed by God. They’re not permitted evils, not allowed wills independently operating, they are God’s will & work altogether.
I’m looking forward to covering the remainder of your message later in the evening (although I’m forewarning you a lot of what you’ve written was simple straw-manning and pops at foresight faith and many other points which nobody has shared with you either in the above video or our conversation). You don’t know a lot about God outside of scripture? If you’re serious I’d have to comment that’s very sad, genuinely sad. The immediate experience of God is one of the most awesome things a born again believer can encounter. Not to forget our moral inclinations and being so gifted as to infer design by having witnessed the things the Lord’s made. Thank goodness for the inner witness of God’s Spirit. Truly I’d recommend prayer, my friend. It’s obviously very different to pray with an understanding of God which says you’re being made to do it or that your prayers are show-pieces (as D. A. Carson commented), still it’ll help.
Question 2: Yes, God is perfect in love, based on His definition of that term, not ours. [This is always an odd one, although for the sake of my own time I didn’t go over it in my reply. Still just think about, this counter argument is pretty much saying “God’s love is different from your love, puny man!” How far does that go? Is it an unrecognisable love? John Wesley wrote “what love is this?” As if to say what love is this that pre-programmes us to sin, then punishes us for the sin we’re preprogrammed to do. Why does this god demand that we repent of our own hard-wiring (his handiwork). What love is this that hated us before the world began. Is that love, because we can’t call it “recognizably loving.” That’s the entire point of someone creating “man love” Vs. “God love”, because they’re teaching some kind of tension in the text. I just see love as how God defines it in His word, no hidden wills included, and thank God the use of that word conformed to what I had already experienced in my day-to-day life. Love is gentle and kind and isn’t self-seeking, is this god as described by bob self-seeking, is damning every weak sickly sinner so he can have all of the glory self-seeking? Readers can be the judge today, and God’s going to be judge in eternity between us and guys like bob.]
I posted the scriptures that speak about how being born of God gives you a capacity to hear and comprehend the word when preached to you. If you are not born of God, you do not possess the ability to hear and comprehend the word [This is the idea that regeneration comes before faith and is a dangerous heresy, for more on how this view goes against the Bible feel free to read my “War on Scripture” post]. Please refute this with scripture, rather than long essays without scripture. At some point, I would like to discuss the book of job [Here’s something I like best about the book of Job, when Satan challenges God with regards to Jobs loyalty, what did he say? Did he say “Job’s only faithful to you because you’ve deterministically turned his crank!” No, no, this is how the exchange went: “One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.” Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land (AKA “you gave Job an awful lot of sheep!”). But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” The hedge of protection was prosperity, herds, offspring, property, and Satan goes after all of these things. It’s not deterministic control that Satan insisted was keeping Job a holy man, it’s not puppetry by another name (a rose by any other name would smell as sweet), it was stuff, God’s good favour over his life, something that is totally relatable and doesn’t take the philosophic contortions that the deterministic believers use. These contortions are so far removed from the scriptures that it’s understandable why many Calvinists take a fancy to attacking Jewish religion and culture, because it just don’t chime with these convoluted ideas.]
Question 3: God commands me to stay away from premarital sex because that sin violates His character, since I am a representative of His image. Yet, I am FULL of lust and carnal desires for many women. I can’t even go to the beach, or I will definitely be tempted to fornicate uncontrollably. Where did these desires come from? [God. . .if you’re a five point Calvinist] My infirmities. Did God create me or not? Since I am a child of God, it’s a blessing that I am dealing with these afflictions because God is developing my character and conforming me to His image in the way that He chooses. Dealing with my lust forces me to develop self control, a key attribute of our holy God [Random thought, does God need self control? I don’t see how, He does all that pleases Him and is never tempted to do things that He hates, so in what way would He need to control Himself? There’s no shadow of turning in God, for which we’re not destroyed.]
Question 4: Yes, God has secret wills. Acts 4:27-28. Deuteronomy 29:29. He doesn’t make anybody do anything. Our wills are derived from our desires. God creates man in distinguishing ways to express His attributes for his ultimate glory. Ephesians 1:1-14
I believe God has a sovereign decree for all actions that take place in time [But he doesn’t make anyone do anything. . .hmm.] (Joseph and his brothers & the crucifixion) You brought up prayer. Question, do you know what to pray before God shows you what to pray for? Simple yes or no.
I’m going to have to beg you to reply with scripture. I’m not interested in philosophy unless I’m debating with unbelievers, since they don’t qualify the bible as credible. Please go to scripture to prove your points and disprove mine.
So, we’re finally in agreement you haven’t answered any of my four questions prior to your most recent reply (or else you’d have referenced as I’ve requested). You’ve also avoided question #1 once again, clarification’s necessary. Which of the two depictions of God receives higher place of preference in the scriptures?
