This is a response to an individual who responded to my post More Questions for Arminians. I will provide my original question in bold, the response to my question in italics, and my response to his response in regular text. Hopefully there are limited typos.
1. Why do Arminians constantly object to the Calvinist conception of determinative sovereignty, saying that God would be a moral monster (as Roger Olson says) for planning and causing evil events, when Arminians also believe God has the ability to stop evil events and yet doesn’t stop them? Since both groups believe God permits evils and atrocities, aren’t Arminians objecting to their own god as well? Isn’t the only difference between Calvinism and Arminianism on this point is that the Arminian god has no purpose or greater plan for evil, while the God of Calvinism does have purpose for evil?
A. “I do believe that God has the ability to stop evil events. God had to ability and right to bring death upon Adam and Eve after eating of the forbidden tree, yet he chose to let them live even though great acts of evil would follow. I believe that he did this because he loved mankind more than he hated evil. The same concept stands today. Jesus can return and bring judgement and end all suffering, but God is being patient with the world, not willing that any should parish. (A better question would be: “Why doesn’t God care more about the temporal circumstances of believers than the eternal state of the unbeliever?” But I think the answer to such a question is obvious.)”
If God loves all of mankind more, than how come he allowed Adam and Eve to live, who then in turn produced the rest of mankind, most of whom will not be saved and go to Hell? God loved humanity so much that he would make it so that many will perish? It makes no sense to say that God wants none to perish, therefore that is why he allowed the Fall to take place and for Adam and Eve to live: to produce billions of other people, many who will not be saved. This does not answer the question. If God knew many would perish, then why did he create, ensuring that many will perish? Was God ignorant? Do you think God possesses cognitive dissonance when simultaneously he wants none to perish, yet he gives Adam a law knowing Adam will disobey, which will then plunge humanity into sin, death, and corruption? Also, does God love the individual in Hell more than he hates evil? Because Hell is the punishment of evil, so if your hypothesis was true, then God would save everybody and wouldn’t punish sin then, right? Well, only if you were consistent.
All of this ignores my question. My question was, how are Arminians or other free will theists justified in their objection to the determinism of Calvinism when the god of Arminianism eternally and passively knows what will happen, yet has no purpose for it, and does nothing to prevent it? Nothing in this answer proves that the free will theist objection against the God of Calvinism (and the Bible) holds any weight, since this same objection applies to the free will god. Since “God has the ability to stop evil events,” then why didn’t he stop the Fall? Why doesn’t he stop billions from going to Hell? If he wants all saved, and has the ability to save all, and he loves everyone so much, why doesn’t he do so? Obviously, even in your theology, God chooses not to save everybody, but for absolutely no reason. Why is that? How can you account for this? Your response is a non sequitur.
2. If events happen contrary to God’s will of decree, what higher power causes these events?
A. “Haha, trick question! No higher power exists. But a lower power… sure. I would like to actually answer this question, but I have no idea what you mean by “God’s will of decree.” Is it like a commandment? God said thou shalt not murder. People do murder. So people must be more powerful than God?”
What I meant by “God’s will of decree” is God’s will concerning events that he intends to come to pass. So if God intends one thing to happen, and it does not happen, what is this other power that nullifies God’s will? You say that this is a trick question, but it is actually a leading question. Why I phrased it this way is because God is the highest power in the universe. However, when God’s will is nullified, this would then necessitate that there is a power which is higher than God which nullified God’s will. If a lower power nullifies God’s will, this is absurd, because this lower power would not actually be a lower power, but a higher power than God, since it overpowers God. The only remaining option that I see is that God purposefully nullifies his own will by allowing or causing things to happen which he does not want to happen. However, this is likewise absurd, since this would mean that God wants what he does not want, and does not want what he wants, which is a contradiction. I would like for you to explain how this analysis is incorrect, or otherwise, what your theology explains upon this point.
As for your comments for whether or not this will that I spoke of refers to commands, no. That is what is called, or at least what I call, God’s will of command. God’s will of decree is what he predestines and determines; God’s will of command is his law and what he commands and morally requires of us. Often God predestines something contrary to his commands, in the case where he predestines sin. In the case of God predestining sin, God is not contradicting his own will, but that there is a distinction between what God morally requires of us, and what God determines to take place.
