Does the call of Jonah teach us something about God?

Discussion in 'Calvinism/Arminianism Debate' started by Skandelon, Oct 30, 2013.

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  1. Skandelon

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    A question for our Calvinistic brethren:

    Why do you suppose God would use outward "normative" means, like a storm and a big fish, to convince Jonah, a believer, to change his will; all the while using irresistible, inward, supernatural means to convince Jonah's sinful audience to change their wills and believe his message?
     
  2. The Biblicist

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    This is a false dichotomy. It is not an either or that God uses but both. This is like asking whether God could just save the elect without any chosen means at all or why would he chose any kind of means whether internal or external since he elected them to salvation??? The very same kind of lame logic as though one must be opposed to the other. The issue is not whether one or the other is used but what is the effectual cause in the end.
     
  3. BobRyan

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    And then why make Jonah whine and complain about God having mercy and not destroying the city - just to debate with him and use the gourd and the worm to teach a lesson "as if" it is all about "lesson teaching" (a free will model) to motivate Jonah to right thinking - instead of "better living through better programming"??

    This is not the master "robot-maker" model.

    OR is God just trying to make it "look like" He is not in master robot-maker mode when really all He is doing is programming Jonah to whine and drag his feet?

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
    #3 BobRyan, Oct 30, 2013
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  4. quantumfaith

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    Excellent and thought provoking question Skan. And kudos Bob to an additional insight. I wished I were as insightful and articulate as "yall". I am thankful for you two wonderful, spirited and godly thinkers.
     
  5. Skandelon

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    Actually, it is meant to point out the PURPOSE of the outward means. What does spending 3 days in the belly of fish accomplish that wasn't accomplished by God's already sovereign will over Jonah's desires? What was God provoking by use of these means if man's will is not a factor and God is actually in control over man's will and choices at all times and in all circumstances.
     
  6. Herald

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    Because that was God's plan.
     
  7. Iconoclast

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    Matthew 12:40
    For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
     
  8. Luke2427

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    I don't suppose that.

    I suppose that God uses means to accomplish his purposes in this world period.
     
  9. Luke2427

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    If you'll notice, almost all of Skan's arguments are not actual arguments. They are "Why would God..." questions.

    I cannot imagine a more meaningless question. Why would God? Why would GOD!?!?!

    The ant might as well ask the rocket scientist why he pours this fluid into that vat and that one into the other.

    Why would God???

    Why would God?

    If God did not tell us why then the most meaningless thing you could ever do is pretend to be able to figure it out with puny human speculation.

    And when you have "figured it out" what VALUE is it?

    It is nothing but mortals playing equals with God as if his ways were not higher than their ways as much as Heaven is above the Earth!

    Whatever could come of such an exercise would not be fit for the deepest cesspools of hell.

    Why would God?

    You have GOT to be kidding me!!!!
     
  10. Benjamin

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    It appears to me that Skandelon is following a pretty good example in asking questions. Could it be Jesus didn't think His questions "meaningless" because He wanted men to use their own God given minds to reason with?

    100 "meaningless":rolleyes: that questions Jesus asked the ants:

