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 Re:

I don't know KingJimmy. Seem's like the Lord is clearly building on each topic. Just a plain reading of the text would lead one to believe that the order is established by the Lord.

Looking at the way you view this passage you would at least have to say that being called, justified, and glorified Follow being predestinated. Seems that much is at least clear

**edited to add***

 2010/2/28 13:43
bible4life
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 Re:

Yoadam great reply i completely agree. I don't think according to scriptures we can justify that men in their dead sinful state can come to God, but i believe the calvinistic doctrine that when a man becomes born again God gives them a new heart and a new will as a new creature who desires now out of the new will he has given to them to freely repent of their sins and trust Jesus. I think that is what they teach about being born again. So at one time our wills were always to choose sin and would not choose God being dead in our sinful nature, but now regenerates and now out of our free will we choose God but want to, so yes we do choose God out of our free will but it is after he regenerates us otherwise we wouldn't choose him because we are dead and do not desire God.Whether you can decide against God when he does this is unknown or if he actually effectually calls everyone the same i don't know but as Greg says he calls all men to repent and believe the gospel and we preach as and witness as if that can be anybody, nobody knows Gods will for who is to be saved. Their is mysteries we will never know.


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John Beechy

 2010/2/28 16:23Profile
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 Another View from a Saint Passed

Here is a short piece from Mr. Spurgeon on the Romans 8:29 passage (at least the part Mr. Wesley's exegesis hinged on). The excerpt is from a sermon called [url=http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/1043.htm]"Glorious Predestination:"[/url]

You will have noticed that in this chapter, Paul has been expounding a very deep inward, spiritual experience. He has written concerning the spirit of bondage, and the spirit of adoption, the infirmities of the flesh, and the helpings of the spirit; the waiting for the redemption of the body, and the groanings which cannot be uttered. It was most natural, therefore, that a deep spiritual experience should bring him to a clear perception of the doctrines of grace, for such an experience is a school in which alone those great truths are effectually learned. A lack of depth in the inner life accounts for most of the doctrinal error in the church. Sound conviction of sin, deep humiliation on account of it, and a sense of utter weakness and unworthiness naturally conduct the mind to the belief of the doctrines of grace, while shallowness in these matters leaves a man content with a superficial creed. Those teachings which are commonly called Calvinistic doctrines are usually most beloved and best received by those who have had much conflict of soul, and so have learned the strength of corruption and the necessity of grace.

Note, also, that Paul in this chapter has been treating of the sufferings of this present time; and though by faith he speaks of them as very inconsiderable compared with the glory to be revealed, yet we know that they were not inconsiderable in his case. He was a man of many trials; he went from one tribulation to another for Christ's sake; he swam through many seas of affliction to serve the church. I do not wonder, therefore, that in his epistles he often discourses upon the doctrines of foreknowledge, and predestination, and eternal love, because these are a rich cordial for a fainting spirit. To be cheered under many things, which otherwise would depress him, the believer may betake himself to the matchless mysteries of the grace of God, which are wines on the lees well refined. Sustained by distinguishing grace, a man learns to glory in tribulations also; and strengthened by electing love, he defies the hatred of the world and the trials of life. Suffering is the college of orthodoxy. Many a Jonah, who now rejects the doctrines of the grace of God, only needs to be put into the whale's belly and he will cry out with the soundest free-grace man, "Salvation is of the Lord." Prosperous professors, who do no business amid David's billows and waterspouts, may set small store by the blessed anchorage of eternal purpose and everlasting love but those who are "tossed with tempest, and not comforted, are of another mind." Let these few sentences suffice for a preface. I utter them not in the spirit of controversy, but the reverse.

Our text begins by the expression, "Whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate," and many senses have been given to this word "foreknow" though in this case one commends itself beyond every other. Some have thought that it simply, means that God predestinated men whose future history he foreknow. The text before us cannot be so understood, because the Lord foreknows the history of every man, and angel, and devil. So far as mere prescience goes, every man is foreknown, and yet no one will assert that all men are predestinated to be conformed to the image of the Lord Jesus. But, it is further asserted that the Lord foreknow who would exercise repentance, who would believe in Jesus, and who would persevere in a consistent life to the end. This is readily granted, but a reader must wear very powerful magnifying spectacles before he will be able to discover that sense in the text. Upon looking carefully at my Bible again I do not perceive such a statement. Where are those words which you have added, "Whom he did foreknow to repent, to believe, and to persevere in grace?" I do not find them either in the English version or in the Greek original. If I could so read them the passage would certainly he very easy, and would very greatly alter my doctrinal views; but, as I do not find those words there, begging your pardon, I do not believe in them.

