Archive for the ‘Soteriology’ Category


March 17, 23

1) Calvinists say ‘dead means dead’, dead in sins = inability to respond like a literal corpse. Only God regenerating someone to new life first makes them capable of accepting the Gospel (regeneration precedes faith). See attached Sproul quote as example.

2) Some Calvinists mock nonCalvinists who don’t agree that God must regenerate people to new life first. They compare it to a preacher evangelising to a pile of literal dry bones, haha what kind of fool thinks a lifeless skeleton can respond to his puny human words. I’ve seen lots of memes on this, several are attached.

3) But if the Calvinist is correct about 1, by rights they should be preaching to literal piles of lifeless bones. This is because they view both literal corpses and pre-regenerate sinners as equally unable to respond positively to the Gospel, and both require a direct intervention from God to change their current state.

Conclusion: Obviously we see NO Calvinists ever evangelise to literal rotting corpses – there are no reports of Sproul ever donning suba gear to preach to drowning victims on the sea floor (remember what Paul said about ‘how can they hear without someone preaching to them’!).

Therefore, Calvinists don’t really believe their own rhetoric about ‘dead means dead’. See these memes:

Calvinists are inconsistent on this point, just as they are with countless other parts of their own manmade philosophy. See bonus James White meme.


March 11, 23

17:50 “…if God believes that I will eat a cheese omelette for breakfast tomorrow, I still have the ability to choose to eat cereal instead which means that I have the ability to make God’s belief false. Crucially however, I maintain that this possibility is never actualized. God is never actually wrong about what He believes will happen in the future … so long as we are willing to accept the conclusion that God can possibly but never actually be wrong about what He believes” –

Thanks David Pallmann for stating more eloquently about God’s future knowledge being falsified what I did about human ability to perfectly avoid sin – it is POSSIBLE, but never actual –


January 17, 23

So on a recommendation/challenge from a friend I’ve listened through this introductory series by David Pawson and would like to know your thoughts on it.

He explains the four steps (RBBR, mnemonically recalled as rubber) to being born again that he’s known for promoting (in his very steady, properly pronounced & enunciated British schoolteacher style):


Belief in Jesus


Receiving the Holy Spirit

His view is that without all four steps which are taught in the New Testament (passage citations given), one doesn’t get the full benefits of being born again. Various groups will focus on one or the other (e.g. baptismal regeneration or gifts of the Spirit), but neglect the others.

NB: He’s not a Calvinist, and his reasonings in Video 4 (baptism) for why babies shouldn’t be baptised would get him called a Pelagian by the usual types we know.


January 17, 23

God has predestined something for everyone, but that doesn’t mean we cannot resist or reject His plans for us – as the potter & clay in Jeremiah teaches, what our destiny is depends on how we respond.

And what are we chosen for? Service. Who is chosen? People, not individuals.

And the truest part… So often the above views are dismissed as Arminianism, by those who have never actually read the works of Arminius!


January 17, 23

So I had a sudden realization followed by some thoughts which are probably running too much on a very wooden, literal reading of a passage.

Divine aseity, God is perfect in His own existence, doesn’t need anything. That is what YHWH means, “He is”.

But Phil 2:9-10 says “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow” – the highest name is not YHWH, but Yeshua: “YHWH saves”.

This not only implies there is a subject for YHWH to verb upon. If it were “YHWH loves” it would not be an issue since the members of the Trinity can eternally love among one another (a capability Allah or other Unitarian views lack).

But “YHWH saves” implies an imperfect subject to be saved. Since YHWH is perfect, the imperfect subject must be something else created. This would then imply that contra aseity, it is objectively higher that YHWH does create.

(There ARE some views that do go so far to say that YHWH must necessarily create, such as Essential Kenosis, the views of Jurgen Moltmann, or the logical conclusion of Divine Simplicity.)



January 17, 23

Christianity: Take the whole Bible’s narrative where we are constantly told to choose & respond; interpret a few possibly unclear passages using that overarching paradigm.

Calvinism: Start from a handful of prooftexts interpreted using philosophical presuppositions; interpret the rest of the Bible through that lens.


January 17, 23

Oh hey, I just realised this kind of silly logical conclusion.

You know that ridiculous Calvinist conflation whereby “So you think you choose to be born again? Do you remember when you chose to be born the first time?” (basically committing the same fallacious reasoning as Nicodemus)

The similar argument goes that, since we didn’t consent to being created & existing, therefore we don’t consent to being saved either.

Well if Annihilationism is true… Then in a way, not consenting to be saved IS not consenting to continue existing!

Makes me wonder what Chris Date (Calvinist, Annihilationist) thinks of this logic.


January 17, 23

Skip to 1:00 if you want just the successful attempt after wannabes give it a try.

The key takeway I realised is this: The sheep don’t start out automatically recognising and following the shepherd’s voice. They weren’t conceived or born already knowing the shepherd. They had to LEARN his voice and learn to trust him over time.

The Jews who heard Jesus preach and us today know Jesus is our shepherd because we have learned to recignize and trust him as our Great Shepherd (John 10:14-16). To the Jews who had only the Old Testament, this was through the words of The Father (John 6:44-45).


December 21, 22

What if creaturely decisions are NOT AT ALL tethered to antecedent conditions? They can be influenced by e.g. genetics, environment, randomness… but even at a 0.0001% probabiliticness they would pick A, it remains within full possibility they pick B instead – and this is due to some mystery, miracle, whatever in the human soul.

