Jonathan Edwards on God's Sovereignity

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Monergist, Jul 29, 2004.

  1. Monergist

    Monergist
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    Jonathan Edwards defined God's sovereignity as "His (God's) absolute right of disposing of all creatures according to his own pleasure." For non-calvinists, would the objection to this statement be:

    A. The "absolute right" part, or
    B. The "disposing of all creatures" part, or
    C. The "his own pleasure" part, or
    D. All the above?
     
  2. Karen

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    I would not object to any of these statements. For me, as a non-Calvinist, (no, I don't consider myself Arminian either) the problem is not in any of these statements per se. It is that so often Calvinists SEEM to put forth the concept of God's power as an entity in itself, in a vacuum apart from any other attribute.
    God's sovereignty is not independent of His holiness, love, justice, mercy, and all other attributes. God is not arbitrary, capricious, or unfair. Sometimes, it SEEMS like Calvinists are saying that God is arbitrary. That the only reason I am elect is no reason at all. It just happened.

    Karen
     
  3. Skandelon

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    Like Karen, I'm not a Calvinist, and I don't find any problems with Edward's defination. Now, the soteriological conclusions that he may draw from this defination may need to be revisited, but at face value the defination is fine.

    One good thing I think Calvinism has done is bring the discussion of God's sovereignity, justice and good pleasure into discussions, however one shouldn't assume these beliefs and values are unique to Calvinistic doctrine. Many assume that because some of the non-Calvinistis in our world have neglected such doctrines and have replaced them with manipulative tactics, easy believism and namby pamby preaching. Just as Hyper Calvinists don't necessarily represent true Calvinism, so too these don't not represent us who do value doctrine that is rich in sovereignity, justice and even the wrath of our God.
     
  4. Me2

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    Edwards explains his doctrine as God giving man what they want in peredition.

    Edwards retains mans free will in peredition as mans choice for being there by their refusal of accepting Gods mercy.

    God can infinitely offer mercy, yet some will deny the infinite offer by refusal while in peredition. Gods in his omnipotence and omniscience knows this infinite refusal will occur in mans choice and eventually gives up trying to offer mercy.

    Edwards gives man the same (even more) infinite power of refusal of Gods invitation as God infinite ability to offer mercy...only man has the upper edge and wins their choice...and God loses some.

    Edwards didsnt understand Jesus Christ Becoming Lord over ALL powers of unrighteousness.

    Edwards didnt understand that Jesus Abolishes death and hell by rendering it useless towards all.
    death doesnt exist because the sin of unbelief doesnt exist. if one still is in death and hell. then Jesus cannot be declared lord over all unrighteousness. But Edwards didnt understand this absolute truth.

    Edwards taught another Jesus and another god.

    Edwards taught sovereignty based on what "free will" authority man had over the true living God.

    Me2
     
  5. Stratiotes

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    Karen, I think you're right about how some Calvinists seem to be saying that. But, the fact is, we would say God did have a reason - it was for *his* good pleasure. None of us deserve any gifts but he gives to those he wishes simply for his own pleasure. I do not presume to know how he makes the selection - all I know is, it has nothing to do with anything good in us, its purely his good pleasure and right to give as he wishes.
     
  6. Monergist

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    Here are those conclusions:

    From his sermon "God's Sovereignity in the Salvation of Men." Read it HERE
     
  7. Karen

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    Well, Monergist,
    I guess I do disagree with Jonathan Edwards, then. Certainly he is describing WHAT happens. But he seems to attribute it ONLY to an arbitrary act of God rather independent of justice, mercy, loving-kindness. God just acts, in Edwards' view, it seems.

    Karen
     
  8. Ray Berrian

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    Stratiotes,

    Did you find this preconceived concept of Divine election out of the mind of John Calvin or were you spoon fed by some erring Calvinistic pastor?

    You said, 'But, the fact is, we would say God did have a reason - it was for *his* good pleasure.'

    Ray: 'How loving, merciful and just for the Lord to autocratically damn the majority of human beings. It is everything that anyone would ever want in God. With no consideration for His created beings He merely, for His own pleasure, delight, and gratification forbids most sinners the possibility of making Heaven their final home.'

    You said, 'None of us deserve any gifts but he gives to those he wishes simply for his own pleasure.'

