top of page

391 Best Calvinism Quotes: Charles Spurgeon And Co.

1. “But those who, while they profess to be the disciples of Christ, still seek for free-will in man, notwithstanding of his being lost and drowned in spiritual destruction, labor under manifold delusion, making a heterogeneous mixture of inspired doctrine and philosophical opinions, and so erring as to both.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 1, Chapter 15, Paragraph 8)

2. This is plainly to ascribe divinity to 'free will.'

3. “Our paradoxical human perspective is even expressed in Scripture.”

4. There is no worse screen to block out the Spirit than confidence in our own intelligence.

5. “While I agree that they should consider other options, I highly doubt that high-strung rhetoric will help.”

6. Christ is much more powerful to save than Adam was to destroy.

7. “With Augustine I say: the Lord has created those whom he unquestionably foreknew would go to destruction. This has happened because he has willed.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 23, Paragraph 5)

8. “Moreover, the wicked bring upon themselves the just destruction to which they are destined.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 24, heading)

9. “Wherever we turn our eyes, it is evident that all creatures are linked together by an infinite chain wich binds them closely to God, who holds them all in existence.”

10. “How few are there who, when they hear free will attributed to man, do not immediately imagine that he is the master of his mind and will in such a sense, that he can of himself incline himself either to good or evil? It may be said that such dangers are removed by carefully expounding the meaning to the people. But such is the proneness of the human mind to go astray, that it will more quickly draw error from one little word, than truth from a lengthened discourse. Of this, the very term in question [free will] furnishes too strong a proof…I think the abolition of it would be of great advantage to the Church. I am unwilling to use it myself; and others, if they will take my advice, will do well to abstain from it.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 2, Chapter 2, Paragraphs 7-8)

11. “…we say that God once established by his eternal and unchangeable plan those whom he long before determined once for all to receive into salvation, and those whom, on the other hand, he would devote to destruction…he has barred the door of life to those whom he has given over to damnation.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 21, Paragraph 7)

12. “The wind comes creeping, it calls to me to come go exploring. It sings of the things that are to be found under the leaves. It whispers the dreams of the tall fir trees. It does pipe the gentle song the forest sings on gray days. I hear all the voices calling me. I listen. But I cannot go.”

13. “Some Calvinists seem to think we were saved to proclaim God’s sovereignty rather than God himself.” (41)

14. “The God of love passed by

15. It is a most blessed thing to be subject to the sovereignty of Lord.

16. Preaching Sad Tidings

17. “There is, of course, some comfort to be derived from the thought that everything that occurs at the level of secondary causality - in nature or history - is governed not only by a transcendent providence but by a universal teleology that makes every instance of pain and loss an indispensable moment in a grand scheme whose ultimate synthesis will justify all things. But one should consider the price at which the comfort is purchased: it requires us to believe in and love a God whose good ends will be realized not only in spite of - but entirely by way of - every cruelty, every fortuitous misery, every catastrophe, every betrayal, every sin the world has ever known; it requires us to believe in the eternal spiritual necessity of a child dying an agonizing death from diphtheria, of a young mother ravaged by cancer, of tens of thousands of Asians swallowed in an instant by the sea, of millions murdered in death camps and gulags and forced famines (and so on). It is a strange thing indeed to seek peace in a universe rendered morally intelligible at the cost of a God rendered morally loathsome.”

18. “I would equally oppose any version of human freedom that rules out determinism.”

19. Stripped Of His Gown

20. “Rather we say that in the cross, God had in view the actual, effective redemption of his children from all that would destroy them, including their own unbelief. And we affirm that when Christ died particularly for his bride, he did not simply create a possibility or an opportunity for salvation, but really purchased and infallibly secured for them all that is necessary to get them saved, including the grace of regeneration and the gift of faith.”

21. “My friends, I do not believe it is preaching Christ and him crucified, to give people a batch of philosophy every Sunday morning and evening, and neglect the truths of this Holy Book. I do not believe it is preaching Christ and him crucified, to leave out the main cardinal doctrines of the Word of God, and preach a religion which is all a mist and a haze, without any definite truths whatever. I take it that man does not preach Christ and him crucified, who can get through a sermon without mentioning Christ's name once; nor does that man preach Christ and him crucified, who leaves out the Holy Spirit's work, who never says a word about the Holy Ghost, so that indeed the hearers might say, "We do not so much as know whether there be a Holy Ghost." And I have my own private opinion, that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and him crucified, unless you preach what now-a-days is called Calvinism. I have my own ideas, and those I always state boldly. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism. Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. I do not believe we can preach the gospel, if we do not preach justification by faith without works; not unless we preach the sovereignty of God in his dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing, unchangeable, eternal, immutable, conquering love of Jehovah; nor, I think, can we preach the gospel, unless we base it upon the peculiar redemption which Christ made for his elect and chosen people; nor can I comprehend a gospel which lets saints fall away after they are called, and suffers the children of God to be burned in the fires of damnation, after having believed. Such a gospel I abhor. The gospel of the Bible is not such a gospel as that. We preach Christ and him crucified in a different fashion, and to all gainsayers we reply, "We have not so learned Christ.”

22. “Calvin's theory of predestination has one implication which should be explicitly mentioned here, since it has found its most vigorous revival in Nazi ideology: the principle of the basic inequality of men. For Calvin there are two kinds of people—those who are saved and those who are destined to eternal damnation. Since this fate is determined before they are born and without their being able to change it by anything they do or do not do in their lives, the equality of mankind is denied in principle. Men are created unequal. This principle implies also that there is no solidarity between men, since the one factor which is the strongest basis for human solidarity is denied: the equality of man's fate. The Calvinists quite naïvely thought that they were the chosen ones and that all others were those whom God had condemned to damnation. It is obvious that this belief represented psychologically a deep contempt and hatred for other human beings—as a matter of fact, the same hatred with which they had endowed God. While modern thought has led to an increasing assertion of the equality of men, the Calvinists' principle has never been completely mute. The doctrine that men are basically unequal according to their racial background is confirmation of the same principle with a different rationalization. The psychological implications are the same.”

23. Let that ethical philosophy therefore of free-will be far from a Christian mind.

24. Had Luther and Calvin been confined before they had begun to dogmatize, the states would have been spared many troubles.

25. “I can’t explain how God sovereignly ordains all things and yet keeps me free to choose in ways that render me morally responsible, unconstrained, voluntarily motivated, and apparently not without other options.”

26. There is no knowing that does not begin with knowing God.

27. “Man falls according as God’s providence ordains, but he falls by his own fault.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 23, Paragraph 8)

28. “In fact, it was the religion of Calvin of which Sandy felt deprived, or rather a specified recognition of it. She desired this birthright; something definite to reject. It pervaded the place in proportion as it was unacknowledged. In some ways the most real and rooted people whom Sandy knew were Miss Gaunt and the Kerr sisters who made no evasions about their believe that Gold had planned for practically everybody before they were born an nasty surprise when they died. Later, when Sandy read John Calvin, she found that although popular conceptions of Calvinism were sometimes mistaken, in this particular there was no mistake, indeed it was but a mild understanding of the case, he having made it God's pleasure to implant in certain people an erroneous since of joy and salvation, so that their surprise at the end might be the nastier.”

29. “God’s will is one with his being, his wisdom, goodness, and all his other perfections. For that reason the human heart and head can rest in that will, for it is the will of an almighty God and a gracious father, not that of a blind fate, incalculable chance, or dark force of nature. His sovereignty is one of unlimited power, but also of wisdom and grace. He is both king and father at one and the same time.”

30. “Of what they could not do,

31. The ceremony of lifting up our hands in prayer is designed to remind us that we are far removed from God, unless our thoughts rise upward.

32. “Many are also making ad hominem attacks such as “refuses to see” instead of “doesn’t see” or even better, coming at it with a desire to converse.”

33. “… predestination to glory is the cause of predestination to grace, rather than the converse.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 22, Paragraph 9)

34. “Jesus Fulfills the Eternal Covenant

35. By predestination, we mean the eternal decree of God, by which He determined with Himself whatever He wished to happen with regard to every man.

36. “Your comments steer us in the direction of defining human freedom. This is a great angle. I need to mention that I have not at all defined freedom in the manner you suggest. Rather, I have been careful to define it both in terms of classical compatibilism (voluntary, uncoerced choice based on our own volition) and in terms of our actual experience of free choice (thus, “genuine” because it is our undeniable experience of real freedom–no special definitions here).”