“Or perhaps are you referring to the Reformist’s made up “secret decree of God.” In that case I would simply deny the existence of such a micromanaging decree. God is sovereign over, not controlling behind. Huge difference.”
I do not know what you mean by secret decree; I do not like that terminology since people like you tend to misunderstand it and then misrepresent it. I will need you to define what you mean by this phrase before I object to you denying it. As for the “huge difference,” you have yet to explain the difference between your “over” and “behind” wording. If by sovereign you do not mean that God controls everything, then why type of sovereignty is this? Now that I have defined my terms, define your terms as well, and also respond to my question.
3. Since classical Arminianism believes in original sin and the corruption of human nature so that we can neither do nor will to do any good apart from God, how do we have free will?
A. “I’m not a “classical Arminian” I try my best to be a Christian. I do not hold the doctrine of total depravity.”
If you are not an Arminian and if you reject that human nature is such that we can neither do nor will to do any good apart from God, then this question does not apply to you. And your faux pious answer that you just “try my best to be a Christian” either demonstrates your dishonesty, or that you are new to the faith. “Christian” has become a word that means literally everything and anything, so, by near necessity, there are new labels that people give to themselves so that we can know what they believe without having to guess. “Wesleyan,” “Calvinism,” “Arminianism,” or whatever the label may be, are some of these labels. Saying that you reject these labels upon the basis that you do not follow men, but God, either proves that you are either too new to the faith to know how you specifically define your theology, or it proves that you most likely do not have the intellectual capacity to accomplish this, or it means that you have been extremely ignorant of theology for a long time.
“I see no reason why an ungodly man would be unable to make even one morally good decision.”
Because they are unregenerate and without faith, and without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). Also, those in the flesh, without the Spirit, cannot obey God (Romans 8:7-8). So that’s why. Also the flesh profits nothing.
“And I find it helpful to understand free will as “separate will,” not that we choose this or that, that we choose independent of God.”
So we chose independent of God? I am unclear about what this “separate will” is because you do not define your terms. Do we always make choices independent of God? What about the places in scripture that talk about God controlling people’s wills and actions?
4. Why did God only choose Israel and not the rest of the world to be his people? (There are obvious exceptions like Ruth and Rahab, but I mean generally speaking). Was God too incompetent to do so? Or did God only wish to make Israel his people? If God only desired to make only Israel his people before the New Covenant, then why do you believe that God tries and fails to save everyone?
A. “God choose Israel to show himself to the other nations of the world. It is through Israel that the law was given. Thus Israel was chosen by God and for God, but this does not mean that other nations were excluded from knowing God. Take Nineveh for example. All people from all nations have always been free to observe and worship God.”
No one was saying that Gentiles cannot be saved under the old covenant. This is why I referenced Ruth and Rahab, so your Nineveh comment is merely repeating what I already said. The question was why did God only choose Israel? You say that this was show himself to other nations of the world. Why didn’t God reveal himself to other nations in the world by giving them revelation? Or by saving them? Jesus said “for salvation is of the Jews,” which means that God gave them the law, and them the promises, and to them he gave the covenant, and from them came to messiah, and not to any other nation did he do this. Why? If God wants all saved, why did God only reveal himself in this way to Israel and not to all other nations? Eventually God saves people from all nations, but why did he specifically choose Israel if he equally loves everyone else? Arminianism cannot answer this.
5. If God knows the future by looking out to see what will happen irrespective of his will, doesn’t this mean that God’s knowledge is contingent upon something other than himself? And therefore not all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Christ (Colossians 2:3)? How is it possible for their to be knowledge external to God?
A. “God’s knowledge of man is absolutely contingent upon man, to say anything otherwise would be a logical fallacy.”
You seriously think that God’s knowledge of his own creation is contingent upon creation? How is God’s knowledge contingent upon creation when creation didn’t even exist before God creating it? You are stupid enough to think that God’s knowledge depends upon an object that does not exist before God creates it? Please explain to us how God’s knowledge depends upon things that do not yet exist!
“The fact that a deed or person exists is wholly dependent on the actual existence of the deed or person.”
