purpose?I woke up this morning to this. I have to say it wasn’t the best thought as I sipped my extra dry cappuccino at Pete’s Coffee and Tea. I actually began to feel incredibly sorry for the many people who read this and will actually believe it. I mean, imagine walking through life wondering if the purpose God has for you is a good one, or one that will lead to total destruction. How would that change how we live… in complete and udder fear of the future. I mean, life becomes one big turn of the dice. Will God give me a good purpose in life, or will He not?

You see, this is the God of illogical predestination. He randomly chooses some to have a good purpose in life, and randomly chooses some who will not. And, you will / can never know which one he will choose for you. We are simply pawns on some divine chess board.

Now, we may not have the ideal life by human standards. I am sure that Jim Elliot was not planning on being speared to death, leaving his family behind at such a young age. But was his purpose still good? Sure. Hundreds came to the faith. And, if you ask Elisabeth Elliot if she has any regrets over the situation, she would probably tell you the same. His life had a beautiful purpose. Pastor Martin Luther King Jr. was probably not planning on being assassinated. But the good and blessed purpose of His life has left ripples in eternity. For those that follow the Lord, there is a great purpose for our lives (and Rick Warren would agree that following God is the prerequisite for having a good purpose in life).

If course, the ironic thing is that most of the people who would hold to this view probably believe that they all have a good purpose in life. This poster and ideology would only apply to anyone other than themselves and their pack of Christian friends.

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408 Comments(+Add)

1   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
July 7th, 2008 at 12:06 pm

Amen.
Good thoughts, brother.

You make a good point at the end. It is amazing how in a warped way, we tend to exempt ourselves from the very warning/counsel/advice/etc. we are so quick to dump on others.

Lord help!

2   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 7th, 2008 at 12:28 pm

There are two ways to look at that poster. If through the eyes of Calvin, then you are correct, Nathan.

But if the poster is a warning in and of itself, and if a person can change his ways, then it is a good object lesson.

Calvinism is such a destructive and illogical and unbiblical prism through which to view Christ and His Word. It must be rejected with extreme prejudice.

Rick Frueh – circa 2008

3   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 7th, 2008 at 12:32 pm

A better caption would be:

If you refuse the Words of Jesus, the purpose of your life may tragically become a warning to others.

4   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 7th, 2008 at 12:41 pm

BTW Nathan – If you are not elect and your life’s purpose is ordained by God as a sinking ship, what can you do about it? And will a person who is predestined to be a sinking ship even know they are? Who is this poster addressing, the living Titanics whose predetermined destruction is meant to please God?

Calvinism is a great deception.

Rick Frueh – circa 2008

5   richard abanes    http://abanes.com
July 7th, 2008 at 12:44 pm

I don’t know what this poster is actually trying to say, given the fact that a key term is nowhere defined — i.e., “good.”

“Good” according to who? God? God per your understanding of God? You on a subjective level? The Bible? Donald Trump? Some gang member in East L.A.?

Unclear. Problematic. Messy.

6   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
July 7th, 2008 at 12:46 pm

Wait! They are preaching arminianism at CRN.. and backhandedly promoting the Purpose Driven Life! LOL!

If the “downside” is that we can serve as a waring to others, then it is our choice whether we serve the Purpose (God’s which is what the Purpose in PDL is about) or we serve as a warning for not having served that purpose.

Great job CRN! Jacobus Arminius would be proud!

iggy

7   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
July 7th, 2008 at 12:46 pm

Wait a minute, guys…this boat isn’t sinking, it’s bobbing to the surface, rising from the deep abyss.

new caption:
PURPOSE
Only God can take something dead and resurrect it and give it a purpose.

8   nc    
July 7th, 2008 at 12:52 pm

Too bad.
I really like the humor over at Despair.com.

9   nc    
July 7th, 2008 at 12:54 pm

On second thought…

This could be a nice epitaph for ODM’s and their sycophants.

10   nc    
July 7th, 2008 at 12:55 pm

1,2,3…

cue the: “youbecomewhatyouhate”, caaaawwwwww, caaawwwwww, I’m clever cuz I could say the same thing about you too, caaaaawwww, caaaaaawwwww.

11   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
July 7th, 2008 at 12:57 pm

Wait a minute, guys…this boat isn’t sinking, it’s bobbing to the surface, rising from the deep abyss.

new caption:
PURPOSE
Only God can take something dead and resurrect it and give it a purpose.

I like that a lot Nathanael!

igs

12   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 7th, 2008 at 1:00 pm

Other captions:

Sink your old life, Christ can give you a new one!

Reject hedonism and sink your yacht!

Watch out for iceburgs!

God has provided a life raft!

The party’s over!

13   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
July 7th, 2008 at 1:19 pm

The next audienceone cruise with Steve Camp will be cancelled…

14   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
July 7th, 2008 at 1:19 pm

Rick,
No smilies?

15   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
July 7th, 2008 at 1:20 pm

igs,
I’ve always been a half-glass-full kind of guy…

:D

16   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 7th, 2008 at 1:24 pm

:twisted:

17   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
July 7th, 2008 at 1:26 pm

what are the key codes for that one?
:RICK(

18   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 7th, 2008 at 1:30 pm

Be the best warning you can – go down quickly.

This iceberg’s for you!

And down goes Frazier!

Who are you to question the Captain?

Your predestined Love Boat.

God has a plan for your life – enjoy the ride!

8O :lol:

19   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 7th, 2008 at 1:31 pm

Here it is Nathaniel:

http://faq.wordpress.com/2006/06/04/what-smilies-can-i-use/

20   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 7th, 2008 at 1:35 pm

Your life – A three hour tour! 8)

21   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
July 7th, 2008 at 1:36 pm

Thanks…watch out, blogosphere! Just as Rick is settling down from his overusage of the smilies, I’m coming at you!

:roll:

22   Kyle in WI    
July 7th, 2008 at 1:47 pm

I think that you miss the point. Most people look for the purpose as something that is good to them, make them happy in a wordly sense. But with God we know all things work out for the good. Like the examples you mentioned was it “good” that they died. No people would rather live, but it did turn out good.

I would say that this poster is decrying the PD and WOF movements saying everything is focused on you and how many creature comforts you can gain in this life.

How do you hanlde the verses sited by your counter parts. God makes some vessels for dishonorable purposes!

Anyways I think the picture and caption is fine. Our culture sees personal peace and afluence as the utlimate good, when God has a very different meaning to that word.

23   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 7th, 2008 at 1:50 pm

“Spiritual shipwreck – If you are the elect you rejoice, if not you sink.”

Captain Calvin

(Somewhere on that voyage first mate Michael Servetus had to walk the plank!) 8O

24   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 7th, 2008 at 1:55 pm

Kyle – To whom is the poster speaking? If it speaks to one who God created to be destroyed what can they do? Is God rubbing it in?

I would say that this poster is decrying the PD and WOF movements saying everything is focused on you and how many creature comforts you can gain in this life.

So if the purpose of a person’s life is to get caught up in the WoF movement and provide a warning to others – rejoice! We should than God for deceivers, they are faithfully fulfilling God’s will for their lives!!!

25   Jerry Hillyer    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
July 7th, 2008 at 2:02 pm

“And after David served God’s purpose in his own generation, he died and was buried with his ancestors and his body decayed.” Acts 13:36

26   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
July 7th, 2008 at 2:02 pm

How do you hanlde the verses sited by your counter parts. God makes some vessels for dishonorable purposes!

Kyle,
You need to read that section in Romans more carefully. Paul is basically telling the Jews that they have no right to be angry at God when He extends mercy to “objects of His wrath”. It’s basically Paul telling the Jews that they can’t just think of themselves as the “chosen ones” and everyone else as people God doesn’t love. Ironically, many Calvinists have fallen into the same trap as the Jews Paul is writing to!

27   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
July 7th, 2008 at 2:02 pm

This poster was not created to point out the error of PD or WoF. It is a tongue-in-cheek “demotivator” poster created by despair.com.
Here is the link to the original:
http://despair.com/mis24×30prin.html

28   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 7th, 2008 at 2:05 pm

Are you kidding me, Nathaniel???

Wow.

29   Kyle in WI    
July 7th, 2008 at 2:06 pm

“We should than God for deceivers, they are faithfully fulfilling God’s will for their lives!!!”

Is this not what the bible promised. That false teachers would arise ect…We should thank God because He brought about those false teachers for a reason, for our good, to those that are called according to His purpose and love Him.

Also Jesus when asked the destruction of people, the tower collapse, and the temple massacre. Basically he said this is a warning.”Repent or you likewise will perish” Not really the same context but every false teacher has just help the church define what chrisianty really is. So there is a good purpose in the midst of the bad. Or is God’s arm to short to accompish His purposes?

30   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 7th, 2008 at 2:08 pm

“Is this not what the bible promised. That false teachers would arise ect…We should thank God because He brought about those false teachers for a reason, for our good, to those that are called according to His purpose and love Him.”

I thank God for pedophiles. See, Kyle, that is goofy theology.

31   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
July 7th, 2008 at 2:11 pm

Kyle,
God is not the author of sin. I don’t believe He ever wills for evil to happen. Certainly He is all-powerful and infinitely creative, so He can make something beautiful in its aftermath; but to say that He is responsible for evil isn’t a Biblical concept.

32   Kyle in WI    
July 7th, 2008 at 2:19 pm

Phil,

Where do you see that in Romans at all.

19You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20But who are you, O man,to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 24even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?

So why does God find fault if He is in control and choose who to have mercy on. Like any calvinist would would affirm and any arminian would decry. How can he find fault still???

Basically according to this passage it is not our right to ask why God makes vessel for certain puproses. Kind of the samthing God told Job. Who are you to ask me??

Remeber Paul just said all of Isreal is not true Isreal, so he is talking about individuals and why some are loved by God and other are not. So basically God does because He is God and it is not our place to question His will and conusel.

God like he says in Peter, is delaying judegment day that His mercy and goodness might be exalted! Angles long to look into this mystery because they never say nor recived mercy. Goes back to the old question. Why would God creat us if he knew we were going to rebel and hate him in Adam and in ourselves. This is some of the answer but we must always remember not to speculate on who is what kind of vessel. The sercet things belong to God.

Anyways that is enough fun for today.

33   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
July 7th, 2008 at 2:21 pm

I just noticed that verse 22 starts with “What if…”
I never noticed that before.

34   Kyle in WI    
July 7th, 2008 at 2:23 pm

So is evil outside the control of God? Or is it something that was created by someone else? God is not the aurthor of evil, he never does evil and can not. But this is a HARD question how does it relate to God and His soverignty? hard stuff.

35   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
July 7th, 2008 at 2:25 pm

So is evil outside the control of God? Or is it something that was created by someone else?

Unfortunately, Kyle, that is not an either/or question. You changed the subject and verb in each sentence.
Evil is NOT outside the control of God.
God did not create evil.

36   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
July 7th, 2008 at 2:27 pm

Kyle,
You really need to look at some commentaries of Romans to get the context and rhetoric that Paul is using in the book. I really recommend Ben Witherington’s. I won’t get into the details here, but even in that same chapter you quote, there’s this section.

What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? As he says in Hosea:
“I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people;
and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one,” and,
“It will happen that in the very place where it was said to them,
‘You are not my people,’
they will be called ’sons of the living God.’ “

Basically, Paul is talking to Jews who are content in being the chosen ones. He’s basically telling, hey, the fact that you’re chosen doesn’t mean God can’t choose those who were previously not chosen.

Remember, a text without a context is just a pretext for whatever you want it to mean.

37   Kyle in WI    
July 7th, 2008 at 2:27 pm

Well nothing in creation has come into being apart from the will of God. So all I am saying is that this is a tough question even for a calvinist!

38   Kyle in WI    
July 7th, 2008 at 2:31 pm

No he is talking to Romans, mostly genitles, and he is telling them that it is up to God’s grace not national identity that saves!

“Basically, Paul is talking to Jews who are content in being the chosen ones. He’s basically telling, hey, the fact that you’re chosen doesn’t mean God can’t choose those who were previously not chosen.”

We, gentiles, have always been chosen, since before the world was created. That is a long time ago and there is no changing of who is chosen. That would nulify the promise if God could renig. Again not saying who and who is not elect, that is not for us to know, just that God’s word can not be thwarted.

Remember when you take the text out of context all you are left with is a con!:)

39   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 7th, 2008 at 2:53 pm

God created evrything and some of His creation had the potential to do evil. That is not the same as when he created the stars. One is a direct – according to my will – creation, the other is within His permissive will and an indirect creation.

40   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 7th, 2008 at 2:54 pm

Even Paul calls evil a mystery. We surely should not rejoice in iniquity.

41   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
July 7th, 2008 at 2:55 pm

No he is talking to Romans, mostly genitles, and he is telling them that it is up to God’s grace not national identity that saves!

Nope, the church in Rome was founded by Jews, and they most likely made up the majority of the body. There were a good number of Gentiles, and there may have been conflict between these two groups. Basically, Paul is telling them that neither of them have the right to look down on the other one.

42   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 7th, 2008 at 2:57 pm

Unconditional election and limited atonement will always throw your entire exegesis way off throughout Scripture.

43   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
July 7th, 2008 at 3:08 pm

Nathan,

Someone may have already noticed, but I did not want to read ALL the comments to find out.

But where you said:

in complete and udder fear of the future

This would be referring to a phobia of future cow lactation.

44   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
July 7th, 2008 at 3:10 pm

S.J.,
That’s udder-ly hilarious… ;-)

45   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 7th, 2008 at 3:10 pm

SJ –:)

46   Eugene Roberts    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
July 7th, 2008 at 3:11 pm

:idea: Someone once said (I think it was Rick Godwin :?: ):

A theologian is someone who looks for a black cat in a dark room which is not there and finds it :!: :roll:

I don’t know how it relates to this thread but I just wanted to post some smilies. :lol:

47   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
July 7th, 2008 at 3:11 pm

S.J. Walker: Pointing out Arminian-Dairy Farmer typos since 2006.

48   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
July 7th, 2008 at 3:13 pm

I’m going to milk this one for all its worth.

This is the cream of the crop.

Puns are my bread and butter.

Whoa, someone ought to ween me off here…

49   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
July 7th, 2008 at 3:17 pm

I don’t know, those were pretty cheesy.

50   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 7th, 2008 at 3:20 pm

False teacher – someone who doesn’t agree with me.

Heretic – an insect who lives in the scalp

Expert – a former spurt

Mature believer – someone who agrees with me

Committed believer – someone who agrees with me

Spirit of Discernment – agrees with me

Strong meat – agrees with me

Shallow milk – agrees with you

Wind of doctrines – questions

Red Sox fan – apostate.

:lol:

51   Eugene Roberts    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
July 7th, 2008 at 3:29 pm

False Churches – Those who open the service anything else than a 100 year old hymn
Lying prophets – Anyone who says God’s news is good news
False convert – You have not confessed every sin you have ever done before you accepted Christ

52   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 7th, 2008 at 3:36 pm

Liberal – teaching Christ died for everyone

Conservative – no gay friends

Orthodox – hates sinners

Pentagram – a message from one five pointer to another

53   Eugene Roberts    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
July 7th, 2008 at 3:48 pm

Research – I saw it on Fox network

Communist – He helps the poor

54   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 7th, 2008 at 4:01 pm

Original language – Calvin’s Institutes

Exegesis – Spurgeon says

Evangelism – discipleship

Watchman – Jeremiah Timex

55   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
July 7th, 2008 at 4:03 pm

I mean, imagine walking through life wondering if the purpose God has for you is a good one, or one that will lead to total destruction.

As one that has been in combat as a soldier(infantryman) and survived. It makes perfect sense to me…I’ve lived it!

56   Joe C    http://www.joe4gzus.blogspot.com
July 7th, 2008 at 4:11 pm

Red Sox fan – apostate.

Not funny Rick :cry: . In Boston growing up, we said that the Yanks were hell-bound. So just to give you some perspective, the other side always thinks the other guys are going to hell.

As one that has been in combat as a soldier(infantryman) and survived. It makes perfect sense to me…I’ve lived it!

I know exactly what you mean Scotty. I’ve had those same thoughts during my time in the military and overseas. I often wonder “has my purpose been fulfilled? And is my time up, on this mision?” Weird thoughts…

57   Steve    
July 7th, 2008 at 5:44 pm

Canadian checking in.

May I say… who cares about baseball.

Hockey’s the real game.

Get with the program, people.

58   Ken Silva    http://www.apprising.org
July 7th, 2008 at 6:15 pm

Steve,

“Hockey’s the real game.”

Now you’re talkin.

59   Joe C    http://www.joe4gzus.blogspot.com
July 7th, 2008 at 6:17 pm

GO BRUINS!!

60   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
July 7th, 2008 at 6:40 pm

Joe C,
Boston Stinks! In baseball, football, basketball and hockey. If you want, send me your address and I’ll mail you a copy of the Super Bowl. You can watch in your bus driver uniform that gets you into the adult version of the Boy Scouts. :)

61   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 7th, 2008 at 6:42 pm

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

Yankees = 26

Red Sox = 2

That is your brain on drugs!

62   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 7th, 2008 at 6:45 pm

NHL CHAMPOINSHIPS LAST 30 YEARS

Tampa Bay Lightning = 1

Boston Bruins = 0

63   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
July 7th, 2008 at 7:29 pm

Kyle,

To a degree I agree with you reading of Romans, yet, the issue is not whether God “created” evil… it is that God bores with patience those “evil” and shows kindness so that these vessels of wrath become vessels of mercy.

The punchline that Calvinists miss is in verse 25 -33. I have yet to see a Calvinist go past verse 24.

For you see what Paul is stating is that the Jew, (Vessels of mercy) have become vessels of wrath, and the Gentile (vessels of wrath) are now vessels of mercy.

that is why Paul ends this passage like this.

25. As he says in Hosea: “I will call them `my people’ who are not my people; and I will call her `my loved one’ who is not my loved one,”
26. and, “It will happen that in the very place where it was said to them, `You are not my people,’ they will be called `sons of the living God.’”
27. Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved.
28. For the Lord will carry out his sentence on earth with speed and finality.”
29. It is just as Isaiah said previously: “Unless the Lord Almighty had left us descendants, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah.”
30. What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith;
31. but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it.
32. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the “stumbling stone.”
33. As it is written: “See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”

The Calvinist misapplies this to the Elect, yet Israel is the elect and they are now vessels of wrath because they rejected the “stone”.

This is not about God just choosing some and rejecting some, it is that some rejected the stone and stumbled over it, and rejected God and thus were rejected. Meanwhile those (Gentiles) who did not even seek God were found by God’s through His mercy, grace and kindness.

God’s Kingdom is upside down in relationship to man’s… Paul is showing this… that it is not by the works of the Law… or by being a Jew (the chosen elect) but by Grace and because of the promise to Abraham.

iggy

64   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 7th, 2008 at 7:37 pm

Very balanced, Iggy. These verses in Romans deal with the issue of Israel and the Gentiles with Romans 11 giving a very clear chronology.

This is why when you misapply these verses you have to change all sorts of words elsewhere in the NT.

65   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 7th, 2008 at 7:49 pm

What’s up with SOL?

66   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
July 7th, 2008 at 7:53 pm

Rick,

When I studied Romans 9 I realized I could never be a Calvinist as it would twist the passage to mean something is never was truly intended to teach. In fact the only one I have seen go to verse 24 is James White… Yet he is so either/or on nations and individuals that he misses it is both/and and has nothing to do with “election” in the sense the Calvinist use it for. Since this passage is the “Calvinist” passage and I see it as not teaching what they claim, then there is no way I can honestly be a Calvinist.

I have tried to point this out to a few, but they seem to not see that Paul’s conclusion is in these last verses and without them it is not tied together. They can only see what their tradition teaches.

iggy

67   Steve    
July 7th, 2008 at 9:46 pm

You guys make me so happy I’m not a pastor or a Bible teacher, just a shmoe in the church on Sundays who does Gospel magic tricks for the kids at the Wednesday night services.

;)

Seriously though, I’ve been fretting for years over whether I’m a Calvinist or an Armenian. I’ve been to web sites where Calvinists condemn Armenians as hellbound heretics (Fred Phelps) and I’ve been to Armenian sites where the opposite is stated.

I try to content myself with Paul’s simple statement: “I chose to know nothing except for Christ, and Him crucified” but I still have this nagging suspicion that I should hammer out my theology.

Well, I definitely believe in the total depravity of man. Guess that’s a starting point.

68   KyleinWI    
July 7th, 2008 at 9:48 pm

So what is the point Paul is trying to make? He is saying it does not depend one who runs, works, or wills. Salvation is from God’s grace and that is the bottom line according to Paul.

Also I think the distiction between a natural born Jew and a real “Jew” is important. The whole of nation was not elected to salvation, they where elected to a specail purpose for revelaing God’s salvation. Paul labors this point before going into this section and this is the point that most Jews missed that through them the whole world would be blessed. Remember the bible is progressive revelation, more and more is being reveled until the coming of Christ. So most, but not all, Jews missed that it was never if you were born a Jew and had circumsion with hands but it mattered if you were born again and had a curicumsion done by the Holy Spirit. I do not see how the verse you meation change anything. This is still personal but taking in categories because it talks of salvation for those who did not seek and those who seek it by works.

Also the discussion of evil is not related to this. More of a thinking question. In light of the doctrine of God how do God and evil relate?

69   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
July 7th, 2008 at 11:05 pm

Kyle,

There is one verse in the KJV that states God creates evil, yet it is the word calamity and not “evil” as in the workings of Satan.

