Leighton Flowers is a pastor and staunch opponent of Calvinism, using his blog site and podcast to critique Calvinistic doctrines and teachers. In his post called Does God Bring About The Abuse Of Children For His Own Glory?, Flowers argues that teachers and authors like John Piper, John MacArthur, and Justin Taylor engage in a type of doublespeak when they talk about God’s sovereignty. On the one hand, it appears that they affirm that God actively controls all things, but on the other hand, because of their compatibilism, they affirm that God passively determines sin and evil. So whereas Piper is quoted as saying:
“God . . . brings about all things in accordance with his will….he himself brings about these evil aspects for his glory”
John MacArthur is quoted as saying:
“God’s role with regard to evil is never as its author. He simply permits evil agents to work”.
In response, Flowers asks a simple question:
“So, which is it?”
The difference presented in these two quotations is that God either (1) actively brings about the events he ordains, or he (2) passively permits evil agents to bring about the events he ordains. Since active and passive are mutually exclusive, one must be affirmed and the other must be denied. The fact that two leading Calvinist teachers have made unclear statements on the issue, Flowers asserts, demonstrates the confused state of Calvinist theology, and it ought to be abandoned in favor of libertarian free will. What I would first like to do is to make a few comments about Leighton Flowers, explicitly state his arguments, and then give my own theological analysis of these important issues.
It is difficult for me to have respect for anyone who knowingly places their preferences over the teaching of scripture. What I mean is that Leighton Flowers (along with Roger Olson) begins with an assumption that cannot ever be corrected with scriptural teaching. For Flowers, it does not matter what scripture says; his prior biases must be true in order for him to continue in the faith. So, rather than renouncing Christianity, Flowers prefers to remain in Christianity by intentionally conforming it to his own preferences. In a comment response on his blog post, Does God Hate The Unborn?, Flowers says he would rather burn in Hell forever than believe in divine election. He says,
“I wish not to be saved by a god who would do this. I’d rather burn.”
Here is the full text of this section of his comment for your reference:
Flowers follows Roger Olson in placing emotional intuition as the evaluative criterion of theological doctrine. Calvinism cannot be true because the emotion that it evokes within him is not a feeling of awe or praise, but it evokes in him a feeling of abhorrence and repulsion. In order for God to be acceptable to Flowers, God must make Flowers feel good. The justification for all of this is that God created human beings with emotions, and so these emotions must be sufficient to delineate true doctrine from false doctrine.
Of course, my emotions are the opposite, along with many other believers. I could just as easily say that Flowers’ libertarian free will god is repulsive to me, and therefore my rejection of his god is justified on the same grounds. His emotions are no more or less valid than my own. However, one of the most basic truths of the Christian faith is that it does not matter what we feel: truth is truth whether we like it or not. Those who intentionally place their emotions as judge over God’s word attempt to formulate a theology “to suit their own passions” (2 Timothy 4:3). We must strive to conform our passions and intellectual predispositions to the teaching of the Bible, not vice-versa.
The bottom line is that Flowers emphatically cannot believe in a God who predestines some to glory and others to Hell. It does not matter if scripture teaches it; it cannot be true. Hence, his authority is not scripture, but what he thinks scripture ought to teach.
Back to the article, Flowers’ thesis is very similar to Jerry Walls’ presentation, called, “What’s Wrong With Calvinism“, and so I will formulate Flowers’ argument along the same lines. The argument Walls makes goes something like this:
(1) Traditional Calvinists believe in compatibilism as stated in the Westminster Confession of Faith;
(2) Compatibilism states that free will is compatible with divine determinism;
(3) However, this free will is not true freedom, since it is not freedom from God’s determinative control but only free in relation to the individual’s desires;
(4) God still predestines people to Hell in compatibilism, since compatibilist free will is an arbitrary kind of free will;
(5) It’s absurd to say that the Calvinist God loves everybody in any meaningful way, since he still ordains the damnation of the reprobate;
(6) God clearly loves everybody and wants to save everyone, as even John Piper and D.A. Carson confess;
(7) Therefore, Calvinism should be rejected in favor of libertarian free will theology.
