Thursday, December 21, 2017

Determined to Believe?

I'm going to comment on Determined to Believe (Monarch Books 2017) by John Lennox. I'm of two minds about responding to this book. He's just recycling staple objections to Calvinism, so his book doesn't constitute a new challenge to Calvinism. On the other hand, he's a very prominent Christian apologist, so his book may be influential. 

1. Before discussing the specifics, I'll make a few preliminary observations. It's striking that in the acknowledgments, he doesn't mention any Reformed philosophers or theologians. That's a serous omission. He could have avoided many missteps by running a draft copy by some astute Reformed thinkers like Paul Helm, Hugh McCann, John Frame, Jeremy Pierce, James Anderson, Bill Davis, Greg Welty, Paul Manata, Guillaume Bignon, &c. Likewise, he rarely interacts with Reformed commentators and Bible scholars of note. 

As a result, his critique of Calvinism fails to anticipate and engage the responses. Philosophers often solicit feedback from representatives of the opposing side. They then attempt to incorporate those criticisms into their position, sometimes reformulating their original position to protect against those objections. But for whatever reason, Lennox failed to take advantage of that opportunity, and his critique suffers accordingly. 

2. He fails to distinguish between popularizers and high-level thinkers. But you need to choose your target. There's a place for attacking popularizers. But if you wish to disprove a belief-system, you should direct your fire at the most capable exponents. His critique would be more effective if he was more discriminating in his targets. Oftentimes, he picks on soft targets. That's not his intention, but it dilutes the force of his objections. 

3. Although he mentions some advanced resources on the freewill debate (Timpe, Freewill in Philosophical Theology; Timpe, Freewill: Sourcehood and its Alternatives; The Oxford Handbook of Free Will), he raises the usual schoolboy objections to "determinism". He shows no awareness of philosophical answers to the objections he poses. In principle, he could disagree with the answers, but the problem is that he doesn't even acknowledge the fact that his objections have been addressed, and show how the answers are deficient. 

4. I'll mostly ignore the exegetical section of his book because it fails to break any new ground. I and others have been over that ground. I will make one observation: he has a section on "foreknowledge" where he quotes some NT passages using proginosko, in English translation. He just assumes that the Greek compound word means what the prefix plus root word literally mean, in combination. It doesn't even occur to him that compound words often have an idiomatic meaning (i.e. to choose beforehand).  

5. I like Lennox. I've read some of his books and watched some of his debates. He comes across as a warm, sweet, humble, kindly, loving and lovable Christian gentleman. In addition, he's done some great work defending the Christian faith. There's much to admire. 

Most humans rank freedom among the highest of ideals. Freedom, we feel, is every human being's birthright; none has the right to deprive us of it against our will (except, of course, in cases of proven criminality). Even to attempt to remove someone's freedom is regarded as a crime against the essential dignity of what it means to be human (22). 

i) He's referring to political freedom, which is categorically different than the compatibilist/incompatibilist debate. At best, it would be analogous to coercion, but theological determinism isn't coercive. 

ii) I wonder if his position on freedom is influenced by the fact that Lennox is a Northern Irishmen, with its tragic political history. 

iii) The relationship between God and creatures is fundamentally different from political freedom. Mundane existence is radically contingent. Creatures are entirely dependent on God for their existence. God is the only necessary being. Only God is autonomous. One might as well complain about a baby's absolute dependence on its parents for survival.  

The "liberty of indifference" (libertarian freedom) is the freedom to have done otherwise than in actual fact we chose to do on any occasion in the past. Faced with a choice between two courses of action in the future, liberty of indifference would imply that the choice is completely open. I can choose either course of action indifferently; and having chosen one course of action, I can, on looking back, know that I could equally well have freely chosen the other course. I can choose, or could have chosen, to do X or not -X. In this book when I use the term "free will" I shall understand it in this sense (24-25).

i) Many contemporary philosophers who espouse libertarian freedom deny that human agents have that stark, at-any-moment freedom to do otherwise, where our decisions are discontinuous with our own past history and personal character. They realize that's psychologically unrealistic. Humans are very biased. We don't consider the options from an impartial standpoint. 

ii) Speaking for my self, when I look back on my decisions, I don't sense that I could equally well have chosen another course of action. Given what I was thinking at the time, my mental state, the mood I was in, subliminal factors, my predisposition, the perceived options, and the information I had at the time, I'd make the same decision for the same reasons I made it the first time around. I'm not saying that settles the issue, but if Lennox is appealing to experience and introspection, I don't view the process by which I made choices the way he does.   