The deed or person is dependent upon God’s determining of the existence of that thing or purpose. If knowledge of a thing is contingent upon the thing, then God cannot know the future since it does not yet exist, which would make you are heretic.
“I could say, “unicorns are real,” but I would be incorrect.”
“God could not say “unicorns are real,” because God cannot lie.”
“Thus, because I exist God can know that I exist,”
“Thus” is a concluding word, meaning that this sentence should be logically connected to the previous sentences. To say that God cannot lie and then to conclude that God’s knowledge is contingent is completely disconnected. I could say I fart and therefore earthquakes happen in Japan, but there would be no logical connection. Likewise, this concluding assertion does not follow anything that you said previously.
For God to say that something exists or does not exist has nothing to do with whether or not his knowledge in contingent; if anything, this would only limit what God could declaratively say, not what he knows. However, everything that God says is true by definition, so God’s statements do not depend on an external criterion of truth, but since God is the one that defines reality in the first place; to say that what God says is true and cannot be false is tautological. God speaking truth is a part of what it means to be God. Unicorns, if indeed they do not exist, do not exist because God wants it that way. If God said unicorns exist, it would be true by definition. They do or do not exist depending on God’s will; God’s will and knowledge is not based upon superfluous and passive external events.
“and because God exists outside of time he always knew that I would exist.”
This actually works against your confused contention since if God is outside of time, and if God eternally knew all things, then his knowledge could not be dependent upon those things which do not yet exist. God’s knowledge is based upon himself, and it is his knowledge of his own intentions and eternal decree of predestination that he knows all things. God is not dependent on creation; creation is dependent on God. You have yet to address how your false teaching jives with Colossians 2:3.
“But do not fool yourself into thinking that I stem out of God’s knowledge of me. That is simply false cause.”
What does “stem out of” mean? The knowledge God has of you is based upon himself. God knows you through his own intentions and act of creation. No one is arguing that God’s mere knowledge is what spontaneously creates; the intention of God must be connected with the exemplars that he has of things in his mind. Aquinas had different categories for God’s knowledge. One is the knowledge of inoperables, virtually practical knowledge, actually practical knowledge, and I think one other category which I forget. Inoperables, if I am not mistaken, are the things which cannot be created due to its irrational or self contradictory nature. God also has virtually practical knowledge, which is his infinite knowledge of possible objects, or objects which are not self-contradictory, which he chooses not to create. And finally, actually practical knowledge is God’s knowledge of things that he actually chooses to create. This last category explains that God combines his knowledge with his intention and will. God’s knowledge never spontaneously creates anything due to itself, but only when it is combined with his will. This is why divine exemplars are defined in the following way: “That in reference to which something is made, according to the intention of the agent, who predetermines the end for itself.”
For more on this, read Aquinas on the Divine Ideas as Exemplar Causes by Gregory Doolan.
“Because I exist in God’s universe I still depend upon the sustaining power of God to exist. If I did not exist he could only know me as a possibility.”
God knows things as possibilities when he chooses to not create these possible things. The category of whether or not something remains possible is based upon God’s will, not some external event out of God’s control. Nothing of what you said makes God’s knowledge contingent. God’s knowledge of possibilities does not conclude with God’s knowledge being dependent on creation.
“Because I exist I can say with confidence that there has never been a time that God did not know the fact. Thus God does not learn, for nothing has been created apart from God.”
You have demonstrated that you do not know what you are rambling about, since this conclusion has nothing to do with proving how God’s knowledge is contingent, or what Colossians 2:3 means for that matter. You have not touched my question this entire time. To say that God’s knowledge is contingent is to make God not God. If God’s knowledge depends on creation, then God never knew you would exist until your conception. This is open theism and heresy.
6. What does the Lamb’s Book of Life metaphor mean in an Arminian context in light of Revelation 13:8?
A. “The book of life is a book that contains the names of everyone who, on the day of judgement, will be saved by the blood of Christ Jesus. This book can be considered literal and eternal in that it can contain the names of all believers before time even began. This does not mean that the believer is saved because his name is in some book,”
No one was arguing that believers are saved because their names are in the book, but that their names are in the book because God eternally predestined those individuals to be saved, and the book is a metaphor for election.
