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« Links Mentioned on the 7/15/16 Show | Main | How Much Temptation Is from Man's Nature as Opposed to Satan? »

July 16, 2016


Seems like he's talking to Israel in the context of the passage. I've never been sure he's talking about individual salvation, but rather talking about how more people (Gentiles) are allowed into the covenant than previously thought. Then again, I'm not personally convinced of either "side" of the issue, which causes me some serious internal strife at times.

The complaint of forced choices isn’t about forced choices, it’s about over determined systems pan-reality where the Imago Dei is concerned. Such within Calvinism is “a part” of where it diverges from God’s decreed Imago Dei. But it is not accurate to defend Calvinism by focusing on only one leaf over on one end of one branch stemming out of what is a far wider set of truth claims (Tree) on the fundamental shape of reality. Our illness isn’t found in Adam, in Eden, and, therein, that wider Tree, that wider set of truth claims vis-à-vis over-determined systems remains illness-free. Just as Abraham in his (our) illness believes Pre-Resurrection, just as Adam volitionally motions pre-illness, so too do we find within Scripture far more, many more, vectors converging outside of the whole “Armenian-Calvin-Thing”.

Speaking of Trees: Pre-Fall.

The Pre-Fall constitutions of Calvinism affirm that focusing on one leaf on one branch isn’t looking at the fundamental nature of the problem. Volitional motions are irreducible within the triune God amid Self/Other, and so too within the Imago Dei. Adam freely dives into, not into Other, not into God, not into Life, but into Self, into Privation, into Death.

That show is still going on today.

Adam volitionally motions.

As in: other words, plural, are/were fully prepared. All of our syntax is, of course, shaped by *this* world, but we have yet more worlds yet to come, and, just as always (it can’t be otherwise), those words are also fully prepared.

Oddly, Privation within God, within the Triune, just does sum to, well, God. There’s far more there to dive into, but, for now, there is no genre on planet Earth which rationally, metaphysically, and theologically dissolves the sorts of problems which Christianity solves vis-à-vis “Trinity”. Also peculiar, the contingent self cannot evade (given evil as privation) in any possible world that which sums to Christ.

To be fair:

Derek Rishmawy offers a well written essay in which the proverbial pendulum swings towards Calvinism at which is weighted in favor of Calvinism.

The proverbial pendulum then swings away from Calvinism:

Book 1 and Book 2 and Book 3 and Book 4 and Book 5 and an Essay on Romans 9.

The proverbial pendulum then swings towards Calvinism:

Book One and Book Two and Book Three.

Hmmm…. For some reason I suddenly feel a bit dizzy ;-)

Simply because the man is able to be loved (lovable), and deserving of love does not mean that anyone without mental illness would love him. It appears that, under your analogy, God would only choose to regenerate those who he knows would freely choose to love him once regenerated. Seems to me that this analogy breaks the "I" in TULIP.

The missing link:

“Book 4” did not go to a valid link, therefore: Flowers, Leighton (2015-05-07). The Potter's Promise: A Commentary on Romans 9 and can be viewed here:


As in: other words, plural, are/were fully prepared.....

Should be:

As in: other worlds, plural, are/were fully prepared....


Words. Worlds. It's all the same.

At bottom.

I wonder if there's a limit which *God* can "keep up with" before getting out-paced?

In his book the Bondage of the Will, Martin Luther challenged Erasmus to find something in fallen human nature that would want anything to do with God. You know the verses, the flesh lusts against the Spirit, etc., and the flesh having only hatred, heresies, wrath, strife, etc. as normal for fallen mankind.

So God sends the Holy Spirit into our hearts producing a conflict between our inherent evil and the goodness of God.

So only after this, at this point is our will free enough to love God. And that we do, because of the Love he placed in our hearts through the New Birth and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And the gratitude we have experiencing his life within us.

Your (admittedly imperfect) analogy falls apart here:

"She will never change her mind, no matter what the man says or does to show her his love."

In strict theological terms, saying we will "never change our mind" is in direct contradiction to Jesus' own ministry call of "repent" - metanoia, "to change one's mind".

