Even if you dress a dog as a pig, it is still a dogWhile I don’t have much time to write/respond today, and I will be leading music for the Great Banquet at my church starting this afternoon through Sunday evening (I’m sure the writers here can easily hold the fort without me), an article from CR?N that popped up on my RSS feed was an excellent reminder of the reasons for failure of systematic theologies:

1) They are man-made systems to explain God, and by their very definition, flawed
2) As with Mike and his TULIP, they are elevated to the level of scripture
3) They are used as means to divide the wheat from the tares, which (at least if we are to believe scripture) is not our job.
4) While they may be helpful in understanding a particular scripture or set of scriptures, they, in and of their very nature, become tools of eisogesis, rather than exegesis.

To the article in question, Mike Ratliff attempts to show that Unconditional Election is the only biblical possibility.  He states that “Unconditional Election is not for sissies”, though I would probably add a correlary that it isn’t for Christians, either.  Rather, it is a series of eisogetical rationales which blend gnostic philosophy, Greek fatalism and determinism into something that was not even in the ballpark of belief in the early church, but is now raised to a dividing line between the ins and the outs, the saved and the unsaved.

If you don’t believe that this man-made doctrine has been raised to the level of scripture, you don’t have to go past the first couple of paragraphs in the article:

Of course, none of their arguments hold any water because they are derived either from man-centered philosophy or from Bible verses taken out of context (eisegesis). On the other hand, the Doctrines of Grace are all completely Biblical and are based entirely in Holy Scripture expositions done exegetically.

And it only goes downhill from there.  The entire article is basically a primer on how to eisogete scripture.  But hey, who needs Jesus when we have Calvin, Spurgeon and Johnnie Mac to set us straight…

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188 Comments(+Add)

1   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
September 20th, 2007 at 11:13 am

It is just another example of a Calvinist telling us that Calvinism is the *only* view that takes the Bible seriously. It gets tiring.

The truth of the matter is that we all choose what to believe. None of us are neutral observers in this thing. We all decide based on a number of factors, and we like to say it’s because the “Bible says so”, but in the end there’s a lot more to it than that. Actually when people start a sentence off with the phrase, “the Bible says” I usually tend to ignore what they say next. Usually they are trying to make the Bible say what they want to say, or support their argument.

I believe we can use logic to extract certain truths from Scripture, but we still need to approach the Bible in humility. I think it is human nature to attempt to figure things out and make the evidence fit our system, rather than just let the evidence speak for itself.

2   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 20th, 2007 at 11:20 am

Interestingly the early church fought against Gnostic heresy… and here we have some fighting for it in its newest form…

It seems that the abstract objective “truth” of Plato’s dualism has replaced the Person of Jesus as The Truth…

Blessings,
iggy

3   Tim Reed    http://churchvoices.com
September 20th, 2007 at 11:22 am

Ultimately systematic theology will fail (though is not useless) because God isn’t a system. God is relational in nature, he reveals himself as Father, not as machinery. Jesus came as a man, not as a robot. Systematic theology ultimately reduces God to a mechanism in which he responds if we trigger him with the proper beliefs and practices. The struggle between systematic theologies is largely an argument about what triggers God, rather than dealing with God relationally.

4   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 20th, 2007 at 11:32 am

It is a shame. I believe the opposite, but I don’t object to presenting Calvinism or even attacking free will, it comes with the territory. When Mike uses the phrase “Those of us who dearly love these doctrines” he shows how Calvinists feel about their views. They don’t just feel strongly about them, they love them. We should love God’s Word not our doctrines, unless you place Calvins views on a par with Scripture.

And the “those of us” reveal the clique many have created. I do not believe I’ve ever heard free willers refer to themselves as “those of us” and surely never loving their doctrines. And the prideful names “doctrines of grace” and “sovereignty doctrines” and all the rest again are insights to how they feel about them and each other. It’s kind of like the Masonic Lodge complete with secret handshakes and all, if you are not in you are not in. I never had to have a doctrinal awakening about elction et. al., it just never made sense. I fear my friend Mike is reacting to what he and others feel are attacks on the “doctrines of grace”.

I have close Calvinist friends and they read my writings. I consider them brothers and in the end they might be right, I just do not believe they are. The problem with many Calvinists is that they do not entertain the notion they may be wrong.

The next letter in the sequence, “L”, is the one that I believe is heretical. Jesus tasted death for every man, and for the sins of the world, unless you torture the Greek language. And if Jesus died and suffered for all, then to imply He didn’t is…heresy.

Sorry, that is simple addition.

5   jazzact13    http://jazzact13.blogspot.com/
September 20th, 2007 at 12:02 pm

Just to clarify–is this about systematic theology, or about Calvinism?

6   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
September 20th, 2007 at 12:08 pm

Systematic theology.

Calvinism is just the example, but I know of a few Arminians who are just as adamant and eisogete away examples where predestination of events is clear in scripture.

Similarly, I know of folks who use creeds as their own systematic theology. For them, to deny, for instance that Christ descended into hell between his death and resurrection, is to deny scripture – even though that is nowhere to be clearly found in the scriptures.

So, while Calvinism is the example in the article quoted, it extends beyond the TULIP…

7   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 20th, 2007 at 12:11 pm

Jazz,

Just to clarify–is this about systematic theology, or about Calvinism?

I think that it is that they hold hands. I think we can all agree that we all use some sort of “systematic theology” yet it seems some place their faith in that system over faith in God… and believe they are doing the latter.

The difference is that some of us hold tightly to the core doctrines… faith in Christ Jesus… and hold loosely to things like infant baptism (I do not believe anything happens other than people “feel good” and the little one gets wet).

It is the realization that a “system” does not save us… a doctrine never was hung on a cross to die for our sins and it never was raised from the dead to give us Life.

A Person did all that… and we must have a relationship with Jesus the Person… not a “system.”

That is why a “system” being of man will fail as only that is in Christ will remain. Some seem to have forgotten that… and that seems mostly in the “Calvinist” corner.

Be Blessed,
iggy

8   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 20th, 2007 at 12:13 pm

Yes, Chris, it is true. However the reformed group seems to be in the forefront even with self names. I reject all five points but I embrace a certain mystery concerning election and the like. A true Calvinist will not admit a mystery about those five points.

I have been told recently on this blog to “go read a good sytematic theology” by a reformed brother. I would be surprised to hear that from a free will brother.

9   Matt B    http://matbathome.blogspot.com/
September 20th, 2007 at 12:17 pm

I’m not sure a true Calvinist would not admit a certain mystery concerning election. I’ve heard Mark Driscoll say that he thinks there are thousands more in Seattle predestined to become Christians, they just haven’t heard the gospel yet and he doesn’t know who is or isn’t saved.

10   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 20th, 2007 at 12:21 pm

Matt, that is what a free will position would say also. The mystery to which I refer is if and how God chose the saved and unsaved and to what extent free will played before or after election. A true Calvinist believes the Bible is clear with no mystery about that.

11   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 20th, 2007 at 12:22 pm

And I happen to know one of the criteria God used in His sovereign election.

Geography.

12   Matt B    http://matbathome.blogspot.com/
September 20th, 2007 at 12:23 pm

As the resident friendly Calvinist here, I’d also say that I don’t think everything is predestined. Just salvation.

13   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 20th, 2007 at 12:27 pm

I have been reading up on “systematic Theology” lately…

I think it is a good thing to know your enemy…

JUST KIDDING!!!!!!!!

iggy

14   David C    http://davidcho.blogspot.com
September 20th, 2007 at 12:27 pm

Systematic theology reduces God and Jesus to mere doctrinal objects to be nicely boxed and explained in the systematic theological God box.

15   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
September 20th, 2007 at 12:33 pm

Matt,
Then you aren’t a true Calvinist, at least according to someone like John Piper. I actually heard John Piper say at a Passion conference that God foreordained evil for His glory. He really does seem to believe that God predestined everything.

16   Matt B    http://matbathome.blogspot.com/
September 20th, 2007 at 12:36 pm

Yes, I probably am not a 5 star calvinist. I just can’t get past all the predestination in the Bible concerning salvation.

17   keith    http://fivepts.blogspot.com
September 20th, 2007 at 12:37 pm

Matt: I don’t know if I would/could label myself as a “resident friendly Calvinist,” but taken as you stated it in your 12:17 post, I’d say I agree with Driscoll.

Can you expound on your “I don’t think everything is predestined” comment?

Just to throw a fly in the ointment here, our pastor made an interesting observation/statement last night. Paraphrased, he said: “Everyone is a Calvinist when they pray.” Point being, you never hear anyone pray: “God, I don’t think I’ll bother you with this one. I’m pretty sure I can take of it myself.” No. Everyone prays with the heart-felt believe that GOD and God alone is capable of doing/granting what we ask…according to HIS will.

18   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 20th, 2007 at 12:37 pm

Yes, David, mystery. But for any of us to outline all the major doctrines and conclude that the Scriptures are without some mystery we first need to hide the enormous disagreement among all the men of God both in the past and today.

By the way, Matt B, you are engaging and loving. Great!

19   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 20th, 2007 at 12:38 pm

Keith, when I pray for someone’s salvation I believe I am praying God’s will!

20   Matt B    http://matbathome.blogspot.com/
September 20th, 2007 at 12:45 pm

I used to be an angry Calvinist. I had a Methodist roommate in college. I had to change my ways after that.

Keith- what I mean is, I don’t think God predestined that I wear a green shirt today. I think he gave me free will to choose that shirt. I also don’t think he cares what shirt I wore. I just don’t see God predestining all minute decisions.

I think perhaps there are some things God might, however. Hypothetically, for instance, I might have missed my alarm this morning and as a result, was late to work. But I was able to help out my neighbor because her car wouldn’t start. If I had left earlier, I wouldn’t have been there to help her. Perhaps it was predestined. Of course if I sit around and wonder about whether it was predestined or not, I might be wasting my time.

21   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
September 20th, 2007 at 12:46 pm

Keith,
The odd thing is that it sometimes it seems that God gives things to us according to our will rather than His. He doesn’t typically force His will upon people. I look at how Israel asked for a king, and God gave them one even though it really wasn’t his will. I know the typical Calvinist answer would say the whole thing was predestined, but it seems like the Biblical text suggests otherwise.

22   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 20th, 2007 at 1:01 pm

Keith,

“Everyone is a Calvinist when they pray.”

I have heard this before… which I think is an RC Sproul quote… (Who btw endorsed a Bill Hybels book so endorses man-loving-purpose driven-papists)

The truth is that there is not much difference between the core of Arminianism and Calvinism. Most Calvinists miss that Arminus taught “Justification by Faith”, he just saw that man could accept or reject God’s grace and that the atonement was for all mankind and not just the elect…

The confusion is that there is more misunderstanding of Arminianism by Calvinists than the other way around. I have quoted Calvinists teachings and other Calvinists have told me i am wrong and that was not Calvinism… .Therefore, it seems that each Calvinists does not even agree on things like Election, Foreknowledge and such and how they really work.

Yet, I think what is wrong with the statement is that one prays to God not as a Calvinist or whatever… but as a person of faith in Jesus Christ.

Be Blessed,
iggy

23   keith    http://fivepts.blogspot.com
September 20th, 2007 at 1:03 pm

Matt: Wow! I DID wear a green shirt today! I don’t think God cares either. I liked your “hypothetical.” I would agree.

Phil: I believe that everything falls within God’s will–otherwise He wouldn’t allow it. Israel asked for a King. He told them how it would be “if” He gave them one. They insisted. They got a King. No surprise to God. My opinion, all part of God’s plan to put David on the throne, David has a son named Solomon, Solomon has a son named Rehoboam…”Jacob has a son named Joseph the husband of Mary, by whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah.” The genealogies of Matt 1 and Luke 3 seem to suggest God had a pretty good handle on the whole thing. Admittedly, that’s my “Calvinist answer.”

24   keith    http://fivepts.blogspot.com
September 20th, 2007 at 1:05 pm

Stinkin’ RC Sproul! I’m taking him OFF my blogroll!

25   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 20th, 2007 at 1:19 pm

How about:

God in His eternal existence knows all and sees all in one intuitive glance without regard to the perspectives that accompany time, and in so knowing He pre-acknowledges His creation and the gifts He has given to them in His sovereignty. And with the complete knowledge of every single atomic particle and their lifespan and every single miniscule event in creative history, God has taken man’s will given within His own sovereingty and combined it with His own providencial intervention overlaid with the canopy of His immutability, and with a pre-creation sorting He presents Himself with a perfect, eternal, and timeless mosaic which we call His sovereignty.

And that is a baby-talk description so the cave man brain of God’s followers can think they understand.

And He does all this without having to do or think about anything.

Yea, systematic theology, it captures it all doesn’t it?!?

26   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 20th, 2007 at 1:41 pm

Keith,

Stinkin’ RC Sproul! I’m taking him OFF my blogroll!

LOL!

iggy

27   Timothy Bell    
September 20th, 2007 at 2:00 pm

It appears that the systematic theology being discussed is the Calvinistic one. I don’t believe that there is really any valid concern about systematic theology as long as it’s basis IS the Bible itself.

Concerns that Calvinism or the TULIP is given equal or greater status than the Bible itself is overblown, in my opinion. It is understood that it is a TOOL for understanding the things of God as put forth in the Bible.

I don’t believe that Calvinism or any other systematic theology is used for separating “wheat from the tares” as systematic theology itself doesn’t have that capability. One can “believe” in a particular systematic theology, including Calvinism, but not be regenerated.

I see no problem with systematic theology itself as long as it doesn’t invent doctrines that are not derived from correct exegesis of the Bible.

28   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 20th, 2007 at 2:10 pm

From Mike’s article:

It seems that every Pelagian out there, whether full blown Pelagian or semi-Pelagian or Arminian, is convinced that Man is not dead in his or her trespasses and sins and is fully able to elect God or not. Of course, none of their arguments hold any water because they are derived either from man-centered philosophy or from Bible verses taken out of context (eisegesis). On the other hand, the Doctrines of Grace are all completely Biblical and are based entirely in Holy Scripture expositions done exegetically.

Now it is statements like this that I was referring to in another thread that are so far off that it is hard to respond other than to say… WHAT?

First off, we are “dead in our sins” and we will receive “the wages of sin which is death.” Now, I acknowledge a part of me was dead… and now I am alive…

Even as a hardcore Arminian I knew I was dead in my sins… but I see nowhere in scripture that we are “dead” now… other than being “dead to sin” when in Christ. When the Bible speaks of one being dead now… as in Ephesians 2:1-3 it is that we having sinned, will receive the wages of sin, which is death,… we are as good as dead… but at this moment we are still alive, but perishing without Jesus. Again, show me a clear verse stating we are “dead” now… and I ask then according to scripture how would you know?

