Could God just save EVERYONE!?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Skandelon, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    Sure, he could. He could do like he did with Thomas and physically reveal himself to every doubter, or blind every anti-Christian on a road, or have every rebellious believer swallowed by a fish, or do whatever outward sign that would remove all doubt from every unbeliever. But clearly God is pleased by faith and has chosen that to be the means through which salvation is applied. "Blessed are they who don't see and still believe."

    Even those of us who affirm "Contra-Causal" Freewill acknowledge that God has in the past and may in the future intervene with circumstances (signs and wonders or whatever) to ensure a specific outcome...(i.e. inspiration of scripture, crucifixion, etc)...but to suggest that EVERY circumstance, outcome, thought, evil intent, heinous crime and sinful act is likewise determined by God only serves to:

    (1) undermine the unique and divine attributes of those acts which SHOULD be attributed to God and
    (2) impugns God's Holy and sinless nature by making him appear culpable for originating sin.​
     
  2. Skandelon

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    Are there those here, besides Luke, who use the example of God's intervention in bringing about the crucifixion as proof that He likewise determines all other events such as the heinous crimes of notorious criminals?
     
  3. Havensdad

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    Guess I don't know what you are getting at. Maybe you could answer some questions, so I know where you are coming from. Please answer these very briefly...I do not have time right now to read a dissertation.

    Taking a heinous murder as an example, answer the following:

    #1 Could God have stopped it? Yes/No

    If "No" you can stop. If "Yes" please answer the next question...

    #2 Did God want it to happen? Yes/No

    If "Yes," stop. If "No" please answer the next question:

    #3 If God had the power to stop it, and did not want it to happen, what is the reason that it happened? Answer in 10 words or less.

    Thanks.
     
  4. Skandelon

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    Some of this is in direct response to my interaction with Luke, who IMO has a tendency to take more of an extreme Calvinistic view and "out-Calvin John Calvin," but he gets pretty offended at that charge, so I'm attempting to pull out some of the distinctions. I welcome your questions.

    Yes, of course.

    I'd love to give a simple "No," because I don't believe God delights in sin or "wants" people to break his law.

    But I think its necessary to define the difference between what God desires/wants and what God permissively decrees/purposes (I believe Piper even makes this important distinction in his article titled "The two wills of God.")

    Because the criminal chose to sin and God has created a world in which free moral agents are permitted to make choices and sin against Him.
     
  5. Havensdad

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    Granted. But even Piper would assert that God's overarching decree was that the man do what He did. I prefer to speak of God in terms of His eternality and His condescension. God in His eternality, in terms of His eternal plan and purpose, wanted it to happen, and brought it about through secondary causes. God in His condescension, as He interacts with the time-bound world, weeps over, and gets angry at the sin.

    So, do you think it is improper for a person who is narrowly saved from such a fate, to thank God? For instance, if a police car just happens to drive by, and the criminal gets scared and runs away, should a person not thank God for sending the police car?

    Or did God arrange the circumstances, and thus we should thank Him for being saved? If yes, then does God not also put into place the circumstances (and even, by this, the emotional state of the person committing the crime) that actually brought about the murder?
     
  6. Skandelon

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    Not to be in any way derogatory toward you personally, but I find that view to make God appear to be somewhat "schizophrenic." What I mean is that it appears God is just getting angry at himself ultimately and thus its all just an act he puts on for our benefit, yet because we are smart enough to "figure it out" really its not even for our benefit, but for the benefit of dumber believers who just can't figure it out like the scholarly believer can.

    It's like a dog owner sending his dog to a trainer to teach him to bite all children (an example secondary means because he didn't directly train the dog himself) and then the owner acting as if he is shocked and upset at the dogs behavior when he bites the first kid he sees. That just appears to be such a low view of God IMO. Again, don't take that personal. I'm only expressing how this view appears when it is viewed objectively and honestly. Do you understand?

    Why not just allow the mystery to remain and not bring God's holiness into question? Just say, God does permit the evil for his own good purposes and will redeem even the bad for his own purpose and glory, but HE has NOTHING whatsoever to do with its cause/origin? Understand what I mean?

    I'm not understanding what you are asking about. Are you talking about the fate of a victim being attacked by a murdering criminal thanking God for sending some kind of deterrent like a police car? I'm just not seeing where you are going with this?
     
  7. Earth Wind and Fire

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    your correct, HD is painting a skitzo picture of a God that is a player & Im amazed when people portray Him that way. Yea, I can consede that maybe He sets the stage for events to happen but Man has to determine if they do otherwise God is a puppeteer & not the Pure & Holy Being (devoid of sin). Once again its Man that sins & not God.
     
  8. TCGreek

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    Like a told a groups of inmates when I preached to them last week, where six came to faith in Christ, "In his love, God respects our choice. And if it's rejection of him, then it's hell."
     
  9. Havensdad

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    Not at all. Because scripture does not say that. It says that all things that happen occur according to His definite plan and foreknowledge. What you just said directly contradicts scripture.


    I am sorry that you see God that way. I have heard many oneness Pentecostals make the same argument against the Trinity...but the Trinity is nevertheless a scriptural truth. And saying that some things are too hard for some to understand is not a good argument either. God gifts different men differently. I don't understand theology as deeply as some, but that does not make those things any less true.