With regards to the first question you’ve ventured an answer upon. You’re of the opinion God’s not truly providing an opportunity/enabling so that sinful people can receive the gospel? Insofar as your proof texts are concerned, you’ve simply misunderstood the material. Your use of John chapter six actually receives attention by Dr. Flowers in the above video, in addition to having done many videos on the subject of John chapter six. If you begin the video during minute thirty-seven you’re going to be treated to an appropriate reply which doesn’t involve Calvinism and making God into the chief of sinners. Not only are people unconstrained in terms of “refuting” your position, rather because you’ve decided on choosing some philosophical position that’s contrary to the biblical witness, you’re constrained upon pain of irrationality to either harmonize or abandon many of your extra-biblical philosophical presuppositions. You’re wanting to police whether or not people may publicly share illustrations, hypotheticals, philosophy and even reason itself “shaky reason.” I’ve only been meeting your incoherent philosophical presupposition on the nature of permission and God with coherent philosophy. Or as the old saying of C. S. Lewis goes “Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered.” So, in spite of protesting to the contrary, philosophy runs through the veins of your rhetoric.
Luke 2:10 explains in plain how God’s good news isn’t good news with regards to an elect of people, rather an angel teaches of an altogether good news for everybody, only by imposing systematics upon the Bible can Calvinists preserve their philosophical commitments. Consider the Gospel according to the apostle Paul “Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.” In reference to the promises of God to the patriarch Abraham in Genesis (Gen. 12:3; 18:18; 22:18) Paul quoted, in which readers find “Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him.”
God’s gospel could be more than the above, although it’ll never be anything less. Luke 2:10 “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” Must be read by the consistent Calvinist as “which shall be to some people”, or perhaps “which shall be to all [kinds] of people.” Which many inconsistent Calvinists and four pointers come out in force against, consider the prince of preachers Charles Haddon Spurgeon while they commented upon 1 Timothy 2:4. . .
““What then? Shall we try to put another meaning into the text than that which it fairly bears? I trow not. You must, most of you, be acquainted with the general method in which our older Calvinistic friends deal with this text. “All men,” say they, —”that is, some men”: as if the Holy Ghost could not have said “some men” if he had meant some men. “All men,” say they; “that is, some of all sorts of men”: as if the Lord could not have said “all sorts of men” if he had meant that. The Holy Ghost by the apostle has written “all men,” and unquestionably he means all men. I know how to get rid of the force of the “alls” according to that critical method which some time ago was very current, but I do not see how it can be applied here with due regard to truth. I was reading just now the exposition of a very able doctor who explains the text so as to explain it away; he applies grammatical gunpowder to it, and explodes it by way of expounding it.
I thought when I read his exposition that it would have been a very capital comment upon the text if it had read, “Who will not have all men to be saved, nor come to a knowledge of the truth.” Had such been the inspired language every remark of the learned doctor would have been exactly in keeping, but as it happens to say, “Who will have all men to be saved,” his observations are more than a little out of place. My love of consistency with my own doctrinal views is not great enough to allow me knowingly to alter a single text of Scripture. I have great respect for orthodoxy, but my reverence for inspiration is far greater. I would sooner a hundred times over appear to be inconsistent with myself than be inconsistent with the word of God. I never thought it to be any very great crime to seem to be inconsistent with myself, for who am I that I should everlastingly be consistent? But I do think it a great crime to be so inconsistent with the word of God that I should want to lop away a bough or even a twig from so much as a single tree of the forest of Scripture. God forbid that I should cut or shape, even in the least degree, any divine expression. So runs the text, and so we must read it, “God our Saviour; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”” —”Salvation By Knowing the Truth”
Notice only by saddling God’s word with extra-biblical ideas (e.g. permissive will, “all sorts of men”) can Calvinists continue preserving their favourite systematic, however in so doing they’ve only lumbered themselves with a false gospel. Great thinkers like Dr. Sproul in their “Does God desire all men saved” video (being interviewed by Mark Driscoll) makes special reference to Ezekiel 18:23, 18:32, 33:11, when they’re taught “Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked,” declares the Lord GOD, “rather than that he should turn from his ways and live?” How does Dr. Sproul answer the material? By punting towards their two wills in God philosophy. The incoherent philosophical presupposition we have already examined. 2 Peter 2:1, Hebrews 2:9, 1 Timothy 2:5-6, John 1:29, 12:32, 1 John 2:1-2, and the centrepiece of every backslider’s arsenal John 3:16 are each fantastic portions of scripture so to help show Calvinists how God’s saving gospel isn’t so limited as they would have supposed [bob did ask for scripture after all!]. Even consistent Calvinists like John Piper make their peace against many of the above quotations (ditto Charles Spurgeon). I’d recommend “The Bible Versus Jeff Durbin on the Atonement” for an even balanced view on the subject.
