LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Monday, June 11, 2007

Wondering About Repentance

I wish to dialogue with my Free Grace friends. You wish to use the Gospel of John, specifically, the Woman at the well passage, as the model and final authority on evangelistic messages. I say in doing so you neglect Jesus' commands of how He wants the gospel to be proclaimed.

Justification through Christ alone through faith alone is THE TRUTH. However, Jesus has given commandment how to get that message out-"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you... And He said to them, " Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned...Then He said to them, Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations...".

If your gospel presentation is not informed by the Great Commission, then are you not in sin, the sin of disobedience to Christ, as you are not following His commands of how to get the Gospel out?

Labels:

164 Comments:

Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Have any Free Grace advocates ever suggested that the 'Woman at the well' discourse provides a model for evangelism?

Given that our Lord commanded His disciples to teach all things that He taught them, are you saying that a Gospel presentation must contain every commandment that our Lord gave?

June 11, 2007 1:44 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Does this help?
Matthew 4:17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."

Seems to me that some of the teachings and examples of Jesus are directly related to evangelism such as this passage. Paul in Acts 17 is another example of repentance being part of a gospel presentation. To intentionally leave repentance out or consider it a "work" is to distort the gospel message.

June 11, 2007 2:28 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Did our Lord talk about the cross on that occasion, Wayne?

June 11, 2007 2:33 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Mark,

This is a little long, but I thought it might be a helpful contribution to the discussion. It's a post I put up at Expository Thoughts a few weeks back:

----------

FAITH AND REPENTANCE: THE INSEPARABLE LINK IN THE BOOK OF ACTS

The Bible teaches that faith and repentance are inseparably linked as two sides of the same “saving response” to the gospel. In the book of Acts—as elsewhere in the New Testament—sometimes only repentance is mentioned (2:38; 3:19; 5:31; 17:30; 26:20), and other times only faith is (4:4; 10:43; 13:48; 14:1; 16:31). But regardless of which is emphasized in a given passage, the presence of one implies the existence of the other, for a sinner cannot repent without believing, and he cannot believe without repenting.

This inseparable link is reflected in Acts 20:21 where the apostle Paul states that he testified “to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.” In the original Greek, “repentance” (metanoia) and “faith” (pistis) are connected by the conjunction “and” (kai), and the definite article precedes only the first noun. The use of only one article to govern both nouns indicates a unity between “repentance” and “faith.” As Greek grammarian Daniel Wallace explains:

"The evidence suggests that, in Luke’s usage, saving faith includes repentance. In those texts which speak simply of faith, a 'theological shorthand' seems to be employed: Luke envisions repentance as the inceptive act of which the entirety may be called [faith]. Thus, for Luke, conversion is not a two-step process, but one step, faith—but the kind of faith that includes repentance."

This inseparable link is also reflected in how conversions are portrayed in the book of Acts: Peter exhorts Cornelius and the Gentiles to “believe” (Acts 10:43), and later they are described as having come to “repentance” (Acts 11:18); while Paul exhorts the men of Athens to “repent” (Acts 17:30), and in response some of them are said to have “believed” (Acts 17:34).

What, then, must a sinner do to be saved? Repent and believe. Anything less falls short of a “saving response” to the Good News of Jesus Christ.

----------

Still praying for your dad, Mark. Blessings to you and your whole family.

Matt Waymeyer

June 11, 2007 3:17 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

for a sinner cannot repent without believing, and he cannot believe without repenting.

I agree with this.

Does Free Grace theology teach that a person can believe without repenting?

June 11, 2007 8:04 PM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

Hi Susan,

Yes, they do.

June 11, 2007 8:46 PM

 
Blogger Scribe said...

Do I hear the thunderous sound of battle formations? I am of the so-called "Lordship" persuasion... Mr. Weymeyer has rightly pointed out that Faith and Repentence are synergistic and essential components of saving faith.

June 11, 2007 9:08 PM

 
Anonymous danny said...

Hold on there Doug. There isn't unanimity in Free Grace Theology on the definition of repentance or the role of repentance in salvation.

Free Gracers like Charlie Bing, my pastor G. Michael Cocoris, and many others hold that repentance can simply mean a change of mind about your sin and need of a Savior. That is,when you realize you are a sinner in need of a Savior and believe in Jesus for eternal life, you have "changed your mind" about Christ. You didn't believe in Him. Now you believe in Him. The simple change of mind is implicit in faith in this view.

Zane and others hold to the view that repentance always refers to a change of mind followed by change in action, and therefore do not see it as a condition for eternal life.

Here is a study by my pastor G. Michael Cocoris defending the change your mind about Christ view.

http://www.cocoris.com/Topical%20Pages/Repentance%20PDF.pdf

June 12, 2007 12:51 AM

 
Anonymous danny said...

Wilkin used to hold to the change your mind view, but now he takes Zane's view.

June 12, 2007 12:55 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Mr. Waymeyer - Thank you so very much for your contribution! Thanks also for your prayers, kind sir.

Scribe - good to see you again!

June 12, 2007 6:19 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Matthew - I look at Matthew 11:28-30 as a good glimpse at the definition of repentance.

There Jesus said "come unto ME". It is Christ, not a creed or confession, or a promise, Christ Himself we come to for salvation. At that point we see that His Lordship is inseparable from the salvation experience as He demands that we "take [His] yoke upon [us]and to learn from Him" and only then will we find rest for our souls.

We must remember that the Father has conveyed us into His Son's kingdom (Col. 1:13). The kingdom is both now and not yet, meaning obedience to Christ now is every bit as essential as any point in the future.

Look at Acts 8:12-13, 36-38; Acts 9:10-22; 10:47-48 - In these verses we see people, coming out of their encounters with the gospel, eager for baptism, and receiving it.

I think of Lydia in Acts 16:14-15 who was immediately baptised and longed to be counted as faithful to the Lord. In that same chapter of Acts we see the Philipian jailor receiving baptism right away.

Repentance is the turning away from being led about by the spirit who now works in the children of disobedience and coming to Christ to learn from Him and obey Him.

In Acts 14:21 we see the gospel preached and disciples made, all at once.

Let's not forget that Mark 8:34-38 takes place in an evangelical setting... denying oneself and taking up the cross... all part of coming to Christ and not losing one's soul.

P.S. I work from 3-11 PM eastern. That is why I don't respond in the late afternoon through night.

June 12, 2007 6:52 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Does Free Grace theology teach that a person can believe without repenting?

Yes, they do.

So what's the point of that?
How is God glorified or pleased by belief without repentance?
I presume that the "point" for Free Grace is eternal life - in other words: self.

June 12, 2007 8:04 AM

 
Blogger jel said...

Morning All!


have a blessing of a day! :)

June 12, 2007 8:23 AM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Susan, so God does not save us purely by grace, but we have to glorify Him to show we deserve it?

June 12, 2007 8:48 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Matthew,
Not to show we deserve His grace, because we don't deserve it.
I think the focus should not be about us and what we receive or desire (eternal life), but instead squarely on God and pleasing Him - as our Creator.
We should walk most humbly before Him. To focus at all on ourselves in misplaced attention, I think.
I don't think the gospel message should be presented as what people will "get" by "accepting" Jesus, rather what they deserve (death as sinners) and to beg mercy of their holy Creator.
All this attention and focus on ourselves in the gospel presentation is feeding the flesh, and I think in no small part due to today's self-indulgent, greedy society. Then again, I suppose man's focus has always been that way - manifested differently through the ages.
Nonetheless, focusing on self is the opposite message of what Scripture says, I think.

June 12, 2007 9:19 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

If repentance simply means to change one's mind, then "repentance" is the wrong word for the english Bible. The far better word would have been "reconsider".

John the Baptist came preaching, "Reconsider for the Kingdom of God is at hand."

or.........
Matthew 4:17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Reconsider, for the kingdom of heaven is near."

the word reconsider does appear twice in the ESV and the NIV. If repentance means reconsider then we have an english Bible in great need of revision.

June 12, 2007 10:02 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a woman in desperate need of repentance and some Christian support:

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=37157802&postID=8862885827606742130

June 12, 2007 2:41 PM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

Hi Danny,

"Hold on there Doug."

Only if I can wear a cowboy hat and sing "Yippie Hi Yo Cow Patty" while I'm holding there.

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!! Okay maybe it wasn't that funny. Who am I kidding, I thought that was a good one!
********************************
Where I most certainly agree with what Danny wrote:
"There isn't unanimity in Free Grace Theology on the definition of repentance or the role of repentance in salvation."

You state two things here. 1) No unanimity in Free Grace Theology concerning the definition of repentance, and 2)the role of repentance in salvation. You are most certainly correct to point that out. As it stands for the movement in its totality, though, that isn't such a good thing.

next point of agreement:

"Free Gracers like Charlie Bing, my pastor G. Michael Cocoris, and many others hold that repentance can simply mean a change of mind about your sin and need of a Savior."

You are also correct to point that out. I would also add that, from my very own personal corrospondance, Charlie Bing is a great guy.

next point where there is no argument with what you say:

"Zane and others hold to the view that repentance always refers to a change of mind followed by change in action, and therefore do not see it as a condition for eternal life."

Well stated. I concur, that is what he holds to.

and lastly

"Wilkin used to hold to the change your mind view, but now he takes Zane's view."

Fully agreed. That is what he holds to. If I am not mistaken, his change in view occured shortly after his (was it 6 or 7 part) series on repentance.
*********************************

Points of debate:

The lack of doctrinal unity makes it virtually impossible to engage a thorough and concise evaluation. This does not solely apply to Free Grace theology, but to all systems where there is disagreement on a fundamental level. Although Protestantism certainly does has many "ism," in the area of evaluation or critique, this actually does have sanity to it. For example, a monergist is distinguished from a synergist...a Free will Baptist, although in line with say a Methodist regarding the permanance of salvation, is also distuingished from a Methodist in other important matters, just as a Pyres. is distinguished from a Reformed Baptist in other matters. Regarding Free Grace theology, though, one has two opposing ideas, as in this case, repentance, coming together under one banner. Another important debate coming under that one banner is whether the deity, death, and resurrection of Christ should take prominance in evangelism. There exists, at least as it stands now, two vastly different ends, as only one of the two positions can be correct.
******************************

In regards to your reply to my reply to Susan:

Susan is holding to a definition of repentance that is not as narrow as that supplied by Free Grace Theology. When she asks, "Does Free Grace theology teach that a person can believe without repenting?" she is asking from the perspective of a historically Reformed position. In that manner, my reply to her was correct.
**********************************
I have to go take my son to swim lessons now. When I return, I would like to offer a question or two concerning the two definitions of repentance that you have given.

June 12, 2007 5:17 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Susan
"I don't think the gospel message should be presented as what people will "get" by "accepting" Jesus, rather what they deserve (death as sinners) and to beg mercy of their holy Creator."

I think you would find that the Gospel of John does not share your emphasis. It rather emphasises the offer of eternal life on the condition of faith:

John 3
15 that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

16 ¶ For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John 4
13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:

14 but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

John 6
51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

John 11
25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

26 and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

27 She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.


I think you will agree that the emphasis here is on what the believing person will get, that is eternal life.

I would also refer you to Romans 4:3. The example of Abraham is an analogy to the faith of the Christian.

3 For what saith the Scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

What did Abraham believe? He believed in what he would get, that is God's promise to him. Likewise the believer is justified by believing God's promise of eternal life through Christ.

To imply that this is in any way selfish or man-centred is an unscriptural reasoning.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

June 13, 2007 3:50 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Matthew - Mark 11:34-38.

Last I looked there were FOUR gospels to inform our gospel presentation.

This is where the vast majority of christendom differs with FGT.

June 13, 2007 9:49 AM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Er, Mark, I am sorry, I cannot find those verses in my Bible.

June 13, 2007 10:19 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Matthew,
To imply that this is in any way selfish or man-centred is an unscriptural reasoning.
What about Scripture that asserts to deny yourself? To deny the flesh? To think of others as better than yourself? To die daily to self?
Do these not all speak to crucifying the flesh?
Rather than repeat all the relevant verses Jesus spoke here, my blog shares verses that balance what you shared from just one book of Scripture - John.
See here:
www.ourdailythread.blogspot.com
The post title:
Does Jesus teach Free Grace?

June 13, 2007 10:33 AM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

'What about Scripture that asserts to deny yourself? To deny the flesh? To think of others as better than yourself? To die daily to self?'

All good and worthy things, but nothing to do with conversion and saving faith.

June 13, 2007 10:35 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

I suppose that's why in Free Grace you can have Jesus as your Savior but not necessarily your Lord.

June 13, 2007 11:14 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

I wonder...

If dying to self, etc are "All good and worthy things,"

1. "worth" what? "worthy" to what end?

2. Does that mean Jesus being anything in addition to Savior is in the same category as "good and worthy"?

3. What then is being just the 'baseline' - in other words, simply "accepting" Jesus as Savior - is that something below "good and worthy"? Is it neutral? Could it possibly be bad or terrible to "just" accept Jesus as Savior and not repent, not die to self, nothing else but that? Or is simply "accepting" Jesus "good enough"?

