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

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

45 Comments:

  • Hi Rose,

    I agree with Antonio as far as his specific definition of faith. He knows, and you probably know, I have a minor exception of what it is we must have faith in but I've yet to compile my arguments or I would have commented on his site with it. I appreciate that he prefers an informal debate to discuss these matters but I also appreciate that you will accept my simple thoughts on it. Basically I believe we must have faith or trust in the person of Jesus as God the Savior, regardless of our understanding of how it is accomplished through Him where I understand Antonio is persuaded we must have faith in the knowledge of the gift of eternal life through Christ.

    I will also take this opportunity to wish you and your family a very Happy Christmas. ;-)

    By Blogger Kc, at 12/22/2005 3:42 PM  

  • I had read Antonio's article, but thanks for posting the link, Rose~.

    I am not sure that I agree with Antonio on this one, but I will think long and hard about it.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 12/22/2005 3:46 PM  

  • For the first time I have actually gone to Antonio's blog (as opposed to just reading his comments elsewhere).

    Inasmuch as I do not often get into theological discussions with people, I will not comment on the veracity of his thoughts, rather I will say that I enjoyed reading his posts.

    See, you caused me to go there. It's all your fault.

    Thanks!

    By Blogger Joe, at 12/22/2005 4:00 PM  

  • I grew up hearing and believing much of what Antonio now believes. In fact there were differing opinions among groups as it was hard to put everybody in one hat and so I was a bit doubleminded alltogether of what faith really was; but have no fear God makes it clear to us and explains it much better than anyone can.

    "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11 will tell you in the whole chapter what faith is.

    "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that he is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."

    Faith seeks! Why? Because it is a fruit of God's regenerative power. When once that truth hits then it is not hard to see what faith is.

    We are saved by His grace first and as a result faith connects and channels through us as a gift from God so that no man can boast; but we are his workmanship so our faith will grow and bare great fruit. Grace quickens our will toward Him.

    Noah found Grace in God's eyes as well as Abraham. He awakened them to faith and as a result great works came out. Noah had faith so he spent 120 years building an Ark in preparation of a flood.

    Those that would believe in a passive faith back then would have drowned just viewing the Ark as he would a bicycle.

    In much the same way men have a faith of sorts in Jesus yet they don't actually believe he is coming back. If they did they would prepare as Noah did in his day as a result of true faith. He doesn't trust in his works but he works because he trusts.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 12/22/2005 4:56 PM  

  • I need to figure out what I think "faith" really is.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/22/2005 8:52 PM  

  • My intellect is really hurting today, but interesting do you think that Antonio was writing it out to correspond to Oswald's December 22

    Well whatever the case I feel like the dumbest Christian in the World today so I must read my bible and stick there. My brain just won't work today. Why does that happen once in awhile?

    By Blogger Shawn L, at 12/22/2005 8:54 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Just rushing through; I haven't had a chance to read Antonio's article yet, but here's a link with some brief article I wrote on faith a couple of months ago. I'll try to check back again later.

    By Blogger Cleopas, at 12/22/2005 9:34 PM  

  • do you like my new picture?

    By Blogger Shawn L, at 12/22/2005 9:35 PM  

  • Shawn,
    I doubt Antonio makes any decisions about his blog based on Oswald Chambers. :~)
    I like your new picture! John says it is the best one so far. I like it better because I didn't really get what the other one was. What was it?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/22/2005 9:50 PM  

  • Bhedr,

    you completely misuderstand my arguement.

    Faith, as to its exercise thereof in the individual is passive.

    Yet, one gained, that faith is expected to be active, should be active.

    I am talking about how one comes to faith. Faith is not willed. But by faith one can do great things.

    Hebrews 11:1 is a great example of my premise:

    Heb 11:1
    11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
    NAS

    Heb 11:1
    1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
    (NIV)

    This is what faith is: PERIOD. Now the rest of the chapter are speaking about individuals USING their faith to do great things.

    Let us not mix up the concept of believing, exercising faith, and the concept of using that faith to do deeds.

    Faith results when one is "convinced". It is a passive result of being persuaded that something is true.

    But once that faith is held, one may determine to act out on that faith.

    I hope my distinction and what I was actually talking about is ow clearer.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 12/22/2005 9:52 PM  

  • KC,
    Thanks for the thoughts. I remember reading your discussion with Antonio about Eternal Life etc...

