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

Monday, December 03, 2007

Baptist Press - Study: Recent grads 3 times more likely to be Calvinists - News with a Christian Perspective

Baptist Press - Study: Recent grads 3 times more likely to be Calvinists - News with a Christian Perspective

164 Comments:

  • Amen!

    If you hold Calvinistic doctrine, as I hope you do, do not stutter about it, nor stammer over it, but speak it out. Depend upon it, many revivals have been evanescent because a full-orbed gospel was not proclaimed. Give the people every truth, every truth baptized in holy fire,
    and each truth will have its own useful effect upon the mind. But the great truth is the cross, the truth that “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Brethren, keep to that. That is the bell for you to ring. Ring it, man! Ring it! Keep on ringing it.


    CH Spurgeon

    :-)

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 12/03/2007 1:46 PM  

  • I think Calvinism has a powerful appeal to young men.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 12/03/2007 2:37 PM  

  • Hi Rose!

    Matthew - does that mean you think non-calvinism appeals to old women?

    By Blogger Daniel, at 12/03/2007 3:14 PM  

  • My favorite quote:

    Calvinistic recent graduates report that they conduct personal evangelism at a slightly higher rate than their non-Calvinistic peers.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 12/03/2007 3:17 PM  

  • Hello Rose,

    I think there are features of full 5 point Calvinism that are extremely sad and which I don't think are in keeping with the Gospel message as being good news.

    Lordship Salvation is commonly held by such Calvinists, as is limited atonement and perseverance (distinguished from the good news of eternal security).

    Here's a poem I wrote with some of my concerns. I've posted it elsewhere on the internet, so, some may recognize it.


    A PARTICULAR LIMITED LAMENT

    Christ, was He given for all mankind
    or died He but for some?
    What God intended can we know
    or must our lips be dumb?

    What message then would be declared
    if all may not receive it?
    If dying He did not allow
    all hearing to believe it?

    Perhaps Christ died for you it says
    and though you cannot know,
    there is a chance that you are His
    if faithful works you show.

    ‘Tis not good news as I perceive
    this message that’s been stated.
    For how could I or any know
    redemption’s for me slated?

    If in me I do look to find
    some proof of my salvation,
    assurance I will feel indeed
    of hopeless condemnation.

    To look within is not to look
    to Him Who paid the price.
    And thinking He paid not for all
    great doubts are sure to rise.

    Would God torment us with these thoughts
    and dangle them before us?
    The One Who gave His Book, His Son,
    in love, is He not for us?

    There is no maybe, God declares,
    not some but all may dwell,
    through faith in Christ and Him alone,
    in Heaven and not in Hell.

    So limit this lament, my friend,
    and know He loves and paid.
    For “... whosoe’re believes in Him ...”
    invites all to be saved.

    Stan Nelson 1994

    By Anonymous Stan, at 12/03/2007 4:08 PM  

  • Hi Rose/Stan:

    Stan: The great Soul-winner, already quoted in these comments, once preached a sermon with the following title: "Election: No discouragement to seeking souls" (Sermon #553) from the text: I will be gracious upon whom I will he gracious, and will show mercy upon whom I will show mercy.”-Exodus 33:19. It is generally known that the same gentleman held to unconditional election and indeed all the Five Points of Calvinism and (as he said in the above quote, they were not to be stammered or stuttered out) As he closed Sermon #553, he made this application:

    “Is it so? am I absolutely in God’s hands? can he save me or damn me as he will? Then, I will cry to him, “O God, save me from the wrath to come from eternal torment-from banishment from thy presence. Save me, O God! What wouldst thou have me to do? Oh! what wouldst thou have me to do, that I may find thy favor and live?” Then comes the answer to you:- “ Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall he saved;” for “whosoever believeth in him shall never perish, but shall have eternal life.”

    And then, he made this great claim which effectively turns many an objection to it on its head:

    O that God might bless this divine doctrine to you. I have never preached this doctrine without conversions, and I believe I never shall.

    Sermon found here: http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0553.htm

    I think that such tidings from the lips and later the pen of our great Soulwinner, Spurgeon, might well ease your lament.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 12/03/2007 4:44 PM  

  • Hey Rose- how's it going?

    The irony of couching this statement about a proclivity towards Calvinism in the language of probability is absolutely delicious. :-)

    By Blogger Deviant Monk, at 12/03/2007 9:43 PM  

  • Rose,
    Nonetheless, Stan has some very valid points. Much faith in Calvin required. No thank you. Speculative interpretations not welcome. Good interpretations are not nullified by controversy. Several of his are. Sorry Mr. Spurgeon. Judging by the quotes, I guess we know one of his imperfections that will be left for immortality to take care of.

    By Blogger Todd, at 12/03/2007 11:31 PM  

  • Good morning, Rose and fellow bloggers:

    Nonetheless, Mr Spurgeon has some very valid points too. No faith in Calvin required. Appreciation therefore not applicable. Speculative interpretations not welcome here neither. Good interpretations are not nullified by controversy here either. Thank you, Mr Spurgeon. Judging by the quotes, etc., guesswork self defeating. (As DM has, in effect, pointed out.)

    P/s Daniel: My wife roared with laughter about the "old women" comment :-) Very good. Search your roots - there must be Scotch Irish blood in there somewhere.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 12/04/2007 3:49 AM  

  • Rose ~ where be you?

    Todd said, I guess we know one of his imperfections that will be left for immortality to take care of.

    Todd, I hope that two hundred years after your death someone will remember your name, much less judge you as you have judged Spurgeon here. Do you feel no shame? It is one thing to say that in your limited experience with the limited ministry God has allowed you, that you cannot see the gospel in the same way the reformers saw it, but it is quite another to don the judge's robe as you have, and condemn men with the brazen surety that you have. Good gravy - your arrogance is not only disturbing, your remarks are so clearly inflammatory, why if you weren't directing them at people who understood grace better than you do, you should be sorely flamed.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 12/04/2007 7:09 AM  

  • you should be sorely flamed.

    Er...I don't think I'll share this one with my wife. Definitely, Scotch Irish blood in there, somewhere, though. :-)

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 12/04/2007 7:15 AM  

  • Good Morning Rose
    5 point Calvinism saves NO one because it is based upon your works. If your faith does not have works then it's not true faith.
    So this is a very sad state indeed!

    blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 12/04/2007 7:31 AM  

  • Daniel: When I was looking for the CHS quote last night, I came across the following in the Sword and Trowel where he was reviewing a book that was less than favourable to the Doctrines of Grace, written (as the following quote will show) by a late author. CHS took it all in good jest, commenting at the end:

    The good man’s portrait of a Calvinist is so far from the truth that we are glad that we never sat to him, for he would probably have depicted us with horns and hoofs. (...)Peace to his ashes! Calvinists can bear such assaults as his with unruffled serenity.

    Unruffled serenity is the key.

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 12/04/2007 7:41 AM  

  • I am right here, Daniel. :~) Thanks for asking.

    Just getting my kids off to school.....

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/04/2007 7:50 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    Good word's for all this morning!

    For God has commited them ALL to disobedience, that He might have MERCY on ALL. ROMANS 11:32

    That's Good news for everyone!

    blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 12/04/2007 8:12 AM  

  • Hi Alvin:

    The "all" of the first clause is obviously balanced and interpreted by the "all" of the second clause. The "all" of the second clause are they who have actually obtained mercy and not merely have had it offered to them or might have had mercy etc., It may be said of this second "all" who have obtained mercy that they were likewise all under condemnation (hence the need of mercy). It is therefore a limited "all" i.e. it is limited to all those who have obtained mercy. Another example of this limited "all" may be found in 3 John 12 where we read: "Demetrius hath good report of all men…" Obviously this is not every last man who ever lived, but it is limited to the group of those who actually knew him.

    Of course, the Bible elsewhere does teach that all men (without exception) are in a state of condemnation. Romans 3:23 comes to mind and other verses. But it is not the first and foremost meaning of this particular text in Romans 11:32

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 12/04/2007 9:12 AM  

  • Hi Rose/Goodnight

    I've heard the all thing before. All doesn't mean all and world doesn't mean world, and love doesn't mean love!

    I guess that was Good News for everyone BUT Calvinist!

    For God has commited them ALL to disobedience, that He might have MERCY on ALL. ROMANS 11:32

    For God so LOVED the WORLD that He gave His Only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life John 3:16

    Here is some more GOOD NEWS for everyone this morning INCLUDING Calvinist if they will believe it!

    blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 12/04/2007 9:25 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I hope you are doing well. Another good series of posts. I am enjoying your thoughts.

    Goodnightsafehome,

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you....lol. Your last comment actually discusses what scripture says...(although I disagree with your interpretation...lol). So many of these other comments...and some of your comments...are discussing Spurgeon and other Calvinist writers as though they are the revealed Word. I think we all agree that these writers are mere men and are not inspired by God as those who penned scripture. So, thank you Goodnight, for bringing scripture into the discussion....and leaving the writings of men out!!!!

    Let us base our theology and defend it based on the Word of God, not the words of men.

    Regards,

    KS

    By Anonymous KS, at 12/04/2007 9:28 AM  

  • Daniel,

    Sober up.

    I stated when Mr. Spugeon recieves his immortality he will be rendered imperfect in his views on Calvinism.

    Again, sober up. You are blinded by a man. Not unto the loss of your salvation but to the insult of your good sinse. We are to render things from God's word that are to be clearly rendered, not speculated on as Mr. Spurgeon has done here. I am herby correcting Mr. Spurgeon on account of his Calvinism, not his Christianity. Nothing wrong or improper about that. Sober up, you are talking foolishly to me, reading into my remarks the same way you do with your Calvinist method.

    This is the quarrelsome legacy Calvin has left you. To stretch scripture out of shape. Sober up.

    By Blogger Todd, at 12/04/2007 9:32 AM  

  • Alvin,

    You're doing it again. If you are answering me, then try and engage me on what I have written. Let's have a good, close discussion rather than have a one way bun fight.

    [i]I have never denied, any where (and certainly not on this blog) that God loves the non elect, and most Calvinists I know affirm that He does. If you have someone else in mind, then engage them in the matter somewhere appropriate.

    [ii] I gave an example (3 John) of one use of "all" (expanded to "all men") where "all" does not mean "all without exception" - unless, of course, you want to state otherwise. My point is a good one, keeping to the text at hand, that the "all" who receive the mercy that removes the condemnation is actual and not merely offered or proposed.

    Can you answer that specific point without throwing verse round you as if Calvinists never knew that they exist?

    Regards,

    ks: Surely we can quote people on this page without being open to the charge that we believe their writings are inspired like the Bible? I took this for granted.

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 12/04/2007 9:38 AM  

  • Daniel,
    Phooey on anybody's legacy rendering them above serious criticism. You can't be serious.

    By Blogger Todd, at 12/04/2007 9:40 AM  

  • Hi Rose,
    Pleasant morning to you.

    By Blogger Todd, at 12/04/2007 9:40 AM  

  • I can't believe this. I post a link to an article and people start arguing. hehehe

    You're all welcome to, of course. I enjoy reading your comments.

    I read something on Doxoblogy (look at the link in my sidebar) this morning about some controversy in the SBC over Calvinism interesting considering this article.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/04/2007 10:02 AM  

  • Daniel says "does that mean you think non-calvinism appeals to old women"

    No, it means non-Calvinism appeals to mature, spiritually-minded people of both sexes. ;~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/04/2007 10:04 AM  

  • Daniel, in your favorite quote, notice that it says they *report*


    hehehe

    (hope you don't mind my teasing you a little.... all in fun!)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/04/2007 10:07 AM  

  • Stan,
    I like your poem. I never have seen it before. Thanks for posting that! God bless.


    Monk,
    Yes, I noticed that too.
    Hey I never was able to get to your new link. What is it again and why couldn't I get to it?

    Alvin,
    You're doing it again? Hi ALvin, thanks for visiting!

    Goodnight,
    Your quotes are welcome too. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/04/2007 10:13 AM  

  • KS,
    Great to see you here!
    I am glad you enjoy this blog.

    Todd,
    I don't think Daniel drinks.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/04/2007 10:14 AM  

  • Rose,
    You appear to be central station for great dialogue. That is great!!

    Goodnight,

    It is certainly valid to quote other men....but take a serious look at your comments. The reverence demonstrated by your reference to and repetition of these men can appear to some as going a little far. You stated:

    "I think that such tidings from the lips and later the pen of our great Soulwinner, Spurgeon, might well ease your lament."

    I like reading your comments, but if I were to estimate, you are quoting and defending Spurgeon and other men at least 3 times more than you quote and defend scripture. That is why I appreciated your comment where you defended your interpretation of scripture....so again, thank you.

    Regards,

    KS

    By Anonymous KS, at 12/04/2007 10:28 AM  

  • Hahahaha! A "one way bun fight"...

    By Blogger Missy, at 12/04/2007 10:45 AM  

  • CHS took it all in good jest, commenting at the end:

    The good man’s portrait of a Calvinist is so far from the truth that we are glad that we never sat to him, for he would probably have depicted us with horns and hoofs. (...)Peace to his ashes! Calvinists can bear such assaults as his with unruffled serenity.


    Anyone:
    Isn't this Mr. Spurgeon saying that his Calvinists can bear assaults with serenity as long as they can flip them off to hell?

    (...)Peace to his ashes!???

    Come on. You've taken an honorable church father here and you've shown him in some of his worst bigoted light.

    This:

    "for he would probably have depicted us with horns and hoofs.

    He puts words(probably) into a dead man's mouth. That's pure Calvinist method speculation. What an adolescent thing for an earnest man in the Lord to say. And a man like that leaves a poor model for others to make the same mistakes in judgement concerning the handling of disagreement.

    That's not to take anything away from Mr. Spurgeon's legacy, but His legacy is not one of an advocate for Calvin. He refutes and betrays Calvinist doctrine many times in the scriptural substance of his prolific writings, however inadvertent it may have been.

    Does the man(Spurgeon) ever go so far as to say why he thinks God is on his side with regard to Calvinism? Does Mr. Spurgeon ever specifically address the problems with Calvinism, for the real benefit of some poor stooge like me, or does he just add to the quarrelsome calamity as he has here? There are many other, not as public, but, equally or more honorable and sound than he in their handling of scripture who would easily take issue with Mr. Spurgeon on speculations of Calvinism.

    Mr. Spurgeon does an honorable job of expressing scriptural truths in a way that any bible believing person can accept them as accurate. His fondness for Calvinism does not manage to taint many of his messages. I give him credit that. When he teaches the bible soundly then his personal prejudices can be his own.

    By Blogger Todd, at 12/04/2007 10:45 AM  

  • Ks... The only ones who have actually engaged in scripture on this blog, so far, are Alvin, Stan (in the form of a poem), Spurgeon (he being dead, yet speaketh) and myself. You have talked about talking about Scripture, but (so far)haven't got any further. I wonder what the ratio is for your mentioning of Spurgeon and me?

    I referred to Spurgeon as the great soulwinner because it was suggested that 5 Point Calvinists haven't got a gospel to preach. If you read the quotation from Spurgeon, you will notice how he claimed that he never failed to see souls saved when he when he preached the dread doctrine of unconditional election. Yes, I revere Spurgeon, just as I revere John Wesley and all the great men from the past, but always secondary to and absolutely subject to the word of God. Basic stuff!

    However, I am quite happy to engage anyone on Scripture grounds alone, but I do reserve the right to quote from outside the Scripture if I think such a quote is helpful.

    Regards,

    P/s At least I made Missy laugh :-) Not as good as Daniel's" old women quip though.

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 12/04/2007 10:46 AM  

  • Todd,

    Does "dust to dust and ashes to ashes" means that a soul is in hell?

    If you are really serious about what CHS thought about Calvinism, have a good look here:
    www.corkfpc.com/chscalvinism.html

    ks wants us all to engage on Scripture. Alvin has given us Romans 11:32. Can you engage us on Scripture?

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 12/04/2007 10:51 AM  

  • Rose,
    I think the bible uses the word sober in an effective way that's not in regard to drinking alcohol. That's sort of how I intended it. I don't know if Daniel drinks or not.

    Todd

    By Blogger Todd, at 12/04/2007 10:51 AM  

  • I know Todd. I was kiddin.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/04/2007 10:53 AM  

  • Rose, I can take the kidding. ;P

    Todd, I appreciate your zeal.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 12/04/2007 10:59 AM  

  • Here's a QUIZ QUESTION:

    Why do I think that the writer of the article is himself not a Calvinist (not knowing anything about him, mind you, but just based on the content of the article)

    a mint to the first person who answers correctly.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/04/2007 11:09 AM  

  • Daniel,
    And I appreciate yours. But help me with my inaccuracies.

    By Blogger Todd, at 12/04/2007 11:10 AM  

  • This is the link for Doxoblogy on the article that relates to this article, albeit indirectly.

    (Doxoblogist is a SB Calvinist, nice guy who never ever visits me anymore)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/04/2007 11:13 AM  

  • Colin,
    Does "dust to dust and ashes to ashes" means that a soul is in hell?

    I'm still trying to find who said that.

    The fact is some are and some aren't.

    I'm just guessing that Mr. Spurgeon was implying that those were the ashes of hell. The other possiblility is the ashpile of our deeds after the baptism of fire. Is that what Mr. Spurgeon was gracefully implying? Are there other Calvinistic possibilities? Thanks.

