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

Friday, September 04, 2009

Shades of Meaning?

Does anyone still click on this blog? :) Obviously, I have been taking a break. It has been nice.

I was looking at this passage Wednesday and by default it came up in the NIV. It seemed to say something - to give me an idea or a 'sense' of something that surprised me. I thought I would check it in the KJV. I don't get the same "sense" from the KJV as I do from the NIV with this passage. I checked other versions too, but I think the contrast was clearest between these two. I know I am being vague, but I just windered if anyone else reading these would see what I saw. Do you see a difference in the 'impression' of the meaning between these two versions? Just curious.

1 Thessalonians 1:4-10 (New King James Version)

4 knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God. 5 For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.
6 And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe. 8 For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place. Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything. 9 For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.
1 Thessalonians 1:4-10 (New International Version)

4For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. 6You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 7And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8The Lord's message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, 9for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.


  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Missy, at 9/04/2009 12:04 PM  

  • Hi Rose. Something that stands out to me is the difference in sense between being an "imitator" vs being a "follower".

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/04/2009 1:51 PM  

  • Hiya Rose, what's shakin'? The Phoenix arises from the ashes!!

    In re: 1 Thess 1:4-10, I would suspect that the "shade" (or maybe we could call it "shadow"?) on the KJV is the infelicitous "election" right off the bat?

    By Blogger agent4him, at 9/06/2009 12:04 AM  

  • Great insights so far.. the word "election" did catch my eye.. chosen seems to be a bit more direct.. but I really didn't see a huge difference in the translations. I will be interested in reading your thoughts on the differences.

    By Blogger Kansas Bob, at 9/06/2009 2:02 PM  

  • Election/Chosen caught my eye as well.

    I like to think that Jesus is the elect/chosen one of God.

    Great to see you posting again, Rose.

    By Blogger Bobby Grow, at 9/06/2009 8:16 PM  

  • Welcome back beloved Sister! ;-)

    Well, since I don’t read determinism into election I’ll be the odd man out on this one. I think both readings make God’s purpose clear for this Church in that they were to be a great witness. I think the most critical difference between the two translations is centered on verse 5 and the use of “assurance” in the NKJV vs. “deep conviction” in the NIV as well as the lack of conjunction with the last sentence in the NIV. In describing the manner in which the Word came to the Thessalonians both are similar up to this point but the NIV leaves the impression that the “deep conviction” was in and of itself while the NKJV indicates the “assurance” came from the manner in which the Apostles conducted themselves.

    By Blogger Kc, at 9/06/2009 9:28 PM  

  • OOPS! I forgot to ask for Email updates! ;-)

    By Blogger Kc, at 9/06/2009 9:29 PM  

  • The only determinism I see in the Bible is related to God's free determination to be who He is in Himself. So I don't think you're so odd, Kc ;-).

    And I'm glad you're back, Rose; it's like old times :-).

    By Blogger Bobby Grow, at 9/07/2009 1:11 AM  

  • Hi Bobby!

    I have to agree as well with KC on the determinism issue...and, of course, his welcome of our "Beloved Sister"---that you are indeed, Rose!

    By Blogger agent4him, at 9/07/2009 7:12 AM  

  • Missy, Missy, wherefore art thou, Missy? I got an email notification about a great comment you made and now I finally have come to tell you how you were barking up the tree I was in, and the comment is gone. :(

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/07/2009 11:04 AM  

  • Ipso,
    I like your name. :)

    Good observation - I think I like the word "follower" better. It has a connotation of more sincerity, I think, than "imitator".
    Thanks for the comment - have you ever commented here before?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/07/2009 11:06 AM  

  • A4H Jim,
    Hmmmm... to tell you the truth, for me, it doesn't matter so much what it is called, it is how the "concept" is explained. ^*^ (that is a Phoenix rising from the ashes) :)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/07/2009 11:09 AM  

  • KBob,
    Thanks for your thoughts. I agree - "chosen" does seem to be much more direct! :)

    Thanks so much for visiting. I appreciate your comment very much. All of it/them.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/07/2009 11:11 AM  

  • KC,
    Thanks for saying that.
    -and very interesting observation! I am going to read it again right now. :)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/07/2009 11:13 AM  

  • I don't read the NIV, never really have, not because I have anything against it, but I always use the NKJV or the NAS.

