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

Monday, March 10, 2008

A Different Gospel from Paul?

A poster named Art has graciously asked a question in the comments of the last post. I thought it was really fascinating. I have never heard anything like this before. I first saw Art on Lou Martuneac's blog chiming in against the GES view on the gospel some months ago. I want to discuss this and see others discuss it here - it is so interesting. So, comment away and let us know what you think about these ideas.

ART SAID:

I've been told ... that Peter and the other apostles were aready preaching, before Paul, that Christ died for our sins and that Matthew 20:28 confirms this because Christ told them he would die as a ransom. This means (?) that the apostles preached this, before Paul, because they heard it directly from Christ. Really? ... Well, Matthew 20:28 does indeed say: "Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to give his life a ransom for many." So, yes, Christ himself said this and the disciples heard him say it. So now please tell me, how does this establish that any of those disciples understood this and preached it?

All I can figure is that you must be overlooking this important fact:

"And they understood none of these things, and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things that were spoken." - Luke 18:34

How can anyone possibly claim that hearing words they didn't understand teaches us that this is what those disciples preached? Again, Matthew 16:21,22 tells us that when Peter heard Christ talk about being put to death, he rebuked him, saying, "This shall not be unto thee." Don't you see. Peter did not agree with that idea, did not understand it, and most certainly could not have preached it. So, when did Peter learn better and start preaching this? Text please.

This is a very simple matter. Produce the text, if you can, that shows Peter, James, John, or any of the other apostles preaching that Christ's death paid for our sins. My view is that they learned this from Paul, who received this by revelation directly from Jesus Christ. They learned it through Paul communicating this gospel to them in Galatians 2:1-9, and NOW, with Christ having given this gospel through Paul's ministry, anyone who preaches any other gospel is accursed (Gal. 1:8,9). Peter preached, before Paul, that Christ was murdered and arose from the dead (and Paul preached this too, of course) but...

where is the text that tells us (until after Peter learned it from Paul's gospel) that Peter ever said Christ's death paid for our sins?

87 Comments:

  • I am bringing these two comments up here which followed the comment in the post:

    Goodnightsafehome said:

    Art, Consider the following:

    1) The truth that Christ’s death paid for our sins is an OT truth. Isaiah 53/Daniel 9:26 come immediately to mind. The Apostles had frequent access to the OT.

    2) Christ spoke clearly of it in Matthew 20:28

    3) After the Resurrection (when a lot of things became clearer) the Saviour specifically expounded in all the Scriptures, the things concerning Himself (Luke 24:25-27)

    4) In Acts 3:18 Peter related the sufferings of Christ to that which God by the mouth of the prophets had shown. This included reference to the blotting out of sin.

    5) There are several and general references to the Apostles preaching (Acts 5:20-2/5:42/8:4/8:25) where it may be safely supposed in the light of the foregoing verses that they preached what they knew

    6) They preached forgiveness of sins through the death of Christ (Acts 5:30-31) and spoke of being witnesses of these things

    7) Philip used Isaiah 53 to “preach Jesus” unto the Ethiopian with specific reference to verse 7 (Acts 8)

    In the light of these things, if you want to maintain your position, then that is your choice. I, for one, cannot follow you in your choice.

    Regards,

    3/10/2008 3:13 PM


    Art said...

    goodnightsafehome,

    Either way, whether the change took place at Luke 24 (as you are guessing but not proving - it just isn't there as a truth understood in the texts you give) or later with Christ's ministry through Paul (as I understsand it to be), either way, Christ's death for our sins is a further gospel message from what the disciples preached before the cross, and thus, that earlier message is not sufficient today as GES claims.

    3/10/2008 4:43 PM

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/10/2008 5:16 PM  

  • OK, Art, I just looked over Peter's first sermon and he says this:

    [Jesus], being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God...

    OK, that is not a direct revelation that he was talking about substitiotnary atonement. he then says:

    Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ

    I suppose to know whether he was talking about Jesus dying for sins, we would have to have some idea of that in the Jewish mind (his audience) and what their concept of Christ was - did it include that of a suffering servant who would die for the sins of many. I beleive that is there in their very OT scriptures. Again, I recognize this is not an airtight answer to your challenge, but I am going to keep looking into this some more.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/10/2008 5:24 PM  

  • Art: I am not coming from the GES standpoint. In fact, I was unaware (not having read every last post) that the matter was raised in this context. I am not an FG person at all - at least, not in the way that it is expounded here on Rose's blog or the UoG blog. I am from the Reformed wing of an Old Time Evangelicalism.

    I reject the charge that I am guessing. I think the evidence points in my direction and I am happy to proclaim it so when I preach.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 3/10/2008 5:27 PM  

  • Art,
    Another thing, you brought up Luke 18:34. Do we think any of these men were enlightened after the resurrection and as they spent days with Christ before his ascension? Also - what about the day of Pentecost - was not the HS given to them to explain the point of all this? I do believe that they were probably preaching about Christ's death for sin. Interestingly, your position seems to cut the legs out from under some of the other approaches to criticism of the GES that I have been reading.

    I find your ideas really different. Did you say you are Mid-acts dispensational or just that you sympathize with that point of view? I was really busy this weekend and read all your comments, but didn't have a chance to engage much and my mind is a bit blurry on it. Thanks for bringing this up. I may be back with more.

    Oh, wait - one more thing: I do think that the thing about Paul's gospel that was unique was this: it was that the Gentiles were included in the grace of God. I think Paul had good news for the Gentiles, who had previously been thought to have no part in the good news of Christ's death for sin and resurrection. I think that was really good news for us Gentiles. SO, my answer to that question is kind of like Missy's, from what I remember she said.

    Again, thanks for participating and I hope you will continue to discuss this - I hope you feel this is a friendly enough venue for your ideas. Thanks again.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/10/2008 5:38 PM  

  • Art,
    one more thing and then I gotta make dinner. :~) Is it your position that the apostles did not understand that Christ had died for sins before Paul explained that to them ... or just that they did not preach this aspect of Christ's death and ressurrection as the gospel?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/10/2008 5:48 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I just wanted to say that I've basically been discussing this with Art at my blog as well, although perhaps from a slightly different angle. Not trying to take readers from your blog, I'm happy to talk about this stuff wherever. :-) But just wanted you to know, you could read it for reference to maybe better understand Art's view. Our discussion is in the thread under Part 1 of my series, the article about John 3. Look for Art's first comment and go from there, if you're interested.

