Paul's Passing Thoughts

Why it is a Total Waste of Time Talking to Calvinists

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 30, 2013

Paul,

I saw that you challenged John Lofton to an online debate.  I know that challenge was not made to me, but I would be happy to accept the challenge.  Let the games begin.

Answer:

Ya, sounds good big guy. I have a conference coming up and will need time to prepare afterward. Pick a day in August. Bring it.

paul

Answer:

Great.  I think we need to decide on a specific topic, a forum, a mutually acceptable moderator and a set of guidelines to govern the debate.  Will the moderator pose questions, will we pose questions to each other, or will we take questions from spectators?  All of this needs to be decided well in advance.

After all of that is agreed to, a date for August 8 is set, and then this from the challenger:

The following are the rules apart from which I will not debate:

1. The Scriptures are solely authoritative.

2. Each participant must be able to state his opponent’s position to his satisfaction before being able to comment on it.

3. Every assertion must be supported by direct quotations, in context, that indicate the veracity of the assertion.  (For example, you may not assert that Calvinists believe that matter is inherently evil, or that justification is progressive unless you can quote a Calvinist who explicitly states such a belief.  A title from Calvin’s institutes will not be sufficient to establish that he taught what is stated in the title).

4. Each participant must define the terms he is using according to some accepted standard.

5. Though not a rule, the debate needs to center as much as possible on presuppositions, not on conclusions, since faulty conclusions are based on faulty presuppositions.

Response from Paul:

NO. Let each state his own position to his own satisfaction as well as one’s perception of the other side and let the people decide. And NO, the logical conclusions from stated positions will not be excluded. If Calvin said a cat walked across the street, I will not be excluded from saying that the cat was on the other side of the street just because Calvin didn’t specifically say, “The cat that walked across the street was then on the other side of the street.”

Furthermore, I will not be excluded from my firm belief that words mean things and that conclusions cannot be drawn from titles. If you want to say that a title of a treatise doesn’t reflect the theses of the treatise, state it accordingly and we will let the people decide.

Likewise, be sure of it, I will clearly state that we are debating from two different realities: grammatical verses redemptive. I will call you out on the fact that “The Scriptures are solely authoritative” equals ALL reality being interpreted through a redemptive prism. I will then cite the first tenet of New Covenant Theology according to the Earth Stove Society to back that up. If that’s a bad citation—state your case accordingly. If you reject that, state your case and we will let the people decide.

Moreover, let the people decide in regard to citations and their weight for the case. You don’t decide that and neither do I.

Answer from challenger:

Forget it then.  I refuse to debate with anyone who makes up his own interpretations and definitions as he goes along.  I can’t defend a position neither I nor any Calvinist believes. If you can’t show we believe a doctrine from clear contextual quotations, then you have lost the debate already.  The truth is, you are an arrogant, theologically ignorant and inept fool who refuses to acknowledge what another person states as his belief.  Your response has only confirmed what I stated earlier–you are too stupid to understand truth.  I refuse to answer a fool according to his folly.

Just so you know, grammatical-historical and redemptive-historical methods are not mutually exclusive.  Still, that has nothing to do with the topic we were to have debated.

Answer from Paul:

Whimp.

Answer from Challenger:

Call me a whimp if you like, but you are the one who refuses to provide quotes.  I don’t really care what someone who calls himself a Calvinists has written.  People in all camps say and write stupid things.  If you want to say  “a Calvinist named __________________has written__________”  that is one thing.  To then state that Calvinists believe___________ is another thing altogether.  If you are going to make such a statement, you need to show that this has historically been the Calvinists’ position. Prodigious generalities are never good. In any case, you need to actually quote the person.  Let the reader decide whether the person is saying what you allege.  You must stop simply assigning to people doctrines they don’t believe. You need to learn something about scholarship.  Frankly, you are simply not worth my time.

Answer from Paul:

Same old – same old Calvinistic evil despotic communication: because “all of the elders do not agree on that point” you guys have deniability whenever you want it. Calvinism is a joke. The church needs a massive exodus out the Geneva city of spiritual whores.

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29 Responses

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  1. drew said, on May 31, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    Perseverance is a continuance of reality. No proof required. I don’t know how else to say it.

    Like

  2. Lydia said, on May 31, 2013 at 9:56 PM

    “”The following are the rules apart from which I will not debate:

    1. The Scriptures are solely authoritative.

    2. Each participant must be able to state his opponent’s position to his satisfaction before being able to comment on it.

    3. Every assertion must be supported by direct quotations, in context, that indicate the veracity of the assertion. (For example, you may not assert that Calvinists believe that matter is inherently evil, or that justification is progressive unless you can quote a Calvinist who explicitly states such a belief. A title from Calvin’s institutes will not be sufficient to establish that he taught what is stated in the title).

    4. Each participant must define the terms he is using according to some accepted standard.

    5. Though not a rule, the debate needs to center as much as possible on presuppositions, not on conclusions, since faulty conclusions are based on faulty presuppositions
    “”

    LOL!!! I WIN I WIN!!!

    Talk about framing the debate…the Calvnist way.

