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#49641 - Sun Apr 21, 2013 2:47 PM Re: focusing on Faith [Re: Pilgrim]  
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Most of the definitions I have seen online of so-called "hyper-Calvinism" would include Luther, Calvin, and John Gill. Phil Johnson's definition, for example, would condemn most of the classical Calvinists, including those who hold to a strict interpretation of the Westminster Standards, the Three Forms of Unity, and the Anglican Formularies.

Hyper-Calvinists do not believe in evangelism outside the church, etc. But most Primitive Baptists do not fit that description, although they do reject formal theological education and organized missionary societies. They also reject Sunday schools, which I disagree with as well.

But Primitive Baptists have a legitimate point that organizations are prone to degenerate into heresy. The mainline denominations and seminaries are evidence enough of that.

BTW, I'm not a fan of Cornelius Van Til. I follow the apologetics of the late Gordon H. Clark. His axiom was, "Scripture is the Word of God."

Peace,

Charlie


For "who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16 NKJ)
#49643 - Sun Apr 21, 2013 3:01 PM Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? [Re: Cranmer]  
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Originally Posted By: Cranmer
All choices made by man are not "free". They are determined by God. Calvin clearly denies that it is the "nature" of man that determines him to good or evil. Rather it is according to God's decree that man acts:

I disagree that man is not "free" to choose according to his nature, which is the established definition of "free agency". It is not "either/or" but BOTH that man is a free agent AND God has decreed everything without exception from eternity. This is what all the Reformed Confessions teach, but more importantly, this is what Scripture teaches, which the Confessions affirm. God decreed the fall of Adam, but both Adam and Eve made their respective choices of disobedience most freely. Of course, the caveat in this example and even more so with Satan, is that there was no prior predisposition to evil as there is with fallen mankind. And anyone who tries to offer an explanation as to how either Satan or the first parents sinned is guilty of sheer unwarranted speculation. Even Jonathan Edwards admitted that there is no answer to be found to that question. Why? Because it is not revealed.

However, what IS revealed is that men are free to choose and do choose that which is most important to them in all situations. But those choices are restricted according to their nature. Any and all sins which I commit have been foreordained by God according to His eternal counsel and good pleasure for His glory. But God's decree in no sense is the ultimate cause of my sinning, else would be guilty of being the Author of Sin, which all but a few individuals throughout history, even the staunchest supralapsarians, have categorically denied. Man is totally responsible for all his choices, AND all man's choices are made freely, AND all man's choices have been foreordained/decreed by God from eternity.


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#49645 - Sun Apr 21, 2013 3:10 PM Re: focusing on Faith [Re: Cranmer]  
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Unfortunately, you haven't given YOUR definition for "hyper-Calvinism", although you did mention no evangelism outside of the Church. Surely, you have a more succinct definition you are working with, yes? grin

For many (most?) there are two basic areas that are contentious and which are used to define "hyper-Calvinism" to one degree or another, right or wrong:

1. Evangelism
2. Common Grace

And both of those terms are subject to much disagreement due to how they too are defined. laugh

FYI, one of the three seminaries I studied at is considered to be "hyper-Calvinist". I would have to agree. wink


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#49646 - Sun Apr 21, 2013 3:12 PM Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? [Re: Pilgrim]  
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Free moral agency is taught in the Scriptures. But the problem is that you're ignoring that it not the "nature" of man that predetermines him to evil. It is God's decree that does so. Calvin, the "hyper-Calvinist" said that, btw. I already quoted that passage. But here is another one:

Quote:
]1. THE human mind, when it hears this doctrine, cannot restrain its petulance, but boils and rages as if aroused by the sound of a trumpet. Many professing a desire to defend the Deity from an invidious charge admit the doctrine of election, but deny that any one is reprobated (Bernard. in Die Ascensionis, Serm. 2). This they do ignorantly and childishly since there could be no election without its opposite reprobation. God is said to set apart those whom he adopts for salvation. It were most absurd to say, that he admits others fortuitously, or that they by their industry acquire what election alone confers on a few. Those, therefore, whom God passes by he reprobates, and that for no other cause but because he is pleased to exclude them from the inheritance which he predestines to his children. Nor is it possible to tolerate the petulance of men, in refusing to be restrained by the word of God, in regard to his incomprehensible counsel, which even angels adore. We have already been told that hardening is not less under the immediate hand of God than mercy. Paul does not, after the example of those whom I have mentioned, labour anxiously to defend God, by calling in the aid of falsehood; he only reminds us that it is unlawful for the creature to quarrel with its Creator. Then how will those who refuse to admit that any are reprobated by God explain the following words of Christ? “Every plant which my heavenly Father has not planted shall be rooted up,” (Mt. 15:13). They are plainly told that all whom the heavenly Father has not been pleased to plant as sacred trees in his garden, are doomed and devoted to destruction. If they deny that this is a sign of reprobation, there is nothing, however clear, that, can be proved to them. Book III, ch. 23, paragraph 1.