June 13, 2007 12:09 PM

 
Anonymous John said...

Nark -- thx for a great time of fellowship last night. I trust that our time together will be used of the Lord to our mutual benefit; much as iron sharpens iron. Let me interject one thing about the "free grace" movement. Briefly stated, it is a false gospel and a false gospel can only and will only produce a false salvation. The reason why so many of this movement pound the hammer of this dangerous creed is because they don't have that living faith which produces fruit worthy of repentance. If they did the inner workings of the Spirit would testify to the fact that faith w/o works is dead and a dead faith does nothing to or for dead men. This is a plague, a birthchild of the devil which is intended to delude as many as will come that salvation is simply a nod of the head ratherthan a change of the heart.

June 13, 2007 12:46 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Matthew, that was supposed to be Mark 8:34-38, sorry.

Matthew, what you must remember is that your definition of faith did not come to the fore until some of the early church fathers dabled with it. Their influence died within a short time. Then there was Sandeman and one other, I can't remember his name, and soon their influence died out. Enter Zane Hodges and company. Again, a small insignificant group whose days are numbered.

No sir, your definition of faith as a passive persuasion did not exist when John wrote his gospel account at around 90 AD, which date is as according to most scholars.

Jesus clearly outlined that those who believe would be hated of all men John 15:16-25. Jesus taught also in John that true faith would be seen if love for the saints, John 13:34-35.

Remember that it is man who drew this unscriptural division between faith and its fruit.

June 13, 2007 1:20 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Hey John MacMillan! Thanks for your input.

June 13, 2007 1:37 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Matthew,
From the gospel of John, here's an interesting emphasis:
John 3:36
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

And from James:
“You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe -- and shudder!” (James 2:19).

Even the demons also have “eternal life” I suppose.

June 13, 2007 3:37 PM

 
Anonymous john said...

the word "believe" in the greek is pisteuo which comes from the word pistos which is faith. Saving belief therefore is not tied to the intellect which draws conclusions from fact and available evidence but on faith the substance of which is hope and things not seen.

To say that I believe because i made an intellectual assent is to rip the word from its true meaning. The marriage is with "belief and faith" not "belief and intellect".

June 13, 2007 10:17 PM

 
Blogger Scribe said...

Amen to that John!Perhaps some believe not in the perpiscuity of Holy Writ and seek to foist upon it their theological presuppositions...

June 13, 2007 10:52 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

John, you cannot hope for something unless you are intellecually persuaded is true.

You cannot make yourself believe something you know to be false.

If one is persuaded of a thing, one believes a thing.

June 14, 2007 8:58 AM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Susan

"From the gospel of John, here's an interesting emphasis:
John 3:36
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him."

Quite so, but you cannot argue from this that the negative side of deliverance from condemnation is more signficant than the positive provision of eternal life.

"And from James:
“You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe -- and shudder!” (James 2:19).

Even the demons also have “eternal life” I suppose."

Look at the context. The statement about demons is not James' words. He is quoting an imaginary objector.

18 ¶ Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.

19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?


The hypothetical man says that even the demons believe and tremble, but James gives his reply in verse 20 that faith without works is dead.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

June 14, 2007 9:03 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Quite so, but you cannot argue from this that the negative side of deliverance from condemnation is more signficant than the positive provision of eternal life.

That's not my argument.

What I see Scripture saying here is that (1) even the demons believe (James 2:19, cited above), (2) therefore, to "believe" alone is not enough, and (3) "to obey the Son" is necessary, according to God via John (3:36) to see life, otherwise "the wrath of God remains upon [whoever does not obey the Son]."

Obedience is therefore necessary.
That is my point - not negative vs positive and which is more significant.

June 14, 2007 9:34 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Re: James' imaginary objector, my translation shows that objector's words end in 2:18 with only seven words spoken by the imaginary person. The rest are James' words, including what is said about demons:
Jas 2:18 But someone will say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
Jas 2:19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe--and shudder!
Jas 2:20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?

June 14, 2007 9:38 AM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Susan, I should be cautitous about basing too much on a rhetorical statement that may not be spoken by an imaginary objector.

Even if this is James' words, it would not necessarilly prove the point you want to make.

You see an analogy cannot really be drawn between demons' faith and human faith. Our Lord did not shed His blood to save demons, so they cannot be saved anyway.

James is basically teaching that we need to do works.

But that he does so in itself proves that it is in fact possible that a person may have faith without works.

James does not say 'If you do not do works, you do not really have faith.'

He says a faith without works is dead.

Have you ever heard of a dead body that was never alive to begin with?

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

June 14, 2007 10:24 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Matthew,

My understanding is that when one is spiritually dead, they weren't spiritually alive to begin with and then became dead.

So to base your argument with respect to faith that one must be spiritually alive before being spiritually dead doesn't work, I think.

Jesus said You must be born again. Before one is born physically, one isn't alive. Likewise, spiritually, or Jesus wouldn't use the analogy "born again."

With respect to the analogy between humans' and demons' belief, I see that James himself makes it, so I don't see why you can't. If James writes:

"You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe--and shudder," the word "Even" here is the connection drawing a parallel (God's via James, not mine) between that of humans and demons.

His verse on "belief" immediately follows that of "faith" (see v. 18).

John's comment above makes the correct connection with belief and faith, based on the Greek root.

June 14, 2007 11:19 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

I'm not sure I stated that whole dead-alive thing very well, but here's another thought on the matter:
The Bible says we "were dead in our trespasses and sins."
That doesn't mean that prior to being "dead" in our sins, we were previously "alive" in them.
Make sense?
This is all speaking of the spiritual nature, of course. Being dead spiritually doesn't mean that we were alive spiritually prior to being dead.
And *that* is why Jesus said we need to be "born" again. Because we weren't "alive" spiritually prior to our spiritual births.

June 14, 2007 12:01 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Matthew said......
But that he does so in itself proves that it is in fact possible that a person may have faith without works.

No it doesn't.....
Matthew, go back to v. 14 and you will see that a "claimed faith" is what James is talking about. Not an actual faith. It is possible to have a "claimed faith" without works, but James is distingishing between a "claimed" faith and an "actual" faith.

Susan, good points. Didn't mean to interfer, but this jumped out at me.....

June 14, 2007 12:23 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Sorry all. My internet provider was out of commission up until just about an hour ago. They are having major problems.

Great conversation, all.

June 14, 2007 2:04 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died. (Romans 7:9 )

June 14, 2007 2:33 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Susan
Faith and belief are the same thing. I never said otherwise.

What would be your evidence that James is talking about a faith that is not real as opposed to a genuine faith.

It is arguable that the demons comment is not really James' words but an hypothetical quotation. However, even if it is James' words it is referring to a genuine, not a false belief.

The belief or faith of the demons is that God exists. That faith is genuine, they believe or trust that God is real. This is not a false faith.

It certainly is not a false faith, but a faith that God exists, even accompanied by good works will not get a person to heaven.

Just why do you think James' is referring to a faith that is not genuine?

June 14, 2007 3:01 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Wayne,
Please "interfere" all you like.
I need all the help I can get.
:-)

June 14, 2007 3:49 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Rose,
And your point in quoting this one particular verse would be....
what?
Paul is expounding in Romans 7:9 AND surrounding verses (for context - which is important) the ministry of the Law.
What is your point here?

June 14, 2007 3:55 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

What would be your evidence that James is talking about a faith that is not real as opposed to a genuine faith.

Matthew, this isn't the first time you've changed my words and/or point. When did I say James is talking about a faith not as real opposed to genuine faith?

If you reread my comments, you'll see that I said that simple "belief" (intellection assent that Jesus is Savior - not needing agreement that He is Lord or obeying Him) is not enough. See John 3:36, above.

June 14, 2007 3:58 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

The belief or faith of the demons is that God exists. That faith is genuine, they believe or trust that God is real. This is not a false faith.

They believe more than just "God exists," Matthew.

Luk 4:41 And demons also came out of many, crying, "You are the Son of God!" But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ.

Demons, too, acknowledge verbally that Jesus is the Son of God. "They knew that he was the Christ [Annointed One, Messiah, etc]."

June 14, 2007 3:59 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Susan, can a person be justified who has a sincere and genuine faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life on the merits of His death and resurrection, but whose faith is not accompanied by good works?

June 14, 2007 4:24 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

"They believe more than just "God exists," Matthew."

They do, but that is not the faith that is in the context here.

19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

The faith that is mentioned here is specifically monotheism.

"Demons, too, acknowledge verbally that Jesus is the Son of God. "They knew that he was the Christ [Annointed One, Messiah, etc]." "

Yes, and such a faith would not justify a man either.

Saving faith is trust in Christ for eternal life.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

June 14, 2007 4:27 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

And according to God via John, obedience to the Son of God (not just "trust in Christ for eternal life") is also necessary for saving faith unto said life, otherwise God's wrath remains upon a person. (3:36)

June 14, 2007 4:35 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

36 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.

Sorry, Susan, where do you get the bit about obediance?

June 14, 2007 4:37 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Susan, can a person be justified who has a sincere and genuine faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life on the merits of His death and resurrection, but whose faith is not accompanied by good works?

Matthew,
Define "justified" as you mean it, if you would please.

June 14, 2007 4:38 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Matthew,
ESV: "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. "

G544
ἀπειθέω
apeitheō
ap-i-theh'-o
From G545; to disbelieve (wilfully and perversely): - not believe, disobedient, obey not, unbelieving.

June 14, 2007 4:40 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I mean justified in the sense of being accounted righteous.

In the same sense of Romans 5:

1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

June 14, 2007 4:41 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Susan, I do not want to get into a debate about Bible versions, but I will say I have very little confidence in the ESV.

It is not as literal as the KJV or the NKJV.

The NIV (an even less literal translation) has:

36Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him."

'Rejects' would go more with the sense of disbelieve rather than disobey.

Seeing as disbelieve, rather than disobey is the opposite of believe, the KJV/ NKJV rendering seems a little more plausible.

June 14, 2007 4:46 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Since God-breathed Scriptures affirms that faith without works is dead, I don’t believe ‘dead’ faith is ‘saving’ faith. The following verse (James 2:21) also affirms that Abraham was ‘justified’ by ‘works.’

Saving faith brings forth works.

James 2:20 But wilt thou know, vain man, that faith without works is dead?
2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
2:22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

June 14, 2007 5:05 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Interesting comments about the ESV and KJV (NKJV). Our pastor reviewed various manuscripts of Scripture and how we came to have them during ‘Sunday School’ this past week. He outlined ‘dynamic equivalency’ versus ‘formal equivalency,’ and discussed how all manuscripts up until 1455 were handwritten copies of a copies. We reviewed various translations, from the Septuagint to the Vulgate, Textus Receptus (from which the KJV, written in 1611, was mostly translated), Codex Sinaiticus, Codex Vaticanus, Geneva Bible, KJV/NKJV, NIV (sometimes maligned as the New Ignorant Version, he added), and the NASU (which he prefers, but not exclusively).

Anyway, his overall point was that there is a KJV/NKJV controversy today (of which I was previously unaware, but may have inadvertently stumbled upon here?) – wherein adherents to the KJV insist that others are not as accurate. I find that interesting in light of various translations that have evolved over time due to the dynamic nature of language itself and the need (I would think) for a balance between dynamic and formal equivalencies.

But I digress…

Matthew, I've enjoyed our exchange very much. Thank you most sincerely.

June 14, 2007 5:06 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Justified can mean a number of things.

Perhaps you yourself implied this when you asked me what I meant by it.

If James means the same thing as Paul when he talks about justification, we have a clear contradiction between Paul and James, for Paul tells us that the believer (and Abraham) are justified by faith apart from works.

It can have the sense of being demonstrated before men, rather than God.

Furthermore, the salvation that James speaks of must be understood in the context of the rest of the epistle, which deals with deliverance from trials and temptations.

If saving faith always produces works, why does James not tell his readers to have faith in Christ?

The reason is that they are saved men and women (James 1:2, 18).

They have faith, they need works, that is why he tells them they need to do works.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

June 14, 2007 5:23 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Matthew,

John 3:36 KJV 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.

Even taking your KJV.......
This passage says "believeth not the son". That is different than believing in the son. The point is one must believe God, believe Jesus according to this passage. If one does not believe Jesus, the wrath of God remains on him.

If you believe the son, then you will endeavor to be obedient because He taught discipleship in many places.

June 14, 2007 5:28 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Jazzy,
Good point.
Likewise, Jesus told His own disciples to "make disciples" of all nations, not just 'believers' or 'those with faith' of all nations.

June 14, 2007 5:42 PM

 
Anonymous john said...

The fact of the matter is this -- the whole premise of the "free grace" teaching is heretical and, as stated before, a false gospel. We are admonished in Proverbs to not answer a fool according to his folly. Corinthians makes it plane that once we are converted we are new creatures in Christ. Salvation is not like a game of jeopardy; a stimulant for the mind. Contestants come away richer but not "new"

June 14, 2007 5:50 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Matthew,
Could a pastor speak to a group other saved pastors and talk about traits of false believers? Of course he could. Just because James may have been writing to believers does not mean he could not talk about characteristics of unbelievers and doctrinal points.

