Brother Ted takes down determinism Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading... Related
THE OLD CALVINIST JOKE – IS THERE EVIDENCE ITS TRUE?
Pretty much everyone who knows anything about John Calvin’s Institutes of square-circles and married-bachelors – is familiar with this famous old joke. “The scripture says God made man in his image. And John Calvin decided to return the favor”
What makes jokes funny – is the degree to which the audience knows them to be true.
Lets take a look at some possible evidence that may show the degree to which this old joke can be true.
We know that the philosophy of Theological Determinism is considered the most sacred of all Canon to the devout Calvinist. Taking at face-value any Bible verse that does not affirm the sacred doctrine is rejected.
In dialogs with Calvinists, we can easily observe how they make fast detours around logic with a reliance upon double-speak.
If one keeps abreast of philosophy one knows Theological Determinism is classified a belief system impossible to live-out in the real world.
Dr. William Lane Craig explains:
“A determinist cannot live consistently as though everything he thinks and does is causally determined—especially his choice to believe that determinism is true! Thinking that you’re determined to believe that everything you believe is determined produces a kind of vertigo. Nobody can live as though all that he thinks and does is determined by causes outside himself. Even determinists recognize that [they] have to act “AS-IF” [they] have free will – and so weigh [their] options and decide on what course of action to take, EVEN THOUGH at the end of the day [they believe they are] determined to take the choices [they] do. Determinism is thus an unliveable view.” – #564 Calvinism and the Unliveability of Determinism
Calvin himself was keenly aware of what Dr. William Lane Craig describes. That is why he crafted specific instructions for his disciples: – quote “Go about your office AS-IF NOTHING IS DETERMINED IN ANY PART”.
Now if our joke is true – then we’ll find Calvin’s god dutifully following Calvin’s instructions!
Lets look at some examples of Calvin’s god doing this – per the testimony of current Calvinists.
According to one Calvinist, Calvin’s god (at the foundation of the world) decrees X will come to pass. He believes his decree is immutable and infallible and thus believes X WILL come to pass infallibly. He thus believes no Alternative of X will come to pass. But then incredibly – according to this Calvinist, X does NOT in fact come to pass! But an ALTERNATIVE of X comes to pass instead of X!
OOPS!…..how did Calvin’s god get that one wrong?!?
Well it makes perfect sense – if he was just dutifully following Calvin’s instructions.
He was simply going about his office AS-IF he didn’t determine what he actually determined!
Just as Calvin instructed him to do!
Another Calvinist insists that Calvin’s god “Makes an active decision NOT TO STOP or RESTRAIN things he decrees to infallibly come to pass”. Here like before, Calvin’s god (at the foundation of the world) believes he determined X to infallibly come to pass. But then incredibly he appears to be following Calvin’s instructions again! He treats what he determined to exist infallibly AS-IF it weren’t so determined.
So according to current Calvinist testimony, Calvin’s god does appear to go about his office AS-IF he does NOT determine what he determines.
Well – John Calvin isn’t alive any more, so he can’t be returning the favor making a god out of his own image. But it sure looks like current Calvinists have picked up where Calvin left off! :-]
Even though I tend to agree with Ted is saying and oppose Calvinism as passionately as he does in this talk, I hear from Ted the same kind of attitude that I have heard from James White and other dogmatic Calvinists. The attitude that seems to say “you are all idiots and heretics if you disagree with me”. We must find a way to be passionate without that sort of thing. We must overcome evil with good. That doesn’t mean we can’t be passionate and clear. We should be. But there are so many Calvinists who simply accept these ideas as paradoxes and live like Open Theists, and talk about God as if he is a God of Love. It frustrates me too that they can’t see how damaging some of these doctrines are, but these are our brothers and sisters and we should treat them as such.