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].

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Just wonderin’


If a Christian believes that God created him in the womb,

“ For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb...” (Psalm 139:13)

that it was He and not just mere human biology that constructed the body of the Christian,

then why would a Christian have a problem with God’s creation (choosing) of a Christian’s rebirth?

”Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3).

If we did not have initiative or a choice in the first birth, why would a Christian believe that he has initiative or choice in the second?

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187 Comments:

Blogger Jonathan Moorhead said...

Right on!

July 01, 2007 11:11 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Susan, very good question!

July 02, 2007 7:59 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Susan,
I think it is because they do not understand the extent of original sin and the condition that it left man's will. We were left with a free will for sure, but a will that was unable to choose other than the desires of the spiritually dead nature......

Also, Armininians look at the enormous amount of scripture that gives the external call and read into it an ability that is not present in unregenerate man.

July 02, 2007 9:14 AM

 
Blogger Craver Vii said...

How excellent! I will definitely be using that question in future conversations.

July 02, 2007 9:28 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Jazzy,
I agree with you that Christians differ on their understandings of the extent of original sin and free will.
What I find most interesting is that I cannot find the term "free will" in Scripture. Whereas I do find the word "elect" liberally throughout.
So what I am left with is the thought that unconditional election is offensive to the flesh, and even born-again Christians can choose to serve the flesh (old man) and quench the Spirit, so they deny God's sovereignty in election, choosing instead to believe in their own "free will."

July 02, 2007 9:32 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

the external call

Jazzy,
By this do you mean the call to repentance?

July 02, 2007 9:35 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

craver,
The question of this post came to me yesterday, and I really wondered about it.
Another question you may find useful in conversations is one Jonathan Moorhead posed on his blog awhile back, which was basically:
What's the difference between a God who unconditionally elects some men for His glory (while others rightly and justly burn in Hell) and a God who creates men knowing that some will not 'choose' Him and they will therefore spend eternity in Hell? It's another good question.

July 02, 2007 9:43 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

correction:

not just "knowing," but
"foreknowing that some will not 'choose' Him and they will therefore spend eternity in Hell?"

So if the Arminian's God does this, how does the Calvinist's God differ if the latter in His love sovereignly elects some for His own glory?

July 02, 2007 9:49 AM

 
Blogger Baptist Girl said...

very good question Susan!

Cristina

July 02, 2007 9:53 AM

 
Blogger Gayla said...

Susan said, "So what I am left with is the thought that unconditional election is offensive to the flesh"

Exactly.

When the ultimate sovereignty of God runs contrary to our preconceived notions about Him, it is an affront to us. (generally speaking) The overarching idea about God is that He is all loving (which of course He is) and that "a God like that" would not 'send people to hell.' So when people choose to believe their own hype over the truth of the word of God, they are then left insulted by His sovereign plan. Because after all, it's all about human beings, not the holy and righteous God of the universe.

July 02, 2007 10:25 AM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Susan "So if the Arminian's God does this ["foreknowing that some will not 'choose' Him and they will therefore spend eternity in Hell?"], how does the Calvinist's God differ if the latter in His love sovereignly elects some for His own glory?"

I'm not Arminian, but the difference is that we at least have a choice in the matter of salvation. :-)

July 02, 2007 10:41 AM

 
Blogger Gayla said...

And then in becomes the person's 'fault' and not God's. I think as long as blame is assigned to people and not God, they feel better about it.

July 02, 2007 10:47 AM

 
Blogger Gayla said...

And then IT becomes.... not in.

July 02, 2007 10:48 AM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Gayla "So when people choose to believe their own hype over the truth of the word of God, they are then left insulted by His sovereign plan. Because after all, it's all about human beings, not the holy and righteous God of the universe."

I don't believe my own hype. I believe the Word of God which says that "whoseover" will call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. I have no problem with the Sovereignty of God whatsoever. To say that non-Calvinists believe that it's all about man is a straw man because we don't believe it's all about us. We believe it IS about God's sovereignty AND His Glory. He cares about us so it IS about us too. In God's sovereignty He gave us a choice in the matter. We're not DEAD as in we cannot respond to the gospel without first being born again. The ever present Spirit of the Lord allows us the ability to respond. If we're dead in our trespasses and sins then we're also dead to sin. You can't have it both ways. If dead means incapable then it means incapable of responding and incapable of sinning, and I don't think you believe we are incapable of sinning once we are born again. Right?

July 02, 2007 10:49 AM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Gayla "I think as long as blame is assigned to people and not God, they feel better about it."

Not true.

July 02, 2007 10:51 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Dawn,

Can you show me Scripture that speaks to our "choice" in the matter of salvation?

There are many regarding the "elect" and God's sovereignty in hardening hearts, placing a veil, and choosing a people to give to His Son.

July 02, 2007 10:56 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

I believe the Word of God which says that "whoseover" will call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." - Matthew 7:21

July 02, 2007 11:02 AM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Susan, Romans 10:13; John 1:12 just to name two off the top of my head.

July 02, 2007 11:02 AM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Susan ""Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." - Matthew 7:21"

Okaaay?

July 02, 2007 11:04 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

The external call would be passages like John 3:16, people witnessing, preachers preaching, etc. God uses the external call to give the internal call throught the Holy Spirit. This is the effectual or internal call that draws the sinner and enables them to willingly respond in faith and repentance.

July 02, 2007 11:07 AM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Susan "There are many regarding the "elect" and God's sovereignty in hardening hearts, placing a veil, and choosing a people to give to His Son."

Like I said, I believe in the sovereignty of God and I also believe in His hardening, placing veils and choosing people to service. Nowhere does it say that God chooses some to salvation while leaving others in their sin for any reason other than belief and unbelief.

July 02, 2007 11:10 AM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Jazzycat "The external call would be passages like John 3:16, people witnessing, preachers preaching, etc. God uses the external call to give the internal call throught the Holy Spirit. This is the effectual or internal call that draws the sinner and enables them to willingly respond in faith and repentance."

This is how I see it. Though I see it differently from you. I believe that a person's heart, though it is continually evil, can still receive or reject the gospel because of the Spirit of the Lord. (Romans 10:10) However, only God knows a person's heart. The question of why one receives and one rejects is something only God knows.

July 02, 2007 11:14 AM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

July 02, 2007 11:19 AM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Jazzy "I think it is because they do not understand the extent of original sin and the condition that it left man's will. We were left with a free will for sure, but a will that was unable to choose other than the desires of the spiritually dead nature......

Also, Armininians look at the enormous amount of scripture that gives the external call and read into it an ability that is not present in unregenerate man.
"

I'm not Arminian, but can you tell me why if we're dead to sin we can still sin?

July 02, 2007 11:20 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Dawn,

Re: Romans 10:13,

I believe that you are reading into the verse: "everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved" to mean that anyone who calls upon the Lord is saved is refuted by Jesus' statement that "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven."

Likewise, I think that the context of Romans 10:13 provides the proper interpretation of the verse.

Paul is quoting Joel (2:32) to emphasize that salvation is available for people of all nations and races, not just the Jews (who up until that time had the unique relationship with God that is now - since Christ's finished work - available to more than just the Jews). At the time the book of Romans was written, it was the Jews and only the Jews who were to bear and obey God's Word as a light to the nations. Now, it is for the follower/disciple of Christ to do.

Disciples of Christ are called to study carefully the Word of God to determine meaning in terms of context, analogy of faith (Scripture interpreting Scripture), literalistic interpretation (grammar, word choice, genre), genre analysis (history, poetry, etc), grammatico-historical context, authorship and dating. Without such scrutiny, a verse can easily be lifted out of context and misinterpreted.

July 02, 2007 11:22 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Nowhere does it say that God chooses some to salvation while leaving others in their sin for any reason other than belief and unbelief.

"And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will pursue them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD. And they did so." Exodus 14:4

This speaks to God's glory, not belief and unbelief. The Egyptians then knew that God is the Lord, but Scripture doesn't say they believed or disbelieved. It simply tells us God received the glory, delivered His people, and the Egyptians knew God was the Lord, but Egypt is also a type of the world in the OT. I don't think all Egyptians thusly believed because of God's hardening Pharoah's heart.

July 02, 2007 11:30 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Dawn,
I still don't see in either verse you provided (Romans 10:13; John 1:12) words regarding we at least have a choice in the matter of salvation.

July 02, 2007 11:32 AM

 
Blogger Gayla said...

Hi Dawn!

Please know that I was speaking generally. In conversations, I've run across alot of people who have no problem with God being sovereign...over everything except man.

July 02, 2007 11:48 AM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

I agree. Not everyone who says Lord, Lord is saved. Like I said in a previous comment it is a matter of the heart and only God knows the heart. If one is truly calling on the Lord for salvation they will be saved. I wasn't lifting it out of its context.

Romans 10:9-13 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

Also, it is my understanding that while God's relationship with the Israelites was unique salvation has ALWAYS been available to ALL mankind (e.g., people from other lands who believed in Abraham's God, the people from other nations who came to Israel, Nineveh, etc.).

While it is true that men and women from every kindred and nation will be saved, it doesn't mean that God has chosen only certain ones for salvation for no apparent reason. God has chosen those who believe and receive Him and they ARE scattered throughout the earth. And only HE knows who these people, ultimately His people, are.

All due respect, but I believe the Calvinist is the one who is reading his theology into the scriptures.

July 02, 2007 11:56 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

I've run across alot of people who have no problem with God being sovereign...over everything except man.

Very true, which I think demonstrates the offense of the flesh to God.

Another way of looking at the issue of God's sovereignty is that in the view that we have a "choice in our salvation" limits God's sovereignty.

In other words, if God is beholden to our decision to accept/receive Him, then His sovereignty is in some way dependent on us.

Therefore, His sovereignty is not complete. He is not ultimately and truly sovereign if beholden to man's "choice."

A poor analogy, but if your husband offers you meat or chicken for dinner, he is beholden to your 'choice.' He is limited by your selection and bound to your decision.

I believe there's a reason that Jesus said "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3) and did not say "You must make a choice to be saved."

July 02, 2007 12:02 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

God has chosen those who believe and receive Him and they ARE scattered throughout the earth.

Aha! We agree on something! Yay!

July 02, 2007 12:03 PM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Where does God hardening Pharoah's heart speak of salvation?

July 02, 2007 12:04 PM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Susan, if you receive something it is your choice, is it not? If you reject something, it is your choice. Right?

July 02, 2007 12:05 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

I've been up all night and need a nap. Great dicussion here.

P.S. Please keep my family in prayer. They left to vacation in NYC while I stay with my dad and sick dog.

July 02, 2007 12:09 PM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

God, in His sovereignty, has given us a choice. Where does it say that God isn't sovereign if He gives man a choice in salvation?

July 02, 2007 12:09 PM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Mark, you all are in my prayers.

July 02, 2007 12:10 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Where does God hardening Pharoah's heart speak of salvation?

It doesn't. That's part of my point.

Hey Dawn, I'm really glad for your participation here. May I ask you a question - directly related to the post topic because I honestly desire to know this.

You and I obviously differ in our theology, so I'd like to know, well, two things actually:

1. What do *you* believe is meant by Jesus' words "born again"?

2. How would you define your theological construct? In other words, what's the theology that closest defines the doctrine or system of belief to which you hold?

July 02, 2007 12:13 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Where does it say that God isn't sovereign if He gives man a choice in salvation?

As it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."
What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means!
For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."
So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.
For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."
So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.
You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?"
But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?"
Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?
What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,
in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory--
even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?

As indeed he says in Hosea, "Those who were not my people I will call 'my people,' and her who was not beloved I will call 'beloved.'"
"And in the very place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people,' there they will be called 'sons of the living God.'"
Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: "Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved,
(Romans 9:13-27)

July 02, 2007 12:18 PM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Susan "I believe there's a reason that Jesus said "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3) and did not say "You must make a choice to be saved.""

Susan, if you'll go down further in the chapter you will see reference to Moses lifting up the serpent. I'm sure you know that the people had a "choice" as to whether or not they would look at the serpent to be healed right? Jesus goes on to say, "even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life."

This is the same choice we are given with Christ. If we believe in/on Christ we shall be saved; if we reject Him, we are damned.

