The Lamb’s Book of Life:
Who’s In and Who’s Out?
By Ronnie Rogers – Part 4 of 4

July 21, 2012

Read Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

John MacArthur says that the book contains the names of all “those chosen for salvation.” As a Calvinist, this means that God unconditionally elected them to salvation, and they will receive the internal efficacious call, irresistible grace, resulting in regeneration followed by an inevitable free choice to believe. Immediately following these words he says, “Unbelievers, those whose names are not recorded in the book of life, will ‘perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved’ (2 Thessalonians 2:10). Scripture also teaches that the faithless will be judged because they ‘did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness’ (2 Thessalonians 2:12). While the eternally elect are saved through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:16; 5:24; Acts 13:39; 16:31; Romans 3:22–30; 4:5; 10:9–10; Galatians 3:22-26; Ephesians 2:8–9), the nonelect are lost because they refuse to believe the gospel (John 3:36; Romans 1:18-32; 2:8; 2 Thessalonians 1:8–9; 1 Peter 2:8; 4:17). Unbelief and rejection always indicate those persons whose names were not written … in the book of life.”[i]

As a disenchanted Calvinist, I would say the same thing about these Scriptures as MacArthur did, but the truth of Calvinism transmogrifies these statements and what they imply. The truth of Calvinism is those not in the book cannot “receive the love of the truth so as to be saved”; the faithless did not believe because they cannot believe. What’s more, the eternally elect do not receive salvation through faith—faith as the first part of salvation or condition of salvation—because they actually receive salvation through unconditional election that is executed by forced regeneration and is followed by an inescapable free act of faith. Finally the non-elect are not lost because they merely refuse to believe the gospel—clearly implying that they could have believed—but rather they refuse the gospel because God did not choose to elect them but rather leave them to do what they could only do, and that is to refuse. This is a disquieting reality.

Calvinism is not devoid of passion for seeing the lost come to Christ. Nevertheless, if logic prevails, it is only a vertical passion. That is to say, it is a passion to carry out the mandate of God, to be used by God to gather His elect. It cannot be a Holy Spirit led horizontal passion, which is a burden, love and hurt for all of the lost of the world, or even each particular individual, to come to know Christ. For the God of Calvinism does not even have such passion. A consistent Calvinist’s passion is not actually toward the individual but always toward God, which some Calvinists would revel in as vindicating Calvinism. However, that is only true if the Scripture supports such, and I do not think it does. Further, if Calvinism is true, unless the Calvinist knows that God has truly drawn him to one of His elect—which seems impossible to objectively know—the Calvinist needs to refuse to give in to horizontal passion because it can only be mere human sentiment or satanic influence, both of which would actually be contrary to God’s passion.

Calvinism’s passion cannot logically, being consistent with Calvinism, be toward the lost in the same way as the simple reading of the Scripture conveys God’s, Christ’s, Paul’s or others’ passion toward all, each person, the lost of the world. If a Calvinist is so disposed, it is an inconsistency with Calvinism rather than a corollary of Calvinism. This is a disquieting reality. As a Calvinist, I would have denied—double-talked my way out of—the truthfulness of this conclusion, but as a disenchanted Calvinist, its undeniableness is indubitable.

 

What about straw men? Piper says, “this represents God’s free and unconditional election before we are ever born or have done anything to merit God’s blessing.”[ii] Although, I am not sure whether Piper is including the exercise of faith as meritorious, it is common for Calvinists to accuse anyone who believes God conditioned the reception of salvation upon faith as adding works. This caricature by Calvinists is actually a straw man and unbiblical. The Scripture is clear that the offer of salvation is unconditional, but the condition for receiving it is grace-enabled faith (John 3:16, 8:24).

Furthermore, the believer gets no credit for faith because there is absolutely no merit in faith, because faith is the antithesis of works (Romans 4:2-5). Faith is the means for receiving not the reason for receiving. Faith is giving up on oneself and placing all hope in another. Faith is the total abandonment of any and every hope of offering anything on our own to prompt divine favor or establish ourselves before God. Further, faith is God’s condition for receiving salvation, but not the condition for the offer of salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9). Moreover, the reason for a person being able to receive is God’s grace. Faith is a gift of God, but not in the sense that God only gave the gift to some. Faith is a gift from God because it affords man the capacity to believe, the possibility of believing, the content of belief, the persuasion of truth, and the enabling of the individual to believe.[iii]

Paul says, “For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all” (Romans 4:16. See also Romans 10:3-5). Thus, Paul’s declaration that faith is “in accordance with grace” is in stark contrast to the pronouncements of many Calvinists. Therefore, being in accord with grace, it is in no way meritorious or works. John Walvoord notes, “Responding in faith to God’s promise is not meritorious, because the promise springs from His grace, His disposition of favor toward those who deserve His wrath. The human exercise of faith is simply the prerequisite response of trust in God and His promise. Since faith and grace go together, and since the promise is by grace, the promise can be received only by faith, not by the Law.”[iv]

 


[i]John MacArthur, Revelation 12-22, 49 (Chicago, Ill.: Moody Press, 2000).

[iii] Robert E. Picirilli, Grace, Faith, Free Will – Contrasting Views of Salvation: Calvinism and Arminianism, (Nashville: Randall House, 2002), 167.

[iv]John F. Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck and Dallas Theological Seminary, The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures, (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983-c1985), 2:454. Walvoord is a four-point Calvinist. Consequently, he may place regeneration prior to faith, but I am not sure so I take his statement at face value.

 

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Jeremy Crowder

Wow vertical vs. horizonal passion is to me one of the most controversial things I’ve read posted from the book so far. This is going to an area that many people hint at but few openly seem to state. Usually when I get to this area with Calvinists they name the many successful Evangelists that were calvinist Baptists or missionaries. They may name Lottie Moon, William Carey, and of course Spurgeon. This seems to be proof that they have every bit the concern for the lost as others. I’ve never heard of a good answer when those noted names come up. Perhaps some Church history experts can tell us if Lottie Moon or Spurgeon had vertical passion. I’m not saying Pastor Rogers is not correct because I’ve often as a non-calvinist had a similar impression but Church history makes it hard to prove.

    Bill Mac

    It doesn’t really matter if people come up with names of Calvinists who truly had a passion and love for the lost, or if Calvinists come on here and claim they have a love for the lost. The author has already foreseen that objection, and will simply say that the person just isn’t a good (consistent) Calvinist. I predict the phrase of the week (double talk) will come up repeatedly.

    Each successive post in this series has produced more vitriol in the comments than the previous one, but I think this one will set records.

      Bill Mac

      This does make me wonder, since the author asserts that Calvinists can’t truly love the lost, not like all you non-Calvinists, if we simply lost that love when we became Calvinist, since I’m pretty sure most SBC Calvinists started out as non-Calvinists.

        Norm Miller

        Bill Mac: Are you saying Pastor Rogers is vitriolic, or others have responded in that fashion? If the latter, then the articles aren’t to blame, but those who choose vitriol as a response are. — Norm

          Bill Mac

          Norm: The comments section.

    Bill Mac

    I’ve never heard of a good answer when those noted names come up

    Jeremy: One possible answer is that the author might simply be wrong.

    Bob Hadley

    Jeremy,

    I think you are probably correct in your assessment here. I understand what Rogers is saying and while the theology calvinism posits does lend to his conclusions, I would probably argue with the calvinist here that the FACT that no one knows who is and is not the elect, we all need to love one another in this life and leave the results up to God. I think in most cases, the charge that calvinists are not evangelistic is unfounded.

    I do see the validity of the argument theologically but not in practice.

    ><>”

Matt

So many things could be said about this instalment from Pastor Rogers’ book. I think I’ll begin with what I see as, not only a misrepresentation, but an insult to Calvinists. Pastor Rogers writes, “it is a passion to carry out the mandate of God, to be used by God to gather His elect. It cannot be a Holy Spirit led horizontal passion, which is a burden, love and hurt for all of the lost of the world, or even each particular individual, to come to know Christ.”

To start with, I can see no purer or greater reason for doing anything than out of a desire to please our gracious Creator and Savior. Anything that we do or are even capable of doing is nothing but filth in the sight of a holy God if there is no desire to please and obey our Lord behind the action.

However, this passion to please God in no way excludes a passion for people. Pastor Rogers seems to portray the God we Calvinist believe in as a Sadist who has no compassion toward sinners at all, except for the elect. God is a just God, and His justness requires punishment for sins. Having perfect knowledge, He knows that His purposes are best achieved by actually punishing some people for thier sins, while showing mercy and providing atonement for others. This does not mean that He sadisticly takes pleasure in punishing the wicked; the Bible is clear that He does not.

As a Calvinist, I can’t tell you who is and who is not elect. I have been told to proclaim the gospel to all equally as I have the opportunity. I should be happy and more than sufficiently motivated to do this simply because my Creator and Redeemer has commanded it. However, as a Calvinist, I have another great motivator. I know that I am a terrible sinner who deserves nothing but the wrath of God. Those who know my testamony know that I have sinned in ways that would make many in hell blush. I have earned for myself a far worse punishment than most, but only due to the grace of God have I been spared. There is nothing that I have ever done that separates me from the people in hell right now. I don’t flatter myself that I’m smarter than everone who has ever gone to hell. If it wasn’t for the grace of God I would never have made the decision that they failed to make. I don’t know why God chose to give me faith and a desire to please Him, but I know that I don’t deserve it. Knowing myself, knowing what I deserve, and knowing that I have never done anything to differentiate myself from other sinners before God gave me the gift of spiritual life; how could I not have a passion for other sinners. I am no better than the non-elect. Nothing in me determined my election.

Even if we only set out to “vertically” please God. Wouldn’t it be impossible to obey His command to love your neighbor without actually loving your neighbor. I feel as though Pastor Rogers view of Calvinism is based on an inaccurate view of what he thought other Calvinists thought. Do you really think that the people he mentions do not have a passion for people?

God Bless

    T.R.

    More hypocrisy from the pen of Ronnie. And more hypocrisy from sbctoday for posting this worthless attack.

      volfan007

      TR,

      Can you please tell us your name? We’d like to know who is spewing out all of these hateful comments….

      David

      T.R.

