Is GOD making it impossible for some to believe?? =,<

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Re: Is GOD making it impossible for some to believe?? =,<

#31

Post by narnia4 » Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:33 am

Let me quote Sproul here-
The distortion of double predestination looks like this: There is a symmetry that exists between election and reprobation. God WORKS in the same way and same manner with respect to the elect and to the reprobate. That is to say, from all eternity God decreed some to election and by divine initiative works faith in their hearts and brings them actively to salvation. By the same token, from all eternity God decrees some to sin and damnation (destinare ad peccatum) and actively intervenes to work sin in their lives, bringing them to damnation by divine initiative. In the case of the elect, regeneration is the monergistic work of God. In the case of the reprobate, sin and degeneration are the monergistic work of God. Stated another way, we can establish a parallelism of foreordination and predestination by means of a positive symmetry. We can call this a positive-positive view of predestination. This is, God positively and actively intervenes in the lives of the elect to bring them to salvation. In the same way God positively and actively intervenes in the life of the reprobate to bring him to sin.
This distortion of positive-positive predestination clearly makes God the author of sin who punishes a person for doing what God monergistically and irresistibly coerces man to do. Such a view is indeed a monstrous assault on the integrity of God. This is not the Reformed view of predestination, but a gross and inexcusable caricature of the doctrine. Such a view may be identified with what is often loosely described as hyper-Calvinism and involves a radical form of supralapsarianism. Such a view of predestination has been virtually universally and monolithically rejected by Reformed thinkers.
And another quote-
In sharp contrast to the caricature of double predestination seen in the positive-positive schema is the classic position of Reformed theology on predestination. In this view predestination is double in that it involves both election and reprobation but is not symmetrical with respect to the mode of divine activity. A strict parallelism of operation is denied. Rather we view predestination in terms of a positive-negative relationship.
In the Reformed view God from all eternity decrees some to election and positively intervenes in their lives to work regeneration and faith by a monergistic work of grace. To the non-elect God withholds this monergistic work of grace, passing them by and leaving them to themselves. He does not monergistically work sin or unbelief in their lives. Even in the case of the "hardening" of the sinners' already recalcitrant hearts, God does not, as Luther stated, "work evil in us (for hardening is working evil) by creating fresh evil in us."
So if we can take what Sproul says as representative of the Calvinist position, then clearly the term double predestination is very misleading. Almost worthless if taken in the wrong way imo. This should also explain why I find "electing some to damnation" to be badly worded as well... it could be taken to imply that God works in the reprobate's lives to incorporate sin and evil so that they will perish. I don't know of any mainstream Calvinist who believes that.

I don't know that its correct to say that God has already chosen we will not believe, rather that the reprobate is already condemned because he will not believe. That's the distinction I was trying to make with #2 above.

Full disclosure, infralapsarianism is the direction I lean toward in some respects but I also lean toward accepting all 5 points. But under each position the fall is something God permits.
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Re: Is GOD making it impossible for some to believe?? =,<

#32

Post by PaulSacramento » Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:00 am

I don't get how from these verses that do NOT mention condemnation (Romans 9:15,21 Ephesians 1:4-8) that God has predestined some for just that.
It seems to me to simply state that many things are God's sole perogative.

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Re: Is GOD making it impossible for some to believe?? =,<

#33

Post by CallMeDave » Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:17 am

narnia4 wrote:But atheism is a position. I don't really like the whole semantic debate over the definition of atheism, its mostly just an unhelpful distraction imo... but here's how I see it. Whether or not God exists, its a "yes", "no", or "I don't know" question. You can say "I believe in God" without being certain if you lean in that direction, or vice versa. But it just makes the most sense to me to say that theism is "the belief that there is a God" and that atheism is "the belief that there is no God". Neither would have to speak about level of certainty. So given this as my position, a simple lack of belief wouldn't make one an atheist, because atheism entails certain consequences.

If others disagree, however, its not something I'd be adamant about. If people want to call themselves atheists when they are, imo, actually closer to a sort of agnosticism, ok. Its just something that you have to clear up before seemingly every discussion because when someone calls himself an atheist he might mean any of a dozen things.

Whether One is a labeled agnostic or atheist is not as important as the MOTIVE and REASON for wanting to be such . During my journey (a long time ago) thru atheism/agnostic/diligent Seeker/Theist/and finally Christian...I came to realize that the first two labels I carried were because they coincided with motives I had of wanting to live an uninterrupted/unaccountable lifestyle based on urges and feelings that cropped up and having No One dictate to me what i could and couldnt do and at the same time being owned very unpalatable ; it wasnt until i reached the stage of serious diligent Seeker to discover the truth of the matter followed by going WHEREEVER the evidence was pointing...that I did away with my personal biasm . The evidence for a personal theistic Creator is readily available for all who wish to consider it seriously and with modern technology is as close as a few clicks on a computer google search. Its not that people cant believe in God, its that they wont/dont want to requiring them to shun the evidence. This is how the human Mind and Will behaves oftentimes.
"I never asserted such an absurd proposition, that something could arise without a Cause" -- staunch atheist Philosopher David Hume.

