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, June 29, 2008

Deleted Comments from Lou Martuneac’s Blog

(By Matt Waymeyer)

Greetings Bluecollar Readers,

My name is Matt Waymeyer. I am a long-time reader, occasional commenter, and first-time guest contributor here at Bluecollar. During the course of a recent dialogue I had with Lou Martnuneac at his blog “In Defense of the Gospel” (see his post on June 24 entitled "The Gospel According to Jesus: What is Authentic Faith?"), Lou deleted two of my comments because he said they were disingenuous and inflammatory. After deleting these comments, he continued his own comments, referring to my “tactics,” my “mantra,” and my “behavior,” all of which were allegedly displayed in the now-deleted comments. And through the use of a complex mathematical formula which involves taking the square root of every third letter in Lou’s final comment, I’m pretty sure he even said my dog is ugly. Well, okay, everything but that last one.

Anyway, I must confess that it’s more than a little frustrating when someone accuses you of something and then deletes the evidence that would either convict or acquit you. Makes you feel a little like you are talking on the phone with someone who is standing in a room full of people, and that person says to you, “Hey Matt, you don’t need yell and curse at me!”; and yet nobody there in the room with that individual is able to hear your side of the conversation to know whether you were actually yelling and cursing.

Anyway, my purpose here as a guest contributor at Bluecollar is to publish the deleted comments and let Lou’s readers decide for themselves. Mark Pierson has graciously allowed me to use this forum to do so, for which I am very grateful. If you want the full context of these two deleted comments, you will need to go to Lou's blog and peruse the comment thread under his June 24th post. I have recommended to Mark that he turn off the comments on this post, since I can’t see anything positive coming from a conversation about whether or not Lou should have deleted these two comments. Frankly, it's Lou's blog and he has the right to do whatever he wants with it. I just wanted my side of the conversation to be heard.

Deleted Comment #1 (6.28.08 at 10:40 AM):

Matt Waymeyer said:


I am sorry that I offended you by saying that you misrepresented John MacArthur. I do not entirely understand why this has offended you, but I am sorry nonetheless. I did not at all intend my previous comment as an attack on your integrity as you suggested. I sincerely believe that your misrepresentation of MacArthur was not due to a lack of integrity, but rather a lack of carefulness in your reading of him. That’s why, in the offending comment, I suggested that rereading Faith Works might help you avoid such misrepresentations in the future.

All of this really comes down to one simple question: Do you believe that you represented MacArthur accurately when you claimed that he has not responded openly to Charles Ryrie’s book So Great Salvation? If so, what do you make of MacArthur’s book Faith Works (which you read just recently) in which MacArthur references Ryrie’s So Great Salvation 48 times in the first 100 pages alone? If not, why are you offended because I said you misrepresented MacArthur?

Earlier in this comment thread, you wrote, “I have always done my dead-level best to accurately depict the views of any man I discuss. If ever I am in error, I always make that right.” Lou, here is your opportunity to do just that.


Deleted Comment #2 (6.28.08 at 1:57 PM):

Matt Waymeyer said:


In your comment above (6.27.2008 at 7:19 A.M.) you personally invited me by name to direct your attention to a work by John MacArthur in which he openly discusses Charles Ryrie’s book So Great Salvation (i.e., you wrote: “If any such treatment(s) of these volumes exist by MacArthur I invite Matthew [that’s me] and any LS advocate, to direct my attention to them.”). Then, when I answer your invitation and direct your attention to MacArthur’s book Faith Works (which references Ryrie’s So Great Salvation 48 times in the first 100 pages alone), you delete my response because I am stirring up controversy? Absolutely amazing.

As you know, the only reason I showed up in this comment thread in the first place is because you sent me a personal email with a link, inviting me to read your article. Lou, please don’t email me any more such invitations. And for the sake of those readers who saw my comment before you deleted it, feel free to answer the question I asked you in it: Do you believe that you represented MacArthur accurately when you claimed that he has refused to respond openly to Charles Ryrie’s book So Great Salvation? You can dismiss this question as a distraction from the main issue, but keep in mind that a good part of your original article (as well as this comment thread) consisted of you calling MacArthur into question for refusing to respond to men like Ryrie.


I thought it would be only fair to mention that finally, in a comment subsequent to my two deleted comments above, Lou came clean (sort of) and admitted that he misrepresented MacArthur in the way I had pointed out to him. Speaking directly to me, Lou wrote: “You take a thread comment where I asked whether MacArthur EVER addressed Ryrie’s [So Great Salvation], which I had forgotten and was mistaken on, and try to make the field upon which you will die.” (Anyone remember the Fonz trying to say he was sorry on “Happy Days”? Not sure why that just came to mind.)

Anyway, just a few thoughts in response: First of all, Lou did more than innocently offer a simple inquiry of whether MacArthur had ever addressed So Great Salvation by Charles Ryrie (i.e., “Say fellas, anyone here aware of whether MacArthur has responded to Ryrie?”). Instead, he chided MacArthur for refusing to do so—saying that MacArthur wants no part of Ryrie’s book because it devastates his position in ways that MacArthur cannot easily fend off—and he challenged me to produce the title of a work where MacArthur had addressed Ryrie. In response I pointed out to him that MacArthur responded to Ryrie extensively in Faith Works, a book Lou himself has recently read. That’s when things started to get ugly.

