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Featured The Day TULIP Died

Discussion in 'Calvinism & Arminianism Debate' started by JonC, May 8, 2022.

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  1. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    "I had come to believe that love was one of God’s “soft” attributes (compared to the biggies like holiness, sovereignty, immutability, etc.). It wasn’t a huge leap from that to wondering whether God was truly loving at all.
    After all, if God’s chief concern is for his own glory (as Piper claims) and holiness is his supreme attribute (as my church taught), then love is at best a secondary concern for God. On top of that, if you’re not among the elect, it makes no sense to conceive of God loving you at all. “I love you, but before you were born, I decided you would spend eternity in agonizing torment.

    The more all this weighed on me, the more I began to hate going to church (which made being on the worship team a bit complicated). I was also growing troubled by the theological arrogance I saw in myself and others. . . .

    All I knew was that I had to choose between a loving God and a deterministic God (or no God at all). I realize most Calvinists feel this is a false choice, but it’s the one I had to make. Ultimately, I don’t think it’s a false choice at all, because love and determinism are fundamentally irreconcilable.". (Ben Irvin, The Day TULIP Died)



    Is, as the author came to believe, love and determinism fundamentally irreconcilable?
     
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  2. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    The problem is reconciliating our finite view with God's infinite view, being absolutely omniscient and being infinity good, God being metaphorically love, 1 John 4:7-8.
     
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  3. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    The doctrine of love (of divine love) is probably one of the most difficult to articulate....probably the most difficult to understand (like you point out, we are finite in our understanding). Much remains to be known. For now we can rest in what God has revealed.

    Throughout Scripture God is pictured as a God first and foremost of love. While there is wrath, this wrath is not simply punishing wicked people. It has a purpose, for God desires that none perish. Verses even look back at the wicked, having God say "if only you would have repented".
     
  4. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    There is a back story. It has been interpreted that at the fall of man, Satan took man's God given dominance in creation from him. Matthew 25:41, John 8:44, 1 John 3:8 and Hebrews 2:14. And some other references.
     
  5. Silverhair

    Silverhair Well-Known Member

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    I have tried to reconcile the fact that God is love with the calvinist deterministic view and it just does not jive for me. They seem to me to be polar opposites.
     
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  6. Silverhair

    Silverhair Well-Known Member

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    If memory serves, Jon you said you were a calvinist. How did you, at that time, deal with this problem?
     
  7. Silverhair

    Silverhair Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps one of our stanch calvinists on BB can provide a clear scripture based answer as to how divine determinism & the love of God can fit together.
     
  8. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I denied it existed.

    One thing you have to keep in mind is Calvinism is first and foremost a Christian philosophy. It starts with several presuppositions and then fits Scripture within that format. So things get redefined. God's love is real, but only when defined in terms of His wrath (never the other way around). God's love is real, but it does not fit within a biblical definition of love (as Paul would define love to those in Corinth).
     
  9. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    It is an interesting question that is not really tied to “Calvinism”.

    The question could be asked of anyone that believes God sends people to hell for unbelief. If God is omniscient on the one hand and loves all people on the other, why let them be born knowing they will ultimately reject Him and He will send them to hell?

    Possible solutions from “non-Calvinists” range from universal salvation on the one hand and God “self limiting His foreknowledge on the other.

    Peace to you
     
    #9 canadyjd, May 8, 2022
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  10. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I disagree. The question does not hinge on Hell but determinism.

    I do agree that some have concluded universalism or open theology correct. But these do not represent a majority of non-Calvinistic Christian thought.
     
  11. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

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    Who came up with the, "Smile America, God Loves you", mantra?



    "God desires that none perish."

    The quote from the Bible is different and adds the determinative principle.

    What has been left out of this shortened quote and resulting false philosophy is the word, "us-ward".

    "Usward" in the passage refers to the saved individuals to whom it is written and the meaning is a desire, and warning, that none of those save individuals perish, or die prematurely, in the practice of their sins and that THEY repent of their sinful practices.

    "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.." 2 Peter 3:9

    "God desires that none perish" is a false philosophy never stated in the Word.
     
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  12. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

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    Is this stated in The Bible, in some way?
     
  13. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    This is exactly what I mean.


    Luke 13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it!

    1 Timothy 2:1–4 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men,
    2 for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.
    3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
    4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

    Ezekiel 33:11 Say to them, ‘As I live!’ declares the Lord God, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?’
     
  14. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    While Calvinism holds many things that are not expressed in Scripture the way they hold them, the quote from Ben Irvin, not the Bible.
     
  15. Silverhair

    Silverhair Well-Known Member

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    2Pe 3:9 is written to believers, that is how I read it. But how do you deal with 1Ti 2:3-4.
    God desires all to be saved. That is a stated desire yet determinism and the DoG would indicate that He does not really want that.
     
