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

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

What is Faith? (part 5)

... still more on "Is Faith a Gift?"

I am now covering two more verses that my brother, Pat emailed me to show me that faith is a gift, not a human response.

1 Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: (2 Peter 1:1)
They received the faith. Peter is introducing a letter and he begins by referring to the body of truth which the church rests upon – the faith. I immediately thought of this verse and then found others:

Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. (Jude 1:3)

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. (1 Cor. 16:13)

They only heard the report: "The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy." (Gal.1:23)

The word for “faith” in those 4 verses is all the same Greek word: pistis ... so this is not a sloppy interpretation. But, if Peter didn’t mean “faith” in reference to the body of truth, but if he meant it as referring to belief in the gospel, then he is saying that they obtained this belief by lot. (Look up the Greek word for obtained). Now, why does this imply it to be by sovereign decree? They were preached the faith, the Holy Spirit was active drawing all men unto Christ as the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, and they obtained a faith in that message as they were convinced of the truth of it. I am not convinced this shows that the God deposited belief whilst the recipients had no outstretched hand.

But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. (2 Cor. 3:15-16)

God removes the veil, but not when we are unwilling to turn to Him in faith and see/hear the truth.


1Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2)
This is a great passage! This verse presents Christ as the leader of the church. The Greek word for author is leader. It is the same as was translated captain in an earlier passage of this same book of Hebrews.

For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. (Hebrews 2:10)

Christ is God, and man. He is our example as He has founded the road of faith. He was truly faithful unto God, was He not? He trusted, He believed, He hoped, He was the perfect man – the quintessential disciple! He is distinct, in this way, from the examples in chapter 11. This verse says that we are to follow His example, who not only pioneered the way of faith, but took it to its completion. This reminded me of the fact that the way He is in glory is how we shall be one day be. (1 John 3:2) Also - “He fulfilled the ideal of faith Himself, and so, both as vicarious offering and example, He is the object of our faith.” (Commentary on the whole Bible, Jamieson, Fausset & Brown) This Jesus has finished the race ... and is now the glorified, perfect man. He has authored and finished the way of faith unto victory for us. I am so glad for this!

Does this teach that He is the anonymous billionaire who deposits money into the bank account regardless of whether or not the recipient wants to meet him? That certainly is not the intent of these verses in Hebrews, but the passage was so encouraging and wonderful to study!

134 Comments:

  • More great Biblical exposition.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 5/02/2006 2:46 PM  

  • Ros(i)e ~

    Oops! My comments pertaining to part 5 appear among comments pertaining to part 4.

    By Anonymous jim mcdermott, at 5/02/2006 2:48 PM  

  • (Here, Jim, I moved your commment up from the other post and combined it with the oops one for you. Is this good?:)

    Hebrews 12 pertains ONLY to Christians. Jesus pioneered our "walk" in faith by living as He did. His focus was "the joy set before Him". Our focus should be similar; as Martin Luther said regarding the BEMA seat [2 Cor. 5:10 ("[f]or we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may be repaid for what he has done in the body, both good and bad")(HCSB)]:

    "Live this day for that day".

    God will wipe away every tear, yes, AFTER THE MILLENIUM (I know, context, schmontext, but Rev. 21:4 permits no other conclusion). All who die once (i.e. all who are not cast into the lake of fire following the Great White Throne Judgment) will receive some rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ, but our realization of the opportunities we squandered, usually knowingly, to live for Him and His Kingdom rather than for ourselves will cause each of us shame, embarrassment, and regret at levels beyond which we have ever even imagined while on earth.

    The profound shame, embarrassment, and regret which all who die once will suffer will last for 1007 years plus the number of years we're no longer breathing oxygen prior to the Rapture. THEN, "God will wipe away every tear". Living this day for that day (the day of the Bema Seat judgment) will result in greater rewards and fewer tears.

    By Anonymous (jim mcdermott), you, at 5/02/2006 3:25 PM  

  • Thank you Matthew,
    Sometimes you are a man of so few words. :~)

    Jim,
    I think you are saying that you agree with me about the Hebrews passage, but perhaps you just can't find it in you to say "you are right about the Hebrews passage"?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 5/02/2006 3:26 PM  

  • I do not see that these verses are teaching that faith is a gift. Pistis can either refer to the moral conviction of religious truth, or by extension, the system of religious truth itself. By the inclusion of the definite article, I think this clearly refers to the system of belief rather than the act itself.

    I haven't commented much in this series, but I have been reading it and have enjoyed it immensely. You have done a great job of exploring this thought.

    By Blogger Gordon Cloud, at 5/02/2006 5:12 PM  

  • "How come we to be believers? Beloved friends, you know how faith arises in the heart from the human point of view. We hear the gospel, we accept it as the message of God, and we trust ourselves to it. So far it is our own work; and be it remembered that in every case faith is and must be the act of man. The Holy Spirit never believes for anybody. Each man must personally believe.

    ...But , having said that, let us remember that the Godward history of our believing is quite another thing, for true faith is always the gift of God and work of the Holy Spirit." CH Spurgeon in contending against Romanism with the message: {The Priest Dispensed With}

    By Anonymous Methinks, at 5/02/2006 5:13 PM  

  • Ros(i)e ~

    Muy bueno (it can't hurt to practice my espanol, I suppose). Thanks!

    Other than as to soteriology, my guess is that your theology and mine are congruent. But then, other than that, Mrs. Cole, ... .

    By Anonymous jim mcdermott, at 5/02/2006 6:34 PM  

  • Reading this series I keep coming back to the same thought:

    one's concept of total depravity drives the interpretation of these texts. If sin renders the sinner incapable of believing, then faith must be a sovereign gift. If sin has not rendered the sinner incapable of belief, then faith is a human generated entity.

    By Blogger Jonathan Moorhead, at 5/02/2006 6:58 PM  

  • Jonathan,

    I am nearly inclined to agree with you, but there is a fulcrum here that I cannot ignore. The danger is telling men they cannot believe, when Christ is commanding me to and His very Spirit was vexed at our unbelief. So in one sense though you believe to be aiding God in his Sovereignty, you are the same time giving vice for the enemy. The command is to Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Calvinist may understand some fundamental truths, but many times they ignore others. It is much like a practitioner showing up in the Surgeons room and telling the Doctor, who is operating on the heart to step back and allow him to use his bayonet from his time back in the military as a Navy Corpsman. Perhaps he might know some things and possibly even save the life, but he will also induce severe damage with his very wise and schooled, but limited understanding.

    Brian(bhedr)

    By Anonymous Methinks, at 5/02/2006 8:34 PM  

  • Hi Rose~
    How are you?
    Take care, sis :)

    By Blogger audrey`, at 5/03/2006 2:55 AM  

  • If one strings enough scriptures together that seem to support one's point of view, is that a verification of the point of view?

    Remember, scripture says: "Judas went out and hanged himself." "Go thou and do likewise." and "What thou doest, do quickly."

    Which is more important, the source of our faith or the object of our faith?

    I'm NOT saying we should not examine the issue, it just seems to me that stringing scriptures from various places does not solve the problem.

    By Blogger Joe, at 5/03/2006 7:33 AM  

  • Hi Joe!
    Thanks for commenting. Actually Joe, I did not pick these verses. My brother emailed me all these different verses that he says teach that faith is a gift, not a human response to the gospel. He wants to know what they mean. I want to know what they mean. I agree, that this is not the best way to come to conclusions about big truths. However, I thought that by doing this it could be helpful to me and maybe cause me to see something I wasn't seeing, and, at the same time, show him that I am not of the mind to just brush off his concerns and challenges from the Bible without taking a real honest look. Capiche?

    BTW, the illustration about Judas and go do likewise is so good - I have seen you use that one before. :~) Thanks, Joe. Also - you're right - I keep coming back to that in this study - that the object of our faith, Jesus Christ, is a person who brings peace and rest.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 5/03/2006 8:00 AM  

  • Jonathan,
    Shouldn't we put aside doctrines like "inability to believe" and just see what the Scripture teaches? I never heard of "inability to believe" until last summer. I never saw the Bible teaching "inability to believe" before that time and I still don't see it. I think that is just one of those deductions based on a premise that is brought to the texts. Could that be right?

    Audrey,
    Thanks you. I am fine. God bless you.

    Gordon,
    Thank you for reading and for commenting. Thank you for the encouragement!

    Methinks,
    Thank you. :~) Your thoughts are appreciated.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 5/03/2006 8:06 AM  

  • Rose,
    Did your brother really say that faith is not a human response to the Gospel? Calvinists believe that it is. It's the origin of faith that is the question. Faith is a response to the Gospel, but how do we come to have that faith? If that faith were in us from the start, then why had we not believed the Gospel unitl we did?
    The Calvinist view is that the Gospel preached in the power of the Spirit regenerates the sinner, who in turn responds in faith, which is given to him at regeneration. So that faith is said to be truly mine and yet it is a gift. It is the Spirit who gives faith so that it can be the sinner who exercises faith.

    By Blogger Jeremy Weaver, at 5/03/2006 8:08 AM  

  • Hi Jeremy!
    You say:
    If that faith were in us from the start, then why had we not believed the Gospel unitl we did?

    This is a straw man. I am not advocating that faith was in us from the start. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. You speak of faith as though it were an entity. I see it more simply. Faith is knowing something is true - trusting the veracity of someone or some message, even though you cannot prove it is true.

    The Calvinist view is that the Gospel preached in the power of the Spirit regenerates the sinner,

    Why not just leave it where the Bible leaves it: the Gospel is preached, a person hears, and he obtains faith by hearing. (Romans 10:17) Where does the Bible list this order of events that you present?

    who in turn responds in faith, which is given to him at regeneration.

    Doesn't this bother you at all? According to this, it would seem that sinners are given the Spirit of God who have not turned to him, who have not believed His gospel. No matter how many different ways I try to think about that one, it doesn't fit "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved."

    So that faith is said to be truly mine and yet it is a gift.

    Yet, it is not what appropriates salvation and new life in Christ. Regeneration has already occurred. I would say then, that it might as well be we are saved by grace without faith. What is the point of faith, if God has re-birthed us without our having turned our ear to His message?

    It is the Spirit who gives faith so that it can be the sinner who exercises faith.

    So, faithless, gospel-rejecting sinners are given the Spirit of God. I have a real problem with that thinking. I do love the thinker, though! :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 5/03/2006 8:57 AM  

  • Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

    That statement destroys your argument that faith is not a gift. Faith obviously is a gift that comes to a sinner through the proclamation of the Wrod of God.
    Doesn't this bother you at all? According to this, it would seem that sinners are given the Spirit of God who have not turned to him, who have not believed His gospel.
    That is exactly what Paul teaches in Romans 3. No one seeks after God, we are all gone aside, we are altogether unprofitable,...

    Got to get back to work. I'll respnd in more detail later.

    By Blogger Jeremy Weaver, at 5/03/2006 9:09 AM  

  • It says faith "comes" ... not faith is "given" ...

    By Blogger Rose~, at 5/03/2006 9:13 AM  

  • Comes from where? If it is is not in us as you have already said, then it must come form a source outside of us. That would make faith to be given to us, and therefore, a gift.

    Seriously, I have to work.

