The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Blog: "why calvinism is more heretical than universalism"

Well-put, Sarah! Although for some of us, we can let our particular interpretation of Scripture become our god–I know I have sometimes. :blush:

You are not alone there Neal.

This notion of “elect” -so easy to misunderstand. Israel was “elect”, but they got caught up in their being “the chosen people”. Chosen for WHAT? To bring the story of a righteous creator to all mankind. Chosen to serve, elect unto service!

Now the Christian elect make the same mistake! “I’m chosen of God! Jesus is my friend…unlike you SINNERS”

We completely misunderstand the purpose of our election, like corrupt officials who fill their own coffers and disregard their duty to the people. These are those God “elected” us to help, to save, to serve.

Given the ding-dong going on in the Biblical Theology section of this forum (John Piper and the dark underbelly of Reformed theology, not sure how to link to it), started, mea culpa, by yours truly, on the illogicality, unscripturality (did I just make that word up?) and all-round facility of Calvinism - in particular the Calvinist doctrine of predestination - to cause otherwise sober, polite and well-behaved non-Calvinist Christians, including, mea culpa, yours truly, to go absolutely postal, both on this forum and in life generally, I have been browsing some ‘back issues’ here to try and find out what the Calvinists actually have to say for themselves. (For, thus far at least, no Calvinists seem to have been willing to engage with me and their opponents on the aforementioned thread.)

Now I haven’t looked all that far, I admit. But I have come across this thread. And it will be no surprise to anyone that it got my illogicality antennae twitching.

Now I’m pretty new to this forum, so I don’t know what the etiquette is with regard to resurrecting old threads. But it seems to me that here is an exemplar instance of the very thing I - and others - have been arguing against in the other thread - ie the inherent contradictions at the heart of Calvinism. I really hope people will not think it uncharitable of me to single out oxymoron’s posts on this thread for the purpose of questioning Calvinist doctrine. Indeed, I hope oxymoron will log in to the forum some time soon, read this, and come out of his or her corner fighting. That, I trust, is the whole purpose of this forum.

So, with that caveat in mind, oxymoron (or any other Calvinist), I ask you:

Why? The elect are *guaranteed *to be saved no matter what you, or any other individual, should do by way of evangelism. So why make the effort?

But you *do *know you, at least, are one of them, right?

Hang on, I thought you just said you gave the gospel to “those whom the Lord opens their eyes and ears”. Are these two groups congruent? And if you don’t know whose eyes and ears have been opened, or who is elect, does that mean you share the gospel with *every single *person you meet, just in case? Not that it would matter if you did, of course, as the elect would hear some other way, and the reprobate won’t listen anyway.

Run that by me again? The gospel is *for *everyone, but only the elect will believe? So in what sense is it *for *everyone? Like, I bought ice creams *for *every kid at the party, but only the ones I choose to give them to will actually get to eat one?

It doesn’t. And it isn’t in scripture. And where in scripture does it say you’re not allowed to question scripture?

Have you considered that the part of you that wants universalism to be true is actually a true, God-given part of you, that it is the Holy Spirit speaking in your heart? Emotions are God given. Emotional isn’t bad, it’s human. And universalism is actually pretty jolly scriptural, if you look at it with an open mind.

Why do you bother trying to share the gospel with your cousin? If he is elect, he doesn’t need you to share, and if he’s reprobate, your sharing is futile.

Sheesh, you sound pretty sure about that! How do you know? How can you be 100% sure you are elect?

Oh, so you’re not sure. Maybe you lose your assurance because you really *aren’t *elect. Maybe you’re reprobate after all. In which case, God help you. (Or not, because he won’t.)

Oxymoron, that it *such *a sad thing for any man to admit. That he is tortured by the thought that he might not be saved, that he might be damned for all eternity. How, I ask you, in all sincerity and love, can you believe in a god who allows you to experience torture over something so fundamental to faith? That’s not the God of the Bible. That’s not the God who “is love” as represented in Jesus.

When asked what was the most profound truth he had learned about God, the great German theologian Karl Barth responded: “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so”. Barth was right. Jesus loves you, and *because *he loves you, he will *never *let you go, never lose you. You cannot lose your salvation, because none of us can.

I urge you to think again, because you are torturing yourself needlessly.

Blessings to you, sir,



Necroing threads is typically considered bad etiquette, especially when a poster left (I do not think Oxy is here anymore).

My main issue with this thread, though, is not Calvinism, but this: “Goodness of God is whatever God wants it to be. So if God saves NONE God will still be good.”

This is is actually Euthyphro dilemma, which consists of:

“Is what is morally good commanded by God because it is morally good, or is it morally good because it is commanded by God?”

