Vincent Cheung #fundie vincentcheung.com

God is the only one who possesses intrinsic worth, and if he decides that the existence of evil will ultimately serve to glorify him, then the decree is by definition good and justified. One who thinks that God's glory is not worth the death and suffering of billions of people has too high an opinion of himself and humanity. A creature's worth can only be derived from and given by his creator, and in light of the purpose for which the creator made him. Since God is the sole standard of measurement, if he thinks something is justified, then it is by definition justified

Vincent Cheung #fundie vincentcheung.com

God is the one who controls evil spirits, lying spirits, the false prophets and their messages, to entice people to sin and to make harmful decisions, in order to fulfill his decree. As Ezekiel explains, when an idol worshiper goes to a prophet, “I the LORD will answer him myself. I will set my face against that man and make him an example and a byword. I will cut him off from my people. Then you will know that I am the LORD. And if the prophet is enticed to utter a prophecy, I the LORD have enticed that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand against him and destroy him from among my people Israel. They will bear their guilt – the prophet will be as guilty as the one who consults him” (Ezekiel 14:7-10).

God himself would entice the prophet to do wrong and then punish the prophet for doing wrong. This is because moral responsibility is measured not by God’s decree (his decision on what would happen) but by God’s precept (his definition on what is right or wrong). Thus God’s decree could be that a man would transgress God’s precept so as to incur guilt and then be punished. That this would occur only because God decrees and causes the transgression is irrelevant, because guilt is measured only by God’s precept or command, not by the decree or the cause.

Vincent Cheung #fundie vincentcheung.com

[From "The Author of Sin"]

When Reformed Christians are questioned on whether God is the “author of sin,” they are too quick to say, “No, God is not the author of sin.” And then they twist and turn and writhe on the floor, trying to give man some power of “self-determination,”[1] and some kind of freedom that in their minds would render man culpable,[2] and yet still leave God with total sovereignty.

On the other hand, when someone alleges that my view of divine sovereignty makes God the author of sin, my reaction is “So what?” Those who oppose me stupidly chant, “But he makes God the author of sin, he makes God the author of sin.” However, a description does not amount to an argument or objection, and I have never come across a decent explanation as to what is wrong with God being the author of sin in any theological or philosophical work written by anybody from any perspective.

The truth is that, whether or not God is the author of sin, there is no biblical or rational problem with him being the author of sin. For it to be a problem, it must make some point of Christianity false, or contradict some passage of Scripture. But if God is the author of sin, how does it make Christianity false? One must construct an argument showing this by citing established premises that necessarily lead to the conclusion that Christianity would be false if God is the author of sin. What is this argument? And what passage of Scripture does it contradict? You can cite any passage you want, but you have to show that it necessarily applies to the question and makes it impossible for God to be the author of sin. Where is this passage of Scripture?

Among the many fallacious replies is the appeal to James 1:13.[3] Using this verse to deny that God is the author of sin is one of the worst misapplications of Scripture, and because this error is very popular and influential, it has caused much damage and generated an unnecessary burden for those who would defend the faith.


Unless this happens, for God to be the author of sin does not make him a sinner or wrongdoer. The terms “author,” “sinner,” “wrongdoer,” and “tempter” are precise – at least precise enough to be distinguished from one another, and for God to be the “author” of sin says nothing about whether he is also a “sinner,” “wrongdoer,” or a “tempter.” And for one not to be a wrongdoer by definition means that he has not done wrong. Therefore, even if God is the author of sin, it does not automatically follow that there is anything wrong with it, or that he is a wrongdoer.

However, this is not to distance God from evil, for to “author” the sin implies far more control over the sinner and the sin than to merely tempt. Whereas the devil (or a person’s lust) may be the tempter, and the person might be the sinner, it is God who directly and completely controls both the tempter and the sinner, and the relationship between them. And although God is not himself the tempter, he deliberately and sovereignly sends evil spirits to tempt (1 Kings 22:19–23) and to torment (1 Samuel 16:14–23, 18:10, 19:9). But in all of this, God is righteous by definition.

The verse is telling you that when you deal with temptation, you must directly address your lust, and not just blame God and then do nothing, or remain in your sin. Read all of James 1 and see if this is not his obvious emphasis. He deals with joy, faith, perseverance, doubt, pride, lust, anger, moral filth, and being a doer of the Word. He is dealing with the Christian’s direct responsibilities in practical living, and he does this by relating it to the internal motives and characteristics of the person.


This is the Bible’s approach. It rebukes the objector and answers the objection at the same time. The answer does not deny that God is the direct cause of sin; instead, it boldly says that God has a right to make whatever he wants and do whatever he wants. Instead of stepping backward or sideways, it steps toward the objector and slaps him in the face.

Vincent Cheung #fundie vincentcheung.com

The spiritual condition of the clergy is often reflected in the general believers. The ministers who preach sound theology and practice godliness give clear direction to the people, who can then apply biblical precepts to their life and thought, resulting in godly living. Now, contrary to what many people believe, Christians must obey even hypocritical ministers as long as these ministers teach sound doctrine, even if they disobey it
themselves: "The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach" (Matthew 23:2-3). Therefore, providing biblical teaching without personal examples should be sufficient to command obedience in the people; nevertheless, Scripture commands a minister to be a good example to the people by his godly conduct, so that he does not become a hypocrite in denying what he preaches by his sinful behavior (Titus 1:16). In any case, a person can never excuse his disobedience by pointing to hypocritical ministers. Each of us will give an account to God.

In other words, a person must not require an example to model after before he obeys God, but he should only require knowledge of what God commands; however, it remains a minister's duty to be an example of godly living (1 Timothy 4:12; 1 Corinthians 9:27). Without personal examples, some people might find it more difficult to apply God's word to their lives; nevertheless, when there is no one who can serve as an example of godly living, a Christian should still be able to obey God by imitating Christ based on the information about him in Scripture (1 Corinthians 11:1; Ephesians 5:1; John 10:4-5; Hebrews 12:2).

The fact that ministers carry the responsibility of teaching and obeying the word of God (Matthew 5:19) does not mean that the rest of the people are blameless when spiritual decline occurs. The Bible notes that even when there is nothing wrong with the ministers, the people often rebel against the Lord: "But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted" (Ezekiel 3:7); "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables" (2 Timothy 4:3-4). Since apostasy cannot be blamed solely on the clergy, Malachi turns to address the people, and reprimands them for their lack of devotion to the Lord.

God first reminds the hearers of his immutability, saying, "I am the Lord, I change not" (v. 6). God's attributes remains the same, and they will never change. He is not subject to any external influence, and he is eternal so that there is no before or after in his being, so that he does not change. His omniscience implies that he has no succession of thoughts, and therefore he does not change his mind. His knowledge and decisions eternally exist in his mind, and are not subject to alteration. Since he knows all, he does not gain knowledge, and nothing surprises him. Since he is eternally immutable and comprehensively perfect, he never becomes better or worse.