    Also, I'll peruse my comments to see if there is anything I could bring here to contribute.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 3/10/2008 6:05 PM  

  • Hi, Rose! You are right, upon further study, thanks to Art's return, I do find this interesting!

    Thanks, Art for coming back to put together some of the puzzle pieces. Again, please accept my apology for being vain and inconsiderate. Although I am still not convinced of this, I do see now how you have concluded it.

    As I read Luke 18:34 in context, it seems clear that the verse means the disciples where veiled from the knowledge that Christ had just spoke (vs. 31-33) - how He would die. Obviously when His death happened they were aware and did not forget - they had only been veiled from the foreknowledge that Christ had offered at that time. And the foreknowledge that was presented regarded how He would die, not why.

    I also now clearly understand your indication that to not agree with this Mid-Acts concept would be in support of the GES teaching of the gospel - but only IF one is dispensational and agrees that the original apostles did not preach that the death of Christ was for the forgiveness of sins because they did not know or believe it.

    So a dispensational on either side of this gospel debate would have to work this out to test their belief. I find that VERY interesting!

    Boy, I am glad to be in a better mood today. Thanks, Art for your kindness to me and not rebuking me harshly for my lack of it. :)

    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 3/10/2008 6:24 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Thank you for your kind treatment of this viewpoint that you disagree with. You and others are asking a lot of questions, and there are a lot more questions you will probably want to ask, and there are a lot more questions that I could ask of you. Let me think about how I want to respond to this being posted where you have now placed it and come back, maybe tomorrow, I will see. This will be a lot of work for me if I do take it on. However, I will say this much for now. What I think is that you, and others, knowing Paul's gospel like you do, are inclined to mistakenly read Paul's teaching back into earlier texts where actually, as yet, this marvelous message had not been given by our Lord Jesus Christ to Paul. Reading through Paul's spectacles, all is clear. But I'm claiming that without Christ's revelation to Paul in the gospel he preached, none of us would appreciate the meaning of our Lord's death for our sins like we do.

    By Blogger Art, at 3/10/2008 8:02 PM  

  • Good morning Rose/Art:

    Art writes: What I think is that you, and others, knowing Paul's gospel like you do, are inclined to mistakenly read Paul's teaching back into earlier texts where actually, as yet, this marvelous message had not been given by our Lord Jesus Christ to Paul.

    Paul himself claimed no new revelation since his teaching would compose that which was written in the OT:

    Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles. (Acts 26:22-23)

    It was this that enabled the Bereans to search the Scriptures daily when Paul preached, to see whether these things be so (Acts 17:11) I suggest that Isaiah 53 and Daniel 9:26 etc., proved to be a great help.

    Since Philip used Isaiah 53 to "preach Jesus" unto the Ethiopian in Acts 8, then he cannot be accused of reading Paul back into the storyline, since Saul at this time was still wrecking havoc with the churches. How can you preach from Isaiah 53 especially with verse 5 and not preach Christ paying the debt for our sins? Isaiah was preaching this truth long before Philip and both before Paul.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 3/11/2008 5:16 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Interesting topic, and having completed a study on Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament, I have to agree with brother Safe Home. Just to piggy back a bit this is also true of the Matthew account, who was without question the first NT writer.

    (Please don't get me going on the priority of Matthew this will take us way off topic. I should post on it some other day)

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 3/11/2008 5:53 AM  

  • Art,
    Yes, there are a lot of questioins. Sorry about that. I will rescind all my questions except one then, to make it simpler for you. I really want to get your answer to this one because as I am trying to grapple with this whole new thought of yours (new to me) I keep running into this question and I feel I can't move ahead in evaluating your position until I know this all-important detail:

    Is it your position that the apostles did not understand that Christ had died for sins before Paul explained that to them ... or just that they did not preach this aspect of Christ's death and ressurrection as the gospel?

    Thanks.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/11/2008 9:15 AM  

  • There's a view on exist~dissolve's site.

    I'm not saying its right, but the rationale is, I think, that God can't forgive and then require a ransom payment.

    Forgiveness is either free (waiving off a payment) or you haven't been forgiven, but the payment is made by Christ.

    There are implications, but I think you can still be a good Christian by following through with the logical conclusion.

    Oops! Hi Rose! (You gotta modify this rule!)

    By Blogger Anton, at 3/11/2008 1:29 PM  

  • Hi Rose,
    Still thinking about what I should do here. I'm not sure I can respond to everybody and all the things that can be brought up. My ministry responsibilities are full time and I fear I might commit myself here to more time than I can come up with.
    I will say something about the question you filtered down. Did the disciples understand that Christ died for sins? Well, BECAUSE of sins, but not really as the payment for sin like Paul explained. I think in Peter's mind, Christ was a victim, but victorious. He died He as a result of sin, suffering the consequences of his people's sins, but was victorious by resurrection, proving himself all powerful even over death itself, and thus, fully capable of carrying out all he ever said, for not even his own death could prevail against him - the grave could not hold him. Therefore, believe in him, he is indeed the Son of God, both Christ and Lord (Acts 2:36). The Jews had crucified their own Messiah, what a horrible thought! And now he was alive from the dead and judgment was coming on all his enemies. What shall we do? That was Peter's message. But Paul preached a further message that he called "My gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery which was kept secret since the world began" (Rom. 16:25). No longer seen as a victim, Christ's death has merits to it, never truly grasped until Christ revealed this to Paul. That's what I'm saying. In Paul's gospel, Christ's death is the greatest display of grace there could possibly be, in full accord with all the prophecies about his death, yes, but involving more than could be appreciated in those prophecies until Christ declared the merits of his cross through Paul.

    By Blogger Art, at 3/11/2008 2:11 PM  

  • Hi Art,

    Good post!

