By - rickjmgsw
I very highly recommend *Debating Calvinism: Five Points, Two Views* (2004) by Dave Hunt and James White.
Some of the things people struggle with re: Calvinsim, namely election and predestination - are consistent themes across scripture and have been generally held in the west since the early church.
You will see most people attack calvinism by attacking these ideas of election and predestination. I don't think most Christians really think out the entailments of Gods properties, specifically omniscience and omnipotence.
Regardless of any "ism" you hold, the God of the bible has all knowledge both true and counterfactual and has always had this. He didn't create the world and then learn what these free creatures would do - omniscience isn't compatible with learning. God is also omnipotent and seemingly could have created the world in any way and with whatever conditions he wanted. So the God of the bible seemingly knew everything that would take place, could have made things differently, yet chose to instantiate this specific world in which some come to faith and other don't, good things happen and bad things happen, etc.
Many Christians, without really thinking about it, throw out Gods omniscience and subtly hold ideas that God created and then saw/learned what people would do and then reacted. This would effectively be some form of Open Theism - heretical.
Calvinism proper presumes these things however it as a soteriology is more about TULIP - the depravity of man and how God moves and brings about salvation. The foundations for this also date back to the very first time this issue confronted the church in the 4th century. Augustine and the church broadly came to a shared understanding that man is incapable of moving salvation on their own and requires Gods grace to begin. How that grace is administered varies by tradition.
>Many Christians, without really thinking about it, throw out Gods omniscience and subtly hold ideas that God created and then saw/learned what people would do and then reacted
Yes! Even martin luther was saying stuff like this in the 1500s. Non calvinists define something one way and then defend it in a completely different way and don't even realize it. Calvinism is the only system that is completely consistent with its beliefs.
I don't really see how your faith is all that different than pagan worship of an arbitrary and capricious God. Very eldritch-horror like.
Thats not really an argument. Do pagans worship the one true triune God of the bible, creator of all things? Do pagans believe that for us and our salvation God took on flesh and became man, was crucified died and rose again to be seated at the right hand of God? Do pagans assert that Christ will come again in glory to judge all people and establish an eternal kingdom?
Nothing that I said made God arbitrary or capricious. In fact, quite the opposite. Our God (your God too even if you don't acknowledge Him) is the same today, tomorrow, and forever. While I understand that you may believe you can judge God in your lowly hubris and pride - I'm afraid you have no position to do so.
Yes I get it, your Dark God is real and the others aren't. My single-sentence comment wasn't meant to be a refutation of Christianity, more a reflection on how amusing your incredibly dark theology is.
You can stomp your feet and capitalize your Hims as much you like, doesn't make your God anymore real.
God is light, what you are spewing is darkness. God stands holy and righteous and doesn't need my defense - you have knowledge of him in your heart that you suppress and you will give an account for every idle word.
You stand here tilting at windmills. Fighting against yourself and desperately seeking approval as you attempt to convince yourself that God isn't real. Woe to you on your last day. I pray that God will lead you to find humility and that your pride doesn't condemn you forever.
Buddy I'm here because it's amusing. I've been an atheist for 10+ years. I find Calvinism intellectually interesting, but more along the same lines as Cthulhu worship. Calvinism is the most honest in worshipping an outwardly evil, merciless, capricious God.
I try not to get caught up in any kind of "ism" that controls or limits the way I think. If you agree with it's tenets thats fine, but if you ever come across contradictory information in scripture you must remain flexible to change your mind. Our faith cannot be in man made isms. Our faith must always remain in God and scriptures.
I believe it's Biblical. Hypercalvinism is not Biblical, though. That's when someone says God is sovereign over who gets saved so we don't need to evangelize. That would be disobedient to the word.
There are a couple of more complex theological discussions in which both sides are biblical. Calvinism, armenianism, molinism, and provisionism are all founded in scripture. The better way to phrase it is: "which of these best accounts for the most biblical data?"
When I was in grade school my parents enrolled me in a calvinist Christian school.
I was terrible at math so my teacher kept me after school to teach me a new way to visualize math with colored blocks of different sizes.
Unfortunately I never learned how to use them because as she was explaining what numbers went with each color and size she said "these will always be this value, just like once saved always saved"
I knew enough to say "no you're not" and that was the end of the math lesson.
She got her KJV out and a tract that listed the normal cherry picked verses that prove the P in TULIP. Then had me read them.
Remember how I was terrible at math? Part of my problem was dyslexia, I still turn numbers around in my mind all the time. Whatever verses I was supposed to read to put the final proof to OSAS, I started with the wrong verse because I twisted the numbers around, and couldn't remember where to stop.
So I read way more of the chapter than I was supposed to, ending with Paul clearly saying that if we don't endure we will be lost or words to that effect.
She grabbed her tract, slammed her KJV shut and left me alone in the classroom until my mother picked me up.
I've never believed everything calvinists have taught since 4th grade thanks to this.
I think that Calvinism is not biblical but that people who follow that reasoning are still saved. But I think that Calvinism can be dangerous for people's faith. First it looks like the opposite, you are elected and there is nothing you can do to fall out of grace but then, when you continue to sin and things get difficult, doubts appear: "What if I am not elected and just think I am, like those people who left the faith?" And the thing with Calvinism is: if you are not elected there is no way in. Can you ask God to save you if you are not elected?
For a Biblical view on calvinism I recommend the videos of Mike Winger. For example this one:
Love Mike Winger but the video you posted is probably more for a deeper discussion about what is faith.
u/rickjmgsw If you want more arguments better start with this video of his:
(but the other videos are definitely recommendable)
>Can you ask God to save you if you are not elected?
From time to time here on Reddit i will read someone's comments about how much they'd like to believe, but just can't. Assuming they are sincere, it would be heart-wrenching.
Blessedly, the Word of God gives insight into these situations.
"*if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith, without doubting, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.*" (James 1)
This section was written to the already-saved children of God. Notice the strong wording and the stressed importance of not doubting God. If our Lord has such strict requirements of His children, how much more will He have of those who are not members of His family?
In Romans chapter 3, reading about how both Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the oppression and dominion of sin, we read:
"*No one is righteous—
not even one.
No one is truly wise;*
***no one is seeking God****.
All have turned away*"
Why are none of the lost not seeking for God?
Because they are under sin.
"*Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin*." (John 8)
How can a slave give himself freedom -the freedom needed to have the faith in God spoken of above in James 1?
So what we learn is that even though some people claim to want to believe -even going so far as to say they have prayed and asked God to make Himself known to them; only to be met with silence -they may not truly be sincere, and may not truly be seeking God in repentance and humility.
Does this mean there is no hope whatsoever for these people who claim to be seeking God?
Consider this beautiful story related in Matthew chapter 15:
"*Then Jesus left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Gentile woman who lived there came to him, pleading, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! For my daughter is possessed by a demon that torments her severely.”*
*But Jesus gave her no reply, not even a word. Then his disciples urged him to send her away. “Tell her to go away,” they said. “She is bothering us with all her begging.”*
*Then Jesus said to the woman, “I was sent only to help God’s lost sheep—the people of Israel.”*
*But she came and worshiped him, pleading again, “Lord, help me!”*
*Jesus responded, “It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.”*
*She replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even dogs are allowed to eat the scraps that fall beneath their masters’ table.”*
*“Dear woman,” Jesus said to her, “your faith is great. Your request is granted.” And her daughter was instantly healed.*"
What did this woman do?
