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

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Saved from what?

10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. (Romans 5)
What is the "saved" that Paul is speaking of in verse 10? Saved from what?

45 Comments:

  • This text does not make it very clear.

    I think if we compare this to other Pauline texts, we should personalize what we are saved from.

    We are saved from the principalities and powers of this world. The evil rulers of the cosmos in the celestial realms. Paul presents a view of man being in bondage to the world as an evil system, yet one that is personal and cosmic in scope. I think Evangelicals have a tendency to abstract and deperonalize this system. We think about sin, but we forget about bondage to Satan and his powers.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at 7/10/2008 5:12 PM  

  • Hi Rose,
    That's another astute observation Rose! Becoming a habit... you're going to rock a lot of boats if you continue in this fashion.

    As to the question, I'm trying to lead up to this point in the Group blog.

    The First Century church, before it's corruption by Platonic thought, which considered the physical world as evil, and something to escape from, would understand this saving as a salvation from the wrath of God, the wrath that John the Baptist warned about.

    IOW, as the GES site would agree, the wrath of God always refers to a loss of "psyche", earthly life. (as per OT word usage)

    Reconciliation guarantees life in the world to come, salvation the life in the present world.

    BTW, your illustration was excellent. Would you consider "upgrading" it as your knowledge and understanding of God's Word deepens? :o)

    Regards.

    By Blogger Anton, at 7/10/2008 7:48 PM  

  • Hi Rose
    I concur with Anton


    I believe it’s the saving of the life and verse 9 tells us from what. Saved from wrath. It’s the wrath of Romans 1:18 which IS revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
    God’s wrath is temporal not eternal and therefore is time bound. He is not an eternal angry God. Hell has to do with judgment not wrath.
    Here is a little from a DVD of Zane Hodges question and answer time that I have been studying for some time now and answers your questions.
    Question: What is wrath in Romans 5:9?
    Zane: It’s the wrath of 1:18 and once were saved “this is the whole point of Romans as far as I’m concerned” once we are saved, once we are justified by faith, then it is possible but not inevitable that we can escape the wrath of God by escaping the domination and control of sin and that’s what Romans 5 thru 8 is all about.
    Question: Maybe you could comment just very briefly on the term save and salvation in Romans. I noticed you just made a distinction there. How would you explain when Paul talks about (soteria) salvation or (sozo) to be saved, what does he mean in Romans when he uses these terms?
    Zane: The, as I’ve said a lot of times, and often times in writing the word saved is what the technical people call a polymorphs word, it means it’s used in a lot of senses and therefore it doesn’t have a set or sterotype meaning. It doesn’t have in English by the way “I was racing through the stop sign and another car was coming at me but he stopped and I was saved.” Context determines what the word saved means there. Now you caught me though, I used the word saved in connection with Romans where what we mean by the word saved normally is what means by the word justification. And then what Romans uses as save is our deliverance from the dominion of sin, and therefore our deliverance from the wrath that God expresses against those who are under sin.
    Question: When you talked about the fire coming down that James and John wanted to call down fire, and He said the Son of Man didn’t come to destroy but to save, is that the use of saving there, is that broader then eternal life that He is trying to save people from deadly consequences of there sin in that context or no?
    Zane: Well if you will consider that context Jesus said “the Son of Man did not come to destroy mens lives” that is what the disciples were planning to do just wipe them all out. That’s not what I came for He says, I came to save mens lives. All right, if a person believes in Christ and gets eternal life and begins to live the Christian life the life is preserved and lengthened. Thereby in accordance to all the Wisdom literature “he who pursues evil pursues it to his own death, but the tree of righteousness is a tree of life to those who partake of it.” So that is the theme that occurs in James and in the Wisdom literature of the Old Testament.

    Sorry for being so long, but I believe He’s right on the mark.

    alvin
    (note: eternal punishment can simply mean eternal torment) Jesus was punished for the sins of the world.

    By Blogger alvin, at 7/10/2008 8:04 PM  

  • I, too, think vs 9 makes it clear that what "they" (most likely "we," as well) are saved from in this verse is the wrath of God - of which they are saved through the life of Christ, having already been justified and reconciled to God by His death when accessed through faith (vs 1-2).

    But what does it mean to be saved through the LIFE of Christ? Does it mean living by His teachings and example? Or does it simply mean because He lived we are all saved from the wrath of God? Looking at vs 12-21, it seems the latter. The whole of Romans 5 always makes me seriously consider universalism.

    Missy
    (Nobody beat me up - I'm just thinking. Plus this is hit-n-run since I'm leaving for Niagara Falls in 5 hours!)

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 7/10/2008 11:52 PM  

  • Good morning Rose

    It is clear to me it is a choice we each must make by reckoning ourself dead with Christ and alive to God Rom 6:11-16 were to present ourselves. And in Romans 8:1 were not under this type of condemnation (temoral judgment, God's wrath against sin) IF we walk by the Spirit and not by the flesh. Zane sees Romans 1:18-2:5 as one unit (the moralist was in a day of wrath) this imaginary person could be anyone. God's kindness calls for this man to repent before he suffers this wrath. This wrath has to do with temporal judgment.

    off to work, have a great time Missy!
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 7/11/2008 7:23 AM  

  • Hi Rose,
    I agree with Missy I think verse 10 is adding to verse 9. It is from the wrath of God here on earth that His life living in us saves us from.

    In John Jesus states using branches(us) and the vine(Him) apart from Him we can do nothing, and He says that if we don't remain in Him then we are in danger of being cut off and burned(BURNED is a metaphor for wrath here on earth NOT ETERNAL FIRE) I think Paul is putting his theology here in Romans 5 to Jesus's statements in John.

    What do you think?

    By Blogger Kris, at 7/11/2008 11:24 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    My assumption is that because the Romans did not have a collection of Pauline epistles at the time they received this letter, we can conclude that whatever Paul says in this letter ought to be clear enough to stand by itself. Not that I expect to find anything here that disagrees with something Paul teaches elsewhere, but rather that I would prefer to start examining this text in its own context before I snip it out and compare it to texts that I have snipped out of other other contexts.


    Paul begins the epistle with his mission statement, if you will, found in chapter one verses 16-17. He wants to preach the gospel to them, and summarizes the gospel in the words of the prophet Habakkuk - "The just shall live by faith".

    That runs contrary to the notion that we merit eternal life by our own righteousness.

    So the very first thing Paul does is show that -everyone- is a sinner, and since that is true, it subsequently means that no one is righteous, and that everyone deserves God's wrath.

    Paul kicks that "crutch" out of the argument from the get go, but immediately builds upon it to prove his next point: that unrighteous Jews are no more saved from God's wrath than unrighteous Gentiles. That being a Jew is not a matter of having circumcised flesh, but of having a circumcised heart.

    Paul then goes on to show that Abraham had this same "circumcised heart" prior to being circumcised in his flesh, and this circumcision in his heart took place by faith.

    Paul is showing that the doctrine he is teaching is not some new thing, but rather a right understanding of something that had been there from the beginning. That the circumcision made without hands is what makes you part of Israel - and that this circumcision come by faith to the Jew and the Gentile alike.