    By Blogger Anton, at 3/11/2008 2:22 PM  

  • Hi Rose,
    I believe Christ taught His apostles and disciples that His death was sacrificial payment for sins of the faithful when He died and rose.

    I think He implanted the understanding that they and the world would need to know when He was gone, through His teachings while He was alive, and then allowed His death and resurrection, and later appearances, to consumate that understanding, as well as bring to life all of the OT prophecies.

    Christ Himself allowed His death and resurrection to clarify everything He had spoken to them.

    Paul contributed nothing to Peter or any of the apostles except by way of reminder of things which they already knew, or could know, and were being influenced away from by others.

    Todd

    By Blogger Todd, at 3/11/2008 3:09 PM  

  • Some of you guys seem to be making the very basic error that Paul himself warned against. The "Of Paul" error.

    No?

    By Blogger Todd, at 3/11/2008 3:13 PM  

  • Did Jesus come so that He could go through the virgin birth experience? No: he came for a greater purpose. But His virgin birth proved He was the one prophesied about.

    Ditto the typological fulfilment of the role of "Sin Bearer".

    By Blogger Anton, at 3/11/2008 3:18 PM  

  • Art: Your latest argument or explanation seems to hang on the use of the preposition "for" as opposed to "because of"

    In Isaiah 53:5, the very chapter from which Philip in Acts 8 preached Jesus, we read that He "was wounded FOR our transgressions and bruised FOR our iniquities."

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 3/11/2008 3:21 PM  

  • goodnightsafehome

    What did the man in Acts 8 learn from Philip's teaching about Isaiah 53? The text tells us exactly what he understood from this and believed, doesn't it? Verse 37.

    By Blogger Art, at 3/11/2008 3:34 PM  

  • goodnightsafehome

    What did the man in Acts 8 learn from Philip's teaching about Isaiah 53? The text tells us exactly what he understood from this and believed, doesn't it? Verse 37.

    By Blogger Art, at 3/11/2008 3:36 PM  

  • Art writes: What did the man in Acts 8 learn from Philip's teaching about Isaiah 53? The text tells us exactly what he understood from this and believed, doesn't it? Verse 37.

    Do you think Philip then didn't know what verse 5 was getting at when it says that Christ the Son of God "was wounded FOR our transgressions and bruised FOR our iniquities"? Even with the Lord having earlier expounded unto the disciples the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures? (Luke 24:25-27)

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 3/11/2008 3:47 PM  

  • I imagine that Phillip taught the Ethiopian from that verse in Isaiah, among other things, that Jesus was the Lamb who had come to take away the sins of the world.

    By Blogger Todd, at 3/11/2008 3:50 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Great post....I am enjoying this one very much.

    Art,

    You stated: Produce the text, if you can, that shows Peter, James, John, or any of the other apostles preaching that Christ's death paid for our sins. My view is that they learned this from Paul, who received this by revelation directly from Jesus Christ.

    What about John the Baptist? We know from John 1 that Andrew heard John declare that Jesus was the "Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world". Andrew then goes and gets his brother Peter and says "We have found the Messiah".

    Andrew connected the facts: Messiah/Lamb of God/Sacrificial Lamb/Takes away the sins of the world. He got it. The sacrificial lambs death was required to cover the people's sins. John the Baptist declared these things, Andrew heard and shared it with Peter.

    Maybe I don't follow some nuance of what you are saying.

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at 3/11/2008 4:30 PM  

  • By the way Art,

    How can anyone possibly claim that hearing words they didn't understand teaches us that this is what those disciples preached? Again, Matthew 16:21,22 tells us that when Peter heard Christ talk about being put to death, he rebuked him, saying, "This shall not be unto thee." Don't you see. Peter did not agree with that idea, did not understand it, and most certainly could not have preached it. So, when did Peter learn better and start preaching this? Text please.

    That is where Peter learned it. Even if he did not understand it fully until Christ was speaking with him after His resurrection beside the lake.

    Art, your ideas sound sort of naive coming from someone trained as a Pastor. Where did you get your training if I may ask?

    Thanks, Todd

    By Blogger Todd, at 3/11/2008 5:08 PM  

  • Thanks everyone for participating. I hope I can interact some more later. I just wanted to say that I got out the book I read last fall by Charles Ryrie which I quoted this morning on my group blog, Unashamed of Grace and I realized that Ryrie actually touches on this movement in the last chapter of his book. I did not rememeber it so well, it had not impressed upon my mind!

    BTW, the post at UOG in which I quoted Ryrie is very closely related to this post and atually inspired by this thing I have been thinking about. I hope some of you will go over there and put your two cents in.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/11/2008 5:44 PM  

  • That link didn't work.
    Here is the post

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/11/2008 6:02 PM  

  • Todd,

    Your remark that I am naive along with your question about my training troubles me greatly, smacks of arrogance and pride about your "pastor" status and "training" which I'm assuming you must have or surely wouldn't say such a thing. I hope my "training" helps me not to "imagine" what Philip preached to the man from Ethiopia but to believe what the text tells me. He said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God" (Acts 8:37).

    As for my "training:" three years at Tennesse Temple University, transfer to Florida Bible College where I graduated after another year and a half, earned degrees from Luther Rice Seminary and Gulf Shore Baptist Seminary (all of which includes 3 years of New Testament Greek, 3 in hermeneutics, various standard studies normally pursued by Bible College students), plus additional course work at Tennesse Temple Baptist Seminary plus 40+ years study and teaching God's Word as a pastor in local churches (one where I served for 25 years), none of which means I am able to understand God's Word. But I do know how to read and think as do many "untrained" but excellent students of Scripture.

    By Blogger Art, at 3/11/2008 8:43 PM  

  • Kurt,

    That's a great text and question about John the Baptist, and over the years, I have thought a lot about that verse (John 1:29). Sir Robert Anderson claimed this verse couldn't refer to the cross because of the verb tense that Jesus was then, when the Baptist spoke, taking away the sin of the world. I'm not sure about that. I'd like to understand more about this text.

    By Blogger Art, at 3/11/2008 9:03 PM  

  • goodnightsafehome

    Yes, that's what I think.

