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Featured Single Predestination

Discussion in 'Calvinism & Arminianism Debate' started by atpollard, Feb 8, 2020.

  1. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    List presented for reference:
    1. God decrees end destiny of life before any of his good or evil.
    2. God decrees end destiny of death before any of his good or evil.
    3. God does not decree anything before any of his good or evil, passing over and reserving to decree after his good or evil.
     
  2. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    @ivdavid
    “Hence you conclude that God has chosen to predestine condemnation.”

    Not exactly. All I conclude is that:
    • If God chooses to predestine salvation, man is saved.
    • We observe this particular man is not saved.
    • I conclude that God has not chosen to predestine salvation for this man.
    • If this man cannot save himself without God, then God’s choice to not predestine salvation for him, means that he will not be saved.


    “Therein I have not asserted that man can save himself but merely stated that his condemnation needn't have been predestined.”
    • If man cannot save himself and God will not save him, then how it not an inescapable conclusion that he will not be saved?
    • What third choice is there for salvation?
    • That’s like arguing ... ”God didn’t catch him and the man decided not to fly to safety” ... when the man is incapable of flying.
     
  3. ivdavid

    ivdavid Member

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    Completely in agreement so far

    We differ here for several reasons.

    Firstly, your phrasing seems biased when you describe it as God choosing not to predestine salvation specifically. Under single predestination, it's actually God choosing not to predestine either salvation or condemnation for this non-elect man. Your conclusion logically would just as equally be - "God's choice to not predestine condemnation for him, means that he will not be saved". This sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? And that's because you still read in monergism into the non-elect too whereas single predestination confines it to the elect alone. What could probably help you understand better is to apply calvinist doctrines to the elect and the arminian freewill doctrines to the non-elect.

    I've listed out all premises, observations and conclusions of Single Predestination here for our reference -
    1. If God predestines a man unto salvation, that man is assuredly saved.
    2. If God predestines a man unto condemnation, that man is assuredly not saved.
    3. If God does not predestine either, then God has decreed man to self-determine his destiny through faith.
    4. If man self-determines to endure in faith to the end, then man is saved.
    5. If man self-determines to not endure in faith to the end, then man is not saved.

    6. We observe from Scripture that God predestines all the elect unto salvation.
    7. Hence from #1, we conclude that all the elect are assuredly saved.

    8. We observe from Scripture that none of the non-elect self-determine to endure in faith to the end.
    9. Hence from #5, we conclude that all the non-elect are not saved.

    We'll have to discuss the nuance in the word "cannot" later and I would either say "God will not assuredly save him" or "God has not predestined him for salvation" - but these qualifiers apart, you'd see we arrive at the same conclusion in #9 - that he will indeed not be saved.

    God didn't catch him = didn't predestine unto salvation (or condemnation) applies #3.
    Man decided not to fly to safety = man self-determined not to endure in faith applies #5.
    #3 AND #5 => #9 (he is not saved)

    I don't see what the problem is here - why do you think I'm not concluding that such a non-elect person is unsaved?

    What we're actually debating is not whether the non-elect is unsaved but what factors led to him being unsaved. Double Predestination applies #2 as what led to his not being saved. Single Predestination applies #3 and #5 sequentially for the same. We could continue debating the Scriptural merit of #3 (I'm assuming you're fine with the other points?) - but what do you find logically inconsistent in this single predestination system?
     
  4. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    At the moment in eternity past when God predestined man A to be saved and God DID NOT PREDESTINE man B to be saved, was the eternal destiny of man B not every bit as certain as the eternal destiny of man A? In other words, if we both agree that man B will not be saved (irrespective of why) then are not the fates of both men equally certain, equally predestined ... DOUBLE Predestined (man A to eternal life and man B not to eternal life).

    If man B has no possibility of obtaining salvation, then his fate IS PREDESTINED (even if God is not an active participant).
    SINGLE PREDESTINATION implies that man B (whom God has not predestined to salvation) still has a chance of obtaining salvation. Do you see any means by which man B can obtain salvation that would not make him Predestined to salvation?
     
  5. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    There are two types of DOUBLE PREDESTINATION (presented below with examples of verses that supported of each might reference).
    • Active-Active Schema: God actively created and eternally destined some for salvation and others for damnation and God is an equally active participant in both destinies:
      • [Rom 9:13 NASB] 13 Just as it is written, "JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED."
      • [Rom 9:20-22 NASB] 20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it? 21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? 22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?

