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Without opening a can of worms, can someone please explain how this is not essentially fatalism?

Doesn’t the analogy of the graveyard make evangelism completely irrelevant, futile and unnecessary?  I mean, if you are preaching the gospel among the completely unresponsive dead, are not all evangelistic efforts simply busy work that God has us do?  Essentially shouting at graves?

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1   Neil    
January 30th, 2008 at 2:42 pm

Doesn’t the analogy of the graveyard make evangelism completely irrelevant, futile and unnecessary – Nathan

I’d say “No, it does not make it irrelevant. Preaching the Gospel, that is evangelism, is the normal method God ordained.”

Neil

2   ianmcn    
January 30th, 2008 at 3:04 pm

I think there is a significant parallel between our physical birth and our spiritual rebirth when it comes to God’s involvement. We all know that it is God that is our creator and it is only he that can give life, our parents did not “create” us or “give us life”, but it was part of God’s design that they should be a necessary part of the process.

Likewise, with our spiritual rebirth, in almost every case there is a person who is essential to the process, but it is God who saves them and gives them new life. God in his sovereignty has given us a part to play in the process of salvation, just like he’s given us a part to play in the creation of new life. In the grand scheme of things, our part in each process is extremely insignificant – but it is necessary. It is the way God has made it!

3   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
January 30th, 2008 at 3:07 pm

There’s got to be another one right? I mean it just ends in the middle. What I want to see from these people is how they think we should do evangelism. I’ve seen them slam Francis Chan and numerous others. I want to see one of them stand up and definitively say, “This is how evangelism should be done.” Quit making signs and blog posts about how it shouldn’t be done, create one that says how it should be done. Ken, Jim, Ingrid, I know you all read here. I dare you guys, tell us your interpretation of how it should be done.

4   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
January 30th, 2008 at 3:09 pm

Nathan,

The question you’re asking is the basic one between monergism & synergism:

A) Does God predestine who will be saved and who will go to hell?

OR

B) Does God know who will choose Him and predestine them to be saved?

OR – (if you take neither A or B)

C) Is God not bound by the laws of time, and therefore “predestine”, “before”, and “after” are truly meaningless as applied to God.

The early (3rd/4th century) church fathers chose (A);

Augestine (heavily influenced by a revival of Greek Fatalism) chose (B); Later on, Calvin followed Augestine’s lead.

Many pre-Christian, Jewish sources chose a form of (C), with the notable exception being the Essenes who believed in Double Predestination (and that they were the elect).

Me? I tend to choose (C)…

5   chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
January 30th, 2008 at 3:15 pm

Not being an expert I would like to pose a question that I was asked by middle school bible study a few weeks ago.

If God foreknows and predestines those who are saved why does he create people who he knows are going to hell?

6   Neil    
January 30th, 2008 at 3:15 pm

I think Paul to the Ephesians is pretty clear – “You were dead in your trespasses and sins…but God…even when we were dead…made us alive.” This fits pretty well with Romans 8, where those who live according to the flesh (i.e. unbelievers, not sinning believers as many ODM’s think) are not even able to subject itself to God.

On the other hand, I understand the need to believe…

I don’t see, though, how this makes evangelism unnecessary, irrelevant, or futile.

Neil

7   Neil    
January 30th, 2008 at 3:18 pm

I took Nathan’s question as a choice between Pelagianism or Non-Pelagianism – that is, the ability to choose.

Neil

8   Rick Ianniello    http://rianniello.blogspot.com/
January 30th, 2008 at 4:02 pm

Nathan – to your second, third and fourth questions … no, no and no.

To your first question, if you define fatalism as “the belief that all events are predetermined and therefore inevitable” … then I guess this essentially is fatalism. However fatalism implies “a submissive attitude to events resulting from such a belief and leading to resignation, stoicism, acceptance of the inevitable, pessimism, defeatism, negativism, doom and gloom …” This I reject. It has led me to hope and action. But of course that discussion is a can of worms that this format doesn’t lend itself well to and has been discussed ad infinitum anyway.

9   nathan    http://www.nathanneighbour.com
January 30th, 2008 at 4:14 pm

Neil and Rick,

The film shows a guy trying to give the good news to dead men. Obviously this is futile. So, in this theology, we are all completely dead, unable to hear the Spirit. We are also unable to choose God because of that death. It is %100 up to God.

How on earth does sharing the gospel make a difference?