Secondly, what absolutely puzzles me is that the whole reason Lou was so upset with me is that I accused him of misrepresenting MacArthur by claiming that MacArthur had refused to respond to Ryrie’s book So Great Salvation, and now Lou admits that yes, he did indeed misrepresent MacArthur in this way! At least I think that’s what he means by the words: “which I had forgotten and was mistaken on.” (He’s not exactly crystal clear about having misrepresented MacArthur, but you take what you can get.)

So Lou, if you did misrepresent MacArthur in this way, why didn’t you just admit that in the first place and be done with it? I called you on this, and you deleted my comment, saying that I was trying to stir up controversy. So I called you on it again, and once again you deleted my comment, this time saying I was disingenuous. What’s with all the drama and deletions and defensiveness? Why not just respond right away with something like: “Yes, you are right. I inadvertently misrepresented MacArthur when I said he had refused to interact with Ryrie. I have read MacArthur’s book Faith Works, but I had forgotten that he responds to Ryrie in that book.” If you had, that would have been the end of it. But instead, you drag it out and then act as if this is a hill that I am wanting to die on.

On a final note, I just saw that Lou, in his most recent comment at his blog, has accused me of refusing to answer three questions he asked earlier in the comment thread either (a) because I have no answer for these questions, or (b) because these questions betray the disingenuousness of my interaction with him. This, Lou says, is one of my “tactics” in seeking to undermine the truth.

Wow. Pretty amazing stuff. I only wish that my wife could read my mind as well as Lou can. Seems that communication between us would be a lot easier. Anyway, in the spirit of wanting to show that I’m actually a really sincere guy, I thought I would take a stab at answering these penetrating inquiries from Lou:

Question #1: Why is it, in three editions of the mainstay of his LS apologetics, does MacArthur never find the opportunity to acknowledge this important distinction in the FG camp?

My Answer: I wasn’t there in the meetings when John MacArthur and Phil Johnson met with the publisher regarding subsequent editions of TGATJ, so I wouldn’t have the slightest idea. But I’m sure the only possible explanation is that John MacArthur is simply not a man of integrity! In any case, as I mentioned in the comment thread at your blog, the distinctions between Ryrie and Hodges did not become clear until after the two of them had written their responses to TGATJ in 1989. So you can’t fault MacArthur for failing to make the distinction in the first edition, which came out in 1988. But once the first edition of TGATJ had come out in 1988, and once Ryrie and Hodges had written their responses in 1989 (thereby making the distinctions between their two positions very clear), I suppose at this point MacArthur now had three options: (1) he could ignore the distinctions between Ryrie and Hodges altogether; (2) he could rewrite The Gospel According to Jesus in such a way that makes these distinctions clear; or (3) he could write a second book in which he makes these distinctions clear. MacArthur obviously chose the third option by writing Faith Works (later retitled The Gospel According to the Apostles) in 1993 (one year before the second edition of TGATJ), and you obviously believe his integrity is in question because he failed to choose the second option. Lou, I sincerely pray that you will not be judged by others according to the same standard by which you have judged MacArthur.

Question #2: How does Ryrie’s So Great Salvation a major work, by one of the most recognizable theologians in evangelical circles, who rejects LS fail to appear in the bibliography in either of the revised and expanded editions of TGATJ?

My Answer: I’m pretty sure this is because MacArthur was desperately trying to hide the fact that Ryrie wrote the book So Great Salvation because of how devastating Ryrie’s arguments were to MacArthur’s position. But boy did MacArthur’s strategy backfire when he accidentally cited So Great Salvation nearly 100 times in his next book!

Question #3: Would you agree that in the article I “have (NOT) failed to acknowledge” MacArthur has to some degree drawn a distinction?

My Answer: Lou, what I wrote to you in my very first comment at your blog was that “MacArthur appropriately distinguished between the two [i.e., the positions of Ryrie and Hodges], something you have failed to acknowledge.” I stand by that comment entirely, because you certainly did not acknowledge that MacArthur appropriately distinguished between the positions of Hodges and Ryrie in your original article. That's what I said, and that's what I meant.

So ends the drama, and so ends my interactions with Lou Martuneac, on his blog or any other. And by the way, if you’re wondering why I do not plan to discuss the lordship issue with Lou any longer, I’m sure he can tell you the reason. He seems to have special insight into the motives of other people’s hearts. I’m looking forward to finding out myself. Should be a real hoot.


Friday, June 27, 2008

Lou Martuneac and Mark Pierson Speak

The discussion took place here... https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=4325570063154994968&postID=4018681151046232299

Lou M. says - I am all for expecting the genuinely born again Christian to live (at varying degrees) in obedience to the Lord’s commands. However, I also understand from the Scriptures the inevitable existence of “carnal” believers/Christians that we will always have in the church....

I will, however, say this much: I reject any theology that suggests “commitment, surrender or submission” to the “good works” (Eph. 2:10) and/or obedience expected of a born again disciple of Christ is necessary from a lost man for justification (the reception of eternal life).

This week I posted a review of John MacArthur’s newest and third edition of The Gospel According to Jesus. There is the link for your consideration. In my brief review I expand on some of the notes I shared in this comment.

