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Is God a Monster?

Is God a Monster?

Postby Biblegate » Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:52 pm

In his nine-part lecture series entitled, "God's Sovereignty and Man's Salvation," Steve Gregg thoroughly explores the differences between Calvinism and non-Calvinism. Here's a highlight from his concluding lecture, "What Does it Matter?"

https://youtu.be/PfHj3hQE6BM
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Re: Is God a Monster?

Postby remade » Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:40 pm

I'll be honest and say I don't know where I land. I wake up day to day, sometimes an Arminian (as Arminius taught it, holding to total depravity, as well as other tenants that most Calvinist claim as their own, and most Arminians reject by way of seeing it comes from Calvinists - see Robert. E. Picirilli's Grace, Faith, and Free Will --- in other words, probably more Calvinist than some Arminians think), and then other days I can't help but note in the the basic, plain, jane reading of Scripture what I perceive to be shades of Calvinism (contrary to the beginning words of Gregg's video here).

Let me be clear, the most persuasive steps that I've taken towards Calvinism comes from what I read in Scripture - a plain reading in Scripture, and not a reading of Scripture that says, "Oh, there's a mystery behind these words that Calvinists explain very well." I really don't know where that comes from on part of Gregg, not doubting that it nevertheless exists, but as for me and my interactions with Calvinism, I come to it primarily out of obedience to Scripture.

One other thing that I find to be wanting in Gregg's explanation, is near the end of this video and that is his saying that the logical end of a Calvinistic God is a monstrous God that's less loving and kind than some "good Christians."

His point?

The logical end of Arminianism as taught today (and not by Arminius) could lead to some other wacky misconceptions, such as God who can't deliver, open theism and the such.

I can hear the shuffling of Arminians getting their defenses ready - and if that is the case, the Arminian are getting their defenses out, it proves the point I want to make here. My point? Arminians will ALWAYS look at Calvinists and say, "I can't believe that you subscribe to this teaching HERE, when can't you see what it would turn into THERE?" (The logical ends). It goes both ways.

Can't we just observe, and affirm that for every Joe Calvinist who may have "logical inconsistencies," as Gregg calls it, so does Joe Arminian who also has logical inconsistencies are both affirming Scripture as they can see it?

What bothers me as an Arminian is when Jesus says things like, "And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day," (John 6:39) When Arminians ILLOGICALLY hold to that the Father is drawing ALL people to Jesus (John 6:44; 12:32) what then, are we to believe in universalism, because if we go by verse 39, JESUS WILL NOT FAIL when he raises ALL that the Father sends him. Not so, says the Arminian, inconsistently, if they want to say that John 6:39 and John 12:32 are referring to ALL (every human being) people. Either God saves ALL who come to Jesus (per 6:39) or he saves all the elect per 6:44 (compared with 6:64, 65). And if we subscribe to "all the elect," we must then admit that God is not drawing all (every single person) to Jesus.

I'm just pointing out what appear to be illogical inconsistencies that permeate BOTH sides. I will concede that the logical ENDS of certain theologies can lead to monstrous conceptions of God. Both of these soteriologies are so. You might have a good Arminian argument ready for my John 6 conundrum to which then I will whip out my Calvinist explanation, and we will be chucking old dead grenades back and forth to one another going nowhere because we're believing the worst about each side, and taking out our Arminian spyglass or Calvinist spyglass to read our Bibles and compare notes.

This is probably why the average Arminian doesn't believe in universalism or open theism (logical ENDS), and the average Calvinist wouldn't identify themselves with Westboro Baptist, but with grace and reason, stick to milder - no matter how logically inconsistent - forms of their said soteriology.

Gregg said in this video that he's not routinely attacking and slamming theologies he disagrees with, but he has to say it how it is.

I'm afraid that people who don't understand the "other side" of orthodox theologies (such as soteriology) all too often paint bad, misrepresentative caricatures of theologies they don't understand (while in their mind, understand more then they want to and come away with a sour taste in their mouth), and in doing so, adds nothing to the conversation that is helpful.

I could take my pick of what theology I disagree with, and find all the logical inconstancies, and places where I deem them to be harmful rather than helpful, but all it does is usually make practitioners of said theological frameworks put their walls up and defend it with gusto. What help is that?

