Bearded Men March In Calvinist Pride Parade

Discussion in 'The Chapel' started by Pink_Vapor, Jul 12, 2019.

  1. Pink_Vapor

    Pink_Vapor Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    A little humor for the Reformed and Anti-Reformed folk as well.

    Thousands Of Flannel-Clad, Bearded Men March In Calvinist Pride Parade

    WASHINGTON, D.C.—Thousands of flannel-clad, bearded men descended on Washington, D.C. to march in the first annual Calvinist Pride Parade, sources at the nation's capital confirmed Thursday.
    Calvinists from across the country came out to support the oppressed Reformed minority in the nation.

    The men marched to bring awareness to the existence of Reformed theology. "We're proudly coming out as people who are deeply attracted to God's sovereignty in salvation," said a spokesperson as he marched down the National Mall with a sign that read "Sovereignty is Sovereignty." "If you've got a problem with that, well, you probably can't help it. You're totally depraved."

    Activists partook in activities declaring their pride of being Calvinist, like chugging craft beer, comparing beard lengths, and arguing over theology. A large John Calvin balloon was blown up and flown down the parade route.

    Arminian critics slammed the parade for exposing kids to Reformed theology at an early age. "It's clear that the Calvinist agenda is targeting kids by exposing them to the five points at disgusting events like this---partially depraved events, of course, not totally depraved," said one protestor with a "God Hates The Solas" sign. "God's judgment is coming on this nation for this kind of Reformed behavior."

    Westboro Baptist Church activists also arrived to protest but left when they realized it wasn't a gay pride parade. "Our bad---honest mistake," they said.

    But Calvinist critics shifted the blame, pointing out that they really had no choice other than to march in the pride parade.

    Source: https://babylonbee.com/news/thousands-of-flannel-clad-bearded-men-march-in-calvinist-pride-parade
     
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  2. fieldgrade

    fieldgrade Well seasoned member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    Predestination.
    It’s a conundrum.
     
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  3. tanstaafl72555

    tanstaafl72555 This member has been permanently banned Life Member

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    Calvin became a theologian after being rejected for an audition with ZZ Top.

    top.jpg topp.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
  4. tanstaafl72555

    tanstaafl72555 This member has been permanently banned Life Member

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    Everyone believes in predestination in some form. They often just don't think it through.

    Some of the most amusing conversations I have ever had were asking people to define what they mean when they say they believe in "free will."
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
  5. Pink_Vapor

    Pink_Vapor Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I’m reformed, my wife’s now an anti.
    Predestination, I see in a lot of it in scripture.
    I also see we’re accountable for our decisions and actions. I don’t see where the exact line of who decides/chooses is, nor a concern to get lost in the weeds searching details that aren’t there. God knows & I'm good with that.
    Seems it’s mostly the newly reformed Thunder Puppies that beat that drum.
     
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  6. Jerzsubbie

    Jerzsubbie Senior Member Charter Member Benefactor Supporting Member

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    LOL that’s the best part of the article. Those people are so stupid that they wasted their time going to DC for what they thought was a gay pride parade. They see “pride” and they hop on the road.
     
  7. 9outof10mms

    9outof10mms Purveyor of Professional Enginerding Supporting Member

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    Pssst: (whisper voice) you realize BabylonBee is like a Christian version of The Onion, right? It's not real.
     
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  8. Mirac

    Mirac Epic Replies ---> Charter Member Supporting Member

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    Yep,


    upload_2019-7-12_8-47-6.png
     
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  9. tanstaafl72555

    tanstaafl72555 This member has been permanently banned Life Member

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    Bingo. I came to the faith in a huge swirling dust cloud of concerns that I not do so because it "felt nice" but in a real quest to see rational and coherent answers to the big questions. If "faith"means just kissing my brains goodbye, then I have no interest. On the other hand, being contingent finite creatures BY DEFINITION means there are going to be limits to what I can cognize. I am happy (or at least happi-y-ER)
    to rest in a belief that while the big issues are at least in some kind of rational construct, there are going to be problems that my little brain cannot get to the bottom of. The absolute and total sovereignty of God (a clear and unambiguous teaching of the Scripture) and the equally clear teaching that I am a free moral agent whose thoughts and activities are meaningful are two areas that I do not see how they are joined.

