The Lamb’s Book of Life:
Who’s In and Who’s Out?
By Ronnie Rogers – Part 3 of 4

July 20, 2012

Read Part 1 | Part 2

Why the double-talk? As mentioned on several occasions throughout the book, within Calvinism there is a problem of what I call double-talk. By the use of this term, I am not implying immoral or clandestine trickery. Nor am I suggesting conspiratorial deceit. I must admit that upon reflection on my time of being a Calvinist, I did the same thing. I did not do so out of ill motive, intent to deceive, or because of a lack of desire to be faithful to the Scripture—nor do I so impugn my Calvinist brothers and sisters.

As a matter of fact, upon reflection, I did it because I believed in Calvinism and the Scripture. This brought about conflicts that required unconscious or at least unthoughtful responses to the conflicts, which I now see as double-talk. This double-talk obscured the harsh realities of Calvinism and the inconsistencies between Scripture and Calvinism; what I have now come to describe as disquieting realities of Calvinism. Either there was an unconsciousness of the serious gap between Calvinism and the simple reading of Scripture, or I was simply unwilling to face these disparities directly. At times, a lack of thoughtfulness may have been easier than embarking on the quite disconcerting and uncertain journey that I have been on for the past thirteen years. Also, I did not have the knowledge and ability to see them as clearly then as I do now. By double-talk, I am referring to the inconsistencies between the irreducible tenets and logic of Calvinism, and the speech, writings, prayers, etc., of some Calvinists. This is particularly pronounced in areas like missions, prayers, preaching, and written and spoken comments that seem to ameliorate or soften the harsh realities of Calvinism. Actually, it is this double-talk, which I found myself tolerating, that I read and heard Calvinists reciting, all of whom I esteem as godly men and women, that stimulated my disenchantment.

The double-talk is either an unconscious effort to personally avoid the harsh realities of Calvinism or an unwillingness to unguardedly express the true irreducible tenets, logic, corollaries, and austere truths of Calvinism to those who are less enthralled with the explanatory powers of Calvinism. It may also be just simply a lack of understanding of the true teachings of Calvinism, the Scripture, or both. In my opinion, as long as Calvinists continue to infrequently declare or avoid stating these inflexible and biblically unpalatable truths, they will continue to give the same hollow responses to the dilemmas created by Calvinism, e.g. “it is a mystery” or double-talk. There are some Calvinists who seek unabashedly to celebrate these harsh realities of Calvinism, and I applaud them for their forthrightness if not for their correctness.

For many years I viewed Calvinists’, and my own, simple handling of passages without invoking the harsh realities of Calvinism, proclamations about missions or the lost that seemed to accord with the spirit and letter of Scripture, prayers absent of Calvinism’s logical corollaries, and passion directed toward pursuing and persuading the lost to repent, as a gentler and kinder Calvinism. I now see those expressions as inconsistent with Calvinism—double-talk. I no longer admire such sentiments, but desire the exposure of such incongruities as what they are, double-talk. My prayer is that some will see the beclouding double-talk as well and fall in love with the simple, straightforward message of Scripture and thereby become disenchanted Calvinists. Following are a few examples of double-talk, which, if read without understanding the aforementioned Calvinistic beliefs, one would see no inconsistency between Scripture and Calvinism.

On the one hand, Piper says the book contains the names that are “secure in God’s sovereign, electing love.”[i] This is followed by his statement that “the book of life is synonymous with the list of those who are elect and predestined for eternal life.”[ii] This unconditional election to salvation is brought to pass with monergistic, efficacious grace. According to Piper and Calvinists, the elect will be irresistibly drawn to God, irresistibly regenerated, and equally as irresistibly, although freely, exercise faith from their new regenerated nature and desires.

Piper says of irresistible grace, “When a person hears a preacher call for repentance he can resist that call. But if God gives him repentance he cannot resist because the gift is the removal of the resistance. Not being willing to repent is the same as resisting the Holy Spirit. So if God gives repentance it is the same as taking away the resistance. This is why we call this work of God ‘irresistible grace.’”[iii] Conversely, he says of the non-elect, “Except for the continual exertion of saving grace, we will always use our freedom to resist God.”[iv] Again he states, “The native hardness of our hearts makes us unwilling and unable to turn from sin and trust the Savior. Therefore conversion involves a miracle of new birth. This new birth precedes and enables faith and repentance.”[v] Therefore, according to Piper, the non-elect cannot believe, cannot be saved, cannot exercise faith, cannot respond to the call to repent, and cannot receive the offer of salvation because God has chosen not to elect them to regeneration. Had He chosen to elect them, they could have and would have been saved.

Then, in another article on his website he says, “I believe Christ died as a substitute for sinners to provide a bona fide offer of salvation to all people, and that he had an invincible design in his death to obtain his chosen bride, namely, the assembly of all believers, whose names were eternally written in the book of life of the Lamb that was slain (John 3:16; 10:15; Ephesians 5:25; Revelation 13:8).”[vi] So Christ’s death procured a “bona fide offer of salvation to all people” which includes all of the non-elect, who not only will not believe unto salvation, but cannot believe unto salvation. This raises the question, in what way can anyone consider the offer to be “bona fide” if there is an eternally predetermined, unalterable, and invincible decision by the sovereign God of time and eternity that they could not receive the offer? This is double-talk and a disquieting reality.

===============================

Final excerpt to be posted Saturday…

“… it is common for Calvinists to accuse anyone who believes God conditioned the reception of salvation upon faith as adding works. This caricature by Calvinists is actually a straw man and unbiblical. The Scripture is clear that the offer of salvation is unconditional, but the condition for receiving it is grace-enabled faith (John 3:16, 8:24).”

 


[iii] John Piper, “Irresistible Grace” in What We Believe About the Five Points of Calvinism, (copyright Desiring God.org, revised March 1998, http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/articles/what-we-believe-about-the-five-points-of-calvinism/print).

[iv] Piper, “Irresistible Grace” in What We Believe.

[v] Piper, Desiring God, 62.

 

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Jeremy Crowder

I’ve been reading criticism of this book from noted Calvinists like James White or rather listening to broadcasts etc. Anyway so far I don’t see a connection with the criticism and what has appeared from the book here. I see a well written and thoughtful look at how a person dealt with a system that he later felt wasn’t as scriptural as he previously believed. We all at some level are likely guilty of double talk not just calvinists and need to be aware of it. It’s easy to be deceived and we all have to grow. For some of us growing is to become a calvinist for others it is to become a Traditionalist, an Arminian, or Lutheran. Many people are honestly trying to rightly divide the word of God however until we meet God face to face we won’t know if we got it all right or not. We all need humility and I believe Pastor Rogers found humility by having the courage to examine one system and finding it honestly wanting.

    Bob Hadley

    Ronnie Rogers…

    “At times, a lack of thoughtfulness may have been easier than embarking on the quite disconcerting and uncertain journey that I have been on for the past thirteen years. Also, I did not have the knowledge and ability to see them as clearly then as I do now.”

    Ouch! Taking this statement right out of the calvinist play book and using it against them.

    Of course, the retort I read on the last article is that poor Ronnie was really never a real calvinist (since he admitted he was at best a 4-pointer… which really creates a problem for a LOT of folks who claim to be 4-pointers today… ) because if he truly was one he would still be one!

    There is a TON of logic in that one. I had someone tell me basically the same thing in reverse. He wrote, “I understand where you are coming because I once was where you are but I have been enlightened and now know better.”

    I told him…. he was not once where I am or he would not be where he is now.

    That carousel goes around both ways guys! Kudo’s to Dr. Rogers. I ordered his book and am in the process of reading it now.

    ><>”

Tim Rogers

Brother Ronnie,

It is the “double-talk” that frustrates the entire debate. Whether intentional or just standard replies when pushed on something that exposes the hard reality of Calvinist doctrine, “double-talk” is common in the usual debate. However, when pushed on the “double-talk” the standard reply usually points to the one revealing the inconsistencies as someone that does not understand Calvinism. Dr. David Allen was accused of such when he preached his message at the John 316 conference, which eventually included as chapter in the book Whosoever Will. Dr. Steve Lemke along with Dr Malcolm Yarnell also has been accused of a lack of understanding Calvinism. Thus, we have scholars in theology being accused of not understanding theology.

Thank you for your clear perspective that does not seek to condescend others who hold to such a system but seeks to expose the mere inconsistency in said system.

Not The Original Les

The author speaks of double-talk. I assume he is using something like this definition of “double-talk:” “language that appears to be earnest and meaningful but in fact is a mixture of sense and nonsense.” The author wrote:

“I affirm that the “Lamb’s book of life” contains all the names of those who have or ever will be saved. I also affirm that the names have been written in the book since eternity past (Revelation 13:8). I further affirm those in the book are there because of exercising grace-enabled faith unto salvation and could have done otherwise, and those not in the book could have been there by exercising grace-enabled faith.”

Can someone explain how this paragraph is not double-talk? Where do erasers come into use?

Grace,

Les

    Adam Harwood

    Rogers never mentioned an eraser, Les. That’s your idea. We affirm that God’s omniscience includes the future, free decisions of man. Blessings, brother.

    In Him,

    Adam

      Cb scott

      Adam is correct, Les.

      It is you who mentioned an eraser. Why? Rogers made a statement that stands without the need of either an eraser or any amount of double-talk.

      The statement seems to just stand there bold and independent without the need of any clarifying “double-talk” as possible.

      Frankly, the more one reads it the more one realizes just how independently strong the statement is on its own. An eraser or any amount of clarifying “double-talk” would only prove to remove or tarnish its brilliance.

      Its brilliance is sort of a “Baptist” thing, Les and, of course, that would be hard for you to accept without an eraser since you have, with willful intent, decided not to be one.

      Not The Original Les

      Ah Cb, my misguided sabanite friend. Baptist I am, notwithstanding pronouncements by others contra-wise.

      Ok, let’s grant for a moment “The statement seems to just stand there bold and independent without the need of any clarifying “double-talk” as possible.”

      Please read this quote from Spurgeon and see if you can also grant the same view of it as you do the aforementioned Ronnie Rogers quote.

      “A yet further charge against us is, that we dare not preach the gospel to the unregenerate, that, in fact, our theology is so narrow and cramped that we cannot preach to sinners. Gentlemen, if you dare to say this, I would take you to any library in the world where the old Puritan fathers are stored up, and I would let you take down any one volume and tell me if you ever rend more telling exhortations and addresses to sinners in any of your own books. Did not Bunyan plead with sinners, and whoever classed him with any but the Calvinists? Did not Charnock, Goodwin, and how we agonise for souls, and what were they but Calvinists? Did not Jonathan Edwards preach to sinners, and who more clear and explicit on these doctrinal matters. The works of our innumerable divines teem with passionate appeals to the unconverted. Oh, sirs, if I should begin the list, time should fail me. It is an indisputable fact that we have laboured more than they all for the winning of souls. Was George Whitfield any the less seraphic? Did his eyes weep the fewer tears or his bowels move with the less compassion because he believed in God’s electing love and preached the sovereignty of the Most High? It is an unfounded calumny. Our souls are not stony; our bowels are not withdrawn from the compassion which we ought to feel for our fellow-men; we can hold all our views firmly, and yet can weep as Christ did over a Jerusalem which was certainly to be destroyed. Again, I must say, I am not defending certain brethren who have exaggerated Calvinism. I speak of Calvinism proper, not that which has run to seed, and outgrown its beauty and verdure. I speak of it as I find it in Calvin’s Institutes, and especially in his Expositions. I have read them carefully. I take not my views of Calvinism from common repute but from his books. Nor do I, in thus speaking, even vindicate Calvinism as if I cared for the name, but I mean that glorious system which teaches that salvation is of grace from first to last. And again, then, I say it is an utterly unfounded charge that we dare not preach to sinners.” (Opening of the Metropolitan Tabernacle – a series of sermons on the doctrines of grace)

      And then we shall see if there any bias in assessments.

        Not The Original Les

        Apologies for the blockquote error.

          Alan Davis

          Brother Rogers has every right to his assertions but I for one of several do not see how the following statement is not “double talk”.

          “I affirm that the “Lamb’s book of life” contains all the names of those who have or ever will be saved. I also affirm that the names have been written in the book since eternity past (Revelation 13:8). I further affirm those in the book are there because of exercising grace-enabled faith unto salvation and could have done otherwise, and those not in the book could have been there by exercising grace-enabled faith.”

          Now there certainly are things about God that are hidden and a mystery and the doctrinal thought in this statement may be one of those to Brother Rogers and that is fine.

        Cb scott

        Spurgeon was Spurgeon. cb is cb. Les is Les.

        Les, afirms infant baptism. Les is not a Southern Baptist. Les has spurious views related to the Lord’s Supper and soteriology. Les is not a Southern Baptist.

        Quickly one realizes why Les seeks an eraser for Rogers’ statement. Les is simply not a Baptist. He is a good guy. He is a fellow Christ follower, but he is not a Southern Baptist. Does that mean Les is bad? No, it just means he is not a Southern Baptist.

          Not The Original Les

          Cb,

          “Les, afirms infant baptism. Les is not a Southern Baptist. Les has spurious views related to the Lord’s Supper and soteriology. Les is not a Southern Baptist.

