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Obi the LEGO Fan

aka Obi the Pastel Pink

Chat moderator
  • I live in Middle-earth
  • My occupation is Wizard
  • I am The most fabulous of all the wizards.
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  • like the vid/song on your page :P

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    • Isn't it illegal? :P

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    • I honestly don't know. :P I use RealPlayer to rip 'em, then convert 'em to mp3s. :P

      Quote:

      "No it is not illegal to download a video from youtube. Every time you stream a video in a web browser, you are downloading it. The only difference is that it gets moved from temporary storage to permanent. Congress has passed no law which sets limitations on content which is openly distributed and downloadable and the legal distinction between the two is so slight that no law will be passed to target these users because it would never stand up in court and could violate Sherman anti-trust laws. (You couldn't enact a time limit, because someone could leave a video open in their browser for months. You can't stop someone from viewing an mp4 video outside of a web browser because it is anti-competitive. The legal distinction between RAM and hard drives is so small that you would criminalize a lot of normal internet activity. It can't be regulated other than to stop content producers from uploading completely accessible videos.)

      Perhaps there might be some criminal liability if you redistributed that content, or civil liability if you break youtube's ToS, but that would be dumb on the part of YouTube to alienate their users by suing them while most people are already afraid of google's spying over reach."

      But YouTube's ToS say stuff too, it's kind of a grey area mehthinks. :P

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  • I was just thinking about yer Bible study, and how we should have an Easter Bible study this week, since that whole thing's kinda important. TS

    As far as I know, the Bible study hasn't been doing too well lately, so it'd just be nice to see if we could get a bunch of people to come just this one time. Smile.png

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  • I guess this like the fourth message I've left on your wall about a specific doctrine. TS It does seem to work better than debating them in a group, though.

    Anyways, last I heard, you were unsure of whether you believed in Preservance of the Saints. You said that Arminianism has traditionally been compatible with (or without) the doctrine. Although, it does seem to me like Libertarian Free Will and Preservance of the Saints are incompatible, but I guess you could probably choose not to believe in Libertarian Free Will, yet still be an Arminian. So I dunno how you'd work that, which is why I'm asking. TS

    I was just reading a Psalm that I think is my new favorite. Psalm 37. I love it, because it is so accurate and applicable to today's culture. I've heard so many Christians ask the questions that this Psalm answers. It's about the wicked prospering, and how some Christians can be tempted to just abandon their faith because unbelievers can seem to be so successful, despite their unbelief. Here's a sample. TS

    "I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread. He is ever lending generously, and his children become a blessing."

    ^ Totally one of the best verses ever. Big smile

    After thinking about it for awhile, I realized that the entire chapter is really about Preservance of the Saints, and how much God takes care of us. Then I noticed this verse:

    "28For the Lord loves justice; he will not forsake his saints. They are preserved forever, but the children of the wicked shall be cut off."

    How do those who believe in Uncertainty of Salvation explain verses like this? That's just about the most blunt thing I've ever heard. It's not sounding like the author wants to leave room for interpretation. TS

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    • Obi the LEGO Fan wrote: That's always a good idea.

      Hmm, I saw your question "How do those who believe in Uncertainty of Salvation explain verses like this?", and was answering it. :P Although, it's uncertainty as to the preservation of the saints, not about salvation.

      I'm personally not really sure, but I don't see enough evidence for the "once saved always saved" doctrine. The question really boils down to whether or not all the "ex-Christians" were in fact Christians when they thought they were. I don't see how we can know that.

      Oh, that's right. I did ask two questions. TS

      I think that our conclusion on whether or not "ex-Christians" really were saved should be based on the Bible, and nothing else. Obviously, some were not saved, but the real question is "were all of them not saved?"

      I see what you mean about Arminians not believing in Preservation of the Saints. If you believe that God had no power over your acceptance of salvation, it's only reasonable to believe that he has no power over your "change of mind". I doubt very many Arminians believe in Libertarian Free Will before salvation, and then don't believe in it after salvation. That'd pretty much be the requirement for an Arminian to believe in Preservance of the Saints.

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    • Drew1200 wrote: So what you're saying, in essence, is that this Psalm has no application to us today, because it was written for Israelites, not Christians? It can be very hard to defend the Old Testament against those kinds of arguments, but fortunately for me, you forgot something. TS

      This Psalm is about God. God does not change. All those promises in the Psalm that were made by God, still stand. This Psalm is saying that sin has no long term benefit, because good is ultimately more powerful. Since Jesus' death, in the New Covenant, that is more true than ever.