    1. And if you greet your brethren only, what is unusual about that? Do not the unbelievers do the same? (Matt 5:47)
    2. Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your lifespan? Matt 6:27
    3. Why are you anxious about clothes? Matt 6:28
    4. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye yet fail to perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? (Matt 7:2)
    5. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? (Matt 7:16)
    6. Why are you terrified? (Matt 8:26)
    7. Why do you harbor evil thoughts? (Matt 9:4)
    8. Can the wedding guests mourn so long as the Bridegroom is with them? (Matt 9:15)
    9. Do you believe I can do this? (Matt 9:28)
    10. What did you go out to the desert to see? (Matt 11:8)
    11. To what shall I compare this generation? (Matt 11:6)
    12. Which of you who has a sheep that falls into a pit on the Sabbath will not take hold of it and lift it out? (Matt 12:11)
    13. How can anyone enter a strong man’s house and take hold of his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? (Matt 12:29)
    14. You brood of vipers! How can you say god things when you are evil? (Matt 12:34)
    15. Who is my mother? Who are my brothers? (Matt 12:48)
    16. Why did you doubt? (Matt 14:31)
    17. And why do you break the commandments of God for the sake of your tradition? (Matt 15:3)
    18. How many loaves do you have? (Matt 15:34)
    19. Do you not yet understand? (Matt 16:8)
    20. Who do people say the Son of Man is? (Matt 16:13)
    21. But who do you say that I am? (Matt 16:15)
    22. What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life and what can one give in exchange for his life? (Matt 16:26)
    23. O faithless and perverse generation how long must I endure you? (Matt 17:17)
    24. Why do you ask me about what is good? (Matt 19:16)
    25. Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink? (Matt 20:22)
    26. What do you want me to do for you? (Matt 20:32)
    27. Did you never read the scriptures? (Matt 21:42)
    28. Why are you testing me? (Matt 22:18)
    29. Blind fools, which is greater, the gold or the temple that makes the gold sacred….the gift of the altar that makes the gift sacred? (Matt 23:17-19)
    30. How are you to avoid being sentenced to hell? (Matt 23:33)
    31. Why do you make trouble for the woman? (Matt 26:10)
    32. Could you not watch for me one brief hour? (Matt 26:40)
    33. Do you think I cannot call upon my Father and he will not provide me at this moment with more than 12 legions of angels? (Matt 26:53)
    34. Have you come out as against a robber with swords and clubs to seize me? (Matt 26:53)
    35. My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me? (Matt 27:46)
    36. Why are you thinking such things in your heart? (Mark 2:8)
    37. Is a lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed rather than on a lamp stand? (Mark 4:21)
    38. Who has touched my clothes? (Mark 5:30)
    39. Why this commotion and weeping? (Mark 5:39)
    40. Are even you likewise without understanding? (Mark 7:18)
    41. Why does this generation seek a sign? (Mark 8:12)
    42. Do you not yet understand or comprehend? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes and still not see? Ears and not hear? (Mark 8:17-18)
    43. How many wicker baskets full of leftover fragments did you pick up? (Mark 8:19)
    44. [To the Blind man] Do you see anything? (Mark 8:23)
    45. What were arguing about on the way? (Mark 9:33)
    46. Salt is good, but what if salt becomes flat? (Mark 9:50)
    47. What did Moses command you? (Mark 10:3)
    48. Do you see these great buildings? They will all be thrown down. (Mark 13:2)
    49. Simon, are you asleep? (Mark 14:37)
    50. Why were you looking for me? (Luke 2:49)
    51. What are you thinking in your hearts? (Luke 5:22)
    52. Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and not do what I command? (Luke 6:46)
    53. Where is your faith (Luke 8:25)
    54. What is your name? (Luke 8:30)
    55. Who touched me? (Luke 8:45)
    56. Will you be exalted to heaven? (Luke 10:15)
    57. What is written in the law? How do you read it? (Luke 10:26)
    58. Which of these three in your opinion was neighbor to the robber’s victim? (Luke 10:36)
    59. Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside? (Luke 11:40)
    60. Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbiter? (Luke 12:14)
    61. If even the smallest things are beyond your control, why are you anxious about the rest? (Luke 12:26)
    62. Why do you not judge for yourself what is right? (Luke 12:57)
    63. What king, marching into battle would not first sit down and decide whether with ten thousand troops he can successfully oppose another king marching upon him with twenty thousand troops? (Luke 14:31)
    64. If therefore you are not trustworthy with worldly wealth, who will trust you with true wealth? (Luke 16:11)
    65. Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God? (Luke 17:18)
    66. Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? (Luke 18:7)
    67. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find any faith on earth? (Luke 18:8)
    68. For who is greater, the one seated a table or the one who serves? (Luke 22:27)
    69. Why are you sleeping? (Luke 22:46)
    70. For if these things are done when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry? (Luke 23:31)
    71. What are you discussing as you walk along? (Luke 24:17)
    72. Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter his glory? (Luke 24:26)
    73. Have you anything here to eat? (Luke 24:41)
    74. What are you looking for? (John 1:38)
    75. How does this concern of your affect me? (John 2:4)
    76. You are a teacher in Israel and you do not understand this? (John 3: 10)
    77. If I tell you about earthly things and you will not believe, how will you believe when I tell you of heavenly things? (John 3: 12)
    78. Do you want to be well? (John 5:6)
    79. How is it that you seek praise from one another and not seek the praise that comes from God? (John 5:44)
    80. If you do not believe Moses’ writings how will you believe me? (John 5:47)
    81. Where can we buy enough food for them to eat? (John 6:5)
    82. Does this (teaching of the Eucharist) shock you? (John 6:61)
    83. Do you also want to leave me? (John 6:67)
    84. Why are you trying to kill me? (John 7:19)
    85. Woman where are they, has no one condemned you? (John 8:10)
    86. Why do you not understand what I am saying? (John 8:43)
    87. Can any of you charge me with sin? (John 8:46)
    88. If I am telling you the truth, why do you not believe me? (John 8:46)
    89. Are there not twelve hours in a day? (John 11:9)
    90. Do you believe this? (John 11:26)
    91. Do you realize what I have done for you? (John 13:12)
    92. Have I been with you for so long and still you do not know me? (John 14:9)
    93. Whom are you looking for? (John 18:4)
    94. Shall I not drink the cup the Father gave me? (John 18:11)
    95. If I have spoken rightly, why did you strike me? (John 18:23)
    96. Do you say [what you say about me] on your own or have others been telling you about me? (John 18:34)
    97. Have you come to believe because you have seen me? (John 20:29)
    98. Do you love me? (John 21:16)
    99. What if I want John to remain until I come? (John 21:22)
    100. What concern is it of yours? (John 21:22)
     
