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].

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Carnal Christian: Wayne and Mark Consider the Issue

The following discusion took place on another blog.

Mark said - the “carnal Christians” in Corinth… What is the standard? Christ Himself? Then wouldn’t we all be “carnal” in comparison? Hodges and Ryrie suggest that one who once professed Christ can even lose faith and become hostile to the things of God for the remainder of their lives. Hmmm. Where in the Bible do they see such an example? Certainly not in Corinth. Even these folk “[came] behind in no gift” and were “waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ”. 1 Cor. 1:7. It says that Paul praised them because they remembered him in all things and kept the ordinances as he delivered them to them. 1 Cor. 11:2. What about that great chapter, 2 Cor. 7:7 where we read of their earnest desire, their mourning, their fervent mind toward Paul. What about the repentance mentioned in verse 9?

For the Free Grace Theology proponent’s definition of the “carnal Christian” well, he can’t point to the Corinthian Church.

Wayne said - I guess we all use filters to a certain extent when we read Scripture. I hope we can agree that when the Scriptures use the term “in Christ”, it refers to a characteristic that all saved believers have. IOW all saved and redeemed people are in Christ. Certainly the Bible refers to infants in Christ, but the term “infants” points to a condition that is not permanent.
When a word search of “in Christ” is done a very long list of passages in many different New Testament books reveal a lot about the attributes of those who are redeemed and in Christ. I will not go through them, as they are clear in their meaning. One theme is repeated over and over and that is those who are in Christ Jesus are changed people that have different attitudes and behaviors. They are certainly not sinless and I think you are mistaken when you say, ” This really does get down to an issue of whether or not a christian can sin…and for how long?” No, the carnal Christian issue really gets down to whether a saved redeemed person can remain unchanged after his regeneration and show no effects of the indwelling Holy Spirit for the rest of his life. Sin is not the issue. Good works are not the issue. A new creation is the issue as 2 Cor. 5:17 points out. The issue is can the Holy Spirit be a total failure in His ministry of regeneration and indwelling believers? If the Holy Spirit can totally fail in making a person a new creation in Christ, then Paul is wrong and some people are saved but remain the same people they were before being saved.
This view denies the power of God and asserts that a regenerate person can thwart the will of God. It is one thing to assert through free will that God allows some to reject salvation although they have the ability to accept. However, it is quite another to suggest that God is powerless to change a persons’ heart when he clearly states that is exactly his intention in many places in the New Testament.

Mark said - If one is going to hold to the notion that one can profess Christ and then go on to live a life unresponsive to Christ, only to use 1 Cor. 3:1-4 as a foundation for that notion, then my challenge is that you must be consistent and go on to consider ALL of the information provided in both Corinthian leters. To do that is to allow oneself to do a REAL wordstudy.

Wayne said - Mark has certainly shown conclusively that the condition Paul spoke of in 1 Cor. 3 was not a permanent condition as 2 Cor. 7:9 As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. points out as well.

You say that, “Mark and Wayne are saying some curious things about carnality. …both seeming to think Christians can and cannot be carnal.” A quick skimming of my comments will show that the views I have toward carnality are coming directly from Scripture which indicates that all saved men are regenerate, all regenerate men are new creations in Christ, all men who are in Christ are sons of God, all sons of God are led by the Spirit, and so on. The carnal Christian view that I and Scripture takes exception with is the position that a saved Christian can choose not to be a disciple and reject the lordship of Christ Jesus totally. This is a huge difference from a Christian having a battling indwelling sin. It is not a curious position at all. It is a Biblical position that is supported by Scripture.

To extrapolate and say, “Saved sinners continue to sin. Therefore, a saved sinner can totally reject being a disciple of Christ and sin at will without repentance.” is not a Biblical teaching in anywhere in Scripture. The process of discipleship is called sanctification and the Bible clearly shows sanctification to be a part of grace and all who are saved as shown by Paul in 2 Thess. 2:13 But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. are indeed sanctified by the Spirit. They are led by the Spirit (Romans 8:14).
Therefore, I must ask the following question: Is the Bible also saying some curious things about carnality?

Mark said - An entire system of thought is in the balances here. My comments need to be hit head-on. I will not be veered off of my observations on the Corinthian church.

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137 Comments:

Blogger jazzycat said...

Mark,
That was a good discussion and we welcome anyone to give their views here. We will use Scripture alone to back up our point of view and anyone who may have another view can debate us on that basis....

May 31, 2009 12:21 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

I agree. I will not allow myself to have to defend MacArthur or Sproul, etc. Our arguments will be our own, period.

May 31, 2009 5:47 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

For an interesting post see,
http://easygoer1.blogspot.com/2009/06/hodges-assurance-and-saving-faith-p2.html

Mark

June 02, 2009 1:20 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

II. Five-Point Calvinism and the Attributes of God

Classical Calvinists sometimes state that the individual unconditional election view is necessary to account for God’s attributes. They emphasize God’s sovereignty, omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, and immutability. But do corporate election and free will disregard God’s attributes? Let me offer a few thoughts.

1) What takes the greater power (omnipotence): to create beings who have no ability to choose—who are mere pawns on God’s cosmic chessboard—or to create beings who have the freedom to accept or reject God’s salvation? I submit, the latter. How powerful is God? Powerful enough to save sinners? Yes. Powerful enough to change sinners into obedient saints? Yes. Powerful enough to keep saved sinners saved, even if they fail to always live faithful, obedient lives? Yes. This, I submit, is the real demonstration of the power of God’s salvation in Christ. When we stand in glory, we will see many who apparently by human standards did not measure up. Their Christian growth was stunted, their witness non-existent, and their obedience inconsistent. And then we will truly grasp the power of God’s saving grace—a grace that is greater than all our sin.

2) What about the divine attribute of love, which so essentially reflects the nature of God (1 John 4:8)? Would a God who ordained the existence of immortal beings without making any provision for them to escape eternal torment be a cruel being? What kind of God would call on mankind to "believe and be saved" when He knows they cannot? Suppose you are out on a cruise in your luxurious yacht. You receive a distress signal, and come upon the site of a shipwreck with 30 or 40 people still thrashing about in the water. It turns out they are thugs—pirates out to loot vessels just like yours—whose ship went down. These people have no merit which would motivate you to save them, but you are moved with love for them nevertheless—you can’t bear to watch them drown. So you instruct one of your servants to get a lifesaver ready, and—at random—pick out three or four, and haul them aboard. Then, disregarding the rest, you head for shore. Is this mercy and love? Admittedly, the parallel is not perfect, but it illustrates a truth: If God elects individuals to salvation, and could have elected as many as He wanted (none of whom was deserving) why would He only elect some?

3) Concerning the nature of love, what kind of relationship is there between God and people who could never choose Him—but are "irresistibly" called? A seminary professor of mine used to say that forced love is not love. God does not force His love on people.

Excerpted from: SOTERIOLOGICAL IMPLICATIONS
OF FIVE-POINT CALVINISM

PHILIP F. CONGDON
Adelaide College of Ministries, Inc.
South Australia

June 15, 2009 5:03 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

III. Getting Our Theological Bearings

Some time ago I received a letter from Insight for Living ministry. In the letter, Chuck Swindoll looked back over his years in pastoral ministry and listed some of the lessons he had learned. One of those he mentioned was this: I have learned that thinking theologically pays off, big time! Thinking theologically means that you look at a system of doctrine not in isolation, but in conjunction with other biblical truth. How does it fit? What does it mean? We all need to begin thinking theologically.

It is like having a long line of dominoes. You knock over the first one, and all the others eventually fall. Thinking theologically is like looking ahead—seeing what dominoes will fall if you knock over the first one. It means asking the question, "What are the ramifications of this doctrine? Where does it lead?"

This means, of course, that you must understand the meaning of the five points of "Classical" Calvinism. Let me take a run at it. The five points are:

Total Depravity

Unconditional Election

Limited Atonement

Irresistible Grace

Perseverance of the Saints

According to the Classical Calvinists’ system, man is totally depraved—by which they mean he cannot even respond to the Gospel message. These individuals are "dead" and must be regenerated before they can even have faith! This leads to unconditional election, meaning that God sovereignly (arbitrarily) chose those who would be saved, and thus, there is a limited atonement (atonement is "limited" to those He chooses). This in turn implies irresistible grace, since no one whom God elects will be lost (no one who is elected can reject Christ, just as no one who is not elected can receive Him). Finally, this leads to perseverance of the saints, meaning, to Classical Calvinists, not simply that the believer is eternally secure, but that the true believer will never fall away. A life of faithful obedience, therefore, is an inevitable result of salvation.

Most Christians have heard of T-U-L-I-P. I submit that a tulip is a beautiful flower, but it is bad theology. The fruit of the flower is appealing; the fruit of the theology is appalling.

Excerpted from:

SOTERIOLOGICAL IMPLICATIONS
OF FIVE-POINT CALVINISM

PHILIP F. CONGDON
Adelaide College of Ministries, Inc.
South Australia

June 15, 2009 5:09 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

IV. What "T.U.L.I.P." Does to the Gospel Message Part 1-2)
The first area in which this issue makes a difference is in the Gospel message. What is it that we are to tell a person when we witness? What is the good news?
The gospel message of Classical Five-Point Calvinism is often expressed in a way which makes faith and works necessary for salvation.
Understand why: It is because man is spiritually dead, and is regenerated by God apart from any response on the part of man, and because God’s purpose cannot be thwarted ("true" faith cannot fail to issue in works), that a saved person will inevitably and absolutely "persevere" in the faith. Thus, works, as an inevitable result, are necessary for salvation.
To be fair, Classical Calvinists usually object to this by describing the gospel message as not "faith + works = justification," but "faith = justification + works." I submit that anyone with a basic knowledge of logic can easily demonstrate that these two end up in the same place.
In the first equation, faith alone does not lead to justification; works must be added. But in the second, once again faith alone does not lead to justification; if works do not follow, then there was no faith. This is no more than a word game. It is best seen in the old Calvinist saying: "You are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves you is never alone." Let me complete it: "You are saved by faith alone (apart from works), but the faith that saves you is never alone (apart from works)." This is internally inconsistent.
Suppose you go to a car lot to buy a used car, and purchase a car for $5,000. If you have the $5,000, you may pay it right then. If you don’t, the salesman may arrange a loan for you to pay it back over a period of years. But does the fact that you don’t pay anything up front mean that you got the car free? Absolutely not. You are paying for it—the payment is just an inevitable result of your buying the car. To paraphrase the Classical Calvinist saying: "You are a car-owner by signing a sales agreement alone (apart from any money changing hands), but the signing of a sales agreement by which you are a car-owner is never alone (apart from money changing hands)." If the money doesn’t change hands, you lose the car (this wording reflects Arminian theology; in Calvinist theology, you never had the car in the first place!).
So too it is foolishness to say that salvation is by faith alone, but that faith is not true faith unless it comes with works. Let’s be honest: this is salvation by works. And in unguarded moments—and increasingly boldly in our day—Classical Calvinists often say exactly this.
John Gerstner is one such theologian. He writes:
From the essential truth that no sinner in himself can merit salvation, the antinomian draws the erroneous conclusion that good works need not accompany faith in the saint. The question is not whether good works are necessary to salvation, but in what way they are necessary. As the inevitable outworking of saving faith, they are necessary for salvation.

June 15, 2009 5:21 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

IV. What "T.U.L.I.P." Does to the Gospel Message (Part 2-2)

And again:
Thus, good works may be said to be a condition for obtaining salvation in that they inevitably accompany genuine faith.
The apostle Paul would never agree with this! In fact, he is precise on the distinction between faith and works. For example:
Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. But to him who does not work, but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness (Rom 4:4-5).
In Galatians 2:16, with an eye toward the legalistic theology of the Judaizers, he writes:
…knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; for by the works of the Law no flesh shall be justified.
And again,
…not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5-6).
Of course, Lordship Salvation theologians know these Scriptures too. So how can they support works as necessary for salvation? They do it by creating two categories, non-meritorious works (works which inevitably result from salvation), and meritorious works (works which result in salvation). The former verify or validate one’s salvation; the latter, of course, are impossible. These two categories of works result in comments like these from MacArthur:
Meritorious works have nothing to do with faith. But faith works have everything to do with it…faith that does not produce works is dead faith, inefficacious faith. Faith that remains idle is no better than the faith the demons display.
Again on the same page:
The believer himself contributes nothing meritorious [italics mine] to the saving process.
Later in the same book, he again writes:
As we have seen time and time again in our study, meritorious works [italics mine] have no place in salvation.
Likewise Gerstner, in his book attacking dispensationalists, writes that
virtually all dispensationalists, do not see the elementary difference between non-meritorious "requirements," "conditions," "necessary obligations," "indispensable duties," and "musts," as the natural outworking of true faith, in distinction from faith in the Savior plus meritorious works as the very basis of salvation.
Guilty as charged! I confess, I do not see this distinction in Scripture. In fact it isn’t there. It exists in Classical Calvinist/Lordship Salvation theology, but not in the Bible. Works are works; they either are or are not necessary for salvation. With the apostle Paul, I say they are not; we are saved "by grace…through faith…not of works" (Eph 2:8-9).

June 15, 2009 5:22 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

V. What "T.U.L.I.P." Does to Assurance of Salvation (Part 1-3)

Few long-cherished doctrines of believers are more under attack today than the belief in the possibility of assurance of salvation. Can you know that you are saved? Most believers would probably answer that question in the affirmative—even if their lives might not be shining examples of Christian growth. But the teaching of T.U.L.I.P. would allow them no such assurance.
Absolute assurance of salvation is impossible in Classical Five-Point Calvinism and Lordship Theology.
Hard to believe…but demonstrably true.
Understand why: Since works are an inevitable outcome of "true" salvation, one can only know he or she is saved by the presence of good works. But since no one is perfect (although some consistent five-point Calvinists believe in "sinless perfection"), any assurance is at best imperfect as well. Therefore, you may think you believed in Jesus Christ, may think you had saving faith, but be sadly mistaken. To explain this, Calvinist theologians must create two kinds of faith, "spurious" faith (faith that does not save) and "genuine" faith (faith that results in works, and thus saves). This distinction is common in classical Calvinist writings. For example:
There is a spurious as well as a genuine faith. Every man, when he thinks he believes, is conscious of exercising what he thinks is faith. Such is the correct statement of these facts of consciousness. Now suppose the faith, of which the man is conscious, turns out a spurious faith, must not his be a spurious consciousness? And he, being without the illumination of the Spirit, will be in the dark as to its hollowness.
In other words, you may think you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, yet be unsaved, and because unsaved, be totally blind to the fact you are unsaved! This reminds me of something I heard John MacArthur say on my car radio one day while driving in Kansas. It so startled me at the time that I stopped the car and wrote it down. He was calling on listeners to examine themselves to see if they were really saved. He said:
"You may be a spiritual defector who hasn’t defected yet."
Just think! You may have trusted Christ, been baptized, and be preparing for full-time vocational Christian service, but you can’t know whether you’re saved; you may just be fooled.
R. C. Sproul, a well-known Calvinist, in an article entitled "Assurance of Salvation," writes:
There are people in this world who are not saved, but who are convinced that they are. The presence of such people causes genuine Christians to doubt their salvation. After all, we wonder, suppose I am in this category? Suppose I am mistaken about my salvation and am really going to hell? How can I know that I am a real Christian?
A while back I had one of those moments of acute self-awareness that we have from time to time, and suddenly the question hit me: ‘R.C., what if you are not one of the redeemed? What if your destiny is not heaven after all, but hell?’ Let me tell you that I was flooded in my body with a chill that went from my head to the bottom of my spine. I was terrified.
I tried to grab hold of myself. I thought, ‘Well, it’s a good sign that I’m worried about this. Only true Christians really care about salvation.’ But then I began to take stock of my life, and I looked at my performance. My sins came pouring into my mind, and the more I looked at myself, the worse I felt. I thought, ‘Maybe it’s really true. Maybe I’m not saved after all.’

June 15, 2009 5:27 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

Part 2-3


I went to my room and began to read the Bible. On my knees I said, ‘Well, here I am. I can’t point to my obedience. There’s nothing I can offer. I can rely only on Your atonement for my sins. I can only throw myself on your mercy.’ Even then I knew that some people only flee to the Cross to escape hell, not out of a real turning to God. I could not be sure about my own heart and motivation. Then I remembered John 6:68. Jesus had been giving out hard teaching, and many of His former followers had left Him. When He asked Peter if he was also going to leave, Peter said, ‘Where else can we go? Only You have words of eternal life.’ In other words, Peter was also uncomfortable, but he realized that being uncomfortable with Jesus was better than any other option.
What a ghastly view! We are left in this lifetime in an uncomfortable quandary—unable to know whether we are saved or not! This view was expressed a few years ago by a former seminary professor. In a debate at seminary he said that no one could be 100% sure he was saved. He pegged 99.9% as the maximum amount of certainty (is that "certainty"?) one could have. On the basis of his life and works, he claimed to be 99% sure he was saved, but admitted he might be far less "certain." You could have cut the air with a knife when a student stood during the question and answer time and asked with incredulity if she could ever know she was saved.
When our assurance of salvation is based at all on our works, we can never have absolute assurance! This is reflected in a reluctance among Lordship theologians to talk about assurance of salvation, particularly with new believers, and especially with children. After all, until they had lived out their lives, they can’t know whether they might fall away from the faith, and thus prove that they were never really saved in the first place. Once again, in their system, practical assurance of salvation is dependent on our works, not on the finished work of Christ.
But does Scripture discourage giving objective assurance of salvation? Hardly! On the contrary, the Lord Jesus (John 5:24), Paul (Rom 8:38-39), and John (1 John 5:11-13) have no qualms about offering absolute, objective assurance of salvation. Furthermore, works are never included as a requirement for assurance.
Does the Bible teach that sinning "Christians" are really unsaved? Not at all! The Corinthians were far from spiritually mature, yet Paul calls them "babes in Christ" (1 Cor 3:1-4). God wants us to know that we are His children, not to doubt it. He does not make sonship contingent on obedience. But does He want us to change? Does He chasten us like a loving father? Does the Holy spirit grieve when we stray from Him? Does God remain faithful to us even when we are unfaithful toward Him? Yes, yes, and again yes!

