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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Gordon H. Clark: Predestination and Regeneration Guarantee the Salvation of the Elect


If the state of regeneration were permanent, and if one could not possibly fall from grace, and if God were really going to complete his good work in us, there would be no place for fear.  This Romish, Lutheran, Arminian position [fear of losing one's salvation] fails to take into account the fact that there are different objects of fear.  --  Dr. Gordon H. Clark


This perseverance of the saints depends not upon their own free will, but upon the immutability of the decree of election, flowing from the free and unchangeable love of God the Father;   Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 17:2.

 
Philippians 2:12–13
(NKJV)
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.


The idea that man has free will, an idea sponsored by Pelagius, adapted by the Council of Trent, and emphasized by Arminius and Wesley, is totally inconsistent with the Biblical plan of salvation.  It is also inconsistent with the sovereignty of God, with divine omniscience and omnipotence, with the necessity of regeneration by the Holy Spirit, and of course with the pervasive Scriptural teaching of predestination.  

Dr. Gordon H. Clark.  Philippians.  (Hobbs:  Trinity Foundation, 1996).  Pp. 71-72.


There is more to say on these two verses, for as yet "fear and trembling" has not been explained.  Those who hold that regeneration is a result of humanly initiated faith and must be protected by further good works see in this fear a fear of eternal punishment and because of that fear they must tremble.  If the state of regeneration were permanent, and if one could not possibly fall from grace, and if God were really going to complete his good work in us, there would be no place for fear.  [Philippians 1:6] This Romish, Lutheran, Arminian position fails to take into account the fact that there are different objects of fear. 
(Ibid.  P. 73).

Modern Lutherans do not believe in eternal security.  But Martin Luther did believe in eternal security.  In fact, if God is eternally immutable and His plans are eternally unchanging, it is impossible that any single person who has been eternally and unconditionally elected will be lost.  Not one of them will go to hell!  The Lutherans who claim to believe in justification by faith alone must cause themselves to persevere in the faith or they can "lose" their regeneration and their election and their salvation. 

The Westminster Confession of Faith, on the other hand, says that perseverance does not depend on man's efforts or man's will.  Instead, the WCF rightly emphasizes that God causes the elect to persevere apart from their will:


Chapter XVII:  Of the Perseverance of the Saints

  1.      They, whom God hath accepted in His Beloved, effectually called, and sanctified by His Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved. (Phil. 1:6, 2 Pet. 1:10, 1 John 3:9, 1 Pet. 1:5,9)
  2.      This perseverance of the saints depends not upon their own free will, but upon the immutability of the decree of election, flowing from the free and unchangeable love of God the Father; (2 Tim. 2:18–19, Jer. 31:3) upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ, (Heb. 10:10, 14, Heb. 13:20–21, Heb. 9:12–15, Rom. 8:33–39, John 17:11, 24, Luke 22:32, Heb. 7:25) the abiding of the Spirit, and of the seed of God within them, (John 14:16–17, 1 John 2:27, 1 John 3:9) and the nature of the covenant of grace: (Jer. 32:40) from all which ariseth also the certainty and infallibility thereof. (John 10:28, 2 Thess. 3:3, 1 John 2:19)

The Westminster Confession of Faith (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996).

Most people are not aware of the fact that Lutherans today do not agree with Luther's book, The Bondage of the Will.  Modern Lutherans are semi-pelagians who teach a form of free will, conditional election, and the defectibility of regeneration.  So you got baptized and regenerated?  You gave yourself the gift of faith?  That means nothing because you could lose it all.  Saved today and lost tomorrow?  


John 10:26–30 (NKJV)
26 But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and My Father are one.” 

How do we know who is elect and who is reprobate?  Jesus just told you.  God always regenerates the elect and causes them to hear His voice and follow Jesus.  Regeneration is a sovereign grace of God that no man can merit by free will.  Dead men are either raised to new life or they continue to blaspheme the Gospel of free grace just as the Pharisees did.  Those who were chosen to believe before the creation of the world will be given the gift of regeneration and believe the Gospel.  Salvation is guaranteed.  Predestination is a comfort to God's people.  They know that they will never fall away because God promises to keep them apart from their own bad and willful choices.


 
2 Thessalonians 2:13 (NKJV)
13 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, . . . 

Addendum:  It should be noted that the other objects of fear of which Dr. Clark speaks refers to the respect that Christians have for God as their Father and the discipline they will face from Him should they walk in disobedience.  Fear does not mean fear of losing one's salvation but a godly fear and respect for God's sovereignty.

 

84 comments:

CLColegrove said...

Hello! I am trying to understand Cornelius Van Til's view of apologetics vs. Gordon H. Clark's view. What were each, and where did both agree and disagree? Both were Reformed Theologians, correct?

Charlie J. Ray said...

The short answer is that Cornelius Van Til endorsed a form of neo-orthodoxy because his view was that Scripture is bifurcated truth. In other words, the Bible is only a reflection of God's truth and man cannot know anything at all that God knows. Gordon H. Clark, on the other hand, defended propositional revelation, the plenary verbal inspiration of Scripture, and biblical inerrancy. Clark said that there are no contradictions in Scripture, while Van Til said that all teaching of Scripture is apparently contradictory. The choice between Van Til and Clark is an easy one. Clark is the orthodox and Reformed theologian while Van Til's legacy is legalism, theonomy, the Federal Vision, and other errors.

Charlie J. Ray said...

If you look at the bottom of my blog, you will see the document where Clark was accused by Van Til of heresy and then tried in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. Clark was cleared of all charges.

Charlie J. Ray said...

http://reasonablechristian.blogspot.com/2012/03/text-of-complaint-full-transcript.html

http://reasonablechristian.blogspot.com/2012/03/answer-to-complaint-full-transcript.html

Sean Budde said...

Hello, Charles J. Ray,

I know you are speaking for many people today, when you say that Calvinism is true and biblical doctrine. And i know that it may seem like pride and audacity to claim otherwise based on personal Bible study. But i have to say, my Bible studies have led me in the direct opposite direction of Calvinism. I'd like to point out a few erroneous conclusions that Calvinists have made, if i may, which are:

1) Faith is a work if it comes from man. - The Bible doesn't say that faith is a work. Regardless of the source of saving faith, whether it comes from man or Christ, salvation cannot be merited by believing on Christ. Therefore, there is no meritorious glory to be had in our believing on Christ for salvation.

2) Christ should "get the glory" for saving faith. - Grace is defined as unmerited favor, which means that faith cannot merit it, regardless of the source of faith. Christ merited our salvation as the sinless Lamb slain on our behalf. That's what we are to glory in, not our believing on Christ. It's true that we should not glory in our believing on Christ. I'll explain why in the next paragraph.

3) Saving faith is glorious - Is there something to glory in when we believe on Christ? Do the angels in heaven praise Christ because He gave us faith? Or do the angels in Heaven praise Christ because He shed His blood for our sins, on the Cross, as the perfect Lamb of God? The focus of faith is Christ, not faith. When a man believes, he does not trust in his faith, he trusts in what Christ did for him on the Cross. That's the only thing we should be trusting in, not in our believing on Christ. Faith accesses grace, which is unmerited favor. Grace cannot be merited.

4) Faith for salvation is a gift of God. - Salvation is the gift of God, not faith. Ephesians 2:9 has been misinterpreted by Calvinists. You have to be in the Vine (Christ) in order to have the fruit of faith. Once we believe on Christ for salvation, and become in Christ by faith, we also become born again as a result of our receiving Christ's Spirit in our hearts. Faith is how we become born again. Calvinists confuse the drawing of God with regeneration. The power is in the gospel of Christ that draws us to receive Him. Man doesn't need to be regenerated first to be drawn by the gospel. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation. Man can choose to receive that drawing by inclining his ear to the gospel, or reject that drawing by turning his ear away, back to his carnal reasoning. The choice is his to receive or reject Christ's words.

5) Man's will cannot have the freedom of choice - Man's freedom of choice does not infringe upon God's sovereignty. Rather, man's freedom of choice is within God's sovereign will. It's true that our becoming born again was not of the will of man. It was of God's will. But Calvinists never study further to see what God's will actually is. In my blog i biblically address this popular misconception by comparing John 1:11-13 with John 6:40. In my blog, i explain this further. Here's a link to my blog post on that:

https://whatissalvationbiblically.wordpress.com/2014/08/15/john-113-and-640-what-is-the-will-of-god/

And here's a link to my post on Ephesians 2:8:

https://whatissalvationbiblically.wordpress.com/2014/05/28/ephesians-28-revisited-calvinism-vs-the-bible/

If you have a rebuttal, i'm always willing to get into the scriptures. I don't want to argue, of course. I just want to present the other side of this issue and everyone can study further to decide what the Bible is really saying beyond the theological dogmas.

May God bless,

Sean

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>Regardless of the source of saving faith, whether it comes from man or Christ, salvation cannot be merited by believing on Christ. Therefore, there is no meritorious glory to be had in our believing on Christ for salvation.<<<

This presupposes Pelagianism. If you, being totally corrupted by sin and totally unable to believe can give yourself faith while the other guy does not, the logical conclusion is that you did a work that the other guy didn't do. You claim that your faith saves you, which is a work you do. If you are not completely dead in sins and trespasses, then you have an ability to save yourself. This is work no matter how you slice it. Secondly, your position assumes that God owes you salvation on the basis of your faith. If salvation is totally unmerited and unconditional, then it must begin with God's eternal decree, not with something you do, including believing. The problem with Arminians is that Arminians have a completely wrong understanding of God's nature and being. God needs nothing outside Himself. He is totally immutable and eternally so. And the logical implication of that is that His plans are equally immutable. God can and does predestine a vast multitude of mankind to hell and He is subject to no moral law. If so, who will hold God accountable? Just asking?

