August 21, 2008

Double Talk of Compatibilism

This was published at SEA today, and I wanted to hear some comments if anyone had any.

Compatibilism is the desperate attempt of Calvinists to have their cake and eat it too. It is the claim that humans are still responsible for their sins because they wanted to commit them, but that God still predetermined their actions because He shaped the person's will by molding the internal motives of that person. This way, God has determined sin without being responsible for it, and humans are responsible without possessing any level of causation.

But this doesn't really work. Let us consider a person. We shall call him Quincy. And let us start with a sin. Let us say that Quincy stole a cookie. Now according to Compatibilism, the sequence of events are as follows:
  1. God had decreed before the foundation of the world that Quincy would steal the cookie.
  2. God shaped Quincy's life up to that moment to build in him a temptation to steal that cookie in that moment.
  3. In that moment, God planted a particular desire in Quincy to steal that cookie that would overpower his other desires.
  4. Quincy then decides to steal the cookie based on his inner desires.
  5. The cookie is stolen.
Now we may say that God isn't really absolved from the actions above since He did so much to cause them, but that's not my point. My point is this: according to Compatibilism, Quincy is 100% responsible for the above action and God is 0% because of the way in which he was motivated to steal.

Now let us consider the moment of salvation.
  1. God had decreed before the foundation of the world that Quincy would come to saving faith of our Lord Jesus.
  2. God shaped Quincy's life up to that moment to build in him a willingness to commit to the Lord.
  3. In that moment, God planted a particular desire in Quincy to accept Jesus Christ that would overpower his other desires.
  4. Quincy then decides to believe.
  5. Quincy accepts Christ has his Lord and Savior.
The important thing to note here is that according to Compatibilism, God is 100% responsible for the above and that Quincy is 0% responsible.

So what is the difference between the two modes of action? NOTHING!!! The only difference is that one resulted in evil and one resulted in good but the process of causation was EXACTLY the same. Which means that all Compatibilism does is it makes God responsible when Calvinists want Him to be, and makes the human responsible when they want him to be. However, it is completely inconsistent and resolves nothing.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Jc_Freak,

Thanks for this posting. I have to say that you have hit the nail on the head here. I'll be the devil's advocate a little here, and say that Calvinists would probably say that because God is not the author of evil, therefor God did not cause Quincy to steal the cookie, nor did God tempt Quincy to steal the cookie in the first place.

However, if God knew that Quincy was going to steal the cookie, God decided not to intervene in Quincy's actions. I guess pure Calvinists would somehow try to make this a life lesson that God allowed to happen or something for teaching Quincy about God's love and forgiveness after the fact.

So, let's see here, God only intervenes when it comes to saving faith? Pure Calvinists would say that even the saving faith is from God, and leaving the believing in Jesus out of the picture for the saved person. They would say that everything is of God, nothing, not even the believing can be from a person to begin with.

So, God pushes the buttons, and pulls the strings to select only those that he wants to select to be saved. Which also means that God doesn't pull the strings or push the buttons of the other billions of people that don't or won't believe because this is the will of God in their mind. They compartmentalize God. Pure Calvinists do want their cake and eat it to. They want it both ways.

Your illustration of Quincy stealing is a good one. I would add though the question, what about the sin of getting angry with someone or even the sin of worry? If God is in control of a person, why would a person even sin anymore once a person came to saving faith?

I guess that God is definitely only responsible when it suits the Calvinist ideas of, "unconditional election", "limited atonement", and efficacious grace" to save who God wants to save but not when it comes to everyday life experiences in the life of a believer or the life of a pre-believer or the life of the elect before the person knows they are the elect (selected for salvation) as opposed to the elect being the children of God to all who would believe.

Believers of Jesus were chosen before the foundations of the world to be conformed to His image. That doesn't mean that some people were chosen to be saved, and some people were chosen to be lost. Both the Jews and Gentiles were predestined before the foundations of the world to be conformed to His image to all those that would believe.