It might interest you to know that after the initial storm my book raised among men who were sympathetic to MacArthur’s LS interpretation of the Gospel I have received a number of calls and e-mails from men in the Reformed camp. Many of these conceded they had initially misjudged my arguments and have come to find that I was much more right on LS then they had at first given me credit for. They took the time to read my book, mediate on my arguments from the standpoint of Scripture.My revised and expanded edition will build upon the good foundation the original established.

Kind regards,LM

Lou M. says - /Mark/All:

I have done a great deal in recent months at various sites to show that there is a clear division in the FG community.I wrote a special article Is “REDEFINED” Free Grace Theology- Free Grace Theology?

I encourage all of you men who oppose the unusual GES brand of theology to read it.

The GES faction is a shrinking cell of extremists that will no doubt continue to slide into new and even more absurd ideas. The GES Crossless gospel advocates do NOT speak for or represent the FG camp in general.

When you read the kind of absurdity coming from those who follow the teaching of Hodges and Wilkin, just remember that these strange views are almost totally exclusive to GES followers.


Lou M. says - [Jazzy Cat asked] You asked, “Do you consider 100% of regular church goers to be true Christians?”I suspect we can find “church-goers” in most every evangelical church who were never born again. As far as I am concerned the more unsaved “church-goers” attending Bible-believing churches the better. This way they will be under the preaching of God’s Word.

That will most certainly result in some of them being saved, unless of course they are subjected to the Lordship or Crossless gospel.


Lou M. says - Jazzy:You wrote, “I agree. Justification is by faith alone.”

I’m glad to read that because then there is no way you can agree with the error of John MacArthur’s LS gospel.

For example he wrote, “Forsaking oneself for Christ’s sake is not an optional step of discipleship subsequent to conversion; it is the sine qua non of saving faith.” (TGATJ)

Sine qua non defined means: an indispensable condition. Dr. MacArthur says “forsaking oneself for Christ’s sake” is not subsequent to, does not follow conversion. Therefore, the “sine qua non” (indispensable condition) of saving faith is “forsaking.” Dr. MacArthur requires an upfront commitment to this for salvation.

He also wrote, “That is the kind of response the Lord Jesus called for: wholehearted commitment. A desire for him at any cost. Unconditional surrender. A full exchange of self for the Savior. It is the only response that will open the gates of the kingdom.” (TGATJ)

Lordship Salvation frontloads faith with conditions for salvation that the Bible does not force on the lost.

MacArthur’s LS is a non-saving, works based message that calls on man to offer “commitment,” “surrender” and “forsaking” in “exchange” for salvation.

Again, I am very pleased to read that you have not bought into this erroneous teaching.


Mark P. says - mark pierson said...

Question #1- Did Mark 8:34-38 happen in an evangelistic setting or no?

#2 - On a timeline stretching from the Reformation; where on that timeline did your views originate?

#3 - Could a holder of Covenant Theology or New Covenant Theology, using their hermeneutic, arrive at your conclussions, conclussions wherein MacArthur's TGATJ is a works salvation, or "front-loaded" as you say?

Please answer my questions carefully. I believe that you are holding MacArthur's work up to a standard that was born in and of a certain strand of dispensational thought - Chafer, Ryrie - and hope you'll understand that if that is the case, you views would be regarded as irrelevant to those of us outside of Dispensationalism.

Lou M. says - Mark:I may come back later with more, but I am at work and very busy at this time. You might find me more receptive to addressing your questions if you asked in a less militant tone. Furthermore, why not interact with the statements I posted from JM?I bring no presuppositions of any kind into my reading of MacArthur’s Lordship Salvation. I am holding MacArthur’s soteriology up and comparing it to the eternal Word of God. His LS view simply fails the test of Scripture.His call for the lost man to make a “commitment” to the “good works” expected of a mature Christian is a false, works based, non-saving message.

Mark P. says -
mark pierson said...
No sir, he merely considers ALL of the information from all 4 gospels when he considers what a gospel presentation should include. Even Ryrie lightly hints at the idea that the Gospel of John is THE book to look at for evangelistic purposes - a "Dallas Doctrine" distinctive???I shall awaite your responses to ALL of my questions from the previous comment I left to you. I'm off to my second shift job shortly.

Lou M. says -
Lou Martuneac said...
Mark:It does not matter how MacArthur arrives at his LS interpretation of the Gospel. His statements articulate very clearly what is a false, works based message.


Lou Martuneac said...
Like Jazzy wrote to me earlier in the thread, "I agree with you if, by the term lordship salvation, you mean anything to do with justification. This is a blog dedicated to the true free grace of eternal life by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone."

MacArthur teaches (which I have documented) faith, plus "commitment" of life in "exchange" for the reception of eternal life.

mark pierson said...
I am sure your book does/will resonate with those who hold to "Ryrian Theology". But those of us who hold to the Biblical view of regeneration - that being that the regeneration experience ALWAYS results in conversion, a new creation with a new nature, with new desires - will see your book as simply one side firing on another side within Dispensationalism. Unfortunate for you that your system does not let you interpret passages like Mark 8:34-38 properly, that is that that passage is indeed taking place in an evagelistic setting. Many people in that passage were hearing Christ for the very first time.

