This is what Calvinists are so good at; "vacuum Isolation" which they call "exegesis" but is really "exegesis" these good folks(those attempting your argument using your own submitted isolated passages and scenarios) just fell into your isolation vacuum trap. LOL!
This is the opening statement from a somewhat lengthy comment posted to my blog earlier this week and, as one can readily see, should prove to be yet another interesting look at how folks choose to argue against Calvinism. Surely a near incoherent statement that ends with "lol" isn't promising much in way of a serious critique. In fact, the above statement reminds me of the bad joke told badly. No one laughs except the poor bloke telling it.
At any rate, just what is "vacuum isolation"? How does it relate to the blog entries it was posted to? I say entries because mlculwell posted the same comment to three or four different blog entries and none of them were directly interacted with. In fact, one of the blog entries that this was posted to was one in which I discussed John 12:32 within it's immediate context. Thus, I'm left wondering how I can be accused of "vacuum isolation" (whatever that means exactly) when I presented an argument based on the immediate context in which the verse is found.
(John 7:38-39 KJV) This passage says If A-N-Y man thirst let him come unto me and drink. He is allowed by his thirst. Oh, but the Calvinist will say what about the next verse?
Mr. mlculwell seems to think that spelling out certain words is enough to refute Calvinism. Fine. Since I'm one who believes in answering folks on their own grounds, what about Ephesians 1:5 where it states that Christians are P-R-E-D-E-S-T-I-N-E-D to adoption acording to God's will? Then there's Acts 13:48 that says the gentiles who were A-P-P-O-I-N-T-E-D to eternal life believed. And who can forget 2Thessolonians 2:13 where it is stated that God has C-H-O-S-E-N the elect for salvation? Will mlculwell concede the force of his own argument when it is turned around on him? Will he then present an actual argument as to why John 7:37 (not v. 38 & 39) contradicts Calvinism? Will he, for instance, elaborate on his underlying assumption that "if any man thirsts" really means that every man without exception thirsts for the gospel and only needs a little wooing on God's part for him to drink? Will he directly interact with the Calvinistic interpretation of this verse and others like it? Or, will he simply continue with his spelling-bee argumentation?
Because the believer according to Calvin is a mindless robot made to believe, made to thirst.
I would be very interested to see if Mr. mlculwell can provide the book and page number where Calvin made the claim that men are robots who are forced to believe against their will.
One will notice that the above passage does not use the term A-L-L but rather A-N-Y
Aside from the fact that this is still spelling-bee argumentation, what is the point? What difference does it make if John 7:37 has 'any' instead of 'all'? Where is Mr. mlculwell's discussion on whether or not these words are limited by contextual considerations?
There is that little nasty indefinite pronoun* any *again and it's relation to anyone hearing the word and either accepting or rejecting the word in their hearts because of different situations or cares of this life and the flesh of mankind because men love their flesh rather than the spirit of God.
As written, this statement is a bit difficult to follow. It seems that Mr. mlculwell believes that the mere appearance of the term 'any' necessarily implies libertarian free-will over and against compatiblistic free-will (i.e. the Calvinist position). If so, this would of course beg the question. Further, the above statement conflates two different sections of scripture (Matt. 5 and Matt. 13) without a clear demonstration of how they relate to each other or the point being made.
Above is a person/persons that have a stony heart because of the cares of this life (Not because of sins of their forefathers as both Catholics and Calvinists falsely claim...
This statement appears to be based on Matthew 13:20. If so, Mr. mlculwell has it all wrong. The Calvinistic interpretation of this verse does not rest on anything other than what the verse itself states. Matthew 13:20 is part of the parable of the sower. In this parable, four different types of people and how they react to hearing the gospel are presented. The first refers to people who hear the gospel but do not understand. This lack of understanding results in the gospel message not taking root. Reformed theology is consistent with this description. The second person is presented as having a stoney heart but the verse does not state that the stoney heart comes from the "cares of this life" as Mr. mlculwell stated above. The "cares of this life" phrase refers to the third person described. This person is too caught up and in love with the world to have room in his heart for the gospel. Reformed theology is likewise consistent with the two previous descriptions. The fourth and final description is in reference to someone likened to "good soil" and thus the gospel takes root and is fruitful. This final description is also consistent with Calvinism. Thus, if Calvinism is consistent with all the descriptions found in the parable of the sower, then Mr. mlculwell is mistaken to assert that Calvinism interprets this parable thru some supposed grid.