    Dyspraxic,
    Yes, I read this sort of sentiment on your comment on his blog.

    Joe,
    You commented on Antonio's blog once before when you blogspotted him. He is quite a read! Whether he is right or not, he is quite a read! (and he may be right, I think he is about a lot of things. And, if nothing else, he will make people think because he is different, but loves the Bible and the Lord.)

    Bhedr,
    Yes, I have heard this ... about faith being "granted" right? I need to look into it more. Reformed Theology, even if you don;t like to label yourself such. I haven't been able to bring myself around to the Reformed position. Not enough faith in it. (or: I'm not persuaded!0 ;~)

    Cleopas,
    I will check out that link later. Thanks for stopping by! (I love your voice)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/22/2005 9:56 PM  

  • KC writes:
    ----------
    Antonio is persuaded we must have faith in the knowledge of the gift of eternal life through Christ.
    ----------
    I don't actually believe that, but I will restate it a little better, for I know what our difference is.

    We must have purposeful faith in Christ for eternal life.

    It is not faith in the knowledge of the gift, it is faith in the giver for the purpose of receiving the gift.

    The gift must be known, or why else would one be persuaded to put their faith in Christ? For a donkey? (hehe!)

    Jesus says "If you knew the gift of God..." Faith in not in the gift, but one must have knowledge of it, for that is the reason one is believing in Christ.

    I just want to shy away from any implication that I believe that one must trust the gift.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 12/22/2005 9:57 PM  

  • Antonio,
    HELLO? Say hi to me at least, when you come over. Compliment my blog graphics, my avatar, my choice of articles to blogspot, or something. What am I, chopped liver? (don't answer that)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/22/2005 9:59 PM  

  • Rose,

    Thank you for the link. You haven't shared any comments though!

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 12/22/2005 9:59 PM  

  • Rose, thanks for sending me over to the Free Grace stuff...

    I can't find much of anything from Antonio that i agree with. It is a classical example imposing your system (namely, free grace theology) onto the Scripture. He uses (at least attempts to) logical and philosophy to the detriment of his arguemnt. We cannot make sense of the realities of salvation by grace through faith. It is something that God must open our eyes too.

    I do agree, as Bhedr so aptly stated on Antonio's blog, that "Faith is born in man by the power of God only so then it is not of him that runneth or willeth but of God who shows mercy awakening that man to faith."

    Faith ITSELF is not volitional. It impossibel for a totally depraved man to volitional place his absolute confidence (what the word pistos actually means) in God, for the totally depraved soul is an enemy of God, a child of wrath, dead in sin. So, yes, faith ITSELF is not volitional - it is passive in the sense that I cannot exercise until I have received the ability to do from God (John 6.44).

    However, Faith does of necessity result in volitional action. Whatever i place my faith in will determine how I volitionally live. If my faith is in government - I will vote democrat, give more taxes to the government, vote for more government programs, etc.... If my faith is in automobiles i am going to spend money to buy one, take care of it, put gas in it and drive it... If my faith is in Christ I am going to live my life as He has required, I am going to serve Him, I am going to battle sin, I am going to seek to glorify Him. If my life is void of the volitional result of faith, it is void of faith. I can say I beleive all I want, but if it doesn't effect the way I live, then I don't really beleive.

    So... my simple definition of faith - A set of beleifs that drive us to action. That seems to be in line with the description of faith in James 2 and the definition and examples of faith in Heb 11.

    Did I muddy the waters more for you?

    By Blogger Reformer, at 12/22/2005 10:00 PM  

  • do you like my new picture?

    Love it!

    BTW,I get in brain freeze modes too.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 12/22/2005 10:00 PM  

  • Antonio,
    Our comments passed in cyberspace. That's better.
    Your friend!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/22/2005 10:01 PM  

  • Rose,

    I agree with Reformed Theology even more so today than I ever did. I have always been leary of being called a Calvanist but I am one.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 12/22/2005 10:04 PM  

  • Antonio,

    Keep seeking brother. Shawn will tell you that I was not far from you a few months ago. Keep digging. God has gifted you with much knowlege. What helped me was when Jesus told Pilot, "You would have nothing were it not given to you from above."

    Everything that He gives should be viewed as a gift and not currency for our appetite if that helps any.