      Even neglecting to consider those facts, I don't think your argument is very strong. "Inherit the land" is a way of saying that a person will be blessed, it does not literally mean that the person(s) will receive property in return for his obedience.

      Also, I completely agree that David was talking about the Israelites when he said "saints". This was not a prophetic Psalm, so in this time, the Israelites were essentially what Christians are today - the people of God. Additionally, I have never read anything in the Bible that makes a distinction between the rewards "Old Testament saints", and "New Testament saints". Both are saved by believing in Jesus, both are covered by His blood, and both are loved by God equally.

      No, I never said that. I'm saying that you cannot take a verse about God preserving the Israelites and take it to mean "once saved only saved". The text itself provides no evidence that this preservation even has to do with salvation, at least none that I noticed. I'm saying that the psalm has nothing to do with the theological doctrine of Calvinism called "preservation of the saints", not that it doesn't apply at all to us—I think you misunderstood that a bit, as you devote the next paragraph to trying to prove that it does apply to us, which isn't what I'm arguing against.

      "Inherit the land" is a literal statement, especially considering who it was given to. The Israelites were literally inheriting the land. Can you give examples to show that it is a generic phrase, especially when in the context of Israel?

      There is an important distinction between Israelites and post-resurrection Christians: they were under different covenants. God made promises to Israel, specifically about inheriting land, that He did not make to Christians under the New Covenant.

      That said, the promise "I shall not leave you nor forsake you" was made to both groups. However, that fact actually supports the Arminian position: The Israelites, although never forsaken by God, certainly did forsake God of their own choice. The Old Testament is replete with examples of the Israelites forsaking God. If they could do so, under the old covenant with the same promise, what proof do you have that Christians cannot forsake God today, under the new covenant?

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  • Hey Obi, I had a question about Libertarian Free Will that I need answered. TS

    When you're preparing for a sporting event, a test, a speaking event, or whatever it is, if you pray "please help me not to be distracted", or "please help me to focus", how does that work? According to Libertarian Free Will, God cannot/will not interfere with your will. I think you'll agree that you have to will to focus, and you have to will to be distracted. So my question is, is God able to interfere with your will in order to help you focus?

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    • Drew1200 wrote: Sorry, bad definition. TS Try this:

      "Libertarian free will means that our choices are free from the determination or constraints of human nature and free from any predetermination by God"

      With God's omniscience/omnipresence, "predetermination" is really no different than determining something to happen at the present time, or even after it happened. I think in that definition "predetermination" is synonymous with simply "determination".

      Actually, I do want to elaborate on that. TS

      No "constraints of human nature" means that Universal Prevenient Grace does not simply restore part of our original goodness, but it must restore all of it. By this definition, we have no bias towards sin, and no bias towards good - we're entirely neutral in every situation. We may choose sin, or we may choose good, and neither one is more likely when considering our nature.

      Secondly, pretty much any definition of Libertarian Free Will that you can find states that God cannot interfere/intervene with a persons will. I don't think it's necessary to take that definition so far as to say that He can't send people to give you advice. I don't think that's what the authors of these definitions intend, even if it is an implication of it. However, what it does mean, is that God cannot directly affect your desires, decisions, will, or anything else like that.

      Sorry, I guess I can't keep any definition concise. TS

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    • Let's try these definitions:

      From those links:

      Is:

      "Libertarian Free Will (LFW) is the idea that man is able to choose otherwise than he will choose."
      "[Free will] is, through God’s grace, the ability to heed and obey the gospel, or in the resistance of grace, to disbelieve it.
      "It is the power to act under the grace of God to do righteously in faith, or to reject the influence of grace and follow after the old nature."
      "Libertarian free will is the concept that men and angels have the ability to make real choices that have not been pre-determined by God."

      Is not:

      "The ability to choose between good and evil – the fall disabled man from doing good, but fallen man is able to choose among evil options."
      "It is not the power to do whatever you want, whenever you want, without any kind of restriction or influence. Some confuse the term ‘Libertarian’ to mean ‘completely unrestrained and uninfluenced,’ a better name for that kind of mythical human freedom would be ‘Anarchist free will’ (or perhaps just ‘volitional chaos’). The term Libertarian simply denotes that the creature is actually free to make its own choices between influences, as opposed to Compatibilist free will, which maintains that all ‘free’ choices are actually pre-determined or caused."

      I think that the problem is you're using Calvinist caricatures of what Arminian's actually believe. TS LFW does not mean we are free from the constraints of our human nature, it means that God hasn't already decided everything that we are going to do.