          Quickly one realizes why Les seeks an eraser for Rogers’ statement. Les is simply not a Baptist. He is a good guy. He is a fellow Christ follower, but he is not a Southern Baptist. Does that mean Les is bad? No, it just means he is not a Southern Baptist.”

          What do my views have to do with “Quickly one realizes why Les seeks an eraser for Rogers’ statement?”

          And Spurgeon. Do you agree with brother Baptist Spurgeon?

          Les the Baptist :)

            Cb scott

            Les,

            Do you or do you not affirm infant baptism as a valid, biblical baptism?

            Not The Original Les

            Cb,

            I just posted again. But one question at a time brother.

            On Spurgeon, I wrote,

            “Please read this quote from Spurgeon and see if you can also grant the same view of it as you do the aforementioned Ronnie Rogers quote.”

            Well?

            Les

            Cb scott

            Les,

            My contention had nothing to do with Spurgeon and his positions on anything. My contention that you are not a Southern Baptist is based on your non-baptistic positions related to infant baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and the inherent nature of those views upon your soteriological position which is not that held by true Southern Baptists.

            Not The Original Les

            Cb,

            “My contention had nothing to do with Spurgeon and his positions on anything.”

            I know that. I posted the Spurgeon quote and said, “Please read this quote from Spurgeon and see if you can also grant the same view of it as you do the aforementioned Ronnie Rogers quote.”

            I’ll be happy to discuss my views on baptism and the Lord’s supper anywhere and any time. But they have nothing to do with the subject of this post. Agree?

            So, back to Spurgeon and double-talk.

            Not The Original Les

            Cb,

            After you have responded to the Spurgeon thing, if you will, please explain and prove this you said,

            “and the inherent nature of those [baptism and the Lord’s Supper] views upon your soteriological position.”

            Please demonstrate. Connect the dots if you will.

            Les

            Not The Original Les

            Cb,

            Since we are apparently not going to converse anymore on Ronnie’s quote, let me clear up a few hanging matters.

            1. ““Les, afirms infant baptism. Les is not a Southern Baptist. Les has spurious views related to the Lord’s Supper and soteriology. Les is not a Southern Baptist.”

            Yes, I affirm paedobaptism as valid, in addition to credobaptism. I AM a Southern Baptist holding one postgrad degree from a SB seminary AND am a duly ordained SB minister.

            Spurious views? That’s your view.

            2. “Have you or have you not, in the past, affirmed the Lord’s Supper to sustain an inherent degree of regenerative power?”

            No, never.

            3. “My contention that you are not a Southern Baptist is based on your non-baptistic positions related to infant baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and the inherent nature of those views upon your soteriological position which is not that held by true Southern Baptists.”

            You make the claim that my views on infant baptism and the Supper are somehow connected to my “soteriological position which is not that held by true Southern Baptists.”

            Please prove what you are asserting brother.

            4. “Les, you are not a Southern Baptist and that is why you challenge Rogers’ statement. You views on soteriology are not those of a Southern Baptist.”

            Please prove this as well when you get a chance.

            Cb, I count you as a brother. But you have asserted some things about me which I do not think you can know or prove. I am at a loss as to why you keep bringing these matters up. After all, there is nothing that I know of in SBC rules and guidelines which woud prevent me serving in a SB congregation should they autonomously have me. And I know a few which would have me even knowing my views.

            Grace to you,

            Les

          Not The Original Les

          Cb,

          You said, “Les has spurious views related to the Lord’s Supper and soteriology.”

          Dictionary.com defines “spurious” thusly:

          not genuine, authentic, or true; not from the claimed, pretended, or proper source; counterfeit.
          2.
          Biology . (of two or more parts, plants, etc.) having a similar appearance but a different structure.
          3.
          of illegitimate birth; bastard.

          So which of my doctrinal views are “spurious?” Perhaps better: What are my views?

          Not to detract. I still hope for a clear response to my earlier Spurgeon citation.

          Les

            Cb scott

            Les,

            Have you or have you not, in the past, affirmed the Lord’s Supper to sustain an inherent degree of regenerative power?

            Not The Original Les

            CB,

            This post is not about my views on baptism and the Lord’s supper.

            Can you affirm brother Baptist Spurgeon above or is he an example of double-talk?

            Les

            Not The Original Les

            Cb,

            I’m getting the impression you don’t want to answer my Spurgeon question.

            Cb scott

            Les,

            You are right. This post is not about your views on baptism or the Lord’s Supper. Yet, your views on the baptism and the Lord’s Supper reveal why you challenge Rogers’ statement and call for the use of an “eraser.”

            Les, you are not a Southern Baptist and that is why you challenge Rogers’ statement. You views on soteriology are not those of a Southern Baptist.

            Your trotting out Spurgeon quotes simply solidifies that fact.

            I am not here to argue Spurgeon’s quotes with you Les. I engaged you for the simple reason that you called for an eraser to Rogers’ statement. I did so because I know you are not a Southern Baptist and your positions on infant baptism and the Lord’s Supper reveal that. Why? Because you do not adhere to a Southern Baptist view of soteriology or ecclesiology.

            Your differing views of soteriology and ecclesiology with that of Southern Baptists reveal that you are not one.

            Of course, you made the choice not to be one. That is fine. Yet, if you challenge Rogers’ for presenting a very Baptistic position, you should not be surprised that someone (me) calls your hand.

            Not The Original Les

            Cb,

            You have yet to:

            a) respond to my challenge on the Spurgeon quote, maybe because of the embarrassment agreeing with Spurgeon would cause to brother Ronnie’s quote and the double-talk nonsense

            and

            b) demonstrate how “the inherent nature of those [baptism and the Lord’s Supper] views [bear] upon your soteriological position.”

            I await.

            Les

            Not The Original Les

            Cb,

            In case you want to interact more on the so called double talk and then my views in baptism and the Lord’s supper and how they affect my soteriology and led me to disagree with Ronnie, I’ll be gone the rest of the day out to the beautiful wineries of eastern/central Missouri enjoying God’s wonderful creation and His good gifts.

            Les

        T.R.

        I recognize that Ronnie does not go to the extreme as some leading traditionalists do, since Ronnie believes in “grace-enabled faith”. Still, it amazes me that Ronnie would keep pushing the point that Calvinists are double-speakers. When the Traditionalist view absolutely reeks of double speak.

        You proclaim God is sovereign yet He submits to the sovereign choices of man.

        You proclaim that men are totally depraved, yet you believe they possess the power to believe (and some of you even believe they possess this eternity-changing power to believe without a work of grace first.)

        You proclaim that salvation depends on the freewill choices of men, and yet you deny that salvation can be lost be the freewill choices of men.

        You proclaim that salvation is by grace alone, and yet you maintain that the reason you are saved and others are lost is that you made a wise choice and they made a foolish choice.

        Your theology reeks of double-speak, and yet you and Ronnie keep touting that Calvinists are double speakers. This reveals your hypocrisy.

          Norm Miller

          And what have you revealed about yourself, TR, in trying to frame a Trad viewpoint, & then essentially calling Trads hypocrites?

            T.R.

            Norm- the “double-speak” accusation against Calvinists originated with Ronnie, SBCtoday for posting it, and Traditionalists with their comments. Sorry you don’t like the retort. But retort is exactly what it is.

    Not The Original Les

    Adam,

    Thanks for your short reply. Of course he never mentioned erasers. The need for erasers seemed to be a logical necessity since he affirmed that names were written in the book a long time ago, but the people whose names were written there might not later exercise saving faith. That would seem to logically necessitate the need for an eraser, or perhaps a “looking down thru the corridor of time” approach to the names being written.

    It is ironic that non-Calvinists see us Calvinists as “double-talkers” as in this article and somehow gloss right over the paragraph I quoted and cannot see double talk in themselves.

    Not speaking for all Calvinists, I simply affirm mystery. I don’t have it all figured out.

    Still, I’d really like to see more of an explanation of how his quote above is not double-talk.

    Grace,

    Les

    Not The Original Les

    Adam,

    BTW, “We affirm that God’s omniscience includes the future, free decisions of man.”

    As do Calvinists. And these “future, free decisions of man” are necessarily fixed in some sense since our perfert God perfectly knows them and his knowledge cannot be in error.

    And we affirm God’s decrees “includes the future, free decisions of man.”

    Looks like there is much on which we agree.

    Grace,

    Les

      John Wylie

      Hey Les,
      If you go back and read the quote Ronnie says that the people who are in the book are those whom God knows will believe, so I guess I don’t get your eraser comment.

      Not The Original Les

      John, I didn’t get from his writing that he was employing the “God looking down thru the corridors of time to see who would believe and who wouldn’t believe and writing in those names back then” interpretation of the passage. Thus, the eraser comment. I still don’t see that as his MO.

      Nevertheless, In Ronnie’s view, if it is as Adam says above, the fix is in for both anyway and who is in and who is out cannot hapen any other way.

      Grace,

      Les

        John Wylie

        Les,
        I always appreciate your thoughtful replies. As I read the quote I can see where you got that view because he says that they could have not exercised grace enabled faith.

          Not The Original Les

          Thanks John.

          All I would like to see is an acknowledgment from both sides of this debate that

          a) we both have inconsistencies. True inconsistencies.

          b) Some “inconsistencies” are really two truths held in tension, mysteries if you will. They are not double-speak for either side.

          c) Our “side” taking the other “side” and imposing our logical conclusions on them is not helpful. See b above. And I have been guilty of this as well.

          But referring to Calvinists as “double-talkers,” even with the caveat, is not helpful.

          Thanks brother.

          Les

            Adam Harwood

            Les,

            The “double-talk” to which Rogers refers is stated in his last paragraph as follows:

            “So Christ’s death procured a “bona fide offer of salvation to all people” which includes all of the non-elect, who not only will not believe unto salvation, but cannot believe unto salvation. This raises the question, in what way can anyone consider the offer to be “bona fide” if there is an eternally predetermined, unalterable, and invincible decision by the sovereign God of time and eternity that they could not receive the offer?”

            Blessings, brother.

            In Him,

            Adam

            Not The Original Les

            Thanks Adam. I was/am aware of what he is calling “double-talk” and we Calvinists reject that as double-talk.

            Or, if what we believe is double-talk, then his statement on the Lamb’s book of life surely qualifies as double talk.

            Grace,

            Les

            Adam Harwood

            To clarify: The “double-talk” is to say a sinner SHOULD but CAN’T respond in repentance and faith if God has not elected him to salvation.

            Not The Original Les

            Adam,

            Thanks again. I assumed that was what you are referring to.

            What I am referring to as double talk is:

            “I affirm that the “Lamb’s book of life” contains all the names of those who have or ever will be saved. I also affirm that the names have been written in the book since eternity past (Revelation 13:8). I further affirm those in the book are there because of exercising grace-enabled faith unto salvation and could have done otherwise, and those not in the book could have been there by exercising grace-enabled faith.”

            Name written in a long time ago. Other names NOT written in. But, those written in are there because of grace enabling faith (in modern day for example) but they could have done otherwise even as their names were written in a long time ago. Hence the “eraser” comment (not intended to be offensive). AND, some whose names NOT written in can be added in time if they choose Christ.

            Please explain how this is not double talk.

            Grace,

            Les

            T.R.

            Adam Harwood,

            Is the traditionalist way of looking at the atonement any less double speak? You maintain that for Calvinists to say that the offer of salvation to the reprobate is genuine is double speak. Yet, you traditionalists, by making Christ’s death equal for all men, have reduced it to a mere offer of salvation, rather than as the Bible proclaims: that Christ secured our salvation on the cross. You have a theoretical atonement in that Christ took away the sins of those who will pay for those same sins in Hell. This is double speak that traditionalists are guilty of. …though I don’t believe Ronnie would align himself with extreme traditionalists since he believes in grace-enabled faith (which is prevenient grace).

            Adam Harwood

            TR,
            Hello, brother. See Dr. Allen’s essay on this site for a fine articulation of the Traditional SB view of the atonement.
            In Him,
            Adam

    Dean

    Les, the reason why it is not double talk can be explained in one word, “foreknowledge.” Pastor Rogers has honestly given examples of double talk i e praying earnestly for the souls of the lost when a Calvinists believes only the elect can be saved and are indeed already saved. Trying to find double talk in his book (even when its clearly not in the example you gave) does not defend Calvinist double talk.

      Not The Original Les

      Dean, are you and apparently Ronnie affirming that God looked down through the corridors of time and saw who would respond and then wrote their names in?

      I am not trying to justify double talk by Calvinists. As you might expect, we reject that.

      It is not double talk to affirm that God chose in eternity past whom he would save and did not choose others. AND to affirm that we are to offer the gospel indiscriminately.

      Both are true. It is no double talk to affirm two truths that seem to make no sense to our wee minds when they are taught in scripture.

      Now you may not agree with our interpretations. But hat does not make double talk. Mystery perhaps.

      Alan Davis

      Dean,

      Brother Rogers wrote; “I affirm that the “Lamb’s book of life” contains all the names of those who have or ever will be saved. I also affirm that the names have been written in the book since eternity past (Revelation 13:8). I further affirm those in the book are there because of exercising grace-enabled faith unto salvation and could have done otherwise, and those not in the book could have been there by exercising grace-enabled faith.”