  16. Silverhair

    Silverhair Well-Known Member

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    Calvinist determinism is the main factor in play here. God is love and His stated desire is that all come to a saving knowledge of Him. With divine determinism Gods' love is overruled and only those that are pre-selected can be saved.

    Mat 11:28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

    This is a good faith offer made to all who will come to Him. Those that will trust in Him will be saved. The only restriction is they must come, God will not force anyone to be saved.
     
  17. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

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    God wishes and desires that all sorts of men, all kinds of men, including all of the variety here mentioned to pray for, be saved.

    "all sorts of men, agreeably to the use of the phrase in 1 Timothy 2:1 are here intended, kings and peasants, rich and poor, bond and free, male and female, young and old, greater and lesser sinners; "..."and particularly the Gentiles"..."as well as the Jews, and therefore Heathens, and Heathen magistrates, ... as well as Jewish ones

    God does not want his people to believe that those in power can not be saved and that they should even be prayed for.

    "all who are saved God wills they should be saved; nor are any saved, but whom he wills they should be saved: hence by all men, whom God would have saved, cannot be meant every individual of mankind, since it is not his will that all men, in this large sense, should be saved, unless there are two contrary wills in God;

    "for there are some who were before ordained by him unto condemnation, and are vessels of wrath fitted for destruction;

    "and it is his will concerning some, that they should believe a lie, that they all might be damned;

    "nor is it fact that all are saved, as they would be, if it was his will they should; for who hath resisted his will? but there is a world of ungodly men that will be condemned, and who will go into everlasting punishment: rather, therefore, all sorts of men, agreeably to the use of the phrase in 1 Timothy 2:1 are here intended, kings and peasants, rich and poor, bond and free, male and female, young and old, greater and lesser sinners;

    "and therefore all are to be prayed for, even all sorts of men, because God will have all men, or all sorts of men, saved;

    "and particularly the Gentiles may be designed, who are sometimes called the world, the whole world, and every creature;

    "whom God would have saved, as well as the Jews, and therefore Heathens, and Heathen magistrates, were to be prayed for as well as Jewish ones. Gill
     
  18. Deacon

    Deacon Well-Known Member
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    I've been mulling the blog over much of the day.
    And I admit I'm perplexed.
    Of the characteristics of God, incomprehensibility ranks high on my list.

    ...So I turn to the book of Job.

    Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind and said,
    “Now tighten the belt on your waist like a man;
    I will ask you, and you instruct Me.
    “Will you really nullify My judgment?
    Will you condemn Me so that you may be justified?
    “Or do you have an arm like God,
    And can you thunder with a voice like His?
    “Adorn yourself with pride and dignity,
    And clothe yourself with honor and majesty.
    “Let out your outbursts of anger,
    And look at everyone who is arrogant, and humble him.
    “Look at everyone who is arrogant, and humble him,
    And trample down the wicked where they stand.
    “Hide them together in the dust;
    Imprison them in the hidden place.
    “Then I will also confess to you,
    That your own right hand can save you.
    Job 40:7–14 NASB​

    I'll be thinking about this for quite a while.

    Rob
     
  19. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

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    "all sorts of men, agreeably to the use of the phrase in 1 Timothy 2:1 are here intended, kings and peasants, rich and poor, bond and free, male and female, young and old, greater and lesser sinners; "..."and particularly the Gentiles"..."as well as the Jews, and therefore Heathens, and Heathen magistrates, ... as well as Jewish ones


    Mat 11:28 Come to Me, all
    (sorts of men, agreeably to the use of the phrase in 1 Timothy 2:1 are here intended, kings and peasants, rich and poor, bond and free, male and female, young and old, greater and lesser sinners; "..."and particularly the Gentiles", i.e., "The WORLD"..."as well as the Jews, and therefore Heathens, and Heathen magistrates, ... as well as Jewish ones, i.e., "all". not to the exclusion of any TYPE, KIND, or SORT, etc. ) you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

    God will not force anyone to be saved is not stated in this passage and is a false philosophy, assumed.

    As with many false philosophies, simply not assuming them can be curative.

    I do not assume Evolution, therefore, if I then look for evidence for it, there is none, because there can't be.
     
  20. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

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    How often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Christ here speaks as a man, and the minister of the circumcision, and expresses an human affection for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and an human wish, and will for their temporal good;

    which he very aptly signifies by the hen, which is a very affectionate creature to its young, and which it endeavors to screen from danger, by covering with its wings. Gill

    reference: "...I gathered you together, as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings: but now, what shall I do unto you? I will cast you out from my face.'' (2 Esdras 1:30).