    When I first read that passage the other day in the NIV on Biblegateway vs. 4-5a really stuck out at me... It struck me that is was saying something like what Calvinists so often say. That Paul knew they were chosen because God made the gospel real to them. When Paul delivered the gospel to them, it was attended by the HS and with convincing power and therefore he knew they were chosen. And my mind filled in the blank -if they weren't convinced, then it was because they hadn't been chosen. This is what the first part of the passage seemed to be saying.

    I had never remembered getting that before, but it seemed to say that so clearly in the NIV. The NKJV had never seemed to be saying that in such a way.

    I don't know. Does anyone see what I am seeing?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/07/2009 11:49 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Welcome back. The wee break was good.

    I think it would be pretty erroneous to say that because someone doesn't receive the word of God that he is not chosen. Only time will tell. Very few receive the word of God savingly on the first occasion.

    Furthermore, filling in the blank depends where you want to put the most important emphasis. I think the emphasis should read as follows:

    And my mind filled in the blank -if they weren't convinced, then it was because they loved their sin’s darkness rather than God’s light and God left them to their own devices. If we abide by the basic maxim that Salvation is all of grace and damnation is all of sin then we cannot go wrong. Once we start tinkering with that, then truth becomes the first causality.


    By Blogger Colin Maxwell, at 9/07/2009 12:08 PM  

  • Sis I think God chooses us in Christ for a specific purpose and prepares each of us as necessary to accomplish it. He has a plan for our lives. In this example the way in which the Thessalonians received the Word served to prepare them for God’s purpose to be a great witness of Christ.

    (It’s great to see everyone here again!)

    By Blogger Kc, at 9/07/2009 12:22 PM  

  • What he [KC] said...

    With all due respect to Colin (and I "do respect" him), I believe it is too easy to "read in" salvific intent for passages that are not thus intended. I think you're on to something there, KC.

    By Blogger agent4him, at 9/07/2009 12:47 PM  

  • Sorry, Rose. I was under the influence of painkillers at the time. Maybe you shouldn't agree with me. :) You can repost what I wrote if you'd like.

    By Blogger Missy, at 9/07/2009 12:49 PM  

  • Hi Missy,

    Just thought you'd like to know that my local pastor is always much more "agreeable" when he's on painkillers.

    Better living through chemistry...

    (Disclaimer: The above was written by a retired physician who previously made a living off pushing drugs.)

    By Blogger agent4him, at 9/07/2009 1:02 PM  

  • Gosh, KC... thank you!!! Youa re right. I often find myself floating toward that - looking at passages and seeing the word "election" or "chosen" and then flaoting over to the idea of "elected to salvation" and forgetting the ground I have already covered exploring this issue. So many other pasages have brought me to this same area and I had landed right on what you are talking about. I think that heading - "what God has chosen us to do in Christ" much better fits what Paul is discussing.


    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/07/2009 1:27 PM  

  • Jim, you make me laugh. :)

    Rose, I do see what you see, especially the way the sentence is structured. However, I don't see chosen or elected as predetermined, as KC says. I do think that sometimes we share because we think we should, and sometimes it's the Spirit leading us to. God choses the time and place - not the person. I thought of this scripture as Paul aknowledging that this was the time and place for their election because the power of the words and actions he spoke and delivered were not his own.

    By Blogger Missy, at 9/07/2009 1:27 PM  

  • Hi Colin,
    It is nice to see you here. :)
    You all are such a blessing.
    I like what you said: "If we abide by the basic maxim that Salvation is all of grace and damnation is all of sin then we cannot go wrong."