However wise and advisable a human interpolation may be, it has no authority with us; we bow to holy Scripture, but not to glosses which theologians may choose to put upon it. No hint is given in the text of foreseen virtue any more than of foreseen sin, and, therefore, we are driven to find another meaning for the word. We find that the word "know" is frequently used in Scripture, not only for knowledge, but also for favor, love, and complacency. Our Lord Jesus Christ will say, in the judgment, concerning certain persons, "I never knew you," yet in a sense he knew them, for he knows every man; he knows the wicked as well as the righteous; but there the meaning is, "I never knew you in such a respect as to feel any complacency in you or any favor towards you." See also John 10:14-15, and 2 Timothy 2:19. In Romans 11:2, we read, "God hath not cast away his people which he foreknow," where the sense evidently has the idea of fore-love; and it is so to be understood here. Those whom the Lord looked upon with favor as he foresaw them, he has predestinated to he conformed to the image of his Son. They are, as Paul puts it in his letter to the Ephesians, "predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his will."

I am anxious not to tarry over controverted matters, but to reach the subject of my sermon this morning. Here we have in the text conformity to Christ spoken of as the aim of predestination; we have, secondly, predestination as the impelling force by which this conformity is to be achieved; and we have, thirdly, the firstborn himself set before us as the ultimate end of the predestinations and of the conformity.—"that HE might be the first-born among many brethren."


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Paul

 2010/2/28 19:53Profile
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 Re: On Predestination by John Wesley

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[size=10]The idea that God foreknows the eternal destinies of individuals before they choose is not even scriptural.

That idea is the source of all the confusion about predestination. There is no need to be stumped by the concept of foreknowledge in scripture because it is referring to God's plan to elect the international body of saints as a whole, not to individually foreknow who goes to heaven or hell. What a stumbling block this idea has been for people.

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Benjoseph, this is out-right wrong. You are correct that Predestination "is referring to God's plan to elect the international body of saints (ie. believers) as a whole," or that is, Christ is the Elect of God. Those who are therefore in Christ by faith are made partakers of the election according to the promise. But to imply that God is in some respects surprised or confused or uncertain about future events is absurd. That is the false teaching of Open Theism.

Wesley rejected that presumption perfectly when he said,
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[size=10]It should be well observed, that when we speak of God's foreknowledge, we do not speak according to the nature of things, but after the manner of men. For, if we speak properly, there is no such thing as either foreknowledge or afterknowledge in God. All time, or rather all eternity, (for the children of men,) being present to him at once [...] As all time, with everything that exists therein, is present with him at once, so he sees at once, whatever was is, or will be, to the end of time.

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Jordan

 2010/2/28 22:44Profile
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 Re: On Predestination by John Wesley

Yoadam, although your response had great corrections, it also had no bearing on Predestination as taught by Wesley.

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[size=10]Wesley hated predestination. . . .

"VII. Predestination is a doctrine full of blasphemy."
"II. The doctrine of predestination is not a doctrine of God."

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This is terrific example of misrepresenting another person's beliefs. You are guilty here of dishonest proof-texting. Next time please read the article in question before attempting to persuade others with such rude assumptions.

To quote the opening portion of this very sermon, Free Grace by John Wesley,
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[size=10]First. It is free in all to whom it is given. It does not depend on any power or merit in man; no, not in any degree, neither in whole, nor in part. It does not in anywise depend either on the good works or righteousness of the receiver; not on anything he has done, or anything he is. It does not depend on his endeavors. It does not depend on his good tempers, or good desires, or good purposes and intentions; for all these flow from the free grace of God; they are the streams only, not the fountain. They are the fruits of free grace, and not the root. They are not the cause, but the effects of it. Whatsoever good is in man, or is done by man, God is the author and doer of it. Thus is his grace free in all; that is, no way depending on any power or merit in man, but on God alone, who freely gave us his own Son, and "with him freely giveth us all things.