Such an analogy assails Paul's urging that God now commands ALL men everywhere to repent/change their mind. (Acts 17:30)

Whatever the merits of the rest of your argument, implying that man cannot change his mind/direction is a grave analogical error.

In the analogy, did the woman come to...

constantly dwell on her hatred for everyone, especially for the man
... in the first place?


That concept is fundamental to Calvinism. It is known as "total depravity".

In the analogy, how did the woman come to...

constantly dwell on her hatred for everyone, especially for the man

... in the first place?


As usual, I have no idea what you are trying to say. Could you translate it into plain English?

Yes Ron,

That is the key question.....

And the answer?

And (still filling in the analogy) does the doctor cure all the women that have this problem?

If not, why not?

The whole analogy reminds me of the relationship of Pip and Estella in Charles Dickens' Great Expectations. Estella, the ward of Miss Haversham, is trained to "break men's hearts." Pip rises in his fortunes, but is never able to attain her love, till all the twists and turns in the plot brings both to lowered expectations. And to that final meeting in the novel.

The twist in the plot is how the "wall of separation" is removed. How "a man who is naturally quite lovable loves a woman who doesn’t love him" does take time for transformations to alter the situations.


All that dizziness is still whirling about ;-)


It seems Abraham was, as they say, born again, or born anew, or experienced the new birth, or underwent what Christ afforded him (by Luther's terms, that is, etc...). And not just Abraham, but Hebrews 11 and far more left unmentioned.

@SCB; Yes, all true believers were Born Again before they could believe. This includes Abel, Job, Abraham and the host of others mentioned in Hebrews.

What is your point?


The point is simply that we agree on a few fronts. Not all. But several. Such as here given that we all know Christ's work is not, and in fact cannot be, limited by flimsy contingencies such as Time and Circumstance. Any Time. Any Circumstance.

It seems "links" can "expire", at least at Amazon.

Therefore, just in case:

To be fair:

There are many, many good books which defend the coherence of the Reformed / Calvinism Theology and which defend the coherence of Arminian Theology. I'll post links here which run in the both directions, defending the coherence of both. Why? Because I have some key disagreements with Arminian Theology, and some key agreements with Reformed Theology, and some key agreements with Arminian Theology, and some key disagreements with Calvinism’s Theology. Scripture, logic, and metaphysical coherence seem to be netting a sort of hodgepodge of the two. Perhaps both a Reformed-ish and an Arminian-ish each with a built in plus/minus. Theological exegeses, logic, and scripture find that the fundamental shape of the Necessary, of the Triune God – of the Reality after which our own contingent reality is patterned – affords both scripture and necessity the wherewithal to go there. Quite easily in fact. Unpacking that here would be impossible obviously, or at least won’t be attempted here. Regarding the Arminian/Calvinism question, my own theological stopping point for so many of the definitions here begin and end in the ontological topography within the triune God, within “Trinity”. Meaning, or all Meaning-Makers, and so on, all (necessarily) flow downhill, from the Necessary towards the contingent.

Towards Calvinism:

[1] Derek Rishmawy offers a well written essay in which the proverbial pendulum swings towards Calvinism at which is weighted in favor of Calvinism. The essay is very useful on several fronts, though it does lean towards Calvinism. As on who rejects both Calvinism and Arminianism I found its thoughts on the sovereign will of God very satisfying. But then, of course, the sovereign will of God and other vectors are irreducibly coherent outside of Calvinism as well – hence the reason this essay is referenced by one such as myself who rejects the whole “Arminian-Calvin-Thing”.

[2] Option two, which is: Piper, John, “Five Points: Towards a Deeper Experience of God's Grace”.

[3] Option three, which is: Horton, Michael, “For Calvinism”.

[4] Option four, which is, “Why I Am Not an Arminian” by Robert Peterson and Michael D. Williams.

Away from Calvinism:

[1] Option one, which is: Olson, Roger E., “Against Calvinism: Rescuing God's Reputation from Radical Reformed Theology”.

