Today’s Discussion Topic:
Article 9: The Security of the Believer
in “A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist
Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation”

June 27, 2012

A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation,” authored by Eric Hankins and others, has drawn strong interest in many social media and news outlets. The statement and the discussion of it have been accessed over 60,000 times and over 150,000 pageviews in SBC Today the last few weeks, and have evoked thousands of comments. At this point, over 800 persons have signed the document, including some key leaders from every level of Southern Baptist life. You cansign it also by following these directions.

To structure the discussion, we are focusing the comments on the affirmation and denial statement of one article of the statement at a time. Today’s discussion will address the Southern Baptist doctrines of grace in Article 9: The Security of the Believer. Keep in mind that each of the affirmations and denials in the articles complement each other, just as they do in the Together for the Gospel statement signed and/or affirmed by some Southern Baptist leaders who embrace Reformed views.

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Thank you for your comments on these important theological issues!

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Discussion of Article Nine: The Security of the Believer in “A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation”

Note: As we discuss each article of the statement, today’s comments should focus on the affirmation and denial in Article 9. Please limit your comments here to Article 9.

 


Article Nine: The Security of the Believer

We affirm that when a person responds in faith to the Gospel, God promises to complete the process of salvation in the believer into eternity. This process begins with justification, whereby the sinner is immediately acquitted of all sin and granted peace with God; continues in sanctification, whereby the saved are progressively conformed to the image of Christ by the indwelling Holy Spirit; and concludes in glorification, whereby the saint enjoys life with Christ in heaven forever.

We deny that this Holy Spirit-sealed relationship can ever be broken. We deny even the possibility of apostasy.

John 10:28-29; 14:1-4; 16:12-14; Philippians 1:6; Romans 3:21-26; 8:29,30; 35-39; 12:1-3; 2 Corinthians 4:17; Ephesians 1:13-14; Philippians 3:12; Colossians 1:21-22; 1 John 2:19; 3:2; 5:13-15; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 13:5; James 1:12; Jude 24-25

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Mike Davis

Since 94% of SBC pastors affirm eternal security in the recent LifeWay survey (which means even quite a few SBC Arminians hold to it also), I don’t think there will be much argument with the Article itself, as long as we include the caveat that those who have only a said faith but not a genuine faith have no assurance of salvation. I’m sure Traditionalists would agree on that point.

I do find the question of how the Traditionalist arrives at this doctrine intriguing, however. How do you reconcile libertarian free will with the impossibility of apostasy? How do you defend against the charge of “determinism” or the Wesleyan who says “but people aren’t robots”?

I wonder if your defense is going to sound a lot like compatibilism.

    Braxton

    Guys, we have ample evidence of circumstances in life in which someone has the choice about whether to do something which, after done, cannot be undone. For example a virgin makes a free choice to lose her virginity, but once she makes that commitment it cannot be undone. To put it in the positive, earning an MA in theology. You make the choice to get the degree, but ever after you do hold an MA. There are plenty of positive and negative examples from military service to STDs. What we are talking about here is not a matter of the will, but a matter of the consequences of decisions made by the will.

      Les Prouty

      Braxton,

      So I understand, are you saying that libertarian free will is no longer a characteristic of man after he is born again? He cannot “not” choose God?

      Les

        Braxton

        I’m saying that he has made a decision that has a permanent outcome. This no more removes free will from the Christian than becoming a non-virgin limits the free will of a young person.

          Mike Davis

          Hi Braxton,

          But you and other Traditionalist commenters appear to be defending eternal security, which is not being challenged. I think we would all agree that a component of eternal security is that a person’s faith will endure. So the question is, how do you explain this without affirming compatibilism (at least in a limited post-salvation construct)? At some point you have to admit that a saved person either can not or will not (or both) stop believing if you affirm eternal security. So is the new convert handing over their libertarian free will when they get saved?

          Blessings, brother.

      Randall Cofield

      Braxton,

      You said:

      What we are talking about here is not a matter of the will, but a matter of the consequences of decisions made by the will.

      I don’t think the obvious problem of the Trad. position on eternal security could have been stated more succinctly.

      You just plainly stated the eternal security of the believer is the consequence of the “decision” made by the will of the believer.

      I believe scripture plainly teaches that the eternal security of the believer is a consequence of the grace of God giving us the New Birth. Of course, I’m sure you believe the same thing. But that is not what you said.

      Now we can revisit the real problem that lies at the root of the TS and the defenses of it that are being offered. You framed it for us nicely when you said:

      Guys, we have ample evidence of circumstances in life in which someone has the choice about whether to do something which, after done, cannot be undone.

      Keeping in mind that it is the New Birth and its consequent graces which insures we can never apostatize and cease to become a child of God (that is your argument here), how on earth does one “choose” to be born?

      You offered physical examples of choices and their consequences as evidence of the spiritual reality of eternal security. So the question becomes, how does one “choose” to be born physically? That question must be answered satisfactorily for the examples you cited to be adequate.

      Soli Deo Gloria in Eternal Security AND the New Birth!!

        Braxton

        I have enjoyed talking with you, but please do not put words in my mouth. You claimed

        “You just plainly stated the eternal security of the believer is the consequence of the “decision” made by the will of the believer.
        I believe scripture plainly teaches that the eternal security of the believer is a consequence of the grace of God giving us the New Birth. Of course, I’m sure you believe the same thing. But that is not what you said.”

        That is not what I said. I said, and you quoted me, was “What we are talking about here is not a matter of the will, but a matter of the consequences of decisions made by the will.” This is different from saying that eternal security is a consequence of the will. Man chooses to enter into a divine relationship with a God who has offered his grace and redemption, and the result is that God will secure the individual eternally.

        As far as the second birth of John 3, I think you are again pushing Christ’s words too far. To say that Jesus was trying to teach something about the will at all is, I think, to miss the point. He is saying that Salvation is the beginning of a new life. I think much problematic doctrine is developed by pushing analogies too far, or viewing them from the perspective of our own epistemology rather than trying to see what the original author had in mind by reviewing the context.

          Randall Cofield

          Braxton,

          I have enjoyed talking with you, but please do not put words in my mouth.

          Brother, I’ve enjoyed the dialog with you as well, but I hardly see how I have put words in your mouth.

          If you were not talking about eternal security when you said “What we are talking about here,” what were you talking about?

          I hate parsing other’s sentences but I offer the following:

          You said:

          What we are talking about here is….a matter of the consequences of decisions made by the will.

          (note that I removed only the negating statement.)

          Here is what I posited that you said:

          You just plainly stated the eternal security of the believer is the consequence of the “decision” made by the will of the believer.

          How is that putting words in your mouth?

          You go on to say that “Man chooses to enter into a divine relationship with a God” and that “the result is that God will secure the individual eternally.”

          If the “result” is ESB, what is it a result of? Are you not saying it is a result of man’s choice?

          Flip it around. If man choose not to enter into relationship with God, what would the “result” be? No eternal security.

          What is the moving cause of God’s work of eternally securing the believer or not eternally securing the unbeliever? Is it not man’s choice?

          Brother, I genuinely want to understand you. If I misunderstand you, it is certainly not because I desire to put words in your mouth.

          Brother, these issues is probably going to eventually split the SBC, and I will be forced to choose a side. Either side I choose will pit me against men like yourself whom I believe are faithful men of God.

          You can bet your theological boots that when that time comes I will have done all I can to both understand my brothers AND to maintain Gospel unity,

          In the meantime, I remain your brother in Christ Jesus Lord.