In a similar way, Flowers’ objection in his article involves him arguing the incoherency of compatibilism in the context of Reformed theology. Within compatibilism, God still predestines and controls all things, so in what sense can God be passive? Also, since God must not be the author of sin, how can Calvinists maintain their determinist position without making God the cause of sin and evil? As Flowers concludes, not only is our theology supposedly contradictory, but our teachers also contradict one another:
“Do you see the contradiction as it exists even within the ranks of Calvinism?”
Thus, he concludes by saying that Calvinism devolves into irreconcilable contradictions and nonsense. As a result, Flowers proposes a different theology. We ought to reject determinism in favor of libertarian free will in order to overcome these theological difficulties.
There are aspects of the above argument that I wholeheartedly agree with, but I absolutely reject Flowers’ and Walls’ solution. It is true that most Calvinist teachers and theologians (at least the popular ones) are confused on these matters and end up contradicting themselves and one another. They sometimes respond by appealing to the fact that they are trying to do justice to all scriptural teaching, and that this synthesis necessarily involves profound difficulties like paradoxes, mystery, and apparent contradiction. Take, for instance, Louis Berkhof’s comments in his systematic theology about God’s providence over creation and salvation:
“God decrees to sustain [people’s] free agency, to regulate the circumstances of their life, and to permit that free agency to exert itself in a multitude of acts, of which some are sinful. For good and holy reasons He renders these sinful acts certain, but He does not decree to work evil desires or choices efficiently in man. The decree respecting sin is not an efficient but a permissive decree, or a decree to permit, in distinction from a decree to produce, sin by divine efficiency…The problem of God’s relation to sin remains a mystery for us, which we are not able to solve.” (Berkhof 116-117)
Berkhof begins by repeating the traditional doctrine of God’s passive control over sin and evil. This passive control is necessary to prevent God from being the author of sin. He then says that although this control is passive, God nonetheless “renders these sinful acts certain”. But this assertion immediately prompts us to ask: How is this possible? How can God passively control the sin of free creatures, yet also render their sinful actions certain? Berkhof never explains this, but instead skirts around the issue, saying that God’s relation to sin is a mystery that we are never able to solve, and therefore we will also never be able to know how God can passively render sinful actions certain. On this point, I agree with Flowers when he says:
“This all boils down to what a Calvinist means when he uses the word “PERMIT.” Like so many other words in our vocabulary, the Calvinist is forced to put a bit of a spin on the clear meaning of this term in order to maintain their systems [sic] presumptions.”
Although it’s ironic that Flowers would find fault with others distorting doctrines and definitions to suit their presumptions – since Flowers himself admits to committing this sin, being a necessary component of his theological methodology – he is right when he says that people like Piper, MacArthur, and Berkhof are guilty of purposeful ambiguity. When these teachers face this dilemma head-on, they are often guilty of incompetence and confusion. What could it possibly mean for God to passively render events certain? What could it possibly mean for humans to be free agents, yet our actions are certain? It appears to Flowers, Walls, and myself, that these teachers appropriate familiar bits of terminology for the purpose of pretending their doctrinal formulations avoid particular difficulties, when in reality they not only succeed in obfuscating the issues, but also fail to avoid the difficulties they pretend to solve.
Given these problems, a solution is needed not only to avoid the theological heresy of libertarian free will, but to also reform the traditional “Reformed” formulation of these doctrines. Both a positive and a negative position is needed to fully refute Flowers’ attack on Calvinism. That is, a full refutation would involve a reformulation of Calvinist doctrine to avoid these objections, and a refutation of the tenability of libertarian free will would be necessary. For the sake of space and time, I will only focus upon the positive position, or the reformulation of Calvinist theology to answer these objections. A reasoned denunciation of libertarian free will must be found elsewhere for the time being. I will try to give a structured and clear account of the reformulation I propose for Calvinist theology. Also, for the sake of space, I will not exegete key passages like Romans 9, 2 Peter 3:9, 1 Timothy 2:4, Matthew 23:37 in much detail, but rather, my purpose will be to prove the internal consistency of my reformulation of Calvinist doctrine.
1. Deny Compatibilism
Compatibilism must be denied not in favor of libertarian free will, but in favor of hard determinism. This is how I was able to agree with Flowers and Walls. We all agree that compatibilism is a useless and arbitrary category because it obscures the fact that it is, nonetheless, a determinist doctrine. Flowers quotes Phil Johnson as admitting:
“Compatibilism is a form of determinism and it should be noted that this position is no less deterministic than hard determinism.”
