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I'd be interested to know whether arguments count as evidence. If so, then there certainly are challenging arguments for the existence of God, and there is no off-hand atheist answer to all of them. In that case, the atheist's claim is unwarranted. At least, not until he has thoroughly examined and refuted all of the arguments that theists have found compelling for thousands of years. On the other hand, if arguments do not count as evidence, but only empirical observations do, then, of course, there cannot be decisive evidence for God...no observation can establish that there is an omnipotent being, for example. The most you could conclude is that there is a really powerful being. OK. +1 for the atheist. The only problem is that there is, by that account, no evidence for arithmetic. -∞ for the atheist.
Another argument I've heard comes from Jesus statement that no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son. If the Holy Spirit were a person, then he'd know and be known by the Father and the Son. Matthew 11:27:All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.Is it too trite to suppose that the Holy Spirit has had this knowledge revealed to Him by the Son?
JW: The Holy Spirit lacks a name C: Not so. He has a perfectly good name. JW: Really? What is his name? C: Yahweh of course, or if you like, Jehovah JW: No it isn't...that's the name of the Father. C: Really? In what passage is the Father called Yahweh? JW: O come on...they mean the same. The Father is God-God. That's Jehovah. C: The Holy Spirit is God-God. And the Bible does identify Him as Yahweh. JW: What's this? C: According to Hebrews 3, the Holy Spirit was tested in the wilderness. It is the Holy Spirit that says "your ancestors tested and tried me, though for forty years they saw what I did". JW: So what? C: According to Psalm 95 it was Yaheweh who said this. And in Exodus 17, it was quite clearly Yaheweh who was tested. JW: OK.... C: There can be only one way that both are true: The Holy Spirit is Yaheweh. JW: But that's your translation. C: The New World Version describes it the same way. The New World Version also describes baptism as a thing to be done in a single name: "Go, therefore, and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit." JW: Well, we do not deny that God the Father has the name Jehovah. And the Son has the name Jesus. But the Holy Spirit has no name. C: The passage does not say "in the name of the Father and in the name of the Son and in the holy spirit." It does not even say "in the names of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit." One singular name is said to apply to all three. That singular name is, of course, Yahweh
Thanks Ron (I assume not RonH). That's exactly where I would go with this challenge too. We don't set the terms of our salvation. God does, and he sent His Son into this world precisely to die for our sins. It is his will that we should trust in that. Those who cry Lord! Lord! in Matt 7 are trying to set the terms of their salvation rather than God. They are trying to usurp God's authority...it's just Satan's (and Adam's) sin again.
GH5- Yeah. That's about right. Single Pre-destination. KWM- I'm going to leave you final remark uncommented upon for now. I will note that God can do things so that Man will be without excuse without man being owed those things. If God did not provide Man with something owed to him, Man would have an actual defense. All he has, it would seem, is excuses. But God takes even those away. All- Things are getting crazy at work right now, so I'll be going dark for two or three weeks on this and all other entries. Thanks for the conversation guys. Talk to you when I can struggle back up to the surface.