If God is simply pulling the strings, then why even share the Gospel in the first place. Pure Calvinists would say, because they are commanded to do it, therefor we must obey God and share the gospel with people. But why, if a person thinks that God saves them because God has decided to save them, but God has already decided for others to be lost (intentionally going against the statement in the bible that "God wishes all men to be saved." 1 Timothy 2:3)?

Best regards from J.

PS, How about placing a somewhat cryptic email address on the right hand side so we can contact you.

I would love to give you some help on your template, but I don't want to leave my name here for contacting you.

You could use special javascript code to hide your email address from the spiders and add it in with a Blogger side HTML widget.

If you didn't want to give out your main email address, I suggest you get another Gmail address and automatically forward your mail to your main email address using the account settings control area. That way, you would have some insulation between the two.

Jc_Freak: said...

Well J, I think something that is important to note is that this is not an arguments against Calvinism, but an argument against compatibilism. At the moment, compatiblism is the most popular apologetic for Calvinism that I am aware of.

The thrust of Calvinism is that God must determine all things because God must be the sole actor in the process of salvation in order for salvation to be a grace. However, they have a dilemma. If God determines all things, then He also determines sin, and that is just wrong.

Compatibilism attempts to solve this dilemma through the idea of secondary causation. For instance, if Mary convinces Quincy to steal the cookie, Mary is not responsible for stealing a cookie (though she could be responsible for conspiracy, but lets not get into that). The idea is that since God merely gets Quincy to want to steal the cookie, God is resolved from guilt.

Now there are many reasons why this doesn't work, but my point is that this actually undermines the heart of Calvinism. Its like jumping in front of a train to dodge a bullet.

(BTW, what sin you use in the analogy is irrelevant. Any sin would do. I just chose something rather innocent to be playful.)

a helmet said...

On Calvinistic Compatibilism.

I absolutely agree with you. This is not more than a farce. I think calvinism is not more than a provocation, it is fun to have some easy to grasp provocative, supposedly challenging philosophy. I doubt most calvinists truly believe the stuff they sell.

And they won't escape their God-versus-Man discrepancy either. Calvinism is founded not on the gospel but on the opposite: on driving the cotter between God and man. All further thoughts are
further thoughts are based on that false assumption of a disunity between God and man.

I lately wrote a posting about that "Monergism, Synergism and the Temple of God" on my blog on the Gospel of John.

Jc_Freak: said...

a helmet:

Though I agree with you one Calvinism being false, I'm afraid I cannot believe in you completely. Calvinism is based on many things, but mostly I believe it is based on reductionary reasoning on biblical attributes. For instance, grace meaning that humans are importent, or soveriegnty meaning God controls every minute detail. These are false reductions on what these things are, but they are trying to uphold biblical ideas.

I think it is best to not be too harsh with Calvinists. They are wrong, and I believe their beliefs are detrimental to the gospel, but they are Christians, and we must treat them with love and respect.

ServantOfJesusChrist said...

In response to your cookie story that you used to illustrate that there is no difference in the way that God causes both righteousness vs. sin(which is simply a lack of righteousness)...

You missed something that is key to the Calvinist/Reformed perspective. In the case of righteousness, God directly causes it. But in the case of sin, God indirectly causes it.

So, in the case of a person coming to faith God directly changes the person (removes the stone heart and inserts a fleshy one). In the case of theft God merely arranges circumstances that He controls (i.e. weather, when a person is born, Holy Spirit guiding of the saved - producing side-effects). These things kind of snowball (think about the movie - It's a Wonderful Life) since every person's life (just being born of a woman) causes many things to happen. And these things that happen God indirectly causes by directly causing a person to be born of a woman.

Here is a clear example from a totally human perspective. Consider if I sneak up on someone and hit them on the head with a hammer and kill them. Society would label me a murderer. But, if I just were pounding a nail with the hammer and the vibration caused a mouse to become frightened. The mouse ran and a cat ran after it into the street. Then, the driver of a car who loves cats goes left of center to miss the cat and run over a person who was crossing the street rather carelessly (trying to time traffic and didn't expect that car to swerve). That would just be an accident.