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>2) Christ should "get the glory" for saving faith. - Grace is defined as unmerited favor, which means that faith cannot merit it, regardless of the source of faith. Christ merited our salvation as the sinless Lamb slain on our behalf. That's what we are to glory in, not our believing on Christ. It's true that we should not glory in our believing on Christ. I'll explain why in the next paragraph.<<<

Prevenient or universal grace that does not actually accomplish salvation is merely a contingency. As I explained above, God's plans do not change. The number of the elect and the number of the reprobate cannot be increased or decreased because God is an eternally immutable and unchanging God. There are no contingencies in God's mind. So grace is particular and specifically given only to the elect. A grace that is not actually salvific is not grace. God's grace is eternal and He has loved His elect with an everlasting love that is eternally immutable and unchanging. Justification is likewise an eternal justification that is not wrought in the hearts of believing elect persons but is instead an objective justification accomplished for them on the cross.

3 The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: "Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you. (Jer 31:3 NKJV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

As for point 3, saving faith is impossible because the entire human race is dead in sins and trespasses. Ephesians 2:1-5. Apart from regeneration and the effectual call preceding, faith is impossible. Those who believe do so because they have been raised from spiritual death and given the gift of faith through the effectual call. See Matthew 22:14; John 3:3-8; John 5:24-25; Ezekiel 36:26-27.

Free will does not exist now nor has it ever existed. That's because God foreordained the fall of Adam and Adam could not have chosen otherwise. After the fall of Adam he and all his progeny were slaves to sin. Romans 5:12-21; Genesis 6:5; John 8:32-36.

Charlie J. Ray said...

As for point 4, I have already proved from John 3:3-8 that no man can see or believe until he has first been born of the Spirit. John 1:13; John 6:37, 44, 65.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Point 5? If God does not predetermine man's will, then you are saying that man's will is independent of God's control which is not only impossible but unbiblical.

NKJ Proverbs 21:1 The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes. (Pro 21:1 NKJ)

God is under no obligation to man whatsoever. God can send you to hell and He has no problem doing so. If you do not surrender your delusional "rights", you will be lost forever.

35 All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven And among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand Or say to Him, "What have You done?" (Dan 4:35 NKJV)

God is subject to no law. If so, who will hold Him accountable? You? Psalm 115:3.

Charlie J. Ray said...

I spent 4 years in a Pentecostal Bible college and another 3 years in a Wesleyan seminary. I know your arguments better than you do. If you truly believe in grace, why does your grace fail to save? Just asking?

24 The LORD of hosts has sworn, saying, "Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass, And as I have purposed, so it shall stand: (Isa 14:24 NKJV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

Ephesians 2:8 says that faith is a gift of God, not a work. Verse 10 says that walking in obedience was foreordained before the foundation of the world. No one can walk in good works apart from God's predestination. See Ephesians 1:4-5, 11.

Charlie J. Ray said...

I don't believe Arminians in general are truly converted. I say that because Arminianism teaches salvation by works as you demonstrated so clearly above. Augustus Toplady said that Arminianism was a Jesuit plot meant to take the Protestants back to Rome.

Sean Budde said...

Anyone who reads my blog carefully will see that my conclusions are biblically sound. Every point you've made can be biblically refuted. God is perfectly capable of drawing dead men through the power of the gospel of Christ. The ones who deny God's truth are the Calvinists who follow the unbiblical notions of John Calvin and others after him rather than studying the Bible carefully and thoroughly in context. Calvinists deny context and deny what God's word really says. There are a number of examples, but the most obvious example is Ephesians 2:8. Anyone who studies the context should see that it has nothing to do with faith. And yet Calvinists conclude that the "gift" in view, is faith. Totally wrong and just plain bad exegesis. The same goes for Christ's prayer in John 17. Calvinists read verse 9 and totally ignore the context up to verse 21, that shows that Christ was not praying for a limited salvation that excludes the world. Ironically, He was desiring just the opposite, as verse 21 clearly implies. In my blog, i show how that's more than just a debatable implication. There's two examples i've just given you where Calvinists totally ignore the context and read their own thinking into how the text should read and be understood. The errors of Calvinism continue to this day because of either spiritual blindness or biblical illiteracy. People don't really study the Bible for themselves. Rather, many study theological books about the Bible, which only foments the problem. You said yourself, you went to school to learn the Bible. But you were taught a perverted view called Calvinism. Teachers can be useful, but if they're not discerning God's truth in context, they'll only be leading their students astray with them into more and more error.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>Anyone who reads my blog carefully will see that my conclusions are biblically sound. Every point you've made can be biblically refuted. God is perfectly capable of drawing dead men through the power of the gospel of Christ. The ones who deny God's truth are the Calvinists who follow the unbiblical notions of John Calvin and others after him rather than studying the Bible carefully and thoroughly in context.<<<

So God is able to raise everyone from the dead and give them faith? So please tell me why God does not do so? And if God draws everyone while that drawing or grace is common to all men and resistible, then you must concede that God is NOT able to overcome the depravity of men and that the grace that you claim God gives to all is actually a grace that is INSUFFICIENT to save.

The doctrine of libertarian free will is self-refuting because it does not solve the problem it is supposed to solve, namely the problem of evil. If God permits evil while He is omnipotent and omniscient, then God is ultimately the cause of evil for the simple fact that He permits it in the first place.

This is simple enough to demonstrate because God does not permit evil in heaven. On that we both agree. The souls of men in heaven and the angels in heaven are sealed and their never ending joy in heaven and their salvation in heaven are indefectible because God has determined it to be so. God could just as easily have prevented Adam's fall in the garden by not testing Adam's obedience, not placeing the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden, and by not placing the serpent in the garden. He could have also prevented the fall of satan from heaven and the fall of 1/3 of the angels in heaven.

If God permits evil, then it is God's will for evil to exist. You have no way around this. Likewise, if God permits moral evil among men, then God is ultimately the cause of this as well. If you stood by and watched a crime being committed and did nothing about it but "permitted" the evil act, you would be held culpable by everyone. So your permission view does not work.

Furthermore, if you say that God is unable to overcome evil as your solution, then you have a god who is less than omnipotent and less than omniscient. This is either dualism or Open Theism. A finite god but good god who can do nothing about evil could just as well be a finite evil god who can do nothing about good.

The grace of God is irresistible and not one of those God has unconditionally elected before the creation of the world will be lost. (Ephesians 1:4-5, 11; Isaiah 14:24; Isaiah 46:9-11). God ordains both good and evil and He does so because He alone as God can ordain both good and evil without being unrighteous or evil Himself. (Isaiah 45:7 KJV) God righteously ordains that which is unrighteous. He does what He wishes with the vessels He creates, both vessels of honor and of dishonor. (Daniel 4:34-35; Romans 9:18-22).

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>The ones who deny God's truth are the Calvinists who follow the unbiblical notions of John Calvin and others after him rather than studying the Bible carefully and thoroughly in context. Calvinists deny context and deny what God's word really says.<<<

That would be odd since the Reformed confessions are systematic summaries of the logical system of propositional truth statements made in the Bible. The Westminster Confession of Faith is the best summary of the system of propositions in the Bible ever produced.

Secondly, making a bare assertion does not make it so. I have a bachelor's degree from an accredited Assemblies of God Bible college and a master of divinity from a Wesleyan seminary. I can assure you that I know your arguments better than you do.

I don't change my mind on a whim. The Bible over and over again says that God causes sin and evil. How you can overlook this I don't know? The most obvious example is the betrayal, arrest and crucifixion of Christ. All of this is predicted in Isaiah 53, Psalm 22 and other places in the OT. And Jesus knew ahead of time who would betray him. According to Acts 2:23; 4:27-28, this was all done by the set plan and foreordination of God--even down to the last detail. The the Old Testament is pervasive with examples of God causing individuals to do exactly what He had predicted they would do and then God's orchestrating of the secondary causes to bring about exactly what He decreed beforehand. (Exodus 4:21).

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>There are a number of examples, but the most obvious example is Ephesians 2:8. Anyone who studies the context should see that it has nothing to do with faith. And yet Calvinists conclude that the "gift" in view, is faith. Totally wrong and just plain bad exegesis.<<<<

If salvation is a gift and God does not give the gift to everyone, then you must be saying that you can boast that you merited your salvation by your faith and your obedience. If salvation is given to everyone and is defectible, then you have no assurance of salvation whatsoever. Furthermore if faith is mentioned in the context of salvation as a gift, then logically you cannot exclude faith from the gift of salvation since other texts in the Bible assert that faith is the means or instrument by which justification is applied. Your view is essentially the Roman Catholic view that justification is by faith plus works or faith plus obedience. The Calvinist view is that justification is not wrought in the heart but is outside of the elect believer's heart. Justification is an eternal decree that was providentially accomplished on the cross by Jesus Christ.

And it might surprise you to know that Calvin's commentary on Ephesians 2:8 says that the gift is salvation in toto, not just faith. I view it as both/and. Both faith and salvation are included in the one gift.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>>The same goes for Christ's prayer in John 17. Calvinists read verse 9 and totally ignore the context up to verse 21, that shows that Christ was not praying for a limited salvation that excludes the world. <<<<<

The context says that Jesus was praying for His hand chosen disciples who were immediately present with Him.

2 "as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. (Joh 17:2 NKJ)

Who is ignoring context? How many are given to Jesus? Everyone in the whole world? If so, then you are a universalist and hell will be empty. Universalism in all its manifestations is heresy. That would include Arminianism.

21 "that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. (Joh 17:21 NKJ)

Verse 21 expresses contingency according to Arminianism. It does not say that the whole world will be saved. So tell me how God the Father gives unbelievers to Jesus and Jesus gives them eternal life and yet this eternal life is not eternal at all? It is instead Indian giving since some never get it to start with and others lose it according to Arminianism. You could be saved this morning and lost at noon. Eternal life is never ending.