To be a moral creature, one first of all needs moral awareness…[a dog] has no concept of morality and never will have…If a computer is involved in the design of land-mines which ultimately cause the maiming or death of thousands of children, it makes no sense to accuse it of morally reprehensible behavior. It had no free will or choice. It did what it was programmed to do. It is not a moral being and so is not responsible for its actions (26-27).

i) Lennox changes the subject in midstream, so his conclusion fails to follow from what he said before, even if you agree with what he said before. He begins by discussing moral awareness, then he suddenly switches to computers having no free will or choice, but doing whatever it was programmed to do. But those are two separate issues. To say that a choice isn't blameworthy due to lack of moral awareness, and to say a choice isn't blameworthy due to lack of free will (i.e. it was programmed), are two very different claims with different justifications. 

ii) The comparison with computers begs the question. Computers are inculpable because they lack consciousness. But consider science fiction scenarios regarding artificially intelligent computers and robots. Are they moral agents? That parallels the compatibilist/incompatibilist debate. And that comparison can't resolve the debate, because it simply relocates the same issues. At that point computers are so similar to humans that there's no longer a relevant point of contrast in this regard, so we're right back to the same issues.  

[Quoting Sartre] we need try to only persuade him that the beloved's passion is the result of a psychological determinism (29). 

There's a powerfully deterministic component to sexual passion. Hormones, baby!

The underlying assumption behind many denials of free will is naturalism, or even materialism. The presupposition here is that only the natural or material world exists. There is no supernature, no top-down causation, no break in the causal chain linking every phenomenon to the basic stuff of the universe…C. S. Lewis has argued that human rationality itself, which is intimately involved in what we determine to do or not to do, is part of supernature (42-43).

That fails to distinguish between blind physical determinism and choices or actions determined by rational background factors. 

This passage [Gen 2:17] is crucial for understanding what Scripture itself means by God's sovereignty. It is clearly to be understood not in terms of absolute control over human behavior but as a much more glorious thing: the devolving of real power to creatures made in God's image, so that they are not mere programmed automata but moral beings with genuine freedom–creatures with the capacity to say yes or no to God, to love him or reject him (45).

i) In Calvinism, humans are real agents. 

ii) In Calvinism, humans have the capacity to disobey divine commands and prohibitions. But that ability is entirely consistent with predestination. Indeed, from a Reformed standpoint, Adam and Eve were predestined to disobey the prohibition. 

Of course, the world "sovereignty" (which does not, incidentally, appear in the Genesis narrative) could be understood to mean absolute control in every detail of life and, as we shall see, is taken to mean that by some theists. But this smacks of despotism and totalitarian dictatorship… (45-46).

i) And Christopher Hitchens says he was an atheist because he couldn't stand the specter of the "celestial dictatorship". This is prejudicial rhetoric rather than a serious argument.

ii) It's arguable that the Creator would be derelict unless he exerts absolute control in every detail of life. He's responsible for making creatures, for what they do to each other or to themselves. Suppose a video gamer designed a game with artificially intelligent characters, then, having set up the initial conditions, let it carry on by itself, allowing utter mayhem to ensue. Doesn't he have some obligation to the well-being of the intelligent virtual characters he made, to protect them from gratuitous harm? He put them in that hazardous situation. He can just walk away, leaving them trapped in that situation. 

[Quoting Tozer] the eternal decree decided not which choice the man should make but that he should be free to make it (46).

That's vacuous. What's the difference between an indecisive and no decree at all? 

[Quoting Plantinga] no antecedent conditions and/or causal laws determine that he will perform the action, or that he won't. It is within his power, at the time in question, to take or perform the action and within his power to refrain from it (46-47).

If true, doesn't this mean all our decisions are arbitrary? If every decision could just as well be other than was, isn't what we choose a coin flip?  

[Quoting Plantinga] he can't give these creatures the freedom to perform evil and at the same time prevent them from doing so (47).

Isn't that overstated, even on libertarian grounds? What if we devise the technology to annihilate the human race. Must God respect the ability of one human being to doom the entire human race? Surely, even on libertarian grounds, God can and, indeed, ought to prevent human agents from committing evil on some occasions to keep conditions viable. To prevent a few human agents from aggregating all the power, which they use to oppress everyone else. Would it be wrong for God to occasionally reset the state of play so that a few humans who've consolidated power can't seal the fate for everyone else? 