KWM- Before I give my view below, I'm going to make one complaint, ask three questions and offer one quibble. My Complaint I don't have any idea what #3 says. Question 1 Were you presenting 1-3 as three incompatible alternatives? Questions 2 and 3 On #2, were you saying that you agree with #2, but don't see why what it describes should be called work? Or were you saying that #2 does describe work on God's part, but you don't see why it should be thought true? The Quibble I try to distinguish what God wants/wills all things equal from what He wants/wills all things considered. I tend to avoid the phrases "perfect will" and "permissive will". I think the phrase "perfect will", in particular, is used in two ways...depending on the type of perfection that is being referenced. ---------- Use 1 ---------- You used the phrase "perfect will" in #1 to describe what Calvinists (I think) would call His secret will. This is the will by which God orders the world and which all things are determined to follow. Using the phrase "perfect will" in this way, God always achieves His perfect will. This is a completely reasonable way to use the phrase "perfect will". It is the will that ultimately expresses the perfection of God's sovereign decree. FTR, this will, whether we call it perfect or not, is what I would identify as what God wills all things considered. ---------- Use 2 ---------- Others use the phrase "perfect will" to describe those things that God wills for us if we would be perfect imitators of Christ. When you sin you are outside of God's perfect will. When you avoid sin you are in God's perfect will. Using the phrase "perfect will" in this way, God does not always achieve His perfect will. The perfect will, in this use, contrasts to God's permissive will (an equally vexed idea). This is also a completely reasonable way to use the phrase "perfect will". It is the will that ultimately expresses the perfection of God's moral law. FWIW, I think this is the more common use of "perfect will". FTR, this will. whether we call it perfect or not, is what I would call God's will, all things equal. My Answer Now, with that quibble out of the way, I do not think that 1-3 are incompatible with each other. (Well...as I said...I don't know about #3. No idea what it is saying) In particular, I do not think that item #1 and item #2 are incompatible. I think that item #1 and item #2 are not only compatible, but both true. Item #1 refers to what God wants/wills all things considered. Item #2 refers to what God wants/wills all things equal. I'd add to #2 that the effort God takes there is part of the reason that man is completely without excuse. (The other part is that man resists God's efforts). I think Item #2 does refer to work on God's part. And I think that God made it true so that Man would be without excuse. On Overdetermination I believe overdetermination occurs every single time human beings act. The world, to the last detail, is ordered by what God wants all things considered. The only room there even is for the activity of other agents is that they overdetermine what God has already determined. There's nothing special about an avoided sin in that respect. If a human being performs an act, holy or profane, he is only overdetermining what God has already determined. I might add that when we avoid a sin, we usually do so by committing some other avoidable sin, not by performing the achievable good God demands of us. I'm not sure that I really know what it feels like to avoid a sin. I just know, mostly, what it's like to commit one sin rather than another. So I really can't comment on whether it feels like I'm overdetermining something when I avoid a sin. I suppose I can say this: Once again, every act that any human performs only overdetermines what God has already determined, so however an avoided sin may feel, it's an overdetermined act. On Salvation I believe that when people are lost, we can always say that had they not resisted, they would not have been lost...so it is all their fault. I believe that when people are saved, we can always say that they did nothing to help God, they did nothing but resist Him...so they get no credit. I believe that when people are lost, we can always say that God did more than enough to save them even with them struggling against Him...so God bears no fault. I believe that when people are saved, we can always say that God overcame their resistance, which was mighty, and saved them without their help...So He gets all the credit. No man ever even tries to be saved, so I agree that salvation is not an overdetermined event. On the Atonement None of this discussion of the nature of pre-destination, of course, has any bearing whatsoever, an whether Christ died for all. Thus far no cogent Scriptural or philosophical argument has been raised to suggest that Christ did not die for the sins of the world.
I agree with JBerr. Also, Christians don't worship the Bible.
"God can not want us to commit a particular sin, but allow it for His purposes." God does not want us to commit any sin. As already noted, He does all sorts of things to prevent us from committing every single one of them. But He's only willing to go so far in that. He could prevent all of them of course. For example, He could destroy the world. Or choose not to create it in the first place. He exercises restraint in fulfilling His desire to prevent our sins in not going as far as He could to prevent them. Note...when I say God exercises restraint, I just mean that he doesn't do something He'd like to. I don't mean that He somehow struggles with this like an alcoholic trying to restrain himself from drinking.
I'm with kpolo on this one. Right now, today, there are probably elementary logical truths that have different acceptance in different places.
Brad- Sorry left out a 2 Timothy passage from my above list...it seems that I sailed straight from 1 Timothy on to Titus. Here's 2 Timoty's use of "despotes":2 Timothy 2:21Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.This passage, like the Song of Simeon and the other passages I noted above, does not seem to display a lack of intimacy with the master.
