How Can God’s Glory be “Diminished” in Calvinism?

Calvinist John Mac Arthur in his article, Why Every Calvinist Should be a PreMillennialist, writes: 

It is impossible to fully understand biblical teaching about the end times apart from understanding the future of Israel, the future of ethnic Jews in God’s plan. And if you don’t get Israel right, then your eschatology is confused and you cannot be blessed and you cannot give God appropriate glory and you cannot have a full hope for what lies ahead so that His glory is diminished, your joy and blessing are diminished as well (Bold emphasis mine).

I was under the impression that in Calvinism everything brings God glory.  He irresistibly controls all things in accordance with His secret eternal decree for the ultimate purpose of maximizing His own glory.  Even His decree to reprobate most of humanity is for the sake of bringing Himself maximum glory.  The sins He causes people to commit in accordance with His secret eternal decree are for His glory.  Everything is caused by Him in order to bring Him ultimate glory.  How then can someone diminish His glory if the presuppositions of Calvinism are true?  And how would MacArthur explain the fact that the one who supposedly diminishes God’s glory did so because God caused him or her to do so in accordance with an irresistible and unchangeable secret eternal decree?

So God causes some people to diminish His glory and this all for the sake of bringing Himself more glory?  Maybe it is something like how God irresistibly creates the pots for the purpose of talking back to the Potter and causes the “pots” to talk back to the Potter in Rom. 9:19, 20, and then rebukes them for talking back to the Potter.  But if diminishing God’s glory actually brings Him more glory, then why is MacArthur concerned that people will diminish God’s glory?  Wouldn’t he then be diminishing God’s glory by getting those who are diminishing God’s glory for the ultimate glory of God to stop diminishing God’s glory for the ultimate glory of God?  But then MacArthur’s act of diminishing God’s glory by stopping people from diminishing God’s glory for the ultimate glory of God would also bring ultimate glory to God anyway.  This stuff is really confusing.  Perhaps I have just misunderstood Calvinism.  Feel free to set me straight in the comments section if that is the case.

I actually agree with MacArthur that we can diminish God’s glory.  I think the Bible is clear on that point.  I just don’t see how one can hold to such a truth in light of the greater underlying presuppositions of Calvinism.  It is for this reason that I find Calvinism to be an impossible system to live out practically or even describe in normal language.  I am constantly reading statements like this by Calvinists that simply do not seem intelligible in light of Calvinist presuppositions.  Yet Calvinists continue to speak as they do because they actually live in a world that cannot comport with Calvinistic philosophy.  Maybe I am wrong or misunderstanding, but that is how I see it.  And if Calvinism is right and I am wrong then all of this (including my ignorance and misunderstanding of Calvinism) is just for the glory of God anyway in perfect accordance with an irresistible secret eternal decree.  With that in mind, I will try not to sweat it too much.

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29 Responses

  1. Take the above MacArthur quote out of the context of his devotion to Calvinism (even the title of his piece speaks volumes about his priorities) – and I can say this quote is one of the only (if not THE only) times I’ve found agreement with MacArthur.

  2. I am still laughing. . . . That was too good.

    If MacArthur’s Dispensationalism brings God glory, then why did God not irresistibly introduce the doctrine to the early church fathers, in order to attain maximum glory by the vast majority of the Church? Perhaps God is not as concerned (think narcissistic) about His glory as some suppose (?)

  3. Neither Premillenialism or the belief that Israel as a nation will one day recognise Jesus as their Messiah are solely “Dispensationalist” beliefs. Both of these beliefs have tonnes of scriptural support – unlike the majority of the doctrines of dispensationalism.

    Now MacArthur may very well be a dispensationalist, but from a quick reading of the cited article I see no indication of that (though I did say it was a QUICK reading and may have missed a lot).

  4. MacArthur is a MAJOR Dispensationalist. That doesn’t bother me whatsoever. I have some rather Dispensational leanings myself. However, I wouldn’t have made the statement that he made (obviously, haha).