Of course, as people we would also have no way of knowing that pounding a nail into a board at that particular moment would result in someone's death. But, consider if we were God and knew what would happen.

The Arminian would say God did evil. The Calvinist would say he did not - not because He didn't know what would happen (Open Theism) but because He did not directly cause the persons death, nor was it caused by anything that He did that was evil (unless hammering a nail into a board is evil).

So, this issue of God creating evil is not unique to Calvinism. Arminians have the same problem. God creates good things that indirectly cause other “bad” things to happen in sequence.

I think we would both agree that God has two choices.

1. Micro-manage every detail so as never to have anything evil happen. This would obviously require that creatures not have any ability to act under their own will.

2. Allow (indirectly create) evil while focusing it like a beam of light for the glory of God as God sees fit.

Jc_Freak: said...

This issue that I'm pointing out though is the shaping of the will. God intentionally, in the compatiblist viewpoint, shapes the will in both scenarios.

I see what you are saying about direct verses indirect, and I would agree with that distinction. What I disagree with is that I dont believe that distinction really takes place in the compatibilist point of view. Nothing happens that God did not want to happen, and nothing occurs that He didn't design. The difference is that God would have spooked that mouse with the knowledge and the intent of the pedestrian being hit. That's my issue.

Also, with salvation, it is still true that our justification comes to us through faith, right? And according to Calvinism, that faith is irrestibility generated by God. That's God shaping the person's will to come to faith. But in the case of sin, God also shapes the will so that the person wants to sin. Are you saying that direction that God has which shapes the person's will to sin is any less irresistable than the grace which regenerated him?

ServantOfJesusChrist said...

You are correct. God designs both. Good and evil. He has purposes for both. In the case of evil He allows creatures to do it(evil) for Him. This relieves God of any direct legally defined wrongdoing since evil is a side-effect (although an intended one) of God doing good (in this case allowing man to have an independent will).

The downside for man is that he cannot be as good as God and therefore when left to himself he always chooses evil (without any help at all from God).

God interferes with man's nature in the case of salvation. God does not interfere in the case of damnation (other than to let man have the rope that man will hang himself on).

You may not like it. But that is what the Bible definitely reveals. The question is will you love God as He has introduced Himself or will you form a god (in your own mind - an idol) to love and worship, instead.

The Bible goes out of its way to describe a god that man will not naturally love. That is why people should fear God and repent or they will certainly perish!

ServantOfJesusChrist said...

One more point that I think will clear this up for you.

The irresistible desire to sin comes from within the natural creature. The irresistible desire to forsake ones evil fallen self and trust in Christ comes from the new-born creature by the initial and continual indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
1 Corinthians 2:14

Jc_Freak: said...

A god who designs, wants, and causes evil is not a just god, and a god who intends, desires, and causes quadrillions if people to damnation is not a loving god.

You said: You may not like it. But that is what the Bible definitely reveals. The question is will you love God as He has introduced Himself or will you form a god (in your own mind - an idol) to love and worship, instead.

The God of Scripture is a loving God who desires the salvation of the whole world, or have you not read John chapter 3, or I Timothy 2? Tell me, exactly where in Scripture does it explicitly say that God designs and desires evil things to occur? I am committed to Scripture. If you prove to me Calvinism by Scripture, I will believe it.

Jc_Freak: said...

Servant, looking back over my last comment, I realize that I may have come off stronger than I meant. I admit, I lost my temper a bit.

It is not really Calvinism that offends me. It is when people use the Bible as a means of hiding their theology behind, claiming they believe in Scripture and I don't since I disagree with them. I find it dishonest, offensive, and an attack on Scripture itself. I'm very protective of Scripture.

If you disagree with me: fine. If you think Scripture says something different than what I think it says: fine. But dont claim that I'm disagreeing with Scripture because I "don't like what Scripture says." I love Scripture, dearly. And I believe in Arminianism because and only because I believe it is what the Bible teaches.

ServantOfJesusChrist said...

I realize that you believe that is what the Bible teaches. The problem is that you are wrong about what the Bible teaches.