    • Active-Passive Schema: God chooses something for salvation and actively works to bring about their salvation, but the rest God simply leaved to follow their own desires and damn themselves.
      • [Jhn 6:43-45 NASB] 43 Jesus answered and said to them, "Do not grumble among yourselves. 44 "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. 45 "It is written in the prophets, 'AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.
      • [Jhn 10:25-29 NASB] 25 Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father's name, these testify of Me. 26 "But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. 27 "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29 "My Father, who has given [them] to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch [them] out of the Father's hand.
    The Positive-Negative Double Predestination has been taught by mainstream Reformed theologians since the 1500’s (and Augustine a millennium before that). Positive-Positive Double Predestination is taught by those often called “Hypercalvinists” (among other terms) and is a small minority view (just as Universalism is taught by a very small minority).
     
  6. ivdavid

    ivdavid Member

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    When you say "At the moment in eternity past when God predestined...", we're talking specifically about the logical order of God's decrees than actual human time. And predestining is defined as decreeing the end destiny before any of man's good or evil. But in the case of man self-determining his own destiny, it by definition is after his own good or evil as seen in faith or unbelief. Here itself, we have 2 different moments of time in God's mind divided before and after man's good or evil - how do you then say both their destinies were determined at the same moment?

    So given the truths that we know, I can agree with you that their destinies are certain outcomes but how are they equally predestined if God Himself has not equally predestined them? One's destiny could theoretically be determined only either by God or by man - and if God has chosen not to do so for the non-elect (as per single predestination), then how can man determine his destiny before his good or evil (=predestine) at the same moment of time God predestines for the elect? For double predestination to be true, God must actively decree the non-elect's destiny too before any of their good or evil. This is the contradiction that supralapsarianism seeks to avoid by conceding that double predestination must entail this implication.
     
  7. ivdavid

    ivdavid Member

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    What do you mean by "no possibility" here - are you referring to God's provision or man's self-determination? Is it impossible as in man flying because God made no provision of wings or is it impossible as in a child choosing greens to chocolates? I see it as the latter and not the former.

    It's right there in the list of premises, right?
    3. If God does not predestine either, then God has decreed man to self-determine his destiny through faith.
    4. If man self-determines to endure in faith to the end, then man is saved.

    It's either #1 predestined to salvation as the path for the elect OR it's #3 and #4 sequentially as the path for the non-elect. Man choosing not to walk down this path does not render the path itself non-existent, right? The means are provided, man rejects it. Where's the disconnect - I'm happy we've gotten so far on this topic and am ready to keep clarifying until we understand each other, irrespective of whether we agree on conclusions or not.
     
  8. ivdavid

    ivdavid Member

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    Like i said, you're running into issues only because you're mixing up predestination and the process of reaching what's been destined. In this active-passive schema, God is still active in predestining the non-elect's end but the process is in Him being passive and letting them follow their own desires and condemn themselves as has been actively predestined by God. The moment you hold God not actively predestining, you're arguing for single predestination, for the only other agent is now man who cannot by definition pre-destine.
     
  9. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    Was there a POSSIBILITY of the man self-determining his own destiny to heaven?
     
  10. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    Two men are attempting to reach the New World from the Old World by crossing the Atlantic Ocean. One man is riding on the Good Ship Jesus Christ and the other man is required to attempt to swim across the ocean because he was not invited to ride on the ship. Do both men have a chance to reach the New World? Does the man on the ship have assurance of reaching the New World and the man swimming have a chance to reach it (Single Predestination)? Is the fate of both men certain (Double Predestination)?

    When the man required to swim the Atlantic was NOT CHOSEN to receive a ticket on the ship, his fate was as certain as the fate of the man that WAS CHOSEN to receive a ticket. Not because God was going to actively drown him or run him over with the ship, but because riding on the ship was the only possible way to cross the ocean ... the man never had a possibility of being able to swim across on his own strength. He was destined to drown before he ever entered the water. He was predestined to failure when the tickets necessary for success were having names written on them and his name was not on a ticket. Even if he had not been born yet, the fact that no ticket with his name existed or ever would meant that he was already pre-destined to failure at crossing the Atlantic.
     
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  11. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    Is "(3) and (4)" possible?
    I believe that (4) is an impossibility ... "If man had wings then he could fly to heaven": but man does not have wings.

