One of the criminals hanging alongside cursed him: “Some Messiah you are! Save yourself! Save us!”

But the other one made him shut up: “Have you no fear of God? You’re getting the same as him. We deserve this, but not him—he did nothing to deserve this.”

Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you enter your kingdom.”

He said, “Don’t worry, I will. Today you will join me in paradise.”

If this isn’t easy believism, I don’t know what is.

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67 Comments(+Add)

1   pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com/
August 20th, 2008 at 10:20 pm

Wow Nathan, great exegesis!

1st problem: The Message is the worst translation ever…well not as bad as the Klingon Translation, but you get the point.

Jesus can look at the heart. He saw the thief, stating that he was guilty of being a lawbreaker (confession) Recognizing Christ as one who was not a lawbreaker, and placing faith in him (Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom)

The problem with easy believism is that it does not involve all three parts required for salvation- mental, emotional, and volitional. Without the three in conjunction, you have an incomplete faith. Knowing about Jesus is not enough. Being emotional over sin is not enough, it must be sorrow that leads to repentance. And, if your will is not killed off and submitted to His, you have an incomplete faith.

2   Joe C    http://www.joe4gzus.blogspot.com
August 21st, 2008 at 12:17 am

The problem with easy believism is that it does not involve all three parts required for salvation- mental, emotional, and volitional.

Oh you meant THESE “parts” “required” for salvation John…right?

“By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…”

Saying there are ‘three parts’ to salvation is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard of. Are you going to seriously tell an unbeliever about the ‘3 parts’ to salvation? “make sure you got all these man!” Talk about turning God’s Way in to a man-made system.

No. No no no. We preach Christ crucified for sinners, raised to life. We preach “repent and believe the good news about me!”

3 Parts…lol…what part of Jesus message was that? So simple a child could get it? So simple the unknowledgable thief got it?

John…please. Please. Give glory to God.

Joe

3   Joe C    http://www.joe4gzus.blogspot.com
August 21st, 2008 at 12:40 am

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to make fun or chide you. I’m just saying what is this 3-parts stuff? I’ve been through the Bible plenty and never seen Jesus talk about it, let alone Paul…etc you get the idea. Just…weird.

PS, yeah the message is pretty lame for a translation, but as a paraphrase it’s fine. And that’s what it claims to be in the intro anyways. Besides, what Nathan cited is pretty much the same in all ways to the KJV, NIV, ESV, whateverSV.

4   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
August 21st, 2008 at 12:46 am

Hmmm PB… point out the scripture that states salvation comes from our “mental, emotional, and volitional” which seems to be very man based to me.

I see it as God calls or woos those and they come to Him by the very faith He gave them… Some will respond emotionally, some will take time and make a conscience decision while others will base their decision on the facts. Not all need be present at once, nor are in fact much to do with what Jesus did on the Cross and the Resurrection.

What I see here is that you are presenting a method which is much… like… PDL… or other methods. I think that the saddest thing in your “3″ list is the absence of the inner workings of hte Holy Spirit… but not that surprising to me…

So you condemn others for (so-called) man\based methods then present one yourself.

Again… so much confusion from you… I am glad I never studied where you studied if this is the result… sound too liberal to me and too man-based.

Salvation is of God and God alone… Man responds to what God did… but Man does not initiate as Jesus already did that on the Cross and by rising from the dead.

iggy

5   john b    
August 21st, 2008 at 1:40 am

PB said:

>>Jesus can look at the heart. <<

Of course He can and He obviously doesn’t need to be right next to us like He was to the thief on the cross.

And really that is THE crux of the matter….JESUS CAN LOOK AT THE HEART! There’s no special words or incantation. We believe in Jesus Christ, crucified for our sins, buried, and risen again.

6   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 21st, 2008 at 6:07 am

There are two side to this coin. It is very easy to believe on Christ for salvation and it is very easy not to as well. What I will never understand is why a Calvinist would care about false professions from the non-elect. In his theology God will save the elect regardless of whatever fad theology is around.