    Paul knows the objection will be that if one is made a Jew by faith, (and not by flesh), then what was the point of the Jewish race?

    Paul's answer was that it was the Jewish race that was entrusted with the oracles of God - but that brought up a problem, because Paul's bigger argument is that being of Jewish ancestry doesn't save anyone - but now he is saying that it was the Jews who were supposed to guard this teaching. Has God failed? Did the Jews ruin it all by dropping the ball? Hardly, says Paul, their un-faithfulness simply testified to God's faithfulness. Anyone would have failed because, as Paul reiterates, everyone is a sinner, --bar none--.

    That is when Paul being to expand on justification. I mean what was entrusted to the Jews bore witness even to the righteousness of faith - had they grasped it - that the law taught men that they were sinners, and that they needed to be saved from God's wrath by the Messiah - and that this same salvation came about, not by ancestry or personal righteousness, but so that it would be open to all - it came about by faith. That, Paul explained, was the purpose of the law.

    Paul doesn't the idea stand on his own proclaiming it to be so, but takes the reader through a short exegetical survey of the OT teachings to show that these things are so. Abraham really was accounted righteous by faith - and God's promises are tied to faith and not ancestry or righteousness.

    By the time we get to chapter five, Paul is gearing up to answer the objection that if we really are justified by faith, then what's to stop us from living licentiously? That is, Paul anticipates that his teaching is going to be rejected because it leads not to godliness, but to wickedness (lawlessness).

    Paul is about to show that justification does not lead to lawlessness because the moment a person is justified it means that the same is united with Christ in both His death and His resurrection, and reality produced in the life of the believer on account of both of these truths denies the possibility of the charge that is being leveled.

    We come therefore to this text (verses 10 and 11 of chapter 5) knowing that Paul is in the midst of demonstrating that our union with Christ ensures that we will no longer continue in sin.

    In the immediate context, Paul's argument is that we stand in this state of grace - this justified relationship - through our faith (as opposed to through our ancestry or works), a claim that is bolstered by the fact, as Paul says, that Christ died for us while we were sinners, and not in response to some righteousness he found in us. That is, are in this state of grace because of our own righteousness (other wise it would be a state of merit).

    Paul then begins to describe the mechanism behind our relationship with God more closely - in order to show that God's righteousness is by no means compromised by allowing us this state of justified grace.

    The mechanism, as mentioned earlier, is our union with Christ. Paul is about to really expand on this - but here he begins by identifying the life and death of Christ. We are reconciled to God through Christ's death, we are delivered (saved) from God's wrath through Christ's life...

    The actual preposition in the Greek is not "by" it is "in" - we shall be delivered from God's wrath "in" Christ's life.

    If that made perfect sense, I doubt there would have been a sixth chapter explaining it further - but this is the start of that thought.

    The thought is that we pass through God's wrath "in" Christ. It is so literal that many people miss it, assuming some sort of metaphor.

    But the thing we are being saved from is God's wrath, and we are being saved from God's wrath just as Noah was saved from God's wrath - we are saved by being "in" the ark (Christ).

    Just as Noah's entered the ark and passed through God's wrath so too we enter into Christ and pass through God's wrath. We are in Christ when He dies, and in Christ when He is raised. We pass through God's wrath "in" Christ.

    We are literally "delivered" from God's wrath by Christ's life, because Christ's life is sinless, and therefore cannot remain in the grave.

    We were united with Christ --because-- Christ is innocent. That way when God poured His wrath out on "our old man" Christ died too. Our old man was laid in the grave - justly punished, and united to the innocent Lord.

    This marriage - this union - that marriage itself pictures - between Christ and sinners was stronger than (could not be be broken by) death so that not even death could separate us from Christ.

    God could not be just and allow Christ to remain in the grave - so God's righteousness demanded that He had to raise Christ - just as that same righteousness demanded that He pour out His wrath on us in Christ on Calvary.

    So when the text here says that we are saved by His life - it isn't something all mystical and weird. It is about as literal as you get. We are bound to Christ's life, just as He bound Himself to our death. His life becomes our life - we are saved from God's wrath in His life.

    That is what I think the text means.

    Now, I think that the rest of Paul's letters and what not show this - but the point can be made straight out of the text - as long as we don't overly spiritualize the text.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 7/11/2008 5:36 PM  

  • from Daniel: "...we can conclude that whatever Paul says in this letter ought to be clear enough to stand by itself. Not that I expect to find anything here that disagrees with something Paul teaches elsewhere, but rather that I would prefer to start examining this text in its own context before I snip it out and compare it to texts that I have snipped out of other other contexts."

    AMEN! I find it very frustrating that the interpretation of some text is given by IMMEDIATELY going to some other book. (I'm not accusing anyone here.) I have been in discussions where I try to remain focused on the text (and immediate context/book) and try to keep other discussers there also. Then I may be charged with "not listening to the whole council of God" or some other comment. I really appreciated reading this.

    By Blogger Looker4522, at 7/11/2008 9:10 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    I need to make a correction; there is a word I left out from Zane's question and answer time.

    Context determines what the word saved means there. Now you caught me though, I used the word saved in connection with Romans where what we mean by the word saved normally is what Romans means by the word justification. And then what Romans uses as save is our deliverance from the dominion of sin, and therefore our deliverance from the wrath that God expresses against those who are under sin.

    By Blogger alvin, at 7/12/2008 12:20 AM  

  • I am starting to feel lonely.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at 7/12/2008 9:03 AM  

  • Hi Rose! (I like this quirk! It doesn't make sense, but it's the hall mark of Rose's reasonings, epitomising being NICE!)

    Daniel wrote:

    Paul knows the objection will be that if one is made a Jew by faith, (and not by flesh), then what was the point of the Jewish race?

    Paul's answer was that it was the Jewish race that was entrusted with the oracles of God - but that brought up a problem, because Paul's bigger argument is that being of Jewish ancestry doesn't save anyone - but now he is saying that it was the Jews who were supposed to guard this teaching. Has God failed? Did the Jews ruin it all by dropping the ball? Hardly, says Paul, their un-faithfulness simply testified to God's faithfulness. Anyone would have failed because, as Paul reiterates, everyone is a sinner, --bar none--.


    Hi Daniel!

    That was a nice bit of summarising: I am working through it slowly. Would you consider the following possibility, at least for the blessings and the wonderful opportunities which it gives in God's plans?

    Consider:

    "Anyone would have failed" is problematic, because as you noted:

    Paul's answer was that it was the Jewish race that was entrusted with the oracles of God - but that brought up a problem, because Paul's bigger argument is that being of Jewish ancestry doesn't save anyone - but now he is saying that it was the Jews who were supposed to guard this teaching. Has God failed? Did the Jews ruin it all by by dropping the ball?

    In a sense God would have failed because His promise to Abraham (not because of works but because of faith as you noted) was :

    15 Then the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven, 16 and said, “By Myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies. 18 “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”


    to his seed.

    Who is his seed?

    Gal 4: 28 Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise.

    Now it becomes clear how the "nations of the earth" shall be blessed, how WE are saved through the LIFE of Christ (remember temporal life of productivity and being blessings to others, a role reserved purely for the Israel of God, which, because of the obedience of Christ, NOW means Jews and Gentiles.