John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 1997).


In short, God is the cause of reprobation, not some impersonal "nature" in man. Luther and Calvin both denied that libertarian free will existed in Adam before the fall, although Adam was not yet a "slave" to sin.

Charlie

Last edited by Cranmer; Sun Apr 21, 2013 3:13 PM.

For "who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16 NKJ)
#49649 - Sun Apr 21, 2013 3:26 PM Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? [Re: Pilgrim]  
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Quote:
But God's decree in no sense is the ultimate cause of my sinning, else would be guilty of being the Author of Sin, which all but a few individuals throughout history, even the staunchest supralapsarians, have categorically denied. Man is totally responsible for all his choices, AND all man's choices are made freely, AND all man's choices have been foreordained/decreed by God from eternity.
In that case you're clearly not a Calvinist. All of the Reformed standards say that God is the ultimate cause of the sins of the reprobate--without being the Author of sin.

I can give you lots of biblical examples:

So Absalom and all the men of Israel said, "The advice of Hushai the Archite is better than the advice of Ahithophel." For the LORD had purposed to defeat the good advice of Ahithophel, to the intent that the LORD might bring disaster on Absalom. (2 Samuel 17:14 NKJ)

God caused Absalom to follow the advice of Hushai rather than the good advice of Ahithophel.

God opened the heart of Lydia:

Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. (Acts 16:14 NKJ)

and the disciples:

And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. (Luke 24:45 NKJ)

But he "hardened" others:

And the LORD said to Moses, "When you go back to Egypt, see that you do all those wonders before Pharaoh which I have put in your hand. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go. (Exodus 4:21 NKJ)

God also sends evil spirits and delusions:

And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as at other times: and there was a javelin in Saul's hand. (1 Samuel 18:10 KJV)

And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 KJV)

God is therefore the ultimate cause of both faith and unbelief.

Charlie


For "who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16 NKJ)
#49650 - Sun Apr 21, 2013 3:30 PM Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? [Re: Cranmer]  
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Charlie,

Methinks you are confusing predestination and election to salvation with the issue of man's ability and inability to make choices. If man's nature is not ONE of the determinate causes of man's choices then man is not responsible for anything he does. This is the Arminian/semi-Pelagian argument used all too often against Calvinism, for IF everything that a man thinks, feels and does is totally caused by God's eternal decree, man becomes the proverbial puppet. But as I have stated before and that which all the Reformed Confessions teach, it is not either/or but both/and... ALL things have been decreed by God from eternity according to His immutable counsel AND every choice made by man is a free act of the will and done according to one's nature...aka: compatibalism. The clearest expression of this truth is found, of course, in Scripture in regard to the crucifixion of Christ.

Quote:
Acts 2:22-24 (ASV) "Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God unto you by mighty works and wonders and signs which God did by him in the midst of you, even as ye yourselves know; him, being delivered up by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye by the hand of lawless men did crucify and slay: whom God raised up, having loosed the pangs of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it."

Acts 3:17-18 (ASV) "And now, brethren, I know that in ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. But the things which God foreshowed by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ should suffer, he thus fulfilled."

Acts 4:26-28 (ASV) "The kings of the earth set themselves in array, And the rulers were gathered together, Against the Lord, and against his Anointed: for of a truth in this city against thy holy Servant Jesus, whom thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, were gathered together, to do whatsoever thy hand and thy council foreordained to come to pass."


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#49652 - Sun Apr 21, 2013 3:48 PM Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? [Re: Cranmer]  
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And thus would I be correct in concluding that you are a Supralapsarian? scratchchin


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#49656 - Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:16 PM Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? [Re: Pilgrim]  
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I'm still not sure how to subscribe to the thread. Oh, well.