God's guidance is never purely and simply the kind of micromanagement that leaves the individual with no choice. The biblical narrative demonstrates this again and again. Abraham is an interesting case in point. God appeared to him at intervals and explicitly told him what he should do–leave Ur, for example. Yet in between such intervals there was often no specific guidance given him. He had to decide what to do–and he sometimes made the wrong decision. If God had instructed him at every turn what he should do, then his humanity would have been compromised… (53).

i) "Micromanagement" is a pejorative term. But is that inherently bad? Suppose a woman is killed by a drunk driver. She's the only child and caregiver for her elderly mother. Now her mother will die a lonely, neglected old woman in a nursing home. A little "micromanagement" could easily prevent that. Timing is everything. If the drunk driver left the tavern a minute sooner or a minute later, the daughter would still be alive. She was in the wrong place at the wrong time. A few seconds difference either way would change the outcome for the better.

ii) Divine guidance can be providential as well as verbal, like a hedge maze. Consider the manifestly providential orchestration of circumstances that led Abraham's servant to Isaac's future wife (Gen 24). Or the almost fatalistic way that Joseph's dream is eventually realized (Gen 37-50). 

[Quoting Warfield] All things without exception, indeed, are disposed by Him, and His will is the ultimate account of all that occurs…It is He that…creates the very thoughts and intents of the soul (54).

That's an accurate, representative statement. 

[Quoting Helm] Not only is every atom and molecule, every thought and desire kept in being by God, but every twist and turn of each of these is under the direct control of God (54).

What Helm and Sproul seem not to appreciate is that, if God takes over and "directly controls" the molecules in my arm–for instance, as it swings to hit you–then my responsibility has gone and I cease to be fully human (55).

i) I do think "direct control" is misleading. For one thing, the adjective is superfluous. Indirect control is just as controlling as direct control. The key concept is divine control, and not the degree of immediacy. 

ii) Mainstream Calvinism takes the position that  God generally achieves his aims through the medium of ordinary providence. 

iii) Apropos (i-ii), Calvinism does not imply that God takes direct control of the steering wheel, wresting that from the human driver. That's a very crude paradigm. 

[Quoting Bentley Hart] There comes a point when an explanation becomes so comprehensive that it ceases to explain anything at all because it has become a mere tautology. In the case of pure determinism this is always so. To assure that every finite contingency is solely and unambiguously the effect of a single will working all things–without any deeper mystery of created freedom–is to assert nothing but that the world is what it is, for any meaningful distinction between the will of God and the simple totality of cosmic eventuality has collapsed…Such a God at the end of the day is nothing but will and so nothing but an infinite brute event; and the only adoration that such a God can evil is an almost perfect coincidence of faith and nihilism (59).

i) Hart is a fine prose stylist, but that camouflages the lack of logic. If you carefully analyze his statements, what to they really mean? Do they mean anything? To say that everything happens according to God's will does not imply that God is nothing but will. In Calvinism, God's will is not a sheer will, but a will that's informed and characterized by all God's other attributes. 

ii) It simply means everything happens for a reason. That's hardly nihilistic. To take a comparison, a screenwriter or novelist is responsible for the entire plot, from start to finish. But does that make the plot a "brute event"? What if there was no plot, so that characters acted utterly randomly? Jarring, inexplicable choices. No continuity. No dramatic logic. Wouldn't that be a brute fact? 

iii) Here's an example of Hart's alternative. His theodicy–or antitheodicy:

Christian thought has traditionally, of necessity, defined evil as a privation of the good, possessing no essence or nature of its own, a purely parasitic corruption of reality; hence it can have no positive role to play in God’s determination of Himself or purpose for His creatures (even if by economy God can bring good from evil); it can in no way supply any imagined deficiency in God’s or creation’s goodness. Being infinitely sufficient in Himself, God had no need of a passage through sin and death to manifest His glory in His creatures or to join them perfectly to Himself. 

i) He wrote that in the aftermath of the the Christmas tsunami (2004). But in what sense are natural evils and natural disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions a "privation of the good, possessing no essence or nature of its own"? That's just empty, nonsensical verbiage. 

ii) By what logic does it follow that if God is sufficient in himself, he has "no need of a passage through sin and death to manifest His glory"? That's rhetorically impressive, but how does the conclusion follow from the premise? There's such a thing as second-order goods. A nested relationship in which the outcome is internally related to prior conditions. Even an omnipotent God can't produce some outcomes directly. 

