Don't Theists ever think about how insanely out of proportion their beliefs are?
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15-11-2013, 03:24 PM
RE: Don't Theists ever think about how insanely out of proportion their beliefs are?
(15-11-2013 03:00 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  
(15-11-2013 02:53 PM)nach_in Wrote:  Is it actually faith if they can't choose? It sounds more like a mental disorder.
Also you said this: "All things God created are of equal importance to Him". Except these Elect right?
Are they more important arbitrarily?

They are more important to the plan, but I don't think that they are more important than anything else.

They are the effect of Christ's sacrifice which was part of the plan. A cause and an effect; however, they are an important factor in the overall plan as they are the result of what Christ's sacrifice was for.

I see now why you'll never give up your faith KC, it is both tautological and paradoxical, and so it shares their properties, obviously true and impossible to prove wrong. It also is impossible to prove true and doesn't add anything to any knowledge as it is informationally neutral.

The only problem I see with it is that when contextualized it stops being just a curious statement (complex as it may be). It can lead to serious consequences, ideas are never inconsequential and some ideas, specially the most resilient ones, can be very dangerous. Cause and effect Sad

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15-11-2013, 03:39 PM
RE: Don't Theists ever think about how insanely out of proportion their beliefs are?
(15-11-2013 03:21 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
(15-11-2013 02:45 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  Very true. You could replace "God" with anything in this circumstance, which is why the Elect are so different. Since "God" here could literally be anything imaginable it takes an enormous amount of faith in order to believe it is the Christian God; so much faith that I believe it impossible to arrive at the conclusion of a Christian God unaided as it is impractical and irrational. I don't think anyone possesses that much faith on their own.

That faith has to be given to people by God (as it states in the Bible). When an Elect is chosen, they are bestowed this faith and cannot believe differently.

Some food for thought, KC?

My Calvinist friends tend not to correct unbelievers if they say they'd like to repent and choose Christianity or would like to place their trust in Christ--they normally wait until after their profession of faith or conversion and then over time, explain to them doctrines including predestination. But have you given thought to the fact that your doctrine strengthens fatalism among the atheists here? Does it disturb you when atheists at this forum say "If it's predestined, I won't study about Jesus or choose Christianity until God forces me to do it."

Shouldn't you be encouraging those on this forum to trust Jesus for salvation--and then later, you can explain to those who do about the predestined nature of their "choice"?

Thank you for your consideration, brother.

It is a slippery slope, indeed, and I'm not going to pretend to justify the fatalism and the potential to cause affirmation among atheists.

However, I also think that that my approach causes a less abrasive relationship with atheists and opens things up for serious conversations and meaningful relationships that can result in deep theological discussions.

Also, you know as well as me, that 90% of atheists came about their atheism through the rejection of theism; meaning, they already have some preconceived idea about theism and my fatalism isn't exactly "turning" them away per se.

Moreover, I don't really think too much on it because I have the complete faith that there is nothing I can ever do or say that can cause salvation or damnation. If someone is chosen for salvation, they will believe and my fatalistic view has no bearing on their decision.

I appreciate the question, PJ.

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15-11-2013, 03:42 PM
RE: Don't Theists ever think about how insanely out of proportion their beliefs are?
(15-11-2013 03:24 PM)nach_in Wrote:  
(15-11-2013 03:00 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  They are more important to the plan, but I don't think that they are more important than anything else.

They are the effect of Christ's sacrifice which was part of the plan. A cause and an effect; however, they are an important factor in the overall plan as they are the result of what Christ's sacrifice was for.

I see now why you'll never give up your faith KC, it is both tautological and paradoxical, and so it shares their properties, obviously true and impossible to prove wrong. It also is impossible to prove true and doesn't add anything to any knowledge as it is informationally neutral.

The only problem I see with it is that when contextualized it stops being just a curious statement (complex as it may be). It can lead to serious consequences, ideas are never inconsequential and some ideas, specially the most resilient ones, can be very dangerous. Cause and effect Sad

Yes, there are some evil implications that can result from having this point of view (as some have pointed out) ie me doing whatever I want because I believe I have no control and no consequences.

While it may be true that I have no control, it is also my belief that God controls me for good, so those selfish decisions could never be made by me even if I wanted to make them. God bestows to me my wants and desires and morality, and I cannot act outside His will.