    By Blogger Todd, at 12/04/2007 11:18 AM  

  • Rose,
    I don't know, but I really want the mint, so I'll just guess. "Calvinist"?

    By Blogger Todd, at 12/04/2007 11:20 AM  

  • Todd: I think Spurgeon was just remarking on the fact that the man who wrote these words was departed (the book specifically referred to the author as being "late" i.e. departed) and that he wasn't going to hold a grudge against him, giving support to the idea that there are many attacks that Calvinists can bear with unruffled serenity. Such as Spurgeon was bearing here. I made mention of it to encourage Daniel who evidently took offence at your earlier words.

    "Dust to dust and ashes to ashes" is usually spoken when the coffin is being lowered into ground and based on the idea that we came from the dust and to dust we return. Nothing to do with hell, as you suppose.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 12/04/2007 11:28 AM  

  • Todd,
    Re-read the question:
    *Why* do I think that the writer of the article is himself *not* a Calvinist?

    No mint until someone answers the question.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/04/2007 11:32 AM  

  • Rose: Mints make me sneeze. You don't do Chocolate éclairs do you? :-P

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 12/04/2007 11:41 AM  

  • Rose, maybe Todd meant that he uses the term "Calvinist" instead of "Reformed"? That's what I was thinking.

    By Blogger Missy, at 12/04/2007 11:51 AM  

  • Missy,
    You may be right! I did not get that. Maybe.

    Well, that is not what I was thinking in my question, but it is SO CLOSE - the reason that I think the author is not a Calvinist himself.... does have something to do with the terminology he uses.

    Try again. ;~)

    Colin,
    You mean "eclairs"? The long raised doughnuts with custard inside and chocolate frosting?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/04/2007 12:21 PM  

  • Funny!
    You wrote "eclaris" but in the email notification it looked like this:

    Chocolate éclairs

    and I did not know what you meant for sure.

    Just saw the actual comment.

    Yes, I love those - they are my very favorite doughnut.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/04/2007 12:22 PM  

  • But you can't have an eclar - nly a mint. You wouldn't be able to guess the right answer anyway.

    (challenge)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/04/2007 12:23 PM  

  • eclair.

    can't spell

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/04/2007 12:24 PM  

  • http://www.dkimages.com/discover/Home/Food-and-Drink/Desserts-and-Confections/Pastries/Chocolate-Eclairs/Chocolate-Eclairs-1.html

    I hope this opens OK. Apart from the accent - whats the difference between eclairs and éclairs?

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 12/04/2007 12:24 PM  

  • We must be seeing things differetnly due to our browsers or something. WHat I see is a capital A with a ~ on top of it and then a c with a circle round it and then 'clairs'

    You don't see this: éclairs

    that way?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/04/2007 12:26 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Is it because he uses the term "non-Calvinist"?

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Anonymous Ten Cent, at 12/04/2007 12:29 PM  

  • Colin,

    Well so be it, but, "(...)Peace to his ashes!"???

    Just leaves me with the feeling that Mr. Spurgeon had a little harsher meaning than "may he rest in peace". He surely showed that he was unsettled by the fellow by chosing to have to put words in the fellow's mouth. Obviously, he knew the guy had been creamated? or died in a firey accident of some kind in order to make that sort of remark? Oh well.

    By Blogger Todd, at 12/04/2007 12:33 PM  

  • Sharp Rose, very sharp.

    By Blogger Todd, at 12/04/2007 12:35 PM  

  • Your challenging question that is. Nice job to Ten Cent.

    By Blogger Todd, at 12/04/2007 12:36 PM  

  • Ooops, I'm assuming that his good answer is the right one.

    By Blogger Todd, at 12/04/2007 12:37 PM  

  • I think that because he [Jeff Robinson] is the director of news and information at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, it is very likely that he is Calvinist.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 12/04/2007 12:49 PM  

  • Rose: What is the ratio of chocolate eclairs vs Spurgeon now? :-)

    Todd: You seem pretty determined to nail CHS for something. :-(

    Romans 11:32 See you soon? :-)

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 12/04/2007 1:07 PM  

  • Goodnight,
    very funny. :~)

    Ten Cent,
    Yes!!!
    That *is* what I was thinking. I have noticed many "Calvinists" always call others who don't believe like they do "Arminians." It is only "non-Calvinists" like myself... and the more REASONABLE "non-inflammatory Calvinists" (like Jeff Robbins must be if Daniel is right)... who use the correct term: "non-Calvinist."

    Arminians are a whole 'nother lot.

    ;~)

    Here's your mint: {@}

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/04/2007 1:16 PM  

  • Rose-

    the new link is

    deviantmonk.com

    Sometimes when you try to access it initially it just pulls up a blank screen. If that happens, try again- usually the second time it works.

    It's some kind of server error that I haven't been able to resolve yet, but hopefully soon.

    Anyway, I've posted a lot of artwork, videos, and some new podcasts, so check it out if you get a chance.

    btw, I am always impressed at the amount of traffic you are able to generate! :-)

    By Blogger Deviant Monk, at 12/04/2007 1:19 PM  

  • Colin,
    I saw the webpage you've mentioned on Spurgeon regarding Calvin.

    Please consider my thoughts.

    I see Mr. Spurgeon absolutely swooning over Mr. Calvin. He is nothing short of greatly enamored and grateful to Mr. Calvin at length for providing insights into scripture. What he doesn't do is help us by explaining those deficiencies of understanding that non-calvinist's are alleged to have.

    But to take that a step further to what I draw from all that is going on, to the best of my ability, is that no one can teach Calvin's doctrines, except Calvin. Anyone that makes an attempt must refer back to Calvin's own words. Any less and they fall prey to the charge of not having proper support. There's only one man that can adequately make sense of it to others and that's Calvin himself. His adherents try, but they just go on and on and simply can't make it stick to scripture.

    Some come under Calvin and his like-minded, and far less great-minded, comrade's persuasion, and some do not.

    To me, it comes down to, "if you want to, you will(be persuaded by Calvin), and if you don't want to you won't". Scripture does not seem to be able to decide Calvin's very nice sounding original doctrinal propositions one way or the other in open discussion. Thus, the charge of being speculative.

    Isn't it neat that I have boldness and confident access through faith in Him to say these things with regard to one of the greatest church father's in world history. That's the way it's set up. Not Todd's legacy compared to John Calvin's legacy and the prettiest one wins. Have I comprehended all God's truth that I can yet? No. But do I have the basics, the fundamentals that provide a foundation of understanding scripture. I would say very much so. Most people in this thread do themselves I'm sure. But are we careful with them. I'm sure we're all trying to be.

    So Mr. Spurgeon is going to have to do more than swoon over Mr. Calvin considerably to be of much use in helping overcome the divisiveness, and all the fanning of flames and so on, that Calvin's doctrines(the controversial ones that is), both literally and not, created within agreeably real believers of Christ's kingdom.

    It shouldn't take large doctrines of anything to present our God but only a quick well prepared overview of the bible.

    Well that was more than you wanted to know Colin. Sorry. Obviously, we both have a lot to say on the subject. Just trying to get a fair share of mine out.

    What I would like is if I were absolutely spanked to my senses on this one so as to be able to quit wasting my time and others hashing around on this issue ad nauseum. I truly would love some real correction by these men who have stepped up and in the process created much controversy that does not conform to sound scriptural fruit. Am I still going Colin? O.k. I'll quit now.

    By Blogger Todd, at 12/04/2007 2:06 PM  

  • Todd,

    If you want to see what Spurgeon has got to say (as a whole) about Calvinism - and not just the necessarily short gist that I supplied on the above page - then you would need to read his sermons for yourself. Look him up on those verses that tend to raise the differences between the two systems. Spurgeon wasn't blind in his Calvinism and (for example) he was not afraid to disagree with the common Calvinist approach to 1 Timothy 2:4. He repeatedly said that he care nothing for the name of Calvinism per se and that he only believed these doctrines commonly called Calvinism because he saw them taught in the Bible. I would like to think that I have the same approach. Many non Calvinist preachers (Rose: Does that make me a moderate?) haven't hesitated to speak highly of Calvin, because (by and large) he was mightily used of God and through his sermons, he still is. Take what is good and leave the rest.

    In this day and age, you have the opportunity through blogs, such as this (and others) to engage Calvinists in close debate. Maybe instead of chasing imaginary rabbits, you should engage in Scriptural debates. Alvin raised Romans 11:32 - I gave my answer - it is still lying there waiting to be seriously challenged.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 12/04/2007 2:33 PM  

  • Colin,

    Todd: You seem pretty determined to nail CHS for something. :-(

    Well we're all guilty of many things aren't we. Clearly. But it's especially bothersome to see people who persist in being guilty of some of the clearer warnings of scripture when they could do better. And it dissappoints me that those of us who would use Mr. Spurgeon as a model would not learn from his error of being guilty of what Paul pleads with people not to do in the name of the Lord, here:

    1 Corinthians 1:10-13
    Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment. For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe's people, that there are quarrels among you. Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, "I am of Paul," and "I of Apollos," and "I of Cephas," and "I of Christ." Has Christ been divided?


    Yes, Christ has been divided.

    And then, below, Paul adresses those same people in his subsequent letter to them congregation at Corinth.

    2Co 10:12 For we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding.

    They haven't changed much.

    How does it feel being one of them Colin?(Oooooo...)

    So You're nailed, Spurgeon is nailed. What are you going to do about it now that you've found that out?(wow, I don't know if I've ever been this annoying before)

    Affectionately, Colin, and yearning for correction, Todd

    Actually, starting tomorrow, I'm starting a different job that's going to take me out of the business of being annoying, and hopefully sometimes thought provoking, for the rest of the winter. So I'm just taking care that you all won't miss me too much. I wouldn't be able to deal with that.

    By Blogger Todd, at 12/04/2007 2:39 PM  

  • Rose.....any predictions of another 300+ comments????....Your blog is not central station....It is GRAND Central Station :)

    Goodnight,

    I have not seen anyone take you up on your Romans 11:32 challenge. But thank you for focusing on scripture.

    You stated:
    "The "all" of the second clause are they who have actually obtained mercy and not merely have had it offered to them or might have had mercy etc."

    I do not see where you get that...please explain based on context of the entire chapter.

    Vs 32 is simply stating that whether Gentiles or Jews (refer to the previous verses that deal with both being shown mercy based on the other)....God has bound ALL (Jew and Gentile) to disobedience so that he may show mercy on them ALL (Jew and Gentile).

    I don't see how you get from the clear context as stated above to stating that the second "all" is different from the first and the second one is only those who have "obtained" mercy.

    Please help me understand your interpretation of scripture.

    Thanks,

    KS

    By Anonymous KS, at 12/04/2007 2:50 PM  

  • Ks...Our church prayer meeting is due to start in 7 minutes. Will take this up tomorrow if the Lord permit.

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 12/04/2007 2:54 PM  

  • Colin,

    "Look him up on those verses that tend to raise the differences between the two systems."

    You've been there. If there was anything there you would have it. So would Daniel. You would be hitting me with some Zinger's. Don't forget, this is your specialty(Calvinism, Spurgeon vs. non-Calvinism). I told you, I've been there and haven't found these explanations.

    That's the reason non-calvinist's come to their wits end when debating the doctrines of Calvin. They are not confronted with sciptural evidence but scriptural evidence as processed through Calvin's writings.

    Why would anyone persist in being involved in such a debachle as is centuries old.

    But I will quickly look at the discussion between you and Alvin per Romans 11:32 and see if there is anything seful in there. Maybe someone's finally flushed one of those rabbits out.

    By Blogger Todd, at 12/04/2007 2:57 PM  

  • Colin,
    The way you've interpreted the verse is not uniquely Calvinist. It is not a difficult verse.

    Just to clarify, the "all" could in fact be making a blanket statement, or just referring to just those in the preceeding text. I have no reason to limit that statement. But I will anyway, for your benefit, because the verse still carries it's intended weight, and by not forcing you to swallow anything else in the passage that may or may not be there, I can avoid the controversy that Paul warns about.

    When I suggest that the verse is a good example of God giving men the will to chose to continue in their unbelief or not, that's when a debate and the Spirit grieving clever speech breaks out over whether or not men have a free will.

    It's been a nice chat Colin.

    By Blogger Todd, at 12/04/2007 3:38 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Thanks for the mint! Although I think I would probably label you guys "uncalvinism" as opposed to "noncalvinism" :)

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Anonymous Ten Cent, at 12/04/2007 5:12 PM  

  • Hi Rose/Goodnight

    Goodnight you said:
    The "all" of the first clause is obviously balanced and interpreted by the "all" of the second clause. The "all" of the second clause are they who have actually obtained mercy and not merely have had it offered to them or might have had mercy etc., It may be said of this second "all" who have obtained mercy that they were likewise all under condemnation (hence the need of mercy). It is therefore a limited "all" i.e. it is limited to all those who have obtained mercy.

    I believe you are reading your theology into the text. If we look at the context of that Chapter the Jew has been set aside and salvation has come to the Gentiles Rom 11:11 salvation has come to the Gentiles. Notice in the next verse Rom 11:12a Now if their fall is riches for the WORLD! And Romans 11:15a For if their being cast away is the RECONCILING OF THE WORLD! So Colin this chapter is speaking in the context of the WHOLE WORLD. Which reminds me of 1 John 2:2b not ONLY our sins but the sins of the WHOLE WORLD! I like that!!!
    Rom 11:32 For God has committed them ALL (pas, all, everyone, the whole) to disobedience,(ref. Gal 3:22a But the Scripture has confined ALL UNDER SIN) that He might have MERCY ON ALL. VS 33a OH, the depth of the RICHES both of the wisdom and knowledge of God.
    (Mercy, eleeo “to feel sympathy with the misery of another,”
    Colin this reminds me of Jesus the spiritual Good Samaritan. He does not pass by on the other side when he sees the misery of a sinful dying world but has mercy on all by reconciling the world unto Himself not counting there sins against them. For God so loved the WORLD! Colin your theology has Jesus passing by the majority of humanity, making Him like the Priest and the Levite. But our God is RICH in Mercy not leaving anyone out but has provided a way for ALL!
    And to the one who thinks I'm teaching Universalism here is the rest of Gal 3:22b that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who BELIEVE!
    I just believe that God has provided a way for everyone that He didn't just pass by! So I can honestly look into anyones eyes and tell them, Jesus loves you and has paid for all your sins if you will but believe Him! That my friends is truly GOOD NEWS!!!
    Blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 12/05/2007 12:38 AM  

  • Good morning Rose/KS:

    KS requests: I do not see where you get that...please explain based on context of the entire chapter.

    Context of Romans 11:32

    Previous chapter: Israel has been indicted for rejecting the word of God (10:16-21)
    Paul raises the obvious thought: Has God then rejected Israel who rejected Him? (11:1)
    Paul rejects this conclusion - pointing to history and the present fact that there are elect souls in Israel (11:1-6)
    The elect obtain salvation while the rest of Israel are blinded (11:7-10)
    This fall of Israel ushered in the opportunity for the gospel to go to the Gentiles (11:11)
    If the fall of the Jews, produced this, then how much more their fullness? (11:12-17)
    Application: The fall of the Jews ought to warn us not to be high minded but fear (11:18-25)
    All Israel shall be saved (v26-31)

    A significant use of the term "all" here. Will every last Jew be saved? Unless the answer is "yes" then the "all" takes on a meaning, considerably less than "all without exception." My take on it is that large numbers of the Jews will be saved, - "all" the elect ones, as indicated in v5.

    Verse 32: While it is true that all men without exception (Jews and Gentiles) are locked up in sin, the Lord actually has mercy on those whom He draws to Himself i.e. all the elect, both of Jew and Gentile.

    If the mercy is reduced from a saving mercy to feelings of pity, then the Lord may be said to have pity on all without exception but such (as indicated) is only true if it is reduced. The Lord cannot be said to have shown actual saving mercy on those who have not nor will never receive it. While the common mercies of God towards all men without exception are not to be snuffed at, I do not think that this is what Paul is getting at here, and I find support in the full outburst of praise with which Paul ends the chapter: "O the depths etc.," (11:33-36)

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 12/05/2007 5:29 AM  

  • Hi Rose/Goodnight

    All Israel shall be saved (v26-31)
    Yes they will!!! Jesus is looking for that Generation of Jews that will receive their Messiah.
    Matt 23:37 "Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, BUT YOU WERE NOT WILLING! See your house is left to you desolate; "for I say to you , you shall see Me no more TILL YOU SAY, "BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OFTHE LORD!
    That Tribulation Generation will receive their Messiah and will be ALL saved!
    blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 12/05/2007 6:32 AM  

  • Alvin: Already you are reducing the "all" of "all Israel" to a specific generation in specific circumstances. If you go through the Bible, you will find that the word "all" is often qualified in one way or another.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 12/05/2007 6:49 AM  

  • Hi Rose and Goodnight

    I’m not arguing against the fact that “all” can be a select group. What I’m arguing for is that “all” in Rom 11:32b that He might have mercy on all can mean the whole world. Because in the next verse the riches refers back to Romans 12 which IS for the WORLD!!!
    Romans 11:33a OH the depths of His riches!
    Romans 11:12 Now if their fall is RICHES FOR THE WORLD!
    So Colin your not seeing the depths of His riches, your only seeing them for elect. But check out these verses below:

    Luke 2:10-11 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to ALL PEOPLE. “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

    1 Tim 2:1-6 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for ALL MEN, for Kings and ALL who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and excceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who DESIRES ALL MEN TO BE SAVED and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who GAVE HIMSELF A RENSOM FOR ALL, to be testified in due time.