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  • Hey Obi,

    I see on your profile that you say your political views are best described as, "Lockean Juris Naturalism." You also state that you are a Christian. But isn't believing in naturalism contrary to a belief in God?

    To quote Wikipedia, this is their definition of naturalism: 

    Naturalism is "the idea or belief that only natural (as opposed to supernatural or spiritual) laws and forces operate in the world; (occas.) the idea or belief that nothing exists beyond the natural world."

    I was just trying to understand how you reconcile this belief with a supernatural diety (God), as you state you're also a Christian. 

    Thanks pal!

    JosephHawk (talk) 22:02, March 31, 2014 (UTC)JosephHawk

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    • Hey Joseph,

      There is a difference between "juris naturalism", which is a political philosophy (which refers to how best we ought to govern society), and philosophical naturalism, which is a metaphysical philosophy, and refers to the ontology of the universe. Juris Naturalism is a term coined by Richard J. Maybury, and it refers to a belief in natural law (juris being law), and entails the belief that such a law is paramount in the realm of politics. Natural Law is generally understood to be derived from God or some other higher form of reality, and it actually doesn't work well within a philosophically naturalistic framework (although there are atheists who would disagree).

      Thanks for asking!

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    • Ah, thank you. I had a feeling that I was mistaken. ;) Thanks for the rapid response! 

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  • Hey Obi,

    I was just wondering about the specifics of what you believe about prevenient grace, so I figured I'd ask. :)

    If I remember correctly, you stated in the old soteriology topic that you believe in universal prevenient grace, that it is the first grace all humans receive, and that it removes much of our total depravity, enabling us to choose salvation. Is that correct?

    I had assumed that's what you believe, but there's some things you've said lately that removed my confidence. Now I'm not entirely sure what you believe about it.

    I'll be online later today, see ya then. :)

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    • Drew1200 wrote: Glorifying God is kind of general. Is God glorified because man is an amazing creature? He might be, but that's not what I'm talking about here. I'm talking about glorifying God as the opposite of sin. Basically, is a person glorifying God in his attitude?

      Purposefully is kind of hard to comprehend as well. Am I intentionally attempting to glorify God whenever I resist temptation because I know it's wrong? If I'm not glorifying Him, then using the above explanation, I would be sinning, even though I'm resisting the temptation. I find that hard to believe.

      So the conclusion would seem to be that you can glorify Him without thinking to yourself "I am doing this for God's glory".

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    • That's what I was getting at. Although I am by no means positive. TS

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  • I sincerely apologize for missing the bible study yesterday! Please forgive me. :( 

    I was up until 4 A.M. that morning taking care of a family pet. When my alarm went off the sound was too soft to awaken me, and I usually sleep light, haha.

    Hope it went well and may God bless you,

    Shadow

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  • Hello,

    I'm sorry, I didn't get the chance to tell you why I think it's important to know what the truth is. I'll try and get that response to you as soon as I can.

    I do have one question/request, though. Before we finished our chat, you said that you believe truth is paramount. Could you elaborate on that? I think you may be able to say the same exact thing I would. :P

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    • If you think there's a simple doctrine in the Christian faith, then I really feel bad for you. TS

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    • It's not simple. It's hard to understand how the gifts could exist when so many people can say they don't with out being shown evidence to the contrary. It's also hard to understand why so many people believe they exist if they don't. TS

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  • Hi Obi! I would like to get back into this subject, if you don't mind. Smile.png

    So here's the deal, I want to defend the 5 points first, and see what problems you have with them.

    RIght now though, I'm only going to do the first point. TS

    •  Total Depravity Or Total Inabilty

    WHen Calvinists speak of man as being total depraved, they mean that man's nature is corrupt, perverse, and sinful throughout. The adjective "total" does not mean that each sinner is as totally or completly corrupt in his actions and thoughts as it is possible for him to be. Instend, the word "total" is used to indicate that the whole of man's being has been affected by sin. The corruption extends to every part of man, his body and soul; sin has affected all (the totality) of man's faculties -- his mind, his will, etc. As a reslut of his inborn corruption, the natural man is totally unable to do anything spirtitually good; thus, Calvinists speak of man's "total inablilty." 

    I have to agree with what the Westminster Confession of Faith said:

    Man, by his fall into a state of sin, hath wholly lost all abilty of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation: so as, a natural man, being altogether averse from that good, and dead in sin, is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto.