June 15, 2009 5:28 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

Part 3-3

The best evidence that a life of good works is not an inevitable outcome of salvation is the NT itself. Why do the writers of the epistles constantly concern themselves with exhorting believers to good works if such works are inevitable? After all, God’s purpose, if it cannot be thwarted, would mean that those believers would never stray from the truth, would never fall into sin, and in fact—if we are honest with Scripture—would never sin, period (1 John 3:9). But over and over again we find appeals for Christians to live lives consistent with their faith. Why? One Lordship Salvation teacher told me he thought it was because Paul and other NT authors knew that in the churches to which they were writing there was a mixture of believers and unbelievers, and they were just covering all the bases. Historically, this is doubtful, but even if it were true, it doesn’t explain the passages, because the writers base their appeals to live godly lives on the faith which exists in their readers (see Rom 12:1f; Eph 4:1f; Col 2:6f; etc.) Did Paul doubt Timothy’s salvation? (See 1 Tim 6:11-14, 20-21; 2 Tim 1:8f, 13; 2:1, 3ff, 15, 21; 3:14f!) What about Philemon (8-10)? Obviously, these calls to holiness are made because the NT writers knew that believers are not infallible, that they are still tempted to sin, tempted to relax, prone to evil. All fallen creation is bound in this sinful sphere; that’s why Paul writes in Rom 8:22-25 that all creation, including believers, longingly await Christ’s return when we will finally be freed from the presence of sin and become what we should be.

June 15, 2009 5:30 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

VI. Conclusion Part 1-2
In conclusion, let us make some observations.
1) The astute listener—and theological thinker—will realize that the classical Calvinist doctrine of salvation is functionally the same as the Arminian doctrine. Arminian theology teaches that you are saved by faith, but that you stay saved by works. Classical Calvinist theology teaches that you are saved by faith, but if you don’t have works, you were never saved in the first place. Both systems of theology make works necessary for salvation. This shared doctrine was noted by a recognized authority on Calvinism, R. T. Kendall, in his Oxford University Doctor of Philosophy thesis entitled Calvin and English Calvinism to 1649. In the introduction he notes that his study shows "the surprising degree of reciprocity that exists between Westminster theology and the doctrine of faith in Jacobus Arminius." Today, many have come to see this.
2) Another curious parallel is evident between Classical Calvinist theology and Roman Catholic theology. The two share an inclusion of works in the gospel message, and an impossibility of assurance of salvation. Although MacArthur would loathe the association, I do not see the practical difference between his statement on salvation and that of Roman Catholicism. Both hold to the primacy of God’s grace; both include the necessity of our works. Apart from theological name-calling and the ex nihilo creation of sub-categories of faith (spurious and genuine) and works (meritorious and non-meritorious), there is no functional disagreement.
This fact is especially important to understand in light of recent attempts by Protestant and Roman Catholic church leaders to begin to re-unite the two groups. Many were shocked to see the names of some prominent Classical Calvinist theologians among the signers of the peace document. I was not. Why not? Because Lordship Salvation teaching has long been recognized as leading to Catholic soteriology. For example, Dr. Earl Radmacher, President Emeritus of Western Conservative Baptist Seminary, wrote in 1990:
Finally, as Paul felt the strong need to warn the elders of Ephesus concerning distorted teachings from among the brethren, we have as great a need today. I fear that some current definitions of faith and repentance are not paving the road back to Wittenberg but, rather, paving the road back to Rome. Justification is becoming "to make righteous" rather than "to declare righteous." Repentance is becoming "penitence" (if not "penance") rather than "changing the mind." And "faith" is receiving more analysis and scrutinizing rather than the "object of faith."
3) Concerning the meaning of justification, we rightly part company with those who suggest that the atonement extends to physical and financial healing (the so-called "health and wealth gospel"). The atonement deals with our position before God and the healing of our sin-sickness, not our physical well-being. But equally erroneous is the idea that atonement extends to our actions, guaranteeing progressive sanctification. The three aspects of the believer’s salvation must be preserved: Justification (positional holiness) refers to (past) salvation from the penalty of sin. Sanctification (progressive holiness) refers to (present) salvation from the power of sin. Glorification (potential or perfect holiness) refers to (future) salvation from the presence of sin.
4) Classical Calvinists may talk about man having a "free will," but it is a very limited freedom! That is, a person may choose to reject Christ—all people do—but only those who have been elected may choose to accept Him. This is no "free will"! Are the open invitations to trust Christ in the Bible actually a cruel hoax? I don’t think so. Are all people free to put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Savior for their sin? Yes. That is why the call to missions is so urgent.

June 15, 2009 5:56 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

Conclusion Part 2-2

Some years ago I spent a summer selling books in Ohio. One day I passed a little church—it was called a Missionary Church. I was interested in missions, and was a member of a church in the same denominational family, so this sounded great. Then I went to the house of someone who attended the church. I asked about missionaries. It seems they didn’t support any—nor did they send any out. Why? They were staunch Classical Calvinists. I would call them consistent; they believed that since God elected and predestined any and all who would be saved in eternity past, the best thing they could do was to pray for all these to be saved. They spent their time not witnessing, but praying for God to bring in all those who He had chosen for salvation. They were consistent Classical Calvinists, but not consistent with Scripture! Matthew 18:19-20 tells us to "Go…make disciples…baptizing…and teaching"—not just go to prayer meetings. We are exhorted by mission leaders and evangelists to consider giving our lives in missionary service. Why? Because if people do not hear and believe in the only Name under heaven by which they can be saved (Acts 4:12; Rom 10:14), then they will be forever separated from God.

Epilogue
Much more could be said, but the purity of the Gospel and assurance of salvation are the most important issues at stake here. The need to protect these doctrines has never been greater. Consider the results of a recent survey by the Barna Research Group. They found that among churchgoers who share their faith with others, almost half (48%) believed that "if people are generally good, or do enough good things for others…they will earn places in heaven." George Barna concluded: "There is plenty of reason for churches to worry if nearly one-half of their people who believe in evangelism also believe in salvation by works…The central message of Protestantism is in salvation by faith alone in Christ, yet [many] Protestant evangelizers seem to be preaching a different message."
My prayer today is that all of us, to borrow the titles from two books which deal very well with this issue, will dedicate ourselves to always proclaim our So Great Salvation wherever we go, and to offer it to all Absolutely Free.

June 15, 2009 5:56 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Gary,

Interesting that you have chosen to respond to me on this thread rather than on the thread where I challenged you to go one on one with me without the writings of other men. Also interesting that you started out with crediting your sources then as the comments continued you stopped crediting. You see, your latter comments sound so very close to what I've read from Antonio. Shouln't you have credited him?

June 16, 2009 7:28 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Now, to demolish your arguments -

Calvinism does not state that God created man without a will. Romans 5:19 states that through Adam many were made sinners. Since the time of Adam's disobedience mankind is now a slave of sin, John 3:19-20; Romans 6:17; Eph. 2:1-3; 1 John 5:19.

June 16, 2009 7:38 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Let's look at the wondrous accomlpishments of Christ's crosswork. Because of Christ's crosswork Paul could proclaim the message of repentance, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance. Consider Paul's calling in Acts 26:12-20. Focus on verse 18. Becuase of Christ's crosswork Paul's message would "open their eyse, in order to them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in [Christ]". Do you and your system want to separate what God hath joined together here - turned from the power of Satan to God, turned from darkness to light; do you really want to separate these from foregiveness of sins?

June 16, 2009 7:53 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Because of Christ's crosswork, or in Christ, the Father has delivered the Christian from the power of darkness and conveyed that one into the kingdom of His dear Son. Now that one can enjoy freedom from sin and service to God. That one is now indwelt by the Spirit and enjoying a life of being led by Him as Christ's word dwells in that one richly.

June 16, 2009 8:03 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

No God does not force His love on anybody. He merely takes those who hated Him and changes their disposition - that from loving slavery to sin to loving slavery to God and righteousness. He takes that one who did not know God and gives eternal life to him, resulting in that one knowing God. That one who now knows God desires to walk in His ways, whereas before he wanted to walk in his own ways. That IS also a part of the salvation experience along with Justification.

June 16, 2009 8:11 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Gary,
Do you realize that you have constructed such a stereotype of Calvinism and my beliefs that you come across as delusional?

For example: When I said I believed the simple and plain meaning of John 6:47, you said, “I deny that you believe it. Define the word "believe."

How do you expect anyone to have a rational discussion with you when you insult them by telling them you know what they believe better than they do. You are so inflexible and rigid that you cannot see that John 6:47 and John 3:16 are both completely silent on the doctrine of unconditional election. They neither confirm nor deny election. Truly, all who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved and the atonement of Christ is infinitely sufficient for all who believe. In your deluded mind my statement of belief does not fit your pre-conception of Calvinism, so you react by saying you deny my statement of belief. In short you refuse to take us at our word and prefer to debate a mythical Wayne and Mark that fit into your pre-conceived mold. You refuse to look at Scripture and prefer to cast stones at your erroneous conception of Calvinism. You refuse to accept that Mark and I both came to our views based on Scripture alone, and prefer to declare us guilty of arriving at our views from books written by men. It is you and your belief system that keeps referring to books written by men, not us. You and other free grace zealots continually quote Zane Hodges. I challenge you to find one instance where I have appealed to John Calvin or any other reformer. You must back up your delusional rants with Scripture alone and not what Zane Hodges wrote or said.

Now you come over here and write a book. I am going to read it as I have time and see how far I have to go before you make an inaccurate statement about reformed theology.

June 16, 2009 9:14 AM

 
Blogger Gary said...

Hi Mark:

You wrote: Gary,

Interesting that you have chosen to respond to me on this thread rather than on the thread where I challenged you to go one on one with me without the writings of other men. Also interesting that you started out with crediting your sources then as the comments continued you stopped crediting. You see, your latter comments sound so very close to what I've read from Antonio. Shouln't you have credited him?

Sorry, Mark, I got lazy. I put in the refs. for the first several, and thought everyone would be able to see the continuity.

All of the articles are from one paper, as cited at the beginning.

I really didn't notice the difference in the threads. I am not really responding to your "challenge," as should be obvious, since these are not my words. But what is the difference? I would write the same thing, perhaps in different words.

Gary McNees

June 16, 2009 9:56 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Gary,

Now get to the thread that I have provided and do so without the writings of other men!

June 16, 2009 10:09 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Gary,
As I suspected it didn’t take long for you to erroneously describe my beliefs.
You said……..
What takes the greater power (omnipotence): to create beings who have no ability to choose—

No one here nor Calvinism denies free will as Mark just explained very well with Scripture. Please note that Mark and I both use references from Scripture when make assertions. We do not appeal to what Calvin or anyone else said.

June 16, 2009 10:56 AM

 
Blogger Gary said...

Hi Mark:

You wrote:

Now, to demolish your arguments -

Mark: Calvinism does not state that God created man without a will. Romans 5:19 states that through Adam many were made sinners. Since the time of Adam's disobedience mankind is now a slave of sin, John 3:19-20; Romans 6:17; Eph. 2:1-3; 1 John 5:19.

Gkm: So? Being a "slave of sin," does not mean that one must always sin. It means that we are prone to sin. It means that our natural disposition is to sin. It certainly does not mean that man is UNABLE to come to Christ when Christ draws him! And since Christ draws ALL men, He enables all men to come to Him. Consider Cornelius. Cornelius was an Unregenerate man. He was unsaved, the text tells us this. While in his unregenerate state he gave alms, prayed to the true God, and was answered by God. Please DEAL with the FACTS of scripture, and stop using your faulty deductions to arrive at error.

Gkm: Next, consider Nicodemus. Again we have a man who is unregenerate, coming to Christ. He is not born again! He is not regenerate. Yet he comes to Christ, not hating Christ, as Calvinism teaches, but rather saying the following of HIM, "The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him." Now what I am saying is that your fundamental error, as was the error of Augustine, Calvin, and Reformed Theology in general, is that you use DEDUCTION rather than INDUCTION to arrive at truth. The foregoing two examples, of Cornelius and Nicodemus show that the fundamental premise of Calvinism is DEDUCED in error from the Scriptures. When there are a multitude of passages which contradict your deduced religion, then there is a fault in your deductions.

Gkm: Scripture states that "no one is GOOD!" Yet, Christ says: Mt 7:11 "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" There is but one who is intrinsically GOOD, and that is God. Those born of God are righteous, because God has imputed HIS righteousness to them. So, you should not deduce from man being a sinner that all that he can do is sin. This is a false deduction. Giving a good gift is certainly not a sin.

Some Calvinist's do deny free will. But in the one choice which matters most, and matters eternally, ALL Calvinists deny that man has any choice! Man is "unable" to even consider Christ, God, because he HATES them. That this is a false deduction is obvious.

So much for "demolishing" my arguments!

Further, what is this "sophism?" What are you admitting? That man has NO FREE WILL, but that he has a "will?"

There are three views of the will: 1) Self-determination (self-caused acts), 2) determinism (acts caused by another), 3) indeterminism (acts with no cause whatsoever). The false conclusion that many Calvinists reach is that since "God works all thing according to the council of His will," theistic determinism is true. Again, this is a false deduction.

Gary McNees

June 16, 2009 11:29 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"Gkm: So? Being a "slave of sin," does not mean that one must always sin. It means that we are prone to sin. It means that our natural disposition is to sin. It certainly does not mean that man is UNABLE to come to Christ when Christ draws him!"
--------------
Have you considered John 3:19-20? There it is taught that men who are "prone to sin" hates the light, and does not come to the light lest his deeds should be exposed. Also, as a result of the fall "there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God"; "There is no fear of God before their eyes". I do not see any mention of some kind of prevenient grace factored into Romans 3:10-18 or Ephesians 2:1-5.

June 16, 2009 11:50 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Now we see that the Holy Spirit convicts of sin, righteousness and Judgement. We know that He accompannies His Word into the hearts of those who hear and come to faith. We know that all who hear from the Father, and are taught by Him come to Christ. Cornelius and Nicodemous were in the midst of the Father's teaching and drawing and the Spirit's convicting.

June 16, 2009 11:55 AM

 
Blogger Gary said...

mark pierson wrote:

Mark: Let's look at the wondrous accomlpishments of Christ's crosswork. Because of Christ's crosswork Paul could proclaim the message of repentance, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance. Consider Paul's calling in Acts 26:12-20. Focus on verse 18. Becuase of Christ's crosswork Paul's message would "open their eyse, in order to them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in [Christ]". Do you and your system want to separate what God hath joined together here - turned from the power of Satan to God, turned from darkness to light; do you really want to separate these from foregiveness of sins?

Gkm: Of course not! Do you want to see the obvious? That Cornelius and Nicodemus BOTH "repented," while they were unregenerate? Calvinism teaches that repentance is given only to the regenerate. This is false on its face. Many repent of many sins who are never saved. Repentance can be instrumental in bringing one to the place where they "believe unto eternal life." People who are saved and people who are unsaved can repent. Only people who are saved, those who have eternal life, are restored to fellowship with God by repentance and confession. You really do not understand the Free Grace Theology at all.

Gary McNees

June 16, 2009 11:59 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"Further, what is this "sophism?" What are you admitting? That man has NO FREE WILL, but that he has a "will?""
------------
Yes, he has a will... to sin and live in rebellion against his Creator.

June 16, 2009 12:00 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"Calvinism teaches that repentance is given only to the regenerate. This is false on its face."
----------
Correction, regeneration and repentance are both given to the elect.

Just as I thought, you don't know anything about Calvinism at all...

June 16, 2009 12:04 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

As for Cornellius and Nicodemas please see my 11:55 AM Comment to you.

June 16, 2009 12:09 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Gary,

I'm curious, what about your thoughts on imputation, in this case Adam's sin being imputed to the human race as seen in Romans 5:12?

June 16, 2009 12:46 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Well,

I must get ready for work now. The Lord willing I'll be back tomorrow.

Mark Pierson

June 16, 2009 12:51 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

mark pierson said:

Mark: No God does not force His love on anybody. He merely takes those who hated Him and changes their disposition - that from loving slavery to sin to loving slavery to God and righteousness. He takes that one who did not know God and gives eternal life to him, resulting in that one knowing God. That one who now knows God desires to walk in His ways, whereas before he wanted to walk in his own ways. That IS also a part of the salvation experience along with Justification.

gkm: Sure, just like Nicodemus and Cornelius HATED Him! You have bought into a deducted system which is untrue. Calvinism teaches that this change happens when the person is regenerated. When a person is regenerated he many things happen to him among which are the following:

1) He is born of God.
2) He is indwelt by the Holy Spirit forever – the Holy Spirit will NEVER leave him.
3) He is baptized into the Body of Christ, the Church, which began on Pentecost and will have NO NEW members after the rapture.
4) He is translated into the kingdom of Christ.
5) He is imputed the righteousness of Christ
6) He is justified by that righteousness.
7) He has remission of sins.
8) He is adopted.
9) He is saved eternally.
10) He passes from death to life.

To be continued:

Gary McNees

June 16, 2009 12:56 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Just seconds before i was to walk away to get ready for work..
Gary, again, As for Cornellius and Nicodemas please see my 11:55 AM Comment to you.

June 16, 2009 12:09 PM

June 16, 2009 1:01 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Gary, Quickly, there is prepratory work done on the unregenerate heart of the elect before they are brought forth by the word, James 1:18. This prep work is seen in John 16:8 and John 6:35-65.

June 16, 2009 1:26 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Gary,

God brings us forth by His Word of truth. The Word in concert with its Author, the Holy Spirit bring forth the new life, the converted life.

June 16, 2009 1:34 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

bye for today...

June 16, 2009 1:36 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

mark pierson said:

Just seconds before i was to walk away to get ready for work..
Gary, again, As for Cornellius and Nicodemas please see my 11:55 AM Comment to you.

gkm: What to do? What to do? You "comment" does not address the passages. You continue to go merrily on with your faulty deductions.

