Favourite Calvinists questions with good responses

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Favourite Calvinists questions with good responses

 

The following is a question often asked by calvinist and good responses by members of FB group

FB Preacher & Bible Friends

Looking for the best answers from the collective wisdom of this group to the favourite Calvinist question “ why do some believe and not others ”?

Replies to the question.

Here are some thoughts but I would like to flesh them out further
Why some believe and not others Actually the question is based on a number of false premises. Calvinists seem fascinated with this question that the bible never asks because is rooted in philosophical speculations and not in scripture. Hence it cannot be taken seriously since the answers are as speculative and philosophical as the question itself is.
One would have to be a prophet with insight greater than Paul’s to be able to know the thoughts and intents the mans mind and Paul even asks who knows the mind of a man except the spirit of man within him (1 cor 1:11). Hence I’ve answered your philosophical question with others which you did not answer either
The second question you asked is also philosophical. “ is God trying to save some more than others”. In actuality God does not need to “try” to do anything. He may want to save all who believe and give them the freedom to do so. ( you would agree that a sovereign God must have the RIGHT to do this or forfeits his sovereignty!) and we could speculate why if all men are totally depraved inoperative sinners why God hates most more than others? We could ask “ what was so special about YOU that God picked you and not others. What was it about YOU that set you out from others especially in light of the fact that Godnis no respecter of persons as he claims to be
Scripture teaches that it pleases God through the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe 1 cor 1:21) and since scripture teaches that MAN with his heart believes ( not God believes for him) in Romans 10:9-10 we can gather that God has designed his plan with the intent of having man being able to choose or refuse as he wishes. This glorified God all the more for it makes him even more just in damning them that believe not

 

More why some believe and not others
actually the premise of your question is flawed based on your assumption that only some were able to accept the offer. In reality ALL are able to accept or reject the offer and do so accordingly to the measure of freedom God has granted to each of them.
But why if monergism were true does John believe the first time he hears but Edward needs ten times. Is ed more dead than John? Is God needing to “warm up” or “practice”? Why is it not synergism for John and Ed to “ listen” to the gospel. Listening is a work for one can choose not to listen.
Is John more “noble” like the Bereans while Ed is less noble? Perhaps Some are more “wise” like the wise men who saw the star ( through astrology) and came to worship the king while the scribes who had the scriptures were not.

 

the short answer:
BECAUSE.
Now if you really need a longer answer;
BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT THEY CHOSE.

Bottom Line-
Either the gospel truth and Spirit conviction is sufficient to open blinded eyes and the person has volition to choose or reject Christ
OR
Man can never turn to Christ EVEN With the Gospel Truth and Spirit Conviction, he (that is the ones fortunate enough to be chosen) is regenerated and then will Irresistibly belief.

SO…….
ALL People MAY
Or-
Certain People MUST.

…. and they wonder why we use the term robots

 

Was I smarter, make better decisions, or endowed with a unique advantage?……
Why did I believe and not my “neighbor”??
BECAUSE I DID 😊
Or if one word is easier to remember…. volition.
Why did he not? ASK HIM.

Why does someone believe yet another not? There are really only 2 possibilities.
EITHER-
A. We were uniquely created by God and give the ability to make choices. One of those choices is to accept or reject His Son.
Our choices are as unique as we are. As will be the just consequences for our decisions .
(Including punishment for those that reject Christ)

OR-

B. We are programmed, persuaded, pressured, regenerated without consent or simply made to do it thru an irresistible response to a long ago predetermined outcome.
(And those pre-chosen to Not believe will be punished for not doing what they could not do)

I believe the first.

 

Ken Keathley touches on this in his book, and points out that the question is backwards. In a world where everyone is drawn why doesn’t everyone believe? All we have to do to be Saved is to not resist Grace. It is inexplicable why some do resist Grace except to say that we live in a body of flesh that is susceptible to temptation..

https://www.amazon.com/Salvat…/dp/0805431985/ref=sr_1_1…

 

The Answer To The Age Old Question;
Why did I Believe But My Equally Lost and Sinful Neighbor Did Not?? 😳

It’s easy to answer…..

