Saturday, October 10, 2015

Refusing Calvinism

I mentioned a while back about running into Matt Slick at the Manti Pageant, and his refusal to honestly answer what Acts 2:38 was teaching.  I have been listening to a lot of online debates between various individuals over the past several weeks, and came upon a debate between Matt Slick and a fellow named Lou Rugg.  I have never heard of Lou Rugg before, but he was arguing the Free Will position in opposition to Mr. Slick's Calvinistic based predestination.

Towards the end of the debate, Mr. Rugg cited a passage from Proverbs 1:23-29 which I personally find the most devastating response to Calvinism's Irresistible Grace I have ever heard.

To catch everyone up, Irresistible Grace is the doctrine that God will save those he choses for salvation, no matter what their state is emotionally or otherwise.  In other words, if God wants you saved, he will regenerate you so that you will then unfailingly exercise faith and confession and persevere in the faith to salvation, and no one or no thing can get in the way, including yourself.  In Calvinism, there is no free will.

So Mr. Rugg cites Proverbs 1:24.  It reads
24But since you refuse to listen when I call and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand,

The whole passage is about God, through Wisdom, calling us to accept Him and be saved.

But man refuses.  Remember, God called.  Remember Romans 8:30?
30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

Mr. Rugg cited a few more verses, but the damage is obvious.  So then he asks Mr.Slick the critical question at the 59 minute mark of their debate:
"I’m going to ask you to put the word refuse in a logical sentence where the person refusing isn’t able..."

Mr. Slick replied he did not think that he could put it in a sentence without thinking about it for a while first.  Mr. Rugg then clearly explained the problem, and essentially taunted Mr. Slick to answer:

"I asked you to put the word refuse in a sentence where the person refusing isn’t able. It should be easy for you. I mean, Matt, even for us to continue? This is showing ability. They refused. They could’ve. In other words, Matt, I’m sitting in my chair right now. I refuse to stand up. That means I can stand up. I’m able to stand up, but I am refusing to stand up. If I have no legs I can’t refuse to stand up, I’m unable to stand up. Because I have called and you refused, because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord. First of all the word choose implies ability. The word refuse, implies ability."

Mr Slick responded by saying he needed time to respond, and he would publish an answer later. Here is what he wrote: 
 "I, an atheist, refuse to believe in the Biblical God by my own, unassisted, natural free will even though the Bible tells me to believe in him." There, he cannot do what he is commanded to do by God. Now, if you say that God then enables him, then you admit he can’t do what is commanded to do on his own. He has to be enabled.
This, of course, is a complete waste of electronic type.  The challenge issued by Mr. Rugg was to use the word "refused" in a logical manner, consistent with the passage in Proverbs 1:24.  The verse in 1:24 states clearly that the people "refused" to respond.  People can only refuse to do something if there is a possibility or ability to do the thing they are refusing to do.

Instead, Mr. Slick plays this game of redefining terms into his own circular reasoning to reach the result through fiat of terms.  Mr. Slick's approach is akin to someone unable to vote because they are too young saying:
"I, an under-age minor, refuse to vote in the election, even though my civics teacher says everyone should vote."

The minor could not vote. If you define believing in God as God irresistibly calling you, then there is no logical or possible way for an atheist or anyone else to believe in God unless God gives you that ability.  Only a Calvinist would think that if God enables you to believe, you must believe.  Yet the Bible teaches we have agency.  We have a will which, in matters of our personal salvation, is honored by God, and we are allowed to harden our hearts, despite God trying to save us.  Consider this passage from Ephesians 4:17-24:
17So I say this, and insist in the Lord, that you no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18They are darkened in their understanding, being alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardness of their hearts. 19Because they are callous, they have given themselves over to indecency for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. 20But you did not learn about Christ like this, 21if indeed you heard about him and were taught in him, just as the truth is in Jesus. 22You were taught with reference to your former way of life to lay aside the old man who is being corrupted in accordance with deceitful desires, 23to be renewed in the spirit of your mind,24and to put on the new man who has been created in God’s image – in righteousness and holiness that comes from truth.
This passage drips with choice, learning and the ability to reject God's gracious gifts.

In other words, Matt Slick proves again that not only are his Calvinistic arguments illogical, but when he says something totally stupid, he will beat his chest and claim victory.

I refuse to applaud such silliness.


Anonymous said...

This was very interesting. Matt Slick's response (after thinking about it for days) makes no all.

I have been reading up on Calvinism to try to understand it. I admit that Calvinism confuses me. I don't know how anyone makes any sense out of it much less believe it.

Thank you for sharing this.

oceancoast said...

I have watched Matt slick be defeated in debates before, and yes he beats he chest claiming victory when he's defeated.. It's a state of denial

oceancoast said...

What point is a 'commandment' if there is no free will? Love requires free will.. for it's not actually Love if it's coerced. Therefore how could anyone obey the greatest of all the command upon which all the laws of the prophet hang.. "LOVE God with all your heart, mind and strength"

Calvinism's is predestination is spawned from Satan.