Mark, PLEASE address the verses! I have given you TWO cases of unregenerate men doing precisely what you say they cannot do.

Gary McNees

PS. Something happened to my puter. I had written a long response to your post and somehow it got trashed.

June 16, 2009 1:38 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

mark said: Gary,
Mark: In 1 Timothy 2:4 God's desire is revealed.

Gkm: Yes it is. And God would not desire all to be saved and not provide for their salvation.

Mark: In our desire to walk in His ways it should be our desire too.

Gkm: Yes it is ours also. That is why we are so earnestly trying to get you to see the truth.

Mark: Hence strong prayers for the salvation of souls should be offered up;

Gkm: Yes we are command to pray for the salvation of ALL men! But here, in your religion, you are thinking to pray for that which is not God's will! For in your religion it is fruitless to pray for the salvation of the non-elect. You mundane idea is to pray for their well-being so we will have peace, but not for the most important thing of all for them, eternal life, is well mundane.

Mark: missionaries sent out and supported; lives should be led that refect the knowledge of God.

Gkm: Mark, all of Calvinism which is peculiar to Calvinism is false, that is, TULIP. The angel said: Luke 2:10 "And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people." This is just another verse which should prove to you that your system of theology is false. I have given you a number now. The REASON that Reformed Theology fails is because it is using a false methodology, i.e., deduction rather than induction.

Mark: I do not advocate systematizing this verse as Gill did. I let it stand on its own,

Gkm: You SAY you let it stand on its own, but your system of theology does not allow it to stand. Read other Reformed Theologians and see for yourself that none of them let it stand. All of them expurgate the truth from the verse, which is that God indeed DESIRES the salvation of ALL MEN! This same thing is done for EVERY verse in which God has revealed truth which contradicts their system. It doesn't matter whether it is John 3:16; Joh 1:29; Joh 16:8; I John 2:2; I Tim 2:5; Isa. 53; John 1:9; or any one of a thousand more. In each and every case the passage is eisegeted to make it fit the TULIP system.

Gkm: Mark, you should really read a book written by someone other than a Calvinist. I would suggest another besides Vance's book, entitled, "Beyond Calvinism and Arminianism – An Inductive Mediate Theology of Salvation," by C. Gordon Olson. (Or if you want to go to the horses mouth, so to speak, read Robert Traina's book, "Methodical Bible Study.") He explains clearly the two methodologies used by these systems – deductive – which results in contradictions to so many passages – thereby necessitating that they be eisegeted.

Gkm: For example, "It should be axiomatic, both in science and theology, that inductive, empirical evidence is far more dependable than deductive reasoning." [Beyond Calvinism and Arminianism, p. 17] This is what I have been trying to show you by examples from scripture. There are many examples in Scripture which contradict the deductions made by Reformed Theology. Hence we KNOW that the system of deduction used by Calvinism leads to false conclusions.

Mark: just as I let Romans 9 stand alone without systematizing that portion of scripture like all you anti-Calvinists do.

Gkm: I love all of Romans. There is nothing in it which supports your false religion.

Mark: Now 1 John 2:2. How can He be our propitiation now and "possibly" the world's? Else you have to define propitiation with two definitions.

Gkm: Why do you malign God's word? You sound like someone in the garden of eden speaking to Eve. Who said He is "possibly," the propitiation for the sins of the whole world? Not us! That is for sure!


Mark: So, how about taking my challenge at BlueCollar, …

Gkm: I haven't seen ANY thoughts from you yet which are worth answering, really. All you have done is reject scripture. Give me ONE SINGLE thought, scripture, or anything else which you think support your position, I've not seen one yet.

Gary McNees

June 16, 2009 4:06 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

mark pierson SAID:

Mark: Now we see that the Holy Spirit convicts of sin, righteousness and Judgement.

Gkm: Mark, this quote is like when Satan misquotes scripture! The verse does not just say that the Holy Spirit convicts of sin, …"

Gkm: The verse says: Joh 16:8 "And when He has come, He will CONVICT THE WORLD of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:"

Gkm: Why do you want to CHANGE the Word of God?

Mark: We know that He accompannies His Word into the hearts of those who hear and come to faith.

Gkm: Chapter and verse please.

Mark: We know that all who hear from the Father, and are taught by Him come to Christ.

Gkm: Chapter and verse please. What you write is false! Here is the verse:

Joh 6:45 "It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, AND HATH LEARNED of the Father, cometh unto me."

Gkm: ALL ARE TAUGHT! But not all LEARN. Those that LEARN come to Christ.

Mark: Cornelius and Nicodemous were in the midst of the Father's teaching and drawing and the Spirit's convicting.

Gkm: True, and so are all human beings. Note that Cornelius and Nicodemus BOTH are coming to Christ, and are unregenerate. They have not yet been regenerated. Will not be regenerated UNTIL they believe in Christ. They are NOT regenerated so that they are enabled to Believe in Christ. The are TAUGHT by GOD, the LEARN, as opposed to those who resist the Holy Spirit, and when they LEARN the truth, they are born again. They are coming under the drawing of God. God draws ALL men, God says so. One can RESIST the Holy Spirit. Ac 7:51 "Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye." A prime example of one who is resisting the Holy Spirit is you right now.

Gary McNees

June 16, 2009 6:57 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

mark pierson said:
gkm: "Further, what is this "sophism?" What are you admitting? That man has NO FREE WILL, but that he has a "will?""
------------
Mark: Yes, he has a will... to sin and live in rebellion against his Creator.

Gkm: Jos 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

Gkm: Joh 7:17 "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself."

Gkm: First the man must be willing to learn. This is his "having a will to do his will." IF he has a will to do this, then he shall KNOW, that is, he will be convinced of the truth.

Gkm: You slight over Cornelius and Nicodemus. Here we have two men who are unregenerate, WHO HATE GOD, (according to your false system BECAUSE they have yet to be regenerated), who nevertheless are coming to Christ, praying to God, having their prayers answered, etc. etc. etc. Your system is bankrupt. The facts of the Bible do not fit it at all. There is NO QUESTION about either of these men. The Scriptures make it abundantly clear that both were not born again, while they were being drawn to Christ, while they were seeking Him. The facts of their conversion contradict the fundamental doctrines of Calvinism.

Gkm: Keep your lies straight. Keep your doctrine true to TULIP. You write above:
" Yes, he has a will... to sin and live in rebellion against his Creator." But the facts are that both Nicodemus and Cornelius don't fit this statement at all!

Gkm: Mark, please, take your head out of the sand.

Gary McNees

June 16, 2009 7:09 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

mark pierson said:

Mark: Gary, Quickly, there is prepratory work done on the unregenerate heart of the elect before they are brought forth by the word, James 1:18. This prep work is seen in John 8:16 and John 6:35-65.

No point made here.

Gary McNees

June 16, 2009 7:19 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

mark pierson said:
Gary,

gkm: God brings us forth by His Word of truth. The Word in concert with its Author, the Holy Spirit bring forth the new life, the converted life.

Gkm: Of course. This is obvious. The word of truth by which we are born again is the gospel. Those who BELIEVE the gospel are born again. This is what we have been saying for years. When a man believes the gospel, God regenerates him. When this occurs all of the following happen:

1) He is born of God.
2) He is indwelt by the Holy Spirit forever – the Holy Spirit will NEVER leave him.
3) He is baptized into the Body of Christ, the Church, which began on Pentecost and will have NO NEW members after the rapture.
4) He is translated into the kingdom of Christ.
5) He is imputed the righteousness of Christ
6) He is justified by that righteousness.
7) He has remission of all sins, past, present, and future.
8) He is adopted into the family of God.
9) He is saved eternally.
10) He passes from death to life, an eternal life which is never-ending fellowship with God.
11) He is seated with Christ in the heavenlies.
12) He has an advocate with his Father, the Lord Jesus Christ.
13) He is SEALED by the Holy Spirit
14) He is given the earnest of the Spirit in his hearts.
15) He is promised resurrection IF he should die. (The believer may not die at all.)
16) He has as a present possession ETERNAL LIFE, and this life is the life of God Himself, zoe.
17) Christ is in him.
18) He is in Christ.
19) He has the blessed hope of the rapture, being caught up to be with the Lord.
20) He will be with the Lord forever.
21) He is promised to be changed into the Likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ, so he will see Him as He is.
22) His "inner man" which is created by God never sins.
23) He is promised a new spiritual body, one which is immortal, indestructible, incorruptible.
24) His future glorification is so certain that God speaks of it in the past tense.
25) He is given power to live by the Spirit.
26) He always lives in the Spirit.
27) He is given power to abide in Christ.
28) He is promised to be disciplined by His Loving Father for his Good.
29) He is promised that he will never be tempted beyond that which he can bear, AND
30) He is promised that EVERY temptation and test is for his good.
31) We are made heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.

These are a few of the facets of the FREE GIFT which God gives us when we BELIEVE in HIM, off the top of my head. ALL these thing are freely given us WHEN WE BELIEVE!

to be cont.

Gary McNees

June 16, 2009 7:59 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

continued:

BECAUSE OF THESE THINGS PETER INSTRUCTS US TO:

2 Pet 1: 5 ¶ "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."

Now the problem is that men will not accept what God says here. They will change it to conform to their preconceived doctrines. The point that I wish to stress to you, Mark, is the following:

BUT HE THAT LACKETH THESE THINGS IS BLIND, AND CANNOT SEE AFAR OFF, AND HATH FORGOTTEN THAT HE WAS PURGED FROM HIS OLD SINS.

Gkm: This entire fact must be rejected by Calvinism and Reformed Theology. This fact from the mouth of God HIMSELF states that a man MAY not add all these things to his faith. OF course it is an obvious fact that the man has saving faith for two reasons: 1) a man cannot ADD to faith unless he has faith to add to. 2) The faith that he had was saving faith because it resulted in the FACT the HE WAS PURGED FROM HIS OLD SINS.

The clear meaning of this text is rejected by Calvinists, Reformed Theology, and Arminians. It must be rejected! For it contradicts their traditions. But it fits in with all other scripture. It fits in with I Co 3:15; Mk 4; Lu 8; Tit 3:5; well all the Bible.

Gary McNees

June 16, 2009 7:59 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

jazzycat said:
Jazzycat Gary,
Do you realize that you have constructed such a stereotype of Calvinism and my beliefs that you come across as delusional?

Gkm: Jazzycat, I know what follows from TULIP. If you believe TULIP then what I write follows. If you are NOT a 5-point Calvinist, then what I wrote does not apply to you.

For example: When I said I believed the simple and plain meaning of John 6:47, you said, “I deny that you believe it. Define the word "believe."

Jazzycat: How do you expect anyone to have a rational discussion with you when you insult them by telling them you know what they believe better than they do

Gkm: I thought you said you believe Calvinism. If you believe Calvinism then you cannot believe John 6:47. This is an obvious fact.

Jazzycat: You are so inflexible and rigid that you cannot see that John 6:47 and John 3:16 are both completely silent on the doctrine of unconditional election.

Gkm: It is NOT the doctrine of U that is contradicted. It is the doctrine of P.

Jazzycat: They neither confirm nor deny election.

Gkm: I believe in election.

Jazzycat: Truly, all who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved and the atonement of Christ is infinitely sufficient for all who believe.

Gkm: Christ is the propitiation for the sins of every human who has every lived or will ever live. He "took away the sins of the world." This means that He took away the judicial penalty for the sins of every man whether he believes or not.

Jazzycat: In your DELUDED MIND my

Gkm: You are true hypocrite.

Jazzycat: statement of belief does not fit your pre-conception of Calvinism, so you react by saying you deny my statement of belief.

Gkm: IF you really believe John 3:16 or John 6:47 or any other verse which conveys the gospel then you cannot believe Calvinism. Your mind is deluded or confused if you think you can.

Jazzycat: In short you refuse to take us at our word and prefer to debate a mythical Wayne and Mark that fit into your pre-conceived mold.

Gkm: Really? Do you deny P of TULIP?

Jazzycat: You refuse to look at Scripture

Gkm: I have posted many scriptrues which prove the TULIP is false. No one has addressed them yet.

Jazzycat: and prefer to cast stones at your erroneous conception of Calvinism.

Gkm: Fortunately, Calvinism is cast in stone! There can be no question as to what it teaches. It is impossible to believe P and believe any gospel verse.

to be continued

Gary McNees

June 16, 2009 8:39 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

Jazzycat: You refuse to accept that Mark and I both came to our views based on Scripture alone, and prefer to declare us guilty of arriving at our views from books written by men.

Gkm: IF you have not read Reformed Theology or Calvinism how do you know you are one? Calvin got his doctrines from Augustine. This is admitted by all intelligent Calvinists.

Jazzycat: It is you and your belief system that keeps referring to books written by men, not us.

Gkm: You claim Calvinism. That is what I am debating. I care not to debate you if you deny that you are a Calvinist.

Jazzycat: You and other free grace zealots continually quote Zane Hodges. I challenge you to find one instance where I have appealed to John Calvin or any other reformer. You must back up your delusional rants with Scripture alone and not what Zane Hodges wrote or said.

Gkm: My "rants," are against Calvinism. If you do not believe TULIP then lets quit right now. I know what Calvinists believe. IF you deny what has been documented over the last 500 years of Reformed Theology then I refuse to debate you.

Jazzycat: Now you come over here and write a book. I am going to read it as I have time and see how far I have to go before you make an inaccurate statement about reformed theology.

Gkm: A book has already been written. You refuse to read it. I have referenced it several times. Vance spent many years documenting Reformed Theology and Calvinism. His work is completely referenced. He uses only reknown Calvinists to state the Calvinistic position. His work is 788 pages long.
There are 87 pages of references. There are 19 pages of bibliography. There is a subject index, a name index, and a scripture index. IF you really want to know what Calvinism and Reformed Theology are then READ THE BOOK! Quit wasting my time making absurd comments.

Gary McNees

June 16, 2009 8:40 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

jazzycat said:
Jazzycat Gary,
Do you realize that you have constructed such a stereotype of Calvinism and my beliefs that you come across as delusional?

Gkm: Jazzycat, I know what follows from TULIP. If you believe TULIP then what I write follows. If you are NOT a 5-point Calvinist, then what I wrote does not apply to you.

For example: When I said I believed the simple and plain meaning of John 6:47, you said, “I deny that you believe it. Define the word "believe."

Jazzycat: How do you expect anyone to have a rational discussion with you when you insult them by telling them you know what they believe better than they do

Gkm: I thought you said you believe Calvinism. If you believe Calvinism then you cannot believe John 6:47. This is an obvious fact.

Jazzycat: You are so inflexible and rigid that you cannot see that John 6:47 and John 3:16 are both completely silent on the doctrine of unconditional election.

Gkm: It is NOT the doctrine of U that is contradicted. It is the doctrine of P.

Jazzycat: They neither confirm nor deny election.

Gkm: I believe in election.

Jazzycat: Truly, all who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved and the atonement of Christ is infinitely sufficient for all who believe.

Gkm: Christ is the propitiation for the sins of every human who has every lived or will ever live. He "took away the sins of the world." This means that He took away the judicial penalty for the sins of every man whether he believes or not.

Jazzycat: In your DELUDED MIND my

Gkm: You are true hypocrite.

Jazzycat: statement of belief does not fit your pre-conception of Calvinism, so you react by saying you deny my statement of belief.

Gkm: IF you really believe John 3:16 or John 6:47 or any other verse which conveys the gospel then you cannot believe Calvinism. Your mind is deluded or confused if you think you can.

Jazzycat: In short you refuse to take us at our word and prefer to debate a mythical Wayne and Mark that fit into your pre-conceived mold.

Gkm: Really? Do you deny P of TULIP?

Jazzycat: You refuse to look at Scripture

Gkm: I have posted many scriptrues which prove the TULIP is false. No one has addressed them yet.

Jazzycat: and prefer to cast stones at your erroneous conception of Calvinism.

Gkm: Fortunately, Calvinism is cast in stone! There can be no question as to what it teaches. It is impossible to believe P and believe any gospel verse.

jazzycat said:

Jazzycat: Gary,
As I suspected it didn’t take long for you to erroneously describe my beliefs.
You said……..
What takes the greater power (omnipotence): to create beings who have no ability to choose—

Jazzycat: No one here nor Calvinism denies free will as Mark just explained very well with Scripture. Please note that Mark and I both use references from Scripture when make assertions. We do not appeal to what Calvin or anyone else said.

Gkm: Where do you suppose Calvinism comes from? You don't quote John Calvin, but he was the originator of your religion. None of your references to scripture prove any of your doctrines. So what do you accomplish? Calvinism and Reformed Theology are well stated systems of theology. They have been developed over the last 500 years.

Gkm: Mark has stated that unregenerate man has no ability to choose God. Both Luther and Calvin denied free will. You deny it for the only choice which matters eternally, the ability to choose to listen to God. Joh 7:17 "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself."

Gary McNees

June 16, 2009 8:47 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

mark said:

As for Cornellius and Nicodemas please see my 11:55 AM Comment to you.

gkm: Your comments were innocuous.

Gary McNees

June 16, 2009 8:48 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

mark pierson said:
Gary,

I'm curious, what about your thoughts on imputation, in this case Adam's sin being imputed to the human race as seen in Romans 5:12?

Gkm: 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:

Gkm: Where is the word "imputation?"

Gkm: Ro 4:8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
Gkm: Ro 5:13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

Gkm: All men are sinners. All men are condemned, WHY?

Gkm: God tells us: 18 "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, BECAUSE HE HATH NOT BELIEVED IN THE NAME OF THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD."

Gkm: So what do we have? Under Calvinism, we have that God makes it such that man CANNOT believe. Thus they are condemned.


Gary McNees

June 16, 2009 8:56 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Gary,
In your accusation that I do not believe the plain meaning of John 3:16 and John 6:47 you now say the following:

It is NOT the doctrine of U that is contradicted. It is the doctrine of P.