Although there are some Calvinists who may challenge Johnson’s statement, and although Johnson does not here explain what he means by “hard determinism”, this statement explains that compatibilism does not make individuals free in reference to God.
“Free” is always a relational word. “Free” always means “free from something”. In a compatibilist framework, as Phil Johnson later explains and as Jerry Walls presents in his video, to have “free will” only means that individuals are free in reference to fulfilling their internal desires. It is not that I am free from God determining my actions, but that when I make these decisions to fulfill my desires, it is not done contrary to my will. Hence, when libertarian free will advocates say “free will”, they mean to say that they are free from God’s determinative control, whereas when compatibilists say “free will”, they mean to say that their wills are free to fulfill their desires.
Compatibilists are guilty of equivocation. To say that “free will” is compatible with divine determinism is a trivial claim, because this free will is not the same type of free will spoken of by libertarian free will advocates. To say that free will is compatible with divine determinism means nothing more than people make choices that are free in reference to their desires, and that God determines these desires and choices in the first place.
The only reason the Reformed tradition has clung to compatibilism is because these theologians believe that free will is a necessary prerequisite to moral responsibility. Many object that there is a tension between God’s sovereignty and humanity’s moral responsibility. Compatibilism is suppose to resolve this tension. Phil Johnson explains,
“In order to understand [this problem] better theologians have come up with the term ‘compatibilism’ to describe the concurrence of God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility.”
The function of the doctrine of compatibilism is to invent an equivocal notion of free will that will justify human responsibility. However, compatibilism fails to justify human responsibility given these premises, since compatibilism posits the existence of a different form of free will that has nothing to do with the original assumption. The original assumption is that free will is a necessary prerequisite to human responsibility. The “free will” spoken of in that statement is recognized by everyone to mean “free from God’s determinative control”. The Reformed tradition has not attempted to solve this issue, but has rather redefined the words of this original assumption. It would be like me redefining “free will” to mean “fingers”. Since I now have free will (i.e. fingers), I am therefore responsible to God for my actions. Or, I can redefine “free will” to mean “my will is free from a squirrel in Alaska”. Since I now have free will (i.e. my will is free from a squirrel in Alaska), I am therefore responsible to God for my actions. Compatibilism’s equivocal solution to the problem of human responsibility is fallacious. The problem remains unsolved given these premises.
The conclusion to all of this is that determinism is absolutely incompatible with both free will (properly defined) and the assumption that free will is the necessary prerequisite for human moral responsibility. Since this is the case, Calvinists ought to deny both. Humans are not free from God’s determinative control, and free will is not necessary for human responsibility. Those who say free will is necessary in order for humans to be accountable to God do not derive this principle from scripture. This assumption cannot ever be justified from a scriptural perspective.
The reason humans are morally culpable for their actions is because God chooses to hold us accountable. God is the moral standard. God does not bow down to moral standard external to himself, but rather, God himself establishes the rules of morality. God is just to hold us responsible for the things he determines us to do. To object to this is to echo the rhetorical question Paul poses in Romans 9:19, “You will say to me then, ‘Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?'” Why does God still hold us accountable even though he is the one that determines our actions in the first place? Because he’s God and he has the right to to with his creation whatever he wants, and he is righteous for doing so.
In conclusion to this section, compatibilism is a doctrine that was invented to solve an non issue. All determinists, indeed all Christians, ought to deny that freedom from God is the necessary prerequisite to being held morally accountable by God. This assumption cannot be substantiated by scripture, but only by rationalistic conceptions of morality. This assumption also denies divine determinism in the first place. Since God clearly holds us morality accountable, to say that we must be free from God’s control for responsibility to be possible is tantamount to denying determinism. Compatibilism is an attempt to maintain a determinist position while conforming itself to a position which denies divine determinism by definition. Compatibilism is either fallacious, or irrelevant. It is a useless theory that has been proposed as a solution to a problem that is no problem at all, and which it cannot solve within a deterministic framework. Therefore, compatibilism should be disregarded.