John 3:14-16 "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 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."

July 02, 2007 12:21 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Susan, if you receive something it is your choice, is it not? If you reject something, it is your choice. Right?

Only within the limits of our created nature. For example, a fish cannot "receive" a steak dropped in its aquarium.

Ages ago, Pyromaniacs had a good analogy, I think, which offered the idea of a dog and a horse tied up next to one another. Opposite the horse was a raw steak. Opposite the dog was a pile of hay. Once set loose, the dog will always go to the meat - and the horse the hay. Because that is their created nature. They are confined by it.

I don't know if that answers your question, but we are limited by our created natures. I can't receive what I am incapable of receiving - that is, without the work of God's Holy Spirit beforehand I am incapable of receiving Him.

"The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Co 2:14)

July 02, 2007 12:24 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Susan "I believe there's a reason that Jesus said "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3) and did not say "You must make a choice to be saved.""
Susan, if you'll go down further in the chapter you will see reference to Moses lifting up the serpent. I'm sure you know that the people had a "choice" as to whether or not they would look at the serpent to be healed right? Jesus goes on to say, "even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life."


Dawn,
Ok. So let's look at the full text of what Jesus said to Nicodemus:

Joh 3:5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

Joh 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Joh 3:7 Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'

Joh 3:8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit."

Jesus said, "that which is born of Spirit"

I'm interested, Dawn, in understanding what you believe Jesus' words - "born again" - mean? What does "born of Spirit" mean to you?

July 02, 2007 12:37 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

A bit lengthy, but Matthew Henry on the Israelites "looking up" to the Serpent. A good read, methinks.

"Christ here discourses of the great design of his own coming into the world, and the happiness of those that believe in him, (John 3:14-18). Here we have the very marrow and quintessence of the whole gospel, that faithful saying (1 Ti 1:15), that Jesus Christ came to seek and to save the children of men from death, and recover them to life. Now sinners are dead men upon a twofold account:

(1.) As one that is mortally wounded, or sick of an incurable disease, is said to be a dead man, for he is dying; and so Christ came to save us, by healing us, as the brazen serpent healed the Israelites, John 3:14, John 3:15.

(2.) As one that is justly condemned to die for an unpardonable crime is a dead man, he is dead in law; and, in reference to this part of our danger, Christ came to save as a prince or judge, publishing an act of indemnity, or general pardon, under certain provisos; this saving here is opposed to condemning, John 3:16-18.

[1.] Jesus Christ came to save us by healing us, as the children of Israel that were stung with fiery serpents were cured and lived by looking up to the brazen serpent; we have the story of it, Num 21:6-9. It was the last miracle that passed through the hand of Moses before his death. Now in this type of Christ we may observe,

First, The deadly and destructive nature of sin, which is implied here. The guilt of sin is like the pain of the biting of a fiery serpent; the power of corruption is like the venom diffused thereby. The devil is the old serpent, subtle at first (Gen 3:1), but ever since fiery, and his temptations fiery darts, his assaults terrifying, his victories destroying. Ask awakened consciences, ask damned sinners, and they will tell you, how charming soever the allurements of sin are, at the last it bites like a serpent, Pro 23:30-32. God's wrath against us for sin is as those fiery serpents which God sent among the people, to punish them for their murmurings. The curses of the law are as fiery serpents, so are all the tokens of divine wrath.

Secondly, The powerful remedy provided against this fatal malady. The case of poor sinners is deplorable; but is it desperate? Thanks be to God, it is not; there is balm in Gilead. The Son of man is lifted up, as the serpent of brass was by Moses, which cured the stung Israelites.

1. It was a serpent of brass that
cured them. Brass is bright; we read of Christ's feet shining like brass, Rev 1:15. It is durable; Christ is the same. It was made in the shape of a fiery serpent, and yet had no poison, no sting, fitly representing Christ, who was made sin for us and yet knew no sin; was made in the likeness of sinful flesh and yet not sinful; as harmless as a serpent of brass. The serpent was a cursed creature; Christ was made a curse. That which cured them reminded them of their plague; so in Christ sin is set before us most fiery and formidable.

2. It was lifted up upon a pole, and so must the Son of man be lifted up; thus it behoved him, Luke 24:26, Luke 24:46. No remedy now. Christ is lifted up,

(1.) In his crucifixion. He was lifted up upon the cross. His death is called his being lifted up, John 12:32, John 12:33. He was lifted up as a spectacle, as a mark, lifted up between heaven and earth, as if he had been unworthy of either and abandoned by both.

(2.) In his exaltation. He was lifted up to the Father's right hand, to give repentance and remission; he was lifted up to the cross, to be further lifted up to the crown.

(3.) In the publishing and preaching of his everlasting gospel, Rev 14:6. The serpent was lifted up that all the thousands of Israel might see it. Christ in the gospel is exhibited to us, evidently set forth; Christ is lifted up as an ensign, Isa 11:10.

3. It was lifted up by Moses. Christ was made under the law of Moses, and Moses testified of him.

4. Being thus lifted up, it was appointed for the cure of those that were bitten by fiery serpents. He that sent the plague provided the remedy. None could redeem and save us but he whose justice had condemned us. It was God himself that found the ransom, and the efficacy of it depends upon his appointment. The fiery serpents were sent to punish them for their tempting Christ (so the apostle saith, 1Co 10:9), and yet they were healed by virtue derived from him. He whom we have offended is our peace.

Thirdly, The way of applying this remedy, and that is by believing, which plainly alludes to the Israelites' looking up to the brazen serpent, in order to their being healed by it. If any stung Israelite was either so little sensible of his pain and peril, or had so little confidence in the word of Moses as not to look up to the brazen serpent, justly did he die of his wound; but every one that looked up to it did well, Num 21:9. If any so far slight either their disease by sin or the method of cure by Christ as not to embrace Christ upon his own terms, their blood is upon their own head. He hath said, Look, and be saved (Isa 45:22), look and live. We must take a complacency in and give consent to the methods which Infinite Wisdom has taken is saving a guilty world, by the mediation of Jesus Christ, as the great sacrifice and intercessor.
Fourthly, The great encouragements given us by faith to look up to him.

1. It was for this end that he was lifted up, that his followers might be saved; and he will pursue his end.

2. The offer that is made of salvation by him is general, that whosoever believes in him, without exception, might have benefit by him.

3. The salvation offered is complete.

(1.) They shall not perish, shall not die of their wounds; though they may be pained and ill frightened, iniquity shall not be their ruin. But that is not all.

(2.) They shall have eternal life. They shall not only not die of their wounds in the wilderness, but they shall reach Canaan (which they were then just ready to enter into); they shall enjoy the promised rest."

July 02, 2007 12:41 PM

 
Blogger Baptist Girl said...

Hi dawn,
"Whosoever"...John 3:16 Anyone can choice God?

Romans 3:11-12 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
and...
1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.


John 12:39-40 Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, 40 He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with [their] eyes, nor understand with [their] heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.

Ephesians 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

These verses not only say that man will not seek or choose God,
but they also say that the elect are saved according to God's will & purpose, not man's.

God first draws us and then do we respond.

Cristina

July 02, 2007 12:59 PM

 
Blogger only1way said...

Ouch. I think I will stay out of this. Looks like a cat fight. :-)

July 02, 2007 1:05 PM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Susan, Romans 9 (which has been lifted out of its context) certainly shows us the sovereignty of God. God definitely chooses certain ones for His purposes. But here Paul is speaking of His choice of "service" between Jacob and Esau.

Of course God will harden whom He will and have mercy on whom He will. With Pharoah, Paul is speaking of God's glory in raising up a "mighty man" whom He FOREKNEW would reject Him. And He is showing that this "mighty man" is NOTHING to God. I'm sure God knew some would question His tactics and say that it was not Pharoah's fault because it was God who hardened to the point of not allowing His people to go. But Pharoah hardened his heart first and then God further hardened his heart. It actually went back and forth. Sometimes God would harden Pharoah's heart and sometimes Pharoah would harden his own heart. Who are we to question God and how He handles things. And it is true, who are we to question God? But thankfully, we have His word which reveals the heart of God toward us and we KNOW why we're sometimes hardened and why God sometimes grants mercy even on the wicked.

In matters of salvation, we know that God has mercy on those who believe and does not have mercy on those who do not believe.

Paul is trying to explain that just because one is born a Jew doesn't mean he is automaticallly a child of God who will be saved. I also see a lot of foreknowledge going on here.

In chapter 10 verse 3 Paul says that Israel has not submitted to the righteousness of God. Isn't that a choice that one makes? These people were clinging to their own righteousness and the law. Paul is trying to show them that Jesus truly is the Messiah and they must believe to be saved and that it is through FAITH and not WORKS.

Nowhere in Romans 9 do I see where God chooses some to salvation and others to Hell for no apparent reason. He chooses on the basis of belief.

July 02, 2007 1:10 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

John,
Aww, don't suggest a cat fight. I see men on-line engaging in apologetics (well, perhaps it's a stretch to say that's what we're doing here in this discussion) and really getting into it to dig deep and search the riches of Scriptures to discover meaning and application. I love being a fly on the wall when they do.
I hope that's what you see here. Not a cat fight, but a dogged discussion of the importance of correct doctrine. ;-)
Hey, I'll bore y'all no more for awhile. Gotta go to the airport to pick up my dad, who's flying in for 10 days. My time on-line will be catch-as-catch-can. Lucky for you, huh?

July 02, 2007 1:12 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Susan, Romans 9 (which has been lifted out of its context) certainly shows us the sovereignty of God. God definitely chooses certain ones for His purposes. But here Paul is speaking of His choice of "service" between Jacob and Esau.

Dawn,
I'm writing on the fly, out the door to the airport. But I'd like you to expand on this. You've lost me when you write that Romans 9 is "lifted out of context".
And I don't know what you mean by "His choice of 'service' between Jacob and Esau." Could you explain yourself a little more fully? I don't understand.
Many thanks. I'll pick up on this later today as time allows.

July 02, 2007 1:14 PM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Susan "...that is, without the work of God's Holy Spirit beforehand I am incapable of receiving Him."

I agree; however, the Spirit does go beforehand as seen through His creation, His word, His presence so we ARE capable.

I Corinthians 2:14 is speaking of the deeper things of God as seen in verses 9-13. In chapter 3 verses 1-3 shows that even some of those in Corinth could not understand the deeper things of God for they were carnal. So this scripture doesn't mean that the natural man cannot understand his need for salvation, rather he cannot understand the deeper things of God. You're reading your theology into the text.

July 02, 2007 1:20 PM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

I have a few chores to do so I'll have to come back and read the new comments and respond a little later.

July 02, 2007 1:22 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

I disagree with my friend John,very strongly. I do not see a "cat fight" here. I think it is a profitable discussion. Please keep it up.

Dawn, dear sister, and new and respected friend, Welcome!

My question to you is what do you think "dead" means in Eph.2?

July 02, 2007 1:43 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Susan, Dawn, Gayla,
I have been out and have not been able to keep up with this thread. I saw a lot of questions to me about the external and effectual (internal) call of God.

Here are a couple of my devotionals on my view external call & internal call

Also this on Romans 8:30 may be helpful.

July 02, 2007 2:23 PM

 
Blogger Baptist Girl said...

Hey Susan,
Not boring at all. I am encouraged that sisters and brothers can discuss theology calmly and maturely even if they do not agree totally. God uses each of us to learn from one another and grow.

Glad to have you here Dawn.

Cristina

July 02, 2007 3:04 PM

 
Blogger Baptist Girl said...

We do not seek God....

Isa 64:7 And [there is] none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.

Rom 3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

Gen 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every imagination of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually.

Psalms 10:4 The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek [God]; God [is] in none of his thoughts.

Psalms 14:2-3 2 The LORD looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek God. 3 They have all turned aside, They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one.

Psalms 119:155 Salvation [is] far from the wicked, For they do not seek Your statutes.


It is God working in you...

Ezekiel 36:26-27 26 "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 "I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.

Cristina

July 02, 2007 3:09 PM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Susan "What do *you* believe is meant by Jesus' words "born again"?"

