Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Dilemma for Calvinists

A big reason Calvinists criticize Arminians is they think Arminian theology gives man control over his salvation because Arminians think man must exercise faith in Christ. They also think this entails man working, in some way, for salvation. This is not to mention all of the theological nuances that exist in each system (i.e. Calvinists also believe man has to have faith but it is caused by God; whereas Arminians think faith is a response to God's prevenient grace).

But, I have a question for my Calvinist brothers and sisters. They claim God determines everything that happens in a proactive manner, even sin, yet without God being responsible for that sin somehow. They also, as I stated, believe that faith is caused by God in the same manner, and He gets all the credit for that faith. Their concern is that man not claim credit for his faith. Here's the rub: how can God determine sin and not be responsible for it, yet at the same time determine faith and be completely responsible for it?

20 comments:

Steven said...

Hey Brennon:

What do you mean by responsible? Do you mean blameworthy? Culpable?

Well there are a few ways I guess to argue here.

(1) God might not actively cause sin, though I don't know about this one.
(2) God is the one who enables man to exercise faith, such that he is not the immediate cause of his faith but rather his action leads a person to respond.
(3) God is not culpable for causing people to sin, even if he is culpable for causing persons to believe, for reasons unknown to us.


Maybe there are others.

Jason said...

Great post, bro.

This is a great question, and a common misconception among critics of the doctrines of Grace.

God didn't create sin. He created the potential for it, for His ultimate Glory.

That is why Jesus is called "the Lamb slain before the foundations of the world".

The Gospel is not a response to us; it is God's eternal Rescue from ourselves. It is God pursuing man, not because of His repentance, but IN SPITE of His unrepentance.

But, you are right in laying out the difference between the two views. Arminians are correct in thinking that we must activate faith, but it is faith in what He has already done, and even that faith is, like you said, a gift from God.

It all comes down to 2 things: The doctrine of regeneration (Without this, we cannot choose Him), and Foreknowledge (looking down the corridor of time, knowing who would chose Him, God reached down and saved SOME - only those whom He foreknew would respond with grateful joy. In this sense, we see God as perfectly effective, precise, and efficient in saving people. He didn't fail, as the idea of universal atonement reveals. He efficiently saved EACH person who, IF REGENERATED, would live in response to the Gospel (worship). Still, at the end of the day, "every knee will bow" anyway - either on this side , or the other. Word?

bossmanham said...

Steven,

1) I would agree.
2) But this is what Calvinists say about faith, and is why I am posing this question. How could God be responsible for faith and not sin when the explanation for each, in #2, is the same?
3) This, I think, is the only option left for the Calvinist, and I think it's completely unsatisfactory.

Jason,

God didn't create sin. He created the potential for it, for His ultimate Glory.

I agree completely, but you would be at odds with many Calvinists who think God actively decreed the fall and sin.

The Gospel is not a response to us; it is God's eternal Rescue from ourselves. It is God pursuing man, not because of His repentance, but IN SPITE of His unrepentance.

Again, I agree. God pursues everyone and enables us to repent through the gracious convicting and calling of the Holy Spirit. Until that we are unable to repent.

Arminians are correct in thinking that we must activate faith, but it is faith in what He has already done

I agree with this too. Our faith is accepting the 100% completed work of God.

and even that faith is, like you said, a gift from God.

I don't necessarily think faith proper is a gift of God. I think salvation certainly is and the ability to exercise faith is as well.

You have a view of Calvinism I have not encountered before. Are you a 4-pointer? You sound much more like an Arminian than.

He didn't fail, as the idea of universal atonement reveals.

We don't think God fails in unlimited atonement either. Christ died for all men and paid the penalty for all sin, but in order to have this applied to the sinners account they must accept this through repentance and faith.

Here's an analogy I came up with:

Let's say Jesus death on the cross put in a bank account $1.00 for
every single person who will ever live or had ever lived (this
represents the payment for people's sin). This money is available for
every single person, and Jesus desires that every person come and
claim their dollar. But his condition is that we must freely accept that dollar (faith) and Jesus will then put it in our account. This faith makes us a member of that bank (which I will say represents Christ) and identifies us with that bank. Jesus announces to the world through all sorts of ads that these dollars are available (prevenient grace). It is up to people whether they come and accept their dollar.

God bless, guys.

Robert said...

Hello Brennon,

"Here's the rub: how can God determine sin and not be responsible for it, yet at the same time determine faith and be completely responsible for it?"

Let's make this even stronger and even more accurately reflecting calvinism. For the calvinism, God conceives a total plan encompassing all events (i.e. the decrees) he then actualizes this plan as what we call the history of this universe. The blueprint or preplan for everything does not actually cause or bring anything to pass. So how does God ensure that the total plan be actualized? By (according to the calvinist) directly and totally controlling everything. By this total control of all things he then brings about his total plan (and since he totally controls everything and predetermines everything, then every event is NECESSITATED, it must occur it is impossible that it not occur, all happens by necessity). So in light of this reword your question to more accurately reflect calvinism:

"Here's the rub: how can God necessitate sin and not be responsible for it, yet at the same time necessitate faith and be completely responsible for it?"

If God necessitates all events, then his necessitating of sin is just as necessitated as his necessitating faith.

What your question brings out clearly is that the calvinist **arbitrarily** wants faith to be necessitated and ensured to occur by God, but not sin. But that is playing games as if one is necessitated (since all events are necessitated according to the calvinist) then so is the other. And so if God is responsible for faith, he is just as responsible for sin, since he necessitates and ensures that both occur.

Robert

bossmanham said...

Robert,

Yes, that is precisely what my conclusion was, and is why I am posing the question to Calvinists; to make them think about their preconceived notions. They seem to take this for granted. I appreciate your elucidation.

So far the only responses I have gotten is the appeal to mystery and what you see here.

Daniel N said...

Steven said:
"God is not culpable for causing people to sin, even if he is culpable for causing persons to believe, for reasons unknown to us."

If it is ok for the Calvinist to appeal to mystery, why can't the Arminian do the same?

bossmanham said...

If it is ok for the Calvinist to appeal to mystery, why can't the Arminian do the same?

It's a cop-out, Steven. I presented a theological dilemma and you appeal to mystery. We have an explanation. Arminius wrote, "we must observe a distinction between good actions and evil ones, by saying, that 'God both wills and performs good acts,' but that 'He only freely permits those which are evil.'"

bossmanham said...

Daniel,

I just realized I thought you were Steven for a sec. I responded to the wrong post. Oh well, haha

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

how can God determine sin and not be responsible for it, yet at the same time determine faith and be completely responsible for it?

Because determination does not select for moral responsibility. This isn't exactly a difficult question. You're confusing determination with causation. Now, if you examine God's mode of causation with regard to sin, and his mode of causation with regard to faith, you will find them markedly different. Thus the answer to your question, no longer obfuscated behind the wrong term, becomes clear.

bossmanham said...

if you examine God's mode of causation with regard to sin, and his mode of causation with regard to faith, you will find them markedly different

Really? Then explain the difference. Explain how one mode of causation is different than the other. Because as I see it, God necessitates sin. He also necessitates faith. He influences people's will does He not? How is He responsible for one and not the other?

As Robert said:

"For the calvinism, God conceives a total plan encompassing all events (i.e. the decrees) he then actualizes this plan as what we call the history of this universe. The blueprint or preplan for everything does not actually cause or bring anything to pass. So how does God ensure that the total plan be actualized? By (according to the calvinist) directly and totally controlling everything. By this total control of all things he then brings about his total plan (and since he totally controls everything and predetermines everything, then every event is NECESSITATED, it must occur it is impossible that it not occur, all happens by necessity). So in light of this reword your question to more accurately reflect calvinism:

'Here's the rub: how can God necessitate sin and not be responsible for it, yet at the same time necessitate faith and be completely responsible for it?'"

Boiled down to its simplest parts, God is the cause of each. If your main concern is that God receive credit for what He does, give Him credit for being the cause of sin. Sproul Jr. is consistent, why aren't you?

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

Really? Then explain the difference. Explain how one mode of causation is different than the other. Because as I see it, God necessitates sin. He also necessitates faith.

That's just another way of saying he determines them. It doesn't speak to his causing them. You look to not know the distinction between causality and determination. If you did, you wouldn't be asking me to explain further. Nonetheless, very simply: God is merely the existential cause of sin, but is both the existential and the natural cause of faith (the natural cause being regeneration).

God conceives a total plan encompassing all events (i.e. the decrees)

Just as in Arminianism. Only Open Theism denies this.

he then actualizes this plan as what we call the history of this universe

Just as in Arminianism.

The blueprint or preplan for everything does not actually cause or bring anything to pass

Just as in Arminianism.

So how does God ensure that the total plan be actualized?

By instantiating it in reality: by creating the world he conceived. Just as in Arminianism.

By (according to the calvinist) directly and totally controlling everything.

If he has conceived a total plan encompassing all events, and then actualized that plan, he is directly and totally controlling all events. It doesn't matter what view of causation you take. Nothing you quote Robert as saying applies to the Calvinist but not to the Arminian.

By this total control of all things he then brings about his total plan

Just as in Arminianism.

(and since he totally controls everything and predetermines everything, then every event is NECESSITATED, it must occur it is impossible that it not occur, all happens by necessity)

Just as in Arminianism. A point of clarification, though: that an event "happens by necessity" means only that it must occur given God's plan; not that it is a necessary event in an ontological sense. Contingent events, by definition, are not necessary events.

Here's the rub: how can God necessitate sin and not be responsible for it, yet at the same time necessitate faith and be completely responsible for it?'

The same question can be put to any Arminian. Only someone who denies God's perfect definite foreknowledge, or his status as the first cause of all creation, gets to avoid answering this question.

Boiled down to its simplest parts, God is the cause of each.

The existential cause, sure.

If your main concern is that God receive credit for what He does, give Him credit for being the cause of sin.

I do give him credit for being the existential cause of sin. But he is not the natural cause; so obviously I am not going to attribute him as such.

bossmanham said...

Dbonn,

You shown an obvious and utter lack of knowledge of Arminianism.

In Arminianism, God does not conceive a total plan encompassing all events (i.e. the decrees). He knows of all events if they will happen, but He does not necessarily determine the events. He determines some of the events, but He does not determine the sinful events.

God does not actualize this plan as what we call the history of this universe in Arminianism. He creates the world and creatures He cares about with volition. Those creatures choose. There are consequences for the free choices.

It doesn't matter what view of causation you take. Nothing you quote Robert as saying applies to the Calvinist but not to the Arminian.

It does matter. If God allows free creatures to make volitional choices, then the evil actions of those creatures cannot be attributed to the mind of God, because the actions originated in the mind of the creature. If God necessitated before time began that said events would happen, they originated in the mind of God. Therefore God is the author of sin.

By this total control of all things he then brings about his total plan

Just as in Arminianism.


God does not plan sin. He knows of sin, and He allows sin and can direct sinful actions, but sin is antithetical to God

God does not predetermine everything. Every event is not NECESSITATED. Every event is not fated to occur. It is possible that it not occur. All does not happen by necessity in Arminianism.

A point of clarification, though: that an event "happens by necessity" means only that it must occur given God's plan

God's ultimate plan will happen. Sin was not necessary in God's ultimate plan. He allowed it and knew it would happen and knew what He would do to correct the problem, but did not necessitate that plan. He does not necessitate every event. He does not control the will of every being. There are events that He does not want to happen.

The existential cause, sure.

Simply stating this doesn't clear anything up. You haven't addressed the dilemma. As always, you make vague comments and expect us to accept them without explanation. If God is the cause, He is the cause. Therefore, you admit God is the cause of sin.

I do give him credit for being the existential cause of sin. But he is not the natural cause; so obviously I am not going to attribute him as such.

You have admitted that God is the cause of sin, and I commend you on being consistent. So you agree that the Calvinist cannot escape libeling God as the author of sin (which is anti-Biblical), showing my dilemma to be accurate. I thought you set out to refute my dilemma?

God said in Jeremiah 32:35:

"And they built the high places of Baal which are in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I did not command them, nor did it come into My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin."

If it never entered His mind that they should do this, how can you attribute the causation AT ALL to God?

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

Hi Brennon.

In Arminianism, God does not conceive a total plan encompassing all events (i.e. the decrees). He knows of all events if they will happen, but He does not necessarily determine the events. He determines some of the events, but He does not determine the sinful events.

Okay, let's ignore the problem with God having contingent knowledge for now, and work with this description. God knows of all events if they will happen. Is it, or is it not the case, that their happening is conditioned upon God's creative act? What I mean is, when you say that God knows "if" they will happen, you are making a conditional statement. Can you spell out those conditions explicitly please? Surely God's creative act is logically foremost among whatever others there are. In other words, if God knows if event E will happen given the created conditions c1, c2, and c3, it remains that E will nonetheless not happen unless God chooses to create the world in such a way that c1, c2, and c3 occur. Since this must be true of all events, how can you then say that God does not conceive a total plan encompassing all events? He must have known the world he was going to create. He must have known all the ways things could have gone if he had created it differently. But he chose to create it as it is. Isn't that a plan? What else would you call it?

God does not actualize this plan as what we call the history of this universe in Arminianism. He creates the world and creatures He cares about with volition. Those creatures choose. There are consequences for the free choices.

I'm sorry, but this seems like a total non-sequitur. God's looking at all of the infinite possibilities, all of the events which would happen if certain conditions obtained, and then choosing which ones will happen in the universe he creates, constitutes a plan which he actualizes. You seem to be so horrified at the mere hint of determinism that you're slipping directly into Open Theism. Need I remind you that this is exactly what I said happens to consistent Arminians?

It does matter. If God allows free creatures to make volitional choices, then the evil actions of those creatures cannot be attributed to the mind of God, because the actions originated in the mind of the creature. If God necessitated before time began that said events would happen, they originated in the mind of God. Therefore God is the author of sin.

I freely acknowledge that God is the author of sin. If you can point me to where in Scripture it says that he is not, I will recant immediately. But the problem for you is that you are, again, getting sidetracked by this issue of where the choices of the creature originate. It's a red herring, Brennon. The issue is that God, in surveying all the possible choices that all possible creatures could make, chose to create the world in which these creatures make these choices. Thus, he decided, at the moment of creation, which choices would be made and which wouldn't. Every choice happens necessarily the way God foresaw, because it is the choice God decided, at creation, to allow to happen. And that is just another way of saying that God determined each choice.

God does not plan sin. He knows of sin, and He allows sin and can direct sinful actions, but sin is antithetical to God

Again, this statement betrays a fundamental confusion on your part. It's as if you think God foresees sin out of the corner of his eye, but can't look at it straight on. Again, under your view, God foreknows every possible choice which could happen. He chooses to create a world in which these choices—including all the sinful ones—take place. He does so for his own purposes. How is this not a plan? Do you know what it means to plan something? Moreover, you're openly denying here that God planned the crucifixion of Jesus. Is that a standard Arminian view?

I'll have to make this a two-parter I'm afraid; the 4096 character limit is really lame \:

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

God does not predetermine everything. Every event is not NECESSITATED. Every event is not fated to occur. It is possible that it not occur. All does not happen by necessity in Arminianism.

No Brennon, that is Open Theism. If God foreknows that event E will occur in the universe where conditions c obtain, and that it won't occur in the universe where conditions c* obtain instead, and he chooses to create the universe where c obtain, then event E is necessitated. It could not fail to occur. That is what "necessitated" means. If you want to insist that it is still possible that it not occur, then you are not taking a standard Arminian view. You are taking an Open view.

God's ultimate plan will happen. Sin was not necessary in God's ultimate plan.

It staggers me that a professing Christian could believe the cross was not part of God's ultimate plan.

He allowed it and knew it would happen and knew what He would do to correct the problem, but did not necessitate that plan.

As I've covered now very amply, this is simply not true. It's an assertion in the face of my arguments.

He does not necessitate every event. He does not control the will of every being. There are events that He does not want to happen.

If he does not want them to happen, why did he create the universe such that they certainly will happen? Is your god insane? Come on, Brennon, think about this. There must be some sense in which God wants everything which transpires to happen, or he would not have created a universe in which these things would happen. Even if he only wants them to fulfill some greater purpose, that is still a reason. Otherwise you are making God out to be genuinely irrational, acting against his own desires.

Simply stating this doesn't clear anything up. You haven't addressed the dilemma. As always, you make vague comments and expect us to accept them without explanation. If God is the cause, He is the cause. Therefore, you admit God is the cause of sin.

I'm sorry; I kind of expect that people understand there are different kinds of causes. In fact, you of all people should understand this. God is the indirect cause of sin in Arminianism. His act of creation was a necessary causal event for any sin to obtain. So, let's remove that word "indirect", because "if God is the cause, he is the cause. Therefore, you admit God is the cause of sin". How do you like them apples? No? You want to be able to qualify what kind of cause we're talking about, because that's actually important? Right, so it is.

You have admitted that God is the cause of sin, and I commend you on being consistent. So you agree that the Calvinist cannot escape libeling God as the author of sin (which is anti-Biblical), showing my dilemma to be accurate. I thought you set out to refute my dilemma?

Your dilemma didn't mention the term "author of sin". It was specifically pitting God's causing of sin, and his causing of faith, against each other. And it is refuted very simply by merit of the fact that there is a disparity between the modes of causation for each. When this equivocation in the dilemma is exposed, it loses its force. That said, I defy you to show me where in the Bible it says that God is not the author of sin.

If it never entered His mind that they should do this, how can you attribute the causation AT ALL to God?

Does this mean that you're coming out as an Open Theist? That their actions never actually entered God's mind at all? That he was totally unaware that they would occur; that he did not, in fact, choose to create the world knowing that they would happen?

bossmanham said...

God knows of all events if they will happen.

If they aren't going to happen, God couldn't know of them. The event doesn't and won't ever exist. So yes, the event has to be real at some point for God to know of it.

Is it, or is it not the case, that their happening is conditioned upon God's creative act?

For anything to happen, creation is necessary. But God does not have to necessitate events within creation for them to happen. Once He created volitional and rational beings He created the potential for them to choose different events.

What I mean is, when you say that God knows "if" they will happen, you are making a conditional statement. Can you spell out those conditions explicitly please?

The event must really be going to happen at some point. Why is this so hard for you?

In other words, if God knows if event E will happen given the created conditions c1, c2, and c3, it remains that E will nonetheless not happen unless God chooses to create the world in such a way that c1, c2, and c3 occur.

Unless the creatures can interact with the conditions, alter the conditions, even create the conditions for something to happen to them. Just because God created dinosaurs doesn't necessitate we would ever find out we could use it for oil. The condition is there, but it doesn't necessitate we use oil. We have to interact with the conditions.

In other words, there is not an unstoppable series of occurrences happening that determine events. Events that happen don't necessarily have to happen.

But I take the presupposition that scripture is correct when it says we actually have choices we can make. We can either do or do otherwise. You seem to espouse fatalism.

If you want to insist that it is still possible that it not occur, then you are not taking a standard Arminian view. You are taking an Open view.

You show your ignorance again. Open theism says God doesn't know the future because He can't know events that have not happened. You don't know what the crap you're talking about.

God's looking at all of the infinite possibilities, all of the events which would happen if certain conditions obtained

God doesn't necessitate the conditions or the events. That is the assumption you need to step away from if you ever hope to understand LFW.

You seem to be so horrified at the mere hint of determinism that you're slipping directly into Open Theism

Nice straw man. Non-determinism does not necessarily equal open theism. Silliness.

Need I remind you that this is exactly what I said happens to consistent Arminians?

You don't know what either party believes so I don't know why you think you're an authority on the subject.

I freely acknowledge that God is the author of sin.

Thank you!

If you can point me to where in Scripture it says that he is not, I will recant immediately.

No you won't. You'll talk your way around it like Hays did. James 1 explains where sin comes from, the heart of the sinner. But you'll obfuscate until the cows come home on how it doesn't actually mean that.

It's a red herring, Brennon

No it's the heart of the issue. If God causes sin how do we distinguish Him from the devil? God is also inconsistent, commanding one thing and necessitating another. He also lies in His revelation to us, telling us we can choose and sin doesn't enter His mind. Telling us He wants to gather Jerusalem's children to Himself, eve thought we know good and well He has reprobated them. Etc.

The issue is that God, in surveying all the possible choices that all possible creatures could make, chose to create the world in which these creatures make these choices. Thus, he decided, at the moment of creation, which choices would be made and which wouldn't.

No, God created creature with volition. He didn't choose from several different worlds. He created the one world He decided to create. So He didn't create a world where He determined all the choices, He created a world of possibilities.

bossmanham said...

Every choice happens necessarily the way God foresaw, because it is the choice God decided, at creation, to allow to happen. And that is just another way of saying that God determined each choice.

That's where we differ and why I think your view libels God. In your view God decided when and where all the evils will happen. God didn't determine choices at creation, He created creatures with volition who decided to disobey Him. Nothing necessitated this choice.

It's as if you think God foresees sin out of the corner of his eye, but can't look at it straight on

No it isn't, it's as if God doesn't cause sin. He allows the sin done by His free creatures.