PS - The Calvinst would probably say, "No, God is not a monster. Human beings are monsters. God is beyond loving to redeem them from their monstrosities, no matter who He picks to redeem. All deserve hell, any one redeemed is beyond gracious."
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Re: Is God a Monster?

Postby mattrose » Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:24 am

What's strange about your post is that you seem to be calling us toward a more friendly way of looking at our Calvinist or Arminian brothers and sisters.

Yet, simultaneously, you refer to open theists as holding to 'wacky misconceptions'. So, in the end, you feel free to call open theists wacky... but nobody is allowed to suggest that calvinism makes God out to be a monster.

I'm forever baffled by how those who hold a different position on a subject not clearly addressed in Scripture (whether God exists 'outside' of time or not), should be labeled in such a way.

I'm also not sure what your 'ideal' would be?

Should we STOP trying to figure out the truth of the matter simply because it's proven to be hard and is taking a long time? Should we stop trying to make good arguments because arguments are uncomfortable? Should we be paralyzed by the inaccessibility of certainty?

I appreciate part of your point (that we all need to approach these subjects humbly), but I think much of your post has more potential to stifle the search for truth than help us find it. I've never been a big fan of the 'this debate has been around a while so let's just stop debating it' point.

Just my 2 cents.
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Re: Is God a Monster?

Postby steve » Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:46 pm

Hi Remade,

Thanks for your response.

You wrote:
One other thing that I find to be wanting in Gregg's explanation, is near the end of this video and that is his saying that the logical end of a Calvinistic God is a monstrous God that's less loving and kind than some "good Christians."

His point?


My point was that very few “good Christians” (in fact, probably, not many "bad Christians" or even pagans), if given the opportunity to save every drowning passenger of a sunken ship, would choose to save only a minority of them, and leave the rest to drown. Have you ever met a person who would do this?

We cannot say, “Well, maybe there is a limit to how many drowning people will fit on the rescuing vessel.” Only a person who doubts God’s sovereignty would say that God can’t save as many people as He may desire to save. In Calvinism, the only reason that God leaves some people unsaved is that He does not choose to save them. If a human being did such a thing, no one would dream of calling him “loving,” or “good,” and no one would have any reservations about calling him a monster. Does that clarify my point?

Again, the Calvinist gains no relief from the implications of his theology by protesting, “But God is not obligated to save anyone at all!” True, but neither is the man in the vessel who finds people drowning and refuses to save them.

If I see five people freezing to death at a freeway onramp, and I have five seats available in my car, I have the right to pass them all by, or to invite one, two or all three into my car. It is entirely my choice, and I am not even under legal obligation to stop my car for any of them. However, if I were to exercise this right by stopping and allowing two people into the car, while leaving the other three to freeze to death (there being no perceptible difference between any one hitchhiker and any of the others), while being well within my rights, I would never be regarded as a generous, loving or good person.

The logical end of Arminianism as taught today (and not by Arminius) could lead to some other wacky misconceptions, such as God who can't deliver...


I have never heard any Christian espouse belief in a God who cannot deliver. I doubt that this would be a logical inference from any form of Arminianism. Arminianism teaches that God will not deliver those who refuse His offer of deliverance, but this is no weakness in God.

Calvinism differs only in that it says God will save some who are refusing to be delivered—simply by employing His “irresistible grace” which changes their mind against their will. But if He can do that with a few, He could clearly do that with all. To say that He is not obligated to do so is irrelevant to the question of whether He is monstrous or gracious.

I know Calvinists well enough to know that they will object to my characterizing God as changing people’s minds against their will. "God makes them willing!" This objection only demonstrates the lack of clear thinking on the part of the objector. In Calvinist theology, even the elect are hostile toward God (unwilling to be saved), refusing His overtures of grace—until He unilaterally and supernaturally regenerates and changes their mind. Right up the moment that He does this, they are stubbornly resisting Him, according to “total depravity”—just like everyone else.

This means that God finds the whole human race incorrigibly hostile toward Him, but chooses a small percentage, whom He unilaterally changes, despite the fact that they did not desire this any more than did anyone else. Calvinists insist that, until God regenerates them, there exists no factor in the elect that distinguishes them from the reprobate. This means that they have no more willingness to be regenerated than do the reprobate, but God changes them against their will.

