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

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A Little Booklet on Lordship Salvation
Part 4

Here is the fourth of 7 major points from Dr. MacArthur's book and Dr. Pickering's review and comments on these points. (See my October 12 post for background on what I am posting here.)

Dr. Earnest Pickering sums up of MacArthur's points (large green italic #4) and offers comment: _______________________________________________________

4. Evangelistic appeals are suspect.

"It may surprise you to learn that Scripture never once exhorts sinners to 'accept Christ.'" (p. 106). We are guilty, says the writer, of employing incorrect terminology when we plead with sinners to "accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior" (p. 106). In citing John 1:11-12 the point is made that "receiving Christ" is more than "accepting him" (p. 106, footnote). The explanation of the difference, however, is less than satis­factory. In an apparent reference to the problem of the ordo salutis (the order of salvation) MacArthur declares, "Thus conversion is not simply a sinner's decision for Christ; it is first the sovereign work of God in transforming the individual" (p. 107). We gather that perhaps he is teaching that regeneration precedes faith. Nevertheless, what­ever his view may be on that, it cannot be denied that the sinner must make a decision. We must "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ." He must "repent and believe the gospel." The Bible emphasizes the call to the sinner. Christ condemned the sinners of His day by saying, "Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life" (Jn. 5:40). While it is God that saves, there is still a responsibility to come, and we, as faithful witnesses, must issue that invitation.
_______________________________________________________

That was a short one. What do you think?
more to come tomorrow ...

57 Comments:

  • My FG friends might not appreciate this one. Maybe if they put on their non-Calvinist hats, they will. Funny thing is, Pickering was a Calvinist.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/17/2006 11:31 AM  

  • I haven't kept up on the recent discussion. But, that is absolutely right that the Bible doesn't speak about "accepting" Christ, at least not in the usual sense people use the word.

    It is also correct about the responsibility to come, and be faithful witnesses. Basically, being a faithful witness is presenting the "Word", which the old Reformers said was a means of grace and is the usual way that the Holy Spirit brings people to life in Christ and strengthens them. Also, the message "repent and believe the gospel" is such a frequent message of the Gospels. While faith is the instrumental cause of justification, repentance is the constant companion of faith.

    Good entry.

    By Blogger Earl, at 10/17/2006 12:29 PM  

  • Earl, it is too bad that you haven't kept up on the discussion, because then you would know that by "repent" Earnest only means "to change your mind" and receive the gift of God. I don't think that is how you mean it?

    I don't see a big difference between "accept" and "receive."

    I am glad to see you here, Earl!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/17/2006 12:40 PM  

  • Technically, one does not accept Christ, one must believe in Him for eternal life.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 10/17/2006 12:45 PM  

  • Yes, but the Scripture uses the term "receive" when describing belief/faith. What is the difference between "receive" and "accept"?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/17/2006 12:49 PM  

  • I think that both receive and accept can be taken as other ways of saying "believe".

    But I do think thinking of belief as a "decision" is profoundly inaccurate. To say we must open our minds and consider the claims of Christ, however, is an important decision.

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at 10/17/2006 1:17 PM  

  • Good series.

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at 10/17/2006 1:17 PM  

  • But I do think thinking of belief as a "decision" is profoundly inaccurate. To say we must open our minds and consider the claims of Christ, however, is an important decision.

    Well put, HK! Thanks for reading and commenting.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/17/2006 1:19 PM  

  • Sorry I haven't kept up on the discussion. I might have time to review it tomorrow, got family things today. I have an entry on repentance where I discuss what my thoughts are.

    By Blogger Earl, at 10/17/2006 1:34 PM  

  • my pleasure :)

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at 10/17/2006 1:53 PM  

  • "receive" is a passive.

    Just think of "receiving" a blow, etc.

    Receiving Christ happens automatically upon belief in Christ.

    By Blogger Antonio, at 10/17/2006 5:25 PM  

  • Antonio (or anyone else),

    A person can "receive" a blow and a person can "believe" that a blow is coming. Is there then a difference between "receiving" and "believing"?

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Anonymous Ten Cent, at 10/18/2006 9:52 AM  

  • No. Receiving is merely a term used to describe the appropriation of eternal life. This means is consistently indentified in Scripture as belief or faith.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 10/18/2006 10:04 AM  

  • Matthew,
    You asked me about the word receive yesterday, I think. I deposited the Greek and even something from Webster's for you. You did not reply, Matthew. Then this morning I saw you on the Unashamed of Grace blog asking me, "What is receive?"