Calvin points out that the word "world" in this context does not refer to the elect but to the unbelieving world of the reprobate. The believe that God sent Him because of the many miracles and because of the suffering of the apostles and His disciple--yet while believing all this they still refuse to believe. The faith of the apostles is evidenced to them and they remain unbelievers:

"That the world may believe. Some explain the word world to mean the elect, who, at that time, were still dispersed; but since the word world, throughout the whole of this chapter, denotes the reprobate, I am more inclined to adopt a different opinion. It happens that, immediately afterwards, he draws a distinction between all his people and the same world which he now mentions.
The verb, to believe, has been inaccurately used by the Evangelist for the verb, to know; that is, when unbelievers, convinced by their own experience, perceive the heavenly and Divine glory of Christ. The consequence is, that, believing, they do not believe, because this conviction does not penetrate into the inward feeling of the heart. And it is a just vengeance of God, that the splendour of Divine glory dazzles the eyes of the reprobate, because they do not deserve to have a clear and pure view of it. He afterwards uses the verb, to know, in the same sense."


John Calvin and William Pringle, Commentary on the Gospel according to John, vol. 2 (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2010), 184.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>>There's two examples i've just given you where Calvinists totally ignore the context and read their own thinking into how the text should read and be understood. The errors of Calvinism continue to this day because of either spiritual blindness or biblical illiteracy. People don't really study the Bible for themselves. Rather, many study theological books about the Bible, which only foments the problem. You said yourself, you went to school to learn the Bible. But you were taught a perverted view called Calvinism. Teachers can be useful, but if they're not discerning God's truth in context, they'll only be leading their students astray with them into more and more error.<<<<

False. I learned the Arminian system of theology and spent my own time and money doing so. I have 4 year degree in Pentecostal Arminianism and a master of divinity in Wesleyan Arminian theology.

The Bible alone IS the Word of God. God is Logic. (John 1:1). And God has given that innate ability to think logically to every man both elect and reprobate (John 1:9). But the reprobate refuse to think God's thoughts that are logically and propositionally revealed in the Bible. Their foolish hearts are darkened by sin. (Romans 1:18-32).

Even a plow boy who reads the Bible knows more than the pope or any Arminian.

I'm a Calvinist because I read the Bible from age 6. The Bible contradicts Arminianism because Arminianism is a Jesuit conspiracy meant to lead the stupid masses back to the synagogue of satan we call the Roman Catholic Church.

Arminianism was a rebellion against the Bible and it was dealt with at the Synod of Dordrecht in 1618-19.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>Teachers can be useful, but if they're not discerning God's truth in context, they'll only be leading their students astray with them into more and more error.<<<

False teachers are foreordained to deceive the reprobate and God is totally just in ordaining your damnation if it should prove that you refuse to repent of the false teaching of the Arminians.

2 Thessalonians 2:8–12 (NKJV)
8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.


The elect, on the other hand, do not earn their favor with God. Out of sheer mercy and grace He elects a few to saving faith:

2 Thessalonians 2:13–15 (NKJV)
13 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, 14 to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Romans 11:5–6 (NKJV)
5 Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

Sean Budde said...

YOU SAID: "If God permits evil, then it is God's will for evil to exist. You have no way around this."

God created man in His own image. Being omnipotent, God is free to do whatever He wants, but He chooses not to because He is inherently good and perfect, and therefore, He chooses not to. Calvinists claim that God ordained sin, and indirectly, through satan (the serpent), caused Eve to sin. That it was God's will for Adam and Eve to sin and for sin to exist. One flaw in this reasoning is that satan tempted Christ in the desert. If it was God's will for satan to tempt Christ, and He did not sin, then by your own reasoning, He should have sinned simply because God allowed satan to tempt Him. This reasoning is flawed. It makes God the author of evil by working events that lead to the creation of evil rather than good. If you say that Adam had no freedom of choice, then you not only malign God's character, but you also say that Adam was not created in God's image. Are you saying that God is omnipotent, and yet, is incapable of sinning? If so, then He wouldn't be omnipotent, would He? There would be something He was unable to do, rather than something He chose not to do. Likewise, Adam, who was created in God's image, had that freedom of choice, even though he was sinless and perfect. Adam wasn't created as a less than perfect man. And yet he and Eve sinned. How do you explain that if they were sinlessly perfect like God? Freedom of choice to choose to be deceived and believe satan's lie is the only answer. Adam and Eve, in their perfection, had freedom of choice, as does all fallen men and women today. In the garden, satan made it possible for Adam and Eve to sin, and now, Christ makes it possible for all men to be saved. The parallel in an opposite way, makes perfect sense. Satan came with a lie and Christ comes with truth. Eve believed the lie and we are to believe the truth. The only problem is, how did satan sin without an external influence? And he sinned in heaven. did he not? How do you explain that?

Sean Budde said...

YOU SAID: "I don't change my mind on a whim. The Bible over and over again says that God causes sin and evil. How you can overlook this I don't know?"

As you know, evil can have different meanigs in the Bible. Evil can sometimes be meant in the sense of God bringing judgment upon a nation or people. Jonah 3 would be an example of that:

(Jonah 3:10) And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the EVIL [H7451], that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did [it] not.

YOU SAID: "If salvation is a gift and God does not give the gift to everyone, then you must be saying that you can boast that you merited your salvation by your faith and your obedience."

No, because salvation is by grace, which is defined as unmerited favor. This means that the faith that accesses that grace by which we are saved, doesn't merit anything. Regardless of the source of faith, faith doesn't merit anything. Faith is the antitheses of works:

(Romans 3:24-28) Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth [to be] a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, [I say], at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where [is] boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of WORKS? Nay: but by the law of FAITH. Therefore we conclude that a man is JUSTIFIED BY FAITH WITHOUT THE DEEDS OF THE LAW.

Faith = Not a work of the law, regardless of the source of faith.

Charlie J. Ray said...

So different kinds of evil create themselves apart from your finite god's ability to control. A finite god who is good cannot overcome evil. It just as well could be that your finite god is evil and cannot overcome good.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Grace is defined by unmerited favor. Absolutely. So if grace is ineffectual to do anything to overcome evil, how could grace save anyone? Just asking? :)

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>>This means that the faith that accesses that grace....<<<<<

Yes, and since you say that faith is not a sovereign gift but is a work that "accesses" grace, then faith is something you do to merit the grace. Worse, your grace is resistible and therefore ineffectual to save anyone. A grace that can be resisted by the evil nature of man is no gift or favor at all. Rather your grace is something unattainable and in fact makes salvation a contingency that may never occur for anyone at all.

The God of the Bible saves whom He will save and He knows them all by name because He foreordained them before creation.

13 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, (2Th 2:13 NKJ)

Your view is nothing more than the Roman Catholic view. Faith is a work you do to save yourself because without faith you cannot "attain" grace or "merit" grace.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>If it was God's will for satan to tempt Christ, and He did not sin, then by your own reasoning, He should have sinned simply because God allowed satan to tempt Him. <<<

False conclusion. God ordained the temptation of Jesus to show that Jesus was the second Adam, the second federal head of all the elect. The second Adam overcame temptation whereas the first Adam did not. The first Adam brought the curse of God on all mankind. The second Adam removed the curse from the elect to demonstrate God's mercy and grace.

God ordained the fall of Adam because without the fall there would have been no need for the cross or a Redeemer.

You keep baiting and switching because you cannot admit that if an omnipotent God "permits" sin when He could have prevented it, THEN sin is God's will when it occurs. As I pointed out earlier there is no sin in heaven because God ordained that it would not be there.

According to your reasoning, evil is more powerful than your god because your god can do nothing about it. Your god is mutable. He makes himself less than God so evil can exist??? What?

Charlie J. Ray said...

All your double talk does not remove the fact that God put both the tree of knowledge of good and evil and the serpent in the garden. God ordained the test and God ordained the fall. God knew Adam would fall because God decreed that Adam would fall.

Jesus did not fail the test because God ordained that Jesus would not fail. Furthermore, Jesus was fully man and fully God at the same time. God cannot sin. Remember?

Charlie J. Ray said...

I'm not going to post your nonsense until you answer my point. How can a good God permit evil without being evil Himself? You make God subject to laws outside Himself. The God of the Bible answers to no one. The fact is God is ex lex. He is subject to no law outside Himself and nothing God does is wrong, including when He righteously ordains evil.

The bottom line here is that your argument is basically an atheist argument. You blame God for being sovereign and you refuse to believe the God of the Bible.

20 "The LORD will send on you cursing, confusion, and rebuke in all that you set your hand to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, because of the wickedness of your doings in which you have forsaken Me.
21 "The LORD will make the plague cling to you until He has consumed you from the land which you are going to possess.
22 "The LORD will strike you with consumption, with fever, with inflammation, with severe burning fever, with the sword, with scorching, and with mildew; they shall pursue you until you perish.
23 "And your heavens which are over your head shall be bronze, and the earth which is under you shall be iron.
24 "The LORD will change the rain of your land to powder and dust; from the heaven it shall come down on you until you are destroyed.
25 "The LORD will cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you shall go out one way against them and flee seven ways before them; and you shall become troublesome to all the kingdoms of the earth.
(Deu 28:20-25 NKJ)

Charlie J. Ray said...

Salvation is God's will for the elect. God saves only those He sovereignly chooses to save and free will has nothing to do with it. John 1:13; Romans 9:16-18.

Arminianism is heresy because it refuses to give all the glory to God. Arminians take credit for saving themselves by their own faith, their own efforts to keep themselves holy, and their own efforts to persevere to the end. But the Arminian can have no assurance because he can be saved in the morning and lost at noon.

Charlie J. Ray said...

My God never fails to save anyone He chose to save in His eternal decree before the creation of the world.

24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
25 To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen. (Jud 1:24-25 NKJ)

Sean Budde said...

YOU SAID: "A finite god who is good cannot overcome evil."

So, you worship an infinite God who caused Lucifer to fall from perfection in heaven and sin. No wonder Satan's so angry at God. Your god created an evil monster by causing him to sin. No, i don't think so. However Lucifer sinned, he did so of his own free will.

YOU SAID: "So if grace is ineffectual to do anything to overcome evil, how could grace save anyone? Just asking? :) ... Yes, and since you say that faith is not a sovereign gift but is a work that "accesses" grace, then faith is something you do to merit the grace. Worse, your grace is resistible and therefore ineffectual to save anyone."

