I would like input from my Reformed brothers who are also Calvinist on this.

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Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
First, I'd like to point out that man does NOT have free will.
If you mean that all his thoughts, words and actions are decreed by God, I would agree.
Even sin?

Yes.

Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain. (Acts 2:23, KJV)

It's only a totally sovereign God that can maintain man's freedom and responsibility, which would otherwise be subject to chance and fate, nature and nurture.

How He does it, is as far as I am aware, a mystery, but if He isn't totally sovereign there is room for impersonal and irrational chance and fate to get a foothold in the door of the Universe and for Man's freedom and responsibility to be crushed under their jackboots.
 
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Gforce9

Puritan Board Junior
I agree with Christopher. Using the term "double predestination" actually causes a lot of confusion. The election of the saints is not the same predestination as the reprobation of the damned (if that be the correct terminology). God, as the confession states, extends His mercy, due to His wisdom and and Grace, but He merely passes over the reprobate.

Does anyone know why there is such a term as "double predestination"? What would single predestination even look like? Other than universalism that is, which is simply unarguable from scripture...

As with the term "Reformed", it seems like clarification needs to be added. The term double predestination seems to automatically infer equal ultimacy. I use the term "double predestination", but then go on to clarify what I mean, explaining the difference in equal/unequal ultimacy. I don't know if it is worth jettisoning the term just because some misunderstand it (assuming that I grasp it properly) :detective: ......
 

John Bunyan

Puritan Board Freshman
First, I'd like to point out that man does NOT have free will.
If you mean that all his thoughts, words and actions are decreed by God, I would agree.
Even sin?

Yes.

Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain. (Acts 2:23, KJV)

It's only a totally sovereign God that can maintain man's freedom and responsibility, which would otherwise be subject to chance and fate, nature and nurture.

How He does it, is as far as I am aware, a mystery, but if He isn't totally sovereign there is room for impersonal and irrational chance and fate to get a foothold in the door of the Universe and for Man's freedom and responsibility to be crushed under their jackboots.

So God makes people sin, judges their sin and punish them to show his justice?
Are you saying God is the author of all human sins?
 

py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
So God makes people sin, judges their sin and punish them to show his justice?
Are you saying God is the author of all human sins?

What Earl quoted from Mr. Winzer on another thread is applicable here:

With regard to outcomes or "actions," there is an old distinction which serves a very good purpose. God ordains and is pleased with the action as action, not as sin. The reason for the distinction is found in the fact that sin is a relation to law and God Himself is not under law but an enforcer of it. The usual illustration is the magistrate making use of an hangman to punish a murderer. As an action it is good and necessary to maintain civil order and justice. The hangman, however, might harbour bitterness and resentment in his heart to the malefactor, and undertake the action as a means of revenge. In the same way, the "sin" of an action proceeds from the creature, whereas the action in itself is pleasing to God.
 

reformed_vanilla

Puritan Board Freshman
Andrew, I'm hoping we're trying to express the same thing, and are just using different words. When I say passive when I describe how God has passed over the reprobate, I'm trying to express the idea God did did not predestine them like He predestined the elect, but by the act of predestining the elect, He condemns the reprobate through omission, passing them over. What I'm not trying to do with this distinction is deny the active operation of the wrath of God, or deny that the reprobate are created for the day of evil (Proverbs 16:4). God created the reprobate with the knowledge they would sin against Him. He is fully active in the administration of justice to them. However, the sense in which God elects some to eternal life is very different (and much more active) than the sense in which He ordains the punishment of the reprobate. The way in which He ordains the punishment of the reprobate is through passing them over when He elects those predestined to everlasting life.

I do not see how Romans 9 is contrary to this idea. I think what is being expressed in Romans 9 is what Ruben quoted from Earl, who quoted from Mr Winzer. I would appreciate it if Ruben, Earl, or Mr Winzer pulled me up on this if I'm reading it the wrong way. God is not creating the reprobate's sin (which would make Him the author of sin). Rather, He's causing the reprobate's actions, which are in turn sinful because of the reprobate's intentions. I think this is what Romans 9 means when it refers to God making some for honourable and some for dishonourable use. Thus by actively causing human action, and allowing this sin to happen, God is not the author of sin. God is still good and just when He actively punishes the reprobate for their sins. He is also good and just when He predestines some to eternal life, because it is His right to pass over and foreordain the punishment of those who are guilty.

I understand this idea of passing over to be consistent with historic Reformed thinking.