          Soli Deo Gloria

          Braxton

          Randall, I appreciate your vigor in this. I believe you are trying to get at what I’m saying. Nevertheless, what you quoted was not me saying that eternal security was the result of the believer’s decision. You did quote yourself saying that that is what I mean. That certainly seems to fit the bill of putting words in someone’s mouth. However, if that was not your intent then I appreciate it.

          What I am saying is this, God is the one who provides grace, redemption AND eternal security. Man must enter in to that relationship by choosing to do so. This no more makes man’s choice responsible for eternal security than choosing to receive a flu shot makes a patient responsible for the invention and supply of the drug he was inoculated with.

      Chris Roberts

      Braxton,

      In the case of a girl who loses her virginity, she is capable afterwards of regretting her decision. She can wish she had not done what she had done. She regrets having a consequence she cannot undo.

      In the case of salvation, if security is more like an unchangeable consequence, or perhaps better put, if security is an effect caused by salvation, an effect that cannot be undone, then is it possible that a Christian, like the girl, can regret with their will the decision that they made even while they are unable to undo the change? If they retain libertarian free will but are unable to abandon salvation, would we have the peculiar situation in which a Christian absolutely does not want to be a Christian but is unable to give it up?

      Or is the will of the Christian changed so that he will never, from the point of salvation forward, desire to do other than what he has done?

        Braxton

        Youre pushing the analogy too far. The point is simply that we can make free choices that have permanent outcomes. We see this all the time.

          Chris Roberts

          Braxton,

          But the question still remains – after I am saved, is it possible for me to wish I were no longer saved, even though it is impossible for me to give up my salvation?

          volfan007

          Chris,

          Why do you insist on trying to take an arguement where it cannot go? Why do you insist on not accepting what someone has clearly said, and then tell them that it cant be that way?

          A person, who is saved, is saved forever. He is completely changed forever. There’s no going back….like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. And, of course, with the life of Jesus in his heart, he will not want to ever go back….not really; even though he might be tempted to think that way sometimes, in his spiritual immaturity, or when going thru a dark, scary time in his life. But, even then, the Lord will move and work in his life, and he will not want to stay away from the Lord. Even a backslidden Believer will be corrected by the Lord, and brought back.

          David

          Randall Cofield

          David,

          We all agree with you on these points. But look at the questions being asked here. The Trad. defense of eternal security is radically inconsistent with their defense of libertarian free will.

          Peace, brother

          volfan007

          Randall,

          No, its not. Only in your mind, and apparently in Calvinists minds.

          David

          Randall Cofield

          David,

          Brother, I have no doubt it is consistent in your minds. Are you saying that we shouldn’t ask questions for clarification? Are you saying we should just accept what you are saying merely on the grounds that it is consistent in your minds?

          If that is what you and your fellow travelers want to say, then state it and the rest of us will move on. If it is not, then please clarify your positions.

          Peace, brother

          Chris Roberts

          David,

          We cannot have a discussion if your response is, “Don’t ask that question!” We are pointing out a legitimate inconsistency. There are a few ways the signers of the Statement might try to resolve that inconsistency, but I am wondering which path Braxton and others take. How does God ensure people stay saved without violating their will?

          volfan007

          Chris,

          We are changed…changed….changed. We’ve gone from death to life….from darkness to light. Nothing can change that back. Nothing can reverse it. No one will truly, ever want to reverse it…who has truly experienced it.

          But, the Bible plainly tells us that we are sealed by the Holy Spirit.

          So, the best we can tell you is what the Bible clearly, plainly says…..I’m sure that there are a million “what if’s” and “do you mean’s,” but all we can do is go by what the Bible clearly tells us.

          David

          Chris Roberts

          David,

          “No one will truly, ever want to reverse it…who has truly experienced it.”

          That’s the kind of thing I am looking for – before salvation, a person is free to want it or to not want it, but after salvation a person will only want it?

          Braxton

          Chris, I can say with assurance that man cannot choose to become a non-Christian again. This is what I meant by my comments about a free person making a free choice that has a permanent outcome.

          Can a man who is saved ever wish he were not saved? This is an interesting question. Is it possible that a martyr, as he stood in an arena ever had a momentary desire such as this? perhaps. But I don’t see this as a lack of belief. I don’t see it as apostasy. I see it as humanity. Regardless, the contention you are hearkening back to is whether or not compatibilism is consistent with scripture as it relates to the unsaved. It is not. Even if it turned out to be the case, and I don’t believe it is, that something like compatibilism exists after salvation, I see no reason why it would mean that man did not have libertarian freedom when he was unsaved. What you would need to show me is that within my framework, compatibilism is simply not possible before or after salvation in order to make that point. I don’t see it. Nevertheless, I maintain that man has such freedom throughout his existence. It is simply the case that when man becomes a Christian he has made a choice with a permanent consequence.

          Chris Roberts

          Braxton,

          Yet that opens up a very large can of worms for the position taken by the Statement.

          selahV

          These tag-team questions remind me of when the pharisees kept asking Jesus, but, but, but….if a man had 5 wives on earth who are they married to in heaven? geesh. Sometime I think it’s not a can of worms being opened, it’s your brains falling out of your heads. A person has the free will to open the door receive Jesus, and ask Him to come in, and they decide they really want what God is offering–total cleansing from their filth and disobedience and rebellion. So God not only forgives them, He comes inside them and creates an entirely new creature. Then Paul tells them that we battle the flesh and the spirit within the rest of our days until the day of completion. What is so complicated? selahV

          Les Prouty

          selahV,

          “These tag-team questions remind me of when the pharisees kept asking Jesus, but, but, but….if a man had 5 wives on earth who are they married to in heaven? geesh. Sometime I think it’s not a can of worms being opened, it’s your brains falling out of your heads.”

          Kind. Not.

Randall Cofield

We deny even the possibility of apostasy.

What happened to “libertarian free will”?

Brothers, if free will gets us into salvation, it can just as easily get us out.

Soli Deo Gloria

    Adam Harwood

    Randall,

    Agreed. But we don’t affirm that free will gets us into salvation. Since we affirm that we are saved by grace through faith in Christ, who reconciled us to God through His death, burial, and resurrection, we see no problem in affirming that it is also by grace through faith in Christ that we are kept safe by God.

    Blessings, brothers.

    In Him,

    Adam

      Randall Cofield

      Dr. Harwood,

      If we in our fallen condition have the ability to choose to either accept or reject salvation, do we not equally retain the ability to choose to apostatize?

      Peace

        Bob Hadley

        I think Eph 1:13-14 will answer your question.

        “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”

        Responding to the gospel brings adoption which is permanent or eternal.

        I would answer your question this way. Dt. 30:19 tells us to choose life and live. To fail to choose Christ is to choose death. Both choices are eternal. Once the choice is made and spiritual birth or adoption takes place, one’s eternity is sealed at that point by God’s promise and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

        If new birth or spiritual adoption does not take place, that one’s eternity is sealed as well.

        We are twice born to die once or once born to die twice. The choice is ours and the fulfillment His!

