Were the Twins Foreknown?

January 14, 2016

Leighton Flowers | Professor of Theology
Dallas, TX

**This article was previously posted by Leighton Flowers on his website www.soteriology101.com and is used by permission.

Leighton is: teaching pastor in his local church, an adjunct Professor of Theology, and the Youth Evangelism Director for Texas Baptists.

Learn more about Leighton, HERE.
Follow @soteriology101 on Twitter HERE.
Follow him on Facebook HERE

It is interesting when you have several on going discussions with Calvinists over various passages. It allows you to see how an argument over one passage sometimes contradicts their argument in another.  For instance, consider the typical arguments made with regard to these two verses:

“For those God foreknew he also predestined…” (Rom. 8:29)

“Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad…” (Rom. 9:11)

When discussing Romans 8:29 Calvinist’s will typically argue that a personal intimacy is in view.  For instance, John Piper writes:

Genesis 4:1 says, “Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain.” That is, he made her his, and knew her intimately and loved her.

Because of all those texts I think John Stott and John Murray are exactly right when both of them say, “”Know’ . . . is used in a sense practically synonymous with “love’ . . . “Whom he foreknow’ . . . is therefore virtually equivalent to “whom he foreloved.’” Foreknowledge, is “sovereign , distinguishing love” (John Stott, quoting Murray, Romans, p. 249). It’s virtually the same as set your affection on and choose for your own. – John Piper

Yet, when it comes to Romans 9:11 the discussion become strangely “non-intimate,” in that the very personhood of the one being loved is not even in view.  For example, Piper states,

God chose [foreloved] Jacob over Esau before they were born or had done anything good or bad. It was not their behavior or their attitude or their faith or their parents that moved God to choose [forelove] Jacob and not Esau. The choice [foreloving] was unconditional. It was rooted in God alone and not in man. –John Piper

Questions:

  • Why do Calvinists spend so much time emphasizing the intimacy of God’s “knowledge” in 8:29, saying it means that God “foreloved” or “forechose” individuals before the world began, only to interpret 9:11 to mean that God made his choice without taking any of His intimate knowledge of those individual’s into consideration?  How intimate is choosing a person without taking into account anything about that person? How do you love a person without consideration of their personhood?  How would that be different from choosing to love an unseen rock or some inanimate object of which you know nothing? More on this HERE.

Furthermore…

  • What is the significance of God choosing Jacob over Esau prior to their doing any thing good or bad if God is the one who determines the good or bad they end up doing?  The biblical qualification itself seems to imply that the twins free behavior (“unfaithfulness”) in this world is independent of God’s plan for their posterity (i.e. Rom. 3:1-5).

John Piper affirms God’s exhaustive determinism of all things, which would presumably include the “good and bad” choices of these twins. Piper says,

“But when a person settles it Biblically, intellectually and emotionally, that God has ultimate control of all things, including evil, and that this is gracious and precious beyond words, then a marvelous stability and depth come into that person’s life and they develop a “God-entranced world view.” When a person believes, with the Heidelberg Catechism (Question 27), that “The almighty and everywhere present power of God . . . upholds heaven and earth, with all creatures, and so governs them that herbs and grass, rain and drought, fruitful and barren years, meat and drink, health and sickness, riches and poverty, yea, all things, come not by chance, but by his fatherly hand” – when a person believes and cherishes that truth, they have the key to a God-entranced world view. So my aim in this second message is to commend to you this absolute sovereign control of God over all things, including evil, because it is Biblical, and because it will help you become stable and deep and God-entranced and God-glorifying in all you think and feel and do.” –John Piper

So, what is the Apostle’s point according to the Calvinist? God intimately knew everything about Jacob, because He determined everything there is to know about Jacob, but for some reason He doesn’t take that into consideration when choosing to love Jacob?  Is Paul’s point to teach that God determined to love or hate people before He determined what they would become? I suppose that is why the lapsarian controversy became so heated back when Calvinistic theologians grappled more deeply with these troublesome issues?

Maybe I can serve to spark a “revival” of such discussions among my Calvinistic friends? :)

Now, to be fair, if we are going to criticize the interpretation of Calvinists on these text we should be willing to offer one of our own.

What do you know?!  I happen to have a copy of one here…

Click HERE to get your Copy

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kyle mcafee

Bored are we? You don’t know what calvanists think I would imagine. The romans 9 passage states the same love Jacob have I loved…so what has God written invorrectly?