But it is free for ALL, as well as IN ALL. To this some have answered, "No: It is free only for those whom God hath ordained to life; and they are but a little flock. The greater part of God hath ordained to death; and it is not free for them. Them God hateth; and, therefore, before they were born, decreed they should die eternally. And this he absolutely decreed; because so was his good pleasure; because it was his sovereign will. Accordingly, they are born for this, -- to be destroyed body and soul in hell. And they grow up under the irrevocable curse of God, without any possibility of redemption; for what grace God gives, he gives only for this, to increase, not prevent, their damnation."

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Wesley loved the doctrine of Predestination and held a high esteem for it. However, he did hate that doctrine of 'double predestination' as understood to mean God foreordained some few to eternal life and the many to eternal torment without any consideration of foreseen deeds, faith, or sin. Thus Wesley hated, as do I, that variety of Predestination which often entirely ignores or is irreconcilably severed from God's righteous Justice. The very same Justice that the Scripture declares from beginning to end that in 'accordance to the deeds done in the flesh' shall we enter into either heaven or hell — "and this in virtue of the unchangeable, irreversible, irresistible decree of God, -- "He that believeth shall be saved;" "he that believeth not, shall be damned." (This is one of those superb quotations for those who think Arminianism is a rejection of irresistible grace.)

And, on a side note, concerning George Whitefield's letter to Wesley, if you would like I can provide some criticisms that would indicate what appears to be Whitefield's tendency to over-exaggerate and immoderately impose rebukes upon others without first verifying witnesses or determining all the details needful for a sound judgment. This is not to say Whitefield's rebukes were wrong; but, just as Yoadam's corrections, they are not necessarily applicable to the recipient of those rebukes. Thus have I found from an unexpected source when I came across The History of Harvard University (vol. 2) that includes details surrounding the Whitefieldian Controversy (this book may be read online).

In further discussion of the relation between Foreknowledge and Predestination, another Wesleyan theologian, Daniel Whedon, writes:
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[size=10]"If God's omniscient foresight of all that is or is not in the future is the effect of God's determination [Predestination], then an *attribute* of God is created by an *act* of God. ... If God's foreknowledge depends on his determination, and must wait until after its existence, then he can have no foreknowedge of his own acts, and must wait for present or *post-knowledge* of them." (pp.225-226)

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This is an important distinction, especially when considering Romans 8:29, "Whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate." Foreknowledge is consistently acknowledged in Scripture as logically prior to Predestination. And this is expected when we agree that every Act of God (ie. Predestination) is contingent upon and proceeds from the summation of God's Attributes (ie. Foreknowledge).

So then what might it be that God foreknows? Whedon also adds the following,
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[size=10]"If by the absolute perfection of God's omniscience that one train of free events, put forth with the full power otherwise, is embraced in his foreknowledge, it follows that God foreknows the free act, and that the foreknowledge and the freedom are compatible." (p.229)

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This statement is notably in accord to the Confessions of the Reformers, as well as most all Reformed theologians. Such as the following excerpt from Apologetics to the Glory of God (pp. 44-45) by John M. Frame demonstrates.

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[size=10]The doctrine that God foreordains and directs all events is generally regarded as Calvinistic, and I am not embarrassed to be called a Calvinist. However, other Christian traditions also accept this doctrine, sometimes in spite of themselves. Take Arminianism for example. [It should be noted that Professor Frame is distinctly speaking of modern or liberal Arminianism.] The Arminian makes much of human "free will," insisting that our free decisions, especially those of religious significance, are not foreordained or otherwise determined by God. He seeks thereby to reinforce the doctrine of human responsibility (a doctrine with which, in itself, the Calvinist has no quarrel). But the Arminian also recognizes (1) that God foreknows the future exhaustively, and (2) that He has created the world knowing what the future will bring. For example, before the foundation of the world, God knew that Joe would make a free decision to become a Christian. Somehow, then, before Joe was born, God knew of his free decision. So even at that time, Joe's free decision must have been inevitable. Why was it inevitable? Not because of Joe's free will, for Joe was not yet born. Not because of God's predestination, because the Arminian denies that possibility from the outset. It would seem that the inevitability in question had some source other than either Joe or God.

[Frame's Note: That is a scary possibility! In rejecting "divine determinism," the Arminian in effect embraces a determinism coming from some mysterious other source -- another god? the Devil? world history? impersonal laws? In any case, this idea certainly does not leave much room for free will.]

