Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Friday, November 25, 2005

Back to Unconditional Election

The paragraph below was a comment in the previous post, but the waters have gotten a little muddied there, so I just wanted to augment it a little and throw it out as one last thought for consideration on this subject of the Calvinist doctrine of Unconditional Election ... before I move on to Limited Atonement.
Just ANOTHER MUSING thought .... I was thinking about the Calvinist doctrine of Unconditional Election. Some have characterized it as being like aperson choosing a treat from a box of chocolates ... that God arbitrily picks, not caring what is inside ... as though he randomly picks. But really, after reading a certain post on Buddhism it got me to thinking ... the condition, according to this doctrine of unconditional election is not "foreseen faith" but it is the identity of the person being elected. In other words, YOU must be YOU to be elected ... or ... did the Lord decree that person #78653708459867359 that comes into the world will be saved etc... and chose those who would believe based on some arbitraray system? (like the box of chocolates illustration) No, according to TULIP (or the confessions that Earl has listed) God has chosen CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS, so then ... how can it be said that the reason for the election lies with God? The reason for the election is still within the ELECT people, namely, their particular identity. I believe God is interested in saving individuals ... but is He interested only in saving CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS, and ... were they chosen before they were "in Christ"? With the "in Christ" model for election that I have come to, the reason for election is then Christ, not my identity alone. A lot to think about.

38 Comments:

  • I believe you are thinking along the right lines, Rose.

    God Bless

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 11/25/2005 12:02 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Let's look at Jesus for a moment. He emptied Himself of reputation; He came into this world and was rejected by His own, and He was crucified in weakness. At one point, even His own mother thought He was out of His mind. So let's look for some identification here:

    "For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence."
    (1 Cor 1:26-29)

    Jesus is described as 'the stone which the builders rejected'. Then Peter says of us:

    "Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, . . ."
    (1 Pet 2:4-5)

    Here's the thing that throws everyone. God chose people, not based on their ability, talents, looks, smarts, strenghts or any other quality. He actually chose them based on the lack of qualities and abilities, so that 'no flesh should glory in His presence.'

    In fact, He intends to confound those others, by making His strength perfect through the weakness of the persons that He did choose.

    Now, God does not say that He won't choose any of those other persons, just that He won't choose many of them, and this brings us to the real defining point. If you'll look at some of the people whom He did call who were smart, etc., you'll see that they were humble enough not not trust in their own strengths, but in His. And that is the real point:

    "He who glories, let him glory in the Lord."
    (vs 31)

    Hope that helps :o)

    By Blogger loren, at 11/25/2005 4:54 PM  

  • So trusting in Christ not oneself is the condition of election, Loren?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 11/25/2005 5:05 PM  

  • Yes, I think I'd agree with that. Christ is all and in all; and it is through putting on Christ that we become elect in Him (Col 3:10-12)

    By Blogger loren, at 11/25/2005 6:07 PM  

  • In the next week or so, I will be going through the "Eternal Decree" section of the Westminster Confession of Faith (after completing the walkthru on the Confession's statement of the Bible and the Trinity. The Eternal Decree section goes into some detail on one Calvinistic view of predestination.

    By Blogger Earl, at 11/25/2005 9:16 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    One thing that both side of election will agree is that God know that there is a chosen number of poeple that are going to be saved.What I always look at if
    God predestined to be saved,then He predestined for Hell. I never look at it any other way ,because I love poeple and I can not see my Father doing that at all. It does not line up with the Word.

    Deuteronomy 30:19
    19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

    God Almighty has given man the power to make choices regarding his ultimate destiny.He commands us to choose life so that we may live fully, both now and in His Kingdom, but we can opt for the other way of sin just as readily.

    By Blogger forgiven, at 11/25/2005 11:46 PM  

  • Matthew,
    Blessed assurance, my friend.

    Loren,
    Do you know that song? :~) I've been reading in your archives. You are a deep thinker and I am thankful to have you here at RR lending an alternate perspective. There are so many represented here, it is amazing.