    Universalism? Shudder! However, read what Zane Hodges says about the mercy seat (which many have a problem with, but which I agree with). ;o).

    By Blogger Anton, at 7/12/2008 9:30 AM  

  • Anton,

    I have read your last comment many times, and I am still unclear (and I apologize for my lack on this point) exactly what would be problematic about what I said?

    Gal 3:16 teaches that Christ is the seed of the promise. I agree: the nations of the earth are being blessed by the life of Christ - that is, they are being blessed by what Paul describes in Galatians 2:20, "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. " [NASB]. It seems quite a certain thing to me that the "life of Christ" (as lived out in Christianity) is blessing the nations just as God promised.

    What I am failing to see is how what I have said would make God a failure?

    Can you connect the dots for me on this one?

    By Blogger Daniel, at 7/12/2008 11:35 AM  

  • Hi Rose!

    Hi Daniel,

    Quick reply:

    If Israel failed, then God has failed.

    Please untangle that, else wait till I put together a humongous post, complete with citations, etc.

    Hint: S. L. Johnson, Jr., “Studies in Romans: Part VII: The Jews and the Oracles of God,”

    By Blogger Anton, at 7/12/2008 12:16 PM  

  • Anton,

    Thanks for getting back to that so quickly.

    I am not saying that if Israel failed, God failed, so I don't see how I can untangle that - unless you are saying that if Israel failed one must conclude that God failed - that I *can* untangle.

    When all of northern Israel (the ten tribes) had succumbed to idolatry and Elijah fancied Himself to be the last man standing, you remember the story - God showed Elijah that He had reserved for Himself 7000 Israelites who had by no means committed idolatry in bending their collective knees to Baal.

    Yes, Israel (as a nation) failed to keep God's covenant by going after Baal - but this was no failure on God's part, for God reserved 7000 for Himself who did not commit idolatry.

    We can say, without bruising the words as we use them, that Israel "failed" to keep God's covenant when all but 7000 of them turned from God and began to worship a false god (Baal); That doesn't mean that God failed to keep Israel from idolatry, it means that of the whole nation only the 7000 were children of the promise; it isn't that God "failed" to keep his promise to the rest, it is that God's promise was never given to the rest, for those who turned aside to Baal demonstrated in doing so that they were not children of the promise, but rather children of wrath.

    That is, God doesn't fail to do anything he says he is going to do, but he may well fail to do what we think he is supposed to when we haven't put it all together right.

    I say all that without really knowing if that is your objection or not. Let me know if we are on the same page and talking past one another or if you really do contend that if 'national' Israel fails, that God fails?

    But let's not hijack the meta to pursue this too deeply.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 7/12/2008 2:44 PM  

  • Hi Rose!

    Daniel wrote:
    I am not saying that if Israel failed, God failed, .

    You misunderstand: I am the one making that observation.

    Daniel wrote:
    so I don't see how I can untangle that - unless you are saying that if Israel failed one must conclude that God failed - that I *can* untangle..

    Bingo!

    Daniel wrote:
    When all of northern Israel (the ten tribes) had succumbed to idolatry and Elijah fancied Himself to be the last man standing, you remember the story - God showed Elijah that He had reserved for Himself 7000 Israelites who had by no means committed idolatry in bending their collective knees to Baal..

    God RESERVED? That smacks of predestination, and I'm allergic to that. Unless it is predestined to be a "blessing to the nations". Vessels destined for "noble purposes", rather than "vessels of wrath".

    Daniel wrote:
    Yes, Israel (as a nation) failed to keep God's covenant by going after Baal - but this was no failure on God's part, for God reserved 7000 for Himself who did not commit idolatry..

    Agreed.

    Daniel wrote:
    We can say, without bruising the words as we use them, that Israel "failed" to keep God's covenant when all but 7000 of them turned from God and began to worship a false god (Baal); .

    But not all Israel is Israel: only those born of the promise.

    Daniel wrote:
    That doesn't mean that God failed to keep Israel from idolatry, it means that of the whole nation only the 7000 were children of the promise; it isn't that God "failed" to keep his promise to the rest, it is that God's promise was never given to the rest, for those who turned aside to Baal demonstrated in doing so that they were not children of the promise, but rather children of wrath..

    Agreed.

    Daniel wrote:
    That is, God doesn't fail to do anything he says he is going to do, but he may well fail to do what we think he is supposed to when we haven't put it all together right..

    Agreed! I'm glad you put THAT together right.

    Daniel wrote:
    I say all that without really knowing if that is your objection or not. Let me know if we are on the same page and talking past one another or if you really do contend that if 'national' Israel fails, that God fails?.

    See above!

    Daniel wrote:
    But let's not hijack the meta to pursue this too deeply.

    No! No! Let's DO hijack the meta: I'm feeling like rocking some boats, especially the Calvinist one! Have a great Lord's day!

    By Blogger Anton, at 7/13/2008 2:23 AM  

  • Anton,

    When I say that God "reserved" 7000 men for himself, I am just using (as a matter of habit) the language of the first translation I became familiar with (NKJV - 1 Kings 19:18).

    I appreciate your allergy to predestination, but I remind you that it is not a Calvinistic idea, but a biblical one. Luke writes of how Christ's death was predestined (Acts 4:28), and Paul writes often God predestinating those whom God foreknew to become conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29-30), and again in his letter to the Ephesians where Paul tells us that God predestined us to adoption as sons according to the kind intention of God's will (Ephesians 1:5) and according to God's purpose whereby God works all things after the counsel of His will (Ephesians 1:11) in order that we might received the inheritance God has predestined us to receive.

    Whatever we think the bible means by predestination (and that is certainly going to differ from camp to camp) we must remember that it is a biblical teaching.

    When Christ says on the day of judgment to some - "depart from me, I never knew you" - it won't mean that Jesus didn't know these people existed, or that He didn't know everything they ever did in their life, or hadn't known these things since before time began. It means that He never "knew" them with the same intimacy that scripture uses when it says that Adam "knew" Eve.

    That is a good thing to keep in mind when we talk about something like foreknowledge and predestination.

    Foreknowledge isn't crystal-ball gazing into the future it is "knowing" someone beforehand, and it carries with it, I believe, the same intimacy as "knowing" someone. When scripture talks about those whom God foreknew it isn't referring to everyone, but rather to those whom God "knew" beforehand. Those whom God "knew" beforehand He predestined. Those whom God did not know before hand, these will be told to depart from Him on the day of judgment because He never "knew" them, and having never known them, he never predestined them to adoption.

    I confess my bias here - I don't believe that foreknowledge means God looked down the corridors of time and saw what I would do. I think that time is part of creation, and as God exists apart from creation so too God exists apart from time. Therefore God sees all of creation (including all time) in the same glance.

    God isn't bound by time, and so the picture of God looking forward in time to see what we are going to do, is not an accurate picture of foreknowledge - as God never looks forwards or backwards in time - for the past, present, and future are all beheld in the same glance by God. God certainly knows what is going to happen, but that is not what is meant by God's "foreknowledge" - for if it were, then God "foreknows" everyone, and that would suggest that God predestines everyone to adoption, justification, and glory (heaven).

