Saturday, September 19, 2009

Irresistible grace, or total depravity?

To my Calvinist friends:

Face it. Reppert isn't coming to Calvinism unless the Father draws, I mean drags him. There are so many layers of my resistence to this, that it will take irresistible grace for me to see it, if it's true.

To read some of the things I have heard from some of you guys, the primary explanation is that I'm totally depraved.

I've run out of stamina again. No doubt, once I stop, something will hit me between the eyes that suggests a completely better way of making the points I want to make. Happened last time.

But did anybody explain what was wrong with Hamilton's exegesis or Romans 9, when I posted it? I couldn't find it. Posting it again.

56 comments:

steve said...

Why should we even bother given your past performance and statements?

i) When you cite prooftexts for your position, and I cite non-Calvinists who offer interpretations consistent with Calvinism, you respond in silence.

ii) You've also said that if you were convinced that Reformed exegesis is sound, then that would be a reason to reject the inerrancy of Scripture.

iii) In addition, you've set the bar arbitrarily high for Reformed exegesis and arbitrarily low for opposing exegesis. You've said that any merely possible interpretation is always preferable to a Reformed interpretation.

When you've rigged the game in so many ways, why should we play your game? You cheat. You used marked cards.

Sure, we could spend a lot of time on Hamilton. Suppose we showed that his exegesis is implausible.

Would you become a Calvinist? Clearly not. By your own admission, you have too many layers of resistance.

So why do you even go through the motions of invoking Scripture? You admit that you're not bound by Scripture if it conflicts with your intuitions. So why the charade?

Victor Reppert said...

I didn't say that. I don't think I have to give counterfactual assurances that I would be convinced if you showed this or that.

I wasn't silent about these non-Calvinists who offer interpretations consistent with Calvinism. I said that their claims were not sufficient to show the compatibility. I said Lincoln's analysis of John 3:16 didn't entail that it was not also saying that loves all persons alienated from God.

That Calvinism is false is something that I am pretty thoroughly convinced of. I have a high level of certitude about it. When you think it's very, very, unlikely that something is true, it takes more evidence to convince them than if the question were marginal for you. That's the way I happen to think. If I were to overturn some Calvinist analysis of some passage, would you slap your head and say "Oh. Wow. Maybe Calvinism isn't true!" No you wouldn't, and I wouldn't expect you to.

So a lot of things would have to fall just right for me to change my mind and become a Calvinist. So what? I don't expect any great open-mindedness on the part of most people with whom I hold discussions about disputed questions. If I can show them some aspect of the issue they hadn't seen before, and get respect for a point of view they didn't take seriously until now, hey, it's a good day in the neighborhood.

I would say that if you could show that all anti-Reformed interpretations of a text did violence to the meaning of it, that would be a good day's work for a Calvinist. It would cost me some certitude about my anti-Calvinism. And then some other Calvinist might make a case with respect to some other passage, and then who knows.

Yes, the whole inerrancy issue is difficult and complex for me. Lewis, wasn't an inerrantist. Biblical passages are strong pieces of evidence their assertions.

LouisJ-B said...

Victor Reppert asked:

"But did anybody explain what was wrong with Hamilton's exegesis or Romans 9, when I posted it?"

http://mp3.aomin.org/JRW/Romans9.mp3

Salvation is God' doing and not the result of you choosing.

p.s
your blood will absolutely boil.;-)

drwayman said...

Dr. Reppert - you wrote, "I don't expect any great open-mindedness on the part of most people with whom I hold discussions about disputed questions. If I can show them some aspect of the issue they hadn't seen before, and get respect for a point of view they didn't take seriously until now, hey, it's a good day in the neighborhood."

That's exactly how I take your blog. There are opposing views posted here, I appreciate that you provide a forum for such. I also appreciate the respectful and positive tenor that you take when addressing questions addressed.

I, too, don't see you convincing our Calvinist friends of anything, but you do help them and others reading and commenting to think about what they really believe. Get some rest and then come back and blog more. I, for one, find your blog very interesting.

steve said...

Victor Reppert said...

"I said Lincoln's analysis of John 3:16 didn't entail that it was not also saying that loves all persons alienated from God."

You denied it, but you didn't offer a counterargument, as I recall.

If your going to use Jn 3:16 to disprove Calvinism, then the question is not whether this verse is consistent with Arminianism (open theism, universalism), but whether it's inconsistent with Calvinism.

I asked you to show how Lincoln's interpretation is at odds with Calvinism. I don't see where you've done that.

I've also pointed out that the way you construe kosmos would make nonsense of 1 Jn 2:15. Once again, I don't recall any response at your end.

Victor Reppert said...

Why assume that the same Greek word has exactly the same meaning in all context. It's not that way in English. What makes Greek different?

steve said...

Victor Reppert said...

"Why assume that the same Greek word has exactly the same meaning in all context. It's not that way in English. What makes Greek different?"

In that case you have to individually show what it means in each separate Johannine occurrence. I await your documentation.

Anonymous said...

Bob prokop writing:

Victor, I am mystified by all this stuff about Calvanism on your blog. You and I both know it's utter nonsense, so why give them the time of day? Am I missing something here?

Victor Reppert said...

Well, fairly simply, the "world" is sometimes used to designate the system of false worldly values, as it is used in the phrase "the world, the flesh, and the devil." But that's can't be what God so loved in John 3:16. God sent his son to save people, not a false system of values.

Victor Reppert said...

Bob: Well, my steam has run out on this pretty much.

Calvinism has gained popularity in the last, I guess, decade or so. Further, I get a little bit sensitive when people challenge my Christian commitment, which is what some of these Calvinists have done.

It also interests me somewhat to understand a position that I hadn't understood so well before.

I find discussions about Calvinism a little bit like discussion about a position called eliminative materialism in the philosophy of mind. These are people who think that since materialism is true, and since such things as beliefs aren't going to be found in the brain, that therefore there are no beliefs. They know it's deeply counter-intuitive, but they have some comebacks to the obvious answers to their position. You keep thinking "I know this is crazy, but how do I explicate why it's crazy so that someone who either believes it or is considering it can see why it's crazy."

But we are getting close to something that I think was your (along with Joe's) biggest contribution to my thinking from undergraduate days, and that has to do with thinking through how Scripture can function authoritatively without committing ourselves to a kind of literalism and narrow-gauge biblical argumentation.

I keep thinking "Yes, the Bible is authoritative, no you can't make it do the sorts of things that you are trying to make it do. It doesn't work that way.

steve said...

Robert said...
“I really don’t like racial prejudices and other prejudices that come from hateful hearts”

Of course, this is symptomatic of Robert’s self-righteousness. Christians of genuine sanctity don’t strut and fluff their feathers in this ostentatious way. Is there something about Arminian theology that fosters all this moral preening?

“And they have certain common features, such as the racist decides beforehand, completely apart from what the person does or what kind of a person they are, that an entire class of human persons is worth being hated and mocked and destroyed.”

Of course, in Calvinism, God damns sinners. But Robert can’t tell the difference between sin and skin. And somebody who can’t tell the difference between sin and skin is, by definition, a racist.

“And for the racist if someone is from that class of hated non-persons, then anything evil done to them is justified.”

Notice that Robert equates retributive justice with evil–nicely illustrating his morally inverted scale of values.

“He decides beforehand that certain individuals will be part of the class of reprobates. He then hates everyone in this class regardless of what they do or what kind of person they are.”

A bald-faced lie. The rebrobate are sinners. That’s the kind of person they are.

When someone lies as often as Robert does, you begin to question his spiritual paternity. Like father/like son.

“He just hates them because they are reprobates.”

No, because they’re hateful sinners deserving God’s wrath.

“(And he decided they would be in the reprobate class, the class of those ‘automatically damned’).”

Just like the OT had automatic penalties for capital crimes.

“And the calvinists just can’t understand why non-Calvinists find their system to be so morally objectionable.”

Oh, it’s easy to understand why someone like Robert finds Calvinism so morally objectionable. He loves his own kind.

“That is like the Grand Dragon or Imperial Wizard not understanding why non-racists find their beliefs and practices to be morally objectionable. The parallels between racists like the KKK and the Nazis and the God of calvinism who reprobates most of the human race for his pleasure are chilling.”

This is from a man who pats himself on the back for his Christian civility. But, with Robert, it doesn’t take long for the mask to come off.

“Actually it is because we believe that scripture has authority that we accept scripture and reject the Calvinistic system.”

“We”? That’s not how Reppert framed the issue. He asked how we should respond if the “best reading of Scripture” yielded a certain consequence. And he used that as a reason to reject what, by his own hypothetical, is the “best reading of Scripture.” That’s hardly deferring to Scripture.

And it’s not as if Robert cares about the authority of Scripture. Why didn’t he take issue with Reppert’s subversive way of framing the issue, which contains an implicit challenge to the authority of Scripture?

But, no. That would go against Robert’s priorities. The Bible is fishwrap to Robert compared with what is really important to him: attacking Calvinism.

steve said...

“[Robert] And calvinists reject the plain and clear teachings of scripture because of their false man invented system of theology. You really can’t be any more plain and clear than when God says ‘For God so loved the world that . . .’ We take it to mean what it was intended to mean. Necessatarians on the other hand have to **reinterpret** texts like John 3:16 to fit their a priori system, so they lose their plain and clear intended meanings.”

Of course, in responding to Reppert’s appeal to Jn 3:16, I didn’t quote a “Calvinist” interpretation. I quoted a non-Calvinist. So Robert’s statement is either willfully ignorant or willfully false.

“And my intuition that racism is wrong does not conflict with scripture but is supported by scripture. And your system of theology which makes God into the worst racist in existence is contrary to both my intuition and the scripture. So both our intuitions and scripture are against the racist Calvinistic theology. The theology that makes God a racist against the reprobates. With the non-reprobates then wearing the white sheets and justifying and rationalizing their hatred. And like the KKK the calvinists have the gall to use scripture to justify and rationalize their hatred.”

Another example of Robert’s Arminian civility in action. His charity knows no bounds.

“The dirty little secret Hays keeps putting under the rug or hiding in the closet is that if all events are predetermined by God (as Hays wishes were true) then God predecides every choice that we will make.”

I’ve never tried to “hide” that connection. Robert sounds increasingly like a tinfoil conspiracy theorist.

“And so every time we sin we are only doing what God predecided in eternity that we would do and then ensures that we do in time by controlling us and forcing us to do the sins that he predecided that we would do.”

Robert needs to explain where “force” comes into play.

And, according to Arminianism, God “predecided” what we would do by creating the world in which we will do it. Once he does that, there’s no turning back.

“God makes all of the choices; we just carry out the orders as he controls us and forces us to do what we do like the good sock puppets that we are.”

I agree that Robert is a sockpuppet, although the choice of adjectives (“good”) is certainly debatable.

“And being forced to do things, is not coercion against our will, rather, it is being forced to do things because he directly and completely and continuously controls our wills.”

Another falsehood. In Calvinism, God doesn’t control everything “directly.”

“Oh and Steve if anything I say here upsets you or frustrates you, (assuming your system to be true), then I am only following orders, only doing what I was controlled to do. I couldn’t help myself, it was impossible for me to do otherwise. So if you have a problem with anything I say then take it up with your puppet master version of God.”

To the contrary, it’s not my problem when folks like Robert store up wrath for themselves on the day of wrath. They’re fulfilling an eschatological prediction. That’s a problem for them, not for me.

drwayman said...

Robert - it appears that you are being cast as a non-Christian. That puts you in good company. Jesus was accused of having a demon. Also, Jesus in His prayer in John 15 says not to be surprised if the world hates you. Since world could be a fuzzy term (I've had some people tell me that world means the elect), Jesus warned believers that the world would hate us. Unfortunately, that means they also hated Jesus.

God is our judge, not man. Interesting blog!!

steve said...

drwayman said...

"Robert - it appears that you are being cast as a non-Christian."

But if Robert is casting Calvinists as Nazis and Klansmen, that doesn't bother Wayman. That's because Wayman is an Arminian respecter of persons. An Arminan chauvinist. He only loves his own kind. Thanks for showing Arminian ethics in action.

William Watson Birch said...

Steve,

To the contrary, it’s not my problem when folks like Robert store up wrath for themselves on the day of wrath. They’re fulfilling an eschatological prediction. That’s a problem for them, not for me.

When exactly did you become God? Can you justify a person? Can you regenerate a soul? Can you persevere a believer? When did you become the Judge of all the earth?

What or Who gave you the right to pronounce an "eschatalogical prediction" on Robert, as though he is an unregenerate sinner, storing up wrath for himself against the Day of Judgment, when God will judge his enemies?

You go too far. You cannot objectively address challenges to your Calvinism and must resort to anathematizing your opponents, just like your theological ancestors.

And Steve, you are not one to be lecturing anyone about Ethics!!! Anyone who has ever read your blog posts can see that you are an Expert on being a respecter of persons. That was a veritable the pot calling the kettle black, don't ya think? So sad.

drwayman said...

