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

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

More Problems with that Video

In order to know what I am talking about in this post, you could take a look, however brief, at the post below this one, entitled "Video Persuasion." This is kind of a "part 2" to that post. It is about a video presentation on 2 Peter 3:9.

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)
All does NOT always mean all. So says the man in the video. But first let's look at what he says regarding the words some, any and ceratin ones.

It seems tis which is the Greek word for some in the above verse is the same as the word for any. So, the Greek might be saying "God is not willing that some men should perish", or "God is not willing that certain ones should perish." I did a little thinking and looking regarding this. If the writer had wanted to say that God was not willing that certain ones should perish, he might have chosen the Greek word ekloge. The word tis doesn't carry a specificity to it, from what I could tell. It might just as well say, "God is not willing that men should perish." His idea regarding any is very weak. I think this teacher has distorted what the apostle Peter was telling his friends.

What I thought was much more interesting was the man's presentation on the word all. The verse says that God wants ALL to come to repentance. The word for all is the Greek word pas. The man in the video tells us that the Greek Lexicon wants us to know that the word pas does not always mean all and even when it is translated world or the whole world it doesn;t include all the people in the world. He gives us some verses to prove this to us. Here they are:

The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, “You see that you are accomplishing nothing. Look, the world has gone after Him!” (John 12:19)

We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. (1 John 5:19)

Then all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem, went out to him and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins. (Mark 1:5)

Now, the problem with this reasoning seems obvious to me. The first verse, John 12:19, is using the "whole world" as hyperbole. The pharisees MEANT to say "the whole world" ... absolutely. They meant it to show that a lot of people were involved. They were exaggerating, wouldn't you say? So if I exaggerate when I say I have no money, does that mean that the homeless guy on the corner does not really mean it when he says he has no money?

In 1 John, John is saying that the totality of people who are not of God are under the sway of the wicked one. I don't see a problem with that statement from John. I think he means what he says there.

In Mark 1:5, Mark is using the word all, casually, as a narrative device, to say that a lot of poeple were being baptized. This is allowed in a narrative. It is common. We use figures of speech even today. We exaggerate.

I believe there is a difference between a quote from the Pharisees or a casual narrative and doctrinal teaching from Peter, John and Paul in the NT. When men are referred to and there is not an descriptive clause that specifies a certain group, like "all of those who believe" or "all Jewish men" or "all who call upon the name of the Lord" then it seems clear the writer means to say all men.

Now, to insist that because in the first and third instances above, the writers didn't really mean "the totality of mankind" when they used the words all and world ... to then cast doubt on whether Peter is meaning all when he says all ... is suspect. Peter is not using hyperbole. He simply says God is not willing that men should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Why would Peter mean something other than all? Furthermore, if he meant to say that God is willing that few should come to repentance, or even that many should come, he could have chosen one of the Greek words that specifically mean few or many: oligos (few) or polus (many). The man in the video says that some people are hoping to mistranslate the verse, but I have yet to locate a translation that words the verse the way he does. (I think he meant to say "interpret" rather than "translate"?) A plain and normal hermenuetic renders the word all as all and apparently a plain and normal translation renders the word pas as all in this verse.

All means all in the following verses, wouldn't we agree? (It is the same Greek word pas)
...even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God... (Romans 3:22, 23)

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned ... (Romans 5:12)

All wrongdoing is sin ... (1 John 5:17)

Would the above uses of pas be just talking about certain men or ceratin sins? Of course not. It is talking about all men and all sin.

Finally, in regards to this video presentation, I think it was quite interesting that the teacher went about to prove that the word pas does not mean all in the 1 Peter 3:9, that he was disssecting and re-translating, but then ... the video is ended by quoting some more great verses that employ the word pas or all. I am certain that the teacher does believe the words in the following verses indeed mean all of those it regards.