    By Blogger Jeremy Weaver, at 5/03/2006 10:06 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    What Jeremy brings up about Romans 3 is so true..No one seeks God, no one understands Him, all have turned aside (spiritual death). We can not use John 12:32 to effectively wipe out these claims of Paul. No where in scripture are we invited to do so.

    As I see Ephesians 2:4-5 God makes us alive with Christ with out any indication that we do something first.

    As I see Paul's 2nd letter to the Thessalonians chapter 2, Paul is talking about the future and the wickedness of that time to come in verses 3-12. But, something was different about these thessalonian saints, something that put them on a different course than the one that will be taken by the wicked men of that time. Look at verse 13: "But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth."

    We see here that the Thessalonians were chosen for salvation. We also see here that the reason the Thessalonian saints were on a different course was because of the Spirit's sanctification. Spiros Zodhiates Th.d. in his definition of sanctification says of its application here: "Hagiasmos refers not only to the activity of the Holy Spirit in setting man apart unto salvation and transfering him into the ranks of the redeemed, but also to enabling him to be holy even as God is holy...page 70 Word Study Dictionary.

    "setting man apart unto salvation...transfering him into the ranks of the redeemed". The Spirit's work was the only thing separating the Thessalonian saints from going down that same path that the wicked mentioned in the earlier verses are going to take.

    Some systems of theology gives fallen man way too much credit.

    By Blogger bluecollar, at 5/03/2006 11:16 AM  

  • I must add that I love my sister Rose. She is a great thinker and always challenges us.

    Thank you Rose!

    By Blogger bluecollar, at 5/03/2006 11:24 AM  

  • Bluecollar,
    Do you have anything to say about the post - about the verses that I took a lot of time to look into? I love you too, but I feel statements like this are unfair:

    Some systems of theology gives fallen man way too much credit.

    I could see you saying that if I was presenting the idea of working your way to heaven or some other works-righteousness.

    I am not trying to give anyone credit. I am convinced thus far that the door of salvation is open to all. I am convinced so far that if anyone - I have a particular relative in mind - burns in hell, it is not because God has not done all that is needed for her to find peace, but it is out of pride and religious loyalty that she will not receive the simple gift of salvation by faith. The way this other doctrine presents things would have me believe that God just wants her to burn in hell. He just didn't chose her. I cannot see that. I believe in human responsibility. If you think that is "giving people credit", I don't know how.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 5/03/2006 11:39 AM  

  • Faith is the substance of things hoped for... the evidence of things not yet seen.

    By Blogger Ryan S., at 5/03/2006 12:07 PM  

  • My dear sister,

    I am in the same boat you are with loved ones who do not know the Lord. I know exactly how your heart feels towards them, wondering about the claims of calvinism and how, if true, it would effect their out come. My son is very rebellious and shows signs of outward hatred for Christ. He rarely tries to cover that hatred. I have prayed with him and taught him the scriptures since he was an infant. And now this rebellion. I DO wonder what will be his eternal fate. Whether I embrace calvinism or not will not have any bearing on that though.

    I must go on living Christ in front of him, and pray for his salvation. Paul prayed for his own countrymen in Romans 10. I will follow his example with my son.

    I do feel your anguish, please believe that. I pray for you on a regular basis. I shall add this matter of your unsaved loved one to my prayers for you.

    I love your concern for souls.

    By Blogger bluecollar, at 5/03/2006 12:19 PM  

  • Ryan,
    I have been thinking about that verse since I started this series on faith. I love that verse and I think it is key! I intend on using it on my final post on this subject, which will be sometime over the next few days. Thanks for stopping by!

    Bluecollar,
    I should have left the reference to the relative off. I AM sorry about your son, that has got to be tough.

    I did not mean to bring an emotionally charged aspect into the discussion about what is faith. We can studt theology without getting emotional and emotional things should never be our driving force in interpreting the Bible! If I was convinced your way, it would be very disturbing, but if I were convinced, I would believe it nonetheless. These verses just aren't saying the same thing to me as they seem to say to you. I really do wish somebody would tell me just as to these verses that I have covered here - am I wrong and why?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 5/03/2006 3:55 PM  

  • Doxoblogist,
    I don't know if you will come back or not, but you ask "comes from where?" Where does learning come from? We learn math in school. We didn't know it before we heard it; knowing math was not inside us. We learn it when we hear it and understand it. Is it a gift to learn math? Does knowledge of math come from somewhere? It comes from hearing and understanding.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 5/03/2006 3:58 PM  

  • Rose, I tend to agree with you on Romans 10. The faith mentioned there is a product of our willingness to respond to the truth of the Word.

    By Blogger Gordon Cloud, at 5/03/2006 4:28 PM  

  • Methinks, was God "giving vice to the enemy" when He commanded Pharoah to let His people go? Later God hardened Pharoah's heart so that he did not do what God had commanded him.

    Rose writes, "Faith is knowing something is true." This seems to be getting to the real issue. Are believers, from your perspective, more intelligent?

    Additionally, inability to believe is taught in many places, IMO. I'll mention a couple or three:

    Matt. 11:27 “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him." (Rose writes, "I am convinced so far that if anyone - I have a particular relative in mind - burns in hell, it is not because God has not done all that is needed for her to find peace" [cf. Rom. 9:22 "What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?"] ).

    John 6:44 “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day."

    1Cor. 2:14 "But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised."

    Rom. 3:11 There is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God"

    By Blogger Jonathan Moorhead, at 5/03/2006 5:32 PM  

  • Rose,
    Your learning comes from your teacher. It is a gift from them. The real question though is "How did they come to know math?"

    And I see from the rest of the comments that I do not have to finish what I was going to say. Thanks Mark and Jonathan.

    By Blogger Jeremy Weaver, at 5/03/2006 6:24 PM  

  • "Shouldn't we put aside doctrines like "inability to believe" and just see what the Scripture teaches? I never heard of "inability to believe" until last summer. I never saw the Bible teaching "inability to believe" before that time and I still don't see it. I think that is just one of those deductions based on a premise that is brought to the texts. Could that be right?"

    I think Scripture does show us man's inability:

    Romans 8:6,7 -

    For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so

    By Blogger Gayla, at 5/03/2006 8:27 PM  

  • Regarding the salvation of some and not others:

    A statement that says it is 'unfair' that there are people who go to hell assumes that our salvation 'IS' fair - when the reality is if we get what is 'fair' then we all get hell.

    That God chooses to redeem some most assuredly shows His mercy.

    I'm quite sure that my own father is not spending his eternity in heaven. (see, it's even difficult to say/write aloud that he's probably in hell) But it is solely and totally the grace of God that allows me to go on functioning with that knowledge.

    I'm kind of rambling tonight, but I guess what it really boils down to is this: Man is full of pride. We tend to get very offended when a sovereign God collides with our own theology about Him. We see it as an affront if something/someone steps on our 'free will.' Bottom line is that everything we possess comes from God; this whole thing is His deal; He is in heaven and He does what He pleases. (Psalm 115:3)

    By Blogger Gayla, at 5/03/2006 8:39 PM  

  • Rose,

    Jeremy Weaver:" Faith is a response to the Gospel,..."

    JW:"It is the Spirit who gives faith so that it can be the sinner who exercises faith."

    O.k., this much makes sense. The above is describing an ability to believe. Just not the rest of it.

    This explanation is way too fragmented and may bewilder and confuse any hearer because according to this next statement, the hearer of Jeremy's/Calvin's doctrine is presented with an incomplete scheme of hearing/regeneration/faith. And a not too bad representation of hearing/faith/regeneration

    "The Calvinist view is that the Gospel preached in the power of the Spirit regenerates the sinner, who in turn responds in faith, which is given to him at regeneration. So that faith is said to be truly mine and yet it is a gift. It is the Spirit who gives faith so that it can be the sinner who exercises faith."

    The hearer of the gospel in that statement responds with faith which he does not have yet, unless the Spirit regenerates him and gives him the faith all at once. But then He's been regenerated before He's even had a chance to, as Jeremy said, exercise his belief. This would indeed be a quirky little mystery if this is how believing really happens. You've already cited this problem in one of your comments. As a believer trying to make sense of that I would be bewildered much less a preconvert coming upon it.

    Either this is some sort of insufficient explanation of Calvin's view or it's not Calvin's view. Cause it doesn't make sense. This cannot be an acceptable explanation of this doctrine.

    Jeremy says faith is a human response to the gospel, and that Calvinist's believe that it is. And then He asks a question, and answers it with that tangled up Calvin doctrine explanaion. And then closes with two statements that are vitually the same as the 'non-Calvinist' literal/scriptural idea of belief, or the 'exercising' of faith by the hearer of the word unto salvation.

    "So that faith is said to be truly mine and yet it is a gift. It is the Spirit who gives faith so that it can be the sinner who exercises faith."

    I think it would be useful if he rephrased this more unambiguosly, and tortured us no more. It is not very useful as it stands.

    By Blogger Todd, at 5/03/2006 8:46 PM  

  • Todd,
    1. Would you care to share with me Calvin's doctrine of regeneration and faith?
    2. 'Calvinism' as a theological system and what Calvin taught are not synonymous. Athough this is one area where Calvinism and Calvin do, in fact, agree.
    3. Show me one verse of Scripture where faith is required for regeneration.
    4. You are very good at reading critically. Now try reading knowledgably.
    5. Read Romans 8-11.
    6. Calvinism utilizes a literal interpretation of the Bible.
    7. I'm sorry that I did not have the time to develop the doctrine further, but thaought that since the readers of this blog have already interacted with Calvinism that they would understand what I said.
    8. Please point me to Scripture that disproves what I said rather than repeat over and over that my statements don't make sense.
    9. Try to understand.
    10. Faith is mine to place in Christ only because it has been given to me by the Spirit. Is that still ambiguous?

    By Blogger Jeremy Weaver, at 5/03/2006 9:39 PM  

  • Jonathan and Jeremy,
    Matthew 11:27 is not in reference to where we are at presently. The Lord has now laid down His life - the gospel is going out into all the world with the power of the Holy Spirit. The verses you cite in Romans 9 are not about individuals. Paul is weeping over his people - his nation. The two individuals mentioned are representatives of nations. You cannot consider that point of view, though, even though it seems very plain to me, because it wouldn't support the doctrine you are so fond of. :~)

    John 6 says that no one comes unless the father draws and I have already said that I understand that. What the verse doesn't say is that only certain ones are drawn or that every drawn one will come.

    1 Cor. 2:14 - Of course unsaved people can't understand spiritual things, but the gospel of Christ is the bridge between the natural man and the Spirit of God. It is meant for sinners, for "natural men" Jonathan, it has "appeared unto all men." Of course no one seeks after God, HE has sought after us! I never said that we seek after God. The way you present Romans 3:11 makes me wonder what you do with the account of Cornelius. So - since I have answered your points raised - why don't you have at it about Cornelius? :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 5/03/2006 10:25 PM  

  • Gayla,
    The verses you present show me that the flesh cannot be subject to the law. It says nothing about "inability to believe."

    ALso - have I ever used the word "fair"? Not once. You can search my archives - it is not in my vocabulary when discussing this subject. I use the word "responsibility." If C doctrine is true, man is not responsible. If faith is a gift, that must be given because men are UNABLE to believe, then this verse means nothing:

    John 3:17For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil."