    Not to digress too steeply here, but just pausing to remind us all that predestination is not a "Calvinist" innovation, it is a biblical teaching. You may be allergic to the Calvinistic interpretation of predestination, but if you believe the bible, you will have to have some doctrine of predestination, however you interpret.

    I am a Calvinist by the way, but I qualify that by noting that I was a Calvinist before I ever knew what the word meant or who John Calvin was. I became a Calvinist when I determined in my soul to not only read the bible, but to believe every word of it.

    As I read the bible, cover to cover over and over again, I began to have an opinion about who God was, and how salvation worked - and only later did I discover that someone named John Calvin, long ago had similar opinions.

    By labeling myself a Calvinist, I don't mean to imply that I now study Calvin's writings, or that I have ever studied them - I don't, and while I should like to read all that Calvin had to say, I certainly haven't yet, and may never; yet having read some of his writings I already find that on occasion I disagree with Calvin's interpretations. Calvin was a covenant theologian, and frankly, I am not, I don't believe in infant baptism, and I don't see a covenant of works in scripture anywhere, etc. But for the sake of simplicity in labels - I accept the label "Calvinist" because I see man's depravity in scripture, and because I don't see God choosing me based upon anything I do, but rather choosing me according to His own counsel; I see a hard line between the universal offer of salvation and the particularity of the atonement; I see that no one can resist God's will; and I see that God never fails to do what he sets out to do.

    I see nothing in my own free will that is compromised by these truths, and I see nothing in scripture that contradicts these truths, in fact I see all of these truths to be summarizations of what the whole of scripture teaches.

    But see that there are also academic Calvinists out there who live (it seems) to bait and debate with, non-calvinists - and I have little need for such as these, and would distance myself from them. I love to share what God has revealed in his word to me, to put it out there for the scrutiny of the church, for their edification and also to sharpen them, and be sharpened by them. I find debate to be a very poor use of my timej - not that polemics are bad, for one who is good at refuting error builds up the church - but rather that, and I am sure you feel the same way, when I sense that a discussion is shifting from an edifying exchange to an academic tit-for-tatting; I tend to bow out.

    Usually after someone says something like that, they say "so I am bowing out now" - but I am not saying that, rather I am just saying I have no desire to "rock the boats" of non-Calvinists.

    I believe that God is the one who opens our understanding, and even if we are very clever, very articulate, and even very engaging, charismatic, pleasant, and persuasive - yet for all that, God is the one who opens it up, and not us. Maybe it happens somewhere, but I have yet to see anyone at any time be edified by the sort of back and forth nattering that passes for Chrsitian discussion in some circles. Really, I often get physcially ill in the pit of my stomach when Christians stop sharing what they know of Christ for edification of the body, and instead start to argue their theology emboldened by the sophmoric high-fiving of their theological support group, who are waiting in the wings to cheer and encourage them with congratulatory praise over how well they lamb-basted one another. I don't want to be a high-fiver, and I don't want to be the chew toy of one either; not so much because it is boring and annoying to be a chew toy - but also because it is not good to give people fuel to burn fires that don't honor the Lord.

    Because I want to guard myself against that sort of thing, I want you to be aware that the moment I think this discussion is about boat rocking for the sake of sticking it to the man, my participation will certainly dry up.

    Which is not to accuse you of anything - but rather just to let you know that my stake in this conversation, or any conversation for that matter - as much as I am able - is to edify and not to tear down.

    I gotta run here. Preaching today, and I still have a ways to go.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 7/13/2008 6:18 AM  

  • Hi, Rose! And you, too, Matthew! (Hey, I like the alliteration in that.)

    Matthew, I missed your 1st comment, and just so you won't feel lonely, I must tell you that I also agree that what we are saved from through the life of Christ IS personal and must be treated as such. What's it worth if this type of salvation is not personal?

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 7/13/2008 4:24 PM  

  • Hi Daniel

    Yes I agree predestination is biblical and what God starts He will finish, Romans 8 is evidence to that fact.

    For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. (Romans 8:29,30)

    Daniel you said: I am a Calvinist by the way, but I qualify that by noting that I was a Calvinist before I ever knew what the word meant or who John Calvin was. I became a Calvinist when I determined in my soul to not only read the bible, but to believe every word of it.

    Daniel it’s sad that you chose God’s sovereignty over His heart. Because for in fact that is what you did by embracing Calvinism. I believe in what is called the analogy of faith which simply means that Scripture never contradicts Scripture. And that you interpret difficult Scriptures by the clear ones. Most all of us were taught John 3:16 when we were just children. And we believed it for just what it said “For God so loved the world” we didn’t need a concordance to understand it because it was childlike. We simply took it for what it said. But you have chose not to do that but have changed it to mean something that no one simply reading it for what it said would have understood it as. By doing that you have forced your theology upon the clear Scriptures thus changing them from how a child would understand them.
    In my own study of Scripture there were many and still are many verses that I did not understand but I was clear on what John 3:16 was saying. When I came to verses like Romans 9:11-13 about God hating Esau before he had done anything good or evil this caused a problem because it seemed like a contradiction. Because I knew what John 3:16 was saying, so I knew that God loved Esau. So I needed to put Romans 9 on the back burner until God gave me more light.
    John 3:16 clearly showed me God’s sacrificial love for the whole world. Other verses that backed this up were John 1:29 and 1 John 2:2 and many more. Also Paul made clear that it was God’s desire that all men be saved ( 1 Tim 2:4). Then when seeing Paul’s own sacrificial love toward his country men in the flesh, that he would be willing even to be accursed from Christ so that they might be saved (Rom 9:2,3) verified God’s own sacrificial love on the cross for the whole world. But even though this was clear to me I did not want to be like the imaginary objector in Romans 9:14,19,20 who questioned God’s sovereignty. For God is God and His creation is His to do what He pleases to do. I have heard many different explanations for Romans 9 which seem to make it harmonies with John 3:16 and God’s sacrificial heart. Some would use Rachel and Leah as an example as a comparison of Love and hate. Which is not literal but simply compared too. Also I’ve heard Esau as being an example of the beginning of mans strength being the firstborn which God hates. And Jacob as representing the second Man, the Spiritual. What I do know is that the answer does not contradict God’s love for the whole world.
    Daniel you said: ”I became a Calvinist when I determined in my soul to not only read the Bible, but to believe every word of it.”

    I would implore you to reconsider the choice you made concerning John 3:16 and return to clear Scripture and in doing so agreeing with God’s sacrificial heart for all people.
    I would also direct you to one single word “IF” being you have determined in your soul to believe every word of it.
    John 21:21 Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, “But Lord, what about this man?”
    22 Jesus said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.”
    23 Then the saying went out among the brethren that this disciple would not die.
    Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you?”
    Daniel one word “IF”
    Romans 9:22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

    Daniel, I believe in predestination of the believer according to God’s foreknowledge, that is biblical. But I do not believe God predetermined the majority of humanity to hell, because that would clearly contradict God’s heart in clear verse like John 3:16.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 7/14/2008 12:14 AM  

  • Missy, sorry, I meant that the forces we are saved from are personal beings.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at 7/14/2008 3:00 AM  

  • Hi Rose!