    The prodigal son thought he was entitled to his fathers blessings and thought he could find his happiness in his possessions but he was not happy until he yeilded and became his fathers possession.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 12/22/2005 10:10 PM  

  • Reformer,

    in one sense you say that faith is "absoulute confidence", to this I agree. But then you said if action doesn't spring from it, then it is not "absolute confidence" or "faith".

    I challenge that assumption.

    I am convinced, fully persuaded, and have absolute confidence, (I have faith) that exercise and proper diet can save me from the deadly consequences of heart disease.

    Yet I haven't exercised in a longggg time and I don't eat what I should.

    This is what James would call a "dead faith". It is not that i do NOT have "absolute confidence", because I am CONVINCED concerning exercise and diet. It is that my faith is unproductive and sterile. Now if I were to add works to my faith, I would then energize and vitalize my faith.

    Faith without works is still faith as a car without gas is still a car and a bicycle without a rider is still a bike, and a body without the spirit is still a body.

    The works, the gas, the rider, and the spirit are the animating factors of faith, a car, a bike, and a body, respectively.

    Faith is expected and should be used to produce obedient works. But faith does not necessitate works, as my example shows.

    It is just far too demonstrable in experience and everyday life to show that one may have "absolute confidence" (faith) about something but fail to act on it!

    Too many variables are present. Couldn't one be an infant in Christ and scared of the repercussions of acting out in faith? Are you to tell the infant in Christ that he doesn't have faith?

    There are just too many factors involved. One of the reasons i don't exercise is that I am lazy. It doesn't mean that I am NOT TOTALLY CONVINCED AND PERSUADED and ABSOLUTELY CONFIDENT that exercise can save me from the deadly consequences of heart disease and other ailments!

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 12/22/2005 10:12 PM  

  • Bhedr,

    the quote is:

    John 19:11

    11 Jesus answered, "You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above.
    NKJV

    This is not talking about faith.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 12/22/2005 10:15 PM  

  • And I have already admitted such anyway that the reason man can believe is because of his constitutional ability that God created Him with, so therefore, man can believe because of God.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 12/22/2005 10:15 PM  

  • Reformer,
    You say:
    I can't find much of anything from Antonio that i agree with.
    That doesn't surprise me!
    Even though you and I worked together, I think I probably am more comfortable with His biblical understanding than yours. You say:
    It is a classical example imposing your system (namely, free grace theology) onto the Scripture.

    But, don't you see, the same could be said of "reformed theology."

    Thanks for stopping by! See you Sunday. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/22/2005 10:32 PM  

  • Reformer,
    Does that make me "Semi-pelagian" or "Pelagian" or "Arminian" or some other derogatory label? (don't answer that) ;~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/22/2005 10:44 PM  

  • Antonio,

    True faith occurs when God gives a man a heartattack because he doesn't eat right or exercise. When once the reality hits the man that this is no game; then the man is awoken to true faith.

    A mental knowledge is not faith. It is only intellectual acknowledgement.

    Why do you think Jesus asked his disciples, "Who touched me?"

    "Master, then multitude presses you and you asked who touched you?"

    "I felt power leave me!" Jesus replied.

    He later told the woman as he did many others who *sought*(clap clap) him out, "Go! Your faith has made you whole."

    These people who pressed by force and volition knew their desperate need as they exhausted all other resources and had come to the end of their rope. The rest of the multitudes followed Jesus because they needed some kind of temporary fix demonstrated they didn't seek him but rather his fruits.

    Remember Simon the Pharisee?

    Jesus told him, "Simon I came in your house and you did nothing, but this woman since the time I came in has not ceased to wash my feet with her tears, therefore her sins which are many are forgiven her!"

    How hard it is to convince people that a complacent faith is really not faith but something else that is foreign to God.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 12/23/2005 1:00 AM  

  • This is not talking about faith.> You are correct in that Pilot had not faith, yet he was also being told his will was not free from the sovereign hand of God's purpose.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 12/23/2005 1:15 AM  

  • Bhedr writes:
    ----------
    True faith occurs when God gives a man a heartattack because he doesn't eat right or exercise. When once the reality hits the man that this is no game; then the man is awoken to true faith.

    A mental knowledge is not faith. It is only intellectual acknowledgement.
    ----------
    Does true faith only occur when man is thrown into hell when he doesn't WORK to prove he has faith? When once this reality hits the man, that this is no game in hell, is the man "awoken to true faith"?

    A mental acknowledgement is not faith? What is the extra step that needs to be taken in order for it to be REAL, TRUE, GENUINE faith?