    Earl,
    I will be reading you materials too. Thank you, also for coming over.

    Doug,
    Your heart is appreciated as well.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/26/2005 11:33 AM  

  • Loren,

    Your comment was excellent. It also denies the access even to those who are deeply emersed in both Calvanist and Arminian theology; if that is their goal to vindicate their doctrine. This motive is the root of heresy.

    Consider what motive one is to put on Christ with.
    d. fundamentalist. Here in sleeps the mystery but it must, muuuusssssst be accepted. Read this passage and think long and hard on what Loren posted. Matthew 21:28-32.

    Now please, pleeeaaase go to this passage: Luke 13:6-9 to understand the process through which the Father communicates with the Son to bring about repentance as well as understanding the time limit and consider that there are things we have no clue about. This passage should clearly make this known.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 11/26/2005 12:40 PM  

  • Matthew 21:28-32
    28"What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, 'Son, go and work today in the vineyard.'
    29" 'I will not,' he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. 30 "Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, 'I will, sir,' but he did not go. 31 "Which of the two did what his father wanted?" "The first," they answered. Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.

    Luke 13:6-9 6 Then he told this parable: "A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. 7 So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, 'For three years now I've been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven't found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?' 8" 'Sir,' the man replied, 'leave it alone for one more year, and I'll dig around it and fertilize it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.'"


    Brian Hedrick, here you go again (John 16:29) ... please speak plainly! Also, I wish you would comment to ME on my post. Please? :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/26/2005 12:53 PM  

  • I don't mind comments to other bloggers (if done respectfully, -which you have), but I really want input to myself as well.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/26/2005 12:56 PM  

  • Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said:

    So trusting in Christ not oneself is the condition of election, Loren?

    Loren Reponded:

    Yes, I think I'd agree with that. Christ is all and in all; and it is through putting on Christ that we become elect in Him (Col 3:10-12)

    This seems to be a departure from what Reformed belief has traditionally held. The passage in Colossians by itself is not the whole story. It was originally written to those who already believed. had received the Spirit and were in Christ. They had a new heart gifted to them by God from which good things could emanate. But the text doesn't really speak to election at all.

    The more traditional view is that our election is not due to anything in us, either present or forseen. It arises from the mind and purposes of God alone. And it does seem somewhat arbitrary to us. But that says more about our attitude than about God's character.

    The argument that God forsees a reason in us that leads to our election is tantamount to saying that we elect ourselves by our own choices. The truth of that can be tested by doctrinal argument (which I leave for another time) - all I'm doing is to point out that it isn't Calvinsitic. It contradicts what the Westminster Confession and the Canons of Dort have to say.

    Luther, speaking of the human will and its place in salvation, went to the wall for this truth. His "Bondage of the Will" is a very good (though rather bellicose) treatment of the matter. His famous statement "Nothing is not a little something" attempted to deal the death blow to the notion that we have any influence upon God's election.

    The raising of the will of God to its proper place is usually the very last barrier that our proud and rebellious hearts are willing to embrace. We demand that we have the right to choose - and we can get very evasive or even nasty when God asserts His.

    One thing we all agree on, I hope - is that Christ is indeed "all in all". For all things are from Him and to Him and through Him Romans 11:36 (and for Him - more Colossians - 1:16)

    Hope you work this one through, Rose. Love you openness as you strive to be found in the Way.

    Sorry - am a bit rushed as I am leaving town for a few days. I'm already late.

    Blessings

    By Blogger thedodester, at 11/26/2005 1:12 PM  

  • I cannot say I care what Westminster, the Canon of Dort and Luther say. I want to follow the Word of God.

    Faith is always presented in Scripture as a condition of salvation. I see no reason to think that election to the privileges of Christianity is not contingent on faith. Ephesians says that we are 'chosen in Christ', that is that we are chosen through our position in Him, which we obtain by faith.

