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

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

One-Naturism?

A while back, I had written a few posts delving into the issue of "Is the Christian Dual Natured?"

Is the Christian Dual-Natured? Part 1
Is the Christian Dual-Natured? Part 2
Is the Christian Dual-Natured? Part 3

My friend, Matthew, recently gave me a link to a fellow named Miles Stanford and I found this below, which he had written on this subject.

One-Naturism
part 1
by Miles Stanford

We will briefly consider the "one-nature" error.

1) Wesleyan One-Naturism

This is the traditional Pentecostal aberration: "Total Depravity does not mean that human nature is essentially and completely evil, but that every part of it is damaged and infected by inherited Adamic sin. "It is insisted that there is no new nature involved at conversion, but rather the impartation of spiritual life that regenerates the old Adamic nature.

Eradication: This is the teaching that all sin is eradicated from the sinful Adamic nature. The Wesleyan "pure heart," is attained when the "second blessing" experience of the "Pentecostal flame" consumes the sinful propensities of the old Adamic nature. Presto, new divine nature!

2) Arminian One-Naturism

Another type of "one-naturism" is set forth by J. Sidlow Baxter in his book, A New Call to Holiness. This holiness theory is that of amelioration of the sinful Adamic nature. Dr. Baxter writes:

"Sin is a diffused infection of thought, desire, motive, impulse, inclination, and even of instinct, right through the moral nature. From the moment the Holy Ghost fully possesses us, He begins to correct, purify, refine, inbreathe and renovate all the qualities, tempers, urges, propensities, and functions of the mind, the sensations, and the will. This is how holiness begins and continues to be inwrought" (p. 116).

This is the humanistic theory of change in contradiction to the spiritual principle of exchange; "Not I, but Christ."

3) Covenant One-Naturism

The most prevalent and insidious type of "one-naturism" today is that of Covenant Theology. Through the error of considering Romans 6:6 to be actual (condition), rather than positional, it is claimed that the old Adamic man is actually crucified, dead, and gone--eradicated. Those holding this view are forced, however, to admit to indwelling sin in the Christian. Some teach that it is simply a residual influence left over from pre-salvation days.

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones and Dr. Jay Adams refer to indwelling sin as "old habits." Dr. John MacArthur terms it the "old coat of humanness." Dr. Charles Solomon says it is the "energy of residual sin." Another erroneous term for the indwelling old man is "condition of flesh." The one-nature proponents separate the alleged eradication of the old man from the indwelling "flesh."

However, the Word teaches that "flesh" is a person, as well as a condition. "My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh" (Gen. 6:3). "Fathers of our flesh" (Heb. 12:9) sire progeny of flesh. Belief in the eradication of the old man tends to relieve the Christian of much of his responsibility concerning the activity of his indwelling Adamic life and nature. He is wont to place the blame for his sinning upon Satan, and upon "residual tendencies" and "habits" developed prior to salvation.

But here is the crux of the matter: it is not possible for the source of indwelling sin to be eradicated, while retaining sin, the product of that sinful source. Effect must have a cause! If you sin, you have its source, i.e., Adam.

Dr. Lloyd-Jones taught that "The old man is non-existent. Your old self is gone" (Romans Six, p. 65). Dr. MacArthur: "The old man is dead, destroyed, removed…it isn’t around" (Tape GC 2147). Dr. Solomon: "The old man and sin nature no longer exist in the Christian" (Rejection Syndrome, p. 106). Dr. Bob George: "That old man is dead and gone; he will never exist again" (Classic Christianity, p. 90). Dr. Bill Gillham: "I claim by faith that the old man is extinct" (Lifetime Guarantee, p. 187).

What the one-nature eradicationist fails to understand is that death ever means separation! Separation from God is living death. I, as a new creation in the Last Adam, was positionally separated from the first Adam at the Cross (Gal. 2:20). Hence I reckon myself dead (separated) from sin and its source, the sinful indwelling old Adamic man. This is the meaning of Romans Six.

I will post Part 2 in a couple of days, after you have had a chance to read Part 1.

15 Comments:

  • Yes, One-Naturism is pretty awful stuff.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 9/20/2006 9:38 AM  

  • Great post, Rose. The bottom line is that this flesh is not redeemed. It is so wicked that God is going to give us a complete overhaul of it before He lets us into Heaven.