    By Blogger Art, at 3/11/2008 9:41 PM  

  • Rose,

    I'm sorry but I'm not sure I want to keep doing this.

    By Blogger Art, at 3/11/2008 9:42 PM  

  • Art, your personal witness speaks volumes to me - despite my initial reaction which was not a good witness. Don't be discouraged. You mentioned searching "Mid-Acts" and I got the gammit! Do you or anyone else have any good references for mainstream dispensationalism?

    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 3/11/2008 9:55 PM  

  • Art,

    Art said:"I hope my "training" helps me not to "imagine" what Philip preached to the man from Ethiopia but to believe what the text tells me. He said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God" (Acts 8:37)."

    I don't get it Art. Why is that you think we are left to our "imaginations" as to what Phillip taught the Ethiopian:

    35Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this scripture he preached Jesus to him.

    He preached Jesus to him. That's what the text says he spoke to the eunuch. Considerably more than the mere sentence you credit him with. He sat with him, he rode with him, perhaps giving him even more information than even you and I have about Jesus Christ.

    Please explain.

    Todd

    By Blogger Todd, at 3/11/2008 10:04 PM  

  • Missy,

    I saw your earlier words to me and appreciated very much what you said as well as your most recent comment. Thank you. The mid-Acts people I especially appreciate have organizions called Bible Doctrines to Live By, Berean Bible Society, and ggfusa (Grace Gospel Fellowship). They all have dot org websites. Some of our preachers in these organizations think that, before Paul, water baptism was required for eternal salvation, based especially on Mark 1:4, Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38 and Luke 7:30, and this is uncomfortable for me, but these folks have great things to say about Paul's gospel as the special revelation from Jesus Christ that I believe it is and I appreciate them very much. They have a lot of really good materials and are great folks.

    By Blogger Art, at 3/11/2008 10:27 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Art, at 3/11/2008 10:27 PM  

  • Art,

    You said this:
    All I can figure is that you must be overlooking this important fact:

    "And they understood none of these things, and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things that were spoken." - Luke 18:34

    How can anyone possibly claim that hearing words they didn't understand teaches us that this is what those disciples preached?


    It doesn't. But here's Who does teach that:

    Joh 12:16 These things His disciples did not understand at the first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written of Him, and that they had done these things to Him.

    Joh 13:7 Jesus answered and said to him, "What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter."


    Todd

    By Blogger Todd, at 3/11/2008 10:37 PM  

  • Good morning Rose/Art:

    Sometimes the tenses in Scripture, especially relating to the Cross of Christ, are not always as we would strictly render them. Thus in Isaiah 53:5, the Prophet used the past tense when he was clearly writing about an event still hundred of years further down the line.

    John 1:29 is a powerful verse in this debate. If the tense is causing you problems accepting it, then the answer to this obstacle is above.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 3/12/2008 2:59 AM  

  • Hi Rose,
    Hi Art, I have truly enjoyed reading your thoughts and I respect you for being vulnerable enough to express them, if you do not wish to continue, I think others would agree, that is most understandable and reasonable. It can swallow up time fast.

    Here are some further thoughts of mine based on other comments. The eunuch was reading a passage in Isaiah,

    The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? For his life is taken from the earth.” (Acts 8:32-33)

    As you know, in hermeneutics context is everything. The context reads,

    We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken.” (Is. 53:6-8)

    My Jewish friends still look to their leaders for the answers about the Messiah; sadly most of them are not even aware of this passage. The entire 53rd chapter Isaiah is typically skipped over completely in Temple.

    I have asked a Rabi of very high regard the same question the eunuch asked Philip, “Who is the prophet talking about?” The learned Rabi fixed his gaze on me like none I shall ever forget, pointing to a shelf of books, he said to me very solemnly,

    I have studied those books and every one of them refutes what you are suggesting.” I suggested nothing, but only asked that question. Seeing he was growing impatient with me I polity asked another question, “Is it proper to use the words of men, though they be many, to refute the Word of God?” He pointed to the door and told me to leave and never come back. I was very heavy afterward.

    The point is that this passage says that “the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” This was before Paul was in the company of the ascended Christ.

    Blessings to you all,
    John

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 3/12/2008 5:42 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Luke 3:3 He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

    John's preaching was focused on repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Throughout the entire country around the Jordan he repeatedly preached the same message.

    Then he saw Jesus and wrapped up his entire message of repentance for the forgiveness of sins into the declaration..."Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" John 1:29.

    The connection between the need of forgiveness of sins and the declaration of the LAMB of God would have resonated with the Jews. They understood the centuries of sacrificial sin offerings...ie. the blood as a covering of their sin. The connection between Christ as the Lamb of God (sacrificial)and the statement that he would take away the sin of the world, and John's message of repentance for the forgiveness of sins....well I think it is pretty strong evidence that this message was preached long before Paul.

    Say hi to John for me.

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at 3/12/2008 11:00 AM  

  • Bro. Kurt,

    I believe you have slammed that proverbial nail on its proverbial head so dead-on, that it can't even be seen anymore! Amen!

    Howdy there Rose!

    By Blogger David Wyatt, at 3/12/2008 12:49 PM  

  • Rose,

    I hope that you are not confused as to which John I told you to say hi to.

    It was your husband John :)

    Interesting though, they are both Baptists :)

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at 3/12/2008 1:33 PM  

  • David,

    Thanks for the encouraging words.

    Have a great day, brother.

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at 3/12/2008 1:35 PM  

  • I really think you all are reading Paul into Isaiah 53 (and other texts). But what if I'm wrong about this? What if the disciples DID understand Isaiah 53, before Paul, as you desire to think. Still, we Gentiles aren't included in that because it says "for the transgression of MY PEOPLE (the Jews) was he stricken" (Isa. 53:8) and that's not us. Certainly, the disciples understood, after the resurrection, Christ's earlier remarks that he would die and be raised from the dead because, according to the text, they did preach that he died and rose again, right away, beginning at Pentecost. But where is the text saying they preached the merits of his cross? The bottom line is still this: If you can't produce a text in the book of Acts with Peter, James or John preaching that Christ died for our sins, and all you can do instead is theorize that they must have preached this because you now see Christ's death for our sins in Isaiah 53 or John 1:29, or elsewhere, then I think my opinions are just as good as yours. And my understanding is that it's not there til Paul.