Grace is unmerited favor. Faith is an act of trust whereby we look to the work of another (Christ) and trust in what He did for us on the Cross. That's very different than trusting in your works to merit God's favor. Since Christ is the focus of saving faith, and not ourselves or even the act of faith itself, then there is no meritorious work involved. The glory goes to the focus of faith, not on the one focusing on the Savior by faith. The Calvinist is actually the one meriting salvation by making faith a work of Christ that demands meritorious glory. The Bible never says as such about faith. Your response may be that Calvinists don't believe that Christ is meriting our salvation by doing the work of faith in us. Well, that's my point. When a man believes on Christ for salvation, he isn't meriting anything. Christ already paid for our sins in full on the Cross. The drawing of God is a glorious thing that results in believing on Christ for that gracious gift of salvation, but faith is an act of trust in the atoning work of the spotless Lamb (Christ), not in our own good works or even in our act of believing. To truly believe on Christ for salvation is to be looking to His work alone, not to your works, and not to your believing on Him. The sole focus of faith is Christ, not ourselves or faith. If a man's focus is on his believing on Christ, rather than solely on Christ, then he will try to help God out by crying more during his conversion experience. But that's not helping God out, that's just making faith into a work to gain God's favor whereby more emotion mustered by the flesh means God may have been really drawing you to believe on Christ. And it also means that to be truly saved you have to be crying. But how much crying is enough crying? How do you know you cried enough when you believed on Christ? What if you didn't cry enough and God didn't really draw you, even though you think He did? This is all wrong. Salvation is about receiving a gift, not giving or working to merit God's favor. Let God do the saving and stop focusing on faith. Rather, look to Christ and trust in what He did for you on the Cross, not in your act of believing on Him.

Like i said, faith is not meritorious and doesn't demand glory in a meritorious sense, regardless of whether it comes from yourself or from Christ. If Calvinism was true and faith is a work of the law, or a work of righteousness, if it comes from man, then the logical conclusion would be to adopt a Hyper-Calvinist viewpoint whereby all "sinner's prayers" are avoided for fear that doing so would be doing a work of the flesh that demands favor from God, who may not have been drawing you. The Hyper-Calvinists claim to have the higher theological ground, as a result, because they know that Calvinism teaches that God has to save His all of His elect before they physically die, so there's nothing they have to do. No obligation or responsibility to believe. Such a conclusion flies in the face of the Bible, but some actually go to that extreme in an effort to lift up God's sovereignty. Well meaning, but wrong.

Sean Budde said...

YOU SAID: "False conclusion. God ordained the temptation of Jesus to show that Jesus was the second Adam, the second federal head of all the elect. The second Adam overcame temptation whereas the first Adam did not."

If Eve had no freedom of choice or will to believe satan's lie and physically sin by eating of the fruit and thereby acting on that belief, then the lie of satan shouldn't have been a temptation at all. To say that God set up the fall and Eve had no freedom of choice to choose to not sin as a result of that set up, is to make God in league with the devil and the creator of evil people through the fall. It's different to say that God set up the crucifixion of Christ. Why? Because the atonement was a good thing that resulted from that set up. But with Adam and Eve, there's nothing good about their fall at all. The only way you could see their fall as somehow being good, is if you believe their fall followed God's will. But His will was that they were not to eat of the tree. He said what He meant and Eve disobeyed when satan got her to believe his lie and sin. God isn't a schizophrenic who contradicts His own will. He means what He says. Eve could have resisted satan's lie and kept what God had said, but she chose to believe the lie.

Sean Budde said...

Well, i see you're just going back to your talking points and not even reading my posts. What i've said is very biblical. If you can find something that's not biblical in any of my comments, you're welcome to post a rebuttal. But so far, you just want to insult and keep saying how great Calvinists are for exalting God's sovereignty (as they define it should be expressed by God, of course). I'm sorry, but your blog is a sham. It's just agreeing with Calvinism's talking points and not really engaging the biblical arguments. I've wasted my time talking to you, but it's OK! It's always edifying to focus on the scriptures. Take care and may God bless you with the true understanding of salvation. Objectivity is key to knowing the truth. Best wishes.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Arminians need to take a few courses in logic. I am not going to argue in circles with someone who continually uses the logical fallacy of bait and switch. Adam is the federal head of the human race, not Eve. Secondly, Christ is the federal head of all the elect. Christ represents all the elect and not one of them will be lost. According to Arminianism, it is possible that no one will be saved and Christ's sacrifice accomplishes the salvation of no one at all. That's because in the Arminian and Papist scheme the atonement just makes salvation a possibility.

Secondly, you keep confusing God's commands with God's sovereign will. God has only one will. Whatever comes to pass in historical time is what God has willed from all eternity. God does not change nor do His plans or decrees change. What God commands men to do is non-negotiable. If you disobey God, like Adam you will be held accountable by God. So your rebellious attacks on God's character and God's eternal purposes will bring you judgment. You are without excuse for your rebellion.

As Augustine put it so plainly, God willingly permits that which is against God's commands. Unless God permits moral evil, it could not exist. This is easily demonstrated by heaven. There is no moral evil in heaven because God decreed that it is not so. God does not violate man's rights when He cursed all mankind with total depravity based on Adam's original sin. God is under no obligation to man whatsoever. Before God man cannot complain because God does not violate a man's will or directly cause man to sin. God ordains sin without being the direct author of man's sin. James 1:13-17. But God is the indirect cause of man's fall and all the sins that proceed from it because God put in place all the secondary causes--including the psychological conditions in the human soul--that lead to sin. God could have easily prevented Adam's fall by: 1) Not testing Adam's obedience. 2) Not placing the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden of Eden. 3) By not placing the serpent in the garden knowing that satan would speak to Eve through the serpent to deceive her. 4) God gave Adam a wife knowing beforehand that Adam would commit idolatry by placing the creature ahead of the Creator.

I am constantly amused by the utter disregard for logic that Arminians continually demonstrate. An omnipotent God who permits moral sins is the ultimate cause of evil because He can easily prevent it.

Men are free moral agents who will be held accountable for everything they do to violate God's moral law. God is under no obligation to save anyone.

16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.
17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth."
18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.
19 You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?"
20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, "Why have you made me like this?"
21 Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? (Rom 9:16-21 NKJV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

Once again, Sean, I adjure you. Answer the question? How can evil exist at all if God did not will it? Is evil more powerful than your finite god?

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. (Isaiah 45:7 KJV)
Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it? (Amos 3:6 KJV)

By the way, folks from my Facebook group, Calvinism Defended Against All, are following this thread.

Charlie J. Ray said...

24 The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand:
25 That I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders.
26 This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations.
27 For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?
(Isa 14:24-27 KJV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

Sean Budde said>>>

YOU SAID: "A finite god who is good cannot overcome evil."

So, you worship an infinite God who caused Lucifer to fall from perfection in heaven and sin. No wonder Satan's so angry at God. Your god created an evil monster by causing him to sin. No, i don't think so. However Lucifer sinned, he did so of his own free will.<<<<

Well, there we have it. You agree with Lucifer and I agree with God. What more is there to say? Like the atheist, you accuse God of injustice. See where that lands you? Like satan, Arminians think God owes them something and if God does not grant them their demands they will rebel. Good luck with that.

In regards to Lucifer's rebellion, Lucifer, being a free moral agent did of his own will and volition rebel against God. No Calvinist I know of denies free moral agency. However, libertarian free will does not exist. It didn't exist in Adam before the fall. After the fall Adam became a slave to sin. Prior to the fall Adam had no sin. Free will has never existed if it is defined as a will that is determined by nothing. Adam was predetermined to fall because God tested Adam's obedience and gave him a mind and will that could be affected by circumstances, environment, and psychological needs. Before God gave Adam a wife, Adam was lonely. This need eventually caused Adam to choose to place his wife ahead of God. God foreknew all this and every choice Adam would make, yet God proceeded to create Adam and Eve and ordain everything just the way it happened. God did all this without violating Adam's will or Eve's will.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>The glory goes to the focus of faith, not on the one focusing on the Savior by faith.<<<<<

In regards to faith, since you openly admit that faith is not a gift but is rather something you DO, you are self-refuting. Also, your view defaults to Pelagianism since you think universal grace cancels out total depravity. Man is basically good? If so, why do men sin? If faith is something you give yourself, then you are placing yourself in God's place.

Your comment above places the glory in man's ability to believe and therefore violates the prohibition against glorying in anyone other than God. You talk about faith as if it just happens out of nowhere. But according to Arminianism, believing is what you do. It is therefore a work. It is a work because you deny that faith is a gift of God. Therefore, you do not believe in Sola Gratia. Salvation is by God's sovereign grace alone. This grace is particularly given only to individuals God knows and calls by name. Salvation is ALL of God's grace and mercy and nothing you "do", including believing, can merit God's favor. Unless you concede that but by the grace of God you continue on in your evil ways, you are not a converted Christian but a rebel without any defense in God's courtroom.

3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. (Rom 10:3 KJV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>>>faith is not meritorious and doesn't demand glory in a meritorious sense, regardless of whether it comes from yourself or from Christ.<<<<

Dead men cannot believe the Gospel of sovereign grace. Instead, like the politicians and sophists they spin things out of context and try to usurp God's glory to themselves. Your diatribe is ample evidence of this.

The elect are literally raised from spiritual death by a miracle of God and no one can believe apart from God's irresistible grace of regeneration and the effectual call.

KJV Ephesians 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: (Eph 2:1-6 KJV)

But you? Oh, you raised yourself up by your own faith. You gave yourself new life. You who were dead in trespasses and sins gave yourself freedom from depravity and caused yourself to believe. Can you say Pelagianism?

Charlie J. Ray said...

10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:
16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:
17 And the way of peace have they not known:
18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
(Romans 3:10-19 KJV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

John 6:37-44, 65 teaches irresistible grace and effectual calling, not free will.