    Are you teasing me, my young British friend?

    Why not read this stuff - these definitions that I have posted in the comments yesterday here where we got all involved in this and then "respond" to the definition before you just say, "Receiving is merely a term used to describe the appropriation of eternal life.."

    I do agree with your statement, "Receiving is merely a term used to describe the appropriation of eternal life.." but I think if we look at the word "receive" from John 1:12 a little closer, we can get a shade more of meaning for the appropriation of eternal life.

    OK, brother?

    :~)

    Also - I offered you a thought on the word "mental assent" and "trust" and I am not sure if you read it. You were asking about that.

    In that comment thread, I also referred you to my idea about the passive nature of receiving money from an anonymous millionaire and I wondered why your view wasn't all that different in its passivity. I would love to have you answer me on that too, brother Matthew. Mr. C.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/18/2006 11:42 AM  

  • Earl,
    Thanks. I will check it out soon.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/18/2006 11:42 AM  

  • Many of those definitions that are listed refer to receiving as a physical action. Obviously, it is not.

    To understand what John means by 'receive', we have to look at how he views the means appropriation elsewhere in the Gospel. We can not define what John means simply using the definition of one word that he uses, when he more often uses another word, believe. Because the word 'receive' can sometimes have an active meaning does not entail that John indicates activity here.

    The means of appropriation is by belief, which is purely passive.

    Is belief not enough, Rose~?

    If I believe in Jesus, do I have everlasting life, or must I do something else to receive it?

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 10/18/2006 11:53 AM  

  • I think I wrote the comment on Unashamed of Grace before I read you comment with all the concordance stuff.

    We have to be careful of basing our views of particular words on possible meanings given in a concordance without considering how other words are used in a similar context.

    Concordance studies are very limited.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 10/18/2006 11:59 AM  

  • The anonymous millionaire analogy breaks down, like the one about Blondin and the one about the chair,bed etc.

    Simply because they introduce an element of reception that is additional to faith.

    Faith is the means of receiving. There is no additional step required.

    Once we abandon this, we have no fixed meaning on faith and the door is open for the MacArthurs of this world to introduce their muddled views of what faith is.

    Faith is like that of the person who knows your husband is coming with the mail, whether they like it or not.

    Except, it the gift, in the case of eternal life, is contingent on that faith.

    You asked me about a person who believed in eternal life, but was indifferent to it.

    Such a person would be born again as soon as she believed and would probably not be indifferent for very long, if at all.

    The person who is indifferent to eternity is more likely to harden her heart and reject the offer of eternal life. Nevertheless, the work of the Holy Spirit through the preached Word can break through that hard-heartedness.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 10/18/2006 12:08 PM  

  • Is belief not enough, Rose~?

    You know I know it is!

    This is about whether an indifferent belief is the same as believing that Christ has given ME eternal life and receiving it personally. I don't know why you and Antonio want to contend for the indifferent faith idea.

    I even gave you an example of someone I know who knew the facts of the gospel, yet refused to apply them to himself.

    Is that faith? I don't think so. But yes, all I am contending for is mere faith, faith in Christ for one's self, not indifferent faith "Christ is the guarantor for those who believe" but "Christ is the guarantor for me. I believe." It is important to believe that Christ is offereng it to me and that I am receiving it for me. Don't forget, John describes this salvation as a gift and so does Paul. It is important to realize that one believes for oneself that Christ has done this. Of this I am sure. This makes it a gift that one receives. I am not talking about any emotional element, either, so don't you and Antonio go accusing me of looking at this through girl glasses.

    Now I see when I am composing this comment that you have left another:
    Such a person would be born again as soon as she believed and would probably not be indifferent for very long, if at all.

    I think I will take that as a concession that I may be right. hehe

    Simple faith? YES!! Absolutely!!!!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/18/2006 12:29 PM  

  • So if you cannot believe while being indifferent, what level of sincerity does your faith require to be genuine?

    Suppose I did not feel overjoyed when I was converted. Does this mean maybe I have this false 'indifferent faith'?

    This is the real danger with trying to play around with the definition of faith and putting qualifications on it.