Question: Why didn't Christ run after the departing rich young ruler?

mark pierson said...
Besides all of this B.B. Warfield took apart Chafer's "Ye which Are Spiritual" within two years of its publication. That whole idea of a state of carnal Christianity was popularized in that work by Chafer and was soundly refuted by Warfield and many others since then. Even other dispy's would not agree with Chafer's views there.
7:19 AM

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Saving Faith pt.2

"At the same time, it is a dangerous state of things if doctrine is made to drive out precept, and faith is held up as making holiness a superfluity. Sanctification must not be forgotten or overlaid by justification. We must teach plainly that the faith which saves the soul is not a dead faith, but a faith which operates with purifying effect upon our entire nature, and produces in us fruits of righteousness to the praise and glory of God."

Spurgeon's statement here should give us all plenty of pause. How often are we content to go into our lives holding firmly to the fact of our justification, but give very little thought to the biblical mandate that we are to walk as Jesus walked, in His foot steps, led by His Spirit? Doctrine over precept? Head knowledge over practice?

Food for thought.


Monday, June 23, 2008

Looking At Limited Atonement

I swiped this from pastor Reid Ferguson's "Confession of an ex-"Highper" Calvinist", found here...http://responsivereiding.wordpress.com/confession-of-an-ex-highper-calvinist/

Here is the summary, "at the heart of this discussion from my point of view is the need to more carefully recognize the very important difference between Atonement and Redemption, and not to use them as indiscriminately interchangeable. Redemption is the effect of the Atonement applied. Atonement is the more general term and Redemption the more particular one. Only the elect are redeemed, but all have been atoned for. For myself, this very necessary nuance prevents us from losing the large-heartedness of God in the glorious work of Christ at Calvary to be preached (in Calvin’s words) “indiscriminately to all” (Comm. on Gen. 19:12), and thus “The blame lies solely with ourselves, if we do not become partakers of this salvation; for he calls all men to himself, without a single exception, and gives Christ to all, that we may be illuminated by him.” (Comm. on Isa. 42:6) while safeguarding the doctrine of unconditional election.

Perhaps the tension I argue for can be found in its best expressed form in 1 Tim. 4:10 “For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.” The Savior of all people (all men – KJV) but ESPECIALLY, in particular, of those who believe.

This is my own position, and Shedd has expressed better than I can for sure. I leave it up to you to decide where that leaves us.

I hope I have neither made a mountain out of a molehill, muddied the waters, nor brought any undue stress upon you all. But I am constrained to go where the Scriptures lead.

I have waited long, studied hard, and prayed without ceasing over this, and trust this is useful to you.

I have changed significantly in my understanding of the doctrine of Christ’s atonement. Yes, it is still well within the pale of orthodox, Reformation thought, but it is not the way I came in, as Pastor of this Church. Sooner or later I knew I was going to bump into it when I preached. Obviously, when that happens it is going to raise questions. So I want to get everything out on the table for us to think, pray, study and talk through. What I have come to believe the Bible teaches on this subject, is different than many here, and I do not wish to bring either confusion or division. It is not a new view, and has long been an accepted view within Calvinistic & Reformed circles historically – but not the circles we’ve run in.

For additional Reformed men who at least wrestled with some universal effects of the atonement see: Berkoff, R. B. Kuiper (For Whom Did Christ Die?), Andrew Fuller, Thomas Boston, B.B. Warfield & Charles Hodge. All conceded at least some universal effects and to varying degrees came close to what I have cited above in Shedd. Though I believe Shedd the most complete of the group.

See also Phil Johnson’s excellent article on this topic at: http://ondoctrine.com/2joh0001.htm


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Saving Faith

This quote from Spurgeon's sermon, seen in the previous post, sums up the Reformed definition of saving faith. Here it is...

"It is not by personal holiness that a man shall enter heaven, but yet without holiness shall no man see the Lord. It is not by good works that we are justified, but if a man shall continue to live an ungodly life, his "faith" will not justify him; for it is not the faith of God's elect; since that faith is wrought by the Holy Spirit, and conforms men to the image of Christ."

This is the very place where the Reformed and those of the GES disagree, and strongly so. If one's "faith" hasn't brought them into a life changing union with our Triune God then it is no faith at all, but merely mental assent.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Call to Holy Living - Spurgeon

"A Call to Holy Living"—a sermon first preached on Sunday morning, 14 January 1872, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle.

It is a very great fault in any ministry if the doctrine of justification by faith alone be not most clearly taught. I will go further, and add, that it is not only a great fault, but a fatal one; for souls will never find their way to heaven by a ministry that is indistinct upon the most fundamental of gospel truths.

The merit by which a soul enters heaven is not its own; it is the merit of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am quite sure that you will all hold me guiltless of ever having spoken about this great doctrine in any other than unmistakable language; if I have erred, it is not in that direction.

At the same time, it is a dangerous state of things if doctrine is made to drive out precept, and faith is held up as making holiness a superfluity. Sanctification must not be forgotten or overlaid by justification. We must teach plainly that the faith which saves the soul is not a dead faith, but a faith which operates with purifying effect upon our entire nature, and produces in us fruits of righteousness to the praise and glory of God.

It is not by personal holiness that a man shall enter heaven, but yet without holiness shall no man see the Lord. It is not by good works that we are justified, but if a man shall continue to live an ungodly life, his "faith" will not justify him; for it is not the faith of God's elect; since that faith is wrought by the Holy Spirit, and conforms men to the image of Christ.