      To say that the exact names of all those who will ever be saved are written in this book BEFORE they repent and believe and to imply that the names of the exact people who will never repent and believe are excluded BEFORE they ever live is to fix those names exactly BEFORE any of them ever live. To deny this is to deny logic. Now I believe in the deep mystery’s of God, that some things are not totally figured out and specifically in this instance the Lambs Book of Life and the names contained there-in. To then go on to say those exact names recorded before any human ever lived COULD be changed certainly would either lead us to conclude the names were either not really known to God (which we know better) or that this is a seeming inconsistency that lies with our limited knowledge of the great things of God (this is were I land)

      It would seem that those who hold this seeming inconsistency in this case would afford those with a more Calvinistic view (were I tend to be) the same lee-way; that there is inconsistencies on both views of the doctrine of solteroilgy with-out referring to either sides inconsistencies as double-talk.

        Not The Original Les

        Alan Davis,

        Exactly. So much better said than how I’ve been saying it. Amen!

        Les

        holdon

        “To say that the exact names of all those who will ever be saved are written in this book BEFORE they repent and believe and to imply that the names of the exact people who will never repent and believe are excluded BEFORE they ever live is to fix those names exactly BEFORE any of them ever live.”

        I agree. Several solutions:
        1. the “fixing” can be because of an arbitrary (random pick? – unconditional?) decision of certain names (this is the Calvinist position)
        2. the fixing be because of foreseen faith (the arminian position)
        3. there is no fixing “before” at all. The text says “written from” meaning a beginning but not necessarily having ended in eternity past: the names are being written as soon as someone comes to faith. (my position)

          Alan Davis

          Brother Holden,

          I see your position brother (I do not hold to it, but see it). Did not mean to imply or say that there wasn’t others. Would like to have a little info. on your position if you could send it to my email brother. awdavis888@gmail.com

          Alan

            holdon

            I may if time and opportunity. But travelling now and for the next month probably. So don’t have all the resources with me for a full exposition.

            But, you can rejoice that your name is written up in heaven. How do you know that your name is written? If you accepted Christ: having been given that official status of children of God. To which corresponds our citizenship in heaven (registered there) and occasion of much rejoicing. Philippians 4.

          Not The Original Les

          holdon,

          It will be interesting to soo how much love you get for that view fr your Trad bros. not that you need it.

          Grace,

          Les

            holdon

            I am assured of their love. Don’t worry.

            We don’t always have to agree in all things. Regular Calvinists are welcome too, aren’t they?

        Dean

        I’m sorry Alan for not being an astute reader maybe I’m missing something but where is, “To then go on to say those exact names recorded before any human ever lived COULD be changed certainly would either lead us to conclude the names were either not really known to God (which we know better)” found in Bro. Rogers or in my statements.

          Alan Davis

          Hey Dean,

          Sorry for the delay, been busy pastoring. Those exact words are not there. Here is the exact words that led me to that conclusion: “I further affirm those in the book are there because of exercising grace-enabled faith unto salvation and could have done otherwise, and those not in the book could have been there by exercising grace-enabled faith.”
          “could have done otherwise” after their names were there and “could have been there” since their names were not there, led to this conclusion. This is the conclusion I came to considering the entire statement. keeping in mind the first part of the statement seems to infer that the names are fixed before we actually live in our time frame.

          Alan

rhutchin

So much fluff; so little substance in this excerpt.

Finally, we read, “So Christ’s death procured a “bona fide offer of salvation to all people” which includes all of the non-elect, who not only will not believe unto salvation, but cannot believe unto salvation. This raises the question, in what way can anyone consider the offer to be “bona fide” if there is an eternally predetermined, unalterable, and invincible decision by the sovereign God of time and eternity that they could not receive the offer? This is double-talk and a disquieting reality.”

The offer is bona fide; the non-elect consider it foolishness (1 Corinth). Pascal, in his notes, describes the decision of those who reject the offer of salvation as irrational and choosing to reject that which in any other context they would have gladly accepted. There is no double-talk here; only more evidence of the intellectual bankruptcy of today’s church and especially its leadership.

Steve Martin

If we are saved it is ALL God’s doing.

If we are lost it is ALL our doing.

__

This IS biblical.

Calvinists get it wrong. And so do most of Christian theologies.

    Cb scott

    “And so do most of Christian theologies.”

    That is especially true among ELCA guys. Right, Steve Martin?

      Rhology

      If we are saved it is ALL God’s doing.
      If we are lost it is ALL our doing.

      But a Calvinist would 100% affirm this statement.
      Maybe you meant:
      If we are saved it is ALL God’s doing except for being baptised, which is your doing but we arbitrarily call it God’s doing b/c we have Lutheran tradition to protect.
      If we are lost it is ALL our doing.

      Right?

Mike Davis

I suppose if you just keep repeating the phrase “double-talk” often enough someone is going to believe the charge even if you can’t support it. I have said before that every viewpoint accepts some amount of paradox or else the adherent ends up adopting an extreme hyper Calvinism, Arminianism, or Traditionalism, or ends up becoming an open theist.

But I really don’t get the argument that says it is double-talk to say the gospel invitation is a bona fide offer that the unbeliever is unable to accept apart from God’s initiating grace. Seriously, I don’t even see tension or paradox in that statement.

By the way, Charles Finney and others used a similar logic to claim that all humans have the ability to perfectly obey God’s commandments. Otherwise, he claimed, it “wouldn’t be fair” for God to hold nonbelievers accountable for breaking His commandments. So by the definition of “double-talk” given in the post, I guess that makes all evangelicals guilty of double-talk.

    Donald R. Holmes

    “I really don’t get the argument that says it is double-talk to say the gospel invitation is a bona fide offer that the unbeliever is unable to accept ”

    Seriously!?!

    “bona fide offer” vs. “unable to accept”. Say and Repeat…

    Donald R. Holmes

    “But I really don’t get the argument that says it is double-talk to say the gospel invitation is a bona fide offer that the unbeliever is unable to accept”

    Lay a Big Mac next to an infant and tell her it’s her own fault if she goes hungry. But be sure to be sincere in the offer…

      holdon

      But God wouldn’t give a stone if the child asks for bread.

      He knows when to feed milk, when the child/infant cannot handle meat.

        Donald R. Holmes

        Holden, exactly how does your respose apply?

          holdon

          To reinforce the thought that God gives exactly what we’re capable of digesting.

            Donald R. Holmes

            and….?

      Eddie OBrien

      Maybe it is more like laying a Big Mac next to an infant that was never given a mouth, stomach, or digestive system, commanded to eat (although it cannot), and then finding the infant guilty not eating… This is like saying that humanity has a completely pre-determined free will… or free will, hold the freedom… (“determined” – “free” ???)… A bona fide offer of salvation to all people, but not really all… This almost seems to race past “double-talk” straight into “oxymoron.”

        volfan007

        Eddie,

        Yep.

        David

    SBC Layman

    Here’s a question for my Reformed friends:  When you share the gospel with someone, do you tell them Christ didn’t die for everyone?  Do you tell them that if they are elect, they will come to believe in Jesus regardless of what you or they do?  Do you tell them to sit tight and wait for regeneration?  Do you tell them if they are non-elect, there is nothing they can do anyway and not to sweat it?

    Or do you call them to repent and believe?

    I’m willing to bet (based on a lot of observation) that most of you don’t explain that Christ didn’t die for everyone when you share with unbelievers.  That he possibly didn’t die for them and that you can’t be sure they can even come to him.  I’m willing to bet you leave them with the impression (even if you don’t explicitly say so) that they can be included in the gospel offer.  Why?  Why not give them the whole enchilada?  Why not tell them they may be forever outside the fold up front?

    Why?  I believe because deep inside you know in your soul that your presentation won’t be effective and you may confuse them or drive them away.  This fact belies your professed view of Calvinism with your pragmatic understanding that we have a role in persuading and calling on sinners to respond affirmatively to the drawing of the Holy Spirit.  If you truly believe the whole Calvinist ball of wax is the gospel, why don’t you give it all to them right off the bat?

    If you are consistent enough to give them the whole Calvinist view (which I believe has to be a tiny number) when you share the gospel, I’m also willing to bet you don’t see much fruit.

    Do I lose my bet?  Am I wrong?

      Don Johnson

      Layman,

      You are correct. When it comes right down to it, Calvinists really don’t believe in “inability.” They believe it in their minds, but not in their hearts. Which is why , as you pointed out, they won’t reveal the “whole truth” to a lost man, because they fear the results.

Not The Original Les

Perhaps you would rather interact with a different Baptist so-called “double-talker:”

“It shows also that every man and woman, that rejects the offers of grace (though not such that were elected) shall be left without excuse at the day of judgement, they shall all be speechless; and it shall be manifested unto their own consciences, that it was for their own horrid wickedness, and refusing to accept of Christ, that they shall be cast and condemned at that day…But ministers are to do what they can. They are to invite them, press them, intreat and persuade them to come…Another shall say, Lord, I was not elected, as these were, let me be excused. No, this will be no plea or excuse in the great day? Then will they see and know that the cause of their damnation will be just and righteous, it being the only procurement of their own evil doings, and for making light of the gospel and offers of grace.” (Comments on Parable of the Great Supper Kregal p.100/102/104)

wingedfooted1

“Every time the gospel is preached to unbelievers it is the mercy of God that gives this opportunity for salvation.” – John Piper – For Whom Did Christ Die?

What “opportunity” would that be since Christ did not die for them?

Paul says in 2 Thessalonians 2:10…

“They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.”

But the “truth”, according to calvinism, is that God hates them (unconditionally) and Christ didn’t die for them. The “truth” is they perish because God created them for that very reason. Calvin wrote…

“By predestination we mean the eternal decree of God, by which he determined with himself whatever he wished to happen with regard to every man. All are not created on equal terms, but some are preordained to eternal life, others to eternal damnation; and, accordingly, as each has been created for one or other of these ends, we say that he has been predestinated to life or to death.” – Institutes – Book 3; chapter 21; section 5.

In Calvin-land, the Lost have no “opportunity for salvation” whatsoever. None! Just as God guarantees the salvation of the minority, He equally guarantees the eternal damnation of the majority.

Do the Lost “perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved”?

Yes. But only because that was what they were created, foreordained, and predestined to do. It was by God’s design. The Lost no more “refuse to love the truth” any more than the saved choose “to love the truth”.

For Piper to say that unbelievers have an “opportunity for salvation” is a classic example of “double talk”.

Come, Lord Jesus.

    Dale Pugh

    wingedfooted1–
    I was going to attempt the same sort of response, but you did it so much better than I could have expressed. Thanks!
    I was also going to make some sort of snide remark about the fact that some one of the Calvinist bent would claim that they don’t really believe in double-predestination, but I think I’ll just let Calvin stand on his own (And then there’s the fact that I’ve recently had to repent of too many snide remarks……)

    Robert

    Wingedfooted 1 makes some really good points here. I will be very interested in seeing how the theological determinists respond with or interact with his comments here.

    Robert

      Debbie Kaufman

      I’m not a theological determinist, but I respond anyway against my better judgment. Using theological determinist as a weapon against a doctrine you don’t agree with is wielding that sword I spoke of in an earlier comment on another thread on this blog. Battle lines drawn. Blood is being shed. I hope this stops, but I don’t doubt it will continue, it’s the nature of the beast called battle using the name of God.

      I don’t doubt that you sincerely believe you are doing the right thing, but you are not.

      T.R.

      It would only be fair to call us determinists if we can also call you Roman-Catholic-aligning-synergists.

        Eddie OBrien

        Or… You could just call us “Baptist!”

        Wasn’t Calvin a…??? Roman Catholic??? Seems like I remember hearing he wrote some doctrional points for them way back when…

        wingedfooted1

        Well, Augustine definitely was a Roman Catholic.

        Calvinists say that anything outside of reformed theology is a return to Rome.

        Calvinism is not a return to Rome. Because it never left it.

        Calvinism is Catholicism (Augustinianism).

          Eddie OBrien

          ADHD Cathololics… But, I was determined to say that… Who is pre-destined to refute this? You’re up…

          Lydia

          Sheesh~ “Reformed” refers to “reforming the Catholic church”. That was the whole purpose for the Reformation.

          Reformed are “reformed Catholics”. Which is why they make better Presbyterians than Baptists. :o)

    Debbie Kaufman

    I’ve simply got to quit reading this blog, it makes me pull my hair out and that is never a good thing.

    Wingfooted: Without going into explanation as it has already been done to death, your statement is simply untrue. The Bible could be accused of “doubletalk.” Yet we know that it isn’t.

      Debbie Kaufman

      I find it interesting that the debate is on soteriology and how God is very involved vs. not so involved. You have been given scripture that I believe backs God’s total involvement, which does involve total trust in God and his actions, not in human beings. That’s the crux of Calvinism. That’s the bottom line.

      wingedfooted1

      “The decree, I admit, is, dreadful; and yet it is impossible to deny that God foreknow what the end of man was to be before he made him, and foreknew, because he had so ordained by his decree….. Thus, if there is any just or plausible complaint, it must be directed against predestination….. Nor ought it to seem absurd when I say, that God not only foresaw the fall of the first man, and in him the ruin of his posterity; but also at his own pleasure arranged it.” – Institutes – book 3; chapter 23; section 7

      Debbie,

      It appears God’s involvement is total indeed.

