Why you'll never win a debate against a dogmatic Calvinist!
Because they don't play by the rules of logic!
They have no problem accepting completely illogical and contradictory ideas as "truth."
They have no problem saying "Of course God said He loved the world. But He meant He has two kinds of love. A general 'give you food and water' kind of love for everyone and a special 'save your soul' kind for the elect."
They have no problem saying "Of course God wants no one to perish but He still predestined most people for hell."
They have no problem saying "God controls everything, even the things we do, but He can still hold us accountable for what we do. We don't have to understand it; we just have to accept it."
They have no problem saying "God is love, therefore everything God does is love. Even sending people to hell, causing wars, giving someone cancer, sending a tornado to destroy a town. It's all done out of love. And so we should be thankful for it!" (Yes, I really did read something just like this from a Calvinist. Incredible!)
You will never be able to "win" a debate against someone who won't debate honestly and fairly - someone who accepts illogical and contradictory ideas as truth, who always hides most of what they really mean, who wraps the horrible foundational beliefs of their theology with many biblical-sounding layers, and who has double-meanings for all their words and all relevant Bible verses.
For example, they will say "Of course God wills that no one perishes." And they might stop at that part, leaving you thinking they are biblically on-track. But what they really mean, and often keep hidden, is "But God has two Wills, you see. One is His revealed, common Will for all people, where He wants no one to perish. But He also has a 'hidden' one where He really wants only the elect to be saved and wants everyone else to perish for His pleasure and glory." (And they think this still amounts to "God wills that no one perishes.")
If you are not aware of the hidden layers under everything they say, you will not be able to debate with them because they will agree with you on one level, while conveniently hiding the contradicting deeper level. In fact, you probably won't even be able to figure out what you're really arguing about and what's really wrong with what they are saying, because they will always make sure to only reveal the "right" part, to veil the terrible-sounding parts with as many layers as possible, only stripping them off if you push them more and more.
They say "For God so loved the world that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life," but what they really mean is "Of course God loves everyone. He shows this by giving everyone food and water. Of course He wants everyone to be saved, but He can want one thing but cause the opposite, that most people won't be saved. And when it comes to salvation ... For God so loved all of the elect that all the believing people (the "elected" ones who were predestined to believe) will not perish but have eternal life."
You can't argue with someone who has hidden multiple layers and double-meanings for everything.
And they will always have a half-Bible verse, taken out of context, to support everything they think. So they will always think their "truths" are grounded in the Word. They will isolate verses, from the rest of Scripture, picking and choosing which ones they want. And as long as they keep their carefully-chosen verses isolated - failing to take the overall message of the Bible and God's revealed character into consideration - they can appear to make the verses say whatever they want. And without the rest of Scripture as a measuring stick for truth, nothing and no one can correct them. And as another tactic, they will "verse bomb" you, throwing many verses out at you, one after the other, in order to overwhelm you so that you simply give up and accept what they say. Because "surely anyone who has that much knowledge of the Bible and that many verses to back them up must be correct" ... right!?!
They truly think that everything they believe is biblical and that they are humbly honoring God by clinging to those "truths."
And maybe that's the scariest part. They think they are honoring God with their horribly destructive, contradictory, nonsensical, dishonoring-to-God theology.
And I can only call that satanic. A brilliant satanic ploy!
Honestly, there is no point debating a dogmatic Calvinist. (Did you ever read "Alice in Wonderland"? Yeah, Calvinism is about as logical as that!)
No wonder Jesus veiled the truth when speaking to the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law, to those who don't want to hear it and who will only attack it. Save your pearls, because they'll just trample on them and then turn and tear you to pieces.
(Also see: "Confronting Calvinism's Deceptive Nonsense"