        ><>”

          Randall Cofield

          Hi Bob,

          You said:

          Once the choice is made and spiritual birth or adoption takes place,…

          Then you said:

          …one’s eternity is sealed at that point by God’s promise and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

          That second part of your statement sounds an awful lot like irresistible grace. :-)

          Now, I absolutely agree with the second statement. But a glaring inconsistency exists between your two statements:

          If the Holy Spirit cannot give us this new birth unless we (by our “libertarian free will”) choose Christ, what becomes of that free will after we are born again? Do we somehow no longer have the freedom of contrary choice–to choose to apostatize? If not, how does this not fit the Traditionalist’s definition of determinism, as Mike has already pointed out?

          Soli Deo Gloria in Eternal Security AND the New Birth!!

          Chris Roberts

          “Responding to the gospel brings adoption which is permanent or eternal.”

          But is it possible for the Christian to wish he were no longer adopted? Is the will secured to Christ so that a person does not desire to leave, or might you have a Christian who doesn’t want to be a Christian anymore but is unable to carry out his will because he is eternally secure?

          Is his will now limited in such a way that it is impossible for him to regret salvation, or is it just his action that is limited so that even if he regrets his salvation, he cannot give it up?

          Bob Hadley

          For guys who despise strawmen arguments… you are sure producin em here…

          ><>”

          Malcolm Hester

          Amen to Bob.
          Some of the problem is the desire on the part of the Calvinist to knock down libertarian free will. I, for one, am not defended any view of free will. When a person “surrenders” to Jesus as Lord, that person surrenders their free will also. After they are united with Jesus, they will not ever be divided from him. So after salvation, the new creature does not have free will.

      Mike Davis

      Hi Adam,

      Yes, I agree with your comment. But you are saying the believer’s faith will endure because of God’s sovereign grace. The question is, what happened to libertarian free will? It seems you either have to admit that either

      1) the believer has no choice but to keep believing (Traditionalist definition of “determinism”)

      or

      2)the believer has a choice but will always choose to keep believing because God’s grace to cause him to keep believing cannot be resisted (compatibilism).

      Blessings.

        Cb scott

        The “child” of God’s faith will endure because he is a born from above, blood bought child of God and no power above, below, to the left side, or the right side of all creation can change or snatch him/her away from the Father. We are washed in the blood of the Lamb. Once we are children of the King we are His forever.

          Chris Roberts

          So at that point a believer is unable to choose otherwise than to remain a child of God?

          Cb scott

          Chris Roberts,

          Does it not stand to reason that once a child is born to the Parent, that child is always of the same parent?

          We are of an entirely “new birthing” when we have, by the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives, recognized we are sinners before a just and righteous God, repented, and believed the biblical gospel unto the saving of our souls (born-again), are we not?

          Randall Cofield

          CB Scott,

          Your statement sounds remarkably like irresistible grace. Do you mean to say the believer cannot choose to apostatize after being saved?

          Soli Deo Gloria

          Les Prouty

          Yes, I’m curious too. In this scheme where man’s will is trumps, how does his free will work after he chooses to be born again?

          Randall Cofield

          CB Scott,

          We are of an entirely “new birthing” when we have, by the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives, recognized we are sinners before a just and righteous God, repented, and believed the biblical gospel unto the saving of our souls (born-again), are we not?

          I could not agree more, CB.

          But if the Holy Spirit cannot give us this new birth unless we, by our “libertarian free will,” choose Christ, what becomes of that free will? Do we somehow no longer have the freedom of contrary choice–to choose to apostatize? If not, how does this not, as Mike points out above, fit the Traditionalist’s definition of determinism?

          Does it not stand to reason that once a child is born to the Parent, that child is always of the same parent?

          Keeping in mind that I agree with that statement (in relation to believers), two questions very relevant to this discussion come to mind.

          First, does it stand to reason that a child has the power of contrary choice (Trad. definition of free will) to be able to choose to either be born to a parent or to choose to not be born to a parent?

          Secondly, children rebel against and even renounce their parents all the time. Why would a child of God, if he has libertarian free will, not have ability to do the same and apostatize?

          The problem Calvinists have here is that it seems Traditionalists want to argue the we have the freedom of choice to choose to become a child of God (an absurdity when framed in your Parent/child argument), then want to turn around and argue that we no longer have freedom of choice to apostatize. Having ones cake and eating it too comes to mind

          Soli Deo Gloria

          Cb scott

          Randall Cofield,

          It is probable that you and I have a very different idea of the meaning of the word “apostasy” and that which constitutes a person being an “apostate.”

          Therefore, I will make a comment related to the Security of the Believer and hopefully not take this thread where the author of the post and the owners of this blog do not, presently, want it to go.

          I realize that is a departure from my normal methodology of freely hijacking a post and comment thread on a whim, but I do not have the same degree of friendly relationship with the owners of this blog as I do with others. So please do not accuse me of hypocrisy in my refusing to engage as to the meaning of apostasy.

          Cb scott

          Les and Randall Cofield,

          I shall return shortly and try to give you my opinion.

          Randall Cofield

          CB Scott,

          I realize that is a departure from my normal methodology of freely hijacking a post and comment thread on a whim,

          How this would be a problem when the Statement being discussed frames its entire denial around the issue of apostasy?

          Your concept of apostasy is no whimsical, is it?

          Soli Deo Gloria

          Cb scott

          Les (“Less Auburn”) Prouty and Randall Cofield,

          First let me confess that the Eternal Security of the Believer is one of my greatest joys as a believer. For, it is of a certainty that if a person could be lost upon having been truly born-again, I, of all men, would be frying in the deeper parts of hell right now rather than making comments on a Baptist blog thread.

          Nonetheless, I do also confess that I do not understand all that I presently enjoy of the New Birth and my absolute security in the Hands of my Father is one of those things. Yet, I do have a position that I believe to be biblical and I will share that with you.

          Cb scott

          Les Auburn and Randall Cofield,

          We find in Hebrews 7 that the High Priesthood of our Lord is compared to that of Aaron. Yet, our Lord Jesus continues forever, in contrast to Aaron and all of the Levitical Priesthood. Because of this He (Christ) is able to “save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him.” As you know that is the KJV rendering of v. 25 which in full is, “Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.”

          I presented the KJV rendering because you, like me, probably memorized that verse in KJV after being born again.

          Nonetheless, I believe that the NASB, (my current favorite translation) renders it far better: “Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”

          The phrase “unto the uttermost,” as rendered in the KJV, describes the extent of our salvation as results in our being born again from above, having drawn near to God due to the work of Christ wrought by the conviction of the Holy Spirit upon our lost souls that we were sinners before a just and righteous God, in need of repentance and faith in the biblical gospel.

          That specific phrase occurs only two times in the NT. I think the phrase in the Original Text is “eis to panteles” which literally means “unto the completely.” The word “panteles” means, in my understanding of the language, “all-complete, perfect, or entire.” It can also denote an “all-accomplishing” or “all-achieving” action. In addition it can mean the finality of a transaction.

          Therefore, I believe the believer is eternally saved, birthed, and secure forever in the family of God because our High Priest “ever lives to make intercession” for him. We have an everlasting (eternal) access to God (Abba Father) which is evermore available to His children because we have literally been “birthed-again” and that which was is passed away and we are new creations in Christ Jesus.

          That is my story and I am stickin’ to it.

          Les Prouty

          Cb scott,

          I agree with you “He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”

          We are on the same page here. My question re this trad statement relates to man’s so called libertarian free will and the trad position that libertarian free will “is was endowed to him by God, “as an expression of His sovereignty.”” (Trad statement on free will)

          Where did this gift from God, libertarian free will, go after man exercises it to be born again? Does it go away?

