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

Saturday, December 31, 2005


Today is the Birthday of my dear husband, John. He is a wonderful man and I am so glad God brought him into this world ... and then into His family ... and then into my life. I am priviledged to be able to spend the next year of his life with him. (His parents were happy that they got a tax deduction for the whole of 1960, but they only had to care for him for just a few hours that year!)

the END

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Meeting a Blogger from Tennessee

Blogging for me started last March by reading just one blog ... Dave Mullins'. I added another during the summer: Jeremy Weaver’s. These guys are also known as Reformer and the Doxoblogist. I worked with Dave at our church, Emmanuel Baptist Church and we really got along well. The Doxoblogist was someone I had never met and I was sure I never would.

How interesting for my husband and I to find that he was going to be at our church on Christmas Day. We made plans to meet him and his family in the foyer. We only visited with him and Dave Mullins for about 20 minutes, so we extended the invitation for him and his family to come to our house any time after Christmas, before they headed back to Tennessee. As it turned out, they were looking for something to do the next day. They came over and spent the afternoon. The four adults talked, and the five kids played in the basement.

His wife, Magaly is a very sweet lady … so easy to talk to, and very personable. She is also very pretty.

When Jeremy left, he said to my husband, "You're just like I imagined you. You two are very nice, friendly people." Well ... ... ... I am delighted to say that Jeremy is nicer than I imagined him. His comments that I see on his own blog and those that that he visits are so few and so brief, one might envisage that he is not sociable … but he was very warm and friendly. I shook his hand and I didn't catch any Calvinism either. ;~)

the END


Monday, December 26, 2005

A Great Hymn of the Church

We sang this hymn in our service Christmas morning and it has been on my mind and lips ever sice ... so I thought I would share it with you. If you click on the link at the bottom you can hear the melody, if you don't already know it. Do you know this hymn?

One Day
(J. Wilbur Chapman)

One day when heaven was filled with His praises,
One day when sin was as black as could be,
Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin,
Dwelt among men, my Example is He!

Living, He loved me; dying, He saved me;
Buried He carried my sins far away;
Rising, He justified freely forever;
One day He's coming; O glorious day!

One day they led Him up Calvary's mountain,
One day they nailed Him to die on the tree;
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected:
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He!

One day they left Him alone in the garden,
One day He rested, from suffering free;
Angels came down o'er His tomb to keep vigil;
Hope of the hopeless, my Savior is He!

One day the grave could conceal Him no longer,
One day the stone rolled away from the door;
Then He arose, over death He had conquered;
Now is ascended, my Lord evermore!

One day the trumpet will sound for His coming,
One day the skies with His glories will shine;
Wonderful day, my belov'd ones bringing;
Glorious Savior, this Jesus is mine!

Click here if you want to hear the melody while you look at the lyics. A new window will pop up and you can minimize it.


Friday, December 23, 2005

When God became a man so He could become sin, so we could become His children

My Incarnation Day Poem

The eyes that search the hearts of men
... were looking out through blurry orbs

The feet that would walk the road to Calvary
... were supple, petite and spotless

The ears that hear every prayer
... were small and couldn’t decipher language

The head that would wear the crown of thorns
... was soft on top with downy hair

The hands that would be pierced
... trembled and grasped at His mother’s finger

The voice that spoke all of creation into existence
... was crying out for breath

What a wonder, what a gift! The Eternal God who created us … became one of us … so He could become … what is worst in us and conquer that. He did it all for the joy set before Him. The joy of sinners redeemed in fellowship with Him, pleasing to His Father.

Merry Christmas!

the END

Thursday, December 22, 2005

What is Faith?

Free Grace Theology
I read this today. I really would like to know what my readers think of these thoughts that are in the post here blogspotted. Leave a comment there. Leave a comment here. Please let me know what you think.

the END

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

My Dear Children

For the last two nights, my dear children went to stay with their grandparents, who live about 40 minutes away. While they were gone, they were taken to “Winter Wonderland.” This is a very childish display of various Christmas themes … a big gingerbread house, a few displays of various countries and the way they celebrate Christmas. There are many life size figurines/paper mache models that move. Santa Claus is there. It is really cheesy and stupid, but small children enjoy it. We took our kids when they were 1, 3, and 5 and they hadn’t been back since. My oldest son, Elliot, who will soon be 10, REALLY wanted to go. (He had a fond memory of it, I guess.)

When we picked them up from Grandma and Grandpa’s today … on the ride home, we got an earful and I want to share some of it with you!

My 5 year old, Simon, said that there was a fat stupid idiot inside of a pretend building.
Charlotte, the 7 year old, said that the whole thing was very “baby-ish.”