    Colin we see the “all” here used in both ways “all meaning everyone 2:1 all men 2:4 all men 2:6 all, but in 2:2 the all men is referring to kings.

    2 Cor 5:19 that is, that God was in Christ RECONCILING THE WORLD to Himself, NOT IMPUTING THEIR TRESSPASSES TO THEM,

    Romans 11:15 For if their being cast away is the RECONCILING OF THE WORLD

    That’s pretty clear to me!!

    1 John 2:2 And He Himself IS the propitiation for our sins, AND NOT FOR OURS ONLY BUT ALSO FOR THE WHOLE WORLD.

    Colin your only seeing the riches for a select group and not for the whole world. The depth of God’s riches were displayed on the cross for the WHOLE WORLD to see!! For God so loved the WORLD that He GAVE!!!

    Blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 12/05/2007 8:42 AM  

  • Hi Rose and Goodnight
    I forgot to say Goodnight!!!

    Must go to bed now.
    Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

    By Blogger alvin, at 12/05/2007 8:43 AM  

  • Alvin:

    We have been here before. I have no problem with the idea that there is enough merit in His riches to redeem the whole world of every last sinner ever born. There are unfathomable riches in His grace and blood etc., so that is not a problem.

    Where you and I (and others) differ lies in the intention and application of these riches. As you read the Bible, you tend to see them wide but somewhat thin on the ground. As I read the Bible, I see them spread narrower but deeper. In other words, I see the intention and application of these riches for those who finally and actually partake of them - those who will be eventually in Heaven. OTOH: You have these riches not quite doing the work for which they were intended…assuming that the intention was to save every last man without exception. If this was the Divine intention then it has signally failed in that not every one will be in Heaven. Billions whose sins are propitiated and reconciled to God (according to you) are already and millions more will be in Hell. Unless Universalists are right and (I assume) we both agree that they are not.

    To avoid either Divine failure on one hand or Universalism on the other, you effectively need to reduce the intention of the Divine work to being a mere offer - a mere possibility that only ceases to be ineffective if (and it is a big "If" in your book) the sinner chooses to believe. If he doesn't, (according to your scheme) God only intended to provide the possibility; He did so, the sinner rejected it and God's intentions are not thereby frustrated, for He set the bar low enough to get over it. In my scheme of things, God has gone beyond the mere offer and mere provision of a possibility. Those whose sins He actually propitiated for and whom he actually reconciled will, in total with no losses, be with Him in Heaven. They will be infallibly brought to faith in Jesus Christ, through the means of evangelism, will live holy lives (because Christ saves His people from our sins) and will infallibly be with Him in Heaven.

    Therein lies the difference. I repeat: You spread these riches wider but thinner on the ground. I (and I believe with the Bible behind me) spread them narrower, but very much deeper.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 12/05/2007 12:21 PM  

  • Hi Rose!!! I hope all is well with you today.

    Goodnight,

    You state:

    "Verse 32: While it is true that all men without exception (Jews and Gentiles) are locked up in sin, the Lord actually has mercy on those whom He draws to Himself i.e. all the elect, both of Jew and Gentile."

    I know that what is said here will not change our minds (either one of us). This debate on Calvinism has been raging for centuries....

    But I think you are missing the mark. You are inserting unconditonal election theology where it is not clearly taught.

    Alvin wrote to you: "I believe you are reading your theology into the text." While that is probably hard for you to see, I believe that I agree with Alvin in this case.

    Over and over in Romans 11 Paul is speaking of the nation of Israel and the Gentiles. That is the primary context. You cannot insert individual salvation/election when the context is focused on Israel and Gentiles as nations or people groups.

    I understand what you are saying about the elect in vs. 7, but vs. 11 and 12 go right back to speaking of the nation of Israel and the Gentiles as a group..... "11 Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. 12 But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring!

    You also state: "The Lord cannot be said to have shown actual saving mercy on those who have not nor will never receive it."

    Again, be careful to not interpret scripture through the lens of your theology. The scripture is clear that God talking about the nation of Israel and the Gentile people groups. So, define "mercy" based on the text and its context, not based on unconditional election doctrines.

    Like I said earlier, we will not change eachother's minds....but thank you for engaging me with a dialogue based on scripture and not the writings of man :)

    Take Care,

    KS

    By Anonymous KS, at 12/05/2007 12:28 PM  

  • Always fun to read these exchanges.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/05/2007 1:14 PM  

  • Alvin,
    You go to bed early... or is it late?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/05/2007 1:15 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    What was the original post about??....Oh, yes, now I remember... :)

    KS

    By Anonymous KS, at 12/05/2007 1:37 PM  

  • KS,
    Yes, an article. ;~)
    I am fine, BTW. Thanks for your well wishes!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/05/2007 2:08 PM  

  • Rose,

    I agree with Daniel...my favorite quote is :

    "-- Calvinistic recent graduates report that they conduct personal evangelism at a slightly higher rate than their non-Calvinistic peers."

    That is not data, fact, or information that can be validated. Just opinion....

    Have a great day.

    KS

    By Anonymous KS, at 12/05/2007 2:14 PM  

  • Goodnight says:

    Therein lies the difference. I repeat: You spread these riches wider but thinner on the ground. I (and I believe with the Bible behind me) spread them narrower, but very much deeper.

    Is there a limit to God's riches? Are they exhaustible or measurable? What about the height and depth and length? Are these mutually exclusive?

    Ephesians 3:

    17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

    God's riches in Christ Jesus surpass limits... they are unmeasurable!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/05/2007 2:20 PM  

  • Reminds me of the song that Todd sang....

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/05/2007 2:22 PM  

  • Ks: Always nice to discuss Scripture with people.

    You write: Over and over in Romans 11 Paul is speaking of the nation of Israel and the Gentiles. That is the primary context. You cannot insert individual salvation/election when the context is focused on Israel and Gentiles as nations or people groups.

    May, I assume then that you are reducing the salvation in "All Israel shall be saved" (v26) to something less than pardon for their sins etc.,?

    I am aware that Alvin accuses me (with your agreement) of reading my theology into the text. To be honest, while not unaware of the danger of doing so, sometimes I think this is one of those "weapons" which are used in the kind of propaganda "war" that also has raged between Calvinists and Non Calvinists for centuries. Others in the arsenal (from others and from elsewhere) usually include: "Calvinists are proud…" or "Calvinists are always trouble makers…" etc. So, while I am (as said) aware of the danger of reading into the Bible , I don't think that it is the case here.

    Rose: You ask Is there a limit to God's riches? Are they exhaustible or measurable? What about the height and depth and length? Are these mutually exclusive? I assume that you believe that the riches of His grace ends at the Gates of Hell? I assume that you do not have the grace of God intended for the Devil or his angels? If not, then you too are putting a limit on the recipients of God's riches. The issue here is not how infinite are the riches of God, but what was His intention for them. That will ever be the crux of the difference between our two positions.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 12/05/2007 2:34 PM  

  • Hi Rose and Goodnight,

    Goodnight wrote:

    "May, I assume then that you are reducing the salvation in "All Israel shall be saved" (v26) to something less than pardon for their sins etc.,?"

    Basically.....you could assume that....but you would be wrong.

    I know it is difficult for you to see the text without looking through the lens of Calvinist theology....but it is my view that you have done just that....but I also realize that you do not. We will have to agree to disagree here.

    I am not waging a "war" (propaganda or any other)against you or any other Calvinist. I am just observing your interpretation of scripture and telling you that I do not agree that unconditional election is being taught in those verses. It is dangerous to read it in where it does not exist.

    Have a good evening,

    KS

    By Anonymous KS, at 12/05/2007 2:57 PM  

  • ks Basically.....you could assume that....but you would be wrong.

    I hope this discussion doesn't end up like pulling teeth :-)

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 12/05/2007 3:07 PM  

  • [I am not waging a "war" (propaganda or any other)against you or any other Calvinist. I am just observing your interpretation of scripture and telling you that I do not agree that unconditional election is being taught in those verses. It is dangerous to read it in where it does not exist.]

    KS,
    Just curious, is there any Scotch-Irish blood in your family?

    ;0)
    ~Susan

    By Anonymous VA ~Susan, at 12/05/2007 4:47 PM  

  • “If defeated everywhere else, I will make my stand for liberty, among the Scots-Irish in my native Virginia”. George Washington

    Are ye up for it, VA Susan?

    :-)

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 12/05/2007 5:11 PM  

  • Hello Rose,

    Colin,

    It appears to me that the saving of the elect was not God's only intention in providing the Savior for mankind.

    Since unbelief condemns (John 3:18), Christ's "Saviorhood" apparently serves as both a ground of salvation as well as one of condemnation. It looks, at the very least, as though God's intention was to provide a Savior Who could be accepted or rejected.

    To frame the issue as God's only intention in providing the Savior as being to save the elect seems to arrive at the conclusion before the discussion begins.

    Stan

    By Anonymous Stan, at 12/05/2007 6:22 PM  

  • [“If defeated everywhere else, I will make my stand for liberty, among the Scots-Irish in my native Virginia”. George Washington

    Are ye up for it, VA Susan? ]

    I sure hope so, Colin!

    ~Susan

    By Anonymous VA ~Susan, at 12/05/2007 7:20 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger IndweltDaughter, at 12/05/2007 7:50 PM  

  • Hey Rose :)

    I haven't been able to read the article you posted yet because my computer won't cooperate, but I just wanted to write you a quick note.

    I haven't read most of the comments between the Calvanists and non-Calvanists here, mainly because they are all convinced that they are right, and nothing either side says will convince the other to abandoned their already held beliefs. Not because they don't have the ability to defend their beliefs or make good arguments, but because ONLY the Holy Spirit has that kind of power. At least, He is the only one we should allow to have that power in our lives, thinking, and decision making processes.

    I have been reading your postings here for a few weeks now, and I have greatly enjoyed reading of your love for the LORD, as well as your obvious desire to know the truth above anything else. I want you to know that I am praying for you, that you will continue to trust the LORD through all this, and look to Him to give you wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.

    And don't get me wrong, I don't think there is anything wrong with you asking for other people's opinions, I think it is a very good thing, as who knows how God will use others in our lives, I am just noticing a pattern from some of the people who have been commenting on your blog.

    Whether they are quoting Calvin, or Spurgeon, or Hodges or any other Christian theologian, (including themselves,) all they are doing is quoting a man/woman; that person's personal understanding of the Word. Don't discount anything just because it is not from the Word, but make sure you continue to hold EVERYTHING you hear against it, as only the Word is the source of ultimate truth. I know you know this, and I can tell that you do this, but I know first hand how easy it is to unwittingly place the words of a teacher on a pedastle, simply because I agree with most of what they teach. On the other hand though, I pray I don't discount the teaching or opinions of someone just because there is one thing they say and/or believe that I don't agree with. God can use us ALL, as brothers and sisters in Christ, to help each other grow, to edify one another, and to encourage one another. "Iron sharpens iron." (Proverbs 27:17)

    And I know I know, this wasn't exactly "quick," but I just wanted to let you know, sister to sister, that you are in my prayers, and all I hope for is that whatever you decide, that you come to your conclusions through much prayer and study of the scriptures, weighing everything you hear, every opinion, and every doctrine against what you know to be true, based on the understanding given to you by the Holy Spirit within you. Don't underestimate His ability to give you understanding, or let other people limit His power if they emphasize the words of man instead of the words of God. This is usually done unwittingly I know, whether they are praising words they agree with, or condemning words they don't. Either emphasis can draw focus away from the Word of God, and thereby rob Him of His glory.

    Many blessings

    ~Amanda

    By Blogger IndweltDaughter, at 12/05/2007 8:50 PM  

  • Good morning Rose/Stan,

    [i] It is true that the offer of the gospel extends far beyond the elect of God and that every last sinner may look at the worth of the Saviour and ask the question, "What must I do to be saved?" and receive the great reply: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." This is the basis on which Christian evangelists (from both schools) have been successfully going forth now for 2,000 years.

    [ii] Your reply confirms what I have said above i.e. that the Non Calvinist side must reduce the intention of God to merely provide a choice. This considerably lowers the bar and effectively leaves God happy with whatever He can get.

    [iii] The discussion of these things started a long time ago. It is not as if we have just been debating them for the last 2 weeks!

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 12/06/2007 2:00 AM  

  • Hello Rose,

    Hello Colin,

    Thank you for your reply.

    You said:

    "[i] It is true that the offer of the gospel extends far beyond the elect of God and that every last sinner may look at the worth of the Saviour and ask the question, "What must I do to be saved?" and receive the great reply: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." This is the basis on which Christian evangelists (from both schools) have been successfully going forth now for 2,000 years."

    Maybe I don't understand what you actually believe. I thought you believed in particular redemption, wherein only the elect have Christ as their Savior and the non-elect don't have Him as their Savior. That's the position against which I've been arguing.

    But from your reply above it sounds like you're saying that both the elect and the non-elect can be offered eternal salvation through faith in Christ. I don't get it.

    Also, how could the non-elect be offered salvation based on "the worth of the Saviour" if "the worth of the Saviour" isn't available to them?


    You also said:

    "[ii] Your reply confirms what I have said above i.e. that the Non Calvinist side must reduce the intention of God to merely provide a choice. This considerably lowers the bar and effectively leaves God happy with whatever He can get."

    I don't understand why allowing a choice would be a reduced intention on God's part. It might even be considered an extended intention because it affects both believers and unbelievers in their response to Christ, and not just believers as in the limited redemption position.

    Also, regarding your statement, "... effectively leaves God happy with whatever He can get." Since God is sovereign and omniscient, why couldn't He create a world in which He foreknew that any number of humans would choose to believe in Christ?

    Stan

    By Anonymous Stan, at 12/06/2007 4:13 AM  

  • Hi Stan,

    Thanks for your reply. Those of us who hold to Particular Redemption usually also hold to what is called the "free offer of the gospel" i.e. (which is as you put it) that both the elect and the non-elect can be offered eternal salvation through faith in Christ. The two are not incompatible. It is not that the "merit of Christ's work" isn't available to them. It is. The problem is that the non elect ultimately reject it, not because of a Big Hand from Heaven pushing them away from obtaining their heart's desire, but because (to quote the Scripture indictment) they love the darkness rather than the light because their deeds are evil (John 3:19) None can complain if they are left to their heart's fond love and desire.

    It is fine talking about what God could have done but it is better to talk about what God has already done and more specifically, what God has revealed in the Bible about what He has done. When the Bible talks about the work of Christ, it represents it as something actual and not merely potential. Therefore, the Saviourhood (Microsoft thinks I've coined a new word there) of Christ is described as His [actual] saving His people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21) Many of those passages like Romans 5 etc, all present Christ has having actually done something for the "all" and the "world" - they are actually reconciled - their sins have actually been borne away (John 1:29) etc., Unless you want to end up with Alvin's theology that the reconciled God is still looking a fight and that souls are in hell, but not for their sins (my understanding of his position) or you want to end up in the dread Universalism, then your choice is to see that the "all" etc., is the elect of God and that reconciled really does mean reconciled etc., Again, the language of Scripture is definite, but many of the friends here read it as if it were potential and that (as said) is a weakening of the work of Christ.

    Since I haven't said anything here that I haven't said before, no one will die of shock. There are other things too which may be said, but I hate long posts and must leave it there.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 12/06/2007 8:59 AM  

  • Colin,
    I would like to see you react to this part of Stan's comment:

    Since unbelief condemns (John 3:18), Christ's "Saviorhood" apparently serves as both a ground of salvation as well as one of condemnation.

    Do you see that at all?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/06/2007 9:29 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    "Since unbelief condemns (John 3:18), Christ's "Saviorhood" apparently serves as both a ground of salvation as well as one of condemnation." Do you see that at all?

    Yes, I do. I see it on the basis of the free offer. Of course, the condemnation of the sinner is much wider than his rejection of the gospel. Those who have their part in the lake of fire, are specifically indicted and identified as the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars (Revelation 21:8) which would indicate that they are sent there for these actual crimes. But it is true to say that souls are in hell also for their rejection of the offered Saviour. They would not come to Him (who is all sufficient) that they might have life (John 5:40) and therefore (as said) they must carry the eternal blame.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 12/06/2007 9:51 AM  

  • Good Morning Rose!!

    Good Morning Goodnight,

    Goodnight stated:

    "which would indicate that they are sent there for these actual crimes."

    As I understand what you are saying....People are cast into the lake of fire because of their crimes.

    I think Revelations is clear that the criteria for being cast into the lake of fire is that your name is not written in the Book of Life. Their crimes were judged by the opening of the "books", but the Book of Life is mentioned specifically and seperately.

    Rev. 20:12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.

    Rev. 20:15 If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

    So, I guess the question is...how does one get their name written in the Book of Life?

    I will suggest it is through believing in Jesus as Messiah, the Christ.

    Your thoughts?

    KS

    By Anonymous KS, at 12/06/2007 11:07 AM  

  • Hello Rose,

    Hi Colin,

    Thanks again for responding.