37. “But since he foresees future events only by reason of the fact that he decreed that they take place, they vainly raise a quarrel over foreknowledge, when it is clear that all things take place rather by his determination and bidding.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 23, Paragraph 6)

38. Justification is the main hinge on which salvation turns.

39. Against Vain Confidence

40. “Ah! Gentle, gracious Dove,

41. ” No one is saying God’s determination prevents you from choosing Derek. The argument is that God’s determination prevents you from freely choosing a different pair of socks other than what God determined for you. I feel you are obscuring and dodging the real issue that is at the heart of our entire dialogue. So I ask you, “Are you free to choose a pair of socks that are different than those God determined for you to choose?”

42. “Say unto them: ‘As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?’”

43. Now, in order that true religion may shine upon us, we ought to hold that it must take its beginning from heavenly doctrine.

44. “Again I ask: whence does it happen that Adam’s fall irremediably involved so many peoples, together with their infant offspring, in eternal death unless because it so pleased God?”

45. There are people who are known to be very liberal, yet they never give without scolding or pride or even insolence.

46. “I suppose the one quality in an astronaut more powerful than any other is curiosity. They have to get some place nobody's ever been.”

47. “Some intelligent philosophers from Stanford University have defined compatibilism in this way: “Compatibilism offers a solution to the free will problem. This philosophical problem concerns a disputed incompatibility between free will and determinism. Compatibilism is the thesis that free will is compatible with determinism. Because free will is typically taken to be a necessary condition of moral responsibility, compatibilism is sometimes expressed in terms of a compatibility between moral responsibility and determinism.”

48. However many blessings we expect from God, His infinite liberality will always exceed all our wishes and our thoughts.

49. “Are you willing to accept this as a standard definition?”

50. “I sometimes wonder if some of those passages involved Solomon having his own personage in view. In that sense God directing the king’s heart like water would be to merely say “my heart is receiving guidance from God.” Yet even here I’m sure Solomon would have us understand such guidance is preceded by a posture of submission. When Solomon later cast off submission to God and fell into female enticements that led him astray, he forfeited much of his earlier communion and God-directed walk. It would be odd indeed to think God directed “like water” Solomon’s heart to submit to Baal worship.”

51. “… Protestantism and Calvinism, while giving expression to a new feeling of freedom, at the same time constituted an escape from the burden of freedom”

52. “A friend of mine, who is actually a Calvinist pastor in an A/G Church (working right alongside a non-Calvinist pastor for many years), stands with me in this conviction and refuses to make Calvinism/Arminianism a stumbling block to serving God faithfully as Christian brothers in this needy world.”

53. When God wants to judge a nation, He gives them wicked rulers.

54. Free will does not enable any man to perform good works, unless he is assisted by grace.

55. “On the other hand, I live in a world in which I experience every moment the liberty of my choices. Uncoerced, unconstrained, and apparently including the ability to choose otherwise than I do.”


57. There is nothing in afflictions which ought to disturb our joy.

58. “The God of Romans 9–11 finds ways to show mercy, even when the facts clamor for judgment. This doesn’t sound much like Calvinism to me, but it does sound a whole lot like Jesus.”

59. “God foreknows and pre-determines the result… God… decreed the outcome.”

60. God works in his elect in two ways: inwardly, by his Spirit; outwardly, by his Word.

61. And how can I be sure of this state of grace? For Calvin himself, this was not a problem. He felt himself to be a chosen agent of the Lord, and was certain of his own salvation.

62. I gave up all for Christ, and what have I found? Everything in Christ.

63. “…the will of God is not only free of all fault but is the highest rule of perfection, and even the law of all laws.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 23, Paragraph 2)

64. While Calvin in his preaching did not follow a lectionary of prescribed scripture readings for each Sunday of the year, his preaching did usually follow a previously publicized order of scripture selections.

65. “Our Calvinism should lead us to an overpowering sense that our lives are not our own.” (32)

66. That we may be prepared to receive all his benefits with true gratitude and thanksgiving, while our prayers remind us that they proceed from his hand.

67. “You must every day make higher ground. You must deny yourself to make progress with God. You must refuse every- thing that is not pure and holy. God wants you pure in heart. He wants you to have an intense desire after holiness... Two things will get you to leap out of yourselves into the promises of God today. One is purity, and the other is FAITH, which is kindled more and more BY PURITY.”

68. It is, therefore, faith alone which justifies, and yet the faith which justifies is not alone.

69. “ However, do you have any argument to prove that this really is the case?”

70. When I took the leap, I had faith I would find a net; Instead I learned I could fly.

71. Men will never worship God with a sincere heart, or be roused to fear and obey Him with sufficient zeal, until they properly understand how much they are indebted to His mercy.

72. “We insist that God can ordain everything without denying his creatures real freedom.”

73. “That is my conviction, and part of the reason I am a Moderate/Paradoxical Calvinist.”

74. “On that note, Robert’s comment displays an uncharacteristic ignorance in its denial of the existence of a robust Moderate Calvinist stream in Reformed theology. The many Moderate Calvinists have historically agreed with “Arminian” exegesis of passages like John 3:16 (i.e., “world” means “world”) and I John 2:2 (i.e., “whole world” means “whole world”).”

75. “I am concerned that many Calvinists today do little more than celebrate how wonderfully clear their theological windshield is. But like a windshield, Reformed theology is not an end in itself. It is simply a window to the awe-inspiring universe of God’s truth, filled with glory, beauty, and grace. Do we need something like a metaphorical windshield of clear, biblical truth to look through as we hope to marvel at God’s glory? Absolutely. But we must make sure that we know the difference between staring at a windshield and staring through one.” (14)

76. “Many in our world today want us to believe that we can except Christ simply as a Savior from sin, but not the Lord of our lives. They teach essentially that a person can perform an act of believing on Christ once, and after this, they can fall away even into total unbelief and yet still supposedly be "saved". Christ does not call men in this way. Christ does not save men in this way. The true Christian is the one continually coming, always believing in Christ. Real Christian faith is an ongoing faith, not a one-time act. If one wishes to be eternally satiated, one meal is not enough. If we wish to feast on the bread of heaven, we must do so all our lives. We will never hunger or thirst if we are always coming and always believing in Christ. He's our sufficiency. Christ the bread from heaven. We must feed on all of Christ, not just the parts we happen to like. Christ is not the Savior of anyone unless He is their Lord as well.”

77. “In honour of thy Sovereign Power!”

78. “He did not do the deed”

79. “So now I have God’s Word on both sides, and my experience on both sides. What can I do but hold on to both of them?”

80. Our true wisdom is to embrace with meek docility, and without reservation, whatever the holy scriptures have delivered.

81. The Sower of Tares

82. Free-will cannot will good and of necessity serves sin.

83. “Experts tell us that 90% of all brain development occurs by the age of five. If we don't begin thinking about education in the early years, our children are at risk of falling behind by the time they start Kindergarten.”

84. “I confess [Election] is a hard doctrine, running contrary to our earthly ideas of fair play, but I can see no way around it. Read I Corinthians 6:13 and II Timothy 1:9,10. Also I Peter 1:2,19,20 and Romans 11:7. There you have it. It was good for Paul and Silas and it is good enough for me. It is good enough for you too.”

85. “ Do you have a Biblical argument to prove this?”

86. “I cannot imagine what things might look like from ‘God’s decretive perspective.’ I do not have access to this angle, and it is simply beyond my comprehension.”

87. “He did not damn them—but decreed

88. Being humbled, we learn to call upon his strength which alone makes us stand up under such a load of afflictions.

89. “What, then, are we to say about the suggestion that a hearty faith in the absolute sovereignty of God is inimical to evangelism? We are bound to say that anyone who makes this suggestion thereby shows that he has simply failed to understand what the doctrine of divine sovereignty means. Not only does it undergird evangelism, and uphold the evangelist, by creating a hope of success that could not otherwise be entertained; it also teaches us to bind together preaching and prayer; and as it makes us bold and confident before men, so it makes us humble and importunate before God.”

90. “…one main point in Luther's teachings was his emphasis on the evilness of human nature, the uselessness of his will and of his efforts. Calvin placed the same emphasis on the wickedness of man and put in the center of his whole system the idea that man must humiliate his self-pride to the utmost; and furthermore, that the purpose of man’s life is exclusively God's glory and nothing of his own. Thus Luther and Calvin psychologically prepared man for the role which he had to assume in modern society: of feeling his own self to be insignificant and of being ready to subordinate his life exclusively for purposes which were not his own. Once man was ready to become nothing but the means for the glory of a God who represented neither justice nor love, he was sufficiently prepared to accept the role of a servant to the economic machine—and eventually a “Führer.”

91. “‘Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!’ (Romans 11:33). When Paul reflected on the doctrines that make up what we call Calvinism, he was moved to rejoice in God. This is the key to not killing off today’s Calvinist upsurge. When we read our books, attend our conferences, and ‘Piperup’ our iPods, the primary goal must not be to gain a better understanding of 16th- and 17th-century doctrine. It must be to be blown out of the water by the God who has chosen us in infinite mercy and wisdom.” (18)

92. “I realized that my money would do vastly more good for others than it could for me and decided to make a commitment to donating to the most effective charities I could find. Many people contacted me asking how they could do this as well, and so I set up giving what we can.”

