Thursday, January 28, 2010

Calvinism is evil, but calling God unjust is just fine

DavidW can't stop digging his own grave. It's sad to watch, actually, and I mean that. I am seriously sad for him.

Me: So the lawbreaking of the forgiven is not punished?

DavidW: No. I don't mean to get personal at all, as I don't like personal and familial references in arguments and debates, so excuse me please: if your son dropped a glass of milk on the floor and then said he's sorry and started to wipe it up -- would you spank him for it? Of course not. "If you who are evil give good gifts to your children..." -- well, you know the rest.

Me: Is God, then, unjust?

DavidW: Yes, essentially. And are you unjust not to spank the son who drops the milk even though he's apologized and started to wipe it up? God is not a slave to his own nature. Above all, he is merciful. One of the Fathers, I can't remember which, said it very well once. We should never pray for God's justice, he said, as God's justice is our condemnation -- we should continually pray and hope for his unjustness.

Me: Does He just ignore the law, broken by the sinner?

DavidW: Yes -- that would be the definition of "forgiven." If a bank forgives your debt are you still obligated to pay them something? If you forgive your neighbor for talking bad to you -- do you still harbor hostility or require that he exact some kind of penance or pay some debt? Of course not.
You've said that the Orthodox don't take sin seriously -- I think the problem is that Calvinists don't take God's mercy and lovingkindness seriously. In fact, you don't take God seriously. He says he forgives -- you say he still requires a debt to be paid; the two statements stand in contradiction. You make God a liar yet again. (source, emph mine)

So apparently God just ignores His holy, righteous law whenever He wants to.
Apparently sinning against God's law is like spilling a glass of milk and then starting to wipe it up.
Apparently the sinner, even though the Bible says numerous times that he is God's enemy, is actually a son.
Apparently God can change His nature when He wants to.
Gotcha.
You know who he sounds exactly like? The mostly-secularised N African Muslims with whom I shared the Gospel of grace this summer. I mean exactly like them, no difference, except I couldn't get many of them to admit that God is unjust. They just kind of ignored the contradiction.

See, this is when the substitutionary atonement would come in mighty handy for him, but he just can't bear to admit to himself or anyone else the serious problem here.

43 comments:

Joel said...

I am an unapologetic Calvinist as you know; five points, or maybe even six for good measure. But I'm not sure there isn't at least a species of injustice, at least as we normally would define the term, embedded in the Atonement. Don't you think? I mean, if justice is giving everybody his deserts, then that certainly isn't what happened on Calvary. I'm not denying that God's justice is impeccable - if he fails in any virtue we have a lamentable deity - but at least it gets a little messy.

I know, I know - imputation of sin and righteousness, vicarious punishment and scapegoats and all that sort of thing. All I'm saying is that the story is more complicated than Aesop.

NAL said...

Joel:

All I'm saying is that the story is more complicated than Aesop.

But no less a fairy tale.

I'm not denying that God's justice is impeccable ...

On what basis do you make the value judgement of impeccability?

Chris said...

The end result for DavidW in these comments is a very loose view of sin and a low view of God.

Sin is not a child accidentally spilling a glass of milk and then wanting to clean it up, but rather a child looking at his father and intentionally throwing the glass of milk on the floor out of defiance and then wanting to clean it up only when his father is about to bring out his just punishment.

Rhology said...

Chris,
Yep.


Joel,
I think that speaking of the Atonement as unjust is to engage in exercises of popular piety that hasn't been thought thru well.
In Christ, ALL the just punishment for breaking the just law is carried out.
The law is preserved in its sanctity and severity - it cost Christ His very life!
Christ volunteered from the foundation of the world to be the sacrifice for wrath, the ransom for sinners. If He'd been forced or guilted into it somehow, that would be diff, but it's not the case.
Agree?

NAL said...

Chris:

The end result for DavidW in these comments is a very loose view of sin and a low view of God.

But a high view of God is acceptable? What basis do you have to hold God in a high view? On what do you determine that God is worthy of such a value judgement, either good or bad?