...man is a free moral agent able to hear, choose and be saved by his God.
Yes, man is indeed a free moral agent who is able to hear and choose and be saved by his God. So, since Calvinism affirms this statement as written, what is Mr. mlculwell's argument?
...the gospel message is for all of mankind...
...not all will be saved...
...but any man can be saved .
And I can agree with this but with one caveat. Any man can be saved if God so wills it. Thus, the difference between Mr. mlculwell's view and my own is the assumption of libertarian free-will which has yet to be established.
Next, Mr. mlculwell quotes Romans 10:8 and says this:
(who Calvinists ? NO the 12 apostles of the lamb who were sent…
The only response I can possibly give to this devastating observation is, well, what?
(Side note:he cannot be the Lord "over all" but only "all kinds of men" and thus Calvinists remain consistent in their interpretation. Go figure….
Here, Mr. mlculwell seems to be complaining that Calvinists often point out that words like 'all' and 'any' are often limited by contextual considerations. Thus, he is complaining against cold hard fact. Go figure.
Calvinists say God makes you a believer without you being involved in the process, What? Ridiculous!
Actually, Calvinists say that God grants men the faith that is required to come to Christ. Once that faith is given, it will then be excercised thus making man involved in the process. This is in stark contrast to Mr. mlculwell's assertion that Calvinism teaches man is saved apart from faith which is truly ridiculous.
(oh but God automatically makes you believe without hearing more ridiculousness)
At this point, I feel it necessary to point out that we're dealing with someone who is swimming in ignorance. Either that, or this person is about as intellectually dishonest as they come. Reformed theology doesn't teach that "God automatically" does anything. Further, Reformed theology does not teach that God forces men to believe for the simple reason that the willing cannot be forced. That is, Calvinism teaches that God removes man's heart of stone and replaces it with a heart of flesh that is capable of belief. And what of Mr. mlculwell's unsupported assertion that Calvinists believe that we are saved apart from the preaching of the gospel? Well, to use his own words, "more ridiculousness"!
...these false prophets refuse to preach that same message and we hear all kinds of ridiculous reasons why.
Here, Mr. mlculwell is referring to Reformed preachers when he uses the term "false prophets". The assertion here is basically that Reformed preachers (and by extension, all Calvinists) do not say the same thing as the Apostles (at least, according to mlculwell) and therefore they are all false prophets. But if this doesn't beg the question, nothing possibly can. In order to establish this notion, Mr. mlculwell will need to sit down and refute Calvinism en toto while simultaneously establishing his own viewpoints as the only Biblical option. And as I have shown above, he hasn't even come close to successfully critiquing Calvinism. Moreover, to say that Calvinists are false prophets is fundamentally no different than saying that we are not Christians. Is this indeed Mr. mlculwell's view? I would be interested in hearing him elaborate on this point.
...yes, the Calvinist is correct when they teach the term "all" is limited in certain contexts concerning believers and unbelievers...
And with this admission, Mr. mlculwell effectively torpedos his own statements above about 'any' and 'all'. That is, once it is admitted that terms like 'all' and 'world' are often times limited by context, these words can no longer be thrown out as if their mere appearance in a text of scripture automatically falsifies the Calvinist's interpretation.
There is quite a bit more that Mr. mlculwell posted but most of it re-hashes what has already been covered above and so going on would not be productive. I mean, really, how much more bad argumentation am I going to have to showcase in order to drive home the point that too many non-Calvinists are far too willing to engage in the most horrid argumentative antics in order to attack a system of theology that they do not like?