Vincent Cheung #fundie vincentcheung.com

If you knew a non-Christian who had died in one of the great disasters of recent years — someone who was killed by warfare, by terrorism, by flood, or by fire — do not weep for him because of how he died, but weep for him because of what he is suffering now. This person might be your father or mother, your brother or sister, your son or daughter, your spouse, or a friend. At this very moment in hell, he is screaming in extreme agony, and being tortured by an unearthly pain. He curses God, but God laughs at him. He begs God to release him, but God only increases his suffering. He calls out your name, but you cannot hear him, you cannot help him. He recalls the times when the two of you made fun of the Christians and mocked their God. He thinks about the time when one of them stumped him in a debate, but he hardened his heart even more.

He remembers how he was encouraged in his unbelief when he read a certain novel that portrayed Christian history as just one great conspiracy. Now he realizes that all it contained were old theories that were refuted long ago. One of the newcomers in hell had told him that they even made it into a movie. The devil overheard and chuckled, “Could you people be any more gullible? You claimed to be so rational and so knowledgeable, so advanced—Ha! And you were fooled by a novel? Well, you will meet the author in a just a few years. You can get his autograph then!”

No matter how he died, or what kind of person you thought he was, if he died a non-Christian, then he is now in hell — burning, burning, burning! Combine all the mental distress that you have ever suffered and all the physical agony that you have ever endured, multiply its intensity by a million times, and extend its duration to endless eternity, and you will have a faint idea of what he is going through right now. But our imagination fails us, for anything that we can imagine is far weaker than what God is now doing to your friend or relative. So I will restrain myself, lest my description makes hell sound too pleasant. God does not do a half-baked job at anything — what he promises, he delivers, and when he punishes, he goes all the way.

Vincent Cheung #fundie vincentcheung.com

This is a summary of the biblical doctrine of hell. Some of the items below are vehemently opposed by many people, including those who call themselves Calvinists and Reformed Christians. They are so proud of their stance on divine sovereignty, but their doctrine is a severely weakened and compromised version of what the Bible teaches, and I have refuted them in various places.

1. Hell is a place created for reprobate spirits, both angels and men.

2. Hell is a place whose inhabitants are sovereignly and unconditionally chosen and created by God for damnation.34

(Footnote 34: Any condition that seems to correlate with God's reprobation of an individual has been sovereignly decreed to be part of that individual by God in the first place. A person is chosen for hell not by (or on any condition determined by) his own "free" will (which does not exist), but by God's sovereign will, which also sovereignly decrees and actively supplies all the conditions that God himself considers proper and necessary, such as sin and unbelief.)

3. Hell is a place in which God exacts non-redemptive but vindictive punishments upon its inhabitants.

4. Hell is a place in which God actively causes endless, conscious, and extreme torment for its inhabitants.

5. Hell is a place in which God displays his justice, righteousness, wrath, and power, and through which he glorifies himself.

6. Hell is a place that God has sovereignly created, and everything that God does is right and good by definition; therefore, it is right and good that God has created hell.35

(Footnote 35: We find an analogy in the existence or creation of evil. Although evil is evil (evil is not good), since evil exists only because God has actively and sovereignly decreed it (not passively or permissively), therefore it is good that there is evil. In other words, evil is evil (evil is not good), but God's decree is good – that is, his decree that evil should exist by his active will and power. Evil is evil and not good, but God did nothing wrong in decreeing evil; he did a right and good thing in decreeing evil. Likewise, God did a right and good thing in creating hell and in sovereignly, actively, and unconditionally predetermining the damnation of the reprobates.)

7. Hell is a place that God has sovereignly created, and through which he glorifies himself; therefore, it is sinful to disapprove of or be repulsed by its existence or purpose in any way.36

(Footnote 36: It is right and proper to consider and discuss the topic with fear and trembling, knowing the severity and power of God, but it is wrong and sinful to consider and discuss the topic in a way that implies disapproval of or repulsion toward hell, as if to say that God did something wrong in creating it. To disapprove of or be repulsed by hell is not a sign of compassion, but a sign of rebellion that desires human welfare and comfort even apart from faith and holiness, and apart from dependence on the grace of God.)

8. Hell is a place that God has sovereignly created, and through which he glorifies himself; therefore, it is right and good to offer reverent and exuberant praise and thanksgiving to God for its creation, existence, and purpose.

9. Hell is a place that God warns about in Scripture, and that Christ preached about in his ministry on earth; therefore, it is right and good for believers to preach about hell, and to preach about the only way to avoid it, which is faith in Jesus Christ, sovereignly granted by God to those whom he has chosen for salvation.

10. Hell is a place that God has predestined for the reprobates; therefore, although it is right and good to preach the gospel to all men, so as to summon the elect and harden the reprobates, it is wrong and sinful to preach as if God sincerely desires the salvation of the reprobates or as if it is possible for the reprobates to receive faith and be saved.37

(Footnote 37: This refers to the so-called "sincere offer" of the gospel.)

Vincent Cheung #fundie vincentcheung.com

(For context, he's talking about victims of natural disasters/acts of God.)

Finally, what about the Christians who died? Surely some of the thousands of people who perished were believers. Did God judge them, too? We cannot assert beyond what Scripture reveals, but we can be as specific as the general principles revealed in Scripture would allow. It is possible that some of the Christians were included as God's final act of fatherly discipline toward them, so that although they died with the world, they would not be condemned with the world. Or, perhaps some of them were included because God would use their death to inspire others to faith, reverence, and holiness, and at the same time to harden those whom God had wished to harden. These are just some of the possible reasons that we may deduce from Scripture, and from which we could derive many more. But it would be dangerous to speculate about why God had chosen a specific believer to die in such a manner.

What we know for sure is that these Christians are not complaining right now. They are not screaming in agony or cursing God for how their bodies perished. They are resting in God's presence, grateful, worshipful, and even jumping for joy! They will no longer suffer pain and sickness, or warfare, terrorism, floods, and fires.

If your loved one had died as a Christian, then know that he now receives abundant comfort and recompense for his labor and suffering. And there is no other place that he would rather be than where he is right now. There is no need to worry about him, or to weep about how he died. By God's grace, he has made it, he has arrived. Now is time to think about the condition of your own soul. Do you have the faith that he had? Have you repented of your sins and believed on Jesus Christ for your salvation as your loved one had done? If so, then you shall see him again, and what a reunion it will be! But if you refuse to repent and believe, then one day God will take your life and throw you into the lake of fire. And you shall be numbered with the murderers, adulterers, homosexuals, slanderers, those who practice witchcraft, those who are the lovers of money and pleasure, and all idolaters and unbelievers.

Vincent Cheung #fundie vincentcheung.com

All non-Christians are morons. Many Christians refuse to say this because they have an evil respect for non-Christian scholars, and a false concept of Christian gentleness. In refusing to declare that all non-Christians are stupid, they have denied an important aspect of the Christian faith. The biblical message is that man is both sinful and stupid without Christ. Thus those who deny that non-Christians are stupid also deny that Christ saves us from both our wickedness and our foolishness. This implies that we were intellectually sufficient without salvation from Christ, and that we needed his salvation only from our sinfulness. This is a denial of the saving work of Christ, and amounts to blasphemy.