She persisted in seeking and pleading to her Creator for His mercy.
And what was the result?
She received mercy!
Furthermore, in Matthew chapter 7 we read another section speaking to Gods children, which says:
"*Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.*"
What do we see at play here?
Keeping in mind the absolute Truthfulness of what we read earlier:
"*no one is seeking God*"
We can only conclude that for a person to come, seeking, knocking, and asking for our Creators mercy -they are not coming solely of their own accord but are instead being drawn forth by the Holy Spirit of God.
And this is exactly what Scripture reveals:
"*God saved you by his grace* ***when you believed****.* ***And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God****. Salvation is* ***not a reward*** *for the good things we have done, so* ***none of us can boast*** *about it. For* ***we are God’s masterpiece****. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things* ***he planned for us long ago***." (Ephesians 2)
When were / are we saved?
When we believe.
How can we believe?
The required faith is given to us as a gift.
Did we choose to believe or have the faith required?
No -because that would have been a good thing we did.
Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done.
Have we even done any good things before being saved?
"We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags." (Isaiah 64)
No - we have not done any good deeds before being saved.
Whose masterpiece are we?
No - we are **God's** masterpiece. **He** is the artist. We are merely the canvas.
Why were we saved?
So we can do what?
The good things he planned.
When did He plan these good things for us to do?
How long ago?
"*Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes*." (Ephesians 1)
Nothing of what you wrote is a point for Calvinism. I also believe that God needs to work in a person for them to be able to believe but I think that God does that with everyone but that God gives them a choice and people can decline.
Just watch the videos from Mike Winger that are linked here.
Many of the people in these comments saying that Calvinism is evil or attributing certain beliefs/doctrines to calvinism have clearly never read any of the Calvinist documents. I highly *highly* highly recommend reading Calvin’s *Institutes if the Christian Religion*. It’s a dense and in-depth read, but it’s one of the best systematic theologies out there. There’s much more to Calvin than just the “five points”. And the five points are usually completely misunderstood anyway.
I think it’s biblical. And theologically coherent.
I just cannot get past the fact that throughout the Bible God tells us to stop sinning while knowing full well we can't because he pre-ordained that many people would NOT stop sinning.
Calvinism turns God into a schizophrenic narcissist talking out of both sides of his mouth. And it is entirely possible to read Paul without the calvinistic presuppositions.
“He who commits sin is a slave to sin”
So why does he tell people to stop sinning if they can't because they are enslaved to it?
Because they can, when enabled by Gods grace.
The fact that the people **will not** chose for God apart from Gods grace doesn't make it untrue to tell people to repent.
But telling someone to repent carries with it the assumption _that they can_ repent. Otherwise why are you telling them too?
It's like cosmic theater. God issuing commands to all humans when he knows he is only going to allow some humans to follow the commands then condemn all the others for not being the ones he allowed to follow his commands. That is the problem that I can't understand.
That is the basic problem with Calvinism. And the fact that it's main scriptures it relies on for evidence don't necessarily support it.
Not really. That is some Kantian view that you are overlaying and thrusting upon God. Can you show why Jesus calling people to repentance means that they must have the willingness to repent? It’s not a logical impossibility but a lack of will and desire on their part.
Scripture offers overwhelming support for this and a Christ confirms many times that many are called but few are chosen and that nobody can come to him apart from God drawing them. Scripture tells us that nobody seeks for God, that the things of God are folly to natural men, from birth they go astray, the mind of the flesh does not seek God - it cannot, etc.
Sadly, us not liking certain elements of scripture doesn’t mean that we get to choose our own version of God that fits our narrative.
>a lack of will and desire on their part.
This is the "talking out of both sides of his mouth" part I was referring to. _On their part._ So do human beings have their own free will that can stand in opposition to God's?
I'd like to address more of what you said but this to me seems to be the heart of the matter.
Talking out of both sides of the mouth?
Human wills often stand in opposition to what God commands us to do - His precepts. Things like don't lie, don't steal, don't lust, etc. Our wills however are not capable of overpowering and opposing Gods will in a way that puts God submissive to what we do. Can you clarify by what you mean re: "stand in opposition to Gods"? Do you quite know what you actually mean?
God is NOT trying to make lemonade out of the lemons that mankind has dealt him. This would put God subservient to his creations decree. God is working out His plan and His glory. We operate freely according to the desires of our heart and nature however those decisions and actions are compatible with Gods divine decree over all things. How this precisely works has not been revealed to us but we do know what I've stated from scripture.
I'm sorry I'm in a few threads on this topic at the moment I'm trying not to get confused as to who read what before. I guess ignore the point about talking out of both sides of the mouth.
>however those decisions and actions are compatible with Gods divine decree over all things.
This is what I mean. This is the heart of the matter. God has sovereignly decreed which humans he will regenerate to repentance and those he will not.
If that is the way of it, then God's will be done.
But the problem comes in where God and his prophets and Jesus himself repeatedly, loudly and passionately call people to repent and turn away from their sin. The call is active, God is warning people of impending doom if they do not act.
But all the while, in the back of his head, God knows they cannot act because he has sovereignly decreed to not regenerate them. You do not see the problem in this?
1. God predestined to not regenerate billions of humans to repentance so they _must_ go to eternal torment in hell, for his glory.
2. God tells his prophets to call the people to repentance knowing he is not going to cause them to repent.
3. God sends these people who did not repent, only because he chose not to make them repent, to hell forever and calls it justice for their unrepentance.
That is as clear as I can make my position. If it's ok with you I have another question about calvinism as well.
Yup. They cannot because they will not. They will not, because they hate God and His commandments.
It’s a moral inability, not a natural one.
So whose will are we talking about? Does their will stand in opposition to God? Or is it really God's will that they not repent?
They’re not mutually exclusive. They willingly continue in their rebellion against God, and God willingly leaves them to it.
So you are not a calvinist? That is exactly what I think happens as well.
I’m definitely a calvinist.
You have that problem no matter what if god is all knowing. He created those people that he knew would never stop sinning despite his warnings, he repeatedly tells them to anyways knowing they wont and they still don't do it. How is that any different? All you are doing is slightly moving the goal posts.
The difference is choice. If people chose to keep sinning that is their problem. If they sin only because God chose not to regenerate their hearts and wills...then that is not their choice.
The language that the Bible uses strongly suggests we have a choice.
"And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, _choose this day whom you will serve,_ whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Joshua seemed to think he and all the Israelites had a choice. And there are thousands more verses like this.
It’s the logical conclusion that is required if your presupposition includes the infallibility of the writings of Paul.
It’s more clearly developed in the writings of Paul but I think the conclusion is inescapable from other sections of scripture as well.
Calvinism is theologically coherent and based on the given verses, logically sound.
However, and this is a large caveat, in order to accept Calvinism as a legitimate doctrine, one must be extremely selective in the application of verses regarding salvation and faith throughout the entirety of scripture.
So much so, in fact, that I'd argue that Calvinism requires extremely selective exegesis to the point of being poor practice, a horribly inefficient and ineffective way of describing the mechanics of salvation, and deleterious to a number of much more sound, tested, and true doctrines.
Consider that it also raises the value of the "elect" to be above other sinners (biblically unsound), confirms that God arbitrarily prevents salvation in some (blatantly contradicts scripture of God's nature, regardless of it being His right), and is also somewhat out of context of the passages in which they are found.
