Foreknowledge: God’s Crystal Ball??

Discussion in 'Calvinism/Arminianism Debate' started by Protestant, Aug 25, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Protestant

    Protestant
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2013
    Messages:
    953
    Likes Received:
    63
    An active member of this board has given what I believe to be a classic Arminian definition as to how Election works.

    “I believe God in his foreknowledge knew I would hear the gospel and believe, and so chose me according to foreknowledge (1 Pet 1:2).”

    Both he and I agree that election is the purpose in God to choosing many, but not all sinners, to salvation. Those whom He chooses, He then predestinates to salvation.

    We disagree as to how God chooses those whom He wills to save.

    Our disagreement centers on several key issues:
    (1) The will of God
    (2) The decrees of God
    (3) The grace of God
    (4) The justice of God
    (5) The love of God
    (6) The Lordship of God
    (7) The liberty of God
    (8) The wisdom of God
    (9) The mystery of God
    (10) The majesty and glory of God
    (11) The supernatural nature of Christianity
    (12) The offense of Christianity

    Our disagreement also centers on the nature of man and his contribution to salvation. But I will leave that subject aside for now.

    We both agree the Lord is omniscient. That is not the question. The question is how does the Lord know anything at all?

    In the view of my worthy opponent, God, from eternity, foresees his faith, and based on that evidence, elects him, predestinating him to salvation.

    However, my Arminian friend makes several false assumptions in his attempt to ‘prove’ what needs to be proved.

    False assumption #1: He infers and assumes by his statement that God needs to learn something. Based upon man’s actions, God then decides what to do. To the finite natural mind, that reasoning sounds perfectly feasible and sensible.

    The Bible teaches the opposite. God decides the end from the beginning before He creates.

    “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” (Isaiah 46:10)

    “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.” (Acts 15:18)

    Put simply, God knows nothing but what He has decreed, willed and purposed to be.

    The future does not exist on its own.

    God does not look into the future to discover how it will be.

    The future exists because God has determined and decreed exactly how it will be.

    All exists according to His will. Nothing exists outside His will. Otherwise, that which exists outside His will is greater than God.

    Thus, my worthy Arminian friend who heard the Gospel was quite blessed to be born in a dispensation of time and place wherein the Gospel was preached. Think of all the billions who had no such blessing and are lost forever.

    False assumption # 2: Based on what my opponent did – believing the Gospel – God then chose/elected to save him. In the mind of finite man who thinks and plans ahead in consecutive stages, that reasoning sounds perfectly sound. After all, we all know the future exists and only God can know it.

    But the Bible teaches the opposite. Before God created my Arminian friend, He – God - had already determined his ultimate destiny. That destiny was not determined by my worthy opponent. My opponent was not privy to the secret counsel God, nor did he advise the Lord as to any of the innumerable decisions the Lord has made concerning his life and death.

    Thus, it was decreed by God that my Arminian friend believe unto salvation.

    It was first and foremost God's will that he be saved.

    In order to achieve that end, The Father sent Christ as my Arminian friend's substitute, to do that which my friend could not do. The Father punished His Son for my opponent's sins which my friend willingly committed.

    Furthermore, by grace the Lord determined to efficaciously bless my undeserving friend with all the spiritual blessings of the heavenly places -- purchased by Christ and applied by the Holy Spirit -- including the new birth, faith, repentance, love of God and neighbor, good works….the blessings go on and on and on.

    God does not leave the fulfilling of his decrees up to chance or the whims of His creatures.

    Instead, He performs all His good pleasure according to the counsel of His own will. He fails at nothing He purposes to accomplish. (Dan. 4:35; Eph. 1:9,11).

    If it be sin, Calvinists are guilty of extolling the work of God in salvation to too high a degree…..giving God ALL the praise and glory for whatever good they possess…..including their very faith. They know they were chosen to salvation because of God's loving will, not their own will.

