Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Calvinist Assumptions

I have been having a bit of a friendly debate (more like a brainstorming session) with Sam. Basically, we're trying to figure out how predestination, election, and free will work. He's basically coming from a Reformed point of view, and I'm coming from a free will, sort-of Arminian point of view.

Here are my latest thoughts, just putting out into the open some faulty assumptions Calvinists make.

1. If God's will is more powerful than man's will, God's will must always overpower man's will, every time. (I.e. God does not restrain His power.)

2. If God has total control, then God will always use that control, down to the finest detail. (I noticed Jesus says God knows when the sparrows fall, not that He necessarily "makes" them fall!)

3. If God gives someone the ability to receive something (i.e. salvation) it must be given the moment they receive it, not when He created them. The general attitude of the Calvinists is that this somehow shortchanges His sovereignty.

4. Likewise, if God gives someone the ability to do a good work, of course for Him to be sovreign, He must give them that ability right at the very moment they are doing the good work. He couldn't give the ability to do good works when they're created.

There is also one statement that Calvinists repeatedly make against those who don't believe in election that cuts both ways. They cut off their own heads with attacks against their opponents, as John Piper (humorously, a Calvinist) would say.

1. Arminianism is deadly, because if you hinge your eternal security on your acceptance of Christ's gift and not on Christ, then you will be damned. This is true, but you could also theoretically hinge your eternal security on being elected, and not on Christ, and be damned.

And my final, closing point:

All those who believe in election also believe they are one of the chosen.

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