How do I Love God if He Decreed the Fall?

The title of this post represents a search phrase that someone typed into a certain search engine which led that person to my site.  I assume that “decreed” in this instance has reference to causation as in Calvinistic determinism.  John Calvin was adamant that God did not permit the fall, but rather caused it (he recognized that there was no place for “permission” in determinism).  Adam sinned of divine necessity.  He sinned because God decreed that he must and he could not possibly do anything other than sin just as God decreed.  Would it be hard to love such a God as the one who caused Adam to sin and then cursed His posterity with the guilt of his sin and then refused to offer any saving mercy or grace to the majority of those creatures that incurred condemnation based on God’s irresistible decree?

For many the answer is that such a view of God is unlovable and it would seem that the person who made this search was struggling with being able to love a God who would decree the fall in a deterministic manner and then condemn His creatures for the very guilt that God determined to bring upon them.  So how do we answer this question: “How do I love God if He decreed the fall?”  The Calvinist answer is rather simple.  God will just cause you to love Him if you are one of those lucky few that He has decided not to “pass over” and leave in the eternal fix that He got you into in the first place (for the praise of His glory of course).  And if you just can’t bring yourself to love God, well that is just the way He decreed it to be anyway.  And please don’t try to love God either because if you try to love God then you are just working for your salvation since anything you do (according to Calvinists) constitutes a “work” anyway, and we are not saved by works.  So if God wants you to love Him then you will just find yourself loving Him one day when He decides to irresistibly regenerate you.

Does that answer your question?

(Note: Some of what is expressed in this post attempts to draw out the logical implications of Calvinism.  Many Calvinist would never express their theology in quite the same way and, to their credit, stop short of affirming the logical implications of their system even if they are valid conclusions.)

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25 Responses

  1. Hee hee.

  2. Logical implications . . . you mean, like, hyper-Calvinism? Did I say that?

    Great question. Great response. Great conclusion. I guess you’re just great all around.

  3. This was one of my biggest issues with Calvinism when I first started learning about it. Good post.

  4. The C answer is: Who are you o man to talk back to God?

    Translation: yeah, our system turns God into a monster, however, you are not allowed to point that out.

  5. LOL

    anyway… i don’t know if this is still on topic but, how do we PIN infralapsarians who insists that God only allowed/permitted that to happen but it was not His fault?

    sounds like… us Arminians BUT i can’t seem to pin them because they are soo confusing. ^_^

  6. In college I knew a Calvinist who offended even his fellow Calvinists by insisting that God was so sovereign that He caused Adam to sin. The other Calvinists denied his statement saying that Adam had free will before the Fall but after the Fall, all men are born dead in their sins and dead in free will toward God but only to sin. However, logically if you follow through Calvinism you have to come to the same conclusion as this student did and that is that God caused Adam to sin otherwise divine determinism loses its emphasis.

  7. Calvinism has maneuvered itself into such a messy trap where it is hard to ever get out off. Just note the whole clumsy defenses by things like compatibilsm. Someone said, compatibilism is calvinism’s solution to have their cake and eat it at the same time. In fact, it is simply an awkward attempt to rescue a sinking ship.

  8. Well, to be honest, I don’t think Arminianism really gets it *that* much better.

    I mean, if Arminians affirm timelessness(they usually do to argue that God sees all paths), then didn’t God create a fallen world? I mean, Genesis would only apply to how *we* perceive it, but to a timeless God, this world, the fall, and everything involved in it was done at the same time-no time. I’d even apply the same logic to just a foreknowing God, because he created a specific world knowing what the future would entail, and perhaps even knowing the counterfactuals necessary to prevent the fall. Thus any God with knowledge of the future created a world where this would happen, and logically deals with a similar problem.

    I really think that only Open Theists get out of this mess.

  9. Ryan,

    I would agree with you if foreknowledge was causative, but Arminians hold that God can foreknow things that He does not cause and therefore avoid the “mess”, as you put it.

