The logical (not biblical) basis for non-Calvinism

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Siegfried, Oct 22, 2002.

  1. Siegfried

    Siegfried
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    Calvinism often takes a rap for being a logical rather than exegetical system.

    Both on BB and in print I've come across a number of arguments in opposition to Calvinism that are based on logic, not Scripture.

    Here's the typical line of reasoning:
    1. The Bible teaches that all men have a responsibility to choose salvation.
    2. A just God would not give anyone a responsibility without also giving him the capacity to fulfill that responsibility.
    3. Therefore, all men are capable of choosing salvation.

    The logic is valid. 3 is true if presuppositions 1 and 2 are true. Both Calvinists and non-Calvinists would agree that 1 is true. They differ on whether 2 is true.

    My point is that whether or not 2 is true, it is a logical deduction based on individuals' beliefs about the justice of God. It is not a biblical argument. Although Scripture teaches that God is just, Scripture does not teach that his justice necessitates that he not give anyone a responsibility they are not able to perform.

    On the contrary, God is not limited by some transcendent principle of justice. Justice is what it is because it is a part of God's character. If God gives people a responsibility without capacity, that action is just simply because God did it.
     
  2. Daniel David

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    Siegfried, I do not like the direction you are trying to go with this. You seem more interested in the Bible than with the emotional needs of people.

    God does in fact give everyone the ability to believe. You need to consider peoples emotions and then consider the biblical data.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  3. Rev. G

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    PTW: Please read your quote and then tell me if it is what you really meant.
     
  4. Siegfried

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    Rev G,

    I don't think those are tears dripping from the faces of PTW's emoticons. I think it's actually rank sarcasm.
     
  5. Rev. G

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    That's what I was thinking, and that is what I'm hoping. All of the faces, believe it or not, are what are making me wonder.
     
  6. Rev. G

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    Siegfried:

    By the way, thanks for bringing up the "logic" of Arminianism. IMHO, Arminianism and Hyper-Calvinism are both the result of faulty logical reasoning. They both err because they deny that divine sovereignty and human responsibility are both maintained in the Scriptures. One seeks to explain the mystery by emphasizing responsibility, although it ends up abolishing sovereignty. The other seeks to explain it by emphasizing sovereignty and denying responsibility.

    To paraphrase Spurgeon, may we never seek to "reconcile old friends."

    Rev. G
     
  7. ForumChaplain

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    This reminds me of, If total depravity is, then election must be.... It's what i call projection theology, you know, God is sovereign, so freewill cannot be. Psst, one has nothing to do with the other...

    If that is the case, he might ask you to fly tomorrow, and day after tomorrow; he'll send you to hell because you didn't. Just say, God did it…. That’ll make it better…

    Ridiculous, God has never asked anything of man that was not within the abilities that he created him with.

    To ask one to do the impossible is one thing, but then you say that God then turns around and burns them for not complying. May I have a copy of your bible...

    Tell him Pastor Larry, the ends that God ordains, does he not also supply the means…

    Would you like to edit this post before it makes the archives..

    [ October 22, 2002, 08:46 PM: Message edited by: Chappie ]
     
  8. BobRyan

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    That is true Siegfried - if you are determined to ignore the Biblical arguments - then the above certainly does highlight the "differences".

    So also does the following scenario - highlight those differences without using the Bible arguments each side presents

    However - I assume that at some point you will be interested in responding to the reams of Biblical data provided by the Arminians - true?

    In Christ,

    Bob

    [ October 22, 2002, 09:01 PM: Message edited by: BobRyan ]
     
  9. Siegfried

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    You miss the point entirely. I didn't start this thread to argue whether your above statments are true.

    The point is that your conclusions are logically based, not biblically based.

    Don't try to beat up Calvinism as a "logical system" when the fundamental precept of non-Calvinism is based exclusively on logic.
     
  10. Siegfried

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    No, not particularly. Only the thus-far elusive Scripture that indicates that God promises to enable every man to fulfill all his responsibilities to God. If you want to start a thread that discusses reams of Arminian biblical data, have at it.

    BTW, if I have a child who spends eternity in hell, I trust that God will give me the grace to understand that he accomplished His chief purpose in history--bringing glory to His name--to its fullest potential. After all, if any change in any moment or event in human history could have brought God more glory, then God failed in his stated purpose for creation.
     
  11. Eric B

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    This ignores that God gets no pleasure in the death of the wicked. (Ezekiel 18:30-32 and 33:11) Responsibility means precisely the ability to respond. It has no meaning without ability. (If there's no ability, what is the "responsibility" for? Just a reason for God to condemn some helpless person and make it look like their fault and not His?). Words are to communicate meaning, and we can't just apply new meanings to them to support an assertion. This dismissal as "rationalistic" is just to justify a speculative interpretation of scripture, which is itself based on human rationale regarding what glorifies God (Hell winds up being some sort of positive reality or desired goal), the implications of total depravity, etc. So while I admit that there is a lot of logic used to justify Arminianism, still Calvinism seems to be based even more on logic in making its positions look scriptural.
     
