Westboro Baptist Church hates "nerds" too.

And heres what the church has to say about the San Diego comic con on their schedule, where they plan to protest July 22 from 1:15pm to 2:00pm on their website:

"San Diego Convention Center 111 W Harbor Dr. WBC to picket Comic Con 2010 at the San Diego Convention Center. Are you kidding?! If these people would spend even some of the energy that they spend on these comic books, reading the Bible, well no high hopes here. They have turned comic book characters into idols, and worship them they do! Isaiah 2:8 Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made: 9 And the mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth himself: therefore forgive them not. It is time to put away the silly vanities and turn to God like you mean it. The destruction of this nation is imminent - so start calling on Batman and Superman now, see if they can pull you from the mess that you have created with all your silly idolatry."

If any of you plan to go to the San Diego comic con on the 22nd, expect to see some of them there. Is it possible to show the protestors the truth? Or best to just leave them alone??


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  • I wouldn't buy it. :-)

    Ribu John said:


      This all could be turned into a book.


       I'll sue anyone who follows through on that idea without giving me credit for thinking of it first!


       I can be very litigious.


       : )    j/k


  • Buzz Dixon said:
    It is "better" only insofar as we are able to stand on the shoulders of those before us (to mangle metaphors). Thanx to quantum physics, we now can reconcile something seemingly being two things seemingly at once.

    OK, I think I see where our reactions diverge then. Personally, I don't look at the new discoveries of physics and think to myself "Ah ha! This ancient philosophical mystery can be understood as being similar to quantum mechanics!"

    Instead, I look at it and go, "Oh crap, quantum mechanics is implying that the fundamentals of the physical universe are just as incomprehensible as the ancient philosophical mysteries!"

    Then again, I'm easily confused. ;)

    For me, the analogy merely replaces one thing I don't fully understand with another thing I don't fully understand. But if the quantum analogy helps someone else better deal with the paradoxes of theology, more power to 'em.

      This all could be turned into a book.


       I'll sue anyone who follows through on that idea without giving me credit for thinking of it first!


       I can be very litigious.


       : )    j/k


  • You're right in that it seems obvious that those who lived under the authoritarian rule of a king would be much more comfortable interpreting the scriptures in the context of sovereign decrees. It's what they were most familiar with. But it seems to me that those of us living under egalitarian democracies are likewise culturally predisposed to interpreting the scriptures in the context of personal freedom and autonomy, which is the cultural context we're most comfortable with.

    I literally fainted in ecstasy when I read this. I think we should all spend a week sitting on a mat under a fig tree contemplating how poignant and pointed this response was to the old parable of the elephant and the blind men. It is a response worthy of Chesterton, Lewis, Zacharias, or Sayers - one that takes a point, stands it on its head, and shows how it implodes in on itself.




  • @Lee: 

    You are a charitable debater.

    2 Tim 2:21  If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, [and] prepared unto every good work.

    "shall be" from the Greek "esomai" which means, "will be, shall be, shall have....", etc.  It is the future form of  "eime", which Strong's says to mean, "to be, to exist, to happen"

    I misunderstood.  i thought you and I were in agreement on this from another of your posts. I'll restate a previous question: is there a third category of vessel?  If so, where do you find it?  If not, what is the vessel of honor prior to "shall be"?

    Oh, I see the problem! The verse says that if a man purges himself from the vessels of dishonor, he shall become a vessel of honor, sanctified, meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work. First, the grammar, at least to my knowledge, does not necessitate that each of the aforementioned items are autonomous consequences of purging oneself from ignoble vessels. If one purges himself from bad company, he will be a vessel of honor met for the master's use and prepared unto every good work. You, I think, are seeing being a vessel of honor in isolation, when it is a vessel prepared for every good work and used by the Master which the verse says. A person can still be a vessel of honor, following this line of reasoning, and not be prepared, and not be fit for his master's use until regeneration occurs, for purging envelopes all Paul mentions and not just one aspect exclusively. As Calvin noted, this passage is about sanctification, not predestination, as Romans 9 has it; Paul is, after all, talking to and exhorting CHRISTIANS to purge themselves from non-Christians. In that vain, either the goal in mind is a vessel of honor WITH EVERYTHING ELSE IN VIEW, or a vessel of honor is simply not and CANNOT be the same thing as the vessel unto honor in Romans 9 (which is possible, but meh).