Jon Estes

“Why do Calvinists spend so much time emphasizing the intimacy of God’s “knowledge” in 8:29, saying it means that God “foreloved” or “forechose” individuals before the world began, only to interpret 9:11 to mean that God made his choice without taking any of His intimate knowledge of those individual’s into consideration?”

Prior to this comment you give one example from one Calvinist, then you ask a question which seems to infer “all Calvinists” have the opinion you want them to have.

Maybe a question to be asked is why do some non-Calvinists want to paint with a broad brush? Is it to make a claim so those who disagree with Calvinism can have a champion and some more arguements to chunk at their fellow Brethren?

Final question… Does it ever get tiring to try and find new ways to bring conflict in the body?

We disagree on some things, nothing is going to change that but God… and I am praying He will hurry up and make that change in you. ;-)

    Rick Patrick

    Jon,
    Regarding your final question, I do not get the sense that Professor Flowers is seeking new ways to bring conflict to the body at all. He is rather addressing, in a biblical and scholarly fashion, various interpretations of God’s love for Jacob over against Esau. In this context, there is a profound difference of opinion today regarding the nature of God’s love for Jacob. Was this an “unconditional choosing for salvation” kind of love? Or was it a “conditional choosing for service” kind of love? This is not WWE Smackdown. It’s a legitimate theological question with profound doctrinal implications. It’s the kind of matter Southern Baptists are encouraged to discuss with one another—albeit respectfully, which Professor Flowers has certainly done.

      Scott Shaver

      Why is critique and examination of Calvinism’s deterministic theological template characterized as “bringing division into the body” when a reformed rebuke of both the character and convictions of non-calvinist Christians is “speaking the truth in love”.

      Have never understood this dichotomy of social interaction among the worshippers of Calvin.

      A similar question might be asked; How many ways can a Calvinist find to distort the simplicity, truth and application of God’s Word?

      Obviously, redefining words, phrases and meaning is at least one way.

      Jon Estes

      “Regarding your final question, I do not get the sense that Professor Flowers is seeking new ways to bring conflict to the body at all. He is rather addressing, in a biblical and scholarly fashion, various interpretations of God’s love for Jacob over against Esau.”

      Yet I get the sense that Professor Flowers is, once again, making a case to discredit his reformed thinking Brothers.

      Maybe we should ask if our rothers who we disagree with are preaching and teaching Christ crucified, no way to heaven except through Him. Repent for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.

      Hey, I could be wrong if something like the above could unite us instead of working to find division.

        Rick Patrick

        Jon,

        If I may make a suggestion, please try to avoid viewing the title of this debate as “Calvinism—Pro or Con.” Unfortunately, many Calvinists share your tendency to view this debate in such terms, and when they do so, they tend to read essays like that of Professor Flowers and attribute to him the kind of motive you described: “to discredit his reformed thinking Brothers.”

        In lieu of this approach, I encourage you to view the debate title as “Calvinism vs. Traditionalism.” In this case, Professor Flowers is advocating his own view of salvation doctrine, which just happens to be in conflict with the view of John Piper. When Piper writes an essay favoring Calvinistic theology, few people attack him for breeding disunity by seeking to “discredit his transformed thinking Brothers.”

        The two views themselves are in conflict, with each side promoting their own theology. It is not helpful, in my opinion, to attribute an “attack mode” or “disunity breeding” or “sowing discord” motive to only one side in the debate.

        Calvinism vs. Traditionalism
        Charleston Tradition vs. Sandy Creek Tradition
        Particular Baptists vs. General Baptists
        Reformed Theology vs. Transformed Theology

        When you suggest in your final statement that essays on theology from specific points of view might be “working to find division,” I feel the need to remind you that Professor Flowers is not “fomenting” the division or “causing” it or “working to find” it. The theological division is already there. It does not exist because he writes about it. He writes about it because it exists.

        As to the larger issue that we have many more things uniting us than dividing us, and that we are happy to partner with all those who are preaching and teaching the gospel, we all concur. But we ought to be able to discuss our theological convictions, and even the manner in which we disagree with others, without charges of breeding disunity in the body of Christ. We are seeking Truth and not division.

        We love and appreciate our brothers and sisters with whom we disagree, but as long as we write about theology, we will invariably promote positions that conflict with theirs. Such does not make us divisive.

          Jon Estes

          “When you suggest in your final statement that essays on theology from specific points of view might be “working to find division,” I feel the need to remind you that Professor Flowers is not “fomenting” the division or “causing” it or “working to find” it. The theological division is already there. It does not exist because he writes about it. He writes about it because it exists.”

