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

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.

17 Comments:

  • Rose,
    The mans name Mark Kielar. He is CEO of a company called crosstv.com. I have watched several of his shows "word pictures" on a channel called TCT which is on channel 377 on DirectTV.

    You are right on target about his methods to pursuade his listeners to his theology.

    The biggest thing I noticed was how he strained at "all" and "us" to manipulate this passage. Then when he displayed scriptures at the end of the video there were several passages with the word "all" in them.

    Now why doesn't he strain at the word "all" in the passages he uses to prove his point like he did in 2 Peter?

    I can't get out of mind the words "ye shall know them by their fruit"

    Kris

    By Blogger Kris, at 4/23/2007 1:38 PM  

  • Rose,

    the interesting thing about this passage is that it doesn't have anything to do with soteriology.

    it is in the context of the dreadful Day of the Lord, the temporal calamaties awaiting the world and its inhabitants in the tribulation.

    These are articles on my blog from Zane Hodges (both very short). Let me know if they persuade you as to the real meaning of these verses:

    2 Peter 3:8

    2 Peter 3:9

    toodle-loo!

    By Blogger Antonio, at 4/23/2007 2:51 PM  

  • Greetings, Rose!

    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?

    Of course it doesn't make any sense, because it's being force-fit into a paradigm of philosophical determinism.

    Notwithstanding that, the presupposition of Calvinism regarding the elect is even more odious, since it would have to assert that those God foreordained to salvation God chose to plunge into sin only to be able to rescue them later to fulfill some divine need for the manifestation of glory.

    This is definitely a case where the philosophical presuppositions must be called into question, because otherwise it devolves into each person throwing the same scripture at the other.

    If God created for the purpose of ultimate negation and destruction, that would introduce into the divine nature a sort of neurosis that is frightening, especially since it's out of this neurosis that God is made to operate.

    Get rid of the philosophical presupposition of determinism, hold to the orthodox (and scriptural) understanding that God loves all that God has made, and the meaning of this verse seems pretty obvious.

    By Blogger Deviant Monk, at 4/23/2007 4:49 PM  

  • 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.

    Thank you! I hadn't thought of it in those terms, but I think you nailed it on this one.

    I don't buy into determinism, but have heard this verse used in defense of it so many times and wondered how best to explain it. You did it much better than I could have.

    Thank you!

    By Anonymous Steve Sensenig, at 4/23/2007 9:57 PM  

  • Good morning Rose.

    *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.*

    I agree, as every good Calvinist will. The Bible teaches that the Lord is longsuffering towards all, even to those vessels fitted for destruction (Romans 9:22) which He suffers with great longsuffering. He commands all men everywhere to repent (Acts 17:31) whether elect or not. God may be said to be unwilling that even the non elect should perish, at least in the sense that He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked.

    I listened to the video presentation. Nowhere does the speaker affirm the position rejected above. Unless we are looking at a shortened version of *all* that he did say, the clip itself does not give the wider picture of God's dealings outside of 2 Peter 3:9 and on that basis, we may conclude that it is unbalanced. The key to the interpretation of this verse hinges on the extent of the willingness of God to prevent people from perishing. Spoken in a general sense, it may be said of all men without exception. If the willingness carries the force of a decree, then the "us" can only refer to the elect of God. Otherwise, you have God decreeing the salvation of people and seeing that decree frustrated.

    By Blogger goodnightsafehome, at 4/24/2007 5:51 AM  

  • Rose~ I didn't much care for the heavy handed presentation and especially the tone - perhaps exemplified best in the very quote you snipped ("clinging to the last shreds of hope") - I mean really - is that not a little snarky?

    Notwithstanding, I expect this video was made (however sensationally presented) to address the issue of who Paul was talking to, and talking about. He made the point that it is not appropriate in our translation to exalt the way we might word a translation in English if what we run with does not rightly reflect what the original language is saying. This is shown by translating the verse again using equally accurate and correct language - but the alternate translation brings out a subtlty that the former translation doesn't highlight as well - that being that we have no foundation in this verse at least to insist that "all" means "every single human being".