    With respect to Tony, his raising of the matter of pride is a typical and very effective Calvinist ploy- implying that opponents of Calvinism are motivated by pride. Calvinists continually, in my experience, attempt to make their opponents feel guilty for disagreeing with them.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 11/26/2005 1:50 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I think your blog is taking on a life of it's own! :o) Thanks for your remarks on my blog, too. This is a very interesting discussion.

    I see some questions for me, but I'll leave them for you to answer if you don't mind. I'd like to hear what you and John have to say about them.

    Loren
    (a.k.a. person # 78,653,708,459,867,359)

    By Blogger loren, at 11/26/2005 3:04 PM  

  • Ooops! Make that person number 78,653,708,459,867,358!

    (I forgot that Judas fell, and he's been messing up my math ever since! :o)

    By Blogger loren, at 11/26/2005 3:06 PM  

  • Dyspraxic Fundie,

    I have to agree with you.

    Faith is the intermediate agency of eternal life and all the ramifications of being "in Christ".

    According to Calvinism, the non-regenerate elect can't hear, see, understand, or anything. All of a sudden they are regenerate, and God has implanted a set of beliefs in their head.

    When they preach the gospel, it wouldn't be

    "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved..." (Acts 16:31)

    It would be

    "It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord" (Lam. 3:26)

    'cept the poor reprobate will be waiting his whole life in vain...

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 11/26/2005 5:34 PM  

  • Why do people come here and some of them don't even say "hi" to me? (and they don't comment on my post)
    ;~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/26/2005 6:12 PM  

  • Rose,

    According to my reading, in Calvinism, election took place in the (dreadful) all-encompassing Decree of God, whereby, in a free and sovereign manner, He chose those whom He would surely save, according to His MYSTERIOUS and SECRET COUNSEL, APART from any consideration of man whatsoever.

    Election was:

    "...not according to anything found in man. He did not base His choice on man in any way... It was a free choice, a sovereign choice of God. He made it without any consideration of man whatsoever " (emphasis mine) (Hanko, Hoeksema, and Van Baren, the 5 points of Calvinism, 35)

    "Those of mankind that are predestinated unto life, God ... according to his eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of his will, hath chosen ... out of his mere free grace and love, without any foresight of faith, or good works ... or any other thing in the creature, as conditions, or cause moving him thereunto..." (The Westminster Confession of Faith III.5)

    My box of chocolates illustration works perfectly. To see my box of chocolates illustration, (which is a picture of election and its flipside, the darkside of Calvinism, reprobation) click

    HERE

    Rose already posted that link. BUT she did not post the explanation of the box of chocolates illustration, which is here:

    Box of Chocolates EXPLAINED

    If identity had something to do with it, then it would be something in man, and against TULIP and the confessions.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 11/26/2005 7:33 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I was hoping we could all see ourselves as the fig tree. Do a study on all the fig tree passages. Also one boy is bearing witness that he is willing all the while in truth he is unwilling. The other boy is honest about his unwillingness and then later relents and does his fathers will. It is not untill we see that can we become regenerate.

    Look again to the fig trees much of the answer sleeps there. This paticular fig tree has to be worked on before it bears fruit thus bearing light of the truth that we do not seek him and are indeed dead to him; *but* God.

    The ultimadum for this fig however is one year. For whatever purpose there is. It is only one year. Perhaps the owner had other plans for that space if fruit is not born in one year. There are others who are for whatever purpose given two...maybe three years, but it is important to understand that the intercessor is the one pleading for time. The fig tree has no power whatsoever to awake to fruit. It is in the intercessors work and craft to bring what is dead to life again.

    Goodbye Rose and have a nice evening. Can I say hi to John or is this not allowed:-)

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 11/26/2005 8:08 PM  

  • The string of comments here, while very interesting, is why I am NOT Calvanist or any other kind of "ist."

    I realize this leaves me in a camp that makes other theologians uncomfortable, but I can see no rhyme or reason to follow a particular person's theology, when, in the end, he/she is no more "inspired" than you or I. At least not in the Biblical sense.