Ecclesiastes 9:5

For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even the memory of them is forgotten.

So, this teaching that we are born dead… seems to miss that when I was born I lived and still living and if I be without Jesus will die in body and later experience the second death… with Christ my body is now dead, but I will be raised to Life in Christ. The promise is now, yet will be fulfilled at the Last Judgment.

Be blessed,
iggy

29   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 20th, 2007 at 2:15 pm

“On the other hand, the Doctrines of Grace are all completely Biblical and are based entirely in Holy Scripture expositions done exegetically.”

If only Wesley had read the Bible.

30   Zan    
September 20th, 2007 at 2:47 pm

So here is a question:

If I am one of the elect AND
I have been “regenerated” (I feel like a robot – oh, wait…that’s what I would be if I were a 5-pointer!)

THEN am I able to believe in free will, or am I only predestined to
believe as a Calvinist?

If the latter, then that would explain how Calvinists can call non-Cals heretical.

Just a question swimming around in my head…

31   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 20th, 2007 at 2:54 pm

Zan – they believe in post salvation free will to an extent. Most Calvinists who were not brought up in church were saved by a free will message.

The entirety is this: Calivism is fatalism, everything is unravelling as a scripted event meant to glorify God with no will in anything but His.

In our part of the country we call it “solitaire”.

32   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 20th, 2007 at 3:02 pm

Zan – That is of course assuming you are one of the elect. According to Chris the jury’s still out!

33   Houston John    
September 20th, 2007 at 3:25 pm

Chris L: Sorry to disappoint you, but you, too, have a personal systematic theology. (I think it’s referred to as Chris-L-ism on Wikipedia). Every Christian maintains a personal systematic theology whether acknowledged or not, whether conscious or not, whether well defined and voluminous or just “Jesus loves me this I know for the bible tells me so”. To make ANY kind of judgment on anyone else’s theology (such as a critique of Calvinism) pre-supposes a judgment based on **something** i.e., a **system** of theology against which other the other system is judged.

I chafe at the title “Why Systematic Theology Leads to Divisive Failure”. Doctrine divides. That is its function. Why is that “ugly”? Why is that “unChristian?” Again, that is its function. This has nothing to do with the unity of the Body, love, kindness, gentleness, longsuffering, charity, grace, forbearance, forgiveness, etc. (Note that a systematic theology incorporates all these points). However, The Body has to be defined before one can move on to consider these other facets. Can I fellowship with you? How would I know? I refer to my personal system of theology. Are you trashing Christian brothers who don’t agree with you? How can I know? I refer to my personal system of theology. Can these systems be flawed? Of course. Can they be mis-applied? Of course. But EVERYONE has a system. From whence does your distain for systematic theology come? From YOUR systematic theological system, of course!

34   Houston John    
September 20th, 2007 at 3:26 pm

“I chafe at the title “Why Systematic Theology Leads to Divisive Failure”.”

When I re-read that “The Wrath of Kahn” came to mind for some reason. Kahn to Captain Kirk – “From the Gates of Hell I spit at thee!” LOL.

35   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
September 20th, 2007 at 3:35 pm

Keith,
I knew you would say that; it was predestined. ;-)

36   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
September 20th, 2007 at 3:41 pm

HJ -

Does everyone have (or share) a “system”? I suppose at some level, you could say that ‘yes, they do’.

The question becomes, though, is when does a system feed scriptural interpretation, rather than the other way around? A systematic structure seeks to create doctrine from groups of scriptures, which is consistent with the methods in use during Jesus’ day. However, where our Western/Greek systems differ from those in use by Jesus and Paul (Eastern/Hebraic methods) is that the W/G ’systems’ view scriptures which plainly depart from their view via convoluted means of eisogesis. In the E/H methodology, if there is an apparent discrepancy in my view with scripture, then it is my view (’system’) which is incorrect most likely. Apparent discrepancies in the text are seen as a way of allowing the mysteries of God to exist, and forcing them into reconciliation is seen as seeking the fruit of the tree in the garden.

My disdain of “systems” comes from their self-reliance and need to ignore scripture or to eisogete it. Additionally, systematic theologies (Calvinism and beyond) tend to pull many of their ‘lynchpins’ from flawed views of scripture which ignore who wrote the scripture, where they were located, and what they were writing within their own context.

Additionally, it is the reliance on creeds rather than scripture (in some ’systems’) which greatly bothers me, as the former is a good teaching tool, but not a good substitute. Creeds were developed in absence of the printing press and other means of mass communication now at our disposal. If you can read the Bible in your native tongue at a reading level appropriate to your understanding, there is no need for a creed…

37   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 20th, 2007 at 3:55 pm

“But EVERYONE has a system.”

Yes, but mine is based on the Bible not the philosophies of men and especially Chris L’s philosophies!

38   Houston John    
September 20th, 2007 at 3:58 pm

Chris,

Actually, I agree with your assessments and concur to the most part. My point is, granted, flawed systems exist and need correcting, but everyone has a “system”. It’s basically intrinsic to the way the human mind organizes things. The same with creeds. Every Christian lives by a creed whether written/formalized or not. (I’m not a creedalist BTW). Keep in mind that those of us who discuss theology in such forums as these are in the VAST minority. The “average” Christian couldn’t begin to verbalize the basic tenants of their beliefs. Systematic theologies and creeds certainly have their place, abuses not withstanding.

39   Houston John    
September 20th, 2007 at 4:01 pm

Rick: “Yes, but mine is based on the Bible not the philosophies of men and especially Chris L’s philosophies!”

Rick, LOL How VERY Calvinistic of you!

40   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 20th, 2007 at 4:10 pm

Houston John,

I think the point is not that everyone has or does not have a “system” of some sort… the issue is that one deifies the system and makes that system equal with Scripture…

It is like Spurgeon’s quote “Calvinism is the Gospel” Which then if he is wrong and that in anyway Calvinism is not right… then it is another Gospel… that is the reason some do not hold the certainty that in that “system”… or any “system” for that matter.

To say that one is the only true “system” also is a backwards way of saying anyone who disagrees with that “system” is not saved. Now that is a bold and rather dangerous statement (though I have been a victim of Calvinists stating that.), as it is play into God’s territory of Who God has truly “chosen.” Salvation is of God and God alone yet many Calvinists insist they can judge others salvation. (Jim Bublitz fought me tooth and nail over this issue as he insisted we are MANDATED to judge others salvation.) Again this is God’s territory and man has nothing to do with it… and if Calvinism is right… even more man has no right nor even if “mandated” can judge whether one is elect or not.

If anything Calvinism should make a man meeker and more humble as he has nothing to do with his own eternal destiny… and in that should only worry in that his own election is sure. Yet, there seems to be a lack of these traits.

It is that we use a system but we should not live by it… for we are to Live by Christ and not by teachings of men. (1 Timothy 4; Philippians 1:21)

If Christ is your Life, He covers all doctrine He is more than “Lord” He is what and how one has True Life. It is easier to trust in teachings that prohibit things and call them doctrines… but as Paul stated to Timothy (1 Timothy 4:16)
Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. Notice it states Life first? For without the Life of Christ, it matters nothing what doctrine one believes.

Remember now I am one of the apostate emergent’s JM hates…

Be Blessed,
iggy

41   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 20th, 2007 at 4:12 pm

“Remember now I am one of the apostate emergent’s JM hates”

should have had a smiley after it as it was my way of saying,

“Yes, but mine is based on the Bible not the philosophies of men and especially Chris L’s philosophies!”

SO LAUGH WILL YOU!?

iggy

42   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 20th, 2007 at 5:18 pm

There is only one true God and Spurgeon/Wesley is His messenger.

Take your pick. It’s a good thing Calvin didn’t rely on former theologians or Calvinism would never have been spawned.

I love the “I go by the Bible” card. Everyone has one and some play it much too early in the game and prove the weakness of their exegisis(man’s paraphrase). Joseph Smith had the same logic only more melodramatic, “I got it from God”. I wait for the plate of Calvin to make an appearance.

Is there any uncertainty? They may be right, but great men of God have disgreed with their interpretation. And they relate their “conversion” to Calvinism in terms that resemble regeneration. Not all, but surely some. And so Rick Warren waters down the gospel? Yes, I believe that. But Calvinists are unassailable in their interpretation of Scriptures? When you get ten free will people in a room generally the subject doesn’t come up, you get eight free willers and two staunch Calvinists and good night nurse, here it comes.

And as much as I find the doctrine itself very wanting, I find the conduits much more offensive. The epiphany itself presumes a God given path from heresy to truth. If Jesus did not die for all men then that view is heresy and the reverse. Oh well, I’ve read all the material and as Jim noted in all my 37 years of obtaining imperical doctrinal knowledge, I must stick with the Bible.

That’s my Bible! No, that’s MY Bible! That Bible backs me up! No, it refutes you! Spurgeon said he agrees with me, are you going to refute Surgeon!?! Yes I am because Wesley could eat Spurgeon alive without a concordance!

OK, I guess you don’t want the truth.

I’m rubber you’re glue…

43   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 20th, 2007 at 5:28 pm

And oh yea, pray for me because I will take such abuse and harsh words for standing for the doctrines of anti-grace. I am a soldier of doctrine and people talk nasty to me. The front lines are very dangerous but God give me strength as I press the keyboard.

We all seem a little ridiculous sometimes, don’t cha think??

 

The preacher in Pakistan who was shot in the head in front of his family died because he preached Christ, not because he stood firm in his view of election or not, men and women like him are the truth warriors, surely not the doctrinal badminton players on the comfortable blogasphere who claim to bravely post on blogs. We need a little reality check.

44   Tim Reed    http://churchvoices.com
September 20th, 2007 at 5:57 pm

There comes a tipping point where the system itself becomes something of its own force. Every scripture must be shaped and formed to fit the system, and every person is measured by the system itself. I think that’s happened with Calvinism as far as the watchdoggies are concerned.

45   Houston John    
September 20th, 2007 at 8:53 pm

Rick: “Take your pick. It’s a good thing Calvin didn’t rely on former theologians or Calvinism would never have been spawned.”

??????

Calvinism is nothing more than warmed over Augustinianism.
Were you being facecious?

46   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 20th, 2007 at 8:59 pm

To me it was a new way of interpreting Scripture. I was referring to the early apostles.

47   Houston John    
September 20th, 2007 at 9:02 pm

Iggy,

I just want people who poo poo doctrine and theology to understand that EVERYONE has both. I certainly agree that discussions on the ABUSE of doctrinical systems is legitimate, but Iggy everything you believe about Jesus is by definition “doctrine”. BTW I agreed with about everything you said my friend.

48   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 20th, 2007 at 9:04 pm

HJ – I agree, doctrine is just fancy for teaching. Theology is the understanding of God. I hope we have both without worshiping anything or anyone but God.

49   Houston John    
September 20th, 2007 at 9:06 pm

Rick, you are my hero BTW.

50   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 20th, 2007 at 9:12 pm

HJ – Can you have that notarized and provide a copy to my wife?

51   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 20th, 2007 at 10:32 pm

Houston John…

I get this a lot… yet I never state once I am against “doctrine”… I am stating that I am against “man-made” doctrine and say we should be very careful what we attribute to Jesus.

I have never stated once i am against doctrine (though a guy set up a website against me claiming I did and do)…

I agree we all have doctrine… yet to me we need be careful to not be judging others on things like pews versus sofas, suits versus jean to preach in… whether rock music is as good and hymns… and so on… even to the point where we fight over Arminians versus Calvinism… as both men are of the 16th century and I think both of those men would agree that we now have much more resources than them to search out doctrines. Interestingly these men did agree on a lot… but limited atonement was the big argument between the two and it is today…

John 1: 9-13 shows the atonement was for all men…

The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God– children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

In these few verses, we see:

1. Jesus is the Light to all men
2. Jesus came to the world and it did not recognize Him.
3. He came to the Jews (which was his own) and they did not receive Him
4. As He came as the Light of the world to all men so also all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.

It is simple and one need not do gymnastics to show that the “whosoever” are only the elect… Jesus came as the Light to all men… period… and all that believe will be made sons of God. Period.

I was taught that one starts with a clear verse then moves to the harder verses to prove a teaching or doctrine… and I see as I do that, I cannot accept Calvinism. I accept the Calvinist as a brother in Christ… but I see that there is error in their doctrine. (All have error… as one friend stated to me, “everyone goes to heaven with bad doctrine, but no one goes to heaven without Jesus.”

Be blessed,
iggy

52   Sherry C.    http://CRN.InfoandAnalysis
September 21st, 2007 at 12:08 am

Oh Iggy,you are SO Arminian!Would you look carefully at what follows “he gave the right to become children of God.”Free willers seem to stop at where you did alot.Perhaps because it says we are children BY the WILL of God…NOT OF DECISION.And I don’t call myself a Calvinist since there are those who taught this long before Calvin.I am not of Calvin…I am of Christ.

53   Houston John    
September 21st, 2007 at 10:35 am

Iggy,

I am very much NOT a Calvinist. I heartily agree with everything you just said. The culpret is not doctrine but FALSE doctrine.

54   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 21st, 2007 at 10:39 am

If you doubt that HJ is not a Calvinist, ask Jim Bulbitz!

55   nate    
September 21st, 2007 at 10:40 am

Oh, but iggy, when you’re a Calvinist, it’s like having a decoder for scripture. You see, when a Calvinist reads that verse, they see it like this:

The true light that gives light to [all the elect] was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own [before the fall], but [the non-elect] did not receive him.
Yet to all [of the elect] who received him, to those [elect] who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God– children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God [because he elected them]

See, if you just take every reference of the word “all” and tag of “of the elect”, you’ll see the Bible for what it REALLY says.

This is one of my biggest complaints with Calvinists. They end up concluding that their theology is true first, then filter all negative arguments through the Calvinism. You get the point.

The same could be said of some Armenians as well though. It seems to me that there is ample evidence for both though. A mystery? Sure. Embrace it.

56   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 21st, 2007 at 10:46 am

Please nate, no mystery, it seems so messy and reveals that we may not know everything. And we cannot put up with that, it’s too emergent-like.

We know it ALL, and the word ALL means ALL in this case!

57   Sherry C.    http://CRN.InfoandAnalysis
September 21st, 2007 at 11:01 am

Nate,you only presume that that is how Calvinists interpret that passage.You are the only one who I have known to interpret that passage that way.The word “all” does have different meanings depending on its context.Try to remember that the Apostles were dealing with the mindset of Jewish believers that they thought they were the only chosen of God being Jewish.The Apostles had to drive home the point that those of all nations were chosen for salvation.Not for the Jew only but for the Gentiles,too.