[2] Option two which is: Roger E. Olson, “Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities”.

[3] Option three which is: Fischer, Austin, “Young, Restless, No Longer Reformed: Black Holes, Love, and a Journey In and Out of Calvinism”.

[4] Option four, which is: Flowers, Leighton, “The Potter's Promise: A Commentary on Romans 9”.

[5] Option five which is: “Grace for All: The Arminian Dynamics of Salvation”, Clark H. Pinnock and John D. Wagner Editors.

[6] Option six, which is an essay on Romans 9 at:


This: "As *on* who rejects both Calvinism and Arminianism...."

Should obviously be: "As *one* who rejects both Calvinism and Arminianism...."

Universalism offers insight:

For what it's worth, Universalism falls down here too, just as Hyper-Calvinism does. And in the same way. Arminianism makes similar errors, but it does so by a different path or different theodicy regarding the fundamental nature of volitional motions. All three come up short of the means, ends, A's, and Z's which we find in Scripture. There *may* have been a world (P1) in which some form of Universalism was, obviously, logically possible. However, now, from inside of privation, the Universalist commits or resorts to all of the same errors of the Hyper-Calvinist in his attempts to force God to annihilate His Own Decree, His Own Image of love's irreducible reciprocity amid Self/Other vis-à-vis "Trinity". Not all worlds are the same. But some worlds define all other worlds, with respect to the Adamic, to Man.

Sovereign Decrees are like that.

That is what Sovereign Decrees look like.

Going all the way:

Why not?

Open Theism falls down too, but, that story is just a big nest of unfortunate moves.

Have we left anyone out? :-)

Forgot Molinism!

Well, I don't reject it on purely metaphysical/logical reasons, as God certainly has Pre/Middle/Post Knowledge, and, God certainly can move in such modes.

However, I reject it for two other reasons.

First, it does not seem to align with the metanarrative which we find in Scripture. That statement can't possibly be unpacked here.

Secondly, as I read William Lane Craig, what happens is that, once Molinism is incorporated, we are then back to a pure, or almost pure, Arminianism, which I reject. Here I admit that I do not know WLC's "outright" take on Arminianism and so I just leave it off there.


And so, we come to all that is left:

There is Trinity, and there is Christ, and these two are actually One, and the entire ontological landscape with respect to the Adamic, to Man, in all worlds, plural, (think about it) with which "the Adamic" ever has, or is right now, today, or ever will, actively interface with, is by Divine Decree patterned after "Him".

And He is love.

Christianity isn't a story about "man". It would be if Man's entire reality were not patterned after His Image. But "the Adamic's" entire metaphysical landscape *is* patterned after His Image.

Therefore, in some peculiar and interesting ways, Christianity is the story of reality.

A good question to ask the Calvinist is this:

How is it even possible that God even *can* create an X which factually steals God's Own Glory?

What doesn't, or what can't, or any other semantic twist one wants, in the end carry all Glory back to *God*?

Reality is what it is. That is to say: "Glory to God" just is.

Lucifer tried, failed, and in fact never could pull it off. Just because Lucifer made the claim does not mean that the facts of reality in fact cohered with his claim.

They didn't.

They couldn't.

"Glory to God" just is.

But it goes on: That fact is (necessarily) the case in *ALL* possible, and on-going, worlds.

God tells us that no contingent X will glory, and He means it. Insufficiency just does run face first, at some ontological seam somewhere, into All Sufficiency.

It can't be otherwise.

In any world.

Christianity is the story of, not "man", but, rather, of reality.

Romans 9:

Context is everything.

In addition to the two prior items addressing Romans 9 (...[4] and [6]...) the following is also helpful in keeping one's exegesis on track:

The umbrella at [ ] has three lectures on Romans 9. The second is 9:14 - 9:34 and is at [ ]. Obviously the other lectures on Romans chapters 9, 10, and 11 add context.

Thank you for posting this information. The plight of the woman in your story exactly describes me. My heart is still of stone after years of alter calls and Jesus in my heart prayers. I need a new heart that only God can give so I pray then give up then resume. It seems I've waited years but still only see my bareness but never God's love. Please pray for me. I am lost.