Lucian said...

This is a contradiction in terms: God's righteousness and holiness consist in the things expressed by Christ in the Sermon on the Mount of Olives in Matthew 5:43-48


¶Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.


It was this well-known Bible-passage, along with the Parable of the Prodigal, that made me ponder years before I even read Kalomiros for the first time. (I had NO idea that there were alternative views of the Atonement back then).

Rhology said...

So Lucian, do you love your neighbor? All the time? If not, give me an argument why sometimes loving is good enough.
Do you always bless them that curse you? Do good to them that hate you? Are you perfect?

If not, maybe we could step back and realise that Christ is talking to DISCIPLES. People who have faith, who are born again.
That doesn't fit into EO categories. So much the worse for EOC!

Joel said...

NAL,

eh, whatever. I don't need to defend the historicity of Scripture to you. And like my mamma used to say, impeccable is as impeccable does.

Rho,

I agree that it works, and Christ certainly was a willing sacrifice. And the law is certainly carried out... except they got the wrong man. Vicarious atonement is a pretty big escape clause: God tells Adam "you, Adam, shall surely die", which seems simple and unambiguous. But what he really means is "everyone will suffer physical death because of this, but then there's this other thing called spiritual death, and that's going to happen to some people; but for a minority of your descendants, and you if you want it, you can put your faith in this new-fangled Seed of the Woman, who is basically going to be Adam 2.0, and who, by bruising Satan's head is actually also going to enable everyone who accepts his sacrifice on their behalf to live forever. Got it?"

It's not incredible to me to suggest that Adam understood all that. But it's not exactly the same as Gen. 2:17. And thank God that it isn't!

My point is that in this situation, it seems to me that our normative idea of justice doesn't entirely line up with God's feelings on the matter. Which is why we appreciate Christ's sacrifice so much: if his death were simply and strictly a question of justice, then it would merit no thanks. We might as well thank a man for not setting fires.

Lucian said...

It seems You didn't understand my response: God does. Constantly. Perfectly. Therefore, the idea expressed in your article contains a contradiction in terms.

David said...

In the end, Rhology, I believe in the dictionary is sufficient.

Forgive: To pardon, to waive any negative feeling or desire for punishment

My God is a God who forgives -- he is the God of Scripture. Your god is a god who does not forgive -- he is therefore not the God of Scripture.

John said...

Lucian's point is that God is perfect because he loves all those who hate him, and does good to them, which apparently is unjust for Rhology, but is God's definition of perfection.

Rhology thinks that substitutionary atonement somehow saves God's justice... except that nobody I know of would think a judge who punishes the wrong guy to be just.

Does Rhology read the parable of the prodigal son, and wring his hands at how unjust the father is for forgiving him? Or does he marvel and rejoice at the mercy of the father?

Does Rhology read the parable of the King who forgives his servant's debt, and wring his hands about how unjust it is to have his debt forgiven, or does he marvel and rejoice at the mercy of the King forgiving such a debt?

Col. 3:13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.

Do we require a substitution before we forgive, since we are told this is what the Lord required?

I would go so far as to say that this constant reference to the legal notion of God as judge who needs to be appeased puts Protestants under the anathema of trying to be justified by law. Christ's work of satisfying a legal requirement to have someone punished makes the Protestant saved by works of the law.

Rhology said...

Joel,

Well, I don't mean to suggest that Adam understood it. The NT says that holy men of old cried out to understand the mystery but it was kept more or less secret for our benefit NOW.
And Adam DID die if he had faith in Christ. 2 Cor 5:14 - we understand that one died for all, therefore all died. Etc.

But yes, it's true that it's not the normal idea of justice, but that's a far cry from saying God is unjust.


DavidW,
Your god is a god who does not forgive

On what basis do you say that God does not forgive, on my position?
And nothing to say about God's ignoring His holy law?


