That is so true Dave. The bigger problem IMO is this… Calvinists invariably assume THEY know what ‘God’s Sovereignty’ looks and how it operates, i.e., they assume they have a mortgage on this truth — ah the arrogance.
Some Calvinists are TOO intellectual and academic…and they might hold opinions, that shake the very foundation of Calvinism. Like take this chap, I shared on another forum thread here.
Well, I came across this interesting article on Calvinism:
Let me first quote a joke he shared:
If you have been around many seminarians you have probably heard some version of this joke: “Did you hear about the Calvinist who fell down three flights of stairs? He picked himself up and said ‘man, I am glad that is over!’”
But I’m REALLY concerned about this guy! Especially when he says things like this:
In the interest of full disclosure I am not a Calvinist of either the 4- or 5-point variety (the contested point being “limited atonement,” did Jesus die on the cross only for the elect or potentially for everyone?). I have always felt that the difference between a 4-pointer and a 5-pointer is a distinction without a difference, because you are still left with a humanity divided between those who must believe in Jesus (the elect) and those can’t believe in Jesus (the non-elect).
Again, in the interest of full disclosure, I am a 3 ¼ point Calvinist if you evaluate my theology utilizing the template of 5 point Calvinism. I believe in about ¾ of T (Total Depravity), ¾ of U (Unconditional Election), and ¾ of I (Irresistible Grace), none of L (Limited Atonement) and all of P (Perseverance of the Saints). See my “Another View of the Biblical Doctrine of Election,” Christian Post , Jan. 14, 2014 for a brief summary of my 3 ¼ point model.
This guy should know better. Here is his background.
Dr. Richard Land is president of Southern Evangelical Seminary and executive editor of The Christian Post.
I don’t see why one couldn’t believe in LFW & also in God foreknowing the fall of man into sin. God is Sovereign, including Sovereignty over both man’s will & man’s LFW, so why couldn’t He foreknow the fall because He knew that He could arrange it so that it must occur & intended to make it so? That is the position i am presently holding, at least tentatively while i continue to look into Open Theism.
I can’t speak for others who believe in LFW as to their views on evil or why they object to determinism. Personally i don’t see LFW getting God 100% off the hook for responsibility for evil in the world. Though it does, perhaps, slightly lessen His responsibility for those LFW choices which would otherwise be determined by God. My main issue with determinism is related to problems associated with universalism, e.g. the previously mentioned remark in the book “The Evangelical Universalist” by Robin Parry.
Sorry i’m not able to follow the argument here. Maybe because it’s late in my day. What is the relation between hurricanes & man’s will (whether a LFW or one determined by God)? How is it they have anything to do with one another?
Sometimes I have trouble, seeing where people are coming from here. I mean, one non-free-will person… went on for 25 pages or so… in a forum thread here. When they were really just trying to explain, the theology of A.E. Knoch.
Heck, I’m very “radical” myself. Like when I talk about my theory…that the ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE…is the most probable, end-times tribulation scenario.
Or I’m talking about my “radical” methods, of contemplation and meditation. Where I gain much inspiration, from the Roman Catholic priest Richard Rohr at Meditation…the rich contemplation heritages, of the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox world…or those of my Buddhist, yoga and North and South Native American - friends and traveling companions.
And some groups might have “tools” of contemplation and meditation, that seem “radical” to outsiders. If I hang around the Rastafarians of Jamaica, the Zombies of Haiti, or Native Americans of North and South America…well, they might have plant medicines… they use in contemplation and ceremony…and my typical CIA answer, is that I can neither confirm nor deny…whether I have taken part, in any such medicine or methods of contemplation.
But if I did, I would take what I learned…and incorporate the experience, into my traditional conservative… Christian faith and Christian creed understanding.
Let me quote a bit, from today’s Richard Rohr’s newsletter:
Our scientifically oriented knowledge seeks to master reality, explain it, and bring it under the control of reason, but a delight in unknowing has also been part of the human experience. Even today, poets, philosophers, mathematicians, and scientists find that the contemplation of the insoluble is a source of joy, astonishment, and contentment.
One of the peculiar characteristics of the human mind is its ability to have ideas and experiences that exceed our conceptual grasp. We constantly push our thoughts to an extreme, so that our minds seem to elide naturally into an apprehension of transcendence. . . . Language has borders that we cannot cross. When we listen critically to our stuttering attempts to express ourselves, we become aware of an inexpressible otherness. “It is decisively the fact that language does have frontiers,” explains the British critic George Steiner, “that gives proof of a transcendent presence in the fabric of the world. It is just because we can go no further, because speech so marvellously fails us, that we experience the certitude of a divine meaning surpassing and enfolding ours.” 
