i) Arminians made an argument that prayer for the Calvinist, on Calvinist assumptions, was 'pointless,' and a 'waste of time.'
ii) I rebutted.
iii) They offered a rebuttal to (ii) my rebutting.
iv) I rebutted that.
v) (iv) has not been rebutted.
vi) I went on the offensive, showing that on their system, and given the way they used terms in an undefined, ambiguous, vague, and sloppy way, they have the problem of God doing pointless things, wasting his time, or, at best, they waste their time and when engaging in pointless prayers.
The Argument in a nutshell
God knows who will be saved and who will be unsaved. Call the first group S and the last U.
If an Arminian prays for God to save a member of U, then when he does whatever it is that he does to answer the prayer, he is involved in a futile activity. Goes through the motions. Wastes his time. Does something he knows will not come to fruition. If God could save U, then the number of elect, the fixed number that he knew, would grow, and God wouldn't be omniscient. He would have been wrong about the set of S as consisting of n number of people. Rather it, contrary to his claim to knowledge, now consists n + 1. Or, if it doesn't add to God's knowledge then we don't have a real member of U.
If the Arminian says that God doesn't actively engage in going through the motions to 'save' those he knows will not be saved, then the Arminian's prayers are a waste of time, and pointless (again, these terms are used in their vague, ambiguous, sloppy, and undefined way that they were used on me. No complaining now.)
The argument is in the form of a dilemma:
Let S = God does something to save who he knows will not be saved.
Let W = God wastes his time.
Let A = Arminian wastes his time.
3. S v ~S
4. :. W v A
vii) So, I have not had (iv) rebutted, and (vi) serves as an argument which puts the burden on them, reverses their argument. Basically, if they disagree with (vi) then they must disagree with their argument against me. More on this below.
viii) I had wrote: "When you pray for someone in U, either God does something or he does not. If he does not, then your prayer was pointless. If he does, then he does something he knows is futile. So, dilemma remains. Back to the drawing board."
J.C responded with an off-topic response:
"God doesn't HAVE to do anything when we pray, for we make our requests known to Him; since we cannot know who is included in set S, then it behooves us to pray for all men. It never says that God has to answer every prayer. For your futility argument, you can refer back to the prophets."
i) I never said God 'had' to do anything. I simply said that if he knows that U is unsaved, then to try to 'save him' is a futile effort. If he succeeded, he would prove he is not omniscient. If people know their goals are unattainable, they cease from having them as a goal.
ii) I never said you can't pray for all men. But, if you pray for man U, and God does something to save him, he wastes his time. If he does nothing, you waste your time. If you say that you don't waste your time because God commands you to pray for all men, that's one of the (many) responses I gave to your buddy Ben. So, if this response worlds for you it works for me. Are you ready to admit I answered Ben?
iii) I never said God has to answer it. (But, in fact, on your scheme God can't answer it since he can't force anyone to get saved. All he can do is 'take away obstacles,' as Ben said. So, he takes away 'obstacles' to help 'save' someone who he knows won't be saved. Whether he takes the obstacles away, or builds more, it doesn't matter! It's all pointless.
iv) I answer your prophet point below.
J.C.'s Boy Band Theology
J.C. and the boys of N Synergy doing Bye, Bye, Bye to their arguments
All his attempted rebuttals were shot down, and he was forced to go back to the drawing board. So, his latest was to say to God trying to 'save' someone he knew he could not save, would not be saved, was not futile just like it was "no more 'futile' than sending prophets to people that God knew would not receive them."
x) I responded that for those people, sending the prophets wasn't futile since if they didn't listen, they prophets words served as a basis for judgment.
Nevertheless they were disobedient And rebelled against You, Cast Your law behind their backs And killed Your prophets, who testified against them To turn them to Yourself; And they worked great provocations. (Nehemiah 9:26)"
xii) Yup, that was it. Citing a verse as if it were a brute fact that interpreted itself. He offers no commentary, exegesis, or familiarity with the context of the Ezra-Nehemiah text. This is Boy Band Theology (BBT). BBT is all talk, flash, and no substance. Makes the teeny boppers cheer, and that's about it. Let's analyze his claim:
a) I had claimed that if the things God did had no positive effect, they could still have a negative one. This verse does not tell us that for those who did not listen, the prophets words served as evidence against them and their hard hearts. Let's read Jesus words:
Matt 23:29 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, 30 saying, 'If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.' 31 Thus you witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. 33You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? 34 Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town, 35 so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of innocent Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. 36 Truly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation."
37 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! 38See, your house is left to you desolate.
Thus we see that Jesus uses the rejection and murder of the prophets as a basis for indictment. Let's turn to Luke 16:
19 "There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he called out, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.' 25 But Abraham said, 'Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.' 27 And he said, 'Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.' 29 But Abraham said, 'They have( Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.' 30 And he said, 'No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' 31 He said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.'"
We can see that the rejection of Moses and the prophets was enough to justify the judgment of hell. This should be easy enough to see. The prophets were mouthpieces for God. To reject them was to reject God himself. Rejecting God himself is a basis for judgment. Therefore, to reject the prophets was a basis for judgment.
The reason this is argued is simply. God doesn't do anything that he knows is pointless. God knows who will listen and who will not. God has reasons for both sides of the coin.
