Archive for May, 2013

Dr. David L. Allen, 2013 John 3:16 Presentation, Part 2/3

Below is a portion of a March 21-22, 2013 John 3:16 Conference presentation.

Read the Baptist Press article about the conference here: http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=39992

A free e-book containing the 2013 John 3:16 Conference presentations is scheduled to be released at SBC Today on May 30, 2013.


Key Scripture Passages on the Relationship Between Regeneration and Faith

            Exegesis must always precede systematic theology . . . logically and temporally! Can the notion of regeneration prior to faith be demonstrated exegetically?

John 1:12-13

In John 1:12-13, the use of the aorist tense verb translated “were born” indicates a past event, and often the inference is drawn that the act of the new birth precedes the act of believing. However, nothing in the grammar or syntax mandates such an interpretation. The verb is passive in voice, indicating that the act of being “born of God” was initiated by God and the one being “born” is the recipient of God’s act. However, one should not conclude that this excludes any participation by man. Nothing in the Greek of the text permits us to draw that inference. Finally, nothing is said that would indicate that being born of God was an act of man’s self-determination or man’s independent free will. None of us believes that “man’s self-determination” has anything to do with our salvation. None of us believes in any free will that is “independent” of God’s sovereignty. Free will does not vitiate God’s sovereignty nor does it eliminate the absolute necessity of God’s grace acting first on man before man can respond to God in faith. Why were the people in John 1:11 not given the right to be adopted? Was it because they weren’t regenerated? No, it was because they had not received Christ. Verse 12 gives the conditions for adoption: receiving Christ and believing on his name.[1]

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Dr. David L. Allen, 2013 John 3:16 Presentation, Part 1/3

Below is a portion of a March 21-22, 2013 John 3:16 Conference presentation.

Read the Baptist Press article about the conference here: http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=39992

A free e-book containing the 2013 John 3:16 Conference presentations is scheduled to be released at SBC Today on May 30, 2013.


Does Regeneration Precede Faith?

David L. Allen, Ph.D.

 

Introduction

            Most Calvinists believe that regeneration precedes faith. Consider the following statements:

“A man is not saved because he believes in Christ; he believes in Christ because he is saved.”[1]

“A man is not regenerated because he has first believed in Christ, but he believes in Christ because he has been regenerated.”[2]

“We do not believe in order to be born again; we are born again that we may believe.”[3]

“Faith is the evidence of the new birth, not the cause of it.”[4]

“. . . regeneration is the necessary precondition and efficient cause of faith in Jesus Christ.”[5]

“the revived [regenerated] heart repents and trusts Christ in saving faith as the only source of justification.”[6]

Some Calvinists believe that regeneration can occur in infancy and remain inactive until faith years later.[7] Other Calvinists reject the notion that regeneration precedes faith.[8]

Why do most Calvinists believe regeneration precedes faith? There are two reasons. First, most Calvinists define total depravity to mean total inability in the sense that a person cannot exercise faith unless regenerated. Second, appeal is made to key Scripture passages such as John 1:12-13; 3:1-16; Eph. 2:1-10; and 1 John 5:1. We shall consider these reasons in a moment.

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Patterson’s points persuade toward unity and amity

by Dr. James Willingham

Southwestern Seminary president, Dr. Paige Patterson, made two points in a blog post a few months ago on Election* that could yield spectacular results.

His post, and specifically points 7 and 8, I think could end the Calvinist/Traditionalist bickering, could lead to implementing another move like Jonathan Edwards’ Humble Attempt in a worthwhile prayer effort, and could result in the Third Great Awakening.

In Patterson’s Eight Theses on Election, points 7 and 8 light the way.

Point 7 involves humility while point 8 evokes this question: “Why is the doctrine of Election in the Bible?”

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Further Reflections on Theological Triage

 

by a Baptist Theologian(Comments on this post are closed temporarily. I you have further questions or comments, please email them to SBCToday.)

Today, I read yet another presentation of the Calvinist attempt, popularized in SBC circles by Al Mohler, to define fellowship by three levels of doctrine. Again, I left the little essay impressed at the tightness and tidiness of the system yet distressed at its utter unworkableness and narrowness.Who decides what doctrines are necessary to be accepted as a Christian? On the basis of what revelation was the system constructed? On the basis of what texts were the necessary doctrines decided? Could it be that there are those who may affirm the necessary doctrines, yet they are not really saved? Is a human saved by systematic theology, or by grace through faith in the risen Lord, the Son of God? Can Calvinists really claim that Calvinism is countenanced at best in the Baptist Faith and Message?

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Dream On

By Walker Moore

I was born a dreamer. I will die a dreamer. My two sons are dreamers, and I hope my coming grandson will be one, too.

I tend to think of dreaming as a gift from God. My wife and those who work for me thinks it’s a curse. Somewhere in the middle lies the truth. It’s a challenge to live and work with a dreamer, and I understand that. Every day, I see new horizons, and I see them with clarity and passion.

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