    By Blogger Gordon Cloud, at 9/20/2006 10:21 AM  

  • Great post Rose,

    You have exposed this teaching quite well. I must admit I was rather perplexed about the covenant position and this helped explain a few things.

    It is so hard to admit that as Paul said, "I know that in me, in my flesh, nothing good dwells." We are nothing, have nothing, and will never be anything apart from the grace of God and the indwelling of His Holy Spirit.

    He is truly all in all.

    By Blogger Jim, at 9/20/2006 11:11 AM  

  • Add my voice to the praise sis. Excellent work.

    By Blogger Kc, at 9/20/2006 11:20 AM  

  • My pastor has said a few times that saying that humans have a sin "nature" is a fallacy. We are all made in the image of God. We have the same human nature that Jesus did. Ours is corrupted by sin, whereas His was not. Our human nature is sinful as long as we are on this earth. When we are "born again", sin loses its power over us and we are given the power to live a holy life in Christ Jesus. We are still fallen human beings, however, so we still sin. If we had a sin nature we would still be controlled by it as long as we have it. If that nature is removed from us, why do we still sin? Is it possible that the problem was never our nature itself but rather the state of our human nature? That's essential what the pastor would say. I actually find his definition to be reasonable (in his defense, he could explain his position much better than I can, so blame the deficiencies on me for now). I suppose one needs to define what a "nature" is. Sin is scripturally tied to the flesh. Is our nature synonymous with our flesh or is it something deeper than that? When we are given new bodies in heaven, will our nature have changed then, too, or will be be freed from this body of death to worship God as He created humanity to worship Him? We use these terms to attempt to define a Biblical truth and I think that our words fail us. What it comes down to is that I am sinful and was, in that sin, completely separated from fellowship with God. When He saved me, I was forgiven and given the power to resist the sin which still tempts me, but I still fall.

    By Blogger The IBEX Scribe, at 9/20/2006 11:51 AM  

  • Good nearly afternoon, Rose~.

    Angie, I would agree with what you are saying. You would seem to hold a dual-nature view.

    When we have resurrection bodies we will have the same perfect new nature that we posess now, only it will be fully realised through being freed from the flesh.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 9/20/2006 11:57 AM  

  • In principles of Spiritual Growth Miles Stanford teaches that the Old Adamic nature is dead but the flesh is still existent. He actuall was the one that spurred be to understand this. This then is not far from the covanental idea but differant in application I suppose. Pretty deep reading I guess. The sin source has been crucified. I "HAVE BEEN" crucified with Christ. Paul is saying that his old self died there and we must learn to identify with that, yet our flesh still remains. I think the whole point of the Green Letters by Miles Stanford is to help us see how much power we have received to walk.

    This was interesting as I was not aware of the dicotomy of ideas in this paticular area.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 9/20/2006 7:50 PM  

  • At the end of the day though I think only Scripture matters and when Paul says, "I have been crucified..." who is it then that died there if not our old nature?

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 9/20/2006 7:53 PM  

  • Rose, you're on to something that I have not thought about lately. Crum, now I'll have to think about this and maybe even change my thinking. :o)

    So, I'll bookmark these comments and think about this for a while. Thanks!

    By Blogger Earl, at 9/22/2006 11:03 AM  

  • DF,
    Tell us how you really feel. ;~)

    Gordon,
    Yes, our flesh has no good, untainted thing dwelling in it. I am looking forward to the overhaul.

    Hi Jim!
    It is good to see you back around. Miles Stanford does break down the different views very well, doesn't he? I hear you about knowing that we are nothing. The flip side of this, which is wonderful, is that we have the new man within us who cannot sin! This is a great reality!

    1 John 3:8-9
    8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.


    Praise our glorious God who has given us the new birth.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/22/2006 11:54 AM  

  • KC,
    It is easy to shine when I post the thoughts of others who are smarter than I. :~)

    Hello, Angie,
    It is very nice to see you here again. I really like your lovely new profile pic. :~)
    I think your pastor's thoughts are interesting.
    If that nature is removed from us, why do we still sin?
    This is a very good question and I appreciate the challenges you have brought to our idea of a "sin nature."