    It is my humble prayer on behalf of all professing Christians

    “17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:

    18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

    19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

    20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places.” (Eph. 1:17-20)

    In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
     
  2. JonC

    JonC
    Expand Collapse
    Lifelong Disciple
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2001
    Messages:
    6,969
    Likes Received:
    371
    I once had to read an article about Arminian and Open Theistic views of divine knowledge. I think that (although I may have disagreed when I first read the article) the author was correct in determining that the modes of divine knowledge are identical and in this way Open Theism is a trajectory of Arminianism. I say all of that to say this, one’s understanding of divine knowledge and exactly how God elected the elect is something that is beyond our understanding. Open Theism pushes the bounds of orthodoxy (actually, it exceeds the bounds) where Arminianism does not. Likewise, “hyper” Calvinist push the bounds in the opposite direction, exceeding orthodoxy where Calvinism does not. The problem is, of course, defining that line. Throughout my lifetime I’ve been on both sides of the fence – but I was no less a Christian on either side. My caution is to keep the conversation/debate friendly acknowledging that salvation is not dependent on one’s soteriological view of exactly how God “did it.”
     
  3. Herald

    Herald
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,600
    Likes Received:
    0
    The good news is that the majority of Arminians are ignorant of the logical disconnect between God's omniscience and their salvation working out in time. There may be some Arminians who tend towards Open Theism on this board who would affirm that God is dependent on human activity before He can save, but that same "majority" group of Arminians would repudiate that idea. I thank God for that even though it stems from a logical disconnect. I call that a "happy inconsistency".
     
  4. JonC

    JonC
    Expand Collapse
    Lifelong Disciple
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2001
    Messages:
    6,969
    Likes Received:
    371
    I think that most (not only Arminian oriented) Christians ignore the relationship between God’s sovereign election and their salvation (at least the biblical or logical implications). I don’t think that the Arminian position is illogical, but unbiblical. I’m not suggesting that Arminianism necessarily leads to Open Theism (or that it is a necessary conclusion of their belief system – it is not), but both do present God as dependent on human will for salvation.

    I held the “Arminian” position (I’ll yield to the term equating simply to salvation depending on man’s will enabled by the grace of God to believe) for a long time, and argued for that position against unconditional election. What challenged me was defending my position against Scripture (throwing out all of my “logic” and examining what the Bible said about the subject). In other words, I would in a way prefer to be a free-will Baptist because that makes sense to me – that’s the way I would do it if I were God - but I am not God and I cannot reconcile that position with Scripture.
     
  5. Herald

    Herald
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,600
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jon, my journey was similar. Even after the Bible rendered its verdict, I dragged my feet in admitting the truth. It was a difficult thing for me to publicly change a core belief.
     
  6. Winman

    Winman
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    Messages:
    14,768
    Likes Received:
    0
    You know, the word of God distinguishes between foreknowledge and predestination. The scriptures say whom God did foreknow, he also did predestinate, so foreknowledge and predestination are not the same thing. But that seems to be how Calvinism desires to define foreknowledge.

    Do the scriptures show anyone who was chosen or elected, and yet that person chose to serve God? Yes, the prophet Isaiah.

    Isa 49:5 And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength.

    Isaiah said the Lord formed him from the womb to be his servant. But the scriptures also show Isaiah chose to be God's servant.

    Isa 6:1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
    2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
    3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
    4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
    5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
    6 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:
    7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.
    8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

    We see here in verse 7 that Isaiah believed on the Lord in time and his iniquities were taken away, and his sin purged.

    But in the next verse we see that Isaiah heard the Lord call, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" So it was not at all determined yet whom God would choose or send. Note also that God asked who "will" go for us. So this person was not compelled.

    Then we see Isaiah willingly chose to answer God's call, he willingly chose to be sent and serve God.

    So, we see foreknowledge and free choice here, God formed Isaiah from the womb to be his servant, but he did not force or compel Isaiah to be his servant, Isaiah chose to be his servant willingly of his own free will and choice.

    God simply knew that Isaiah would believe, and that he would willingly serve him.

    This is an example of election according to foreknowledge whether you understand it or not.
     
    #6 Winman, Aug 25, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2013
  7. JonC

    JonC
    Expand Collapse
    Lifelong Disciple
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2001
    Messages:
    6,969
    Likes Received:
    371
    Winman, please explain the Calvinistic definition of foreknowledge and predestination as being identical terms. Thanks.
     
  8. Winman

    Winman
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    Messages:
    14,768
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, when a person says that God can only foreknow what he has determined, isn't that saying that foreknowledge and predestination are practically the same thing?

