Originally Posted by MikeL
Pilgrim, you say God foreordained ALL things, which gets to the root of the problem for me: because, like you, I can't say that God is the author of sin. However, that is where logic will lead us if we take this belief seriously. If God foreordained all things, then he foreordained sin. He foreordained the Fall. He foreordained the murder of Abel. He foreordained multiple genocides. He foreordained the 4,000 or so abortions that were committed today.

I'm sorry, but you can't just wave your hands about and say, "But let's not forget, that God is not the author, of sin." That God is the author of sin is the most logical conclusion to draw from the belief that He foreordains all things.
YOUR logic says that the Scriptural teaching that God foreordains all things leads to the conclusion that God is the author of sin. And that is 99% of your problem with not only this particular issue but with ALL of Calvinism which exalts God as God in all things. You agree that God is not and cannot be the "author of sin", i.e., God is responsible for sin which would also logically mean that no one can be held accountable for sinning. And we both agree that this is certainly not taught in Scripture. So, the only bone you have to pick is railing against God foreordaining all things. Scripture and not your logic is the final arbiter of who God is and what He has done, is doing and will do. I have given you a long list of passages which indisputably show that God has decreed, ordained, foreordained all things.

I have also challenged you on this matter in various ways including the crucifixion of Christ which the inspired apostle Peter wrote that the crucifixion happened by the determinate council and foreknowledge of God (note the order). From this I have asked you more than once to please tell me if you think that any of those who were involved in Christ's crucifixion said what they did or acted in the manner they did under a compulsion which they resisted but could not overcome. I would still like to know your answer for it goes to show the biblical truth that God is 100% sovereign and man is 100% responsible.

If God has not foreordained all things than there could be no infallible prophecy. Nothing could be determined with any degree of certainty unless all things have been decreed. You must be familiar with the ancient poem which is estimated to come from the 14th century:

For want of a nail a shoe was lost,
for want of a shoe a horse was lost,
for want of a horse a rider was lost,
for want of a rider an army was lost,
for want of an army a battle was lost,
for want of a battle the war was lost,
for want of the war the kingdom was lost,
and all for the want of a little horseshoe nail.
The universe functions on the basis of "cause and effect". Even pagan science has learned this axiom: "for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction." All things are contingent upon prior events. As R.C. Sproul, Sr. once said, "If there is even one rogue molecule out there, then nothing is certain." The above poem demonstrates this truth.

Further, if God hasn't foreordained all things, then one cannot affirm He is Omnipotent, nor that He is Omniscient while affirming that there are creatures who possess "free-will". What you are left with is "chance". And what is chance... nothing more than "no thing." You would be better off worshiping "mother nature" who does have some control over at least the weather, or so it is said.

Lastly, and again... Does Scripture teach that God has foreordained all things? Put in the negative, does Scripture teach that there are things which God has not eternally decreed and of which He is not knowledgeable of since at least one of the variables is the unfettered free-will decisions of man?

Originally Posted by MikeL
When I encounter a philosophy that leads to something like that, I don't keep the entire system, and add at the end a disclaimer. I discard the philosophy and find another one. If a philosophy ends up contradicting an aspect of God I know to be true - That God is not the author of sin - I don't keep the philosophy; instead, I get rid of it, becuase it contradicts the character of God.
It may contradict your idea of what God's character should be. But Calvinism hardly contradicts the character of God for it is the ONLY system that upholds the very definition of deity. Do I need to lay it out once again for you? SCRIPTURE is God's self-revelation to which men are to submit, embrace and live by. Are you familiar with this? It's one of my favorite ditties: "In the beginning, God created man in His own image. And, every since that day, man has been trying to return the favor."

Originally Posted by MikeL
So tell me, why do you think God is not the author of sin?
1. It is impossible that God could be guilty of that which He hates and will judge all men.
2. The very nature of God is holiness. Everything about God is holy (not love btw); His love is holy but His holiness is not love.
3. Scripture clearly teaches that sin originated with Satan in the heavenly realm and with Adam on the earthly realm. No where does Scripture even hint that God is responsible for any creature's sin. But yes, Scripture everywhere teaches that God ordains the sinful acts of men which they freely think, feel and do.
4. A succinct refutation against the charge that Calvinism (eternal predestination/foreordination) leads to God being the author of sin can be found Objections Answered.

Originally Posted by MikeL
I have not read all that Calvin has written. I have read certain things that put up huge red flags, and I stopped reading.
WHAT certain things have you read of John Calvin? Let me relay to you a little anecdote which I was privy to. I attended a lecture on John Calvin many years ago sponsored by a theological seminary (not a conservative one, ironically). The guest lecturer was none other than Ford Lewis Battles, who translated Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion; Westminster Press edition, John T. McNeil editor. Most of the attendees were fascinated not only with Dr. Battles' depth of knowledge of Calvin, his works and life, but of the accomplishments which Calvin did in such a short life span. However, there was one young man there who took exception to what Dr. Battles said and so much so that he stood up and loudly proclaimed, "Calvin was confused on that!". Well, Dr. Battles stopped his lecture, leaned forward sliding his glasses further down his nose and glared at this young man for what seemed ages. Finally, Dr. Battles spoke in a very gentle but firm voice and asked this lad if he had read through Calvin's Institutes. The young man replied, "No, I haven't read all of the Institutes. "Very well then", Battles replied. "Then surely you have read his Tracts & Treatises, correct?" The reply came with less confidence this time as he said, "Well, no. I haven't read those." Battles continued to name books, articles, sermons, and other writings that belonged to John Calvin and each time asking if this man had read them. And, each answer was the same, "No, I'm afraid I haven't read that one either." Finally, Dr. Battles looked sternly in this young man's eyes and said, "Young man, I would like to inform you that John Calvin was a lot of things. He was a brilliant biblical scholar, an incredible theologian, a faithful pastor, a man of compassion, zeal, a loving husband and father, a lover of God and much more. But one thing he wasn't,... he wasn't confused! YOU are confused, young man. Now, sit down and be quiet."

Originally Posted by MikeL
I believe that God foreknew man's rebellion, and came up with a plan that involved the crucifixion of Christ.
I've asked this question more than once and I shall have to ask again. Where did God's "foreknowledge" (prescience) originate? You firmly reject the view that says that God's foreknowledge necessary follows foreordination (eternal decree(s)). So, how did God foreknow what to ordain? This, de facto of course, denies the very word "predestination" found in Scripture for it turns it upon its head to become, "postdestination"? evilgrin

Originally Posted by MikeL
The crucifixion was not a surprise to God - He foreknew it - but it was not decreed in the sense that God really wanted to crucify His Son. It was necessary to deal with man's sins, which were committed freely. Jesus willingly offered himself, in obedience.
This is not an answer to the question whether God foreordained the crucifixion AND all that took place to bring it to pass, not excluding the chants of the multitude, "Crucify Him!", those who beat Him, those who drove the nails in His hands, those who mocked Him, etc., etc. Are you suggesting that God only foreordained what should have taken place but nothing more, i.e., none of the details were foreordained? (see above re: the necessity of God foreordaining ALL THINGS).

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simul iustus et peccator

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