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

My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. (John 10:29)

And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. (John 17:10)
I want to end by pointing out that the word whoever in the following verse is also the word pas ... the same as the word for all. Thank God, or else only some of us or many of us who believe in Him would have everlasting life. Language means something.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Video Persuasion

I posted the excerpt from a sermon by Spurgeon the other day (the post below this one) on the text of 1 Timothy 2:3,4. In the comments section, I was directed by Daniel to a video on YOUTUBE regarding a different verse, 2 Peter 3:9.

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)
Here’s the video.

(Who is the man in the video? If you know who he is, will you leave it in a comment please?)

I have watched this video three times now. The first time I found myself “following the logic” and even feeling as though I was being persuaded. Then, when I watched it the second time, I realized how manipulative it was. The third time, I jotted down some areas of concern.

Firstly, do you notice how music is used to persuade your emotions? Music is so powerful and so are visual images. Whoever put the video together is very good at this sort of thing. The sounds that you hear while watching the teaching are saying “authority” very persuasively. Also, at certain points, a hand holding a quill is shown, as though what is being said is very old and original … “it goes waaaaay back.” This is a powerful technique in the video. Very clever.

On to the teacher ….

He says this at one point, after attempting to establish a context for the verse and some doubt as to the meaning of the words contained therein:

“... just in case anyone is clinging to the last shreds of hope in mistranslating 2 Peter 3:9…”

Stop and think about that … just the spirit of that statement. This teacher is imagining that there are people watching the teaching that are clinging to some “hope.” Hope for what? I would think he is referring to “hope” that God has not willed certain people to perish - that He desires all men to be saved. So, this teacher is telling people, in effect, “Just in case you’re hoping to believe that God doesn’t will it for certain people to burn in everlasting hell … just in case you think that the cross of Christ is an open invitation for all and that God is not willing for any man to perish, well, I am about to destroy that hope.”

It made me think of Spurgeon’s words from the sermon I posted:

Surely [God] is not less benevolent than we are. (Spurgeon)

On a more objective level, he keeps referring to context. He establishes that the letter is written to the elect. OK. He goes on to say that the “us” in the verse is the elect. Well, lets look at the context. People were scoffing about the promise of Christ’s return. They were saying “Well, look, everything is just going on as it always has – Jesus is not going to return and there is not going to be any judgment or kingdom, you silly Christians.” So Peter tells the Christians not to let this upset them. He says that time is nothing to God and that He will one day put an end to the godlessness of the world. Meanwhile, He is letting time pass for US ... so that more people will “come to repentance” and will not perish. US can only be a group which includes some unsaved people, some people who are in danger of perishing. To imagine that this verse is saying that God is longsuffering only towards the “friends” (Christians) and wants them to come to repentance so they won’t perish doesn’t make much orthodox sense at all. Are saved individuals in danger of perishing in the manner that is being spoken of here by Peter?

But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. (2 Peter 3:7)
Now, I have so much more to say, but this post is getting long! I have to leave it off there for now. I hope I will have a part two to this later … or maybe tomorrow.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Sermon Spotting

(I found this an interesting bit from Spurgeon.)


"Salvation by Knowing the Truth"

An excerpt from a sermon by Charles H. Spurgeon on 1 Timothy 2:3,4, "God our Saviour; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."

[Taken from THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE PULPIT, vol. 26, 1880, pp. 49-50]

"May God the Holy Ghost guide our meditations to the best practical result this evening, that sinners may be saved and saints stirred up to diligence.

I do not intend to treat my text controversially. It is like the stone which makes the corner of a building, and it looks toward a different side of the gospel from that which is mostly before us. Two sides of the building of truth meet here. In many a village there is a corner where the idle and the quarrelsome gather together; and theology has such corners. It would be very easy indeed to set ourselves in battle array, and during the next half-hour to carry on a fierce attack against those who differ from us in opinion upon points which could be raised from this text. I do not see that any good would come of it, and, as we have very little time to spare, and life is short, we had better spend it upon something that may better tend to our edification. May the good Spirit preserve us from a contentious spirit, and help us really profit by his word.

