Sunday, July 06, 2008

Why Would God Become Angry At What He Ordained?

I asked this question on a discussion board when a Calvinist rightly pointed out that the LORD gets angry at the sinful actions of fallen men. There is no doubt that sin angers the LORD. The anger of the LORD is expressed in numerous passages yet this truth causes me to ask the Calvinist "why"? How is it that an omniscient God could possibly get angry at what He supposedly (in the Calvinist tradition) causes or ordains? If God issues a commandment that He has purposefully ordained to be broken, is it not an expression of hypocrisy to become angry at what is His very design? I do not think the Calvinist can address this inquiry in an honest manner. In fact I know from my experiences with a few that the response is to engage in an ad hominem fallacy and accuse me of presenting a straw man albeit unidentified. Contrary to the diversions, the question I pose is valid and crucial to understanding the religious philosophy of Calvinism.

Imagine for a moment I have planned an outing for tomorrow knowing full well that there is a bad storm on the way with torrential rains forecasted at 100% probability. I can see the weather map and the red squalls and I know what tomorrow will bring yet I make my plans for the outing nonetheless. Now upon waking in the morning and being faced with an absolute deluge, I fly into a rage because now, my outing is to be cancelled. I had no hope it would clear. In fact I knew it was going to rain yet now I am angry for doing something I knew with complete certainty would fail. Such is the scenario with Calvinist determinism. It has the LORD becoming angry at the fulfillment of His Holy purpose. In Calvinist thought, the LORD has ordained everything that comes to pass, including the sinful actions of men. Now, there is an excuse offered in their defense. We must come to understand the significance of "primary and secondary causes", so the Calvinist states. Yet whether primary or secondary, sinfulness serves the Calvinistic view of the purpose of God and in that sense this is no excuse. Whether primary, secondary, compatibalist or hard determinism, the Calvinist continues to have a God angry at the fulfillment of His desires.

The following was a recent exchange I had with a Calvinist about this matter (his comments in Bold Italics).

Why would God get angry at what he purposed?

You mean aside from the fact He told them not too fully knowing that some would according to thier nature? I guess you'll just have to live with the fact that there is/was a purpose to it.

That doesn't answer the inquiry. How is it that God, being omniscient, could get angry at what He purposefully ordained (caused in some minds)?

Are you saying that God is the author of sin Trav? No...of course not. Are you then saying that Calvinists believe that God is the author of sin? This can't be the case since the Calvinist believes in primary and secondary causes. Are you then saying that our definition of causes is flawed? Well...no one is saying you can't but to do so you would need to prove it via Scripture.

No, I am looking for the Calvinist answer to this question: How is it that God, being omniscient, could get angry at what He purposefully ordained (caused in some minds)?

And I've called you on the straw man implicit in your question. Next?

You have called nothing. In fact you are running from addressing the question. You stated the LORD gets angry and that is true. My question still stands:

The strawman implicit in your question is the caused bit. You know as well as I that we believe in primary and secondary causes. The rest of my response comes logically. Your hand is still stuck in the cookie jar Trav.

Whether you call it primary & secondary causes, compatibalism or just plain hard determinism, it remains you cannot answer the question directly without convicting yourself of a poor religious philosophy. Instead, you refuse to address the question using the slander of strawman as your "defense".

Another Calvinist in the discussion thread had a great one-liner in response to the question and deserves an honorable mention.

Because He purposed to get angry at it..

5 comments:

William Birch said...

Great question, great argument. I must use it!!!

Billy

travelah said...

Billy,
Absolutely, you must give it a shot and I look forward to reading it.

The Seeking Disciple said...

Great points. I too will have to borrow your arguments.

Jc_Freak: said...

Just read this on SEA. I find the sillinesses of the Calvinist response the best argument. Many Calvinists cannot see past their own system.

When thing that I've noticed with Arminians is that when a question implying a strawman is proposed, we dismantle the strawman, but when then answer the question in light of that. This person did not do this, and completely avoided the question, which meant that thinking about it was too dangerous to his system.

travelah said...

JC, I have found that the charge of strawman becomes as easy dodge for the average Calvinist. That is not to state that we do not create strawmen occasionally but it becomes so easy to make the charge rather than defend the doctrine.