I believe born again means that upon a person repenting and placing their faith/belief in Jesus Christ God quickens their spirit. They are thus born again. Their spirit is now alive. They are given a new heart and are able to commune with the Father. They are able to understand the deeper things of God and are able to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh. Our sins are forgiven. We are made righteous through His blood. We are adopted into the kingdom and we have eternal life. I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but you get the gist.

Susan "How would you define your theological construct? In other words, what's the theology that closest defines the doctrine or system of belief to which you hold?"

I have no idea. I agree with much of my Calvinist friends except for TULIP. I'll give a quick explanation.

T: I agree that we are totally depraved; however, I don't believe that total depravity equals total inability since we have the Spirit of the Lord ever present.

U: I believe the bible teaches that God elects conditionally. That condition being belief/faith.

L: I believe that Jesus died for all mankind. His atonement is limited only insofar as it does not atone for those who do not believe.

I: God's grace is obviously irresistible. (Acts 7:51)

P: I've not really pondered on this aspect of Calvinism too much, but I do believe that our works are evidence of our faith; though, we are not saved by our works.

July 02, 2007 4:15 PM

 
Blogger only1way said...

Actually thr Greek is "born from above". Born again does not convey the true meaning of the text.

July 02, 2007 5:10 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

John,
Can you explain yourself more fully here? What do you mean?
I see by the Greek that you are correct:
ἄνωθεν
anōthen
an'-o-then
From G507; from above; by analogy from the first; by implication anew: - from above, again, from the beginning (very first), the top.
However, what is the implication of this difference ("again" versus "from above")?

July 02, 2007 5:57 PM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

Susan,

You don't mess around when you ask a question, do ya? Excellent post!

July 02, 2007 6:18 PM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

Dawn,

What makes you think that you are not Arminian?

July 02, 2007 6:18 PM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Cristina: "Romans 3:11-12 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one."

Paul was showing the Jews that ALL are sinners: Jews AND Gentiles. I believe that it is true that without the Spirit of the Lord we would never seek God. But God is ever drawing us in one form or another. Here is one example:

Acts 17:26-27 "And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:"

Can you tell me, Cristina, where this proves inability to respond positively to the gospel?

I've already explained I Corinthians 2:14 above.

Cristina: "John 12:39-40 Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, 40 He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with [their] eyes, nor understand with [their] heart, and be converted, and I should heal them."

This was a prophecy, the foreknowledge of God. Why does God blind people, harden their hearts and give them ears that don't hear? Because they do see and hear, but they reject God's Word.

Matthew 13:13-15 "Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes THEY have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them." (emphasis added)

Cristina "Ephesians 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,"

What is the good pleasure of His will? To predestinate those who believe unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself. What is also the good pleasure of His will? To save those who believe.

Ephesians 1:11-14 "In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, AFTER that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also AFTER that ye BELIEVED, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory." (emphasis added)

1 Corinthians 1:21 "For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe."

Cristina: "These verses not only say that man will not seek or choose God, but they also say that the elect are saved according to God's will & purpose, not man's.

I don't see anything in these scriptures that says we are incapable of receiving (in essence choosing to put our faith/belief/trust in Jesus Christ) the gift of salvation. You are reading your theology into these scriptures.

I agree. We are saved according to God's will and not man's. God's will and purpose is to save those who believe.

Cristina "God first draws us and then do we respond."

Absolutely. I'm glad that we agree on this. Without God's drawing we would never seek Him.

July 02, 2007 6:45 PM

 
Blogger only1way said...

John,
Can you explain yourself more fully here? What do you mean?

I am in my work office now so little time to explain. Actually you have to define that verse against the backdrop of John 3 where the Lord is asked whether a man can enter a second time into his mother's womb. The answer differentiates between the natural birth (the physical birth as in the “earthly” ) and the Spiritual birth which is a birth from above (heavenly and spiritual). Nichodemus was getting it all wrong thinking that he needed to be born twice in a physical way. The Lord explained that the birth of which he so desperately needed was not a “born again” experience as though the first physical birth was not enough but a “born from above” experience that can only be described in a spiritual, mystical, heavenly way. So truly reborn individuals have two births: one physical (below) and one spiritual (from above)

July 02, 2007 6:51 PM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

John, I don't feel like I'm in a cat fight, just honestly asking and answering each other's questions. :-)

I'll respond to more when time permits.

July 02, 2007 6:51 PM

 
Blogger only1way said...

Dawn said...
John, I don't feel like I'm in a cat fight, just honestly asking and answering each other's questions. :-)

I know dawn. I was just joking. This is an excellent forum for give and take.

July 02, 2007 8:30 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

So truly reborn individuals have two births: one physical (below) and one spiritual (from above)


John,
I guess I don't see the differentiation then between what this post is saying and the statement above.

Both births are the work of God and God alone. Neither our initiative nor our choosing.

July 02, 2007 8:41 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

I: God's grace is obviously irresistible. (Acts 7:51)

Dawn, I don't get it. I don't think you're stating that God's grace is irresistible from the traditional Reformed viewpoint. You cite a verse that tells of the Jews resisting the Holy Spirit:

Act 7:51 "You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you.

I don't get your point saying God's grace is irresistible then citing this verse. Can you explain?

Likewise, can you answer my question re: Romans 9? I don't know what you mean that it was lifted out of context. That and I don't know what you mean by "His choice of 'service' between Jacob and Esau." Could you explain yourself a little more fully? I don't understand.

How do the following verses in Romans 9 relate to the service between Jacob and Esau:

v. 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.

v. 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.


v. 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?

Many thanks. I'll pick up on this later today as time allows.

July 02, 2007 8:48 PM

 
Blogger only1way said...

John,
I guess I don't see the differentiation then between what this post is saying and the statement above.

Both births are the work of God and God alone. Neither our initiative nor our choosing.

July 02, 2007 8:41 PM

Yes u r right Susan but the Born from above translation speaks a bit more directly to God's sovereign choice in the salvation process than the "born again" translation does. Remember what the Lord said later to Nochodemus ---Do not be astonished that I said to you, "You must be born from above.'

-The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit."

Here He is saying that Nichodemus need not overly trouble himself with this teaching because man has no part in being born from above. The wind blows where it chooses-- man has no say in that -- we cannot decide or know where the wind comes from or where it is going. "So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." To be born from above is to be born of the Spirit and it is not of man to decide who will be born from above where the Godhead dwells. It is all of the Spirit.

July 02, 2007 9:34 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Dawn,
You said....
If one is truly calling on the Lord for salvation they will be saved.

This is true. There is no disagreement here. The debate is over whether one can truly call on the Lord for salvation apart from God through the Holy Spirit changing a person and enabling them see and hear where they were once blind and deaf. It all comes down to distinguishing between the external call that you have given many Scripture references to and the effectual call. Does the Bible teach that man has the ability in and of himself to come to salvation (your view) or does God have to intervene (Calvinism)?

Have you read my links I gave to the external call and the internal call?

July 02, 2007 10:43 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Hi Susan,
It looks like I am late to the party. :~)

If we did not have initiative or a choice in the first birth, why would a Christian believe that he has initiative or choice in the second?

In the bigger picture of things, I could give you a few reasons. First of all, many of the Scriptures that Dawn has pointed out; Romans 5:2 is another. I see Jaazzycat has explained those away ... by referring to them as the "external call", although, funnily enough, I cannot find the phrase "external call" anywhere in the Bible. ;~)

On the other hand, I might say that I am concerned about unwanted pregnancies, miscarriages, abortions and still-births. As I think about that ... and your question ... I am reminded of a quote from Jonathan Moorhead: "I think your [sic] taking the illustration too far."

July 03, 2007 8:49 AM

 
Blogger only1way said...

Hello Rose. You have a beautiful child. You need to take a look at my previous entry with regard to John 3. The obvious and clear teaching is that man has no direct "yes or no" in the new birth. The Spirit quickens whom He will. Also Acts 13:48 is the definitive scripture here. There is no missing the point that in the salvation process He ordains. We do not choose.

July 03, 2007 9:02 AM

 
Blogger Scribe said...

Outside of the work of the Holy Ghost, none can come to God...If one holds to the paradigm that man can, he unequivocally denies the work of the Spirit(consciously or unconsciously)...There is none that seeketh after God, no not one!

/Scribe

July 03, 2007 9:27 AM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

I read it already, only1way. I read all of the comments here.

Scribe,
I would agree with you. I would never deny that the Spirit is essentail for the gosepl to be seen.

July 03, 2007 9:36 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Scribe,
Are you back from Vegas?
Are you back a millionaire? ;-)

Rose,

Nice photo. That must be Levi. You look very happy.

I'm sure you know we'll disagree on this, but I do think that Jesus must have used the words "born again [from above]" for a reason. How often those words are used casually - "I'm a born-again Christian" - without much thought about what it means.

To be born requires nothing on the part of the person to whom is given life. Once born, however, they have some ability to do limited things, and once mature, even more still.

I think Jesus' employment of these words lends credence to Unconditional Election. No conditions are placed on physical birth (well, at least not for Levi; you may recall the conditions required of you for him to appear in this world :-).

Likewise, spiritual birth.
Our God is so good; That's something on which we can agree.

Since you say you can't find "external call" in the Bible, can you find "free will"?

I don't get your point about unwanted pregnancies, etc. How can the illustration be taken too far if Jesus Himself used the language "born again/from above"?

July 03, 2007 9:40 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Hi All: I must go to a funeral for my friends mom. I also have a pre-planed get together with another old friend later this day, as such I'll be away a good part of the day. I'll be back in the early evening. See you then.

Rose, that is a very beautiful picture of mother and child. You look so very happy. What a blessing!

Mark

July 03, 2007 10:04 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Rose,
Levi is a beautiful child.

1. Did he choose his physical birth?

2. Did he choose his Godly parents instead of say Muslim parents in Iran?

3. Does he have a better chance to become a Christian than a Muslim child born the same day in Iran?

4. Is God equally fair to Levi and that Muslim child?

5. Will Levi have to choose his spiritual birth in an of himself?

6. Will the Muslim child have to choose his spiritual birth in and of himself?

Answers: Under Calvinism no, no, yes, yes, no, no

Under non-calvinism no, no, yes, no, yes, yes

The last three are reversed under non-Calvinism.

July 03, 2007 10:43 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Rose,
I explained the two calls away???? No Rose, the Bible does.

John 3:16 Gives a call that many refuse. I think we agree on that.

Romans 8:30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

Romans 8:30 speaks of a call that no one rejects. All that are predestined are called and justified (saved). The ONLY conclusion is that calls such as John 3:16 are not the same as the one that God gives in Romans 8:30.

One call is universal and one is effectual.

July 03, 2007 10:56 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Let me pose this question:

Say one is born in a country where it is taught that Christians are infidels, they believe in three gods, and have killed many of your ancestors in the Crusades. Say your family hates Christians and so do your neighbors and countrymen - can such an one ever come to Christ? Answer - Yes. It has been known to happen in such circumstances.

Scenario two:

One grows up in a well to do Christian home, with godly parents who nurture and teach the ways of the Lord. Can such an one die in their sins, having rejected the Lord and his message of salvation? Yes. It has indeed happened.

Why does one, under such adverse circumstances come to Christ while the other, under favorable circumstances, rejects Him?

July 03, 2007 12:45 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Let's add to the first scenario the fact that that one who comes to Christ is faced with expulsion from his family and jail time. Why does he come to Christ while the other does not?

July 03, 2007 12:48 PM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Mark: "My question to you is what do you think "dead" means in Eph.2?"

Hey Mark! I think dead means that we are spiritually dead and separated from God. We cannot commune with Him unless and until we are born again.

July 03, 2007 1:41 PM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Susan:Likewise, can you answer my question re: Romans 9? I don't know what you mean that it was lifted out of context. That and I don't know what you mean by "His choice of 'service' between Jacob and Esau." Could you explain yourself a little more fully? I don't understand.

How do the following verses in Romans 9 relate to the service between Jacob and Esau:

v. 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.

v. 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.


v. 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?


While Jacob and Esau do represent believers and non-believers, this isn’t about God electing some to salvation while leaving others in their sin for no apparent reason. God elects/chooses for salvation those who believe. I don’t have time to properly explain this because there is a lot of history packed into these verses.