    Just so you'll know a little more where I"m coming from, I see Christ's sacrifice as a universal provision with a partial application; that people are saved when the saving value and benefits of His sacrifice are applied to them at the time of belief in Christ.

    Do you see it as being provisional at all? That is, do you believe that Christ's sacrifice, in and of itself, actually saves the elect? Or, do you think that the elect are in a lost state until they believe?

    Stan

    By Anonymous Stan, at 12/06/2007 1:04 PM  

  • Hi KS: You seem to be suggesting that there is no eternal consequence for sins (say: living and dying in lust and greed and atheism etc.,) and this in turn (if it be so on both accounts) must render our Lord's somewhat graphic instructions in Mark 9:44-48 to be a little over the top.

    I suggest to you that those who believe in Jesus i.e. to the saving of their soul do so because their names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life.

    Regards,

    P/s Stan: I'll get back to you later. I have a "wean" (child)to bath here.

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 12/06/2007 1:21 PM  

  • Goodnight,

    Thanks for your response. You said:
    "I suggest to you that those who believe in Jesus i.e. to the saving of their soul do so because their names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life."

    Whether you believe "because" your name is in the book, or your name is in the book because you believe....it is clear that your sin (in and of itself) can not send you to the lake of fire. It all revolves around whether or not your name is in the book of life.

    As a Calvinist...wouldn't you agree that your sin was not what kept your name out of the book of life...it is nothing that man does....but it is God's soverign choice before the foundation of the world?

    Happy bathing :)

    KS

    By Anonymous KS, at 12/06/2007 2:00 PM  

  • Stan: I can see where you are coming from in that I once held your position myself What gets me (if that doesn't sound aggressive) is that whereas we have in Scripture the Saviour portrayed as actually doing something on the Cross - He actually bore away sins - He actually made reconciliation - yet (to the terminally unsaved) those sins said to be borne away are still there, and (as said earlier) God still a fight to pick with those whom Christ supposedly reconciled to Him. It is there that it just doesn't add up. You can only relieve the pressure on the sore by either embracing Universalism or what is commonly called Calvinism i.e. either a full atonement with full application or a limited atonement (in intention, though not in merit) and a limited application (although a free offer).

    Christ's sacrifice infallibly ensured the salvation of the elect and made it certain. Until they actually come to Christ (by grace through faith) then they are still children of wrath even as others (Ephesians 2:3) and are not justified until they believe ion the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1)

    KS: Sin did not keep my name out of the Book of Life, in that God put it in. Those whose names are in the book of life will be in Heaven. Those whose names are not in the book of life will be in hell, but they will be in hell because of their sin. Salvation is ever and only by grace. Damnation is all of sin. Let no man set back and say "But my name is not in the book of life." How does he know it isn't ? The issue for the sinner is not "Is my name written in the book of life?" but rather, "What must I do to be saved?" The warrant for us inviting the sinner to come to Christ is based on His widest possible invitations which are revealed in the Bible("whosoever")rather than a decree that is largely hidden to us.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 12/06/2007 2:17 PM  

  • Hi Rose...thanks for hosting this dialogue...I am learning a lot from this group.

    Goodnight,

    You said: "Sin did not keep my name out of the Book of Life, in that God put it in. Those whose names are in the book of life will be in Heaven. Those whose names are not in the book of life will be in hell, but they will be in hell because of their sin."

    I am trying to understand you.

    1. God puts your name in the book of life (His soverign choice?)
    2. If your name is in the book....you will be in Heaven
    3. If God did not put your name in the book (again, His soverign choice?)....you will be in Hell.
    4. You will be in Hell because of your sin.

    I don't get #3 and #4. You will be in Hell because of your sin?...or because your name was not written by God in the book of life?....It appears that you are saying that God did not put your name in the book because of your sin....therefore you will be in Hell???? Surely not. Help me understand.

    We do not agree on the basic premise that "because" your name is in the book of life, you therefore "believe". I obviously hold to the opposite view that because you believe, your name is written in the book of life....and that goes right back into the age old disagreement around Calvinism. So we won't re-hash that.

    Thanks,

    KS

    By Anonymous KS, at 12/06/2007 2:48 PM  

  • KS: The ultimate cause of a man going to hell is his sin. Sin alone earns the wage of death (Romans 6:23). If God deigns to leave that man in his sin i.e. he does not write his name to the book of life - then you have an "as-you-were" situation i.e. man is left to perish in his chosen doom. As evidenced by my fleeing to Christ for salvation, my name is in the Book of Life and therefore it cannot be said that sin kept my name out of it. I am a sinner saved by grace - saved from sin because God wrote my name in His Book of Life, Christ died for my sins and rose again etc., and one day, as a result of these things, I responded positively to the gospel and fled to Christ.

    I accept that you hold to the opposite view. As I indicated to Stan I did so as well.

    Regards

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 12/06/2007 3:01 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Hi Colin,

    I have a difficult time understanding your position. If God never intended to make a saving provision for the non-elect in His plan of salvation, then how could they be held accountable for not meeting a requirement that, for them, doesn't even exist?

    You said:

    "Christ's sacrifice infallibly ensured the salvation of the elect and made it certain. Until they actually come to Christ (by grace through faith) then they are still children of wrath even as others (Ephesians 2:3) and are not justified until they believe ion the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1)"

    If I understand this correctly, you are agreeing with me that the value and benefits of Christ's sacrifice are not applied to the elect until faith in Christ takes place. Therefore, it would seem that His cross-work is provisional and, in and of itself, and until it's applied, doesn't actually save anyone.

    If so, why couldn't it also be provisional for a non-elect person until that person believes? Since the non-elect don't ever believe (at least not in this life) the value and benefits of Christ's sacrifice are never applied to them.

    In your understanding, would a non-elect person be saved if he believed in Christ as his Savior? In my understanding he would be because there is a provision for him in Christ's sacrifice.

    Stan

    By Anonymous Stan, at 12/06/2007 4:12 PM  

  • Stan, are you the Stan Nelson from the GES board?

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 12/06/2007 4:54 PM  

  • Hello Rose,
    For anyone who is interested, there are MP3's available from the Building Bridges Conference at the Lifeway site. I hope the link works OK.
    Building Bridges Conference MP3s

    By Anonymous VA ~Susan, at 12/06/2007 10:17 PM  

  • Hello Rose,

    Antonio,

    Yes, that's me.

    Stan

    By Anonymous Stan, at 12/06/2007 11:14 PM  

  • Good morning Rose/Stan:

    Rose: I appreciate your patience with us all on this comment part of your blog. As you know, I always enjoy close questioning - both giving and taking. Your own comments are usually judicious.

    Stan: Part of your difficulty with understanding my position is that you seem to forget the free offer of the gospel which I strenuously affirm. Your objection would only have merit if this was denied and the non-elect were being charged with something that they had no warrant or obligation to receive. The sinner is faced with the indictment of God against him for his sin, but also the good news that Christ has provided salvation for sinners through faith in His Son, and that all men without exception are invited to come and be saved. Should the sinner reject this invitation with a terminal rejection, then He has evidently deliberately snubbed the Most High God and deserves to perish in his sins. He ought to have sought God for salvation when the invite clearly included him, for whosoever will may come and drink freely of the water of life.

    I do agree with you that the value and benefits of Christ's sacrifice (i.e. pardon and justification etc.,) are not applied to the elect until faith in Christ takes place. The only difference, however, being that the sacrifice of Christ infallibly ensures the faith of the elect and so the consequent salvation. This makes it more than merely provisional which effectively answers your next question: "If so, why couldn't it also be provisional for a non-elect person until that person believes? Since the non-elect don't ever believe (at least not in this life) the value and benefits of Christ's sacrifice are never applied to them." Again, we are not dealing with what God could have done, but with what He tells us, He has done. Christ actually secured something for those for whom He died, not merely made something possible and (worse still) hinging the mere possibility of it on man's depraved will.

    In my understanding, a non elect person will not ever believe on Christ as his Saviour. Such faith is the consequence of Father's election, the Son's sacrifice and the Spirit's saving work. The non elect are left in their sins, something which they foolishly and sinfully desire. There is no scenario in this Day of Grace whereby you have people earnestly seeking God but being turned away. They that seek Him for salvation infallibly find Him. The Lord Jesus Himself said: All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. (John 6:37) There are two guarantees in this verse: One for the evangelist: His work is not in vain in the Lord, for there are a definite people who will hear the gospel and will come. There is a guarantee for any sinner: The Lord will not turn away any soul who comes to Him.

    These are good questions you are asking, Stan. I hope my answers shed some light on the matter at hand.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 12/07/2007 4:58 AM  

  • Hi Rose
    Goodnight you said:
    I see the intention and application of these riches for those who finally and actually partake of them - those who will be eventually in Heaven. OTOH: You have these riches not quite doing the work for which they were intended…assuming that the intention was to save every last man without exception. If this was the Divine intention then it has signally failed in that not every one will be in Heaven. Billions whose sins are propitiated and reconciled to God (according to you) are already and millions more will be in Hell.

    Goodnight lets see how your statement holds up with what we know about God.

    This is Jesus Own standard!
    Luke 10:30 Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he SAW him, HE PASSED BY ON THE OTHER SIDE. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, CAME and LOOKED, AND PASSED BY ON THE OTHER SIDE. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, CAME WHERE HE WAS. And when he SAW him, HE HAD COMPASSION. 34 So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 On the next day, when he departed,[j] he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ 36 So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” 37 And he said, “HE WHO SHOWED MERCY ON HIM.” Then Jesus said to him, “GO AND DO LIKEWISE.”

    Goodnight your expecting less from God then He expects from us!
    Nothing is said in this story about what becomes of the "wounded man left half dead" but the issue at hand is having compassion when you see a need! This is the difference between the Good Samaritan and the Priest and Levite they DIDN'T have compassion when they saw the need.
    Calvinism makes God out to be like the Levite and the Priest seeing the need of the world HE just passes by. This contradicts Jesus own teaching!
    But the God of the Bible is full of compassion! He is a God that is Love! We see this fact in John 3:16 and in 1 John 2:2 He IS the propitiation and not ONLY for ours but for the SINS of the WHOLE WORLD!
    Colin I believe that God has met the need of everyone on the cross just as 1 John 2:2 states clearly! I'm sure you see that as God squandering His riches to people that are not going to be in Heaven anyway! But that is not the point! God can choose to pay for the sins of the world if He want's to, and He did! What this PROVES is His unconditional love and His compassion for a lost and dying world. That He didn't just pass by the majority of humanity, but CAME TO WHERE THEY WERE AND SAW THIER NEED AND HAD COMPASSION!

    Goodnight said:
    Billions whose sins are propitiated and reconciled to God (according to you) are already and millions more will be in Hell.

    What would you tell the billions in hell according to your belief that say "God saw our need but chose to pass by!" What would you tell them Colin? Would they be able to point to you and say to God "You had compassion on him, but not on me! Why?" or they could say we know we didn't deserve it, but neither did you!
    Colin with your system you can't see Jesus seeing there need and having compassion because you believe that would be a waste being they won't believe anyway. Compassion doesn't pick and choose who to have compassion on but true compassion simply when a need is seen it responds without thinking of the cost! That is the kind of compassion that God has!
    1 Peter 3:19 by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20 who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine LONGSUFFERING waited[a] in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.
    What do you think Jesus was telling them in hades?
    I think He was proclaiming His victory over sin and death! That He had made a way for them but they had rejected it!
    They had missed His love!!
    No one in Hell will be able to say to God "You saw our need but passed us by!"
    Jesus is the Spiritual Good Samaritan!!!
    Colin you might say “Oh but I believe in a free gift that is offered to everyone! So anyone can take it! If you believe in the 5 points of Calvinism it’s all a facade! God didn’t see anything in man, He chose most to hate and send to hell, and a few to love and provide a way for them. That’s why you have Him only really paying for the sins of the elect it all fits the system.

    Blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 12/07/2007 10:45 AM  

  • Ah, Calvinism... an interesting discussion, as always. I'm curious, does anyone here subscribe to Molinism? So far, I've found it a very good reconciliation of the tension between man's free will and God's sovereignty that is presented in the Scriptures. I haven't explored it fully, but am in the process. Might be worth checking out, especially for those who are a bit uncomfortable on either side of this debate.

    Alvin, I posted 2 comments for you in the other big thread here, the one about Believe in Jesus for Everlasting Life. They were IRT the issue of all sins being paid for at the cross. One post had 7 questions, another post was directed to Danny (and Danny, if you're reading this, please respond to that post too), but he said it was your view as well so I would appreciate a response from you on that too. I would really like an answer to the questions I have posed, as well as my response to the Hodges article Danny linked to. Thanks.

    P.S. If anyone else holds the view that Alvin does, i.e. that Jesus' death paid for the sins of ALL men, believers and unbelievers alike, please feel free to respond to my posts as well.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 12/07/2007 11:35 AM  

  • Alvin,

    If we are going to use the parable of the Good Samaritan to prove the depths of God's saving love, then it is more suited to my side of the question at hand than to yours. The most notable lying in the fact that the Samaritan did not merely offer to help the dying Jew, but actually reached down and delivered him. It was (as I have been seeking to emphasise in recent posts) an effectual rescue, not merely provisional nor potential. If we were to follow it through with your position, he would have compassion on this man, but would leave him dying there until the dying man himself initiated the rescue.

    The mouths of the folk in hell are stopped because they are guilty for their sins i.e. they have transgressed the law of God. This is the teaching of Romans 3:19. The creature has no claim upon the Creator, and any claim that may be viewed was lost when they sinned against Him. They are silenced also because many (although not all) of them heard the gospel command to repent and believe the gospel and they rejected it. Your words in the sentence, What would you tell the billions in hell according to your belief that say "God saw our need but chose to pass by!" What would you tell them Colin? Would they be able to point to you and say to God "You had compassion on him, but not on me! Why?" or they could say we know we didn't deserve it, but neither did you! seems to give the folk in hell a claim on the mercy of God. This essentially denigrates the whole concept of grace, working on the principle that if God is to have saving mercy upon some then He must, necessarily, have saving mercy upon all. I deny the obligations that you are determined to put God under.

    I also reject your interpretation of the prison1 Peter 3:19. You are calling it hades but a different Greek word is used. Even if we run with your scenario of Christ going into the regions of the damned to the wicked dead, and there preaching the gospel to them- you need to grapple with the thought that for many of these people, this will be the first time they have ever heard the gospel. Many of them there are OT Gentiles to whom there is no record of a missionary ever being sent. Even in our own era, there are still people living and dying without ever hearing the pure gospel preached. I would love to know how someone can reject something which they have never heard.

    You write: He chose most to hate and send to hell, and a few to love and provide a way for them. as if this was an integral part of Calvinism. The issue of whether there will be more in heaven or in hell is wider than the Calvinism debate. Running the risk of another lecture on this blog, if I may mention Spurgeon - the good man argued for the thought that there will be more in Heaven than in Hell. Any man that is in hell is there because he deserves to be. He is there as a sinner.

    So that's my reply to yours. With all your talk about facades etc., this is the gospel which many in the Christian church have proclaimed and still do and (I dare say) will continue to do. To which, I for one, as a poor, bleeding, dying sinner says, "Amen."

    Sorry this post is rather long.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 12/07/2007 11:46 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    Goodnight

    I not only believe God’s riches are much broader then you, I also believe they are much deeper!
    I believe that God wants His children to KNOW they are eternally secure in His family. And that they can KNOW this solely is based on His promise (1 John 5:13).
    I believe God wants His children to KNOW they are secure in His love and nothing not even themselves can separate them from His love (Rom 8:38,39).
    I believe God wants His children to KNOW He has a plan for their lives and that if they follow His instructions they will bear much fruit and grow in maturity. This involves obeying the exhortations of scripture to abide in Him which is to put on the New Man, and be renewed in their minds.
    I believe God wants His children to KNOW who they are in Christ and that they have overcome in Him. And to live this out by faith which will have great reward!
    I believe that God wants His children to KNOW the depth and width and breadth and length of His love and to be compelled by it Like Paul was (2 Cor 5:14).
    I believe that Gods love is such that it can withstand a rebellish child. And that in this life God may be disappointed with His child but will never disown His child (2 Tim 2:10-14). And in the end His child is guaranteed to be conformed to Christ image (Rom 8:29,30).
    I believe that God wants His child to know even if all is wood hey and stubble they will be saved as yet by fire.
    God’s love for His children is sure and God has provided everything the child needs in Christ Jesus. But this does not guarantee the child will persevere in good works the child has a free will to choose his own path. The gift really is free and there is no strings attached, anyone can take of the living water freely (John 4:10; Rev 22:17).
    Blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 12/07/2007 12:00 PM  

  • I find it hard to fight with you on most of these Alvin. Just wondering, though, why you think that by believing them that you go deeper than those of us (or specifically me, by name) for believing them too?

    Can't understand why you should think that the surety that the child of God will continue in good works (which surely is the fruit of the Spirit in action in Galatians 5) is a minus. To me, it is a definate plus. If you go back to the GS parable which you saw fit to raise earlier, the GS not only rescued this man from the roadside, but took him to an inn and ensured that he would know good health again.