“but rather the book acts as a contract, “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.” Matt 10:32.”
A contract? You have a bad habit of not defining words. A contract in what way? That we put in some effort in order to be saved? So for those whose names are not written, they aren’t a part of the contract then are they? Why aren’t they? Isn’t it because God didn’t write their name in the book? But if they are not a part of the contract, then by definition this means that they are not saved then, so the Lamb’s Book of Life has to do with salvation then, right? Why then this vacuous distinction between being engaged in a contract and salvation? How does this explanation prove that election is not true? Why were some written in the book before the foundation of the world and others not? If I do not know what you are talking about then you cannot pride yourself in thinking that this is a response.
Also, you have to explain your quotation. I could quote you any random Bible verse and then claim that you are somehow wrong, but unless I explain how the verse relates to my point, then my quotation would be useless. Indeed, your quotation is useless because you do not explain what you mean by “contract,” or how Matthew 10:32 relates to this undefined contract in the first place.
“It would be a mistake to build a theology around man’s limited ability to understand cause and effect within the confines of time, but rather with God the effect can occur before the cause.”
Cause and effect of what? Of a contract? Of faith? Of election? Of salvation? What are you blathering about?
“To say that “I became a believer because God had always known that I would become a believer,” does not do justice to God’s eternal state of existence.”
No one is making that claim. Every sentence that you produce is a non sequitur. I claim that people become believers according to the eternal purpose of God and his foreordained plan to glorify himself, and Revelation 13:8 is one of the verses that proves God’s eternal purpose of election, since the names of those who are to be saved were written in the metaphorical book before all time. And furthermore, your own account makes no sense. How is saying that God always knew the ones who are to be saved “not do justice” to God’s eternity? If God is eternal then his knowledge is eternal, and therefore God has always known the ones to be saved. What’s the problem with that? There is not problem with that, but even if there were a problem, it is still irrelevant. You are confused both because your comments have nothing to do with my question, and because your comments are incorrect when scrutinized apart from their irrelevancy.
7. What is superior about believing God sends people to Hell contrary to his will and for no ultimate reason, compared to believing that God has a purpose for this condemnation?
A. “Nothing. But no Arminian believes that God sends people to Hell “for no ultimate reason.” They are damned because they refused to believe.”
Alrighty then. This merely extends the question. Why did God eternally purpose to create individuals whom he knows will not believe, and then send them to Hell for their unbelief, for no ultimate purpose? The question still stands. You have to answer why God eternally purposed to create individuals who would never place faith in Christ.
“Why should the groom be wed to the one who rejected his proposal?”
Hence the question, why did God create individuals whom he knows will reject him and spend eternity in Hell? What purpose did God have in this?
“But certainly the groom did desire to be wed, for he sincerely did make the proposal.”
Why did God create individuals whom he eternally knows will reject his proposal? Was he not in control? Did God not mean to? What is the purpose for creating these people who reject him? Nothing that you say addresses this question.
“My question for you is “How can the reprobate be blamed for rejecting the proposal (gospel) if the proposal (gospel) was insincere?””
You would have to define insincere. The Gospel sincerely says that for all who place their faith in Christ, they will be saved.
The reprobate are accountable because God holds them accountable. Even after you define what you mean by “insincere,” you would have to prove that God cannot condemn people unless he gives them a sincere offer of salvation, which of course, you can never prove. Here’s a syllogism to make it easier for you:
Premise 1: God cannot punish people for their sins unless he sincerely offers them salvation, or unless they have the real possibility of believing the Gospel.
Premise 2: According to Calvinism, there is no real possibility for the reprobate to be saved.
Conclusion: There is a problem with Calvinist theology.
I reject premise one. You can never prove premise one. I need not answer the question until you establish premise one. You fabricated the problem according to your own biases. God can hold individuals accountable because he calls us to account. God’s actions themselves is his own justification of his actions.
8. Does God intend to create people born with physical disabilities and diseases, or is this also an accident contrary to his will?
A. “Defects should never be attributed to God,”
Blindness and deafness are defects which God creates: “Then the Lord said to him, ‘Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?’” (Exodus 4:11), so you are dead wrong.
“but as a result of creation being affected by sin.”
