I bought this book for my wife. I wasn’t sure if I would read it or not. I’m glad that I did. Ed Dobson is on the short list of preachers who’s sermon’s I’ll listen to over and over again. When he talks, or writes I want to listen.

This book has taken some serious criticism, from people who don’t like the style to the more vapid, aggressive fundamentalist. Of course, the criticisms are also leveled at the author
He’s criticized for being in an airport, for praying the rosary, and for listening to an iPod. He’s called a heretic and a cretin. Spawn of Satan was probably thrown out somewhere I’m sure. He voted for Obama!

God forbid a man trying to live like Jesus wrestles with his conscience and votes accordingly. It’s not important if I agree with Ed that voting for Obama is what Jesus would do. What matters is that it is evident in this book that Ed loves God and wants to serve Him. Ed wants to continue to love Jesus in the midst of a disease that would have caused most of us to shrivel up like a prune left on the dashboard of a locked car in the middle of August. Most of us would have quit and died.

Not Ed. He delved deeper into his faith. He pushed himself to explore what he believes and how it impacts his life.

This book is full of fantastic applications that Ed either learned or was reminded of through his journey over the course of this year. In one chapter Ed reminds the reader “Whenever I think that what I am doing qualifies me to be in a closer relationship with God, I am arrogant.”

In a world that seems to be divided along the very lines of who qualifies to be in a closer relationship with God, Ed has the guts to put it out there for everyone to see how he wrestles with his own relationship with God. I don’t really know Ed. He preachers at our church now and again and we had a stretch where he preached regularly. I wish that I did. I have the feeling that he’d be a fun guy to have a beer with and ponder the Scriptures with. I’m sure that I wouldn’t agree with him on everything but I’m also pretty sure that would be all right with him.
I’m sick of the battle between, “The way it always was, is the way it must be” and “What if we’ve gotten it wrong for the last 2,000 years.” What makes Ed’s book and teachings to poignant is his ability to value our heritage and to look at with a fresh perspective.
Buy this book, read it, you’ll enjoy it.

  • Share/Bookmark
This entry was posted on Thursday, August 12th, 2010 at 2:24 pm and is filed under book review. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
+/- Collapse/Expand All

81 Comments(+Add)

1   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 12th, 2010 at 4:00 pm

If you can “wrestle with your conscience” and still vote for an aggressive prenatal murderer then just what does that say about your so called “conscience”?


(I will refrian from castigating voting altogether.)

2   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
August 12th, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Thank you for expressing that judgment Rick. I find your positions on this to be so interesting. You HATE politics but it is the comment that you lead with here.
I know we’ve had our run in’s in the past and I hope that this doesn’t devolve into a discussion on politics or a run in between us. I’m just making an observation.

3   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 12th, 2010 at 4:13 pm

My position on politics, correctly expressed by you, does not mean I cannot find the support of abortion to be supremely incongruous with any morality expressed withing Scripture. And it is, in my opinion, that very “politics” that leads sincere men like Dobson to compromise an obvious Jesus-principle of life.

Politics always leads to some form of Christian compromise.

4   Joe    http://joemartino.name
August 12th, 2010 at 4:15 pm

I disagree, but I appreciate the fact that you have consistently held to that position here.

5   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
August 12th, 2010 at 8:19 pm

1. You cannot live like Jesus and vote for a murderer like Obama. Reduce abortions? HA! I wonder if Ed has repented of that decision
2. Praying the Rosary is a violation of the first, second, and third commandment. It is worship and praying to a false god, it is idolatry (Mary worship) and it is blasphemous to say you are worshipping the true God in praying to Mary.

other than that, I am sure anybody who would sit under a heretic like Rob Bell and think his writings are not horrid hermeneutically at best would find justificaion in reading and recommending such fodder.

6   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
August 12th, 2010 at 8:36 pm

Not to say that Ed Dobson is not a Christian or is not handling a disease like ALS with such apparent grace is not admirable- it is. But Mary worship and voting for a murderer is incongruent IMHO with the Christian faith.

7   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
August 12th, 2010 at 10:02 pm

Thank you John Chisham for your opinions.

8   neil    
August 12th, 2010 at 11:10 pm


you are a racist.


(i know this has nothing to do with this post, or any comments to this post… but then… neither do most of pastorboy’s comments. si i figured i’d just play his game.)

9   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 13th, 2010 at 5:32 am

I have found it much easier to look through a window than look into a mirror. And the obligatory doctrinal token “I am a horrible sinner” is worthless.

One of the problems with the ODM approach is that mirrors are non-existent so their words, even when they contain some truth, are hardly ever seasoned with salt and with an observable dose of humility genuinely based upon an authentic realization of their own need for spiritual adjustment.

When they play doctor and patient, they are never the patient. The western church is in desperate need of an honest evaluation of who we are, what we believe, and how we live. Then “mirror time” might take up much time usually reserved for “telescope time”.