    ... so in the REAL WORLD, where men cannot fly, men cannot fly to heaven.
     
  12. ivdavid

    ivdavid Member

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    I'm all for analogies but if this is your depiction of single predestination, I believe you have misunderstood significant parts of it.

    Firstly, single predestination does not hold salvation possible apart from Christ - if riding on the Good Ship is the only way to cross the ocean and reach the other shore, then that is the condition laid out for the non-elect too. Requiring him to swim across would probably be the law of works and not the law of faith. Here, one is saved as long as he gets on the ship and stays on the ship.

    Secondly, he was invited to ride on the Ship - for was not the Gospel preached to the non-elect too? And he could get on to the ship only the same way the elect got on - with a new heart given by God's grace in place of his hardened heart and being initially sanctified by Christ's blood. The difference is he wasn't promised he'd assuredly reach his destination as the elect were promised. If you will, there were VIP passes prepared from before containing the names of only the elect who'd be protected in staying on the ship until they reach the other shore. The non-elect had to self-determine to stay on the ship which as long as they did, would ensure their reaching the shore too. But all the non-elect self-determine to jump out of the ship to start swimming backwards, inevitably and certainly drowning. Spiritually speaking, the promise of the ticket is in the rebirth of the elect denying their self-determinism.

    In this analogy of single predestination, the non-elect man very much is given a chance of reaching the new land but dependent on his self-determinism alone, having all other provisions of God.

    As seen from above, it's not a case of man missing wings but the child having to choose greens over chocolate - and such self-determining would only be to believe in the Good Ship and desire the new land, requiring no other self-works. Faith in Christ would lead to their denying the self but they love and desire their own evil more than the new land. Even after being washed once unto repentance, they wish to return to the mud denying the Lord that bought them.

    Given that we're discussing the Scriptural merits of Single Predestination now, does it mean we've moved on from discussing the logical merits of it? I'd begun there first intending to show that it is a logically consistent system unlike the 'married bachelor' contradiction. And sure, we'd now be discussing if God conditionally gives new hearts and sanctifies the non-elect desiring them to repent and live too - but are there any purely logical contradictions that still need to be addressed?
     
  13. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    We are at least reaching the end of our logical discussion.
    For Single Predestination to be a logical possibility, there needs to exist the possibility that a man CAN do what is necessary for salvation without the “special benefit” guaranteed to the predestined. So what must a man do and is it POSSIBLE?

    This does bridge the gap into scripture, since that is the only source of data on what is required for salvation, but it is still primarily a philosophical question of whether the non-elect are being asked to do the POSSIBLE or the IMPOSSIBLE.

    Predestination is only Single if the non-elect are asked to do the possible to obtain salvation.
     
  14. ivdavid

    ivdavid Member

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    There a couple of issues that I've disagreed with in past posts that are still being argued by you without having addressed it. I've been answering all the questions you've raised and it would help conclude easier if it works both ways.

    1. If God predestines a man unto salvation, that man is assuredly saved.
    3. If God does not predestine either, then God has decreed man to self-determine his destiny through faith.
    4. If man self-determines to endure in faith to the end, then man is saved.
    5. If man self-determines to not endure in faith to the end, then man is not saved.

    You've been arguing that "GIVEN it is impossible for man to do #4, God's active predestination of the elect in #1 just as much determines with certainty the fate of the non-elect at that same moment in God's mind". And I've been arguing that by the very definition of predestination, you are not GIVEN what is possible or impossible for man to do just yet since God does not factor in any of his good or evil then.

    Now I do agree that if God had Himself decided to withhold the provisions of salvation necessary for the non-elect to even be able to self-determine rightly, then it can be a GIVEN since God Himself has rendered salvation impossible for them by not even providing the Good Ship or the wings/greens in the first place - (this would throw other inconsistencies as to why God would desire their Gospel obedience but that's another discussion then). However I see from Scriptures that God has provided these and consequently it's down to man's self-determinism which by definition cannot be a GIVEN at the same moment God predestines the elect.