    God Bless,
    Ben

  10. I might be misunderstanding your issue with foreknowledge being causative. However, to make my point clear, creating ALL causes, cannot be anything but causative.

    To reiterate in hopes of finding clarification, let’s just say that there is created world A, and created world B. In A Adam fell, and in B Adam did not fall. God picked world A, thus God decreed the fall by not choosing world B. The only way I see around this is if world B cannot exist, in which case Calvinism is not worse than Arminianism, or if God cannot choose the difference between world A and world B, which would be Open Theism.

    To say that this choice was Adam’s choice seems to ignore the fact that Adam’s choosing framework is completely contingent upon God’s prior actions, and research would indicate that choosing frameworks are very relevant to choices made.

    As well, to state that God is timeless seems means that God created Genesis to Revelation at the same timeless moment, thus God created Adam’s choice of the apple at creation(from a God’s eye view that is).

    Apologies if I am misunderstanding you, or anything like that, but I just think that Calvinism really does not lose points here, it just tends to be forced to recognize a fact with more ease.

  11. If only I had a dollar for every time that a determinist fails to distinguish between an enabling cause and a direct cause. By enabling cause I mean a cause that makes some thing else possible, but does not necessarily bring about the possibility. By direct cause I mean a cause that directly brings about an event.

    A parent is an enabling cause with respect to a child’s choices, but a direct cause with respect to a child’s existence. Certain actions by both parents directly led to the existence of the child. And say the parents provide for the child to keep it alive and the child grows up. The child then makes certain choices that are wrong, foolish, or idiotic. Are the parents responsible for ALL of the choices of the child? No, why not? Because in some cases the choices were made by the child directly, they were the actions of the child, not the actions of the parent. Now most of us understand and recognize this distinction in our every day lives. And yet determinists seem to forget this distinction when speaking about God.
    It is true that some events are directly caused by God (e.g., the creation of the world out of nothing). On the other hand, some events that occur, occur because God is an enabling cause (he makes the event possible but is not the one who directly brings about the event). By creating and sustaining the world in existence, God enables every choice that occurs in this world. But enabling them is not the same as directly causing these events. Hence the distinction between God as an enabling cause and acting as a direct cause of an event.

    Ryan wrote:

    “Well, to be honest, I don’t think Arminianism really gets it *that* much better.”

    Actually Arminianism does get it better than calvinism because A’s seem to be more aware of the distinction between enabling and directly causing an event. C’s seem to intentionally ignore this distinction in order to argue that things are not much worse for calvinism than Arminianism when it comes to things like the fall, the reality of sin and evil, etc. A’s get it better because they recognize that when people sin, God is the enabling cause of the sin, but not the direct cause.

    “I mean, if Arminians affirm timelessness (they usually do to argue that God sees all paths), then didn’t God create a fallen world?”

    God did not create a fallen world, that speaks of Him being the direct rather than enabling cause of the fall. God created a world in which the fall was possible and in our case a world in which the fall did occur. It was Adam and Eve that directly sinned not God.
    We could show this another way: is it more accurate to say that God creates all rapes or to say that God creates a world where rape is possible and in which sometimes human persons do the action of rape? It is true that God enables all rapes to occur in the sense that he created the world and sustains it in existence and it happens to be a world where people may choose to commit rape. But again, does God bring about rapes or do people do this?

    “I mean, Genesis would only apply to how *we* perceive it, but to a timeless God, this world, the fall, and everything involved in it was done at the same time-no time. I’d even apply the same logic to just a foreknowing God, because he created a specific world knowing what the future would entail, and perhaps even knowing the counterfactuals necessary to prevent the fall. Thus any God with knowledge of the future created a world where this would happen, and logically deals with a similar problem.”