In James 2:14-26 he is talking about unbelievers and to my knowledge only FG advocates claim otherwise.

wayne

June 14, 2007 5:57 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Jazzycat, do unbelievers have faith?

James is talking about pesons who have faith but not works, a person who was unaqainted with your theological system would assume that these person really do have faith.

The logical conclusion ought to be that a person may have faith, yet not have works.

Because of your theological system you refuse to take the passage at face value.

John 3:36 KJV 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.

Believing not the Sonis here identified as the opposite of not believing ON the Son.

To intoduce elements of obediance is pure eisegesis. The text deals with believing or not believing.

But lets say that it does mean 'disobey.'

Does this mean if a person once disobeys a commandement of our Lord the wrath of God abides on him?

If a Christian once tells a lie or watches a pornographic movie, he has disobeyed the Lord and by your reasoning must be in an unforgiven state.

Or do you think our Lord is satisfied with an imperfect obediance?

June 15, 2007 4:55 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Matthew, why do you keep asking these same questions as the one above? You've read Grudem's systematic cover to cover and you have read Berkhof's twice through. Why, then, do you ask such questions? You know the "mindset" of Susan and Jazzy; you know that they believe that a person is justified as soon as they believe in Christ for salvation. So why do you insist on perverting their position by way of caracature? What you do does nothing to advance the discussion.

Further, all those translations that come to us as the work of many scholars, how many of them place the diatribe where the FGT position does? Isn't FGT alone in extending the diatribe as far as it does?

Futher still, Jazzy answered your question about the type of "faith" dicussed in James 2:14; it is the case of a person who merely "says" he has faith. That person exhibits no works.

The point of that whole passage is to warn mere professors of their fate. Abraham's saving faith, seen in Gen. 15 is on display in Gen. 22.(James 2:21-23).

June 15, 2007 7:17 AM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Mark

"So why do you insist on perverting their position by way of caracature? What you do does nothing to advance the discussion."

I am challenging to them to consistently defend their position.

"Further, all those translations that come to us as the work of many scholars, how many of them place the diatribe where the FGT position does? Isn't FGT alone in extending the diatribe as far as it does?"

The FG understanding of the diatribe fits neatly with the KJV rendering.

"Futher still, Jazzy answered your question about the type of "faith" dicussed in James 2:14; it is the case of a person who merely "says" he has faith."

Is that actually satisfactory, though?

Does the text really indicate that such a person has no faith?

James 2:20 But wilt thou know, vain man, that faith without works is dead?

Is it not reasonable to suppose that there actually is a possibility here of faith without works?

James does not say, 'Wilt thou know, vain man, that faith without works is not really faith at all?'

Again, if the person in question has no faith, why not tell him to have faith?

You may reply, that the fact he has no works shuows the falseness of his faith.

But I would ask, why does he need to consider his works at all?

Does the man not know whether or not he believes?

Is there a false kind of faith whereby a person can think that he truly believes and is justified, when he is truly going to hell?

June 15, 2007 9:12 AM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

James does not say, 'Wilt thou know, vain man, that faith without works is not really faith at all?'

Again, if the person in question has no faith, why not tell him to have faith?


That just makes too much sense.

June 15, 2007 9:27 AM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Hi Mark :~)

June 15, 2007 9:27 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Matthew said....
Is there a false kind of faith whereby a person can think that he truly believes and is justified, when he is truly going to hell?

Yes, see parable of sower.....
http://sweetjazzycat.blogspot.com/2006/07/parable-of-sower.html

and also James 2:14

Matthew also said............
Is it not reasonable to suppose that there actually is a possibility here of faith without works?

Nope, not reasonable at all since James asks the rhetorical question, "can such a faith save him?" If such a faith does save, then why ask this question?
James 2:14 (KJV) What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

I would say if a man has eternal life, it profits him a lot. It is illogical to think the man in question here is saved in view of what James says.....

The issue is not that works justify, but that justification will result in sanctification. It is a comparison of a "claimed dead unsaving professed faith" vs. an "actual saving faith" that produces some fruit. Salvation comes with POWER that changes a persons heart.

A person needs to consider his heart and attitude, not his works in assessing his situation.

Wayne

June 15, 2007 10:02 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Matthew,
Do you believe Strong's Greek dictionary exercises eisegesis in it's interpretation of the word "believe" in John 3:36?

ἀπειθέω
apeitheō
ap-i-theh'-o
From G545; to disbelieve (wilfully and perversely): - not believe, disobedient, obey not, unbelieving.

June 15, 2007 10:03 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Do proponents of the Free Grace theology tend to stick mostly if not uniquely to the KJV (and/or NKJV)? Does anyone know?

Or is it scattered widely across different translations in the Free Grace outlook? I'm presuming the latter, but Matthew's insistence on the KJV as being the "most literal" (hence 'truest' version) got me to wondering.

I'm really sincerely curious, since the "KJV controversy" was just introduced to me in Sunday School. I'd never heard of such a thing before. (Our pastor is reading James R. White's book about it, so he talked a bit about it.)

June 15, 2007 10:09 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"Mark

"So why do you insist on perverting their position by way of caracature? What you do does nothing to advance the discussion."

I am challenging to them to consistently defend their position.
======
How so?
=====

"Further, all those translations that come to us as the work of many scholars, how many of them place the diatribe where the FGT position does? Isn't FGT alone in extending the diatribe as far as it does?"

The FG understanding of the diatribe fits neatly with the KJV rendering."
======
I have my King James right in front of me. I do not see that what you say is true. I see the objector's voice ending at "I have works". IMO, the objector is content to shrug his shoulders and walk away from the discussion at this point only to have James fire back and pull him back with "shew me thy faith..." The objector could not do so, obviously.
======

"Futher still, Jazzy answered your question about the type of "faith" dicussed in James 2:14; it is the case of a person who merely "says" he has faith."

Is that actually satisfactory, though?

Does the text really indicate that such a person has no faith?"
====
Yes. That is so in verse 14 "if a man says". Even a soft Free Grace teacher, Charles Ryrie, is closer to my position on this passage than he is to yours, though I do not have his study bible here, I urge you to look at his notes on 2:14-26. I've seen his notes while looking at them at the book store. Even MacArthur's extension of the diatribe is longer than Ryrie's, if memory serves me right.
=========

"James 2:20 But wilt thou know, vain man, that faith without works is dead?

Is it not reasonable to suppose that there actually is a possibility here of faith without works?"
====
No, As even Ryrie would answer as I have.
======

"James does not say, 'Wilt thou know, vain man, that faith without works is not really faith at all?'"
=====
Matthew, the very context does that. See 15-17. You send somebody away with warm wishes and not meeting their needs, what good is that. So a faith without works, merely words, is dead. Useless. See Scofield's notes at the beginning of James. "religion... as the expression and proof of faith... but faith as producing works" in his referance bible, page 1306.
=====

"Again, if the person in question has no faith, why not tell him to have faith?

You may reply, that the fact he has no works shuows the falseness of his faith.

But I would ask, why does he need to consider his works at all?

Does the man not know whether or not he believes?"
========
He is merely a professor, and James is challenging him and all others who hold to his notion. Even DTS professor Meril F. Unger agrees with this. See his hand book, pages 788-789. Hodges and TGES is all alone here.
======

"Is there a false kind of faith whereby a person can think that he truly believes and is justified, when he is truly going to hell?"
======
I believe that, in the end, they will be content to merely walk away, as those in John 6 or as Demas did.

June 15, 2007 10:20 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Looking into this a bit further, I dug out my Strong's Greek dictionary and I find it interesting that entries 543-545 all associate "disbelief" with "disobedience."
I wanted to find this reference: "From G545" from my earlier comments (extracted from e-sword).
Each of Strong's entries include a reference to "obey" connected with "belief."
That's interesting.
Also interesting is the Greek word from whence these are taken. The root appears to be where we get our word "apathy": apeitheia, apeitheo, apeithes.
The reason I say it's interesting is that our word "apathy" in English doesn't have the same meaning (although similar) as the Greek word for "believe/obey." Of course, we all know that languages are fluid and evolve over time, but that seems to me to present a good case for a blend of dynamic and formal equivalencies, along with a tenacious attitude of the reader to dig deeply in several sources and not just one.

June 15, 2007 10:20 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

I think red flags should go up when one society, and its works, are all one is content to view the world through. GES is one small sect. You would do well to expand your horizons. What you are doing is advancing their cause, a sectarian cause. This is dangerous.

June 15, 2007 10:51 AM

 
Anonymous john said...

Possibly someone on this board can enlighten me as to why you continue to address the preachers of this false gospel. It is obvious to any "common man" reading the "common Word" that their understanding of the James Passage (or any other Scriptural passage)is not the "common", obvious interpretation. A newly reborn Christian picking up the Word of God and reading the James passage for the first time would understand it in its historical and popular meaning. No fruit. No faith. No salvation. As stated earlier, Paul in his letter to the Corinthians makes it clear. If yu are truly born from above (which is the true greek rendering of John 3) you have become a "new creature". The very first evidence of saving faith is that the believer has taken on the nature of Christ and must (to some degree) begin to show the fruits of this new nature. Mark why to do you give the false preachers of this dangerous doctrine a platform to preach from?

June 15, 2007 12:10 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

John,
You raise good points.
Although I can't speak for Mark, don't you yourself think it valuable to combat heresy?
In other words, there are some readers of blogs who don't know what Free Grace is or where it errs. Many may not comment, but can read where error lies (and likewise Truth) by the discussion.
A little over a year ago, I hadn't heard of reformed theology, and as I read blogs, I started to read what reformed theology is and likewise read a few Free Grace blogs to think about both.
It was the discussion in the comments section of a blog (doulogos) between a Free Grace adherent and the blog host that led me to look further into reformed theology, because the host made such good points that resonated with Scripture.
It was the discussions that ensued in the comments sections from which I learned much.
Just a thought.

June 15, 2007 12:31 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Incidentally, I was a regular church-goer for six or so years prior to discovering these blog discussions.
Never have I heard such things discussed in the church I attended then, nor known that what I was being taught was "free grace" theology - or even known there was something else if not for reformed blogs.
And if there weren't on-line discussions about how folks view these Scriptures differently, I never would have known there were different views on the same verses and how to consider them for myself.
I now - ever so thankfully - attend a church that preaches reformed theology. What a difference!
But it sure took some searching.
Knowing the differences makes me view the state of the church today - in the US at least - most sadly. No wonder we have so many "Sunday Christians." They see no need to repent or do anything but "accept Jesus."

June 15, 2007 12:49 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Susan - RIGHT-ON!!!

BTW, John is my closest and best friend at church. Oddly, we first met at an Arminian church.

June 15, 2007 12:59 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

John, if you think your interpretation of James is correct, why not defend it instead of simply dismissing those who take a different interpetation as preachers of a false gospel?



Or maybe we should just consult the Council of Trent and see how we are supposed to interpret the Bible. :)

June 15, 2007 1:56 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Jazzycat-

Yes, the parable of the sower:

4 ¶ And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable:

5 A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.

6 And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.

7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.

8 And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit a hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

9 ¶ And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?

10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables;
that seeing they might not see,
and hearing they might not understand.


11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

12 Those by the wayside are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.

13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.

15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

Notice that the devil steals the word 'lest they believe and be saved'. Those that believe are saved. Those that believe temporarily are saved, as surely as those that perservere.

"Nope, not reasonable at all since James asks the rhetorical question, "can such a faith save him?" If such a faith does save, then why ask this question?
James 2:14 (KJV) What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?"

If the man has a faith that does not save him, he has faith. The man says he has faith because he has it. To argue that the mention of the claim of faith negates the reality of it is illogical and ignores the context.

"I would say if a man has eternal life, it profits him a lot. It is illogical to think the man in question here is saved in view of what James says..... "

Eternal life is not the subject of James' epistle. The readers of James are brethren who are born-again and already posess eternal life.

However, they need salvation from trials and temptaions and the possibility of temporal judgment.

James 5
19 ¶ Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;

20 let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

Here we have the example of a person who posesses eternal life who needs saving. This person is one of the brethren and therefore redeemed, but he is in error and sin and in danger of temporal judgment.

"The issue is not that works justify, but that justification will result in sanctification."

Are you sure about that, Wayne?

James certainly says that works justify:

24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?

"A person needs to consider his heart and attitude, not his works in assessing his situation."

Again, that is not what James says. James tells us clearly that we do need to consider works. James is not talking about attitudes, he is talking about works.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

June 15, 2007 2:13 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Susan,
I think you are referring to the discussion between myself and Daniel on Doulogos ... as I have seen you refer to that several times as having been helpful to you. I am glad that it was helpful to you, Susan :~).
BTW, I hope that you are feeling a great sense of God's peace today. :~) I pray that for you.
It is kind of puzzling to me that you would refer to that discussion as a "discussion ... between a Free Grace adherent and the blog host" since ...

1)It wasn't about Free Grace or Lordship Salvation at all, but rather a discussion about election and predestination ... which I am sure John, yourself and Mark, the host of this blog, would agree ... many sincere Christians have disagreed about over the years, and

2) I have never claimed the label "Free-Grace adherent" for myself.