Anyway, that being said, I am sorry if my answers were a bit imprecise. I sometimes reply in haste.

However, the free agency of man is different from saying that man acts independently of God's sovereign control. Libertarian free will insists that the will is not determined by anything, including grace, a depraved/corrupt nature, or anything else.

Determinism is the Calvinist view, not Arminianism or any of the other views that insist on "free will".

I'm troubled by the fact that you think that determinism means that men are "robots". That's a caricature of the Arminians and the semi-pelagians. Determinism does not remove human responsibility to God. Far from it. In fact, if so then you would need to toss the doctrine of total inability. The law of God, the moral law, tells men what they ought to do. Simply because they are unable to obey it perfectly is no excuse before God. They remain fully accountable for their choices.

But the bottom line here is what Calvin says. Nothing God does is wrong. So if God chooses to harden some men and grant an effectual call to others we have no room to accuse God of injustice, which is basically what you're saying when you say that such a view makes men "robots". It's another way of saying that you think God would be unfair if He determines men's moral actions and thoughts without violating their wills. In fact, that is the biblical view. There is no way around it. Calvin insists the same thing as the quotes I gave clearly show.

Without determinism there would be no accountability, in fact. If choices are not determined and every choice is simply a choice between two equal choices, there would be no basis for morality or ethics and there would be no reason for God to judge those who disobey His law. Evil is in fact revealed by God's moral law. (Romans 3:20; 7:7).

Gordon H. Clark comments on this:

Quote:
The aim of this article is, then, to show that determinism is consistent with responsibility, indeed responsibility requires determinism.

The arguments on both sides are fairly well known. They so lack originality as to discourage new attempts, including this one. The determinist position is stated as well as anywhere in the article by George Stuart Fullerton, entitled “Freedom and Free Will.” His aim was to show that on the basis of indeterminism moral conduct in general, in so far as free or indeterminate, would lose all ethical value. The indeterminist holds that certain actions are not adequately explained, i.e., determined by preceding causes. Then, if benevolence for example is a free action, it is not determined by a benevolent personality but happens carelessly. If the will were free absolutely, then a knowledge of one’s own respectable character in the past brings neither hope nor consolation. Ordinarily we consider a determining factor, and a moral man does not become immoral except for some other determining factor. But free will allows a man to become a criminal for no reason at all.
From: Determinism and Responsibility

The fact of the matter is that there are no contingencies in God's mind. He never learns anything. He knows everything. Therefore, if God knows the future moral actions of any man, then these moral actions are certain. And if they are certain, it follows that God has determined them. And in fact, that is what the Bible says on almost every page.

Quote:
For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that He might utterly destroy them, and that they might receive no mercy, but that He might destroy them, as the LORD had commanded Moses. (Joshua 11:20 NKJ)


As for your conjecture that I am confusing predestination/election with man's ability or inability to "make choices", I don't believe that follows since I've already said that man is a free moral agent. But that is not the same thing as having "free will". Luther and Calvin both denied it and so does Scripture on almost every page. Do you really believe that Judas Iscariot or Pontius Pilate could have chosen to do other than what God had foreordained by His predetermined and set plan?

Quote:
"Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; (Acts 2:23 NKJ)

"For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together 28 "to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done. (Acts 4:27-28 NKJ)


For "who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16 NKJ)
#49666 - Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:14 AM Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav [Re: Pilgrim]  
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Only an Armnian could say that choice is synergistic. Regeneration is monergistic.

Therefore, God literally is the cause of the choice to become a Christian.

We can play ad hominem games all day long. But the bottom line here is you will need to define your terms.

If you mean by "choice" what Arminians call "libertarian free will", that is an uncaused choice that has no outside or internal determining factors, then you have no basis for morality, ethics, or human responsibility.

Charlie


For "who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16 NKJ)
#49667 - Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:28 AM Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? [Re: Pilgrim]  
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We have already been told that hardening is not less under the immediate hand of God than mercy. Paul does not, after the example of those whom I have mentioned, labour anxiously to defend God, by calling in the aid of falsehood; he only reminds us that it is unlawful for the creature to quarrel with its Creator. --John Calvin


Quote:
If man's nature is not ONE of the determinate causes of man's choices then man is not responsible for anything he does. This is the Arminian/semi-Pelagian argument used all too often against Calvinism, for IF everything that a man thinks, feels and does is totally caused by God's eternal decree, man becomes the proverbial puppet.