    From Monergism dot com

    While the two words do not have the exact meaning in Reformed/Calvinistic thought, for all practical purposes they are the same. In Calvinsim, God can only foreknow those persons he has predestined to save.

    But as you see in Isaiah, God chose Isaiah to be his servant when he formed him in the womb, but Isaiah chose to serve God of his own free will.

    My view is that God knew before Isaiah was born that he would believe and that he would be a willing servant, and so elected him or chose him for this particular service or office.
     
  9. JonC

    JonC
    Expand Collapse
    Lifelong Disciple
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2001
    Messages:
    6,969
    Likes Received:
    371
    Thanks for the clarification. I didn't realize that Calvinists believed that God's foreknowledge was based upon his predestination (it had always been explained to me differently).
     
  10. Winman

    Winman
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    Messages:
    14,768
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here is what Arthur Pink (a Calvinist) wrote about foreknowledge;

    The scriptures say we are elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father (1 Pet 1:2), but Pink says scripture says just the opposite, that foreknowledge is based upon what God has decreed.

    Pink says God does not elect because he foreknows people, but he foreknows people because he elected them.

    That is not what my Bible says. How about yours?
     
  11. JonC

    JonC
    Expand Collapse
    Lifelong Disciple
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2001
    Messages:
    6,969
    Likes Received:
    371
    Sorry to be a pain, but how do you define "foreknowledge"? It seems that "election" and "predestination" doesn't mean the same thing in Pink's writing (but I'm not very familiar with Pink).
     
    #11 JonC, Aug 25, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2013
  12. Winman

    Winman
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    Messages:
    14,768
    Likes Received:
    0
    I define it simply to know or see something before it happens. A perfect example is Nathanael in John 1.

    Jhn 1:44 Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.
    45 Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.
    46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.
    47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!
    48 Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.
    49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.
    50 Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.
    51 And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.

    Note that the scriptures say "Jesus SAW Nathanael coming to him"

    Note that Jesus compliments Nathanael and calls him an Israelite indeed. Compare this to what Paul said in Romans 2.

    Rom 2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
    29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

    Jesus KNEW that Nathanael was a true believer, this is why he called him a true Jew and complimented him. Jesus saw his FAITH.

    Note Nathanael's great surprise and how he asks, "Whence KNOWEST thou me?" This is foreknowledge, Jesus KNEW Nathanael though they had never met.

    Note how Jesus answered, "BEFORE that Philip CALLED thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I SAW thee". This is foreknowledge.

    NOW Nathanael believes on Jesus and confesses he is the Son of God, the King of Israel. You see, Nathanael had always believed the word of God, and he believed the OT promises of a Messiah or Christ.

    This is foreknowledge. Another very simple example of foreknowledge shown in scripture is when the prodigal son repents and decides to go back to his father and ask forgiveness, the scriptures say while he was a great way off, his father saw him.

    Luk 15:20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

    This is foreknowledge. Though the prodigal had left home (refutes Original Sin) and gone out in sin, when he repented and turned toward home his father was already looking for him and saw him when he was still "a great way off".

    This is foreknowledge.
     
  13. JonC

    JonC
    Expand Collapse
    Lifelong Disciple
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2001
    Messages:
    6,969
    Likes Received:
    371
    Thanks. I wasn't sure if you were using a 1 Pet 1:20 definition or taking it to simply mean pre-knowledge. Since Pink apparently defines foreknowledge as the former I don't know how far you can go challenging his statement until you simply are stuck with challenging his definition. If you prove his definition wrong, then his argument is irrelevant. If not, then you are talking apples and oranges.
     
  14. Winman

    Winman
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    Messages:
    14,768
    Likes Received:
    0
    I really don't pay much attention to how Calvinists define foreknowledge, I think the scriptures themselves show what foreknowledge is.

    Folks can make fun and call it God looking into a crystal ball, but God can see the future. To say God can only see what he has determined is to limit his power.

    It would be like predicting the outcomes of all the horse races at a track one day. Now, if you could truly predict all the winners before each race, most folks would consider that to be supernatural.

    But if they found out every race was fixed by you beforehand, they would consider you a phony and a cheat.

    Think about that.
     