    By Blogger Joe, at 11/26/2005 9:12 PM  

  • Tony,
    I'm wondering what caused you to wander over here...WELCOME! I love Calvinists and it is an important "dialogue" to me because of how prevalent this doctrine is, even within my closest circles. I certainly appreciate the Calvinist input as I am looking into the doctrines that you believe. I am also aware of the thing Dyspraxic Fundamentalist has pointed out (although I'm not sure it was your intent) how those who question these doctrines are accused of questioning God Himself. I am not questioning God's Word, only this doctrine. I believe the Word wholeheartedly. Anyways, it is not a pride issue with me, (I don't think!) it is related to how I see humanity and God's dealings with them and how I bear witness of the gospel. That is why this is important fopr me to examine these doctrines. Thanks for commenting!

    Loren,
    I thought I was #78,653,708,459,867,359 ... well, I guess it doesn't really matter when the number gets that large. I got the message, thanks. You could always email me - just go to my profile and click email.

    Antonio,
    Thanks for coming over, I hope you are feeling better. Aren't you glad I don't have the rules about "gratuitous links to your own blog" in my comments like the blogger mafia does? (I saw your comments over there ... one...two... {three} strikes you're out!)
    Anyways, I am not sure you get my point here. I am saying that they don't really believe it is random. I think I may have discovered an inconsistency. They believe they were chosen as themselves. So then doesn't that make being themselves the condition for election?

    Brian Hedrick,
    Thank you for the greeting. You still speak in parables. Who do you think you are, Jesus? ;~) Then you say "goodbye" - does this mean you will not participate anymore? I hope not. I am thinking about the mustard tree and have read your comment a couple of times, now. (I'm kind of dense, oK?) I saw Charlie, asked him about you and your dad and he knew you right away. Come back again, I appreciate your veiled comments even though I have to de-code them first. :~)

    Joe,
    AMEN. The isms seem to "take on a life of their own" (to quote my buddy Loren). I noticed you aren't posting as often. I miss your writing, even the mysterious stuff!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/26/2005 10:04 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Here's a thought. When God says He will have mercy on whom He will have mercy, and that it is not to him who wills or to him who runs but to God who shows mercy --- I think that traditionally, we've been assuming some things here.

    I think some Christians have assumed this to mean that even God has no criteria in whom He selects. "Bop, You're in! Bop, You're out!" But God is not saying that. He's only saying that it's His decision, not ours. He could very well have a criteria (which, of course, I've suggested above).

    Also, let's say we understand His criteria and acquiesce to it. We find that He gives grace to the humble, so we humble ourselves. Why does this contradict the fact that He has decided to have mercy whom He will, and they are humble, so we humble ourselves, and so He does have mercy on us? It is still His own decision and we're adding nothing to it.

    In other words, why are we assuming that His mind in this must remain elusive and mysterious to us all?

    "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter."
    (Prov 25:2)

    Hope that makes sense.

    By Blogger loren, at 11/26/2005 10:22 PM  

  • Ah, Loren! And now I understand your initial comment so much better. (dense, I tell you!)
    That is interesting and I think you bring up a very good point. The assumptions really kill us, don't they? We automatically think a certain way and it is hard sometimes to remove our preconcieved ideas and think more clearly. Thanks for helping. I will ponder what you have said.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/26/2005 10:27 PM  

  • rose: I am as exhausted as I have ever been, physically and emotionally. My career is taking a turn for the worse, my hours are crazy and I'm really waiting for God to reveal His will for His direction at this time. Writing has suffered, but hopefully will rebound soon. Thanks for your kindness.

    By Blogger Joe, at 11/27/2005 8:16 AM  

  • Rose,

    So are you saying that although their writings specifically say that it was a secret and mysterious choice on God's part having nothing to do with any consideration of man, or what is in man, whatsoever, that the way they act and write, nevertheless, betrays a form of pride in that "they" were chosen and the reprobate was not?

    Inasmuch as I am taking them at their writing and have made the correspondences in my box of chocolates illustration, I would not negate your observation. Contradictions abound in both what they write and say, although to be fair, in many cases they allow these contradictions to stand in their theology by claiming "mystery".

