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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : My Questions for Calvinists

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 My Questions for Calvinists

In my theological pondering, I've tried to internally percieve the world of the Calvinistic theology. Adopting, temporalily, the view of the world that a Calvinists has, and percieving all things through the filter of the five points, I've examined to see if there are any internal inconsistencies within themselves.

This has lead me to come up with a few basic and fundemental questions for Calvinists.

1. If God causes all and man causes nothing, how can men cause or be responsible for sin, or even for rejecting the truth, or even for choosing darkness over the light, if men cannot choose anything, because all choosing is entirely of God's counsel, since God causes all and man causes nothing?

2. If God is truly the author of all things, how can you reconcile the scriptures which say that God is not the "author of sin" and that God does not "tempt with evil"?

We know that confusion, temptation and evil exist in the world. If God is the author and controller of all, and man is the author and controller of nothing, then God is the author of confusion, and not only tempts men to sin, but chooses that men should sin, because God causes all and man causes nothing.

3. If sin is contrary to God's will, but all that was - is - and will be is God's will, because God causes all and man causes nothing, how can sin itself exists in the Calvinists world, if the essence of sin is what is contrary to God's will?

4. If God causes all and man causes nothing, how can a mans thinking or actions be considered immoral, if mans thinking and mans actions are ultimately God's thinking and God's actions?

5. In the Calvinistic world, how can one acknowledge and account for immorality, if God causes all and man causes nothing, without crediting and accusing God Himself of immorality?

6. How can a Calvinists apologists challenge the thoughts of an unbeliever, seeking to bring them "captive to the obedience of Christ" if all thoughts are already within God's captivity, because God causes and controls all?

7. How can a Calvinist evangelist challenge the actions of an unbeliever, seeking to see him submit to God, if all actions are caused by God, and all persons are ultimately submitted to God already?

8. How can a Calvinists properly justify debating "Calvinism vs. Arminianism" if all things are caused by God, therefore concluding that Arminians are only those who were predestined to be so?

These are just a few of my honest and sincere questions.

 2006/11/3 16:59
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 Re: My Questions for Calvinists

Quote:
This has lead me to come up with a few basic and fundemental questions for Calvinists.


Jesse,

I would say that your questions are aimed against hyper-calvanist's that believe that every action of man is pre-ordained and controlled by God in some way. This is a extreme position and easily refuted. But I think there a few things about the normal doctrine of Calvanism that we need to clarify in this thread.

Firstly, calvanism was formed more accurately by Calvin's followers and Calvin himself did not fully believe in limited atonement he acctually spoke against it in some of his later writings.

Secondly, the major 5 tenets of calvanism are in relation to "salvation" and that alone. We can define calvanism by the the theology of those that accept the 5 points of salvation. But I would say that a biblical christian would agree with much that a strong calvanist would say minus the 5 tenets of the salvation process.

God is the author of evil and good. He created all things and upholds all things by His power. God has given man free will and choice. Adam and Eve transgressed and in mankind there is a strong inclination towards sin, but still we retain free will in our slavery to sin but we are not able to master or overtake this foe alone.

There are many providential acts of God in the world and if you take for truth some of my prior statements then we just being able to type these statements and read them prove that God's providence is allowing us to do so, for he could disannual all of creation and things seen in a moment if he wished but in His good pleasure He is allowing men a chance to repent and come to Him before the end of the world when this last day is finished.

I do believe the bible states that without the word of the Holy Spirit no man could be saved. But there is part of man's choice to confess and believe that these impressions and convictions laid there by God are true.

Thus man cannot save himself, but God cannot save man without man's choice being involved.

This is just my position without much scriptural proof.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2006/11/3 19:19Profile









 Re:

Yes these questions are more specificly addressing "hyper-calvinism" as it is called, which teaches that God's sovereignty and Gods omnipotence means that God causes and controls everything and that man causes and controls nothing.

Cornelius Van Til, a graduate of Calvin College, Princeton Theological Seminary and Princeton University, and prized former professor of Westminster Theological Seminary, taught that God causes and controls absolutely everything. He strongly stresses this point in his classic "Christian Apologetics" book.

And Theodore Beza who was John Calvins successor at the Academy of Geneva actually publicly taught that God was the "author of sin", though neither St. Augustine nor John Calvin took it was far as Beza. But there are some today who do.

These questions are for those who are of the Beza and Van Til persuasion.

 2006/11/3 19:34
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 Re:

Quote:
And Theodore Beza who was John Calvins successor at the Academy of Geneva actually publicly taught that God was the "author of sin", though neither St. Augustine nor John Calvin took it was far as Beza. But there are some today who do.


What does it mean to be "the author of sin" ? How does that break down in your mind brother? As I stated I believe that God made evil and good and also makes the ability to sin because He made the "commandment"

I would like to hear what you think on this issue more specifically?


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2006/11/3 19:44Profile









 Re:

The teaching that God is the author of sin is not merely saying that God gave man the ability (that much is obvious) but that God actually predestined man to sin (rape, murder, lie, steal, molest, etc) totally independant upon mans free will.