    #10 Benjamin, Oct 31, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 31, 2013
  11. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Nailed it...but it doesn't stop the human mind from asking those unfathomable questions does it?
     
  12. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Hear is what scares me the most though.... driving past a church in my community that was once a Doctrines of a Grace Presbyterian church....then sold to Uniterians & seeing a sign that clearly says 'HUMANISM' :BangHead:
     
  13. Herald

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    There is a difference between asking those type of questions in conversation, or while in the midst of suffering, and asking them as a theological exercise. Whenever we try to probe God's motivation, in areas where He has not made His motivation known, we engage in fruitless speculation. Why is such speculation fruitless? Because there is no arbiter as to what is fact.
     
  14. The Biblicist

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    You are misinformed! First, the human will is not forced by God to do anything whether we are speaking about salvation or in Jonah's case chastening. Jonah was being chastened for disobedience to God's revealed will. God controls circumstances and circumstances limit the available choices. In Jonah's case, the storm and three days in the belly of the Great Fish were designed by God to chasten Jonah. God limited the available choices but did not force Jonah to do anything. In chastening the available choices are always either continue to tribulate or repent. This external limitation of available choices, along with PAIN work together with internal aspects that do control the will - conviction by conscience (inward pain), desires of inward new man - inclination to obey God.

    Your idea that we believe that God forces men to choose against their will is the basis of your argument and it is a false basis as we believe no such thing. God simply changes the want to by giving a new heart so that the elect becomes willing rather than forcing the elect against his will. After salvation, as in the case of Jonah, God uses both outward circumstances to limit the available choices along with the inward inclination of the new man to accomplish His sovereign will.
     
    #14 The Biblicist, Oct 31, 2013
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  15. Skandelon

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    As opposed to God's secret will, which was that Jonah would NOT desire to obey, right? If God is sovereign over the will of man then he is sovereign over the wrong choices as well as the right ones in your system, right?

    And why would you suppose that is necessary given that God controls the desires which dictate the choices anyway? Why even mention his control over circumstances when it comes to the choice of man if indeed He is already sovereign over those choices REGARDLESS of the circumstance.

    It would be like saying... "The puppet on my hand is limited by what he can do because I determined where the stage props go." What significance do the stage props have in the determination of the puppet choices when YOU are the one controlling the puppet regardless of the props surrounding him?

    For what? Doing what God had predetermined for him to do? Or for doing what he freely chose to do in rebellion to God's will?