58   Tim Reed    http://churchvoices.com
September 21st, 2007 at 11:07 am

Sherry,
Isn’t that exactly the mindset we’re dealing with with limited atonement? Perhaps the word “all” has as much significance for Calvinists as it did for early Christian Jews.

59   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
September 21st, 2007 at 11:10 am

OK, I have an honest question for my Calvinist brothers and sisters here. What effect does the idea limited atonement have on your walk with Christ? Does it change anything? In the end, does it make a difference? I’m not trying to be snarky – I am genuinely curious. Sometimes I just wonder if Christians on both sides of this issue don’t miss the forest for the trees.

60   Matt B    http://matbathome.blogspot.com/
September 21st, 2007 at 11:13 am

It doesn’t effect my walk since I don’t know who is a member of the elect. That’s God’s business to know, not mine.

I used to be an angry Calvinist.

61   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 21st, 2007 at 11:28 am

Matt – as strongly as you hold to your views do you entertain the possibility you may be wrong?

62   nate    
September 21st, 2007 at 12:25 pm

Sherry,
Then how exactly does a Limited Atonement Calvinist read 1 John 2:2? When it says Christ died for the whole world, does that really mean the “whole world”, or only the elect?

63   Matt B    http://matbathome.blogspot.com/
September 21st, 2007 at 12:41 pm

Absolutely I could be wrong. The Church held to the belief that the earth was the center of the solar system. That was obviously wrong.

I also can’t comprehend eternity. My mind won’t allow it. I think there is some sort of free will in this predestination, I think it’s outside of our abilities to understand it. To say we can explain everything in Scripture seems like we have given ourselves over to the god of Reason and Intellect.

I attend a church which sounds similar to ChrisL’s church. We make no statement as to eschatology, predestination, etc, since that only divides. Our mantra is “Major in the majors and minor in the minors.”

64   Sherry C.    http://CRN.InfoandAnalysis
September 21st, 2007 at 12:44 pm

Limited atonement means that none of Christ’s blood,not even one drop of it,was wasted by being shed for those who reject Christ also.Your definition is universalistic.Whole world means people of every people group in the world. John is speaking to the Jewish believers when he says,”And not for ours only,but…”Key words are “ours only”(the Jews).Got a site or explanation for me so I can see how you interpret Romans 9?And is anyone going to refute what I pointed out to Iggy on his interpretation of the passage he cited?Another thing,Iggy misread what Mike Ratliff wrote.Perhaps he could reread the part he posted and redo his interpretation of it.

65   nate    
September 21st, 2007 at 1:20 pm

Sherry,
that’s precisely what I’m talking about. Perhaps you didn’t use the “insert elect here”, but you’ve interpreted that passage in light of the assmumption of Limited Atonement. You would probably do something similar for Heb. 2:9 or 1Tim 2:6 or 2Pet. 3:9. “All”, in light of the assumption of Limited Atonement, will always be interpreted as “some”.

66   Sherry C.    http://CRN.InfoandAnalysis
September 21st, 2007 at 1:36 pm

No,Nate,”all” is interpreted by me according to its context and the audience it is spoken to.You make God an utter failure when you believe “all” means every single person who has ever lived because God desires no one to perish.If that is so according to your interpretation,then He has failed Himself in saving all.His will be done,no?

67   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 21st, 2007 at 1:50 pm

Sherry C,

What the real issue is, is that you are confusing atonment with salvation…

Romans 5:

10For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

12Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned

Now here I think it is clear the context is that all men “are dead through sin”, becasue all sinned” so we have the context set here as “all men” meaning” every single human being…

So when Pual then states:

15But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

Notice again death came through the one man… so HOW MUCH MORE “will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man,”

Now to end this… Paul stating “just as” all men are condmened…

18Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.

so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.

There is no way one can take that all men means “just the elect”… as it is the same that all me die becasue of sin… so Jesus brings Life to “all men” IF we believe and receive.

be blessed,
iggy

68   nate    
September 21st, 2007 at 1:51 pm

Sherry,
You continue to prove that you will not step back from the tenants of Calvinism before your interpret scripture. You assume that the verse cannot mean what it seems to mean, because Limited Atonement MUST be true.

What context, other than the assumptive Calvinism, do the other verses have?

And what, exactly, do you think you would conclude about those verses were you not at the mercy of hundreds of years of systematic theology? What I’m asking you to do is to lay aside preconceptions before trying to wedge scripture to fit your predefined, predetermined beliefs.

When you see “all”, you make yourself see “some”. That is the problem, I believe.

69   Sherry C.    http://CRN.InfoandAnalysis
September 21st, 2007 at 2:03 pm

Yeah,I won’t step back from my Calvinistic view only because it is the same view as Paul had in Romans 9.Darn that Paul!BTW,I only recently knew of this viewpoint being of Calvin.And this Systematic Theology stuff is new to me,too.I can almost see your point about it as it took me most of one night just to figure out which system was I going to find true biblical doctrine in!BTW,thanks much for the gracious replies.

70   nate    
September 21st, 2007 at 2:22 pm

Sherry,
I hear ya. There’s certainly no doubt that Paul was very strong on the greatness of God. His power, His ability, etc. I don’t deny that. But Paul was ALSO very strong on God’s love for all men (where all means all) and his will that none should perish. I’m suggesting that it’s not necessarily one or the other, but both and at the same time. Somewhere in the mind of God, the two reconcile, but I don’t believe we have the capacity to understand such things. Unfortunately, Christians have gotten into keeping score of which doctrine can find more verses to support it, and the one who has the most wins. I don’t think that’s what God would have wanted us to do really.

Likewise on the conversation. I never once heard the word heretic or man-loving compromiser. :-D

71   Sherry C.    http://CRN.InfoandAnalysis
September 21st, 2007 at 3:05 pm

For who has known the mind of the Lord?Or who has become His counselor?Romans 11:34.Nate,I don’t think calling brothers and sisters in Christ is at all godly.I might pick on Iggy ’cause I love him so much I want to hug all the error outta him!He is passionate,though I think to a fault.I know I have missed some questions asked of me.Be patient,I will.

72   Sherry C.    http://CRN.InfoandAnalysis
September 21st, 2007 at 3:09 pm

I meant to say its not godly to call brothers and sisters in Christ names over disagreements.

73   nate    
September 21st, 2007 at 3:10 pm

No problem Sherry. If only God could come down and correct us all!!! I’m sure there’s no one in the world who has it all correct, no?

Very nice talking with you.

74   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 21st, 2007 at 3:33 pm

Sherry C,

In all my error, I took Romans 5 in context and asked you a question… and you only state you wanted to hug all the error out of me…

If I error, show me how Paul states clearly….

As all have sinned… so all are given the gift of Life.

Does the word “all” mean all men or not… if so, then we can only conclude Paul stating the “gift” is offered to “all men” also.

It is plain and simple logic… it is a clear passage and from here we should build from.

Now I see nowhere how “all men” can be turned into “just the elect” with Pauls own words so clear.

As far as calling you or anyone a name I do not recall doing that… to you I am “poor iggy” and “need prayer” yet I am rich in Christ and would welcome your earnest prayer…

Be blessed,
iggy

75   Sherry C.    http://CRN.InfoandAnalysis
September 21st, 2007 at 8:43 pm

Yes,Nate,that would be wonderful!But,for now we must pursue truth and have a great love for it.It matters.Sorry,Iggy,I truly did overlook your comment!I didn’t see it!I have picked on you previously from another blog.Please forgive me.Besides,I really like your name-its a good blog name!I came back here to review the questions that I am being asked.You guys are well-versed in this so I don’t want to insult your intelligence with inane answers.Even if you think I am wrong I would like to at least be intelligent,if possible!I also want to correct an error I made about Christ’s blood being spilled on the ground-it is not on the ground but in the Holy of Holies.Who can enter the Holy of Holies?Only believers in Christ.So the blood atonement must be limited to only God’s elect-His divinely chosen believers whom He chose in Christ before the foundation of the world.Iggy!I didn’t mean to imply that you called names!I was giving answer to Nate.Your questions will be the first ones I get to,O.K.?Believe me,everyone here has my prayers,at least as long as I am here.I was serious in asking for your interpretation of Romans 9,everybody,because that is the chapter I studied to try to refute Calvinism,but ended up believing in Divine Election.When I was a free-willer I didn’t think about how this could make the case for free-will since I had no idea about the election doctrine.Big thanks!

76   Zan    
September 21st, 2007 at 10:00 pm

Sherry,

If that is the case that only the elect can go into the holy of holies, then hardly any Jews were God’s chosen people, because only the high priest could go in and then only once a year, I believe.

On that note, the Holy of Holies was where God resided. When Christ died, the curtain tore, and God changed his address. No longer does he reside in the Holy of Holies. Now he lives in each one of us.

I am not tracking on what you mean by “Christ’s blood being spilled on the ground-it is not on the ground but in the Holy of Holies.” Can you explain?

Thanks!
Zan

77   Sherry C.    http://CRN.InfoandAnalysis
September 21st, 2007 at 10:30 pm

Zan,about the remark about Christ’s blood spilled on the ground,I erroneously said that in reference to unlimited atonement,which,to me,means that if the atonement is for “all”,then some of Christ’s blood would have to be wasted because of those who reject Christ.I probably just confused you more,eh? Remember,the priests represented the people,just as Christ represents us.I was thinking of Hebrews 9:12.

78   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 21st, 2007 at 10:44 pm

Sherry,

I think you will find that when one is respectful, respect will be given back.

The “other blog” was really nasty and many came to my blog even after I tried to make amends with “that guy”… and all I received was very nasty and mean comments to the point I just closed my comments.

It was weird as I pointed out that “that guy” changed his original stand while I never changed mine at all… He claimed that we are mandated to judge others salvation and I stated, we are not to judge some one’s eternal destiny… later he claimed that is what he stated all along… and meanwhile I was banned and mocked. It was obvious that I had caught him in a lie and he only wanted to make sure I was “controlled” so that others would not find out. It was really sad.

I used to respect “that guy” but as to his childish ways i no longer respect him as I see he really cares little for people… and seems to think that “truth” is to be hidden and redirected from others.

Yet, I do forgive you and note that you stated you would pray for me even there.

I will be writing on Romans 9 soon on my blog.

The issue I see is I have yet to see a Calvinist take Romans 9 farther than verse 24… meanwhile Paul’s punchline in in those last few verses… If one takes the entire passage in context it flips Calvinism on it head.

btw the best Calvinist apologist person I have listened to that does not compromise on the “traditional” view is James White and even he stops at verse 24… he is the one that has gone the farthest as most stop at verse 18.

But suffice it to say… the Jew being vessels of mercy… as they saw themselves… saw the gentiles as vessels of wrath… and God in His mercy revealed to Paul that many of the Jews are vessels of wrath, while the Gentiles are “`my people’ who are not my people”.

James White claims it is not about Nations, it is about individuals.. yet to study it out it is both about individuals and nations…

Here are some things I have already written to give you a bit of what i am stating.
http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/search?q=walking+through+romans

the ones that I recommend are:

All the “Walking Through Romans”
Esau I hated…
Thoughts on predestination.

Be blessed,
iggy

79   Sherry C.    http://CRN.InfoandAnalysis
September 21st, 2007 at 11:15 pm

Iggy,your questions of me concerning Romans 5:10-18:First,you said that I am confusing atonement with salvation.I don’t know what you mean by that.Atonement is the part of salvation that makes the Gospel,the Gospel.On the part that “all”means all as far as being dead thru sin,I agree.What you want me to do is to show that that “all” is not the same as the “all”men receiving life thru Christ.I will do my best.Verse 15 speaks of “to the many”concerning those receiving God’s gift of grace thru Christ Jesus.This does not say “all”.In verse 17,we have the words “those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One,Jesus Christ.You will see this as a case for free will,but I can clearly see this as the results of election-that those who recieve are the elect,chosen of God to receive,i.e.,”the many”.Mark 10:45;14:24,and Hebrews9:28 also speaks of Christ giving Himself a ransom for the many,not “all”.You will say that that is because of God’s foreknowledge.I agree.But why does God declare the end from the beginning except that He has already arranged for it to be so.You were chosen,as all Christians are who are truly born from above,before the foundation of the world to be in Christbecause it was prearranged by God.In verse 18,Paul is speaking to a mixed crowd of Jewish and Gentile believers and in anticipation of Judaizers wanting the Gentiles to become Jewish to be truly Christ’s own,he makes the point that all men means people from other than the Jews.Now,verse 19-”…so also by one Man’s obedience many(not all)will be made righteous.”Iggy,this chapter is about the application of justification and not much of a case for election or free will,IMO.You said “…so Jesus brings life to ‘all men’ IF we believe and receive”.But you also said that we are dead in trespasses and sins.How can we,being dead spiritually be able to understand spiritual things except God first makes us alive spiritually to do so?God must give us the spiritual eyes and understanding of spiritual things before we can believe and receive.My very own testimony is proof that I did not choose Him,but He chose me.Let God be magnified!

80   Sherry C.    http://CRN.InfoandAnalysis
September 21st, 2007 at 11:52 pm

Thanks for the info,Iggy.You know I won’t change my view but I do want to have insight into these beliefs so there is no bantering back and forth thru misunderstandings.You know that I very much love that blog that “that guy” has and I have grown much and discovered alot of errors that I was in.I appreciate the commenters there.I don’t always agree either.What you are saying is that we do need to judge if one is in the faith as a christian or not.I believe that was what “that guy” meant,too.But you were just trying to say that we are wrong if we judge one’s eternal fate.What little I remember of it,it makes sense now.Odd,how that has been on my mind lately-that we must judge the fruit,but we become the Judge if we say they are hopelessly hell-bound.All the more I ask your forgiveness for having then misunderstood!Let God be magnified!

81   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 22nd, 2007 at 12:37 am

Sherry,

Thank you for you cordial tone…

First off I want to apologize this is so long. Yet I hope that if one reads through it, one will gain more insight to the teachings of Calvinism. I have some questions here that I have not had any Calvinist answer without comprising the teachings of Calvin…

Iggy,your questions of me concerning Romans 5:10-18:First,you said that I am confusing atonement with salvation.I don’t know what you mean by that.Atonement is the part of salvation that makes the Gospel,the Gospel.

The atonement is like the Door that leads to the Door of salvation.

I agree it is a part of salvation but it is not salvation as a whole as many represent it. Atonement is forgiveness of sins and comes at the Cross… Salvation comes through Christ Jesus’ Resurrection.

Romans 5:10 states this clearly:

For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

We are not saved until we receive the Life of Christ. One is forgiven, but will only be a forgiven dead man as that is the real issue of man’s condition. To equate forgiveness as all of salvation then also misses not only the Resurrection that gives us Life, it also negates the sealing of the Holy Spirit.