Vincent Cheung #fundie vincentcheung.com

(For reference, this is from a response to a fellow Calvinist who felt agonized by his wife's barrenness, the thriving of the ungodly, etc., and the to-him-fact that God had directly decreed all this. To the point that his prayer frequency had lessened. The tone of the letter suggested he was imploring Cheung for a way to divine good out of all this so the agony would stop. If you somehow want to read the whole thing, start from p. 100.)

The question that Paul says we should not ask [in Romans 9] is precisely the one that you are asking: "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?'" If you are a reprobate, then the matter is simple. This passage says that God has made someone like you so that someone like me can learn about his wrath, his power, and his patience – that he would tolerate someone like you for so long – and in contrast, about his riches and mercy toward me. So if you are a reprobate, this would be a satisfying conclusion to my response.

However, our working assumption is that you are a Christian. Even so, the passage is relevant. Notice that God reveals himself to the elect not only through the objects of wrath, whom he has prepared for destruction, but those who are saved are objects of his mercy – they themselves have been sinners, only that God has decided to sovereignly show them mercy. "Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden" (Romans 9:18).

Vincent Cheung #fundie vincentcheung.com

Faith comes only as God's sovereign gift, and God has immutably decided to withhold
this gift from the non-elect, but rather to actively harden them; therefore, to sincerely
offer salvation to the non-elect as if God desires them to be saved and as if it is possible for them to be saved would be to lie to them in God's name. There is no real or sincere offer of salvation to the non-elect, but only a real and serious command that they can never obey, and one that God will enforce against them with hellfire.

Again, this does not prevent us from indiscriminately preaching the gospel to all men, since it is neither our right nor duty to pick out the elect and preach only to them, or to pick out the non-elect and exclude them. The point is that we must not present the gospel as a sincere offer to all, as if God's "desire" can differ from his decree, as if God could or would decree against his "desire," and as if it is possible for even the non-elect to be saved. Rather, we must present the gospel as a serious command to all, as if it is required of all to believe (Acts 17:30), and as if God intends to summon the elect and harden the non-elect by the same preaching of the gospel (2 Corinthians 2:15-16).

In other words, the content and the preaching of the gospel could be and should be
completely consistent with the doctrines of election and reprobation, as well as all other
related doctrines. For many people, to affirm the "sincere offer" is merely an excuse to
believe like a Calvinist, but preach like an Arminian.

It follows that, when preaching the gospel (when we are dealing with the grace that
saves), we should not tell our hearers that God loves all of them, but we should boldly
declare that God loves only the elect and desires (and thus has decreed) their salvation,
and that he hates the reprobates and desires (and thus has decreed) their damnation
(Romans 9:13).

Vincent Cheung #fundie vincentcheung.com

[Responding to someone who claimed that racists are ignorant]

Your claim is that racists are ignorant people. They do not realize that all people are really the same, but you are not a racist because you realize that all people are the same. It seems that your position on racism is important to you, since you were so disgusted with the racists. But it turns out that your position cannot withstand the slightest scrutiny, and you really have no justification for it. You assume a position of knowledge and enlightenment, but you are just as ignorant as the racists.

You are careless. You are unintelligent. You are ignorant. You present yourself as someone who possesses knowledge, but you have not really thought through the things that you believe, even those things that are important to you. Thus you are also dishonest and hypocritical. You are usually able to get away with it because other people are also like you, and they agree with you. But now that I have exposed you, where are you going to run?

You are a non-Christian. What is your basis for denying God and Jesus Christ? You say that Christians are irrational, but have you thought through your own position? Or is it just as careless, foolish, and dishonest as your reason for affirming racial equality? You see, you think that you are intellectually competent, informed, and honest. But you are none of these things. You are stupid, ignorant, and dishonest. And your rejection of the Christian faith is also stupid, ignorant, and dishonest.

The Bible tells me that you know about the Christian God, and if we continue this conversation, I will show you more and more that this is the case. But you are too stupid and wicked to admit it. You are dishonest, so you try to suppress what you know. But God’s reality and precepts are so evident that you cannot consistently deny him. Perhaps your attitude toward racism is a distorted effect of this knowledge that is built into your very being.

You think I am harsh in speaking to you like this. But I am the best friend that you could have. Think about it: I can take apart everything that you believe in a matter of seconds, and this means that intellectually and spiritually, you are in a lot of trouble. Your whole life is a lie. And if you cannot even fool me, do you think that you can fool God? The Bible says that his wrath is poured out against people who suppress their knowledge about him — people like you. You are in a lot of danger right now. Your only hope is to abandon your pride, and admit your foolishness and wickedness, and call out to Jesus Christ — he is the only one who can save you. Let us discuss this further, for if God has mercy on you, this is what you will do.

Vincent Cheung #fundie vincentcheung.com

This Glorified One is coming after you. Do not expect a humble peasant with a sheep under his arm, who would suffer your insults and abuse. But he is GOD, full of terrifying glory and power. He has marked you even now, and he will come after you. At a time of his choosing, he will take your life, and he will throw you into a lake of fire, where he will torture you forever and ever. You will curse him, and he will laugh at you. You will beg him to annihilate you, but he will ignore your pleas. He will sustain your existence so that you will suffer all the extreme agony that he has in store for you, and that he will inflict upon you in all its intensity through eternity.

This is the fate of everyone who does not worship Jesus Christ. You exclaim, “This is cruel and unusual punishment!” But you have been cruel to his people, and now he gives you your just reward. And it is hardly unusual, as you will have millions of companions in hell, too many for you to count. But take no comfort in this, as none of them will have even a second of rest from their suffering to help alleviate yours.

Vincent Cheung #fundie vincentcheung.com

[Regarding 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18: "Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words."]

The passage is often read at funerals, with the intent to encourage. However, Paul forbids universal application, since he contrasts the way that Christians should grieve against the way that all others grieve, since the rest of humankind have "no hope." He is writing to Christians about Christians. If the audience includes non-Christians, or if non-Christians are among the dead, then the doctrine is not nearly as comforting. The doctrine should not comfort the non-Christians who mourn, since they will not share in the glory of the return of Christ, or in the resurrection of Christians. And the doctrine should not encourage anyone about the deceased non-Christians, since death spells the commencement of a kind of suffering for them that strains our ability to fathom, although we applaud the justice of it.

Even as Paul addresses those who might be in mourning, and even as he writes to the Christian living about the Christian dead, he makes an attack on the unbelievers. Unless a minister has warrant to assume that he is speaking to Christians about Christians, he is a liar if he applies the doctrine of the glorious resurrection of the saints as if it applies to all in the audience, and at a funeral, as if it applies to the one in the coffin. If the minister is aware that his audience includes non-Christians, and if he is aware that the deceased was an unbeliever, then what excuse does he have to say anything other than, "Look! God is punishing this man – your father, your husband, your son, your friend, this relative of yours – even now...God is punishing him, torturing him, burning him up even now! Your wife, your mother, your sister, your daughter...she is now screaming out in pain and agony! She is crying for help, but there is only endless suffering before her, forever. And if you do not repent, you will likewise perish! Repent, for soon it will be your time to face the Lord!"