"What this world now needs is Christian love or compassion" -- staunch atheist Bertrand Russell.

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Re: Is GOD making it impossible for some to believe?? =,<

#34

Post by 1over137 » Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:25 am

RickD wrote:
1over137 wrote:This question in the topic sounds like to blame God that unbelievers do not believe. We are to be blamed. We fell. It is His mercy that some believe.
Hana, let me play devil's advocate here. Then why don't "all" believe? Is God withholding His mercy from some?
yes
But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
-- 1 Thessalonians 5:21

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
-- Philippians 1:6

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Re: Is GOD making it impossible for some to believe?? =,<

#35

Post by 1over137 » Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:29 am

PaulSacramento wrote:
1over137 wrote:This question in the topic sounds like to blame God that unbelievers do not believe. We are to be blamed. We fell. It is His mercy that some believe.
That depends, are we to blame that we don't believe if God has already chosen which of us will NOT believe?
Of course not, there is no logic to that.
Yet, some believe it to be so.
How an unbeliever can blame when he is unbeliever?
But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
-- 1 Thessalonians 5:21

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
-- Philippians 1:6

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Re: Is GOD making it impossible for some to believe?? =,<

#36

Post by RickD » Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:39 am

1over137 wrote:
RickD wrote:
1over137 wrote:This question in the topic sounds like to blame God that unbelievers do not believe. We are to be blamed. We fell. It is His mercy that some believe.
Hana, let me play devil's advocate here. Then why don't "all" believe? Is God withholding His mercy from some?
yes
Why would God withhold His mercy from some? Doesn't he love all, and want none to perish?
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



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Re: Is GOD making it impossible for some to believe?? =,<

#37

Post by 1over137 » Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:52 am

RickD wrote:
1over137 wrote:
RickD wrote:
1over137 wrote:This question in the topic sounds like to blame God that unbelievers do not believe. We are to be blamed. We fell. It is His mercy that some believe.
Hana, let me play devil's advocate here. Then why don't "all" believe? Is God withholding His mercy from some?
yes
Why would God withhold His mercy from some? Doesn't he love all, and want none to perish?
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
Rick, the Peter's letter is addressed to "To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ". The 'you', 'all' therefore means those who have obtained a faith.
And not wishing any means not wishing any of those I mentioned.
But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
-- 1 Thessalonians 5:21

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
-- Philippians 1:6

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Re: Is GOD making it impossible for some to believe?? =,<

#38

Post by RickD » Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:54 am

Narnia wrote:
So if we can take what Sproul says as representative of the Calvinist position, then clearly the term double predestination is very misleading.
How can a site like Reformed.org, get away with being so misleading among Calvinists, then?
This should also explain why I find "electing some to damnation" to be badly worded as well... it could be taken to imply that God works in the reprobate's lives to incorporate sin and evil so that they will perish. I don't know of any mainstream Calvinist who believes that.
Narnia, if you recall in the long thread a while back, Puritan Lad not only believed in double predestination as I have presented here, but he also argued that to believe in DP as you are saying, is inconsistent with Calvinism, and TULIP. And he basically said your version is a compromise. Now, it would be up to you, as a Calvinist, to decide if Puritan Lad is correct. And, if God electing some to glory, and others to damnation, is really the only consistent Double Predestination, according to Calvinism. Frankly, if I were a Calvinist, I'd believe as you do. I don't see the double predestination here:
Unconditional Election

Unconditional Election is the doctrine which states that God chose those whom he was pleased to bring to a knowledge of himself, not based upon any merit shown by the object of his grace and not based upon his looking forward to discover who would "accept" the offer of the gospel. God has elected, based solely upon the counsel of his own will, some for glory and others for damnation (Romans 9:15,21). He has done this act before the foundations of the world (Ephesians 1:4-8).
as being consistent with the nature of God. But then, I think I agree with Puritan Lad, that it's the only consistent definition of Double Predestination, and that's why I disagree with Calvinism.
I don't know that its correct to say that God has already chosen we will not believe, rather that the reprobate is already condemned because he will not believe. That's the distinction I was trying to make with #2 above.
I understand what you're saying. But, like I asked you before, how else should my above quote from Reformed.org be interpreted? That is a mainstream Reformed site, isn't it?
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
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Re: Is GOD making it impossible for some to believe?? =,<

#39

Post by RickD » Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:58 am

1over137 wrote:
RickD wrote:
1over137 wrote:
RickD wrote:
1over137 wrote:This question in the topic sounds like to blame God that unbelievers do not believe. We are to be blamed. We fell. It is His mercy that some believe.
Hana, let me play devil's advocate here. Then why don't "all" believe? Is God withholding His mercy from some?
yes
Why would God withhold His mercy from some? Doesn't he love all, and want none to perish?
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
Rick, the Peter's letter is addressed to "To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ". The 'you', 'all' therefore means those who have obtained a faith.
And not wishing any means not wishing any of those I mentioned.
So, those who " have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ", have not come to repentance already?
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



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Re: Is GOD making it impossible for some to believe?? =,<

#40

Post by RickD » Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:04 am

2 Peter 3:
The Day of the Lord

3 Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. 2 I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.