But ultimately God's predestination remains the key element. For God is the one who (1) foreknows Joe's decision and (2) creates the world in such a way that Joe's decision will be made. The decisive factor is God's foreknowing creation. Creation is what sets the whole universe in motion. Is it too much to say that God's foreknowing creation causes Joe to make the decision he makes?

Thus, even Arminianism implicitly concedes the Calvinist point without admitting it. Therefore, some Arminians today have abandoned the premise that God foreknows everything and have moved to a view more akin to that of process theology. But this move is exceedingly dubious scripturally.

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I am personally not familiar with an Arminianism that rejects "divine determinism." Moreover, in my opinion, process theology is altogether disgusting and immoral.

I would also like to mention that many lay-person Calvinists that I have known would not particularly agree with Mr. Frame on his analysis. Pragmatically most Calvinists may agree with Frame, but by definition they often tend to falter towards fatalism. As such, rather than hearing Frame's developed system of Predestination in a casual conversation, one is often prone to hearing something more akin to this: For God is the one who (1) creates the world in such a way that Joe's decision will be made. Eh? What happened to God foreknowing Joe's free decision? It is not proper to jump from the beginning to the end and give no attention to the rest of the complementing parts. For even though by skipping to the end we get the same conclusion, we do not arrive there by the same path. Short-cuts like that will necessarily distort our perspectives.

As it is, I really like the definition which Prof. Frame has provided here; it also reminds me of Dr. A. W. Tozer's instruction on the Sovereignty of God:
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[size=10]"God sovereignly decreed that man should be free to exercise moral choice, and man from the beginning has fulfilled that decree by making his choice between good and evil. When he chooses to do evil, he does not thereby countervail the sovereign will of God but fulfills it, inasmuch as the eternal decree decided not which choice the man should make but that he should be free to make it. If in His absolute freedom God has willed to give man limited freedom, who is there to stay His hand or say, “What doest thou?” Man’s will is free because God is sovereign. A God less than sovereign could not bestow moral freedom upon His creatures. He would be afraid to do so."

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And this is in perfect peace with the predetermined design of God by His sovereign Providence. Therefore, it is certainly not too much to say that God's foreknowing creation causes 'Joe' to make the decision he makes; that is, so long as we recognize the proper tension for what it is when God "causes" a free decision.


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Jordan

 2010/3/1 0:02Profile
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 Re: On Predestination by B.B. Warfield


On Predestination by B.B. Warfield

A great man of the last generation began the preface of a splendid little book he was writing on this subject, with the words: "Happy would it be for the church of Christ and for the world, if Christian ministers and Christian people could be content to be disciples-learners." He meant to intimate that if only we were all willing to sit simply at the feet of the inspired writers and take them at their word, we should have no difficulties with Predestination. The difficulties we feel with regard to Predestination are not derived from the Word. The Word is full of it, because it is full of God, and when we say God and mean God-God in all that God is-we have said Predestination.

Our difficulties with Predestination arise from a, no doubt not unnatural, unwillingness to acknowledge ourselves to be wholly at the disposal of another. We wish to be at our own disposal. We wish "to belong to ourselves," and we resent belonging, especially belonging absolutely, to anybody else, even if that anybody else be God. We are in the mood of the singer of the hymn beginning, "I was a wandering sheep," when he declares of himself, "I would not be controlled." We will not be controlled. Or, rather, to speak more accurately, we will not admit that we are controlled.

I say that it is more accurate to say that we will not admit that we are controlled. For we are controlled, whether we admit it or not. To imagine that we are not controlled is to imagine that there is no God. For when we say God, we say control. If a single creature which God has made has escaped beyond his control, at the moment that he has done so he has abolished God. A God who could or would make a creature whom he could not or would not control, is no God. The moment he should make such a creature he would, of course, abdicate his throne. The universe he had created would have ceased to be his universe; or rather it would cease to exist-for the universe is held together only by the control of God.

Even worse would have happened, indeed, than the destruction of the universe. God would have ceased to be God in a deeper sense than that he would have ceased to be the Lord and Ruler of the world. He would have ceased to be a moral being. It is an immoral act to make a thing that we cannot or will not control. The only justification for making anything is that we both can and will control it. If a man should manufacture a quantity of an unstable high-explosive in the corridors of an orphan asylum, and when the stuff went off should seek to excuse himself by saying that he could not control it, no one would count his excuse valid. What right had he to manufacture it, we should say, unless he could control it? He relieves himself of none of the responsibility for the havoc wrought, by pleading inability to control his creation.