          Les Prouty

          Cb scott,

          Oh, and I meant to say that the reason this is pertinent is this post says “We deny even the possibility of apostasy.” Man’s will is no longer involved?

          Now remember, I agree with you that Christ keeps us. But that seems to be something akin to irresistible grace, assuming we agree that Christ keeping us can be called grace and I think we can.

          Randall Cofield

          CB Scott,

          That was an excellent and succinct defense of the eternal security of the believer. I agree with you and rejoice with you in it.

          However, you may have missed the point of my previous questions.

          You said:

          We have an everlasting (eternal) access to God (Abba Father) which is evermore available to His children because we have literally been “birthed-again” and that which was is passed away and we are new creations in Christ Jesus.

          If the Holy Spirit cannot give us this “new birth” and make us “new creations” unless we, by our “libertarian free will,” choose Christ, what becomes of that free will? Do we somehow no longer have the freedom of contrary choice–to choose to apostatize? To frame is differently, if we have the freedom of contrary choice in the matter of being “born again,” do we not retain that freedom of contrary choice in the matter of remaining a child of God? Couldn’t we “choose” to no longer be a child of God?

          My point is this: Libertarian free will is an absurd concept in relation to the eternal security of the believer. You proved that conclusively in your defense of the doctrine. Libertarian free will in the matter of our New Birth is equally absurd, and this completely unravels the TS and all the defenses that have been offered on its behalf.

          Soli Deo Gloria in Eternal Security AND the New Birth!

          Cb scott

          On the contrary Randall Cofield,

          I do not think it is I who has missed the point. Please reconsider Hebrews 7:25.

          If we, as sinners in our lost state before God, obey the mandates of the gospel, upon conviction by the Holy Spirit of its truth, and draw near to God through our High Priest, Jesus Christ, the consequences of our obedience to the gospel’s mandate to repent and believe are in the hands of Holy God and not ours. it is he who has birthed us and not we ourselves. Therefore, consequentially we are the children of God by spiritual birth and cannot “unborn” ourselves from our Father.

          You seem to seek to turn over every possible rock to make all Scripture conform to a specific soteriological dogma. Therein is your error. Let the Scripture speak for itself. Obey it by faith and allow God to control the consequences. That is His work. Yours is to obey the gospel.

          Randall Cofield

          CB,

          You seem to seek to turn over every possible rock to make all Scripture conform to a specific soteriological dogma.

          Nay. I only turn over the rocks the Trads are tryin’ to hide under. :-)

          Their defense of libertarian free will in the New Birth is not consistent with their defense of the Eternal Security of the believer.

          The questions I (and others) have posed are not complicated, but you and every other Trad on this thread seem to be avoiding them.

          Peace, brother

          Cb scott

          Randall Cofield,

          I have avoided nothing. I have sought to answer your question within the confines of the subject matter of this post to the best of my ability.

          Obviously, I have not answered your questions to your liking, yet it is an error on your part to state that I have avoided anything.

          I have no problem engaging you here. Yet, it seems that you have a problem with the results of my engagement and have resorted to unfounded accusations that I have avoided you.

          In addition, let me challenge you to present a different conclusion to that of mine relating to Hebrews 7:25 and then we can move on from there, but please cease to make unfounded accusations of avoidance on my part.

          Randall Cofield

          CB,

          In addition, let me challenge you to present a different conclusion to that of mine relating to Hebrews 7:25 and then we can move on from there, but please cease to make unfounded accusations of avoidance on my part.

          …. :-) …. You’re not fixin’ to break out another can of “divinely inspired” sarcasm on me, are you brother?

          CB, I agree with everything you have said to date on He. 7.

          What I am asking is how do you reconcile what you have said with the Trad contention that libertarian free will “chooses” or “rejects” the new birth.

          None of the current defenses of Eternal Security are consistent with any of the Trads prior defenses of libertarian free will.

          Soli Deo Gloria

          Cb scott

          Randall Cofield,

          No. I do not intend to ‘break out another can of divine sarcasm” on you. Nor do I intend to take a bath in the contents of the one you have spilled out in this thread either.

          You stated, “None of the current defenses of Eternal Security are consistent with any of the Trads prior defenses of libertarian free will.”

          That is not the case on my part, nor do I think it to be on the part of some of the other guys on this thread. Let me direct you to Vol’s response to you about this accusation and claim it as my own.

          “Randall,

          No, its not. Only in your mind, and apparently in Calvinists minds.”

          Oh yeah and BTW, I did not sign the TradDoc. So please, in addition to not acusing me of avoidance in this engagement, do not pigeon hole me here either.

          Randall Cofield

          CB,

          So do you reject the Trads’ contention that libertarian free will “chooses” or “rejects” the new birth?

          Soli Deo Gloria

        Darryl Hill

        Yes it is amazing that the entire picture painted by scripture of salvation is like a new birth. Is birth active or passive? Is it based primarily on a choice of the one being born or the one giving life? Imagine the child at some point saying to his mother “had I known you’d be so hard on me I never would have decided to be born!”

        All of the metaphors used in Scripture regarding salvation place God in the active role and man in a more passive role and that is no accident.

        There was a young man from my youth group miraculously saved last night here at mobile and I can tell you what he stated. He has been running and rebelling and denying his sinfulness but God opened his eyes last night and showed him his need. This kid prayed a prayer as a child in vbs but it was a repeat after me deal that didn’t come from his own heart. Last night was God breaking through his false religion to save him. I was praying that God would open his eyes, not that he’d make a good choice. What do traditional Baptists pray? The same thing. Ive heard them. They say “salvation is man’s choice” but they that God would awaken people, open their eyes, and let them see their need. They ask God to awaken life in them.

          Randall Cofield

          Darryl,

          As a Calvinist, I praise God for His irresistible, redeeming grace in that young man’s life.

          A Traditionalist, however, would have to praise the young man’s wise libertarian free will choice to embrace Christ…if they are to remain consistent with their soteriology.

          Soli Deo Gloria for this young man’s salvation!

          Braxton

          Iyiu guys are great. I enjoy these posts greatly, however it really seems like a stretch to say that man loses his free will just because he makes a choice with a permanent outcome. Moreover, you have to be careful with analogies, not to push them too far. What was the meaning of the author when he used the analogy? In scripture or with commenters on this sight we have to keep this in mind.

          Chris Roberts

          Braxton,

          So it is possible for a Christian to wish he were not saved even after he is saved, but he is unable to give up his salvation even if he wants to?

          Randall Cofield

          Hi Braxton

          Moreover, you have to be careful with analogies, not to push them too far.

          And, may I add, one must be careful to be consistent with one’s analogies.

          I challenged you on this very point further up the thread. No response yet. :-)

          Peace, brother

          Randall Cofield

          Braxton,

          You said:

          …it really seems like a stretch to say that man loses his free will just because he makes a choice with a permanent outcome.

          And I find it quite a stretch for the Trads to say man’s free will is lost when God gloriously gives us the New Birth (Jn. 3) and we respond in joyous, free, glad, elated, blissful, ecstatic, enchanted, mesmerized, enthralled, (did I mention free)….repentance and faith.

          Which works better for you:

          “Oh! Say but I’m glad, I’m glad. Oh! say but I’m glad. Jesus has come and my cup overruns. Oh! say but I’m glad!”

          OR

          “Oh! Say but I’m glad, I’m glad. Oh! say but I’m glad. My libertarian free will choice has come and my cup overruns. Oh! say but I’m glad!”