Rick, fatalism is defined as the first. Events are frozen in time, we have no control over the outcome of the future. Any action we take to, say… evangelize someone, will have ZERO effect on whether or not a person will be saved.

It just seems strange to me that so much of the scriptures is about sharing the good news. But, the sharing of the good news has ZERO effect on anything.

10   chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
January 30th, 2008 at 4:19 pm

Can someone answer my question please?

11   Rick Ianniello    http://rianniello.blogspot.com/
January 30th, 2008 at 4:30 pm

Nathan – fair enough, we’ll focus on that idea, that is that I think all things are predetermined and how that affects sharing the gospel. I think you conclude that if all is predetermined then preaching the good news is futile. I would say that preaching the good news is determined and is also part of the next thing that is also determined – that is that some would raise from the dead. Net I’m not clear on how my view of all things predetermined or your view that they are not really has any bearing on the idea that we are told to go out to proclaim and demonstrate the good news.

I think of both us share the Gospel because God tells us to, because it is the overflow of our hearts, etc. and that for neither of us it is based on what we judge to be the outcome. True?

12   Rick Ianniello    http://rianniello.blogspot.com/
January 30th, 2008 at 4:32 pm

Chris – I’m not trying to be a smart-aleck but can you tell me why God made Satan (or at least made him the way He did) knowing all that would happen? Couldn’t He have made one less (or different) angel?

13   Robbo    http://goldcoastbereans.blogspot.com
January 30th, 2008 at 4:33 pm

Can someone answer my question please?

chris, how do you expect mere mortals to tell you why God does something, that is assuming He does what your question says He does. :)

this is what I believe; “whosoever calls on the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved, .. whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”. Now, is at Arminian or Calvinistic or am I a hybrid?.

Nathan, spelling police alert. It is “i” before “e” except after “c”

14   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
January 30th, 2008 at 4:36 pm

If God foreknows and predestines those who are saved why does he create people who he knows are going to hell?

Chris,

What you’re describing is sometimes called “double predestination” – that God predestines who will be saved and who will be damned.

What it does is gives a cause/effect to God, when (and here I’m going with option (C) above) God is. However, God sits apart from time (from a number of Biblical references, beginning with Genesis 1:1), so He is beyond cause/effect logic (which assumes a before and an after).

15   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 30th, 2008 at 4:36 pm

“Can someone answer my question please? ”

Unanswerable at this time.

A thousand men are thrown off a one hundred story building. As they plunge toward their death the Arminian pleads for them to pull their ripcord that their Creator gave them. Some do just that and are saved. The Calvinist spends his time attempting to convince the men and the Arminian that the falling men have no parachute.

What a useless, unscriptural waste of time. Even if the men actually had no parachute (Calvin) and they were falling to their death we all are still commanded to preach the gospel to them. Even if the man who is preaching is an Arminian it is no one’s calling to convert him to Calvinism. Both men should be preaching the gospel to the falling men, but some desire to prove their view of gravity rather than be used to rescue the falling.

16   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
January 30th, 2008 at 4:43 pm

Chris – I’m not trying to be a smart-aleck but can you tell me why God made Satan (or at least made him the way He did) knowing all that would happen? Couldn’t He have made one less (or different) angel?

Here is one explanation I’ve heard from a Jewish-Christian source:

Angels were created to serve God, and Satan’s name is his function – accuser (in the same vein as the prosecutor in court is the accuser for the state). His original function was to act as a gatekeeper, accusing those of sin who were guilty. With Jesus’ sacrifice, though, his purpose is no longer needed…

17   nathan    http://www.nathanneighbour.com
January 30th, 2008 at 4:44 pm

Rick I,

I agree with you… We should both proclaim the gospel out of the overflow of what God has done in our lives. However, according to this theology, that has no effect on my friend finding Jesus. He is dead, and cannot understand a word I am saying (figuratively). It just seems a waist of time (and extremely hopeless) if that is the case.

18   nathan    http://www.nathanneighbour.com
January 30th, 2008 at 4:46 pm

That is a very interesting explanation Chris L. It would explain why he doesn’t show up much in the O.T., but is all over the gospels and the N.T. I have always tried to get a clear answer for hell/satan/salvation in the O.T. from some of my profs. Nothing really stands out as realistic.

19   Neil    
January 30th, 2008 at 4:49 pm

The film shows a guy trying to give the good news to dead men. Obviously this is futile. So, in this theology, we are all completely dead, unable to hear the Spirit. We are also unable to choose God because of that death. It is %100 up to God.