    Spirtual Deadness

    As the rresult of Adam's transgression, men are born in sin and by nature are spirtiually dead; therefor if they are to become God's childen and enter the his kingdom. they must be born anew of the spirit.

    I will do mostly Bible verses from here on, to prove the point. But not yet, because I have a piano lession. TS

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    • Alright, Drew. I decided to give up on the really long response, partly because I don't have time, but also partly because I think extremely long posts won't be an effective medium for our discussion.

      So I'll keep it concise.

      First, of all, definitions. You're just incorrect when you define unconditional election as being based on foreknowledge.

      Here is the definition, as quoted in The Compact Dictionary of Doctrinal Words:

      "Some…hold to the definition of election adopted at the Synod of Dort (1618-1619): 'The unchangeable purpose of God whereby, before the foundations of the world, out of the whole human race, which had fallen by its own fault of its original integrity into sin and ruin, He has, according to the most free good pleasure of His will, out of mere gar, chosen in Christ to salvation a certain number of specific men, neither better nor more worthy than others but with them involved in a common misery.' This double predestination, the belief that some individuals are chosen for salvation and some individuals are chosen for damnation , is standard Reformed doctrine."

      Furthermore, here is a quote from Calvin's Institutes:

      All are not created on equal terms, but some are preordained to eternal life, others to eternal damnation; and, accordingly, as each has been created for one or other of these ends, we say that he has been predestinated to life or to death.

      ...and from the Westminster Confession itself, chapter 3:

      III. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life; and others foreordained to everlasting death.
      IV. These angels and men, thus predestinated, and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished.
      V. Those of mankind that are predestinated unto life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to His eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of His will, has chosen, in Christ, unto everlasting glory, out of His mere free grace and love, without any foresight of faith, or good works, or perseverance in either of them, or any other thing in the creature, as conditions, or causes moving Him thereunto; and all to the praise of His glorious grace.


      Here is a quote that I think sums it up nicely: "Unconditional Election is the belief that God, with no regard to the will of man, made an eternal choice of certain persons unto eternal life and some to eternal damnation and that number is so fixed that it cannot be changed."


      I do not find in any of these definitions anything about foreknowledge; on the contrary, the Westminster Confessions explicitly deny any such foresight. I think that these sources are much more reliable and authoritative when it comes to defining Calvinist doctrine than you. TS


      In conclusion, unconditional election remains the doctrine that God elects some to heaven and some to hell without any regard for the will of the persons involved and according to no specified reason except for the good pleasure of His will. This view of election is in direct contradiction to the Scriptures, which say election is based on foreknowledge and God's plan of salvation, as well as making clear the fact that God does not want anyone to go to hell (so electing them thereto cannot be according to His "good pleasure").

      You are entirely right when you say that it would be seemingly pointless to try to raise a Christian family—or for that matter to try to evangelize at all—if people were inevitably going to heaven or hell regardless of anything we can do. That is a grave problem posed by unconditional election, as it eliminates any motivation to teach the faith to others. Although I am getting ahead of myself, it also makes it seemingly pointless to pray if God has already planned every little detail of all things that will happen. Now, I say "seemingly" because there remain commands to do such things, and we still should want to obey God even if we don't see the point in it.

      Now for irresistible grace.

      I agree that universal prevenient grace is resistible. However, again, you incorrectly define irresistible grace. You say, "Irresistible grace simply means that God is capable of making His saving grace irresistible". This statement is false, both analytically and synthetically. First of all, grace is, as you know, unmerited favor; by definition it is not a state of reality (you claim it to be the state of reality wherein God has the capability of making His grace irresistible). This may be the result of unintentionally poor wording, but the definitions don't match. Now, looking at the actual definition of irresistible grace, from the same dictionary:

      "Grace which cannot be rejected, since God always achieves His aims: 'The work of the Holy Spirit in bringing men to faith never fails to achieve its object.' The doctrine of irresistible grace teaches that a person cannot resist God's choice to save him, a choice determined before the foundations of the world. Also known as "effectual calling", irresistible grace is one of the five points of Calvinism."

      There is really no controversy about this definition. It does not refer to a capability of God, but to the grace of God that He ostensibly extends to those whom He elects. I do not deny that God has this hypothetical capability. Resistible grace, likewise, does not reference capability, it is a descriptive label, like irresistible grace. It simply means grace of God that can be resisted.