This means that when God creates the universe with the initial parameters, it does NOT predestine all events and (free) creaturely decisions like a chain of dominos. In this respect, it differs from Molinism where God (via MK) uses the initial conditions of creation to predestine all things including free creaturely decisions (this was actually my early misunderstanding of how MK works, it is actually more akin to how God knows the outcomes in some models of Open Theism). Molinism frontloads everything into the moment of creation.

How does God get what He wants then? Through knowing perfectly how the future will play out (again, mystery and miracle NOT omnisupercomputing) FOR THE EXISTING UNIVERSE WITH EVERY FEASIBLE VARIABLE (via MK). Thus to get what He wants, God HAS to intervene at various points of history. This explains why God directly interacts to eg Flood the Nephilim, confuse at Babel, harden Pharaoh, etc. Instead of frontloading onto the moment of creation, God continually directs the destiny of the universe.

The difference between Molinism and this proposal is in the former, God interacting with creation is purely voluntary – God could easily have made a universe where history falls into place exactly how He MK planned it.

Whereas in this proposal, since initial & current conditions don’t lock in any creaturely decisions, it is necessary for God to intervene directly at various points in order to change/select the outcome. MK is still needed to know in ‘real time’ what outcome would happen if God affects this or that (just not MKing via “People will do exactly this if places in that situation”, but via mysterious miracle). Call it Untethered or Dynamic MK or something.

This proposal is similar to the variants of Open Theism where God knows all possibilities but does not select or determine most of them (only the crucial ones like the Crucifixion). It is more like Molinism. It is the polar opposite of those variants of Open Theism where “God doesn’t know the future” or “God learns new information” – God knows everything possible and real, no new information to Him.


But if Untethered MK, why call it Middle?

Molina called it Middle because it comes logically between Natural and Free. God used MK at the moment of creation to set up all of history.

Untethered MK might as well be God blindly tossing the dice (outside of physically necessary, fine tuning of the universe parameters so that human life can develop) and then sorting out history in real time.

But it is still a form of MK because God knows everything that is NOT already chosen (already guaranteed will happen = Free Knowledge), and chooses from among the everything possible.


December 18, 22

Yes, he has plenty of debates where he is clearly several steps ahead of and above the opponent in terms of preparation, skill and cogent points. I can vouch for this, having listened to many of them myself. In his own words, he often prepares for a debate by listening to hours upon hours of his opponent’s material while bicycling. He is very well versed in certain subjects and has had over a hundred public debates IIRC.

But if you notice a pattern, his best performances are where he is arguing from a position of strength – and this is a condition where anyone can look good to a certain extent. For example, where the preponderence of facts are on his side such as debating on the divinity of Christ or what the Bible has to say about homosexuality (together with Michael Brown, both of them cited passage after passage while their opponents almost exclusively appealed to emotion).

Or debates where his opponent is relatively inexperienced – the (in)famous debate with Leighton Flowers on Romans 9, for example. It’s the common perception that White out-exegeted Flowers there, but note that it was Flowers’ first (or one of the first) public debates; you can see how much better Flowers holds his own in his subsequent debates with e.g. Tyler Vela & Sean Cole, Sonny Hernandez & Theodore Zachariades, Joel Webbon, or Gabriel Hughes. (And since I mentioned position of strength, recall how the latter two had to twist themselves into knots avoiding the plain meaning of passages about faith preceding regeneration! The snippets are on my channel.)

Again, White’s most recent debate was against Tim Stratton – with it being the latter’s first debate, the cross examination ended up strongly in White’s favour. Now compare the debate immediately preceding that, on a similar topic but against William Lane Craig – one of the few Christians with more debates under his belt that even James White! – and White couldn’t play semantic tricks at all (nine times dodging the simple question of whether he thinks God is the author of evil!). Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics by Richard A. Muller, anyone?😜 Remove the advantage of experience, and White clearly doesn’t fare quite as well.

In fact, I have noticed this tendency of White’s – he will pick out someone way below his public-awareness, professional weight class to use as an attempted punching bag. Names like David Pallman (regarding Bahnsen) and most recently J.P. (a God who is trying His best to save everyone) come to mind.

Or back to the preponderence of facts – the worst I have ever seen White fare is when he debated Robert Spencer on Islam (the only one I’ll directly link: ). Spencer had by then written a swathe of meticulously researched books about Islam. During the debate, he cited Islamic jurisprudence to show how orthodox Islamic authorities interpreted their own scriptures. Meanwhile, White was basically arguing that all that vast majority of Muslim experts didn’t know what Islam really teaches! White was clearly straying out of his own field of expertise and blundering into someone else’s.

(In mentioning the above, I mean that it is the worst which White has fared points-wise… The worst he has ACTED in a debate was the even more mocking than usual tone he took together with Jeff Durbin against atheists Greg Clark & Dan Ellis, juvenile behaviour that made even other Calvinists cringe, and the fact that he prefaces the video with ‘Incredible’ says everything about his attitude.)

So in summary, yes, White is an above-average debator. He might even be a great debator. But when the odds are not stacked in his favour, he doesn’t fare nearly as well. That’s all I have to say, really.

NB: I feel that this is exactly the kind of post where if White catches wind of it, his injured pride will drive him to devote a tweet or even a whole rant on The Dividing Line to steamrolling over a yet another amateur with an opinion!

%d bloggers like this: