Calvinism & free will

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Calvinism & free will

Postby Origen; » Sat Jun 03, 2017 3:36 pm

Apparently Arminians aren't the only ones who believe in freewill. So do many atheists, agnostics, most of the world throughout history and Calvinists.

"Humanity possesses "free will",[84] but it is in bondage to sin,[85] until it is "transformed".[86]"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calvinism

"God's predestination does not mean that we cannot make free will choices. God predestines in and through our choices because God is all-knowing and all-powerful. He knows what we will do because he knows all things. He cannot not know all things. So, whatever you choose to do out of your own free volition is known."

https://carm.org/if-predestination-true ... -free-will

"The Error of Libertarian Free Will":

https://www.calvinistcorner.com/error-o ... e-will.htm


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_will
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_will_in_theology
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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby steve7150 » Sat Jun 03, 2017 3:49 pm

God's predestination does not mean that we cannot make free will choices. God predestines in and through our choices because God is all-knowing and all-powerful. He knows what we will do because he knows all things. He cannot not know all things. So, whatever you choose to do out of your own free volition is known."








Assuming the future is something to be known, that is not entirely clear despite common impressions that God is outside of time a phrase not found in the bible. Calvinism really came from Augustine who had followed Mani and brought that concept of predestination into the bible. Calvinism loves to emphasize that God is sovereign but God can be sovereign without predestining everything.
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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby Origen; » Sun Jun 04, 2017 12:28 pm

steve7150 wrote:[
Assuming the future is something to be known, that is not entirely clear despite common impressions that God is outside of time a phrase not found in the bible. Calvinism really came from Augustine who had followed Mani and brought that concept of predestination into the bible. Calvinism loves to emphasize that God is sovereign but God can be sovereign without predestining everything.


Does the Calvinist view of "everything that happens is predestined" depend on the theory that "God is outside of time"? IME usually their focus is upon the Bible regardless of any logic or reasoning contrary to their interpretations of Scripture.

Recently i've been trying to wrap my head around the Calvinist saying there is "free will", let alone God being timeless ; Evidently they mean something quite different than Arminian free will. In some forum discussions they've been claiming all men deserve to go to hell because of their free will choices to sin. Which sounds to me more like an Arminian than Calvinist argument.

https://www.christianforums.com/threads ... s.8010429/
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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby steve7150 » Sun Jun 04, 2017 3:25 pm

Recently i've been trying to wrap my head around the Calvinist saying there is "free will", let alone God being timeless ; Evidently they mean something quite different than Arminian free will. In some forum discussions they've been claiming all men deserve to go to hell because of their free will choices to sin. Which sounds to me more like an Arminian than Calvinist argument.







Usually i think Calvinists would say man is totally depraved and that's why he deserves hell. Also i think Calvinism believes because man is totally depraved he does not have the ability on his own free will to choose to follow God because man will always follow his own self interest. So i think the free will in Calvinism is simply just a "will" not really a "free will."
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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby Origen; » Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:30 am

"John Calvin ascribed “free will” to all people in the sense that they act “voluntarily, and not by compulsion.”[115] He elaborated his position by allowing "that man has choice and that it is self-determined” and that his actions stem from “his own voluntary choosing.”[116]
The free will that Calvin ascribed to all people is what Mortimer Adler calls the “natural freedom” of the will. This freedom to will what one desires is inherent in all people.[15]

"Calvin held this kind of inherent/natural[117] free will in disesteem because unless people acquire the freedom to live as they ought by being transformed, they will desire and voluntarily choose to sin. “Man is said to have free will,” wrote Calvin, “because he acts voluntarily, and not by compulsion. This is perfectly true: but why should so small a matter have been dignified with so proud a title?”[118] The glitch in this inherent/natural freedom of the will is that although all people have the “faculty of willing,” by nature they are unavoidably (and yet voluntarily without compulsion) under “the bondage of sin.”[119]

"The kind of free will that Calvin esteems is what Adler calls “acquired freedom” of the will, the freedom/ability[120] “to live as [one] ought.” To possess acquired free will requires a change by which a person acquires a desire to live a life marked by virtuous qualities.[19] As Calvin describes the change required for acquired freedom, the will “must be wholly transformed and renovated.”[121]

"Calvin depicts this transformation as “a new heart and a new spirit (Ezek. 18:31).” It sets one free from “bondage to sin” and enables “piety towards God, and love towards men, general holiness and purity of life.”[122]

"Calvinist Protestants embrace the idea of predestination, namely, that God chose who would be saved and who would be not saved prior to the creation. They quote Ephesians 1:4 "For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight" and also 2:8 "For it is by grace you are saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves, it is the gift of God." One of the strongest defenders of this theological point of view was the American Puritan preacher and theologian Jonathan Edwards.

"Edwards believed that indeterminism was incompatible with individual dependence on God and hence with his sovereignty. He reasoned that if individuals' responses to God's grace are contra-causally free, then their salvation depends partly on them and therefore God's sovereignty is not "absolute and universal." Edwards' book Freedom of the Will defends theological determinism. In this book, Edwards attempts to show that libertarianism is incoherent. For example, he argues that by 'self-determination' the libertarian must mean either that one's actions including one's acts of willing are preceded by an act of free will or that one's acts of will lack sufficient causes. The first leads to an infinite regress while the second implies that acts of will happen accidentally and hence can't make someone "better or worse, any more than a tree is better than other trees because it oftener happens to be lit upon by a swan or nightingale; or a rock more vicious than other rocks, because rattlesnakes have happened oftener to crawl over it."[123]

"It should not be thought that this view completely denies freedom of choice, however. It claims that man is free to act on his strongest moral impulse and volition, which is externally determined, but is not free to act contrary to them, or to alter them. Proponents, such as John L. Girardeau, have indicated their belief that moral neutrality is impossible; that even if it were possible, and one were equally inclined to contrary options, one could make no choice at all; that if one is inclined, however slightly, toward one option, then that person will necessarily choose that one over any others.

"Some non-Calvinist Christians attempt a reconciliation of the dual concepts of predestination and free will by pointing to the situation of God as Christ. In taking the form of a man, a necessary element of this process was that Jesus Christ lived the existence of a mortal. When Jesus was born he was not born with the omniscient power of God the Creator, but with the mind of a human child - yet he was still God in essence. The precedent this creates is that God is able to will the abandonment of His knowledge, or ignore knowledge, while remaining fully God. Thus it is not inconceivable that although omniscience demands that God knows what the future holds for individuals, it is within his power to deny this knowledge in order to preserve individual free will. Other theologians argue that the Calvinist-Edwardsean view suggests that if all human volitions are predetermined by God, then all actions dictated by fallen will of man necessarily satisfy His sovereign decree. Hence, it is impossible to act outside of God's perfect will, a conclusion some non-Calvinists claim poses a serious problem for ethics and moral theology.

"An early proposal toward such a reconciliation states that God is, in fact, not aware of future events, but rather, being eternal, He is outside time, and sees the past, present, and future as one whole creation. Consequently, it is not as though God would know "in advance" that Jeffrey Dahmer would become guilty of homicide years prior to the event as an example, but that He was aware of it from all eternity, viewing all time as a single present. This was the view offered by Boethius in Book V of The Consolation of Philosophy.

"Calvinist theologian Loraine Boettner argued that the doctrine of divine foreknowledge does not escape the alleged problems of divine foreordination. He wrote that "what God foreknows must, in the very nature of the case, be as fixed and certain as what is foreordained; and if one is inconsistent with the free agency of man, the other is also. Foreordination renders the events certain, while foreknowledge presupposes that they are certain."[6] Some Christian theologians, feeling the bite of this argument, have opted to limit the doctrine of foreknowledge if not do away with it altogether, thus forming a new school of thought, similar to Socinianism and process theology, called open theism."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_will ... #Calvinism
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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby steve7150 » Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:10 pm

Calvinist Protestants embrace the idea of predestination, namely, that God chose who would be saved and who would be not saved prior to the creation. They quote Ephesians 1:4 "For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight" and also 2:8 "For it is by grace you are saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves, it is the gift of God." One of the strongest defenders of this theological point of view was the American Puritan preacher and theologian Jonathan Edwards.





One difference between the Calvinist & Arminian is that the Calvinist sees words like "us" as referring to individual people and the Arminian would say "us" refers to a class of people God knew would choose to believe in Christ. Eph 2.8 , again is an inflection point as the Calvinist sees "faith" as the gift from God and the Arminian sees "saved" or "salvation" as the gift.
It's interesting in the OT God chose a class of people "Israel" to be his people rather then individuals. He did use individuals for tasks but Israel was his chosen people to receive the law. From the OT no one ever dreamed of Calvinism as God's method but it's the same God in the NT.
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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby steve7150 » Mon Jun 12, 2017 5:37 pm

"Edwards believed that indeterminism was incompatible with individual dependence on God and hence with his sovereignty. He reasoned that if individuals' responses to God's grace are contra-causally free, then their salvation depends partly on them and therefore God's sovereignty is not "absolute and universal."







So incompatible that God in his sovereignty simply couldn't choose to allow man to have the ability to make choices like follow Christ? Sovereignty means God can choose not to exercise meticulous control and allow man to make choices and learn from his mistakes.
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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby steve7150 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 4:42 am

Calvinist theologian Loraine Boettner argued that the doctrine of divine foreknowledge does not escape the alleged problems of divine foreordination. He wrote that "what God foreknows must, in the very nature of the case, be as fixed and certain as what is foreordained; and if one is inconsistent with the free agency of man, the other is also. Foreordination renders the events certain, while foreknowledge presupposes that they are certain."[6] Some Christian theologians, feeling the bite of this argument, have opted to limit the doctrine of foreknowledge if not do away with it altogether, thus forming a new school of thought, similar to Socinianism and process theology, called open theism."





I'm a fan of the NY Mets and i just watched a 60 min replay of them beating the Cubs last night and in so doing i had knowledge of the score in advance and some of the details about specific plays within the game. So for this event i had foreknowledge yet it had no impact on the free will of the participants because it was a passive connection between myself and the event. IMO it's the same scenario when God has foreknowledge of the future if he does not intervene then it's a passive connection which doesn't impact the participants free will.
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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby Holy-Fool-P-Zombie » Tue Jun 13, 2017 7:01 am

steve7150 wrote:Calvinist theologian Loraine Boettner argued that the doctrine of divine foreknowledge does not escape the alleged problems of divine foreordination. He wrote that "what God foreknows must, in the very nature of the case, be as fixed and certain as what is foreordained; and if one is inconsistent with the free agency of man, the other is also. Foreordination renders the events certain, while foreknowledge presupposes that they are certain."[6] Some Christian theologians, feeling the bite of this argument, have opted to limit the doctrine of foreknowledge if not do away with it altogether, thus forming a new school of thought, similar to Socinianism and process theology, called open theism."



I'm a fan of the NY Mets and i just watched a 60 min replay of them beating the Cubs last night and in so doing i had knowledge of the score in advance and some of the details about specific plays within the game. So for this event i had foreknowledge yet it had no impact on the free will of the participants because it was a passive connection between myself and the event. IMO it's the same scenario when God has foreknowledge of the future if he does not intervene then it's a passive connection which doesn't impact the participants free will.


Image

There's a related Calvinist answer, by CARM theologian Matt Slick:


I've always been puzzled by the notion held by some people that if God knows what we are going to choose in the future, then we don't really have free will. They say that if God knows we are going to make a certain "free will" choice, then when it is time for us to make that choice, because God knows what we are going to choose, we are not really free to make a different choice and God's foreknowledge means we cannot have free will. Quite honestly, I do not see this as being a problem at all. Let's work with the idea that we are free-will creatures and that God knows all things, even our future choices. Furthermore, let's define free will in the Open Theist sense as the ability to make equal choices between options, regardless of a person's sinful nature.1 Given these conditions, are God's omniscience and our free will incompatible as the Open Theists claim?

Analogy
By analogy, knowing what will happen does not mean that we are preventing or causing that thing to happen. The sun will rise tomorrow. I am not causing it to rise nor am I preventing it from rising by knowing that it will happen. Likewise, if I put a bowl of ice-cream and a bowl of cauliflower in front of my child, I know for a fact which one is chosen - the ice cream. My knowing it ahead of time does not restrict my child from making a free choice when the time comes. My child is free to make a choice and knowing the choice has no effect upon her when she makes it.

Logic
Logically, God knowing what we are going to do does not mean that we can't do something else. It means that God simply knows what we have chosen to do ahead of time. Our freedom is not restricted by God's foreknowledge; our freedom is simply realized ahead of time by God. In this, our natural ability to make another choice has not been removed any more than my choice of what to write inside the parenthesis (hello) was removed by God who knew I would put the word "hello" in the parentheses before the universe was made. Before typing the word "hello," I pondered which word to write. My pondering was my doing and the choice was mine. How then was I somehow restricted in freedom when choosing what to write if God knew what I was going to do? No matter what choice we freely make, it can be known by God, and His knowing it doesn't mean we aren't making a free choice.

Time
Part of the issue here is the nature of time. If the future exists for God even as the present does, then God is consistently in all places at all times and is not restricted by time. This would mean that time was not a part of His nature to which God is subject, and that God is not a linear entity; that is, it would mean that God is not restricted to operating in our time realm and is not restricted to the present only. If God is not restricted to existence in the present, our present, then the future is known by God because God indwells the future as well as the present (and the past). This would mean that our future choices, as free as they are, are simply known by God. Again, our ability to choose is not altered or lessened by God existing in the future and knowing what we freely choose. It just means that God can see what we will freely choose -- because that is what we freely choose -- and knows what it is.

Part of the problem in Open Theism is that by restricting God to the present only, His existence is defined in such a way as to imply that time is part of His nature and that He is restricted to it. The question is whether or not this is logical as well as biblical. For an analysis of the logic of the position, please see A logical refutation of open theism.

Scripture
Scripturally, God inhabits eternity. Psalm 90:2 says, "Before the mountains were born, or Thou didst give birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God." But this verse, an others, do not declare that God lives inside or outside of time. Rather, the Bible tells us that God is eternal. We can, however, note that the Bible teaches that God has no beginning or end. This is not definitive, but we may be able to conclude that since time is that non-spatial, continuous succession of events from the past, through the present, and into the future, and that since the word "beginning" denotes a relationship to and in time, and since God has no beginning, that time is not applicable to God's nature. In other words, God has no beginning and since "beginning" deals with an event in time, God is outside of time.

Nevertheless, the scriptures are not definitive on this issue and we can only conclude what they do say - namely, that God is eternal, without beginning, without end, and that He can accurately and precisely predict what will happen.

"As for you, O king, while on your bed your thoughts turned to what would take place in the future; and He who reveals mysteries has made known to you what will take place," (Dan. 2:29).

So, in relation to our free will and God's predictive ability, there is no biblical reason to assert that God's foreknowledge negates our freedom.

Conclusion
There is no logical reason to claim that if God knows what choices we are going to make that it means we are not free. It still means that the free choices we will make are free -- they are just known ahead of time by God. If we choose something different, then that choice will have been eternally known by God. Furthermore, this knowledge by God does not alter our nature in that it does not change what we are -- free to make choices. God's knowledge is necessarily complete and exhaustive because that is His nature, to know all things. In fact, since He has eternally known what all our free choices will be, He has ordained history to come to the conclusion that He wishes including and incorporating our choices into His divine plan: “For truly in this city there were gathered together against Thy holy servant Jesus, whom Thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28to do whatever Thy hand and Thy purpose predestined to occur," (Acts 4:27-28). Why? Because God always knows all things: "...God is greater than our heart, and knows all things," (1 John 3:20).
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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby steve7150 » Wed Jun 14, 2017 3:56 pm

“For truly in this city there were gathered together against Thy holy servant Jesus, whom Thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28to do whatever Thy hand and Thy purpose predestined to occur," (Acts 4:27-28).










With all due respect to Mr Slick this refers to a specific incident not necessarily to every event in human history and in fact Jesus prayed that God's Will be done on earth as it is in heaven meaning it was a request for this to happen rather then an acknowledgment that it has already happened.
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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby Paidion » Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:57 pm

So, whatever you choose to do out of your own free volition is known.


If ANYTHING you do was known before you did it, then you did NOT act out of free will. For if it was known before you did it, you could not have done otherwise.
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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby Holy-Fool-P-Zombie » Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:24 am

steve7150 wrote:“For truly in this city there were gathered together against Thy holy servant Jesus, whom Thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28to do whatever Thy hand and Thy purpose predestined to occur," (Acts 4:27-28).



With all due respect to Mr Slick this refers to a specific incident not necessarily to every event in human history and in fact Jesus prayed that God's Will be done on earth as it is in heaven meaning it was a request for this to happen rather then an acknowledgment that it has already happened.


Steve. How do you balance free will choices with God’s omniscience? Do you advocate, for example:

    Middle Knowledge?
    There is no free will, like some on this forum embrace?
    Etc.

I'm sure if you brought up your objection to Matt Slick, he could answer it - from a Calvinist perspective. Same goes for Paidion's objection. I just can't guess, what his answer would be.

And I further balance open theism and synergy, against the premise - that thoughts and feelings can influence reality. A position that folks like Mary Baker Eddy, Joel Goldsmith and Emmet Fox, have demonstrated in their lives. I just don't buy into their explanations.

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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby steve7150 » Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:06 am

Steve. How do you balance free will choices with God’s omniscience? Do you advocate, for example:

Middle Knowledge?
Some form of open theism, like Paidion and I embrace?
There is no free will, like some on this forum embrace?






To me it seems clear we can make choices so if that's how we define free will then i think we have it. Of course our will is not literally free as a million things influence it, but we can make choices.
If Open Theism is true how did Jesus predict Peter would deny him three times? But as i said before even if God has foreknowledge of the future , it's a passive connection and does not impact our ability to make choices IMO.
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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby steve7150 » Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:09 am

I'm sure if you brought up your objection to Matt Slick, he could answer it - from a Calvinist perspective. Same goes for Paidion's objection. I just can't guess, what his answer would be.










Slick would say examples of God intervening disclose his pattern of meticulous control for everything but i think these are specific instances of God intervening to steer the ship where he wants it to go, but the passengers can still make choices on the ship.
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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby Holy-Fool-P-Zombie » Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:20 am

steve7150 wrote:If Open Theism is true how did Jesus predict Peter would deny him three times? But as i said before even if God has foreknowledge of the future , it's a passive connection and does not impact our ability to make choices IMO.


I think you will find experts responding, to every theological objection...According to their unique, theological and philosophical perspective. Like Greg Boyd (a open theism "expert") does, at How do you respond to Matthew 26:36?. As I said earlier, my position is a hybrid of the Protestant open theism and Eastern Orthodox synergy (synergeia) (i.e. The Free Will of Man According to the Holy Orthodox Christian Church) positions.

It reminds me of a joke at http://math-fail.com/2013/06/mathematicians-vs-engineers.html

A mathematician and an engineer agreed to take part in an experiment. They were both placed in a room and at the other end was a beautiful naked woman on a bed. The experimenter said every 30 seconds they would be allowed to travel half the distance between themselves and the woman. The mathematician said “this is pointless” and stormed off”. The engineer agreed to go ahead with the experiment anyway. The mathematician exclaimed on his way out “don’t you see, you’ll never actually reach her?”. To which the engineer replied, “so what? Pretty soon I’ll be close enough for all practical purposes!”.


But you will be (and it's my position, on theological and philosophical positions)
"close enough for all practical purposes".
Then you can describe your position, in a logical and coherent manner. And respond to objections well. Whether your position is right or wrong - accord to God's final revelation.

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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby Paidion » Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:02 am

If Open Theism is true how did Jesus predict Peter would deny him three times?


The "gospels" were written long after Jesus' death. Jesus may have said, "Before the rooster crows, you will deny me." Knowing Peter's character, Jesus reasonably could have made this prediction. But because Peter did, in fact, deny Him three times, the gospel writers may have "remembered" it that way years later.

How many times did the rooster crow before Peter denied Him three times? Mark wrote that it was twice (Mark 14:72) and also wrote that Jesus predicted, "Before the rooster crows twice... etc." (Mark 14:30). The other three writers have Jesus simply saying "Before the rooster crows..."
The same when the rooster actually crowed, according to their accounts. It was just once. Somebody had to have had it wrong!

But as i said before even if God has foreknowledge of the future , it's a passive connection and does not impact our ability to make choices IMO.


It doesn't matter who has the foreknowledge. If a future event is known before it happens, then that event MUST occur. If someone knows that you will eat porridge for breakfast tomorrow morning, then it will come to pass. When tomorrow morning comes, there is no way you can refrain from eating porridge. Therefore you have no free will.

If you COULD refrain from eating porridge tomorrow morning, then it was not true that someone knew that you would eat porridge tomorrow morning.
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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby steve7150 » Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:27 am

If ANYTHING you do was known before you did it, then you did NOT act out of free will. For if it was known before you did it, you could not have done otherwise.











To me the point is whether God or anyone knows what you will do is unimportant, what matters is that the doer had the choice of choosing A,B or C and if he chose C on his own then he had free will according to the general definition. The foreknowledge God may have is a passive knowledge with no impact on the subject.
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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby steve7150 » Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:01 am

How many times did the rooster crow before Peter denied Him three times? Mark wrote that it was twice (Mark 14:72) and also wrote that Jesus predicted, "Before the rooster crows twice... etc." (Mark 14:30). The other three writers have Jesus simply saying "Before the rooster crows..."
The same when the rooster actually crowed, according to their accounts. It was just once. Somebody had to have had it wrong!











But the main point is that i think in all the accounts Peter denied Christ 3 times which Jesus predicted.
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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby steve7150 » Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:11 am

The "gospels" were written long after Jesus' death










BTW i think Mark was written very early because of little details about people that would have been hard to recall decades later.
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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby Origen; » Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:42 am

I'd like to see Paidon & Matt Slick discuss this topic.

While, on the one hand, Matt Slick affirms a belief in freewill, he takes it away with the other hand:

http://www.calvinistcorner.com/error-of ... e-will.htm

In this discussion a Calvinist replies to the following comment saying it is not what Calvinism teaches:

"In Calvinism those not "given to the Son" have no chance of avoiding eternal hell, since that is what God predestined them to & God is fully responsible for. It is His fault & His alone that they spend eternity being punished. These people that the Calvinistic God forces to "go to hell" are just as undeserving of their fate in fatalistic Calvinism as the babies Calvin thought would end up there."

https://www.christianforums.com/threads ... 211/page-9

In this thread Calvinists agree that God did "foreordain (predestinate)" the events of Jer 7:31, 19:5, 32:35:

"Yes...God ordains whatsoever comes to pass, or He would not be God. However, His "ordination" does not mean that God "causes" anyone to sin, that we are all more than capable of doing w/o any help from Him."

"...if God issued such commands and "caused" people to sin, then He would be the undoubted Author of sin/moral evil. Thankfully, we know that He would never do such a thing, rather, those who worship idols (and those who sin against Him in every other way) do so because they have been swept away by their own lusts and have chosen to do so."

"... God ordains whatsoever comes to pass both actively (IOW, He causes things to happen*), and passively (IOW, He allows things to happen). In both cases He is absolutely sovereign.

*(Just to be clear, God never "causes" anyone to sin, but He does "allow" us to do so. If He did not, no one would be able to sin, nor would our wills be free!)"

"...God allows us to sin, but He does not cause us to sin. That's what Calvinism teaches. There is the separate belief of a few that is referred to as "Hyper-Calvinism", but it is neither Calvinism (nor did it spring out of Calvinism), nor is it Biblical or Christian."

"...Did God know what our progenitors were going to do in the Garden? Of course.

"If He stopped them from disobeying Him, and if He continued to do so throughout their lives, what would that mean concerning their free will?"

https://www.christianforums.com/threads ... s.8010429/
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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby Paidion » Thu Jun 15, 2017 12:33 pm

Origen, the concept of "predestination" in the sense that God's actions or power make a thing happen in a human life is a different matter. Though I don't believe that God predestines people or their actions, I don't see the idea as illogical. For God would know future actions just because He intends to make them happen.

What I see as illogical is that, without God causing my future actions, they are nevertheless "set in stone" because they are known before I do them. Therefore I cannot choose in the future to do otherwise.

The idea that my future actions are now established through present knowledge and yet I have the freedom to choose contrary to those established actions, is illogical.
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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby qaz » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:02 pm

Paidion wrote:The "gospels" were written long after Jesus' death


Do you think were written anonymously, or that the actual apostles Matthew and John, and disciples of Peter and Paul -- Mark and Luke -- wrote them?
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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby qaz » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:05 pm

I believe in simple foreknowledge. To me middle knowledge is an utterly incoherent idea. If at a given time T some event did not happen, then an infinite number of other events could have happened instead.
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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby Paidion » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:49 pm

qaz wrote:Do you think were written anonymously, or that the actual apostles Matthew and John, and disciples of Peter and Paul -- Mark and Luke -- wrote them?


I see no reason to doubt that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were the actual authors of the memoirs of Christ (now called "gospels"). But they didn't write them until much later.
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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby Paidion » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:55 pm

qaz wrote:I believe in simple foreknowledge.


I presume you mean that God has simple foreknowledge of all future events. I just can't make any logical sense out of this if we have the ability to choose.

If God (or anyone else) KNOWS (in the absolute sense of "knows") that you will raise your hand at 2 P.M. tomorrow, then you will raise your hand at 2 P.M. tomorrow. It's inevitable. When 2 P.M arrives you CANNOT keep your hand down! If you do succeed in keeping it down, then it would not be the case that God (or anyone else) KNEW that your would raise it.
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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby Paidion » Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:15 pm

Steve wrote:But the main point is that i think in all the accounts Peter denied Christ 3 times which Jesus predicted.


Yes, I believe that the accounts are correct in stating that Peter denied Christ 3 times. However, I think that in remembering that Peter did this, the "gospel" writers THOUGHT they remembered that Christ had said "3 times" in His prediction. But He may not have done so. I think that Jesus, knowing Peter's character, was in a good position to correctly predict that he would deny Him. My theory is that Jesus actually said, "Before the rooster crows, you will deny me." This theory is consistent with my belief that future events cannot be known before they happen.

God Himself sometimes made predictions that did not occur. Here are two:

1. Through Jonah, God prophesied, "“Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” (Jonah 3:4). Nineveh was not overthrown in 40 days.

2. God's words in Jeremiah 3:7 "I thought, ‘After she [Israel] has done all these things she will return to Me’; but she did not return..."
What God thought would happen didn't happen. Some translations have "I said" rather than "I thought" and that seems to be correct. However, that makes no difference. For if God said that Israel would return, then He thought that she would return. God does not lie. The point is that what God thought or said would happen did not happen. If God knows the future, how could He think something was going to happen, if it didn't happen?
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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby Origen; » Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:01 pm

In the link Zombie posted Matt Slick explains his position:

https://carm.org/if-god-knows-our-free- ... -free-will

Slick asks: "If God knows our free will choices, do we still have free will?" His answer is, Yes.

Paidon says this is illogical.

Slick says, no, God can travel through time & see what we choose before we choose it.

Paidon would be in agreement with the Vulcan T'Pol who said "The Vulcan Science Directorate has determined that time travel is impossible."

Slick OTOH would agree with Captain Archer who did some time travelling himself.

http://www.chakoteya.net/Enterprise/26.htm

Is it logical that God always existed in eternity past? I find that idea mind boggling.
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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby Origen; » Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:05 pm

Here is the end of the article by Matt Slick:

"1. This is called Libertarian free will, that a person is equally able to make choices between options independent of pressures or constraints from external or internal causes. Compatibilist free will holds that a person can choose only that which is consistent with his nature. Therefore, for example, a person who is a slave to sin (Rom. 6:14-20) and cannot understand spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14) would not be able to choose God of his own free will because his free will doesn't have the capacity to contradict his nature. There is much debate on these issues and, depending on which side you lean, your interpretation of scripture will be affected."

https://carm.org/if-god-knows-our-free- ... -free-will

In Calvinism since a person cannot choose God, then why does God punish him for rejecting Him? How do Calvinists answer that?

Can the Calvinist God justly punish those who reject Christ if they could not do otherwise?

Or is there something about their "free will" choices that make them worthy of being damned?

In Calvinism what do these "freewill" choices allow a person to do? Choose between good & evil, but not God? Choose chocolate instead of vanilla?
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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby Holy-Fool-P-Zombie » Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:27 am

Here's where I shared a personal, expanded perspective at http://www.evangelicaluniversalist.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=7265#p108818

Here's also an article at Dialogue on Free Will & Determinism. It's essentially a dialogue, between an Eastern Orthodox priest and some Calvinists - regarding free will and determinism. Very interesting. :!:

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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby steve7150 » Fri Jun 16, 2017 6:37 am

1. This is called Libertarian free will, that a person is equally able to make choices between options independent of pressures or constraints from external or internal causes. Compatibilist free will holds that a person can choose only that which is consistent with his nature. Therefore, for example, a person who is a slave to sin (Rom. 6:14-20) and cannot understand spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14) would not be able to choose God of his own free will because his free will doesn't have the capacity to contradict his nature. There is much debate on these issues and, depending on which side you lean, your interpretation of scripture will be affected."






Seems to me we tend to gravitate toward extremes so that Libertarian free will is a fantasy as we being human and not robots are influenced by many things yet although we tend to do things consistent with our natures we are not incapable of changing with enough motivation. Also the scriptures quoted while true i think have a bit of hyperbole in them to emphasize their points as Jesus used hyperbole too and Paul could have, it was and is a typical Middle Eastern method of speaking.
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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby Holy-Fool-P-Zombie » Fri Jun 16, 2017 6:45 am

steve7150 wrote:1. This is called Libertarian free will, that a person is equally able to make choices between options independent of pressures or constraints from external or internal causes. Compatibilist free will holds that a person can choose only that which is consistent with his nature. Therefore, for example, a person who is a slave to sin (Rom. 6:14-20) and cannot understand spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14) would not be able to choose God of his own free will because his free will doesn't have the capacity to contradict his nature. There is much debate on these issues and, depending on which side you lean, your interpretation of scripture will be affected."



Seems to me we tend to gravitate toward extremes so that Libertarian free will is a fantasy as we being human and not robots are influenced by many things yet although we tend to do things consistent with our natures we are not incapable of changing with enough motivation. Also the scriptures quoted while true i think have a bit of hyperbole in them to emphasize their points as Jesus used hyperbole too and Paul could have, it was and is a typical Middle Eastern method of speaking.


Since this is a Calvinist thread, we should include a definition and critical response, from the Calvinists. Or since Steve is quoting Matt Slick - a Calvinist...Then see what other Calvinists (AKA Got Questions) - are saying. : :D


And how does Matt define it - and respond?


Please note: I have to read Matt's original context, on Libertarian free will. But in the article just cited, he has a section entitled Objections to Libertarian Free Will.

Acutally, what was cited by Oregin, was a footnote of Matt - attributed to Open Theism. And he is right, as the article from the Internet Encyclopedia of philosophy on Open Theism mentions at http://www.iep.utm.edu/o-theism/

Open Theists affirm a libertarian view of freedom.


Well, I would hold both a “compatibilist” and a "libertarian" view, in conjunction with Open Theism.

And I further balance open theism and synergy, against the premise - that thoughts and feelings can influence reality. A position that folks like Mary Baker Eddy, Joel Goldsmith and Emmet Fox, have demonstrated in their lives. Or as health and prosperity Gospel evangelists - like Joel Osteen - elaborate on. I just don't buy into their explanations.

But something is constricting it. Let's look at a vision, by contemporary, Old Catholic Church mystic Tiffany Snow. See The Third Secret ‘The Secret’ Didn’t Tell You. It says this:
I had only asked a simple question, “What is the role of the Guardian Angel? And as always, the answer gave me much more than I had anticipated. I was told this: we were all created as co-creators; not just about having children, but all of us were created in God’s image with the ability to physically manifest our intentions into being. But, through the free will choices of original mankind and other factors, our intentions aren’t always the best. For example, we may be driving down the street and a flicker of thought may go through our mind that an opposing car would swerve and hit us. So, in that instant, that is exactly what would occur. The Guardian Angel says, “No! That’s not a good one!” and stops it from happening. It may happen by another way, but it will not be from that flicker of unconscious intention that just went through our mind.


