Reflections on Southern Seminary, part 4

December 16, 2013

by Dr. Eric Hankins, pastor
FBC, Oxford, Miss.

Speaking recently at Southern Seminary reinforced some observations that have been coming clear to me during the last year of my involvement in the Southern Baptist discussion of Calvinism. As I interacted with a number of faculty and students who consider themselves Calvinists, it was apparent that they believed exactly the same thing I do about who needs the gospel: every single person. I believe this conviction characterizes the vast majority of Southern Baptist Calvinists, and it is deep, wide, and glad-hearted. Certainly, there are a few who shuffle their feet when asked if they can say to any person “God loves you and wants to save you,” but those Southern Baptist Calvinists really are the minority, best I can tell, and I get the sense that most Calvinists hope they remain a minority. Therefore, it does not help to make bald accusations that Calvinists do not believe that God loves and wants to save every sinner.[1] It is inaccurate to charge them with believing that God causes people to go hell or that He is the cause of evil.

But that does not mean there is not a significant problem.

While I do understand better than ever that most Southern Baptist Calvinists believe exactly as I do about the extent of God’s love and saving desire for sinners, I am just as convinced that they cannot hold those shared soteriological convictions without falling into contradiction and putting themselves at serious theological, exegetical, practical, and apologetical risk. This is because their entire system demands a particular and quite problematic presupposition concerning the relationship between divine and human action called “determinism.” Now, Calvinists prefer the term “compatibilism” and, technically, that is correct. But to the uninitiated, compatibilism appears to communicate the very welcome and biblical idea that God’s sovereignty and human freedom are compatible. This is what every Southern Baptist believes, including me.

But that is not the meaning of compatibilism. Compatibilism is the view that divine determinism (not merely sovereignty) and human freedom are compatible. Compatibilism asserts that God is the cause of all things, including the “free” decisions of humans. This claim is made by redefining God’s permission and human freedom in highly unusual and suspect ways. For the compatibilist, God causes some things and permits others (like sin). But this permission is “efficacious” so that things could not have happened any differently from the way they do. God’s decision to permit specific events is in no way affected by human choices because those choices are determined by God. On this view, there is no, I repeat, no difference between God “causing” an event (like the Holocaust) and God “permitting” it.

The compatibilist’s definition of freedom is equally specious. Freedom is not one’s ability to choose between two qualitatively distinct options but the ability to act on one’s desires. This sounds fine except the compatibilist believes one can’t freely choose his desires. Only those who are given the desire to trust Christ will be able to respond to the gospel. God gives the desire to trust Christ to some, and He withholds it from others. The giving or withholding of the faith to respond has nothing whatever to do with the individual. As philosopher Jerry Walls points out, God could just as easily have given the desire to trust Christ to every sinner rather than just a few, but He doesn’t. This undeniable implication of compatibilism raises tough problems for the basic morality of God.[2]

Compatibilists simply cannot effectively obviate the charge that their view makes God the cause of evil. Again, compatibilists are convinced they can (by insisting on things like “permission” and “secondary causes,” etc.), or they think they can just declare it a mystery how God is the cause of all things and not the cause of evil. But it’s becoming clear that these solutions don’t work. That’s why it’s hard to find compatibilists in any philosophy department of any school not already committed to Calvinism. Now, it is easy to find determinists in philosophy departments, but they tend to be atheists. Most world-class Christian philosophers (including several who are Southern Baptist) think compatibilism is a huge problem. Alvin Plantinga, Nicholas Wolterstorff, Thomas Flint, William Lane Craig, Ken Keathley, Bruce Little, Jeremy Evans, and John Laing, just to name a few, are thinkers who have an appreciation for Reformed theology and are serious about God’s sovereignty but view compatibilism as riddled with insurmountable logical problems. Moreover, it is a disaster when it comes to engaging skeptics about the truth-value of the Christian worldview.

Before Southern Baptist Calvinists start getting upset, let me say again that I understand better than I ever have that they truly don’t think they are at risk. They really believe compatibilism works biblically, philosophically, and theologically. They believe it gives them a good way to speak of God’s love for and desire to save all, real human freedom, and the significance of personal engagement in the Great Commission. They believe it provides an intelligible response to the problem of evil. Ken Keathley argues brilliantly that infralapsarian Calvinism is actually engineered for the purpose of providing a basis for all the things we all want to say theologically, but it just can’t get it done logically.[3]

If it is the case that there are serious problems with compatibilism, then why do Calvinists maintain their commitment to it? Calvinists will say they insist on it because the Bible insists on it, then they reel off a zillion verses about God’s strong sovereignty. But none of these verses, individually or collectively, demands determinism, which is a complex, post-biblical philosophical system. And there are a zillion verses that allow for libertarian freedom, unless compatibilism is presupposed. The main reason that Calvinists insist on compatibilism is because it is essential to their theological system. Augustine was a determinist, and the Augustinian-Calvinist theological synthesis demands it. To abandon it would be to abandon classical, consistent Calvinism.

Before the eyes of non-Calvinists begin to glaze over at the prospect of another abstruse, terminologically dizzying discussion of metaphysics, they need to grasp the concept that their fundamental problem with Calvinism is compatibilism. Let me burn some straw men and fry some red herrings. Southern Baptist Calvinists aren’t demonstrably worse than non-Calvinists at evangelism and missions—we’re all in need of significant improvement. Calvinists aren’t cavalier about certain Scriptures. Calvinists don’t think that prayer, evangelism, and faith don’t really matter. They just have a very problematic philosophical basis for affirming those things. In a real sense, the salient critiques of Calvinism that I’ve read lately are simply criticisms of compatibilism. Olson’s Against Calvinism could just as easily (and perhaps more helpfully) be called Against Compatibilism. The “ROSES” of Keathley’s Salvation and Sovereignty is “TULIP without compatibilism.” Allen and Lemke’s Whosever Will could have been entitled Whomever He Wills in the Libertarian Sense. I might even just start calling myself a “Non-Compatibilist” rather than a “Non-Calvinist.” With complete integrity, I can speak of the utterly ruined and ruinous sin nature of humans, the unconditional sense of election, the limitations of Christ’s atonement, the absolute necessity and power of initiating grace, and the guarantee of salvation for them that believe. I just do so while rejecting compatibilism.