We must learn to place the legal precepts in their right position. They are not the base of the column, but they are the capital of it. Precepts are not given to us as a way to obtain life, but as the way in which to exhibit life.

The commands of Christ are not upon the legal tenor of "this do and live," but upon the gospel system of "live and do this." We are not to be attentive to the precepts in order to be saved, but because we are saved. Our master motive is to be gratitude to him who has saved us with a great salvation.

I am sure that every renewed heart here will feel no opposition to the most holy precepts of our Lord. However severely pure that law may seem to be which we have read just now from this fifth chapter of Matthew, our hearts agree with it, and we ask that we may be so renewed that our lives may be conformed to it. The regenerate never rebel against any precept, saying, "This, is too pure;" on the contrary, our new-born nature is enamoured of its holiness, and we cry, "Thy word is very pure, therefore thy servant loveth it. O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes."

Even though we find that when we would do good evil is present with us, yet our inmost soul longs after holiness, and pines to be delivered from every evil way. At any rate, Dear friends, if it be not so with you, you may well question whether you are indeed the children of God. My desire, this morning, is to insist upon the precepts which tend to holiness, and I pray the Holy Spirit to excite desires after a high degree of purity in all believing, hearts.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Check Out The New Digs



Monday, June 16, 2008

More GES Shenanigans

Extreme Free Grace Theology

by Antonio da Rosa

The central tenet of Free Grace Theology is faith alone in Christ alone apart from works of any kind. It has always been this way!

I have posed this scenario and question to those who are opposed so bitterly to Zane Hodges, Bob Wilkin, and the Grace Evangelical Society:

Let us say that a man was reading the book of John and came across and meditated upon John 1:12; 3:15-16; 4:10-14; 5:24; 6:35-40, 47; 11:25-26. In the process of reading these verses, this man placed all of his faith and trust and hope and certainty into Jesus as his Savior. In other words, this man entrusted his eternal well-being to Jesus. This man, by an act of faith, placed all of his reliance upon Jesus alone for eternal life. And before the man was able to reach the end of the gospel of John, before the passion and resurrection narratives, he died.

Question: Would this man be in heaven or hell?

This is where the balanced people are separated from the extremists. You see, those who have created discord in the Free Grace community with their heresy hunting and factionism, MUST answer that this man is now in hell, and in fact, I have several of them on record stating such.

But even people who do not identify with the Grace Evangelical Society positions would say that this man is in heaven. Why? This man exercised faith alone into Christ alone!

The Duluthian Antagonists wish to paint the GES as extreme. But there is no greater extreme statement than to contend that Christ would throw somebody into hell who nevertheless trusted fully in Him for eternal life and salvation!The extremists from Duluth must picture Jesus in this way judging the man from the aforementioned scenario:

{Jesus} You believed Me when I said that whoever believes in Me has everlasting life. You entrusted your eternal destiny and well-being into My hands by believing in Me. You trusted me alone for the gift I stated was received by faith in Me. You rested your certain hope of eternal life to my truthfulness and authority.


Since you did not add to that faith assent to my substitutionary death for sins, and bodily resurrection from the dead (I know you died before you were able to read about it), I must throw you into hell.

Imagine the extreme scenario of someone who fully and completely trusted in Christ for eternal life, yet nevertheless is thrown into hell because of historical and doctrinal stipulations!

It is not extreme to propose that Jesus Christ is truthful when He states that simple faith in Him receives everlasting life! It is not extreme to propose that child-like trust in Him as one's Savior is sufficient to be reckoned righteous.

It is extreme to suggest that faith alone in Christ alone is insufficient to save! It is extreme to propose stipulations greater than personal trust in Christ for salvation!

And it is in this way that the schismatics identified with Duluth Bible Church have moved to the extreme edge of Free Grace theology.
posted by Antonio at 2:44 PM


A very important point that needs to be made again and again.
By Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Sunday, June 15, 2008 12:43:00 AM

Antonio:by the time this man gets to your first reference, John 1:12)he has already learned that Christ is God. By the time, he gets to your second reference (John 3:15-16) he has already learned that Christ is the sin bearing Lamb of God and One who would die and rise again. By your last reference (John 11:25-26) many other great truths have been learned as well. Dying before reaching the passion and resurrection narratives in your scenario does not mean dying before learning the passion and resurrection truth. It would seem that accortding to your way of thinking that John almost clouded the matter by telling too much about the Lord Jesus. Your cutting carefully around the great cardinal truths remind me of the ladies in the fellowship who used to spend hours cutting round the flannelgraph Bible figures for the children's meetings. Surely in his meditating upon John 1:12, he would have read what went before and likewise in John 3:15-16 etc., Why not have him meditating upon John 3:14-16 so at least that the Christ who gives eternal life is the same Christ who was typified by Moses lifting up the serpent? "Splendid isolationism" as once thought to be a politcial worldview. Now, it is more apt for a theological position. Alas, it allows and even encourages false teachers (e.g. JW's, Mormons etc.,) to set forth their false christs and demand a hearing. If I were a Mormon apologist seeking, as they currently are, to get acceptance among Evangelicals as a main stram Christian, I would point my detractors this direction and say, "There you go. Here's one rather focal Evangelical who accepts my right to say that my Jesus guarantees eternal life etc.," Regards, Regards,
By GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Sunday, June 15, 2008 8:27:00 AM