Steve - It's too bad that you see me as so narrow as to only love Arminians. I love you too.

steve said...

William Watson Birch said...

"When exactly did you become God? Can you justify a person? Can you regenerate a soul? Can you persevere a believer? When did you become the Judge of all the earth?"

When Robert compares Calvinists to Nazis and Klansmen, you don't think that's judgmental language? Do you think Hitler went to heaven when he died?

But, of course, Robert one of your own, so you give him a pass. You're just another Arminian respecter of persons. You love your own kind. Make excuses for your own team. You preach universal love and equal treatment for all, but in practice you play favorites. A sectarian chauvinist.

steve said...

drwayman said...

"Steve - It's too bad that you see me as so narrow as to only love Arminians. I love you too."

Robert compares Calvinists to Nazis and Klansmen. Is that your idea of loving discourse?

If a Calvinist compared Arminians to Nazis and Klansmen, would you regard that as loving discourse?

But you pass over his comparisons in silence. So you play favorites. You're just another Arminian chauvinist.

William Watson Birch said...

If a Calvinist compared Arminians to Nazis and Klansmen, would you regard that as loving discourse?

Yeah, you just say that he is storing up wrath for himself against the Day of God's judgment. That's so much nicer!

drwayman said...

Steve - I give you a pass. I love you.

steve said...

William Watson Birch said...

"Yeah, you just say that he is storing up wrath for himself against the Day of God's judgment. That's so much nicer!"

Once again, you're ducking the question of whether or not you think Robert's language is judgmental. Shifting the blame is just a dodge.

But since Robert is one of your own, he's above criticism. You only love your own kind.

steve said...

drwayman said...

"Steve - I give you a pass. I love you."

Your lips say one thing but your feet say another. Try to bring your lips and feet into a state of mutual alignment.

arminianperspectives said...

Steve,

Can you please explain what you mean by "respecter of persons"? It seems that you are suggesting that it means "playing favorites". Is that what you mean to convey when you use the phrase? If so, would you consider that a bad thing?

God Bless,
Ben

drwayman said...

Steve - do you love me?

William Watson Birch said...

Steve,

Where are Robert's words? I haven't read them in this thread. As soon as I find them I will read them and comment.

Now, to prove to you that I am not a respecter of persons, I will relate to you recent event. I didn't ever want to admit this, but you give me no choice (no pun intended).

The day that I posted a response to your (absurd) post on Arminianism = neo-Manichaeanism, you didn't respond immediately, like I thought you would. Later on that afternoon, you still had not responded. So I thought something must have been wrong.

Perhaps something happened to you or a family member. Immediately I began praying for you and your family, that God would protect you physically, mentally and emotionally. Come to find out, nothing was wrong, as I found out the next day with your response :)

If Robert is wrong, he's wrong, and I'll admit it. But does that mean that you must take it even further? Why not rise above it? Why sink to his level, if that's what you think of his comments?

BTW, I have never prayed for you or Peter Pike to the effect that God would open your eyes to "the truth of Arminianism." I have, however, prayed that God would open your hearts to treat others better. I admit that much of my own frustration with you and the T-bloggers is in this area. And at times I have reacted badly.

Have you ever prayed for me, Steve? Do you pray to the Lord that he will open our eyes? Do you have any pity on us, that we are caught up in this false doctrine?

arminianperspectives said...

When Robert compares Calvinists to Nazis and Klansmen, you don't think that's judgmental language? Do you think Hitler went to heaven when he died?

It looks like Robert removed that post, so I can't really comment on the context. However, it seems to me that Robert is drawing a parallel between what racists believe and what Calvinists believe. That is not quite the same as calling Calvinists Nazis.

You recently wrote a post saying that Arminians were "Neo-Manicheans". Did you mean to imply that Arminians were unsaved by that? Reading your post it would seem so since you equate Arminianism with false religions. Do you believe Mane "went to heaven when he died?”

I don't really see any difference between what you say about Arminians holding to Gnostic beliefs and Robert saying that Calvinists hold to racist beliefs. I certainly do see a difference between someone saying that another’s belief system is similar to another that is not pleasing to God (as you and Robert have both apparently done), and directly and flatly charging someone with being unsaved (as you seem to have done in saying that Robert is storing up wrath for the day of judgment, etc.).

God Bless,
Ben

drwayman said...

Roberts comments can be found at http://dangerousidea.blogspot.com/2009/09/thought-experiment-for-calvinists.html

J.C. Thibodaux said...

Quite right Ben. Someone may hold to a belief with very bad implications, but not realize (or ignore) it. That wouldn't necessarily imply that he/she is unsaved.

You haven't answered his question Steve: what do you mean by 'respecter of persons?'

steve said...

Robert said...

[Excerpt] For the Nazis it was the Jewish race that needed to be eliminated by any means at their disposal. For the KKK it was the blacks. I find these groups and their actions to be morally reprehensible and showing the most ugly aspects of what humans are capable of.

And yet if the calvinists are correct about God and the “reprobates”, then God is the ultimate racist.

He decides beforehand that certain individuals will be part of the class of reprobates. He then hates everyone in this class regardless of what they do or what kind of person they are. He just hates them because they are reprobates (and he decided they would be in the reprobate class, the class of those “automatically damned”). And the calvinists just can’t understand why non-Calvinists find their system to be so morally objectionable. That is like the Grand Dragon or Imperial Wizard not understanding why non-racists find their beliefs and practices to be morally objectionable. The parallels between racists like the KKK and the Nazis and the God of calvinism who reprobates most of the human race for his pleasure are chilling.

And my intuition that racism is wrong does not conflict with scripture but is supported by scripture. And your system of theology which makes God into the worst racist in existence is contrary to both my intuition and the scripture. So both our intuitions and scripture are against the racist Calvinistic theology. The theology that makes God a racist against the reprobates. With the non-reprobates then wearing the white sheets and justifying and rationalizing their hatred. And like the KKK the calvinists have the gall to use scripture to justify and rationalize their hatred.

http://dangerousidea.blogspot.com/2009/09/thought-experiment-for-calvinists.html#c3692049293974623529

steve said...

William Watson Birch said...

"Have you ever prayed for me, Steve? Do you pray to the Lord that he will open our eyes? Do you have any pity on us, that we are caught up in this false doctrine?"

Since I don't regard Arminianism as a damnable error, I'd have no occasion to pray for an Arminian on that account. There might be other occasion, but that's not one of them.

And, at the risk of stating the obvious, I either know or know about far more people than I have time to pray about, so I prioritize.

steve said...

J.C. Thibodaux said...

"You haven't answered his question Steve: what do you mean by 'respecter of persons?'"

I've already that question two months ago:

http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2009/08/double-dealing-arminians.html

drwayman said...

Hey Steve - are you gonna answer my question? I'm waiting in line...

arminianperspectives said...

Steve,

Thanks for the link (I haven't checked it out yet). Does it really take an entire post to answer a simple question like this? Could you maybe try to narrow down your answer and post it here so we can all see it and interact with it here?

Thanks,
Ben

J.C. Thibodaux said...

Steve, that doesn't clarify anything with regards to how you employ the term here. While I'm on the subject, a few ironies I've noticed:

Irony #1, someone who teaches that God condemns people on an unconditional basis but saves others on an equally unconditional basis is so quick to accuse people of 'respect of persons.'

Irony #2, a person who baselessly implies that Christians are reprobates and thinks that maliciously slandering and bearing false witness against them is justifiable, suddenly starts whining that the other side's supposed to be 'civil' when comparisons between his beliefs and a racist belief system are drawn.

Irony #3, a follower of the teachings of Jean Chauvin referring to other people as 'chauvinist.'

steve said...

J.C. Thibodaux said...

“Irony #1, someone who teaches that God condemns people on an unconditional basis but saves others on an equally unconditional basis is so quick to accuse people of 'respect of persons.'”

No irony here, since I’m not faulting Robert, or his Arminian defenders, by my own standards. Rather, I’m faulting him and his Arminian defenders by Arminian standards. You’re the guys whose theological ethic commits you to equal treatment for all.

“Irony #2, a person who baselessly implies that Christians are reprobates and thinks that maliciously slandering and bearing false witness against them is justifiable, suddenly starts whining that the other side's supposed to be 'civil' when comparisons between his beliefs and a racist belief system are drawn.”

Aside from your tendentious mischaracterization, which is, itself, slanderous, bearing false witness, &c., I’m not faulting Robert by my own standards. Rather, I’m faulting Robert by his own standards. He’s the one who makes pretentious claims about Christian civility, while he then proceeds to flagrantly violate his own code of conduct where the Calvinist is concerned.

Next time you go hunting for ironies, try to master what it means to answer an opponent on his own grounds. It would behoove you not to be so trigger-happy, for you end up shooting yourself in the foot.

