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Re: MJM, 5-Point Calvinism and the Bible [Re: Tom] #17627
Fri Oct 29, 2004 8:21 PM
Fri Oct 29, 2004 8:21 PM

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Tom,

I quoted from DAVID Hunt (professor at Whittier College), not the DAVE Hunt of the Berean Call (and "Debating Calvinism").

Yes, IVP is Inter Varsity Press.

Michael

Re: MJM, 5-Point Calvinism and the Bible #17628
Fri Oct 29, 2004 8:37 PM
Fri Oct 29, 2004 8:37 PM

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But I think that such an interpretation is based on one's premise that "God foreknows because he foreordains".

That's because that is the scriptural premise concerning the matter.

Quote

Isa 46:9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,
Isa 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
Isa 46:11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.


Quote
But I believe that God foreordains certain events on the basis of his foreknowledge of future volitions (even sinful ones).


The question then arises, what "volitions" have come into existence outside Gods will?


God bless,

william

Re: MJM, 5-Point Calvinism and the Bible [Re: CovenantInBlood] #17629
Sat Oct 30, 2004 2:37 AM
Sat Oct 30, 2004 2:37 AM
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Quote
"IVP" is, I think, InterVarsity Press. They're not Catholic.

That is interesting because a few year ago I unknowning ordered a Roman Catholic book on Apologetics. It was put out by IVP.
I have since seen quite a few Roman Catholic books with IVP on them.

Tom

Re: MJM, 5-Point Calvinism and the Bible #17630
Sat Oct 30, 2004 4:57 AM
Sat Oct 30, 2004 4:57 AM

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Before we assume that Isaiah 46:9ff teaches an exhaustive divine decree whereby God determines and foreordains everthing which comes to pass, a few observations need to be made:

(1) In context, Yahweh is challenging the existence of the false gods: "There is no God apart from me" (45:21b). The futility of worshipping these so-called gods is that they "cannot save" (45:20); moreover, they are unable to "declare what is to be" (45:21a). Only Yahweh has exhaustive foreknowledge of "what is still to come" (46:10a).

(2) Not only does Yahweh have divine foreknowledge, but he is able to accomplish his purposes, his intentions, through men: "My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. From the east I summon ... a man to fulfil my purpose." (46:10b-11).

The question must be asked, "Is every event and human action and decision the result of God's intention, the fulfillment of his purpose?" For example, is it God's purpose that we sacrifice our children to false gods? The Lord's response is that it is "something I did not command, nor did it enter my mind" (Jer. 7:31). It's pretty difficult to maintain here an exhaustive foreordination of all things when such actions did not enter God's mind. Point is: not everything which happens is the result of God's purpose.

Michael

Re: MJM, 5-Point Calvinism and the Bible #17631
Sat Oct 30, 2004 8:02 AM
Sat Oct 30, 2004 8:02 AM

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So God is not omniscient? Again, I ask, what is outside Gods will?

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Jer 7:31 And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart. (KJV)


I don't think this verse teaches that God was surprised by anything. The last section is part of a whole verse. It is simply refering to Gods command, not Gods inability to know the future.

If there are things outside Gods control, we no longer have a God who is omnipotent either.


God bless,

william

Re: MJM, 5-Point Calvinism and the Bible [Re: Tom] #17632
Sat Oct 30, 2004 9:17 AM
Sat Oct 30, 2004 9:17 AM
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Tom,

Many Publishers publish many titles from various denominational "types", just like CBD sells many different types of material. Go to their catalog and look around: Catalog.


Reformed and Always Reforming,
Re: MJM, 5-Point Calvinism and the Bible #17633
Sat Oct 30, 2004 12:47 PM
Sat Oct 30, 2004 12:47 PM

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William,

You asked:

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So God is not omniscient?


Please try not to misrepresent what I believe. I never said that God is not omniscient. On the contrary I had stated, "Only Yahweh has exhaustive foreknowledge of "what is still to come" (46:10a)".

In citing Jeremiah 7:31 I had asked: "Is every event and human action and decision the result of God's intention, the fulfillment of his purpose?" For example, is it God's purpose that we sacrifice our children to false gods? The Lord's response is that it is "something I did not command, nor did it enter my mind" (Jer. 7:31). It's pretty difficult to maintain here an exhaustive foreordination of all things when such actions did not enter God's mind."

So, my question is to you: Did God foreordain (not foreknow) that they should sacrifice their children to idols? Was it part of his divine decree, not based on his foreknowledge? Was it God's will that they should do such a thing?