    The video was perhaps too ambitious in that rather than sticking to highlighting one common exegetical error, and describing why it is an error - it went further and attempted to show that the theology that typically drives that error was in fact all wrong, and that presumably the theology of the authors was all correct.

    I would have enjoyed the video much more had they, rather than simply allude to the poor theology that drives the poor interpretation - instead expose it full out, or make no allusions to it; likewise, if they wanted to show that God saves only the elect - they should have focused on that until their point was made, rather than just allude to it.

    Bottom line for me was, I agree with the exegesis, but don't care much for the mildly smug way it was presented.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 4/24/2007 7:53 AM  

  • Oh and when I say "He made the point" I don't mean Paul, I meant the guy in doing the video (confounded pronouns!) ;-)

    By Blogger Daniel, at 4/24/2007 9:37 AM  

  • Deviant Monk I think what you may be saying is that if someone who knows nothing about soteriolgy were to stumble upon 2 Peter 3:9 they would just take the verse as it stands ie God wants everyone to be saved. To interpret the verse otherwise is to add a preconceived idea of God only wants the elect to be saved.

    By Anonymous Mary, at 4/24/2007 12:30 PM  

  • Stumbling across verses of Scripture is hardly the best way to interpet them. Any one stumbling across John 14:28 where Christ said: "My Father is greater than I" might conclude that the Lord Jesus was a lesser being that His Father. Or stumbling across Ecclesiastes 9:5 "The dead know not any thing" might conclude that soul sleep is the truth. In which case, the briefcase carrying JW's would have a field day. The secret is to meditate upon the word of God and to compare scripture with scripture.

    By Blogger goodnightsafehome, at 4/24/2007 1:21 PM  

  • Ahem...

    PETER ISN'T TALKING ABOUT ETERNAL SALVATION in 2 PETER 3:8,9!

    Capice?

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 4/24/2007 5:53 PM  

  • Kris,
    I noticed that too. Thanks for stopping by. Thanks for the info on the teacher. God bless.

    Antonio,
    I will read those links. I wanted to write my own thoughts in the next post before I looked at your links, though. If it doesn't have anything to do with salvation from eternal destruction, then why does Peter use the word "perish"? Maybe I will find out when I read the links?

    Hi Deviant Monk,
    You are following my rules now, aren't you? Very good.
    I am not sure about your comments on neurosis. Do you think anyone will go into destruction? Am I getting you right on that? Thanks for your comment.

    Hio Steve,
    Good to see you around again and thanks for the high compliment. I am just trying to understand these things better. Videos like this that get me thinking are good that way.

    Hello Colin,
    Good to see you there. I am glad for your comment. I am happy you saw that the teaching was unbalanced. :~)

    Daniel,
    I wondered what you thought of the video after you left the link in the other post. Thanks for your evaluation. I think his teaching is shaky. Maybe you can read my next post and see why I say that. I am glad you thought it was smug, because I really hated that about it. yik.
    Thanks for coming over!

    Mary,
    Thanks for reading. I think goodnightsafehome is right about stumbling across scriptures not being the best, but I know what you were trying to say and I appreciate your adding your thoughts to the mix.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 4/25/2007 11:22 AM  

  • Rose,

    the word "perish" should not be a victim of illegitimate transfer.

    The Greek word used is appolumi, used about 92 times in the Greek New Testament.

    All but about 5 or 6 of those instances it is talking about:

    something lost or the concept of losing
    something destroyed
    loss of temporal life

    of those 5, they are all found in John's gospel who uses the word in a nuanced/technical way.

    The first century usage of this word, besides a very small usage in the New Testament, is overwhelmingly in support of a mere temporal: losing, destruction, or death.