Vincent Cheung #fundie vincentcheung.com

In other words, since his chosen people are saved from God’s wrath and will therefore never experience this aspect of divine glory, God made the reprobates so that he can show off all that he is by damning them, punishing them, and torturing them in hell. This proceeds from his redemptive love. He does this precisely because he loves those he has chosen to receive his mercy. If I want to show my son how skillful I am with a rifle, I am not going to shoot him in the face with it. No, I will shoot a deer or a bear, whose life is dispensable. And I will do this because I love my son and want him to know more about me.

This is God’s love, and this love always wins, because God always wins. And this means that, because God is love, the reprobates – those who are non-Christians and will remain non-Christians because of God’s foreordination – can never escape hellfire. No matter how hard non-Christians strive to save themselves, God will catch them and send them to hell, where he will actively torture them with endless pain and anguish. God’s love (for himself, for his Son, and for his chosen people) guarantees the eternal damnation and suffering of all non-Christians. He will see to it that it happens.

Vincent Cheung #fundie vincentcheung.com

The truth of the Christian faith is plain and obvious. There is never a good objection against it, but it should be reverently accepted. And because the truth is plain and obvious, every objection against the Christian faith is always stupid and evil. Because every objection against the Christian faith is stupid and evil, we must attack every objection, and lest it is alleged that we avoid the issue, we should answer it as well. But more than this, it is characteristic of the Bible to attack the person who makes the objection. This is because whenever a person questions the Christian faith, it necessarily means that there is something wrong with the person.

Paul does not say, “O you wonderful and intelligent man, why do you make such an outrageous objection against God?” No, the apostle attacks the man himself – “But who are you, O man, to talk back to God?” This is a rhetorical question – he means that the man is a nobody and should shut his mouth. Paul is not stupid like our preachers and theologians. They tell us that non-Christians can be sincere and intelligent and yet make objections against God. Where did this nonsense come from? Perhaps they learned it from the non-Christians, who are always desperate to assert their sincerity and intelligence. Or perhaps the preachers and theologians wish to compliment their own defiance against God. But Jesus said that the mouth speaks out of the abundance of the heart. The non-Christian makes objections because he is a sinner, a rebel – he does not just act like one, but he is one. Any Christian who makes a meaningful contribution in preaching and debate must criticize and belittle the person – the non-Christian himself – and not just his arguments and his actions.

Who are you, O non-Christian, to challenge the truth of God, when the Bible declares that you already know about him? Like a coward, like a traumatized little child, you repress this knowledge so that you do not need to deal with reality. Who are you to reject a guilty verdict when the Bible shows that all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God? You retort, “Who are you to judge me?” Well, who are you to tell me that I may not declare God’s judgment upon you? Who are you to decline the gospel? You are nobody. You are nothing.


Away with all of you! God exercises complete and immediate control over all things, including the decisions and destinies of all men. Just as he molds his chosen ones into his masterpieces, he molds the reprobates into receptacles of rubbish and feces. Unlike our preachers and theologians, Paul’s opponent at least understands the doctrine, that it is God who creates and hardens the sinner, but the sinner is still blamed and punished. God hardens whom he wants to harden (v. 18), so that they cannot believe and be saved. He does this by his active and direct power, as a potter molds the clay (v. 21). Such men are prepared for destruction (v. 22). They cannot resist his will, but he still blames and punishes them (v. 19). He can do this because he is God, and no one can utter a word against him (v. 20).

Vincent Cheung #fundie vincentcheung.com

From this biblical teaching, we can then form general interpretations of the various acts of providence, including natural and “man-made” disasters. And we have warrant from Scripture to say that when disasters like hurricanes, tsunamis, and even terrorist attacks occur, killing thousands of people, there is almost always an element of divine punishment. To speak plainly, God kills these people because they are sinners and they deserve to die, and the time is ripe to punish them. Is not this the scriptural teaching? If you reject this, you might as well stop calling yourself a Christian, for your faith rests in yourself and your own opinions, and it is evident that you have no regard for God and Scripture. Then, another intended effect of these disasters is to awaken the elect and to harden the reprobates.

The human element complicates the issue, although not for those who read and affirm Scripture, and who do not become so indignant over the teaching that they can no longer think clearly. What complicates the issue for some is that the very people that God uses to punish sinners are often just as wicked themselves. Scripture has addressed this in numerous places. When God uses the wicked to punish the guilty, he also plans to punish these instruments of his providence at a later time. In fact, God moves them to perform additional acts of wickedness in order to fulfill his own divine decree, which is to cause them to incur even greater wrath against themselves.

This had been demonstrated at various times in Israel’s history. When God’s people fell into sin and idolatry, he would send foreign nations to slaughter and enslave them. But these invaders were themselves subject to God’s wrath, and it is precisely because they slaughtered and enslaved God’s people (propelled by God’s power) that divine judgment soon visited them as well. Consider Israel at the time of Christ. The Son of God came and the Jews murdered him, and said, “Let his blood be on us and on our children!” (Matthew 27:25). God held them to their word. Within a generation, the Romans sacked and burned Jerusalem, and completely devastated it. But God saw to it that the Romans themselves were soon destroyed as well. This is the pattern of providence.

Just to mention this is considered anti-Semitic by many people, but they are hypocrites. Let the Jews first answer for the murder of Christ and the thousands of Christians who perished at the beginning of the Church, and then we can talk about anti-Semitism. The truth is that these disasters were the works of God, and to adopt the mentality that the victims were always innocent is to show that they still have not learned from their own history. As in Micah’s day, they are still saying, “Disgrace will not overtake us. Is the Spirit of the Lord angry? Does he do such things?” But unless they repent and believe the gospel, a thousand holocausts would not even approach the kind of suffering that they will experience after this life. Of course this is not true just for the Jews, but for all people everywhere.

Vincent Cheung #fundie vincentcheung.com

Faith is God’s sovereign gift, and God has decided to withhold it from the non-elect, but instead he chooses to harden them; therefore, to offer salvation to the non-elect as if God desires them to be saved and as if it is possible for them to be saved would be to lie to them in God’s name. There is no offer of salvation to the non-elect, but only a command that they can never obey, and God will punish them with hellfire.

This does not prevent us from preaching the gospel to all men, since it is not our duty or right to pick out the elect and preach only to them, or to pick out the non-elect and exclude them. The point is that we must not present the gospel as a sincere offer to all, as if God’s “desire” can differ from his decree, as if God could or would decree against his “desire,”[1] and as if it is possible for even the non-elect to be saved.

God loves the elect and desires (and thus has decreed) their salvation; he hates the reprobates and desires (and thus has decreed) their damnation (Romans 9:13). The preaching of the gospel must be consistent with this. So we must present the gospel as a serious command to all, as if it is required of all to believe (Acts 17:30), and as if God intends to summon the elect and harden the non-elect by the same preaching of the gospel (2 Corinthians 2:15-16).

Thus we must preach the gospel to all men for at least three reasons: 1. God commands us to preach the gospel to all people, 2. We do not know and should not consider beforehand who are the elect and who are the reprobates, and 3. The purpose of preaching the gospel is not only to summon the elect to faith, but also to harden the reprobates in their unbelief.