    There is again a big difference between enabling an event to occur and directly causing that event. Determinists also seem to not understand that foreknowing an event, means that the event will certainly occur, but again, foreknowing the event is not the same as directly causing the event. So it is not a “similar problem.” The fall and sinful events are a problem for determinist because if God predetermines everything, then He is like an author who writes His own story (and in that story nothing, no event occurs as part of that story that the author did not want to occur). According to the determinist all that occurs is exactly what God wanted to occur. For non-determinists we can claim that while God foreknows every event which will occur, this is not the same as God wanting it to happen.

    Or to put it another way, there is a big (and again often ignored) difference between allowing something to happen versus bringing it about directly or causing it to happen directly because you directly control everything.

    “I really think that only Open Theists get out of this mess.”

    What’s the mess? If you mean that God is equally responsible for an event whether he is merely the enabling cause versus Him being the direct cause, try arguing that the parents of a serial killer are responsible for all of the murders and criminal acts of their son. It is true they brought him into existence and took care of him and protected him and fed him so that he grew up. But when he grew up and made those choices to kill, were they responsible? And if you have a problem with this illustration then go to Ezekiel 18 where the bible talks about people being responsible for their own actions.

    “I might be misunderstanding your issue with foreknowledge being causative. However, to make my point clear, creating ALL causes, cannot be anything but causative.”

    Again the enabling cause and direct cause distinction is completely ignored here. God created all of reality and created every being as well as its nature and potentials. But God creating does not make Him responsible for the choices of fallen angels and humans when we sin.

    “To reiterate in hopes of finding clarification, let’s just say that there is created world A, and created world B. In A Adam fell, and in B Adam did not fall. God picked world A, thus God decreed the fall by not choosing world B. The only way I see around this is if world B cannot exist, in which case Calvinism is not worse than Arminianism, or if God cannot choose the difference between world A and world B, which would be Open Theism.”

    Whether it is world A or world B, in either case God enables the actions of Adam because God created Adam and the environment in which Adam lives. But if Adam sins or falls of his own choice, then God is not directly bringing about the fall. Also these statements ignore the reality of libertarian free will. If God creates beings capable of making their own choices, he may even foreknow what those choices will be, but that does not make him responsible for those choices or mean that he directly caused those choices or desired for those choices to be made.

    “To say that this choice was Adam’s choice seems to ignore the fact that Adam’s choosing framework is completely contingent upon God’s prior actions, and research would indicate that choosing frameworks are very relevant to choices made.”

    The “choosing framework” or environment may put constraints or limitations upon Adam’s choices, and again God enables choices by creating the world and sustaining the world in existence, but setting up the environment is not the same as bringing about the actions that occur in that environment. I can construct a stage for actors but if they engage in improv on that stage, my creating the stage did not directly cause their actions while on that stage.

    “As well, to state that God is timeless seems means that God created Genesis to Revelation at the same timeless moment, thus God created Adam’s choice of the apple at creation (from a God’s eye view that is).”

    This is very confused. Staying with the point made earlier, if this point were valid, then it would be equally valid to say things such as: “thus God created Suzie’s choice to do her abortion at creation,” or “thus God created Steve’s choice to rape the young girl at creation, or “thus God . . . at creation” becomes a formula to make God responsible for every evil and sinful event which occurs. That is not biblical and not logical, but it is a consequence if you want to argue for exhaustive determinism.

    “Apologies if I am misunderstanding you, or anything like that, but I just think that Calvinism really does not lose points here, it just tends to be forced to recognize a fact with more ease.”

    Calvinism does not lose points compared to Arminianism only if you intentionally ignore or refuse to make the distinction between God as an enabling cause and God as a direct cause.

    Robert

  12. Well Robert,

    for me, the only thing you demonstrated there is you have a mind and intelligence and know how to put it in type written form.

    Have you any knowledge of Calvin and his personal writings or just theories and the Calvinism theories after Calvin?

    My problem with your logic above is it just isn’t reality from a “now” point of view.

    How can you reconcile what you wrote above with say, the “Joseph story”? Or the Jesus Story as told by Simeon at the Temple? Or the Pauline Epistles? Or the book of the Revelation as “revealed” to John the things that must soon take place?