    Hi Daniel!

    Hope you both had a blessed Lord's day!

    NASB 1 Peter 3:15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;

    The teaching is clear, speak the truth but in a manner not meant to give intentional offense!

    Jesus spoke the truth, but offense was taken where none was meant:

    NASB Luke 7:23 "Blessed is he who does not take offense at Me."

    Now we must examine if "rock the boat" means "sticking it to the man" or saomething harmless. Wonderful, a meta about the meta!

    A discussion about the discussion!

    don't rock the boat
    do not upset people by trying to change a situation. You should sit there and say everything's fine, don't rock the boat.

    Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms © Cambridge University Press 2003

    In itself no idea of intentional offense. Consider, the boat is calmly progressing down the river. You sense something is not right. You wake up the sleeping occupants. You are repaid for your troubles with a sharp rebuke. Around the next bend comes the horrendous sight of a huge waterfal!!

    "Rocking the boat" therefore is not "sticking it to the man!" everytime! How wo we know when it is not?

    When the intentions are right.

    When the norms are followed.

    For example, when we participate in other discussions, when we respectfully adopt proper Biblical methods, ( ie. exegesis with citations that show agreement. ) we are not "sticking it to the man". When the discussion degenerates into defensive stances for the purpose of retaining pride, position or anything other than the truth, then "sticking it to the man" is evident, as the shabby treatment of our friends demonstrates. And I'm not even talknig about Pyro, but at a site we least expect it. My high regard for the particaipants has evaporated: (Homebrewed? ]Sheesh!). I seriousl doubt the presence of good intentions there, much less Christian testimony. I'm talking about this:

    http://www.google.com/search?client=opera&rls=en&q=groundskeeper+antonio+da+rosa&sourceid=opera&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

    I study God's Word. I fellowship with God's people. I hear alternate views to Biblical understanding. I protest some of the views. I follow the accepted form of discussion. I study the Greek or the Hebrew. I read about the historical background of the relevant passage. (Grammatical-historical Exegesis) I categorise the literature in the appropriate form (OT/NT, Pentateuch?Pauline) I quote from citations that support my view.

    BUT: I make a living as a car mechanic (First rule of business: Go where the profits are! )

    ;o)

    Does the nature of my occupation devaluate the worth of my observation? In fact it should AUTHENTICATE it:

    Acts 4:13 Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.

    Truly,

    NASB Psalm 83:10 For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside. I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

    Brother, would you agree that when the verse says we are saved by/in Jesus' life, this salvation is from a temporal disciplining?

    Matthew, I sympathise with your solitude!

    By Blogger Anton, at 7/14/2008 4:18 AM  

  • Matthew,
    Thank you. I agree - it is helpful to not be so nebulous about these thigns.

    Anton,
    Where do you live, brother? You are an auto mechanic? Did I once see you say you are French? Thank you for your comments.

    Alvin,
    I agree - I don't think it is talking about salvation from hell. The wrath of God is not eternal.

    Missy,
    Good questions. I hope you had a nice trip to Niagara.

    Hi Kris!
    I think you are right.

    Daniel,
    I will get back to you after I re-read your comments again. It has been a couple of days since I read it. :~)
    I do want to say though, that I don't mind if you and Anton discuss those toher issues, notabit. Rabbit trail - do you see in Scripture where God did make promises to national Israel - meaning the nation as a whole - or did he use this "coded language" always when he seemed to make promises to them as a nation? (coded language = only My elect out of the nation) I look forward to your answer.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 7/14/2008 10:44 AM  

  • Welcome Looker!
    I have seen your comments elsewhere and I appreciated them. Daniel does have a lot of good thing to say. I also think this is a great point that he makes.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 7/14/2008 10:54 AM  

  • Welcome Looker!
    I have seen your comments elsewhere and I appreciated them. Daniel does have a lot of good thing to say. I also think this is a great point that he makes.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 7/14/2008 10:54 AM  

  • Sorry about all the speling errors.

    Friends, I apologize for not participating on these posts in the discussion very much. I confess I have been EXTREMELY distracted with something in the last couple of months. Please pray for me. It can't hurt.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 7/14/2008 10:59 AM  

  • Alvin, greetings.

    My hope is that if my estimation of God's character is so miserly as you presume, that I shall be hourly on your own prayerful "love-filled" heart, receiving the readily answered prayers you will give to the Lord on my behalf, for I should love to imagine that you are already begging God with each passing hour to do something about my terrible lack - not only for my own joy, but especially for His glory.

    Like yourself I believe in the analogy of faith - and I would say that I uphold it in exactly the terms you describe, and have done so since the day I determined to believe all that I read in scripture.

    Again, like yourself I learned John 3:16 many decades ago. It was the only bible verse I had memorized all through my childhood and teen years. I believe that God loves everyone - even His enemies. Had you cared to ask, you would have discovered that my kind of "Calvinist" doesn't require God to hate people. I believe that God loves all of us - even His enemies, and I believe that this love is not any bigger of different for those whom God chooses to elect; that is, I do not believe love is the cause of God's election, and as such, there is no reason to deny that God loves everyone, or to premise God's choice upon an exaggerated expression of that love in the elect - that is, I do not imagine that God "especially loves" the elect. So you are preaching to the choir my friend.

    I encourage you brother, in the future to be more discerning in your presumptions. Most of what you have written to lift my thinking out of the mire - is superfluous - as I am not mired in that particular bog.

    I appreciate your sincerity, and your zeal for God's character. I too am a lover of both.

    Can I share an allegorical story? I think I can. Lol!

    Once upon a time there was a scholar who had long since dismissed the possibility that there was a God, but who one day was confronted by the gospel - and in a moment the veil of his atheism was torn asunder and he believed. Immediately he found in himself an appetite to know God, and he made it his habit to read the bible for four hours each day, and pray for at least two. In a years time he was so radically changed in heart and manner - you would not have known him to be the same man as he had been.

    In the man was a great passion to exalt - to lift up Christ, and so putting into practice all that scripture had taught him, and was teaching him - the man joined himself to a congregation - expecting to find there people who were far more holy and biblical than He. In a few short months however, it became clear that these people who came together barely knew the God of scripture - and were more interested in showing up on Sunday than in getting together to minister, to pray, or to even talk about the Lord. They were fine people on the outside, but their inside was all wrong. The man however stayed in the congregation, and continued to grow in both the Love of the Lord and the knowledge of Him, and continued to practice walking in the spirit, and not according to his flesh.

    In time this man became a preacher, and he had a family of his own - and so zealous was he to be certain that his little ones be spared the dead faith he saw in so many churches - he fed them the gospel daily - and each one was saved before the age of eight - and they grew up in the church, and they were held to a very high standard; only they didn't have their father's zeal for prayer, or for studying God's word. They loved to get together with other Christians, and listen to and sing hymns - and as they grew up they gave to the work of the ministry - even if they themselves were very slack in their own participation.