10   Neil    
August 13th, 2010 at 4:48 pm

calling obama a murderer b/c he suports abortion is like calling someone who supports capital punishment an executioner.

who has obama murdered? what has he done any differently than bush?

11   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 13th, 2010 at 5:19 pm

” what has he done any differently than bush?”

Nothing at all.

” …is like calling someone who supports capital punishment an executioner.”

Althougfh I am against capital punishement, I see a world of difference between executing a mderer and invading a vagina in order to cut an unborn baby to pieces. Obama not only supports abortion, but he supports the most grevious forms of abortion.

The lip service Bush gave to a pro-life position is just another example of vote getting politics without any authentic and passionate crusade for a cause in which prenatal murder is involved.

Politics – a world of compromise and lies.

12   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
August 13th, 2010 at 5:55 pm

Well, he has made abortions easier. he has signed into law bills that restarted funding to third world countries so they can have abortions.
Now, those who support Obama can come in and tell me that I’m wrong but I’m not going rounds on this one.

13   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 13th, 2010 at 6:29 pm

Less murders as opposed to more murders = a righteous position? So the Nazi that insisted on a 2 million dead Jews limit was more righteous than the one who made more T-4 murders accessible?

I love it. Since abortion is easy and prevelant believers play the “less is better” moral position. Politics is antichrist.

14   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
August 13th, 2010 at 7:00 pm

What are you saying? Where did I say less murders is better? What the heck are you talking about?

15   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 13th, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Making abortion “easier” is morality by degrees.

16   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
August 13th, 2010 at 7:15 pm

No Rick.
Obama has made the availability of abortions easier. He has created more funding for it. That is something he did different than the president before him. I wasn’t applauding the decision I was answering the question.

17   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 13th, 2010 at 7:23 pm

That is the exact definition of degrees. More abortions and more availability = less morality which is your ascertion.

Obama is worse since he created abortion more available. That is morality be degrees. Sin is sin and GW Bush offered not one piece of legislation to outlaw abortion. 8 years and not one.

I am not finding fault with you and your view per se, I am finding fault with the political prism which by definition is non-redemptive and presents each man’s moral and economic persuasion.

The “founding fathers” themselves made the constitution accessible to Supreme Court moral decisions that are antichrist. he democratic process is at odds with anything Christian.

18   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
August 13th, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Rick, Thank you for not finding fault with my view because you don’t know what my view is. I was merely answering Neil’s question about what the two did differently.

19   Jerry    http://www.jerryhillyer.com
August 13th, 2010 at 9:17 pm

what has he done any differently than bush?

A lot.

20   Jerry    http://www.jerryhillyer.com
August 13th, 2010 at 9:21 pm

Sin is sin and GW Bush offered not one piece of legislation to outlaw abortion. 8 years and not one.

Yeah, he was too busy protecting our borders and our freedoms. But if you criticize him because he did nothing to outlaw it, neither did he do anything to promote it more make it more accessible (unless you count appointments to the Supreme Court). The same cannot be said of the current POTUS.

21   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
August 13th, 2010 at 9:52 pm

Bush is guilty because he didn’t fight it hard enough and did not reduce abortions or really make it any harder to get one. Obama is more guilty. Both are equally guilty before God because sin is not doing something that is right, just as is supporting what is wrong. Voting for Obama meant that that emergents and liberals like Ed Dobson, Shane Claibourne, Jim Wallis, Brian McLaren, and Rob Bell who support abortion by supporting people like Obama and other liberal legislators whose platform is in opposition to Christ.

I am beginning seriously to think like Rick. I do not see any hope whatsoever in politics of any stripe. We must be about preaching the Gospel so that God can change hearts. That is the only hope we have.

22   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 13th, 2010 at 9:54 pm

“Yeah, he was too busy protecting our borders and our freedoms.”

It is a shame he was too busy to try and protect the 10 million unborn babaies who died during his 8 years. But at least he “protected” us, and that seems to be most important.

23   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
August 13th, 2010 at 10:08 pm

Sin is sin and GW Bush offered not one piece of legislation to outlaw abortion. 8 years and not one.


Bush is guilty because he didn’t fight it hard enough and did not reduce abortions or really make it any harder to get one.


It is a shame he was too busy to try and protect the 10 million unborn babaies who died during his 8 years.

I realize most folks don’t seem to take a Government/Civics class these days, but I recall that the LEGISLATIVE branch proposes (offers), debates and passes legislation. The EXECUTIVE branch signs (or vetoes) the legislation, and the JUDICIAL branch makes judgments based upon the language. As such, the only power the Executive branch has on abortion (because of Roe v. Wade) is in his/her picks for the Supreme Court, and with executive orders (particularly in regards to the expenditure of federal funds on abortion). While they’ve not ruled on it yet, the assumption is that Bush’s two picks (Alito & Roberts) are pro-life. Additionally, he left in place a ban on the use of federal funds from being spent on abortion – both foreign and domestic. So, insofar as it was in his power to do anything about it, Bush did as much to oppose abortion as his office allowed.