    Ray: 'Jesus, simply for His own enjoyment and regalement, has predestinated people for a place called Hell and then leaves them there forever.'

    You said, 'I do not presume to know how he makes the selection - all I know is, it has nothing to do with anything good in us, its purely his good pleasure and right to give as he wishes.'

    Ray: 'I do not wonder why you don't know why God does this; it is because He does not do this to human beings created in His own image. [James 3:9] The autocratic and bias election of some to Heaven and Hell is a misnomer, and is a contradiction of the love, mercy and Divine justice {fairness} of God toward all of us who were once sinners.'

    I will agree with you that none of us sinners are worthy of His grace. That is for sure.

    We all have read about the atrocities of Saddam, the former ruler of Iraq. In your view of God you make our Lord, infinitely more malicious and malevolent than this earthly ruler.

    Many, like yourself, make God a merciless Divine Being.
     
  9. pinoybaptist

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    You Arminians like to accuse those of a different soteriology of making God a merciless Divine Being, when in fact, if you think about it deeply, it is your theology that transforms him into an ogre.

    There is not one, not one scripture you can cite until the day you die that shows God has given man free will to decide his eternal destiny. Not one.

    On the other hand, Calvinists and those of the Doctrines of Grace, are able to supply you with plenty of scriptures that state that man is unable to turn himself toward God without divine intervention because after Adam, each man is born a fallen creature with innate propensity towards sin and an inborn rebellion towards God manifested in a desire to be free of His rule.

    You would have a race whom God has stated as a race where no one is seeking him, where no one understands, be the deciding factor for his own salvation when God has clearly said he will do so.

    Consider what God said to Israel:

    Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.

    What ? Are you going to say that pertains only to Israel ? Is the Ethiopian not a Gentile ? Or what about Paul's statement in Romans 3:9:

    What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; .

    Seeing then that without divine intervention, no man will turn to God, who is damning multitudes, those of the Doctrines of Grace a.k.a. Calvinism, who maintain that God is a God of grace and mercy who has chosen unto himself a multitude which no man can number out of all nations and tongues, or you Arminians who beat your chests at the other side's cruelty and yet will have God save no one unless they meet your conditions that (1) they be under the hearing of the gospel, (2) they first believe with no help from God, (3) they give a public proof of their salvation by testifying and praying your silly sinner's prayer.

    Under those conditions, how many do you think will be saved ? And that only of those who have their wits about them, who can understand and comprehend your frothing mouthed preachers warning them that unless they act God will not save them. That is not to mention yet those who die unborn, or who are born but never reach maturity, or who, because of sin in this world, are born unable to tell their behind from their nose. You condemn them to hell, and declare that God is not able to extend mercy to them. Blasphemous vipers !

    And then you tie God's ability to save whom He wants to save to the ability of your preachers to go out and preach, to the ability of your various missionary societies to send out their missionaries, to the ability of your tithers and givers to be part of the saving work by giving their money , that way, when they get to the judgment seat of Christ, they get crowns and crowns and praises from God.

    You condemn to hell those who live in countries which have never had a missionary come to them, you indirectly aver that God is impotent and unable to save where man is unable to go, and outrightly declare God is powerless before man if man does not want to open the doors of his heart to the implorings of the Almighty, and yet you have the temerity to accuse those of the Doctrines of Grace and Calvinism of mutilating the Almighty God.
     
  10. BobRyan

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    You have to promise not to read a lot of posts here to make that claim.

    Examples of God selecting Free Will – Choice for mankind

    John 1:9
    John 3
    Rev 3
    Luke 7 – He says that the Pharisees “rejected God’s Purpose for themselves”
    Matt 7
    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  11. BobRyan

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    The above is a small example of only a few of the texts that must be ignored to claim that no text says this.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  12. BobRyan

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    hmmm lets "explore that one for a minute".

    here is the Calvinist scenario of the future - lets "see" if the principles of Calvinism can be seen in it - and lets see what it "shows" us.

    (Does "anybody here" remember this one?)

    Come on -- someone "has" to remember this.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  13. BobRyan

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    Of course that post has already been answered and I would be remiss if I did not also post the Calvinist response to it...