          So, when Dr. Flowers writes his words, to whom is his main audience? The traditionalist? The Calvinist? When the article is reprinted here, what is the intent and hope for discussion… that Calvinism can continue to be the hot topic where few Calvisits hang out?

          I find it disingenuous to not think, that at least, the reprinting of the article here is done to continue to discuss the ills of Calvinism. If I am correct (and I may not be), what spiritual growth takes place when most will take such an article and claim it correct and the few here who will disagree are inferred as non “academics”? How does one become more like Christ by getting on the anti-Calvinism wagon… time and time again?

          “We are seeking Truth and not division.”

          What in the Flowers article gave you a better understanding of theological Truth? What in the article pointed out theological division? Is there really that much more about Calvinism that can be said that you do not know which will help you have a better grasp on Truth? The traditionalist’s here have made up their mind.

          Since we obviously disagree on this Calvinist matter, what is there about me that we agree upon? What is being done here to bring us together and not have us type to correct the other?

          If one’s spouse spent most of the conversation with telling the other what is wrong with them, how healthy will that union be? The love can be genuine but constant disagreement and hopeful correction will not say, I love you. At least not in my home.

            Rick Patrick

            Jon,

            I’m afraid you are missing my point, brother. Certainly, this article critiques the position of Calvinism while at the same time promoting the position of Traditionalism—just as nearly every article on Calvinist-leaning sites (the Founders website, the 9 Marks website, The Gospel Coalition website, etc.) discusses matters from a Calvinistic perspective that attacks the assumptions, worldview, beliefs and ministry practices of Traditionalism. When one’s theology differs from another’s, it is simply going to shine through in one’s writing.

            My point is that there is nothing divisive or nefarious in all of this. Professor Flowers has good friends who are Calvinists, as do I. Calvinists are welcome to discuss here. If they do not wish to come, we cannot force them. But our primary goal is not necessarily dialogue with Calvinists, but encouragement in the Scriptures for those who believe as we do. There are many places Calvinists can go to learn about their views. We are one of the few sites expounding from a Traditionalist perspective.

            If you are still convinced we are seeking to breed disunity, I’m not sure what else I can tell you. I disaffirm that characterization. That is not what we have in our hearts. We do not seek *interpersonal* conflict with Calvinists. The two views themselves are simply in *theological* conflict with one another. We have the same right to communicate our theology on this website as the Calvinist has to communicate theirs on their many websites. For a clearer answer to these questions, check out: http://connect316.net/faq/

              Jon Estes

              “We have the same right to communicate our theology on this website as the Calvinist has to communicate theirs on their many websites.”

              I am not convinced this is correct for either theological position. For the record, I do not frequent or read on any normal basis the sites you mention. Some I have never heard of.

              I do believe all things are permissable (even sin) but not all things are profitable. If this site, or the others you mention, want to communicate their theology — awesome. If they want to express their specific differences with another group of Christians and in doing so… demean the other (I will say it does not always turn out that way here but it does at times – from my place in the cheap seats), then a problem exists.

              I do think it is elementaryish to say we can do this because they do it.

              But hey — thats just me thinking.

                Rick Patrick

                I agree with you on the whole “demeaning” thing, brother. We should not personally demean or insult one another. But disagreeing with someone’s theological position and pointing out the reasons why simply does not qualify as a demeaning act.

                Thus, I disagree with you that Professor Flowers has demeaned anyone here, or that our website demeans anyone. For that matter, Al Mohler and John Piper and Mark Dever and Matt Chandler and Tim Keller are not demeaning anyone through their writings, either.

                A theological disagreement is not the same as an interpersonal one. Even a disagreement related to denominational vision casting is not the same as an interpersonal conflict.

                To use another analogy, I don’t think Democrats and Republicans HATE each other—I think we just DISAGREE with each other. We’re all Americans and want what’s best for the country. So conservative columnists and liberal columnists will write their editorials and seek to persuade people of their viewpoints. But they are not “sowing discord” so much as they are sharing their opinions regarding what they think is best for America.

                We should not be ugly, but it’s okay to disagree and it’s okay to promote one’s own view and to critique the views of others. It is not a moral flaw to have the courage of one’s convictions.

                Lydia

                Jon, who decides what is demeaning? For the last 10 years or so the Neo Cal movement on blogs and in churches have decided that disagreement with them is demeaning. When the SBC’s de facto pope says that the Neo cal movement is the only place to go if you want to see the nations rejoice for Christ….what then? We are even told we did not hear him right. There are so many example, it is hard to keep up.