2. Deny That God Loves Everyone and Wants All Saved
I affirm the 5th point and deny the 6th point of Flowers’ and Walls’ argument above. To say that God loves everybody and wants all saved, including the reprobate, is either a deceptive play on words, or it is absurd. Whereas these men accept God’s universal love and desire to save everybody as unquestionable, I deny both. Both assume that compatibilists will not want to go to my end of the Calvinist spectrum, regarding it as extreme. However, calling my position extreme or “hyper-Calvinism” is not refutation. Calvinists who refuse to admit that God hates the reprobate and doesn’t desire to save them for fear of being called “hyper-Calvinists” are both cowardly and intellectually dishonest. I will first discuss God’s will, then I will discuss God’s love.
a.) Reformed theologians such as John Murray have traditionally made two distinctions concerning the will of God. God has both a “decretive will” and “prescriptive will”. God’s will of decree is also sometimes referred to as his “secret will”, which often confuses non Calvinists and prompts them to mock us without end. The distinctions between these two wills is nothing but this: God’s decretive will refers to what God has eternally ordained to come to pass, and God’s prescriptive will merely refers to his commands. Often God’s “decretive will” contradicts his “prescriptive will” when he ordains sin and evil, like in Acts 4:27-28 where the saints confess that God predestined the actions of those who crucified Jesus.
This is why using the word “will” of both of these is problematic, since people who are ignorant of these issues will assume that Calvinists assert that God contradicts his own will, or that God is schizophrenic (Jesus says in Matthew 26:39, “not as I will, but as you will”, but this is a case of Christ’s human will submitting to the divine will of the Father, which is a separate issue). God’s “decretive will” and his “prescriptive will” are his will in two completely different senses. They are equivocal in meaning and not univocal.
The fact that both of these are God’s “will” in completely different senses helps to clarify the issue. In the context of God’s eternal decree, God does not will that all be saved, since he has decreed that not all will be saved. In the context of God’s commands, God does will for all to be saved, since he commands everybody to repent and turn to him in faith (Acts 17:30). To avoid confusion, we ought to call only God’s decretive will his will, whereas his prescriptive will is not necessarily what he decretively wills for us, but is what he requires of us. God’s prescriptive will is not his will for us per se, but is rather a list of moral commands that he requires we obey, and if we do not obey it, we are punished.
Therefore, the only sense in which a Calvinist – who believes in reprobation – can say that God wills everybody to be saved, is either by contradicting his own theology, positing a contradiction in the will of God himself, or that God wills all to be saved by merit of the fact that he commands everybody to repent and believe in him. This last option is the only tenable option, since the previous two are irrational. This demonstrates the need to clarify our terminology. No sane Calvinist believes that God wills everybody to be saved in the same way that Arminians, etc., believe God wills everybody to be saved. Hence, we deny that God wills everybody to be saved. For Flowers and Walls to assert that we ought to believe God wills everybody to be saved merely asserts that which we dispute. Compatibilism is useless or irrelevant, and it still forces us to believe that God does not want all saved. This theological position is only problematic when judged according to the standard libertarian free will theology. Since we deny libertarian free will theology in the first place, we are not bothered by their objections.
b.) In the same way that God’s “will” had to be clarified, God’s “love” must be clarified also. There are two different senses in which God is said to love an individual. The first sense is God’s specific love for his covenant people, and the second sense is God’s general beneficence to the elect and reprobate alike by giving them sunshine and rain.
In the context of this first type of love, God only loves the elect because this love is identified with God’s intention to save them. Since God has only decreed the salvation of the elect, this proves that he loves the elect alone, and ipso facto hates the reprobate.
In the context of the second type of love, Jesus speaks about this love in Matthew 5:44-45,
“But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”
The connecting word “for” indicates that Jesus gives a reason for why we ought to love our enemies. We ought to love our enemies since God makes the sun rise on his enemies, and also gives them rain. To clarify further, we ought to love our enemies because God the Father loves his enemies. He shows his love for them by giving them rain and sunshine. In the same way, Christians must show love for our enemies through acts of kindness.
Given these distinctions, God both loves and hates the reprobate. God hates the reprobate by merit of the fact that he has predestined them to eternal Hell, but he loves them in the sense that he gave them rain and sunshine while they were alive. Christians are likewise commanded to love and hate our enemies. Psalm 26:5, 31:6, 139:21-22 say:
“I hate the assembly of evildoers, and I will not sit with the wicked.”
