why are calvinists so scared of the Bible

The Bible is the word of God. Although some of it represents personal letters or open letters, a vast majority of it contains historical narrative. Literally, these are stories of actual events.

When people speak to one another, such as in letter form, they might use a figure of speech like “today was the best day ever”. In personal conversations this statement might be just a general statement; it might be in context of something or might just be a bridge comment to express some sort of connecting thought. But when people are writing out events, any idiom they use will still describe the events they are recording. These idioms also must be readily understood by their readers. In other words, historical narratives describe events even if using idioms. In the Bible, those events involve God as an actor.

This poses an acute problem for the Calvinist. God is described in many narratives of events portraying actions that the Calvinist wishes to deny. Getting a Calvinist just to detail the events described in the Bible is like wresting a greased pig. They don’t want to do it. They inherently know that words, even idioms, have to mean something, and that “something” will undermine their theology.

Forget what the verses means, forget figurative possible interpretations. The Calvinist will refuse to detail the actual events themselves. One prime example is 1 Kings 22:

1Ki 22:19 And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left.
1Ki 22:20 And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner.
1Ki 22:21 And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him.
1Ki 22:22 And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.
1Ki 22:23 Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee.

Try to get a Calvinist just to give a summary of the events. What do the verses detail happening? They will not do it. Instead they want to talk about word definitions in the text or “anthropomorphisms”. But when pressed just to give a brief summary of what the text says, they will not utter a peep. They inherently know that if they detail out the text in narrative form, then they will undermine their entire view of God. All their eggs are in one basket, so they just claim the text does not mean what it says and try to focus on other parts of the Bible.

About christopher fisher

The blog is meant for educational/entertainment purposes. All material can be used and reproduced in any length for any purpose as long as I am cited as the source.
This entry was posted in Bible, Calvinism, Figures of Speech, Open Theism, Theology. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to why are calvinists so scared of the Bible

  1. truescience7 says:

    What are you talking about? Break down the text and show what you mean please.

    • Thank you. 1 Kings 22. I have asked many Calvinists this. Can you just give a summary of the events described in the divine courtroom?

      Calvinist refusal to even talk about just what the text describes is evidence that they fear the text. Does that make sense?

      • truescience7 says:

        I don’t see why they would do as you say. I’m not a Calvinist but I do believe God has exhaustive foreknowledge of the future and predestines all things, though I believe in free will. Are you suggesting that because God is asking who will go and persuade Ahab that he is leaving the future open and allowing them to choose who will go and what way they will operate and that because of this that God doesn’t already know who will do it and how it will come about? Because if so, I do not think this makes a strong case for Open Theism. To think that God doesn’t even know who in his immediate presence will do what and how the future will play out in the immediate time of Ahab seems a little hard to believe. It is like saying that when Adam and Eve for hiding from God in the garden, and he said, “Where are you?” that he really didn’t know, which I find super hard to believe.

        • What is the purpose of a “known answer” question?

          • truescience7 says:

            I think for the same reason that when the child of a parent does something wrong and they already know it, yet they ask the child what they did.

            Gen 3:9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
            Gen 3:10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.

            Open Theism is the belief that the Lord doesn’t have exhaustive foreknowledge of the future of man’s future free will actions. But are you telling me that God didn’t even know where Adam was hiding? That is a hard pill to swallow. No one can hide from God.

            Psa 139:7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
            Psa 139:8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
            Psa 139:9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
            Psa 139:10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
            Psa 139:11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.
            Psa 139:12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

            Notice also that even Adam truly understood he couldn’t hide from God. It was an irrational act of fleshly panic, but when God asked Adam where he was, Adam answered him, instead of trying to keep hiding hoping God wouldn’t find him.

            • You are exactly right, yet you don’t seem to see what you are saying. A known answer question is a question designed to gain information. It is used in interrogations to see if someone will tell the truth or not. That seems to be the use in Genesis, although other possibilities exist. Here is an extract from my upcoming book about the verse in question:

              As Piper points out God could have been attempting to make Adam self-identify where he was located (Known Answer Question). This would see if Adam will take honest ownership of his actions. This is a possibility. It is a common interrogation technique to ask questions for which the answer is already known to see if an individual will answer honestly. But note, even this invalidates traditional understandings of omniscience. This interpretation only works if God does not know how Adam will respond and if Adam does not know if God knows. If God knew “the future” then what possibly could be the purpose of getting Adam to self-identify? God would already know if Adam would self-identify or not, rendering the actions meaningless. The tone of the text does not read as if God is just walking through meaningless motions. But if the text is read to be a question demanding self-identification, then it is a form of information gathering. No matter the spin on these verses, it is hard to deny that God’s having exhausting divine knowledge of the future is beyond the realm of the author’s intent.

              Some have claimed that God legitimately did not know where Adam was hiding. The text does not prohibit this understanding. Adam seems to believe God might not see him if he hid (after all, he tries hiding). And this is also apparent in how he answers God’s questions (or in the answers that he does not give). Adam does not indicate that God already knows all events that have transpired. Adam seems to be oblivious to the fact that God may already know the answers to the questions being asked. Throughout the text, Adam treats God differently from how one would treat the God of Classical Theology. What are we to gather from Adam’s understanding of God (especially since it is apparent he is portrayed as having direct conversations with Yahweh)?

            • Psalms 139 is not quite the prooftext you want for “no one can hide from God”. The face value reading suggests the opposite.

              https://realityisnotoptional.com/2014/08/24/understanding-psalms-139/

  2. truescience7 says:

    Don’t know why you didn’t approve my comment.

    • I am just getting to my approvals. There was one abusive guy that just posted all over the place, absolute vitriol that made me switch to a approval of each comment. I guess I should switch back. Thanks.

  3. truescience7 says:

    My summary friend:

    The Prophet related to Ahab that he saw YHWH sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left. And YHWH asked who would convince Ahab to walk into his trap of judgment. Some said this and some said that that, but then there came before YHWH and said he would do it. YHWH asked him how he would accomplish it. And he explained it to YHWH, that he would be a spirit of falsehood in the mouths of his prophets and deceive Ahab to go into the trap, and YHWH agreed and said he would would be the the one to do it and succeed also. And so the Prophet told Ahab all these things and warned him about it before it would even happen. [End.]

    So are you going to explain to me now why you think this is problematic for Calvinists? I’m interested.

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