Calvinism’s house of Cards

In my last post “Resetting the table of Predestination”  We went through scripture to see if there was any other way to understand Romans 8:29-31.  These few verses are used by the Calvinist to anchor their doctrines of Predestination (God before time began foreknew and chose only some to be saved), Election (God calls only those whom He predestined) and Limited Atonement (God only justified those whom He foreknew and predestined to be saved).  Of Course the jest of this is… to hell with the rest of mankind.

Calvinist would argue it is not God rejecting the unelected, it is the unelected not having any desire to know God.  Sounds good on the surface but they also have a doctrine that teaches no man can no God because man is absolutely reprobate and can not know God, of course without God revealing Himself to reprobate mankind.  So their soft spoken answer to God predestinating part of mankind to hell by saying these do not want to know God, does not get God off the hook for the Calvinist.  According to the doctrine of Calvinism, if those unelected do not want to know God, it is God’s fault that He did not reveal Himself to the unelected.  Remember according to Calvinist man has no free will, not even free will to seek God without God’s active participation in it. 

In “Resetting the table of Predestination”  It was my desire to bring forth biblical truth to Romans 8:29-31 so that the defenses against the dangerous teachings of Calvinism can come directly from the verses they hold so sacred as one of their chief cornerstones.  It appears to me those who do not agree with Calvinism want to contend against their ideas of Romans 8:29-31 it is done more from the text in other places in scripture and not so much the text itself.  It is almost as if these few verses  give Calvinist a secure footing and all others a challenge to explain away.  In fact we use the same language they do.  We speak of the elect as God knowing who would chose Him.  We explain this away with God knowing everything.

In “Resetting the table of predestination” I have put forth a different understanding of election.  The elect are no longer those whom God has predestined to be saved against the will of man as Calvinist hold.  Nor are the elect only those whom God knew would eventually chose Him through free will as other contend.  Instead I redefined the elect as all of mankind, both those who choose God or not by their own free will.  Calvinist us Romans 8:29-31 as text to prove there is no free will.  I use it as the definitive proof of man’s free will.

In summary:  Jesus the Lamb of God was slain from the foundation of the world.  His blood took the sins of the world away by which God has reconciled all mankind to Himself before time began.  Not only has God foreknown everyone, He died for everyone causing everyone to be predestinated.  Now He is calling anyone who would believe.  Even though He is calling everyone who would believe, we all have been justified already and yes even glorified.  But as scripture teaches,  sons of the most High will die like men.  Before time began God elected and predestinated all of mankind to be saved.  This is why hell was never made for man, but the devil and his angels.

Consequently, the elect are not as the Calvinist claim, only those whom God chose to save.  Nor is it as others say, only those whom God knew would be saved.  The elect is His creation in mankind.

Now I found a post from ‘Whoever Believes’ concerning the circular reasoning of the Calvinist and how each doctrine depends upon the other.  If one doctrine doesn’t stand they all fall.  It was a great post and I encourage all to read it.  Here is what I would consider the summation of the post:

Herman Hoeksema says:

All five points of Calvinism … are important. Indeed if any one of the five points of Calvinism is denied, the Reformed heritage is completely lost.(1)

By revisiting “Resetting the table of Calvinism” you will see the defense of the position I have taken concerning predestination and election.  Understanding the truth of Calvinism’s need to have all it’s point hold or all falls apart.  I feel that one of the five points of Calvinism is denied, bringing down the whole house of cards.  Yes! God is off the hook if men choose not to come to Him.  He has done everything for us to bring us to Him.  Will we?

1 Hanko, Hoeksema, and Van Baren, The Five Points of Calvinism, 28.

19 thoughts on “Calvinism’s house of Cards

  1. One verse seldom connected to free will is the following: Mt 18:7 Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!

    A son of perdidition (destruction) would betray Christ. But Judas had free will. He chose to follow the flesh which led to possession by Satan and to becoming an instrument of betrayal of Christ. I do not believe Judas was predestined to be eternally lost. The offence was necessary. But woe (destruction) was to Judas in choosing to be that man.

    Deep stuff…..election.


    • Carolyn: Note John 17: 12, “the son of perdition/destruction” is certainly the person of Judas! See also John 6: 70-71, Judas was never “regenerate”, but was given over to the “diabolos” – this is just one of the names of Satan. Note too how Jesus equated the Jewish leadership of John 8: 44 with this also: “You are of your father the devil (diabolos).” See also John 10: 25-26, etc., the true “Sheep” or the Lord’s “flock”, hear the Lord’s voice, and follow Him! (Verses 27-29)

    • Carolyn, I agree with you regarding Judas. I do not think he was destined for destruction or destined to betray Jesus to the Cross, I think some groups take great liberties with these texts to determine that Judas was “from all eternity” chosen to betray Jesus.

      • I have taken no “liberties” at all in this Text of John 17:12, but have compared the Text itself, with the last statement: “”that the Scripture might be fulfilled.” In the context the meaning is also close to John 19: 28, “that the Scripture might be completed.” (see also John 13:18 and 19:24). And quite possibly, readers of John’s Gospel were expected to be familar in a general way with the Judas betrayal and his subsequent fate were prophesied in Scripture (see not only John 13: 18 and Acts 1:20, but also Matt. 27:9-10). With this, and “the Scripture cannot be aolished” (John 10:35), then Judas grim fate was inevitable! He had both chosen his path, and God allowed it, as Judas is taken by the devil, for Judas was never one of the Lord’s redeemed. His path and fate are inevitable, “lost” and to the “destruction” awaiting him! (See btw the position I take, called infralapsarian: that God’s plan of salvation of or for “some” people follows the consequence of the fall of Adam and man from grace. Thus God saves only those He chooses after the fall, and sees all men as sinners, but saves HIS “election of grace”. Thus He leaves many in their place of sin and choices. However, Judas choices are even more profound, since his were involved with the betrayal of the Son of God! Indeed, as Mk. 14:21, “The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good (better) for that man if he had never been born.” Just chilling words from the Lord Himself about Judas!)