  5. http://www.theopedia.com/Dispensationalism

    “Dispensationalism is a theological system that teaches biblical history is best understood in light of a number of successive administrations of God’s dealings with mankind, which it calls “dispensations.” It maintains fundamental distinctions between God’s plans for national Israel and for the New Testament Church, and emphasizes prophecy of the end-times and a pre-tribulation rapture of the church prior to Christ’s Second Coming. Its beginnings are usually associated with the Plymouth Brethren movement in the UK and the teachings of John Nelson Darby.”
    ——–

    As far as I can see MacaArthur does not make a distinction between “God’s plans for national Israel and for the New Testament Church”.

    He merely points out that scripture states many times that national Israel will become part of the church when (in the future) they recognise that Jesus is their promised Messiah.
    Dispensationalism views that Israel will have a separate relationship with God that does not require them to become part of the church.

    Unfortunately many people change the prophecies of Israel’s salvation and force them into a doctrine that teaches that the church has REPLACED Israel. Such a doctrine promoting the idea that God has totally abandoned national Israel makes God a liar and untrustworthy.

  6. onesimus,

    Lets not turn this into another argument over differing opinions on God’s plans for Israel. That is not what this post is about and we have already covered that ground here.

    God Bless,
    Ben

  7. 1st Corinthians 14:33 – “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace…”

    The church at Corinth was in desperate need of that verse above. Their worship services had turned into something less than edifying. Paul wanted to remind them that God was not behind anything that wasn’t orderly or edifying for the church.

    If God wasn’t the author, or sovereign, over the decisions of individuals at Corinth, why is it any different today?

    Ben, you said – “It is for this reason that I find Calvinism to be an impossible system to live out practically or even describe in normal language.”

    Agreed. So many verses and situations scream against Calvinisms view of determinism. You just have to listen 🙂

  8. Hello Steven,

    “1st Corinthians 14:33 – “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace…”
    The church at Corinth was in desperate need of that verse above. Their worship services had turned into something less than edifying. Paul wanted to remind them that God was not behind anything that wasn’t orderly or edifying for the church.
    If God wasn’t the author, or sovereign, over the decisions of individuals at Corinth, why is it any different today?”

    Great observation.

    You are correct the apostle Paul writing inspired scripture says that God is not the author of confusion and the Corinthians due to wrong choices were engaging in confusion during their worship service. Paul gives instructions of how to eliminate the confusion they were experiencing and in the midst of his instruction makes the explicit comment that God is not the author (or cause) of it. If he is not the cause then they are, and they are the cause in that they are freely making wrong choices. It does not make sense for God to predetermine that they make these wrong choices and then through Paul chide them for making the very wrong choices that he had predetermined for them to make! That would be God correcting Himself for what he predetermined to occur! This again shows the illogic of the theological deterministic view.

    “Ben, you said – “It is for this reason that I find Calvinism to be an impossible system to live out practically or even describe in normal language.”
    Agreed. So many verses and situations scream against Calvinism’s view of determinism. You just have to listen.”

    Again you are absolutely correct that there are many verses that SCREAM AGAINST CALVINISM, and yet the theological determinist who is thoroughly committed to his deterministic system intentionally closes his or her ears to the screams! It is **similar** to how a non-Christian cultist will have an errant theological system and be blinded to the truth of scripture by their own system so that the most plain and obvious scriptures that directly contradict their system are ignored, minimized or **reinterpreted** to force them to fit the system.

    Robert

  9. Hello Ben,

    I really enjoyed your post. Sometimes great humor occurs when some story or words are extremely recursive. You brought out so many loops in your post that result from exhaustive determinism that the post was hilarious. 🙂

    You also brought back memories of the MacArthur fiasco. I call it that because I remember the effect that MacArthur’s talk had on many Calvinists (as most are Amills in their eschatology when MacArthur directly attacked their Amill view the results were explosive). And when it happened I thought of some of same type recursive loops as you discuss in your post. Things like: if God predetermines all things, then why does God predetermine strong and hostile and nasty arguments BETWEEN CALVINISTS such as MacArthur the Premill and the other Calvinists who were Amill?

    But then you also have the same kind of acrimonious arguments between Presbyterian Calvinists and Reformed Baptist Calvinists. How do the nasty and verbally vicious arguments between CALVINISTS glorify God? Why does God divide his own people and in what way does THAT glorify God?

    Here are some of your examples of recursion which I found particularly amusing:

    “Everything is caused by Him in order to bring Him ultimate glory. How then can someone diminish His glory if the presuppositions of Calvinism are true?”

