[We are] not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Does Anybody Agree with this Quotation? VI

by Antonio da Rosa

R.C. Sproul admits:

"If some people are not elected unto salvation than it would seem that God is not at all that loving to them. Further, it seems that it would have been more loving of God not to have allowed them to be born. That may indeed be the case." (Chosen by God, 32)

This in fact could win an award for "Theological Understatement of the Millennium"

16 Comments:

  • So does RC Sproul take the view that God does not love the 'non-elect' at all?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Sunday, September 17, 2006 1:06:00 AM  

  • Matthew,

    he walks the line. He at times has emphasized both.

    For what it is worth, those Calvinists who believe that there is some form of "love" for the unelect are inconsistent, as infralapsarians are inconsistent Calvinists.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Sunday, September 17, 2006 5:36:00 PM  

  • I think I do agree with the quoatation! I love the fact that he starts with the word "IF".

    By Blogger Rose~, at Monday, September 18, 2006 6:24:00 AM  

  • I agree with the statement. God afterall does hate certain people, why would we think it so damndable to think he doesn't love certain peoples?

    I do agree especially with the second thought presented. If God foreknows someone will reject Him, and foreknows that they will spend an eternity in utter punishment and torment, then what kind of sick and cruel LORD do we serve that would create this person anyway? Why not just leave them unborn so as to avoid all the hassle of their heartache in this life, and pain in the next?

    Perhaps God is a Sadist?

    Or I guess the alternative can be convincing. God loves so dearly a person, knows that they will never come to Him, and, in love no doubt, allows them to not only experience all the tormoil and pain of this life, but creates them so that they can later die for eternity. I can see the love there. < /sarcasm>

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Monday, September 18, 2006 6:44:00 AM  

  • One of the "take aways" in Calvinism is all this baloney about the "love of God."

    When you scratch beneath the surface you find that in their view of election God's choice of whom to redeem and whom to reprobate has NOTHING AT ALL to do with the person. It is not a matter of God's reacting in love to the faith He forsees (or causes), nor of His hatred for the sinner's sin.

    It is a purely arbitrary choice anchored in nothing other than God's own will. In the Calvinist view God does what please Him and Him alone. The choice of whom to redeem and whom to reprobate gives God pleasure and that is sufficient.

    The God of Calvinism is arbitrary, capricious and, when I'm feeling especially cynical, monstrous. All this nonsense about God's love that they trot out is a smokescreen used to hide the ugly facts presented by the Neo-platonic view of double predestination.

    By Anonymous Bud, at Monday, September 18, 2006 6:58:00 AM  

  • Congratulations Bud, you inspired within me a post in your honor.

    http://protestantpub.com/blog/node/148

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Monday, September 18, 2006 7:35:00 AM  

  • NAK,

    Yes, I see that in typical Calvinist fashion you resort to the hidden and therefore unknowable will of God as the basis of your assertion that God's election is not capricious.

    But this is an illogical and impermissible move. You cannot use that about which we by definition can know nothing (God's hidden will) as the basis of making any assertion at all. How do we know that God's hidden will is not capricious, arbitrary and cruel rather than loving? We can't!

    And therefore we cannot use the hidden will of God, about which nothing can be said and from which no conclusions or guidance can be drawn, to lead us in our exegesis of Ephesians 1:5 or Romans 9!

    And let me push this one step further, just to show you the problem you're up against. I'll switch from the issue of election to sanctification for a moment. The Calvinist faces a fundamental problem when it comes to the issue of assurance. It is this: "How can data based upon sensory experience give us any sure and certain knowledge of supernatural truths?"

    They can't!

    At its heart Calvinism suffers from a terrible an insoluble epistemological problem. When faced with these problems the Calvinists inevitably resort to the mystery of God's hidden will, thereby ending all intelligent discourse because one cannot talk or argue about a thing which is by definition unknowable.

    As for Ephesians 1:5, that verse indicates that those who are in Christ are the elect. Read the verse again. God's choice was to elect those who are in Christ! This verse makes perfect sense without the need to posit an election based upon God's hidden knowledge. It frees God , and the Calvinist!, from the terrible epistemological dilemma the system has created.

    By Anonymous Bud, at Monday, September 18, 2006 5:57:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Tuesday, September 19, 2006 11:01:00 PM  

  • Bud, whether or not God's will is capricious or evil or stupid or whatever is completely superfluous to the conversation. We are not discussing whether God's will is capricious, but whether the act of God in election is capricious.

    For election to be capricious it would have to be based upon nothing or whim or chance. The Calvinist claims it is based upon the will of God, therefore making election no longer capricious. Since it is based upon something, it is not capricious.

    Now, if it is based upon the will of God, and the will of God is capricious, then the election would be capricious as well. But your assertion that the Calvinist interpretation of election being capricious would only stand if the Calvinist interpreted the will of God as capricious. Since election is based upon God's will, the Calvinist would have to claim that God's will is capricious for you to then claim that the Calvinist makes God's election to be capricious.

    The Calvinist does not claim that God's will is capricious. You have been the only one so far claiming such. The Calvinist rather claims that God's will is mysterious. And following the pattern, since the election is based upon God's will, and the Calvinist claims God's will is mysterious, then the only appropriate assertion you can make is that the Calvinist makes election mysterious.