Therefore, as the discussion moves forward, it would be helpful to establish as often as possible one’s position on compatibilism and libertarianism rather than merely Calvinism and non-Calvinism. This will bring order to some of the terminological confusion in the debate because, while there are still a variety of opinions about what specifically Southern Baptist “Calvinism” and “non-Calvinism” mean, there is virtual unanimity about what compatibilism and libertarianism mean. Second, this moves the discussion away from biblical proof-texting, which quickly becomes both circular and emotionally charged. Third, this reframing requires everyone to acknowledge that theology involves philosophical presuppositions in service of systemization. Frequently, I’ll hear people say, “I don’t believe in a system, I believe in the Bible.” That is actually a false and unhelpful dichotomy. Everyone is working from a systematic grid based on an extensive set of presuppositions. The question is, then, what are my presuppositions, and are they justifiable biblically, theologically, and philosophically? In this debate, the choices are pretty simple: you are either a compatibilist or a libertarian. Southern Baptist Calvinists and non-Calvinists arrive at most of the same important soteriological destinations, but the Calvinist route takes a path that I believe most Southern Baptists are unwilling to go, and for good reason.


[1] As the T5 states: “. . . we agree that God loves everyone and desires to save everyone . . . .”

[2] Jerry Walls, “Why No Classical Theist, Let Alone Orthodox Christian, Should Ever Be A Compatibilist,” Philosophia Christi 13 (2011): 98-99.

[3] I also understand that Calvinists will respond by saying that my libertarianism makes me vulnerable to an over-inflated view of human freedom and even to the charge of Open Theism. This sort of response is not only quite difficult to demonstrate, it also does not suffice as an argument for compatibilism.

 

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Clay

What a great article to read. I enjoyed how you laid both sides down in the article, not trying to show bias ideology.

I am presently serving in the Southern Baptist faith and I as well have encountered many things with Calvinists, even this Compatibilism.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not here to tear down anyone, but when Calvinism is looked at, it is more of a dream, wish, or hope, that God has everything already planned out to man’s understanding. Predestined, a hard word for most to figure out, is explained beautifully in Romans 6-8. Through these chapters if read all at one time and repeated as necessary shows us the predestined situations, flesh vs. Holy Spirit. Many would argue against that and show off their topical skills of just pulling things out of verses. Another thing remains though, Matthew 24 with a focus on verses 35-37. How are we able to determine what is predestined when Christ (The Son of God) does not know His return? We are no better. We are God’s adopt (John 1:12) and discipled by the Son of God (John 15:12-15). Ephesians 1 verifies the adoption and friendship through the words of Paul. This concludes, God allowed us to have choice. Not because He made us this way, but because we rebelled and sinned against His ways (Gen. 1-4). Personally, as a Seminiary student, I would look at this word and say, deacons of the church should have this mentality with their ministers (somewhat of a selfish thought). As well, “Compatibilism” in my opinion could be considered more for the sheep and not The Shepherd.

No matter your thoughts and theories, God’s word never changes and rules over all ideas. We are unable to fix or improve what is done (Eccl. 1).

God Bless!!!

Jake Fowler

I would love to hear your thoughts on the Libertarian’s Dilemma if you ever have a chance. (The idea that if everything is determined humans do not have free will, if nothing is determined humans do not have free will for everything would be done arbitrarily by chance).

    Robert

    Jake you wrote:

    “I would love to hear your thoughts on the Libertarian’s Dilemma if you ever have a chance. (The idea that if everything is determined humans do not have free will, if nothing is determined humans do not have free will for everything would be done arbitrarily by chance).”

    That is an easy one Jake, what you present as the “Libertarian’s Dilemma” is a false dilemma as it grossly misrepresents things and completely leaves out a major contention of Libertarians. According to this dilemma it is either (A) all is determined or (B) all is chance. Sadly I have seen Calvinists present this as an argument against Libertarian free will. But it is an extremely weak argument and you won’t see it being presented very often in contemporary discussions about free will and determinism.

    This false dilemma sometimes presented by zealous Calvinists leaves out a major position held by people like Alvin Plantinga, Thomas Reid, etc. The view called “agent causation”. The personal agent is the determining factor or cause when persons make choices for reasons.

    Take an everyday example, as I believe we have all experienced agent causation when we have made choices in everyday life situations. Say I am deciding about whether or not I want to go a Mexican Restaurant or Chinese restaurant for dinner on Wednesday night. I have good reasons for either choice. I like both types of food. I know the manager at the Mexican restaurant so I will see him if I go there. I have been witnessing to the manager of the Chinese restaurant and would like to further witness to him. I also have a coupon for the Mexican restaurant where you buy one dinner and get one free. I will deliberate between the two alternative possibilities and will then make the choice of one rather than the other. In doing so I will be a personal agent who determines which choice will be actualized and my choice will be done for reasons. My actions and resulting choice is neither determined nor is it chance. It is logically wrong and incorrect to say that a person choosing one option over another for reasons *is* a chance event. Chance events do not involve intentionality, are not actions done for reasons. So the way out of the false dilemma that you present Jake is to see a person who is acting for reasons to be neither a determined nor a chance event.

    If you want the ultimate example of agent causation in action, where a person’s actions are neither determined nor chance events, where the person is making choices for reasons: look at God himself. His actions are not determined by any antecedent factors that necessitate his actions, he is acting freely when he makes choices, and he always makes his choices for reasons. Would anyone be foolish enough to suggest that God’s actions should be viewed as determined or chance????

    Agent causation is an easy concept to understand as God exemplifies it and we engage in it as well all the time. I believe we have this capacity to make choices for reasons because we are created in the image of God.

    Robert

Roger

You say:

“But this permission is “efficacious” so that things could not have happened any differently from the way they do. God’s decision to permit specific events is in no way affected by human choices because those choices are determined by God. On this view, there is no, I repeat, no difference between God “causing” an event (like the Holocaust) and God “permitting” it.”

But this isn’t quite right. The Calvinist *can* say there’s a difference between ‘causing’, on the one hand, and ‘allowing’, on the other. While it’s true, and the Calvinist should grant, that, given divine determinism, there is only one possible way for things to play out after God creates, she needn’t grant that God causes all things that happen after he creates. This is because there’s a difference between *causal* implication (or entailment), on the one hand, and *logical* implication (or entailment), on the other. When God causes it to be the case that p implies q, we have to read the implication as a causal one. But, if God *allows* or *permits* it to be the case that p implies q, we need only read the implication as a logical relationship.

