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Author: tedhimself Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 32  
Subject: A question Date: 1/16/2002 3:19 PM
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Here is a qustion I have had for a long time but have been unwilling to ask on the BSD board, I'm just looking for a simple understandable answer in plain English. I'm not looking for a long list of Bible verses, which I probably do not have enough background to interpret properly.

Calvinism's "unconditional election," The "U" in "TULIP" states: (definition lifted from one of the links posted a few posts back)

"God's choice of certain individuals unto salvation before the foundation of the world rested solely in His own sovereign will. His choice of particular sinners was not based on any foreseen response or obedience on their part, such as faith, repentance, etc. On the contrary, God gives faith and repentance to each individual whom He selected. These acts are the result, not the cause of God's choice."

My question:

If God selected only certain sinners for salvation, why did he allow the others (who after all were chosen before the foundation of the world) to be brought into the world (to be born) at all? Why bring a soul into being, let them live a life, already being condemed to etenal hell? Is this a portrait of a loving God?

End of question.
----------------------
Additional thought:
If God did not bring into being any of the "unelected sinners" then all living people are of the elect, and this becomes more in line with arminian belief.

Ted
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Author: sunonun Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 17 of 32
Subject: Re: A question Date: 1/16/2002 3:36 PM
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Ted,

If God selected only certain sinners for salvation, why did he allow the others (who after all were chosen before the foundation of the world) to be brought into the world (to be born) at all? Why bring a soul into being, let them live a life, already being condemed to etenal hell? Is this a portrait of a loving God?

This is a loaded question for both Calvinists and Arminianists and anyone who believes that God exists outside of time. Because most believers believe that God knows all things (omniscience) without regard to time, the question you ask is a hard one to field.

The answer from any perspective is that it's God's will that this happen. Like you, I feel that this answer is fine and dandy, but surely, there is more to it. However, one should try to avoid moving to the extreme that God wouldn't send anybody to hell becuase He's supposed to be loving.

Grace and Truth. God has two sides - Grace and Truth - Spirit and Law - Mercy and Justice.

Without both sides, He would be less God.

sunonun

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Author: tedhimself Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 18 of 32
Subject: Re: A question Date: 1/16/2002 4:00 PM
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sunoun, First thank you for trying to answer my question. but I'm still not understanding.

The answer from any perspective is that it's God's will that this happen. From my point of view, a God like this would not be worthy of worship and praise.

Like you, I feel that this answer is fine and dandy no, its not fine and dandy by me.

one should try to avoid moving to the extreme that God wouldn't send anybody to hell becuase He's supposed to be loving. I agree

To me the "U" postition is like God saying, eenie, meenie, minie, mo, this one is saved, this one who does not even exist yet is doomed to eternal hell. Yes an all powerful God could do this but would He? Its like God is saying, "I'm going to send this not yet created being to Hell just to prove I'm all powerful." Why should an onmipotent God need to prove anything?

Ted (still not understanding) and not trying to start an argument, just trying to reach understanding.

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Author: sunonun Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19 of 32
Subject: Re: A question Date: 1/16/2002 4:21 PM
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Ted,

To me the "U" postition is like God saying, eenie, meenie, minie, mo, this one is saved, this one who does not even exist yet is doomed to eternal hell. Yes an all powerful God could do this but would He? Its like God is saying, "I'm going to send this not yet created being to Hell just to prove I'm all powerful." Why should an onmipotent God need to prove anything?

You're hitting the nail repeatedly. The God of the Calvinist is completely controlling in all things. Nothing happens except by His will. Without even knowing it, John Calvin put the sovereignty of God in a box.

God is so much bigger than the "U" doctrine gives Him credit for being.
For example, which of these takes more greatness?
1. Creating a car engine that only runs if the creator manually moves and activates each part.
2. Creating a car engine that runs on its own with minimal work on the part of the creator.

To me, the answer is #2, by far.
_________________________________

The answer from any perspective is that it's God's will that this happen.

From my point of view, a God like this would not be worthy of worship and praise.

Let me clarify. It is God's will that people are born. It is not God's will in operation that causes some/most/all of them to go to hell.
(This is, of course, an Arminian perpective)

Also just discussing, but not wanting to teach my opinion as if it were fact.

sunonun

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Author: glampig Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 22 of 32
Subject: Re: A question Date: 1/18/2002 9:26 AM
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tedhimself,

IMHO, the first soteriological question to be asked is not, "Why doesn't God elect all?". The first question is, "Why does God elect anyone?". The next question should be, "WHEN does God decree election?".
To that end, I'll attach a couple of links. The first one deals extensively with the first question but also contains other useful information. It's by B.B. Warfield, one of my favs.

http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/9170/WARFIELD3.HTM

The second one places the decrees in an form that yields an easy comparison chart. I don't necessarily agree with all of the authors conclusions, however.

http://www.gty.org/~phil/articles/sup_infr.htm

As I've e-mailed you, my time is limited presently. I'll be away over the weekend. When I return, I'll have 9 essays due before the Session of Elders at Church next Thursday. If you have some time, please pray for me. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed.

Rick, the glampig


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Author: reigles One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 23 of 32
Subject: Re: A question Date: 1/18/2002 4:39 PM
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This question is difficult, and has no simple answer. Part of the problem is this, how can we apply our morality to God? We do not stand in judgement over Him. It's rather like a two year old judging his parents motivation for what they do. Whenever we ask why God did this or that,we are usually asking something beyond our comprehension! Unless He tells us why,(ie. He sent His son because He loved us)we jhave very little chance of knowing why.

This is where Calvanism and Arminianism both fall down, they are both trying to answer the "why" behind God's action. They each provide human logical explanations of God's behavior, and always they fall short of the glory of God.

Dave Reigle

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Author: GoldRushs Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24 of 32
Subject: Re: A question Date: 1/19/2002 12:41 AM
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Dave,

God ~gives~ His reasons for all His decrees, actions, and promises repeatedly, but wicked, sinful people refuse to accept His answer.

He wants to show His wrath against injustice and sin. (Rom. 9:22)

He wants to make known the riches of His glory and grace. (Rom. 9:23, Eph. 1:12)


If that is not enough answer from the Creator to His creatures, we do not know what would ever suffice!

From two Calvinists . . .

Jim & Ronda

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