Musings on Calvinism

May 29, 20

A a record of my journey exploring and ruminating on this issue. I strive to present the issues in as simplified a manner, in order to aid understanding. Great thanks especially to Leighton Flowers, Kevin Thompson, William Lane Craig, Tim Stratton, Braxton Hunter, Eric Hernandez, Michael Heiser, and the many posters and commentors on various FB groups whose insights and explanations (from many different viewpoints) have proven invaluable.

I have cleaned up and organized all my posts related to this topic. Click on this to sort for only those posts:

https://scottthong.wordpress.com/category/soteriology/

#######

The following are the most important ones that have to do with common proof-texts or arguments for Calvinism, as that is the crucial issue in my opinion:

*** 111. ROMANS 9 – SUPERPOST

6. ROMANS 9 – A NON CALVINISTIC INTERPRETATION

15. YOU ACCEPTED THE GOSPEL? SO YOU THINK YOU’RE SAVED BY YOUR WORK?

20. VESSELS OF MERCY/WRATH

22. LIKE OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN VS LIMITED ATONEMENT

28. ROMANS 9 AND OLD TESTAMENT CONTEXT

31. JOHN 6 & DRAW

32. ROMANS 9 & JEREMIAH

36. ROLE-MANS 9

39. HOW WOULD THE ORIGINAL RECIPIENTS OF ROMANS 9 HAVE UNDERSTOOD IT?

43. DOES ACTS 13:48 TEACH UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION?

47. HEBREWS 12:2 AND FAITH NOUN/VERB

64. REGENERATION SO YOU CAN BELIEVE, OR BELIEF SO THAT YOU ARE REGENERATED?

67. WHAT CONTEXT ARE THE OLD TESTAMENT PASSAGES CITED IN ROMANS 9?

69. THE PROVISIONIST VIEW OF ROMANS 3:10

71. WHO IS THE INTERLOCUTOR OBJECTING TO GOD’S WAYS IN ROMANS 9?

74. ‘SOTERIOLOGICAL’ PSALMS IN CONTEXT

79. PASSAGES THAT UNDERMINE LIMITED ATONEMENT, GOING FURTHER THAN JUST ‘ALL’

83. BRAD SAAB ON CALVINIST & NON-CALVINIST INTERPRETATION OF EPHESIANS 1

84. EPHESIANS 1 AND PREDESTINATION – TO WHAT?

85. WHO IS PREDESTINED, AND FOR WHAT?

86. WILLIAM LANE CRAIG ON ROMANS 9 & 10, EPHESIAN 2 ‘FAITH IS A GIFT OF GOD’

87. FALLACY OF EQUIVOCATION: IS ACCEPTING SALVATION A ‘WORK’?

88. ROMANS 8 – THE GOLDEN CHAIN OF ADOPTION FOR THOSE WHO HAVE ACCEPTED CHRIST (NOT THE GOLDEN CHAIN OF SALVATION FOR THE TOTALLY DEPRAVED WHO ARE UNCONDITIONALLY ELECTED)

90. 1 CORINTHIANS 2:14 – ABOUT UNREGENERATE UNBELIEVERS, OR IMMATURE BELIEVERS?

91. ROMANS 8:29-30 – PAST TENSE OLD TESTAMENT?

94. LIMITED ATONEMENT – LIMITED IN ACCEPTANCE BY CALVINISTS

108. N.T. WRIGHT ON ROMANS 9 & ELECTION TO PURPOSE

116. DOES JEREMIAH 19:9 TEACH DETERMINISM?

119. ARE DICE ROLLS ANALOGOUS TO HUMAN WILL?

130. REFORMED SCHOLAR CHARLES CRANFIELD – ROMANS 9 IS ELECTION TO HISTORICAL FUNCTION, NOT SALVATION

133. LAMENTATIONS 3 – THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GOD WANTING EVIL & GOD ALLOWING EVIL

139. JOHN 3:16 – GENERAL OR SPECIAL LOVE?

145. JOEL WEBBON STUMPED ON COLOSSIANS 2:12 BY LEIGHTON FLOWERS

148. POTTER PROOFTEXTS – TALKING BACK TO GOD & THE EUTHYPHRO DILEMMA

151. A TEXT WITHOUT CONTEXT IS PRETEXT FOR A (CALVINIST) PROOFTEXT

152. Man’s Steps From the LORD = Determinism?

178. Passages That Exclude Divine Determinism

181. COMPATIBILISM, LFW, REAL OPTIONS & 1 COR 10:13

208. PROVERBS 14:6 – GOD MAKES DAMNED PEOPLE?

211. SHORT EXPLANATION OF CALVINISM’S TULIP USING LOGICAL NECESSITY & ORDER

225. WWUTT’s Gabriel Hughes Stumped on Get Life to Get Christ To Get Life

#######

Or, browse by all post titles in chronological order below, with the above most important passage-related posts bolded:

Read the rest of this entry »

RABBINIC BANS AGAINST INTERPRETING DANIEL 7 AS TEACHING ‘TWO POWERS’ DOCTRINE

March 24, 22

Left column is from Mekhilta of R. Simeon b. Yohai, right column is from Mekhilta debe R. Ishmael.