BECAUSE YOU DID.

We are created with volition and we make choices. This is not the same as “free will”. In fact that term is problematic when you consider that not only are there limits (I call it range of choices) but even freedom is a misnomer. While lost we live under Satan’s domain then when saved Christ is our Lord.
In regards to salvation our “free will” is those moments we are given the opportunity to respond to the gospel and the Spirit’s conviction. That is when our volition comes into play.

God gave us the ability to make choices. To honor Him or dishonor Him with our choices… and to face the consequences of our choices.

Those promoting Reformed/Calvinistic theology will try to insist on the false dichotomy of;
Why when two people of equal environment and exposure to the gospel one believes but one doesn’t… Either;
By man’s goodness / wisdom
OR
God picked some for Heaven and some for Hell….

Next they insist the second sounds better, and they spiral into creating a supporting theological structure begins.
It is vital to spot and avoid the trap of their erroneous presuppositions because next comes the downward spiral into deeper error.

We could spend considerable time if we were to take a philosophical look at every possible influence on a life.
And perhaps being born in the ghetto makes it harder to hear the gospel than if born in the bible belt, perhaps…..

YET…. It ultimately boils down to WE (vs the other guy) make a decision (influences and all) to believe or reject Christ and we are held accountable.
OR
God picks some and regenerates/ Programs them……..
Which is the opposite of the scriptural principles of an individual believing faith and personal accountability.

 

 

When someone asks “why you and not your neighbor, were you smarter etc”?
They are whether aware of it or not, just shortening and personalizing the ole “Owen question”. If you haven’t heard it, don’t worry about it… let’s just address this simplified version.
Bottom line to “why one person believed and another of similar circumstances did not” =

BECAUSE THEY CHOSE TO,

EITHER-

•We are uniquely made, having volition and a range of distinct personal choices.
•God holds men personally responsible for THEIR sins.
•Upon hearing the gospel and convicted they can respond.
•We are held accountable for what we can do; believe or reject Christ.
•The Believers go to Heaven, per their choice.
•The Rejectors go to Hell, per their choice.

OR….

•We are not uniquely made and have no volition to make distinct personal choices.
•God holds us personally responsible for other people’s sin (Adam).
•No one can respond to the gospel or Spirit conviction.
•We are held accountable for what we can not do, believe in Christ.
•The Elect are regenerated and taken to Heaven for what they did not do.
•The Non Elect receive no regeneration and are sent to Hell for not doing what they could not do.

SO EITHER….
God’s Command to believe was a true offer of salvation.
OR,
It was a command to do the impossible,
Everything is Predetermined, this question and even the gospel is a waste of time.

 

A more detailed response =

OWEN QUESTION;

This again?

I believe it was 30 years ago when I fist saw this question/argument. It was handed to me on a card as a “got-ya” question. After looking at it I handed it back and gave my answer which remains the same today. It did however motivate me to begin a decades long study on the teaching of Calvinism.

So how does one answer such a false trichotomy ?

Well you could say #1, all the sins of all men.
To which they repeat the question:” But if the first be the case, why are not ALL men free from the punishment due unto their sins? ”
Then you could try to explain the misuse of unbelief as a specific sin rather than an unbeliever’s condition.
OR
The answer I gave 30 years ago stands and is also a good review of the basics for these misguided believers of limited atonement:
There is NO answer for a question built on a false premise.
The TRUTH is, for all of us that are saved, not ONE of our specific personal sins were forgiven on the cross.
Christ paid the PRICE for our sins on the cross; His precious blood.
You are saved and FORGIVEN when your sins are covered by the blood. It must be applied!
We must have an individual and voluntary Believing Contrite Faith in Christ to make Him our Savior and receive his forgiveness.
Ephesians 2:8 KJV
[8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Otherwise your SINS will condemn you, NOT unbelief.
In this attempt to promote limited Atonement, it is Mr. Owens’ logic that has failed, not the Cross.