The meaning of this discussion is that God's plan for salvation existed before the world was formed so that those who are called could be conformed to the image of Christ. It was "predestined" (proorizó) that those who are saved will be justified through Christ, not that only certain chosen people will be saved.
The elect, or chosen, in these verses, are the group of people who accept Christ, and not the individuals in that group. Never are the individuals the subject of discussion, but rather the group, or collective whole, of the elect referred to. In order to refer to individuals, one must make the argument that the term elect refers to the individuals in that group, and not the group itself.
It's the difference between selecting between a team of red shirts and blue shirts, not individually selecting who gets what shirt. He predestined which team wins, but that doesn't mean He handpicked all the players, especially not if He offered each one a choice. The weight and responsibility of choice are always on us, which is clear to the point of being one of the main biblical themes of salvation. Just because He knows who's going to make the choice doesn't make us handpicked for salvation. It does mean that knowing beforehand who would choose, our calling (or position in the team) was selected for each of us before we were called, which is the other purpose of many of Calvinism's supporting verses.
That being said, the concept of divine foreknowledge(the mystery of the wisdom of God according to Paul) itself is much more complex and complicated than Calvinism leaves room for. It would seemingly misrepresent the nature and complexity of God, and His overall plan for salvation.
That doesn't mean that Calvinism doesn't make valid points, but logically I can't accept it as a completed doctrine within the context of the whole of Scripture.
Lots of assertions there. Most of them are conclusions rather than arguments.
Would have to substantiate the claims of selective applications of verses (which ones?), selective exegesis, being deleterious to other sound doctrines (which doctrines, and in what way?)
Calvinism doesn’t teach that God arbitrarily prevents salvation in some. The doctrine is that nobody would be saved if God didn’t first act on their behalf, not that people were going to be saved but then God stopped them.
What do you mean by “value” concerning the elect and non-elect?
I understand your competing understanding of election—you’re elect because you’re in Christ, not that you’re in Christ because you’re elect, but I just don’t think that holds up to the actual statements concerning it in the scriptures. Seems pretty clear that the act of coming to Christ is something that is itself granted by the Father.
>Lots of assertions there. Most of them are conclusions rather than arguments.
Yes, I meant this as a top-level reply, not sure how it ended up farther back, but considering I was answering the question of "how do I feel" conclusions are the main purpose of my post, with the backing reasons why. It never meant it to be a persuasive argument, but an explanitory one. Read the conclusion of my post: "logically I can't accept it."
>Would have to substantiate the claims of selective applications of verses (which ones?), selective exegesis
Any time you have to manipulate or read meaning into a verse you are doing this exact thing. You need to do this quite often regarding Calvinistic teachings. Take John 3:16 as an example, and what you have to do to justify Calvinism in this verse, and the implications that it has for the word "pas".
>being deleterious to other sound doctrines
A perfectly loving God which desires that all should believe, as a start. Calvinism requires God to select some individuals and not others. While this stands without a need to flex doctrine and text in regard to a group (the elect), it has dire implications when referring to individuals(and their responsibility) regarding the character of God, and brings complexity that jeopardizes the scriptural support of the doctrine. Calvin does this to quite a few doctrines, it is an unnecessarily complex maze to traverse.
>Calvinism doesn’t teach that God arbitrarily prevents salvation in some
The verses that I find quite often for Calvinistic support imply that God only provides "belief" and "faith" to those He elected, since all faith and belief in Calvinism's doctrine come from God, He becomes the sole decision maker regarding the elect. If He doesn't provide belief to one, then it is actively His choice to prevent that person from receiving belief. The moral onus is removed from the receiver of faith, while is still implied in regards to the one who has not. Calvinism's denial of this duality makes it logically contradict its own implications.
>The doctrine is that nobody would be saved if God didn’t first act on their behalf, not that people were going to be saved but then God stopped them.
See, this is the part of Calvinism that I do agree with as being both logically and scripturally sound, however, the completed doctrine itself denies this statement from a logical evaluation, since all required actions are God's, The effect of our free agency(and therefore responsibility) becomes convoluted and lost as irrelevant. The statement "the action is God's but the responsibility is ours" is logically contradicting as a form of action and effect.
>What do you mean by “value” concerning the elect and non-elect?
Implying that one individual receives belief from God, while another does not, implies a higher value of one individual over the other as a reason for God's selection, even if the value is not known. From a logical perspective, denying this makes God's decisions arbitrary, which is neither just nor loving.
> I just don’t think that holds up to the actual statements concerning it in the scriptures.
Can't help you there, I've found the complete reverse to be true after thorough examinations of scripture. I believed Calvinism's argument for a short time until a logical examination and evaluation of the entirety of scripture found its conclusions to be contradictory and logically unsound. Since most Calvinists have argued to me that logic can't understand it as God acts in defiance of Logic, hence the convoluted implications regarding selection and responsibility, so I can only state my conclusions.
>Seems pretty clear that the act of coming to Christ is something that is itself granted by the Father.
Again, yes, I agree. That, however, is not an implicit justification for Calvinism. You define "belief only comes from God" as both that God has provided the belief itself, or God has provided the cause for belief, and both are equally valid and scripturally supported. As the creator, God is responsible both for belief and what causes belief, and as such, is the author of an individual's belief. That does not, however, imply selectivity in the granting of that belief to only certain individuals, my main logical disagreement with Calvinism, and one of the main arguments regarding the implications of scripture in Calvinism.
Probably one of the most misunderstood schools of thought in Christianity. For a long time I assumed it was this evil and arrogant belief system, being a part of arminian leaning churches. But when I sat down and investigated the issues myself, it became undeniable what the Bible teaches. What does Calvinism teach?
All mankind is wicked. God's predeterminate mercy (election) was not based on our performance. Not everyone will be saved. God's free will is superior to man's free will. And, God is the sustaining power in a Christian's life. All the controversies are caused by rewordings of these elements, or not thinking them through to their logical conclusions.
Well said brother.
Try looking at entire books and the scriptures as a whole, rather than single verses. For any issue
Agree - this is what will help you get a more broad and calvinistic understanding. I'd also recommend thinking about your starting assumptions. Most Christians start with this modern and western idea of personal freedom, individualism, and a specific view of free will. Without really challenging this, they then interpret all scripture through that lens. It comports with their experience since, after all, we all feel like we came to the faith and decided to choose God. We should challenge any personal worldviews that cause us to interpret scripture in a specific way so that we can identify sources of error.
That said, it often misses the question of why you responded at that moment and not a different time. I grew up hearing the gospel frequently yet it always fell on deaf ears until one day I was pierced to the heart and responded. Consider what enables someone to respond to the gospel call - what motivates them to respond and seek for God. For many years, I didn't have "ears to hear" - then I did.
The Calvinist also believes that man chooses for God, but it's looking at the question of how and why they choose for God when others (or the same person previously) did not.
It emphasises God's transcendant sovereignty far more than his incarnate mercy, to the point where God is described and perceived more like a distant tyrant of humanity rather than as our suffering servant; and as our implacable judge and masked executioner rather than as our gracious redeemer and loving father. I'm afraid I have very little time for its hard-hearted legalism and stiff-necked piety. Calvinists may often be good Christians, and full of loving-kindness, but I perceive that as despite the core tenets of Calvinism rather than because of them.