Who cares about easy believism, it doesn’t affect the elect and the non-elect cannot ever understand. So in essence the point is moot to the reformed and in fact has a tatse of pride in it.

We Arminians though must be careful not to manipulate sinners, but in the end salvation is a work of the Spirit. When I was saved it was incredibly easy and 33 years later it took! Paul’s “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved” is as easy as it gets.

When I read the protracted system of salvation where men place in “chronological order” the aspects of salvation I just shake my head. First draw, then regeneration, then comes repentance, then comes faith, then you are born again…what a complet waste of God’s time since the entire thing is a mystery and a work of the Spirit and can NEVER be fully parsed by the mind of man.

We cannot even just rejoice and share, we have to make it an algebra lesson. Wow.

The hard work was done at Golgotha, ours is just believe and live.

7   Eugene Roberts    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
August 21st, 2008 at 7:32 am

Here’s a new term for you: algebragotha. The system that will get you ’saved’. :-)

8   chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
August 21st, 2008 at 7:37 am

And, if your will is not killed off and submitted to His, you have an incomplete faith.

I battle my will everyday. As did Paul. Was his faith incomplete?

9   Bo Diaz    
August 21st, 2008 at 7:38 am

The problem with easy believism is that it does not involve all three parts required for salvation- mental, emotional, and volitional. Without the three in conjunction, you have an incomplete faith.

Sola scriptura, eh?

10   pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com/
August 21st, 2008 at 7:58 am

WOW

My bad.. I was describing faith, not salvation. Thanks for pointing that out guys.

But what I am saying is still true. The greek believe is a much more complex word than a mental ascent to Christ’s existence…agree?

It is much more than a mental ascent of the historicity of the Bible account of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, agree?

It is much more than an emotional crying out because we got caught in sin..agree?

The scripture seems to support that grace is accessed by faith or belief. These words are deeper than the english language makes them. That is why they need to be explained. Easy believism is simply grabbing onto Christ for our own benefit, it is presenting Christ like a salesman presents some product for life improvement. In the end, it comes down to saving faith, and that has a mental, emotional, and volitional aspect.

11   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
August 21st, 2008 at 8:11 am

The scripture seems to support that grace is accessed by faith or belief.

That would defeat the point and definition of “grace.” Grace is a FREE GIFT. You don’t “access” it. God GAVE it.

Easy believism is simply grabbing onto Christ for our own benefit,

only if you change the rules and define “easy believism” as you are doing. Sure, if you want to define easy believism as those people who USE Jesus as a means to benefit themselves or show others how righteous they are than you would be correct. But this is not how the OP was defining it and I think you know that.
The point I think the OP is trying to make is that salvation is at our fingertips. It is not something that gets “accessed” when you hit the right combo on doctrinal purity or when you step foot into the “right” church. Thank God for that!

12   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
August 21st, 2008 at 8:27 am

only if you change the rules and define “easy believism” as you are doing.

It seems to be his gift… LOL!

iggy

13   pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com/
August 21st, 2008 at 8:37 am

Chad,

That would defeat the point and definition of “grace.” Grace is a FREE GIFT. You don’t “access” it. God GAVE it.

I would agree, almost. God gives the grace as a free gift. He also gives the faith to access the gift.

For it is by grace you are saved through faith and this is not of yourselves it is the gift of God not of works least any man should boast.

14   John Hughes    
August 21st, 2008 at 8:48 am

Rick: Who cares about easy believism, it doesn’t affect the elect and the non-elect cannot ever understand. So in essence the point is moot to the reformed and in fact has a tatse of pride in it.

I agree Rick. I got into such a **discussion** with Jim B at Old Truth one time who used the term “Gospel Hardened” and “Scortched Earth” in his denunciation of the fallout of Finney’s evangelistic efforts. How can the concepts of “Gospel Hardened” and “Irresitable Grace” ever be compatible in the Calvinistic world view? I find that many committed Calvinists have no problem in setting aside a particular piece of the TULIP whenever convenient.