      Grace

    Lydia

    Amen Wingfoot. How is that sort of opportunity, “mercy” for unbelievers who are “unable”?

      wingedfooted1

      Hi Lydia.

      Yes. When that being “unable” was by God’s design.

        Debbie Kaufman

        You will have to ask God that question Lydia, I certainly don’t have the answer.

carl peterson

Not much to comment on here because not much was said until the last bit. I am starting to hate the phrase “double talk” BTW. But I do have one question. We all agree that God is soveriegn and nothing happens apart from His sovereign will. I think we all also agree that God foreknows who will and will not choose to have faith in Him. Also man by His own free choice has by nature chosen against God. What I alluding to is that god is not forcing man to not choose Him. Man chooses to not glorify God.

Okay since all the above is true. Why does God affer salvation to some that He knows will never choose Him? God knows that person A will not accept Him. He knows this for a fact. He knows that that person will not do it because of their own choice. But yet He offers salvation to them anyway. Calvinists, Arminian, and Traditionals all believe in some sort of general call to salvation to everyone. Can this be considered a “Bona fide offer of salvation” if God knows that the person will not accept? Maybe. Again the offer is rejected because man does not want it. Not because God does not grant the person salvific fatih.

So really it seems a lot of this boils down to what some people think is fair. Is it fair for God to choose some to save and not others? I think we can say that God can make a bona fide offer of salvation to those He knows will never accept because they do not want to accept. But is it fair to not help ALL people accept?

Of course God does not help all people equally in Calvinism, ARminianism,or Traditional systems. Why? Because some of us live in the Bible belt of the United States and had Godly families and others live in Afghanastan and were taught that America and America’s religion (Christianity) is of the devil. Some people never hear the truth about the Truth. how can they make a choice to accept without someone to preach to them the Good news?

I guess what I am suggesting is that if Pastor Rogers wants to accuse Calvinists of double talk when they speak about a bona fide offer of salvation then I accuse him and Arminians and Traditionals of theexact same thing. How can they say that God gives all men a bona fide offer of salvation when some are treated so unfairly compared to others?

Robert

First of all, if Les is not a Baptist why is he **here** attempting to persuade Baptists of his views? This fits the moniker of what some term being an internet troll. So apparently Les is merely a determinist/calvinist troll attempting to persuade people to adopt his deterministic theology.

Second, Les wrote:

[[“I affirm that the “Lamb’s book of life” contains all the names of those who have or ever will be saved. I also affirm that the names have been written in the book since eternity past (Revelation 13:8). I further affirm those in the book are there because of exercising grace-enabled faith unto salvation and could have done otherwise, and those not in the book could have been there by exercising grace-enabled faith.”
Can someone explain how this paragraph is not double-talk? Where do erasers come into use?”]]

Allow me to clarify how this paragraph makes perfect sense from within a non-Calvinist, non-determinist perspective.

The non-Calvinist (excepting open theists) believes that God knows all things (call this proposition 1). That includes His knowing exhaustively and infallibly whatever will happen in the future. And that also includes the freely made choices of men and angels (since God foreknows all things that includes future free decisions of persons). The non-Calvinist also believes that God created mankind with a capacity to have and make their own choices (i.e. free will the capacity to do otherwise/call this proposition 2). Furthermore, the non-Calvinist believes that while saving faith is not a work, excludes boasting according to scripture, it is a condition of salvation (call this proposition 3). The New Testament strongly and repeatedly presents faith as a condition of salvation. The non-Calvinist who is not a Pelagian also believes that apart from the preconversion work of the Holy Spirit a person cannot have a faith response to the gospel (i.e. thus the Holy Spirit enables but does not necessitate a faith response in the gospel/call this proposition 4). The non-Calvinist also believes that because God loves all people and wants all people to be saved: God provides Jesus as an atonement for the sins of the whole world. This atonement includes two aspects, provision and application. The provision element of the atonement refers to the fact it is provided for all men out of God’s love for all men and His desire that all be saved. The applicational element refers to the fact that while the atonement is provided for all men it is **only applied to** those who respond to the gospel with faith.

Alright with these things in mind, let’s look at Rodgers’ statement which is quoted by Les:

“I affirm that the “Lamb’s book of life” contains all the names of those who have or ever will be saved.”

Via God’s foreknowledge God knows the names of those who will meet the condition of faith and whom he will then save (Proposition 1).

“I also affirm that the names have been written in the book since eternity past (Revelation 13:8).”

This reaffirms that God foreknows all things (Proposition 1).

“I further affirm those in the book are there because of exercising grace-enabled faith unto salvation and could have done otherwise, and those not in the book could have been there by exercising grace-enabled faith.”

While this is a single statement it involves multiple thoughts held by non-Calvinists. It affirms that those who are saved must have experienced the preconversion work of the Holy Spirit which enabled but did not necessitate their faith response (Propositions 2, 3, and 4). The phrase that they “could have done otherwise” affirms proposition 2. The final phrase concerning the lost, that their names are not in the book but “could have been there by exercising grace-enabled faith” also refers to propositions 2, 3 and 4. Those who end up as non-believers may experience the preconverson work of the Holy Spirit and yet choose to reject it. If they had chosen to have a faith response they would have been saved. Instead they chose to reject the gospel and so are not saved.

This perspective also explains how proposition 5 works in relation to the believers and non-believers. The atonement is provided for all (whether they end up believing or not) because God loves all people and desires for all people to be saved. The Holy Spirit works in the hearts of people as the gospel is presented. The Spirit reveals the sinful condition of people to themselves, reveals Christ, reveals what Jesus did, reveals that Jesus is the way of salvation, reveals the need for repentance, etc. etc. It is this work of the Spirit that enables faith. Those who respond in faith are saved. Since God foreknows all things (proposition 1) God knows who will respond in faith to the gospel message and so he knows who will be saved before they are saved. If a person instead rejects the provision of atonement, rejects God and the gospel, they will be unsaved (though they could have done otherwise and chosen to have faith). God foreknows not only what people could do in all situations but also what they will in fact choose to do.

None of these propositions conflict with one another, there is no contradiction of any of these propositions with one another. Now the determinist may (and chooses to do so) reject these propositions because they conflict with his Calvinistic theology. But the conflict of Rodgers’ statements are not with each other but with Calvinistic theology.

The determinist affirms proposition 1 that God foreknows all things. But the determinist rejects proposition 2 (the determinist rejects the ordinary understanding of free will, how can free will as ordinarily understood exist if everything is predetermined by God, it cannot). The determinist sometimes attacks proposition 3 (I have repeatedly seen determinists argue that if we have faith without being regenerated first, then this faith is a religious work or may lead to boasting, for the determinist faith is not acceptable unless it is produced by regeneration). The determinist rejects proposition 4 (they do not believe that the preconverson work of the Spirit enables but does not necessitate a faith response to the gospel). And the determinist rejects proposition 5 (they do not believe that God desires that all be saved and so provides the atonement for all people, instead they believe that God actually desires only to save a few people who are preselected to be saved, so the atonement is only provided for them).

Rodgers’ statements do not conflict with one another whatsoever, they all make perfect sense from within a non-Calvinist, non-determinist perspective. They do however conflict with theological determinism/calvinism.

Robert

    Not The Original Les

    Robert,

    Troll. Nice. Hey bro I’m out the door to visit wineries today and enjoy some good Missouri wine. Look forward to interacting later. Meanwhile, carry on trying to discredit. You and Cb have fun.

    Les the Baptist.

    Alan Davis

    Robert,

    Your statement: “Rodgers’ statements do not conflict with one another whatsoever, they all make perfect sense from within a non-Calvinist, non-determinist perspective. They do however conflict with theological determinism/calvinism.”

    Actually it is a seeming inconsistency. I will forgo the long propositions you made with just simple talk (not calling your propositions in question brother).

    One can hold to brother Rogers statement and that is fine. But to hold to the statement in question and then say it doesn’t seem inconsistent with basic human logic would be a denial of…well basic human logic (which we know does not know nor understand all about God).

    If God in times past knew that only three people would respond to His gospel; Robert, Alan and Les. Then He wrote those names down in the Lambs Book of Life, BEFORE we were ever born. Then to say that Robert, Alan or Les could change this AFTER GOD wrote it down is once again going to lead to at least two conclusions;
    1. God really didn’t know how it would turn out (which we certainly do not believe, at least most of us here)
    2. This is one of the great paradoxes of God, a seeming inconsistency in the minds of His creatures that is one of the deep mystery’s of God.

    We can (and should) try to understand and attempt to define the great mystery’s of God. But we can not ignore the fact that this statement is one of those, from almost any perspective.

    From brother Rogers perspective I do not see anything wrong with his statement. This is the way he sees it (along with many others) so to state such is his right. But to say that there isn’t a seeming inconsistency with the full statement would be to deny logic. Once again it can be accepted as one of the paradoxes of our great God.

    Alan

      Robert

      Hello Alan,

      [[“Your statement: “Rodgers’ statements do not conflict with one another whatsoever, they all make perfect sense from within a non-Calvinist, non-determinist perspective. They do however conflict with theological determinism/calvinism.”
      Actually it is a seeming inconsistency. I will forgo the long propositions you made with just simple talk (not calling your propositions in question brother).]]

      Where is the inconsistency?????

      “One can hold to brother Rogers statement and that is fine. But to hold to the statement in question and then say it doesn’t seem inconsistent with basic human logic would be a denial of…well basic human logic (which we know does not know nor understand all about God).”

      Again, I see no conflict with “basic human logic” either.

      Alan you then provide an illustration that is supposed to show the inconsistency, which seems to fail:

      “If God in times past knew that only three people would respond to His gospel; Robert, Alan and Les. Then He wrote those names down in the Lambs Book of Life, BEFORE we were ever born. Then to say that Robert, Alan or Les could change this AFTER GOD wrote it down is once again going to lead to at least two conclusions;”

      Alan you don’t seem to understand the non-calvinist, non-determinist view on this. So I will take a moment to explain it and clarify it for you. Let’s break down your statements one by one to see where the problem is:

      ““If God in times past knew that only three people would respond to His gospel; Robert, Alan and Les.”

      No problem here, as God foreknows all future events **that will in fact occur**.

      If in fact only Robert, Alan and Les will in fact choose to respond to the gospel message, then in fact only those three will be saved and God foreknows that only those three will be saved.

      That also means that God foreknows that all of the others besides these three will not respond to the gospel.

      “Then He wrote those names down in the Lambs Book of Life, BEFORE we were ever born.”

      OK assume that he wrote those three names down BEFORE we were ever born. Again, no problem as God foreknows what we will in fact choose to do.

      If we will in fact choose to respond to the gospel with faith, God foreknows that.

      If we will in fact choose to respond to the gospel by rejecting the gospel, God foreknows that.

      Now here comes your mistake in logic Alan:

      “Then to say that Robert, Alan or Les could change this AFTER GOD wrote it down is once again going to lead to at least two conclusions;”

      Let’s take one name here to make the point to show where your error lies. Say that Alan IN FACT is one who responds to the gospel with faith.

      What would God foreknow concerning Alan?

      God would foreknow that Alan would in fact choose to respond to the gospel with faith.

      Now Alan you say in your comment that “to say that . . . Alan . . . could change this AFTER GOD wrote it down”.

      Your comment shows that you misunderstand the nature of free will and foreknowledge.

      Free will does not mean that once you make a choice that you can then later unring the bell (as YOU present it) and make a different choice AFTER you made the original choice. That **is** irrational, that is impossible (due to the nature of the reality that God has created).

      But THAT is not what non-calvinists believe about free will.
      You have unintentionally misrepresented what non-calvinists believe about free will. We do not believe that being able to do otherwise means that YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR CHOICE AFTER HAVING MADE IT!!!

      That would be like a guy who chooses to ring a bell, rings the bell, and then afterwards takes back his ringing of the bell and chooses not to ring the bell. Reality does not work like that.
      Once you make a choice, it’s done; you cannot take it back and do it over again. Once you choose to pull the trigger you cannot then not choose to pull the trigger. Alan in your scenario you speak of only three people being saved (which means they chose to respond to the gospel with faith) but then claim that non-calvinists believe they can then change their choice from the one they made. That is not free will as ordinarily understood, that is a caricature of free will, one I have seen determinists frequently employ as an attempted attack of free will. Why of course you cannot unring the bell ringing so of course free will cannot exist. Well if free will means making one choice and then taking it back and substituting another choice for the choice that you in fact made, then Yes THAT does not exist. If reality were like that we would be down the rabbit hole with Alice! :-)

      But proponents of free will are not claiming that. They are claiming that **up until the moment when you choose**, if a genuine choice is involved, you could choose either of two (or more) different options. So say I am at a restaurant and the server has not yet taken my order. If I have a choice of alternative possibilities, if I can do otherwise, then before he/she takes the order, I can choose say option A, B, or C. Once I tell the server that I want say A), then my choice is made, I have chosen A and not B or C.

      Alan your comment suggests that a person could actually respond in faith (make that choice to trust in the Lord to save them) and then later choose differently and choose to do something actual different from the choice that they actually made!!!!!

