answering Calvinists

Calvinists generally like asking long lists of usually biased (“Have you stopped beating your wife”) and absurd (“How can evil be absorbed into the nature of God?” (see Geisler)) questions. This is because they are, by and large, intellectually dishonest. Even their less pointed questions have pains of bias to them.

I ran across one website today that asks:

1. Does God know everything?

A seemingly straightforward question, but it reeks with bias. If one were to answer “no”, that implies a character defect in God (oh no’es, God can improve himself!) because the question assumes that knowledge is a real measure of value.

The Open Theist should respond to this question with one/several of their own:

Can I control God? Can I force him to know things? Can I dictate his knowledge? If I wave my hand in a silly manner, is God forced to see that and remember it for all eternity. Was God forced from time eternal to log that silly gesture in his mind, always and forever contemplating on that action? Can God’s creature force thoughts onto God?

Of course, Calvinists believe we are puppets, predestined to do these actions from time eternal, but Armenians would quickly see the failure in their image of a perfect God. They will be taken aback at first, realizing their God is the one in the box. He is the static idol that is not living. God hates stone idols (Lev 26:1) and is consistently described as living (Jer 10:10).

The truth is that God is not a slave. He is not forced to watch every homosexual act throughout history (Gen 18:21). He is not forced to remember every molecule of fecal matter flushed down the tiolet and the location in 50 years. God is not a bureaucratic slave.

The straightforward answer to the question “does God knows everything” is: No, God can know what he wants to know. He is not a slave to mankind.

If you really want to drive the point home, respond with the following:

Was Jesus God? (they will say yes on pains of being a heretic)
Did Jesus know everything? (the Bible is clear he did not (Mar 13:32))

Perfect knowledge is not a pre-requisite for being God. It is not even something desirable. Unlike Calvinists, I believe God is free to do what he wants and that he is not a liar. When God says he will forget my sins and remember them no more, I believe him:

Isa 43:25 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

About christopher fisher

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8 Responses to answering Calvinists

  1. truescience7 says:

    If God can literally forget our past sins, then how can he recall them again to hold them against us if we fail to do his will?

    Mar 11:25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
    Mar 11:26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

    Mat 18:32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
    Mat 18:33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
    Mat 18:34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
    Mat 18:35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses. 

    • The idea of forgetting past sins is so that they don’t play a part in future judgment. Right?

      • truescience7 says:

        Yes, but I don’t think it is necessary for that mean that in most extreme literal way that God actually forgets utterly the sins. I don’t think it is required for one to no longer need to actually know about the sins of the past to not attack the past sinners in wrathful judgment. And looking at, especially in Hebrew, the broad definition of “remember,” I don’t think it is at all necessary to come to the conclusion that you are here and be faithful to this text, not even just using the English. The whole point of the New Covenant in Christ is not just that through Christ we can have forgiveness but that sin will be done away with utterly in people through it, all of them will be forever righteous, and so God will no longer need to bring their sins to mind.

        Don’t even people sometimes use this type of language about not remembering things against them anymore even though they still have them in their memory? I’m not sure but I think they do if I remember correctly.

        Here’s some Hebrew lexicons anyway:

        H2142

        זָכַר
        zâkar
        zaw-kar’
        A primitive root; properly to mark (so as to be recognized), that is, to remember; by implication to mention; also (as denominative from H2145) to be male: – X burn [incense], X earnestly, be male, (make) mention (of), be mindful, recount, record (-er), remember, make to be remembered, bring (call, come, keep, put) to (in) remembrance, X still, think on, X well.
        Total KJV occurrences: 231

        זכר
        zâkar
        BDB Definition:
        1) to remember, recall, call to mind
        1a) (Qal) to remember, recall
        1b) (Niphal) to be brought to remembrance, be remembered, be thought of, be brought to mind
        1c) (Hiphil)
        1c1) to cause to remember, remind
        1c2) to cause to be remembered, keep in remembrance
        1c3) to mention
        1c4) to record
        1c5) to make a memorial, make remembrance
        Part of Speech: verb
        A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: a primitive root
        Same Word by TWOT Number: 551

        • I am not against this understanding. It is a possibility. But is it the most likely?

          How does the text read? It is almost like God can choose what to think about and focus on. This is against traditional notions of omniscience, in which God is depicted as having all knowledge forever in front of His mind. That is a pagan notion. Instead, God remembers things, people converse with God can convince Him of things, and God can choose to forget sins. Exodus 32 is a very interesting example of this in which Moses uses reasoned arguments to change God’s mind.

          • truescience7 says:

            I can’t fathom God actually forgetting something. that sounds like a very low view of God. This on the other hand:

            “It is almost like God can choose what to think about and focus on. This is against traditional notions of omniscience, in which God is depicted as having all knowledge forever in front of His mind. That is a pagan notion.”

            This seems to me to be true what you said. And the traditional view sounds to me like the understanding of divine simplicity of a monad huperousia I have recently been learning about in the works of Drake Shelton I’ve lately been checking out. This concept I reject. There are a lot of faulty things in philosophy and science which are based on faulty presuppositions. I do believe God does not consist of parts even though he is infinite.

            Some of the other stuff you brought up might be answered by being attributed to the person of YHWH the Son who would later be incarnated as Yeshua. The Son is not Almighty in and of himself. He is not 100% co-equal with God the Father. God the Father literally begot him before the ages, not some figurative gibberish that makes the begetting meaningless. I think my christology would be best described in the term of semi-arianism (I think). I do call my position Trinity, but I do not hold to the traditional mainstream trinitarian views. The Son cannot do anything of himself but the Father can. The Father is greater than the Son but the Son is not greater than the Father. The Father knows all things, the Son does not, like the day or the hour of the Son’s return. Therefore the |Son could get surprised by things if the Father withheld it from him, and if he emptied himself of his divine attributes like in the incarnation

            • You know what the dignum deo fallacy is, right? We cannot just invent a god of our own imagination. When we are dealing with the God of the Bible, the Bible must be the guiding document. Not what we feel a high view of God is… does that make sense?

              In your view, God cannot choose not to know something. If I wanted to play your game, I would say you have the low view.

              The problem with Dignum Deo theology, is that is subjective.

              • truescience7 says:

                Can God make a square circle? Can God make a rock so big he cannot lift it? I believe the Scriptures teach God is all-knowing. Scripture says God cannot deny himself. God cannot deny the all-knowing self he is. Even Open Theists understand God as all-knowing, in the sense knowing everything that is “knowable.” The past is certainly knowable. Therefore God the Father cannot not know what is knowable since he is all knowing.

                • I just dont buy it. Read Genesis 18. God says He is going to Sodom to see if the reports about Sodom are true.

                  If other passages say that God knows everything, and you want to take that as some sort of metaphysical absolute… isnt the more reasonable position that God decided to become omniscient after the Genesis 18 narrative.

                  I am not suggesting this is the case, but one must invent very weaved theology to affirm traditional omniscience, as if God just inherently has all knowledge in His head without any mechanism to get that knowledge.

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