                I think discussing the doctrine is healthy. And that is what they do here. I have no problem discussing their behavior in spreading their doctrine but that is not the focus here unless someone uses ad hominem when doctrinal arguments don’t work.

                Here is the interesting news if one looks at trends. Strong Calvinism always wanes. We are seeing it now as the focus is starting to be social issues. Get minds off Driscoll, Mahaney, Chandler and the strong arm tactics of where that movement went in controlling people for power. Calvinism does not do well when debated in the public square and people start thinking it through. There will always be lemmings who follow gurus and confessions thinking it the same as Jesus Christ. So it is not near dead. They are just trying to refocus people who might be thinking too much.

                  Jon Estes

                  “Jon, who decides what is demeaning?”

                  A very good question to which each person in the discussion may see it differently. Maybe the approach should be to ask ourselves…

                  1 – Are the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart acceptable to God?
                  2 – Am I building the other person up or enjoying the correcting of the one I disagree with more?
                  3 – Would what I am saying be considered encouraging?

                  “There will always be lemmings who follow gurus and confessions thinking it the same as Jesus Christ. ”

                  Is it demeaning to call others lemmings, even if names are not named?

                  Is it demeaning when Calvinists call traditionalists names or question their theological competence?

                  From either side, it just doesn’t scream “I Love You” as Rick infers is at the heart of the attitude towards the others.

                    Jim P

                    Very Good.

                    Jim P

                    The ‘very good’ goes here.

                    Scott Shaver

                    Jon Estes:

                    Perhaps not all hold to the same definition or understanding of “love” that you’ve subscribe to and wish to impose on others. Weak “love” would rather compromise than offend…..even in situations where some “offense” may be needed.

                    What exactly are you looking for here?…….A SAFE ZONE :0 ? A list of micro-aggressions?

                    Spare us….please.

                    Lydia

                    Jon, let us not forget all this started with you arrogantly accusing the writer and this blog of trying to find new ways of fostering conflict….because they discuss doctrinal differences! Then you claim to pray God will change them!

                    Arrogance 101. First comment.

                    So you got some pushback. And can’t take it. Evidently, you did not find your comments demeaning. I get that you want to be the arbiter of defining “demeaning”. Oh, the irony.

                    Lydia

                    Jon, there is nothing about Calvinism that screams “love”. At all. There is nothing about the tyrant Calvin that screams love. I get that you all see it differently which I find scary. .

                    Which reminds of Piper. Are you familiar with his “scream of the damned” teaching? He and Mahaney tag teamed on it at a conference years ago. Even some Reformed were offended.

                  Jon Estes

                  “Perhaps not all hold to the same definition or understanding of “love” that you’ve subscribe to and wish to impose on others. Weak “love” would rather compromise than offend…..even in situations where some “offense” may be needed.”

                  Perhaps the weak love is not my definition but yours. Can you tell me which Calvinists listed in this thread (and others) would rather compromise than offend? I think it is highly possible the continual need to address this is because someone has been offended.

                  Jon Estes

                  “Jon, there is nothing about Calvinism that screams “love”. At all. There is nothing about the tyrant Calvin that screams love. I get that you all see it differently which I find scary.”

                  I find it scarey that you see it differently.

                  So where does one go from here?

    Andrew Barker

    Jon Estes: Your main problem, at least as I see it, is typified by your last comment “I am praying He will hurry up and make that change in you.” If you really believe as you say you do, then God has already determined those of us who you would term ‘non-Calvinists’ to believe as we do. So as believers we are already doing exactly what God has determined us to do (even though somehow you still think we’ve got it wrong). Presumably, if you pray hard and long enough, you think God may listen to you and make the change in our hearts so that we then conform to your notion of how you think we should believe. So whose fault is it that those of us who reject Calvinism think this way? It has to be fundamentally down to God, who could if he wanted determine us to think otherwise, or your fault, for not praying hard enough! Tough call.

      jon estes

      Andrew – I guess you missed my wink and smile at the end of the sentence you want to correct me on.

      Humor in such a case, my friend, is not dangerous if you get it.

        Andrew Barker

        Jon Estes: I’m all for a bit of humour Jon :) I get the distinct impression from a lot of posts (yours being only one example) that the good ol’ wink at the end of a post can be used as an easy way of saying something but deflecting any critical comment arising. All one needs to do is say, “I was only joking” but the original comment still stands unchallenged!