Then we started talking about Santa Claus. We don’t tell our kids that Santa Claus is real. We never have because of a matter of parental conscience and truth. My husband was telling the kids about “Nicholas” and where the legend came from. The kids themselves were discussing it in the back seat. My daughter said, “Santa Claus is magic.” Elliot then corrected her and said, “No, his power is witchcraft.” (jaw drop) John was questioning our son on this concept of “witchcraft,” trying to hear more of his reasoning. Elliot said that in the legend, Santa can fly and witches fly on broomsticks, so Santa must be using witchcraft. John then asked him if Superman uses witchcraft to fly. “Of course not, he’s a super hero.” And that was that.

Simon then mentioned the big fat idiot at the Winter Wonderland again. Elliot made sure to tell him that it was just a guy dressed up in a red suit. My husband piped in and said that it was a guy doing a job … that was how he was making money to buy some things for his family. John then challenged Simon: “What if I had to dress up in a red suit, would I be a fat, stupid idiot?” Simon replied, “No, you’re not fat.”

The oldest then segued into a tearful expression of disappointment over all the kids at his school. “They are all worried about Santa Claus and what presents they’re going to get. They don’t even think about Jesus and all that He has done for us.”

We parents had gone from laughing to crying all within 5 minutes. Dear children have that effect.

the END

Monday, December 19, 2005

An AWARD to Erlenmeyer Flask!

OK, I realize that in the world of blog, I am no one important ... but I have created an award that I want to give. I first heard of the concept of an award from Marc Heinrich of Purgatorio. I am not the instant blog star that Marc is, but hey, I have opinions about the people that I read! Let me explain ...

Antonio. He is quite controversial. I first heard of Antonio, when I was reading a post about Antonio by Jonathan Moorhead on his blog From the Head of the Moor. I went to Antonio's blog, and, being a questioner of Calvinism myself, I left him this comment:

Antonio, I am sorry that people are bashing you. It seems like you are just a person who won't go along with a doctrine that is not painting the Bible's picture of our wonderful, merciful God ...

I thought it was kind of "mean" the way that he was being treated. I since have discovered that he brings it on himself, to a degree. I actually think he enjoys it. He appears on people's posts, (like this one) and leaves quotes from John Calvin and Lordship Salvation proponents that, I believe, are meant to cause the bloggers to think about some of the implications of their theology. I really like Antonio and God has used him in my life and my husband's life in a very real way, but he is belligerent sometimes, I must admit. I just yesterday read where he was accused of being a trouble maker. His ways are not the ways I would go about challenging people. Although, all of us can be pretty passionate about our beliefs. However, even his critics would have to admit, he does make the blogosphere interesting. I have learned a lot from reading his blog and the comments also. I have learned a lot reading all the blogs around here. Thank you all!

I digress ...

Antonio's blog, Free Grace Theology is a place that I have been frequenting. If you just read his own blog (and not the provacative comments he leaves all over blogdom), he doesn't come across rude or like a "troublemaker" at all. He has been accused of heresy, but I just don't see it in his posts. He has been doing a series on James, in which he is just taking apart the verses, talking about the intended audience etc ... There is not a whole lot of opining ... it is very sytematic. His inspiration, however, seems to spring from a concern over mixing grace with works in the salvation equation. I have this concern also. I have always thought that the reformed theology had the concern, as well. However, reformed theology bloggers are mad at Antonio for his challenges! They call him a heretic and it has turned into a very interesting debate. I've been scratching my head and have been very troubled over it all.

Now enter Erlenmeyer Flask (not his real name). Earl is certainly a reformed theology proponent. He has joined in many of my discussions about TULIP and has been very helpful. He really appreciates the Westminster Confession of Faith and mentions it often. He is quite funny. I first "met" him when he left a comment on my 4th or 5th post as a blogger, back in September, called "Debating Calvinism ... should I read this book?" He said I had a "fun blog." That, in itself, made me smile. What an unexpected place to find a comment that my blog was fun.

In my sidebar, there is a post called TULIP SERIES ... My Favorite Comments, where his humor can be seen. I included his comments that made me laugh and smile, although he is so much more than a comedian. Right now, on his blog MetaSchema, he is going through the Westminster Larger Catechism and ADVENT. He is very serious about his faith, well spoken and articulate. But this is not why he is getting an "AWARD" from me. This is why:

I was visiting Antonio's blog and I saw that Earl had been reading it. I was looking at Earl's comments here. Then ... I saw something that made my blog heart swell. Earl recognized Antonio with respect. He said a lot, but here is a bit of it:

I've been reading your blog and associated comments for a couple of hours ... I have a better understanding now ... I really appreciate your stance on free grace. Keep it up. I'm still gathering information on your approach, there are aspects that I can't go along with as I understand your approach better, but I think you are providing a good service for the Kingdom of God.