@ Les;

It sounds as though you are trying to save yourself by thinking and doing certain things, possibly things others have told you to do in order to have God save you.

Scripture says whoever believes God will save. God does not save you because you believe, you believe because he saved you. The fact that you trust in Jesus' death on the cross for your sins is evidence God saved you. Otherwise you would dismiss it as foolishness.

One of the problems with this "forced love" argument is it thinks about love wrongly. When it comes to emotional expressions of love, no one "chooses" to love.

When a father holds his newborn son for the first time, does he have to "choose" to love him? No. I would dare say he is "compelled" to love him. Indeed, he cannot do anything other than love him!

When a groom sees his bride walking down the aisle, must he "choose" to love here? Again, he cannot do anything except love her to the uttermost! His love for her is irresistible.

God is majestic in glory, beautiful in all His attributes, and has done everything for us. When our eyes are opened to the truth, we feel compelled to love Him just as a father is internally compelled to love his newborn child, and a groom is internally compelled to love his bride.

The only time anyone intentionally chooses to love is when the object of their love is not being lovable, such as a rebellious teen or a sinning spouse. God is never unlovable, and thus the only thing that keeps us from loving Him is our sin.

Both Adams were sinless.

Well, the first Adam and the last Adam, etc.


Defining lovable via the fact that we fall in love in this life (child, or spouse, or none, or some, and so on) defines us all as lovable. True, God loves us all.... God loves *you* specifically, but that's irrespective of our present condition, which is often unlovable, and, the Calvinist must follow that bit about God loving *you* specifically with some, well, "gymnastics" as they say. Also, we love our child in spite of this or that issue. Emotionally and on will. Emotions are neither the "A" nor the "Z" of love, neither in us nor in God. True, our compass is flawed. But sinless compasses choose to love Self over God too.

Gabriel Powell:

By the time a father is handed his newborn son, the choice has already been made. He had already chosen to subordinate the Self in favor of the Other. You don’t need to be reminded that, especially in our time, not everyone makes that choice, and thus, not everyone feels the same compulsion to love and nurture their brood.

Again, a groom which had chosen the Self above all Others, seeing his wife walk down the aisle, may indeed do anything except love her. He sees her as his prey, and more likely feels something more like irresistible hunger.

When fallen man loves in any true sense of the word, he does so despite and contrary to his first nature. God is indeed worthy of love, and thus a creature who was created perfect would be compelled to love Him. He cannot chose to love God because God is never unlovable, as you said. But I would modify your statement slightly:

The only time anyone intentionally chooses to love is when the object of their love DOES NOT SEEM lovable.

For indeed the teen, while she is being rebellious, has not really become less lovable than she used to be, she has merely aroused emotions which make it momentarily more difficult for her fallen parents to act out the love they have sworn to her. Two things that make it difficult to choose the Other over the Self: injured pride, and having to forgive a grievance.

The love of God is as contrary to our first nature as anything could be. That is why “fear of God is the beginning of wisdom”, and, I believe, love of God is the end. While God seemed to us unlovable (a horror, in fact), we eventually chose to submit to Him, which led to us trying to follow Him, which led to us trying to love Him. Imperfectly for now, but some day, perfectly. And when we are finally transformed by the blood of Christ, we will stand as perfect creatures, but then our love will be free, and therefore of such great value to the God of infinite wealth, that he would and did suffer all things to find it.

With respect to the analogy in the post, my only objection is that it seems the mad woman was healed without her consent. If she had chosen to reject the treatment, then I would say that the doctor did, in fact, force her to love him.

Likewise, I believe we will have to consent to God's "treatment" of our condition. And since that means entrusting our whole self to Him, will require a great deal of TRUST in the Lord.

Do we even freely love one another apart from God’s grace?

I don’t see a problem here.

BTW, the Calvinist isn’t the only one that needs to answer questions on these sorts of topics.

