a question for Calvinists

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Helen, Nov 14, 2002.

  1. Helen

    Helen
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    This forum has been on my mind constantly today. I was out cleaning out the vegetable garden and raking and weeding and such, and thinking and thinking.

    And a question occurred to me.

    If, as Calvinists claim, God chose those He would redeem from before the beginning of time itself, then why should He go through all of this waste of people? Why not just create those who would be redeemed? Why this dreadful waste of time itself, as a part of creation, and the decay and rot and death that go along with it when He could have simply created those He would redeem from the get-go and stop the rest of the suffering and pain and cruelty in this world?
     
  2. KenH

    KenH
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2002
    Messages:
    32,485
    Likes Received:
    0
    Helen,

    A great question. I think it is another one of those questions where non-Calvinists must be puzzled by the same question. Since non-Calvinists believe, as Calvinists do, that God is omniscient, and since non-Calvinists believe that God knows who will choose to repent and believe and who will not, why did He not just create those people whom He knew would choose to repent and believe?

    Ken
     
  3. Helen

    Helen
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    remember when I told you all you had to do was back up one step?...

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Jim1999

    Jim1999
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Jim1999.jpg>

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Messages:
    15,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    To answer your question you must determine the ultimate purpose in creation. God's purpose, or chief end, in creation is found within Himself....His holiness. Creation was for His on will and pleasure (Rom 11:36; Col 1:16 compare Isa 48:11, and I cor 15:28; Prov 16:4...here AV..." The LORD hath made all things for Himself" and AV "Jehovah hath made everything for its own end." (Rev. Ver.)

    There are countless scriptures to support this idea, but typical of my style, I don't wish to become a concordance, but simply state facts as I see them.

    All things that point to the holiness of God are among the chief end in creation, both angels and humankind, brute and fish...yea, all creation.

    Suffering on earth is humanity's own doing, except when God is acting in support of His chief end in creation, as demonstrated in Job, where God was showing the devil the faithfulnes of His servant Job.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  5. Helen

    Helen
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    Jim,

    God would be holy with or without us.

    Why us?

    I'm curious regarding the Calvinist take on this...
     
  6. Jim1999

    Jim1999
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Jim1999.jpg>

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Messages:
    15,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    I gave the scriptural purpose for creation. What more can I say?

    It is quite obvious that God will be God regardless of who or what I am...that was not the question..it was why creation,,,and all the misery that goes along with it.....Scripture answers that,,, clearly........This is a Calvinist's viewpoint.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  7. Helen

    Helen
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    In that case we have a God who has planned pain and misery and suffering and evil because He wanted it?
     
  8. Jim1999

    Jim1999
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Jim1999.jpg>

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Messages:
    15,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    Explain Job

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  9. Helen

    Helen
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    Job was restored after the lesson was learned and written for us. Are you saying that all who suffer pain and violence will be restored at the end?
     
  10. russell55

    russell55
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    2,424
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with Ken that this is a puzzle for everyone except those who ditch the foreknowledge of God.

    Perhaps (and this is only speculation, but it is speculation that may be hinted at in Romans 9) part of God's purpose in creating was to reveal himself, and in order for Him to express the justice aspect of his righteousness (the giving of what is rightly deserved), there had to be people who remain in sin in whom He will express His wrath, just as there need to people redeemed from sin in order for Him to express His mercy (the giving of what is better than is deserved).

    We know that at least part the purpose for redemption (or for saving some) is to show the depth of His grace (Ephesians 2:7 and 1:6), perhaps those left unredeemed are a foil to show the extent of His grace by showing what those who were redeemed justly deserved, and what they were redeemed from.

    Well, even if He only created those He would redeem, wouldn't their sin result in suffering, pain, etc, etc? The way to prevent all of this would have been to prevent any sin.

    Personally, I think God allowed sin in order to have something to redeem people (and creation) from. There is no doubt in my mind that we will be better off as glorified human beings (and glorification only comes as a result of redemption from sin) than Adam was before the fall.
     
  11. Jim1999

    Jim1999
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Jim1999.jpg>

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Messages:
    15,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    No, you were saying that God caused pain and suffering. This had nothing to do with Job's outcome, but the fact that God created the play.....the Devil, God, Job, and all the toehr players, if you will.

    Again, read the scriptures I did quote in a previous post. They are very important to the purpose of creation.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  12. russell55

    russell55
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    2,424
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, if God is good, then as I see it you have three choices:

    A good god who didn't foresee evil.

    A good god who could not prevent evil.

    or God, who allowed evil for a good purpose.

    I think option three is the only one that anyone with an orthodox view of God can have. Does this mean that evil makes God happy (if that's what you mean by "wanted it")? I don't think so. But I do think He allowed evil because He purposed to accomplish something good from it.

    And I don't think non-calvinists really disagree with this. They just think the particular good purpose for allowing evil is something different than what Calvinists do--specifically, permitting evil was necessary in order for mankind to be autonomous.
     
  13. npetreley

    npetreley
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    0
    IMO you can't find truth by trying to figure out why God would or wouldn't do something. The truth is right there in the Bible. If you can't figure out why it's true, or why it makes sense to God, that doesn't mean it stops being true. It just means you (and I) don't know all the details and variables God knows.
     
  14. Rev. G

    Rev. G
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2002
    Messages:
    1,635
    Likes Received:
    0
    Colossians 1:16 - For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities and powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.