    Paul said, "I have laid the foundation" (1 Cor. 3:10). That foundation was Paul's teaching about Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 3:11). He said "a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me" (1 Cor. 9:17), and under inspiration by the Holy Spirit he said, "Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me" (1 Cor. 4:16). We are Gentiles. Just like Christ gave Moses to Israel, I believe he gave Paul for us. Paul said, "Inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office" (Rom. 11:13), and I think you all are failing to appreciate this special ministry that our Lord Jesus Christ came back from heaven to give for you. To you, it's all just one big purpose and program. Not to me.

    By Blogger Art, at 3/12/2008 2:02 PM  

  • And remarkably, we haven't talked about water baptism, which is another big ingredient, concerening which, Peter and John were definitely "sent" to baptize with a special "remission of sins" for the Jews as they preached their gospel (Matt. 28:19, Mark 16:126, Acts 2:38) whereas Paul declared that "Christ SENT me NOT to baptize but to preach the gospel" (1 Cor. 1:17), showing he wasn't "sent" to do this, like the other apostles were, that this certainly wasn't included as part of his gospel, and was thankful he only baptized a few of the Corinthians (1 Cor. 1:11-16) . I wonder, how many of you have ever been thankful you only baptized a few? The few baptisms Paul performed surely weren't for same reason that Peter preached water baptism for the Jews in Acts 2:3. Big difference to me!

    Obviously, I'm not going to convince you here. But I will say this. None of you will ever be able to say you've never heard this or had any opportunity to learn it if you would. Follow Peter and his gospel of the circumcision, if that's what you want to do. Declare it's all the same as much as you want to. For me, I am one Gentile who will follow the apostle that Christ came back from heaven to give for me.

    By Blogger Art, at 3/12/2008 2:05 PM  

  • And one more thing, which I've said before but desire to repeat. Whether the great change came with Paul, as I believe, or right after the resurrection of Christ, as some of you claim, either way, the preaching of the gospel is not the same today as it was before the cross, and to me this means GES is bad wrong in its teachings about our gospel of salvation today.

    By Blogger Art, at 3/12/2008 2:07 PM  

  • Art: You write: Follow Peter and his gospel of the circumcision, if that's what you want to do. Declare it's all the same as much as you want to. For me, I am one Gentile who will follow the apostle that Christ came back from heaven to give for me.

    I am a Gentile. If I follow what you call Peter's gospel of the circumcision, can I be saved?

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 3/12/2008 2:26 PM  

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    By Blogger Todd, at 3/12/2008 3:17 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Todd, at 3/12/2008 3:19 PM  

  • Art,

    and all you can do instead is theorize that they must have preached this because you now see Christ's death for our sins in Isaiah 53 or John 1:29,

    My point was not that I now see Christ's death for our sins....

    My point is that John the Baptist and Andrew saw Christ's death for our sins (John 1& Luke 3).

    For me, I am one Gentile who will follow the apostle that Christ came back from heaven to give for me.

    Art, that is very concerning statement. First of all, you should follow Christ....not an apostle.

    Secondly, am I reading your message right? Are you saying that Christ had to give Paul "new" revelation? The God of the OT and NT did not reveal all truth....but held some back until the time of Paul? This "new relelation" thought is how many cults get started....very concerning to me.

    To you, it's all just one big purpose and program. Not to me.

    BTW, yes, God is God...OT or NT...He never has or will change His message to His creation.

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at 3/12/2008 3:20 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Todd, at 3/12/2008 3:21 PM  

  • Art,

    Jesus taught the merits of His blood shed on the cross when He taught the apostles the "covenant of His blood".

    Jesus is effectually saying right here that His death on the cross is why we will now proclaim the forgiveness of sins to all the nations.

    Luke24:46 "and He said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

    To what extent Peter understood the "blood covenant" or preached it, we don't know for sure, but we do know that Christ taught it to him. We assume that Christ did not fail, and we know that Peter was taught it, and see no reason why he did not then preach it.

    That being the case, we have every reason to be assured that he did preach it, poorly or not. Especially with no evidence to the contrary.

    Thanks,
    Todd

    By Blogger Todd, at 3/12/2008 3:25 PM  

  • Ooops! Excuse me fellas, but where is this discussion on Mid Acts Dispensation going on.

    Or can someone tell me what the main tenets of this view are?

    Thanks.

    BTW, Hi Rose!

    By Blogger Anton, at 3/12/2008 3:27 PM  

  • To everyone:

    I can't think of a good way to end here. Obviously, there will be another remark against my view, and another, and another, and at some point I have to stop. This is taking far more out of my schedule than I can afford and I just have to get back to other things. I see a question from goodnightsafehome as if he really limits himself to Peter's gospel, and even before I can get this typed and posted, here's something more, suggesting that I'm not following Christ. I'm sorry, you all will just have to think what you will. Disagree, fine. You have every right to do that because we all have liberty before God to study His Word and think for ourselves. I've stated my case, not perfectly, but fairly well, I think, trying to show from Scripture why I believe as I do. So, consider what I say and the Lord give you understanding in all things.

    By Blogger Art, at 3/12/2008 3:36 PM  

  • Thanks for your time, Art and for sharing your views. As you say, I think we'll need to agree to differ. Needless to say, I believe that both Peter and Paul preached exactly the same gospel, hence my question earlier. However, I recognise that you don't appear to see it that way. Anyway...thanks again.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 3/12/2008 3:40 PM  

  • Art, I understand. Internet debating can become so tedious. I do find the things you have said very thought provoking. One of the things that I find interesting is my own reaction to your words. I am a fervent dispensationalist. Without the dispensational point of view, I think the Bible becomes very difficult to understand. Yet, I find myself very resistent to the things that you are saying, which seem to be carrying dispensationalism to a further degree. So I guess I am surprised that I am not more amenable to your postion, but I am not. I really think that the Biblical points that the commenters have brought out really put to rest the idea that no one understood the substitutionary death of Christ until Paul explained it to them. However, I understand that you are convinced of your postion and I respect that. I also respect that you have been very polite and the dialogue has been friendly. Thanks for participating!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/13/2008 10:15 AM  

  • Art, I found this comment of your over on Rachel's blog and I think it helps to explain your approach a little better too, so i hope you don't mind if I post it herre.