          Just don’t have the same ring to it, does it?

          But hey, that’s just me. Perhaps others of you experienced something different? :-)

          Soli Deo Gloria!!

Darryl Hill

Isn’t it interesting that Romans 8 arrives at “what shall separate us from the love of God” on the basis of “for those (the people) he foreknew ( not their foreseen choice) he also predestined and those whom he predestined he also called and those whom he called he also justified…

The basis of Scriptural eternal security is found in the fact that it is God’s work being accomplished before the foundation of the world. But it’s not surprising that Baptists who have renounced other reformed doctrine have retained this one since it is very pleasing to the ears- especially when it is divorced from the rest of the accompanying doctrines regarding God’s sovereignty in salvation.

The most dangerous thing Baptists have done to twist this doctrine is ti create once saved always saved (OSAS)

    Darryl Hill

    By the way I believe that if a person is genuinely converted that it can’t be lost. But between repeat after me prayers and OSAS I fear many have been inoculated to the Gospel. Scripture says we should examine ourselves rather than ask if we once prayed a prayer. Security as a believer is not based on one isolated event but on the ongoing work of God in a person’s life.

rhutchin

In the affirmation of eternal security, we find a return to Calvinism with God in control of the outcome. There is one quibble. Instead of stating, “…God promises to complete the process of salvation…,” it should read, “…God will bring the process of salvation to completion…” No more is free will the issue. God takes over, infuses the believer with His spirit, and directs the believer’s will according to His will.

Interesting that the affirmation starts with, “We affirm that when a person responds in faith to the Gospel,…” That faith is given to the believer by God and coincidentally, that faith brings only the elect to salvation while leaving the reprobate for judgment. Perhaps the authors of the statement meant to make faith a quality all people enjoy equally so as to preserve their focus on a person-centered salvation.

Bob Cleveland

Nicodemus almost accidentally stumbled into a spiritual truth when he asked Jesus how he could possibly enter back into his mother’s womb … after hearing the factual truth that one must be born again. What convinced me of the irreversibility of the spiritual birth, many years ago, is the impossibility of reversing physical birth .. not as Nicodemus saw it, but actually becoming what we were before conception.

We don’t don’t have the power to reverse the process and become the two forms of genetic material we were, before conception. And we’d no more have the power to become what we were before the new birth, either, or else Jesus used a badly flawed analogy in talking about being “born again”.

Adam Harwood

It is interesting that our more Calvinistic brothers insist that our view of regeneration be more monergistic than our stated view. But now that our view of perseverance is more monergistic, they balk. As a self-identified Synergist, I point to grace and a free offer of faith which, by God’s grace, I received. I repented and trusted Christ to save me from the wages of sin and death. As a new creation, I now have a desire to be in fellowship with God and His people. I have a new nature and now desire to walk in the light rather than the darkness. Because sin is still in me, as Paul states, my battle with the flesh, this body of death, constantly taunts me. Why do I remain His child? Due to the work of Christ on the Cross. Is that monergism? I don’t think so. But God keeps me in Christ; and I’m eternally grateful. 

May I turn the table for a moment? More Calvinistic brothers typically insist on a synergistic view of sanctification. (You must position yourself to grow in grace. There is an element which depends on man.) Call it compatibilitic monergism but it sure sounds like synergism. I won’t criticize your apparently-synergistic view of sanctification if you’ll stop criticizing our apparently-monergistic view of perseverance. Blessings, brothers.

In Him,
Adam

    rhutchin

    Adam says, “As a self-identified Synergist, I point to grace and a free offer of faith which, by God’s grace, I received.” So does a person receive the faith offered by God or does God give the person faith by which he then receives salvation. If faith is inherent to people, as Adam says, then salvation is man-centered in that God is limited to persuading people to accept His offer of salvation and people have the choice whether to accept that offer or reject it. The non-Calvinists will claim that salvation is all of grace; what they mean is that the availability of salvation is all of grace. In the end, non-Calvinists have people deciding whether the offer is acceptable to them. Regardless, God knew who would accept salvation and who would reject salvation before He created the world and none but the elect accept His offer and all the reprobate reject it. It plays out exactly the way God knew it would.

      Adam Harwood

      Please do not change my words.

      “If faith is inherent to people, as Adam says…”

      If you will re-read my comments above, you will see that I made no such statement. Please state your position, not mine.

      Thank you, brother.

      Adam

        rhutchin

        My apologies. You are correct. Under your system, faith is freely given to people by God after they believe.

    Randall Cofield

    Hi Adam,

    May I turn the table for a moment? More Calvinistic brothers typically insist on a synergistic view of sanctification. (You must position yourself to grow in grace. There is an element which depends on man.)

    Nay, brother. Most Calvinists believe sanctification is entirely monergistic.

    Php 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ:

    We both desire to grow in grace and actually do grow in grace precisely because Christ alone began (by the New Birth) this good work in us and is sustaining that which He begun.

    The Trads are contending that the New Birth is the result of the exercise of libertarian free will, protesting that anything else is determinism. Then they turn around and contend that there is no possibility of apostasy, which is to posit the very determinism rejected. That is inconsistent, for if libertarian free will is to be kept consistent, the believer would have the ability of contrary choice and could choose to cease being a child of God.

    And to date, not one Trad has been able to reconcile this radical contradiction.

    Grace to you, brother.

      Adam Harwood

      Randall,

      We disagree, brother. And I, too, can support my view by quoting Scripture. In the same letter you cited, Paul wrote, “Only let us hold true to what we have attained.” (Philippians 3:16 ESV)
      I have no desire to argue about perseverance. But, like you, I will defend my position against mischaracterizations (even those which are unintentional).

      In Him,

      Adam

        Randall Cofield

        Hi Adam,

        Thanks for the reply.

        So you see no contradiction between libertarian free will in regeneration and no libertarian free will in eternal security (no possibility of apostasy)?

        Grace and Peace

          Don Johnson

          Randall,

          Regeneration is something God does AFTER one repents and believes the Gospel.

          Randall Cofield

          Don,

          What group of passages would you cite in support of that? I asked you that question on the other thread and you never responded.

          Peace

          Don Johnson

          Randall,

          I’d be happy to do so. There are several but I’ll give them one at a time, to give you or anyone else a chance to comment.

        volfan007

        I’m not Dr. Harwood, but let me answer for me…”NO.”
        Randall, I understand that this is hard for someone like you, who believes that there can only be 2 positions, due to your philosophical framework, to understand why we can say what we do. It just blows your mind.
        David

          Randall Cofield

          David,

          You’re right, brother. I do find contradictions hard to understand. I’ve always struggled with that.

          Please pray for me. ;-)

          Peeeeeace

volfan007

Chris,

Once again, as we keep telling you, and you apparently refuse to believe what we’re saying; once a man is saved, he is changed forever. He belongs to Christ. He has life. He is forever changed. He desires the things of God. He will go to Heaven, one day; no doubt about it. God will finish what He started in us. And, nothing can take us from the hand of God…..nothing can separate us from the love of God.

And, even if someone regrets being saved….for a time…due to falling into sin…due to harsh circumstances…due to being deceived by false teachers, etc…..they will come back to Christ, because they are truly changed…..a new creation in Christ Jesus. And, the Lord will finish with 100 sheep….not 99. And, as a good Father, He will discipline those whom He loves.

David

    Randall Cofield

    David,

    I agree with your above statement.