P.S. Let’s all remember to pray for Jim B’s health situation.

15   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
August 21st, 2008 at 8:49 am

PB-
What is faith?

Just FYI – in the Greek the “this” is neuter and faith is feminine. There is ongoing debate as to whether the “this” refers to the “grace” or to “faith” or to both.

16   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
August 21st, 2008 at 8:54 am

In the end, it comes down to saving faith, and that has a mental, emotional, and volitional aspect.-PB

How much of each portion to I need? Don’t you see the bondage and a sense insecurtiy something like this can cause. It’s a real joy robbing idea. When one is left with an insecurtiy of, “am I getting it totally right”.

In my “formative” years as a Christian I was thrown to and fro by the very thing you speak of, PB. Not knowing if I was truly saved, not sure if I was doing enough, did I cross all my “T’s” and dot all my “I’s”. It hung over my head like a storm cloud.

It took me a LONG time to come to a point where I could finally enjoy the joy that God intends for us.

It’s amazing, God had set us free, but we are determined to bring ourselves back into bondage!! Ask ten people what “easy beleivism is and you’ll get ten different answer with a little the “the gate is narrow”!

17   Neil    
August 21st, 2008 at 9:05 am

I believe that there is such a thing as “easy believism” in the negative sense it is often used… people “thinking” they are saved by… whatever.

On the other hand, I also think it is “easier” than Mike Ratliff’s blog. I’ve see both extremes in action.

As for the metaphor of the Pilgrim’s Progress… throughout the guy is called “Christian” – yet his salvation is constantantly in question as he strives to secure it. If he is “Christian” would he not already have salvation?

Neil

18   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
August 21st, 2008 at 9:19 am

As for the metaphor of the Pilgrim’s Progress… throughout the guy is called “Christian” – yet his salvation is constantantly in question as he strives to secure it. If he is “Christian” would he not already have salvation?

John Bunyan had a very, very clear understanding of what Christianity and true discipleship involves.

If a man claims to accept Christ and then there is no evidence of this, has he really accepted the Lord? So many people give verbal assent to Christ, but that is not what He’s looking for.

If you read the book of John you see that many times, Jesus is followed by massive crowds. But they have come for the fish, the bread and the miracles.

When He preaches discipleship (John 6) – his entire church is nearly decimated (from a human perspective).

When it starts to build up again, after his altercation with Pharisees regarding the woman caught in adultery, and many start believing again (John 8:30), he virtually says…

“Hold on a second please. If you CONTINUE in my word, THEN are you my disciples, and as a result of that your will know the truth, and then the truth will set you free.”
(paraphrased from John 8:31-32)

He is not interested in adherents but disciples, not lip service but heart service. And man is ever reluctant to relinquish his heart – he will give all else, but the heart is difficult to part with in this world.

I found Mike’s reference and use of Pilgrim’s Progress excellent. I challenge anyone to refute the allegory put forward by John Bunyan. You will find it is built solidly upon the rock of God’s word.

19   John Hughes    
August 21st, 2008 at 9:59 am

Paul C: I found Mike’s reference and use of Pilgrim’s Progress excellent. I challenge anyone to refute the allegory put forward by John Bunyan. You will find it is built solidly upon the rock of God’s word.

Paul C. I don’t have a problem with the allegory in the Pilgrim’s Progress. I do have a problem with Calvinists, like Mike, not being faithful to their own world view. Mike’s article is a jumbled mess of Calvinistic and Armenian world views. For example he states:

Do you see that those who want heaven, but who are not willing to do what is necessary to enter by the narrow gate, which is to deny self, take up one’s cross and follow Jesus, will reject the preaching of repentance and submitting to the Lordship of Christ?