Brad- Just for reference, here are the ten instances (2 are in the beginning of Chapter 6 of I Timothy...that's why only 9 entries below) of any form of "despotes" in the NT. I've used the NASB throughout (as is my wont). Luke 2:29Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace, According to Your word; Acts 4:24And when they heard this, they lifted their voices to God with one accord and said, "O Lord, it is You who MADE THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH AND THE SEA, AND ALL" 1 Timothy 6:1,2All who are under the yoke as slaves are to regard their own masters as worthy of all honor so that the name of God and our doctrine will not be spoken against. Those who have believers as their masters must not be disrespectful to them because they are brethren, but must serve them all the more because those who partake of the benefit are believers and beloved. Teach and preach these principles. Titus 2:9Urge bondslaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, 1 Peter 2:18Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. 2 Peter 2:1But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Jude 1:4For certain persons have crept in unnoticed those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ Revelation 6:10and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" I think you will agree that in many cases the passage is using "Master" to refer to normal human masters. Those cases are not particularly relevant to our discussion. Your contention seems to be that there is a lack of intimacy implicit in the use of the word "despotes" that should make us view the Master's purchase as not being the purchase made by the cross. Well, I think the Song of Simeon from Luke and the Plea of the Martyrs from Revelation go against that. So also does Peter and John's prayer of thanksgiving for their release. None of these, of course, explicitly tie the Master to the purchase of the cross, but they do undercut the idea that somehow "despotes" is not used in an intimate way. There is one point for a distinction that I think we can, in fairness, make to your side. It seems to me that the translation of the Jude passage by the NASB isn't, in this instance, quite as good and the KJV. Here is the KJV:For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.Here is the Greek of that italicized section:και τον μονον δεσποτην και κυριον ημων ιησουν χριστον αρνουμενοιWord-by-word english is this:and this only Master and Lord of us Jesus Christ denyingYou could make a case that the Master is everyone's Master...even those who deny him. But the Lord is not everyone Lord, but only ours. The KJV translation allows that. Not so much for the NASB. And there is also this, the crew that Jude seems to be inveighing against sounds an awful lot like the crew that 2 Peter is also condemning. Right down to some sort of disrespect for the angels. It is, perhaps, no accident that both Jude and Peter use the phrase "denying the Master" to refer to their heresy. Perhaps those are the very words of the heretics themselves. Refusing to recognize God as their master (and, by inference, themselves as his purchased slaves). In that respect, perhaps you could say that the use of "Master" is less intimate. On the one hand, perhaps Peter and Jude are recognizing that, yes, God is the Master of all things...including those heretics (no doubt this is why the NIV says "Sovereign Lord" there), but He is not their precious Savior. Or on the other hand, perhaps the heretics themselves have made the distance...refusing to recognize Him as master who is, nevertheless, their master. I'm not sure what exactly that buys you. Whether it's Peter and Jude or the heretics themselves who use the word "Master" as a special way of distancing the heretics from God, Peter nevertheless says that that Master bought them. And if you want to talk about covenants, the objective, one-way, nature of mastery suggests the Abrahamic covenant, where God put Abraham to sleep and passed through the divided animals Himself. Where it was solely upon Him to perform. That's what the Cross was. Christ sacrificed Himself for everyone. Whether they like it our not. Whether they want to recognize it or not.
Thanks DGF. My over-arching point about the tenses is that the false prophets are said to have arisen (aorist tense) in the past among the Jews. These past false prophets are then compared to false teachers who will arise (future tense) in the future among Christians. It is then said that these future false teachers will introduce heresies (future tense). Only then do we get to the participial phrase "denying the Master who bought them". The word "denying" is present tense. As you implied, DGF, this word is the principle verb of the participial phrase (the verb "bought" in the relative clause "who bought them" is moved to the front for emphasis). What the present tense indicates here is not something happening as Paul is writing, but something happening at the same time as the bit that the participial modifies. The question is, what does this participial modify? I think it is far too late for it to be modifying anything about the false prophets in the past. It has to be modifying something about the future false teachers and their future heresies. Because of this, the Master's purchase cannot be a reference to the Exodus. It is a reference to the Cross.
"these who enjoyed the benefits of covenant relationship with Christ's church...they heard the word, participated in corporate confession, took the supper etc...but for them, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins" Is this a challenge to me? Or is it a clarification of your view? Let's start by assuming its a clarification of your view. If so, then perhaps that's an answer to the Bob case above. "Knowledge of the truth" isn't mere propositional knowledge, but it's actually becoming a Christian. OK But do you not see that, even assuming that, this passage is not evidence against Universal Atonement? It is at best evidence for the Perseverance of the Saints. Presumably the reprobate could very well have a sacrifice remaining, because they have not become Christians, so they have not used the sacrifice in the first place. And even the Apostate, it seems, had a sacrifice, they just used it up, so none remains. ==================================================== But what if its a challenge to my view? My view is that as long as you are unrepentant...whether on the first day of your life or the last, whether you are elect or reprobate, no sacrifice remains for you. Christ bore your sins. All of them in life, death and resurrection. All your days on earth, all your days in Hell (let's agree that saints in Heaven don't sin). Christ took it all. But you can't recognize it as for you when you don't recognize it as for you. You can't repent when you don't repent. You can't trust when you don't trust. But at the moment of repentance, the sacrifice is yours. If you lapse into unrepentance, then, again, the sacrifice is not yours. If you repent again the sacrifice is again yours. Etc.