Briefly: When I say you’ve lifted these verses out of their contexts I mean that the original accounts have nothing to do with God’s choosing only certain ones to salvation (e.g., Jacob and Esau, Pharaoh, Moses and the Israelites). You’re reading your theology into the text. When God “elects,” it doesn’t necessarily mean the election has to do with “salvation.” The account of God’s election of Jacob over Esau had nothing to with salvation, rather it had to do with who would carry the lineage of Jesus. And God told Rebecca that the elder would serve the younger. So we see that this “election” had to do with service/blessing/position. It is simply saying that God is the one in control. His choices are His own and it doesn’t depend upon our will or our exertions.

In matters of salvation, GOD has sovereignly chosen to save those who believe. Those who believe are the elect. He elects/chooses those who believe. (I hope that makes sense.) We cannot work our way into salvation. We cannot be physically born into salvation. It is through faith that we are saved. God has mercy on those who believe and He hardens those who reject Him.

As to the potter and the clay, God has created us all. God has the right to use us in any way He so chooses. He doesn’t create some to be evil and some to be good. We’re all evil in His sight until we place our faith in Him. God has the right to do with each individual, saved or unsaved, as He so chooses.

Hope that answers your questions.

July 03, 2007 1:54 PM

 
Blogger Scribe said...

I would agree with you. I would never deny that the Spirit is essentail for the gosepl to be seen.

Then we are in agreement! Now, why are we having this convo again? Rose I know, from your own comments, that you are in disagreement with some of the Free-Grace positions, as I am with some Reformed paradigms(e.g. paedobaptism, amillenialism, etc) :D

Tell John I said "Hi" OK?

Susan,

We are still on vacation, and we are not millionaires, but gazillionaires...in Christ Jesus ofcourse, LOL!!

The casinos have not seen a dime of my funds (nor will they) but Wal-Mart and Target are killing my pocket book!! We are scheduled to return on the 10th of July...I miss blogging...

/Scribe

July 03, 2007 2:01 PM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Gojira,

When I first became aware of Calvinism and Arminianism I looked up the Arminian beliefs and I didn't fit into that category. If memory serves, they believe we have it within ourselves to seek and respond to God. I don't believe we can do that without the help of the Holy Spirit.

I simply don't fit into any particular label. Though I know you would call me Arminian, but I reject that label. I'm simply a biblicist. If you want to label me, then I'm comfortable with non-Calvinist. :-)

July 03, 2007 2:05 PM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Susan: "Dawn, I don't get it. I don't think you're stating that God's grace is irresistible from the traditional Reformed viewpoint. You cite a verse that tells of the Jews resisting the Holy Spirit:

Act 7:51 "You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you.

I don't get your point saying God's grace is irresistible then citing this verse. Can you explain?
"

The grace of God comes in many forms (creation, trials and tribulation, mercy, goodness, etc.)and is given through the Holy Spirit. God draws us by His grace and people are able to resist that drawing.

July 03, 2007 2:13 PM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Jazzy: "Does the Bible teach that man has the ability in and of himself to come to salvation (your view) or does God have to intervene (Calvinism)?"

The bible teaches that man does not have the ability in and of himself to come to salvation. We have that ability through the Holy Spirit. I agree. God MUST intervene and thankfully He does continually! :-)

July 03, 2007 2:16 PM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Wayne, I have not had a chance to read your articles, but I will read them.

July 03, 2007 2:16 PM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

"When I first became aware of Calvinism and Arminianism I looked up the Arminian beliefs and I didn't fit into that category. If memory serves, they believe we have it within ourselves to seek and respond to God. I don't believe we can do that without the help of the Holy Spirit."

Hi Dawn,

Sorry, but that isnot what Arminianism teaches. What you described is purt near fullblown Pelaginism. So far, you have answered in standard Arminian flair, all the way down to your view of the sovereignity of God. Your answers have been right in line with Roger E. Olson, Robert Picirilli, Jerry Walls and Joseph Dongell, just to name a few. Unfortunately, you do fit that label, and that just isn't me forcing that label. You actually holdup what they teach, specifically in a more pop evangelical way, as I am sure that you would affirm eternal security. That makes you along the lines of a four point Arminian.

The problem with "Biblicist" is that I as a Calvinist am also a Biblicist. All that does is cloud the issue as I can find no conservative believer who wouldn't also say they are Biblicists.

Anyway, good debate going on here. I shallslink back to reader mode.

July 03, 2007 2:45 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Scribe,
We miss your blogging too, but glad you checked in on us (no doubt to see if we're talkin' aboutcha 'behind your back,' as if that were possible on the 'net).
Hey, whether in Vegas or elsewhere, Target and Walmart have our share of income too. I should take stock in them, if I were a stocks-type of person. They already have our share of investing in them anyway.
Have a blessed rest of vaca.

July 03, 2007 2:52 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Gojira,
Don't you *dare* slink back to reader/lurker mode (as if you could). Godzillas can never lurk. (Besides, we need you.)

July 03, 2007 2:54 PM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Ok Gojira. :-)

July 03, 2007 3:26 PM

 
Blogger Scribe said...

Anyway, good debate going on here. I shallslink back to reader mode.

That's not an option soldier...you have vowed, in my absence, to fight all forms of terrorism, foreign and domestic...BTW I thought about it and my favorite monster is Gilgamesh(my alter ego).

Susan,

Y'all ain't talkin' behind my back, now is you!?

And for the record, I am a (count 'em) 5 point dreaded, abhorred Calvinist. Monergistic soteriology, bar none! Time to go see the Transformers, woohoo! Autobots, rollout!!!

/Scribe

July 03, 2007 3:35 PM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

July 03, 2007 4:21 PM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Wayne, I read your posts. I didn't have time to respond to both, but did respond to one of them.

It looks like we've run the course here. Thanks for the dialogue.

July 03, 2007 4:22 PM

 
Blogger Baptist Girl said...

Hi Dawn,
I am sorry I have not responded but I have been working all day and have plans tonight. I will try to resond later on tonight if it is not too late when I get home.

If not it will have to wait until tomorrow night. I ams sorry for taking so long.

Cristina

July 03, 2007 4:43 PM

 
Blogger Craver Vii said...

Impressive discussion. It was insightful to learn some of the reasons we hold to certain beliefs, as well as the methods we defend the same.

Be careful not to exceed 99 comments though, or you will fall off the edge of the blogosphere.

Even now, I am donning the sandwichboard and bullhorn shouting, "The end is near!..."

July 03, 2007 5:10 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

My question is getting lost in the shuffle...

Let me pose this question:

Say one is born in a country where it is taught that Christians are infidels, they believe in three gods, and have killed many of your ancestors in the Crusades. Say your family hates Christians and so do your neighbors and countrymen - can such an one ever come to Christ? Answer - Yes. It has been known to happen in such circumstances.

Scenario two:

One grows up in a well to do Christian home, with godly parents who nurture and teach the ways of the Lord. Can such an one die in their sins, having rejected the Lord and his message of salvation? Yes. It has indeed happened.

Why does one, under such adverse circumstances come to Christ while the other, under favorable circumstances, rejects Him?

Let's add to the first scenario the fact that that one who comes to Christ is faced with expulsion from his family and jail time. Why does he come to Christ while the other does not?

July 03, 2007 12:48 PM

July 03, 2007 5:26 PM

 
Blogger Craver Vii said...

Why one and not the other? Well, why does anyone come to Christ at all? Mark, I would say that it's because:

"... he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will..." Eph. 1:4-5

July 03, 2007 6:24 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Whoooooaaaa....
This slippery slope is slidin' toward 100...
Woooooooooo....

July 03, 2007 8:24 PM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Mark, I think the question is answered by Acts 17:25-27.

Acts 17:25-27 "Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

God looks upon the heart and only He knows what is in the heart. I believe that like Romans 1 states the very creation points us to the one true and only God. If a person is seeking God and His truth (because God is ever drawing us) then I believe that God will send more light to this person. God draws us in many ways. Sometimes trials and tribulations cause us to cry out to God. It may be by way of a missionary, or he may be an exchange student to another country which has religious freedom or God may send an angel to preach the gospel. It may be that a person who comes from a Christian hating home and country has his curiosity sparked by all the controversy and they decide to research more about this enemy named Jesus and through that process they are able to learn the truth. We never know how God will reach someone. If a person is savable he'll be saved.

Your scenario doesn't prove that God only elects some and leaves others in their sin.

July 04, 2007 7:14 AM

 
Blogger Paul G said...

Jazzycat;
I read your comment over at Puritan Belief.

Great site! Excellent comments!
Is this a Calvinist forum?
What happened to the Armenians?
Did they duck for cover?

July 04, 2007 7:16 AM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Why one and not the other? Well, Craver: "why does anyone come to Christ at all? Mark, I would say that it's because:

"... he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will..."
"

Craver, Romans 8:29 states that the reason we are chosen is due to God's foreknowledge.

Romans 8:29 "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren."

July 04, 2007 7:25 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Dawn,
In Romans 8:29, God predestines those whom he foreknew to be conformed to the image of his Son. This is not based on "what" God foreknew through foreknowledge but is based on "whom" God foreknew. The meaning here for foreknew is the same as in Matthew 7:23 where Jesus told the hypocrites, “I never knew you.” romans 8:29 is the first of a two-verse chain where Paul reveals that God does everything required to bring the children of God to conformity with Jesus Christ. Those he foreknew are those he chose through his sovereign grace, and these are the ones he predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son.

In Romans 8:30 Paul goes on to say,
And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

If your view were correct, why would God need to predestine and call those he knew were going to come? Why would a cook on a farm need to ring a bell at noon for lunch if everyone had watches?

Note also that all God calls get justified. With your view of God's calling, that would mean universalism (100% would be saved).

The truth in Romans 8:30 is that not everyone gets the call in view here because 100% respond and are saved. It is an effectual call that does not fail.....

July 04, 2007 7:48 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Paul G,
Welcome to Bluecollar. We are basically a Calvinist site, but we have 8 contributors and have a wide variety of Christian posts. Mark Pierson is our webmaster. You are welcome to jump in at any time.

Wayne

July 04, 2007 7:55 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Dawn, I see Wayne beat me to the answer. I would have said basically the same thing.

In short my question does indeed prove election. God places His electing love on those whom He foreknew in an intimate way.

I'm sorry to say that your view has God electing only those who deserve it, those who seek Him. The question still remains, why some and not others. I fail to see any system of theology in your answer. My anwer is based on the biblisist concept of election.

I will commend you on your stand on repentance. You and I are in FULL agreement there.

You strike me as a very godly lady, and, though we disagree, I am honored by your visits to this blog.

July 04, 2007 8:30 AM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Hi ECW,
I have thought through that question a few times. Here are a few thoughts:

Why one and not the other?

I say the reasons are as complex and various as the snowflakes.

If any of us thinks the answer is simple, we are fooling ourselves, considering all that there is in the Scriptures on many sides of this issue of salvation. Stating a simple answer to this question risks defaming the LORD, IMO.

Some things need to be left in God's hands and in His knowledge ... that only He can grasp.

My two cents.

July 04, 2007 8:46 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Romans 8:29 states that the reason we are chosen is due to God's foreknowledge.

This is contradictory in itself. If I'm understanding what you're saying correctly, you are positing that God foreknows who will choose Him and therefore He chooses us based on that foreknowledge. Again, this view places God beholden to man's decisions.

Likewise your citation of "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren."

"Predestinate" doesn't mean that God knew in advance what man would choose and therefore "predestined" him according to God's merely foreknowing what they would choose.

According to this view, if you hold it, therefore God created those men whom He foreknew would not choose Him only to condemn said creatures to Hell. In your view, therefore, God created some people foreknowing they would not choose Him and predestined them to Hell.

July 04, 2007 9:28 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

I say the reasons are as complex and various as the snowflakes.

I think man's reasonings may be, but I'm not convinced that God's reasons are complex and various.

True, we cannot know the mind of God (His thoughts greater than ours and ways likewise), but I believe that it is we, not He, who have varied and diverse reasoning.

July 04, 2007 9:31 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Rose, friend,

Theologians have debated these issues for centuries. I'm not saying we are on their level; but can you imagine a theologian from the non-calvinist side getting up from the table and saying that these issues are too complex for discussion? No. He would have a systematic answer for his apologetic. That is what I am inviting you and Dawn to do here.