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 11/27/2005 11:54 AM  

  • I think Loren makes an excellent point about Romans 9.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 11/27/2005 1:40 PM  

  • Lol! No I don't claim to be Jesus but sometimes feel his methods stirred people to seek when the plain truth was staring them in the face and they wouldn't believe. And no I don't imply you. We are all seeking him together.

    Here is something I put on Chad Bressons post under the article about being cut off. It may be helpful here as well.

    , 2005


    Bhedr said...
    Psssssssss! Hey Chad,

    I was just thinking(sometimes wish I could stop. My wife does to:-)

    You see how easy it is to take a passage without considering the whole counsel of God and then imply that there is unrighteousnees with God?

    I've been meditating on the Covenental Anticipation argument that you gleaned from scripture. I do very nearly agree, but If we move before the ball snaps we are still offsides; but I still see your point there.

    Here is another reason I don't consider myself to be either Calvanistic nor Arminian. I accept but find I cannot reconcile "He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens." with "How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing"

    To move the stake in either direction is to imply unrighteousness with God and deny Scriptures witness of God. Like I say if we move before the ball snaps we are still offsides, or false start depending on what position you have:-)

    We are all growing and I believe we help each other, so like I said thank you for bringing to my attention earlier something that I needed to be careful about. God is pure and was judged as impure in our place. There is no unrighteousness with God.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 11/27/2005 2:40 PM  

  • Bhedr, you said:

    'I accept but find I cannot reconcile "He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens." with "How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing"'

    Your statement seems to presume that the Calvinist interpretation of the former verse is correct. To my mind, whatever, your feelings otherwise, this puts you in the Calvinist camp.

    Do you really believe that Calvinist interpretations of texts on election are so certain and correct?

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 11/27/2005 3:06 PM  

  • Bhedr,

    Great point. Both are true. Consider Jesus continually teaching the pharisees and then telling them in the next breath in John 10, but you do not believe because you are not the sheep/elect. This shows God's heart in the preaching of the gospel as he spent so much time with the pharisees whose hearts were so hardened to the gospel, yet he continues to preach to them. His free offer of the gospel is always there, but at the same time he doesn't open their blind eyes because they have hardened hearts toward them.



    Loren,

    I've liked what you have done with the verses as well. What I like about you is you start and end with the bible.

    The real issue I have with your statements I think you underestimate the true nature of unwillingness to come to God for life (each one of us). I don't recall much of the discussion you have written center around your understanding of depravity.

    You said, "through putting on Christ that we become elect in Him"

    You believe that the sheep are the elect then what do you think of this verse. I read it last night in my nightly bible study.

    Speaking to the pharisees Jesus said "but you do not believe because you are not my sheep." John 10:26

    Why would Jesus say this if to mean that the election was based on God's foreknowledge of our future faith.

    So I'm trying to reconcile your statements with this biblical statement.


    Matthew,

    I don't think calvinists get mad at you because of your opinions of election. This is minor.

    I'm mostly concerned with you understanding of saving faith as having little to do with how the scriptures state them as I contually state them like the scriptures state salvation and you then assume that it is catholic faith and infused righteousness.

    I'm more concerned with what I consider a disturbing trend within evangelicalism that has nothing to do with how the scriptures state salvation and the effects of saving grace upon a lost soul. To me having alot of knowledge of theology without really dwelling in the scriptures is the problem.

    Hopefully I have massively misunderstood you.