    However, when we make similar statements about the New Birth, the Trads cry “determinism.”

    So how is your above statement not determinism?

    Peace, brother

    Chris Roberts

    David,

    It’s not about refusing to believe, it’s about trying to understand the full implications of what you are saying. I agree with eternal security, but I’m not sure how someone who rejects Calvinism can logically affirm security without appealing to mystery.

    The Statement says that before we are saved, we have libertarian free will. We can choose to accept salvation, or we can choose to reject salvation. It is completely in our hands to do what we will with salvation.

    But then the Statement says that once we are saved, we cannot lose our salvation. Has the person’s will been changed so that he no longer has the same kind of freedom he had before, whereas before he could choose to accept or reject, now he can only choose to accept, other than the possibility of falling into periods of sin?

    Let me ask it another way.

    What happens to the human will at salvation? What does being a new creation mean to our will?

      volfan007

      Chris,
      Our wills, and our minds, and our emotions, ALL have been radically changed at the new birth. Everything about our being has been invaded by the Spirit of God. We become a totally new person, with a new heart…..a heart that desires God…a heart that loves God….a mind that can understand God’s truths…a will that can now overcome sinful actions and obey God….and, one day, we’ll get a new body that will know no sin.

      So, to be changed like that….how can we ever lose our salvation? We cant. God holds onto us. God keeps us. God now treats us like one of His children. God now looks upon us as one of His sheep. God has done such a life changing, earth shaking, game altering work in our hearts that we are changed forever. And, the Spirit of God will make sure that we remain saved forever…..

      What happened to the free will of man at the point of salvation? It was changed…gloriously and eternally changed! What happened to the free will of man at salvation? Well, it still exists, as we see played out everyday…as Believers make good choices and bad choices….as we make wise choices and foolish choices…as we do good things and do bad things…

      Chris, if God has enslaved us to Him in such a way, as a determinists would suggest; then why do Believers do bad, unwise things? I mean, if God must regenerate our wills, in order to be saved….because our wills were enslaved to sin in such a way that they could not choose to be saved; then why are our wills not so gloriously changed after the new birth that we no longer sin? And, are you saying that man’s will becomes free after the new birth? Or, are you saying that God is too weak to make the change fully….to weak to dominate man’s will fully…after the new birth?

      David

        Chris Roberts

        David,

        “So, to be changed like that….how can we ever lose our salvation? We cant. God holds onto us. God keeps us. God now treats us like one of His children.”

        So either (1) he holds us even if we don’t want him to, or (2) he holds us and makes it so that we will never want him to let go, which means the kind of libertarian free will that has been argued for no longer exists after salvation. I have no problem with that notion, but I’d rather those affirming the Statement come out and say it.

          volfan007

          Chris,

          I have tried my best to answer your questions? Now, will you please re read what I wrote, and answer mine?

          Thanks.
          David

        Chris Roberts

        David,

        I reply further down.

      Bob Hadley

      Chris,

      You wrote, “It’s not about refusing to believe, it’s about trying to understand the full implications of what you are saying.

      For the record, this may be the first time I am in complete agreement with you. We are simply on differing sides of the street… or maybe planet. I absolutely do not understand how anyone can accept the full implications of calvinism.

      You said, “I agree with eternal security, but I’m not sure how someone who rejects Calvinism can logically affirm security without appealing to mystery.

      Thanks for your honesty. This is the same problem you apparently have with your charge of pelagianism as well; the truth is, it is apparent by your own confession that you cannot or will not (to stay pertinent to the language here) consider or attempt to understand anything outside your own philosophical position. I guess you are a living example of someone whose will is “locked into a particular position or nature.”

      ><>”

        Patrick

        “the truth is, it is apparent by your own confession that you cannot or will not (to stay pertinent to the language here) consider or attempt to understand anything outside your own philosophical position. I guess you are a living example of someone whose will is “locked into a particular position or nature.””

        Pot meet kettle

        Chris Roberts

        Bob,

        “I absolutely do not understand how anyone can accept the full implications of calvinism.”

        “the truth is, it is apparent by your own confession that you cannot or will not (to stay pertinent to the language here) consider or attempt to understand anything outside your own philosophical position.”

        At least you accuse me of nothing more than what you have confessed for yourself. :)

        As for what I said, I did not say I will not understand, I said I cannot understand. I cannot understand it because the argument does not make sense. There is a strong logical inconsistency in affirming complete libertarian free will after salvation while still affirming eternal security. There is also a lesser inconsistency – or at least something that has not been addressed – in saying that man before salvation has libertarian free will, but after salvation does not have it. The latter argument is, I think, a reasonable one, though it is wrong, but I haven’t seen anyone try to make it yet.

          volfan007

          Chris,

          Does a man not have free will before he’s saved, and then has free will after he gets saved?

          If he doesnt, then how come Christians choose to sin?

          David

          Chris Roberts

          David,

          The question gets tricky because of the terms used. I believe man always has free will, but only to a certain degree. God can always (and very often does) step in and in various ways override what we would will to do.

          But in the case of sin, it’s simple: we are free to do whatever we will, but because the will is dead in sin, what we will is always sin. Every desire of the fallen person is sinful. The only actions they will ever perform are sinful actions.

          This means we do not have libertarian free will, the complete natural ability to freely choose, or desire to choose, between two options. Because we are corrupt, we will never want to choose righteousness. We will only ever want to choose sin. That is why, apart from Christ, people sin.

          In Christ the situation changes some: God does a work on our will (regeneration) so that we can – and will – both desire God and come to him for salvation. Once saved, we have this renewed will but, as I think you said elsewhere, we do continue to have our fallen nature. It has been crucified with Christ so that it no longer bears a penalty for me, but it is still hanging around and will continue to lure me to the world until the day that I am called home with Christ, am made pure, and have removed any temptation or tendency or desire to sin.

      Cb scott

      “I agree with eternal security, but I’m not sure how someone who rejects Calvinism can logically affirm security without appealing to mystery.”

      Chris Roberts,

      Read your statement above and consider the implications. Surely, you do not believe that you totally understand all things relating to God’s birthing into His family and maintaining a sinner’s position as His child through the atoning work of Christ?

      Not one of us currently drawing the breathe God grants us, nor has any human of the past understood all of the mystery of the faith.

      One of the continuous problems I see with this debate is the demand by some to be able to have a complete comprehension of the working of God in the lives of fallen humanity.

      Luther, upon revelation wrought by the Spirit came to realize the truth of Hab. 2:4 and Rom. 1:17 that “the just shall live (have life) by faith.”

      No one living or dead has accomplished such a feat as to understand all the mystery of our faith. Therefore, we must recognize, as did Luther and many, many others, that we must place our faith in the work of God to birth and sustain us and allow Him to grant full revelation to us in His good time.

      Our position in this life is to obey the mandates of the gospel, enjoy the security of God’s good grace in our lives, and fulfill the Great Commission, and leave the consequences of our obedient faith in the capable hands of He who has birthed us and sustains us in all things.

      I fear that sometimes in these debates we may become so caught up in our desire to know and settle all things that we forget that our salvation was decreed by the Triune God prior to the foundations of the world and we forget that we have been benefited by an inexplicable work of God, the Holy Spirit, in our lives.

      That of which I cannot explain, nor can you is that of which we both should give praise unto God who holds all mysteries with full knowledge, yet has seen fit to save sinful men such as are we.