    Regards,

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 12/07/2007 12:13 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Hi Goodnight

    God knows man is but dust (Psalm 103:14), and that his imaginations are evil even from his youth up (Gen 8:21)! And God does not delight in the death of men (Ezek 33:11), He would rather they repent and live! So I see God as genuinely concerned for man who was created in His image (Gen 1:26). God knows the real enemy is Satan and that man sins because he was born in sin (Psalm 14:3;58:3;Job 5:7)and that’s what sinners do sin as sparks fly upward. But God is longsuffering not willing any to perish (2 Peter 3:9). God loves ALL people this is why He has provided a way for everyone. The cross is not a façade but a genuine display of God’s love for the whole world, making a genuine propitiation there. Not just for the elect but for all people.
    You have God ONLY meeting the need of the elect on the cross. So the man in hell could rightly say Jesus didn’t really love us because He didn’t really make propitiation for us it was all just a show. They certainly would not see Jesus as a Good Samaritan but one who just takes care of His own. But the Bible tells us that God did love the WORLD and that He did make propitiation for the sin of the WHOLE WORLD. Something that you are flatly denying. You have God picking who He wants and saving them and forcing His love on them so that they will persevere unto the end. Proving that if they are His they will do good works, if they don’t then they were never His. You also believe in whets called a spurious faith, that one could think they are a child of God and live most of their life and then find out after all they were not! I remember hearing R.C. Sproul making the statement that he didn’t even know for sure if he was saved. He was just being honest!!! Because if one has to persevere unto the end if they’re a true child of God then they don’t know until the end that they have a true faith. You might say yes but I know I have a true faith, and I know God will see me through. You don’t know what tomorrow will bring, Peter even denied Christ and then went fishing. He didn’t even know that he would persevere in good works, but he did know he had eternal life that he could not lose. Jesus told him he would deny Him but let not your heart be troubled Peter because He was going away to prepare a place for him and would return for him. So the Calvinistic doctrine of perseverance of the saints is just another way of saying you’re saved by your works, because if you don’t have them you don’t go!

    Blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 12/08/2007 3:19 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    I work from 5:30pm to 6:30am- 10 weeks of days 10 weeks of nights-
    2 hours preperation and travel- half the month off-it's a great shift no complaints here!
    blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 12/08/2007 3:23 AM  

  • Good morning Rose/Alvin

    Alvin:

    1) Can God love a lost soul who deserves to perish in hell, and yet not include that soul in the decree of election? Either He can or He can't. I say that He can - you say that He cannot. But lets take it further: Can God love a lost soul who deserves to perish in hell and yet leave that soul without hearing the gospel? This has happened on a massive scale in the past and still happens even as we write these things. You fail to address it because you cannot accept that God's love to His creatures knows different levels. Again, I lay the charge that by insisting that God must make atonement for all without exception if He is to make atonement for any, you are destroying the very basis of grace which cannot know any obligation. You are taking upon yourself in these later posts to be a spokesman for the guilty souls in hell, whose own mouths are stopped. I would rather be a spokesman for the sovereign God of Heaven who, concerning His redemptive love, relates: Having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. (John 13:1) The very charge which you are attacking here i.e. that God should love His own, is the very charge which the Bible affirms. Again, I repeat, while the redemptive love of Christ is towards His elect only, there is a merciful benevolence and indeed love towards all His works (Psalms 145:9) but it stops short of the decree of election and the consequent atonement for sin based upon it.

    2) You further charge us with believing that God forces his love upon people and makes them persevere unto the end. This is somewhat shrill language, which I reject. You cannot produce from any of the Calvinistic Confessions where such a thing is taught. Indeed, the language of (say) the WCF is that there is no violence offered to the will of the creature. God works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13) Grace enlightens the eyes, softens the heart and produces faith. God's people are willing in the day of God's power (Psalm 110:3) The last time I engaged someone on this topic (I think it was Jon Lee) I pointed out that the doctrine of Eternal Security (which I fully believe) does not leave room for a disgruntled soul to walk away from salvation. In the ensuring discussion, JL thanked God that he was "locked into" salvation - Is that "force"?

    3) I reject (again) your charge that we teach salvation by works. Your charges are unfounded. I get the impression that you have got yourself into a rut on this one and just cannot break free from it. I must wonder what satisfaction you get from seeking to spread doubts among God's people over their salvation? Have you ever met a Calvinist who said; "I am saved by my good works. It is my good works that form the basis (as opposed to the evidence) of my salvation…the more I do, the more justified I am?" You're chasing rabbits on this one. My fear is that you'll meet a young Calvinist and spend your time sowing your seeds of doubt in his mind which are based on long harboured misconceptions of what Calvinists really believe.

    Perhaps we have flogged this horse long enough. Thanks for engaging me thus far. And thanks too to the others: Rose, Stan and KS.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 12/08/2007 7:14 AM  

  • Hi Rose/Colin

    You said:
    1) Can God love a lost soul who deserves to perish in hell, and yet not include that soul in the decree of election? Either He can or He can't. I say that He can - you say that He cannot

    I think you got me on the wrong horse here? alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 12/08/2007 7:25 AM  

  • Hi Rose/Rachel

    Rachel you need to read my reply to Ten Cent on Romans and 2 Cor.

    also you said:
    You (Alvin) claim that my gospel is "empty" because if people don't believe in Jesus, then the cross becomes of no effect to them. But in your gospel, if people don't believe in Jesus, the cross doesn't have any practical effect for them either, because they still go to hell.

    For one thing Rachel the cross proves the love of God for the WORLD! And the one who rejects it will lift up their eyes in hell knowing they have missed the love of God for them! That a way had been provided for them, and they are there not because of their sin but because they rejected the gift of life that was REALLY provided for them. Either Jesus is the just and the justifier of the one who believes in Him or He is not. Either Jesus has provided a way for the world or He Has not. The Bible says that He has!
    Your system has the lost lifting up his eyes in hell knowing that God's love was ONLY for the elect that God didn't really love the whole world but hated most of it, of course for His glory! Making Him like the Priest and the Levite seeing the misery of a lost and dying world just choose to pass by on the other side. But we know this is not our God who is rich in Mercy and loves the whole world proving it by His sacrificial death on the cross, truly God's unconditional love for the world! The ones in hell are not going to be able to blame God for not providing a way for them. And they go to hell not because of their sins but because they don’t have life (Rev 20:15; 1 John 2:2; 2 Cor 5:19). The bases of us as Ambassadors for Christ is that God HAS reconciled the world unto Himself not counting their sins against them. He has done His part so now you need to be reconciled to Him. By what you and Colin are saying is God REALLY didn't do His part it's just a facade (show) to the world, He didn't really love them enough to die for them ALL.

    blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 12/08/2007 7:53 AM  

  • Alvin:

    I wrote: 1) Can God love a lost soul who deserves to perish in hell, and yet not include that soul in the decree of election? Either He can or He can't. I say that He can - you say that He cannot you which you replied: I think you got me on the wrong horse here? Alvin

    Fair enough. Let me reword it: Can God love a lost soul who deserves to perish in hell, and yet not intend that soul to be saved from his sin? I say that He can - you say that He cannot. This actually means exactly the same thing to me, but I can see where you would register your protest.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 12/08/2007 8:20 AM  

  • Hi Rose/and ALL

    In closing let’s put this Calvinistic horse that was ringing the bell so loud finally down!

    God says: And He Himself IS the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours ONLY but ALSO for the sins of the WHOLE WORLD 1 John 2:2

    Calvinism says And He Himself is (potentially) the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also (potentially) for the sins of the whole world.

    Note: This is a parallel statement He is the propitiation for the entire world. You can’t have your cake and eat it to!
    Calvinism is calling God a liar that He is ONLY potentially the propitiation for the whole world. God says that He "IS."

    God says: that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the WORLD to Himself,NOT IMPUTING THEIR TRESSPASSES TO THEM, and has committed to US the WORD OF RECONCILIATION. 2 Cor 5:19

    Calvinism says: that God ONLY really reconciled the elect and that God is still counting sins against the world. Not only is Calvinism saying God lied but is having their people lie when as Ambassadors of the reconciliation of the WHOLE WORLD they really don't believe it!


    Gods says: For this is GOOD and acceptable in sight of God our Savior, who DESIRES ALL MEN TO BE SAVED and come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus who GAVE Himself a RANSOM FOR ALL to be testified in due time 1 Tim 2:3-6

    Calvinism says: That Jesus really is ONLY the Savior for the elect that He did NOT REALLY die for the world but just for the elect.

    I'm testifying in due time Jesus GAVE Himself a RANSOM FOR ALL!!!

    Note: DANGER!!! Those ones out there that have never been told they were loved have an easy time swallowing the Calvinistic lie that they are one of the "potentials."

    CH Spurgeon IF he never believed in faith alone in Christ alone without works being necessary to get to heaven, he no longer has a bell to ring!!! Hopefully he believed at one time in the "Free Gift."
    blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 12/08/2007 10:03 AM  

  • Alvin,

    I'm sure you realize that Calvinism has been debated for years upon years. A few lines from you isn't exactly going to "put the horse down". But I do see that those things are particularly meaningful to you.

    Also, again you are stating for me what I believe when you don't even know what I believe. Somewhere on here I've stated that I'm a 4-point Calvinist. Thus, I do NOT agree with Colin that Christ ONLY died for the elect. Please do not assume what someone else believes.

    It seems to me that you and Colin actually see these verses (about Jesus dying for all, reconciling all, being the propitiation for all, etc.) the same exact way. You both think they mean that Jesus actually accomplished something on the cross, that he actually paid for the sins of "all" on the cross. The only difference between you is how you define "all". OTOH, I take a "middle" position and say that Jesus did die for all people everywhere, including unbelievers, but I believe Scripture as a whole indicates that while He died for everyone, is death is only applied to the individual at the moment of faith.

    So I agree with most of what you said in your comment to me, including this: "the cross proves the love of God for the WORLD! And the one who rejects it will lift up their eyes in hell knowing they have missed the love of God for them! That a way had been provided for them ... [but] they rejected the gift of life that was REALLY provided for them. Either Jesus is the just and the justifier of the one who believes in Him or He is not. Either Jesus has provided a way for the world or He Has not. The Bible says that He has!" I have no disagreement with this. A (the) way has been provided for people to escape hell and embrace life. All people stand in need of justification, and through Jesus, God can still be just AND justify all those who believe. Jesus provided the way for all the world. If they are in hell, it is because they rejected His way and missed out on the payment for their sins.

    Here's something I think you are missing IRT election. Calvinism holds that lost people canNOT choose life. A lost person, left to himself, could never EVER come to Christ in saving faith, and in fact a lost person would never even WANT to come to Christ in saving faith. Therefore, if God is to save ANYONE, he MUST give them the ability. Then, Calvinism also holds that anyone who is given that ability will ABSOLUTELY ALWAYS come. No one will or even CAN resist once given the ability.

    These 2 points then leave God with 3 choices. 1) He can leave everyone alone, thus condemning all to hell. 2) He can give everyone the ability to come to Him, thus saving all. 3) He can give some the ability to come to Him, thus saving some and condemning others. Clearly some have been saved, so obviously 1) was out. Clearly not all have been saved, so obviously 2) is out. That leaves us with 3), which must be true and is also evidenced in Scripture.

    All that said, as I stated earlier, I think I am starting to lean more toward Molinism anyway, which is kind of a middle ground between Calvinism and Arminianism. Does anyone here know anything about Molinism? I really do recommend you all look into it. I think it's at least worth the look.

    Alvin, I have more to say about your other comments. I'll be back later.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 12/08/2007 11:10 AM  

  • CH Spurgeon IF he never believed in faith alone in Christ alone without works being necessary to get to heaven, he no longer has a bell to ring!!! Hopefully he believed at one time in the "Free Gift."
    blessings alvin


    Alvin: It 's a good job you're not a Mormon. You'd be baptising Spurgeon in his absence :-)

    See ye all around

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 12/08/2007 12:23 PM  

  • Oops...Should I have said: Spurgeon: Peace to his ashes?

    :-)

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 12/08/2007 12:26 PM  

  • Hi Rose/All

    Calvinism has sacrificed on the altar God's love and Compassion and Mercy for His Sovereignty!
    All the petals come from the same plant and have grown out of bad grown. If you swallow any of them you’re putting poison in the pot!

    T=Rengeneration before one can believe.

    U=Chooses just to hate some.

    L=The cross is really just a facade for the majority of the world.

    I=Forced love.

    P=Can only know your His child when you die and then it's to late when you find yourself in the wrong place.

    They say this beautiful flower is the gospel but the true gospel you can take freely (John 3:16;4:10;5:24;6:47;Rev 22:17

    God’s Heart
    "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her!
    How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, BUT YOU WERE NOT WILLING!

    Paul’s Heart
    I tell you the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I HAVE GREAT SORROW and CONTINUAL GRIEF in my HEART. For I could wish that I MYSELF WERE ACCURSED FROM CHRIST FOR MY BRETHERN, MY COUNTRYMEN ACCODING TO THE FLESH. Rom 9:1,2

    You have the Calvinist saying "those sinners in hell are getting what they deserve!" If I believed what Calvinist do I would keep my mouth shut, because they are just “LUCKY” they didn't get chosen to hate!

    blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 12/08/2007 10:09 PM  

  • Hi Colin

    I want to reassure you that I have nothing personal against you in fact you seem like a pretty good bloke! I haven’t debated this subject before really that I can remember, Calvinism that is. I think it’s just to close to me and am not able to debate it without bringing in my feelings.
    I also like Scotland one of my favorite movies was made there. Maybe you remember a line from it?

    “I did not hear your name tall man? In that case it is a good day and we will have a drink!”

    My wife’s mother was born in England and was a war bride. One of her brothers is still alive in England.
    Again I did not mean it personally against you I was directing my words toward Calvinism the teaching.

    blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 12/09/2007 9:33 AM  

  • I probably wore out my welcome here bye all.

    blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 12/09/2007 11:23 AM  

  • Alvin,
    Your welcome is definitely not worn out!

    I love this comment you left the other day:

    God says: And He Himself IS the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours ONLY but ALSO for the sins of the WHOLE WORLD 1 John 2:2

    Calvinism says And He Himself is (potentially) the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also (potentially) for the sins of the whole world.

    Note: This is a parallel statement He is the propitiation for the entire world. You can’t have your cake and eat it to!
    Calvinism is calling God a liar that He is ONLY potentially the propitiation for the whole world. God says that He "IS."

    God says: that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the WORLD to Himself,NOT IMPUTING THEIR TRESSPASSES TO THEM, and has committed to US the WORD OF RECONCILIATION. 2 Cor 5:19

    Calvinism says: that God ONLY really reconciled the elect and that God is still counting sins against the world. Not only is Calvinism saying God lied but is having their people lie when as Ambassadors of the reconciliation of the WHOLE WORLD they really don't believe it!


    Gods says: For this is GOOD and acceptable in sight of God our Savior, who DESIRES ALL MEN TO BE SAVED and come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus who GAVE Himself a RANSOM FOR ALL to be testified in due time 1 Tim 2:3-6

    Calvinism says: That Jesus really is ONLY the Savior for the elect that He did NOT REALLY die for the world but just for the elect.


    See, if you were a blogger, you could use that as a post and it would be a really great post! I see that the same way as you do. Thank you for sharing your thoughts - you and I have a similar passion about this subject. God bless you, Alvin.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/09/2007 11:55 AM  

  • Hi Alvin,

    I have long learned not to take anything personal in debates over Calvinism - it is one of those subjects that admits of very few fence sitters and either completely attracts or completely repulses those who are acquainted with it. I can well remember some of the awful things that I said about Calvinism (thankfully, there was no blogging in those days) Of course, I was a raw 18-19 years old with enough knowledge to be positively dangerous and every thing was entirely black and white. I thank God now for those mature Calvinists who wisely tempered my thoughts after I saw these things, with sound wisdom, keeping the truth (as we see it) intact and yet seeking to keep my feet on the ground. For all my Sovereignty of God outbursts, they wisely emphasised Man's Responsibility and that kept me from many an imbalanced view.

    If you don't mind me saying so (and without opening up the whole debate again) I would see evidence that you haven't debated this matter in any great depth. I would say (and I might be wrong) that Stan had. He did not make wild allegations, but quietly asked probing questions. Another with whom I had engaged at reasonable length here was KS and again (after our little spat over quoting Spurgeon) he had some probing questions. I liked the tone of these questions. I would hope to discuss further with them again. On this blog, we are all at the mercy of "herself" and her insights which give rise to these debates :-)

    To debate Calvinists, you would do well to see what they positively believe. We are, by and large, a creedal people i.e. we have set forth what we believe the Bible teaches in pretty in-depth creeds. We do not elevate these creeds to equality with Scripture or over Scripture, but we do recognise their helpfulness in articulating our views. Presbyterians generally use the Westminster Confession of Faith and you can see there our views on various matters including on perseverance of the saints and election etc., What is set forth in the full blown Confession is generally broken down into easier parts in the Larger and Shorter Catechisms, which are available online. If you had (say) a spare 60 minutes and took one subject at a time, you can see what we believe and (equally) what we do not believe on these subjects. It is not a matter of getting you away from the Bible unto another source of authority. I re-emphasise: The WCF is a summary of our faith, which we draw from the Bible. Every church has a creed - whether written or unwritten.