    #14 Winman, Aug 25, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2013
  15. JonC

    JonC
    Expand Collapse
    Lifelong Disciple
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2001
    Messages:
    6,969
    Likes Received:
    371
    My point isn't that Calvinists are right or wrong about foreknowledge - only that if you examine the argument beyond that point you have to do so within the Calvinistic framework or disprove the definition so that there would be no need to go farther. Otherwise you are attempting to disprove their theology on a false premise. (They often do the same when examining Arminianism and non-cals).
     
  16. Winman

    Winman
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    Messages:
    14,768
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hmmm... not sure I understand what you are saying here.

    I do have to say something here though, I misapplied Isa 49:5 in my original argument.

    Isa 49:5 And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength.

    This verse is actually a prophecy of the Messiah or Christ to come and is not speaking of Isaiah, so I was mistaken to misapply this verse to Isaiah.

    I think it could still be argued that every prophet was chosen before they were born as shown by Jeremiah and Paul;

    Jer 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
    6 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.
    7 But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.
    8 Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.

    I believe this passage shows Jeremiah also willingly obeyed and was not compelled. At first he was hesitant to go because of his youth, but the Lord encouraged him and he obeyed.

    Paul is similar, Paul also says he was chosen from the womb to be a prophet.

    Gal 1:15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace,
    16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:

    Paul was chosen from his mother's womb, yet he willingly obeyed.

    Acts 26:19 Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:

    It would not make sense for Paul to say he was not disobedient if he did not have a choice and was compelled to do what the Lord commanded.

    And of course we see in the story of Jonah that a prophet could refuse to obey his commands from God.

    Jon 1:1 Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,
    2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.
    3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.

    What does all this have to do with foreknowledge? These scriptures show that God chose or elected the prophets (at least Jeremiah and Paul) to serve him at or before birth, yet they chose willingly to obey God and were not forced or compelled. Jonah proves that a prophet could have disobeyed if he so chose to do so.
     
  17. JonC

    JonC
    Expand Collapse
    Lifelong Disciple
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2001
    Messages:
    6,969
    Likes Received:
    371
    Yes, I definitely agree that predestination does not mean that God forces or compels men (I know many Calvinists who believe the same).

    I’m sorry. I am not the best at putting thoughts to words.

    What I was trying to say in the previous post is that you can’t define foreknowledge as simply knowing what will happen before it occurs and use that definition to “debunk” Calvinism. We can’t say that that’s the only definition, otherwise Matthew 7:23 simply means that Christ had no cognitive knowledge of those who would prove to be false converts.

    When Pink discussed foreknowledge he didn’t use that definition. He rejected the idea that the NT uses foreknowledge tin connection with events or actions, but instead references persons. To look at what he is saying (whether right or wrong) you have really consider what he is saying – not change the meaning of works and then show how it can’t be.

    An illustration (a poor and simplified one) would be if I say y+y=2, defining y as 1. Someone comes along and redefines y as 2, and therefore I’m a bad mathematician because it is obvious that y+y=4. The first argument isn’t the math, but the definition of y.
     
  18. Protestant

    Protestant
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2013
    Messages:
    953
    Likes Received:
    63
    Dear Herald and Jon C:

    I, too, was Arminian for about one year after my miraculous conversion. It was only through rigorous Bible study on my own that I even became aware of the Arminian-Calvinist controversy. One of the early ministries which taught me much was Dr. Walter Martin's 'Bible Answer Man.' From there I investigated his mentor, Dr. Barnhouse. That led me to the ministry of his successor, Dr. James Boice. I subscribed to his monthly publication. As providence would have it, his study was winding up Romans 8 and beginning with Romans 9. It was in this study that the controversy was revealed to me. I must confess at first I was confused as to the core issues. I simply didn't understand what was at stake. But the Holy Spirit would not let it alone. I kept pouring over the Bible verses and Dr. Boice's explanations as to the import of what Paul was teaching.

    And then one day my eyes were opened and I finally got it! I can honestly and humbly say that Romans 8 and 9 were for me the key to understanding Scripture so that there were no more inconsistencies which plagued my understanding.

    I believe we are all by nature born Pelagian and then upon conversion re-born semi-Pelagian. Why? Because in our human minds, our view makes sense. We do our part then God does His part. "God helps those who help themselves" is the prevalent proverb.

