Sunday, September 27, 2009

Reply to anonymous on Calvinism and God's promises

Ever heard of the judgment of charity? Are you suggesting that Calvinism posits that elect people have red E's on their forehead and that they should not take people's profession of faith seriously and treat them as if what they professed was not true of them? You can't be serious.

What I said was that no one could introspectively know who has real saving faith and who doesn’t, and that it follows from that that no one can be sure whether the promises of God apply to them or not. I also said that this may or may not be a problem for Calvinism, a statement you overlooked completely, so far as I can tell. (That wouldn’t have even taken charity, just reading). What you are saying, I take it, is that you agree that these passages should be read with suppressed election clauses, and that in fact it would be absurd to take them otherwise. Strictly speaking, we haven’t gotten to a disagreement yet.

James 1: 2,3 So you believe that people can have saving faith and then lose it? And you believe that the testing of some people's faith does not develop perseverance.

What the verse says is that “you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” But if Calvinism is true, no one can know whether they might not lose their faith and become a reprobate (reflecting, of course, God’s decision before the foundation of the world to withhold saving grace from them), and therefore nobody knows whether the testing of their faith will develop perseverance or not. An Arminian can understand this as implying that the perseverance will occur if the believer freely consents. Some crises of faith, as you know, have ended in disaster.

1 Cor 10:13 So why did the people you mention leave the church? If it was to all of them regardless, why did they get tempted and leave?

Again, read the verse. It says ”And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”

It says can, not will. There is a way of escape and they can take it. But not every believer successfully resists temptation. It looks like libertarian free will is the only explanation that can reconcile this passage with the facts. (Calvinists keep asking for a biblical text for LFW, I think I've got one). If Calvinism is true, then given God’s plan before the foundation of the world, Ted Haggard could not have avoided committing the sins he committed. There was no way of escape, and it was more than he could bear.

Heb 13:5,6 Guess God didn't help them to not leave the church. If a crafty non-believer got them to deny Christ, guess they should fear what some men can do to them.

The passage says that God will not forsake us, it does not say that we will not forsake God.

Rom 5:3-5 Sucks that Jesus had to die for people that will leave the church and go to hell to pay for sins Jesus paid for. Or maybe we'll just give the atonement a makeover so natural man will not find it an offense but would find it the most reasonable thing ever.

To me, it sucks to go through life not being absolutely sure whether Jesus died for me or not.

The point I was making is that for every New Testament promise, there is room for doubt on the part of any believer as to whether that promise applies to that believer or not. Is this a disastrous consequence for Calvinism? You tell me. But that is the argument I was making. No more, no less.

149 comments:

D.J. Lower / KKairos said...

"Or maybe we'll just give the atonement a makeover so natural man will not find it an offense but would find it the most reasonable thing ever."

Sure, it's offensive. No matter whose theology you buy into, there's some way in which Jesus dying for us works out to an incredible offense against our sensibilities.

As for reasonable: I believe it would be a Chestertonian thing to say (after the writer G.K. Chesterton, a profound Christian thinker) that Christian doctrine is already the most reasonable doctrine available, in the sense of something being truly reasonable and not simply rationalist. That said, if certain people insist on doctrines that are not proven in our sacred texts or established in our accompanying tradition, and which make Christianity look less reasonable, I consider myself having neither inclination nor obligation to follow in their footsteps. I probably should have said "in their folly" but instead I shall simply say:

"Raca!"

Anonymous said...

Victor, really? So you think you are "absolutely sure" that Jesus died for you? But at a minimum that would require you to know with "absolute certainty" that you are not, say, a robot, or an alien, or a monkey dreaming he is Reppert, or a . . . Jesus didn't die for any of them.

Are you an infallibilist about knowledge? You think you have epistemic certainty about things like Jesus' dying for you? You need to get up to speed on contemporary philosophy.

In answer to your question, one can know that he is saved and that Jesus died for him. At the very least, 1 John tells us how we can know. And they are observable signs. We can also know based off our profession. Know with Cartesian certainty? No. But I just don't find that constraint plausible. If a person who thought he was elect turns out not being one, then we say he *thought* he knew. This are all basic distinctions contemporary epistemologists have made for quite some time, Victor.

James: But on your view, not all persevere even though their faith is tested. On Calvinism they do. So I gues the testing of some people's faith DOESN'T develop perseverance.

I Cor: If someone leaves the church based on a temptation, then I guess they couldn't "bear" the temptation. Why did God let them be tempted beyond what they can bear.

That you think this passage proves LFW is laughable, and I won't comment on that.

Your assumption RESTS ON the idea that "not every [true] believer resist temptation." BUT THE TEXT DOESN'T SAY THAT, VICTOR. YOU HAD TO EISOGETE THAT PART INTO THE TEXT, DIDN'T YOU? Yes, you did.

Furthermore, you are assuming that Ted Haggard is a true believer. Also, you are assuming that this passage means that it is possible that Christians never sin any more. THAT'S PERFECTIONISM, VICTOR. I DIDN'T KNOW YOU HELD TO PERFECTIONSM. Stay out of debates you have no business being in. You are in over your head and out of your league.

Heb: Ummmm, you dodged. You have men to fear, that's the point. On Calvinism, the elect do not have men to fear.

Rom: But you are not "absolutely sure", as I showed above. What's more, if you believe in hell then you have Jesus paying for sins and then the sinner paying for more sins. Or maybe we'll just give the atonement a makeover, so that Gentiles and Jews don't find it foolishness or a stumbling block.

Yeah, for pretty much anything, "there's room for doubt." Thanks for enlightening us benighted Calvinists. I'll alert the media and let everyone know that infallibilism is false. Gee, where would we be without you?

drwayman said...

Dr. Reppert - I wouldn't waste my time on anonymous people. A person who posts should be brave enough to tell us who s/he is.

steve said...

drwayman said...

"Dr. Reppert - I wouldn't waste my time on anonymous people. A person who posts should be brave enough to tell us who s/he is."

Do you apply that to anonymous commenters like "Robert"? Who is "Robert" in real life?

What about anonymous Bible writers? Should we waste our time on them?

What about an Arminian blogger and commenter who goes by the pseudonym of "Arminian"? He recently posted a reply to James Anderson at SEA.

Is cowardice a qualification for membership in SEA?

In any case, we don't need to waste our time on what anonymous people post at SEA, now do we?

Victor Reppert said...

All I need is for some true believer to fall victim to a temptation, and we have our argument for libertarian free will. Suppressed election clauses don't even work here, because the person could be one of God's elect who sins. I Cor 10:13 clearly teaches that for every temptation there is a way of escape. But not every Christian finds that way of escape, so they had to have had libertarian free will.

Victor Reppert said...

Do you really mean to deny that not every true believer resists temptation? That's not in the text, but it is taught in texts too numerous to mention. Christians do fall to temptation and they do sin. I Cor. 10:13 says that there was a way of escape and they could have taken it.

Anonymous said...

Victor,

I Cor. 10 isn't teaching what you say it is. I Cor. 10 teaches about God's OT covenant people who apostatized. Who were tempted to leave, in essence, Christ, back in the wilderness. So, yes, find me a "true believer" that has apostatized. You won't find one. Also, 1 Cor. 10 isn't teaching that sinless perfection is a real, live possibility. You're reading it pedantically and not taking the context of 1 Cor. 10 into account. The context of apostacy. Here's what two commentators say (one not a Calvinist):

“It is not clear whether this verse is to be understood generically of every trial that a Christian may face, or the eschatological trial involving one’s salvation? The noun ekbasis, ‘way out,’ certainly could mean the latter, the eschatological trial, but Christians may also rely on God for the ekbasis of lesser struggles throughout the course of life. In this context, Paul seems to be thinking primarily of trials involving idol meat or seduction to idolatry,” J. Fitzmyer, 1 Corinthians (Yale 2008), 389.

“An examination of the context (1 Cor 10:1-12,14-22) indicates that the temptation specifically in Paul’s mind here is idolatry or apostasy. The Lord will not allow his people to fall prey to apostasy,” T. Schreiner, The Race Set Before Us (IVP 2001), 266.

The verse is talking about a "testing" (cf. Thiselton) of one's faith to the point where the one with saving faith apostatizes. The text, then, is actually an argument for the Calvinistic doctrine of perseverance (in fact, some Arminians believe in perseverance and use this verse as a text for it, they deny it teaches some will succumb to the specific kind of "testing" being spoken of).

Don't you hate it when you use verses work against you? I also notice you ignored my other comments. Are you an infallibilist, Victor? Do you know with epistemic certainty that Jesus died for you? Or are you a butterfly dreaming he's a top-notch philosopher? Probably not, but you don't know that with epistemic certainty. Move on like you said you would. Talk about atheism, naturalism, or the philosophy of mind. This area isn't your forte. I tell you that out of love for neighbor. I care for your rep.

Victor Reppert said...

So you can't have an elect person fall into apostasy and come back from it?

Gosh, I was hoping Loftus would rejoin the fold someday.

Victor Reppert said...

I'm not sure you see the implications of what you're saying. This passage is frequently used for problems with sexual temptation. You *can* resist the temptation, God will provide a way of escape (with the implication that you may or may not choose to take that way of escape).

The only way this could be compatible with Calvinism would be if you restrict the range of temptations to doing things which are fatal to salvation. There are four types of temptations listed in the passage just prior: pagan revelry, sexual immorality, testing God, and grumbling. All of these would have been pretty common sins for people of that time (and the last three are common now). Further, the passage explicitly states that these temptations are "common to man." It looks like the kind of sins that Christians commit all the time and go to God for forgiveness for. And the passage seems to indicate that when they committed those sins, they could have done otherwise.

Now you can have Calvinism without theological determinism. (My good friend Mike Darus likes to remind me of this from time to time). You can say that you can choose chicken over beef, or even the right act over the wrong act, but you can't receive salvation unless the father draws you with irresistible grace. Still, there seem to be lots of theological determinists out there amongst Calvinists.

Victor Reppert said...

Please remember what I said to begin with. I said maybe this is no problem for Calvinism, but that it looks as if these passages have suppressed election clauses. I did notice a problem for theological determinism isn I Cor 10:13, and looking at the context of the passage I don't see any reason to change my mind about that.

Anonymous said...

"So you can't have an elect person fall into apostasy and come back from it?"

If apostasy is defined as a final falling away, then obviously not.

"I'm not sure you see the implications of what you're saying. This passage is frequently used for problems with sexual temptation."

LOL. Is it now? Look, I don't really use the ruminations of layman evangelical Christian proof-texting as my hermeneutical principle. I cited three commentators on this passages, none agree with you. I can cite more, if you'd like. Say when.

"You *can* resist the temptation, God will provide a way of escape (with the implication that you may or may not choose to take that way of escape)."

Right, which is what I said. Elect can resist their form of wilderness testing. They won't apostatize.

"The only way this could be compatible with Calvinism would be if you restrict the range of temptations to doing things which are fatal to salvation."

Is that why non-Calvinists interpreters do that? Is that why the non-Calvinist I did cite for you did that? Did you even read the post I wrote?

"There are four types of temptations listed in the passage just prior: pagan revelry, sexual immorality, testing God, and grumbling."

You're not seeing far enough, Victor. Tempting who to do what? Well, v.6 tells us that it's referring back to vv 1-5, where we read of the OT apostates.

We also note that the way of escape is so that the temptation may be endured. This is compatible with Calvinism.

I also note that Thiselton says in his magesterial commentary on 1 Cor. that people were saying that THE TEMPTATION is what was NECESSITATING their desire or act of sin. Obviously Calvinism/compatibilism is compatible with this being false AND theological-determinism being true.

Thiselton makes other points, all compatible with Calvinism.

Back to your laymen. Most say this passage is teaching, "God won't give you more than you can handle." Again, obviously consistent with Calvinism.

I again raise my unanswered point about perfectionism given your reading. Do you hold to perfectionism, Victor?

This verse is NOT teaching that it is a live possibility that some Christians could remain sinless their entire lives. The majority of Arminians and Calvinists agree on that.

"Now you can have Calvinism without theological determinism."

Keep trying with those wild blows, maybe you'll land a lucky punch.

"Please remember what I said to begin with. I said maybe this is no problem for Calvinism, but that it looks as if these passages have suppressed election clauses."

Yes, I am familiar with your immoral sophistries where you try to hedge your bets by casting your arguments in weak language so that you can withdraw and save face if you need to. For a man who is iffy about all of this, you seem to be fighting for it pretty hard.

I also noticed that you're still refusing to answer my questions. Do you have epistemic certainty that Jesus died for you, Victor? Do you even have epistemic certainty that you have professed faith in Jesus? Do you even have epistemic certainty that you're not a Muslim? A Satanist?

So I note that you have undefeated defeaters, I have none.

Robert said...

Hello drwayman,

You wrote:

"Dr. Reppert - I wouldn't waste my time on anonymous people. A person who posts should be brave enough to tell us who s/he is."

I suggested the same thing to Victor in the past as he gets alot of "anonymous" calvinist posters and sock puppets whenever he dares challenge calvin-ISM. They seem to come out of the woodwork like cockroaches. They post anonymously so that they can take shots at people with no accountability. So far Victor continues to allow it and that's his choice since it is his blog.

You also should know that one "anonymous" poster who often posts anonymously or sock puppets here is Paul Manata. He used to be a Triabloger, but now he is a philosophy **student**. Manata seems incapable of resisting Victor's challenges of calvin-ISM and always seems to chime in with his "anonymous" postings. But you can tell it is Manata by the references to philosophy and use of philosophical terminology, certain words and phrases and the frequent miss-spellings of words. It also gets humorous seeing Manata try to take on Victor. Victor is a professional philosopher with a Ph.D and is teaching, while Manata has no degrees in either theology or philosphy and is in fact a philosophy **student**. It gets humorous to see him post things like: "Stay out of debates you have no business being in. You are in over your head and out of your league."

A STUDENT with no degree who is just starting out in philosophy saying this to a professional philosopher who is teaching: that's rich! :-)

Also referring to Manata's anonymous postings keep in mind what Victor has said about them: he is about as unrecognizable as a bull in a china shop. :-)

I think Victor is amused by Manata's ramblings. Manata gets quite intense in his valiant attempts to defend his beloved calvin-ISM. And Victor just keeps bringing up problems for calvinism, over and over again.

So hopefully Drwayman you now have a better understanding of what is going on here. The calvinists are really, really threatened by what Victor says here. So they respond often and often anonymously or with sock puppets. If they weren't threatened you wouldn't see the amount or intensity of the responses here. Victor keep up the good work! :-)

Robert

drwayman said...

Steve - I guess I didn't make myself clear. I apologize for that. When a person uses the anonymous button, we have no assurance that it is the same person each time. Anyone can hijack anonymous' comments and claim to be him/her and misrepresent anonymous by claiming to be anonymous. Robert, Arminian, Steve, drwayman are all identities that cannot be hijacked as they are registered. One should not be afraid to connect him/herself with truth. To connect oneself with the truthfulness of one's statements in such a way to not allow oneself to be misrepresented is bravery.

Anonymous said...

Hi Steve - This is drwayman. Let me demonstrate. I am now in the combox where I could easily pose as anonymous. Posting anonymously has at least deleterious effects: 1) it weakens the integrity of the blog as people are not sure if when they respond to anonymous, are they responding to the same anonymous or another anonymous or a person posing as anonymous, and 2) it weakens the strength of the posts that an anonymous person would present because anyone could hijack his/her thoughts and claim to be anonymous just as I am able to do now.

Let me make this clear, I am drwayman and not anonymous. I have no desire to hijack his/her identity nor do I desire to make anonymous say things. However, I could easily do things.

drwayman said...

Steve - BTW, you and I have unfinished business. In another thread of Dr. Reppert's blog, I told you that I love you. I asked you if you love me. You never answered my question. In fact I was the only person you didn't answer in that thread.

Steve - I love you. Do you love me?

Anonymous said...

Robert: It gets humorous to see him post things like: "Stay out of debates you have no business being in. You are in over your head and out of your league."

But Victor agrees with me. No one can specialize in everything. Anmd even within the specialization of philosophy their are sub-specialities. People within one specialization tell others not within their specialization to bud out, especially when they grandstand and make obvious blunders. What would Victor say to a philosopher who specialized in Duns Scotus, and only recently started studying philosophy of mind, and then only studied materialists, who then came in and pretended to be "close to certain" that dualism, or Victor's AFR were false? He'd tell him that he's out of his field, in over his head.

I was saying this because I loved Victor. I care for his reputation. Love isn't just about teddy bears and Hallmark cards. In fact, it's not about that at all.

But now I'll make my exit. I see that the angry Arminian has shown up. It's no fun interacting with the unloving Robert, or Henry, or Anonymous, or Lurker, or whatever other sockpuppeting names he's gone by.

For Victor: If God must provide a way out of temptation so that you are able to withstand it, how is that consistent with Arminianism? Don't you already have the power of "ability to do otherwise?" :-)

Drwayman: don't you love me? I love you. Don't let my anonimity cause you to not love me. I would hate to see your love only extends to the named. That's like God only savingly-loving the elect. Drwayman, let's also assume I am who Robert says I am. He told you that I am recognizable. That you can't miss me. My style tells who I am. Therefor Robert just told you I had an identifier. He said you were wrong (I know it's unloving to tell people that they are wrong in this tolerant age). Since I have an identifier according to Robert, then don't you think you should apologize to Steve Hays and I? If not, would you mind telling Robert why he's wrong? Either option you take is fine with me :-D

Victor: Why would God need to provide people a way out say that they "can" withstand the temptation? That's what you said. But I thought Arminians already thought they possessed that power? The "power to do otherwise." So, isn't it "built in", so to speak, that you can resist any and all temptation? Seems kind of silly. Actually, it doesn't make sense at all.

steve said...

drwayman said...

"Steve - BTW, you and I have unfinished business."

Indeed you have. For starters, practice Mt 3:8.

"In another thread of Dr. Reppert's blog, I told you that I love you."

Words are cheap. Your lips say one thing, but your actions tell a different story.

steve said...

drwayman said...

"Robert, Arminian, Steve, drwayman are all identities that cannot be hijacked as they are registered. One should not be afraid to connect him/herself with truth. To connect oneself with the truthfulness of one's statements in such a way to not allow oneself to be misrepresented is bravery."

Since Arminian and Robert refuse to reveal their true, real world identities, they have disconnected themselves from the truthfulness (or falsity) of their statements. Therefore, by your own yardstick, they are cowards.

I realize, of course, that as a double-dealing Arminian who only loves your own kind, that you can't bring yourself to measure your beloved Arminians by the same standard as you measure your Reformed opponents, so I have to point out your duplicity.

Not to mention that your original comment was a dismissive, ad hominem attack on anonymous commenters, designed you spare you the effort of having to actually deal with the argument.

So it's not as if you're assuming the moral high ground, here.

Robert said...

I posted this before but received no response from Steve Hays then, so I repost it here to make sure that he sees it:

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

September 22, 2009 1:09 PM

steve said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
steve said...

Since he brings it up, this is what Robert said:

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

People who make statements like that imperil their immortal soul.

drwayman said...

Steve - I went back and looked at my initial post "I wouldn't waste my time on anonymous people." I can see how that could be misconstrued. I was being too flippant with that. I could have put that a lot better. I apologize for the flippant attitude.

I do, however, stand by my reasoning why anonymous posts weaken discussions. I have been in discussions where there have been anonymous posts by several people. Another person, not me, said, "which anonymous is responding to me?" It made the discussion difficult to follow. Also, by using a registered name, there is somewhat of a layer of accountability. I agree that some people make it difficult to trace who they are. I'm sure they have their reasons. There could be good ones or there could be bad ones. As long as they are consistent in using their screen name, that is sufficient for my sensibilities.

I'm not into analyzing anonymous people's posts to see if they are consistent so that I can figure out who they are.

I have made this case twice on Dr. Reppert's blog. It's obvious he doesn't share my sentiment. He doesn't have to, it's his blog, he can do it the way he wants. So, I will keep my mouth shut about this in the future and I just will not comment and respond to anonymous people as my policy and not try to put that on anybody else.

So again, please accept my apology for my flippant & unloving attitude toward anonymous.

drwayman said...

Steve - you wrote of me, "Words are cheap. Your lips say one thing, but your actions tell a different story." Please be so kind as to tell me where I am being incongruent. Please be specific because I want to address your concerns.

steve said...

drwayman said...

Steve - you wrote of me, 'Words are cheap. Your lips say one thing, but your actions tell a different story.' Please be so kind as to tell me where I am being incongruent. Please be specific because I want to address your concerns."

Reppert does his incendiary post on “A Thought Experiment for Calvinists.”

You then take it to the next level by explicitly endorsing the scurrilous comparison between Calvinism and racism:

“Dr. Reppert - you have truly hit the nail on the head. Calvinism is a mistaken theology. No reasonable person would accept the premise that people with dark skin are automatically damned. However, some branches of Christianity have no qualms in believing that God automatically reprobates certain individuals.”

Robert then chimes in with his even more defamatory comments, in which he compares Calvinists and their God to Nazis and Klansmen.

When I presume to counter his defamatory comments, you rally to his defense:

“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!!”

You don’t turn a hair when Robert says “hateful” things about Calvinists and their God. Instead, you cast him in the role of the righteous victim.

On the heels of that, you then have the impudence to say you love the Calvinist. That statement could hardly be more duplicitous in light of the scurrilous and partisan behavior you exhibited in the lead-up to that hollow statement.

You’re just another Arminian chauvinist. As long as someone is on your team, you cover for him.

drwayman said...

Steve - I appreciate that you were specific about my statements. I said, "some branches of Christianity have no qualms in believing that God automatically reprobates certain individuals." This is a statement that I believe to be true of Calvinist theology. Am I mistaken? Do Calvinists believe that God automatically reprobates certain individuals? I would appreciate your help with this.

steve said...

drwayman said...

"This is a statement that I believe to be true of Calvinist theology. Am I mistaken? Do Calvinists believe that God automatically reprobates certain individuals? I would appreciate your help with this."

i) You're prevaricating. The question at issue is broader than that. Among other things, it involves your invidious comparison between Calvinism and racism. Don't play coy.

ii) In Calvinism, while election is unconditional, reprobation is not. Sin and skin are two different things.

iii) You also dodge the fact, even though I quoting you in full, that you came to Robert's defense.

When you defend a man who makes defamatory statements about Calvinists and their God, you thereby defend his defamation. Not to mention your respect of persons.

You don't get to treat your theological opponents that way, then turn around and profess your love for them.

Robert said...

[response to Steve Hays part 1]

Steve Hays wrote after quoting some of my words:

“People who make statements like that imperil their immortal soul.”

First of all, this ASSUMES that Calvinism is true. But what if CALVINISM IS NOT TRUE? I have no qualms or hesitancy in saying that I attack Calvinism and believe it to be a false theology. If I am correct, then my attacks against this false theology are justified, whether Hays appreciates them or not. I am involved in protecting the church from a false theology that has divided the church and dishonored God and his character.

Second, Hays is aghast at my analogy which he cites here and I will be glad to further explain it soon. And yet Hays engages in “incendiary” and what I would see as inappropriate analogies of Arminian beliefs, Catholic beliefs, Eastern Orthodox beliefs, etc. etc. and his attacks are OK and justified, while mine/and others, are not. If mine/and others are not OK neither are his. But he wants to operate according to a double standard where he can attack other person’s beliefs while others are not allowed to attack his own false Calvinistic beliefs.

Third in response to his comment here my question then becomes: How so? If I am a Christian (and I have years of personal experience as a Christian and a solid testimony among those who know me personally) and if I am a saved person then my sins are forgiven and I am in no danger of making statements that “imperil” my “immortal soul”. Also, if I were a reprobate as Hays seems to believe, then why would God give me this great Christian life and experience for years, a ministry that has been involved in the conversion and discipleship of many people, a great marriage and family life, satisfying local church involvement, and yet according to Hays it is all not real. Just one big deception on the part of God that he is supposedly perpetrating on someone that Hays believes to be a reprobate. If that were true, that is pretty sick and again shows the lack of character that Hays’ god has. On the other hand, if I am a genuine Christian then Hays’ attacks are completely out of line and he is making serious charges that are false about one of God’s own, and God is watching all of this.

Robert

Robert said...

[response to Steve Hays part 2]

Fourth Hays forgets his own false and misguided theology here. If I am a reprobate as Hays claims, then I was preselected for damnation before I ever existed (doomed from the womb with no chance of ever being saved). And if my every action is predetermined by God (according to Hays false theology) then my statements that supposedly imperil my immortal soul are statements that God predetermined that I make. So it is impossible for me to have done otherwise. I am just going through the prewritten script. If Hays’ words are meant as some sort of warning the warning is useless since ONCE A REPROBATE ALWAYS A REPROBATE is true according to the Calvinistic system (if I were a reprobate according to Hays sick and twisted theology then warnings will do nothing for me, won’t change my status at all, actually they are quite cruel; and if I am already elect or will become elect at some later point, then the warning is also not going to change the inevitable). On the other hand, if I am elect and making mistaken statements about Calvinism, then God predetermined that I should do that as well. And perhaps God predetermined that I would be an elect person, but an Arminian elect person at first who would be predetermined to attack Calvinism (and again it would be impossible for me to do otherwise than what God predetermined for me to do) and later I will change my view and become a calvinist. In that case, why is Hays warning me about imperiling my immortal soul (because according to his theology if I am elect whether calvinist or not, my salvation is assured and there is nothing that I can do to imperil my immortal soul). So if I am a reprobate, then the warning is useless and inapplicable as it won’t change anything and if I am elect, then the warning is also useless and inapplicable because as an elect person there is nothing that I can do to imperil my immortal soul.
Robert
Fifth there is a problem about Hays claiming that I am a reprobate, because people change, they can start as nonbelievers who attack Christian beliefs and later get converted. Unless Hays has some inside information from God himself there is no way that he could know that I was a reprobate.
Say that I am not a reprobate but actually elect (and further assume that Calvinism is true) but I have been predetermined to supposedly say false things about Calvinism, what if God is later going to convert me to both Christianity and Calvinism?

In that case how could Hays claim that I was a reprobate and know for sure?

And also, why is he saying such harsh things about a person who is not saved and will eventually be saved? The fact is that Hays is extremely arrogant to claim that I am a reprobate when he is not in the position to know that. He is PLAYING GOD IN HIS JUDGMENT OF ME. That is real and obvious sin on his part. And he needs to repent of this sin as well.
He is also showing his hatred for people who challenge the Calvinistic system because if his view is correct then we cannot help but attack the Calvinistic system as we were predetermined to do (and in fact if you read people’s “conversion stories” to Calvinism a common theme is how they at first opposed Calvinism before they “saw the light”).

Robert

Robert said...

[response to Steve Hays part 3]

This goes back to something that I frequently observe with Steve Hays: he is an extremely arrogant and hateful person (if he really believed his Calvinism that all events are predetermined by God and that in each and every case people never have a choice but only and always do what they were predetermined to do, what God already chose for them to do, then why is he so harsh and angry and frustrated and hostile to people who are only doing what they have to do? If I believed that people espousing error or attacking the truth cannot help themselves but are only doing what God predetermined and ensures that they do, I would feel sorry for them and I would have no hostility or hatred towards them at all because they cannot help themselves (it would be like getting angry and frustrated with ice melting on a hot day; the ice is only doing what it has to do, it cannot help itself). In this sense he becomes just like the god that he supposedly believes exists (the same one who chooses to damn most of the human race before they exist, makes them do all that they do, condemns and hates them for doing what they cannot help doing). In this case God is the ultimate racist and Hays is a good follower of this racist, displaying the same racism as his father toward the preselected “reprobates”.
The problem is that the God of the bible is not like this, does not do this, it is the other side that is hateful and seeks to devour and destroy human persons. The God of the bible is not a racist but desires for all to come to a knowledge of the truth and who sends his Son to die for the world (which includes human persons from all races and ethnic groups). GOD IS NO RACIST, but the calvinist conception of God makes him into a racist regarding how he deals with the reprobates. We must carefully distinguish between the God who clearly reveals Himself in bible and mistaken conceptions of God, such as the conception from Calvinism, the conception espoused by Steve Hays, where God reprobates most human persons and predetermined their every action including their sins.

Robert

drwayman said...

Steve - I'm flattered that you think that I am smarter than I am.

You wrote, "In Calvinism, while election is unconditional, reprobation is not. Sin and skin are two different things." I need to understand these two sentences. What is the difference between election and reprobation? I mean, according to the Calvinist system, if a person is not elected then is not the person reprobated?

I haven't answered any of your other questions because you throw in several things at once. I am trying to systematically understand each of your points, one at a time.

steve said...

drwayman said...

"I need to understand these two sentences. What is the difference between election and reprobation? I mean, according to the Calvinist system, if a person is not elected then is not the person reprobated?"

Election is unconditional with respect to merit or demerit whereas God damns sinners. Therefore, reprobation as a conditional element (a necessary condition).

If you don't understand that, then you don't know enough about Calvinism to even know what you're rejecting.

drwayman said...

Steve - so, if I understand you correctly, election is unconditional in that the person who is elected has done nothing to deserve the election. Hence, is not the converse true as well? A person who is reprobated has done nothing to deserve the reprobation? Don't both groups of people start in the same arena of total depravity?

steve said...

drwayman said...

"Steve - so, if I understand you correctly, election is unconditional in that the person who is elected has done nothing to deserve the election. Hence, is not the converse true as well? A person who is reprobated has done nothing to deserve the reprobation? Don't both groups of people start in the same arena of total depravity?"

You're deeply confused about Reformed theology. What Reformed theologians have you ready, anyway?

Election is unconditional with respect merit since, among other things, sinners have no merit to bring to the table.

Conversely, sinners do have demerit to bring to the table–which is why they merit damnation. What is there you can't grasp about that?

a helmet said...

Victor,

I appreciate your tolerance with regard to your comment policy. Not everyone allows anonymous and non-moderated comments! I appreciate that you tolerate hostile opinions.
This holds true for Triablogue as well.

Robert said...

Hello drwayman, [part 1]

“You wrote, "In Calvinism, while election is unconditional, reprobation is not. Sin and skin are two different things." I need to understand these two sentences. What is the difference between election and reprobation? I mean, according to the Calvinist system, if a person is not elected then is not the person reprobated?”

Drwayman one of the things you have to keep in mind when dealing with a theological determinist like Steve Hays is that they deny the common and ordinary understanding of foreknowledge that most Christians have held throughout church history and even today. The normal understanding of foreknowledge is simply that God foreknows the future event and so that even will occur with certainty. But you need to know and keep in mind that a person like Hays denies this understanding of foreknowledge. For them, God **cannot** foreknow a future event if libertarian free will is involved. Furthermore, according to their understanding of foreknowledge, they believe that GOD ONLY FOREKNOWS WHAT HE ORDAINS. So God only foreknows a future event as occurring because he preplanned for it to occur as part of his secret all encompassing total plan, his “sovereign will,” and he then ensures that it takes place by controlling all things and making things happen in line with the total plan.

Now the reason I bring these things up is because if God only foreknows what he ordains, then when it comes to perpetual nonbelievers, what they call “reprobates”. God does not foreknow in the ordinary understanding that these people will repeatedly reject God and so end up as nonbelievers. Hays cannot borrow from our view and claim that God foreknows what these people will do (i.e. that they will sin) and then deals with them in response to what they have freely chosen to do (in his view free will as ordinarily understood does not exist, cannot exist as God has predecided everything and no one can do other than what God chose for them to do). No, instead, the god of determinism makes people into whatever they are, makes them do whatever they do, whatever they are whether elect or reprobate, whatever they do, is completely dependent upon what God makes them to be and do.

Robert

Robert said...

Hello drwayman, [part 2]

It is as if the whole creation and human persons are tinker toys that God first decides what they will be, then goes ahead and constructs them to be what he had already decided for them to be. And in this fantasy land of the determinist imagination, God chose them to be the lucky ones who get to at some time become believers. The so-called “reprobates” on the other hand, are not so lucky because God decided to damn them before they did anything (not foreknowing that they would sin and then condemning them, remember according to the determinist God can’t do that, he can’t foreknow some future event unless he predetermined it). So God damns them first in his plan and THEN CARRIES OUT THIS PLAN as world history.

So the claim that God only unconditionally elects the elect but does not unconditionally choose the reprobates to be reprobates is very misleading.

In eternity according to the theological determinist, when no human persons existed and when no actions had been done by any human persons, God conceives of the total plan including how many human persons there would be and the eternal destiny of each of them (whether they be chosen for salvation or chosen for reprobation, in either case, God chooses beforehand what an individual person’s eternal destiny will be). God not only chooses their eternal destiny before they have done anything or before they exist, he also **chooses their every action** before they exist and before they do their actions. So when the determinist says things like “well the reprobates merit their condemnation because of their sin”, keep in mind that those very sins that the reprobate is predetermined to commit are sins that God chose for them to commit before they existed and then makes sure they commit those sins.

It is like entrapment on a universal scale, where the “criminal” is set up to do the “crime” that the police want him to do so they can convict him of a crime and then condemn him and execute him for doing the very crime he was **set up to commit**. And then the police say: “but he had it commin since he did the crime so his execution is deserved!” Sure does not sound like the actions of the God who reveals himself in scripture now does it Drwayman?

Robert

Anonymous said...

Brilliant! The Arminians managed to sidetrack the discussion from the objective arguments to subjective squabbling, yet again! That they constantly do this shows that they have nothing left in the intellectual gas tank. It is telling that in EVERY SINGLE COTTON PICKING THREAD THEY JUMP INTO, they must (of necessity!) turn it into petty back-n-forth about how mean Calvinists are.


However, we still have no answer to this: Arminians think they are "warning" the "devisive" Calvinists about their sinful behavior. They think the Bible gives them the role of moral police. However, the Bible says that after you warn such people a couple times, don't do it anymore, have nothing to do with them.

But Arminians don't pay attention to that part. That would get in the way of THEIR ONLY DEBATE TACTIC. My suggestion for them is that they knock off the pious attitudes and claims that they are just trying to ask other Christians to live by Biblical behavior when they clearly are picking and choosing what parts of the Bible they want to follow.

So: Either Arminians will forever shut up or they will respond.

If they shut up: AWESOME! Then we're done with the bores.

If they do not: Then they show they don't take the Bible seriously. AWESOME, they show their true colors.

So, pick a path, both are open to you :-)


Drwayman: I said I loved you, aren't you going to answer? Why hold Steve Hays to another standard?

Robert said...

Anonymous/Paul Manata??? wrote:

“Brilliant! The Arminians managed to sidetrack the discussion from the objective arguments to subjective squabbling, yet again! That they constantly do this shows that they have nothing left in the intellectual gas tank. It is telling that in EVERY SINGLE COTTON PICKING THREAD THEY JUMP INTO, they must (of necessity!) turn it into petty back-n-forth about how mean Calvinists are.”

When you have the integrity and intestinal fortitude to post by name, then we can take you and your comments more seriously. Until, these are just the rantings of an anonymous poster who hides behind anonymity while attacking others. Pretty gutless and showing a lack of Christian character.


“However, we still have no answer to this: Arminians think they are "warning" the "devisive" Calvinists about their sinful behavior. They think the Bible gives them the role of moral police. However, the Bible says that after you warn such people a couple times, don't do it anymore, have nothing to do with them.”

Misquoting scripture now are you? The text that you allude to deals with divisive people in a **local church setting**. This is not a local church setting. And in a local church setting you wouldn’t be anonymous we would know you were the divisive person that needed to be confronted. We are also told, at least those of us who are elders to **warn the church** against **false teachings**, **that** does apply in internet settings like this.

“But Arminians don't pay attention to that part. That would get in the way of THEIR ONLY DEBATE TACTIC. My suggestion for them is that they knock off the pious attitudes and claims that they are just trying to ask other Christians to live by Biblical behavior when they clearly are picking and choosing what parts of the Bible they want to follow.”

Again you have no credibility to talk about Christian standards or ethics when YOU CONTINUE TO POST ANONYMOUSLY. You don’t even have to post your full name, just be honest enough to post your first name.


“If they do not: Then they show they don't take the Bible seriously. AWESOME, they show their true colors.”

Again you are not in the place to comment with any integrity or credibility about who is or is not taking the bible seriously when you CONTINUE TO POST ANONYMOUSLY. The “true colors” of an Anonymous poster don’t look particularly attractive to me. Nor is the Lord pleased with your anonymous posting. But that doesn’t seem to matter to you now does it, ANONYMOUS????

Robert

steve said...

Robert said...

"When you have the integrity and intestinal fortitude to post by name, then we can take you and your comments more seriously. Until, these are just the rantings of an anonymous poster who hides behind anonymity while attacking others. Pretty gutless and showing a lack of Christian character."

When Robert has the integrity and intestinal fortitude to stop concealing his true identity, then we can take him and his comments more seriously. Until, these are just the rantings of an anonymous poster who hides behind anonymity while attacking others. Pretty gutless and showing a lack of Christian character.

So, Robert, who are you in real life?

"Again you have no credibility to talk about Christian standards or ethics when YOU CONTINUE TO POST ANONYMOUSLY. You don’t even have to post your full name, just be honest enough to post your first name."

Again Robert has no credibility to talk about Christian standards or ethics when HE CONTINUES TO CONCEAL HIS TRUE IDENTITY. Just be honest enough to tell us who you really are. Full name. Contact info. Church you attend.

"Again you are not in the place to comment with any integrity or credibility about who is or is not taking the bible seriously when you CONTINUE TO POST ANONYMOUSLY. The “true colors” of an Anonymous poster don’t look particularly attractive to me. Nor is the Lord pleased with your anonymous posting. But that doesn’t seem to matter to you now does it, ANONYMOUS????"

Again, Robert is not in the place to comment with any integrity or credibility about who is or is not taking the bible seriously when he CONTINUES TO CONCEAL HIS REAL IDENTITY. The “true colors” of Robert don’t look particularly attractive to me. Nor is the Lord pleased with his hypocritical concealment. But that doesn’t seem to matter to him, now does it, ROBERT????

steve said...

Since the anonymous commenter is...well...anonymous, I can only speculate on who he is. Robert is sure the anonymous commenter is really Paul Manata.

Let's assume, for the same of argument (which I can't verify), that this conjecture is correct.

It's not as if Robert treated treated Paul Manata's comments any better than he is treating the comments of the anonymous commenter.

So all the huffing and puffing about the ethics of anonymity, when he's so sure the commenter is really Manata, is just another example of Robert's typical dissimulation.

Victor Reppert said...

I don't see that anonymity is the issue that some of you think it is, though actual sock-puppeting is another matter. For some reason, nobody seems bothered by the fact the fact that Blue Devil Knight doesn't post under his name (which I happen to know), or that Doctor Logic posts as Doctor Logic and not under his name (which I do not know).

If I were to write a book entitled "Why I am not a Calvinist" (oops, title already taken), I'd have to be do it with someone who would be my consultant on biblical scholarship, since that is not my specialization. And that is what Jerry Walls did when he co-authored with Dongell.

Do I accept perfectionism, the claim that Christians can live a perfect life. Well, it does have some support from, oh, John Wesley, doesn't it? Is it possible to lead a perfect Christian life? I suppose I could say yes in much the same way that I could say that it is possible to play a perfect 18-hole golf game. Yes, it's possible, real instances are going to be hard to find.

Discussions tend to expand in volume as you go along, which means that it's extremely difficult to get everything responded to.

I have trouble seeing the point of telling someone that if they're elect, God won't let them apostasize. If people are apostasizing right and left, and I am wondering if I'm going to hold up under temptation, and you say "If you're elect, you won't apostasize", then I have to say "That doesn't help a whole lot. How do I know I'm elect?"

There is also some difficulty with respect to how deferential I ought to be toward exegetes. On the one hand, I could say that exegetes differ on how to interpret a given passage, and that I probably shouldn't allow my anti-Calvinist moral intuitions (which I believe to be derived from natural law, as opposed to mere personal feeling) to be overthrown by biblical arguments unless there is something like exegetical consensus. If I say something like that, then I am told that I ought to be able to evaluate the arguments of the exegetes and reach my own conclusion, and that I must be refusing to submit myself to God's Word. If, however, I look at the passages and try to make an argument based on Scripture that cuts against Calvinism (although, as I pointed out, the argument is against theological determinism and not Calvinism, since Calvinism, per se, is consistent with LFW), I am then told that I should take the word of these authorities that I must be wrong. There seems to be a little tension between these two stances.

Anonymous said...

Robert,

"When you have the integrity and intestinal fortitude to post by name, then we can take you and your comments more seriously."

Let's go along with your theory. I have seen how you interact with Paul Manata when he posts as Paul Manata. So, why think there would be any difference? Furthermore, you saif you know it is Paul Manata posting. You said it was "obvious." So, why are you shifting between positions? You evidence an unstable mind. I tell you that out of love.

"Misquoting scripture now are you? The text that you allude to deals with divisive people in a **local church setting**. This is not a local church setting."

But those are te verses **Arminians** have used to justify their playing moral police. You're only defeating their arguments, Robert. Furthermore, you have tried to contact Triablogue church elders and have them disciplined. You have tried to go to them with wittnesses. Jesus says that when this doesn't work, move on. So you have not avoided the problem, though it is duly noted that you tried.

"Again you have no credibility to talk about Christian standards or ethics when YOU CONTINUE TO POST ANONYMOUSLY."

YOU HAVE MADE IT CLEAR THAT IT IS NOT ANONYMOUS POSTING. YOU HAVE MADE IT CLEAR THAT "I" HAVE AN IDENTIFIABLE SIGNATURE, THUS NEGATING MY "ANONIMITY." STEP UP YOUR GAME, ROBERT. YOU'RE MAKING THINGS TOO EASY. EITHER I AM NOT ANONYMOUS, OR I AM. YOU DON'T GET IT BOTH WAYS. EITHER YOU KNOW WHO I AM---THUS MAKING ME NOT ANONYMOYS---OR YOU DO NOT, NEGATING YOUR "IT IS OBVIOUS" WHO I AM COMMENT. WHICH IS IT, ROBERT? WHAT HORN WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE IMPALED ON? I'M FINE WITH EITHER ONE.

I also note that Victor disagrees with you. Anywho . . .

Victor: Yes, Wesley held to perfectionism. Most think he is wrong. Arminian and Calvinist. I just wanted to see where you'd go. I think you'd have a bear of a time dealing with the anti-perfectionist passages, especially given your "language" argument against Calvinism. You would be forced to seem arbitrary in complaining what they do to "ordinary meaning."

Anyway, I think I put forth a better exegesis of what the passage is talking about and I supported it with both Calvinist and non-Calvinist exegetes. Since I have interpreters on both sides, and my interpretation begs no contentious questions, it should be preferred. Especially in light of the "most of my Christian friends at church say" counter-exegesis.

I also wonder why God must make one "able" and "provide a way out" of testing? I mean, don't you already have a "way out" built in, so to speak? Seems kind of silly for Paul to say what he did if he really assumed we had libertarian free will. Wouldn't people say, "Yeah, Paul, we, um, kinda knew we could do "other" than go down the temptation path. We have the power to do otherwise. In fact, we don't need God to make us able since we ought not go down the temptation path, and ought implies can, WE ALREADY KNEW that we were "able" to resist or take another path."

Upon reflection, absent the argument that this text is actually a proof-text for perserverance, your interpretation seems odd (beside the whole perfectionism thing) if we assume we have libertarian free will and all the Biblical authors assumed we did.

Victor Reppert said...

But don't a lot of people worry that they just can't resist temptation? Despair in the face of temptation is pretty common, isn't it? Even if people think they have free will, they may also think that temptation may bear down on them for so long that they really don't have a chance to successfully resist long-term. "He just keeps flattering me, and hitting on me, and sooner or later I know that I'll end up giving in. and then I won't be able to face God."

And to someone in that situation, I don't see that saying "Well, God has his elect picked out from before the foundation of the world, and if you are in that number, you will be able to avoid falling away." That wouldn't give me much of any assurance if I were concerned about the strength of my faith in the face of temptation or doubt.

Walls and Dongell say that someone facing difficulties with one's faith can say, if Arminianism is true, that they can be sure that God loves them. If Calvinism is true, doubts and temptations can be taken as grounds that maybe God has really reprobated you.

As for Cartesian certainly, yes, someone can be reasonably sure of one's election and future perseverance so long as one is not in the midst of a moral crisis or a crisis of faith. But these crises do happen, and when they do, it seems difficult to find spiritual support in Calvinist terms.

drwayman said...

Steve - You said, "What is there you can't grasp about that?" I guess then that you and I have hit an impasse. It appears to be that you and I have a different set of lens upon which we interpret the Bible.

What is good is that I know that we agree on God's character: He is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. He is sovereign, loving, just and merciful. I am sure that there is much more upon which we agree. In fact, if we had the fortunate pleasure to be in geographical proximty of each other, I think that we could be friends.

I do not have the energy or the time to get into a drawn out discussion on definition of terms, trying to understand each other and then ending back up where both of us started. I doubt that either of us will convince the other. However, since we will be spending an eternity together, I am looking forward to the time when we do have the time and energy to discuss the manifold wisdom of God.

I will continue to disagree with you on some issues and that doesn't negate my feelings of love for you. There may be times where you believe I cross a line. I will admit that I am human and don't always act as Jesus would have me to act.

There are many friends that I have with whom I disagree. However, my friends and I agree that if friends agree on everything, then our friendships would be pretty boring.

So, I am conceding this discussion. I am saying "uncle." I apologize for starting a discussion with you that I am not willing to finish. Thank you for your time, I look forward to other times when we can interact.

Robert said...

Hello Victor,

Victor as you are discussing 1 Cor. 10:13. Rather than reinventing the wheel here, Ben from ARMINIAN PERSPECTIVES engaged in a prolonged refutation of Steve Hays on this very passage. It is available at:
http://arminianperspectives.wordpress.com/category/1-cor-1013-and-free-will/

Calvinists do not handle this passage very well and Ben shows this very clearly. Check it out.

Robert

J said...

Manata gets quite intense in his valiant attempts to defend his beloved calvin-ISM.

Manata and the Triablogger's 24/7 zealotry offers quite a bit of evidence of how calvinism actually operates in sunday school-land.

That said, the Reformer was not a complete anti-rationalist. Given an omnipotent and omniscient G*d, determinism would seem to follow--catholics/thomists have their own flavor of determinism. Even the Arminians or catholics or whatever-ists who believe in free will must agree that their G*d is not obligated to award grace/ salvation, even to a Mother Theresa--to say otherwise would be to bind Him to our merely human sense of justice, and protestants (and most catholics) simply won't stand for that.

The Calvinist in other words takes the anti-humanist view of Plato's Euthyphro dilemma: God's justice is not really the issue for the Pious. What counts is duty to the King-God, whether that is by acting morally, or at least pretending to be part of the Elect, joining the GOP, country club, etc

Anonymous said...

http://bible.org/seriespage/lessons-we-must-learn-our-%E2%80%9Cfathers%E2%80%9D-1-cor-1011-14

arminianperspectives said...

In case the above link that Robert left doesn't work, here is a hyper-link,

1 Cor. 10:13 and Free Will

God Bless,
Ben

steve said...

Robert said...

"Victor as you are discussing 1 Cor. 10:13. Rather than reinventing the wheel here, Ben from ARMINIAN PERSPECTIVES engaged in a prolonged refutation of Steve Hays on this very passage...Calvinists do not handle this passage very well and Ben shows this very clearly. Check it out."

Of course, Robert has said he believes in eternal security/perseverance of the saints. In that event, he can't very well treat 1 Cor 10:13 as open-ended.

Likewise, Ben subscribes to conditional election. In that case, the foreseen elect cannot lose their salvation.

Anonymous said...

Hiya Robert,

Got an answer yet? Or was it all talk again?


Victor:

"But don't a lot of people worry that they just can't resist temptation? Despair in the face of temptation is pretty common, isn't it?".

I'm glad for temptations and my all-too-frequent succumbing to them. This helps me look away from myself and out, towards Christ. As a sinner prone to forget the gospel and opt for law and self-justification on a minute-by-minute basis, I'm rather glad I'm not a "spiritual super star,' slaying dragons and "daring to be a Daniel."

""He just keeps flattering me, and hitting on me, and sooner or later I know that I'll end up giving in. and then I won't be able to face God."

Yes, I am familiar with America's Christless Christianity and it emphasis on law-keeping. I am well aware of its narcissism and its penchant to always look inward...which is not outward....which is not in the direction of Christ.

"And to someone in that situation, I don't see that saying "Well, God has his elect picked out from before the foundation of the world, and if you are in that number, you will be able to avoid falling away." That wouldn't give me much of any assurance if I were concerned about the strength of my faith in the face of temptation or doubt."

I tell them to look outside themselves because, contrary to what you may believe, perfectionism is a myth and we will ALWAYS have sin in our lives until we are glorified on the last day. It's about what Jesus Christ actually did, in history, for realz. It's not a fire insurance plan. It's not about "if your faith is strong and mighty." It's about what Jesus did on behalf of his people. It's about the salvatioin he gained for them. It's about your "work, work, work," ceasing. It's aboutn trusting and resting in Christ. The life of a Christian is marked by suffering. Despite what osteen teaches us, what is unique about Christianity is that it's not about "having your best life now" or "being a better you." It's not about being on "team Jesus" and getting a "spiritual makeover." the "strength of my faith" cannot withstand any temptation. The objection work and power of Christ can.

"Walls and Dongell say that someone facing difficulties with one's faith can say, if Arminianism is true, that they can be sure that God loves them. If Calvinism is true, doubts and temptations can be taken as grounds that maybe God has really reprobated you."

But of course that's false, and ridiculously so. Perhaps it's a fine piece of rhetoric and sophistry, but it sounds too partisan for my blood. Sounds like their coming up with campaign punchlines. I can do the same.Do we want to go down that road?

"As for Cartesian certainly, yes, someone can be reasonably sure of one's election and future perseverance so long as one is not in the midst of a moral crisis or a crisis of faith. But these crises do happen, and when they do, it seems difficult to find spiritual support in Calvinist terms."

You said we couldn't be "absolutely sure that jesus died for us." Neither can you. jesus didn't die for butterlfies dreaming they're men.

In calvinistic terms, spiritual support is found by looking outside yourself and towards Christ. if one doesn't want to do that, then he's screwed on both Calvinism and Arminianism. Furthermore, it is serves as objective evidence that one does not have saving faith. Saving faith comes by believing on Christ, his life and death and resurrection. So, the grounds to doubt one's status are found right there in the Bible.

Again, we have no undefeated defeaters. I still think you have many.

arminianperspectives said...

Likewise, Ben subscribes to conditional election. In that case, the foreseen elect cannot lose their salvation.

I hold to corporate election, so this barely has any bearing on my view since I would say that one could be elect for a time and then cease to be elect at the point of apostasy. But if we are just defining the elect as those who endure to the end and are ultimately saved, then the simple difference between certainty and necessity makes Steve’s point moot.

To say that the foreseen elect cannot lose their salvation is no different than saying those who endure to the end in faith will certainly be saved. This hardly conflicts with conditional election.

Just another red-herring put forth in an apparent attempt to distract people away from the fact that Steve’s interpretation of 1 Cor. 10:13 represents an extreme minority position that is far from exegetically convincing.

J said...

How does the Believer know he belongs to the Elect?

Why, he first looks around the sunday school parking lot, and by comparing his trophy babe to the usual slatterns, or his benz to the chevies, fords, and toyotas, he jus' knows it.

Those old reprobates Jefferson and Adams (and most of the founding fathers) were united in their opposition to calvinism--must have been preterite (and now....... in the Fiery Furnace!).

Anonymous said...

*extreme minority position*

I have scoured multiple sources and no one has made the case that this verse is speaking of LFW.

The overwhelming majority do not even mention free will when exegeting this verse in context.

Anonymous said...

J is a well-known troll who was repeatedly trounced by the Triabloggers and it seems his pride has still got the best of him.

BTW, many of the founding father were pretty much united in their rejection of Orhtodox Christianity, being deists and unitarians.

J said...

Heh heh.

Of course a triablogger zealot would think so: mention like Jefferson's contempt for biblical infallibility to orthodox Calvinists, and rejection of miracles, and the Triabloggers start waving their Eisenkreuz. Holy blood red heifer, batman.

Victor Reppert said...

The exegetes would be concerned with whether this passage refers to garden variety temptations (and here the phrase "common to man" undergirds this interpretation) or whether it refers to the temptation to apostasize permanently. Since everyone gives in to these garden variety temptations at one time or another, including, certainly, those who are eventually saved, we are left with a problem as to how God could have presented a way of escape and the Christian fail to take advantage of it. If the fall into sin is due, in the final analysis, to the actions of God's predestining will, then God's being "faithful" and providing a way of escape seems vacuous. So the only way to preserve theological deteriminism here is to claim that this is the temptation to abandon the salvation of Christ entirely and permanently. I think this is why Arminian Perspectives says this is an extreme minority position.