      I am done listening to and commenting about the obvious hypocrisy of SBCtoday, Ronnie and some Traditionalists here.

        John Wylie

        TR,

        No you’re done because you can’t handle being called down for your unchristian comments. A more noble man would have apologized but you refused, I can see now why you won’t let us know who you are.

    Steve

    Thanks for your input. I struggle to understand Calvinism, so please don’t take my questions as an attack but just simple inquiry. In your comment you state that “As a Calvinist, I can’t tell you who is and who is not elect.” This sounds right as we don’t know the mind of God and shouldn’t presume to.
    However, later in your comment you state, “I am no better than the non-elect. Nothing in me determined my election.” It seems that you consider yourself to be of the elect.

    How does the Calvinist reconcile these two sentiments? Are you not ‘leaning on your own understanding’ if you in any way consider yourself elect?

    Furthermore, if one does not know whether one is elect, and one can in any case have faith that if they are the elect that they will be brought into the fold irresistibly, what reason would anyone have to deny the corrupt nature of man until that calling comes? In other words, wouldn’t any statement espousing value for the non-elect to obey God depend on some reward for the non-elect, and what can that be besides some reprieve from hell? Does the Calvinist believe in a hell resembling Dante’s in the sense that there are multiple levels of punishment for depending on how bad the non-elect were?
    I’d appreciate any response. Thank you.

Bob Hadley

I am not going to agree with Rogers’ treatment of faith in this post. I do agree that “Faith is giving up on oneself and placing all hope in another. Faith is the total abandonment of any and every hope of offering anything on our own to prompt divine favor or establish ourselves before God.” I believe he is correct in saying, “Further, faith is God’s condition for receiving salvation, but not the condition for the offer of salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9).”

It must be noted, the calvinist will also agree with this statement as well. The following statements are where I will disagree with Rogers. He writes, “Moreover, the reason for a person being able to receive is God’s grace. Faith is a gift of God, but not in the sense that God only gave the gift to some. Faith is a gift from God because it affords man the capacity to believe, the possibility of believing, the content of belief, the persuasion of truth, and the enabling of the individual to believe.[iii]”

Now when Rogers writes, ” “Moreover, the reason for a person being able to receive is God’s grace.” the issue for me is, receives what? If the what is salvation, then the statement is accurate as I see it. If the what is faith, then I have a serious problem.

Rogers continues, “Faith is a gift from God because it affords man the capacity to believe, the possibility of believing, the content of belief, the persuasion of truth, and the enabling of the individual to believe.[iii]” I hate to point this out, but this is calvinism 101. In fact, if faith is a gift from God then it does much more than affords man the capacity to believe. The gift of faith results in conversion. This is the underlying basis for the calvinist platform.

Faith is NOT a gift of God. Look at the following passage that Rogers cites: “For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all” (Romans 4:16.”

Take the phrase, ““For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace”… what does “it” refer to? Some will argue and it seems that this is Rogers’ position that the “it” refers to faith and so there is this link to grace and faith as if BOTH are from God. Obviously grace is and by linking them together faith and grace are gifts from God. This is an erroneous implication.

“It” refers to “promise.” In this case, the verse more accurately reads, “For this reason it (the promise of conversion) is by faith, in order that it (the promise) may be in accordance with grace,… here in accordance with God’s grace is tantamount to saying accordance to the provisions that God has made available for men to be saved.

I believe this is confirmed in Rogers’ quote from John Walvoord, “Responding in faith to God’s promise is not meritorious, because the promise springs from His grace, His disposition of favor toward those who deserve His wrath. The human exercise of faith is simply the prerequisite response of trust in God and His promise. Since faith and grace go together, and since the promise is by grace, the promise can be received only by faith, not by the Law.”[iv]

><>”

    Bob Hadley

    WHAT NO RESPONSE… NOT EVEN A WHISPER???

    ><>”

      Dale Pugh

      Maybe everyone is out mowing their grass this afternoon. It’s too hot here in TX, so I’m at my laptop.
      I’m sure someone will be back here soon to charge you with semi-Pelagianism, Bob. Take heart, brother……..(I’d add a smiley face emoticon, but that would be sophomoric.)

      Darryl Hill

      Bob I don’t think people are responding to your post because you are a trad who is disagreeing with a post on sbctoday. I don’t think they know how to act.

      For what it’s worth, while I don’t agree with the position you hold, I agree that you should question what Rogers has written here regarding faith. He seems to be advocating a form of prevenient grace in this book, which is something trads have denied.

        Bob Hadley

        Darryl,

        The trads are not at a loss for words just because I am disagreeing with this post. Now, I am not sure why you would be wanting me to challenge Rogers’ words on faith here for his position seems to me to be right out of the calvinist playbook. I am not sure that he is as you suggest, suggesting a prevenient grace…

        For once faith is given, conversion is the result. As I indicated in my post, grace can be resisted but not faith; faith brings about conversion… period. It is impossible to resist faith since Faith is giving up on oneself and placing all hope in another. Faith is the total abandonment of any and every hope of offering anything on our own to prompt divine favor or establish ourselves before God. Further, faith is God’s condition for receiving salvation.

        So, I would say your being critical of what he has written here would be detrimental to your own position where faith and conversion are concerned; at least as I read it.

        ><>”

          Not The Original Les

          Bob,

          Just a point of order.

          “For once faith is given, conversion is the result. As I indicated in my post, grace can be resisted but not faith; faith brings about conversion… period.”

          I believe you’ve said elsewhere, correctly I might add, that repentance and faith constitute conversion. And that is how theologians of both persuasions have seen it, I think. At least we of the Reformed faith anyway.

          We see repentance and faith as the necessary response to the new birth. And maybe that’s why you explain it the way you do.

          Anyway, Darryl may very well be right. Your other trads don’t quite know what to say. No one of you has yet disagreed with a trad post. This is uncharted territory.

          And I assure you, no true Calvinist would agree with Ronnie on anything I’ve seen yet.

          Grace to you,

          Les

            Bob Hadley

            Les,

            I think it is far to say that the difference in our views of conversion is rooted in your own language… We see repentance and faith as the necessary response to the new birth.

            I see repentance and faith as necessary for new birth; not a response to it.

            New birth takes place when the Holy Spirit takes up residence in a person’s heart. The Holy Spirit comes after repentance and faith… not before.

            ><>”

            Not The Original Les

            Brother Bob,

            Yes, that is the difference. The before or after work of the Spirit.

            Just to further clarify, I believe that God’s Spirit comes on a sinner and invades that sinner via what we call regeneration or the new birth. The sinner is awakened spiritually, is able to hear God, see the kingdom and Christ and his glory and then as it were falls prostrate before God as a man undone by the sight of his sin (which he previously could not see). He repents and exercises faith and is thus converted. He is a new man.

            In your view, as I understand it, the Spirit comes on a man and does some work of conviction. The man then decides whether or not to believe. If he chooses to exercise faith and repents, then the Spirit goes further with the man and the Spirit comes on and in the man permanently. If the man refuses to believe, the Spirit withdraws from the man, at least for that time, maybe to come on the man another time. Is that right?

            Preach the word today brother.

            Les

          Darryl Hill

          No Bob, you are right. I agree with him on the part regarding faith being a gift from God. I was simply saying that you are correct in pointing out the fact that this view of his is different from the trad view that you and others have been espousing, which is neither Calvinist nor arminian. This view of faith from Rogers, along with some other portions of his writings, appear to me to espouse prevenient grace or a form of it- which is clearly Arminian.

          So I was simply agreeing with you that you are right to point out that Rogers’ position isn’t consistent with the traditional statement you guys originally signed.

          Darryl Hill

          One quick clarification… I do not agree with Rogers’ view as a whole regarding faith, just that faith is a gift of God. It would appear that Rogers either has faith given to all men in preparation for the hearing of the Gospel Or he has faith given as a gift along with the Gospel. It seems to me that he has faith as a naturally occurring gift God gives to every man, which equips every man with the possibility to respond to the Gospel. That is prevenient grace.

            Mike Davis

            Yes, for someone so concerned about double-talk, Pastor Rogers’ comments about faith as a hypothetical gift are very confusing:

            Faith is a gift of God, but not in the sense that God only gave the gift to some. Faith is a gift from God because it affords man the capacity to believe, the possibility of believing, the content of belief, the persuasion of truth, and the enabling of the individual to believe.[iii]
            So the Rogersism view is that everyone is given faith, because otherwise the Calvinists would be right that only the elect are given faith. But if everyone is given faith then faith must be redefined so that it is not faith, or else everyone would be saved, and Pastor Rogers is not ready to go that far. So what you thought was faith is really only hypothetical faith. It only grants the capacity to believe, the possibility to believe. He has taken the Arminian concept of prevenient grace and renamed it the gift of faith, but only possible faith. It is not the Traditionalist view, which says that humans never lost the ability to believe because Traditionalists hold that libertarian free will was never lost. I too am surprised more Traditionalists did not correct this paragraph from Pastor Rogers, it is neither Traditionalist nor Arminian.

Not The Original Les

I’m not so much energized to write corrections to the numerous errors in this post. Rogers seems to get so much wrong about Calvinists more and more with each successive post. A key word here is “disquieting.” Rogers just seems to not like the implications of scriptural Reformation theology.

If these posts are part of an attempt at a healthy dialogue about soteriology, they are failing more and more. This post may very well be the most insulting of all the posts thus far. This post does not contribute to a healthy dialogue.

    T.R.

    “Rogers seems to get so much wrong about Calvinists more and more with each successive post.”

    Exactly. I have no reason to believe that Ronnie was ever a Calvinist. He gets so many things about Calvinism wrong, I have no reason to believe he ever understood it in the first place. Deception.

      volfan007

      TR,

      Do you have any evidence of deception on Ronnie Rogers post, or do you just slander people? You sound like a very mean spirited, angry person from your comments.

      David

        T.R.

        It is deception to pretend that Ronnie ever understood Calvinism.

          Dale Pugh

          I thought you said you were done commenting. You said that at 11:07. Your current comment is at 11:09.
          Sorry, just couldn’t resist.

          selahV

          T. R., which is what we who are not Calvinists hear every time we say something about calvinism, either we never were, never understood, can never understand, do not embrace, have not been enlightened, are “fools”, “foolish”, ignorant, unintelligent, unteachable, divisive, unbelievable, mis-representative, mis-characterizing, straw-man builders, wrong-wrong-wrong, dumb, stupid, blind, obtuse, and ANTI.