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/07/2009 1:28 PM  

  • Jim,
    You are funny!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/07/2009 1:29 PM  

  • Thanks for coming back, Missy. :)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/07/2009 1:29 PM  

  • Not to get off topic, which I don't think this is; but here is a quote from a new friend, Dr Myk Habets on my favorite theologian's (T F. Torrance) understanding (and mine) on election and predestination:

    Torrance is adamant that election and predestination must be expounded in terms of christology for it has to do with the activity of God in Christ.14 As a direct consequence, it is to Christ and the salvation he purchased that one must look for the ground of election, not to some secret decree of God 'behind the back of Christ.'15 Torrance even subjects Calvin to criticism at this point for not holding strongly enough to the fact that Jesus Christ is the ground of election, not only the instrument and author of election.16 When Christ is seen as the object and subject of election then more deterministic conceptions of election are done away with. 'These then are the two sides of the Christian doctrine of predestination: that salvation of the believer goes back to an eternal decree of God, and yet that the act of election is in and through Christ.'17 It is Christ's election which forms the basis of a correct understanding of his person and work, something Torrance affirms is central to the history of Scottish theology and reflected supremely in the Scots Confession. In general agreement with Torrance is Fergusson who, when referring to the Scots Confession, considers it to root election in the person and work of Christ so that it 'produces a strikingly evangelical exposition of election.'18

    So Christ must be seen as the ground and 'person' of election/reprobation (in our stead). This overcomes notions of determinancy (which are not biblical but "Greek"). That's why I said what I said earlier, if not, if Christ (in His humanity for us) is not first seen as the "Chosen," (and as our total representative or vicarious Priest); then we will fall prey to views of election that "start with us" (like typical Classic Calvinism offers), but unfortunately end with us (trying to "know" if we are the elect who Christ died for).

    Anyway, I'm working through all of this, right now at my blog ("The Evangelical Calvinist").

    By Blogger Bobby Grow, at 9/07/2009 3:14 PM  

  • Good morning Rose/Bobby,

    Bobby: 'behind the back of Christ.

    I never come across this one in any of my reading of Calvinist theology. I always understood election to be in Christ - the Father entering into an agreement with the Son to redeem a lost people to Himself and the Son paying the ransom for their sins and bringing them safely, through the Holy Spirit, to glory with God.

    Has any Calvinistic teacher of note (BTW: none of whom are my final authority, but worth listening to) ever used this phrase or taught such a thing?


    By Blogger Colin Maxwell, at 9/08/2009 3:11 AM  

  • Morning Sis.

    Colin I’ve really missed you!

    I know Bobby can answer much better but I think he’s referring to an implication of any predestined salvation. If salvation were by grace through foreordination rather than by grace through faith then the elect become (became) so apart from Christ.

    By Blogger Kc, at 9/08/2009 9:17 AM  

  • Hey, Rose, you see what the "Phoenix" started here??

    KC, you certainly have a nose for the theological implications of the long-accepted tenets of systems like Calvinism (which, BTW, is hardly monolithic, as it varies, depending on the particular Calvinist---even under the same "name"). I certainly concur with your assessment, KC, and eagerly await Bobby's response. My take on Bobby's take on this is: If in fact Christ's election is the basis of our own "election" by God through our union with Christ, then we freely enter into that "election" when we unite with Christ by faith through grace. If that's what Bobby means when he talks about our union with Christ, then I'm all for it---regardless of whether T.F. Torrance is his favorite theologian.

    By Blogger agent4him, at 9/08/2009 10:44 AM  

  • Good morning Rose/Kc

    Missed you too Kc :o) We had some good enjoyable tussles last year, if I remember right!

    You write: If salvation were by grace through foreordination rather than by grace through faith then the elect become (became) so apart from Christ.

    Why introduce a "rather than" - why not have foreordained salvation by grace through faith in Christ? I am unaware of any Calvinist who teaches salvation by grace through foreordination, but without faith in Christ.

    However, always willing to be graciously corrected. Esp. by you, Kc :o)


    By Blogger Colin Maxwell, at 9/08/2009 10:59 AM  

  • Hi Sis.

    Doctor J you’re too kind. ;-)

    I’m closely following Bobby’s efforts and, as best I can understand, I’m at least 90% on board theologically so far even though I’m also 90% against appropriating the historical origin to Calvin! ;-) I still prefer the term "Christian” but I can see how being an “Evangelical Calvinist” would allow one to be hip and run with the kool kids. I love you Bobby! ;-)

    Colin I would not presume to correct you in any way. I consider you my teacher in both deed and character and only consider it an honor to speculate on these things with you. But ;-)…to answer your question I would refer back to the implication that if salvation were predestined then it was done so apart from Christ.