Michael

Re: MJM, 5-Point Calvinism and the Bible #17634
Sat Oct 30, 2004 1:24 PM
Sat Oct 30, 2004 1:24 PM

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Please try not to misrepresent what I believe. I never said that God is not omniscient. On the contrary I had stated, "Only Yahweh has exhaustive foreknowledge of "what is still to come" (46:10a)".


Yes, because God created all things. How could anything exist unless God created it? Therefore, in creating this world, God foreknew every event because God decreed the order. Did God create this world around already existing circumstances and events? I do not misrepresent your position, I elaborate on it.

How could God see their time-bound action of faith "before" it actually happened and then act in a time-based relation to it; predestining, et pass? You have placed linear time constraints on what goes on in the eternal. This the god of open theism, a reactive God who is surprised by some things.

Quote

Isa 46:9-11 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it. (KJV)

Albert Barnes
Isa 46:10 -
Declaring the end from the beginning - Foretelling accurately the course of future events. This is an argument to which God often appeals in proof that he is the only true God (see Isa_41:22-23; Isa_43:12; Isa_44:26).
My counsel shall stand - My purpose, my design, my will. The phrase ‘shall stand’ means that it shall be stable, settled, fixed, established. This proves:
1. That God has a purpose or plan in regard to human affairs. If he had not, he could not predict future events, since a contingent event cannot be foreknown and predicted; that is, it cannot be foretold that an event shall certainly occur in one way, when by the very supposition of its being contingent it may happen either that way, or some other way, or not at all.
2. That God’s plan will not be frustrated. He has power enough to secure the execution of his designs, and he will exert that power in order that all his plans may be accomplished. We may observe, also, that it is a matter of unspeakable joy that God has a plan, and that it will be executed. For
And I will do all my pleasure - I will accomplish all my wish, or effect all my desire. The word rendered here ‘pleasure’ means properly delight or pleasure 1Sa_15:22; Psa_1:2; Psa_16:3; Ecc_5:4; Ecc_12:10; then desire, wish, will Job_31:16; and then business, cause, affairs Isa_53:10. Here it means that God would accomplish everything which was to him an object of desire; everything which he wished, or willed. And why should he not? Who has power to hinder or prevent him Rom_9:19?


Your claim that this passage is a mere diatribe from God against false gods is a little scant. While I will agree that the passage does indeed cover this, I believe it also shows some very serious attributes about Gods very nature.

Quote
In citing Jeremiah 7:31 I had asked: "Is every event and human action and decision the result of God's intention, the fulfillment of his purpose?" For example, is it God's purpose that we sacrifice our children to false gods? The Lord's response is that it is "something I did not command, nor did it enter my mind" (Jer. 7:31). It's pretty difficult to maintain here an exhaustive foreordination of all things when such actions did not enter God's mind."


As I stated before, I disagree that this passage upholds open theism. God, due to His omniscients, knows ALL beforehand. Your post contradicts itself. Earlier you stated that YahWeh had perfect foreknowledge, and then you attempt to use this passage to show otherwise. I don't understand. I don't see any reason to interpret the passage to mean God isn't omnipresent.

Quote
So, my question is to you: Did God foreordain (not foreknow) that they should sacrifice their children to idols? Was it part of his divine decree, not based on his foreknowledge? Was it God's will that they should do such a thing?


Yes. God foreordained to allow those things to happen. However, let's take the other side. What if those things can't be controlled by God?

Quote

Rom 9:16-24 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? (KJV)


Now, a question for you. Did God knowingly create people He knew would never believe upon Him?


God bless,

william

Re: MJM, 5-Point Calvinism and the Bible #17635
Sat Oct 30, 2004 6:38 PM
Sat Oct 30, 2004 6:38 PM
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averagefellar

Excuse me for budding in here, but I don't think MJM is supporting "Open Theism", because he says God knows the future. I may be wrong, but based on the articles that I have read on Open Theism they believe God does not know the future.
MJM seems to be supporting more the concept of God looking down the corridors of time..., which of course there are still a lot of problems with.
I will clime back into my hole now.