To suppose that God has made a universe-or even a single being-the control of which he renounces, is to accuse him of similar immorality. What right has he to make it, if he cannot or will not control it? It is not a moral act to perpetrate chaos. We have not only dethroned God; we have demoralized him.

Of course, there is no one that thinks at all who will imagine such a vanity. We take refuge in a vague antinomy. We fancy that God controls the universe just enough to control it, and that he does not control it just enough not to control it. Of course God controls the universe, we perhaps say-in the large; but of course he does not control everything in the universe-in particular.

Probably nobody deceives himself with such palpable paltering in a double sense. If this is God's universe, if he made it and made it for himself, he is responsible for everything that takes place in it. He must be supposed to have made it just as he wished it to be-or are we to say that he could not make the universe he wished to make, and had to put up with the best he could do?

And he must be supposed to have made it precisely as he wished it to be, not only statically but dynamically considered, that is, in all its potentialities and in all its developments down to the end. That is to say, he must be supposed to have made it precisely to suit himself, as extended not only in space but in time. If anything occurs in it as projected through time--just as truly as if anything is found in it as extended in space--which is not just as he intended it to be-why, then we must admit that he could not make such a universe as he would like to have, and had to put up with the best he could get. And, then, he is not God. A being who cannot make a universe to his own liking is not God. A being who can agree to make a universe which is not to his liking, most certainly is not God.

But though such a being obviously is not God, he does not escape responsibility for the universe which he actually makes -whether as extended in space or in time-and that in all its particulars. The moment this godling (not now God) consented to put up with the actual universe-whether as extended in space or as projected through time, including all its particulars without exception-because it was the best he could get, it became his universe. He adopted it as his own, and made it his own even in those particulars which in themselves he would have liked to have otherwise. These particulars, as well as all the rest, which in themselves please him better, have been determined on by him as not only allowable, but as actually to exist in the universe which, by his act, is actually realized.

That is to say they are predestinated by him, and because predestinated by him actually appear in the universe that is made. We have got rid of God, indeed; but we have not got rid of the Predestination, to get rid of which we have been willing to degrade our God into a godling.

We have passed insensibly from the idea of control to the idea of Predestination. That is because there is no real difference between the two ideas at bottom. If God controls anything at all, of course he has intended to control it before he controls it. Exactly the control which he exerts, of course he has intended to exert all along.

No one can imagine so inadvertent a God, that he always acts "on the spur of the moment," so to speak, with no manner of intention determining his action. Providence and Predestination are ideas which run into one another. Providence is but Predestination in its execution; Predestination is but Providence in its intention. When we say the one, we say the other, and the common idea which gives its content to both is control.

It is purely this idea of control which people object to when they say they object to Predestination; not the idea of previousness, but purely the idea of control. They would object just as much if the control was supposed to be exercised without any previous intention at all.

They ought to object much more. For a control exercised without intention would be a blind control. It would have no end in view to justify it; it would have no meaning; it would be sheerly irrational, immoral, maddening. That is what we call Fate. Say intention, however, and we say person; and when we say person we say purpose. A meaning is now given to the control that is exercised; an end is held before it.

And if the person who exercises the control be an intelligent being, the end will be a wise end; if he be a moral being it will be a good end; if he be infinitely wise and holy, just and good, it will be an infinitely wise and holy, just and good end, and it will be wrought out by means as wise and holy, just and good as itself.

To say Predestination is to say all this. It is to introduce order into the universe. It is to assign an end and a worthy end to it. It enables us to speak of a far off divine event to which the whole creation is moving. It enables us to see that whatever occurs, great or small, has a place to fill in this universal teleology; and thus has significance given it, and a juustification supplied to it. To say Predestination is thus not only to say God; it is also to say Theodicy.

No matter what we may say of Predestination in moments of puzzlement, as we stand in face of the problems of life--the problem of the petty, the problem of suffering, the problem of sin--it is safe to say that at the bottom of our minds we all believe in it. We cannot help believing in it--if we believe in God; and that, in its utmost extension, as applying to everything about us which comes to pass.