Vincent Cheung #fundie vincentcheung.com

A Christian's life is in constant opposition to the non-Christian outlook and agenda, and as long as a person is a non-Christian, he lives every moment of his life as a rebel against God's kingdom and his people. Therefore, on this spiritual level where things really count,the Christian and the non-Christian maintain a constant hostility against each other. Although this should not translate into physical violence, this does not reduce the enmity between the two. Unthinking people regard physical violence as more dangerous or more worthy of attention, but the conflict on the spiritual/intellectual level runs much deeper, and carries greater long-term influence and significance. This does not mean that you have to be constantly abusive toward unbelievers. However, there must always be a clear awareness of what they are, so that when you interact with them, you will not operate on false assumptions about what kind of people they are and where they stand. Many Christians are often tempted to allow a sense of solidarity with men to override their obligation and allegiance to God. But God is pleased with those who will put him front and center in all that they think and do (Exodus 32:25-29; Numbers 25:3-13; Deuteronomy 13:5-16; Deuteronomy 33:8-11).

A number of hurdles in theology and apologetics exist for many believers because of this – on those issues they stand with men rather than God. Otherwise, there is no reason that a Christian should have any hesitation or difficulty in answering a challenge such as, say, the so-called problem of evil. It has never been a rational problem for Christianity, but when the objection is raised, believers sometimes sympathize with men's bitterness against God, and allow a problem to take root where there should be none. You are generally permitted to associate with unbelievers, but there are biblical restrictions and exceptions, which I cannot enumerate here. In any case, you must no longer behave toward them the way you did before, and you must abandon the idea of maintaining intimate and meaningful relationships with any of them. Since your deepest commitments are now vehemently hostile to theirs, it is no longer possible to have the deepest kind of communication and comradeship with them. Even the closest relationships between Christians and non-Christians must remain superficial. Anyone who disagrees with this either compromises their Christian commitment, or fails to understand what it is to have a truly deep friendship.

This reality finds its most acute expression in the marriage relationship. Now, of course a Christian must not marry a non-Christian, so we are considering a marriage in which one of the two unbelievers converts, or in which a Christian marries a non-Christian in defiance against God's command. Since the marriage relationship is supposed to be the closest possible relationship between two human beings, this is also the closest possible relationship between a believer and an unbeliever, but because such a relationship is doomed to come far short of what marriage is intended to be, it is also the most tragic. In fact, in a relationship where two people are supposed to become one in spirit and in body, these two individuals are divided at the deepest level, torn apart by the vast gulf that separates heaven and hell. This separation is already present and manifest in their daily life, and unless the other person also converts, one day it will become complete and permanent.

In contrast, the marriage vow between two believers is taken from God's own word (Genesis 2, Ephesians 5, etc.) and taken before God as their witness. Their ability to fulfill this vow comes from their constant contact with God's power in sanctification, and their confidence in each other is also derived from this. Just as a Christian relies on the Holy Spirit to sustain his spiritual life, and to grow in knowledge and holiness, he depends on this same power and grace to make progress in his marriage. On the other hand, there is no power and no promise for the non-Christian who takes the marriage vow. He relies on his own moral integrity and ability, and since he has neither of these or at best only an appearance of these, his marriage and all his relationships – like all his thoughts and activities – are without meaning and substance. The question of how much we are to interact with unbelievers is frequently mishandled. People err toward both extremes. There are those who think that we must deliberately disassociate with unbelievers as much as possible, but this extreme is not common in our circle. Rather, there is sometimes a need to correct a misapplication of the teaching that believers are to be "in but not of the world." Some Reformed and Evangelical believers carry this very far, riding on their version of the "cultural mandate," their denial of any "sacred vs. secular" distinction, and the false doctrine of "common grace." This line of thinking is sometimes used to excuse their licentiousness, and their lust for worldly culture, amusements, and associations. But to be "in" the world, or even to be very involved in it, does not mean that we are to embrace and befriend it.


Our interest here is whether Christians should shun all immoral non-Christians. Paul gives a negative answer, but this comes within the above context and cannot be universally applied without discrimination or qualification. Also, what reason does he offer? And what does his explanation imply? Again, Paul states that it would be impossible to shun all immoral non-Christians, because all non-Christians are immoral people, and they are everywhere. The only way to avoid them is to leave this world. At least in this passage, he does not say that to shun non-Christians is morally wrong in itself – he states only that it is practically impossible to do so. And at least in this passage, he does not say that to associate with non-Christians is in itself a desirable thing, but only that it is a practical necessity. Therefore, based on this passage, one cannot assert that the opposite of not shunning non-Christians is to befriend them and to have intimate and meaningful relationships with them.

Of course there are other reasons to associate with unbelievers. Besides the practical impossibility of avoiding them in social and business transactions, God has commanded us to bear witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ before all people by our words and deeds, through which God will summon to faith those whom he has created and chosen for salvation, and harden those whom he has created and chosen for damnation. But nothing in the entire range of our activities before the world requires us to become intimate friends with unbelievers. And in fact, it would be a spiritual, intellectual, ethical, and practical impossibility to do so – again, unless either the Christian or the non-Christian compromises his deepest commitments, in which case either the Christian is no longer a Christian, or the non-Christian is no longer a non-Christian. Therefore, although it is indeed possible for a Christian to be on friendly terms with a non-Christian on a superficial level, an intimate and profound communion is out of the question.

Vincent Cheung #fundie vincentcheung.com

First, I am guessing this person implies that my view is foreign to the Bible, so that the questions are raised against my view in particular and not against the Bible itself. Coming from a Christian, this indicates ignorance and prejudice. I am not using these words as insults but to label the problem areas. There are numerous passages in the Bible indicating that sin is God's idea – not that he condones it, but that he decrees it – both in general and in particular instances. Given the fact that it is the Bible that teaches this, the person who asks these questions against my view is ignorant of and/or prejudiced against those passages teaching that it is God who devises evil against people and that he decrees that people should commit certain sins so that they would be judged and destroyed, or otherwise be disciplined or to further some other purpose.

People often disassociate a teaching in the Bible that they dislike from the person who teaches it from the Bible, and then they make the pretense of attacking the person for the teaching, when in reality they are attacking the Bible itself. Relative to these questions, it would make no difference even if God were to "passively" cause evil (whatever that means) – since the idea of evil would still originate in God. The only way out is to say that God has no concept of evil at all, and that evil must be wholly attributed to another entity. This is the heresy of dualism – the logical conclusion that God is not the author of sin. Second, the questions are incomplete. They make an assumption that the person fails to justify or even mention. Since it is so ingrained, he is probably unaware of it. He asks, "How can God actively cause and control the evil thoughts of unregenerate men without nullifying his holiness?" But what is the problem? The question does not tell us. The assumption seems to be that to directly control evil is to commit evil – to cause sin is to commit sin, and to author sin is to be a sinner. But where does the Bible teach this?

Evil is defined by God, not by man, and unless God says that for him to directly control evil is to commit evil, then for him to directly control evil is not to commit evil. It is not up to man to say otherwise. In fact, the person who asks the question has placed himself above God. To paraphrase, the question is really, "How can God remain holy if he does something that is against my standard of what it means for God to be holy?" I shudder at the idea that someone would dare think this way, but this is what the question implies. Then, as for the question, "That is, isn't God thinking the evil thoughts before he causes men to think them?" My first reaction is, "So what?" The same is true with foreknowledge (here the word means prescience, and not the biblical meaning of foreordination). Are we now saying that God cannot foreknow any evil in order to remain holy? If so, does God know about evil after someone has done it? Would not that taint his holiness as well? Imagine all the thoughts of murder, rape, perjury, theft, and countless other sins that are in God's mind! From this perspective, God has more evil thoughts in his mind than even Satan himself. Scripture and I do not think that this is a problem, but the question implies that it is.