    You needn't agree with the Scriptural merits of God's provisioning now but for the logical argument, - considering that Single Predestination itself holds God to have provisioned regeneration of a new heart and Christ's sanctification through faith:
    • How do you see the outcome of man's possible or impossible self-determination in #4 and #5 as a GIVEN at the same moment of God's predestining in #1 before any of man's good or evil (faith or unbelief)?
    For your position to be true, you'd have to argue that there is no valid path provided by God for the non-elect to even self-determine rightly into salvation. And I'm arguing that a valid path has been provided which none of the non-elect self-determine to walk down to the end. I've asked this before -
    • Does man's choosing not to walk down this path to salvation that God provides, render the path itself non-existent?
    As to the path itself and what the non-elect must do -
    Eze 18:31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
    Joh 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
    Heb 3:14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;
    Mat 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

    God by His conditional mercy gives a new heart and washes them unto repentance once, and exhorts them to endure in the faith to the end to be saved. Which of these do you see differently?
     
  15. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    OK, now I get it.

    I acknowledge Single Predestination as a logical POSSIBILITY.
    However, it is my belief that it is an EMPIRICAL IMPOSSIBILITY because:

    A. Man is incapable of even SEEING the path without the help of God (an act of Predestination)
    • [2 Corinthians 4:3-4 NASB] 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
    B. Man is incapable of continuing to walk down that new path without the help of God (which omniscient God must have foreknown He would give, so it was Predestined)
    • [Jeremiah 31:33 NASB] 33 "But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the LORD, "I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
    • [Philippians 2:12-13 NASB] 12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for [His] good pleasure.
    C. Ultimately, Scripture claims that all of salvation is the GIFT of God and our works do not count.
    • [Ephesians 2:8-9 NASB] 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, [it is] the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
    • [Matthew 7:21-23 NASB] 21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven [will enter.] 22 "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' 23 "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'
    Clearly, I have now crossed the line from LOGIC into SCRIPTURE.
     
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  16. ivdavid

    ivdavid Member

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    No complaints there at all :)

    I too believe that man with his darkened mind is incapable of seeing the path apart from God enlightening him with the knowledge of the truth - don't you see God doing so in Heb 6:4, 10:26?

    And secondly, why must this be an act of predestination - what stops God from choosing to show conditional mercy factoring in man's evil, and not necessarily only before any of his good or evil?

    I too believe that man is incapable of continuing to walk down that new path by his own self-determinism, if that's what you meant. I still see the help of God in His exhortation and conditional mercies that do not violate the non-elect's own self-determinism unto salvation or condemnation. But that's the whole point of laying out this path - so that every mouth may be stopped and all the non-elect be held guilty under the failure of their own self-determinism given all the conditional mercies of God.

    Your comment within the parenthesis, however, is again inconsistent. God is omniscient and He can foreknow what man would self-determine as a possibility or an impossibility - but God reveals He chose not to foresee any of man's good or evil, possible or impossible self-determination while He predestines the elect. So why must it or how can it be predestined too?

    Absolutely, I believe this too. The object of one's faith is the GIFT of God, right? Or do you see self-determined faith as a work? By definition, faith at best can only be a negative work where one doesn't do anything himself but instead trusts another to do something for him.

    When we both agree on the same ABCs, where lies the actual cause of disagreement?
     
  17. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    If God has predestined some to salvation then it is also and automatically true that He predestined the rest to damnation.
     
  18. ivdavid

    ivdavid Member

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    Why so? In fact, we just concluded that it needn't necessarily be so from a purely logical perspective as per single predestination.

    My not choosing something does not mean I've chosen the opposite - it just means i haven't chosen anything. John Bunyan best described it as - not choosing to use a certain tree's wood to make a pillar in your house doesn't mean you chose to burn that tree in the fire at that same moment.
     
  19. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    No. Not choosing a thing is still a choice. Personally I hold the view what God predestines is what for those whom He saves. ". . . conformed to the image of his Son, . . ." Now the destination of the lost is what was made for the Devil and the Devil's angels (Matthew 25:41). People who refuse or fail to hear the gospel are not choosing the gospel. Also they cannot choose what they have not heard (2 Corinthaisn 4:3-4). I am of the point of view little children's names are in the book of life (Revelation 20:15) until such time it is removed. Not because little children are sinless but because Christ died for the whole world (1 John 2:2).
     
  20. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    For an ALL KNOWING (omniscient) being to choose to "NOT KNOW" something ... that is a "Married Bachelor" ... a logically innate self-contradiction.

    Thus God MUST always know all things (end from the beginning) or He is not Omniscient (and a "not omniscient god" is NOT GOD.) The one thing that God cannot do is be other than what He is ... thus "God cannot lie" and "God cannot change", etc. ... all things contrary to HIM.
     
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