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

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Two Different Reactions to the Same Thing

Matthew posted a big passage from a work by LS Chafer on the UoG blog. I liked this particular quote a lot:


In respect to redemption it is written that Christ died for fallen men and that salvation, based on that death, is proffered to all who believe; and that condemnation rests on those who do not believe, and on the ground that they refuse that which has been provided for them. It would seem unnecessary to point out that men cannot reject what does not even exist, and if Christ did not die for the nonelect, they cannot be condemned for unbelief (cf. John 3:18). Both salvation and condemnation are conditioned on the individual's reaction to one and the same thing, namely, the saving grace of God made possible through the death of Christ.
~Lewis Sperry Chafer

66 Comments:

  • Not a bad quote.

    But I am sure the Calvinists will give some clever response. They do that.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at 9/04/2008 11:31 AM  

  • Maybe they wont.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/04/2008 1:33 PM  

  • Hi Rose/Matthew:

    John 3:36 is very clear on this matter: He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. (John 3:36)

    The gospel offer itself is for the "whosoever will" (Revelation 22:17) and those who ultimately fail to take it up, live and die as self proclaimed rebels against God, hence their damnation.

    If this is a clever response from a Calvinist, then it is merely because the Scriptures themselves aint stupid!

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 9/04/2008 3:09 PM  

  • Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. John 3:18 ESV

    Paul tells us in the first few chapters of Romans that all stand condemned:

    "None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one." Romans 3:10-12 ESV

    It is because no one is righteous, all have turned aside -- that is reason that everyone of us had the death penalty set over us.

    Those who put their faith in Christ have their guilt removed, their death sentence canceled. Those who never believed were already condemned on the basis of the Romans passage cited.

    So, the Bible adds some hindsight information to encourage the believer. You exercised faith and are not condemned. You, who have done that are part of God's eternal elect. It wasn't your clever decision that did it, an act of goodness you did that got God's attention by placing faith in God -- it was God who choose you before the foundation of the world. It means that God will carry you though, grant you strength to endure. God will finish the good work he began in you. If God is for us, who can be against us? Hallelujah!

    ...so, what's the problem? ;-)

    It is way, way beyond the rejection of Jesus that condemns an unbeliever. The whole law condemns the unbeliever. The unbeliever's sinful heart condemns the unbeliever.

    By Blogger Earl, at 9/04/2008 8:42 PM  

  • Hi Sis. That was an excellent article that Matthew posted and I too appreciate the selection you’ve highlighted here although I have to admit to a different perspective.

    I would understand the logical argument here is premised on the assumption that if by believing in Christ we have eternal life then it follows that our condemnation is just only if we are condemned by not believing. This means, in essence, that for our condemnation to be just we must first be offered reprieve and that our eternal life is based on the justice of God rather than on His great love and mercy. While I would understand a great deal of scripture to teach that God’s love and mercy are just, I also find it to teach that His justice is founded in His righteousness.

    Conversely we cannot say that a person does not have eternal life because they are condemned. Indeed if a person does not have eternal life because they are condemned then everyone charged with sin can never have eternal life because they are already condemned.

    The scripture is clear. A person does not have eternal life and remains condemned if they refuse to believe (believe not) on the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ but if a person does believe then they have eternal life in Him. I must then conclude that our condemnation is just even apart from God’s mercy but because of His great love He extends us His mercy.

    To say that our belief or unbelief was foreordained would require we reject certain attributes that are classically and scripturally attributed to God. For example, if God is longsuffering and not willing (desirous) that any should perish but has already determined (willed) that some do then His desire is not consistent with His will. If on the other hand God has determined that we must choose to believe and extends His mercy to us through the Gospel of Jesus Christ then his will and desire are consistent and those that perish do so only because of their own stubborn will in refusing to believe on the name of the Lord.

    By Blogger Kc, at 9/05/2008 5:13 AM  

  • Good morning/afternoon Rose!

    Hi Kc:-

    1) Would you agree with the thought that God decrees to leave some in their chosen sin?
    2) If so, does it please God to leave some in their chosen sin?
    3) Can God desire something, but not follow it through with a decree?
    4) If so, must we be told the reason why?

    My own answers:

    1) Yes.
    2) Qualified yes. He has no sadistic pleasure, but leaves some in their sins (as Romans 9:22 points out) because He is willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known.
    3) Yes.
    4) No.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 9/05/2008 12:20 PM  

  • Hi Rev. Maxwell. Welcome back! ;-)

    Would you agree with the thought that God decrees to leave some in their chosen sin?
    Yes and He has even identified these persons as being those who refuse to believe on His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

    If so, does it please God to leave some in their chosen sin?
    No. Even though He would rightly desire to shew forth His wrath He does not do so because He is longsuffering and not willing that any should perish.

    Can God desire something, but not follow it through with a decree?
    One of my theological presuppositions is that “God can” and I will always answer any question that begins with “Can God” in the affirmative. Now if the question begins with “Does God” then, to the best of my ability, I will offer a scriptural response.

    If so, must we be told the reason why?
    No. ;-)

    By Blogger Kc, at 9/05/2008 3:53 PM  

  • Hi kc,

    Thanks for the welcome back. In the same line of thought, I'm glad that you didn't go anywhere :o)

    I'm glad that we agree on question 1 and 4

    We seem to disagree on question 2 but your answer leaves me wondering why God leave some in their chosen sin? if it did not please Him. This leads then to another question:

    Has He left them, then, in their chosen sin against His will?

    On the 3rd question, if I change the question from "Can God.." to "Does God ever desire something, but not follow it through with a decree?" then would you agree with me in my affirmative answer?

    Regards,

    P/s I'm glad Hurricane Gustuv didn't blow away your computer or your modem. (or you with them either.) Would you agree? :o)

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 9/05/2008 4:07 PM  

  • Colin thanks for the kind words and yes we agree in our gladness (and much more as well). ;-)

    I think the scripture provides the answer to your question regarding why God would leave some in their sin. They reject His own testimony concerning His only begotten Son.

    With respect to your question to me:

    ”Has He left them, then, in their chosen sin against His will?”

    I would say it is His desire that they believe, as evidenced by His longsuffering and the Gospel command, and His determinate will that they choose whether to believe or not but in accordance with His permissive will to allow them to believe not.

    Finally yes, I would agree that God does have desires beyond His decrees as evidenced by His desire for Israel to repent as well a His desire that none should perish.

    By Blogger Kc, at 9/05/2008 4:51 PM  

  • Hi Colin,
    I like your first response - if you would just leave it at that! ;~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/06/2008 1:55 PM  

  • Hi Earl,
    in your first comment I disagree. It seems to me that people are condemned because of what they have "done with the Son." I tend toward the view that sin has been removed as a barrier between God and man (as evidenced by the torn curtain between the holy place and the holy of holies.) Therefore, the reason they are condemned is not because of sin but because of death without the Son. Thank you so much for your gracious participation.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/06/2008 1:59 PM  

  • Hi brother KC,
    I had to read and re-read your comment three times and I now think I see what you are saying. I would say that you are pointing out a doctrinal nuance. (teeheehee)
    Thank you brother!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/06/2008 2:04 PM  

  • BTW, in the discussion between you, KC, and you, Colin, I would have to say that I find KC's responses to your challenges, Colin, to be most reasonable. (shocking!)
    I agree with KC.

    This is clearly taight in the Bible:

    I would say it is His desire that they believe, as evidenced by His longsuffering and the Gospel command, and His determinate will that they choose whether to believe or not but in accordance with His permissive will to allow them to believe not. (~kc)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/06/2008 2:08 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    people are condemned because of what they have "done with the Son." -- I understood that to be your view, it was implicit in how the problem was stated. I was offering the classical view of the Protestant Reformers, which I think has great merit, but I won't argue for it here. When understood the way the Reformers understood it, then the logical problem Lewis Sperry Chafer alludes to disappears completely.

    So, your system of understanding is logically consistent, and so is the Reformers' understanding of it. Each side would argue that their view is Biblical.

    By Blogger Earl, at 9/06/2008 3:42 PM  

  • Hi Colin,

    I hope you do not mind if I jump in your conversation with KC.

    BTW, KC, I like your responses to Colin's questions. Good job. Keep us focused on scripture, not on theory.

    Colin,

    I cannot subscribe to the very premise that your questions pose.

    "Would you agree with the thought that God decrees to leave some in their chosen sin?"

    "If so, does it please God to leave some in their chosen sin?"

    Please share with me the scriptures that clearly answer these questions in the affirmative. Not passages that speak to part of it and the rest of it is filled in with man-made logic.

    Thanks, Colin.

    I look forward to your response.

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at 9/08/2008 12:43 PM  

  • OOOPS, I did it again.....

    HI ROSE!!!!!!!!!!