So, suppose that God causes it to be the case that p implies q, where ‘p’ is some fact about the way the world is and ‘q’ is some fact about what some person does. Here, all should agree that the agent being considered does not act freely. So, in this case, God’s causally determining the action is *incompatible* with the person’s acting freely. Even compatibilists will grant that. But, now suppose that God merely *allows* it to be the case that p implies q (and we hold fixed all the other details about p and q). Why think *this* case is one where God’s determining that q is true given p is one where the agent’s freedom is cancelled out? Here, the relationship isn’t a causal one between p and q (or between God’s will and p and q); rather, it’s a mere logical relationship. in the first case, it’s obvious why God’s willing cancels out the agent’s freedom–God *causes* the agent to act a certain way, after all. In the second, it’s less obvious since God *doesn’t* cause it to be the case that the agent acts as she does; he merely allows it knowing full-well that it must happen given the past state of the world. But, this is, again, a logical, and not causal relationship.

While I agree that divine determinism and human freedom are incompatible, I disagree that one reason we should think so is because logical determinism and causal determinism are no different. Of course they are; so, what you say in the passage I quoted is false. Compatibilists might rightly ask: “what’s freedom-cancelling about a logical relationship?”

    Robert

    Roger you disagree with Hankins in his claim that under Calvinism God causes everything and does not merely allow things to occur:

    “But this isn’t quite right. The Calvinist *can* say there’s a difference between ‘causing’, on the one hand, and ‘allowing’, on the other.”

    Sure he can say there is a difference, but it depends upon what other premises he holds. The Calvinists who hold to not only compatibilism but the premise that God is in control of all things and all persons at all times do wipe out the “cause versus allow” distinction.

    Perhaps you do not think this way Roger, but I have run into many Calvinists who not only claim that compatibilism is true, they *also claim* that *God directly, continuously and completely controls all things and persons*. If he does have control to this extent and in this way, then there is *no such thing as allowing events to occur*. This is true because if he controls someone person completely and directly and continuously, then he determines their every thought, action, movement. That being the case, nothing is “allowed”, this is a misleading use of language if there ever was one. Instead, he controls every person to ensure that they carry out what he has preplanned for every person.

    Perhaps an illustration may help see what total control amounts to. For a long time non-Calvinists have likened the claim that God controls every person with the analogy that that makes God into a divine puppet master who controls his puppets so that they do whatever he controls them to do. We don’t in our own experience experience complete control by another person, so when we think of what this would be like we naturally think of an analogous situation in the relationship between a puppet master and his puppets that he completely controls. The puppet (if it is being controlled by the puppet master) can and will do nothing that the puppet master does not control him to do. It is a misuse of language and extremely misleading to say for example: “I went to a puppet show (where the puppets were completely controlled by the Puppet master) and the puppet master allowed a puppet to do his own action and murder someone in the crowd.” We would correct this claim immediately and say: “No, if the puppet murdered someone in the crowd we would not claim that the puppet was allowed to do so and so responsible while the puppet master was not. No, the puppet did only what the puppet master controlled him to do. That being the case we would hold the puppet master responsible for the crime not the puppet.”

    Likewise Calvinists can resort to compatibilism and philosophical distinctions and language to evade the fact their exhaustive determinism makes God responsible for everything. But it does not work and non-Calvinists will immediately point out that exhaustive determinism and total control of all persons are equivalent. And if God controls all persons then he dictates their thoughts, actions, movements and they are *never allowed* to act on their own: they are controlled to do whatever they do.

    Robert

Robert

Roger your logical versus causal distinction works only in forms of Calvinism where God is not directly, continuously and completely in control, you said:

“While it’s true, and the Calvinist should grant, that, given divine determinism, there is only one possible way for things to play out after God creates, she needn’t grant that God causes all things that happen after he creates. This is because there’s a difference between *causal* implication (or entailment), on the one hand, and *logical* implication (or entailment), on the other. When God causes it to be the case that p implies q, we have to read the implication as a causal one. But, if God *allows* or *permits* it to be the case that p implies q, we need only read the implication as a logical relationship.”

For example I have a friend who is a Calvinist and runs a prominent apologetics ministry. He holds to libertarian free will when it comes to ordinary events like what you choose to have for breakfast in the morning. He also holds to the five points of TULIP so he sees people as incapable of choosing to have faith in Christ. In his way of thinking you can have God allowing some things to occur. But he *denies exhaustive determinism* and holds to libertarian free will being present on some occasions.

I have observed that some Calvinists will also allow libertarian free will to be present before the fall. Once the fall occurred, they will argue that libertarian free will is no longer present. For them Adam and Eve made their choice freely, their choice was not determined, so they are responsible for their choices. Many do this because the fall provides intractable problems for those espousing exhaustive determinism/compatibilism. They will claim that God allowed the fall but did not cause it, did not determine for it to occur. Calvinists who argue this way are not holding to exhaustive determinism nor that God controls people at all times.

Those Calvinists who do hold to exhaustive determinism *cannot appeal to God allowing things*, especially if they also combine their compatibilism with the premise that God controls everyone. Roger your distinction between logical and causal may help a Calvinist who does not hold to exhaustive determinism, who does not hold to God controlling all persons: but it will not help those who do hold to exhaustive determinism/God controlling every person at all. Put another way, those who claim that “God ordaineth whatsoever comes to pass” cannot simultaneously claim that God allows anything because if he ordains everything without exception then he does not allow things instead he decrees everything and ensures that everything takes place as decreed by controlling everything and making sure it all goes according to a total plan.

Robert

    Roger

    Thanks, Robert. I’ll reply to both of your posts in this one post.

    I agree that there are *strands* of Calvinism (or Calvinists) that (or who) believe that God causes everything that happens to happen. We might call those sorts of Calvinists ‘hyper’ Calvinists. The thing about hyper Calvinists, though, is that they are *incompatibilists* about human freedom and divine determinism. They believe, in other words, that God’s causing all things to happen is incompatible with human freedom (and they deny, moreover, that humans are free). All should agree with them about this; for, it precisely for the reasons you list that human freedom is cancelled out by God’s being the cause of all things.

    But Eric’s post isn’t about *that* type of Calvinist view. Rather, his post is about Calvinists who are *compatibilists* about human freedom and divine determinism. These folks believe that humans *really do* act freely, even though everything they do is determined by God before the foundations of the world. And it’s just here that the disctintion between causal and logical determinism come into play. The compatibilist will agree that no human acts freely if God *causes* them to act as they do; rather, humans act freely in cases where God *allows* them to act as they do, even if their acts are logically determined by events in the past (including, e.g., God’s willing that things be a certain way, and so on).