How on earth does sharing the gospel make a difference?

Arguing from the videos pov – evangelism makes a difference in that God has established this as the mechanism for them to hear, at which time he quickens their heart and enables them to believe.

20   Neil    
January 30th, 2008 at 4:50 pm

I understand the Armenian pov – I just have a hard time reconciling that with the Ephesians and Romans passages I quoted above.

Neil

21   Rick Ianniello    http://rianniello.blogspot.com/
January 30th, 2008 at 4:50 pm

Rick – to the point that the argument is a waste in the face of those falling, yes. But your analogy seems one-sided and week. The Calvinist isn’t saying you have no parachute period. He is saying that what the Arminian is offering isn’t a real parachute, don’t get fooled. What you need to know is that God will snatch you out of the air (so to speak).

But that aside, the real point here (and this loops back to what I am trying to articulate with Nathan) is that regardless of which position one holds, it must not proclaim anything less than salvation through Christ.

22   Neil    
January 30th, 2008 at 4:52 pm

Chris L.,

Satan being the gatekeeper – Doesn’t that just lead to the question of why create angels that he knows will sin?

Neil

23   Neil    
January 30th, 2008 at 4:53 pm

…and regardless of which position they hold, even the staunchest Calvinists that I know stil evangelize as if they were Arminian.

Neil

24   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 30th, 2008 at 4:53 pm

When you strip away all the systematic theology, all the different human terms, all the illiterations, and all the doctrinal labels, Calvinism is fatalism in the end. God created man to play a game of redemptive solataire.

25   Rick Ianniello    http://rianniello.blogspot.com/
January 30th, 2008 at 4:54 pm

Nathan – “He is dead, and cannot understand a word I am saying (figuratively). It just seems a waist of time (and extremely hopeless) if that is the case.” And while I respect why you see that, I see it just the opposite.

26   Rick Ianniello    http://rianniello.blogspot.com/
January 30th, 2008 at 4:56 pm

Neil – funny, I would have said even the staunchest Arminian evangelize as if they were Calvinists.

27   Neil    
January 30th, 2008 at 4:56 pm

Shoot – I gotta check out… and I know when I get back the comment count is gonna be astronomical.

Neil

28   Neil    
January 30th, 2008 at 4:57 pm

Rick,

Maybe therein lies the fact that we are finite beings trying to unscrew the unscrutable…

Neil

29   Rick Ianniello    http://rianniello.blogspot.com/
January 30th, 2008 at 5:00 pm

Rick – “redemptive solitaire”? What in the world does that mean? Is that good or bad. Sorry, I didn’t get any substance from your last point.

Nathan already established with me that if we are limiting the definition of fatalism to that of all things being predetermined. He sees that as resulting in uselessness and I see it as hope. I don’t think either has proved anything other than we respond the opposite to the same thing.

Where are you at on that?

30   merry    
January 30th, 2008 at 5:00 pm

Chris,

“If God foreknows and predestines those who are saved why does he create people who he knows are going to hell?”

No one knows except God, however, here’s something to think about: People who are going to hell have children who will go to heaven all the time. If I had a child who I knew would end up in hell, I would still have that child because my grandchild might be going to heaven– even better, my grandchild might lead thousands to Christ. By deciding to not have my hell-bound child I might deprive many people of the gospel message, in a round about way. Something to think about. :)

31   Matt B    http://matbathome.blogspot.com/
January 30th, 2008 at 5:01 pm

Henry Rick –

Welcome back! We missed you.

32   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
January 30th, 2008 at 5:04 pm

Merry,
Do you actually have children?

33   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
January 30th, 2008 at 5:13 pm

Satan being the gatekeeper – Doesn’t that just lead to the question of why create angels that he knows will sin?

But that gets back into before/after and temporality, forcing something into a box it wasn’t created for…

34   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 30th, 2008 at 5:23 pm

Redemptive solataire – When a deity decides the outcome of the game before He plays and doesn’t allow any participation from the cards. Instead of going through the long, drawn out purposeless history, why not have all the elect born and saved by Abram’s birth and close the game and save us all a lot of trouble.

Thanks Matt, Nathan knows how to reel me in!

35   Rick Ianniello    http://rianniello.blogspot.com/
January 30th, 2008 at 5:26 pm

Rick – you make it sound bad. I could interpret what you wrote as you not being ok with God’s sovereignty but I think I know you better than that. So I’m not sure why you would degrade what I am saying to what you have.

