Friday, August 26, 2011

This Week in Calvinism - August 26, 2011

  • If, according to Calvinism, God decrees that sin exist, then that makes God culpable for sin. So says the Arminian. But even according to Arminianism, God created a world with all the conditions in place for sin to exist, and he did so knowing full well that sin would enter into the world and corrupt his creation. How does that view make God less responsible? And how is sin that serves no ultimate purpose somehow better?

  • Dr. Michael Horton on the question: who saves whom?

  • Reformed and Charismatic? Dr. Horton is convinced that "non-cessationism is neither exegetically sound nor historically compatible with Reformed theology."

  • James White discusses the dark side of anti-Calvinism.

  • Why is Calvinism often so joyless?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Rebekah Reinagel begins by quoting a calvinist paraphrasing 1 Samuel 2:25...yet she never dares to actually address that scripture.

If one person sins against another, God may mediate for the offender; but if anyone sins against the LORD, who will intercede for them?” His sons, however, did not listen to their father’s rebuke, for it was the LORD’s will to put them to death.

That she brings it up in the first place yet can't address it should tell you all you need to know...

You're right, though. If a man leaves his fence open and his rottweiler harms a child, the consistent arminian would excuse such negligence on the grounds that he didn't "cause" the harm but only "allowed" it.

The arminians are welcome to attempt to hold God culpable for what He has ordained...for doing "as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth." At that point, though, I admit that I find it difficult to consider them true christians as they openly and fecklessly claim the right to stand in judgment of the God of the bible.

At some point it goes a little too far. If Rebekah defiantly claims that God would be evil for intending that Joseph be sold into slavery or for sending the Assyrians to trample down women and children in the streets (Isa10), it's hard to see that there is any common ground left...

-Charles

Lee Shelton said...

I'm just glad Arminians aren't always consistent with their theology.

Skarlet said...

Hey Charles, I just wanted to respond briefly to a few of your thoughts, here.

I was actually unaware that I brought up 1 Samuel 2:25. Another Calvinist wrote that the statement wasn't a fair representation of their position (let alone being a representation of Scripture). The original calvinist quoted was also not referring to 1 Samuel 2:25. However, I am more than happy to “address” that verse. Every verse is so awesome, being God-breathed, and is full of truth and insight.

1 Samuel 2:25 “'If one man sins against another, God will judge him. But if a man sins against the LORD, who will intercede for him?' Nevertheless they did not heed the voice of their father, because the LORD desired to kill them.”

It seems pretty clear that God wanted these guys dead. Why? For no reason? He wanted them dead for no reason and therefore they didn't listen to their father? Clearly not, for we know that God is just and not arbitrary. God desired to kill them for a just reason... their past sin. The wages of sin is death. They sinned, and God desired their death, and therefore closed their ears in this case. Do not be deceived. God is *not* mocked. Whatever a man sows, God will also make him reap.

You wrote that “If a man leaves his fence open and his rottweiler harms a child, the consistent Arminian would excuse such negligence on the grounds that he didn't 'cause' the harm but only 'allowed' it.”

I would disagree with that, and I would also add a few points here.
First of all, I would disagree because although the man did not harm the child directly, he did CHOOSE to leave the fence open, and that choice was a sinful choice, given the knowledge that he had and the love that he is supposed to be having for his neighbor. As an animal owner (you can look this up in the Old Testament), he has certain responsibilities to protect the community, and if he neglects the responsibilities of the role that he signed up for (the role of owner) then that's culpable. It has nothing to do with allowing, but the choice, the lack of love, and the irresponsibility.

Secondly, the consistent Calvinist has a harder position to explain this. He would believe that the man incites the rottweiler and actively causes it to harm the child, yet is blameless. But – same will say – God causes it with good motives, for a good end goal in which He is glorified. Ahh, but Arminians also think that God allows sin with a good motive, for good middle goals and end goals which He desires and which glorify Himself.

The difference is this: the Arminian believes that there are righteous motives for allowing sin, but not for causing and masterminding all sin, while the Calvinist believes that there can be good motive for both.

Skarlet said...

You also wrote, “The arminians are welcome to attempt to hold God culpable for what He has ordained...for doing 'as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth.' At that point, though, I admit that I find it difficult to consider them true christians as they openly and fecklessly claim the right to stand in judgment of the God of the bible.”

Yes. Good point. And man, I wouldn't consider *myself* a true christian if I claimed the right to stand over God in judgment. I don't judge God. God is perfect. God is awesome. God is holy, and He is the only true God. His place is Sovereign, and as Lord and God, no man has the right to judge man.

However, I only judge according to the Scripture – which God gave a truth – and judge not God, but the doctrines of man... comparing them to the Scripture. I believe that anything God ordained, He ordained justly. But I just haven't found the verse that says that God ordained sin... And if a doctrine goes against the Scripture and claims that God does things that the Bible says He doesn't do, I will oppose that doctrine – not because I judge God, but because we are not called to believe that which contradicts the Bible.

I hope that you can see the difference. Even if I am entirely wrong, and Calvinism is true, then I am just a dumb-old christian who doesn't see the logical implications of the verses well enough, but who tries her best to honor God and His name. I would never stand in judgment over God.

Finally, you mentioned your thought that “If Rebekah defiantly claims that God would be evil for intending that Joseph be sold into slavery or for sending the Assyrians to trample down women and children in the streets (Isa10), it's hard to see that there is any common ground left...”

In general, I think that we have more common ground than you realize. Now, I don't think that God IS evil for anything He does. However, I think that God *would be* evil if He lied (which He doesn't do).

I think that God DID intend that, of all the evils that would have happened to Joseph, being sold into Egypt would be the one that happened – for many reasons (how else would the whole 10 plagues things happen?). I do not think that God caused the brothers to hate Joseph – the Bible never says that He did. You see? I think God used the Assyrians, but it never said that He inspires their wickedness to begin with. In all that the Bible says God actually did, I honor Him and praise Him for His righteousness and ingenuity. For that which the Bible does not say God did, if men tell me that God did it, I do have to compare their claims against what God Himself says about His character and about what is right and wrong.

Warmly,

Skarlet (AKA Rebekah Reinagel)
http://christiancompletely.blogspot.com/

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