[Alan F. Segal, Two Powers in Heaven: Early Rabbinic Reports about Christianity and Gnosticism (N/p.: Brill, 1977), 33]

Hellboy’s Closing Scene & Christ’s Defeat of Death

March 24, 22

“I’ll cross over, and then you’ll be sorry” – basically a parallel to 1 Cor 2:8, Christ descending into Hades, the Harrowing of Hell, Christus Victor, ‘Jesus smacking Death & Hades around and taking their keys & lunch money’, etc 😉

Memes Where Calvinism Totally Inverts Plain Bible Passages

March 9, 22

Mainly due to ‘Regeneration Precedes Faith’.

See also related: JOEL WEBBON STUMPED ON COLOSSIANS 2:12 BY LEIGHTON FLOWERS and WWUTT’s Gabriel Hughes Stumped on Get Life to Get Christ To Get Life.

A very small subset of my 700+ memes at My Soteriological (and Other) Memes.

WWUTT’s Gabriel Hughes Stumped on Get Life to Get Christ To Get Life

March 1, 22

When Leighton Flowers asks a simple question about the Calvinist Ordo Salutis of ‘Regeneration precedes faith’ you see how the Reformed position immediately ties itself into knots trying to reconcile its philosophical presuppositions! You can almost hear Gabriel Hughes’ brain-gears screeching & scraping on the grit of illogic:

“I mean it’s it’s difficult for us to say really that all of those things happen in a particular sequence, uh, it’s really quite mysterious to us when it comes down to it”

“Well it’s a good argument, uh, but the, the, uh, regenerating work that is done by God in a person’s heart is not the everlasting life, the everlasting life that we have in Christ is by faith”

“Yeah again it’s the the order of events is difficult for us to fathom or to understand”

“I mean it might be crude for me to say that you are given life before you have life uh that’s, that’s, uh, complex… It’s complicated, most certainly”

See also similar: JOEL WEBBON STUMPED ON COLOSSIANS 2:12 BY LEIGHTON FLOWERS

Less Like Drowning, More Like Slow Disease

February 3, 22

JMB: If all men have natural faith to believe.. Then why you believe and the other was not? And why they still reject the gospel if men has a natural faith of its own to believe?

Me: The reason is simply because they chose to reject the Gospel. To ask what made them choose to reject the Gospel is to assume something other than themselves made the decision.

JMB: they have faith of themeselves but still refuse God to be their savior? It is just like a life boat that saves but men still to refuse and reject to go and be saved by the life boat??? Is that a good logical example? Who is that crazy man that he is already drawning but still refuse to be save by a life boat.

Me: It’s less like a drowning situation where immediate death is clearly staring them in the face, and more like a far-distant maybe-death that they can wilfully ignore. How many smokers do you come across who know the cancer risk, yet keep smoking? Or diabetes and heart-disease prone people who still gorge on their sweet, fat-laden treats?Eternal doom is waiting over the horizon, but some people are content to never look at the horizon. That is why there are many deathbed or desperate illness conversions, it is only when they are forced to confront their mortality that they suddenly realize they ARE afraid of what lies across the threshold.Do think a bit about what I said and how it reflects real life.

Wow Such Divine, So Council

January 29, 22

Much likes:

WLC & MSH: ROMANS 5 ON ADAM’S IMPUTED GUILT

January 27, 22

William Lane Craig: Rather the doctrine says that I am guilty for what Adam did, that I am punishable, I am liable to punishment because of what Adam did. His guilt is imputed to all of his posterity. I’ve argued that that’s not the best interpretation of either Genesis 3 – none of the curses on Adam and Eve is about such imputation of guilt or sin – nor does Paul describe that in Romans 5. Rather what Paul says in Romans 5 is that death spread to all men because all men sinned. – https://www.reasonablefaith.org/media/reasonable-faith-podcast/listener-questions-about-new-book-on-adam

Michael S. Heiser: Now, follow my thinking here: 5:12 death (not guilt) passes to ALL humans – https://drmsh.com/romans-512-and-universalism-applying-my-take-on-romans-512-to-the-problem/

See also: Subsets of Condemnation & Justification and Do Babies Who Die Go to Heaven? Some Responses (Heiser’s take on it)

WHEN YOUR REFORMED BRAIN-GEARS GRIND TO A SCREECHING HALT BECAUSE OF YOUR OWN CALVINISTIC ILLOGIC

January 26, 22

Hughes had a nicely packaged opening statement, but from 28:55 when Flowers asks a simple question about ‘Regeneration precedes faith’ you see how the Reformed position immediately ties itself into knots trying to reconcile its philosophical presuppositions!