Yep … you did it now, you hurt my feelings.

36   merry    
January 30th, 2008 at 5:38 pm

Joe,

“Do you actually have children?”

Nope. The situation was very hypothetical.

37   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 30th, 2008 at 5:58 pm

Rick – I never addressed you, just Calvinism. You happen to be the most intriging/confusing/incongruous theological mongrel of them all. A emergent leaning, charismatic, Calvinist. I’m OK with the middle one but I’m not sure how the wires connect with the others.

I only have a certain amount of serotonin.

38   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
January 30th, 2008 at 6:03 pm

yeah, I was gonna say I don’t know anybody who actually has kids that would say that.

39   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 30th, 2008 at 6:11 pm

Funny to see you all debate this as I see that both Arminanism and Calvinism as wrong in much of the areas discussed. (Oh Oh!)

I see it as God had an eternal plan… Jesus Christ.

God foreknew a remnant of the faith of Abraham and according to God’s promise to him, and in that, those who are humble will be saved. James 4: 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

As God calls one is either hardened or softened, but that is from our own choice as the sun shines on both clay and wax but hardens one and melts the other.

If one is humble, they melt. In other words, they become reshapable to be conformed to the image of Christ.

Humility is the first step to repentance, which is a major part of salvation… not a work but the idea of a complete turn around from the direction one is going. 2 Peter 3:9
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

Repentance is something we “come to” as we are humbled. In that we come to repentance, we then are given Grace.

We are saved by Grave through faith…

One must believe and receive Christ Jesus.

John tells us the one command of Christ.

1 John 3:23
“And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us”

Acts 10:43
“All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

I see this as God foreknew Jesus, and that those who humbled themselves will receive grace (the meek will inherit the earth) and in that Grace, we are saved as we repent and believe on Christ and receive the forgiveness of sin and His Life.

I see it pretty simple and free will goes hand in hand with God’s sovereign plan of salvation in Christ…

OK now chew me up! LOL!

iggy

40   Rick Ianniello    http://rianniello.blogspot.com/
January 30th, 2008 at 6:24 pm

iggy iggy iggy …

41   I. Todyaso    http://itodyaso.wordpress.com/
January 30th, 2008 at 7:07 pm

I have a real issue with God creating some to destruction…

God created man, and in that day stated of His creation, “it is good.” God created man, male and female, in His image to do the vocation of the image bearer. God created man with one purpose and that is to be His representative on earth and to all creation.

To say God made some to be saved and some to not, misses that all mankind was made for the sole purpose of being the Image of God.

That is why when man “chose” and “fell” in “disobedience” it destroyed his vocation. When Jesus came as the Man from Heaven or the Last Adam, He restored man at the cross and resurrection and we become New Creations, The New Man… the Chose (the Jew) and the Others (the pagans or non Jew) are now One Man in Christ Jesus.

This was the eternal plan of salvation to restore all men from their unrighteousness to the righteousness from God in Christ and so we also become that righteousness in Christ.

Free will was lost, but God chose the Jews, and then the Gentile through the Promise of Abraham. Those that God knew would come by faith (having humbled themselves)

Matthew 18:3-4 states: And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 23:11-12 “The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 14:10-11 also)

Luke 1: 52. “He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.”

James 4:10 “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. ”

1 Peter 5:5-6 “Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”

Repentance and humility go hand in hand, yet it is we who must humble ourselves… that is what Scripture states. It is our job to do…

Humility is not a work, it is the opposite of a work. It is the realization one can do nothing to save themselves and to come to complete mercy of God for salvation. In that God gives Grace to the humble and resists the proud. The proud do not get “grace”…

I see that this is why so many “Christians” do not understand Grace. they are proud and are blind to all it’s ramifications.

iggy

42   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 30th, 2008 at 7:08 pm

oops i did not change that name but it was me!

43   Nathan    
January 30th, 2008 at 7:10 pm

Man,
I didn’t mean to open all these cans of fresh worms…yikes

44   merry    
January 30th, 2008 at 7:42 pm

“yeah, I was gonna say I don’t know anybody who actually has kids that would say that.”

Yes, Joe, my children are bound for hell! MUAHAHAHAHA!

You’re right, that did look a bit strange. :)

45   andy    
January 30th, 2008 at 7:53 pm

Joe i’m intrigued by your reply to Merry..