Moreover, Holy Scripture most especially highlights this eternal and undeserved grace of our election and brings it out more clearly for us, in that it further bears witness that not all people have been chosen but that some have not been chosen or have been passed by in God's eternal election - those, that is, concerning whom God, on the basis of his entirely free, most just, irreproachable, and unchangeable good pleasure, made the following decision: to leave them in the common misery into which, by their own fault, they have plunged themselves; not to grant them saving faith and the grace of conversion; but finally to condemn and eternally punish them (having been left in their own ways and under his just judgment), not only for their unbelief but also for all their other sins, in order to display his justice. And this is the decision of reprobation, which does not at all make God the author of sin (a blasphemous thought!) but rather its fearful, irreproachable, just judge and avenger.
Canons of Dort (1:15)

Also, from Chapter III of the Westminster Confession, as Scott quoted before. You also quoted partially:
VII. The rest of mankind God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of His own will, whereby He extends or withholds mercy, as He pleases, for the glory of His sovereign power over His creatures, to pass by; and to ordain them to dishonor and wrath for their sin, to the praise of His glorious justice.

I agree with what Scott said earlier:
I prefer describing what happens to those left reprobate as being "passed by," that is, being left in the state they are in rather than implying that something has to be done to make them reprobate. It's not a congruent comparison- the elect are rescued, the non-elect are left as they are, doing what they please, serving what they will (the world, the flesh and the devil- self, not God).

I think this passing by is reflected in the Westminster Confession's language, when it says others are foreordained to everlasting death. Still ordained by God, but not in the same way the elect are predestined.
 

Andrew P.C.

Puritan Board Junior
Andrew, I'm hoping we're trying to express the same thing, and are just using different words. When I say passive when I describe how God has passed over the reprobate, I'm trying to express the idea God did did not predestine them like He predestined the elect, but by the act of predestining the elect, He condemns the reprobate through omission, passing them over. What I'm not trying to do with this distinction is deny the active operation of the wrath of God, or deny that the reprobate are created for the day of evil (Proverbs 16:4). God created the reprobate with the knowledge they would sin against Him. He is fully active in the administration of justice to them. However, the sense in which God elects some to eternal life is very different (and much more active) than the sense in which He ordains the punishment of the reprobate. The way in which He ordains the punishment of the reprobate is through passing them over when He elects those predestined to everlasting life.

I do not see how Romans 9 is contrary to this idea. I think what is being expressed in Romans 9 is what Ruben quoted from Earl, who quoted from Mr Winzer. I would appreciate it if Ruben, Earl, or Mr Winzer pulled me up on this if I'm reading it the wrong way. God is not creating the reprobate's sin (which would make Him the author of sin). Rather, He's causing the reprobate's actions, which are in turn sinful because of the reprobate's intentions. I think this is what Romans 9 means when it refers to God making some for honourable and some for dishonourable use. Thus by actively causing human action, and allowing this sin to happen, God is not the author of sin. God is still good and just when He actively punishes the reprobate for their sins. He is also good and just when He predestines some to eternal life, because it is His right to pass over and foreordain the punishment of those who are guilty.

I understand this idea of passing over to be consistent with historic Reformed thinking.

Moreover, Holy Scripture most especially highlights this eternal and undeserved grace of our election and brings it out more clearly for us, in that it further bears witness that not all people have been chosen but that some have not been chosen or have been passed by in God's eternal election - those, that is, concerning whom God, on the basis of his entirely free, most just, irreproachable, and unchangeable good pleasure, made the following decision: to leave them in the common misery into which, by their own fault, they have plunged themselves; not to grant them saving faith and the grace of conversion; but finally to condemn and eternally punish them (having been left in their own ways and under his just judgment), not only for their unbelief but also for all their other sins, in order to display his justice. And this is the decision of reprobation, which does not at all make God the author of sin (a blasphemous thought!) but rather its fearful, irreproachable, just judge and avenger.
Canons of Dort (1:15)

Also, from Chapter III of the Westminster Confession, as Scott quoted before. You also quoted partially:
VII. The rest of mankind God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of His own will, whereby He extends or withholds mercy, as He pleases, for the glory of His sovereign power over His creatures, to pass by; and to ordain them to dishonor and wrath for their sin, to the praise of His glorious justice.