Tom

Re: MJM, 5-Point Calvinism and the Bible [Re: J_Edwards] #17636
Sat Oct 30, 2004 6:54 PM
Sat Oct 30, 2004 6:54 PM
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Joe

You are correct of course. But it seems to me a publisher that does that is more interested in money than ministry. If they were interested in ministry over money, they would realize that by selling material that goes against what they believe, they are in essence saying that doctrine does not matter, let’s just unite under the banner of Jesus.
Which unfortunately I believe is true of a lot of publishers. Even your average Christian book store has books by groups such as Word of Faith, Roman Catholic, etc... <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/sigh.gif" alt="" />

If I was writing a book and searching for a publisher, I think I would sooner go with a secular publisher than a publisher with that kind of attitude.
<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rantoff.gif" alt="" />

Tom

Re: MJM, 5-Point Calvinism and the Bible [Re: Tom] #17637
Sun Oct 31, 2004 1:59 PM
Sun Oct 31, 2004 1:59 PM
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Quote
Tom said:
Joe

You are correct of course. But it seems to me a publisher that does that is more interested in money than ministry. If they were interested in ministry over money, they would realize that by selling material that goes against what they believe, they are in essence saying that doctrine does not matter, let’s just unite under the banner of Jesus.
Which unfortunately I believe is true of a lot of publishers. Even your average Christian book store has books by groups such as Word of Faith, Roman Catholic, etc... <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/sigh.gif" alt="" />

If I was writing a book and searching for a publisher, I think I would sooner go with a secular publisher than a publisher with that kind of attitude.
<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rantoff.gif" alt="" />

Tom

What does this have to do with the "original question" that they ONLY publish Catholic works? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/scratch1.gif" alt="" />


Reformed and Always Reforming,
Re: MJM, 5-Point Calvinism and the Bible #17638
Sun Oct 31, 2004 3:06 PM
Sun Oct 31, 2004 3:06 PM

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William,

Unfortunately, you are misrepresenting my position. You wrote:

Quote

As I stated before, I disagree that this passage upholds open theism. God, due to His omniscients, knows ALL beforehand. Your post contradicts itself. Earlier you stated that YahWeh had perfect foreknowledge, and then you attempt to use this passage to show otherwise. I don't understand. I don't see any reason to interpret the passage to mean God isn't omnipresent.


I ALSO disagree that Jeremiah 7:31 upholds Open Theism. I do NOT believe in OT; I believe it is aberrant, and not orthodox Christianity. Ok?

I know OTs use that passage, but the reason why I cited it was to ask you whether God decreed (unconditionally), before the creation of the world, that the people should sacrifice their children?

In response you wrote:

Quote

Yes. God foreordained to allow those things to happen. However, let's take the other side. What if those things can't be controlled by God?


Ah! So you believe that God foreordained those sinful actions in the sense that he ALLOWED them to happen. Well, I agree with that! But the inconsistency within Calvinism is now obvious. They believe that everything which happens ("whatsoever comes to pass") is the result of God's eternal decree (Westminster Confession of faith + 1689 Baptist Confession). This decree, according to Calvinists is unconditional, not based on his foreknowledge. This is seen in the quote you cited from Albert Barnes:

Quote

That God has a purpose or plan in regard to human affairs. If he had not, he could not predict future events, since a contingent event cannot be foreknown and predicted; that is, it cannot be foretold that an event shall certainly occur in one way, when by the very supposition of its being contingent it may happen either that way, or some other way, or not at all.


In other words, God foreknows because he has causally determined / foreordained. And now here is the inconsistency of Calvinism: If God merely foreordained to ALLOW the people to sacrifice their children to gods, God would have to have known beforehand (foreknowledge) that it would happen. But then God's foreordination or permission (allowance) of sinful actions is based on his foreknowledge, it is contingent on human actions, and God's decree is conditional.

So which is it? Did God foreordain the sacrifice of children by causing it to happen, based on an unconditional and efficacious decree? Or did he foreknow that it would occur AND ALLOWED IT TO HAPPEN? As soon as Calvinists use terminology such as "permission" or "allow", they are contradicting their divine (dark) decree doctrine!

Please don't get upset by what I've written here. My intention is not to slam what you believe, but just to point out the inconsistencies within Calvinism which I battled with for many months.

Yours in Christ,
Michael

Re: MJM, 5-Point Calvinism and the Bible #17639
Sun Oct 31, 2004 3:29 PM
Sun Oct 31, 2004 3:29 PM

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I think the matter comes down to the two positions concerning the order of the decrees. I tend to hold to the infralapsarian view but there is also the supralapsarian view which holds some merit. I would suggest a study of both to understand the questions you are asking.