He chooses to create a world in which these choices—including all the sinful ones—take place

You keep acting like God was shopping at a bazaar. God created the world, the only world. He created creatures with volition who could have a actual relationship with Him. With this, the creatures could obey or not obey. They chose to not obey. God didn't have a bunch of possible worlds in which He knew of the events of that world, because they don't exist and never will. The events that will never exist can't be known as events, because they aren't real. That is logically incoherent.

Moreover, you're openly denying here that God planned the crucifixion of Jesus. Is that a standard Arminian view?

Are you able to comprehend what you read? God does determine and necessitate some events. He does guide creation providentially. There's no problem with that in Arminianism.

No Brennon, that is Open Theism.

No it isn't, and in saying it is you betray your ignorance, again, of both Open Theism and Arminianism.

If God foreknows that event E will occur in the universe where conditions c obtain, and that it won't occur in the universe where conditions c* obtain instead, and he chooses to create the universe where c obtain, then event E is necessitated.

Again, there aren't imaginary events that God knows about. God created this world and knows what will happen here. God generally knows what people who exist/will exist would freely do in certain circumstances based on access to their will via his transcendence over time. So he only has such knowledge of people who do/will in fact exist. This avoids the grounding objection often raised against Molinism, for God’s knowledge of what a person would do is grounded in the person’s actual will.

You make a logical leap that is not based on scripture when you appeal to this "multiple possible worlds" paradigm. The worlds aren't possible for the explicit reason the God didn't create them. Your view also treats these worlds as though they are something outside of God that existed before creation that He has to choose and is forced to settle with the specific conditions on each world. Sorry, God isn't trapped in that box.

It staggers me that a professing Christian could believe the cross was not part of God's ultimate plan.

The cross became necessary because of sin, unless you think Jesus paid for something other than sin on the cross.

But, since God always knew of sin, He always knew what He would do because of sin. But again, His knowledge does not necessitate said plan.

As I've covered now very amply, this is simply not true.

I'm refuting what you covered in these statements.

If he does not want them to happen, why did he create the universe such that they certainly will happen?

Since I've stated that this not need be the case, I don't need to address it any longer. Your entire argument is based on this a priori, that God "surveys" a list of worlds. God isn't bound by this paradigm.

bossmanham said...

I kind of expect that people understand there are different kinds of causes

I too am sorry. I expect people to not change the definitions of words. However many different definitions of cause there are doesn't matter. A cause is a cause. If God is the cause of sin then theology turns on its head. We can no longer say, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning" (James 1:17) because evil also comes from God. We don't need a devil in that case, we have a schitsophrenic God.

God is the indirect cause of sin in Arminianism.

No. God created volition. Sin was conceived in the hearts of evil creatures. Volition makes it possible to sin, but it's also the only way a relationship is genuine. If the sin originates totally separate from God, he's not even an indirect cause of sin.

Your dilemma didn't mention the term "author of sin"

Main Entry: cause
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: agent, originator
Synonyms:

account, agency, aim, antecedent, author, basis, beginning, causation, consideration, creator, determinant, doer, element, end, explanation, foundation, genesis, ground, grounds, incitement, inducement, instigation, leaven, mainspring, maker, matter, motivation, motive, object, occasion, origin, prime mover, principle, producer, purpose, root, source, spring, stimulation
Antonyms:

consequence, development, effect, end, fruit, issue, outcome, outgrowth, product, result

bossmanham said...

Does this mean that you're coming out as an Open Theist? That their actions never actually entered God's mind at all?

That's not what the verse says.

It says: "nor did it come into My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.’"

In other words, it was not something God had commanded or conceived. He isn't saying He didn't know about it, He's saying he didn't order them and would never think of ordering them to cause Judah to sin.

If it is even once shown that determinism isn't the case, then that, by definition, proves it isn't true. So what do you say to clear Biblical evidence that denies determinism?

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

In other words, it was not something God had commanded or conceived. He isn't saying He didn't know about it, He's saying he didn't order them and would never think of ordering them to cause Judah to sin.

I affirm that God did not command Judah to sin. And the verse isn't referring to God's causing Judah to sin; it's referring to the offerers of sacrifices doing so. I affirm that their actions were against God's moral precepts. I'm sorry Brennon, you're just too confused about what Calvinism is, about what determinism even is, to warrant my responding any more. If you aren't even prepared to accept that there's a distinction between determination and causation, a distinction between types of causation, between precepts and decrees...there's no way you're ever going to understand these issues.

bossmanham said...

It's a distinction that only exists in your mind, Dbonn.