    By the time these had their own children - they were a mixed bunch - some had heard the gospel - most hated church, and few had any real interest in the church, and even less in God - yet when they reached adulthood - these grandchildren considered themselves to be Christians. They believed that Jesus was God - I mean, if there was a God, and that He died on the cross - I mean, if he really lived, he probably died on a cross. And they believed that you were saved by faith - that is, that as long as whatever it was that you believed was believed with "sincerity" that you were saved - but there was a radical difference between the "faith" of that atheist who suddenly was found by Christ, and his grandchildren who grew up "christian".

    I think that many of the Calvinists we see on the internet especially, are of the "third generation" variety. Not that their parents and grandparents are Calvinists - but rather that they come to their doctrine not through scripture and prayer, but rather through argument and intellect, and even through association.

    I suspect that you are more used to that variety of "Calvinist" - and that this is why you feel sad for me - having pigeon holed me up front.

    I can only smile at that, because I am just the sort of person to make that same mistake myself - so quick am I to follow my gut sometimes.

    Thanks again for the smiles.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 7/14/2008 12:57 PM  

  • Rose, I hope you will be strengthened under your present burden - or alternately so weakened that you must rely on Christ for all. Either way, I think you know I mean you well.

    Coded language? May I, with a warm smile, playfully say, "Pfft"?

    In John 12:19 we read, "So the Pharisees said to one another, 'You see that you are not doing any good; look, the world has gone after Him.'"

    Were the Pharisees using "coded" language here when they said world, but meant something less than everyone?

    I think we would both agree that they were using hyperbole either to exaggerate the danger or because it is easy to use hyperbole when we don't have accurate figures (Do you not see that 12.34957334 percent of the Hellenistic Jews, 22.993475749 percent of the non-hellenistic Jews (45.333333333 percent of whom were Pharisees and .........) and .... and.... have gone after Him???)

    Questions that begin with or include the words "National Israel" usually end up being discussions about the finer points of dispensational theology. :)

    Seriously though, does "world" always refer to people? To all people? To some people? To our world? etc. etc. We realize that because language works the way it does, that we have to examine every passage on its own merit, and that sometimes world is going to mean this and sometimes it is going to mean that - and we do not shudder or quake because this is so - rather we understand that such is language, and we expect therefore to examine scripture with at least the same scrutiny (and probably moreso) that we might examine a last will and testament. If we should, in portioning out the proceeds from a will, run into ambiguous language - we are forced to examine what is meant according to what we know of the author, what we know of the rest of the will, and what we know of the language itself - and then we do our best to make a judgment call that is free from bias.

    I think the same is true of the use of -any- word in scripture. I don't think scripture uses "coded" language, but I do think you have characterized my point as though that were what I was suggesting. I hope that was done playfully. :)

    By Blogger Daniel, at 7/14/2008 1:25 PM  

  • Hi Daniel

    You said:I believe that God loves all of us - even His enemies, and I believe that this love is not any bigger of different for those whom God chooses to elect;

    It sounds like I touched a nerve. It sounds like you have candy coated “your” type of Calvinism so that it goes down easier. I must admit you’re the “first” Calvinist I’ve ever talked with that said that God’s love is the same for the lost as the elect even though that is very inconsistent with John Calvin’s belief.

    There is no escaping the fact that in Calvin’s entire Institutes of the Christian Religion there is not one mention of God’s love for the lost! Nor is that surprising in view of the fact that Calvin’s God has no love for the lost but can only love the elect. ( Calvin, op. Cit.,II:xvi,3-4; II:xvii,2-5.)

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 7/14/2008 2:34 PM  

  • Daniel,
    You may always say "Pfft" to me... with a warm smile. :~)

    Yes, I was thinking about the dispensational angle on it and that is why I said 'rabbit trail.' Certainly when the Bible speaks of God doing things with Israel it is speaking of them as a nation... unless it specificaly tells us otherwise in regards to a certain statement. There is no coded language.

    Furthermore, it is easy from the context to tell whether or not the word "world" means all the people in the world, a lot of people, or the planet. When Christ said "God so loved the world" one can hardly diminish that statement by comparing it to the hyperbole used by one of the jealous, angry Pharisees when they said "the WORLD is going after them." I don't think those two statements are worthy of being compared, dear brother. Maybe you don't think so either. Give me an example of God saying "world" when it is clear it doesn't mean all the people of the world. Then you might get my attention Daniel, my brother.

    Alvin, dear brother,
    I do remember reading a discussion on Daniel's blog, I believe where he stated his views on God loving the world (or maybe it was on Bluecollar). I really took notice of that and it did impresss me. I remember I think that Susan argued with him about it. A couple of Calvinists did not accept what he was saying, if I remember correctly. That always moves someone up a few notches in my book. heehee

    By Blogger Rose~, at 7/14/2008 3:13 PM  

  • Anton, I fear that I am becoming a bee in the collective bonnet over here - for the more I say, the more I have to answer for - and the less likely I am to be able to continue - at least while holding down a full time job elsewhere. :)

    You ask if I would agree that when Romans 5:10 says we are saved by/in Jesus' life, that this salvation is referring to temporal discipline.

    No sir, I do not believe it is referring to temporal discipline. I think it is referring to sin - we will be saved from sin through Christ's life.

    Notwithstanding, if we are being saved from sin, we are consequently being delivered from discipline - but that would be a consequence and not the heart of the matter.

    The way I read it, Paul's point is that if God reconciled us to Himself through the death of Jesus, that is - if God was willing to send Jesus to die for us in order to bring us into this state of reconciliation - how much more then is God willing to save us from sin now that we are in a state of gracious reconciliation?

    As I understand it, the moment we truly believe that God is saving us, we stop trying to save ourselves - and that frees us up to truly deal with sin. I think this is what is being iced over in these verses. If God has put us on His shoulders and carried us into the river, and is walking up the bank on the other side - is he really going to drop us now? That is the sort of argument Paul is making.

    But it is deeper than an either or, I think there is a both, and relationship here.

    Let me 'splain.

    We are justified because we are united together with Christ in His death, and likewise in His resurrection. That is, Christ took our "old man" to the cross and there our "old man" was crucified with Christ - when Christ died, our "old man" died, and when Christ was buried our "old man" was buried. When God raised up Christ - our old man was raised up a new creation - and that new creation is still united with Christ - it is our inheritance to come -and in that sense our life is hid in Christ.

    Given that these things are not only evident, but obvious, I don't think I need to spend much time taking you through "how-it-all-happened-one-oh-one". The point is that the process by which we are justified (our union with Christ) is the same process by which we are sanctified (by our being united together with Christ). So on the one hand we can say that Christ will save us from - say, God's wrath (justification) - and we are absolutely correct - but on the other we can say Christ will save us from sin here and now (sanctification), and though most Christians are utterly ignorant of how sanctification works, or even the most preliminary teaching on it (setting about to sanctify themselves by doing better than they used to as much as they are willing), I say, even in spite of this rampant ignorance - the text is saying that we are saved from sin (c.f. Matthew 1:21) by His life - and that is literally and exactly what happens.

    How do we get saved from sin? Not by suppressing it with grit teeth, the right books, and a whole lot of sweat, disappointment, and religion. We overcome sin in exactly the same way were are saved - by faith in Christ.