IF you really believe John 3:16 or John 6:47 or any other verse which conveys the gospel then you cannot believe Calvinism. Your mind is deluded or confused if you think you can.

I thought you said you believe Calvinism. If you believe Calvinism then you cannot believe John 6:47. This is an obvious fact.


O.K. The P of TULIP stands for perseverance of the saints. It is called that to fit the Acrostic. A better name would be eternal security. While your erroneous perception of this doctrine may contradict John 3:16 & 6:47, the true meaning does not. In June of 2007 I did a series of photo devotionals on eternal security/perseverance of the Saints at my Jazzycat site. Ironically the verse I used to prove this doctrine was John 6:47. I hardly think I would have used this verse if it were a contradiction. The entire post can be accessed at my site under “The Doctrines of Grace Photo Devotionals”. The following is a paragraph from that post:

While this verse [John 6:47] does not give all of the information about what is to be believed, it gives conclusive proof for eternal security or what is also called perseverance of the saints. Therefore, the great truth that this verse contains is eternal security. Whether you call it eternal security or perseverance of the saints, John 6:47 confirms that eternal life is a present possession of those that believe at the moment of belief. Salvation cannot be lost. Again this verse does not give the details, but elsewhere in Scripture we learn that eternal security is a work of God. God through the work of the Holy Spirit makes spiritually dead people alive and enables them to respond in faith with repentance and sanctification. God does it all and he is 100% successful. John 6:47 gives us a great truth, but it does not give the whole story of redemption.

You see Gary, John 6:47 proves eternal security for believers. It does not contradict it.

I will now let this debate be between Mark and you…………

June 16, 2009 10:55 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"gkm: What to do? What to do? You "comment" does not address the passages. You continue to go merrily on with your faulty deductions."
------
No. I'm merely comparing scripture with scripture. God does do prep work on His elect BEFORE He brings them forth with the Word. The Spirit convicts of sin, righteousness, and judgment, John 16:8. The Father, Who gives to the Son all that will come to Him, draws those very individuals, it is said by Jesus that everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Him. He also said that no one can come to Him unless it granted him by the Father. See John 6:35-65. Also in John 6:63 it is the Spirit that gives life. No life from the Spirit, no understanding or obedience to the word.

June 17, 2009 6:22 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

So we see that Cornelius and Nicodemas were in the prep stage, they being the ones whom the Father had given to the Son, and had been drawn to Him. They were hearing and learning from the Father at this point. The result: they were ready to be brought forth by the word spoken, James 1:18.

June 17, 2009 6:30 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"Gkm: I love all of Romans. There is nothing in it which supports your false religion."
------------
for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him Who calls...

June 17, 2009 6:40 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

So Gary,

explain to me HOW He is the propitiation for our sins, and also for the world. I'll see how you squirm around this problem.

June 17, 2009 6:43 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"Gkm: The verse says: Joh 16:8 "And when He has come, He will CONVICT THE WORLD of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:"
-------------
How do you account for the fact that the world around us hates Christ and seeks to suppress the knowledge of Him while others FLEE to Him for salvation upon hearing of their need?

June 17, 2009 6:51 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"Mark: We know that He accompannies His Word into the hearts of those who hear and come to faith.

Gkm: Chapter and verse please."
-----------
John 3:5 ...unless one is born of water (the Word,James 1:18) and the Spirit

June 17, 2009 6:58 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"Joh 6:45 "It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, AND HATH LEARNED of the Father, cometh unto me."

Gkm: ALL ARE TAUGHT! But not all LEARN. Those that LEARN come to Christ."
-----------
Whoa there! Where is the division in thought here? Where in scripture does it say that all are taught? Certainly there was no division into two groups in the Lord's mind. I'm gonna hold your feet to the fire on this one.

June 17, 2009 7:07 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"Mark: Cornelius and Nicodemous were in the midst of the Father's teaching and drawing and the Spirit's convicting.

Gkm: True, and so are all human beings. Note that Cornelius and Nicodemus BOTH are coming to Christ, and are unregenerate. They have not yet been regenerated. Will not be regenerated UNTIL they believe in Christ. They are NOT regenerated so that they are enabled to Believe in Christ. The are TAUGHT by GOD, the LEARN, as opposed to those who resist the Holy Spirit, and when they LEARN the truth, they are born again. They are coming under the drawing of God. God draws ALL men, God says so. One can RESIST the Holy Spirit. Ac 7:51 "Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye." A prime example of one who is resisting the Holy Spirit is you right now."
----------
God draws all men, yes. Note in John 12:20,21, certain Greeks came wishing to see Jesus. These represent the non-Jewish world. This sets the context of Jesus' response in John 12:32, New King James Version - And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself. See Revelation 5:9.

June 17, 2009 7:19 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"One can RESIST the Holy Spirit. Ac 7:51 "Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye." A prime example of one who is resisting the Holy Spirit is you right now."
----------
The Holy Spirit spoke through the prophets of old and through the evangelists of today. The world that has not heard or been taught by God, the world that still walks according to the course of this world, according to the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience does indeed resist the Spirit's message. They love their sins and do not want to come to the light. That is their nature. They are clearly NOT in the prep stage.

June 17, 2009 7:31 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"Mark: Yes, he has a will... to sin and live in rebellion against his Creator.

Gkm: Jos 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

Gkm: Joh 7:17 "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself."

Gkm: First the man must be willing to learn. This is his "having a will to do his will." IF he has a will to do this, then he shall KNOW, that is, he will be convinced of the truth.

Gkm: You slight over Cornelius and Nicodemus. Here we have two men who are unregenerate, WHO HATE GOD, (according to your false system BECAUSE they have yet to be regenerated), who nevertheless are coming to Christ, praying to God, having their prayers answered, etc. etc. etc. Your system is bankrupt. The facts of the Bible do not fit it at all. There is NO QUESTION about either of these men. The Scriptures make it abundantly clear that both were not born again, while they were being drawn to Christ, while they were seeking Him. The facts of their conversion contradict the fundamental doctrines of Calvinism.

Gkm: Keep your lies straight. Keep your doctrine true to TULIP. You write above:
" Yes, he has a will... to sin and live in rebellion against his Creator." But the facts are that both Nicodemus and Cornelius don't fit this statement at all!

Gkm: Mark, please, take your head out of the sand.

Gary McNees

June 16, 2009 7:09 PM"
------------
I have addressed your questions about Cornelius and Nicodemas. They were in the prep state. THAT is WHY they saught God, and did not hate Him at the point where the Bible picks up their story.

June 17, 2009 7:39 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"2 Pet 1: 5 ¶ "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."
-------------------
"10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."
----------
"Make your calling and election sure". Gary, are you glossing over something here? What does that portion of the verse mean?

June 17, 2009 7:53 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

On another note: when I asked you earlier about Adam's sin being imputed to this lost race - look carefully at Romans 5:12 "...because all sinned". Do you not see that all sinned while in our representative head's (Adam's) body?

June 17, 2009 7:57 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Ya see Gary, since my answers don't fall into your preconceived notions of how they should go you simply gloss over them and dismiss them. I read that as victory for me since you can't stand against anwers that you were not anticipating.

June 17, 2009 8:15 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Gary,

I checked mt Calvinist Commentaries and not one of them comments on 2 Peter 3:5-11 the way you anticipated. They ALL ackowledge that the Christian CAN forget that he has been purged, and that he can suffer loss at the Judgement Seat of Christ as a result. Are you sure you know about Calvinism?

June 17, 2009 10:19 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

You see Gary,

All Calvinist commentators acknowledge that some will bear 30, some 60, and some 100 through their lives - which means the 30 and 60 bearers will suffer loss at the Judgement Seat of Christ.

June 17, 2009 10:43 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

As far as that "new nature never sins" thing. Where do we learn that the new nature is wholly separate from the rest of ourselves? The new nature is another way to describe the new creation in Christ that each Christian is.

June 17, 2009 10:50 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

That should have been 2 Peter 1:5-11

June 17, 2009 12:20 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

I don't ask that folks read commentaries or other works of men as you do,Gary. You started out this conversation quoting the writings of a very rabbid anti-Calvinist. Then you promoted the writings of Vance. All I'm asking of people, by contrast, is that they read Romans 9; Ephesians 1 and 2; John 6,10,17 WITHOUT any commentaries. The plain readings of those portions of scripture, plus many others, read while unadulterated by the works of men, will yield the Doctrines of Grace.

June 18, 2009 7:38 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Mark,
Good point and as you say even the book of John points to these doctrines in a powerful way.....

June 18, 2009 8:55 AM

 
Blogger Gary said...

mark pierson has left a new comment on the post "The Carnal Christian: Wayne and Mark Consider the ...":

"gkm: What to do? What to do? You "comment" does not address the passages. You continue to go merrily on with your faulty deductions."
------
No. I'm merely comparing scripture with scripture. God does do prep work on His elect BEFORE He brings them forth with the Word.
The Spirit convicts of sin, righteousness, and judgment, John 16:8.

gkm: So much for understanding. God convicts who?? THE WORLD! You CONVENIENTLY left that out! Just like Satan when tempting Eve! Liar, Liar pants on fire!

The Father, Who gives to the Son all that will come to Him,

gkm: Ambiguous? "all that will come to Him?" I agree. God saved everyone who does not stubbornly resist His drawing. God would save all, but He will not save anyone against his will. God does not rape anyone.

Mark: draws those very individuals, it is said by Jesus that everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Him.

gkm: Again you conveniently quote only the part of the verse which seems to support your lie. God TEACHES ALL! (And they shall be all taught of God.) ALL HAVE HEARD! (Ro 10:18 But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.) Those who LEARN come to Christ. God loves ALL and desires that ALL be saved! This is what I have against Calvinism. It is possible for one to be a Calvinist and be Free Grace, and be saved, but these are few and far between. And I still believe that they teach blaspheme God with their damnable doctrine, teaching a God of hate.


Mark: He also said that no one can come to Him unless it granted him by the Father. See John 6:35-65.

Gkm: Of course! And who does the Father desire to be saved? EVERYONE! This is your problem. Teaching a God who really desires that most be damned.

Mark: Also in John 6:63 it is the Spirit that gives life. No life from the Spirit, no understanding or obedience to the word.

Gkm: Absurd! Those who reject Christ, who do not have life, clearly understand! Rom. 1: 19 ¶ "Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them." So they DO KNOW. Next, Ro 1:20 "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:" If, as you believe, the non-elect man is unable to understand, unable to believe, unable to learn, that Christ did not even die for them, THEN HE IS CERTAINLY NOT WITHOUT EXCUSE! Under Calvinism the non-elect man has the best excuse in the world, God made him such that he could not be saved!

Gary McNees

June 18, 2009 9:15 AM

 
Blogger Gary said...

mark pierson has left a new comment on the post "The Carnal Christian: Wayne and Mark Consider the ...":

Mark: So we see that Cornelius and Nicodemas were in the prep stage, they being the ones whom the Father had given to the Son, and had been drawn to Him. They were hearing and learning from the Father at this point. The result: they were ready to be brought forth by the word spoken, James 1:18.

Gkm: While it is true that God was drawing them, HE draws ALL men. Note that what you are saying contradicts what Calvinism teaches. Before regeneration all men are "dead in their sins." Now you use this fact to try to prove that the non-elect cannot respond to the gospel. But here with Cornelius and Nicodemus, although they are "dead in sin," they were hearing, learning, etc. Calvinism is a mess. It denies scripture, and is filled with contradictions.

Gkm: Regeneration IS the dividing line! Regeneration is the new birth. Regeneration is the passing from DEATH to LIFE, ETERNAL LIFE. So, Cornelius and Nicodemus while being drawn by God were still unregenerate. They both needed to be saved – to be born again – to be regenerated. While being drawn, taught, and while learning – they were still unregenerate. God was "convincing them" of the truth which saves. They remained unregenerate UNTIL they believed – were convinced. This is the same thing which happens to ALL men, whether they believe or not. Those who are taught AND LEARN – come to Christ and are saved. Those who are taught (absolutely everyone) but REFUSE to learn, remain lost.

Gkm: Further, Calvinism teaches that until one is regenerated, all HATE God. Thus, Cornelius and Nicodemus, while being drawn, while praying to God, while giving alms, while coming to Christ to find out about Him, all the while HATED GOD! This is Calvinism.

Gary McNees

June 18, 2009 9:28 AM

 
Blogger Gary said...

mark pierson:

"Gkm: I love all of Romans. There is nothing in it which supports your false religion."
------------
Mark: for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him Who calls...

gkm: Would to God that you Calvinists would READ OUT of scripture and not read your foul doctrine INTO it. God is here speaking of SERVICE. Of WHO would be the one through whom the Christ would come by the flesh. If you would but READ what God wrote, instead of inserting what Augustine imagined, you'd be a lot better off.

Gkm: Ro 9:11 "(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) 12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger."

Gkm: You have imagined that God said: For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) 12

THE ELDER SHALL GO TO HELL AND THE YOUNGER I WILL SAVE AGAINST HIS WILL.

Gkm: You see the word, "election," and immediately jump to the conclusion that it is referring to one's eternal destiny. Christ was the premier elect one, the premier chosen one, yet no one would thereby conclude that HE was chosen to be saved to heaven!

Gkm: It is a long jump (not logical) to infer that "the elder will serve the younger" means that the elder I have ordained to go to hell, and the younger I have ordained to be saved.

Gary McNees

June 18, 2009 9:39 AM

 
Blogger Gary said...

mark pierson:

So Gary,

gkm: explain to me HOW He is the propitiation for our sins, and also for the world. I'll see how you squirm around this problem.

gkm: Mark, one thing you should know from the get-go, is that I don't "squirm around ANY scripture." I love all scripture. I have changed my mind over the years again and again, and do so DAILY! I study the Bible EVERYDAY, and learn NEW things. My mind is being constantly renewed, and I give up false ideas I have had and accept the new truth that God teaches me. This has been going on for the last sixty years! I do not expect it to ever change! I believe that those who are saved will continue to learn new interesting things concerning God throughout ETERNITY.

Gkm: Here is a link that will show you much more that what I write here, so you can go there if you desire: http://www.faithalone.org/journal/2006i/4_hodges.pdf

Gkm: Basically, HE (Christ) is the propitiation for the sins of the saved in the exact same way that the HE is the propitiation for the sins of the unsaved. Christ "took away the sins of the WORLD."

Gkm: This same truth is taught in many places: 2 Cor 5: 18 "And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God."

Gkm: Calvinism accepts the first part of this verse, and rejects the rest. They agree that Christ has reconciled US to God. All the rest they ostensibly reject. God next says that He HAS reconciled the WORLD to HIMSELF! Finally, HE commands us to BESEECH the lost to be reconciled to God.

Gkm: Again: 1 Tim 2: 3 "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time."

Gkm: I have repeatedly cited verse 4. But verses 5 and 6 teach again that HE died for ALL the world. That HE is the propitiation for ALL mankind. Specifically, "HE GAVE HIMSELF A RANSOM FOR ALL!" This of course you and Calvinism deny.

Gkm: This all goes back to what John the Baptist said: John 1:29: “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”

Gkm: 1 John 2:2, referring to Jesus Christ: “And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.” The Greek word translated “propitiation” (hilasmos) means either “appeasement necessitated by sin” or “expiation.” The word “appeasement,” or the softer term “satisfaction,” are each acceptable here. The concept of propitiation refers to something that appeases, or satisfies, the righteous justice of God. The word “satisfaction” is a pretty good equivalent.

Gary McNees

June 18, 2009 10:10 AM

 
Blogger Gary said...

mark pierson:

"Gkm: The verse says: Joh 16:8 "And when He has come, He will CONVICT THE WORLD of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:"
-------------
Mark: How do you account for the fact that the world around us hates Christ and seeks to suppress the knowledge of Him while others FLEE to Him for salvation upon hearing of their need?

Gkm: Why do I need to account for anything? God said it and that settles it. Whether you believe it or not make no difference to its truth. It just makes a difference to your eternal destiny.

Gkm: Here again, as I pointed out earlier today, you and Calvinism are inconsistent. The world in your view is unregenerate man. Cornelius and Nicodemus are two unregenerate men who before regeneration did not seem to "hate Christ," although both were "dead in sin." Most DO not "flee to Christ," UPON hearing of their need. They are pursued by the Holy Spirit for some time, sometimes a very long time.

Gkm: I like the way the Norm Geisler puts it.

"An illustration is in order. Suppose a young man (whom we will call Jim) is contemplating marriage, and knows two young ladies (whom we will call Joan and Betty), either of whom would make a good wife for him. As a Christian, he has three basic choices: (1) to propose to neither of them; (2) to propose to Joan; or (3) to propose to Betty. Bear in mind that the/young man is under no compulsion. There is nothing outside his own will that places demands on him to choose any one of the three options (or any other one).

Suppose further that the young man happens to know, that if he proposes to Joan she will say yes and if he proposes to Betty she will say no. Suppose then, in accordance with this foreknowledge of how she will freely respond, that Jim chooses to propose to Joan. Suppose even that he knew she would be reluctant at first but with persistent and loving persuasion she would eventually—freely—accept his offer. The decision on his part was entirely free, uncoerced, and not based on anything outside himself. But it was also a decision that was with full knowledge of the response and which respected the free choice of the person to whom he decided to propose. This is analogous to what the moderate Calvinists believe about God's unconditional election.

In contrast, let's hold the same illustration up against extreme Cal¬vinists' belief. They would say that if Jim foreknew that both women would refuse his proposal for marriage unless coerced against their will to do so,12 he would not have to show his love to either of them. Instead he could, for instance, decide to force Betty to marry him against her will. Would we not say that "forced love" is a contradiction in terms? And since Jim represents God in the illustration, would not this make God into someone who forces Himself on others in violation of their integrity? It seems to me that this is precisely what the extreme Calvinists are affirming (see section on "irresistible grace" in chapter 5)." ("Chosen But Free", pp. 69,70)

Gkm: The only thing I would modify is that God "asks" all to "marry Him." He pursues ALL, but He knows which ones will freely respond to His overtures of love. Remember, IF Christ is "lifted up," HE will draw ALL men to HIMSELF. Christ HAS BEEN LIFTED UP." If God did not make provision for ALL, and invited ALL, and convict ALL, then those whom HE did not make provision, invite, and convict do have an "excuse."