But in the Calvinist world view because of Total Depravity the unregenerate CANNOT repent and SUBMIT to the Lordship of Christ UNTIL they are effectively called and regenerated after which their saving faith comes.

20   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 21st, 2008 at 10:04 am

John – most Calvinists play fast and loose with their theology, disregarding it when convenient and pushing down your throat when they feel like it. I wrote about Paul Washer’s duplicity here.

I find it inconsistent with Calvin’s theology to criticize the non elect for making up their own religion. What else can they do, God didn’t love them enough to offer redemption and as a matter of fact, God HATES them.

I do not know that God.

21   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
August 21st, 2008 at 10:09 am

I do have a problem with Calvinists, like Mike, not being faithful to their own world view.

I don’t get this line of reasoning. I am not a Calvinist or an Arminian, let me add.

Let me see: Someone makes a point that is true (the piece you block quote). You reject it outright because, though true, he is not adhering to the letter what he “should” believe. This makes most of what he said in the post, though true, invalid…

Imagine you knew nothing about Mike’s beliefs – isn’t the post and the reference to “easy-believism” valid?

22   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 21st, 2008 at 10:16 am

Paul – I, like Neil, believe there are many “professios” based on a gospel of self advancement and therefore it is a shallow profession. Only God knows specifically. But Calvinists cannot whine about easy believism when their theology has completely CUT OFF most sinners frome redemption.

If a sinner wasn’t included at Calvary, and if he can never be saved, what’s so wrong in letting him think he’s saved and have some false joy while he’s on his way to God’s will for his life – HELL.

23   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
August 21st, 2008 at 10:23 am

Rick – I have to disagree with this whole argument.

You are basically disregarding the truth of the post because of who’s delivering it. To me, that’s very interesting.

This is a poor line of reasoning. And hey – isn’t this very line of reasoning you guys condemn the ODMs about all the time?

24   Kyle in WI    
August 21st, 2008 at 10:36 am

So can anyone see God without holiness? Or is all that is required is simple assent to historical fact. This is the really question surronding this debate between Lordship and Easy-B.

What is faith?? There is the really root of the problem most people have a deficent view of faith and what it actually is. So what is faith?

25   Kyle in WI    
August 21st, 2008 at 10:42 am

Rick I like that point
“have some false joy while he’s on his way to God’s will for his life – HELL.

LOL. The only thing wrong is we have no clue who the elect are. All we are called to do is sow and water, no lie and give false hope, and God will give the growth.

26   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 21st, 2008 at 10:48 am

Paul – I never said I disagree with the entire post at PTT, but sometimes Mike is a little monolithic. And the chronology in regeneration is just dumb.

How can we avoid people having easy believism? How can we know who is not saved? All we can do is preach the gospel and that is the issue. The amazing things is sometimes people make professions of faith listening to a strict and orthodox preacher which later they reject, and sometimes people like me get saved listening to Billy Graham who many would call a false teacher with a false gospel.

I would not be surprised if people got saved at the xxx church which doesn’t change my opinion, it just exalts the majesty and grace of our Savior!

27   Neil    
August 21st, 2008 at 10:51 am

John Bunyan had a very, very clear understanding of what Christianity and true discipleship involves.

He is not interested in adherents but disciples, not lip service but heart service. And man is ever reluctant to relinquish his heart – he will give all else, but the heart is difficult to part with in this world. – Paul C.

Now we are adding “true discipleship” to the mix… which is different than believing in the “coming to faith” sense.

On the cross the one thief “believer” and attained salvation – and it appeared to be “easy” – from his perspective.

On the other hand, discipleship is a long arduous proposition.

Neil

28   Joe C    
August 21st, 2008 at 10:54 am

So can anyone see God without holiness?