          Has any Calvinist point to any person who is not a Calvinist who understands Calvinism? Are there any Christians out there who can explain Calvinism without being a Calvinist? selahV

          Eddie OBrien

          T.R.
          I thought when you said, “I am done listening to and commenting about the obvious hypocrisy of SBCtoday…” that you were on to something… You should!

Bob Hadley

One other comment: Rogers wrote, “Faith is a gift from God because it affords man the capacity to believe, the possibility of believing, the content of belief, the persuasion of truth, and the enabling of the individual to believe.”

I believe this statement would be more accurately as follows: GRACE is a gift from God that affords man the capacity to believe, the possibility of believing, the content of belief, the persuasion of truth, and the enabling of the individual to believe. Faith is the exercise of our response to His grace.

><>”

Steve Martin

“Faith is a gift of God.” St. Paul

I don’t believe it has anything to do with our capacity. When Jesus spoke to Nicodemus, he told him as much.

If we believe, God gets all the credit. If we don’t, we get all the blame. The Calvinist doesn’t believe that. But it is biblical.

Listen to this (please). It ex[plains it better than I ever could:

http://theoldadam.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/i-believe-that-i-cannot-believe.mp3

It’s the best sermon that I have ever heard on the matter. Bar none.

Darryl Hill

So now I don’t even have concern for the souls of men, eh? I guess I must be a disgruntled Calvinist too because I have had a greater desire to share the Gospel since I became convinced of sovereign grace than I ever had before. I guess I just haven’t thought it through and should just yield to brother Rogers and start hating people and be consistent. Oh well. (pardon my sarcasm)

    volfan007

    Darryl,

    I believe the thought Ronnie Rogers was trying to get across was that Calvinist witness just to obey God, for God’s glory…..and just to see who is elect. Is that not a true statment to make about a Calvinist, because you dont really believe that all people can be saved?

    Whereas, non Calvinists have a desire to share the Gospel with all people everywhere, because we really do believe that all people can be saved…every one of them. We believe that God really desires the salvation of every person, and that every person truly can be saved.

    Now, Darryl, please share with me how this is wrong about Calvinists? Do you all not believe that the elect were chosen before the world began? And, that only the elect will be able to respond to the Gospel? And, that no one is of the non elect is able to respond to the Gospel?

    David

      Bill Mac

      Is that not a true statment to make about a Calvinist,

      No, it is not.

        volfan007

        Bill Mac,

        So, are you saying that a 5 pt. Calvinist really, truly believes that every person is able to be saved, and that God really desires for every person to be saved?

        David

          Bill Mac

          I do not worry for one moment about who is elect and who isn’t. As far as I know, every person who hears the Gospel may respond and be saved. Every single one. What God is doing in their hearts and minds is His business.

          I don’t know what to do with your desire question, because God has allowed untold millions to be born who have not had access to the Gospel. To be saved without a Gospel preacher is impossible, is it not?

            Eddie OBrien

            …yet as far as I know ALL of those “untold millions” who died without the gospel were very religious people… it is just that they had chosen to worship false gods… At some point, they willfully rejected the one true God… Or, perhaps the 5pt would suggest that since God had not elected them, that there is no use to send a gospel preacher to them, since Christ did not shed His blood for them and they “could never” be saved anyway?

      Alan Davis

      David,

      You may be right in what brother Rogers was trying to get across…witness, preach etc. just to please God. I know that in my experiance before I came to terms with God’s soverigen work in everything including salvation, I witnessed because I thought in some small way God needed me. I went home some monday nights worried if I had done evrything right, said everything right and actually thought that people would go to hell because I wasn’t good enough at witnessing. All this stemmed from my perception that God needed me. (these are my experiances, I am NOT saying they were right) After I came to terms with God’s soverigen grace as I see the scriptures ( and I came to terms with this years before I had ever heard of Calvin or tulip. I came to terms with a Bible and a conconcordance over a three day period. Another deacon begin to complain because a certain evangelist our pastor wanted to bring in “believed in election”. I thought…hmmmmm….I know that I have seen that in my Bible, so I went home and started my on study with no knowledge whatsoever of Calvin or Tulip or any of that) Afetr coming to terms I realized I was witnessing for God’s glory and to honor Him, and that He would be in charge of the success, I just needed to be faithful to studing and preparation and consitant in “preaching the gospel to the world”. So I can see why he might have that outlook, however I have found that when I do something for the glory of God as the highest motivation I have a deeper blove for all people and a deeper sorrow for my sins and their condition. Just my experiance, not sure about brother Rogers experiance.

      Alan

        Alan Davis

        And just a small note here. I would call myself more of a Spurgeonist than a Calvinists and the Church I pastor and there is one more SBC church in our Association which would be similar. Both of these churches have been historically in the top 5 in Baptisms in our association of 62 churches for the last 14 years. Not that numbers always mean good stuff but I think these numbers are some evidence that at least these two Churches have a heart for souls. I am sure that most our Churches from both camps have a heart for souls and their pastors.

        Alan

      Darryl Hill

      No David it is not true that I witness just to see who is elect. I am motivated to witness out of obedience and for the glory of God but also out of compassion and love for people. My attitude is this: if God can save me He can save anyone. And since I didn’t deserve grace I am even more understanding of where they are and the sin which enslaves them.

      This thought, that Calvinists really don’t love or care for people, is probably the most insulting thing that I have ever read.

      But I have learner here that it doesn’t matter what I say, trade here will believe their own assumptions. I guess I would like to know what brother Rogers felt toward the lost when he was a Calvinist. Did he not care about people?

        Darryl Hill

        I have “learned” and “trads”. Auto correct is not good sometimes. Sorry.

          Lydia

          “Ok, let’s flesh this out. Then you are in favor of slavery…assuming you are a SB. See how that “guilt today by history” thing works?”

          That was the “Presbyterian” trained wing of the SBC. :o)
          In Broadus’ bio of Boyce, he said that Boyce was against succession until he realized not succeeding would end slavery. Boyce believed that slavery was a good thing so they could “disciple” the slaves in Christianity.

          My ancestors were also SBC and part of the underground railroad in Northern Kentucky. They were never Presbyterians before the founding of the SBC. But Baptist through and through. :o) History is always interesting and more nuanced than we can imagine.

          “Lydia, whatever your understanding of the history of Calvinism is, and I know…you read around history…it is intellectually dishonest to paint Calvinism and thus Calvinists of today in the same way. Unless of course you don’t also mind being called a racists slave approver.”

          The Calvinists of history love hierarchies. The Calvinists of today love heirarchies. The difference to me is that today, carrying that to it’s logical conclusion is illegal. Calvinists today cannot be Theocratic like the Puritans, Boers, Geneva, etc.

          “Then, there’s a systemized statement that NOT ONE non-Calvinists on these several blogs will even disagree publicly with one jot or tittle of said document. ”

          You lost me here.

          “Lydia, I sent the better part of 2 hours last week in Haiti with an American who is of another religion. A well known false religion. And I spent that time because of a deep concern and love for him. We talked about man, sin, Christ and salvation and repentance and faith. Had you been listening in, I bet you one of my children (well, on some days anyway) you could not tell if I am a Calvinist or not. ”

          Very promising. Thank you.

          “It is a silly notion that most Calvinists preach Calvinism and say something like, “Repent and believe in Calvin.””

          I don’t think so. That is what is being defended here as if Calvin equals scriptural truths. And Spurgeon quotes of Calvinism is the Gospel or whatever.

          “But hey, so Ronnie and all you trads and trad types think we don’t witness from a love for our fellow man. Ok. I’m so thankful that the only One who can know my heart and motives (not Ronnie and not you nor anyone else reading this) is the only one who matters.”

          Knowing hearts and motives is silly. And meaningless. We can only go by what Calvinism teaches and the double speak we see here concerning how it works. And Calvinism teaches that God elects, gives the faith to believe and passes over many who have no choice in the matter. You do the robotic thing because God demands it. Man really has no part in it at all.

          Not The Original Les

          Lydia,

          Don;t know how you ended up here.

          Of course it was the Presbyterians. (V=8 butt of palm to the forehead)

          Sorry I lost you on the systems. Point is you non-system folks have a system. You just don’t acknowledge it.

          “Knowing hearts and motives is silly. And meaningless.”

          Would you send that memo to Ronnie and the rest of the trads here? Thanks.

          “You do the robotic thing because God demands it. Man really has no part in it at all.”

          Wrong and wrong. One of these days you all may get it. Keep trying.

          Anyway, keep painting with a broad brush. It only helps us Reformed biblicists.

          Grace,

          Les

            Lydia

            “Sorry I lost you on the systems. Point is you non-system folks have a system. You just don’t acknowledge it.”

            Yes and the irony is that the SBC used to be a “cooperating convention” full of many different “systems”. Then we have the Founders and fellow travellors like Mohler, etc, who decided that SBC churches needed their particular system. And here we are today.

        Lydia

        “This thought, that Calvinists really don’t love or care for people, is probably the most insulting thing that I have ever read.”

        After spending so much time with survivors from the Reformed Calvinist churches of Mars Hill and SGM, I can tell you there is a definite lack of love for people. It is more about growing numbers to have control and authority over people. The polity is designed to have elders who decide who is saved and who isn’t (keys to the kingdom teaching out of CHBC) and church discipline power misused on people.

        The bait for growth is “we have the real truth” and others don’t. My fear is we have indoctrinated these methods in our YRR coming out of our seminaries and they call such methods “love” for others. But it is not love. It is about power and control.

        I think the clear connections are there with these groups and I have heard “Driscollish” in many YRR comments on SBC blogs over the last 5-6 years. We have leaders who have partnered and/or promoted Driscoll/Acts 29 and Mahaney (shepherding cult) for a while now. Both have been lifted up as examples to follow for our YRR and both have cultic groups where people have been spiritually abused. To deny this is and not confront what we have allowed is dishonest. Now, we are seeing Doug Wilson affirmed by the Gospel Coalition which some of our leaders have partnered with and endorsed for young minds. I fear for our future. There is lots of cultic type thinking coming from these Reformed movements that is anything but Baptistic. And their growth has not been about “love” but having followers for themselves.