Jesus stated that it was blasphemy to say the workings of the Holy Spirit were attributed to Satan. And James states that God does not tempt with evil…

If God created evil, and all things in Genesis that were created were “good”, then being created by God, evil is good…

It is not a logical or biblical argument to state God created evil and it was good… nor to say God created evil and it was bad…

Steve,

My issue with total depravity is that if one is totally depraved, then how is one turned over to a depraved mind as Paul states in Romans 1… One being totally depraved can’t get more depraved, yet Paul states man knew God, but exchanged the truth for a lie and then was turned over to a depraved mind. This negates the “total” in total depravity. When I confront a Calvinist with this they tend to say, “Well it is not ‘total’ depravity…” which then really raises my eyebrow as that is double speak. Meaning it is but it is not and so it is…

Again, I have honestly asked these questions without a good answer.

I stick with, “All have sinned and fallen short the glory of God”. as that seems the best answer to the fallen state of mankind.

iggy

70   Chris P.    
July 7th, 2008 at 11:49 pm

If this blog wants to be taken seriously then there better be a move beyond the maturity level of two year olds. Read through this entire thread, it’s an embarrassment.

iggy;
“The Calvinist misapplies this to the Elect, yet Israel is the elect….”

Now define Israel:

Romans 9:
6But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, 7and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 8This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.

Romans 11:
25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26And in this way ALL Israel will be saved,

Israel is all who believe through the promised one. Israel is both jew and gentile and always has been both jew and gentile.
When the fullness of the gentiles has come in and the “partially hardened”, i.e. the remnant of jews have the veil lifted, then and only then, is all of Israel saved. Israel is God’s people, jew and gentile.
Romans 2 totally discounts biology as a means of salvation.

In case any missed it:
“He will have mercy on whom He will have mercy”
All of this is done by God’s sovereign election.

As for the sudden “discovery” of the
“what if”;

Exodus 4:21
And the LORD said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles that I have put in your power. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go.”

2 Thess 2:
9The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.

11Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false,

12in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

You can worship whatever golden calf you choose.
You’re so hell bent on ridiculing Calvin and calvinists, fundies and odms, that you don’t even care what is true, and what isn’t.
And for the zillionth time, I am not a calvinist.

71   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 6:37 am

Keep in mind that “total depravity” does not mean you are as bad as you possibly can be. It means that the whole of the human (every faculty) has in some way been affected by the fall (our mind, body, soul, strength, etc). Nothing was left untouched. In the same way, salvation is the healing of the entire person.

72   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 8th, 2008 at 6:38 am

I hovered between Arminianism and Calvinism for years, but in the end I realized the Scriptures were clearly Arminian. However I think I would have become a Calvinist had it not been for Calvinists.

Rick Gandhi – circa 2008
:lol:

73   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 6:44 am

lol Rick.

Can I ask something? Do people who talk about being or not being Arminian really understand that term? It is my contention that most people who claim to be Arminian are in fact Wesleyan. Wesley articulated Arminius somewhat differently (though importantly) in that it is not about free will but about free grace. Most Calvinists argue against Arminianism (and in some respects, rightfully so) when there are in fact very few Arminians – I believe there is still one Arminian church in the Netherlands.

Just curious.

74   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 8th, 2008 at 6:50 am

I do not believe in total depravity as defined by Calvin. Man is incapable of saving himself and indeed even helping in that endeavor.

I believe man is fallen yet with an innate sense of a creator and coupled with a free will he is also capable of seeking God. Many of the world’s religions, even though false, have been constructed by someone who was seeking the divine.

But only the Holy Spirit can draw a sinner to a saving knowledge of the Redeemer, but the sinner can and does sometimes seek God. The Calvinist view of the sinner is that he cannot and will not ever seek God and only if God chooses to make him alive will he come to Christ. That theology is Biblically and practically flawed, and when listening to some of the modern reformed/Calvinistis preachers they themselves abrogate its teachings.

75   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 8th, 2008 at 6:54 am

Chad – I am an Arminian mongrel who dwells in a mixture of Wesley and Tozer and Arminius. I believe that limited atonement especially is one of the greatest heresies ever taught by believers, second only to salvation by works.

To say Jesus did not die for the sins of the world is blasphemy.

76   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 7:05 am

Rick-
I certainly agree with you that limited atonement does violence to the work of Christ.

I would also say that I do not believe in TD the way Calvin articulates it. However, I would say that unless God first moves towards us we will not move to God. The Good News, however, is that God HAS moved towards us (Calvary). It is what Wesley defined as prevenient grace – grace given and available to ALL, not just some elect.
The therapeutic model of salvation, one Wesley would claim, states all are given a so-called “dose” of grace from inception by where we can either consent or dissent. A small “yes” on our part to the grace given leads more grace, so on and so on. We move from grace to grace, glory to glory, as Paul puts it. Yet none of this necessarily detracts from the long held view of total depravity. Wesley believed in total depravity – but he also believed in the total cure available to all the world.

peace.

77   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 8th, 2008 at 7:18 am

No sinner can ultimately come to Christ but by the Spirit. But I believe a sinner can start to seek God on his own, but in the end that entire process is a mystery. I am willing to admit the unseen workings of the Spirit are in the Godhead and not very easy to define.

That is another area of Calvinism and many other systematic theologies about which I disagree, they seem to be able to define everything with an air of certainty. There is a mystery in some of these things.

One of my best friends is a strict Calvinist and yet he got saved under the ministry of Karl Strader, a health and wealth preacher whose son apstor’s the church in Lakeland that Bentley is now holding revivals. Why would God, if He orchestrates and chooses everything, give credibility to that preacher by using him to lead someone to Jesus?

See, a mystery.

78   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 7:32 am

“No sinner can ultimately come to Christ but by the Spirit.”

Agreed.

“But I believe a sinner can start to seek God on his own,”

My problem with this statement is that it would appear to make the first statement above arbitrary. At what point in the seeking does God then say, “Ok, I have it from here – good job”? Must a sinner seek well enough at the beginning for the Holy Spirit to then take the wheel? Those are just some of the theological problems I see with that, though it is not a hill I would choose to die on.
I know myself. I know that left to myself, I certainly would seek god – the problem is, it wouldn’t be GOD.

“but in the end that entire process is a mystery”

couldn’t agree more.

79   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
July 8th, 2008 at 7:38 am

Salvation is a mystery.
Amen and amen!

I know for a fact that I never would have sought Christ if He did not first seek me.
I never would have loved Him if He did not first love me.
I never, in a million years, would have chosen Him, if He had not chosen me.

That being said, I find the hard-and-fast, black-and-white hyper Calvinism to be, as you say Rick, “Biblically and practically flawed.” And I concur that limited atonement is a horrible man-made invention that robs God of His glory.

80   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 8th, 2008 at 7:50 am

Chad – a man is stranded on an island with no way to escape. His only hope is if a ship comes to rescue him, however he still looks and calls and seeks to see a ship on the horizon.

Another man on the same island doesn’t care, does not believe a ship will come, and moves to the other side of the island and lives his life.

Finally a ship comes and only one man sees it come and is rescued. The rescue was entirely due to the ship, however one man was watching and seeking.

81   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 7:57 am

Rick-
So in the end, the one who was rescued can say, “Good thing I was smart enough to stay on this side of the island.” In the end, our rescue is contingent upon how well we position ourselves.

82   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
July 8th, 2008 at 8:03 am

Did he have a volleyball that he talked to?

83   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 8:05 am

lol@Nathanael.

84   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 8th, 2008 at 8:07 am

And such is the mystery of free will. It is all of the Spirit and let us not forget that the free will is a gift from God as well. We can not glory in our faith, we glory in our Christ.

Sometimes God rescues the one who went to the other side and wasn’t looking as well. A mystery. Sometimes the boat goes around to the other side of the island and calls for the non-seeker to come aboard and the man refuses. A mystery.

Anyone who says they have it all figured out is deceived.

85   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 8:11 am

I would only change: and such is the mystery of free grace.

86   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
July 8th, 2008 at 8:12 am

There were two men stranded on a desert island. One was panicked and angry at the other man for being so calm.

The second man stated, ” Don’t worry, my pastor will find us.”

The first man said, ” What?”

The Second man said, ” I am a BIG tither. The Pastor will find me.”

iggy

87   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 8th, 2008 at 8:13 am

OK Chad, we agree on most of it. But I and my good friend John Wesley believe faith MUST be exercized by the free will of a sinner to be saved.

Before death as well. :cool:

88   Chris P.    
July 8th, 2008 at 8:14 am

This post, and the ensuing “edited” comments will be the subject of my next post.

89   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 8:17 am

It’s like you said: Anyone who says they have it all figured out is deceived.

“faith MUST be exercized by the free will of a sinner to be saved.”

That is certainly true for salvation in the present. Thank God salvation is not tied to our temporal, finite,time/space dimension.

As our good friend said with his last breath: The best thing of all is, God is with us.

90   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 8th, 2008 at 8:19 am

Iggy, Ken, Rick, Tim, MacArthur, and Mrs. Schlueter were stranded on an island.

Iggy -”Don’t worry, we are all gonig to be rescued!”

MacArthur -”Only some of us will be rescued”.

Ken wrote about Iggy in the sand.

Tim cursed his situation.

Rick agreed and disagreed depending on the day.

Mrs. Schlueter cooked dinner.

See – A Mystery!! :lol:

(The previous story was an honest attempt at humor. Anyone taking it personally should lighten up!)

91   Kent    
July 8th, 2008 at 8:31 am

Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t both Rick Warren amd Richard Abanes profess themselves to be Calvinist?

92   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 8:35 am

Kent-
They might, I don’t really know. But the term “Calvinist” is so broad that such labels don’t do a person any real justice. Not all Calvinists are 5-pointers (very few are, in fact) and then there are distinctions even beyond that. There are even such a thing as free-will Calvinists. Go figure.

93   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
July 8th, 2008 at 8:54 am

slight change to #88:

Rick traced smilies in the sand ad nauseam.

94   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
July 8th, 2008 at 8:56 am

I’m a zero-point Calvinist. :-)

95   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 8th, 2008 at 9:18 am

“I’m a zero-point Calvinist.”

That makes you Michaewl Servetus.

96   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 9:23 am

Well, let’s hope, for Phil’s sake, the island has no wood. Or at least no matches.

97   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 8th, 2008 at 9:38 am

Chad – here’s a little something on Wesley you might enjoy:

http://judahslion.blogspot.com/2007/01/christian-cruise-bout-thirty-years-ago.html

98   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 9:45 am

Rick -
That’s a great post. That is one of my favorite stories of Wesley. Even just as interesting is what he had to say when he returned home from GA quite dejected and unsure of anything anymore. He said that he had gone to GA to convert the Indians only to realize it was he who needed converted. I love his introspective honesty. If only all of us could model that more.

thanks for sharing that.
peace.

99   emergent pillage    http://emergentpillage.blogspot.com/
July 8th, 2008 at 10:03 am

–Remember when you take the text out of context all you are left with is a con!:)–

Well said, Kyle, very clever!! I’ll have to keep that one in mind. Very true.

100   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
July 8th, 2008 at 10:12 am

Remember when you take the text out of context all you are left with is a con!:)

That doesn’t even make sense…

How can you have context without a text?

101   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
July 8th, 2008 at 10:19 am

Yeah, I didn’t get that one either.

102   andy    
July 8th, 2008 at 10:28 am

If it speaks to one who God created to be destroyed what can they do? Is God rubbing it in?

What other explanation is there though Rick?? Its the main reason i’m more and more moving away from Christianity..Even so i may appear a fundie, i’m a stone cold heritic on the subject of orginal sin…

How can you get away from the fact , that a ALL KNOWING God created people who’s end is hell, and He knew that but still created them!!!!

Free will free will you shout, butttt can a person do anything other then what God as seen them do??

103   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
July 8th, 2008 at 10:44 am

Hey, Andy,
I would recommend you look at a few good books. One of them is God of the Possible by Greg Boyd. The other is The God Who Risks by John Sanders. They do a good job of presenting a few alternative views of divine foreknowledge. Another good one that is from a different angle is N.T. Wright’s Evil and the Justice of God.

Another thing I would say is that foreknowledge and foreordaination are different things.

104   andy    
July 8th, 2008 at 10:53 am

Because the truth of the matter tradional Christianity equals

Three beings floated around for an infinate time,then said “lets make some beings, and one of will be called Satan and he will betray us,and then he will lead man and woman astray”..

And “you Man and Woman were going to create you
(even so you didn’t ask to be created),and your be born a sinner…
Oh and the big kicker is were going to judge you for it, and the penalties is hell because your totally sinful,because we created you that way but thats still your fault..

Haha brilliant,oh and btw i’m LOVE ;-) “…

fairy tales!!!!!!!!

105   Kyle in WI    
July 8th, 2008 at 10:57 am

Can the pot say to the potter why have you made me this way?

106   Kyle in WI    
July 8th, 2008 at 10:59 am

How can God find fault??? For who can resist His will???

107   Kyle in WI    
July 8th, 2008 at 11:00 am

Foreknowledge is a verb as used in Romans, it is an action by God that leads to salvation.

108   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 11:08 am

Phil- All those are excellent book suggestions.

Andy – That is a characterization (and a poor one) of why God created and the ultimate plan of redemption for the world that God is bringing to pass.

N.T. Wright makes the point in Surprised by Hopethat some people think that if they cease to believe in a God as some bearded old man sitting on a cload that they have therefore ceased believing in God (and became athiests) and also, if they cease to believe hell is some place where God tortures those who didn’t believe in him (or that it is some firey pit with worms and such) for all eternity that they therefore do not believe in hell (and became universalists). He then goes on to say that there are far better reasons for not becoming an athiest or a universalist, but these are not them.

Andy, if you came to me to say you do not believe in God and then went on to describe God and God’s plans in the way you did I would agree with you 100% and tell you I do not believe in that God either.

grace and peace,
Chad

109   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 11:09 am

Kyle-

God’s foreknowledge does not lead a person to salvation. The Holy Spirit does.

110   Kyle in WI    
July 8th, 2008 at 11:15 am

28And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, forthose who are called according to his purpose. 29For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. 31What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Everyone that God foreknows(which is a verb that God does not a genral knowledge) is saved it is pretty plan in the texts, a foreknowledge by God leads to Him glorifing us. Or am I missing it?

111   andy    
July 8th, 2008 at 11:22 am

Hahaha Chad it maybe is a bad example,also i didnt say i didnt believe in God…

But u cant hide from the fact that God knows the begining and the end!!! which equals =

God created people, knowing who would not come to him…

And now to make sense of the problem, i have to read a book by a person, who is considered a heritic by 3/4 of the faith ??? Coolllllllll

112   andy    
July 8th, 2008 at 11:24 am

Chad answer me clearly, is my example crap if Boyd is wrong about God not knowing the future???

113   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 11:26 am

Kyle,

You are leaning far to much on some idea of particular election/predestination which is the opposite of what Paul is doing in Romans.
The people Paul speaks of here is all of Israel. They were the chosen people of God “predestined” to be God’s light to the world, to reflect the image of God to all the nations. He is not talking about individual, particular people.

The beauty of all of this is that God has now grafted in even the Gentiles (Gentiles = EVERYone who is not a Jew = you and I and the whole world). God has in this sense “predestined” Israel and Gentiles to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. This is a remarkable truth and the GOOD NEWS of the Gospel – Jesus Christ died for ALL the world, and by this ALL the world is now “elect,” not just Israel. The fact that Paul is writing this to Rome, a Gentile church, is noteworthy.

peace,
Chad

114   andy    
July 8th, 2008 at 11:26 am

That is a characterization (and a poor one) of why God created and the ultimate plan of redemption for the world that God is bringing to pass.

For some!!!!

115   Kyle in WI    
July 8th, 2008 at 11:33 am

So it is not taking about people and there salvation, Those whom God foreknows he saves. It can not be revocated because it is not dependt on man but on God.
So is ever gentile called then justified then glorified. This promise is for you that everything works for your good and then this great promise. Which is not based on national idenity but on God! If God is the one saving whay does this mean. That we are SAVED! AMEN!!

31What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

116   Kyle in WI    
July 8th, 2008 at 11:39 am

Also in your defetion of election it makes no sense of Jesus’s warnings against false Christ doing miracles. The are going to be so great that the would even presuade the elect if it were possible. So no one in the world will be decived since it is not possible. Again the reason we are not decived is becasue salvation belongs to the Lord from begining to end. It is the Lord who saves not us.

117   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 11:41 am

Andy -

Yes, even if Boyd is wrong your example is still “crap.”

Here is why: God, out of Love, created. In that creation he gave humans his Image, and in that Image we too have the ability to create. We are, in a sense, co-creators (what Paul calls, co-workers) with God.
God created us with the capacity to LOVE. A desire to be in relationship with others and with our Maker, not too unlike the same relationship that exists within the Godhead of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Yet God did not create us as robots. We can love, but we can love wrongly – what St. Augustine called “disordered love.” As we love and worship that which is not God (therefore, that which CANNOT bring life and healing) we become less and less human, less and less what God intended us to be. God wants us to become FULLY human, FULLY reflecting the divine image we bear. Yet we love wrongly. We become what we worship.

This dehumanization can spiral out of control and unless one repents (turns) from this idol worship they can in effect destroy any semblance of the divine image they once bore. They cease to reflect God in any capacity and they therefore cease to be human. This, is hell.

It is God’s desire that NONE should perish but that ALL might come to know the abundant life which Jesus came to give all the world. By your example, you assume you KNOW that God created people knowing in advance that they will reject Him and they will be eternally punished for it. What if Paul is dead on when he writes, “For God has imprisoned all in disobedience so that he may be merciful to all”? (Rom. 11:32).

This is a great mystery like the end of the story, Rev. 21&22. Here we find that there are some categories of people who are definately OUT. They have spurned God’s love and pleadings and have thus made their own bed. And yet, we are told that “the river of life run out of the city” and that there are trees of life on either side of the banks and their leaves are for the “healing of the nations.” Who still needs healing? Could it be that God, in his infinite love and mercy will continue to be the Hound of Heaven who eternally pursues those who rejected him in this life? This, again, is a great mystery. No doubt we will all be surprised by who this God “elected” and who is bowing before Him beside us.

grace and peace,
Chad

118   andy    
July 8th, 2008 at 11:48 am

Ok well we can agree to disagree because i think ur example is crap to!

You just don’t have the balls to have a horid God neither do i, but i’m not going to hide my head from the facts that can’t be disputed that HE IS ALL KNOWING…

You say we have free will and i can’t see that,oh yes we have a pretense of free will…But if God sees me trip up tomorrow i will…

119   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 11:52 am

Kyle-
Forgive me, but I don’t want to miss your meaning and I am having trouble decifering your last 2 posts due to what appears to be typos. Could you clarify what point you are making? Thanks.

120   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 11:55 am

Andy-
There is no reason to be rude. I don’t understand where your hostility is coming from.

Look, it isn’t about what I have the “balls” to think or not. This isn’t about what sort of God I want. It is about the sort of God revealed in scripture. The way you characterize God is no doubt the way you have been taught and probably told and probably heard preached. At least recognize that none of us is objective in this and we all come to the table with baggage.

Perhaps you can go through my description of Gods salvific plan for the world and tell me which parts exactly you think are “crap” and why? That might be a good place to start.

grace and peace,
Chad

121   Kyle in WI    
July 8th, 2008 at 11:55 am

Really quick according to the bible and most thinkers we do not have an elgalitirian free will. What was lost in the fall our moral ability to choose and do good. So a natural person has free will but will never chose to do good, no one will seek God, no one is good no not even one. So a defetion of free will is crucial to any debate on the topic.

122   Kyle in WI    
July 8th, 2008 at 11:59 am

The point I am trying to make is that election is not about general nations or peoples, but is personal and loving to whom God foreknow, call, justified, glorifies. He elects people whom He loves becasue He is good.

Just commenting also when Jesus warns us about false Christ, saying that even the elect would be decived if it were possilbe. So according to the defition that you hold no one will be lead astray becasue everyone is the elect.

So why aren’t the elect decived?

123   andy    
July 8th, 2008 at 12:02 pm

I’m not being rude,i thought u were maybe its the internet…

OK answer me one question please….

Do you believe that a sovereign God knew which people wouldn’t choose him when He created them ???

My hostility is not to you, its to the fact that Calvinsm is the only doctrine that makes sense, and i detest it so i’m screwed haha

124   andy    
July 8th, 2008 at 12:06 pm

The way you characterize God is no doubt the way you have been taught and probably told and probably heard preached

No i didnt go to church till i was 16 ish and then it was a charismatic church,i would guess their more like you..

125   Kyle in WI    
July 8th, 2008 at 12:08 pm

Andy,

Jon Edwards said that when he was a christian before before coming to the doctrines of Grace he detested them and thought them also from the pits of Hell. But God through His grace brought him to a saving knowldege of Christ. He said himself that he was so opposed to calvinism, when relfecting on his life, that he consider himself unsaved because he hated the doctrines with such vigour and passion and they are the doctrines of God. That is way grace and love are needed in these issue for you might be fighting against God and His will. Kind of scary to think that one might be fighting against God while proffessing to love Him so much, myself included, it is a very sobering thought.

126   andy    
July 8th, 2008 at 12:10 pm

Do you believe that a sovereign God knew which people wouldn’t choose him when He created them ???

This is my fundamental problem, i cant see how God didn’t know..If there’s a loop hole i’d be happy to hear it ;-)

127   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
July 8th, 2008 at 12:17 pm

Andy,
Have you actually read any good critiques of Calvinism? It is certainly not the only view that “makes sense”. In fact, it wasn’t the historical view. Most Christians were able to accept the fact that God’s foreknowledge doesn’t negate free will. If people don’t truly have a real choice, most of the Scriptures, both OT and NT become moot.

Personally, I think Boyd’s view makes a lot more sense than the Calvinist position, especially in light of Scripture.