John,
Isn't it profitable to discuss theology with those with whom you might disagree? Also - if you see aspects of the gospel differently does that make those who see it differently than you purveyors of a false gospel? I am not saying "why can't we all just get along" nor am I encouraging compromise on those things we hold to be important and true ... but I am saying dialogue about the Bible between those who hold to the authority of Scripture is always a good thing. Those whom you say are "preachers of this false gospel" also believe that salvation is by Grace through faith, they just see the role of works differently than you do.

The real enemies are the religious liberals. We shouldn't think of eachother as enemies in the church, but challenge and respect one another. Even if we tend to think of another Christian as an enemy, we should pray for them at least. Talking to one another about James 2 or John 6 or any given passage of the Bible is not bad, but good. I hope you can see that Mark is not wrong in allowing this. It helps all of us to grow.

June 15, 2007 2:13 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Susan

Look at your own quotation:

ἀπειθέω
apeitheō
ap-i-theh'-o
From G545; to disbelieve (wilfully and perversely): - not believe, disobedient, obey not, unbelieving.

Disobedient and 'obey not' are listed as possible meanings, but so are not believe and unbelieving.

Given that the contrast is with believe, do you not think that the translation of 'disbelieve' or believe not' fits better in the context?

June 15, 2007 2:15 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Susan, Zane Hodges and Bob Wilkin favour the NKJV.

I prefer the KJV.

June 15, 2007 2:17 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Mark

18 ¶ Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.

19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

The Free Grace interpretation would put James response to the hypothetical objector where the KJV places the 'but'.

There is a continous flow of discourse that is terminated by James response- 'Wilt thou know o vain man, that faith without works is dead?'

"Yes. That is so in verse 14 "if a man says"."

Yes, the man says. So does he have it or not?

Well, James does not deny the man has faith, he rather says that such a faith will not save him (so there is a faith, though it is clearly deficent in some way). This faith is a dead faith. But James says nothing to imply that the faith is non-existent.

"Matthew, the very context does that. See 15-17. You send somebody away with warm wishes and not meeting their needs, what good is that. So a faith without works, merely words, is dead. Useless."

Again, a useless faith is not the same as a non-existent faith.

A broken down car is very different from a non-existent car or a model car.

A dead cat is a dead cat. It is not a fictional cat or a picture of a cat.

"He is merely a professor, and James is challenging him and all others who hold to his notion."

Mark, up to this point, the epsitle of James has been giving advice to believers. What is your evidence that the author suddenly changes subject and starts challenging false professors?

How exactly does this new theme fit into the rest of the epistle?

June 15, 2007 2:29 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Mark, why is Free Grace theology sectarian and Reformed theology not sectarian?

After not all Christians believe in Reformed theology. Why is Reformed theology not sectarian?

June 15, 2007 2:31 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Disobedient and 'obey not' are listed as possible meanings, but so are not believe and unbelieving.

I don't see them as "possible meanings," rather "all meanings" for this word. IOW, they are all connected.

Given that the contrast is with believe, do you not think that the translation of 'disbelieve' or believe not' fits better in the context?

What you say makes sense, but I wouldn't say "fits better." They all fit well to me, because I see a connection between believe and obey. Why list 'obey' in this Greek dictionary among the meanings if it weren't part of 'belief' here?

It's interesting that the first part of that verse (John 3:36) employs the word πιστεύω
pisteuō
pist-yoo'-o
From G4102; to have faith (in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing), that is, credit; by implication to entrust (especially one’s spiritual well being to Christ): - believe (-r), commit (to trust), put in trust with.

Whereas the second part employs ἀπειθέω
apeitheō
ap-i-theh'-o
From G545; to disbelieve (wilfully and perversely): - not believe, disobedient, obey not, unbelieving.

I think that makes a connection between belief/faith (pistis) and obedience that is necessary, not optional.

June 15, 2007 3:29 PM

 
Anonymous john said...

John,
Isn't it profitable to discuss theology with those with whom you might disagree? Also - if you see aspects of the gospel differently does that make those who see it differently than you purveyors of a false gospel? I am not saying "why can't we all just get along" nor am I encouraging compromise on those things we hold to be important and true ... but I am saying dialogue about the Bible between those who hold to the authority of Scripture is always a good thing. Those whom you say are "preachers of this false gospel" also believe that salvation is by Grace through faith, they just see the role of works differently than you do.

The real enemies are the religious liberals. We shouldn't think of eachother as enemies in the church, but challenge and respect one another. Even if we tend to think of another Christian as an enemy, we should pray for them at least. Talking to one another about James 2 or John 6 or any given passage of the Bible is not bad, but good. I hope you can see that Mark is not wrong in allowing this. It helps all of us to grow.


Hello Rose: There is a difference between encouraging open debate and dialogue over secondary points of doctrine (the millenium question, legalism vs. license, etc.) and the primary point of Christianity which is the first and vital point of "how do I become one". If a person peddles a message that says, at its core, all one must do is make a mental, intellectual assent to the messiahship of Christ and "presto-chango" you are a Christian -- that is a false notion at the primary, essential level. There will be many who hinge their hopes for glory on an intellectual twinge but will in that day hear---"I never knew you, dfepart from me ..." The presentation of a false Gospel is never open to debate rather the Lord admonishes that if they will not receive you, shake the dust from your feet.

June 15, 2007 3:47 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Rose,
It is kind of puzzling to me that you would refer to that discussion as a "discussion ... between a Free Grace adherent and the blog host" since ...

1)It wasn't about Free Grace or Lordship Salvation at all, but rather a discussion about election and predestination ... which I am sure John, yourself and Mark, the host of this blog, would agree ... many sincere Christians have disagreed about over the years, and

2) I have never claimed the label "Free-Grace adherent" for myself.


Please allow me to help clear the puzzlement.

(1) What you call “Lordship Salvation” and I’ll call Calvinism or Reformed theology was indeed discussed, even if those very words weren’t used. Election and predestination are
the underpinnings of reformed theology (along with other doctrinal points, of course). Daniel’s blog is reformed. Yours is not. You were debating points of Reformed theology and opposing views in your comments about election and predestination.

... many sincere Christians have disagreed about over the years,

The sincerity of the Christians is irrelevant. Hitler was a sincere Christian, as were the leaders and soldiers of the Crusades.

You’re probably saying to yourself, “Well, of course, those people weren’t ‘real’ Christians.” If so, then perhaps you can apply that same logic to people who likewise hold error to be Truth. Their sincerity isn’t the issue.

(2) I have never claimed the label "Free-Grace adherent" for myself.

I am well aware that the only label you'll identify yourself as is "non-Calvinist" --
positioning yourself against something rather than for something.

If you chose not to identify yourself with a label, as if that’s something bad, what you profess describes the theological system you hold to – and from what I can see, that’s Free Grace. Much of what you espouse in your writing suggests to me that the Free Grace is the system you're closest to, even if you choose to be non-committal or eschew labels entirely.

“A rose by any other name...”
;-)

June 15, 2007 4:18 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

So, Susan, are you saying that non-Reformed evangelicals or fundamentalists are not really Christians? What is this error that the non-Reformed hold to that will keep them from the Lord? What do Matthew and I have in common with Hitler?

June 15, 2007 5:21 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Rose,

I was hoping you wouldn't think that I'm comparing you or anyone here to Hitler. Far from it!

The point has to do with sincerity, which is what your comment stated:

many sincere Christians have disagreed about over the years,

as if the sincerity of the adherents has something to do with the doctrine or discussion.

are you saying that non-Reformed evangelicals or fundamentalists are not really Christians?

I can't answer that question. only the Lord can. I don't doubt that some Arminians, Catholics, and other non-Reformed believers are "saved," but that doesn't make their theological systems to be true. Error is still error and very dangerous, which is what I believe John was warning against - the danger of teaching and spreading error.

I agree with him on that, if that's what he was suggesting.

What is this error that the non-Reformed hold to that will keep them from the Lord?

Too many to list here. And certainly I have no exclusive list of them. No doubt you've seen what is identified as error in your surfing various Reformed and other Christian blogs.

June 15, 2007 5:34 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

---feeding baby break---

The sincerity of the Christians is irrelevant.

The word that was emphasized in my mind was "Christian" - by that I mean the born again of the Spirit kind, true believers, not the members of Christendom as in you're a Chrsitain because you live in the Western World. SO the rabbit trail about Hitler being sincere was immaterial to my point. Here is the point:

I am sure John, yourself and Mark, the host of this blog, would agree ... many born-again Christians have disagreed about [election and predestination] over the years.

June 15, 2007 5:42 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

I am sure John, yourself and Mark, the host of this blog, would agree ... many born-again Christians have disagreed about [election and predestination] over the years.

Certainly. But whether or not folks are born-again Christians in disagreement is irrelevant. Only the Truth is relevant.

And of course in our discussions we're trying to flesh that out here (terrible choice of words, "flesh" it out, but that's what came to mind :-).

I think your point (correct me if I'm wrong) is that since presumably we're all born-again Christians, then ... what? Actually, I guess I don't get your point.

My original point on which you commented that began this little side-track is: I think discussions in these comments sections such as this one and the one referred to back in Dec. 2006 at Doulogos, can be very enlightening and help to point people to Truth and away from error.

June 15, 2007 5:56 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

The whole point of my comment is that there have been disagreements about predestination and election etc. between REAL Christians for a long time in the church - there has been disagreements about the meanings of James 2 etc..

Some make it seem as thought this is all so self-evident that only those who are spiritual inferiors and don't care about truth would be other than Reformed ... why even discuss or consider what they say?. That kind of attitude.

That is unfortunate.

John asks why are you giving these people the time of day? Then Susan comes and says because we want to fight heresy.

Matthew doesn't need me to stick up for him, but ....
Matthew is studying for his doctorate in church history; he is going to be a missionary to Japan and has a heart for the Lord; he ernestly searches the Scriptures - this is obvious.

You all cheer each other on as you are rude to/about him. It sounds so proud and pompous.

I do not agree with much in Reformed theology (many of the finer points) but even in that, I consider them brothers and sisters in Christ. I can't say this for my Catholic family. There are things about Free Grace theology that I am working through and am not sure I am in agreement with. There are some things I am certain I do not agree with. You deride me for not taking a label. If I feel commfortable with one of these specific labels, I will.

For now just think of me as one for whom Christ died. In your Reformed theology, that should mean a lot. ;~)

June 15, 2007 6:36 PM

 
Anonymous danny said...

John,

Before you quote Matthew 7:23, I suggest you read verse 22. What are these false prophets pointing to for Kingdom entrance? Do you see them mentioning anything about salvation by grace through faith? I don't.

Susan,

You wrote: "And according to God via John, obedience to the Son of God (not just 'trust in Christ for eternal life') is also necessary for saving faith unto said life, otherwise God's wrath remains upon a person. (3:36)"

You confirmed by your statement that "trust in Christ for eternal life" is not enough to be saved. You said obedience to the Son is "also necessary for saving faith unto said life." Notice you used the word "also." Sounds more Arminian than Calvinist to me.

Another thing, Solid Free Gracers won't use the word "accept Jesus." A person must believe in Jesus for eternal life. What is the disobedience of John 3:36? It is the ultimate disobedience - rejecting the free offer of eternal life, as Matthew has pointed out. Disbelieving the gospel is the ultimate disobedience. "To Him who does not work, but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness" (Romans 4:5).

As to the James 2 discussion, I'm sure many of you would actually agree that we are to save a genuine brother's "soul" in James 5:19-20. Now look back at James 1:18-25. Notice the connection between the law of liberty and the expression "save your soul." A person "saves his soul" by looking into the law of liberty and doing it.

Before James 2:14, James tells his readers that they will be judged by the law of liberty in 2:13. Judgment that begins now and continues to the Judgment Seat anyone? And then he uses the word "save" again in 2:14. 1:18-25 = 2:12-26. And if you agree that "saving the soul" is non-soteriological in 5:20, you should reconsider your position on 1:18-25 and 2:12-26.

June 15, 2007 6:43 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Rose,
I'm sorry if you feel that some of the attitudes behind the discussion here are less than charitable. There is much to be desired in such an impersonal medium as the computer and the virtual exchange of ideas around the world.
However, I don't think I've found anyone's attitudes toward Matthew disrespectful. If you'll look back, I think I sincerely thanked him for the exchange. I find him to be a very knowledgable and gracious debater. I may not be as learned as he, but he gives me great consideration in the exchange of ideas.
As I think others did here of his ideas. In face, that was the whole point of the post, I believe, to stimulate debate between the two sides. I know that can easily degrade to disrespect, but I haven't seen that here.
I doubt he found us as pompous as you do. I hope not anyway.
I certainly didn't see any of the reformed theologians (or wannabes) here "cheering each other on" as they "were rude to/about him."
I didn't find anyone here to be rude. I'm sorry if you did.
Otherwise, I think I said the same thing as you just did - that many of us consider those of other theologies to be brothers and sisters in Christ, but I thought we were agreeing to disagree respectfully here and perhaps all learn a little something in the process.
As for myself, I find this exchange helps me to dig deeper into Scripture, learn more about what I believe, learn where I may be in error, and help sharpen apologetic skills (as if I had any).