The Jews had a way of forgiveness…it was the sacrificial system… yet, they did not have a way to get over the death issue.

On the part that “all”means all as far as being dead thru sin,I agree.What you want me to do is to show that that “all” is not the same as the “all”men receiving life thru Christ.I will do my best.Verse 15 speaks of “to the many”concerning those receiving God’s gift of grace thru Christ Jesus.This does not say “all”.In verse 17,we have the words “those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One,Jesus Christ.You will see this as a case for free will,but I can clearly see this as the results of election-that those who recieve are the elect,chosen of God to receive,i.e.,”the many”.Mark 10:45;14:24,and Hebrews9:28 also speaks of Christ giving Himself a ransom for the many,not “all”.

Really I see this discussion a bit unnecessary as not all will be saved. So the remainders will be the many. Yet, I think that if a verse is clear like Romans 5: 12. Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned—

I think we can agree that “all” men is the same idea Paul used in Romans 3: 10. As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; “ as all means everyman has sinned… for then Paul states. 23. “ for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Note Paul is not just saying “many” yet, I will point out that Pau uses “many” in this verse Romans 5:15 “For if the many died by the trespass of the one man,”. I hope you notice that to take “many” as you are stating then makes Paul teaching that not all died by the trespass of the one man. If we are to use “many” to mean as you are stating then let’s follow through all the way and be consistent. So, do you now say that not “all have sinned”, but only “many” did? SO your use of many seems to negate the earlier teachings of Paul.

You will say that that is because of God’s foreknowledge.I agree.But why does God declare the end from the beginning except that He has already arranged for it to be so.You were chosen,as all Christians are who are truly born from above,before the foundation of the world to be in Christbecause it was prearranged by God.

Now, I see that God exists out or our dimension… He is not limited in time and space. Yet, in this dimension he has limited Himself. So I see both can exist at the same time. Also, foreknowledge is always used in the bible in relation to being “in Christ” . There is only a couple of verses that talk about foreknowledge.
Romans 8:29. “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”

In order to be conformed one must first be in Christ. God knew Jesus as Jesus was in the Father before creation. What a Calvinist does without realizing it is making mortal humans who have not even been created, be known before they are even created. God had a plan of salvation before creation, and that was that those who would be “in Christ” would be predestined to be conformed to His image… and that these that are immortal would later be born of the Spirit. Jesus is the only immortal… and there is no man that has seen God. To say that God knew individuals, before they existed and that they would be “in Christ” and be saved, is stating we do not need the blood of Jesus to save us… we need only realize we existed before we did. This is Gnostic dualism… not Christianity.

TO further my point notice what is always missed by Calvinists.

Ephesians 1:4-5

“4. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5. he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—“

Note that God chose us “in him” before creation… the focus is not on “us” but on being “in Christ”. The issue is that you have people “in Christ” before he was raised from the dead and before they are “born again of the Holy Spirit”. A Calvinist believes that one can be in Christ before Jesus was incarnated, lived , died and was resurrected and the Holy Spirit poured out on all mankind.

It is simply impossible to be “in Christ” before the Cross… it is only after the Cross and Resurrection we have Life… and become New Creations born of the Spirit as Jesus was.

In verse 18,Paul is speaking to a mixed crowd of Jewish and Gentile believers and in anticipation of Judaizers wanting the Gentiles to become Jewish to be truly Christ’s own,he makes the point that all men means people from other than the Jews.Now,verse 19-”…so also by one Man’s obedience many(not all)will be made righteous.”Iggy,this chapter is about the application of justification and not much of a case for election or free will,IMO.You said “…

We are justified at the Cross. So what I am stating is very much about election and free will for without being justified we cannot Live by faith for “the Just shall live by His Faith.” The point of my quoting verse 18 was what I was talking about in verse 12… one cannot make the case that “many” means what you state… it then must be taken Paul only then means “many” died in their trespasses of sin… again “all” either means all… as I state.. or many means “many” as you state.

Again, as I stated, “many” is obvious as not all are saved… some “choose” to not “believe and receive.”

Let me further my point a bit here.

In John chapter one, we read;

9. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.
10. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.
12. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God– 13. children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

Here are some points to consider:

1. Jesus is the true Light that give Light to “every man”… not just many…
2. Jesus came to the Jews and they did not receive Him.
3. Yet, to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God-
4. Notice that God states that man has a will… as Jesus was not born out of a man’s will. If God did not reveal to John that Jesus was not born of a man’s will… then why would John have to state this? It implies that man has a will and that Jesus was born not of man, but of the Spirit.

Not one other man was born of the Spirit. Adam was born out of creation… not of the Spirit… he was formed of the dust of the earth and God breathe life into him… he became a living being… but not immortal… for Adam had to eat of the Tree of Life to live. Yet, Jesus is born of the Spirit and that is why He over came sin and death… He was created immortal… and though He died was raised from the dead… and glorified by the Father.

This again leads to the question, how is one “in Christ” before one is created?

so Jesus brings life to ‘all men’ IF we believe and receive”.But you also said that we are dead in trespasses and sins.How can we,being dead spiritually be able to understand spiritual things except God first makes us alive spiritually to do so?God must give us the spiritual eyes and understanding of spiritual things before we can believe and receive.My very own testimony is proof that I did not choose Him,but He chose me.Let God be magnified!

The question is easy… man has the sentence of death, yet is not born dead. He has a dead spirit… yet, God can create out of nothing Faith in a person… by Grace. Yet, I think Romans 10: 17 – 21 makes it clear about this.

“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did: “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”
Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says, “I will make you envious by those who are not a nation; I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding.”
And Isaiah boldly says, “I was found by those who did not seek me; I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.” But concerning Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.”

Many quote this verse and I see it is true.. yet few notice Paul states clearly that Israel did hear… and they did understand… yet not all of those of Israel will be saved. In fact it is those who did not ask for God that God revealed himself to… the Gentiles.

So, one can hear and one can understand and still not believe and receive. To further this point, Hebrews 10”26-27 states that

“If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.”

One can receive the knowledge of truth and still not accept Jesus’ sacrifice for their sins… so if they have received the knowledge of truth, but not the Life, only judgment will come as one rejects the knowledge of truth.

God is who calls us and draws us to Jesus… yet we need respond to the Person of Jesus… and in that believe and receive… or reject… it is a choice.

Man again is not unable to understand Spiritual things as then you need to throw out Romans chapter one.

For if man is born totally depraved, then how can God turn over a person to more depravity.. I think “totally” means totally… Read Romans one very closely… and you will see verse 19 of these totally depraved people… “ since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.”

Also in verse 21; “For although they knew God.”

Interestingly again I see these “totally” depraved people who knew God because God revealed himself to them… are in verse 28 given “over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.” So again how can a totally depraved person be turned over to a depraved mind… I mean come on… they would already possess a depraved mind do you think? There is not way a “totally” depraved person can become more “totally” depraved. If they can, explain that to me please.

Be Blessed,
iggy

82   Sherry C.    http://CRN.InfoandAnalysis
September 22nd, 2007 at 7:37 pm

Tim Reed,you asked if the Jewish mindset of being God’s chosen people is any different than the Calvinist mindset of the word “all”.Yes,there is.The Jews were believing in that which was unbiblical(they had the Torah and Paul’s letters to tell them that the Gentiles would be included in salvation through Christ).Calvinists’ mindset of the word “all” is biblical. Look up the word “all” in the Greek and see!

83   Tim Reed    http://churchvoices.com
September 22nd, 2007 at 7:57 pm

Sherry,
Somehow I can imagine the same response given by Peter when he had it out with Paul over the Gentile issue. Just look at your response, “the difference is Calvinism is Biblical”, it looks more to me like your thought process is “the Bible is Calvinist”.

So now that we know that “all” doesn’t mean all, what does “whole world” and “none” actually mean?

84   Sherry C.    http://CRN.InfoandAnalysis
September 22nd, 2007 at 7:58 pm

Nate,in your comment of 2:22 Sept.21 you said that God desires none to perish(2Peter 3:9).Even as a free willer I believed that the “any” and”all” of this verse meant all who are to be saved throughout all the time that God will allow for it.Now that I believe in election,this verse really changes little to me.Read in the context of all of chapter 3 you will see what I mean.Peter is talking directly to believers in this verse and letting them know of the Lord’s faithfulness concerning His promise.Peter addresses “us”,the “beloved”,the believers”….not willing that any(us-future believers)should perish but that all(of the elect/believers)should come to repentance.”See how your interpretation would be as mine?I just say that these believers are so because of God’s sovereign election before the foundation of the world when we were chosen to be in Him.

85   Sherry C.    http://CRN.InfoandAnalysis
September 22nd, 2007 at 8:06 pm

Wow!You are quick,Tim Reed!If what you think is that the Bible is Calvinist,so be it.And Calvinist are biblical in their exegesis,too.Depends on the context of “none” and “whole world” as to what they mean.Must I repeat myself?I am sure I have been clear on this in previous posts.

86   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 22nd, 2007 at 8:09 pm

Sherry – the word “all” in the verse “Who will have ALL men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” is the EXACT same word in the Greek that Jesus used when He said “And ALL are thine and thine are mine” and “That they ALL may be one”.

So in John He uses all to mean the complete sum of the church and in Timothy he uses all to mean the complete sum in the world. The word all means all in the Greek. Please provide me with a different Greek interpretation.

87   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 22nd, 2007 at 8:30 pm

I am still waiting for the answer:

As i stated above if many is as you state…

I think we can agree that “all” men is the same idea Paul used in Romans 3: 10. As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; “ as all means everyman has sinned… for then Paul states. 23. “ for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Note Paul is not just saying “many” yet, I will point out that Paul uses “many” in this verse Romans 5:15 “For if the many died by the trespass of the one man,”. I hope you notice that to take “many” as you are stating then makes Paul teaching that not all died by the trespass of the one man. If we are to use “many” to mean as you are stating then let’s follow through all the way and be consistent. So, do you now say that not “all have sinned”, but only “many” did? SO your use of many seems to negate the earlier teachings of Paul.

Not to mention about the other questions on total depravity, and free will…

Be Blessed,
iggy

88   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 22nd, 2007 at 8:34 pm

And if you change the meaning because of context then you are an emergent! The whole criticism about the emrgent view of Scripture is that they contexualize it. Well, so did Calvin.

(I almost said the father of the emrgent church but I’m not so sure it would be taken in the humor it was meant. They call Finney everything but a Christian and he is one of my heroes. I’m hurt!)

89   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
September 22nd, 2007 at 8:38 pm

I love Calvinist. If you disagree with them it is because: (A). You are dumb and didn’t understand their clear teaching earlier or (B). You are a semi-pelgaian heretic who loves man more than anything else or (C) you just don’t love the Bible and lastly when you bring up an argument they don’t like they just take their blog and go home. Don’t believe me? Read this blog

90   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 22nd, 2007 at 8:43 pm

This is the point of deconstruction as “constructionism” was developed by Nietzsche and is used by modernist without a thought… they construct a world view and then stick to it and then defend it right or wrong… the emergent sees that things are all built out of this ideology so will deconstruct it to find the core ideologies which under pin the belief system.

In that we tend to see past the filters that “system” blind other to see it in its unfiltered state. Now of course the danger is replacing it with another view that is as much a filter, but to be aware that “filters” will change your perspective is to understand that we must look at things from a variety of views… in that we can see which one fits best over all in the main construct as we reconstruct. LOL!

Now what does that mean in plain old Montanan?

We can see past the manure and see the whole cow…

Be blessed,
iggy

91   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 22nd, 2007 at 8:45 pm

Peter had heard Jesus say Jn.3:16 and other verses and he misunderstood the meaning of the word “world” and “all”. He thought they only meant God’s chosen people, God lowers a blanket of unclean meat to him and tells Peter not to count unclean what God has made clean. Then Peter enters the house of Cornelius and realizes the gospel is universal, offered to ALL men.

Men still do not understand the scope of Christ’s sacrifice.

92   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 22nd, 2007 at 8:47 pm

Men still do not understand the scope of Christ’s sacrifice.

Amen Rick!

blessed my socks off!
iggy

93   Sherry C.    http://CRN.InfoandAnalysis
September 22nd, 2007 at 9:25 pm

Iggy,you say that Calvinists compromise the teachings of Calvin.Have you thought to help them in this since it may be that they aren’t as well versed as they should be?Remenber,not everyone is a Calvinist who believe the doctrine of election and the doctrine of grace!Romans 9:25-33 shows God’s sovereign pre-determined will in action.As far as all that pertains to salvation,this you already know.I only addressed atonement since you say that I confused the two.The two go hand in hand,in that you cannot have salvation apart from atonement having been made.Unless you want to discuss all the different salvations there are in the O.T.Forgiveness of our sins comes at the cross in that Christ paid the sin debt.However,apart from repentance on our part,there is no forgiveness.Or shall we treat Christ’s blood as a common thing?The second paragraph of your “Romans 5:10 states this…”-you seem to be making a presumption of my having said something I never said.That whole paragraph is addressed to some supposed error on my part.Are you putting words in my mouth?Please don’t.If you didn’t mean to do this then please clarify it.Thank you.I am not going to rehash word meanings with anyone anymore because I have said all there is to say-that is,context,context,context.If there is a problem with word meanings then look it up for yourselves(not by taking someone else’s word for it,either-try a Greek Hebrew dictionary).Iggy,you wrote out Ephesians 1:4-5 and you can’t see election in it?Then you say that the focus of that passage is not “us” but “in Him”.So what is Paul saying about being in Him?What or who is in Him?It is “us”.The focus is “us” in what Paul is saying and that we were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world What you say Calvinists believe about being in Christ before He has even lived,been crucified and buried and resuurrected is true.Yes,even before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit!You say,”What a Calvinist does without realizing it is making mortal humans who have not even been created,be known before they are even created.”No,the Calvinists are not doing this without realizing it.They are believing this with all they got!Must be that tricky little passage of Ephesians 1:4-5.Yep,that’s the cause of this “terrible” belief!Iggy,I know enough about Gnosticism (and am reading Iraneas’book,Against Heresies)to know that you are more gnostic than biblical in your explanation of this passage!Please!It is simply impossible to be in Christ before the Cross,you say?No,it is not.The O.T.saints had faith in Christ’s cross work and looked forward to it.We have faith in Christ’s work and look back on it.Faith is the key.If you can’t make this more challenging,i.e.,make your errors less blatant, then it is just plain silly for me to continue on.I am not going to get caught up in the vortex of your reasoning!Others can praise your great wisdom,but I won’t.Not even if I were to become a free willer again!You have too much”new” knowledge.And that is unbiblical.