    The "arminian" so called "solution"to this is actually more befuddled and logically incoherent (besides being unscriptural) than the reformed position Of course the naturalist position is one in which all possibility of "personality" itself vanishes, with the self being a mere illusion vomited out by a machine which is simply a bioengine cranking out "thoughts" as a liver secretes bile, responding to stimuli with no possibility of anything else.

    I am content to be a little man with a little mind, trusting in what I can understand as a down payment for what I cannot yet grasp. Part of that reason is faith in the reliability of the Scriptures, but part of that is also that the alternatives are actually MORE irrational and ridiculous.
     
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  10. Matt.Cross

    Matt.Cross Well-Known Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    Here is some food for thought... Perhaps it has something to do with man being made in God's image! Man's sovereignty is found in his freedom to choose, but even in a perfect world the choices a man made had the power to condemn him.
     
  11. Jerzsubbie

    Jerzsubbie Senior Member Charter Member Benefactor Supporting Member

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    Nope, never heard of them and didn’t click the link. Darn, guess I’ll have to find other reasons to laugh at WBC.
     
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  12. 9outof10mms

    9outof10mms Purveyor of Professional Enginerding Supporting Member

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    They're actually pretty funny. Nowhere near as dry as you'd expect Christian humor to be.
     
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  13. tanstaafl72555

    tanstaafl72555 This member has been permanently banned Life Member

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    could not agree more. yet the scriptures are also very clear that every choice, even that of the first act of rebellion (and even that act of rebellion by the first rebel, Lucifer) are all planned and fore ordained by a God who is good.

    The way I see it, my choices are:
    1) that logically makes God the author of evil and men mere machines (which raises a whole bunch of other questions, including how can a creature be "higher" morally than his moral origin)
    2) I can deny the clear teaching that all actions of men and angels are a part of God's plan, and exalt my (very feeble) reason over the clear revelation of scripture so I can rest in a poorly thought out refuge
    3) I can say "I am not quite sure how all this fits together."

    I am at #3.

    YMMV
     
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  14. tanstaafl72555

    tanstaafl72555 This member has been permanently banned Life Member

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    Babylon Bee is the best satire on the web. I heartily endorse it.
     
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  15. noway2

    noway2 Senior Member Charter Life Member

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    Hence, the term someone else here used and I've copied, "vengeful sky wizard". The idea that some diety or other hyper intelligent being (a term i believe you used to refer to some of the non corporeal entities that exist beyond our normal perception that are generally verboten to Xns) takes a controlling interest in what you do, let alone predecides if, seems if anything arrogant to me. As the old saying goes, I don't want to rule the world because it's too much work. Who would want to micromanage the lives of billions of infinitesimal beings?

    Likewise, I find the idea that one is judged according to some standard upon death to be equally foreign as I don't believe the gods really care what you do on this earth. Everything is recycled energy in the end.
     
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  16. tanstaafl72555

    tanstaafl72555 This member has been permanently banned Life Member

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    I get where you are coming from, and agree completely... absolutely... unequivocally....., except for one "minor" ( :) ) point. The absolutely jaw dropping claim of the scriptures is that the God who planned all this also planned to take ALL the wrath of that "vengeful sky wizard" into himself, die under its curse, and thus be damned Himself in the place of His fallen creatures, drink it all in, rise from the dead as a sort of proof that "this is all true" and then invite men and women freely to just lay down their arms and come freely into His presence and enjoy Him as the source and font of all goodness, joy and peace..... forever. This would be a God whose very greatness consists in His LOWLINESS and abject emptying Himself on the behalf of His creatures.

    This is either the most fanciful bullshit story which makes no logical sense whatsoever or it is the wonder of the universe which should thrill us to the core of our beings. I guess you know which of these I have chosen.

    As always, thanks for the interaction.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
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  17. 9outof10mms

    9outof10mms Purveyor of Professional Enginerding Supporting Member

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    ...and be content with that.
     
  18. GreatGazoo

    GreatGazoo Li'l Green Guy Supporting Member

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    Oh, my bad, I thought the thread would be about:

    [​IMG]
     
  19. 9outof10mms

    9outof10mms Purveyor of Professional Enginerding Supporting Member

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    Not at all to turn this into a "change NoWay's mind...but just to add some healthy discussion...

    The points you've made are from a solely human perspective. If you can suspend doubt for a second and accept that God created every-darn-thing, maybe, just maybe, he's got other things in motion that are truly "4D chess"...or more like 4,000,000,000-D chess that our pea-brains can't even imagine. And that is ok because what good does it do us? Using your term: it would be arrogant of *us* to demand a full and complete understanding. That would fly in the face of faith and make it nothing more than book smarts...which is pretty darn irreverent to the one who made everything...again, if that suspension of doubt is still in place and you're tracking that thought line.
     