    Art said (on Rachel's blog):
    Regarding my view of salvation before and after the cross:
    1. First, I understand people to have always been saved by belief in God's declaration of a coming Redeemer, beginning with Gen. 3:15. Early saints didn't have to know the Redeemer's name nor exactly how he would defeat the devil. But they did believe a coming Redeemer would make things right between God and themselves. Job made a great statement about this, "I know that my Redeemer liveth . . ." (19:25ff).
    2. Second, when Jesus' ministry began, it then became necessary to believe that he, Jesus, the Son of God, is that promised Redeemer. People now had to believe specifically in him, Jesus. My understanding is that the Father gave all the O.T. saints to Jesus, guaranteeing that all of them, upon hearing about him, would believe that he is indeed the one in whom they had believed. "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me." "My sheep hear my voice," etc.
    It is important to acknowledge that, at that time (during Jesus' earthly ministry), the "gospel" did not yet include Christ's death for our sins. He hadn't yet died. Therefore, the disciples preached "the gospel" (Luke 9:6), but as pointed out, did not yet understand about his death and resurrection (Luke 18:31-34). I do agree with you, this doesn't prove no one could yet have understood about Christ's coming death (Jesus himself certainly understood it and I wonder if maybe John the Baptist did, John 1:29) but the fact that the disciples didn't understand it does prove this wasn't required knowledge as yet.
    3. Third, on the day our Lord arose from the dead, he met with his disciples and "opened their understanding" to what the Scriptures had said about him (Luke 24:44,45), which means they now understood passages like Isaiah 53. Old Testament prophets searched their own writings trying to understand what they wrote about the sufferings of Christ (1 Pet. 1:11). Now, the disciples did understand those Scriptures. Jesus expounded to them why it had been necessary (examine the little Greek word dei translated "thus" in Luke 24:46) for him to suffer and arise from the dead. And so here we have "the faith that should afterward be revealed" (Gal. 3:23) and concerning which Paul said "whether it were I or they (the twelve) so we preach and so ye believed" (1 Cor. 15:11) and this content of faith has been necessary ever since. Manifestly, Paul's gospel focuses on this content of faith and particularly its relevance where Gentiles are concerned.
    That's what I believe about salvation before and after the cross.
    About using verses in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. There certainly are fundamentals our message has in common with the preaching of the disciples when Jesus was here on earth. People do need to be saved; Jesus, God's only begotten Son, is the Savior; we must trust in him for eternal life. All of this is still true and is underlying support for our message today but by itself is not good enough because it doesn't go far enough. Our message is the faith that should afterward be revealed.
    So what, particularly, about verses in the Gospel of John? All agree that John was written well after Paul's ministry was under way. My understanding is that John was led by God the Holy Spirit to select statements by Jesus that can still be applied, so far as they go, and to provide appropriate commentary in our dispensation today. That's where 3:16 comes to light for me. Everyone recognizes that somewhere in John 3 Jesus' words end and John's commentary resumes. My inclination is to go with Bullinger about this in the notes of the Companion Bible (seeing the change after verse 12) but at the latest with C.F. Baker between verse 15 and 16. That's what I believe. Without this, I don't think we can maintain (with consistency) that in this dispensation knowledge is required for salvation that wasn't required before. And this, I think, must be maintained in order to refute the Hodges/Wilkin message of a crossless gospel.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/13/2008 10:28 AM  

  • Art,
    I just want to say that I think you have really made a great point. If those of us who have in the past or who are now criticising the GES view harshly cannot stipulate that the content of saving faith has changed several times since the incarnation, it becomes difficult to justify that criticism. I ran into this problem myself in trying to work through this issue last summer and fall (as I posted on the UoG blog).

    I am also going to post some of this commentary of yours from Rachel's blog over on the UoG blog under that post of mine "How Many Times Does it Change" (I think that is what I named it). Unless, of course you want to go on over and answer the question at the bottom of the post and weigh in for yourself. I do hope you won't be offended if I take this comment of yours and post it there as representative of the Mid-acts point of view. :~) I will wait a little while though to give you some time.

    Blessings

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/13/2008 10:55 AM  

  • Missy,
    You should read Charles Ryrie's book "Dispensationalism" if you want to get a mainstream handle on it.

    Wait! Here is a little booklet that is very easy and quick to read:
    It is the first Christian book I ever read: (besides the Bible of course):
    Rightly Dividing the WOrd of Truth

    That gives you a great overview of dispensationalism. You probably already have a lot in common with it if you take the Bible literally at all.

    For example: do you think when the Bible says 'Israel' it generally and normally is speaking of the 'nation of Israel' or is it referring to some other group? If your answer is the 'nation of Israel', then you are mostly a dispy already. :~) God bless you.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/13/2008 11:07 AM  

  • Matthew is great for giving links to things like this too so you could ask him.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/13/2008 11:08 AM  

  • Rose, for some stuff on Dispensationalism try:

    Stuff on Dispensationalism at Middletown Bible Church


    That site is not very keen on Hodges, Wilkin and Dillow. May they be forgiven.

    Also:

    Dispensational links at Brethren Online

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 3/13/2008 1:30 PM  

  • Thanks, Rose and Matthew. I will check those out. I blogged about whether I was one or not - maybe. :)

    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 3/13/2008 2:59 PM  

  • Missy,
    Just remember that dispensationalism is even newer than Darwinism! The Left Behind books are based on those views. The Scoffield Bible made those teachings popular, but that view is not the teaching that came out of the reformation.