        I guess I’ll have to put it down to us non-Calvinists “just not getting it”!! ;-)

          Scott Shaver

          Andrew and Rick are both right Jon Estes.

          I’ll cut even closer to the chase. If, as you assume, Flower’s primary motive to be the “discredit of his reformed thinking brethren”….looks to me like the “reformed thinking brethren” have a bigger problem than Flowers when their “thinking” is challenged on the basis of God’s Word by other “thinkers”.

          The Word of God will endure forever, Calvinism may not ….and if so, will go through many more revisions, variations and corrections just like any other “theology”. Make it new and make it popular seems to be an axiom fitting for our day, and that applies to higher Christian education in this country as well.

          The way Flowers HANDLES THE WORD is really what YOU’VE got problems with. I suggest taking that up with the Holy Spirit, Who is (hopefully) the primary source of guidance Flowers and all other Christian academics are following in their craft.

          If it doesn’t match up squarely with the specific expressed intent of God as revealed by His Word and by Jesus Christ (and without subsequent humanly-devised formulas), I tend to begin doubting the carte-blanche acceptance of such theology as either Spirit-inspired or viable for application.

            Jon Estes

            “The Word of God will endure forever, Calvinism may not ”

            Would you then agree with this…

            The Word of God will endure forever, Traditionalism may not.

            Since you think Rick is right.

            “The way Flowers HANDLES THE WORD is really what YOU’VE got problems with. I suggest taking that up with the Holy Spirit, Who is (hopefully) the primary source of guidance Flowers and all other Christian academics are following in their craft.”

            The way Calvinist’s HANDLE THE WORD is what you and others traditionalists here have problems with. Could you, by chance, take your own advice and take it up with the Holy Spirit, who is (hopefully) the primary source of guidence Calvinists and all other reformed academics are doing, following their craft?

            I know… I know… Bottom line for you is probally — you are right – I am wrong. So we get nowhere.

              Scott Shaver

              Jon:

              You are absolutely correct in your assessment of me (at least) having problems with the way “Calvinists handle the Word.” That’s no great secret and part of the reason some of us interact here.

              Frankly, NO, I would not agree with you in a comparative sense that “traditionalism” would be more prone to waning across time than reform Calvinism. I believe that baptist “traditionalism” (in the sense you’re using the term) retains far more consistency with biblical instruction and truth than do the confusing deterministic appendages which strict Calvinism seeks to apply.

              If by “getting somewhere” you hope to convince me of the viability of your theological template….I wouldn’t hold my breath.

      Scott Shaver

      At the risk of sounding boorish, Andrew

      “Praying long enough and hard enough”, in the context you’ve just used it, conjured in my mind some images of the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel, crying out and lancing themselves with knives….Elijah taunting them in the background ;)

Lydia

Jon, Piper is THE guru most quoted and beloved by SBC YRR. Check out his twitter followers for one example. He is a perfect choice.

There will always be conflict in learning and questioning. There is nothing more shallow or stifling than those who try to position such as sin. What are they afraid of? It is like the school system that refuses to teach the Constitution. They don’t want to offend the immigrants..both legal and illegal.

    Scott Shaver

    Checkmate Lydia:

    There really comes a time to close the books in order to start thinking ….and to be safely led the by the ONE who’s always had your best interest at heart. Sticks closer than a brother.

      Jon Estes

      “There really comes a time to close the books in order to start thinking ….”

      Not to many “books” open here often but “The Book” is always open.

    Jon Estes

    “Jon, Piper is THE guru most quoted and beloved by SBC YRR. Check out his twitter followers for one example. He is a perfect choice.”

    That’s fine but he does not speak for all who asre of the reformed mindset. To quote him is fine but to paint all Calvinists as those who would say things the way he does is not the bes way to make a point.

      Lydia

      “To quote him is fine but to paint all Calvinists as those who would say things the way he does is not the bes way to make a point.”

      What would be a better way, in your opinion? Are you saying you would “say” it differently?

      my guess is most who read here are familiar with Piper, his closet verbosity and his influence within the SBC. He is the guru whose sermons are cut and pasted the most.

      So, you are not a “God entranced” Calvinist? (Wink)

      Scott Shaver

      On the contrary, Jon:

      “painting all Calvinists as (John Piper) is not the best way to make a point.”

      “Best way to make a point” is to make it clearly unless there are other unspoken agendas needing/wanting consideration. By painting “all Calvinists” in the same brush as John Piper, Lydia has not only effectively addressed and vocalized her suspicion of hyper-calvinism, she’s clearly disclosed as well as her personal REJECTION of the theological template it employs.