However, I must also say that despite the difficulty in answering the exact ordering of decrees, calvinism is still scripturally defensible whereas the arminian/wesleyan/pelagian views are not. The scriptures simply do not answer every intricacy of truth, but it does offer sufficient knowledge of the truth. I still don't see how this disproves calvinism.


God bless,

william

Re: MJM, 5-Point Calvinism and the Bible #17640
Sun Oct 31, 2004 4:38 PM
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William,

Yes, I've studied Supra- and Infralapsarianism. (I used to hold to the latter). But, as I've written in my paper on Determinism and Freedom (which Fred will be familiar with), all Calvinists, if they were consistent, should reject Infralapsarianism because if God decreed to permit the fall first, and then determined to predestine an elect people, Infralapsarianism would be based on God&#8217;s foreknowledge of the fall. And if God permitted the fall before he elected, then he had to have foreknown that it would occur. But then God&#8217;s decree that man would fall is based on his foreknowledge, making it dependent and conditional upon the future actions of Adam.

Which brings me back to my question to you: Do you believe that God foreordained the sacrifice of children by causing it to happen, based on an unconditional and efficacious decree? Or do you believe that God foreknow that it would occur AND ALLOWED IT TO HAPPEN?

Michael

Re: MJM, 5-Point Calvinism and the Bible #17641
Sun Oct 31, 2004 5:17 PM
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MJM,

You may have "studied" Calvinism and more in particular Supralapsarianism and Infralapsarianism, but unfortunately it would appear that you didn't comprehend the truth of what they hold to be true. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rolleyes2.gif" alt="" />

The order of the decree(s) has no bearing upon this issue of "foreknowledge", which you hold to be mere prescience (foreknown facts), which the Scriptures do not teach as the word is not used in that manner. Further, the fact according to the Infra scheme, that God actually decreed the Fall and and then elected and predestinated a remnant to be saved, does not negate the fact that it was God's eternal counsel and not some fictitious prescience of events which didn't exist that determined who would be saved.

The semi-Pelagian/Arminian/Open Theist positions are similar enough in this matter in that they all state that God's observes the actions/decisions of men and upon that basis decrees what shall be. Honestly..... the idea is so preposterous that it really doesn't deserve anyone's time to try and refute it. But the biblical truth must be defended against such novel ideas and have been throughout history. What you are proposing reminds me of something out of the fictional "StarTrek" series. It seems that there is this sub-space anomaly where there exists multiple universes; one actual and the others tentative and in a constant state of flux. I'm sure that Data could explain the phenomena better than I. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

So, you would have us imagine that God sat back and observed a non-existent world where non-existent humans made free-will decisions determined by non-existent secondary causes and upon that basis (foreknowledge) He decreed what would actually be and consequent to that "foreknowledge" created all things. The problems with this scenario are infinite, even at face value. And since I have dealt with them myriad times here over the years, I really don't care to type out yet another detailed response to show the absurdity of this view.

However, what I will say is that even if for the sake of argument, I accepted your premise, i.e., that based upon the foreseen actions of men God determined all things, it would still mitigate against your view for a couple of reasons. (1) If God determines what shall be, then NOTHING can change that and thus "free-will" cannot exist. For God's decree fixes ALL things, including secondary causes and thus any decisions made by men are also fixed and not "free". OR, (2) If the will of men are nonetheless "free", i.e., they are capable of acting contrary to a person's nature, then it is impossible that the end could be absolutely sure. Just these two items alone put you in an inescapable conundrum which none have been able to escape. Other insurmountable problems could be mentioned, e.g., biblical prophecy would be an impossibility, as it could never be guaranteed that it would be perfectly fulfilled in manner or time, etc.

To answer your previous question to William, re: Did God decree that men would sacrifice their children, etc... the answer is unquestionably "Yes!" Equally so, those who did sacrifice their children, did so most freely and in accord with their natures and thus they are accountable for their horrid acts. This is but a mere flash in the pan compared to the crucifixion of the Lord Christ, Who was murdered by the free acts of men which God had foreordained by His determinate counsel. When the Confessions state that God "allows" certain acts of men, it has no reference to some fictitious "foreknowlege" of foreseen events, but rather it is speaking of the manner/means by which God providentially brings these acts to pass; e.g., using secondary causes, which the WCF, for example, makes clear.

John Calvin dealt with this fallacious view centuries ago, when he wrote against Albertus Pighius. See here: Calvin's Calvinism, translated by Henry Cole.

In His Grace,


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