The massive drawback of Calvinism and the atoning sacrifice of Christ would be how their systematic makes God’s gospel message into an occasion for greater condemnation. “Duty faith” in Calvinism means to explain how you, myself and everybody are punishable depending upon our reaction to the message of the gospel. Who’s determined by God according to the beliefs of the Calvinist to respond positively to the gospel message? Elect people, nobody besides. So, insofar as duty faith goes, God’s gospel, good news for everybody (Luke 2:10), isn’t good news for almost anybody, rather, it’s an opportunity for greater guilt as almost nobody’s casually determined to respond positively to the message. God could make everybody respond positively in the opinion of the Calvinist, yet for some reason that’s not gonna happen. “Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked,” declares the Lord GOD, “rather than that he should turn from his ways and live?” “Yeah you do!” The Calvinist replies. Oh, that’s not 100% fair, before anything else they’re likely to punt toward philosophy.
Note how anybody who’s deceived in their Christianity, people who’re predestined to be deniers of the gospel by God’s fixed decree, guys who’re unable to go to the beach because they’re flaming hot for sin (praying for the brothers here), God’s not only determined their sinful inclinations, they’re also people about whom “he illumines only for a time”, as John Calvin himself taught. . .
“There are two kinds of call. There is the general call, by which God invites all equally to himself through the outward preaching of the word-even those to whom he holds it out as a savor of death, and as the occasion for severer condemnation. The other kind of call is special, which he deigns for the most part to give to the believers alone, while by the inward illumination of his Spirit he causes the preached Word to dwell in their hearts. Yet sometimes he also causes those whom he illumines only for a time to partake of it; then he justly forsakes them on account of their ungratefulness and strikes them with even greater blindness.”
^^^ Calvin too is incoherent upon closer inspection. Two wills, two loves, two calls to the ungodly, anybody worried there’s an unscriptural pattern that’s formed in the way our friends in the high reformed camp are operating. Of course Calvinists are the first to decry philosophy while they’re neck deep in the stuff. People who don’t understand philosophy are the most likely to be fooled by it. Nonetheless, my reply (despite referencing the beach) hasn’t been concerned with anything outside of your answers for question number two. If you’re perfecting patience you can wait on another message before long. 🙂 God bless [he was not perfecting patience at this point in time!]
Brevity is the soul of wit, my friend. Seems you’re convinced of your perspective. It’s a bit prideful to gratify yourself with your first sentence. Are you still saying I haven’t answered your questions? I don’t know what else to type. I thought I answered them. I don’t understand the grammar of the first question, so I can’t answer it.
I never mentioned anything about John 6:44, so your reference to flowers’ response was quite irrelevant. Plus, for some strange reason, he equated being recruited for the army and being invited to a party with being drawn to salvation by a holy God. How is that the same thing? Haven’t a clue. The Hebrew term for “draw” means to drag or haul or induce to come. Vastly different than a recruitment letter or a party invitation, wouldn’t you say?
You haven’t responded to the scriptures I posted:
Hebrews 6:13-18 [For my Christian readers, help understanding these proof texts can be found in my “Engaging the Bible“].
And I really want to discuss the book of job sometime in the near future. Can’t avoid this forever.
I didn’t say I wasn’t using philosophy, on the contrary, my philosophy is derived from scripture. And asking you to add scriptural correlations with your responses makes me the police? Okay.
I read through your response and you believe God is giving a 100% effort in trying to save everyone equally [He isn’t actually after any “one”, He has decided on saving “all the believing ones”, which He does. It’s a people, a category of people, corporate election. It’s the Bible way. Making it about me or you or someone by name is emotionalism, it’s making a category that the Bible isn’t really geared towards. The condition of being saved is the sinner believing (that’s a strike against the U of Tulip too]. He can’t save whoever He wants because that would make Him unloving. That’s your position and I acknowledge that. Do you harmonize scripture? Meaning, do you read certain scriptures in light of other scriptures? I pointed out that the non reformed goes to their surface texts and that’s basically how they defend their position [Question for everyone, was John Wesley reformed, were the people behind the radical reformation reformed? Because they weren’t Calvinists. Why do bob and people like him try and make theistic determinism = the reformation?]. But what about the thesis texts that illuminates the surface texts and gives it its theological basis? Do those even matter? Can you exegete this text for me:
For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to gentiles, but to those who are “called”, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 1corinthians 1:22-24
Who is the “called” that Paul is referring to? Is it the first group of Jews and Greeks? The second group of Jews and Greeks? Or is both groups the called? Let me know.