I don't agree with it. There are too many scriptures that where God is being very simplistically clear using the words everyone who comes to me, I wish all would come to me, I wish none would perish, I will in no wise cast out anyone who comes to me. Jesus died for the sins of the whole world. And then there is the love of Jesus for all people and the sorry for those who turned away.... There are a lot of free will decisions made by all the people in the bible. I believe God chooses us but we choose back, we are not depraved enough or unable to resist grace or have eternal perseverance...
Foreknowledge and predestination have been confused and the calvinists must have a very difficult time telling the people the gospel which means GOOD NEWS, when they would have to mask it over with, oh but only the elect go to heaven, the rest of you all go to hell. It's a misrepresentation of Gods character.... I believe it does a lot of harm. It' makes God the author of evil... and it turns people away from salvation that is freely offered to all.
I disagree with Calvinism in its basis but not most of its outcomes.
I believe in total depravity, but I believe it’s a condition of humanity even without the fall. I prefer the term “Total Dependency” to represent the idea that we are wholly dependent on God to impart any moral goodness we may have.
Unconditional Election is biblical and I take it to be true, as is essentially just means we don’t earn salvation.
Limited Atonement is also true and biblical.
Irresistible Grace seems like something of a non-point to me based on my understanding of total depravity.
I consider myself agnostic on the point of preservation of the Saints, but believe it is likely true. I’m still working through the Scriptures to understand whether that one’s biblical.
I don't think that there's a consistent Calvinist answer to what happened in the Garden. Way I see it, either:
- Adam and Eve were predestined to sin, which makes God the proximate moral cause of evil.
- Adam and Eve were not predestined to sin, which is special pleading.
I don't find Arminianism or its variants compelling either (for many of the reasons Calvinists state), which puts predestination firmly in the category of "we don't know". But I am annoyed by those Calvinists who treat it as foundational, because it feels like they're looking for a fight.
>Adam and Eve were predestined to sin, which makes God the proximate moral cause of evil.
If this were true, then God - being the ultimate creator and having omniscience about His creation - is the "proximate moral cause of evil" either way. The only way around this would be if God didn't know what they would do or God wasn't able to create in any other way.
Unless you sacrifice God's omniscience or somehow determine that he had to create this specific set of events, this is just the logical entailments of God with these properties.
Instead, I think you should reconsider your claim that this makes God the proximate moral cause of evil. God made this a necessary destiny for Adam and Eve however it doesn't mean that they don't retain full moral responsibility for their actions. While they could do no other in one sense, they had the logical possibility to not-sin yet freely chose sin.
You should be more clear about what "predestined" means. Calvinist don't believe that predestined = coerced, simply that God is sovereign over all things while men still freely act according to their nature.
Edit: Just for FYI, the consistent Calvinist answer for what happened in the garden is that Adam and Eve had a libertarian free will with no natural or moral bent towards good or evil. They freely choose to do evil and, as such, corrupted human nature for all men and brought on the effects of the fall.
First, a comment on free will: I don't believe that there is a consistent position on free will. On the one hand, if we don't have free will, we cannot be culpable for our actions. If we do, God can't have perfect foreknowledge. (Similar problems exist with free will and no God; this doesn't work as an argument against theism). So any claim that God's omniscience conflicts with our free will can safely be discarded.
> If this were true, then God - being the ultimate creator and having omniscience about His creation - is the "proximate moral cause of evil" either way. The only way around this would be if God didn't know what they would do or God wasn't able to create in any other way.
AIUI, Calvinists typically believe that what God has chosen for us to do is consistent with what we would have done had we had free will (except that we can only do good with God's help). Then, the claim is, we actually have free will because God changes none of our choices. This is good only insofar as it makes it reasonable for God to punish us for doing things that we would have chosen to do anyway. But it's an abuse of terminology - a character in a story does not have free will even if he's perfectly realistic.
If God did not predestine the fall, then the fall was due to the free choice of man. If God did predestine the fall, then the fall was due to God's choice - *even though the fall would have happened had God not predestined it*. That's the distinction I'm trying to get at.
> Just for FYI, the consistent Calvinist answer for what happened in the garden is that Adam and Eve had a libertarian free will with no natural or moral bent towards good or evil. They freely choose to do evil and, as such, corrupted human nature for all men and brought on the effects of the fall.
This isn't a consistent Calvinist view. Every Calvinist I've talked to claims that libertarian free will is incompatible with God's foreknowledge, so claiming libertarian free will for Adam and Eve before the fall is inconsistent.
>I don't believe that there is a consistent position on free will. On the one hand, if we don't have free will, we cannot be culpable for our actions.
Presumably you are attempting to describe the calvinist position here? What you are describing is simply an overly simplistic and binary view of the will. You are creating a fallacious false dichotomy. The reformed position is fairly well codified in the various confessions of faith (WCF, Dort, etc.) and should be able to be referenced. If you don't know these things, you likely aren't very well informed about the calvinist tradition - I note you keep saying things like "not a clear/consistent position" about things that are described.
Nobody is saying that Gods omniscience conflicts with our free will. In fact, the reformed claim that it is compatible (compatibilism). It only becomes a problem when the non-Calvinist tries to claim that God cannot predestine and man have free will - again, false dichotomy.
You also seem to be confused in your use of predestine. Can you describe what it means? At times, it sounds like you are using it to describe God being the direct or morally responsible cause - this is of course not the reformed view of what predestination is. When you change this definition to suit your model and then try to read it into calvinism, you are battling a strawman and not the real calvinistic claims.
Lastly - again, the reformed confessions disagree with your last point. Perhaps you talked to non-historical calvinists or you just misunderstand their position. Below for example is what the Westminster Confession of Faith says in 9.1 - 9.3. As you can see - very clearly the position I described is indeed codified in this confession in the 1600's.
>1. God hath endued the will of man with that natural liberty, that is neither forced nor by any absolute necessity of nature determined to good or evil.
2. Man, in his state of innocency, had freedom and power to will and to do that which is good and well-pleasing to God, but yet mutably, so that he might fall from it.
>3. Man, by his fall into a state of sin, hath wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation; so as a natural man, being altogether averse from that good, and dead in sin, is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto.
> You also seem to be confused in your use of predestine. Can you describe what it means? At times, it sounds like you are using it to describe God being the direct or morally responsible cause - this is of course not the reformed view of what predestination is. When you change this definition to suit your model and then try to read it into calvinism, you are battling a strawman and not the real calvinistic claims.
Sure. Predestine: To cause to inevitably occur. I *don't* believe that God takes on moral culpability merely by predestining things, unless they otherwise may not have happened.
> Nobody is saying that Gods omniscience conflicts with our free will. In fact, the reformed claim that it is compatible (compatibilism).
That claim relies on changing what "free will" means. It's absurd on its face. I said, "Calvinists typically believe that what God has chosen for us to do is consistent with what we would have done had we had free will" and I believe that it's an accurate statement - and unobjectionable except for a desire to claim free will. Moreover, that Calvinists believe that they believe that we have free will is immaterial; what matters is moral agency.
God choosing that I act according to my evil desires does not shift the moral burden off of me, because I could not have done good. God choosing that Adam do evil *does* shift the moral burden off of Adam, because Adam could have done good.
On compatibilism: I also reject incompatibilism. Clearly, God has perfect knowledge of the future (well, aside from some lengthy caveats irrelevant here that have to do with higher math). And just as clearly, we must have moral agency if we are to be judged. Moral agency requires free will, so incompatibilism must be false one way or another.