    Anyway, I hope this isn’t an insult, it’s just a plain fact that I don’t buy into your reasonings hereon. Sorry!

  13. “I would agree with you if foreknowledge was causative, but Arminians hold that God can foreknow things that He does not cause and therefore avoid the “mess”, as you put it.”

    — This is what Infralapsarians believes too, so you mean this website is only pointed toward Supralapsarian Calvinists?

    Thanks.

  14. Interesting post Ben. The disclaimer at the bottom seemed to put things in a sensible light. Would you consider adding more information about the comment, “John Calvin was adamant that God did not permit the fall, but rather caused it (he recognized that there was no place for “permission” in determinism)”

    Michael, would you be interested in revising and posting your comments to Robert again? Your comments intrigued me and I wanted to know more of your point of view. Perhaps there wasn’t much time earlier but I think there’s room for more constructive criticism that could help myself and others to understand exactly what you meant.
    For example: I had difficulty understanding what you were trying to say in your first sentence about Robert’s typing and intelligence…;
    What relevant point were you getting at with Calvin’s personal writings vs. Calvinistic Theology as a whole (I have presumed from the past Robert is acquainted with both);
    Since Robert wrote quite a bit, perhaps it would be more beneficial to give an actual demonstration of Robert’s errant logic, and also more explanation of how his logic is not consistent with ‘a now point of view’ – a good definition of the now point of view; and the last paragraph seems a bit like “elephant hurling’ asking Robert to reconcile his brief comments to Ryan with all of ‘the Pauline Epistles” for example. It’s fine to mention opinions, but I really think constructive criticisms must make sure they try to be specific and really interact with what’s already written. Looking forward to it.

    Hey Rex, that’s quite interesting how you raise Infralapsarianism.
    Lapsarian doctrine deals with the logical order with the fall and reprobtion from divine eternal decree, but I think the distinctions between Supra and Infra might still have limitations to answering the question you mentioned. As Loraine Boettner said comparing the two,
    “It is also true that there are some things here which cannot be put into the time mould,—that these events are not in the Divine mind as they are in ours, by a succession of acts, one after another, but that by one single act God has at once ordained all these things. In the Divine mind the plan is a unit, each part of which is designed with reference to a state of facts which God intended should result from the other parts. All of the decrees are eternal. They have a logical, but not a chronological, relationship.”

    It should be noted that in either case of Supra or Infra as opposed to Arminianism, both”decree the fall” as per Ben’s title. As far as I am aware though (to address you point), most prominent Calvinist theologians that I have read who are Infralapsarian do actually still teach that God’s foreknowledge is dependent on His direct causality. Would you be able to point me to some literature that goes into what you’re saying.

    *Sorry I typed to much*

    May His grace be with you all.

  15. Ryan,

    I am not sure if you are misunderstanding or not, but I will try to clarify. I think that the Calvinist account of foreknowledge loses big points when compared to the Arminian account. The Calvinist account of foreknowledge is grounded in exhaustive determinism. God can only foreknow His intentions, what He has determined the future to be. This includes everything. It includes the thoughts and actions of all of His creatures. He foreknows these thoughts and acts because He will make them happen just as He has decreed for them to happen. So foreknowledge in Calvinism is just God’s knowledge of His decrees and the fact that He will infallibly carry out His decrees (which include the pre-determination of every thing and event that will ever take place). This leads to big problems with God’s character and justice.

    So let’s focus on the fall. In Calvinism God can only foreknow the fall because He will infallibly bring it about. This means that God controls Adam’s every thought and action. He controls Adam to violate His command in order to make His eternal decree into reality. Adam cannot do anything other than what God has pre-determined that he should do. He is bound by the necessity of God’s irresistible eternal decree. So God essentially causes Adam to disobey and sin against Him and then punishes him and all of his descendents for the disobedience that God Himself caused him to commit. That loses really big points when we compare such a scenario with the revelation of God’s character and perfect justice as revealed in Scripture.