    And there are other analogies that would make what I am saying make perfect sense. If, for instance, I could not get my child to take their medicine, and so hid it in a cookie, and stuck it in the top of the cookie jar, KNOWING that they were going to eat it, and ARRANGING things so that it would happen, I would be HAPPY that my child ate the cookie, and got his or her medicine, yet I would still, in a sense, be angry that my child broke the rules and stole a cookie.

    That God is viewed in this twofold way of eternality/condescension, is a necessary consequence of an infinite, eternal, and non-time bound God, interacting with finite, time bound humans.

    I am talking about whether God arranged the circumstances to achieve an outcome. Did He send the officer, or was it completely random...a result of the officer's completely free choice? Should the person thank God for sending the officer, or not?
     
  10. Earth Wind and Fire

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    We alone are altogether accountable and blamable for our wrong-doings, and that our Holy Creator is not at all responsible for them, and therefore we justly deserve condemnation and punishment at the hands of the Righteous Governor of the universe.
     
  11. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Are you asking if this was predetermined?

    I am talking about whether God arranged the circumstances to achieve an outcome. Did He send the officer, or was it completely random...a result of the officer's completely free choice? Should the person thank God for sending the officer, or not?
     
    #11 Earth Wind and Fire, Aug 9, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 9, 2011
  12. Iconoclast

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    Any question starting off with..............Could God......implies that there somehow existed another plan, that was equal to,or perhaps in someway
    better than Gods plan of redemption through the cross...does not seem to be consistent with God's attributes.

    God as all wise uses plan A.....He has reasons for everything He has done.
    I personally do not think we are meant to speculate on God's holy design as it as Isa 55 says His thoughts are far above our thoughts.

    I do not think there Could have been another way...because that would suggest that God knew of a better way...but choose a lesser option>>what sense would that make?

    Those who hold firmly to the doctrines of grace have come to understand and trust God for all the details.

    This is what I meant the other day when i said that sometimes I think you and some ohters try and over look things.
     
  13. Skandelon

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    Foreknowledge is different from predetermination and your view seems to make them one in the same. Maybe I'm not understanding your view?

    Which part?

    You're analogy falls apart when you examine where the intent of the child to eat the cookie originated. In your view, as I currently understand it, even the intent to sin (eat the cookie) is decreed by God, so there is really is no basis of independent desire. What is there for God to be angry with except himself?

    I agree that there is a mystery in how an infinite God interacts with finite man, but your view seems to step beyond the mystery and into speculation by impugning the holiness of God by suggesting that he actively decrees even the evil intent of the "time bound humans," while in response acting as if he is angry at the intent He first decreed to be. That is just not biblical in my view. But again, I haven't heard much from you yet, maybe I'm misunderstanding your view?

    He could, yes. That would be an example of God's direct divine intervention, as we see in the story of Jonah being called to Nineveh, for example. But, I don't believe he does so in every circumstance as explained in the OP.

    Yes, man can and should thank God for times He does appear to intervene to bring about his purpose or answer prayer. Why wouldn't they?
     
  14. Skandelon

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    And on this point we most certainly agree. Well said. :thumbsup:
     
  15. Skandelon

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    I actually agree with the point you make here, but if you re-read my OP I think you will see that the purpose of the OP was not to question God's chosen purpose or methods as if their COULD be another, but just the opposite. My purpose was to validate the means of faith God in His sovereignty has appointed. Thanks!
     
  16. Earth Wind and Fire

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    I think because you hold the role of a Traditional Historical Arminian to my Traditional Historical Calvinism.
     
  17. quantumfaith

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    :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:
     
  18. JesusFan

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    Are you going here against a Cal "straw man" or Luke theology in particular?

    Do you hold that God "caused/determined" the death of jesus?
    Do you hold that God knows all things, some due to him determining them, others due to Him permitting them to happen, but that He works all decisions done into hos overall plans and purposes?

    And to the OP itself...

    God cannot save all, as that would be Universalism!

    Thanks
     
    #18 JesusFan, Aug 9, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 9, 2011
  19. Skandelon

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    I guess it could apply to both in some respects. :laugh:

    If you're not one who attempts to argue that God determines all things by pointing to special and unique events such as Calvary and the inspiration of scripture as proofs, then this thread is not for you. :thumbs:

    I do believe God intervened through normative means to ensure the conditions by which his death would certainly occur in much the way described by some compatibilists, yes. Jesus was obviously active in that process by provoking the religious elite and hiding the truth from most of the leadership who would be the ones to make that call to crucify Him.

    But, I don't believe that God originated the evil intent in those people's minds or anything like that. God is holy and doesn't even tempt men to evil, much less cause their sin. He may, at unique times in history, blind someone from seeing the truth however. This is called "judicial hardening" and we see it with Pharaoh as God ensured the first passover and then we see it with Israel as God ensures the real Passover. That is what Romans 9 is all about.

    Hardening IS not God making someone sin. It is like when a cop hides his presence behind bushes so that the speeder will keep doing what he already wants to do. The cop is not culpable because he is only hiding himself. Same with God.

    I think that is a pretty good way of putting it, yes.
     
  20. JesusFan

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    Would you hold than that God the Father DID ordain jesus to death on the Cross, that Jesus freely agreed to that in eternity past, and that God used to accomplish that the "free" decisions of wicked people doing as they deemed fit?
     

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