    I don't buy into that perfectionism junk btw - but I do believe that Christ's life saves us from sin - in as much as we allow him to live in and through us.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 7/14/2008 3:14 PM  

  • Alvin,

    Martin Luther was a Calvinist before John Calvin had ever learned to read or write. That is, the label doesn't imply that one has studied Calvin's doctrine and said - "this I shall adopt as my own" - but rather that one has said of Calvin's view of soteriology, "Well, he got that right..."

    I don't think you have touched any of my nerves. I am not apologist for Calvin - he has his defenders, and whether they do a good job defending him or not has no impact on anything I believe or teach.

    I think "my" type of Calvinism does go down easier. I must say with a giggle, the picture of me starting off with some sort of bitter pill teaching, then shellacking that teaching with candy until it finally became palatable is rather a far cry from how it went. More like I read the bible, and this sweet candy came out. All God's word is like sweet candy to me.

    I am amused that I am the only Calvinist you know who doesn't buy into the idea that God loves on a curve, I suspect that either I am a rare exception, or you haven't looked very hard.

    With regard to your obvious distaste for all things "Calvin" - I should mention, I haven't sat down and read Calvin's institutes, so I wouldn't know whether there is any "escaping the fact that in Calvin’s entire Institutes of the Christian Religion there is not one mention of God’s love for the lost"; But you seem to be, and I say this with some mischief, unable to stop yourself from using every opportunity to bash a guy who has been dead now for 500 years. I mean really, Alvin! LOL, let it go. Go pee on his grave if you have to. But it is isn't all that becoming to project whatever you feel about Calvin into other people. I am not John Calvin - and from what I read, I will probably never come close to him, for he was a humble, tireless servant of our Lord, and if set his theology aside entirely and judged the man based only on the sacrifices he made for, and the love his life evidenced for our Lord and Savior - I should be satisfied to live my life only with as much as one tenth the worth and service this man gave - and I should count myself full sir.

    hehe.. pee on his grave - that's got me giggling.

    Anyway, I know you mean no harm in what you say, and I hope you allow that I am equally congenial in my rejoinder - if perhaps I am a bit punchy, I do need sleep.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 7/14/2008 4:04 PM  

  • Rose, I like the Elton "Johanine" reference. I smiled at that.

    I understand that kosmos has some semantic range and sometimes (gasp!), the right interpretation requires a less inclusive rendering - but I don't think it is right to pick and choose how to render a word based upon our theological baggage.

    To be sure, I am reminded of an incident a couple of years ago now, on another blog - where some guy was arguing about some nuance in the Greek, and I misunderstood the nuance, and wrote quite an "Antonion" masterpiece in reply - quoting, and expounding each use of the nuance in scripture, and showing beyond a shadow of a doubt, or so I thought, the folly of his error.

    I received shortly thereafter, and email from a very gracious seminary professor who not only taught Biblical Greek, but was gifted in his ability to kindly point out my error without making me feel small and stupid. His advice was that I should delete my comment. I opted to allow it to remain - as a loud testimony to what an insufferable blowhard I can be.

    For in that I am reminded that one reason I may have been asked to remove my comment, was because even though the fellow whom I was responding to was wrong - yet my defense only made "my side" look like we were all uneducated and shrill.

    Sad day at the Daniel farm that was, but I learn more from my errors than my successes...

    Either way, I mention that because I am reminded of it as I think of people who I would say are in "my" camp, as it were, but who are far more dogmatic about who God loves, and how much He loves them, than I think scripture allows.

    I have read some pretty sophisticated arguments for, say, John 3:16 - and brilliant as some of them are, I just don't think John was going --that-- deep, ya know what I'm sayin'? ;) I mean, as I said, the semantic range on kosmos is big enough to say - hey, maybe God loves everyone, and maybe in this case it means that God loves "mankind" but the only reason I would try and say it means God loves some people in the world, and not others, is not because the text warrants it - it is because I am defending some other point that I am concerned will fall to the ground if God's love is (gulp) universal.

    My point in my previous comment was only to emphasize using a pretty well known verse, that words are not so wooden that they must always demand a universal inclusiveness - that is, scripture speaks of Israel, when often it is referring to Israel as opposed to Judah, or Israel as nation, etc. Not suggesting a special code, but just as you have concluded I think - that we should be able to decipher without cryptology, whether or not there is room to wiggle on most texts.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 7/14/2008 4:58 PM  

  • Daniel must go back to the real world now. So I can't really babysit my words here and come back and defend them at length and what not. So if someone replies to me, and I seem to be ignoring you - it is cause I have a full time job, a large family, and serious responsibilities elsewhere, and not cause I don't care.

    :)

    By Blogger Daniel, at 7/14/2008 5:00 PM  

  • Hi Daniel

    I must remind you, you were the first to bring up John Calvin's name.
    And I have no urge to pee on his grave. I have hate for no man, and all sin was paid for on the cross. But if your going to use someones name I personally would want to know some of that persons history.

    It’s obvious that you haven’t read much about John Calvin who was called the Protestant Pope of Geneva and his un-Christian behavior there. Calvin imposed his brand of Christianity upon the citizenry with floggings, imprisonments, banishments and burning at the stake. He ruled with a rod of iron putting everyone under his law. Women were thrown into prison if their hairdo didn’t meet his specifications. Fourteen alleged witches were sent to the stake on the charge that they had persuaded Satan to afflict Geneva with plague. The use of torture for extracting "confessions" was approved by Calvin. After thirty days of severe suffering, Jacques Gruet finally confessed-whether truthfully, or in desperation to end the torture, no one knows. On July 16, 1547, "half dead, he was tied to a stake, his feet were nailed to it, and his head was cut off." (J.M. Robertson, Short History of Freethought (London, 1914), I:443-44.) Also he had Servetus burned at the stake for being an heretic. The principle charges were holding heretical opinions on the Trinity and infant baptism. (Michael Servetus, quoted in Bainton, Hunted Heretic, p. 212.)
    So much for being a shinning example of someone you say:I should be satisfied to live my life only with as much as one tenth the worth and service this man gave

    It is interessting to note that during the trial Servetus drew up a list of questions that Calvin should be asked. The sixth question was: "Whether he did not well know that it is not the office of a minister of the gospel to make a capital accusation and to pursue a man at law to the death?

    Such monsters should be exterminated, as I have exterminated Michael Servetus the Spaniard." (Letter from Calvin to the marquis de Poet, quoted in Voltaire)

    By Blogger alvin, at 7/14/2008 8:56 PM  

  • Condemnation and death. ;-)

    By Blogger Katherine Gunn, at 7/15/2008 3:40 AM  

  • Alvin, I regret that I continue to provide you with opportunity to vent that loving neutrality that adorns you so well. There are some people that you really have to take a long time to get to know - but you seem to wear the cut of your jib on your sleeve, and I am thankful for that.

    On that final day we shall know whether Calvin was [1] the man that his detractors painted, and repainted to be, [2] the man that history records him to be, or [3] a little of both, or perhaps even [4] nothing like we have heard. Until then I reserve judgment and respect history.

    When I say I have not read much Calvin, that is not to say that I am unaware of the historical Calvin, or even of the many slanders leveled against him. It is to say that I don't bother studying his theology.