    In Arminianism God can foreknow future contingencies as certain without rendering them necessary. How God can do this is a mystery. Some claim that God can do this by transcending time and others (like Arminius) are quite happy to just affirm that God can have perfect knowledge of the future without the need to explain how God might be able to posses such knowledge (Arminius rejected the “eternal now” view). Arminians believe that the way we know the past serves as a limited analogy for how God can know the future.

    We can know our actions or someone else’s actions that took place yesterday with absolute certainty. But the certainty of that event does not mean that the event happened of necessity. I can know for certain that I ate eggs yesterday but that does not mean that I had to eat eggs yesterday. I could have chosen instead to eat pancakes and if I had chosen to eat pancakes then my knowledge of the past would be different. I would instead know for certain that I ate pancakes yesterday. In a similar way God can know the future as certain without rendering our acts as necessary. When we make a decision we are truly free to decide one way or another and whatever way we freely choose God knows before we even choose it, but the choice itself is free at the time it is made and God’s foreknowledge has no casual bearing on what decision we actually make.

    So in Arminianism God foreknew the fall but did not cause it. Adam was truly free to either obey or disobey the command of God. While God knew that Adam would disobey his knowledge of Adam’s disobedience did not render it as necessary. Adam might have fully obeyed God instead and if that had happened God would have foreknown that as well and human history would have unfolded quite differently but God would have foreknown all that the future in that scenario would include. Now to say that God is to blame for Adam’s decision because He gave Adam the power to make a decision and in fact knew what that decision would be does not make God the cause or author of Adam’s disobedience as it does in the Calvinistic account. God is not responsible for Adam’s free decision just because He created Adam and gave him the power of choice. Adam is fully to blame for the way he exercised his God given faculties. God has the sovereign right to create free moral agents and hold them responsible for their actions. None of this is out of harmony with His character or justice as revealed in Scripture.

    But again, the Calvinistic account loses major points and calls God’s character and justice into question by positing a view of foreknowledge based on determinism by which He causes His creatures to conform with His decree and then punishes them for do exactly what God irresistibly decreed for them to do. I hope that clears things up some. Regardless of Calvinist objections, Arminianism preserves God’s character, integrity, and justice by acknowledging the God given power of self-determination in His creatures. The Calvinist denies man the God given power of self-determination and therefore horrendously and hopelessly maligns God’s character, integrity, and justice.

    God Bless,
    Ben

  16. rex,

    The difference between supra and infra have to do with when God decided who would be elect and who would be reprobate (before or after the fall). Both systems affirm exhaustive determinism, however, so both systems have God causally determining the fall (this is also true because both systems deny that God can have foreknowledge of things He has not already determined to take place).

    Neither system escapes the conclusion that God is the cause and author of sin in my opinion, though infralapsarians will often stop short of saying such things. Arminius wrote quite a bit about both systems and I think adequately demonstrated that they both lead to God being the author and cause of sin (which was Arminius’ main theological concern with Calvinism). Really, any theology which denies man free will and affirms exhaustive determinism cannot avoid this unfortunate conclusion, and both infra’s and supra’s fall into this category.

    God Bless,
    Ben

  17. Jay,

    The comment about Calvin really needs to be qualified even further. Calvin went back and forth in his writings concerning permission (he denied it when directly affirming determinism and affirmed it when trying to get God off the hook for sin). But even when Calvin affirmed it he did not seem to define it in the same way as those opposed to him were using it. He would dismiss the notion with statements like, “And what does it mean that God permits accept that He also wills it?” I think Robert Shank does a fine job demonstrating Calvin’s inconsistency in “Elect in the Son” and teases out the difficulty Calvin had with the notion of permission.

    So at times Calvin was adamant against “permission” when permission was being used by those who opposed his detrminism, but at times he also spoke of permission and affirmed it (yet seeming to re-define it to fit into a deterministic framework). Hope that helps.