God was the one to curse creation in the first place, so either way, the curse leads back to God causing it to happen. For example, God is the one who created pain in child birth (Genesis 3:16).
“The word accident cannot be attributed to the uniqueness of an individual. We say that God knits together in the womb, but it would be a mistake to ignore the processes that occur naturally”
I mean accident in the sense that God does not actual mean to create people the way that he creates them, not that the existence of the person in general is an accident. This is contradictory. Is the formation of a child produced through natural processes apart from God? Or is it God who knits the child in the womb as scripture says? It’s obviously the latter, so these natural processes that you refer to do not exist. If by natural processes you mean what occurs under God’s control, then there is no distinction between these two, and it is still God who purposes and creates individuals who are handicapped.
To say that God is the one who forms the child in the womb is equivalent to saying that it is not done through natural processes, but according to God’s direct control. To affirm both is contradictory, and thus, insane.
“just as it would be a mistake to observe the natural processes and ignore the God who designed the natural processes”
Prove that natural processes exist, or that there is a causal principle external to God. Natural processes, so-called, do not exist theologically, since God is the only existing causal agent.
“We observe that God is the designer of these processes”
Therefore God has so designed the world after the Fall to produce the deaf and blind, correct?
“and recognize him for the life that we all have, while we recognize that mankind is responsible for the imperfections.”
I fear that here you are equivocating the imperfection of the body to moral imperfection. If this is the case, then once again, your comment is irrelevant.
All you have done is contradict yourself by talking about natural processes. Also, you have rejected Exodus 4:11 by stating that physical defects ought not to be attributed to God’s purpose and causation. Scripture says it is God who does it. Same thing with John 9. The blind man was blind according to God’s purpose in order for God to show his glory in the healing of that man.
9. Why does God ever reveal his wrath against anybody (like in Exodus against the Egyptians) when he is trying to save them?
A. “Who says that God was trying to save the Egyptians?”
Everyone who claims that God wants all to be saved. So all Arminians claim that God wanted and tried to save the Egyptians.
“For that matter why stop at the Egyptians? Just look at the flood. Lots of wrath there”
Exactly. Proves my point.
10. Why do Arminians complain that Calvinists trivialize prayer, reasoning that if everything is already determined it is useless to pray, when Arminians believe in God’s exhaustive foreknowledge, and therefore God has eternally known what you are going to pray also? Since in both cases God has eternally known your prayer and what is going to happen, do not Arminians face the same problem they incorrectly perceive Calvinists have?
A. “In my understanding of Calvinism, God would not answer a prayer that was never prayed.”
“Wouldn’t God sovereignly make a person pray and then respond?”
Yes? So… Want to answer my question? It seems you do not answer my question because you haven’t defined yourself as an Arminian.
“So I think we can just chalk this one up to people unwilling to try to understand Calvinism.”
Well then this question does not apply to you.
11. What did God mean when he said “And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord” (Exodus 14:4)? Doesn’t this mean that God has purposely killed people to glorify himself, and he accomplishes this by controlling their wills? Also, how does the death of Pharaoh glorify God when Arminians believe God tried and failed to save him?
A. “If this is the official view of the Arminian, then the Arminian is wrong.”
“However just because God acted this way with Pharaoh, does not necessitate that God should act this way with unbelievers.”
What…? Why do you constantly say things that are irrelevant? God treats everybody the way that he wants to treat them. He makes his elect into believers and he rejects the reprobate.
“If you are referring to Romans, you should observe that Pharaoh is being used as an example of how God is not required to universally distribute grace to all men.”
Yeah I know. That’s Calvinism.
12. Since Arminians believe God does not foreordain anyone to condemnation, who is the god that ordains the disobedience and condemnation of unbelievers like in 1 Peter 2:8?
A. “Please try to understand me on this. It is not as though the individuals of the elect are faceless or unknown.”
Arminianism says this, so this does not apply to you.
“It is the method of how God chooses these individuals that are drawn into question. The Calvinist looks beyond the Cross of Christ to “God’s secret decree,” while I look to the Cross of Christ and Christ alone.”
