As you probably can tell, this is another post about the notorious Professor Leighton Flowers. He has made a few new videos (probably in preparation for his upcoming debate). Flowers has the spiritual gift of not being able to add any new content to the conversation. He also provides no alternative for us to turn too. The good of Flowers is that he will weed out the Calvinist that doesn’t study. That allows for Calvinist to better formulate their beliefs. It is through refinement we come to stronger and better positions.I won’t be providing a full rebuttal to his videos. These are just my comments about his views he presents in these videos.If you aren’t aware of Flowers arguments and haven’t watched the videos that are linked here, then this article won’t make sense to you.
He starts off complaining about the fact that God has predestined every mistake that has ever occurred. He concludes from that fact that we are going against God’s will to correct someone that is mistaken. The issue with that line of thinking is God can also predestine change and predestine the events that lead one to change someone’s thoughts.
He goes on to say that God on Calvinism causes good, but he also then causes evil. It is almost like he is stuck on repeat. I do believe God causes all moral evil. I also think he isn’t morally responsible for any evil. Now, we all know that and just restating it is just annoying. He should incorporate it into some kind of argument instead of throwing meat to his audience.
He discusses Isiah 46:10. He brings up a chess analogy to where God, in Calvinism, is just like a person playing both sides of the chess board. His view is more like a guy that is the greatest at chess. He is willing to come to Satan’s level and “play the game” so to speak. He praises this dualism as being much more amazing than the Calvinist view. God on his view is only worthy of praise if he lowers himself to the level of Satan to play a game. Does God simply govern the world in a way analogous to playing chess? Is that how God brings about his plan? It isn’t because he leaves out the issue that God isn’t merely waiting for you to make “your moves” in order to move his pieces, but God is omniscient and not merely reactionary as someone playing chess is. It means simply God knows all his opponents possible moves, but not the moves he will choose. So, if his analogy is correct, then God needs to lower himself to play games with Satan and be less omniscient in order to be “amazing”.
I wonder if he has that much familiarity with chess. Often, pieces are used in expendable ways. I may use my pawns differently than my Queen or Rooks. Some pieces are used as sacrifices for others. How is that compatible with Leighton’s view of universal divine love? God privileges some pieces over others. Leighton doesn’t believe God has favorites. How does that fit with God sacrificing Pharoh for Moses? I love chess.
The issue of whether he is being fair to Isaiah 46:9-11 is a matter of debate. He should look into Edward J. Young’s commentary on the issue. I think Isa 46 is a rather good Calvinistic text. Here is a good commentary that has an interesting statement about this verse:
Make known, say and summon (11) are all participles (‘ making known’ etc.), indicating continuity in history, with past, present and future respectively proceeding from the one, unique God. He dictates the purpose within history (end is ‘outcome’). Ancient times is better ‘beforehand’. He dictates what will happen (still to come is ‘things which have not been done’). He is sovereign, his purpose/‘ plan/ counsel’ is inalterable and is the product not of whim but of his pleasurable will (all that I please). In a word, he is a God who is God.
Motyer, J. Alec. The Prophecy of Isaiah: An Introduction & Commentary (Kindle Locations 10607-10611). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.
He goes on to say that God’s Omni attributes are anthropomorphic and when God is being ascribed human attributes they are not anthropomorphic. I don’t know why that makes sense to him, but God knows best. You can tell Leighton hasn’t gotten his Doctrine of God figured out on the issues at least relevant to this debate because he bounces between speaking like a Divine timelessness proponent to Divine Temporalism.
At this point, I am a bit annoyed at the kinda “dependency only on theodicy” case he has provided. He keeps recycling the argument that Calvinist must hold to causal determinism. He doesn’t show how that follows from Calvinism. It has been constantly shown to be a false inference such as here. I made an entire article laying out these mistakes.
He mentions evidentialism vs reformed apologetics for a split second to misrepresent it. Reformed apologetics isn’t against evidence.
Leighton brings up the Modal Fallacy response. He must have ignored where he has been corrected about that. He says that most “Christian” philosophers are on his side. You also have the Mike Licona, Rodger Olson, and Jerry Walls of the world. That isn’t a very compelling group. Let that sink in.
I have made it to the next video. Having to endure this song another time.
The first thing he says about goodness is the heart of Soteriology101. The one presupposition we should bring to the text is “God is Good”. You may be confused asking “Why do I question Leighton on this point?” That is because it shows Leighton’s entire Hermeneutic is circular. The presupposition he takes to every text is that “God is Good”. That just means in Leighton’s worldview that God is perfectly holy and created a world filled with Agents that have libertarian free will. That means every text he reads must be forced into that paradigm he already arrives at the text with. His system plays with a stacked deck.
He goes on to argue that if determinism is true then the New Testament is just as inspired as any other book. He brings up a book by John Piper. I don’t know why that would have to be the case.God could just predestine infallible works and fallible works.