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Predestination and Foreknowledge

Discussion in 'Calvinism & Arminianism Debate' started by Mark Corbett, Sep 12, 2017.

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  1. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    We clearly see here that when one sees the fall in a different fashion, and also just how depraved that rendered us, and when we accept Unlimited atonement view, that makes for some :"interesting doctrines"
     
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  2. steaver

    steaver Well-Known Member
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    The above quote could just as easily come from a Calvinist. There are two competing views based on one's application of foreknowledge. Each side will proclaim that their application is the bible's application. I spent about three years studying this issue and could not be convinced of the Calvinist POV. There is just too much bible throughout which speaks of God extending His grace as a choice to all. It makes no sense to offer a choice if there is no choice actually there.

    "But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people." (Ro 10:21)

    "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!" (Mat 23:37)
     
  3. steaver

    steaver Well-Known Member
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    Good point. How one sees the fall is also a point of contention. I do not believe the account in the garden of Eden supports the Calvinist view of Total Depravity. After Adam and Eve sinned, they still had a relationship with God, it was not "totally depraved", they still acknowledge who God is and spoke with God, and had a relationship with God.

    "Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them." (Gen 3:21)

    "And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD." (Gen 4:1)
     
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  4. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    They needed to have the Lord cover them up though, which foreshadow the blood of jesus to cover us up for being sinners!
     
  5. Mark Corbett

    Mark Corbett Active Member

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    I appreciate your honesty and candor. At least you are being logically consistent. I honestly don't see how any person who believes in Calvinism can logically also believe that God loves all people. Based on what Calvinists themselves say, I can't see anything in the following description which is not an accurate description of what Calvinists (at least those who understand and embrace the normal, full teaching of Calvinism) believe with respect to those who are not saved:

    They begin life in a state of sin which they did not choose and which they are completely, utterly unable to change.
    They do in fact commit many sins, but in every case they could not possible have done otherwise as every decision was preordained and rendered certain by God's decrees before they existed.
    God could save every one of these people, He has the power to do do, but He chooses not to save them, and this choice has nothing whatsoever to do with them compared to those He does choose to save.
    Although they had no choice and were incapable of not sinning, God holds them accountable for their sins.
    Since most Calvinists believe in eternal conscious torment, that means,
    These people who had NO chance to be saved will be tortured forever for a life they had no power to live differently than they did.

    If I have misrepresented normal Calvinist beliefs in this description, please specifically point out how and where.

    I agree that is not love.

    That is not the only reason I reject Calvinism, but it is certainly a strong reason. Compare Calvinism to the Bible's portrait of God as a God of love:

    God is love. (1 John 4:8b)

    But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom. 5:8 NIV)

    For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (Jn. 3:16 NIV)

    Does the God who taught us to love our enemies hate His?

    It is precisely because I'm concerned about the bad name that Calvinism unfairly gives to God that I feel motivated to write about this topic.
     
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  6. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    God did not cause them to be sinners, as Adam chose that for us, and all people who are born with sin natures naturally want to stay lost and refuse to obey God, so Hell will be God granting to them their final "free will"
    And God loves His won covenant people in the scriptures, in a saving eternal way, for if we can love our friends , and yet love our own family much more so, how can the father not be so towards his own children?
    And God Judgement/holiness/wrath/love all exist at same time equally, correct?
     
  7. SovereignGrace

    SovereignGrace Well-Known Member
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    God is not beholden to any man.

    God is love. But He is also just. Justice demands punishment for sins commited. That's why the atonement of the Christ is definite in its intent. If He atoned for all w/o exception, then all w/o exception are saved.

    I am bowing out now. Have a blessed day.
     
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  8. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Either God intended the death of jesus to save all, or to save some, its that simple!
     
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  9. Mark Corbett

    Mark Corbett Active Member

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    Do you believe God predestined Adam to and Eve to commit the first sin and fall? This is an honest question. I think (but I'm not sure) that most knowledgeable Calvinists do include Adam and Eve's fall in what is predestined.
     
  10. steaver

    steaver Well-Known Member
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    The point is they were not "Totally" depraved after they sinned. They still was able to hear God and respond.
     
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  11. steaver

    steaver Well-Known Member
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    They get a little off balance when it comes to Adam and Eve.... ;)
     
  12. steaver

    steaver Well-Known Member
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    double post
     
  13. steaver

    steaver Well-Known Member
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    Did God also intend Adam and Eve to sin? Is it that simple?
     
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  14. steaver

    steaver Well-Known Member
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    Just maybe God intended Jesus' death to save all who call upon Him. You have to give them all the information God gave us.
     
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  15. rsr

    rsr <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
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    What it "feels" like has nothing to do with its reality or justice.

    I certainly agree with the first two statements. What I can't get away from is what makes those who are unwilling to accept Him different from those who don't?

    God saves those who believe — does that not assume that some are more virtuous than others, i.e., deserving of salvation?
     