    It is interesting to note, Rose, that Peter uses the same word only 3 verses prior to verse describing temporal destruction of the world, the life on it and its earthly objects:

    2 Peter 3:4-7
    5 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, 6 by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water.
    NKJV

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 4/25/2007 12:33 PM  

  • Rose! There are worse imbalances than that! I'll probably talk to you in the next blog.

    By Blogger goodnightsafehome, at 4/25/2007 1:21 PM  

  • Hi Rose!

    I am very glad you have decided to take this video on, regardless of my postion(s)...

    If it can't stand scrutiny, it can't stand (1 Thessalonians 5:21)...

    Blessings to you and the commentors in this endeavor...

    By Blogger Even So..., at 4/25/2007 3:15 PM  

  • Rose, I'm always "around" -- via Google Reader. I just don't always comment! :)

    By Anonymous Steve Sensenig, at 4/25/2007 11:29 PM  

  • mary-

    Deviant Monk I think what you may be saying is that if someone who knows nothing about soteriolgy were to stumble upon 2 Peter 3:9 they would just take the verse as it stands ie God wants everyone to be saved. To interpret the verse otherwise is to add a preconceived idea of God only wants the elect to be saved.

    Due to my rejection of sola scriptura as a reasonable hermeneutical approach to the scriptures, I'm not sure that I can answer the question in the way you have phrased it. However, it seems that a cursory reading of it without the (ultimately senseless) linguistic gymnastics to bring about the reformed understanding would seem to lead to the idea that God truly desires the salvation of everyone.

    Obviously one is going to interpret it based upon one's philosophical presuppositions- that is unavoidable. I would argue, however, that within the stream of Christian thought throughout its history approaching the scriptures with an understanding that God loves all that God has made maintains more fidelity to historic christian thought, and avoids many of the philosophical and theological pitfalls that arise from the reformed understanding of determinism.

    Rose-

    I am not sure about your comments on neurosis. Do you think anyone will go into destruction? Am I getting you right on that? Thanks for your comment.

    Here is my understanding of why reformed thought creates divine neurosis-

    It begins with the presupposition that God alone actualizes all the comes to pass. This is evident from the W. Confession which states that God foreordains all that comes to pass, and that God's foreknowledge is dependent upon God's pre-determination. Despite the double-talk that God can decree/foreordain something an not be responsible for it, the fact remains that everything occurs because God actualizes it. That being the case, supralapsarianism and double predestination are unavoidable, because God's actualization of all things is absolutely abstratced into the eternal will and decree of God.

    However, sin and its consequences exist. (I say that in a qualified sense, since sin, being privation of good, cannot be said to properly have ontology) Since sin and its effects must be actualized by God to fulfill God's eternal will and decree, sin becomes as essential to God's will as that which is good. Naturally, a dilemma is created. Since sin is a privation of good, or the tendency towards non-being, then one must admit that God's eternal purpose is to plunge part of that which God created into privation. That would seem to suggest within the divine will the desire for very negation of its own creative act.

    Add to this the general approbation among reformed thought concerning penal substitutionary atonement, and one cannot escape from the idea that God's eternal purpose is to punish Godself for that which arises from the will of God. Hence, the neurosis.

    In regards to anybody going to destruction- that would depend upon what one means by that. I think that the scriptures and the teaching of the church through its history indicate that all will share in the resurrection- that is, the resurrection of Christ ensures that all of humanity will share in the resurrection because Christ too upon himself human nature. However, although all will share in the resurrection, not all will take part in it the same way- as the scriptures say, some will rise to eternal life and some to eternal death. I admit to having no idea what this eternal death might look like- since death is a privation of life, and God is the source of all life, it would seem to be some kind of separation from the life of God.

    I hope that clarifies things somewhat.

    By Blogger Deviant Monk, at 4/27/2007 12:01 PM  

  • XXX, Free sex, video, nude charm, exactly what you want to find on the web ! Adult only ! See you soon baby http://www.nudecharm.net . Your blog is nice, very nice, and i love its contents

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/15/2007 1:22 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

 

Who Links Here