        I am sorry if this makes our Reformed wing angry but we need to confront this. We have many YRR who revere Driscoll, Mahaney and Piper (who is now promoting Doug Wilson)

          Not The Original Les

          Lydia,

          Yes as Darryl it is insulting and perhaps the most insulting and productive conversation ending said yet by trads. Well, at least no trads have disagreed with him on it as I have seen.

          You may surely have seen abuses. You may surely have seen a lack of love by some who call themselves Calvinists.

          But Ronnie’s very broad brush statement is just plain wrong. There are many, and I dare say most, Calvinists who have great love for God’s people and for the lost. A lack of love for the lost is not inherent in Calvinism.

          Now, it can surely be said that both you and I do not love the lost as we should. That applies to trads and Calvinists.

          One more thing. A few weeks ago, a non Calvinist denied the imputation of Christ’s righteousness on this site. No trad I saw called him on it. Not one.

          It would still be unfair for me to say that Trads deny imputed righteousness. Same with you dear Lydia. You’ve seen some abuses of power and lack of love. Don’t paint all of us with that brush.

          Grace,

          Les

            Lydia

            Les,

            I don’t buy “love for the lost” by the “system of Calvinism” based upon history. My question is, are people being saved to that “system”.

            To be just, I would say the seekers witness to people to be saved to that system, too. In that system, it is more about inviting them to church than telling them the truths about Christ and then hope they pick it up when at church.

            It is more of a “Join the movement”, sort of thing. I fear the same for Calvinism using different methods.

            When the basic truth is a relationship with Jesus Christ. It is very simple. Repent and believe. Jesus’ first sermon.

            “It would still be unfair for me to say that Trads deny imputed righteousness. Same with you dear Lydia.”

            That depends on what Calvinist you are talking to and what the definition of “imputed righteousness” is on that particular day. If there is one thing I have learned from all this over the past 6 or so years talking to Calvinists, YRR, NC, etc, is that definitions are different and they change depending on the audience and the timing.

            Not The Original Les

            Lydia,

            “I don’t buy “love for the lost” by the “system of Calvinism” based upon history. My question is, are people being saved to that “system”.”

            Ok, let’s flesh this out. Then you are in favor of slavery…assuming you are a SB. See how that “guilt today by history” thing works?

            Lydia, whatever your understanding of the history of Calvinism is, and I know…you read around history…it is intellectually dishonest to paint Calvinism and thus Calvinists of today in the same way. Unless of course you don’t also mind being called a racists slave approver.

            Are people being saved to a system? No. And certainly no more than to your “non-system” system. That’s another thing. You trad types stand tall and proclaim you are not a slave to any system. Then, there’s a systemized statement that NOT ONE non-Calvinists on these several blogs will even disagree publicly with one jot or tittle of said document.

            “When the basic truth is a relationship with Jesus Christ. It is very simple. Repent and believe. Jesus’ first sermon.”

            Lydia, I sent the better part of 2 hours last week in Haiti with an American who is of another religion. A well known false religion. And I spent that time because of a deep concern and love for him. We talked about man, sin, Christ and salvation and repentance and faith. Had you been listening in, I bet you one of my children (well, on some days anyway) you could not tell if I am a Calvinist or not.

            It is a silly notion that most Calvinists preach Calvinism and say something like, “Repent and believe in Calvin.”

            But hey, so Ronnie and all you trads and trad types think we don’t witness from a love for our fellow man. Ok. I’m so thankful that the only One who can know my heart and motives (not Ronnie and not you nor anyone else reading this) is the only one who matters.

            Grace.

            Les

Not The Original Les

One wonders how Ronnie knows so much about our hearts.

“A consistent Calvinist’s passion is not actually toward the individual but always toward God…”

Always? Always?? And I have actually thought that I had a compelling passion and love for friends and relatives who are outside Christ as I have prayed for them and shared the glories of Christ with them. I thought I loved them.

I suppose I should have checked in with a local neo trad so he or she could have disabused me of such silliness. #sarcasm #neotraddiscernerofhearts

jdbarker

“The truth of Calvinism is those not in the book cannot “receive the love of the truth so as to be saved”; the faithless did not believe because they cannot believe. What’s more, the eternally elect do not receive salvation through faith—faith as the first part of salvation or condition of salvation—because they actually receive salvation through unconditional election that is executed by forced regeneration and is followed by an inescapable free act of faith. Finally the non-elect are not lost because they merely refuse to believe the gospel—clearly implying that they could have believed—but rather they refuse the gospel because God did not choose to elect them but rather leave them to do what they could only do, and that is to refuse. This is a disquieting reality.”

19 You will say to me then, “ Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” 20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? 21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?

Mike Davis

For the God of Calvinism does not even have such passion.

Wow. It is statements like these which cause some Calvinists to be wary of pastor Rogers’ claim to understand what Calvinism is. I would be interested to see some of his writing or hear some of his “Calvinistic” sermons from the time when he considered himself to adhere to the doctrine just to see what kind of shift in viewpoint has taken place.

As a Calvinist, I would have denied—double-talked my way out of—the truthfulness of this conclusion,…

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    volfan007

    I understand what he’s saying perfectly. It’s as clear as a bell.

    David

    Darryl Hill

    Mike, I agree completely, and I like the Princess Bride reference in your last sentence. It’s “inconceivable” that these same straw men keep being erected, yet here we are again. :-)

T.R.

I would dare say I have done more evangelism than every traditionist reading this page.

    John Wylie

    TR,

    I’m sorry but that is a rather arrogant statement especially in light of the fact that you don’t know everyone on here.

      T.R.

      Still much less arrogant a thing to say than Ronnie’s claim that Calvinists don’t have a passion for the lost, or the arrogance of SBCtoday for happily posting this excrement from Ronnie’s pen. The arrogance of traditionalists seems to have no bounds.

        John Wylie

        TR,
        First you call Brother Rogers a fool and now you call his material excrement. I don’t know what’s gotten into this morning but your statements are ridiculous.

          volfan007

          TR,

          Your attitude is really a hateful, mean spirited, arrogant attitude. It’s attitudes like yours that caused many of us to be very concerned and alarmed about the New Calvinists and their resurgence in the SBC.

          David

      Donald

      …and we don’t know TR. TR refuses to tell anyone who is really is.

Adam Harwood

SBC Today,

Thanks for this series of posts presenting a chapter from Ronnie Rogers’ book. I found it to be helpful for continuing this discussion of Calvinism and the SBC in a peaceable and thoughtful manner.

In Him,

Adam

T.R.

“It cannot be a Holy Spirit led horizontal passion, which is a burden, love and hurt for all of the lost of the world, or even each particular individual, to come to know Christ.”

The words above are the words of a fool, and SPCtoday happily posted them!

    John Wylie

    TR,

    To call a Christian brother a fool is not very becoming. So you disagree, well then disagree, but calling a man a fool is a bit over the top.

    selahV

    T.R. how are these words which you quoted written by a fool? To call a person a “fool” is damnable according to Scripture. Are you sure you didn’t want to say that the words Ronnie Rogers wrote seemed foolish to you?

    To me, Ronnie was saying that Calvinism, as he knew it, results in the real reason a Calvinist goes into all the world is solely due to the commands of God and not the heart of a “totally depraved” person “incapable” of any “good” idea, or desire, in and of him or her. Isn’t that what Calvinism teaches? And so when a person does anything, it is of God’s total and complete infusing and absolute pulsating movement within you to do so? It cannot be any part of you that does it, wills it, or feels it? If not, then what is “total depravity”? selahV

      Not The Original Les

      selahV,

      “Isn’t that what Calvinism teaches? ”

      No.

      Grace.

        Debbie Kaufman

        It is passion for God and his glory, passion for Christ and yes even the Holy Spirit that causes us to want to give people the Gospel. William Carey, Jonathan Edwards, Andrew Fuller are great examples as well. Lottie Moon is another good example. Her passion for those people in China compelled her to give them even her food in a desire to see them come to Christ.

        selahV

        Les, the Presbyterian:
        Seriously? So a person who becomes a Calvinist after he/she becomes a Christian, they are not totally depraved? They are capable of their own personal desires to do good?
        If not…what does Calvinism teach about total depravity and a Christian’s mental catalyst and capability in works of faith? selahV

          Not The Original Les

          selahV,

          “Les the Presbyterian.” What exactly was the point of addressing me as such? In fact, I’m a Presbyterian AND a Baptist. I understand that fact really gets under the skin of some here. So be it.

          You earlier wrote:

          “To me, Ronnie was saying that Calvinism, as he knew it, results in the real reason a Calvinist goes into all the world is solely due to the commands of God and not the heart of a “totally depraved” person “incapable” of any “good” idea, or desire, in and of him or her. Isn’t that what Calvinism teaches?”

          It was that part of what you wrote to which I replied, “No.”

          Grace,

          Les

            Lydia

            But it goes with her question, Les.

            Not The Original Les

            Lydia,

            Perhaps I misunderstood her question. Or rather, her first question.

            Total depravity is the doctrine….oh shoot. You know what TD is. In theology it is in a category referring to man’s natural born state.

            I thought that she was quoting Ronnie about us going to lost sinners and THEIR hearts, not ours. Of course after conversion Christians can do good things and have good desires, by God’s grace. We still can take no credit for it since sin has not been eradicated from our lives.

            Grace,

            Les

            Lydia

            “Of course after conversion Christians can do good things and have good desires, by God’s grace. We still can take no credit for it since sin has not been eradicated from our lives.”

            This is part of Calvinism that concerns me. You will probably disagree and say I am wrong but I do know what I am seeing and hearing from the YRR movement.

            When you do good things, it is God. When you do bad things, it is your depravity and it is normal for the rest of your life on earth. (None of this growing in Holiness stuff)

            Either way, you have nothing to do with it. So, I cannot really hold a Calvinist responsible for their own behavior. This is the part of Calvinism that makes me want to hold on to my wallet and hide the silver when they come to visit.