I used to be wrong in the very same way. Then, I challenged tradition much like Luther did in his day. I abandoned tradition and actually researched the Reformed claims and after much study I realized they were true.

Where in John 3 do you get the impression that God wants to save every single person?

Is it John 3:16? If so< then I refer you to…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sO3c6_Zjiu0

And regarding 1 Tim 2:4… Check the context. “All” doesn’t always mean every single person. Often “all” means all kinds.

Luke 2:1 for instance…
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

Please listen to…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQXM3POx-6w

2Timothy 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God perhaps will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth:

Did you catch that last phrase? If God will give them repentance….

John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father who hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Acts 13:48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.

John 10:26 but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock.

John 1:11-13 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Rom 9:8-24 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son.
And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;
(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calls;)
It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
For he says to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
So then it is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but of God that shows mercy.
For the scripture says unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
Therefore has he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardens.
You will say then unto me, Why does he yet find fault? For who has resisted his will?
No but, O man, who are you that replies against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why have you made me thus?
Has not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor?
What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had previously prepared unto glory,
Even us, whom he has called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

So, therefore it is by God's will that some are saved. And by God’s will some are not.

Jc_Freak: said...

Well, I'm not going to engage you with youtube references, only arguments that you have made. To that, let us consider some of the things you have said:

I Timothy 2:4 I do not see in what way I Timothy implies "all kinds" of men. It just isn't there in the text. Instead he is making a more general appeal to the whole world; indeed, even emphasizing the kings of that world to allow for a more easy conversion of everyone. Mind you, it does not say "each and every" but it also does not say "all kinds" either, and without qualification, an unqualified sense of all should be preferred.

You mention Luke 2:1 where is says that all the world should be taxed as an example of all not always meaning all. But even here, all does not mean all kinds. How would this mean Augustus desired that a select group from each walk of life would be taxed? Instead all the world means all the known world, that is the whole kingdom of Rome. Is this not far closer to the sense of all that I believe I Timothy mentions, or do you think that Paul means there that God wants to save all of Rome only?

Other verses You then go through and quote a few other verses. I admit, that I did a simular thing to you, and I should not have. I believe all the verses you quoted support my position and not yours, so I will simply give my interpretation of them in another comment.

Jc_Freak: said...

II Timothy 2:25 The key of this verse which you mentioned was that God gives them repentence. I would surmise then that you are not familiar with the Arminian notion of prevenient grace, and that all good that comes from a person is a gift from God in the Arminian perspective. Therefore, I cannot see how this concept runs against Arminianism in any way.

John 6:44 Here is the most beautiful passage declaring, not only the total depravity of man, but God's most merciful prevenient grace. We are helpless before Almighty God, and without His intervention there is no way for us to approach Him.

Acts 13:48 I assume you believe that this text says that those who were unconditionally appointed to eternal life came into the belief that they were predestined to possess at this time. I can understand how you would interpret it this way, but that is not in the text.

The text does not state that the appointment was unconditional, nor that the appointment was before the belief. All it says that the number of people who believed were the same number of people who were appointed to eternal life.

Additionally, in the Greek, 'believed' comes before 'appointed', identifying it as the thrust of the text. Indeed, a better rending of this text would be: "And those who believed were as many as those who were appointed unto eternal life."

Those of us who believe that election is conditioned on faith have no issue with this verse, for we undestand it as a promise: that those who believe are included among the chosen, for that is the condition of the choosing. There is no demand of unconditional election here, only that all who believe will enter into the true people of God.

John 10:26 This is a small bit from a much bigger passage. It suffices to say that Jesus was telling certain Jews that they had no place in His kingdom, for they were not heeding His words. When it says that they did not listen because they are not members of the flock, it is important that no where in the text does it give how one become a memeber of the flock. I absolutely agree with the text: by not excepting what Jesus was teaching, they were demonstrating that the Spirit of God was not in them; that they were not elect. What the text does not tell us is whether election is conditional or unconditional. That subject is not discussed. All that is discussed is that one's actions demonstrates where one is positioned.