    Brother could I trouble you for an update (Email or otherwise) or a site that reports on how things have gone since the move?

    By Blogger Kc, at 9/08/2009 11:29 AM  

  • Hi Kc

    I really struggle to see how you think that God ordained the salvation of His people without Christ. The Bible does say, after all, that we were "chosen in Him [i.e. Christ] from the foundation of the world" (Ephesians 1:4)

    Being chosen to be saved is not the same as being saved, but it does lead to it.

    All the pretty boring details of my life are faithfully recorded on that great intellectual website called: "Twitter" Currently trading under the name of sowingtheseed you can follow all my efforts, weird, wonderful or otherwise humour, serious thoughts, cryptic crosswords, Ulster Scots &Confederate stuff etc., on:


    I would encourage you all to tweet


    By Blogger Colin Maxwell, at 9/08/2009 12:16 PM  

  • Hi Sis.

    Colin I don’t tweet but I had subscribed to your twitter on bloglines. The feeds haven’t been updating and I thought you had laid off posting there. At any rate thanks, I’ll catch up at the site.

    Ephesians 1:4 is one of the verses we had previously considered. You may recall my original response:

    ”With respect to Ephesians 1:4 I still find it critical to determine who “us in Christ” refers to in the text. I believe Paul made clear in his salutation that “the faithful in Christ Jesus” and “us in Christ” are one and the same. These are they who are to “be holy and without blame before him in love”. It is ”us in Christ”, past, present and future who are chosen to ”be holy and blameless before Him”. I find no scriptural evidence that there is any way, past present or future to be in Christ but by God’s grace through our faith.
    Can any man say he believed before or from birth? ;-)”


    On conclusion I think we were both satisfied with our positions so we may be unable to break any new ground here but I would be very interested in your critique on Bobby’s current posting at his Evangelical Calvinist blog.

    By Blogger Kc, at 9/08/2009 2:21 PM  

  • Rose, sorry but the link above was truncated. You can click here to get there.

    By Blogger Kc, at 9/08/2009 2:25 PM  

  • Kc,

    There is an awful lot to digest at Bobby's site and you want me to critique? :o)

    With all due respects to our friend Bobby, I'll stay in this current blog and see where it goes.

    I am happier defending than attacking (or critiquing)

    Regards to all,

    By Blogger Colin Maxwell, at 9/08/2009 2:55 PM  

  • Hello Rose/all.

    [i]follower[/i], impresses me as one who is, or is becoming, ideologically similar whereas [i]imitator[/i] impresses me as one becoming more of an exact duplicate. I believe the word translated follower/imitator is [i]Mimeomai[/i] from which we get [i]mimic[/i] so I'm leaning toward [i]imitator[/i] as being closer to the original intent.

    I'll admit that's not what I was hoping to find out when I initially looked into the language but I don't have a major problem with "imitator" since 1 Th 1:6 is post-salvific anyway.

    However, I am not a scholar -- I only play one on the Internet.

    As to posting here before. I'm sure I have but it's been a very long time. I recall I found your blog years ago when Googling for something on Calvinism.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/08/2009 3:12 PM  

  • Colin said:

    I never come across this one in any of my reading of Calvinist theology. . .

    Btw, hi Colin. Yeah, you're not going to because it serves as a critique on Federal Calvinist's Doctrine of God. I think it would require too much explanation to try and fill out here (so I'll refrain, unless you want me to try). Are you familiar with discussion that speaks about God's ontological or theological nature and His economic or evangelical nature?

    Colin said:

    Has any Calvinistic teacher of note (BTW: none of whom are my final authority, but worth listening to) ever used this phrase or taught such a thing?

    Certainly, in fact he's a Scot (he's with the Lord now, went in 2007), his name is T. F. Torrance; and he coined that phrase.

    Hope that helps!

    By Blogger Bobby Grow, at 9/09/2009 4:49 AM  

  • -->cont.

    Let me respond to both Kc and Jim together (hello, men),

    *Jim said:

    If in fact Christ's election is the basis of our own "election" by God through our union with Christ, then we freely enter into that "election" when we unite with Christ by faith through grace. . .