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  20. Pink_Vapor

    Pink_Vapor Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    The conflicting viewpoints of theologian Calvin and philosopher Thomas Hobbes is where Bill Watterson came up with the name of the comic strip.
    Wiki: "Calvin, named after the 16th-century theologian John Calvin, is a six-year-old boy with blond, spiky hair and a distinctive red-and-black striped shirt, black pants, and sneakers.[33] Despite his poor grades in school, Calvin demonstrates his intelligence through a sophisticated vocabulary and philosophical mind. Watterson described Calvin as having "not much of a filter between his brain and his mouth", a "little too intelligent for his age", lacking in restraint and not yet having the experience to "know the things that you shouldn't do."[37] The comic strip largely revolves around Calvin's inner world, and his largely antagonistic experiences with those outside of it (fellow students, authority figures and his parents)."
    "Hobbes is named after the 17th-century philosopher Thomas Hobbes, who held what Watterson describes as "a dim view of human nature."[39] He typically exhibits a greater understanding of consequences than Calvin, although rarely intervenes in Calvin's activities beyond a few oblique warnings. The friendship between the two characters provides the core dynamic of the strip"
     
  21. Pink_Vapor

    Pink_Vapor Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    White Blood Count is what g00gle comes up with.
     
  22. Matt.Cross

    Matt.Cross Well-Known Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    Scripturally speaking, predestination speaks of God's omniscience, not predetermination. Saying that God knows what decision you'll make is a world apart from saying the decision is already made for you.
     
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  23. TheWallrus

    TheWallrus Fathers Demand Reason Charter Member Supporting Member

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    Out of all the conversations I would love to have with you, this is by far the one I would want to do most.
     
  24. noway2

    noway2 Senior Member Charter Life Member

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    Ah predestination, you’ve already done what your going to do, basically. It makes me think about the theory that there are an infinite number of parallel universes and all, at least major changes and decisions, branch off a new universe where all possibilities happen. I guess in such an environment, predestination makes absolute sense.

    One of the things I was taught, though my understand of it is limited is that “all time and all space are now”.
     
  25. Downeast

    Downeast Happy to be here

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    ...like chugging craft beer, comparing beard lengths, and arguing over theology.

    Oh hell yea! Beats being a Baptist! :D
     
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  26. tanstaafl72555

    tanstaafl72555 This member has been permanently banned Life Member

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    I understand where you are coming from, and can relate to the motivations. I am not sure that horse will actually get you where you want to go, though, strictly on a rational basis. Besides that, it seems to be built almost entirely on a very questionable isogesis of one Greek word (προεγνω)..... I am not sure the issue is resolvable in that manner. I am certainly open to be instructed there, but just wanted to register that.
     
  27. Pink_Vapor

    Pink_Vapor Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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  28. tanstaafl72555

    tanstaafl72555 This member has been permanently banned Life Member

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    I tend to speculate that when our knowledge is expanded, the resolution of all this will be found there. We are "trapped" as it were, in time and space, and can catch glimpses of what might be some other perspective (I agree with the quote, though I am not quite sure how and why! lol).

    All of our constructs are ultimately reductionisitic, though. Some of them are more fleshed out, but I am not quite sure we have the cognitive tools to build a construct of reality "as it is." We "feel" like our decisions and activities have true meaning, yet all of the models (including multiverse) we have to explain them fail to provide a basis for that.

    Like I said, I am a little man with a little brain, and am content to wait for further enlightenment. Everyone is. They just have alternate trust sources.
     
  29. charliesgrave

    charliesgrave cosmoline enthusiast Benefactor Life Member Supporting Member

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    Eisegesis will generally always lead to confusion and error.
    Scripture must be examined exegetically.
     
  30. Matt.Cross

    Matt.Cross Well-Known Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    I've never personally seen any evidence that scripture was meant to be understood by rationale. "Behold, a virgin shall conceive" isn't terribly rational, and then we have the entire book of Revelations to further debunk any such idea.

    Whose isogesis is questionable? @Pink_Vapor covered that quite well.

    It's not my isogesis in question in this case.

    The issue of predestination as a whole, or some aspect of it? I don't have clarity on what stands in question if omniscience is the crux, rather than predetermination.
     