    Good question.

    “And how would MacArthur explain the fact that the one who supposedly diminishes God’s glory did so because God caused him or her to do so in accordance with an irresistible and unchangeable secret eternal decree?”

    Great example of recursion.

    “Maybe it is something like how God irresistibly creates the pots for the purpose of talking back to the Potter and causes the ”pots” to talk back to the Potter in Rom. 9:19, 20, and then rebukes them for talking back to the Potter.”

    Good one!

    “But if diminishing God’s glory actually brings Him more glory, then why is MacArthur concerned that people will diminish God’s glory? Wouldn’t he then be diminishing God’s glory by getting those who are diminishing God’s glory for the ultimate glory of God to stop diminishing God’s glory for the ultimate glory of God? But then MacArthur’s act of diminishing God’s glory by stopping people from diminishing God’s glory for the ultimate glory of God would also bring ultimate glory to God anyway.”

    The recursions here are multiple and again true if God exhaustively predetermined everything as Calvinists mistakenly believe.

    “This stuff is really confusing. Perhaps I have just misunderstood Calvinism. Feel free to set me straight in the comments section if that is the case.”

    I don’t know if this was intentional or not, but if exhaustive predeterminism is true and someone comments in the comments section then their response NO MATTER WHAT IT IS will be purposed by God for God’s glory. So if someone disagrees with you in their comments: THAT is for God’s glory. If someone agrees with you in their comments: THAT is for God’s glory. If someone makes some inane comments that have nothing to do with your comments: THAT is for God’s glory. Doesn’t matter what comments are said in response: THAT is for God’s glory! 🙂 🙂

    “I am constantly reading statements like this by Calvinists that simply do not seem intelligible in light of Calvinist presuppositions.”

    That is an important observation, no matter what the theological determinist claims, he or she still lives in the world, the reality that God has created. A world where we sometimes do act freely, where we sometimes have free will, where the choice is really up to us and not predetermined by God.

    “Yet Calvinists continue to speak as they do because they actually live in a world that cannot comport with Calvinistic philosophy.”

    They continue to speak as if they made the choices as to what they would say or not say. They make all sorts of choices that are up to them. They experience innumerable situations where they have a choice and then make a choice and their choice is not predetermined and they really could have done otherwise their action was not necessitated.

    I was speaking to a friend recently about criminal’s trying to justify their crimes, and he observed that if theological determinism is true then any real criminal who had really committed a crime at his court appearance could argue (and he would be correct if exhaustive predetermination of every event by God were true):

    “Your honor I could not help it, I had to do it, it was impossible for me to do otherwise than what God Himself had decided I would do. I was simply doing what God predetermined me to do. You may hold me responsible and I understand if you do, but make no mistake God is responsible for my evil actions as well. He planned them, He decided exactly what they would be and then he controlled me and my circumstances so that I had to do exactly what he had decided would be my part in his total plan.”

    “And if Calvinism is right and I am wrong then all of this (including my ignorance and misunderstanding of Calvinism) is just for the glory of God anyway in perfect accordance with an irresistible secret eternal decree. With that in mind, I will try not to sweat it too much.”

    Exactly! And if everything is part of His total predetermined plan, and every event occurs for his glory, then every event no matter how evil, sinful, stupid, inept, negligent, foolish, etc. etc. glorifies God.

    Which put even more simply means that: whatever we do **automatically** glorifies God.

    I wonder why Paul urged us to glorify God in everything that we do if we are already glorifying God in everything we do already?

    Robert

  10. kangaroodort on February 4th, 2010 at 1:45 pm Said:
    onesimus,

    Lets not turn this into another argument over differing opinions on God’s plans for Israel. That is not what this post is about and we have already covered that ground here.

    God Bless,
    Ben
    —–

    That is NOT what I was trying to do. I was merely correcting the false association of this topic with “dispensationalism”. Holding to the belief in a future for Israel (which WAS the context of MacArthur’s statement) does not make a person a dispensationalist any more than a belief in “Total Depravity” makes a person a Calvinist.

    If people would stop drawing false conclusions from the equally false “dispensationalist” associations then maybe they would actually be more open to what SCRIPTURE says on the subject.