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at 9/08/2008 12:44 PM  

  • Earl,
    I see what you are saying. And yes, we have covered this ground a time or two. :~) God bless.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/08/2008 9:19 PM  

  • Hello Kurt :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/08/2008 9:19 PM  

  • Hi all,

    Sorry, my internet is down at the moment. Currently sitting in an intrnet cafe. But I will get back here when I can on my own computer. Thanks for all your comments.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 9/09/2008 6:01 AM  

  • Hi Kurt,

    Thankfully I am online again on my own computer.

    First of all, you seem to be attributing to me the idea that I am working from theory rather than Scripture. If I might place on record that I care little for men’s theories and am most desirous to discover the deep things of God as revealed in the written word of God.

    Let me supply Scripture for the very premise that my questions pose. I see certain principles in the Bible that (being principles) I must interpret other Scripture by. This is a standard hermeneutic i.e. we let the clear and plain passages throw light on the rest. This being the case, I read (for instance) in Proverbs 21:30 There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD. I understand this to signify that whatever God knows no disappointment or frustration in His will. Again, in a similar strain, I read in Job 23:13 But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth.

    If we apply these principles (or the same principle but stated in different ways) then I see the following:

    1) God does leave people in their chosen sin. Unless you are a Universalist, then you cannot but agree, at least, with this observation.
    2) God does nothing against His will
    3) Whatever God does in time, He decreed to do from eternity past – there is no fresh information or overpowering circumstances that force Him to change His mind. He is of one mind as Job 23 reminds us.

    Regarding the second question i.e. "If so, does it please God to leave some in their chosen sin?" I do not see the obligation to show you, as you request, the scriptures that clearly answer these questions in the affirmative. If you read clearly my own answers to these questions, then you will see that this is not the position that I took. I try to keep up with defending my own position, rather than theorise what those who hold to other positions might or might not say. Regarding my own position of a ”qualified yes” I have already supplied a Scriptural answer, drawing from Ezekiel and also from Romans 9.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 9/09/2008 10:09 AM  

  • Hi Sis! ;-)

    Kurt thanks so much for the encouraging words. ;-)
    It may not always show through in our discussions but I consider Colin a true and faithful servant of our Lord and a blessed minister of the Gospel. I am always grateful for his understanding and happy to subject my theology and philosophy to his critique, my considerations to his admonitions and my actions to his rebuke.

    Colin I’m thankful you’re in full communication again and relieved to know your absence was only due to your ISP. When you’ve rested with Kurt I’d like to discuss your premise No. 3. I’ve got some thoughts on this and I would appreciate your review when you have the time.

    By Blogger Kc, at 9/09/2008 10:48 AM  

  • Hi Kc,

    Go ahead with your comments on #3

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 9/09/2008 2:14 PM  

  • Hi Sis and thanks for the space once more.

    Colin thanks again for your consideration. My thoughts here are not fully formed but I think there’s enough to determine whether they’re scriptural or not.

    Earl’s reference to the classically accepted attributes of God provoked me to consider them in light of the scriptures we often use to proffer or defend our various theologies. A number of these scriptures, when taken alone, could easily be viewed as overturning these classically accepted attributes. For example, you wrote, ”there is no fresh information or overpowering circumstances that force Him to change His mind”. If we consider this in light of Jeremiah 19:5,6 we could conclude that God is not omniscient and that there are indeed things that we do that would surprise and disappoint Him. Likewise Jesus also said that only the Father knows the day and the hour of His return. Now we know that it is the Holy Spirit that searches the hearts of men and so we can rightly attribute omniscience to ”the full counsel” of God.

    I’m concerned that if we fail to maintain a fully Trinitarian perspective in our interpretation that we can easily bend certain scriptures to conform to our own presuppositions by simply inferring one these classically accepted attributes onto a single person of the Godhead.

    I’m only beginning to consider the implication of this on Systematic Theology but I was anxious to have your thoughts on my reasoning thus far.

    By Blogger Kc, at 9/09/2008 7:45 PM  

  • Good morning Rose/Kc,

    Kc: I think that Jeremiah 19:5 means that it never came into God’s mind in the sense that it was never on the table (so to speak) that He would endorse Israel’s sin of offering their sons for heathen sacrifices. I don’t interpret it in the sense that God was startled and wondered what on earth they would think of next.

    Re: the Trinity (what deep water we swim in here) – what is said of one member of the Trinity is true of them all. Thus, if God the Father is sovereign, then likewise is God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. We may separate their persons for the purposes of study only, but we cannot divide them in essence or in unity.

    Thus when we read: ”There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD.” (Proverbs 21:30) I understand this to mean that there is no (successful) counsel against God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Any attempts to frustrate His decrees therefore meet with absolute failure.

    Hope this helps,

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 9/10/2008 10:13 AM  

  • Hi Sis.

    Colin thanks again for your thoughts on this.

    By Blogger Kc, at 9/10/2008 12:55 PM  

  • Good morning Rose/Kc:

    Hey! I enjoy chatting you all. (y'awl)

    An exciting thing about heaven is that our knowledge will catch up with our experience. The we shall know even as we are known now.

    I'm away today and tomorrow on gospel outreach (DV)so the computer will be quiet.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 9/11/2008 1:39 AM  

  • Hi Rose
    KC said:
    It may not always show through in our discussions but I consider Colin a true and faithful servant of our Lord and a blessed minister of the Gospel. I am always grateful for his understanding and happy to subject my theology and philosophy to his critique, my considerations to his admonitions and my actions to his rebuke.

    It sounds like two Calvinist patting one another on the back! KC is subjecting himself to a false teacher of the word.
    I believe that Colin is sincere but sincerely wrong, and as such is a false teacher of the word!

    Colin being a five point Calvinist must make child like verses such as John 3:16 unknowable to a child by changing the word “world” into just the elect. Also Colin adds works as something that must happen for one to be saved, therefore changing the grace of God into a lie!

    John 3:18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

    Note: Every person born after the fall is dead in trespasses and sins, and therefore condemned already. It’s not until they believe in Jesus for eternal life that they are NOT condemned! To suggest that the ones already condemned are the reprobate is to read into Scripture your own false theology! It’s because of the love of God that He provided a sacrifice for everyone, and whosoever will may partake of God’s solution for their condemnation.

    I was watching “Big Valley” the other morning, and much to my surprise it was about a Mormon family. The man’s name was Hebron, and he had married his second wife before the law against polygamy had been voted in. But the law was retroactive, so Hebron had to keep it a secret. The Barkly’s had rented them a house to live in, unaware that the two ladies, one young enough to be his daughter in reality were his wives. The storekeep and the liverystable man became specious when Hebron had turned down a free cigar and never bought coffee. Jared found out they were married by looking in Hebrons bible which had both his wives names. Anyway to make a long story short, the younger wife decided to leave her husband so that they could live in peace.
    To let you know how my mind works, my thoughts went straight to Jacob. What would he have done in the situation? But we know that there was no law against polgamy back then but we do know that the will of God was “ a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” That was God’s “A plan” but we see clearly in Scripture that God used His “B plan” taking in the reality of sinful fallen man. In fact the twelve tribes of Israel came into being by Israel’s multiple wives. We know that it is God who opens the womb, so between that and Laban’s tricking Jacob into marrying Leah. True love brought seven more years and a polygamous relationship, of course God would use this to bring about which plan? Of course “B plan” because the New Testament clearly shows God’s “A plan” would have never been multiple wives.
    I will bring peace the only way it can come by not leaving my second wife, but by leaving this blog in it’s song of Calvinism.

    One day the truth will be clearly known, and the false teaching of Calvinism and those who promote their legitimacy will be seen for what it is… a lie!
    Goodnight,I'm not able to help you, only God can open your eyes!

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 9/11/2008 8:26 PM  

  • Hi Sis.

    Hi Alvin.

    I sincerely regret your perception of both Colin and myself. I am uncertain whether I can offer you an alternate perspective that you could accept but I am compelled to offer you an explanation for my attitude toward Rev. Maxwell along with my assurance that I do not hold to any system of theology other than my own and, what’s more, I place very little value on that.

    It may help you to know that my attitude toward Antonio is identical to my attitude toward Colin and I have made several comments stating that fact in the past. My attitude toward these men is not born out any agreement in theology but because of their evident love for the brethren, their steadfast devotion to the scripture and especially for the record of their efforts and sacrifices on behalf of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Regarding theology I have yet to find any two persons who maintain an identical understanding. More often I’ve found that the theological and denominational labels accepted or ascribed by and to others are more social and political than they are foundational and it seems to me that, in reality, there are actually as many systems of theology as there are people. I have come to accept that each of these systems are every bit as valid as my own in that they are all the result of an effort to completely comprehend what would seem to be incomprehensible in this life. I am also persuaded that each of these systems must change over time “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”.