    This is the problem with Reformed theology. You just don't know when you have done enough in order to secure the grace of God.

    The writer of Hebrews says that faith is assurance and confidence.

    If one has assurance and confidence in Christ who says:

    "Most assuredly I say to you he who believes in Me has everlasting life"

    Well, according to this verse, he has everlasting life!

    No added step is required.

    The "added step" of reformed theology is "works". If one does not have works he does not have faith.

    But these two ideas are mutually exclusive.

    "If it is by grace, then it is no longer of works, or else grace is no longer grace" (Romans 11:6)

    "To him who works his wages are not counted as grace but as debt. To him who does not work, but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness"

    Faith is merely taking God at His word, being confident and assured of it. To say that faith = obedience, is to confuse the nature of faith and grace, and to add works to the equation, making works-salvation and works-righteousness.

    I am not comfortable with that in light of the couple of verses I just quoted from Paul.

    WORKS precludes GRACE.
    FAITH is the ANTI-WORK.

    Faith is not tested by what one does!

    Faith is realized by what one is confident and assured about!

    Both John Calvin and Martin Luther understood faith and assurance the same way I do, but their followers, the Puritans, left this simple teaching of theirs, so that the system that is said to represent them, they would not agree to, in this respect.

    In this respect, John Calvin is less Calvinistic than his present day "adherents".

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 12/23/2005 3:23 AM  

  • Absolutely not.
    Some things I agreed with, but the whole post taken together as a definition of faith falls short.

    Faith is a gift from God. No one has this kind of faith until it is given to him by God. (Eph 2:8)

    In James the Demons have this kind of intellectual assent to the facts of God, Jesus, His death and Resurrection, but James points out that this is not a saving faith.

    Faith is an act. It is an act of relying solely on Christ's merits for salvation. That is different from being a work, yet different from what Antonio states.

    Faith is part of conversion. It is the part of conversion that turns to Christ. Repentance is the part that turns from sin. Faith is not faith unless it is part of turning from sin to Christ.

    By Blogger Jeremy Weaver, at 12/23/2005 7:53 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I apologize for misrepresenting Antonio on this matter and it seems our difference is even less than I first perceived.

    Antonia wrote:

    “It is not faith in the knowledge of the gift, it is faith in the giver for the purpose of receiving the gift.”

    My understanding would be:

    It is not faith in the knowledge of the gift, it is faith in the giver for the purpose of receiving eternal life.

    This means I don’t find that we are required to understand how He is our Savior, only that we accept that He is. I will offer my reasoning soon for his critique and look forward to it as well.

    For the record I find Antonio has been blessed to be an excellent theologian who is very articulate and above all I consider him a dear brother in Christ. I look forward to learning from him, as I do from you all, and in addition to his articles he has already pointed me toward several excellent references.

    By Blogger Kc, at 12/23/2005 8:26 AM  

  • Yes, KC. Antonio's stuff is really great.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 12/23/2005 8:28 AM  

  • Merry Christmas Rose and to all your readers!!!!

    Wow, I can see the line drawn in the sand on this post. I'll claim to be Switzerland on this but you probably know which side I find more convincing :)

    By Blogger mas, at 12/23/2005 8:48 AM  

  • Doxoblogist writes:
    Faith is an act. It is an act of relying solely on Christ's merits for salvation. That is different from being a work, yet different from what Antonio states.


    This is much food for thought! I have a study to do. I am glad there are two voices opposing one another that are causing me to want to search this out, but for now I have presents to wrap, oh! the presents!!!!

    kc,
    There is a small, but relevant distinction. I remember that discussion over at his blog and I tended to lean the same way you did. Merry Christmas!!

    mas,
    Are you in Switzerland for the Holidays? ;~) Have a blessed time this weekend. I would love to know what church in these parts you do go to now. (Just because I'm a curious person)

    Matthew,
    Nice to see you!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/23/2005 9:22 AM  

  • Bhedr,
    Thanks for your contributions.

    This made me smile:
    Antonio, God has gifted you with much knowlege.

