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Peter Offline OP
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Has anyone ever answered this? 11 Questions on Calvinism & Calvinist's Worldview

1. It is often said by Calvinists that dead men can't respond. As you say, "you are dead in your trespasses & sins." Eph. 2:1.

In Romans 6, it says that "in the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus."

If being dead in sin means one can't respond to God then does being dead to sin mean that the Christian cannot respond to sin?

2. Even though God does perfectly know all human thoughts, can man have thoughts that have never been thought before (i.e. ex-nihilo thoughts)?

If these thoughts are not free (e.g., they are determined) then has God caused all thoughts, including evil ones, which would make God the author of sin and evil and man not responsible?

If, on the other hand, these thoughts are free, then how can God remain sovereign according to the Calvinist definition of sovereignty?

3. The Bible says in 1 Timothy 2:4, "God our Savior wants all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth."

It also states that God wants all men to be saved in 2 Peter 3:9, Matthew 23:37 and in Ezekiel 33:11 and 18:30. Obviously not all men are saved.

How does Calvinism explain this? Does the God of Calvinism have two wills that are in direct contradiction and hence have a multiple personality disorder?

4. Calvinism excludes individual faith from the salvation process, classifying such faith as a work.

How can Calvinists classify faith as a work when Paul specifically excludes faith from works in Romans 3:27-28 and 4:5?

5. Jonah 2:8 says that "those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs."

If, as Calvinism teaches, God determined before time began who would be reprobates, and therefore does not extend the grace to them by which they could be saved, how logically can we understand this verse's statement that these reprobates, "forfeited the grace that could be theirs.?"

6. The Bible says in John 6:44, "no one can come to me unless the Father who sent Me draws him." The same word "draw" is used in John 12:32 which says, "But I, when I am lifted up from the earth will draw all men unto myself." Matthew 23:37 says that men can resist God's will.

How do you answer this problem in Calvinism?

7. You say that even the "good" acts of sinners are "bad" because they come from a completely depraved nature. Is it a "bad" act to rationally apprehend the truthfulness of apologetics?

If so, why has God commanded us to practice apologetics to sinners, which causes them to do a bad act? Doesn't that mean that God causes sinners' bad acts?

If you say "yes," doesn't that make God a bad guy?

8. When Calvinism is shown to have logical contradictions, Calvinists usually reply that God's thoughts are unsearchable, and therefore the logical problems that Calvinism has, for example divine election and human responsibility, exhaustive sovereignty and human free will, and God's having two contradictory wills, are solved by invoking the phrase, "well that's a mystery."

If you can solve your logic problems by copping out with the term mystery, why can't the Arminian types, atheists and others pull the same move?

9. The Bible says in 2 Thessalonians 2:10 that reprobates "perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved."

From your Calvinistic worldview, how can it logically be said that a reprobate refuses to love the truth and so be saved, when your God determines that the reprobate can't love the truth, can't be saved, and therefore doesn't refuse God at all?

10. You have said that nothing thwarts the will of God, and you also have said that a man's will cannot be free or else God would not be absolutely sovereign.

Doesn't this mean that God determines (or is the cause of) evil and the evil acts of men for his sovereign pleasure?

11. In Romans 9 where God says, "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy" why do you automatically assume that God does not want to have mercy on all but only have mercy on the select few when God clearly tells us in Romans 11:32 that, "God has bound all men over to disobedience so that He may have mercy on them all?"

If you say that all means all classes of men, but not all men in every class, then why does it not mean all classes of men but not all men in every class in Romans 3:23 where it says, "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God?"

Does this mean some have not sinned? Perhaps, for instance, the Virgin Mary?


Peter

If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself. Augustine of Hippo
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Quote
1. It is often said by Calvinists that dead men can't respond. As you say, "you are dead in your trespasses & sins." Eph. 2:1.

In Romans 6, it says that "in the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus."