I agree with what Scott said earlier:
I prefer describing what happens to those left reprobate as being "passed by," that is, being left in the state they are in rather than implying that something has to be done to make them reprobate. It's not a congruent comparison- the elect are rescued, the non-elect are left as they are, doing what they please, serving what they will (the world, the flesh and the devil- self, not God).

I think this passing by is reflected in the Westminster Confession's language, when it says others are foreordained to everlasting death. Still ordained by God, but not in the same way the elect are predestined.

Andrew,

I would agree with the substance of what you're saying. God is not the author of sin nor can He be by His very nature. However, what I think is going on here is a misunderstanding between some of the term "predestined". What does it mean to be "predestined"?
 

reformed_vanilla

Puritan Board Freshman
In this sense predestination is a choice by God before the beginning of the world to make some humans holy and blameless in his sight, saving them from being reprobate. As the Shorter Catechism says, God entered into a covenant of grace with some to deliver them out of the estate of sin and misery and bring them into an estate of salvation.
 

Supersillymanable

Puritan Board Freshman
Andrew, I'm hoping we're trying to express the same thing, and are just using different words. When I say passive when I describe how God has passed over the reprobate, I'm trying to express the idea God did did not predestine them like He predestined the elect, but by the act of predestining the elect, He condemns the reprobate through omission, passing them over. What I'm not trying to do with this distinction is deny the active operation of the wrath of God, or deny that the reprobate are created for the day of evil (Proverbs 16:4). God created the reprobate with the knowledge they would sin against Him. He is fully active in the administration of justice to them. However, the sense in which God elects some to eternal life is very different (and much more active) than the sense in which He ordains the punishment of the reprobate. The way in which He ordains the punishment of the reprobate is through passing them over when He elects those predestined to everlasting life.

I do not see how Romans 9 is contrary to this idea. I think what is being expressed in Romans 9 is what Ruben quoted from Earl, who quoted from Mr Winzer. I would appreciate it if Ruben, Earl, or Mr Winzer pulled me up on this if I'm reading it the wrong way. God is not creating the reprobate's sin (which would make Him the author of sin). Rather, He's causing the reprobate's actions, which are in turn sinful because of the reprobate's intentions. I think this is what Romans 9 means when it refers to God making some for honourable and some for dishonourable use. Thus by actively causing human action, and allowing this sin to happen, God is not the author of sin. God is still good and just when He actively punishes the reprobate for their sins. He is also good and just when He predestines some to eternal life, because it is His right to pass over and foreordain the punishment of those who are guilty.

I understand this idea of passing over to be consistent with historic Reformed thinking.

Moreover, Holy Scripture most especially highlights this eternal and undeserved grace of our election and brings it out more clearly for us, in that it further bears witness that not all people have been chosen but that some have not been chosen or have been passed by in God's eternal election - those, that is, concerning whom God, on the basis of his entirely free, most just, irreproachable, and unchangeable good pleasure, made the following decision: to leave them in the common misery into which, by their own fault, they have plunged themselves; not to grant them saving faith and the grace of conversion; but finally to condemn and eternally punish them (having been left in their own ways and under his just judgment), not only for their unbelief but also for all their other sins, in order to display his justice. And this is the decision of reprobation, which does not at all make God the author of sin (a blasphemous thought!) but rather its fearful, irreproachable, just judge and avenger.
Canons of Dort (1:15)

Also, from Chapter III of the Westminster Confession, as Scott quoted before. You also quoted partially:
VII. The rest of mankind God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of His own will, whereby He extends or withholds mercy, as He pleases, for the glory of His sovereign power over His creatures, to pass by; and to ordain them to dishonor and wrath for their sin, to the praise of His glorious justice.

I agree with what Scott said earlier:
I prefer describing what happens to those left reprobate as being "passed by," that is, being left in the state they are in rather than implying that something has to be done to make them reprobate. It's not a congruent comparison- the elect are rescued, the non-elect are left as they are, doing what they please, serving what they will (the world, the flesh and the devil- self, not God).

I think this passing by is reflected in the Westminster Confession's language, when it says others are foreordained to everlasting death. Still ordained by God, but not in the same way the elect are predestined.

This is exactly what I meant when I posted.
 

newcreature

Puritan Board Freshman
I remember when I first understood the doctrine of predestination. I did not easily accept it, for it seemed so unfair. But through God's grace, by and by, He opened my eyes and now what a joy it is to know that He chose me! For no good reason except His glory and my good, He chose me of all people. That is so awesome, so humbling! I am happy for you! May you continue to grow in Grace.
 
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