Hallelujah! Wouldn't it be beautiful if all of us (myself also!) could recognize that others in the body of Christ who challenge our thinking, and our systems, are not our enemies. (I would that the challengers would be kinder about it also.) I once appeared on a blog last summer and was pretty confrontational myself, but I found that talking with a person who holds a position I don't agree with is good for the soul and it causes me to look deeper into the Word. More importantly, these are ones for whom Christ died! The body of Christ is diverse, but we are all brothers and sisters. Let's be more respectful.

Earl, thank you for blessing my heart this last week! You are so REASONABLE!

(I will give this award from time to time, when I am impressed to do so. I will start a list in my sidebar with those who recieve the award listed underneath, just like Marc! I have to figure out how to put a graphic in my sidebar first, though ... does anyone know how?)

the END!

Friday, December 16, 2005

The ‘One-Another’s of the Church

This was read in our Adult Bible Fellowship a few weeks ago when we were discussing the Church. This is a survey of the NT declarations that say "one another." It was so moving to me ...

Have peace with one another
Love one another
Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love
In honor, prefer one another
Be of the same mind one toward another
Let us not judge one another
Follow after the thing wherewith one may edify another
Be like-minded one to another
Receive ye one another
Admonish one another
Do not go to law with one another
Have the same care one for another
By love serve one another
Do not bite and devour one another
Do not provoke or envy one another
Forbear one another in love
Be kind to one another
Forgive one another
Submit yourselves to one another
In lowliness of mind, let each esteem others better than themselves
Lie not to one another
Teach one another
Increase and abound in love towards one another
Comfort one another
Exhort one another
Provoke one another unto love and good works
Speak not evil one of another
Grudge not one against another
Confess your faults to one another
Use hospitality one to another

The instruction to "love one another" is repeated more frequently than any of the others (10 times to be exact). A great challenge from the Lord ...

the END

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Why Your Church Is Dispensational

I read these posts a while ago on a blog called anti-itch meditation. I asked the blogger, Jeff, if I could post them here. I thought today would be a good time, after yesterday's quiz.

Why All Christians Are Dispensational
The fact that we are called “Christians” proves it. The name “Christian” was not applied to the people of God until Acts 11:26 in Antioch. The disciples of Jesus were called Christians. Even in that one verse you see a shift in recognition--no longer “disciples” but Christians. God’s people were called different things throughout the thousands of years of history. Psalms calls them “godly” a few times. They are called “righteous” a number of times. Of course, once Israel was established as a nation they are called “Israel,” “my people,” “children,” and various other terms. The fact that we call ourselves Christians today is a relatively new thing. If you call yourself a Christian you are at the same time admitting that there are differences in God’s relationship to His people over the years, which is called dispensationalism, whether you want to admit it or not.

Why All Christians Are Dispensational: Part 2
The fact we believe in a person named Jesus Christ proves it. People have always been saved by faith. Romans 1:17 says the just shall live by faith and it has been that way from “faith to faith.” There have not been different faiths, but there has been a different responsibility on man’s part in exercising that faith. Adam and Eve did not believe in “Jesus Christ.” They believed in one who would come and bruise Satan’s head (Genesis 3:15). Noah did not believe in a man called “Jesus Christ.” He believed that God delivered his people and would ultimately do so in a Deliverer who was to come. In fact, Noah was a picture of Christ--who delivered his people BEFORE the world-wide judgment, by the way. Abraham did not believe in “Jesus Christ.” He believed that God was going to give him a nation that would deliver all nations thru one Seed. Abraham’s faith allowed him to act on God’s command to sacrifice his son, another picture of Christ (Genesis 22). Moses did not believe in “Jesus Christ.” He believed that God’s nation was to be delivered and he was another picture of Christ in that he delivered his people. The Nation of Israel placed their faith in the Messiah, who did not have the name “Jesus Christ” given to them anywhere in Scripture. Faith in “Jesus Christ” was only something for those in Jesus’ day and thereafter. The name Jesus doesn’t even show up in Scripture until the Gospels. If you say you believe in Jesus Christ, you are admitting there is a distinction in God’s program through the ages, which means you are a dispensationalist, whether you want to admit it or not.

Why Your Church Is Dispensational
The fact you have a Church proves it. You don’t think so? Consider the following: Where did Adam and Eve go to church? Where did Noah go to church? Where did Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph go? Where did Moses go? Where did Israel go? Where did Jesus go to church?Throughout the ages man has done different things to worship and learn about God. Adam walked and talked with God. Noah spent some time hearing God’s blueprint for a floating box. Moses got a burning bush. Israel went to the tabernacle followed by the temple. Jesus spent time with his followers wherever he felt like it. The concept of “church” is a dispensational distinctive. If you are not a dispensationalist, then you better start walking and talking with God, building big boxes to float around in, talking to burning bushes, going to the temple, and talking and walking with Jesus. You have to do all of those now if you don’t think there are distinctions in God’s program. If you don‘t do any of these, you just might be a dispensationalist.