John,
Does Rhology read the parable of the prodigal son, and wring his hands at how unjust the father is for forgiving him? Or does he marvel and rejoice at the mercy of the father?

Does John understand the point of the Prodigal Son parable?


Does Rhology read the parable of the King who forgives his servant's debt, and wring his hands about how unjust it is to have his debt forgiven, or does he marvel and rejoice at the mercy of the King forgiving such a debt

Does John not realise that God DOES forgive, on my position? And ALSO has a basis for forgiving?



Do we require a substitution before we forgive, since we are told this is what the Lord required?


Yep. And Jesus has that base all covered, thankfully. You are seriously clueless.


I would go so far as to say that this constant reference to the legal notion of God as judge who needs to be appeased puts Protestants under the anathema of trying to be justified by law.

I might agree except for its constant and consistent appearance in the OT and NT. But no wise man ever accused EOdox of being primarily concerned with what God has said, or in knowing the extent of what He said vs what He didn't.

Chris said...

If Christ's work on the cross was not substitutionary atonement then what was it?

2 Cor 5:21 comes to mind.

John said...

"Does John understand the point of the Prodigal Son parable?"

You don't seem to be into the notion of defending your position when you can more easily toss out a one liner.

"Does John not realise that God DOES forgive, on my position? And ALSO has a basis for forgiving?"

Is it really forgiveness when God took his pound of flesh?

We pray that our debtors will forgive us, not that a third party will come pay our debt. We praise the king for forgiving his servant's debt, not because someone come and got flogged for the debt instead of them, which would not lead us to praise that king, nor would it give that servant a reason to not flog their creditors.

"Yep. And Jesus has that base all covered, thankfully. You are seriously clueless."

Jesus pays the debt for people who wrong me and owe me? Where does it say that in the bible, and where do I go to pick up the payment?

"I might agree except for its constant and consistent appearance in the OT and NT."

Oh, so the NT advocates being justified by law. Interesting. What verse says that?

Rhology said...

Is it really forgiveness when God took his pound of flesh?

Yes, b/c the offender is forgiven, and Jesus out of love took the punishment. God's law and justice are preserved in integrity and truth, His holiness is unimpeded, the elect get the benefit, and Jesus pays the cost out of His generosity.
Contrast that with the EO system in which the law turns out to be no big deal at all.


Jesus pays the debt for people who wrong me and owe me?

No, Jesus pays the debt for His people. Those who wrong others (which is everyone) need to repent and believe, themselves, else they pay their own penalty - death.


so the NT advocates being justified by law. Interesting. What verse says that?

You misunderstand. the OT and NT make explicit the IMPOSSIBILITY of being justified by works/law.

John said...

there was the Passover sacrifice, commemorating
"Yes, b/c the offender is forgiven"

If you default on your mortgage, and I step in and pay it for you, did the bank forgive your debt? Nope.

"Contrast that with the EO system in which the law turns out to be no big deal at all."

I don't know where you get this idea. Christ died to abolish the law. How does that make it no big deal?

"Those who wrong others (which is everyone) need to repent and believe"

That's great if they repent and believe, but it doesn't pay back what they owe ME. Who is going to substitute to pay back the wrongs to ME that they owe ME?

"You misunderstand. the OT and NT make explicit the IMPOSSIBILITY of being justified by works/law"

But you are justified by law in your system. God made laws, he set a penalty for their transgression, Christ pays the penalty, and the law is fulfilled. It's all law, law, law. A totally legal framework you are immersed in there.

Anchor bible dictionary: " there was the Passover sacrifice, commemorating God’s great act of liberation of Israel at the Exodus; there was also the sacrifice which accompanied the ritual of the making of the covenant. Neither of these had anything to do with sin directly. Thus one should not necessarily subsume every reference to Jesus’ death as a sacrifice under the category of a sin-offering. The rationale of the Jewish sacrificial system has been much discussed, though with no very conclusive results. Judaism provided no explicit rationale for sacrifice".