I don’t believe Scripture teaches at all that God predestines what individuals will be saved or not. What Scripture teaches in regards to election is that God has chosen a group of people to be His own. Individuals can free associate or leave that group. The destination of the group is known and foreordained even. Individual destinies are not.

128   Kyle in WI    
July 8th, 2008 at 12:17 pm

Well that is not calvinism.

God looked down the corridor of time and saw that no one would chose Him, not even one. But while we where still sinners Christ died for us. Even though we hated and where enemies of God He loved us and sent His Son to redem us. Even though we would not chose Him if left on our own, He chose us. This is grace, that God even saved some of a wicked race and should mercy to those whom He loved. That He chagned our heart, regenrated our our spirit and then sealed us with His Spirit. Why would God do that to those who hate Him? why would He show any mercy to us? Because God is love and He is good.

So God indeed does know who will chose them becasue He first chose them. Why should a vile sinner such as I or anyone else ever be saved? Grace Alone to the Glory of God Alone!

129   Kyle in WI    
July 8th, 2008 at 12:20 pm

Here is a quote from Owen in regards to this comment

“If people don’t truly have a real choice, most of the Scriptures, both OT and NT become moot.”

“To suppose that whatever God requireth of us that we have power of ourselves to do, is to make the cross and groce of Jesus Christ of none effect.”

130   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 12:20 pm

Andy-
I’m sure it is the internets fault :)

Anways, I believe you are asking the wrong question.
Again, as my point to Kyle makes, election is NOT about individual people but is corporate – it is about nations. The question you should be asking is: Did a Sovereign God created all of humanity knowing that some would reject Him and then not provide the efficient solution to that rejection? That would indeed be a wicked God if it were so. But the Good News is that God did NOT leave us to ourselves, and did not leave us weak, sinners and enemies of his but died for us so that ALL would not perish but have everlasting life.
Evil and sin is not God’s fault. It is in the midst of evil and sin that God has reached out to save the world. The promise we have is that God WILL renew all of creation, wipe away every tear and bring justice where there has been injustice.

Calvinism is not the only doctrine that makes sense. You have proven that. I would advise stop putting your faith in a doctrine and instead place your trust in the one who promises to rescue the world.

peace,
Chad

131   Kyle in WI    
July 8th, 2008 at 12:21 pm

If Boyd is correct in His theology, which I see as the only logical conclusiong to Arminianism, was the last 2000 years of christiany false. He is saying things and teaching things that have never been said nor taught in the church before?

132   andy    
July 8th, 2008 at 12:22 pm

Hi Phil no i haven’t, obviously coming from a (strict) but charismatic church calvinism isn’t what i was taught..

I’m not even sure i’m so concerned about the 5 points i’m purely stuck on (((Do you believe that a sovereign God knew which people wouldn’t “choose him when He created them))) If its yes then i can see how important are preceived free will is ,because if God as seen it it will happen surely..

133   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 12:24 pm

Phil –
excellent points.

Kyle- You brush aside the fact that election is corporate because it is the party line of Calvinism. The fact remains, however, that when the bible speaks of election it is not about individuals. It has Israel in mind and then ALL the nations (Gentiles). As Phil said, the elect (the predestined) are a GROUP that is redeemed.

Andy- Another book you might want to read is “Debating Calvinism” by Hunt and White. It offers two perspectives side by side with counterpoints.

peace.

134   Kyle in WI    
July 8th, 2008 at 12:28 pm

Then how do you deal witho when Jesus warns us about false Christ, saying that even the elect would be decived if it were possilbe. So according to the defition that you hold no one will be lead astray becasue everyone is the elect.
Or Peter tells us to make sure of OUR, personal, election and calling. Election is personal not corparte for salvation. No election of Isreal was not for salvation but for a means of saving the world becasue that was God’ plan. The whole world would be blessed through them.

135   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 12:28 pm

Kyle –
Boyd is not saying anything new. He is attempting to be honest with scripture, and at times that can take us to truth that we don’t want to deal with. Regarding his salvation theology, Christos Victor, he is echoing the early church loud and clear. As for his views on the openness of God that is very nuanced and reflect questions that have been asked for millenia.

But that openness, in and of itself, is not the only logical conclusion to Arminianism. There are scores of Arminians who reject open theism.

136   andy    
July 8th, 2008 at 12:28 pm

corporate ?? But its clearly not accepted corprately and therefore my question still stands..

OK Did a sovergein God Know what people wouldn’t accept His corporate offer ,before he created them?

137   andy    
July 8th, 2008 at 12:31 pm

I think you can’t handle the fact that a Soverign God may of created people he knew wouldn’t pick him,because that’s a God you couldn’t love…I totally understand that,but not to point i don’t want to know the answer…

138   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
July 8th, 2008 at 12:32 pm

If Boyd is correct in His theology, which I see as the only logical conclusiong to Arminianism, was the last 2000 years of christiany false. He is saying things and teaching things that have never been said nor taught in the church before?

I would say that a majority of the church fathers were free-will theists. They simply lived with the tension that foreknowledge didn’t mean predestination. There have been a lot of people throughout history that have rejected the idea of individual predestination.

139   Kyle in WI    
July 8th, 2008 at 12:33 pm

I just see Boyd as the logical and consistent thoelogy of Arminus. Most Arminians are not constent of issue of free will and God’s choice and will. But Boyd is consistent in his theology. Well it is a heresy he is a logical and consistent thinker.

140   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 12:37 pm

Kyle-
This discussion is enjoyable but I hope you can also appreciate the many layers it entails. I do not want to give the impression that one post or one answer is sufficient to cover your questions or that I even have the right answers.

Your questions require more to be said. Jesus said that these false Christ’s might even lead astray the elect. That is the corporate elect once again – those who have stepped into the light and the life offered them freely by grace.
Yes, I said earlier that because Gentiles have been grafted in they too are elect. This is to say that not only Israel but ALL nations are now “elect.” This can be taken 2 ways:
1. One might say that all nations are now elect but this does not negage the choice of individuals to choose to be part of the elect. IOW, no one is excluded (there is no predestination/reprobation as Calvin taught). All are invited to the table – ALL are elect in this sense.

2. Salvation in multi-faceted and multi-layered. It is not only dealing with the present but also the past and the future. Also, it not only deals with individuals but with all of creation, the WHOLE of life. In this sense, ALL are elect (ALL are saved) in the finished work of Jesus Christ on Calvary. EVERYONE is saved, they just do not know it yet. That brings us to present salvation, which is what most people limit themselves (unfortunately) to thinking of when they think of salvation. Presently, while I may be elect in God’s sight because of what Jesus did I am not elect in the sense of experiencing/living that salvation that has been given me. Yet I am still “elect.” Only when God establishes his eternal rule will salvation be made complete – at that time we all may be in for a surprise.

Hope that helps clear some of that up.

peace,
Chad

141   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
July 8th, 2008 at 12:37 pm

Kyle,
Have you even read any of Boyd’s books or listened to his sermons? I think you would probably be surprised if you did. I know the idea I had of what was in God of the Possible was a lot different than what I got actually reading it. I think most of his critics misrepresent him.

142   andy    
July 8th, 2008 at 12:37 pm

I’m not being rude,i thought u were maybe its the internet…

Plus i’m in the process of bidding for a rolleiflex standard so i’m stressed haha

143   Kyle in WI    
July 8th, 2008 at 12:43 pm

Yup the difference’s are many but and all pretty much surround the TULIP. On ever point you are a remonstrant and I am calvinist. We both see it every where in the bible. The really question is how can we both see it everywhere and yet be so different on the views. I have read some of His material, which has influenced a great many of the young thinkers out there. I do not think that Piper or any others has misrepresented him at all. It is just that they are so different that there in no way in which they can relate.

144   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 12:45 pm

Andy-

You seem to be hung up on the same question which I have already shown is the wrong question to be asking. If you’d like to discuss this further I would appreciate you engaging in what I have actually written. Feel free to refute that. I’m happy to be proven wrong.

The reason I do not worship the God you describe is because he does not exist. Plain and simple. I find it difficult enough to accept a God who loves people I would hate and calls me to love them as well. The God of Calvinits does not, however, and in that sense sounds far too much like myself.

peace,
Chad

145   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
July 8th, 2008 at 12:52 pm

The really question is how can we both see it everywhere and yet be so different on the views.

I do know what you mean…

I guess it depends on what view inspires you the most, in a way. To me, the picture that Calvinism paints of God is a distant God who really isn’t involved with His creation anymore. He’s set things in motion, and He’s done. I have a hard time relating to that picture.

The picture that I see Boyd and others painting is of a God who is intimately involved with His creation, who doesn’t abandon it, and who will stick with me no matter how much I mess things up. So my decisions matter, and my life isn’t determined by fate or predestination. I can relate to that picture of God.

146   John Hughes    
July 8th, 2008 at 12:52 pm

Prayers to the god of Open Theism

oh Dear Zeus we humbly besheech your presence today

Dear god, sorry to surprise you the other day. Never saw that one coming did you? HA!

Dear god, so is that why you never give me any good lottery numbers?

147   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 12:55 pm

John-
With all due respect, that characterization of open theism is every bit as wrong as Andy’s characterization of God earlier.

148   andy    
July 8th, 2008 at 12:58 pm

I’m allowed to hung up by any question i wish to be arn’t i??

I dont think uve shown its the wrong question for me,and this is the question you replied to…But are take ur answer to mean you don’t think a sovereign God knows who will pick him when he created them…

But if ur idea of this corporate message for all is correct,then why did the bible prophecies a man would betray Jesus ,was there a corporate calling to Judas??

149   Kyle in WI    
July 8th, 2008 at 12:58 pm

Acutal calvinism teaches a deeply intimate God. I remember reading the instutes on the provedince of God. and then God marveling and a single blade of grass and how only God can make it grow. It is just amazing how active God is and we don’t even know it. He walk and have our being in Him. There is not one single moclue outside of His control. This was my point we have such opposing views yet we see our own view every where in the bible. You may not think you see calvinism in there but it is everywhere. I do not see open-theism in there but you say that is everwhere. Such oppossing views how can this be? Just intresting becasue we both can not be right.

150   Kyle in WI    
July 8th, 2008 at 1:00 pm

Election is both personal in reagrds to slavation and coporate in reagards to the nation of Isreal and revelation. Can it not be both. Otherwise Peter telling us to make sure of OUR calling and election is pointless if it is not personal.

151   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 1:01 pm

Andy,
Your comparing apples with oranges.

Does scripture speak of and about and to individuals? Sure! Does that mean election is about individuals? Of course not. It would be like saying that Psalm 50 is a poem and because Psalm 50 is scripture ALL of scripture must be a poem. That doesn’t make much sense, does it?

152   andy    
July 8th, 2008 at 1:03 pm

‘May his place be deserted;
let there be no one to dwell in it, and,
” ‘May another take his place of leadership.

Psalms 41:9 Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.

Psalms 55:12-24 If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were raising himself against me, I could hide from him. 13 But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, 14 with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship as we walked with the throng at the house of God.

Seems to me Judas was screwed a few thousand years before he was even born..

And then Jesus doesn’t even give him a out??

24 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”

153   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 1:04 pm

Kyle,
You are right. Election is personal in the subjective sense. How we appropriate God’s corporate election to ourselves is certainly personal and relates to the present sense of salvation I spoke of earlier.

154   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
July 8th, 2008 at 1:06 pm

Election is both personal in reagrds to slavation and coporate in reagards to the nation of Isreal and revelation. Can it not be both. Otherwise Peter telling us to make sure of OUR calling and election is pointless if it is not personal.

I’m kind of confused as to why you’re harping on this passage in Peter. It seems to me that the way you’re taking that passage would cause other issues with a Calvinist view. Namely you seem to be taking it to say that a Christian doesn’t have eternal security.

By the way, Calvinism isn’t by any mean what the majority of Christians believe. John Piper estimates around 5-6% of Christians in the world are Calvinists. It’s just kind of amazing to me when Calvinists talk to us like we are somehow the ones who are on the fringe.

155   Kyle in WI    
July 8th, 2008 at 1:10 pm

No we have security but one of the assurance of us being elected is fruit. How can I know for sure if God chose me to be saved. I can not look into the book of Life only Christ has the power to open up the book. So what assurance do I have that God called me personal, that He personal elected me before the world began. That my name is in the book of Life. Well one of the many was to be sure of our election is the way we live. According to Peter. The point I was making is that Peter is saying make sure God elected you, not just gentiles or jews, but YOU personal. Peter seems to think that God elects individuals.

Andy you are right on point! So how can God create people he knows he will destroy. Hard question yet to hear any good answers.

156   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 1:11 pm

Andy-
I don’t believe the Psalmist was a prediction of Judas anymore than I believe the suffering servant in Isaiah was a prediction of Jesus Christ.

Don’t forget that Jesus shared communion with the one who would betray him. And don’t forget Jesus often employed hyperbole to make a point (a common Jewish teaching technique). To say it would be better had he never been born is to show just how awful it is for someone to persistently reject God’s offer of grace.

157   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 1:13 pm

“Andy you are right on point! So how can God create people he knows he will destroy. ”

And that, friends, is the whole ball of wax and why this is the wrong question: God is not going to “destroy” that which He has created but REDEEM it. Christ came to the world not to condemn it, but SAVE it.

158   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 1:15 pm

I meant to add above: It is through Jesus Christ that God is RECONCILING the world to Himself.

Calvinists forget that the Gospel is GOOD NEWS to the world, not just some of us.

159   andy    
July 8th, 2008 at 1:16 pm

Andy you are right on point! So how can God create people he knows he will destroy.

Yes but the differences between me and calvinist is they seem happy about it

;-)

160   andy    
July 8th, 2008 at 1:19 pm

Chad i’m a little confused by what ur saying..

I will agree to disagree on isa 53 and the judas verses..

But when you use words like world and All do you believe God will save everyone in the end ?

161   andy    
July 8th, 2008 at 1:23 pm

oh and ps i wont let u slide on some of the Judas prophecies, Peter quoted the first two not me

;-)

162   Kyle in WI    
July 8th, 2008 at 1:24 pm

Yeah if you don’t see those as predicting Christ than the NT is wrong and the apostle’s becasue they quoted 53 a lot refering to Christ.

163   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 1:28 pm

Andy-
Saying that you “agree to disagree” sounds a lot like “I don’t want to hear anything that disrupts the way I am determined to see things.” If you are determined to believe that the Psalmist was prophecying about a lone, sorry individual a few thousand years down the road who would one day betray the Messiah, the Messiah that not even any of Jesus’ disciples could rightly grasp and understand that he had to die, than I can’t see how we can discuss these issues with any intellectual honesty.

When I use words like ALL and WORLD it is because they are words scripture uses. It is to say that God desires all to be saved. It is to say that I believe God’s ultimate plan for the world is to redeem it, not destroy it (we are not going to be characters in the Left Behind series). It is to say that God may very well choose to save everyone in the end. It is to say that if he should NOT, than those who have chosen a path of dehumanization do so by their own choice, not God’s. It is to say that if we continue to snub God again and again, God may in the end say to us, “Very well, thy will be done.” It is to say that if there is a hell, as C.S. Lewis puts it, the lock will be on the inside.

All of that is very different from saying God created some people knowing he would destroy them. That is a lie, IMO.

peace,
Chad

164   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 1:34 pm

Kyle,
There is a BIG difference between Isaiah predicting Christ in Isa. 53 and the NT authors looking back over their storied history and identyfing that story as a pre-figurement of Christ.
As a pastor I do this all the time. We read scripture and show how the long narrative of God’s dealings with his creation is unfolding even now, today.
Isaiah, like the Psalmist, had a message that was real and impactful for their contemporaries – the people in real time. To divorce them from their historical setting and say it is about some future event minimizes their role in establishing the rule of God in their day and age.

165   andy    
July 8th, 2008 at 1:43 pm

Not at all Chad…I know that the first two verse ps 69:25 and 109:8 ARE about Judas as Peter quoted them about him,so it seemed rather mute to continue..

As usual here,if someone turns up posting about their own personal concerns that dont square up with others ,their either considered a raving odm or a calvinist well i’m neither,im a person whos common sense is trying to accept some unsavory truths about God, and trying to make sense of it…

166   andy    
July 8th, 2008 at 1:47 pm

If you are determined to believe that the Psalmist was prophecying about a lone, sorry individual a few thousand years down the road who would one day betray the Messiah

No its not what i’m determined to believe, it seems its what Peter was saying..Or is your arguement Peter was just using hindsight??

167   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 1:47 pm

Andy-
I can appreciate your quest. However, I’m not a Calvinist and reject the God of Calvinists, so I am probably not the guy you want to talk to. It sounds as though you want someone to help you make sense of Calvinism because you are determined that that is the only way to look at God. I have tried my best to articulate the God I see revealed in scripture. Sorry for wasting your time.

grace and peace,
Chad

168   andy    
July 8th, 2008 at 1:48 pm

If you are determined to believe that the Psalmist was prophecying about a lone, sorry individual a few thousand years down the road who would one day betray the Messiah

oops No its not what i’m determined to believe, it seems its what Peter was saying..Or is your arguement Peter was just using hindsight??

169   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 1:51 pm

Andy-
what passage are you talking about? chapter and verse, if you don’t mind.

170   andy    
July 8th, 2008 at 1:54 pm

Acts 1:20″For,” said Peter, “it is written in the book of Psalms,
” ‘May his place be deserted;
let there be no one to dwell in it,’[d] and,
” ‘May another take his place of leadership.’[e]

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%201:20;&version=31;

171   Kyle in WI    
July 8th, 2008 at 1:56 pm

Yeah most prophecy have dualing meanings, like every thing else in the OT. It is shadows of Christ. While Isaiah may have being telling the King that a sign of judgement was the birth of his son through a madien. We see the utlimate fulfillment in Christ birth. While David may have been taking about his friends betraying him we see the fulfillment in Christ. he came to fulfill the law and phrophets. So prophiceies did have meaning to the hears the real meaning is always Christ.

172   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 2:05 pm

First, that is more than likely an editorial note by Luke, the author of Acts. But that doesn’t really matter.
Whoever said it is doing what I just said above. They are applying their scriptures (the OT) to a present situation.

Of further interest is the fact that when Luke quotes from the OT he is using the LXX (the Greek version of the OT) and not the MT (the Hebrew Bible). The Hebrew bible version of what Luke cites reads:
“May their camp be a desolation; let n0 one live in their tents.” (Ps. 69:25). The Psalmist it talking about an enemy that is attacking in the entire context, not about Judas, or a lone betrayer one day.

Then, “May his days be few; may another seize his position.” (Ps. 109:8).
Again, the context of this Psalm is a wicked person and what the Psalmist hopes happens to this enemy. It goes on, “May his children wander about and beg…” and on and on.

Luke records this to say, “May another take his position as overseer.” THat is to say: Judas turned wicked on us, so like our Psalmist hoped for, lets appoint another to take his position.”

173   andy    
July 8th, 2008 at 2:06 pm

also Act 1:16and said, “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through the mouth of David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus— 17he was one of our number and shared in this ministry.”

174   andy    
July 8th, 2008 at 2:09 pm

First, that is more than likely an editorial note by Luke, the author of Acts. But that doesn’t really matter.
Whoever said it is doing what I just said above. They are applying their scriptures (the OT) to a present situation.

hmmm their using hindsight,ok we totally disagree i think Peter was stating it was a prophecy…

Anyhow thks for ur time

175   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 2:16 pm

Take care, Andy

176   John Hughes    
July 8th, 2008 at 2:47 pm

Chad,

Of the Open Theism proponents I have read many say that God does not foreknow with absolute certainty the decisions His free will creatures will make and the only outcomes of which He is absolutely certain are those which are a part of His sovereign plan which He Himself will directly effect.

I am ** open ** to see where I have mis-stated the position.

177   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
July 8th, 2008 at 3:03 pm

John,
What Greg Boyd says, basically, is that God knows everything that could possibly happen, so there is really a near infinite number of future possibilities. I believe that Boyd would avoid using the word “foreknow” though, simply because the only stuff that is “knowable” is that which exists. The future doesn’t fully exist, so it’s not fully knowable, other than as a possibility.

It’s not that God is wringing his hands or that can possibly be surprised, it’s just that He hasn’t determined all future events.

178   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
July 8th, 2008 at 3:31 pm

It’s not that God is wringing his hands or that can possibly be surprised, it’s just that He hasn’t determined all future events.

Intentionally jumping into this late, but this statement caught my attention.

Honestly, there is so much confusion in the thread that your head can spin. The madness has to stop…

God absolutely knows about all future events, just like an author of the book knows the beginning from the end (isn’t that a description of God?). He does not exist in time, but CREATED time. Therefore, He is not bound by it.

In the context of a book, while you (the reader) may experience ups-and-downs the author has already determined the outcome.

We know this because of HUNDREDS of references in the Bible. Jesus Christ was the “Lamb slain BEFORE the foundation of the world.”
God knew that man would fall before he fell. He prepared the plan for salvation (not as a Plan B) before He created the world.

179   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 3:31 pm

John,
I think Phil said it well. The charicature of open theism that I believe is unfair, and I believe you were evoking, is that God is in some way surprised by anything. The sermons I have heard Greg Boyd preach and the stuff of his I have read tell about a God who is so omniscient and quite a good deal more sovereign than even the God of Calvin.

peace,
Chad

180   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 8th, 2008 at 3:31 pm

God knows everything, including the future. However he did not orchestrate everything. God knows the revolution of every electron from every molecule past, present, and future. And He knows the diameter of every electron and the surface temperature of every electron, and the surface area of every electron.

God knows the exact speed of every electron, the weight of every electron, and the gravitational interaction of every electron.

God hasn’t predetermined all things future, but He knows all things future. And embedded in His creation is the mystery of a man, made in God’s image, sinner to the core, and yet given the possibility of choosing to embrace God’s Son by faith, all of which given by God, and yet exercized by the free will of each fallen sinner. Again, a mystery of unfathomable glory!