    By Blogger Shawn L, at 11/27/2005 3:22 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I’ve enjoyed your comments over at scogginsnoggin (Joe’s Jottings) and thought I’d peek in on your place. You’ve got a beautiful page here. I’ve been discussing Calvinism with several Calvinist from Criswell College for months now. We finally departed the doctrine itself and began to earnestly search rather than try to convince one another. We had some really great studies when we attempted to define the scriptural meanings of repentance and believe. We’ve coined a phrase called, “freed will” that’s currently being tossed about. I wish you well in your study here and I’ll try to keep abreast of it in case you have any breakthroughs. ;-)

    May God bless you,
    Kc

    By Blogger Kc, at 11/27/2005 3:43 PM  

  • 'Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'

    Leaving aside discussions of election (is that OK, Rose~?), where in this verse do we find loving Christ? Where do we find being willing to lay down one's life? Where do we find willingness to obey every one of God's commands? Where do we find sorrow in this verse for sin?

    It is a matter of calling upon the Lord and recognising that only in Him can we find salvation.

    Would a man not be saved if he called on the Lord without having any love for the Lord? Or if he called on the Lord, knowing that he was lost without Christ, but he had no sorrow for his sins? Would these men not be saved, even having called on the name of the Lord?

    The reason I bring Catholicism into it is that I can see a clear similarity between what you have said and Catholic theology. You say that to be saved a man has to receive a holier state of mind and walk. This seems very close to the notion of infused grace, whereby in Catholic theology a man is made holier in himself order to meet God's condition of salvation. I do not see this as scriptural.

    If Paul's understanding of faith is more righteous behavior, then I fail to see how he could have drawn such a contrast between faith and works.

    If faith and works go together in the way that you suggest, then the argument of Catholicism that grace and faith are the same thing stands and justification by grace through faith fails.

    Shawn, until you made those comments on faith, I had never really given much thought to the whole Lordship salvation debate. I had only read Zane Hodges on the subject of textual criticism. I was unhappy with the tenor of Antonio's arguements. Without wanting to get personal, what you have said has really raised a lot of questions in my mind.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 11/27/2005 3:54 PM  

  • Matthew,

    Thanks for you comments. I read your blog and you stated discussion about sorrow for you sin as well and I think you were getting to 1 John correctly there.

    I'm more talking about an overall view of preaching to the lost man reflects all of the things I have said in the last scriptures, God says all of those things in preaching the gospel to the lost man I have said, but I'm not saying if one of those things is missed God can't save a person, but these are the work of Grace and how it is revealed in the person.

    However, having said that I don't think one can be saved without knowing they are a sinner in desperate need of God's grace, however everything I said doesn't have to happen in every order I discribed in their own experience, I'm just stating the scriptures' explaination of it.

    Rose told me not to talk about this on the election threads.... Sorry about bring up again.

    By Blogger Shawn L, at 11/27/2005 4:15 PM  

  • Hi Rose
    Did you have a good day?

    I think that when it all comes down to it we are like claymation.. we know Gumby and Pokey. God owns our lifes and He can do anything He wants with us. He can flatten us and remake us . After He saved us we will always be with Him , no matter what goes on .

    By Blogger forgiven, at 11/27/2005 4:43 PM  

  • Matthew,

    Sigh! I guess if I am to be considered a Calvanist then I will indeed position myself with Reformed theology. Please consider me to be a very cautious one as I am troubled with our bold endevours of splicing the mind of God. Remember God gave much to Jonah but Jonah had to learn that it was for the purpose of people and loving them not vindicating himself. In our endevours to be right we often lose sight of the heart of love God has for all people and is not willing that any perish. I have often thought that our communication with Him is at the key of His criterea for choosing. Why should He care about the lost if we don't? You see it is not really Him that seems arbitrary. It is us. It takes so much for us to wake up to truth. Lives have to be judged to wake us up to repenting and recieving Him.

    I tipptoe around the TULIP. Complete depravity I agree with but not Total as we would all be killing each other if that were the case and Specific Atonement instead of Limited. In the long run I am still waiting for the full Revelation to come from Yeshua and not John Calvin(whose history I am deeply troubled with) as some refer to him as the Prince of Theologians;I do not! I believe he got a hold of some good truths and did some wrong things in order to do good with them.

    I am an Ana-Baptist at heart but realize they were weak in some areas concerning doctrine while strong in understanding Seperation which Calvin was weak on.