  31. tanstaafl72555

    tanstaafl72555 This member has been permanently banned Life Member

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    I just have never been of the opinion that "trust in the Lord and lean not on your own understanding" means "kiss your brains good bye." While God does not countenance making His revelation pass under the bar of human reason (including, by the way, reconciling predetermination/predestination with human responsibility :) ), neither does He expect us not to use reason at all. In fact, this issue, and all of theological statements are simply attempting to use reason while keeping it in subjection to the Lordship of Christ in the scriptures.

    Not sure what you meant by that. The isogesis is "foreknew" in Romans 8.29, and the attempt to make "those he foreknew" mean "those he knew beforehand would choose Christ."

    The short and quick refutation that Rom 8.29 refers only to omniscience lies in the verse itself. If it referred to omniscience in opposition to predetermination (the two really are inseparable, if you sit down and think about it, but that is another issue), then ALL men would be conformed to the image of Christ, as God clearly foreknows what will occur with ALL men, and the verse clearly states that ALL who are "foreknown" will be saved and conformed. That meaning of "foreknew" leads inescapably to universalism, even for Judas, who Jesus stated clearly that his actions were known in advance by God.

    Rather, the word "know" in scripture has a meaning thru scripture to have intimate and approving union with. For example, when Christ condemns "the goats" in Matt 25, he outlines their works and then says "I never KNEW you." This cannot refer to his cognitive awareness of their choices.... it is clear that he knows their choices and activities...., and this is the basis for their condemnation. Rather to "foreknow" means more than simply an intellectual awareness of who/what men are. Again, this meaning is actually demanded by the verse, unless we are to be universalists, as God clearly knows not only all that will be, but all that CAN be.

    This is a faulty divide, and simply pushes the problem (how can man be morally responsible in a world that is predetermined?) off into another corner. That is what I meant by "that horse won't get you where you want to go. I don't think the question can be overcome that easily. As well, I do not think it consistent with the overwhelming testimony of Scripture. I must thus submit my rationality to revelation, and not flip the tables.

    I do have great sympathy with those who wish to answer back to the question of "why then would God still find fault? For who can resist His will?"(another really smart guy asked that question when confronted with the whole "predestination" issue). I want to conform my response to his, which is in essence "you aren't big enough to grasp all this, so sit down in the corner, shut up, and let God be God, and quit demanding that his ethical standards on this conform to yours (which HE made! lol). He is good, and doesn't really give a twit if you don't think he measures up" (my paraphrase of Romans 9:14 ff). That is, if our understanding of of predestination DOES NOT NATURALLY BRING UP THE CHARGE THAT GOD IS ARBITRARY AND UNJUST, then our understanding is deficient, for that is exactly the issue Paul expected it to bring up...., and he does not retreat to "oh, God is NOT causative in this, but only observes....., in advance." He is much more brutal than I would be, in fact, and challenges the exaltation of man's reason over revelation.

    If this does not make you feel like you need to "apologize" for God then I don't believe we are letting scripture say what it says.

    Like I said elsewhere, I almost lost my faith over this issue, and it was only in the realization that whatever issues I had, they were only swallowed up in the claim that Christ himself swallowed all the evil I am so indignant about, so that He is not arbitrary, removed, or a dispassionate observer, but it cost him far more than my imagined indignation.

    YMMV, but I can sympathize with the motivations that take you there. I just don't believe they really fix the problem (rationally) nor are consistent with the rest of biblical revelation.

    Thanks for the interaction, anyway.
     
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  32. Matt.Cross

    Matt.Cross Well-Known Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    I quite strongly agree, I wasn't trying to reject reason.

    I have to disagree with you, because in Rom. 8:28 Paul makes it clear that he isn't referring to mankind in it's entirety, but rather "to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." That makes it clear that this is not applicable at the level of all mankind, but rather calls out a specific subset of humankind. It is obvious that this isn't intended to be a blanket statement that saves everyone that is known by God's omniscience, that is indeed absurd.

    I don't disagree at all with your reasoning or your conclusions here, but I don't see them as exclusive or disproving of what I've already stated either. If that makes any sense...

    The flaw is that I've already pointed out that predetermination is separate from omniscience, you've made it very clear that you equate the two. Man is morally responsible precisely for the reason that he was given free will, and has the freedom to choose that which is just. That God in his omniscience knows what those choices will be isn't predetermination, it's simply prior knowledge. God couldn't dictate a man's "choice" and then condemn him, that would be unjust. I think we both agree there. So to recap, I don't agree that omniscience and predetermination have a correlation. I believe as you do, that God knows the realm of possibilities as well as the actual outcome.