So, unless you’ve changed the political system and I didn’t read about it, your argument is just aimless, empty bitching about politics… While I have a lot of problems w/ what Bush did & didn’t do, he was infinitely better than the clown currently in the oval office. I understand how some Christians – particularly those who created a false moral equivalency between Iraq and abortion – were fooled by 0, but to nullify their Christianity because of a vote for hopenchange is foolish, as well.

24   Jerry    http://www.jerryhillyer.com
August 13th, 2010 at 10:16 pm

#22 Your self-righteous slip is showing.

25   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 13th, 2010 at 10:21 pm

I find it almost humorous when a person claims to “live like Jesus” for a A”year” and then writes a book about it and appears on television to trumpet it. Believers who actually live like Jesus usually would not make that public claim.

I am going to live like Jesus for one day. I’m not sure which day but I am going to ask PBs video crew to film it. :cool:

26   Jerry    http://www.jerryhillyer.com
August 13th, 2010 at 10:22 pm

#21 and you are guilty because you continue to play the role of judge.

27   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 13th, 2010 at 10:27 pm

323 – Ronald Reagan espoused a constitutional amendment to ban abortion and said so several times in his Stae of the Union Address. No such words from Bush. That IS something a president can do which Bush did not.

Of course in the end it changes nothing, but a believer, if he decides to vote, cannot possibly be led of the Spirit to vote for Obama.

28   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 13th, 2010 at 10:32 pm

I was going to live like Jesus today, but ten minutes after I got up I messed up and I had to postpone it until tomorrow.

We’ll see. :)

29   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
August 13th, 2010 at 11:04 pm

Ronald Reagan espoused a constitutional amendment to ban abortion and said so several times in his Stae of the Union Address. No such words from Bush. That IS something a president can do which Bush did not.

Bush said he supported a constitutional amendment outlawing abortion except in cases of rape or incest or to protect the life of a mother. But Bush has also said he supports the Republican Party platform, which contains an anti-abortion plank that makes no such exceptions.
Source: Sandra Sobieraj, AP article in Washington Post Jun 28, 2000

30   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 13th, 2010 at 11:14 pm

I believe Reagan wrote a book about it as well. Bush’s seemed more like a position while Reagan seemed passionate.

31   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
August 14th, 2010 at 1:03 am

I believe Reagan wrote a book about it as well. Bush’s seemed more like a position while Reagan seemed passionate.

Well, there we go – and I thought it was only God who could discern the heart. But when it’s a politician, Rick Frueh is precisely attuned to the knowledge of whether or not one’s stated belief is just a “position” or a “passion”, since the difference between the two (in practical terms) in preventing abortions is, well … irrelevant … since the passage of an amendment requires 2/3 of the House and Senate, along with 37 states to ratify it, and overturning Roe v. Wade requires the strategic retirement/death of a liberal SCOTUS justice – neither of which was possible during Bush’s term in office.

I’m certainly glad we have God as the judge of our hearts, and not Rick Frueh … or Chris Lyons

32   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 14th, 2010 at 4:58 am

When the most outspoken and activist pro-life politicians are mentioned names like Brownback and hatch and even Frist were mentioned. Bush was pro-life but never was considered in the same vein as those men.

No one can judge the heart, but just like you judge and demean Obama, we can see actions or lack thereof.

33   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 14th, 2010 at 5:03 am

For the record, I have never referred to any president as a “clown” or a “Zero”. So who is judging? Give honor to whom? So we obey the immigration laws but when we hate disagree with the President the New Testament commands do not apply?

If I had to vote I would vote for George Bush 100 times out of 100 over Obama.

34   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
August 14th, 2010 at 9:38 am

If Christians have to vote Republican simply on one “pro-life” (actually anti-abortion) issue, then they would have voted in McCain/Palin. And if McCain would have passed away, Palin would have been president. And since women cannot hold authority over men, Christians would have disobeyed the American government to honor Paul’s writing in the Scriptures.

(tongue planted firmly in cheek)

35   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
August 14th, 2010 at 10:37 am

but when we hate disagree with the President

I always find it interesting when disagreement is difined as hate.

Statements like that are such a waste of time to read!

36   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 14th, 2010 at 10:43 am

Scotty – There are those who do not hate him. But when you use demeaning names and even slurs then I define that as hate. Those that disagree with Obama should call to task those that disparage him as a man. That would lend credibility to their position.

37   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
August 14th, 2010 at 10:58 am

While Chris is right that the President cannot change policy or make amendments, they can make a stand and they can get their party in line at the very least. If Bush would have worked at least as hard on abortion as he did the war in Iraq, we would have had a great chance at overturning roe vs. wade. I agree with Rick, Bush did more than the current occupant of the WH, however, I think as he professes to be pro-life he could have taken more leadership and put more political capital on the line than he did.