181   John Hughes    
July 8th, 2008 at 3:37 pm

Phil, It’s not that God is wringing his hands or that can possibly be surprised, it’s just that He hasn’t determined all future events.

Still a highly limited concept of God. I don’t necessarily conflate “to know” and “to determine” if determine is defined as “to effect”. To know an event will happen is not the same as effecting it. (This, BTW, is one of my main beefs with the Calvinists also).

I believe the future is determined if in the sense as it is defined as perfectly foreknown by God, but also that free will actions are in “the mix”. But as God exists outside of time it’s fruitless speculation to me.

I have little angst over the concept of teh presence of evil and a good God. You can’t have free will without the potentiality for evil of which God is not the primary cause.

If Open Theism is correct I’ll still try my luck with Zeus. Or maybe Rick . . . oh Great Freuh, are you accepting prayers today?

182   John Hughes    
July 8th, 2008 at 3:39 pm

Rick,

Good comments.

183   John Hughes    
July 8th, 2008 at 3:41 pm

Chad: The charicature of open theism that I believe is unfair,

Chad, better scoot over to wikipedia and get that article on Open Theism corrected. They are pretty much stating what I have found in my own research several years ago.

184   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 8th, 2008 at 3:46 pm

John – There is no such thing as open theism. It is figment of a man’s imagination that humanizes God.

God has no future, He knows everything in one intuative glance. He knows and created everything. God never thinks, that would indicate a process to arrive at some knowledge.

God knows all. Even that cannot give the glory due His Person since it only is a phrase to help us understand the omniscience of God which of course is unknowable.

No man can understand God being eternally past. We can get a little understanding of eternity future, but not past. Many of these suggested theologies are tales told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Preach the gospel, that my friends is more than we can ever fully comprehend!

185   John Hughes    
July 8th, 2008 at 3:51 pm

John – There is no such thing as open theism. It is figment of a man’s imagination that humanizes God.

:-) :-) :-)

186   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
July 8th, 2008 at 3:51 pm

Intentionally jumping into this late, but this statement caught my attention.

Honestly, there is so much confusion in the thread that your head can spin. The madness has to stop…

God absolutely knows about all future events, just like an author of the book knows the beginning from the end (isn’t that a description of God?). He does not exist in time, but CREATED time. Therefore, He is not bound by it.

In the context of a book, while you (the reader) may experience ups-and-downs the author has already determined the outcome.

Well, yes, some of this stuff is confusing. I don’t think that means we should ignore it, though. I think it’s fine to delve into some of these more philosophical things as long as we don’t let them become a distraction.

I don’t think any proponent of Open Theism would say God is bound by time. Rather, I think they would He reveals Himself through time, and He extends into time. Time and space aren’t containers, they are probably better viewed as the fabric that the universe is made of, along with matter and energy. So just as God has revealed Himself through “stuff”, He is actively revealing Himself through time as well.

187   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 3:52 pm

John,
Yeah, I am aware what wikipedia says. It is why I generally try to go to the source, in this case, Boyd. If you have never listened to any of his sermons you should check them out. You can download them for free here: http://www.whchurch.org/content/page_26.htm

One thing you will come away with is a great awe of who God is and how greatly God is in control.

peace,
Chad

188   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 8th, 2008 at 3:54 pm

The one thing I do like about Greg Boyd??

He believes politics and nationalism is obstructionist to the gospel!

Preach it, brother. The open theism stuff? Nah.

189   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 3:55 pm

He believes politics and nationalism is obstructionist to the gospel!

True dat, Rick.

190   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
July 8th, 2008 at 4:00 pm

Beware, lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceits, after the traditions of men, after the rudiments of the world and not after Christ.

Many on this thread are casting scripture to the side in favor of man-made reasonings and philosophies.

What makes things so “complex” is when we try to meld the two together (worldly philosophy and scripture).

Do you think this is why Paul warned Timothy, on almost a dozen occasions, to stay away from pointless chatter and mentioned the phenomenom of ever learning YET never coming to a knowledge of the truth?

191   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 8th, 2008 at 4:03 pm

I am not sure open theism, if I understand it correctly, impacts one’s redemption. It is the theological musings of people like us with too much time on our hands.

God is who He is – we will see one day only by His grace!!

192   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 4:03 pm

John,
reading over my last post to you I sound pompous, as though I never go to wikipedia for resources but only primary sources. That is not true and I am sorry if I can accross that way.
Only in this instance I can see how only relying on that source can give only part of the whole picture.

I get a little sensitive on this subject because I had a long and harried run around with Dr. Robert Morey on this topic and he (and everyone at BiblicalThought.com) were IMO way out in left field yet insisted they knew best and that Iwas even a heretic for sticking up for Boyd.

You can catch that convo here: http://biblicalthought.com/blog/a-review-of-gregory-boyds-trinity-and-process/

I am banned from that site, so dont look for me to comment there.

peace,
Chad

193   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
July 8th, 2008 at 4:05 pm

Paul,
All I can say is that I have heard my “vain conceipts” and philosophy coming from a lot of people other than Greg Boyd. The one thing that has impressed me with Boyd is that he seems a lot more willing to let Scripture speak for itself, rather than force it into some box.

I really think overall people get to bent out of shape with the whole open theism thing. If you listen to his sermons, he rarely talks about it. Most of his sermons are just him going verse by verse through a passage of Scripture.

194   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
July 8th, 2008 at 4:10 pm

Chad,
I basically quit reading after the frist few paragraphs of that link. Basically, Dr. Morey is pretty clear in saying that anyone who isn’t a Calvinist is a heretic. It’s not even worth reading such tripe. Hats off to you for wading through that.

195   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 8th, 2008 at 4:11 pm

Somebody please tell me what real difference it makes? Does it affect the gospel?

196   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 4:12 pm

Phil-
I was grateful for the ban. It forced me to stop talking to myself :)

197   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
July 8th, 2008 at 4:16 pm

Somebody please tell me what real difference it makes? Does it affect the gospel?

It shouldn’t that much, other than I see that a non-Calvinist view should motivate us more. God of the Possible is relatively short book, and represents a small portion of Boyd’s work. I just think Boyd wrote it to tell people it was OK to not be a Calvinist.

There are a lot of people who are very angry because of the Calvinist portrayal of God. I think that any discussion on the alernatives that looks seriously at how God is portrayed in Scripture is welcome.

198   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
July 8th, 2008 at 4:18 pm

Phil, I’m going to drive by with one for you.

You said:

By the way, Calvinism isn’t by any mean[s] what the majority of Christians believe. John Piper estimates around 5-6% of Christians in the world are Calvinists.

That is what I might call a remnant…

Just sayin’…

199   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 8th, 2008 at 4:21 pm

A remnant? You mean like a piece of cloth no longer needed and discarded? :lol:

200   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
July 8th, 2008 at 4:23 pm

A remnant? You mean like a piece of cloth no longer needed and discarded?

Yeah, I use remnants to wax my car or clean up paint… :-)

201   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
July 8th, 2008 at 4:29 pm

Reminds me of something I read about “filthy rags”…

Must not have been important.

It might take a nasty looking, ugly old “remnant” to preach to the lost and filthy cracked paint of the world.

Again, just sayin’…

202   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 8th, 2008 at 4:32 pm

Yes, SJ, good point. Except that rags must be free of self righteous oil or they just smear!

203   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 8th, 2008 at 4:44 pm

BTW SJ, I love your Lion!!

204   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com
July 8th, 2008 at 5:01 pm

Beware, lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceits, after the traditions of men, after the rudiments of the world and not after Christ.

Many on this thread are casting scripture to the side in favor of man-made reasonings and philosophies.

Having only a couple of minutes, and not enough time to go all the way through the thread, I assume that “man-made reasonings and philosophies” refers to systematic theologies, like Calvinism?

205   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 6:29 pm

Only a Calvinist would find it a good and glorious thing that only 5-6% of the world will be rescued and redeemed. That is the height of arrogance and a mockery of Christ’s salvific work on the cross.

Just sayin’

206   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 8th, 2008 at 6:46 pm

If a sinner with no Christian heritage received Christ and was born again, and then was put on an island with only the Bible and a Strong’s concordance, he would never construct Calvinism. When I proffered that scenario on another blog I was told how can you trust someone new in the faith to override the learned and mature.

Sometimes the learned and mature frighten me. 8O

207   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
July 8th, 2008 at 6:50 pm

Chad,

I was being facetious. You did not take any time to respond to my comment.

Moreover, I would think about what you said in light of Matthew 7, specifically verse 14. While I will say that it is likely, if not sure, that more than that same small a percentage will be saved, indicating that I believe it possible for those who may not believe exactly the same way I do to be saved.

But in light of the text i mentioned, whether or which you believe in PD or FW, the truth is that FEW will enter the narrow gate. Does this mean Christ’s work on the cross is not sufficient? Of course not. It wasn’t even the bare minimum.

But the fact still remains that FEW will be saved. For instance, what percentage of Sodom’s population do we think Lot and his family made up? God will have mercy on whom He will have mercy.

To be clear for you Chad, I do not believe that if someone is not a Calvinist they cannot be saved. If I did, I would not be saved either because I am not a Calvinist. I would never baptize a baby. I agree much with what he said insomuch as those parts that line up with Scripture. Naturally, Calvin and I part ways periodically. I find I “part ways” in an Amos 3 context more often with men like Arminius. I flat our disagree with men like Warren for example, not mention (in all respect) the majority of those here.

You owe an apology.

208   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
July 8th, 2008 at 6:52 pm

To be clear, when I said that Christ’s work wasn’t even the bare minimum, that meant it was more than enough.

Didn’t any more heads bit off today.

209   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 8th, 2008 at 6:54 pm

SJ – I took your comments as lighthearted with some pointed opinion – like mine! :)

BTW – does your brother Johnny make whiskey?

210   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
July 8th, 2008 at 6:55 pm

BTW Chad, beautiful family. Well done there.

211   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
July 8th, 2008 at 6:55 pm

No.

I can’t abide the demon liquor.

hiccup

212   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 7:07 pm

“You owe an apology.”

SJ- I apologize for taking your comments seriously :)

I do, however, take it very seriously when anyone, Calvinist or not, reduces the atonement to a mere pittance and suggests, even facetiously, that Christ’s salvific work is meant only for a few. I disagree with you that only a FEW will be saved. I believe the cross is such Good News and the work done there was so extraordinary, so scandalous, that limiting it, even in jest, is not all too funny.

peace,
Chad

213   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 7:09 pm

“BTW Chad, beautiful family. Well done there.”

Thank you, SJ. I think my daughter has my eyes :)

peace,
Chad

214   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 7:12 pm

SJ, and if the above came accross sounding harsh, I do apologize. I just got back from WalMart. Not to mention, if you read this thread through I have been discussing this topic ad nauseum all day and I think I have had my fill. Gonna go find a cold one – wish your brother was Johnny :)

215   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 8th, 2008 at 7:15 pm

OK Chad, I am the duly elected Calvin hunter here and all attacks must be coordinated through me. I will hand out the Scriptures with which to defeat the lurking limiters, and together we will plunder their house!

:evil:

216   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 8th, 2008 at 7:17 pm

“I think my daughter has my eyes”

Let’s hope she doesn’t have your cerebral capacity. That can actually be called “limited”. :lol:

217   Tim Reed, Owosso MI    http://churchvoices.com
July 8th, 2008 at 7:27 pm

Thank you, SJ. I think my daughter has my eyes :)

Better get those back, you’ll need ‘em.

218   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 7:28 pm

lol@Rick. We can work together if you bring the Walker. I’ll bring the ice.

219   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 7:29 pm

Tim, I have a braile monitor.

220   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 7:56 pm

A few thoughts on Matt. 7-

The gate being narrow is to say that it must be found (as oppossed to a wide, open gate).
It is also a gate that one must relinquish the baggage they have been carrying in order to enter. This baggage can be the burdens Jesus asks us to allow him to bear, it is sin, it is our own desires and our will. Entering this gate, and the narrow way, is a description of the life that dies to self, picks up a cross and follows Jesus. It is not to be exclusionary or limiting.

As for the few who find it – indeed, Jesus’ contemporaries did not get him. I think they killed him, right? Like any good preacher, Jesus ends his sermon with a call to repent and an acknowledgment that not everyone in attendance will.

Any thoughts of “few” ultimately being saved is vanquished when we get to the end of the story and read:

After this I looked, and there was a great mulititude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. Rev. 7:9

That doesn’t sound like only a “few.”

221   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
July 8th, 2008 at 9:48 pm

I assume that “man-made reasonings and philosophies” refers to systematic theologies, like Calvinism?

Perhaps… I am not a Calvanist, nor am I Arminian (though I’d heard of John Calvin before, I didn’t learn about what these terms meant until I entered the blogging world). I believe doctrine is very important, but much of systematic theology is probably why Jesus chose 12 dumb guys (blank slates) to actually be his apostles rather than those that sat at Gamaliel’s feet and would have to be “unlearned” over the course of 2-3 decades instead of the 3.5 yrs He took. It’s probably the reason Paul was called “out of due time”, knocked of his horse and then spent a number of years in his wilderness before He could be used of God. He ended up trashing his theological reasonings in favor of knowing Christ.

Rev. 7:9. That doesn’t sound like only a “few.”

Reason: because they came out of Great Tribulation – the hell that breaks loose before Jesus returns, causing many, though not all, to repent.

Still, in the grand scheme of things, this huge number is probably relatively small in comparison to the worldwide human population throughout history. Millions may seem “innumerable” in a crowd, but its not much compared to billions is it?

The bottom line is that God will save whom He will save. As Paul says to Timothy, it is up to God to grant repentance and the opening of the eyes to sinners. We must do our part and live as best we can a life that testifies of the power of the gospel, demonstrate the love of God, serve one another, sanctify ourselves from the spirit of the world and love and worship God.

222   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 9:58 pm

Reason: because they came out of Great Tribulation – the hell that breaks loose before Jesus returns, causing many, though not all, to repent.

Is this per John the Apostle or Tim LeHaye?

Still, in the grand scheme of things, this huge number is probably relatively small

Will you admit, at least, that this is an assumption on your part?

The bottom line is that God will save whom He will save. As Paul says to Timothy, it is up to God to grant repentance and the opening of the eyes to sinners. We must do our part and live as best we can a life that testifies of the power of the gospel, demonstrate the love of God, serve one another, sanctify ourselves from the spirit of the world and love and worship God.

Amen.

223   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
July 8th, 2008 at 10:24 pm

Is this per John the Apostle or Tim LeHaye?

I have never (and will never) read LeHaye. But I believe that Revelation 7 outlines (as does most of the book) the events leading up to and including Jesus’ return (please don’t get into preterist and millenialism or whatever – I don’t subscribe to any).

Will you admit, at least, that this is an assumption on your part?

Not sure what there is to admit. As Isaiah (I think) says, “When God’s judgments are in the earth, then shall the inhabitants thereof learn righteousness.” When things get way out of control as the great tribulation approaches, we’ll see more people turn to God as everything else fades away – though not all people.

Not all people will be saved, nor are all people elect. It is in God’s hand. I must live out my faith, in all my stumblings and failings. God will bring His plan to fruition. But make no mistake, He has a plan and nothing catches Him off guard. He is the author of the book and knows the end from the very beginning which is why He had a “Lamb slain before the foundation of the world.” That is, before Adam sinned, God had made preparation for man’s sin, because He had the plan of salvation in place. An awesome God indeed!

ON ANOTHER NOTE: Chad, we are looking into adoption from overseas. Are there any good resources you can direct my way? Maybe you can contact me privately (couldn’t find your email on your blog)

224   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 8th, 2008 at 10:44 pm

Chris-
Congrats! How exciting. Email me at chad.holtz@duke.edu
Im off to bed now but will respond in the morning.

225   Jonathan Frueh    
July 8th, 2008 at 11:04 pm

I just had a quick thought….Scary, I know!

“Narrow is the gate and few there be that find it…”

To find something would indicate a search for something….

And a search would indicate something I am (able) looking for…

Why would I search for something that is going to be given to me whether I want it or not and, even better, something that is perfectly hidden…?

226   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
July 9th, 2008 at 12:30 am

Jonathan,

Good point. And one I have wrestled with much in the past well before I ever heard Calvin wasn’t just a cartoon and Arminians were not Armenians.

But one thing you might consider is whether you are assuming that things happen “whether we want it or not” for either “good” or “bad” purposes. For God to “predestine us to adoption as sons” is not the same as saying that those who do not wish to be saved will be; and those who might desperately wish to be saved (we’re assuming for reasons more than simple self preservation) might not be and that it os completely random.

What I glean from Scripture is that none will desire it of their own accord (”there is none righteous” “there is none who seeks after God”) and we are all under condemnation–to the last man”(all have sinned and fall short…”. That is the slate.

The very instance of someone truly desiring to be saved, to worship their God and Creator rather than rebel against Him as was naturally his bent to that point, to honestly be at the point of the sprout of love from the seed of repentance; this IS the supernatural calling of God. For most, including myself, it is only after the fact that we can realize it was part of the plan all along and I had taken something on my own but it was given to me by Grace and that no-one save God alone knew it beforehand. But, someone else God called just as miraculously was obedient according to God’s will and through them and others God spoke and this great gift was given me.

“…few there be that find it.” At first glance, we have three options for basic interpretation.
1) a few look for and find it
2) a few happen to find it by chance
3) a few find it by being shown it

Roughly speaking, I would say it a combination of 1 and 3 with being right out. The question then is: can a person who is still lost, dead in sins and trespasses, and thereby in a state of rebellion against God be able to look for the gate on their own, or at least at their own bidding?

Yes, we can look. But the blind cannot find but by either being lead or by chance. Here I would submit that God is not a God of chance. So roughly speaking, that leaves us with either being lead by outside stimuli, or being able to yet look on our own. The thought then needing consideration is whether or not we are spiritually dead and therefore spiritually blind while under sin. It would be good to read 2 Cor. 4, 1 John 2, Eph. 1-2, and Colossians 2.

I would then submit that we are, in sin, quite dead and quite blind. The only way that we could both “look” or “seek” and also “find” is by some miracle.

There has been plenty of near or flat our “Calvinism is evil” kind of stuff here today. Okay, fine. I’m not Calvin so you won’t hurt my feelings. Just think about this fellows. Don’t retort quickly. Don’t label or libel. Just…yes, I’ll say it: meditate on it. (I hope that doesn’t sound emergent)

Chad, perhaps my mild humor was not called for. Destruction of the lost is truly no laughing matter. We should not glory in it as many do. I would, as is obvious by the rest of this post, disagree with your thought process in regards to defining “few”. But it would be worth considering that in all of God’s destructions and salvations of peoples in the past, it has always been a literal few that were spared in relation to the whole populations–from Noah on. Does this mean that there will only be a handful in heaven? No. The passage you quoted serves that well. But there is no indication that that is not still, comparatively few. As I said. This does NOT diminish Christ’s work and the value of it. How much more valuable and wonderful is a price paid for one lovely, desired Bride than all for a thousand brides? The King can have whoever and however many He wishes, but His love is specific. Even then, His Bride will be beautiful beyond description and multitudinous beyond human counting.

Thanks for bring that other part up Jonathan. And if it’s any consolation, my brother may not be Johnny, but my uncle is. And get this, my brother’s name is Luke. The middle name isn’t right though. Get it?

227   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 9th, 2008 at 4:45 am

One of many verses in the New Testament that show clearly that man has a free will to seek God or in fact reject Him, is when Jesus weeps over Jerusalem and says how He wanted to gather them under His wings but THEY would not.

The linguistic gymnastics required to fit that into reformed theology reveal an unwillingness to even admit some verses cannot be reconciled.

As for meditating on Calvinism (in all its forms)? I have for decades, and reject it completely as a man made theology constructed most notably by a self righteous, mean, and carnal man who had a gift for academia but little outward resemblences to the Christ he professed.

Other than that I’m willing to discuss! :)

228   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 9th, 2008 at 6:45 am

I think that any talk of how many will be saved is highly presumptive on our part and should be scrubbed from our language as Christians. We know what God’s desire is – that none should persish but ALL would have eternal life and that God loved the WHOLE world that he sent his Son to die for them, not to condemn the world but save it.
This should be our desire as well. Our language ought to reflect the desires of God and instead of reveling in the notion that God would see fit to save even a few of us miserable wretches or that hell will be full so that God receives even more glory is blashphemy, I think (not saying this is your position, SJ, but it is one that many if not most Calvinists hold).

Why can’t it be enough that we simply desire what God desires and leave it at that?

peace,
Chad

229   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 9th, 2008 at 7:08 am

God’s desire does not equate to human reality. It was God’s desire that the world repent in Noah’s day and yet only eight souls were saved. It is clear that Christ and Paul gave us an indication that most would not be saved, even though God’s desire was inclusive.

Just a cursory inventory of the world’s religions sees more non-christians than Christians. That is if you accept every person who belongs to a Christian denomination as born again. The only way you can arrive at more being saved than less is if you construct some post death altar call which has no Biblical basis.

230   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 9th, 2008 at 7:20 am

God’s desire does not equate to human reality.

Rick, while I understand the reasoning behind a statement like this I do not think citing an example from the primeval era makes it so. What’s more, it suggests that in the end, human desires can thrwart God’s desires.
What we can say with certainty is that God loves the world, died for the world, desires none should perish, that in the end there is a “great mulitude, too many to count” and that in the very end there is a river of life flowing out of the city with trees lining both banks whose leaves are for the healing of all the nations (Rev. 21&22).
We should revel in the mystery that is God’s love and grace and hope for what God hopes for – that none will perish. Will some? Probably. But that is by their choice, not God’s, and even that does not by necessity limit God’s reach beyond the grave.

peace.