No. As the Scripture says. However, you don’t have any holiness of your own. It is given to you in Christ. You are holy because God IS holy and has redeemed you to Himself. So don’t cast that “man we gotta do all this STUFF to make sure we’re holy, so we can ’see’ God”. Well..anyone who has ’seen’ Jesus has seen God, and anyone who has “seen” Jesus (in the way He’s talking about) is holy because He is holy; They are in Christ and are saved.

It’s very simple. There is no good thing in me but God and His amazingness.

Joe

29   Kyle in WI    
August 21st, 2008 at 10:59 am

I agree. But have you not read faith without works is dead. Faith will always produce holiness and submission to the Lordship of Christ. Faith is the root that produce all sorts of good works.

This is the really guestion what is faith. Patorboy nailed it. What is the defition of faith?

30   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
August 21st, 2008 at 11:00 am

Now… the one thing in this debate is that believing is not the same as having saving faith.

The demons believe and know who Jesus is… yet none are saved.

The man on the Cross place faith in Jesus to remember Him… He believed and had faith.

The issue of regeneration is that the Calvinist has it before one can be saved.

I see it is part of the whole process… that it starts as one comes to faith, and continues through out our growth. It is not just a one time thing… for it entails the renewing of our minds…

To state it is before one gets saved implies it is a one time thing that then stops… It is like a baby who is born but never grows…

Truly no one is fully regenerate until we are clothed in the imperishable and incorruptible.

In spiritual sense we are already there if we have faith in Christ Jesus… yet in this body of flesh we are still going to die someday unless Jesus comes back before we do.

No one can be regenerate before they come to Christ… No one can be saved and not regenerate… One must be saved to be regenerated… for that is the time it happens… we we are born of Heaven… then we are regenerate. Calvin was just plain wrong.

iggy

31   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 21st, 2008 at 11:01 am

The term “easy believism” is meant to imply a surface and ineffective faith. I do not like the word easy because it suggests that we must do something, Faith is easy, very easy. Jesus said we must be like a little child, what could be more easy than that.

So what we mean by that term is someone who says they believe and in their heart they do not. That is not believing at all.

32   Neil    
August 21st, 2008 at 11:03 am

Do you see that those who want heaven, but who are not willing to do what is necessary to enter by the narrow gate, which is to deny self, take up one’s cross and follow Jesus, will reject the preaching of repentance and submitting to the Lordship of Christ?

This is, of course, the whole debate that raged through the 80’s with the emphasis on Lordship Salvation vs. Easy believism

On one level I cringe at the phrase “…do what is necessary…” on the other hand I understand it. I like to strike a medium by emphasising the narrow gate is Christ. And going beyond that may be in danger of adding a bollard that the Bible does not.

Neil

33   Kyle in WI    
August 21st, 2008 at 11:04 am

Have you not heard it said you must be born again? Did you choose to be born the first time why do you think you can choose it in spiritual matters. For indeed the flesh can not submit to the law of good. The flesh produce flesh and the spirit produce spirit. Therefore only Spirit can give new life.

Or have you not heard it said in that only those you countiune in belife will be saved i.e John 3:16.

Here is a great quote I love.

“Whoever counts up his good work before You what does he count but Your own good gifts.” Confessions of Augustine.

34   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
August 21st, 2008 at 11:04 am

Faith is the moment when belief and action meet.

Faith is when we respond to what God has for us.

Hebrews 11:1. Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

iggy

35   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 21st, 2008 at 11:07 am

Kyle – If I cannot choose Christ and my salvation as with all others is just a total work of God on an unseeking sinner, than who cares if I don’t believe that? What does it matter what anyone believes?

Answer – it doesn’t.

36   Kyle in WI    
August 21st, 2008 at 11:07 am

What does Jesus mean when He says to taht the kindgom of Heaven belong to such as these, refering to childern?

He is speaking to there simple tust and reliance. Which is the same type of trust we must have in God. What does it mean to take up your cross daily and follow Christ? Is not salvation a daily stuggle. But we have the great hope that it does not rest on us but He who began a good work will complete it.