      Irresistible grace is only compatible with unlimited atonement if you make the dichotomy between effectual calling and common (I forget the technical term for this) calling. The argument would be that God extends the offer of salvation to everyone, but only enables some to accept it. The group not enabled to accept the offer of salvation (which is grace) are the "reprobate" whereas those enabled are the elect. Both receive the offer of salvation, according to you (per our discussion in PM when you said unlimited atonement and limited atonement are tantamount), but only some, via irresistible grace, can accept it. There are a few problems with this. First, such a dichotomy is not scriptural. There is nowhere where the Bible makes such a distinction. Instead, we read that "the grace of God which brings salvation has come to all men"—this same grace "teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions" (Titus 2:11-12). There is no distinction between the common grace and the irresistible, and I have found no such distinction anywhere.

      There also are a few verses that imply or state that God's grace is resisted in some way. Take 2 Corinthians 6:1: "we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain". What does that mean, if it does not mean people can receive God's grace, but do not act upon it? You may claim that the grace mentioned in that verse is not the same as "irresistible grace", but as I said, the distinction is biblically unwarranted. There is also an example of the Holy Spirit being resisted: Stephen says to his audience when delivering his last speech: "You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: you always resist the Holy Spirit!" (Acts 7:51).

      Furthermore, irresistible grace is essentially God forcing us to be saved. Although I know Calvinists tend to be dismissive of the argument that we cannot truly love God if it is not our choice, the argument actually has some weight, and I'd like to know what your response to it is. Love doesn't mean much if you force someone into it.

      And lastly, irresistible grace combined with unconditional election makes the claim that Jesus died for everyone somewhat meaningless. Why would Jesus die for people and "offer" them salvation if God was planning for them to go to hell and had not enabled them to accept salvation? Offering someone a gift that they cannot receive is not really offering them the gift at all. It would be like offering a blind person binoculars or reading glasses—a meaningless "gift" that is really no gift at all. Grace is unmerited favor, and you have said that grace is extended via the salvation offer to everyone. However, if the salvation offer is meaningless since it cannot be accepted, it is not actually favor at all, and thus is not even grace. This clearly contradicts the verses that say grace is extended to all through a meaningful offer of salvation.


      I think I'll just respond briefly to your points about Paul. The main thing to notice is that nowhere in the text does it say Paul could not resist the grace of God. He did not want to, however, and after such an experience who would? God planned for Paul to bring the Gospel to the Gentiles, so it certainly makes sense to invest in Him with such a convincing vision. But ultimately, I see no evidence that suggests Paul wasn't choosing to serve Jesus, just that God gave Him excellent reason to choose so. But yes, God also chose Paul: He chose everyone who has or will put their faith in Jesus Christ and repented of their sins. That is a real and meaningful choice that God made, and justifies us in saying "God chose me". Like I said in my post about conditional election, the problem is that you are focusing on individuals instead of groups. In this post you go to the extreme in this, suggesting a single example serve as part of the basis for a doctrine. However, we need to realize that God chose a group: those who would put their faith in Jesus Christ. That is His plan, that whosoever shall believe in Christ shall not perish but have everlasting life. God indirectly chose all of the individuals who would be in the group because He foreknew who would put their faith in Christ and be part of His plan. He also works everything together for the good of this group, and converting Paul was unequivocally for the good of all Christians.

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    • Obi the LEGO Fan wrote:

      LEGOSuperDKong wrote:

      Obi the LEGO Fan wrote:

      LEGOSuperDKong wrote:

      Obi the LEGO Fan wrote:

      LEGOSuperDKong wrote:

      Obi the LEGO Fan wrote:

      LEGOSuperDKong wrote: I don't have time to respond to everything so I'm just going to follow this, maybe pop in if it gets interesting. But here's a cool verse I found:

      Luke 10:13: "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had been performed in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes."

      This seems to go against the idea that one is predestined and thus saved based on how one would respond to God's grace. If the miracles had been performed there, then they would have been saved. And we know it is God's will for men to be saved. But God did not perform miracles there, or set the individuals who were in Tyre and Sidon (in our real history) in Christ's time. Instead, the miracles were performed in front of many individuals who did not believe. How come?

      My understanding of predestination—which is dynamic, so I won't always be defending the same points—is that God has predestined those who will choose Christ, not those who would possibly choose Christ. The view that God individually considers each person and sees whether or not they will believe in Him if shown the kind of proof you are discussing (miracles) doesn't seem feasible. Now, this isn't exactly a satisfactory answer of the "why". Why doesn't God show everyone exhaustive proof via miracles that He exists? I'm not really sure, but there are much worse questions to answer—like how can God truly love someone that He creates for the sole end of being tortured in hell for eternity—if the Calvinist view of predestination is correct. Please read my long post above for a defense of my view on conditional election, since you might get the wrong impression from my brief comment here.