And I just want to throw these scriptures out there:
I form light and create darkness; I make well-being and create calamity; I am the LORD, who does all these things. Isaiah 45:7
For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—-all things were created through Him and for Him. Colossians 1:16 [This is an interesting use of scripture because I’ve seen it used by the Watchtower cult, but in answering their use of it we go into how Jesus is described as “pre-eminent” in the context. It’s not about determinism, it’s about how Jesus is Lord over all things.]
And this is the judgement: light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. John 3:19-20
Just to give you a snapshot of my philosophical backdrop and where I derive my biblical anthropology. You don’t have to respond to these.
Ivan [Ivan gets no picture!]
Exalting man’s free will saying that man can admit he is a sinner? And explaining that God is not ultimately responsible for not doing good (saving people who were born into fallen world) when He is capable to do it? Thank God He does.
Apparently, Ivan, in the minds of many people, the only way for God to be truly glorified as God is for him to deterministically cause every act of blasphemy, every kind of idolatry (e.g. stone worship, goddess worship, devil worship) and every occasion of the rejection of his name. God’s apparently most glorified in us when we’re most unsatisfied in him.
I don’t understand the grammar of your sentences. Please rephrase.
How can saying that man can admit he is a sinner with no power to change by himself is exalting man’s free will? View that God gave man free will and capability to repent does explain that God is not ultimately responsible for not doing good (saving people who were born into fallen world) when He is capable to do it (James 4:17).
I’ve addressed your response by explaining how your philosophy, in spite of you believing it having came from the scriptures, isn’t from the scriptures because it’s self-refuting, and the scripture repudiates self-refuting, incoherent philosophies. So, if you mean to address your previous message more thoroughly, I’m certainly prepared to extend you the kind of courtesy you’re unable to extend my way. Look forward to my reply, Bob. In addition, Ivan’s message, like my first question, was perfectly clear.
For people who don’t like their comments censored by this particular website [or by bob], I’m going to repost an earlier message while I’m briefly free. In reply to Bob’s message “Brevity is the soul of wit,…”
Here I’d been thinking brevity was an excuse to avoid seriously engaging with the points. People tend to be described as the police when they publicly cast aspersions upon and attempt to police the use of hypothetical, illustration, emotion, analogy, reason, philosophy which isn’t their own philosophy and message length [Only yes or no answers please!]. You’ve attempted (though failed) to enforce and outline the limits of how Christians are to interact based upon your Calvinist philosophy. You don’t gain any greater powers for being the kind of policeman you are, it’s not like you’ve got a badge or anything. Perhaps you’ve got the increased ability to shutdown conversation. 🙂
“I didn’t say I wasn’t using philosophy, on the contrary, my philosophy is derived from scripture.”
Your philosophy isn’t biblical because it’s incoherent, Bob. And God doesn’t promote incoherent things (1 Tim. 6:20). It’s not that your philosophical ideas are a mystery or a paradox or in antimony (as the Calvinist Packer wrote). It’s flat out incoherent and self-defeating. Your position defeats itself. The permissive decree = incoherent, extra biblical and misleading. Limited atonement = unscriptural to the point that Calvinists themselves are split into camps based upon their shock unfaithfulness to God’s word. Calvinists who settle upon mystery rather than failed philosophy which goes against God’s word are deserving of far more respect.
Grime reality for the high Calvinist is that “Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.” (Ecclesiastes 7:29). Only people who hold views similar to mine and those of Dr. Flowers can punt towards God’s permissive action towards sin. Dr. Sproul said right when they taught “I don’t like contradictions. I find little comfort in them. I never cease to be amazed at the ease with which Christians seem to be comfortable with them… What I want to avoid is a God who is smaller than logic and a faith that is lower than reason.” A god who’s smaller than logic and a faith that’s lower than shaky reason. Attach to that a false gospel and we’ve got Calvinism. Brevity (it’s easy!)
It’s a conversation ^^^^ that gets more and more interesting in light of the Bible studies we all do, and maybe it gets a little stranger too, sinister even. Bob’s take on God is a very distant, morally ambiguous godlike figure who could be anything behind the mask of scripture he has given us, he’s not good like how we Christians say “God is good, all the time.” He’s got an otherness to him that defies human likeness, and yet, the Bible says we’re made in God’s likeness, if that’s true, why is this figure that bob’s keeps referring to so shadowy & inhuman. Why is it like reading about a machine, not even a divine machine (for being divine implies the separation of God from sin). Yet this god wants sin, he makes it, causing it, demanding it in order to become more glorified, more god (but isn’t God, the true God, already maximally glorious?) Does god in Calvinism need sin to be glorified, is he dependant on sin, and as a consequence, dependant on the world, could it be that even god is helplessly determined under Calvinism? This and much much more will be tackled later. God bless everyone, hope you’ve all been sharing church today.
― T. C. M