    You cannot contend for a simple faith while insisting on qualifications on it.

    If you believe that you have eternal life through Jesus Christ, you are saved, even if you might be 'indifferent' about it.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 10/18/2006 1:57 PM  

  • No, no. I am not putting any qualifiers on it. I am discussing the content of what you are believing. Dismissing application to oneself is what I meant by indifferent. This regrads content.

    Red Herrring: Suppose I did not feel overjoyed when I was converted. Does this mean maybe I have this false 'indifferent faith'?

    I am not talking about being emotional or overjoyed. I am talking about knowing that Christ has given ME eternal life. simple.

    You put it perfectly to my satisfaction right here:
    If you believe that you have eternal life through Jesus Christ, you are saved.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/18/2006 2:14 PM  

  • Another Red Herring: what level of sincerity does your faith require to be genuine

    I am not talking about sincerity, never had.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/18/2006 2:15 PM  

  • I know plenty of people who "believe" that the gospel is true--but they overtly and explicitly deny their personal need for it.

    To take Matt. and Antonio's logic to its conclusion, these folks are saved merely because they believe the gospel is true. But the problem is these same people deny their need for the gospel. They acknowledge the reality of the gospel, but don't want to commit themselves to it.

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 10/18/2006 3:27 PM  

  • Bobby, if a person does not see her need for eternal life, then she would not believe the Gospel.

    If she believes that Jesus has given her eternal life, then she has eternal life.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 10/18/2006 4:57 PM  

  • Actually Matthew these folks do believe the gospel is true, they just don't "Want" to believe; because they would rather continue on in their own "autonomous" lifestyle.

    I think you guys are pushing to hard in reaction to Lordship Salvation. Where does the Bible say that appropiating salvation is a "passive" activity. This in my mind sounds very much like the Calvinist schema; i.e. God initiates (regenerates)salvation, and the recipient "knee-jerkingly" (passively)responds to salvation. It seems to me that in order for your perspective to work you would want to say that the appropiation of salvation is the "active" reception of the "absolutely free" offer and gift of salvation.

    In Christ

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 10/18/2006 5:21 PM  

  • Bobby,
    I was thinking the same thing last night. Arguing over the pssive nature of faith reminded me of arguing with the C.

    I see from your comment before your last that you understand what I am getting at and I do appreciate that.

    I would only hope that by "commit" you meant commit themselves to its truth for them.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/18/2006 5:44 PM  

  • Rose,

    Absolutely agree with you. It is a personal appropriation--we must individually respond to God's offer of salvation.

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 10/18/2006 6:07 PM  

  • I tried to absorb all the many comments before jumping in here, but this thread especially made me go "huh?"

    I'm not sure I understand the whole passive/active thing that's being tossed around here, so forgive me if this comment is so severely off track with the thread.

    My understanding is that the word "believe" itself is an unfortunate choice of words in our translations of Scripture. I say that on the basis that in our English language, "believe" does sound extremely passive. However, the word "believe" in Scripture, as I understand it, carries with it a much stronger connotation of "put your trust in".

    In that sense, you can't have a "belief" that is "indifferent". How can you indifferently put your trust in something (or Someone)?

    Was this what your points about "mental assent" vs. "trust" were in the previous thread, Rose?

    Unfortunately, I've missed so much of the conversation as it took place, that I fear I'm way off base on the direction here! LOL

    steve :)

    By Anonymous Steve Sensenig, at 10/18/2006 10:08 PM  

  • Bobby
    Belief is passive by its nature.

    Nobody choses to believe.
    A person is confronted by facts. They may passively accept them and believe or they may chose to ignore them and not believe.

    You can actively chose not to believe, but you cannot chose to believe something. Try it!

    Steve, trust is essentially the same as belief.

    Trust is believing the proposition that a thing is reliable.

    I trust that Rose~ will not use bad language on her blog. I made no active decision on my part to believe this. Rather, I have witnessed the evidence that Rose~ will not use bad language on her blog. My response to that evidence is purely passive trust in her not to use bad language.

    You might suggest that I do not trust her unless I actually continue to visit her blog.

    However, this is unnecessary. My trust in Rose~ to not use bad language does not depend upon my actively visiting her blog.

    If I were to stop visiting Rose~'s blog (for any number of reasons) I would continue to know and believe that Rose~ will not use bad language on her blog.