    Now, I agree that that God’s *allowing* something to happen deterministically, and his *causing* something to happen, both rule out human freedom. (I’m an incompatibilist about human freedom and divine determinism.) But the point is that the compatibilist can lay hold of the distinction I made in my original reply; and, moreover, it’s really is false that there is no difference–especially if we’re thinking of these terms from the point of the view of the compatibilist–between God’s causing something to happen, on the one hand, and God’s allowing something (deterministically) to happen, on the other.

      Robert

      Roger you said:

      “I agree that there are *strands* of Calvinism (or Calvinists) that (or who) believe that God causes everything that happens to happen. We might call those sorts of Calvinists ‘hyper’ Calvinists. The thing about hyper Calvinists, though, is that they are *incompatibilists* about human freedom and divine determinism. They believe, in other words, that God’s causing all things to happen is incompatible with human freedom (and they deny, moreover, that humans are free).”

      I would be careful about designating these Calvinists who hold to exhaustive determinism of all events as “hyper-Calvinists”. I say this because by this reasoning then John Calvin was himself a “hyper-Calvinist” (he believed that God causes everything that happens to happen in line with a total plan in which every detail of history was prescripted).

      I suggest that rather than “hyper-Calvinist” this kind of thinking ought to be designated as *consistent Calvinist*. Consistent because it is consistent with the premise that God ordains and predecides all things and ensures that what he prescripted is actualized in time as what we call history. “Hyper-Calvinist” is useless term in my opinion as I have seen so many Calvinists use the term to distance themselves from other calvinist positions they did not like. So I say calvinists ought to be seen as consistent with their premises (e.g. John Calvin, Paul Helm) or inconsistent (e.g. those who claim that God has predestined everything and yet we still have free will, we still act freely).

      “But Eric’s post isn’t about *that* type of Calvinist view. Rather, his post is about Calvinists who are *compatibilists* about human freedom and divine determinism. These folks believe that humans *really do* act freely, even though everything they do is determined by God before the foundations of the world.”

      And this *is* logically inconsistent: if all is determined then we are not acting freely by any stretch of the imagination (unless acting freely is *redefined* to fit with deterministic thinking: which is precisely what many compatibilists do). Calvin and earlier Calvinists openly denied that we have free will (in some cases they even mocked the idea).

      More modern calvinists want to hold to the same theology as Calvin and yet defend it with the more modern concept of compatibilism. In my opinion they are inconsistent because if you hold the same premises and theology as Calvin (as they do) then you will deny free will and be what in modern terminology is referred to as a “hard determinist” (i.e. you believe everything is determined and that people do not have free will, do not act freely). Instead of seeing themselves as hard determinists though, they rather see themselves as “compatibilists” (because compatibilists claim that it can all be determined and simultaneously you are acting “freely”).

      Robert

Robert

Roger you also said:

“And it’s just here that the disctintion between causal and logical determinism come into play. The compatibilist will agree that no human acts freely if God *causes* them to act as they do; rather, humans act freely in cases where God *allows* them to act as they do, even if their acts are logically determined by events in the past (including, e.g., God’s willing that things be a certain way, and so on).”

I don’t buy that distinction as applying to most Calvinists because the consistent Calvinist, the one who holds the same theology as Calvin, is not really a compatibilist, they are hard determinists masquerading as compatibilists. They like the idea of people remaining responsible while their actions are determined (a staple belief of compatibilists) and yet they also believe everything is determined beforehand by God (“He ordaineth whatsoever comes to pass”). They think that by holding to compatibilism they can hold onto all things being determined, men being nevertheless responsible and men acting freely.

“Now, I agree that that God’s *allowing* something to happen deterministically, and his *causing* something to happen, both rule out human freedom. (I’m an incompatibilist about human freedom and divine determinism.)”

I’m an incompatibilist about human freedom and divine determinism as well because I hold to libertarian agent causation as the best explanation for human choices that are made freely. And I see all sorts of problems with compatibilism. A friend of mine John Martin Fischer developed semi-compatibilism because he sees the problems as well and yet wanted to hold to the possibility that all things could be determined and yet we could still be acting freely (at least according to him).

I believe that consistent calvinists are incompatibilists as well, but instead of biting the bullet and admitting that in reality if consistent with their theology they are hard determinists, they prefer to see themselves as “compatibilists”. Part of it is that they want all things to be determined and yet they still want to hold people responsible and they believe that compatibilism accomplishes this. Part of it is that they want to appear to be philosophically sophisticated and use compatibilism to justify their Calvinism.

“But the point is that the compatibilist can lay hold of the distinction I made in my original reply; and, moreover, it’s really is false that there is no difference–especially if we’re thinking of these terms from the point of the view of the compatibilist–between God’s causing something to happen, on the one hand, and God’s allowing something (deterministically) to happen, on the other.”

And again the calvinist who holds to these ideas is not a consistent calvinist, they espouse Calvinism and take some of its ideas but they are not at all consistent in this as John Calvin was. For example Calvin recognized that if all is predetermined then that includes not only the fate of the elect but the fate of the damned as well (so Calvin held to double predestination, which is actually again simply being a consistent calvinist). A consistent calvinist is not a “hyper calvinist”, rather, they are a person today that is espousing the same theology as John Calvin did.

Robert

Roger

Robert, let’s just take these Calvinists at their words, OK? The Calvinists about whom Eric is writing are folks who think that divine determinism is compatible with human freedom. One way of doing this is by claiming–as I have been–that there’s an important difference between God’s causally determining something to happen on the one hand, and God’s allowing (though, logically determining) something to happen, on the other. Calvinists who think that God *causes* everything–whatever you want to call them: ‘consistent’ or ‘hyper’; I don’t suppose it makes much of a difference–are incompatibilists. So, they’re not, just by definition, the sorts of Calvinists about whom Eric writes.

Now, you say “And this *is* logically inconsistent: if all is determined then we are not acting freely by any stretch of the imagination (unless acting freely is *redefined* to fit with deterministic thinking: which is precisely what many compatibilists do). Calvin and earlier Calvinists openly denied that we have free will (in some cases they even mocked the idea).”