John 1:11-13 I cannot fathom what you were getting at with this one. This is a gloriusly Arminian text.

He came to the Jews, but the Jews rejected Him. But to those who didn't reject Him, to those that submitted to God, they were empowered to become the sons of God. Hallelujah!!!!! That this birth, that is rebirth, is solely from the power of God, and does not come about by blood, or flesh, or even the will, but by shear grace of the Lord. Amen Amen!

Romans 9:8-24 Let me sum up Romans 9 really quick: God will elect who He wants, how He wants. For more, see this wonderful series on the subject: Introduction, Isaac and Jacob, Pharaoh, The Potter and the Clay, and the Conclusion. If you are just going to read one, read the last one.

In either case, to understand Romans 9, you must understand Romans. In Romans, Paul makes a thesis: "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it [the gospel] is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew and then for the Gentile." In other words, that salvation is for all who believe, not only Jews, but also the Gentiles. It is faith that salvation is conditioned.

Paul anticipates and answers two objections to this. First, that according to the Jews, we are justified before God by the law. Paul deals with this in chapters 1-8, demonstrating that it is instead only by faith.

Second, that according to the Jews, it is the Jews that are supposed to be saved based on God's elective covenant of that people. Paul deals with this in 9-11.

Indeed, to understand 9, you must first read 9:1-7, where Paul's laments the unbelief of his people. Indeed, it is in 9:6 that Paul states what he sets out to prove in the rest of 9: that it is not as though God's word concerning Israel had failed. This is what Romans 9 is about.Indeed, in 24, he highlights all of this reiterating the thesis of the whole book: "Even us, whom he called, not only from the Jews, but also from the Gentiles". It is therefore a righteousness of faith, as stated in 9:30, and not one of heredity and law as Israel had assumed.

Is it not relavent, that in the same breath Paul says that all have fallen short of the glory of God, and that all have been intended to salvation? (Romans 3:23-24)

How then can we say that God desires to condemn a certain quanity of humanity to Hell? Where is that idea in Scripture, for you have yet to produce a text even suggesting that idea, which was the idea in question. Even if we interpret the texts you produced in a Calvinistic fashion, they still do not explicity say that "God designs and desires evil things to occur", which is what I asked. That question has been left unaddressed. So where in Scripture does it say that God designs and desires evil things to occur?

ServantOfJesusChrist said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jc_Freak: said...

For the sake of keeping the discussion on topic, I've trimmed Servant's comment to those things that address the topic: does God ordain evil? Can God determine all things and not be responsible for sin. I would just like to remind servant that this is the topic, and I will only respond to those things that address it. Here were the relevant portions of this comment:

And regarding Romans 9... If that is Paul's point why even mention Pharaoh. What does Pharaoh have to do with any of that? The only reason that Paul might bring Pharaoh into it is to show that God has power to give and take away. To give eternal life to those He wants and to damn those who He does not choose to love in an eternally blissful way.

Neither Romans 23 nor 24 states that all have been intended to salvation.

I think it is very curious why Arminians claim that God is sovereign and then state one particular thing that God does (appoint/elect/save) is a reaction to what a fallen human being does. Everything else God does to/for people He just does because He is in control and we are not - except for salvation. Salvation God doesn't just do. He needs man to do something too - something God doesn't totally control. Very interesting indeed... Looks like the Arminian worships man's freewill not the Biblical God.

Here are some (God creating evil) verses.

(Isaiah 45:7, KJV) - "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things."
*

(Amos 3:6) - "Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?"

Of course, now you will say that you can't take these verses at face value.

Whenever a Reformed proof text is cited this is always the response.

Now show me where in the Bible it explicitly declares that God has purposed to save every single human being.

Then, if you find such a passage (or think you have found one, since there isn't one) tell me why I would want to worship a God who can't carry out what He wants to do. I will worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob a God who declares...

* "And the Lord said to him, "Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him dumb or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?" (Exodus 4:11).

* "Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?" (Amos 3:6).