      Can’t fault her for that…she hasn’t rejected Jesus Christ, she’s rejected the theology of John Calvin.

      Looks like a pretty darn effective way of getting the point across to me. “Best” is a matter of INDIVIDUAL interpretation.

      I give her a 9.7

Andrew Barker

Leighton, I guess nobody can claim to know exactly why God chose Jacob instead of Esau but there is one practical reason which can get overlooked and that’s simply because Esau was by birthright the natural heir. If God had ‘chosen’ Esau, then his choice would have been almost impossible to substantiate given that people could simply turn round and say that Esau was chosen by dint of being the eldest son. God’s choice of Jacob at least demonstrates a real choice was made and God wasn’t simply fitting in with the natural order of things. The same can be seen in the choice of Isaac over Ishmael. God’s subsequent provision for Esau and Ishmael is confirmation that not being ‘chosen’ is not equivalent to being reprobated! :)

    Scott Shaver

    “Bingo” on “by birthright the natural heir” Andrew.

    Additionally, I don’t know that anybody has yet touched upon the subject of the biblical writer’s perspective (both theological and historical) when it comes to the record of Jacob and Esau.

    If you remember, the case of “favoritism” by God upon Abel over Cain was almost directly proportional to reverence or contempt each man showed for the “spiritual birthright” (i.e. their respective offerings).

    Who is to say that the biblical writer addressing the narrative of Jacob and Esau was NOT addressing the story from the perspective of past-completed action based, likewise, on their respective handling of “the birthright”.

    You are on to something.

      Andrew Barker

      Scott: There are plenty of little pointers as to the true meaning of Mal 1 1:4 It’s written as part of history detailing how badly Esau (Edom) has behaved. Not only that but their continuing disobedience and resolve to do things their way and not God’s. I certainly don’t get the impression that God determined them to behave that way. This is down to Esau and his descendants. If you have a mind to, you can look at examples of how Edomites took every opportunity to do Israel harm and damage as recorded in the history books of the Bible. They were never slow to put the knife in, literally on some occasions! So when you reach chapters like Rom 9 where it quotes from Malachi, it reads more like God setting out his choice of Jacob and saying, look at what history has shown. God turns out to be a pretty good judge of character (no surprises there of course!) Those who hold that God hated Esau from birth really don’t have much to go on. He was blessed during his life time, he certainly felt that way. The conflict between the two boys was resolved, although Jacob appears to have been less certain of it and it was Esau’s descendants who picked up the fight in later years.

      My knowledge of Hebrew can be written on half a postage stamp, so I wouldn’t be categorical about any of this, but unless some scholar can show that the tense used in Malachi, although appearing to be historic is actually just a Hebrew way of describing things in the present, or indeed the future, I don’t think there’s any Biblical support for saying that God hated Esau before he was born. Romans 9 could be God saying, see I made my choice of Jacob and look how it turned out! I was right all along!

      I’m resisting the urge to put an Almighty wink at the end of that line! :)

        Scott Shaver

        I’m with you Andrew.

        It makes me very nervous when folks begin to believe that education and/or indoctrination are the keys that give them the capacity to fully know, comprehend and declare the eternal mind and intent of Holy God, especially when they tend to draw and quarter Scripture in order to demonstrate their “special knowledge”.

        The biblical writers (Old Testament) tended to write as if everything (both good and evil) were purposed by God. Many modern Calvinists (who have the advantage of of a completed revelation) still prefer to think like the ancients.

          Jon Estes

          “Calvinists (who have the advantage of of a completed revelation) still prefer to think like the ancients.”

          I see we are continued to be misunderstood… Your comment would be true if you stated we like to think, like Daniel, on the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:9).

            Scott Shaver

            Nice verse from the Old Testament Jon, but I fail to see the point you want to make with this as your proof-text.

            Noticed that you made a bee-line for Old Testament obscurity right about the time you took issue with my comment on “prefering to think like the ancients”.

            Coincidence ? I think not.

              Jon Estes

              Ancient of Days – an awesome name of God used by Daniel,I think my comment made sense, since you used the term ancients to be an encourager of the ill informed reformer here.

              Coincidence ? I think not.

                Scott Shaver

                Well, Jon, I’m pretty much convinced that our discourse going forward is fruitless at this point.

                Your last comment comes off to me as mescaline induced. Have no idea what it means.

Lydia

Scott, to get an idea of how badly Piper misses the point you guys are making, Google Piper and primogeniture.

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