Are you saying you wouldn’t (the sane answer ),i ask because i think i asked your wive on her blog and she said yes she would still,which shocked me…

46   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
January 30th, 2008 at 7:58 pm

Man, I go out of town for one day, and I miss a big web argument. That’ll teach me…

Why are Christians so in love with dualism? I find that the whole argument is based on a false assumption, i.e, non-Christians are completely dead and that God doesn’t work at all in their lives. I’m convinced that I’ve seen instances that God has used non-Christians to minister to people without them even knowing.

God doesn’t create throw-away people. No Calvinist will ever convince of it.

I think of it like this. Of course God initiates salvation. He has to. But, I also believe God creates people with the ability to love and to choose. He didn’t have to, but He chose to. When I asked my wife to marry me, I didn’t want her to love me because I chose her. I wanted her to love me out of her own freewill, because she had gotten to actually know me. I believe that the same type of interaction God created us for.

47   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
January 30th, 2008 at 8:01 pm

Andy,
I’m not sure I understand your question.

48   andy    
January 30th, 2008 at 8:03 pm

But if your wife had said no you wouldnt of slapped her,God says love me or else…cynical sorry

49   andy    
January 30th, 2008 at 8:06 pm

oops sorry Joe, i asked your wive on her blog if she would of had children, if she knew they wouldn’t get saved (after all thats what God does) and she said yes she would,i cant understand that…

50   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
January 30th, 2008 at 8:11 pm

But if your wife had said no you wouldnt of slapped her,God says love me or else…cynical sorry

I’m not sure if you were talking to me or Joe, here, but anyways. I don’t believe God actively punishes those who rejects Him. Actually, I think He will go out of His way to reach this person, even to a point of it being “embarrassing”. Look at the book of Hosea or the story of the prodigal son. God lost all pride in chasing His beloved.

51   andy    
January 30th, 2008 at 8:12 pm

Sorry Phil that was most def to you lol !!! Joe replied while i was replying to you!!

52   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
January 30th, 2008 at 8:13 pm

To me that is a contrived hypothetical and I never answer them. It’s like asking me what will I do when I catch my wife robbing a bank. It assumes too much. I don’t like hypotheticals as it is, the more contrived one’s I like even less

53   Rick Ianniello    http://rianniello.blogspot.com/
January 30th, 2008 at 8:13 pm

Phil – I don’t recall learning that God made throw away people in my Calvism indoctrination. I’m not sure where you picked that concept up at …

But you are exactly right – the argument is being made on false assumptions. Certainly the assumption about Calvinism here is wrong. That doesn’t make Calvinism right but what I hear some folks here saying is not what I was taught in regard to Calvinism.

Which is why I also attempt not to attack Arminians, those in between, and whomever else … I’m pretty sure I don’t know them well enough.

54   merry    
January 30th, 2008 at 8:18 pm

I didn’t really mean for my comment to be so hypothetical; I was just talking about how people who end up in hell are still valuable as human beings.

55   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
January 30th, 2008 at 8:20 pm

Yeah Merry, I’m not trying to insult you in any way. I just won’t answer those types of questions as a personal preference.

56   andy    
January 30th, 2008 at 8:27 pm

It wasn’t meant to be contrived Joe..

But when you’ve had family and friends die as i have,and their not interested in God, in fact hating the very idea, you start thinking why did you create this mess God..The question came out of that,because the bottom line is HE KNOWS, but he keeps on creating more..

57   Keith    http://fivepts.blogspot.com
January 30th, 2008 at 8:28 pm

The question was asked: “If God foreknows and predestines those who are saved why does he create people who he knows are going to hell?” Probably for the same reason (according to Arminians) that He creates those He foreknows will reject him by THEIR choice. Same end result–hell.

God does what He does “according to the riches of His grace” and “according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will.” Beyond that, He doesn’t owe anyone an explanation. “Where were you when I laid the fondation of the earth?” (Job 38:4)

===
Chris L: I choose “D” — God predestines some out of all who are worthy of and bound for hell.

===
I. Todyaso said: “I have a real issue with God creating some to destruction…” I don’t believe we have a right to take issue with anything God determines to do. I don’t recall Him ever asking if anyone had a better idea or plan.