"Remember this, fix it in mind, take it to heart, you rebels. Remember the former things, those of long ago;I am God, and there is no other;I am God, and there is none like me.I make known the end from the beginning,from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand,
and I will do all that I please. From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do. Listen to me, you stubborn-hearted, you who are far from righteousness. I am bringing my righteousness near,it is not far away; and my salvation will not be delayed. I will grant salvation to Zion,my splendor to Israel.
(Isaiah 46:8-13)

Jc_Freak: said...

In response to what you said, starting with Romans 9. I said that the point of Romans 9 was that it was dealing with Gentiles being allowed to be saved, and not just Jews. You asked: If that is Paul's point why even mention Pharaoh. What does Pharaoh have to do with any of that?

Because Pharaoh was a Gentile upon whom God showed mercy. Paul quotes the OT, saying that God will have mercy on whom He will have mercy, thus saying that the Jews and no right to complain that God was saving the Gentiles. He then points to Pharaoh as an OT example of this. This is evident when you examine the context of the verse that Paul quotes, which is explaining why God was having mercy on Pharaoh: to display His glory.

You later say: I think it is very curious why Arminians claim that God is sovereign and then state one particular thing that God does (appoint/elect/save) is a reaction to what a fallen human being does. Everything else God does to/for people He just does because He is in control and we are not - except for salvation. Salvation God doesn't just do. He needs man to do something too - something God doesn't totally control. Very interesting indeed... Looks like the Arminian worships man's freewill not the Biblical God.

Clearly you don't understand Arminianism. In Arminianism, salvation is completely by God, and iniated by God. God is not reactive in salvation but proactive. I think you are confusing Arminianism for Semipelagianism. This seems to be a common mistake.

you then quote some verses:(Isaiah 45:7, KJV) - "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things."
*

(Amos 3:6) - "Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?"


In both of these verses, 'evil' is better traslated as 'calamity' or 'disaster'. In both cases, the context (yes I believe in paying attention to context, which is what every faithful exegete does) is dealing with God justly punishing the wicked, not causing them to be wicked. Also, in both cases, only the KJV renders it as you do. All others translate it as disaster or calamity. (except NLT which has "bad things", but hey, that the NLT for you)

You said:"Now show me where in the Bible it explicitly declares that God has purposed to save every single human being"

I did. John 3:16, which you did not address. II Timothy 2:25, which instead of addressing, you merely passed by for a text that you thought was stronger for your position (part of what I didn't show), and Romans 3:23-24.

Let me elucidate on that verse a bit on that verse. After all, I dont really like to quote a verse and run off. John 3, I beleive is well known enough that I didn't need to, and I already unpacked II tim.

In either case, the relavance of John 3:23-24 is that it is one sentence. The subject of the sentence is all. Therefore, the all that have fallen short of the glory of God are the same all that ahve been justified freely by his grace through the cross. In other words, the same number of people who have sinned and fallen short are the same number that have been justified on the cross. But only those who have faith obtain this righteousness, as the rest of context says.

You then go on and state: "Then, if you find such a passage (or think you have found one, since there isn't one) tell me why I would want to worship a God who can't carry out what He wants to do."

One, that does not accurately discribe how Arminianism understands God. To say that God can't do anything is ridiculous. Also, for me, the true God, the one of Scripture, is the one I worship, regardless of how He chooses to do things. The idea that you would refuse to worship God just because He falls short of what you expect from Him is shocking to me. I accept God for who He is and what He does.

Oh, and I fully confess everything those last 3 verses you quote state. Again, in trying to demonstrate the truth of your position, you only demonstrate your ignorance of mine.

Jc_Freak: said...

Oh, and if you are curious to better understand my view on the relationship between God's soveriegnty and free will, catch my newest post. Then we can talk about that topic.

Servant of Jesus Christ said...

You and I do not worship the same god.

Of course this is off topic... and you won't post it. But listen and realize that protestantism is so fractured these days that we can't even fellowship.

http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=222081325495

Jc_Freak: said...

I sorry you want to end the conversation on this note. I believe that Arminians and Calvinists do worship the same God. It is a shame that you do not.