A Calvinist Isn’t Determined to Discuss Divine Determination

In a FB forum, a Calvinist posited:

[A] common misconception from [everyone in this group] is that a Calvinist won’t allow their children to sing “Jesus Loves Me” because, after all – He may not. That a person who holds to the doctrines of grace shares the gospel with their children like this, “Well, you may or may not be elect so, [it may be best to wait and see whether you’re one of God’s chosen unto salvation].” We teach our children the gospel according to Scripture. The gospel is that sinners can be reconciled to God through faith in Jesus Christ. It’s a great relief and comfort that [we Calvinists parents] can’t do anything to mess up [our children’s] salvation. We teach them, pray for them and trust God with their souls. After all, [God] is far more merciful than we could ever be.

After some back and forth amongst Calvinists and non-Calvinists within the group, my conversation with a Calvinist kind of went like this:

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The Idol of God Being in Sovereign Control of Everything

The topic of discussion was Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. A quote from J. I. Packer followed, “To know that nothing happens in God’s world apart from God’s will may frighten the godless, but it stabilizes the saints.” My Calvinist friend then stated that God is absolutely and actively in control of all things and then followed up with how we must pray without ceasing and in all things trust in the Lord.

Suddenly – something clicked! I immediately wondered whether one believing God is in control of everything had to be a kind of idol worship if only because individuals are then absolved individuals of responsibility and decision making?

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God’s Involvement with His Creation – A Woodworker’s Perspective

Wood Joints

Of late, I’ve been trying to come up with an analogy to express why God may not be as intimately involved with his creation as many would like to believe. The other day as I was working with a table saw cutting some dados on a piece of wood – it hit! To which, I sense that the interaction of God and his creation is similar to that of a woodworker. Consider, the woodworker has created a beautiful table. A lot of time, effort, expense and care has gone into crafting that table. Out of “nothing,” the woodworker planted a tree, Years later the woodworker harvested that tree and cut it into planks. Eventually the woodworker cut those planks into something more manageable. With great care and precision, the woodworker then dimensions the lumber, squares-up and cuts all the pieces into their final dimensions. Complex joints are exquisitely fashioned and perfectly formed. Everything is then carefully fitted and glued together. Some sanding removes minor imperfections. The surfaces are prepared for finishing and when the finish is applied, the luster of the wood grain reveals the true beauty of the table.

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Logical Inconsistencies and Unconditional Election – the Salvation of Mrs. Robinson’s Children

Mrs. Robinson posted in a FB forum:

[A] common misconception from [everyone in this FB group] is that a Calvinist won’t allow their children to sing “Jesus Loves Me” because, after all – He may not. That a person who holds to the doctrines of grace shares the gospel with their children like this, “Well, you may or may not be elect so, [it may be best to wait and see whether you’re one of God’s chosen unto salvation].” We teach our children the gospel according to Scripture. The gospel is that sinners can be reconciled to God through faith in Jesus Christ. It’s a great relief and comfort that [we Calvinists parents] can’t do anything to mess up [our children’s] salvation. We teach them, pray for them and trust God with their souls. After all, [God] is far more merciful than we could ever be.

I responded: My friend, do you not see the inconsistencies in your statement above how [God] calls all men to repent and yet only those who the Father has given, and the Spirit draws” [will be] saved? This coupled with the logical inferences of compatibilism wherein it’s God who has ensured (through the Calvinistic teaching of divine determinism) that only a very few of his chosen ‘elect’ people respond affirmatively.

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Compatibilism and Christian Thought – It Bugs Me

Someone defined compatibilism as a reconciliation of the theological proposition that every event is causally determined, ordained, and/or decreed by God in conjunction with the free will of man. Well, that makes about as much sense as when I’d take my toddler to a shopping mall, put her down and let her roam “free”. I was in fact directing her to the next store I wanted to shop at. It’s a non-sequitur within compatibilism that people make free-will choices in anything as very event and action has already been predetermined by God and for his reasons alone.

Within the doctrines of Calvinism, nothing happens which hasn’t been causally determined, decreed or ordained by God. John Piper references the “no maverick molecule” concept wherein if any molecule or spec of dirt only moves through the air as it does because God determined it would. Someone came up with the nice little acronym “EDD” (exhaustive divine determinism) to best express this concept in which God causally determines every single thing and nothing happens which He didn’t determine would happen.

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Dave Hunt Slays the Calvinist Doctrine of Unconditional Election

Dave Hunt is a favorite Christian author of mine, and the author of many books including What Love Is This? Hunt is also noted for the book Debating Calvinism in which he and ardent Calvinist defender James White go toe-to-toe on the doctrines of grace. Hunt writes in a manner making complex topics easy to understand. He does, however, like the KJV – but … I guess … I can forgive him for that. Below is Hunt’s response to a Calvinist question posed in The Berean Call in which unconditional election is inferred.

Calvinist’s Question

In your February 2001 Berean Call newsletter, you stated that a sovereign God does not overcome a person’s free will in regard to justification. But, if God has not irresistibly overcome my will, why did I believe in Christ and someone else didn’t? If I’m able to believe the gospel without God regenerating me first, couldn’t I take credit for believing and boast in heaven?

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When John Calvin Speaks, Do Calvinists Listen, Comprehend and Respond?

The more of John Calvin’s writings and teachings I see the less I like them. His emphasis as to sovereignty and predestination over love ought to tell us something about the man himself. But I’m not sure just what that is. I can’t imagine that he was a happy fellow and a delight to be around. I’m aghast how Calvinists can define the nature and character of God through the writings of Calvin – which makes God out to be arbitrary, capricious and devoid of love over all that God created. At least, that’s my take. I wonder if the (literally) years that Calvin spent isolated and alone while writing his Institutes of Religion brought about a sense of isolation and loneliness in which he imparted his own anger towards his fellow man and attributed that to God. Who knows? Below are some quotes I’ve compiled. That so many find truth within Calvin’s words and the subsequent doctrines aka TULIP somehow seems distressing.

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Does a Calvinist Have Assurance of Salvation?

Given the previous post where John Piper seems to be wondering whether he is saved, I thought it would be good to repost this article:

Every Calvinist I know believes that they’re part of Team Elect. But, interestingly enough, John Calvin writes in his Institutes of Religion 3.2.11 that God reveals himself not just to his elect, but also to the reprobate. Per Calvin, God instills within the reprobate a sense of God’s goodness and mercy to the point where the reprobate believes God loves him, has mercy for him and will save him However, the reprobate is only enlightened with a present and not eternal sense of grace. As such, any conviction the reprobate experiences doesn’t lead to salvation.

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