37   Kyle in WI    
August 21st, 2008 at 11:08 am

So it does not matter what we believe about God? I am missing your point?

38   Neil    
August 21st, 2008 at 11:08 am

One must be saved to be regenerated… for that is the time it happens… we we are born of Heaven… then we are regenerate. – Iggy

Iggy,

Are you differentiating between being saved and being regenerated? Do you mean to show an ordo salutus above when you say “We are born of heaven… then…”?

Neil

39   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 21st, 2008 at 11:11 am

“Are you differentiating between being saved and being regenerated?”

Let’s not dice up salvation and then we all become Calvinists! :)

Simplicity, people.

40   Kyle in WI    
August 21st, 2008 at 11:15 am

Why should we not understand and think about great things. Why must everything be so simple. The old saying goes the bible(gosple) is so simple a child can understand and so complex that theologians can spend a lift time studing it. That is the beaut of it. I t is both simple and complex.

41   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 21st, 2008 at 11:17 am

Sinner + Jesus = Salvation

There will be a test.

42   Neil    
August 21st, 2008 at 11:35 am

hmmmm… a test, sounds like works salvation…

43   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 21st, 2008 at 12:08 pm

Neil – you have just failed the test.

44   Keith    http://fivepts.blogspot.com
August 21st, 2008 at 12:16 pm

Rick: As long as we’re grading on a curve…I think I got it!

45   John Hughes    
August 21st, 2008 at 12:30 pm

Paul C: Let me see: Someone makes a point that is true (the piece you block quote). You reject it outright because, though true, he is not adhering to the letter what he “should” believe. This makes most of what he said in the post, though true, invalid…

Like Rick I did not say I disagreed with his entire post. But it just urks me to no end to see this duplicity and it does make for difficult reading when I have to mentally correct Calvinists in their own theology, epsecially when they are audacious enough to equate their believe system with Scripture and all others as sub-par or heretical.

Can I read Calvinists and glean a lot of good stuff? Absolutely. My library is filled with Calvinistic authors. But I don’t find the classical Calvinistic authors to be so confused about their own beliefs. I can respect a man for his convictions even when I strongly disagree, but for heaven’s sake please be consistent within your own world view, especially if that world view is hyper-exclusive with a massive superiority complex.

46   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
August 21st, 2008 at 12:34 pm

Neil,

Iggy,

Are you differentiating between being saved and being regenerated? Do you mean to show an ordo salutus above when you say “We are born of heaven… then…”?

Regeneration is the salvation process… it happens at very time we are born of Heaven and carries on until we are with Christ Jesus… at the Resurrection.

Look at this verse and tell me regeneration must happen before we are saved…

Matthew 19: 28. And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

The regeneration is fulfilled at the Resurrection… it is not “before” we are saved… unless one twists it to mean we are only saved at the Resurrection and not now. It starts when we come to saving faith in Jesus.

Those are Jesus’ words… I think He trumps Calvin and Steve Camp.

iggy

47   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
August 21st, 2008 at 12:42 pm

John,

Like Rick I did not say I disagreed with his entire post.

What I am saying is that the intent of this post was not to Calvinism or anything like that but Nathan was trying to refute Mike’s claim of easy-believism – the McDonald’s version of Christianity today that now passes as legitimate. By mimicking successful business practices and marketing techniques, the gospel has become a product.

The main problem with the gospel as a product is that people become consumers, and unfortunately consumers are fickle.

Conversely, Christianity should develop believers that are steadfast, that are lights and salt.

48   EnnisP    http://taitoday.blogspot.com/
August 21st, 2008 at 12:47 pm

Rick observed…

What I will never understand is why a Calvinist would care about false professions from the non-elect.

Great thought. I hosed myself when I read it.

Calvinism has a very blind kind of literalism. In their type of logic you could marry the sign on a bathroom door because it has “woman” on it.

JoeC said…

you don’t have any holiness of your own. It is given to you in Christ. You are holy because God IS holy and has redeemed you to Himself.