Do you see how unbiblical and sinister this line of reasoning is? But this is the common way of thinking. People do not realize how inconsistent and wicked it is to disallow to God something that he never forbids to himself. Of course, with foreknowledge, when God thinks thoughts of murder and rape, it is because he possesses information about how his creatures would violate his laws in these ways. It is certainly not that God would commit murder and rape. But if this is a satisfactory explanation for foreknowledge, then it is also satisfactory for the active ordination and causation of sin. It is not that God would commit these sins, but that he would actively cause his creatures to do them. And – here is the important point – there is no revealed moral law and no revelation about his nature saying that he could not or would not do this. The problem occurs only when man invents the premise and imposes it on God, and in doing so, actually thinks that he is protecting God's holiness. Third, if we are against the idea that God actively causes evil, what does it mean when we say that he passively decrees or causes it?

Yes, you can say it, but does it mean anything? Or is it nonsense? Ask someone to explain it and prove it. Bust through the standard slogans, go deeper, and see what you get. How is it metaphysically possible to infallibly ordain something and not cause it? And how is it metaphysically possible to unfailinglycause something, but do it passively? How is it possible to ordain the precise types and numbers of all sins, and the ways that they would be performed, so that all things must turn out as he has ordained, without using any active power to bring it about? How is it possible for God to merely permit evil without causing it when he is the one who sustains all things, moment by moment? Either we must attribute to man a metaphysical status and power that the Bible says he does not have – that is, the power of self-existence and self-causation, thus making man into God – or we must say that God actively causes all things.

Not everyone is oblivious to the inconsistency, but instead of deducing their theology from the Bible, they appeal to "mystery" in order to hold on to their nonsense. The view that I espouse has no mystery and no inconsistency. People do not like it just because it is againstwhat they have imposed upon God. Moreover, if they can appeal to mystery whenever they want, then I should be allowed to say mystery, mystery, mystery over and over until the critics leave me alone. But somehow their mystery is superior to my clarity. What the Bible clearly tells us is not mystery, but revelation. The appeal to mystery is often a diversion from the fact that a person sinfully refuses to accept what the Bible plainly reveals. In short, the answer is that causing evil is different from committing evil. To cause evil refers to a metaphysical relationship, while to commit evil refers to a transgression of divine moral law. For it to be wrong for God to cause evil, he must establish a self-imposed moral law stating that it is wrong for him to cause evil. If he does not do this, then he has not defined it as evil. Rather, precisely because God is righteous, all that he does is righteous by definition. Therefore, it is righteous for him to cause evil whenever he wishes.

And it is evil to oppose or to question him in this. In other words, the question skips a premise – or, it assumes a premise that is either unjustified or unmentioned. This is the assumption that for the creator to cause a creature to perform evil is for the creator himself to perform evil. This view is both irrational and blasphemous. The topic is very educational and revealing. It exposes how common it is for us to dictate to God how he must behave – he must adhere to our standard in order to remain what he says he is! Just look through all the theological publications in church history. It is almost unanimous that God cannot be "the author of sin" – but none of them can tell you why, even if some of them mention the unjustified and unbiblical assertion that for him to cause evil would be the same as to commit evil. No one in church history has ever been able to prove this premise, and few even try.

Vincent Cheung #fundie vincentcheung.com

A disciple never looks back. As the work of the plowman demands undivided attention, so
one who "looks back" is disqualified from "service in the kingdom of God" (v. 62). Jesus
does not say that one cannot excel as a disciple if he looks back, but that such a person
cannot be his disciple at all. He means what he says. There is no room for hesitation,
distraction, or regret. "How searching is this test to those who profess to be
Christians!—Religion is everything, or nothing. He that is not willing to sacrifice
everything for the cause of God, is really willing to sacrifice nothing."

Religion must be all or nothing. It must dominate every part of thought and conduct; otherwise, our faith is
not genuine.
There are those who think that religious differences should never damage our relationships.
However, religious commitments are ultimate commitments, so that a relationship that is
not affected by them must be a most superficial relationship. If one can have a deep
relationship with another of a different religious commitment, it can only mean that they
are not devoted to their faiths. Every part of a Christian's life is dominated by his faith, or
he is not a Christian at all. Thus to have anything more than a superficial relationship with
a non-Christian must necessarily mean that he has compromised his faith. This is because
once the two venture beyond a superficial level of interaction, their two worldviews would
bound to clash. And to have the deepest kind of relationship with such a person, such as
marriage, is outright forbidden by the Bible.

As Jesus says, "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come
to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter
against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law – a man's enemies will be
the members of his own household" (Matthew 10:34-36). There will be conflicts between
Christians and non-Christians. Religious commitments are not something that can be put
aside. The non-Christians who claim to be friendly and open-minded, and who desire
fellowship with everyone, nevertheless refuse to convert to the Christian faith when we
make it a requirement for fellowship. Thus even they acknowledge that religious
commitments matter, and that what we believe about the ultimate issues is more important
than peace and relationships. The difference is that they are self-righteous and hypocritical
about this – they say that they value peace and relationships, but they ask us to put aside
our Christian principles while they hold on to their own beliefs about religious and ultimate

Only God has ever demanded total dedication from men and women in the way Jesus does.
We must keep in mind that when we are dealing with Jesus Christ, we are dealing with
God himself. Our readiness to follow him reflects our attitude toward God, because Jesus
is Go

Vincent Cheung #fundie vincentcheung.com

Freedom is almost always falsely defined, even undefined. We must at least answer the question, "Free from what?" Since we are referring to divine determinism, the "determiner" is God. So the only relevant thing to be free from is God, and whether we are free from any other thing is irrelevant. Thus the question becomes, "Is man free from God in any sense?" Once you declare that man is free from God in some sense, you have lost the God of the Bible.

The Christian faith teaches something different. Absolute divine determinism is true; therefore, man has no freedom relative to God – he is not free from God in any sense. However, he is still morally responsible and accountable because God holds him responsible and accountable. There is no logical reason to introduce the issue of freedom. The premise, "responsibility presupposes freedom," is arbitrary, unbiblical, and impossible to prove. Rather, Scripture teaches that responsibility presupposes divine judgment, and divine judgment presupposes God's decision to make this judgment. Therefore, human responsibility presupposes divine sovereignty, not human freedom. We are morally responsible because God is sovereign and we are not free.

The question then becomes one of justice, for to many people it seems unjust to hold someone accountable who is not free. However, this is just the same question rephrased. The issue of justice appears relevant only because one has brought freedom into the discussion by force. The answer is that this is just because it is what God has decided, and he is the sole and ultimate standard of justice; therefore, this is just by definition. People might not like this because it contradicts their intuition of freedom, responsibility, and justice; however, theirs is a sinful intuition. They appeal to their intuition, even making it the basis on which all other considerations must turn, but they have ignored the noetic effects of sin.