    Now I'd better duck now before the rocks come flying! ;0)
    ~Susan

    By Blogger VA ~Susan, at 3/13/2008 4:06 PM  

  • I see Stonewall Jackson is still alive and well in Virginia

    :o)

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 3/13/2008 5:28 PM  

  • Va-Susan, the reformation was pretty new in its day.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 3/14/2008 3:53 AM  

  • Susan, even as a Christian, I trust science more than tradition. And anyone throwing rocks will only prove this to be true! {c;

    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 3/14/2008 8:53 AM  

  • Susan,
    I want you to know that gave me a good chuckle. Thanks! :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/14/2008 10:11 AM  

  • Rose,

    Thank you for your kind words. My experience has been that few people immediately accept the concepts about Paul’s gospel that I’ve been expressing. I didn’t myself when I first heard these things. But, as you’ve observed, it's so interesting! And these concepts have their way of getting into people’s hearts and I think the Lord works with them and gradually brings at least some folks around.

    There’s a lot more to be said about this viewpoint of the Scriptures; I’ve only scratched the surface and I regret that I can’t do more in this present discussion. Maybe I could come back some time later and say something more.

    I really do want to point this out. I have not said, nor do I hold, that the Old Testament Scriptures never foretold the death and resurrection of Christ, nor have I said our Lord didn’t understand this and its meaning during His earthly ministry. Most definitely Christ himself did understand why he was here and he spoke about this many times. My points have been about whether the disciples understood these things when they heard them, and thus, what can be proven from Scripture that their preaching included.

    Feel free to post those comments of mine that you saw at Rachel’s blog if you think they would be helpful somewhere.

    Thanks again for your gracious remarks.

    By Blogger Art, at 3/14/2008 10:31 AM  

  • [Va-Susan, the reformation was pretty new in its day.]
    Hi Matthew,
    It was not the same doctrine that the corrupt RC church was teaching, but it was a far cry from being new!

    Colin and Rose,
    Thanks for your kind comments. They made me smile! :0)

    By Blogger VA ~Susan, at 3/14/2008 3:14 PM  

  • Art,
    Please come back when you are more prepared to follow through on questioning with regards to your theory.

    Buying into your theory would make my theological life much simpler and easier. But the evidence you've provided does not satisfy basic needs.

    Yes, your thoughts at Rachel's on the "crossless gospel" are somewhat interesting in themselves, but then you seem intent on proving that the ministry of the "mystery" was exclusively Paul's from Christ, and not simply the "gospel" as given to all the apostles; that Paul's, "my gospel", was 'His own particular part' of the gospel ministry from Christ, as opposed to him saying and meaning, "my gospel, as an apostle" given to him as well as the others. You also assert, from Galatians, that he taught the others "his gospel", when there is no indication that he added anything to them, while reminding them.

    You rested virtually your whole argument on:

    "And they understood none of these things, and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things that were spoken." - Luke 18:34

    With no regard for this:

    John 13:7 Jesus answered and said to him, "What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter."

    As you say, maybe my mind is already made up, as yours is, and so we are merely wasting each others time. Your assertions were abundantly made yet not well supported when you were given the chance. So come back again when you are more prepared to support what you're saying with more than just considerable innuendo and overstaement.

    Thanks,
    Todd

    By Blogger Todd, at 3/14/2008 6:57 PM  

  • Rose, you said you had never heard of the concept of dual gospels. This idea has been around for long time and is in fact the message that comes from "Pauline Dispensationalism as taught by the late Miles Stanford. Let me give you a quote from his book "Pauline Dispensationalism".
    Dual Gospels
    "Most dispensationalists and all Covenant theologians fail to recognize that there two Gospels, each dependent upon the Blood of the Cross. The one Gospel is earthly(Kingdom), the other is heavenly(Grace). Both Gospels are "according to Jesus" and present only one way: by faith.
    One Gospel was ministered by Christ on earth, during His pre-Cross humiliation, and was exclusively addressed to Israel regarding her Millenial Kingdom. The other-altogether "new creation" other-was ministered to Paul by the glorified Lord Jesus Christ; after Calvary, from heaven, exclusively to and for His chosen heavenly Body.
    John the Baptist's, Jesus', and the Apostle's Gospel concerned the Messiah and His Kingdom-specifically and repeatedly referred to as "the Gospel of the Kingdom"(Matt.4:23;9:35;Mark 1:14;Luke 9:2,6). The other "the Gospel of Grace of God, "was neither preached nor mentioned until Paul went forth to declare it(Acts20:24; Rom.3:21-28;Eph.3:1-3)."
    This is the same dispensationalism that was taught by Lewis S. Chafer and William R. Newell.
    I believe from reading the question by Art and his subsequent responses that this is the position he is coming from.
    So much of what comes from dispensationlists today comes out of the teachings of these men, but few recognize that fact.

    By Blogger Truett, at 3/14/2008 7:17 PM  

  • Thank you Rose, I am trying to rise to your invitation above to be 'challenging'. Thank you for the opportunity. I learn!

    By Blogger Todd, at 3/14/2008 10:29 PM  

  • Truett,
    I had heard of differing 'gospels' in that sense before, just not in the sense that Art is expressing!

    There is a huge difference between noting differetn gospel messages such as: "gospel of the kingdom" and the "gospel of the grace of God" (which I have recognized since my first year as a Christian under a dispensational approach to the Bible), and saying that the truth of Christ's substitutionary atonement was hidden to the apostles until Paul explained it to them. Wouldn't you agree?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/15/2008 9:27 AM  

  • Todd,
    Don't forget that for the one invitation to be "challenging" I also have two others that encourage you to be "charitable" and "nice." :~) ;~) :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/15/2008 9:29 AM  

  • I'll be sure to hit the two others 'twice' next time Rose. :)

    By Blogger Todd, at 3/15/2008 6:16 PM  

  • [John the Baptist's, Jesus', and the Apostle's Gospel concerned the Messiah and His Kingdom-specifically and repeatedly referred to as "the Gospel of the Kingdom"(Matt.4:23;9:35;Mark 1:14;Luke 9:2,6). [b]The other "the Gospel of Grace of God, "was neither preached nor mentioned until Paul went forth to declare it[/b] (Acts20:24; Rom.3:21-28;Eph.3:1-3)."]