    For this cause I am happy to subject my theology and philosophy to your critique, my considerations to your admonition and my actions to your rebuke. ;-)

    By Blogger Kc, at 9/12/2008 7:24 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    KC said:
    I have come to accept that each of these systems are every bit as valid as my own in that they are all the result of an effort to completely comprehend what would seem to be incomprehensible in this life. I am also persuaded that each of these systems must change over time "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ".

    KC, where would these people fit into your systems?

    “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the Kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
    Many will say to Me in that day ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?
    “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’(Matthew 7:21-23)
    These people also thought they were doing God’s will, but they had not did the first thing, and that is simply believe Jesus promise of eternal life. Other words they were putting the cart before the horse. Which might sound real good to many, smething like this “faith alone saves, but the faith that saves is not alone” But the fruit of that mentality looks like this: Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. (Romans 4:4)
    This is the will of the Father: And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:40)
    KC, they needed to first believe that the gift of God really was a gift that could be taken freely. Works have no place at all as these verses show:
    But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness. (Romans 4:5)
    Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”
    Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” (John 6:28,29)

    KC, you need to get off the fence and take a stand. It can’t be both ways!
    I heard your same human reasoning at the Evangelical Free Church I use to attend. In the middle of an adult Sunday school class the pastor looked at me and said “I believe in eternal security, but you can’t expect everyone to.” And one of the elders who was Charismatic saw us all on the same journey coming into the fullness of Christ. No one was wrong just at different places in our walks.
    KC, one of these walks has to have works to get to heaven, the other is by faith alone in Christ alone and has absolutely nothing to do with your walk.
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 9/13/2008 2:05 AM  

  • Good morning Rose

    Alvin: Your candid admission that you cannot help me has been duly noted. I would appreciate though if you did not make any further references to me or my theology. I find it most offensive to read that I believe that the "world" in John 3:16 means only the elect. I have told you before that I believe that the "world" in John 3:16 means "everyone - elect and non elect alike." I also deny that I teach that people are saved by faith plus works.

    I have engaged you at length on these matters. As I also said before, I do not believe that I can help you, so we must leave it here.

    Thanking you in anticipation of your co-operation in this matter.

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 9/13/2008 4:33 AM  

  • Hi Rose
    KC

    Jesus expected unbelievers to believe in eternal security, and that’s why He taught it to unbelievers all through the gospel of John. The following verse will show this:

    Jesus was speaking to Nicodemus who was an unbeliever at the time:
    John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
    Jesus was speaking to a Samaritan women who was an unbeliever at the time:
    John 4:14 “but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst.
    Jesus was speaking to Jews who were unbelievers at the time:
    John 5:24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My words and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.
    Jesus was speaking to Jews who were unbelievers at the time:
    John 6:35 And Jesus said to them, “Iam the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.
    John 6:37 “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.
    John 6:39 “This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.
    John 6:47 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.
    John 6:50 “This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die.
    John 6:51 “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”
    KC, Jesus expects all these unbelievers to believe what He promises to the one who believes, and that is their eternal security. They will never die, they will never thirst, they will never come into a judgment which will determine their eternal destiny but have passed from death into life.

    And this is what the Apostle John expects his readers to believe:
    John 20:31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.
    John gives us an example of one who has believed this truth, Martha:
    John 11:25-27 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever believes in Me shall live and never die.
    Do you believe this?
    She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”
    God expects the one who believes in Him just like Martha to know they have eternal life:
    1 John 2:25 And this is the promise that He has given us—eternal life.
    1 John 5:11a And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life
    1 John 5:13a These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life
    Just as Martha this is something we know, and can say . . . Yea Lord! I believe!
    The Calvinist cannot believe in eternal security, because he believes in what is called the “perseverance of the saints.” Which does not allow him to know until he reaches the end of his life. He has to have a life of works to prove he is truly one who has believed. Since he has connected works to his reaching heaven the only way he could know is at the time he believes he also knows he will persevere until the end. And the apostle Paul didn’t even know that, but admitted he could be disqualified. So the Calvinist is left with this . . . he really does not know whether he has believed or not, which is the only other alternative.
    KC, it’s only the one who can say like Martha: “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.
    That meant that if Martha died she believed that Jesus would resurrect her body, and if she lived and believed she would never die which meant she believed in her eternal security.
    KC, if her walk had anything to do with her eternal security, she would not have been able know what He had promised was true for her.

    This is my last post here . . . . alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 9/13/2008 5:10 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    I read Goodnight's post:

    In Goodnight's theology John 3:16 is completely irrevelnt because Jesus only died for the elect, and they have to be regenerated before they can even believe John 3:16.
    If Goodnight thinks God loving the world is predestinating the majority of them to hell I hate to see what His hate is like.
    I admit it is diffucult keeping all the flavors of Calvinism straight. But whether they are vanilla or chocalate they came from the same source, and not from a God that is truely Love.

    By Blogger alvin, at 9/13/2008 5:42 AM  

  • Alvin,
    You said that my blog has a "it’s song of Calvinism"!!! That cracked me up yesterday but I was so busy working that I couldn't take the time to jump in and participate in any of the comments.

    I just got done reading your last one. ...and then another. :~)

    I think you need to take a break from interacting wiht Calvinists. You REALLY hate Calvinism, I can see. I can't fathom that Calvinism is true and it befuddles me that some people embrace it. In that, we agree. However, we come at this from different angles. Personally, I don't think it is helpful for you to discuss it with Colin anymore, not for the two of you... or the onlookers. I like Colin and the other Calvinists that hang around here. I believe them to be my Christian brethren.

    I am a cream puff and a sissy.

    Alvin, I think that their theology takes a back-burner when they do evangelism and therfore I wouldn't feel compelled to stand in the way of them telling someone about the Lord, but rather I would be encouraged to watch them evangelize. (This has been the case with me and Calvinists before).

    Let me put it this way by example (maybe this will sound somewhat familar):

    I know Colin holds to particular redemption which I find to be contrary to a God of love for the 'world.' I see him on a street corner evangelizing it. He says "Hear hear, God sent His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for some people. He loves some people. YOU might be one of them. Come and hear how God chose SOME people to do a wonderful work for, and left all the rest of you destined for hell with no provision to avoid hell."

    Alvin, if I heard that, I would feel a definite need to separate from Colin. I would maybe walk over there and shout the great love of God in dying for all men in competition with Colin's message. Or maybe I would just set up a booth across the street with John 3:16 posted across the top. Who knows.

    The point is, most Calvinists I know hold their views on particular redemption out of the direct view of their potential converts. They woldn't shout it from the streetcorner. I think of it as a "secret theology." I know Colin won't appreciate me saying that, but that is how I see it - they like to talk about this particular love with people who are already Christians, not with the unsaved. This is what I have noticed with most of the C I have encountered. (I am sure there are examples of others who are NOT as I am describing, but I am not aware of any.) I am not sure they would even share it with their newer believers. I could be wrong about assuming that last point for Colin.

    Either way, I don't feel that I need to "mark" and "avoid" these Christians. They have a theory of salvation that is way different than my own. They arrive at their theory using Scripture. I can understand how they get where they get using the Scripture they use. I don't agree with them!!!!

    Why can't we all just be respectful and let the onlookers decide for themselves? Present our cases while we are decent to the brethren. That is all I want in these discussions. I am getting tired of its lack.

    Be challenging! Be charitable! Be nice!

    Good day to you.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/13/2008 8:26 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger alvin, at 9/13/2008 9:14 AM  

  • Alvin,
    You have gotton a bit snarky there so I gotta delete that comment. I am feeling bad about it, your comment and deleting it. I hate to delete any comments, but it isn't charitable or nice. I feel that it was nasty. Sorry.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/13/2008 9:30 AM  

  • and Colin,
    I regret that you have been unduly offended here. I don't like this. I love you in the Lord... and Alvin.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/13/2008 9:33 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    Don't feel bad, I was getting a little snarly as you say.
    And I hold you in high regards!

    regards

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 9/13/2008 9:51 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I warmly welcome your recent comments on this blog. In other to preserve the spirit that drew me to this blog in the first place i.e. a friendly place to debate – even closely- the doctrines of grace and other matters, I have decided to take time out from discussing the matters any longer with our friend here. I too find it wearisome and I do not doubt that other readers must find it likewise. Hence I have drawn a line under the matter and will engage only those who will engage me in a spirit of mutual respect.

    Re: my evangelism. My “off the cuff” text for evangelism is indeed John 3:16. My outline is simple and direct from the text:

    1)The World God Loved – I take this to be the whole race and say so I tie it in with 1 John 5:19 that the whole world lieth in wickedness and I move from the general (“world”) to the individual – (“you, my listener”) [I believe that God’s love for the whole world – elect or otherwise – is real and should encourage the listener in the street to trust God and seek to know more about Him. In order to facilitate this, I tell them that there is something more that that they should know about the love of God.]