    Second, I doubt that we are merely clay, or baser material, or vessels of dishonor, PRIOR to the purge because 2 Timothy 2 is wrought with passages concerning predestination. 2 Timothy 2:10 says that Paul endures all things for the sake of those chosen by God, and He does it so that those CHOSEN will be saved (the chosen are chosen despite being regenerated currently). It states that despite the fact people are losing faith because of false preaching, this is not an issue. For the Lord knows who are His, and the false preaching cannot break God's solid foundation, which bears the seal of His elect (2 Timothy 2:18,19). Further underscoring the fact is that a man cannot purge himself of the vessels of dishonor WITHOUT repentance which is granted by God (2 Timothy 2:25).

    I agree with this.  I could not have come to God except He sought me out first--loved me first -- chose me first.  I just disagree with the inferential leap some make from this that says God made people for the express purpose to hate them with no remedy for their sin. 

    If all people who are drawn by the Father WILL have everlasting life through Christ Jesus (John 6:45), and "no one is allowed to come to Christ unless the Father has allowed Him" (John 6:65), then what am I to believe about those the Father doesn't draw? If certain people are chosen, and if those chosen will be saved, then what of those who aren't?

    As for not being able to see how the "light" pertains to salvation, this one baffles me. Isaiah 49:6  And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth. Yes, His light is about salvation.

    That light is equivalent to salvation is not necessary here or the other examples you provided. One could assume several things from the underscored verse above, that whatever light is could 1) produce salvation; 2) illuminate what salvation is; 3) light may be illumination in general; 4) cause salvation; 5) indicate why there is a need for salvation; 6) light may even be a poetic synonym for hope; etc. Now, rather than just paraphrase the man in my own words, I'll just cite A W Pink who writes on John 1:4, more aptly and competently and capably and soberly than I could:

    I've said the same thing.  I agree.  But, I find it good exegetical sense to consider the plain reading first and deviate from it only when plain doesn't work.  I'll leave it there to avoid being more repetitive.

    I'm debating with genius. Now I see John 3:16 as NECESSITATING a look into the Greek, given other Scripture (you apply this principle as well). That and I don't think a plain reading necessitates that anyway. BUT ALAS, I AM TALKING IN CIRCLES.

    A gross misrepresentation of my statement, Sven.  What I mean by "not our business" is more in keeping with,"Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God?"  It's His business how He chose us -- not ours (I promise you there are times in our dialogue I've tried to find a point of agreement between you and I.  You come across as averse to finding those points -- of which this was one).

    Lee, I have grossly misunderstood you. I figured you were saying one should not debate predestination and free will GIVEN this. Obviously, I need to consider St Francis whose famous prayer would have him ask to understand others, more than they should seek to understand him. I apologize.

    That wasn't me, Sven, but given the number of posts you've had to respond to, it's an understandable mistake. 

    Yes. I apologize.

    That's a good point.  And I believe the difference lies in how the righteousness half of the verses is presented ... as a "gift", and not as an "imposition".

    If by "imposition," you mean a gracious push in the right direction that incites men and women to an indescribable joy they've never known before, then I agree entirely. If the KJV can interpolate Christ's work as a gift into the passage (because of context), and if the manner of Christ's work can be diverse DESPITE the parallelism (because of context), THEN I SEE NO REASON WHY the reader cannot restrict "all" to the elect given the context of the verse PRECEDING Romans 5:18, specifically the one noting those who receive the abundance of grace. 


    Again, I require more study. Keep bothering me about it.

  • Buzz Dixon said:
    The theologians like Calvin et al were knowledgable men, but their knowledge was constrained by what they were culturally familiar with. Just as King James' translators, men born & raised & gainfully employed in a society where a monarch had the last word on everything, opted to write in "The Ten Commandments" where Hebrew and Greek scholars had written "The Ten Words" or "The Ten Precepts", so Calvin opted to use the term predestination because the culture/time he lived in was not capable of understanding how God could be simultaneously experiencing everything that ever has/is/will happen to human beings.
    Calvin did nothing wrong, he simply grabbed onto the elephant's tail and loudly announced it was like a rope.

    Which it was...if you're only talking about the part he could grasp.

    Buzz, I agree with this analysis up to a point. The saints of past generations did indeed have their perspectives shaped by the cultural context in which they lived. But so do we, and therefore I question the idea that we have a better perspective than they did, or if we merely have a different perspective... one with its own set of cultural blind spots.

