Amillennialist

Clarifying that Calvin’s god really is a malicious, capricious beast

In Calvinism, Double Predestination, Limited Atonement on September 15, 2008 at 11:38 PM

Another note in an ongoing discussion here:

“I cannot conceive of why it is a problem for people to understand either double-predestination or its necessity.”

Does not God “foreknow” all people? Does not YHWH intend Life for all people? Did not Christ die for and justify all people?

There is no problem “understanding” Double Predestination. The problem is accepting the idea since it is not found in Scripture [and contrary to the nature of the God revealed in the Bible].

Worse than that (that’s bad enough!), it makes God out to be a capricious monster, which He is not.

“it is undeniably in Scripture.”

No, only the statement that God predestines believers to eternal life is in the Bible.

If you want to say that God predestines people for Hell, you’ll have to produce something from the Bible saying that . . . God predestines people to Hell.

And Arminianism doesn’t cut it, either.

“It is not possible to retain an omniscient God and say, “Well, He doesn’t know who will be saved . . . we have a God who knows in advance all who will be saved. Regardless of how you come to that conclusion, that would be “predestination”

You are confusing knowing the future for determining unalterably who will end up where.

“It is inescapable that if God is omniscient and knows all who will be saved, then He would also know all who will not be saved.”

Again, knowing all things is not the same thing as causing them to occur.

Using your logic, Mohammed’s slaughter is Calvin’s god’s will.

“if He doesn’t intervene and change those who will not be saved”

YHWH did intervene. God did act. He has done EVERYTHING necessary for all to be saved, or is the death of His Son a small matter?

“If you argue that God knew but couldn’t do anything about it, then you reject an omnipotent God. Which God do you reject?”

False dichotomy.

Instead, I prefer to say what God says:

“Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men” (Romans 5).

The correspondence continues:

“Now, since you reject that God “predetermined their condemnation” (which, by the way, is exactly what Jude 1:4 says), what exactly do you believe?”

Condemned for their sin, not created by God for condemnation.

[“ordained,” “written into” and “designated” according to the 1611 King James, Modern King James, and English Standard Versions.]

“The question of Limited Atonement . . . if He intended the salvation of all, He quite frankly failed. If He intended the salvation of those who believe, He succeeded. Which do you believe?

So, you’re saying that Jesus only intended to save some but died for everyone? That makes sense?

I believe what God says:

“He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2).

Continuing the discussion:

“on “Irresistible Grace” . . . The point is that God has the capacity to call irresistibly. Given an omnipotent God, that seems like a given. What do you believe?”

So, your god can “call irresistibly,” but chooses not to?

Are these clarifications really helping your argument?

You’ve got a god that chooses to save only a few based on a whim and calls only a few to faith.

I believe in the God of Scripture. He loves all. He desires that all should live. He calls all to salvation. He died for all people’s sins. He has reconciled us all to Himself.

Many, however, choose to reject that gift, which means they’ve got to pay for their sins out of their own pocket.

“THe underlying belief here is that it is God’s will that everyone be saved. The Bible says that God wants everyone to come to repentance, but it is clearly not His will . . . .”

That makes Calvin’s god a sick monster and the Bible’s God a liar.

“It is mandatory (biblically) that God’s will occurs. It is impossible (especially given an omnipotent God) for God’s will not to occur.”

That is false, for He says not only that He is not willing that anyone should perish, but that many will.

That means also that your god wills genocide, slavery, and child rape.

“If it is God’s will that all are saved, then we have only one of two possibilities. One is that all will be saved because God’s will always occurs. The other is that some won’t be saved … and God is not omnipotent and the Bible’s repeated claim that God always accomplishes what He wants to accomplish is a lie. Which do you believe?”

Neither. I believe God[, Who said that “I longed to gather you . . . but you were not willing,” and, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever doesn’t believe will be condemned.”]

“You obviously despise what you call “Calvin’s heresies”. Are you aware that these beliefs 1) are not “Calvin’s”, but 2) come from the Bible? I myself have never read a word of Calvin. My beliefs are out of the Bible.”

[. . .]

Double Predestination and Limited Atonement are Calvin’s heresies. [Both are contrary to Scripture and, as you have demonstrated here, make God a monster.]

To attribute them to Christ only heaps blasphemy upon blasphemy.

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  1. At some point your “stand for the truth” stops being a stand for the truth and mere abrasiveness. When you get to that point, your “stand” gets lost in the noise of your unkindness, and no one will hear your version of “the truth”. I only point that out so that you can perhaps express your opinion in a way that doesn’t turn people off before hearing it.