      The New Birth is as literal in its reality as is the natural birth. I do not understand the complexities of either, yet I know I have experienced both, deserve neither, and will praise God and proclaim the Good Story of Jesus Christ, by faith till He comes for me and reveals that of which He desires to reveal to me in my resurrected body and fully granted new nature.

      Lastly, I will not only “appeal to mystery,” but will rejoice therein as a Christ loved, Spirit called and convicted, blood secured, birthed from above child of God, knowing that of which I cannot explain, God has in complete and sovereign control.

        Chris Roberts

        Cb,

        I don’t object to appeals to mystery, there are times when I must do so. But I don’t think we should appeal to mystery when the Bible has spoken. This is one thing I didn’t like about Platt’s sermon: he spoke of mystery on a matter the Bible has revealed. Where Scripture speaks, we are to strive for understanding.

        That said, in a discussion like this, I can accept the non-Calvinist who says, “I believe we have libertarian free will both before and after salvation and yet remain secure, but I don’t know how that works, I don’t think God has told us how that works.” I will still think him wrong, I will still try to show him where Scripture has given us a bit more to go on, but I will at least see something honest and, in a sense, consistent in his view.

        What is happening in this discussion is those trying to defend the Statement are piling up inconsistencies and trying to defend them. Appeal to mystery, if you must, but don’t defend inconsistencies and expect me to go along.

          Cb scott

          Chris Roberts,

          Then I must confess that I do not see an inconsistency of the TradDoc here on Article 9 wherein you obviously do.

        Shane Dodson

        “The New Birth is as literal in its reality as is the natural birth. I do not understand the complexities of either, yet I know I have experienced both, deserve neither, ”

        You really don’t deserve it?

        You received Christ. Another person confronted with the Gospel rejected Christ.

        What was special about you that made you receive Him? Were you able to see something the other did not?
        Did you not love your sin as much as the one who rejected?

        Something had to be special about you to receive what the other rejected, right?

          Don Johnson

          Interesting how Calvinists point out that those believing in free will have something to boast about. Yet I have never heard of anyone ever doing so. Maybe you could give a few instances of such.

          I do however hear of Calvinists imply how “humble” they are by stating they had nothing to do with their regeneration.

          Cb scott

          Shane Dodson,

          Upon reading this specific comment by you I must respond in the manner of the famed, backwoods bank robber and self-proclaimed theologian, John Dillinger when confronted by Melvin Purvis as to his impending incarceration.

          Shane Dodson, to respond to such silly nonsense as you pose in this specific comment would be an “exercise in futility.”

          Therefore, I shall pass on this one in hopes that wisdom will overcome you and you will pose a comment worthy of response, dialogue, or sensible debate relating to the subject matter of this post.

          Shane Dodson

          “Interesting how Calvinists point out that those believing in free will have something to boast about. Yet I have never heard of anyone ever doing so.”

          Perhaps you can answer, Don…since Cb refuses to do so.

          What is the difference between you–who chose to receive Christ–and the one who chose to reject Christ?

          Perhaps you don’t like the term “special.” Pick whatever term you feel comfortable with.

          What is the difference? There IS a difference, you would stipulate.

          What is it?

          This question might give synergists fits…but it’s a question they should seriously consider when examining the foundations of their doctrine.

          Don Johnson

          Shane,

          I was a sinner who needed saving, so I received the invitation to be saved.

          Now your next question will be why don’t other people see the same need. I can’t give you all the reasons but I’ll give you a few.

          Pride – Mt 23.12
          Trusting in riches – Mk 10:24
          Intellect, power or position – 1 Cor. 1:26
          Love darkness – John 3:19
          Lovers of pleasure – 2Tim. 3:4

          My question to you, why are not many rich or noble called?

          I would answer by saying it is more difficult to convince a rich man of his need for a saviour.

          Remember, if you say it’s because God doesn’t elect many who are rich or noble, you make God’s election conditional and not unconditional. Which is it?

          Shane Dodson

          “I was a sinner who needed saving, so I received the invitation to be saved.”

          You simply repeated my question, Don. Yes…we both know you received Christ.

          What is the difference between you who received and the sinner next to you who rejected?

          Both heard the same Gospel…the same God offered it to both. You received; the next sinner rejected.

          What’s the difference?

          Did you realize something special about yourself the other person didn’t?

          Do you have special insight the other person didn’t?

          Why is this a difficult question?

          Don Johnson

          Shane,

          No there was nothing special about me. I saw the need and acted. Others may see the need and don’t act, they’ll take there chances . Felix and Agrippa come to mind.

          Others don’t see the need or they desire something else. I gave you a list of five.

          Now if you will, answer my question on the rich and noble?

          Randall Cofield

          Don,

          hmmm…

          An effect without a cause…

          If you were the cause of your act, you’re trapped theologically.

          If God caused you to act…well…you’re trapped theologically.

          So…it must have been an effect with no prior moving cause.

          This single question and your refusal to answer is a microcosm of this whole debate.

          Soli Deo Gloria

          Don Johnson

          Randall,

          Please let me know what I’m not answering? I thought I did.

          I noticed you also failed to give any answer to my question.

          Shane Dodson

          “No there was nothing special about me. I saw the need and acted. Others may see the need and don’t act, they’ll take there chances.”

          Nothing special? You’re not answering the question, Don.

          There HAS to be a difference somehow. Does the other love his/her sin more than you do? Do you have a special understanding that those who actively reject the Gospel? What are they lacking in that you possess?

          It isn’t enough to say “I don’t know” when you have etched out this proposition for yourself.

          Don Johnson

          Shane,

          Why will you not answer my question on the rich and noble? I noticed Randall won’t answer either.

          Shane Dodson

          “Why will you not answer my question on the rich and noble? I noticed Randall won’t answer either.”

          Why don’t you set a good example for us by answering the question I initially asked you?

          Fair enough?

          Don Johnson

          Shane,

          I’ve repeatly answered your question. I can’t it if you don’t like my answer.

          It makes one wonder why you won’t even atempt to answer my question.

          And to quote you “why is this a difficult question.

          Shane Dodson

          “I’ve repeatly answered your question.”

          Let’s go through your responses to the specific question…

          “What is the difference between one who receives Christ and one who accepts Christ?”

          Note that the answer to this question is NOT…

          “I received Christ and the other one did not.”

          That response merely repeats the premise of my question…it doesn’t answer the actual question.

          Having said that, let’s review what you are calling “answers”….

          “I was a sinner who needed saving, so I received the invitation to be saved.”

          This first response is not an answer at all. You just repeated my question back to me in the form of a statement.

          “I saw the need and acted…Others don’t see the need or they desire something else.”

          The second response gets closer to an actual answer…so let me try again.

          You said the denier of the Gospel “doesn’t see” what you see. Are you saying that you have a special perspective that the denier doesn’t have?

          Did you conjure up this perspective yourself? Why didn’t the denier conjure it up? Was he not able, whereas you are able?

          Shane Dodson

          Excuse my typo in the above post.

          This is what I typed…

          “What is the difference between one who receives Christ and one who accepts Christ?”

          This is what I MEANT…

          “What is the difference between the one who receives Christ and the one who rejects Christ?”

          Pretty big difference there.

          Sorry for the typo and the confusion.

          Back to the discussion.

Shane Dodson

“The security of the believer????”

What on earth happened to “libertarian free will????”

    rhutchin

    Libertarian free will was the subject of the previous article. This is a new article; new subject, under which libertarian free will is done away with.