Oops: Should read "vocal" not "focal" although you could argue the other way as well ... but only if you were a Mormon apologist:0)
By GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Sunday, June 15, 2008 8:45:00 AM

I had just got finished typing a very long response to you Colin, to every point you make, and was making the finishing touches.My wife came home with the children and we opened up presents. She then came into the computer room and changed web-pages even though a warning indicated that if she was to navigate away from the page that she would lose all the information. She did it anyway. And needless to say, I lost all my work. I was very disappointed to say the least!I took a very long time responding and typing, about an hour. I don't have the will or desire to try to hit all the points I did.It will have to suffice with these few points:1) the average reader of John 1-11 will not come to any clear understanding of the creedal statements that the extremist Duluthian faction places on the reception of eternal life. The Word "is God", "ye are gods", "right to become children of God", "I am the Son of God", "I and the Father are One"... huh? There is no speak of "sin bearing" at all in John 1-11, and remember that the Duluthians require that one not only believe that Jesus died, but that he died on a cross, and that he died on a cross substitutionally and vicariously, and that He died on the cross substitutionally and vicariously for sins, and that He died on the cross substitutionally and vicariously for personal sin. There is no speak of such things in John 1-11. "Lamb of God," what? Someone without an Old Testament understanding would not have any light come on about the term "Lamb of God".You have attributed much understanding to the man in the illustration that the average Joe would never comprehend with what is found in John 1-11.2) What would be understood by the average Joe, being crystal clear, is that:whoever believes in Jesus has everlasting life, will not perish, will not come into condemnation.Therefore, in spite of his confusion and ignorance of the doctrines and nuances you find in John 1-11 with your mature and studied understanding, this man placed his faith in Jesus Christ as his Savior, entrusting his eternal well-being and destiny into His hands, trusting in Him for the gift He freely offers, believing Christ in His testimony whereby He states, "Most assuredly I say to you, whoever believes in Me has everlasting life" and thus, trusting in the veracity of Christ's words, understands that he presently has eternal life and can never perish upon the testimony of Jesus Christ.3) What is extreme theology, is contending that someone unapprised of orthodox doctrine but sincerely trusting in Jesus Christ nevertheless will go to hell.Tell me Colin, so we can have you on the record too:The average man who read John 1-11, unaware of the nuanced and studied understanding of some of the discussion in this material, who nevertheless reckoned and was convinced that Jesus Christ was able, qualified, and willing to give Him eternal life by faith alone, places His simple faith in Jesus Christ as His sure and certain Savior, trusting solely in Jesus Christ for the gift of eternal life that He states is possessed by faith in Him, and were to immediately die, would this man be in heaven or hell?4) The bottom line is this:Those from Duluth are an EXTREME FREE GRACE schismatic faction in the Free Grace world.The Duluthian antagonists matter--of-factly state that it is possible for someone who has completely relied upon Jesus Christ, entrusting his destiny to Christ, believing Christ's promise, placing His sole faith in Jesus Christ for eternal life, can nevertheless go to hell. In other words, it is possible that someone can believe in Jesus Christ alone for eternal life and perish.This is extreme fundamentalist theology. This makes Jesus a liar.The bottom line isn't "MOST ASSUREDLY I say to you, whoever believes in Me has everlasting life" in the Extreme Free Grace theology of the Duluthian Antagonists. The bottom line is "Whoever believes in" Jesus and believes this and that and this and that, and these other fundamental orthodox creedal statements, has everlasting life.The Duluthian faction's position is an Extremist position that in essence makes Jesus Christ a liar. Jesus has the words of everlasting life. Jesus' words are spirit and they are life. Jesus promises that anyone who takes Him at His word in His promise has everlasting life. The Duluthian Antagonist's position precludes Christ's words that are spirit and life, whereby He has the words of everlasting life.In essence, the Duluthian people deem that THEY have the words of everlasting life, for they have, by their doctrine, usurped the authority of Jesus Christ and added to His words.Those from Duluth and those associated with them, such as J.B. Hixson, have an extreme theology, that would throw a child in hell who believes in Jesus yet nevertheless remains ignorant of their orthodox doctrine.This is shamefuland yesIt is Extreme Free Grace theology.Antonio
By Antonio, at Sunday, June 15, 2008 12:10:00 PM

Antonio:I appreciate you taking the time to answer me and indeed, going the extra mile when all your typing was lost. You will doubtless appreciate that my interest in what you wrote has absolutely nothing to do with the internal war within the FG movement. I came at you on this one purely on doctrinal grounds without any attempt to keep up with “Who’s who” in the other matter, and who said what and why.If you reread what I wrote, I said that by your first reference your imaginary man will have learned that Christ is God. I did not indicate that in John 1:1-11 there was any reference to the Cross. There is, however, in John 1:29 and reference to His death and resurrection in John 2:19-22 and again in John 3:14 (just before you decided that he should start meditating on John 3:15-16) It seems to me that you are severely limiting the power of the Spirit of God to enlighten the eyes of the one who is reading the Gospel of John. Not denying it altogether, for you seem to allow that the reader has the spiritual wherewithal to see what the true meaning of key words like “believe” – “eternal life” etc., but yet, for some strange reason, he fails to get any further. If we were both to play your game, we would be left wondering what does the average Joe Soap (as you call him) know about sin or condemnation etc. There seems to be a little bit of picking and choosing going on here on your part. Would this man be saved with his limited knowledge as you challenge me to declare? The information you give is so limited and almost far fetched. He meditates upon verses but (according to the picture which you are trying to paint) he misses so much round about them. They have been airbrushed out of the story. Has he missed them Does he reject them? From what you are telling us, Jesus to this man might well be a political leader or a half mad religious guru who, in his madness, says some nice things; so much so that our friend – who could be a pot smoking hippy for all you or I know – thinks they sound nice and so he wants to embrace them along with half a dozen other things as well. What if our imaginary friend here consciously rejects John 1:1-3 and particularly scorns John 1:14? Where does that leave you? In these “died before” scenarios of yours, ultimately it doesn’t matter what we think. The Lord knows those who are his. The man in question has died. My words can neither hinder or encourage him, or if needs be, warn him. Regards,
By GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Monday, June 16, 2008 2:57:00 AM