    Like

  3. John Immel said, on June 24, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    “You are not worthy of MY time”????

    This is hilarious … a Calvinist that declares his worth. LOLOLOLOL

    Beyond the profound condescension displayed for all to see, by doctrine he doesn’t HAVE any worth. Or is he going to say he can fudge on the doctrine of Pervasive Depravity too because HE doesn’t believe it?
    Oh the subjective conceit!

    . . .

    And here is the dirty little secret . . . The MOMENT a Calvinist says “Debate” you win.

    The very request shows the absolute flexibility implicit to their “Orthodoxy” AKA The Reformed Tradition, AKA the Westminster Confession AKA every other sub set that tries to hedge and move the Calvinist doctrinal absolutes while clinging to the root metaphysical presumption of Augustine, Luther and Calvin.

    Any form of Determinism (AKA Predestination) negates any reason and by consequence ALL volitional action. “Believing” therefor is—AT BEST—a tertiary function of the first cause . . . I.E God’s determinism for his mysterious, inscrutable sovereign purpose.

    By determinist definition what a man “BELIEVES” is merely filler—like the cream squirted inside a Twinkie—in support of the existential outcome of the tasty cake on the outside. So to ever suggest that man could be persuaded by an objective argument is laughable.

    A debate is by definition based in the premise that man can have an objective exchange of ideas, means that IDEAS can be CHANGED!!!! And that the change of ideas would impact the subsequent volition of human action.

    ROTFLMAO

    John Immel

    Like

  4. johnimmel said, on June 24, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    “You are not worthy of MY time”????

    This is hilarious … a Calvinist that declares his worth. LOLOLOLOL

    Beyond the profound condescension displayed for all to see, by doctrine he doesn’t HAVE any worth. Or is he going to say he can fudge on the doctrine of Pervasive Depravity too because HE doesn’t believe it?

    Oh the subjective conceit!
    . . .
    And here is the dirty little secret . . . The MOMENT a Calvinist says “Debate” you win.

    The very request shows the absolute flexibility implicit to their “Orthodoxy” AKA The Reformed Tradition, AKA the Westminster Confession AKA every other sub set that tries to hedge and move the Calvinist doctrinal absolutes while clinging to the root metaphysical presumption of Augustine, Luther and Calvin.

    Any form of Determinism (AKA Predestination) negates any reason and by consequence ALL volitional action. “Believing” therefor is—AT BEST—a tertiary function of the first cause . . . I.E God’s determinism for his mysterious, inscrutable sovereign purpose.

    By determinist definition what a man “BELIEVES” is merely filler—like the cream squirted inside a Twinkie—in support of the existential outcome of the tasty cake on the outside. So to ever suggest that man could be persuaded by an objective argument is laughable.

    A debate is by definition based in the premise that man can have an objective exchange of ideas, means that IDEAS can be CHANGED!!!! And that the change of ideas would impact the subsequent volition of human action.

    ROTFLMAO

    John Immel

    Like

    • paulspassingthoughts said, on June 24, 2013 at 12:06 PM

      John,

      Good point. If I understand you correctly. based on the doctrine itself, any offer by a Calvinist to debate someone would have to be disingenuous.

      Like

  5. john immel said, on June 24, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    Yes… for them to even suggest a debate is a dead give away that Calvinists preach TULIP but live like Armenians

    PS.. I don’t man to post that twice. not sure how that happened.

    Like

    • paulspassingthoughts said, on June 24, 2013 at 1:52 PM

      John,

      And this is what I like, the dressing down of the Calvinistic motif on every level: how they function; their history; the origins of their philosophy and ideology; their general doctrine; their biblical doctrine; their behavior; character, and alternatives.

      Like

  6. John Immel said, on June 26, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    The more I have thought about it the more I conclude the truly insidious undercurrent of your challenger’s presumption. Of course many people picked up on the fact that he expected the absolute right to define the totality of the argument while being able to evade any specific conclusion.

    At the root he demanded that YOU be intellectually responsible to articulate—TO HIS SATISFACTION—the sum of his assertion and that you could draw no conclusions about the progression of thought.

    This is insane on its face. But notice that when you refused to accept his standard he proceeded to put words in your mouth and draw conclusions about who you are. Notice this brazen comment: “Your response has only confirmed what I stated earlier–you are too stupid to understand truth. I refuse to answer a fool according to his folly.”

    Is this not an arguments of causality i.e. the content of what you have said leads him to conclude that you are the cat on the other side of the street?

    Ok… I mixed metaphors but the point is he is deductively reasoning to arrive at the judgment you are a fool even though there is no “DIRECT QUOTE” where you have admitted to being a fool. Isn’t this exactly what he insisted COULD NOT be done in this debate?

    Wasn’t he trying to evade the cause and effect of the Calvinist construct?

    The answer is of course that is what he is trying to evade because he wants to raise the threshold of doctrinal proof so high that he can never be held responsible for a deductive conclusion.

    And here is the insidious part… the debater does not want to be accountable to defending Calvin. They know that is a losing proposition. A. Because most of them don’t know what he said. B. because if they do know what he said, they realize how nutty some of it is.