Just saying : )


"BTW, the Calvinist isn’t the only one that needs to answer questions on these sorts of topics."


This attempt at deflection is a common defense mechanism.


It's true that other views have to explain reality as we find it. TULIP does not (to the minds of those who do not embrace Calvinism) explain reality as we find it.

R. C. Sproul, Jr.: “… God desired for man to fall into sin… God created sin.”

The OP's lines around illness or healthy just isn't the root. That is why the OP does not go far enough. On Calvinism, even if we are without sin, as in Eden, any sin that comes along is the direct, immediate, and total effect of the immediate, direct, and total cause of said "motion of the will", which is God's finger, right there, pressing, causing, immediately, directly.

From the get-go.

God directly creates my choice. He does not create the volitional being amid many (real) choices.

From the get-go.

Quote: “The second theodicy is the free-will theodicy. According to the free-will theodicy, God is justified in permitting evil and its consequences because he has to do so if he is to bestow on some of his creatures the incommensurable privilege of being responsible agents who have, in many areas, the capacity to choose as they will, without God, or anyone else (other than themselves), determining which alternative they choose. When Adam partakes of the fruit in Genesis 3, the most severe charge brought against God is not that he caused Adam to sin, but that in making Adam significantly free God brought about the possibility that Adam might misappropriate his freedom and choose a course of action that is morally wrong. God is not responsible for Adam’s choices given that Adam was endowed in creation with self-determining free will. The ground for denying God’s causing evil is that human freedom is conceptually incompatible with divine determinism (not divine sovereignty).” (Evans, Jeremy A. (2013-03-01). The Problem of Evil: The Challenge to Essential Christian Beliefs (B&h Studies in Christian Apologetics).

The Adamic standing amid possible worlds, possible X's, is just all to much for God per the Calvinist as all such fully prepared worlds, fully prepared X's, somehow steal Glory from God the moment the Adamic should volitionally dive into any of them. And, layered over that: Lucifer really can engage in Truth-Telling as he claims glory for himself.

Proof texts just won't do, for all sides use the same texts.

Some (Non-Calvinist) just use more texts than others (Calvinist) in order to align as many texts as possible into one, seamless whole.

The main point here is not about forced love. That is too zoomed in on one leaf of one branch.

Rather, it is the Tree itself which is at the root of the complaints against Calvinism. That tree is the fundamental nature of reality with respect to the Imago Dei.

We can grant the OP it's request. But that doesn't even begin to address the Tree, the fundamental nature of reality with respect to the Imago Dei.

Others do have to offer other explanations. The links provided earlier are a sort of starting point.

Today, being a Professor of Theology that once affirmed Calvinism, I have a unique perspective on the biblical doctrine of salvation. However, I do not claim to be an authority in the field nor do I begrudge those who disagree with my views. I simply desire to correctly interpret the Word of God in order to understand Him rightly. Hopefully this book can help you understand why I could not continue to support the Calvinistic interpretation of the scripture, especially as it relates to Paul’s teaching in Romans 9. Since my journey out of Calvinism, many have expressed much interest in what specifics led me to recant my once beloved views. Why are people so interested in what led me out of Calvinism? I believe there are many who are hoping to convince someone they care about to leave behind their Calvinistic beliefs. I hate to tell them, but it is doubtful that my story will accomplish that feat. It is very difficult to convince oneself to leave a long held theological perspective and next to impossible to convince another. For me it was a painstaking three-year journey after I engaged in an in-depth study of the subject. I had no desire to leave Calvinism, and I fought tooth and nail to defend my beloved “Doctrines of Grace” against the truths my studies led me to see.

There was no single argument, article, or discussion that led me to recant my adherence to the T.U.L.I.P. systematic. In fact, I am quite certain I could never have been “debated out of Calvinism.” I was much too competitive to objectively evaluate my systematic theology in the heat of a contentious discussion. Even if I were to come up against an argument I could not answer, I would have never admitted that to my opponent. Few individuals would be able to get around the intense emotion and pride-inducing adrenaline brought on by debating theology. Our innate desire to be esteemed by others and seen as “smarter” than we really are often overwhelms any potential for learning and profitable dialogue. If someone disagreed with me, my presumption was that they must not really understand my perspective. So, instead of attempting to listen and objectively evaluate their arguments, I focused on restating my case more clearly, confidently and dogmatically. If I did not fully understand what they were saying, I would often label and dismiss them instead of taking the time to fully evaluate their point of view.