Why is your church dispensational? The seating arrangements prove it. Just consider the tabernacle or temple seating arrangement. Only the High Priest could get close to the altar where God was. Only Jewish folks could get close. The women had to be behind the men. Not a Jew? Tough luck pal, you sit way in back. Does your church seat people like this? If not, you just may be a dispensationalist.

Now tell me why he's wrong.
the END

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Another Quiz ... Surprise! I am a Dispensationalist!

You scored as Dispensationalist. Now is the Church Age, but during the millenial reign of Christ, the Jews will once again be the focus of God's plans. You are a firm believer in the rapture and seek to take the Bible literally.





Left Behind




Moltmannian Eschatology






What's your eschatology?
created with QuizFarm.com

Next Post ... Why Your Church Is Dispensational

the END

Monday, December 12, 2005

I Took a Quiz and Now I am a Fundamentalist!

You scored as Fundamentalist. You are a fundamentalist. You take the Bible as the foundation of your faith and read it very literally, and it shapes your worldview. Non-fundamentalist Christians have watered-down the Gospel in your view, and academic study of the Bible stops us from 'taking God at his word.' Science is opposed to faith, as it contradicts basic biblical truths.



Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan


Reformed Evangelical


Neo orthodox


Classical Liberal




Roman Catholic




Modern Liberal


What's your theological worldview?
created with QuizFarm.com

I don't know how they got

... "academic study of the Bible stops us from 'taking God at his word.' Science is opposed to faith, as it contradicts basic biblical truths." ...

from my answers, but, it was fun anyways.

the END

The Soteriology of Christ by Loren

Loren, a friendly, kind, and insightful Christian blogger, has just completed a series of posts on Soteriology. He is asking readers for participation and interaction. I wanted to highlight this series, even though I haven't read through it yet, because I am sure it will be well worth the time to read.
The Soteriology of Christ

the END

Sunday, December 11, 2005

God is the Faithful One

Great is Thy Faithfulness (Thomas Chisholm, 1866-1960)

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love. (Refrain)

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside! (Refrain)

That is one of my favorite hymns. It was written by a man who was born in a log cabin in Franklin, Kentucky. I like it because it's focus is on the faithfulfulness of God, not our imperfect offerings to Him. He is so WONDERFUL!

Below, in a related matter, is a poem about God's faithfulness written by someone from a completely different walk of life in another part of the world. The faithfulness of God is relevant to all of us.

He leads us on by paths we did not know;
Upward He leads us, though our steps be slow,
Though oft we faint and falter on the way,
Though storms and darkness oft obscure the day;

Yet when the clouds are gone,
We know He leads us on.

He leads us on through all the unquiet years;
Past all our dreamland hopes, and doubts and fears,
He guides our steps, through all the tangled maze
Of losses, sorrows, and o'er clouded days;

We know His will is done;
And still He leads us on.

-Nicolaus L. von Zinzendorf, 1700-1760 (born in Dresden, Germany to one of the most noble and wealthy families)

the END

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Profile Pics Perhaps

ruff-ruff! ...................................... a rose is a rose...

christmas rose ................................... pale rose

the END


I figured out how to "collapse" long posts so readers don't have to keep scrolling way down the main page of my blog to get to read the comments. However, I don't know how to not display the "if this doesn't seem like the end of the post, there may be more ... click" link-thing at the end of each post. What I mean is, if I have a small post, and I don't want to collapse it, it still puts that link-thing there. So, I am going to try to put "the End" at the end of every new post from now on. Who knows? Maybe I will not do any more long posts.

I read yesterday in a blogger help page that they have cleared up some of the problems with "comment spam" and they believe they have eliminated 90% of it. Therefore, because "word verification" annoys me, I am turning it off to see if this is true about the 90% elimination. If you see it turned back on, that means I got spammed. Maybe you all would like to try turning it off for awhile, if you think it annoys your readers (like me).

On a darker note, ;~) yesterday in a comment on Purgatorio, I felt like a guy blogger implied that I was a "dog" ... so I am going to change my profile picture soon. Maybe I will choose the letter "R" or put a picture of a "rose." (I haven't been called a dog since the fourth grade!) Maybe I misunderstood. PLEASE, go to Purgatorio and see this comment by scrolling way down, past the Messianic Jewish stuff, past the album covers, to "Christmas Bonus - You Supply the Caption" and see the manger scene with the dogs. Then, open the comments and scroll to the last 6 or 7 commets to see what I am referring to. Tell me if I am misunderstanding this. Defend me! I feel so ugly!!

