Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Clarifying that Calvin's god really is a malicious, capricious beast

Another note in an ongoing discussion here:
"I cannot conceive of why it is a problem for people to understand either double-predestination or its necessity."
Does not God "foreknow" all people? Does not YHWH intend Life for all people? Did not Christ die for and justify all people?

There is no problem "understanding" Double Predestination. The problem is accepting the idea since it is not found in Scripture [and contrary to the nature of the God revealed in the Bible].

Worse than that (that's bad enough!), it makes God out to be a capricious monster, which He is not.
"it is undeniably in Scripture."
No, only the statement that God predestines believers to eternal life is in the Bible.

If you want to say that God predestines people for Hell, you'll have to produce something from the Bible saying that . . . God predestines people to Hell.

And Arminianism doesn't cut it, either.
"It is not possible to retain an omniscient God and say, "Well, He doesn't know who will be saved . . . we have a God who knows in advance all who will be saved. Regardless of how you come to that conclusion, that would be "predestination"
You are confusing knowing the future for determining unalterably who will end up where.
"It is inescapable that if God is omniscient and knows all who will be saved, then He would also know all who will not be saved."
Again, knowing all things is not the same thing as causing them to occur.

Using your logic, Mohammed's slaughter is Calvin's god's will.
"if He doesn't intervene and change those who will not be saved"
YHWH did intervene. God did act. He has done EVERYTHING necessary for all to be saved, or is the death of His Son a small matter?
"If you argue that God knew but couldn't do anything about it, then you reject an omnipotent God. Which God do you reject?"
False dichotomy.

Instead, I prefer to say what God says:
"Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men" (Romans 5).
The correspondence continues:
"Now, since you reject that God "predetermined their condemnation" (which, by the way, is exactly what Jude 1:4 says), what exactly do you believe?"
Condemned for their sin, not created by God for condemnation.

["ordained," "written into" and "designated" according to the 1611 King James, Modern King James, and English Standard Versions.]
"The question of Limited Atonement . . . if He intended the salvation of all, He quite frankly failed. If He intended the salvation of those who believe, He succeeded. Which do you believe?
So, you're saying that Jesus only intended to save some but died for everyone? That makes sense?

I believe what God says:
"He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world" (1 John 2).
Continuing the discussion:
"on "Irresistible Grace" . . . The point is that God has the capacity to call irresistibly. Given an omnipotent God, that seems like a given. What do you believe?"
So, your god can "call irresistibly," but chooses not to?

Are these clarifications really helping your argument?

You've got a god that chooses to save only a few based on a whim and calls only a few to faith.

I believe in the God of Scripture. He loves all. He desires that all should live. He calls all to salvation. He died for all people's sins. He has reconciled us all to Himself.

Many, however, choose to reject that gift, which means they've got to pay for their sins out of their own pocket.
"THe underlying belief here is that it is God's will that everyone be saved. The Bible says that God wants everyone to come to repentance, but it is clearly not His will . . . ."
That makes Calvin's god a sick monster and the Bible's God a liar.
"It is mandatory (biblically) that God's will occurs. It is impossible (especially given an omnipotent God) for God's will not to occur."
That is false, for He says not only that He is not willing that anyone should perish, but that many will.

That means also that your god wills genocide, slavery, and child rape.
"If it is God's will that all are saved, then we have only one of two possibilities. One is that all will be saved because God's will always occurs. The other is that some won't be saved ... and God is not omnipotent and the Bible's repeated claim that God always accomplishes what He wants to accomplish is a lie. Which do you believe?"
Neither. I believe God[, Who said that "I longed to gather you . . . but you were not willing," and, "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever doesn't believe will be condemned."]
"You obviously despise what you call "Calvin's heresies". Are you aware that these beliefs 1) are not "Calvin's", but 2) come from the Bible? I myself have never read a word of Calvin. My beliefs are out of the Bible."
[. . .]

Double Predestination and Limited Atonement are Calvin's heresies. [Both are contrary to Scripture and, as you have demonstrated here, make God a monster.]

To attribute them to Christ only heaps blasphemy upon blasphemy.