    You might not agree with us after you have looked at the WCF, but I think you would refrain from some of your wilder allegations. I thought that last one about election being a matter of "luck" was outrageous and indeed, I was just going to let it go and ignore it, and probably politely side step any comments in future debates. However, your later comments here tell their own story and perhaps we can discuss these things again in a calmer fashion.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 12/09/2007 12:03 PM  

  • Rose,
    I think that if anti-Calvinists could grasp the point in the quote below, they/you would understand where we are coming from. If the Lord had not intervened in our cases, we would have justly perished in our sins. The gospel is a stench of death to the natural man. I was repulsed by anything to do with the Bible or religion for many years. Only God's Holy Spirit could transform my hard heart and make the gospel a savor of life to me instead of a foolish message for religious fanatics. Only God could open my ears to His voice and cause me to cry out to the Savior for mercy.
    ---------------------------
    After giving a brief survey of these doctrines of sovereign grace, I asked for questions from the class. One lady, in particular, was quite troubled. She said, 'This is the most awful thing I've ever heard! You make it sound as if God is intentionally turning away men and women who would be saved, receiving only the elect.' I answered her in this vein: 'You misunderstand the situation. You're visualizing that God is standing at the door of heaven, and men are thronging to get in the door, and God is saying to various ones, 'Yes, you may come, but not you, and you, but not you, etc.' The situation is hardly this. Rather, God stands at the door of heaven with His arms outstretched, inviting all to come. Yet all men without exception are running in the opposite direction towards hell as hard as they can go. So God, in election, graciously reaches out and stops this one, and that one, and this one over here, and that one over there, and effectually draws them to Himself by changing their hearts, making them willing to come. Election keeps no one out of heaven who would otherwise have been there, but it keeps a whole multitude of sinners out of hell who otherwise would have been there. Were it not for election, heaven would be an empty place, and hell would be bursting at the seams. That kind of response, grounded as I believe that it is in Scriptural truth, does put a different complexion on things, doesn't it? If you perish in hell, blame yourself, as it is entirely your fault. But if you should make it to heaven, credit God, for that is entirely His work! To Him alone belong all praise and glory, for salvation is all of grace, from start to finish. - Mark Webb
    ----------------------
    How Sweet and Awful Is the Place

    1. How sweet and awful is the place
    With Christ within the doors,
    While everlasting love displays
    The choicest of her stores.

    2. While all our hearts and all our songs
    Join to admire the feast,
    Each of us cry, with thankful tongues,
    "Lord, why was I a guest?"

    3. "Why was I made to hear Thy voice,
    And enter while there's room,
    When thousands make a wretched choice,
    And rather starve than come?"

    4. 'Twas the same love that spread the feast
    That sweetly drew us in;
    Else we had still refused to taste,
    And perished in our sin.

    5. Pity the nations, O our God,
    Constrain the earth to come;
    Send Thy victorious Word abroad,
    And bring the strangers home.

    6. We long to see Thy churches full,
    That all the chosen race
    May, with one voice and heart and soul,
    Sing Thy redeeming grace.

    http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/
    h/s/hsweetaw.htm

    By Anonymous VA ~Susan, at 12/09/2007 2:43 PM  

  • Hi Rose/Goodnight/Susan

    I will admit that I'm still a little raw toward Calvinism. I can still remember coming to the realization that if my only daughter was not one of the elect she could not be saved even if she wanted to, and my wife being told she might not be one of the elect. You might say "she wouldn't have wanted to anyway apart from God." I also remember a visiting pastor making this comment "It is unbiblical to tell people God loves them, for in fact His plan for them might be the eternal lake of fire and you would be lying to them!"
    And Susan I understand what you are saying because my own brother who is a 5 point Calvinist pastor said that he was saved against his will. He told me he didn't want to be saved, but God saved him anyway. Which sounds strange to me. But I've had some of my own experiences that might sound strange to some people. But I put all my experiences aside for the truth of God. If they didn't line up with what I new God to be saying I took His word first! Even if that made me saved a lot latter then I thought. I believe in that Assurance is of the essence of saving faith. One MUST know they are eternally saved or they still haven't believed Jesus promise. I see this as impossible if works have any part in the equation.
    One experience I had was I was thinking about getting rebaptised because my experience happened after I was baptized. A real life changing experience and repentance. But then God showed me through the Book of Hosea that He had been faithful to me but I had not been faithful to Him. Realizing then I was saved at a very young age. I was completely convinced of this. But I put all these experiences aside for the truth of God no matter how convincing they seemed. I chose to believe what God's word clearly said over my experience. This is hard to do because everyone else thought you were saved and you thought you were to. But I will not stake my eternal destiny on my experiences not matter how convinced I was of them. I will ONLY stake my eternal destiny on Jesus promise and that alone!
    blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 12/09/2007 9:11 PM  

  • Hi Rose/Colin

    Oh yes the Movie was!

    "The Quiet Man" John Wayne
    Rose I'm sure would like this one since she likes boxing! George Foreman was on of my favorites to!

    blessings alvin

    "I did not hear your name tall man,,,it is a good day and we will have a drink!!! lol

    By Blogger alvin, at 12/09/2007 9:15 PM  

  • [I will admit that I'm still a little raw toward Calvinism. I can still remember coming to the realization that if my only daughter was not one of the elect she could not be saved even if she wanted to, and my wife being told she might not be one of the elect.]

    Hello Alvin,
    Your brother sounds more like a "Job's Comforter" than a pastor to me. I'm sorry to know that he is a pastor if that is the kind of "help" he gives to hurting people. As Christians, we need to be merciful people, offering comfort and hope to the sick, lost and hurting. As long as a person is alive there is hope for God's mercy. It is not our business to try to figure out who is elect and who is not. The gospel is for everyone. The secret things belong to God, not to us. Our business is to be faithful to share the gospel with the lost. We need to pray for our lost loved ones and use all the opportunities God gives us to be faithful witnesses. As long as there is life, there is hope for them.

    [And Susan I understand what you are saying because my own brother who is a 5 point Calvinist pastor said that he was saved against his will. He told me he didn't want to be saved, but God saved him anyway. Which sounds strange to me.]

    It sounds strange to me too, and I don't buy it! I suspect your brother is a hyper-Calvinist instead of a Calvinist. When God regenerates our hearts He gives us a hunger and a thirst for spiritual things that a natural man would never want. We are not dragged kicking and screaming into the Kingdom of God, no matter what anyone says. We come most willingly because God works in us to will and to do His good pleasure.

    ~Susan

    By Anonymous VA ~Susan, at 12/10/2007 12:38 AM  

  • Hi Rose/Susan

    Susan you said:
    and effectually draws them to Himself by changing their hearts, making them willing to come.

    Making them willing to come!
    Susan why does God have to MAKE someone come? And how does He determine who He is going to make?

    blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 12/10/2007 1:10 AM  

  • Hello Rose,

    Hi Colin,

    If you don't mind pursuing this a bit further I'd like to challenge your consistency on the matter of the availability of Christ's sacrifice to those who will never be saved and their responsibility toward believing in Him.

    It sounds like you're saying that, on the one hand, because of it's worth and merit, Christ's payment is available to the non-elect for the purpose of condemning them when they don't believe in Him as their Savior. But, on the other hand, it's not available to them for their salvation because it was never intended for them. To put the label of "free offer of the gospel" on such an arrangement doesn't answer the apparent dilemma for me.

    If there's enough gold in Fort Knox, Kentucky to pay all the debts of every citizen in Kentucky and if a person from another state asks someone from Kentucky why he still has a mortgage on his house when all that gold is there, it would make sense to simply point out that it's not available for that.

    To say that the house debtor is responsible for not availing himself of all that wealth when the gold has more than enough "worth and merit" to pay off his house would surely draw a lot of puzzlement from most onlookers.

    If it's not available to pay off the mortgage, how could it be available to chide (condemn) the home buyer for not using it?

    Is this a fair question and analogy? Or, do I misunderstand your position?

    Stan

    By Anonymous Stan, at 12/10/2007 1:26 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    Question for any Calvinist?

    John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him sholud not perish but have everlasting life. 17. "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

    Does God love Esau?

    And does God not want to condemn Esau but save Esau?

    blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 12/10/2007 5:02 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    I need to rephrase those questions.

    Did God love Esau?

    Did God not want to condemn Esau but save Esau?

    blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 12/10/2007 5:24 AM  

  • Good morning Rose/Stan/Alvin,

    Stan: I know Rose won't mind (in that I've done it before)but in light of the clock ticking against this particular post (as it eventually does against them all) I have mounted your latest reply up on to a fresh post on our group blog and answered you there:

    http://ulsterfpcs.blogspot.com/2007/12/gospel-and-non-elect.html

    Alvin: Things are busy enough here and more so with my discussing the matter above with Stan on our own group blog. No doubt sometime in the future, I'll take you up again on some of your points which (no doubt) will be repeated again :-)

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 12/10/2007 10:09 AM  

  • [Susan you said:
    and effectually draws them to Himself by changing their hearts, making them willing to come.

    Making them willing to come!
    Susan why does God have to MAKE someone come? ]
    Alvin,
    Please go back and read what I have written before. Unless God changes our hearts we would never choose God. We do not want God ruling over us. We want to be the captain of our own souls.

    Salvation is of the Lord, not by our choice, even though we do make a choice when we come to Christ for salvation, but that choice is only possible because He graciously intervened in our situation, gave us new hearts and drew us to Himself in faith and repentance.
    We can take absolutely no credit for believing in Him.
    ------------------
    John 15:16
    You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
    ------------------------

    No one has the power to come to Christ as a fallen creature. God must intervene.

    -----------------------
    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.
    {can=dynamai has the power}
    ---------------------
    Luke 10:22
    All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
    --------------------------

    The natural man has no place for God's word and he hates God's law in particular and will never submit to it because of his rebellion.

    -------------------------
    Romans 8: 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
    {it cannot same word dunamai is used}

    9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
    -----------------------
    1 John 4:4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
    --------------------

    Jesus explains to the Jews who rejected Him that the reason they do not believe in Him is that they are not his sheep. His sheep are supernatually enabled to hear His voice and to follow Him when He effectually calls them by the gospel. They also follow Him after salvation.

    -----------------------
    John 10:24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.


    [ And how does He determine who He is going to make?]

    He has mercy on whom He will. We should never assume that we are more merciful than God and judge Him.
    ----------------------
    Romans 9:17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

    19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?

    By Anonymous VA ~Susan, at 12/10/2007 11:04 AM  

  • Colin,

    You said,

    "...in light of the clock ticking against this particular post (as it eventually does against them all) I have mounted your latest reply up on to a fresh post on our group blog and answered you there..."

    How does "the clock" factor in? Don't you get email notification of new comments, to this thread at least? I'm fairly new to blogging, but surely no one is just checking the comments on the most recent thread, especially if they've been participating in a discussion in another thread. I guess I assumed that if people were participating in a thread, that they had subscribed to the email notification for that thread. Then, of course, there's the news reader thing that my husband and I utilize that allows us to get notification of ANY new comment ANYWHERE on this blog (or others). So, just thought I'd share that there are those of us who see every comment made here, regardless of how old the original article is.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 12/10/2007 11:41 AM  

  • Rachel: Yes, I get email notification as well. Sometimes, (I feel anyway)that after about a week and a fresh posting, the whole matter at least appears to have had its day. The commencing of a new post (even on an old subject)comes with an up to date freshness. Which is why I decided to answer Stan's comments on a new post. Of course, I could've asked Rose to consider doing one, but then it is Rose's blog and she may well have other things on her agenda to persue. So the easiest thing is to create my own page. I'm sure those who are interested can follow the debate there. I, for one, will be back if the Lord permit on Rose's blog, commenting a sI see appropriate. If others don't see it this way and desire to keep this particular posting on...fair enough!

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 12/10/2007 12:03 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 12/10/2007 12:05 PM  

  • Rachel, I think your last reply belong s to the previous thread:

    http://rosesreasonings.blogspot.com/2007/11/believe-in-jesus-for-everlasting-life.html#links

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 12/10/2007 12:10 PM  

  • Whoops! Sorry 'bout that Colin, you're right. I just left the same thread open and hit "post comment" again. Totally my fault for not paying attention. I'll fix it right away! Thanks for pointing that out.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 12/10/2007 2:54 PM  

  • Hi Rose/Susan

    I must say I see God completely different then the Calvinist do! No doubt no one will come to God or seek God unless God first initiates. But I do not see this as a problem because of God's heart. I heard a story once about a man playing hid-en seek with his little child. The dad would go hide and the little child would hunt for daddy. The little child would become a little frightened when he could not find him right away, but daddy would whisper, Over here! Over here! And the little child would say, Daddy I found you! I found you! See Susan, Daddy wanted to be found, just like God wants to be found. But the one who does not want God to be found is Satan as the scriptures tell us.
    2 Corinthians 4:3,4
    But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. 5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
    Matthew 13:19
    When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.
    Luke 8:12
    Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.

    Susan you see in these verses who doesn't want God to be found, it's Satan! Satan is the one who takes the seed away lest they should believe and be saved!

    Luke 9:55 But He turned and rebuked them,[a] and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. 56 For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.”[b] And they went to another village.

    We need to know of what spirit we are and recognize that God loves the world and has provided a way for everyone!

    John 3:16 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. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

    This is speaking of every single person even one like Esau! God provided a way for everyone! God has chose to draw all and have mercy on all!

    Romans 11:32
    For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.

    John 12:32
    And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.”

    God wants everyone to seek Him!

    Hebrews 11:6
    But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
    Deuteronomy 4:29
    But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.

    Acts 17:27
    so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;

    Rom 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,

    God is whispering to all, Here I AM! Here I AM! And from the cross He was shouting out His love for all the world!!!

    2 Cor 5:19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.


    1 John 2:2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

    God is genuinely concerned for everyone!

    Gen 4:6 So the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”

    God has given man the ability to choose. If he responds to the light God has given him, God will give more light. And just as Lydia the heart is opened (veil removed) bringing forth illumination so one believes! Acts 16:14; 2 Cor 4:4

    We should be able to look anyone in the eyes and tell them God loves you and has made a way for you paying for all your sins that you might have life. Then hopefully they can say, I found Him, I found Him just like a little child who has found their Daddy!!! Susan could you say this to anyone? If you can't something is very wrong! If we know what spirit we are of, we can!

    blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 12/11/2007 10:07 AM  

  • Susan, thanks so much for your comments. They are spot on, meaning that they are rooted in Scripture and they are truth. :)

    I encourage you, Alvin, to ruminate, ponder, meditate, chew on, all the passages that Susan cited (and all related passages, as well). Only God can illuminate His truths to us, and actually cause them to become real in our lives. I believe that comes, in part, through prayer - simply asking God to take that truth which we might not really understand, and help us to see it. The inspired word of God is recorded for us, so we know that what it says is The truth. That we don't get it, or that it runs contrary to our own preconceived notions of how *we* think God *should* be, does not negate what He says IS truth.

    If you don't think that God *makes* things happen, I also encourage you to basically read just about anything in the early OT to see just how He causes things to occur. Also, the account of Saul/Paul's conversion is a great example of how God *makes* things happen.

    That He is sovereign and controls all things ought to bring us comofort, as we can rest assured that there is none more powerful than He, and that no one or nothing can usurp His authority.

    By Blogger Gayla, at 12/11/2007 10:52 AM  

  • "The dad would go hide and the little child would hunt for daddy. The little child would become a little frightened when he could not find him right away, but daddy would whisper, Over here! Over here! And the little child would say, Daddy I found you! I found you..."

    As I see it, the flaw in the analogy is this: The child was only able to find the dad because the dad initiated being found. If the dad had not wooed and drawn the child to himself, the child wouldn't have found him.

    As it is with God. He initiates the process.

    By Blogger Gayla, at 12/11/2007 11:00 AM  

  • "Susan you see in these verses who doesn't want God to be found, it's Satan! Satan is the one who takes the seed away lest they should believe and be saved!"

    Alvin, do you believe Satan to possess greater power than God?

    "This is speaking of every single person even one like Esau! God provided a way for everyone! God has chose to draw all and have mercy on all!"

    This goes back to the old question, did God merely provide a way, an offer, a potential, or did the cross *actually* and *effectively* save? How does your assertion that God has mercy on all square with, "I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION."?

    Which leads to, is God's will or man's will more powerful?

    By Blogger Gayla, at 12/11/2007 11:08 AM  

  • Alvin,

    You said,

    "Did God love Esau?

    Did God not want to condemn Esau but save Esau?"


    Yes.

    Yes.

    I would say that sometimes there is a difference between what God wants ideally, and what God actually determines or allows to happen, as a result of our free will. God wants everyone to be saved, He wants us to always choose right, He wants us to follow all of His commands, etc. But these things don't always happen as a result of the free will he has given us. So on the one hand, we see the Bible stating that God wants all to be saved. But OTOH we see the Bible stating that God has not elected all to be saved. Did God want Esau to be saved? Yes. Did God elect Esau to be saved? Well, no one can know for sure, but it would seem He did not.

    What point were you trying to make exactly with these questions?

    By Blogger Rachel, at 12/12/2007 12:34 AM  

  • Alvin,

    You said,

    "Rachel you need to read my reply to Ten Cent on Romans and 2 Cor."