    For once MacArthur is right: “if you don’t get Israel right, then your eschatology is confused “

  11. That is NOT what I was trying to do. I was merely correcting the false association of this topic with “dispensationalism”. Holding to the belief in a future for Israel (which WAS the context of MacArthur’s statement) does not make a person a dispensationalist any more than a belief in “Total Depravity” makes a person a Calvinist.

    But you did more than this. You directly challenged people who hold to replacement theology as making God a liar when you wrote:

    Unfortunately many people change the prophecies of Israel’s salvation and force them into a doctrine that teaches that the church has REPLACED Israel. Such a doctrine promoting the idea that God has totally abandoned national Israel makes God a liar and untrustworthy.

    And by the way, though the context of MacArthur’s article was about premillennialism, the context of this post was not. It was about his statement that one can diminish God’s glory. That statement stands alone regardless of any context.

    God Bless,
    Ben

  12. I sometimes talk to Calvinists on Paltalk, a chat program. I cant seem to get an answer as to whether man has anything in him that God has not ordained. They say we will always choose our strongest desires and those desires are depraved. Then by God’s usage or lack of usage of common grace he controls and ordains what sin we commit but these sins are from our desires. So my question is do the Calvinist believe that men have desires apart what God instills in man? Or do all of our evil wicked desires come from God placing them there(according to Calvinism)? To be honest the hardest thing for me to understand is why intelligent men and women believe in Calvinism. Perhaps Im just too dim witted to get it. Blessings, Charlie

  13. I think this post was the best I’ve read from you, Ben, and you have many exceptional posts on this blog! Thanks for your continuing commitment to the Word, the truth, and to our Lord Jesus Christ.

  14. Believer,

    You wrote,

    Or do all of our evil wicked desires come from God placing them there(according to Calvinism)?

    If they are traditional Calvinists who hold to exhaustive determinism, then when pressed, they must admit that God causes even our wicked desires, thoughts, and impulses. Many Calvinists do their very best to avoid saying such things, but I have made this point with many serious Calvinists and very few have denied that this is where traditional Calvinist doctrine actually leads (specifically the doctrines of eternal decrees, foreknowledge based on these decrees and the conflating of sovereignty with exhaustive determinism). Many have happily embraced these conclusions, while arbitrarily claiming that this somehow does not mean that God is the author of sin or culpable of sin. It is at this point that most Calvinists appeal to “mystery” or “antinomy”, etc.

    Others (what “traditional” Calvinists like to label as “hyper-Calvinists”), have no problem making God the author of all sin and evil, and are not as concerned with using the “antimony” escape hatch.

    God Bless,
    Ben

  15. Hello Charlie,

    “I cant seem to get an answer as to whether man has anything in him that God has not ordained.”

    That’s odd, because those who believe that “God ordains whatsoever comes to pass” should have no problem acknowledging that that is what they believe.

    “They say we will always choose our strongest desires and those desires are depraved.”

    Those who claim this are following or parroting Jonathan Edwards’ views on the will.

    “Then by God’s usage or lack of usage of common grace he controls and ordains what sin we commit but these sins are from our desires. So my question is do the Calvinist believe that men have desires apart what God instills in man?”

    This is a great question.

    If God predetermines everything as many of these Calvinists believe, then he must also predetermine what desires we have.

    “Or do all of our evil wicked desires come from God placing them there(according to Calvinism)?”

    Another great question: because if he places all of our desires in us and if our actions are necessitated by the desires that we have (which he places in us) then we have to do what he desires for us to do (including all evil and sin which he would then want us to be doing).

    This view of man makes us into a computer: with God deciding what inputs we have and thus what the outputs are as well. And as you probably have heard the computer aphorism: “Garbage in, Garbage out.” So if the Calvinists are right about everything being predetermined including our desires then he puts the garbage in (in the form of sinful evil desires that we cannot help but carry out)and then the garbage (in the form of all sinful desires and actions) comes out. What does not then make sense is that they want to blame man alone for these sinful actions when God is the one that programmed the human computer! We don’t blame a computer for running according to the program given it by the programmer, we blame the programmer. And yet they want man fully and solely responsible for sinful actions that God forces him to act according to, because God inputs the desires that we have to act upon! They fully acknowledge that the “programmer” programs the computer, but then they want to blame the computer solely for what it produces! Seems to me that the one who puts the garbage into the computer is responsible for the garbage that comes out of that computer.