    God Bless,
    Ben

  18. I would add to Ben’s post to Ryan that the fact that God’s ability to know the future without causing it is a mystery runs along along the same lines as many of God’s abilities. We do not know exactly how God can create out of nothing, be everywhere at once, etc. This is quite a different thing than Calvinist appeals to mystery that affirm logically contradictory propositions that are held to be true with the claim that we just do not knoiw how they can be both be true. Nevertheless, modern science provides models of how a being like God would be able to know the future without causing
    it. Yet we know that God is beyond the laws of physics. He created them. So there is every reason to believe that he can know the future without causing it.

    A second thing to point out is that many A’s who believe that God is outside of time actually more accuratelky believe he is both inside and outside time. I.e., he is not bound by time. He stands outside it fundamentally, but he can create it (which he did) and reach inside it and operate inside it yet not be bound by it. He is an awesome being! Beyond our comprehension, and worthy of all glory, honor, and praise!

  19. And please don’t try to love God either because if you try to love God then you are just working for your salvation since anything you do (according to Calvinists) constitutes a “work” anyway, and we are not saved by works.

    Note the sermons of Paul Washer, for example his famous speach to a crowd of youngsters, remember?

    He emphasizes that you must be regenerated solely by the power of God. And then, if you are regenerated then God will not stop there but continue the work in you. So how do you know whether God is working in you? Well, if you keep working. But don`t you think you are the one working! Rather you must check, whether you can detect the work of God in you! But if you do that, aren`t you working again? Isn`t self-examination and introspection a work? So Calvinists are screwed, indeed. They must, at one point in their life, simply come to truly love the God of Calvinism. If they do not love the God of Calvinism, well, then they should seriously wonder whether they are not a vessel made for destruction, to the praise of God`s glory and the joy of the elect.

  20. thanks kangaroo and jay point taken.

    so, they cannot avoid God being the Author of Sin in their system got it., although not related, how about Double Predestination?

    thanks again.

  21. Jay,

    first let me apology for my lack of self control.

    To Ben, thanks for being a gracious host to one such as I am, brutish at times and impatient.

    To Robert, again, brother, I appeal to you to forgive me again for my outburst as I have in the past with you and your comments.

    At this time Jay, it would a request of Robert I would wait for before I would go any further. The request is for Robert to establish clearly and unequivocally his scholarship of the personal writings of Calvin. As you picked up in my earlier remarks unfortunate as they were, I am having a difficult time accepting representations about Calvin from Robert.

    Again, to everyone who read my comments and take exception to them, I apologize, and ask hastily that you forgive me and extend undeserved Grace and Mercy covering my foolish fleshly outburst?

    michael
    natamllc

  22. rex,

    Real quick response here since I am short on time. I think double predestination is related and is also a logical implication of exhaustive determinism. Again, there is no room for permission in determinism so the state of the reprobate has been fully determined by God prior to creation and to say that God just “passes over” the reprobate makes little sense when you ask how one got to be reprobate in the first place? More could be said on that but I gotta run for now. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    God Bless,
    Ben

  23. Ben wrote:

    “Real quick response here since I am short on time. I think double predestination is related and is also a logical implication of exhaustive determinism. Again, there is no room for permission in determinism so the state of the reprobate has been fully determined by God prior to creation and to say that God just “passes over” the reprobate makes little sense when you ask how one got to be reprobate in the first place?”