Notice that in order to get to this position, you've got to do what an anonymous poster does earlier, and that is to define apostasy as final and permanent. But this does violence to the ordinary usage of terms. Even if John Loftus, or Keith Parsons, or Ed Babinski, at some future point in their lives, return to Christ, they are nevertheless now paradigm cases of apostasy. Only a Calvinist could think otherwise.

Now, let me remind myself that argumentation about what Scripture says is invariably inductive. I'm going to stick to my "no slam dunks" rule. The Calvinist interpretation of this passage is possible. It's just strikes me as very strained.

Anonymous said...

Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. Psalm 34:19 KJV

The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: 2 Peter 2:9 KJV

This power to bear and THE way of escape come from God, this is neither of yourself nor LFW.

Anonymous said...

"Even if John Loftus, or Keith Parsons, or Ed Babinski, at some future point in their lives, return to Christ, they are nevertheless now paradigm cases of apostasy. Only a Calvinist could think otherwise."

They are paradigmatic cases of apostasy. However, since we can't know for certain that they are, it is possible that they return to Christ. Hence the taxonomy is that we thought we knew that they were apostates. This, however, does nothing to change our judgment now, which is based off the only evidence we have now, which is that they are apostates.

Really, this is all rather simple. I trust you can see how one could easily make such moves and not be troubled at all by your arguments.

"Notice that in order to get to this position, you've got to do what an anonymous poster does earlier, and that is to define apostasy as final and permanent."

There's a pretty popular and longstanding tradition of that definition: on both sides of the debate.

If one simply takes the promise passages, then it follows pretty easily that no one who has truly rested in Christ will ever depart from him. We believe that those God justified, he sanctified, and he glorified. So sure is that that it is can all be said in the past tense. We believe that the God who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. We believe that even if "we are faithless, he is faithful." We believe that we will be kept to the end because "the one who is faithful, He will do it." We believe that someone who has trusted in Christ has Jesus as his high priest, interceding for him. Jesus will not fail in his job as high priest. He makes effectual his sacrifice.

If one wants to define apostasy as "backsliding", then I'll have no problem admitting that believers can and do apostatize. Also, if one wants to make external/internal covenant distinctions, then I am fine speaking of "Christians" apostatizing. However, the external/internal distinction makes clear that it is merely professing Christians who apostatize, not genuine articles, those who have truly trusted and rested in Christ. So, this taxonomy can handle your questions too.

These are the only apostates. Mere professors or external covenant members. Of them Hebrews teaches us:

"....it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they then fall away, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned.: - Hebrews 6: 4-8


So, again, yes, it would be impossible to apostatize and then come back, for it IS IMPOSSIBLE to bring them back. And that's the sense I used it in.

Victor Reppert said...

I wonder if the True Scotsman isn't lurking in the shadows here.

Anonymous said...

Victor,

Been there, done that. Trust me,it isn't. We can do that dance, though, if you want. Say when.

steve said...

arminianperspectives said...

“I hold to corporate election, so this barely has any bearing on my view since I would say that one could be elect for a time and then cease to be elect at the point of apostasy.”

Well, according to your own blog, you say:

“I subscribe to the same statement of faith as the Society of Evangelical Arminians (SEA)… election unto salvation is conditional on faith in Christ…”

http://arminianperspectives.wordpress.com/statement-of-faith/

Therefore, if we’re to take you at your word, you subscribe to conditional election. So are you now admitting, pace what you still state on your blog, that you subscribe to corporate election rather than conditional election? If so, then I guess the question is whether you were fibbing then or fibbing now.

If not, then you subscribe to both, in which case my premise remains intact.

How could someone be elect, and then cease to be elect if God chose him on the basis of foreseen faith?

“But if we are just defining the elect as those who endure to the end and are ultimately saved, then the simple difference between certainty and necessity makes Steve’s point moot.”

If you say it’s certain that the elect cannot lose their salvation, then 1 Cor 10:13 can’t be open-ended with reference to them.

“To say that the foreseen elect cannot lose their salvation is no different than saying those who endure to the end in faith will certainly be saved. This hardly conflicts with conditional election.”

No, it’s saying more than that. It saying God chose them because their fidelity rather than infidelity. His election was contingent on their foreseen faith. So if he chose them because they exercise persevering faith, then their fate can’t be open-ended.

“Just another red-herring put forth in an apparent attempt to distract people away from the fact that Steve’s interpretation of 1 Cor. 10:13 represents an extreme minority position that is far from exegetically convincing.”

My interpretation in what respect? That 10:13 has reference to sins of apostasy? That’s something I can and have documented from non-Calvinist commentators.

Or my interpretation consistent with the perseverance of the saints? But classical Arminianism, in distinction to Wesleyan Arminianism, allows for the perseverance of the saints.

steve said...

Victor Reppert said...

“The exegetes would be concerned with whether this passage refers to garden variety temptations (and here the phrase ‘common to man’ undergirds this interpretation) or whether it refers to the temptation to apostasize permanently.”

So what exegetes have you read on 1 Cor 10:13?

“Since everyone gives in to these garden variety temptations at one time or another, including, certainly, those who are eventually saved, we are left with a problem as to how God could have presented a way of escape and the Christian fail to take advantage of it.”

That’s a problem if you beg the question regarding the correct interpretation of 1 Cor 10:13. You need to establish your premise before you can build on your premise.

“If the fall into sin is due, in the final analysis, to the actions of God's predestining will, then God's being ‘faithful’ and providing a way of escape seems vacuous.”

To the contrary, God not only decrees the outcome, but the means of realizing the outcome

“So the only way to preserve theological deteriminism here is to claim that this is the temptation to abandon the salvation of Christ entirely and permanently.”

You haven’t begun to exegete the passage. Do you even know how to exegete a passage? You need to consider the verse within the larger flow of the argument. Consider the literary allusions. Pauline theology in general. The sitz-im-leben of the Corinthians.

You’re just winging it with this half-baked, acontextual explanation.

You know, Victor, even philosophers need to exegete writings from the past. For example, they write commentaries on Wittgenstein. In so doing, they place a statement by Wittgenstein in its historical context. Consider the background factors. And so on and so forth.

“I think this is why Arminian Perspectives says this is an extreme minority position.”

Since I don’t see you quoting any standard commentaries or monographs on 1 Corinthians, you’re in no position to make that statistical claim. What’s your data-base?

steve said...

“[VR] Notice that in order to get to this position, you've got to do what an anonymous poster does earlier, and that is to define apostasy as final and permanent. But this does violence to the ordinary usage of terms.”

Really? The distinction between apostasy and backsliding is pretty standard from what I’ve read on the subject.

“Even if John Loftus, or Keith Parsons, or Ed Babinski, at some future point in their lives, return to Christ, they are nevertheless now paradigm cases of apostasy. Only a Calvinist could think otherwise.”

I’m sorry, Victor, but you’re such a pitiful ignoramus. You really need to get out more often. Consider Thomism. Consider Jansenism. Consider Augustinianism. Consider Molinism. Consider how many Dispensationalists subscribe to eternal security. Consider the fact that even classical Arminians like Dan Chapa (“Arminian Chronicles”) subscribe to the perseverance of the saints. Then there’s Ben Witherington’s take on Heb 6:

“Consider these two possibilities: 1) the first go around the person was not in fact a Christian, did not love the Lord with all their heart etc. They were in a state much like the demons described in the Gospels-- who knew very well who Jesus was and did not dispute it, but this truth had not transformed their lives and behavior, as evidence by this person going AWOL. Mental assent to the Gospel is not the same as being saved. The issue is had they trusted and adhered to, and been transformed by and lived on the basis of that truth? 2) the very fact that this person now has a heart for God, and the other things you mentioned, is evidence that they did not commit apostasy in the first place which is a soul destroying act.”

http://benwitherington.blogspot.com/2008/02/christian-apostasy-and-hebrews-6.html

Either stick to your field of specialization or at least acquaint yourself with the actual state of the debate before you presume to make these sweeping statements.

“I wonder if the True Scotsman isn't lurking in the shadows here.”

If you think that’s a problem for Calvinism, then that’s also a problem for all the non-Calvinist examples I cited.

Robert said...

Hello Victor,

Steve Hays wrote:

“I’m sorry, Victor, but you’re such a pitiful ignoramus."

Hays continues to engage in these kinds of personal put downs and attacking comments. There is no justification for this kind of speech from one professing Christian towards another. But Hays doesn’t care cause he’s got no accountability as he sits at his computer.

And his comment to you immediately after that:

“You really need to get out more often”

is absolutely laughable when you consider the source. This comment coming from someone who lives with his mother, is unmarried and without children, and who literally SPENDS HOURS AND HOURS AND HOURS AND HOURS ON THE INTERNET spewing forth his constant venomous comments. Hays is the one that needs to get a real life and “get out more often.” Perhaps if Hays actually got away from his computer and got out into the real world some more it might soften his hard edges.

Robert

steve said...

Robert said...

"Hays continues to engage in these kinds of personal put downs and attacking comments. There is no justification for this kind of speech from one professing Christian towards another."

This is coming from a man who compares some professing Christians to Nazis and Klansman. Robert has forfeited the right to lecture anyone else on Christian discourse.

Frankly, Robert has to be a bit sociopathic not to see the yawning chasm between his code of conduct and his actual conduct.

"...is absolutely laughable when you consider the source..."

Of course, Robert has no first-hand knowledge of what I do in private life. This is just gossip-mongering.

Keep in mind, too, that we don't know what Robert does in real life–since he goes out of his way to conceal his true identity.

And, once again, notice how Robert instantly resorts to a personal attack on the heels of having denounced such tactics.

As I've said, Robert has to be a bit sociopathic not to see the yawning chasm between his code of conduct and his actual conduct.

And consider the amount of time Robert spends at the computer, monitoring blogs and writing long comments. But he has this sociopathic double standard.

arminianperspectives said...

arminianperspectives said...

“I hold to corporate election, so this barely has any bearing on my view since I would say that one could be elect for a time and then cease to be elect at the point of apostasy.”

Well, according to your own blog, you say:

“I subscribe to the same statement of faith as the Society of Evangelical Arminians (SEA)… election unto salvation is conditional on faith in Christ…”

http://arminianperspectives.wordpress.com/statement-of-faith/

Therefore, if we’re to take you at your word, you subscribe to conditional election. So are you now admitting, pace what you still state on your blog, that you subscribe to corporate election rather than conditional election? If so, then I guess the question is whether you were fibbing then or fibbing now.


It is very interesting that you seem to see corporate election and conditional election as being at odds with each other. Corporate election is certainly conditional. It is primarily conditional on being in Christ, but secondarily conditional on faith, since faith is what joins us to Christ. So it is perfectly true to say that corporate election is also an election conditioned on faith (in that faith is what joins us to Christ and His body). It seems you don’t have a very good grasp on what corporate election entails. Maybe you have been listening to Schreiner too much (and BTW, even if there was a difference between corporate and conditional election, it wouldn't necessarily mean I was "fibbing" either time, unless you find it impossible for someone to change their view on things [though I haven't]).

If not, then you subscribe to both, in which case my premise remains intact.

Not at all. That doesn’t follow in the least. Though this thought is implicit, your response here comes off as mere assertion (just more of the "Nuh uh" type rhetoric you used so much in our initial exchange on 1 Cor.10:13).

How could someone be elect, and then cease to be elect if God chose him on the basis of foreseen faith?

The elect are elect based on their union with the covenant head (Christ). We are elect in Him (Eph. 1:4). So as long as one is in Christ, that person is elect since he shares in Christ’s election. If someone were to then be broken off because of unbelief, that person would no longer be elect since that person would no longer be joined to Christ and share in His election (Rom. 11:16-24).

Continued below,

arminianperspectives said...

Continued from above,

If you say it’s certain that the elect cannot lose their salvation, then 1 Cor 10:13 can’t be open-ended with reference to them.

I can if I don't conflate certainty with necessity as you keep doing. You are defining “elect” as those who are ultimately saved by enduring to the end. In that case, no one who endures to the end in faith and is ultimately saved can be lost. That is really just saying that those who will certainly be saved cannot also be lost; or, those who are will certainly be saved will certainly be saved. True, but irrelevant.

Why will they certainly be saved? Because they will endure to the end. That they will does not mean they must. It does not mean that they endure of necessity. So again, the simple distinction between certainty and necessity unravels your whole argument. All you have done is stated a truism that has no real bearing on the conditionality of salvation.

But again, election based on foreseen faith is not my view, though I think your criticism of the foreseen faith view still fails.

No, it’s saying more than that. It saying God chose them because their fidelity rather than infidelity. His election was contingent on their foreseen faith. So if he chose them because they exercise persevering faith, then their fate can’t be open-ended.

See above. The only way this works is to conflate certainty with necessity and to view foreknowledge as causative. And again, my view does not even rely on foreknowledge in the way the traditional view does, so I am only pointing out that even the traditional view does not fall to your objections when rightly understood.

My interpretation in what respect? That 10:13 has reference to sins of apostasy? That’s something I can and have documented from non-Calvinist commentators.

Your claim was that the passage has exclusive reference to the sin of apostasy, and this you have not documented from non-Calvinist commentators. All one has to do is follow the discussion on both ends to see this.

Your claim was also that the passage consisted of a guarantee that no believer will ever commit apostasy. You were not able to sustain either claim in view of the language of the passage and the context of the passage, nor were you able to find anyone who agreed with you besides Schreiner and Caneday (and you even tried to ridicule me by suggesting that Caneday was a “fictional” scholar that I made up, despite him being the co-author of the only source you could find to support your bizarre interpretation!).

But all that is documented in the posts linked to above, and I am happy to leave it to the judgment of anyone who bothers to read that exchange.

God Bless,
Ben

Arminian said...

Victor,

I know you want to avoid declaring any passage a "slam dunk" in the Arminian/Calvinist debate. But if you are interested in how 1 Cor 10:13 figures in the debate, and the interpretation Steve Hays has offered, you really should read the debate between him and Ben Henshaw about it. Ben showed that Steve's interpretation is highly implausible. I dare say that Steve even embarrassed himself in the exchange, as, for example, in the instance Ben mentioned, when Steve tried to ridicule Ben for mentioning a certain scholar. You should check it out if you have enough interest.

Anonymous said...

Hiya Robert!

Saw you posting again, got an answer yet? Or, was I right that all you have left is to turn the debate towards the subejective. You traded in your intellectual hat for your moralizing hat. It's a sad little life that consists in monitering blogs waiting to point out (assumed) character flaws in Calvinists. In fact, one might think that itself is a flaw. You actually love to point out sin. You wait with baited breath for the next Calvinist to act mean so you can wave the flag and draw every one's attention to it. Sheesh, even C.S. Lewis condemned this infatuation with pointing out the mistakes of others. How would a self-righteous, pompous, all-out-of-arguments Arminian epologist end this? How about: "Robert I'm going to pray for you."

Victor Reppert said...

OK, I take it that when you exegete a passage you have to read it before you start plunging in to the world of commentators.

Here's the passage we're talking about:

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Calvinist interpretation we are being offered says that this passage concerns, and concerns *only* the temptation to leave the Christian fold permanently and to renounce Christ, an act fatal to the soul of one who does it. This isn't about temptation to lie, steal, murder, commit adultery, dishonor mom and dad, take God's name in vain, or even to fall temporarily back into idol worship. Christians, we know, have done all of the above and been restored. No, it's about total and permanent apostasy.

Fine. Now you tell me what is common to man about the temptation to become an apostate Christian. I'm not sure all or even most Christians experience this kind of temptation.

Fitzmyer seems to think this passage is about ordinary temptations.

“It is not clear whether this verse is to be understood generically of every trial that a Christian may face, or the eschatological trial involving one’s salvation? The noun ekbasis, ‘way out,’ certainly could mean the latter, the eschatological trial, but Christians may also rely on God for the ekbasis of lesser struggles throughout the course of life. In this context, Paul seems to be thinking primarily of trials involving idol meat or seduction to idolatry,” J. Fitzmyer, 1 Corinthians (Yale 2008), 389.

Why warn the elect about apostasizing, if it is guaranteed that God will prevent it anyway? Why warn reprobates about apostasizing, if their apostasy was unpreventable?

Steve, I think you need to read the Bible more carefully.

Robert said...

Hello Victor, [part 1]

I think your post is hilarious. Not because your interpretation is incorrect (I believe you’ve got it right the text is talking about a myriad of temptations that believers face, not just one), but because you frequently talk about exegesis/bible interpretation **not** being your strength because you are not a professional bible scholar, etc. Instead you are a professional philosopher. YOU DO HOWEVER HAVE COMMON SENSE. And it is common sense that drives your comments and why I find it so funny. On one side we’ve got people desperately trying to defend and maintain their Calvinistic theological system at all costs (including with a straight face providing improbable and extremely strained “interpretations”; these “interpretations” being brought forth because they evade the plain and clear meaning of the text and they allow the eisegete to maintain his beloved false system of theology at all costs). This side is quite familiar with commentaries and theologians (especially those of theological determinists). And then on the other side you’ve got little old Victor the non-professional theologian a mere Christian, the person Hays publicly referred to as an “ignoramus”, merely using common sense. And little ole Victor gets it right! It’s David beating Goliath!

Robert

Robert said...

Hello Victor, [part 2]
“Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Calvinist interpretation we are being offered says that this passage concerns, and concerns *only* the temptation to leave the Christian fold permanently and to renounce Christ, an act fatal to the soul of one who does it.”

Right the other side is putting all of their eggs in one basket.

“This isn't about temptation to lie, steal, murder, commit adultery, dishonor mom and dad, take God's name in vain, or even to fall temporarily back into idol worship.”

Which is the way the vast majority of Christians have always taken this passage.

“No, it's about total and permanent apostasy.”

According to those desperate to defend and maintain their system at any cost (including discarding the intended meaning of the text, I keep forgetting that for them “the system uber alles”!).

“Fine. Now you tell me what is common to man about the temptation to become an apostate Christian. I'm not sure all or even most Christians experience this kind of temptation.”

Correct Victor, the temptation to “total and permanent apostasy” is NOT a common temptation for believers. Most probably never have this temptation. I have been a Christian for years and never had that temptation. I have friends who also have never had that temptation. And some of us have been involved in ministry for decades.

“Fitzmyer seems to think this passage is about ordinary temptations.”

You then provided his words. Fitzmyer is representative of what most of us believe about this verse. He represents the majority view among Christians while the other side represents a very, very small minority opinion.


“Why warn the elect about apostasizing, if it is guaranteed that God will prevent it anyway?”

Great question, taking their “interpretation”/”logic” to its logical conclusion to show how ridiculous this “interpretation” really is. According to the other side no elect person can ever lose their salvation. And this promise is aimed at the elect. Why warn the elect of something that is impossible for them to experience? They can’t apostatize so why warn them about apostatizing? Just doesn’t make sense.

“Why warn reprobates about apostasizing, if their apostasy was unpreventable?”

The text is not a warning against apostasy it is a promise concerning God’s provision for the time when the believer is tempted.

“Steve, I think you need to read the Bible more carefully.”

That’s funny.

For all his reading and study of calvin-ism, Hays cannot get the most simple interpretations right. But this is not surprising, as verses like John 3:16 and 1 John 2:2, etc. etc. are also easy to interpret and common sensical: unless you have to defend and maintain the calvinist system and you have to evade the intended meaning of the biblical text for the sake of your system!

Robert

Anonymous said...

Victor,

Warnings can easily serve as means to keep the elect from falling away. If you do this, then that will follow, is valid EVEN IF you NEVER "do this." It has a true truth value even if the antecedent is never actualized. If Steve needs to read the Bible more, you need to read logic textbooks more.

I furthermore referenced Thiselton's position that the verse is refuting the idea that **the temptation** necessitates some action. Of course, Calvinism can agree with this **and** hold to theological-determinism. So, even holding to a many temptation view, there readings that fit easily with Calvinism. And, as many would admit, Thiselton is pretty much **THE** exegetical commentary on 1Cor.

Anyway: 1 Cor 10 follows the call to run the race at the end of ch. 9. This is about SALVATION. Then, 10 starts with the OT APOSTATES, those who rejected Christ.

Paul is talking about people in these verses that had no worry about eating meat offered to idols. They seemed to think their status in Christ removed them from concern with FUTURE JUDGMENT.

These people think that their participation in the sacraments and their position in Christ, let's them live however they want to. They need not worry about judgment.

So, again, we're talking about JUDGMENT and SALVATION and APOSTASY.

Furthermore, since, as even Victor agrees by siding with Fitzmeyer, this passage is talking about idolatry. That is grounds for REMOVAL, i.e., EXPULSION from the covenant. It was apostatsy in the OT.

As Ciampa and Rosner point out in New Testament Commentary on the Old (ed. Beale and Carson) points out, 1 Cor. 10 is rife with allusion to OT APOSTASY from the covenant. These people were FOREVER CUT OFF, EXPELLED from the covenant.

Also, as Ciampa and Rosner point out, in the *scholarly* commentary, that, based on Paul’s HEAVY reliance and allusions to the OT in this passage (i.e., 10:1-13), it makes sense to place the "common to man" referent back in the OT as well, i.e., Numb. 5:6. They cite Josephus Ant 1.22 as in agreement (same with garland: 2003). This "common to man" should be "understood in the context of the warning examples [Paul] has just enumerated and the exhortation to flee idolatry that immediately follows" (Note: in the OT idolatry got you forever EXPELLED from the covenant. No coming back from stoning.)

They point out that the "Evidence suggests that the OT and early Judaism consisdered idolatry the most human of all temptations" cf. Rosner's Greed and Idolatry and Beale's We Become what we Worship).

Continuing, Rosner and Ciampa agree with Thiselton (can't get better than that) that another basic point of the passage is to shoot down the idea that the **temptation** is what necessitates a sin. "That God does not allow us to be exposed to irresistible temptations is a reflection of his faithfulness." This is what happened with those OT covenant members who did not bend the knee and commit idolatry. God was faithful.


These are some of THE BEST exegetes working today. Not only that, they showed that the historical evidence and interpretation is opposed to what Robert et al claim for this passage.

Oropeza also takes this passage to teach on apostasy, not just any ole garden variety temptation.

The passage is consistent with Calvinism (and I'd argue demands it), and the 'common to man' argument has been answered.

steve said...

Victor Reppert said...

"Fitzmyer seems to think this passage is about ordinary temptations."

There's really no excuse for you to be that inept in reading Fitzmyer's explanation. Fitzmyer arrives at a narrow interpretation by process of elimination. He begins by floating some exegetical possibilities, then let's the context narrow it down. Can't you follow his train of thought? It's pretty obvious. Read it again.

In fact, it's pretty standard for commentators to raise interpretive possibilities in order to then eliminate the competition and thereby arrive at the best interpretation. That's exactly what Fitzmyer is doing here. Pay attention, not to how he introduces the issue, but to his conclusion.

Victor Reppert said...

"Christians may also rely on God for the ekbasis of lesser struggles throughout the course of life."

So if they don't rely on God for that ekbasis, what happened?

Are we reading the same book?

Anonymous said...

Victor,

you still haven't answered why christians have to "rely on god to make them able to resist or provide a way out," don't they have the power inbuilt already? For them to be responsible for succumbing to the temptation didn't there have to be a possible alternative already in existence? didn't they have the ability to choose and the power to bring about alternatives?


your libertarianism turns the text into nonsense. as least from what i can see.

but besides that. Rosner, Beale, Carson, Thiselton, &c, pretty much closed the door in the debate.

oh, hey, another question i have. since you believe in LFW, do you believe it is possible for any human whoever to live a perfect life?

Victor Reppert said...

About as possible as getting 18 in 18 holes. Actually, a lot less likely.

Anonymous said...

I wonder why you think that it is possible.

Anonymous said...

I also wonder what you think of the 'common to man' stuff some of the best Pauline and Corinithian and paul's use of the OT in the NT scholars in existence presented to us?

And I still wonder why you need god to provide us a way out. To make us able to overcome temptation. Aren't we able in virtue of LFW?

Arminian said...

Victor,

Don't be fooled by Steve's and/or Anon's rhetoric. He is misusing the sources he cites just as you saw him misuse Fitzmyer and had to ask if you and he were reading the same book. You are; it's just that he severely misreads the sources he tries to press into service for his view. That could be demonstrated from the Fitzmyer quote, but I won't take the time to do that since you seem to have caught the problem already.

Really, if you are interested in this, take a look at Ben Henshaw's (of Arminian Perspectives) debate with Hays over 1 Cor 10:13; someone provided a link earlier in the thread. Ben patiently and overwhelmingly refuted Steve's position, dealing with Steve's arguments and misuse of sources.

Anon (Steve?) seems to be adding some arguments in this thread, but he again (or also) misuses the sources. For example, on the "common to man" point, he cites Ciampa and Rosner as placing the refrent back in the OT in Num 5:6 and Josephus as agreeing. But Ciampa and Rosner merely say to compare Num 5:6 and Josephus. If you look in those places, you will see that those etxts do not speak specifically about idolatry, but about sins common to man (in Josephus, the worst sins common to man). In Num 5:6, it refers to sins that one can repent of and be forgiven of.

But as Ben argued in his debate with Steve, idolatry is especially in view since that is one of the biggest struggles the Corinthians faced. But it is not exclusively in view as testified to by reference to "sins common to man" and the context of 1 Cor 10 (see Ben's material for demonstration from the context). Idolatry is a sin common to man, one of the many. And 1 Cor 10:13 promises God given resistible grace to resist any such temptation. It is a major problem for Steve's position that he must insist that the only sin in view is apostasy. The problem gets even worse when one realizes that idolatry does not necessarily = final soul-danmning apostasy (especially in the NT in general and 1 Cor in particular). Again, Ben covers all this.

Alot more could be said, but I just wanted to warn against falling for the strong but empty rhetoric (e.g., Steve said, "There's really no excuse for you to be that inept in reading Fitzmyer's explanation" and Anon said, "Rosner, Beale, Carson, Thiselton, &c, pretty much closed the door in the debate"; I say: that's all just crazy talk).

Anonymous said...

Arminian simply *asserted* that the arguments from Rosner et al are wrong. He tries to downplay their claim. Odd since they say that the "Evidence suggests that the OT and early Judaism consisdered idolatry the most human of all temptations."

They also claim that it makes sense to place the "common to man" claim in its old testament "referent." From this they claim that that "referent" is "idolatry."

However, after acting in an unloving manner toward me, besmirching my character by claiming I'm "misusing sources" (which it was easy to see I wasn't, which his counter explanation didn't cut it), he then goes on to say that indeed idolatry is what is mainly in view here. And of course, we know that this sin in the OT was APOSTASY. For it you were EXPELLED (cf. Rosner's Paul, Scripture, and Ethics, for a brilliant exegesis on Paul's use of the expulsion principle) from the covenant, FOREVER CUT OFF. Thus, no going back.

"The problem gets even worse when one realizes that idolatry does not necessarily = final soul-danmning apostasy (especially in the NT in general and 1 Cor in particular)."

Well, that was the LAW. And, the context of I Cor. is all about final salvation. And v. starts out with the OT wilderness group who were FOREVER CUT OFF, not to reach THE PROMISE LAND which is where we all, by faith, are going.

I tried to give objective arguments for my position and here another angry, unloving Arminian comes in and finds it necessary to make personal attacks and undermine my character and turn the debate subjective.

steve said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
steve said...

Arminian said...

"Don't be fooled by Steve's and/or Anon's rhetoric. He is misusing the sources he cites..."

Demonstrate your allegation.

"...just as you saw him misuse Fitzmyer.

That's an assertion. Prove it. It's typical for commentators to begin by reviewing some exegetical options, then work through the options, by process of elimination, to arrive at the best interpretation. Reppert disregarded Fitzmyer's conclusion. And you're doing the very same thing.

"...and had to ask if you and he were reading the same book."

That's easy to test. If he's reading the same book, let's see Victor quote a few sentences from a few pages at random (with pagination), and I'll compare his excerpts with my copy.

"You are; it's just that he severely misreads the sources he tries to press into service for his view. That could be demonstrated from the Fitzmyer quote, but I won't take the time to do that since you seem to have caught the problem already."

That's just a drive-by smear.

"Ben patiently and overwhelmingly refuted Steve's position, dealing with Steve's arguments and misuse of sources."

All that claim amounts to is one Arminian partisan touting another Arminian partisan–like making a team-player the umpire so that he can referee the game in favor of his own team.

steve said...

Victor Reppert said...

"So if they don't rely on God for that ekbasis, what happened?"

Paul, in this verse, doesn't say they don't rely on God for that way out.

Moreover, the fact that God provides a way out in case of temptations to commit apostasy doesn't mean he never provides a way out in any other situation. But there's a promise attached in this type of situation which is not the case in lesser tempations.

"Are we reading the same book?"

No, actually we're not. That's because I've actually read his commentary (indeed, I own it) whereas you are evidently quoting Ben quoting me quoting Fitzmyer–or something along those lines.

As a result, you haven't read the preceding pp377-86 in which Fitzmyer meticulously documents the OT background for the verse in Paul's allusions to OT idolatry, which was a paradigmatic form of apostasy.

You still think you can wing it without cracking the books. Is this the way you approach the teaching of historical philosophers as well?

arminianperspectives said...

As a result, you haven't read the preceding pp377-86 in which Fitzmyer meticulously documents the OT background for the verse in Paul's allusions to OT idolatry, which was a paradigmatic form of apostasy.

How about page 388?

No matter which interpretation of “ends” is preferred, Paul’s implication is that such events about our “ancestors” have been recorded in the OT for the instruction of Christians, to admonish them in every age about God’s reaction to human complaints, rebellion, testing, and probing.” (388 emphasis mine)

[so according to Steve's use of Fitzmyer, if a Christian ever complains to God or probes God or tests God, he has commited idolatrous apostasy! Maybe Steve needs to "read it again"]

Or maybe 385 (as originally quoted by Steve as support for his strange interpretation,

Paul warns the Corinthians about the danger of idol worship…Paul now alludes to Exod 32:1-6…Aaron consented and took their gold rings to fashion them into a molten calf…This was the classic incident in the Exodus from Egypt when the grumbling Israelites became idolaters. Their grumbling and craving had led even to such idolatry. To emphasize the seriousness of such craving Paul quotes the OT verse about idolatry, which is the only explicit OT quotation in this passage, J. Fitzmyer, 1 Corinthians, 385.

Notice the part in bold and my follow-up comments from my post,

Notice how Fitzmyer does not equate grumbling and craving with idolatry, but instead said such grumbling and craving “led” to “such idolatry” (notice also that he refers to them as “grumbling Israelites” prior to their initial act of idolatry, i.e. “the grumbling Israelites became idolaters”). Furthermore, Fitzmyer tells us that Paul’s OT quotes are meant to underscore “the seriousness of such craving”. So instead of supporting Steve’s claim that the passage is only concerned with idolatrous apostasy, Fitzmyer sees Paul’s allusions as going beyond just idolatry, but including those sinful things that may simply lead to idolatry (even such grave idolatry as that committed by Israel in the golden calf episode). This is far more in line with my interpretation than Steve’s (see below), and again, one cannot overlook the fact that despite Steve’s claims that the views expressed by Fitzmyer and Garland must lead to Steve’s conclusions concerning 1 Cor. 10:13., neither Fitzmyer or Garland agree with Steve’s conclusions concerning 1 Cor. 10:13! (By the way, I would counsel anyone who finds Steve’s quotes convincing to read them in their full context).

http://arminianperspectives.wordpress.com/2009/06/09/1-cor-1013-re-revisted-substance-vs-sophistry/

So yeah, by all means read Fitzmyer in context and see if he is saying that 1 Cor.10:13 has exclusive reference to the sin of apostasy, and see if Fitzmyer sees 1 Cor. 10:13 as a prooftext for inevitable perseverance as Steve has claimed.

Again, I would just refer anyone to the post in which I deal with all of these bogus claims that Steve is just repeating in this thread. Steve's "exegesis" is nothing more than proof texting commentaries in a simialr way as he prooftexts Scripture. Steve proved that he couldn't properly exegete Fitzmyer's own words, so it is little wonder that his exegesis of 1 Cor. 10:13 proves to be inaccurate as well.

God Bless,
Ben

Anonymous said...

a question that hasn't been answered is if we all have lfw then why do we need God to provide a way of escape? that should come naturally with lwf right?

After all if this passage is viewed as the arminian would want then it is saying that we will be tempted, but God provides an escape. Why does he have to provide an escape if we already have lfw?

OMT, does this then mean that God only provides a way of escape for christians?

arminianperspectives said...

All that claim amounts to is one Arminian partisan touting another Arminian partisan–like making a team-player the umpire so that he can referee the game in favor of his own team.

Kinda like Steve and "Anon"?

The claim actually (in context) "amounts" to Arminian referring anyone to the actual exchange so they can decide for themselves, rather than be influenced away from that exchange by your rhetoric. But you seem to have proven that context isn't your strong suit.

God Bless,
Ben

arminianperspectives said...

BTW Steve, don't you think you should apologize to Ardel B. Caneday for calling him fictitious, suggesting he is related to the Gingerbread man living in a Sugarcane mansion, and for giving him zero credit for coauthoring the only source you could find to support your position?

Anonymous said...

If God needs to provide *the way of escape* for these *common to man* sins (lie, cheat, steal…) where is the precious libertarianism of Arminianism?

LFW says that in any given situation you have PAP. So when one is tempted to lie he can lie or not lie, cheat or not cheat, steal or not steal, etc.

Why would one need to be provided with the way to escape, notice this is provided by God and therefore does not reside in man, if LFW were true?

So this verse actually disproves once again LFW and shows once more that it is not biblical. It is a man made doctrine invented to elevate the creature over the creator.

steve said...

arminianperspectives said...

“So according to Steve's use of Fitzmyer, if a Christian ever complains to God or probes God or tests God, he has commited idolatrous apostasy! Maybe Steve needs to ‘read it again’]”

Maybe Ben needs to reread what Fitzymer said about the kind of “complaining” in view, viz., the stiff-necked Israelites in the wilderness narratives.

“Notice how Fitzmyer does not equate grumbling and craving with idolatry, but instead said such grumbling and craving ‘led’ to ‘such idolatry’”

As if that’s a significant distinction.

“Fitzmyer sees Paul’s allusions as going beyond just idolatry, but including those sinful things that may simply lead to idolatry.”

Notice that he doesn’t quote Fitzmyer saying such things “may” lead to idolatry.

“(Even such grave idolatry as that committed by Israel in the golden calf episode).”

Which is a paradigm-case of apostasy.

steve said...

arminianperspectives said...

“It is very interesting that you seem to see corporate election and conditional election as being at odds with each other.”

Now you’re trying to turn things around. Based on your stated subscription to the SEA statement of faith, I attributed conditional election to you. When I did that, you countered as follows:

“I hold to corporate election, so this barely has any bearing on my view since I would say that one could be elect for a time and then cease to be elect at the point of apostasy.”

Why would you say that unless you were opposing my ascription to you? So you’re the one who acted as if these were in tension, not me.

“It seems you don’t have a very good grasp on what corporate election entails.”

Either you’re backpedaling after I documented your stated position, or else you expressed yourself poorly in the first instance when you countered my ascription (to you) of conditional election by affirming corporate election–as if that was your alternative.

“Not at all. That doesn’t follow in the least. Though this thought is implicit, your response here comes off as mere assertion (just more of the ‘Nuh uh’ type rhetoric.”

Not surprisingly, you can’t tell the difference between an assertion and an argument, which would explain the level of your intellectual performance.

No, I didn’t merely assert something to be the case. I gave a reason.

“If someone were to then be broken off because of unbelief, that person would no longer be elect.”