    2) The Son God Gave I explain the need for atonement – the holiness/justice of God etc., I preach up the sufficiency of the blood of Christ to cleanse away every sin and the fact that it does so for the sins of all who trust Him. I dwell on the actual sufferings of the Cross and emphasis how God must hate sin if this is the price that its removal entailed.

    3) The Promise God Made I emphasis the “whosoever” in this text to mean every single last person. I assure the listener that none who come in faith are ever turned away. While I explain faith as trusting God’s word with the heart, I do not see the need to explain how the Spirit moves upon those who come as I do not see the need or generally find it helpful. (If I mention “God”, I do not see the need to present the ontological argument or explain the intricacies of the Trinity. In this regard, a lot of my theological knowledge is on the “backburner” ) I am fishing for the souls of the men. I am desirous to woo them to Christ. I reason with them about the width of the offer and the benefits of coming and the folly of staying away. [In short, I sow the good seed and I leave it to God to use it as He sees fit.]

    In my evangelism, I am quite happy to use language similar to that of AW Pink who closed his evangelistic meetings in 1927 with words like these:

    "Why not believe in him for yourself? Why not trust his precious blood for yourself, and why not tonight? Why not tonight, my friend? God is ready, God is ready to save you now if you believe on him. The blood has been shed, the sacrifice has been offered, the atonement has been made, the feast has been spread. The call goes out to you tonight. 'Come, for all things are now ready.'" (Studies in the Scriptures 1927)

    Somehow, I can see you standing on the other side of the street, Rose, waving your John 3:16 banner, not because you oppose such preaching, but because you basically agree with it. Have I read you wrong?

    Regards,

    Kc: Your words above are appreciated.

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 9/13/2008 9:57 AM  

  • Thank you, Alvin. God bless.

    Colin,
    Yes. I basically agree with it. It is just as I thought about your evangelism.
    I am glad that AW Pink said some things like that. I would be encouraged to hear any evangelist say what you quote him as saying. (I detest what I read in his book on the sovereignty of God, however. Oh well... its an imperfect world.)

    :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/13/2008 10:11 AM  

  • Hi Rose and ALL

    My goodbye words:
    I feel led to make this final statement, and it comes straight from my heart. This all has laid very heavy on my heart. This might not mean anything to some of you, but I hope you at least think about it.
    When I look into a persons eyes and share with them John 3:16 I know God loves them, and provided for them on the cross. Maybe that’s just words to some of you so it doesn’t matter. But I believe that’s where the rubber meets the road so to speak, and not just empty words to the majority of people. I know it meant life to my wife, because it took some convincing after she had been lied to.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 9/15/2008 6:35 AM  

  • Alvin,
    After reading your post on Antonio's blog, I went looking for you on Rose's blog because you said that you put the same message on there. I hope you read this and know that we want you to come back to Antonio's blog, too!!!
    PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE!
    We have messages for you there!!!

    A friend who learns a lot from you,
    Diane

    By Blogger Diane, at 9/16/2008 11:44 PM  

  • Blessings Rose.

    I just wanted to tell you I agree with your analogy of Calvinism being a “secret theology”. Clearly, the “gospel” an unbeliever hears is incomplete in comparison to the “gospel” a seasoned “born again believer” hears. Yet, Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:2...

    “We have renounced disgraceful ways (secret thoughts, feelings, desires and underhandedness, the methods and arts that men hide through shame); we refuse to deal craftily (to practice trickery and cunning) or to adulterate or handle dishonestly the Word of God, but we state the truth openly (clearly and candidly). And so we commend ourselves in the sight and presence of God to every man's conscience.”

    In Him,

    wingedfooted1

    By Anonymous wingedfooted1, at 9/17/2008 11:59 PM  

  • Alvin,
    That has always been my problem with Calvinism as well. How can I look in my children's eyes and tell them God loves them? Under the limited love of God that is taught in Calvinism, it would be a presumption to do so.

    I am sorry that these conversations have upset you. I do understand. They bother me a lot at different times as well.

    God bless you.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/19/2008 7:45 AM  

  • Wingfooted,
    Thanks for visiting!
    When I say "secret theology" I was meaning that it is something that a Calvinist would porobably not want to tell the potential convert about the whole "program." (Just to be clear what I meant)

    Thanks again for your contribution :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/19/2008 8:03 AM  

  • Rose (and Alvin too),

    There is a very interesting post and discussion (though the comments are now closed) over at Pyromaniac on the topic of how God's love for everyone is not incompatible with the doctrines of grace.

    Perhaps there is enough fodder there to answer the question "how can I look into someone's eyes?"

    By Blogger Daniel, at 9/19/2008 10:48 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    You asked the question of the Calvinist: How can I look in my children's eyes and tell them God loves them?

    Let me tell you how I have done that as a parent. I will answer this more fully on my blog.

    When asked by my children, does God love me? My answer is absolutely. God loves you with a strong love. He has placed you in a home in which both parents are Christians, and you go to church where the gospel is preached. You have been baptized as small children. These are the ways God works in your hearts, showing his love for you. God's love is so strong, he will keep you all of your life on earth. He will prevent you from walking away from him. Life will be hard at times, but God is for you and nothing will diminish God's love for you. He is the one who gave you your love for him and God will keep that love in your heart for him.

    I am convinced that it is in the Reformed household where parents can tell their children how strong God's love is. I've transitioned from a non-Reformed with my oldest into Reformed with my younger children. I have come to understand that God's love is much BIGGER when I came into Reformed circles than I had before. I didn't take Romans 8 literally before -- who can seperate us from the love of God? Before I had a worry, now it is absolutely nothing. I tell that to my children.

    I had the great blessing to attend my grandson's baptism a couple of months ago. The congregation sang "Jesus Loves Me, This I Know" as the pastor held him. How do I know this? my grandson has not professed faith in Christ yet. My grandson was placed by God into my daughter and son-in-law's home -- both are believers. My grandson is in a church that loves him. He was given the covenental sign of belong to the church. He will be instructed from the Bible, be brought up where God's word is preached. These are huge blessings which God does not give to everyone -- this demonstrates a special love by God already.

    People outside of Reformed theology often put on Calvinists a simple back and while strawman of God's love. For those who want to understand the nuances of Reformed ideas on the topic, read D.A. Carson's 'The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God."

    By Blogger Earl, at 9/19/2008 12:22 PM  

  • ...and there is a related question. How do you answer your children when she or he asks, "Will I go to hell?" When you look at them straight into their eyes, how do you answer?

    I asked that to my parents when I discovered hell as a little kid. Some of my children asked me. I was able to give a confident answer to my children, based on Romans 8.

    By Blogger Earl, at 9/19/2008 1:30 PM  

  • Earl,
    Two of my kids have asked me that in the past. I told them, "Whoever does not receive Christ as their saviour will go to hell. That is why I want you to be saved. That is why I want you to receive Christ without delay."

    I am still mulling over your other comment. It is so foreign of me to think of approaching it in that way. IOW, telling them that because of the circumstances they find themselves in (born into this family, church etc...) proves that God loves them. That is how it sounds to me when I read your first comment, but I have to think about it some more.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/19/2008 1:40 PM  

  • Daniel,
    I may have a look if I have time. You could paste some brief snippet of thought that you thought was impactful if you want. :~)
    Thanks.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/19/2008 1:42 PM  

  • Hi Roe/all,

    I see this old bugbear is doing the rounds again i.e. that Calvinists do not believe that God has a love for everyone.

    It gets a bit like swatting mosquitoes. You get one and another one comes buzzing round your head.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 9/19/2008 2:15 PM  

  • Rose,

    Yes -- doesn't it sound bizarre? It sounded that way when I first encountered the idea. I did not grow up with it. But think of it this way. God does concrete things -- God demonstrates his love in concrete actions. One of the ways is for God to arrange, providentially, for you to be enriched by his presence. Biblically, God does that through what the Reformers, and Spurgeon too, called the means of grace -- such as hearing the preached Word.

    These are HUGE blessings. It is a practical demonstration of God's love. When I share the gospel to a non-believer and they ask, how do I know God loves them? I answer that God loves you so much that he arranged everything in heaven and earth for you to hear the gospel right now -- he is giving you the great news of the gospel. That demonstrates his love to you Take it for heaven's sake!