Now we have a constriction. Mind you, it's a hypothesis. But a guardian angel, looking after our best interest, brings in a compatibilist view. Which might explain why things don't work all the time, like the health and prosperity gospel preachers envision. Or folks like Mary Baker Eddy, Joel Goldsmith and Emmet Fox envision.

In case you think, I'm the only one - with these weird ideas. See:


There, instead of a guardian angel, the author looks at the devil - as the constricting factor. Hum :!: Perhaps both the devil and the guardian angel - are constricting factors :?:

This is all so confusing :!: :?

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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby Paidion » Fri Jun 16, 2017 4:56 pm

Randy wrote:Slick says, no, God can travel through time & see what we choose before we choose it.


Time travel is just as illogical as knowing in advance what a free-will agent will choose. Suppose I travel back in time 70 years. Will I meet my 9-year-old self? And which will be the real me? He or I?

The idea that God exists outside of time is unintelligible. If He exists outside of time, how could He do anything within time? Also "time" is not some sort of substance in which we all live, while God lives outside it. Time is the measure of the temporal "distance" between events.
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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby Origen; » Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:17 am

Paidion wrote:
Randy wrote:Slick says, no, God can travel through time & see what we choose before we choose it.


Time travel is just as illogical as knowing in advance what a free-will agent will choose. Suppose I travel back in time 70 years. Will I meet my 9-year-old self? And which will be the real me? He or I?

The idea that God exists outside of time is unintelligible. If He exists outside of time, how could He do anything within time? Also "time" is not some sort of substance in which we all live, while God lives outside it. Time is the measure of the temporal "distance" between events.


I assume that time was created when the universe was created.

God existed before both.

Therefore God existed apart from time or outside of time.

In fact we might say He existed for eternity and into eternity past before He created time.

So, after He created the universe & time, why couldn't He exist both in time and outside of time?

Scripture tells us He is omnipresent. Does this mean only in the universe?

Is the universe endless? If not, then why couldn't God also live beyond the universe as He did before time.

"How great is God--beyond our understanding! The number of his years is past finding out." (Job 36:26)

"“Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways! For who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to give him advice? And who has given him so much that he needs to pay it back? For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen.” Romans 11:33-36
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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby steve7150 » Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:06 am

I assume that time was created when the universe was created.

God existed before both.

Therefore God existed apart from time or outside of time.








This is the question,was time created and if so then why would it exist only inside the universe? But the primary question is whether time is a created thing or just a theoretical mathematical measurement of some kind that has always existed.
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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby Holy-Fool-P-Zombie » Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:28 am

steve7150 wrote:This is the question,was time created and if so then why would it exist only inside the universe? But the primary question is whether time is a created thing or just a theoretical mathematical measurement of some kind that has always existed.


"If ants are such busy workers, how come they find time to go to all the picnics?"-- Marie Dressler


Time is discussed on Quora, which is where I follow threads like Linux, Quantum Mechanics and comics. You know, it's all nerd and geek stuff. I won't convert these to Google shortened URL. But I will list the Quora discussions:


I don't have time, to go through all these time discussions now. Did I just tell a joke :?: Anyway, sometimes you get an answer, by a noteworthy scientist, physicist or mathematician. If you find an answer you like, please share the link and author.

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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby Paidion » Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:04 pm

Origen wrote:I assume that time was created when the universe was created.
God existed before both.


I don't think the sentence, "God existed BEFORE time" is intelligIble. How can anything or anyone exist BEFORE time? For if there is a beginning of time, then THERE IS NO "BEFORE"!

Here is the way, I see it. God's first act (the begetting of His Son) marked the beginning of time. The first time span was the temporal "distance" between the begetting of the Son and the creation of the Universe (which God did through His Son). There was no necessity for "time" to be created (as if it were some king of substance). All that had to happen was for the two first events to take place and ipso facto! Time then existed!

Arius wrote that the Son had a beginning, and that therefore there must have been a time at which the Son did not exist. I don't think that follows.
I agree that the Son had a beginning (when the Father begat Him), but there was never a TIME at which He did not exist, since His very begetting marked the beginning of time. There was NO time before that, because there was no "before."

That there was no "before" is a difficult concept to fathom. Surely God existed before the beginning of time; how else could He have begotten His Son? As a mere human being who was begotten 80 years ago, I cannot conceive of an answer to that question. But in my opinion, a far greater difficulty is posed, if it is assumed that there is an infinite regression of time into the past. For in that case what was God doing during that infinite period of time before the begetting of the Son and the creation of the Universe? Was He just existing and doing nothing?
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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby Holy-Fool-P-Zombie » Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:26 am

Let's return to this:


Two distinct viewpoints on time divide many prominent philosophers. One view is that time is part of the fundamental structure of the universe, a dimension in which events occur in sequence. Sir Isaac Newton subscribed to this realist view, and hence it is sometimes referred to as Newtonian time.[16] An opposing view is that time does not refer to any kind of actually existing dimension that events and objects "move through", nor to any entity that "flows", but that it is instead an intellectual concept (together with space and number) that enables humans to sequence and compare events.[64] This second view, in the tradition of Gottfried Leibniz[17] and Immanuel Kant,[18][19] holds that space and time "do not exist in and of themselves, but ... are the product of the way we represent things", because we can know objects only as they appear to us.