Scripture teaches that every person has an innate knowledge of God in the sense that he knows about God, even some of his attributes and commands, by instinct, or by intuition, apart from observation and experience. This knowledge resides in man's mind because God has directly imparted it to him as a creature made in the divine image. Biblical apologists sometimes mention this; however, this is different from appealing to intuition as a basis for argument.

Our innate knowledge of God is not established by intuition itself, but by revelation. We do not say, "We have an intuitive knowledge of God; therefore, we indeed have this knowledge, and this knowledge is true." Instead, we say, "God's revelation tells me that I have an intuitive knowledge of God; therefore, I indeed have an intuitive knowledge of God." And we say, "God's revelation tells me that my intuitive knowledge of God is true; therefore, my intuitive knowledge of God is true."

We also add, "God's revelation tells me that our intuitive knowledge of God has been suppressed and distorted by sin; therefore, although it is true that I have an intuitive knowledge of God, and although this intuitive knowledge of God is true, this intuition cannot function as a source of my theology or as justification for my premises in reasoning, because I cannot accurately perceive and represent the information contained in this intuition. Rather, I need God's revelation to tell me what this intuitive knowledge contains and what to do with it."


When we refer to what we know by intuition, we do not make a direct appeal to intuition, but we appeal to what God tells us that we know by intuition. In the context of theology and apologetics, we mention this as one of the reasons that sinners cannot excuse themselves. They know God by instinct, but they refuse to acknowledge him or worship him, to believe the gospel and to obey his commandments. We do not begin by saying that everyone knows God by intuition, so that there is no excuse for unbelief; rather, we begin by revelation, and then on the basis of revelation say that everyone knows God by intuition, and therefore there is no excuse for unbelief.

Vincent Cheung #fundie vincentcheung.com

As evident in Acts 17, there are often constraints imposed upon us by time and other factors. But as circumstances allow, we must offer a systematic and comprehensive presentation of the biblical worldview, and a systematic and comprehensive refutation of the non-biblical worldviews represented by the hearers. Our aim must be nothing short of a complete vindication of Christian claims, and a thorough annihilation of non-Christian beliefs. This may be done over the course of days or even months. And in some situations, it is done over the course of many years, as should be the case in parenting our children. Sometimes we may have only half an hour, but whatever the case may be, we should seek to cover the major points, or to preach "the whole counsel of God" (Acts 20:27, NKJ). As we do this, we must make clear that we are loyal only to the biblical foundation and heritage, and not a pagan foundation or heritage.


Most Christians are not aggressive enough, even if they know something about biblical apologetics and evangelism. We can all take a lesson from the exchange between Elisha and Jehoash: (quotes 2 Kings 13:14-19)

God has given us divine weapons with which to destroy all non-Christian religions and philosophies (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). These are spiritual or intellectual weapons, expressed in our preaching and arguments. But what are we doing with them? As Elisha was angry with Jehoash for not being aggressive and thorough enough, so this man of God would be very angry with most of us today. He would have no patience for our tolerance and propriety.

Nevertheless, God is faithful to himself and to his people, and he has preserved some of us who have not bowed the knee to relativism, pluralism, and other non-biblical perspectives. We who know our God will do great things in his name. We will ceaselessly attack non-Christian religions and philosophies with biblical argumentation and persistent prayer. We will strike them again and again. When they run, we will pursue them; when they hide, we will expose them; and when they fall, we will trample them. We will not make Jehoash's mistake, who struck three times and stopped – we will never stop. When we finally learn to fight by the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, we will find that non-Christian thought has no defense against our assaults. We will be an invincible army, and the very gates of hell will not stand against us.

Vincent Cheung #fundie vincentcheung.com

On the final page of his book, Humble Apologetics, John G. Stackhouse, Jr. writes, "We Christians do believe that God has given us the privilege of hearing and embracing the good news, of receiving adoption into his family, and of joining the Church. We do believe that we know some things that other people don't, and those things are good for them to hear. Above all, we believe that we have met Jesus Christ."

This is fine, but then he adds, "For all we know, we might be wrong about any or all of this. And we will honestly own up to that possibility. Thus whatever we do or say, we must do or say it humbly." This is unbiblical and outrageous. He has just stated what represent some of the central claims of the biblical message, and that he affirms these claims as true, so when he says that "we might be wrong about any or all of this," he necessarily implies that Scripture itself might be wrong about any or all of this. However, since the Bible itself does not admit that it "might be wrong about any or all of this," when Stackhouse says that he "might be wrong about any or all of this," he is no longer defending the Bible.

Of course, his emphasis is that he himself might be wrong that the Bible is the revelation of God, but this still returns to the point that if this is what he means, then he is no longer defending the Bible. He is saying that he might be wrong when he says that the Bible is right, which amounts to him saying that the Bible might be wrong. Since he says that he might be wrong when he affirms that the Bible is true, so that the Bible might in fact be false, he is no longer doing biblical apologetics.

The Bible says that when we affirm what it teaches, we can know with certainty that what we believe is true: (quotes Luke 1:3-4, John 17:6-8, and Hebrews 11:1,6, with emphasis on phrases implying certitude of knowledge)

If the Bible itself claims to be the revelation of God and therefore completely true, then by what standard of humility does Stackhouse call his less than certain approach to apologetics "humble"? Since the Bible is the ultimate standard of ethics, it also defines humility; therefore, when Stackhouse implies that the Bible itself might be wrong, he is not being humble, but arrogant – so arrogant that he says he might be wrong if he affirms what God reveals. According to biblical standard, it is not humble to say that you might be wrong when you affirm what the Bible affirms; instead, you are arrogant if you say that the Bible might be wrong.

For Stackhouse to assume the identity of a Christian and then say that his religion might be wrong is to say that Christianity might be wrong; therefore, instead of doing apologetics – humble or not – he is in fact attacking Christianity. If the Bible is the word of God, then to say that we might be wrong about it being the word of God is not humility, but blasphemy. If Stackhouse admits that he himself does not have certainty, then we may perhaps still accept him as a weaker brother, but when he says that we should not ever claim certainty, then he has made himself an enemy of Christ.

Rather than saying that we must "own up to that possibility" that we might be wrong, we must insist on the impossibility that we are wrong when we are affirming what the Bible teaches. When we affirm what the Bible affirms, it is impossible that we are wrong. If Stackhouse is so "humble," he must also confess that he might be wrong when he says that he might be wrong about Christianity, for how can he be so sure there is "that possibility" that Christians can be wrong who affirm the Bible? Is he fallible when he affirms the Bible, but infallible when it comes to "that possibility"?

Stackhouse's position is unbiblical and irrational. We must reject such pretended humility, unfaithful spirituality, and asinine pseudo-scholarship in exchange for an approach to apologetics that is biblical, which is one that says, "We are right, and we are sure that we are right. You are wrong, and we are sure that you are wrong." If this biblical position brings the world's reproach, then so be it; let the non-Christians try to defeat us in argumentation. On the other hand, if you who claim to be a Christian are so drunk with "tolerance" that you prefer to adopt Stackhouse's anti-biblical stance, then why not go all the way and stop calling yourself a Christian?

