Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:13-14)

Friday, November 04, 2005

Box of Chocolates Explained in Brevity

God's decision in election, according to Reformed theology was :

"...not according to anything found in man. He did not base His choice on man in any way... It was a free choice, a sovereign choice of God. He made it without any consideration of man whatsoever" (Hanko, Hoeksema, and Van Baren, the 5 points of Calvinism, 35)

There is a point why I made the "Box of Chocolates" illustration. It was to show something that logically must flow from the doctrine of UNCONDITIONAL election as it relates to reprobation...

Is it impossible for people to cogitate on my analogy?

It is clear:

If election is unconditional, based upon no "consideration of man whatsoever," so MUST be reprobation.

The illustration shows, along with the Calvin quote, that we are to look nowhere else than the will of God for the election and reprobation of men. Neither one has anything to do with man, WHATSOEVER (not sin, not depravity, not sin of Adam, nothing).

It is folly
It is inconsistence
It is illlogical

to be a Calvinist and still claim that man is justly condemned to hell.

"I... ask how it is that the fall of Adam involves so many nations with their infant children in eternal death without remedy UNLESS THAT IS SO SEEMED MEET TO GOD [sic]? ... The decree, I ADMIT, IS, DREADFUL; and yet it is impossible to deny that God foreknew what the end of man was to be before He made him, and foreknew, because he had so ordained by his decree. ... God not only foresaw the fall of the first man, and in him the ruin of his posterity; but also AT HIS OWN PLEASURE ARRANGED IT." (Calvin Institutes, III, xxiii, 7)

According to Calvin here, and deductive logic, it is impossible to blame men and punish them for the sin of Adam. God at his own pleasure arranged the fall. Of course, this is entirely beside the point! Because it was in the DECREE, the "dreadful" decree, where, God, in a FREE manner, chose those to elect and those to reprobate, "without any consideration of man whatsoever".

At least the equal ultimacy Calvinists take the doctrine of God's decree in election to its logical end. Here he is at least consistent with his theology. The equal ultimacy double predestinarian would wipe up the floor with a single predestinarian in a debate and show them the utter contradiction in their beliefs.



Blogger Jonathan Moorhead said...

Antonio, I previously made the following comment and you refused to answer it. Here it is again:

Antonio, I suppose Paul was also “extreme and illogical” in your view.

“Consider the questions they were asking, as reported to us by Paul himself:”

Romans 9:18-20: “Therefore, He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens. You will say to me then, ‘Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?’ But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why have you made me like this?’”

“Does Paul give a scriptural answer?”


“His answer is theological intimidation”

Rom 9:20: “who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why have you made me like this?’”

November 05, 2005 11:08 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...


Before I proceed, I would like to know where you fall in your Calvinism.

Do you agree with my assessment in "Box of Chocolates Explained in Brevity"?

Are you falling in line with supra equal ultimacy double predestinarians? Is this why you are referencing Romans 9:18-20, because you believe that the reprobate is not thrown in hell BECAUSE of sin, depravity, fall of Adam, or anything whatsoever in man, etc, but BECAUSE of God's "dreadful" decree, whereby He in an absolutely FREE manner, apart from any consideration of man whatsoever, sovereignly chose people for damnation, for this pleased Him and they will glorify Him forever by their torment, for He created them specifically for this purpose, that they should perish?


November 05, 2005 2:08 PM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

I made a post in your honor:


February 10, 2006 2:53 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Thanks for your interest, sofist.

Yet you do nothing to represent me nor my arguments well.


February 11, 2006 12:32 PM  
Blogger Larry said...

"Box of Chocolates Explained in Brevity" "Nov 04 2005 02:31 PM"

I think I see the problem here. Reprobation is not the same thing is the judgment that reprobation refers to. Similarly, election is not the same thing as the salvation that election refers to. Of course they are related. How are they different?

Reprobation and election refer to the consignment of souls to their end. We might say, without hopefully sounding too crass, that God, dispatches all of His creation to its end.

Of course, I'm only "cogitating" on the analogy, not pronouncing anything. I'm not dispatching.


People often puzzle over verses like Mk 4:9, "he who has ears to hear, let him hear," asking what does that mean or add to the sense. Regarding both evil and good actions, a similar verse is Rev 22:11, "let the one who does wrong, still do wrong ...." I would say that such verses are examples of the language of election and reprobation as well.

For example, some have ears to hear (which distinguish them from those who don't). What does "let them hear" add? As the margin of the NAS helpfully suggests, it is like commanding them to actually hear.

Since it's Christmas, think of an elaborate toy train set with little towns and various bridges and crossings and various types of train cars, and lights on buildings, etc. To plug in the electricity is like saying to the one with hearing, "let him hear," and to the evildoer, "still do wrong." The electricity does not supply electricity only to one car, but to the whole system unconditionally. Whatever the nature of each individual piece is to do, it will not do so without the switch being turned on, saying "let it be done."

December 19, 2006 5:46 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

I was researching "equal ultimacy" when I came upon this blog. I appreciate your honesty and search for truth in the matter of election.

I don't know if this will help any or be profitable to you, but understanding the concepts of supralapsarianism and infralapsarianism could provide a clear picture of a difficult doctrine.

I believe what you're referring to, the "box of chocolates" regarding reprobation is supralapsarian in it's outlook. Supralapsarianism deals with the order of divine decree. In other words it puts in order what God deems most important. Supralapsarianism gives the divine decree of election/reprobation more importance than the decree of the Fall. If God knows the futre perfectly then He did ordain the Fall through His act of creation.

In relation to the Fall and the divine decree of election/reprobation it need not be interpreted that Paul means God was completely arbitrary in saying that neither Jacob or Esau had done no right or wrong. If fact Paul says this to prove the point that Jacob, or Esau did not earn anything, especially salvation, through their actions.

Infralapsarianism, a view most traditional Calvinists hold, is that the divine decree of election/reprobation is made in light of the Fall. Jacob and Esau may have done nothing right or wrong yet, but the judgement of mercy and justice regarding each is equal so far as that they are both "fallen" human beings. One gets mercy via election, one gets judgement via reprobation BASED IN divine justice for his sin.

Election/reprobation is not like a box of chocolates, it is based on the all inclusive fact that men are sinners.

September 07, 2007 10:19 AM  

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