44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. (Joh 6:44 KJV)

65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. (Joh 6:65 KJV)

These verses are not expressing contingencies or possibilities. No. God literally draws only the elect. Verse 65 nails this down airtight. "...except it were given unto him...." The law of contradiction and plain logic shows that those who are not given the ability to come to Jesus cannot come to him. Verse 65 is singular and individual, not plural and general or universal. Particular grace is taught everywhere in John's Gospel, including John 3:3-8 where Jesus says specifically that regeneration precedes faith! Faith is impossible unless there is regeneration preceding immediately beforehand. Saying that faith causes regeneration is like saying you caused God to regenerate you! That is clearly NOT what Jesus was saying at all. Without the new birth you cannot see the kingdom of God; i.e. you cannot believe.

This is in fact why you are still lost in your sins and why you cannot believe. It is because you are unregenerate. If you were truly regenerate you would give all the glory to God. Instead you want to boast in your own faith and in your ability to save yourself. God owes you hell. You've earned it. Romans 6:23

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>No obligation or responsibility to believe.<<<

God commands you to believe the Gospel of sovereign grace. But you refuse to believe. Why? Because your deeds are evil. Even the plowing of the wicked is sinful.

30 "Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, (Acts 17:30 NKJ)

4 A haughty look, a proud heart, And the plowing of the wicked are sin. (Proverbs 21:4 NKJV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

My "talking points"? You wish to resort to propaganda rather than answering the logic of my "talking points"? The logic is impeccable. Either God is sovereign over evil or you have a finite god who can do nothing about evil. Furthermore, if an omnipotent God could make Himself finite as you contend, then God would be mutable and therefore not the eternally unchanging and immutable God of the Bible. How could a mutable and changing God guarantee or promise anything? Furthermore, since it is impossible for God to change, saying that God could "limit" His sovereignty is a logical impossibility.

If evil exists because God can do nothing about it, then there is something that God has no control over and that something exists apart from God. That would inevitably imply that God is being dominated by the evil in the world.

You keep wanting to put up a facade that you really do believe in grace. But you don't. It's all sophistry and double talk. It's rather like Barack Obama claiming to be a Christian while insisting that humans have a right to be homosexuals and a right to kill the unborn.

Libertarian free will would mean that men are insane if they are not determined by anything outside themselves. What is to keep a mass murderer from killing people if there is no deterrence from fear of capital punishment or incarceration? Why teach your children to obey the commands in the Bible if you are not trying to mold their will to do the right thing? Libertarian free will is heresy.

Charlie J. Ray said...

No one can hold God accountable. But God will hold you accountable for your disobedience and for your spreading of false teaching.

9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,
10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,
12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
(2Th 2:9-12 NKJV)

In fact, God causes men to believe the lie. The text is very clear here. Unless you repent, you too will be lost.

But can you? That's the question? Apparently not because you insist on continuing to believe the lie of Arminianism.

Charlie J. Ray said...

I accept your concession of defeat. Thanks for the debate:) Nota bene: The ad hominem argument is not a fallacy unless it resorts to personal abuse.

Charlie J. Ray said...

If Arminians were more logical, they would not be Arminians. The more Arminian they are, the more they despise the doctrine of predestination.

Charlie J. Ray said...

7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. (Isa 45:7 KJV)

2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. (Psa 90:2 KJV)

6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. (Mal 3:6 KJV)

17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. (Jam 1:17 KJV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

Sean Budde, I don't post red herrings and bait and switch. When you care to answer the point I made about free will not solving the problem of evil then you can get back to me. An omnipotent God who permits evil when He could prevent it is the cause of evil because He ordained to permit it. Permission does not solve your problem.

Secondly, if you say that God "limits" Himself, then you are saying that God is no longer omnipotent and therefore cannot do anything about evil. This not only violates the eternal immutability of God but for all practical purposes imposes dualism. Evil is not the equal of God or good. Your finite god could just as well be evil but can do nothing about good. Isaiah 45:7 KJV Amos 3:6 KJV

Sean Budde said...

YOU SAID: ''When you care to answer the point I made about free will not solving the problem of evil then you can get back to me. An omnipotent God who permits evil when He could prevent it is the cause of evil because He ordained to permit it. Permission does not solve your problem."

You can't say that God 'permitted' evil if Adam and Eve had no freedom of will to choose to do evil rather than choose to do good. Adam and Eve were perfect. There was no possibility for them to sin if they didn't have freedom of will to choose to believe satan's lie or to choose to keep believing what God had said. If you say that God ordained what they would do apart from freedom of will to choose, then you're making God the only cause of the fall of mankind, rather than merely 'permitting' evil. To 'permit' something means that there was a causation of evil, outside of God's perfect nature, that He permitted to cause the evil to exist. You still haven't explained Lucifer's fall from heaven. Not to mention a third of the angels following him instead of God. Why only a third? Did God ordain that only a third follow Lucifer, and tho thirds would not? How so? Freedom of will to choose one thing or the other thing explains the fall of the angels and mankind, but you cannot because you don't believe in freedom of will to choose one thing or the other thing. You believe that God sovereignly gave Lucifer and Adam the wills to only choose to disobey Him rather than choose to not disobey Him, and that's where you go wrong. If both were created perfect without freedom of will to choose, then Calvinism dictates that both could not possibly choose to disobey God. Total perfection cannot = total depravity if freedom of will to choose does not exist. Calvinism fails miserably when we think it all through. Calvinism makes Lucifer a victim of God's sovereignty rather than being responsible for his own fall. I suppose that's what satan wants...sympathy. I think Calvinism gives satan what he wants. And we have to ask ourselves..."why?"


God is not limited if He permits freedom of choice. Rather, He is limited if He doesn't. If freedom of choice doesn't exist, then you have no one other than God to blame for the fall of Lucifer and Adam.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>You can't say that God 'permitted' evil if Adam and Eve had no freedom of will to choose to do evil rather than choose to do good.<<<

I can and I do say that Adam and Eve had no libertarian freedom of will. They had a will that was not in slavery to sin. However, if they had a will that was undetermined by anything outside themselves, which is the definition of libertarian free will, then they would be insane. The fact of the matter is that God commanded them NOT to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The outcome of the test was predetermined by God's foreordination in eternity. Why was the tree there in the first place? And why was the serpent there in the first place to tempt Eve? God predetermined everything, including the fall. There are no contingencies in God's mind and God does not resort to backup plans because as an eternally omniscient God He already knew Adam and Eve would fall because He foreordained it.

Charlie J. Ray said...

24 The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand: (Isa 14:24 KJV)

9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,
10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it. (Isa 46:9-11 KJV)

Psa 33:11 The counsel of the LORD stands forever, The plans of His heart to all generations.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Furthermore, it is easy to demonstrate that the Calvinist view does not reject that human beings are created with volition. They obviously do make choices by their will. The question is not whether men have a will and make choices. The debate is whether those choices are determined or not determined by anything outside themselves. If you say that men are undetermined by anything, then you must be a pelagian since the Bible says that men are born with a sinful nature and predetermined to sin. And if you say that prevenient grace cancels out depravity, then you are defaulting to Pelagianism and you are admitting that two outside factors determine men from outside themselves. Both sin and grace, according to Arminianism, are predetermining factors. So libertarian free will is self refuting and contradictory to your thesis.

Charlie J. Ray said...

The Westminster Confession of Faith plainly says that man was created with a will that was free from the slavery to sin:

CHAPTER IX—Of Free-Will

1. God hath endued the will of man with that natural liberty, that it is neither forced, nor, by any absolute necessity of nature, determined to good, or evil. (Matt. 17:12, James 1:14, Deut. 30:19)
2. Man, in his state of innocency, had freedom, and power to will and to do that which was good and well pleasing to God; (Eccl. 7:29, Gen. 1:26) but yet, mutably, so that he might fall from it. (Gen. 2:16–17, Gen. 3:6)
3. Man, by his fall into a state of sin, hath wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation: (Rom. 5:6, Rom. 8:7, John 15:5) so as, a natural man, being altogether averse from that good, (Rom. 3:10, 12) and dead in sin, (Eph. 2:1, 5, Col. 2:13) is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto. (John 6:44, 65, Eph. 2:2–5, 1 Cor. 2:14, Tit. 3:3–5)


The Westminster Confession of Faith (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996).

Charlie J. Ray said...

However, Adam was NOT free from God's foreordination because the fall of man was decreed in eternity prior to creation:

CHAPTER III—Of God’s Eternal Decree

1. God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass: (Eph. 1:11, Rom. 11:33, Heb. 6:17, Rom. 9:15,18) yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, (James 1:13,17, 1 John 1:5) nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established. (Acts 2:23, Matt. 17:12, Acts 4:27–28, John 19:11, Prov. 16:33)


The Westminster Confession of Faith (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996).

Charlie J. Ray said...

God's providence extends to all the moral actions of all men and angels:

Chapter V Of Providence

4. The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God so far manifest themselves in His providence, that it extendeth itself even to the first fall, and all other sins of angels and men; (Rom. 11:32–34, 2 Sam. 24:1, 1 Chron. 21:1, 1 Kings 22:22–23, 1 Chron. 10:4, 13–14, 2 Sam. 16:10, Acts 2:23) and that not by a bare permission, (Acts 14:16) but such as hath joined with it a most wise and powerful bounding, (Ps. 76:10, 2 Kings 19:28) and otherwise ordering, and governing of them, in a manifold dispensation, to His own holy ends; (Gen. 50:20, Isa. 10:6–7, 12) yet so, as the sinfulness thereof proceedeth only from the creature, and not from God, who, being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin. (James 1:13–14, 17, 1 John 2:16, Ps. 50:21)

The Westminster Confession of Faith (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996).