93. “The Christian has been drawn unto Christ. Those who wish to boast in having something to do with their salvation, or who insist that the final decision lays with man, resist the clear meaning of Christ's words, "draw." But this is a wondrous term. It is beautiful to hear. Drawn in love. Drawn in mercy. Drawn unto the one who died in my place. It is sovereign action, undertaken by the one who holds the entire universe by His power. It is an irresistible drawing, most definitely, but is a drawing of grace. The one drawing loves the one who is being drawn. And those drawn can never be thankful enough to God who brought them out of darkness into the marvelous light of Christ.”

94. “and at the same time I cannot see man’s God-given freedom as less than a genuine, morally responsible and unconstrained liberty.”

95. “He did not them bereave

96. “In light of the Stanford definition, could you not just as well say that compatibilism “collapses into free will”? It actually “collapses” into neither, but upholds both.”

97. “For such,” they say, “was thy great will,

98. or all the sins of some men,

99. “ Here I am just agreeing with Calvin and other compatibilists.”

100. Hatred grows into insolence when we desire to excel the rest of mankind and imagine we do not belong to the common lot; we even severely and haughtily despise others as our inferiors.

101. “There is so much anger, which, while I understand hating Calvinist theology, is something that none of us should give into in our debating.”

102. “But I do like Scotland. I like the miserable weather. I like the miserable people, the fatalism, the negativity, the violence that's always just below the surface. And I like the way you deal with religion. One century you're up to your lugs in it, the next you're trading the whole apparatus in for Sunday superstores. Praise the Lord and thrash the bairns. Ask and ye shall have the door shut in your face. Blessed are they that shop on the Sabbath, for they shall get the best bargains. Oh yes, this is a very fine country.”

103. If everything proceeded according to their wishes, they would not understand what it means to follow God.

104. For, until men feel that they owe everything to God, that they are cherished by his paternal care, and that he is the author of all their blessings, so that nought is to be looked for away from him, they will never submit to him in voluntary obedience...

105. “thieves and murderers, and other evildoers, are instruments of divine providence, being employed by the Lord himself to execute judgments which he has resolved to inflict.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 1, Chapter 17, Paragraph 5)

106. “In any case, I suppose a big difference is that I cannot see how God can be God without ordaining all things;”

107. “Scripture and the believer’s experience support both divine determinism and genuine free will of some sort (though not exactly the libertarian variety).”

108. “William Lane Craig (whom I respect greatly, by the way) overlooks the fact that multitudes have accepted determinism without any “vertigo” setting in. How can this be, given the strength of his point?”

109. “Through money or power you cannot solve all problems. The problem in the human heart must be solved first.”

110. No one can get even the slightest taste of right and sound doctrine unless he be a pupil of Scripture.

111. e. , I possess the ability to choose a different pair of socks, or no socks at all for that matter). ” Derek, do you really possess the freedom and ability to choose a different pair of socks– that is to say socks different than those God determined for you? If not is your experience of freedom merely imaginary?

112. “To teach men that they possess the ability to turn from sin when they choose to do so is to hide the true extent of their need.”

113. “Christ is our all. He is everything to the Christian. He fills all, is in all, and He is our life (Colossians 3:4, 11). It is in Him that all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden (Colossians 2:3). He is the author and finisher of our salvation, the one who starts it, works it out, and completes it (Hebrews 12:2). This is as the Father wanted it. He places His people in the hands of the Son, having joined them to the Son in a super-natural union, so the Son, by His perfect life of obedience, and perfect act of self-sacrifice upon the cross, can bring about their full and complete salvation.”

114. “But wait! Another aspect of my experience has been my absolute and unquenchable rebellion.”

115. Nearly all the wisdom we possess, that is to say, true and sound wisdom, consists of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves.

116. “The best Calvinists that history has given to us were using Reformed theology to get a clearer hold on the majesty of God, the wonder of the gospel, and the exhilaration of Christian living. By God’s grace — yes, his sovereign grace — may we do the same.” (20)

117. It is entirely the work of grace and a benefit conferred by it that our heart is changed from a stony one to one of flesh, that our will is made new, and that we, created anew in heart and mind, at length will what we ought to will.

118. “ Thou only draw’st the sinner near

119. “We cannot turn from either of these conscientiously held convictions.”

120. “Effort in the Calvinist doctrine had still another psychological meaning. The fact that one did not tire in that unceasing effort and that one succeeded in one's moral as well as one's secular work was a more or less distinct sign of being one of the chosen ones. The irrationality of such compulsive effort is that the activity is not meant to create a desired end but serves to indicate whether or not something will occur which has been determined beforehand, independent of one's own activity or control. This mechanism is a well-known feature of compulsive neurotics. Such persons when afraid of the outcome of an important undertaking may, while awaiting an answer, count the windows of houses or trees on the street. If the number is even, a person feels that things will be alright; if it is uneven, it is a sign that he will fail. Frequently this doubt does not refer to a specific instance but to a person's whole life, and the compulsion to look for "signs" will pervade it accordingly. Often the connection between counting stones, playing solitaire, gambling, and so on, and anxiety and doubt, is not conscious. A person may play solitaire out of a vague feeling of restlessness and only an analysis might uncover the hidden function of his activity: to reveal the future.

121. “Robert thus declares non-existent those multitudes of Calvinists who would actually support him in his own interpretation of key verses.”

122. “So in sum Derek, if we cannot universalize a host of passages in Proverbs without undermining the book…we ought not to assume that the passages you (and many other Calvinists) cite are intended to unveil a universal theme of exhaustive, divine determination.”

123. “Personally, I had my own reasons for wanting to post with a screen name as I just don’t have a lot of trust in the internet.”

124. The more we are oppressed by the cross, the fuller will be our spiritual joy.

125. “We call predestination God’s eternal decree, by which he compacted with himself what he willed to become of each man. For all are not created in equal condition; rather, eternal life is fore-ordained for some, eternal damnation for others.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 21, Paragraph 5)

126. We must make the invisible kingdom visible in our midst.

127. “I am free to choose any of the socks within the range of the possibilities presented, or no socks at all. Even mismatched pairs might be chosen, and I may even choose to wear them on my hands rather than my feet. All of these options are within the range of the possibilities presented, and I possess the freedom and ability to choose any of them. God foreknows and pre-determines the result, but from my perspective there are many possibilities and I make a perfectly free choice. From God’s standpoint, it is all pre-determined, but from mine it is open. Even knowing that there is a decree behind my choice cannot prevent me from choosing freely and voluntarily from the range of choices presented. In my actual experience, none of the possible choices were ever closed off to me. God decreed that I should be presented with a range of possible choices and experience the freedom of choosing, and yet He also decreed the outcome. He is quite a clever God!”

128. “The Cross of Christ is the Aroma of Life for the elect and the Aroma of Death for the reprobate”

129. Satan is an astute theologian.

130. Free will does not enable any man to perform good works, unless he is assisted by grace...

131. “But I can’t know, from His perspective, whether my freedom is merely illusory. I only know that from my perspective it is real. On the other hand, I do believe that He decrees the experience of volitional freedom that I engage in everyday, unavoidably, which argues that there is something very “real” about it!”

132. “So I don’t see how compatibilism can ever “collapse” into mere determinism.”

133. “To me, these matters are a great mystery. I view God’s sovereign decree and my freedom as much more complex than a mere philosophical “seesaw,” which would entail that any gain on one side necessarily results in a corresponding loss on the other. I conceive of my freedom as existing within and being upheld by His all-determining sovereignty.”

134. “A God less than sovereign could not bestow moral freedom upon His creatures. He would be afraid to do so.”

135. “Creatures are so governed by the secret counsel of God, that nothing happens but what he has knowingly and willingly decreed.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 1, Chapter 16, Paragraph 3)

136. Seeing that a Pilot steers the ship in which we sail, who will never allow us to perish even in the midst of shipwrecks, there is no reason why our minds should be overwhelmed with fear and overcome with weariness.

137. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not lean on your own understanding, but in all of your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight (i.e. direct your steps).”

138. I read the other day an account of a meeting between John Knox and John Calvin. Imagine a dialogue between a pestilence and a famine!