94   nate    
September 22nd, 2007 at 9:34 pm

Sherry,
just a suggestion, but spacing after punctuation and line breaks are your friend :-D I’m not trying to be anal, but your posts are difficult to read because of the spacing.
:-)

95   Sherry C.    http://CRN.InfoandAnalysis
September 22nd, 2007 at 9:41 pm

Rick Freuh,Peter must have held on to his beliefs that the Jews were God’s chosen because Paul had to upbraid his conduct of shunning the Gentiles when in the presence of the Jews.He didn’t learn his lesson well.He was fallible,I guess.

96   J. R. Miller    http://www.morethancake.org
September 22nd, 2007 at 9:43 pm

While I agree with all 4 of your criticisms of Systematic Theology, it is apparent that ST is not the source of division, since lots of folks who do not have a ST are just as skilled at causing division. The use of labels, inuendo, guilt by assocation, and other techniques work just as well at creating conflict where there need not be any.

I would offer this is an alternative view of what makes a decent systematic theology. I may still be wrong, but this is my best effort at addressing the concerns we share about the abuse of Scripture to create bad “systems” of faith.

FYI
I am the guy Joe Mortino criticzed in his above comment and he is a great example of what I am saying. I am not a Calvanist, but he lables me as one because I am critical of Charles Finney. I don’t fit in his “system” of faith, so I become the enemy. I think that mentality is just as destructive as any “systematic” theology.

97   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 22nd, 2007 at 9:47 pm

Yes, he still didn’t get it. By the way, that was no way for Pul to speak to the Pope, right?

98   Sherry C.    http://CRN.InfoandAnalysis
September 22nd, 2007 at 9:48 pm

Will do, Nate. Thanks!

99   Tim Reed    http://churchvoices.com
September 22nd, 2007 at 9:54 pm

How has Joe made you his enemy?

100   Sherry C.    http://CRN.InfoandAnalysis
September 22nd, 2007 at 9:54 pm

Rick Freuh, Paul did have a naughty streak! Yes, I can spot humor when it comes to Calvin jokes. It’s humor, not offense, to me. Can’t say I won’t laugh at you for joking about it though!

101   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
September 22nd, 2007 at 9:55 pm

J.R.
I didn’t mean to label you a Calvinist. Sorry about that. There was a comment here that started the first points of my thread (A and B). I did a poor job of transitioning away from that when I linked to you so please forgive me. I still think you did a poor job answering that kid and I do think I accurately labeled your reaction. I still a poor job of articulating that. Perhaphs, it was the tears in my eyes over that monstrosity Penn State called an offense today. Which as Peyton said, “that’s just offensive!”
All of that to say, I was wrong with the labeling. Please forgive me.

102   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 22nd, 2007 at 9:56 pm

Welcome J.R. – Let me express my views of Finney. In his later years he left revivalism and drifted into theology and was obviously out of his anointing. Some of his teaching were “goofy” (Greek term fpr wrong).

But his preaching and revivals in the northeast where I am from bears fruit to this day. A revivalist used of God. A theologian – flee! I did visit your blog before your comment and was not offended by your criticism of Finney, some of his doctrines deserve criticism.

Some put him in hell. And he couldn’t find a place today to preach because his messages were so strong. Anyway thanks for stopping by, really.

103   J. R. Miller    http://www.morethancake.org
September 22nd, 2007 at 11:11 pm

Hi Joe, apology accepted brother :-) And yes, Penn Sate’s offense was enough to drive anyone mad.

Rick, thanks for your post. As I posted in my blog, I am not willing to put the label of “heretic” on Finney. I would note that being “used” by God demonstrates nothing about Finney or his theology, it only demonstrates the goodness of God. If God can use an ass he can certainly use me, you and Finney.

104   Sherry C.    http://CRN.InfoandAnalysis
September 23rd, 2007 at 7:58 am

J.R.Miller, I love your site! I occassionally get linked over there and I think you will be in my favorites. I say that of myself alot to keep me humble. I did have to remind a pastor of this when he got puffed up over a sermon he preached. It’s a mouth-shutter! Thanks,too, for your article on Systematic Theology. It really should cause unity.

105   Sherry C.    http://CRN.InfoandAnalysis
September 23rd, 2007 at 8:04 am

Rick Freuh, how is it you found the word “all” in the Greek? I couldn’t find it. But I am new to searching Greek and Hebrew meanings of words. Thanks. And if many means many then not all sinned in that passage?Thanks again for clearing this up for me.

106   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 23rd, 2007 at 8:34 am

The word for all is πᾶς (pas). It means all or every.

107   Sherry C.    http://CRN.InfoandAnalysis
September 23rd, 2007 at 9:15 am

Okay, all or every one of the elect or of the whole world? It still needs to be used in its context. Thanks, Rick. Please don’t ever lose that sense of humor you have.

108   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 23rd, 2007 at 10:20 am

Sherry,

Iggy,you say that Calvinists compromise the teachings of Calvin.

You are having a little problem with context here… I stated this as in the responses to the questions I ask… It seems when i ask question them suddenly “men have a will and can choose” when people like Dr. Michael Horton say they do not… or that men are suddenly “radically depraved (RC Sproul) as I point out that a totally depraved person cannot be given over to become even more depraved as in the case of Romans chapter one.

So, for starters place the comment in the proper context.

BTW Sherry “free will” was taught for many years (from John the Apostle to Irenaeus) well before Arminius came around… so no, I am more Johannine than Arminian. LOL!

I think you are missing the point of the question… I agree that Jesus was not born of the decision or will of a man… that is NOT the debate… LOL! It is that John states the phrase “will of a man” yet never states man has NO will at all… In fact if that was the case, John of all people would be very clear in stating that. The point is he states man has a will which Paul also states later in his writings.

Now this is stating that we are born of the Spirit and in THAT we are not born of the will of a man… yet it does not state that procreation does not come from the will of a man or woman… (since both must participate) You are adding to the text an assumption John is not stating.

I will answer more, but those two I have time for right now.

Be Blessed,
iggy

109   Tim Reed    http://churchvoices.com
September 23rd, 2007 at 11:39 am

Does it strike anyone else as hilarious that all these reformed watchdoggies accuse us of obscuring the scriptures, but then apparently the scriptures are so inscrutable that “all” doesn’t mean all, “whole” doesn’t mean whole, and if only you were a linguistic expert it would all be clear to you.

110   Jonathan    
September 23rd, 2007 at 12:42 pm

By the way…concerning the Greek- The phrase for “God so loved the WORLD” and “ALL things which You have given me” may be written between 20-30 different ways in the Greek and still have the same meaning. I can’t see how anyone can take the word “all” and say it means something other than it’s meaning.

111   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 23rd, 2007 at 3:39 pm

Sherry,

First off it is very hard to read your posts as it seems spacing gets messed up…
It also seems to be that you also miss the nuances of what I state… it could be as you are approaching me as an Arminian and I am not… I am a Biblist…

There are many things the Calvinist has right, or almost right… the issue is not around the core doctrines you keep saying I do not believe in… like “God chooses us” or even “Election”… it is how a Calvinist defines election.
I do not remember stating things or putting words in your mouth… I have asked you direct questions such as why would Paul us the world “many” in regards to many dying in their trespasses of sin. If Many is used as you are stating the only “many” died in their sins and not all… so Paul is contradicting himself or “many” can also mean “all” and your case is not as strong when you assert Jesus atonement is not universal.

I have edited your comment so that it is more readable.. I have not corrected spelling or content only spacing.

Iggy, you say that Calvinists compromise the teachings of Calvin. Have you thought to help them in this since it may be that they aren’t as well versed as they should be? Remenber, not everyone is a Calvinist who believe the doctrine of election and the doctrine of grace! Romans 9:25-33 shows God’s sovereign pre-determined will in action. As far as all that pertains to salvation, this you already know. I only addressed atonement since you say that I confused the two. The two go hand in hand, in that you cannot have salvation apart from atonement having been made.

Yes they go hand in hand as I have already stated… yet they are not the “same” things. That is what you miss.

Unless you want to discuss all the different salvations there are in the O.T. Forgiveness of our sins comes at the cross in that Christ paid the sin debt. However, apart from repentance on our part, there is no forgiveness. Or shall we treat Christ’s blood as a common thing?

I again do not understand as to your tone… yet salvation does not depend on our repentance or have you turned Arminian on me? LOL! ; ) You have just turned repentance into a work. I agree we need repentance, yet to repent is to turn from death to Life… and Life is in the Son.

The second paragraph of your “Romans 5:10 states this…”-you seem to be making a presumption of my having said something I never said. That whole paragraph is addressed to some supposed error on my part. Are you putting words in my mouth? Please don’t. If you didn’t mean to do this then please clarify it. Thank you.

Believe me I do not mean to or intend to “put words in you mouth” as I am either pointing out a logical flaw, or asking for clarification… so the assumption is on your part. I am actually getting a little bored that you do not answer the plain and clear questions I ask.

I am not going to rehash word meanings with anyone anymore because I have said all there is to say-that is, context, context, context. If there is a problem with word meanings then look it up for yourselves (not by taking someone else’s word for it, either-try a Greek Hebrew dictionary).

You are the one who is having issues with “words” I am pointing that out… you have all meaning some and I pointed out many can mean all… but if you cannot address the inconsistency there we can move on… I am disappointed that you move on to personal attacks as I am more than willing to discuss Calvinism with you. It is still on you to prove you case which you have not and that is around the words YOU place a different definition on.

Iggy, you wrote out Ephesians 1:4-5 and you can’t see election in it? Then you say that the focus of that passage is not “us” but “in Him”. So what is Paul saying about being in Him? What or who is in Him? It is “us”.

I pointed that out yet you miss the “us” do not yet exist and that though God knows of “those” that will be “in Christ” I do not see this as “individuals” as you are asserting here. Again, there was no “us” before we were created… only God and Jesus who was in the Father… I think you miss that the price of the atonement was the death of Jesus and in order for “us” to be “in Christ” Jesus needed to become a man and live, die and be raised according to the eternal plan… You are missing that the Cross took place well after creation and the “us” in Jesus are those that God knew would (after they were created) respond to the Call of God and to Jesus. You are teaching a heresy that the Mormons teach and that is man existed with God before he was created. That is what is also called Gnosticism and if you have read Irenaeus, you would have read how he condemned those who taught that heresy.

The focus is “us” in what Paul is saying and that we were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world What you say Calvinists believe about being in Christ before He has even lived, been crucified and buried and resuurrected is true. Yes, even before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit! You say, ”What a Calvinist does without realizing it is making mortal humans who have not even been created, be known before they are even created.” No, the Calvinists are not doing this without realizing it. They are believing this with all they got! Must be that tricky little passage of Ephesians 1:4-5.Yep, that’s the cause of this “terrible” belief!

Now again you are twisting what I really stated… God did know “those” or “us” in the sense that after we are created that “some” will come to Jesus as the Father draws them… I never stated otherwise. But, to inist man exisited before he was created is the point you are missing. An example… I have a son, I pretty much knew he would have blue eyes and blonde hair. I knew this before he exisited. I also knew he would have many other traits… yet I did not know “him” the individual nor how he would interact and respond to me. He did nto exist yet. Pretty simple as I see it. God had not created man as the Bible teaches, the sixth day of creation. Again, God knew that “many” would come to Jesus, but again an “us” is not even close to being a “me” so to say it is “individuals” is still a stretch and is fitting into your world view.

Iggy, I know enough about Gnosticism (and am reading Iraneas’ book, Against Heresies) to know that you are more gnostic than biblical in your explanation of this passage! Please! It is simply impossible to be in Christ before the Cross, you say? No, it is not. The O.T. saints had faith in Christ’s cross work and looked forward to it. We have faith in Christ’s work and look back on it. Faith is the key. If you can’t make this more challenging, i.e., make your errors less blatant, then it is just plain silly for me to continue on. I am not going to get caught up in the vortex of your reasoning! Others can praise your great wisdom, but I won’t. Not even if I were to become a free willer again! You have too much “new” knowledge. And that is unbiblical.

Sherry you stated here, “The O.T. saints had faith in Christ’s cross work and looked forward to it” and yes even Angels looked at what God was doing and longed to know more about it… yet you miss this contradicts scripture when Paul teaches, in Colossians 1:25 -28

“I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness– the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.” It seems you negate that it was “the mystery” and that they did not know and it was only after Christ now has come and that God revealed Him that we have this knowledge you are claiming the O.T. saints had.

So, here I am after reading all this and not even sure where to start… with your accusatory tone? (So much for you being respectful towards me) Your misrepresentation of my views? Your blatant dualism and denial that Jesus is the Only Immortal and the only one that has ever seen God? That you deny you are a Gnostic yet seem to go right down the line with the Gnostics teachings of the Pleroma and all its dualistic implications? That you make man immortal… when scripture states he is not?

I do not appreciate your accusations and I do not know of any “new” knowledge that you are referring to… I simply read the bible and believe what it states. And I will over look your underlining hostility to me that is ever so apparent here.

Yet, I will still forgive you.

Be Blessed,
iggy

112   Sherry C.    http://CRN.InfoandAnalysis
September 23rd, 2007 at 3:55 pm

There you go again, Iggy! Having me say things I never said. If it helps you to keep your fan base, go for it! At least I don’t limit God’s foreknowledge and sovereignty. I base some of my reasoning on Jeremiah 1:5.There are other scriptures like it. Have fun, Iggy! Toodle-oo!

113   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 23rd, 2007 at 4:05 pm

Sherry,

I am not… where have I done this?

Sheesh… I think you just do not want to answer my questions… so much for claim that everyone you talk to becomes a Calvinist! LOL!

It seems you are holding much against me… and I have no idea what… so go your way… I never once intended to or tried to add words to your mouth and I am sure anyone reading this will see that.

Be blessed…

BTW you little comments like “I base some of my reasoning on Jeremiah 1:5.There are other scriptures like it. ” keep implying I do not… yet I do not take offense I just see you like to put me down to make a point which is very “Calvinist” of you… LOL!

The fact is you are going to have to take it up a notch to even begin to convince… like ummm…. answering a question i ask! LOL!

But, since you wont, I see you are taking the last step in the “I am a Calvinist” debate and deciding to cut your losses and go home… which is consistent and so often played out I saw it coming in your last two comments toward me… or should I state “at me” as you seem to not be able to talk to someone but at them.

be Blessed in all that Christ Jesus has for you,
iggy

If anyone can tell me where Sherry is getting that I am adding words to her mouth… (I mean she had added a lot of words to mine!) please let me know what i am missing here.

114   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 23rd, 2007 at 4:06 pm

The spam catcher striketh again!

115   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 23rd, 2007 at 4:07 pm

I gave answer to you Sherry.. and it will appear above these two last comments of mine.