    It seems to be a simile much in use with that people. Our Lord is to be understood not of his divine will, as God, to gather the people of the Jews internally, by his Spirit and grace, to himself;

    for all those whom Christ would gather, in this sense, were gathered, notwithstanding all the opposition made by the rulers of the people;

    but of his human affection and will, as a man, and a minister, to gather them to him externally, by, and under the ministry of his word, to hear him preach;

    so as that they might be brought to a conviction of, and an assent unto him as the Messiah; which, though it might fall short of faith in him, would have been sufficient to have preserved them from temporal ruin, threatened to their city and temple, in the following verse.

    Instances of the human affection, and will of Christ, may be observed in Mark 10:21 which will of his, though not contrary to the divine will, but subordinate to it, yet not always the same with it, nor always fulfilled: whereas his divine will, or his will as God, is, always fulfilled: "who hath resisted his will?" this cannot be hindered, and made void

    he does whatsoever he pleases: and further, that this will of Christ to gather the Jews to himself, is to be understood of his human, and not divine will, is manifest from hence, that this will was in him, and expressed by him at certain several times, by intervals;

    and therefore he says, "how often would I have gathered", &c. whereas the divine will is one continued, invariable, and unchangeable will, is always the same, and never begins or ceases to be, and to which such an expression is inapplicable;

    and therefore these words do not contradict the absolute and sovereign will of God, in the distinguishing acts of it, respecting the choice of some persons, and the leaving of others.

    And it is to be observed, that the persons whom Christ would have gathered, are not represented as being unwilling to be gathered;

    but their rulers were not willing that they should, and be made proselytes to him, and come under his wings.

    It is not said, "how often would I have gathered you, and you would not!" nor, "I would have gathered Jerusalem, and she would not"; nor, "I would have gathered thy children, and they would not"; but, "how often would I have gathered thy children, and ye would not!"

    Which observation alone is sufficient to destroy the argument founded on this passage in favor of free will. Had Christ expressed his desire to have gathered the heads of the people to him, the members of the Jewish Sanhedrim, the civil and ecclesiastical rulers of the Jews: or had he signified how much he wished, and earnestly sought after, and attempted to gather Jerusalem, the children, the inhabitants of it in common, and neither of them would not;

    it would have carried some appearance of the doctrine of free will, and have seemed to have countenanced it, and have imputed the non-gathering of them to their own will: though had it been said, "they would not", instead of, "ye would not", it would only have furnished out a most sad instance of the perverseness of the will of man, which often opposes his temporal, as well as his spiritual good;

    and would rather show it to be a slave to that which is evil, than free to that which is good; and would be a proof of this, not in a single person only, but in a body of men.

    The opposition and resistance to the will of Christ were not made by the people, but by their governors.

    The common people seemed inclined to attend his ministry, as appears from the vast crowds, which, at different times and places, followed him;

    but the chief priests, and rulers, did all they could to hinder the collection of them to him, and their belief in him as the Messiah; by traducing his character, miracles, and doctrines, and by menacing the people with curses, and excommunications, making a law, that whoever confessed him should be turned out of the synagogue.

    So that the plain meaning of the text is the same with that of Matthew 23:13 and consequently is no proof of men's resisting the operations of the Spirit and grace of God;

    but only shows what obstructions and discouragements were thrown in the way of attendance on the external ministry of the word.

    In order to set aside, and overthrow the doctrine of grace, in election, and particular redemption, and effectual calling, it should be proved that Christ, as God, would have gathered, not Jerusalem, and the inhabitants of it only, but all mankind, even such as are not eventually saved, and that in a spiritual, saving way and manner, to himself; of which there is not the least intimation in this text: and in order to establish the resistibility of the grace of God, by the perverse will of man, so as to become of no effect;

    it should be shown that Christ would have savingly converted persons, and they would not be converted;

    and that he bestowed the same grace upon them, he does bestow on others, who are converted: whereas the sum of this passage lies in these few words, that Christ, as man, out of a compassionate regard for the people of the Jews, to whom, he was sent as the minister of the circumcision, would have gathered them together under his ministry, and have instructed them in the knowledge of himself, as the Messiah;

    which if they had only notionally received, would have secured them, as chickens under the hen, from impending judgments, which afterwards fell upon them; but their governors, and not they, would not;

    that is, would not suffer them to receive him, and embrace him as the Messiah.

    So that from the whole it appears, that this passage of Scripture, so much talked of by the Arminians, and so often cited by them, has nothing to do with the controversy about the doctrines of election and reprobation, particular redemption, efficacious grace in conversion, and the power of man's free will.

    This observation alone is sufficient to destroy the argument founded on this passage, in favor of free will," Gill
     
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