Gary McNees

June 18, 2009 10:30 AM

 
Blogger Gary said...

mark pierson has left a new comment on the post "The Carnal Christian: Wayne and Mark Consider the ...":

"Mark: We know that He accompannies His Word into the hearts of those who hear and come to faith.

Gkm: Chapter and verse please."
-----------
Mark: John 3:5 ...unless one is born of water (the Word,James 1:18) and the Spirit

gkm: If I used scripture the way you do we would never even see any argument at all.

Gkm: He "accompanies His word always, to those who respond positively and to those who respond negatively. Since the Holy Spirit is RESISTED by some, HE is definitely accompanying the word to them. Ac 7:51 "Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye." But you are not satisfied until you get the "god you want." A god who hates most of mankind, but loved you.

Gkm: God saves the willing. He still peruses the unwilling, as shown above.

Gary McNees

June 18, 2009 10:36 AM

 
Blogger Gary said...

mark pierson said:

"Joh 6:45 "It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, AND HATH LEARNED of the Father, cometh unto me."

Gkm: ALL ARE TAUGHT! But not all LEARN. Those that LEARN come to Christ."
-----------
Mark: Whoa there! Where is the division in thought here? Where in scripture does it say that all are taught? Certainly there was no division into two groups in the Lord's mind. I'm gonna hold your feet to the fire on this one.

Gkm: IN the verse I just quoted: " they shall be all taught of God." See the context: John 6:41 "THE JEWS THEN MURMURED AT HIM, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. 42 And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven? 43 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. 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. 45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me."

Gkm: Here Christ is TEACHING the Jews who were rejecting Him. They are not learning. Others listening, and being taught, are LEARNING and as they learn, God is convincing them of the truth which saves.

Gkm: I've cited a number of verses which explicitly state that God teaches ALL mankind.

Gary McNees

June 18, 2009 10:43 AM

 
Blogger Gary said...

Mark Pierson said:

"Mark: Cornelius and Nicodemous were in the midst of the Father's teaching and drawing and the Spirit's convicting.

Gkm: True, and so are all human beings. Note that Cornelius and Nicodemus BOTH are coming to Christ, and are unregenerate. They have not yet been regenerated. Will not be regenerated UNTIL they believe in Christ. They are NOT regenerated so that they are enabled to Believe in Christ. The are TAUGHT by GOD, the LEARN, as opposed to those who resist the Holy Spirit, and when they LEARN the truth, they are born again. They are coming under the drawing of God. God draws ALL men, God says so. One can RESIST the Holy Spirit. Ac 7:51 "Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye." A prime example of one who is resisting the Holy Spirit is you right now."
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Mark: God draws all men, yes. Note in John 12:20,21, certain Greeks came wishing to see Jesus. These represent the non-Jewish world. This sets the context of Jesus' response in John 12:32, New King James Version - And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself. See Revelation 5:9.

Gkm: Mark states: "God draws all men, yes." You then retracts what you said? The point is, Mark, that HE DRAWS ALL PEOPLE to HIMSELF. (not "people groups" to the exclusion of ALL people.) That is what the text says. Further, the "context" you cite, disproves your thesis. These Greeks who want to see Jesus, according to you, hate HIM. In fact, everyone Hates HIM. All mankind is lost and dead in sin. They are all in the "same boat." Cornelius and Nicodemus were in this boat as are all of us today. What the case is, is as follows. All of us are "not good," as God is GOOD. We are all sinful. We are all lost. Christ came to seek and save the lost, all the lost. What bothers me most about Calvinism is their teaching about the nature of God. I know Calvinists who are Free Grace. They of course deny the P as defined by most Calvinists. But they believe the Free Grace Gospel. Even those these people are saved eternally, I still confront them because of their very evil doctrine concerning the nature of God.

Gary McNees

June 18, 2009 10:58 AM

 
Blogger Gary said...

Mark Pierson said:

gkm: "One can RESIST the Holy Spirit. Ac 7:51 "Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye." A prime example of one who is resisting the Holy Spirit is you right now."
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Mark: The Holy Spirit spoke through the prophets of old and through the evangelists of today. The world that has not heard or been taught by God, the world that still walks according to the course of this world, according to the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience does indeed resist the Spirit's message. They love their sins and do not want to come to the light. That is their nature. They are clearly NOT in the prep stage.

Gkm: God says that ALL have heard and this you deny! Great. Ro 10:18 "But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world." God teaches in many ways.

Gkm: He teaches through nature: Rom. 1:18 "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; SO THAT THEY ARE WITHOUT EXCUSE:

Gkm: You write: "the world that still walks according to the course of this world, according to the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience does indeed resist the Spirit's message." All the elect were such: Eph 2:2 "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." This describes all mankind. This describes Cornelius and Nicodemus before they were born again, just as it describes all the unregenerate. So what do the Scriptures actually state: That fallen, unregenerate man, is ABLE to listen, be taught, and learn.

Gary McNees

June 18, 2009 11:09 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Gary,

John 6:45 - It is written in the prophets, 'And they all shall be taught by God'. Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.

Firstly in the above it says everone who has heard and learned FROM THE FATHER comes to Me. Yes Christ is God. Yes He taught those in John 6. But Jesus said it is THE FATHER Who is heard and learned from

Secondly you have failed to show IN THIS VERSE that there is a division of thought in the Lord's mind between those who hear and those who learn. You merely cobble together other portions of scripture, ones cherry-picked by your system, and then force them into this passage. Not the way to do theology.

June 18, 2009 11:24 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"gkm: So much for understanding. God convicts who?? THE WORLD! You CONVENIENTLY left that out! Just like Satan when tempting Eve! Liar, Liar pants on fire!"
-----------
kosmos - nothing in that word suggest every human being. In fact if we look at John 14:17 Jesus Himself says the "world" cannot receive the Spirit, but that the disciples would. See verse 14:16

June 18, 2009 11:31 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"gkm: Ambiguous? "all that will come to Him?" I agree. God saved everyone who does not stubbornly resist His drawing. God would save all, but He will not save anyone against his will. God does not rape anyone."
------------
John 6:37 - All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.

John 6:39 - This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.

John 6:44 - No one can come to Me unless the Father Who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 - It is written in the prophets, 'And they all shall be taught by God'. Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.

John 6:65 - And He said, "Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by my Father"

June 18, 2009 11:49 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"Mark: He also said that no one can come to Him unless it granted him by the Father. See John 6:35-65.

Gkm: Of course! And who does the Father desire to be saved? EVERYONE! This is your problem. Teaching a God who really desires that most be damned.
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It is true that God desires all to be saved, 1 Tim.2:4. But we cannot read that portion of scripture into what Jesus is teaching in John 6. In John 6:37 Jesus said that "ALL THAT THE FATHER GIVES ME WILL COME TO ME". Here YOU are the one reading your system into what is actually being taught in John 6.

June 18, 2009 12:00 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"Mark: Also in John 6:63 it is the Spirit that gives life. No life from the Spirit, no understanding or obedience to the word.

Gkm: Absurd! Those who reject Christ, who do not have life, clearly understand! Rom. 1: 19 ¶ "Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them." So they DO KNOW. Next, Ro 1:20 "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:" If, as you believe, the non-elect man is unable to understand, unable to believe, unable to learn, that Christ did not even die for them, THEN HE IS CERTAINLY NOT WITHOUT EXCUSE! Under Calvinism the non-elect man has the best excuse in the world, God made him such that he could not be saved!"
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Where does it say they understand? Romans 3:11 - "There is NONE who understands; There is none who seeks after God.

June 18, 2009 12:06 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"Mark: So we see that Cornelius and Nicodemas were in the prep stage, they being the ones whom the Father had given to the Son, and had been drawn to Him. They were hearing and learning from the Father at this point. The result: they were ready to be brought forth by the word spoken, James 1:18.

Gkm: While it is true that God was drawing them, HE draws ALL men."
-----------
Yes, He draws all men - "...For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation..." Revelation 5:9
----------------
" Note that what you are saying contradicts what Calvinism teaches."
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No. Calvinists DO believe that the elect need prep work before being brought forth by the Word. No contradiction here.
-----------
"Before regeneration all men are "dead in their sins." Now you use this fact to try to prove that the non-elect cannot respond to the gospel. But here with Cornelius and Nicodemus, although they are "dead in sin," they were hearing, learning, etc."
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Yes, because Nicodemas and Cornelius were preped by the Father and by the Spirit. They are among those whom the Father gives the Son.
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"Calvinism is a mess. It denies scripture, and is filled with contradictions."
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You are yet to prove that.

June 18, 2009 12:22 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"Gary said...
mark pierson:

"Gkm: I love all of Romans. There is nothing in it which supports your false religion."
------------
Mark: for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him Who calls...

gkm: Would to God that you Calvinists would READ OUT of scripture and not read your foul doctrine INTO it. God is here speaking of SERVICE."
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Go back to the opening verses in Romans 9, specifically verses 1-5. Clearly eternal destiny is in view here. Service is NOT the focal point. It is just after Paul has assured the elect in Romans 8:28-39 that nothing can separate them from the love of God. So now Paul in chapter 9 envisions people saying, 'yeah, but, He has foraken Israel - so how can we be sure that ultimately He won't also forake us'? Then Paul responds by saying that it is not as though the word of God has taken no effect (on old Testament Israel), and that they are not all Israel who are of Israel. The fact is that the Word of God DID have an effect - on the true Israel. At this point Paul' readers can take comfort. Truely what is being considered in Romans 9 IS eternal destiny; and it is the consideration of how God treated His elect one, Jacob, throughout OT history, versus how He treated the hated one in that same period.
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"Of WHO would be the one through whom the Christ would come by the flesh."
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What you suggest here is NOT derived FROM THIS PORTION OF SCRIPTURE. Now again YOU are reading into Romans 9 what is not actually there.
----------------
"If you would but READ what God wrote, instead of inserting what Augustine imagined, you'd be a lot better off."
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Never really read anything from Augustine, other than some snippets about his life. My understanding of these things I came to after having lost an argumentm against a Calvinist in 1978. At least I was honest with the information provided me from that Calvinist, and did not turn and pervert his arguments like you did with all those Calvinist folk at Antonio's blog in that 640 comment thread. You see, if you're gonna argue against somebody at the very outset you must present your opponents views back to him in such a way as to have him say that you are accurately presenting his views. Many a Calvinist came at you and indicated that you did NOT present their views accurately. Instead of trying to get it right you bulled forward with your perverted vision of Calvinism. Your Calvinist is merely a straw-man.

June 18, 2009 1:02 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

Mark:

you wrote: I have addressed your questions about Cornelius and Nicodemas. They were in the prep state. THAT is WHY they saught God, and did not hate Him at the point where the Bible picks up their story.

gkm: Good. You admit that unregenerate men can seek God, be taught by Him, and learn and believe.

gkm: You've admitted my position.

Gary McNees

June 18, 2009 1:03 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"gkm: Good. You admit that unregenerate men can seek God, be taught by Him, and learn and believe.

gkm: You've admitted my position."
----
Quit playing games, Gary. I'm wupping your butt here and you must now resort to game playing. As I've maintianed it is those given to Christ by the Father who receive this prep work. Romans 3:11 is deadly to your arguement.

I must get ready for work now. Seeya later.

June 18, 2009 1:09 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

Mark Pierson said:

gkm: "2 Pet 1: 5 ¶ "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue … . 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."
-------------------
gkm: "10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."
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Mark: "Make your calling and election sure". Gary, are you glossing over something here? What does that portion of the verse mean?

Gkm: Not at all, that is, not "glossing." The context explains it. "10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: FOR IF YE DO THESE THINGS, ye shall never fall: 11 For so an ENTRANCE shall be ministered unto you ABUNDANTLy into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."

Gkm: IF You DO "THESE THINGS:" 1) YOU WILL NEVER FALL! And 2) AN ABUNDANT ENTRANCE WILL BE GIVEN YOU IN THE EVERLASTING KINGDOM.

Gkm: If you do not do these things (add to your faith, virtue, knowledge, etc., what? You already agreed that the person who does NOT do them remains saved. He will lose his "inheritance in the kingdom." He will "be saved yet so as through fire." He will be "disqualified." Paul said: 1Co 9:27 "But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified." Even the Apostle Paul could be "disqualified!" This does not mean that one loses his salvation. Only ENTRANCE into the kingdom is a FREE GIFT. The inheritance one receives there DEPENDS upon HIS WORK! The rewards are manifold, from crowns, to the least reward given for giving a cup of cold water in His name. But even these rewards for work and faithfulness are OF GRACE. Christ tells us that: Lu 17:10 "So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do." God deals with us in Grace and does not treat us according to what we deserve. 2Ti 4:7 "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." Fighting a "good fight," requires a lot of WORK! Keeping the faith in the face of trials is rewarded: Heaven is not the reward! Heaven is a FREE GIFT.

Gkm: Only the saved can WORK for the Lord Jesus Christ and receive eternal rewards. We do not work to get out of hell and into heaven. Paul explains this in excruciating detail: Rom 4: 4 "Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." God justifies ONLY the ungodly. It is justification which makes us fit for heaven, along with eternal life. Ro 11:6 "And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work." Mt 10:42 "And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward." Do a search on "rewards." You will find a lot of references.

Gary McNees

June 18, 2009 1:42 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

Mark Pierson said:


Mark: On another note: when I asked you earlier about Adam's sin being imputed to this lost race - look carefully at Romans 5:12 "...because all sinned". Do you not see that all sinned while in our representative head's (Adam's) body?

Gkm: I did answer this question in quite some detail. I do not see your point. I agree that we are all born sinners. Is that what you want to hear?

Gary McNees

June 18, 2009 1:49 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

Mark Pierson said:

Mark: Ya see Gary, since my answers don't fall into your preconceived notions of how they should go you simply gloss over them and dismiss them. I read that as victory for me since you can't stand against anwers that you were not anticipating.

Gkm: I don’t see it this way at all. I have written much longer detailed answers to all of your questions than you have to mine. You merely gloss over all my argument which contradicts Calvinism, and go on to other verses. I have addressed all the material you have posted up to this point.

Gary McNees

June 18, 2009 1:52 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

Mark Pierson said:

Mark: Gary,
I checked mt Calvinist Commentaries and not one of them comments on 2 Peter 3:5-11 the way you anticipated. They ALL ackowledge that the Christian CAN forget that he has been purged, and that he can suffer loss at the Judgement Seat of Christ as a result. Are you sure you know about Calvinism?

Gkm: Further answer to this:

gkm: First, scripture teaches clearly that it is possible for a Christian to fail: John 15:6; Col. 1:21-23; I Tim. 6:10-12; James 5:19-20; 2 Poet. 1:10-11; 2 Pet. 3:16-18; Jude 19-20; I John 2:24-28; Rom. 8:10-13; Rom. 11:20-22; I Cornelius. 9:24,27; I Cornelius. 10:12-13; Gal. 5:1-4; Phil 2:12-16; Col 2:18; I Tim 5:8; I Tim. 6:9,10; 2 Tim. 2:11-13; Heb. 2:1-3; Heb. 4:1; Heb. 6:4-6; Heb. 10:26,27; Heb. 10:29; Heb. 10:35.

Gkm: Here are some examples of well known Calvinist teachers:

"The certainty that he will not [apostatize] arises, not from the strength of a regenerated heart, but from God's secret, unchangeable purpose concerning the believer; which purpose He executes towards and in him by moral means consistent with the creature's free agency. Among these appropriate motives are these very warnings of dangers and wholesome fears about apostasy. Therefore, God's application of the motives to the regenerate free agent, proves not at all that it is God's secret purpose to let him apostatize. They are a part of that plan by which God intends to ensure that he shall not." Robert L. Dabney, Lectures in Systematic Theology (1878; reprint ed., Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1971), p. 697.

He then cites Paul's shipwreck at sea. In this passage the apostle Paul is promised that he will not perish, but he warns the men in the boat that, unless they attend to the means of saving themselves from the storm, they will perish.


Similarly, Shedd maintains that the warnings are consistent with persever¬ance for two reasons:

The certainty of perseverance is objective in God, but it may not be subjective in man. God knows that a particular man will persevere, because God purposes that that man shall. But the man does not know this unless he has assurance of faith. Believers which do not have assurance are subject to the warnings. "But one who is as¬sured of salvation by the witness of the Holy Spirit would not be required to be warned against apostasy, while in this state of assur¬ance."

Exhortations to struggle with sin and warnings against its insidious and dangerous nature are the means employed by the Holy Spirit to secure perseverance. The decree of election includes the means as well as the end." William G. T. Shedd, Doginatic Tlieology, 3 vols. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1889; reprint ed., Minneapolis: Klock and Klock, 1979), 2:557.

But how can there be any warning directed to a believer who is sufficiently biblically informed about perseverance to know that falling from grace is for him an impossibility? How can something be subjectively possible for the person who knows it to be objectively impossible?

If you have not heard of Dabney and Shedd, well this speaks volumes about your lack of knowledge of Calvinism.

Thus these well known Reformed Theologians, teach that God uses the warnings in scripture to keep the "elect," in line. Thus the "child of God," must be ever in fear that he is not really a child of God.

Gary McNees

June 18, 2009 2:11 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

Mark Pierson said:

Mark: Gary,
I checked mt Calvinist Commentaries and not one of them comments on 2 Peter 3:5-11 the way you anticipated. They ALL ackowledge that the Christian CAN forget that he has been purged, and that he can suffer loss at the Judgement Seat of Christ as a result. Are you sure you know about Calvinism?

Gkm: Further answer to this:

gkm: Reformed theologian Louis Berkhof expresses a similar view:

"But these warnings regard the whole matter from the side of man and are seriously meant. They prompt self-examination, and are instru¬mental in keeping believers in the way of perseverance. They do not prove that any of those addressed will apostatize, but simply that the use of means is necessary to prevent them from committing this sin. Compare Acts 27:22-25 with verse 3 for an illustration of this princi¬ple." Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology (London: Banner of Truth, 1958), p. 548.