Be Blessed,
iggy

116   Tim Reed    http://churchvoices.com
September 23rd, 2007 at 4:12 pm

And another watchdoggie says she’s taking her ball and going home.

What’s the over/under on this one?

117   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 23rd, 2007 at 4:17 pm

I am not sure other than she claims i am putting words in her mouth… funny I quote her and then answer to her quote… I then ask a question and she puts me down with her answers (which do not answer) then instead of an answer she gives accusations of putting words in her mouth… then now want to go home… I guess because she wont answer and seems to not be able to convert me..

But, I guess if she leaves, then we will never know and if she does not i will and am quickly losing interest in combating her accusations and unwillingness to answer clear questions.

Be Blessed,
iggy

118   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 23rd, 2007 at 4:19 pm

Her last accusation was after my September 23, 2007, 3:39 pm comment… I do want others to read it and others to let me know if I am putting words in her mouth or not… If I am it is not intentional as she seems to be claiming. I do want someone else’s opinion on this.

Be blessed,
iggy

119   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 23rd, 2007 at 5:50 pm

I find it rather sad that Sherry accuses me of all sorts of things without giving evidence and i still gave her answers…

she states things like this…

If it helps you to keep your fan base, go for it! At least I don’t limit God’s foreknowledge and sovereignty.

Then she leaves with that hanging in the air and leaves as if it is true and it is not… it makes me look like a liar with her false accusations. I do not and have not limited God’s foreknowledge or sovereignty, it is that Sherry cannot see outside her own world view and has limited herself from seeing any further than she wants. That is not my fault.

I stated God can know all things outside of time and space yet limit Himself within the system He created…

God is sovereign and in that can if He chooses limit Himself.

For example:

Jesus is God, yet we read,

Philippians 2: 6-7.

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

Jesus was God and in the human form limited Himself… it is undeniable… or we must deny the incarnation.

Yet, God was also still sovereign…

Also to state such a thing as Sherry did, then make same wander at the great charade of the Cross… if God is sovereign as she is stating, why would Jesus have to come and die… God is sovereign as I beleive and even if Jesus did not come… God could have removed the “righteous” (the elect foreknown by God in Christ Jesus that existed before hey were even created) and destroyed the unrighteous… In fact God is Just and if so decided to wipe out the righteous with the unrighteous it still would have been “good” as God is “good”.

So, in Sherry’s parting shot still shows that she cared little for a conversation but only wanted to show how much she knew. I can only see that it matter more that she was “right” and I was “wrong” and she “wins” even if she cannot make her case against me.

To me this is “cult-like” thinking… and that worries me more.

If this conversation did anything it makes me even less wanting to become a Calvinist…

I gave all my answers from the Bible… I turned to no commentary nor did I lean on any other person… I read the bible and stated my case. I did not add to or take away from what it stated.

Be Blessed,
iggy

120   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
September 23rd, 2007 at 7:10 pm

Iggy,
I think he meant the over/under on whether or not she’ll return. Tim, since you asked the question, I’ll let you set it and then I’ll pick. Loser buys the other lunch at the corner this week.

121   Tim Reed    http://churchvoices.com
September 23rd, 2007 at 7:15 pm

Two days.

122   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
September 23rd, 2007 at 7:17 pm

As in Tuesday? I’ll take the under there.

123   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 23rd, 2007 at 7:25 pm

She’ll be back and it’s OK with me. By the way Tim’s piece about Old Truth’s post concerning church growth sure stirred up a hornet’s nest. I have a problem with some of the drawing antics, but here is a question. Against the backdrop of Puritanical standards which one of these would be acceptable?

*An add in the paper about your church
*Advertising about your conference.
*A church website.
*A colorful church pamphlet
*A book table in your church

These and other things would have been considered worldly during the Puritan years, no?

124   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
September 23rd, 2007 at 7:36 pm

Rick, it has nothing to do with Notre Dame being 0-3 her coming back. We expect that Notre Dame may not win a game all year until it comes to the service Academies she’ll be back. We just laugh at Notre Dame’s pitiful display of offensive power the idea that so often people say they’re leaving when in reality Notre Dame’s been bad for years as evidenced by their bowl failures they’re just going away to chew for a little while. Now Notre Dame might end up being good in my kids lifetime, but I doubt it Sherry seemed like a reasonable person–I confess I read very little of her’s and Iggy’s discussion but after she said he put words in her mouth I went back and skimmed and didn’t see it much like no one’s seen Notre Dame’s offense this year.
So while Tim and I are having fun laughing at Charlie Weiss’s recruiting ability with the whole over/under thing. We hope she does come back. I just hope it’s before Tuesday at 7:15pm.

125   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 23rd, 2007 at 7:42 pm

I’m having trouble reading your comment, Joe. I guess I do not have the right glasses as did Joe Smith, another dreamer.

Joe Martino was a prophet dum-dum-dum-dum-dum!

126   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 23rd, 2007 at 9:59 pm

I hope she does also…

The only reason I can see she might have taken me “putting words in her mouth” is when I show the logical conclusion and stated, “IF you are stating this, the conclusion is this” and she takes that as i am saying she said that… well in a way she is… for that is the logical conclusion…

Funny I am using propositional logic on her, which is what people have accused me of being against… (I see that it is a tool but some seem to think we can come to God by rational thinking using propositional truth… now that IS man based logic… yet then they claim man has no part in his own salvation… but I digress…LOL!)

The point is that there is no logical flow… one is not a Gnostic yet holds that man is somehow immortal though the bible state the only immortal is Jesus.. so though the bible states one thing I am told to be a Calvinist I need to disregard scripture for Calvinism… strange logic to me!

Be blessed,
iggy

127   Tim Reed    http://churchvoices.com
September 23rd, 2007 at 10:20 pm

She’s taken her spleen venting over to Old Truth, I suppose so that she can just state her opinion without it being challenged.

I wish her all the luck. The question is, what do I mean by “all”, do I really mean all?

128   Keith    http://fivepts.blogspot.com
September 23rd, 2007 at 10:27 pm

Hey, hey, hey!!! You guys leave Sherry’s spleen out of this! You can talk about her liver or her gizzard, but don’t ya’ll be sayin’ NOTHIN’ ’bout Ms. Sherry’s SPLEEN!! And I mean ALL of her spleen!

G’night boys.

129   Tim Reed    http://churchvoices.com
September 23rd, 2007 at 10:34 pm

Keith,
You’re too good humored to be all reformed. Come on over to our side, all the cool kids are here.

Alternate response: if its wrong to choose God I don’t want to be right.

130   Deborah    
September 23rd, 2007 at 10:58 pm

Tim,

Did you mean ALL when you said ALL the cool kids are here? I know a lot of cool kids who aren’t here. LOL See we reformed folk can be funny. :)

131   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 23rd, 2007 at 11:00 pm

Keith,

I agree with Tim… you are the exception to the rule! LOL!

We may not agree but I do think you more and more a friend (even with the rocky start we had!)

Be Blessed,
iggy

132   Keith    http://fivepts.blogspot.com
September 24th, 2007 at 6:24 am

That’s what I’ve been trying to tell ALL you guys ALL along!

Alternate comment: I don’t know where Iggy runs into some of the reformed people he talks about, but I don’t know any of them. They sound more Hyper-Calvinist than “Reformed.”

133   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 24th, 2007 at 6:42 am

Funny Deb, we need to hear from good natured reformed and there are a lot of them. I know some mean free willers also.

134   keith    http://fivepts.blogspot.com
September 24th, 2007 at 7:25 am

Rick: I answered your “Cain” question on the Supporting the System thread.

135   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 24th, 2007 at 8:09 am

Keith,

Most of those “hyper- Calvinists” are on your blog roll…

Old Truth
Christian Research Network (many of the writers and supporters of)
All the Slices

I will note that I mistakenly thought “Jim W” was James White and was very happy to find James White to be much more gracious that “Jim”.

But suffice it to say… if they are of the “Lordship Salvation” persuasion… they just seem to hate me… they cannot accept Jesus as being their very Life.

I see that “Lordship Salvation” teaches works without realizing it… it is synergism… LOL! If one is focused on one’s own fruit… and working at producing it oneself… then it is not about God.
I have been told by Jim Bublitz, Tony Rose and many others that somehow OUR bad fruit becomes good fruit because Jesus make OUR fruit good… I hold that OUR fruit is and will always stink… but God produces HIS fruit in and through us…as we abide on the then Vine.

A branch depends totally on Vine for it’s life… if you cut it off it dies… and it cannot produce fruit of any kind unless it is connected to the Vine and the Life of the Vine lives in the branch.

So, I reject that I can produce any fruit on my own that is acceptable to God and Jim Bublitz, Tony Rose, and even Ken Silva tell me i am wrong… along with many less “(infamous” people.

I see in Lordship Salvation the issue that one simply enters in to the very easy believism they fight against…as they check their own brains at the door and accept what John MacArthur teaches them. They go to leaps and bounds to justify his actions and words and I have yet to hear one denounce Johns’ teachings that Jesus supported “war” and thought it a noble thing… along with that the Kingdom is “only” a spiritual thing now… which negates the very Physical Resurrection of our Lord Jesus.

These are the superficial things… along with the denial that Jesus is The Truth incarnate and that Truth is Personal… for it is not “objective” and some “abstract unchangeable thought” (boy did Tony Rose blow a gasket over that!)

These are the thing I am called a heretic over… as well as a liar, and in need of psychological help by these people…

Again, all these things I find in the bible and learned from it… so when I see things that contradict it… I stand on the truth of scripture before I stand on man’s teaching.

Be Blessed,
iggy

136   Joe Terrell    http://www.rvgrace.com
September 24th, 2007 at 2:16 pm

Systemtic theology is neither intrinsically good nor intrinsically evil. No doubt people put it to evil use, but that does not make it evil in and of itself. Both Calvinists and Arminains use it to support their positions and negate the oppposing view. The question then becomes whose systematic theology is most consistent with Scriptural statements and good logic.

The Calvnism/Arminian debate is prime fodder for fleshly arrogance on both sides of the issue. But the real issue is not over doctrines, but gods. I have several times been involved in the debate over whether a man of Arminian faith can actually be in a saved condition. After many heated discussions invoving a lot of systematic arguments it occured to me that the question we were debating was not even a good question, and how then could we get to a good answer.

The proper question is this: Can the Arminan’s God save him? We need only ask the Arminian himself. His answer (were he honest) would have to be, “He cannot save you unless you let Him.” They key words are the first four, “He cannot save you,” for that is the truth of Arminan theology: God cannot save you as you are, you must become something other than what you are BEFORE God can save you. You must go from unbelief to belief on your own, then He can save you. You must go from rebel to servant by your own actions before the Arminan’s God can save you.

Sometimes the most important matter in a debate is forming the proper question. Each if us must ask ourselves, “Can the God we worship save a man as he is, or must the man become something else first?”

137   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 24th, 2007 at 2:33 pm

“You must go from unbelief to belief on your own, then He can save you.”

That is a misrepresentation. We believe that faith is a gift from God just has Calvinists believe. They believe God gives it to some, we believe God gave to everyone. We both believe it is a gift of God so your comment is fraught with the proverbial strawman.

138   Joe Terrell    http://www.rvgrace.com
September 24th, 2007 at 2:41 pm

In response to Rick Frueh, who, I beleive, referred to Hebrews 2.9 concerning Christ tasting death for every man, adn satting that one must torture Greek to make it teach anything other than General atonement:

In truth, the word “man” does no appear int eh Greek text. rather, there is the substantive use of the adjective “every.” To learn what “every” refes to requires examining the context. The verses which follow directly upon Hebrews 2.9 speak of “sons” and “brothers.” so it is reasonable to add the word “son” or “brother” to 2.9. Christ tastes death for all God’s sons, that is, all Christ’s brothers. The limited scope of CHrist’s work is also revealed in verse 12 in which it is written that Christ will declare God’s name to all His brethren. Christ’s prophetic ministry was (at least on this matter) limited to His brethren only. Is it to far a stretch to beleive His priestly ministry could also thus be limited/

The priestly work of Christ is pictured by the High Priest’s work in the Old Covenant. Just as the sacrifices of the High Priest were for Israel only, so was the Sacrifice of the Lord Jesus, for “the Israel of God” only.

139   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
September 24th, 2007 at 2:54 pm

Actually, the sacrifices, while primarily for the nation of Israel and/or for specific individuals, also applied to “God-fearers” – non-Jews who accepted YHWH as the only God and who kept the Noaic Covenant (which was older than the Mosaic one). This is why the largest court in the Temple was for Gentiles who were God-Fearers, though they were not allowed as close to the Holy of Holies.

Also, it is rather apparent, whether from Jesus’ lips (John 3:16) or Paul’s (including Hebrews 2:9) that “all” and/or “the world” is not limited in scope to the predestined ‘elect’. Only the Essenes believed in double predestination (referring to themselves as ‘the Elect’ or ‘Children of Light’ and others as ‘Children of Darkness’), and neither Paul nor Jesus give any words which would suggest an acceptance of Essene theology. In fact, as a Pharisee of Pharisees (which was written as a positive note…), Paul would reject such a view…

140   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
September 24th, 2007 at 2:56 pm

Joe,

You wrote:

The proper question is this: Can the Arminan’s God save him? We need only ask the Arminian himself. His answer (were he honest) would have to be, “He cannot save you unless you let Him.”

Actually, the honest answer to “Can the Arminian’s God save him?”, the answer is ‘Yes, He can, but He has granted him the permission to reject the given gift”.

141   Joe Terrell    http://www.rvgrace.com
September 24th, 2007 at 3:04 pm

Dear Rick,

I was raised in free-will fundamentalism, a rather conservative version of it. I was trained for the ministry at Word of Life Bible Institute and Cedarville College in the 70’s. When I describe Arminian theology I know what I am talking about. It is no straw man to say that Arminian’s believe that God cannot save you unless you allow it. I have heard them say just that many many times.

It makes no sense to say that God gives faith to every man seeing that the Scriptures plainly say, “Not all have faith.” If God actually gives faith to all, then why do not all men have it?

It is undeinable that some shall be saved and some shall not. it is also undeniable that the Arminan believes that God’s works of grace are equal for all. With that in mind, I ask these questions:

If the love of God is equal for all, what does the love of God have to do with whether or not I am saved, seeing that His love did not result in the salvation of all whom he loved.

If the will of God is that every man be saved, what does the will of God have to do with whether or not I am saved, seeing that many for whom he willed salvation shall none-the-less not be saved.

If Christ died equally for all, then what does the death of Christ have to do with whether or not I am saved, seeing that many for whom he died will none-the-less be lost.