    Now, to substance. First, God’s omniscience. There is something you appear to miss. If God knows something, it is certain. It cannot not happen. If He knows that “Tom” will reject Christ for his entire life, he will. So, if God knows something, it is already determined to happen. Nothing can change it. That doesn’t require “cause and effect”. Still, it is certain to happen. So when you admit that God knows who will be saved and who will not be saved, both are certain. Therefore, it is determined. Look, if God determines (predestines) who will be saved as you admit, then those who are not in that predestination are certain not to be saved … and that is “double predestination”. (Please note that it is not symmetrical. Salvation takes effort on God’s part. Damnation does not.)

    Next, I need to point out a serious difference of opinion between you and me. “Does not YHWH intend Life for all people? Did not Christ die for and justify all people?” These are rhetorical questions from you that assume a “Yes” answer from me … but I don’t agree with them. Here’s why. If God intended Life for all people, then all people would have Life. God always does what He intends (Psa. 135:6, etc.). If He does not, then He is not sovereign. Does God desire Life for all? Sure, but that isn’t the same as “intend”. That isn’t the same as “His will”. (And you are seriously misreading 2 Peter 3:9.) We know this, for example, because on one hand we have the certainty that God takes no delight in the death of the wicked (Eze. 33:11), but we also know that He certainly does damn them. That is, He has a desire to save them, but His will is to damn them. The second question is “Did not Christ … justify all people?” No, He did not. I know you would like to say that He did, but doing so will simply make God unjust. The best you can say is that He potentially justified all people, not actually. If you argue that He actually justified all people and then you agree that some people go to Hell, you have an unjust God who has received proper payment for sin and still exacts further payment for sin. That is, you have a God who damns justified people. That is not just, and that is not God.

    You are quite certain that there is no statement that God predestines who will not be saved. You are not satisfied with the undeniable fact that choosing who will be saved is also a choice of who will not. (Think about it like this for a moment. You arrive on a scene of a boat that capsized. Five people are in the water, drowning. You jump in to save them. You can only save so many before some of them drown. You choose, by whatever means you choose, to save as many as you can. It is unavoidable that by choosing to save some, the ones you didn’t save were also chosen not to be saved.) Even when I hand you the Bible and point at Jude 1:4, you close your eyes and say, “Nope! That Scripture isn’t in there!” You argue, “It doesn’t say ‘created by God for condemnation’.” That doesn’t solve your problem. It says they were already marked for condemnation before time. No one argues that God creates people for the sole purpose of condemnation. He creates people for His glory. Some of them display His glory in His salvation. Some of them display His glory in His power and wrath. None of them are made “for condemnation”. But there are unavoidably some who were “marked out before time for this condemnation”.

    Look, it is your belief that I don’t read my Bible. Fine. You can remain in your ignorance. It is your belief that I take my beliefs from a guy named Calvin, one whom I’ve never met or read. Fine. You can remain in your ignorance. It is your belief that I malign the God of the Bible. Fine. You can remain in your ignorance. I don’t know “Calvin’s god”. Never even heard of him. But I don’t know your god either. This one is a strange breed. He apparently has the capability to save all but chooses not to save all while choosing to save all but won’t actually … I don’t know … very strange. Maybe it’s that in His sovereignty He is subservient to His creation — they decide whether or not He will save them. He does all that He chooses to do and wills that all be saved but doesn’t … do … that. Hmmm? He wills to pay for all sin at the cross and actually accomplishes this task but refuses to accept the payment His Son made on their behalf and damns some anyway. What??!! He knows who will come to Him and who will not and does nothing at all to change the list of who will not because He is either unable or unwilling while being both able and willing. So whose God is more capricious? Whose God is more malicious?

    All of this is perfectly reasonable to you, but perfectly schizophrenic to me. So feel free to despise me while I read my Bible and see an omniscient, omnipotent, sovereign Lord who always accomplishes what He intends. Feel free to hate Calvin for whatever reasons you choose. (I have no dog in that hunt.) But please, please, stop insulting the God that I love, the God that I find in the pages of my Bible, the God you blaspheme intentionally. If you cannot discuss the God of the Bible that I know with some respect, charity, and courtesy — you know … like the Bible commands (1 Peter 3:15), then I will have to stop giving you access to comment on my blog (you know … like the Bible commands – 2 Thess. 3:14).)

  2. At some point your “stand for the truth” stops being a stand for the truth and mere abrasiveness. When you get to that point, your “stand” gets lost in the noise of your unkindness, and no one will hear your version of “the truth”. I only point that out so that you can perhaps express your opinion in a way that doesn’t turn people off before hearing it.