    By Blogger Earl, at 9/19/2008 2:26 PM  

  • Rose, Sure, I could snip in a pericope:

    8<------8<------8<------
    People invariably struggle with the question of how an overture of reconciliation and mercy from God toward the reprobate can be sincere if He didn't elect them to salvation in the first place. Many Calvinists, swayed by Arthur Pink's assertions in the unabridged edition of The Sovereignty of God, falsely imagine that real Calvinism must assert that God's hatred for the reprobate is an absolute loathing of their very beings, unmitigated by any compassion, tenderness, or benevolence that could reasonably be called love. They would flatly deny that God in any sense loves those who are perishing in their sins, and they refuse to preach the gospel as a plea or as an offer of mercy. Instead, they insist the gospel is a bare demand for immediate repentance—or in the worst cases, they insist that the gospel has no relevance whatsoever to the reprobate.

    It's common nowadays to hear Calvinists explain John 3:16 by saying "world" means "the elect" in that context, in order to sidestep this issue of whether God has any measure of authentic love toward the reprobate.

    That is not historic mainstream Calvinism, and it certainly isn't the spirit of Calvin himself, who wrote concerning John 3:16: "He has used a general term ["whosoever"], both to invite indiscriminately all to share in life and to cut off every excuse from unbelievers. Such also is the significance of the term 'world' which he had used before. For although there is nothing in the world deserving of God's favour, He nevertheless shows He is favorable to the whole world when he calls all without exception to the faith of Christ, which is indeed an entry into life."
    (Phil Johnson)
    8<------8<------8<------

    By Blogger Daniel, at 9/19/2008 2:35 PM  

  • Greetings, Earl.

    Just curious. Calvin taught the following...

    “Our children, before they are born, God declares that he adopts for his own when he promises that he will be a God to us, and to our seed after us. In this promise their salvation is included.” --Institutes, book 4, chapter 15, section 20

    Presbyterian Loraine Boettner’s stated in his book, “The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination”......

    “The Scriptures seem to teach plainly enough that the children of believers are saved; but they are silent or practically so in regard to those of the heathens.”

    Calvinism plainly teaches that the children of believers are “predestined to salvation”.

    Do you agree?

    Also, you said....

    “When I share the gospel to a non-believer and they ask, how do I know God loves them? I answer that God loves you so much that he arranged everything in heaven and earth for you to hear the gospel right now -- he is giving you the great news of the gospel. That demonstrates his love to you. Take it for heaven's sake!”

    Does this “everything in heaven and earth” include the grace to believe? Does this gospel include the provision of Christ’s blood necessary for the forgiveness of sin? In other words, is this a bonafide, legitimate offer?

    What if the non-believer asked you “did Christ die for me?” What would you say?

    Grace,
    wingedfooted1

    By Anonymous wingedfooted1, at 9/20/2008 12:56 AM  

  • Hi Wingfooted1,

    Perhaps this will sound a bit strange, but believe it or not, John Calvin's writings do not have an official standing with doctrine that Reformed (Calvinist) confessional churches hold to, neither do Presbyterian theologians have official standing in Presbyterian churches.

    The summary of official doctrine that Presbyterians, of say the PCA, hold to as a summary of what is taught in Scripture, is the Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF) and the Larger and Shorter Westminster Catechisms.

    So, I will not defend or comment on what either John Calvin or Loraine Boettner wrote. If you want to cite Reformed doctrine, quote from the Westminster Confession or Catechisms (...or, if you are more familiar with the Heidelberg Catechism or the Belgic Confession, which have official standing in other Reformed denominations -- I'll consider it).

    First there is an assumption you stated about Reformed: Calvinism plainly teaches that the children of believers are “predestined to salvation”.

    Reformed are a diverse group. Where I come from (PCA), we don't believe that (again, if you think Reformed people do, show it from the WCF).

    So, Do you agree?

    No. There is a high degree of correlation that children of believers will become believers (and hence from our hindsight, they are elect). But it is not an absolute, ironclad, 100%, no exceptions whatsoever thing.

    I saw evidence of faith in my children when they were very very young. Thus, when they asked about hell, I could give them a strong assurance that God would keep them in the faith all there lives so that they would persevere and not go to hell. I could tell them all sorts of ways of how much God loves them.

    The question of a legitimate offer I find is usually a catch phrase from non-Reformed to Reformed. There is a pantheon of hidden assumptions in the word. Let's face it, non-Reformed people are not going to be convinced by almost anything I say. The offer of the gospel to all people is legitimate by the legal standards of the word in a court of law. If someone takes the offer, God is fully prepared to back up the offer.

    Now somehow I don't think you're convinced by that whatsoever. :o) I'm smiling, this is a friendly conversation, I'm okay with your disagreement.

    What if the non-believer asked you “did Christ die for me?” What would you say?

    I'd say, you tell me. Do you place your faith in Christ? Then certainly he did. If you don't place your faith in Christ, then why does this question matter to you?

    I assume we're talking about adults. I'm very up front about all this -- as much as they are interested in talking about it and asking questions. I found most atheists I talk to about this at work don't have a problem with it (and I wish they did). In fact, I find virtually all non-Christians I interact with don't have a problem with it -- including those who later become Christians.

    That's the mileage I get. Your mileage may vary. :o)

    By Blogger Earl, at 9/20/2008 2:58 AM  

  • ...and a follow-up.

    There is the classic view of the Reformation that I talked about in my first comment: the first part of Romans provides clear teaching that (didactic or teaching guides the less clear narrative content in the Bible that does not explicity state a teaching -- such as the curtain torn in two) tells us that all people fall under God's judgment because we are law breakers. Jesus Christ lived a perfect life (his active obedience) and took the punishment -- for those who believe. This is known in Reformational circles as the "double" imputation. Those who place their faith in Christ are instantly declared "not guilty" and also have Christ's obedient righteousness declared as their own. As Martin Luther said, Christians are simultaneously saints and sinners.

    This view has morphed into another concept that was not part of the original reformation. This is the view that Christ cancelled the law to everyone (believers and non-believers) with his death, so it is whatever you do with Christ. This is the sense that the second group of people say that Christ died for all.

    For those who hold to the Reformation view, such as Martin Luther, or the Swiss, English, Dutch, Scottish Reformers, (and the Baptist preacher Spurgeon), the sentence that Christ died for all is a non-sequitur.

    Do you see the two different views and how the question, "Did Christ die for everyone?" depends on the view of what happened at Christ's death -- the classic Reformation view, or the other view -- colors the whole discussion?

    By Blogger Earl, at 9/20/2008 3:37 AM  

  • ...you know how thoughts trigger thoughts and you roll on. Last comment. Even for those who hold the imputational view, there is a sense in which we will all affirm Christ died for all, 1 John 2:2 -- He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. As with the concept of calling, there are aspects that are universal, and aspects which are very specific.

    By Blogger Earl, at 9/20/2008 8:43 AM  

  • Wingfooted, in your comment you say "You said", as though you were quoting me directly. It would have been more accurate to say, "the fellow you quoted said".

    Nevertheless I have little more to add to the question Earl answered first. When most reformed people use the label "Calvinist" to describe themselves, they by no means imagine themselves to be followers of the teachings of John Calvin. John Calvin's writings regarding the doctrines of grace were used to denounce the Arminian heresy at Dordt only because he had articulated the reformed position so well. In other words, Calvin was a "Reformer", and what he articulated so well was that subset of reformed theology that pertains to soteriology (the doctrines of grace). When a person of a reformed theological persuasion accepts the label "Calvinist" for himself, or herself, that person is typically saying, I agree that Calvin's articulation of the gospel is correct".

    Thus, your question is not unlike asking what the color yellow smells like. I mean, sure there is such a thing as smell, and yes, there is such a thing as yellow - both are real and factual - they just don't go together that way. Likewise, since (roughly) 99.999% of all "Calvinists" are not followers of John Calvin, but are merely reformed in their soteriological theology, just as Calvin was. In other words, it is wrong to assume that because someone accepts the label in order to make it easy for others to identify their soteriology theology, it does not imply or infer that they believe everything that John Calvin wrote.

    Given that this is (I hope) obvious, now that I have stated it, I hope you will see how your question is founded upon a very wrong assumption, and how answering it according to the wrong assumption would be confusing for you, at best.

    As to your second question, again, Earl's answer is sufficient, but I too will answer in kind.

    The bible doesn't say that Jesus died for everyone. That is an inference made by one's theology.

    The bible does say that Jesus died for sinners - and I am quite comfortable presenting the gospel without inferences, and trusting that it is going to be just as effective as scripture.

    Thus if someone asked me point blank, "Did Jesus die for me?" I could answer without hesitation, that Jesus died to reconcile sinners to God, and that if that person was seeking to be saved from their sin by being reconciled to God, then they certainly qualify for the offer.