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>> If you say that God ordained what they would do apart from freedom of will to choose, then you're making God the only cause of the fall of mankind, rather than merely 'permitting' evil.<<<

God IS the cause of the fall and everything else that comes to pass. He does so without violating man's will. He permits Adam to fall and thereby causes the fall. It is not a bare permission but a permission that is itself ordained by God. God controls everything men do:

Proverbs 21:1 (NKJV)
1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>>You still haven't explained Lucifer's fall from heaven. Not to mention a third of the angels following him instead of God. Why only a third? Did God ordain that only a third follow Lucifer, and tho thirds would not? How so?<<<

God is omnipotent and omniscient. He knows all the propositions there are to be known. He is more than able to preserve two thirds of the angels from falling and to cause Satan and the other one third of the angels to fall. Is there anything that is outside of God's sovereignty? No. I do not need to know how God is sovereign to know that nothing is outside His eternal power and knowledge. God speaks and it is so.

But you admit that your finite god could not stop the rebellion of the angels. What will your god do to stop these demons from ruining creation if your god has no power to stop them?

It is irrational to assert that God permits evil without being the cause of the evil that exists for the simple reason that it is God's decree to permit the evil in the first place. An omnipotent God can and does prevent evil because He does so in heaven. The remaining two thirds of the angels are sealed forever. Not one of them will fall from heaven.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>Freedom of will to choose one thing or the other thing explains the fall of the angels and mankind, but you cannot because you don't believe in freedom of will to choose one thing or the other thing.<<<

The freedom to choose arbitrarily destroys responsibility. Adam was not free to disobey God. God told him NOT to disobey. But Adam rebelled and did it anyway. God held Adam accountable. But in another sense, God predetermined the fall because He set up Adam for the fall by orchestrating all the circumstances that lead to the fall. God could have prevented the fall by not testing Adam in the first place. God put the tree and the serpent in the Garden. God gave Adam a wife who tempted him to disobey. But you conveniently overlook all this and you keep ignoring that there is no freedom to sin in heaven. Therefore there is no libertarian free will in heaven. Why do you ignore the obvious?

Martin Luther put it most plainly in his response to Erasmus:

"THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD.

Sect. 9.—THIS, therefore, is also essentially necessary and wholesome for Christians to know: That God foreknows nothing by contingency, but that He foresees, purposes, and does all things according to His immutable, eternal, and infallible will. By this thunderbolt, "Free-will" is thrown prostrate, and utterly dashed to pieces. Those, therefore, who would assert "Free-will," must either deny this thunderbolt, or pretend not to see it, or push it from them." The Bondage of the Will

Again, if Arminians were more logical they would not be Arminians. God foreordains the end from the beginning. (Isaiah 46:9-11).

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>If both were created perfect without freedom of will to choose, <<< I refer you again to the Westminster Confession. Obviously man was created with a will or volition and does make choices as a free moral agent. But this is not the same thing as libertarian free will. Before the fall Adam had a will that was free from sin. After the fall Adam was a slave to sin. Before the fall Adam had no free will because no man's will is free from God's eternal predestination. If God foreknows what will happen then it is certain to happen just as God knows it will. Foreknowledge and predestination are the same thing.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>then Calvinism dictates that both could not possibly choose to disobey God.<<<<

This a huge non sequitur since the Bible says that God foreordains all that comes to pass. God dictates the end from the beginning, including your irrationalism. Adam and Eve chose to disobey God of their own will and volition because they were free moral agents. Their choices were foreordained and most certain to happen just as God foreknew they would happen.

If God foreknows that you will go to church next Sunday, is it possible that you won't go to church next Sunday?

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>Calvinism makes Lucifer a victim of God's sovereignty rather than being responsible for his own fall. <<<<

Lucifer has no rights before God. God does what He pleases with His creatures. That includes both men and angels. God does not owe Satan anything and He certainly does not owe any man salvation.


Satan was held accountable by God. So how can you say that Satan is not responsible? Who else would hold Satan accountable other than Almighty God? Just asking???

Stupid Arminians think Satan has an excuse for his rebellion? Please:) An inability to obey God does not give anyone an excuse for their disobedience. Romans 1:18-21.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>God is not limited if He permits freedom of choice.<<<<

God is not limited if He permits choices that He foreknows and predetermines. But the fact that He permits evil knowing that the choices He permits will result in evil means that God is the ultimate cause of evil. That's because God does not permit evil in heaven. You keep ignoring this obvious fact:) Why does God permit evil on earth and not in heaven? Unless you are saying that salvation is defectible in heaven? Can you lose your salvation after you have attained it??? But let's be clear. It is impossible for any man to keep the covenant of works because all men are cursed with sin and no one is without the taint of total depravity.

For you to say that God "limits" Himself is to say that God changes. The fact is God is eternally immutable and it is impossible for God to change.

James 1:17 (NKJV)
17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.


If God changes, how would we trust His immutable promises?

Malachi 3:6 (NKJV)
6 “For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.


It is impossible for God to lie.

Titus 1:1–3 (NKJV)
1 Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, 2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began, 3 but has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior;

The elect were justified in eternity and it is impossible that God would break His promise to save all of the elect.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>> If freedom of choice doesn't exist, then you have no one other than God to blame for the fall of Lucifer and Adam. <<<

Again, free moral agency is not the same thing as libertarian free will. Men have a volition. Angels have volition. But their choices being made freely by the creature are all predetermined by God without God's violating their wills.

Chapter 3: Of God's Eternal Decree

.....nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.3

3 Acts 2:23; Matt. 17:12; Acts 4:27,28; John 19:11; Prov. 16:33.



Acts 2:23 (NKJV)
23 Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;

Matthew 17:12 (NKJV)
12 But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished. Likewise the Son of Man is also about to suffer at their hands.”

Acts 4:27–28 (NKJV)
27 “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.

John 19:11 (NKJV)
11 Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.”

Proverbs 16:33 (NKJV)
33 The lot is cast into the lap, But its every decision is from the LORD.

Charlie J. Ray said...

The cross happened because God foreordained that Judas Iscariot would betray Jesus, that Pontius Pilate and Herod would put Jesus on trial and that false witnesses would testify against Jesus. It was predetermined from all eternity that Pilate would crucify Jesus. And without the fall the decree of redemption would not have been necessary in the first place. God decreed the fall and the redemption that was necessary afterwards.

Sean Budde said...

YOU SAID: "God is omnipotent and omniscient. He knows all the propositions there are to be known. He is more than able to preserve two thirds of the angels from falling and to cause Satan and the other one third of the angels to fall. Is there anything that is outside of God's sovereignty? No."

There it is...your true belief comes out. You believe that God put evil in Lucifer's heart so that he would sin. There's no other conclusion that you could come to since evil did not exist in heaven and God is not evil. So, how did Lucifer choose to rebel against God?

YOU SAID: "God IS the cause of the fall and everything else that comes to pass. He does so without violating man's will. He permits Adam to fall and thereby causes the fall."

But if Adam had a will enslaved to only do good, and was totally perfect, and therefore, beyond God's reproach, he couldn't have willed to do otherwise. The same goes for Lucifer. So, where did their wrong decisions come from? You would have to say that God willed them to sin, and therefore, God is the one responsible for Lucifer's and a third of the angels' fall, and also the fall of Adam and Eve.

YOU SAID: "Again, free moral agency is not the same thing as libertarian free will. Men have a volition. Angels have volition. But their choices being made freely by the creature are all predetermined by God without God's violating their wills."

You don't seem to understand what 'totally perfect' means. It means that such a perfect man cannot choose to do an imperfect act no matter what is presented to him. Perfection cannot make an imperfect choice. Satan deceived Eve into disobeying God. She had the freedom of will to believe a lie, just as man has the freedom of will to believe the gospel today. The influence was satan, and today, the influence is Christ through the gospel of Christ that spiritually draws dead hearts that listen to hear and receive the gospel, rather than turn away from that spiritual drawing. Neither influence overpowers man's freedom of will to choose one or the other. Adam and Eve could have chosen to not believe a lie. You deny that Adam walked with God for many years before he fell. If that wasn't influential, i don't know what is. Adam had all the opportunity in the world to choose to do what is right. I think that's why satan went to Eve first. I think he knew that he couldn't get Adam to fall for his lie. So, he went to Eve. This shows that Adam could have chosen otherwise. Unless you believe that God had satan go to Eve first. Calvinism is a really distasteful theology. I'm disliking it more and more. I see where it's going and i don't like it. You can call that total depravity. i call it the Holy Spirit giving me a strong dislike of such evil philosophy.

Sean Budde said...

The description of your blog at Networked Blogs reads...

"The purpose of Reasonable Christian is to defend the authority of Holy Scripture against Anglo-Catholicism, Arminianism, and Semi-Pelagianism. Apologetics, biblical exegesis, and a solid biblical and dogmatic theology are the focus of the articles and posts."

And yet your replies to my comments have been very philosophical in nature. What i don't like about Calvinists like yourself, is they don't stick to the scriptures. I wanted to reasonably debate individual verses with you, but you totally diverted into the realm of philosophy. Philosophy is not the Bible. Philosophy is man's own thinking and reasoning based on seeing the Bible through his or her own lens. Philosophy on the level that you've attempted to get into, leads to nothing but confusion, conflict and disagreement. The scriptures should always be the primary focus, not philosophy. And i think your comments have shown that you're not a "Reasonable Christian" whose willing to be corrected by those very scriptures that you claim to revere and respect.

Charlie J. Ray said...

I beg to differ. It is the Arminian who rejects the Scriptures. The Bible teaches the doctrine of predestination on just about every page. And worse, it is the Arminian who is the rationalist. That is because rather than just accepting the Bible texts at face value, the Arminian must explain them away to make the texts fit with their presupposition that God would be unjust if He does not fit the Arminian's view of justice. The Bible says plainly that God does what He pleases with His creatures. I'm sorry that you don't believe the Bible.

35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? (Dan 4:35 KJV)

Also, I have given you plenty of Scriptures. The problem is you don't believe the Bible.