    Of course, I could chose not to believe the evidence.

    I could ignore all the evidence to the contrary and think about incidents where Rose~ character appears less saintly nad thus trick myself into believing that Rose~ is likely to write a post full of filthy language. This would be an active response of unbelief.

    However, to respond to the evidence before me that Rose~ will not use bad language would simply be a passive assent to a true proposition.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 10/19/2006 3:52 AM  

  • Matthew I'm not thinking in English, but Greek. And if the active is used in the Greek then what does this imply about it's meaning--i.e. there is an placing of trust or commitment to Jesus Christ--this is much more than assent--and different by the way.

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 10/19/2006 7:03 AM  

  • This essentially comes down to the same question of what trust is.

    I do not understand about how you can talk about active trust.

    One can act on trust. We all agree about that.

    But I do not see how one can actively decide to have trust. That sounds like self-deception.

    I trust a thing when the evidence leads me to believe it is reliable. I might then chose to act or not act on that trust.

    Even if I did not trust a thing, I might be reckless enough to act on it without trusting it.

    It seems quite impossible to escape the conclusion that trust is simply a passive belief that cannot be created at will.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 10/19/2006 11:06 AM  

  • Hi Steve,
    Yes, this has all gotten rather convoluted, but your comments are not way off track. I think what you say is interesting. I am not even trying to contend for that, though. All I have been asking Matthew and Antonio is what do they do with the person who believes the facts of the gospel, yet wants nothing to do with the gospel, does not want salvation or Christ for himself. They seem to think this is a fictitious person, but I know one and now Bobby has said he knows a few.

    So now I have found two fictitious people in the world of theology:

    *the "carnal Christian" (LS say he doesn;t exist)

    *the disinsterested gospel fact-knower who rejects -and always has rejected- the gift of God

    Thanks for visiting, Steve!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/19/2006 11:48 AM  

  • Rose~ you seem to be very unclear as to whether this hypothetical person you refer to believes that she posesses eternal life through Jesus Christ.

    My answer is simple.

    If she knows she has eternal life through Jesus Christ, she is saved (regardless of how she feels about it).

    If she does not believe that she has eternal life, she is lost and in which case, I rather wonder why you keep bringing her up. She is a straight-forward unbeliever.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 10/19/2006 5:11 PM  

  • Rose,

    I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "believes the facts of the gospel" if this person wants nothing to do with it. What is it that she believes?

    Is this like saying (completely hypothetical), "I believe that person X would be a much better president for the United States [sorry, Matthew], but I'm going to vote for person Y anyway"?

    Matthew, if you say you trust Rose not to use bad language, yet don't visit her blog anymore (which would make Rose very sad, I think!), then of what value is the trust?

    My argument is that the Scriptural language used (believe not meaning just a mental assent of the historical facts about Jesus) is not just "Oh, I know that eternal life comes through Jesus". It is more of "I know that there is no other way to eternal life, and my trust is completely in Jesus to put me in a right relationship with the Father, knowing that without that without Jesus, there is no way I can have a relationship with the Father."

    I do agree with you, Matthew, that if someone does not believe they have eternal life, they are not a believer.

    By Anonymous Steve Sensenig, at 10/19/2006 5:58 PM  

  • The “hypothetical” person Rose~ describes is one who knew the facts and the genuine offer of eternal life through the God-Man Yeshua ha Messhiah. The “hypothetical” person Rose~ describes knew that there was no other means of salvation than Sola Christos (Christ alone). The “hypothetical” person Rose~ describes knew the facts that the almighty God became a man suffered and bled, and died and was buried and rose from the dead the third day. The “hypothetical” person Rose~ describes knew completely all the facts and believed that if he actively put his trust in Christ Jesus he would become a child of God, born into a new family, given a new name, would develop a new song in his heart and have eternal life. The “hypothetical” person Rose~ describes knew that only the Lord Jesus could set him free from the bondage of the sinful lifestyle he was caught up in and be freed from the tempters power. The “hypothetical” person Rose~ describes knew that Jesus was the answer. The “hypothetical” person Rose~ describes refused the good news (did not trust or apply this great rich truth to his own life)... :( and is now dead... ... ... ... ... ... ...

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 10/20/2006 6:43 AM  

  • John, there is no need to complicate things by bringing in the language of refusal.

    We are saved by trust. Trust is passive not active. If you passively trust that Jesus Christ has given you eternal life, then you are redeemed.

    Once we bring in the language of active acceptance, then everyhting gets confused.

    How do I accept Christ? By saying a prayer? By asking Jesus into my heart? By being sorry for sin? By going to the 'altar' at a meeting?

    Everything becomes subjective once we move away from the simple langauge of faith and belief.

    One can objectively know whether or not one beleives in Jesus for eternal life.

    However, acceptance is a deeply subjective concept. Just what is invovled.

    Can I be sure I have really accepted Christ? Was I sincere enough?

    I think it is vital to define faith simply in terms of propositional trust.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 10/20/2006 8:36 AM  

  • Steve,
    I am not talking about the value of trust. That is irrelevant.

    I am defining trust. Trust is something different from acting on trust.

    "Is this like saying (completely hypothetical), "I believe that person X would be a much better president for the United States [sorry, Matthew], but I'm going to vote for person Y anyway"

    You might have any number of reasons for not voting for a man you trusted. It might be against your religion, for instance.

    Likewise, it is conceivable that you might vote for a candidate that you did not trust.

    One's trust and one's acting upon trust are two distinct things.

    "It is more of "I know that there is no other way to eternal life, and my trust is completely in Jesus to put me in a right relationship with the Father, knowing that without that without Jesus, there is no way I can have a relationship with the Father.""

    This is essentially a proposition which one would affirm passively if the evidence lead one to be convinced of it.

    I would point out that it is not necessary to believe anything about a right relationship with the Father to be saved. This is not part of the essential content of saving faith. Saving faith is believing in Christ for the gift He offers, namely eternal life.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 10/20/2006 8:43 AM  

  • Matthew,
    you ask:
    How do I accept Christ? By saying a prayer? By asking Jesus into my heart? By being sorry for sin? By going to the 'altar' at a meeting?

    I know the question was asked of John, but I want to answer for myself: "NO." Receiving Christ as my Savior is an invisible response to God that he wants what Christ has offered. That would be the simplest way I could describe conversion. Don't you see conversion as an interaction between God and a man? (Or maybe you are a Calvinist after all - hehe) It is best to just think of this as receiving a gift as Paul describes salvation as a gift. This is something in our culture that happens to most people at least once a year.

    You say:
    Trust is passive not active. If you passively trust that Jesus Christ has given you eternal life, then you are redeemed.

    I agree with this statement. The only problem I have is not even with the word passive. I can get that.

    Here is what is pertinet from Webster's on "passive:"

    1 a (1) : acted upon by an external agency (2) : receptive to outside impressions or influences b (1) : lacking in energy or will : LETHARGIC (2) : tending not to take an active or dominant part d : induced by an outside agency
    2 a : not active or operating : INERT b : c : LATENT d (1) :

    So, I agree that faith is, of itself, not active. The "active" part would be our acting on our belief, not the belief itself. I get that. What I don't get (and maybe you have backed off of this a little because I haven't seen you say it this way again) is to say that one who believes Christ guarantees eternal life to those who believe ... automatically implies that he wants that eternal life for himself. I do believe there is a personal aspect where one must want this life for himself. John uses the word "receive" to describe the appropriation of eternal life. You say that we need to let John define his terms when we read his gospel. I say to you that if John has chosen to use the word "receive" then maybe he is trying to help us define this "belief into Christ" that he talks about. You seem to have run around that and perhaps avoided that flip side of your statement about John defining his terms..

    I have another question for you: Is there any room in your approach for the word "response" to be used in your description of conversion?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/20/2006 11:51 AM  

  • Oh, one more thing!
    you said in your earlier comment to me (I forgot about that one)

    If she knows she has eternal life through Jesus Christ, she is saved (regardless of how she feels about it).

    I agree.

    Rose~ you seem to be very unclear as to whether this hypothetical person you refer to believes that she posesses eternal life through Jesus Christ.

    Now, my dear British friend, I think it is you that are unclear about it. That is how all of this hulabaloo got started.

    Here is how you have been seen saying it:
    Saving faith is simply giving assent to that proposition, that Christ is the source of eternal life to those who believe.

    This is where If she knows she has eternal life through Jesus Christ is unclear, because there is no personalization - Christ has given HER eternal life because SHE believe. A fine point, but I think it is important because of the person that I know and the people that Bobby knows - who are not fictitious ... those who acknowledge the facts of the gospel, but do not believe into Christ personally, fools that they are.