    We are unable to keep the law, but we are not unable to believe, that is the simple, beautiful truth of the gospel. God has opened the door and done all for us, but He will not believe for us, *that* we are responsible to do.

    I am not offended at the sovereignty of God! I just see it differntly than you - I see that He has sovereignly declared that whoever comes to Him by faith is the one He will have mercy on. I got this idea from Paul. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 5/03/2006 10:36 PM  

  • That's fine Rose. Throw out the verses you don't like. But let me ask one question first, Does Matthew 11:28 (the very next verse)still apply?

    John 6:37 says that all that the Father has given the Son will come to Him.

    Why can't we believe that there was some sort of prior working in Cornelius before he sought after God?

    By Blogger Jeremy Weaver, at 5/03/2006 10:38 PM  

  • Jeremy,
    What could be complicated about me illustrating, by what you said, that what you said, is unclear, abiguous. If you are content with it then that is sufficient. But I don't get it. There should be no large amounts of time required for you to develope an explanation that is understandable to a fellow believer, just say it Jeremy.

    Jeremy, scripture declares that regeneration is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the individual. It declares that the Holy spirit is given to an individual upon that individuals belief in God's gospel. Even a child would not have difficulty undestanding what I just said. Now how would you explain so a child could understand that same process the way you understand it?

    Don't make me jump through a bunch of pointless hoops. I showed you how you were unclear. How your words do not shake out. Rise to the occassion and make a better defense of what you believe. Sharpen yourself a little bit. Don't blame it on me. If you take the time to think! and put your understanding in a couple of clear sentences, as I have, then you will have acheived the first basic level in being able to express your beliefs to others. I simply gave you the opportuity to clarify. If you are happy with what appears to me as a kind of tangled up wording and esoteric meaning in your statement, then maybe it is me.

    By Blogger Todd, at 5/03/2006 10:41 PM  

  • Jonathan,

    Moses was given a command that would bring judgment and was specifically told of the work in Pharoahs heart by God. We are given a salvific command of hope and we are not instructed as to the hearts condition of those we speak to. In fact we are told to give hope to every creature. This is our command and great commission.

    By Anonymous Methinks, at 5/03/2006 10:52 PM  

  • OK, Jeremy,
    I'm tired and that was a very incomplete answer. I apologize. I don't mean to throw out verses, never. I stick by what I said about there being a difference between that time and the present because the Crucifixion/Ressurection and Pentecost were pretty big events that had real significance in my humble opinion.

    25At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.
    27"All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
    28"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."


    I cannot see how this says that Christ has predetermined individuals that He will reveal Himself to. He describes things about them: child-like, weary and heavy-laden, but I honestly don't see this as saying that there is a list of names. He says that God has chosen to reveal the Himself to those who come to the Son. Why is this so hard?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 5/03/2006 10:54 PM  

  • He says that God has chosen to reveal Himself to those who come to the Son.
    No. He doesn't say that. He says the opposite. He says that, "No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him."
    I think you are not being honest with Scripture here.

    Todd,
    Regeneration (being born again) is being made alive. If I am dead, then I can do nothing to bring myself to life. I can't place faith in Christ if I am dead.
    On the other hand, I don't need regeneration if I am alive.
    Paul tells us that we are dead. (Ephesians 2:1-5) And Jesus tells us that no one can enter the kingdom of God until they have been born again, indeed we cannot even see the kingdom of God until we have been born again. (John 3:3,5)
    Scripture never says that we will be born again if we believe on Christ. On the contrary Paul tells us that the natural man (unregenerate) can not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God. (2 Corinthians 2:13)

    Are you a teacher in Israel and you don't know these things?

    By Blogger Jeremy Weaver, at 5/03/2006 11:31 PM  

  • BTW Rose,
    I believe that the Cross and Pentecost had real significance too. But does that mean that God ever saved anyone in any manner different than He does now?

    By Blogger Jeremy Weaver, at 5/03/2006 11:35 PM  

  • Hey Rose~
    Did you hear the very good news that our beloved Corry, KC and Kristi are meeting on this Friday?
    I'm so excited for them =D

    By Blogger audrey`, at 5/04/2006 4:56 AM  

  • Jeremy,
    I am honestly looking at this. The reason I said:
    He says that God has chosen to reveal Himself to those who come to the Son.

    Is because right after He says this:

    No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.,

    He says this:

    Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

    I am trying to tie these verses -- which are right next to eachother -- together, and consider the other things I have read in the Bible to make sense of it. Very honestly.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 5/04/2006 7:52 AM  

  • Jeremy,
    The way I see it is that He has always saved by faith. The law couldn't save.

    But... this is definately a different economy right now. For example, was your average OT believer indwelt by the HS? Were they not told to offer blood sacrifices? Do we have to do this now? I would say that things have dramatically changed.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 5/04/2006 7:56 AM  

  • Audrey,
    No, I didn't know that! How very cool. I met a blogger once and it was really interesting and enjoyable. Thanks for your prayers, Audrey.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 5/04/2006 7:57 AM  

  • Jeremy,

    Clarify, or hang it up.

    Make a statement as to how the process works, like I did.

    You continue to put words in my mouth. But I first gave you a clear statement. Speak to that statement. And better yet, make such an effective statement yourself as to what you believe, in a straightforward manner.

    By Blogger Todd, at 5/04/2006 10:00 AM  

  • Oh Rose, I didn't mean that *you* used the word unfair anywhere - I was just rambling on with my thoughts, generally speaking. Sorry for the misunderstanding!

    By Blogger Gayla, at 5/04/2006 10:13 AM  

  • Jeremy ~

    For what it's worth, I have confidence that you are NOT "spitting into the wind", so:

    PREACH ON, BROTHER!

    "Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it; prone to [scorn you in your love*].

    Here's my heart, Lord, take and seal it; seal it to thy courts above.

    [For] Jesus sought me while a stranger, wandering from the heart of God,

    and to rescue me from danger, used

    His

    own

    precious

    blood.

    * Sara Groves' version of Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

    By Anonymous jim mcdermott, at 5/04/2006 10:56 AM  

  • Rose,
    There is one more thing I would like to say to Jeremy.

    "Scripture never says that we will be born again if we believe on Christ."

    Jeremy, this is how I know we will be born again if we believe. Directly from the word.

    1 Peter 1:3 "...our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the ressurection of Jesus Christ from the dead...through faith(as well in the same sentence.)

    John 1:12, "But as many as recieved Him, to them He gave he right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

    When this verse begins, they don't have the right to become children of God. They recieve Him and believe and then are born of God. Reborn, through belief.

    John 5:1, "Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God,..."

    This one ties believing and being 'born' directly together as well.

    Jeremy, throwing statements like the one at the top of this comment around in such a lose fashion tells me that we are not going to have a very fruitful discussion.

    You're probably off to work, have a nice day. Todd

    By Blogger Todd, at 5/04/2006 10:59 AM  

  • In the use of Cornelius we need to take care. If you can remember that I once used him as evidence of regeneration preceding faith, but at closer examination we find that we must take care. The Arminian can use Cornelius as well as when He believed along with the others, the Holy Spirit descended upon them.

    Just because God is working in a mans life, does not mean he is already regenerate. Ahab humbled himself in repentance and God was moved by it, but does that mean Ahab was a believer. Nimrod was a mighty hunter before the Lord. God is watching everyone.

    Yes we are dead to God and have to be quickened. There was a time when Adam and Eve were dead to sin and Satan. Alive spiritualy. God didn't place unbelief in there perfect mind. This is Alien to Him. He did however place Satan in the Garden testing his creation knowing the outcome and actually using Satan to destroy his work in order to exalt a Glorious Christ like New Creation. This does not mean that he made the descision of not believing His word and believing Satan instead. He was governing many circumstances. WE must leave this area as a mystery. Eve was alive to God, but the minute unbelief at God's word entered, she died and placed her faith in trust in Satan. Her eating the fruit was the fruit of her unregenerate heart and was an act of her faith in Satan. How could a live and regenerate being not have faith?

    We must be careful. The Bible clearly shows that even though we are dead to God, we are accountable to have faith in Him in the reverse way that Eve had faith in Satan's word. This is the axis that everything is rotating on. This is what vexes the soul of God. Unbelief in the Person of His Son. Actually it makes him wroth.

    Truly we must be drawn by the Spirit of God, but regeneration is instantaneous at faith. WE must be careful here as if anyone jumps before the snap, they are offsides with God. Should we argue this point, we drag a Celestial being into court. Who is that Celestial being? God himself.

    "Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God *has made Him a liar* because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning His Son."
    1 John 5:10

    It is a stretch to imply that Cornelius was regenerate prior to the instance upon which he believe. I will agree that the Spirit of God was preparing Him and that many have to be prepared in order for the ear to hear, but it is just that...the ear must hear the word of promise and receieve it or it is not a biblical gospel and it has not happened the way God has ordained.

    I see both Calvinists in Covanental Theology taking liscence with something other than the word of the promise and the gospel message bringing us to life as well as some on the FG side implying that God has other means of revelation to open eyes other than the word preached. There is no scriptural basis for either conclusion and I believe it is leading us down many unbiblical roads.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 5/04/2006 3:34 PM  

  • Rose,

    (1) I honestly don’t understand your response to Matthew 11:27.

    (2) Romans 9: you say that Jacob and Esau represent nations (which they do), but you ignore the reality that God dealt with them as individuals in their unconditional election (vv12-13). Additionally, what about Pharaoh? “For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, ‘For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.’ So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires” (vv17-18). Does Pharoah represent a nation? Finally, Paul ends his section on God creating some for glory and others for damnation by saying, “even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles” (v.24)?

    (3) John 6: The verse does say that those who are drawn will be raised up on the last day. Consequently, the verse does say that certain ones are drawn because they are the only ones that will be raised to life. If you deny that all those who drawn will come, then you find yourself saying that those who did not come will be raised.

    (4) 1 Cor: the key word is “cannot.” People cannot in and of themselves understand – God must come down and make them alive (Eph 2) so that they may believe.

    Cornelius is no different than any other person drawn by the Spirit. As Jeremy indicates above, the question regards who causes a person to seek God? It is not man; it is a work of God.

    John 12:39-40 “Therefore, they could not believe, because Isaiah said again: ‘He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, lest they should see with their eyes, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.”

    By Blogger Jonathan Moorhead, at 5/04/2006 4:08 PM  

  • Todd,
    What words did I put in your mouth?
    There is nothing unclear about any of my comments. Everyone else in the thread understood them. You seem to be an antagonist, therefore, our conversation is over until you deal with Scripture openly and honestly.

    Everyone, read I peter 1 in context. Cutting out two verse in order to get the result we want is not good form.

    By Blogger Jeremy Weaver, at 5/04/2006 4:09 PM  

  • Jonathan, where do we find in the Scriptures the teaching that after Christ's death and resurrection only those drawn by the Father can come to faith?

    Where do we find the idea that the hardening of Israel was to continue in God's purposes?

    In actual fact, we find in Acts 3:26 that it was God's purpose to save all of Israel.

    Christ was crucified as part of God's plans. For this to happen it was necessary for the Jews' hearts to be hardened. However, this was only meant to be temporary.

    With regard to Esau and Pharoah, where are we told that they were chosen to go to hell or to be denied eternal life?