===
Why do Christians think God is obliged to save their children? I pray that He will, but I submit myself to His authority and sovereignty. My job is to teach my children–plant seeds. It is God’s “job” to regenerate and give them to ability to believe. It He doesn’t and they do not, He is still sovereign, El Shaddai, God Almighty.

My calvinistic “two-cents.” Keep the change.

58   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
January 30th, 2008 at 8:33 pm

But it is contrived Andy, you said

But when you’ve had family and friends die as i have

Now that assumes I’ve not had family or friends die. Or that I’ve not had terrible things happen to me. Both assumptions would be untrue. You didn’t ask why did God create this mess, which is an entirely different question from what you did ask which was something about me being able to determine the eternal destiny of my offspring.

59   Andy    
January 30th, 2008 at 8:38 pm

I wasn’t presuming you hadn’t,i was just wondering how people reconcile it i can’t!

Sheesh i’m not clever enough to be contrived trust me!!

60   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
January 30th, 2008 at 8:48 pm

“Why do Christians think God is obliged to save their children?”

Most do not say “obliged to save”, we say “obliged to offer”. Keith, there was no change.

61   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
January 30th, 2008 at 8:49 pm

Thanks for…err…answering my question.

For full disclosure I was not thrown by the question from the Middle Schooler. I was just curious how everyone would answer. I personally think that question throws a huge wrench in Calvinist theology.

Ultimately I think it’s a big waste of time to make videos defending why your doctrine is more right than someone else’s.

62   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
January 30th, 2008 at 8:53 pm

The question was asked: “If God foreknows and predestines those who are saved why does he create people who he knows are going to hell?” Probably for the same reason (according to Arminians) that He creates those He foreknows will reject him by THEIR choice. Same end result–hell.

Which is of course which leads people to an open theistic view, which is what I lean towards. Mainly, I would say God doesn’t foreknow the future as a certainty but rather an infinite set of possibilities. He’s not surprised, per se, but there is some randomness at play.

The problem with simple foreknowledge is ultimately the same problem that exists with specific sovereignty (meaning that each and every event that happens is because God foreordained it). If God foreknows an event, He is logically unable to intervene in that event without changing His foreknowledge.

In an Open Theistic, model God is both active and responsive. Classical Freewill Theists would say the same thing, but they just live with the logical inconsistency inherent in their view of foreknowledge.

I think of it this way. If I have a color wheel with 8 colors on it, I can say for certainty that when I spin that wheel, it will land on one of the colors. I am not surprised when it lands on blue, but I didn’t know it would land on blue. Now imagine God having a wheel with a near infinite number of possibilities on it. When that wheel spins, He knows for certain it will land on one of the possibilities on the wheel. He can’t be surprised by a possibilities He didn’t know could happen.

The amazing thing is, that God is able to work all these possibilites out for His ultimate good. In this model, God’s sovereignty and power becomes more amazing to me rather diminished. A God who works from a script is not that awe inspiring.

63   Neil    
January 30th, 2008 at 8:59 pm

I have a real issue with God creating some to destruction…

As Paul would say; “what right does the pot have to ask the potter; ‘Why have you made me thus?’”

64   Neil    
January 30th, 2008 at 9:07 pm

Which is of course which leads people to an open theistic view, which is what I lean towards. Mainly, I would say God doesn’t foreknow the future as a certainty but rather an infinite set of possibilities. He’s not surprised, per se, but there is some randomness at play.

I have bigger issues with God not knowing, than I do God creating some who he knows will end up in Hell.

65   merry    
January 30th, 2008 at 9:10 pm

“Which is of course which leads people to an open theistic view, which is what I lean towards. Mainly, I would say God doesn’t foreknow the future as a certainty but rather an infinite set of possibilities. He’s not surprised, per se, but there is some randomness at play.”

I’m sorry, but that’s really scary. :o

66   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
January 30th, 2008 at 9:14 pm

Neil,
Well, it’s not that he doesn’t know, it’s that the future doesn’t exist anywhere yet. It is in a sense, being created. God is still omniscient, meaning He knows all that is knowable.

I don’t know, I have more problems with God making creation a big Rube Goldberg machine. I don’t see that as the way God is portrayed in Scripture at all. I see God as wanting to be prevailed upon, wanting to be argued with even. He longs for interaction with us.

67   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
January 30th, 2008 at 9:15 pm

To me, this whole thread misses what should be the ultimate question for the makers of this video and the sites that are sharing. How does one get saved? They (many of the sites that I have found this video on) will slam Steven Furtick for saying that 100 people were saved this past weekend at his church because he didn’t do it they way that they say he should but they never tell us what that way is! I want to know, how does Ken Silva think that someone should share the gospel?