Anchor bible dictionary is no Orthodox source, and it doesn't see sacrifices, even the Paschal sacrifice as being only about sin. And if its not only about sin, it wouldn't be only about substituting in a legal setting.

David said...

Rhology:

On what basis do you say that God does not forgive, on my position?

Two scenarios to help you answer that yourself:
I owe a bank a whole bunch of money which I'm incapable of paying. Either:
1. The bank waives what I owe them and erases the debt.
2. A rich friend pays the debt for me.
In which scenario (1 or 2) can the bank be said to have "forgiven" my debt?

Does John understand the point of the Prodigal Son parable?

Perhaps you can condescend enough to explain it for all of us who are so misinterpreting it as referring to God's mercy and forgiveness?

David said...

Rhology:

Those who wrong others (which is everyone) need to repent and believe, themselves, else they pay their own penalty - death

But no one is going to suffer the penalty who has not been predestined from before creation to not repent and so suffer the penalty. And no one can repent and believe unless he's been predestined from before all time to repent and believe and not suffer the penalty. As you said, God has foreordained both the end and the means by which each of us meet our end -- with eternal paradise or eternal torment.

So, to perhaps make the allegory about spilt milk apply a little better... your idea of sin is more akin to grabbing ahold of the hand of a child and forcing him to knock over the milk -- and then covering his mouth so as not to allow him to ask for forgiveness and then beating him for it.


And you claim your god is more just than mine - ha.

John said...

"1. The bank waives what I owe them and erases the debt.
2. A rich friend pays the debt for me."

That's right, those are the two options, somebody else pays, or else the debt is simply erased and cancelled.

And there is actually a verse which mentions one of these two options with regards to our debt and what Christ does for us. I wonder if Rhology can find it?

Viisaus said...

"You know who he sounds exactly like? The mostly-secularised N African Muslims with whom I shared the Gospel of grace this summer. I mean exactly like them, no difference, except I couldn't get many of them to admit that God is unjust. They just kind of ignored the contradiction."


One should never forget that Islam's "god" is so different from that of the Bible, in spite of the superficial similarities created by that vague "monotheism"-label.

One Victorian-era missionary to Muslims (William St. Clair Tisdall) gave this creepy example of Muslim ideas about Allah and his justice, or the lack thereof:

http://www.archive.org/details/religionofcresce00tisd

p. 66

A Muhammadan tradition states that when God showed Adam the spirits of his descendants as yet unborn, He divided them into two bands, ranking one company on Adam's right hand and one on his left. Of those on the right God said, "THESE ARE FOR THE PARADISE, AND I CARE NOT;" while of the unfortunate shades on the lefthand side the Deity, who is so often in the Qu'ran termed "the Merciful, the Gracious," uttered these fearful words, "THESE ARE FOR HELL-FIRE, AND I CARE NOT."

Viisaus said...

Another citation from Tisdall's book:

http://www.archive.org/details/religionofcresce00tisd

p. 59

"The one attribute of God which, in the mind of the Muslim of today, just as in that of His "Prophet" thirteen hundred years ago, towers above and seems almost to overshadow all others, is His Almighty POWER. Islam may with reason be called the Deification of Power, just as Deification Hinduism is the creed which deifies the productive and generative principles of Nature."


If Romanists have a good reason to be embarrassed of similarities between pagan idolatry and practises of their church, hyper-Calvinists should likewise be at least somewhat concerned about similarities between their position and that of the Muslims.

David said...

Viisaus:

Sounds more like the Calvinist god, than the Christian One, doesn't it? That's what I've been trying to tell Rhology for a long time -- his doctrines like predestination naturally lead to fatalism (not mention a rather disgusting picture of "god"); for proof, look at the Muslim world.

Viisaus said...

