Can the Calvinistic God Sovereignly Decree This, Or Not? And if Not, Why Not?

Steve Hays has responded to what I said here:

Loftus: It's quite possible that the total evidence is against Christianity but that Hays' Calvinistic God simply makes/decrees him to believe against the evidence.

Hays: Even if we were to credit that hypothetical, it presupposes the very existence of the Calvinistic God. Hence, it assumes that Calvinism is true even if all of the apparent evidence were arrayed against it.

Really? Let’s backtrack and take a deeper look. Hays started out by claiming that all objections to his faith are stupid ones. That’s what he said. Again, he said that all objections to his faith are stupid ones, including what I'm going to argue for here. That’s stupid as in S-T-U-P-I-D. Then I argued that as far as he knows the total evidence may be against his faith but that his Calvinistic God is making/decreeing him to believe against the available evidence. In his response does he dispute this? No! Can he? I doubt very much that he can. Nonetheless, he calls such a possibility a “hypothetical.” But I’m still very interested in why such a possibility is merely a “hypothetical.” Based upon Calvinism he just does not know. There is no way for him to determine whether the “hypothetical” is true or false. In fact, such a possibility has as much plausibility as the alternative possibility that he believes.

Now back to his claim that all objections to his faith are stupid ones. If my “hypothetical” (as he calls it) is true, then the objections against his faith are not stupid ones. In fact, the objections against his faith are right on target, and surely some of them, if not most of them are intelligent, whereas his rejection of our objections is not very intelligent. And if this is the case, then who wears the dunce cap now?

Furthermore, what happens as a result of granting this “hypothetical” as he calls it? The total available evidence is against Calvinistic Christianity. That’s total as in T-O-T-A-L. The available evidence would be against believing in Calvinistic Christianity. Now let’s say he grants this possibility. What follows? Epistemologically once someone accepts this as a fact then he should cease believing. It’s that simple. To be on the side of intelligent thinking and to have integrity with oneself such a person should reject Calvinistic Christianity…EVEN IF THE CALVINISTIC GOD EXISTS! That’s right....even if the Calvinistic God exists! One cannot continue to believe unless one accepts what he believes are false beliefs, and that IS stupid!

Again, the problem here is how Hays would know his faith is correct if what I suggested is true about the total available evidence being against his faith? According to Calvinism he has no reason to suppose that the evidence supports his faith and yet he continues to have the gall to call all objections to his faith stupid objections. How does he know they are all stupid objections if God is decreeing what he believes against the total available evidence? Our objections might be intelligent objections whereas Hays' arguments might be the stupid ones. The only difference is that Hays' God decrees what he believes. But the fact remains that our objections are not stupid objections, given this possibility.

But here’s how Hays continued to respond:

Hays: In that event, as long as my belief is true, notwithstanding the evidence to the contrary, who cares? At the end of the day, I’m right and he’s wrong. It would make my arguments superfluous. I’d be right even without my supporting arguments. How is that a problem?

Not so fast Steve!

Here is where you must deal with yet another twist, and I want you to think real hard about this, okay? If the total available evidence is actually against your faith even though the Calvinistic God exists and decrees that you believe, then you also have no reason to suppose that those who believe in the Calvinistic God will be rewarded in heaven while the skeptics will be punished when facing God’s judgment. That’s right. Just like God may decree you to believe in him against the evidence, God may also have a secret will to save those skeptics whom he decrees to follow the actual available evidence where it leads! God may actually have a secret will to only save those who do not believe in him! If you think otherwise, tell me upon what basis you think this? You may argue that such a God is duplicitous all you like, but duplicity isn’t a serious criticism of the Calvinistic God, now is it? He can reveal what he wants us to do in the Bible, like "love one another," and yet he can also have a secret unrevealed will that decrees someone to murder his neighbor.

A God like that can make the available evidence against what you believe AND he can also save those who follow the available evidence, at the same time he's sovereignly decreeing all of this.

Steve, maybe you’d better take another good hard look at the available evidence. Maybe it just isn’t stupid after all. Your eternity may be at stake. And as far as you know, based upon YOUR theology, your God is using me right now to speak to you. Who knows, right? He’s brought you into contact with me to help you see the light of day. How do you actually know otherwise…that’s what I’m still waiting to hear. Until you take seriously this objection to your faith and deal with it head-on how do you know our objections are really stupid? Such an objection as this one is not stupid at all. However, your refusal to take seriously this objection of mine makes me conclude you are not thinking deeply enough.

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