    But it was through serious Bible study that I discovered the abysmal corruption of my sin nature.

    It was through personally experiencing regeneration that I understood the power of God to cleanse, forgive and cause me to love that which I once abhorred.......the truth, holiness, righteousness, sovereignty and reality of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.....to which my sin had blinded me.

    Why the ongoing debate between Calvinists (or more properly 'believers in the Doctrines of Grace') and Arminians (those who attribute more power to man and less power to God than is biblically warranted)?

    Why did Paul and the other authors and prophets all bring up the subject of election either directly or indirectly?

    There could only be one reason: The Holy Spirit, our Teacher, who leads us into all truth, willed that we Christians understand the truth of our salvation; the miracle-working power and grace of God, so that He may receive all the praise and glory which He rightly deserves. God loved us, His enemies, to such a great extent that He dared send His most beloved Son to experience that which we have not one whit of understanding as to the humility, anguish, courage, and obedience necessary for the accomplishment of His mission.

    The truth of election by grace, humbles me immensely, causing me to acknowledge that if He can save a wretch like me no one is outside the bounds of His power to save!
     
  19. Winman

    Winman
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    Messages:
    14,768
    Likes Received:
    0
    Calvinists believe God irresistibly causes those incapable of being willing to become willing. I would say that is compulsion, they say it is not. It is not much different than drugging someone who is unwilling to make them willing. That is a form of force.

    How is it possible to know a person intimately without knowing what they do? Don't we evaluate and judge people according to how they act and what they do? So, this sort of argument doesn't quite cut it with me.

    It is true that Jesus says that he never knew those false converts in Matthew 7, so it is certain that he was speaking of an intimate relationship. But again, how do we judge what an intimate relationship is? Do we not judge it by what people do and how they treat us? If a person is loving and kind toward us, we enter into an intimate relationship with them, if a person is cruel and hateful toward us we do not.

    It is certain that these persons were boasting of their good works. They boasted they prophesied in Jesus' name, they cast out devils in his name, and did many good works in his name. These persons attempted to earn salvation through works.

    A true Christian does not try to work, but trusts and relies on Jesus alone to save them. This involves a personal intimate relationship, as trust always involves a degree of intimacy. In fact, those we trust most are those we have the most intimate relationships with.

    There is scripture in my opinion that shows this foreknowledge of God is speaking of seeing faith. I think I showed you Nathanael, and how Jesus called him an Israelite indeed. This implies he had faith, he was a Jew inwardly as Paul explained in Romans 2.

    But there are verses showing we are chosen according to faith.

    2 The 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

    Note how God has "from the beginning" chosen us to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and "belief of the truth". So there is faith right there, and it is said to be a factor in our election.

    Tit 1:1 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;

    What one quality of the elect does Paul mention here? Faith.

    Jam 2:5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?

    James here says that God has chosen the poor of this world. Because they are poor? NO, because they are rich in faith.

    I think you are starting to see the picture.
     
    #19 Winman, Aug 26, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2013
  20. JonC

    JonC
    Expand Collapse
    Lifelong Disciple
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2001
    Messages:
    6,969
    Likes Received:
    371
    Except that most Calvinist., Arminians, and non-cals suggest that God works within the will of man. This is an argument that you should not have singled out for the “Calvinists.”

    We don’t know a person intimately without knowing what they do. We do judge according to one’s action. We really never know anyone completely. You are exactly right. The Calvinists that I know, however, equate God as infinitely greater than man. They suppose that He knows us even before we act, knows us even more than we know ourselves. (We are not talking about "us" but about God). But I do understand why you wouldn’t accept that argument.

    I never lost sight of the picture, but thanks for clarifying your position.

    My point was not that “they” were right and you were wrong. It was that you cannot simply substitute your definitions for theirs and then proceed to disprove their theology. In other words, your first step should have been challenging a “Calvinist debater” on the BB regarding the definition of foreknowledge or simply leaving it out of the argument. Since you stated that you didn't care about their definition of "foreknowledge" it is impossible for you legitimately debate the issue (you'd only end up grandstanding and not actually addressing your opponent).
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

Loading...