    Dis Fundamentalist, I grew up in the heart of Fundamentalism and it was an odd match up I must say. My Uncle was a well known pastor and my dad a well known missionary once upon a time. Put it this way. I would sit down at the dinner table with Bob Jones, Ian Paisley, Jack Hyles, Rod Bell and others.

    What was so puzzling to me at the time was how Bob Jones Jr was Arminian and Ian Paisley a strong 5 pointer yet they were good friends because of secondary things. Jack Hyles and Bell remained friends because of things like dress codes and contemporary music. All the while these secondary things,taught as doctrine,nearly hid the truth from me. Repentance was weakened as was the heart of man. Outward conformity won the day and presented another sphere of salvation of works instead of a cleansing of the inside of the cup that is witnessed when one comes to terms with their own unwillingness towards God.

    At present I am reading a book called God Is The Gospel by John Piper. To me this is the heart of the matter. You see one can be either Calvinistic or Arminian and still be wanting something from God instead of Desiring God himself.

    In the past I have been trying to harmonize whatever I can with positions people hold with Scripture. I don't want to do that anymore. It hides truth and sends us on a downgrade in differant directions. May God alone be our satisfaction.

    Thank you Rose for yeilding this space.

    Shawn,
    I really love you bro. You have a heart for truth as well as people. The heart of Jesus. Remember the Apostle Paul who wished himself accursed for the non-elect in hopes that God would relent of the blindness he placed on them found in Romans 11. Jesus wept as well. I don't even try to understand this. I simply accept this truth and tremble at the implications. It does give me reason to pray and fast as this moves the heart of God. This too is a mystery as well. In fact he wonders that no one intercedes and judges because none stand in the Gap.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 11/27/2005 5:22 PM  

  • Brian,

    I don't like being labeled a calvinist as well because I more would rather be known as an electionist or closer to some guy who just loves the bible


    I don't like the term total depravity as well, because it is always a confusing term. Most of all I just try to stick to the bible as much as I can.

    To me though, total depravity, does not me that every human being is as sinful as he could be, but that every human being is sinful to the point that they’re incapable of altering their condition in their spiritual deadness apart from God's grace.

    By Blogger Shawn L, at 11/27/2005 6:08 PM  

  • Brian,

    Great point on Romans 9 and the heart for all lost people is the heart all evangelicals should have.

    This is another point in election we may forget to love and weep for the lost and plead with them to come to Christ for forgiveness. Election is to the praise of God's glory as well as put in the scriptures so we have a weeping prophet's heart for the lost especially in the early parts of Romans 9.

    Most of the time I think we as evangelicals have lost the heart for the lost like that in Romans 9. I guess that would probably start with me as well.

    By Blogger Shawn L, at 11/27/2005 6:21 PM  

  • Shawn, I am a little more comfortable with your position now you clarified it a bit. I am still a little uncomfortable about including some of the things you mention in preaching the Gospel.

    As for being an electionist, so am I. I believe in election, I just do not view it as the election of individuals, but as the elction of the Church to its corporate privileges. Calvinists seem to claim a monopoly on th eright to define election.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 11/28/2005 3:39 AM  

  • Matthew,

    I definitely don't have a monopoly on definitions of election...We can talk later.

    Bye the way praise God for trying to do street preaching. I have a missionary friend in England trying to reach the muslims there. I pray for your efforts that they would be filled with the gospel and God's grace be filled in your words to graciously save sinner. Remember if you are stoned or mocked like Stephen remember that you are following the path of Jesus in your suffering for the gospel and don't lose heart when the people don't listen.

    Those who do this I am very thankful for where I am at I haven't tried this for quite sometime but talk to people more one on one in public and praying for more opportunities to be an evangelist and try to do preach Christ with people from India and those of the buddhist persuasion because they discuss Jesus so much and it's a great way to start sharing the gospel with them

    By Blogger Shawn L, at 11/28/2005 9:33 AM  

  • Thanks for the encouragement, Shawn.

    God Bless

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 11/28/2005 10:14 AM  

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