139. “Proverbs in not a book where we should seek absolute doctrines of universal, binding truths. If we do we have on hand dozens of contradictions and falsehood. For example there are highly skilled people in this world who have remained unknown and unrecognized by kings and rulers despite Proverb 22:29 saying otherwise. A soft answer does not always turn away wrath (15:1). Humility and the fear of the Lord do not always bring riches as Prov. 22:6 asserts. Nor do we find that the wise always inherit honor and that fools on this earth are always shamed and brought to disgrace (3:35). Rulers are not always friends with the kind and pure of heart (22:11). Training up a child in the way of the Lord does not guarantee that he won’t depart from it as 22:6 states. Proverbs asserts that the Lord will ensure that the righteous never go hungry and that the desires of the wicked are never realized (10:3), but this is also not universally true. We live in a corrupt world where the wicked do prosper and even Paul said he suffered great hunger.”

140. Therefore how can God’s predetermining mind and decretive will be the logical origin for the sin of X to occur but not be the author of the sin of X? Can you please parse the essential difference between God decreeing the sin of X to occur and God authoring the sin of X to occur?

141. “ A million “rational” arguments against it won’t change my understanding of God’s Word or my experiences.”

142. “First of all, it is often in the third person, saying “Derek” instead of “you.”

143. All the arts come from God and are to be respected as divine inventions..

144. “There is only one way of salvation. Men are sinful rebels against God, by nature, enemies of holiness and He who is holy. Dominated by sin, ruled over by evil, we are helpless to even drag ourselves toward the true and holy God, even if we wanted to! We are dead in sin. "But God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love which he loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ" (Ephesians 2:4-5). The Father, in His infinite mercy and grace, saved us in Christ Jesus.”

145. “The grace or love of God flows into humanity through faith alone.”

146. An Answer To Prayer

147. Free will is an empty term.

148. “This is part of the reason I have embraced Moderate Calvnism, and devoted myself to deterring and opposing any form of Calvinism which:

149. ”He testifies that He creates light and darkness, forms good and evil (Isaiah 45:7); that no evil happens which He hath not done (Amos 3:6). Let them tell me whether God exercises His judgments willingly or unwillingly.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 1, Chapter 18, Paragraph 3)

150. All events whatsoever are governed by the secret counsel of God.

151. “If I agreed with this presupposition,”

152. God tolerates even our stammering, and pardons our ignorance whenever something inadvertently escapes us - as, indeed, without this mercy there would be no freedom to pray.

153. “Calvin did for the bourgeoisie of the sixteenth century what Marx did for the proletariat of the nineteenth.”

154. “With-held from almost all the Race,

155. “There is great confidence in trusting God's sovereignty, especially when it comes to the fact that even Christians are willing to place their own supposed freedom and autonomy over the true freedom and autonomy of God. I have seen many precious souls struggle through these foundational issues and emerge changed, strengthened, with a new and lasting appreciation of the holiness and love of God along with a passion for His grace that cannot be erased.”

156. “To a Calvinist the most important thing was Calvinism; to a Puritan the most important thing was the Puritan creed; and this in itself certainly did not favor the vague sentiments either of emancipation or fraternity. Calvinism took away a man's liberty in the universe; why, then, should it favor his liberty in the State? Puritanism denied free will; why should it be likely to affirm free speech? Why should the Calvinist object to an aristocracy? The Calvinists were an aristocracy; they were the most arrogant and awful of aristocracies by the nature of their own belief: they were the elect. Why should the Puritans dislike a baby being born a nobleman? It was the whole philosophy of the Puritans that a baby is born a celestial nobleman; and he is at birth and before birth a member of the cosmic upper classes. It should have been a small matter to the Puritans to admit that one might be born a king, seeing that they maintained the much more paradoxical position that one might be born a saint. Nor is it easy to see upon their own ideal principles why the Puritans should have disliked despotism or arbitrary power; though it is certainly much more the fact that they did dislike despotism than that they did dislike oligarchy. The first conception of Calvinism is a fierce insistence on the utterly arbitrary nature of power. The King of the Cavaliers was certainly not so purely willful, so sublimely capricious a sultan, as the God of the Puritans.”

157. “So I respect people’s desire to remain anonymous, so long as they are consistent with whatever screen name they use (rather than posting as different people and actually acting like they are not the same person, as in sockpuppeting, etc.).”

158. “We cross a line when we are more focused on mastering theology than on being mastered by Christ.” (25)

159. “The English Puritans were obsessed with the idea of providence, and that word is more ominous to them than it sounds to us. It means care, but it also means control. It does not just mean that God will provide. It means that God will provide whatever the hell God wants and the Puritans will thank him for it even if He provides them with nothing more than a slow death in a long winter. It means that if they're scared and small and lowly enough He just might toss a half-eaten corncob their way. It means that the world isn't fair and it's their fault. It means that God is the sovereign, the authority. It means manna from heaven, but it also means bow down.”

160. “I admit that in this miserable condition wherein men are now bound, all of Adam’s children have fallen by God’s will.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 23, Paragraph 4)

161. “So then Derek you concede that you have never had a thought or desire that was not pre-determined by God? Remember you are trying to argue that compatibilism is fundamentally distinguished from hard determinism because it doesn’t collapse into causal determinism. In fact you said I was being “unfair” to suggest that compatibilism and hard determinism both result in causal determinism. You now admit that the very “wants” and “desires” that make the cogs of compatibilism go round and round are themselves determined by God via a sovereign foreordination “of everything about my life” that you were not free to resist…or think, desire or act contrary to. There is no mystery or paradox. Everything has been determined!”

162. “Robert, thanks for sharing this. I have mentioned to you before that I don’t like this way of posting and explained why, but you never offered this information to me before. Not sure why.”

163. “If you define determinism the way it is philosophically and logically understood, then, yes, it would rule out the possibility of genuine freedom. But when I speak of “determinism” and when I speak of “freedom” I am rejecting the accepted, normal usages and definitions of such terms and consigning my own special, private interpretations to them, such that my compatibilism doesn’t involve the incoherent, logical problems it normally would if I were to adopt the proper, long-standing definitions.”

164. “So you see, we may well be talking about different concepts but using the same words. Do you agree that this may be the case?”

165. “ Does TULIP depend on causal determinism?”

166. Since we are all naturally prone to hypocrisy, any empty semblance of righteousness is quite enough to satisfy us instead of righteousness itself.

167. “If one isn’t going to give all kinds of personal info., like a last name, address, phone # etc. what difference does it make if one comments as “Robert” or “kangaroodort” or whatever?”

168. The human testimonies which go to confirm it will not be without effect, if they are used in subordination to that chief and highest proof, as secondary helps to our weakness.

169. Joy is a quiet gladness of heart as one contemplates the goodness of God's saving grace in Christ Jesus.

170. It is foolish to attempt to prove to infidels that Scripture is the Word of God. This cannot be known except by faith.

171. “Made for Apollyon to devour,

172. You must submit to supreme suffering in order to discover the completion of joy.

173. “We cannot assign any reason for his bestowing mercy on his people, but just as it so pleases him, neither can we have any reason for his reprobating others but his will.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 22, Paragraph 11)

174. “This world desperately needs to see a robust, healthy Calvinism that celebrates the fullness of God’s ways and works — not a lopsided Christian who cannot get off of the hobbyhorse of God’s sovereignty.” (43)

175. Our prayer must not be self-centered. It must arise not only because we feel our own need as a burden we must lay upon God, but also because we are so bound up in love for our fellow men that we feel their need as acutely as our own.

176. 12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 14 But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it

177. “Well, more seriously, is the Arminian view of causation truly incompatible with TULIP?”

178. “ Only God’s sovereign grace could ever have changed my heart and altered my course.”

179. “ I refuse to close off these categories as if they are mutually exclusive, since there does not appear to be any compelling reason to do so from a Biblical, philosophical or experiential standpoint.”

180. “It was not, as some suggest, Calvinism that made Scots hard: it was Scottish character that made Calvinism, already congenial to the national spirit, even more rock-ribbed than its Genevan counterpart.”

181. “We must not judge God by our feelings but by His revealed word.”

182. “…it is very wicked merely to investigate the causes of God’s will. For his will is, and rightly ought to be, the cause of all things that are.”…”For God’s will is so much the highest rule of righteousness that whatever he wills, by the very fact that he wills it, must be considered righteous. When, therefore, one asks why God has so done, we must reply: because he has willed it. But if you proceed further to ask why he so willed, you are seeking something greater and higher than God’s will, which cannot be found.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 23, Paragraph 1)

183. No one knows the one-hundredth part of the sin that clings to his soul.

184. “Secondly, the proper counsel and intention of God in sending his Son into the world to die was, that thereby he might confirm and ratify the new covenant to his elect, and purchase for them all the good things which are contained in the tenure of that covenant, - to wit, grace and glory; that by his death he might bring many (yet some certain) children to glory, obtaining for them that were given unto him by his Father (that is, his whole church) reconciliation with God, remission of sins, faith, righteousness, sanctification, and life eternal.”