“I hate those who pay regard to worthless idols, but I trust in the Lord.”
“Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies.”
Christians are commanded to mirror the character of God by loving and hating our enemies. We love unbelievers through our outward acts of kindness towards them, but we hate their sinful actions and beliefs. Their sinful actions, thoughts, and beliefs cannot be separated from the unbeliever’s identity, and so we hate the unbeliever as a person. We ought to hate those who hate the Lord as Psalm 139 indicates.
Therefore, there are at least two different senses in which God and Christians can love. For Christians, one type of love involves external actions of general beneficence, and the other involves our stance in relation to another’s identity as defined by their actions and thoughts. For God, one type of love involves external actions of general beneficence, whereas the other type of love involves God’s intention to save an individual. For the latter definition of love, Calvinists by definition deny that God loves everybody. When any Calvinist says they believe God loves everybody, they either assert this in a non salvational sense, or else they believe that God simultaneously loves and does not love the reprobate, which is absurd.
When a free will theologian demands a Calvinist to tell them if they believe God loves everybody, there are at least two options: (1) The free will theologian uses the word “love” in relation to salvation, but the Calvinist will answer using “love” in relation to God’s general beneficence. What results is verbal confusion. (2) If the free will theologian and the Calvinist use the word “love” in the same sense, and if the Calvinist affirms that God loves everybody, this Calvinist is irrational.
Therefore, God does not love everybody, and neither does he will everybody to be saved. Theologians like John Piper and John MacArthur are either extremely confused, or applying secondary definitions to these words without telling anyone how they are defining them.
3. Affirm God Actively Causes All Things
To say that God passively determines anything is meaningless. It is self-contradictory. To say that God determines something is to say that he actively causes it and vice-versa. Berkhof had to appeal to mystery to support his claim that God permissively renders sinful actions certain, because it does not make sense. In opposition to libertarian free will, and in opposition to these Calvinist teachers, we ought to affirm that God is never passive in his control of events, but rather, is always active.
The only reason given by the Reformed tradition for why God cannot actively cause sin and evil is because this makes him the author of sin. The phrase “author of sin” is metaphorical and vague, so I will explicitly define author of sin as “God himself actively causes all evil”. Because this is unacceptable, yet God still ordains whatsoever comes to pass, the Reformed tradition has postulated that God must decree sin passively without actually actively causing it. So the question now is this, how can I affirm that God actively causes all things without making God the author of sin?
The answer is obvious: I don’t try. In fact, according to my definition above, I affirm that God is the author of sin. Just like the previous assumption, that free will is the necessary prerequisite of moral responsibility, believing that God cannot be the author of sin is an unwarranted and unbiblical claim. The Bible emphatically teaches that God causes all sin and evil.
John MacArthur is quoted as saying:
“Many Scriptures affirm that God is not the author of evil…Occasionally someone will quote Isaiah 45:7 (KJV) and claim it proves God made evil as a part of His creation: ‘I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.’
But the New American Standard Bible gives the sense of Isaiah 45:6-7 more clearly: ‘There is no one besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other, the One forming light and creating darkness, causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the Lord who does all these.’ In other words, God devises calamity as a judgment for the wicked. But in no sense is He the author of evil.”
I do not assert that “God made evil as a part of his creation”. That is a non sequitur, but I do affirm that God actively caused the Fall of Adam. Notice how MacArthur is not giving us the full story. He says that the NASB gives us the better sense of the Hebrew word “ra” when instead of being translated as “evil” in the KJV, the NASB translates it as “calamity”. He implies that the verse cannot be teaching that God creates moral evil, but only natural calamities like famines and earthquakes. But this is completely false. The word “ra” is used to speak about sin and moral evil throughout the Old Testament. Here are just a few of the verses that use “ra” in this moral sense:
“The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5)
“And when the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, the Lord said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth.” (Genesis 8:21)
“But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord put him to death.” (Genesis 38:7)
The Hebrew word “ra” is a catch-all term that can denote physical disaster or moral evil. To say that the NASB translates the word more accurately is an arbitrary judgement which ignores the fact that the word is commonly translated as sin, wickedness, and moral evil. Therefore, from this basis, God does in fact create, form, and determine sin. But even if you do not accept this argument, the very form of the verse itself indicates this: No matter what the issue may be, God is the one who accomplishes (asah) all of these things. Whether it is light or darkness, God causes these and everything in between. He plans it, determines it, and causes it. God accomplishes (asah) all of these things; in the same way Ecclesiastes 3:14 teaches that,
“whatever God does (asah) endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it…”
Therefore scripture teaches that God has eternally planned and determined whatever it is that comes to pass, actively causing it and bringing it about. This is the Biblical position.