June 15, 2007 7:16 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Notice you used the word "also." Sounds more Arminian than Calvinist to me.

Danny,
Be careful that you don't employ the word "too." It could smack of "TOOLIP" and therefore suggest Calvinism in your theological approach.

:-)

June 15, 2007 7:18 PM

 
Blogger Antonio said...

Did Susan really say that saving faith includes "obedience to the Son of God"?

Do we not rightly condemn such a statement as blatant works-righteousness?

The only obedience necessary is to obey the command to believe in Jesus:

John 6:29
29 Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent."
NKJV

If any obedience other than the believing in Jesus is stipulated, then righteousness would be accounted as a debt and not grace. Of course I am thinking about Romans 4:4,5

4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.

5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness,
NKJV

We have it here from the horse's mouth. Obedience is a condition IN ADDITION to faith that brings eternal salvation.

The testimony of God stands in opposition to that statement.

Antonio

June 15, 2007 7:35 PM

 
Anonymous danny said...

Hi Susan. The way you worded your statement was the way an Arminian would word it. The Arminian unashamedly says that faith and obedience are both conditions to be saved. As a Calvinist, you should have said that obedience is not a condition, but a "fruit" of true faith. I know that's the idea you meant to convey, but the way you worded your statement was the way an Arminian would. But both systems end up in the same place - obey or go to hell.

Hey Antonio! Yes, Susan said that trusting Jesus for eternal life is not enough to be saved. She said obedience to Jesus is "also" a condition of eternal life.

Here's her statement again: "And according to God via John, obedience to the Son of God (not just 'trust in Christ for eternal life') is also necessary for saving faith unto said life, otherwise God's wrath remains upon a person. (3:36)"

June 15, 2007 7:55 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Gee, if I didn’t know better, I’d think you guys are being very pompous in the confidence you take in your positions or rude in your accusations of my being Arminian.
;-)
But I’ve seen enough mischaracterizations of Calvinism and Reformed theology over the past year or so in the blogosphere to know better. And what you write doesn’t phase me in the least.
Although the comments are voluminous, it may be worth your whiles to read the nitty-gritty of what I’ve said here.
In my quotation from the ESV (a widely recognized translation, about which folks can learn more here: http://www.esv.org/translation/philosophy), the word “obey” is used in John 3:36 (which Danny cited above). Likewise, the connection from Strong’s dictionary checking the Greek from that very verse with the word “belief” and “obey” has already been explained.
With respect to Antonio’s “we have it here from the horse’s mouth! Obedience is a condition IN ADDITION…” assertion, ya got me Antonio! Now the whole Calvinist system will crumble since you’ve surely exposed the error of the entire history of the Reformed movement here. Ach! We’re all outed now. It’s all over.
Actually, Jonathan explained your viewpoints to me in the comments section of the post before this one (titled “Free Gracers -- I am Confused -- Is They Or Ain't They?”), wherein he wrote:
“the content of belief for folks like Matthew and Antonio is basically this: believe in Jesus for eternal life and you will be saved. To add any other doctrinal information, like who this Jesus actually is, is tantamount to works salvation”
And to which I replied:
“That's interesting.
Because the thought behind [what you’re saying] is that the persons who hold other than Free Grace theology are themselves adding information.
But they're [Reformed believers] only reaffirming what Scripture says, not adding new info.
Why would Free Grace fight so hard against other Scriptures that tell readers of the Bible what to do, such as "repent"?
I can only think that it's the flesh fighting against the Spirit's directives.”

June 15, 2007 8:36 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John,

Before you quote Matthew 7:23, I suggest you read verse 22. What are these false prophets pointing to for Kingdom entrance? Do you see them mentioning anything about salvation by grace through faith? I don't.

The point I made was obvious. In matters relevant to genuine salvation there can be NO error. Jesus came into the world to save sinners. After conversion the hand of God is clear "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." ... Yours is a salvation void of fruit, divine workmanship, and divinely appointed works. The order is obvious Salvation first, fruit thereafter. If you say to a lost sinner ... "just exercise your intellect and believe in Jesus much like you believe that one plus one is two" then that is a false gospel and from such we should "shake the dust from our feet".

June 15, 2007 9:32 PM

 
Blogger Antonio said...

Susan,

you quoted:

----------
the content of belief for folks like Matthew and Antonio is basically this: believe in Jesus for eternal life and you will be saved. To add any other doctrinal information, like who this Jesus actually is, is tantamount to works salvation
----------
I do not believe that adding doctrinal information to the content of saving faith is tantamount to works salvation.

I never have nor ever would.

Insistence on adding doctrine to the CONTENT of saving faith points the hearer into the wrong direction. Rather than doctrine being the focus of saving faith, believing Jesus is. When one entrusts his eternal destiny to Him by believing Him in His promise, they are saved.

God does not deem someone saved after they have assented/subscribed to an doctrinal checklist, no matter how orthodox it is.

Eternal life is granted when one trusts Christ in His promise to impart eternal life to the one who believes in Him for it.

I do however paint a full picture of Christ when presenting Him as the authoratative and uniquely sufficient Guarantor of eternal life. I preach Jesus' divinity, passion, ressurection, and miracles. I include much more than just 1 Cor 15:3ff.

Yet I do not point people to assent to doctrine, but belief in Christ.

Now with your assertion about repentance.

Please refer to my newest post on Unashamed of Grace:

Challenge to Lordship Salvationists

Please come comment there.

Antonio

June 15, 2007 9:38 PM

 
Blogger Antonio said...

Furthermore,

your insistence that to faith must be added works for saving faith is blatant works-salvation.

How would you respond to such a charge?

June 15, 2007 9:40 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

God does not deem someone saved after they have assented/subscribed to an doctrinal checklist, no matter how orthodox it is.

Neither has anyone here asserted that God does this - nor has any Reformed theology that I have read - in books or on blogs.

Regarding what you wrote: Now with your assertion about repentance and Please come comment there, I think it bad form to hop onto someone else's blog, rant a bit, then say, "with respect to what you say, come comment over at this other place."

No thanks. You came here. I'll comment here. I generally don't go over to blogs with which I know I disagree with their theology, then accuse them of being bad character or rudeness. I prefer to stay and learn from folks whom I believe are proponents for the Truth.

June 15, 2007 9:59 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

your insistence that to faith must be added works for saving faith is blatant works-salvation.
How would you respond to such a charge?


That it's just another mischaracterization of Calvinism and Reformed theology. Not to mention putting words in my mouth that I didn't say.

*yawn*
Excuse me.

June 15, 2007 10:00 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Danny said in comparing Arminianism to Calvinism……
But both systems end up in the same place - obey or go to hell.

Danny, you are mischaracterizing the Calvinist position. God saves by quickening and regenerating spiritually dead sinners that willingly respond in faith after being regenerated by the Holy Spirit. They are saved and eternally secure at this point. They have a changed attitude due to God’s POWER and this along with God’s continuing grace sanctifies and begins the process of conforming them to Christ. See Romans 8 where Paul explains the whole process including affirming that the dead faith of James 2:14 is not a saving faith. It is a claimed faith that is not real. It is dead and those that claim to have faith but have no fruit or works as James calls it are not saved. They are hypocrites and James asks rhetorically, “can that faith save him?” One does not have to jump around from Chapter 5 to 1 and then back to 2 to understand James 2:14

I will issue you the same challenge I issued Antonio and that is to go to Jazzycat or my posts on Bluecollar and present one piece of evidence where I add anything to faith alone in justification. If you can’t do that, then do not make the charge that my belief system adds anything to justification by faith alone.
wayne

June 15, 2007 10:17 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Antonio,
Suppose a person, with very little knowledge, believed the promise of Jesus for eternal life from a FG gospel presentation. The next day he started reading his Bible, believed in adding works to his justification, and joined the Catholic Church, would he be saved or would his profession have been a false profession?

June 15, 2007 10:29 PM

 
Blogger Antonio said...

... the reader must be aware of a cogent biblical fact that necessarily places a huge burden of proof upon the Traditionalist [Lordship Salvationist/Reformed Soteriologist]:

Nowhere in the Bible is the reception of eternal salvation, eternal life, or justification conditioned on an act of repentance.

The Traditionalist must string together texts and arguments in order to support his unbiblical assertion that repentance is a theologically binding requirement for the possession of eternal salvation. In his arguments, the fallacy of special pleading is a common trait, for there is no clear text that makes his point.

He [the Lordship Salvationist] cannot point to even one text that explicitely commands repentance for the express purpose of the appropriation of eternal life. There is no such verse or passage.

If this is such an important element in the discussion of the critical components of the gospel message it is odd – no, it is incredible – that not a single verse clearly conjoins a command to repent with a resultant appropriation of: eternal salvation, eternal life, or justification.

Isn’t the reception of eternal life/justification of utmost importance to a lost sinner on his way to hell? I mean, listen – the information on how a person is initiated into a relationship with God is of dire necessity! Wouldn’t you think that an issue of such great import would be properly clarified by the God who “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim 2:4)? Isn’t it unbelievable that in the whole canon of scripture, that if eternal well-being is contingent partly on an act of repentance, that no text whatsoever conditions a result of eternal salvation on such an act?

The apostle John, who is not unfamiliar with the doctrine of repentance, as he presents it more than any other New Testament writer other than Luke (10 mentions in Revelation), nevertheless is conspicuously silent on repentance as a condition for the appropriation of eternal life in his Gospel that was written for an express purpose of evangelism (John 20:30-31).

Would it not be a major error of inestimable proportions that if repentance is indeed a necessary requirement for eternal life that John the apostle would not include a single reference to it as a condition for salvation, yeah, even further, fail to mention it even once in the whole of his gospel written so that men could have eternal life?

This would be like writing a book on “Major Treatments for Heart Disease” and yet failing to mention open heart surgery (an illustration borrowed from Zane Hodges).

The evidence in regard to this chilling and absolute silence of the Fourth Gospel in mentioning repentance in conjunction with the indisputable instrument of eternal life’s appropriation, faith into Jesus for it, can have only 1 of 3 possible ramifications:

1) John, the disciple who leaned “on Jesus' bosom”, the apostle “whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23), was not aware that the free reception of eternal life was in someway conditioned upon an act of repentance by the unsaved and thus presented an inadequate and therefore faulty testimony in this matter.

2) John, the apostle “who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true” (John 21:24), purposely omitted a crucial component of the promise of eternal life for reasons that could only be speculated upon (the first one that would come to mind is some form of mal-intent).

3) John, who knew that “which was from the beginning”, who declared what he “heard” and saw with his “eyes”, who revealed that which he “looked upon” and his hands “handled, concerning the Word of life”, who bore “witness” and declared to us “that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to” him (1 John 1:1-2) did not consider, did not believe, and was not under the conviction that repentance was a necessary requirement for the appropriation of eternal well-being.

If we agree to the following:

1) John told the truth
2) John wrote his gospel with a purpose of evangelism

and admit to the following (which cannot be denied):

3) John did not require repentance in his Gospel as a condition for the appropriation of eternal life, as he did not even mention it once in the whole of his discourse; repentance being shockingly absent from its whole.

We must necessarily come to this conclusion:

4) Repentance is not a theological necessary condition for the reception of eternal life.

[Note: "The simple fact is that the whole Fourth Gospel is designed to show that its readers can get saved in the same way as the people who got saved in John’s narrative. To say anything other than this is to accept a fallacy. It is to mistakenly suppose that the Fourth Gospel presents the terms of salvation incompletely and inadequately." (Zane Hodges, Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society, Autumn 2000, "How to Lead People to Christ, Part 1")]

Furthermore, we must consider our dear brother, the apostle Paul. The idea of repentance is a category strikingly absent from him. In his whole discussion of justification by faith in Romans 3-5, there is not even one mention of repentance as a condition for eternal salvation. It is also noteworthy to share that Paul only mentions repentance 5 times in his epistles (half as many as John), although he wrote 13 (possibly 14) out of the 27 New Testament books. And none of these passages in which he speaks of this doctrine does he regard repentance as a condition for the reception of eternal salvation.

In addition, what is even more damaging to the Traditionalist position is the utter absence of repentance in the book of Galatians. This epistle is Paul’s defense of his gospel wherein he heralds clear and loud the essential tenet that righteousness is imparted through faith alone in Jesus. It is indeed significant that repentance is absent in a book where Paul is presenting and defending the gospel message he received directly from the Lord. For Paul, faith alone into Christ is the sole theological requirement for justification and eternal salvation.

What we are faced with is dozens upon dozens of clear and unambiguous statements of scripture that condition eternal life/justification through faith alone in Christ alone.

For thoroughness, I feel I ought to at least refer us to some of these clear and unambiguous statements that conjoin the requirement of faith/belief with the result – eternal salvation, eternal life, or justification:

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.

John 3:36
He who believes in the Son has everlasting life

John 6:40
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 6:47
Most assuredly I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life

John 11:25-26
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 lives and believes in Me shall never die.

Rom 3:21-22
But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe.