    Those individuals were chosent to serve God's purposes. Their election had nothing to do with receiving or being denied eternal life.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 5/04/2006 5:00 PM  

  • Matthew, are you suggesting that hardening and election only took place in the OT and only to Israel? What about Pharoah? If you read a bit further in Acts 3 you will notice verse 39: “For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”

    By Blogger Jonathan Moorhead, at 5/04/2006 5:37 PM  

  • Jonathan,

    44No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

    This does not say that all that are drawn will come to him. It says that at the time, there was no other way of coming to Him, except being drawn, and if one did come, he would be raised up at the last day.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 5/04/2006 5:54 PM  

  • Does no one see a difference between an OT saint and a New Testament saint?

    Yes, both are saved through faith the same way! However, if you are of the mindset that both had/have the indwelling, made-alive Holy Spirit are you not in err? Do you think that Moses was born-again in the same sense that we are today?

    Jonathan, you have argued…

    (3) John 6: The verse does say that those who are drawn will be raised up on the last day. Consequently, the verse does say that certain ones are drawn because they are the only ones that will be raised to life. If you deny that all those who drawn will come, then you find yourself saying that those who did not come will be raised.

    (4) …who causes a person to seek God? It is not man; it is a work of God.

    Where does it say that all who are drawn will come to Christ? Is that hidden in the Greek? Is this what is meant by irresistible grace to you?

    Let’s follow logic then, since logic is what seems important to the Hyper-Calvinist. (Hyper-Calvinist to be referred to as “HC” from here on.) Since HCs say none seek God apart from being born-again or being regenerated, then one must assume that all who are seeking God are regenerated. A seeker-friendly church should then be desired, and all who darken their doorways must be saved! This is very baffling. If this is not true to the HC thinking, then a myriad of problems are thus created for his elaborate notions.

    The way I see it, there is nothing good in man that that man can do to be saved. Man, illuminated (by God) to the truth of the gospel (as a gift, Allmighty God in the flesh, Jesus, died for our sins and rose from the dead) may or may not receive that gift.

    John 12:39-40 “Therefore, they could not believe, because Isaiah said again: ‘He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, lest they should see with their eyes, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.”

    Who is the “they” here? Those who saw and heard with their own eyes a bona fide (there’s a word for you philologists) miracle, and yet rejected the Son of God! ... just like Isaiah said.

    Rose, you are doing a great job! Keep on sister.

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 5/04/2006 6:01 PM  

  • Rose, are you, with Matthew, suggesting that election was operative prior to Pentecost but not after? Is there an anthropological or pneumatological change that caused this?

    Notice verse 39 for those who are drawn: “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.” Those that are drawn were those that the Father gave to the Son, and they will come to Him.

    Wendell, I don’t know why you are labeling the Calvinist view here as “Hyper-Calvinist.” Additionally, your comment on the seeker-friendly church is a very bad non-sequitur. You are making a lot of assumptions on the nature of a “seeker.” Concerning John 12, did the people blind themselves and harden their hearts. No, God did it, but why? “Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn so that I should heal them.” They did not believe because of God. Why does God do this? Rom. 9:22-3 “What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory.” Regards.

    By Blogger Jonathan Moorhead, at 5/04/2006 7:11 PM  

  • The bottom line is that regardless of what we believe the Great Commission is indeed a dispensational command that was non-existant prior to the resurrection. We are told to tell *every* creature that Jesus died for them. Now either that command is a lie or it is true. We do not have the option of drawing God into our courts and making him answer to us. This is why the only alternative is to see this all as a mystery and yeild and submit this to God.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 5/04/2006 9:36 PM  

  • Rose, J. Wendell, Matthew, and Todd:

    This is a probing question, for my benefit, if you'll indulge me: How do you view the concept of "election" in Ephesians 1?

    In Christ,

    Bobby G.

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 5/05/2006 2:21 AM  

  • Jonanathan, I am not saying that at all.

    All saints are chosen to the blessings and privileges that they have in Christ.

    Hardening may occur today, but it is not for the purpose of sending people to hell or withholding their salvation, but rather for the accomplishment of God's sovereign purposes. It is foolish to speculate about when this might occur.

    There is the hardening of sin, but that is a different matter.

    The calling in connection to the promise of the Holy Spirt deals with the calling to be a peculiar people within God's purposes. Certainly, this is a calling to believers only. However, potentially this was offered to the whole of Israel.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 5/05/2006 3:36 AM  

  • I don’t know why you are labeling the Calvinist view here as “Hyper-Calvinist.”

    Did I? Oops, I meant to specify Hyper Calvinists not historical Calvinists. Further, my remark about a seeker friendly church was a weak ploy to show how ridiculous it would be to assume that all who are seeking are regenerated. Parry!

    You are making a lot of assumptions on the nature of a “seeker.” Touche’!

    Jonathan- the text does not say, “Those that are drawn were those that the Father gave to the Son, and they will come to Him.

    The passage in question is, John 6:43- 47

    43 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves.

    The religious Jews here, are murmuring because of Jesus claim of being the substance of Mosses’ miracle. If one does not like to consider to whom Jesus is addressing, go ahead and make it personal or general whatever that one may choose. WE need to stop murmuring and come out of our religious pride and comprehend, trust, fully rely on, embrace, this Jesus.

    44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

    Those who come will be raised up, they can only come if God is drawing, but this verse does not say “all who are drawn will come”. Some among those murmuring probably felt a draw, yet had not made that known to the others for this was risky business in that hour. If one chooses (in and of himself) not to understand the time this was spoken go ahead and apply it to all times. Jesus could have been saying “take a stand”. So today, those who are being drawn to Jesus I urge you to come to Him, and with us take a stand apart from religious works that lead nowhere but hell!

    45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

    This teaching, from God the father is more than Torah College. If one at this point truly was/is learning from God and not just academia for vocational pursuits, they would know that Jesus is the real McCoy and stop beating around the bush and come to Him.

    46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.

    For clarification, Jesus adds that no one has seen God, but He has because He is God. And just incase His speech to those religious leaders went over the heads or under the radar of those in the crowd listening to Him or those of us reading this thread, He comes back and breaks it down so even a dummy like me can understand,

    47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

    Jonathan, if the text said, “Those that are drawn were those that the Father gave to the Son, and they will come to Him.

    Then all would come because Jesus, who said “…if I be lifted up I will draw all men to me.” (Jn.12:32)

    I think we Calvinists must understand this one differently not as universalism.

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 5/05/2006 7:41 AM  

  • Hi Bobby,
    With regards to 'election' in Eph. 1, He says "He chose us in Him(Christ) before the foundation of the world". Now alone that tells us nothing but what we already know, which is that God is omniscient, omnipotent and sovereign. Then it tells us we were chosen so 'that we may be before Him', holy and blameless and not the corrupt vessels of sin that we are in our flesh. Then He says he adopted us as sons and tells us what that means for us. Then that He's made known the 'mystery of His will', in all wisdom and insight, with a 'view to a administration suitable to the times', that we have been predestined to be the first to hope in Christ to the praise of God's glory. When Christ was about to die He said that by His death He would glorify God. By hoping in Christ's death and His victory over it we are bringing glory to God through Christ. Something that Israel from the beginning of their installment as God's chosen nation up until the time most of them were hardened, could not obey. The 'chosing' and the 'predestining' shows us that this was God's plan all along. It gives some context to the 'mystery' Paul refers to as being, not a mystery to God but only a mysery to us.. That this mystery, or this surprising blessing of salvation offered to all the world, having also believed, is simply 'suitable to the fullness of the times' and 'predestined according to His purpose', and that we who hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.

    A quick layman's brief exegesis Bobby. It seems like Paul hits on just about every base as to God's will, what's in it for God's glory, our duty, and the nature of our destiny as a part of that with God, after listening and believing and seeking after His offer of redemption.

    Out for the day. Thanks for asking me to explain what I believe. Looking forward any constructive criticism. With you in the gospel, Todd

    By Blogger Todd, at 5/05/2006 10:10 AM  

  • Ros(i)e ~

    Is that you deleting your own comments?!

    Last month, I briefly commented regarding the term "hyper-calvinist". I don't have opportunity to delineate the SPECIFIC characteristics which particularly identify hyper-calvinism; the larger point I seek to make, anyway, is what hyper-calvinsim is NOT. Hyper-calvinism, contrary to the popular usage of the term, does not connote any form of "Calvinism" which doesn't comport with one's own tastes.

    The five points of Arminianism led to development of the Canons of Dort; today, such Canons are referred to as the "five points of Calvinism". They all "hang together". None may be "carved out", no matter how distateful to us. One who refers to oneself as a "four-point Calvinist" (or any fewer than five) is, categorically, NOT a Calvinist! Being a "five-pointer" means that one is a Calvinist, not a "hyper-calvinist".

    Perhaps it wasn't necessary for me to (re)state that; no offense intended!

    By Anonymous jim mcdermott, at 5/05/2006 11:38 AM  

  • Jim,
    No, I deleted no comments. It says that those two comments were "removed by the author" who was Todd. He was having a blogger problem - very common.

    J. Wendell,
    I think I could live with a Calvinist like you. :~)

    Bhedr,
    You speak my language lately. I so appreciate your thoughts.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 5/05/2006 12:20 PM  

  • Hyper Calvinist's take TULIP to unwarranted extremes and make them out to be, what they are not.

    There is a difference between Total depravity and total inexcusability, don’t you agree?

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 5/05/2006 1:09 PM  

  • Rose, I’m still curious about my questions to you above (Matt 11 and election prior to Pentecost).

    Matthew writes, “It is foolish to speculate about when this [hardening] might occur.” Are you implying that Scripture never tells us when hardening occurs? We have no examples? Would God ever fashion someone for hell for his “sovereign purposes”?

    J. Wendell, I’m still interested in your view on John 6:39 “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.” The ones that are drawn are the ones that the Father has given the Son.

    Your interpretation of John 12:32 is contradictory to John and would lead to universalism. 6:44 indicates that some are not drawn because not all are raised up. If all were drawn then all would be raised up (universalism). So, how is “draw” used in both texts? One is a salvific drawing (6:44) and the other could be speaking of a general drawing or it could be salvific if rendered “all kinds of people.”

    By Blogger Jonathan Moorhead, at 5/05/2006 4:19 PM  

  • There are those who receive a strong delusion in the last days (2 Thess 2:10-12). These people in the last days have rejected Christ and so God prevents them from believing to their condemantion. This would be a Biblcial example of hardening by God. However, this is after their previous rejection of the Gospel.

    Jonathan, can you give us any examples of people whom God has hardened, either in the Bible or in your experience?

    I do not believe God has determined to send anyone to hell, I fail to see that God has any intention to withold the offer of eternal life from any descendent of Adam.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 5/05/2006 4:56 PM  

  • I would like to pull out what I would have thought to have been Jodies or Matthew's ace in the hole: Is it? Maybe, maybe not. I would like to offer it as a stumper that will hopefully stump all of us.

    "They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord *WHO BOUGHT THEM*, bringing swift destruction on themselves." 2 Peter 2:1b

    You have a few choices, with this text; but either way you slice it; there is a dilemma for all systems of theology. The only possibility is to submit this to the Lordship of Christ:-) and as a child say, "Lord, I don't understand!" You see, either way you slice this text, it proves the unlimited atonement, yet proves predestination at the same time. Quite frankly...I don't understand. But thanks be to God, that we are retarded and He is all wise; thus making our presumptuous prideful systems obsolete.