68   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
January 30th, 2008 at 9:21 pm

Merry,
Well, I guess we all are willing to live with different mental constructions. I’m not naive enough to claim that my view is the right view. To me it is a model that I feel inspires me to pray more, and to draw closer to God. I can see how others would see it another way. Rather than scary, I see it as freeing.

Joe,
I don’t know. I would suppose that only John MacArthur pre-approved methods are acceptable.

69   Keith    http://fivepts.blogspot.com
January 30th, 2008 at 9:25 pm

Phil Miller: re: “…only John MacArthur pre-approved methods are acceptable. ” Now you’re talkin’! 8^)>

I’m assuming I won’t be meeting you at the Shepherd’s Conference in March?

70   merry    
January 30th, 2008 at 9:27 pm

Phil, it’s okay. No matter what one believes about how much God knows, the fact is that people are still going to hell if they aren’t saved.

71   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
January 30th, 2008 at 9:33 pm

Merry,
Agreed. I think it’s a fine line between sharing our opinions here sometimes, and trying to win an argument. It’s really all useless if it’s not helping us love people more and expand the Kingdom.

I’ve known people who seemed to be able to win any argument, but really have forgotten the purpose of the argument.

72   inquisitor    
January 30th, 2008 at 11:16 pm

One time I sat around a table of young Christians discussing whether or not it was a sin for a young lady to wear revealing and seductive clothing. Everyone put in their two cents. I said nothing, just listened. Everyone had a different point of view and reasoning to back it up. The thing that amazed me the most was the fact that in an attempt to identify a sin, NO ONE cited scripture. It was simply a discussion of fallen humans discussing their ideas on sin. NO scripture at all was mentioned, for the whole time (at least 30 min)

That’s what I find so surprising about this site. Everyone has their own POV, but no one backs it up with scripture.
That reveals a lot you know?

73   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
January 31st, 2008 at 12:04 am

That’s what I find so surprising about this site. Everyone has their own POV, but no one backs it up with scripture.

Actually, Iggy and some others used (or referred to) scripture, and the question itself was one of systematic theology (which picks and chooses which scriptures to use and which to ignore and ties them together with extra-biblical logic), so its little wonder that more scripture wasn’t brought to bear.

Does the Bible teach predestination, in some form? Yup

Does the Bible teach individual responsibility of choice? Yup

Does the Bible teach that God is sovereign? Yup

Does the Bible teach that God grants some level of free-will to obey Him? Yup

There’s scripture to back all of these up, and lots of Calminian arguments that can be retreaded, but since both are man-made systems of theology with obvious holes in the logic that tie them together, what’s the point in refighting it for the 1,000,000th time?

74   Tim Reed, Owosso MI    http://churchvoices.com
January 31st, 2008 at 12:13 am

One time I sat around a table of young Christians discussing whether or not it was a sin for a young lady to wear revealing and seductive clothing. Everyone put in their two cents. I said nothing, just listened. Everyone had a different point of view and reasoning to back it up. The thing that amazed me the most was the fact that in an attempt to identify a sin, NO ONE cited scripture. It was simply a discussion of fallen humans discussing their ideas on sin. NO scripture at all was mentioned, for the whole time (at least 30 min)

That’s what I find so surprising about this site. Everyone has their own POV, but no one backs it up with scripture.
That reveals a lot you know?

No scripture there.

In fact I had to go back through six of your comments to get to any scripture at all. And then that was a single sentence made up of 12 words.

75   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
January 31st, 2008 at 12:19 am

Keith
” I don’t believe we have a right to take issue with anything God determines to do. I don’t recall Him ever asking if anyone had a better idea or plan. ”

I agree, so I think we need be very careful in attributing things like “some are made for heaven and some for hell” to God.

If God has a plan that is about Christ Jesus and fit me in that plan I am thankful, yet, I also believe God fit all men into His plan though not all will believe and receive…

iggy

76   Rick Ianniello    http://rianniello.blogspot.com/
January 31st, 2008 at 7:11 am

Chris L – you touched on one of the defining differences, i.e., “some level of free-will”. Calvinists (that I know and read) would argue that man has a will and that he uses it to choose, it’s just not “free”. I thought Arminians understood free as truly free. Is that not true?