Rom 3:26
that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Rom 4:5
But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness,

Rom 5:1
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ

Gal 2:16
knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.

Gal 3:2
This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Gal 3:21-22
But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

1 Tim 1:16-17
16 However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.

We are equally confronted by the striking absence of a single verse in the whole of the Bible that conjoins a command to repent with a stated purpose of the appropriation of eternal salvation.

Can the Traditionalist [Lordship Salvationist] produce even ONE clear and unambiguous verse that conditions eternal life, justification, or eternal salvation with a requirement of repentance?

June 15, 2007 10:56 PM

 
Anonymous danny said...

Hi Jazzy. I already knew you would say what you did. Philosophically, Arminianism and Calvinism stand opposed to each other. I'm not disputing that. But logically, they end up in the same place. The Arminian is afraid of losing salvation. Calvinists know they can't lose salvation, but they don't know if they have it. The Arminian looks to his works to maintain salvation. The Calvinist looks to his works to verify if he is among the elect. John MacArthur fears he may be non-elect. R.C. Sproul is "uncomfortable" with Jesus.

I know you would never say works are a condition of eternal life. But by making differing degrees of life-long works a necessary result for all believers, you still ending up looking to your performance, love for God, separation from the world to verify your faith.

Remember the men in Titus 1:16 who profess to know God, but deny Him by their works? Three verses earlier, before giving this description of these men, Paul tells Titus to rebuke them so they would be "sound in the faith." Paul obviously considers these men who don't know God to be believers, who need to be rebuked so they will be sound in the Christian faith.

Calvinists makes a huge mistake when they assume "knowing" God is always a reference to being saved. Before you quote John 17:3, you should consider the difference between static eternal life and dynamic eternal life. In John 3:16, a person receives static eternal life (guaranteed entrance into the Kingdom). In Galatians 6:8-9, a person "reaps" eternal life by sowing to the Spirit. They will have a greater, more "abundant" experience in the Kingdom. In 1 Timothy 6:17-19, Paul tells Timothy to admonish wealthy church members to do good works, to store up a good foundation for the future Kingdom, thus "laying hold" of eternal life.

If you're confused on my position on static vs. dynamic life, then please go ahead and read this paper by my friend Marty Cauley.

http://mysite.verizon.net/mdcauley/PDF/Static_Versus_Dynamic_Life.pdf

June 15, 2007 11:01 PM

 
Anonymous danny said...

Sorry Jazzy, words were cut out from the URL. Here is the full address for Marty's article.

http://mysite.verizon.net/mdcauley/PDF/Static_Versus_Dynamic_Life.pdf

June 15, 2007 11:03 PM

 
Blogger Antonio said...

Wayne writes:
----------
Antonio,
Suppose a person, with very little knowledge, believed the promise of Jesus for eternal life from a FG gospel presentation. The next day he started reading his Bible, believed in adding works to his justification, and joined the Catholic Church, would he be saved or would his profession have been a false profession?

----------

What do you mean by an FG gospel presentation?

I include (but do not limitto):

1) Jesus' divinity
2) Jesus' substitionary death on the cross
3) Jesus' bodily resurrection
4) John 3:16; 5:24; 6:35-40, 47; 11:25-26
5) And taken from those passages, the conclusive fact that Jesus Christ guarantees eternal life to the one who simply puts their faith in Him for it.
6) The consequences for disbelief in the Son.

If this person, whom you are speaking of, believes Jesus, trusts Jesus in His promise, entrusts his eternal destiny and well-being to Jesus, I would consider him saved.

Now what he then does is no different than Calvinists who get saved by the free grace gospel and then turn to perseverance theology which is nothing but works-salvation. Just look at the testimony of J.I. Packer. He believed the free grace gospel, and then a year later retreated back toward Rome with his Lordship Salvation and Reformed (sic) theology.

They are saved, because of their one time appropriation of eternal life by faith in Christ.

But they now preach an accursed gospel that cannot save. And because of such, they will have to give an account of themselves in front of Christ at His bema, much to their loss (not to mention will suffer a lack of spiritual growth and maturity in the faith, and God's hand may be heavy on them within time, and include His chastening).

June 15, 2007 11:06 PM

 
Blogger Antonio said...

Hey Wayne:

In an article on Christian assurance, D.A. Carson quotes I. Howard Marshall (an Arminian):

"... the Calvinist 'believer' cannot fall away from 'true' faith, but he can 'fall away' from what proves in the end to be only seeming faith. The possibility of falling away remains. But in neither case does the person know for certain whether he is a true or a seeming disciple... he sees signs in his life... but these signs may be misleading... Whoever said, 'The Calvinist knows that he cannot fall from salvation but does not know whether he has got it', had it summed up nicely... The [Arminian] knows that he has salvation... but is aware that, left to himself, he could lose it... IT SEEMS TO ME THE PRACTICAL EFFECT IS THE SAME."


Responding to these quotes, D.A. Carson says:

"At a... mechanistic level, I think this analysis is largely correct."
"at certain levels the practical effect is the same"
"Calvinism... [with its] forms of introversion... strangely mirror... their Arminian counterparts"
"Thus at their worst, the two approaches meet in strange and sad ways."


My Commentary:
In a very real sense, John MacArthur and Lordship Salvation preach the same 'gospel' as Dan Corner and the Arminians:

Unless you persevere in faithfulness and good works, and die in such a state, you go to hell. Faith alone is not enough.



Perseverance of the Saints is not "Eternal Security"

it is Conditional Security:

If you persevere, you are saved.

If you fail to persevere, you are damned.

June 15, 2007 11:09 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Danny,
Since you deny the necessity (to be saved), power, and results of divine regeneration, I can understand that your logic would preclude fruit being a result of God’s power. You see works as either an ill-advised man generated effort to earn salvation or a legitimate attempt to earn rewards in heaven. I see works as flowing from a new heart, attitude, and relationship with Jesus Christ that is powered by the indwelling Holy Spirit in believers. See Romans 8:1-11 for a Biblical description and also the beatitudes. I do not see much wiggle room for a FG carnal Christian in the beatitudes of Matthew 5.

I am not going to defend every quote you throw out, but I will say that I have studied a lot from R.C. Sproul and I have never heard him say he was uncomfortable with Jesus. I have heard him say that the so-called carnal Christian (a FG concept) is not a Biblical concept. There are many passages like James 2:14 that affirm that some people claim to have saving faith that do not. Titus 1:16 that you mention is one in which false professors are in view and yet you claim that is not the case. Titus 1:16 (KJV) They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate. What in the world do you think reprobate means?

I am not that familiar with static vs. abundant life and I will look into it a bit. I am familiar with that “outer darkness” stuff of Zane Hodges and I find it incredible, unbelievable and a case of forcing Scripture through a template to fit one’s theological presuppositions.

Wayne

June 16, 2007 12:27 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Antonio,
Getting late in Mississippi. I will respond to your comments in the morning.

June 16, 2007 12:29 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

o

June 16, 2007 7:02 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Antonio, your 10:56 PM comment, I've seen before, word for word. Cut and Paste, anyone?

Actually Acts 26:18 - Paul is testifying before king Agrippa in regards to Christ's call in his life and his resulting ministry. He goes on to quote the Words of Christ to him concerning his mission to the Gentiles -
"To open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me"

"to open their eyes, turn them from darkness to light, from the power of Satan to God" - A snap-shot of repentance we have here, as we see the work of God in the repentant one, as God works through the message preached. Remember Christ came to bless us by turning us from our iniquities (Acts 3:26); and, as Wayne has mentioned, He has shed the Holy Spirit for the purpose of regeneration which results in new affections, Titus 3:4-6. - but the verse in Acts 26:18 goes on "that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me" - "THAT" they may receive foregiveness of sins..." It seems that foregiveness of sins comes AFTER the turning FROM the power of darkness, and FROM Satan, and TO light, and TO God. See the order?

Then Paul goes on in verse 19 - " Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but declared ... that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance".

I think the message of forgivness of sins as a result of repentance is quite clear in this passage.

June 16, 2007 8:11 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Free Gracers Alert:

We can debate here on this blog. There will be several more posts for us to do that. However I will not allow any more links to articles by free grace proponents. Debate here is one thing; but I will not allow the links. Please say what you want to say here w/o them or don't say anything at all.

June 16, 2007 8:18 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Matthew says, "Mark, up to this point, the epsitle of James has been giving advice to believers. What is your evidence that the author suddenly changes subject and starts challenging false professors?

How exactly does this new theme fit into the rest of the epistle?"
=====
Matthew, your system will not allow you to see that assemblies CAN and often do consist of genuine believers and false professors. Though James is writing "To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad" and "My brethren" it is certain that false professors would be in the hearing as well. As DTS professor Merril F. Unger says on page 788-789 of his Bible Handbook:
"Combatted is the Jewish tendency (transferred to Christianity) to substitute a lifeless knowledge of the law for a practical holiness of life, as if justification before God could be secured in this manner..." Unger goes on in the next paragraph that faith and works are inseparable and that works prove faith's existance.

Matthew, what James was combatting was the tendency, of professing believers to lapse into the error that mere mental assent will save. It is apparent that word got back to James that his audience here, at least a portion of it, was not living the regenerate life. It was an error that had to be corrected, and James turned the discussion accordingly.

June 16, 2007 8:48 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Rose, nobody here has mistreated Matthew. I do not know where you see this.

June 16, 2007 8:51 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Calvinists know they can't lose salvation, but they don't know if they have it.

The Calvinist looks to his works to verify if he is among the elect.

Non-Calvinists beat this dead horse over and over again, and it still won’t move. Both of these statements are just plain wrong.

When I first read about Reformed theology and realized it to be biblically correct, there came a point when I wondered about whether or not I was saved. (Danny, if you cut and paste this previous sentence, I’m sure you could take it out of context to prove any point you like. However, if your'e interested in the truth and accurately representing it, read on.)

God’s continual correction in my life and ongoing changing of my heart was all the affirmation I needed. If I’m less inclined toward Him for a time or drag my feet about Bible reading and prayer, I’m continually nudged from within to get back to it and pray about it. When I plead for His grace to change my heart and incline it toward Him – nay, to love Him as I ought – for some reason I’m amazed that He always does it, even though He’s told me how faithful He is even though I am not.

I know it's not my flesh prompting this change in me. Neither is it my flesh that responds in obedience and repentance. There's no way I would want to do these things on my own or that I would want to beg Him to change me.

Since recognizing Calvinism as biblically sound, my prayers have become those begging God for His mercy and to take away from me all that displeases Him, even and especially my most treasured earthly pleasures and pastimes. Seemingly innocuous hobbies that take too great a place in my heart or become idols in place of time I could be spending with Him are things I don’t want if He doesn’t want it for me. My prayers are different now, and I know that it’s because of His hand in my life.

The Calvinist most assuredly knows of his salvation, and reading any of the more well-known Calvinist writers (Spurgeon, Edwards, Piper, White, MacArthur, Sproul) will show that.

This whole works-salvation thing is grossly misrepresented. The Calvinist doesn’t look to his works to verify anything, but knows that God Himself will produce the fruit within him according to the works that God laid out from eternity past for that person to do.

John MacArthur fears he may be non-elect. R.C. Sproul is "uncomfortable" with Jesus.


I’ve never heard these men testify to these things. And if you can find a quote of Sproul saying this, be sure to place it in context to know what point he was getting at. Jesus’ words certainly make many uncomfortable. They rub against the human grain and His words offended many – but those who love Him, as Sproul surely does (just look at his body of work to the glory of God), will dig deep to understand Jesus and try to know the meaning in order to please God.

I write this more for others who may be reading who aren’t familiar with Calvinism (which Antonio and Rose refer to as “Lordship Salvation,” a term meant to be derogatory of Reformed theology) – as I was once a reader unfamiliar with both systems - although I’m fairly sure my words won’t change any minds of the non-Calvinists writing here.

June 16, 2007 9:02 AM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Susan:
Calvinism (which Antonio and Rose refer to as “Lordship Salvation,” a term meant to be derogatory of Reformed theology)

Susan,
Posted in my sidebar is a booklet called "The Gospel According to Jesus" and it is an unfavorable review of the book which brought energy to the movement which is commonly called "Lordship Salvation." Funnily enough, the review is written by Dr. Ernest Pickering ... a Calvinist!

Not all Calvinists are adherents to Lordship Salvation. They aren't the same thing.

My husband is Calvinist/non-Lordship Salvation.

June 16, 2007 9:18 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Antonio,
My question……….
Suppose a person, with very little knowledge, believed the promise of Jesus for eternal life from a FG gospel presentation. The next day he started reading his Bible, believed in adding works to his justification, and joined the Catholic Church, would he be saved or would his profession have been a false profession?

You answered yes and you go on to say speaking of Calvinists.

Antonio said............
They are saved, because of their one time appropriation of eternal life by faith in Christ.
But they now preach an accursed gospel that cannot save. And because of such, they will have to give an account of themselves in front of Christ at His bema, much to their loss (not to mention will suffer a lack of spiritual growth and maturity in the faith, and God's hand may be heavy on them within time, and include His chastening).