Finally, look for one or two more posts related to TULIP. (Believe it or not, I wasn't done yet, but I didn't have the stomach to continue just now. I will take a week or two break ... or maybe shorter or longer. Thanks for reading!

UPDATE: The guy blogger was not trying to call me a dog on Purgatorio. He didn't even notice my name. He emailed me an apology. That was a close one. ;~)


Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Batman Quote

Katie Holmes plays Rachel in Batman Begins. At one point in the movie Rachel says to Bruce Wayne (Batman), (not knowing who he is underneath, but only seeing what he is doing in a night life scene),

"It's not who you are underneath ...
it's what you do that defines you."

Is there any biblical truth in that quote?

Katie Holmes.
... yes, Toledo's own Katie Holmes. I grew up 3 doors down from her cousins. She went to the same Catholic grade school and high school I did. Our local news anchors reported on her pre-marital pregnancy (actor Tom Cruise). They acted like it was a great happening ... a cause for celebration! What a world.

the END

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

TULIP SERIES ... My Favorite Comments

(all these comments are on this subject and are from all my posts on TULIP except for two of them, which I have marked and which I read during this time. Some of them made me smile, others not, some I like because they are compliments :~) ... some are deep and others are just funny (to me) for one reason or another!)
No God is not glorified when people are punished in the Lake of Fire. He is glorified, when in His great wisdom, He devises a plan of salvation whereby He pays the debt for lost sinners and then Imputes His Son's righteousness to their account.

Or are you going to say that God is sovereign (in the Calvinistic, not biblical sense) only in the things you enumerate but He checks his sovereignty at the door when it comes to those He wills to go to hell?

Jonathan Moorhead: (made on Doxoblogy)
This brings to mind the Puritan notion that one does not truly understand the Gospel until he or she is willing to be damned for His glory. God is glorified through the damnation of sinners (sound Edwardsian?). Hence, the saints in heaven will glorify God for the attribute of His holy justice. The difficult thing to comprehend ... is the hypothetical situation of being in heaven and praising God for the damnation of your children or parents.

… double predestination. Let’s keep this for another discussion. This is under debate inside Calvinism.

Hi Rose,I'll bet you stay up late nights thinking about all the theology that must be swimming through your head. I just want to say that it's great to see the ways in which God is challenging you, and using you to minister through your blog. The things you, and others here, have shared, are very thought provoking!

If there can be no more sorrow in Heaven (because God has promised it) then I believe we won't know that certain loved ones aren't with us because of the choice GOD made. I believe that no one will be more grieved than God. Yet, herein is the mystery: why doesn't God save Himself from grief? He could, ya know. I don't understand the mystery.

J. Wendell:
Interesting post Rose, but may I say in a critical yet loving manner, that I felt it was a bit too long? It was a bit too long, but very valuable in getting to know where your head is at. BTW I didn't have time to read all the comments yet either. Wow! What a verbose group.

Where is Rose?

Following is a short article …

Yes, John Piper who says: " em faith.?<>(John Piper "TULIP: What We Believe About the Five Points of Calvinism...", pg 25) We must own up to the fact that our "final" salvation (not the present and immediate possesion of eternal life) is contingent on works... well you do the math. It would take Houdini to get out of that quote.

There's really no reason to challenge a translation unless you've seen something else, somewhere else in the Bible, that doesn't seem to click, and you're determined to look deeper until you find how the two can be reconciled.

J. Wendell:
Hi everyone! I want to add my silver dollar, but my two cents will have to do for now…

I totally agree. I was worried you might give us vague sentiemnts about divine mysteries and paradoxes, but I should have had more faith.You are so level-headed.

Interesting note on Blogging : Here's a quick thought wouldn't it be better to be in person and study this from the scripture.

If the Bible is God's revelation of His love for His creation and His plan for its redemption, and if we spread this thickly over whatever we are reading, we usually get it right.

“He that rejecteth Me …” If you reject, then someone has to give you something. How do you resist the Holy Ghost unless He is trying to give you something.

I suffer from The Healthy Blog Addiction of rr. I am a friend and do not intend to sound like I am angry. rr is part of my daily routine and shall continue to be so.
Sister Rose (any relation to the Cornelius brothers...oh,never mind, probably way before your time),

A good deal of the argument hinges on where faith originates from. I do not think the Calvinist premise that faith is purely a gift of God is very certain.

What a wonderful post, yet I am sure it will be a tempest in a teapot to many.

Rose, my apologies for being a big bag of wind.

John Babri:
Its good to someone trying to take a scriptural look at things. So many people just take their stand and go with it.

So the picture of God looking forward into time is as laughably myopic as it is naive. God doesn't look forward - He sees all time and space in the same glance.
Scripture supports the deterministic view over the permissive view … notwithstanding, my everyday life demonstrates that I have free will to do whatever I want.