If being dead in sin means one can't respond to God then does being dead to sin mean that the Christian cannot respond to sin?
Paul says to "count yourselves dead to sin", which is not a statement of one's actual spiritual state but rather an injunction on how a believer is to live; forsaking sin and walking in holiness.

Quote
2. Even though God does perfectly know all human thoughts, can man have thoughts that have never been thought before (i.e. ex-nihilo thoughts)?

If these thoughts are not free (e.g., they are determined) then has God caused all thoughts, including evil ones, which would make God the author of sin and evil and man not responsible?

If, on the other hand, these thoughts are free, then how can God remain sovereign according to the Calvinist definition of sovereignty?
The error here is that it assumes that all men are morally "neutral", and thus if God decreed men's thoughts, He is forces them to sin thus becoming the Author of sin. However, since all men by virtue of the Fall are sinners by nature, thus their every thought is evil (Gen 6:5; 8:21), then men are the author's of their own sin and not God.

Quote
3. The Bible says in 1 Timothy 2:4, "God our Savior wants all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth."

It also states that God wants all men to be saved in 2 Peter 3:9, Matthew 23:37 and in Ezekiel 33:11 and 18:30. Obviously not all men are saved.

How does Calvinism explain this? Does the God of Calvinism have two wills that are in direct contradiction and hence have a multiple personality disorder?
There are two elements involved here, 1) distinguishing between God's decretive will, i.e., that which He has ordained and His preceptive will, that which men are responsible to do. 2) CONTEXT . . . the word "all" rarely means "without distinction" in Scripture. See this article: An Exegetical Study of 1Tim 2:4, by Dr. Gary Long.

Quote
4. Calvinism excludes individual faith from the salvation process, classifying such faith as a work.

How can Calvinists classify faith as a work when Paul specifically excludes faith from works in Romans 3:27-28 and 4:5?
It is the non-Calvinists which make faith a work when they make individual faith the proximate cause of salvation. In contrast, Scripture teaches that grace is the proximate cause of salvation through faith, which faith is the fruit of grace in regeneration. See these 3 articles:
Justification by Faith Alone, by Dr. Joel Beeke
There are Only Two Religions in the Whole World, by John Reisinger
Do You REALLY Believe that Salvation is by Grace Alone?

Quote
5. Jonah 2:8 says that "those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs."

If, as Calvinism teaches, God determined before time began who would be reprobates, and therefore does not extend the grace to them by which they could be saved, how logically can we understand this verse's statement that these reprobates, "forfeited the grace that could be theirs.?"
The reprobate forfeit the grace offered in the Gospel, which could be theirs should they repent and believe, no less than any.

Quote
6. The Bible says in John 6:44, "no one can come to me unless the Father who sent Me draws him." The same word "draw" is used in John 12:32 which says, "But I, when I am lifted up from the earth will draw all men unto myself." Matthew 23:37 says that men can resist God's will.

How do you answer this problem in Calvinism?
There is no issue with the word "draw" as it is clear that no man has the innate ability to come to Christ unless the Father "draws" him, which is the same divine power which flows from Christ and which He will use to draw men to Himself. The problem lies with again with the word "all", which non-Calvinists misconstrue to mean "all without discrimination", when the CONTEXT should be understood as meaning "all types" of men without distinction. Secondly, nowhere does the Bible state that men can resist God's will, i.e., His decretive will. That they resist God's prescriptive will is everywhere taught. Acts 7:51 is sometimes quoted as proof that men can resist God (Holy Spirit), but the text is speaking about the Gospel which the prophets preached and which was resisted.

Quote
7. You say that even the "good" acts of sinners are "bad" because they come from a completely depraved nature. Is it a "bad" act to rationally apprehend the truthfulness of apologetics?

If so, why has God commanded us to practice apologetics to sinners, which causes them to do a bad act? Doesn't that mean that God causes sinners' bad acts?