    You're right in that it seems obvious that those who lived under the authoritarian rule of a king would be much more comfortable interpreting the scriptures in the context of sovereign decrees. It's what they were most familiar with. But it seems to me that those of us living under egalitarian democracies are likewise culturally predisposed to interpreting the scriptures in the context of personal freedom and autonomy, which is the cultural context we're most comfortable with.

    It just seems presumptuous to say that Calvin (and Arminius and Luther and everyone in-between on the theological spectrum) saw only "parts of the elephant" but we enlightened 21st century believers can see the whole thing. Human beings have personal and cultural blinders in whatever era they live in; the best we can do is the best we can do, and then humbly trust that God is still big enough to handle those parts we don't fully comprehend.


    I'm thankful that God has made the scriptures clear where they need to be clear: Who is Jesus Christ? What must I do to be saved? Etc. On those essential points of doctrine, I'll be rigidly dogmatic. But as for the behind-the-scenes questions, like the metaphysical workings of how human choices interact with divine providence, or why or in what order God chose to do X rather than Y before the creation of time... there's always going to be room for disagreement.

  • Hi Rob,


    You wrote:

    Maybe that makes me a clockwork man, but any righteous actions aren't my own but those of God's Holy Spirit at work in me.


    You made many excellent points in your post.  I grabbed the one line I thought summed them up.  I related to what you wrote very much -- it was reminiscent of my struggle early on in my walk to resolve this issue.  Knowing there is "no good thing in me" (even now, apart from Christ in me, this is evident), how can God remain sovereign and yet still give me choice?  How do I reconcile my free will to choose Him with this "no good thing in me" understanding?


    Somewhere, something has to bend it would seem, because they don't appear to be able to go together intellectually.  But, we are not only after an intellectual understanding of God; we are pursuing a relationship with Him through Messiah Jesus that reveals His heart. A child doesn't need to know how Mom and Dad work to know Mom and Dad.  It's not necessary that they understand how all the systems interact, how codes write and re-write, etc.. to know the character and heart of their parents.  In fact, we still at our oldest and wisest ages are struggling to understand the workings of the physical complexities (epigenetics, anyone?) of Mom and Dad (or anyone else).  Yet we can still KNOW the heart of each in very deep, profound ways. 


    How much more complex than His creation (Mom and Dad) is our Creator?


    On good and evil:  because we cannot take credit for good does not mean good isn't being done in us -- even in our fallen selves.  God indeed IS sovereign, and is working out His entire plan whether we are in His family or not.  Before we become willing to bend those verses that plainly tell us of God's love for man and His desire to not see any perish (multiple verses posted elsewhere from John, 1 John, Peter, Ezekiel, etc.), maybe there is something in the way we are viewing our lack of goodness apart from Christ that isn't quite right.  Is it possible there is in us (some of us) a danger of making our sinfulness (the degree of it) ... an idol?  There is/was a potential in me for self-loathing that made (can still make) this a danger.  Meaning, can one see his sinfulness so clearly that he is more sure of this than of God's love, so if something has to bend, it will be the God's love verses?


    Evil cannot exist apart from Good.  Good is independent of evil, while evil is a parasite -- it NEEDS good to exist at all, because evil is the twisting of that which is good ...  evil is corruption.  Evil is not the thing itself, but the taking of the thing from its original state.  A lie is the twisting of the truthAdultery the twisting of man & wife sexuality (good), etc.  God exists eternally.  Evil only 'becomes' from what God already has made.


    Gen 1:31  Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.


    We know the whole universe has been corrupted by the fall.  And yet, even today we can still give glory to God for what He's created, because we still can see a shadow of it's glorious first state today.  Everything you see, you are seeing what God created "good" that has since been twisted up.  Not everything except man, but everything. 


    There is good in us, but it is all twisted up.  Not that WE are good -- we are not.  I couldn't nod in agreement fast enough as you described your inability to keep yourself from sin. But, Genesis describes a war within each of us.


    Genesis 3:15  "And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel."


    That this verse is the first Messianic foreshadow/prophecy of Yeshua/Jesus does not negate its application to man -- all men.  There is a war between two sides in each of us -- between what came through the woman (which was created by God) and what came from the enemy -- the lie that produced the fall and sin. 