You are my friend!

July 04, 2007 9:43 AM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Jazzy "This [Romans 8:29] is not based on "what" God foreknew through foreknowledge but is based on "whom" God foreknew. The meaning here for foreknew is the same as in Matthew 7:23 where Jesus told the hypocrites, “I never knew you.” "

Wayne, the reference to Jesus having never known them is referring to these people saying that they had done many things in His name. Romans is clear that God foreknew "what" AND "whom". Of course, it CAN also be said that God never "knew" them from before the foundation of the world, but I think Jesus is talking about when these people claimed to be children of God here on earth.

Jazzy: "...why would God need to predestine and call those he knew were going to come? why would God need to predestine and call those he knew were going to come? Why would a cook on a farm need to ring a bell at noon for lunch if everyone had watches?
"

Are you saying God doesn't foreknow those whom are His?

Wayne: "Note also that all God calls get justified. With your view of God's calling, that would mean universalism (100% would be saved)."

I think the "call" in the Romans 8:30 passage is referring to what we're called to BE once we're born again. So there is no universalism here. This notion of God's invitation (read: call) being 100% effective is something Calvinists have made up, IMVHO.

I agree that the call to BE who we are in Christ is effectual and it will not fail. But I know that's not what you're saying here.

Wayne, you're reading your theology into these passages.

July 04, 2007 10:24 AM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Mark "I'm sorry to say that your view has God electing only those who deserve it, those who seek Him."

Mark, that is not my view. I've never said that we deserve salvation. To be clear, we deserve Hell, but thank the LORD that He came to save us. Yes, ultimately He has come to save HIS people, but it doesn't mean that only some were given the chance. Also, if God didn't first draw us we would never seek Him. I think He tells us these things (scriptures you use as proof-texts for Calvinism) not to show that He chooses only certain ones, but rather He shows us these truths to let US know just how depraved we are and that without His presence we would never want Him or see our depravity for what it is. Basically He's showing us the deeper things of God.

Mark: "You strike me as a very godly lady, and, though we disagree, I am honored by your visits to this blog."

Mark, you strike me as a very godly man who sticks to his convictions and one who has much knowledge. I DO see how you can see God's word the way you do and I'm glad that we can amicably disagree. I am honored to be here. Thanks for allowing me to be frank without taking offense.

July 04, 2007 10:38 AM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Susan, I meant that God predestinated those whom He foreknew would believe to become the children of God.

Susan "Again, this view places God beholden to man's decisions."

No, God is not beholden to our decisions. WE are beholden to God. God made a way for salvation and if we choose not to follow that WAY then we lose, not God. God said "whosoever will believe in his heart shall be saved." (I'm not talkin' easy believeism here.) It doesn't say, "whosoever I choose for no apparent reason will be saved."

Susan: "According to this view, if you hold it, therefore God created those men whom He foreknew would not choose Him only to condemn said creatures to Hell. In your view, therefore, God created some people foreknowing they would not choose Him and predestined them to Hell."

Isn't that what you believe?

July 04, 2007 10:52 AM

 
Blogger Gayla said...

Dawn, I have to commend you for sticking with this thing....

What does this charge mean -"reading your theology into the passages?"

Also, would you do something for me? Would you please provide me with a verse, any verse, that would show what you're asserting - that God foreknew those who would choose Him, thereby becoming elect?

July 04, 2007 10:57 AM

 
Blogger Gayla said...

"No, God is not beholden to our decisions."

But this is exactly what you're saying when you assert that God foreknew who would choose Him.


(we were posting at the same time on my earlier question)

July 04, 2007 11:02 AM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Mark: "He would have a systematic answer for his apologetic. That is what I am inviting you and Dawn to do here."

Mark, we can't know everything and some things we will never know until we reach heaven. We can't know a person's heart other than it is evil continually. That does not equate to inability given we have a God (sorry Rose) who is ever present and ever drawing us. Only God knows the heart.

What we do know is that without God's Spirit we would never seek Him. We know that if we train up our children to fear the Lord and learn His ways that they are more apt to repent of their sins and be born again. We know that a godless environment is more apt to breed more godlessness. We know that unrepented and unpunished sin breeds more sin.

Why, if God chooses us unconditionally, would ANY of this stuff matter? I humbly submit that it is because God does not choose unconditionally, but rather He chooses on the condition of belief. Throughout God's word He is ever stretching out His hands to mankind, sending prophets to warn them, sending preachers to persuade them, telling men to search the scriptures for in them they might find life. Why would Jesus say to the Jews in John 10:37-38 "If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him."? (These are just a few examples.) NONE of that makes sense if God's grace is so irresistible.

July 04, 2007 11:27 AM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Gayla "What does this charge mean -"reading your theology into the passages?""

I mean that because someone believes TULIP they read those conclusion into the scriptures where matters of salvation are concerned instead. In other words, their forcing this interpretation onto the scirptures when that is not what the scripture is stating.

July 04, 2007 11:32 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Dawn: "I humbly submit that it is because God does not choose unconditionally, but rather He chooses on the condition of belief."

How does this not seem to you to be warranted election, something earned. I must admit, my new friend, that I am baffled with your answer here.

July 04, 2007 11:42 AM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Gayla: "Also, would you do something for me? Would you please provide me with a verse, any verse, that would show what you're asserting - that God foreknew those who would choose Him, thereby becoming elect?"

I've already done that, but maybe I've not been clear so I'll attempt to do so, briefly, once again.

We are chosen on the basis of our belief/faith. (John 1:12; Romans 10:9-13; I Corinthians 1:21)

Believers are chosen and predestined from before the foundation of the world to become the children of God (Ephesians 1:4-5)

God foreknew those who are His and predestinated them to be conformed to the image of His Son. (Romans 8:29)

Of course, you will disagree.

July 04, 2007 11:45 AM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Mark: "How does this not seem to you to be warranted election, something earned. I must admit, my new friend, that I am baffled with your answer here."

God's message is that we cannot work our way into Heaven. We were born with sin natures; therefore, we deserve Hell. God made provision for mankind to be saved from the pit of Hell. That provision was that in our stead Jesus Christ paid for our sin. There is NOTHING within us that is worthy of salvation. We do not have the power to save ourselves. All that is required from God is that we place OUR faith in Jesus. The Holy Spirit of God convicts the world of sin and if we repent and receive the forgiveness of Jesus then we will have everlasting life. Faith is NOT a work.

Romans 3:27 "Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith."

July 04, 2007 11:52 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Isn't that what you believe?

Dawn,

By bouncing the ball back in my court without acknowledging at all what your system of belief does, you're avoiding the fact that your thoughts of God's foreknowledge of who He created will only live x number of years on earth before spending eternity in Hell. You're avoiding what your system (and you) believes.

But why shouldn't man spend eternity in Hell? All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

God is not under any obligation to show mercy to anyone. Prayer does not even obligate God to show mercy. Nothing can dictate to God toward whom He must show mercy. There is no injustice in this. Neither is there any injustice in God’s withholding mercy from those whom He has not chosen.

By His mercy, He grants saving faith to some for His own glory.

The Bible repeatedly stresses that salvation is wholly and solely God's work.

In Acts 13:48 we read, "And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed."

Acts 16 tells us that Lydia was saved when, "... the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul."

Ephesians 1:4-5,11 reads, "Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will ... also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will."

Ephesians 2:8 suggests that even our faith is a gift from God.

In 2 Thessalonians 2:13, the apostle Paul tells his readers, "God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation."

Romans 8:29-30 states, "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren; and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified."

When the Bible speaks of God's foreknowledge, it refers to God's establishment of a love relationship with that person. The word "know," in both the Old and New Testaments, refers to much more than mere cognitive knowledge of a person. Such passages as Hosea 13:4-5; Amos 3:2 (KJV); and Romans 11:2 clearly indicate this.

For example, 1 Peter 1:20 says Christ was "foreknown before the foundation of the world." Surely this means more than just that God the Father looked into the future to behold Christ!

It means He had an eternal, loving relationship with Him. The same is true of the elect, whom we are told God "foreknew" (Romans 8:29). That means He knew them - He loved them - before the foundation of the world.

July 04, 2007 12:07 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

It doesn't say, "whosoever I choose for no apparent reason will be saved."

And this is how non-Calvinists misinterpret the Calvinist view. No Reformed person here that I know (or any historical Calvinist writer) says "for no apparent reason."

This demonstrates lack of understanding of the Reformed viewpoint.

Not knowing the mind of God is not the same thing as "for no apparent reason."

July 04, 2007 12:09 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

"No, God is not beholden to our decisions."

But this is exactly what you're saying when you assert that God foreknew who would choose Him.


Whether you realize or acknowlege it or not, Dawn, this is exactly what your position is doing.
Unless *man* decides and chooses God, salvation is not possible for him. This makes God responsive to man.

July 04, 2007 12:11 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

>God's message is that we cannot work our way into Heaven.<
======
Agreed, 100%
=======
>We were born with sin natures; therefore, we deserve Hell.<
======
We inherrited Adam's guilt, we sinned in him when he partook of the fruit. Are sin natures were born that moment. It is for his sin and our own that we deserve hell.
=======
>God made provision for mankind to be saved from the pit of Hell. That provision was that in our stead Jesus Christ paid for our sin.<
======
Amen!
======
There is NOTHING within us that is worthy of salvation. We do not have the power to save ourselves.<
=======
Amen, not even faith - Eph. 2:8-9
------
>All that is required from God is that we place OUR faith in Jesus.<
======
Amen, OUR faith is a gift.
======
>The Holy Spirit of God convicts the world of sin and if we repent and receive the forgiveness of Jesus then we will have everlasting life.<
=====
Amen!
======
>Faith is NOT a work.<
========
From my vantage point it is a warrant for election as I see from your comments
=======
Romans 3:27 "Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith." <
======
Amen!

July 04, 2007 12:15 PM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Susan "By bouncing the ball back in my court without acknowledging at all what your system of belief does, you're avoiding the fact that your thoughts of God's foreknowledge of who He created will only live x number of years on earth before spending eternity in Hell. You're avoiding what your system (and you) believes."

I'm not avoiding anything. What was your point? I have no problem with stating that yes, I believe God knew beforehand that some of those whom He'd created would go to Hell. Isn't it the same thing you believe, but it will come about by different means?

Susan "But why shouldn't man spend eternity in Hell? All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

I've never said that they shouldn't. I'm very THANKFUL that God provided away for mankind to escape Hell.

Susan "God is not under any obligation to show mercy to anyone. Prayer does not even obligate God to show mercy. Nothing can dictate to God toward whom He must show mercy. There is no injustice in this."

I've never said there was.

Susan "Neither is there any injustice in God’s withholding mercy from those whom He has not chosen."

And this is the crux of the matter. Now, if the bible taught such a thing, then I would have no choice but to believe it. But the bible teaches no such thing so I am under no obligation to believe it. God continually shows His love for mankind. He even loves the wicked and doesn't not find pleasure in their ultimate deaths. He gives people multiple chances to believe His word and if they choose to reject it then that is their problem.

Susan "By His mercy, He grants saving faith to some for His own glory."

This is what I believe, but not the same way in which you do. When we place our faith in Jesus He gives us a new heart and strengthens our faith, and that is what I would call saving faith. He is the author and finisher of our faith.

July 04, 2007 12:25 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Dawn, D.Martin Lloyd Jones acknowledged that there were two different schools of thought regarding faith as a gift in Eph. 2:8-9. I think we do commit a certain dishonesty (not just you, me too) when we don't acknowledge that fact.

In Eph. 2:1-3 we see the deadness of man. It takes God's quickening (mentioned in verse 1) to bring a person from their hostile, sin-loving state to a place where the things of God even begin to seem delightful. Faith arises in a person when, and as a result of, God's quickening takes place, else people would be too inlove with their sins to look to God.

July 04, 2007 12:29 PM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Susan "But this is exactly what you're saying when you assert that God foreknew who would choose Him.