    Now, to substance. First, God’s omniscience. There is something you appear to miss. If God knows something, it is certain. It cannot not happen. If He knows that “Tom” will reject Christ for his entire life, he will. So, if God knows something, it is already determined to happen. Nothing can change it. That doesn’t require “cause and effect”. Still, it is certain to happen. So when you admit that God knows who will be saved and who will not be saved, both are certain. Therefore, it is determined. Look, if God determines (predestines) who will be saved as you admit, then those who are not in that predestination are certain not to be saved … and that is “double predestination”. (Please note that it is not symmetrical. Salvation takes effort on God’s part. Damnation does not.)

    Next, I need to point out a serious difference of opinion between you and me. “Does not YHWH intend Life for all people? Did not Christ die for and justify all people?” These are rhetorical questions from you that assume a “Yes” answer from me … but I don’t agree with them. Here’s why. If God intended Life for all people, then all people would have Life. God always does what He intends (Psa. 135:6, etc.). If He does not, then He is not sovereign. Does God desire Life for all? Sure, but that isn’t the same as “intend”. That isn’t the same as “His will”. (And you are seriously misreading 2 Peter 3:9.) We know this, for example, because on one hand we have the certainty that God takes no delight in the death of the wicked (Eze. 33:11), but we also know that He certainly does damn them. That is, He has a desire to save them, but His will is to damn them. The second question is “Did not Christ … justify all people?” No, He did not. I know you would like to say that He did, but doing so will simply make God unjust. The best you can say is that He potentially justified all people, not actually. If you argue that He actually justified all people and then you agree that some people go to Hell, you have an unjust God who has received proper payment for sin and still exacts further payment for sin. That is, you have a God who damns justified people. That is not just, and that is not God.

    You are quite certain that there is no statement that God predestines who will not be saved. You are not satisfied with the undeniable fact that choosing who will be saved is also a choice of who will not. (Think about it like this for a moment. You arrive on a scene of a boat that capsized. Five people are in the water, drowning. You jump in to save them. You can only save so many before some of them drown. You choose, by whatever means you choose, to save as many as you can. It is unavoidable that by choosing to save some, the ones you didn’t save were also chosen not to be saved.) Even when I hand you the Bible and point at Jude 1:4, you close your eyes and say, “Nope! That Scripture isn’t in there!” You argue, “It doesn’t say ‘created by God for condemnation’.” That doesn’t solve your problem. It says they were already marked for condemnation before time. No one argues that God creates people for the sole purpose of condemnation. He creates people for His glory. Some of them display His glory in His salvation. Some of them display His glory in His power and wrath. None of them are made “for condemnation”. But there are unavoidably some who were “marked out before time for this condemnation”.

    Look, it is your belief that I don’t read my Bible. Fine. You can remain in your ignorance. It is your belief that I take my beliefs from a guy named Calvin, one whom I’ve never met or read. Fine. You can remain in your ignorance. It is your belief that I malign the God of the Bible. Fine. You can remain in your ignorance. I don’t know “Calvin’s god”. Never even heard of him. But I don’t know your god either. This one is a strange breed. He apparently has the capability to save all but chooses not to save all while choosing to save all but won’t actually … I don’t know … very strange. Maybe it’s that in His sovereignty He is subservient to His creation — they decide whether or not He will save them. He does all that He chooses to do and wills that all be saved but doesn’t … do … that. Hmmm? He wills to pay for all sin at the cross and actually accomplishes this task but refuses to accept the payment His Son made on their behalf and damns some anyway. What??!! He knows who will come to Him and who will not and does nothing at all to change the list of who will not because He is either unable or unwilling while being both able and willing. So whose God is more capricious? Whose God is more malicious?

    All of this is perfectly reasonable to you, but perfectly schizophrenic to me. So feel free to despise me while I read my Bible and see an omniscient, omnipotent, sovereign Lord who always accomplishes what He intends. Feel free to hate Calvin for whatever reasons you choose. (I have no dog in that hunt.) But please, please, stop insulting the God that I love, the God that I find in the pages of my Bible, the God you blaspheme intentionally. If you cannot discuss the God of the Bible that I know with some respect, charity, and courtesy — you know … like the Bible commands (1 Peter 3:15), then I will have to stop giving you access to comment on my blog (you know … like the Bible commands – 2 Thess. 3:14).)

  3. Hi, Stan,

    Thank you for commenting. I’ll reply on the main page.

    Regards,

    Amillennialist

  4. Hi, Stan,

    Thank you for commenting. I’ll reply on the main page.

    Regards,

    Amillennialist

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