            Because I believe in synergistic sanctification, I have a responsiblity to seek Holiness and should be held accountable for my sin. In fact, “practicing” sin is a sign we might not be really saved. (Hebrews 10 and 1 John)

            I might be wrong, but from my perspective I see a lack of teaching on the Holy Spirit in Calvinistic circles. (seeker circles, too)

            selahV

            Lydia, yes…you have exactly what I am saying that I have been repeatedly told by some calvinists. they have liberty in Christ to do most anything except knowingly sin, yet even then, sin is defined under another set of guidelines. I suppose that telling someone they are a “fool” is acceptable, even though Christ says it places a person in quite a pickle.

            Whenever I have asked Calvinists why they witness and share Jesus when they know the majority have no possible way they can receive the promise of God because they were unelect, they have told me, because they are “commanded” to do so.

            I know some Calvinists who have hearts of gold and seek to share Jesus because they love people and want to see everyone they meet come to Christ. I’ve had some Calvinists ask me to pray with them regarding their witnessing situations. I do that. But some, not all Calvinists say they share because they are told to do it. And that is what I believe Pastor Rogers was saying in the statement that caused T.R. to call him a “fool” and admonish SBC Today for posting “excrement”. selahV

            Not The Original Les

            selahV,

            Since we are talking about knowing some who believe and practice this and that,

            I also know some Calvinists who rarely share the gospel. I know some non Calvinists who rarely share the gospel.

            I also know some non Calvinists who share the gospel because they think their technique will save the person. You know, they think, and actually say, God has 1 vote, Satan has 1 vote. The person gets the deciding vote.

            Point is, these are more rare than not. Broad brush painting is not good.

            Grace,

            Les

      T.R.

      Ronnie’s words are fooling alright. And he evidenced the fact that never understood Calvinism.

        T.R.

        I meant to write that his words are “foolish” alright. No doubt about that.

        John Wylie

        TR,

        There’s no excuse for you to call Ronnie a fool in your previous post.

          volfan007

          TR,

          Quit hiding behind the initials and tell us who you are. We’d like to know your name. We’d like to know who is saying such unChristlike things about another Brother in Christ. Who are you?

          David

    Norm Miller

    Mt 5.22 “… and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.”

      Dale Pugh

      That was my first thought when I saw that accusation……
      Wow.

      selahV

      Norm, this is exactly what I was thinking about when I read T.R.’s statement regarding Pastor Ronnie Rogers. It actually caused me to suck an extra helping of air. I felt like someone had hit me with their fist.

      Having read many of T.R.’s comments and what seemed to be his love for the lost and desires to grow the kingdom, I couldn’t believe he really meant to call Ronnie a “fool”. selahV

        Norm Miller

        selahV: We’ve all made ‘heat-of-the-moment’ statements that we later regretted. Given TR’s comments of today, I suspect his air conditioner is broken.
        I recognize what Pastor Rogers has written truly bothers T.R. In fact, I would say his remarks bother many.
        However, I don’t think any of the motives attributed to the pastor are actually in the man’s heart. Ronnie has laid out his case for all to see and has withstood some serious negativity that was/is, IMHO, malicious.
        Most of use here are able to disagree w/o being disagreeable. A few are not. — Norm

holdon

“As a Calvinist, I can’t tell you who is and who is not elect. ”

So true. (I know this was said with respect to preaching the gospel; but here I want to mention the other side of this statement)
If you take Calvinism to its conclusions, you may never know for sure if you’re one of the elect. I have know calvinists crying almost every night in prayer to have some revelation whether they were one of the elect.
Because there is so much self-deception and outward confessions may prove wrong (Mt 7, etc.), you can’t be sure.

Now, the real Arminian does not have much assurance either: because they can loose the faith at any time if they’re not careful enough.

So, the real Calvinist, nor the Arminian can be sure of eternal salvation. That’s what theological systems lead to: ultimately you don’t know a thing. How different is God’s Word. Jn 20:31 and 1 Jn 5:13

    volfan007

    Holdon,

    Very insightful comment. I also know of some Calvinists and some Arminians, who dont seem to be sure of their salvation.

    David

      Bill Mac

      I’m sure this is true about some Calvinists, but I’ve never understood it. If you have faith, you are a Christian, thus you are elect, no matter what system you hold to. I suspect that paranoia is not uncommon for some Calvinists or non-Calvinists. I’m sure we’ve all seen people who seem to respond to every altar call, just to make sure. And of course revivalists who work hard to make us doubt our salvation at every service.

      Debbie Kaufman

      I don’t see this as a bad thing always David. Some need to question. I did and a good thing too. I do not believe to this day I was saved. But….if one questions their salvation, could it be that God is doing a work? I believe so. Sanctification isn’t always pleasant.

    Lydia

    “If you take Calvinism to its conclusions, you may never know for sure if you’re one of the elect. I have know calvinists crying almost every night in prayer to have some revelation whether they were one of the elect.”

    Me too, I have come to the conclusion that strict Calvinism is great for the “leaders” because it is about hierarchy mapped from Sovereinty to those in charge. But I have seen the despair it can breed. Imagine the shock to find quite a few over on ex Christians.com. These are not backsliders, so to speak. These are rabid anti God people who were sold out Calvinists at one time. Have you read George Marsden’s bio of Edwards? Some of the most bizarre gruesome suicides happened during the “Great Awakening” from those who were supposedly saved.

      selahV

      Lydia, I know one former 5 pt.Calvinist (who argued again and again for reformed theology), who now claims to be an atheist. He’s even publically announced it on his website and denounced all religions. It was a sad, sad thing to read. I still pray for his healing. selahV

        Mark

        Agnostic Charles Templeton, a former evangelist who worked with Billy Graham, is no longer a Christian. He wrote Farewell to God : my reasons for rejecting the Christian faith. Should we then infer that working with Billy Graham and doing large evangelistic outreaches leads to unbelief?

John

It is good to get clarity in how the Traditionalist mind set works towards loving his brother in Christ.

” For the God of Calvinism does not even have such passion.”

“Further, if Calvinism is true, unless the Calvinist knows that God has truly drawn him to one of His elect—which seems impossible to objectively know—the Calvinist needs to refuse to give in to horizontal passion because it can only be mere human sentiment or satanic influence, both of which would actually be contrary to God’s passion.”

And how long did Ronnie stand behind the pulpit with his satanic influences and preaching?

    Bill Mac

    Yes, “satanic influence” ought to go a long way towards fruitful discussion of our differences in the SBC. Cooperation ought to proceed apace after this.

    T.R.

    I think Ronnie said he was influenced by Satan for some 20 years.

      John Wylie

      You guys really need to go back and read the text because you are twisting it.

    T.R.

    By calling Him “the God of Calvinism” implies that Calvinists have a different god, a false god.

John Wylie

John,

It has been my experience while reading blogs and posting comments that the Calvinists have been some of the most thoughtful commentators of these blogs, but neither you or TR are really living up to that this morning. Ronnie said nothing about Satan being the influence of Calvinism.

    John

    John W.
    I am open to another interpretation of what Ronnie said and I quoted him in full sentence. Give it a shot if you would like. I read the article like you have, and others. If this is Traditionalists view so be it. If Ronnie wants to clear the meaning of his writing up I am open to listen.

    It just places an clearer understanding of Traditionalist and I thank them and SBCToday for the clarity of this series of articles.

    “Further, if Calvinism is true, unless the Calvinist knows that God has truly drawn him to one of His elect—which seems impossible to objectively know—the Calvinist needs to refuse to give in to horizontal passion because it can only be mere human sentiment or satanic influence, both of which would actually be contrary to God’s passion.”

      John Wylie

      John,
      With all due respect what Ronnie is saying is that a Calvinist sees horizontal compassion in regards to preaching to the lost as mere human sentiment or satanic influence. He’s not saying that Calvinists are influenced by Satan.

        John

        John W.
        I see what your saying I thought the set up statement for this was:

        ” For the God of Calvinism does not even have such passion.”

        And with that from my reading scripture says Calvinist worship a different God.

        “—the Calvinist needs to refuse to give in to horizontal passion because it can only be mere human sentiment or satanic influence, both of which would actually be contrary to God’s passion.”

        I am not perfect when interrupting others writing and I do prefer your interpretation. I am also sure you can understand that one might intrepid Ronnies statement different than yours without divisive intent, just different perspective.

holdon

“Further, if Calvinism is true, unless the Calvinist knows that God has truly drawn him to one of His elect—which seems impossible to objectively know—the Calvinist needs to refuse to give in to horizontal passion because it can only be mere human sentiment or satanic influence, both of which would actually be contrary to God’s passion.”

I thought that this meant that human sentiment and satanic influence can deceive; that’s why you have to refuse it.

    Debbie Kaufman

    These kind of comments don’t bother me holdon. It reminds me of when Christ was accused of being used by Satan and being a drunkard. :)

John Wylie

John,

I do not believe that you were not purposely trying to misrepresent Ronnie’s words. I must admit when I said what I said I was upset with TR’s very unchristian comments. Because he has just been purposely feeding the fire this morning. I really appreciate your response and can certainly see how you would take offense to Ronnie’s words.

    John Wylie

    My apologies that comment came out wrong, I meant I do not believe that you were purposely misrepresenting Ronnie’s comments.

      John

      John W.
      I am glad you clarified :-)
      This is what to is me sad about this conversation we are having about Calvinist. Believe it or not Calvinist have feeling just like Traditionalist do. We do not understand why the Holy Spirit works in us to be Calvinist. Just like Traditionalist do not understand why the Holy Spirit works in them to be Traditionalist. We know the Spirit is not lying to either of us but still we do not understand. We just know we are going through sanctification.

      So lets work together as brothers in the Spirit to further God Glorious Word. And remember non-christians read this site just like those who still need milk are reading this site.

        John Wylie

        John,

        I absolutely agree brother.

Don Johnson

“. . . Because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. ”
2 Thes. 2:10.”

This is one of the best texts that shows the error of “limited atomenent.” To begin with “the love of the truth” is the correct wording. It is not “love the truth.” People are saved by believing the truth not loving the truth. One can’t love truth until they first believe the truth.

The next question to ask is: “What” truth is there that when believed is able to save? I think we would all correctly answer the Gospel. And what is the Gospel? Paul answers by saying first of all “Christ died for our sins. . .” 1 Cor 15:3. It is this truth (the Gospel) and only this truth which is able to save.