Steve eluded to this, when he said:
But the primary question is whether time is a created thing or just a theoretical mathematical measurement of some kind that has always existed.


But I think we can all agree with this - from the Wiki article: :lol:

Time in physics is unambiguously operationally defined as "what a clock reads".


What does Dr. Who say :?: :lol:

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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby steve7150 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:55 am

Steve eluded to this, when he said:
But the primary question is whether time is a created thing or just a theoretical mathematical measurement of some kind that has always existed.










I'm starting to lean toward time not being created but just a method of using math to describe how many units exist between event A and event B. The God of the bible does not come across as a Buddha type god who just sits and contemplates but as a God who creates and does things so i think as long as God has existed, most likely time has existed.
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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby Origen; » Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:36 pm

Paidion wrote:
Origen wrote:I assume that time was created when the universe was created.
God existed before both.


I don't think the sentence, "God existed BEFORE time" is intelligIble. How can anything or anyone exist BEFORE time? For if there is a beginning of time, then THERE IS NO "BEFORE"!

Here is the way, I see it. God's first act (the begetting of His Son) marked the beginning of time. The first time span was the temporal "distance" between the begetting of the Son and the creation of the Universe (which God did through His Son). There was no necessity for "time" to be created (as if it were some king of substance). All that had to happen was for the two first events to take place and ipso facto! Time then existed!

Arius wrote that the Son had a beginning, and that therefore there must have been a time at which the Son did not exist. I don't think that follows.
I agree that the Son had a beginning (when the Father begat Him), but there was never a TIME at which He did not exist, since His very begetting marked the beginning of time. There was NO time before that, because there was no "before."

That there was no "before" is a difficult concept to fathom. Surely God existed before the beginning of time; how else could He have begotten His Son? As a mere human being who was begotten 80 years ago, I cannot conceive of an answer to that question. But in my opinion, a far greater difficulty is posed, if it is assumed that there is an infinite regression of time into the past. For in that case what was God doing during that infinite period of time before the begetting of the Son and the creation of the Universe? Was He just existing and doing nothing?


" All that had to happen was for the two first events to take place and ipso facto! Time then existed!"

This was what i had in mind re a theory of the creation of the universe & time, i.e. all that had to happen was the universe to be created & ipso facto, time then existed. Your theory which involves the Son being begotten just takes it back one step. If i understood you.

"That there was no "before" is a difficult concept to fathom."

This recalls scripture passages that speak of "before times eonian" (aionion, 2Tim.1:9 & Titus 1:2). It seems that Scripture may be implying there is a "before". Before times eternal would make no sense, at least in regards to past time. Evidently these "times eonian" had a beginning, otherwise one would not speak of what was before them. But what was before the "times eonian"? Time, but not "eonian times"? Timeless past eternity? How could time go back endlessly into eternity & have no beginning? What are these "times aionios" & do they have an end? If they do, then how could aionios punishment (Mt.25:46) be endless? The Early Church Father, Origen, spoke of when there would no longer be an aion, an end of all aions, when God would be "All in all" (1 Cor.15:28).
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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby Paidion » Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:01 pm

προ χρονων αἰωνιον (or in Latin characters) "pro chronōn aiōnion"

First let's be clear that αἰωνιος (aiōnios) does not mean "eternal" but rather "lasting"

"Lasting times" may refer to the ages that followed creation, and so there could indeed be events prior to those ages. Indeed, the English Standard Version actually translates the passages in a way that brings this thought out:

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began... (2 Timothy 1:8,9 ESV)

Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began (Titus 1:1,2 ESV)

The ages had a beginning. However, this does not imply that there wasn't time before the beginning of the ages. I suggest that the beginning of time did not coincide with the beginning of the ages.
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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby davo » Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:34 pm

Origen; wrote:If they do, then how could aionios punishment (Mt.25:46) be endless?

Well it wasn’t… such punishment was relative of or to the age in tow i.e., the end of their old covenant age (world).
“...the power and mercy of God’s grace is NOT limited to man’s ability to comprehend it...”
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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby Holy-Fool-P-Zombie » Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:13 am

Today, I introduce a couple of articles - that bridge Calvinism and Universalism:


Image
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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby DaveB » Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:39 am

Interesting articles. Thanks HFPZ.
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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby maintenanceman » Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:34 pm

Holy-Fool-P-Zombie wrote:Today, I introduce a couple of articles - that bridge Calvinism and Universalism:


Image


John Calvin's Institutes are quite a read. But John also was a good lawyer and took /stole from many before him.

I would also say that Calvin's views and those who say they are Calvinist's are not necessarily the same. :shock:

It really all comes back to the understanding of 'Salvation.' The evangelical use of the word salvation verses the idea of redemption, and atonement. Much of the bible is talking about a redeemer! Christ the redeemer of Israel vs the evangelical idea of Jesus as a personal savior to the masses who choose to believe the story. The problem is that the story gets confusing.

We have been fed many years of fodder. Maybe we can figure this out with open minds and open hearts. :D
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Re: Calvinism & free will

Postby steve7150 » Wed Jun 21, 2017 3:58 am

Today, I introduce a couple of articles - that bridge Calvinism and Universalism:

Calvinism leads to universalism…
Meet a Calvinist who is also a Universalist









I have actually thought this for some time, which is that God reveals that it's his will that everyone s/b saved and in Calvinism , God's will is always accomplished.
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