  12. ForumChaplain

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    There i am a maverick, I think that Calvinism is very illogical.

    If you do not believe that my comments are biblically based, find be one passage of scripture that demonstrates that god asked someone to do the impossible and then punished them for not doing it. Please, be my guest; use your bible....

    If you call exposing it for what it is, beating it up: Then beat it up i must.
     
  13. Siegfried

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    Nobody sane believes that God takes pleasure in zapping sinners like some kid tossing flies in a bug light. I do believe that God could not possibly be more glorified through any other "possible universe" than he is in the one he created, which includes His sovereign choice to elect some and not others to salvation.

    Really? Not in any dictionary I have access to. Could you please document your assertion from an unbiased source?

    Did the Jews in the OT have the responsibility to keep the Law? I'm assuming you would say yes. Did they have the ability to do so? HMM. Millions and millions of Jews, but the only one to fulfill his responsibility was the God-Man. I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that the Jews were not able to keep the Law. It would be a curious ability that is present in theory but never exercised in reality.

    Right. That's why I suggest you inspect a dictionary to try to find confirmation for your novel definition of "responsibility."

    I'm not trying to justify anything--simply trying to help non-Calvinists think and debate consistently. When you admit that logic is used to justify Arminianism, you've taken a significant step in that direction. Kudos.

    [ October 23, 2002, 12:38 PM: Message edited by: Siegfried ]
     
  14. Siegfried

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    Interesting strategy: Put the burden of proof on the person asking the question because you choose not to find biblical evidence for your position. Intellectual slothfulness.

    Nevertheless, I shall indulge you. Check out Romans 3:5-18, paying particular attention to verses 5-6. Romans 9:14-18 is worth your time, also.

    If you've decided Calvinism is illogical, perhaps you would like to expound your analysis on another thread.

    Regardless, this thread is not intended to be a debate of Calvinism. I really would like for a non-Calvinist to explain how their presupposition is not logically based. So far the silence is deafening.
     
  15. Daniel David

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    What did you say?
     
  16. ScottEmerson

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    I will turn you to the works of Jacobus Arminius, who does not use such logic; instead providing a Scriptural basis for the theological framework known as Arminianism.
     
  17. Siegfried

    Siegfried
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    Woohoo, Scott. Thanks a bunch. I'll just go wade throught Arminius for the next six months. What a helpful suggestion.
     
  18. ForumChaplain

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    Response + Ability = Responsibility

    Main Entry: re·sponse

    Pronunciation: ri-'spän(t)s
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Middle English & Latin; Middle English respounse, from Middle French respons, from Latin responsum reply, from neuter of responsus, past participle of respondEre
    Date: 14th century
    1 : an act of responding
    2 : something constituting a reply or a reaction: as a : a verse, phrase, or word sung or said by the people or choir after or in reply to the officiant in a liturgical service b : the activity or inhibition of previous activity of an organism or any of its parts resulting from stimulation c : the output of a transducer or detecting device resulting from a given input

    Main Entry: abil·i·ty
    Pronunciation: &-'bi-l&-tE
    Function: noun
    Inflected Form(s): plural -ties
    Etymology: Middle English abilite, from Middle French habilité, from Latin habilitat-, habilitas, from habilis apt, skillful —more at ABLE
    Date: 14th century
    1 a : the quality or state of being able <ability of the soil to hold water>; especially : physical, mental, or legal power to perform b : competence in doing : SKILL
    2 : natural aptitude or acquired proficiency <children whose abilities warrant higher education>

    Main Entry: re·spon·si·bil·i·ty
    Pronunciation: ri-"spän(t)-s&-'bi-l&-tE
    Function: noun
    Inflected Form(s): plural -ties
    Date: 1786
    1 : the quality or state of being responsible: as a : moral, legal, or mental accountability b : RELIABILITY, TRUSTWORTHINESS
    2 : something for which one is responsible : BURDEN

    Main Entry: ac·count·abil·i·ty
    Pronunciation: &-"kaun-t&-'bi-l&-tE
    Function: noun
    Date: 1794
    : the quality or state of being accountable; especially : an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one's actions <public officials lacking accountability>

    Responsibility implies accountability, accountability demands ability. In order to justly judge a person demands accountability. God does not hold us criminally accountable for what we cannot do.

    Christ is the ability for all men...

    A cereful evaluation of scripture will reveal that God never expected the Jews to keep the law. Christ, from the foundation of the world has been the only way of salvation.

    [ October 23, 2002, 03:53 PM: Message edited by: Chappie ]
     
  19. Siegfried

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    Interesting etymological analysis. Let me build upon that logic.

    Ham+burger=hamburger (obviously, a sandwich made of ham)

    Butter+fly=butterfly (a fly made of butter, of course)

    This could be a fun game. Anyone else want to play?
     
  20. Daniel David

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    Ooh, ooh, I got one:

    Hotdog = dog that is hot?

    Flypaper = Origami fly?
     

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