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15-11-2013, 03:48 PM
RE: Don't Theists ever think about how insanely out of proportion their beliefs are?
(15-11-2013 03:17 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Have you never heard "abstinence makes the heart grow fonder"? Smile

I could not get past ^^this^^ before the rest became blather of equal significance.

You seriously can not think that is the common colloquial expression.
The contemporary version of this expression is:
Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Your insular and stultifying upbringing betrays your ability to think beyond only what you've been told. Sorry. Shy

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15-11-2013, 03:58 PM
RE: Don't Theists ever think about how insanely out of proportion their beliefs are?
(15-11-2013 03:42 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  
(15-11-2013 03:24 PM)nach_in Wrote:  I see now why you'll never give up your faith KC, it is both tautological and paradoxical, and so it shares their properties, obviously true and impossible to prove wrong. It also is impossible to prove true and doesn't add anything to any knowledge as it is informationally neutral.

The only problem I see with it is that when contextualized it stops being just a curious statement (complex as it may be). It can lead to serious consequences, ideas are never inconsequential and some ideas, specially the most resilient ones, can be very dangerous. Cause and effect Sad

Yes, there are some evil implications that can result from having this point of view (as some have pointed out) ie me doing whatever I want because I believe I have no control and no consequences.

While it may be true that I have no control, it is also my belief that God controls me for good, so those selfish decisions could never be made by me even if I wanted to make them. God bestows to me my wants and desires and morality, and I cannot act outside His will.

You cannot act at all, you're just pushed Smile

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15-11-2013, 04:31 PM
RE: Don't Theists ever think about how insanely out of proportion their beliefs are?
(15-11-2013 03:39 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  
(15-11-2013 03:21 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  But have you given thought to the fact that your doctrine strengthens fatalism among the atheists here?
Also, you know as well as me, that 90% of atheists came about their atheism through the rejection of theism; meaning, they already have some preconceived idea about theism and my fatalism isn't exactly "turning" them away per se.

Moreover, I don't really think too much on it because I have the complete faith that there is nothing I can ever do or say that can cause salvation or damnation. If someone is chosen for salvation, they will believe and my fatalistic view has no bearing on their decision.

No wonder you have a more realistic view of atheists, Kingsy - at least you realize belief is subjective. PJ seems to think people who have no faith, are fatalistic. That makes no sense at all. Shy Sheesh.

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15-11-2013, 04:33 PM
RE: Don't Theists ever think about how insanely out of proportion their beliefs are?
(15-11-2013 03:39 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  
(15-11-2013 03:21 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Shouldn't you be encouraging those on this forum to trust Jesus for salvation--and then later, you can explain to those who do about the predestined nature of their "choice"?
Moreover, I don't really think too much on it because I have the complete faith that there is nothing I can ever do or say that can cause salvation or damnation. If someone is chosen for salvation, they will believe and my fatalistic view has no bearing on their decision.

So I can take it you're both Calvinists? I'm coming at it from pretty much the opposite side- I'm Arminianism all the way (born and raised Wesleyan Smile) I think as soon as you take free will off the table it negates just about everything in the Gospel. The only thing man is 'chosen' for is relationship with God- without free will and the ability to choose that path (and cultivate the spiritual discipline to stay on it) then what's the point?

I'm sorry (and I don't mean to offend) but if I chose to follow Jesus and then was told that 'Ha! You were always going to do that now here's the rest of the story', I'd feel pretty manipulated. How is either such a position or fatalistic world view supposed to facilitate discussion?
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15-11-2013, 06:52 PM
Don't Theists ever think about how insanely out of proportion their beliefs are?
(15-11-2013 03:42 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  
(15-11-2013 03:24 PM)nach_in Wrote:  I see now why you'll never give up your faith KC, it is both tautological and paradoxical, and so it shares their properties, obviously true and impossible to prove wrong. It also is impossible to prove true and doesn't add anything to any knowledge as it is informationally neutral.

The only problem I see with it is that when contextualized it stops being just a curious statement (complex as it may be). It can lead to serious consequences, ideas are never inconsequential and some ideas, specially the most resilient ones, can be very dangerous. Cause and effect Sad

Yes, there are some evil implications that can result from having this point of view (as some have pointed out) ie me doing whatever I want because I believe I have no control and no consequences.