Thus these Calvinistic theologians teach that God uses "means" to insure that the elect will persevere. One such means is the warnings and threatenings in scripture. Berkouwer continues:

"Anyone who would take away any of the tension, this completely earnest admonition, this many-sided warning, from the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints would do the Scriptures great injury, and would cast the Church into the error of carelessness and sloth.

The doctrine of the perseverance of the saints CAN NEVER BECOME AN A PRIORI GUARANTEE IN THE LIFE OF BELIEVERS which would enable them to get along without admonitions and warnings. Because of the nature of the relation between faith and perseverance, the whole gospel must abound with admonition. It has to speak thus, because perseverance is not something that is merely handed down to us, but it is something that comes to realization only in the path of faith. Therefore the most earnest and alarming admonitions cannot in themselves be taken as evidence against the doctrine of perseverance."

To think of admonition and perseverance as opposites, as contradic¬tories, is possible only if we misunderstand the nature of perseverance and treat it in isolation from its correlation with faith. For the correct understanding of the correlation between faith and perseverance, it is precisely these admonitions that are significant, and they enable us to understand better the nature of perseverance. " C. G. Berkouwer, Faith and Perseverance (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1958), p. 110.

"God has eternally decreed that every regenerated soul shall get safely through to Heaven, yet He certainly has not ordained that any shall do so whether or not they use the means which He has appointed for their preservation. Christians are "kept by the power of God through faith" (I Pet 1:5) - there is the human responsibility side." Arthur Pink, An Exposition of Hebrews (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1968), pp. 616.


"To say that real Christians need no such warning because they cannot possibly commit that sin, is, we repeat to lose sight of the connection which God Himself has established between His predestined ends and the means whereby they are reached. The end to which God has pre-destined His people is their eternal bliss in Heaven, and one of the means by which that end is reached, is through their taking heed to the solemn warning He has given against that which would prevent their reaching Heaven." Arthur Pink, An Exposition of Hebrews (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1968), pp. 616.

Gkm: Now Mark, I am not saying you agree with these men, but these are representative of Calvinism. I will post more.

Gary McNees

June 18, 2009 2:42 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

Mark Pierson said:

Mark: Gary,
I checked mt Calvinist Commentaries and not one of them comments on 2 Peter 3:5-11 the way you anticipated. They ALL ackowledge that the Christian CAN forget that he has been purged, and that he can suffer loss at the Judgement Seat of Christ as a result. Are you sure you know about Calvinism?

Gkm: Further answer to this:

"Instead of calling the contradiction between God's preservation and the necessity of our perseverance a "tension," as Berkouwer does, or "differing perspectives," as Pink does, Tosti likes the word "symmetry." Tosti correctly ob¬serves that the Reformed doctrine of perseverance is extremely dangerous. "It requires one to walk along the knife-edge of truth; a path so narrow that even the slightest move to the left or right will cast one into an abyss of pernicious error." To move to the "left," he says, robs the children of God of assurance, and to move to the "right" encourages laxity and slothfulness. The antidote to these dangers is to maintain what he calls "biblical symmetry." 23J. A. Tony Tosti, "Perseverance: The Other Side of the Coin," The Banner of Truth 259 (April 1985): 13, 11.

This certainty is not a bare conjectural and probable persuasion, grounded upon a fallible hope; but an infallible assurance of faith, founded upon (1) the divine truth of the promises of salvation, (2) the inward evidence of those graces unto which these promises are made, (3) the testimony of the Spirit of adoption witnessing with our spirits that we are the children of God. "Westminster Confession of Faith," in Schaff, 3:638 (18.3)

It is item 2) which makes assurance of salvation impossible. I define assurance as absolute certainty.

That they mean that salvation is to be achieved by works is confirmed In Shorter Catechism.


Ques. 90. How is the Word to be read and heard, that it may become effectual to salvation?
Ans. That the Word may become effectual to salvation, we must at¬tend thereunto with diligence, preparation, and prayer; receive it with faith and love, lay it up in our hearts, and practice it in our lives. 28"Westminster Shorter Catechism," in Schaff, 3:696 (Q. 90). See also Schaff, Question 85,


Since the Reformed tradition supposedly teaches salvation by grace alone, we naturally recoil at such words and wonder, "Could they really have meant this?" It appears that they did mean this. Any ambiguity here has been removed in the writings of some of their writings.

For example, Arthur Pink, teaches that God requires that true Christians must "keep themselves" or risk eternal damnation. 29Pink, Hebrews, p. 601.

Yet he unequivocally maintains the "absolute and eternal security of the saints." Ibid., p. 599.

He is attempting to show that God preserves His children through means, that is, works. He quotes John Owen, that prince of the Puritan expositors, with approval teaching that works are a means of salvation:

"But yet our own diligent endeavor is such an indispensable means for that end, as that without it, it will not be brought about, ...If we are in Christ, God hath given us the lives of our souls, and hath taken upon Himself, in His covenant, the preservation of them. But yet we may say, with reference unto the means that He hath appointed, when storms and trials arise, unless we use our diligent endeavors, we cannot be saved. John Owen, Hebrews, cited by Pink, p. 600.


Gary McNees (more to come)

June 18, 2009 3:24 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

Mark Pierson said:

Mark: Gary,
I checked mt Calvinist Commentaries and not one of them comments on 2 Peter 3:5-11 the way you anticipated. They ALL ackowledge that the Christian CAN forget that he has been purged, and that he can suffer loss at the Judgement Seat of Christ as a result. Are you sure you know about Calvinism?

Gkm: Further answer to this:

One of the most blatant statements of perseverance comes from Christian Friedrich Kling. He views adokimos, "disapproved," as losing salvation and says:

"A sound belief in the doctrine of the saints' perseverance is ever ac¬companied with a conviction of the possibility of failure and of the ab¬solute necessity of using our utmost endeavor in order to final success. No experiences of Divine favor in the past, no circumstances, however advantageous, furnish such a guarantee of salvation as to warrant spiritual repose. There is no perseverance without conscious and de¬termined persevering, and the requisite effort can be put forth only un¬der the influence alike of HOPE AND FEAR. And he who apprehends no danger of being ultimately a castaway through neglect or transgression, will lack the motive necessary to urge him triumphantly to the goal. Christian Friedrich Kling, "The First Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians," in Lange's 10:210.

If ever a statement of works as a condition of salvation was made, this is it, While we may be saved by faith, we are kept saved by works exactly as the Arminian maintains. Kling thinks that the Christian must be continually in fear of hell if he is to be sufficiently motivated towards a godly life.

Maurice Roberts, a contributor to the Experimental Predestinarian jour¬nal The Banner of Truth writes, "There are conditions to be fulfilled if Heaven is to be ours." [37Maurice Roberts, "Final Perseverance," The Banner of Truth 265 (October 1985): 11.]

His condition is perseverance. This condition, however, is to be fulfilled by God's effectual work in the regenerate. But we must cooperate with God in this work. So salvation in this system is initial belief coupled with a life¬long synergism of human and divine work. Only when the condition is fulfilled, can heaven be ours. But the condition of perseverance cannot be fulfilled until we have persevered. Thus, we can have no certainty of our perseverance, and hence of our salvation, until the final hour. A doctrine leading to this conclusion seems to fly in the face of the numerous biblical statements offering assurance now.

Gary McNees (more to follow) by the way, Mark, these theologians I am citing are all Calvinistic Reformed Theologians. I realize you may or may not agree with them. But you should know what theologians in the reformed camp teach.

June 18, 2009 3:36 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

Mark Pierson said:

Mark: Gary,
I checked mt Calvinist Commentaries and not one of them comments on 2 Peter 3:5-11 the way you anticipated. They ALL ackowledge that the Christian CAN forget that he has been purged, and that he can suffer loss at the Judgement Seat of Christ as a result. Are you sure you know about Calvinism?

Gkm: Further answer to this:

If God has decreed that His elect will finally persevere in holiness and if warnings are a means He uses to secure that perse¬verance, then God is threatening His elect with a destiny He knows will never befall them. He is telling them they might lose their salvation in order to motivate them by fear (read "healthy tension" or "wholesome fear") to persevere. How can a God of truth use lies to accomplish His purpose of holiness in His elect?

Consider how Calvin interprets Paul's famous warning to the Romans:

Behold the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God's kindness, IF YOU CONTINUE IN HIS KINDNESS; otherwise you also will be cut off (Rom. 11:22 NASB).

In his commentary on Romans 11 Calvin says:

We understand now in what sense Paul threatens those with excision whom he has already asserted to have been grafted into the hope of life through God's election. For, first, though this cannot happen to the elect, they have yet need of such warnings, in order to subdue the pride of the flesh; which being strongly opposed to their salvation, needs to be terrified with the dread of perdition. As far then, as Chris¬tians are illuminated by faith, they hear, for their assurance, that the calling of God is without repentance; but as far as they carry about them the flesh which wantonly resists the grace of God, they are taught humility by this warning, "Take heed lest thou too be cut off. " Calvin, Commentary, Romans.

Andrew Fuller is quoted approvingly by Arthur Pink:

"It is necessary for those whom the Lord may know to be heirs of sal¬vation, in certain circumstances, to be threatened with damnation, as a means of preserving them from it." Arthur Pink, An Exposition of the Sermon on the Mount (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1953), p. 102.

Gkm: It should be self-evident that none of these theologians were believers. Believers in the sense that we mean. None were fully convinced that they were eternally saved at the moment of faith. All of them are inconsistent on this. Calvin MAY have been a believer but he certainly was not a consistent one. The fact is, Mark, that one may SAY that they believe the gospel, but in reality not believe it. I am not their judge, so I cannot say. What they have written certainly seems to me to indicate that they are hinging their salvation on their performance, their works (albeit works performed by 'god through them.' What we in the Free Grace Movement are attempting to do is to clarify the gospel. To make certain that people are believing what God actually said concerning receiving eternal life.

Gary McNees

June 18, 2009 4:01 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

mark pierson said:

Mark: I don't ask that folks read commentaries or other works of men as you do,Gary. You started out this conversation quoting the writings of a very rabbid anti-Calvinist. Then you promoted the writings of Vance. All I'm asking of people, by contrast, is that they read Romans 9; Ephesians 1 and 2; John 6,10,17 WITHOUT any commentaries. The plain readings of those portions of scripture, plus many others, read while unadulterated by the works of men, will yield the Doctrines of Grace.

Gkm: I resent your use of the words "Doctrines of Grace." I maintain that you have no doctrines of grace! So, you have given any exegesis of any verse, where? I must have missed them all.

Gkm: So Mark, present a single passage with your exegesis, and I will comment on it. We have all read the Bible, Mark. We deny that it teaches any of the so-called "Doctrines of Grace," that you teach. I've quoted many rabid Calvinists. Calvinism is so easily demolished that it is funny really. Please provide a single passage which supports any of your TULIP doctrines, WITH EXEGESIS! You cannot just say Ephesians 1 and 2 and expect that to mean that we see any support for your doctrines.

Gkm: I claim that none of your so-called "Doctrines of Grace" can be supported by any scripture. So stop boasting, and start proving your thesis. I know that none of them can be proved by Scripture.

Gary McNees

June 18, 2009 4:25 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

Mark Pierson said:
Gary,

John 6:45 - It is written in the prophets, 'And they all shall be taught by God'. Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.

Mark: Firstly in the above it says everone who has heard and learned FROM THE FATHER comes to Me. Yes Christ is God. Yes He taught those in John 6. But Jesus said it is THE FATHER Who is heard and learned from

Gkm: This is what I said, and proved! You just keep asserting your position, never proving it. Have you had any logical training at all? I showed that God teaches ALL, without exception. I gave the verses which state this. You just disregard them! Such is not the behavior of an honest person. It is not enough to "hear" one must both hear and LEARN! "Have THEY not ALL heard? YES responds God!" This you just disregard. Are not ALL drawn by Christ! Yes says God, this you just disregard. Since ALL have heard and been drawn, but all do not come, it is self-evident that ALL do not LEARN! Thus what you assert below is false! The division is obvious! All are taught but not all learn. Only those who learn come to Christ.

Mark: Secondly you have failed to show IN THIS VERSE that there is a division of thought in the Lord's mind between those who hear and those who learn. You merely cobble together other portions of scripture, ones cherry-picked by your system, and then force them into this passage. Not the way to do theology.

Gkm: Really, Mark, this stuff is basic, fundamental, easy. But you seem to not to be able to follow it at all. Christ DOES NOT SAY THAT ALL WHO HEAR COME, NOR THAT ALL WHO ARE TAUGHT COME! He says that "all who have heard, AND LEARNED come to Him." This is really elementary logic. It is just being able to read with understanding. You insert your theology into the passage, you do not read it out of the passage. You can't, because it is not there! The passage plainly teaches that no one is able to come to Christ UNLESS God draws them. Your problem is that you attempt to nullify the Word of God by denying that HE draws all men. This would not be so outrageous except for the fact that HE specifically states that HE does draw ALL men. Further, HE states that HE died for ALL MEN, further still HE states that HE is the ransom for ALL MEN, and even what is outrageously evil – you deny things when HE makes them so plain that even an idiot cannot misunderstand – what I mean by this is:

1Jo 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

Gkm: How you Calvinists manage to have such a blindness when God has made it so clear that a 3 year old cannot misunderstand is quite beyond me! Your blindness is like that of the Jews that reject Christ. How could God write a verse which shows that your system is false any better than I John 2:2? I guess that you'd think something was funny if God actually said, "Look guys, in about 300 years a man named Augustine will come up with a false doctrine denying that I died for all, and then some 1200 years after that a man named Calvin will pick up his false doctrine and make a religion out of it."

Gkm: Well, He said almost this. Ac 20:29 "For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock." Error starting entering the church even before Paul died! Some of the books he wrote were to combat this evil. The book of Galatians, for example, was written with Calvinism in mind.

Gkm: Mark, I see the obvious. You have bought into a pack of cleverly devised lies. I posted a message on your board about Augustine. Earlier on you or someone on your blog was saying that Augustine would not be accepted by the Roman Catholic Church. This is a false as can be. I showed what doctrines Augustine STARTED. It is amazing that you follow a man who was so wrong in so much. Calvin was a murderer along with Augustine. Now, so was David and Paul, but at least they repented!

Gary McNees

June 18, 2009 4:59 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

Mark Pierson said:

"gkm: So much for understanding. God convicts who?? THE WORLD! You CONVENIENTLY left that out! Just like Satan when tempting Eve! Liar, Liar pants on fire!"
-----------
Mark: kosmos - nothing in that word suggest every human being. In fact if we look at John 14:17 Jesus Himself says the "world" cannot receive the Spirit, but that the disciples would. See verse 14:16

Gkm: You write a comment which contradicts the very heart of your system and don't even know it! Amazing! John uses the term "world" to mean the world of lost fallen men. And just HOW could God mean "every human being?" by writing perhaps "the WHOLE WORLD?" You HAVE to have "world" not mean the world of fallen mankind or your system falls. Yet John uses the word "world" in just this way. You write " the world" cannot receive the Spirit," and yet cannot see that what you are saying is that ALL fallen men in the world cannot receive the Holy Spirit. They cannot receive HIM until they are born again.

Gary McNees

June 18, 2009 5:05 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

Mark Pierson said:

"gkm: So much for understanding. God convicts who?? THE WORLD! You CONVENIENTLY left that out! Just like Satan when tempting Eve! Liar, Liar pants on fire!"
-----------
Mark: kosmos - nothing in that word suggest every human being. In fact if we look at John 14:17 Jesus Himself says the "world" cannot receive the Spirit, but that the disciples would. See verse 14:16

Gkm: You write a comment which contradicts the very heart of your system and don't even know it! Amazing! John uses the term "world" to mean the world of lost fallen men. And just HOW could God mean "every human being?" by writing perhaps "the WHOLE WORLD?" You HAVE to have "world" not mean the world of fallen mankind or your system falls. Yet John uses the word "world" in just this way. You write " the world" cannot receive the Spirit," and yet cannot see that what you are saying is that ALL fallen men in the world cannot receive the Holy Spirit. They cannot receive HIM until they are born again.

Gary McNees

June 18, 2009 5:05 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

mark pierson:

"gkm: Ambiguous? "all that will come to Him?" I agree. God saved everyone who does not stubbornly resist His drawing. God would save all, but He will not save anyone against his will. God does not rape anyone."
------------
John 6:37 - All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.

John 6:37,44,65
Calvinists see in Christ's statement that, "All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me" a reference to the elect, who will irresistibly be drawn to Christ. They feel this is confirmed by the converse in v. 44, "No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him." There is no consideration of any alternate interpretation which might be suggested by the context. But rather than assuming that the Lord Jesus is referring to all the elect, we should seek to understand the expression in the light of the historical contextual flow. (That is, we should base our exegesis on induction not on deduction: the god of Calvinism.)

Context. In the Bread of Life Discourse the Lord has been having rather animated dialogue with a somewhat skeptical inquiring multitude (w. 24ff). He had just stated that although they had seen Him, they still have not believed (6:36). Then in contrast he refers to the truly believing disciples in the multitude as "all that the Father gives Me," who are inevitably coming to Him. The key issue all the way through the dialogue is faith or its lack (6:29, 35 ,40, 47, 64), and he symbolizes faith as appropriation by eating and drinking Him (6:35,51, 53-58). A little later He emphasized the human response factor: "If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself (7:17).