    “To be honest the hardest thing for me to understand is why intelligent men and women believe in Calvinism. Perhaps I’m just too dim witted to get it. Blessings, Charlie”

    There are various reasons why intelligent people are drawn to Calvinism (if you would like to discuss them further we could do so). In fact for me Calvinism is very useful because it is a great teaching tool to see how intelligent people can be mistaken. By seeing their mistakes you can avoid making those mistakes yourself when interpreting scripture and forming your theological conclusions.

    Robert

  16. Believer,

    To be honest the hardest thing for me to understand is why intelligent men and women believe in Calvinism. Perhaps Im just too dim witted to get it.

    You are not dim-witted. But I understand why your marvel, for it does seem strange that smart people could be led astray. I think there are at least a few reasons why intelligent people may get caught up in Calvinism.

    1) As Jeremiah reminds us, “The heart is deceitful above all else, and desperately wicked; who can comprehend it?” Intelligent people are no exception;

    2) Knowledge puffs up, but so does false knowledge. Intelligent people often find a sophisticated explanation appealing because of its demand for intellectual rigor.

    3) it provides the Calvinist with an “us versus them” viewpoint, without Calvinists seeming to be prejudiced about the matter, since the justification of the Great Divide is in the “mystery” of God’s nature;

    4) Even intelligent people are often not diligent in examining whether a biblical translation is correct which appears to support Calvinism.

    Believer, again, you are not dim-witted. Aggressive Calvinists can seem intimidating, especially when they quote Scripture. But since they quote Scripture out of context the Scripture does not actually support them. Believe it–sometimes intelligent people create the greatest blunders.

  17. Thanks for the input to everyone who commented on my comments.
    And thank you for this website Ben, it has been informative beyond measure in helping my transition from an inconsistent Southern Baptist style calminian(hybrid calvinist and arminianist) to a solid arminian.
    One note I would make is that the calvinists I know in my local area especially 2 area pastors are very humble men who live the love of Christ in our community. I guess the caustic comments online can at least be partly blamed on the appearance of annonymity everyone has here….. God bless…………Charlie

  18. Charlie,

    I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to hear that you have benefited so greatly from the content of this blog. What specifically helped you to transition from an inconsistent Calminian to a “solid” Arminian?

    One note I would make is that the calvinists I know in my local area especially 2 area pastors are very humble men who live the love of Christ in our community. I guess the caustic comments online can at least be partly blamed on the appearance of annonymity everyone has here….. God bless…………Charlie

    No doubt that is a major factor. We need to never lose sight of the fact that the people we interact with on the net are real people who deserve our respect, and not just impersonal computer constructs or empty screen names.

    God Bless,
    Ben

  19. Ed,

    Thanks for the encouragement. I am glad you found the post helpful.

    God Bless,
    Ben

  20. Ben,
    I would attribute my transition to comparing what I was reading here with rereading the Bible. The Scripture is much easier to read and far less demanding of creative commentaries when reading the Bible from an Arminian perspective. Actually it was a return to the natural perspective I read the Bible the first time I read it. Calvinism had to be taught to me, i didnt get it from just the Bible. I guess the one series that challenged my thinking the most was the 12 or 13 part series you did on preserverance of the saints. It seemed to me that once the first questions I had on election were answered the rest of the calvinistic twist came tumbling down. The final nail was the preserverance of the saints series.
    Let me just say i appreciate the time you must spend writing and organizing this blog. I have found it to be welcome refreshing place to come to and research what I think are fascinating topics. Thanks and God Bless……….Charlie

  21. Believer said:
    “Calvinism had to be taught to me, i didnt get it from just the Bible.”

    The MacArthur article that is referred to above has an introduction by a man called Barry Horner, author of a book “Future Israel”.

    Both Horner and MacArthur are highly critical of the Augustinian theology that led to both amillennialism and replacement theology.
    I wrote to Horner expressing how I found it strange that they could be so easily dismiss one significant part of Augustine’s theology and yet could not recognise the equal falsity of those aspects that led to the doctrines of Calvinism.

