Thursday, May 29, 2014

Shooting Fischers in a barrel

Calvinists like Hays seem to want very badly to convince everyone that Calvinists are simply smarter than those who disagree and to disagree with Calvinism is just to show how stupid you are.

i) Ben Henshaw has a tin-ear for sarcasm.

ii) A better question is why Arminians are so shallow and desperate that they get excited about somebody like Austin Fischer. It's fine with me if they make him the postboy for Arminianism. He's their Justin Bieber. 

Moving along:

It depends on what the greater "good" is. For God to create hell and men to be placed in that hell to maximise his eternal glory may not be so "good." 

Nothing can augment God's glory. God doesn't damn anyone for his own benefit. God has nothing to gain. 

God doesn't want evil and sin to exist at all. He permits them if that is a risk in love. 

Which is a backdoor admission that the Arminian God wants sin and evil to exist as a means to an end. That's the price he must pay for true love. 

Permission is not a euphemism. Parents understand the concept.

So if bethyada knew that his (her?) teenage son would suffer paralysis by performing a dangerous stunt to impress his friends, he wouldn't intervene to stop his son. If bethyada knew his daughter would become a prostitute to support her drug habit, he wouldn't intervene to prevent her from getting hooked in the first place. LIkewise, if he knew that his son would O.D. on heroine, he wouldn't intervene to save his life.  

This is a problem that Austin identifies with Calvinism. 

Because Austin is a partisan.

It does not disprove Calvinism, nor is it universal, but the arrogance among the young Calvinists is frequent enough that they form a distinct category even alarmingly noted by other Calvinists. 

i) In my experience, "young Calvinists" are no more or less arrogant than young Arminians, young Lutherans, young Catholics, &c. 

ii) bethyada's invidious comparison, which is popular among Arminians, illustrates how their sense of spiritual superiority blinds Arminians to their own arrogance. 

Really, should a Christ follower tell a fellow traveller to become an atheist? 

Fischer said:

This got me thinking and I remembered that he has frequently admitted he thinks the hard doctrines of Calvinism render it a very offensive theology that is destined to be a minority opinion in the church. I didn’t ask him at the time (and I wouldn’t have wanted to put him in a spot), but I can’t help but think he might agree with me here. When Calvinism is preached honestly and consistently, with all of its hard edges showing instead of concealed in euphemisms, it is very difficult and offensive and it seems unlikely it would ever be as popular as it is now in western evangelicalism.
He also said:

We need to trace out our beliefs to their logical conclusions. I firmly believe that, because our beliefs shape us (whether or not we want them to or are aware of it), we need to know where our beliefs are leading us.

So I'm measuring him by his own yardstick.  
bethyada then goes off on a tangent:

Perhaps this is some sort of Galatian-type response to Judaisers: Austin is a false teacher. Consistency is hardly a false gospel. It does not cause men to abandon Christ. Or does Steve see Calvinism synonymous with salvation excluding Catholics, Orthodox, and large portions of Protestantism including Pentecostals?

bethyada substitutes imagination for information. 

Finally, Billy Birch labors to create a parallel:

Calvinism: Now, God, I summoned you to this interview to determine if you are powerful, like Thor, worthy of my worship. You can start by filling out this questionnaire to see where you rank in my rating system. If you make the first cut, I will quiz you further to see if your godlike power deserves my approbation, thus averting my disappointment.

Some basic problems with his attempted analogy:

i) In Scripture, the question is not whether God is worthy of our worship, but whether we are worthy to worship God. Billy blows right past Olson's subversive standard. That's because Calvinists are more real to Birch than God. That's why Birch disregards my point. 

Even if he thinks I'm a hypocrite, he should still be concerned with Olson's subversive standard for its own sake. But he isn't. That's because the Calvinist opponent is more real to Birch than the God of Scripture.

ii) Olson uses his moral intuitions to sit in judgment of Scripture. I don't. 

iii) If Arminianism is true, then God did less to save a Christian than if Calvinism is true. I'm not measuring God by a Calvinistic ruler when I note that fact. Rather, I'm measuring God by an Arminian ruler when I note that fact. If Arminianism is true, Christians have less to thank God for, because God did less for us than if Calvinism is true. That makes him less praiseworthy–on Arminian grounds. If Arminianism is true, then God did no more to save the heavenbound than the hellbound. 

1 comment:

  1. Steinway 05/30/2014 5:12pm

    It's not that some folk "think" that Steve Hays is a hypocrite. He *is* one. 

He posts this link at his website.....

    Fred Sanders helpfully admonishes, "’ve got to leave the “God of Calvinism” trope in the toolbox..."


And yet, Hays roils at Olson with "the God of Arminianism" refrain multiple times. For instance,


Hays should be concerned about his own "subversive standards". "But he isn't. That's because the [Arminian] opponent is more real to [Hays] than the God of Scripture."

    i) The fact that I reference an Arminian (Sanders) advising fellow Arminians hardly binds me to his usage. I'm drawing attention to an intramural Arminian exchange.

    ii) I employ "God of Calvinism" and "God of Arminianism" as designations to distinguish between Reformed theism and Arminian theism respectively. That's for ease of reference. It's not polemical.

    iii) Since the God of Scripture nowhere forbids using these designations to distinguish Reformed theism from Arminian theism, "Steinway's" attempted parallel is patently fallacious.