Yes and THAT’S the bizarreness of Calvinism that pushes God can’t be Sovereign IF He isn’t the originator and micro-manager of absolutely EVERY action/thought/behaviour/event etc… ad nauseam — like which coffee scroll “I chose” from the bakery.
As I’ve said before… all these things were (past tense) germane to Israel’s redemption and the outworking of that — not what colour undies I happened to have grabbed from the draws this morning.
Yea i understand. I was just saying that the verses about “slain before the foundation” wouldve definitely been a problematic verse for open theism to explain since it states God does not have foreknowledge.
As far as natural evil goes is what Im saying is theres no reason, such as God respecting lfw, for Him to allow a natural evil to occur. And thus, in the face of natural evil, God would not be vindicated by such an ideology as lfw because it is an action without a moral agent. SOOOO therefor, The only way to vindicate God from epicurus’ criticism in the context of natural evil the only way I see it is that God purposes natural evils to occur to bring about a greater good. AND if this be true, then why can this not apply to man being made a vessel of dishonor to commit evils?
I just dont see how certain verses apply to lfw in the large scheme of things. We would like all to mean all when it talks about the salvation of all but all not to mean all when it says “God counsels all things according to His will”. Its quite the same as hell thumpers who say “all was condemned by adam” but “all” doesnt mean all when it talks of the reconciliation of all things. When hyperbole must be taken then fair play. But I dont see how or why there would be a hyperbole made for “God counsels all things according to His will”. Or how clay can be anything apart from the potter hands. Molding it, marring it, shaping it,etc. Apart from a potters hands clay is just a lump of clay sitting there.
And even IF clay can be apart from the potters hand it cant be anything but falling clay…
I just see choosing faith, being righteous of your own accord, being saved because you make “choices” as a form of pride.
My experience has been the opposite - not pride, but ultimately thankfulness and humility. Pride has no place in it, because we are asking forgiveness; we have been helped to see what we really are made of, and to understand that the Father is still welcoming, arms wide, with forgiveness and more, just erases pride.
I meant in the context of “choosing to be saved” and having righteousness apart from God giving you the fruit to produce it with.
I see. I’m a bit anxious to separate ‘having righteousness’ apart from God, from ‘choosing to be saved’. I’ll leave it at that.
Have you changed your avatar?
Ah no lol. I have to accounts. One for my phone for when I’m away from my computer.
Also I don’t mean it as though it’s a conscience bragging or boasting. But as more of a subconcious form of pride. from my point of view at least. I see faith, and the fruits that are produced there of, directly given from God. Nothing in which i naturally produce from a choice.
Most people see the gift as like God laying it on the table and you “taking it”. But i see it more as a direct action. As in God gives it to you and you automatically recieve it by proxy.
AFAIK Open Theism does not necessarily say “God does not have foreknowledge”. It seems that Open Theists have varying views re foreknowledge:
"In Open Theism, the future is either knowable or not knowable. For the open theists who hold that the future is knowable by God, they maintain that God voluntarily limits His knowledge of free will choices so that they can remain truly free. 2 Other open theists maintain that the future, being nonexistent, is not knowable, even by God.3 Gregory Boyd, a well-known advocate of Open Theism says,
"Much of it [the future], open theists will concede, is settled ahead of time, either by God’s predestining will or by existing earthly causes, but it is not exhaustively settled ahead of time. To whatever degree the future is yet open to be decided by free agents, it is unsettled."4
“Open Theism, also called openness and the open view, is a theological position dealing with human free will and its relationship to God and the nature of the future. It is the teaching that God has granted to humanity free will and that in order for the free will to be truly free, the future free will choices of individuals cannot be known ahead of time by God. They hold that if God knows what we are going to choose, then how can we be truly free when it is time to make those choices --since a counter choice cannot then be made by us, because it is already “known” what we are going to do.1 In other words, we would not actually be able to make a contrary choice to what God “knows” we will choose thus implying that we would not then be free.”
This seems to be digging a deeper hole. It would be one thing to say “God is all knowing because He knows all that can be known as it unfolds” but if He COULD know more but “limits His knowledge” then He wouldn’t be all knowing of all there is to potentially know.
On a side note I emailed carm a week or so ago and asked them simple questions to poke holes in their “some people are eternally damned forever” boat
Doubt ill get a reply.
Why couldn’t a LFW advocate make the same argument.
If they can why can that not apply to God purposing some men to commit evil for the same purpose of creating a greater good? Such as Him creating the vessel of dishonor.
Again, at least the way i see it, lfw is trying to vindicate God of evil. But if they can say God can and does purpose evil to create a greater good , as is my explaination to epicurus’ delimma of evil, then they’ve already defeatwd they premise to vindicate God of evil.