    "Bold and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings...." 2 Peter 2:10b

    Who is the celestial being on the stand of our human court and debate? God Himself and His Word.

    "But these men blaspheme in matters they do not understand." 2 Peter 2:12a

    Listen to what God once told even Job: "Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?" Job 38:2

    and: "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know?" Job 38:5a

    He also told Job this: "Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? LET HIM WHO ACCUSES GOD ANSWER HIM!" Job 40:22

    And another rebuke to one of the godliest men of all time:
    "...Would you condemn me to justify yourself?" Job 40:8

    Hey if he did this to God, then we better beware, should we not?

    Spurgeon believed self-righteousness sleeps under any bush it can find. I believe it.

    Is Jodies interpretation going to be correct that she might offer here in apology of Zane Hodges theology? I DON"T KNOW.

    How about JMOOR and DOXO in defense of splinters of Calvin theology more Owen sided? I DON"T KNOW

    I think Richard Baxter understood how to honor the truth of election along with the unlimited atonement as he pleaded ignorance; yet, I am told that later in his life he ventured into unscriptural ideas concerning universalism. I am ignorant of his other views. Perhaps someone would school us. He probably should stop with saying....I DONT KNOW.

    With regard to this text with Peter speaking of false teachers denying the Lord that BOUGHT them, I could(BUT I DARE NOT BE DOGMATIC) make a case that Peter is referring to teachers who love the Law and mingle Christ with it, making Christ's sacrifice of no avail to themselves. These men tend to trust in self-reformation instead of resting on Christ and the cross alone. Jesus spoke of self-reformation in the house that was cleaned out and the demons left, but later returned with more and the later state being worse than the first. This is where, pick yourself up by your own bootstrap Christianity leads. What do I base this on? Well at the end of the chapter Peter echoes this idea in speaking to the proverb of the dog returning to his vomit. Jesus said a strong man must be bound and only HE and HE alone can bind that strongman. If anyman not trust in Him and Him alone for their salvation, then they are not gathering with Christ and will eventually scatter. The command is "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ!" His deity is in that command as well. You must rest in Him as the God-man Person who alone can bear your sin as He did on Calvary. Claim His eternal Spirit's blood in His flesh begotten of God the Father and conceived of the Holy Spirit. That is your only plea. In this we can be certain and the Bible makes this crystal clear. How hard it is for man to believe this and the more religious and self-righteous he gets, the farther he gets from resting here alone. Hard for adults, but simply for a child. Have the mind of a child.

    If you are trembling because you are guilty of committing the crime of Judging God, then wonderful. There is hope...Flee to the cross if you have not already. If you already are a child of God, then confess and repent of this horrible arrogance and pride. When are we going to learn that in some mysteries, they are just that...Mysteries, and with a mystery we should say "I DON"T KNOW!"

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 5/05/2006 5:06 PM  

  • John (J.W.) ~

    I do agree; at the same time, there's no difference between total depravity and total inability. All are utterly unable to believe until/unless our Lord removes the veil (regenerates). Again, all enabled to believe WILL do so, as, soteriologically, grace is irresistable.

    By Anonymous jim mcdermott, at 5/05/2006 6:52 PM  

  • Jonathan,
    I contend with you that the verse does not make the jump to "all that are drawn will come." It just doesn't say that. Slow down and read this verse:

    44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

    Who is raised? The one who comes. The only way the one will come is to be drawn. It doesn't say that all who are drawn will come.

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 5/05/2006 9:42 PM  

  • Jim,
    If regeneration precedes faith, by how much? Perhaps that idea would be more accurate if the term "illumination" or "enlightenment" were used instead of "regeneration."

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 5/05/2006 9:45 PM  

  • Except for the fact that being 'made alive' is the Biblical concept that has been revealed.

    By Blogger Jeremy Weaver, at 5/05/2006 9:55 PM  

  • Yes, brother we are made alive through faith in a Divine Person. Not because we are made alive unto faith. This is known by those of us who have been illuminated by the Holy Spirit, and have received the gift promised to us in that Word which He spoke.

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 5/05/2006 10:03 PM  

  • That is correct John. The word must be received in order for the soul to regenerate, otherwise something other than the word regenerates and Christ makes it clear that the word spoken is Spirit and that is what makes us clean. To suggest that someone is regenerate by any other means is to imply something other than what God ordaines and we know that is not wisdom that comes from above. Truly God can enginier circumstances and prepare the ear to receive, but the means used outside the perimiters of the word is not regeneration. What blows my mind is that Infant Baptisers use circumcision to make their case for covanental rights and then say, "Don't worry about us, we really believe only the gospel even though regeneration begins prior to the message." It is like...Hey! Com' on guys. Hello. Its like standing in front of a bank while respectable men take money out and we watch them while someone tells us, "Don't worry about these guys, they are good investors, they will take the money and invest it wisely and we will all profit from it."

    Hello, someone taking the Old Testament right of circumscision making a case for election and regeneration....um, guys, think about this...com' on.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 5/05/2006 11:03 PM  

  • Jonathan,

    There is something you are missing here. I'm talking about the verses you offer to support the idea of the 'inability to believe'.

    I think it started with these comments.

    1)

    First of all you say:

    "one's concept of total depravity drives the interpretation of these texts. If sin renders the sinner incapable of believing, then faith must be a sovereign gift. If sin has not rendered the sinner incapable of belief, then faith is a human generated entity."

    I would say that one's concept of total depravity should not be driving ones interpretation, but the interpretation of the substance and content of each verse, should be driving ones concept of total depravity.

    2.)

    Then you make an unsupportable statement that sin renders the individual incapable of believing. That is not able to be done with scripture. It is possible to patch together enough verses to come up with a manufactured notion of such a concept as 'sin renders the individual incapable of believing' but nothing more. Nobody is saying faith is a human generated entity, but rather a gift from God that requires the involvement of our own will, of our trust, which is a part of it that makes it so precious and pleasing to God. Neither is 'our own will' an unbiblical concept.

    3.)

    Drawing a notion of the 'inability to believe' of all men is impossible from any or all of the verses you've cited:

    Matt. 11:27 “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him."

    And 'to whom', is it said, does the Son will to reveal Him? Can you answer that Jonathan? Scripture does not. All men, some men, which men, what men, exactly?

    4.)

    "John 6:44 “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day."

    In this passage, where does this speak to who is drawn and who is not drawn? Scripture explains how there are members of the Jewish nation who may not be being drawn to Christ at the time of this statement, so then who else is not? And if we cannot point to anyone else then how can we manufacture a broad concept of 'inability to believe'? In a few moments this verse will come up again.

    5.)

    1Cor. 2:14 "But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised."

    What is a natural man? He is a man who does not spiritually appraise things of the Spirit of God. But he who is spiritual appraises all things. From time to time all throughout the day you and I act out our natural man. We have the choice in Romans 8 to either set our minds on the things of the flesh or set our minds on the things of the Spirit. "So then, on one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin." And so it will be until that day then "even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body." We carry our natural man as well as our spiritual man but try and walk according to the Spirit. Paul says, "I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good", both the spiritual, and the natural in him, until the redemption that he perseveres for, eagerly, in hope.

    So it would have to be very difficult to get an 'inability to believe' out of that verse because we are both natural and spiritual. From the perspective of the natural Paul tells us you cannot accept the spiritual so you must keep your perspective set on the Spirit. Those are Paul's insructions to take care of it.

    By the way, doesn't this next verse, which neighbors the one directly above, speak directly of the process of 'God offering a message and saving those who believe'?

    1Cor. 1:21 says "...God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe".

    6.)

    So what about this last verse you cited which is the one below?

    Rom. 3:11 There is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God"

    Paul uses this verse to explain the verse immediately before it, which "charged that both Jews and Gentiles are all 'under sin';..." and then cites the Old Testament verse "...as it is written, there is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God;...". He is explaining that we are under all sin, not all under an inability to believe. There is simply nothing there about any inability to believe. We can be dead in our sins and remain so if we don't trust in Christ for spiritual salvation. That is a concept unto 'dead in our sins' and not unto the inability to believe.

    And then a few sentences later, just past the verse you cited, right after Paul finishes explaining how through the law comes the knowledge of sin, Paul bursts into a long explanation of Justification By Faith. Or the doctrine of the 'call to believe'. v.22, "The righteousnes of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe". It could be spoken no clearer. And then Paul explains that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the law, which are both presented in a context of being acts of man willfully reaching out to the Lord for justification. "So that He would be just and justifier of the one who has faith IN Jesus". How much more explicit could He make it. Faith in Jesus. Amen.

    Paul explains how boasting is excluded by the 'law of faith' (v.27). (V. 28), "For we maintain that a man is jusified by faith apart from works of the law." And therby, boasting is excluded, by belief itself. Or is he really saying that boasting is excluded not by faith, but by 'the inability to have faith'? It could be no clearer. He contrasts 'works' and 'faith' as, one which we can boast in, and the other which we cannot. We do not aquire our own salvation through faith, we trust God to do it because He said He would. He spoke, we listened, we became believers, He likes that.

    There were men who made a doctrine of 'an inability to believe', and scripture, in these verses you've put forth as evidence, does not allow for it. In fact I've shown how it clashes with scripture.

    7.)

    John 6:44, "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.

    You say:

    "(3) John 6: The verse does say that those who are drawn will be raised up on the last day."

    That is incorrect. It says 'no one can come unless drawn', and then, referring to the one who comes He says, "I will raise him(the one who comes) up on the last day". Not those who are drawn. It does not say 'all who can come will be raised up', and it does not say 'all who can come will come'. That is so clear that, at times, I'm not sure if you are pressing that genuinely or some other motive. It does not say 'all who are drawn will be raised up', or 'all who are drawn will come'. It says 'all who are drawn can come', not that 'they will'.

    Then you say:

    "Consequently, the verse does say that certain ones are drawn because they are the only ones that will be raised to life. If you deny that all those who drawn will come, then you find yourself saying that those who did not come will be raised."

    Or you find yourself mistakenly telling someone else what they are saying, while not knowing what you are saying. Or do I have it wrong?

    And then you went over to this verse and said:

    "Notice verse 39 for those who are drawn: “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.” Those that are drawn were those that the Father gave to the Son, and they will come to Him."

    Now we have 'giving' and 'coming' and 'casting out'. Instead of 'drawing' and 'coming' and raising up. This one is different than v. 44. It is not clear what's going on except, 'all that's given will come', and the one who comes 'will not be caste out'. Caste out from what, being raised up? Or being caste out from what follows in the text, taking hold of the need to 'beholding and believing'? It's the will of the Father that He lose nothing, but what about one who 'comes' and does not 'behold and believe'. "For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him(not 'of' Him, or, 'through' Him, but, 'IN' Him) will have eternal life and I Myself will raise him up on the last day".

    All who come He certainly will not caste out but that does not mean He will certainly 'raise up'. Because somewhere you have to place the 'beholding and believing'. I'm not sure about the dynamic of the 'giving', 'drawing', 'coming', 'casting or not casting' and 'raising up', only that it is not clear enough to know what you propose, and that what you propose conflicts with the 'law of faith'. And the answer is not somewhere in academia or the layer upon layer of flesh driven theological reasoning which almost no believers cannot even hope to understand without their favorite genius there to explain it to them, the answer is in the plain language it was originally spoken in.