9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,
10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it. (Isa 46:9-11 KJV)

And furthermore, the Arminian reads the Bible through certain theological and philosophical lenses. So it is humorous that you accuse me of philosophizing when you are doing the same thing. The real question is whose philosophy and theology is logically deduced from Scripture by good and necessary consequence? John 1:1 says that God is Logic. Man is God's image: John 1:9; Genesis 1:27. Since Scripture is propositional revelation, it logically follows that the propositions of Scripture can be organized into a logical system. The best summary of that system of dogmatic and propositional truth is the Westminster Confession of Faith with the Scriptural prooftexts.

But I noticed you cannot answer a very simple question. If God foreknows that you will go to church next Sunday, is it possible that you won't go to church next Sunday?

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>There it is...your true belief comes out. You believe that God put evil in Lucifer's heart so that he would sin. There's no other conclusion that you could come to since evil did not exist in heaven and God is not evil. So, how did Lucifer choose to rebel against God?<<<

I have never denied that God caused Satan to rebel with 1/3 of the angels. I affirmed it several times already:) God is not evil when God causes moral evil. Whatever God does is right. God righteously ordains that which is unrighteous. The Bible says so many times over.

As for your question, how did Lucifer choose to rebel against God? Well, obviously Lucifer exercised his volition or will, wouldn't you say? Free moral agency does not deny that men and angels make genuine choices. The question is whether or not their choices are predetermined to a specific outcome.

Westminster Confession of Faith

Chapter 3: Of God's Eternal Decree

1. God, from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass:1 yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin,2 nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.3

See also: WLC 12 | WSC 7


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1 Eph. 1:11; Rom. 11:33; Heb. 6:17; Rom. 9:15,18.

2 James 1:13,17; 1 John 1:5.

3 Acts 2:23; Matt. 17:12; Acts 4:27,28; John 19:11; Prov. 16:33.



Man is held accountable for his choices and so are the angels. They are responsible for everything they choose to do--even if they could not have chosen otherwise.

Charlie J. Ray said...

God caused Abimelech not to have sex with Abraham's wife, Sarah:

2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah.
3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man's wife.
4 But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation?
5 Said he not unto me, She is my sister? and she, even she herself said, He is my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this.
6 And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her.
(Gen 20:2-6 KJV)

God did so without violating Abimelech's will.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>But if Adam had a will enslaved to only do good, and was totally perfect, and therefore, beyond God's reproach, he couldn't have willed to do otherwise. The same goes for Lucifer. So, where did their wrong decisions come from? You would have to say that God willed them to sin, and therefore, God is the one responsible for Lucifer's and a third of the angels' fall, and also the fall of Adam and Eve.<<<


Adam was predetermined to fall. God foreknew Adam would fall and it was never possible that Adam would not fall. He could not will otherwise because God's eternal foreknowledge contains no contingencies or possibilities. God knows the end from the beginning.

Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying,`My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,' (Isaiah 46:10 NKJV)

God caused Adam and Eve to fall. God caused Lucifer to fall.

J Proverbs 21:1 The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes. (Pro 21:1 NKJV)


Responsibility is another matter. Since the buck stops with God, who will hold God accountable? YOU? Please:)

NKJ Job 40:1 Moreover the LORD answered Job, and said:
2 "Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him? He who rebukes God, let him answer it."
3 Then Job answered the LORD and said:
4 "Behold, I am vile; What shall I answer You? I lay my hand over my mouth.
5 Once I have spoken, but I will not answer; Yes, twice, but I will proceed no further."
6 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said:
7 "Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me:
8 "Would you indeed annul My judgment? Would you condemn Me that you may be justified?
(Job 40:1-8 NKJ)

Responsibility is defined as being held accountable by a higher authority. Since there is no higher authority than God, whatever God does is right. There is no law outside of God to which God is held accountable. God does what He pleases.

3 But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases. (Psa 115:3 NKJ)

Sean Budde said...

YOU SAID: "But I noticed you cannot answer a very simple question. If God foreknows that you will go to church next Sunday, is it possible that you won't go to church next Sunday?"

God put the tree in the garden to test Adam. He didn't do so to make him sin. That would make God evil. Satan is the only one who tried to make man sin, not God. When you say that God set up an inexorable fall of man through satan, you're putting God in the same role as satan. God knew Adam would fail the test, but that does not mean that Adam couldn't have legitimately chosen otherwise. For a test to be a test, two legitimate possibilities must exist. True freedom of choice must exist. Christ passed the test presented to Him by the Father. The devil tempted Christ in the desert. He tempted Him through His hunger. Christ resisted the temptation and followed the Father's will. The will of God was that Adam not eat of the tree (Genesis 2:17). If you believe that God's will was really otherwise, then His command that Adam not eat of the tree was against His own sovereign will, and therefore, a lie.

Is this command by God a lie or true?

(Genesis 2:16-18) And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. And the LORD God said, [It is] not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

Intellectualism will dictate that God doesn't really mean what He says. But isn't that exactly what the serpent did in the garden? Got Eve to believe that God didn't mean what He said? Or worse, that God lied?

When a Calvinist reads this passage, there's only one conclusion that can be arrived at. God is not totally righteous. Your theology dictates that God didn't really want Adam to not sin, and His command to Adam was merely lip service that wasn't His sovereign will that sin should exist. And you believe that God put the woman in the garden to ensure that Adam would fall, rather than her being exactly what God said she was to be. So, who is really imposing their own lens upon the Bible? And who is adding words to the Bible? I read it at face value, but you read it with a secret sovereign agenda of God in view. Nowhere does the Bible say that God wanted evil to exist on earth. That's just not scriptural. God created man in His own image and He wanted Adam to have true freedom of choice. And yet, the Calvinist denies true freedom of choice because it conflicts with the notion that Christ only paid for the sins of some men and God arbitrarily chooses some men to be saved and some men to be damned. Yes, being born of God is not of the will of man, but the Calvinist doesn't search further to see what God's will actually is. John 6:40 has the answer. Calvinists get into so much theological trouble because they misunderstand what faith is. That's really the nexus of why they get so many things wrong, in the Bible.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>God put the tree in the garden to test Adam. He didn't do so to make him sin. <<<

He didn't? Then why test Adam in the first place? If God foreknew that Adam would fail the test and God knew that Adam would fail the test from all eternity, then it was never possible that Adam would pass the test. Basically, you are saying that God didn't really know Adam would fail the test. God needed to come up with contingency plans. But since God never changes and God is eternally omniscient, whatever God foreknows is also foreordained. Foreknowledge and predestination are the same thing.

As for Adam not being predetermined to fall and having libertarian free will, the point is the same. While from the perspective of Adam as a creature there were two possible choices and contingencies, from God's perspective there never were any contingencies. God already knew what choice Adam would make. That renders the choice certain. And thus before the fall libertarian free will did not exist. Libertarian free will says that there is nothing outside the will to determine the choice one way or another. But here again is another contradiction in logic on the part of the Arminian. If Adam is not commanded to obey God's command then his decision would be undetermined. But since God gave Adam a command, Adam's choice was not undetermined by anything. Adam was given a command and disobedience would bring predetermined consequences. A will that is undetermined by anything outside itself would be the will of an insane man. Run redlights at random and the outcome is predetermined. You will be involved in a crash with another vehicle.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>You don't seem to understand what 'totally perfect' means. It means that such a perfect man cannot choose to do an imperfect act no matter what is presented to him. Perfection cannot make an imperfect choice.<<<

The Bible says that God did not create Adam as unrighteous or imperfect. Yet Adam sinned. So you have contradicted yourself once again. The law of contradiction applies.

But you should study the Heidelberg Catechism:

LORD'S DAY 3

Question 6. Did God then create man so wicked and perverse?

Answer: By no means; but God created man good, 1and after His own image, in 2true righteousness and holiness, that he might rightly know God his Creator, heartily love Him and live with Him in eternal happiness to glorify and praise Him.3

Question 7. Whence then proceeds this depravity of human nature?

Answer: From the fall and disobedience of our first parents, Adam and Eve, 4in Paradise; hence our nature is become so corrupt, that we are all conceived and born in sin.5

Question 8. Are we then so corrupt that we are wholly incapable of doing any good, and inclined to all wickedness?

Answer: Indeed we are; 6except we are regenerated by the Spirit of God.7


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1 Gen. 1:31;

2 Gen. 1:26-27; Col. 3:10; Eph. 4:24

3 Eph. 1:6; 1 Cor. 6:20;

4 Gen. 3:6; Rom. 5:12, 18-19;

5 Psa. 51:5; Gen. 5:3;

6 Gen. 6:5; Job 14:4; Job 15:14, 16;

7 John 3:5; Eph. 2:5;

Charlie J. Ray said...

Permission does not solve your dilemma. If God permits evil, then God wills to permit an evil He could have prevented. God is sovereign. Evil does not exist by "bare" permission but because God planned for evil to be in the world. Without evil there would be no need for redemption.

The Westminster Confession makes this clear:

4. The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God so far manifest themselves in His providence, that it extendeth itself even to the first fall, and all other sins of angels and men; (Rom. 11:32–34, 2 Sam. 24:1, 1 Chron. 21:1, 1 Kings 22:22–23, 1 Chron. 10:4, 13–14, 2 Sam. 16:10, Acts 2:23) and that not by a bare permission, (Acts 14:16) but such as hath joined with it a most wise and powerful bounding, (Ps. 76:10, 2 Kings 19:28) and otherwise ordering, and governing of them, in a manifold dispensation, to His own holy ends; (Gen. 50:20, Isa. 10:6–7, 12) yet so, as the sinfulness thereof proceedeth only from the creature, and not from God, who, being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin. (James 1:13–14, 17, 1 John 2:16, Ps. 50:21)

WCF 5:4 Of Providence

The Westminster Confession of Faith (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996).

Charlie J. Ray said...