    Yeah, if I'm getting what you're saying, Jim; then I think we're on track. What I'm saying is that Christ is elect for us --- objectively so (in eternity, this is who He is in His "eternal Sonship" in relation to the Father by the Spirit); this comes to full expression in the Incarnation, our union with Him is 'objectively' realized in His "becoming" *us* (II Cor 5:21; Rom 8:3 etc.) which follows through the cross, the resurrection, and ascension. All of this "objective stuff" is only "subjectively" realized by *us* through faith (trust) in Him (created by the Spirit in Him).

    So there is an "order" here; Christ as the God-Man first (in fact as "image of God" [the one we were originally created in --- and now recreated in]), he "blazes the trail," so to speak. He is the "elect of God" (for us, so His "universal humanity" [i.e. all of ours] typifies what it means to be human through and through). His "trust" ('Father into thy hands I commit my spirit' . . . 'Not my will but thine'), His death, His resurrection is the vicarious point of contact that we are priviledged to share in. When we "trust" in Christ, when we trust the Father's Way of salvation; we "trust" out of Christ's trust by the Spirit.

    This is kind've what I'm getting at; make sense?

    We can talk about why some trust and others don't; but that's a different discussion all together (one that has been going on at my blog, in my second to most recent post).

    Vicarious is the word for the day :-).

    **Kc said:

    I still prefer the term "Christian” but I can see how being an “Evangelical Calvinist” would allow one to be hip and run with the kool kids. I love you Bobby! ;-)

    :-) I prefer *Christian* too, in fact when I talk to people in the "world," that's what I tell them --- that I'm a "Christian." But when talking amongst other Christians (in-house), as you know, there is such a range; I think certain identifying labels can be helpful (or hurtful ;-). I'd never heard the "label" Evangelical Calvinist until I came upon my new friend's essay where he uses that nomenclature . . . I've found it fitting to my own position, thought Calvinists should know there is much more to "their" heritage than its Westminster (now American) form; and thus think it is helpful for forging new ground in the "Calvinist" arena. There certainly is baggage with "Calvinist," but I see this as an opportunity to fill this language out in Christian and creative ways :-).

    Hey didn't you know, I'm the coolest kid on campus ;-) . . . if I wanted to be cool I would label myself as an Hipster-Barthian-Dialectical-Univeralist-with a Yoderain-twist --- but then I wouldn't be a Biblical Christian anymore ;-).

    **Jim said:

    ---regardless of whether T.F. Torrance is his favorite theologian.

    Hey ;-) (btw, I'm not a sacramentalist [only in qualified ways], nor do I follow paedo-baptism).

    There's some mud in your eye ;-) . . .

    Hi, Rose!

    By Blogger Bobby Grow, at 9/09/2009 4:50 AM  

  • Good morning Rose, Bobby and Obama (assuming that the latter finds time to read this site)

    Obama: Ease up, old boy, on the anti Bible stuff. Some of the right wingers are already calling you a Communist. The "You-heard-it-first-here Prophetic Brigade" are already sizing you up as the Last Great Antichrist and are getting ready for the Rapture. If they don't pay their utilitiy bills on the basis of this belief - then think what that could do for the American economy. You'll need more wall space to extend thon board that registers America's financial debt.

    And don't trust Gordon Brown, although you are well matched.

    Bobby: I am happy enough reading critiques of my position (hence I blog here on Rose's Reasonings and on the UoG site) and actually quite enjoy it. However, things (as ever) are busy here, so I can't start anything major. (Despite giving Obama a bit of advice in my opening paragraph) I must confess my ignorance re: the things that you wondered whether or not I had heard of them.

    I still fail to see how the WCF Calvinists advocate that God (I assume "the Father")pulled a fast one on God the Son in election. Since they were, are and ever shall be one in substance and in purpose.

    Here, why do supposedly 5 minute posts take at least 15?

    Rose: It is good to be blogging again. I thought the 2 month break (or thereabouts) was good too.


    By Blogger Colin Maxwell, at 9/09/2009 6:07 AM  

  • Colin,

    It's not that God the Father pulled a 'fast one' on the, Son; I'm not really saying that at all. There is probably way too much to try and develop here, I won't try right now.

    If you want you can follow my blog, we get into this stuff quite frequently there ;-).