Reciting confessional statements is easy, being forced to actually stop and think about what you just affirmed is hard. (By contrast, a non-Calvinist just simply says what the Bible plainly states: “Believe and have new life, faith precedes regeneration!”)

29:52 Flowers: “Regeneration or getting being reborn, given new life and you said yes. So that means somebody has to be born again given new life in order to come to Jesus, so they would have to have life before they have Jesus. And I’m asking, how does somebody have life apart from Christ?”

30:26 Hughes: “When we talk about this in in sort of a, a Reformed sort of a context”

30:50 Hughes: “I mean it’s, it’s difficult for us to say, really, that all of those things happen in a particular sequence… Uh, it’s really quite mysterious to us when it comes down to it. All that we know is that this is a work that God has done, we don’t affect it, God is the one who does”

31:24 Flowers” “Even the one you read earlier, John 20:31, by believing we may have life… It seems you get the order backwards, you say, well you have to have life in order to believe, and the Bible seems to say no, you believe so as to be given new life.”

31:37 Hughes: “Well it’s a good argument, uh but the, the uh, regenerating work that is done by God in a person’s heart is not the everlasting life, the everlasting life that we have in Christ is by faith. But that, the person’s spirit was dead and could not believe in Jesus until the work of the Father that is done on that person’s heart. So it is only through that regenerative work that we have life in Christ.”

32:10 Hughes: “Again it’s the, the order of events is difficult for us to fathom or to understand”

32:26 Flowers: “You are given life before you have life?”

32:32 Hughes: “Uh that’s, that’s uh, complex, it’s complicated, most certainly, well, um”

JORDAN PETERSON IS THE GATEWAY DRUG TO CHRISTIANITY

December 24, 21

20:08 I spent much of my time communicating the Gospel to my friend Alex – this is a true story – who aggressively resisted my attempts to evangelize him. He would not listen to me or read any book written by a Christian. I tried to give him William Lane Craig and Mike Licona to read their stuff, and he would not accept them because they were writing from a Christian position. He would just reject them.

So I eventually gave up and wiped the dust off my feet. A year later I ran into him and he told me with a smile on his face, “Tim I’m a Christian now!” I was shocked and overjoyed, and I asked Alex “How did this happen?”

And he responded by saying “Well I read Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules For Life!”

And I responded by saying “But Jordan Peterson is not a Christian! That’s not a Christian book!” And Alex replied “I know, but he got me so close to the cross that everything you said in the past now made perfect sense.”

So it seems that Jordan Peterson is the gateway drug to Christianity.

WHY I AM SO INCLUSIVE – CONSISTENCY

December 22, 21

Although I disagree on some or many points – small and large – with Arminians, Calvinists, Molinists, Provisionists, Open Theists, Catholics, Orthodox, etc… I still do consider them fellow believers in Christ.

Now you may have the same stance, sure… But I even won’t conclusively state that Unitarians, Oneness Pentecostals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons etc. are not saved by their faith in Jesus (different though their idea of Jesus might be)! This is probably further than most of you would include under the biggest tent you have in your shed.

My stance is because of two things:

1) I cannot decisively say what the repentant thief on the cross or Naaman believed or confessed. If I can’t wring, say, Trinitarianism out of them… Then I won’t try to do it with anyone else. This sermon by Dr Heiser on Naaman is informative on this point: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEHy1wLa0NwAnd more pertinent to our group in particular:

2) Sure, many of the people I mentioned say things about God and Jesus and other stuff I disagree with (sometimes vehemently): God was once a man, Jesus was a created angel, Mary is co-redemptrix and queen of heaven, God doesn’t/can’t know the future (or chooses not to, more acceptable to me), the list goes on.

But nothing compares, nothing is worse to me than saying, out loud and proud, that God is PERFECTLY PLEASED & PREFERS sin and evil and damnation. God authors evil, wants your suffering, decrees rape. God created billions for the specific purpose of unconditionally damning them to eternal hell – for His own glory & pleasure. God hates them. Jesus didn’t die for YOU as far as anyone can say with certainty. SOLI DEO GLORIA, don’t you dare object, WHOAREYOUOMANTOTALKBACKTOGOD, you worship your own pagan-goddess free will, you preach ‘a different Gospel’, you Pelagian Synergists think you can save yourselves, you reject God’s sovereignty for the same reason Satan does.

I strive for consistency. As a wise teacher once told me (but somehow fails to take his own advice a lot of the time), “Inconsistency is the sign of a failed argument” – James White.

And to be consistent, if I won’t cast out or anathemize Calvinists for all the above… Then I cannot in good faith and sound logic cast out anyone else I mentioned.


%d bloggers like this: