A Question For Calvinists

I have a question for Calvinists from a previous discussion.

Have you considered what the sovereignty of your God entails? If God decreed that we should do an action, then this also means he decreed that we wanted to do it. This is an inescapable conclusion. Why? Because, unless your God decrees that we should want to do an action, then we wouldn't do that action. So any wrong that human beings do, God must have decreed that they wanted to do the wrong they did.

To continue to blame human beings for the wrong that they do by claiming they wanted to do the wrong that they did, fails to understand how it's even possible for God to make sue we do an action in the first place. We do what we want to do. For God to decree we do an action it must mean he decrees our desires to do that action. Therefore, God is to be blamed for all of the evils in human history.

The alternative is that God decrees that we act contrary to our desires, and if this is the case, God is still to be blamed.

28 comments:

evanmay said...

It isn't the Calvinists who are sleeping. Do you think that Reformed literature (you can survey it from 16th century to the 21st century) has ever denied this? I thought you said you studied this subject....

In any case, this does not negate the fact that you do indeed want to reject the gospel. Your wants, ultimately, might be determined by God, but they are still your wants. You are getting what you want, so why are you complaining?

In my last article, I offered the gospel to you. I do so again here, and pray that you would accept Christ as your Savior. But if you do not accept, you are getting what you want, and I would be surprised why you would object.

John W. Loftus said...

But God decrees my wants. I cannot do otherwise. My life will bring God glory no matter what I do, and apparently God is glorified by unbelievers like me who lead others away from his love. He wants this. He revels in this. It is what brings him glory!

Well, well. Glory be to your God.

Atonality said...

Well, you've done a good job of explaining the most basic criticism of Calvinist doctrine. Is it possible that generations of Calvinist thinkers never concieved of your notion? I suggest researching some more.

Tim said...

Again, Loftus is just saying that he dislikes the idea, but not anything about it being contradictory. Within the Christian system, God's sovereignty is an important doctrine, though not something many people really like to think about, especially all its implications.

Zachary Moore said...

How does God preordain and condemn all while being morally consistent? Simple- he has two wills. Contradiction averted.

Bahnsen Burner said...

evanmay: "Your wants, ultimately, might be determined by God, but they are still your wants."

In name only, for not even the hairs on our heads are said to be really ours according to the primitive worldview of Christ-worship. Christianity's determinism, with a magic being behind the controls, simply reduces man to a mere puppet being pushed and pulled in whichever direction pleases the ruling consciousness.

Dr. Moore: "How does God preordain and condemn all while being morally consistent? Simple- he has two wills. Contradiction averted."

Indeed: multiply entities to cover all bases. The same tactic is used to show that the "wholly God wholly man" Jesus is not a walking contradiction: just say that Jesus has two natures, one divine and the other human, and thus you can have a being which is both immortal and not immortal, infinite and not infinite, uncreated and not uncreated, omnipresent and not omnipresent, etc., all to avoid admitting that what is worshipped is both A and not A.

Regards,
Dawson

CalvinDude said...

Zachery Moore:
---
"How does God preordain and condemn all while being morally consistent? Simple- he has two wills. Contradiction averted."
---

You forget that God is the basis of morality in the first place. Just because He does something YOU don't like doesn't mean it's immoral for God. YOU are not the standard for morality. THAT is why there is no contradiction.

John W. Loftus said...

Dawson, you've pinpointed what I described as Logical Gerrymandering.

From my perspective it's inconceivable that someone can hold to the Calvinistic faith once he acknowledges that God causes us to want to do evil things, and then he blames us for doing them and punishes us forever in hell.

If the Calvinistic God caused me to go to heaven I would not love him in heaven. I couldn't. I would fear him like I would a terrible potentate or a thug, but if he willed that my grandpa was to suffer in hell I would hate him for his capriciousness.

It is simply reprehensible to think God created most people to spend eternity in hell. He did not give them a chance to avoid hell. It was all decreed. And why? For his Glory? That is absolutely sick when one considers God could've brought everyone to heaven too.

There is no glory in doing so. Instead it is a cause for rejecting that God and that faith.

Such a faith has created many an atheist.

John W. Loftus said...

The truth is that nature’s God does many things that if we did them we’d be indicted for crimes against humanity. This is what John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) argued: “In sober truth, nearly all the things which men are hanged or imprisoned for doing to one another are nature’s everyday performances. Killing, the most criminal act recognized by human laws, nature does once to every being that lives, and in a large proportion of cases after protracted tortures such as only the greatest monsters whom we read of ever purposely inflicted on their living fellow creatures.

Nature impales men, breaks them as if on the wheel, casts them to be devoured by wild beasts, burns them to death, crushes them with stones, starves them with hunger, freezes them with the cold, poisons them by the quick or slow venom of her exhalations, and has hundreds of other hideous deaths in reserve such as the ingenious cruelty of a Nabis or a Domitian never surpassed. She mows down those on whose existence hangs the well-being of a whole people, with as little compunction as those whose death is a relief to themselves. Next to taking life is taking the means by which we live; and nature does this too, on the largest scale and with the most callous indifference. A single hurricane destroys the hopes of a season; a flight of locusts desolates a district; a trifling chemical change in an edible root starves a million people. The waves of the sea, like banditti, seize and appropriate the wealth of the rich and the little all of the poor. Everything, in short, which the worst men commit either against life or property is perpetrated on a larger scale by natural agents. [Nature and the Utility of Religion, 1871].

John Stuart Mill forcefully concludes: “In everyday life I know what to call right or wrong, because I can plainly see its rightness or wrongness. Now if a god requires that what I ordinarily call wrong in human behavior I must call right because he does it; or that what I ordinarily call wrong I must call right because he so calls it, even though I do not see the point of it; and if by refusing to do so, he can sentence me to hell, to hell I will gladly go.” [Reproduced in an appendix in Richard Taylor, ed., Theism (Liberal Arts Press, 1957), pp. 89-96].

CalvinDude said...

John wrote:
---
The truth is that nature’s God does many things that if we did them we’d be indicted for crimes against humanity.
---

So let me get this straight then. You would argue that there is no transcendent moral standard that governs people. You would argue that people decide what their own morality is. Yet you would not allow God to do the same?

Put it this way: you believe in a relativistic notion of morality. There is no morality--so how can you condemn God for making up His own morality? The fact that you do so demonstrates that you really do believe in a transcendent, objective morality.

And in case Dawson reads this--yes, I know you claim to come to an objective morality. But I simply ask: why can't God be selfish in how He creates His morality? Suppose that God did create us with the sole intention of torturing us all forever and ever. God has that power--so how is that morally wrong?

As it is, any time any of you argue that God is immoral for doing something you are arguing for an objective standard of morality that transcends not only all of mankind but the divine too.

John W. Loftus said...

Suppose that God did create us with the sole intention of torturing us all forever and ever. God has that power--so how is that morally wrong?

Last I knew Thrasymachus' "might makes right" ethic is something Christians reject, but that's what you've just described to me.

He holds the power so he does whatever he wants with us.

And you're asking me what is wrong with this? This is okay with you? You can actually love such a God, and worship him? What for? You cannot love such a being. You must fear him, unless he decrees that you want to love him, in which makes your loving such a God incomprehensible ON YOUR OWN GROUNDS!

CalvinDude said...

John,

Wait, are you actually admitting that the presuppositionalists have been correct in saying that the only way you can critique God is if you smuggle in a Christian worldview? Is this not what we've been saying all along?

But let us carry on the illustration. Suppose the following, Mr. Loftus. Suppose that God's morality is that He wants us to acknowledge torture is wrong when we do it (and let's give an arbitrary reason for this--God doesn't want you to take pleasure in torture because He wants to take pleasure in your pain and you taking pleasure in torture is pleasure, not pain) but that it is not wrong for Him to torture because He's the boss and He makes the rules and might is right.

Is there any reason why you should reject this morality?

Yes, I am arguing from an extreme in order to highlight the point. The point is, you said:

----
From my perspective it's inconceivable that someone can hold to the Calvinistic faith once he acknowledges that God causes us to want to do evil things, and then he blames us for doing them and punishes us forever in hell.
----

I have just demonstrated how it is NOT "inconceivable" in a case far more extreme than anything you've brought up already. Unless or until you can show me why God has to submit to YOUR idea of morality (which is another way of me asking you to state what your objective moral claims are) then all your moral arguments amount to is your mere opinion, which is no better than my moral opinion because there is no actual standard to use.

John W. Loftus said...

Calvindude, You are trying to justify your belief is a horrible God. Where did you gain this belief? Tell me how you first gained this faith you now have. If you're like the overwhelming number of people it was due to the "accidents of birth" (i.e. where and when you were born). Were you properly informed about your faith when you first adopted it? Most likely not. Could you have fallen into an Arminian camp of believrs at that point? Most certainly yes. But because you didn't you now argue for Calvinism.

Me? I'm on the outside of your faith. I'm evaluating it to see if it makes sense. And it doesn't. God can do whatever he wants to do with us and he declares whatever he does is good.

It's a sick faith you have. And there is no reason to love such a God. He is merely to be obeyed and feared. But love such a God....never. He is barbaric and undeserving of my praise. But if he forces me to want to praise him then I do. If he doesn't then I don't. I'm a puppet on his strings, if he exists. There is no relationship with him. He is a devil. And that's why I reject such a God. He is worse than the worst monster we have ever known or read about on earth. He's an evil thug. (And he decreed that I said that too!).

Logical Gerrymandering.

CalvinDude said...

John wrote:
---
He is worse than the worst monster we have ever known or read about on earth. He's an evil thug.
---

Methinks the other atheists on this blog should help you out as you keep falling into headlong the trap that I've set for you. Frankly, I'm surprised you haven't at least TRIED to dodge it. It's like you're running full blast into it. Perhaps you were predestined to do it.

You call God an evil thug--AND YET YOU STILL HAVE NOT ANSWERED MY QUESTION! What is the basis for your morality? All you can do is state your opinion over and over again. I don't care about your opinion. I want to know how you objectively can declare that God is actually evil even if He was exactly as you portray Him to be!

Now I, for one, do not believe God is actually like this. Again, I am only arguing in this manner to demonstrate the point to you. You are bound in moralistic thinking that is completely alien to your worldview. If your worldview is correct, there is absolutely no reason to condemn anyone for being evil at all.

So again, let me be clear--by what grounds could you possibly say anything that God does is evil?

John W. Loftus said...

Calvindude,
Your God is the kind of God we lock up in prison and/or execute. The only diference between your God and those we lock up is that he's purportedly too powerful to lock up. But he is evil pure and simple by every standard by everyone on earth today, even you.

The only reason you won't consciously admit this is because you're blinded by your faith and you have a need to believe. You know such a God is reprehensible and completely undeserving of your respect. But you go on justifying the unjustifiable for reasons unrelated to the case itself.

"Let's see, either my interpretation of a written document called the Bible is wrong, or this describes an actually existing horrible God." Why you choose to believe in your fallible interpretation of that document versus rejecting what your fallible interpretation of that document and that whole notion of God is really strange to me.

Tell me why I cannot act as he does and the only reason you can give me is because he's God and can do whatever he wants to do and forbids me to do the same kinds of things. When I ask why he can do those things, all you can say is because he can.

I'm saying what he does is evil based upon what he himself says is evil in the Bible. The golden rule itself indicts your God as guilty.

And this represents your objective morality? What's objective about it?

Since your God has a lot of explaining to do you must start by answering this problem.

Bahnsen Burner said...

Peter: “And in case Dawson reads this--yes, I know you claim to come to an objective morality.”

Yes, a morality based on facts which obtain independent of anyone’s wishing (i.e., objective), which are discovered and integrated by means of reason (as opposed to faith in invisible magic beings), in the interest of identifying and securing those values which an individual needs in order to live (as opposed to appeasing the imaginary dieties).

Peter: “But I simply ask: why can't God be selfish in how He creates His morality?”

The concept ‘selfish’ - if properly formed - necessarily implies that it would have something to gain and a need to gain it. But it would be incoherent to apply this concept to the Christian god given the characteristics believers attribute to it. Since the Christian god is said to be immortal, eternal, unchanging and indestructible, it would not face the fundamental alternative that man faces (namely life vs. death) and thus would have no need to act in order to exist (as man does). Applying concepts of morality to a being so described simply results in a jumble of stolen concepts, for their genetic basis is denied in the properties attributed to the being. In fact, since the Christian god has no needs (need implies deficiency, and the Christian god is said to be “self-sufficient” and thus could not be said to have any needs), it would have no use for a set of principles which enables it to discover and identify any values (since it wouldn’t need them in order to exist), which means: it wouldn’t have any use for morality as such to begin with. It would have no need to act whatsoever, so whatever action it is said to take would be utterly arbitrary, i.e., for no rational purpose whatsoever. It would have no need to pursue any goals, so its actions could not be seriously goal-oriented, just a source of self-entertainment as it tries to allay the boredom of an eternal misery (an angry god that does not change is eternally angry). To occupy itself, it created a cartoon universe whose inhabitants are its puppets, and eventually it will tire of this and destroy it in one of its fits of irrational, needless anger.

Peter: “Suppose that God did create us with the sole intention of torturing us all forever and ever. God has that power--so how is that morally wrong?”

On the Christian’s premises, there’s nothing wrong with this, since according to Christianity we are the property of its god (just as a dictator thinks of the people he rules), and it can do with its property what it wills (even if it uses human agents to carry out its will). In this sense, it would actually be inconsistent for Christian believers themselves to be opposed to murder, for any murder that takes place would be “ordained” by their god, which could only mean that any action taken to prevent that murder from taking place would be an action opposed to the Christian god’s will. (Good thing most Christians aren’t so consistent with the implications of their worldview!) Recall that Jesus said “resist not evil.” An irrational worldview which seeks to enable evildoers would need injunctions of this sort. Besides, the bible nowhere says that killling is “wrong.” It simply gives the context-deficient prohibition “thou shalt not kill,” which is not at all the same thing. If this worldview suits you, well, that’s not my problem.

Peter: “As it is, any time any of you argue that God is immoral for doing something you are arguing for an objective standard of morality that transcends not only all of mankind but the divine too.”

That is not problematic for my position since moral evaluation applies to all actions which are *chosen* by a sentient being. If the actions attributed to your god in the story book are actions which it is said to have chosen to take, then they are open to moral scrutiny.

Hope that helps.

Regards,
Dawson

CalvinDude said...

John wrote:
---
But he is evil pure and simple by every standard by everyone on earth today, even you.
----

Amazing argument. It's like shouting: "There is no objective morality other than the sum of all subjective morality." Nevermind that that brings about all kinds of contradictions, we'll pretend that this is still "rational" because better irrationality than to accept theism.

All you did, John, was repeat over and over again that God is evil. Your "reason" for this is that "everyone believes this way." It's like third grade--"Why can't I have a Nintendo? EVERYONE has one!"

----
You know such a God is reprehensible and completely undeserving of your respect.
----

Oh? And just how do I know this? Because you say I do? You just create your own reality by sheer force of will? Subjectivity, thy name is John Loftus.

----
Tell me why I cannot act as he does and the only reason you can give me is because he's God and can do whatever he wants to do and forbids me to do the same kinds of things. When I ask why he can do those things, all you can say is because he can.
----

"Mommy, can I stay up late and watch Letterman?"

"No, you have school in the morning."

"But why do you get to stay up late and watch Letterman?"

"Because I'm the mom. Now go to bed."

(Ooh, evil mother holding to a double standard. She doesn't do what she commands her children to do! How dare she! She's so evil, she ought to be locked up in prison forever and ever. And anyone who would believe such a mother actually exists is not only stupid, but quite probably a theist too!)


----
I'm saying what he does is evil based upon what he himself says is evil in the Bible.
----

Let's see. God's commands in the Bible are for created, fallen beings who are sinners. God isn't that.

Tell me again why His laws must apply to Him too? We don't make parents obey the same rules they apply to children, and yet we have no problem with this concept at all. Could it be that maybe God is smarter than you are? Could it be that maybe He doesn't need to do what He commands us to do because He is neither in our position nor subject to the things that we are?

Of course we won't look at that. That wouldn't make A into non-A.

-----
And this represents your objective morality? What's objective about it?
-----

You'll find out when you die.

-----
Since your God has a lot of explaining to do you must start by answering this problem.
-----

Oh, I "must" huh? And exactly how must I begin by answering your problem? You're still asserting an objective morality without asserting an objective morality (which really is A and non-A, come to think of it).

CalvinDude said...

Dawson,

Because of its length (and the fact that it's slightly different from what John and I are currently discussing), I've responded to your post here: http://calvindude.com/dude/blog/2006/03/a-response-to-dawson/

If you want to respond, you can certainly do so on that site (it does require you sign up so as to avoid spammers) or else here, or on your own blog.

Bahnsen Burner said...

Pike: "I've responded to your post here: http://calvindude.com/dude/blog/2006/03/a-response-to-dawson/"

Oh, this is just too much fun! Please, Peter, do NOT take down your post, whatever you do. Just leave it right there, where the whole world can see it.

Tommykey said...

Calvindude, the "God" of the Bible does not exist, so that settles that matter.

What is the basis for morality without God? In a nutshell, that we should not harm one another. I don't steal and I don't want anyone to steal from me. I don't murder and I don't want anyone to murder me. In other words, what I believe in is civilization, freedom and liberty, that people have the right to earn a decent living, acquire property, to be able to walk the streets without being assaulted or accosted, to be able to breathe clean air and to drink clean water. I could go on and on, but I think you get the drift.

Why is the God of the Bible, or at least the Old Testament, such a vengeful and angry deity? Because the priesthood that invented him to impose some cohesion over the Israelites believed that a God that inspired fear was a greater means of attaining social control than a God who was a happy go lucky kind of guy.

Anonymous said...

Is there any room left for mystery in the atheistic/agnostic agenda?


You condemn Calvinists because they cannot answer how God can be sovereign and man still be responsible. Which of course begs the question that they should be able to. Is it necessary that this question be solved? The general response of the "debunkers" on this post seems to be that the question must be solved before one can believe in God, but why? If the Christian can demonstrate that rationality demands that one believe in the God of the Bible (with its mysterious relationship between God's will and man's will), then it would actually be silly to refuse belief on the basis of "Well I can't wrap my mind around all the doings of an infinite God!"

The fact of the matter is that one must assume (erroneously) a great deal just to give the argument that since God is sovereign he is responsible for every sin that occurs. Why are your presuppositions warranted in this question, and the Christian's are not?

It's a hypocritical argument, because you blast Christians for showing that the question is flawed, when they in fact use the same presuppositional manuevers that you did to pose the question in the first place.

banhsen burner (clever name), I'm not sure where you got your "A and not A" thing from about Christ... but it wasn't Chalcedon.

-Brandon

John W. Loftus said...

Bahnsen Burns Calvindude here.

transcendiary said...

Let me take a crack at "Therefore, God is to be blamed for all of the evils in human history. "

The Bible anticipates this kind of response in Romans Chapter 19.

"19You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?" 20But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?" 21Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honored use and another for dishonorable use? 22What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory-- 24even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? 25As indeed he says in Hosea,

"Those who were not my people I will call 'my people,'
and her who was not beloved I will call 'beloved.'"
26"And in the very place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people,'
there they will be called 'sons of the living God.'"
27And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: "Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved, 28for the Lord will carry out his sentence upon the earth fully and without delay." 29And as Isaiah predicted,

"If the Lord of hosts had not left us offspring,we would have been like Sodom and become like Gomorrah." "

There you have it. You are created as a vessel of dishonour to show forth his wrath on the day of wrath. To us he shows forth his eternal mercy (Ephesians Ch2). It is not necessary for him to instill evil in your heart since that is all your heart has become since the fall; as a vessel of dishonour nothing you do can bring glory to God. Note, little pot, how you even want to blame Him for your evil. The Bible reveals that God may withdraw his convicting power and at this point a person becomes more fully free to do what they want. Since all they want is evil, they naturally do what they are inclined to do since the fall. Only by his graceful nearness are we convicted of our evil. So the most free are the most evil. Consider all those in history who considered themselved above all moral laws. This separation from Gods convicting power is referred to in the Bible as "hardening" of the heart. He doesn't actually put hardness into us, we are already that way. All he has to do is let us do what we want to do of our own accord and that is how we bear he brunt of our own guilt and cannot, in the end, either resist His will or blame Him.

John W. Loftus said...

transcendiary: There you have it. You are created as a vessel of dishonour to show forth his wrath on the day of wrath. To us he shows forth his eternal mercy (Ephesians Ch2).

So, should I feel honored? Because my life will glorify God? Could you please tell me once again how eternally punishing me in the presence of God and his angels and the redeemed actually brings God glory? It should be the blackest stain possible on a supposedly good God's reputation.

It is not necessary for him to instill evil in your heart since that is all your heart has become since the fall; as a vessel of dishonour nothing you do can bring glory to God

Who exactly is to be blamed for the fall? Didn't God cause, ordain, and decreed that Adam & Eve should desire to do wrong and then cause, ordain and decreed that they do wrong?

Didn't God create them in such a way that he knew they could not give in to the temptation?

Did God foreknow they would sin?

And what about the punishment for all of this? How does the punishment fit the crime?

Who punishes God for this?

Dale Callahan said...

The Triune God of Scripture is infinite and all creatures are finite. Our puny minds will never be able to wrap around the fullness of God. Add to this equation that man's mind is fallen in sin and you have quite a mess.
Imagine you have a power saw with a blade that is angled at 10 degrees. No matter how well you measure you will never make a straight cut.
God is Triune. One God who has existed eternally in three persons. The Father is not the Son, nor Spirit. The atheist wanting to elevate his mind to the highest authority scoffs at this because he just doesn't get it, therefore it can't be. What a joke!
Just because our pea brains don't get it therefore it doesn't exist?
God predestined sin. It was a part of His plan. He predestined it in such a way that man freely sinned.
God predestined man's free choices.
Of course this is speaking about free will in a metaphysical way. In a moral sense man doesn't have the free will to step outside of his fallen nature to take hold of Christ for salvation. God must sovereignly give him a new heart first. Once God has renewed a man then that man can see Christ for who He is and trust Him. God shows mercy on who He wills and hardens who He wills. But getting back to metaphysical free will. Every decision the unbeliever makes he freely makes and yet God has predestined it. Every decision the believer makes he freely makes and yet God has predestined them also.
God can do what we can not. His ways and thoughts are infinitely above ours.
God also is the standard of what right is. There is not a law that is above God nor is the law arbitrarily made up by God. God reveals His character through His word. The law is God's character.
The Christian has an answer for what "evil" is. The atheist doesn't. The atheist doesn't have a sound answer for why there is something that is universally evil.
The atheist wants his cake and eat it to. He wants to pound God for predestining sin or evil but then doesn't even have a rational answer for what evil is. He can espouse answers...but as usual they are arbitrary and inconsistent with his outlook on life.

Calvin said...

John,

I don't think God causes sin in the sense that you think He does. God does not commit sin in willing that there be sin. God has established a world in which sin will come to pass by His permission, but not by His positive agency. An analogy would be the way the sun brings about light and warmth by it's essential nature, but brings about dark and cold by dropping below the horizon. If the sun were the proper cause of cold and darkness it would be the fountain of theese things as it is the fountain of light and heat. Sin is not the fruit of any positive agency or influence of God but arises from withholding of His action and energy, and under certain circumstances, follows on the want of His influence. Thus, in one sense God wills what He hates come to pass as well as what He loves. God often expresses His will to be one way then acts to bring about another state of affairs. God opposes hatred toward His people, yet ordained that His people be hated in egypt. He hardens pharo's heart, but commands him to let His people go. He opposes adultry, but ordains that Abslom should lie with his fathers wives.
He opposes murder, but ordains at the cross the murder of His Son. They meant it for evil but God meant it for good.
When Joseph was sold into slavery:
As for you, you meant evil against me but God meant it for good. God is Gorified for His good intentions man is condemned for his.
What this means is that God wills things in two different senses. God's will of decree and God's will of command.

Richard Coords said...

John,

In terms of your comment on

10:23 AM, March 14, 2006

that what Calvinists propose as being "absolutely sick," I'd like to get your thoughts on this particular Calvinist quote:

Calvinist, Vincent Cheung, writes: “One who thinks that God’s glory is not worth the death and suffering of billions of people has too high an opinion of himself and humanity.” (The Problem of Evil, p.10)

Thoughts?

By the way, I think that you raise a strong point when you argue that Determinism necessarily requires that God determines our "wants," and thus removing any moral basis for judging our "wants." In essense, God would be judging Himself. Of course, I'm not a Calvinist.

i guess i want to read said...

dear brother loftus
i cannot tell how much i appreciate your honesty and courage
i have sat under extreme radical fundamentalist arminians, and unfortunately very respectable, conservative, main stream, reformed calvinists...
first group - armi... say this - god is love but powerless to overrule our will...well, even libertarian molinists like will l craig say this...
i am from india, and my grand dad was a devout hindu till he had visions etc, and visitations of Jesus..i think he would even laugh at that..
calvinist - mainsteem one would say this- compatabilism ..sorry for the spelling..but you woudl get it...

but i think God is responible for all things -- col 1...For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him....etc

so you and i are doing ...what ever is decreed...

how is that comforting to me?? or for that matter anyone...

well i cannot give you a resonable ans...

but i can say it is comforting to me because it absolves me from all responsibilty ....and it assures that God should die....

if it says.. the wages of sin is death...so God is responsible for all things so he should die...

he died on the crosss...bloody cruaifiction....

but it still does not explain why did he create such a system...

maybe this is all his master plan...the hidden will of god...


i feel god is responsible to all creation he created and he would be responsible...

so perhaps, this is the conclusion... if he/she is absolutely and irresitbaly sovereing and he is love..then all the present suffering is not worth compared to the future glory...

thanks agian for what you do and say ...certainly you are well respected in my view and hopefully the Heavenly fathers view...


all the best