    Yet, to advocate your inference for a second, let's lay out a quick (and biased to my opinion) skit. Two people, a woman who is driven by emotion more than reason, ready to kill herself and who cares for noone because no one cares for her, let's call her Betty; the evangelist we will call Mike:

    Betty: I don't care about Jesus, what did he ever do for me?
    Mike: Jesus died for you!
    Betty: what?
    Mike: (cue the music), yes, Jesus really, really died for you, because he loved you soooo much.
    Betty: Really, he loved...(voice cracks) m-m-eee?
    Mike: Well, you and everyone else. Hell is full of all kinds of people Jesus loved.
    Betty: Um, you mean, Jesus loves me, and that doesn't do anything?
    Mike: No, no, his death paid for your sins already - there is nothing stopping you from being saved!
    Betty: saved from what?
    Mike: er, well, from sin's Penalty - hell!
    Betty: But you just said Jesus died for my sins already?
    Mike: Er, yeah, but, you are still going to go to hell if you don't believe.
    Betty: Like all those others for whom Christ died?
    Mike: They had the same offer I am giving you!
    Betty: They did? What about all the aboriginal cultures who never know about Jesus - he died for them too, but never gave them the opportunity to hear this gospel?
    Mike: Uh, let's not talk about the implications of my theology until after we get you in the gate. (smiles warmly)
    Betty: But you're telling me that Jesus not only died for people who are now in hell, but you are also telling me that Jesus paid for their sins too - the very thing you told me he was saving them from - that means he failed to be their savior, since he certainly didn't save them from their sins - or their sin's penalty.
    Mike: That wasn't his fault - they rejected him, that's why they went to hell.
    Betty: Isn't rejecting him a sin too? Is that a special sin?
    Mike: That's an unforgivable sin.
    Betty: Who is that a sin against?
    Mike: Jesus - if you reject Jesus you are sinning against Jesus.
    Betty: Didn't Jesus say that every sin committed against him would be forgiven?
    Mike: um, hey, yeah, but .. this is a sin agains the Holy Spirit, and that is unforgivable.
    Betty: So Jesus died for everyone in hell, after paying for their sins, and they are there not because of their sins, but because of their rejecting Jesus, even those millions who never heard of him - and these, in their ignorance are guilty of blaspheming the Holy Spirit by never hearing the gospel?
    Mike: Um, I think so, really, I haven't thought it all out yet, but the important thing is that Jesus died for YOU!
    Betty: Yeah, so what? I can still go to hell, so his death is pretty much useless right?
    Mike: No, its not useless, if he didn't die for you, you wouldn't have any chance to be saved.
    Betty: Those who don't hear the gospel never have any chance to be saved either, according to what you are telling me - and Jesus died for them too? His death is meaningless.
    Mike: Look, just picture Jesus dying all bloody on the cross - dying in your place...
    Betty: Pffft. C'mon, now I am supposed to feel sorry for Jesus? You're going to woo me into the kingdom by my feelings of empathy? Does that mean only the empathetic get saved?
    Mike: Forget it. Here's a tract. I will pray for you - not that my prayers will make a difference, since if God interfered at all, it makes him unfair...

    I am smiling of course, because I know my example is quite biased, and I offer it with good natured, over the top hyperbole.

    Here is how I offer the gospel, same Betty, but me this time:

    Betty: I don't care about Jesus, what did he ever do for me?
    Dan: He has given you the life you live, food each day, and even every breath you take. In fact, right now, Jesus, in keeping the universe in existence, for if he stopped doing so, you and I would cease to be. You are His creation, and you are loved by Him; He designed you, and his care for you is more intimate than any tender mother's care for her new born infant - and all this He has done even though your whole life you have spurned him.
    Betty: If that's true, why is there so much suffering in my life - and in the world?
    Dan: God didn't design the world to be a place of suffering. When He had finished making the world it was a paradise, with no suffering, and no separation from God. Yet Satan, one of God's angels, tempted Eve in the garden, and both she and Adam succumbed to that temptation and sinned. It was this same sin that separated men from God. The world of suffering you describe is a world that is suffering because it has been separated from God. That is what being without God looks like.
    Betty: So all my suffering, and all the suffering in the world is because it has been separated from God?
    Dan: Separated by sin, yes.
    Betty: So it's the devil's fault?
    Dan: No, sin can't be blamed on the one who tempts us. Eve blamed Satan, and Adam blamed Eve - but the truth is they both sinned. If I put a book in your house, you don't have to read it, and if you do, it isn't -because- I put it in your house, it is because you chose to read it. Providing you an opportunity to read it is my responsibility, but you reading it is yours. Thus Satan sinned in tempting Eve, but Eve sinned in giving into that temptation. Satan has his sin, and Eve has hers - and likewise Adam.
    Betty: So it was their sin that caused God to bring all this suffering upon the world??
    Dan: No, God is too holy to live in harmony with sin. When Adam sinned God had two choices, destroy all of creation on account of Adam and Eve's sin, or withdraw his living presence from creation. Prior to sin, Adam and Eve could see God and talk to Him in the Garden, but they were driven out of paradise, they no longer were in His presence.
    Betty: So it was Adam and Eve's fault? Why are we still paying for that?
    Dan: You are thinking of sin as something we do and not as a corruption. When Adam and Eve sinned, they corrupted all of creation. God is perfect, and anything less than perfect cannot be in harmony with God. That one little sin, corrupted everything - and this same corruption is with us today, and it continues to keep God's living presence away.
    Betty: But I thought you Christians believe that God is everywhere!
    Dan: God is omniscient and omnipresent, but not in a physical way, or at the very least, not in the same capacity he previously was here. Frankly that discussion is pretty deep, and we can get to that in a bit, but for now, just trust me that God is not here in body, but here in spirit.
    Betty: okay, so Jesus loves me, and gives me life and breath and sustains me moment to moment - if all that is true, why do say some people go to hell?
    Dan: I don't like to say it that way, "people go to hell" - I prefer to be more precise - people experience God's wrath.
    Betty: What is the difference?
    Dan: Well, do you recall the story of Noah's ark?
    Betty: Yes, God killed everyone but Noah and his family - and a bunch of animals.
    Dan: Try this: God poured his wrath out on everyone and every thing.
    Betty: but not on Noah.
    Dan: No, on Noah too. Noah was just in an ark at the time.
    Betty: Well, then God's wrath wasn't on Noah.
    Dan: Not so. God's wrath wasn't being poured out individually - it wasn't as if every living thing had its own flood. God' poured his wrath out on -all- living things equally - but had Noah prepare an ark for those who were willing to turn from their sin and embrace God.
    Betty: I am pretty sure that when the rain started coming down, there were people banging on the door of the ark ready to turn to God to be saved from his wrath.
    Dan: So am I, but they didn't want God, they just wanted to escape his wrath, and only after it had begun to come upon them. These same had been given decades to repent of their godlessness - to turn in faith to God, but they wanted nothing of God, even though God warned them through Noah that wrath was coming - even in spite of all this they chose to ignore God's plea for them.
    Betty: Well, if God didn't save them, then God didn't love them.
    Dan: If God didn't love them, He would never have fed them every day, and given them such a precious life knowing they would use it to curse him and reject him. God's love isn't premised upon our goodness - it is premised upon the fact that we are His creation.
    Betty: So okay, the flood was universal. What does that have to do with anything?
    Dan: God's wrath was universal, but those who took refuge in the ark passed through it.
    Betty: So what does that have to do with me?
    Dan: Because this was a picture of the wrath that has yet to come - that was a physical, wordly expression of God's wrath, but there is a spiritual wrath that is coming, what you would call hell, and just as it was in the days before Noah went into the ark - so it is today - except the ark is Christ, and the wrath is eternal.
    Betty: I don't understand.
    Dan: Just as Noah preached righteousness and repentance in His day, so I am telling you today, you are a sinner, and there is a reckoning for sin coming. Yet God has prepared an ark in the person of Jesus Christ - who came to earth, lived sinnlessly, and offered himself up to God as a sacrifice for sin, in order that anyone who was willing to be reconciled to God through faith in His promise that if they turn from their sin and embrace the Son in fatih, God would save them from their sin.
    Betty: God killed His own Son?
    Dan: His son was made guilty by the sins of those who were "in" Him on Calvary. There is a union that takes place when one turns to God in faith - and through that union by which sinners are joined to Christ - that spiritual marriage, if you will - the two become one, so that when God looked on Christ, He saw not only the sinless Lamb, but united to Him, every sinner who ever turned to God in faith - and their sin was real, and God poured his wrath out in full upon it. God was not "killing" Jesus, he was carrying out a very righrteous judgment against those sinners who were united with Christ - and Christ, being united with them died as well.
    Betty: Then what?
    Dan: Then in the same way that God's righteousness demanded that (even in spite of his Son's righteousness) he had to execute judgment against those sinners who were in Christ - yet in spite of their previous sinful lives, God's righteousness demanded that Christ could not stay dead because of His innocence - and in spite of the previous sin of those united to Christ God raised both Christ, and those who were united to Him up from the dead.
    Betty: You mean only those who were in Christ are raised from the dead?
    Dan: Only those who pass through judgment in Christ - the new Ark. These and only these are "atoned" for only these are raised from the dead in Christ - for it is their union with Christ by which they are raised. Thus those who are united with Christ in His baptism and death, are united in His resurrection - and no others.
    Betty: So God doesn't atone for everyone?
    Dan: No, atonement isn't like a paint you spray on, it means that you are no longer considered guilty, and the only way a man is considered "not guilty" is if he passes through judgment in Christ.
    Betty: So what's going to happen to me? Am I in Christ, can I be in Christ? How can I get into Christ?
    Dan: If you are a sinner, you qualify. It is very easy, God has promised to save everyone who turns to Him in faith. Do you think God is a liar?
    Betty: No.
    Dan: So if you turn to God and ask to be reconciled to Him in Christ and put your trust entirely in Him to save you, he will.
    Betty: Are you going to lead me in a prayer?
    Dan: No. I am going to tell you that if you are serious, and turn to God you will be saved from your sin by and through Christ. I suggest you go home and pray. It doesn't matter what you say, it matters that you are surrender yourself to the idea of being reconciled to God. You can't hold onto your sin and be reconciled to God - recall that Adam and Eve were separated from God because of their sin. If you want to be reconciled to God, you have to want God more than you want sin - and that requires you to get serious and honest with God. No one, in their flesh wants to be free from sin. We love sin. You need to turn to God and beg him to save you from that. He will, if you ask him, so ask him - even if you have no strength in yourself to mean it. If you find yourself being false - you must even turn to God and ask for the faith to do all this. It can be done in a moment, I suppose, but usually it comes through much prayer, tears, and soul searching.