But, of course, you’re a partisan, so you react like a partisan-thereby corroborating my allegation. Thanks for the supporting evidence.

steve said...

William Watson Birch said...

“Where are Robert's words? I haven't read them in this thread.”

I see. So you rush to Robert’s defense before you even read the statements of his that I was responding to. That knee-jerk reaction is the very definition of a blind partisan.

“Yeah, you just say that he is storing up wrath for himself against the Day of God's judgment. That's so much nicer!”

Let’s evaluate Robert by Birch’s own criteria, shall we? As a recall, Birch has said, on more than one occasion, that Calvinists and Arminians worship the same God. And since he obviously thinks that Arminians worship the true God, then, by parity of argument, he must believe that Calvinists also worship the true God.

Enter Robert: Robert compares the God of Calvinism to Nazis and Klansmen.

By Birch’s own logic, this means that Robert is comparing the true God to Nazis and Klansmen.

Wouldn’t that qualify as blasphemy? And what is the presumptive spiritual status of blasphemers? You tell me.

William Watson Birch said...

Steve,

And I noticed that the ONE thing you refused to comment on in my thread was my sincere prayer for you, Hays, and your family.

"Oh, thank you Billy for you genuine concern for me and my family. Gee, you must really consider me to be true brother in Christ. I really do appreciate that Billy."

No problem, Steve. Because in spite of our obvious differences, I do count you as a true believer. God bless, Steve. "God bless, Billy."

SO PREDICTABLE!

steve said...

William Watson Birch said...

"And I noticed that the ONE thing you refused to comment on in my thread was my sincere prayer for you, Hays, and your family."

Well, Billy, the problem is that you mentioned two different prayers:

"Perhaps something happened to you or a family member. Immediately I began praying for you and your family, that God would protect you physically, mentally and emotionally."

"I have, however, prayed that God would open your hearts to treat others better."

The first prayer is a nice Christian prayer, and I have no reason to question your sincerity.

However, the second prayer is really a reproof cloaked in prayer. The mention of the second prayer spoils the effect of the first.

William Watson Birch said...

Steve,

Well, God caused me to pray both prayers, right?

William Watson Birch said...

Steve,

What is difficult to take seriously is Birch’s breathless ineptitude. Ideas don’t have to be historically traceable to other ideas to be variants thereof. They only have to be similar to one another in some important respect. Birch isn’t doing himself any favors when he advertises his lack of intellectual competence by raising such muddle-headed objections.

Well, Steve, shall you not partake of your own medicine? Robert was merely taking an idea and showing a similarity. They only have to be similar to one another in some important respect.

William Watson Birch said...

Steve,

BTW, I prayed those prayers quite separately from one another. So, to suggest that one cancels out the other is nonsense. You just cannot stand it that an Arminian would pray to the Lord for your best interest. And from your character, as demonstrated on the internet, it is obvious to everyone that you have no interest whatsoever in befriending an Arminian brother in Christ.

Have you yet answered Dale's very easy and short question?

steve said...

William Watson Birch said...

"Well, Steve, shall you not partake of your own medicine? Robert was merely taking an idea and showing a similarity. They only have to be similar to one another in some important respect."

Which begs the question of whether his Nazi/KKK comparisons are specious or logically sound. Are you now agreeing with him?

Unless you have suddenly retracted your oft-stated position regarding Arminians and Calvinists worshipping the same (true) God, how could comparing the true God with Nazis and Klansmen be a valid comparison?

William Watson Birch said...

Steve,

And how could comparing the fatalistic and dualistic notions of Manichaeanism be a valid comparison of Arminius's Arminianism? You managed to conjure that up from somewhere.

how could comparing the true God with Nazis and Klansmen be a valid comparison?

(Don't think that I and everyone else watching hasn't noticed your avoidance in answering Dale's simple question, cf. 1 John 5:1-2.)

Nazis and Klansmen prefer to favor a respective race. God unconditionally prefers to favor certain people. I haven't invested too much time in thinking this one through. But there seems to be at least a similarity, even if it shakes out to be categorically wrong. And by your own standards, Steve, these comparisons only have to be similar to one another in some important respect.

William Watson Birch said...

Steve,

I loved your latest post on prayer. What a coincidence that you thought to post that after I publicly stated my praying for you.

BTW, you just exposed the apostle Paul's public acknowledgment that he prayed specifically for others. Paul: "I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you . . ." (Eph. 1:16-19); "And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge . . ." (Phil. 1:9-11); "For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you . . ." (Col. 1:9-12).