    But as I said, I am not here to defend a man who has been dead for 500 years, against allegations which originated halfway between his death and today, and have never been substantiated. I consider it a noble thing to give even the dead the benefit of the doubt. Given therefore that I respect valid history, and that I know the value of an unsubstantiated rumor, and given that real history is readily available to anyone who cares to look and discern the one from the other - I see no reason to come to Calvin's defense - even if I do see cause to caution you in venting.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 7/15/2008 9:10 AM  

  • Good Morning Rose

    Daniel, when you go on and on about what a great man John Calvin is and then don't expect someone to give you a challenge on the beautiful picture your painting your kidding yourself. All that I gave was documented, and could have given lots more even from your own side. All I did was balance your beautiful picture with the facts.
    LOL it amazes me that you think you could come on a non-Calvinist site and sing the praises of Calvin and have everyone joining in the chorus. You must have quite the sense of humor.

    The verdict of the non-Calvinist historians is unanimous.
    The respected Lutheran historian, John Mosheim (1694-1755), judged in favor of Servetus. (Schaff, History, vol. 3, p.684)
    The English historian Gibbon remarked: “I am more deeply scandalized at the single execution of Servetus than at the hecatombs which have blazed in the Auto da Fes of Spain and Portugal. The zeal of Calvin seems to have been envenomed by personal malice, and perhaps envy.” (Gibbon, vol. 3,p.314)
    And the Baptist historian William Jones, although acknowledging “many doctrinal sentiments in common with Calvin,” nevertheless said: “I strenuously deprecate every attempt to palliat the enormity of Calvin’s conduct.” (Jones, vol. 2, pp.238,239)
    But it is not just non-Calvinists who have condemned Calvin, for even Calvinists themselves acknowledge his guilt:
    When all is understood, admires of Calvin must still look upon it with shame. (McNeil,p.347)
    In our judgment Calvin was guilty of sin. (Bratt, Teachings of Calvin, p.41)
    There can be no doubt that Calvin beforehand, at the time, and after the event, explicitly approved and defended the putting him to death, and assumed the responsibility of the transaction. (Cunningham, Reformers, pp. 316-317)
    In 1903, some remorseful European Calvinists erected a monument to Servetus on which they engraved:
    On October 27, 15533, died at the stake at Champel, Michael Servetus, of Villeneuve d’Aragon, born September 29, 1511. Reverent and grateful sons of Calvin, our great Reformer, but condemning and error which was that of his age, and steadfastly adhering to liberty of conscience according to the true principles of the Reformation and of the gospel, we erected this monument, on the 27th of October, 1903. (Quoted in Augustus H. Strong, Systematic Theology (Valley Forge Judson Press, 1907),p.778)
    documented

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 7/15/2008 10:19 AM  

  • Kathreie,
    Thank you. I am not so sure I agree with you cuz it seems to me that in the beginning of verse 10 we have the 'saved from condemnation" referred to in the 'justification' but then it says 'much more' implying he is talking about more than being 'saved from condemnation.' Anyways, thanks for your visit! Your comments are appreciated. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 7/15/2008 10:34 AM  

  • Alvin,
    Point taken- we won't be singing the praises of John Calvin on this blog - not the man nor the doctrine! In fact, no one is allowed to mention his name again on this thread. :~) Thanks, brother!

    Daniel,
    I appreciate this what you said:
    the semantic range on kosmos is big enough to say - hey, maybe God loves everyone, and maybe in this case it means that God loves "mankind" but the only reason I would try and say it means God loves some people in the world, and not others, is not because the text warrants it - it is because I am defending some other point that I am concerned will fall to the ground if God's love is (gulp) universal.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 7/15/2008 10:43 AM  

  • Your welcome Rose, I'm always happy to set the facts straight when they've been skewed.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 7/15/2008 11:58 AM  

  • Hi Rose!

    Where do you live, brother?
    I live in a religion-sensitive country. the exact location information of which could have consequnces for innocent persons if divulged. Hint: In my first post, I mentioned that I have helped in the publishing of Bibles in the Naga language.

    You are an auto mechanic?
    I have a facility that undertakes the fixing of autos, yes , among other machinery. Recently, I fixed the cars in the Bible College which trains Naga pastors and missionaries, and got a Honorary Doctor of Divinity for my troubles. (I think they ran out of cookies that day!) Hee! Hee! They know my car fixing skills not my Theology! I trained for mission at their LA seminary and they think I'm still running with the "C" ball!

    Did I once see you say you are French?
    "French?" Mais pas du tout! But I did do mission work in French West Africa!

    Thank you for your comments.
    Je vous en prie! Ha! Ha! French!

    Hi Daniel!

    You wrote
    No sir, I do not believe it is referring to temporal discipline. I think it is referring to sin - we will be saved from sin through Christ's life.

    Previously you wrote:
    I mean what was entrusted to the Jews bore witness even to the righteousness of faith - had they grasped it - that the law taught men that they were sinners, and that they needed to be saved from God's wrath by the Messiah - and that this same salvation came about, not by ancestry or personal righteousness, but so that it would be open to all - it came about by faith.

    IN THIS PASSAGE AND IN THIS PASSAGE ONLY, would you agree that the listeners are saved, not from sin, but from God's wrath, ie. the consequences of sin? And since historical research tells us that the concept of an afterlife was very fuzzy and undecided in First Century Palestine, would you at least consider the possibilty that this wrath was a disciplining in the present life?

    By Blogger Anton, at 7/15/2008 12:26 PM  

  • Anton, in answer to your question, I suggest you re-read the comment you quoted me from. In there I explained that I do not believe it to be an either/or thing, but a both/and scenario.

    That is, when Paul say "much more so" he isn't saying - now I want to change what I previously meant into something else - he is saying - what I have previously said applies - but there is even more when it comes to this.

    So I think I stand by my previous comment: "both and", not "either or".

    By Blogger Daniel, at 7/15/2008 1:37 PM  

  • Hi Rose!

    Hi Daniel,

    Maybe I can rephrase it (I'm really interested that we are on the same page regarding how we view the consequences of a lost opportunity to share in Christ's ministry):

    Do you agree that both/and means God saves us from our sins and consequently from a disciplining involving a shortened temporal life, a la Ananias and Sapphira.

    Remember, whenever the phrase "God's wrath" is used in the OT, it always signifies God's disciplining involving a shortened temporal life.

    Regards.

    By Blogger Anton, at 7/16/2008 4:18 AM  

  • Rose,
    I've been praying for your un-named concern. God is faithful and has been bringing you to my mind.

    Your brother in Christ
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 7/18/2008 12:19 AM  

  • Me too,

    Your prayer request comes frequently to mind and I've prayed for a comprehensive answer from God.

    anton

    By Blogger Anton, at 7/18/2008 2:18 AM  

  • I want to thank you who read of my need for prayer over the distraction I was dealing with. I just want to tell you that it was taken care of. I did not know how I was going to get away from this thing without getting burned, but it just resolved itself and woosh! It is not a problem anymore. Praise the Lord - He is so merciful.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/02/2008 3:05 PM  

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