    Anyway, that's pretty long winded. But you get the picture.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 9/21/2008 10:24 AM  

  • Blessings Earl,

    I appreciate you taking the time to respond to my questions. Honestly, while the “hidden secrets” of Reformed Theology cause my spirit to “shiver”, I do have empathy for your position.

    And I do apologize if I made an incorrect error in drawing a correlation between Reformed Theology and Calvinism. It’s just that from my personal experience, they seem to go hand in hand.

    In regards to my first question regarding the children of believers being “predestined to salvation”, you responded....No.

    That’s refreshing to hear and I agree. And there are biblical examples that prove it isn’t true. Sadly, Calvin taught it and thought it biblical. And of course, anyone who disagreed with him was either banished, imprisoned, or put to death. I personally don’t believe that Calvin was a saved man and I have biblical grounds for this as well, but sadly there are those in the Reformed camp who believe he was “an amazing man of God”.

    On a more personal note, I praise God that your children have come to accept Christ as their Saviour. I don’t want to see anyone end up in the lake of fire.

    As concerning the question “did Christ die for me?”... It seems you answered the question with a question. Your response suggested the affirmative if the individual accepts him as his Saviour, but the question is left hanging if he doesn’t.

    I appreciate you using 1 John 2:2...
    “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”

    I would like to add to that 1 John 4:10....
    “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

    Obviously, “our sins” would include not just believers, but the entire human race as 1 John 2:2 states. And this ties in perfectly with John 3:16 as well.

    As stated earlier, Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:2.....
    “Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.”

    This “every man’s conscience in the sight of God” would include both believers and non-believers, or the entire human race. We also read from Paul in 1 Corinthians 15: 3...
    “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures”.

    Please notice that Paul was telling them this while they were still Lost.

    When someone asks me, “Did Christ die for me?”, I respond... “Yes, Jesus carried your sins upon the cross. He is the atoning sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, this includes you. But until you put your faith in him, you do not receive the benefits of his death, namely ‘the remission of sins’. For our Saviour said ‘Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.’ So, if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

    I know this is considered by some (but not all) in Reformed-Land as heresy (not the verses themselves, but telling someone predestined to eternal torment that Christ died for them), but it is how the Holy Spirit has shown it to me.

    You then added... “As with the concept of calling, there are aspects that are universal, and aspects which are very specific.”

    Paul said in 1 Timothy 4:10.....
    “For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.”

    However, I believe you are referring to “the general call” and the “effectual call”. It is my understanding that this “effectual call” leads to “regeneration precedes faith”. If so, this opens another can of worms.

    Again, I appreciate your time and careful consideration.

    God bless.
    wingedfooted1

    By Anonymous wingedfooted1, at 9/21/2008 12:24 PM  

  • Blessings, Daniel.

    You stated.. “The bible doesn't say that Jesus died for everyone. That is an inference made by one's theology.”

    Obviously, I disagree. As in the discussion with Earl, 1 John 2:2 does say..
    “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”

    Paul said in Romans 5:6...
    “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.”

    So far, I haven’t approached or come across anyone who didn’t qualify as being “ungodly”. If the person I am witnessing to is considered by God as “ungodly”, then Paul tells me that Christ died for them, personally.

    Is there one biblical example of someone not saved that Christ died for? Yes, there is.

    Look at Luke 22:19-20....
    “And he (Jesus)took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, THIS IS MY BODY WHICH IS GIVEN FOR YOU: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in MY BLOOD, WHICH IS SHED FOR YOU.”

    Notice Jesus said this to “them”. Who were them? The 12 Apostles, of which Judas was one. The “you” in the verses above, is meant just as much for Judas as it was for Peter. The “you” was directed just as much to Judas, as it was to John. Jesus did not say...
    “This is my blood which is shed for you. Well, all of you except of Judas.”

    Our Lord and Saviour made no such distinction.

    Please look at John 11:51-52....
    “And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied THAT JESUS SHOULD DIE FOR THAT NATION; And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.”

    Now, we can deliberate on who “the children of God” might be, but of more interest is that Caiaphas, not speaking this on his own, said that Jesus should die for that nation. What nation would that be? The Jewish nation? If so, then why isn’t every Jew saved? Could he have meant the nation of Israel? Then why isn’t every Israelite saved?

    Of course there are verses where the writers of scriptures, speaking to a particular audience, would say “Christ died for us”, but this doesn’t logically imply “for us and no one else.” In fact, when reading the epistles, I can’t come across one single verse where Paul, or anyone else, stated that “Christ died only for the elect, and no one else.”

    Daniel, I have personally struggled with this issue. I wanted (and needed) to know if Christ died for all and that the free gift of salvation was available to all. I had always believed it to be so, but in the light of Reformed/Calvinistic doctrine, I could see why others might believe otherwise (as already stated, I do have empathy for your position). There was only one way I knew that I could be for sure on this issue, so I took it to the Lord. I knew man would lie to me, but that God never would. So I told him, “I need to know from you, did you die for everyone, period?” I told him I wasn’t going any further with him until I got an answer (granted, that was bold of me). I deserved to know the truth. His truth. Obviously, I was frustrated.

    I would say about a week or so went by when I believe, with all my heart, that the Lord came to me in a dream. I’ve only shared this with a few people so far, but the Lord has placed it on my heart to share it now.

    The dream started like this....

    I was sitting at the left corner of a large conference table, like one you would see in a work environment. The light was hanging down low over the table. I could see that others were sitting at the table, but due to the low lighting, I couldn’t see their faces. I could “feel” the presence of many, but I don’t know how many were there.

    About that time, I could see someone approaching the table dressed in pure white, with someone positioned on his left and right. He came and sat at the end of the table, or just to my left. It was Jesus. I can’t tell you what he looked like, I don’t remember, but I knew who it was.

    After giving what I would describe as a “state of the union” address, he opened up a Q&A session.

    He said “Are there any questions?”

    I raised my hand immediately.

    He look in my direction, addressed me by name, and said “yes?”

    I asked him “Did you die for everyone, or just for a select few?”

    Looking back at the others seated at the table he said “I died for everyone.” Then asked.... “Any other questions?”

    I raised my hand again.

    This time he continued to look at all who were sitting at the table and asked me “yes?”

    So I asked him, “and who can believe? Everyone?”

    Again, still staring at those in attendance he said “Yes. Everyone can believe.”

    I then said “Okay....that’s all I need to know.”

    While this happened to me a few years back, and now seems like a “distant dream”, I remember the details in “detail”. Praise God!

    So Daniel, I believe that scriptures do in fact teach that Christ died for all and that all can come to him in child-like faith. And now, I have a personal conviction from my Lord and Saviour that what the Holy Spirit has shown me is true.

    It is my hope and prayer that this testimony has been a blessing to you and all who read it.

    Saved by the blood of the Lamb,

    wingedfooted1

    By Anonymous wingedfooted1, at 9/21/2008 2:52 PM  

  • Hope your weekend was wonderful Rose.