So you view conditional election as a revolving door even though God chose the elect on the basis of the faith he foresaw? Whom did he elect: believers or unbelievers? The faithful or the faithless?

If God foresaw that they would become unbelievers, then on what basis did he elect them? Are you now redefining conditional election as the election of foreseen apostates?

“I can if I don't conflate certainty with necessity as you keep doing.”

Speaking of assertions, that’s an assertion you continue to make, minus the supporting argument.

“You are defining “elect” as those who are ultimately saved by enduring to the end.”

I’m defining the elect, a la conditional election, as those whom God chose because he foresaw their faith, not because he foresaw their apostasy.

“So again, the simple distinction between certainty and necessity unravels your whole argument.”

False. If you yourself say the outcome is certain, then it can’t be open-ended. If it could go either way, then the outcome would be uncertain rather than certain.

I don’t have to introduced necessity at this point. Certainty will do, and you yourself have supplied that premise.

“But again, election based on foreseen faith is not my view.”

Really? That’s not your view? Yet you say you subscribe to the SEA statement of faith. And that says: “election unto salvation is conditional on faith in Christ.”

So you yourself are now driving a wedge between conditional election and corporate election. You contradict yourself in a very short span.

“And again, my view does not even rely on foreknowledge in the way the traditional view does…”

So you actually reject the SEA statement–your profession to the contrary notwithstanding.

“The only way this works is to conflate certainty with necessity and to view foreknowledge as causative.”

Causation is irrelevant. If, according to you, the outcome is certain, then it cannot be otherwise.

Anonymous said...

I see another anonymous is asking the question I asked repeatedly. Here's a word of advice for him: Don't hold your breath. I did. I'm now dead. I am contacting you from "the other side" to warn you not to hold your breath.

I would alsom like to point out that "Arminian" should not ask Steve to apologize until he apologizes to me for not loving me and for treating me uncharitaby. You should be thankful I'm not Billy Birch. I might point out that your fruit is rotten and you evidence unregeneracy. However, i don't role that way. Even Calvinists have standards of proper behavior.

Anonymous said...

“The only way this works is to conflate certainty with necessity and to view foreknowledge as causative.”

Almost all those who argue for theological-determinism (sometimes wrong called fatalism, fatalism has more in common with Arminianism than calvinism) know this point and still make their argument. Your stock objections show an unfamiliarity with the argument.

The argument from foreknowledge is simply against the ability to do otherwise.

since most consider that an essential element of LFW, then the argument rebuts LFW.

Others, like Zagbeski, drop PAP and hold to frankfurtian-libertarianism.

But like Hasker says: this position is to admit the conclusion of the argument from theological-fatalism and declare yourself the winner!

Anyway, Timpe shows successfully, IMO, that PAP is necessary for libertarianism. So, we can use the foreknwoeldge argument combined with Timpe's argument, and conclude that LFW is false *if* God has infallible knowledge of all libertarian choices that will ever occur.

arminianperspectives said...

That's an assertion. Prove it. It's typical for commentators to begin by reviewing some exegetical options, then work through the options, by process of elimination, to arrive at the best interpretation. Reppert disregarded Fitzmyer's conclusion. And you're doing the very same thing.

Actually, this is exactly what Fitzmyer does in the provided quote, and the best interpretation he "arrives at" is the one that contradicts Steve's claims and demonstrates his misuse of the quote (the very point I have repeatedly made that Steve continues to deny, even in the face of such plain evidence). This can be readily seen as follows:

“It is not clear whether this verse is to be understood generically of every trial that a Christian may face, or the eschatological trial involving one’s salvation? [Ok, here we have a review of exegetical options] The noun ekbasis, ‘way out,’ certainly could mean the latter, the eschatological trial [Ok, here he mentions what supports one of the options], but Christians may also rely on God for the ekbasis of lesser struggles throughout the course of life [and here he states a conlusion, which flatly contradicts Hays' view. Notice he sets this against the eshcatological trial view and words it as what is the case]. In this context, Paul seems to be thinking primarily of trials involving idol meat or seduction to idolatry,” [and finally notice that he says "primarily", which implies other trials that are also relevant, but not as pressing, the very view I hold (i.e. the trials involving idol meat are simply a specific example of the "lesser struggles throughout the course of life")] J. Fitzmyer, 1 Corinthians (Yale 2008), 389. [So what we see is Fitzmyer reviewing some options and concluding with a view that contradicts Hays'.]

This is the quote that Steve originally cited as support for his position, and as I have shown more than once (and again above), this very quote actually undermines his position while supporting my own.

arminianperspectives said...

“It is very interesting that you seem to see corporate election and conditional election as being at odds with each other.”

Now you’re trying to turn things around. Based on your stated subscription to the SEA statement of faith, I attributed conditional election to you. When I did that, you countered as follows:

“I hold to corporate election, so this barely has any bearing on my view since I would say that one could be elect for a time and then cease to be elect at the point of apostasy.”

Why would you say that unless you were opposing my ascription to you? So you’re the one who acted as if these were in tension, not me.


Oh, I see. You thought that by appealing to corporate election I was actually trying to say that I held to unconditional election??? The fact that I was still speaking of conditional election is implied in my description of corporate election. Remember, I was replying to what you said here:

Likewise, Ben subscribes to conditional election. In that case, the foreseen elect cannot lose their salvation.

I would think it would be obvious to most that I wasn’t objecting to the conditionality of election, but to the basis of that election being foreseen faith. It’s really not that complicated.

Either you’re backpedaling after I documented your stated position, or else you expressed yourself poorly in the first instance when you countered my ascription (to you) of conditional election by affirming corporate election–as if that was your alternative.

See above. I don’t think it has to do with my expressing myself poorly as much as it has to do with you jumping to unwarranted conclusions.

Not surprisingly, you can’t tell the difference between an assertion and an argument, which would explain the level of your intellectual performance.

I was wondering when you would get around to insulting my intelligence.

No, I didn’t merely assert something to be the case. I gave a reason.

Guess I missed it.

“If someone were to then be broken off because of unbelief, that person would no longer be elect.”

So you view conditional election as a revolving door even though God chose the elect on the basis of the faith he foresaw?

As already mentioned, I don’t see election as based on foreseen faith.

Whom did he elect: believers or unbelievers? The faithful or the faithless?

He elected Christ as the corporate covenant head and by extension all those who are joined to Him.

If God foresaw that they would become unbelievers, then on what basis did he elect them? Are you now redefining conditional election as the election of foreseen apostates?

Continued below,

arminianperspectives said...

Continued from above,

They were elect based on their union with Christ, the chosen corporate covenant head. So long as one is in Christ, he or she is “elect”. If one is cut off from Christ, than that person is not “elect” though he or she had been elect previously. Election is dynamic and not static. It has specific reference to identification with the chosen covenant head and not to foreseen endurance in faith (though one can only come to be in union with Christ through faith). Christ is the sphere of election and one's elect status has everything to do with identification with Him. There is no such thing as "election" outside of union with the chosen covenant head.

“I can if I don't conflate certainty with necessity as you keep doing.”

Speaking of assertions, that’s an assertion you continue to make, minus the supporting argument.


Actually, it is an observation based on the fact that you keep conflating certainty with necessity.

“You are defining “elect” as those who are ultimately saved by enduring to the end.”

I’m defining the elect, a la conditional election, as those whom God chose because he foresaw their faith, not because he foresaw their apostasy.


Well, I don’t define the elect in either of those ways.

“So again, the simple distinction between certainty and necessity unravels your whole argument.”

False. If you yourself say the outcome is certain, then it can’t be open-ended. If it could go either way, then the outcome would be uncertain rather than certain.

I don’t have to introduced necessity at this point. Certainty will do, and you yourself have supplied that premise.


See below.

“But again, election based on foreseen faith is not my view.”

Really? That’s not your view? Yet you say you subscribe to the SEA statement of faith. And that says: “election unto salvation is conditional on faith in Christ.”

Notice it doesn’t say “based on foreseen faith”. I already explained how my view is conditional on faith and yet not based on foreseen faith.

So you yourself are now driving a wedge between conditional election and corporate election. You contradict yourself in a very short span.

The only thing I contradict is your expressed confusion on the matter.

“And again, my view does not even rely on foreknowledge in the way the traditional view does…”

So you actually reject the SEA statement–your profession to the contrary notwithstanding.


Where do you see election based on foreknowledge in the SEA statement of faith?

“The only way this works is to conflate certainty with necessity and to view foreknowledge as causative.”

Causation is irrelevant. If, according to you, the outcome is certain, then it cannot be otherwise.

Correction: “will not be otherwise”. That’s the difference between certainty and necessity that you continue to miss, and that is why my saying that you conflate certainty with necessity is more than mere assertion. But again, election based on foreseen faith is not my position, so it isn’t even relevant for my view of election.

God Bless,
Ben

arminianperspectives said...

“Paul assures the Corinthians that it is not yet facing a probing or testing that comes from God. If there is some distress or trial it stems only from a human source that may be of little consequence and may have to be tolerated.” (Fitzmyer, pg. 388)

Based on this, I suppose Steve would call Fitzmyer a Neo-Manichean. ;-)

arminianperspectives said...

"Arminian" e-mailed me and said he was having trouble posting through blogger (it keeps giving him an error), so he asked me if I would post the following to "anon" on his behalf:

Anonymous, who has responded to my post in this thread and mentioend Rosner et al:

Are you Steve Hays?

Anon said: Arminian simply *asserted* that the arguments from Rosner et al are wrong. He tries to downplay their claim."

**** I did not assert that Rosner et al are wrong, but that your use of them is wrong. That is misleading to frame it as me disagreeing with them when I am disagreeing with your erroneous use of them. And I explained why your use is wrong.

Anon said: "Odd since they say that the "Evidence suggests that the OT and early Judaism consisdered idolatry the most human of all temptations."

**** Not odd at all since that does not make it the *only* human temptation, which your interpretation needs to have any plausability. Paul speaks of no temptastion that is common to man and there are many other temptations common to man besides idolatry. The logic is quite obvious as it relates to idolatry. If not temptation has siezed them except what is common to man, and if temptation to idolatry is common to man, thne they can rest assured God will give them a way out of temptation to idolatry along with ever other temptation common to man. Idolatry was one of the issues the Corinthians faced and the one probably most in view in the context, but certainly not the only one. And what is more, the text speaks of no temptation common to man, which covers every temptation common to man, including idolatry.

Anon said: "They also claim that it makes sense to place the "common to man" claim in its old testament "referent." From this they claim that that "referent" is "idolatry."

**** This is that "are we reading the same book?" thing again. Where do they say that? They don't. You place "referent" in quotes, but they do not use the word at all in their treatment. I explained in my previous post the problem with your use of Rosner & Ciampa. Moreover, while they do agree with Garland that the temptation that the Corinthians were facing "should be understood in the context of the warning examples he [Paul] has just enumerated and the exhortation to flee idolatry that immediately follows" ", but that does not limit "no temptation" to only temptation to idolatry, nor is idolatry the only temptation mentioned in the warning examples Paul enumerated in previous verses.

Continued below,

arminianperspectives said...

Continued from above,

Anon said: "However, after acting in an unloving manner toward me, besmirching my character by claiming I'm "misusing sources" (which it was easy to see I wasn't, which his counter explanation didn't cut it)"

**** I am not besmirching your character or acting unlovingly toward you. It is loving to help you see your misuse of sources. Moreover, I was not claiming you were intentionally misusing sources. Are you claiming it is unloving to point out that someone is misusing sources? How could truth in such matters then be arrived at? How could people discuss issues at all in an aim to get at truth when sources were involved? Are you suggesting that you should be aboe to misuse sources and no one should point it out because you think that it is unloving to do so? That seems a convenoient way to try and shield your position from rational scrutiny.

Anon said: "he then goes on to say that indeed idolatry is what is mainly in view here."

**** The main thing the Corinthians were facing, but not the only thing in view, which is essential to your position, and not the only the Corinthians were facing.

Anon said: And of course, we know that this sin in the OT was APOSTASY. For it you were EXPELLED (cf. Rosner's Paul, Scripture, and Ethics, for a brilliant exegesis on Paul's use of the expulsion principle) from the covenant, FOREVER CUT OFF. Thus, no going back."

**** That does not necessarily equate all idolatry with apostasy. Even more importantly, that is irreoevant since Paul's refers to all temptation, whether to idolatry or not, whether to apostasy or not. God promise covers every conceivable temptation (at least that is common to man).

I said: "The problem gets even worse when one realizes that idolatry does not necessarily = final soul-danmning apostasy (especially in the NT in general and 1 Cor in particular)."

Anon said: "Well, that was the LAW. And, the context of I Cor. is all about final salvation. And v. starts out with the OT wilderness group who were FOREVER CUT OFF, not to reach THE PROMISE LAND which is where we all, by faith, are going."

**** But that does nothing to establish your claim that any act of idolatry = soul-damning apostasy in the NT and especially in 1 Corinthians, in which Paul calls on any who are committing idoltry to stop doing so in order not to be damned. But your position holds that such people were already damned apostates.

Anon: "I tried to give objective arguments for my position and here another angry, unloving Arminian comes in and finds it necessary to make personal attacks and undermine my character and turn the debate subjective."

**** I did not attack you personally nor act angrily or uncharitably toward you. Hopefully you see that now since I gave explanation about. In fact love you and want to help you see what I believe to be the truth, and to lovingly protect others from what I believe to be your misue of sources and flawed arguments.

God bless!

P.S. to all: read Ben Henshaw's debate with Steve; I think anyone with an open mind will see very clearly that Steve's and anon's position is untenable.

Anonymous said...

Arminian thinks I "necessarily equate all idolatry with apostasy." Of course that is vague, ambiguous, and equivocal.

Arminian denies the argument from Rosner et al and pretends to know the book. In the book they tell us that the "sin common to man" was "idolatry." That is their position. I don't need to debate this point with the sophist since I am obviously right because I'm just quoting them.

I played Arminian's game of complaining about behavior. He then spins things so that what i took as unloving was really loving on his behalf. Fine, all the "mean" calvinists are really trying to be loving towards the Arminians.

Arminian so serious, such a bore, that he fails to see how he's getting led around by a hook in the mouth.

I have stated my position, given my arguments, cited more sources, and have not had any serious rejoinder to my comments. I think "Arminian" is a ignoramous who gets stomped quite frequently (let's not forget his poor performance in his debate with James Anderson). He is an Arminian "yes man" and will never, ever, ever, conceed any point whatever, no matter how small, to a Calvinist. I am bored of fanatics like that.

My argument is here. So is his. I'm fine letting people judge, is he?

Anonymous said...

to make clear:

"But that does nothing to establish your claim that any act of idolatry = soul-damning apostasy in the NT and especially in 1 Corinthians, in which Paul calls on any who are committing idoltry to stop doing so in order not to be damned."

Yawn. never said that. perhaps the argument is too sophisticated for you to grasp. I didn't think so, but hey, I am dealing with a died-in-the-wool Arminian.

Anonymous said...

heeeey, no one has answered the questions about LFW and needing god to give us "a way out." I thought that was "built in".

Arminian said...

The barage of insults and lack of subtantive argumentation from Anon in his latest posts tell me that he can't defend his view and has to resort to such behavior.

Anon, you said, of me, "My argument is here. So is his. I'm fine letting people judge, is he?"

My answer, yes. Your latest posts show the discussion has degenerated.

Peace and blessings to you.

Again to all, for detailed treatment of the issues concerning 1 Cor 10:13, read Ben Henshaw's debate with Steve Hays linked to earlier in the thread. As I said earlier, I think anyone with an open mind will see very clearly that Steve's and Anon's position is untenable.

steve said...

arminianperspectives said...
"Arminian" e-mailed me and said he was having trouble posting through blogger (it keeps giving him an error), so he asked me if I would post the following to "anon" on his behalf:

Anonymous, who has responded to my post in this thread and mentioend Rosner et al:

Are you Steve Hays?

********************

Just between you and me, Anonymous and Steve Hays are both sockpuppets for Alvin Plantinga.

steve said...

arminianperspectives said...

“Actually, this is exactly what Fitzmyer does in the provided quote, and the best interpretation he ‘arrives at is the one that contradicts Steve's claims and demonstrates his misuse of the quote (the very point I have repeatedly made that Steve continues to deny, even in the face of such plain evidence).”

This is Fitzmyer’s verbatim conclusion: “In this context, Paul seems to be thinking primarily of trials involving idol meat or seduction to idolatry.”

Since, in Scripture, the sin of idolatry is a paradigm-case of apostasy–as Fitzmyer himself documents in the run-up to this verse)–Fitzmyer’s conclusion confirms rather than contradicts my position.

“But Christians may also rely on God for the ekbasis of lesser struggles throughout the course of life [and here he states a conlusion, which flatly contradicts Hays' view.”

i) That is not how he concludes his interpretation. I just quoted his actual conclusion.

ii) Moreover, that statement doesn’t “flatly contradict” my position. The fact that God provides a way out in case of apostasy doesn’t imply that God never provides away out in lesser cases. Rather, we have a general promise in the special case of apostasy. Ben’s inference is logically fallacious.

“Notice he sets this against the eshcatological trial view.”

He compares the two, but he doesn’t reject the eschatological referent.

“…trials involving idol meat are simply a specific example of the ‘lesser struggles throughout the course of life.’”

Idolatry is hardly a case of “lesser struggles.” Rather, as Fitzmyer documents in the verses leading up to 13, idolatry is a grave sin. Indeed, a paradigm-case of apostasy.

“[So what we see is Fitzmyer reviewing some options and concluding with a view that contradicts Hays'.]”

Ben isn’t getting that from Fitzmyer. Rather, Ben is filtering a statement by Fitzmyer through Ben’s mitigating position that idolatry is a “lesser struggle”–rather than a paradigm-case of apostasy.

BTW, it’s striking to see how Ben has to trivialize the sin of idolatry to justify his Arminian precommitments. To be Arminian, you must be a closet antinomian.

steve said...

arminianperspectives said...

“Oh, I see. You thought that by appealing to corporate election I was actually trying to say that I held to unconditional election???”

Which, of course, doesn’t follow from anything I actually said. But Ben has to obfuscate as best he can–which isn’t very well.

“I would think it would be obvious to most that I wasn’t objecting to the conditionality of election, but to the basis of that election being foreseen faith. It’s really not that complicated.”

It’s not obvious when you yourself have written that you subscribe to a statement of faith in which election is predicated on foreseen faith.

It would only be obvious if you have a habit of prevaricating.

“As already mentioned, I don’t see election as based on foreseen faith.”

But the SEA statement of faith says otherwise, which you told us you subscribe to.

“Actually, it is an observation based on the fact that you keep conflating certainty with necessity.”

Yet another assertion on your part, minus the supporting argument.

“Where do you see election based on foreknowledge in the SEA statement of faith?”

Try: “election unto salvation is conditional on faith in Christ.”

Do you think the elect elect themselves? Or is God the agent of election? If God, and if election is contingent on their faith, then election is contingent on God’s foresight of their faith–unless you go the route of the open theist.

“Correction: ‘will not be otherwise’. That’s the difference between certainty and necessity that you continue to miss, and that is why my saying that you conflate certainty with necessity is more than mere assertion.”

Not merely that it “will not” be otherwise. Rather, you say it’s “certain” that it will not be otherwise. If it’s certain that it won’t be otherwise, then it can’t be otherwise unless the outcome unless the uncertain rather than certain.

Anonymous said...

"The category 'apostasy' functions in theological discourse for the open and final repudiation of one's allegience to God in Christ" -- Ortlund, _Apostasy_, "New Dictionary of Biblical Theology (eds. Alexander, Rosner, Carson, Goldsworthy, IVP, 2000, reprint, 2006, p. 383).


Kind of throws water on Victor's benightened ideas of apostasy and his attempt to paint me as holding an extrmeme, minority view on the subject.

Anonymous said...

"BTW, it’s striking to see how Ben has to trivialize the sin of idolatry to justify his Arminian precommitments. To be Arminian, you must be a closet antinomian."

So Ben Hasn't read Rosner's Greed and Idolatry or Beale's We Become What we Worship, I take it?

I take it that he disagrees with Rosner I a brilliant exegete, I might add), when Rosner says, "In the Bible there is no more serious charge than that of idolatry. Idolatry called fir the strictest punishment, elicited the most disdainful polemic, prompted the most extreme measures of avoidance, and was regarded as the chief identifying characteristic of those who were the very antithesis of the people of God, namely, the Gentiles. Fundamental to Israel's life and faith were the first commandment and its exposition in the Shema, which from early in the nation's history were thought to touch every aspect of its life. The early church likewise treated idol worship with the utmost seriousness.

Idolatry is the ultimate expression of unfaithfulness to God and is for that reason the occasion for severe divine punishment.

[...]

It is not just that idolatry was one vice among many of which the heathen were guilty; rather, idolatry is a defining feature of the heathen, whose life is characterized inevitably by this sin. ... These sins are the only vices in the Pauline letters that are considered to be such a threat that they must be 'shunned' or 'fled' (I Cor. 6:18; 10:14). Opposition to idolatry was in effect a drawing of group boundaries for the people of God, set within the wider framework of their identity and self-definition. In making clear what they stood for, they emphasized what they stood against. (Rosner. _Idolatry_, "New Dictionary of Biblical Theology" (eds. Alexander, Rosner, Carson, Goldsworthy, IVP, 2000, reprint, 2006, p.570, 571).


As Rosner and the majority of other top exegetes and scholars make clear, this is what is in view in I Cor 10 (cf. Rosner for the link between sexual immorality and idolatry in the mind of the Jew, and of Paul).

I Cor 10, then, is most consistent with Calvinism, or with a Classical Arminian view of perseverance. See, believers have Jesus as their high priest. When God's people sin they need an one to intercede on their behalf . . . always. This is Jesus, our high priest. He intercedes for us. He will make sure all of his people, his sheep, make it to the promised land. He will not fail like the merely human priests of Israel. If he did, then there would be nothing "better" about the New Covenant. But it is a better covenant.

Not only that, we still have not seen how this passage makes sense with LFW. We don’t need God to provide ways out or to make us able to resist. WE ALREADY HAVE THAT ABILITY IN VIRTUE OF LFW. It can't be talking about prevenient grace because then EVERYONE would have the ability to withstand sin. It would be a live possibility, then. If so, then it is a live possibility that Jesus did not die for everyone. If so then John 3:16 doesn't mean every single person. It means classes of person. But we can't have that! So, it's not prevenient grace. Therefore, there's nothing left. The LFW endowed Christian doesn't need God to make him able to resist and to provide a way out, for he already has this ability.

bossmanham said...

Arminian said,

I dare say that Steve even embarrassed himself in the exchange

You say that as if you're surprised about it, heh.

Anonymous said...

There goes another Arminian, Bossmanham, acting unloving, arrogant, rude, and mean. Arminianism leads to a hateful, mean, angry, and arrogant lifestyle.

arminianperspectives said...

Steve,

Since my "intellectual performance" is so poor and I am obviously having trouble dealing with your sophisticated arguments (probably due to my "silly little mind"), let me ask you a simple question or two. Is Paul saying that we can rely on God for the way of escape when facing any sin or is he saying that we can only rely on God for a way of escape for the specific sin of apostasy? I ask this because you seem to now concede that God provides a way of escape for both, but maybe I am misunderstanding. So just to be very clear on what your position is, could you answer this question?

Also, do you think that the Corinthians that Paul was writing to were already engaged in idolatry? Or was Paul just warning them about something that none of them had engaged in? And if Paul was warning them about something they had already engaged in, then was Paul warning those he believed to have already committed apostasy? In other words, when Paul said, "therefore, flee from idolatry", was Paul speaking to any who had already committed idolatry? What would Fitzmyer and Garland say to that question?

Oh, and since you are such an influential guy, why don't you contact Fitzmyer and put an end to this debate over what his intentions were in writing what he wrote? All you have to do is refer him to our exchange and ask him who is better representing his position on the matter (not that Fitzmyer's opinion decides the exegesis of the text, but for the sake of settling the competing claims concerning what Fitzmyer meant).

Anon,

Concerning your little question about LFW, I would venture to say that it has been ignored because it doesn’t represent anyone’s view here who is arguing for LFW. We don’t believe that LFW allows one to make choices they don’t have. Rather it is the power to freely make choices within a specific range of available options. So unless God provides a way out, then the way out would not be an option. Free will can’t get someone out of a room with no possible way of escape. But if an escape is provided then one could freely take the way of escape, or remain where he is. But you know all this already, don’t you?

God Bless,
Ben

arminianperspectives said...

Idolatry is hardly a case of “lesser struggles.” Rather, as Fitzmyer documents in the verses leading up to 13, idolatry is a grave sin. Indeed, a paradigm-case of apostasy.

A lesser struggle than the eschatological trial just mentioned. It doesn't mean that it isn't a grave sin.

I wrote: Their grumbling and craving had led even to such idolatry.

Steve responded:

Notice that he doesn’t quote Fitzmyer saying such things “may” lead to idolatry.

Oh, so Fitzmyer meant that grumbling and complaining always and inevitably leads to idolatry? I don't want to be accused of putting words in his mouth, so I will leave it to him to clear that up.

“Where do you see election based on foreknowledge in the SEA statement of faith?”

Try: “election unto salvation is conditional on faith in Christ.”


Well, I don't think it is hard to see from this that the SEA statement of faith has no reference to election by foreseen faith. To say one is elect by faith is not the same as saying the basis of election is foreseen faith (and I have already explained this).

I asked Steve to show me a reference to foreknowledge in the statement, and he wasn't able to do so. Yet he still seems to plainly make the claim that the SEA statement of faith says that one is elected based on foreseen faith.

This may be yet another example of Steve's poor reading skills, just like when he accused me of creating a fictitious scholar called "Caneday" to bolster my case. By the way Steve, have you apologized to Ardel B. Caneday yet for calling him fictitious, saying he is related to the gingerbread man living in a sugarcane mansion and giving him zero credit for co-authoring the only book you could find to support your view?

Anonymous said...

I did not say that *lfw allows one to make choices they don’t have* but it’s so easy to set up straw men to knock them down. Since I did not say that you did not answer my *little question*.

You take this passage to mean that God provides a way of escape from common everyday sins, that is why in my response I used common everyday sins such as to lie, cheat, steal…

So if one has this lfw then one can lie or not lie, cheat or not cheat, steal or not steal, etc.

What you fail to see from my *little question* is that lfw says that you already have an escape. After all you could use this lfw of yours to lie or not lie, why would God need to provide away of escape if you have lfw?

The reason the question was ignored is because the bible once again disproves lfw.

arminianperspectives said...

but it’s so easy to set up straw men to knock them down.

Which is apperently why you continue to erect and knock down straw men.

You take this passage to mean that God provides a way of escape from common everyday sins, that is why in my response I used common everyday sins such as to lie, cheat, steal…

O.K.

So if one has this lfw then one can lie or not lie, cheat or not cheat, steal or not steal, etc.

Right, due to God's granting of the power and ability to effectively resist the temptation to sin in all those various ways (i.e. the way of escape).

What you fail to see from my *little question* is that lfw says that you already have an escape.

No it doesn't as pointed out above. If I have no power to resist temptation unless God grants me that power, then it is God's enablement that creates the option of resistence, and the possibility for me not to sin.

The reason the question was ignored is because the bible once again disproves lfw.

Whatever helps you to sleep better at night.

Robert said...

Anonymous whom I believe to be Paul Manata wrote:

“I did not say that *lfw allows one to make choices they don’t have* but it’s so easy to set up straw men to knock them down. Since I did not say that you did not answer my *little question*.”

Speaking of *little questions”, “Anonymous” are you Paul Manata?


“What you fail to see from my *little question* is that lfw says that you already have an escape. After all you could use this lfw of yours to lie or not lie, why would God need to provide away of escape if you have lfw?”

I can easily answer your question, why don’t you answer my *little question*: “Anonymous” are you Paul Manata?

If you post with your real name I would be glad to discuss these issues with you and answer your question in a rational and civil manner.


Robert

Anonymous said...

So you have no power until God grants you the power, but God gave you and all your homies lfw from the beginning?

So this is just another example of God giving you the tools and then stepping back and letting the chips fall where they will.

You have a very man centered view on all of this. Sure you blow some smoke that God does it by enabling you, but in the end it’s all about Y-O-U.

Nope, i'm not Paul Manata.

Anonymous said...

1 Cor. 10:13

Further proof that this verse is about idolatry

Arminian said...

BTW, Anon, I think it's unfair for you to say I did poorly in my debate with James Anderson. I actually think I "won". In fact, a major Arminian scholar read the whole debate and told me that he thinks I won it. I know that that coment came in the post in which you hurled a barage of insults at me with no substantive response to my arguments, but I thought I should comment on your assertion about my debate with Anderson. I am happy to invite people to read the debate. If they have the patience to work through it. I think it would help the oepn-minded to see Calvinism's failure to cohere with the Bible and a common Calvinist charge refuted.
So, to those who have not read the exchange, please read it if you have interest. Here is the latest post in the exchange, from which you could also find previous contributions to the dbeate from both sides: "Magic Hand-waving in the Calvinist Cause"

God bless!

Robert said...

Well we seem to be making progress here, now we know there are multiple Anonymoses posting. One says that he is not Paul Manata.

Who wrote the following words?:

"Almost all those who argue for theological-determinism (sometimes wrong called fatalism, fatalism has more in common with Arminianism than calvinism) know this point and still make their argument. Your stock objections show an unfamiliarity with the argument.

The argument from foreknowledge is simply against the ability to do otherwise.

since most consider that an essential element of LFW, then the argument rebuts LFW.

Others, like Zagbeski, drop PAP and hold to frankfurtian-libertarianism.

But like Hasker says: this position is to admit the conclusion of the argument from theological-fatalism and declare yourself the winner!

Anyway, Timpe shows successfully, IMO, that PAP is necessary for libertarianism. So, we can use the foreknwoeldge argument combined with Timpe's argument, and conclude that LFW is false *if* God has infallible knowledge of all libertarian choices that will ever occur."

Is the "Anonymous" that wrote **these** words, Paul Manata?

Now for the other anonymous, how do I distinguish you from other anonymous calvinist posters? That is part of the problem, I want to know who I am dealing with so I don't confuse different posters with one another.

I will deal with your argument in a separate post.

Robert

Anonymous said...

you can call be Henry

Robert said...

Anonymous # 2 (I will reserve #1 for Paul Manata, though there may be more than two how can one know when people are not posting with their real names).
Apparently wrote:

“So you have no power until God grants you the power, but God gave you and all your homies lfw from the beginning?”

Having the ability to have and make choices is not sufficient to live the Christian life properly. The bible says that we start our Christian walk with faith and are to live daily with this same kind of faith (i.e. trusting in the promises and character of God in all of our circumstances). Part of this daily trusting is trusting that the Lord will give us the strength for us to do what is pleasing to Him (including that he will give us the strength to endure and resist temptation).

“So this is just another example of God giving you the tools and then stepping back and letting the chips fall where they will.”

God does not step back and “let the chips fall where they will” (that is **Deism** not Christianity). No, the God of the bible is actively leading and transforming his people into the image of Christ (would you agree “Anonymous”?). He leads us through His Word, through good bible teaching, etc. As we are experiencing our Christian walk we sometimes will face temptations.

Now Anonymous #2 has presented the following argument: well if we have LFW and so can choose to do things and refrain from doing things, this would mean that we don’t need the “way of escape” that God promises to provide in 1 Cor. 10:13 to deal with the temptation. So LFW would make this promise unnecessary, cause all we would need to deal with temptation is LFW.

Is that your argument Anonymous #2?

There are some problems with this argument.

First, it fails to recognize a key principle of our sanctification (i.e. that when we trust Him he provides grace or strength for us to do things that He wants us to do, Jesus talked about this as abiding in him and then producing fruit, if you are actively trusting him and obeying Him then the Spirit will produce fruit through you, but you have to choose to trust and when you are trusting he gives grace).

Second, it fails to recognize that the Christian life is to be one in which we actively trust/depend upon the Lord to give us strength when dealing with trials and temptations. This means that in regard to the promise given in 1 Cor. 10:13, **part of the way of escape** that God will provide when you trust him is that he gives you strength to deal with the temptation. This is one of the reasons that God allows his people to face trials and temptations; these are situations where you have to trust the Lord to deliver you.

So it is not that temptation comes and you just make a choice in a vacuum apart from the grace and working of God in your life.

Part of the way of escape that the Lord provides his people when they trust him is the strength to endure and resist the temptation. The view that we face temptations alone (as you put it God just lets the chips fall where they may) and that **all we have to do** is make the right choice is again a form of Deism where God just watches and is not involved in your life (and that is not biblical Christianity).

Do you agree Anonymous #2 that your argument presupposes a deistic conception of the Christian life rather than a biblical conception in which we endure and resist temptation through the strength that God provides as we trust Him??

“You have a very man centered view on all of this. Sure you blow some smoke that God does it by enabling you, but in the end it’s all about Y-O-U.”

I don’t think our view is man-centered at all. You presented your argument assuming Deism to be the case (that God just leaves us alone to face the temptation, that Arminians practically speaking are Deists). That is not biblical Christianity in which we are to live lives of daily dependence and trust in the Lord.

Robert

Anonymous said...

I agree that my argument presupposes an Arminian view of God.

And I also agree that the Arminian view of God is not biblical.

Robert said...

Anonymous 2 I assume wrote:

"I agree that my argument presupposes an Arminian view of God.

And I also agree that the Arminian view of God is not biblical."

So do you believe that Calvinists and Arminians worship the same God?

Robert

Anonymous said...

the arminian is ignorant of the things of God and does not know how to worship Him in spirit and in truth.

it is a system that elevates the creature over the creator.

It worships the same god as the Roman Catholic Pope does.

Anonymous said...

AP,

Ummmm, nice try.

What the heck are you talking about? Look, you have a temptation. You haven't succumbed yet. Are you seriously implying that if God doesn't, what, "create a way out" (whatever the heck that means), then you will engage in that temptation? If you did it, then you wouldn't be morally responsible since "ought implies can" for you and "responsability implies ability" for you. So, if god didn't provide a way out, and then this was your only option, and it was necessitated, then you wouldn't be responsible for it (on your terms) and so it would make no sense to warn people about falling into temptations and to claim that if they did fall into them they would be responsible.

I never said you had the ability to fly to the moon. nice straw man. I am talking about what every libertarian admits. your position is utterly ridiculous. you have the power of choice INBUILT (where this means two options are actually available). Anything you ever ought to do, you can do. So, if you ought to avoid a temptation in the year 2020, this means you can in that year. Where was God making you able? You are able in virtue of the fact that it is a temptation.

So, try again.

Anonymous said...

Now for the other anonymous, how do I distinguish you from other anonymous calvinist posters? That is part of the problem, I want to know who I am dealing with so I don't confuse different posters with one another.

I will deal with your argument in a separate post.

Robert


Bob, you have a knack for refuting yourself. You said you could 'always tell" who Paul Manata is. You said it is "obvious." Was that more of your over the top rhetoric you're well known for?

bossmanham said...

Yes, mr Sockpuppet. It was so mean for me to say, "you say that like you're surprised." So mean. So nasty. Maybe somebody is a little sensitive?

bossmanham said...

you have the power of choice INBUILT

Sure we do, provided by God Himself, but the choice must be available. We are not able to choose Christ without the intervention of the Holy Spirit, for instance. Likewise, without the way of escape, we couldn't choose the way of escape. But this verse states that He always provides this way of escape, so the rest of your tangent becomes irrelevant.