185. 6 But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame. ” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. ”

186. “But I have already defined my view of human freedom as the classical compatibilist’s “voluntary, uncoerced” action of the will in combination with our actual experience of free choice, with its obvious and undeniable sense of liberty. We are capable of doing other than we do, and as free as our everyday selection of socks, meals, pets, computers, guitars, books, words to write on a blog, etc. No one compels or forces our selection of these things. We select what we want from a broad range of possible choices. They are “possible” because we possess the ability to choose them, and they are “choices” because they are an action of the will that we select in distinction to the other actions of the will of which we are capable at the same moment.”

187. A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent.

188. Prayers will never reach God unless they are founded on free mercy.

189. “If a man is drawn, says an objector, he comes against his will. [We answer] If he comes unwillingly, he does not believe: if he does not believe, he does not come. For we do not run to Christ on our feet but by faith; not with the movement of the body, but with the freewill of the heart. Think not that thou art drawn against thy will: the mind can be drawn by love.”

190. “Here was the leading author of the New Testament [Paul] and a man who arguably had more insight into the character and ways of God than you or I ever will, and if we need proof that he could believe 100 percent in predestination and 100 percent in evangelism, here it is: ‘I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory’ (2 Timothy 2:10). Paul paid a high personal price, suffering hardship and spending himself to bring the gospel and preach the gospel to people who were already certain to be saved!” (55)

191. “This would be akin to me saying that Arminian free will collapses into Pelagianism (or perhaps Open Theism), while ignoring the Classical Arminian’s affirmation of Total Depravity (which strongly inhibits–rather, kills– libertarian freedom) and Prevenient Grace (which acknowledges the deadness and–gratefully–affirms our need for divine grace).”

192. We are not thus convinced if we look merely to ourselves and not also to the Lord, who is the sole standard by which this judgment must be measured.

193. “Providence then - and this is what is most important to grasp - is not the same thing as a universal teleology. To believe in divine and unfailing providence is not to burden one's conscience with the need to see every event in this world not only as an occasion for God's grace, but as a positive determination of God's will whereby he brings to pass a comprehensive design that, in the absence of any single one of these events, would not have been possible. It may seem that this is to draw only the finest of logical distinction, one so fine indeed as to amount to little more than a sophistry. Some theologians - Calvin, for instance - have denied that the distinction between what God wills and what he permits has any meaning at all. And certainly there is no unanimity in the history of Christian exegesis on this matter. Certain classic Western interpretations of Paul's treatment of the hardening of Pharaoh's heart and of the hardened heart of Israel in Romans 9 have taken it as a clear statement of God's immediate determination of his creatures' wills. But in the Eastern Christian tradition, and in the thought of many of the greatest Western theologians, the same argument has often been understood to assert no more than that God in either case allowed a prior corruption of the will to run its course, or even - like a mire in the light of the sun - to harden the outpouring of God's fiery mercy, and always for the sake of a greater good that will perhaps redound even to the benefit of the sinner. One might read Christ's answer to his disciples' question regarding why a man had been born blind - 'that the works of God should be made manifest in him' (John 9:3) - either as a refutation or as a confirmation of the distinction between divine will and permission. When all is said and done, however, not only is the distinction neither illogical nor slight; it is an absolute necessity if - setting aside, as we should, all other judgments as superstitious, stochastic, and secondary - we are to be guided by the full character of what is revealed of God in Christ. For, after all, if it is from Christ that we are to learn how God relates himself to sin, suffering, evil, and death, it would seem that he provides us little evidence of anything other than a regal, relentless, and miraculous enmity: sin he forgives, suffering he heals, evil he casts out, and death he conquers. And absolutely nowhere does Christ act as if any of these things are part of the eternal work or purposes of God.”


195. “God could foresee nothing good in man except what he had already determined to bestow by the benefit of his election.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 22, Paragraph 5)

196. “If by ‘the author of sin,’ be meant the sinner, the agent, or the actor of sin, or the doer of a wicked thing… It would be a reproach and blasphemy, to suppose God to be the author of sin. In this sense, I utterly deny God to be the author of sin.” But, he argues, willing that sin exist in the world is not the same as sinning. God does not commit sin in willing that there be sin. God has established a world in which sin will indeed necessarily come to pass by God’s permission, but not by his “positive agency.”

197. “I cannot conceive an intention in God that Christ should satisfy his justice for the sin of them that were in hell some thousands of years before, and yet be still resolved to continue their punishment on them to all eternity.”

198. “I would actually join you in arguing against any determinism that rules out human freedom and responsibility.”

199. ‘Tis thus, O God, they picture Thee,

200. “For example you bring up the story of Joseph and how God meant for good what the brothers meant for evil. The “it” you reference is Joseph being sold as a slave in Egypt—not the wicked characters of the brothers. And God does no wrong in planning or purposing that Joseph be a slave in Egypt. We owe our very lives to him and if God wishes that I become vulnerable and subject to the evil whims of men such that I serve his overarching purpose as a slave so that good can come, that is God’s prerogative. However we most note the hatred and jealousy of the older brothers arose out of their own wicked hearts and minds (i.e. many are the plans in man’s mind” Pr. 21:9). God did not HAVE to create it within them or decree their evil characters before the foundation of the world in order to later exploit their jealousy and sin to achieve his own good intention (“meant it for good”). Such is the nature of true, God-glorifying sovereignty: overruling evil for good—not causing all evil to bring about some good. Vastly different.”

201. “…individuals are born, who are doomed from the womb to certain death, and are to glorify him by their destruction.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 23, Paragraph 6)

202. “Let’s accept the fact that Calvinism’s reputation has been falsely tainted and that few of the Christians who oppose it actually understand its tenets. Let’s accept the reality that our efforts will meet with opposition. If we believe that the heart of Calvinism is simply an accurate restatement of the gospel, then opposition based on misunderstanding should not surprise us — distortion of the gospel has been a principal goal of the enemy from the beginning.” (101–102)

203. “The very inequality of his grace proves that it is free.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 21, Paragraph 6)

204. “Hence as to future time, because the issue of all things is hidden from us, each ought to so to apply himself to his office, *AS-IF* nothing were determined about any part.”(Concerning the eternal predestination of God)

205. “Your arguments presuppose that freedom of will is incompatible with God’s pre-determinate counsel.”

206. “I share many of your concerns regarding the potential ill effects of Calvinism. Much of this can be characterized as hyper Calvinism (I sometimes refer to “high[per] Calvinism,” meaning anyone, whether “high” or “hyper” in his views, who over-emphasizes certain logical implications at the expense of other matters clearly revealed in Scripture).”

207. “What made such a plan seem workable was that for the early pluralists and their multicultural descendants society would have fewer and fewer traditional groups. The kind of pluralist society that Dewey and Kallen envisaged would go beyond rooted ethnic communities. It would become the evolving creation of “free” individual participants, setting goals under scientific direction and having their material interests monitored by a “conductor state.” The world as conceived by pluralists was there to be managed and to be made culturally safe for its framers: Eastern and Central European Jews fearful of traditional Gentile mores and the uprooted descendants of New England Calvinists looking for the New Jerusalem under scientific management.”

208. “As Boettner so aptly observes, for the Calvinist, the atonement "is like a narrow bridge which goes all the way across the stream; for the Arminian it is like a great wide bridge that goes only half-way across." p. 41”

209. “Therefore, those whom God passes over, he condemns; and this he does for no other reason than that he wills to exclude them from the inheritance which he predestines for his own children.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 23, Paragraph 1)

210. “The result of my freedom is that I will choose what God pre-determined. Since I don’t know what was decreed, I freely choose according to my own desires and without regard to decree.”

211. Jesus, in His High Priestly Prayer, prays not for the world, but for those given to Him by the Father. In fulfillment of the Father's charge, Jesus had accomplished the work the Father had sent Him to do - to make God known to His people and to give them eternal life. (John 17:1-11, 20, 24-26)

212. “From my perspective there are many possibilities and I make a perfectly free choice. From God’s standpoint, it is all pre-determined, but from mine it is open… God decreed that I should be presented with a range of possible choices and experience the freedom of choosing, and yet He also decreed the outcome.”

213. Humility is the beginning of true intelligence.

214. The Horrible Decree

215. “They” (the Calvinists) say that God has decreed in His word for all to repent and find salvation, while decreeing the reprobate to be blind to this truth. “They” (the Calvinists) are asserting God ordained the sin of these reprobates eternally and then will condemn them for His decree.

216. Peace is not to be purchased by the sacrifice of truth.

217. “In my view, Calvinism “done right” will actually result in the opposite effects, and to a greater extent than any non-Calvinist philosophy will.”