Therefore, you believe that a people that preach an accursed gospel that cannot save are in fact saved themselves. This certainly seems to go against what Paul teaches in Galatians where he calls those who teach a works gospel as being accursed themselves. In Gal. 5:2-4 he makes it clear that they are not saved.

As to your 6-15 11:09pm comment, you have once again given a totally inaccurate description of the reformed doctrine of eternal security and perseverance. The WCF is very clear that perseverance is accomplished by GOD. I did a post on a verse (John 6:47) that teaches eternal security. It is a verse that FG advocates read things into that are not there. Here is the link:

http://mdpmusings.blogspot.com/2007/02/close-look-john-647.html

Do you believe the Zane Hodges view of a group of people who are saved but cast into an outer darkness in heaven where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth?

June 16, 2007 9:31 AM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Hello Mark,
I hope you are well today.
I guess it was your friend's comment about Matthew: "fool" and "preacher of this false gospel" and "false preacher of this dangerous doctrine" and then Susan's words "combat this heresy" and then your energetic cheer. It would be nice to read the Bible study that was happening without all the vitrol. But ... Susan is right ... this is not my place.

June 16, 2007 9:47 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Susan,
Your 6-16 9:02 am comment was beautiful. It speaks of the power of God through the Holy Spirit. I really believe the difference in our sides revolve around the extent of God’s POWER!

Antonio,
By your theology and admission a person can be saved, renounce Christ, become a Buddhist, preach a false religion and remain eternally secure though they would suffer discipline. The reformed view would be that such a person gave a false profession and was not saved to begin with…….1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.

June 16, 2007 9:51 AM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Jazzy,
I just want to tell you that I think I do understand your view. I don't see it the same way as you, but I think I finally do get it. You are saying that works flow from God's power, not our own. So ... if there are no works ... there is no God. You are not trying to tell people to do works to be saved. You are saying that if they don't have works, they should question their salvation. Either way, I get it - none of it comes from the person.

I think there are real problems with this view practically, but I think I get it.

June 16, 2007 10:03 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Rose - my "cheer" was for Susan's idea of keeping the conversation going and not allowing it to die. Sorry for not being clear about that. Yes, I do believe FGT is error and must be refuted, and merely shutting down a conversation doesn't do the issue justice. That was reason for the cheer.

Yes, we believe the Holy Spirit's presence and life within the believer means changed affections and transformation of life. Please feel free to list the problems such an idea may cause.

I appreciate that you took the time to articulate Wayne's views back to him. That was a kind and gracious way to respond.

TO ALL:

I must work from 3-11 tonight. I am "on" here until 1:00 when I go to see my dad. Thanks for your prayers. He is doing well now, thanks to those prayers, and God's will. May the gospel go out to the other residents in the Home where he is at. Amen.

June 16, 2007 10:36 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Mark,

Matt Waymeyer here. Can't believe this thread is still going. I haven't read through it all, so I don't know how relevant this will be to the discussion, but I thought I would cut and paste a comment I made to Nathan Busenitz over at Pulpit some time ago during the lordship debate there. If it's too long or off-topic, feel to delete it--I promise I won't be offended!

---------

Nathan,

You are correct regarding the problem that Luke 24:46-47 presents for the Free Grace position. In these two verses, Jesus sets forth the core truths of the gospel (Christ died and rose from the dead), man’s necessary response to the gospel (repentance), and the salvation that results (the forgiveness of sins). And for most people, that pretty well settles the issue. It is true that Jesus does not actually use the words “eternal life,” but if the church is to exhort the unbelieving nations to repent in order to receive the forgiveness of sins (as Jesus says), that certainly means that repentance is a condition for eternal life.

In my reading of Zane Hodges on this issue, I have found him to be more than a little difficult to follow. According to Hodges, it is a “serious mistake” to “place eternal life and the forgiveness of sins into the same category” (Harmony with God, 70). Forgiveness, Hodges says, is not a judicial issue between man and God, but rather a personal one (ibid., 72, 97). Along the same lines, Hodges distinguishes between justification and forgiveness by stating that the former “establishes a man’s legal standing before his judge,” whereas the latter “enables him to have communion with his God” (The Gospel Under Siege, 118).
In Hodges’ view, “in terms of man’s eternal destiny, the real issue is not forgiveness but eternal life” (Harmony with God, 67).

Perhaps this is how Hodges gets around the clear teaching of Luke 24:46-47—I’m not totally sure. The problem is that, in contrast to what Hodges says, forgiveness is a judicial issue. Romans 4:5-8 indicates that the forgiveness of sins is a fundamental component of forensic justification. More specifically, this passage teaches that justification consists negatively of the forgiveness of sins, and positively of the reckoning of divine righteousness. Forgiveness is clearly judicial. Furthermore, Colossians 2:13-14 says: “And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having cancelled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.” The forgiveness of sins is a judicial act necessary to establish a relationship with a holy God, not merely a personal act necessary to improve that relationship (also see Heb 10:14-18).

Hodges calls it a “serious mistake” to place eternal life and the forgiveness of sins into the same category. Unfortunately for Hodges, the apostle Peter commits this very mistake in Acts 10:43. In fact, Acts 10:43 shows that the forgiveness of sins and eternal life not only can be placed in the same category—they can be used interchangeably. The two are inseparably linked as key components of salvation itself. That’s why Jesus told Paul that He was sending him to the Gentiles “to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, in order that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me” (Acts 26:18; also see Acts 13:38-39). This can also be seen in Ephesians 1:7-8a and Colossians 1:14, where Paul uses the noun “forgiveness” is used in apposition to the noun “redemption.” This means that the words “forgiveness” and “redemption” refer to the same work of God, and more specifically, that forgiveness is an integral part of redemption. Put simply, the forgiveness of sins cannot be separated from salvation in the way Hodges says it can.

Anyway, despite the Free-Grace attempt to use the so-called silence of John to silence the words of Jesus in Luke 24, I think your point stands.

mw

June 16, 2007 10:36 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Rose,
You said……..
You are saying that works flow from God's power, not our own.

That is close, but I believe man has a responsibility to co-operate in sanctification and that is why the N.T. has so many exhortations for believers to do just that. Jesus prayed that the Father would sanctify believers (John 17:17). I do not believe this prayer of Jesus would go unanswered. Romans 8 certainly has a lot to say about the indwelling Holy Spirit and the power associated with His work in their lives.

I suppose the practical problem you see is that sanctification does not make one perfect. This is true and Paul covers that thoroughly in Romans 6-8.

I hope your new baby and John are doing well. BTW, I am glad you see a great danger in liberal theology as I agree that it is a much greater threat than most Christians realize. I believe the emergent church movement is based on the same type of theology and is also very dangerous for souls……

June 16, 2007 10:47 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Rose,

I'm glad you're getting some of Jazzy's points. I think if you review all of the statements over the breadth of these types of discussions, you'll see that the Calvinist points to God and His absolute sovereignty (hence, power) over man. It's part of total depravity and election, I think.

With respect to two things you just wrote:

1. Susan's words "combat this heresy”

I didn't write “this” heresy, I wrote to John: "don't you yourself think it valuable to combat heresy?

However, that could be splitting hairs because, yes, as a believer in the doctrines of grace, I do see that any system as heretical that puts God in some form of submission to man (such as Free Grace does, I think, in its subjecting God to man's "free will," a term not used in Scripture; God offers and waits around for man to decide? I think this is an elevation of man beyond what Scripture says).

And as John pointed out, such a system is dangerous. Let me say that I know this from personal experience because for years after becoming a believer, I attended church and participated in Bible studies, women's groups at church, and prayer groups in my own home. Yet never did I hear about God's sovereignty as the Reformed writers see it. Never did I understand that so much is God's work and not my own.

Let me tell you why from my own experience this whole works-salvation thing is so very wrongly twisted by non-Calvinists. Before I knew of Reformed theology, I was failing in my walk as a Christian (as we often do) and started to drift away from God because I thought I was disappointing Him in my inability to do simple things - like a fast, which I had chosen to do for God based on a Beth Moore study the church ladies were doing. When I failed for the third time to honor God with my sacrifice of not buying non-essential items for myself (I didn't give up food, I gave up "stuff"), I considered myself a hypocrite as a Christian. I couldn't "do" it right, so God must not be happy with me and therefore not want me. The "works" were too much, you see. And I think a lot of Christians are taught this in church: “Just ‘receive’ Jesus and then you’re okay. You’ve got a future life after you die. And by the way, here’s all the stuff He wants you to do now that you’re a Christian….”

Then I read your exchange with Daniel at his blog in Dec. 2006, and everything turned around. I hadn't realized how much is God's work and not my own. Sovereignty actually meant something, and fear of God did as well. It meant so much more than I was being taught in church.

And for that, I was truly grateful to God for His absolute freedom and control. How much safer am I in His hands than my own.

So "works" actually meant more under the Arminian system (which I didn't know I was in) than the Reformed structure of things.

My Bible reading just opened up in a whole new way. How did I gloss over these Scriptures on election before? Perhaps because I wasn't taught them correctly in church. That’s why it’s dangerous. People are being led astray as to God’s total freedom and absolute sovereignty, as well as their own comfort level and place before Him.

But thank the Lord, He's brought me to this place.

2. But ... Susan is right ... this is not my place.

I don't know where I wrote that. Can you tell me?
You're more than welcome here.

June 16, 2007 10:59 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Matt Waymeyer - Thank you for that comment. It was an eye opener. Truely the two camps operate from two different paradigm's, only the gap between the two is much wider than I knew. You've helped me much with that comment. I did not know Hodges separates eternal life and forgivness of sins. I never would have imagined any such division could exist. Is this why the two camps always seem to talk past eachother, there not being a common ground to stand on?

June 16, 2007 11:03 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Rose,

I appreciate your clarification regarding Calvinism and Lordship Salvation.

In addition to my earlier questions, I'm curious about something.

You introduced the term "Lordship Salvation" into the discussion when you wrote:

It wasn't about Free Grace or Lordship Salvation at all, referring to your discussion with Daniel (doulogos).

Why did you use the term L-S- when you know Daniel and the writers here to be Calvinist/Reformed? I really would like to know, since you make a distinction between L-S and C/R.

Thanks.

June 16, 2007 12:03 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

And FYI, Wikipedia's reference to Lordship Salvation says this:

"Lordship salvation came to the forefront in the late 20th century when Calvinistic evangelical John F. MacArthur argued against the doctrine of carnal Christianity in his book The Gospel According to Jesus (ISBN 0-310-39491-0)."

And this:
" The doctrine of lordship salvation is that Jesus cannot be considered a person's savior (that is, bringer of salvation) without simultaneously being lord of the person's life, which is demonstrated by the gradual purification from sin and the exercising of good works (for instance, caring for widows and orphans, James 1:27)."

Sure sounds closely tied to the Reformed movement to me, except that it's a twist of the understanding of works in the place of Calvinist theology.

June 16, 2007 12:05 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Susan,
You say stuff like this:
I do see that any system as heretical that puts God in some form of submission to man (such as Free Grace does, I think, in its subjecting God to man's "free will," a term not used in Scripture; God offers and waits around for man to decide? I think this is an elevation of man beyond what Scripture says).

I don't think I would say that "free-will" or the responsibilty of man is explicit to the Free-Grace camp. As I said before, many sincere haha Christians have disagreed about predestination/human freedom over the years. For you to call this heresy is overstating it a bit. If I am not mistaken, Mark and Wayne and Matt would probably agree with me on that. There is room for deabte on it. It is not as self-evident as you think - there are Scriptures on both sides of this coin and that is why many are content to call it a mystery as to how it works out - actually I am more one of them who would like to see it called a mystery. I am very comfortable with that approach. I was sort of forced into the "non-Calvinism" category because of the dogmatism of some on the Calvinist side - way before blogs by the way.

As far as me saying the comment earlier on "It wasn't about Free Grace or Lordship Salvation at all, " is because I sort of view this discussion right here to be about Free-grace Theology vs. Lordship Salvation. It is a very specific discussion on the points where these two philosophies differ. You brought up the discussion between my self and Daniel and it had been mostly about predestination/election. I was just saying that the main point of that discussion was not the same as this one. I think "Free-Grace" theology is at odds with "Reformed Theology" mainly in respect to their view of works in the Chrsitain, not having a lot to do with predestination/free-will. I could be wrong on that, but I think that is the focal point of disagreement. Does that help?

June 16, 2007 12:21 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

BTW,
Since we are getting into alll the differences here, may I add that I have linked to an article on my blog wherein a free-grace advocate disagrees with Zane Hodges. I am not trying to discredit Hodges by any means, but I am trying to let you all know that you can't pigeon-hole people on opposing sides of your position.

Also, let me provide a quote from the Chafer Theological Seminary (CTS) Journal:

There are those who label presenting the gospel in any way other than by making the issue of eternal life central "unfortunate." That is an unfortunate remark. To say it is unfortunate that a person has been born again because he believed the gospel of imputed righteousness or forgiveness does not follow the example of the angels, who rejoice when one is born again (Luke 15:10)! Angels do not observe one's conversion and then make clucking noises about how a supposed unfortunate method was employed to lead one to Christ. An overemphasized adherence to using an eternal-life-only approach in evangelism, which intimates that other approaches are substandard, is surely ungracious, not to say arrogant. The fruit of different approaches over the centuries, because they too are biblical, belies such an attitude, and thank God that those thus saved will be in heaven forever.