While it may be true that I have no control, it is also my belief that God controls me for good, so those selfish decisions could never be made by me even if I wanted to make them. God bestows to me my wants and desires and morality, and I cannot act outside His will.

KC, do you believe anyone can act outside his will?

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16-11-2013, 02:02 AM (This post was last modified: 16-11-2013 02:15 AM by freetoreason.)
RE: Don't Theists ever think about how insanely out of proportion their beliefs are?
KC, I was a Calvinist, studied the Institutes, Luther, Owen, Edwards et al. I managed to convince myself that every human really does deserve to spend eternity in hell because of federal headship since as you know that's the only way you get to justice with predestination. I wish somehow you could step back for a moment and consider how utterly absurd that notion is, especially if you have an honest biblical view of what hell is. Predestination with a real hell is arguably the most immoral idea in the history of ideas. Which is why even Stott had to give up on it in his latter days. I suspect he became an atheist.

As for the Arminian here, he can never answer why there is so much inequality in the 'light' given to individuals, billions of whom never had a realistic chance to believe in Jesus. He also has to ignore all those crazy versus about how wicked all people are, and you can only believe if you are elected for belief. At least Calvinists have a biblically consistent position, though absurd. Of course being granted faith gives you a pass to say that evidence really isn't necessary, because you can freely admit there isn't any and that in fact God has made it appear that it's all nonsense to the nonbeliever so they won't turn and believe. Can you not see how immoral that is?

Calvinism is frequently a way station to atheism for Christians. Oh, and you should consider how dishonest it is that you can't spring predestination on candidates for conversion until after they've gone through their Arminian stage. You have to crazy them up first before they are ready for the 'meat' (i.e. the really crazy stuff). It's all utter nonsense! Come on over, the water's warm, and logical!
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16-11-2013, 04:14 AM
RE: Don't Theists ever think about how insanely out of proportion their beliefs are?
(16-11-2013 02:02 AM)freetoreason Wrote:  As for the Arminian here, he can never answer why there is so much inequality in the 'light' given to individuals, billions of whom never had a realistic chance to believe in Jesus. He also has to ignore all those crazy versus about how wicked all people are, and you can only believe if you are elected for belief. At least Calvinists have a biblically consistent position, though absurd.

The Arminian here, and it's a she, actually. While I would agree in criticism of Calvinism, I really struggle to see how it's Biblically consistent. I would appreciate it if you could give me some of these verses and why you think they're more consistent with Calvinism so I could respond. But take away free will in the choice and you remove the ability of people to respond to God freely. Having people predestined as either saved or damned to hell not only violates that free will but denies God's grace. I think you're asking here what the Arminian does with the question of people who have never heard of Jesus? And that the Calvinist position at least levels the playing field a little? Actually I do have an answer. Huge topic, but I'll be as brief as possible.

Basically the answer comes from the OT and Paul. First of all you have through the OT God having a chosen people who were to be an example to the nations of how to have a relationship with Him, and through being a witness bring them to Him. So fast forward to the NT and we have Jesus, the Messiah, who would replace the sacrificial system and make a final reconciliation of man to God. But because man had free will, God made the offer, and man is free to accept or not. But it wasn't confined to one people now, but a final revelation to everyone. Paul recognised this and hence his mission to the Gentiles.

So what to do with the person who has never heard about Jesus? There's a great quote I once heard (can't remember where off the top of my head) but it was along the lines of 'when you go to a foreign land to preach to gospel, when you first arrive you should take off your shoes, for the ground on which you stand is holy' (a reference back to Moses and the burning bush). Well Paul recognised that man has an inherent knowledge and sense of God which influences how he will relate to the world around him and it is on this basis that God will judge. However if you have heard the gospel of Jesus you've heard the full revelation of God and this will change things.

But at the same time, I agree with the mathematician and thinker John Lennox when he referenced this in a debate I saw. We have to be very careful in that while Christians may believe that the gospel is true and that it has merit for everyone, no one can presume to judge on God's behalf. Even in OT and NT times the Jewish people would recognise 'God fearers' who weren't of the faith but recognised God's existence and authority.
Bit long and a bit rushed, but hope I've stated my position a little more clearly. Smile
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