Friday, June 13, 2008

Free Grace

Free Grace. Spurgeon used that term to describe the grace of God in dealing with sinners. Spurgeon's view of grace was that it changed a sinner, from that of a slave of sin, to one who loved and obeyed God from the heart - to wit, a new creation; a slave of righteousness, a slave of God.

I wish to start a new group blog, one devoted to showing the blog world what role Calvinists have played in evangelizing the lost. I would love for the blog world to see the consuming fire that Calvinists through the ages have had to see the lost come to Christ. Would not it also be great to see the new blog used to clear up any other misconceptions one might have about Calvinism.

What if we called that new blog "Free Grace" in order to pull that term back into the camp in which it belongs.

Are there any takers??

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

GES Dishonesty

There is a very vocal proponent of The Grace Evangelical Society's version of the Gospel that claims that he studies Calvinism in order to better refute it. Below I will provide you with questions that he recently asked some Calvinists concerning how they share the gospel to the unsaved. Then I will provide some statements made by him concerning his take on what it is that we Calvinists both preach and teach, and the outcome of our message on the unsaved. But first the questions he asked the Calvinists. Here they are...
"First let me ask you all (Jonathan, Soldem, Donsands, and Mark) a question.When you come to the invitation aspect of your evangelism, how is it you invite people to life in Christ? In other words, how do you answer the question:What must I do to be justified and/or have eternal life?And mind you, I will ask follow up questions if you do not answer forthrightly.I have my opinion on how you can answer this. I think you have to answer it in one of two ways. Yet, for the sake of clarity and fairness, please answer the question, each one of you individually.The Reformed Lordship Salvationist could answer that question one of two ways:

1) You do nothing. You must wait till you get zapped by the Lord with irresistable grace. But you may be reprobate and never get such a benefit. The invitation in the Reformed tradition's evangelism could be:Lam 3:26It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.Thing is that a man could wait forever.

2) The kitchen sink!One must believe an ever-increasing amount of doctrine.One must submit and surrender everthing to the LordOne must be willing to follow Christ and leave everything for Him. One must be willing to turn from all sin. One must persevere until the end. One must blah, blah, blah.In this case, no one could ever know if they fulfilled these conditions to the extent to which they could deem themselves saved, having jumped through each one of the Reformed evangelist's hoops.In this case, the Reformed evangelists's invitation to salvation could sound like this:Mark 13:13he who endures to the end (in believing every doctrine, in persevering in every work, in following enough, in surrendering enough, in repenting enough, etc...) shall be saved.With such subjective standards, no one could ever possibly know if he has or can fulfill such. Even on the death bed, one may well consider if he sufficiently endured enough.as an aside. Those who think they are enduring enough now, may wish to take a better look at their lives. How many spurious saints down through the centuries have had a greater testimony and array of good works than you? How many reprobates have been enlightened with temporary faith whereby they have had more dedication to the Lord than your own self?Why is it that you are so presumptious to declare that you are one of the elect? You may very well posess a faith that in the end proves to be evanescent. You may fully prove that God wished to enlighten you the better to condemn you later.In Reformed Lordship Salvation it is impossible to know if you have objectively fulfilled all the heaps of criterion necessary to ascertain if one is saved or not. Was it not John MacArthur's book, Saved without a Doubt, that includes a list of some 25+ things that one must do?How do you know that you have done them and in sufficient quantity? You can never know if you must persevere until the end!Answer me my question, and I will be more than happy to entertain yours.It is not MacArthur who is saved without a doubt, but the Free Gracer..."
Then there are these statements from him..."The enemy is Lordship Salvation in its many guises! Recently Dr. Hixson stated in a newsletter, “I appreciate these men [John Piper, Mark Dever, Al Mohler] and their passion to speak out against sin.” Frankly, what does it matter if these people speak out against sin but preach a non-saving message of works-righteousness? What does it profit a man to repent from sin, reform his life, and then end up in hell? I do not appreciate the teachers of Lordship Salvation."
Again this man claims to study Calvinism in order to better refute it. In the above do you see any evidence of any serious effort on his part to know the position that he opposes?


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Fahrenheit GES

Remember that Mike Moore flick, "Fahrenheit 911" where he retells all the goings on in the Bush Whitehouse prior to the US going to war to right the wrongs of 9/11/01? Moore was so very accurate wasn't he? Yeah, right. It would seem his liberalism caused him to see things in an other than honest way.