    Horner insisted that his Calvinist views were not Augustinian but Pauline – being clearly taught in Paul’s writings. He then suggested I ought to read his book; so I bought a copy.

    Within the introduction Horner reveals that he grew up a Methodist but turned to a Calvinist understanding after becoming aware of the teachings of… and then he lists several Calvinist theologians and preachers.

    Believer really hit the nail on the head by saying “Calvinism had to be taught to me, i didn’t get it from just the Bible.”

    No matter how much a Calvinist may insist that he got his theology from scripture; the truth is he got his theology from someone else’s interpretation of scripture and not from scripture itself.

    The same could probably be said of far too many doctrinal beliefs.

  22. Charlie,

    Would you mind sharing some about your transition in theological perspective on the “X-Calvinist Corner” page? I am sure it will benefit others who are struggling in these same areas. Just click the link below:

    https://arminianperspectives.wordpress.com/x-calvinist-corner/

    Thank you for being so open and honest. May God bless you as you continue to seek Him and His truth.

    Ben

  23. Hello Charlie and Tim,

    You both made a point that I agree with and needs to be emphasized: namely, people do not just become Calvinists from reading scripture alone. Instead they are **indoctrinated** into it. They are taught the system of interpretation, which then becomes their grid through which they see everything in the bible.

    Charlie you wrote:

    “I would attribute my transition to comparing what I was reading here with rereading the Bible. The Scripture is much easier to read and far less demanding of creative commentaries when reading the Bible from an Arminian perspective. Actually it was a return to the natural perspective I read the Bible the first time I read it.”

    Exactly, a natural reading of the bible, just interpreting the texts without a system would not result in Calvinism.

    “Calvinism had to be taught to me, I didn’t get it from just the Bible.”

    Again, this proves my point: the false theological system of Calvinism had to be taught to you, you did not just get it from the bible as you now realize.

    Tim made the same point in his post:

    “Horner insisted that his Calvinist views were not Augustinian but Pauline – being clearly taught in Paul’s writings. He then suggested I ought to read his book; so I bought a copy.

    Within the introduction Horner reveals that he grew up a Methodist but turned to a Calvinist understanding after becoming aware of the teachings of… and then he lists several Calvinist theologians and preachers.”

    There it is again.

    It was not just reading and interpreting scripture which led to adopting the Calvinist system of theology. For Horner it was: “after becoming aware of the teachings of . . .” [and Tim comments: “and then he lists several Calvinist theologians and preachers.”] For Horner then it was not awareness of the biblical texts which led him to his conclusions but awareness of what Calvinists said about the biblical texts that led him to his conclusions.

    This is typical; many Calvinists started as non-Calvinists, until they read some book by a Calvinist or were taught by some Calvinist to interpret the bible in line with the Calvinistic system. It is sad but it is similar to how non-Christian cultists adopt their false views. They may have started with the bible but then the teachers of these other systems come along and persuade them to adopt the new system which then leads to new interpretations and **reinterpretations** of biblical texts. With the cultist the teachings of say the Watchtower end up taking priority over the biblical texts. With the Calvinist the teachings of Augustine and Calvin and Owen and Edwards and Piper and . . . end up taking priority over the biblical texts. The process of indoctrination is very similar and the end result is very similar (i.e. a person is trained in a system and defends that system and the teachings of that system actually drive them away from what the bible actually teaches).

    Tim is also correct when he states:

    “No matter how much a Calvinist may insist that he got his theology from scripture; the truth is he got his theology from someone else’s interpretation of scripture and not from scripture itself.”

    And this is shown by the fact that before Augustine, for the first four hundred years of church history, no one was teaching or espousing the Calvinist system or even Calvinistic distinctives. This false theology was started by Augustine and further refined by the Reformers who came centuries later. It was not derived from proper interpretation of biblical texts.

    Robert

  24. I was under the impression that in Calvinism everything brings God glory. He irresistibly controls all things in accordance with His secret eternal decree for the ultimate purpose of maximizing His own glory.