    What they really want to do… and what this master debater really wanted to do was defend HIS understanding of Reformed Theology.

    He wanted a license to defend his subjective understanding. That is what he is really mad about. He is insulted that you won’t let him define the argument in the most liberal terms so he can change the nature of the debate from Calvin to HIS understanding. This is utter subjectivism.

    This subjectivism makes the following comment truly hilarious. “I refuse to debate with anyone who makes up his own interpretations and definitions as he goes along.”

    HE was the one demanding the right to define the debate as it suited him. You were the one demanding that the issues were objective!!!!!

    I contend that the reason Calvinism gets so much traction in modern minds (beyond its systematic appeal) is because of its hidden subjective root. People want to defend their subjective understanding of reformed theology so this gives them enormous power because they can blithely dismiss any direct reference to Calvin all the while making a claim to Orthodoxy. And you don’t get the wonder that is them because you are too stupid to arrogant to much of a fool to get the truth.

    So here are the two questions that must be answered before any “Debate” can ever happen with a Reformed Theology aficionado.

    1. Do you believe reason and logic are effective to understand the truth?
    2. Will you be defending Orthodoxy or are you debating your subjective understanding of orthodoxy.

    They can’t answer either question because if they do YOU WIN.

    P.S.

    As an aside I think this is hilarious:
    (For example, you may not assert that Calvinists believe that matter is inherently evil, or that justification is progressive unless you can quote a Calvinist who explicitly states such a belief. A title from Calvin’s institutes will not be sufficient to establish that he taught what is stated in the title).

    If this were the criteria for absolute bible doctrine Christians would have to wholesale abandon Original Sin, Pervasive Depravity and Perseverance of the saints at the very least.

    Like

    • paulspassingthoughts said, on June 26, 2013 at 3:48 PM

      John,

      Stellar observations. To me, his reply is just classic and representative of the problem as a whole: very Lutheran; i.e., the demand that their interpretation of the subjective world is orthodoxy. Everything is a paradox that can only be interpreted by them. I have had these guys tell me point blank: that’s why they have to have authority to rule by love and God has given them the authority to lead as they see best in the subjective quagmire. I mean, I have sermon black and whites that would blow your mind. And not from obscure nut-balls, I mean mainline Calvinists.

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  7. truthseeker00 said, on November 2, 2017 at 2:50 PM

    I deduct points from both of you for basic incivility :), but debating with a Calvinist is rather like hanging on to a greased pig. Perhaps they do not make up their own interpretations and definitions as they go along – but they don’t need to, as they have so many handy possibilities in their toolkit. They are ever ready to pull out whichever version of Calvinism suits their purpose at the moment, and it matters not if it contradicts their orthodoxy as defined by the Westminster Confession, their beliefs as explained by leading Calvinist teachers or their own previously stated interpretations.

    When one starts with the official W.C. contradiction that God both causes all things and yet is not the author of some of those things (the evil ones!) it does not bode well for legitimate reasoning or the accepted rules of logic. Which, of course, Calvinists refuse to be governed by, hence any attempt at logical debate with them is futile.

    When one pretends that using synonyms is different than talking out of both sides of one’s mouth, one arrives at distinctions that do not qualify as differences. How does one objectively deal with ‘ all contradictions can be chalked up to Mystery’ and ‘God is not limited to human logic’? No matter how precise and logical a case one builds, the Calvinist will eventually brush it off with ‘We cannot force a Holy God to bow to our imperfect logic’. Apparently they do not believe that God is actually the author of logic, or the necessity of being able to discount what is logically impossible in order to dispel avoidable error.

    Liked by 1 person

    • johnimmel said, on November 3, 2017 at 9:16 AM

      Oh yes, I live to be thought of as civil.

      snicker<

      “Apparently they do not believe that God is actually the author of logic, or the necessity of being able to discount what is logically impossible in order to dispel avoidable error.”

      Yup . . . very well said and exactly why it is impossible to debate a Calvinist. They fundamentally believe that what they think is right because THEY think it.

      Like

      • truthseeker00 said, on November 3, 2017 at 10:34 AM

        It was said somewhat tongue in cheek, but civility does have its merits. 🙂 There is, doubtless, a time and a place for calling a brood of vipers a ‘brood of vipers’, but often the best approach is merely to reveal their treacherous hypocrisy and leave them scratching their foolish heads.

        Like

      • johnimmel said, on November 3, 2017 at 11:46 AM

        LOL . . . If i thought they appreciated “civility” it actually gained traction I would have become a master of such a thing years ago. But l learned early on that any appeal to “tone” was really a gambit to re-establish their moral judgment as the plumb line of the argument. As long as i was willing to conform to their social sensibilities it was seen as a tacit capitulation to their general arguments. It is all fraud.

        Plus i don’t care about their moral judgments. I don’t care that they are offended one direction or the other by what or how i say what I say. As Ben Shaprio is fond of saying “facts don’t care about your feelings.”

        And for all of that I think the Calvinists are the ones who declared war on human existence. Why is it my job to make them feel good about their demonstrated evil? If they recant their ways I will consider being magnanimous and applaud them for their new found civility.

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