    Hi Rose and Truett,
    Thanks for explaining that view. You did not say whether you shared this view, so I am expressing my disagreement with the quote and not to you necessarily.
    It's true that the gospel preached by Jesus and the disciples was called the gospel of the Kingdom.

    Matthew 9:35
    And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction.

    But it's not true that there is a different gospel called the gospel of grace for the world that was preaced after Paul. There is only one gospel and it is both the gospel of grace and the Gospel of the Kingdom.

    Matthew 24:14.
    And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
    Blessings,
    Susan

    By Blogger VA ~Susan, at 3/15/2008 8:52 PM  

  • Susan, can you name three men who taught justification by faith before Luther and Zwingli (excluding New Testament authors or their immedite contemporaries)?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 3/16/2008 9:20 AM  

  • Rose, I hope you are having a blessed Lord's Day.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 3/16/2008 9:23 AM  

  • Good morning, Rose, Matthew, and Susan:

    Matthew writes: Susan, can you name three men who taught justification by faith before Luther and Zwingli (excluding New Testament authors or their immedite contemporaries)?

    Maybe Susan has her own resources to draw upon for her answer, but the Homilies of the Church of England (drawn up in one of her purer days) affirms the following:

    These and other like sentences, that we be justified by faith only, freely, and without works, we do read oft times in the most best and ancient writers. As beside Hilary, Basil, and Saint Ambrose before rehearsed, we read the same in Origen, Saint Chrisostome, Saint Cyprian, Saint Augustine, Prosper, Oecumenius, Phocius, Bernardus, Anselme, and many other Authors, Greek, and Latin.

    http://www.anglicanlibrary.org/homilies/bk1hom03.htm
    (I hope this link works)

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 3/16/2008 11:42 AM  

  • Rose,

    It is true that saying that "the truth of Christ's substitutionary atonement was hidden to the Apostles until Paul explained it to them" is hard to hear. But, this is exactly what Classic Pauline Disp. teaches. The point is they believe that John the Baptist, Jesus and the Apostles taught a Gospel distinctly different from the one Paul taught and that it wasn't until Paul met with the other Apostles at Jerusalem that he shared with them " the gospel he preached unto the Gentiles"(Gal. 2:2).
    This whole topic leads into the next question you have posted on the content of "saving faith".
    I will try to post there a further statement on the different Gospels as they view them which will show that they clearly show that the content of "saving faith" is different in all three.
    So that there will be no misunderstanding of where I am coming from, I am not advocating Classic Pauline Disp. over Traditional or Progressive Dispensationalism. I was only trying to clarify where it appeared Art was coming from. His position here has been referred to as Mid-Acts Disp.. Mid-Acts only refers to when they believe the church began, the over all system is Classic Pauline Disp.
    I have enjoyed your site for a while now and am glad I finally made the transition from lurker to poster.

    By Blogger Truett, at 3/16/2008 5:46 PM  

  • Colin, I do not think any credible church historian would argue that those men listed believed in justification by faith if we understand that to be an extrinsic rigtheousness rather than an intrinsic infusion of grace.

    All of those church fathers believed in some variation upon an infusion of sacramental grace.

    If you are able to provide some evidence that they believed in a something amounting to genuine justification by faith I am very willing to be corrected.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 3/16/2008 5:49 PM  

  • Truett, Mid-Acts Dispensationalism is very different to Pauline Dispensationalism.

    Miles Stanford rejected the Mid-Acts position. The website associated with his ministry features H.A. Ironside's critique of Ultra-Dispensationalism:

    Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 3/16/2008 5:56 PM  

  • Colin, I have read that homily and most of the other Anglican homilies, in case you were wondering.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 3/16/2008 6:45 PM  

  • Good morning Rose/Matthew:

    Matthew: I've read here and there in the Church Fathers over the years, although mostly quotes drawn from Calvin or some other controversial Protestant writers.

    The C/F's are not always the clearest writers - usually the later the writer, the more easy he is to understand, (not a steadfast rule) - and sometimes (like Scripture) they use absolute language which carries figurative meaning. I freely acknowledge that I do not tend to turn to them first of all in any dispute, but I can't run either with the idea that Wycliffe or someone around that time was the first convert to Christ in about a thousand years.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 3/17/2008 6:38 AM  

  • P/s Matthew: I have the Focus Christian Ministries Trust edition of the Homilies which I read through about 10 years ago. Heavy going in parts, but I persevered unto the end. They also printed the works of Nicholas Ridley and his disputations with the various Romanists which I enjoyed too.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 3/17/2008 6:42 AM  

  • Holding that the Church Fathers taught a false gospel need not mean holding that noobdy was born again between the apostles and the Reformation.

    A few people here and there may have read John's gospel and taken it at face value.

    Perhaps some of the Church Fathers and Medieval theologians themselves may have in some mystic moment of lucidity experienced the assurance of eternal life.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 3/17/2008 9:55 AM  

  • Rose, perhaps today you will have a mystic moment of lucidity.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 3/17/2008 9:56 AM  

  • Rose, perhaps today you will have a mystic moment of lucidity.

    If you do, start a new post and tell us all about it

    :0)

    Regards

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 3/17/2008 10:00 AM  

  • Rose,
    Thankfully, that the apostles until Paul were wandering around preaching an incorrect gospel for fourteen years(or does that come out to more like 20-23 years) just does not make sense.

    And that is one point where classical dispensationalism losses it's credibility too.

    And to add to my considerable other reasonings in this post and the companion post at USG, I'm seeing how Jesus is referring to the gospel...

    Mr 8:35
    For whosoever would save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's shall save it.


    ...and how Jesus truly was teaching THE gospel, to the apostles and many others. He was also teaching that it was to be taught to all creation. He was teaching the "cross" - as in pick up your "cross" and follow me. He was not teaching all of that to hide from the apostles until Paul arrived.

    Luke 2:31 Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32 A LIGHT OF REVELATION TO THE GENTILES,

    Simeon's revelation endured throughout Christ's actual life and ministry, even unto scripture, stating that Christ's ministry was to the Gentiles as well. That information was well passed along.

    Todd

    By Blogger Todd, at 3/18/2008 10:20 PM  

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