      Going back to your illustration, if Robert, Alan and Les choose to trust the Lord and are saved, then THAT is what God foreknows they will do because that is in fact what they will choose to do.

      Had they chosen instead to reject the Lord then the Lord would foreknow that they would choose to reject Him.

      Foreknowledge concerns God knowing what we will in fact choose to do.

      If God foreknows we will choose to do X, then that is what we will do with certainty. But up until the moment when we made the choice to do X, we also could have chosen to do not-X. The ability to do otherwise exists **before** we make our actual choice **not after it**. Alan you misrepresent the non-calvinist understanding by suggesting that the ability to do otherwise exists after we make the actual choice that we in fact end up making. Up until the actual choice, you can choose to ring that bell or choose not to ring that bell. But once you ring that bell, you canot choose to do otherwise and not ring that bell.

      Alan then following your error you stated:

      “1. God really didn’t know how it would turn out (which we certainly do not believe, at least most of us here)
      2. This is one of the great paradoxes of God, a seeming inconsistency in the minds of His creatures that is one of the deep mystery’s of God.”

      Your first statement here is false. God really does know exactly how it would turn out. If we will in fact choose to do X, then God foreknows that we will do X. If we will in fact not choose to do X, then God foreknows that we will not choose to do X.

      Whatever we actually choose to do is precisely what foreknows that we will do (or not do).

      Regarding (2) I see no paradox here. It is simple, God foreknows whatever we will in fact choose to do. And we will not choose to do something different than we will in fact choose to do.

      “We can (and should) try to understand and attempt to define the great mystery’s of God. But we can not ignore the fact that this statement is one of those, from almost any perspective.”

      What I have been sharing here regarding foreknowledge is not a great mystery, it is quite logical. And what I have shared has been held by the church (apart from theological determinists and open theists) for a long, long time. Put simply we do not know **how** God foreknows what he foreknows (that is a mystery), we do know however **that** he foreknows everything that will in fact occur.

      “From brother Rogers perspective I do not see anything wrong with his statement. This is the way he sees it (along with many others) so to state such is his right.”

      Agreed.

      “But to say that there isn’t a seeming inconsistency with the full statement would be to deny logic.”

      No, his statements do not “deny logic”. Rather, your misrepresentation of free will as the ability to do otherwise than you do in fact do, is the denial of logic. Alan you misrepresented what non-calvinists believe about the nature of free will. You then bash your misrepresentation as a denial of logic. You just created your straw man and then attacked that straw man which you created, as a denial of logic. But your misrepresentation is not what we believe. If you want to attack the non-calvinist view on free will, that’s fine, that is your right, just don’t claim that it is a belief in an ability to unring the bell once you have chosen to ring it. THAT is not our view at all.

      Robert

        Alan Davis

        Robert,

        You said; “Going back to your illustration, if Robert, Alan and Les choose to trust the Lord and are saved, then THAT is what God foreknows they will do because that is in fact what they will choose to do.

        Had they chosen instead to reject the Lord then the Lord would foreknow that they would choose to reject Him.”

        Your first sentence here says God knows that all three will choose Him, now I will assume you mean then He will write this in His Book BEFORE we choose (in time), then we all three are born and then we choose Him, once again just looking at you sentence here brother. Now it appears a done deal, no unringing of the bell here as you say. So are you saying one of those three could have said no in the time we live? We do not live nor make our decisions in eternity past though God knows what decisions will be made precisely, so could any other decision be made?

        I agree with that sentence in this way 9the plain way it seems), those names written in God’s Lambs Book of Life can not change and non can be added to after God writes them in eternity past.

        I was saved by God on Oct 16th 1987 at approx. 8pm EST. So I wouold understand scripture to say that God full well knew I would do that in eternity past. If God knew that in eternity past could I have done anything else on Oct 16th 1987? I don’t think so.

        Brother I wasn’t interrupting how non-calvinist nor Calvinist view this statement. i was pointing out it has seeming inconstancy with human logic in the time perspective we have been given to live in. You and I were not alive when God wrote our names in His book, but yet we came to salvation exactly when He said we would seems like for ma or you to choose to do otherwise would be impossible given the scenero you and I have been talking about.

        Alan

          Alan Davis

          Brother Robert,

          You said…”If you want to attack the non-calvinist view on free will, that’s fine, that is your right, just don’t claim that it is a belief in an ability to unring the bell once you have chosen to ring it. THAT is not our view at all.”

          I was not attacking anyone or anyone’s view. I think I have tried to use gracious language. I made no claim such as above and wasn’t really writing to such.

          Alan

            Alan Davis

            Brother Robert,

            You state: “What I have been sharing here regarding foreknowledge is not a great mystery, it is quite logical. And what I have shared has been held by the church (apart from theological determinists and open theists) for a long, long time. Put simply we do not know **how** God foreknows what he foreknows (that is a mystery), we do know however **that** he foreknows everything that will in fact occur.”

            In this one statement I am perplexed; you state that what you “have been sharing concerning foreknowledge is not a great mystery…” then close this statement saying, “God foreknows what He foreknows (that is a great mystery)…”

            I am not sure weather you are stating foreknowledge is a great mystery or not from this statement.

            It would apear to me, and I do not think I am alone on this, that the election of God, putting the elect in the Lambs Book of Life, before anyone is born and then allowing free agency of men and the exact humans He wrote down before they were born come to Him in saving faith is a great deep mystery of God. I believe that many would agree to this no matter what solterlogical camp they be in.

            Alan

          Alan Davis

          Brother Robert,

          You stated… “Your first statement here is false. God really does know exactly how it would turn out. If we will in fact choose to do X, then God foreknows that we will do X. If we will in fact not choose to do X, then God foreknows that we will not choose to do X.”

          I agree it was a false statement, I think I put in parenthesis that myself and most here would not believe this.

          Then you stated: “Regarding (2) I see no paradox here. It is simple, God foreknows whatever we will in fact choose to do. And we will not choose to do something different than we will in fact choose to do.”

          I am going to assume you mean in the last sentence whatever God has already written down will be done, it’s finished; and here we are talking about the exact people who will come to faith? If that is what you are saying then I agree. However I once again do not think I am alone to say that that scenero of action is a mystery of the greatness of God. The paradox would seem to lie in the fact it is fixed in heaven yet we have some semblance of free agency.

          Alan

          Robert

          Alan you wrote:

          [[“You said; “Going back to your illustration, if Robert, Alan and Les choose to trust the Lord and are saved, then THAT is what God foreknows they will do because that is in fact what they will choose to do.
          Had they chosen instead to reject the Lord then the Lord would foreknow that they would choose to reject Him.”
          Your first sentence here says God knows that all three will choose Him, now I will assume you mean then He will write this in His Book BEFORE we choose (in time), then we all three are born and then we choose Him, once again just looking at you sentence here brother. Now it appears a done deal, no unringing of the bell here as you say. So are you saying one of those three could have said no in the time we live? We do not live nor make our decisions in eternity past though God knows what decisions will be made precisely, so could any other decision be made?”]]

          Alan there is a difference between what I can choose to do versus what I will in fact choose to do.

          If I am acting freely then I can order either the steak, the ribs, or the salad. Before I make my choice all three of these options are available to me if I am choosing freely. Due to the nature of reality (and my budget and waistline that do not allow me to order all three simultaneoulsy! :-) I will only end up choosing one of them.

          God’s foreknowledge concerns what you will in fact do.

          Our free will concerns what choices are available to us.

          Staying with your example of the three who became believers, up until they made their choice to believe they could have chosen to believe or chosen not to believe. But in fact all three ended up choosing to believe.

          “I was saved by God on Oct 16th 1987 at approx. 8pm EST. So I wouold understand scripture to say that God full well knew I would do that in eternity past. If God knew that in eternity past could I have done anything else on Oct 16th 1987? I don’t think so.”

          Here is where we disagree. You ask whether you could have done anything else on Oct 16th 1987? You say No. I disagree. I would say that though you could have chosen otherwise, in fact you chose to believe. And if you had chosen otherwise than God would have foreknown that you would do that. I believe that if free will exists then regarding our choices we could do otherwise (up until the point at which we make our choice) but we will in fact choose to do something. And what we in fact choose to do is what God foreknows that we will do. So if God foreknows that you will do X, you will do X, not because it was impossible for you to have done otherwise, but because doing X is what you will in fact choose to do. After I chose the ribs for dinner, I would not say that just because I did in fact choose the ribs that I could not have chosen the steak or the salad. The reality was that I could have chosen the steak, or the ribs or the salad, but in fact I chose the ribs! I’ll take ribs over salad any day! :-)

          “Brother I wasn’t interrupting how non-calvinist nor Calvinist view this statement. i was pointing out it has seeming inconstancy with human logic in the time perspective we have been given to live in.”

          In the time frame in which we live, prior to making a choice we have a choice between different options. If we choose freely then multiple alternative possibilities are available to us prior to our making the choice when we have the choice. Once we make the choice, the choice is done, and it cannot be otherwise. God foreknows what we will in fact choose to do.

          “ You and I were not alive when God wrote our names in His book, but yet we came to salvation exactly when He said we would seems like for ma or you to choose to do otherwise would be impossible given the scenero you and I have been talking about. “

          It is not that is was impossible for us to have chosen otherwise, but in fact we did not make the other choice.

          Robert

            Alan Davis

            Thank you Robert,

            I appreciate your response. We seem to agree that God is in charge all the time and that one needs to respond to the gospel by repentance and faith for salvation and that such salvation is totally secure because of God. (I think I can say that for both of us?)

            We do disagree on some points (that is clear and isn’t a mystery) but brother I think we can both be partners in the gospel business. If I came across to you in anyway less than gracious please forgive me. Gotta sign off now (you made me hungry for ribs!)

            Alan

    T.R.

    Robert,
    Again with the name calling: “Les is merely a determinist/calvinist troll attempting to persuade people to adopt his deterministic theology.”

    And you, Robert are a God’s-glory-stealing-synergist, whose theology falls closely inline with Roman Catholics. You have more in common with the pope, than you do with any Protestant Reformer.

      Robert

      Someone posting as “TR” (or is it JR from Dallas) wrote:

      “And you, Robert are a God’s-glory-stealing-synergist, whose theology falls closely inline with Roman Catholics. You have more in common with the pope, than you do with any Protestant Reformer.”

      I normally don’t respond to this kind of thing, but this time I will.

      Regarding being a “God’s-glory-stealing-synergist”. I have no problem with being referred to as a “synergist” as I am not a monergist as standardly defined so I must be a “synergist.” Given the two choices of monergist or synergist, I must be a synergist.

      Regarding stealing or taking away God’s glory, I don’t think that is possible. God is who He is, whether people recognize that or not, whether they praise him or not.

      And “TR” forgets something here. If his exhaustive determinism is true, and God predetermined everything, then I can’t help being the person that I am and doing whatever I do, because God predetermined it all and controls me to make sure it all goes according to what was preplanned. So if you have a problem with me being “a God’s-glory-stealing-synergist”, then take it up with God if he predetermined it all. And if he predetermined it all as TR believes, then why would God predetermine for his own people, Christians, to be stealing his glory? And why does he predetermine their every thought and sin and then get upset about it and predetermine others to be upset about it? It actually gets quite comical and pathetic if God predetermined it all.

      Regarding my theology falling closely inline with Roman Catholics. I don’t think so. I reject their view on the sacraments. I believe and practice believer baptism not infant baptism. I believe in local church leadership and autonomy, not the Catholic hierarchical system. I don’t believe the Pope is God’s representative. I don’t believe the Catholic church is the only true church, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. My beliefs are thoroughly baptist so I don’t think I fit TR’s claim here at all. And again if TR’s determinism is true, then I can’t help what I am doing. I can only do and believe what God predetermines for me to do and believe, it is impossible for me to otherwise. I am just a puppet following orders.

      I am lucky though, cause so far he has predetermined for me to be a Baptist!!! :-)

      Lastly TR wrote:

      “You have more in common with the pope, than you do with any Protestant Reformer.”

      First of all, I am not sure that I have more in common with the present Pope. Second of all, why is it a good thing to have things in common with the Protestant Reformers?

      Unfortunately the Protestant Reformers had some major problems. Luther had hatred for the Jewish people that cannot be hid. His taking sides with the nobility against the peasants was reprehensible. And then there is John Calvin. Let’s talk about his character a moment.

      Here is the opening to Bruce Gordon’s biography on Calvin (which even according to theological determinists/Calvinists is seen to be the **best** biography of Calvin):

      “John Calvin was the greatest Protestant reformer of the sixteenth century, brilliant, visionary, and iconic. The superior force of his mind was evident in all that he did. He was also ruthless, and an outstanding hater. Among those things he hated were the Roman church, Anabaptists and those people who, he believed, only faint-heartedly embraced the Gospel and tainted themselves with idolatry. He saw himself as an instrument of God, and as a prophet of the Church he brooked no rivals. He never felt he had encountered an intellectual equal, and he was probably correct. To achieve what he believed to be right, he would do virtually anything. Although not physically imposing, he dominated others and knew how to manipulate relationships. He intimidated, bullied and humiliated, saving some of his worst conduct for his friends.” (from the preface)

      Does that sound like a man of godly Christian character? I would say No.

