Daily Archives: June 18, 2010

Comments on “Inherited Religion?”

The comment section on my post titled “Inherited Religion?” is positively ablaze with flames. None of the retorts actually cover my answer to the objection I raised on inherited religion, which is simply that it is another mechanism by which God can predestine his elect. Thoughtful theological or philosophical rebuttals using Scripture would have been welcomed, but what I got is the empty rhetoric of skeptics and atheists.

Let’s take a look at some of the responses and see if we can sort this out. First up, these two from Stoo:

Wait, predestine his elect? So he’s already decided who’s saved and who’s going to burn? Or am I misinterpreting?

Oh this is some calvinism thing, right? Kind of depressing. You’d think god would at least want all of his creations to be saved, even if it doesn’t work out like that.

Yes, Stoo, this is “some Calvinism thing.” Although I started to pull away from Calvinism some time back, I have since returned to the fold of the so-called Young, Restless and Reformed (or, as I prefer, New Calvinism) movement. Other than my brief flirtation with Arminian theology, I have been pretty consistent as a Calvinist in all my writing. I have a series on it in the Articles tab.

So, yes, it is God who determines if you’re saved or otherwise, not you. I’m sorry if I ruined your misguided sense of individuality and your “I’m-the-master-of-my-own-destiny” feeling of arrogant pride.

Agnostic Bruce Gerencser, host of the blog NW Ohio Skeptics, has this to say:

Ah yes, The Bible says so, so you are wrong argument. (an argument we must accept by faith since there is no rational proof of Corey’s claim)

It is self-evident to all who are willing to see it, that most people adopt the religion of their tribe. (family, social group) People believe what those before them believed until confronted with beliefs/truth/evidence that challenges their tribal religion.

In Calvinism everything is settled. God has predetermined everything, including the fact that I am writing this comment. Thank you God. :) (and I was a Calvinistic Baptist pastor)

I surely hope that Corey is not going to try and argue against John’s book with the Bible. If so………it shall indeed be a wasted exercise. But, Hey maybe it will drive up this site’s visitor count.

I never forwarded the argument that “The Bible says so, so you are wrong.” I agreed that Loftus was right, and showed that it is consistent with the Bible. I also completely agreed with the fact that most people adopt the religion of their parents or culture. It was central to the point of my post. What I have simply said is that such a claim is not a valid argument against the truth claims of any religion.

I have never, at least no place that I’m aware of, said that God predetermines everything positively. There are some things he predetermines negatively, which means they arise naturally as a consequence of that which he has decreed. So the whole of God’s plan looks less like a completed novel and more like the text of a Dungeons & Dragons adventure. Pardon introducing an example of something seen as evil by most Christians, but it is perfectly consistent with what I’m trying to say.

A D&D adventure sets the scene up by explaining what the players see, and then accounts for a few possible scenarios in the Dungeon Master’s notes. The resolution of the scene is left to the player characters. So God sets our lives up, but expects us to live them out. His blueprint for so doing is the Bible, but we obviously don’t follow that very well. Some things don’t go according to plan, but this never trumps or circumvents God’s will. He still accomplishes all he sets out to do.

This post started getting way, way too long. So I will answer the other skeptics in future posts.