    I love you, my friend Matthew!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/20/2006 12:30 PM  

  • "I have another question for you: Is there any room in your approach for the word "response" to be used in your description of conversion?"

    I do not see how the word is especially helpful in terms of believing.

    A person may make a positive response to the Gospel without believing, like being interested, reading a tract a second time, deciding to visit the church of the evangelist, etc.

    "I haven't seen you say it this way again) is to say that one who believes Christ guarantees eternal life to those who believe ... automatically implies that he wants that eternal life for himself. I do believe there is a personal aspect where one must want this life for himself."

    I do not see that wanting eternal life is necessary, but I suppose if a person did not want eternal life they would probably reject the message out of hostility. I suppose I could conceive of a person believing without being certain that eternal life was such a desirable thing. That person would be saved regardless.

    If a person believes that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God (the provider of eternal life), that makes them a believer, so they would presumably believe they posessed eternal life unless they disqualified themself from it by refusing to believe that they personally posessed eternal life.

    "It is best to just think of this as receiving a gift as Paul describes salvation as a gift."

    Receiving a gift is a passive response. Rejecting would be positive and active refusal.

    Of course not wanting a gift would not disqualify one from receiving it.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 10/20/2006 3:33 PM  

  • Matthew, I sure appreciate your continued patience in discussing this stuff. I also completely respect your desire to maintain a perspective of the "least amount possible", given that Christianity is way too full of people who want to "disqualify" others on the basis of other doctrines.

    So, let me applaud you for that. Having said that, I'm starting to think that it's possible to go too far in the approach you're taking, and it sounds like you end up painting yourself in a corner at times. For example:

    Of course not wanting a gift would not disqualify one from receiving it.

    This sounds to me like you believe that there are going to be some really unhappy people in heaven because they don't want the gift of eternal life, yet believed the propositions about Jesus and therefore ended up there against their desires.

    I hope you would agree with me that this idea sounds very absurd. Or...do you?

    For the most part, I'm really with you on wanting simplicity in the Gospel message, and not trying to make people jump through hoops to "prove" they are saved. But I feel like what you are saying (this whole intellectual assent without any heart change or even desire to be saved) goes beyond what we have revealed through Scripture.

    steve :)

    By Blogger Steve Sensenig, at 10/20/2006 7:04 PM  

  • I agree with Steve on that and I was wondering if someone was going to catch that statement. While I agree that we need to be careful not to impliment and exalt the human capacity to desire God in the emotional sense...we must desire to be saved! Emotions are feelings and desires but accepting the gospel message must be done and you have got to want to receive the free gift from God.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 10/20/2006 7:26 PM  

  • Let me add that you have got to accept God himself into your heart...but what I was getting at is the human capacity of desire that the Lordship crowd hinges on and Piper goads man with as well. If your emotions arent there then somethings wrong philosophy. That teaches you to rest on your human ability to have the right motive all the time and will leave you discouraged when you cant meet that criteria every day. Faith must rest on fact. This is a tough issue...but that fact and substance is Christ Himself in the death, burial and resurrection and He must be received with an open heart in order for us to be saved.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 10/20/2006 7:31 PM  

  • Steve
    "This sounds to me like you believe that there are going to be some really unhappy people in heaven because they don't want the gift of eternal life, yet believed the propositions about Jesus and therefore ended up there against their desires."

    I think most people would quite like the idea of everlasting life, but I see no reason to rule out the salvation of a person who was not sure that she really did want everlasting life.

    Of course, such a person would be born again and would almost certainly change her attitude.

    And when she got to heaven, she would be made perfect and would forever know the bliss of everlasting life in the presence of God.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 10/21/2006 10:48 AM  

  • Nice series Rose and good nourishing discussion.

    By Blogger Todd, at 10/21/2006 11:42 AM  

  • Todd,
    I am glad that you ahve been reading. It has not been focused on that which I thought it would be. IOW, I figured if there would be any debate, it would be between LS proponents and non-LS. Instead, it seems to be more focused on finer points at the non-LS end of the spectrum. These can be helpful too.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/21/2006 12:32 PM  

  • I think that desire for the gift of eternal life (God placed eternity in our hearts!) may act on one in such a way as to help convince one of Christ's claims...