Also…..
I had a link once to an article on the English tenses of “believe”.
The conclusion was that there is no verb tense for unbelief.
The nearest verb I have found is “rejection”.
You can say that an innocent baby is not in a state of unbelief but a culpable adult that has never been born again is in a state of unbelief.
The great commission sends us out into a lost and unbelieving (state/condition) world.
Hearing the gospel they can Accept it or Reject it… receiving hope or remaining hell bound in their (state of) unbelief.

Owen creates a “sin of unbelief” then compounds error by saying people are lost due to not being forgiven for “that sin”.

{I would willingly sit on a stool all day watching someone trying to “commit” unbelief 😏}

SOMEONE ELSE ONCE ADDRESSED THIS QUESTION BY;

This argument is a logical fallacy which assumes the extent of the atonement is equal to the application of of the atonement.

Compare that to the Old Testament incident of the serpent on a pole (which is a type or picture of the atonement). The provision for healing was fully provided in the serpent on the pole; however, only those who looked upon it were healed. There was a condition, as sovereignly decreed by God, to having the extent of the atonement applied individually, and that condition was faith. Those that believed God’s word and looked upon the serpent were healed, those that didn’t, weren’t. Conflating the extent and application of the atonement is a common Calvinistic argument.

If one rejects Jesus’ payment for their sins, that person will pay for their sins themselves. That is in no way “double jeopardy.” If Jesus sets us free and opens the cell door but we refuse to walk out even after being enlightened to our current state (because we love darkness, the cell, more than light as John says) then we remain a prisoner while the door to freedom is right in front of us.

 

The Answer To The Age Old Question;
Why did I Believe But My Equally Lost and Sinful Neighbor Did Not?? 😳

It’s easy to answer…..

BECAUSE YOU DID.

We are created with volition and we make choices. This is not the same as “free will”. In fact that term is problematic when you consider that not only are there limits (I call it range of choices) but even freedom is a misnomer. While lost we live under Satan’s domain then when saved Christ is our Lord.
In regards to salvation our “free will” is those moments we are given the opportunity to respond to the gospel and the Spirit’s conviction. That is when our volition comes into play.

God gave us the ability to make choices. To honor Him or dishonor Him with our choices… and to face the consequences of our choices.

Those promoting Reformed/Calvinistic theology will try to insist on the false dichotomy of;
Why when two people of equal environment and exposure to the gospel one believes but one doesn’t… Either;
By man’s goodness / wisdom
OR
God picked some for Heaven and some for Hell….

Next they insist the second sounds better, and they spiral into creating a supporting theological structure begins.
It is vital to spot and avoid the trap of their erroneous presuppositions because next comes the downward spiral into deeper error.

We could spend considerable time if we were to take a philosophical look at every possible influence on a life.
And perhaps being born in the ghetto makes it harder to hear the gospel than if born in the bible belt, perhaps…..

YET…. It ultimately boils down to WE (vs the other guy) make a decision (influences and all) to believe or reject Christ and we are held accountable.
OR
God picks some and regenerates/ Programs them……..
Which is the opposite of the scriptural principles of an individual believing faith and personal accountability.

 

“free will is just the ability to make a choice and that is it. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/freewill

 

One ridiculous cliché is the “were you smarter” line.
Smart does not save.
1 Corinthians 1:27 KJV
[27] But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

“Brilliant” scientist like Sagen will (unless he changes his path, something a predestined could not do 😏) burn in hell for rejecting our Savior. I will not. Smarter does not save you.
We are give the opportunity, responsibility, and accountability of a choice to accept or reject Christ as savior.

 

When some in the “reformed” camp ask this question, “Are you smarter than those who did not believe”, I sometimes respond, “Of course… God elected me to be smarter. Isn’t that why you believed?” It usually pulls their chain.😁

 

I think a very important point is:

If a person is drawn by the Holy Spirit… and the Gospel plainly preached (eg: all men are commanded everywhere to repent…

And they actually do repent….

they are not “better” than anybody. They are simply unprofitable servants doing what they were told!

All humans are intended to get redeemed and go to heaven.

in order to go to hell – a person must REBEL against God.

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