    Which I would assume we would all agree upon. Unless of course you know who is elect or not. I don't think any Calvinist have ever claimed such knowledge.

    You see. My entire point is that your claim that the Calvinistic interpretation of election is capricious is nothing more than inflamatory language without backing. The Calvinist never claims that election is capricious, nor that the will of God is capricious.

    The Calvinist simply recognizes that one cannot know fully the will of God. God is mysterious by nature, being holy and wholly other. Therefore, whatever is within the mind of God, the will of God, the hidden counsel of God is completely unknown to man. The Calvinist recognizes this.

    The Calvinist then submits to the teaching of Paul, whereby he specifically and quite unequivocally says that election is based upon the will of God.

    The Calvinist then, using the simple common sense taught her as a little child, sees that since election is based upon the will of God, as Paul states it is, and since the will of God is mysterious, then election is likewise mysterious. Why or who, when or where, is elected is left up to the divine counsel to sort out. It is none of our business...

    All I'm asking is that you quit with the inflamatory straw men attacks. Others not so given to patience as myself would grow weary or perhaps angered at such childish sophistry. I myself find it amusing that you would stoop to such levels. I am simply pleading for honesty and a cessation of dishonest slander.

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Tuesday, September 19, 2006 11:19:00 PM  

  • NAK,

    Sigh...

    Would it make you happy if I amended my word choice to say that God's elective choice is purely arbitrary? I can live with that choice.

    I recommend you consult C. Gordon Olson, "Between Arminianism and Calvinism;" Laurence Vance's "The Other Side of Calvnism" and George Bryson's "The Dark Side of Calvinism." In these volumes you will find page after page of quotes from the Calvinists themselves that election is purely arbitrary.

    This argument has been debated for centuries and will not be solved here. But if you don't want to go to the trouble of actually pulling those volumes from the library shelf or getting them through Inter Library Loan, then consult my blog and search for the posts entitled "Why You Should Not Be a Calvinist."

    Unless you do the miraculous - produce a new and novel argument - then this thread is dead

    By Anonymous Bud, at Wednesday, September 20, 2006 6:20:00 PM  

  • No, that wouldn't make me happy at all. If you are unwilling to engage the thoughts I have presented, and are satisfied with sending me to a library rather than attempting to discuss the matter, then I suppose the thread is quite dead, killed rather.

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Thursday, September 21, 2006 4:48:00 AM  

  • Nathaniel... straw men is what you are left with when the Bible doesn't teach what you do. Simple as that.

    By Blogger Adam Cummings, at Thursday, September 21, 2006 9:41:00 AM  

  • NAK;

    So you're saying that God'selective choice is not arbitrary?

    If that's not what you're saying, then what is the basis for God's elective choice? Remember, in order for it to NOT be arbitrary, it must be based on something outisde of God Himself. But if it is based on something in God alone, then that is, by defintion, arbitrary.

    I'm happy for your friend in Indiana who thinks we have nothing better to do than repeat old arguments.

    By Anonymous Bud, at Thursday, September 21, 2006 6:22:00 PM  

  • Bud, may I ask why your definition of arbitrary is at it is? You say that for God's election to be not arbitrary it must be based upon something outside of God. Why is this so? I say that for God's election to be not arbitrary it must be based upon something. Anything. Just so long as it is not based upon nothing.

    The normal way that 'abritrary' is used, is that the thing which is arbitrary is based upon absolutely nothing. It is capricious. If I walk into Starbucks and say that I want a venti chai latte, for no reason at all, just randomly pick a drink, that would be an arbitrary or capricious decision on my part.

    However, if I walk in there and tell the barrista that I was a venti chai latte, based upon this being my favorite drink, my decision is not arbitrary. It is motivated by my desire.

    Surely, if your posit is correct, then even this decision would be arbitrary. As it was not based upon anything outside of myself, but only upon my inward desire and affection for this drink.

    Would we then say that every choice we make, in regards to choosing what we like and prefer, is arbitrary if it is based upon only our inward desires.

    What I am seeing here is a manipulation of words. You have made the claim that the Calvinistic interpretation of election makes God's election arbitrary. For this claim to stand, you would have to prove that the Calvinist claim God elects based upon nothing, whim or chance. The Calvinists never claim this. Their claim has always been that God elects based upon His inner self, His desires, His will.

    You then, attempting to hold to your insult, manipulate the word 'arbitrary' to mean that the decision is arbitrary if it is not based upon something outside of the decider. Going completely against all manner of normal usage of the word. Surely this is not how you normally do theology.

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Sunday, September 24, 2006 8:58:00 AM  

  • Adam, I hope you are not attempting to posit that I have created a straw man here. I have been spending my efforts laboriously to tear down the damned straw man constantly presented against a view which appears to be impenetrable by the present opponent and have been observing with great affection the display of manipulative sophistry. But I have never presented a straw man against this gentlemen's belief. I don't even know it.

    I retract that, I do know partly his belief - that being that the word 'arbitrary' has no meaning apart from what he desires it to mean.

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Sunday, September 24, 2006 9:17:00 AM  

  • Nathaniel... forgive my ambiguity. I wasn't referring to you at all. I was actually referring to this blog (Unashamed of Grace). May God bless your efforts in defending His Word. See you!

    By Blogger Adam Cummings, at Tuesday, September 26, 2006 10:39:00 AM  

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