This is pretty unfair, I think, and pretty close to begging the question against the compatibilist. Suppose I think that all it takes to be free with respect to an action is that I do the action for my own reasons, free from coercion, manipulation, mental impairment, etc. This sort of freedom is completely consistent with our actions being logically determined (though, perhaps, not causally–but this isn’t obvious to me) by God’s decrees. Now, you might (as I do) disagree with this as an accurate account of freedom, but it’s incumbent upon you not simply to assert that this *isn’t* a sufficient account of freedom. You have to say why it’s not sufficient. On the surface, just being able to act as I want/will, without outside coercion or manipulation (all consistent with my actions’ being logically determined) seems to suffice for my acting freely, for my will to have been free when I acted. And, moreover, this is a pretty intuitive way to think about free will–it’s hardly defining ‘freedom’ in a way that ‘stretches the imagination’.

You might think that Calvinists who hold this view of freedom are inconsistent with John Calvin, himself. But that’s not really the issue of this particular blog; so, it’s not really relevant, here.

Robert

Roger you said that:

“The Calvinists about whom Eric is writing are folks who think that divine determinism is compatible with human freedom.”

Roger you said yourself that this is not possible: “While I agree that divine determinism and human freedom are incompatible”.

So on the one hand you try to argue that Calvinists can resort to the logical/causal distinction to show how divine determinism and human freedom *are* compatible: on the other hand you explicitly state that “divine determinism and human freedom are incompatible.”

It is as if you are trying to argue their case when you really don’t believe it.

And their case, which Hankins explicitly and clearly presents in his article, is their belief in compatibilism (that divine determinism and human freedom *are* compatible).

Hankins clearly sees that it does not work and he states this in various ways in his article:

[[The compatibilist’s definition of freedom is equally specious. . . .

Again, compatibilists are convinced they can (by insisting on things like “permission” and “secondary causes,” etc.), or they think they can just declare it a mystery how God is the cause of all things and not the cause of evil. But it’s becoming clear that these solutions don’t work. . . .

That’s why it’s hard to find compatibilists in any philosophy department of any school not already committed to Calvinism. Now, it is easy to find determinists in philosophy departments, but they tend to be atheists. Most world-class Christian philosophers (including several who are Southern Baptist) think compatibilism is a huge problem. Alvin Plantinga, Nicholas Wolterstorff, Thomas Flint, William Lane Craig, Ken Keathley, Bruce Little, Jeremy Evans, and John Laing, just to name a few, are thinkers who have an appreciation for Reformed theology and are serious about God’s sovereignty but view compatibilism as riddled with insurmountable logical problems. Moreover, it is a disaster when it comes to engaging skeptics about the truth-value of the Christian worldview. . . .

If it is the case that there are serious problems with compatibilism, then why do Calvinists maintain their commitment to it?”]]

It seems Roger that you are trying to rescue compatibilism though you do not hold to it yourself: what is your motivation for that?

Or have I read you incorrectly and in fact you do hold to compatibilism?

Robert

Robert

Roger you also said:

“One way of doing this is by claiming–as I have been–that there’s an important difference between God’s causally determining something to happen on the one hand, and God’s allowing (though, logically determining) something to happen, on the other. Calvinists who think that God *causes* everything–whatever you want to call them: ‘consistent’ or ‘hyper’; I don’t suppose it makes much of a difference–are incompatibilists. So, they’re not, just by definition, the sorts of Calvinists about whom Eric writes.”

That is not accurate Roger. You claim that the Calvinists who “think that God *causes* everything . . .are incompatibilists.”

They are not *incompatibilists*, they want to believe that God causing everything and human freedom are compatible (hence they regularly call themselves “compatibilists”). And it is precisely this kind of Calvinist that Hankins is writing about (those who believe that God causes all things and yet this is compatible with human freedom, look at Hankins words again as to whom he writing about: “Again, compatibilists are convinced they can (by insisting on things like “permission” and “secondary causes,” etc.), or they think they can just declare it a mystery how God is the cause of all things and not the cause of evil. But it’s becoming clear that these solutions don’t work.”

Note he says these folks believe “God is the cause of all things”. So they are in fact people who believe that God causes all things and at the same time human freedom is compatible with this causation of all things. You tried to dismiss this by suggesting they are “hyper-calvinists” (I corrected you on that and showed that by that reasoning Calvin himself was a hyper-calvinist).

You want to provide a way of supposedly holding to compatibilism for calvinists (by leaving out the premise that God causes all things, that only involves logical determinism). But that is not what the folks Hankins is writing about hold to (in fact they hold to the standard Calvinist premise that God is the cause of all things).

I had said:

“Now, you say “And this *is* logically inconsistent: if all is determined then we are not acting freely by any stretch of the imagination (unless acting freely is *redefined* to fit with deterministic thinking: which is precisely what many compatibilists do). Calvin and earlier Calvinists openly denied that we have free will (in some cases they even mocked the idea).”

To which you responded with:

“This is pretty unfair, I think, and pretty close to begging the question against the compatibilist.”

It is not unfair because Calvinists want to believe in two things being simultaneously present: God determining all things and human freedom. But their view of determinism is not merely a logical determinism it is a causal determinism. And causal determinism *is* incompatible with human freedom as you yourself believe: “While I agree that divine determinism and human freedom are incompatible”.

And it is not “begging the question against the compatibilist” because in fact they believe in both divine causal determinism and human freedom. That is their claim though in my opinion and in Hankins’ and others including Plantinga, it is full of insurmountable problems.

Problems they have not been able to solve for hundreds of years. We are not having the first discussions of the incompatibility of divine causal determinism and human free will. That has been discussed for hundreds of years. For hundreds of years non-Calvinists have recognized that if divine causal determinism is true, then free will is eliminated and God becomes the author of evil. Calvinists have had hundreds of years to try to deal with this and they have failed. So I maintain that my statement that “if all is determined then we are not acting freely by any stretch of the imagination” remains true.

Robert

Robert

Roger you brought up an appeal to logical determinism as a way for the Calvinists to salvage their compatibilism yet again:

“Suppose I think that all it takes to be free with respect to an action is that I do the action for my own reasons, free from coercion, manipulation, mental impairment, etc. This sort of freedom is completely consistent with our actions being logically determined (though, perhaps, not causally–but this isn’t obvious to me) by God’s decrees.”