Whether you realize or acknowlege it or not, Dawn, this is exactly what your position is doing.
Unless *man* decides and chooses God, salvation is not possible for him. This makes God responsive to man.
"

No, Susan, this is what *you* (and others who are like minded) say; it's not what the Word of God says. God presents the truth and we either receive it or reject it. God has CHOSEN to give us the freedom to choose. You are the one taking the sovereignty away from God.

July 04, 2007 12:30 PM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Susan "Not knowing the mind of God is not the same thing as "for no apparent reason.""

So are you saying that God has no reason to choose a person?

July 04, 2007 12:32 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Dawn:"God has CHOSEN to give us the freedom to choose."
====

No where is that taught in the bible.

July 04, 2007 12:35 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Dead men and women are like Lasarus in the tomb. They can't excercise faith. There is no life in them. They must be born from above before they can even see the kingdom.

July 04, 2007 12:37 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Isn't it the same thing you believe, but it will come about by different means?


We both believe there is a Hell for the reprobate. But I believe that God in His mercy sovereignly elects to grant some saving faith for His own glory.

You believe it is man's choice and thereby man's actions (decisions, mind) that allows man the opportunity to be saved. This belief holds that man ultimately has a part (to his own glory) in his own salvation. You may deny that man receives any glory for it, but he does if he has the choice to which God must respond.

He is the author and finisher of our faith.


You say much with which I agree.

July 04, 2007 1:17 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

So are you saying that God has no reason to choose a person?

Not at all.

I'm saying that just because you see no apparent reason (or suggest that this is what the Calvinist does) does not make it so.

July 04, 2007 1:19 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Susan: "Neither is there any injustice in God’s withholding mercy from those whom He has not chosen."

Dawn: And this is the crux of the matter. Now, if the bible taught such a thing, then I would have no choice but to believe it. But the bible teaches no such thing...


Rom 9:15 For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."
Rom 9:16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.
Rom 9:17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."
Rom 9:18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.
Rom 9:19 You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?"
Rom 9:20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?"
Rom 9:21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?
Rom 9:22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,
Rom 9:23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory--

The crux of the argument here is not the service of Esau and Jacob, as you mentioned - but God's absolute freedom to do as He chooses - not based on or beholden to any choice of man's. There would be no reason for Paul to write verses 16 and 19-21 if only dealing with Esau and Jacob. See how Paul places the absolute freedom of God in doing anything He likes with man above all.

I'd be interested in knowing your take on verses 21 (one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?) and especially 22 (vessels of wrath prepared for destruction).

What does vessels of wrate prepared for destruction mean to you? Does it mean that God gave them opporunity to choose Him and they rejected Him, therefore they are destroyed? How then are they prepared (created) for destruction?

July 04, 2007 1:26 PM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Mark: "Amen, not even faith - Eph. 2:8-9"

Salvation is the gift of God.

Mark: "Amen, OUR faith is a gift."

I disagree. Though, I do believe God does gift us with an increased faith once we are saved. (II Corinthians 10:15; I Thes 3:10; II Thes 1:3)

Luke 7:50 "And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace."

It says that this woman's faith has saved her. It doesn't say the faith that I've gifted you has saved you.

Abraham's faith was accounted to him for righteousness. It doesn't say that God gifted Abraham his faith.

Mark: "From my vantage point it is a warrant for election as I see from your comments"

That's because you believe that our inital faith/belief is a gift from God.

July 04, 2007 1:29 PM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Mark: "In Eph. 2:1-3 we see the deadness of man. It takes God's quickening (mentioned in verse 1) to bring a person from their hostile, sin-loving state to a place where the things of God even begin to seem delightful. Faith arises in a person when, and as a result of, God's quickening takes place, else people would be too inlove with their sins to look to God."

I wholeheartedly agree that it takes God's quickening to bring our spirits to life and it takes a new heart (received upon belief) to desire to walk in God's Spirit and produce fruit for the Lord. This quickening opens the door for communion with God. Our deadness does not mean that we cannot understand the gospel or want to escape Hell. We still sin once we're born again and, at times, for a time, we even still enjoy it, but thankfully we are convicted and forgiven.

Look at the lives of David and Solomon. Obviously there were times when they were not looking to God and enjoying their sin, yet they were God's children.

I think the Calvinist takes "dead" to a level God through Paul never intended it to be taken.

July 04, 2007 1:42 PM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Mark: "No where is that taught in the bible."

It is taught throughout the entire Bible.

July 04, 2007 1:46 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Dawn:>I wholeheartedly agree that it takes God's quickening to bring our spirits to life and it takes a new heart<
=====
Amen. That new heart wants to repent of sin and trust Christ.
======
>(received upon belief)<
======
No. Man does not understand nor seek God before rgeneration. See Romans 3:10-12. Man loves sin and does not want to come to the truth, John 3:19-21.
=====
>to desire to walk in God's Spirit<
======
Yes, this is what regeneration does. It begins by giving us a desire to walk in Christ's ways as opposed to our sins (repentance and faith)
=======
>and produce fruit for the Lord. This quickening opens the door for communion with God.<
====
Amen!
=======
>Our deadness does not mean that we cannot understand the gospel or want to escape Hell.<
=======
Please read Romans 3:10-19 again. Note Paul is speaking here of all men, not just a few.
====
>We still sin once we're born again and, at times, for a time, we even still enjoy it, but thankfully we are convicted and forgiven.<
====
Agreed!

July 04, 2007 2:00 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"It is taught throughout the entire Bible."

Please give me some air-tight examples. Please also try to articulate my position back to me as carefully as you can. I see evidense that you have no understanding of my position at all. I'm not trying to be mean here; it just seems that way to me.

July 04, 2007 2:04 PM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Susan "We both believe there is a Hell for the reprobate. But I believe that God in His mercy sovereignly elects to grant some saving faith for His own glory.

You believe it is man's choice and thereby man's actions (decisions, mind) that allows man the opportunity to be saved. This belief holds that man ultimately has a part (to his own glory) in his own salvation. You may deny that man receives any glory for it, but he does if he has the choice to which God must respond.
"

No, Susan, that's "your" belief. I believe God, in His sovereignty, gives us a choice. So there is no taking of sovereignty from God here. And, yes, man does have some responsibility in his own salvation.

I don't believe I get ANY glory for placing my faith in Jesus Christ; what I get is salvation. I give God ALL the glory and am thankful for His mercy. I believe we respond to God (or not) when He draws us. It's what the bible teaches.

Susan, do you believe that God created men knowing they would be damned to Hell?

I've got to so I will respond to the other comments later.

July 04, 2007 2:05 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Susan, do you believe that God created men knowing they would be damned to Hell?

I believe God is omniscient and therefore knew of Eve's and Adam's choice before the Fall. He also had a plan to redeem a people unto Himself. (Gen 3:15) God knew - and more than knew, created - mankind the way He is. I believe as is stated in Romans 9:18-20:

So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.
You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?"
But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?"

You haven't answered my questions yet:

I'd be interested in knowing your take on verses 21 (one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?) and especially 22 (vessels of wrath prepared for destruction).

What does vessels of wrath prepared for destruction mean to you? Does it mean that God gave them opporunity to choose Him and they rejected Him, therefore they are destroyed? How then are they prepared (created) for destruction?

July 04, 2007 2:52 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

You believe it is man's choice and thereby man's actions (decisions, mind) that allows man the opportunity to be saved. This belief holds that man ultimately has a part (to his own glory) in his own salvation. You may deny that man receives any glory for it, but he does if he has the choice to which God must respond."

No, Susan, that's "your" belief.


Dawn,
Far from it.

July 04, 2007 2:52 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

I don't believe I get ANY glory for placing my faith in Jesus Christ; what I get is salvation. I give God ALL the glory

What you're saying is "I place my faith in JC and for it, I get salvation."

That is not giving God all the glory.

You may say you do, but God only is truly and totally sovereign if He chooses upon whom He will have mercy (which He says He does in Romans 9).

If man ultimately gets a choice in his salvation, God is not absolutely and totally free and sovereign - only partially, since man's decision is the final arbiter.

July 04, 2007 3:43 PM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

Hi Dawn,

"Ok Gojira. :-)"

I am being for real, Dawn, you are an Arminian. Do you remember when you went through the "Tulip" earlier in the thread? You gave a full Pop Arminain reply that wavers on the P.
*********************************

"No, God is not beholden to our decisions. WE are beholden to God. God made a way for salvation and if we choose not to follow that WAY then we lose, not God."

Actually that would be inacurate on two levels. First, God would lose for the fact that He would not fully be able to accomplish what He set out to do: save the lost. Here you have set the same engine that runs, for instance, Catholicism. It's called synergism. God loses because he must depend upon someone to cooperate with Him in regards to receiving salvation, as that would be their choice.

And yes, logically God would be "beholden" to our decisions. Remember, you have said that god in His sovereignty gives us free choice. If He gives us free choice then His sovereignty must also operate within that boundary. To get past that, one of the things you would have to do is qualify "free choice" to include extreme limits placed on those choices (which would actually mean they are no longer free in the sense that you are arguing).
*********************************

"No, Susan, this is what *you* (and others who are like minded) say; it's not what the Word of God says. God presents the truth and we either receive it or reject it. God has CHOSEN to give us the freedom to choose. You are the one taking the sovereignty away from God."

Sorry, but that doesn't fit what you have been arguing. Susan is completely right in what she has told you. Can you answer how someone at enmity with All Holy God would ever want to choose Him? One of the things that would have to be for that to happen is that sin would have no real meaning, or that sinful rebellious humanity isn't really rebellious.
*********************************
(I do not endorse everthing contained at this website, but the following is exceptionally well done)

http://withchrist.org/cuthroat.htm

GOD can foreknow what will be because He has fore-appointed what will be. There must be certainty if there is absolute foreknowledge.

Christian humanism foreknowledge--that God merely foresaw the future--is not Biblical. However, it is even too-much-of-a-stretch for Christian humanism. So we find people today--some of them with letters behind their name--who are not willing to admit even foresight. In this article, we show how the Christian humanist idea usually held as foreknowledge is destructive to itself.

Christian humanists say that ELECTION is like this: God foreknew who would yield to the Spirit, and therefore elected to salvation all those whom He foresaw would do so. They think absolute free will is necessary to preserve human responsibility, and in turn make man his own savior instead of sovereign grace. However, this concept of foreknowledge actually grinds itself into nothing. There is not a Christian humanist living who can consistently believe this theory of foreknowledge, and still go around teaching his views as to salvation. Why so? Consider the following:

No Christian humanist can consistently say that God foreknew who would be saved and then preach that God is trying to save every man. Surely if God knows whom He can save or who will be saved, then who would say that He is trying to save more? Certainly, it is foolish to assert that God is trying to do something which He knew never could be accomplished. I have heard some Christian humanists charge those who believe in sovereign grace that the Gospel preached to the non-elect is mockery since God has not elected them. If there is any validity in that objection, then it equally applies to them as well who preach to those who God knows won't be saved. God commands that the Gospel be preached to all, whether we clearly understand or accept His reasoning in the matter.

No Christian humanist can consistently say that God foreknew who would be lost and then say it is not God's will that they be lost. If God does not will that they be lost, then why did He create them? Let the Christian humanist answer that question. God could have just as easily refrained from creating those that go to Hell. He knew where they were going before He created them. Since He went ahead and created them with full knowledge that they would be lost, it is evidently the will of God that they be lost, He evidently has some purpose in it which we human beings cannot fully discern. The Christian humanist can harp and whine against the truth that God chose to allow some men a final destiny of Hell all they want, but it is as much a problem for them as for anyone. As a matter of fact, it is a problem which no Christian humanist can face. If he faces it, he will have to admit either the error of his theology or deny foreknowledge all together. But he might say that God had to create those that perish, even against His will. This makes God subject to Fate.

No Christian humanist can consistently say that God foreknew who would be saved and then teach that God punished Christ for the purpose of saving every single man that ever lived. Surely we should credit God with having as much sense as a human being. What human being would make a great but useless and needless sacrifice? They say that God punished Christ for the sins of those whom He knew would go to Hell. Their theory of the atonement--although they do not mention this--involves the matter of Christ's suffering exclusively for the purpose of man's salvation--the substitutionary aspect alone. They fail to underestand or have any appreciation for the aspect of propitiation.