Vincent Cheung #fundie vincentcheung.com

(Figures that he's a presuppositionalist, seeing how van Til, the one who founded the idea, was also a Calvinist.)

Some Christians attempt to defend the faith with scientific arguments, such as those based on physics, biology, and archaeology. Along with the unbelievers they assume the reliability of science and attempt to "do science" better than the unbelievers can. If what I am saying is correct – that is, if what Paul is saying is correct – then of course we are able to do science better than the unbelievers, since Christians possess presuppositions that correspond to reality, that tell us the truth about God and his creation.

That said, the scientific method itself precludes the knowledge of truth, so that even with the correct presuppositions, science is totally unable to discover or describe the nature of reality. As Ronald W. Clark writes, "Contemplation of first principles progressively occupied Einstein's attention," and in such a context, he quotes Einstein as saying, "We know nothing about it at all. All our knowledge is but the knowledge of schoolchildren....the real nature of things, that we shall never know, never." Of course, he could speak only for science and not revelation.

Karl Popper, who has produced a number of works on the philosophy of science, writes as follows:

Although in science we do our best to find the truth, we are conscious of the fact that we can never be sure whether we have got it....In science there is no "knowledge," in the sense in which Plato and Aristotle understood the word, in the sense which implies finality; in science, we never have sufficient reason for the belief that we have attained the truth....Einstein declared that his theory was false – he said that it would be a better approximation to the truth than Newton's, but he gave reasons why he would not, even if all predictions came out right, regard it as a true theory.

Scientists conduct multiple experiments to test a hypothesis. If observation is reliable, then why do they need more than one experiment? If observation is less than reliable, then how many experiments are enough? Who decides? [...]

The probability of drawing the correct curve (about experiments determining the exact boiling point of water, taking into account minutely different observations) is one over infinity, which equals zero. Therefore, there is a zero probability that any scientific law can be true. This means that it is impossible for science to ever accurately describe anything about reality. Thus Popper writes, "It can even be shown that all theories, including the best, have the same probability, namely zero." [...]

Scientists, of course, attempt to get around [affirming the consequent] by having "controlled" experiments, but they are faced again with an infinite number of things that may affect each experiment. How do they know what variables must be controlled? By other experiments that affirm the consequent, or by observation, which we have shown to be unreliable?

Bertrand Russell was a celebrated mathematician, logician, philosopher, and wrote much against the Christian religion. So he was not attempting to endorse Christianity when he wrote:

All inductive arguments in the last resort reduce themselves to the following form: "If this is true, that is true: now that is true, therefore this is true." This argument is, of course, formally fallacious. Suppose I were to say: "If bread is a stone and stones are nourishing, then this bread will nourish me; now this bread does nourish me; therefore it is a stone, and stones are nourishing." If I were to advance such an argument, I should certainly be thought foolish, yet it would not be fundamentally different from the argument upon which all scientific laws are based.

Yet many who speak this way refuse to draw the logical conclusion that all science is irrational and without justification.

Most people feel compelled to respect science because of the practical success that it appears to achieve; however, we have noted that affirming the consequent may yield results but not truths. Remember what Popper said about Einstein: "He would not, even if all predictions came out right, regard it as a true theory." The typical college student would disagree, but the typical college student is not Einstein. Accordingly, although science sometimes achieve practical ends, it has no authority to make pronouncements concerning the nature of reality. If the scientist does not know his place, an informed believer should not hesitate to put him back in his place. Theology is the ruling intellectual discipline, not science.

Vincent Cheung #fundie vincentcheung.com

Now, God defines goodness, and thus what he is and does is ipso facto good. Whatever he is and whatever he does is good, which means that no standard of goodness external to God may be used to judged an act of God as good or evil. We derive the very definition of goodness from what God is and does.

As mentioned, we discover what is good or moral through the Scripture. And earlier it is said that the view saying that the definition of goodness is in a sense arbitrary cannot be dismissed. For example, it was good for Old Testament believers to be circumcised solely because God had commanded it. Therefore, it was good for an Old Testament believer to be circumcised, and evil for him not to be circumcised.

The definition of goodness is therefore "arbitrary," but only in the sense that God's will determines everything, including the standard of goodness. By arbitrary, therefore, we do not mean, "existing or coming about seemingly at random or by chance or as a capricious and unreasonable act of will," but rather something similar to, "not restrained or limited in the exercise of power: ruling by absolute authority" (Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition).

The doctrine of the simplicity of God dictates that we regard his attributes as one, which means that there can be no separation between his will and nature. All things, in this sense, are arbitrary but necessary, since there is no explanation to anything more final than to say that God has willed it so, and there is nothing prior to God's will that dictates or influences what he wills. He is love and he wills to be love; he wills to be love and he is love. God's will is the final explanation; there is no prior cause.

Therefore, for one to kill another is not inherently immoral, but is only so due to God's commandment, "You shall not murder." By the same token, it would have been immoral for Abraham to restrain from preparing Isaac for sacrifice, once God has commanded it to be done – in another context, we would call it murder. If God had not stayed Abraham's hand, it would still have been good for him to have killed Isaac – simply because God had commanded it. The justification for capital punishment is likewise derived. God has complete sovereignty over all creation, and whatever he commands is good by definition.

Vincent Cheung #fundie vincentcheung.com

In any case, if the average man on the street is innocent and undeserving of God's harsh judgment, then the gospel is unnecessary for most people. But Scripture teaches that everyone has sinned against God and transgressed his laws, so that everyone deserves death and destruction. Once we affirm this, then there is no reason to be shocked when God pours out his wrath upon a group of people, even killing thousands of them all at once. Rather, it is to be expected.


God has always judged sinners through natural and "man-made" disasters, killing thousands of them at a time. This is wholly consistent with his holy and just nature. There is no problem with this other than the fact that many people do not want to believe the truth about God and about themselves. In denying that God is the God of disasters, they assure people that he can be ignored and even mocked with impunity. But this universe is not a democracy, and you cannot democratize or Americanize the kingdom of heaven. You have no rights that would require God to treat you a certain way. With God there is no freedom of religion, no freedom of speech, no freedom of thought – if you believe the wrong thing, say the wrong thing, or even think the wrong thing, God will take it into account and punish you for it, that is, unless you have been saved from his wrath through Jesus Christ.

"This makes God a tyrant," you say. But is God unrighteous unless he conforms to your political theory? This objection itself is evidence of human depravity, and shows that mankind deserves the harshest possible divine punishments. And who says that God cannot be a tyrant? The first definition of a tyrant does not carry the negative connotations often associated with the word, but it is simply "an absolute ruler unrestrained by law or constitution" (Merriam-Webster). No sinful man deserves so much power, but the true God can have no less.

W. Gary Crampton #fundie vincentcheung.com

Science has its place in a Christian philosophy, an important place. But science is never to be seen as a means of learning truth. Truth is found in the Scriptures alone; the Bible has a monopoly on truth. It is God’s Word that must be believed, not the experiments of men. As Robbins has said: "Science is false, and must always be false. Scripture is true and must always be true. The issue is as clear, and as simple, as that."