Why Confess With One's Mouth?
(Romans 10:9-13)
George E, Meisinger
CTS Journal Fall 2006 Vol. 12, No. 2, page 24


So, although Matt Weymeyers comment may be a surprise for you, Mark, apparently not all FG people would be like Zane Hodges in the matter he is commenting on.

I have a baby.

June 16, 2007 12:26 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

The above comment is directly relevant to MATT WEYMEYER'S comment above

June 16, 2007 12:30 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Rose, your quote from the Chafer Theological Seminary (CTS) Journal, I do not know what it is that you are driving at with it.


Getting ready to go to work now.

June 16, 2007 12:41 PM

 
Anonymous john said...

"I guess it was your friend's comment about Matthew: "fool" and "preacher of this false gospel" and "false preacher of this dangerous doctrine" and then Susan's words "combat this heresy" and then your energetic cheer. It would be nice to read the Bible study that was happening without all the vitrol. But ... Susan is right ... this is not my place."

Hello Rose. I am not sure why you would classify this as "vitrol". Do you understand that a right or wrong understanding of the Gospel is the pinnacle litmus treat as to whether a poor soul spends etrnity in torments or cheer. That is no minor matter. To be wrong here guarantees an eternity of unparalleled misery to that sadly, derailed one who believed the false message. To say that one can be saved through an intellectual assent IS A FALSE GOSPEL THAT GIVES MEN FALSE HOPE. Take a look at Luke 10:21. Jesus said "...I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, THAT THOU HAST HID THESE THINGS FROM THE WISE AND PRUDENT, AND HAS REVEALED THEM UNTO BABES:...". The word prudent in Greek is suneton (long "o") which means understanding. The word wise is from the Greek Sophon (long "o"s)
and means wisdom. Both words are meant to point to the fullrange of man's intellect: understanding and wisdom. Now what does the Lord say? That the Father has hid these truths from the world's highly intelligent (wise and prudent) ones. Therefore, what God has hidden from a man's intellect will never be unveiled by a presentation meant to stimulate that intellect. Your gospel says that the intellect is the very thing that must be touched by the truth. That will never happen. I suppose that maybe the Father got it all wrong. This is not intended to insult you or your understanding of truth. Mark speaks veryyyy highly of you. The issue, however, is a big one and needs sober and serious reflection.

June 16, 2007 1:24 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

I am trying to let you all know that you can't pigeon-hole people on opposing sides of your position.


This may be part of our understanding. I don't think anyone is "pigeon-holing" people on the opposite side of their own theological stands. What we're in opposition to is presentation of a false gospel, which I think Free Grace is.

That's not "pigeon-holing" individuals, but working to expose error in theological systems. There's a difference.

Perhaps this is why you think we're "picking on" Matthew or anyone who stands in opposition to Reformed theology. It's not personal about individuals; it's about the systems of which they speak and hold.

June 16, 2007 3:21 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

I sort of view this discussion right here to be about Free-grace Theology vs. Lordship Salvation.

But who here identifies themselves as adherents of Lordship Salvation? I don't know anyone here ashamed to be called Calvinist or Reformed, but I don't know anyone calling themselves followers of Lordship Salvation here, although all of the Reformed folks I know desire to serve Jesus as their Lord.

June 16, 2007 3:23 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

This may be part of our understanding.

I must learn to proofread better. I obviously meant "part of our misunderstanding."

June 16, 2007 3:24 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

I don't think I would say that "free-will" or the responsibilty of man is explicit to the Free-Grace camp. As I said before, many sincere haha Christians have disagreed about predestination/human freedom over the years. For you to call this heresy is overstating it a bit.

I'm curious about the history of the Reformed movement here. Can anyone better read in the history of the Reformers tell me if the early church would have considered Free Grace heretical?

Also if "free will" is an integral part of the Free Grace theology? I think it is since there's so much emphasis on how man makes a decision for Christ and on man's ability to do so.

June 16, 2007 3:29 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Mark, you asked (Q) why I posted the bit from the Chafer Journal. (A) Because Matt Weymeyer posted a comment that said this within it:

In Hodges’ view, “in terms of man’s eternal destiny, the real issue is not forgiveness but eternal life” (Harmony with God, 67)...

Hodges calls it a “serious mistake” to place eternal life and the forgiveness of sins into the same category.


The quote I gave you was, I think, referring to Hodges' position as stated above.

June 18, 2007 2:18 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Susan says:
But who here identifies themselves as adherents of Lordship Salvation?

OK, I will restate my sentence using the definintion you provided from Wikpedia instead of the shorthand I was using:

Rose's comment from about 10 up re-stated *without* the words "Lordship Salvation":

I sort of view this discussion right here to be about Free-grace Theology vs. The doctrine that Jesus cannot be considered a person's savior without simultaneously exhibiting the gradual purification from sin and the exercising of good works. It is a very specific discussion on the points where these two philosophies differ.

Is that better? ;~)

June 18, 2007 2:25 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Rose said……
I sort of view this discussion right here to be about Free-grace Theology vs. The doctrine that Jesus cannot be considered a person's savior without simultaneously exhibiting the gradual purification from sin and the exercising of good works. It is a very specific discussion on the points where these two philosophies differ.

You are giving a faith plus works definition which is not better. So, as for me, I would change, “The doctrine that Jesus cannot be considered a person's savior without simultaneously exhibiting the gradual purification from sin and the exercising of good works.” to ”The doctrine that Jesus saves and sanctifies through regeneration.”

In short, God does it all....

June 18, 2007 5:51 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
-Ephesians 2:10

June 18, 2007 10:55 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Rose,If we consider Eph. 2:7 - that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus - We are to be living memorials of sinners, once enslaved by sin, who were by nature children of wrath, now cleansed, regenerated -2:5- and indwelt by the Spirit. The eternal life issue is taken up as we behold His mercy shown us as we are exhibits of His having made us polar opposites of what we once were.

To God Be The Glory!

June 19, 2007 6:59 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"The quote I gave you was, I think, referring to Hodges' position as stated above."

I believe that Hodges stands a great deal on Chafer's theological shoulders. I do not doubt that a good many things Hodges says have their roots in Chafer. However, I believe that you'll find that what Chafer may have said or thought has little bearing on anybody outside Classic Dispyism. No offense intended, just fact.

June 19, 2007 9:35 AM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Mark,
The quote is not from Chafer. I don't know what this has to do with anything: what Chafer may have said or thought has little bearing on anybody outside Classic Dispyism.

It was merely a quote from someone in the Journal of the seminary that bears his name.

You seem to find it very easy to dismiss the thoughts of others just by referring to the label Classic Dispensational as if we are a finge group not worthy of consideration. I know you are nicer than that. :~)

June 19, 2007 10:00 AM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

fringe

June 19, 2007 10:00 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Friend, here is your previous post...
"Hodges calls it a “serious mistake” to place eternal life and the forgiveness of sins into the same category.

The quote I gave you was, I think, referring to Hodges' position as stated above."

I find Hodges' thoughts here quoted by Matt disagreeable. They are rooted in Chafer's thoughts, again, disagreeable. Yes, I do believe Classic Dispyism "fringe".

I can do that w/o damaging our friendship, can't I. After all, I've seen you endorse "liver and onions" which I think distorts Calvinism and refers to me as "calamite" and I don't regard you as not nice.

It goes both ways here, Rose. I detest CD and make no secret of that. You dislike Calvinism and make no secret of that.

As John noted, I have a high opinion of you, regardless of your position on Cal.; so cut me some slack here, sister. :~)

June 19, 2007 10:16 AM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

~~~~~slack~~~~~

Have a good one!

June 19, 2007 10:42 AM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

But I am not in a fringe group.

And I never endorsed L&O.

:~)

June 19, 2007 10:42 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

gotta go for 150-

How do I hate CD, let me count the ways.... Oh, waite, bluecollar's can't count that high.

June 19, 2007 11:16 AM

 
Anonymous john said...

should i start calling judas iscariot my brother?

June 19, 2007 11:24 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Mark,
I''m not shootin' for 200 here, but your last few comments made me wonder about something.
I know your stance on CD, but I don't know that I've ever heard you articulate exactly why. Maybe you can refer me to a previous post or something. Or just explain it here?
I don't agree with CD either, but I'm curious about your opposition to it and reasoning why.
Thnx.

June 19, 2007 11:25 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

John,
Judas Iscariot died lost, didn't he? Why do you ask if you should start calling him your brother? If he died without repentance, why would he be the brother of anyone in Christ?

June 19, 2007 11:26 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Susan, to start with howabout their tampering with the word repentance. Along the way the CD adopted the "change of mind" concept as opposed to change of life-style.

Secondly, their view that the Kingdom is entirely future.

Thirdly, The Sermon on the Mount being for that future kingdom age having practically little bearing on the church.

Fourthly, the church and Israel as distinctly different people's going towards different destinies - the church inhabbiting heaven while Israel is on earth.

Fifthly, some books of the Bible as applying to different ages.

Sixly, the New Cov. as not applying to the Church, only to Israel.

That is all for now. This only applies to CD, not PD. I have respect for PD. I do not take CD seriously, neither their writings nor their sermons. It wreaks of man's wisdom with all of its radical divisions into the word.

Scholars from Cov. Theo.(CT), and New Cov. Theo. (NCT) have to sit down and deal with the times and erra'sm the Bible was written just like CD. Unlike CD however they use the book of Hebrews as an example of how to interpret the OT, while CD employs their dispensational approach, which is not based in scripture, IMHO.

June 19, 2007 11:41 AM

 
Anonymous john said...

Hello Susan. BTW, you write very well for a 2 year old (at least that's the age i speculate from your picture). That is a joke btw. Don't take me seriously. I ask about Judas because according to the free grace theology( man i hate calling it that) an intellectual assent makes one a Christian. Certainly Judas had , at minimum, an intellectual understanding of the messiahship of Christ. So should we all start addressing him as Brother Judas?

June 19, 2007 11:49 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Along the way the CD adopted the "change of mind" concept as opposed to change of life-style.
=====
That should read Along the way the CD adopted the "change of mind" concept as opposed to change of life-style that comes from that change of mind.

June 19, 2007 12:36 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

see...

http://www.upper-register.com/other_studies/almost_notyet.html

June 19, 2007 12:48 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Mark,
Thanks!
Yup, I guess that would explain it! Quite a lot to consider there, and I don't disagree with you.
John,
How's this photo? (I think I changed it; but don't know if I can stand seeing my face pop up every time I leave a comment, but I like the idea of changing it - maybe.) I don't know when that previous photo was taken - probably 500 years or so ago.
I think I get your point. Do you mean that FG would just require intellectual assent for salvation? Yet I think FGers would say that Judas had intellectual knowledge, but not assent. I'm not sure, since I'm not in the FG camp.
Why do you hate using the term "Free Grace"? Frankly, I'd prefer the term "Easy" or "Cheap Grace," since it requires so little to "believe."

June 19, 2007 2:19 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Susan asks "Why do you hate using the term "Free Grace"?"

Susan, my good friend John and I are fans of Spurgeon. If a person were to look at biographies of him as well as his autobiography and his other writings you would see that he uses the term "free grace" often when considering the grace of God; and that was in the 19th century, long before the classic dispy's got their mits on the term. :-)

June 20, 2007 7:06 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

BTW, I love the new avatar!

June 20, 2007 7:08 AM

 
Anonymous john said...

Hello Susan--very nice picture. However, when i click into it, it goes back to your two year old picture---kind of like a cyber time machine.

Hey Mark -- when are we getting together again? How do you put an "avitar" up?

The FG movement (man i hate calling it that) is neither free nor is it grace. It is not free because it demands an intellectual response from the individual. Therefore it costs me something. It is not grace (God's undeserved favor) because my intellectual assent, not God's grace, makes me worthy. The crux is not God's electing grace but my masterful, intellectual choice.

June 20, 2007 10:08 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

John,
That made me laugh. I put you in a cyber time machine yesterday cuz I was switching around between photos; I'm not fond of the current fast-forward 40+ years photo, but with your and Mark's encouragement, I guess I'll try it out for awhile. (Ach, it's even worse close up. "Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity.")

To create an 'avatar,' go to photobucket.com and create an account. You can upload any photos or graphics to that site following their instructions.

Do you have a profile on blogger? If you have one, you can edit your profile where it says photo URL to link to the URL at photobucket. If you get stuck, lemme know. Folks have been helpful to me in figuring this stuff out, so I know what's it's like to be stuck on these things.

June 20, 2007 11:27 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Btw, I think it's neat that you two (Mark and John) know each other. In person, that is. What a blessing to have church family in close proximity.

June 20, 2007 11:28 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

And Mark, I agree with you re: the term "Free" Grace. I think we'd all agree it's free. But truly, it's more accurately described as amazing. And the FG system strikes me more as "New and Improved" Grace. That is, it's cheap.

June 20, 2007 11:31 AM

 

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