    I like that. Whether we agree with his findings or not, when someone recognizes the Word as the authority, and they are dilligently searching it's pages for truth, that is respectable! I say that for reformed people and others. I have much love for all of you because of this. My family doesn't even recognize the Bible as authoritative, so I just love the fact that this is a given around these blogs.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/23/2005 9:30 AM  

  • Loren (Cleopas),
    I just clicked your link and wow! All the reading there! Is there any one particular sub-link that you think is more important? (I'm so busy, maybe I just need to wait until I have some more time to read them all.) Merry Christmas!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/23/2005 11:25 AM  

  • Rose, Hi, I like your avatar, your blog graphics are really clever!

    K.C.

    you write:
    ----------
    Antonia wrote:

    “It is not faith in the knowledge of the gift, it is faith in the giver for the purpose of receiving the gift.”

    My understanding would be:

    It is not faith in the knowledge of the gift, it is faith in the giver for the purpose of receiving eternal life.
    ----------
    In these two assertions, there is no difference.

    My point IS that one believes in Christ FOR eternal life. I state that there is only 3 issues in coming to faith for eternal life:

    Jesus Christ
    faith (or believe)
    eternal life

    millions of people have faith in Jesus for various things. But the faith that is the intermediate agency that brings eternal life is faith in Jesus purposefully: in other words, faith in Jesus FOR eternal life.

    Now if someone understands "eternal life" to mean to be cloned, he won't receive cloning nor eternal life.

    If someone believes "eternal life" to mean "something that can be taken away because of a lack of my obedience or faithfulness" then they by necessity must not understand that it is by faith in Jesus alone, by grace.

    Eternal life, in John's writings, is the opposite of condemnation; the one who has life will never come into condemnation (John 5:24). The one with eternal life will never thirst, will never perish, will never hunger again, cannot be taken out of Jesus and the Father's hands. Eternal life is living forever with Christ in the knowledge of God.

    The Arminian would understand eternal life to mean "potentially temporary life" which one COULD thirst again, could perish, could be snatched, could come into condemnation.

    If one does not understand that eternal life is eternal security, he has functionally believed in Christ for "a donkey".

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 12/23/2005 12:15 PM  

  • Hey, Antonio, that doesn't count. I need niceness here. I am a friend, remember?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/23/2005 12:18 PM  

  • ... but if you want to get into all that again about what a person is having faith "FOR", just put a link back to that post of yours, K? You are welcome to do that here. Your friend!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/23/2005 12:22 PM  

  • There I go preaching again.

    K.C.,

    you are wonderful. Can we have tea in the kingdom? I like English caffeinated teas with scones, crumptets, smoked salmon...

    Have a Merry Christmas, and i do look forward to your articles.

    I think I will give myself a heart attack always responding everywhere. Well, then, according to some, I will have TRUE faith and not mere INTELLECTUAL ASSENT to the conviction, absolute certainty that exercise and diet can save me from the deadly consequences of heart disease.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 12/23/2005 12:25 PM  

  • Hi Rose~
    who else could bring such a diverse crowd together, centered on God's Word, to discuss a serious topic, and in a civil respectful way.
    Rose, I don't want anyone to take this the wrong way (you know no one on this planet compares, to you as far as my earthly affection goes), I enjoy the comments on your blog as much as your posts.

    Merry Christmas All,
    brother John :)

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 12/23/2005 2:14 PM  

  • Rose,
    I agree with John and I'm sure he must be so proud (in the southern sense of course, which means very, very grateful). I think God has blessed you with a special talent to moderate these discussions. ;-)

    By Blogger Kc, at 12/23/2005 6:11 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Sorry it took me so long to get back to your question. Also, I've not had time to read the other comments here, so I apologize if some of this is redundant. Here's the brief summary on faith, check me out on this and see if this isn't so:

    Faith is a relationship in which God initiates and man responds by believing God - just as it was with Abraham, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

    This initiation can include instructions to man, in which case He makes a way and we are required to follow; it can include covenants in which our fidelity is required (just as He, Himself is faithful), or it simply can pertain to historical information, such as details of the creation, since none of us were there at the time and we must accept His word on it.

    But in each of these cases, please notice the interpersonal connection in which He leads and we submit to His leading.

    Therefore faith, as a relationship, is not to be confused with an impersonal 'arrangement' ("I do, you do"). Nor is it our initiative that He must respond to, nor an autonomous creative force (Lam 3:37-38). Nor is it the power of positive thinking, because we refuse to believe otherwise. Nor is it something we use in conjunction with fasting to twist God's arm (which is better described as a hunger strike).