231   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 9th, 2008 at 8:12 am

“What’s more, it suggests that in the end, human desires can thrwart God’s desires.”

Nope. Man’s free will is one of God’s desires so even in rejection it substantiates God’s will. God desires that everyone be saved but within the context of the free will whcih God has given to us. To save people by judicial fiat without their participation is redemptive solataire.

232   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 9th, 2008 at 8:15 am

Rick,
That may be true of this present salvation. But as I have argued elsewhere, that is only one facet of a multi-faceted salvation (it omits, IOW, the past and future realities that are God’s).

233   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 9th, 2008 at 8:21 am

Those are all reasonable considerations of our thoughts but have no Biblical teachings. If we sway from Biblical moorings we are in subjective and dangerous waters. If God chooses to redeem everyone in the end, so be it, but that is not what Scripture indicates and therefore we must teach what He’s given to us at this time.

234   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 9th, 2008 at 8:24 am

…and what Scripture teaches is that God desires none should perish but all would have life and that in the end we will all be surprised (the sheep and the goats, the river of life running OUT OF the city, etc.). Therefore, teaching and preaching that our desires ought to model God’s desires (which is the only point I am trying to make), isn’t only biblical it is central to the heart of God.

235   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 9th, 2008 at 8:27 am

There are many Scriptures that reveal God’s desire to punish the wicked as well. I have to go but perhaps I will post about this. :)

236   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
July 9th, 2008 at 8:29 am

Rick said,

To save people by judicial fiat without their participation is redemptive solataire.

I say, “Hmmm…”

237   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
July 9th, 2008 at 8:33 am

Chad,
I think it’s interesting that you bring up the surprising outcome in the sheep/goat analogy our Lord gave. The goats were surprised because they were cast from His presence, right?

I fully understand your heart. And I’m with you in the truth that our Lord’s heart toward none perishing should be ours as well. But I’m gonna stick with Rick on this one. We have to stick with what the scriptures say. And if we are surprised when it all plays out, it will be pleasantly.

Shalom

238   John C.    http://www.pastorboy.wordpress.com
July 9th, 2008 at 8:35 am

Chad you misquote the scripture by not presenting it in context. I agree with Rick, God’s will is inclusive but the fact is that many will reject his salvation.

John 3:16-18 for God so loved ithe world, hat he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world mto condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

He is indeed not willing that any should perish, but that all would come to repentance, which is why Christ’s substitutionary atonement was effective for all mankind. However, it is only efficatious for those who believe.

239   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
July 9th, 2008 at 10:34 am

Chad,

Not to gang up or anything like that. But with the exception of the free will part, I am with Rick and John C. You need to be more careful in the quoting and explanation of the Scripture. We also need to remember that Jesus said there will even be many who will come and say “Lord, Lord! and I will say: depart from me! You who practice lawlessness! I never knew you.” If He can discern that from people who even make vast professions, it is in keeping that He will not save a majority. You have those who profess AND believe. You have those who profess and do not believe. And you have those who do not even profess. There have been, are, and will be to many to count that falling to the first category, but it’s still basically a two to one ratio. With perhaps a “few” exceptions, when we read through Scripture, the redeemed, the faithful, the justified are seldom if ever the majority. It is stated and clearly indicated quite the opposite in fact.

That being said. Our concern must be not to strive to be few, but many, “so that He might be the first born among many brethren”.

But it’s unwise at best and blasphemous at worst to lay claim to the notion that God will not be glorified in BOTH the salvation of some and the destruction of others. Tragic? Yes. But we must be careful to not be MORE concerned with humankind than God alone. That is humanism even if we don’t call it such or even vehemently deny it. We must be careful.

we must love, and not wish the destruction of any man this side of eternity. To pray that God will save ALL is praying for something that by His own words will not happen and is therefore a affront to Him; an attempt to show ourselves as MORE loving and gracious than mean old God. To pray for the imminent and literal destruction of a man or group is equally God insulting. Neither of these are our prerogative. Yet, we know that His word has determined that some vessels are made for destruction and others are not. So we pray for the one safe thing that is sure to please Him and will be part of out participation in His plan of redemption: we pray with the words of Malachi that His “name will be great among the nations”. After all, we worship Him, not ourselves or our earthly dearest. His name will be great. And all will know Him to be God in the end. No exceptions. But not all will be saved. So we ask with Paul: Is God unjust? Certainly not!

“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”–John 1:12-13

Is it wrong then to pray for the salvation of any man or group? No! On the contrary! Pray and pray hard! Weep over the lost! But we season our petitions and surrender to a higher will than our own and say “Thy will be done on earth, [just as] it is in Heaven”.

To say that God is not glorified by the destruction of the unbelieving is neither tenable, nor safe. for to claim such is calling His judgments unjust and and the crimes against Him petty. Both are as far from the Truth as East is from West. Fortunately for the believer, his God can traverse such an expanse and remove his sin that far from him. Amazing.

One last thought and then I must get back to work. Rick, to say that Sovereign Grace negates participation by man is not a fair assessment. I know some would take it this far, but it is as untrue as what I just wrote about. No, it does not negate, but simply preempts. We come to Him. That is undeniable. But “no one comes unless the Father draws him”. We call to Him after He has called to us by name and shouted like Jesus did to Lazarus, “come forth!”.

It is enough for me that Christ saved me. I need no claim to my own participation. But, by His grace, He allowed and enabled me to do just that; not by the blood of my family tree, nor of the will of mine, but by the will of God. How cool is that!

I respect your opinions and your devotion to the Word. But it’s about as accurate to say that Sovereign Grace negates man’s participation than it is for me to say that eggs come from bananas. It does not negate my participation, it COMMANDS it.

240   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 9th, 2008 at 10:42 am

I think it’s interesting that you bring up the surprising outcome in the sheep/goat analogy our Lord gave. The goats were surprised because they were cast from His presence, right?

Nathanael-
The surprise comes becomes both parties, the sheep and the goats, are ignorant of who Jesus is. Yes, in part the surprise comes by the judgment given but the real surprise is that even to people who were ignorant (the sheep) Jesus says, “Enter.”

And if we are surprised when it all plays out, it will be pleasantly.

Agreed.

grace and peace.

241   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 9th, 2008 at 10:50 am

However, it is only efficatious for those who believe.

John C,
Thanks for those words. I agree 100%. However, I would go a step further and say that this speaks to salvation in the present, temporal sense. As I have alluded to in other posts, salvation is far more robust than we often allow it to be. Too often we truncate it into a decision made in the present that gains us entrance into a future kingdom. It is that, but only partially. We forget that salvation encompasses the entire cosmos, all of creation, and is past, present and a future reality.

Are we so certain of how God will play this out that we can say with absolute conviction that the person who does not believe in Jesus Christ in this lifetime is shunned and banned from God’s kingdom for all eternity? That is not a position I hold because I lean heavily on the proclamation that in Christ God is reconciling ALL the world unto himself and that on Calvary something significant was done that we will not know the full extent of until Christ returns. We may be surprised.
However, salvation is certainly about the present. It is an awful thing for human beings to not acknowledge their Maker and live fully into the image they bear. SUch people become less and less human as they continue on that cycle. The good news is that Jesus broke that cycle and is calling us out of our darkness in the present to live in the light He has brought to the world. Some will accept this truth about themselves, some will not. It does not, however, change the objective reality about them – they ARE free. Will they now repent and live as freed people?

peace,
Chad

242   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 9th, 2008 at 10:56 am

Gotta go eat lunch. I am very much enjoying this conversation and appreciate everyone’s loving hearts. We can have meaningful disagreements on these things and still be brothers and sisters in Christ.

If you are interested here is a link to a sermon I preached just a few weeks ago that gets at the heart of what I am attempting to say here in short quips. The title is The Truth About You.

http://chadholtz.wordpress.com/2008/06/14/the-truth-about-you/

peace,
Chad

243   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 9th, 2008 at 10:56 am

….SJ – I will respond to your post shortly.

244   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
July 9th, 2008 at 11:51 am

Chad,

I’ll wait for your response, but from what you said to John, your stance seems far more broad than is possible in light of Scripture. What it really almost sounds like is an incongruous mixture unlimited atonement/hypercalvinism. It both is inclusive beyond what Scripture tells, and by such might suppose that there be little point in preaching for Christ’s work trumped even God’s foreknown and vividly described judgment of the unbelieving in the future.

You may not be saying that, but that seems to be where your statements lead.

245   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 9th, 2008 at 12:07 pm

There have been, are, and will be to many to count that falling to the first category, but it’s still basically a two to one ratio.

SJ-
With all due respect, how do you come up with such ratios? To even posit such a ratio assumes one would know intimately the hearts of every human. You make many find points in your post but you do not need to make outlandish claims like this to prove a point.

With perhaps a “few” exceptions, when we read through Scripture, the redeemed, the faithful, the justified are seldom if ever the majority. It is stated and clearly indicated quite the opposite in fact.

Those “few” exceptions ought to chasten us in our rush to pigeon hole God into damning anyone, let alone the majority of all of creation.

I realize I am repeating myself again, but even if we grant that it is comparatively small the number of people who are saved in this lifetime does not negate what I have been saying all along: That we all may be surprised in the end and that salvation is not bound to our temporal, present life experience alone. Salvation is past, present and future and given the witness we have in scripture about the abundant love of God and Gods desire that none should perish we ought to hold out the hope that heaven will be teaming with the redeemed and hell will be empty.

To pray that God will save ALL is praying for something that by His own words will not happen and is therefore a affront to Him;

This makes no sense, especially in light of what you say here:

Is it wrong then to pray for the salvation of any man or group? No! On the contrary! Pray and pray hard! Weep over the lost!

SJ, you would advocate that Christians pray that only some will be saved as oppossed to all? At what point does your “some” become too many and you have to back off? Is there a limit to God’s grace? Who sets that limit?

St. Augustine had everyone in hell, practically. Origen, on the other hand, had everyone in heaven. Much of Christian thought since then has been a vacillation between these two poles. Please understand I am not saying everyone WILL be in heaven (like Origen) but I am saying that it is a potentiality because of the scandalous love God has shown the world in Jesus Christ. Where sin abounds, so does God’s grace. I, unlike what I see you and others here doing, will not limit the reach of God’s grace. It is not to say that I do not believe some will make choices that have eternal consequences and that by their own choice can effectively destroy the image of God within them (hell).

peace,
Chad

246   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
July 9th, 2008 at 12:12 pm

It both is inclusive beyond what Scripture tells, and by such might suppose that there be little point in preaching for Christ’s work trumped even God’s foreknown and vividly described judgment of the unbelieving in the future.

The Election is Christ Jesus… it is He who was before and through all creation came. Christ did nothing the Father did not already do…

So the statement you make is even more confusing to say that Christ’s work triumphed God’s foreknowledge of judgment..l. because it did. Man was condemned in their sin and God knew that, and also foreknew Christ would overcome sin and death.

As far as “inclusive”, I also see that limiting the propitiation that was from Christ is an affront to the Cross itself. TO limit the Blood of Jesus should be one of the greatest sins there is.

All have the opportunity to respond to the calling that is Christ who draws all men to Himself. Accept Him or reject Him and receive the due of the choice.

God did the work, there is nothing more to do accept trust in Christ and His finished work.
iggy

247   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
July 9th, 2008 at 12:39 pm

As far as the sheep and goats thing goes, I think we have to be careful in stretching an analogy too far. What was the main point of the parable Jesus is using? It seems to me that it isn’t about the number or percentage of people that will be saved, but a warning of coming judgement and what the criteria will be for righteousness in that judgement.

Jesus is saying that only he can rightly divide the two groups, and that those who assume they are “sheep” need to be vigilant.

248   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 9th, 2008 at 12:50 pm

Jesus is saying that only he can rightly divide the two groups, and that those who assume they are “sheep” need to be vigilant.

excellent point, Phil

249   nathan    http://www.nathanneighbour.com
July 9th, 2008 at 1:03 pm

my head hurts from all this :)

250   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 9th, 2008 at 1:10 pm

Nathan-
Hey, I went to your link (nice webpage, btw) but could not connect to your blog. I wanted to ask you if you attend Mosaic in LA? My brother, Ryan Holtz, has been attending there and volunteering on some stuff and involved in a bible study here and there.

I have been following what you all are doing out there and I think it is fantastic.

peace! And sorry for your headache :)

251   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
July 9th, 2008 at 3:00 pm

Chad,

SJ, you would advocate that Christians pray that only some will be saved as oppossed to all? At what point does your “some” become too many and you have to back off? Is there a limit to God’s grace? Who sets that limit?

You are flavoring my statements. I went on to say this:

But we season our petitions and surrender to a higher will than our own and say “Thy will be done on earth, [just as] it is in Heaven”.

The point being, that while we pray for God to save, even to save all, we also pray with knowledge and surrender to His word which clearly describes that there will be those who do not repent and believe and are thus destroyed. Unless I suppose that salvation can come to me after I die, and I suppose that Jesus lied and will never say “depart from Me!”. We cannot pray for ALL to be saved and still be honest. I would pray that ALL from this day forward would believe and be saved. But even that is unlikely. Unlikely, yet gloriously not impossible for if God wills it, it will happen. We can’t find any indication that at some point after the Scriptures were written that every single person came to faith. Still, as I do not know the future, that would be as far as would be wise and reverent to go in prayer and still must be subject to the will of God of course.

You say I limit God’s grace. No. I believe what the Word says and it says that few will find the gate, and that we must call on the name of the Lord to be saved. It is also not Scripturally “backable” to say that it is possible to attain salvation in any way AFTER our death here. Rick mentioned mental gymnastics, and this would fall under that category to get it to fit Scripture.

Finally, iggy,

Read back through my comment man. The point that I am in disagreement in is the idea that simply because Christ paid the price, that nothing–as in faith–more is required and that despite God clearly decreeing the destruction of the enemy(of whom the unbelieving comprise a portion) will render most of Revelation(just to name one) void. The statement of mine thus saying that I do not agree that Christ’s work trumped (not triumphed) over God in a way that puts them at enmity with one another.

Christ’s work did not trump God’s. It WAS God’s work and Jesus was crucified before the foundation of the world. So no, Christ’s work completed God’s work. “It is finished”. This you pretty much said, to your credit, so I am not sure what the problem there is except that you might be carrying over old arguments perhaps. I am guilty of this myself.

And furthermore, I never said that Christ’s propitiation was limited or insufficient. ALL I have said is, as the word is quite clear upon, is that “Narrow is the gate, and few there be that find it.”

That is all I have said. I have been clear.

252   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
July 9th, 2008 at 3:05 pm

Phil,

In a strange, and rare turn of events, I find myself saying: exactimo!

Whiule it is extremly importnat to keep things (like what has been discussed) in Biblical perspective as much as possible, I would much rather see vigilance in myself and you to be holy and genuine “sheep” as instructed also in 2 Cor. 13:5 to “examine ourselves”. Or is 1 Corinthians? Whichever, you know the one I mean.

Walker out

253   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 9th, 2008 at 3:06 pm

Without faith it is impossible to please God. Redemption is imputed by faith or else the Great Commission is a hollow exercize.

It seems clear the number of believers will be few as compared to the overall billions of humans born. Additionally, it would be very curious that a God who is love would only choose a few to be saved when He could have offered it to everyone.

254   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
July 9th, 2008 at 3:27 pm

Rick,

I was going to leave, but you put a stumbling block of thought in my way. I’ll pray for you.

Something you said got me thinking:

Additionally, it would be very curious that a God who is love would only choose a few to be saved when He could have offered it to everyone.

Indeed. That is curious. Briefly, let’s assume, for the sake of examining ourselves, that man is indeed dead in sin and the thoughts of his heart are only evil continually. Okay. It would be more curious still that a God who is love would leave it up to man to choose, knowing that only a few if any would do so, when He could have caused it Himself and opened their graves at His discretion.

To define “God is love” based on amounts or numbers saved whether by their own free will or His sovereign will can be dangerous. for we know that “few there will be”. That is certain no matter what we believe about HOW they find the gate. So the term “God is love” can be used to argue against either FW or PD.

God is love. Praise God for that Truth! But our definition of love cannot be the basis to define God. God must be our basis to define love. That being said, knowing that few will be saved, what is Love? The question then comes back to what is man? And what is God? Most any Scriptural description we get of man as a whole and as an individual is, to say the least, not that flattering and to be blunt stinks of the grave in which he lies. While most any description of God is infinite and absolute holiness.

Not an argument toward you at all Rick. Just a rumination.

255   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 9th, 2008 at 3:31 pm

Unless I suppose that salvation can come to me after I die, and I suppose that Jesus lied and will never say “depart from Me!”.

SJ-
Are you assuming that judgment day comes to you the moment you die? This is not the scriptural witness about life after death. Judgment does not come until Christ returns and all the dead are raised to life.
Why would Jesus have lied? I have said again and again that there is the tragic reality that not everyone will accept the gift of grace freely given to the entire world. Some will depart. But perhaps the difference between you and I is that I see tears in Jesus’ eyes when he says those words (as he does in Luke cyring out to Jerusalem who would not come) where as others have him saying it with a smirk.

In fact, Jesus is Lord of the living and the dead (Rom 14:7-9). What does this mean? Would you bet the lot on your position that if one dies without knowing Jesus they are locked into that position?

Will Willimon, in his excellent book Who Will Be Saved? says this: the shepherd searches for the lost sheep, the woman seeks the lost coin, the father waits until…That “until” may be one of the most comforting words in all of Scripture. How long is “until”?

And what does Jesus mean after he gives announces to the minority followers of his that he is the Way, the Truth and the Life that he “has other sheep that do not belong to this fold”? (Jn 10:16). You mean we are not the only sheep that God has got?

So yeah, I would say it is very much “scripturally backable” to say that God can choose to save us even after death. Time, something we experience, is not something God is bound to. Wouldn’t you agree?

peace,
Chad

256   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 9th, 2008 at 3:40 pm

for we know that “few there will be”.

SJ, again, we do not know this. You think you know this, that is all. When you make statements like this it detracts from all your other attestations to God’s sovereignty and freedom to as God wishes.

257   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
July 9th, 2008 at 4:10 pm

We do know this Chad. That is the problem with your statement.

“For many are invited, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22
“But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
Matthew 7
To name a couple.

As to the ratio business it was only refferring to the three basic different “types” of people (those who profess AND believe; those who profess and do not believe; and those who do not even profess.) The only ratio I meant to infer was that two of those will get you lost still and only one is saving. That’s all. Poorly communicated, so, sorry about that.

whoa. I really really have to get going. So I’ll have to leave you with that.

258   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 9th, 2008 at 4:45 pm

We do know this Chad. That is the problem with your statement.

Again, I believe what you are using as proof for that position is speaking of this present salvation. Let us all hope for the sake of the billions who do not find the gate that your interpretation is wrong.

Question: Does the mentally handicapped person who has never had a cognitive thought in his or her life die without ever finding the gate? What is their fate?

peace,
Chad

259   Kyle in WI    
July 9th, 2008 at 4:54 pm

It is not an interpretation, it is just he plain meaning. Few are those who find it. People go to hell. Everyone should go to hell. That is where God’s love comes in, he punished His Son in the place of all those who believe. You can either accept or reject Jesus’s words.

There are plenty of handicap people that are christians. God can overcome any of our weakness. Thankfully it is not dependt on our mental ability but on faith in Christ.

260   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 9th, 2008 at 5:04 pm

Kyle-
It’s an interpretation, as is all things once we start discussing something written 2000 years ago (or 20 minutes ago).

Perhaps you missed the part of my question that states the handicapped person has never had a cognitive thought. How do they excercise faith in Christ if they have never heard, understood or profess? What is such a person’s fate? And yes, there is a reason I am asking this.

261   Jonathan Frueh    
July 9th, 2008 at 5:40 pm

“is not the same as saying that those who do not wish to be saved will be”

This is exactly the my point. This is what TD is in a nut shell! In the Calvinistic perspective, we never have the ability to even seek God as humans, so the fact is we are in a constant state of not wanting him or even having the ability to spiritually wonder in biblical perspectives. So, those which are all the “elect” , before being saved, are in a constant state of not wanting God with no choice to the contrary! Yet, you can say that they were never in any danger or always had the Lord because of his sovereign foreknowledge…

I went up to one of my professors in College and asked, “When did you become a believer?” She said, “I was a believer before the foundations of the world…” I was definitely shocked…

262   nathan    http://www.nathanneighbour.com
July 9th, 2008 at 5:41 pm

Chad,

I am on paid staff at Mosaic. I will have to look him up :)

263   Chris L.    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
July 9th, 2008 at 5:42 pm

I would just note that “few” is so relative – even if every one of the 2 billion professing Christians were saved, they would still be a “few” across all of time…

As for ‘predestined’ – Paul and Jesus’ usage is consistently plural (dealing with community), and based on the cosmology of the time (i.e. not based on modernist ’scientific’ understanding of time). Much like the OT writer referring to bats as “fowl”, when we try to take a translated word too far and systematize it, we’re quite likely to botch it up.

For instance, when examining predestination, only if you consider time to be unidirectionally linear and that God is trapped within it do you come up with an analogous understanding to Calvinism. However, if God is apart from time and can see every possibility which is allowed under His will, then he pre-knows AND His creation has free will within the bounds allowed by His will…

264   Jonathan Frueh    
July 9th, 2008 at 5:54 pm

Perhaps you missed the part of my question that states the handicapped person has never had a cognitive thought. How do they excercise faith in Christ if they have never heard, understood or profess? What is such a person’s fate? And yes, there is a reason I am asking this”

The only true answer is that God’s justice and love and all his facets are perfect…

Chad, How do you know they have never heard, understood or profess and how do you know what cognitive thoughts are in their minds? You are not in their minds and neither am I…That is why it is in the hands of God.

OK, what is your reason for asking?