3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
Hana if we read verse 9 in context with the preceding verses, we'll see that while the author is addressing Christians, he is speaking about scoffers, and ungodly. Haven't Christians already come to repentance?
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



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Re: Is GOD making it impossible for some to believe?? =,<

#41

Post by 1over137 » Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:07 am

RickD wrote:So, those who " have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ", have not come to repentance already?
It does not mean that all of those have not come to repentence already. But meaning allows for some not coming to repentence already, yes. I do not see a problem there.
But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
-- 1 Thessalonians 5:21

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
-- Philippians 1:6

#foreverinmyheart

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Re: Is GOD making it impossible for some to believe?? =,<

#42

Post by narnia4 » Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:17 am

RickD wrote:
Narnia wrote:
So if we can take what Sproul says as representative of the Calvinist position, then clearly the term double predestination is very misleading.
How can a site like Reformed.org, get away with being so misleading among Calvinists, then?
I don't know of many Calvinists who like the term double predestination. If I recall from that long thread, Puritan Lad didn't like the term either. I don't know that it has to be that misleading, but if someone is looking to misrepresent Calvinism (not saying you are) then the wording leaves open interpretations that are not, imo, consistent with what most Calvinists believe.
Narnia, if you recall in the long thread a while back, Puritan Lad not only believed in double predestination as I have presented here, but he also argued that to believe in DP as you are saying, is inconsistent with Calvinism, and TULIP. And he basically said your version is a compromise. Now, it would be up to you, as a Calvinist, to decide if Puritan Lad is correct. And, if God electing some to glory, and others to damnation, is really the only consistent Double Predestination, according to Calvinism. Frankly, if I were a Calvinist, I'd believe as you do.
Puritan Lad is doubtless more knowledgeable than I, but I don't feel that I have to conform to his interpretation. My qualm is more with how double predestination is being presented, no Calvinist believes that God is the author of sin and evil. If an interpretation leaves that open as a possibility, then the statement may not be as clear as it should be. So I'd point again to the Sproul quotes for why I think the Reformed.org quote is at least potentially misleading.
But then, I think I agree with Puritan Lad, that it's the only consistent definition of Double Predestination, and that's why I disagree with Calvinism.
Here is the (kind of incomplete) wiki article on lapsarianism.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lapsarianism

So what I'm arguing against is equal ultimacy. I don't know how this could be seen as the only "consistent version of double predestination" when historically Calvinists have not held to that position. You can see the views I lean toward discussed there as well (I don't have it all worked out, I'm really mainly against equal ultimacy), and my views are well within the tradition Reformed Calvinist position.
I don't know that its correct to say that God has already chosen we will not believe, rather that the reprobate is already condemned because he will not believe. That's the distinction I was trying to make with #2 above.
I understand what you're saying. But, like I asked you before, how else should my above quote from Reformed.org be interpreted? That is a mainstream Reformed site, isn't it?
I think what I said is a possible interpretation of what Reformed.org is saying. All I'm saying is that it can be taken to be saying something that its not.
Last edited by narnia4 on Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:29 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Is GOD making it impossible for some to believe?? =,<

#43

Post by 1over137 » Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:18 am

RickD wrote:2 Peter 3:
The Day of the Lord

3 Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. 2 I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.

3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
Hana if we read verse 9 in context with the preceding verses, we'll see that while the author is addressing Christians, he is speaking about scoffers, and ungodly. Haven't Christians already come to repentance?
The author is addressing "those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ".
But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
-- 1 Thessalonians 5:21

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
-- Philippians 1:6

#foreverinmyheart

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Re: Is GOD making it impossible for some to believe?? =,<

#44

Post by RickD » Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:28 am

1over137 wrote:
RickD wrote:2 Peter 3:
The Day of the Lord

3 Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. 2 I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.

3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
Hana if we read verse 9 in context with the preceding verses, we'll see that while the author is addressing Christians, he is speaking about scoffers, and ungodly. Haven't Christians already come to repentance?
The author is addressing "those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ".
Hana, I understand who the author is addressing, but who is the author talking about, to those he is talking to?

If God is patient, not wanting anyone to perish, he can't be talking about believers. Believers will not perish, they have eternal life. He must be talking about unbelievers, who need to come to repentance.
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



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Re: Is GOD making it impossible for some to believe?? =,<

#45

Post by RickD » Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:33 am

I don't know of many Calvinists who like the term double predestination. If I recall from that long thread, Puritan Lad didn't like the term either. I don't know that it has to be that misleading, but if someone is looking to misrepresent Calvinism (not saying you are) then the wording leaves open interpretations that are not, imo, consistent with what most Calvinists believe.
Narnia, I have already agreed that most Calvinists probably believe like you do. But because most believe one way, that doesn't necessarily mean that's what the doctrine teaches.
no Calvinist believes that God is the author of sin and evil.
Are you sure about that?
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

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