      But those people would have been saved. Instead, they go to Hell, because God did not perform miracles in front of them. Instead He performed them where fewer people responded in faith. How is that any worse than the Calvinist position, where those God does not extend irresistible grace to suffer for their own sins?

      I have two responses, although not directly in answer to your question.

      1. As I said, I don't know why God didn't perform those miracles. As I said, I don't know why He doesn't prove His existence with miracles to everyone. However, it is notable that Christ is referring to a time before His first coming.

      2. Don't throw stones from a glass house. I just realized how the verses you quoted directly contradict the Calvinist doctrine. According to Calvinism, there is the elect and the non-elect, both groups having been decided and set in concrete before the beginning of the world. Therefore, it would be impossible for anyone to be saved unless God had made a different decision. This verse supports the idea, ironically, that salvation is dependent on our response to God, because it indicated that those people would have chosen to be saved if they had been presented with the miracles of Christ. Under Calvinism, they still wouldn't have been saved, because they are predestined to hell, and are incapable of responding to God's grace. If salvation was not dependent in some way on our response to God, then it would not be a true statement to say those people would have been saved if they had the option.

      Because of irresistible grace, all those who could be saved (the elect) are saved qua Calvinism. The only way for others to be saved would be for God to completely change them, not for them to simply see miracles.

      2. The verse in no way contradicts Calvinism. I already explained in my other post that faith, our response, is what saves us (we can only exercise faith thanks to God's grace). Now, when God set everything in stone, as you put it, He set when Christ would come. He did not come during the time of ancient Sidon and Tyre. Jesus' saying was completely true (He cannot speak a falsehood), but it ends up being hypothetical. In our historical reality, Jesus did not perform miracles in front of the people of Tyre and Sidon. From a Calvinist viewpoint, of course they would have been saved if God extended grace to them and showed them truth (through the miracles)! Calvinists believe in irresistible grace.

      You argument seems to be working on the assumption that God only performs miracles in front of those who will be saved. Jesus could have performed miracles in Tyre and Sidon without them having been elected to salvation; they could see the miracles and not be brought to Christ through irresistible grace. This is demonstrated by the unbelievers witnessing Christ's miracles and not coming to Him, instead ascribing His miracles to demons or sorcery. There is no evidence for the claim that if Jesus performed miracles there, then the people of Tyre and Sidon would have been part of the elect; you are assuming that. The verse itself only says one thing would be changed: that Jesus would have performed miracles in the presence of the people of Tyre and Sidon, and then they would have been saved. To say that the statement really meant "If God would have elected them and Jesus would have performed miracles in front of them" is merely a jump based on your Calvinist beliefs, not justified by the text itself.

      The fact is, if nothing changed but one thing, Jesus choosing to perform miracles in their presence, they would have repented and been saved. Nothing else is justified by the text itself. Your argument does not work unless Jesus choosing to perform miracles there necessarily entails God changing whom He elected and whom He did not elect. Since it does not, there is no substance to your claim.

      I am not working on that assumption; I do not know why you think so. I stated earlier that Jesus performed miracles in front of many who were not saved. The miracles themselves do not save; the miracles are a tool God can use to persuade those He has elected.

      Also, you and I both agree that people must be predestined to be saved. So, if they were to be saved, as Jesus said they would be, they would have had to be elected. The verse implies that by simply mentioning that they would have been saved. So, if they would have been saved at all, they would to have had to be elected, whether you believe that they were elected because of their own faith or by God.

      Well, I guess I'm not really sure what your original argument was. It had lots of assertions and some things that were apparently conclusions. The argument I thought you were making was that if Jesus had performed miracles in Sidon and Tyre, then some (all? The verse seems to indicate that the whole city would repent, but this is probably a figure of speech) of the people in Sidon and Tyre would have been part of the elect. This argument does assume that where Jesus performs miracles there are some or all elect. Maybe you could restate your original argument in clearer terms, so that I can respond to it better.

      That argument is (I believe) the argument I was making. It does assume that where Jesus performs miracles there are some or all elect, but that is because in both Calvinist and Arminian views one must be "elect" to be saved, and Jesus says the people would be saved. Hence the people would have been elect.

      Which part of the argument is unclear? Point it out and I may be able to explain it better. :)

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  • I will most likely not be here for tomorrow's study. Hope it goes well! Shadow

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