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Contradictions in Calvinism

Discussion in 'Calvinism & Arminianism Debate' started by ivdavid, Jan 8, 2020.

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  1. Reformed1689

    Reformed1689 Well-Known Member

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    You want me to commit to respond to a false premise so I cannot answer your questions with a yes or no.
     
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  2. ivdavid

    ivdavid Active Member

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    Just so we're on the same page, what is the premise that you're referring to as False?
     
  3. Reformed1689

    Reformed1689 Well-Known Member

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    The premise that the verses you present show a contradiction in the first place.
     
  4. ivdavid

    ivdavid Active Member

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    But this is the very premise that's being debated here, right? This is the OP of this thread.

    If you find it a False premise, you engage with the points raised and prove your defense or prove the invalidity of my inferences. That's how debates go and contradictions are resolved either way. But when you say you can't engage because you disagree there is a contradiction, then you're essentially saying you do not want to participate in this debate/discussion - which you're absolutely entitled to not be a part of. But why even post here about you not being interested in engaging - why not simply ignore the thread altogether?

    Anyway, feel free to move on. But if you find yourself interested in giving a defense, you know the binary questions you could begin responding to..
     
  5. Reformed1689

    Reformed1689 Well-Known Member

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    I've actually already done the very thing you ask for. Yet you keep coming back that this must be a contradiction even though it isn't. So to say I have not engaged is simply false.
     
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  6. ivdavid

    ivdavid Active Member

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    You asked me to clarify my position, said you followed my argument and asked me to cite Scripture, then said you do not see a contradiction in Eze 33:11 because you consider "pleasure" to be different from "desire", then asked me how Matt 23:37 fits in.

    I replied that "pleasure" and "desire" do mean the very same thing since the very same word is used to denote either in Scriptures. Also, I pointed to how God's desire is specifically mentioned in Matt 23:37. So the question stands as to how you resolve this God's desire being in contradiction to His own preceding sovereign decree, as sequenced by calvinism.

    Now, as normal expectations go, I'm waiting for you to respond to what I replied above. If you have responded, and you think I've missed it, then simply quote the post and I am sorry for unintentionally overlooking it. And if not, no worries - you could respond now.
     
  7. Reformed1689

    Reformed1689 Well-Known Member

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    That does not mean they mean the very same thing. That means the same word is used in two different ways. Just like we use the word "World" in many different ways. It does not mean the same thing all the time.

    Matthew 23:37 is a general speaking of the people, not individuals. So there is no contradiction here. In fact, it is Jerusalem that was not willing, yet God did gather the children of Jerusalem, so His desire was fulfilled. No contradictions.
     
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  8. ivdavid

    ivdavid Active Member

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    Yes. And so how do we ascertain the many different ways it could mean different things? By looking up all possible usage of the word in the dictionary.

    World - cosmos - orderly arrangement, that is, decoration; by implication the world (in a wide or narrow sense, including its inhabitants, literally or figuratively [morally])

    Contained within the definition is the scope for application - wide or narrow sense - but always centered on an orderly arrangement. Cosmos cannot mean a spoon or a rabbit, right?

    Pleasure - châphêts - properly to incline to; by implication (literally but rarely) to bend; figuratively to be pleased with, desire

    How can you use this word in many different ways to mean different things when the dictionary itself tells you that it must amount to "being inclined to"?

    Accordingly, I am willing to alter my question - how can God be inclined to something against and in opposition to His own sovereign preceding decree?

    Also, what you're inferring is that God could have pleasure in something He has not Himself desired. Do you really believe this outside of having to defend this argument? There is a strict correlation of desire<->pleasure seen especially in Eph 1:5, 1:9, Php 2:13.
     
  9. ivdavid

    ivdavid Active Member

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    How long did it take to come up with this unique interpretation? Listen to yourself, in order for this to be held without contradiction henceforth everywhere, every Pastor should preach and every commentary should annotate that Jerusalem was not willing but her children were willing even though the text reads differently to any lay person.

    Gal 4:25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.

    Why are Jerusalem's children in bondage with her then if God had gathered them already under His wings?
     
  10. Reformed1689

    Reformed1689 Well-Known Member

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    Strawman. I did not say ALL of Jerusalem's children now did I? You want so badly for there to be a contradiction. Why, I do not know...
     
  11. Reformed1689

    Reformed1689 Well-Known Member

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    I desire to make sure my bills are paid each month. Do I take pleasure in paying them?