SOME sort of predestination definitely happens. Even those EOs who know their Bible dare not entirely deny it:


"The teaching on predestination is a dogma of faith, based on the Sacred Scriptures. No Orthodox Christian has any doubt in this. For whom he did foreknow, Paul clearly states, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified (Romans 8:29,30). The book of divine foreknowledge is incomprehensible to us. In this book, those whom God loves, He inscribed to life, and those whom He despises—to death. Jacob have I love, but Esau have I hated, (Romans 9:13) says God Himself. Just as a potter can make a worthy vessel or an unworthy one from the very same clay, likewise almighty God glorifies as valuable certain of His creatures, while rejecting others as unnecessary."

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/predestination.aspx

Viisaus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Viisaus said...

Well David, to my sorrow I see that you have made some irreverent comparisons between the inerrancies of Holy Bible and Quran:

"One of the things that most disturbs me about Protestant ideas like Sola Scriptura and Biblical inerrancy (as well as other "essential" features of Protestantism like iconoclasm) is their resemblance to (and, possibly, influence by) similar Muslim ideas. Comparing the Islamic ideas regarding the Koran (that it is entirely inerrant and has existed in heaven with God since before Creation) is a little unsettling."

http://ohtasteandsee.blogspot.com/2009/08/eastern-errancy-answered.html?showComment=1249769330335#c4517635526935795248


This meme was originally invented by 19th century "higher critic" liberals. They taunted orthodox believers in Biblical inerrancy: "you guys wouldn't want to be like Muslims, huh?"

God forbid that I should support THAT kind of argumentation.

Besides, you seem to be ignorant of the fact that traditional Islam by no means believes in "Sola Qurana" (and thus cannot be compared to Protestantism the way you intend).

Muslims have loads and loads of extra-Quranic traditions that form an essential part of their religious worldview - Hadiths, Sunnah, Sufi and Shi'te esoteric traditions etc.

Lucian said...

So it's ok for you to compare the sacred, God-ordained images of Siants and Angels to idolatry... but it's NOT ok for us to compare your obsession with the Bible to Islam... (Muslims do rank higher than pagans, you know...)

Viisaus said...

Popular Islam also has a highly developed cult of the saints. Some purist Muslims murmur against it, but that hasn't stopped the cult any more than the reservations of some more enlightened EOs stopped the excessive hagiolatry in their church:


"To this day the Muslims in much of the Islamic world follow not so much Muhammad, the Qur'an and Islam, but the cult-worship of the local saint, being more concerned about obtaining his barakah ("blessing" in the form of power and miracles) than the favour of Allah."

http://www.answering-islam.org/Gilchrist/Vol1/8c.html

Viisaus said...

"So it's ok for you to compare the sacred, God-ordained images of Siants and Angels to idolatry... but it's NOT ok for us to compare your obsession with the Bible to Islam..."


Defending Biblical inerrancy is "obsession" to you? Such a comment is telling. What is your own position on the matter, btw?

The Bible is indeed much, much worthier cause to defend than the useless images that were definitely not ordained by God.

David said...

Viisaus:

Might want to finish the article. In fact, might want to finish the paragraph you quoted, which ends:

"For us it is sufficient to know these two clear, understandable, basic precepts: first, God desires that we be saved, for He loves mankind. Second, we can be saved, for we are free. Thus, the will of God and the desire of man make up predestination. God desires, and if man desires also, then he or she is already predestined."

Lucian said...

You defend the error-less-ness of the Bible while directly disobeying the commandments present therein.

We believe that the Bible doesn't contain theological untruths. But I can't vouch for insignifficant, minor, and ultimately meaningless human errors.

Lucian said...

Regarding the so-called pre-destination: I think it's worth mentioning that the Greek word for it is pro-oridzo, from which the Romanian word pro-orocire (meaning prophecy) comes from.

The passage itself is about God helping out those who love him (what any of this has to do with the Calvinist undertsnading of pre-destination is beyond me).

Rhology said...

John,

If you default on your mortgage, and I step in and pay it for you, did the bank forgive your debt? Nope.

It forgave the debt with respect to me, who owe the debt. The debt is paid AND I get off the hook.



Christ died to abolish the law. How does that make it no big deal?

"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law. I came not to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it."
"For not one jot or tittle will pass out of the Law, until all is accomplished."
Try again.



