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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Too deep for a Tuesday 

When I took my blog public last year, I thought that I would try to refrain as long as possible from getting into some of the theology issues that seem to polarize any group. In addition, one of my early goals was to avoid the trap of doing an "x-part series" and then running out of steam halfway through or getting diverted from my original thoughts. However, at this point, I feel there is a small core of committed readership and enough momentum behind this particular area and would like to share some thoughts.

The subject: TULIP.

Just to make sure we're all on the same page, this acronym used in a classic defense of a Calvinist perspective stands for the following key points of Calvinist doctrine:

Over the course of the next couple of [ambiguous units of time], I hope to expand on each of these points, offer an alternate key word and corresponding letter (thus forming a completely new and obscure acronym and totally destroying the mnemonic convenience in the process), and use Scripture to demonstrate the rationality of each point. Some unfortunate byproducts will be:
  1. I will eventually deny the existence of any true "5-minus-X point Calvinist" (x being a counting number less than 5);
  2. I will most likely alienate the portion of my readership who is vehemently opposed to the idea of losing their "free will";
  3. I will not be offering any free donuts or lattes until further notice.

If you ardently oppose this idea, please speak now.

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I think, I'm not sure, but I'm fairly certain, that zero (zed, if you're Canadian) is a counting number. I DO know it is classified as an integer by MOST mathmetician-types. I won't even pretend to know, or even pretend to care if,it is even or odd.
That being the case, are you going to prove that there is no such thing as a [5 - 0 = ??? ] 5-point calvinist? Or perhaps, a [5 - (-95) = ??? ] 100-point calvinist?
For now, I'll assume you mean integer numbers between 1 and 4, inclusive.
As for the free will part (and I assume you ARE NOT talking about the lame whale movie), I look forward to the coming posts. I see no problem with the 'apparent' conflict between free will and election.
Isaiah 55:8-9 is a clear demonstration that I cannot understand everything.

- Ted Neeves


Ted -

I was explicit in saying Counting Number (1,2,3,etc) as opposed to Real Number (any number on the line) or Rational Number (any number that can be expressed as a ratio of two integers) or Integer (-2,-1,0,1,2,etc) or Whole Number (any non-negative integer). It includes the numbers that my daughters intuitively include when I ask them to count. Not zero. Not negative numbers.

Additionally, while "zed" is the twenty-sixth and final letter of the English alphabet in most places outside the US, it is not (to the best of my knowledge) used to denote the concept of zero in Canada.

To answer your question in the most final and complete way possible, zero is neither positive nor odd, but it is positively odd.

Sheesh. If this is how the next couple of [ambiguous units of time] are going to go, I'm going to need more money for lattes.


What if I believe in free will and calvinism at the same time? Will you mock me?



OK ... the next latte is on me, Russ. You may have missed my point entirely. I did sort of wrap it in a bundle of banal humor. So the original point was:

begin point ...
I do look forward to your posts. I DO NOT ardently (or unardently, for that matter) oppose your plan of action for the next [ambiguous units of time]. I'm looking forward to it. And, hopefully, encouraging you in that direction.
... end point

And, Jason, I will (probably) not mock you for believing in both free will and calvinism.

- Ted


Jason -

My goal will not be to mock, but to inform and to reason. I trust that if you feel mocked it will only be a result of your own preconceptions being absurdly at odds with the truth of God's word.

Ted -

I think I understood your point and your humor and as always I deeply appreciate your participation in the blog. But it's against my nature to allow error to hang out there unexposed, so I had to weigh in on the zero/zed issue.


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