If the Spirit of God calls all men equally, then what does the call of the Spirit of God have to do with whther or not I am saved, seeing that many he calls none-the-less perish. On this point, even Arminian’s may consent to some distinction made by God seeing that God has not even seen fit to send His gospel to everyone. The Spirit of God has NOT called all men equally. Even the Arminian must admit that. If God can restrict the scope of the Spirit’s work in calling men, why should we be upset that he has restricted the scope of Christ’s redeeming work for men?

If it is not the very works of God’s grace that make the distinction between who is saved and who is lost, then the distinction must be made by the sinner himself. If God does not choose who shall be saved, then it is the sinner who must do the choosing, and that system presupposes that there is something inherent in a natural man that enables him to distiguish himself from the condemned. If free-willism is correct, then the chorus of heaven will not be “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain…” but “I thank you God I am not like other men…certainly not like these who are being consigned to hell for their unbelief, for they had all the same advantages I had, but they did not make good use of them like I did.” So, in the end, for the free-willer, it is man who makes the difference.

142   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
September 24th, 2007 at 3:15 pm

So, in the end, for the free-willer, it is man who makes the difference.

Only insofar as given permission by his Sovereign Creator. It is that permission – or ‘free will’ – which defines men as being in the image of God. It is that permission which is the ultimate expression of love from a Creator who could very well have made that decision for each and every one of His creations.

Perhaps there is room for both free will and predestination, if we stop trying to put God in a box…

143   Joe Terrell    http://www.rvgrace.com
September 24th, 2007 at 3:18 pm

Dear Chris,

Concerning the temple of the Lord’s day, you are likely correct. I know that there was a court of the Gentiles in that Temple. Temple worship had degraded signifcantly by the Lord’s day. I am not certain as to Solomon’s temple. I do not recall (and have no time to look right now) whether there was any such court in the tabernacle built in the wilderness. But I am certain that there were only 12 stones on the breastplate of the High Priest: he was priest for Israel alone.

144   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
September 24th, 2007 at 3:24 pm

Joe,

This, though, then gets to the issue of why Israel was “chosen”, and how “chosen” vs. “unchosen” is different than “saved” vs. “unsaved” – Israel was “chosen” 1) to be blessed by God and to pass those blessings on to all men; and 2) to display YHWH to the world, so that all would know that He (and He alone) is God.

Also, Jesus’ attack on the money-changers was most likely, when looked at in context, an attack on practices excluding Gentiles from the Gentile court. God’s House was to be a house of prayer “for all nations”.

145   Joe Terrell    http://www.rvgrace.com
September 24th, 2007 at 3:31 pm

It is impossible to sovereignly decide not to be sovereign. Can the author of a book decide to let his created characters decide the flow of the plot. Could Shakespear have said, “It is not right for me to decide whether Romeo will commit suicide or get over his infatuation with Juliet, so I will let him decide.” The moment Shakespeare put down his quill, the action in the story would have stopped, for Romeo has no power to do anything apart from Shakespeare’s will.

So it is with us. We are characters in God’s story. You may object to that saying, “I am not merely a character in a story.” Well, neither is God a mere human author. But He bears the same relationship to this creation that Shakespeare bears to his creation. Just as Shakespeare is on a differnt order of reality than Romeo, so is God on a different order of reality than we are. It is simply impossible that anything can happen in our relaity unless God wills it in His reality. And whatever God wills, happens. Just ask Nebuchaneezer.

146   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
September 24th, 2007 at 3:38 pm

It is impossible to sovereignly decide not to be sovereign.

So what you’re telling me is that there is something God can’t do?

If a king gives his subject a choice of a piece of land in the middle of a garden or a plot of land in a garbage dump, is he giving up sovereignity in allowing his subject to make a decision – or has he put constraints upon the decision, itself, and shown sovereignity in allowing the choice to be made, rather than by arbitrarily deciding for the subject?

Can the author of a book decide to let his created characters decide the flow of the plot. Could Shakespear have said, “It is not right for me to decide whether Romeo will commit suicide or get over his infatuation with Juliet, so I will let him decide.” The moment Shakespeare put down his quill, the action in the story would have stopped, for Romeo has no power to do anything apart from Shakespeare’s will.

Once again, it sounds like you’re putting human limitations upon God… Perhaps He sits apart from time and space – as we experience it – and is beyond the bounds of understanding…

147   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 24th, 2007 at 3:41 pm

If you cannot sovereignly allow man to have free will then you are not omnipotent and your sovereignty is limited.

Can God make a mountain so big He cannot move it? Yes.

Can God move that same mountain? Yes.

How can that be? G – O – D !! He can do anything that pleases Him including unconditional election if He so choses, and free will to me if He so choses, or a mixture of both that confounds the theologians!

148   Tim Reed    http://churchvoices.com
September 24th, 2007 at 3:45 pm

It is impossible to sovereignly decide not to be sovereign.

Sounds like you’re saying God is incapable of giving His own creation free will. But, if God is sovereign then he should be able to do that. Sounds like your description of God limits God quite a bit.

149   Joe Terrell    http://www.rvgrace.com
September 24th, 2007 at 3:51 pm

Dear Chris,

What a beautiful point! I do think the Lord’s cleansing of the temple concerned the merchandising of the Lord’s religion and mixing the profane with the holy. But how wonderful it is to know that the God of heaven has, in truth, never made a distinction among men based on anything that can be found in the flesh. As Paul pointed out, there is only one God, so he must be God of Jew and Gentile alike. He is the God of all nations, so his house was a house of prayer for all nations.

The Lord’s quote comes from Isaiah 56.7, so that post-dates the tabernacle of Moses. It’s reference was to the return of Israel from captivity, and the Lord says that He will gather, not only the Israelites, but others, presumably from all nations, a foreshadowing of the gospel age in which there is neither Jew nor Greek. But it should be noted that the Lord does not say He will offer His temple to the nations, but that He shall gather men from other nations to His Holy Mountain. That is, God will not invite them, He will gather them. That is sovereign grace.

I am a Baptist pastor in a predominately Dutch Reformed community. I am an avowed Calvinist. But it may surprise you to know that at least one of the Dutch Reformed Churches considers me a free-willer because I tell men that if they believe the gosple, God will save them; and I call on men to believe it.

I think one of the most marvellous truths is this: that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. But I know who it is shall call on God’s name: those Whom He has chosen whom Christ has redeemed, and the Spirit has called. I plead with men to be reconciled to God, but like Spurgeon of a century ago, I have no hope or confidence in men that they will respond positively to that exhortation: my confidence is in the sovereign, omnipotent God, who by His grace will call each of His elect from death unto life. I beleive that “all who were ordained to eternal life shall believe.” Acts 13.48

150   Joe Terrell    http://www.rvgrace.com
September 24th, 2007 at 4:05 pm

Dear Rick and Chris:

Of course there are things God cannot do: he cannot lie. That is, in part, because he is honest. But it also has to do with His undeniable sovereignty, for were he to say, “The sun rises in the west,” then, immediately, the sun would rise fromt hewest…it would become tru the moment he said it. he cannot lie.

Moreover, He cannot fail to fulfill a promise.

Nor can He be unjust, which means that if He accepted from the hand of Christ a payment for a man’s sin, then God cannot in turn demand a payment from the man himself. As Augustus Toplady (author of Rock of Ages) wrote:

Justice payment cannot twice demand,
First at my bleeding Surety’s hand
and then again at mine.

151   Joe Terrell    http://www.rvgrace.com
September 24th, 2007 at 4:30 pm

Dear Tim:

I wrote: It is impossible to sovereignly decide not to be sovereign.

You reponded: Sounds like you’re saying God is incapable of giving His own creation free will. But, if God is sovereign then he should be able to do that. Sounds like your description of God limits God quite a bit.

My answer: It only limits God to being God. Part and parcel of being God is being sovereign: as it is written:

(Psa 115:2,3) Why do the nations say, “Where is their God?” Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.

Actually, it is in the very nature of the word itself: no one can sovereignly be non-sovereign and remain sovereign in doing so. The moment you cede sovereignty, you cease being sovereign. I suppose a king can soverignly abdicate His throne, but He ceases to be King the moment he does it.

Chris: If a king were to grant to one of his subjects the right of choice apart from the King’s choice, then the King has relinquished some of His sovereignty, and has, in truth, ceased to be the sovereign, at least over the parcel of land in question. His has abdicated His throne with reference to the offered pieces of ground.

As to God sitting apart from time and space: that is exactly my point. Just as Shakespeare sits above the time and space of his stories, so does the God of Scripture sit beyond the time and space of His story. But it IS HIS story, and its plot is of His making.

When we speak of free-will, it would do well to ask, “Free from what?” The absolute sovereignty of God does not invalidate our experience of the ability to choose as we want in the reality level in which we exist. When I choose Burger King over McDonald’s, I do so freely, yet God ordained my choice. God’s soverignty is not the bug-a-boo to human freedom. Human depravity is. man is so corrupt – dead in trespasses and sins – that he is uterly incapable of understanding, believing and submitting to the things of God. According to the word of the Lord, a man cannot even percieve the Kingdom of God unless he is born again. The New Birth precedes faith and is the creator of faith. Man’s will is bound to his nature, and he cannot choose contrary to his depraved nature. No matter what he chooses, it will be discovered that God ordained his coice, even though the man felt completely free in choosing and chose exactl what suited him. but is will also be discovered that his nature would not have allowed him to choose anything other than what he did. The New Birth is the sovereign act of God in which He imparts spiritual life to amn which in turn enables the man to understand and beleive the gospel, and so call upon the name of the Lord. Apart from that sovereign work of God, a man always “freely” chooses to reject God. Once the New Birth is bestowed by God, a man “freely” chooses to submit to God.

Please excuse mispellings and such..it’s not that I cannot spell. I’m just a lousy typist and a lazy proofreader!

152   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
September 24th, 2007 at 4:57 pm

If a king were to grant to one of his subjects the right of choice apart from the King’s choice, then the King has relinquished some of His sovereignty, and has, in truth, ceased to be the sovereign, at least over the parcel of land in question. His has abdicated His throne with reference to the offered pieces of ground.

I’m sorry – but what?!?

Sovereignty does not require a dictatorship. Giving permission to choose does not limit sovereignty – it literally demonstrates it. If a choice will conflict with God’s will, He will either invalidate the choice (as He did with Jonah), or He will accomplish it via other means (as He did with Esther)

When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?”

Without free will, you have to argue that:

1) Adam had no choice in the garden, and that God is the author of sin.
2) Jesus was not tempted in the desert – or he was not really human
3) Jesus was play-acting in the Garden when he prayed to the Father

153   Tim Reed    http://churchvoices.com
September 24th, 2007 at 5:07 pm

Why do the nations say, “Where is their God?” Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.

How can you quote that verse and claim that supports your assertion that God is limited?

154   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 24th, 2007 at 6:33 pm

“When I choose Burger King over McDonald’s, I do so freely, yet God ordained my choice.”

And so it is with my Arminianism!

155   Joe Terrell    http://www.rvgrace.com
September 24th, 2007 at 6:47 pm

Gentlemen,

I do not believe that there is anything I can say that will sway your opinion – it will require a sovereign act of God’s grace. It seems you mostly ignore the best arguments I put forward and try to twist the usage of words so as to make my statements appear false. I recognize the fault could lie with me for maybe I have not been clear. Living in a reformed area as I do, it has been a long time sense I have had to argue FOR the sovereignty of God’s grace.

If you are ever to understand and believe the Biblical doctrine of God’s sovereignty it will take a form of persuasion more powerful than I can produce. But then, I already knew that, for a man can receive only what is given him from heaven.

But, I would ask you one more thing: At the tomb of Lazarus, what would have happened had Christ sovereignly decided to let Lazurus decide whther he would rise from the dead. You see, the sovereignty of God’s grace is rejected on one or both of two errors: too small of a God, or too big of a man. It is utterly ridiculous to think that anything would have happened at Lazurus tomb apart from a sovereign impartation of life to Laz. Dead men can not do so much as respond. Nor can we believe that Laz. could remain dead and in the tomb once the Lord said “Laz, come forth.” It is the same with the salvation of a sinner. salvation is the impartation of life to the dead. The dead cannot ask for life, so it must be sovereignly given. Moreover, it would be a high-handed insult to God to think that He could declare spiritual life, and life not happen. Your view of the powers of man is too high. He simply cannot come to God. Your view of the powers of God is simply too low for it appears that you think His will can be thwarted.

156   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 24th, 2007 at 7:03 pm

Joe T.

I wrote: It is impossible to sovereignly decide not to be sovereign.

Now that statement actually cancels itself out logically…

1. If one is sovereign they can do anything.
2. God cannot not be sovereign if He decides not to be.

Now God can be sovereign and still limit himself… and I give you the example of Jesus Himself… the incarnation…

Philippians 2: 5-8 shows this clearly…

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross!

Here we have God who is sovereign… becoming a man and taking on the nature of a servant… submitting to the Father.

So God can be sovereign and limit Himself at the same time. Just as God can create a rock so big that he cannot lift it… LOL!

Also, there are some things that God has exalted even over Himself… David writes how he will bow down…

Psalms 138: 2.

I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.

God has place His own name and word over Himself… why to show he is faithful and true to His word and will keep it.

So even sovereign God has subjected Himself to His own ideals.

Chew on that a while.

Again I simply read the Bible and take it for face value. In that I believe what it states is true and do not depend on my own reasoning to make it fit my doctrine.

Be Blessed,
iggy

157   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 24th, 2007 at 7:15 pm

“I do not believe that there is anything I can say that will sway your opinion – it will require a sovereign act of God’s grace.”

Right back at ya, brother! I recognize the unmistakable verbiage of many from the Calvinist perspective. No offense, though, I’m used to the implication I don’t understand the Bible because God hasn’t opened my eyes yet.

Waiting…tick-tock, tick-tock…

158   Tim Reed    http://churchvoices.com
September 24th, 2007 at 8:37 pm

Why is it that Calvinists always go with the circular logic? “You don’t understand the Bible because you’re not a Calvinist, and you’re not a Calvinist because you don’t understand the Bible.” Give me a break.

159   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 24th, 2007 at 8:44 pm

Tim R,

It is a circular system…

Be Blessed,
iggy

160   Keith    http://fivepts.blogspot.com
September 25th, 2007 at 6:34 am

Joe T: Enjoyed reading your posts. Nice try. As you’ve already seen, these guys are dug in like ticks! I guess that’s what makes if fun to come around here.

I do not believe that there is anything I can say that will sway your opinion. Welcome to the “Stranger in a Strange Land Club.” We meet on Tuesday nights at Hooters for beer and Bible study. ;)

161   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 25th, 2007 at 6:49 am

At least you have humor, Keith, some think it’s a sin!