    In Christ,


    By Blogger Bobby Grow, at 9/09/2009 3:11 PM  

  • Good morning Rose/Bobby:

    I based my comments, Bobby, on the "behind the back of Christ" comment from Torrance which sounded so strange indeed "sleekit" (Do you have that word in the States?) It was a strange phrase, as said, I had never heard of before.

    Anyway, keep her lit!


    By Blogger Colin Maxwell, at 9/10/2009 3:11 AM  

  • "Sleekit"

    Hey, watch your mouth; this is a nice Christian blog ;-).

    No, it's a rather pithy saying that captures a very meaty point. One that I won't try to explain, at the moment. It's pretty loaded, Colin.

    By Blogger Bobby Grow, at 9/10/2009 5:21 AM  

  • Hi Bobby,

    I wasn't accusing you of being sleekit ("God forbid!") but if some one is "sleekit" then they are sly i.e. do things behind another's back. Hence the thought that the Father would elect behind the Son's back sounded so very strange. Especially when your friend, according to your quote, attributed this belief to Calvinists.

    Anyway, maybe Rose and others will come back with her comments.

    Are you on the night shift or are these early morning (in America) posts a cry for help? :o)


    By Blogger Colin Maxwell, at 9/10/2009 5:38 AM  

  • Hi Rose, and all.

    As usual I agree with KC and agent4. I also like what Colin had to say:

    "If we abide by the basic maxim that Salvation is all of grace and damnation is all of sin then we cannot go wrong. Once we start tinkering with that, then truth becomes the first causality."

    I agree salvation is all of grace. I don't necessarly agree that "damnation is all of sin". I feel it would be more accurate if it was stated damnation is all of unbelief in the Christ.

    Have a blessed day.


    By Blogger Kris, at 9/10/2009 1:15 PM  

  • Hi Kris,

    Surely "unbelief in Christ" is a sin - is it not?


    By Blogger Colin Maxwell, at 9/10/2009 1:35 PM  

  • Colin,

    No. What this phrase by TFT is saying has nothing to do with the Father "electing" the Son behind his back. It has to do with a certain metaphysics (Thomism/Aristotelianism) imposed by Bezan or Scholastic Calvinism upon God. In effect it is to posit a God who becomes determined to be who He is by His "absolute decrees," so that the God we see in the decrees (in salvation history/time) does not have to be the same God in eternity . . . since His decrees are arbitrary determinations not necessarily related to who God is in His inner life from all eternity (sometimes this is called voluntarism).

    Okay, there is a brief sketch, which requires way more explanation; that's why I said I really don't want to try and do this here.

    By Blogger Bobby Grow, at 9/10/2009 2:18 PM  

  • Bobby,

    This is pretty deep stuff. I can't say that I find it at all appealing. It would be interesting to see what "proof texts" are used to develope it. It sounds very speculative to me.


    By Blogger Colin Maxwell, at 9/10/2009 2:46 PM  

  • Colin,

    prooftexts won't help. Deepness is irrelevant to its truthfulness or not. You're a Calvinist (me too, an Evangelical one), you have an interpretive history/heritage. There are implications that flow from that heritage, some measure up to scriptures standard; others don't.

    If you don't understand this, or if you haven't spent the time reading on your heritage; then how can any of this sound speculative? I don't understand this attitude. I don't understand why folks continue to want to talk about such things, and yet don't ever seem to spend the time researching such things. Don't spend the time reading books that help understand the development of doctrine and theology and biblical interpretation. I've been blogging for years now, and in some circles, folks continue to talk about the same things, constantly. Which demonstrates to me, while intentions are good, there is no real commitment to growing beyond the status quo. None of this has anything to do with "smarts," it all has to do with "motivation" and the "humility to learn."

    I comment, usually when I do because I work night shift; and Rose's time-stamps are not my "time-zone."

    By Blogger Bobby Grow, at 9/10/2009 4:13 PM  

  • Bobby,

    I accept that my ignorance on the matter is hardly the best platform to speak from, but I can't for the life of me think of anywhere in the Bible that tackles the issue at hand.

    As I wrote to Kc, I always stand to be corrected.