Calvin answered your objection clearly. You seem to be more afraid of the Arminians than of God:

Quote:
1. The human mind, when it hears this doctrine, cannot restrain its petulance, but boils and rages as if aroused by the sound of a trumpet. Many professing a desire to defend the Deity from an invidious charge admit the doctrine of election, but deny that any one is reprobated (Bernard. in Die Ascensionis, Serm. 2). This they do ignorantly and childishly since there could be no election without its opposite reprobation. God is said to set apart those whom he adopts for salvation. It were most absurd to say, that he admits others fortuitously, or that they by their industry acquire what election alone confers on a few. Those, therefore, whom God passes by he reprobates, and that for no other cause but because he is pleased to exclude them from the inheritance which he predestines to his children. Nor is it possible to tolerate the petulance of men, in refusing to be restrained by the word of God, in regard to his incomprehensible counsel, which even angels adore. We have already been told that hardening is not less under the immediate hand of God than mercy. Paul does not, after the example of those whom I have mentioned, labour anxiously to defend God, by calling in the aid of falsehood; he only reminds us that it is unlawful for the creature to quarrel with its Creator. Then how will those who refuse to admit that any are reprobated by God explain the following words of Christ? “Every plant which my heavenly Father has not planted shall be rooted up,” ( [Mt. 15:13] ). They are plainly told that all whom the heavenly Father has not been pleased to plant as sacred trees in his garden, are doomed and devoted to destruction. If they deny that this is a sign of reprobation, there is nothing, however clear, that, can be proved to them. But if they will still murmur, let us in the soberness of faith rest contented with the admonition of Paul, that it can be no ground of complaint that God, “willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted for destruction: and that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had store prepared unto glory,” ( [Rom. 9:22, 23] ). Let my readers observe that Paul, to cut off all handle for murmuring and detraction, attributes supreme sovereignty to the wrath and power of God; for it were unjust that those profound judgments, which transcend all our powers of discernment, should be subjected to our calculation. Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 23, Section 1


For "who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16 NKJ)
#49668 - Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:41 AM Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav [Re: Cranmer]  
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Originally Posted By: Cranmer
Only an Armnian could say that choice is synergistic. Regeneration is monergistic.

Therefore, God literally is the cause of the choice to become a Christian.

We can play ad hominem games all day long. But the bottom line here is you will need to define your terms.

If you mean by "choice" what Arminians call "libertarian free will", that is an uncaused choice that has no outside or internal determining factors, then you have no basis for morality, ethics, or human responsibility.

Charlie

1. Agreed. Regeneration is monergistic.

2. Agreed. (see #1) However, God isn't the one who exercises the Spirit created faith due to regeneration. It is man who repents and believes upon Christ, would you agree?

3. The disparaging ad hominem games belong to you sir, "You are definitely not a Calvinist" is what you wrote, not me. grin

4. Agreed. I have never even hinted that the unregenerate man possesses "libertarian free will"! To the contrary, I have made it clear more than once that man is a "free agent" who is capable of making choices freely consistent with one's nature. The natural, unregenerate man is totally incapable of making any choice but sin due to his corrupt nature. (Gen 6:5, 8:21; Jer 17:9; Matt 15:19; Rom 3:10-19; et al) The regenerate man is capable of making choices which are sinful and which are godly, due to the new spiritual nature created in him by the Holy Spirit. I would refer you to Thomas Boston's magnum opus, Human Nature in its Four-fold State.


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#49669 - Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:45 AM Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav [Re: Pilgrim]  
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Salvation is threefold: 1) We are saved. 2) We are being saved. 3) We will be saved.

The idea that you save yourself and justify yourself by an unaided act of your own will is either pelagianism, semi-pelagianism, or Arminianism.

Luther, Calvin, and a host of other Reformed theologians say that regeneration is a monergistic act of God, not an act of man's will.