Though God causes all sin and evil, this does not make God himself sinful and evil. One must begin with the assumption that God would be evil if he actively caused sin, but this assumption cannot ever be proven and is unbiblical. Once again, to be clear, even though God actively causes all sin, along with everything else, this does not make God himself evil, since God is not the agent performing the sin, but the one causing other agents to sin. God has never forbid himself from causing sin, and so he is not breaking any moral law that would cause him to be evil. On the contrary, God is the moral law, and is righteous by definition.
These premises necessarily entail an affirmation of equal ultimacy. R.C. Sproul describes this view disparagingly in his article “Double” Predestination. Equal ultimacy affirms that,
“There is a symmetry that exists between election and reprobation. God works in the same way and same manner with respect to the elect and to the reprobate. That is to say, from all eternity God decreed some to election and by divine initiative works faith in their hearts and brings them actively to salvation. By the same token, from all eternity God decrees some to sin and damnation (destinare ad peccatum) and actively intervenes to work sin in their lives, bringing them to damnation by divine initiative.”
Another way of describing the doctrine is in Berkhof’s terms, that God’s working of sin into the lives of all people is not merely a passive decree, but efficient. All of this is just another way of saying that God actively (NOT passively) causes his elect and reprobate to sin. God redeems the elect from the sin he actively causes them to commit, and God condemns the reprobate for the sin he actively causes them to commit, as Sproul comments again:
“This…positive-positive predestination clearly makes God the author of sin who punishes a person for doing what God monergistically and irresistibly coerces man to do.”
Whereas Sproul has a serious qualm about the doctrine, I assert that this is what scripture teaches, and any other reading of Romans 9 is erroneous and nonsensical. God does not passively create vessels of wrath or passively fit them for destruction. There are countless places in scripture that teach God actively causes people to sin. He hardens hearts to make people believe lies (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12), he causes rulers of nations to invade other nations in a wicked manner (2 Kings 19:25), and he actively caused the Pharisees to have murderous thoughts leading to Christ’s death (John 11:51, Acts 4:27-28). I will not provide an exhaustive list of these verses since I have written enough already, but these are a sample of the verses that prove my position.
To recap, the only reason compatibilism exists is to create an equivocal notion of free will to justify human responsibility. However, not only does this not solve the problem, but the problem is itself false. Free will is not necessary for moral responsibility to God, therefore free will can be rejected with no harmful repercussions to our theology. This faux free will that compatibilism provides us with is also necessary to prevent God from being the author of sin. God ordains whatsoever comes to pass, yet he passively ordains sin so as to prevent him from being the author or cause of it. However, there is no problem or contradiction with saying God actively causes sin. In fact, scripture explicitly teaches it in several places like in Isaiah 45:7. God actively causes evil, but this does not make God evil, since God has never commanded himself to not cause evil and then break this law that he commands himself. As for God’s universal love and will for all to be saved, this is either a verbal miscommunication, or is an example of inconsistency on the part of the individual Calvinist.
This is my answer to Leighton Flowers, to all Calvinists everywhere, and to all who believe the name of Christ. Some may argue that this reformulation is to drastic to still be called “Calvinism”. If this is the case, then I gladly accept the implications. If “Calvinism” is necessarily related to compatibilism and attempting to solve pseudo problems, then I deny Calvinism in favor of my reformulations and clarifications. To affirm libertarian free will is to believe in an incompetent and fickle god, whereas to believe in compatibilism as formulated by the Reformed tradition is either superfluous or internally incoherent. This position that I have presented is the only consistent and Biblical position. Glory to God alone. Amen.