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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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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Mrs. Robinson’s Defense of Unconditional Election from Romans 9-11

I’ve never understood Romans chapters nine to eleven to be, per se, about individuals. As I read it, Paul defends God’s intent to “collectively” (some might say corporately) bring Gentiles into the ‘fold’ who’re more open to salvation by faith and do away with the law (which the Jews apparently weren’t so good at keeping). My Calvinist friend, Mrs. Robinson, has sent me a defense for the Calvinist doctrine of individual unconditional election. C. Michael Patton wrote and published the below defense on his Credohouse.org blog in 2019I will respond to each point in due course. Patton incorporated some details for each point which can be found in his article referenced below. But, for now, the twelve points Patton puts forth are:

1. The whole section (9-11) is about the security of individuals.

2. In the election of Jacob over Esau (Rom. 9:10-13), while having national implications, starts with individuals.

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Dr. Theodore Zachariades – Determinism – Take Two

When I first viewed the video in which Dr. Zachariades claims that God enables or precludes someone from committing adultery (noted below) I thought, what kind of demented theology does this guy possess? I have always thought that one of God’s attributes is his holiness. Is Christian faith predicated on God who would violate his own moral standards? Can I then infer that God decrees all manner of sin including murder, rape, human trafficking, serial killers, and whatever other horrid act that one can possibly conceive?

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Calvinism Explained in 26 Seconds

S. Michael Houdmann wrote an article for the Christian blog, “Got Questions”, addressing why he believes some people so passionately oppose Calvinism? Houdmann’s last comment was intriguing; “For all you Calvinism haters out there, would it help if I told you that you were predestined to hate Calvinism?” I suspect Houdmann was trying to be cute inferring the deterministic aspect of his Calvinistic belief. But instead, Houdmann hammers home the stark reality that determinism within Calvinistic doctrines dominates all other aspects of that creed.

This sound bite is perhaps the most consistent presentation of Reformed Theology. And perhaps Dr. Zachariades is as true of a Calvinist as there is. Frankly, I admire his passion – and his consistency in being a hard-core determinist and believing that “God works all things after the counsel of his will.” So, Dr. Zachariades, you’re teaching me that God, as manifested through Calvinistic determinism not only prevents someone from committing adultery – but that adultery is ordained to be committed when God wants it to occur? Okay … no ambiguity there.

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A Response to “Christianity and the Narrow & Lonely Path”

I found the recent post (noted below) by Mrs. Robinson as to “Christianity and the Narrow & Lonely Path” interesting. She raises difficulties as to living the Christian life, being engaged in ministry and, unfortunately, having to deal with some of the inherent ‘trash’ that comes with the territory of being married to a preacher.

A couple of things she mentioned are of particular interest to me:

First: The issue of God’s sovereignty – I know that Mrs. Robinson is an ardent Calvinist and very much agrees with the doctrine of unconditional election in which God sovereignly determines who shall be given salvation, and subsequently, who will be “sovereignly gifted” with reprobation. Mrs. Robinson stated a couple of things as to God’s sovereignty that I’d like to comment and ask about:

“The Lord had sovereignly ordained that [devastating car accident].”

“[T]he Lord has provided me with … my husband.”

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And Here’s to You, Mrs. Robinson – Another Response to Your Claims re Unconditional Election

Well … Mrs. Robinson … you’ve certainly done it again … posting a Calvinistic defense of unconditional election into a forum that is largely made up of people not agreeing with Calvinism. The responses as to your post, as one would expect, tend to challenge various aspects of Calvinism in general and unconditional election in particular. And kudos to you for garnering over 100 comments. I’m happy if even one person reads something I write and smiles. But if I were to make a generality, I sense that people respond not so much by what you say but rather what you don’t say. It seems as though you toss out your premise(s) and then don’t defend or otherwise argue back to folks making counter claims. At least, that’s what I see.

I’ve got some time. So, I’m going to look at the verses you referenced along with your stated premise see what all I can make of it. Oh, and by the way, I will be keeping score.

In the opening salvo, you stated,

“Here lies the error within this group- You believe you are saved ‘for your faith’ not ‘by your faith.’ This makes your faith an idol. Faith is passively received, not actively achieved. It is merely the instrument by which we receive Christ’s righteousness. It must be granted to us to believe (Philippians 1:29) and it is a gift from God, not given to all men. (Ephesians 2:8) You cannot muster up faith or the will to believe. (Romans 9:16) If you understand the Scripture, it is because He has opened your mind. (Luke 24:45)”

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