      This description sure does not fit what I would refer to as a godly person, a person of Christian character. This is not a character to emulate or approve. I know that by the marks of a Christian (including love of the brethren, love of the lost, the character traits required of elders, etc.) he does not fit these things at all. I believe later theological determinists/Calvinists overlook and minimize his lack of character, his hatefulness towards others (e.g. rationalizing his treatment of Servetus) his sinful actions towards others and focus exclusively on the **content** of his theology and writings. But I was taught that a godly person is seen in their character first, not the content of what they teach or promote. There is no way looking at this person who was ****“an outstanding hater”**** that you could conclude that he was an example in character of what a godly Christian leader ought to be.

      I don’t accept the veneration of Calvin by modern calvinists as we should honor people worthy of honor (which biblically speaking is godly persons who exhibit godly character). In the world they may esteem someone’s intellect or intellectual accomplishments (Einstein being a perfect example of this) while at the same time overlooking or minimizing their character or immorality. But I do not think that ought to be the Christian way.

      Robert

        Stephen

        Amen to what Robert wrote!

          T.R.

          Stephen writes: “Amen to what Robert wrote!” Stephen are you saying amen to him calling Calvinists “determinist trolls”??

        T.R.

        Interesting how you show love for the brethern, Robert: by calling them determinist trolls. What love you have for Christians!

        Calvinists don’t appreciate being labeled determinists (even if you believe it is true), and Neo-traditionalists don’t appreciate being labeled pelagian (even if we believe the title suits you). We would all do well to keep that in mind.

carl peterson

Robert,

“I also affirm that the names have been written in the book since eternity past (Revelation 13:8).”

This reaffirms that God foreknows all things (Proposition 1).

Is this not classic Armininianism though. One is God’s elect from all eternity because God foreknew the person would accept Christ.

Not that it is all bad but I just want to know what the position pastor Rogers is teaching really is.

carl peterson

Robert,

Oh and one more thing. I did not know everyone who posted here had to be a Baptist. I am not a Baptist. I graduated from a Baptist seminary. I was a Baptist for a very long time but I am not a Baptist now. This is a Baptist sponsired site but I did not know I had to be a Baptist to read and respond. I think someone is a troll if they exhibit that type of behavior or if they try to hide things (like they are not baptist) but just coming on a Baptist site and attempting to convince Baptists of reformed doctrine is not in and of itself trollish behavior.

    Lydia

    Carl, I don’t think one has to be a Baptist to comment here or you would not be, right?

    I think it is instructive for us to see how many current non Baptists (many seem to be former Baptists) ARE coming here to defend Reformed doctrine. It is one of the more curious and interesting aspects of this debate. There is a reason the SBC is not Presbyterian or Methodist. Yes, we have Presbyterian influence in our founding. Personally, I think the after effects of the civil war has something to do with our evolving away from the more hierarchical polity and determinist God aspects of that influence.

    Robert

    Hello Carl,

    “Oh and one more thing. I did not know everyone who posted here had to be a Baptist.”

    Not what I am suggesting.

    “I am not a Baptist. I graduated from a Baptist seminary. I was a Baptist for a very long time but I am not a Baptist now.”

    So why did you reject your Baptist beliefs?

    Going to a Baptist seminary and then turning away from it, why the change?

    “This is a Baptist sponsired site but I did not know I had to be a Baptist to read and respond.”

    I agree you don’t have to be a Baptist to respond here (or at least that ought not be required).

    “I think someone is a troll if they exhibit that type of behavior or if they try to hide things (like they are not baptist) but just coming on a Baptist site and attempting to convince Baptists of reformed doctrine is not in and of itself trollish behavior.”

    Carl didn’t you read the earliest posts in this thread, people were arguing for post after post about whether or not Les was a Baptist! Why this needless debate and use of time. Why didn’t Les just forthrightly say as you have done that he is not a Baptist? I also note in reading Les’ comments that they often include sarcasm and a tone that I don’t see as conducive to true dialogue (i.e. exactly the tone and manner of posting that so-called trolls engage in).

    Robert

      Not The Original Les

      Robert,

      “Carl didn’t you read the earliest posts in this thread, people were arguing for post after post about whether or not Les was a Baptist! Why this needless debate and use of time.”

      I agree…needless. Someone please get Cb on the line as to why he was pressing that.

      “Why didn’t Les just forthrightly say as you have done that he is not a Baptist?”

      Why? I’ve been round and round with Cb before on other posts. The fact that I can affirm both paedo and credo baptism seems to bother him. And maybe also that I am a duly ordained Southern Baptist minister.

      “I also note in reading Les’ comments that they often include sarcasm and a tone that I don’t see as conducive to true dialogue (i.e. exactly the tone and manner of posting that so-called trolls engage in).”

      Guilty today. I’m not usually that snarky. I was just a bit irritated that Cb was trying to push down a rabbit trail and not deal with the subject at hand. My apologies for some snarkiness.

      Blessings brother,

      Les

        Robert

        Les you wrote:

        “Why? I have been round with OB before on other posts. The fact that I can affirm both paedo and credo baptism seems to bother him.”

        Sorry Les but that should bother people! How can you simultaneously affirm paedo and credo baptism? That is like if I affirmed that both A and not-A were true simultaneously. I have friends that hold the paedo postion which I believe to be mistaken and unbiblical. And they believe vice versa about me. But none of us claims that we are both correct at the same time. That would be irrational and false.

        “And maybe also that I am a duly ordained Southern Baptist minister.”

        But if that is the case why would you affirm paedo baptism?

        “Guilty today. I’m not usually that snarky.”

        I hope others see this admission here. It was this self-acknowledged snariness that led me to suggest that you were behaving like a troll. That is one trait that is very common to trolls, they are snarky and their manner of posting leaves a lot to be desired.

        “I was just a bit irritated that CB was trying to push down a rabbit trail and not deal with the subject at hand. My apologies for some snarkiness.”

        My observation is that both of you were trying to push two different subjects at each other with each pushing his own concern while not dealing with the other persons concern. Good to hear your apology for your snarkiness here.

        Robert

          Not The Original Les

          Robert,

          “Sorry Les but that should bother people! How can you simultaneously affirm paedo and credo baptism? That is like if I affirmed that both A and not-A were true simultaneously. I have friends that hold the paedo postion which I believe to be mistaken and unbiblical. And they believe vice versa about me. But none of us claims that we are both correct at the same time. That would be irrational and false.”

          Brother, he bothered all you want is you so choose. I’ve baptized man young and older adult converts, by pouring and by immersion. Your A and non A idea is, well your construct based on your immersion of converts only interpretation. There have been quite a few in the history of the church who affirm both or either.

          “But if that is the case why would you affirm paedo baptism?”

          Because I believe it to be biblical.

          “I hope others see this admission here. It was this self-acknowledged snariness that led me to suggest that you were behaving like a troll. That is one trait that is very common to trolls, they are snarky and their manner of posting leaves a lot to be desired.”

          I’m sure others have seen it. BTW, a certain couple of women who comment here might not like you calling them trolls as well.

          “My observation is that both of you were trying to push two different subjects at each other with each pushing his own concern while not dealing with the other persons concern.”

          Perhaps. But my concern had to do with the post content, in this series, and his concern had to do with my views on the sacraments and whether I can lay claim to being a SB.

          Grace to you brother.

          Les

      Bill Mac

      Les has been taking part in these discussions in the SBC blogosphere for a long time. He has never hidden the fact that he is not serving in a Baptist church. Many of us have known it for a long time. Your accusation is not well founded.

        Lydia

        Bill Mac,

        Les was a “ruling elder”, as he described himself , in the Presbyterian church. That is foreign to most in the SBC. He comes from a different perspective, irrespective of his past ordination. I think it is perfectly normal to point that out. He is Baptist when it is convenient and Presbyterian when it is convenient in this discussion.

        We, however, are not Presbyterians for a reason.

        It is obvious non SBC are welcome here because they are posting. Since this is a “family fight” I also think it is instructive to point out that many defending Reformed /Calvin on these threads are not currently SBC. It is easy to recognize them because they quote a lot of dead guys as arbiters of all truths. I would presume that it is for a reason they are not SBC. And that is ok, too.

          Not The Original Les

          Hey Lydia.

          Convenience has nothing to do with it. I just love the SBC and in my non profit partner with several SB churches. Just had some SB church leaders with me in Haiti last week. Some of the godliest, prayerful and evangelistic men I’ve gotten to know.

          And guess what. The Calvinism debate is not on the Haitian pastor’s radar. Funny that.

            Lydia

            Les, that has nothing to do with this convo and your involvement. Is it that you love the SBC so much you want to see it go Calvin all the way? :o)

            You did not stay in the SBC for a reason. You are currently Presbyterian. We are not, for a reason.

            Not The Original Les

            Lydia,

            “Les, that has nothing to do with this convo and your involvement.”

            I assume you are referring to the fact that I partner with SB churches. Dear Lydia, that is quite relevant to this convo and to my involvement. It may have no relevance for you. It certainly does for me. The theology and practice of churches does have relevance for what I do.

            ” Is it that you love the SBC so much you want to see it go Calvin all the way? :o)”

            “Calvin?” No. I desire all evangelical churches to strive by God’s grace to be as biblical as possible, giving all our vestiges of remaining sin.

            “You did not stay in the SBC for a reason. You are currently Presbyterian. We are not, for a reason.”

            Agree. And I can partner with both and I have family in both and friends in both. Love both. Certain aspects of ecclesiology are not hills to die on for me.

            Much grace to you sister.

            Les

          Steve Evans

          He went out from among us because he was not of us……………..that may define this discussion!
          Just a thought….

            Lydia

            “It may have no relevance for you. It certainly does for me. The theology and practice of churches does have relevance for what I do.”

            Defending Calvin here?

            Not The Original Les

            Lydia,

            Did you miss this?

            “Calvin?” No. I desire all evangelical churches to strive by God’s grace to be as biblical as possible, giving all our vestiges of remaining sin.”

            Let me repeat. Calvin, no.

          Bill Mac

          Lydia: You miss my point. Les was essentially accused of sneaking into the conversation and hiding the fact that he is not Southern Baptist, something we both know is not true.

Darryl Hill

And here was are again. This blog is the exact same thing over and over again.

Trad: You calvinists believe THIS.
Reply: No, I don’t believe that.
Trad: Yes, you do because that is the logical conclusion of the position.
Reply: No, that is not what I believe.
Trad: Here is a former calvinist who admits you believe THIS.
Reply: No, I don’t believe that.
Trad: Yes, you do. All you do is double-talk.

I tried all day yesterday to explain what I believe, but all I got was the same arguments over and over. This is completely a waste of time, without question. It is sinful for me to continue to come back here. It’s morbid curiosity. My point of view is continually misrepresented here and straw men are burned daily with my picture on them. I’m done commenting.

    Lydia

    Darryl, Trads have been misrepresented, too. And there is no way to discuss this with Calvinists because no matter what is said people are accused of misrepresenting them. All this tells me is you all want to define the parameters of the debate. You all (including your Reformed SBC leader) want to be able to suggest we are heretics, semi heretics or leaning toward heresy and then get all upset over analyzing your doctrine. It is not mature. The Reformed wing of the SBC cannot go around insulting a large group of people and expect no push back. I am afraid this debate is only showing a horrible lack of real education coming out of some seminaries in handling doctrinal disagreements. It seems more indoctrination than real eduation has gone on.

    Mohler, our influential entity employee said…. that if people want to see the nations rejoice for Christ, New Calvinism is the only place to go. How about that for misrepresenting a large group of people who are not NC? There is more but I am still amazed he has gotten by with some of the things he has said about his brothers publicly. And “marginalizing” people. Is he really that powerful he can do that?

    The only thing happening here is we are finally discussing the tons of questions I have had over the years which the response from the Reformed wing has pretty much been: You are ignorant if you cannot see it. It is clearly spelled out in scripture.

    Well, I beg to differ. This discussion is long overdue.

      Eddie OBrien

      Well said Lydia! Thank you!

    Donald R. Holmes

    You are wiser than me buddy. I fully understand the “morbid curiosity” statement.

    [warning: Rant ahead]

    It is hard, though, to have this conversation because there are different axioms, hermeneutical methods, and forms of thought at play.

    For example, consider the Reformed idea that there is a genuine offer of salvation to all, but there are folks who are unable to respond. It sure seems like that would make the offer less than genuine. If this was any other subject you would agree. If a bank offers you a 0.1 APR Mortgage but for you it is absolutely impossible to get it; then for you it is no real offer at all. Especially considering that the bank knew you could not get it when it was offered. It would seem that the Calvinist position would be more intellectually honest to say that the offer is only made to the elect. However, I understand that you can’t say that because it does not jive with Scripture and you desire to follow Scripture.

    One huge problem here is the over dependence on man-made systems of logic/thought. So somebody starts saying “free will” to describe something they see in the Bible. Then others attack the term because it isn’t a direct fit and can lead to logical conclusions outside of the Bible. Soon, the argument is over the term (a theological inference) rather than the text itself. The same think happens with T.U.L.I.P. These terms describe something seen in Scripture, but the terms themselves should not be the focus of discussion. They are handy when used with those who use the same nomenclature, but when talking with others who use their own terminology we begin to argue over the terms and where we see those man-made terms heading – even if those who use the terms never wish to go there.