Take any occurrence that happens, great or small-the fall of an empire or the fall of a sparrow, which our Lord himself tells us never once happens "without our Father." It surely cannot be imagined that God is ignorant of its happening-nay, even if it be so small a thing as the fall of a pin.

God assuredly is aware of everything that happens in his universe. There are no dark corners in it into which his all-seeing eye cannot pierce; there is nothing that occurs in it which is hidden from his universal glance. But certainly neither can it be imagined that anything which occurs in his universe takes him by surprise. Assuredly God has been expecting it to happen, and in happening it has merely justified his anticipations.

Nor yet can he be imagined to be indifferent to its happening, as if, though he sees it coming, he does not care whether it happens or not. That is not the kind of God our God is; he is a God who infinitely cares, cares even about the smallest things. Did not our Savior speak of the sparrows and the very hairs of our heads to teach us this?

Well, then, can it be imagined that, though infinitely caring, God stands impotently over against the happenings in his universe, and cannot prevent them? Is he to be supposed to be watching from all eternity things which he does not wish to happen, coming, coming, ever coming, until at last they come-and he is unable to stop them?

Why, if he could not prevent their happening any other way he need not have made the universe; or he might have made it differently. There was nothing to require him to make this universe-or any universe at all-except his own good pleasure; and there is nothing to compel him to allow anything which he does not wish to happen, to occur in the universe which he has made for his own good pleasure.

Clearly things cannot occur in God's universe, the occurrence of which is displeasing to him. He does not stand helplessly by, while they occur against his wish. Whatever occurs has been foreseen by him from all eternity, and it succeeds in occurring only because its occurrence meets his wish.

It may not be apparent to us what wish of his it meets, what place it fills in the general scheme of things to which it is his pleasure to give actuality, what its function is in his all-inclusive plan. But we know that it could not occur unless it had such a function to perform, such a place to fill, a part to play in God's comprehensive plan.

And knowing that, we are satisfied.. Unless, indeed, we cannot trust God with his own plan, and feel that we must insist that he submit it to us, down to the last detail, and obtain our approval of it, before he executes it.

Least of all will the religious man doubt the universal Predestination of God. Why, what makes him a religious man is, among other things, that he sees God in everything.

A glass window stands before us. We raise our eyes and see the glass; we note its quality, and observe its defects; we speculate on its composition. Or we look straight through it on the great prospect of land and sea and sky beyond. So there are two ways of looking at the world. We may see the world and absorb ourselves in the wonders of nature. That is the scientific way. Or we may look right through the world and see God behind it. That is the religious way.

The scientific way of looking at the world is not wrong any more than the glass-manufacturer's way of looking at the window. This way of looking at things has its very important uses. Nevertheless the window was placed there not to be looked at but to be looked through; and the world has failed of its purpose unless it too is looked through and the eye rests not on it but on its God. Yes, its God; for it is of the essence of the religious view of things that God is seen in all that is and in all that occurs. The universe is his, and in all its movements speaks of him, because it does only his will.

If you would understand the religious man's conception of the relation of God to his world, observe him on his knees. For prayer is the purest expression of religion and in prayer we see religion come to its rights.

Did ever a man pray thus: "O God, Thou knowest that I can do as I choose and Thou canst not prevent me, Thou knowest that my fellowmen are, like me, beyond Thy control, Thou knowest that nature itself goes its own way and Thou canst but stand helplessly by and watch whither it tends"?

No, the attitude of the-soul in prayer is that of entire dependence for itself, and of complete confidence in God's all-embracing government. We ask him graciously to regulate our own spirit, to control the acts of our fellowmen, and to direct the course of the whole world in accordance with his holy and beneficent will. And we do right. Only, we should see to it that we preserve this conception of God in his relation to his world, when we rise from our knees; and make it the operative force of our whole life.

I know, it is true, an eminent theologian who will shake his head at this. God cannot control the acts of free agents, he says, and it is folly to ask him to do so. If we go gunning with an unskillful friend, he may awkwardly shoot us; and it is useless to ask God to protect us; he simply cannot do it. If we are at work at a dangerous machine by the side of a careless companion, he may destroy us at any moment, and it is useless to ask God to avert the mishap; God cannot do it.

If this were so, we certainly would be in a parlous case. Or rather the world would long ago have broken down into chaos.

Every religious man knows full well that it is not so. Every religious man knows that God can and will and does control everything that he has made in all their actions, and that therefore-despite all adverse appearances-it is all well with the world.