    Conscience is a "good thing".  It's GOOD for a fallen person to know good from evil.  Each of us has a conscience, whether we turn to God or not.  Therefore there is a "good thing" in each of us.  I'm not trying to deny Romans 7:18, but trying to see it in the context of all of scripture.  Even in that verse, Paul writes, "for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not."  That Paul could even see it ... isn't that something good? I believe it is (which doesn't make Paul "good" or the author of the "good" of his conscience).


    Matt 7:11  "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!"


    There is a knowledge of -- and here Jesus says a proper application of that knowledge -- of how to do some good things in evil men. 


    On your mention of the theological giants who taught a reformed theology:  they are/were men.  I'm sure there were those who looked back on the rabbinical teachings of the great Pharisaic teachers prior to Jesus and Paul who had trouble hearing Paul contradict with what they had already been taught (please, please, PLEASE don't read that as my likening the very fine men of God you mentioned as being Pharisees -- I'm not!  It's a much more extreme case for an example only). 


    I remember someone once sharing a quote from Spurgeon that goes something like: "God, save all your elect, and when you are done, elect some more!"  Love that quote.  The how and when of God's election we simply cannot fully comprehend, because He is outside of time, and we are not.  We wait for tomorrow, He has already been there (or already been "then").  He sees the beginning from the end.  


    I've been blessed by your thoughts in this discussion, Rob.


    God bless you!


    In Messiah Jesus,









  • @Allen:

    I can't add much to this conversation, but there seems to be a couple of quotes in the bible that you keep coming back to. You seem to keep harping on the one single passage in Romans, and Jesus' parable of the Wedding Feast.

    I never mentioned the Parable of the Wedding Feast before this moment. And since this is a common lament of everyone's, that the verses I reference are narrow in scope (not that this should have any relevance whatsoever if they are true), allow me to provide a list of verses and chapters which I have referenced so far which everyone has either ignored, forgotten about, or shrugged off as a Divine mystery (with the exception, perhaps, of Lee Weeks, who is my favorite):

    Romans 9.13: "As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated."

    Romans 9.15:"For He saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion"

    Romans 9:18ff:"Therefore hath He mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth He yet find fault? For who hath resisted His will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor? What if God, willing to show His wrath, and to make His power known, endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory. . ."

    John 6.37: "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out" John 6.65:"No man can come to me, except the Father which has sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day" 

    Romans 8.30: "Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified"

    Romans 11.7-8:"What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, AND THE REST WERE BLINDED (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.

    Matthew 13.11: "He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven, but to them it is not given. . .Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing they see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive; For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have been closed; LEST at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their hearts, and should be converted, and I should heal them."

    And if I may offer now: Ephesians 1.4-6: "For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.”

    And of course, there are a multitude of other passages, which a quick Google search can provide.

    Let me say this: Jesus' story of the Wedding feast shows that there were a few (the Jews) who were shown Jesus' love and refused it, but this was their own choice. Then, the King (God), used his servants to call EVERYONE on the streets who would come. Again, this all comes down to choice. The choice of the rabble being invited to the party. Then, one of the rabble, a commoner, refuses to put on wedding clothes. His CHOICE gets him thrown out of the party, or presumably, into hell.

    Of course men choose things. And what I am saying, and have been saying since we have started, is that a man WILL NOT choose Christ without the Father drawing that man to Christ (John 6:37), and only those drawn to Christ will be saved (John 6:37/65), and those who are not drawn cannot accept Christ (John 6:65) - for instance, the man without the garb. Yes, whosoever believes in the Son will be saved, but that saving faith is a gift from God. You are saying that it is belief that bring salvation - I COULDN'T AGREE MORE. I am discussing WHERE that belief comes from. How can I not be overly confident when you assume that my position is nobody chooses things?

    The parable, to fit with predestination, would have the King invite people in, but then refuse to let them pass should he decide that he arbitrarily hates them for no reason.

    In truth, the parable does emphasize a man's choice in the matter. The servants of the King are obviously us, and we go about telling people of the party indiscriminately. And some refuse to go to the party, as you mentioned (because the Father did not draw them), and some actually go to the party, but are not welcome, and are thrown out since "MANY ARE CALLED, BUT FEW ARE CHOSEN". The parable, at the end, says that despite the fact many are called, ONLY FEW ARE CHOSEN. If the true guests are CHOSEN, then how can that not be indicative of God's sovereignty in the matter of man's eternal destination?