    Wingfooted1, I am sorry that I do not have time to respond to all your text this evening. I really do have to get to bed early. Yet I have a few moments and would use them to direct your attention to the Lord's supper as it is recorded in John 13. There you will find that Judas left the table "immediately" after he received the sop from Christ. The other gospels do not mention when Judas leaves the table, but John does.

    That happened before the account you record from Luke 22:19-20, which means there were only the other eleven at the table then.

    Also, regarding your dream, I am pleased that it has given you some peace in the matter, though I myself must filter it through the lens of Ecclesiastes 5:2-3, "Do not be rash with your mouth, and let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. for God is in heaven, and you on earth; therefore let your words be few. For a dream comes through much activity, and a fool’s voice is known by his many words."

    It is a passage that reminds me that there are many people saying "God told me so in a dream" - and I take some comfort in the fact that scripture gives the layman some insight into why that is. How did old Scrooge speak of the ghost of his old business partner Marley?, He tried to dismiss him as, "...a slight disorder of the stomach ... You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese. There's more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!" - which is to say that scripture instructs me to regard your dream as the product, not of divine instruction, but resulting from an active day.

    I should like, if I have time, to show you how the phrase "the whole world" (1 John 2:2) is used, not only by John elsewhere in the epistle, and in his gospel - but also by Paul and perhaps others, as hyperbole, and examine whether it is required (or even fair) to insist on the level of precision you are deriving from the text of 1 John 2:2, I should then like to examine the same idea again in Romans 5:6 - and follow up (after making the case that your particular translations are, at best, suspect) and them examine other texts which are not suspect, and see if in doing so I am able to maintain what I believe.

    I say, I hope, because my time is not always great that way. It may be that I never pick it up - but I suspect Earl or Colin will be able to show the same things...

    Thanks again.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 9/21/2008 11:10 PM  

  • Hi Wingfooted1,

    Thanks for your thoughtful, gracious response.

    Concerning Calvinism vs. Reformed -- It all depends on how you define each category. Think of the categories of "pro-life," "anti-abortion," "anti-prochoice," and "anti-woman's rights." In one sense they all refer to the same people. But you'll notice the increasing hostile tone of each of the names of the category. Also notice the increasing distortion of position "pro-life" position.

    For me, that is the how "Reformed" and "Calvinism" are related. The term "Calvinism" was first used as a pejorative term for people of the Swiss and Dutch Reformation by those stridently against it (notably, the Roman Catholics in the areas, among others). There are a lot of people who hate the doctrines of grace associated with Reformed Theology -- and those people tend to refer to the Reformed people as Calvinists. Along with it, there is a general lumping of all sorts of supposed beliefs into the pigeon-hole of Calvinism -- much life the "pro-choice" groups lump all sorts of things into "pro-life" people and call them "anti-womans-rights".

    That is why I often distance myself from "Calvinism" and identify myself as being a convinced Reformed person -- and more specifically, being persuaded along "Confessional" Reformed lines. Like "Confessional Lutherans" who do not subscribe to all of what Luther said or wrote, but instead say they believe in the Bible alone and that the classic Lutheran confessions best summarize their understanding of what the Bible teaches, so I also hold to the Bible as the sole arbitrator of doctrine. I think that the Westminster Confession and Catechisms are good summaries and approximations of the teaching of Scripture. All confessions are fallible documents, written by humans. That is why these are subordinate to the Bible.

    So do Calvinism and Reformed go hand-in-hand? It depends on how you define each and what you personally associate for the beliefs in these categories. Most of the time when a non-Reformed person tells me what Calvinism is, it does not fit with my beliefs. In that case I am not a Calvinist and repudiate Calvinism. But I am one who thinks Reformed doctrines as spelled out in the Westminster Confession and Catechism are a good summary of doctrine taught by Scripture. If anyone wants to take me to task for that, I welcome that. Read those documents to find out what I really believe. They are not that long.

    Concerning dreams from God. I appreciate you sharing your dream. However, I regard all dreams outside of those given in Scripture to be on the same category that you regard the Westminster Confession of Faith or Calvin's Institutes. If I were to really regard your dream to be from God, we'd need to call Zondervan and tell them to add your dream to the canon of Scripture. The next edition of the Bible will have your dream right after Revelation -- or why not insert it into the Gospel of John? I don't mean to belittle your dream -- I've had dreams too that I felt were from God (I can even speak in tongues at the drop of a hat), but I recognize that what I say and think is subject to error, including my convictions that some thing is from God. It's only Scripture that counts.

    Concerning some of the theological concepts discussed. Did Christ die for all? Yes and no. It depends on the sense of the word. There is a universal sense and a particular sense that I see scripture using it. Many in Calvinism and in the Reformed side, as well as the other positions, want to flatten the discussion to an all or nothing, one and only one meaning, to all theological terms and concepts. I am not that kind of person. I hate the Calvinist TULIP for that reason. (Again, if you want to know what I think, read the WCF).

    When someone asks me, did Christ die for me, and I respond by asking why do you care? -- don't take it to mean I affirm the opposite in the same way that Christ died for someone who believes in him.

    Let me jump into an area that I've been mulling over for many years. I got a degree in Mathematics. Many mathematicians thought at the beginning of the twentieth century that mathematics could map out all the possible theorems from any finite set of axioms or premises. Then a mathematician showed this was impossible. You can either (1) have a logically consistent description of something that could not describe everything, or (2) you could logically prove everything, but you will have things you will prove both true and false. This demolished the thought that mathematics could describe and prove everything. In principle, it cannot.

    Theology has similar reasoning processes. There are things I will affirm, but I cannot answer all the statements, because there are things we cannot in principle know. The concepts of God's love have many aspects we cannot state in all the ways we wish we could. It would lead to contradictions. Sometimes "Calvinists" go too far in stating things, sometimes "non-Calvinists" go too far. We often go too far when we write volumenous works, such as Calvin, Wesly, Hodges. That is why I prefer simpler confessions as summaries.

    So did Christ die for all? In some ways yes -- because the Bible says so!! If we look at the various possible senses of that phrase, then no -- it was specifically for those who believe. Do I understand all the nuances of this? Certainly not. Sometimes I see why Christ answered people's questions with another question. Often, the issue is not specifically with the surface question, it was much deeper than that.

    The same goes for the senses of the word "called" used throughout the New Testament. Some of it applies to all, some to God's elect. Can I work out all the nuances of that? Not to my satisfaction.

    By Blogger Earl, at 9/21/2008 11:40 PM  

  • Daniel and Earl,

    I can appreciate your skepticism in regards to my dream/vision. Honestly, I wondered myself what I would have done or how I would have responded if Jesus had answered....

    “No. I died only for the elect.”

    I might not have liked the answer and even disregarded it, but I would have always known deep down what the answer really was.

    I also understand that sharing something like this might have “raised a few eyebrows”, but I know what was revealed to me and I am at complete peace with it.

    Grace and peace to you both.
    wingedfooted1

    By Anonymous wingedfooted1, at 9/22/2008 12:18 AM  

  • Daniel,

    Just another observation. You stated... “That happened before the account you record from Luke 22:19-20, which means there were only the other eleven at the table then.”

    I, too, recall to mind the episode from the gospel of John. But look again at Jesus’ words..

    Luke 22: 19-21....
    And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me." In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. BUT THE HAND OF HIM WHO IS GOING TO BETRAY ME IS WITH MINE ON THE TABLE.”

    It appears, at least in this context, that Judas was still present.

    Again, both grace and peace to you.
    wingedfooted1

    By Anonymous wingedfooted1, at 9/22/2008 12:52 AM  

  • Wingfooted1, Thanks for the correction. That will give me something to think about today.

    I too have had dreams that I believe were from the Lord, and I have shared them in public company. I have never had a dream where someone is Jesus and he teaches me doctrine however, nor could I ever, and I mean no disrespect, imagine such a dream as authentic, for obvious reasons.

    I thank you for your patient discourse.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 9/22/2008 8:16 AM  

  • Hi Lightfoot,

    I can appreciate your skepticism

    I had just taken a personality test where I scored as an INTJ and my wife and I read some of the description of an INTJ that said, "...they are suspicious of any statement that is based on shoddy research, or that is not checked against reality." She laughed, it nailed me. Then I read you response. I guess had to be there.

    but I know what was revealed to me and I am at complete peace with it.

    I see you fit well in the postmodern worldview. I don't. But I have no problem with what you choose to believe and how you arrive at it. Don't expect that to have any persuasiveness for me.

    Blessing to you,
    Earl

    By Blogger Earl, at 9/22/2008 8:27 AM  

  • Hi Wingfooted,

    Sorry for the mixup on your name. I guess I did a word association and came up with a name from the sixties... Gordon Lightfoot. What does that say about me? =8-0

    Sorry
    Earl

    By Blogger Earl, at 9/22/2008 11:22 AM  

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