I am not attempting to suggest every Calvinist makes these errors— I am only reflecting on what I now view as my mistakes. I competed on the state level in CX Debate in High School and College. Our debate coach drilled into us the skill of taking on both the affirmative and negative side of every issue. And believe me, that is a learned skill. It is very difficult to put down one view in the defense of another opposing view, especially if you are emotionally and intellectually attached to a given perspective. It is rare to find real objectivity in a discussion among theologically minded individuals over a doctrine as emotionally charged and intimately personal as that of our salvation.

This is especially true of those who have made a living and developed their identity around a particular set of beliefs. Imagine R. C. Sproul, for example, coming to believe he was mistaken on these points of doctrine. Think how much it would cost him and his reputation as a scholar to recant his long held views. This is never an easy or painless transition for anyone at any level of notoriety.

I say all this to tell any Calvinistic readers who may have picked up this book in order to refute my claims: I am not so naive as to think my words are going to convince you to leave Calvinism, thus that is not my goal. My goal however, is that you simply understand the reasons I left Calvinism… and I mean really understand. That most likely cannot happen if you begin with an axe to grind or a point to defend. Can we put down the weapons and first seek to hear and fully understand each other before launching into a debate? If you finish this book and walk away still as Calvinistic as you are right now, but you fully understand why I felt I had to leave Calvinism, then I will consider this a great success.

(Flowers, Leighton (2015-05-07). The Potter's Promise: A Commentary on Romans 9)

Romans 9:

From earlier:

[4] Option four, which is: Flowers, Leighton, “The Potter's Promise: A Commentary on Romans 9”.

[6] Option six, which is an essay on Romans 9 at:

And adding:

[7] Context matters. While I don't agree with all of the host's theology, the following is still quite helpful in keeping one's exegesis on track: The umbrella at [ ] has within it a sub-umbrella [ ] which has three lectures on Romans 9. The second is 9:14 - 9:34 and is at [ ]. Obviously the other lectures on Romans chapters 9, 10, and 11 add context.

I've come across this counterargument to my reformed views many times. I've always simply come back to scripture to illustrate God's love of dead and dry bones and his ability to resuscitate us, but I must say, your illustration with the doctor and the mentally impaired here, Amy, is really, really helpful.

It also saddens me that all these comments are filled with anti-Reformed sentiments. Disagree with it all you want, but Reformed theology is a part of the classical Christian values which Stand To Reason upholds and it's the reason they are such a special and incredible group.

Thank you, Greg, Amy and the gang for all you do!

Thank you, Mark!

It appears that, under your analogy, God would only choose to regenerate those who he knows would freely choose to love him once regenerated. Seems to me that this analogy breaks the "I" in TULIP.

Conrad, I think you misunderstand. Even in my limited analogy, the idea is that any healthy person would love the doctor—he's "naturally lovable." If a person doesn't love him, it's due to the moral failure of that person. There's something morally broken in someone who doesn't love another person who is perfectly worthy of love. Heal the person, and the love follows. Don't heal him, and there will be no love.

So back to your challenge: In the case of our salvation, it's the very regenerating that enables a person to love God because it removes the spiritual death that's preventing the person from seeing God as He truly is. In other words, it doesn't make sense to conceive of a regenerated (i.e., spiritually healed with spiritual life) person not loving God once regenerated. Everyone who has spiritual life freely loves God. It's the result of being spiritually alive.

John 6:65: "No one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father."

John 6:37: "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out."