    Pleasure: a feeling of happy satisfaction and enjoyment.
    Desire: strong feeling of wanting something to happen.

    Those are not the same thing.
     
  12. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Most of what we would consider inconsistencies in other positions are differences in interpretation, differences in presuppositions, or misunderstandings of the other view. It is a very difficult thing to see views we have never held through the eyes of someone who holds them.

    Rather than saying such and such is a contradiction, I think the best approach would be to ask “how does Calvinism (or Arminianism, or Amyraldianism, etc.) reconcile this with that?” followed by listening to and seeking clarification regarding the response given.

    I have found that most of the time question are better than declarations when examining opposing views.
     
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  13. Particular

    Particular Well-Known Member

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    ivdavid, it will serve you better to actually show the inconsistency in scripture and argue differing interpretation of scripture as revealed in your verse from Ezekiel 33 where God is addressing a nation in covenant with Himself.

    When you ask the above question, it is loaded with presupposition and wording with the hope that you can set up your position and narrow the opposing argument to your presupposition.

    Let us commit to looking at scripture and sharing how we interpret said scripture. It will reveal all of our presuppositions that drive our interpretations.
     
  14. Scott Downey

    Scott Downey Well-Known Member

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    To prove Calvinism is error, why else?
    That is what he tries to do, that is what they all try to do, is convince Calvinist Christians they are in error, it is not really trying to understand Calvinism so as to understand truth according to the scriptures, but poke holes in it. Many Calvinists have a good understanding according to the scriptures, because they have had to defend their beliefs, according to the scriptures.
     
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  15. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Just for discussion, here is one interesting contradiction of argument among many Calvinists:

    Some Calvinists will argue against double-predestination because they believe that God actively elects while there is no active “non-election”. Those who are not saved are simply not chosen to be saved (they are bypassed). When TCassidy was with us this was his argument against double-predestination.

    BUT some of these same people will argue against Arminianism as if Arminianism places man as saving himself. Arminianism allows for men not to believe. But it does not allow for man to believe apart from the work of the Spirit. The principle is the same (men can actively disbelieve but apart from God they cannot actively believe).

    Just thought I’d toss that in (I hold neither position, while no longer a Calvinist I still affirm double-predestination….danger danger Will Robinson).
     
  16. ivdavid

    ivdavid Active Member

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    Why don't you expand your responses - if you believe you have interpreted the truth, provide a biblical exegesis of these verses that we're considering. Why wait for me to ask these questions to hold you to a consistent interpretation?

    What did you mean by you did not say ALL of Jerusalem's children - could you point to anything within the verse itself which implies it's not to be read as all but only some? Firstly, I am not asking what you said, I'm asking what Scripture says. And more importantly, Scripture does say ALL of Jerusalem's children are in bondage in Gal 4 -

    Gal 4:25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
    Gal 4:26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

    Jerusalem which now is, which is addressed to in Matt 23:37, is in bondage with ALL her children.
    Jerusalem which is above, covering the saved elect, is free with ALL her children.

    Do you read only SOME and NOT ALL of this Jerusalem's children being in bondage from these verses 25,26? Yes/No
    Consequently, do you read SOME and NOT ALL of the spiritual Jerusalem's children being free?

    Binary thought again - Jesus was either addressing Jerusalem which now is and her children OR Jesus was addressing Jerusalem which is above. Jesus mentions that the Jerusalem He was addressing did not want what God wanted - so rules out the free Jerusalem which is above. Leaves us with Jerusalem which now is, in bondage with ALL her children.

    Therefore, we're back to God's desire that this Jerusalem which now is and her children to be gathered under His wings - how is this conclusion escapable? Isn't this resistless logic derived directly from Scriptures? Again, I am willing to engage with any further explanations you may have regarding the ALL of Gal 4:25 - but I wish you'd stop creating interpretations in desperation.
     
  17. Scott Downey

    Scott Downey Well-Known Member

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    People can affirm double predestination but for different cause.
    Calvinists believe in God's electing love, according to the scriptures, God loved some before they had done anything good or evil and that is why He elects them according to the principle that His calling is according to His election of them apart from any merit they had.

