Here is a video series I found on YouTube. This is part one of three from a user whom goes by the name of offline 111. He doesn’t like Calvinism and was nice enough to post this three part refutation of this theological system. He does not seem to be familiar with what Calvinists actually believe nor with his Bible. I will go through his videos, one at a time and show where he is mistaken.
In his introduction, offline 111 who’s name is Scott Berner, begins his refutation of Calvinism by first making light of it. He says that he will talk very little about it, that he doesn’t need to say much. He poisons the well and makes a genetic fallacy in his argumentation. Since he does not believe that Calvinism can be true, therefore nothing they say is correct. That is an example of using flawed reasoning to come to your conclusion. This is the thesis he carries forward to refute Calvinism. He never attempts to deal with any scripture used by Calvinists to defend their views nor does he attempt to portray the views of any Calvinists fairly. His attack is reduced to straw man arguments.
At @ 45 seconds he then uses the argument of free will to refute the Calvinists view of monergistic soteriology. He uses Joshua 24:15 as proof text.
15(A) And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD,(B) choose this day whom you will serve, whether(C) the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or(D) the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell.(E) But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
Mr. Berner never establishes what he means by free will. He merely asserts, and presupposes it’s validity. If the Bible truly teaches this type of free will, then man is a moral free agent. His will is free to choose to do good or to do evil. Man has as much right to not accept Gods grace as much as he can not accept sin. If mans will is free, then he is not bound by sin, thus he is morally neutral. He is neither good nor bad and not bound by either. This is contrary to what the Bible teaches us about the the condition of man since the fall of Adam.
It seems as though Mr. Berner has confused a denial of free will by Calvinists with a denial of an ability to choose. This is wrong. He never cites any writers, theologians, preachers, pastors or lay people to establish this straw man argumentation. Mans will and thus his choices are bound by his sin. Although man can choose to do good in the eyes of men, he can’t will to do what is good in the eyes of the Lord. Natural man is a slave to his sin. John 8:34, 2 Tim. 2:25-26 , Romans 6. Freedom of the will is in clear contradiction to what the Bible teaches about sin and it’s power over the natural man. Man is not capable to do what is good, Romans 8:7. Therefore, there is no freedom of the will since it is a slave to sin.
@ 1:24 there is an ad hominem attack against John Calvin. This becomes an emotional appeal to try and refute Calvinism, ignoring logic and reason, more importantly he never cites scripture. @ 1:30, he claims that Calvin was lost and there is no way he was saved. It is doubtful Mr. Berner has ever read anything written by Calvin, for if he had he never would have used the “by their fruits you shall know them” card.
At @ 1:50, Mr. Berner begins talking about election. It does not seem as though he understands what election is. God does not make one elect, rather God of His own will elects from all of humanity whom the elect will be. Election occurred before the foundation of the world, Eph. 1:4. @ 2:05, Yes, God chooses! It has nothing to do with mans “free will”.
Starting at @ 2:35, he uses another straw man argument. “The elect will be saved, in spite of themselves”. He makes assertions that it is contradictory to scripture yet doesn’t provide any scripture to prove it. He places a higher importance to man’s reason and intellect to that of God as if man knew better than God. This sort of belief system is humanistic. It is the arrogance and pride of the fallen humanity that finds monergistic salvation so unpalatable. It is mans sinful pride that wants to take credit for choosing or demanding Grace from God.
@ 3:40 he makes more assertions about how Calvinism perverts and makes a mockery of God and scripture. Not once does he show how.
@3:55 he uses 2 Peter 3:9 to show that God wants all men to be saved. If you look at this verse within it’s context, it clearly becomes a proof test for the Calvinist. In the middle of the verse, “is patient toward you”, the “you” is the pronoun and the subject of the sentence. If you go back one verse and follow the pronoun, “8But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” The word “beloved” is the pronoun and the subject. If you go to verse 1, Peter is telling the subjects of this letter that this is the second time he has written to them. Now, to find out who this letter is addressed to, we go to 1 Peter 1:1. Peter is addressing this letter to the elect, not to all of mankind. If you follow the pronouns, Peter is writing to the elect, he calls them beloved and it is the elect whom God is not wishing that any should perish but that all(elect) come to repentance.
@4:10, again more assertions he goes on for about a minute of mere assertions. At about 4:50, in light of his misuse of 2 Peter 3:9, should we hold him to his own standards by which he judges Calvinism? Is he then “without light”, is he “cut off from the light of God” and that is why he takes scripture out of context?
@5.25, more ad hominem attacks. He denies the Protestant Reformation, calling them fools.
@7:07, if we do not need any man’s opinion, then why are presenting your opinion on Calvinism and the Bible?
@7:20 he is asking if it is scriptural that God hates sinners. Psalm 5:5 sure seems to show that God hates sinners. This then leads into Romans 9, specifically verse 13. Mr. Berner states that election is according to foreknowledge, that God looked into the future and saw who would love God and who wouldn’t. This is NOT what scripture teaches. He has taken that passage in Romans clearly out of context. Within the context, I will start with Romans 8 verses 26-30. There are some whom claim that Romans 9 is dealing with nations and not people, that is just wrong when you look at what is happening in the previous chapter. Verse 26 shows a personal and not a national appeal, in v.27 Paul writes of a personal intercession of the Holy Spirit according to the will of God, v.28 it is those who are called according to Gods purpose. Again, this is a personal calling not a national calling, since God only worked nationally through Israel but never worked through any nation again. V. 29 begins the golden chain of redemption. It begins with God “doing” all. It is God who is foreknowing, predestining, conforming, justifying and it is God whom is glorifying.
Mr. Berner needs to read past v. 13 to v. 16. Paul clearly wrote that election does not depend on “human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.” If according to Mr. Berner, God elects, according to foreknowledge(as Mr. Berner uses the word) he is verging on the heresy of open theism. If then, it is God that is foreknowing, electing, justifying, sanctifying… not to make salvation possible according to mans choice but to save to the uttermost according to God’s purpose DOES NOT make God evil but sovereign.