"If a born again person sins, Jesus our Shepherd goes and retrieves him." My challenge wasn't about people who are born again. It was about people who aren't born again yet. Let me get really concrete. Let's say Bob hears the law and gospel. Not only does he hear it, he believes every word of it. He's in fact got a full rich and nuanced theology. If you like he's a full-blown Trinitarian and 'believer' in the two-natures in Christ. And...just to gild the lilly...He's 'accepts' all five-points of Calvinism and all the details of Covenant theology. I put "believer" and "accepts" in scare quotes above because what I mean is simply that he believes and accepts the propositions as true. But he still does not trust in Christ. He does not bend the knee. This is because he doesn't want to do the things Christians are expected to do. He actually knows God and hates him. He hates him so much that the fact that a thing is an acknowledged sin makes it all the more enjoyable to him. He's actually looking forward to sinning as much as he can and going to Hell just to spite God. If this is not an example of someone who knows the truth (the truth on your view...I did make him a Calvinist ;-) but deliberately, willfully, unrepentantly keeps on sinning...just as if it were his right to do so, I don't know what is. So according to your reading of Hebrews 10:26, there's no sacrifice remaining for him. For all that, one day, Bob hears a sermon from some Pastor that just happens to hit the right spot, and he seemingly repents. He goes on to become a seemingly pious Christian. He becomes a missionary and many come to believe, really believe, at the first opportunity through that mission. After many years of seeming devotion, he dies with a hymn on his lips. I say "seemingly" because there's no sacrifice remaining for him. So any 'repentance' he goes through is actually an elaborate form of self-deception. It seems that he had his chance, but muffed it.
"God doesn’t want us to sin, and yet here we are sinning along. No corresponding action is required of God. I don’t see how that could be the case." But God does do all sorts of things to keep us from sinning. For example, He gave the Law to Moses. He wrote the Law on the tables of our hearts, The Holy Spirit convicts us of Sin, He has created conditions that give rise to societies and civil law, Pastors called by God preach the Law, etc. The force He applies is resistible, that's why we continue to sin. Again, He does not want us to refrain from sin, all things considered. If that were the case, we wouldn't sin. He does want us not to sin, all things equal. And we know this is true because of everything He's done to prevent us from sinning.
On "Despotes", this word is used ten times in the NT. The exact form in 2 Peter is used twice. The other use is in Jude (Jude 1:4) and also refers, as you note, to Christ. One place "Despotes" is conspicuously not used is in the Septuagint translation of Deuteronomy 32. There isn't actually a passage there that looks much like "denying the Master who bought them". The closest you come is, I think, this:“Do you thus repay the Lord, O foolish and unwise people? Is not He your Father who has bought you?The Lord mentioned in this passage is translated in the Septuagint as "Kurios", not "Despotes". (In the Hebrew, it is YHWH, not Adonai, if you want to know.) So there's really no reason to think Peter is quoting Deuteronomy 32 here. Add to this the fact that there is no reference to the Exodus anywhere in the first two chapters of 2 Peter, and the whole idea that "the Master who bought them" is some reference to the Exodus is really impossible. And that's not even counting the tenses, which also rules out the idea that this is a reference to anything other than heretics who deny Christ who bought them. BTW that Jude passage that uses "despotes" is also talking about ungodly men who deny the Master. And the Master there is explicitly identified with the Lord Jesus. It doesn't seem to me that the Jude passage is referring to the Song of Moses either. If anything, what the two passages provide is weak and inconclusive evidence that "denying the Master" is a term of art among NT writers to refer to those who deny Christ. On "Kurios", my view is that, usually, referring to Jesus as Kurios is the same as referring to Him as YHWH. Apart from the fact that YHWH repeatedly says that He is the only savior, this is not a uniquely redemptive title. The more characteristically redemptive title for Jesus is "Christ". The reason I think referring to Jesus as Kurios is referring to Him as YHWH is thatJesus is identified as YHWH by every NT writer with the possible exception of James. AND "Kurios" is the word YHWH is translated to in the Septuagint.That is to say...all the writers believed that Jesus is YHWH, and "Kurios" was the best single word they had in Greek for expressing this fact.
