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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John Piper: “No Christian Can Be Sure He’s a True Believer”

Really? John Piper actually said this in front of Steven Lawson and all those ardent Calvinists – and no one corrected Piper that per Calvinist doctrines God does the choosing unto salvation ‘unconditionally’ – meaning that actions and behaviors have nothing to do with it?

John Piper at the Ligonier National Conference in 200 said, “No Christian can be sure he is a true believer. Hence, there’s an ongoing need to be dedicated to the Lord and deny ourselves so that we might make it.”

What a horrible aspect of Piper’s Calvinism – being unsure of one’s salvation, sensing God is dangling the “carrot” of salvation only to pull the rug out from under you just before you depart to eternal destruction because you failed to deny yourself sufficiently that you “might make it”! Please! Is this Piper’s actual belief? Is Piper expressing concern as to the assurance of his own salvation?

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Additional Thoughts on Unconditional Election

Calvinists often site Eph 1:4 as “proof” that God chosen certain individuals from “the foundation of the world”. As I looked at the wording of the verse, it occurred to me that if the prepositions are removed, then the verse essentially distills down to God deciding that we were to be holy and blameless before he created the world. Calvinists often site Eph 1:4 as “proof” that God chosen certain individuals from “the foundation of the world”. As I looked at the wording of the verse, it occurred to me that if the prepositions are removed, then the verse essentially distills down to God deciding that we were to be holy and blameless before he created the world.

Well, it didn’t take long before I was chided (albeit, gently) with the following comment: “Ummm, [the word] ‘to’ is also a preposition [and] if you remove all the prepositional phrases, [then there’s] no verse left! The idea that there is an end-result to God’s choice does not define in any way how God made the choice, or why God made the choice. [T]he basic facts we are left with are that 1) God chooses, and 2) those chosen will be made holy. [Eph 1:4] supports “Calvinistic” election more than it does not.”

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Salvation: It’s Our Choice – Just Not Our Doing

I am often frustrated with the Calvinistic overview that people bring nothing to the table as to salvation because no one disagrees with this concept. I have long used the analogy that we have to get ourselves to the table, but it is God who has prepared and will serve the feast. People have to be willing to be saved … at least that is my contention. Calvinists, on the other hand, are adamant that people can’t ‘locate’ the table much less realize that everything we need is on that table due to total depravity and unconditional election. That is, Calvinists believe people are so depraved that they are unable to seek out God. And therefore, Calvinists believe that it is God who must decide who will sit at the table and subsequently steer people toward the table.

I saw the below post on a FB forum. It makes so much logical sense and, to me, ties the apparently discordant scriptural references together into a cohesive and persuasive argument.

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Sometimes, It’s All That Makes Sense

There are times when I’m more confused and troubled as to what I believe with respect to Christian faith. Variance of thought amongst Christians as to beliefs, statements of faith, doctrines, creeds, tenants and constructs can lead to frustration and alienation. If nothing else, I find the simplicity of faith as indicated through the Apostles’ Creed refreshing.

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What Is the Ultimate Aim of Calvinism?

Dave Hunt and James White, in a heated back and forth exchange, cobbled together one of the best books to understand the variance of thought as to Reformed Theology. Hunt is very anti-Calvinism. White is very pro-Calvinism. I readily admit my difficulties with Calvinist doctrine – especially unconditional election and this book has been an eye-opener to understand both sides of the equation.

I’m struck by a statement of Hunt, “Never forget that the ultimate aim of Calvinism is to prove that God does not love everyone, is not merciful to all, and is pleased to damn billions. If that is the God of the Bible, Calvinism is true. If that is not the God of the Bible who is love (1 John 4:8), then Calvinism is false. The central issue is God’s love and character in relation to mankind, as presented in Scripture.” (Debating Calvinism, pg.21)

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Repent and Believe – Does the Calvinist Actually Believe This Is Necessary?

The conversation with a Calvinist went something like this:

Calvinist: Repent and believe. This is the same message of the gospel that the Calvinists has as the non-Calvinist.

Me: But irresistible grace states people are unable to refuse God’s offer of grace and salvation. Doesn’t an individual’s total depravity preventing him from seeking God? So, how does repent and believe factor in? Where’s actual requirement that the sinner must repent and believe prior to his salvation. Per Calvinistic determinism, God has already ordained the events that will happen. So, the sinner’s repentance and his believing come after he’s already been saved. It happened because God willed it to happen. Repent and believe infers a requirement that an individual must do something which, per Calvinistic doctrine, 1) he’s unable to do and 2) God has already done all that is needed. Therefore, wouldn’t it make more sense for the Calvinist to simply say that one’s salvation is predicated on God’s desire – just wait and see – and you’ll know one way or the other in due time?

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The Fear of the Lord

I’ve never liked the phrase – fear of the Lord. And maybe that’s the best translatable word to use. Still, I’ve always felt that the use of that phrase connotates a negative inference as to the nature and character of God. If anything, love and fear appear to be completely opposite constructs.

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Can a Calvinist Actually Have Assurance of Salvation?

It’s curious that Calvinists I know and interact with are adamant they’re part of Team Elect and don’t seem to understand those who struggle with assurance of salvation. There’s an interesting tidbit in John Calvin’s Institutes of Religion 3.2.11; God not only reveals himself to those on Team Reprobate but also instills within the reprobate a sense of goodness and mercy where the reprobate believes God loves him and has mercy for him? However, the reprobate is only enlightened with a “present” and not “eternal” sense of grace. Therefore, what the reprobate experiences doesn’t lead to salvation. Afterall, one has to be unconditionally chosen to be saved. Nevertheless, I get the impression that God manipulates or otherwise toys with those he plans to send to hell.

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