    By Blogger Todd, at 5/06/2006 1:05 AM  

  • Todd,

    Thank you for your response! I see that you follow the "corporate election" understanding! I tried to forward this position for awhile; and I appreciate the Christ-centered emphasis this view has. IMO, this would be its strength. A weakness, as applied to Eph. 1, is that while "in HIM" is there so is the 2 person plural "you all"--which implies that there is a distinction between the individuals in the church of Ephesus and Christ. In other words "you all" were chosen in Him. It seems like a forced interpretation--although I wish it didn't!

    Thanks for the time you spent in responding!

    In Christ,
    Bobby

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 5/06/2006 2:23 AM  

  • Excellent and interesting Bobby. Now I'll have to try ad make some sense of that. Thanks, Todd

    By Blogger Todd, at 5/06/2006 9:48 AM  

  • Matthew, I give examples above. Romans 9:22-23 is the classic: “What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory.”

    Todd, you ask too many questions for me to answer. I will address a few.
    Matt 11: Jesus reveals the Father to the elect. What happens to those that Jesus does not will to reveal the Father?

    Rom. 8:7 “because the mind set on the flesh [context indicates these are unbelievers] is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so.” Does “not even able” = inability?

    John 6:37: “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.”
    What happens to those that the Father has not given to the Son?

    By Blogger Jonathan Moorhead, at 5/06/2006 1:02 PM  

  • Jonathan,

    What is your response to Peters speaking of the false teachers denying the Sovereign Lord who bought them; yet later Peter tells us these men were marked for this condemnation? Predestined to damnation, yet said to be bought?

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 5/06/2006 1:28 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I've been swamped for the past few weeks (and will be for a couple more) but I just wanted to stop by and say "Hi!". Last I heard you were having some illness in your family and I've been praying for you, so I hope all is going well. And by the way, how is Chad?

    By Blogger Cleopas, at 5/06/2006 3:26 PM  

  • Bhedr, I will be brief since this is off of Rose’s topic. (1) Atonement is not in the context. (2) There are redemptive and non-redemptive uses of “bought.” (3) This is a non-redemptive use that points back to Deuteronomy 32:5-6 (“They have acted corruptly toward Him, They are not His children, because of their defect; But are a perverse and crooked generation. Do you thus repay the LORD, O foolish and unwise people? Is not He your Father who has bought you? He has made you and established you.”). (4) Conclusion: Jesus has not redeemed these false prophets, but they fall in line with those Jews of old (see Peter’s use of OT imagery through the book) that were “bought” out of the Exodus but rebelled. (5) Ultimately, this isn’t a Reformed vs. non-Reformed issue, but is a battleground for those who are for eternal security and those that are against it.

    By Blogger Jonathan Moorhead, at 5/06/2006 3:32 PM  

  • Jonathan, are the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction because they are hardened or are some or all of those who are fitted to destruction by their own choice hardened?

    The only one menioned as hardened in that passage as hardened is Pharoah and this was not in reference to his final salvation. The Scripture says nothing about whether Pharoah went to hell or not.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 5/06/2006 3:33 PM  

  • Rose, I would never think on faith in terms of money in an account but more like..

    (scene) person lying knocked out in a burning building with no means to regain conscience and the hero (the Lord) rushes in to (save) them.

    No means to reach out to accept anything in the above scene is there?

    Keep it up girl...you'll only kepp going in circles until the Lord opens your eyes to see it.

    I understand...been there and done that too.

    By Blogger ambiance-five, at 5/06/2006 3:47 PM  

  • Ambiance, we need to be conscious of the Lord's work to receive eternal life. That is where faith comes in. I find it hard to see the place of faith in your analogy.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 5/06/2006 4:10 PM  

  • Jonathan,

    Even with that OT imagery it still enhances the meaning that the work of God can be spurned and rejected and made of no avail and that man is accountable for this sin. Actually I think you help enhance this by bringing up this imagery. Is there no point where we step back and let God be God? Not understanding why he weeps though we seem to understand the semantics?

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 5/06/2006 4:12 PM  

  • Jonathan,
    I asked those questions assuming that you would come back with some enigmatic question of your own, not stating what you believe and showing why, so you met my expectations, and you did not answer even one. I am of the impression that you could not, so I just wanted to show that as well.

    "Todd, you ask too many questions for me to answer. I will address a few.
    Matt 11: Jesus reveals the Father to the elect. What happens to those that Jesus does not will to reveal the Father?"

    Jonathan, the only part referring to election in Matt.11 is the very end and would have to be this part:
    "...nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone whom the Son wills to reveal Him."

    I don't recall scripture as defining who Jesus is electing to reveal the Father to, so that we may know, or their status then, after having had the Father revealed to them, and what that all means for election, other than Jesus wills to reveal His Father to some and not others, such as the Gentiles and no longer the Jews. Tell me more about this condition of 'having had the Father revealed to them' and how you think that relates to belief in Christ. Where do you go with this Jonathan? Generally when I've seen you ask these questions in blogs they usually contain a bit of questionable doctrine in them which renders them having no answer because they are a question based on inaccurate information. Am I wrong that this question is one of those?

    Anyway, the answer to your question is, 'they won't see the Father'. Are you able to integrate that into a point then?
    I'd like to give you an answer that ties the 'revealing of the Father' to the believing in the Son but I can't.

    2.)

    "Rom. 8:7 “because the mind set on the flesh [context indicates these are unbelievers] is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so.” Does “not even able” = inability?"

    You've just proved that 'the mind set on the flesh (unbelieving mind)is hostile toward God', does not subject itself to God, for it is uable to do so. And that the mind that is not set on the flesh (believing mind) but rather is set on the Spirit, subjects itself to God, for it is able to do so. It has believed, been granted the Spirit, and subjects itself to the sovereignty of God, for it is able to do so. Or is this a bunch of baloney?

    3.)

    "John 6:37: “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.”
    What happens to those that the Father has not given to the Son?"

    They will not come to the Son.

    It is almost possible to begin to formulate specific election doctrine from this verse if the temptation is not fought.

    By Blogger Todd, at 5/06/2006 9:34 PM  

  • Jonathan ~

    I hope that YOUR life will permit you to "step to the plate"; if so, I have confidence that
    you'll "touch 'em all"!

    By Anonymous jim mcdermott, at 5/06/2006 10:22 PM  

  • "And that the mind that is not set on the flesh (believing mind) but rather is set on the Spirit, subjects itself to God(obeys the gospel of God), for it is able to do so." Amen Rose.

    By Blogger Todd, at 5/06/2006 11:12 PM  

  • Todd,
    About the very long post of yours to Jonathan and the verses you were disputing Calvinism. If sovereign grace and election is not the meaning in all these verses such as Matthew 11:27, have you ever wondered why the Bible is so poorly written. I mean look at some of them and see how easily they could have been written to avoid giving the impression that God chooses, elects, predestines, makes alive, etc.

    Jazzycat

    By Blogger jazzycat, at 5/07/2006 12:34 AM  

  • Rose,

    You don't have to be as surprised as I was at the apparent coherency in the juxtaposing in my phrase in my last comment. Just kind of moved me in the moment.


    "John 6:37: “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.”

    There is something that stops me from fixating agog at this verse and trying to squeeze detailed meaning from it, and the thing is, that the apostles did not. During the thousands of hours the apostles observed Jesus teaching, mention of this unsearchable concept did not come to the surface in any of their writings we have, as something that influences the concept of listening to the news of the gospel and trusting in it.

    Have a good night.

    By Blogger Todd, at 5/07/2006 12:38 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Todd, at 5/07/2006 12:59 AM  

  • Hi Jazzycat,

    Thank you for noticing the length of my post. I am in the habit of attempting to explain myself thoroughly and clearly. Hopefully I come close to that. I'm here to learn not to one-up.

    There is no doubt that the 'impression' is there in those verses, and there is no doubt that He does in fact chose, elect and predestine. It is scripture's lack of telling us entirely 'in what way', and the lack of anything more than just this 'impression' we've been given, which could, as you say, easily have been, but was not, avoided, that tells us it is not ours to know entirely 'in what way' these things occur. In my opinion. I undestand the struggle though. I think.

    So, heartily with you in Christ! Todd

    By Blogger Todd, at 5/07/2006 1:14 PM  

  • Jim McDermott,
    Cheerleaders are for football games. :~)

    Jonathan, (& JEREMY)
    I already posted some thoughts on the Matthew passage to Jeremy, but I re-worked them a little to better clarify my thinking. Jesus just got done proclaiming "woa" on some cities because they didn't turn when the very Son of God had been there doing miracles. Then, the mood changes?

    25At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.
    27"All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
    28"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
    (Matt. 11)

    I cannot see how this says that Christ has predetermined individuals that He will reveal the Father [and Himself] to. He describes things about them: child-like, weary and heavy-laden ... but I honestly don't see this as saying that there is a list of names. He says that the Son will reveal the Father to those who He wants to. Then he calls out to the poeple : "Come unto me..." So, this seems to say to me that He is planning on revealing the Father to those who come to Him, and He has said a few things about what type of people they may be that come to Him.

    Do you understand what I am saying? I don't expect you to see it the same way (although I wish you could) but do you see what I am saying and how I reach the conclusion?

    One more thing: This verse:
    27"All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. (Matt. 11:27)

    reminds me of this verse:

    37All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 44"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 … Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. 46No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father... (John 6)

    I think these words from Christ were really aiming to confound or convict the listeners as to who He is. They were claming a great interest in GOD. He was saying "Here I AM!" That is the point and a very wonderful point. The focus that you put on it makes it feel like a burden on my shoulders, not a wonderful verse to reflect on Jesus' Deity. He was saying that He is the chosen one of God, God Himself. I don't think His aim was to suggest that there was a list of names.

    I think this is another pertinent verse, from within (rather than without, like the others) the fellowship of Christ and His disciples:

    8Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 9Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? 10Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. (John 14)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 5/07/2006 3:29 PM  

  • TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN,

    Before you list more verses or challenges, please comment on the thoughts I have already offered, maybe even comment on my post! When I take the time to express an answer to something that has been asked of me, it isn't friendly to just come back, ignoring my answer and throw some more questions at me. This sort of made me not want to turn on my computer for a few days. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 5/07/2006 3:30 PM  

  • BOBBY GROW -
    What do you think it means?? :~)

    Hi Ambiance,
    I know you meant that in the nicest way about the Lord opening my eyes.

    I used the money in my analogy because the Word calls salvation a gift. Money could be a gift. I was trying to illustrate the view of receiving a gift where you do not put your hand out to receive it, but it is given without your reception. You can't reject it - this would be like the anonymous billionaire who deposits money on your account. This is how I would compare the Calvinist with putting out my hand and receiving a check from a relative when I am drowning in debt. For the later (which is my view of receiving a gift) I have to swallow my pride a bit - the other requires nothing, not even a knowledge or familarity with the giver. I actually talked about this analogy in Part 2 of this "series".

    I echo Matthew's comment to you.
    Thanks for the visit!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 5/07/2006 3:56 PM  

  • Ros(i)e ~

    But I'm already committed to officiate (Referee) them!

    So THAT explains your conspicuous absence!