Thanks, Brad, for taking the time to graciously wrestle with my arguments. Ditto for KWM and SCBLHRM. "sinning willfully is defined as something we all do whenever we sin" That isn't quite my view. I'd say instead that sinning willfully is to sin as if one had the right. That's what makes it incompatible with repentance. I can easily see someone struggling with a sin...committing it over and over and over, but not falling under the warning of Hebrews 10. The alcoholic who repeatedly falls off the wagon and repeatedly flees to the cross is never in danger. On the other hand, I can also see someone committing a sin only once, but falling under that warning. An individual who thinks that a lifetime of chastity entitles him to one night in the arms of a prostitute is in terrible danger. The point is that sinning willfully is a species of unrepentance. And it is unrepentance that will make the gift objectively given to me not be for me. That's what Hebrews 10:26 means when it says "there remains no sacrifice". I'd be curious Brad to hear your answer to my challenge. How is it that anyone who does not repent at the first opportunity but keeps on sinning as if he had the right can be ever saved? Such an individual knows the truth, but has rejected it. Why is he not now reprobate forever? If you read it the way you want to to close down my view, it looks to me like it goes too far even for you.
I was using "effort" as a synonym for "applied force".
Just in case it isn't clear, that last response of mine was aimed at KWM's last response, not scblhrm's. SCB's comment is well-done though I don't agree with the incompatibilism he expresses. God and John can overdetermine events. Because of this, all sorts of things under theological determinism could also be freely chosen by human beings. On his criticism of analogies, other than the Superman analogy, I don't think I used one. God really does offer human beings a cure. And none of them want it. They get it only because God crams it down their throat. The "crams down their throat" bit is not meant as an analogy. That's just a common idiom that means that God forces his cure upon them.
Thanks for your #1-#3. I think you will agree that there are actually 6 cases under consideration. 3 where "want" is understood in the "all things equal" sense and 3 where "want" is understood in the "all things considered" sense. We might say that cases #1-#3 are under consideration, where "want" is understood in the "all things equal" sense. But cases #1'-#3' are under consideration when "want" is understood in the "all things considered" sense. If you like, we may say that #1-#3 reference God's revealed will and #1'-#3' reference God's secret will. But I prefer the language I used, because there manifestly is the distinction in desires between all things equal and all things considered. It is not some special theological category that allows the ad hoc escape from difficulty (as some charge). It's a simple ambiguity in desiderative language that must always be resolved anyway. The Calvinist labels do have this import: When the Bible speaks about God's desires and similar notions, we should start interpreting the passages assuming they reference the revealed will (what God wants all things equal). And I think that is good advice. When the Bible speaks about God's desires regarding the salvation of sinners, it seems to me that it is almost always (or maybe just always) saying #1 and/or #2 are the case and #3 is not. God wanted, all things equal, to save the reprobate. He wanted it quite a lot. He wanted it so much that He suffered and died for them. But God's attributes seem to require us to say that #1' and #3' are true (and that we reject #2'). The only really strong Biblical support for #1' and #3' (and against #2') is that the Divine attributes have extensive Biblical support. Clearly enough, God din not want, all things considered, to save the reprobate. That's clear, not because He revealed it in Scripture, but because He didn't do it. This is not all there is to say though. In every case, John's salvation goes against the grain. God always applies effort to overmaster John's will. He applies this effort in accordance to His desire that John be saved. If He applies this effort in accordance with His desire, all things considered that John be saved, then the effort is irresistible and is (obviously) never effectively resisted...thus Calvinism. The problem here, it seems to me, is that #2 starts looking pretty hollow. God wants to save John, but John isn't saved because God didn't put out any effort to save John? Why not just say that God didn't really want to save John and be done? I am compelled to say that God applies His effort based on His desire, all things equal, that John be saved. As already noted, that's still quite a lot of effort. If He applies this effort in accordance with His desire, all things equal that John be saved, then the effort is resistible and is often effectively resisted. This seems to pay full respect to #2. Now, if you think that the only thing that determines whether John is saved is the effort that God applies and the resistance that John offers. And if you think that grace is resistible, then you end up saying things like John resisted less that Joan, that's why he was saved and she wasn't. Or God tried harder with John than with Joan, that's why he was saved and she wasn't. What is more, it seems as though God's Omnipotent coercion is sitting behind the whole thing anyway. Why didn't John offer more resistance. Why didn't God apply more effort? If the only things involved really are God's effort and our resistance, then that also goes for the relative balance of those opposing forces. And in the end it all comes down to God's effort anyway, and #2 is again, hollowed out. But there is another possibility. To wit, you might think that the (resistible) effort God applies to save and the resistance John offers to that effort are not the only factors that determine whether John is saved. The effort God applies might be effectively resisted, not because the resistance John offered was so great that it overcame the effort God applied, but for some other reason. Similarly the effort God applies might not be effectively resisted, not because the resistance John offered was not great enough to overcome the effort God applied, but for some other reason. What is that other reason? It is some other expression of God's attributes (thus #1' and #3' are preserved). Beyond that, I don't know.