Now, if God does this, it’s fine with me, but the point remains that a God who does this for some would be equally capable of doing the same for all. If He does not do so, it can only be that His preference is to see most of the shipwreck victims (whom He might have saved, had He wished) drown miserably.

Can't we just observe, and affirm that for every Joe Calvinist who may have "logical inconsistencies," as Gregg calls it, so does Joe Arminian who also has logical inconsistencies are both affirming Scripture as they can see it?


I, for one, cannot acknowledge that Arminianism involves necessary inconsistencies in logic nor exegesis. If it did, I could not affirm it. If two opposing systems equally involve illogical defenses, then I would simply remain neutral. As a responsible thinker, I could not just flip a coin and say, “Okay, it’s ‘heads’, so I have to accept this illogical system instead of the illogical system I would have been obligated to embrace had it turned up ‘tails’.”

I failed to see the conundrum that you presented, concerning John 6 as having any damaging impact upon the Arminian view. When Jesus says that it is the will of the Father that Jesus not lose any of those given to Him, Arminians fully agree. We also would say that God’s will is not always done in people’s live (see Luke 7:30/ Matt.23:37/ Ezek.33:11), and that Jesus actually did lose one of those whom the Father gave Him (John 17:12).

I'm just pointing out what appear to be illogical inconsistencies that permeate BOTH sides. I will concede that the logical ENDS of certain theologies can lead to monstrous conceptions of God. Both of these soteriologies are so


Not so. I am not aware of any Arminian belief that is subject to this criticism, though I would be open to hearing an example of one..

we're believing the worst about each side, and taking out our Arminian spyglass or Calvinist spyglass to read our Bibles and compare notes


Perhaps this is what you are doing (you just said that you are), but why would this be necessary? Only if we are more committed to an ideology than to truth would we insist upon reading scripture through such a lens. I am not prepared to do this.

If you listen to the whole lecture series from which the above clip was excerpted, you will find that I have examined every relevant text through both sets of glasses, in order to see which interpretation is exegetically derived, and which is not.

This is probably why the average Arminian doesn't believe in universalism or open theism (logical ENDS), and the average Calvinist wouldn't identify themselves with Westboro Baptist, but with grace and reason, stick to milder - no matter how logically inconsistent - forms of their said soteriology.


I can't answer for the average Arminian, but it seems to me that, if the logical consistency of scripture seemed to point favorably toward universalism, there is no reason why an Arminian would be obliged to reject it. Why not simply follow the scriptural teaching without putting on artificial blinders, eliminating prior to investigation certain unacceptable outcomes that we label as “isms”?

I'm afraid that people who don't understand the "other side" of orthodox theologies (such as soteriology) all too often paint bad, misrepresentative caricatures of theologies they don't understand (while in their mind, understand more then they want to and come away with a sour taste in their mouth), and in doing so, adds nothing to the conversation that is helpful.


I am sure that this is true, but you have limited the statement to cases of people who dislike a view only because they do not understand it. This is not applicable here. If I am misunderstanding Calvinism and its implications, the reason can only be either that I am stupid or that the most well-respected Calvinist authorities (whom I have read, and in many cases, debated) have not been able to explain what the view teaches so that a man of average intelligence can understand it. If even they can’t explain it, then might we reasonably assume that even they don’t understand it?

If true Calvinism actually refers to a system that no one can adequately explain, then it becomes a useless paradigm, explaining nothing. Calvinists often dodge Arminians’ unanswerable objections by saying, “You simply misunderstand the view.” If so, then why doesn't someone explain it clearly for us all? Apparently, Calvin, Sproul, Piper, MacArthur, Horton, White, Wilson, and a host of other Calvinists have been unable to do so. I think, if the system is understandable, then I am among those who have had adequate occasion to understand it. It seems that the Calvinist just can’t imagine that his teachers have been mistaken, so he assumes that any rejection of the system must be due to misunderstanding of it.

I think this suggestion—i.e., that Arminian objections spring from a misunderstanding of Calvinism—is cloaking the fact that either the Calvinist himself doesn’t understand the logic of his own system, or else he does, and is embarrassed by its implications.
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Re: Is God a Monster?

Postby remade » Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:02 pm

mattrose wrote:What's strange about your post is that you seem to be calling us toward a more friendly way of looking at our Calvinist or Arminian brothers and sisters.