38   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
August 14th, 2010 at 11:01 am

I am wondering when Ed Dobson is going to make the substitutionary sacrifice on our behalf making atonement for sins, then raise himself from the dead.

These legalistic efforts will always fall short; that is why I am thankful that Jesus completed the sacrifice for the benefit of the elect.

39   Neil    
August 14th, 2010 at 2:46 pm

my point was that the president has very little sway on the abortion issue. and the polls have been split for a long time.

over the past 30 years republicans have been in the wh for 20 of them – and has anything substantial been done to address abortion?

40   Neil    
August 14th, 2010 at 2:47 pm

…that is why I am thankful that Jesus completed the sacrifice for the benefit of the elect.

so when jesus said “for god to loved the world…” there should have been an asterisk next to world?

41   Neil    
August 14th, 2010 at 2:50 pm

re 38a:

pastorboy, when jesus talked about being joyful, i don’t think he intended it to be at the expense of others…

yeah, i know… you take no joy in your insults and accusations, and rants, etc… against the brethren.

42   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
August 14th, 2010 at 4:07 pm

So Adolf Hitler is in heaven? If so, God is not just, and Adolf Hitler got away with the slaughter of 6 million Jews, gypsies, and others.

Not the God of the Bible. The God of the Bible is merciful, kind, while at the same time just. He will not allow the wicked to go unpunished, the wicked being anyone who has transgressed the law and has not received mercy by faith in Christ.

43   Jerry    http://www.jerryhillyer.com
August 14th, 2010 at 4:34 pm

If Bush would have worked at least as hard on abortion as he did the war in Iraq, we would have had a great chance at overturning roe vs. wade.

Who is this ‘we’? And what makes you think that RvW will ever be ‘overturned’? And how does ‘overturning’ RvW in any way promote righteousness?

Do you think that ‘overturning’ RvW, that is, undoing a Supreme Court decision which may not be nearly as easy as overturning temple tables, is a cause that Jesus is promoting from the right hand of the Father?

44   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 14th, 2010 at 4:54 pm

“And how does ‘overturning’ RvW in any way promote righteousness?”

It does not. Nor does any political or moral legislation. When a serial killer stops stealing, does that increase his righteousness? No country has any righteousness, only believers have imputed righetousness.

Jesus is promoting redemption through the gospel and is not active in promoting causes. My point was to show that Obama and Bush are in the same political cauldron. Righteousness is not measured by levels.

45   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
August 14th, 2010 at 5:12 pm

I am sorry, but standing for righteousness regardless is a cause that Jesus would have us do as Christians. I am not so foolish as to think it would stop all abortions, but it would make them illegal and that stand would be a positive move towards life-affirming values that Christ would most certainly endorse.

It would not change our need for a Savior, but for our country and for the citizens it would demonstrate the morality which America has so long stood up for in the world. Right now in terms of life, we are hypocrites, with human rights violations in the same neighborhood as China.

46   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
August 14th, 2010 at 5:20 pm

I am wondering when Ed Dobson is going to make the substitutionary sacrifice on our behalf making atonement for sins, then raise himself from the dead.

John, it’s comments like these that hinder some of us from taking your other comments seriously.

47   Jerry    http://www.jerryhillyer.com
August 14th, 2010 at 5:47 pm

I am not so foolish as to think it would stop all abortions, but it would make them illegal and that stand would be a positive move towards life-affirming values that Christ would most certainly endorse.

So now you are saying that you feel it is the responsibility of the government to move our nation towards ‘life-affirming values that Christ would most certainly endorse’? Now you sound like Chad.

It is not the government’s responsibility to do so. And, to be sure, such a government, full of corrupt ‘children of wrath’ will never, ever make such a life affirming decision that Christ will endorse.

As Rick has pointed out numerous times in the past and present, the government is incapable of such a thing.

There are other problems with your assertion and assumptions, but I’ll leave it at this: Children of wrath, as you have described them, cannot make life-affirming decisions that Christ endorses. It is impossible.

48   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 14th, 2010 at 5:52 pm

It is profoundly incongruous when people claim that lost sinners are totally depraved and completely dead, and then turn around and insist that these same dead men should promote righteousness. Cake and eat it too, anyone?

49   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
August 14th, 2010 at 6:40 pm

Gates, Oprah, Buffet, Pitt, et.al. do good things which do not merit salvation, but they are good none the less.

America’s government is hypocritical at best demanding China overhaul its human rights while we have murdered 15 million babies since 1973.

We are a fallen country full of fallen people. God has shed his grace on us, and we have rejected it. As a country, and as individuals, we deserve God’s wrath.