Socinian "Foreknowledge" More Logical than Arminian "Foreknowledge"
“In respect to this point (viz., Divine Foreknowledge, aku), the Socinian is more logical than the Arminian. Both agree that God does not decree those events which result from the action of the human will. Voluntary acts are not predetermined, but depend solely upon human will. Whether they shall occur rests ultimately upon man's decision, not upon God's. Hence human volitions are uncertainties for God, in the same way that an event which does not depend u[on a man's decision is an uncertainty for him. The inference which the Socinian drew from this was, that foreknowledge of such events as human volitions is impossible to God. God cannot foreknow a thing that may or may not be a thing; an event that may or may not be an event. The Arminian, shrinking from this limitation of the divine omniscience, asserts that God can foreknow an uncertainty; that is, that he can have foreknowledge, without fore-ordination. But in this case, there is in reality nothing to be foreknown; there is no object of foreknowledge. If the question be asked, What does God foreknow? and the answer be, that he foreknows that a particular volition will be a holy one; the reply is, that so far as the Divine decree is concerned, the volition may prove to be a sinful one. In this case, God's foreknowledge is a conjecture only, not knowledge. It is like a man's guess. If, on the contrary, the answer be, that God foreknows that the volition will be a sinful one, the reply is, that it may prove to be a holy one. In this case, also, God's foreknowledge is only a conjecture. To know, or to foreknow, an uncertainty, is a solecism. For in order to either knowledge or foreknowledge, there must be only one actual thing to be known or foreknown but in the supposed case of contingency and uncertainty, there are two possible things, either of which may turn out to be an object of knowledge, but neither of which is the one certain and definite object required. There is, therefore, nothing knowable in the case. To know, or foreknow an uncertainty, is to know or foreknow a non-entity. If it be objected, that since God, as eternal, decrees all things simultaneously, and consequently there is really no fore-ordination for him, it is still true that in the logical order an event must be a certainty before it can be known as such.”


W.G.T. Shedd, Dogmatic Theology, Volume 1, Chapter VI, pg 397-398

Contra Mundum: Socinian "Foreknowledge" More Logical than Arminian "Foreknowledge"

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>Nowhere does the Bible say that God wanted evil to exist on earth. <<<

If evil exists, then it exists because God created it. Evil cannot create itself. And in fact the Bible says specifically that God creates evil and it says so over and over again:

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. (Isaiah 45:7 KJV)
Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it? (Amos 3:6 KJV)
The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil. (Proverbs 16:4 KJV)
And the LORD said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go. (Exodus 4:21 KJV)
And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 KJV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

Martin Luther and John Calvin both say that God causes moral evil:


3. God is just toward the reprobate
eSo keeping silence, God can restrain his enemies. bBut lest we allow them to mock his holy name with impunity, out of his Word he supplies us with weapons against them. Accordingly, if anyone approaches us with such expressions as: “Why from the beginning did God predestine some to death who, since they did not yet exist, could not yet have deserved the judgment of death?”7 let us, in lieu of reply, ask them, in turn, what they think God owes to man if He would judge him according to His own nature. As all of us are vitiated by sin, we can only be odious to God, and that not from tyrannical cruelty but by the fairest reckoning of justice. But if all whom the Lord predestines to death are by condition of nature subject to the judgment of death, of what injustice toward themselves may they complain?
Let all the sons of Adam come forward; let them quarrel and argue with their Creator that they were by his eternal providence bound over before their begetting to everlasting calamity. What clamor can they raise against this defense when God, on the contrary, will call them to their account before him? If all are drawn from a corrupt mass, no wonder they are subject to condemnation! Let them not accuse God of injustice if they are destined by his eternal judgment to death, to which they feel—whether they will or not—that they are led by their own nature of itself. eHow perverse is their disposition to protest is apparent from the fact that they deliberately suppress the cause of condemnation, which they are compelled to recognize in themselves, in order to free themselves by blaming God. But though I should confess a hundred times that God is the author of it—which is very true—yet they do not promptly cleanse away the guilt that, engraved upon their consciences, repeatedly meets their eyes.


John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion & 2, ed. John T. McNeill, trans. Ford Lewis Battles, vol. 1, The Library of Christian Classics (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011), 950–951.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Sect. 9.—THIS, therefore, is also essentially necessary and wholesome for Christians to know: That God foreknows nothing by contingency, but that He foresees, purposes, and does all things according to His immutable, eternal, and infallible will. By this thunderbolt, "Free-will" is thrown prostrate, and utterly dashed to pieces. Those, therefore, who would assert "Free-will," must either deny this thunderbolt, or pretend not to see it, or push it from them. But, however, before I establish this point by any arguments of my own, and by the authority of Scripture, I will first set it forth in your words.

Are you not then the person, friend Erasmus, who just now asserted, that God is by nature just, and by nature most merciful? If this be true, does it not follow that He is immutably just and merciful? That, as His nature is not changed to all eternity, so neither His justice nor His mercy? And what is said concerning His justice and His mercy, must be said also concerning His knowledge, His wisdom, His goodness, His will, and His other Attributes. If therefore these things are asserted religiously, piously, and wholesomely concerning God, as you say yourself, what has come to you, that, contrary to your own self, you now assert, that it is irreligious, curious, and vain, to say, that God foreknows of necessity? You openly declare that the immutable will of God is to be known, but you forbid the knowledge of His immutable prescience. Do you believe that He foreknows against His will, or that He wills in ignorance? If then, He foreknows, willing, His will is eternal and immovable, because His nature is so: and, if He wills, foreknowing, His knowledge is eternal and immovable, because His nature is so.

From which it follows unalterably, that all things which we do, although they may appear to us to be done mutably and contingently, and even may be done thus contingently by us, are yet, in reality, done necessarily and immutably, with respect to the will of God. For the will of God is effective and cannot be hindered; because the very power of God is natural to Him, and His wisdom is such that He cannot be deceived. And as His will cannot be hindered, the work itself cannot be hindered from being done in the place, at the time, in the measure, and by whom He foresees and wills. If the will of God were such, that, when the work was done, the work remained but the will ceased, (as is the case with the will of men, which, when the house is built which they wished to build, ceases to will, as though it ended by death) then, indeed, it might be said, that things are done by contingency and mutability. But here, the case is the contrary; the work ceases, and the will remains. So far is it from possibility, that the doing of the work or its remaining, can be said to be from contingency or mutability. But, (that we may not be deceived in terms) being done by contingency, does not, in the Latin language, signify that the work itself which is done is contingent, but that it is done according to a contingent and mutable will—such a will as is not to be found in God! Moreover, a work cannot be called contingent, unless it be done by us unawares, by contingency, and, as it were, by chance; that is, by our will or hand catching at it, as presented by chance, we thinking nothing of it, nor willing any thing about it before.

Martin Luther. The Bondage of the Will: The Sovereignty of God.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Finally, you keep accusing God of evil. This is the same argument used by the atheists. So why don't you just admit that you don't believe in the God defined by Scripture?

Whatever God does is just, including when He ordains evil. When David sinned with Bathsheba, God spoke through Nathan and said:

11 "Thus says the LORD:`Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun.
12 `For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, before the sun.'" (2Sa 12:11-12 NKJV)

This prophecy was fulfilled when God caused Absalom to follow the advice of Ahithophel:

21 And Ahithophel said to Absalom, "Go in to your father's concubines, whom he has left to keep the house; and all Israel will hear that you are abhorred by your father. Then the hands of all who are with you will be strong."
22 So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the top of the house, and Absalom went in to his father's concubines in the sight of all Israel.
23 Now the advice of Ahithophel, which he gave in those days, was as if one had inquired at the oracle of God. So was all the advice of Ahithophel both with David and with Absalom.
(2Sa 16:21-23 NKJV)





Sean Budde said...

YOU SAID: "He didn't? Then why test Adam in the first place? If God foreknew that Adam would fail the test and God knew that Adam would fail the test from all eternity, then it was never possible that Adam would pass the test. Basically, you are saying that God didn't really know Adam would fail the test."

This will be my last post, since this is getting nowhere. This is why i said philosophy is not the way to truth. But i'll just say that just because God knows the future, doesn't make a legitimate choice any less legitimate. Why test adam? Because Adam was created in God's image and wasn't a robot. Testing was necessary because Adam had to be given a legitimate choice to do one thing or the other, even though God knew what the result would be. How Lucifer sinned is a mystery, but following the logic of Calvinism, if Adam was totally perfect, then there was no more possibility for Adam to sin, than there is for a totally depraved person to not sin. Both extremes are opposite ends of the same spectrum and both demand the same result in different directions. If one end of that spectrum is total depravity, as the Calvinists claim. Then the other end is total perfection, and therefore, Adam could not have sinned no matter what satan did because he was perect. Adam had the freedom to choose when presented with that choice, but he listened to Eve who listened to the serpent.

According to Calvinist logic, Adam was right to blame God for giving him a woman that made him sin. The Calvinist believes that Eve was given to Adam to insure that he sin (which implies that he would not have chosen to believe satan's lie if Eve had not been put into the mix and ate of the fruit beforehand).

Charlie J. Ray said...

It's your last post because you keep violating the law of contradiction. Irrationalism is the best you can do? The Bible says that God knows the end from the beginning. (Isaiah 46:9-11 NKJV). And the Bible says that the reason God knows the future is because God planned and purposed the future just as it happens. (Isaiah 14:24). I'm so sorry that you don't believe the Scriptures, Sean.

Dan 4:35 All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven And among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand Or say to Him, "What have You done?"

Charlie J. Ray said...

I don't get why you say that Adam could not sin. The Bible defines sin as any violation of God's moral law. Since Adam violated God's moral law, Adam sinned. Romans 5:12-21 NKJV

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>>According to Calvinist logic, Adam was right to blame God for giving him a woman that made him sin. <<<

Non sequitur. Since God held Adam accountable, Adam had no excuse. God told Adam to obey and Adam chose not to do so. Just because the rebellion of Adam was predetermined through secondary causes does not give Adam an excuse. Will worship is heresy. Adam was no a robot. He was a human being:) Robots don't have intellect, volition, or emotions. Robots don't have the image of God or a genuine human nature or a human soul. These straw man arguments are amusing:)

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