No Christian humanist can consistently say that God foreknew who would be saved and then preach that God the Holy Spirit does all He can do to save every man in the world. The Holy Spirit would be wasting time and effort to endeavor to convert a man who He knew from the beginning would go to Hell. You hear Christian humanists talk about how the Spirit tries to get men to be saved and if they don't yield to him they will "cross the line" and offend the Spirit so that He will never try to save them again. Bottom line, the Christian humanist makes a finite creature out of the Divine Godhead.

No Christian humanist can consistently say the God foreknew all things yet teach that prayer is of any use. We would ask, "Should we pray for the salvation of those whom God foreknew would be damned?" "Should we pray for those whom God foreknew would be saved?" "If so, why?" Would they not be saved anyway, seeing that God foreknew they would be? Why pray at all, then?

The only one who can rightly pray is the believer who believes in the sovereignty of God, that man is active not passive in the drama of redemption, and that God has appointed prayer as the means through which God brings about certain ends. For example, God through His prophet caused Hezekiah to go to God in prayer, asking for his life. God answered and said He would add fifteen years to Hezekiah. Now that was God's purpose all along, but you will notice that he caused Hezekiah to pray for that very purpose. All true prayer today is just like that.

So to the Christian humanist, we ask: "Why pray?" But to the believer in the sovereignty of God, we ask: "Why cease to pray?" Such a believer should be in continual prayer and praise to God, Who is working all things according to the counsel of His own will.


********************************

Well, back to lurker until tomorrow afternoon.

July 04, 2007 4:47 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dawn,
Because of the fall, man is unable of himself to savingly believe the gospel. The sinner is dead, blind, and deaf to the things of God; his heart is deceitful and desperately corrupt. His will is not free, it is in bondage to his evil nature; therefore, he will not--indeed he cannot--choose good over evil in the spiritual realm. Consequently, it takes much more than the Spirit's assistance to bring a sinner to Christ--it takes regeneration by which the Spirit makes the sinner alive and gives him a new nature. Faith is not something man contributes to salvation but is itself a part of God's gift of salvation--it is God's gift to the sinner, not the sinner's gift to God.

(Genesis 2:15-17, Romans 5:12, Psalm 51:5, 1 Corinthians 2:14, Romans 3:10-18, Jeremiah 17:9 John 6:44, Ephesians 2:1-10) :


Genesis 2:15-17 15 Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 "but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."

Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Psalms 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Romans 3:10-18 10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: 14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 15 Their feet are swift to shed blood: 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways: 17 And the way of peace have they not known: 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Ephesians 2:1-10 1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

July 04, 2007 7:10 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

go-jira, go!
go-jira, go!

Ya done tol' it like 'tis.

July 04, 2007 9:06 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Gojira,

Why the need to label? You really like to label people, Gojira. (I remember when ...)
It is one thing if someone takes a label, but is it helpful to keep insisting to Dawn that she is "this" or "that"? It doesn't add a lot to your argument, IMHO.

Was that a quote from the link you listed? ... or were those your own words?

... the believer who believes in the sovereignty of God, that man is active not passive in the drama of redemption...

Ummm, how is man active in the drama of redemption, if God has not given him any freedom ... or any choice in it? In that, you also (or whoever wrote that lengthy quote) are speaking out of both sides of your mouth.

July 05, 2007 8:22 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

I myself don't think labels are pejorative. In fact, I think labels are very helpful in defining positions and doctrines. Without labels, it is difficult to know and understand beliefs. Labels are all stereotypical, negative or wide-open (like non-Calvinist, which positions one against something but doesn't say what one is for).

I think gojira (correct me if I'm wrong, laddie) is actually trying to help Dawn realize that her statements reflect Arminianism more than she herself understands or realizes.

Ummm, how is man active in the drama of redemption, if God has not given him any freedom ... or any choice in it?

He is free within the confines of his nature. He most absolutely is limited by his nature - and by his birth, which is my feeble attempt to bring this post and comments back full circle. No choice or initiative in either birth.

What he does with his life - both physical and spiritual - is where he has the greatest choice. He can choose to quench the Spirit or walk in Him. Likewise, he can subscribe to systems that promote adherence to Scripture's call to repent, believe, follow, etc, or he can just say 'there's eternal life in Jesus; come get it.'

July 05, 2007 9:04 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Ach! How the absence of *one* word changes meaning!

Correction:
Labels are not all stereotypical, negative or wide-open (like non-Calvinist, which positions one against something but doesn't say what one is for).

July 05, 2007 9:05 AM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Just popping in to say that I probably won't (but might) be able to respond to the comments today.

I haven't read all the comments, but did a quick scroll. (I'm not sure I'll be able to keep up with this.) My eye did catch your comment, Susan, about Romans 9 about the vessels. I do intend to answer you, I just have real life to deal with and will answer as soon as I can.

July 05, 2007 10:02 AM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

"Why the need to label?"

Rose, I am trying to help Dawn out.

Everybody uses a label,though. I'll give you an example. If you go out to eat fish and shrimp, or crab legs or Lobster, would it be proper to say that you ate a seafood dinner? If it is okay to say that, then would it really help you out to claim it was steak?

Everybody uses a label,Rose. It is how we keep things straight.

"Was that a quote from the link you listed? ... or were those your own words?"

It was fromthe link. Didn't you read the link?

"In that, you also (or whoever wrote that lengthy quote) are speaking out of both sides of your mouth."

Uhm.....Rose....uhm....nevermind. I am gonna let that go. Rose did you pay attention to the context?

July 05, 2007 1:48 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

yea, Gojira, it was regarding prayer.

July 05, 2007 2:16 PM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

"yea, Gojira, it was regarding prayer."

Good, then you will recognize then that the writer was referring to means. His point was to answer an objection, which was: "Why pray at all, then?" which one sees when they keep things in context.

July 05, 2007 2:51 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Nevertheless, think about that.

....man is active not passive in the drama of redemption...

So it makes sense to think that my prayers play a part in someone else's salvation, but their own response does not? Yet, we have multitiudes of Scripture calling on them to respond - much more than we have calling on me to pray.

So man is active in prayer but not in believing?

Doesn't wash.

July 05, 2007 3:07 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

" but their own response does not?"

Rose, face it, at the core of these debates is the fact that one side ackowledges that John 3:19-21; Romans 1:18-32; Romans 3:10-19; Eph. 2:1-3 all teach that man is a sin-loving, God hater, too in love with their sins to even want to look toward his Holy Creator. That is what "dead in trespasses and sins" means.

There are NO scriptures that teach that the Holy Spirit lifts dead people into an intermediate state between spiritual death and life so that they can "choose" God. None, nada, nill.

July 05, 2007 4:37 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

So man is active in prayer but not in believing?
Doesn't wash.


I don't think anyone here has suggested man does not have an active role in believing. That would be unScriptural.

The argument is whether or not man is active in his coming to saving faith. The point of the post topic is one's role in being "born again."

As one is not "active" in the sense of initiative or choice in the first physical birth, one is likewise not "active" in the second spiritual birth. Responsive, yes, but not initiating. The Spirit moves, but not as we understand (John 3:8).

Belief, I think, is what the gospel writers, Paul, James, etc, were encouraging the new Christians to have in greater measure. They were already born again of the Spirit, but had a new life ahead of them. Not unlike physical life, we need instruction to live spiritually.

July 05, 2007 4:40 PM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

Rose, you are missing the forrest for the trees. I mean no disrespect, but I think if you were to leave the Dave Hunt junk alone, you would see the fallacy of what you just said. Read the primary sources.
*********************************
"So it makes sense to think that my prayers play a part in someone else's salvation, but their own response does not? Yet, we have multitiudes of Scripture calling on them to respond - much more than we have calling on me to pray.

So man is active in prayer but not in believing?

Doesn't wash."
**********************************

Before I get into this, once again, I told you the context and what he was replying to. To go beyond that is to misuse and twist what he was talking about.

What I find terrible is that Catholics give the same exact answer. Synergism is the engine that runs that thought. Yet only they are consistant with it. Well, them and 5 point Arminians.

Rose, only God saves. Not prayers. Prayers don't help God out. That isn't what is meant by "means".

Now, about two months ago, you told me that humanity was unable to come to God unless He draws them. Yet the implication of the above is that because there are "multitiudes of Scripture calling on them to respond" then man does in fact have the ability. Which is it? Do we have the ability or not? Should you say, as you did about two months ago, that we do ***not*** have the ability, then what doesn't wash is that whole reply you left me because you would have just given an inconsistant argument. It was the Pelagians who taught that if God commands it then we have the ability to respond to it.

July 05, 2007 5:20 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

I don't want to carry on with three different people here.

Susan,
Right. The LORD initiated salvation at the cross, even before with the Lamb slain form the foundation of the world. He initiated, we respond.

Mark,
I am not talking about "choosing" God, but about responding to the Word as it is preached. I never said anything about an intermediate state etc...
You refer to Scriptures, but I am thinking of Scriptures also that speak of people seeking the Lord before they were born again.

Gojira,
Right. Without all that God has done, there would be nothing to respond to! Without the HS, there would be no witness. That was what I mean by "humanity was unable to come to God unless He draws them." I believe God is drawing all men, just like the Bible says, brother.

I have never read any "Dave Hunt junk" except the book "Debating Calvinism" about two years ago and I can't remember it very well now anyways, so I don't know what you mean.

I grew up Catholic and my mother is still in it heavily. SHw believes she has to be "good" to maybe make it to heaven.

I know God commands us to do things we cannot do. (Read: the law). The NT doesn't teach that people cannot believe the gospel under the current administration (Read: the comforter has come and the church is here).

You say prayers don't save. I agree.

I am left scratching my head as to what was meant in the quote about man being active and not passive in the drama of redemption...

I was not trying to misrepresent, and I see no clear meaning to it, given your corrections.

July 05, 2007 5:43 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"I am not talking about "choosing" God, but about responding to the Word as it is preached."

Right, and the above scriptures would also be used to illustrate that man is not interested in responding to God. He simply loves his sin too much, John 3:19-21.

Those who do "seek God" are those who are in the process of having the Father draw them, as per John 6:37,44,65. We discussed this at Moorhead's blog last summer.

Rose, I've read Hunt's work in anti-calvinism too. Both yours and Dawn's reasoning bears a striking resemblance to his arguments. I don't mean to make an enemy of you. I'm just telling it like I see it.

July 05, 2007 5:54 PM

 
Blogger only1way said...

Hello Rose. Would you please tell me what Acts 13:48 means. Specifically the part about "ordained to eternal life". Thx.

July 05, 2007 5:55 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

No enemies, Mark. :~)
But really, I never read any of the other books. If our arguments are similar, it must be because we are reading the same Bible, LOL!

John,
I think it means that the Word went to the Gentiles through the servants of the Lord - a light to the Gentiles, whom God had before determined would have a part in the gospel. It was not just to the Jews, whose leadership had "determinded themselves unworthy of eternal life."

If you see faith as imposed in that verse, I cannot help it. I do not see it that way. To me, the church was a mystery hidden to those in the OT, but when the church was born, it became clear that the Gentiles were "appointed" unto eternal life also. It doesn't seem to say that only the elect or chosen in the crowd believed, if that is how you take it. The word "appointed" is the Greek word tassō and it seems like it is saying that God had arrranged this message for these people, who were Gentiles. The fact that thet were Gentiles is the point of the passage, that was the big surprise. I don't get TULIP there.

God bless. I have a baby, 3 other children and a husband. I might not make it back here.

July 05, 2007 6:26 PM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

July 05, 2007 7:14 PM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

"I was not trying to misrepresent, and I see no clear meaning to it, given your corrections."

I know you don't Rose.

You have a blessed evenning. And God bless.

July 05, 2007 7:15 PM

 
Blogger Baptist Girl said...

I finally got some quiet time, but it seems this really has gone its course. ALl that I did say has been basically discussed and to be truthful I am just to tired to get in on this. What I admire is the tone of the whole discussion, it has been done in such a mature manner.

Cristina

July 05, 2007 7:28 PM

 
Blogger only1way said...

only1way said...
Rose -- that is not what the word means -- it means that the individuals who believed were pre-ordained to eternal life -- they were chosen of God to be saved -- check Calvin on that.