    The best metaphor is that of the drowning person who is hit in the hand with a life-buouy thrown by God (or the deathly-ill person to whose lips God holds the medicine/antidote) vs. the corpse which has sunk to the ocean floor. In the former, the individual must grasp the life-buouy (or swallow the medicine); in the latter, the corpse is retrieved and resuscitated by our Lord (HALLELUJAH!). Why (oh, why) do we (I did, too) insist that we're not dead ... dead until/unless our Lord makes us alive?! (That's a rhetorical question.)

    By Anonymous jim mcdermott, at 5/07/2006 4:45 PM  

  • Jim,
    I do not think that is the best metaphor. There is no interaction there. Coming to faith in Christ is a very interactive thing. Also - the Bible teaches that salvation is a GIFT - your metaphor does not present a gift.
    You and Dave like that metaphor, I know. I have a real problem with the way you think of the word "dead". I think the Bible is referring to separation from the life of God. If we were dead in the strictest sense, how could we sin? How could we love? How could we do anything? When Jesus saw the multitudes, He HAD COMPASSION ON THEM. Would Jesus have compassion on a bunch of corpses? I think it is offensive to speak of people this way, while it is called today.

    Biased referees are not objective.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 5/07/2006 4:56 PM  

  • I was dead (separated from the life of God) until He made me alive through the power of His Holy Spirit and His instrument presenting the gospel to me. He made me alive in Christ. I was dead, now I am alive. This doesn't mean I was unable to believe. It is a metaphor. M-E-T-A-P-H-O-R.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 5/07/2006 5:00 PM  

  • Absolutely right, Rose~. It is a metephor.

    In his book 'Beyon Calvinism and Arminianism', C. Gordon Olson advocates the view that 'dead' refers to the lack of spiritual life as a result of the death of the spirit part of the natural man.

    I do not agree with his view, because I do not think the Bible consistently distinguishes between soul and spirit, but it is an interesting alternative Non-Calvinist approach to Depravity.

    I would certainly recommend his very comprehensive book.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 5/07/2006 6:08 PM  

  • Rose,

    Are you asking what I think the order of salvation is? And how election is worked out in the scriptures? If so:

    I think the Reformed interpretation of all the passages being discussed here is of logical necessity given certain a
    prior
    theological committments. This, in and of itself does not make the Reformed intepretation wrong; but it recognizes a fundamental reality at work on both sides of this discussion (Calvinist or Non)--we all are committed, one way or the other to interpretive traditions given shape by approaching the scriptures through different emphases (such as emphasizing "human freedom" vs. God's Sov. or vice-versa/which I just over-simplified).

    I think this whole issue, as the comment thread here is reflecting, can be reduced to anthropology. In other words, what is the extent and or intensity of the depravity of man? I personally believe that, obviously, there are certain aspects of our capacity (affections, mind, will) that are still operable--but in regards to spiritual life, I believe we are "totally dead". I believe we are enslaved to our affections. That we will only "freely" choose those things that we perceive will benefit self. So I do believe man has "free-will", but given his sin nature (love of self), he will only and always choose self; i.e. not God (Rom. 3)!

    I Jn. 4:19 says:

    "We love because he first loved us."

    Which says to me, given the discussion of our sin nature above, that God must break into our hearts and shed His love abroad by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5); thus breaking our affections, driven by love of self, with His greater love--which Jesus now appears more attractive to us--than self does (as it once did). Once this bondage is broken, sin (love of self), we are now "free" to "respond" back to the Father and recognize our need for a Savior. So my view sees God's initiatory love as creating an atomosphere in the heart of man that is now able to freely to respond back to Him in love.

    As far as election goes, I'm still working on that :-)! Although, as you can see, my discussion of anthropology and sin logically leads me a certain direction. But it is possible to hold to my position of sin and anthro., and still hold to unlimited atonement, and a "bona fide" offer of salvation to all man. I'm still struggling through this though.

    What do you think about that, Rose?

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 5/07/2006 7:06 PM  

  • Just wanted to be the 100th comment! :-) <><

    Sorry Rose! ;-)

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 5/07/2006 8:30 PM  

  • Hi Bobby,
    I think I really like to read your thoughts. :~)

    That we will only "freely" choose those things that we perceive will benefit self. So I do believe man has "free-will", but given his sin nature (love of self), he will only and always choose self; i.e. not God

    The only issue I would take with this is the unecessary (I think) idea of "choosing God." Is believing and receiving "choosing God" and does it require a lack of selfishness? Maybe some people are persuaded to see truth through self-preservation (fear of hell)? My thoughts.

    What I really was asking was this: you threw out a question earlier about Ephesians 1 and I was asking you to answer your own question. :~) :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 5/07/2006 9:51 PM  

  • Some good thoughts by all and you too Rose. All of us can glean off one another to sharpen.

    Bobby, you and I are close in so many respects.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 5/07/2006 9:51 PM  

  • Rose,

    Even if man fears hell, which I know many people who do, and still don't "choose" to receive Christ; I think my point gets at "why" they don't :-)!

    In this flurry of comments, I've gotten lost, Rose! I remember asking you this question first, I'm sorry if I've missed your answer to my quest. on Eph. 1. Did I miss your answer, did you answer ;-)? If you did let me know, and I'll work my way through "all" of these comments--I thought I would let you respond first, since I asked you first, then I'll try to provide my answer to Eph. 1 ;-).

    In Christ,

    Bobby G.

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 5/07/2006 10:04 PM  

  • No, I didn't answer, Bobby. I want you to answer first. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 5/07/2006 10:35 PM  

  • Well that's not fair, Rose :)! To be honest, grammatically, this passage seems to point to "election", to me. Election in the sense that God has chosen "some" to be saved ;(--but I'm having difficulty swallowing this.

    As I said to Todd, the corporate election interp. here seems forced, for the reasons that I gave Todd!

    Okay, so my answer wasn't so profound . . . how do you deal with this passage, Rose?

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 5/07/2006 11:04 PM  

  • Good monring, Rose~.

    Bobby, I think it makes little difference whether election is corporate or conditional. I do not understand election to be to eternal life, but rather a corporate or conditional election to privilege and postion of those who have believed in Christ.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 5/08/2006 5:27 AM  

  • There is the question of whether 'choosing' is appropriate language. It is hard to see how one can choose to believe anything.

    The Bible is clear that one can refuse to believe by hardening one's heart, but faith itself is a belief in facts. One comes to believe by seeing or knowing, not by deciding to exercise belief.

    At least, I cannot see how Thomas made any decision to believe in Christ's resurrection when He met our risen Lord. His belief is compard with ours, which suggests it has the same passive character.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 5/08/2006 6:07 AM  

  • IMO Rose,
    It's impossoble to make any sweeping statement about 'election' other than it has happened, may even continue to be happening, and that it takes on a variety of different forms and uses by God's will.

    And 'predestination' can't reasonably be nailed down any further than to say that God has a plan in which He knows, continues to effect, and already has guaranteed the outcome. And I think it's this kind of thinking that leads toward Christian Bodily unity and brings glory to the already unsurpassable, unfathomable, inestimable glory of God.

    Trying to start my Monday off with a bang Rose. Todd

    By Blogger Todd, at 5/08/2006 10:01 AM  

  • Matthew,

    Notice what prompts the "choosing" in what I said. The love of God.

    It's one thing to assert corporate election--but how do I genuinely deal with Eph.1 language of election and predestination. I don't want to pretend like its not there--like I have for years. I'm serious, this isn't a game, deal with the grammar of this passage guys; I don't want anectodal responses--it's really not helpful or fruitful. To say we don't understand all the implications, is one thing, and I agree; but there is something communicated in Eph. 1 about election and pred. that is to be apprehended.

    I want to press this for selfish reasons, because I am trying to honestly face what Eph.1 is saying here. Thanks for your help! We have to deal with the grammar of Eph. 1--if we do, what does it mean?

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 5/08/2006 11:53 AM  

  • That we are chosen in Christ to be sanctified and adopted as sons, Bobby.

    The passage says nothing about our being chosen to be saved from hell or to receive eternal life.

    The English translation suggests corporate election. If you dispute that on linguistic grounds, I will not argue with you. But I see nothing here to rule out conditional election. The condition being relationship to Christ.

    I have never seen anything in this text to persuade me to believe in unconditional election.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 5/08/2006 12:18 PM  

  • Todd,
    Your statement is perfect. If only we could get that kind of dogmatism from the church as a whole, my stomach would churn a lot less. God is good and His ways are unsearchable.

    Matthew,
    Thank you for the "good morning" greeting. You are such a fine gentlemen.

    Bobby,
    I remember reading through and doing an "inductive" Bible study on Ephesians in church a few years back. I noticed something and I pointed it out to John. The phrase "in Christ" (and close equivalents -- "in Him" -- "through Jesus Christ" -- "in the Beloved") occurs like 20 times in the first couple of chapters. John and I both began to see that election was all about being in Christ. I think I took this a step further than him in my thinking. What is my name, Rosemay Rauh Cole? I am nothing. Am I someone so important to God's plan that He had me set apart before I knew Christ? I don't think so. I only have worth as I am "in Christ". Also - before I was in Christ, the Word says that the wrath of God abode on me. The Word also tells us how to become in Christ - through faith. So - I must conclude that although God thinks outside of time, I can't. I must focus on that which I can understand - that election is for those who are in Christ by faith and apart from that, we are doomed for destruction. All who are in Christ are predestiend to be conformed to the image of His Son and our course is set. I believe when we look to eternity past, we are only meant to see Christ, not ourselves.

    That is not a theologian's answer, but what do you think?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 5/08/2006 1:16 PM  

  • Rose~, you are doing theology. You are a theologian.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 5/08/2006 2:10 PM  

  • Bobby,

    Roses answer is good and from our perspective that is to be our understanding as you can see how many err adding on to regeneration. Having said that Romans 9:11 is crystal clear. There is a godly purpose outside of our understanding in election and the purpose is in His call. The word spoken is what cleanses us, so that is where we must rest our faith in meeting with Him. The promise. It is all according to promise. So Rose in part is correct from our perspective, but God will have his glory for his purpose outside of ourselves and our plans. I really don't think it is for us to know. We must simply believe in predestination according to Gods plan as well as believe that He died for the whole world and has compassion on the whole world.

    Rose,

    You are correct in that we are selfish in our human flesh and I think that enhances what Luther states. WE have freedom only to choose evil, but once we come to faith in Christ alone a new nature that is totaly unselfish and godly exists within us. It believes and loves perfectly the Holy one who made us as well as the ones made by Him.

    I think you posted on this not long ago. The Apostle Paul said that in his flesh dwelled no good thing, but there was a will to do good present. And all of us are learning to grow in that perfect will. Greater is he that is in thee, than he that is in the world.
    That was a great comment Rose. In Christ and that is always to be our focus. Of course that doesn't mean other truths are not and Spurgeon called us to love the doctrine of election, but to trust only in Christ, not election. Again...the illogical Calvinist. But at the end of the day, that is what it will always be to us. We need to let Gods mysteries be his as the secret things belong to the Lord.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 5/08/2006 6:04 PM  

  • Ros(i)e ~

    Having been in an all-day Industrial Commission Continuing Legal Education seminar [traumatic brain injuries (... but for the MERCY of God ...), all I'm "up to" right now is to ask you to read your own response and consider:

    1. Did I not specifically identify the analogies I delineated as metaphor?

    2. Exactly! We do not "participate" in our salvation; we participate in our sanctification. We contribute to the salvation process only in the sense that our sin makes such necessary.