Well soon we will be treated to the GES version of "911". Yeah, it seems that the GES is going to release a tell-all about where John MacArthur stands on eternal security. Says a leading proponent, "Soon I will relate to the readership of my blog a story of a panel that Dr. Earl Radmacher (who recently retold the story to me) was in with John MacArthur, where JMac admits that he can never know if he is saved or not until he dies."

A report from a trusted voice representing a trusted organization.

Again, yeah, right!


Sunday, June 08, 2008

Triablogue: Calvinism vs. Arminianism



Saturday, June 07, 2008

One of My Blogosphere Hero's Adds to Our Growing GES Lexicon

Matt Waymeyer said...
May I add a few entries to your Free Grace Lexicon? If you keep these in mind, they will help you understand how the extreme FGers manage to get around the clear teaching of Scripture and hold their theology intact:

“do the will of the Father” in Matt 7:21 = believe in Jesus

“follow Me” in John 10:27 = believe in Jesus

“did the good deeds” in John 5:29 = believe in Jesus

“perish” in 2 Peter 3:9 = experience physical death

“know Him” in 1 John 2:3 = really, really, REALLY know Him!

"weeping and gnashing of teeth" = what all unbelievers will do in hell and most believers will do in the Millennial Kingdom

Oh, and lastly, a "traditionalist" is someone whose interpretation of Scripture predates Zane Hodges.

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Line Upon Line: The Evolution of Soteriological Reductionism

Line Upon Line: The Evolution of Soteriological Reductionism


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Daniel's New Series

Check it out here...



Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Some Thoughts on Assurance

Please check this article on assurance out. It is a short read. You'll see both Ryrie's and MacArthur's views here.



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Sunday, June 01, 2008

Words Which The Holy Ghost Teacheth...

by Colin Maxwell, http://ulsterfpcs.blogspot.com/

Words which the Holy Ghost teacheth...

So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt. (Genesis 45:8) .

Here's a thought. Try and follow it through with me: We know that Joseph's brethren (Joseph being the speaker of these words and his brethren being the hearers) did send Joseph into Egypt. The narrative clearly tells us that they did (chapter 37), their own conscience smote them about the matter, and they feared that Joseph would sooner or later take vengeance upon them. So they did the evil deed.

Why does Joseph then use the words that he does here? And that by inspiration of God (2 Peter 1:21) It was not because he was trying to airbrush history in a disturbed victim's act of denial or that this was a roundabout way of saying, "I forgive you" but because he had another handle upon it. He is looking beyond the human side and he sees the sovereign hand of God. Later on, he explains this further again:

But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. (Genesis 50:20).

Here, he freely indicts them for their crime ("ye thought evil") while acknowledging that God had a part in it and His part was working the wickedness of the brethren to a noble and merciful end ("meant it for good to save...") .

On what basis we ask, can Joseph strongly say that it was not his brethren, but God? The words are clear: "It was not you, but God." This makes God, does it not to be the great First Cause here. Some would say that it merely means that God overruled; that He permitted the brethren to do their beastly act and that He intercepted and pulled a few strings from behind the scenes, so that it would all work out in the end. Do you buy that? I find it hard to. I do not think that it is strong enough. Without reducing the brethren to mere puppets or acquitting them of their guilt (although acknowledging that God has pardoned them for it) yet I see here that sovereign hand of God that ordained that they would do the deed and yet leave them fully responsible for the guilt.

Some folk don't like this sort of thing. They think that this implicates God in the sin of the deed. I say, "No, it doesn't. It implicates God in the deed, but not the sin" for God cannot be tempted and neither tempteth He any man (James 1:13)." Our text above is very clear. Joseph went as far as to say that it was not the brethren, but God who sent him hither.Let me ask a question, "If it was indeed the brethren who brought about this awful deed and not God" (which is the opposite of what is written) then is the Spirit of Truth using inappropriate language when other words would convey it more accurately?

John Calvin on Genesis 45:8.

"Good men are ashamed to confess, that what men undertake cannot be accomplished except by the will of God; fearing lest unbridled tongues should cry out immediately, either that God is the author of sin, or that wicked men are not to be accused of crime, seeing they fulfill the counsel of God. But although this sacrilegious fury cannot be effectually rebutted, it may suffice that we hold it in detestation. Meanwhile, it is right to maintain, what is declared by the clear testimonies of Scripture, that whatever men may contrive, yet, amidst all their tumult, God from heaven overrules their counsels and attempts; and, in short, does, by their hands, what he has himself decreed. Good men, who fear to expose the justice of God to the calumnies of the impious, resort to this distinction, that God wills some things, but permits others to be done. As if, truly, any degree of liberty of action, were he to cease from governing, would be left to men. If he had only permitted Joseph to be carried into Egypt, he had not ordained him to be the minister of deliverance to his father Jacob and his sons; which he is now expressly declared to have done. Away, then, with that vain figment, that, by the permission of God only, and not by his counsel or will, those evils are committed which he afterwards turns to a good account. I speak of evils with respect to men, who propose nothing else to themselves but to act perversely. And as the vice dwells in them, so ought the whole blame also to be laid upon them. But God works wonderfully through their means, in order that, from their impurity, he may bring forth his perfect righteousness. This method of acting is secret, and far above our understanding.".

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