I do not prefer this terminology of secret decree since it is the source of endless ridicule and nonsense from the people who would oppose it. God’s choice is based upon his will, his purpose of election. How is God’s choice of his elect based upon the cross, when the cross is the method of saving the individuals he chose to save in the first place? God first chose his sheep, and then Jesus accomplished salvation for his sheep.
“We can imagine God looking at the results of Christ’s sacrifice and seeing the fruits of that sacrifice, those individuals who would believe.”
So God passively sees the fruit of the cross? So it was possible that it may not have accomplished anything? God does not passively look upon things. God knows things through his own eternal determination of them. God does not take counsel with things external to him, but rather he works everything according to the counsel of his own will. The fruits of the cross is according to God’s eternal purpose. He is the one who accomplished the fruits of the atonement in the first place.
“Thus God’s choice is wholly summed up in his decision to send his only begotten son. Without this choice no man would have the option to believe and be saved.”
This does not answer the question of whether or not God chose some for salvation and not others. It’s as if I mention apples and then in all of your responses you talk about oranges. The issue is not whether or not the cross was necessary, but my question has to do with election and the “chosen ones.” If God never chose anyone in particular in Arminianism, then these verses which mention chosen ones are meaningless. If you do not want to talk about that, then do not waste your time by responding.
“I would like to ask the Calvinist, “Does God make a choice for each and every individual?””
You seriously need to take a critical thinking class at your local community college. I was talking about God’s chosen ones which refer to God’s choice in election, and now you are talking about people’s individual choices for some reason. I can’t respond to you when you have no capacity for logical thought.
“(That’s a lot of choices) “From what set of individuals does God choose?””
The entire set…
“(You must realize that Christianity has changed the world. Put simply no man exists that would have existed if history had not been altered by Christianity.)”
I cannot respond to you when your comments have nothing to do with my question, nor with one another.
“God could not have chosen individuals out of a Christ-less reality, because they no longer exist.”
Good thing no one is talking about a Christ-less reality then. I cannot respond to you when your comments have nothing to do with my question, nor with one another.
14. What do Arminians think being crucified with Christ means? Since predestination is conditional, and since true believers can truly fall away from their salvation and be restored back again, doesn’t this mean that people can be crucified with Christ, uncrucified, crucified, and uncrucified again? Or can those in Hell truthfully say that even they have been crucified with Christ? If those in Hell are crucified with Christ, then how is being crucified with Christ significant to believers in any way?
A. “Salvation is conditional upon surrendering one’s life”
Nope. If salvation is contingent on something we do then it is no longer grace. Surrendering our life to Jesus is the outworking of God’s work of salvation within an individual.
“It is like joining the military and obtaining free tuition. Free tuition for college is “part of the deal” for those who enlist in the military. Not everyone in the military gets an honorable discharge, which is required to utilize the G.I. Bill to pay for school. But honestly it is not hard to get an honorable discharge. For those who do not receive an honorable discharge, it is because they lived without regard to themselves being government property. So it can be said that those who obtained an honorable discharge actually meant the oath that they swore when they enlisted.”
I can’t respond to you when you have no capacity for logical thought or the ability to create valid or relevant analogies.
“A Christian must die to himself, pick up their cross and follow Christ. This is not difficult for the true Christian. Because the true Christian has the Holy Spirit to guide and give him strength. Thus salvation is assured once the condition of crucifying one’s self has been met. (How can someone return to their old way of life, if their old way of life is dead?)”
Look, if you weren’t going to respond to the question then why did you write so much? My question concerns those who believe that falling away from salvation is possible.
15. Sin God predestines evil (Acts 4:28), what do Arminians have to say for themselves? If they deny that the Bible says that God predestines sin and evil, what does Acts 4:28 mean? What about Exodus 4:21? John 12:39-40? Etc.
A. “God predestined that Christ would be sacrificed. Christ being sacrificed is not a sin. Pontius Pilate, Herod, Jews, and Gentiles came together against Christ (to crucify him) to do what God had predestined should happen, (that is that Christ would be sacrificed.)”
Christ being sacrificed is not a sin, but people murdering Jesus through the testimony of false trials and false witnesses is sin. God predestined the means and events leading to Christ’s crucifixion, which includes murder. Therefore, God predestines sin.