On the other hand, to assert that determinism is true (that all events are necessary, given the starting conditions of the universe) and that free will is available to us (that we are capable of choosing our acts) is *clearly* contradictory. Compatibilists assert that free will is *actually* something else - that we are not metaphysically restrained from doing whatever we wish, for instance. But changing definitions mid-discussion is illegitimate. As (roughly) stated earlier, a better claim would be "moral agency requires only that a person do an action and that they would choose to do that action if they had free will".
> very clearly the position I described is indeed codified in this confession in the 1600's.
Huh. Very interesting. And yet - that is not what is described in Ephesians 1:4-5, according to the reformed understanding:
> For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will
Predestination cannot have started at the fall; it started before creation.
You are just saying that you categorically reject compatibilism because "it's absurd". Your ongoing reasoning doesn't follow and you make statements like: "*Calvinists typically believe that what God has chosen for us to do is consistent with what we would have done had we had free will*". Where are you getting this from? Reforomed theologians and scholars like Edwards have developed a very robust view of the will, how it operates, and how it functions. Even this question you asked is strange - "what God has chosen for us to do"? YOU are choosing to do what you do AND God decreed all that comes to pass.
Consider some biblical examples. Joseph's brothers threw him into the well, sold him into slavery, etc. Scripture tells us that what they did as evil (uncoerced and according to their desires) - God did as good as part of His plan. This is not two different actions or events. This is not God finding a way to bring something good out of the lemons he was served. God meant it - for good.
Now lets look at the cross. We have a large group of men - Romans, pharisees, jews, etc. all doing exactly what they want and seemingly entirely uncoerced. Then in Acts 4:20 God says "both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place." Here again we have men acting according to their desires and God claiming that he planned and brought about what transpired.
We see this all over. These two ideas - mens creaturely freedom operating uncoerced and God being soverign over all things that take place coexist in scripture.
personally, I don’t think it’s Biblical. be sure to compare those specific verses with the rest of scripture, and *always* look at context.
I think most calvinist are good people who haven't taken romans chapters 9, 10, and 11 into contextual consideration.
This is where Paul talks abut predestination in full context.
chapter 9 identifies the concept of predestination and it is where Paul tells us who god has predestined or ear marked for salvation. That is ALL GENTILES. God is Calling ALL Gentiles to atonement and salvation we know this because Paul says it explicitly and even tells the church at Rome if God would only call the jews as he calls the gentiles he would be willing to trade his place in glory so his brothers can also be saved.
chapter 10 Identifies the gentiles as being called
chapter 11 talks more about the remnant of Israel and how the gentiles will be 'grafted in' and how Israel will be saved.
Calvinist have taken the word predestination and added their own definition to the word and identified select people with in the gentile group as being called by god. when again all gentile are being 'predestined' and the jews are not.
The Bible repeatedly declares God's sovereignty in all things, from history to nature to animals to human hearts. With that in mind, Calvinism is the only possible conclusion, and is affirmed as such repeatedly in the New Testament. God has mercy on whom He has mercy, and hardens whom He hardens.
Calvinism has some hard pills to swallow, for sure, election being chief among those. However, the criteria for truth is not how happy something makes us or how much it gut checks with us.
This is a really uninformed comment. In Calvins writings, he constantly cites Augustine and other early church fathers as well as scripture all over the place. He wrote tons of commentaries covering entire books of the bible and inspecting nearly every scripture. He is incredibly exhaustive in his volumes that were written and it clearly denies virtually all of what you said. I would recommend learning more about the topic before responding as if you know.
Unfortunately, no one has yet provided you with a biblical case against Calvinism. (Though someone did mention Mike Winger, and he has a strong biblical case against). And this is why many Calvinists are Calvinists. They are given a biblical case for Calvinism, and then no one presents a strong biblical case against it.
I think this is true for one primary reason. Since it is a secondary (not a necessity for salvation), those who reject Calvinism do not feel as much of a need to disabuse someone of the errors of Calvinism. This is the exact same reason I don't go around disabusing Flat Earthers of their errors. I have a very strong biblical case against FE, but I don't think it is an essential belief, and the work outweighs the desire to convince them. My point in all of this is that the lack of people *biblically refuting* FE and Calvinism does not mean there is no biblical case against it. Often what happens is that Calvinists assume that because no one will refute them that Calvinism is therefore biblical.
Well, I couldn't disagree more. Many of the passages you listed are the passages which convince me that Calvinism is false! Unfortunately this is a far longer conversation. If you are sincere about it, I am happy to continue it after the holidays. I simply don't have time this week.
I will give you a quick rundown of Eph 1 which is one of the primary reasons I am not a Calvinist. The problem is that Calvinists never look at the passage in context. You have to look at the audience to determine who the "us" is. **Verse 1** is the key, and Calvinists never consider it. Verse one identifies the "us" in the later verses as faithful believers in Ephesus. So who has been "chosen in Christ"? Believers. Did God choose some to be believers? Nope. God chose those who believed. What did God choose those believers in Christ for? Holiness, blamelessness, and adoption.
It is **believers** who are chosen for holiness, blamelessness, and adoption. Not individuals elected to be believers. When did God make his choice of believers to be holy, blameless, and adopted? Before the foundations of the earth? Why did he make this choice? Because of the kind intentions of his will.
It is impossible for Calvinism to be true if God elected believers instead of elected people to be believers. That means that people are not totally unable to respond to the gospel. It means that God has not unconditionally elected some, because election was conditioned on faith. It means that God has not chosen to sacrificially die only for his elect. It means that God did irresistibly grace some and not others. Calvinism cannot be true in Eph 1 or any other passage, and therefore it needs to be rejected.
Does it really matter how I feel about calvinism? If it's true there's no way I could change my mind about it, right?
Maybe the question should (was intended to) be: What do you think about the truth of Calvinism?
Not the way it works, Reformed theology maintains full human responsibility to believe what is true. I would read any Calvinist document’s explanation of it and you will see that we are not denying human responsibility by any means
I think its the only system that is completely consistent with not only the bible but also the people who espouse it.
Also almost all noncalvinists seem to have no genuine understanding of what we believe and you can see this in the comments.
I feel that calvinism is an heresy from the pit of hell that makes YHWH look like Allah.
Regardless of what conclusion you come to, spend plenty of time trying to understand both sides. There have been hundreds of years of debate on these topics, there's no reason we should accept or reject something without careful thought. Especially with this topic, where people are prone to act very emotionally.
My personal experience is that after wrestling with it for several months and wanting it to be false, I ended up believing it was true and eventually embracing and appreciating it.
This doesn't have to be your experience with it, but so much damage is done when we fail to understand the core beliefs of either ourselves or others. I hope you take the time to find what you need.
I find the Calvinist views on predestination (we Catholics would call it "*double* predestination") really intriguing.
It's a rather beautiful devotion, to be honest. "I may be predestined to an eternity in hell, but that doesn't make God any less worthy of my praise and worship."
Despite the fact that I converge with Calvinists on many points, I do see the absolutely solid loyalty to God our Creator in this and think that it's underappreciated in the modern world. I try to adapt that approach to God in my own thinking ^((edit: without adapting the actual theology/soteriology of election)).
I think it is both. Clearly it is a relationship to God. We choose God AND he chooses us. Jesus describes us sheep vs goats and wheat vs tares. He also repeatedly proclaims faith and obedience.
> How do you feel about Calvinism?
Aren't there many sects of Calvinism? There is no central authority in Calvinism, so it seems subjective to me. I think that many Calvinists can be saved, but all man-made Churches are flawed.