50   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 14th, 2010 at 6:47 pm

I love God’s wrath; it gives me a tingling feeling all over. Can’t wait! :cool:

51   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
August 14th, 2010 at 10:49 pm

52   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 15th, 2010 at 5:04 am

If only you saw the real enemy and the real battle, but you must have eternal eyes to see that. Until then, sadly, you are more American then Christian.

53   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 15th, 2010 at 7:37 am

And just so you know, Chris, I am grieved over a reflection of myself in times passed when I too was caught up in that which does not edify, so I do not attack you personally.

I just wish you would take some time to evaluate the entire landscape in the context of the gospel and eternity and the Person of Jesus Christ.

54   Jerry    http://www.jerryhillyer.com
August 15th, 2010 at 1:11 pm

I just wish you would take some time to evaluate the entire landscape in the context of the gospel and eternity and the Person of Jesus Christ.

Would that we all did this.

55   Neil    
August 15th, 2010 at 10:10 pm

Re 40, 41, & 42…

pastorboy, i believe you are not stupid – so it’s hard to understand how you get from my refutation of limited atonement to hilter being in heaven.

maybe you just have no better answer… so you tried to go nuclear. even if it was an irrelevant question.


as you have shown before, you comment in haste, not stopping to comprehend what a person is saying.

56   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
August 16th, 2010 at 9:31 am

#55 Not really Nuclear, just reasonable. If a murderer can get away with murder, is God just (much less omniscient?) If that murderer dies unrepentant is God just in allowing that murderer into heaven?

We can do the same with lies, lust, adultery, etc. God is holy, holy, holy. His ways are far above ours, and even one lie is an infinite offense against God. His wrath is deserved, but His grace is amazing.

57   Neil    
August 16th, 2010 at 9:40 am


who said ANYTHING about god letting hitler into heaven? who said anything about letting ANY unrepentant person into heaven.

i hate to have to be soooo elementary, but i guess i must… so here we go with theology 101.


unlimited atonement is not equal to universal salvation. believing jesus died for the whole world does not mean believing everyone goes to heaven.

all your responses since i interjected john 3:16, as but one rebuff against your limited atonement, have argued against something NO ONE HERE, least of all me… is arguing.

so you comments in 42 and 56 are as irrelevant to the point as they are true.

58   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
August 16th, 2010 at 11:18 am

Ultimately, Jesus died for those who would believe.

59   Neil    
August 16th, 2010 at 11:23 am

OK – so we can discuss limited vs unlimited if you like… and if you can stick to the subject and not interject unrelated subjects.

60   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
August 16th, 2010 at 11:47 am

Does God love everyone?

61   Neil    
August 16th, 2010 at 12:04 pm

i agree with him that it is a shallow question… past that it’s hard to take someone like this guy seriously.

it’s not who god loves or does not love… god is love.

62   Jerry    http://www.jerryhillyer.com
August 16th, 2010 at 12:32 pm

So that whole ‘God so loved the World’ thing doesn’t matter any longer.

Does God love everybody? “For God so loved the World.”

Of course no one deserves God’s love, that’s why he calls it grace.

63   Jerry    http://www.jerryhillyer.com
August 16th, 2010 at 12:38 pm

I got through about 7 minutes of that theological vomiting. It must be nice that God fits into so many neat little black and white, yes and no boxes.

I call that theological vomit.

64   Neil    
August 16th, 2010 at 12:43 pm


you got farther than i did… anyone who discounts the kjv because james was a closet catholic who hated calvin cannot be taken seriously… among other things.

some times i wonder if pastorboy really believes this stuff, or if he just copies and pastes a link after a quick google…

65   Jerry    http://www.jerryhillyer.com
August 16th, 2010 at 12:51 pm

That is a man (the one in the video) who has probably never experienced a day of real life in his entire life.

66   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
August 16th, 2010 at 1:18 pm

I would prefer it if you would just address the scriptures brought up about the topic we are discussing. You are calling the Bible, God’s Holy Word, vomit.

67   Jerry    http://www.jerryhillyer.com
August 16th, 2010 at 1:29 pm

No, I’m calling that man’s inane ‘theological’ ramblings vomit. He is arrogant and condescending and go around the world to make a disciple and then they will be twice as much children of hell as before.

I’m calling it what it is John. The only people who will listen to that tripe are those who already agree.

He quoted from John 3:36 but conveniently overlooked John 3:16 and 1 John 2:2. He should pay attention to the entire Counsel of God and not just the verses that prop up his theological insanity.

68   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
August 16th, 2010 at 1:33 pm

He quoted John 3:16 properly: the world, specifically, whosoever believes…This is how the Greek lays it out, supported by vs. 17, 18, 19, and 36. (The rest of the Bibloe, BTW, as well)

69   Jerry    http://www.jerryhillyer.com
August 16th, 2010 at 1:33 pm

He also conveniently overlooked that passage in 2 Peter that speaks of God’s desire of not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

How can a God who doesn’t love the entire world and all who are in it, desire ‘everyone’ to come to repentance?