Yet, simultaneously, you refer to open theists as holding to 'wacky misconceptions'. So, in the end, you feel free to call open theists wacky... but nobody is allowed to suggest that calvinism makes God out to be a monster.

I'm forever baffled by how those who hold a different position on a subject not clearly addressed in Scripture (whether God exists 'outside' of time or not), should be labeled in such a way.

I'm also not sure what your 'ideal' would be?

Should we STOP trying to figure out the truth of the matter simply because it's proven to be hard and is taking a long time? Should we stop trying to make good arguments because arguments are uncomfortable? Should we be paralyzed by the inaccessibility of certainty?

I appreciate part of your point (that we all need to approach these subjects humbly), but I think much of your post has more potential to stifle the search for truth than help us find it. I've never been a big fan of the 'this debate has been around a while so let's just stop debating it' point.

Just my 2 cents.


Hi Matt -

You called me out on some good things there. Thank-you brother.

To be succinct, I do understand that understanding soteriology is a "search for certainty of truth." In my own research on soteriology, I have greatly grown and appreciated how God has used it to humble me, and mature me in my faith and I am grateful for it.

If I can try and help myself from writing endless paragraphs, I think the point I was trying to make is:

+ Teachings on soteriology that not only prove one's points, but also build straw man arguments in other points that said teacher does not believe (like me and my reference to open theism; even in my sin I prove my point ;) ) are not helpful.

+ I appreciate Gregg's teachings, and learn a lot from them. I appreciate John Piper's teachings, I appreciate Robert Pircilli's teachings. I personally don't appreciate when Gregg teaches us what Calvinists believe in his point of view, I don't appreciate when Piper teaches what Arminians believe in his point of view. I love Gregg, and from the posts I've read from you I love you and believe that you love Jesus and seek the furthering of His Kingdom. I guess my main objection is that when we say, "How dare those Calvinists and their tyrant gods," and again - proving my own case, the human propensity to say, "How dare those wacky open theists," are people seeking for knowledge that puffs up, or love that edifies - to use the scriptural quote in the top-right hand side of your screen right now.

That was my main beef.

One other thing, is that when my soteriology or anyone's soteriology and teaching on said matters takes too much time from Gospel proclamation, that is inviting people to come to Jesus, it becomes problematic.

One thing I liked about Mark Driscoll before he fell from grace (to use an Arminian term to describe a Calvinst), is that though he believed(s) in Reformed soteriology, he limited his espousal of those doctrines to far and few between, and really preached like an Arminian.

Is there a place - even behind closed doors and at meetings for Christians to learn soteriology (and not be challenged with the Gospel) - such as teaching forums and videos - to teach soteriology? Of course there is. But is there ever a place to defame characteristically the beliefs that Christians have held at least since the Reformation, if not since Augustine, and if Cavlinists are anywhere near right - held by Jesus, John and Paul - I don't think I'm willing to state that it's even okay to suggest that Calvinists serve a monstrous god.

But you called me out for my hypocrisy if Open Theists are true.

All three in our topic are - from what I understand - professing salvation through Christ by means of His grace and our faith. Let's love each other from there, and debate humbly, build up in love, and restrain from making assumption or objections in that way.

Okay, I wrote paragraphs anyways. Sorry.

Does this all make sense?
Last edited by remade on Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Is God a Monster?

Postby remade » Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:46 pm

Hi Steve -

Good to hear from you...

I will merely respond to two things you said:

I failed to see the conundrum that you presented, concerning John 6 as having any damaging impact upon the Arminian view. When Jesus says that it is the will of the Father that Jesus not lose any of those given to Him, Arminians fully agree. We also would say that God’s will is not always done in people’s live (see Luke 7:30/ Matt.23:37), and that Jesus actually did lose one of those whom the Father gave Him (John 17:12)


I would assume that most Calvinists would see John 17:12, "While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled," denotes no failure or no loss on Jesus's part, but rather it was a fulfillment of Scripture, as Jesus stated.

If I look at:

John 6:37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.

6:39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.

6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.

6:64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) 65 And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

Especially verses 64-65 appear to me that Jesus is saying, "Here's why Judas doesn't believe. He wasn't drawn." Why would Jesus refer to back to verse 44, if He's not saying, "Judas wasn't drawn," and if Judas wasn't drawn He wasn't given (v37), because if Judas was given or draw, Jesus would never cast out but raise him up on the last day.