It is quite certain that when we read that God will have all men to be saved it does not mean that he wills its with the force of a decree or a divine purpose, for, if he did, then all men would be saved. He willed to make the world, and the world was made: he does not so will the salvation of all men, for we know that all men will not be saved. Terrible as the truth is, yet is it certain from holy writ that there are men who, in consequence of their sin and their rejection of the Saviour, will go away into everlasting punishment, where there shall be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. There will at the last be goats upon the left hand as well as sheep on the right, tares to be burned as well as wheat to be garnered, chaff to be blown away as well as corn to be preserved. There will be a dreadful hell as well as a glorious heaven, and there is no decree to the contrary.

What then? Shall we try to put another meaning into the text than that which it fairly bears? I trow not. You must, most of you, be acquainted with the general method in which our older Calvinistic friends deal with this text. "All men," say they--"that is, SOME MEN": as if the Holy Ghost could not have said "some men" if he had meant that. "All men, " say they, "that is, some of all sorts of men": as if the Lord could not have said "all sorts of men" if he had meant that. The Holy Ghost by the apostle has written "all men," and unquestionably he means all men.

I know how to get rid of the force of the "alls" according to that critical method which some time ago was very current, but I do not see how it can be applied here with due regard to the truth. I was reading just now the exposition of a very able doctor [and he surely means his predecessor John Gill--ed.] who explains the text so as to explain it away; he applies grammatical gunpowder to it, and explodes it by way of expounding it. I thought when I read his exposition that it would have been a very capital comment upon the text if it had read, "Who WILL NOT have all men to be saved, nor come to the knowledge of the truth." Had such been the inspired language every remark of the learned doctor would have been exactly in keeping, but as it happens to say, "Who WILL have all men to be saved," his observations are more than a little out of place.

My love of consistency with my own doctrinal views is not great enough to allow me knowingly to alter a single text of Scripture. I have a great respect for orthodoxy, but my reverence for inspiration is far greater. I would sooner a hundred times over appear to be inconsistent with myself than be inconsistent with the word of God. I never thought it to be any very great crime to seem to be inconsistent with myself, for who am I that I should everlastingly be consistent? But I do think it a great crime to be so inconsistent with the word of God that I should want to lop away a bough or even a twig from so much as a single tree of the forest of Scriptures. God forbid that I should cut or shape, even in the least degree, any divine expression. So runs the text, and so we must read it, "God our Saviour; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."

Does not the text mean that it is the wish of God that men should be saved? The word "wish" gives as much force to the original as it really requires, and the passage should run thus--"whose wish it is that all men should be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth." As it is MY wish that it should be so, as it is YOUR wish that it might be so, so it is God's wish that all men should be saved; for, assuredly, he is not less benevolent than we are."

My Husband's Friend wrote a Book

Go visit The Earnest Contender to see.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Great Post!

Bobby Grow, that was a close one!

Blogger Aversion?

I may be experiencing blogger aversion. Every time I think to post on something, I think better. My head is full of ideas, but I can't bring myself to post anything. What's wrong with me?

Friday, April 06, 2007

Anvil & Fire - A Little More Reading

A follow up post from JRush ... just FYI

Thursday, April 05, 2007


I am working through another question that Calvinists ask and it has to do with the use of the word "dead" in the the Bible to describe unsaved people. Below is an issue re: that subject.

In the scriptural reference of "dead"
to unsaved individuals,

what is the corresponding
formerly living state
of an individual now
spirutually dead
the formerly living state
of an individual now
physically dead?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Non-Calvinism from the Pulpit of Emmanuel Baptist Church!

Click here and then listen to the April 1 AM message by Pastor Pete Mothershead.

Here are a couple of quotes from it:

Grace is offered to everyone because Christ died for everyone. That's why I don't believe in Limited Atonement. John 3:16 makes that very clear when Christ hung on the cross, God said 'I sent my Son to die for the world.' Grace is available to everyone. Man has a choice to either accept God's grace or deny it.

Prayer doesn't save you. It's your faith and trust in the finished work of Christ as a sinner realizing that He made atonement for your sins and you place all your trust as a sinner in Him so that you can be forgiven by God the Father and be reconciled back to Him.


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