    I would be very much indebted to you if you could provide me with some examples.

    There are two things I strongly believe that keep me from wishing to apologize for God:
    #1. God is just, and so are all of His judgements.
    #2. I am His child, created in His image, and one of the 'brethren' of Christ mentioned in Rom. 8:29 - in which capacity I will gladly bear whatever disdain that the rationale of human philosophy generates in His regard.

    That my friend, is a beautiful passage of text. Amen!

    I hope you'll weigh my opinions with consideration to the further explanation given. There's nothing wrong with agreeing to disagree, and I appreciate the depth of the understanding that you have of the subject. I look forward to more discussion with you in times to come.
     
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  33. charliesgrave

    charliesgrave cosmoline enthusiast Benefactor Life Member Supporting Member

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    There is no quick and short refutation. In order to ignore God's sovereign decree in salvation you have to engage in mental gymnastics with the rest of scripture.
    If you flip a chapter over you've got Romans 9 to contend with.

    It's quite possible I'm misreading what you're saying, but are you claiming that an understanding of God's foreknowledge as definite here is a path to a universalist view of salvation?
    It would be quite the opposite. This verse is not speaking of "all" men, but "those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose". In context, this verse is referring to a particular people, and not the whole world. It does not support universalism at all, but supports the idea that God chose, that He foreknew a people.

    God's very choosing of Abraham and not anyone else is a good example of God's sovereign decree. Is it unfair to the rest of Ur? What if Abraham said no? Whoops. The entire lineage of Jesus just got ruined. God foreknew and predestined Abraham to be the father of many nations.
    Did the nation of Israel choose to be God's people? Is it unfair to the Edomites? Was Israel simply more desirable in God's eyes?
    What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means!

    There's also the logical conclusion that if men choose God instead of the other way around, then men are the arbiter of their own salvation. This is the path to works salvation. It would not then be God who saves men, making them alive by His spirit, dead to sin, and alive in Christ.
    It would be man who is smart enough or good enough to choose God. Yet the testimony of scripture is that all men are conceived and born into sin, enemies of God by their own choice. And that is what man's freewill looks like in action.

    But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together in Christ – by grace you have been saved – and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the imeasureable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing: it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
     
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  34. tanstaafl72555

    tanstaafl72555 This member has been permanently banned Life Member

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    No. What I was trying to say (and evidently failed abjectly..., normal for me it seems! lol) is that trying to say that "foreknew" in Romans 8.29 refers merely to precognition is an inescapable path to universalism, as God clearly "foreknows" everyone in that sense. As @Matt.Cross pointed out, the verse clearly points out those that God "foreknew" as distinguished from the non elect. My point (poorly made) is that God "FOREKNOWS" everything in terms of precognition, so it would seem that if ALL God "foreknows" will be preserved and conformed, then if "foreknows" refers to being aware of what we will do, then ALL will be saved, as God knows what all will do.

    I believe that this argues that "foreknew" does not refer to observing in advance our choices and then approving them, but rather "knowing" is like the last verse in Psalm one, where it says "God knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish." It is not that God is simply mentally aware of the way of His people, but rather that he delights in, sets His love on, approves, and endorses. This is a volitional act of commitment, and not merely an observer whose creatures are acting sovereignly in an area where He has chosen to withdraw control and let them reign in His absence.

    So, no, I am not a universalist.

    The bottom line in this is that I have great sympathy for the motivations in @MattCross in his desire to avoid presenting God as some sort of abstract monster. This is the unavoidable issue in the whole issue here (and actually precognition in the place of sovereignty does not actually resolve this, but merely pushes it back a step. when you think about it, the problem reasserts itself in a being who creates with perfect knowledge of what will or can happen in our choices). I have great sympathy with the motivation pushing this becase, as I have stated, I got pushed to the point of mental illness (or at least in a place of some stress) and felt like a rat in a trap here.