Jesus, elsewhere in John talking to unbelieving pharisees that it is precisely because Jesus tells the truth that people do not believe Him. Why? Because they are not of God.

JOHN 8:45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. 46 Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? 47 Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”


Jesus the says the reason nonbelievers do not hear them is precisely because they are not of God, not because Jesus has failed, or the message has failed, or even because God has failed.

Judas is not part of the sheep. Jesus says in

John 10:25-29 "25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand."


Again, Jesus places the reasoning of unbelief not on a failure the message, or on God, but states matter of fact, "You are not among my sheep." Who are Jesus's Sheep, yes sheep who hear, know, and follow "faith," but even a more foundational designation who are sheep, is the ones who the Father has given them to Jesus (verse 29). And of the sheep that have been given to Jesus, are ones that will never be snatched out of the Father's hand (v 26,29).

So it seems, Judas was not given or drawn to Jesus (John 6:37,39,44,64-65),is not of God (8:47), is not a sheep that was given to Jesus by God (10:25-29), so that Scripture might be fulfilled (John 17:12; see also Mark 14:21); because the fact remains Judas could not believe, (See John 12:37-40)

I bring all this up, again, knowing, assuming that you have good responses and I'll probably give a listen to your series one day, as I have listened to both sides through many teachers and many books along with my Bible reading.

I just hope that I have demonstrated, as you are probably well aware, that unlike what your video implied, I have exegeted my view of Judas in light of Scripture, not in light of a preconviced theology I've put into Scripture. You might say, "No, it's rather obvious that you've put in Calvinism." And I might respond, with your words with mine in brackets to make your point again:

If the logical consistency of scripture seems to point favorably toward [Calvinism], is there any reason why an Arminian [like me, I grew up Arminian, and to this day, though I can obviously defend like a Calvinist, would be hard pressed to truly commit myself to any 'ism'] would be obliged to reject it? Why not simply follow the scriptural teaching without putting on the blinders of eliminating from the beginning certain unacceptable outcomes that we label as “isms”?


And I must say humbly, like most Arminian-Calvinist converts, I've been dealing with this personally for many years, and am only moving towards one or the other primarily by Scripture. It is because of Scripture I see it through Calvinist lens. And to use your words again, for me and my texts in brackets:

I, for one, cannot acknowledge that [Calvinism] involves necessary inconsistencies in logic nor exegesis. If it did, I could not affirm it. If two opposing systems equally involve illogical defenses, then I would simply remain neutral. As a responsible thinker, I could not just flip a coin and say, “Okay, it’s ‘heads’, so I have to accept this illogical system instead of the illogical system I would have been obligated to embrace had it turned up ‘tails’.”


All I was saying in my original post, is that you've pointed out illogical consistencies in a system that you disagree with because of your commitment to truth. I do not find it by happenstance that for thousands of years, people holding Arminian view points have found illogical consistencies in Calvinism and thus have chosen Arminianism, meanwhile the frozen chosen have found what they think to be illogical consistencies in Arminianism, so they've rest in God's foreordaining them to Calvinism (like what I did there? ;) )

Now you might say, "Wait, go back, listen to my lecture, did you not see, understand, or accept the plain-jane inconsistencies I've pointed out?" And I'm just saying, let's not be surprised if people don't view it your way or see the illogic that you see, because lo and behold, you're not the first Arminian to point out what you deem as illogical consistencies that you can't back down on, because for you to see it another way, is to ignore what you deem as truth. Just as, I'm sure I'm not the only 'Calvinist' to disagree with Arminian exegesis of passages in John, and to do so, would to back off on what Calvinists deem as truth. Does this make sense?

I think we're coming to the text believing that we are being faithful to true, faithful exegesis. I for one, am okay of a Christian body in Christ that lives in the tension of not landing on Calvinism or Arminianism, because using the Wesleyan quadrilateral, I have experienced faithful Gospel ministry that reveres God and loves all of humanity from both sides. Reason then tells me to say, "okay, God must be okay with saved persons from both sides, if He's willing to graciously use both sets of sinning saints purified by Jesus to do His work;" Scripture would then tell me to not let divisions in the church separate the brethren, but to in love and grace discuss these things, while tradition tells me that though idiots like Calvin still persecuted Christians who didn't believe in him, I can look to other Calvinists who did great Gospel work with a relatively unblemished character (Spurgeon, current day teachers you've listed off) and played well with others.