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  16. Mark Corbett

    Mark Corbett Active Member

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    There is nothing wrong with asking difficult questions. If I understand this question, you are basically asking "Why are some people willing to accept God and other are not? What is different about them? What are the underlying reasons?"

    I don't think there is a simple answer to these types of questions. Also, we need to remember that it makes sense to trust God, to believe God. So if we are trying to find a reason that some people do not trust God that makes sense we are going to search in vain.

    On the other hand, it is not wrong to think about the types of influences, motives, reasoning (even bad reasoning), fears, hurts, etc. which block people from accepting Christ so that with His help we can seek to help others come to Him.

    No, it does not assume that anyone is deserving of salvation.

    It is important to guard the truth that salvation is not by works and that it is by grace. However, faith is not a type of work. I think treating faith as a type of meritorious work is a common error in Calvinist thinking. It is almost as though in the minds of some Calvinists "works" is a category which includes "faith" (even though I don't know if any Calvinists actually say this, it seems like some of their concerns assume this) . But this is not at all how the Bible speaks. The Bible speaks of "faith" and "works" as two different types of things. In each of these verses "faith" is not treated as a type of "work", but as something different from "works":

    NIV Romans 3:28 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.

    NIV Romans 4:5 However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.

    NIV Romans 9:32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone.

    NIV Galatians 2:16 know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.

    NIV Ephesians 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-- and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.

    We see that faith does not belong in the category of "works". So saying that we are saved because we believe in God, or have faith in God (which is exactly what the Bible DOES say), is not at all saying that we are saved because we deserve it.
     
  17. Mark Corbett

    Mark Corbett Active Member

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    Thanks for sharing some thoughts. This may seem like a minor point, and it is admittedly only tangentially related to our main topic, but is bothers me when people speak of Hell as being something people choose. It's true that their choice to reject God's truth results in their being cast into Hell, but that's not the same thing. A person's choice to smoke may lead to cancer, but no once wants cancer. A person's rejection of the gospel leads to hell, but no one wants hell. The Bible depicts people on judgment day as wanting to receive the gift of eternal life in God's Kingdom, but being rejected. You probably agree with this, and I may just be reacting to a nuance of your wording.

    I don't think that it is wrong to say that in some ways God has a special love for His children that goes even beyond the love He has for those who "are yet sinners". But I'm concerned about the love He has for sinners, described here:

    NIV Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

    God did not wait until I became His child to start loving me. And how much love does He have for sinner? An amazing amount. So much that He sent Christ to die for us.

    Also, if God does not sacrificially love those who do not love Him, than His command to us would be strange and even hypocritical:

    NIV Luke 6:32 "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.

    In this same context, Jesus tells us that God does in fact have this love even for the ungrateful and wicked.

    NIV Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.

    I don't see how Calvinism can be consistent with God's kind love to the ungrateful and wicked. Can you explain this?
     
  18. BobRyan

    BobRyan Well-Known Member

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    True but that is the Arminian view of it -- welcome to the Arminian side of this debate!


    Yep! That is it.

    Otherwise known as "arbitrary selection" because Calvinist claim there is no difference at all between the unsaved state of one who is selected and the unsaved state of one who is not. God simply makes an arbitrary choice for one and not the other.

    Romans 2:11 "God is not partial" just when Calvinism says "oh yes He is!!"
    2 Peter 3 "God is not WILLING that any should perish but that all should come to repentance" just when Calvinism says "God is sovereign anything He wills is what will happen, if you are saved it is because God willed-it, and if you are lost this too was God's choice for you"
     
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  19. Mark Corbett

    Mark Corbett Active Member

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    Yes, it does seem arbitrary to me. If one arbitrarily chooses which flavor ice cream to eat, that's just fine. But it's hard for me to understand how anyone who is good could arbitrarily choose to save some if He could have saved all. This is one of many strong arguments against Calvinism.

    I can see a good explanation for how God wills that all come to repentance, yet many do not, under a non-Calvinist understanding. Calvinist attempts to reconcile this verse with Calvinism have never seem to succeed to me.
     
  20. Felipe Rios

    Felipe Rios Member

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    In my opinion, the best way to understand God's Foreknowledge and Predestination is to understand it through what is called Molinism. Molinism is coined after Luis De Molina who proposed that God knows all things but does not necessary predestined all things. A modern molinist today is William Lane Craig who teaches this position very well, and in my opinion is the biblical way of explaining God's Foreknowledge. Another guy is is Norman Geisler who wrote the book Chose But Free explaining how God predestined us while not taking away ANY human free will at all.
    I personal believe that where the Calvinist fails is on the assumption that God HAS TO predestine something in order for Him to foreknow it. I think that is bad logic not taught in scripture.
    Molinism is a great way to explain that God knows all possibilities and that He knows what would, could and will be in any universe, time, and circumstance imaginable.
     
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