    By Blogger Colin Maxwell, at 9/10/2009 5:19 PM  

  • Colin,
    of course unbelief is sin, it is the only sin that results in damnation. That's my point. Perhaps I should have the sin of unbelief in the Christ leads to damnation. That would be clearer to those who stumble over the simplicity of God's salvation.

    By Blogger Kris, at 9/11/2009 12:41 AM  

  • Colin,

    Thing is, I can't think of anywhere in scripture where it limits Christ's atonement to the "elect." This certainly did not come from scripture, but instead from an informing interpretive system (commonly known as scholasticism) which of course speaks of particular people as "elect;" instead of Christ as the "elect one" for us.

    This is my point, but I don't think you're going to get it until you recognize that everything Federal Calvinism teaches doesn't come straight off of scripture.

    By Blogger Bobby Grow, at 9/11/2009 3:26 AM  

  • Good morning Rose/Kris

    Kris: I think we covered this point in the last few months here. I run with the view that all sin (i.e. unrepented of sin) leads to death (Romans 6:23)and not just the sin of unbelief.

    The simplicity of the way of salvation is surely captured in the opening part of the maxim stated i.e. that salvation is all of grace.


    By Blogger Colin Maxwell, at 9/11/2009 4:50 AM  

  • Bobby,

    I think we are moving ground here from one subject to another.

    There is plenty of room to argue from Scripture as to an atonement that actually atones and actually takes away sins and ensures the salvation of those atoned for. The alternative to this seems to be an atonement that (supposedly) takes away sins, but leaves some of those thus atoned for as guilty as ever.

    However, this is another subject.

    Currently getting ready for an overnight trip. A crowd of us are heading for a Hervest Fair in Donegal, in the wilds of the West of Ireland.


    By Blogger Colin Maxwell, at 9/11/2009 4:54 AM  

  • Colin,

    Yeah, we're getting off thread; this will be last (sorry Rose).

    I'll just say, the atonement serves as the source for life or death (II Cor. 2:12ff). The key is that Christ is the stumbling block, for unbelievers. If we followed limited atonement, it's not Christ who is the stumbling block; but the decree. And that is the difference between the Calvinism I'm following, and the one you are.

    I hope you have a blessed time at the Hervest Fair (assuming this is an evangelistic outreach).


    By Blogger Bobby Grow, at 9/11/2009 3:30 PM  

  • Hi Rose & Colin,

    this wil be my last comment because of time and we both know that our fundamental beliefs on propitiation will continue to lead to more disagreement.

    You statement below about all unrepentant sin leading to death(hell I assume) causes me to believe you do not believe in eternal security.

    Kris: I think we covered this point in the last few months here. I run with the view that all sin (i.e. unrepented of sin) leads to death (Romans 6:23)and not just the sin of unbelief.

    By Blogger Kris, at 9/11/2009 5:43 PM  

  • Hi Rose, Booby & Kris,

    We had a good time at the Evangelistic event. There were several thousand people visited the small village for their harvest fair. Five of us gave out a thousand 2010 calendars with Scripture verses on them. We had several good chats including one with a devout young RC girl who had come las tyear & been very argumentative. This year, she asked many questions.

    Bobby/Kris: Fair enough that you have said that your comments will be the last on this particular thread. With no desire to open it up again, yet I must (for the sake of the record) state:

    1) I believe that Christ is the stumbling block to sinners, as declared by Scripture. Those that reject the free offer of the gospel reject Christ and pay the awful price thereof for their rebellion.

    2) I do not believe that any man coming to Christ for salvation will be turned away - either before or after his conversion. If a sinner does not repent, then he dies impenitent and faces the wrath of a sin hating God (Romans 2:5) The sins of the saints are all cleansed away and remembered no more, he being justified from all things and no charges can be laid against him. I assumed that this basic tenet of my Reformed faith was generally known.


    By Blogger Colin Maxwell, at 9/14/2009 3:32 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I came across this helpful piece a few minutes ago. I still can't remember the HTML code for linking, so I hope that this mammothly long reference will work out. (I suggest copy and paste)



    By Blogger Colin Maxwell, at 9/26/2009 5:35 AM  

  • Thanks for visiting, Kris. :)
    Colin, thanks for the link. :)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/26/2009 7:31 PM  

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