Bottom line: the fact that many Calvinists have defended Calvinism because they've felt it to be the logical, true, and correct exegetically, and Arminians can say the same thing tells me that both of them find truth and logical sense in their systems for some reason (and I'll include just an closet term of any other soteriology that I'm not listing in case others are reading this). I 100% would affirm that some of them must obviously be wrong, and one must obviously be right. But there has to be some truth in the Calvinist assertion of Isaiah 55:8 and Deut 29:29.... and I'm willing to bet, since there has been no UNIVERSAL agreement in the Christian community that I can tell about the finite details of soteriology except for the big stuff including God's grace, faith on part of the believer, Jesus as the Savior, that some of those finite, hard-to-grasp things (how a believer is brought to faith, why some reject the Gospel, etc) are left into the mystery of God.

And just so you're aware, I know you might disagree with some of my points here, and would love to point out how Arminianism is the most logical, fact-saturated, exegetically correct system and here's why. I understand that you and many Arminians, and many Calvinists, (and and many other soteriological systems) have their staunch defenders, and here's the truth they see, and here's the logical consistencies, and if I just heard it all I could 100% get on board with it and join them in the crowd of truth, because one of those "isms" are the "truth."

All I'm saying is that I can't ignore it when you come to the table with your 100% sold out, no question, belief in Arminianism, and still a host of others come to the table with the same conviction of truth. There's something going on there. They can't all be right. But in their own minds, none of them are wrong. I'm okay with that tension as long they all profess the big things (Jesus as Savior, faith that saves, grace that provides, etc.)

Does this all make sense?
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Re: Is God a Monster?

Postby remade » Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:13 pm

Steve, you also said, and I've been chewing on this all day:

My point was that very few “good Christians” (in fact, probably, not many "bad Christians" or even pagans), if given the opportunity to save every drowning passenger of a sunken ship, would choose to save only a minority of them, and leave the rest to drown. Have you ever met a person who would do this?

We cannot say, “Well, maybe there is a limit to how many drowning people will fit on the rescuing vessel.” Only a person who doubts God’s sovereignty would say that God can’t save as many people as He may desire to save. In Calvinism, the only reason that God leaves some people unsaved is that He does not choose to save them. If a human being did such a thing, no one would dream of calling him “loving,” or “good,” and no one would have any reservations about calling him a monster. Does that clarify my point?


I've heard these arguments before. What really got me as a "Questioning Arminian," is the Biblical symbols of salvation, instead of these logical (definitely really profound, and worthy re-stating so I'm not picking on you) arguments often used of arguing Arminians.

Do we find fault with God to choose Israel instead of any other ancient civilizations? Have we ever questioned God, "How come you only chose Israel to reveal Your Law, and not Egypt, and Ancient India as well, and the Natives of America?"

Do we find fault when we are born with God, "having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place," (Acts 17:26, yes Calvinists believe verse 27 too). Do we question why we didn't have more brothers and sisters and find fault with Him if he didn't give birth to more through our parents? Why should we question when we are reborn, and others aren't?

Do we find fault with God with the bride He chose? When we expect to be able to choose our own brides? Do other potential brides find fault with us when we chose who we wanted and not them? (Yes, in some situations, but that doesn't mean the angry rejected could've-been brides have any legal, or righteous grounds to be thus so).

Do we find fault with God when He gives us life to our dead bodies, wondering why didn't He didn't raise other dead bodies? When we were all dead to begin with, and didn't beckon Him in the first place to raise any of us, (being dead and all)?

I don't mean to be sarcastic, or presumptuous. I think you know that Calvinists believe whole heartedly:

Everyone who wants to be saved, will be saved. (By definition, that's an elect person.)

Everyone who doesn't want to be saved, and ultimately reject God, will not be saved and ultimately reject God.

The Gospel call (the Calvinist will say) is entirely universal. But just as God's first covenant people "Had a remnant that God preserved," (2 King 19:31) (thereby revealing that not all of Israel was saved), so too out of the universal call, is a remnant preserved by God. Yes, I know, the Arminian will say, yes, "those who truly believed," and the Calvinist responds, "Because God preserved them" and we go around and around. :P

Just what I was thinking.

