I’d note that the claim to being “Biblical” is somewhat contentious, to say the least. The Bible says many things and is interpreted as saying more. And fundamentalists show their respect for the “Word of God” by denouncing scholarship that shows that the Bible isn’t as they claim (Faith is a prime - and nasty - example).
So take that assertion with a very large pinch of salt.
quote: Not sure I agree. We can define probability, but strictly speaking, how does one define chance?What exactly is chance? Sproul would argue that chance in and of itself has no power. Chance is not a thing.
More accurately chance is an abstraction rather than a concrete entity.
The problem isn’t that what he says is strictly wrong about chance, but it is very likely wrong about the position he’s responding to.
Calvinism with its idea of predestination and Divine Sovereignty denies any actual role to chance - even properly understood - and that may be the point he’s getting at. But if so, he’s going the wrong way about it.
Actually I’m far less interested in that than in why Sproul thinks it important to fight against the idea of chance as a concrete entity with causal powers. Does he identify anyone actually promoting that idea ?
quote: He would argue that the author of the Bible and the author of general revelation are one and the same. Essentially his argument appears to be a philosophical one.
That’s a theological argument and a rather weird one. I don’t think that anyone who’s read the Bible without inerrantist blinders firmly on could argue that the Bible is anything other than a collection of human-penned works written by a number of different people - who don’t always agree.
quote: Sproul argues, if I understand him correctly, that there is no such thing as a cosmic lottery. In reality, a lottery is determined by set probability. If we were to argue that the universe is also a universe of probability, someone or something had to set that probability.
That is not really a rational argument. It is more the old apologists trick of asserting God as the final explanation - which they may believe but assertion is not argument.
In reality the probabilities involved in the big lotteries are designed to an extent. The lotteries have to bring in a certain amount, and not too much - and they have to have some big prizes to lure people in. But those are the reasons - there is nothing in the notion of probabilities that require them to be designed.
Consider a simple raffle. Sponsors donate prizes, tickets are sold and when the time comes the sold tickets are drawn until the prizes have all been awarded. Nobody has to set the probabilities. Nobody has to say that there must be so many prizes, so many tickets sold. But the probability of any particular ticket winning a prize is determined by those things.
I watched it, despite frequent stuttering of the video and it was a big pile of nothing.
He talked about an unnamed physicist talking about “gradual spontaneous generation” - which would at least give me something to check - but googling it doesn’t come up with ANY scientific results. Most of the references are to Sproul. It’s almost as if Sproul made the whole thing up.
The first point is that - as we have seen - the Bible does not consistently support TULIP. Saying that TULIP is Biblical then is either of little value (if it means that the points are among the many conflicting ideas in the Bible) or requires more analysis then just quoting verses that support (or seem to support) the points.
quote: You cant honestly expect Theologians to critically examine the Bible and speak of a "god character" and base their doctrine on the idea that humans wrote, edited, and redacted the bible. It leaves them with no working definition for the God they believe exists.
I don’t see why not - excepting quibbles. They should certainly care about the differing depictions of God in the Bible and recognise that in some cases God appears as a character in a story. And they should certainly care about the process by which the Bible came to us. That is how they should work out their ideas of God - that’s their job as theologians.
Ah, covering up the contradiction by calling it a mystery.
First, he says that God’s choice is independent of our decisions.
God didn't draw straws; He didn't look down the corridor of time to see who would choose Him before He decided. Rather, by His sovereign will He chose who would be in the Body of Christ. The construction of the Greek verb for "chose" indicates God chose us for Himself. That means God acted totally independent of any outside influence. He made His choice totally apart from human will and purely on the basis of His sovereignty.
You must understand that your faith and salvation rest entirely on God's election (cf. Acts 13:48). And yet the day you came to Jesus Christ, you did so because of an internal desire—you did nothing against your will. But even that desire is God-given—He supplies the necessary faith so we can believe (Eph. 2:8).
But he also says
Those statements defining God's sovereign choice of believers are not in the Bible to cause controversy as if God's election means sinners don't make decisions. Election does not exclude human responsibility or the necessity of each person to respond to the gospel by faith
If that faith has to be God-given it is not our fault if we lack it. If God chooses to withhold it, that is his responsibility, not ours. And if the response came from us apart from God’s gift it would get us nothing, which makes the talk of responsibility a red herring.
It’s the usual story. Give God all the credit for the good things, blame humans for the bad things. But it can’t work taken to the absolute of Calvinism - either we have a real choice independent of God’s will (even if it’s only meeting a condition God chose to set up) or we’re just puppets being blamed for the puppeteer’s decisions.