That fact is clearly emphasized in theology but lost in practise. We waste a lot of emotional energy trying to achieve what has already been accomlished.

PB said…

Jesus can look at the heart

If Jesus couldn’t have seen the man’s heart what do you think He would have said to investigate the validityof his faith? What do you say in situations like that?

The truth is, people get saved in all kinds of very strange and different situations with many different methods being used.

People have gotten saved in situations where Christians are hardly different to the world and others have simply acted the part to be accepted in extremely staunch environments, not getting saved at all.

Our methods really aren’t that important. The heart of the person and the work of God make the difference. We are at best cheerleaders.

49   Kyle in WI    
August 21st, 2008 at 12:57 pm

Good point Iggy. Salvation is always an on going work as not fully completed in us until the reutrn of Christ. This phrase really confused me “in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory” What does this mean. Here is some comments I found on this verse and it just valdiates your point even more.

“What is the “regeneration”? The Greek word for regeneration is palingenesia, and it refers to the millennial Kingdom. It is used in only one other place in the New Testament, and that’s in Titus 3:5. There the word refers to our new birth in Christ. In Matthew 19:28 Jesus is talking about the rebirth of the earth. That rebirth is a perfect parallel to our individual palingenesia as we are born again in Christ. Just as our new birth is incomplete until we enter heaven, the earth awaits its rebirth in the millennial Kingdom. We wait for the new heaven and the earth waits for the new earth.”

Who do you think said this?

50   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 21st, 2008 at 1:00 pm

“Who do you think said this?”

Nostradomus.

51   Kyle in WI    
August 21st, 2008 at 1:10 pm

lol
Jonny Mac

52   John Hughes    
August 21st, 2008 at 1:10 pm

Paul C: The main problem with the gospel as a product is that people become consumers, and unfortunately consumers are fickle.

Paul, I actually agree with all of that which is why I am so at odds with the Church Growth Movement’s methodologies. But this is an argument that is only valid in a non-Calvinistic world view and having debated Calvinists ad nausium, it just rankles when they do this type of thing.

So yes, I have **issues** and admit I cannot look objectively at such articles from known militant Calvinists without being distracted by their inconsistencies. I may disagree with many of the authors on this site, but at least they are consistent in their world view. I can respect that.

53   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
August 21st, 2008 at 1:31 pm

John – I appreciate your honesty in this regards.

But I would suggest that the BIGGER issue is not the inconsistencies of a blogger, but the problem posed by McDonald’s-style Christianity that does a wonderful job of reducing Christianity to something that Jesus Himself stood against…

Here’s an interesting post to take a look at – a church leader promoting the concept of franchise-style growth…

http://blog.christianitytoday.com/outofur/archives/2008/02/franchising_chu.html

So again, don’t get hung up on the issues you’re being distracted by and see the greater issue that’s assailing the church.

54   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
August 21st, 2008 at 1:32 pm

BTW, I normally don’t do this, but can I be so bold as to suggest a viewing of a video from our most recent service this past weekend at the church I attend – available on the home page:

http://www.themidnightcry.com

Sorry in advance for the poor visual quality…

55   Neil    
August 21st, 2008 at 1:48 pm

Iggy,

I wasn’t disagreeing, I was seeking clarification – thanks. I’d want my cake and eat it too – that salvation/regeneration is both punctiliar and progressive.

As for the note on Matt – I don’t think the rebirth of the earth is the Millennium. Clearly there will be a New Heaven and a New Earth, a rebirthed heaven and rebirthed earth after the Millennium (if there is one).

Neil

56   Kyle in WI    
August 21st, 2008 at 1:59 pm

Yeah I an no dispensationlist either. It is jsut a good note and explaintions of what “in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory” just a wierd phrase and I have never really notice it before. Becasue in Romans it also talks about nature and us both waiting for the return of Christ. That both man and creation will be regenerated.