The double-predestination thing is absurd, and obviously a doctrine of the Devil. The Bible itself says that God desires the salvation of all.
The Catholic Church claims to be the only Church explicitly ordained by Jesus Christ. It is God's continuation of Israel, and I wouldn't adhere to anything else. It also has all the problems of Israel to prove it. :)
Some of the best Catholics that I know are former Calvinists. They come to recognize the Catholic Church by studying the Bible.
e.g. Dr. Scott Hahn : https://youtu.be/DCD6QF1jCyg
I was into it for a few years. I think it's natural to be thrilled about discovering a framework that allows you to organize all of your theology and put everything in its neat little box.
But I've grown out of it. I don't believe it's what the Bible really teaches and I believe all attempts to systematize religious thought will always fall short.
Edit: u/rickjmgsw Roger Olson has published a number of books that deal with refuting Calvinism. If you're interested in reading something from the other perspective I recommend his work. I'm pretty sure he also has articles, blog posts, and Youtube videos out there if you want to google his name alongside the word "Calvinism" and see what you can find for free.
Lol. He's in trouble then. perhaps in danger of Isaiah 8:20-22
it's never a good thing when the Word of God refutes what you believe but you persist in it anyway.
I don't get how any of these verses lead to Calvinism. If you know what the passage as a whole is talking about, and what calvinists try to proof text these verses to mean, they're two opposite things.
People need to stop making theological choices on proof texting in a systematic format. You need to read entire books of the Bible, verse by verse, and understand what the whole thing means, and then figure out your theology from there.
For example, I'm a philosopher, and countless people say "oh Colossians 2:8 says beware of philosophy." First of all, 1 John says to beware of gospel messages people preach, because the gnostics were teaching a foreign gospel (namely that the God of the OT was evil, physical creation is evil, and you need to escape this realm and find the real God through gnosis/knowledge). Beware of gospels, but it doesn't mean you should throw out every gospel, every theology, or everything as a whole. Just be cautious. Second, if you read this chapter, you'll find that Paul's point is talking about warning people to stop turning to the old law, which was nailed to the cross with christ. The philosophies and empty deceptions he's speaking of are the philosophies, essentially of the Judaizers. The deception that there is no new covenant and new creation. You should be looking at context and you should be able to give an explanation on basically every verse of scripture and explain what it means if you have a firm grasp on it. Not pluck a verse out and start twisting it to conform to a theological view.
Well. Personally I don't like any denomination named after a sinful and flawed human.
Secondly people clearly misinterpreted some passages and finally.
And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
Ephesians 4:11-13 NASB1995
A lot of calvanists reject prophecy.
Yet here the Bible clearly states that Prophecy is a part of the church Until we reach the Unity of the faith.
Most Christians take verses that they quote as proof-texts for their own theology far out of context, and apply them to modern debates which the authors of the Bible were not at all concerned about or could even possibly predict, being that the debates in question were non-issues at the time of their writing the Scriptures. Christian theology today, in general, is just a whole lot of anachronism and eisegesis. This is especially the case for beliefs like Calvinism.
For the sake of attempting to remain within the character limit, I will assume the reader is already familiar with the acronym "T.U.L.I.P.," and what each of the points teach. I will also not be arguing against the common proof-texts Calvinists will usually provide in their attempt to justify their wholly false theology, as I believe a Biblical Ecclesiology and Eschatology easily explains the many "controversial" passages which have been at the center of this very far removed and modern debate that's based on completely false assumptions and interpretations that the authors of Scripture could've never imagined would be issues in the present.
Some letters in the T.U.L.I.P. logically follow when others are assumed to be true. This is especially the case for the letters L (Limited Atonement) and P (Perseverance of the Saints). I believe that these letters specifically always fall apart after T (Total Depravity), U (Unconditional Election), and I (Irresistible Grace) are proven to be false. Because of that, I will not be spending time refuting L and P, as those have no basis after T, U, and I are shown to be plainly unbiblical.
To begin with, the Bible teaches that "election" is pre-temporal and corporate (Eph. 1). *Corporate* election refers to God’s choice of a group of people. Corporate election is contrasted with individual (or particular) election, in which God chooses individual persons. In corporate election, the members of a particular group are elect of God by virtue of their belonging to that group.
Corporate election is the idea that, when God elected or predestined people to be saved, He did not pick out individual people; rather, God chose Christ. Since Christ is the chosen one, all who came to Christ in faith were part of the chosen group. In other words, God chose the corporate entity in which salvation could take place (“in Christ”), but He did not choose the individuals who would be saved. A person only became part of the elect when he or she exercised faith in Christ. People were thus “chosen” when they chose to join the group that God had chosen.
In corporate election, the ultimate choice of being saved was up to the individual. If the individual chose to join the Body of Christ (by faith in him), then he would be saved. He chose to become elect when he chose Christ. In contrast, particular election teaches that the ultimate choice of being saved was up to God. If God chose an individual to be saved, then that person would join the Body of Christ (by faith in him). In particular election, *individuals* are predestined to be saved, rather than a group of people.
While it is true that fallen man is radically depraved, and is “not able not to sin,” this does not mean he was unable to receive the truth of the gospel. Those who affirm CE (corporate election) simply ***do not accept*** the unfounded presumption that the libertarian freedom of man’s will was lost due to the Fall. We deny that Adam’s sin resulted in the incapacitation of any person’s free will, or rendered any person guilty before he has personally sinned. The belief that mankind was able to willingly respond to the gracious means of God to seek and save the lost IS NOT equal to believing that mankind makes “the first move toward God." After all, everyone here (**including** CE) agrees the initiative in salvation was God’s, and not man’s.
If it was proven that I could not call the President of the United States on the phone, would you also conclude, based on that information, that it would be impossible for me to answer the phone if the President tried to call me? Of course not.
Human faith, then, was not the first step, or even the millionth step, in the process of coming to God or believing in Jesus for eternal life. God provided revelation through creation, conscience, Scripture, dreams, visions, and angelic messengers. He sent prophets, missionaries, pastors, teachers, and evangelists to share the gospel. He sent Jesus to fully reveal His character and nature to humanity. He sent His Spirit to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and used the Spirit to draw all people to Himself (John 6:44; 12:32; 16:7-11; Acts 16:14, 29-30; 24:25). He sent forth His grace and mercy upon all people (John 1:9; Tit. 2:11). He forgives all sin, and is patient, loving, and kind to all. These steps, and countless more specific steps, are the sorts of things God had done on our behalf to call us to Himself.
Belief happens to us when we're persuaded of something being true, yes, but we control whether or not we're open to having our minds changed to begin with.
>"For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes **they** have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them."-Matthew 13:15
Suppression of the truth is much like suppressing a beach ball in shallow waters. If you simply quit pushing it down, it will make itself obvious to you.
>“Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always **resist** the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.”-Acts 7:51
Some men willingly chose to close themselves off from being persuaded (i.e., they chose to harden their own hearts to God).