265   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 9th, 2008 at 6:01 pm

Infants and mentally challenged people are in God’s hands so we cannot know their eternity. There are tens of thousands of fertilized embryos being frozen in fertility clinics which will one day be destroyed. They also are in God’s hands. Definitive statements about their eternity are conjecture.

266   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
July 9th, 2008 at 6:06 pm

In Calvinism we have Universalism. Calvin saw this issue and developed “Limited Atonement”. In doing this he confused forgiveness with salvation.

I can forgive someone, but if they do not accept it, they are not receiving this forgiveness… further if I forgave and then told them to come into my Kingdom and be an adopted son, and they refused, they do not receive the benefits of salvation.

Yet, the work was done at the Cross… forgiveness was given to all people. Calvin saw the awesomeness of this yet could not reconcile that those who did not live righteously could be also saved. Again… confusing forgiveness, the taking away of the sin, with the imparted life that came through the resurrection.

Without the death and resurrection, we are not saved. Calvinism mixes all into the Cross… which is part one of the saving act of God. Without the Life of Christ imparted to us we are only forgiven dead men.

Read through Acts and some received the baptism of John for forgiveness, yet had not receive Christ…

I believe it possible that one can receive half the Gospel and miss out on salvation.

iggy

267   Jonathan Frueh    
July 9th, 2008 at 6:33 pm

“receive half the Gospel”

Explain receive fro me iggy…in the context you gave please.

In my opinion, it is impossible to receive the whole truth from half the truth…In the sight of this, anyone that only takes a part of a truth doesn’t receive the whole truth and, in that, never had any truth since it cannot be pulled apart because of its work in totality…

Kinda like giving you a car without spark plugs…in reality a car cannot run without spark plugs, therefore if you receive a gift of a “car” without the spark plugs, you are not receiving a car at all, because it doesn’t and is incapable of performing the action of a car. It is just a pile of metal that might resemble something like an automobile. A fake!

268   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
July 9th, 2008 at 7:25 pm

Johnathan,

I thought I already had. In the Book of Acts Apollos had on heard and received John’s baptism of repentance, but had yet to hear the full gospel of the Risen Christ.

It is then the fullness of salvation came to be in Apollos.

It was then Apollos received the salvation form God.

iggy

269   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
July 9th, 2008 at 7:30 pm

Also, one must give God great credit for how awesome grace is. God looks at the heart.

My sinners prayer was… “do this God, and I see what I can do for you”… I believe my salvation started then but it was not until much later I came to a fuller knowledge of God’s grace, mercy and loving kindness.

So in the beginning we all receive in part and not full… For it is God that plants in us the Seed and makes it grow. Now, there are false conversions into false gospels such as the gospel of works… but even in that God saved me in and through and in spite of that am me.

iggy

270   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
July 10th, 2008 at 7:48 am

My first real prayer was, “Lord, I don’t want to be saved. But I know I need to be saved. Give me a desire to be saved.”
And He gave me a seeking heart. Months later, I finally surrendered my will, my life, my eternal state, my everything to the pure, spotless slain and risen Lamb of God.

Hallelujah!

271   KyleinWI    
July 10th, 2008 at 7:48 am

All that the Father has given to me will come to me. You guys love to talk about time and how God relates. Sound and fury ect…God works in space/time because that is where we live. So He is working out salvation in time!

Limited Atoment came not from all, because most of the time when all is used it means all types. It came from the fact that Jesus and Paul and John talk about a paticluar people that are redeemed. People from every tribe, tounge, nation ie the elect.

272   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 10th, 2008 at 7:58 am

So when God says He is not willing that ANY should perish but that ALL should come to repentance, He means “all types”? And when God says All Scripture is given by God… He means “all types” of Scripture but not the entirety of Scripture.

That is a more careless contextualization than most emergents are accused of.

273   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 10th, 2008 at 7:58 am

Limited Atoment came not from all, because most of the time when all is used it means all types.

But when it comes to passages where “few” is mentioned, Kyle says from post 259:

It is not an interpretation, it is just he plain meaning.

274   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 10th, 2008 at 8:12 am

It amounts to a very subjective interpretive process that assigns different meanings to the same word when and where it suits a theological purpose. It also subliminally widens the gap between the “learned” and the “unlearned”, the clergy and the laity, and the ecclesiastical bourgeoisie and the proletariat.

If it takes a degree in Greek and Hebrew to uncover that Jesus only died for a small fragment of humanity in order to glorify himself, then it is contextualization. Can you imagine a father seeing his 8 children dying in a pit, he lets down a rope to two of them, and that satifies him and he goes home and doesn’t even attempt to rescue the other 6?

Everything we know about Christ is at odds with that portrayal.

275   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
July 10th, 2008 at 8:13 am

So He is working out salvation in time!

Kyle,
Brace yourself, because I actually agree with this statement…

It’s actually not a Calvinist view of salvation. A Calvinist would say that salvation was worked out since the foundations of the world – before time even began. Nothing is being “worked out” because it’s all been done and laid out. The blueprint has been set, and really all of history is like a play performed by robots.

276   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 10th, 2008 at 8:15 am

Phil – that is so “Boydish” of you. I agree, God knows futue history but he does not interven in everything! :)

277   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 10th, 2008 at 8:24 am

Can you imagine a father seeing his 8 children dying in a pit, he lets down a rope to two of them, and that satifies him and he goes home and doesn’t even attempt to rescue the other 6?

But Rick, don’t you know that God receives even more glory if the 6 perish? I mean, it is just like all of our modern day hero stories – no one praises the hero that saved everyone in the burning house. It is only the hero that purposefully leaves behind some screaming babies and mothers that his actions get true praise.

278   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 10th, 2008 at 8:33 am

One thing you and I adamantly agree upon, Chad, the gospel is for everyone and our wonderful Savior tasted death for every man! Paul says in Romans that when a man dies for his enemies, that is true love. God did not die for a few of His enemies, He died fo ALL (and I do mean ALL) of His enemies!

Praise His name!

279   Kyle in WI    
July 10th, 2008 at 8:33 am

Calvinst say that salvation is planned before the world began, but is work out in time. That is why election is not something we can learn, it is the plan of God before time. But we see the fruit of the plan in people lives when you see repentance and faith. Also Peter is writing to christians we he says that he wish that none would perish, so in the context it could be that God is waiting for all of the years just to call those loves while putting up/tolerating all the sin in the mean time. He is pateint in order that he might save.

I am thinking about we Paul tells Tim to pray for all people. He does not mean everyone that ever lived and will ever live, but all types of people. I am not saying everytime it is used is mean just all types but it does in context mean that.

So how do you deal with Jesus in John where he says that there is a certian amount of people who will come to Him and that He will never loose them. I think that is where we need to look. God so loved the world, yes does that mean he is saving everyone in the world? So God’s savlation is for a elect. Now the elect is much larger than most people would think. Look in Rev. they are too numerous to count, and this is the fulifllment of Abraham.

How do you deal with the passges in John chapter 8?

280   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 10th, 2008 at 8:44 am

Kyle-
John 8 is a big chapter. What, specifically, are you referring to?

But we see the fruit of the plan in people lives when you see repentance and faith.

Yet, according to Calvinists, even this can be decieving.
When you make election all about individuals you make any semblance of assurance impossible.

281   Kyle in WI    
July 10th, 2008 at 9:19 am

The complete oppoiste is true. If you believe in Jesus name you can know that God called you by name and that no one is great than the Father! What great assurance is there than to know that my name is graven on His hands. Blessed assurance! Read Ephesisans 1, this is assurance that it was God’s plan to save me, Kyle, personal He thought of me. Not just of the race that I am from gentiles, but of my name and loved me. How is this not assurance?

John 6:44 through the end and then John 10

22At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. 24So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 25Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, 26but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

So why don’t the jews believe. What is the cause Jesus says in verse 26. Sorry I was way off there is some in John 8. Also I am looking for the passage that says that all that the Father has given to me? God promised to give a people to Jesus and Jesus will raise them up. You don’t say “baba” to become a sheep you say “baba” becasue you are a sheep.

282   nc    
July 10th, 2008 at 9:29 am

Re: “Limited Atonement”.

Ironic that this “doctrine” is foregrounded by people today.

Didn’t Calvin bury it deep within his writings on the Holy Spirit?

283   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 10th, 2008 at 9:35 am

If you believe in Jesus name you can know that God called you by name and that no one is great than the Father!

Kyle,
Perhaps you disagree with other Calvinists, then (which is fine). When I pose to them a situation where one professes Christ as Lord and then at some point in their life they “backslide” or leave the church altogether they say of them, “well, they had a false-assurace and are not part of the elect.” So, today you may profess Christ as Lord but that does not mean you are elect. That’s not assurance, that is cause for psychosis.

peace,
Chad

284   Kyle in WI    
July 10th, 2008 at 9:44 am

Here is a good link for John 6 really long but good.
http://vintage.aomin.org/johnchapter6.html

Also we can stand on the promise about backsliding. I am one of those black sheep, really really black. But God never left me nor forsaked me. He is going to finish the work that He started. I do agree that when people leave the church it is to show that they are not of us. Christianity is not just a one time repentance and prayer but a life long repentance and a life long “sinners” prayer. As you walk with the Lord longer your assurance grows. Assurance can be very subjective at times and grows as a chrsitian grows. that is why we are told to examine ourselves a lot by Paul, Peter, John to make sure of our calling and election.

I think it is great assurance. When I was out there doing worldly things I had no assurance of salvation but through God’s grace He brought repentance back into my life and reminded me that I am His child. This is why we can never say who the elect are, we do not know the sercet things of God. If a person leaves the church the only thing we can do is pray and admonish the brother and only Christ can bring Him back.

285   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 10th, 2008 at 9:44 am

I happen to know how God chose who will be saved.

Not many Iranians, Not many Indians, but many Americans.

Also not many rich and noble, they must drive Him crazy. Also we must become like little children, whcih of course, we can’t. Oh that God, He speaks in such riddles! :lol:

286   John Hughes    
July 10th, 2008 at 12:05 pm

Chad: That’s not assurance, that is cause for psychosis.

I shared that with my wife. She sends her thanks. It explains a lot (about me). :-)

287   andy    
July 10th, 2008 at 12:07 pm

Can you imagine a father seeing his 8 children dying in a pit, he lets down a rope to two of them, and that satifies him and he goes home and doesn’t even attempt to rescue the other 6?

Hmm but that was my point!! A all knowing God threw them in there to begin with..

288   andy    
July 10th, 2008 at 12:09 pm

man im so crap at the pc

Can you imagine a father seeing his 8 children dying in a pit, he lets down a rope to two of them, and that satifies him and he goes home and doesn’t even attempt to rescue the other

Hmm but that was my point!! A all knowing God threw them in there to begin with..

289   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 10th, 2008 at 12:21 pm

Andy-
Only if you follow Calvin’s god. A phrase comes to mind: stop kicking against the goads.

John H – Glad I could be of service :)

peace.

290   andy    
July 10th, 2008 at 12:24 pm

Hi Chad not just Calvinism but also Orginal Sin..Do you think its Biblical?

I heard a sermon by a person who argued that Adam and Eve introduced death into the world but not orginal sin…

291   andy    
July 10th, 2008 at 12:33 pm

To me it just seems so flawed!! To create people, not of their choice,and from day one their a sinner and theirs a penalty to pay for that state..

btw i won the rolleiflex on ebay hehe rolleiflex yeeharrr the best camera know to man!!!!!

292   John Hughes    
July 10th, 2008 at 12:33 pm

Chad,

I think overall you are making a common mistake by conflating “reconciled” with “justification”, “regeneration”, “salvation”. To be reconciled is not synonymous with being saved. To be reconciled is to take away the enmity between parties. God the Father unilaterally reconciled the World through the death of His son. The enmity between man and God is now put away.

2 Cor 5:18-19 -Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

Salvation is now possible, but not automatic. One must accept the gift of salvation through faith. Any and all men can now approach the Father through the work of the Son. Again, God did this by a unilateral demonstration of His grace, but the reconciliation was manward. God has unilaterally forgiven us. The way to God is now open via forgiveness of sins, but not all men accept that forgiveness. This is why Paul says since God is reconciled to us we need to reconcile to Him.

2 Cor 5:20 – Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

Paul and other writers also differentiate between reconciliation and salvation. They are related but not synonymous.

Romans 5:10 – For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

1 John 5:11-12 – And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.

So although God’s reconciliation is universal, salvation is not.

293   Kyle in WI    
July 10th, 2008 at 12:34 pm

We are all gulity because of Adam’s sin, seems unfair, but then we are counted righeous because of Crist righteousness. Pretty orthdox and pretty plain throughout all of the bible. Could you point out something that would go against Romans

12Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— 13for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was no like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
15But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. 16And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. 17For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

18Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. 20Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Now if you don’t use the whole bible as the bedrock for your faith, it would be easy to say that there is no orignal sin, Pelagius did.

294   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
July 10th, 2008 at 12:35 pm

Hmm but that was my point!! A all knowing God threw them in there to begin with..

Wow, that’s quite a leap. God gave humans a real choice, and we chose poorly. The thing with love is that is must be freely given and freely received to truly be love. God could have created a universe in which there was no chance for evil, but in that universe there would be no real chance for His creation to love him either.

I think that creating humans God did take a real risk. A risk that would lead to Jesus dying on the cross. A risk that meant He would be intimately involved in His creation.

I heard a sermon by a person who argued that Adam and Eve introduced death into the world but not orginal sin…

I would say that death came as a consequence of sin and death are closely linked. Sin is separation from God, and life comes from God breathing into His creation. So any separation from that source will lead to death.

295   Kyle in WI    
July 10th, 2008 at 12:41 pm

This is love, not that we loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to die for us. Really love is not a “choice” to love God. I agree it is part of love but not the whole of love. God did give us a choice and we failed and fell. No we are dead, unable to choose God or do anything good. Sure we can still have all sorts of choice but our moral ability to do right and wrong was lost in the fall. That is why man’s thoughts are always evil from his youth. We just can not do spiritually good things anymore. But Christ died for us while we where yet sinners. Once regeneragted by God we then are given the ability to choose right and wrong. And what is the most right thing there is? Christ, so a person born of the Spirit will choose the highest good Christ. But apart from the Spirit, or being born again, we can not choose Christ.

296   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
July 10th, 2008 at 12:43 pm

I think overall you are making a common mistake by conflating “reconciled” with “justification”, “regeneration”, “salvation”. To be reconciled is not synonymous with being saved. To be reconciled is to take away the enmity between parties. God the Father unilaterally reconciled the World through the death of His son. The enmity between man and God is now put away.

Full reconciliation takes two parties. The Epistles were written to Christians – that’s why Paul and other authors can rightly say that the audience they are writing to have already been reconciled. I don’t think we can necessarily draw a distinction between reconciliation and salvation. If anything, I think Paul would say that reconciliation is part of salvation, not a separate thing.

By the way, I don’t really disagree with the sentiment you’re getting at. I think that God’s wrath was fully satisfied on the cross. The way some people present things, they make it sound like God is still angry at sinners.

297   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 10th, 2008 at 12:44 pm

We are all born with original sin, however we willingly make Adam proud on our own. :)

298   andy    
July 10th, 2008 at 12:44 pm

12Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned

The sermon i heard said, that yes sin did enter into the world in the sense were now capable of sinning, but its death that the verse says spread from one person to everyone…

He also said if you believe in orginal sin and the idea that everyone is totally depraved from the get go,how can it be that the bible mentions people becoming more sinful? How can totally be added to??

299   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
July 10th, 2008 at 12:50 pm

This is love, not that we loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to die for us. Really love is not a “choice” to love God. I agree it is part of love but not the whole of love. God did give us a choice and we failed and fell. No we are dead, unable to choose God or do anything good. Sure we can still have all sorts of choice but our moral ability to do right and wrong was lost in the fall. That is why man’s thoughts are always evil from his youth. We just can not do spiritually good things anymore. But Christ died for us while we where yet sinners. Once regeneragted by God we then are given the ability to choose right and wrong. And what is the most right thing there is? Christ, so a person born of the Spirit will choose the highest good Christ. But apart from the Spirit, or being born again, we can not choose Christ.

This just doesn’t mesh with the whole of Scripture. Scripture is full of God telling people to choose correctly. Heck, a large portion of the Old Testament shows the results of Israel’s poor choices.

Also, no one really, really believes total depravity deep down. Next time you see a newborn baby, remind yourself how wicked and depraved it is. No one does this – most people realize that life is a gift from God and a miracle.

I’m not saying that there isn’t something in humans that is gravely wrong. Yes, we are affected by the fall; all creation is. But the goodness of God is still evident in His creation along with the falleness.

300   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 10th, 2008 at 12:55 pm

“how can it be that the bible mentions people becoming more sinful?”

No one becomes “more sinful”, they just become more proficient at its expression. But sinners can and do seek God. My question to Calvinists is “If only God saves a sinner by his choice, what good does your arguing do you? It will never change one thing.”

However I confront their error because I believe it does despite to the truth on many fronts, including limiting evangelism, emasculating prayer, doctrinal self righteousness, and directing an unchristian view of sinners and their plight.

Get started on those, there are others. :evil:

301   Kyle in WI    
July 10th, 2008 at 12:58 pm

Just because God commands it does not mean we can do it. That is the whole point of the cross. So when the bible says that there is no one good, no not even one, no one seeks after God. You just think that means what?

18Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men,

Total depravity does not mean we are as bad as possible. It means that we have radically corrupted. That we are marred and can no longer choose what is good(in the sense of good by God’s standards) apart from His Spirit. The flesh is born of flesh and spirit of Spirit. We can not understand spiritual things until God grace changes us.

Watch all the stupid nanny shows, and you can not see fallen man in it. Or how about that young boy that stole his grandma’s car and said “It is fun to do bad things.” What are some of the first words kids learn after dad and mom?

302   Kyle in WI    
July 10th, 2008 at 1:00 pm

You would have to say why it does those things you list. Beceause of course it does not. The call goes to all people, seed goes on all soil, but God grows the seed.

303   andy    
July 10th, 2008 at 1:00 pm

Also, no one really, really believes total depravity deep down. Next time you see a newborn baby, remind yourself how wicked and depraved it is. No one does this – most people realize that life is a gift from God and a miracle.

Exactly it doesn’t float!!

And then you listen to a sermon,and the nut’s saying you want to know how evil we are, check out a two year old he don’t need to be taught how to sin yawnnnnnn

My post put across badly how i feel…Its not that i want to make Calvinism fit,i’m trying to make it not fit,but finding it hard to under the light of a sovereign and all knowing God,thats all…

304   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 10th, 2008 at 1:09 pm

Please tell me if sinners are TOTALLY depraved, why do some reformed blogs criticize TOTALLY depraved sinners when they sin?

What is a Totally Depraved sinner supposed to do – stop sinning??

Goofy Theology.

305   Kyle in WI    
July 10th, 2008 at 1:22 pm

It is not if it can fit into any theological system whatever it may be. It is if the bible affirms it. I think Romans and a lot of other passages affirm that man is radically corrupted unable to choose to do good or seek God apart from His grace. If I am wrong so me in the bible something that would trump all of Romans, Jesus, Peter, Moses ect…

306   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
July 10th, 2008 at 1:23 pm

Just because God commands it does not mean we can do it. That is the whole point of the cross. So when the bible says that there is no one good, no not even one, no one seeks after God. You just think that means what?

Well, that whole passage where Paul says that, he is quoting various passages out of Psalms, Proverbs, and Ecclesiates. He is getting to the point that both Gentiles and Jews have seriously screwed up. I don’t think he’s making a universal proclamation about total depravity. I think he’s trying to drill down to a major point of Romans – no group can claim superiority over an other group. We all need God and we all have messed up.

To say that Paul is saying that no one has the ability to choose between God and evil seems to be an odd point to take away. Especially, since the parts of the OT he is quoting from are basically books that urge readers to make correct choices in their lives. In fact, earlier in Romans, Paul specifically warns against thinking that says we might as well sin because we’re covered. No, Paul says we still are responsible for our choices.

307   Kyle in WI    
July 10th, 2008 at 1:25 pm

Here is a good quote from a purtian Thomas Brooks.

“Sin in the wicked man is like poision in a snake it is where it belongs”

I have always wonder why we expect the politicans to make us a more moral people. I hate abortion, homosexual marriage. But what do you execpt people love to sin. I think that christian should not be pushing social agendas in the government to produce a change, for goverments can not change a heart. But we should be praying for a revival/reformation and be witnessing to the nations. This is the only way to effect true moral change in any society. It has worked before and can work again.

308   Kyle in WI    
July 10th, 2008 at 1:29 pm

So you can love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strenght??

Just because God commands it does not mean we can do it. That would make the cross worthless. That was the whole point of the law, to show us we can not keep the commands of God. Or am I miss understanding the law?

“To suppose that whatever God requireth of us that we have power of ourselves to do, is to make the cross and grace of Jesus Christ of none effect”

John Owen

309   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
July 10th, 2008 at 1:32 pm

I guess I have trouble accepting a completely dualist notion of things. Is God more pleased if a non-Christian has an abortion or doesn’t? To me that seems like a pretty simple answer. I think every Christian would say it would be better if the child were born. The fact that a non-Christian made the choice doesn’t negate the fact she made a choice that was in line with God’s will.

I don’t think that the only people that can do good in the world are Christians. I believe that God has a will for lots of situations, and I believe He cares what choices are made. I would agree that politics, by-in-large, is a fruitless endeavor also, and I don’t think Christians need to be “morality police”. I do think that all people have a true ability to decide between good and evil in situations.

310   Kyle in WI    
July 10th, 2008 at 1:36 pm

Yes I agree, abortion should be outlawed. Murder is wrong. My point is that even though morals can be legislated and are, ever law is a moral, they will not change the heart and people will still seek out what they want reagrdless of laws.