    I never said that. I'm well aware of compatiblistic theology. I claimed that in your system God determines or decrees the desires of men by which their choices are determined. Men are doing what they WANT to do, but ultimately God is the one who determined their WANTS and thus their choices. Do you deny this?
     
  16. Skandelon

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    What do the means actually accomplish though? Changing God's determination of what the man will choose? Is God putting on a show just to make it appear the circumstance was necessary to convince his will, because if what you believe is true then the Fish isn't necessary. God simply decrees for Jonah's will to be such that he will certainly choose according to God's purpose. The fish circumstance does NOTHING in your system except deceive the reader into thinking that Jonah has something to do with his choices, when he really doesn't.

    In Romans 11 we also see where God is said to 'provoke' the will of man with envy. What purpose does that serve in your system? What does that accomplish exactly? Does envy serve to convince God to change the man's desires? It makes NO SENSE.
     
  17. Iconoclast

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    Not to be over dramatic but satan questioned and speculated about Gods motives
     
  18. The Biblicist

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    WE have been over this territory before and YOU KNOW you are intentionally perverting my position so why do it again??? Are you that desperate? Do I have to repeat my position on God's Sovereign will in regard to good and evil? Do I have to repeat that in regard to evil God's Sovereign will is respresented in Scripture as PERMISSIVE only and that He RESTRAINS and OVERRULES all evil that does not work out for our ultimate good and His glory (Psa. 76:10; Rom. 8:28). Do I have to repeat the Bibical proof for secondary causes and that God is the Primary cause of all that is Good (Gen. 1-2:5) while the very nature of "free will" necesarrily demands permission of evil choices and thus evil? Do I have to once again demonstrate that God created free will in connection with accountable agents, giving them clear law of right and wrong and full warning as to the consequences? Do I have to once again demonstrate that fallen man's will is as free as God's own will that nothing extenrnal forces either will , but all force of will comes by the restrictions of either Divine NATURE or fallen human NATURE. Do we really have to repeat all of this once more?????????

    Who believes that? I don't! Apparently either you don't read very well or you have selective reading when you read my posts. I have repeatedly told you that God does not force the human will to do anything but you keep repeating it as though you know what I believe better than what I do. I said God controls the circumstances which limits the options of choice. I said that in regard to CHASTENING by God (Jonah) God limits the circumstances to just TWO choices - continuing pain/troubles/afflictions or repentance coupled with internal conscience (internal infliction of pain) and the inclination of the inward man to please God. The actual internal culprit is indwelling sin which the redeemed man needs to side against and instead of yeilding to (Rom. 6; 7:14-8:13).

    Again, READ MY LIPS - God never forces the human will to do anything but all force is internal by either fallen human nature or regenerate nature.

    You simply are attributing to me something I never professed to believe in, never will believe in. Are you so desperate that this is what you are forced to do????
     
  19. Luke2427

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    God changes the will of man howsoever he pleases. He may simply suddenly change their desires and ambitions without "external" means. Or he may strengthen their wills and then break them with external circumstances.

    He typically does the latter. That's what we observe in the Bible and experience in our own lives and the world around us.

    God changes wills howsoever he pleases.

    God may want to wet a sponge sitting on my lawn. He COULD speak and say, "BE wet," and it would be wet- or he could make it rain and use rain as his means to wet the sponge.

    He typically does the latter.
     
  20. Skandelon

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    But Luke that statement itself presupposes that man has a will of his own!!!!! Don't you see it? If what you claim is true your sentence should read, "God changes His will for the man however He pleases." Man doesn't have a will in your system...he has a instinctive reflexive response maybe, but not a will.

    To suggest that a circumstance changed Jonah's will presupposes that Jonah had a will to be changed. And according to your system (where God is 'sovereignly in control' over Jonah's will prior to that circumstance), you have God merely changing His own will for what Jonah would desire and thus choose. He is not changing Jonah's will, because for it to be Jonah's it would have to be independent of God's...and you have rejected that, remember?

    Their wills? You mean the wills that God predetermined for them to have in the first place? Those wills? So God is breaking the will that he determined to be hard, and/or strengthen the wills that he determined to be soft.
     
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