    Like I said, it is only in the cross and the jaw dropping claim that God himself swallowed this reservoir of evil and "became sin" that shut my mouth and let me relax in being a little man and bit player. YMMV


    In closing this, let me say that true Christians believe God is sovereign in salvation, but many are so distracted by rational issues that they become unaware of their own beliefs. As proof, I offer two simple observations/questions. Both come when we are on our knees, when we are the most honest with God and ourselves:
    One, do you thank God for your salvation and tell Him you brought NOTHING to this, but simply took a gift... or do you recite how you are somehow different than those who reject Jesus? If the latter, I don't believe you are a Christian. When you recite the list of all the good things God has done, then you thank Him for "saving" you.... from yourself. The Holy Spirit, when prompting "Abba, Father" simply will not allow a prayer that starts off "I thank you that * I am not like these other sinners* ... which is where the praise goes if our choices originate in ourselves. Please think about this, and tell me it is not so in your heart.
    The second "proof" that we believe that God is sovereign in salvation is in whether we pray for others to be converted. Children, siblings, spouses, friends, relatives..... when we pray (and again, that is where we are the most honest) we do not ask that these people will choose, but rather simply that God will save them. If God's salvation ultimately rests on how they choose, then we should save our breath. We know better on a deeper level. It is only as we try to figure out how both (God sovereign and man making meaningful choices/not being a machine) are true that we mess up and come up with unbiblical constructs to attempt to "save" God from human judgment.

    Again, Roman 9:14 (as you have pointed out, the very next chapter of a letter which originally HAD no chapter divisions!) nukes this mercilessly. If your understanding of God's sovereignty does NOT lead to the logical assumption that our choices are meaningless and God is a monster, then your understanding is incorrect, as this is precisely the objection that Paul brings up. He does not resolve it to my satisfaction, either, further compounding the problem. It is where I have to be content to be a little man with a little mind.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
  35. Matt.Cross

    Matt.Cross Well-Known Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    I don't disagree with that view, nor do I see it as mutually exclusive to my own.

    I'm not a universalist either, so I'm not terribly confident that universalism is the inevitable conclusion because I certainly don't subscribe to a universalist view of scripture.

    This is an omniscient God by definition. I fail to see what is abstract or monstrous about it. The outcome being known has no impact on the freedom to choose. Where's the beef? Believing in an omniscient God doesn't equate to believing in a monstrous God for me, it's quite frankly puzzling from my perspective. What am I not getting here?

    I'm not trying to open old wounds here, but having questions doesn't have to shake your faith, but will rather strengthen it when you find answers. My only motivation is to help you find a better answer than that God is a holy and just monster, and that you are but a peon that has access to salvation.

    Agreed.

    I think the truth of that statement depends on whether the outcome is reliance on the scriptures (which are very clear), or reliance on rationalization - in which case you're absolutely right.

    By what standard? By rationality or by scripture? How are you reconciling God being a monster with Romans 9:14?

    I hope your resolution isn't long in coming. I enjoyed the conversation!
     
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  36. charliesgrave

    charliesgrave cosmoline enthusiast Benefactor Life Member Supporting Member

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    God is not the monster, man is the monster.

    The only way one would come to the view that their is injustice on God's part for foreknowing and the predestination of some and not others is an inflated view of man. A correct view of man- of ourselves, does not lead to arrogance or elitism, but instead makes God's mercy to us of more worth than it is to someone who believes that they have anything to do with their own salvation. To paraphrase a dead theologian, the only thing we bring to God is the sin that made salvation necessary. No one who understands this will pray like the pharisee, but instead like the tax collector.

    God's perfection of character means that in His mercy, some receive grace, and in his perfect justice, some receive justice. Both of these outcomes are just, because God does not owe man anything, but the other way around.

    Paul addresses this, and I think, with the rest of scripture as a witness and aid, he does make a satisfactory answer to those who would call God unjust. God can do whatever He wishes. He made everything, why can He not do with it all as He pleases?

    God gives to man life and breath and everything and man repays Him by open rebellion. The most just outcome for man would have been for God to end humanity in the garden. But in His mercy, in His love, that was not His plan. For His glory, and "out of His mere good pleasure, from all eternity, having chosen a people to everlasting life, did enter into a covenant of grace, to deliver them out of the estate of sin and misery, and to bring them into an estate of salvation, by a Redeemer."
    What's more, God even shows His love to unrepentant sinners. There is a grace apart from the salvific kind in which Gods sustains creation. In which even the most ardent haters of God are allowed to wake up every morning and partake in God's mercy. They are indeed given "life, and breath, and everything" while hating and rejecting the giver.

    I struggled with all this when I first started reading the bible. In our human estimation, it isn't "fair". Buy my eureka moment came when I really began to understand man's condition, and that "fair" would really be for everyone to be judged justly and found lacking.
     
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