    <sarc>

    Oh wow, like THANKS Calvin and company! Like, here I was reading the scriptures about the life of Jesus Christ and getting the impression, because Jesus perfectly reflects the Father, that God did everything He does because He, y’know, LOVES people. What a useful bit of gnosis to know that God doesn’t differ from the likes of Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong-il and every other human monarch and dictator who “wear soft clothes and live in palaces”. Actually, God is a leg up on those guys, because they must think constantly of how to make themselves look good in front of people whose opinions they cannot command. THAT is a andicap that God does not have, since it is HE who determines and decrees the impressions that people have of Him.

    How fortunate that I have McArthur to inform me that this gnosis reveals that an attitude toward God that glorifies him is better than walking humbly before Him, treating even my enemies with love, turning a man from sin, and giving of what I have to those in need. Have no fear! Many years of living under the corporate boot has taught many the fine art of bootlicking that only needs to be turned upon God to find His Favor and Blessing!

    </sarc>

    Paul himself demolished a perverse form of the “God does stuff for His Glory” argument in Romans 3:5-8, where a sinner demands grace despite his active sin because bestowing it brings God more Glory. Paul argues that God is more concerned about Justice than Glory, since if He was after Glory, such talk would prevent Him from judging the world. Equality before the Law and before Himself is the main goal of a Judge, not glory, and Paul Spent all of Romans 2 arguing how gentiles, apart from the covenant, fulfill the covenant by right behavior that covenant-covered, but mis-behaving jews, break by their misbehavior. That misbehavior causes the gentiles to blaspheme God, and one wonders if Calvinist assertaions about “what brings God Glory”

    God’s sovereignty is judicial, not monarchal, and He does not as much have a domain as a jurisdiction.

  25. ack, I hit the submit button too soon. I meant to finish the sentence that begins with “That misbehavior…” I meant to conclude it with

    “that misbehavior causes the gentiles to blaspheme God, and one wonders if Calvinist assertaions about “what brings God Glory” does the same among honest inquirers. I suppose Calvinists take total depravity to mean such inquirers cannot possibly exist.

  26. Personally, I think that God is very concerned about His glory, but also believe that He is most glorified in being the God of love as revealed in Scripture. Piper’s theology, which is basically a regurgitation of Edwards’ theology, was what I was targeting in this post. That may not be representative of all Calvinism, but it seems like most Calvinists today are embracing it as a way to deal with the thorny difficulty of explaining why God reprobates most of His creation that He could just as well have saved in the Calvinist scheme. The answer: Because it gives God the most glory.

    Only in displaying wrath is God (apparently) most glorified, even if that wrath has no discernible moral basis (since the reprobate were created without hope and without any ability to avoid sin and unbelief, since God rendered such sin and unbelief unavoidable in accordance with His secret and irresistible eternal decree). But Piper’s explanation has been exploded more than once. Piper himself claims that God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him. How then is God most glorified by those that He has created for destruction and has caused to hate Him in accordance with an irresistible eternal decree? Maybe I am simple minded, but I just do not see how those two things comport (maybe it is just another “antinomy”).

    Thomas McCall did an excellent job exposing the many theological absurdities that result from Piper’s explanation. What is interesting is that in trying to come up with satisfying explanations, theologians like Piper reveal that they are not really comfortable with the implications of their theology. Their attempts to deal with the “problem” reveal that they too sense the moral difficulties involved in their fundamental doctrines of exhaustive determinism and unconditional election/reprobation.

  27. This is EXCELLENT! 4 stars…no 10!

  28. “So that His glory is diminished, your joy and blessing are diminished as well.” -John MacArthur

    Remember your Immutable Decree MacArthur. “His Glory is diminished” via His Immutable Decree for the good pleasure of His Will as a MEANS to Glorify Himself, outside any human will or exertion.

    Within Calvinism, God purposely Immutably Decrees His glory to be diminished outside any human will or exertion TEMPORALLY on Earth, so He can then be MORE glorified ETERNALLY in Heaven, by either saving or damning the one who diminished His glory, according to the good pleasure of His Will.

    John MacArthur is your typical calvinist & Psychological Manipulator. He uses Fear, Shaming, Covert Intimidation, Guilt Trip & other psychological conditioning tactics as a means to manipulate his naive audience, and he does it in the name of God. This is why Calvinists are purposely consistently, inconsistent with their logic & their fallacious teachings.

    Blessings to you Ben, & to all who submit themselves & are lead by the Holy Spirit of God, amen!

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