Your phrase “some level of free-will” fits in the Calvinist camp as I understand it but I don’t think we would say it that way.

I’m wondering how you would unpack “some level of free-will”.

77   Keith    http://fivepts.blogspot.com
January 31st, 2008 at 7:34 am

Tim: I quoted Scripture and it was more than 12 words. I want credit. 8^)>

===
Iggy: Just to be clear, I didn’t state “some are made for heaven and some for hell.” You kinda made it look that way by use of the quotes.

As far as the statement itself, most “Calvinists” would probably point to Romans 9:18-23, espcially vs21. Not looking for a discussion or argument–just responding.

===
Chris L: “… what’s the point in refighting it for the 1,000,000th time?” That’s what I was thinkin’! Nathan STARTED it!! 8^)>

Anyone that hangs around here much at all would know that there are folks on both sides and a few in the middle. I’ve never seen anyone change teams because of comments made here, and that’s OK I guess. I will have to admit the tone for this thread is way more civil than others I’ve seen on this same topic…and very few comments about Ken, Ingrid, et al.

All in all, a pleasent exchange.

78   Tim Reed, Owosso MI    http://churchvoices.com
January 31st, 2008 at 10:46 am

Tim: I quoted Scripture and it was more than 12 words. I want credit. 8^)>

You get an A+. Wait a second, does your emoticon have a goatee? Are you going all emereent on us?

79   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
January 31st, 2008 at 11:25 am

I’m wondering how you would unpack “some level of free-will”.

I cannot decide to be a bird. I have no “free will” to be one.

I cannot say “I believe in Jesus, so God must take me”.

Rather, per a number of Biblical examples (Esther and Jonah most readily come to mind), God allows for a band of choices which fit within His will, and He permits us to choose within that band.

Because we have all sinned, we do not have the “choice” to enter the kingdom apart from grace – ill-deserved favor granted by God.

Because of the repeating pattern of redemption and salvation in scripture, the primary example I look to is in the Tenth Plague and the Exodus:

God said He would kill every firstborn child and beast in the land of Egypt. However, those who would exhibit the smallest amount of faith in Him by placing the blood of a lamb on their doorposts would be spared from this horrible punishment. Was their salvation a result of God’s promise or their “work”? Following the logical pathway – without God’s promise – His permission -no “work” could save.

Or, a similar example – if I was drifting alone in the middle of the ocean, I would die within 48 hours from dehydration, exposure or drowning. If God showed up in a boat and hung a ladder over the edge of the boat and asked me to climb aboard, would God’s having a boat or my crawling into it be the saving factor?

Now – where things get squirrley is when we start talking about God’s foreknowledge in relation to time, and I would say that God gave me the limited free-will to choose (to get into the boat or not – I didn’t have the option of building my own boat or waiting for someone else’s boat) to get in or not – AND NO MATTER WHICH I chose, God ‘foreknew’ it, because both futures existed before I selected one.

80   Neil    
January 31st, 2008 at 11:36 am

That’s what I find so surprising about this site. Everyone has their own POV, but no one backs it up with scripture.
That reveals a lot you know? – Inquisitor

Apparently you missed my posts aas well…

81   Rick Ianniello    http://rianniello.blogspot.com/
January 31st, 2008 at 11:56 am

Thanks Chris L – so if I’m reading you correctly, you see the “free-will” concept of whether or not there are real options and how God interacts with those options. I think I’m coming at it from a different angle. I see that God place in us His Spirit, changes our lives, etc., such that the choice we make fits His predetermined plan. Net from our perspective it is free, from His, He controlled it.

Now some would cry foul, that this is like a puppet and all of that rhetoric but I hope we can avoid downgrading each other’s perspectives in such a way.

Anyway, I would argue man has a will and makes choices – it is simply not free.

82   Keith    http://fivepts.blogspot.com
February 2nd, 2008 at 9:09 am

OnJanuary 31, 2008, 10:46 am, Tim Reed said: “…does your emoticon have a goatee? Are you going all emereent on us?”

I had a goatee before goatees were emerent! But then I guess that’s not the perception now.

8^)>

83   Christian woman    
February 24th, 2008 at 5:23 pm

I would like to understand well about, what is the differences between “BORNED AGAIN” and “BE SAVED” Because I though that it was the same.
If Borned Again mean that we get the faith from God for to be save, what it’s te meaning to be save, it’s be abalive to obedient to God?????

Thanks for your answer.