That Paul . . . To begin with, I think that savors too much of Mt 6:5. Spiritual pride under the chasuble of spiritual humility.

And on the off-chance that this was in any way directed at me: On a related note, to say you’re praying for someone, especially someone everyone knows you disapprove of, can easily be, and frequently is, a backhanded slap, betrays praying for one's enemies in the first place.

Just so you know, when I prayed for you and your family that day, it was sincere. God knows my heart. The problem is, you don't want to be loved by an Arminian. That is something, Steve, that you need to carry to the Lord.

drwayman said...

Steve - I'm feeling left out. You answer everybody's question but mine. Steve, I love you. Do you love me?

J.C. Thibodaux said...

Steve,

"You’re the guys whose theological ethic commits you to equal treatment for all."

...

"...he then proceeds to flagrantly violate his own code of conduct where the Calvinist is concerned."

Such elephant-hurling/non-explanatory strawman burning doesn't explain anything about what you're saying. Care to cite any specifics?


"Aside from your tendentious mischaracterization, which is, itself, slanderous..."

Wrong again, you've plainly stated as much yourself. Your sophistry won't evade that fact.


"...try to master what it means to answer an opponent on his own grounds."

If you're still under the delusion that answering someone 'on his own grounds' justifies breaking God's commands by bearing false witness, you can keep such godless rhetoric, thank you.


"But, of course, you’re a partisan..."

As can be plainly seen in the link above, your tendency is to make wild and unfounded claims when you think it will gain you advantage. You continued to baselessly wail that I'd "defended Robert’s misconduct," even after I'd clearly stated that Robert could speak for himself on the matter. It's quite apparent that your judgment on such matters is simply too self-servingly biased to be taken seriously.

steve said...

William Watson Birch said...

“And how could comparing the fatalistic and dualistic notions of Manichaeanism be a valid comparison of Arminius's Arminianism?”

For specific reasons I gave–which you’ve done nothing to rebut.

“(Don't think that I and everyone else watching hasn't noticed your avoidance in answering Dale's simple question, cf. 1 John 5:1-2.)”

Since Dale doesn’t act lovingly towards Calvinists, I take it that you don’t think Dale is born again–a la 1 Jn 5:1-2. Was that your point?

“Nazis and Klansmen prefer to favor a respective race. God unconditionally prefers to favor certain people.”

Racists (e.g. Nazis, Klansmen) don’t favor one race over another unconditionally. Rather, their racism is predicated on a theory of racial superiority. To be favored, you must meet a condition of racial purity and racial superiority.

So your comparison is fatally equivocal.

“I loved your latest post on prayer. What a coincidence that you thought to post that after I publicly stated my praying for you.”

I didn’t single out anyone in particular. I didn’t name anyone.
“BTW, you just exposed the apostle Paul's public acknowledgment that he prayed specifically for others.”

No named individuals–much less individuals he disapproved of.

“…betrays praying for one's enemies in the first place.”

Since I don’t regard mere theological opponents as “enemies," what’s the point?

William Watson Birch said...

Steve,

Since Dale doesn’t act lovingly towards Calvinists, I take it that you don’t think Dale is born again–a la 1 Jn 5:1-2. Was that your point?

And yet you avoid answering the question. And we all know why. BTW, Dale is one of the nicest Arminians on the 'net. So really, you're acting desperate.

steve said...

J.C. Thibodaux said...

“Such elephant-hurling/non-explanatory strawman burning doesn't explain anything about what you're saying. Care to cite any specifics?”

Specifics for what? Evidence that Robert frequently insists on the necessity of civil discourse? Since you read blogs where Robert has often left such comments, I hardly need to tell you what you already know. Do you deny that Robert has frequently made statements to that effect?

Or evidence that given his aforesaid statements, he has violated his own code of conduct? A specific case in point would be the very example I cited (e.g. Nazis/Klansman).

“Wrong again, you've plainly stated as much yourself. Your sophistry won't evade that fact.”

Which I rebutted:

http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2009/08/arminian-two-step.html

“If you're still under the delusion that answering someone 'on his own grounds' justifies breaking God's commands by bearing false witness, you can keep such godless rhetoric, thank you.”

i) Which I’ve rebutted (see above).

ii) You’re also shifting ground. Your initial argument imputed irony to my response. Since, however, there was nothing ironic about my response, you have to change the subject.

iii) I’d also add that you’re the one, not me, who indulged in slanderous innuendo and bearing false witness by your broad-brush insinuation that two or more Tbloggers were sockpuppets.

iv) And given your high tolerance for Robert’s Nazi/Klansmen” rhetoric, your abhorrence of “godless rhetoric” is somewhat deficient in the sincerity dept.