Likewise, when dealing with creatures, he must relate to us on our own level. That's not a question of divine limitations, but human limitations. 

It is one thing to believe, as part of essential Christianity, that we live in a world in which nothing happens without God's permission and even foreknowledge. But it is entirely another thing to go way beyond that, and to believe that all that happens, including evil, is meticulously planned and its occurrence made certain by God, independent of any other considerations. It is hard to imagine that anyone could believe that such extreme deterministic ideas are even remotely Christian. They seem infinitely far away from describing the God of love revealed to us in Jesus Christ–or the God who condemns and says that we should avoid evil. Yet how can one condemn anything God has predetermined ought to occur? Thus, as we have seen, this kind of determinism abolishes the very concept of evil (61). 

i) I don't know what Lennox means by "independent of any other considerations". What is that referring to?

ii) But if, as Lennox affirms, God has exhaustive foreknowledge, then in what sense is the future unplanned? If God knows what will happen in case he makes the world, and he makes the world in full knowledge of every future eventuality, then how can that not be part of God's plan? 

iii) Likewise, if God foreknows the end-result of his creative actions, then how can the end-result be indeterminate once he acts on his foreknowledge? At that juncture it's too late to change what he foresaw. Even if (ex hypothesi) the outcome was open-ended beforehand, once he takes a creative action in light of that outcome, with that outcome in view, the plot is now inexorable. That's true even if other agents independently contribute to the future. 

iv) Why does the God of Lennox set in motion a scenario that he condemns? The God of Lennox is a necessary cause of the outcome he condemns.  

v) Here we confront competing intuitions. Some people find the idea that God has planned everything, "including evil", appalling. My intuition is the opposite. It's evil in particular, more than anything else, that demands a rationale. We don't think good things require a special explanation. Good things are good in their own right. They don't need any justification above and beyond their own goodness. 

By contrast, it's evil things that cry out for some justification on God's part. Evil events especially should only happen for a good reason, to serve a worthwhile purpose that compensates for the evil. 

Concerned parents ask how they should respond to their son who says to them: "I am not going to bother with God since your church teaches me that if I am going to be saved I will be saved, and I can do nothing about it in either direction. so there is clearly absolutely no point in being concerned about it;" or the daughter who confronts them with "I cannot believe in your God any more. How can I believe in a God who fixed my eternal destiny before I was born so that I can do nothing about it? How can I believe in a God who is actively involved in evil? Surely this is not only unfair but also immoral? Such a God, if he exists at all, is obviously neither loving nor good." I agree (63).

i) Does Lennox not know the difference between predestination and fatalism? It's not a difficult distinction to grasp. For instance:

ii) Of course God makes decisions about his creatures before they came into being. Since they don't exist at that preliminary stage, even the decision to make them in the first place must be before they came into being. 

iii) What precisely is the objection? Should God be in the dark when he makes human agents? Just make them, then see what happens to them, for good or ill? Make a rational, vulnerable agent, then wait to find out how it all turns out–for better or worse?

iv) "Actively involved in evil" compared to what? A God who stands idly by while atrocities are committed? 

The moral argument is surely entirely sufficient to invalidate theories of divine determinism (63).

i) Asserting that's the case is entirely insufficient to invalidate divine determinism. Lennox never gets around to arguing for his moral impressions. He just takes it for granted that Calvinism has unacceptable consequences. He doesn't explain what makes them unacceptable. He states a consequence, expresses dismay, and that's that. He constantly assumes what he needs to prove, because he fails to give the reader a reason to agree with his reaction. It's just emotional from start to finish. 

ii) I admit that the existence of evil makes predestination harder to stomach. If our world was devoid of evil, then the doctrine of predestination wouldn't make me wince. 

But have I just made a concession that's damaging to Calvinism? No, because the existence of evil makes every alternative harder to stomach, viz. Arminianism, Molinism, open theism, Lutheranism, universalism–even atheism. 

It's a general problem rather than a problem unique to predestinarian theology. The existence of evil makes it harder to believe in divine benevolence. Makes it harder to believe that God really cares about what happens to us. Every theological tradition, if honest, will balk in the face of evil. But that's the hand we were dealt. It's too late to demand a new deck. That's what we've got to work with. And atheism is incomparably worse. 