All well with the world, which is moving steadily forward in its established orbit; and all well with us who put our trust in God. For has he not himself told us that all things-all things, mind you-are working together for good to those that love him? And how, pray, could that be, except that they all do his bidding in all their actions?

 2010/3/1 1:01Profile









 Re:

Predestination by B.B. Warfield

God predestined me to think this is unintelligent heresy. He gets all the glory.

 2010/3/1 9:02
boG
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 Re: On Predestination by John Wesley

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[size=11]God predestined me to think this is unintelligent heresy. He gets all the glory.

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I agree with you, Benjoseph, there are a few fundamental errors with Warfield's teaching. However, as for your comment, could I not simply regard that God predestined you to be deceived by a lie? Therefore you are being prepared for destruction and God will have His glory, one way or another. Consider this as a challenge that when you argue do so prudently.

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[size=11]And he must be supposed to have made it precisely as he wished it to be, not only statically but dynamically considered, that is, in all its potentialities and in all its developments down to the end. That is to say, he must be supposed to have made it precisely to suit himself, as extended not only in space but in time. If anything occurs in it as projected through time--just as truly as if anything is found in it as extended in space--which is not just as he intended it to be-why, then we must admit that he could not make such a universe as he would like to have, and had to put up with the best he could get.

[ . . . ]

Well, then, can it be imagined that, though infinitely caring, God stands impotently over against the happenings in his universe, and cannot prevent them? Is he to be supposed to be watching from all eternity things which he does not wish to happen, coming, coming, ever coming, until at last they come-and he is unable to stop them?

Why, if he could not prevent their happening any other way he need not have made the universe; or he might have made it differently. There was nothing to require him to make this universe-or any universe at all-except his own good pleasure; and there is nothing to compel him to allow anything which he does not wish to happen, to occur in the universe which he has made for his own good pleasure.

Clearly things cannot occur in God's universe, the occurrence of which is displeasing to him. He does not stand helplessly by, while they occur against his wish. Whatever occurs has been foreseen by him from all eternity, and it succeeds in occurring only because its occurrence meets his wish.

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This line of argument is on the right track but takes a huge detour mid-course. Notice that Warfield is using the language: 'better' and 'best.' This is a derivative of the philosophy which embraces the belief that God created the 'best of all possible worlds' (John Piper is an example of a modern theologian who holds this view).

So what does this idea lead us to belief? Well, that God was very pleased with sin! God took great pleasure not only in the effects of sin but also in the control of sin and in making His pure creatures sinful. Moreover, this mean God in fact immorally, as Warfield states it, "perpetrates chaos"; God, thus being in 'control,' is the author or cause of sin. It may therefore be further argued that since God is in 'control' of sin it is not 'chaos.' I reply with John Calvin and the Reformers:

The following is from The Doctrine of God, Chapter 9, “The Problem of Evil,” by John Frame. Copied from Desiring God ministries.

Does God 'cause' Sin?

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[size=11][i]Causes[/i] is another term which has led to much wrestling by theologians. . . . Reformed writers have . . . denied that God is the cause of sin. [b]Calvin teaches, “For the proper and genuine cause of sin is not God’s hidden counsel but the evident will of man[/b],” though in context he also states that Adam’s Fall was “not without God’s knowledge and ordination.” Some other examples:

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See that you make not God the author of sin, by charging his sacred decree with men’s miscarriages, as if that were the cause or occasion of them; which we are sure that it is not, nor can be, any more than the sun can be the cause of darkness.

It is [God] who created, preserves, actuates and directs all things. But it by no means follows, from these premises, that God is therefore the cause of sin, for sin is nothing but anomia, illegality, want of conformity to the divine law (1 John iii. 4), a mere privation of rectitude; consequently, being itself a thing purely negative, it can have no positive or efficient cause, but only a negative or deficient one, as several learned men have observed.


According to the Canons of Dort, “The cause or blame for this unbelief, as well as for all other sins, is not at all in God, but in man” (1.5).

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Thus, in rebuttal, if by 'chaos' (ie. lack of conformity) we mean the act of sin then we have a proper agreement to "anomia, illegality, want of conformity to the divine law (1 John iii. 4), a mere privation of rectitude; consequently, being itself a thing purely negative, it can have no positive or efficient cause, but only a negative or deficient one." Does this mean that the creatures are running beyond the bounds of God's Sovereignty? Absolutely not; but it certainly must change our understanding of Sovereignty from a purely 'hard determinism' (ie. intentional fatalism).