I would say I am a pan-millinialist. Everything will pan out in the end.

57   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
August 21st, 2008 at 2:11 pm

Neil..

I took it as clarification… so I clarified… LOL!

Really, I see that there is a millennial reign… as Rev states, and then the final judgement which includes the resurrection of the dead. Chapters 19 and 20 show this.

Jesus return with both salvation and judgment in chapter 19 then the millennial reign, then after the final judgement we turn the page to the New Heaven and New Earth. Now… I think these are this earth and heaven only restored and made better and incorruptible and imperishable… as we are promised to be.

I see Rev in 4 ways..

1. What is….. (the time it was written… an encouragement in symbolism to the believers under persecution)

2. most of it was already fulfilled… by 70AD as predicted by Jesus…

3. What is to come… Jesus has yet to return so it is not finished yet.

I would be a partial preterist… yet as my pastor who is a full preterist acknowledges… Jesus ain’t here yet.

iggy

58   John Hughes    
August 21st, 2008 at 2:55 pm

Paul C. – I am very much in your camp on this issue. I am very much opposed to RW and PDL. However, after interacting on this site and after careful introspection I have had to temper my demonization of RW. I still strongly disagree with his approach to things but I can see he does do some good.

59   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 21st, 2008 at 2:59 pm

Thank you, John, for a thoughtful comment. We must not just project ungracious views, but we must avoid compromise without avoiding being like Christ.

60   Kyle in WI    
August 21st, 2008 at 3:06 pm

Rick just a quick note, Jesus was pretty hard on false teachers. He did not mince words. But I agree we need do everything in love and gentleness. Just wanted to make the note of calling false teachers a brood of vipers or pretty caskets only full of dead bones and rotting flesh would be acceptable??

61   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 21st, 2008 at 3:15 pm

Kyle – we maut carefully consider who we equate with “brood of vipers” as in Jesus’ day. These men would soon crucify the Messiah, and they were teaching a works salvation. Rick Warren’s approach has some serious problems, but he teaches salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

62   Kyle in WI    
August 21st, 2008 at 3:21 pm

Most people would say that Rick is teaching a works salvations also. I think that is where a lot of his critics really hate his method. He may say he is a calvinist and an orthodox protestant but what does he preach and do every Sunday. Not that I want to start a debate on his teachings. His PD method is not wrong it is what he fills the five purposes with that make him wrong. But anywho lets not go down that rabit trail.

63   John Hughes    
August 22nd, 2008 at 8:34 am

Kyle, just for clarity RW is not a Calvinist other wise he would be “in” the “in club” and the ODMs would turn a blind eye.

64   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 22nd, 2008 at 8:36 am

John – I’ve been “clubbed” by the “in club”! :)

65   Kyle in WI    
August 22nd, 2008 at 11:05 am

For the record, ask RW he claims to be a calvinist.

“By the way, I am not a hyper-Calvinist. I am a Kuyper-Calvinist! Abraham Kuyper was right about so much. You can see his influence all through Purpose Driven Life. (smile)”

http://www.puritanboard.com/f24/rick-warren-kuyper-calvinist-34355/

That is where the question comes in, he claims othrdoxy but does not seem to practice it in his preaching/teaching.

66   nathan    http://www.nathanneighbour.com
August 22nd, 2008 at 11:12 am

Kyle,

Just a suggestion on research techniques. People’s opinions of something usually do not count as credible sources. I am concerned that all of the sources you site are opinion blogs. I would expect you to have read all purpose driven material available, thoroughly read thru Saddlebacks’ website and listened to some of Warren’s podcasts before becoming the expert. Then you can simply quote the man, and not what the ODMs say of him

67   Kyle in WI    
August 22nd, 2008 at 11:15 am

This is a a supposed quote from RW on the acutal blog, go a head a look at the link. Schuller claims to be a calvinist also. What is wrong if Warren says he is a calvinist.