Remember the text states the truth would save them. Imagine if a “non-elect” person believed the truth, would it save him? Not according to a 5 pt Calvinist, because Christ didn’t die for them. Then of course it would not have been a TRUTH that was believed if didn’t do what it said it would. A lie or a fable, but not the TRUTH.

What is really happening when one “receives not the love of the truth” is they are not receiving the love of Christ. So yes, Christ died for the sins of the whole world. If He died for only the so called “elect” then it is not the TRUTH of the Gospel that is being rejected. One cannot reject what is not there.

My question to our Calvinist friends: What is “the love of the TRUTH”? Keep in mind this TRUTH is able to save if received. If you answer the Gospel, you’re admitting Christ died for the whole world. Because the first part of the Gospel is “Christ died for our sins.” Unless Calvinists have a Gospel that is able to save that does not include Christ dying for sins.

Tom Parker

007:

You sure love fighting with the “Calvinists.” What do you propose the SBC’s position on “them” should be?

    John Wylie

    Hey Tom,

    Who is 007?

      John Wylie

      Tom,

      Duh I just realized the answer to my question. Sorry I just had a “duh” moment. Lol

    Lydia

    Tom, I think you have failed to connect the dots from the CR to now. The Calvinists think the Trads are the liberals. You are on the wrong side. :o)

      Tom Parker

      Lydia:

      I am always on the wrong side in the SB–smiling.

        volfan007

        Tom,

        I’m for Calvinists and nonCalvinists to worship and serve the Lord, together.

        I’m for all liberals to get out of the SBC. To vamoose. To scram. To beat it. To run so fast that the screen door doesnt hit them on the way out.

        Does that clarify?

        David

Debbie Kaufman

Passages on God’s decrees and control over all that comes to pass.

“See now that I, I [am] He, and there [is] no other God with Me. I kill, and I keep alive. I wound and I heal, and there [is] no deliverer from My hand” (Deu 32:39). “Jehovah kills and keeps alive; He brings down and causes to go to Sheol. Jehovah brings down, and He gives riches; He brings low; yea, He lifts up high. He raises the poor from the dust; He lifts up the needy from the dunghill, to cause [them] to sit with nobles; yea, He causes them to inherit a throne of honor; for to Jehovah [are] the pillars of the earth; and He sets the habitable world on them” (1Sa 2:6-8). “Behold, He breaks down, and no one builds; He shuts against a man, and no one opens. Behold, He holds back the waters, and they dry up; and He sends them out, and they overflow the earth. With Him [is] strength and sound wisdom; the deceived and the deceiver are His. He causes wise men to go stripped; and He makes judges fools. He loosens the bonds of kings, and He binds their loins with a girdle; making priests walk [away] stripped; and He overthrows the mighty; turning aside the lip of the trusted men; and He takes away the reason of the aged. He pours scorn on nobles, and He loosens the girdle of the mighty; revealing deep things out of darkness; and He brings the shadow of death to light. He gives greatness to the nations, and He destroys them; spreading out the nations, and He leads them out. He takes away the heart of the heads of the people of the land; and He causes them to wander in a waste [in which is] no path. They grope in the dark, and [there] is no light; and He makes them stagger like a drunkard” (Job 12:14-25). “But He [is] in one [mind], and who can turn Him? Yea, His soul desires, and He does [it]. For He fulfilled my lot, and many like these are with Him” (Job 23:13-14). “But our God [is] in Heaven; He has done all that He has pleased” (Psa 115:3). “For I know that Jehovah [is] great, and our Lord [is] above all gods. Every [thing] which Jehovah [was] pleased to do, He did, in the heavens and in the earth, and in the seas and all deep places. He causes the vapors to rise from the end of the earth; He makes lightnings for the rain; He brings the wind out of His storehouses” (Psa 135:5-7). “The lot is cast into the lap, but all ordering of it [is] from Jehovah” (Pro 16:33). “[As] streams of waters, the king’s heart [is] in the hand of Jehovah; He turns it wherever He desires” (Pro 21:1). “Have you not known? Have you not heard? Was it not told to you from the beginning? Did you not discern [from] the foundations of the earth? He who sits on the circle of the earth, even those living in it are like grasshoppers; He who stretches the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to live in; who gives potentates into nothing. He makes judges of the earth as nothing. Yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they are not sown; yea, their stem [is] not taking root in the earth. And He shall also blow on them, and they shall wither, and the tempest shall lift them up like stubble. To whom then will you compare Me, or [am] I equaled, says the Holy One? Lift up your eyes on high and look: Who has created these? Who brings out their host by number? By greatness of vigor, and might of power, He calls them all by names; not one is lacking” (Isa 40:21-26). “Behold, the former things have come to pass, and I declare new things before they happen, I cause you to hear” (Isa 42:9). “I [am] Jehovah, and [there is] none else; there is no God except Me. I will clothe you, though you do not know Me, that they may know from the rising of the sun, and to its going down, that [there is] none besides Me; I [am] Jehovah, and there is none else; forming light, and creating darkness; making peace, and creating evil. I, Jehovah, do all these things” (Isa 45:5-7). “Remember former things from forever, for I [am] God, and no one else [is] God, even none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from the past those things which were not done, saying, My counsel shall rise; and, I will do all My desire; calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of My counsel from a far off land. Yes, I have spoken; yes, I will cause it to come; I have formed; yes, I will do it” (Isa 46:9-11). “O house of Israel, can I not do to you as this potter? says Jehovah. Behold, as the clay in the potter’s hand, [so are] you in My hand, O house of Israel” (Jer 18:6). “Who [is] this speaking, and it happens [when] the Lord does not command it?” (Lam 3:37). “And all the trees of the field shall know that I, Jehovah, have brought down the high tree [and] have exalted the low tree, [and] have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree flourish. I, Jehovah, have spoken and acted” (Eze 17:24).

    holdon

    Thanks for posting. T.R. brought kind of the same verses up a few days ago I think.

    Yet none (check them out for yourself) say that God decrees all that comes to pass. Yes He “decrees” some of it. Yes, He does give retribution and requites evil.

    Now, if you want to say that all evil deeds and sins are “decreed” and “controlled” by God, there is no other conclusion than that God is the originator and effectuator of all evil deeds and sins.

    This kind of philosophy or theology is not much different from Islam. “Inshallah” is their word for it.

    There may still be time to repent of that….

Debbie Kaufman

Scriptures on God’s sovereignty:

“And coming near, the disciples said to Him, Why do You speak to them in parables? And answering, He said to them, Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven, but it has not been given to those. For whoever has, to him will be given, and he will have overabundance. But whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. Because of this, I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled on them, which says, In hearing you will hear and in no way understand, and seeing you will see yet in no way perceive. For the heart of this people has grown fat, and they heard heavily with the ears, and they have closed their eyes, that they not see with the eyes, or hear with the ears, and understand with the heart, and be converted, and I heal them” (Mat 13:10-15). “For even as the Father raises the dead, and gives life, so also the Son gives life to whomever He wills” (Joh 5:21). “All that the Father gives to Me shall come to Me, and the [one] coming to Me I will in no way cast out” (Joh 6:37). “And He said, Because of this, I have told you that no one is able to come to Me except it is given to him from My Father” (Joh 6:65). “And hearing, the nations rejoiced and glorified the Word of the Lord. And as many as were appointed to eternal life believed” (Act 13:48). “But we know that [to] the [ones] loving God all things work together for good, [to] those being called according to purpose; because whom He foreknew, He also predestinated [to be] conformed to the image of His Son, for Him to be [the] First-born among many brothers. But whom He predestinated, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified” (Rom 8:28-30). “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 the [One] calling, it was said to her, The greater shall serve the lesser; even as it has been written, I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau. What then shall we say? Is there not unrighteousness with God? Let it not be! For He said to Moses, I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will pity whomever I will pity. So, then, [it is] not of the [one] willing, nor of the [one] running, but of the [One] showing mercy, of God. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, For this very thing I raised you up, so that I might display My power in you, and so that My name might be publicized in all the earth. So, then, to whom He desires, He shows mercy. And to whom He desires, He hardens. You will then say to me, Why does He yet find fault? For who has resisted His will? Yes, rather, O man, who are you answering against God? Shall the thing formed say to the [One] forming [it], Why did You make me like this? Or does not the potter have authority over the clay, out of the one lump to make one vessel to honor, and one to dishonor? But if God, desiring to demonstrate His wrath, and to make His power known, endured in much long-suffering vessels of wrath having been fitted out for destruction, and that He make known the riches of His glory on vessels of mercy which He before prepared for glory, whom He also called, not only us, of Jews, but also out of nations” (Rom 9:11-24). “Blessed [is] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies with Christ, even as He elected us in Him before [the] foundation of [the] world, for us to be holy and without blemish before Him in love, predestinating us to adoption through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to [the] praise of [the] glory of His grace in which He favored us in the [One] having been loved” (Eph 1:3-6). “in whom we also have been chosen to an inheritance, being predestinated according to [the] purpose of the [One] working all things according to the counsel of His [own] will” (Eph 1:11). “But we ought to thank God always concerning you, brothers, beloved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning to salvation in sanctification of [the] Spirit and belief of [the] truth, to which He called you through our gospel, to obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2Th 2:13-14). “the [One] having saved us and having called [us] with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to [His] own purpose and grace given to us in Christ Jesus before eternal times” (2Ti 1:9). “Then to you who believe [belongs] the preciousness. But to disobeying ones, [He is the] Stone which those building rejected; this One became [the] Head of the Corner, and a Stone-of-stumbling, and a Rock-of-offense to the [ones] stumbling, being disobedient to the Word, to which they were also appointed” (1Pe 2:7-8).

    holdon

    Thanks again.

    The verses you quote have all to do with God’s pronouncing judgment on those who have made up their choice. Now, with that we do agree….

Debbie Kaufman

I’m sorry the passages are so many, but there are many and many more. Holdon, if you open your Bible to the passage and read it in it’s entirety I think we will disagree. God is God. In some cases it was prayer to him that made the difference. The object of our faith is Christ and the object is much more important than the faith.