So, that God sent prophet P to 'turn back' S, and S does not turn back, it does not follow that God does not appeal to P's testimony as a basis to judge S. J.C.
b) The history of Israel is replete with the prophets calling the people back to covenant faithfulness and so to avoid the judgment of God. If they did not heed the prophets, God would turn them over to their enemies.
Nehemiah 30: "30 For many years you were patient with them. By your Spirit you admonished them through your prophets. Yet they paid no attention, so you handed them over to the neighboring peoples."
Thus again we see that the prophetic words served as bases for divine judgment.
c) The prophets served to show that the people of God could not fulfill the conditions on their own. They were faithless, disobedient, and idolatrous. God would call on them to turn back, they would remain stiff necked, he would then punish them, they would return, and then it would happen all over again. So, Christ came. Christ's life and death fulfilled those covenantal meritorious conditions. He also purchased all the benefits his people would need, e.g., faith.
d) J.C. thinks the 'turning back' part is opposed to the judgment motif I appealed to. In fact, it isn't:
2 Chron. 24:19 Yet he sent prophets among them to bring them back to the LORD. These testified against them, but they would not pay attention.
Jer. 25:4 You have neither listened nor inclined your ears to hear, although the LORD persistently sent to you all his servants the prophets, 5 saying, 'Turn now, every one of you, from his evil way and evil deeds, an dwell upon the land that the LORD has given to you and your fathers from of old and forever. 6 Do not go after other gods to serve and worship them, or provoke me to anger with the work of your hands. Then I will do you no harm.' 7 Yet you have not listened to me, declares the LORD, that you might provoke me to anger with the work of your hands to your own harm. 8 "Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts: Because you have not obeyed my words, 9 behold, I will send for all the tribes of the north, declares the LORD, and for Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants, and against all these surrounding nations. I will devote them to destruction, and make them a horror, a hissing, and an everlasting desolation.
Jer. 35: 15 Again and again I sent all my servants the prophets to you. They said, "Each of you must turn from your wicked ways and reform your actions; do not follow other gods to serve them. Then you will live in the land I have given to you and your fathers." But you have not paid attention or listened to me. 16 The descendants of Jonadab son of Recab have carried out the command their forefather gave them, but these people have not obeyed me.' 17 "Therefore, this is what the LORD God Almighty, the God of Israel, says: 'Listen! I am going to bring on Judah and on everyone living in Jerusalem every disaster I pronounced against them. I spoke to them, but they did not listen; I called to them, but they did not answer.' "
Zech 1:4 Do not be like your forefathers, to whom the earlier prophets proclaimed: This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'Turn from your evil ways and your evil practices.' But they would not listen or pay attention to me, declares the LORD. 5 Where are your forefathers now? And the prophets, do they live forever? 6 But did not my words and my decrees, which I commanded my servants the prophets, overtake your forefathers? "Then they repented and said, 'The LORD Almighty has done to us what our ways and practices deserve, just as he determined to do.'"
The consistent testimony of Scripture, both Old and New, testify against J.C.'s Boy Band Theology.
Tying Up Loose Ends
xiii) I wrote: "But John 6:44 does not state that all who are drawn are saved, simply that no one can come to Christ unless drawn by God the Father."
The statement is in the form of a conjunction. Logically, it can be translated thus:
(~p --> ~q) & r
You cannot accept the first part of the conjunction and not the second (r = raise him up on the last day). Or, did you skip that part in your logic readings?
J.C. responded: "No one can come unless the Father draws him does not imply that everyone drawn will come, simply that they can come. Speaking in relation to those who come is what the raising refers to, not all who are drawn."
i) Wow, no one has the power to instantiate alternative possibilities? So, all men are unable to come unless the Father draw him, got it.
ii) The text says: No one is able to come unless the father draws him and I will raise him up on the last day. Are those hims the same him or not? If they are the same, all drawn are raised. It's really rather simple.
iii) Jesus disagrees with your claim: John6:37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.
iv) And, I never said that John 6:44 alone teaches that the Father's drawing is sufficient for someone to come, only that it is necessary. You're not even engaging my point. Again, the point is in the conjunction. John 6:44 is saying (~p --> ~q) & r. This is logically equivalent to (q-->p) & r. Thus,
 If he is able to come, then the father drew him, and Jesus will raise him up on the last day.
 He is able to come (notice, I never said he did. We just sticking with what the verse says).
 Therefore the father drew him and Jesus will raise him up on the last day.
Premise  for you is 'all men.' The logic of the case forces you to accept the conclusion of universalism. That is, all men whoever will be saved.
For more see "A Logical Analysis of John 6:44, by Brian Bosse."
J.C. sings about his secret desire
In his closing comment is his 'response' to Steve Hays, J.C. writes,
Heh, if libertarian free will gave me the kind of miraculous super powers Hays thinks it should, I'd instantiate a reality in which he actually presented coherent arguments. Sadly, its limitations become quite obvious in light of such unfulfilled wishes.
I don't know what he means by 'coherent.' It's not as if Steve wrote: “Grubnarks schnubbles in the flubnart.”!
I think he means he would instantiate a a world where Steve gives a good, cogent argument (right now we're playing along, pretending Steve didn't already present said argument).
You see, J.C. secretly wants Calvinism to be true. He would instantiate a world where our arguments worked. Where Calvinism was proved true.
J.C. is a self-hating Arminian. He desires our position to be true.
Bye bye bye.