    I am, however, always drawn back to the passage that refutes you outright. You sir, have to dig and search hard to find passages that support predestination, and the elect. You really have to do some serious interpretations to get to the conclusion you are coming to. The idea of free will, and God's grace for EVERYONE is not hard to find, however. It's blaring out of every passage of the gospels.

    You have no idea what you are talking about. Predestination is older than Methusaleh, and assumed by the Church Fathers, Augustine, and any good Bible commentator that you know about. Buzz, who finds the doctrine horrifically antithetical to man's responsibility and morality, has readily admitted that the Bible, in parts, implies or downright trumpets predestination - the result of ignorant and spiritually primitive nomadic thinking, I would assume. Now, of course, I do not mean to say that Augustine, Aquinas, the Church Fathers, most of the Reformers, the Puritan writers are divinely authoritative; what I mean to say is that there is a sizeable and legitimate tradition of men - great men who wrote the best exegesis and commentary ever, period - who would side with me. It is legitimate enough that the matter clearly has more weight and Biblical evidence than you seem to imagine. Besides, you do not even seem to be aware of what reformed tradition is saying or what I am saying. I take the following response from you as an example:


    For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, so that whosoever believes in him will not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

    I don't have to twist any passages of the bible, or do any amount of digging to support the idea of free will, to support the FACT that God is a loving God, and he loves ALL his creations. 

    As far as free will is concerned, this verse does not contradict what I am saying. Yes, whosoever believes in the Son will not perish, but have everlasting life, BUT AGAIN, that belief comes from God, a la Romans 9, John 6, and other passages you have not cared to comment on.


    As far as God's love is concerned, loving the world does not LOGICALLY necessitate loving all of its parts. That is logic at its simplest. A classical logical fallacy is ASSUMING that the characteristics of the whole compliment the parts, BUT THAT IS A LOGICAL FALLACY. And anyways, Thayer's Greek lexicon (probably the most famous Biblical Greek lexicon ever) indicates that the Greek term 'world' does not always mean EXCLUSIVELY all people - IN FACT, Thayer's Greek lexicon AGREES with me that the term world means exclusively the ELECT John 3:16.  And if we take OTHER SCRIPTURE, like Romans 9 and Malachi 1, which say EXPLICITLY that God hated Esau, then we MUST assume that KOSMOS means something other than all people, since He obviously doesn't love all people.

    Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, you continue to post one word "refutations" such as "False Dichotomy." You've stopped debating at all.

    That is all a statement like "Predestination, taken to its logical conclusion, says God is either not omniscient/omnipotent or else is cruel & evil" deserves. There's no explanation here. No philosophical inquiry into why it must be this way or that. If I said that free will means either "God is not omnipotent or else is indifferent to Man's plight," I would be echoing various arguments against free will; however, if that is all I said, I would expect everyone else to respond in a comparable way I have responded to Buzz. I do not respond exhaustively to intellectual laziness and trite unexplained dichotomies. There are literally a handful of you directing questions to me specifically, and I have to juggle between all of you if I want to be honest, and I am not going to afford paragraphs worth of comments to a short boolean statement when I know, and the author knows, and everyone else knows the statement deserves more explanation, particularly since he knows, and I know, and everyone knows I don't agree with it. What if I just started cranking out conclusions without explaining my process and how I came up with the conclusions?


    By the way, given your reasoning, you obviously don't believe the Trinity.
    It seems to me YOUR heart is a little bit hard.

    A hardened heart is, according to Romans 9 and the rest of the Bible, one which doesn't receive mercy and one which is fitted to destruction (ex. Pharaoh and Esau). When a man's heart is hardened it is so that "they should not see with [their] eyes, nor understand with [their] heart, and be converted" so that "[God] should heal them." The inference is that you think I'm going to Hell. And I maintain that is all Westboro is doing, and they have more of a basis to go on as far as ascribing someone's eternal destination than they just don't like how someone debates.  


    But I'll accept your conclusion and criticisms like a badge. Derision is to be expected.

  • The soundness of Calvin's interpretation is not dependent on his life actions (though they should be). Calvin's life work enveloped spiritual and secular duties (even if at this time they may have been highly bounded together); my understanding of Arminius is that he held no secular obligations. Who knows what Arminus WOULD HAVE done if he had? The issue of punishing heretics was hotly debated at the time, and there was more on the line THEN than there is NOW in democratic, liberal America. People argued, understandably, that State unity and harmony - at the time - necessitated the State to enforce harmony in religion. Arminius was even "ready to grant  to the State more power in ecclesiastical matters" than even the Calvinists would allow, according to the New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge. I am not confident, and you've certainly provided no reason to think otherwise, that Arminius was against punishing heretics and using capital punishment. It would not be surprising for him to have deemed necessary what Calvin deemed practical.