    Nothing
    in
    my
    hand
    I
    bring;

    only
    to
    the
    Cross
    I
    cling.

    Nothing
    but
    the
    blood
    of
    Jesus.

    3. What, pray tell, causes you to believe that my understanding of death (as in the M-E-T-A-P-H-O-R) differs from yours?

    4. While our understanding of the concept, I believe, is the same, our "views" as to such differ fundamentally. Your view is often identified as the "island of righteousness" view. Surely you've seen THE PRINCESS BRIDE, right? From your perspective, the unregenerate are "mostly dead (all day)".

    5. You're welcome to "watch the film"; I have several videotapes of BCSN-broadcasted games. Better yet, I'll give a copy of my crew's schedule (through 2010); it "speaks for itself".

    As I occasionally tell assistant coaches (the Head Coaches are rarely a problem for me and my crew), I have no "dog in the fight", no stake in the outcome. The same is true of me in my approach to theology.

    By Anonymous jim mcdermott, at 5/08/2006 6:53 PM  

  • Wow, I've got some catching up to do.

    Rose I love what you brought out of the inductive study of Ephesians concerning election in Christ.

    By Blogger Gordon Cloud, at 5/08/2006 8:53 PM  

  • Sis you are brilliant. God has truly blessed you in your study. I haven't had a chance to read through all 115 yet but your post and the first 25 or so comments tell the tale. I'm so proud of you (meaning very thankful)!

    By Blogger Kc, at 5/08/2006 9:14 PM  

  • Rose,

    I agree with Matthew's comment, that was a theologian's answer! And as it goes with theologians, there are usually disagreements ;-). And you view exactly corresponds to the "corporate election" perspective. I do agree with a Christ centered election--but I still believe that the corporate election perspective doesn't deal with ". . . For he chose us in him . . ."(chapt. 1:4), and ". . . 5.he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, . . .". Paul isn't generically addressing "all" Christian people in this text--he has particularized the people at the church of Ephesus. Rom. 8:29ff also presents a difficult text.

    I'm just not, personally, satisfied with the corporate election understanding--and I've worn it for years! Although I'm still struggling with the idea of "election" in the Augustinian sense as well. So I'm playing a bit of devil's advocate here.

    Thank you for the time you spent responding to me, Rose! I really appreciate that! :)

    Matthew,

    I can see how you might get sanctification from vs. 4; but not vs. 5. This speaks to eternal life and our heirship as adopted sons of God. Plus I think it would be difficult to establish the Paul was making the justification/sanctification distinction that you've made here.

    Thanks for your answers, Matthew, Rose, and Todd; I appreciate it very much!

    In Christ,

    Bobby G.

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 5/08/2006 10:14 PM  

  • Matt 11:25-27 “25At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure. _27"All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

    Rose, I think I understand what you’re saying, so I have two questions:

    (1) Does Jesus reveal the Father to everyone? This would be the same concept as what you are saying about John 6:44 right? – Jesus draws everyone and those that come are saved?

    (2) What is the result of God hiding (“you have hidden these things” [v. 25]) knowledge and what is the result? Are these the same people that the Son has chosen not to reveal the Father? Hiding and revealing seem to be juxtaposed here.

    By Blogger Jonathan Moorhead, at 5/08/2006 10:35 PM  

  • Hey Rose~
    Just drop by to see how you are :)
    Please take care.

    By Blogger audrey`, at 5/09/2006 2:39 AM  

  • Jonathan, the hiding of the truth must be understood in the context of God's hiding the truth from Israel so that the crucifixtion could take place.

    The Gospel was not freely proclaimed to the world at that stage.

    We are now in the dispensation of grace in which the Gospel is freely proclaimed to all.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 5/09/2006 4:22 AM  

  • Jim Mc,
    You do have a dog in the fight and his name is "the doctrines of grace." You never seem open to questioning these ideas, so that is why you don't seem objective to me. :~)

    kc,
    Thanks! I am glad to see you there.

    Bobby,
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I did not know my view on that was called "corporate election." The thing is, are names mentioned? "US" is all we are given there. We assume that means there is a list of names, but is this necessary?

    Jonathan,
    I had typed out a long comment earlier and then it got lost. I may come back iin a little while and re-type my thoughts on this.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 5/09/2006 12:41 PM  

  • Quite cute, Ros(i)e!

    A year (perhaps closer to two years) after the Holy Spirit regenerated me, the portions of Scripture which support the doctrines of grace began to "jump out at me" as I read them. In other words, I wasn't reading for the purpose of understanding or supporting the doctrines of grace; indeed, I'd never heard such phraseology (which starts with p and that stands for pool!).

    At that time, my understaning of Calvinism was the non-understanding of such which pervades Christendom. All I knew was that I wasn't interested in it. Chuck Swindoll's teaching of the doctrine of conditional election [the first point of Arminianism (election is conditioned upon the "acceptance" of Jesus by the individual)] "worked" for me.

    After years of developing my own understanding of soteriology, I came to learn that my understanding and the doctrines of grace were congruent. That is, I came to realize that I'm a Calvinist.

    Since then, partly because of how God made me and partly because of how such was "honed" via law school and practice of law, I have sought out books and articles which oppose Calvinism. I want to fully understand its weaknesses; concomitantly, I want to fully understand the arguments which support contrary views.

    I don't know how to be more objective. That said, what "rings true" to me is what -- I wholeheartedly believe -- our Lord allowed me to believe years ago: The doctrines of grace. That's why I seek to encourage folks like Jeremy and Jonathan.

    I've written previously that I admire the facts that you (1) have understanding of the doctrines of grace (even though you reject them), (2) you openly acknowledge your own bias and (broadly speaking) the basis thereof, and (3) you continue to make some effort to pursue Truth. What a waste of time for you and for all who comment if all I or anyone who comments were mere sycophants for eachother!

    By Anonymous jim mcdermott, at 5/09/2006 1:49 PM  

  • Matthew while it is true that I must submit that Scripture is calling the whole world and all men, I must also submit that Israel is blinded in accordance with Pauls word in lieu of the gentiles. I must also submit that Paul was confirming both Jesus' and Isaiahs words at the end of Acts. The process is still occuring even in this dispensation, yet the call is to the whole world and to every creature. I know this is considered a lukewarm stance and is distasteful to both FG's and Calvinists, but it is the only one I can believe in accordance with Scripture. Gods word must be honored above systems of thought. It is a mystery and I submit to it as being such.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 5/09/2006 4:17 PM  

  • Matthew, that position raises more questions. IMO, Jesus is not referring to all Israel, or to leaders, but to towns (v.20ff) and individuals that made up those towns (v.25). Who are the wise, learned, and infants that Jesus speaks of? I think you might answer that not all Israel is Israel, but then you are left with individuals that have truth hidden from them (unbelieving Israel), and those that have truth revealed to them (believing Israel). Individuals. For those that do not repent (truth hidden), the result is that they are damned (v.23) – I think this answers one of your (and Rose’s) earlier questions on God damning individuals.

    “Come to Me, all of you who are . . . all of you . . . .” Is this just for Israel?

    Bhedr makes a good point about Israel's current state of hardness. This did not change after the resurrection or Pentecost.

    By Blogger Jonathan Moorhead, at 5/09/2006 7:08 PM  

  • Bluecollar posted some good stuff by Spurgeon on this. We must be careful with the word all as well as understanding the love of the Father,by any measure of understanding we take. The simple truth is...we are not Him. Remember Paul wished himself accursed for the hardened nation. As Spurgeon said in Marks post, something like "Is his love lesser than ours?"

    Remember the heart of Whitfield as when he preached all men would weep. His heart went out with his message. We must submit to predestination, but we must also submit to the love of God and admit that we have no ultimate conception or way to measure it in our minds.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 5/09/2006 9:03 PM  

  • Also as a caveat,

    Think not that election discourages faith, but realize that in reality it sparks faith. I was listening to Lutzer talk about the Syrophonecian/Caananite woman who was only alive because Joshua did not fully obey the command of God to exterminate her ancestors. If he had of, then she would not have been alive saying,"Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the table." when being told by Jesus only Israel was to whom he came. It was then he said, "Great is your faith!"

    You see she came to believe in Him in spite of the doctrine of election and by humbly accepting that God chose the nation of Israel and not hers, but still believing that He would be good to her.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 5/09/2006 9:13 PM  

  • The Mormons believe the Holy spirit confirms. The fellows that came to my door and sat in my kitchen at my eager invitation and were trying to persuade me of Mormon doctrine said, when I questioned Joseph Smith's writings that, if you read it and you get a nice warm fuzzy feeling about it, then that is the Holy Spirit confirming it. John Calvin has the same doctrine. In Book one of the his Institutes, the title of chapter 7 reads,

    Scripture Must Be Confirmed by the Witness of the Spirit. Thus May Its Authority Be Established as Certain; and It is a Wicked Falsehood that Its Credibility Depends on the Judgment of the Church.

    That's an unfortunate view. It works very well for the Mormons. That is the kind of thing Calvin had to resort to in order to give authority to his doctrines of grace, because they don't hold up under the scrutiny of God's word. They will sound good to one and then contorted and imaginative to another and therefore must be tested by scripture. Not by the judgement of the church, but by scripture.

    By Blogger Todd, at 5/09/2006 11:42 PM  

  • Rose,

    Here is a link to Calvin's Institutes, on-line.

    http://www.reformed.org/books/institutes/index.html

    Heartily with you in the Word! Todd

    By Blogger Todd, at 5/09/2006 11:46 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Todd, at 5/09/2006 11:47 PM  

  • Very strange, I can't get the last three letters on the link to finish on the line below, so I'll try this.


    http://www.reformed.org/books/institutes/index.html
    tml

    By Blogger Todd, at 5/09/2006 11:52 PM  

  • Jonathan, a select group were chosen to be converted during Christ's earthly ministry. They were to be the apostles and their immediate followers.

    These men were characterised by folly rather than wisdom. This suited God's purposes.

    This passage in no way supports the election of individuals to eternal life in our dispensation or even that one.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 5/10/2006 3:41 AM  

  • bhedr, I think that woman demonstrated faith before she ever heard of election. Didn't she come to Jesus before He told her about it?

    By Blogger Gordon Cloud, at 5/10/2006 9:58 AM  

  • Jim Mc,
    I love ya brother! We need lawyers. :~) I agree - we need to hear the opposing thoughts to clarify our own. God bless you.

    Jonathan,
    I have to give you this in a nutshell because I now dash out the door. You think of "revealing" and "hiding" as though there are a list of names. When looking at the context of the previous chapter and the subsequent chapter, I see a certain "attitude" of the person who is having things hidden from him and the reverse for the person who is having things revealed to him. This means something to me. It is not an arbitrary list of names. God bless.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 5/10/2006 10:26 AM  

  • Gordon Cloud,

    Jesus was just telling her what she already knew. The Jews were God's chosen people. The Canaanites were to be cast out and the Jews had no dealings with them. She understood this yet had faith that God would be good to her. Jesus was unfolding the drama that was in her heart, so that the world would know.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 5/10/2006 7:01 PM  

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