Archive for September 20th, 2007

The doctrine that is called “limited atonement” is a wrong teaching that is only eclipsed by salvation through works and the denying of Christ’s divinity. It teaches that the Lamb of God, Jesus the Christ, only died for a very few upon the cross. God chose a “few” that would “find” the narrow path and Christ came only to die for them and no others. So you can never have the assurance that when you witness to someone that Jesus actually died for that person. Jesus may not have died for your children, your husband or wife, you mother or father, only God knows who Jesus died for and by His own admission the total pool of sinners that Jesus suffered for is very small.

One of the great mysteries in the theological metamorphosis is how can anyone really believe that since the Scriptures are very clear about who Jesus came to provide a ransom for. So read these verses and without attempting to make them fit into any preconceived doctrine what do they openly teach? Would a saved man stranded on an island, new in his faith, and with only a Bible and a dictionary, ever come to believe this teaching? Read more.

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I think we fixed the audio problems from before. It sounds a lot nicer than it has any right to being done over skype.

Rick and I ruminate on why the church seems to be stuck looking in the rear view mirror, instead of moving forward.

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icon for podpress  Rear view myopia: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download
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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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MMI comments on the recent Johnny Mac interview here:

Here are some great quotes from John MacArthur from a recent edition of Answers magazine. Great quotes, not because I agree with them… most I do not. They are harsh and many times over reactive, in my opinion. John’s radio program is called Grace to You; but sometimes it appears that that grace is only bestowed on you if you believe exactly as he does. Kind of reminds me of the soup nazi on the old Seinfeld episode. (Seinfeld, for all you MacArthurites, was a popular hit show in the American culture in the 1980s.) His line was… “No Soup for You.” Well, if you’re a pastor who’s reading MMI, it quite possibly could read, “No Grace for You.”

The comment I would add is that JM (and many of his devotees) have forgotten that the theology of how is still theology. When James writes, “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness” that is every bit as much theology as “saved by grace through faith”.

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