So, how about you stop with the silly, predictable, and childish sophistry? I find it amusing that Calvinists always resort to this tactic. Pick on a word or argument and yank it out of context and then beat that horse into the ground.

bossmanham said...

Further, if God didn't provide a different option (the way of escape) then we truly would not be able to choose something else. But since God doesn't determine our choices in any way, including only providing one path, He provides different paths we could choose from. Thank God for His infinite wisdom (and for not causing sin).

Anonymous said...

Further proof is not needed than has just been provided arminian-ism is false teaching.

bossmanham said...

Further proof is not needed than has just been provided arminian-ism is false teaching

Are you a glutton for displaying your absolute FAIL of an argument by writing one scentence assertions that prove your refusal to deal with the arguments presented?

Victor Reppert said...

Hmmm. What if we go for this compromise. Paul primarily has idolatry in mind, but secondarily intends that the passage also deal with temptations of other kinds.

Oh shoot, if it's true for garden variety temptations, even if is a secondary claim, you have to either say the elect are perfect or affirm that darned libertarian free will.

Shoot.

steve said...

Arminian said...
“BTW, Anon, I think it's unfair for you to say I did poorly in my debate with James Anderson. I actually think I ‘won’.”

Yes, self-testimonials are so convincing. Just ask your local used car salesman.

“In fact, a major Arminian scholar read the whole debate and told me that he thinks I won it.”

So an Arminian sided with another Arminian on the merits of Arminianism. How’s that for a disinterested opinion?

Notice, though, that our anonymous “Arminian” is citing an equally anonymous scholar to vouch for his performance. One anonymous individual appealing to yet another anonymous individual as an anonymous witness to his anonymous performance.

Hmm. Did “drywayman” say we shouldn’t waste our time on anonymous folks? After all, a person who posts should be brave enough to tell us who s/he is–or so we were told.

And didn’t Robert say that when an anonymous individual has the integrity and intestinal fortitude to post by name, then we can take him and his comments more seriously? Otherwise, as Robert goes on to explain, someone who hides behind anonymity is pretty gutless and showing a lack of Christian character.

bossmanham said...

Yes, self-testimonials are so convincing. Just ask your local used car salesman.

Yes, everyone. Steve Hays really did say that.

steve said...

arminianperspectives said...

“Steve, let me ask you a simple question or two. Is Paul saying that we can rely on God for the way of escape when facing any sin or is he saying that we can only rely on God for a way of escape for the specific sin of apostasy.”

As per 1 Cor 10:13, what it’s in view is the specific sin of apostasy (or sins which terminate in apostasy).

“I ask this because you seem to now concede that God provides a way of escape for both, but maybe I am misunderstanding.”

What I said is that God’s promise applies in the case of apostasy. The verse is silent on other cases.

The verse doesn’t preclude the possibility that God restrains Christians in other tempting situations. It doesn’t address that question one way or the other. It’s neutral on particular issue.

We’d have to look elsewhere in Scripture to see if there’s an answer to that question. I’d add that, in principle, God could restrain some Christians some of the time–depending on his overall purpose.

“Also, do you think that the Corinthians that Paul was writing to were already engaged in idolatry? Or was Paul just warning them about something that none of them had engaged in? And if Paul was warning them about something they had already engaged in, then was Paul warning those he believed to have already committed apostasy”

It isn’t possible to give a general answer to that question since the Corinthian congregation included different individuals in different situations.

“Oh, and since you are such an influential guy, why don't you contact Fitzmyer and put an end to this debate over what his intentions were in writing what he wrote?”

I’ll contact Fitzmyer as soon as you contact Calvin and Matthew Henry to clarify their intentions.

“Oh, so Fitzmyer meant that grumbling and complaining always and inevitably leads to idolatry?”

You accuse me of misreading Fitzmyer. You then interpolate a caveat which he never stated or implied–a caveat which is crucial to your own argument. You’re not getting that from Fitzmyer.

Arminian said...

I said: “In fact, a major Arminian scholar read the whole debate [between me and James Anderson] and told me that he thinks I won it.”

Steve said: "So an Arminian sided with another Arminian on the merits of Arminianism. How’s that for a disinterested opinion?"

**** But I was responding to a *Calvinist* poster who said that I performed poorly in my debate with James Anderson. Was that supposed to be a disinterested opinion? So does your logic mean that his comment was invalid?

Anonymous said...

I would think that verse 14 pretty much establishes the fact that Paul had idolatry in mind.

As has been established already LFW boils down to PAP. If that were the biblical view than why would Paul go out of his way to say that God is faithful when the test comes and will provide a way for you to endure/bear it?

Secondly, all these temptations/trials that Paul references in verse 6 – 10 were ***TESTS*** from … GOD.

This verse speaks to God’s faithfulness in encouraging them & Us that when God tests you he will also provide THE way of escape and give you the power to endure it.

Thirdly, this verse is for the elect/believers and not for the reprobate/unbelievers. Are you willing to say that only believers have LFW?

Fourthly, I see that someone has also been kind enough to supply Psalm 34:19 and 2 Peter 2:9. God will deliver us when these trials come and will give us the power to endure. Just like Paul said in 2 Tim 3:11

Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

steve said...

Arminian said...

"But I was responding to a *Calvinist* poster who said that I performed poorly in my debate with James Anderson. Was that supposed to be a disinterested opinion? So does your logic mean that his comment was invalid?"

I'm not judging your statement by my logic. Rather, I'm judging your statement by Arminian logic. Arminians who invalidate claims made by anonymous individuals on grounds of anonymity.

So I'm using Arminian logic to invalidate Arminian claims.

Don't you know what a tu quoque argument is?

drwayman said...

Steve said, "Hmm. Did “drywayman” say we shouldn’t waste our time on anonymous folks? After all, a person who posts should be brave enough to tell us who s/he is–or so we were told."

I would appreciate you not adding to my statement. I did not say "or so we are told."

Also, if you remember, I apologized for the attitude behind that statement. Where I come from, when someone apologizes, you don't then throw that back in their face.

Further, it's too bad that you don't relay my follow-up to that statement.

I said later, "Steve - I guess I didn't make myself clear. I apologize for that. When a person uses the anonymous button, we have no assurance that it is the same person each time. Anyone can hijack anonymous' comments and claim to be him/her and misrepresent anonymous by claiming to be anonymous. Robert, Arminian, Steve, drwayman are all identities that cannot be hijacked as they are registered. One should not be afraid to connect him/herself with truth. To connect oneself with the truthfulness of one's statements in such a way to not allow oneself to be misrepresented is bravery."

BTW - it is drwayman not drywayman

Arminian said...

Steve said: "I'm not judging your statement by my logic. Rather, I'm judging your statement by Arminian logic. Arminians who invalidate claims made by anonymous individuals on grounds of anonymity.

So I'm using Arminian logic to invalidate Arminian claims."

**** That really has nothing to do with my comments addressing your specific point that somehow the Arminian scholar's opinion that I won my debate with James Anderson should be discounted because it came from an Arminian, who is therefore not disinterested. Your response essentially evades my point (I assume because it was a good one) and tries to go after a different point you raised about what I said.

To refresh our memories:

I said: “In fact, a major Arminian scholar read the whole debate [between me and James Anderson] and told me that he thinks I won it.”

Steve said: "So an Arminian sided with another Arminian on the merits of Arminianism. How’s that for a disinterested opinion?"

**** But I was responding to a *Calvinist* poster who said that I performed poorly in my debate with James Anderson. Was that supposed to be a disinterested opinion? So does your logic mean that his comment was invalid?

**** Now I will add, I could have simply responded to you with your own logic: So a Calvinist sided with another Calvinist on the merits of Calvinism. How’s that for a disinterested opinion?

steve said...

drwayman said...

"One should not be afraid to connect him/herself with truth. To connect oneself with the truthfulness of one's statements in such a way to not allow oneself to be misrepresented is bravery."

Like so many Arminians I've encountered, you're addicted to partisan special pleading. You fabricate these makeshift distinctions.

But since readers of Dangerous Idea don't know who "Arminian" is in real life, much less the nameless "scholar" who cites, both have them have disconnected themselves from the truth (or falsity) of their statements.

The technicality about "hijacking" identities is a red herring. Since the "registered" identity still involves concealment of the commenters true identity, there is no connection between the commenter and the truth (or falsity) of the statement.

You're just another Arminian respecter of persons. You play favorites. Make ad hoc excuses for your fellow team players.

steve said...

Arminian said...

"That really has nothing to do with my comments addressing your specific point that somehow the Arminian scholar's opinion that I won my debate with James Anderson should be discounted because it came from an Arminian, who is therefore not disinterested. Your response essentially evades my point (I assume because it was a good one) and tries to go after a different point you raised about what I said."

i) No, you're evading the point since, as an Arminian chauvinist, you can't bring yourself to publicly distance yourself from other Arminians on this thread.

ii) Moreover, there's nothing that merits a response from me since all you've done is to cite somebody's alleged opinion, without furnishing any supporting argument to justify his opinion.

iii) Finally, if he really is a "scholar," then why doesn't he direct comments to Dr. Anderson, rather than laundering them through you?

Anonymous said...

"Paul primarily has idolatry in mind, but secondarily intends that the passage also deal with temptations of other kinds."

even if true it does not support LFW. in fact, the argument here is that LFW makes the passage absurd.

drwayman said...

Steve - It's interesting that you accuse me of playing favorites. Yet, you won't answer what Dr. Reppert said.

Dr. Reppert said, "For some reason, nobody seems bothered by the fact the fact that Blue Devil Knight doesn't post under his name (which I happen to know), or that Doctor Logic posts as Doctor Logic and not under his name (which I do not know)."

It appears to me that you have an axe to grind with Arminian and Robert and you are frustrated that you cannot find out who they really are. However, you could care less about Blue Devil Knight and Doctor Logic even though one cannot discover who they are.

As long as they are consistent in using their screen name, that is sufficient for my sensibilities.

Arminian said...

Steve said: "i) No, you're evading the point since, as an Arminian chauvinist, you can't bring yourself to publicly distance yourself from other Arminians on this thread."

**** Steve, you're sounding irrational here IMO. How is it evading the point when you made a comment that I responded to, and then your reply does not directly address the point but addresses other matters?

Steve said: "ii) Moreover, there's nothing that merits a response from me since all you've done is to cite somebody's alleged opinion, without furnishing any supporting argument to justify his opinion."

*** But you did respond, but with off topic points. You quoted my words and I replied, to which you have not given an on topic reply. It's right here in the thread for anyone to see. I even quoted it in my last post.

Steve said: "iii) Finally, if he really is a "scholar," then why doesn't he direct comments to Dr. Anderson, rather than laundering them through you?"

**** Are you seriously suggesting that the guy has a duty to contact Anderson to tell him what he thought of the exchange? That really sounds bizarre. I drew his attention to the debate and discussed it with him. He is not lanudering his opinion through me. I am reporting what I know of his opinion. And I felt no need to get his permission to say so since I have not revealed his identity. You're comments seem off, seeming to verge on irrational again, or perhaps hostile.

Robert said...

drwayman wrote:

"It appears to me that you have an axe to grind with Arminian and Robert and you are frustrated that you cannot find out who they really are. However, you could care less about Blue Devil Knight and Doctor Logic even though one cannot discover who they are."

Hays does have an axe to grind. He demands "full disclosure" when that would not be prudent or wise in a public forum such as this. I have said repeatedly that in addition as I work in prison ministry in order to protect my self my spouse and family I put miminal personal infomation in public postings. I cannot speak for "Arminian" but I have good reasons to limit what I say. Besides I have said some things so Hays knows some things about me. And why isn't Hays demanding "full disclosure" from the calvinists who are posting ANONYMOUSLY. Double standard on the part of Hays. If it were up to me everyone would at least post by their first name as I do.

Robert

Arminian said...

Steve said: "This is Fitzmyer’s verbatim conclusion: “In this context, Paul seems to be thinking primarily of trials involving idol meat or seduction to idolatry.” "

**** Actually, this is Fitzmyer’s verbatim conclusion: “. . . but Christians may also rely on God for the ekbasis of lesser struggles throughout the course of life. In this context, Paul seems to be thinking primarily of trials involving idol meat or seduction to idolatry”. And that flatly contradicts Steve's position. It's is very misleading if we leave out part of Fitzmyer's conclusion.

But even if we did and stuck with with what Steve said, it still contradicts Steve's view, because as had been pointed out (and again conveniently not addressed by Steve), Fitzmyer speaks of trials Paul *primarily* had in mind, implying other trials that are also relevant, but not as prominent. And this also contradicts Steve's view and has Fitzmyer supporting Ben's and my view. It also strengthens what Ben and I already pointed out, that part of Fitzmyer's view is that "Christians may also rely on God for the ekbasis of lesser struggles throughout the course of life." Notice that that is worded not as one possible option, but as Fitzmyer's assertion about the passage even if the eschatological interpretation were true. The two points go together. Since God here promises a way out of every temptation no matter what it is, Paul especially (though not exclusively) applies this promise to trials involving idol meat or seduction to idolatry, which was an especially pressing issue for the Corinthians. Steve's position is so unlikely and rare partly because it demands restricting Paul's language implausibly. In any case, it does not get any help from Fitzmyer.

Steve said: "Since, in Scripture, the sin of idolatry is a paradigm-case of apostasy–as Fitzmyer himself documents in the run-up to this verse)–Fitzmyer’s conclusion confirms rather than contradicts my position."

**** Steve seems to think that any act of idolatry is equivalent to soul-damning apostasy, but that is obvioulsy not the view of the NT, and especially 1 Corinthians, in which Paul calls on any believers who are committing idolatry to stop doing so in order not to be damned. But according to Steve's position, such people among the Corinthians must have already been damned apostates. Steve's statement also overlooks the word "primarily", which implies other temptations that are not idolatry, and contradicts Steve's position which holds that *only* idolatry is in view.

Continued in next post . . .

Arminian said...

Continued from last post . . .

Steve quoted: " “But Christians may also rely on God for the ekbasis of lesser struggles throughout the course of life [and here he states a conlusion, which flatly contradicts Hays' view.”

Then Steve said: "i) That is not how he concludes his interpretation. I just quoted his actual conclusion. ""

**** As I explain above, this is actually part of Fitzmyer's conclusion; Steve left it out or missed it.

Steve said: "ii) Moreover, that statement doesn’t “flatly contradict” my position. The fact that God provides a way out in case of apostasy doesn’t imply that God never provides away out in lesser cases. Rather, we have a general promise in the special case of apostasy. Ben’s inference is logically fallacious."

**** But Fitzmyer is disussing what 1 Cor 10:13 means. Part of what it means is that "Christians may also rely on God for the ekbasis of lesser struggles throughout the course of life", which must refer to all struggles, since 1 Cor 10:13 does not draw any distinction in struggles, but speaks comprehensively of "no temptation has seized you except that which is common to man". In other words, even on the assumption that the eschatological view were right, there is no basis to conclude from 1 Cor 10:13 that God would sometimes offer the Christian a way out in lesser struggles unless the verse has lesser struggles in view along with the primary eschatological referent. Rememebr, Steve claims the verse only addresses the sin of apostasy, and that on the assumption that any act of idolatry = soul-damning apostasy (or at least apostasy that indicates damnation), unless Steve holds that the verse does not promise the way of escape for all idolatry, which would really undermine his argument, since Steve gets to the notion of apostasy in the first place by the contextual idea of idolatry in 1 Corinthians. A further irony is that this would make 1 Cor 10:13 not applicable to the very typer of idolatry that some Corinthians were already involved in and Paul was calling them to forsake. Steve's view justy becomes more implausible as he tries ro defend it.

Ben said: “Notice he sets this against the eshcatological trial view.”

Steve said: "He compares the two, but he doesn’t reject the eschatological referent."

**** "But" is an adversative. So he does not merely compare them. He contrasts them. However, it is true that Fitzmyer does not necessarily reject the eschatological referent. But he basically states that even if it is true, it is at least true that lesser trials are in view as well. And since according to Fitzmyer 1 Cor 10:13 partly means that "Christians may also [i.e., in addition to the way out of the eschatological trial involving one's salvation] rely on God for the ekbasis of lesser struggles throughout the course of life", Steve's view is excluded, at least by Fitmyer.

arminianperspectives said...

AP,

Ummmm, nice try.

What the heck are you talking about? Look, you have a temptation. You haven't succumbed yet. Are you seriously implying that if God doesn't, what, "create a way out" (whatever the heck that means), then you will engage in that temptation? If you did it, then you wouldn't be morally responsible since "ought implies can" for you and "responsability implies ability" for you. So, if god didn't provide a way out, and then this was your only option, and it was necessitated, then you wouldn't be responsible for it (on your terms) and so it would make no sense to warn people about falling into temptations and to claim that if they did fall into them they would be responsible.

I never said you had the ability to fly to the moon. nice straw man. I am talking about what every libertarian admits. your position is utterly ridiculous. you have the power of choice INBUILT (where this means two options are actually available). Anything you ever ought to do, you can do. So, if you ought to avoid a temptation in the year 2020, this means you can in that year. Where was God making you able? You are able in virtue of the fact that it is a temptation.

So, try again.


Before I address this (though it hardly seems necessary), I have a few questions. First, are you the same anon who left the link above to the article by Bob Deffinbaugh on 1 Cor. 10:13? That is part of the problem with so many anons (assuming there is more than one) posting. Also, in several posts now, your rhetoric and choice of words sounds very much like Paul Manata. For example, the old, “try again” rhetoric above. Could you please affirm or deny whether or not you are Paul Manata? If it is not a big deal, as you seem to have suggested, then you shouldn’t have any problem with just being upfront about who you are. Then we can have a further discussion on this topic knowing who each other is, and I don’t have to wonder which anon comment is you and which anon comment is someone else.

Thanks,
Ben