Generally, my view on this dilemma is pretty one-sided. God is moral, and morality is an outside attribute. Any other definition makes the words “good”, “bad”, “moral” useless, because they essentially mean nothing. When you say “Good is good because God says so” what you are really saying is “God is God and does what he does”. There’s no meaning in it. We can go ahead and say God is an arbitrary deity, with arbitrary morals, and we have no particular reason to consider him anything. Why should I attach a separate term to a being when that term arises from the being? Surely a lion is courageous because we can define courage separately from the lion? But if lion is the definition of courage, why would that term even exist? Wouldn’t we just say that lion is lion, and lion has lion-like attributes?

Problem is, the Bible is never arbitrary with any of its terms. It’s definitions of good, evil, love, sin, righteousness, justice, are fairly logical. Sometimes they get convoluted. Sometimes people will not agree. But there’s nothing so ethereal about it that we cannot separate the good as an attribute and then test to see whether it applies to any given God or not. One can argue that man is given an ability to discern good, and that ability is from God, and that only God has the full understanding of good. But that already requires for good to be an attribute.

I personally don’t have a problem with the resurrection of old threads, and I don’t think any of the other admins do either. Oxy comes around now and then, so maybe he’ll show up to reply to the new posts here.


Thanks for clarifying that Sonia.

the problem with your analogy is this:

the 100 people in the room are penniless and in debt. some have gambled unwisely, and the debt is their fault. some are in debt because their parents were in debt. they owe that debt to the rich guy. (that the guy may have set up the whole debt situation in the first place is probably not necessary to get into, but it’s also important to remember.)

then the rich guy walks into that room and decides, for his own glorification, to only forgive the debts of 10 of those people. He has the ability and means to pay all the debts, but He doesn’t. He chooses 10 people and then inflicts the worst of his authority on the other 90 for not paying the debt they never had the means to pay.

oxymoron, i really appreciate your input here, and it’s good to see that your corner has a defender to argue in its defense in you.

annoyingly though i can’t seem to access the blog!

if i’m honest though, i am with AllanS with his analogy of Moloch.

also, we do have some ability to perceive good and evil in this world.

11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for[f] a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Luke 11:11-13

i know what a good gift looks like, and i know what entrapment and arbitrary favour looks like, even though i am evil, and stupid and blind due to my fallen nature.

i think lecturing people on netiquette should be frowned on more that resurrecting old relevant threads

though i guess that explains why the blog isn’t available anymore lol :laughing:

I think BirdE was just trying to protect Oxy from being called out on something if he had been banned and couldn’t respond. (He hasn’t been banned, though. Yet. :wink: )

With Sonia, I see no problem with this thread being revived. But keep in mind that Oxy only shows up on occasion, and I don’t know if he registered for thread-post alerts, so he may or may not reply. Readers shouldn’t hold any lack of reply against him.

yeah, i’m sure we’ll see him again. he must be busy, but it’s cool he pops in for the odd chat

One line of informing someone of a certain internet standard is a lecture now? It’s not like he didn’t ask.

Right. Interesting that ‘necroing’ seven week old threads is okay (eg this one Trying to understand non-Trinitarians. (Present your cases?)), even when the poster left. I guess there’s a secret cut-off point at which necroing *becomes *bad etiquette?

corpselight was just sticking up for a fellow Brit, I guess. Thanks corpselight. :slight_smile: (I thought your counter-analogy on the illogicality of oxymoron’s analogy was brilliant, by the way.)

And Bird, my name is Johnny. You’re more than welcome to use it.



I see what you are doing here. I do not appreciate it. Please do not tell me “Shalom” when your attitude is clearly hostile. That’s just rude.

I did not attack the poster in the thread I necroed, while Johny is responding to Oxy in a negative manner. I did not check the date on that thread, while Johny (the other Johny), has ASKED if necroing was bad. I answered him. I’m not sure what on earth is your problem with that.

But it does not appear that any of you care, seems like you are both more concerned with winning some stupid argument about who called out what first? Is this some kind of a joke?

I’m sorry you viewed my post as hostile, Bird. I was merely sticking up for myself - politely enough in my typically British humorous way I thought - and particularly for the person who had kindly stuck up for me, who you had responded to a trifle peevishly, I thought.

But I’m sorry if I have offended you.

you were the one that took the superior attitude to begin with, Bird.
nuff said, move on.

Johnny did ask if it was bad etiquette. BirdE answered, in context of what I took to be a protection of Oxy since she thought he wasn’t around anymore to reply (i.e. reviving old threads to challenge something someone has written when they aren’t around anymore). But she didn’t go on to mention that she thought it was okay otherwise.

Maybe she thought that her several paragraphs of agreement in criticising a point Oxy took was sufficient evidence that she thought it was okay this time. But because she only explicitly included the “bad etiquette” side of her reply, I can see why CL (and Johnny, sort of) thought she was rebuking Johnny in a “superior” fashion.