    Here is a direct quote of one of our Calvinist brethren overjoyed on this very point.
    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  14. BobRyan

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    We can gladly agree with our Calvinist bretheren that it is indeed "good news" to see the joy of the redeemed but the "Sure I COULD have done something IF I had CARED to" is still pretty harsh!

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  15. billwald

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    Edwards was correct because "might makes right." On the other hand, a sane person (ruler)does not arbitrarially use his power.

    For example, God could send all infants who die to Hell but such a God would not be worthy of our respect.
     
  16. Stratiotes

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    Ray, sorry to disappoint you but I came to the docrtines of grace not thru somebody else but from scripture and only later found out that there were others that had come to the same conclusion.

    On your point about why God does what he does, I'm not sure you gave an alternative. But the simple fact is, it is God's choice by his pleasure or our's out of our own. If it is our's then it is our's to brag. If it is all God, then no man can boast. I know it may be hard to swallow that you had nothing at all to do with your salvation but that's the simple fact.
     
  17. BobRyan

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    "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" Phil 2.

    REv 3 -- 20 "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.

    Rom 2
    And then of course there is the "IF you persevere firm UNTIL the end" texts.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  18. pinoybaptist

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    Bravo, Bob Ryan.

    Except that the Scriptures you quoted will blow up in your face if you follow the rules of context and the rules set by the Bible itself in studying Scripture -"A line here, a line there, precept upon precept".

    Let me deal with John 3:16 and give you what it is really saying if translated exactly as it is written.

    So. Already believing is quite different from your concept of about to believe, or will believe, or is Young chinese ?

    You quote John 1:12 and say, there you see ? It says 'as many as received him, and then like somebody who picks up a firecracker thinking it's a dud, you get your fingers blown by the next verse.

    John 1:13 -
    Ooopppss !! There goes your they-have-to-accept-Christ-in-order-to-be-born-again- junk theology, which I do not even think is what you believe, and makes me wonder why you're identifying yourselves with Arminians when you don't even believe in saving grace. You're a law guy, a Seventh Day Adventist, a guy who believes grace and law are both required.

    Your Luke 7:30-34 ? Ha !! The very first verse, verse 30, gives the lie to your 'all men are children of God' junk science. They rejected the counsel of God simply fits in with Romans 3:10-12, Romans 6:23, John 8:44, John 10:14, John 10:26.

    So, I stand by what I said. Not one Scripture you and your Arminian gangmates quote will stand by itself.

    As for your Calvinist scenario ? How convenient that you did not post the name of who wrote it because if I may venture, that is a scenario by an Arminian against the Calvinist, possibly an Arminian who is a doctor or something ?

    You quote Tyndale who is not posting anymore on this board ? And use his post to show the error of what he believes ? And the man is not around to affirm or refute what you said ? And you call yourself a man ?

    As for your quote from Pastor Larry, he is around, let him speak for himself.

    Lastly, you said:

    Like I said, the "if I cared to" could not have come out from a Calvinist's mouth, it had to have come out of an Arminian's mouth.

    As for your use of 'brethren', I guess you treat your real brothers that way in the flesh, ha ? Portray them to others as monsters, ogres, imbeciles, and then embrace them and call them your brother.

    Like I said, what are you doing here ? You're neither Calvinist, nor Arminian, you don't even believe in grace, which the Arminians say they believe. You're a lawdoer, just a little better than Jehovah's Witnesses.
     
  19. pinoybaptist

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    hmmm lets "explore that one for a minute".

    here is the Calvinist scenario of the future - lets "see" if the principles of Calvinism can be seen in it - and lets see what it "shows" us.

    (Does "anybody here" remember this one?)

    Come on -- someone "has" to remember this.

    In Christ,

    Bob
    </font>[/QUOTE]Calvinists. Do any of you remember posting the above quote by Bob Ryan ?
     
  20. BobRyan

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    So. Already believing is quite different from your concept of about to believe, or will believe, or is Young chinese ?
    </font>[/QUOTE]#1. "God so loved the World" not simply the "Arbitrarily select FEW of Matt 7" -- but "The World".. Even Youngs can not deny this and so translates it correctly.

    #2. "That HE GAVE His only begotten Son - that WHOSOEVER Believes"

    Arminians never claim that those who DON't believe will be "saved anyway".