And I would say again they don’t propose compatibility between logical determinism and human freedom, they are claiming compatibility between divine *causal* determinism and human freedom. They do not only believe that God decides everything beforehand (that is His decrees): they also believe that he ensures these decisions are actualized by *controlling all things and persons* (that is their view of “sovereignty”, i.e. that God directly, continuously and completely controls all things and persons). God’s decrees alone do not actualize events. In their thinking it is a combination of God decreeing some outcome and then making it come to pass by controlling all of the causes and ensuring the decree is actualized.

“Now, you might (as I do) disagree with this as an accurate account of freedom, but it’s incumbent upon you not simply to assert that this *isn’t* a sufficient account of freedom. You have to say why it’s not sufficient.”

It is an insufficient account because in many instances we not only make a choice we have a choice between differing options (and there are abundant examples in scripture where the persons clearly had a choice of two very different options for them to make).

“On the surface, just being able to act as I want/will, without outside coercion or manipulation (all consistent with my actions’ being logically determined) seems to suffice for my acting freely, for my will to have been free when I acted.”

That is insufficient because if another person (and for the Calvinist this is God being sovereign) controls my thoughts, beliefs, bodily movements, everything: then I am not being coerced against my will as He controls my will, then I am doing what I want to do because God is giving me my desires and controlling them as well). The “joker” in the deck which I spoke of in my earlier post to you is the Calvinist premise that God controls all things and persons directly, continuously and completely. With that kind of control being present I can do what I want and I am not coerced against my will because another person controls my will and desires and everything else about me. So compatibilism is insufficient to account for instances where I not only make a choice but I have a choice between alternative possibilities.

“ And, moreover, this is a pretty intuitive way to think about free will–it’s hardly defining ‘freedom’ in a way that ‘stretches the imagination’.”

The vast majority of people that I know (both believers and unbelievers) assume and continuosly work from the idea (and that includes Calvinists as well even though it completely contradicts their theology) that they sometimes have and make their own choices. Not only do they do what they want to do and they are not being coerced in doing so. They are also not controlled by another person (including God) and they have alternative possibilities from which to choose at times.

“You might think that Calvinists who hold this view of freedom are inconsistent with John Calvin, himself. But that’s not really the issue of this particular blog; so, it’s not really relevant, here.”

Actually it is relevant as they are claiming a resurgence of Calvinism. So it is very relevant and instructive to compare their claims and thinking with what Calvin himself believed and espoused.

Robert

Roger

Robert,

*I* am an incompatibilist about divine determinism and human freedom. But this doesn’t mean I can’t offer reasons for (some) Calvinists to think the two things are compatible. I’ve never argued that the compatibilists are right; all I’ve done is said that they can appeal to *logical* determinism as a way to distinguish between God’s causing something, on the one hand, and God’s allowing something on the other. I haven’t at all claimed that this helps solve the problems of compatibilism; for, i don’t think that such a distinction *does* help, in the end. But, that’s not the point of my response to Eric. My point was to show that his claim (the one I quoted in my first post) is false–and it is.

    Robert

    Roger,

    You said:

    “But this doesn’t mean I can’t offer reasons for (some) Calvinists to think the two things are compatible.”

    Sure you can offer these reasons, you can offer your speculation, you can argue just for fun, for some view that a calvinist compatibilist might appeal to.

    But keep in mind that your speculation does not represent what the majority of Calvinists believe (i.e. that God *does in fact cause all things* to occur precisely as they do in order to actualize his decisions[decrees] made in eternity and brought about in time by His “sovereignty’/which according to these same Calvinists amounts to direct, complete and continuous control of all things and persons).

    Hankins’ article is dealing with the Calvinist compatibilists who hold to both divine causation of all events and human freedom.

    So Roger you are inventing a possible stance for a Calvinist to take in order to argue for compatibilism (but again recognize that your invention is not their actual position *nor is it the position that Hankins was writing about*).

    You are like a defense lawyer (not the one arguing the case before the judge) who says while being interviewed by a reporter that: “perhaps he [the defendant] did not commit the crime because his identical twin actually committed the crime rather than him”. But that is not the explanation the defense attorney is presenting to the judge. Besides your proposal not being what they (Calvinist compatibilists) are actually arguing: a more severe problem is that your alternative theory contradicts one of the most basic Calvinist non-negotiable premises that they strongly hold to (i.e. that God brings about all that he has decreed: that God causes all events to occur). Since they are not appealing to a mere logical determinism your suggestion that they appeal to logical determinism is speculative but out of touch with what they are actually presenting. And Hankins is not dealing with the theory that the identical twin may have done it: Hankins is dealing with the actual argument they are presenting (i.e. which involves causal determinism not logical determinism).

    Roger you appealed to the identical twin theory again:

    “all I’ve done is said that they can appeal to *logical* determinism as a way to distinguish between God’s causing something, on the one hand, and God’s allowing something on the other.”

    But Roger if they appeal to logical determinism, they contradict their premise that God causes all things to occur (i.e. causal determinism). They cannot hold to a mere logical determinism while at the same time holding to causal determinism. I do not see them giving up their premise that God brings about all events (causally) via His sovereignty (total control of all things and persons).

    “My point was to show that his claim (the one I quoted in my first post) is false–and it is.”

    The problem is that you tried to show Hankins was wrong via your speculation (they could appeal to logical determinism) when Hankins was dealing with their actual argument.

    Hankins wrote:

    “On this view, there is no, I repeat, no difference between God “causing” an event (like the Holocaust) and God “permitting” it.”

    What is “this view” which Hankins was speaking about? Was he talking about all versions of compatibilism? No. He was speaking about those Calvinists who hold to both divine causal determinism and human freedom and claim these two things are compatible. Hankins is correct about what he says about “this view”. You come along and* change the goal posts* and argue: well they could appeal to logical determinism and so escape Hankins arguments and he would be wrong. But that is not fair as you are changing the discussion from the causal determinism that the Calvinists hold to and which Hankins is actually addressing, to logical determinism your suggested explanation they might want to take.

    You are like the guy talking about the identical twin theory, but the guy in the court is not arguing that theory at all. And Hankins is dealing with what the guy in the court is arguing, not with your speculation of what they could appeal to.

    Robert

Robert

Roger,

I want to comment on what I believe is happening here one more time in order to be absolutely clear.

Some Calvinists who view themselves as “compatibilists” (hence they are a form of compatibilism but do not represent all compatibilists) *present X as their view*. Hankins has come along and made some points about X and given some arguments against X. Hankins is not arguing against all forms of compatibilism but with this form held by Calvinists that I am calling X.