Daniel Wilcox

Maybe a few words of good news from one of Southern Baptist Billy Graham’s sermon would show support Ronnie Rogers’ article:

Billy Graham:
“Third, the value of your soul is measured by God’s concern for saving your soul. God is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
“God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36). God sees your soul as the most valuable thing in the world, so valuable that He sent His only Son to the cross to suffer and die so that your soul may be saved. And if you were the only person in the whole universe, Christ would have died for you.”
Decision Magazine July 1, 2012

Now there is Good News indeed.

Daniel Wilcox

Steve Martin

In the gospel of John we read “that we are not born of the will of man…but of God”.

How much more does one need than that? Maybe Jesus saying to them, “no one CAN come to me except he be drawn by the Father.” or…”You didn’t choose me, I chose you”.

And what exactly was St. Paul doing when he made his “free-will” decision for Christ.

No, it’s plain that God chooses us, we don’t choose Him.

But we just refuse to give up the idea that we have some role to play in all of this salvation stuff. Our hubris is never ending.

    Eddie OBrien

    Is it possible to consider that sovereign God could create a world in such a way that humanity would have free moral choice and be held responsible for those choices? Or a God who ordains all things, even decrees all things, but does not determine all things to happen, though He knows all things that will happen?Or, a God who created man in His image, commanded to obey His ordinances, and then holds him accountable for his rebellion? It is difficult to see why more than 2/3 of the Word of God describes a nation of people commanded to obey God, yet they are incapable of obeying, yet they are held accountable and punished, although they did no other than live out their lives with a free will only capable of choosing evil. I appreciate the spirit behind Calvinism… The Sovereignty of God… But as one who simply cannot accept the consequences of double pre-destination, I do not think that I understand God as any less sovereign…

    I really hate all of the arguing back and forth… perhaps some of it is healthy… most of it is borderline futile… However, you can’t help but to take the inevitable conclusions of these issues personal. To say that Christ did not shed His blood for all is a personal concept… To put “limited” and the atonement of Christ in the same sentence is difficult to hear… To hear that some believe that the vast majority of people ever born do not have a chance at salvation because God willed that they go to hell… no hope, no chance, no opportunity… too bad, so sad… I know that this conversation is frustrating at times… but I can see how both sides consider the implications, or indictments directed at the Lord as very personal… I would like to thank my brothers and sisters, both Calvinistic, non-, and everyone between, for taking the time to read and respond to these posts… I admit, some of what I read is hard to swallow… And, like everyone else, I am inclined to defend my position… But, I am working hard to remember that the Spirit of all Truth is not leading some of us to one truth and others to another truth… Somewhere along the way, someone is off… Truth is absolute…

Christiane

a lot of people who call themselves ‘elect’ do not exhibit love for their fellowman, and they will say ‘Lord, Lord’ on that day and be exposed . . .
they were believers in a system that honored lip-service, but nothing more in the way of involvement into Christ Himself

and then we know this from sacred Scripture:
“God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.”
(from 1 John 4)

so now understand who is alive in Christ . . . and who is not . . . and who it is who will be known and recognized by Our Lord on the Last Day,
not because of their own prideful self-proclaimed ‘chosen’ status, but from an existence of a real live grafting into the love of the Holy Trinity through the One Who Is Love Who will recognize them as His.

We know His Name: ‘God is Love’ and we know why He was called “Jesus’ because He would save His People . . . and 1 John 4 tells us who those people include.

It is said that many will be surprised on the Day of the Lord . . .
but we can know that those among us who have dwelled in love and have shared it in their existence here will not be cut off from the Source of that love, as they were already living in Him, and He in them.

    Darryl Hill

    So now anyone who believes in election is going to hell? Yes this fosters constructive dialogue. We’re going downhill fast it would appear. In this thread alone, Calvinists have no genuine love for people (and neither does the “God of Calvinism”) and they are likely all going to hell. Yes we are definitely getting somewhere. (Shakes head)

      Christiane

      I think my meaning was very clear. Your comment about ‘going to hell’ is simply that: your comment, DARRYL.

      Smugness vs. humility . . .
      hypocritical lip-service vs. being a part of God’s love . . .
      there are warnings to avoid hypocrisy and pride in sacred Scripture, and there is much in Scripture to point us towards Christ’s light so that we may live in Him

      I’m sure God, as judge, will ‘get it right’, He doesn’t need for me to judge anyone for Him.

        Matt

        Christiane,

        Where is this pride you speak of in Calvinism? There is no room for pride, and if anyone is pridefull it is a sin. You seem to be saying that we are not alive in Christ because of “our own prideful self-proclaimed ‘chosen’ status”. If you ask a Calvinist what they did to differentiate themselves from the people burning in hell at this very moment, they will answer “nothing”. If you ask them in what way they gained salvation, they will tell you that they didn’t. When God knew me in eternity, He knew a misserable sinner. When He elected me for salvation, it was not because there was anything good to be found in me. God didn’t throw me a life preserver while I was drowning in my sin; He pulled me up, unconscious and dead, and breathed spiritual life into me. I know that I have nothing to be proud of, and I have a deep compassion for all sinners, because I am one. I know that had it pleased God to work in the heart of someone else instead of me, I would be joining the sinners in hell shortly. What do I have to be proud of? I have committed more sins than many of the people in hell, and have nothing good in me that is not the work of God.

        Please ask yourself this question: What differentiates you from others similar to you who also heard the gospel but end up in hell? If the answer involves something that you did or a better decision that you made, then you might want to re-evaluate whose theology is pridefull.

        God bless

      volfan007

      Darryl,

      Christiane is not a Southern Baptist. She’s a Catholic.

      David

volfan007

TR,

Dont you think it’s cowardly to hide behind initials, while accusing and attacking someone?

David

    John

    volfan007,
    Do you not see the irony in attacking someone who says they used the wrong word. TR’s apology may not be good enough or sincere enough for you but it may have been for God. What did Christ tell Peter to do?

    Nice initials for you to use while attacking multiple times someone using initials. I know your famous enough but maybe some may not know volfan007. But then again some may not even care who volfan007 really is, or for that matter who TR really is. We are not to form a linch mob but we are instructed to forgive. And I forgive you volfan007 even if you do not ask for it.

    Matthew 5:22-24 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

    Matthew 6:14-15
    For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

    Mark 11:25
    And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.

    (Matthew 18:21-22 ESV)
    Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.

      John Wylie

      John,

      I couldn’t find where TR apologized. I’ve been up and down the comments and I cant find it. No sarcasm intended but I never saw it.

        John

        John W,

        T.R. says:
        July 21, 2012 at 11:01 am
        I meant to write that his words are “foolish” alright. No doubt about that.

        It is not for us to judge if this is enough for us. We are asked to accept and move on.

        TR has written many well thought out and articulated Calvinist positions on this web site. He most likely never expected to convert a single traditionalist. TR has not been treated as a brother in Christ by many here at any time. I wonder which sin God is more concerned over. A word or constant abuse of a brother in Christ?

          John Wylie

          John,

          If you go back and read TR’s comment right before that he had mistakenly type “fooiling” and all the comment you mention here was doing was correcting that typo. He was not apologizing for calling Ronnie as fool.

            John Wylie

            Also John,

            If you go back on this comment stream this is not about a single word. TR accused Ronnie of hypocrisy, deception, he called his words the words of a fool, and referred to his article as excrement. No John, TR has not apologized. We all get ugly on the blogs from time to time but when we are called on it we should be Christian enough to apologize.

            John

            John W.,
            You are capable of reading. I am capable of reading. Christ is capable of judging.

            It is sad that you did not address the past abusing of TR for nothing more than him trying to discuss the Calvinist position very professionally. He took Traditionalists abuse for many many days. And this article and the insinuated comments in the article of Calvinist following another god and satanic influence brought about his response.

            John W, we have gone over this, your perspective is yours. My perspective is mine. May the Holly Spirit work in both of us and TR to Glorify God.

            T.R.

            Let me set the record straight. Please forgive me for calling Ronnie a fool. I truly hated what he wrote and it made my blood boil, but that does not justify what I say. I accept my guilt. I hope to receive forgiveness.

            John Wylie

            John,

            I really appreciate your kind response and I mean no disrespect whatsoever toward you. But for the life of me I cannot see how anyone could even remotely interpret that comment as an apology. He was correcting a typo. Apologies generally have somewhere in them “I apologize” or “I’m sorry”.

            Insofar as he was ill treated by the NonCalvinists I think that those who did so should be asked to apologize. If I react in an unbecoming manner I try to get it right.

            John

            John W,
            If TR sinned it was not against those on this blog but the Lord. I have no idea what TR communicated to the Lord or if the Lord has forgiven him. If my greatest sin in life was that I called someone a fool I would truly have lived a blessed life.

            If folks want to act as if this is some major sin in light of the author of this article with the insinuated comments in the article of Calvinist following another god and satanic influences of Calvinist so be it. You have seen no less than 4 Calvinist say they did not appreciate this inference have you seen Ronnie or Norm apologize to us. If one has to ask for an apology in order to get one it is not worth asking for.

            Again no one sins against man, one only sins against the Lord.

            2 Samuel 12 (KJV)
            13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.

            volfan007

            TR has still not told us who he is. It’s cowardly to shout insults at people, and to accuse people, while all the time hiding behind initials so that people will not know who you are.

            My name is David Worley. I use Volfan007, because back in the stone age, when I first got on computers, they told us to not tell any personal info on the internet. Thus, I used this name…and, I continue to use it, because this is how everyone came to know me.

            David

            John Wylie

            John,
            With all due respect people do sin against people as well. What do you think Matthew 18 is about?

            John

            John W,
            So now your calling me a fool for not understanding verses I quote. Boy you traditionalist don’t stop. So let me get this straight we worship other gods and we are influenced by satan according to the author of the article and the editor who posts non stop Calvinist bashing articles. Traditionalist just support this treatment of fellow brothers. See we can play the same victim game as you John W, or we can cowboy up and work together for the glory of God. Best to you brother. You will have fresh Calvinist bashing post over they coming days at SBCtoday as always. How will you respond? I’ll pray it is for God’s Glory.

            John Wylie

            John,

            Wow this conversation has gone down hill fast. Where in the world did you get the idea that I called you a fool? I simply disagreed with you.

