[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)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Something to think about


by Matthew

Suppose that God had seen fit to conceal the existence of Satan and not reveal it in the pages of Scripture. What difference would it make to your theology? Would the absence of the doctrine of Satan affect Reformed theology in particular?

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23 Comments:

  • Hi Matthew,

    This is the second What if... kind of posting in a row. I can't see how your scenario would affect the Reformed Faith in particular. I suppose in the general Christian sense, we might wonder what agent was used to bring sin into the world i.e. how was Adam tempted? This is turn would then lead us to wonder how everyone since Adam has been tempted etc.,

    There are plenty of unanswered questions out there. I assume that having been told, then we needed to know.

    My tuppence worth.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Tuesday, May 27, 2008 8:56:00 AM  

  • Thanks for your thoughts.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Tuesday, May 27, 2008 12:13:00 PM  

  • Good day to you Matthew!

    I can't see how it would make any difference, isn't Satan just a puppet in the hands of a Sovereign God? No one can really make a choice of their own but must be made to do what they do isn't that Reformed thought?

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Wednesday, May 28, 2008 8:41:00 AM  

  • Matthew,
    I agree - this is a very interesting thing to think about. I see Alvin's point. I have to think about how I really view this. Thanks for the food for thought!

    By Blogger Rose~, at Wednesday, May 28, 2008 8:49:00 AM  

  • Hi Matthew

    Speaking of Satan, I believe he has a silver tongue so to speak! And he appears as an angel of light, real pretty! He's got it all,,,show and shine!!!
    How we can tell him is by his silver tongue, that is what he says. He would say something like this:
    Did God really say He loved ALL the world?
    Did God really say He desires for ALL men to be saved?
    Did God really say that He commands ALL men to believe, when they really can't?
    Did God really say that He died for EVERYONE?
    Did God really say that He reconciled the WORLD in Christ NOT counting their sins against them?

    But remember if Satan is a puppet as Reformed thought goes he's just doing what God want's him too. How does that work out? Well, it makes God look pretty bad! Thank God that isn't the case and that God really does desire ALL men to be saved. And that God really does love the WHOLE WORLD and that God does command ALL men to be saved and has given them the ability to make that choice. Thank God that He has taken away the sin of the world so that He can offer a free gift of life that ANYONE can take freely.

    alvin

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Wednesday, May 28, 2008 10:20:00 AM  

  • Hi Alvin:

    You writes Isn't Satan just a puppet in the hands of a Sovereign God? No one can really make a choice of their own but must be made to do what they do, isn't that Reformed thought?

    The answer to both questions is "No" - the absence of any evidence or authoritative quotations on your part being not without significence.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Wednesday, May 28, 2008 10:22:00 AM  

  • Hi Goodnight

    You said:The answer to both questions is "No" - the absence of any evidence or authoritative quotations on your part being not without significence.

    I did know that questions had to have authoritive quotations, but I'm sure these thoughts did not come from someone's imagination. Any of us who have been around Calvinism thought would take these things for granted. Anyway the one's that were given the ears to hear I'm sure know these thing's.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Wednesday, May 28, 2008 1:16:00 PM  

  • Hi Alvin,

    Your last question was less than neutral, was it not? I quote: Isn’t that Reformed thought? which implies that you were looking an affirmative answer. To say that these thoughts did not come from someone’s imagination is a pretty poor defence. To ”take these things for granted” without being able to supply even basic documentary evidence betrays (IMO) a willingness to believe anything about Calvinism, so long as it blackens it. Does it matter if it is true or untrue? I would say “yes” – I would hope that you join me in this basic Christian virtue.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Wednesday, May 28, 2008 1:28:00 PM  

  • Hi Goodnight

    I'm sure I can provide evidence of these thought's but it so happens that I have left all my Calvinist books at work. So I'm without artillary at this time but will get back to you when I am fully armed and dangerous,,,toot-a-loo!

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Wednesday, May 28, 2008 1:40:00 PM  

  • Fair enough Alvin,

    To recap, I’m looking for definitive evidence that shows that Calvinists believe that:

    1) That Satan is just a puppet in the hands of a sovereign God.
    My note: If Satan is just a puppet in the hands of a sovereign God, then he is not responsible for his actions. We both know that Satan will be punished for his dark deeds, which he has done willingly.

    2) No one can really make a choice of their own but must be made do what they do.
    My note: You need to show here (say) how the WCF comes to state that “God hath endued the will of man with that natural liberty, that it is neither forced, nor by any necessity of nature determined, to do good or evil.” (Chapter IX paragraph I – Of Free Will) and how, in conversion, it states that “When God converts a sinner, and translates him into the state of grace, he freeth him from his natural bondage under sin, and by his grace alone enables him FREELY to will and to do that which is good…” (ibid paragraph 4) Both these paragraph rubbish your claims, so it really does fall to you to show how they came to be accepted in a standard Calvinistic Confession if what you say is true.