Lennox's objection to Calvinism suffers from artificial one-sidedness. Moreover, he's less than forthcoming in this book–at least from what I read thus far. For on many other occasions, when challenged, he will confess that he doesn't have a direct solution to the problem of evil. So even on his own grounds, he has no adequate theodicy in the face of evil. He's surely conversant with the strategies by which freewill theists field the problem of evil, yet it leaves him fundamentally dissatisfied. So why does he act as though the problem of evil is disqualifying for Calvinism, but not for freewill theism? 

It is even held by some that the solution lies in the fact that God has two wills: one is secret, and it is to save only those people he has unconditionally elected to salvation; and the other is revealed, and it is that he wills that all people be saved (63).

I don't think God's revealed will is that he wills universal salvation. 

A further attempt to avoid the issue is to say  that everything, including evil, is directly caused by God for the greater good…This view is a version of utilitarianism (64).

i) Calvinism doesn't imply that everything is directly caused by God. In mainstream Calvinism, most events result from second causes–including evil. 

ii) A greater good defense is not utilitarian. It would only be utilitarian if it took the position that the end justifies any means whatsoever. 

iii) Freewill theists also deploy a greater good defense. 

It is undeniable that we are taught in the NT that God does permit his people to suffer in order to learn of his grace. Paul was a cause in point. But the use of that argument to say God was the direct cause of the horrific abuse or murder of a child, as in Dostoyevsky's story and so often in real life, goes far beyond this biblical teaching and, from a  moral perspective, is utterly reprehensible (64).

i) I don't know why where he got the idea that according to Calvinism, God is the direct cause of every event. That's inaccurate. 

ii) Notice how he changes the subject in midstream. He begins by saying God permits his people to suffer in order to learn his grace, but suddenly shifts to child abuse or child murder. But he can't very well say that God permits the abuse or murder of children in order that the victims learn of his grace. So where does that leave his objection? How does that salvage his own position? 

having stated that God causes everything down to the movement of the last atom and every human thought, proceed to contradict themselves by turning round and maintaining that, even so, evil is not directly caused by God. Rather, he only permits it (64-65).

Once again, Calvinism doesn't state that God is the direct cause of everything. God is the ultimate cause of everything, but that holds true for varieties of freewill theism as well. 

[repentance] carries with it the implicit recognition that I had (libertarian) freedom to do otherwise (66).

That's an assertion in search of an argument. Where's the supporting argument? 

[Quoting Clark] "I wish very frankly and pointedly to assert that if a man gets drunk and shoots his family, it was the will of God that he should do so…" yet Clark maintains that God is not responsible for sin even though he decrees it (66).

i) I do think God is responsible for sin. He's not solely responsible, and he's not culpable, but he shares responsibility for whatever happens in his world.

ii) Clark has a rather idiosyncratic position. As I recall, he defines responsibility in hierarchical terms. You can only be responsible if you're answerable to a superior. But in that sense, God is unaccountable, since there's no one above him, only below him. 

iii) There's a sense in which it's true that "if a man gets drunk and shoots his family, it was the will of God that he should do so," but that bald statement needs to be qualified. God never wills evil for the sake of evil, but for some countervailing good. 

[Quoting Bentley Hart] But when any meaningful distinction between will and permission has been excluded, and when the transcendent causality of the creator God has been confused with the immanent web of causation that constitutes the world of our experience, it becomes impossible to imagine that what God wills might not be immediately convertible with what occurs in time… (67).

i) I myself avoid permissive language, but it's not nonsensical. God permits evil in the sense that he was able but unwilling to prevent it.

ii) Hart is confounding predestination with causality. But by itself, God's plan doesn't make anything happen. It must be executed–through creation, providence, and miracle. God's plan determines whatever will happen. Ensures the outcome. Everything happens according to plan. But predestination doesn't cause the outcome, unless we define causality according to the counterfactual theory of causation. And on that definition, the God of freewill theism is the ultimate cause of everything, too. 

[Quoting Piper] God is more glorious for having conceived and created and governed a world like this with all its evil (68).

I'm not sure what to make of that one-sentence statement. I don't know the context. 