“You continued to baselessly wail that I'd ‘defended Robert’s misconduct,’ even after I'd clearly stated that Robert could speak for himself on the matter.”

i) You came to his defense by responding to something I said in reply to Robert. For you to then say, in that very context, that you’re not defending Robert is a tribute to your powers of partisan self-deception.

ii) You speak on his behalf when it suits your agenda, but conveniently say he can speak for himself on other occasions when his statements are indefensible.

steve said...

William Watson Birch said...

"BTW, Dale is one of the nicest Arminians on the 'net."

One of the nicest Arminians to fellow Arminians. When commenting on Calvinists and Calvinism, he leaves his nicety at the door.

drwayman said...

Steve - when you and I are in Heaven, worshiping God together, will you then admit that you love me? I'd prefer not to wait until then but I can...

Robert said...

Steve Hays wrote in direct response to something that I had written in another thread:

“To the contrary, it’s not my problem when folks like Robert store up wrath for themselves on the day of wrath. They’re fulfilling an eschatological prediction. That’s a problem for them, not for me.”

Hays is making reference to Romans 2:5 here. That verse is talking about nonbelievers (“because of your stubborn and unrepentant heart”) who by their continual sinning are “storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath”. In Hays’ theology that verse is referring to reprobates: believers’ sins have forgiven because they have trusted in Christ for salvation so they are not “storing up wrath” for themselves, only the reprobates are doing so.

Steve Hays direct question for you: Are you claiming that I am a reprobate?

Robert

Victor Reppert said...

What sense do you make of petitionary prayer on Calvinist assumptions? Wouldn't any petitionary prayer be an attempt to change a past state of affairs?

J.C. Thibodaux said...

Steve,

I mean specifics on this 'equal treatment for all' that you claim we're supposed to believe.


"You’re also shifting ground."

And you're attempting to argue with humorous observations. :D


"You came to his defense by responding to something I said in reply to Robert."

A response to you isn't a defense for the person you're talking to. Is that so difficult a concept to grasp?


"For you to then say, in that very context, that you’re not defending Robert is a tribute to your powers of partisan self-deception."

Sorry, look for someone else to play in your paranoid fantasy-world. If you'll notice, I never even brought up Robert in my reply to you; I simply found your demand for evidence inconsistent when you yourself try to implicate people based upon lack thereof.


"And given your high tolerance for Robert’s Nazi/Klansmen” rhetoric...."

I haven't even commented on that. Once again you draw ridiculous conclusions without evidence.


"Which I rebutted"

Which turned out to be nothing but more sophistry, check the combox.


"I’d also add that you’re the one, not me, who indulged in slanderous innuendo and bearing false witness by your broad-brush insinuation that two or more Tbloggers were sockpuppets."

That is plainly a falsehood Steve, as asking people to confirm or deny suspicions isn't 'bearing witness' of anything (as my reply to the above details).

Quintessential said...

Interesting points Victor. I would agree that it is problematic for Reformed thinkers to question the salvation of free-will advocates. If God chooses who is saved, then who are they to question it?

I'm thankful for God's mercy and grace in whom I have full assurance. Nevertheless, I would serve Him anyway because HE is worthy!!!

J.C. Thibodaux said...

And by the way, Steve,

As further evidence that you have no substantive grip on factual data, your statement,

"...you’re the one, not me, who indulged in slanderous innuendo and bearing false witness by your broad-brush insinuation that two or more Tbloggers were sockpuppets.”

This is plainly untrue, since I never mentioned anything about “two or more Tbloggers” being sockpuppets. Go ahead, point to where I’ve made any such claim (you can use Google's cache if you want to search recently deleted items). You’re either misreading, confusing events, or have just resorted to making things up.

Either way, you're attributing a statement to me that I didn’t even make, and then falsely accusing me of slander and such based upon your spurious attribution. Your blatant sophistry becomes all the more apparent from the fact that you'll recklessly contrive, confuse, or conflate facts to substantiate false charges if it suits your agenda. Again, your leveling accusations with no basis in fact comes as no surprise, given your attempts to justify the practice.