Calvinism and Arminianism:
Myths & Realities

Hunt adds:What is the point of judgment, either for the saved or the damned, if everything is God’s doing?” (Debating Calvinism, p.140, emphasis mine)

This is a very good point, which James White did not provide a response for, though still claiming his dialogue as his “best effort.” (p.331)

White states: “ amount of repetition on my part is going to change things.” (Debating Calvinism, p.331)

White adds: “But his constant refusal to interact with the ‘other side,’ as demonstrated by his use of straw men, has convinced me that no such understanding exists.” (Debating Calvinism, p.331)

White was more interested in claiming victory, as an apologist for the “common view of the Protestant Reformation,” while accusing Dave Hunt of “Pelagianism” (pp.331-332), than provide an answer to a reasonable objection by Dave Hunt. Here is the way to approach it.

If God infallibly knows what I might think next, it’s only because He determined it. If He hadn’t determined it, He couldn’t infallibly know it. But since He did determine it, He knows it. That’s Calvinism, and it also would mean that God is the sole Independent Mind in the cosmos, who thinks all the thoughts for everyone, in which there are no rogue thoughts outside of the alleged, eternal decree. So how would there be a basis to judge a person on the matter of their thoughts, if they have no thoughts but the ones that are inalterably given to them?

Atheist, John Loftus, comments: “Have you considered what the sovereignty of your God entails? If God decreed that we should do an action, then this also means he decreed that we wanted to do it. This is an inescapable conclusion. Why? Because, unless your God decrees that we should want to do an action, then we wouldn’t do that action. So any wrong that human beings do, God must have decreed that they wanted to do the wrong they did. To continue to blame human beings for the wrong that they do by claiming they wanted to do the wrong that they did, fails to understand how it’s even possible for God to make sure we do an action in the first place. We do what we want to do. For God to decree we do an action it must mean he decrees our desires to do that action. Therefore, God is to be blamed for all of the evils in human history.” (Debunking Christianity, emphasis mine)

First of all, Loftus is not debunking Christianity, but Calvinistic Determinism. Second of all, if God decrees or determines all of our wants,” what happens to the basis for judging man according to their wants? Simple. It removes any moral basis for judging man on the basis of their wants. In essence, God would be judging what He determined. Conversely, for the Arminian, God determined no such thing. Although God may harden a person, it is the hardening of an already unrepentant person, whom God did not create to want unrepentance, but who voluntarily resisted God, despite God’s pleas to the contrary. See Jeremiah 18:6 and Isaiah 65:2.

One Hyper-Calvinist explains: I think God is responsible to the utmost degree. In fact, I think that perhaps God is the only one in the universe ultimately responsible for anything, if anyone at all is.

And that is the logical consequence of Determinist philosophy in which everything is scripted/decreed. Furthermore, Calvinists can defer to Potter/Clay principles all they wish, but theyre certainly not deferring their understanding of Potter/Clay principles to Jeremiah 18:1-13.

Calvinist, James White, writes: “If you think about it, if God really knows what man’s going to do, is man really free?, and that’s why the Open Theists go the direction that they do.” (Arminianism: It Robs the Gospel of its Personal Nature, emphasis mine)

This is why some Calvinists do admit to divine causality, but then engage in Special Pleading, by adding that the individual person nevertheless also acts voluntarily:

Calvinists at state: In light of Scripture, (according to compatibilism), human choices are exercised voluntarily but the desires and circumstances that bring about these choices occur through divine determinism. (, emphasis mine)

According to the Calvinists at who prescribe to Compatibilism, man acts in accordance with the desires and circumstances that God has meticulously determined, and thus when viewed from James 1:13, in which God is said to not be a tempter of anyone, the Compatibilist would have us believe that God refrains from tempting, but somehow determines the very desires of both the Tempter and of the Tempted, so as to necessitate the sinful action in every circumstance.

One member of the Society of Evangelical Arminians comments: It is just crazy to consider something voluntary if it is the result of exhaustive determinism. The vast majority of people would not see such action as voluntary. It would be a redefinition of the term in order to fit reality with Calvinism. (SEA)

Another member of the Society of Evangelical Arminians comments: Calvinisms view of voluntarily means freely following your fate as a willing participant. Notice the sophistry through the redefinition of what voluntary, freedom and willing all mean? Calvinism: always willing to harness the power of words through redefinition. (SEA)

If God scripted whatsoever comes to pass, as per the Calvinist Westminster Confession of Faith, and as per John Calvin, then what might that imply about where man’s motives originate? And if personal motives are a basis for judgment, what happens to judgment then?
Dave Hunt writes: “Intending to protect Gods sovereignty, Calvinism makes Him the cause of every thought, word, and deed, and thus of sin. This libels God, mocks man, and erases motivation, as well as any meaning of punishment of reward.”
(Debating Calvinism, p.335, emphasis mine)
Calvinist, James White, responds: “...since God judges on the basis of the intentions of the heart, there is in fact a ground for morality and justice.” (Debating Calvinism, p.320, emphasis mine)
Dave Hunt responds: “Yes, God judges ‘the intentions of the heart,’ but Calvinism falsely says that He causes the intentions He judges.”  (Debating Calvinism, p.327, emphasis mine)

Arminian Charge:  Calvinism eliminates any basis for Judgment.

Myth or Reality:  There is an interesting exchange between non-Calvinist, Dave Hunt, and Calvinist, James White, which explores this charge.
Question: Does that include the thoughts and intentions of the heart which are supposed to be the basis for judgment?
Question: Could God infallibly know what I will think next, if He did not unilaterally decree or determine what I think next?

Answer:  For Calvinists, the answer is no. Hear it in a Calvinist’s own words: “How God can know future events, for example, and yet not determine them, is an important point….” (Debating Calvinism, p.163, emphasis mine) So God can only know what He causes, and the rest would otherwise be unknowable, per Calvinism? So the only basis for God’s omniscience, then, is exhaustive determinism. Per Calvinism, God can only know what He causes, and God causes everything, and hence God knows everything.
Question:  For Calvinists who believe in an immutable sovereign decree, by which all things are predetermined, including the thoughts and intentions of the heart, then how do you get from God’s decree to the decreed sin, without also having God acting causally?

If we ground the basis of a persons volunteerism on their desires, and if their desires come exclusively and exhaustively from divine determinism, then their volunteerism comes from divine determinism.