"Those who wrong others (which is everyone) need to repent and believe"

That's great if they repent and believe, but it doesn't pay back what they owe ME. Who is going to substitute to pay back the wrongs to ME that they owe ME?


1) Sin is more properly a sin against GOD, less than an affront to any particular person.
"Against You, only You, have I sinned." --Psalms
2) Jesus came to redeem EVERYthing.
3) And unless you repent and trust Christ alone for your salvation, you will lose everything, in Hell. You have much bigger things to worry about at this point.



But you are justified by law in your system.

No, I'm justified by CHRIST'S FULFILLMENT OF THE LAW, which I receive by grace alone.



It's all law, law, law. A totally legal framework you are immersed in there.

Biblically, the Gospel is that Christ died to fulfill the Law, so I could be forgiven. That's the grace - I, the guilty sinner, get forgiveness and receive Christ's infinite righteousness as a gift.
OTOH, in your system where apparently the Law is "abolished", in your words, I'll take my position every time.



Thus one should not necessarily subsume every reference to Jesus’ death as a sacrifice under the category of a sin-offering.

Who said that EVERY reference to His death was as a sacrifice?


DavidW,

But no one is going to suffer the penalty who has not been predestined from before creation to not repent and so suffer the penalty.

You apparently prefer that God, Who could have created a world in which all men would freely choose Him, chose NOT to do that. I don't see how your god is any less diabolical.


your idea of sin is more akin to grabbing ahold of the hand of a child and forcing him to knock over the milk -- and then covering his mouth so as not to allow him to ask for forgiveness and then beating him for it.

Strawman. How you enjoy your strawmen!
Calvinism does not deny that men make choices. It's just that they always choose wrong. The child freely chooses to knock over the milk, and then when told to clean it up, wishes he could shoot his father between the eyes, b/c he is the father's enemy.
Your grasp of the biblical position is so, so faulty. It makes me sad for you. And this is exactly what I mean when I say your position doesn't take sin seriously. As if sinful man just spills milk, and how much less does he "start to clean it up"! Please.

And David, Islam's predestination is far more like HYPER-Calvinism, not Calvinism.
You know, for all your complaints of how little I understand EOC, you're not doing too hot yourself wrt Calvinism.


Lucian said,

So it's ok for you to compare the sacred, God-ordained images of Siants and Angels to idolatry

B/c it's neither sacred nor God-ordained in point of fact.
And b/c it is actually idolatry. But Islamic fatalism is NOT IN FACT Calvinist. See, it's all about FACTS here. Not your whining.



We believe that the Bible doesn't contain theological untruths. But I can't vouch for insignifficant, minor, and ultimately meaningless human errors.

I love how you EOx ascribe more error to the Bible than you do to your precious Tradition.
May God have mercy on you.

Lucian said...

We don't ascribe more error to the Bible than to our precious little Tradition. :-) There are, for instance, several conflicting traditions concerning Christ's age, or Mary's departure... but our life doesn't depend on them. (Just like it doesn't depend on insignifficant differencees between Samuel/Kings & Chronicles either...) [And sacred images ARE God-ordained].

John said...

"It forgave the debt with respect to me"

Again, that doesn't work very well in biblical categories. We ask God to forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. If we need someone to pay all debts in full before we forgive others, like you say God required, then we are in big trouble.

"I came not to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it."

Rom. 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

abolish verb [ trans. ] "to put an end to"

Try again.

"1) Sin is more properly a sin against GOD, less than an affront to any particular person. "

forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

" And unless you repent and trust Christ alone for your salvation, you will lose everything, in Hell. You have much bigger things to worry about at this point."

Irrelevant to the point that we ask God to forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

"No, I'm justified by CHRIST'S FULFILLMENT OF THE LAW"

What verse says Christ fulfilled the law FOR YOU?

Rom. 13:10 love is the fulfillment of the law.

Gal. 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.