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[size=11]And if the person who exercises the control be an intelligent being, the end will be a wise end; if he be a moral being it will be a good end; if he be infinitely wise and holy, just and good, it will be an infinitely wise and holy, just and good end, and it will be wrought out by means as wise and holy, just and good as itself.

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This is merely another way of defining God as a Pragmatist — that is, the 'ends' justify the 'means'. To restate it, God took pleasure in causing His creatures to be defiled in order to the end that He might redeem them from His own purposed actions. How this might ever be explained to help us understand 'mercy' is beyond all reasonable minds.

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[size=11]I know, it is true, an eminent theologian who will shake his head at this. God cannot control the acts of free agents, he says, and it is folly to ask him to do so. If we go gunning with an unskillful friend, he may awkwardly shoot us; and it is useless to ask God to protect us; he simply cannot do it. If we are at work at a dangerous machine by the side of a careless companion, he may destroy us at any moment, and it is useless to ask God to avert the mishap; God cannot do it.

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The concluding remarks are just one poorly framed argument after another.

"God cannot do it." This is an extreme belief equivalent to the Arminian form of Hyper-Calvinism.

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[size=11]If this were so, we certainly would be in a parlous case. Or rather the world would long ago have broken down into chaos.

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And this is exactly what did happen at the Fall. Again, this is not contrary to the context of God's Sovereignty. However, it should be noted because Warfield is speaking in extremes, by 'chaos' he is more likely referring to some idea of Process Theology or annihilationism (ie. that all things would cease to exist).

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[size=11]Every religious man knows full well that it is not so. Every religious man knows that God can and will and does control everything that he has made in all their actions, and that therefore-despite all adverse appearances-it is all well with the world.

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I agreed with everything until the "it is well with the world." That is quite an optimistic exaggeration.

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[size=11]All well with the world, which is moving steadily forward in its established orbit; and all well with us who put our trust in God. For has he not himself told us that all things-all things, mind you-are working together for good to those that love him? And how, pray, could that be, except that they all do his bidding in all their actions?

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Notice, "All well with the world" and "all well with us who put our trust in God." Does Warfield mean by 'world' the universe as differentiated from humanity? If that is the case, then he has purposely ignored the circumstances of every single reprobate sinner. It is not surprising that he does this; as that would immediately raise the core of all controversy against this particular teaching of Predestination.

In essence, if God has declared and predestined all things according to the good-pleasure of His will then God must take pleasure in the death of the wicked, for He has purposed and intended them for destruction. Disagree with me if you wish, but that is the conclusion of this teaching of Predestination, as presented by Warfield; in direct opposition to Ezekiel 33:11, "As I live, says the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked" (cf. Ezekiel 18:32). How then are we to understand the 'pleasure' of God in determining the death of the wicked?


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Jordan

 2010/3/1 19:31Profile









 Re:

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could I not simply regard that God predestined you to be deceived by a lie? Therefore you are being prepared for destruction and God will have His glory, one way or another.

In answer to your question, you could only regard me as being deceived if you were predestined to regard me as such. And even if you were predestined to warn me of my delusion I could only wait and see if I was predestined to heed the warning. I can't believe I was predestined to write this post... I hope I'm predestined for a glass of water soon.

 2010/3/1 19:47
boG
Member



Joined: 2008/5/21
Posts: 349
Las Vegas, NV

 Re: On Predestination by John Wesley

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In answer to your question, you could only regard me as being deceived if you were predestined to regard me as such. And even if you were predestined to warn me of my delusion I could only wait and see if I was predestined to heed the warning. I can't believe I was predestined to write this post... I hope I'm predestined for a glass of water soon.


Exactly. The problem being you have made an entirely Emotive argument. Rather than utilizing proofs and reason, you have brought forth statements intended to provoke an emotional response. Such that, if I read your comments and go "Ew! that doesn't feel right. That's not what I want to hear!" Then you have successfully tickled the flesh of my ear instead of bringing Scripture reason to light upon my soul.

Moreover, please, do not disregard the doctrine of Predestination simply because many have abused it so perversely.


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Jordan

 2010/3/1 19:53Profile





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