    I did read your reply, but it didn't answer either of the two posts of mine that I would like you to answer. I am going to repost those two in the "Believe in Jesus" thread so that you don't have to look for them. Please answer in that thread.

    Also, I have more questions for you regarding your comments on 2 Cor and Romans, but it's late and I need to get to bed, so more later.

    Trent, I know that I have several comments of yours that I need to respond to. I'm a little behind on my responses right now due to some family medical issues. I hope to get to your comments tomorrow. Thanks for your patience.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 12/12/2007 12:45 AM  

  • Gayla reply...
    "Susan you see in these verses who doesn't want God to be found, it's Satan! Satan is the one who takes the seed away lest they should believe and be saved!"

    Alvin, do you believe Satan to possess greater power than God?


    I believe God has given man a free will to choose, just as in the Garden of Eden God put before man a choice! He told him not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but yet God allowed him to make his own choice. So he listened to his wife who had listened to Satan. Does this prove that Satan is more powerful then God? No! But it shows how God has allowed the free will of man to make choices. As the verse up above shows God has allowed Satan to snatch the seed away, could God have kept Satan from snatching the seed? Sure He could have! Is Satan blinding peoples minds so the glorious light doesn't shine unto them? Yes! God has allowed this just as God put the tree in the Garden to give man a choice and allowed Satan there to whisper "Ye shall not surely die." In the same way God has allowed Satan to do what he does, so that man will have to make a choice.

    As Romans 8:29 For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate

    1 Peter 1:2 Elect according (kata, by)to the foreknowledge

    God did not need to know anything before hand to elect because He is all present (everything is in His presense at once, He is outside of time). But I believe He said that for our benefit that we might know how He elected. God has elected on the bases of His foreknowledge of who would believe. That alone allows the free will of man of choice. But I want to make clear that I believe the choice takes place when one is given light. This will determine if they have ears to hear. I believe that belieiving is being convinced something is true which is not a choice one makes one either believes something or they do not. They cannot choose to believe something they really don't. The actual choice is if one responds to light, God will give them more light, this shows if they have ears to hear.

    Gayla I believe you are a 5 point Calvinist, if I'm wrong correct me. Rachel says she is a 4 point Calvinist. Gayla did you agree with what Rachel last posted? I want to see if you two are on the same page, so I'm not confusing views.

    Rachel agreed pretty much with what I said:



    Alvin,

    You said,

    "Did God love Esau?

    Did God not want to condemn Esau but save Esau?"

    Yes.

    Yes.

    I would say that sometimes there is a difference between what God wants ideally, and what God actually determines or allows to happen, as a result of our free will. God wants everyone to be saved, He wants us to always choose right, He wants us to follow all of His commands, etc. But these things don't always happen as a result of the free will he has given us. So on the one hand, we see the Bible stating that God wants all to be saved. But OTOH we see the Bible stating that God has not elected all to be saved. Did God want Esau to be saved? Yes. Did God elect Esau to be saved? Well, no one can know for sure, but it would seem He did not.


    Rachel seems to agree with the freewill of man which she mentioned twice, and that God loved Esau and wanted him to be saved. Gayla do you concur with Rachel?

    blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 12/12/2007 10:23 AM  

  • "Rachel seems to agree with the freewill of man which she mentioned twice, and that God loved Esau and wanted him to be saved."

    Yep! Kinda fun not being forced into any one particular belief system, huh? ;-) Besides, as I've said, I'm more of a Molinist anyway, which allows for free will (ridding us of the "origin of evil" problem) but ALSO emphasizes God's sovereignty, election, etc.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 12/12/2007 11:13 AM  

  • Hi Rose!

    Alvin, I'm at work and will reply to you later. It may take me a while to compose something, so didn't want to attempt it at work. :)

    By Blogger Gayla, at 12/12/2007 3:30 PM  

  • Hi Colin,

    When you transferred our discussion to the other blog (http://ulsterfpcs.blogspot.com/2007/12/gospel-and-non-elect.html) you prefaced your remarks with the statement, (referring to yourself) "... whereby I have been defending the free offer of the gospel i.e. that Christ is to be offered to every last sinner and urged to seek the Lord." This could be misunderstood by some. It could come across as though I'm denying the free offer and that you're defending it.

    What I understand you to be defending is the idea that under the limited redemption viewpoint eternal salvation can be logically and sincerely offered to someone to whom it was never intended and for whom there is no provision. I'm arguing against that idea, not against the free offer. I hold that a universal provision with a partial application is a reasonable, consistent and biblical belief.

    God's intention in providing the Savior is very important in this discussion. When someone who holds to definite atonement teaches that God's intention in providing the sacrifice of Christ was only to save the elect, he preloads the issue which, whether intentional or not, forces a predetermined end. It's like saying that God's intention was to save the elect, therefore, he saved the elect. How can one argue with that?

    Also, to say, as some might, that it's intended for those to whom it's applied is only partially correct. It's to engage in a mental riddle that's hard for the uninitiated to follow and is to fall back on the preloading of the issue so as to guarantee the outcome of the answer by implying that its only purpose was to save the elect.

    But if God's intention was to provide a Savior to make a sacrificial provision for all, and Who could be believed on or not believed on for eternal salvation, then an unlimited redemption makes sense. Furthermore, it's biblically defensible and, as mandated by Scripture, is good news as well (Luke 2:10-11).

    Your response to my Fort Knox analogy seems to imply that since the value of Christ's sacrifice is infinite and the value of the gold in Fort Knox is not, that would make a difference in allowing access to it for payment. But the issue isn't one of value, it's one of availability. Adequate value, or more than adequate value doesn't address the matter of availability, which is the issue at hand.

    The handing out of flyers and proclaiming the value of the treasure and riches is another peripheral issue that doesn't really seem to have anything to do with the legitimate availability of that treasure. If it's not intended for some in the group, it would seem to be less than forthright to proclaim and pretend that they can have it if only they will. To offer something necessary that really isn't available and then to hold someone accountable for not accepting it looks disingenuous to me.

    On the matter of the culpability of sinners, that too, is not the issue. The issue is the actual availability of the cure and the related matter of the sincerity of its offer.

    5 point Calvinism, with its limited atonement belief, doesn't answer the conundrum of how someone can honestly be offered eternal salvation through a provision that isn't available to him and then be condemned for not accepting it (John 3:18).

    Stan

    P.S. There's a lot of good material available that defends the unlimited viewpoint. Lewis Sperry Chafer's Systematic Theology (and the newer abridged edition) as well as Robert Lightner's book, "The Death Christ Died" are a couple of sources. An internet search engine will also likely turn up other material.

    By Anonymous Stan, at 12/12/2007 8:19 PM  

  • Hi Rose/Stan

    Very well said Stan!


    blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 12/12/2007 11:13 PM  

  • Hi Stan,

    Re: the free offer of the gospel. I was affirming that I, personally, believe the free offer of the gospel - something which can be sometimes lost on critics of Calvinism (not necessarily you) and since it is central to my answer, I thought it necessary to reaffirm it. There is nothing in the rest of the text to suggest that I am taking you to task on this issue as if you denied it.

    I made the comments that I did on your Fort Knox illustration to show where it was seriously flawed. You introduced the idea of people from an outside state wondering why the people of Kentucky did not avail of the gold in FK to pay their mortgages. This illustration was flawed because there was no offer from FK to that end to anyone at all. Indeed, it is hard to know how to sufficiently patch the illustration up. You can't even have folk turning up at FK with the free offer ringing in their ears, only to be turned away, since all who seek Christ in faith find Him, with none being refused.

    The Bible makes it clear that there is an infinite worth in the atonement of Christ. This is on the basis of the worth of the Person who makes the atonement i.e. God Incarnate. Part of this infinite worth lies in the fact that it must achieve that which it set out to do, not admitting of any failure or disappointment. This leaves us facing with a particular redemption which actually redeems the particular group atonement was offered for, or a general atonement that does not actually redeem all for whom it was offered. Was (say) the rich man in hell (Luke 16:19-31) actually redeemed? Was he actually bought back from the guilt and power and presence of sin (all of which are encompassed in that grand word Redemption? Both of is know that he wasn't. This leaves you in the less than satisfactory situation whereby you have redeeming blood that doesn't actually redeem all for whom (you say) God intended to redeem. I think I can hear you say: (correct me if I'm wrong) It was intended only to actually redeem those who trust the Saviour - in which case, it is an atonement which only redeems the elect, because they alone trust the Saviour. The alternative to this is that He did not intend to actually redeem anyone at all.

    To come to the free offer. Any sinner may read the gospel and its widest offer for himself. He reads that Christ died for the ungodly and that whosoever will may come Is this not enough for the sinner? What part of "whosoever will" does he not understand? (So that we can help him.) Who would put him off? Certainly, no Calvinist worth his salt. A few Hyper Calvinists might, but they seem more determined to keep the non elect out, than to gather the elect in. None of us can see into the decree of God as to who will and who won't be saved. Therefore, we echo the Bible's own invitation for all men to come to Christ and apply to Him for salvation, knowing that He has provided a redemption through His blood that really does infallibly redeem and not the watered down version which you seem to be arguing for.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 12/13/2007 5:18 AM  

  • Oops! Good morning Rose! How's it goin'?

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 12/13/2007 5:21 AM  

  • Hello Rose/Colin,

    My google acct is such a pain. It won't let me post and says my password is wrong!

    I had a discussion with a dispensational 4 point Calvinist on our forum who also holds to a provisional atonement for the non-elect. He posted this definition of reconciliation from a dispensational source,The New Unger Bible Dictionary. When our definitions of a theological term is so different from the dispensational one, no wonder we talk past one another in these discussions. Both definitions cannot be true. He did not post Merrill Unger's definition for Propitiation which I would be interested in reading.

    I looked up reconciliation and propitiation and did not find any other Bible dictionary that agreed with Dr. Unger's claim that atonement only puts men is a "savable" state. They all said that Christ's atonement actually saves.

    -------------------------
    THE NEW UNGER'S BIBLE DICTIONARY

    RECONCILIATION. The restoration of friendship and fellowship after estrangement. OT reconciliation contains the idea of an "atonement" or covering for sin ( Lev. 6:30; 16:20; Ezek. 45:20 ) . In the NT it possesses the idea "to change "thoroughly" ( Gk. katllasso, 2 Cor. 5:18-19 ) , "to change thoroughly from one position to another"
    (apokatallatto, Eph. 2:16; Col. 1:20, 22). Reconciliation, therefore, means that someone or something is completely altered and adjusted to a required standard ( cf. Rom. 5:6-11 ) . By the death of Christ the world is changed in its relationship to God. Man is reconciled to God, but God is not said to be reconciled to man. By this change lost humanity is rendered savable. As a result of the changed position of the world through the death of Christ the divine attitude toward the human family can no longer be the same. God is enabled to deal with lost souls in the light of what Christ has accomplished. Although this seems to be a change in God, it is not a reconciliation; it is rather a
    "propitiation." God places the full efficacy in the finished work of Christ and accepts it. Through His acceptance of it He remains righteous and the justifier of any sinner who believes in Jesus as his reconciliation. When an individual sees and trust in the value of Christ atoning death, he becomes reconciled to God, hostility is removed, freindship and fellowship eventuate. (THE NEW UNGER'S BIBLE DICTIONARY, pg. 1067, Dr. Merrill F. Unger, Dr. R.K. Harrison, Dr. Howard F. Vos, Th. M. Cyril J. Barber )


    ---------------------------------

    Quote:

    Easton's Bible Dictionary 1897 (Gateway.com site)

    Reconcilation

    a change from enmity to friendship. It is mutual, i.e., it is a change wrought in both parties who have been at enmity.

    (1.) In Col. 1:21, 22, the word there used refers to a change wrought in the personal character of the sinner who ceases to be an enemy to God by wicked works, and yields up to him his full confidence and love. In 2 Cor. 5:20 the apostle beseeches the Corinthians to be "reconciled to God", i.e., to lay aside their enmity.

    (2.) Rom. 5:10 refers not to any change in our disposition toward God, but to God himself, as the party reconciled. Romans 5:11 teaches the same truth. From God we have received "the reconciliation" (R.V.), i.e., he has conferred on us the token of his friendship. So also 2 Cor. 5:18, 19 speaks of a reconciliation originating with God, and consisting in the removal of his merited wrath. In Eph. 2:16 it is clear that the apostle does not refer to the winning back of the sinner in love and loyalty to God, but to the restoration of God's forfeited favour. This is effected by his justice being satisfied, so that he can, in consistency with his own nature, be favourable toward sinners. Justice demands the punishment of sinners. The death of Christ satisfies justice, and so reconciles God to us. This reconciliation makes God our friend, and enables him to pardon and save us. (See ATONEMENT �T0000362.)

    ---------------------------


    In Vines, there was no entry under Reconciliation. It said to look up Propitiation.
    ---------------------------
    Quote:

    Vines Expository Dictionary of the New Testament
    http://www.antioch.com.sg/bible/
    1. Propitiation [Verb]

    hilaskomai was used amongst the Greeks with the significance "to make the gods propitious, to appease, propitiate," inasmuch as their good will was not conceived as their natural attitude, but something to be earned first. This use of the word is foreign to the Greek Bible, with respect to God, whether in the Sept. or in the NT. It is never used of any act whereby man brings God into a favorable attude or gracious disposition. It is God who is "propitiated" by the vindication of His holy and righteous character, whereby, through the provision He has made in the vicarious and expiatory sacrifice of Christ, He has so dealt with sin that He can show mercy to the believing sinner in the removal of his guilt and the remission of his sins.

    Thus in Luke_18:13 it signifies "to be propitious" or "merciful to" (with the person as the object of the verb), and in Heb_2:17 "to expiate, to make propitiation for" (the object of the verb being sins); here the RV, "to make propitiation" is an important correction of the AV, "to make reconciliation." Through the "propitiation" sacrifice of Christ, he who believes upon Him is by God's own act delivered from justly deserved wrath, and comes under the covenant of grace. Never is God said to be reconciled, a fact itself indicative that the enmity exists on man's part alone, and that it is man who needs to be reconciled to God, and not God to man. God is always the same and, since He is Himself immutable, His relative attitude does change towards those who change. He can act differently towards those who come to Him by faith, and solely on the ground of the "propitiatory" sacrifice of Christ, not because He has changed, but because He ever acts according to His unchanging righteousness.

    The expiatory work of the Cross is therefore the means whereby the barrier which sin interposes between God and man is broken down. By the giving up of His sinless life sacrifically, Christ annuls the power of sin to separate between God and the believer.

    In the OT the Hebrew verb kaphar is connected with kopher, "a covering" (see MERCY_SEAT), and is used in connection with the burnt offering, e.g., Lev_1:4; Lev_14:20; Lev_16:24, the guilt offering e.g., Lev_5:16,18, the sin offering, e.g., Lev_4:20,26,31,35, the sin offering and burnt offering together, e.g., Lev_5:10; Lev_9:7, the meal offering and peace offering, e.g., Ezek_45:15,17, as well as in other respects. It is used of the ram offered at the consecration of the high priest, Ex_29:33, and of the blood which God gave upon the altar to make "propitiation" for the souls of the people, and that because "the life of the flesh is in the blood," Lev_17:11, and "it is the blood that maketh atonement by reason of the life" (RV). Man has forfeited his life on account of sin and God has provided the one and only way whereby eternal life could be bestowed, namely, by the voluntary laying down of His life by His Son, under Divine retribution. Of this the former sacrifices appointed by God were foreshadowings.

    See also : hilaskomai in other topics

    ----------------------------

    From Easton's Bible 1897 dictionary:
    Quote:

    Propitiation

    that by which God is rendered propitious, i.e., by which it becomes consistent with his character and government to pardon and bless the sinner. The propitiation does not procure his love or make him loving; it only renders it consistent for him to execise his love towards sinners.

    In Rom. 3:25 and Heb. 9:5 (A.V., "mercy-seat") the Greek word _hilasterion_ is used. It is the word employed by the LXX. translators in Ex. 25:17 and elsewhere as the equivalent for the Hebrew _kapporeth_, which means "covering," and is used of the lid of the ark of the covenant (Ex. 25:21; 30:6). This Greek word (hilasterion) came to denote not only the mercy-seat or lid of the ark, but also propitation or reconciliation by blood. On the great day of atonement the high priest carried the blood of the sacrifice he offered for all the people within the veil and sprinkled with it the "mercy-seat," and so made propitiation.

    In 1 John 2:2; 4:10, Christ is called the "propitiation for our sins." Here a different Greek word is used (hilasmos). Christ is "the propitiation," because by his becoming our substitute and assuming our obligations he expiated our guilt, covered it, by the vicarious punishment which he endured. (Comp. Heb. 2:17, where the expression "make reconciliation" of the A.V. is more correctly in the R.V. "make propitiation.")

    PS Alvin,
    Sorry not to get back to you. I have not forgotten you. I think Gayla gave you some good answers. Thanks, Gayla!!
    I may post something later if I have some time, but have company coming tomorrow so am busy at the moment.
    ~Susan

    By Anonymous VA ~Susan, at 12/13/2007 2:37 PM  

  • Hello Rose, Sorry about neglecting to greet you in my previous post. By the way, if your blog was a commercial site you could probably make some big bucks with your ability to pick topics that attract peoples comments.

    Hi Colin,

    Thanks for responding again.