218. “Noah found grace amidst a perverse generation (Gen 6: 8)

219. “But alas, which am I to believe? God’s Holy Word or my undeniable experience?”

220. “I am not at all shy about ascribing great limitations and even apparent contradictions to our perspective.”

221. All truth is from God; and consequently, if wicked men have said anything that is true and just, we ought not to reject it; for it has come from God.

222. “I don't believe there is any such definition, there is no such thing as evil, only moral judgments based on what society believes to be wrong behavior.”

223. We should forever keep in mind that we must not brood on the wickedness of man, but realize that he is God’s image-bearer.

224. “Do you think it is remotely possible that predestination and freedom are not mutually exclusive?”

225. “Vincent Cheung and Gordon Clark are in the line of the hyper Calvinists who are most likely to espouse the hardest form of determinism without apology.”

226. The Opiate

227. “Part of the problem here is that we are speaking two very different philosophical languages. We embrace opposing assumptions and presuppositions (although i would guess we fundamentally agree that Scripture is inerrant and Christ alone saves, by grace alone through faith alone to the glory of God alone?).”

228. “God is moved to mercy for no other reason but that he wills to be merciful.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 22, Paragraph 8)

229. “Many professing a desire to defend the Deity from an individual charge admit the doctrine of election, but deny that any one is reprobated. This they do ignorantly and childishly, since there could be no election without its opposite, reprobation.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 23, Paragraph 1)

230. Let this be our rule for goodwill and helpfulness, that whenever we are able to assist others we should behave as stewards who must someday give an account of ourselves.

231. “At the same time, there flourished around them an equally remarkable, and for us more interesting, defiance of the Calvinist spirit: the art and culture of the Netherlands, in which man’s relation to the world of objects, and to his own physical life, became the subject of a profound spiritual interrogation.”

232. “John Calvin says that when a seed falls into the ground it is cherished there, by which he means that everything the seed contains by way of expectation is foreseen and honored. One might as well say the earth invades the seed, seizes it as occasion to compose itself in some brief shape... So a thriving place is full of intention, a sufficiency awaiting expectation, teasing beyond hope itself.”

233. “…it is utterly inconsistent to transfer the preparation for destruction to anything but God’s secret plan… God’s secret plan is the cause of hardening.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 2, Chapter 23, Paragraph 1)

234. Human will does not by liberty obtain grace, but by grace obtains liberty.

235. “So I find myself embracing compatibilism — the belief that there can be a pre-determination of everything by an incomprehensible God without any diminishment of natural human freedom and responsibility.”

236. Address To The Calvinists

237. The word hope" I take for faith, and indeed hope is nothing else but the constancy of faith

238. “Even though by God’s eternal providence man has been created to undergo that calamity to which he is subject, it still takes its occasion from man himself, not from God, since the only reason for his ruin is that he has degenerated from God’s pure creation into vicious and impure perversity.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 23, Paragraph 9)

239. So, you deny that all events are ordained by God, correct? And your primary reason is that certain objectionable events have occurred, and you cannot conceive of a good God ordaining those events, correct? I want to be sure I am accurately understanding your position

240. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them

241. “The question presents a false dichotomy,”

242. “There is a sort of dizzying, self-defeating character to determinism. For if one comes to believe that determinism is true, one has to believe that the reason he has come to believe it is simply that he was determined to do so. One has not in fact been able to weigh the arguments pro and con and freely make up one’s mind on that basis. The difference between the person who weighs the arguments for determinism and rejects them and the person who weighs them and accepts them is wholly that one was determined by causal factors outside himself to believe and the other not to believe. When you come to realize that your decision to believe in determinism was itself determined and that even your present realization of that fact right now is likewise determined, a sort of vertigo sets in, for everything that you think, even this very thought itself, is outside your control. Determinism could be true; but it is very hard to see how it could ever be rationally affirmed, since its affirmation undermines the rationality of its affirmation.”

243. Whatever a person may be like, we must still love them because we love God.

244. “My presupposition is that God’s all-determining will, eternal decree, and continuous providential action are not at all incompatible with creaturely freedom of will.”

245. “ It involves determinism, yes, certainly. But if you define determinism in a way that automatically rules out the possibility of genuine freedom, I can only say that my compatibilism does not involve that kind of determinism.”

246. Whoever is not satisfied with Christ alone, strives after something beyond absolute perfection.'

247. We shall never be clothed with the righteousness of Christ except we first know assuredly that we have no righteousness of our own

248. “Their Christian walk was such that it convinced even their most bitter foes of the sincerity and wholeheartedness of their faith and practice. The foes saw faith working powerfully through love, demonstrated in their straightforward business dealings, charitable deeds to the poor, visiting and comforting the sick and oppressed educating the ignorant, convincing the erring, punishing the wicked, reproving the idle, and encouraging the devout. And all this was done with diligence and sensitivity, as well as joy, peace, and happiness, such that it was obvious that the Lord was truly with them.”

249. I consider looseness with words no less of a defect than looseness of the bowels.

250. A perfect faith is nowhere to be found, so it follows that all of us are partly unbelievers.

251. The one condition for spiritual progress is that we remain sincere and humble.

252. Sifted Like Wheat

253. “As discussed above, there is abundant Biblical backing for this idea that free will and determinism are both employed by God in His administration of the universe.”

254. Slandered As A Predestinarian

255. Man's nature, so to speak, is a perpetual factory of idols.

256. We must remember that Satan has his miracles, too.

257. “Prometheus” presented his/her concerns. I will address these and end with one of my own.

258. While all men seek after happiness, scarcely one in a hundred looks for it from God

259. “Saved from the wrath of God, by the grace of God, for the glory of God.”

260. “We hold that God is the disposer and ruler of all things, –that from the remotest eternity, according to his own wisdom, He decreed what he was to do, and now by his power executes what he decreed. Hence we maintain, that by His providence, not heaven and earth and inanimate creatures only, but also the counsels and wills of men are so governed as to move exactly in the course which he has destined.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 1, Chapter 16, Paragraph 8)

261. The surest source of destruction to men is to obey themselves.

262. “But then again, God’s Word commands me to choose and holds me responsible for the choices I make. It nevertheless says I can have no good thing (faith and repentance included) unless God grants it to me by His mercy.”

263. Nothing is more dangerous than to be blinded by prosperity.

264. “To take this a step further, what would you say to a person who holds to an Arminian view of causation while affirming the Calvinists’ TULIP? Would such a person be a confused Arminian, or a weird kind of Calvinist? ”

265. There is also an old proverb, that they who pay much attention to the body generally neglect the soul.

266. “... apparently sees some value in the antiquity of the doctrine of ... This means absolutely nothing to me, for whom the Scriptures alone are my sole doctrinal authority, beyond the fact that this is just one more error of the ancient fathers. I could fill pages documenting other errors that the ancient fathers held and espoused.

267. “…although the voice of the gospel addresses all in general, yet the gift of faith is rare.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 22, Paragraph 9)

268. “Believers are also trained in obedience by means of the cross. For thus they are taught to live according to God's will rather than their own. If everything went according to their own plans, they would never know what it means to follow God.”

269. “Auf jeden Fall ist der Calvinismus die Ursache für die seltsame Unruhe, die viele von uns befällt, sobald wir aufhören, etwas Nützliches zu tun. Johannes Calvin ist schuld, dass wir nicht mehr ohne schlechtes Gewissen am Strand herumliegen können.”

270. “I prefer to view the more moderate/mainstream Calvinists’ softening statements as evidence of a commitment to Biblical balance, preventing them from falling into the philosophical trap of hard determinism (the kind hypers veritably revel in).”

271. “I see God’s decree clearly taught in Scripture, so I cannot take that away without a total change of heart in terms of the exegesis.”

272. “I must honestly claim a rather gaping ignorance.”

273. “Het modernisme rust niet voordat het van de vrouw een man en van de man een vrouw heeft gemaakt, en, alle onderscheid nivellerend, het leven doodt door het onder de ban van de eenvormigheid te leggen.”

274. “But it helps me understand where you are coming from. I think you got some bad advice way back when. If people you were corresponding with didn’t personally complain that they thought you were being accusatory, I don’t see why that guy would have any reason to think that was the case.”

275. “However, you have now had more than one person express why they have problems with the third person style of commenting. So you might want to take that into consideration as well.”

276. “If the moniker is consistent, why should it matter?”

277. Unless we fix certain hours in the day for prayer, it easily slips from our memory.

278. 16 If you obey the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you today, by loving the LORD your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. 17 But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, 18 I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. 19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, 20 loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them. ”

279. “Who would believe that a teacher who withholds the information students need to pass a course merely permitted them to fail? What if that teacher said, "I didn't cause them to fail; they did it on their own"? Would anyone accept that explanation or would they accuse the teacher of not merely permitting the students to fail, but actually causing them to fail? And what if the teacher argued that he actually planned and rendered the students' failure certain for a good reason—to uphold academic standards and show what a great teacher he is by demonstrating how necessary his information is for students to pass? Would not these admissions only deepen everyone's conviction that the teacher is morally and professionally wrong?”

280. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified

281. “I believe that if I do not pause and thank God for all of the people he has brought into my life, I am killing Calvinism in the worst way. God has so ordained and orchestrated my life, down to the finest detail, that to refuse to see God’s hand in bringing many wonderful non-Calvinists into my life would be a rejection of Reformed theology.” (66)

282. The Lord has not redeemed you so you might enjoy pleasures and luxuries, but rather so you should be prepared to endure all sorts of evils.

283. Faith brings a man empty to God, that he may be filled with the blessings of God.

284. An omnipotent God is capable of rendering us genuinely free while determining everything (without introducing any real contradiction from His own perspective)

285. Scripture and the believer’s experience support both divine determinism and genuine free will of some sort (though not exactly the libertarian variety)


287. The torture of a bad conscience is the hell of a living soul.

288. Faith is like an empty, open hand stretched out towards God, with nothing to offer and everything to receive.

289. “If your church continues in this liberty of conscience, making no scruple to take away what she pleases, soon the Scripture will fail you, and you will have to be satisfied with the Institutes of Calvin, which must indeed have I know not what excellence, since they censure the Scriptures themselves!”

290. “To be honest, I would rather serve alongside a consecrated, moderate, and fair-minded Arminian who is growing in godliness than a cold high(per) Calvinist who is complacent and arrogant.”

291. “…salvation is freely offered to some while others are barred from access to it.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 21, Paragraph 5)

292. “ I would find your arguments (and Robert’s) unassailable.”

293. “I do not see the softening statements as logical contradictions, but an attempt to be consistent with Scripture, grounded in the humility that confesses God’s ways are superior to our highest intellect.”

294. “You seem to extol this as being somehow “consistent.””

295. But a faithful believer will in all circumstances mediate on the mercy and fatherly goodness of God.

296. “Obedience to lawful authority is the proof of true piety.”

297. “Now comes the really amazing part. What is offered to the world, to everyone who hears the gospel, is not a love or saving achievement designed for all and therefore especially for no one; but rather, what is offered is the absolute fullness of all that Christ achieved for his elect.”

298. “Yes, I do possess that freedom, in simple terms. But the result of my freedom is that I will choose what God pre-determined. Since I don’t know what was decreed, I freely choose according to my own desires and without regard to decree. No one’s choice is influenced by a decree of which he is unaware (even if he is aware of the fact that there is a decree). We choose from the range of possibilities that we see before us. All of the possibilities are possible before we choose, and we are free to choose any of the possibilities. The fact that a decree of God mysteriously works in, under, and through our choice does not mitigate or invalidate the real freedom that is experienced by us.”

299. The True Gospel

300. “Over time I ended up giving away both my first and last name. There are still times that I wish I hadn’t.”

301. True Assurance

302. “Again I ask: whence does it happen that Adam’s fall irremediably involved so many peoples, together with their infant offspring, in eternal death unless because it so pleased God? The decree is dreadful indeed, I confess. Yet no one can deny that God foreknew what end man was to have before he created him, and consequently foreknew because he so ordained by his decree. And it ought not to seem absurd for me to say that God not only foresaw the fall of the first man, and in him the ruin of his descendants, but also meted it out in accordance with his own decision.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 23, Paragraph 7)

303. “...Calvinism has a sharply-defined starting-point of its own for the three fundamental relations of all human existence: viz., our relation to God, to man, and to the world. For our relation to God: an immediate fellowship of man with Eternal, independently of priest or church. For the relation of man to man: the recognition in each person of human worth, which is his by virtue of his creation after the Divine likeness, and therefore of the equality of all men before God and his magistrate. And for our relation to the world: the recognition that in the whole world the curse is restrained by grace, that the life of the world is to be honored in its independence, and that we must, in every domain, discover the treasure and develop the potencies hidden by God in nature and in human life.”

304. Poison of Calvin

305. Faith A Gift From God

306. “The God of truth did not intend

307. “All of the possibilities are possible before we choose, and we are free to choose any of the possibilities. The fact that a decree of God mysteriously works in, under, and through our choice does not mitigate or invalidate the real freedom that is experienced by us.”

308. God preordained, for his own glory and the display of His attributes of mercy and justice, a part of the human race, without any merit of their own, to eternal salvation, and another part, in just punishment of their sin, to eternal damnation.

309. “People have all kinds of reasons for not wanting to use their real names. You can’t just assume that you are the only one who has a good reason.”


311. We should never insult others on account of their faults, for it is our duty to show charity and respect to everyone.

312. All things are of God; and, therefore, why should it not be lawful to dedicate to his glory everything that can properly be employed for such a purpose?

313. The pastor ought to have two voices: one, for gathering the sheep; and another, for warding off and driving away wolves and thieves.

314. “What is more, all the Scriptures that seem to support “free will” fit nicely into compatibilism;”

315. Against Absolute Predestination

316. “And, therefore, seeing he doth not intercede and pray for every one, he did not die for every one.”

317. Jesus, as the good shepherd, lays down His life for His sheep. All who are "His sheep" are brought by Him into the fold and are made to hear His voice and follow Him. Notice that the Father had given the sheep to Christ! (John 10:11, 14-18, 24-29

318. We must guard against depriving believers of anything disclosed about predestination in Scripture, lest we seem either wickedly to defraud them of the blessing of their God or to accuse and scoff at the Holy Spirit for having published what it is in any way profitable to suppress.

319. “This is, to me, a perfect illustration of Romans 8:28. That verse, by the way, applies to “all things.””

320. “What is most decisive is God's Joy Project is not that we fully grasp it, but that our sovereign God fully grasps us.”

321. Purging the Leaven

322. “Salvation is God saving man, from God (Romans 5: 9), through God (Romans 5: 9 ; 3: 24, 25), for God (Ephesians 1: 6, 11). Soli Deo Gloria!”

323. “I believe with all my heart that Calvinism is a treasure. It beautifully summarizes and systematizes the truths concerning our salvation revealed in Scripture. But treasure in the hands of fools is a frightening prospect, and nothing fuels a fool more than pride. I pray that my fellow Calvinists would join me in hunting down every vestige of pride in our hearts, right down to the last lingering impulse of arrogance.” (82)

324. “So I don’t see how compatibilism can ever “collapse” into mere determinism. It involves determinism, yes, certainly. But if you define determinism in a way that automatically rules out the possibility of genuine freedom, I can only say that my compatibilism does not involve that kind of determinism.”

325. The Extent Of The Atonement

326. “If we interpret St. Augustine in material terms, by the pure light of a reason which is not truly theological but geometric, his teaching seems to annihilate the creature. As a result of original sin man is taken to be essentially corrupt; that is the doctrine of Luther, of Calvin, of Jansenius.

327. “The psychological significance of the doctrine of predestination is a twofold one. It expresses and enhances the feeling of individual powerlessness and insignificance. No doctrine could express more strongly than this the worthlessness of human will and effort. The decision over man's fate is taken completely out of his own hands and there is nothing man can do to change this decision. He is a powerless tool in God's hands. The other meaning of this doctrine, like that of Luther's, consists in its function to silence the irrational doubt which was the same in Calvin and his followers as in Luther. At first glance the doctrine of predestination seems to enhance the doubt rather than silence it. Must not the individual be torn by even more torturing doubts than before to learn that he was predestined either to eternal damnation or to salvation before he was born? How can he ever be sure what his lot will be? Although Calvin did not teach that there was any concrete proof of such certainty, he and his followers actually had the conviction that they belonged to the chosen ones. They got this conviction by the same mechanism of self-humiliation which we have analyzed with regard to Luther's doctrine. Having such conviction, the doctrine of predestination implied utmost certainty; one could not do anything which would endanger the state of salvation, since one's salvation did not depend on one's own actions but was decided upon before one was ever born. Again, as with Luther, the fundamental doubt resulted in the quest for absolute certainty, but though the doctrine of predestination gave such certainty, the doubt remained in the background and had to be silenced again and again by an ever-growing fanatic belief that the religious community to which one belonged represented that part of mankind which had been chosen by God.”

328. We cannot rely on God's promises without obeying his commandments.

329. “All future things being uncertain to us, we hold them in suspense, *AS-IF* they might happen either one way or another.” (Institutes Vol 1, 16,9)

330. Sinking Back

331. Lawful worship consists in obedience alone.

332. “…it is vain to debate about prescience, which it is clear that all events take place by his sovereign appointment.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 23, Paragraph 6)

333. As your fathers did, so do you

334. To make intercession for men is the most powerful and practical way in which we can express our love for them.

335. either all the sins of all men,

336. “In the numbing hands of pretentious filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen, history does not repeat itself in any way whatsoever.”