Identification. In order to understand this passage aright, we must first identify who these people are whom Christ identified as, "all that the Father gives Me." Since He used this phrase at least four other times we must examine those contexts also. "This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day" (6:39). "…. that the Son may glorify You, even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life" (17:1-2). "I manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world. They were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word" (17:6). "I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You hast given Me; for they are Yours" (17:9). From this context of the Lord's high priestly prayer, it becomes clear that He is referring to the living disciples whom the Father had given Him, especially to the eleven apostles. This could not be a reference to that abstract concept of the elect of all ages for a number of reasons. We see first in 17:6 that the Lord Jesus had shown the Father to them personally. This could not be true of the elect of past ages, and the past tense He used (aorist) would not likely include the elect of future ages. The clause, "they have kept Your word" also eliminate believers of other ages, since it is obvious that this could not be said about future generations. Additionally, He later clarifies that those who in turn believe through their word are distinct from those whom the Father had given him: "I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word..." (17:20). So the idea is clear in both contexts that the Father is turning the godly Jewish remnant over to the Son during His earthly ministry. These are the believing ones who inevitably come to Him. Thus this passage has nothing to do with irresistible grace upon unbelievers, since these were already sincere believers.

Gary McNees

June 18, 2009 5:30 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

mark pierson has left a new comment on the post "The Carnal Christian: Wayne and Mark Consider the ...":

"Mark: He also said that no one can come to Him unless it granted him by the Father. See John 6:35-65.

Gkm: Of course! And who does the Father desire to be saved? EVERYONE! This is your problem. Teaching a God who really desires that most be damned.
------------
It is true that God desires all to be saved, 1 Tim.2:4. But we cannot read that portion of scripture into what Jesus is teaching in John 6. In John 6:37 Jesus said that "ALL THAT THE FATHER GIVES ME WILL COME TO ME". Here YOU are the one reading your system into what is actually being taught in John 6.

gkm: Just read what I wrote in message timeed:

5:36 PM.

If you can learn ANYTHING at all, then maybe you will see the truth.

Gary McNees

June 18, 2009 9:25 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

mark pierson has left a new comment on the post "The Carnal Christian: Wayne and Mark Consider the ...":

"gkm: Good. You admit that unregenerate men can seek God, be taught by Him, and learn and believe.

gkm: You've admitted my position."
----
Quit playing games, Gary. I'm wupping your butt here and you must now resort to game playing. As I've maintianed it is those given to Christ by the Father who receive this prep work. Romans 3:11 is deadly to your arguement.

You are funny.

You haven't even given a single argument for your position yet. All you do is cite a scripture, and ASSERT the what Reformed theology teaches it means.

That is NOT EXEGESIS.

Gary McNees

Gary McNees

June 18, 2009 10:58 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Gary,

Let us consider your handling of 1 John 2:2

1 John 2:2 - And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

Then you cross reference that verse with the following -

John 1:29 - The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

2 Corinthians 5: 19 - To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath commited unto us the word of reconciliation.

Some thoughts:

Christ's sacrifice for sins is sufficient only for those who believe -

Acts 10: 43 - To Him give all the prophets witness, that through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins.

Those who do not believe, their sins are recorded -

11And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

The wrath of God is still ongoing against sinful man -

Ephesians 5:3 - But fornication, and all uncleaness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
4 - Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient; but rather giving of thanks.
5 - For this you know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
6 - Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the chidren of disobedience.

WORLD (kosmos) does not mean every man. Consider the following -

John 14:16-17 (King James Version)
16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

1 John 5:19 - And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.

Gary, in the above I have proven that your faulty handling of 1 John 2:2 should be rejected.

June 19, 2009 8:08 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Gary says -
"Do a search on "rewards." You will find a lot of references."
------------
Calvinists hold to rewards too. They are refered to as Grace upon grace - where God rewards us for works He has worked in us to will and to do of His good pleasure. We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works. In short, we are rewarded for the works He has inspired and enabled us to do - His work through us.

June 19, 2009 8:21 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

" Gary said...
Mark Pierson said:


Mark: On another note: when I asked you earlier about Adam's sin being imputed to this lost race - look carefully at Romans 5:12 "...because all sinned". Do you not see that all sinned while in our representative head's (Adam's) body?

Gkm: I did answer this question in quite some detail. I do not see your point. I agree that we are all born sinners. Is that what you want to hear?

Gary McNees

June 18, 2009 1:49 PM"
------------
I also want to hear you admit that we all sinned while in Adam's loins. So says Romans 5:12, "...because all sinned", meaning we all sinned when our representative (Adam) sinned. See Hebrews 7:9-10.

June 19, 2009 8:27 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"You merely gloss over all my argument which contradicts Calvinism, and go on to other verses. I have addressed all the material you have posted up to this point.

Gary McNees"
----------
No. They merely contradict YOUR version of Calvinism - a mythical Calvinism. Your answers are longer than mine because you address a Calvinism that exists only in your mind. Your responses are often nothing more than emotional rants. My answers, "going on to other verses" is part of my thought process concerning specific points. But since they do not fit into your preconceived notions of how I should answer you have no other way to respond but to say that I merely go on to other verses. Instead of learning what it is that a REAL Calvinist believes you wish to carry on in your little world of make-believe, wherein you think that you know Calvinism. I got news for you, YOU DON'T!

June 19, 2009 8:38 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"Gkm: Here are some examples of well known Calvinist teachers:

"The certainty that he will not [apostatize] arises, not from the strength of a regenerated heart, but from God's secret, unchangeable purpose concerning the believer; which purpose He executes towards and in him by moral means consistent with the creature's free agency. Among these appropriate motives are these very warnings of dangers and wholesome fears about apostasy. Therefore, God's application of the motives to the regenerate free agent, proves not at all that it is God's secret purpose to let him apostatize. They are a part of that plan by which God intends to ensure that he shall not." Robert L. Dabney, Lectures in Systematic Theology (1878; reprint ed., Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1971), p. 697.

He then cites Paul's shipwreck at sea. In this passage the apostle Paul is promised that he will not perish, but he warns the men in the boat that, unless they attend to the means of saving themselves from the storm, they will perish.


Similarly, Shedd maintains that the warnings are consistent with persever¬ance for two reasons:

The certainty of perseverance is objective in God, but it may not be subjective in man. God knows that a particular man will persevere, because God purposes that that man shall. But the man does not know this unless he has assurance of faith. Believers which do not have assurance are subject to the warnings. "But one who is as¬sured of salvation by the witness of the Holy Spirit would not be required to be warned against apostasy, while in this state of assur¬ance."

Exhortations to struggle with sin and warnings against its insidious and dangerous nature are the means employed by the Holy Spirit to secure perseverance. The decree of election includes the means as well as the end." William G. T. Shedd, Doginatic Tlieology, 3 vols. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1889; reprint ed., Minneapolis: Klock and Klock, 1979), 2:557.

But how can there be any warning directed to a believer who is sufficiently biblically informed about perseverance to know that falling from grace is for him an impossibility? How can something be subjectively possible for the person who knows it to be objectively impossible?

If you have not heard of Dabney and Shedd, well this speaks volumes about your lack of knowledge of Calvinism.

Thus these well known Reformed Theologians, teach that God uses the warnings in scripture to keep the "elect," in line. Thus the "child of God," must be ever in fear that he is not really a child of God.

Gary McNees"
----------
First off, I agree with all the quotes from Dabny and Shedd that you have provided. What they said was excellent!

then you say, "Thus these well known Reformed Theologians, teach that God uses the warnings in scripture to keep the "elect," in line."
----------
Yes, that is true!
---------------
" Thus the "child of God," must be ever in fear that he is not really a child of God."
------
Now that is a leap in logic. I hold to all the above quotes and I do not have any such worries. I believe that Jesus is the Christ! Now what does the Bible say about me?

Athletes, ones who are such to the core of their being, train. They love to train. They know the importance of training. Yet their coaches always exhort them to keep training. They are preaching to the choir there. In the same way Peter is exhorting the saints to make their calling and election sure. Failure to do so WILL interupt their assurance. But Jesus taught that even the least fruitful of His saints will bear 30. There are NO fruitless Christians! Some will lose some reward, yes; but none will go rewardless.

June 19, 2009 8:56 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"Gkm: Now Mark, I am not saying you agree with these men, but these are representative of Calvinism. I will post more.

Gary McNees

June 18, 2009 2:42 PM"
-----------
Gary, I WHOLE HEARTEDLY AGREE WITH THESE MEN!!! Warnings ARE some of the means of God in our perseverence. I do not see any problem here!!!

June 19, 2009 9:03 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"But you should know what theologians in the reformed camp teach.

June 18, 2009 3:36 PM"
----------
This is where I must add something. Calvinism is no monolith. No one Calvinist can speak for all Calvinists. Spurgeon distanced himself from many of the Puritans. Calvin, according to D.A. Carson, held to the primacy of objective assurance. From what I've read of Spurgeon he did too.

On a personal level, I reject the Reformed notion of "examining yourself to see if you be in the faith". I personally hold to the primacy of objective assurance, meaning I derive all of my assurance from the Word.

However, I do see the warings and exhortations of scripture as some of the means of God to keep His saints on in their perseverance. They are part of His preservation of us.

For the record, I do not hold that apostates were ever saved. THAT is probably why you do not like the quotes you gave above.

June 19, 2009 9:19 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"Gkm: It should be self-evident that none of these theologians were believers. Believers in the sense that we mean. None were fully convinced that they were eternally saved at the moment of faith. All of them are inconsistent on this. Calvin MAY have been a believer but he certainly was not a consistent one. The fact is, Mark, that one may SAY that they believe the gospel, but in reality not believe it. I am not their judge, so I cannot say. What they have written certainly seems to me to indicate that they are hinging their salvation on their performance, their works (albeit works performed by 'god through them.' What we in the Free Grace Movement are attempting to do is to clarify the gospel. To make certain that people are believing what God actually said concerning receiving eternal life.

Gary McNees

June 18, 2009 4:01 PM"
-----------
These men are coming to the table with different presuppositions and assumptions than you. They have a much keener grasp of the effects of entering into a relationship with the Triune God once one comes to faith in Christ; what with the indwelling of the Spirit and the effects that relationship has on the believer. They see that the Father at once begins to treat us as His children with chastenings; they see Him immediately taking them on a journey to conformity to Christ. They make no allowance for the "carnal Christian" and especially not the "unbelieving believer".

June 19, 2009 9:32 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Gary said, "John 6:45 - It is written in the prophets, 'And they all shall be taught by God'. Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.

Mark: Firstly in the above it says everone who has heard and learned FROM THE FATHER comes to Me. Yes Christ is God. Yes He taught those in John 6. But Jesus said it is THE FATHER Who is heard and learned from

Gkm: This is what I said, and proved! You just keep asserting your position, never proving it. Have you had any logical training at all? I showed that God teaches ALL, without exception. I gave the verses which state this. You just disregard them! Such is not the behavior of an honest person."
----------
Gary, you tell me I should be more inductive in my study, draw only from what is actually there. Hmmm. Where in John 6 do we see "I showed that God teaches ALL, without exception."??? It is NOT there. This is where YOU read something into a passage that is not there. Let's be consistent here.

June 19, 2009 9:43 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Gary says,"John 6:37,44,65
Calvinists see in Christ's statement that, "All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me" a reference to the elect, who will irresistibly be drawn to Christ. They feel this is confirmed by the converse in v. 44, "No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him." There is no consideration of any alternate interpretation which might be suggested by the context. But rather than assuming that the Lord Jesus is referring to all the elect, we should seek to understand the expression in the light of the historical contextual flow. (That is, we should base our exegesis on induction not on deduction: the god of Calvinism.)"
-----------
You exhort me to consider only what is before me in a passage. You exhort me to do inductive study. Then when YOU consider John 6 YOU are willing go to other portions of scripture in order to squirm out from what is actually being taught in John 6 itself.

In John 6 Jesus is encountering unbelief. 6:36 - But you have seen Me and yet you do not believe - the reason why they could not believe? "It is the Spirit Who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life". Why do you think Jesus followed what He said in verse 6:36 with "All that the Father gives to Me will come to Me"? He is here dealing with the real issue: spiritual deadness on the part of his hearers. That is why He said that no one can come to Him unless the Father draws him, or that nobody can come to Him unless they are enabled by the Father.

See, I did not leave John 6 at all here, unlike you.

June 19, 2009 10:09 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"Gkm: Of course! And who does the Father desire to be saved? EVERYONE! This is your problem. Teaching a God who really desires that most be damned."
-----------
Reading other portions of scripture into John 6 IS NOT inductive, Gary. You are squirming here because John 6 is lethal to your system.

June 19, 2009 10:12 AM

 
Blogger Gary said...

Mark Pierson said:

"Mark: Also in John 6:63 it is the Spirit that gives life. No life from the Spirit, no understanding or obedience to the word. Where does it say they understand? Romans 3:11 - "There is NONE who understands; There is none who seeks after God.

Gkm: Mark I recommend two things: 1) look up the CONTEXT of the Old Testament passage from which Paul derives this verse. 2) Do a search, (if you have a Bible program, or look in a concordance for "seek."

The English of Romans 3:10-11 without consulting the Greek can lead you astray as also can not even bothering to LOOK at Psalm 14!: "There is none righ¬teous, not even one; There is none who understands, There is none who seeks for God." In Paul's paraphrase of the Septuagint of Psalm 14, he was careful to use the intensified verb ekzeteo, rather than the simple zeteo.

[1567 ekzhtew ekzeteo ek-zay-teh’-o

from 1537 and 2212; TDNT-2:894,300; v

AV-require 2, seek after 2, diligently 1, seek carefully 1, enquire 1; 7

1) to seek out, search for
2) to seek out, i.e. investigate, scrutinise
3) to seek out for one’s self, beg, crave
4) to demand back, require]

Here is the CONTEXT of Psalm 14: 1 ¶ To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

"The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. 2 The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. 3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 4 ¶ Have all the WORKERS OF INIQUITY no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the LORD. [Mark, notice here the CONTRAST between those who do not seek God and "my people."] 5 There were they in great fear: for God is in the generation of the righteous. 6 Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the LORD is his refuge.



From its usage in Acts 15:17; Heb. 11:6; 12:17; and 1 Pet. 1:10, it is clear that Paul is NOT REFERRING to an INDIFFERENT SEEKING, but a 'diligently seeking' for God. (The verb has an even more intensified force in Luke 11:50, where it is rendered 'require.') So Paul was not AFFIRMING THAT NO ONE EVER SEEKS GOD AT ALL, but rather that no one diligently seeks God. It might also be significant that this verb is a present participle, which could be either gnomic or customary. If it is customary, it would refer to a regularly recurring action, and thus, could be rendered, "no one customarily and diligently seeks God." Otherwise, if neither of the above were true, Scripture would be in contradiction with itself. I COULD ONLY FIND ABOUT FIFTY VERSES WHICH CONTRADICT YOUR SUPERFICIAL READING OF ROMANS 3:10-11! Why do you ignore the fifty and focus on the one

The context of Psalm 14 is very important, since Paul is quoting it. David is saying that THE ATHEISTIC FOOL, who says in his heart that there is no God, DOES NOT DILIGENTLY SEEK GOD. Although Paul expands the application of David's words somewhat, he is giving a generalized statement about the human race as a whole, extending to both Jews and Gentiles, but not intended to be all-inclusive. This becomes clear from the fifty other references, a few of which will now be examined.

to be continued:

Gary McNees

June 19, 2009 11:11 AM

 
Blogger Gary said...

comment on Rom. 3:10 cont.

Hear God's predictive warning of exile to a disobedient Israel: "But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul" (Deut. 4:29)

"Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face continually" (1 Chr. 16:11).

David's command to Israel's leaders: "Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God;" (1 Chr. 22:19a).

David's exhortation to Solomon: "If you seek Him, He will let you find Him, but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever" (1 Chr. 28:9b).

The prophecy of Azariah the son of Oded: "And if you seek Him, HE WILL LET YOU FIND HIM; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you (2 Chr. 15:2b)

"Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad. Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face continually" (Ps. 105:3b-4).

In Isaiah's wonderful invitation chapter: "Seek the LORD while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the LORD, and He will have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon" (Isa. 55:6-7).

Jeremiah's prophecy to Israel at the end of exile. "Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart" (Jer. 29:12-13).

God's rebuke to apostate Israel: "I will go away and return to My place until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face; in their affliction they will earnestly seek Me" (Hos. 5:15)

Amos's double exhortation: "Seek Me that you may live" (Amos 5:4,6) ( "Seek the LORD, all you humble of the earth" (Zeph. 2:3).

The same idea is present in the New Testament. Acts 17:26-28:

26 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;
27 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:
28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

Gkm: Your interpretation of Rom. 3:10 is just obviously false. This same methodology can be used in Rom. 9. Why don't you try looking up the passages from which Paul got his "potter" analogy? Have you EVER done so?

I have not met a Calvinist yet who takes the context of the potter story into account when interpreting Romans 9.

Gary McNees

June 19, 2009 11:12 AM

 
Blogger Gary said...

Mark Pierson said:

"Mark: So we see that Cornelius and Nicodemas were in the prep stage, they being the ones whom the Father had given to the Son, and had been drawn to Him. They were hearing and learning from the Father at this point. The result: they were ready to be brought forth by the word spoken, James 1:18.

Gkm: While it is true that God was drawing them, HE draws ALL men."
-----------
Yes, He draws all men - "...For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation..." Revelation 5:9

Gkm: Can you say subversion? God says ALL MEN, you change that to what? ALL KINDS OF MEN! SATAN IS STANDING AT YOUR DOOR.
----------------
" Note that what you are saying contradicts what Calvinism teaches."
--------------
No. Calvinists DO believe that the elect need prep work before being brought forth by the Word. No contradiction here.
-----------
"Before regeneration all men are "dead in their sins." Now you use this fact to try to prove that the non-elect cannot respond to the gospel. But here with Cornelius and Nicodemus, although they are "dead in sin," they were hearing, learning, etc."
-------------
Yes, because Nicodemas and Cornelius were preped by the Father and by the Spirit. They are among those whom the Father gives the Son.

Gkm: Unregenerate men DO seek God, they DO understand, learn, and believe God. You can't even keep your Calvinism straight! According to Calvinism dead men can't hear, understand, or believe. I am beginning to think you know so little of Calvinism that I waste my time conversing.
-------------
"Calvinism is a mess. It denies scripture, and is filled with contradictions."
------
gkm: You are blind as a bat. I have proved it several times now. You just keep your head in the sand.