    You are right that in my Fort Knox gold analogy the gold wasn't offered. At least not by anyone qualified to offer it. One of my points was to show that value doesn't affect the availability of the treasure. However, even if something is supposedly authorized to be offered, if it's not actually available, the offer is bogus.

    You seem to hold that God (the One qualified to make the offer) makes an indiscriminate offer of something that's neither intended nor available for all to whom it's offered and then holds those who don't accept it accountable for not accepting it. I can't help but see that as a contradiction.

    You also don't seem to be inclined, at present, to change your mind. I wish you would and I also hope that you'll consider further investigating the reasonableness of the "unlimited" position. I plan to make this my last post in our exchange on this topic. And for anybody who's been following it I hope these postings have been useful.

    You said:

    "The Bible makes it clear that there is an infinite worth in the atonement of Christ. This is on the basis of the worth of the Person who makes the atonement i.e. God Incarnate. Part of this infinite worth lies in the fact that it must achieve that which it set out to do, not admitting of any failure or disappointment. This leaves us facing with a particular redemption which actually redeems the particular group atonement was offered for, or a general atonement that does not actually redeem all for whom it was offered."

    This is the starting assumption I was talking about when I spoke of preloading the issue. If one begins with the premise that God's intention in providing Christ's sacrifice was only to save the elect and if the atonement is itself the guarantee of the salvation of the elect, then everything is sewn up. He saves the elect and the discussion is over. It seems that no other possible intention is allowed into the discussion.

    I argue that God intended, not only to save people, but, among other possible intentions, to provide a Savior Who made a provision for all, Who could be legitimately offered to all as their Savior and Who could be believed in or not believed in as their Savior. And on the basis of ones response to the Savior one is either saved or lost (John 3:18). I would further submit that Christ's sacrifice, in and of itself, is not a guarantee of salvation for anyone unless it's benefits are applied to the individual. As Dr. Chafer put it, "The highway of divine election is quite apart from the highway of redemption." (Systematic Theology, volume 3, page 187)

    You said:

    "Was (say) the rich man in hell (Luke 16:19-31) actually redeemed? Was he actually bought back from the guilt and power and presence of sin (all of which are encompassed in that grand word Redemption? ...)"

    Obviously, the benefits of Christ's provision haven't been savingly applied to those who are eternally lost. But I'm glad you brought this up because 2 Peter 2:1 may shed light on this question. It reads:

    "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction."

    Notice, "... the lord that bought them, ..." Further along, verse 17 appears to confirm that these false teachers are eternally lost people. And yet, they have been bought by "the lord". If that's the correct understanding of these passages it would be a direct scripture reference indicating that people can be bought and yet be eternally lost. And it would be an indicator of the provisional nature of Christ's sacrifice.

    There's nothing wimpy or uncertain about an atonement that's unlimited and available to all but is only applied to those who believe. God isn't dependent upon the whims of His creatures to fulfill His plans, as some Calvinists might charge against those who don't espouse their system. He's sovereign and omniscient and can fully know, in any world He chooses to create, who will, with the drawing of the Holy Spirit choose to believe in the Savior He sends.

    Universal good news of the Savior (Luke 2:10-11) with a universal invitation to believe in Him (Mark 16:15) and a universal responsibility to do so (John 3:18) implies a universal provision (1 John 2:2).

    Thanks for the cordial interaction on these important issues, Colin. I hope I haven't come across as being harsh or a smart aleck. I apologize if I have. Feel free to respond.

    Stan

    By Anonymous Stan, at 12/14/2007 12:57 PM  

  • Hi Stan,

    Thanks again for your reply and your willingness to take the time to discuss these things with me. Far from coming across harsh or as a smart alec you have conducted your side debate with politeness and candour, and this is appreciated.

    When I was converted to Christ , the church that I first settled in and made my home for 5 happy years held to the Universal Atonement teaching (such as you are propagating here) and I held to it as well. I was neither reared ("raised") in the Doctrines of Grace nor did I embrace them eagerly, without a struggle. However, at last I came to see that they were indeed the better manifestation of what Scripture teaches and I felt therefore that I had to yield. I have no regrets. I am quite happy to discuss these things with all believers (such as the folk on this blog) If I came to see that I had embraced doctrinal error, I would like to think that I would embrace that which was scriptural in its content. The point that I am making is: I have an insider's knowledge of the various arguments.

    The charge of pre-loading the issue works both ways. Could I not say (if I was so inclined) that you are pre-loading the matter by insisting on a universal atonement? I would be more inclined to say that we have both come to the Bible but that we part ways at certain key passages because we put a different interpretation on words like "all" and "world" - both of which are grammatically acceptable even if different in extent - and also on the nature of the atonement itself. Your view of the atonement gives a limited guarantee i.e. it will save those who come to it in faith etc., My view is a richer view i.e. it ensures that those who come in faith etc., actually and infallibly come. It is only when they come in faith that they are justified etc., but even this actual coming flows from the cross.

    In 2 Peter 2:1, I see the apostates there as having professed to have been purchased and judged accordingly. The Scripture often uses the definite language even when such a thing is not actually so, but has been but professed. A good example of this is in 1 John 1:10 where we are told that we can make God a liar. No one can make God an actual liar. No one can even make you a liar, but they could spread a few rumours and blacken your reputation. The only one who can make you to be a liar, is yourself, if and when you lie. It may be said that Potiphar's wife made Joseph to be a rapist, but we know that in reality he wasn't. It is not foolishness t preach the Cross (1 Corinthians 1:21) although it appears to be so, especially when both the Jews and Gentiles reject its central message. These apostates in 2 Peter 2;1 were not redeemed, unless redemption has been dumbed down out of all recognition. If I have the redemption that these men had - and we both see that they were lost - then what hope can I entertain or ever seeing Heaven? But if my redemption, actually redeems, then my hopes are sure and certain.

    Anyway, Stan, nice to chat you. Maybe we'll cross swords again (in the nice sense of the word) or better still, cross paths somewhere along the line.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 12/15/2007 6:22 AM  

  • "Gayla I believe you are a 5 point Calvinist, if I'm wrong correct me. Rachel says she is a 4 point Calvinist. Gayla did you agree with what Rachel last posted? I want to see if you two are on the same page, so I'm not confusing views."

    Alvin, I apologize for not getting back to you sooner. I have not been on the computer for a few days. Chrismas shopping, company, cleaning....

    Let's see if I can be concise in explaining my views. :)

    I guess first off, let it be known that I don't follow a man, i.e. John Calvin. Very truthfully, I've not read him - other than some quotes by him here and there. Of course I'm familiar with TULIP. I let Scripture mean what it says - with the help of the Holy Spirit. I'M the one who must change MY views and conform to Scipture, not the other way around - even those difficult passages that collide with my own preconceived notions and 'made-up'theology about God.

    What I believe is that God is sovereign. Period. I believe that Scripture reveals His complete sovereignty over all of His creation. I believe He set His plan in motion from the beginning of time, and that He will fulfill it. There is nothing, there is no one, more powerful than God, and nothing can usurp His authority.

    If I'm understanding Rachel's explanation of Molinism, I would have to disagree that God merely envisioned alternate universes and then designed this one the way He did. I certainly don't believe that the elect become the elect based on their decision to 'choose' Christ. I believe the Bible reveals that Christ set out to save His people from their sin, and that He effectually accomplished that.

    Regarding man's free will. I don't think we have as much of it as we like to think. I believe that God's sovereignty and man's free will are interconnected in some way, but honestly, I cannot explain how. But...in the end, God's will is more powerful than man's, and again, He will accomplish His purposes. Our 'choices' and our 'decisions' are not made in a vacuum, devoid of any influences whatsoever. We are either slaves to sin (and choose accordingly) or slaves to God and are influenced by the Holy Spirit who dwells within us.

    Also regarding free will, I believe man thinks way too highly of himself. For whatever reason, we look at it as an affront if we think our 'free will' has been violated. I don't view it as such. I am comforted by the fact that God's will is greater than mine.

    Finally, we must have a right view of God and a right view of ourselves before Him. I don't see a high 'self esteem' in the men in Scripture. Moses, David, Paul, as well as many others, saw themselves as very, very small and insignificant before the just and holy God of the universe.

    It's truly not about us, rather it is all about God. This is His game, so to speak, not ours.

    Sorry so long, but I hope it helps.

    By Blogger Gayla, at 12/17/2007 9:39 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    Hi Gayla
    Thank you for your reply, I will consider what you have said. I just got off work so must get to bed but will try to reply tonight.

    blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 12/17/2007 11:36 AM  

  • [I must say I see God completely different then the Calvinist do! No doubt no one will come to God or seek God unless God first initiates. But I do not see this as a problem because of God's heart.]

    Hi Alvin,

    I do not see the problem as being God's heart either.The problem is all with man. I do not think you understand how powerless man is in his sinful condition.
    Reminding you of my former quote:

    Rather, God stands at the door of heaven with His arms outstretched, inviting all to come. Yet all men without exception are running in the opposite direction towards hell as hard as they can go. So God, in election, graciously reaches out and stops this one, and that one, and this one over here, and that one over there, and effectually draws them to Himself by changing their hearts, making them willing to come.

    God's image in man is now distorted and his heart is deceitful above all things and desparately wicked. Unless/until God opens man's eyes and gives him spiritual life (a new heart), a sinner will never come to Him. He has no will to come and no power to come. That should make us marvel that God has intervened in our case and mercifully drawn us to Himself when we were so powerless and dead in our transgressions and sins. We did not choose Him or love Him until after he chose us.
    --------------------------
    Ephesians 2:2:1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body [1] and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But [2] God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
    ------------------------

    [See Susan, Daddy wanted to be found, just like God wants to be found. But the one who does not want God to be found is Satan as the scriptures tell us.]

    It is not God's fault that men do not come. God sends out his gospel to the whole earth. Satan has his part in blinding men to the truth, but sinners' hearts are inclined to evil because they are born in sin. Jesus came to set the captives free. We were all slaves of the devil and of sin and were not free to choose God so God had to rescue us from the Kingdom of Darkness and bring us into the Kingdom of Light.

    [God wants everyone to seek Him!]

    God continually sends out his ambassadors and urges men to be reconciled to Him. He invites all to come to Him for life, but most will make excuses and will refuse to come.
    Adam and Eve hid themselves from God when they sinned. But even though salvation is impossible for man, it is possible with God! Salvation is God's great work and He will accomplish all He has purposed to do. Jesus "had to go to Samaria" because one of His sheep was there and needed to hear the gospel. He chooses the most unlikely ones to be trophies of His grace.

    [God has given man the ability to choose. If he responds to the light God has given him, God will give more light. And just as Lydia the heart is opened (veil removed) bringing forth illumination so one believes! Acts 16:14; 2 Cor 4:4]

    God gave Adam and Eve the ability to choose good and evil in the garden of Eden, but ever since the fall, our choices are affected by our fallen nature so we are not free to choose good as they were able to.
    Since we are all born with evil natures, we have to be transformed by God supernaturally or else we hate the light and God.
    ---------------------------

    John 3:19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.
    -------------------------------
    Lydia's heart was opened by the Lord so she could receive the truth and be saved. The message made sense to her because of the Holy Spirit revealed the truth to her and because God opened her heart.
    --------------
    1 Corinthians 1:18
    For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God
    ---------------

    Sinners are totally responsible if they reject that light.
    -----------------
    2 Thessalonians 2:9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
    ------------------
    The men in Romans 1 knew there was a God because of creation, but they supressed that truth and so were without excuse. Since we are all unrighteous in our natural state, the person who pleases God can only do this because of God's Holy Spirit working in them. Faith does not come out of the natural man's heart. Our choices are in accordance with our natures.
    -------------
    1 Corinthians 2:14
    The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
    --------------
    That is why we must be regenerated to receive the truth. When we become new Creatures in Christ, we are set free from our bondage to sin and are enabled by God's grace to choose what pleases God by the power of God's Holy Spirit working in us.

    Every Blessing,
    Susan

    By Anonymous VA ~Susan, at 12/18/2007 12:13 AM  

  • Hi Rose/Gayla/Susan

    Thank you for taking so much time in your replys. I believe I understand what your both saying and why you both hold that position. I think your both pretty much on the same page, so I’ll try to give you the reasons why I don’t hold your positions. Below are some points for the reason I don’t hold your positions.


    1. Show the drawing of all to God.
    2. Show dead does not mean dead like a rock.
    3. Show how all peoples seek to fill the void spiritual.
    4. Show Mans resisting the Holy Spirit.
    5. Jesus thanks the Father for only revealing it to babes not to the wise and prudent. How about the rich man why would that be difficult if it’s the way you say. Show Nicodemus and Cornelius.
    6. Does God desire all to be saved or not?

    Oh no! That’s the number for man, six! I’m getting off on the wrong foot here. I’ll make it seven, I’ll start with my view of God

    7. I would like to articulate my view of God.


    I will start with God because that is where it should start. I also believe that God is Sovereign! But that God is also Love. I do not believe just because God is Sovereign that He can violate His character but is in perfect harmony. I believe that God loves man created in His image but fallen. I believe that God has proved His unconditional love for everyone by dying for everyone and providing a way for everyone to be saved, and truly want's everyone to be saved like He said. I believe that being God is Sovergn He is fully capable of saving everyone. I believe that IF God chose for no other reason then for His good pleasure. Not seeing anything in man worthy of election but just chose some to go to hell and others to go to heaven. This would violate His Character and put into question His love for the world, and desire for all men to be saved. But I believe that God has made man created in His image capable of believing, and has put before man a choice. And that in God's’sovergnty is capable of allowing this without violating His love. I believe in God’s foreknowledge He has chose those who would believe. I will try to demonstrate that in the following six points.
    1. Jesus said if He be lifted up He would draw all men unto Himself (John 12:32) and that does not contradict John 6:44 it is the one who comes that He raises up, because all are drawn.
    2. I see man separated from God because of his sin and not having eternal life as the reason for being dead. But not dead like a rock, but responsible for not responding to God’s evidence in creation (Rom 1:20) being without excuse. This would imply that God has made man capable of responding to the light that God has provided. If man could not respond then he has an excuse. That would be like telling a blind man you can see therefore you have no excuse, when he is truly not capable of seeing God providing not a way to see.
    3. You can clearly see in all cultures man seeking to fill a spiritual void, showing they are not spiritually dead like a rock but are groping about (Acts 17:26,27).
    4. Jesus said: Matt 23:37b How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you WERE NOT WILLING. Acts 7:51 You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always RESIST the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you.
    5. Luke 10:20-21
    20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather[a] REJOICE BECAUSE YOUR NAMES ARE WRITTEN IN HEAVEN.”
    21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have HIDDEN THESE THINGS FROM THE WISE AND PRUDENT and revealed them to BABES. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.
    Then notice in 10:25 an intelligent lawyer testing Jesus.
    Vines Expository Dictionary page 679,497. Wise (sophos) Jewish teachers in the time of Christ. Prudent (sunetos) intelligent.
    Matthew 19:24 And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a RICH MAN to enter the kingdom of God.”
    1 Cor 1:26 For you see your calling, brethren, that NOT MANY WISE according to the flesh, NOT MANY MIGHTY, NOT MANY NOBLE, are called.



    Why would these things (wise,intelligent,rich,mighty,noble)matter if what you believe is true? I would say that these are the opposite of child like faith that is required, as a babe. You believe one needs to be regenerated before one can believe, so why would these traits even matter?
    6. This is where the rubber really meets the road! Does God really want ALL men to be saved? We know that He could save ALL men if He wanted to, He’s sovereign! And if the way you believe He has done it is true, if He loves the world as John 3:16 proclaims He would have saved everyone. But I believe there is something else involved and that is mans free will to choose. I don’t believe God forces His love on anyone and just chooses them against their will. I think this is what is in between God’s love and man’s responsibility is that he is commanded to make a choice. And man is held responsible if he makes the wrong choice, in fact he is without excuse because God in His sovereignty and love has provided a way for everyone to be saved. But man is called on to believe!!!
    1 Tim 2:4 who desires ALL MEN to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom FOR ALL, to be testified in due time,
    Gayla and Susan I believe these verses are true that God really desires ALL to be saved!!! And if this is true IF God did it the way you both believe, then He would have saved everyone and not just the elect. Because you both believe God chose simply by His Sovernty who He would save and who He would send to hell. Because they were all going to hell anyway so He chose some for no other reason but to choose.

    Hey! I was monO-tone all the way through this I must be starting to learn how to control my passion! Just like Rose! Rose have you been praying for me to mellow a bit?

    Sorry for the slow reply.
    Blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 12/18/2007 10:13 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    Hi Gayla/Susan

    If you say: There is NONE who seek God, no not One!

    I would reply "that's right left to themself!" But "Abba" daddy has not left His creation to itself but has sent a Savior for ALL men! Because His desire is that ALL might be saved! So He really does love the world the whole world!
    Don't throw out the baby with the bath water! Daddy "Abba" wants evryone to find Him and anyone can come to Him as a child!
    I believe His hearts desire is that He hear "Daddy I found You!!! I found You!!!
    Because God has made Himself Known to ALL people!!!
    "Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation Which You have prepared before the face of ALL PEOPLES, A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel." Luke 2:29-32
    Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of GREAT JOY which will BE TO ALL PEOPLE.
    For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11

    blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 12/18/2007 11:45 AM  

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