Roger you came along and challenged Hankins and said that his arguments are wrong about X.

Did you show that Hankins misunderstood X or misrepresented X? No.

Instead you brought up another possibility: what if these Calvinists appealed to a different version of compatibilism (one in which logical determinism rather than causal determinism is being presented) let’s call this version Y.

You chided Hankins and said he was wrong because his points and arguments do not address or deal with Y. But this is both unfair and inaccurate as Hankins was never dealing with Y at any time. It is not right or fair to say that Hankins was wrong in his points or arguments about X since you can conceive of Y. Hankins was never dealing with Y, he was dealing with X. I made this clear by quoting him and asking what is “this view” to which he was referring? It was always X, what they actually present, not Y which you present as a possible way for them to hold to compatibilism. Your presentation of Y makes for some interesting thinking and speculation but it must be recognized that Hankins was dealing with X not Y.

Now a Calvinist could appeal to Y in order to preserve and defend his theology. But in so doing he will have departed from X which is what most of them hold to. Furthermore, if he held to Y he would be jettisoning one of the most basic and for most Calvinists nonnegotiable premises: divine causal determinism of all events. This is stated in the Westminster confession by the phrase “He ordaineth whatsoever comes to pass.” It is also supported by *their view of sovereignty* (i.e. sovereignty means that God directly, completely and continuously controls all things and persons and does so in a way that ensures that everything he decided beforehand would happen would in fact happen).

So Roger your appeal to Y may function as an interesting intellectual exercise, but it needs to be clearly seen that Y is not their view and not the view which Hankins was dealing with and addressing in his article. It is sometimes useful to consider hypotheticals and alternative conceptions as you are suggesting. At the same time we also want to keep reality firmly in mind. And reality is that the Calvinists hold to X and present X and Hankins did a good job discussing X and also showing some problems with X.

Robert

Roger

Robert,

Here’s the quote in context:

“This claim is made by redefining God’s permission and human freedom in highly unusual and suspect ways. For the compatibilist, God causes some things and permits others (like sin). But this permission is “efficacious” so that things could not have happened any differently from the way they do. God’s decision to permit specific events is in no way affected by human choices because those choices are determined by God. On this view, there is no, I repeat, no difference between God “causing” an event (like the Holocaust) and God “permitting” it.”

Notice that the claim that “[o]n this view, there is no, I repeat, on difference…” is an interpretation–Eric’s interpretation–of what it means for God’s ‘allowing’ something to happen to be efficacious in the sense “that things could not have happened any differently from the way they do.” Eric is claiming that God’s efficacious permission of events is tantamount to the claim that God *causes* these events. But I’ve suggested that a compatibilist need not be committed to a view like that. And, moreover, that what compatibilists believe is *not* that God’s efficacious permissions is synonymous with God’s causing; rather, there’s a distinction between God’s allowing or permitting an event, on the one hand, and God’s causing an event on the other. And this distinction is the one I’ve been making between logical and causal determinism.

You might *think* that compatibilist Calvinism has a view of God’s efficacious permission that is tantamount to God’s causing. That’s what Eric thinks. But I’ve offered a reason to think that this isn’t true. And, as far as I can see, it’s *not* true. So, what’s needed is a reason to think I’m wrong about that.

    Robert

    Roger you quoted Hankins and wrote:

    “Notice that the claim that “[o]n this view, there is no, I repeat, on difference…” is an interpretation–Eric’s interpretation–of what it means for God’s ‘allowing’ something to happen to be efficacious in the sense “that things could not have happened any differently from the way they do.”

    Actually I don’t think he is merely giving his interpretation of what the Calvinists who hold to X believe about “allowing”. Roger you seem to ignore or are missing that Hankins is not talking about Y (your suggested alternative version of compatibilism that a calvinist might appeal to, what I have designated as Y).

    Here is what those who hold to X (the view Hankins is addressing) believe: they believe that God determines all events AND simultaneously people have “human freedom”. They believe that God’s complete determination of all events is compatible with human freedom (i.e. people are still responsible for their actions though their every action is predetermined by God).

    Now Roger you have acknowledged that God’s causal determination of all events and human freedom are incompatible. So apply your own admission to X and you will see that X does not work.

    You have then changed the goal posts by suggesting that perhaps the Calvinist who wants to embrace compatibilism, rather than holding to a causal determinism, could appeal to a logical determinism instead. You are correct they could change their view from X to Y. But if they did so then Hankins comments and arguments would not apply as Hankins was not directing his comments to Y but to X.

    “Eric is claiming that God’s efficacious permission of events is tantamount to the claim that God *causes* these events.”

    And it is he is correct if the Calvinist holds to X (i.e. that divine causal determinism and human freedom are compatible, again the view you yourself reject and believe does not work). In X if all is causally determined by God, then it is incoherent to claim that God “allows” or “permits” anything. Non-calvinists have been making this very point against Calvinism for centuries (i.e. causal determinism is incompatible with human freedom).

    And yet again when “Eric is claiming that God’s efficacious permission of events is tantamount to the claim that God *causes* these events” he is speaking of X (not your hypothetical Calvinist view Y).

    Robert

      Robert

      “But I’ve suggested that a compatibilist need not be committed to a view like that.”

      You are correct he need not, he could instead of holding X (what they do hold, what Hankins wrote about) hold to Y (your suggested alternative form of compatibilism, where logical determinism is substituted for causal determinism).

      But if they did so they would no longer be holding to X they would be holding to Y.

      “And, moreover, that what compatibilists believe is *not* that God’s efficacious permissions is synonymous with God’s causing; rather, there’s a distinction between God’s allowing or permitting an event, on the one hand, and God’s causing an event on the other.”

      And again you ignore or forget that the Calvinists who hold to X are not claiming a compatibilism between logical determinism and human freedom, but a compatibilism between causal determinism and human freedom.

      “And this distinction is the one I’ve been making between logical and causal determinism.”

      Right it is the distinction *you* have been making, but it is not the distinction they have been making, because in their view, X, it is causal determinism that is compatible with human freedom. Again, non-Calvinists have been making this point for years (i.e. if God brings about via his sovereignty/causal determinism, every event that takes place, then it is wrong and incoherent to speak of God “allowing” anything to occur).