If we cannot assign any reason for his bestowing mercy on his people, but just that it so pleases him, neither can we have any reason for his reprobating others but his will.

What I have difficulty with is how many people hold different viewpoints so vehemently! It's my way or the highway. It's "surely someone as bright as you can see that I'm right."

Awesome post. This one is good. I should we keep it.

The church we left had a large board up on the wall in the sanctuary one year listing everyone who had made a decision for Christ either at the altar, through visitation or whatever.

Wow, gone for a few days, working overtime, and I see that a book has grown up here in comments. Fascinating discussion. Now I'm away for the holidays.

Shawn, thanks, but being English I was not planning on celebrating thanksgiving.

John Babri:
With out election and universal offer of the Gospel means that there is a potential that none would come to Christ. That is a lot more limited than a God who has a potential to save all but can’t because people do not come to him versus a God who certainly saves those who he draws near to himself.

My brother Pat: (from an email)
If the Calvinists are right, it is almost as if everyone else in the world were just extras on a movie set in which the chosen were the stars of the film, but didn’t know it.

… fact is they are both right, just as Paul and Barnabas were both right.

Rose, please forgive me for being so confrontational, but we speak of things of eternal significance. Every Blessing in Christ …

I do wonder though if some of you indeed understand what Shawn, Blue Collar, Antonio etc. understand. It is impotant in the sense that we see Who is doing the work. I am unsure that their side of the coin is grasped by some.

Note : sorry so long everyone. I'm a total nutcase when it comes to talkative and passionate, but hey wouldn't it be so much better in a bible study session together.

Here in sleeps the mystery but it must, muuuusssssst be accepted. Now please, pleeeaaase go to this passage ….

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

I think your blog is taking on a life of it's own! :o)

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

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

Pssssssssst! I was just thinking (sometimes wish I could stop. My wife does too.)

I think that when it all comes down to it we are like claymation. You know, Gumby and Pokey. God owns our lives 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.

Sigh! … Thank you Rose for yeilding this space.

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

Your posting is full of many thought provoking points and excellent, searching questions, as usual. Sophistry from Spurgeon, I never thought I’d see the day!

I have a friend who is a Five-Pointer. We preached together on Saturday. He told the crowds that Christ did not die for everyone …

Rose, did you ever have the time to read the article? Here is the link:

I think we should be open to challenging some of our more fundamental assumptions.

Rose says: If a person asked you, “Did he [Jesus] die for me?” What do you say to that person? … I wouldn't answer such a question because it is a theological trap.

We all agree I hope that it is a dangerous and careless thing to take a snippet out of the entire context of the bible and inflate it with our own preconceived opinions such that the snippet, in isolation teaches something foreign or contrary to the remainder of scripture. Surely we all agree this is so.

Rose, you had a question, but I'm out of time. Long day at the ranch with lots of runnaway cattle -- so to speak. Perhaps I'll get to it soon.

Rose said: you admit that you can't grab hold of God's mind. Thanks Rose and that is where I would like to stay rather then to venture off into the deep waters assuming I am prepared for them when Methane Bubbles are awaiting me

Think this through - chew on it for a while - if the atonement is not limited, does election make any sense at all?

It really is futile to talk about "atonement", as it is not even a New Testament word (not found anywhere in the New Testament). Jesus Christ is the propitiation for the sins of the world and He, as the lamb of God, took away the sins of the world.

Rose -- that you for your accommodation to us weird Reformed people with your definitions :o). I really appreciate what you're doing.

Calvinism's doctrine of Irresistible Grace teaches that you cannot resist the grace of God, nor can you resist His Spirit. What does the Bible say?

Rose, this has been very interesting. Your posts, as always, are very well thought out.

You've done an excellent job in this post, you're really a very profound thinker.

The wide awake man upon falling out a window manages to grab a curtain and thereby pull himself back inside - has not been "saved by the curtain" - but has merely used the curtain to save himself.

The power is in his hand to convert with irresistible grace but do we weep and pray for the lost? That is the question. I am beginning to convict myself, so I better stop and go pray.

More later one of my kids fell off a chair.......

Rose ~ I can't call you a heretic unless you imagine that Pelagianism is consistent with Christianity. ;-)


I am speechless. But wait ...

If I sound obstinate or purposely contrary, I don't mean to be.

Daniel I very much respect your view. I love my Father in heaven because He first loved me, but my love is a reaction to His love. As a man finds a woman and goes after her and woo her. She can fall in love with him or not.

Jonathan Moorhead:
Rose, do you have the reference for:"[Grace is] 'the holy rape of the soul' -Jonathan Edwards"? Thanks!