If you say "yes," doesn't that make God a bad guy?
I don't understand the question. What does "rationally apprehending the truthfulness of apologetics" have to do with acts; good or bad? Sinners are capable of apprehending the truth of the Gospel but reject it and substitute the truth for a lie.

Quote
8. When Calvinism is shown to have logical contradictions, Calvinists usually reply that God's thoughts are unsearchable, and therefore the logical problems that Calvinism has, for example divine election and human responsibility, exhaustive sovereignty and human free will, and God's having two contradictory wills, are solved by invoking the phrase, "well that's a mystery."

If you can solve your logic problems by copping out with the term mystery, why can't the Arminian types, atheists and others pull the same move?
Calvinists don't "cop out" by admitting that there are "mysteries", for in doing so, they are acknowledging that there are clearly taught two TRUTHS which appear to be contradictory, yet are indisputably not illogical nor contradictory. The problem lies in man's finiteness and his inability to comprehend the Infinite mind of God. Even in his glorified state, men will still be awed by the Infinite wisdom of God and fall far short of comprehending such profound divine truths in their own minds. However, what cannot be dismissed just because men are incapable or reconciling such things as divine sovereignty and man's responsibility, is that both are clearly taught in God's inspired infallible Word. And thus we must accept them without question.

Quote
9. The Bible says in 2 Thessalonians 2:10 that reprobates "perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved."

From your Calvinistic worldview, how can it logically be said that a reprobate refuses to love the truth and so be saved, when your God determines that the reprobate can't love the truth, can't be saved, and therefore doesn't refuse God at all?
All men as fallen creatures are already under judgment and bear the marks of the punishment due them, 1) guiltiness before God and 2) an inherited corruption of nature. That men "cannot" love God nor the truth is of their own doing for they "will not" love God and believe upon Christ, for they love the darkness and hate the light. God is under no obligation to change a sinner's disposition thereby making him "willing/able" to repent and believe. Therefore preterition is God's justice expressed in withholding His mercy and grace and meeting out condemnation to whomsoever He wills.

Quote
10. You have said that nothing thwarts the will of God, and you also have said that a man's will cannot be free or else God would not be absolutely sovereign.

Doesn't this mean that God determines (or is the cause of) evil and the evil acts of men for his sovereign pleasure?
Men's will IS free, according to the nature possessed. God has never compelled any man to do that which is against his will; men sin freely. Yes, God has determined every sin which men will commit. If God would withhold His restraining providence then all men would sin the worst sin and without measure. The source of men's sins is not God but rather it resides in their own minds, affections and wills.

Quote
11. In Romans 9 where God says, "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy" why do you automatically assume that God does not want to have mercy on all but only have mercy on the select few when God clearly tells us in Romans 11:32 that, "God has bound all men over to disobedience so that He may have mercy on them all?"

If you say that all means all classes of men, but not all men in every class, then why does it not mean all classes of men but not all men in every class in Romans 3:23 where it says, "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God?"

Does this mean some have not sinned? Perhaps, for instance, the Virgin Mary?
Once again, this is a matter of CONTEXT. In Romans 9, the distinction is perspicuously stated that God has mercy upon whom He will have mercy and He hardens those whom He wills. Thus the "all" is unquestionably "all types/classes" of men. In Rom. 3, no such distinction is presented.

In His grace, <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bananas.gif" alt="" />


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Peter Offline OP
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Well I guess the answer is yes now. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rofl.gif" alt="" /> Nice work Pilgrim.


Peter

If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself. Augustine of Hippo
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You know, Pilgrim, this reminds of something that I've always had in the back of my head. You and the guy who runs the anti-type to The highway (http://www.eternalsecurity.us - don't forget their discussion board) shoudl get together for an online debate. It could be conducted over e-mail, with everything being subsequently posted on both boards on a locked thread. I don't know the likelihood of such an event happening, but I think it'd be great.


(Latin phrase goes here.)

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