BirdE, Johnny asked a question that he thought would be properly answered by a mod or admin. I think that’s why they were miffed when you answered first in a fashion that on the face of it only seemed like a rebuke to Johnny reviving the thread.

Sonia and I are both okay with this thread being revived (and neither of us think the other admins will be against it), so long as people remember that Oxy may not be around to answer, so we should avoid directly challenging him on points or else keep in mind that if he doesn’t answer that doesn’t mean our challenges have defeated him. So we’re in favor of both Johnny and CL (and BirdE for that matter) critiquing principles previously expressed in the thread; and we’re also in favor of chivalrously protecting Oxy, too (assuming that was BirdE’s intention). :slight_smile:

Oxy is one of our more… um… (politely putting it :wink: ) popularistic exponents of a variety of Calvinism, Johnny. He does (inadvertently) serve as a good example of some attitudes and ideas worth commenting on, but we have at least three apologists for Calv/Reformed theology (they would prefer Reformed of course, seeing Arminianism as not sufficiently reformed enough) who are more literate and somewhat more cogent than Oxy is.

I recommend looking for threads and comments by these members (although there are things in this thread and in other ‘oxymoron’ threads and comments worth remarking on, too): “Luke”, a friend of Alex Smiths and a former bishop of the Anglican church (who resigned to be a more presbyterian minister if I recall correctly–I think he started membership here as a bishop and resigned in the latter half of last year). “DualCitizen”, the forum name of Paul Manata, a friend of mine and Calvinist Christian apologist (whom I want to get back debating soon). And “Theopologetics”, the forum name of Chris Date, a new friend of mine and Calvinist Christian apologist who runs a small webradio program (also someone I’m trying to get back to debating soon).

Luke can be touchy, but Paul and Chris are very friendly and fair to their opponents, and all three are more sophisticated and nuanced than Oxy. (Glenn Peoples, registered as “glennpeoples”, participated in a debate with Tom Talbott on the forum for a while, too. Chris and Glenn know each other, and Chris recently switched from ECT to annihilationism thanks partly to Glenn who is also a Calv annihilationist–quite rare!)

i’ve not really seen that Luke provided very sophisticated arguments, i’m sorry to say! i felt he’d drastically missed the point and stated some very weak arguments…some of Oxy’s points by contrast i thought were at least decent questions, though i confess to getting exasperated once with him :blush:
roofus asks the odd question, but it seems he WANTS UR to be true at least, but doesn’t want to accept it just to make himself feel better, which i can respect!


As ever, you pour oil expertly and deftly on troubled waters. Guess that’s why you’re an admin and I’m just a curmudgeonly old grump of a forum member. :smiley:

Seriously, thanks for the ‘heads up’ on oxymoron and the other members of the forum who are Calvinists / support the Calvinist viewpoint. Shocked as some people may be to hear this, but I am *seriously *interested in debating a good, honest Calvinist about what they believe and why. And I say honest, because I don’t think a lot of Calvinists *are *honest about what they ‘believe’, mainly because - IMHO - it isn’t possible to simultaneously hold all the tenets of Calvinism in one’s mind without one’s rationality radar short-circuiting. To avoid this, most Calvinists either a) become irrational; b) stick their fingers in their ears and go na-na-na I’m not listening; c) repeat their erroneous and one-eyed ‘sola scriptura’ mantra ad nauseam; or d) and this is the one that really upsets me, claim they are simply acting for the ‘glory of god’.

Personally I would put Mark Driscoll into Categories A, C and D. Not quite a full-house, as he is, at least on occasion, honest enough to admit the horrible truth of what he believes (ie ECT). Of which more soon.

Perhaps I should try and contextualise things, for anybody who thinks I’m just a one-trick pony whose sole purpose in life is to trash Calvin and Calvinists. Well, that isn’t true, but there is a tad of truth in it. I have had some very dark days (months and years) in my Christian life, times of steering far closer to complete apostasy than I wish to contemplate now. And it was anxiety that the Bible actually taught Calvinism (even though I was an Arminian Christian) that nearly pushed me over the edge. For if the only credible god on offer was one who condemned countless millions of his creatures to ECT, I couldn’t believe in him, and hence couldn’t believe at all. And that is a place I never want to go again. I will do everything in my power to help stop other people going there too, *especially *those brought up in the Calvinist tradition, who have a life-time of predestinatory ECT brainwashing to slough off before they can liberate the Universalist butterfly that God has placed into their hearts.

Sorry, an egregious mixing of metaphors there. But if ever I sound angry about Calvinism, I am. But I am always *trying *to *try *to do my best to love and fellowship with Calvinists - and that includes oxymoron. Oh hell, *and *Mark Driscoll.