Go learn what ‘everyone’ means John. But this is your ‘reformed’ theology coming into play and to the fore. You have a diseased idea of God. That man’s cut and dry, black and white idea of God’s love for Jacob and hate for Esau is pathetic.

If only love and hate were so easily defined.

70   Jerry    http://www.jerryhillyer.com
August 16th, 2010 at 1:36 pm

There’s only one way to quote John 3:16 and that is without splicing anything into it: God so loved the world (kosmos), that he gave his one and only Son. And that whoever believes in him will have life eternal. It’s actually very simple and straightforward.

71   John Hughes    
August 16th, 2010 at 2:07 pm

PB – Lest there be ANY confusion on the limit or extent of Jesus’ sacrifice on Calvary the Holy Spirit was very intentional in removing said doubt:

1 John 2:2 – and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.

The Holy Spirit has made it plan for anyone willing to honestly assess that Christ died for “everyone” i.e., “us” Christians AND the lost “world”.

Only Calvinism must perform exegesical gymnastics in order to circumvent this clear teaching, and that only because their world view requires it in order to sustain their theological system.

Calvinism requires that “world” be redefined as “the elect from every tribe, tongue and nation” as opposed to the straightforward meaning of “everybody” that any other reader would infer.

While it is true that “everyone”, “all, or “the whole world” can be used as hyperbole (ex: he invited the whole world to his party), this is clearly not the case in John’s writings, for example ,who made great use of the concept of “world” in his writings (cf John and 1 John).

Also, it is one thing for me to say “Everyone is invited to my party” vs., for example, Bill Gates issuing the same invitation. Anyone who knows me would understand I don’t really mean that, nor have the resources to follow-through. However, Mr. Gates conceivably has the resources to legitimately issue such an invitation, how much more God in his invitation? So, athough there are many instances where “all” can be limited to the “all” of a certain subset of things, it can be safe to say that when God says “all” or the “world” He means ALL.

72   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
August 16th, 2010 at 2:53 pm

From Gill:
1 John 2:2

And he is the propitiation for our sins…For the sins of us who now believe, and are Jews:

and not for ours only;
but for the sins of Old Testament saints, and of those who shall hereafter believe in Christ, and of the Gentiles also, signified in the next clause:

but also for [the sins] of the whole world;
the Syriac version renders it, “not for us only, but also for the whole world”; that is, not for the Jews only, for John was a Jew, and so were those he wrote unto, but for the Gentiles also. Nothing is more common in Jewish writings than to call the Gentiles (amle) , “the world”; and (Mlweh lk) , “the whole world”; and (Mlweh twmwa) , “the nations of the world” F12; (See Gill on 12:19); and the word “world” is so used in Scripture; see (John 3:16) (4:42) (Romans 11:12,15) ; and stands opposed to a notion the Jews have of the Gentiles, that (hrpk Nhl Nya) , “there is no propitiation for them” F13: and it is easy to observe, that when this phrase is not used of the Gentiles, it is to be understood in a limited and restrained sense; as when they say F14,

“it happened to a certain high priest, that when he went out of the sanctuary, (amle ylwk) , “the whole world” went after him;”

which could only design the people in the temple. And elsewhere F15 it is said,

“(amle ylwk) , “the “whole world” has left the Misna, and gone after the “Gemara”;”

which at most can only intend the Jews; and indeed only a majority of their doctors, who were conversant with these writings: and in another place F16,

“(amle ylwk) , “the whole world” fell on their faces, but Raf did not fall on his face;”

where it means no more than the congregation. Once more, it is said {q}, when

“R. Simeon ben Gamaliel entered (the synagogue), (amle ylwk) , “the whole world” stood up before him;”

that is, the people in the synagogue: to which may be added F18,

“when a great man makes a mourning, (amle ylwk) , “the whole world” come to honour him;”