Ultimately it is to teach that mans sin is ultimately God's sin, that there is no such thing as willful sin as Hebs 10:26 speaks of, because man doesn't have free will, only God does, so all actions and thoughts (including sinful ones) are caused because of the counsel of God before the foundation of the world.

I'd say that there is no greater slander on God's character then to say that He is the author of sin, and thus to make man the victim of sin.

 2006/11/3 19:49









 Re:

Anyone who believes that "God causes everything" want to maybe answer at least one of these questions.

They are not meant to be trick questions or anything like that. They are honest and sincere.

If it's biblically true that "God causes everything" then there must be a biblical answer for all those questions. I just don't know what they are, within the system of Calvinism.

Of coarse the Arminian answer is that God does not cause everything, for example sin, temptation, confusion, etc. Though certainly He has allowed these things.

 2006/11/4 17:43
777
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Joined: 2006/10/7
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 Re:

Hello my fellow Bretheren in Christ I hope this clears things up...

Question: "Did God create evil?"

Answer: At first it might seem that if God created all things then evil must have been created by God. However, there is an assumption here that needs to be cleared up. Evil is not a "thing" - like a rock or electricity. You can't have a jar of evil! Rather, evil is something that occurs, like running. Evil has no existence of its own - it is really a lack in a good thing. For example, holes are real but they only exist in something else. We call the absence of dirt a hole - but it cannot be separated from the dirt. So when God created, it is true that all that existed was good. One of the good things that God made was creatures who had the freedom to choose good. In order to have a real choice, God had to allow there to be something besides good to choose. So God allowed these free angels and humans to choose good or non-good (evil). When a bad relationship exists between two good things we call that evil, but it does not become a "thing" that required God to create it.



Perhaps a further illustration will help. If I were to ask the average person "does cold exist?" - his/her answer would likely be yes. However, this is incorrect. Cold does not exist. Cold is the absence of heat. Similarly, darkness does not exist. Darkness is the absence of light. Similarly, evil is the absence of good, or better, evil is the absence of God. God did not have to create evil, but rather only allow for the absence of good.



Look at the example of Job in Job chapters 1-2. Satan wanted to destroy Job, and God allowed Satan to do everything but kill Job. God allowed this to happen to prove to Satan that Job was righteous because he loved God, not because God had blessed him so richly. God is sovereign and ultimately in control of everything that happens. Satan cannot do anything unless he has God's "permission." God did not create evil, but He allows evil. If God had not allowed for the possibility of evil, both mankind and angels would be serving God out of obligation, not choice. He did not want “robots” that simply did what He wanted them to do because of their "programming." God allowed for the possibility of evil so that we could genuinely have a free will and choose whether we wanted to serve Him or not.



Ultimately, there is not an answer to these questions that we can fully comprehend. We, as finite human beings, can never fully understand an infinite God (Romans 11:33-34). Sometimes we think we understand why God is doing something, only to find out later that it was for a different purpose than we originally thought. God looks at things from an eternal perspective. We look at things from an earthly perspective. Why did God put man on earth knowing that Adam and Eve would sin and therefore bring evil, death, and suffering on all mankind? Why didn’t He just create us all and leave us in Heaven where we would be perfect and without suffering? The best answer I can come up with is this: God didn’t want a race of robots who did not have a free will. God had to allow the possibility of evil for us to have a true choice of whether to worship God or not. If we never had to suffer and experience evil, would we truly know how wonderful heaven is? God did not create evil, but He allowed it. If He hadn’t allowed evil, we would be worshipping Him out of obligation, not by a choice of our own free will.

God Bless


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Daniel

 2006/11/8 15:25Profile









 Re:

So if it's true that "God causes everything"

Then who causes evil?

Who causes lying?

Who causes stealing?

Who causes blasphemy?

Who causes murder?

Who causes idolatry?

Who causes these things?

 2006/11/8 15:42
GraceAlone
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Joined: 2006/8/23
Posts: 232
Orlando, Florida

 Re:

So if it's true that "God causes everything"
Then who causes evil?

God is not the author of Sin. God is omnipotent and causes everything to work towards His glory. Man is responsible for sinning. The demons and man cause evil. Though God is not the author of evil: evil is limited to God's decree.

http://www.ligonier.org/ has a video debate between RC Sproul and John Gerstner on the sovergnity of man vs sovergnity of God. Its 10/1/06 and is called "is God or man sovergn?"


Romans 1:28
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;

Here Romans says that God will give you over to a debased mind if you reject Him. Now does that mean that God is at fault for your debased mind? NO. He has sovergnly decreed your rebellion.

A good question would be why did God LET Adam bite the fruit? My simple response is FOR HIS GLORY.


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Kristy

 2006/11/8 16:33Profile









 Re:

So I would be correct by saying that God uses all things but doesn't cause all things? That some things, like sin, are caused by man?

It would be correct to say that God uses all circumstances for His good, but God does not originate all circumstances to begin with, but man originates sin.

 2006/11/8 17:14





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