God bless and have a great day
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Re: Is God a Monster?

Postby robbyyoung » Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:38 am

Hello All,

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Eph 2:8-9, ESV)

If the Father is responsible for making the spiritually dead Ephesians alive, His “gift” would encompass: (a) the ability to respond; (b) believing faith; (c) unmerited grace/mercy; and (d) salvation. IMO, Paul’s excerpt is pretty clear concerning how one is resuscitated to respond to spiritual life, especially during the apostolic ministry of the 1st century. Therefore, without straying from the genesis of who (God) initiates salvation, I believe we should explore if the Father extends His “gift” to all of mankind, specifically relating to past and future ages—yes ages (Eph 2:7).

So, which NT Writer teaches that the Father’s “gift” is and was given to all of mankind? Remember, without this first act, there is no salvation and spiritual death remains. If one can prove that Yeshua or any other NT inspired prophet/writer taught and believed this to be so, then Calvinistic fervor is in jeopardy, if not, Calvinism will persist and remain tenable.

God Bless.
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Re: Is God a Monster?

Postby remade » Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:42 pm

So, which NT Writer teaches that the Father’s “gift” is and was given to all of mankind?


Hi Robbyyoung -

I went to a well-known Wesleyan-Arminian church denomination to look up their Scriptural proof texts on prevenient grace. None of them seemed satisfactory. So I went to the good, ol', reliable trusted resource on all things Biblical and theological: wikipedia. Under their article on prevenient grace, they listed apparently John Wesley's verses for Prevenient Grace.

A lot of them (including the John 6 texts) were used which - as I was discussing with another brother earlier this week - it's fascinating that often times people supporting opposing (or at least controversially differentiating views) will use the same texts to support their difference stances.

One that might be used, is that Titus 2:11 says "For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people." However, we come back to the main gist of the argument, I think, Calvinists will say, "Yeah it appeared for all people. It was only effective for the elect." And Arminians will say, "It's effective for all people, sadly those who reject God freely don't receive it though."

Of course there are a lot of "Whosever believes," verses in the Gospel of John (John 3:14-18; John 11:25-26, to name a few), which would imply that Jesus makes room for a universal salvation. Calvinists must believe that Jesus is either lying (but will not admit that, rather they'll use the terminology of secret will and revealed will), because why would I - if I were God (and thank Him I'm not) say to someone I 100% know who will reject because I decreed it thus so in ages past, "If you believe, you can be saved." To make me look good to other people whom I decreed ages past that WILL be saved?

So I see why this is such a debate. :P
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
- II CORINTHIANS 5:21 ESV
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Re: Is God a Monster?

Postby steve » Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:34 pm

Hi remade,

I suggest, if you would like my answers to your questions about John 6, that you listen to my lectures on that chapter, or else my lectures on Calvinism, in which those verses are treated. I do not have time to go into them thoroughly here. Suffice it to say that none of those verses provide the specific claims in them that the Calvinist is hoping to find there.

As for Judas not being "drawn" to Christ, I thought that Calvinists believed that those who are "drawn" and those who are "given" to Christ were the same group. Judas was among the latter, according to John 17:12.

The Pharisees were indeed not God's sheep, because they did not fit the description: "My sheep hear my voice...and they follow me" (John 10:27). This was their choice. Those who were given to Christ to be His sheep were the same people who were God's faithful ones before they encountered Christ (John 17:6).

We do not judge God to be a monster for choosing Israel above other nations, because He did so with the mind of saving all nations through them. God never chose the Jews to be the only saved people, but He chose them to be the instrument through whom all the nations of the earth would be blessed. His desire to save and bless all the nations was stated from the beginning (Gen.12:3). Nothing remotely parallel here to Calvinism's view that God ordained most of mankind to burn in hell without any chance of redemption.

You gave examples of God choosing to bless some individuals more than others, as if this is parallel to the suggestion that God chose to save a few from hell, but did not care to save the others. I think Calvinists do not think very clearly about their doctrine of hell and its implications. Otherwise they would not make such infinitely disproportionate comparisons between God's choice in temporal matters and His choice in eternal ones.
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