i.e. a great number of persons attend the funeral pomp: and so these phrases, (ygylp al amle ylwk) , “the whole world” is not divided, or does not dissent F19; (yrbo amle ylwk) , “the whole world” are of opinion F20, are frequently met with in the Talmud, by which, an agreement among the Rabbins, in certain points, is designed; yea, sometimes the phrase, “all the men of the world” F21, only intend the inhabitants of a city where a synagogue was, and, at most, only the Jews: and so this phrase, “all the world”, or “the whole world”, in Scripture, unless when it signifies the whole universe, or the habitable earth, is always used in a limited sense, either for the Roman empire, or the churches of Christ in the world, or believers, or the present inhabitants of the world, or a part of them only, (Luke 2:1) (Romans 1:8) (3:19) (Colossians 1:6) (Revelation 3:10) (12:9) (13:3) ; and so it is in this epistle, (1 John 5:19) ; where the whole world lying in wickedness is manifestly distinguished from the saints, who are of God, and belong not to the world; and therefore cannot be understood of all the individuals in the world; and the like distinction is in this text itself, for “the sins of the whole world” are opposed to “our sins”, the sins of the apostle and others to whom he joins himself; who therefore belonged not to, nor were a part of the whole world, for whose sins Christ is a propitiation as for theirs: so that this passage cannot furnish out any argument for universal redemption; for besides these things, it may be further observed, that for whose sins Christ is a propitiation, their sins are atoned for and pardoned, and their persons justified from all sin, and so shall certainly be glorified, which is not true of the whole world, and every man and woman in it; moreover, Christ is a propitiation through faith in his blood, the benefit of his propitiatory sacrifice is only received and enjoyed through faith; so that in the event it appears that Christ is a propitiation only for believers, a character which does not agree with all mankind; add to this, that for whom Christ is a propitiation he is also an advocate, (1 John 2:1) ; but he is not an advocate for every individual person in the world; yea, there is a world he will not pray for (John 17:9) , and consequently is not a propitiation for them. Once more, the design of the apostle in these words is to comfort his “little children” with the advocacy and propitiatory sacrifice of Christ, who might fall into sin through weakness and inadvertency; but what comfort would it yield to a distressed mind, to be told that Christ was a propitiation not only for the sins of the apostles and other saints, but for the sins of every individual in the world, even of these that are in hell? Would it not be natural for persons in such circumstances to argue rather against, than for themselves, and conclude that seeing persons might be damned notwithstanding the propitiatory sacrifice of Christ, that this might, and would be their case. In what sense Christ is a propitiation, (See Gill on 3:25). The Jews have no notion of the Messiah as a propitiation or atonement; sometimes they say F23 repentance atones for all sin; sometimes the death of the righteous F24; sometimes incense F25; sometimes the priests’ garments F26; sometimes it is the day of atonement F1; and indeed they are in the utmost puzzle about atonement; and they even confess in their prayers F2, that they have now neither altar nor priest to atone for them; (See Gill on 4:10).

73   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
August 16th, 2010 at 3:26 pm

#69 Who is everyone? Who is all?

John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

And I, if I be lifted up from the earth This is in reference to Jesus’ crucifixion, which he had already spoken of in John 3:14 as well as John 8:28 as the method by which He would die. This picture of the Savior is so precious; not only in the fact that he was crucified on our behalf, but he, being lifted on to the cross, was between heaven and earth as an advocate, a perfect mediator between God and men. There, men could look to him to be saved because God had made Him who knew no sin to be made sin so that we could be made righteous.

Will draw all men unto me. The word all here (GR: Pas)does not include the word ‘men’, men is added as a modifier. But some have mistaken this area of scripture to mean that somehow, hopefully that God will save all men. But, in reality, the word all means all types of men in the inclusive sense. In his speaking to the disciples and the crowd at this moment, he was referring to the Jews and the Gentiles (including the Greeks who had just sought Him). In this case, we can make no mistake about it, this is part of their judgment, for at the cross, there were those Jews who mocked Him, rejecting Him. Then there was the Roman Centurion who said there “Surely this was the Son of God” who believed. There were two thieves who hung with Jesus, one who rejected and mocked Him, and the other who repented and trusted in Him.

At the cross of Christ, people are torn asunder so to speak. All men will be drawn, but not all men will be saved. This means that men from every nation, tribe, and tongue will know about and have to make a decision about Jesus Christ. All men are under conviction because their conscience bears them witness. All men, All men know about God and they are without excuse because of the creation.

Romans 1:18-23

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

People all know enough about God, in other words what God has made plain to them they suppress because of their unrighteousness. Their response to the lifting up of Jesus will divide them; they can look to Him to be saved or continue in their rebellion. There is no middle ground.

1 Corinthians 1:22-25

For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

The difference of responses to Jesus Christ are clear through the epistles as Paul writes. But Peter picks up this idea in 1 Peter 2, in that there is a difference between Jesus as a foundation stone and rock of stumbling and a stone of offense. All come to this stone, this Jesus, and they must respond, they must choose. All are drawn, but not all are called. Some stumble upon, while others build upon this stone. In other words, all people must respond, and this is the judgment, the krisis, that Jesus is describing, and goes on to describe in the remainder of this chapter.