Gary McNees

June 19, 2009 11:17 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Gary,

ya wanna see who's head is in the sand? Check throughout the New Testament and see if the writers maintain the context of the original OT writers. See what percentage of OT prophecies are kept in their original context. A very small amount. What you sugest here strips Paul's message completely. From Romans 3:10 through 3:23 he bringing an endictment agaisnt the human race. After reading it your way it is stripped of any meaning whatsoever.

Note other places where Paul quotes the OT in Romans. Look, for example at Romans 9:25-26, where Paul quotes Hosea 2:23 and 1:10. In the OT setting it is speaking of the children of Israel. In Paul's quote he is including Gentiles - something foreign to the OT passage. In other words Paul quotes the OT and freely changes the context to fit his point. That is just one of many places where the OT quote was given new meaning by the Holy Spirit through the NT writers.

So, no, I reject that way of doing theology, that of having the OT shape the context of the NT.

June 19, 2009 11:50 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Gary,
I have to get ready for work shortly and don't have the time to fully develope my thoughts regarding your reading the Old Testament into the New, and thereby you are doing what you have charged me of doing: That of NOT considering what is actually before us in any given passage.

June 19, 2009 12:29 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

See ya tomorrow, the Lord willing, where I can go into this more with you.

June 19, 2009 12:30 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Reading the Old into the New is the only way your feeble system can survive. More tomorrow.

June 19, 2009 1:00 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

John Piper's The Justification of God
Most Calvinists probably feel that John Piper's 1993 book, The Justifica¬tion of Cod: An Exegetical and Theological Study of Romans 9:1-23, is the capstone of their case. Piper is obviously a brilliant scholar and a major defender of Calvinism. Having his doctorate from the University of Munich, he is thoroughly conversant with the English and German theological litera¬ture. His use of the Greek and Hebrew and extensive citation of that litera¬ture is very impressive. I am sure that it gives Calvinists great security in knowing that a man of this caliber is leading the charge. However, I sug¬gest that his work is badly flawed in a number of very significant ways.

HIS NARROW FOCUS. Right off on his first page, he defensively refers to those who will criticize his narrow focus upon only Romans 9:1-23 as guilty of a "stereotype," which will discount it as "too limited in its scope and blinded by its dogmatic concerns to the larger redemptive-historical issues" (p. 15). This is not at all a stereotype, but a serious concern, not only with the larger redemptive-historical issues, but also with careful consideration of the immediate context of the passage. This he seriously violates, as I shall show. He further claims that he is not losing sight of the forest while focusing on one tree (p. 16). However, it is clear to me that he has totally ignored the two trees in the forest right next to the tree upon which he is focusing (9:9-13 and 9:24-10:21). In so doing, he has cut the tree down and dragged it out of the forest and into the laboratory for a dissection, but in so doing has introduced various fungi from the pseudepigrapha, German scholarship, and a scholastic methodology.

PAUL'S CONCERN FOR JEWS' SALVATION. He makes a good point regarding 9:1-6, that Paul has a major concern for the salvation of his individual Jew¬ish brethren and that this informs the meaning of 9:6-23 as being concerned about the salvation of individuals, not just the roles of nations place in his-tory. SINCE PAUL COMES BACK TO THE ISSUE OF INDIVIDUAL SALVATION IN 9:24-10:21, THIS DOES NOT PROVE THAT 9:6-23 IS FOCUSING UPON INDIVIDUAL ELECTION. These are distinct, yet closely related issues. Piper sets up a false dichotomy, and he denigrates the crucial role which Israel played in salvation-history, by use of the word "merely" (p. 56). Obviously, the salva¬tion of individual Jews had already been and has continued to be vastly affected by the dispensational transition of God's primary focus from the nation Israel to the Church as the bearers of the promise of salvation. He also misses the major Jew/Gentile issue throughout Romans, which is most important in understanding the issues which Paul is addressing, as I high¬lighted in chapter 3, pp. 72-3.

IGNORING THE SUBSEQUENT CONTEXT. He only has a few passing refer¬ences to 9:24-10:21, as can be verified by checking the references in the Scripture index (which I carefully did). There is no discussion at all of this important context. Since Paul's emphasis there is upon the cruciality of faith, which is an important theme of the whole book of Romans (60 refer¬ences), how can he almost totally ignore this section and yet claim to do justice to contextual considerations? Over the years I fielded questions on WFME, I got many questions about Romans 9, and as a moderate Calvinist (at that time), I suggested that the callers also balance off Romans 9 with Romans 10. Now I see that the issue is more than balance, it is a crucial contextual consideration. Although he has extensive discussion of Romans 11, he jumps right over 9:24-10:21 in his long excursis on "The Theological Unity of Romans 9 and 11" (pp. 25-31).

end of part 1, to be continued

June 19, 2009 5:07 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

IGNORING THE FOUNDATIONAL CONTEXT. Even worse, if that were possible, is the way he skips over the crucial introductory context of 9:9-13 with a brief theological discussion (pp. 51-3). Since Paul is establishing the foun¬dation for this whole section, it is exceedingly important to exegete it in sequence. Yet Piper lost it in the crack between pages 70 and 71. Indeed, the way that Piper jumps from one passage to another causes the reader to lose the sequence of Paul's argument. Most importantly, Piper quotes Genesis 25:23 three times, but only once gives the whole verse about "two nations are in your womb," and even then does not discuss the real impli-cations of these words (pp. 61-2). Similarly, he obfuscates Paul's reference later to Jeremiah 18, under the heading, "The traditions behind Romans 9:20, 21," by not only quoting two possibly relevant Isaiah passages, but also extensive discussion of references from the pseudepigrapha. He has no discussion of the national implications of Jeremiah 18:1-8, which is crucial (pp. 194-9). Piper is more concerned with the impact of extra-biblical "traditions" than he is with God's word to the nation Israel through Jere¬miah, in a situation parallel to Paul's.

MISTRANSLATING A KEY VERSE. Piper mistranslates 9:6b by moving the negative from the first clause to the second in the sentence. This violates a fundamental law of logic and totally changes the meaning of the sentence. His corruption: "For all the ones from Israel, these are not Israel" (pp. 58, 65, 67). The existing translations are all correct. Moving the negative ou to the second clause makes the verse into the converse of Paul's statement. A law of logic tells us that the converse of a statement may or may not be true. It is not true that no Jews are the true Israelites, since the early church was mostly Jewish. I am not clear what Piper's agenda was in this, but it is indefensible!

A DEFECTIVE, DEDUCTIVE METHODOLOGY. Piper's whole methodology in the book is faulty and scholastic. He starts out with extensive theological discussion before really getting into the exegesis of the text. This biases the whole exegesis and is a reversal of the proper inductive theological meth¬odology. We must always start with the inductive, exegetical data before we can even begin to do theology. Alan Clifford, in his survey of four major British theologians, criticizes the methodology of John Owen as being scho¬lastic: "Theological arguments are advanced and debated first (albeit with some reference to relevant texts) and the major exegetical discussion fol-lows" (cf. app. L). This is a deductive procedure and only give[sic] the appear¬ance of sound exegesis.

READING IN PREDESTINATION. Piper has a section entitled, "God's means of maintaining His purpose: predestination" (pp. 51-3). The word proorizein does not occur in this whole passage (ch. 9-11), and as I have shown in chapter 7, should never have been translated 'predestination.' Piper gratuitously assumes that election and predestination are synonyms.

IGNORING THE EARLY FATHERS. He states that "Schelkle has gathered relevant material from the early church fathers. We will not rehearse that discussion here" (p. 56). Although I am skeptical about building theology on the church fathers, the testimony of the early fathers is still significant as a confirmation. Did Piper decline because the early fathers did not see absolute election in Romans 9? I suspect from the material I have already adduced in chapter 18 that the early fathers did not in the least support his interpretations. Since his source is in German, he should have shared at least a summary with those who do not have access to the German.
Much more should be and could be said about Piper's book, but space and time do not allow.

From C. Gordon Olson, Beyond Calvinism and Arminianism, pp. 441-443.

June 19, 2009 5:08 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

This Calvinist acknowledges only two dispensations - pre-cross and post-cross.

Paul defines a Jew in Romans 2:28-29, echoing what Jesus said in John 8:37-40. Yes, faith IS the issue; those who believe are the TRUE children of Abraham. To further reveal Paul's thinking on this, what was on his mind, the consistency of his line of thinking, Paul picks that thought up again in Galatians 3:26-29, this time even believing Gentiles are considered among the children of Abraham. Therefore when Paul speaks in Romans 9:6, "they are not all Israel who are of Israel" he clearly IS seeing two groups of people within the nation - those sovereignly chosen to be God's own through faith, and those left to go in their unbelief.

June 20, 2009 11:18 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Again, the practice of having the Old Testament direct the context of what is being discussed in Romans 9 is faulty. Again, check how many times Paul quotes the Old Testament in Romans 9-11, and see if he uses the Old Testament to guide the context of the New. Instead you will notice that the Spirit through Paul changes the context of the OT quote to fit into his argument. This is a practice used throughout the New Testament. Paul's use of Genesis 25:23 in Romans 9:12 is something to notice. He quotes only a portion of that passage. Why? that was the only portion necessary to make his point. If Paul only quoted that small portion why should we insist on using the whole of Gen. 25:23? Would we not then be reading something into a passage that is not there?

June 20, 2009 12:27 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Mark,
Apparently, Gary is unable to discuss and debate Scriptural views directly from the pertinent passages without giving lengthy quotes from his theological books. He refuses to debate our views and instead defaults to debating his own erroneous views of Calvinism. He ends up debating himself. It is a debate between Gary and his own straw men. He ignores us, and even claims we do not believe our assertions when they go against his erroneous Calvinist straw men.

FOR EXAMPLE: He first said he denied that I believed the plain meaning of John 6:47 when I told him I did. Then he said it was impossible to believe John 6:47 and the doctrine of the preservation of the Saints because they contradicted each other. They not only do not contradict each other, it was my proof verse in my post at my site on the perseverance of the Saints. The contradiction is with Gary’s incorrect view of that doctrine. After repeated attempts to show him his error, he insists on clinging to his incorrect view of this doctrine.

Mark, you have done an excellent job trying to break through with a man that seems to be full of hate and anger against those who affirm the doctrines of grace. I admire your patience when he comes at you with comments like the following:

“Liar, Liar pants on fire!

Again you conveniently quote only the part of the verse which seems to support your lie.

A prime example of one who is resisting the Holy Spirit is you right now.

SATAN IS STANDING AT YOUR DOOR.”


Gary, you do a great job of debating your own straw men, but you are extremely weak at keeping your focus on a particular view long enough to discuss it using Scripture alone.

Wayne

June 20, 2009 5:25 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

Mark Pierson said:
Gary,

Mark: Let us consider your handling of 1 John 2:2

1 John 2:2 – "And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." This verse stands, no matter what Mark may say.

Gkm:

What then is forgiveness? Let us now make a simple statement: FORGIVENESS IS NOT A JUDICIAL ISSUE BETWEEN MAN AND GOD, BUT A PERSONAL ISSUE BETWEEN MAN AND GOD.


An illustration may help here. Suppose I go to court on charges of stealing someone's car. The judge before whom I stand does not concern himself with the issue of forgiveness. As a judge, his only concern is with the question of guilt or innocence. He will either clear me or condemn me.
But suppose it was the judge's car that I stole? As an individual he can choose to forgive me, or not to forgive me. But whether he does or not, the decision has nothing to do with his role as a judge. It is purely a personal matter between myself and him.

In the Bible, forgiveness is always a personal matter—whether between man and man or between man and God. Let us consider the interesting passage in Luke 17:3-4 where we read:

"Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, "I repent," you shall forgive him."

Here it is quite evident that there is no issue of "penalty" in the legal or judicial sense of that word. The issue is purely one of personal harmony between the offended party and the offender. That harmony has been disrupted by one brother's sin against another, and upon the offending brother's repentance harmony can be restored by the offended brother extending forgiveness.

There is nothing mysterious about the process just described. All of us understand it instinctively in human relationships. We are not judges sitting in a courtroom and issuing judicial edicts against our sinning brothers. We may indeed exact a personal penalty from our sinning brother. This may take the form of refusing to speak to him, refusing to socialize, cutting off financial or other support, or any number of other things—but all of these are personal actions, not legal decisions.

The same is true in man's dealings with God. At the level of personal harmony with God, forgiveness repairs the rupture caused by sin. Someone has said, appropriately, that forgiveness removes the estrangement between God and man which man's sin has caused.

Yet as we all know, truly born again people can become estranged from God by pursuing a sinful path. But when they repent and return to God (as the Prodigal Son returned to his father), they are forgiven and their harmony with God is restored. The father of the Prodigal Sin forgave his repentant boy and the two went into the house and had a joyous party together!

Repentance and forgiveness of sins, therefore, are not issues in the Final Judgment of mankind. Sin itself, as such, is not an issue either, because Jesus' death on the cross completely satisfied EVERY JUDICIAL DEMAND that God had in connection with man's sin.

But the cross does not automatically regenerate men. It does, however, make regeneration possible. In the same way, since God's judicial demands against sin HAVE BEEN MET, the cross makes possible the repair of the personal barrier between sinful men and a holy God. If that barrier is to be repaired, if harmony is to be restored between the wayward sinner and his Maker, the straying sinner is called upon to repent and to seek forgiveness. When forgiveness is received, God and man can have fellowship with each other.

The forgiven man is not only saved from eternal hell. He is in personal harmony with his God.

The unregenerate man, however, is not forgiven by repentance. He must believe in Christ to receive eternal life, remission of sins, and other benefits of salvation.

Gary McNees

June 20, 2009 8:37 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

continued:

Acts 10: 43 - To Him give all the prophets witness, that through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins.

Those who do not believe, their sins are recorded -

11And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15AND WHOSOEVER WAS NOT FOUND WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF LIFE WAS CAST INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE.

Gkm: Mark, just WHERE do you read above the word "sins?" It is just not there! Why are people cast into hell? Because they did not have eternal life. Why did they not have eternal life? Because they did not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life.

The wrath of God is still ongoing against sinful man -

Ephesians 5:3 - But fornication, and all uncleaness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 4 - Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient; but rather giving of thanks. 5 - For this you know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 - Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the chidren of disobedience.

WORLD (kosmos) does not mean every man. Consider the following -

John 14:16-17 (King James Version)
16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

1 John 5:19 - And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.

Gkm: If you mean to prove that "kosmos" does not mean entire world by this "proof" you are sadly mistaken. John uses the word "kosmos" to refer to the WORLD OF LOST HUMANS, most of the time, such as in John 3:16, etc. Thus the verse you cite above actually proves my point. How is John using the word in the very verse you cite? He is using it to refer to the entire unsaved population. The contrast in John is that "we are not of the world," and that God so loved the "world," meaning the lost in the world. YOU have actually proved yet again that your position is false, NOT TRUE!

Gary McNees

June 20, 2009 8:37 PM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

I still do not believe Gary's assertion that he has actually read all these reformed books. What he has done is read Vance, Hunt, and Olsen who merely quote (and badly out of context, in many cases) reformed writers. Having read a ton of quotes, he then somehow tricks himself into thinking he has actually read all these people. Oh well.

June 20, 2009 9:35 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"1 John 2:2 – "And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." This verse stands, no matter what Mark may say."
-----------
You are YET to prove that "kosmos" means every single man. I have illustrated that it does not by the verses that I have provided. You haven't nor can you prove that it means every single man.

June 21, 2009 2:25 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Your harmony with God Shpeel is nonsequitur. It does not pertain to the discussion.

June 21, 2009 2:28 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"The unregenerate man, however, is not forgiven by repentance. He must believe in Christ to receive eternal life, remission of sins, and other benefits of salvation."
---------------
He is forgiven by repentent faith. At that point he receives eternal life, remission of sins, and other benefits of salvation.

June 21, 2009 2:32 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"Gkm: Mark, just WHERE do you read above the word "sins?" It is just not there! Why are people cast into hell? Because they did not have eternal life. Why did they not have eternal life? Because they did not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life."
-----------
Yes they were cast into hell because their names were not found written in the Book of Life. But you gloss over the fact that there sins were recorded in books, and they were judged according to their works, verses 12 and 13. Incidently the word "works" here is the same Greek as Galatians 5:19 - the works of the flesh.

June 21, 2009 2:41 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"Gkm: Mark, just WHERE do you read above the word "sins?" It is just not there!"
----------------
Gary, here comes the train. baby -
"...cast off the works of darkness" Romans 13:12

"...ministers of darkness, whose end will be according to their works" 2 Cor.11:15

"have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them" Eph. 5:11

"And you, who once were ailienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now he has reconciled..." Colossians 1:21

"...May the Lord repay him according to his works." 2 Tim.4:14

"...but in works they deny Him" Titus 1:16.

June 21, 2009 6:42 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"...did not repent of the works of their hands" Rev. 9:20

"...and repay her double according to her works...Rev. 18:6

June 21, 2009 6:47 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

So I let the New Testament interpret the Old Testament whereever it is quoted. I also say that "works" as seen in Revelation 20:12-13 are those things done throughout the lives of the "dead" mentioned in Rev. 20:12 and 13. There is a record of their works in these books, those mentioned in 20:12. This will determine the degree of punishment these will suffer for eternity.

June 22, 2009 12:44 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

I also advocate that folks read John 6; John 8; John 10; Romans 3; Romans 9; Ephesians chapters 1 and 2 WITHOUT any commentaries, please.

June 22, 2009 12:47 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

In Romans 9 deal ONLY with the material that Paul puts before us. If The Holy Spirit through Paul gave only portions of the Old Testament passages then it is for a reason. Deal ONLY with what IS there.

June 22, 2009 12:51 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Gary's way of reading the Old Testament context into Romans 3 quotes of Psalm 14 makes for a loss of continuity with what Paul is trying to get across in Romans 3:9-23.

June 22, 2009 12:56 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

I must get ready for work now. See ya tomorrow, the Lord willing.

June 22, 2009 12:57 PM

 

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