    Heb 11:1 says that faith is assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (NAS). Let's use Abraham again as an example of what this means:

    Abraham was assured of the birth of Isaac, and he believed God. This attitude of belief was evidence, in itself, that the event was not yet an actuality. (as in Romans 8:24). So on Abraham's end of this relationship, he was trusting God at His word.

    On God's end, He periodically assured Abrham of the promise, repeating it to him at least twice more before it actually occurred. This is 'the assurance of things hoped for', and again we see the underlying concept of a relationship. It had been a long time. God cared; God assured and comforted.

    The links I gave will provide more details on faith, but I hope this will be helpful.

    By Blogger Cleopas, at 12/24/2005 11:21 AM  

  • Loren,
    Thank you so much. I really have a lot of thinking and digging to do. I will be doing a post on Faith soon perhaps as a part of my digging. I think what you have said is very well put, very well thought out. I just don't know what I think "faith" is. (What a thing to say!) I know I have "faith", but what exactly is it, where did it come from, where does it reside, what is it made up of, etc... etc...

    I pondered, as I have before, a little about faith in this post: here
    (the fifth paragraph)
    but I guess I didn't realize what a can of worms the question really is.

    What do you think about that fifth paragraph?

    In what, if any, respect do you think Antonio's idea of faith is true?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/24/2005 3:51 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I assume you’re referring to Antonio’s December 22 posting. Antonio has a unique, philosophical style of presenting his arguments, which we may sometimes seem unfamiliar to us. However, I have considered his arguments very carefully and I was able to verify most of it by Scriptural references. The only exception I would make is in his closing statement. Having previously stated:

    “Doubt precludes faith (Romans 14:23; Jas. 1:6, 7). A single doubt about the gospel offer will keep one from saving faith.”
    It is inconsistent to end by saying:

    “If he believes the offer of Christ, he by virtue of that faith has certain assurance of eternal life, for the guarantee is explicit in the offer. This is what some have described as "assurance is of the essence of saving faith".

    For what if doubts should arise at a later time? The intellectually honest conclusion is that if the first quotation is true, then the second is not, or vice-versa. Either steadfast faith is a crucial element to salvation or it is not: one cannot begin in the spirit and then be made perfect in the flesh. As in a common flaw between Calvinism and Arminianism, Antonio has difficulty explaining the status of the backslider.

    As a framework for this area, we should note that Antonio’s perspective also assumes salvation to be an event, like punching a ticket, rather than an ongoing walk; and I would differ with that or ask him to explain it better.

    As for your question. You believe God spoke through the Bible, right? And you put your trust in Him, according to His words, right? Then you have faith. It’s really that simple.

    It’s past midnight so I’d better go to bed. Oh, by the way, one last thing. Nostradamus was sometimes pretty amazing when it came to the kingdoms of this world, but he didn’t speak much about the kingdom of God except to point to Catholicism. That should tell you something about the source of his visions (Luke 4:5; 1 Cor 2:8; Deut 13:1-5).

    By Blogger Cleopas, at 12/25/2005 1:10 AM  

  • Hi Rose~
    Merry Christmas!

    Hi Antonio,
    You said, "...the Puritans, left this simple teaching..."
    The puritains impressme as leagalists!

    Merry Christmas all,
    brother John

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 12/25/2005 8:34 AM  

  • Hi Cleopas,
    I am referring to the article I blogspotted here.

    I don't really see the contradiction in those statements. Of course, maybe I am looking at them differently than you. I don't see the backslider as being a problem because I believe you actually have salvation when you come to faith (I know you hold a different perspective on that). So if you look at Antonio's quotes with that perspective in mind, that salvation is not a life-long process, there really isn't a contradiction. (but you've already recognized that view with your ticket-punching illustration, so I am not sure why you still say there is a contradiction) I guess I'm a little confused.

    you say:
    As for your question. You believe God spoke through the Bible, right? And you put your trust in Him, according to His words, right? Then you have faith. It’s really that simple.

    Well, that was always good enough for me in the past. However, reading all these blogs, I have come to discover that there are so many different ideas of faith. This idea of "temporary faith" was thrown out there. "Regeneration preceding faith" was introduced to me (along with my new understanding of what is meant by total depravity - it is all a lot to digest). ... Faith being a gift ... I need to work through all of it.

    That is quite interesting your observation about Nost. Do you think he was possessed by the demon of Catholicism? :~)

    I hope you had a wonderful holiday with your wife.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/26/2005 9:35 AM  

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