People on both sides of this debate quote verses as if the other side are going to say 'Oh, I never read that before. You guys must be right.'

I do not consider myself any one of the "ists" except for ChrISTian!

You may be better off than me about time but I'm trying to state my beliefs.

Temporary faith. What a can of worms.

Again I read with interest but this time my heart won’t let me be silent.

We adopted a little girl. When she was four, she misbehaved. We sent her back to the adoption agency. She seemed to straighten out so we adopted her agian.

I'm not writing this to depress anyone. More later.. especially in the warnings verses

Rose, Can I ask you three questions?

Dear friends let us look to the truth and seek after it instead of prove theology. We cannot seize what belongs to God alone.

So much heartache and trouble would be avoided if this rule of hermeneutics was strictly adhered to

I hope you don't mind my jumping in. This is an interesting topic.

I can smell Covenant theology.

From the moment we are saved, until the moment our flesh is redeemed we will live in tension - if we obey the flesh, the spirit is grieved, if we obey the Spirit, we must overcome our carnal resistance to do so - either way, no matter what we do, it is a struggle and always will be.

Do I know I am saved? Yes, because I am absolutely confident that He gave His life for me and rose from the dead so that I might have life. I know that I am dead to sin and risen with Christ. These facts are my ground of assurance.">And here is the rest of it.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

TULIP ... Perseverance of The Saints

“I have been saved, I am being saved, and I shall be saved...”

Perseverance of the Saints (or preservation of the saints): Any person who has once been truly saved from damnation must necessarily persevere and cannot later be condemned. The word “saints” is used in the sense in which it is used in the Bible to refer to all who are set apart by God.

Perseverance: To persist in a state, enterprise, or undertaking in spite of counterinfluences, opposition, or discouragement

Saints: All who are set apart by God, chosen “in Christ”

Bringing up this subject could lead in many different directions. I have read so many thoughts in the blogosphere in regards to this subject.

1. One blogger says that the argument is a non-argument (losing salvation) because he doesn’t think that there is anything to lose yet. He doesn’t belive that we have obtained salvation. We are on a journey and as long as we are found “in Christ” when the time is up, then we will obtain salvation, but as long as we are still in these bodies, we are not truly saved yet.

2. Others (Arminians) seem to insist that somehow, you can change your mind about the Lord and fall away from Him by your own will, thus undoing any salvation that you may have had. It is as though the salvation in Christ rests upon your continuing decisions wholly. (I’m not sure what the difference between this view and #1 is).

3. Some say that once you hear the gospel and receive Christ, you are His and there is no way that you can ever then become not His. He gives you new life at the point of contact and you cannot ever die (or lose that life) by spiritual murder or spiritual suicide after receiving it, because it is eternal life.

4. Others seem to tie this doctrine to the issue of Lordship Salvation … in other words, salvation is more than just believing and receiving, but you must submit to His Lordship upon salvation or it is no real salvation at all. If you have not submitted to His Lordship, then you will not persevere in the good works which God has before ordained for you to walk in, and this is evidence that you really didn’t receive saving faith from the Lord in the first place.

I have always thought this fifth point of Calvinism to be the #3 belief above, but I may be wrong about that. My thinking that #3 was the doctrine was why I said I could accept it according to my understanding of the Scriptures. However, if I am wrong, and somehow it means something different, than maybe I am not even a “one-point Calvinist” either!

So … if Perseverance of the Saints means that once you hear the gospel, receive Christ, and are born-again, you are His … if it means that there is no way that you can ever, then, become lost again … that He gives you new life and you cannot ever die (or lose that life) by any decision or act of your own or another person or a demon. If that is what Perseverance (or preservation) of the Saints means, then I say amen to it! Here are the passages that would lead me to agree with that doctrine.

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. (John 5:24)

I would here challenge the Arminian or the #1 position from above. One reason why I can’t accept the Arminian label is because of this idea that you can go in and out of salvation for whatever reason. How can you change from being destined for death into a person destined for eternal life and then back into being destined for death again?

All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. (John 6:37)

I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My 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. (John 10:28-29)

The Father gives the believer to the Son. We will never be given back. Why? …because of the greatness of God!

Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life? (Romans 5:9-10)

The believers’ reconciliation was wrought while we were His enemies … (have been saved) … God reached out to us sinners when we were not seeking Him … He sought us … once we become believers, how can we be unreconciled to Him? … by becoming unbelievers?

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30)

The reference to being sealed is that of the branding of an animal. I know people can try to have tatoos removed (but it is never truly removed), but … can you unbrand an animal? … neither can a believer become not one of God’s own. We have become His sheep (however the Calvinist and non-Calvinist differ on how we became those sheep, we can all agree that born-again Christians are truly His sheep, right?)

Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3:2)

We are NOW the children of God.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)

I don’t believe that I was in Christ before I believed, (which is the logical conclusion of Unconditional Election), but now that I am in Christ, I am sealed there. There is no more condemnation to be charged against me. I am elect, or chosen of God by grace through faith, just like it says Ephesians. I have been chosen in Christ through faith in the gospel, and he has certainly predestined me to be conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29) which will happen when I am translated (the shall be saved part of the sanctification process) upon the death of my body or the “rapture”. (We shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is [1 John 3:2])

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy … (Jude 1:24)

He will keep you from stumbling … (am being saved) He presents you blameless, (shall be saved/glorified) not you, yourself, because of your faithfulness or your good works.

Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died--more than that, who was raised--who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword … For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8)

Could we add our own lack of faith after salvation, our struggles with obedience, our lack of good works, our change of heart, our decisions, our rebellion, … to the list of things that can separate us? (These are all sins - Christ died for our sins after we are born-again, too!)

For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. (Romans 11:29)

I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge--even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you--so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Corinthians 1)

And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)

I challenge those who would call questioners of Calvinism Arminian: I firmly refute the Arminian idea of falling from grace or opting out of Christ. I have heard certain Calvinists say that an individual who doesn’t hold to all five points aren’t really Calvinists. So if some are not Calvinists because of rejecting one or more points, then how am I an Arminian?

Now, here comes the difficult part. I have read different places where the idea of once saved always saved is sort of ridiculed … OSAS … and I have read several Reformed people who have said they don’t believe in Eternal Security. This makes me wonder if I understand the doctrine of P correctly. Then I read this:

R. L. Dabney: "We [Calvinists] do not teach that any man is entitled to believe that he is justified, and therefore shall not come again in condemnation on the proposition "once in grace always in grace," although he be now living in intentional, willful sin. This is a falsehood of Satan we abhor. We say, the fact that this deluded man can live in willful sin is the strongest possible proof that he never was justified, and never had any grace to fall from. And, once for all, no intelligent believer can possibly abuse this doctrine into a pretext for carnal security. It promises to true believers a perseverance in holiness. Who, except an idiot, could infer from that promise the privilege to be unholy?"

Traditional Calvinism has uniformly asserted that "no man is a Christian who does not feel some special love for righteousness" (Institutes 3.6) and has rejected carnal Christianity as a form antinomianism.

Carnal Christianity would be a person who has “received Christ” but who lives like the devil, simply put. Is this possible? The Bible says “God forbid.” Where is an example of such a person? It could be said that the opposite of the licentious approach to Christian living would be the approach of Lordship Salvation. Is this the true 5th point of Calvinism? I haven’t fully looked into the Lordship Salvation issue. But I can say this: the offer of salvation in the epistles, after the cross, seems to be one of reconciliation, of imputed righteousness, not Lordship. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ … does this imply a whole bunch of conditions that don’t seem to be on the face of it and other pasages like it? Believe and receive … and submit to Lordship? If we could submit to Lordship, then why do we need the cross and the sacrifice of Christ? I find this doctrine a bit confusing.

These verses are brought up (Hebrews 12:14b, Ephesians 5:5, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10). Hmmm … Christ is our righteousness; He will make us fully worthy when we enter the Kingdom of heaven. He will take the positional sanctification that we have as a regenerated individual and translate it into an undeniable, overwhelming reality as these bodies of corruption are put off. We don’t become perfect in this lifetime. To say that the works that we can do after we become born-again in some way contribute to our salvation … that would seem to me like saying that a snail can help me carry a wheelbarrow of dirt across my yard. (But maybe I misunderstand…)

Either way, if P means that we are to continually be looking at ourselves and other Christians to see if we are submitting to the Lordship of Christ and continually evaluating whether or not we have enough works to prove that we are elect in the first place, then I am absolutely a 0-point Calvinist. It seems that this truly is the view of many of the Reformed people that I run across. I guess the only real purpose of the doctrine is to cast doubt or bring assurance on your own salvation or that of others. Is this the widely held view of the Calvinist or is it #3 from above?

I prefer to just look at the perfection of Christ and to know that it is His righteousness and His alone that will see me into the Kingdom and God’s glorious presence. I don’t want to live in sin, but sin is ever present with me. I don’t go around willfully doing acts of sin, but what about sinful thoughts … jealousy … selfishness … are these not sin? Should I doubt my salvation because I am not over these problems? I dare say, no person could ever be saved if it depended on our perseverance in practical sanctification to save us, just because of the very nature of our fleshly mind that is still here. I believe the teaching of practical sanctification is definitely biblical, but it should encourage us, not become a tool for doubt. I refute doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind!

But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. (Romans 7:23-25)

So am I a one-point Calvinist or not?


Who Links Here