“It seems that this is the best argument that the Calvinist has to offer that God has sovereignly decreed every sin.”
This isn’t an argument, it is a claim, and it is meaningless to call it “best.”
“That he had “sovereignly decreed” the necessary sin of killing Jesus.”
That’s what Acts 4:28 claims. You have yet to address the verse.
“While if we look at Acts 2:23, we will see that Christ was handed over by the predetermined plan AND foreknowledge.”
Which likewise proves that God predestines sin. God foreknows according to what he predetermines.
“Throughout the gospels we see occasions where men wanted to kill Jesus. Jesus had hardly been born when Herod ordered the slaughter of Bethlehem’s infants. It is ludicrous to think that God had to somehow sway these godless men away from their natural inclinations, as though they loved Jesus or something.”
I can’t respond to you when you have no capacity for logical thought. God doesn’t passively allow things to happen. These men are the way that they are because God made them that way. John 11 shows that God gave Caiaphas the inclination and idea to murder Jesus. These are not relevant responses to the texts that I have provided.
“Just because God had always known that Christ would die as he would, does not necessitate that God had to be the cause of anyone’s action beyond the actions of Christ himself.”
That’s irrelevant since Acts 4:28 and Exodus 4:21 and John 12:39-40 says that God predestines and controls sin. You have responded to none of these. If you are going to take the time to respond to these, try to make sense and actually address all parts of the question please?
16. Who is the god that ordains people to condemnation (Jude 4) contrary to God’s will?
A. “Jude rightfully views such evil men as individuals who will be damned on Judgment Day. This does not mean that these men were created by God to be damned, but rather that believers should not treat such men as fellow believers or as unbelievers who might one day believe.”
So these men were not “designated for this condemnation” as the verse states?
“(I will concede that the grammar does portray a Calvinistic view, but we must look beyond grammar to what the Spirit wishes to tell us.)”
The Spirit is the one who inspired the grammar and the meaning, so to draw a dichotomy between these two is insane. I could also say this about any verse that I want. You’re just giving an excuse to reject the verse. How do we know when to reject scriptural grammar? How do we know when the Spirit wishes to contradict the grammar that he inspired? How stupid.
“It is not as though Jude is warning against men who are causing trouble and wishes to throw in a radical way of thinking. Jude is issuing an insult, not a revelation.”
What is the “radical way of thinking” that you are talking about and why is it radical? The letter of Jude is not revelation? The claims that it makes are not revelatory? It seems as if you are advocating that we reject Jude. Verse 4 is a proposition, not an insult. He is describing the nature of apostates, and the reason for their apostasy is because it has been ordained by God.
“‘They are so evil that they have long been designated for judgement,” not “they have long been designated for judgement and this is the reason why they are so evil.'”
First of all, can you provide us with a reason to believe this? You cannot because Romans 9:11-13, for example, contradicts it. Secondly, the reason for their evil is not the issue. The issue is that they are designated for condemnation, which proves reprobation, which disproves Arminianism. That was the point.
17. Since all of humanity is under condemnation due to Adam’s transgression, does this not prove that people do not need free will in order to be accountable to God and condemned? Since people do not free will in order to be held accountable and condemned, given that we are under condemnation do to Adam’s transgression, why do Arminians so often object that the Calvinist system of predestination is unjust because people are condemned for actions they could not avoid? Do not Arminians face the same perceived free will-accountability problem that Calvinists face?
A. “Free will isn’t simply “this or that,” it is also separate. God chooses this, but man chooses that. It is because man can choose something other than good that we can recognize it as free, and it is because man does choose in opposition to God that he is condemned.”
People choose what is morally wrong because they cannot do otherwise. Those in the flesh cannot do good (Romans 8:8), and furthermore it is God who controls our actions. Saying that we choose evil has nothing to do with freedom. We choose things in opposition to God’s law because we cannot do anything else until God causes us to do good.
“My objection isn’t that God is not just, but that justice has been rendered void of all meaning.”
In what context? What are you talking about?
“Within Calvinistic judgement God is only rewarding those whom He had done good things with and punishing those whom He had done bad things with.”
“Why should I esteem my plow, but annihilate my sword? They both serve my purpose well.”