    #3. Your "whoever is already believing" idea would mean that those who later chose to believe - are lost. Surely "not even you" believe that.

    Are you sure you're not church of Christ? I have not had this much lively feedback since debating them.

    Anway - on to John 1
    ===============================
    Global context: "The LIGHT OF MEN" unqualified.
    "Light shines in DARKNESS" - the entire world is said to be in darkness not just the jews.
    "so that ALL might believe through Him" Unqualified - the message of John in the Gospels has gone to all the WORLD.
    In vs 12 we see that the action of those who received Christ is what determines the result and in the Greek the reception is in the "active voice". It does not state that some other action was taken forcing them to be children of God and then merely note that they also "received Christ". (Analytical Greek NT - "indicative mood" and "active voice" used for receive in John 1:12)

    Notice "children of A God" just does not work here.
    Notice "Nor of the will of man, but of A God" is not workable. No justification for such abuse of the text.

    Born of blood - refering to natural birth.

    God's part: Sending His Son as light into the world - the same world that was made through him - (global unqualified non-restrictive context.)
    not only into the world but also to his own (those he chose for himself) -

    Man's part - history (those chosen as "his own" failed - they did not receive HIM).
    - standing offer - BUT To as many as RECEIVED Him (by contrast to HIS CHOSEN "OWN" - who did NOT receive Him)

    God's part - to them he gave the right to become children of God.

    God's part - to cause those that receive him to be born again.

    Calvinism "hope" of course is to ignore the sequence - to lift God's part out - and delete man's part so that NO sequence appears - JUST God causing man to be born again - arbitrarily selecting prior to any reference of man receiving anything. Calvinism's attempt to ignore the complete text fails.

    The Arminian principle of
    -God first acting to supernaturally bring salvation to all,
    - then calling for man to respond and receive,
    - then subsequently
    providing that those who act and receive - shall then have the right to become children of god following their act of receiving.
    ===============================


    Ooops! I do believe that the lost are Drawn and ENABLED to choose - ENABLED to believe - that they HEAR and then CONFESS (reminds you of Romans 10 does it not?) and the "result" is salvation (kinda like Romans 10 says).

    I don't believe in the "unsaved born-again" idea that you teach prior to conversion to Christ.


    #1. Where did I say I did not believe in saving Grace?

    #2. What did I say that is not "Arminian"?

    Or is this your way of saying you want to know something about Adventists?


    ==========================================
    Actually did does not say "they reject the command of God" or they "reject the chance to get counselling from God" or "God Counselled them and they rejected it"...

    Lets read the text.

    Luke 7 – He says that the Pharisees “rejected God’s Purpose for themselves”
    #1. They reject "God's PURPOSE of God FOR THEM".

    I think you believe "They rejected God's PURPOSE for OTHERs - for someone who was arbitrarily selected to be a saint". But that is not in fact what it says.

    Or do you believe they refused to be a lost sinner and were "saved anyway" thus rejecting God's purpose for them - that they be lost?

    #2. Christ SHOWS effort - energy - ministry grace being extended TO THEM in various forms in a scenario where they PROBLEM is that efforts to motivate them are being rejected.

    Efforts that Cavlinists claim are not even being MADE for those that have not been arbitrarily selected to be saints.

    "gangmates"?? [​IMG]

    You are pretty funny. I think I am going to enjoy this little exchange.

    ================================

    Huh??

    This is just me reposting an old post of mine.

    You are debating the author of it.

    Yep! I call myself a man! :eek: :D

    -- I guess we could debate that too since you are calling even the most basic facts into question [​IMG]


    True enough. I am sure he will recognize his own post. The date and the thread details are there.

    What part of that scenario is not me saying that I am presenting the scenario???

    When I quote calvinist posts SHOWING in their own words what they think - I list their names and date the post. OTherwise it is MY scenario showing the Calvinist principles logically played out.

    You refuse to address the Cavlinist doctrines this scenario highlights. You even refuse when the Calvinist THEMSELVES are posting in favor of the same doctrines that form the basis for the scenario.

    How "instructive".

    Is that supposed to be pure ad hominem or is it supposed to have a point or are you offering to prove something about the Gospel and my statements about it?

    In Christ,

    Bob
     

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