311   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
July 10th, 2008 at 1:39 pm

Just because God commands it does not mean we can do it. That would make the cross worthless. That was the whole point of the law, to show us we can not keep the commands of God. Or am I miss understanding the law?

I think the law was given as teacher, or as a goad. It does show us that we are incapable, but I don’t believe it’s in an “you are so worthless” sort of way. I imagine it like a parent letting a little kid try to climb stairs all the while knowing he can’t. The parent isn’t doing it to see the kid fail. The parent is trying to teach the kid, help it develop.

I believe God gave the Jews the law as an act of love. If they obeyed, they would be blessed. If not, they faced grave consequences.

Jesus fulfilled the law and was the ransom for our sin, but I think the cross wasn’t just about the law. There are many ways to look at the Atonement.

312   John Hughes    
July 10th, 2008 at 1:41 pm

Kyle: Just because God commands it does not mean we can do it.

Kyle, that is THE rub. To demand something of someone who is incapable of doing what is being commanded and THEN punishing them for not obeying is utter cruelty, mockery and spitfuness and makes God out to be the ultimate cosmic bully.

Even ardent Calvinists try to reason out of this quandry with weasle words about ability vs. desire.

313   Kyle in WI    
July 10th, 2008 at 1:48 pm

That is what God says, that we have no ability to do it. If you don’t like this God then you don’t like the bible. It is everywhere telling us we can not do it, we are evil, we are emenies of God, we are God-haters. But this is great news because God changes us from God-haters to God-lovers. The law shows us our inability to do anything Good. Please name one command that you have kept?? We can not it is out natural state to break the law. The heresy you esppouse has been denounced since around 300 AD be everyone in the chruch.

314   Kyle in WI    
July 10th, 2008 at 1:49 pm

No true calvinist weasle out of this. They love the bible to much and take Him at His word. If God says it it is true.

315   Kyle in WI    
July 10th, 2008 at 1:51 pm

No oneveiw of the atonment holds the all of the doctrine of the atonment, the book by Stott really opened my eyes to the atonment and the way it has been seen through out history. I really recommend that book for everyone.

316   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
July 10th, 2008 at 2:04 pm

That is what God says, that we have no ability to do it. If you don’t like this God then you don’t like the bible.

Saying we can’t keep the law perfectly isn’t the same as saying we have no ability to obey it whatsoever. Again, this sort of dualistic thinking isn’t in Scripture.

317   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 10th, 2008 at 2:10 pm

Kyle,

If that is so, then I guess Jesus Christ was also worthless and an ememy to God. For it is he that we are being conformed to by the Holy Spirit.
Just because we fail does not give us an excuse to strive for perfection in love of God and neighbor. Jesus said to those whom he healed, “go, and sin no more.” Was he saying that with a smirk?

318   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 10th, 2008 at 2:11 pm

The above should read:

…does not give us an excuse to NOT strive for perfection…

319   Kyle in WI    
July 10th, 2008 at 2:19 pm

“If that is so, then I guess Jesus Christ was also worthless and an ememy to God. ”

Jesus was not born with orignal sin, He is the second Adam. Your statement makes no sense whatsoever. I agree failure does not mean we should not try and stive and press on. The law of the Lord is a delight to the soul of a christian. It is kind of dualistic, in the sense that we want to do right but contunie to do wrong, I mean a person that is a christian. The Spirit and flesh are fighting against each other in a christian.

Just because we can not stop sinning does not give an excuse for sinning. Just becasue I am evil and will sin again does not give me an excuse for it. I am reposnbile for me and my actions.

320   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 10th, 2008 at 2:21 pm

Kyle-

What does it mean to be “conformed to the image of Christ?” Do you believe that is going on right now in you?

321   Kyle in WI    
July 10th, 2008 at 2:24 pm

Yes it is. I think a simple defeition would be deing to self and live to christ. Santicification. But I still never have loved God with all of my heart ever second of ever day. I will still fail! How did I recieve the Spirit, by works of the law of by faith? Am I now going to bring about santification in the flesh or by the Spirit?

322   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
July 10th, 2008 at 2:25 pm

Just because we can not stop sinning does not give an excuse for sinning. Just becasue I am evil and will sin again does not give me an excuse for it. I am reposnbile for me and my actions.

This just doesn’t make sense. You can’t have it both ways. If we have no real choice but to sin, why would God hold us accountable for it. Even saying we have responsibility implies we have a choice.

323   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 10th, 2008 at 2:25 pm

Just because God commands it does not mean we can do it.

Kyle, is this the same thing as God commanding us to love his enemies yet God does not?

324   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 10th, 2008 at 2:26 pm

*sigh* I am having trouble typing today. Above should read: Love OUR enemies while God does not.

325   Kyle in WI    
July 10th, 2008 at 2:30 pm

The bible says it is both, that why I think it is both. We are incapable in ourselves not obey God’s law and then He punishes us for it? Or am I wrong. According to the bible??

Chad you are reading too much McLearn, lol. While we were still emenies Christ died for us. Have you not heard that God so loved the world???

326   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 10th, 2008 at 2:32 pm

Gonna go guys. Kyle, I have no idea what your trying to say. Take care.

327   Kyle in WI    
July 10th, 2008 at 2:36 pm

God does love His emenies. Mclearn comopres penial sub to a man forgiving His wife and then kick his dog. But there is no greater love than to lay down ones life? I know it is not McLearn’s view it has been held by lots of poeple throughout the chruch history for the last 1000 years or so.

There are many things we don’t understand. Why can we not be resonsible while still being unable of ourselves to obey good. Is this not a paradox, a mystry, something the e-church is supposed to love, lol.

You guys have a good day.

328   nc    
July 10th, 2008 at 2:56 pm

Why does Chad have to be reading McLaren to raise a critique of a relatively young articulation of the many ways we can speak about the atonement?

It’s not like McLaren is actually “leading a rebellion” against this doctrine. The critique has been there for a long, long time.

329   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
July 10th, 2008 at 2:58 pm

Actually, the Penal Substitution view, as least the way it’s articulated today, is a relatively new kid on the theological block. I think it’s sort of funny when people act like McLaren is inventing something new.

330   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
July 10th, 2008 at 3:11 pm

Mclearn comopres penial sub to a man forgiving His wife and then kick his dog. But there is no greater love than to lay down ones life?

This is not accurate… Brian does not deny PS he affirms it. He is critiquing the way it is presented at times. That God tells us to not kill and love and then kills His own Son in a blood appeasing human sacrifice.

Brian is critiquing the inaccurate ways people present it and suggests looking at the broader picture and the more full view.

iggy

331   Kyle in WI    
July 10th, 2008 at 3:19 pm

NC,

It is something Brain speaks about alot, along with the rest of the heretics, comsomic child abuse. Not saying he had to get it from there, but he is popular and spreading it.

Penal Sub is not new it is old, older than Christ, in his humanness. Predict along time before he was born. The post I read about atonment that dude linked to a few post up is good and far.

332   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
July 10th, 2008 at 3:24 pm

Kyle,

Again you also misrepresent Brian’s view…

IF all PS is as presented in many churches IT IS then only cosmic child abuse.

It is not and that is Brian’s point. Do you think it is Cosmic child abuse? Do you teach that?

iggy

333   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
July 10th, 2008 at 3:24 pm

Brain McLaren???
Photobucket

334   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
July 10th, 2008 at 3:35 pm

Kyle,
For typo reasons and comprehension reasons, please read your statements before you hit the “Submit” button. It is sometimes hard to understand what you are saying. It helps to slow down a bit, I’ve found.

Also, just a thought, Scot McKnight recommends a book here that I never read. But judging by the tone of your statements here, it might be a good thing to consider.

As a reader of these comments, you must realize that Chad and Phil and Rick and the others you are conversing with are thoroughly informed on all of these doctrinal issues. And their answers indicate more maturity and tact, whether or not one agrees with them.

Just a few thoughts, brother…
Shalom

335   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
July 10th, 2008 at 3:44 pm

Kyle,
Please understand that I didn’t put that picture up to ridicule you in any way. Actually, I have seen a lot of people do the same thing with the name “Brian” when typing quickly.

Too many hours of watching Animaniacs in college have warped my mind to the point that whenever I read “Brain”, I immediately hear, “what are going to do tonight, Brain?” or “narf!” in my head…

336   John Hughes    
July 10th, 2008 at 3:48 pm

Kyle: That is what God says, that we have no ability to do it.

Chapter and verse, please. Chapter and verse.

337   Kyle in WI    
July 10th, 2008 at 3:48 pm

If Brian, does not hold to the cosmic child abuse view of Penial Sub, please point me to some of his works that state this? I thought he hates the doctrine.

Pinky and the brain, lol.

338   John Hughes    
July 10th, 2008 at 3:54 pm

Kyle: No true calvinist weasle out of this. They love the bible to much and take Him at His word. If God says it it is true.

Oh yes, no body but Calvinists love the bible

339   Kyle in WI    
July 10th, 2008 at 3:57 pm

Romans 3:9-10 and 18. “I have already charged that all men, both Jews and Greeks, are under the power of sin, as it is written: None is righteous, no not one; no one seeks for God….There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

John 3:20-21 says about them. “Every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does what is true comes to the light, that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought in God.”

In Romans 14:23 Paul says, “Whatever is not from faith is sin.”

In Romans 7:18 Paul says, “I know that no good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.”

Romans 8:7-8 says, “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, indeed it cannot; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”

John 3
That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

So anyone that is not born again cannot according to Romans “indeed it cannot; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”

It is different if you are born again. In and of or by ourselves can not. If you dissagree please tell me why according to these verse or other ones also?

340   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
July 10th, 2008 at 4:00 pm

Kyle,
Not to be a smart-arse (it’s not cursing if you spell it with a Scottish accent) you said

If Brian, does not hold to the cosmic child abuse view of Penial Sub, please point me to some of his works that state this?

The onus of such a claim comes upon the one who make it. You said Mr. McLaren believes PS is cosmic child abuse. Others have said it is not. You are in the position of backing up your statement.

341   Kyle in WI    
July 10th, 2008 at 4:23 pm

I heard was listening to a conference where he did the kicking a dog comparison. He has never stated his own view on penal sub, but has endorsed books that call it a vile doctrine or cosmic child abuse. If you can get anything definte on his doctrine of the atonment that would be great. Hard to do but great.

342   nc    
July 10th, 2008 at 4:25 pm

Actually, McLaren was pointing out Steve Chalke’sdescription of it to make the point that PS can be problematic and difficult for people.

Even if you (wrongly) believe the PS articulation of atonement is the only way we can talk about atonement, you have to admit the critiques demonstrate how PS sounds to many people.

That’s not a denial on McLaren’s part. It’s honestyabout our theology and how people can and have understood/misunderstood it.

(An aside: The fact that John Piper then tried to lay the wood to Tony Jones (!) and McLaren for Steve Chalke’s words was juvenile, dishonest and manipulative.

He even said he was “hurt” by such a description of PS. That’s silly, irrational and, again, manipulative.)

To be clear, I don’t agree with everything B.McLaren says or writes, but I do think critiques should go where they are deserved, not where armchair, self-appointed gatekeepers and their sycophants whine about theological skies falling.

Also, I don’t reject PS. I DO reject any position that says PS is the only true way a Christian can talk about the atonement. It’s one of many beautiful ways we can speak of the multi-faceted and most powerful moment in the history of the cosmos.

343   Kyle in WI    
July 10th, 2008 at 4:28 pm

I agree PS is not the only aspect to the atonment but is very crucial for without then the atonment is lost and we are still in our sins. Again I will say Stott does a great job of laying out the whole doctrine of the atonment in the Cross of Christ. Great read, makes you think.

344   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
July 10th, 2008 at 4:43 pm

but is very crucial for without then the atonment is lost and we are still in our sins.

I wouldn’t even go that far. The church got along quite well in the 1500 years before Penal Substitutionary Atonement was theorized. Chalke is right, though, that the way PSA is presented by many churches today, particularly those of the Calvinist stripe, comes off as cosmic child abuse and makes absolutely no sense when viewed in toto with the rest of scripture.

Kyle, I would note that the method in which you are quoting some scriptures, while completely neglecting others, is the basis of systematic (i.e. man-made, flawed) theology. Particularly in your picking and choosing of whether parsing of Jesus & Paul is literal or figurative to fit a particular view, rather than allowing textual analysis and good hermeneutics provide good exegesis (even if it appears to contradict). When viewed in toto, scripture makes it clear that God has preknowledge AND man has free will. Rather than accept what appears to be a contradiction at face value, Calvinism (and other -isms) chooses one over the other, introducing a fatal flaw into that system of thinking.

Also – to an earlier point – Peter’s use of quoting the Psalms and relating them to Judas was a method of Remez, Jesus’ favorite teaching technique, in which you have to go back to the quoted text to find the subtext of what he is saying. In this case, he was pronouncing a curse on Judas, not trying to point to predictive prophecy.

345   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 10th, 2008 at 4:49 pm

nc and chris – both excellent posts. Thank you for saying well what I have been communicating so poorly.

346   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 10th, 2008 at 4:53 pm

“To be clear, I don’t agree with everything B.McLaren says or writes” – me too. :)

” but I do think critiques should go where they are deserved, not where armchair, self-appointed gatekeepers and their sycophants whine about theological skies falling.” – ouch. :cry:

347   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
July 10th, 2008 at 4:56 pm

Chris to the rescue.
*tips hat*

348   Kyle in WI    
July 10th, 2008 at 5:00 pm

What scripture I have forgotten to use in this little study of man. Do the change the context of any of the verse I listed. Look at the context of each and it is pretty clear that the natural man can not obey God?

349   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
July 10th, 2008 at 5:00 pm

Kyle,

If Brian, does not hold to the cosmic child abuse view of Penial Sub, please point me to some of his works that state this? I thought he hates the doctrine.

Just Google this for interviews with Brian and not the ODM versions of what he states… you will be surprised that he holds this and many other orthodox views…

Now the history behind this misunderstanding is as you stated, Brian endorsed a book by Steve Chalke who is said by some to have called Penal Substitution Cosmic Child abuse… yet Chalke never uses the phrase “penal substitution”.

He was critiquing the teaching that turns Penal Substitution into Cosmic Child Abuse.

What people did was twist what was said to what they wanted it to say so they could attack Steve and Brian.

For more on this Andrew Jones has a great post on all this..

I have heard Brian in quite a few different lectures state that he believes PS yet also sees a rich history and that it is more than as presented in most churches today.

Again, do you teach or believe it is “just” cosmic child abuse”? I sometimes feel like people who attack Brian and Steve are defending just that…

iggy

350   John Hughes    
July 10th, 2008 at 5:17 pm

Kyle: “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, indeed it cannot;

Let’s look at what this verse says and does not say. The passage says “ cannot submit to”. It does not say “cannot perform”. To “submit” is not necessarily the same as to “do”. It is clear, particularly from the verse you quoted, that the unregenerate cannot **submit** to God’s law, .i.e., voluntarily place ones’ self under the authority of. The unregenerate are hostile to and at odds with God by definition. However, it does not say the unregenerate are unable to obey God’s law. This can be done unintentionally, by accident even. God has instilled a conscience in all. Millions of people do not steal on a daily basis. Many don’t commit adultery, etc. Jesus said even the evil know how to do good to their children (Luke 11:13). So to say we cannot obey the law is not the same as saying we cannot submit to it. (No one is arguing we can keep the law all the time and perfectly, just that God can be obeyed by the unregenerate from time to time). I can outwardly do many things some one tells me to do and not be submitted to them at all. Ref: Isaiah 29:13 – “Then the Lord said, “Because this people draw near with their wordsAnd honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote,”

351   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 10th, 2008 at 5:26 pm

John – Jesus said the rich young ruler lacked one thing and He did not argue with the ruler’s personal obedience to the law. Even James says that if you break the law in one point you break the entire law. He doesn’t say an unbeliever cannot obey any of the law.

352   nc    
July 10th, 2008 at 6:28 pm

Kyle,

I appreciate where you are coming from, but to still claim that without PS the atonement is lost I still believe goes too far.

Christus Victor is a way of speaking of the atonement that gives us atonement and the conquering of sin on a cosmic/macro scale–which humans are included in.

What do we do with the simple fact that the economy of salvation in the church UNTIL THE MIDDLE CHURCH was primarily a polyphony of theories: moral exemplar/ransom/ and a budding Christus Victor–all of which grounded the atonement in the lived life of discipleship, the role of the church and the role of Christ as The Word who is the Maker and Re-Maker of Creation?

It’s not until Anselm that we get baseline Satisfaction theory that isn’t even PS in language.

Arguably, A’s theory is deeply indicative of his feudal socio-cultural context. (i.e. the ideas of positional “honor” etc. etc. If one considers the rise of the modern nation-state and the preeminence of “law” over feudal positional social theories we witness interesting things with lawyer John Calvin’s work with Satisfaction theory.)

Anyway: My initial question was:
What do we do with the simple fact that the economy of salvation in the church UNTIL THE MIDDLE CHURCH was primarily a polyphony of theories: moral exemplar/ransom/ and a budding Christus Victor–all of which grounded the atonement in the lived life of discipleship, the role of the church and the role of Christ as The Word who is the Maker and Re-Maker of Creation?

353   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
July 10th, 2008 at 6:47 pm

Christus Victor is a way of speaking of the atonement that gives us atonement and the conquering of sin on a cosmic/macro scale–which humans are included in.

Good stuff nc, as this is what the Gospel of Mark teaches us was the mission of Jesus.

Mark is clear that the Kingdom has arrived and that this Kingdom is ruled by Jesus and encompasses both Heaven and Earth… in other words all creation was reconciled through the sufferings of Christ Jesus.

To deny this then denies the Gospel of Mark… so those who oppose Christus Victor, without realizing oppose this important Gospel.

iggy

354   andy    
July 10th, 2008 at 8:50 pm

Also – to an earlier point – Peter’s use of quoting the Psalms and relating them to Judas was a method of Remez, Jesus’ favorite teaching technique, in which you have to go back to the quoted text to find the subtext of what he is saying. In this case, he was pronouncing a curse on Judas, not trying to point to predictive prophecy

“Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through the mouth of David concerning Judas

fulfilled??

Ramez is just using words/ideas from other scripture, with the speaker being aware that his audience would know the orginal scripture…

A example ( ive read online) says when the children sang Hosanna, and annoyed the pharisees,Jesus replies to the pharisees with words that hint of Psalm 8:2…

But that doesn’t take away from the fact that the verse the children are saying are prophecies..

355   andy    
July 10th, 2008 at 8:52 pm

I guess i’m asking Chris L can’t it be both???

356   andy    
July 10th, 2008 at 9:26 pm

I really can’t see what ur saying their Chris, to be honest..

Of course Jesus refers to other verse in the OT, but that doesnt take their messianic/and or prophecy element from them..It can be both ramez and prophecies…

For instance when he speaks of John the Baptist he refers to Mal. 3:1 ,is that Ramez or also showing the scriptures prophesied John??

Sounds like your claiming evertime they quote the OT its hindsight…
……………………………………………………………

“Fulfilled,Spoke of concerning Judas ”

Seems pretty plain to me

357   John Hughes    
July 10th, 2008 at 9:36 pm

Iggy: all creation was reconciled through the sufferings of Christ Jesus.

True Iggy, but “reconciled” is not synonymous with “saved”. The enmity between God and His creation has been removed. We can now approach God, but we are not automatically saved. It seems you too are conflating the two related but separate concepts.

358   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 10th, 2008 at 9:40 pm

John-

In your opinion, what does “reconciled” mean?

359   John Hughes    
July 10th, 2008 at 10:02 pm

To reconcile means to change from one state of feeling to another as used in Eph and Col. In Romas Paul uses a different word which simularly means the actions taken to end the struggle and anger between enemies. From God’s view point the emnitiy has been removed because of the work of Christ on the cross. God has indeed reconciled all men through Christ, however to experience this restored relationshp we must accept this reconciliation by faith. Hince, Paul proclaims the good news that God has reconciled all mankind (unilateral action on God’s part), but also provides the admonition “be ye reconciled to God” (action on our part). Salvation is in the life of Christ. Reconcilation is but one facet in the jewel of redemption that makes the new birth possible, but it is not the new birth itself.

360   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 10th, 2008 at 10:13 pm

Good response, John. Another way of saying that might be: all of humankind is saved yet not all have realized that salvation…(yet). :)

361   John Hughes    
July 10th, 2008 at 10:22 pm

Oh Chad, silly Rabbi, I would not say that. :-)

362   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
July 10th, 2008 at 10:46 pm

John,

True Iggy, but “reconciled” is not synonymous with “saved”. The enmity between God and His creation has been removed. We can now approach God, but we are not automatically saved. It seems you too are conflating the two related but separate concepts.

Funny you should say that as I stated that above in a few comments already… and if you read those you will see that I am not at all… in fact if you read them, Calvin added limited atonement to fix the issue he had with the biblical understanding that all sins are taken away… while we were still enemies.

Now if you read what I stated, you will also understand that I said forgiveness (justification and reconciliation) and salvation are not the same thing… and that it takes both the Cross with the death of Christ and the Resurrection with the Life of Christ imparted to us that we are saved… and that only is complete when Christ returns.

Now, the point again is that not all creation was sinful… man was. Creation suffers because of what man did. So, there is reconciliation of all creation as it is being saved and restored which again will be finalized at the Last Judgment.

Do you believe creation has sinned? If so that is what you are insinuating by saying the creation needs to be saved… show me a verse where creation sinned against God. Man sinned and now that man is reconciled with the potential toward salvation, creation awaits that the Sons of God be revealed to be free from its bondage of death and decay…

I do not mean this comment to sound condescending… it is just that I get tired as people seem to question me at every turn and then state I teach error. It seemed that from you in your comment to me.

iggy

363   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
July 11th, 2008 at 12:22 am

I guess i’m asking Chris L can’t it be both???