    Proverbs 16:4 - The LORD has made all things for Himself, yes, even the wicked for the day of doom.

    Romans 11:33-36 - Oh, the depth of the riches both of hte wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! "For who has known the mind of the LORD? Or who has become His counselor?" "Or who has first given to Him and it shall be repaid to him?" For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

    [ November 14, 2002, 11:47 PM: Message edited by: Rev. G ]
     
  15. Rev. G

    Rev. G
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2002
    Messages:
    1,635
    Likes Received:
    0
    Helen:

    This isn't a "problem" for "Calvinists", but a "problem" for anyone who believes in the omniscience / foreknowledge of God. One can't simply "take a step back" to solve the problem. This is at the heart of the Openness Theology taking place right now. Either God knew what was going to happen and still ordained it, or else He limited His foreknowledge and took a "risk."

    Rev. G
     
  16. KenH

    KenH
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2002
    Messages:
    32,485
    Likes Received:
    0
    Would you explain that further?

    Thanks.

    Ken
     
  17. russell55

    russell55
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    2,424
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, for one thing, Adam was neutral toward sin. Sinning and not sinning were both options for him. As glorified human beings, there will be no more possibility of sin for us.

    I also think our glorified bodies are different and better than Adams. They spiritual bodies, whatever that means, and Adam's wasn't.

    And Adam was created with the possibility of immortality, but the possiblity of mortality, too. We will be truly immortal. There will be no possibility of death for us.

    I think Romans 5 carries the idea that whatever we lost in Adam, we get back in Christ , and even more ("much more did the grace of God...abound", "much more those who recieve the abundant of grace". etc.)

    [ November 15, 2002, 12:24 PM: Message edited by: russell55 ]
     
  18. jmbertrand

    jmbertrand
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Here we are in the pottery shop, a group of clay jars talking theology. One jar says to the others, "If the potter chooses to make some vessels for honor, and others for dishonor, why doesn't he just leave the dishonorable vessels unmade? I mean, if he chooses from the beginning, why go through all that waste?"

    Another jar says, "Are you saying he should make every jar for honor?"

    The first replies, "Oh no! That's universalism. What I mean is that he should simply NOT MAKE jars that he chooses for dishonor."

    The other says, "Doesn't it amount to the same thing? He makes every kind of jar with a purpose in mind, and the jar serves that purpose. If he had no purpose for the jar, then I guess he wouldn't make it. But the fact that he has made it suggests that there's a purpose."

    The first says, "If the purpose is to just end up in the fire, that's not much of a purpose."

    The other replies, "My point is that there is a purpose. We're not potters so we aren't in a position to say just what that is, let alone criticize it. But the potter tells us he makes some for honor, others for dishonor. The rest is speculation."

    Now this is intended in good fun and Christian love, not as an offense. But I can't see how the objection and the alleged inconsistency escapes the Potter/Clay rubric. Also, I can't figure out how anything made for a purpose can, in fulfilling its purpose, be "wasted"? That's a value judgment we're surely in no position to make....

    Mark
     
  19. A4GivenGirl

    A4GivenGirl
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2002
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am replying to to original post :) This question that you asked was one that I had too, before I began to study these doctrines, and sit under preaching that was directed out of this theology. I will try to help answer your question. First of all, consider the God that the scriptured teach. Our God is Holy, Just, Righteous, Omniscient, Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Full of Grace, full of Love and full of Wrath. Our God is no more full of infinite Love as He is full of infinite Wrath. God does not exist for man, He is fully for Himself and His own Glory. God's thoughts and His ways are far above our ways. We cannot, with our finite human minds try to comprehend a God who is fully infinite. With that in mind, I'll try to explain ;) Romans 11:33-35 says, "Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor? Or who has first given to Him and it shall be repaid to Him?" Now, your objection to this "Calvinistic" belief may be, How can God blame anyone for sin and unbelief when He has sovereignly determinde that person's destiny? But, the Bible answers your question with, Romans 9:18-24 "Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills, He hardens. You will say to me then, 'Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?' But indeed, O man, who are You to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, 'Why have you made me like this?' Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? What if God wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He has prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles." Evil's presence and contamination is for God to demonstrate His wrath, to make His power known, and to put the riches of His glorious mercy on display. No one is treated unfairly: Some receive the justice they earn and deserve, others graciously receive mercy. (These notes come from the Macarthur Study Bible)
    Psalm 76:10 says, "Surely the wrath of man shall praise You; With the remainder of wrath You shall gird Yourself." But the Bible also says in Ezekiel 18:23 "Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? says the Lord God, "and not that he should turn from his ways and live?" in verse 32 of the same chapter, the Lord says "For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies," says the Lord God.'Therefore turn and live!'" While God is sovereign in salvation, man is still responsible to repent and believe. Our God is not a bloodthirsty sadist. He takes delight and is praised when His holiness is vindicated. Sin must be paid for, and God's law must be vindicated. He takes glory in that.We cannot fully comprehend God and His ways and why He does things. But we must accept His word as truth, and as a believer, we love God for these attributes :) Hope that helps!
     
  20. Rev. G

    Rev. G
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2002
    Messages:
    1,635
    Likes Received:
    0
    A4GivenGirl:

    This is your first post?!? Wow! Now we are going to expect great things from you. :D Welcome to the Baptist Board!
    [​IMG]
    Rev. G
     

Share This Page

Loading...