As it stands, I deny that God is more glorious for having conceived, created, and governed any particular world in contrast to alternate scenarios. God is just as glorious in every possible world. God's glory is a fixed, intrinsic attribute rather than a contingent relation. The degree of divine glory isn't variable from one possible world to the next. God's glory isn't conditional on the world. Creation doesn't augment God's glory.

Perhaps, though, Piper simply means a redeemed world reveals aspects of God's greatness that a sinless world does not. 

If evil ultimately occurs necessarily according to the inexorable decree of God, how could sin have any meaning? The deist Voltaire's trenchant exposure of the moral shock elicit by such a theodicy comes to mind. It is to be found in the poem he wrote after the horrific earthquake in Lisbon in 1755 that killed and estimated 60,000 people (68). 

i) How could sin have any meaning if our choices are uncaused? 

ii) Sin has meaning because everything happens for a purpose. How can sin have any meaning in a world with gratuitous evil? How can sin be meaningful in a world where our choices and actions are a matter of chance? Where, every time you roll the same dice, you may get a different combination? 

iii) Once more, Lennox is changing the subject in midstream. He begins with sin, but abruptly switches over to natural evil. Yet even if (ex hypothesi) God can be insulated from complicity in moral evil, how can God be insulated from complicity in natural evil? A natural disaster is a product of physical determinism. A chain of causes. And God is the ultimate cause of natural forces and processes. 

God's direct causation of evil is probably the most seriously implication of theistic determinism (68). 

Why is Lennox stuck on that falsehood? 

Some theological determinists accuse people like me, who engage in discussion and debate with atheists and agnostics, of wasting our time. "There is no point using argument to defend the Christian faith," they say. "After all, people who are not believers in God are 'dead in trespasses and sins' and so they can no more respond to your arguments than a dead dog could respond to a command to get up. In any case, unless God has chosen them for salvation, they will never respond, no matter what you do" (69).

Which theological determinists say that? Can he quote any Reformed philosopher or theologian of distinction who says that? Or is this just uninformed laymen? 

Even if the reprobate are impervious to apologetics, it wasn't for their benefit, but for the benefit of the elect. 

The result is that, instead of questioning the paradigm, theories and evil observations are trimmed to fit it (81).

That is, indeed, a danger, but every theological tradition should be alert to that danger. Freewill theism is no exception.

Is God's foreknowledge causative (108).

Calvinism doesn't view foreknowledge as causative. 

The idea that, because God knows about an event beforehand it must be predetermined, may rest on the assumption that God's relationship with time is the same as ours; that he sits, as we do, on a timeline that stretches from the past to the future. However…it could be, for instance, that God knew beforehand that I would trust Christ simply because he sees it in an eternal perspective, so that the issue of causation does not even arise (109).

That's a traditional, but dubious explanation. For instance:

The usual argument, which is by no means unique to Calvinism, is that foreknowledge is impossible if the future could go either way. One proposed solution is Ockhamism, but that's highly controversial since it seems to commit the proponent to retrocausation and denying the accidental necessity of the past, which is asymmetrical with the future. 

This statement [Mt 11:20-24] makes it clear that our Lord knew not only what did happen in Tyre and Sidon in his day, and in Sodom centuries before, but what would have happened had they been presented with different evidence. 

In Calvinism, God has counterfactual knowledge as well as foreknowledge. God knows what happens in every possible world because God is the source of every possible world. Each possible world is a reflection of God's infinite imagination. 

Thomas McCall gives an argument based on the love of God in order to highlight the problem with determinism here:

1. God truly loves all persons.

2. Truly to love someone is to desire her well-being and to promote her flourishing as much as you can.

3. The true well-being and flourishing of all persons is to be found in a right relationship with God, a saving relationship in which we accept the invitation of the gospel and come to love him and obey him.

4. God could determine all persons freely to accept the invitation of the gospel and come to a right relationships  and be saved.

5. Therefore all persons will be saved (124).

i) Calvinism isn't committed to (1).

ii) The God of freewill theism doesn't promote the flourishing of every person as much as he can. The world is not an even playing field. 

iii) The God of Lennox foreknows that by creating some people, he consigns them to damnation. That's not acting in their best interests.

iv) The Calvinist God can save everyone in a particular world. However, some people, who are heavenbound in a world where other people are hellbound, won't exist in a world where everyone is heavenbound. Therefore, a world in which God saves everyone is not the same world as the world in which only some people are saved–including people who can only be saved in a world where everyone won't be saved. 

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