July 05, 2007 7:47 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Gojira,
I hope you feel very smart. ;~)

July 06, 2007 8:00 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Rose,
;-)
People who actually are smart don't need to "feel" that way.

July 06, 2007 11:50 AM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

"Gojira,
I hope you feel very smart. ;~)"

I Never feel very smart,Rose. I am the dumbest person I know.

Let's see where this debacle happened. You wrote: "I was not trying to misrepresent, and I see no clear meaning to it, given your corrections."

I wrote in reply:
"I know you don't Rose."

Rose, I was agreeing with you. I know you don't see it. Had you seen it, you would have said otherwise. That is not saying I think you are stupid. That is saying, "I know you don't." Why did I write "I know you don't"? Because you said that you still don't see it. So I said, "I know you don't." If I were trying to imply that you were stupid, I would have said, "I know you ***CAN'T." But I said, "I know you don't." That means that when you said you just don't see it the way I put it, I agree with you, you didn't see it. That means you disagree with what I wrote, you just don't see it. Therefore, I know you don't.

But if you would like to talk about stupidity, then look no further than me. I take the cake in that regard, Rose.

July 06, 2007 12:34 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

The bluecollar-clan are my friends, and very close at that. I am honored by their presence on this blog.

However:

I have other friends outside the bluecollar-clan as well. They are close and long time friends. I do not wish to see any of my friends war against eachother here. After these debates let's consider that many are actually brothers and sisters in Christ.

July 06, 2007 12:41 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

But if you would like to talk about stupidity, then look no further than me. I take the cake in that regard, Rose.

Well, I know that he's a smart and wise fella (not to mention a wisenheimer), but he's not always right. I hate to correct Doug, truly I do, but he's just plain wrong on this one.

And Mark? After these debates let's consider that many are actually brothers and sisters in Christ. Amen!

July 06, 2007 1:09 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Gojira,
I suppose I will take your word on it. :~)
... in the same way I take the word of carnal Christians about their having trusted Christ.

:~)

July 06, 2007 1:58 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Mark,
You're right. We ought to bear that in mind. I will. Thanks.

July 06, 2007 2:13 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Mark,
Good point. Grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone makes brothers and sisters in Christ of all that truly believe.

Rose,
You take the word of carnal Christians on their profession faith! I have no problem with that, but what we think or any human being thinks does not matter. Scripture is clear that on judgment day many will be told, "Depart from me, I never knew you."

God will not take their word, he will know if they actually possess faith or if they are merely professing faith. I believe you have confirmed that you affirm people who are "pretend" believers.

July 06, 2007 3:27 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

I suppose I will take your word on it. :~)
... in the same way I take the word of carnal Christians about their having trusted Christ.


I have no idea what this means.

July 06, 2007 6:36 PM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Hey guys, I haven't forgotten you. Just too busy to take the time to respond properly. Hopefully I can respond some time this weekend.

Take Care!

July 06, 2007 11:10 PM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Susan: "I'd be interested in knowing your take on verses 21 (one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?) and especially 22 (vessels of wrath prepared for destruction).

What does vessels of wrate prepared for destruction mean to you? Does it mean that God gave them opporunity to choose Him and they rejected Him, therefore they are destroyed? How then are they prepared (created) for destruction?
"

Susan, God has created us all. Some people believe and some people do not. God does with each of us as He so chooses. If we are unbelievers and do evil deeds God may very well use our evilness for His own purposes as in the case of Pharaoh.

Yes, it means God gave them opportunity to believe and they did not. Where does it say that God was the one who fitted them for destruction? It doesn't. If God were the one to cause people to be wicked, why would He "endure [them] with much longsuffering"? That doesn't make sense to me that He must endure His own doings. I believe they fitted themselves for destruction.

If I'm wrong and God did fit (create) them for destruction, then I believe it is speaking of His foreknowledge and how He planned to use use the wicked. Though, He did not create them to BE wicked, they just became wicked on their own because God is not the author of sin. But I believe the former is what what God is trying to convey here.

I have read all the comments and I was hoping to be able to respond to them all, but I'm just not going to be able to do it like I wanted to. I will try to respond to a few more today as time permits.

If I'm not able to make that happen, I'd just like to say thanks to you all for the dialogue.

Though, I do have one question Susan, and anyone else who would like to answer it. What do you believe is the reason that some are Calvinists and some are not?

July 07, 2007 1:25 PM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Susan: "I'm saying that just because you see no apparent reason (or suggest that this is what the Calvinist does) does not make it so."

Do you have an opinion on what reason God would use to choose a person for salvation or service?

July 07, 2007 1:44 PM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Mark: "Dead men and women are like Lasarus in the tomb. They can't excercise faith. There is no life in them. They must be born from above before they can even see the kingdom."

Mark, where are you getting the parallel of Lazarus' death and people dead in sin, and then equating that to inability?

July 07, 2007 1:46 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Dawn, I personally define inability as hostility- Unable because the nature desires sin rather than God, John 3:19-21, these verses speak of the entire human race, not just some men. Mans hostility is chronicled in Romans 1:18-32, again, the whole human race is spoken of here. Man is a slave to sin bfore God saves them, see Romans 6. Eph. 2:1-3, man is led about by the spirit that is in the children of disobedience,and is by nature, a child of wrath.

Dawn, there simply is no indication in scripture that the Holy Spirit lifts the entire human race to a place where they will respond to God, none. Only the Elect are brought to such a place - 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Thess. 2:13.

What you put forth is a theory that differs little from Pelagianism. The only difference between you and them is that they do not acknowledge the fall had any effect on the post Adamic race, whereas you say that the ever present Spirit brings all men to a place where they can respond to God, a theory not supported by scripture.

I'm not trying to be mean, but you ask why all aren't Calvinist - clearly that IS what scripture so clearly teaches. Why some are and some are not... STUBBORNNESS. It is like taking somebody outside on a cloudless summer day, at mid-day at that, only to have them deny that the sun is shinning on that day. Sorry, but you did ask my opinion.

Your friend!
Mark

July 07, 2007 3:35 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Where does it say that God was the one who fitted them for destruction? It doesn't.

Rom 9:22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,
Rom 9:23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory--

So Dawn, God in verse 23 prepares vessels for mercy but not the vessels for wrath? The two verses together seem to logically connect that God prepares both vessels.

If God were the one to cause people to be wicked, why would He "endure [them] with much longsuffering"?

For His glory

July 07, 2007 5:42 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Do you have an opinion on what reason God would use to choose a person for salvation or service?

For His glory.

July 07, 2007 5:43 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

What do you believe is the reason that some are Calvinists and some are not?


Not a clue, Dawn. I don't know.

I do know that the Reformed believers whom I've had the pleasure to meet in person and know on-line share a genuine fear of God and for good reason, respect His total sovereignty and His absolute freedom and glory in all He does and is, and have a heartfelt desire to grow in Christ - not just get assurance of eternal salvation.

July 07, 2007 5:45 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Check this post out....



http://christianskepticism.blogspot.com/2007/07/christian-skepticismour-great-heritage.html

July 08, 2007 10:42 PM

 
Blogger only1way said...

check this out. Proverbs 16:4
Susan

Where does it say that God was the one who fitted them for destruction? It doesn't.

KJV: The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

July 09, 2007 10:55 AM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Mark, I'm working on a response to your July 7, 2007 3:35 pm comment. I will probably post it at my blog since it looks like it may be a little long.

In the meantime, I have a few questions that I hope you will answer.

1) Where are you getting the parallel of Lazarus' death and people dead in sin, and then equating that to inability?

2) How can Christians be dead (using the Calvinist's definition of dead) to sin, yet still sin? (Romans 6:2)

3) Why would Paul need to reason and persuade people if they can only see and understand once they are born again? (Acts 18:4) If they are born again, then there is no reason to reason and persuade.

How do you recondile these things given your theology?

Thanks,
Your STUBBORN FRIEND! Dr. Dawn ;-)

July 10, 2007 6:24 PM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Susan: "I do know that the Reformed believers whom I've had the pleasure to meet in person and know on-line share a genuine fear of God and for good reason, respect His total sovereignty and His absolute freedom and glory in all He does and is, and have a heartfelt desire to grow in Christ - not just get assurance of eternal salvation."

I genuinely fear God, respect His total sovereignty and His absolute freedom (including allowing us to accept Him or reject Him), and have a heartfelt desire to grow in Christ and I AM growing in Christ. I'm not only interested in getting assurance of eternal salvation; though, that is a great thing which does bring me great Peace.

I, too, know some people online and offline who feel this same way. Though, I also see a HUGE problem in the "church" where these things are not so and it truly grieves me and even angers me. It angers me because so-called preachers have watered down the gospel of our Lord and Savior and their congregations are not growing or being fully equipped to go and preach the gospel themselves. That doesn't excuse these congregants because it is their job to learn the Word for themselves (II Timothy 2:15), but these leaders will be held more accountable.

July 10, 2007 6:33 PM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

John: "KJV: The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil."

John and Susan, I see this verse as stating that God has created man knowing some would be evil and that He would use them for His purposes. And, as I stated before, this is a possible interpretation for Romans 9:22.

Just so I can understand both your positions (not all Calvinists believe the same things), are either of you saying that God created a person to be a murder or rapist or basically just plain evil? Are either of you also saying that He directs a man to rape a woman or rape and murder a child?

July 10, 2007 6:40 PM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

I forgot to say that I think God created some men knowing they would be evil, but that He does not CAUSE them to DO evil. He simply allows it.

July 10, 2007 6:41 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"1) Where are you getting the parallel of Lazarus' death and people dead in sin, and then equating that to inability?"
=======
Lazarus' death parallels the inablity (hostility) of man in that man has no desire for the things of God. Please see my comment to you July 7, at 3:35 PM. Until the Holy Spirit causes a person to be born of God, 1 John 5:1;John 1:11-13; Eph. 2:4-9, they will not believe in Christ, blindness and hostility being factors here. When God's effectual call goes out to that elect person, Romans 8:28;1 Cor.1:23-24, those appointed, as "call" teaches here, come to Christ, having been transfered from the power of darkness and into the kingdom of His Son.
========

"2) How can Christians be dead (using the Calvinist's definition of dead) to sin, yet still sin? (Romans 6:2)"
=========
Here is where you do show your mmisunderstanding of the Bible's teaching about dead in trespasses and sin. Romans 6 says that those outside of Christ are slaves of sin. They love their sin, and hate the light, John 3:19-21. It is before God's quickening mentioned in Eph. 2:1,5. "Still sinning" IS the dead, a life that illustrates that God the Holy Spirit is not there, John 2:29, 3:9. Remember, those that are dead to sin are Christians, and they alone, Romans 6 speaks to this.

Now, Paul also gives us a glimpse into his own struggles in Romans 7, and Galatians 5:16-17. On this side of the grave, in these bodies, corruption lingers. Only when Christ comes to take us home will we be liberated from the presence of sin.
=====

3) Why would Paul need to reason and persuade people if they can only see and understand once they are born again? (Acts 18:4) If they are born again, then there is no reason to reason and persuade.

How do you recondile these things given your theology?

July 11, 2007 7:55 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Dawn, sorry I got called away before I answered your last question.

"3) Why would Paul need to reason and persuade people if they can only see and understand once they are born again? (Acts 18:4) If they are born again, then there is no reason to reason and persuade.

How do you recondile these things given your theology?"
=======
The Gospel, in conjunction with God the Holy Spirit (for they never are seen acting separately in man's regeneration) is the means of man's coming to life in Christ. See James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23; Romans 10:17; Titus 3:4-7. So then you have in scripture both Paul and Apollos reasoning from scripture, for it is the instrument of God the holy Spirit's hand in His work of regenerating and calling people.

July 11, 2007 8:06 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Dawn, see also Acts 16:14.

July 11, 2007 10:23 AM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Mark, thanks for the responses. I will look into them.

July 11, 2007 1:56 PM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Dawn: "I forgot to say that I think God created some men knowing they would be evil, but that He does not CAUSE them to DO evil. He simply allows it."

I need to clarify. While God does not create some men to be evil (e.g., murderers, rapists, etc.), He does sometimes use the evilness of some for His own purposes (e.g., crucifixion of Jesus).

July 11, 2007 2:05 PM

 

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