    Arminians may look at this from the idea of God's perfect foreknowledge of future events, what they person would do, say and believe in their life which has not yet happened, and God electing them according to that foreknowledge. And they point to the verses mentioning such a word. However, the foreknowledge mentioned in Romans 8, is not about what the person did, as it says for whom He foreknew, God also did predestine to be conformed to the image of Christ, meaning be a believer in the same Father and of the same family as is Christ. It is who God foreknew as in a relationship of Love that God has with the person. Which same relationship God setup from before time began, as God chose us in Christ before we had done anything evil or good. Which means independent of the persons future character. All people have sinned, so all are evil to God, so there would be no redeeming characteristics about their future life God would find attractive enough for them to have earned His favor.

    Another example, the prophet Jeremiah, who God appointed to be a prophet to Israel, as in part of the purpose and plan of God independent of any influence for the person whom He will appoint, so then our being appointed is according to His will and had nothing to do with our wills.
    God so ordains future events to make certain that all things work to the good of those He calls, Those He calls will love God.
    We love God, because He loved us first and sent His son to be the propitiation for OUR sins, so that we would have the atonement of our sins according to His shed blood which He shed for US, to buy Us which are then become His church. And those who are of the world have no hope for the atonement as the forgiveness of sins preached in His name is only for believers in Him.
     
  18. ivdavid

    ivdavid Active Member

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    I try and avoid loaded questions - those are not fair in a discussion. I believe I'm being precise in my language and argument in order to draw conclusions, and these necessarily have to be narrow in scope. But let's evaluate if I have raised a loaded question -

    My question - Do you believe it is inconsistent for God to desire against and in opposition to what He has previously sovereignly counselled/decreed? Yes/No

    This is an independent generic question on what you yourself hold to be the invariance of God's nature. You saying Yes does not imply that God did desire in such a way - it just says you do not see such a situation, if it were to arise, as being consistent.

    We then proceed to discussing if Scripture really has revealed God desiring in such a way - the texts in consideration are Matt 23:37 and Eze 33:11 as shortlisted by John Piper from which he believes God does desire in such a way. I'm throwing in the weight of a renowned calvinist, whom I greatly admire too, to show that this isn't my own device. If I am able to show that these verses do present such a desire for the non-elect, then it is proven to be an internal contradiction as per your own stance above. If not, then you have defended the doctrine of predestined reprobation.

    So what specifically is the loaded presupposition here? What part of this disallows your defense fairly? Help me see it as you see it by pointing to specifics....
     
  19. Particular

    Particular Well-Known Member

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    That is a loaded question.
    What has God previously decreed that you think He now desires against and opposes?
    We have already shown how Jesus comment about Jerusalem is not a contradiction. We have already shown you that Ezekiel 33 is not a contradiction.
    ivdavid, you persist with a presupposition and demand that we accept your presupposition and then answer "yes/no."
    You have been answered with every verse you claim is a contradiction. You will not accept our response, therefore we have an impasse.
     
  20. ivdavid

    ivdavid Active Member

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    Don't you? Aren't you pleased in the Spirit to honor your commitments or are you disgruntled in the flesh?

    The point is, we are not filled with the Spirit at all times and we do have a tug of war between sinful flesh and God's spirit. And they are opposed to each other - fulfilling the desires of the Father will cause pain in the flesh and not fulfilling those godly desires will result in pleasure in the flesh.

    But we are talking about God here - He has no such internal struggles or opposition. He desires -> He counsels -> He does. All for His good pleasure that He purposes in Himself. This is the picture of God's infallible nature seen in Eph 1:3-14, right? Are you in disagreement with anything I've stated so far here? If you want to extend this to ourselves, then apply it to either the flesh or the spirit singularly and you will find it fits the same image.

    Yes, I agree. I've meant that they imply the same thing and altered my language to become more precise after learning you distinguish between the two - but the inference is still the same, that one cannot exist without the other.

    Desire is the strong feeling of wanting something to happen - for what? What is the end result of the fulfillment of such a desire - is it not pleasure?
    Pleasure is a feeling of happy satisfaction and enjoyment - derived when? On the fulfillment of a preceding desire, right?

    Can one occur without the other within the same nature of God? "The pleasure of His desires" is the link between them seen in Eph 1:5. Compare Eph 1:11 and Isa 46:10 - God does what He counsels of His desire which is all His pleasure.

    All the above is to present a wholesome explanation for your persuasion. But for the sake of drawing conclusions, I'd boil it down to Eph 1:11 and Isa 46:10 to ask you to show how God could take pleasure in something He has not Himself desired? A corollary of it would be - can God be pleased in the absence of any desire? My assertion is that they are inextricably linked and I've presented my verses from which I draw this inference. You disagree - and I'm willing to engage your basis and your disproving of what's been presented here.
     
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