Well, isn't saying "A succeeded to do X" the same thing as saying "A did X"? If also, "A failed to do X" just means "A did not do X", then putting these points together "A failed to succeed to do X" just means "A did not do X". Or am I being simplistic about that? Maybe by "succeed" you mean something a little bit more complex, like "A wanted to do X, and tried to do X, and did X" and by "fail" you mean something "A wanted to do X, and tried to do X, but did not do X" I think God can do both of these things also...if we're careful about what we mean when we say "God wants to do X". This is because there are two ordinary meanings for the word "want". You can want a thing, all things equal, and you can want all things considered. It is completely possible for God to want X, all things equal, to do X, to try to do X, and to not do X. Omnipotence, however, rules out the possibility that God wants to do X, all things considered, He tries to do X, and he does not do X. (This is like your "God gets what He chooses" theme.) ------------------------------------ On the other point, I was just wondering in what sense my response was 'tardy'. No biggie there.
To fail to do X is the same thing as not doing X. So yes, God can fail to do X...there might be some things He doesn't do. Do you not believe that? Or is all failure bad?
Let's say that Superman is trying to force medicine down the throats of Jimmy Olson and Lois Lane. He chooses not to use all of his Yellow-Sun-Fueled Kryptonian might on his pals. Both Jimmy and Lois struggle and don't want the medicine. In the end, Lois gets the medicine and Jimmy doesn't. Both resisted. Superman used force on both. Had Superman chosen to do so, he certainly could have forced the medicine down Jimmy's throat. He knew exactly why Jimmy didn't get the medicine. He knew exactly what else would have been needed to make that happen. And he knew exactly how to provide that different shove. I don't know what else would have been needed. I don't know why Superman didn't give the different shove needed to force the medicine on Jimmy. It seems to me that Superman employed resistible force in this case. What is the problem here?
"God does not fail to save if He chooses to save" I think it's worth pointing out that everyone, even atheists, should agree with this statement because it is analytic. If by "God" we mean, at a minimum, "an omnipotent being" and if by "choose" we mean "take a final decision to bring about". So I'm not sure what mileage you think that gives you. Also, I'm not sure why you think I was 'tardy' in agreeing to this point. Did you think that I was somehow twisted around by this statement finally had to concede this point? What really happened is that, I capped off a quick answer to a direct question in your post that also contained this claim. You replied to that quick answer, and I replied to that. Then at about 3 when I had a little more time, I posted three comments that included my 'tardy' agreement.
KWM- I'm still not tracking. Let's treat the word "fail" as bad and "succeed" as good. I remember that you also had a problem with throats. What exactly is the issue? I'm not getting it. Repeat for me in different words what the challenge is about God's using less than overmastering force to defeat someone's innate desire not to take the cure? Does this in any way imply that Christ did not die for someone (in particular, those he used less than overmastering force on)? Because I'm not seeing that. Or was the problem that I claimed not to know why. Is there something inexplicable about the expression "resistible grace" that requires that I write a dissertation on that term? Wouldn't that also imply something inexplicable about its opposite?