            John Wylie

            TR,

            I just now saw where you apologized. We all get out of hand sometimes, I’m sometimes the worst. I respect very much your gesture.

      Tom Parker

      John: Very perceptive of you to see that 007 wants to know who someone is but he goes by Volfan007.

      The pot and the kettle do not see the difference.

      He has done this for years and I have seen it were folks challenge him, he has a hissy fit.

        volfan007

        Tom,

        I’d bet that a lot of people know who I am. My name has been mentioned many times. In fact, Baptist Press even quoted me from a statement on SBCToday not too long ago….the name they used was David Worley…. not Volfan007.

        David

          John

          David Worley Mug Shot – Latest Tennessee Arrests – Arrests.org
          tennessee.arrests.org/Arrests/David_Worley_8058264/Jun 11, 2012 – Mug Shot for David Worley booked into the Washington county jail.

          That David Worley who has been mentioned many times. Sorry just doing some ABC journalism I hope this is not you. To all that read this this was done in humor, and as a warning that even major news media distort names, let alone commenters at blogs. If you want your name and real identity out on the www so be it. If you don’t so be it.

            volfan007

            John,

            This is not a good joke, and it’s very close to slander. Not only that, but it’s very close to just out and out lying. And, besides that, I told you who I am.

            Who are you, John? John ?

            David

            PS. Your comments are getting stranger and stranger, BTW, Bro. Very odd.

            John

            volfan007,
            Nothing slanderous about what I said. David Worley was arrested on that date in Tennessee. Booked into the Washington county jail.

            Talk about getting stranger is someone always demanding to know who someone is on a blog making a comment. Just because they stands up to you and do not fall for your postmodern I have the vapors trick. Cowboy up volfan007 aka David Worley and what ever other names you may go by.

Florin

As a (somewhat) fence sitter I remain unpersuaded and am surprised of the author’s weak argument for the his case.

The author first establishes that the book of life does not stipulate the condition for which names are written therein and that Piper & McArthur add meaning that is not implied. However, the author sends us elsewhere in the broader context of the bible to find the answer. May I say that both Piper & McArthur simply provided that answer a shortcut of the broader biblical context.

Second, the author argues that calvinism is conducive to double-talk. The author is substantive in his argument, however, simply pointing to painful conclusions derived from calvinism does not make the case “for” his position.

Lastly, the author explains that faith is not meritorious. Add to this two references from Thess & Acts and the conclusion is that calvinism is false.

The author does not address the issues such as spiritual death, willful blindness, innate hatred toward God and His law, etc, nor does he explain verses that along with context make the case for predestination. Indeed, there is way too much to address that one chapter of his book would not do. I trust that the rest of the book does.

I would like someone to answer my question:

As God knows those who would not believe, is it not an act of predestination when God allows them to come to live in this world? As God knows that they would not believe (of their own choice), is it not cruel of God to let them come as human beings? Or does God expect to be surprised? As a non-calvinist, how do you answer this?

Is it not that preaching to such people is useless, though none of us know who they are? I am talking here as a non-calvinist. From the preaching point of view, calvinism and non calvinism is really quite the same. Whether of their own choice or God’s choice some would not believe and God knows who they are and your preaching will make no eternal difference.

Now, I am happy to say that I married of love. Horizontal love had a lot to do with it, yet really, the “vertical love” mentioned above kept things going. I have a great deal of thanking to do.

    Bob Hadley

    Florin,

    You asked, ” is it not cruel of God to let them come as human beings?” The answer is no. For either side of the calvinist position one can argue that God can take the most tragic event ( an individual leaving this life without Christ) and using it to speak to someone else’s heart and bring them to Christ. Someone earlier made the statement that we do not know why some believe and others do not. I agree. We will have to wait till we get to heaven to find those answers.

    The thing that I adamantly disagree with, however is this concept that God and God alone determines who is and is not saved. I like everyone understand that He certainly can do so but it seems to be crystal clear, somehow God’s desire is that none perish and that all come to repentance. If indeed God’s plan of redemption was as the calvinist contends, I believe that statement would have been written radically differently.

    Does God expect to be surprised? No. He has never leaned over the portals of glory and asked on of His angels… “How did that happen?” I do not understand how God can not discover anything or learn anything; perhaps that is why the Bible says that wisdom comes from God! Good enough for me.

    Whether of their own choice or God’s choice some would not believe and God knows who they are and your preaching will make no eternal difference.

    I do not believe Paul would agree with this statement. Consider the following:
    2 Cor 5:18-21

    18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

    20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (NKJV)

    1 Cor 9:19-23

    19 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; 20 and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; 21 to those who are without law, as without law(not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; 22 to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. NKJV

    I believe the Scriptural mandate is clear; go and tell what God has done in your heart and in your life. Somehow that labor is important and understandably so for both sides of the issue. Our work is important.

    John 4:35-38
    Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! 36 And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. 37 For in this the saying is true:’One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.” NKJV

    May God bless our continued efforts to reach the fields as He has sent us to do.

    ><>”

    Robert

    Florin writes:

    “I would like someone to answer my question:

    As God knows those who would not believe, is it not an act of predestination when God allows them to come to live in this world? As God knows that they would not believe (of their own choice), is it not cruel of God to let them come as human beings? Or does God expect to be surprised? As a non-calvinist, how do you answer this?”

    The problem with this question is that it is muddled by some mistakes in logic residing within it. Let’s unpack some of these mistakes in logic, get them out in the open, they need to be put out on the table.

    Florin starts by saying that “As God knows those who would not believe”. Florin forgets that God’s foreknowledge is never false and refers to things that are in fact true. To keep it simple say that “joe” is the unbeliever that God foreknows will not believe. And what exactly does that mean? It means there will be an actual man named “Joe”. It also means that for his entire lifetime, “Joe” will reject God and His grace. That is not just one act of rejection but multiple rejections **over a lifetime**. But if God foreknows that “Joe” will exist and live a lifetime of unbelief and rejection of God, then God is not going to do something that would make “Joe” never exist (that would falsify God’s foreknowledge).

    But it also has other problems as well.

    Florin says “As God knows that they would not believe (of their own choice), is it not cruel of God to let them come as human beings?”

    If God knows that they/”Joe” will not believe, then “Joe” must exist to demonstrate this unbelief. If “Joe” never existed there would be nothing to foreknow about “Joe”!

    Florin then says that it would be “cruel of God to let them come as human beings”. But what if “Joe” though an unbeliever is the father of someone who ends up becoming a believer? What happens then? If God somehow canceled out “Joe”, then this believing person would be cancelled out as well! Say “Joe” is the father of “Tom” who eventually during his lifetime becomes a believer. But if God cancels out “Joe” to prevent him from becoming an unbeliever, God will also be cancelling out “Tom” as well. Many Christians come from unbelieving parents, all of them would be canceled out, because God does not want to be cruel and allow any of these unbelievers to live according to Florin.

    And Florin also seems to be failing to distinguish between certainty and necessity. An event is certain, if it will in fact occur. An event occurs by necessity if it must in fact occur and it is impossible to have been otherwise. If genuine free will exists, as ordinarily understood. Then while it is true that it is certain that “Joe” will end up as an unbeliever, it is not necessary. Joe could have (and should have) repented of his sin and followed Christ.

    The distinction between certainty versus necessity can also be seen when believers sin or give into temptation. When believers sin, God foreknows these sins will be committed, this is certain. But was it of necessity? No, God says he provides a way of escape from temptations for his people. If they do not resist the temptation, it is because they chose to reject God’s way of escape. Did they have to give into that temptation? No. In God’s foreknowledge did he know they would give into a particular temptation? Yes. Was God wasting his time or efforts in providing a way of escape from temptation in those instances when the person did give into temptation? Should we say that God wasted his time every time he spoke to a person urging them not to sin and yet they chose to sin anyway? Florin appears to see all events that do in fact occur as events that occur of necessity. But this is not true at all (unless God predetermines every event, in which case everythng does occur of necessity).

    Robert

Steve Martin

God desires that all would come to faith in Him.

Not all who hear the gospel will come to faith.

Why some believe, and others do not IS the question. Unfortunately we’ll have to wait to ask Him, for no one down here can answer it. Some things just aren’t for us to know.

What we do know from Scripture is this, ‘when we come to faith, God gets all the credit…and when we don’t, we get all the blame.’

    Robert

    Hello Steve,

    You wrote:

    “God desires that all would come to faith in Him.

    Not all who hear the gospel will come to faith.”

    The first statement is explicitly stated by scripture. It is also one of the reasons that I reject the theology of determinists/calvinists (i.e., because of their theology they have to reject this simple but biblical truth). Non-Calvinists whether they are Arminians or Lutherans agree on this truth.

    The second statement is true both in scripture and in our own evangelistic efforts. Not everybody believes, so universalism is false. Both non-calvinists and calvinists agree on this one.

    “Why some believe, and others do not IS the question. Unfortunately we’ll have to wait to ask Him, for no one down here can answer it. Some things just aren’t for us to know.”

    Not sure I agree with you here. For one thing, I do not believe this is that important a question. I do a lot of evangelism as do the persons I work with. We also do follow-up, we talk to those who have both accepted the Lord and rejected the Lord. And no surprise, they give different reasons for both their unbelief and belief. One is into apologetics and the evidence and arguments in favor of the truth of Christianity are the major factor for him. Another is really convicted about sin and wants to get out of a lifestyle of sin and serve the Lord. There are lots of reasons for believing and lots of reasons for unbelieving. Everybody does not believe for the same reason nor do they all reject for the same reason. Though there are some common reasons for believe and common reasons for unbelief.

    “What we do know from Scripture is this, ‘when we come to faith, God gets all the credit…and when we don’t, we get all the blame.’”

    I think this is a fair statement that when it comes to salvation/damnation it is asymetrical. If you believe, if you really have saving faith, then you know you don’t save yourself, you don’t deserve to be saved (if you got what you deserved you would receive hell), you know that your own religious efforts cannot and did not save you, etc. On the other hand, if the Holy Spirit reveals things to you and does so for a lifetime, and you then chose to reject God and His grace towards you for an entire lifetime (and so you are worthy of all the blame). Trusting the Lord for salvation/faith is what God works through to bring people to himself. But our faith in and of itself is not what saves us, only God saves people.

    Robert

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