In fact, Jesus teaches that regeneration is solely an act of the Holy Spirit:

Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." 4 Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" 5 Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 "Do not marvel that I said to you,`You must be born again.' 8 "The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit." (John 3:3-8 NKJ)

The determining factor in conversion is regeneration, not man's will. Certainly God works in man's mind, soul, and will to cause man to come to faith and conversion. Man then cooperates with that monergistic grace to repent and believe. But the ultimate cause of all man does is God. And even the most Kuyperian Calvinists in the 19th century do not say that regeneration is synergistic. Hodge and Berkhof both say that regeneration is monergistic while sanctification is synergistic. And even when they say that sanctification is synergistic they do not mean it in the sense of Wesleyan prevenient grace or libertarian free will. They only mean that God monergisitically causes man to cooperate with God's grace of sanctification. Thus, sanctification, though cooperative and "synergistic", is still caused by God.

The prayers of the collects in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer show that this grace is to be asked for because without it we will not obey:

Quote:

The Third Sunday after Easter.
The Collect.
ALMIGHTY God, who shewest to them that be in error the light of thy truth, to the intent that they may return into the way of righteousness; Grant unto all them that are admitted into the fellowship of Christ's Religion, that they may eschew those things that are contrary to their profession, and follow all such things as are agreeable to the same; through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. Third Sunday After Easter


Originally Posted By: Pilgrim
Quote:
BookMark said:
Salvation is of the Lord (Jonah 2:9)

You had as much "choice" in your spiritual re-birth as you did in your natural birth. Zilch.

I guess every Calvinist I know personally must be hyper then - oh well........(and some would say that your post was arminian btw) grin

Mark,

One is not saved by regeneration!! This idea is not only not taught in Scripture, the Reformed faith has never taught that regeneration saves either. One is saved; i.e., JUSTIFIED; pronounced not guilty and Christ's righteousness IMPUTED to him when and ONLY after one believes upon Christ. God doesn't believe for anyone. It is an act done by the individual through an act of the will. Regeneration gives one the predisposition to want Christ and the ability to believe upon Him. But regeneration doesn't save. You are confusing the secret sovereign work of the Holy Spirit, i.e., regeneration with conversion which requires that a sinner turn from sin (repentance) and trust Christ for his/her righteousness (faith).

In His Grace,

Last edited by Cranmer; Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:46 AM.

For "who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16 NKJ)
#49670 - Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:49 AM Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? [Re: Cranmer]  
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Originally Posted By: Cranmer
Calvin answered your objection clearly. You seem to be more afraid of the Arminians than of God:

More ad hominem slurs? igiveup

Again, I have to conclude that you are a Supralapsarian and thus hold that the first in the order of God's eternal decree was to predestinate some men as elect unto eternal life and the remainder as reprobate unto eternal damnation WITHOUT any reference to the Fall. Would that be correct in your case? I asked this question previously, but never got a reply. shrug


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#49671 - Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:54 AM Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav [Re: Cranmer]  
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You are preaching to the choir here, brother! grin

Perhaps you meant this for some other forum or Facebook group?


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#49672 - Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:58 AM Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav [Re: 4Ever_Learning]  
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Why is that "hyper-Calvinists" quote Calvin and Luther while semi-Arminian, neo-Calvinists, and Van Tilians quote others? That's interesting.

I'll go with Gordon H. Clark, though. He said that the "Bible alone is the Word of God." Of course, I could quote Clark. But let Scripture speak for itself. God causes men to sin and I can prove it from the Bible:

Quote:
And the LORD said to Moses, "When you go back to Egypt, see that you do all those wonders before Pharaoh which I have put in your hand. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go. (Exodus 4:21 NKJ)


God foreknew that Pharaoh would harden his own heart because God had determined beforehand that He would harden Pharaoh's heart. The Arminian will argue that Pharaoh first hardened his own heart and then God hardened Pharaoh's heart out of punishment. But that is not what the text says. Plainly God said He would harden Pharaoh before Moses ever went to confront Pharaoh. Secondly, if you say God predetermined to harden Pharaoh based solely on foreknowledge, you have endorsed the Arminian contradiction. If God foreknows contingencies that are uncertain, then God cannot foreknow what exactly will happen. If God DOES foreknow, then logically it follows that God causes it to come to pass just as God foreknows it will and it does so solely because God has predetermined it to be so.

Free moral agency, therefore, cannot mean the same thing as "free will". Free will is the semi-pelagian and the Arminian error. There is no such thing as free will.

Charlie


For "who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16 NKJ)
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