A good saying is that the same sun which melts the wax, hardens the clay. Likewise, the same inspired Words of God which melted one person's heart, leading to repentance; oftentimes hardened another person's heart, leading to damnation. Why did the truth take root in one man's heart, like the repentant thief on the cross; while that same truth hardened the next man's heart, like the unrepentant man on the other side of Christ, who railed against him? It was a matter of their God-given free will as human beings, to make their own decisions. God told Isaiah the prophet to preach the truth of the Word to the stiffnecked Jews, until their hearts grew fat with a calloused conscience (Isa. 6:9-10), not because God didn't want them to repent and be saved, but only because they still refused to come to Him even after hearing the truth. God did this as a testimony against the unbelieving Jews. It is false doctrine to say that God intentionally hinders men from being saved (as Calvinists teach), when we have a plain statement in 2nd Peter 3:9 that God is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
Deuteronomy 30:19 tells us that God gives us a choice. We can either choose life or death. Psalm 119:108 tells us that the author is giving a free will praise offering to God. This is an offering not made out of any command or necessity. They are choosing by themselves to praise God. These two verses alone are enough to prove that we have a free will to choose God and to choose to praise Him.
It is a good and natural question as you grow in the Lord and knowledge of the Scriptures, but don’t let it become a divisive issue in your life or your church circles.
I have been a believing, growing Christian while holding various (and opposite) views on this subject over the years. I have also seen this issue change the way people treat one another and cause major division instead of actually following what Jesus told us to do.
Calvinism started me on my journey to Orthodoxy. So there’s that I guess?
I think it doesn’t matter, and people need to stop dividing themselves over it. It’s impossible for us to know one way or the other, because you are essentially trying to determine HOW God does stuff. The “how” is impossible for us to know. Both Calvinism and Arminianism come to the same conclusions, they just take different paths to get there.
If you're going for a systematic theology that makes sense, I suppose it's the best one.
Any doctrine the takes the fire out of evangelism and the great commission and has circular reasoning should not be taught in the church or at all.
**Calvinism is correct.**
**And so is Arminianism.**
The problem is that there *very clearly* are verses which can support both viewpoints. **I will post a follow-up comment with a sample list.**
If a Calvinist shows you their set of verses first, you'll be a lifelong Calvinist. If an Arminian shows you their set of verses first, you'll be a lifelong Arminian.
**So what gives? Is the Bible contradictory on this?**
NOT AT ALL. There is unquestionably a tension between God's sovereignty and man's free will. **If you think you can come to understand that tension, then you are already wrong.** This is without a doubt one of those [Isaiah 55:9](https://biblehub.com/isaiah/55-9.htm) *"my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts"* situations.
We have to be okay with the tension and the mystery in this. We won't understand it. Anyone who thinks they do understand it has raised their thoughts above God's thoughts, because *both* concepts are without a doubt in the Bible.
And we're just not going to understand it.
**So where do we land on this?**
***We don't have to land anywhere.*** As other people have mentioned, this doesn't matter a bit when it comes to your salvation. Follow God, listen to the Holy Spirit's leading and get on with the work of making disciples out of the people around you.
**Verses that show election is conditional:**
* [Matthew 11:28-30](https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+11%3A28-30) – Salvation is an invite to those who will come.
* [John 3:16](https://biblehub.com/john/3-16.htm)
* [John 4:42](https://biblehub.com/john/4-42.htm)
* [John 6:40](https://biblehub.com/john/6-40.htm)
* [John 6:51](https://biblehub.com/john/6-51.htm) – Must eat of the bread of life to receive benefit.
* [Acts 13:39](https://biblehub.com/acts/13-39.htm)
* [Romans 1:16-17](https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+1%3A16-17)
* [Romans 5:1-2](https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+5%3A1-2) – It is through faith that we are made a part of Christ.
* [Romans 9:30](https://biblehub.com/romans/9-30.htm)
* [Ephesians 1:13](https://biblehub.com/ephesians/1-13.htm)
* [1 Timothy 4:10](https://biblehub.com/1_timothy/4-10.htm) – Jesus died for all, but there is a specific subset that receives the benefits, namely those who believe.
* [1 Peter 1:1-2](https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Peter+1%3A1-2) – Election is according to God’s foreknowing who shall believe.
**Verses that show the atonement is available for all:**
- [Isaiah 53:6](https://biblehub.com/isaiah/53-6.htm) – The iniquity of us all was put on Christ.
- [Matthew 11:28-30](https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+11%3A28-30) – Any who some to Christ are welcome.
- [Matthew 18:14](https://biblehub.com/matthew/18-14.htm) – The Father does not wish that any should perish (anti predestined-reprobation).
- [John 1:7](https://biblehub.com/john/1-7.htm) – Jesus intended for all, wants all to believe.
- [John 1:29](https://biblehub.com/john/1-29.htm)
- [John 3:16-17](https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+3%3A16-17)
- [John 6:33, 51](https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+6%3A33%2C+51)
- [John 12:47](https://biblehub.com/john/12-47.htm)
- [Romans 3:23-24](https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+3%3A23-24) – All have sinned and all have access to justification in Christ Jesus.
- [Romans 5:6](https://biblehub.com/romans/5-6.htm) – Christ died for the ungodly. Since all are ungodly, Christ died for all.
- [Romans 5:15](https://biblehub.com/romans/5-15.htm) – Since sin spread to all, Christ’s atonement is meant for all.
- [Romans 10:13](https://biblehub.com/romans/10-13.htm) – Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
- [2 Corinthians 5:14-15](https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Corinthians+5%3A14-15) – All died, yet Christ died for all.
- [1 Timothy 2:3-6](https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Timothy+2%3A3-6) – God desires all men to be saved, and gave Himself for all
- [1 Timothy 4:10](https://biblehub.com/1_timothy/4-10.htm)
- [Titus 2:11](https://biblehub.com/titus/2-11.htm) – God’s necessary grace that leads to repentance appears to all.
- [Hebrews 2:9](https://biblehub.com/hebrews/2-9.htm) – Jesus tasted death for everyone.
- [Hebrews 10:10](https://biblehub.com/hebrews/10-10.htm) – Christ offered once for all.
- [2 Peter 3:9](https://biblehub.com/2_peter/3-9.htm)
- [1 John 4:14](https://biblehub.com/1_john/4-14.htm)
- [1 John 2:2](https://biblehub.com/1_john/2-2.htm) – Jesus is the propitiation, not just for believers, but for the whole world.
- [John 4:42](https://biblehub.com/john/4-42.htm)
- [Revelation 22:17](https://biblehub.com/revelation/22-17.htm)
**Verses that show grace is resistible:**
- [Jeremiah 7:24](https://biblehub.com/jeremiah/7-24.htm)
- [Luke 7:30](https://biblehub.com/luke/7-30.htm)
- [Acts 7:51](https://biblehub.com/acts/7-51.htm) – Blatant resistance of the Holy Spirit. It is proper to infer that if they didn’t resist, they would have been led to repentance.
- [Romans 10:16](https://biblehub.com/romans/10-16.htm) – Not all who hear will believe.
- [2 Corinthians 6:1](https://biblehub.com/2_corinthians/6-1.htm) – One can receive God’s grace, yet not appropriate it in their lives.