Even only according to those verses, taken together, it's the Father who initiates salvation, and everyone with whom He initiates it comes to Him. So there's no category of people who are called in a saving way by the Father who reject Him (see Romans 8:30).

scbrownlhrm, you reference Roger Olson, so I want to point out something about the way he does theology (which I came to understand by listening to him debate). At bottom, Olson reasons not from what the Bible says, but from his understanding of what a loving God would do. When faced with verses that teach the ideas of Calvinism, I have heard him argue against them not by arguing from the text, but by saying, "Whatever they mean, they can't mean that [i.e., the plain reading]." And why can't they? The reason he gives for why "it can't mean that" is that it doesn't match his understanding of what a loving God would do. So his reasoning is rooted in his subjective ideas of what is good, not on what the Bible says about salvation, or even what the Bible says about what is good.

The problem with doing theology this way is that it's our understanding of God's goodness that must be shaped by Bible, not the other way around. We are fallen creatures who need to have our minds renewed by God's Word. When someone judges God's word by his fallen understanding of what God ought to do, I see no reason to trust his conclusion. And in fact, I don't see the ideas of Calvinism as being against goodness at all, so I disagree with his subjective premise (a premise not based on the Bible) to start with.

I really recommend those two links in my original post to anyone who wants to evaluate what the Bible says about this.

Having said all that, my goal in writing this post was not to argue for Calvinism but merely to argue for a more accurate understanding and representation of it by those who disagree.

Thanks, Amy. I appreciate the original post here.


"I feel" is neither the Calvinst's nor the Non-Calvinist's summations over these last several centuries.

Both are thinking things through. Both have reasons.

Not just "I feel".

I could charge the Calvinist with his own emotional commitments leading him to error. But it's not helpful.

So I've presented arguments (books/resources) from both sides. If there are feelings, and they align with Scripture, then they are validated, on all sides etc.

I'll take your word that Olson is entirely un-nuanced and entirely feeling-based in the way he navigates things in his books.

Others: The books/audio at "scbrownlhrm | July 21, 2016 at 03:56 AM" add more etc....

I'm not saying he's "entirely un-nuanced" or that he's "entirely feelings based," nor did I say anything about "I feel." All I'm saying is that based on what I've heard him say, his conclusions are guided, at root, by his understanding of what God must do if He's good, not by the text.


There are good and thorough scriptural "networks" as it were for both sides. I don't count the Calvinist to be without scriptural backing. I see that, given his weaving of those 25 sections of scripture, his conclusion over here is *reasoned* from the *text*.

Now, I say the same about Non-Calvinist conclusions too.

In my view the later is accurate as far as it goes, as is the former. The former, the Calvinist, though, stops too soon and does not incorporate as many scriptures as some of the Non-Calvinist conclusions.

Your analogy of rescue is perfect and accurate and the Non-Calvinst has no issues with it. He even embraces it. And he goes further so as to extricate alignments elsewhere too.

Interestingly, in medicine the patient with an altered mental status is presumed to want to live and so life saving care is given without consent. In all cases. Every time. Even if he goes kicking and screaming. In all cases. Once the patient is no longer in a place where he lacks capacity (he is now able to give / withhold consent), he can then refuse, or consent. Scripture affirms such lines.

No one that I know on either side asserts that it's *not* the Physician Who saved the patient's life. No one that I know on either side asserts that it is *not* the informed and capacitated patient who is to blame for refusing further care.

As far as the OP goes, it is plausible if one accepts the whole Calvinist ball of yarn.

The problem I have with Calvinism is that if one accepts the whole TULIP thing, stories like the prodigal son, the parable of the sower, Jesus weeping over Jerusalem, and many, many others, just don't make any sense.

I think that is what Roger Olsen is saying.
"Whatever it means, it can't mean that, because I would then have to throw out whole sections of the Bible." You see, Roger's understanding of how God acts is rooted in the Scripture, not simply in his preferences, as was implied.

I reject Calvinism because if I accepted the whole thing, God could not be good in any meaningful sense. We are left with Dave's "Steven King Monster God". (I commend Dave for being straightforward about that.)

It’s much better to think of the almost infinite amount of evil that rains down on us each and every day as absolutely purposeless.

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