    Hi Brian,
    When Paul says he has been crucified with Christ, I think I read this a little more figuratively than you. I think he may be saying that he "reckons" himself there on the cross. Knowing that our sin was laid upon Christ on the cross, we should reckon that we shant live in it anymore. I don't really take it to mean that literally, somehow, the pre-Christian me has been killed.
    Thanks for your thoughts. It is a good article.

    Earl!
    I feel so priveleged to have been able to post something that you had not thought about lately. ;~)
    Truly, your response made my day. Thanks for your visit!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/22/2006 12:07 PM  

  • Rose, thanks for the interesting post. I'm trying to get my arms around this.

    Jay Adams is a patron saint around the PCA. However, there is a rebellious streak in me, that if someone is overly popular, even in my area, I look down on him. Isn't that a terrible attitude? So, whenever there has been Sunday School classes which feature a video tape course by him, I go to Starbucks (shhh!, don't let anyone know from my church). Do you think there's any hope in my santification? Well, now you're providing me some ammunition. :o)

    Now, Martyn Lloyd-Jones is a sacrid (sp, too lazy to look up the spelling) cow, don't you go messing with him. I've only got one book by him, the Sermon on the Mount, which I start reading the first chapter and then put it down, only to pick it up again 10 years later and have to start all over again. He is supposed to be good, don't spoil it for me. :o)

    Just to show you how much I haven't been thinking about this, how does this compare to the concept of "total deprativity", but we're covered by Christ's righteousness? How does this compare to the concepts of idea of the dual-nature of humans (body and soul/spirit) versus the trichotomy view of humans (body, soul, spirit (where spirit is distinguished from soul)?

    And then an unrelated question, have you switched to blogger beta? If so, is it an easy switch? Now that's a theological question. :o)

    By Blogger Earl, at 9/22/2006 8:31 PM  

  • Rose,

    Then you would favor an allagory or metaphor here?

    I believe it must be taken literaly as a fact for how can we reckon it to be true if it is not?

    But as I said the old Adams flesh is still here to entomb us.

    I believe that when we died in the garden God spoke the truth and Satan tempted Eve not to believe that she would die. I believe she literally died and her nature became old immediately. At the cross we came to life immediately and our old nature died...but we are still entombed in the flesh of our old man. Anyway that is the way I see it. I believe in the finished work of Christ and that it is finished...yet we are still entombed in the grave of our old flesh awaiting our ultimate resurrection. We shall not all sleep but we shall all be changed in the blink of an eye and the corn of wheat must be dead I believe in order for that to happen in the blink of an eye or every Christian must die.

    Just some thoughts and this is a good discussion.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 9/22/2006 8:50 PM  

  • It seems natural to think of ourselves as single natured, which is exactly what is wrong with this point of view.

    Conversely, it is unnatural to think of ourselves as dual natured, which is exactly what is right with that view.

    (Time out...I am dizzy)

    By Blogger Joe, at 9/22/2006 8:59 PM  

  • I don't know Joe. I once remember Rose saying In one of these posts that we couldn't stop sinning for one hour. I grew up thinking this to. We are programed to think this way but is it biblical? I don't know. It seems more natural for us to want to hold on to our old natures and not want them dead.

    Again how can we reckon something to be true if it is not?

    I think we all have a tendencey to pity our old selves when God doesn't even wanting us flirting with them anymore...He wants them dead and if we believe they are dead then I believe we will begin to walk in victory and the finished work of Christ. The more I am thinking this through the more I am thinking that Dr Martin Loyd Jones is right even though I greatly respect Miles Stanford.

    Again we are still trapped in the body of death, but he is dead and the more we reckon with the absolute truth of the finished work of Christ the more we will walk. Our bodies of death can be like crabs in a barrel not wanting our new natures to believe this I think. All of us have this tendencey toward self pity and resentment if we see another brother walking as we ought to be walking. I include myself here. Let us ask ourselves if we are pitying our old selves...because God can't honor that.

    I am not talking about perfection as we are still in this body of death(flesh) but victory in the newness of life.

    It seems we all(I include myself again) are always trying to resist the truth that we can walk and so we all sit like the man at the pool of Silom wondering instead of believing when we can indeed rise and take up our bed and walk. God has given the power to do this if we but believe and our bodies of death are like that bed we roll up and have to carry with us until we are released from that burden one day.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 9/23/2006 8:03 AM  

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