Typically, when remez is used, it is referred to as ‘prophesy’, but is not necessarily considered ‘predictive prophecy’ (as we would define it).

For example, if I were to see an example in my life where something from scripture directly applied (for instance, if I was a missionary in prison and I was set free by a miracle/providence), I would directly refer to the verse in Isaiah and say that, just as was prophesied, the Coming One (Jesus) would set the prisoner free. Does that mean I am saying that Isaiah was directly predicting what happened to me – or, am I saying that what he wrote could directly apply to my situation? In the case of Hebrew teaching, it is almost exclusively the latter.

364   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 11th, 2008 at 5:40 am

“all creation was reconciled through the sufferings of Christ Jesus.”

Potential. That statement is meant to highlight the dpeth and meaning of Christ’s sacrifice rather than saying everying is alright now.

The heavens and earth will make way for a new one, and rocks did not nee Christ’s blood. I am persuaded the verse refers to human kind and includes a potential element.

365   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 11th, 2008 at 6:55 am

True Rick. One look around will convince us that not everything is alright now. ALL of creation is groaning for that redemption (including rocks) and will be put to rights when Christ returns to marry heaven and earth.

Yet we have been reconciled, that is, put into friendship with God. And this while we were weak, sinners and enemies of God. If our definition of an unsaved person is one who is one who is out of friendship with God or out of communion with God (which certainly is one way of putting it, is it not?) than although John H does not want to say it – all of creation is saved – many have not yet realized it in the present and therefore do not know to hope for its full fulfillment in the future.

peace,
Chad

366   John Hughes    
July 11th, 2008 at 7:21 am

Iggy: Do you believe creation has sinned? If so that is what you are insinuating by saying the creation needs to be saved

??? That wasn’t me. Although I have caught my oak tree trying to mate with my azaleas. Does that count?

367   John Hughes    
July 11th, 2008 at 7:34 am

Chad: all of creation is saved – many have not yet realized it in the present and therefore do not know to hope for its full fulfillment in the future.

Chad, That just is not in line with the Biblical record.

Revelation 20:15
And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Revelation 21:8
” But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

You are allowing human reasoning and sentamentality to override the clear meaning of many Scriptures.

368   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 11th, 2008 at 7:47 am

John H.

And you are ignoring what scripture clearly teaches: that ALL of creation has been reconciled to God. You ARE reconciled, therefore, BE reconciled.

Please note that I have not said everyone IS saved or even WILL be. Salvation is far more robust and multi-faceted than just settling what our future home will be. We have been saved in the work of Christ. Unless you want to insist that in some way being put back into friendship with God is inconsequential and has nothing to do with salvation. Will everyone realize their salvation and, as Paul encourages everyone, BE reconciled? Sadly, no. They will miss out on this present salvation, the salvation that allows us to live life abundantly and become fully human, as God intended, living into the divine image within us. Some will miss the mark on that and live as something less human, less divine, less as they were created to be. They will not know salvation in the present. But we also have the promises of the future salvation when God will wipe away EVERY tear and EVERY knee shall bow and EVERY tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. And what does Paul say will assure one’s salvation? If you confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord you will be saved. And the end of Revelation talks of the river of life flowing out of the city for the healing of the nations. What or who needs to be healed? This is a great mystery. We may be surprised to find the whores and tax collectors entering the kingdom of God before even us, who knew this present salvation. This is all to say that the future belongs to God and who will find eternal rest with God is God’s choice. I hope and pray it is everyone, though sadly I think many will decline God’s offer.

peace
Chad

369   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 11th, 2008 at 7:56 am

Scratch that first line. Instead of saying that I did not say everyone IS saved it should say that I have not said everyone has realized their salvation or is living into it. I can see how it looks like I was saying two different things there – my bad.

370   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 11th, 2008 at 7:57 am

“I hope and pray it is everyone, though sadly I think many will decline God’s offer.”

Who will decline God’s offer after death? If God will offer salvation to a lost sinner after death, then everyone will be saved.

The different interpretations of Scripture reveal the weakness of human communication and not the duplicity of truth.

371   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 11th, 2008 at 8:02 am

If God will offer salvation to a lost sinner after death

Rick-
Is this impossible for God?

372   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 11th, 2008 at 8:09 am

Nothing is impossible, however if that will happen it reduces the passion for evangelism here and now. And I just cannot see a sinner who has died, realizing he is lost and about to be separated from God, refusing the offer.

In this world there is much deception that enters in.

373   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 11th, 2008 at 8:18 am

however if that will happen it reduces the passion for evangelism here and now.

So this is why it cannot be? Because it changes human motivation? I would say no more than the Calvinist is unmoved to evangelize knowing that God has already predestined some to salvation.

But more than that, why do we evangelize? Is it just so that we can save people from hell in the life after? How many pastors in the NT do we find calling on people to repent or else they will miss out on heaven? I don’t see a single one.

Our motivation to evangelize is not to win converts for some future day in heaven but to spread the GOOD NEWS that you don’t have to live this way! You can experience salvation in the present, in this lost and fallen world, and that instead of living a life void of hope, love, joy and peace you can have that abudantly today in Christ’s name. I think we should evangelize because our heart breaks when we see people hurting and dying and in bondage, just like Jesus was broken by it. Evangelism is less about winning souls for heaven than it is about saving people for today to live in the Kingdom of God which is at hand, now. As we join together as fellow workers with God to redeem Creation (what Paul says we are to be doing) we shine light where there is darkness and storm the gates of hell, taking captive from Satan what is rightfully God’s.

Too many in the world are living a lie, Rick. As Christians it is our duty to tell them the truth about themselves- that they ARE recociled, therefore, BE reconciled.

peace,
Chad

374   John Hughes    
July 11th, 2008 at 8:20 am

Chad,

That every knee will bow and every tongue confess is a preview of the scene of Christ the Victor over his enemies. This is not a “happy” scene for those doing the bowing as they are Christ’s defeated enemies who are forced to now bow and confess what they have denied all along. To conflate this “confession” with the “confession unto salvation” of the penitent sinner is an increadible stretch.

Tears will be wiped away from every one of the REEDEEMED’S eyes, not the lost unregenerates who will spend eternity in hell. From the mouth of our Lord himself:

“So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then THE RIGHTEOUS WILL SHINE FORTH AS THE SUN in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear. ” (Matt 13:40-43)

Yes, let him who has ears, hear.

375   John Hughes    
July 11th, 2008 at 8:24 am

Chad: Too many in the world are living a lie, Rick. As Christians it is our duty to tell them the truth about themselves- that they ARE recociled, therefore, BE reconciled.

Chad, I agree with that statement as a standalone comment wholeheartedly. They ARE reconciled, now BE reconciled. We just differ greatly on what happens if they don’t acknowledge God’s reconcilation and act upon it.

376   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 11th, 2008 at 8:35 am

This is not a “happy” scene for those doing the bowing as they are Christ’s defeated enemies who are forced to now bow and confess

John,
This simply is not true. Paul writes, “For we shall ALL stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written, ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give priase to God.” So then, each of us will be accountable to God.” Rom. 14:10-11

Is Paul a “defeated enemy of God’s”? Because he includes himself in that drama.

One thing we must bear in mind is that judgement in the bible is a word of hope and is always accompanied by grace. There is no grace without judgment. Judgment is God’s putting the world back to rights. We don’t know for certain how this will look or who will get the brunt of it. The Jews were told by Jesus again and again to not be so cocky and to not think themselves ahead of even a place like Sodom, a place Jesus said will find it more tolerable on judgment day than they.

Can God not judge something or someone and save it? Is this not what God has done for all of us who experience this present salvation? When ALL the world bows before Jesus, thus knowing that he is rightly the Lord of heaven and earth, can God not choose to save whom God will? Cannot God have mercy on whom God desires to show mercy?

What is the fear in so many of you that God might choose to save everyone? Myself, I find it absolutely scandalous and horrifying that I might spend eternity with the very people I hate on earth. But is this the way of God? Should we be presume to know so much that we know where the cut off line is for God’s grace and love to reach and WHEN it ceases to do that reaching?

377   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 11th, 2008 at 8:39 am

We just differ greatly on what happens if they don’t acknowledge God’s reconcilation and act upon it.

John, they run the risk of eternally separating themselves from the Giver of Life, thus becoming less and less human and shutting themselves up in “hell,” a hell that is potentially eternal. But that is a choice they make. God may one day say to them, Thy will be done. How tragic.

But this does not mean that even they are beyond God’s reach. Our prayer ought to be that even those who reject God today will accept him tomorrow (whenever that “tomorrow” is).

378   Eugene Roberts    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
July 11th, 2008 at 9:41 am

I have been following this discussion wishing to add something but just not finding myself on the same level as all of you. So here is my contribution:
WOW! Great stuff

379   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
July 11th, 2008 at 10:36 am

John,

From your post # 362

The enmity between God and His creation has been removed. We can now approach God, but we are not automatically saved. It seems you too are conflating the two related but separate concepts.

THis was your statement about enmity between God and His Creation… it was only against the man as he dwelled in his sin.

Iggy: Do you believe creation has sinned? If so that is what you are insinuating by saying the creation needs to be saved

??? That wasn’t me. Although I have caught my oak tree trying to mate with my azaleas. Does that count?

Just clarifying what you stated for you so that you might remember it.

iggy

380   John Hughes    
July 11th, 2008 at 10:58 am

Chad: There are several instances where this phrase is used and/or paraphrased from its original Old Testament source. My comments were derrived from the Phillippians account: ” 2:10 – so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, “. These are not all redeemed people (e.g., from under the earth) and again the context is Christ the conqueror. Your reference is from the Romans passage usage and again this is from the position of a warning of coming judgement and admonition, not a “happy” situation.

You also are ignoring that there are separate judgements seats, i.e, the bema seat for the redeemed for a judgement of their works unto rewards (or lack there of )and the Great White Throne judgement for the lost. Two totally separate judgements with different purposes. It is also important to note that those at the Great White Throne judgement are sent directly to the Lake of Fire thereafter. There is no hint of the hope for a future redemption given, but just the opposite is stated “torment FOREVER”.

I certainly don’t take any pleasure in this, but I must be true to what Scripture plainly says. It seems to me your view, though certainly your right to have :-) is being extrapolated from personal desires and not the writ of Scriptures.

381   John Hughes    
July 11th, 2008 at 11:08 am

Iggy:

By “His creation” I meant mankind, not the creation (i.e., world) although the creation as cosmos is mention in that context, so in retrospect I see that was a poor choice of words. Sorry I was not plainer.

Iggy: Just clarifying what you stated for you so that you might remember it.

Iggy, It is difficult to discern “tone” from written comments, but lately your tone here and with others is becoming somewhat, well, uncharitable. If any of mine have come across that way I apologize.

382   John Hughes    
July 11th, 2008 at 11:24 am

Chad: One thing we must bear in mind is that judgement in the bible is a word of hope and is always accompanied by grace.

Chad, this is a contradictory statement on face value. I will have to mull this one over. I would readily say that grace PRECEDES judgement but not that it ACCOMPANIES it. “Our God is a consuming fire” and “it is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God” don’t sound too hopeful to me. Judgement comes AFTER God’s offer(s) of grace and opportunity(ies) to repent. It is His longsuffering, warnings and opportunity given to repent before the judgement that offer hope. And many times God offers His mercy instead of judgement. But by the time we get to ** judgement** by definition God’s patience, long suffering, warnings are spent. We can look to His mercy for hope, but I don’t see how you can extrapolate hope out of judgement.

383   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
July 11th, 2008 at 11:54 am

John,

I apologize if my tone seems harsh. Again, I just get raked over the coals on my views such as “universal atonement” as some seem to jump immediately that I am a Universalist which I am not.

With people like Pastorboy putting things I state in contexts that allows them to attack me and lie about me… and then accuse me of slander… meanwhile they slander me and even commit plagiarism by not properly citing my “quotes” it seems hard at times to tell enemy from friend.

So again, I apologize and do not mean to be uncharitable, I took what you stated and wanted to clarify it as it seemed you missed what I already stated in this thread.

Be blessed,
iggy

384   John Hughes    
July 11th, 2008 at 11:55 am

Iggy,

Hugs and kisses (holy kisses) for all!

385   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
July 11th, 2008 at 11:58 am

= )

386   John Hughes    
July 11th, 2008 at 12:00 pm

Chad,

I’m just not tracking with you bro :-( .

I just don’t see “hope” by the time we get to judgement:

Hebrews: For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
but a terrifying expectation of judgment and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES. Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY ” And again, “THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE.” It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Not much hope there.

387   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
July 11th, 2008 at 12:31 pm

John,

I see hope in the return and judgment of Christ…

Hebrews 9: 27. Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment,
28. so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

Is not the return of Christ our blessed Hope?

Titus 2: 11. For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.
12. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,
13. while we wait for the blessed hope–the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,
14. who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

I see judgment as a two sided coin… heads you win; tails you lose…

iggy

388   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 11th, 2008 at 12:42 pm

John,

Judgment in scripture is something the entire world is waiting on tip toe for. Judgment, while it may be terrifying for some, is what the world needs to be put to rights. Justice will be done and all of creation will be redeemed just as God intends. There is a great deal of hope in judgment for it is that is the day of reckoning.

The Hebrews passage you cite is a wonderful word of hope to a persecuted and struggling minority trying their best to follow the risen Christ. Who are the “adversaries”?

Neuhaus asks if the biblical talk about hell is predictive (this is the way it shall be) or cautionary (this is the way it can be if one turns away from Christ’s outstretched hand). Obviously, I think it is the latter.

Willimon writes, “The love of Christ does not extinguish God’s gift of our freedom as human beings. And yet our refusal is cast into doubt, as if it cannot be the ultimate word on things. The “ultimate word on things” is always God’s word, and not ours. Thus, it is possible to believe that hell is a reality but also an absurdity that cannot be fit into the scheme of things, that is, reality as we know it in Jesus Christ. Hell is thus absurd and hard to conceive but also a possibility. Hell may exist, but it exists always in the bright light of Christ’s love. In that searching light, hell becomes a strange aberration similar to our aberrant rebellion and sin. As Neuhaus says, talk of hell in the New Testament, therefore, takes on the character not of “this is what you are going to get in the end,” but rather “this is what will be defeated in the end.”

I think Willimon is dead on. The above is the only point I am trying to make, in the end.

peace,
Chad

389   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
July 11th, 2008 at 1:05 pm

Sounds like an all-inclusive holiday for the ungodly when Jesus returns doesn’t it?

Woe to you who desire the day of the LORD!
For what good is the day of the LORD to you?
It will be darkness, and not light.
19 It will be as though a man fled from a lion,
And a bear met him!
Or as though he went into the house,
Leaned his hand on the wall,
And a serpent bit him!
20 Is not the day of the LORD darkness, and not light?
Is it not very dark, with no brightness in it?

I especially love the bit about Jesus – meek and mild – coming back on His pony in Rev 19:

Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had[e] a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean,[f] followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp[g] sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:

KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

Sounds like a whole heap of fun for those who reject the Lord doesn’t it? At least that’s what Isaiah saw regarding the establishment of God’s kingdom on the earth…

Who is this who comes from Edom,
With dyed garments from Bozrah,
This One who is glorious in His apparel,
Traveling in the greatness of His strength?—

“ I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.”
2 Why is Your apparel red,
And Your garments like one who treads in the winepress?
3 “ I have trodden the winepress alone,
And from the peoples no one was with Me.
For I have trodden them in My anger,
And trampled them in My fury;
Their blood is sprinkled upon My garments,
And I have stained all My robes.
4 For the day of vengeance is in My heart,
And the year of My redeemed has come.

390   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 11th, 2008 at 3:30 pm

Paul C-

Just to make it more manageable for everyone and less time consuming to respond would you and everyone else mind citing your chapter and verse when quoting scripture? Thanks.

We can cherry pick verses all we wish that can support the view we wish to hold. But lets be honest – we know God best as revealed to us in the person of Jesus Christ, agreed? We have hints and guesses, like signposts, that point to what lies in wait for us in the future, or what our hope is (or what we should fear). For all of these passages it could be simply said that none of these are predictive – i.e. it does not have to be this way. Yet it can be, for some who continually choose to snub the extended grace of God.

The Amos passage is indeed a warning to the chosen people of God, Israel, who long for vindication and yet are unrepentant themselves. Amos 5:18ff, the passage you cite, is a further depiction of the day in which Israel will also be judged as Amos declared in 1:1-2:16. It is why Amos entreats Israel, “Seek good and not evil, that you may live; and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you, just as you have said.” (Amos 5:14).

Rev. 19 is a whole other genre of literature full of many mysteries. I have noticed that not a single person has commented on my several nods to Rev. 21&22 where we find the river of life leading out of the city and the leaves of the many trees of life being there for the “healing of the nations.” Any talk we wish to have about how God is going to kick the **** out of “sinners” (the very people God came to save and heal and told stories about the Father waiting until…) should be tempered by the God we know revealed in Jesus Christ who was the Man of Sorrows, a humble servant, and came not to condemn the world but to save it.

Yet Rev. 19 is also a wonderful critique against the war mongreling empire of Rome. Caesar is not in control but Jesus Christ, in whom all authority on earth and heaven has been given. All the world, sinner and saint, should rejoice that the God of righteous justice and judgment will have the final say and not the empires that carve up the world for their own gain.

Sounds like a whole heap of fun for those who reject the Lord doesn’t it?

I am not sure why my position is being characterized by such a question, one that is obviously rhetorical. Have I insinuated at all that those who “reject the Lord” will be in for a “heap of fun”? Rather, I have tried to be very clear that those who conciously reject the Lord have the potential to be in hell, a place where the divine image is effectively snuffed from them and they are no longer human – they are, as N.T. Wright says, “beyond pity, beyond hope.” That doesn’t sound like a whole heap of fun to me. But even this does not negate the fact that the final word belongs to God, not us. Just as I am every bit surprised that God would have anything to do with me and choose to save me I (and we) may be every bit as suprised at whom God chooses to save on that day of Judgement when we will ALL be held accountable for our words and deeds.

grace and peace,
Chad

391   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
July 11th, 2008 at 3:50 pm

John and Paul,

Did you notice this interesting phrase in John’s comment about judgement?

“THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE.”

Note who the Lord is judging? It is us!

Now if it is all wrath as you are both asserting God have mercy on all of us who are His People!

Again, it is a two sided coin… good news for us and bad news for those who do not know Jesus.

iggy

392   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
July 12th, 2008 at 10:21 am

But even this does not negate the fact that the final word belongs to God, not us. Just as I am every bit surprised that God would have anything to do with me and choose to save me I (and we) may be every bit as suprised at whom God chooses to save on that day of Judgement when we will ALL be held accountable for our words and deeds.

Amen Chad. I agree with you in this wholeheartedly: on Judgment Day there will be surprises beyond reckoning. As Jesus said, many we thought would be first might be last, and the last first. We know that God – who weighs the motives and the intents of the heart – will judge righteously.

And believe it or not, I agree with you: He will judge with equity those who never had a chance at all to receive the gospel (Paul kind of eludes to this in Romans 2).

I don’t believe in hell in terms of being a place (really, the term ’sheol’ is not hell in the sense of ‘hades’). Really, what Christ offers is LIFE or DEATH. Those who reject the Lord risk the latter when He comes again.

393   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
July 12th, 2008 at 12:55 pm

Paul C –

I knew we weren’t so far apart as to be unreconcilable :)

peace,
Chad

394   Sarah    
July 14th, 2008 at 8:26 am

From a farm girl: udder=utter.

395   nathan    
July 14th, 2008 at 12:27 pm

please

396   nathan    
July 14th, 2008 at 12:28 pm

get

397   nathan    
July 14th, 2008 at 12:28 pm

to

398   nathan    
July 14th, 2008 at 12:28 pm

400

399   nathan    
July 14th, 2008 at 12:29 pm

comments

400   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 14th, 2008 at 12:41 pm

Eureka!!

401   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
July 14th, 2008 at 1:56 pm

401

402   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
July 14th, 2008 at 2:55 pm

I think we may have to put an asterisk next to the record if this gets to 461…

403   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 14th, 2008 at 2:59 pm

How many different topics can one thread house? I have a post – Open Thread.

Bring up a topic that is on your mind and let’s see how many topics are dicussed. When you get to “Your favorite Beatle and why” it will be time to close it down! :lol:

404   merry    
July 14th, 2008 at 7:19 pm

Ringo is my favorite Beatle because he is hilarious.

Kidding! Kidding! Kidding! :p

(Rick, if you don’t want the thread closed down, don’t give specific topics! Ha!)

405   Eugene Roberts    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
July 15th, 2008 at 6:34 am

Beatles…? VW Beatles?
I came across this article by Texe Marrs which reminded me about the book “The Devil’s Disciples – The Truth About Rock” by Jeff Godwin, which in my opinion was some of the best comedy ever written :lol: How I miss the Satan Panic 80’s!
Come to think of it these guys where probably the fathers of the ODM movement.

406   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 15th, 2008 at 7:57 am

Hey Gene, that was Yesterday so Let it Be. Just remember, I am the Walrus and you are a real Nowhere Man!

But I still don’t wanna hold your hand! :lol:

407   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
July 15th, 2008 at 8:39 am

Alright, let’s just Come Together. We all need Help. Just Don’t Let Me Down.

408   Eugene Roberts    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
July 15th, 2008 at 10:20 am

Don’t worry Nathanael, It Won’t Be Long.
And Rick, Don’t Bother Me about being lost in the Strawberry Fields Forever. You may think that I’m a Loser but if you Think for Yourself like I do, you get used to people seeing you as The Fool an a Hill.