Gal 5:14 the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”

James 2:8 If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF,”

Christ put an end to fulfilling the law through the written code, instead we are to fulfil it through love.

Who said Christ fulfils the law in your place? Why would the apostles tell us to fulfil the law through love, when its been done already?

David said...

Rhology:

I have a question. In the parable of the prodigal son, did the son cease to be the son of the father when he went away and squandered his inheritance?

godescalc said...

your idea of sin is more akin to grabbing ahold of the hand of a child and forcing him to knock over the milk -- and then covering his mouth so as not to allow him to ask for forgiveness and then beating him for it.

This is what I thought when reading the post. Except you posit the child as wanting not to spill the milk, and being prevented from asking forgiveness; under Calvinist "predestination", the child is denied the ability to want to apologise.

Darlene said...

Perhaps I should have written my comments regarding Arminianism and Calvinism under this thread.

Oh well.

Darlene said...

Rhology,

The following are some comments made by a Lutheran pastor. I think you will find such a view rather interesting.

"As a Lutheran, I would say that a Calvinist's refusal to believe what Christ says in the words of institution, that what is given in the Lord's Supper is truly His Body and Blood, severely distorts and clouds the very heart of the Gospel."

"The observation that Calvinists don't like to mingle Christ's divinity and humanity, is in my view, their ultimate downfall, theologically speaking. Thus in terms of Christology, there's a gaping chasm between Luther and Calvin. Luther basically repeats Cyril of Alexandria and Leo the Great's Christology. Calvin, on the other hand, essentially comes to the position of Nestorian.

The Christ that Calvinism presents is a different Christ than Scripture. This ultimately presents another "gospel" which is to say, no gospel at all. If the divine nature does not communicate to the human nature, there is no atonement. Thus in trying to keep Christ's divine and human natures apart, Calvin not only is on shakey Sacramental ground, but the heart of the Gospel is cut out from under the Cross."

I must say that Lutherans are very good at exposing the serious deficiencies of Calvinism. Of course I have no doubt you disagree. :)

Darlene said...

Rhology,

Just out of curiosity, are you a proponent of supralapsarianism? A. W. Pink, who is quite know for his work "The Attributes of God," held to this position.

Quite some time ago, I was attending a Bible study at the house of my close Calvinist friends. We were studying this particular work of Pink's. The more we read, the more troubled I became. I could not accept such a poor depiction of God. T'was very troubling indeed.

Rhology said...

Darlene,

I'm pretty much done with this thread, but I'll answer your specific questions here.

I DO believe in the words of Christ at the Lord's Table - this is an asinine thing to say. EOdox themselves bow down before pictures on the wall and talk to them. By your reasoning, they are NOT talking to saints or to angels or Jesus or whomever, since the truth of something cannot be present if it's symbolic.
Jesus held up bread when His body was right there and said "This is My body". Symbolic - the bread wasn't in substance His body since His body in substance was that which was holding the bread.

I recently posted about Nestorius - I suggest you read it.

It's rich for an EOdox to quote me a criticism that Calvinism cuts the heart out from atonement, since in the "Eastern Orthodoxy boiled down" thread, multiple EOdox commenters are doing their best to show that atonement is unnecessary.

Calvinists DO believe that Christ's humanity and deity are joined in one person - Christ. I don't know where this guy gets his idea, but such wild mischaracterisations are not worthy of further response.

I'm not sure whether I'm supralaps, since I don't know those positions and their implications in detail, but from what I know, it makes more sense than infralaps. The question you have to ask yourself is: Is this what Scripture says?
If it is what Scr says, then you a mere human have no right or place to question God. EOC seems to engender that attitude in its followers, but I encourage you to re-examine your place wrt the God of the universe.

John said...

"multiple EOdox commenters are doing their best to show that atonement is unnecessary."

[John shakes his head at Rhology's asinine lie]

Rhology said...

[Rhology links to the thread where all this is taking place.]

Let the reader judge.

John said...

No Rhology, its a lie. L I E. Simple as that.