Explain to me what the analogy means; I do not possess superpowers to automatically understand undefined metaphors.
“If you see God as using man to somehow purge evil desires within himself”
Within whose self? What are you talking about? What does any of this have to do with my question?
“then judgement might make sense. So I see Calvinism as either nonsensical or straight up heresy.”
Which part is heretical? How does this answer my question? What are you talking about?
18. Why do Arminians often assume that words in the Bible like “choice,” “willing,” and “voluntary” imply free will?
A. “This is because free will is a self-evident mechanism of man.”
I could just as easily say determinism is self-evident. Saying something is self-evident is an excuse to cover up the fact that you have no real reason for believing it, certainly no Biblical reason. The Bible contradicts it, so clearly it is not self-evident. However, you have demonstrated that people assume free will, not that these words that I listed above (choice, willing, etc.) imply it. You take a confused presupposition that is supposedly self-evident, which it clearly is not, and then superimpose it on the Bible. Furthermore, calling it a “mechanism” is oxymoronic, since mechanisms are deterministic.
“When a child steals a toy you do not rebuke God”
God controlling the actions of a child who steals a toy is completely disconnected from the idea of rebuking God. God was not the one stealing, the child was the one stealing, and God was the one controlling the child. God is just for all his actions, and to argue that we wouldn’t rebuke God, therefore free will exists, assumes that God is somehow morally culpable for the actions committed by the people whom he controls, which has yet to be demonstrated by you. Once again, this sentence is a non sequitur, and your answers have nothing to do with my question.
“but the child, because everyone operates under the knowledge that the choice originated from the child’s will.”
I do not operate under that assumption so speak for yourself. You are a megalomaniac to think that you speak for all of humanity. You have no authority to take it upon yourself to know what assumptions everyone operates under. God was the cause of Caiaphas’ idea to murder Jesus in John 11, and God was the cause of Cyrus’ decree to let the people of Israel go back to Jerusalem. God is the cause of all our actions and ideas. If this was not the case, then there would be a causal principle external to God which rivals God, which would result in deism. If you say that all external causal principles are under God’s control, then God causes and controls these external causes, which would make them no longer external causes. We do not have power in ourselves; it’s not in man who walks to direct his steps, and likewise it is not in man who thinks to direct our actions; the way of man is not in himself. Furthermore, appealing to popular belief is fallacious when establishing biblical doctrines.
19. Since Arminians belief God has exhaustive foreknowledge, in light of the fact that God already knows every single individual who will be saved or condemned, don’t Arminians think open theism is the better option? Since Arminians wish to wholly reject anything resembling reprobation, believing that it makes God a moral monster, why cling to a theology that teaches God knowingly creates people who will not be saved? What meaningful difference is there between Calvinism and Arminianism on this point? Again, don’t Arminians face the exact same issues and challenges that they pose to Calvinists?
A. “I do not create the god I find the better option. As for the reprobate… God has done everything short of dy… (no wait… he did die) Well… I don’t know what excuse the reprobate are going to have on judgement day.”
I do not know what you are getting at.
“But as for the Calvinist’s view of the reprobate, they will recognize that they deserve damnation only if they see their disobedience as originating from themselves.”
This is completely incorrect. God causes them to be disobedient by merit of the fact that it is God who creates and fits the vessels of wrath to prepare them for destruction. So no, Calvinists do not recognize this, only the confused ones.
“(We will all be ok, so long as none of you Calvinist lean over and clue them in to “the secret decree.”)”
You have yet to define this; you’re not quoting anything that I have said when you use these quotation marks; who is the “we” here? Clue who in? How is cluing the people in about secret decrees relevant to my question or anything that you have said previously? Honestly, all I see is a mess of disconnected sentences from you.
20. Was Job wrong when he confessed “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2)? If he was not wrong, then why does God purposely thwart his own purposes? If Job was wrong in this confession, what justification do you have to support that?
A. “No. God purposely thwarts his own purposes?”
Arminians believe God tries and fails to do things, so if you believe that God succeeds in fulfilling all of his purposes (except it appears that you do not believe God is totally successful in accomplishing his purposes, since you believe in free will and that we can freely choose things that are contrary to his intentions for history), then this does not apply to you.