“But our God [is] in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. Their idols [are] silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; [so is] every one that trusteth in them” (Psalm 115:3-8).
Presumably most Calvinists would say that the idol of the Socinians, Unitarians, and Open Theists “have eyes, but they see not” since said religionists deny God’s foreknowledge of future events. The typical Calvinist would claim that his “god” DOES really have eyes and DOES actually see. But what does it mean, BIBLICALLY, for God to TRULY SEE that a SPECIFIC event will happen in the future? Is not God’s foresight (His foreknowledge) based upon His eternal decree? Of course it is. But what KIND of decree? Certainly NOT a “passive” one. For God to TRULY SEE must He not TRULY DECREE?
The Calvinist “god” is only a “little bit more powerful” than the pipsqueak Arminian god who foresees events through the telescope of time and then claims the risible idiocy that he has actually just made a sovereign, predestinating decree (see: http://www.outsidethecamp.org/romans58.htm).
The Calvinist god (although considering the Arminian god to be quite the humorous character) finds himself abruptly stifling a hasty chortle when asked to explain wherein he differs from the Arminian god in making a SPECIFIC EVENT involving SPECIFIC SINS certain, apart from an efficient or active decree. The Calvinist god does not want to look the hypocritical fool by giving a forthright answer, so he just shrugs his shoulders and calls the whole thing an “inscrutable mystery.”
Since this Calvinist-Reformed idol is unable to speak through his throat, one of his skillful artificers must needs speak for him.
“Does one ask how then a permissive decree can have entire certainty? The answer is, because God knows that men’s natural disposition certainly prompts them to evil; for instance, I know it is the nature of lambs to eat grass. If I intentionally leave open the gate between the fold and the pasture I know that the grass will be eaten, and I intend to allow it just as clearly as if I had myself driven them upon the pasture” (R.L. Dabney, The Five Points Of Calvinism, pp. 49-50).
But what of SPECIFIC EVIL, Dabney? So, some creatures have a natural disposition to eat grass. Others, to eat sausage. Please carefully read and note any similarities in Dabney’s lamb and grass illustration with the illustration provided here:
“Suppose there’s a man who can see into the future and know that certain events will take place. Now suppose he sees that Mr. X will eat a sausage on May 9th, 2009, at 1:05 PM. Now suppose this man then says, ‘I predestinate Mr. X to eat a sausage on May 9th, 2009, at 1:05 PM.’ Has this man who can see into the future actually decreed or ordained anything to come about? No – he actually used his foresight to MAKE PEOPLE THINK he had the power to predestinate. He actually didn’t predestinate at all. He actually didn’t ordain or decree ANYTHING to happen. That’s the way some people see God’s foreknowledge as it relates to predestination. There’s a little god who has the power to see into the future but doesn’t have the power to actually DETERMINE what will happen in the future. And so, to make up for this impotence, this little god makes the bold pronouncement that he has PREDESTINATED things to happen, but it was only based on his ability to FORESEE that things would happen. In this blasphemous scheme, this little god has control over NOTHING. He cannot control any action or event. All he can do is see what will happen and then get on his pedestal, puff up his chest, point his finger to the sky, and squeak, ‘I hereby decree and predestinate that such and such will happen'”(Marc D. Carpenter Sermon on Romans 8:29a).
So, are there any significant or substantial differences between the Arminian pipsqueak idol and Dabney’s idol as it relates to predestination, foreknowledge, and decreeing?