    The thing that people seem to not realize or intentionally ignore, is that if EVERYTHING is predetermined by God (which is what those who espouse exhaustive determinism/ED want to believe and seek to persuade non-determinists to believe) then WHATEVER happens is exactly what God pre-planned to happen and brings about by directly controlling all persons, events, circumstances. What this means practically is that we can then look at any event that is part of actual history, and assuming ED to be true, know that (1) God wanted it to happen precisely as it happened, (2) that it is part of the total preplan that God decided upon: (3) that it is impossible that anything else have happened; (4) that free will as ordinarily understood does not and never has existed (God alone acts freely everyone else merely carries out the manipulations of the divine Puppet Master); (5) that we never have a choice (we may mistakenly think that we could have done this or that, but in reality we can only do what we were predetermined to do); (6) that every evil event that occurs (including all sin, the fall of Adam) is precisely what God desired **and** brought about direct control and manipulation of all circumstances and persons; (7) that every person’s eternal destiny was decided before he ever existed or did anything (with some being predetermined for heaven and others being predetermined for hell: i.e. that double predestination is part of what God has exhaustively predetermined); and so (8) as an author is the author of every event that makes up the story he creates, similarly God is the author of every event that occurs as part of actual history (so God **is** the author of sin; and all sin and evil is exactly what God wanted to occur no more no less and precisely as it occurs is precisely what God wanted to occur).

    These are the logical implications of ED. When we compare these implications with both our own experience as well as what scripture says, we find that both our experience and scripture contradict ED, and so ED is false and unbiblical and ought to be rejected.

    Robert

  24. This discussion may have died out, but in case it has not, I will put this forth anyway.

    I personally think that labels are an unfortunate necessity, but I am a Calvinist (as of 6 months ago)after having been an Arminian all of my life (long story). I have many dear brothers and sisters in Christ who are Arminian, whom I dearly love (and yes, it has been difficult). I say all that to state at the outset I am not ‘looking for a fight’ but a meaningful discussion surrounding this issue. Here is the question (and I am not being facetious). in light of this discussion, how do Arminians view Isaiah 46, which says in part,
    “I am God, and there is no other;
    I am God, and there is none like me,
    declaring the end from the beginning
    and from ancient times things not yet done,
    saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
    and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ ”

    I am among the first to admit that to ponder the thought of God decreeing everything (including the Fall) is hard for a finite human mind to apprehend and accept. But I also ultimately submit to the revelation that God has provided us in His Word.

    I mean no disrespect, and I don’t wish to over-generalize, but one thing that bothers me in the A vs. C ‘debate’ is how often I notice the lack of Scriptural use in argumentation among Arminians. The ultimate grounds upon which our ‘intramural’ debates should rest (IMHO) is God’s Word, not logic, philosophy or human reasoning .

    Peace in Christ (And Merry Christmas!),

    Richie

  25. Hey Richie,

    Thanks for stopping by. Sorry it took me so long to approve your comment but I have been away from the computer. You asked the following question,

    Here is the question (and I am not being facetious). in light of this discussion, how do Arminians view Isaiah 46, which says in part,

    “I am God, and there is no other;
    I am God, and there is none like me,
    declaring the end from the beginning
    and from ancient times things not yet done,
    saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
    and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ ”

    Personally, I can’t imagine why this passage of Scripture should cause any difficulty to the Arminian position since Arminians hold to God’s exhaustive foreknowledge. Maybe it would help if you explained why you think this passage is problematic for Arminianism. Also, would you be willing to grapple with passages that I find problematic for the Calvinist position?

    I am among the first to admit that to ponder the thought of God decreeing everything (including the Fall) is hard for a finite human mind to apprehend and accept. But I also ultimately submit to the revelation that God has provided us in His Word.

    I also find it of utmost importance to submit to the revelation that God has provided in Scripture. That is why I reject Calvinism.

    mean no disrespect, and I don’t wish to over-generalize, but one thing that bothers me in the A vs. C ‘debate’ is how often I notice the lack of Scriptural use in argumentation among Arminians. The ultimate grounds upon which our ‘intramural’ debates should rest (IMHO) is God’s Word, not logic, philosophy or human reasoning .

    Personally, I have found that Calvinism relies far more on philosophy than Arminianism. But, in either case, there is nothing really wrong with philosophy rightly defined. It is just the attempt to discover truth through reason and logic. No one can interpret Scripture apart from some degree of reason and since God is “truth” we can be sure that He is not self-contradictory.

    God Bless,
    Ben

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