    Omniscience it a man-made idea that most likely does not do God justice. Omnipotence is also. The overuse of these terms leads to supposed contradictions (Can God create a rock so big he can’t lift it?). So we argue about just how Omniscient God is and if he knows something does that mean he determines it. Must God abide by our definition of Sovereignty?

    Dr. John Hammett recently publically announced that he is a 4-point Calvinist. He has given up on Limited Atonement. Why? Because he says he must put biblical arguments above logical/theological arguments.

    http://betweenthetimes.com/index.php/2012/04/25/for-the-record-john-hammett-being-biblical-more-than-logical-or-why-i-am-a-four-point-calvinist/

    I studied Hermeneutics under Dr. Akin at SEBTS. He is no Calvinist, but he does reach many of the same conclusions.

    These two men are text-based rather than theology-based in their exegesis. Ok, I know we all claim to be “biblical”, but we keep our hermeneutical cards pretty close to our vest. I could never follow Reformed thought because one’s theology must inform one’s exegesis (Moises Silva expresses this idea in his Defense of Calvinist Hermeneutics). I don’t buy it. It has to be about the text.

    Consider the sidebars on Rev. 13:8. The grammar is clear that it is the Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the world. (Learn to diagram your sentences, brothers). But so many are content to miss this bit of text, and assume that this is just a repeat of another verse in Ch. 17.

    Take a look at 1 Sam 13:1 in your BHS (dust it off first), and ask yourself “what if the Hebrew here is right, what did God intend?” instead of glossing over it, assuming words are missing, or dragging info from other parts of the Bible and putting them there (NIV). The Hebrew is difficult, but just maybe we have lost neither jot nor tittle.

    I am very disappointed in many who are regulars since the Statement came out. What I am convinced about is that many of the heavy posters on the current debate really don’t care about truth. An argument has started and winning is the only real objective.

      Alan Davis

      Donald,

      If winning (the argument) is the objective here we all will lose. You are right.

      Alan

      holdon

      “The grammar is clear that it is the Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the world.”

      Please don’t say such things. It doesn’t make you look good. Grammar doesn’t have anything to say to it. I told you this. Yet…

      And what in the world has 1 Sam 13:1 to do with this? You want to throw a red herring I guess.

Donald

“Please don’t say such things. It doesn’t make you look good. Grammar doesn’t have anything to say to it”

Diagram the sentence. Do the work.

Donald

“And what in the world has 1 Sam 13:1 to do with this? You want to throw a red herring I guess.”

Do you know what a “red herring” is? If so, then you already know that is not one. This is one of two examples following the comment “It has to be about the text” ending a paragraph about being text-based in exegesis.

But, I think you just wanted to use a rhetorical device to “win the argument”.

T.R.

Please keep in mind that if you all insist on using the word “determinist” when speaking about Calvinists and Calvinism, don’t be bothered if we use the term pelagian to refer to traditionalists and your theology.

Fair warning.

    Lydia

    “Please keep in mind that if you all insist on using the word “determinist” when speaking about Calvinists and Calvinism, don’t be bothered if we use the term pelagian to refer to traditionalists and your theology.

    Fair warning.”

    Too late, my friend. The Pelagian charge is already all over the place including the blog of an influential employee of an SBC entity. You cannot put that genie back in the bottle. It was the first reaction to come out swining with a charge of heresy, semi heresy or leaning toward heresy of their siblings in Christ. And, it was proposed we have to prove we aren’t. Heretics. I am still stunned over that one.

    Robert

    TR wrote:

    “Please keep in mind that if you all insist on using the word “determinist’ when speaking about Calvinists and Calvinism, don’t be bothered if we use the term pelagian to refer to traditionalistis and your theology.”

    TR is apparently out of touch with his own theology. Astute and informed calvinists themselves refer to themselves as determinists. People such as Feinberg refer to themselves as **compatibilists** or **soft determinists**. So for the informed calvinist being referred to as a determinist isn’t even a perjorative term.

    How can it be when they themselves refer to themselves as soft determinists/compatibilists??????

    On the other hand referring to traditionalists as “pelagian” is using the term in a perjorative way, as a put down, as a slam, as an attempt at “guilt by association”. Traditionalists are not Pelagian because they believe that apart from the preconversion work of the Spirit (which enables but does not necessitate faith) no one can come to saving faith in Christ on their own. **On our own** apart from the work of the Spirit, none of us could ever have faith.

    I suggest that TR acquaint himself/herself with contemporary literature on the subject of compatibilism/soft determinism before making his wild and completely off base claim that calvinists are not determinists.

    Robert

      T.R.

      My point is that it is a prejudicial term, that most relate to fatalism. If you don’t like Traditionalism being related to heresy, don’t relate us in that way either. We don’t call ourselves determinists. We call ourselves Calvinists. Just as you don’t want us to call you 4-point Arminians (even though I see no difference between a 4-point Arminian, a semi-pelagian and a Traditionalist) you do not want us to call you Arminians and pelangians. And we appreciate you calling us Calvinists, not determinist/fatalists. You don’t want to be refered to by prejudicial terms and neither do we.

        Robert

        I had said to TR:

        “I suggest that TR acquaint himself/herself with contemporary literature on the subject of compatibilism/soft determinism before making his wild and completely off base claim that calvinists are not determinists.”

        TR responded:

        “My point is that it is a prejudicial term, that most relate to fatalism. If you don’t like Traditionalism being related to heresy, don’t relate us in that way either. We don’t call ourselves determinists. We call ourselves Calvinists. Just as you don’t want us to call you 4-point Arminians (even though I see no difference between a 4-point Arminian, a semi-pelagian and a Traditionalist) you do not want us to call you Arminians and pelangians. And we appreciate you calling us Calvinists, not determinist/fatalists. You don’t want to be refered to by prejudicial terms and neither do we.”

        The term determinism is NOT a prejudicial term, it is a term of common usage used by both theologians and philosophers when speaking about and referring to the calvinist position. I said earlier that even CALVINISTS THEMSELVES USE THE TERM IN REFERENCE TO THEMSELVES so it is not a pejorative term (i.e. “TR is apparently out of touch with his own theology. Astute and informed calvinists themselves refer to themselves as determinists. People such as Feinberg refer to themselves as **compatibilists** or **soft determinists**. So for the informed calvinist being referred to as a determinist isn’t even a perjorative term.”).

        Now TR says that it is a prejudicial term that “most relate to fatalism.” That depends upon how fatalism is being defined. There are two commn meanings that are very different. One meaning is that the outcomes or results will be what they will be regardless of what you do, that everything is inevitable no matter what is done (the famous example being that if you go to the doctor you will be cured and if you don’t go to the doctor you will be cured, so it really does not matter what you do, you will be cured). As this is an irrational position (irrational because real causes in the real world have real effects, eg. if someone chooses to shoot another person, that will have a very different outcome then if that same person chooses not to shoot the other person) and ****no**** calvinist/determinist that I know espouses this form of fatalism, calvinists are not fatalists in this usage of the term. So in this sense determinists/calvinists definitely are ***not*** fatalists.

        Another meaning used by philosophers involves **the denial of the ability to do otherwise**. In this meaning calivnism **is** fatalistic because consistent calvinism does deny the ability to do otherwise. Here are a few examples (though many more can be given but these ought to suffice) of well known philosophers defining fatalism is this way.

        John Martin Fischer defines fatalism as: “I now wish to sketch an argument for fatalism and compare it with the first version of the Basic Argument. Fatalism is the doctrine that it is a logical or conceptual truth that no person is ever free to do otherwise. “(p. 12, John Martin Fischer, GOD, FOREKNOWLEDGE, AND FREEDOM)

        “So that it is necessary that whatever I do, O or O’, I do necessarily, and cannot do otherwise. . . . Hence fatalism: what I do is necessary, what I do not do is impossible, what does and will happen is not at all in my control.” (p. 146, David Foster Wallace, Fate, Time, and Language: AN ESSAY ON FREE WILL)

        In one of the most famous books on free will Van Inwagen writes:

        “2.1 Fatalism, as I shall use the term, is the thesis that it is a logical or conceptual truth that no one is able to act otherwise than he in fact does: that the very idea of an agent to whom alternative courses of action are open is self-contradictory. The word ‘fatalism’ is used in philosophy in at least two other senses: it is used (i) for the thesis that what is going to happen is inevitable, and (ii) for the thesis that no one is able to act otherwise than he in fact does. (The latter thesis is entailed by but does not entail what I am calling fatalism.) So long as it is understood that neither of these theses is what I mean by ‘fatalism’, no confusion will result from this plurality of senses. But the idea of inevitability of what is going to happen is so commonly associated with the word ‘fatalism’ that I feel I should say something about it.” (p. 23) Peter Van InWagen AN ESSAY ON FREE WILL, Oxford University Press reprint 2002)

        So is calvinism fatalistic? Depends on how you are defining fatalism. If you define it in the popular way, No. If you define it in the philosophical way that Fischer, Wallace and Van InWagen do so, Yes.

        But I want to get back to the point that TR is missing.
        He claims that the term “determinism” itself is a pejorative term when applied to calvinists. He is completely mistaken in this claim because of the fact that **calvinists themselves** use the term in reference to themselves.

        Many examples could be given but I will present only one as it is crystal clear and authoritative. One of the most famous books on the subject of calvinism, sovereignty, free will is the book PREDESTINATION & FREE WILL: Four Views of Divine Sovereignty & Human Freedom. John Feinberg presented the calvinist position in the book. Look at what Feinberg says **of himself**:

        “Instead, like many other determinists, I claim that there is room for a genuine sense of free human action, even though such action is causally determined. . . .According to determinists such as myself, an action is free even if causally determined so long as the causes are nonconstraining. This view is often referred to as **soft determinism** or ** compatibilism**, for genuinely free human action is seen as **compatible** with nonconstraining sufficient conditions which include the will decisively in one way or another.” (p.24-25).

        Note Feinberg says TWICE of himself that he is a determinist.

        He has no problem with the term determinism being applied to himself.

        He certainly would not be applying it to himself if he saw the term as pejorative or implying that his beliefs were heretical.

        Now should I believe Feinberg and numerous other calvinist scholars who view themselves as determinists or should I believe TR on this? I suggest that Feinberg and the other calvinist scholars are much more credible and reliable on this than TR is. So I will continue to use the term determinist when referring to calvinists.

        Calling a traditionalists a pelagian **is** speaking pejoratively about them.

        Calling a calvinist a determinist IS NOT speaking pejoratively about them (especially when calvinist scholars such as Feinberg etc. etc. etc. call themselves determinsts with no hesitation or misgivings).

        Robert

Robert

Hello Alan,

I appreciate your post as well.

Alan you say:

“one needs to respond to the gospel by repentance and faith for salvation”

I strongly agree with you on this. If you are familiar with John MacArthur and the “Lordship salvation debate”. I fall strongly on the Lordship side (MacArthur is absolutely correct on this).

“such salvation is totally secure because of God”

Agreed, I also strongly believe that genuine believers cannot lose their salvation.

“We do disagree on some points”

Yes, and that is OK as long as we interact in the right way.

“but brother I think we can both be partners in the gospel business”

Yes, we can as long as we present the gospel and believe that Jesus is the only way of salvation.

“If I came across to you in any way less than gracious please forgive me”

Alan I especially appreciate this comment.

“Gotta sign off now (you made me hungry for ribs!)”

I love BBQ ribs. And good ribs make even an elder board meeting go better!

Robert

Dale Pugh

Wow! Is there a full moon tonight? Sure seems to be a lot of people out for blood today….

Mike Davis

The essence of the discussion today seems to be compatibilism and whether people are really acting freely in situations in which God has predestined the outcome. To affirm this is apparently “double-talk” by the definition of today’s post. But the Bible is full of examples of this very thing. One of these is in Acts 27: 22-25 and Acts 27: 31. Paul was promised by an angel of God that he and everyone on the ship would survive and only the ship would be lost. Luke describes how the men with Paul were losing hope of surviving but Paul prophetically assures them no lives would be lost. However, in Acts 27: 31 Paul warns the centurion and his soldiers that if they allow the sailors to flee in the lifeboat the soldiers would perish (and, by implication, everyone else on board). How can Paul make a statement like this when it is already determined that the soldiers and everyone else won’t perish? Is Paul guilty of “double-talk”? Is the centurion not given a bona fide command decision to make here? In fact, why does Paul bother to warn him at all given the fact Paul has received a promise that everyone would survive? But he warns the centurion, and the soldiers cut and release the ropes securing the lifeboat, forcing the sailors to remain on the ship and focus their skill on sailing through the storm, with the result being that no lives were lost but the ship was lost–an exact fulfillment of Paul’s prophecy. Compatibilism is not double-talk; it is mystery.

Matt

I don’t see this as double talk, but understand why some people do. The atonement of Christ did not secure salvation for all people, but the offer of salvation is made to all who we can get to hear it.

I think it may be helpfull to differentiate between natural and moral necessity as Edwards did. Natural necessity is something that we cannot do even if we want to. You may flap your arms and want to fly, but without mechanical aid, you cannot do it. If salvation required flapping our arms till we come off the ground and fly, the offer of salvation would not be bona fide. Moral necessity deals with what we will not do. People don’t reject the gospel because they cannot in the natural sense. People reject the gospel because they’re minds or spirits will not subject themselves to God. I will admit that this rejection was intended by God from eternity, but the immediate cause of thier rejection is found within thierselves. Uncoerced thier wills reject God plain and simple. I think that the fact that there is no natural necessity, in the sense that Edwards used the term, but only moral necessity makes the offer bona fide at least in that way.