John 12:33 He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die. 34 So the crowd answered him, “We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” 35 So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”

Here is evidence of what was just said by Jesus regarding the judgment and all men. These men had the evidence right before them for three years. They had signs, miracles, wonders, teaching regarding who Jesus Christ was in truth. He had proclaimed Himself as the Messiah, as the Son of Man, indeed as the light of the world. Yet they refused to believe, and they could not understand the scriptures pointing clearly to Jesus. Indeed, Jesus would reign forever, but his kingdom was not of this world. His purpose in coming to this earth was to be lifted up on that cross, paying the penalty for the sins of the world, then to be lifted up from the grave in power to demonstrate the conquest of death, and finally to be lifted up by the Father to reign over all the earth on the throne of David. And this king, this Messiah, was among them for a little while longer, providing light to their paths so that they (the Jews) could be provided with salvation. However, they were part of this judgment, for they refused to believe. The cross was their stumbling block, a rock of offense. They refused to walk in the light that Jesus provided, showing the clear path to the Father. They chose instead to walk in the dark and stumble about on their preferred path, kicking against the Rock. For many Jews, this stone of offense remains, and they continue to kick against it as they seek to worship God in the ways of their fathers. But this was prophesied for centuries, and their unbelief then and now is evidence against them and further proof that the Scripture is accurate:

When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them. 37 Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, 38 so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” 39 Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said, 40 “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them.” 41 Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him. 42 Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.

Many people argue against the sovereignty of God, indeed, the Jewish people are evidence of this, for they were chosen of God, not because of their merit as people but because of God’s grace. In this same way, people are chosen today to be regenerated, saved by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. Despite all the evidence- the signs that he performed- they did not believe. Despite all of the historical evidence, the literary evidence, the evidence of conscience and creation, people today refuse to believe. The simple, yet hard answer is that they could not believe. God had hardened their heart, and blinded their eyes. God did it, because he is sovereign. If God had chosen them, they would choose Him. I am not sure exactly how this works, but I know this. If you are drawn to God, if you have begun to understand a little of Him and are drawn to Christ, take Him, trust Him. Repent, change your mind and your direction and place your trust in Christ. This hardening came, this blindness came in the midst of their disobedience. They refused to believe the Gospel, they refused to have faith in Christ. As the author of Hebrews, quoting Psalm 95 puts it:

Hebrews 3:7
Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,
“Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness, 9 where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works for forty years. 10 Therefore I was provoked with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart; they have not known my ways.’ 11 As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest.’” 12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. (Psalm 95)

The cross where Jesus was lifted up was a great dividing line in history. It was (and is) a dividing line between mercy and judgment, grace and wrath. Upon it, Jesus took your judgment so that you could receive the mercy of God. Jesus took God’s wrath for all of our sins. All men are drawn, but not all men are called. The cross is something to this day that men curse at or cling to. The name of Jesus is a great dividing line, and you must choose which side that you will come down upon. You can believe in yourself, your own goodness and works, your own religious acts or spirituality, your own concept of God and be judged and have God’s wrath still be upon you. Or, you may believe the Gospel, the good news that you can repent, changing your mind and direction trusting solely in Christ for salvation. If you can make that choice, praise God! Do not allow your heart to become hard by not responding to the free offer while God is drawing you. Today is the day of salvation. Repent and trust the Savior, Jesus Christ.

74   Neil    
August 16th, 2010 at 3:28 pm

I would prefer it if you would just address the scriptures brought up about the topic we are discussing. You are calling the Bible, God’s Holy Word, vomit.

i need a score-card to keep track of all the things pastorboy fails to distinguish between:

between purpose & position – FAIL!
between unlimited atonement & universal salvation – FAIL!
between one man’s theology & the bible – FAIL!

the last one is particularly troubling…

75   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 16th, 2010 at 3:32 pm

My response to Calvinism?

In the words of Lady Ga Ga:

“Blah, blah, blah…”

76   Neil    
August 16th, 2010 at 3:37 pm

re #73:

WOW – 1,819 words to answer two three-word questions. that’s an impressive Ctrl C > Ctrl V.

i think i will stick with the simpler more literal understanding, that is, whole world means whole world… all means all.

it fits better with both john 3:16a and b. jesus died for all, he is the propitiation for all, but it is only applied to those who believe.

remember, it’s not “god loves _____” it’s “god is love”.

77   Neil    
August 16th, 2010 at 3:42 pm

let’s not foget that this whole discussion on the scope of the atonement began with an amazingly unchristlike swipe by pastorboy in #38, followed by a series of non-sequitor leaps of logic.

78   John Hughes    
August 16th, 2010 at 4:17 pm

#76 – Exactly Neil.

PB – The meaning of the word “World” in 1 John is unmitakable. I challenge you that everywhere you see the word “world” you replace it with “the elect from every tribe, tongue and nation” and see how rediculous it reads.

79   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 16th, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Limiting the scope of the atonement is very serious business and may fall into the category of heresy which is usually bandied about freely to others by those who espouse a limited atonement view.

If the shoe fits, etc..

80   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 16th, 2010 at 5:15 pm

That is how I know a heretic can still be saved. I believe Calvin was saved. :cool:

81   Neil    
August 16th, 2010 at 5:55 pm

i don’t think limited atonement makes one a heretic… it is a rather pedantic argument anyway. it’s when it’s over applied and used as a weapon – e.g. as pastorboy used it against arabs – then it becomes dangerous.