337. All the blessings we enjoy are Divine deposits, committed to our trust on this condition, that they should be dispensed for the benefit of our neighbors.

338. “In short, doctrinally, Puritanism was a kind of vigorous Calvinism; experientially, it was warm and contagious; evangelistically, it was aggressive, yet tender; ecclesiastically, it was theocentric and worshipful; and politically, it aimed to be scriptural and balanced.”

339. “I have great remorse about the number of people that might say that they were at some point afraid to talk about predestination and election with me. If people did not feel at ease in my presence then I have done a great disservice. Let me say it more bluntly: I have sinned. May God grant me and every Calvinist who falters in this area the grace to commend Calvinism with a gentle, merciful spirit.” (103)

340. “John Calvin might have been a Christian at one point in time,…”

341. “This leads to my basic contention that any attempt to ground a universal, deterministic sovereignty in Proverbs is ill-conceived from the start. It is wholly irresponsible for us to read Proverbs in a manner divorced and isolated from the overall emphasis of Proverbs—that being to instruct one in the way of the Lord.”

342. To know God as the Master and Bestower of all good things, who invites us to request them of Him, and still not go to Him and ask of Him – this would be of as little profit as for a man to neglect a treasure, buried and hidden in the earth, after it had been pointed out to him.

343. “and all the Scriptures that seem to support determinism fit into it.”

344. “This new environmental determinism (as, for instance, preached by John Dewey and his behaviorist forerunners) is an even more evil invention than Calvin's doctrine concerning predestination. Environment is merely a factor, an influence exercised on the human free will, but not a fatal and coercive power.”

345. There is not one little blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make men rejoice.

346. “The first man fell because the Lord deemed it meet that he should.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 23, Paragraph 8)

347. “For if predestination is nothing but the meting out of divine justice–secret, indeed, but blameless–because it is certain that they were not unworthy to be predestined to this condition, it is equally certain that the destruction they undergo by predestination is also most just. Besides, their perdition depends upon the predestination of God in such a way that the cause and occasion of it are found in themselves. For the first man fell because the Lord had judged it to be expedient; why he so judged is hidden from us.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 23, Paragraph 8)

348. If a preacher is not first preaching to himself, better that he falls on the steps of the pulpit and breaks his neck than preaches that sermon.

349. “One learns to put the brakes on certain logical leaps that seem inevitable (much as Paul did in Romans 3, 6 and 9). Logic remarkably similar to Robert’s appears in Romans 3, where Paul addresses the very same kinds of apparently logical arguments and simply dismisses them as obviously unbiblical and unworthy of God.”

350. “You may be aware that there are “middle knowledge” Calvinists who affirm something similar to Molinism but in a compatibilistic construct rather than as a solution to the problem of libertarian freedom in light of God’s foreknowledge. Would you say these middle knowledge Calvinists are somehow less than truly Calvinistic in their theology?”

351. “ I personally respect Calvinists who believe because they think the Bible says so more than the ones who try to only look at the philosophical side of things.”

352. “Although I have not specifically invoked paradox, I have mentioned mystery. How all of those statements work together is certainly a mystery to me, since God has not revealed it. If asked, “Who chose your socks this morning, you or God?”, I would simply answer: “I chose my socks and God chose them.”

353. “I am not impressed by big words,' said my uncle, who was always ready enough to bandy 'predestination' and 'infralapsarianism.”

354. “The weird thing is I feel like I'm shedding skin so fast and I'm growing and I'm becoming a new person so quickly at a rate that I'm comfortable with, yet it seems faster and more steady than an other time in my life except 16, 17, 18. I just have to sit down and listen to the ideas I'm having. And I'm not worried.”

355. “There is clearly a feeling abroad that God smiled on our beginnings, and that we should return to them as we can. If we really did attempt to return to them, we would find Moses as well as Christ, Calvin, and his legions of intellectual heirs. And we would find a recurrent, passionate, insistence on bounty or liberality, mercy and liberality, on being kind and liberal, liberal and bountiful, and enjoying the great blessings God has promised to liberality to the poor.”

356. e. God’s irresistible decrees? If not—what part disqualifies the definition as being truly descriptive of compatibilistic freedom?

357. A man that extols himself is a fool and an idiot

358. “Dream of yoking a gnat with an archangel, and then imagine that you can help your Lord in the work of salvation.”

359. Nothing, including human suffering, happens by chance.

360. “However, I can further state the following based on a lot of Scripture:

361. Beware of Pride

362. or some sins of all men

363. Escaping From Calvin

364. “God does not need us to be his spin-doctors. When we feel compelled to make sure that his sacred Word does not give the ‘wrong impression,’ we are really demonstrating a tremendous lack of confidence in the clarity and authority of Scripture. . . . When we refuse to let our theology dictate Scripture, we are free to live with large doses of paradox. We are not afraid of passages that emphasize the need for good works. We do not feel awkward about verses that call on everyone to make a choice and take a stand for the Lord. Instead, we are free to put all of our hope in our sovereign God while striving to follow everything he has commanded us to do and be.” (74–75)

365. We unjustly defraud God of his right, unless each of us lives and dies in dependence on His sovereign pleasure.

366. Let the first rule of right prayer then be, to have our heart and mind framed as becomes those who are entering into converse with God.

367. “Proverbs 3:5-6 puts it this way:

368. Okay, assuming I have understood you correctly, what are the alternatives?

369. “Folks like Piper, Packer and Frame are more likely to express a compatibilism that affirms human freedom as a mystery within (and even upheld by) divine ordination. I have read Calvin’s discussion of free will in the Institutes; he is a textbook compatibilist.”

370. “And yet by His grace I did not find myself constrained or forced to believe. I chose it freely; yet I could (and would) only choose it by sovereign, irresistible grace.”

371. Scripture is like a pair of spectacles which dispels the darkness and gives us a clear view of God.

372. “The devil, and the whole train of the ungodly, are in all directions, held in by the hand of God as with a bridle, so that they can neither conceive any mischief, nor plan what they have conceived, nor how muchsoever they may have planned, move a single finger to perpetrate, unless in so far as he permits, nay unless in so far as he commands, that they are not only bound by his fetters but are even forced to do him service” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 1, Chapter 17, Paragraph 11)

373. “Far from me, heretics

374. “I admire Meryl Streep and Dustin Hoffman for their sheer dedication to their craft.”

375. “The righteous God consigned

376. That man is truly humble who neither claims any personal merit in the sight of God, nor proudly despises brethren, or aims at being thought superior to them...

377. There is no inconsistency when God raises up those who have fallen prostrate.

378. “Proverbs is thoroughly understood by scholars to be within the genre of “wisdom literature” which was not all that uncommon in the ANE culture. It was a form of literature that sought to articulate general wisdom for society to follow.”

379. “Biblical Compatibilism preserves both the absolute freedom of God to choose everything, and, within that, the derived freedom of man to choose whatever is within his domain.”

380. “Jesus is not impressed with our Calvin, Edwards, or Machen when we cannot grow into people of kindness and self-control. It is simply time to grow up. We need to stop killing our Calvinism.” (30)

381. “I am examining the referenced article on I Cor. 10:13, and have found it interesting thus far. Thank you for the challenge.”


383. Unless men establish their complete happiness in God, they will never give themselves truly and sincerely to him.

384. And I will raise him up on the last day

385. “Thus a true compatibilist can avoid awkward and obviously slanted exegesis.”

386. Let our chief goal, O God, be your glory, and to enjoy You forever.

387. It is remarkable, how much of Roman Catholic tradition and theory survived in Calvin's theology.

388. “Historically, Calvinists have taken a variety of positions, from a VERY SOFT compatibilism to a VERY HARD determinism. A.W. Pink (depending on the day of the week),’

389. Jesus was sent into the world by the Father to save the people whom the Father had given to Him. Those given to Him by the Father come to Him (see and believe in Him), and none of them shall be lost. (John 6:35-40)

390. “So I think it is a bit unfair for you to say Calvinistic ordination “collapses into causal determinism” and then disparage the softening statements of compatibilism offered by the more moderate voices in the group.”

391. “There is not one blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice.”

392. “Thanks Robert– I really like your additional thoughts and I appreciate them. I especially liked your comments about the “king” in Proverbs.”

20 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

950 Beautiful Cherry Blossom Quotes (2023)

1. “Ah, if in this world there were no such thing as cherry blossoms, perhaps then in springtime our hearts would be at peace. ” — Ariwara no Narihira 2. “Cherry blossoms: fleeting treasures.” – Unkno

bottom of page