If some here do not consider this to be a bona fide offer, then I would be willing to drop the bona fide and just call it an offer. After all the Bible says that the message of Christ is “a stone of stumbling” and “a rock of offense” to some. It also says that it is “foolishness to those who are perishing”. I know that we do not know who the elect are, and are commanded to preach the gospel to everyone. I also know that the word of God will not return void. I believe it will be accompanied by the effectual grace of the Holy Spirit at the chosen time of God for the elect, and will hold those to whom it is foolishness accountable before a holy God. I hope I am being clear here, as I do not want to be guilty of double talk.

I would like to hear pastor Roger’s answer to why the gospel does not reach all people if Christ’s atonement was truely for all people. I would be interested in hearing any answers to this, but before answering please consider a couple of stories from Scripture. First, consider all the inhabitants of the promised land. The people of God were there right outside thier cities. Did God tell them to go proclaim the one true God to these people? No. He commanded them to all be slaughtered; men, women, and even thier children. Did Jesus die for these people’s sins? Why didn’t they get the chance to exercise thier free-wills? Next, consider Acts 16:6 & 7. What about the people of Asia and Bithynia? It says that the Holy Spirit forbid them to preach the word there. If Christ died for these peoples sins, why were they not permitted to hear the message that could have saved them? All the people who died before the gospel reached thier area at a much later time could not have been saved. Here we have God being responsible for forbidding the only thing that could possibly save these people if Christ actually died for thier sins.

I’m just interested in hearing any answers that don’t involve “double talk”.

God bless all involved in this debate

    Don Johnson

    Matt,

    Is it your understanding that Paul was the only missionary? If Paul didn’t go, nobody went, is that what your implying? Have there been any missionarys since Paul? Is it possible someone else went to Bithynia?

      John Wylie

      And Paul did previously preach in Asia.

        Matt

        John,

        Actually, Paul had not been into the region known as Asia in the first century. It was on his second missionary journey that they were not allowed to go there, and on his first journey he didn’t quite make it far enough west to go preach there.

        God bless

          John Wylie

          Matt,
          I beg to differ with you but as you know the Roman province of Asia was really Asia minor or Turkey and Paul most certainly made it that far.

            Matt

            John,

            The region of Asia was the western most region in Asia Minor. Paul had previously been to cities in the region of Galatia to the east of Asia. In Acts 16:6 it says that when they left Galatia (where he had been on his first missionary journey) they were forbidden to preach the word in Asia. They skipped all the way to the other side of Asia to the city of Mysia and wanted to head north east into the region of Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them. So, they went to the port city of Troas and sailed to Macedonia.

            God bless

      Matt

      Don,

      No, it is not my understanding that Paul was the only missionary or that because Paul didn’t go to Asia and Bithynia, nobody ever went. If you read my post I said, “All the people who died before the gospel reached thier area at a much later time could not have been saved.” It is very clear that the gospel reached these areas at a later time. The Council of Nicea and the Council of Chalcedon both took place in the region of Bithynia. There are records of Christians being martyred there in the early second century also. At the time Paul and Silas intended to but were forbidden to go there in 50 a.d. though, there were surely many people there in need of hearing the gospel. The only other mention of Bithynia in the Bible is in 1 Peter, where he addresses his letter to people in several regions, but identifies them as “pilgrims of the dispersion” or “exiles of the dispersion”. The only dispersion that he could have been referencing, before the fall of Jerusalem in 70 and Peter’s execution in 66 or 67, would have been the dispersion under the persecution of Nero. Nero didn’t begin his reign until 54 and didn’t really drive out Christians till he intensified his persecution of them after blaming them for Rome burning in 60. That would have been at least ten years after Paul and Silas were forbidden to go preach the gospel in Bithynia. I cannot make the sure claim that no one in that region had ever heard the gospel, but I would venture to say that there were a lot who had not heard it.

      God bless

    Bob Hadley

    Matt,

    Your question is a good question and the answer to that question is really very simple; the Bible does not give us one.

    I would argue that your question has no bearing on the Scripture’s admonition for the gospel to be preached to all… in this case it is to share the message to everyone that we have the opportunity to do so. I fail at that way too often. My failure to fulfill God’s perfect plan does not take away from His plan for all to hear the gospel. This is no different than the argument that we all not to sin but we do continue to sin even as a child of His.

    Now I also find your comment very interesting. You wrote, “People reject the gospel because they’re minds or spirits will not subject themselves to God. I will admit that this rejection was intended by God from eternity, but the immediate cause of thier rejection is found within thierselves.

    So, since this rejection was as you point out, intended by God, there is no other possible outcome correct?

    This statement really got my attention: ,b>”Uncoerced thier wills reject God plain and simple.” So is it fair to say that your position is that coercion of people’s wills on God’s part is what brings about conversion?

    That is indeed an interesting portrayal of the calvinist position. I am glad you made it and not Rogers!

    ><>”

      Matt

      Bob,

      You say, “Your question is a good question and the answer to that question is really very simple; the Bible does not give us one.”

      The answer that there is no answer isn’t much of an answer. For me, the answer is simple. Salvation is entirely of God, and is applied at His discretion. Any difficulty in providing an answer arises from the denial of this truth.

      You say, “since this rejection was as you point out, intended by God, there is no other possible outcome correct?” Yes, that is correct, but it is also true that the rejection is the immediate result of a person acting in accordance with thier sinful desires. I believe that the ability to do as you please in accordance with your own desires makes you a free, responsible moral agent.

      You also say, “This statement really got my attention: ,b>”Uncoerced thier wills reject God plain and simple.” So is it fair to say that your position is that coercion of people’s wills on God’s part is what brings about conversion?” What I was saying is that people who reject God, do so freely without any external coercion from God. He doesn’t make them reject Him against thier wills. He doesn’t work any good or evil in thier hearts. He simply lets them determine thier own course in accordance with thier desires. I didn’t apply the word coercion to God’s effectual call, you are trying to do that for me. The reason I would not use that word is because it implies that a person may resist the call but is unable. This is the same reason why I think the term irrisistible grace is misleading and sounds like it may affirm something that the doctrine doesn’t teach. God doesn’t coerce anyone into coming to Him in the sense that He brings them to Himself against thier will. He gives them spiritual life, and as a result, they desire to be reconciled to and please God. If you feel like this is coercion, then thank God for His coercive grace! I’m sure hell is full of people who wished they were “coerced”.

      God bless

Matt

Good example of non-calvinist double talk:

God is more sovreign when He sovreignly chooses to not be sovreign over the choices of men.

Chris Roberts

I’m late to the party, so anything I might say may have already been thoroughly hashed out, but…

“Therefore, according to Piper, the non-elect cannot believe, cannot be saved, cannot exercise faith, cannot respond to the call to repent, and cannot receive the offer of salvation because God has chosen not to elect them to regeneration.”

This is not correct. Piper does not say they cannot do these things because God has not chosen to elect them, Piper says they cannot do these things because of the “native hardness of our hearts”. People choose not to repent not because they are not elect but because they love their sin.

    Bob Hadley

    Chris,

    I think more accurately there are two sides to this coin. One reflects your perspective. Yours is correct. However, Rogers’ position is equally correct…. kind of like describing heads and then tails. Both can be accurate descriptions and be equally different. You state, “People choose not to repent not because they are not elect but because they love their sin.”

    I think the more accurate calvinist statement is that people choose not to repent because their sinful nature will not allow them to “not sin.”

    Now, lets take your statement “People choose not to repent not because they are not elect.” The truth is this is an incorrect statement for you to make. It is absolutely accurate. Since the elect are the ONLY ONES who can repent, then it is accurate to say people do not choose to repent because they are not the elect.

    You may not put it that way but it is still correct. Can the non-elect be saved? Well… an accurate answer might be… YES, if they repent. Can a non-elect person repent? The calvinist’s answer to that question is NO. So, for the calvinist, the non-elect cannot be saved. So, according to calvinism, (if not calvinists) people do not choose to repent because they are not elect.

    This is an accurate statement.

    ><>”

      Chris Roberts

      Bob,

      Whatever you may think the implications of a particular position, I was speaking with reference to what Piper actually said.

        Bob Hadley

        I understood that. I was speaking to what YOU actually said. There were NO implications being made on my part.

        ><>”

    Donald

    “This is not correct. Piper does not say…Piper says…”

    Chris,
    You are right about what Piper says and does not say. That is why it is a great example of the “double-talk” Rogers referenced.

      Bob Hadley

      So Donald…. do you disagree with the point I made with reference to Chris’ final statement too? If so, why?

      I challenged Chris’ statement “People choose not to repent not because they are not elect but because they love their sin.”

      I say BOTH statements are equally true.

      ><>”

Bob Hadley

Chris,

Are you challenging the accuracy of the following statement:

Can the non-elect be saved? Well… an accurate answer might be… YES, if they repent. Can a non-elect person repent? The calvinist’s answer to that question is NO. So, for the calvinist, the non-elect cannot be saved. So, according to calvinism, (if not calvinists) people do not choose to repent because they are not elect.

If so, how is this statement incorrect?

><>”

    Bob Hadley

    SILENCE…………. AMAZING…………..NOT REALLY

    ><>”

    Chris Roberts

    Bob,

    For the purpose of discussions of this sort, I’d make a distinction between “can they” and “will they”. They *can* in that there is no external force restricting their choice. Nonetheless, they *won’t* because they, in their own sinful will, do not want to be saved.

    I still believe it is inaccurate (at best) to say that Calvinists believe people choose not to repent because they are not elect. At the end of the day, people choose not to repent because they love their sin. Their guilt and condemnation are upon them both because they chose their sin and because they chose to reject the free offer of the gospel.

    If a man jumps off a tall bridge and drowns, why does he drown? Is it because he jumped off the bridge, or because no rescue services showed up to save him? While it is true that they did not show up to save him, we would still observe that the cause of his drowning is his own action, his own choice. That God does not intervene in some sinners does not shift the cause of their action or guilt.

      Bob Hadley

      Chris,

      You are intentionally ignoring the following statements:

      Can the non-elect be saved? Well… an accurate answer might be… YES, if they repent. Can a non-elect person repent? The calvinist’s answer to that question is NO. So, for the calvinist, the non-elect cannot be saved. So, according to calvinism, (if not calvinists) people do not choose to repent because they are not elect.

      Are you NOT? By the way, I conceded your argument is valid, according to the calvinist position.

      >&;t;>”

        Bob Hadley

        Chris…

        You said…. For the purpose of discussions of this sort, I’d make a distinction between “can they” and “will they”.

        You are intentionally defining and limiting the parameters of the discussion. You continue to want to talk about one side of the two sided coin and ignore the FACT that the other side even exists.

        ><>”

        Chris Roberts

        Bob,

        And you are ignoring what I am saying. Your proposition is not consistent with Calvinist belief. I don’t know how many other ways I can explain it to you, I simply conclude what I often observe from you: you don’t really care about what Calvinists really believe, you just care about how you can attack it.

          Bob Hadley

          Chris….

          Can you point out for since I am just a simple minded person here… HOW my statements do not reflect what calvinism teaches… I did not say WHAT calvinists SAY… I DO FULLY understand the difference.

          Please answer the following questions… humor me….

          Can a non-elect person be saved? I say the calvinist answer is yes. Are you saying I am wrong?

          Can a non-elect person repent? I say the calvinist answer is NO. Are you saying I am wrong?

          If the latter is true, then I will argue that people cannot repent if they are not the elect; and thus do not choose to repent because they are not the elect.

          ><>”

          Bob Hadley

          One other small issue…

          You said… I simply conclude what I often observe from you: you don’t really care about what Calvinists really believe, you just care about how you can attack it.

          May I simply say FOR THE RECORD, nothing could be any further from the truth. Now, the fact that you and I disagree is apparent but I think even you would have to admit this comment was out of character for you.

          ><>”

      holdon

      “or because no rescue services showed up to save him?”

      But the rescue services did show up:

      For we were once ourselves also without intelligence, disobedient, wandering in error, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But when the kindness and love to man of our Saviour God appeared….

      Bob Hadley

      Since you are the one who brought up the illustration… look at your final statement:

      “That God does not intervene in some sinners does not shift the cause of their action or guilt.”

      I never said it did; my point was that IF God does not intervene there is NO opportunity for repentance. Your own illustration pictures the rescue squad in a boat in the water deciding who is rescued and who drowns. For we BOTH know God is right there at ALL TIMES.

      ><>”

      wingedfooted1

      Chris,

      You said regarding the non-elect….

      “people choose not to repent because they are not elect.”

      “people choose not to repent because they love their sin.”

      “they chose their sin and because they chose to reject the free offer of the gospel”

      You then stated….

      “They ‘can’ (accept the free offer of the gospel) in that there is no external force restricting their choice.”

      Calvinistically speaking, are God’s eternal decrees limited by man’s choices? Or are man’s choices limited by God’s eternal decree?

      Grace

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