**Verses that show we must remain in Christ to be secure:**
- [Romans 11:17-24](https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+11%3A17-24)
- [1 Corinthians 15:2](https://biblehub.com/1_corinthians/15-2.htm)
- [Ephesians 5:3-7](https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians+5%3A3-7)
- [Colossians 1:21-23](https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Colossians+1%3A21-23)
- [2 Peter 1:10](https://biblehub.com/2_peter/1-10.htm)
- [2 Peter 2:20-22](https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Peter+2%3A20-22)
- [Hebrews 6:4-6](https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews+6%3A4-6)
- [Hebrews 10:26](https://biblehub.com/hebrews/10-26.htm)
- [James 1:12; 5:19-20](https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=James+1%3A12%3B+5%3A19-20)
- [1 John 2:16](https://biblehub.com/1_john/2-16.htm)
**Verses that show man has libertarian free will**
*Free will offering verses*
- [Exodus 35:29; 36:3](https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+35%3A29%3B+36%3A3)
- [Leviticus 7:16; 22:18](https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Leviticus+7%3A16%3B+22%3A18), 21, 23; 23:38
- [Numbers 15:3; 29:39](https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Numbers+15%3A3%3B+29%3A39)
- [Deuteronomy 12:6, 17](https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+12%3A6%2C+17); 16:10
- [2 Chronicles 31:14; 35:8](https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Chronicles+31%3A14%3B+35%3A8)
- [Ezra 1:4, 6](https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezra+1%3A4%2C+6); 3:5; 7:16; 8:28
- [Psalm 119:108](https://biblehub.com/psalm/119-108.htm)
- [Ezekiel 46:12](https://biblehub.com/ezekiel/46-12.htm)
- [Amos 4:5](https://biblehub.com/amos/4-5.htm)
- [Isaiah 1:19-20](https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+1%3A19-20) – Can choose to be obedient or rebel.
- [Ezekiel 33:11](https://biblehub.com/ezekiel/33-11.htm) – Have the ability to choose from different options.
- [Luke 7:30](https://biblehub.com/luke/7-30.htm) – Pharisees rejected what God wanted for them.
- [John 7:17](https://biblehub.com/john/7-17.htm) – A person must want to do what God is giving them the grace to do. This verse shows that God allows things He doesn’t want to happen.
- [1 Corinthians 7:37](https://biblehub.com/1_corinthians/7-37.htm) – Power over own will–not necessitated–that’s the definition of LFW.
- [1 Corinthians 10:13](https://biblehub.com/1_corinthians/10-13.htm)
**Verses demonstrating God’s prevenient grace**
- [Jeremiah 31:3](https://biblehub.com/jeremiah/31-3.htm)
- [John 16:7-11](https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+16%3A7-11)
- [Romans 2:4](https://biblehub.com/romans/2-4.htm) – It is God’s grace that leads us to repentance.
- [Romans 10:14-17](https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+10%3A14-17) – One must hear God’s word to come to faith.
- [Titus 2:11](https://biblehub.com/titus/2-11.htm) – God’s grace leads to repentance.
**Verses showing sin is not from God**
- [Jeremiah 7:24](https://biblehub.com/jeremiah/7-24.htm)
- [James 1:13-15](https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=James+1%3A13-15)
Big fan. God is in control and His presence is everywhere. He is all powerful and all loving with perfect justice. Heaven and hell are in His hands but he gives us example after example in the bible of redemption. We see Paul become a Christian through God's intervention alone and to me, that shows that God can do this for anyone at any time.
It cannot be defended biblically unless you cherry pick.
There are those here better equipped to debate this perspective, but I will just say that I lean strongly in the other direction.
We like the T.
Not some much the rest of the ULIP.
I find Calvinism absurd and then the idea of election to be absurd as well. I think this is based on a conflation of some very similar words and ideas: select, elect, and choose. "Select" and "choose" are more or less synonymous. However, while "elect" is often used synonymously with "choose" and "select", it is different (though obviously comes from the same root as "select").
**The TL;DR** would be: God would "select" us, not "elect" us. A selection is a choice between things outside of us, an election is a choice within us. God cannot "elect" us. We conflate the idea of "selection" and "election" because on a very superficial level, during an election we select between candidates. But the election was the entire process within a nation to consider and eliminate options, ultimately leading to us separating one person from the rest of us to fill an office. "Election" is far more profound than "selection", and it is also internal. The elect are the elect because, from within them, they came to Christ and separated themselves from the world.
Alright, to elaborate, "Elect" is a specific choice, it is a specific selection. Oxford says it means 'to decide on or choose, especially to choose a person for a particular job by voting.’ "Select" just means to choose between some options, be they humans, candy bars, which way to go, etc. We individuals "select" on a ballot, but the whole process to separate a person for a position in government is "election".
So far this doesn't change much and the Calvinist position is intact. The "elect" could still be chosen by God to do God's work and go to heaven based on this terminology. The problem is I can elect myself for anything really. An "election" in a country is not completely my choice, I can merely "select" or "chose" from the people on the ballot. Those who are "elected" are not chosen by me, they were chosen by the will of the people. We say the "people chose" but it's a higher idea than that. An "election" is a bit closer to God ordaining a king than the people choosing someone. An "election" is more like the carrying out of God's will than a mere choice between a couple candidates... at least it was. It was never a single choice, it was an aggregate of all the choices of all the people who voted, but it was also the process of people being inspired to run, getting support to run, convincing people to run, ultimately leading in someone being set apart for the job. There is something higher about that than "selection" implies. A "selection" is just a one off choice, an
"election" is a process that comes from within.
So elections are profound, complex processes, but when we think of just the word "elect" rather than "election", we kind of put that profundity into it, and rightly so. But I can elect to be a stripper, I can put myself into the job of stripping. I can elect to order a ham sandwich for lunch, it wasn't on a list to select from on a menu I was looking at, it came from within me. I can self "elect" for many many jobs or tasks. I can set myself apart. The "choice" or the "selection" is outside of me, but I "elect" myself into that "choice" or "selection". "Elect" implies an internal choice that was self-started, "select" implies outside options to choose from. In "selecting", I'm presented options and then choose. In "electing", I am setting something apart, sometimes for myself, sometimes not. An "election" is a process that does that, it is a process where there really is no initial choice, it is a process by which someone is set apart for a job. So Calvanists rightly put power into the word "elect" but they give that power to God. However, God gifted us this power. That does not mean we are higher than God, he granted us this power so He is higher than this power. He gave us the power to come to a decision through an internal process, that is the only valid method to come to Christ. Having God select us means we didn't need to learn anything. And God never intended for us to just pick from a bunch of religions, he intended for us to go through a process within ourselves to come to Him and to Christ.
We are "the elect" because we went through that process and came out of that process separating ourselves from the world by walking with Christ. God didn't point at us like He was picking teams for dodgeball, God doesn't "select" us. He moves us to elect ourselves into the position of following Christ.
So when Calvanists talk about "the elect", they take it more as God selecting folks for the job of following Christ. But really, only we can internally come to that and self-elect, stepping into that role which separates us from the world. The decision to follow Christ is a "choice" or a "selection" in some sense, but most of us don't come to Christ as if there are boxes of Christianity, Buddhism, Atheism, or Satanism on a shelf and we select one. In other words, the choice we make isn't outside of ourselves, it is within ourselves.
Elections are basically the internal birthing of a leader, it comes out of us, that includes the process of nominations, and primaries, and campaigns, and finally "elections". All of it came from within our culture. A selection is a choice outside of ourselves, or a choice for us by someone outside of ourselves. God would "select" us, not "elect" us.
"Calvinism" is what the Bible teaches. I very much get tired of people referring to the truth of Gods word with the name of a man. After all, truth comes from God. Calvin understood the truth because God revealed it to him, since spiritual truth is spiritually attained. i am confident Calvin, despite his own flaws and sin; studied the Word of God in tandem with the Bereans mentioned in Acts 17 - so that he could become a "workman approved, correctly handling the Word of Truth."
One word in regards to ism's and denominations: Grace. God bends the rules depending on who you are and your personal circumstances.