    By Blogger Antonio, at 10/21/2006 7:11 PM  

  • Antonio, yes, I would agree with that.

    But if a person came to believe Christ's claims without being certain that they really wanted everlasting life, yet believed they had received it, they would be saved.

    Faith is believing, not desiring.

    A person might desire everlasting life, but not believe Jesus had promised it to them. Their desire would be lacking faith and they would not be redeeemed.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 10/22/2006 9:08 AM  

  • Where Piper takes desire to its impossible extemes, you are taking mental assent to its impossible extremes and making this far to restrictive and legal like he. I hope that one day you will see this. We need to be careful that we do not hoard our theology over God and hold him captive to what we think and not what his word says. We need to stop trying to help him out on both ends of these extremes. We might mean well, but it is not healthy.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 10/22/2006 5:05 PM  

  • Bian~ Amen!

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 10/23/2006 6:54 AM  

  • Antonio,
    Yes ... I am sure you saw it in your Indian friends.

    Matthew,
    No way. Carrying this to its logical conclusion is no different than what the reformed taching is - that there is no interaction between God and the convert, no personal connection. The reformed view it as this gifting of faith and regeneration preceding faith (which makes it seem like something is done to the convert, without an interaction between himself and the Lord).

    What you are postulating is that belief without reception is going to destine one for heaven even though they have a negative response to the gospel. This also sounds like something is done to the "believer", without an interaction between himself and the Lord.

    Don't you think that is kind of absurd?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/23/2006 9:11 AM  

  • Rose~, belief is the means of reception.

    A person is entirely inactive in her salvation. Christ has done everything that is necessary to save a person; they only need to receive it by faith.

    I find it hard to think of reasons why a person might not want eternal life (perhaps thinking heaven might be boring- a child might sincerely form such an opinion), however I see no reason to rule out such a possibility.

    You would surely agree that a person can receive a gift without necessarilly wanting it?

    I am certainly not advocating monergism of the Augustinian variety. I would not reject the description of Synergist, even though other Non-Calvinists seem uncomfortable with that tag.

    A person can actively reject the offer of eternal life, but their acceptance of it is passive.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 10/23/2006 10:09 AM  

  • You would surely agree that a person can receive a gift without necessarilly wanting it?

    The only way I see this happening would be if there was an unawareness of the gift - IOW,
    someone left it on my porch in the night,
    an anonymous person deposited it into my bank account,
    or I accepted a pretty package, then openend it up to find that it contained something I did not want - like a severed finger or something like that.

    I don't think the gift of eternal life comes to us as something we are not aware of. I think we are awaare ... and we want it ... and we receive it.

    It is a marvelous interaction between the Lord and his creation.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/23/2006 11:38 AM  

  • Matthew,
    I agree:
    A person is entirely inactive in her salvation. Christ has done everything that is necessary to save a person; they only need to receive it by faith.

    Our only disagreement is in how we attach the word "receive" to the word "belief." You see the word "belief" swallowing up the word "receive" ... while I see the word "receive" modifying or helping to define the word "believe."

    Capiche?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/23/2006 11:38 AM  

  • Rose~, do you mean your relatives always give you presents you want?

    I suspect if a relative gave you a present, you would accept it, even if you knew what it was and did not want it.

    You certainly need to know of the gift of eternal life. I can conceive of somebody receiving it by faith out of obediance, but not being sure they wanted it.

    I am not sure exactly how you really understand receiving differently to me.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 10/23/2006 3:43 PM  

  • Joseph once told me that monergism and synergism are not biblical terms and he was right.

    We just need to allow God's word to speak for itself. Election is made known in the Bible clearly but Jesus also wept and told Israel that I would and ye would not. Steven told the crowd "ye do always resist the Holy Spirit."

    Matthew, there has to be some kind of reception here of opening up your heart to Christ.

    This is salvation as well not the familly gathering around the Christmass tree taking pictures of the sweater Granda gave us that nobody is going to wear.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 10/23/2006 5:39 PM  

  • Matthew,
    I think I will give you the last word, but I will add that your last word seems to show me that you won't budge on this at this time, no matter how you have to move your argument forward with that which I find a little absurd, frankly. I hope that doesn't offend you. Love you, brother.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/25/2006 11:15 AM  

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