    You seem pretty confident that your Calvinist books will provide the needed documentation, as evidenced by your military like expressions etc., Time will tell.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Wednesday, May 28, 2008 2:07:00 PM  

  • Hey, where did all those comments suddenly come from?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Wednesday, May 28, 2008 2:36:00 PM  

  • Thanks for taking the trouble to discuss this.

    For a look at the doctrine of Satan and spiritual warfare in a fictional context, please visit my new blog:

    Tales of Cosmic Chaos and Slimy Tentacled Beings

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Wednesday, May 28, 2008 2:39:00 PM  

  • Hi Matthew

    You must have been taking a nap! But that's not bad, naps are very good! My Grandmother use to lay me down daily that's why I developed so well, I think?

    Goodnight don't get hung up on my expressions because I have many, I just try to keep things light.
    And I don't know about your WCF that's just one of many shades of Calvinism. There is the original and then their is the confused.
    But I will try to prove I did not just pull these ideas out of my hat, but have either read them or heard them stated by Professing Calvinist.



    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Wednesday, May 28, 2008 4:10:00 PM  

  • Goodevening Goodnight

    It's really amazing to me that you even contend against the second point when you believe that regeneration has to take place before one can believe. That must be where you get into your cerebral gymnastics and pull the bunny out of the hat.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Wednesday, May 28, 2008 7:49:00 PM  

  • Alvin writes: Goodnight don't get hung up on my expressions because I have many, I just try to keep things light.

    I would rather have "rightness" than "lightness" - you give the impression, Alvin, that you speak of things away over your head.

    But as I wrote,earlier: Once you get to these books of yours...time will tell

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Wednesday, May 28, 2008 10:42:00 PM  

  • Hi Goodnight

    By George Bryson

    Called the “Dark Side of the sixth point of Calvinism”
    Calvin called the decree dreadful and horrible the implications were awful even to him.
    Sometimes I just scratch my head and wonder why people could so gleefully announce all of this, it’s a horrible thing to think about that God creates people to damn them. But this isn’t even the worst of it. I want you to work with me on another issue. I call it the dark side of the sixth point of Calvinism. I put this in here at the last minute because I think that it is the real issue. And if you are following here just soak this in, and see if you can handle what’s being said. I’m troubled because what Calvinism says, or what it says about mankind. And I think that is legitimate, I care about my fellow man. But I am also concerned about the character assassination of God. But the son of the famous R.C. Sproul Sr. who beats around the bush when it comes to this issue, has been in a sense chastised by his son without his son coming out against him by writing these words. Follow me if you can. According to R.C. Sproul Jr. we only have four options for the source or cause of all moral evil or sin, Adam, Eve, Satan, or God. He then says the difficult question is how men became to be sinners in the first place. Remember there was once God ans nothing else, now there is not only God and the universe but also evil. Where did it come from? R.C. Sproul Jr. rules out Adam, Eve, and even Satan because they were created good and as such are supposable incapable of doing any bad on their own. He says we are left with a case against God, the argument that He now must be the One who introduced evil into this world. Does not just rest merely upon the process of elimination. We know that God was present. This is a book by the way called “Almighty Over All” by R.C. Sproul Jr. He is always present, did God have the means? Of course He did there is no power greater then Him that could somehow stop Him from changing His inclination from good to evil. We know that it is not only possible for God to change a persons inclination from good to evil. In fact we know that it’s His habit to do so. He does it all the time. What Sproul says here in a nutshell is I’ve discovered through Reformed Theology that God is the Monster. Behind every rape, behind every murder, behind every child molestation. I know I’m using extreme examples but those are examples of sin. Behind every act of terrorism, behind every awful deed that was ever done God didn’t simply allow it, God according to R.C. Sproul Jr. caused it.
    Now I got James White to admit the same thing on a national radio program, and Calvinist have been jumping him. I follow this on the internet, they are really mad at him, not because of what he said wasn’t true according to Reformed theology but because he admitted it. And that is the exact case here with R.C Sproul Jr. I don’t know why more people aren’t talking about this. But the fact is they’ve made God into the Monster. This is their reasoning, God created Eve, Adam, and Satan good, they can’t do anything but good so He must have made them do what they did. He’s the cause and all the subsequent sins by virtual decree. On the surface it looks like if you steal something you’re the thief, but behind the sceans it’s like a play in Shakespeare’s play Grutum points out that it appears that on the surface that King Duncan was the murder but in fact it was Shakespeare because he wrote the script and everybody is just doing what he made them do, what he told them to do. On the surface it appears that man is a sinful awful moral being and deserves everything he is going to get when he goes to hell but the fact is that according to Reformed theology were just doing what we were decreed to do. We can’t help but do it! And he spells it out in no uncertain terms, the decree makes a person do what he does. And if you don’t take into account the hidden council of God, what I call the secret hidden hermeneutics. You can’t see beneath the surface to know this is true.

    alvin
    now for more of your gymnastics

    By Blogger alvin, at Thursday, May 29, 2008 11:21:00 AM  

  • Alvin,

    I would much prefer it if you could give me quotes from Calvinistic sources rather than second hand stuff from others who are evidently non Calvinist.

    That's not too much to ask for and certainly doesn't qualify as "gymnastics" as you call it.

    Regards,

    P/s The Westminster Confession of Faith, for example, is a recognised Calvinistic source, giving as it does the standard explanation of how Calvinists interpret the Bible.

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Thursday, May 29, 2008 11:36:00 AM  

  • When the ture postion of a Calvinist is finally exposed, he will usually claim that he is being misrepresented. Therefore, another type of Calvinism has been invented, and it is to it that every objection against the Calvinistic system is consigned. The adherents of this fictitious scheme are referred to by various terms: “ultra-Calvinist,” “extreme Calvinists,” “high-Calvinists,” “hardshells.” The favorite designation for this group is “hyper-Calvinist.” (Arthur W. Pink, The Doctrine of Sanctification (Swngel: Reiner Publications, 1975), p. 9; Morton H. Smith, Reformed Evangelism (Clinton: Multi- communications Ministries, 1975), p. 13; Palmer, p. 84; Good, Calvinists, p. 72; Talbot and Crampton, p. 76; Spurgeon, Sovereign Grace Sermons, p. 14;)
    The trouble is, hyper- Calvinism is an ambiguous term. To an admirer of Spurgeon, any Calvinist to the right of him could be a candidate for a hyper-Calvinist. To one group of Calvinist Baptists, another Calvinistic group they don’t like might be dismissed as hyper-Calvinists. Many consider a hyper-Calvinist to be a Calvinist who goes beyond the teachings of John Calvin. (E.D. Strikland, in “The Bera Baptist Banner Forum,” The Berea Baptist Banner, March 5, 1990, p. 51; Talbot and Crampton, p. 76) But to say that a person could go beyond the teachings of Calvin is not accurate, for when we examine Calvin’s views in chapter 7, we will see that Calvin was (as is to be expected) true to his name. Vance p.28
    good evening
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Thursday, May 29, 2008 12:06:00 PM  

  • Alvin: As I wrote over on the other blog where we are currently discussing things:

    I wish you would engage me on the doctrinal end of things rather than the somewhat easier path of quoting non Calvinists. I have put some doctrinal matters to you and you have signally failed to engage me on them. I am not particularly interested in Vance's views on the various strands of Calvinism. Please engage me on what I have written here.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Thursday, May 29, 2008 2:06:00 PM  

  • Hi Goodnight, here is some Calvinist thought.

    The Bible has well over a hundred examples in which God brought sin to pass...This is the awesome biblical asymmetry: God ordains sin, and man is to blame. We cannot comprehend this...if all things are ordained by God - including sin and unbelief - then God has ordained who will be unbelievers...it is essential to establish the biblical data on the foreordination of sin. (Palmer, op. cit., 87.)

    Calvin

    "That men do nothing save at the secret instigation of God, and do not discuss and deliberate on anything, but what he has previously decreed with himself, and bring to pass by his secret direction, is proved by numberless clear passages of Scripture." (Op. cit., 1:xviii, 1

    Puppets!!!

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Thursday, May 29, 2008 3:43:00 PM  

  • Hi Goodnight , here is something to chew on about your Westminster Confession.

    Across the Westminster Confession could justly be written: "The Gospel for the elect only." That Confession was written under the absolute dominion of one idea, the doctrine of predestination. It does not contain one of the three truths: God's love for a lost world; Christ's compassion for a lost world; and the gospel universal for a lost world.
    Quoted in Augustus H. Strong, Systematic Theology (Judson Press, 1907), 779.)


    very telling indeed!

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Thursday, May 29, 2008 3:53:00 PM  

  • Hi Goodnight

    I don't really care to go through the cerebral gymnastics either. Your gymnastic theology is very tiring and frustrating. How many years have Rose and Antonio been debating you without any fruit but frustration? It's clear that they know what you believe and have rejected it. I think I remember someone saying something like "I thank God that He kept me from believing Calvinism."
    Hopefully the false teaching that you do here contrasts and makes clearer the true gospel of the love of God. But I look at your belief as very dangerous and an attack on God's very character. You are quick to lift up the mantle of John Calvin, and even if you don't believe everything he did you still are representing him instead of God.
    Sometimes love has to be hard for false teachers, anyway that's what I believe the Apostle Paul did. The Galations had started out well but then were pulled into false teaching and had fallen from grace. You call your way a way of grace, but it really does not start there like you think it does. Being you think you will endure to the end proving your the elect. But you have no real assurance unless you know you will endure to the end which is impossible for you to know. Therefore you can only hope that your faith is the real MaCoy and will last.
    I wish you the best sincerely! This is not a personal thing, I also have a family member who preaches the five-points of Calvinism and believe that Calvinism is the gospel.


    If what I've said here is unexceptable to this blog I will depart but I have spoken my heart.
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Thursday, May 29, 2008 5:36:00 PM  

  • Alvin,

    Since we seem to be discussing more or less the same argument on two different postings (and that within the one blog), maybe we should concentrate our efforts on the other posting (with all dur respects to Matthew):

    http://unashamedofgrace.blogspot.com/2008/05/is-this-heresy.html#links

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Friday, May 30, 2008 12:41:00 AM  

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