      Back to the puppet master analogy for a moment. If a puppet is completely, continuously and directly controlled by the puppet master, then the puppet is never “allowed” to do anything. Instead everything the puppet does is causally determined by the puppet master. Calvinists who hold to X hold to a form of divine control in which God completely, directly and continuously controls all persons. I have had Calvinists tell me that if I deny this form of control on the part of God that I am denying God’s sovereignty (because in their thinking God’s sovereignty means precisely this that God is controlling all things and persons to ensure his decrees are fulfilled). Roger you are suggesting that they can argue that God does not control people completely, directly and continuously and still hold to their compatibilism (by switching logical for causal determinism). But again, they will not give up their view of God’s control, their view of “sovereignty” so they will keep holding to X (which assumes this kind of control by God) and not hold to Y (your suggested alternative for them).

      “You might *think* that compatibilist Calvinism has a view of God’s efficacious permission that is tantamount to God’s causing. That’s what Eric thinks.”

      Hankins is correct in what he thinks on this. If the puppet master controls the puppets in the way that he does, to speak of the puppet master as permitting the puppets to act is incoherent and false. If he controls them in the way that he in fact does, then he never just permits or allows them to do things. This is especially seen in Calvinistic discussions of evil and sin. They will argue that when people sin they do so by their own choice according to their own nature, that God merely allows them to do so. But this is like claiming when the puppet commits a murder of someone in the audience that the puppet was allowed to do so and so should be held responsible for the murder. That is not accurate at all, as the puppet would not have committed the murder unless the puppet master controlled him to do so.

      “But I’ve offered a reason to think that this isn’t true. And, as far as I can see, it’s *not* true. So, what’s needed is a reason to think I’m wrong about that.”

      Under their premises, for those holding to X, it is true.

      You are suggesting that rather than holding X, they should hold to Y.

      Hankins was not addressing Y, your alternative theory, he was dealing with X, their actual theory. And their actual theory includes causal not logical determinism.

      Robert

Roger

Robert,

Which Calvinists are committed to the view that God’s causing all things to happen is compatible with human freedom? I don’t know any Calvinists that are committed to that view.

One goal, I take it, of Eric’s post is to show us that even *if* Calvinist compatibilists don’t *admit* to holding to a view like the one I just mentioned, it turns out that they are, since “[o]n this view, there is no, I repeat, no difference between God ‘causing’ an event (like the Holocaust) and God ‘permitting’ it.” And this because of the stuff Eric gives as justificatory evidence in the sentences that precede the one I just quoted. But i have argued that they are *not* committed to this view.

If Eric’s post is intended to attack compatibilist Calvinists of this stripe (‘X’ as you call it), then Eric has set up a straw-man (since there are no Calvinists of stripe ‘X’–or very few). But i don’t think Eric has set up a straw-man; so I conclude that Eric’s post is not intended to attack Calvinists of stripe ‘X’.

    Robert

    Roger are you a calvinist?

    And if not, how do you view yourself: as a Traditionalist, Arminian, Non-calvinist, Molinist?

    Robert

Roger

Robert,

I don’t mean to be dismissive, but whether or not I’m a Calvinist doesn’t at all seem to me to be relevant to the issue, viz., the post under discussion.

    Robert

    Roger I asked you a simple question because I am trying to figure out why you are trying so hard to defend calvinism. The fact that you cannot even answer my question about what your own view is, suggests that you are a calvinist who is defending calvinism because Hankins challenged it. I wondered why you had to resort to twisting things and misrepresenting things and changing the topic, now I think I know why.

    Hankins *specifically* and clearly delineated the version of “compatibilism” that he is discussing:

    “But that is not the meaning of compatibilism. Compatibilism is the view that divine determinism (not merely sovereignty) and human freedom are compatible. Compatibilism asserts that God is the cause of all things, including the “free” decisions of humans.”

    Hankins says which form of Calvinism he is talking about as the form that:

    “asserts that God is the *cause* of all things.”

    That seems pretty straightforward and clear.

    But now Roger you write:

    “Which Calvinists are committed to the view that God’s causing all things to happen is compatible with human freedom? I don’t know any Calvinists that are committed to that view.”

    What???

    Are you claiming that Hankins is making these people up?

    Claiming that Calvinists believe this when in fact they do not?

    Hankins says THAT is their view, that God causes all things and this is compatible with human freedom.

    *You* in contrast claim Calvinists do not believe this and that you “don’t know any Calvinists that are committed to that view.”

    So how contrary and opposite what Hankins wrote in his article can you be?

    Should we believe Hankins or you on this?

    I really feel no need to provide examples of calvinists who hold the view that Hankins claims they do, as you are twisting things completely in order to defend calvinism. I thought this was an honest and reasonable discussion apparently I was mistaken.

    Robert

      Roger

      Robert,

      Whether or not I’m a Calvinist has nothing to do with what’s being discussed, or why I raised an objection to the main article. Thus, the reason I didn’t answer your question: it’s a red herring (or a non sequitor–maybe both?).

      Eric has not merely *claimed* that compatibilist Calvinists are committed to the view that God causally determines all things that happen. He’s *argued* for this claim by saying that “[b]ut this permission is “efficacious” so that things could not have happened any differently from the way they do. God’s decision to permit specific events is in no way affected by human choices because those choices are determined by God.” I have argued to the contrary that God’s permission being ‘efficacious’ in this way doesn’t at all imply that God causes all things since there’s a distinction to be made between God’s causing something on the one hand, and God’s allowing (but logically determining) something on the other.

      *This*, I submitted, is what Calvinist compatibilists are committed to. Eric *thinks*–and argues for this thought–that they are committed to the above. But I argue that they are *not* thus committed (just in virtue of being Calvinists and compatibilists). Thus, my objection. And, thus, my defense of the Calvinist compatibilist.

      What my own views are about Calvinism or compatibilism are neither here nor there with respect to Eric’s argument. His argument–as least so far as it depends on the premise *that compatibilist Calvinists are committed to the compatibility of God’s causing all things, and human freedom*–fails. Compatibilist Calvinists need not commit themselves to this view. If there *are* any compatbilists who are committed to this view, there are very few. Thus, if Eric *really was* (as you suggest) just asserting that *these* are the Calvinists he’s addressing, then he’s taking on the lowest of hanging fruit. Or, as I suggested earlier, he’s setting up a straw-man. But i don’t think that he’s doing either of these things; so, I don’t think he’s doing as you suggest (i.e. he’s not asserting that these are the sorts of Calvinists he’s addressing).

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