        • The key is what you have said, ” Judas grim fate was inevitable! He had both chosen his path, and God allowed it”. Just because Judas chose to walk in darkness does not mean that Christ blood was not for him too. Why would Jesus even take the time to ask God to forgive evil men who would never believe Him? He said forgive them for they no not what they do. when He is hanging on the cross.

          This is reason 57 of 635 why I do not believe the doctrine of Calvinism that teaches that Christ’s blood was spilt for some and not others.

      • Dave: It is a proper the ‘Doctrines of Grace’ we seek, and certainly the man and pastor-teacher John Calvin had very much truth here! I would challenge you to a full and certain study of “Calvin” himself, and too his hand-picked student and seccessor: Theodore Beza! Note Beza lived into the 17th century and died at the old age of 86! (Calvin was only 56 when he died) I do consider Calvin myself to be one of the most providential men God has called and chosen! At over 500 years now he is being read and studied!

      • Dave: The whole point to Judas in John 17:12, is not that Christ’s death is not, as it is sufficient, but that it is in the case of Judas, not “efficacious” – producing the desired effect. And this does not lie in Judas, but in God’s good purpose…”that the Scripture might be fulfilled.” See also, (Rom. 9: 16). Only in the Grace & Providence of God, and in Who God is, as GOD, can we must bow our knees here! The great question is always, but will we? We will if we SEE the doctrine and word of God!

      • IrishAnglican, Regarding “that the scriptures might be fulfilled” – I would deem you are improperly reading, and thus relating what the true intent of these scriptures are saying. There are many times throughout the Bible God does, through his prophets, speak about things to come (i.e. Cyrus of Persia, etc.) In these instances, God is distinctively, and deterministically, speaking about a future event to come to pass. In these other verses you are quoting, this is not the case. These are examples of Midrash, a form of interpretation that was done by early Jews. They would always seek to see how there were parallels with their scriptures. They would see the current happenings as “completions” or “fulfillments” of things that were only hinted at prior. This is different from saying that these OT scriptures were DESTINED to be fulfilled. If you look at the specific instances of the OT passages being quoted, you would see that this is the case, as only bits and phrases are being pulled at by the first century disciples and even Jesus Himself.

      • iamclayton: I would disagree that “all” of these are Jewish midrash in the Gospel of John! Re-check your sources, The Gospel of John has its own Johannine Christology, redefining Jewish monotheism! And the Johannine Jesus does not come to clarify human experience, but He comes to reveal the Father, and “that the Scripture might be fulfilled.” Quite literally for John!

  2. Dave: Your position is certainly very flawed, the 5 so-called Points of Calvinism came well after Calvin! I myself have shown that I don’t hold a 5 point Calvinism in some blunt and legal manner. No this is just a straw-man argument by these overt so-called Calvinists! As I have said over and over, the biblical and theological Calvinism (so-called), is itself grounded on an Augustinian place, which came certainly from Augustine. We need to re-visit the whole Augustine and Pelagius time and history!

    • I understand what you are saying. But I can not go through life ignoring what the “overt so-called Calvinist” teach. They certainly exist, they certainly have doctrine and in my opinion they certainly misrepresent scritpture therefor God. Just because I adress these “overt so-called Calvinist” doesn’t mean my position is flawed because you do not recognize them. If my position is flawed take the scripture I have put forth and explain what they mean. Does our gospel teach that Christ was the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world? Does not scripture say that God reconciled the whole world to Himself and Jesus tasted death for all men? Does not scripture say the sons of the most High will die like men? Let me know if I am flawed in these things. Not because you disregard the “overt so-called Calvinist”.

      By the way. I would love for you not to quote something from somebody else. Make a post on concerning what you think is true Calvinism. I always enjoy your post when you put yourself into them.

      Thanks for your comments. Most people wouldn’t even begin to understand there is an opinion like yours. And I am sure I really do not grasp it.

      • Dave: The true Church simply must be historical! So to leave out the history of Augustine and Pelagius would leave a real gap. Whether we like it or not, the Holy Scripture also has a historical connection, even Paul’s “revelations” are connected to his Judaism, (2 Tim. 1:3). Again, to study the historical aspects of Paul’s time, helps to see his theology. See, Gal. 4:4-7 , the whole ‘slave and adoption’ issues are used by Paul, in the life of the believer. And even pressed into Abraham by Paul.

        Note, I made some good biblical references to Carolyn, concerning both election to salvation and reprobation.

  3. Irishanglican…interesting point about Judas. I guess I sometimes take things too literal but when Christ said Judas was ‘lost’…I assumed he once was found. Joh 17:12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

    Lots of food for thought in the area of election :).


    • Carolyn,

      Indeed it is always best to simply stand in the awe and wonder of God’s mysteries, I am just amazed that God has revealed Himself to my soul, for without His grace & glory I would see and know nothing! And just to think that Jesus knows “me” by name, and I am just one of His wee sheep & lambs…amazing grace! The Text of Jude 1: 1 comes to mind: “To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ.” (ESV) 🙂

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