And now you can go to the meeting of the “Society of Entrenched Reformed Ticks” meeting for the disentrenchment of Arminian ticks. They meet on Monday nights around the old pipe organ and sing hymns of deliverence for others. Ken will be giving the devotional from the Treasury of David by Spurgeon and Ingrid will be serving refreshments. A good time will be had by all, it’s preordained!  

162   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
September 25th, 2007 at 8:00 am

Keith,

I’m not sure Joe T really tried that hard. Most folks I know who dogmatically stick to the TULIP tend to avoid arguments which start with the presumption of “God can’t (fill-in-the-blank)” (beyond “God cannot sin”, though I believe for slightly different reasons Joe stated).

163   Joe Terrell    http://www.rvgrace.com
September 25th, 2007 at 8:15 am

Dear Friends,

One of the problems of a forum like this is that the very nature of a debate beckons our baser natures. The desire to “win” the debate can easily overcome any desire to promote the glory of God or do good for the benefit of the others involved.

I know that, for me, pride is a fleshly corruption that hinders any good that I may try to do. Pride makes me more ready to speak than to hear, more ready to teach than to learn. As much as I may try,I cannot avoid that wretched vice. It may be for this very reason that God has never allowed me to see any fruit come from my efforts in such a forum as this.

I am sometimes taken back with how we can play with such glorious doctrines as the truth of the gospel and treat the give and take of theological debate as though it is a game with winners and losers. It means nothing at all to the truth who wins this debate. Mathematicians can hold formal debates over the statement, “2+2=4″ but no matter which side of the argument wins the deabte, two plus two still equals four. Truth is not determined by debate. Debate entered into with some humility may help us discover the truth, but it can never produce the truth.

But, pride or no pride, I must state that most of the arguments put forth are fallacious – that is, they are not even logical. One cannot be sovereign and not act sovereignly anymore than something can be black, surrender its blackness to whiteness yet remain black while it does so. You cannot calll white black and vice versa and expect to be taken seriously. So the whole argument that God can create a mountain so big he cannot move it, and then move it, will carry no weight to a thinking man.

It was put to me that God can do anything and that by saying that God cannot sovereignly relinquish his sovereignty yet remain sovereign while he does so, I was limiting God. I responded that the Bible limits what God can do, for it plainly says He cannot lie. So, whatever we may think about sovereignty, we know that God cannot sovereignly choose to lie. NO one has responded to that point.

What is undeniably true is that free-willism denies that the gracious works of God distinguish between the saved and the lost. Early in this debate, I put forth four questions and no one has even acted as though they were written. The point of the questions was to show that, in the free-will system, neither the love nor will of God, and neither the sacrifice of Christ nor the call of the Spirit is the the determining factor in who shall be saved, in as much as all of those things are declared equal for all men, yet not all men are saved. That leaves us with the conclusion that it issomething in natural man or something done by a natural man that makes the difference between the saved and the lost.

It is on this very point that the system called Arminianism and the system called Calvinism part. I suppose that both A’s and C’s would confess that we are saved by free grace, as it is written, “Justified freely by His grace.” The “free” part signifies something without a cause.” The same word is used where it is written of Christ, “They hated me without a cause.” There was nothing in Christ that should have provoked their hatred, but they hated him anyway. And there is nothing in us to provoke God to justifiy us, but He does so anyway. Now, if, as the free-will system says, it is nothing in God that distiguishes between the saved and the lost, and the Scriptures say that there is nothing in man to distiguish between the saved and the lost (FREE grace) then what IS it that makes the distinction?

Here we must choose the statment of Scripture over the statment of a system of theology. Since only God and man are involved in salvation, and it is nothing in man that makes the distinction, then it must be something in God. And that is the essence of the gospel of free grace, which is sometimes called Calvinism.

164   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 25th, 2007 at 8:21 am

“Here we must choose the statment of Scripture over the statment of a system of theology.”

Thank you, JT, I almost thought you wouldn’t see your need.

165   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 25th, 2007 at 8:41 am

And Joe Terrell seems to be one of the less vitriolic but still entrenched Calvinists. But here is a sampling of the statements that he used that we have become accustomed to when discussing the subject of elction etc..

“But the real issue is not over doctrines, but gods.”
“When I describe Arminian theology I know what I am talking about.”
“I do not believe that there is anything I can say that will sway your opinion – it will require a sovereign act of God’s grace.”
“If you are ever to understand and believe the Biblical doctrine of God’s sovereignty it will take a form of persuasion more powerful than I can produce.”
“Your view of the powers of man is too high.”
“Your view of the powers of God is simply too low for it appears that you think His will can be thwarted.”
“But, pride or no pride, I must state that most of the arguments put forth are fallacious – that is, they are not even logical.”
“You cannot call white black and vice versa and expect to be taken seriously.”
“So the whole argument that God can create a mountain so big he cannot move it, and then move it, will carry no weight to a thinking man.”
“Here we must choose the statment of Scripture over the statment of a system of theology.”

Condescension, misrepresentation, and a general tone of doctrinal elitism is usually the ambiance du jour in attempting to share our perspective with someone who really has the truth.

166   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
September 25th, 2007 at 10:45 am

One cannot be sovereign and not act sovereignly anymore than something can be black, surrender its blackness to whiteness yet remain black while it does so.

Apples and oranges, Joe.

Sovereign: One that exercises supreme, permanent authority, especially in a nation or other governmental unit.

Delegate: To commit or entrust to another: delegate a task to a subordinate.

Permit: 1. To allow the doing of (something); consent to: permit the sale of alcoholic beverages. 2.To grant consent or leave to (someone); authorize.

Allow: To permit to have.

In the case of delegation/permission/allowance, sovereignity is not lost – in fact, it is affirmed, because the person to whom a decision/task is delegated to, or to whom permission/allowance is given, de facto acknowledges the authority of the sovereign in making the decision or carrying out the task.

While Rick has fairly well outlined the arrogance in your position and presupposition, it seems your logic is falling fairly short, as well…

Here we must choose the statment of Scripture over the statment of a system of theology.

Indeed. Which I why I reject purely Calvinistic and Arminian ’systems’, particularly where they try to force scripture to fit the “system” (as you have just done), rather than allow scripture to stand on its own – even when it violates the system.

167   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
September 25th, 2007 at 10:51 am

Sorry – I saved too early.

In your definition of “Sovereign”, the delegation/permission to act apart from a specific instruction of the one in authority is only a loss of sovereignity if you assume a system of dictatorship. However, we know that God is love, and the prime distinctive of love is a lack of coersion. And that is the problem with ‘irresistable grace’ and the God of pure Calvinistic systems – both deny that God is love, but instead put into place a dictator bound by the physical constraints of the universe and unable, by His own limitations, to be loving or to be loved.

168   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
September 25th, 2007 at 10:53 am

I’ve gone back through the thread, and I’m struggling to figure out which ‘four questions’ weren’t answered…

169   Joe Terrell    http://www.rvgrace.com
September 25th, 2007 at 3:11 pm

and the prime distinctive of love is a lack of coersion…

Evidently you have never raised children.

170   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
September 25th, 2007 at 3:15 pm

Joe Terrell,
Any chance you are related to Amy Terrell?

171   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 25th, 2007 at 3:18 pm

“Sorry – I saved too early.”

Chris, you cannot save anything.

172   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
September 25th, 2007 at 3:28 pm

Rick,

Very funny…

Joe,

and the prime distinctive of love is a lack of coersion…

Evidently you have never raised children.

I have four, and I just dropped the oldest off at college this fall. Now that he has matured, the best way for me to show love is to allow him to choose – “Raise up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”

Actually, the prime purpose of parenting is in teaching a child how to choose, and a loving parent does this, rather than making all the choices on behalf of the child.

173   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 25th, 2007 at 3:32 pm

I watched Purdue Saturday and they were pretty good, however, I picked up some weak spots and called Charlie yesterday. We’ll have some surprises for you!

174   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
September 25th, 2007 at 3:34 pm

Cameras on the sidelines looking at the opposing team’s defensive/offensive coordinators and player in-helmet headsets? After all, didn’t CW come from the Patriots’ organization?

175   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 25th, 2007 at 3:49 pm

When he left it was taken over by the apostate hollow men on New England!

176   Joe Terrell    http://www.rvgrace.com
September 25th, 2007 at 4:21 pm

Dear J Martino,

No, I do not know Amy Terrell. I was raised in WV. My g-gfather migrated there from VA somtime prior to 1890.

Joe Terrell

177   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
September 26th, 2007 at 3:22 pm

Joe,

Your statement has been nagging me for a bit, and I’ve prayed and meditated on it:

What is undeniably true is that free-willism denies that the gracious works of God distinguish between the saved and the lost.

Actually, when looking at this through a lens of scripture and basic process logic, your statement is not undeniably true. In fact, simple logic shows that, in the Armenian belief system (and others which allow for free will), this is decidedly not the case.

Whose decision is it ultimately (i.e. whose decision holds primacy) if a) God is sovereign; and b) God has delegated/permitted the decision to accept His Lordship to His creation (which I’ve already shown, above, is not relinquishing of sovereignty, but an exercise of authority on His part):

Case 1: God grants justice with grace through Jesus and his death on the cross and man accepts His gift – Result = salvation

Case 2: God grants justice with grace and man rejects God’s grace – Result = damnation

Case 3: God gives justice without grace and man accepts it – Result = damnation

Case 4: God gives justice without grace and man rejects it – Result = damnation

_____________________
In all cases, it is God’s gift that holds primacy – not man’s decision. Where man accepts God’s decision, it is so. Where man rejects God’s decision, he is damned. Man is not the ultimate arbiter in any of cases – even case 2, because God’s justice wills out in all cases.

178   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 26th, 2007 at 3:27 pm

It’s all God’s complete decision. God has decided to give man a choice. All God’s sovereign decision. Simple.

179   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 26th, 2007 at 3:31 pm

Chris L,

I agree it was God’s plan of salvation that “those” God would create would respond. God predestined those “in Christ” to be comformed to His image.

It is the Plan that is eternal and Christ that is eternal.

In that according to thsi plan those who believe and receive are saved by this eternal Gospel that is the mystery revealed, Jesus Christ.

Be Blessed,
iggy

180   chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
September 26th, 2007 at 3:35 pm

I don’t have the patience nor the inclination to read through 179 comments. Can somebody update me on the score?

181   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 26th, 2007 at 3:38 pm

God = 1

Everyone else = 0

182   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
September 26th, 2007 at 3:41 pm

Game postponed due to rain.

183   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 26th, 2007 at 4:44 pm

Game called.

God = 3

Everyone else = disqualified

184   Joe Terrell    http://www.rvgrace.com
September 26th, 2007 at 7:10 pm

A couple of points:

Some posts back, it was implied that I was condescending and suffering from doctrinal eliteism. In as much as I was comping last night and had some time to ponder, it occured to me why I may be percieved as such. Rick (I think) made the accusation and has quotesd me as saying, “When I describe Arminian theology I know what I am talking about.” Thatw as not intended as an arrogant statement such as, “Hey, I’ve been to BIble school, I know everything.” As I thought on these things this morning, it occurred to me that you might not realize that the two schools I attended were both quite arminian. They only non-Arminian point they held to tightly was “eternal security.” They believed General Redemption and allowed some latitude ont he other three points. My reason for writing that line was this: I had been accused of building a straw man. My response was that O was raised and trained as an Arminain, or at least a free-willer, so I do know what I am talking about. That’s not a boast, its just a fact based on my experience.

As to Grace making distinctions:

Imagine two men: Jim-Bob and Billy-boy: Free-will religion, as I experienced it, would say that God loves both equally, is equally desirous of their salvation, that Crist died equally for both men. (For now, I’ll leave off talking about the Holy Spirit.) In the end, only Billy-Bob is saved. Npw, when looking for a reason for different outcomes, we can exclude all the causes that are the same. We must look for what is differnt in the two cases if we are to discover what made the difference in the outcome.

Since the love and will of God, and the sacrifice of Christ are the same for the two men in question, it must be something other than God’s love or will or Christ’s sacrfice that made the difference.

Now. most of those around whom I was raised, would agree with that, for they truly beleive it is the free-will decision of sinners that determined the final outcome of God’s plan of salvation. It is not God’s will the determines the outcome, it is man’s; or so they say.

But that runs contrary to what the Scripture says concerning God’s grace and mercy: it is not of him that will or him that runs, ut God, who shows mercy.

That is the meaning of the four questions I put forth earlier.

I am going back to camp. Probably not near computer until Friday.

ttfn

185   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
September 26th, 2007 at 7:12 pm

So does that mean you’re not related to Amy Terrell?

186   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 26th, 2007 at 7:57 pm

Joe T,

I think that the example you gave misses a fine point. Even Calvin stated that the “eternal election” was the plan that God had before anything existed. (besides God Himself and Jesus who was in the Father)

Since the love and will of God, and the sacrifice of Christ are the same for the two men in question, it must be something other than God’s love or will or Christ’s sacrfice that made the difference.

Now, this is true, yet the difference is that the plan and mystery that is Christ was reveal in Jesus… as He was incarnated lived, crucified, died, and then rose the third day… that was the “eternal election” for it was Jesus God foreknew and those who would see this “Mystery” who is Christ would then need to respond….

God is the initiator of Salvation, and man is the responder. Calvin speaks of God having “free will” in his commentary on Ephesians, yet, we being in His Image also have “free will” otherwise we cannot believe and receive, (agreed that this is by faith which is a gift of God) yet, in that most miss free will comes into play as we respond… but more so as we freely love God.

If we were free before the fall, then though free placed under a covenant with death, we under that covenant had to play the part to honor that.. so we placed our free will under bondage.

Now, we are the captives set free as Jesus died to put to death sin (Romans 6:6-7) and we who respond to this salvation that was from all eternity, as the Plan was always the Mystery of Jesus… (Romans 16:25-27) For as it states in Ephesians 1: 3-12

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will–
to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment–to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.

I hope that one can notice that the focus is all on Jesus and very little on “us” other than “he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ,” The purpose was and is Jesus…and it was “to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment-” Though eternal…it was not until Jesus was reveal as the mystery it came into effect.

Be Blessed,
iggy

187   Joe Terrell    http://www.rvgrace.com
September 28th, 2007 at 4:48 pm

Dear Joe M

As far as I know, I am not related to Amy Terrell. There is probably some connection way back, but not within a couple of generations in each direction. I did have one cousin (Robert Terrell usually called Bobby) whose family I do not know. He was about 10 or so years older then me, so we did not have much contact. I do not know the name o fthe woamn he marrried, or if he had any daughters or if he had sons who married. Bobby died several years ago at the age of c.58. Liver cancer, I think.

188   J. R. Miller    http://www.morethancake.org
September 28th, 2007 at 6:14 pm

Glad you get something from my site Sherry C. i hopr to see you around.