    But whatever the case, an interpretation is not wrong because the interpreter is a murderer. If Hitler said that the grass is green, and the sky is blue, his statements of fact do not become untrue because he killed Jews. If Ghenkis Khan stated that one in addition to one equaled two, his equation does not become more false when he becomes more bloodthirsty.


    Just a minor, frivolous point I wanted to make...


    Calvary Comics said:

    Rob, it's Arminian; the Republic of Armenia is a country bordering Turkey.  Jacobus Arminius was a very godly man and a theologian.  Jean Calvin, on the other hand, had 32 people burned at the stake for disagreeing with his theology after his alleged conversion.  I am neither Calvinist nor Arminian, but a born again Christian, a follower of Messiah Y'shua.  I'm not sure that you've given an accurate portrayal of Arminian theology in your above post.  I do know this about their position:  they believe that one can lose his salvation after conversion, and they believe that once one falls away, it is impossible for him to be converted. 


    This wikipedia article gives a concise view of Arminianism: 

  • Buzz Dixon said:

    To that end, God has certainly accomplished His will: Every human being (barring those born with medical conditions that render them incapable of making any sort of decision) has a brief ("three score years and ten"; maybe longer, maybe shorter -- a lot shorter) to decide whether to follow the path God has laid out or to indulge their own appetites.

    I think this is encouraging - and of course, I think a lot of folks struggle with the idea of "What happens to the aborted child's soul, or the comatose elderly person, etc."  The only real issue that I can see with your answer, though, is can you back this with Scripture?  And I don't state this facetiously - I'd just like to know how you exegete something like this: to me, there's an example of King David speaking of his stillborn child and stating "I will go to him", that speaks encouragingly of the fate of infants who die and being reunited with them.  But from where do you read of the "three score window" or the idea that it's only during this window in which humanity is held responsible for their choice? (again, not as a challenge, but I'd really be curious to know from Scripture)

    Regardless of their choice, God's will has been made manifest: Every functioning human being is a moral creature. Their are no robots or clockwork men in the mix.

    Fair enough.  Yet I'll say this, my Calvinistic leanings really stem from two things:  One, knowing my nature and what a rotten sinner I am, I don't know if I can follow along with the logic that I'm "useless to God if forced to do something" - rather, it IS the Holy Spirit who works/forces my regenerate from the entices of sin.  I am personally FAR TOO STUPID to avoid sin without the direction of God's spirit.  I truly don't believe that I can, or should, take the credit for the righteous actions in my life, per text like Phil. 2:13, "for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose."  Maybe that makes me a clockwork man, but any righteous actions aren't my own but those of God's Holy Spirit at work in me.  I mean, if I as a Christian do anything "good", should I then be able to take the credit for that good work?  That just doesn't seem right to me:  it's God who works through me, and deserves the full credit for any good that I do, not my old self/old man.
    The other thing is, I dunno, that fact that there are so many remarkable theologians who I enjoy reading/hearing, such as Sproul, MacArthur, Grudem, Piper, Keller, Lloyd-Jones, etc - who are leagues beyond me theologically, and all tend to have a reformed Calvinistic bent.  It's hard to perceive that exegetes of this caliber are all wrong on the issue.  Maybe they are, but that's a hard one to take.  I'm honestly not familiar with many contemporary theologians who are solidly armenian, off the top of my head (other than Dave Hunt?  Chuck Missler?  Jack Chick...?)
    BTW, Armenians don't tap dance, they line dance. I know because when my younger daughter was in school, the dance recitals included elaborate traditional dance numbers for the sizable Armenian population in the neighborhood.
    And if they tripped on the stage, would they say, "I chose to do that!"  (likewise, when the Calvinist Dancers hit the stage and proceeded to fall of the stage, would they mutter, "Whew!  Glad that's over with!")  :)
    So a final thought, and then I need sleep: should an Arminian pray for for their unsaved friends to accept Christ?  Or if human will is sovereign, is there really any point to this?  You could talk with them, share with them, but can you PRAY for them to choose Christ?
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