      Shane Dodson

      God would dare take away libertarian free will?

        rhutchin

        The libertarian free will guys made Him do it. The free willers wanted their cake and to eat it and what could God do?

Chris Roberts

To bring up a question I asked in the last discussion which has a little relevance here as well:

Will we have libertarian free will in Heaven? Will sin be a possibility? Might the fall take place once again? What will ensure that believers will never again sin once we cross the Jordan? Does God remove from us the possibility of sin, thus removing libertarian free will as it has been defined here, or is there something else that will prevent us from sinning? What happens to ensure that the sinful desires we have on earth do not carry over to Heaven? What happens to ensure that the fall of Adam and Eve will not be repeated on the new heavens and Earth?

Don Johnson

Let’s see if we can get to the heart of the matter. When Calvinists mock libertarian free will, is that your way of saying regeneration precedes faith. If it is, then we easily clear the matter up with scripture.

    rhutchin

    I don’t think Calvinists mock libertarian free will as much as argue that it is impossible after Adam sinned. Human nature became corrupt and the will, while still free, could then only choose among corrupted choices (while the libertarian guys want non-corrupted choices to be in play also). God then intervenes, as He predestined, to change that situation for the elect by giving them libertarian free will with regard to salvation and, of course, none rejects salvation. That change by God could be called a regenerative action.

    Darryl Hill

    Forget Calvinists Don the vast majority of orthodox Christians reject the idea of libertarian free will because it is foreign to Scripture. I wonder if anyone could truly embrace the thought if they understood it fully.

Randall Cofield

CB,

So do you reject the Trads’ contention that libertarian free will “chooses” or “rejects” the new birth?

Soli Deo Gloria

    Cb scott

    Randall Cofield,

    If your question is in reference as to why I did not sign the TradDoc, it has nothing to do with Article 9. I can whole-heartedly agree with the entirety of Article 9 as stated.

      Randall Cofield

      CB Scott

      ….So do you reject the Trads’ contention that libertarian free will “chooses” or “rejects” the new birth?

      Soli Deo Gloria

        Cb scott

        Randall Cofield,

        This is what I know for certain beyond any shadow of a doubt.

        Any sinner who is made, by the convicting power of the Holy Spirit of God that he/she is a sinner before a just and righteous God, repents of sin, and believes the biblical gospel of Jesus Christ shall be saved to the uttermost and cannot be removed from the family of the Father.

        That, I know for sure. That does not mean that I have not given due diligence to the study of God’s Word and hundreds of theological works since I became a believer long years go after having read the Scripture for the first time in my life from a Gideon Bible that I had taken from a hotel room.

        I know what I know and I am still seeking to know more. I have not yet arrived to the point of full knowledge of all the mysteries of Christ. But, I can assure you I can walk any dog you trot out here and if he goes rabid on me, I can handle that also.

          Cb scott

          That should be: Any sinner that is made “aware,” by the convicting power of the Holy Spirit of God, that he/she is a sinner before a just and righteous God,…

          Please excuse my error of making myself clear by leaving out words.

Don Johnson

Randall,

Per your request.

FAITH PRECEDES REGENERATION

The following is my first proof text showing faith precedes regeneration. This one is my favorite because it is the only verse in the Bible that mentions the word “regeneration” with respect to the new birth.

Not only does the verse mention “regeneration”, but it partially defines the word. Which leaves no room for doubt in the Ordo Salutis as to where “regeneration” should be placed.

Titus 3:5
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”

My first question would be: What is washed?

I would be very interested in the Calvinist’s answer to that question.

But instead of waiting I’ll give you mine.

The washing of regeneration I believe must be the washing away of our sins. I say that because I don’t find anything else in scripture that it could possibly be. Note the following:

Rev. 1:5
“…and washed us from our sins in his own blood.”

Acts 3:19
“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out.”

Acts 10:43
“…whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.”

Acts 22:16
“…and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”

Assuming I am correct on the washing of our sins; my second question would be: Do sins get washed away before or after one repents and believes? The above verses should help answer that question if you have any doubt.

I trust you all said one repents and believes before washing.

Now my third question: If repentance and faith occur before our sins are washed, does that not prove they must also precede regeneration since regeneration is the washing of the sins?

The washing of sins is not the only thing involved when one is regenerated, but it is the part God wanted us to know.

Even though Titus 3:5 should settle the fact that faith precedes regeneration, I’ll have more texts to further substantiate the point.

    Chris Roberts

    Don,

    Interesting observation, but note that the Greek word used for washing in Titus 3:5 is not the same word used in your examples. In fact, every one of your examples uses a different word, though several of them are lexically related.

    The only other place that the word in Titus 3:5 is used is in Ephesians 5:26. In that passage, the context is clearly the work of sanctification, and I think something similar is in view in Titus. This is not us being forgiven from sin, this is the working of sin being rooted out of us. This is not the washing away of the guilty stain, this is the washing of my sinful ways. That may be what you mean, but that means what Paul has in view is something other than what happens at a single moment: this is a work that takes place across a lifetime.

    Paul’s primary point in Titus goes like this: God, in his mercy has saved you, even though you did nothing for it and certainly did not deserve it. Not only did he save you, he has washed you and has given you the Holy Spirit who continues to renew (also Romans 12:2) you. Because you are saved and because you are being sanctified – because God, out of sheer mercy and grace, has done and is doing so much for you – why would you even think about going back to sin?

    So the context has nothing to do with an order of salvation, nor is it a comprehensive look at salvation, it is an exhortation to live faithfully out of a recognition and gratitude of what God has done and is doing for us and in us.

      Don Johnson

      Chris,

      It\’s nice how you can the wording of the text. What do you know that all the translators seem to have missed.

      Even the reformed ESV has washing of regeneration. I would have to say I agree with the translators. Other than having to admit “irresistible grace” doesn’t exist, is there another reason why you think all the translators got it wrong?

      Something is washed during regeneration. What is it?

        Chris Roberts

        Don,

        I’m not aware that I said the translators got anything wrong.

          Don Johnson

          Chris,

          Why did you leave the word regeneration out your rendering of the verse? Does regeneration not belong in the verse? Was it added by the translators?

          Again I ask, what was washed during regeneration?

          Randall Cofield

          Chris,

          Well, I think we both know where this is headed…

          Good grief.

          Grace to you, brother.

          Chris Roberts

          Don,

          The question was how washing relates to regeneration and how it might impact the meaning of regeneration. I didn’t try to translate or unpack the whole verse, just the particular relation of the washing. I’m guessing you have in mind my paragraph beginning “Paul’s primary point” I probably should have specifically mentioned regeneration, but I lumped it in with the fact that God has saved us.

          Either way, it does not change Paul’s overall point: because of what God did, stay away from sin. It’s a passage about sanctification, not the ordo salutis. It could, perhaps, instruct us on the ordo salutis, but I don’t think it does.

          One thing to keep in mind that sometimes causes confusion is that the Bible can speak of salvation in three senses, which has led some to say, “I have been saved, I am being saved, I will be saved” – I have been justified, I am being sanctified, I will be glorified. All three senses are present, though perhaps subdued, in Titus 3:5, but the overall emphasis is on the middle: the work of sanctification, a work that began when we were regenerated.

          This washing our sins – sanctifying us – began when we were regenerated which is also what initiated our faith. We could not have faith in God while our wills remained in bondage to sin. God had to break that bondage, had to cleanse our natures (wash us) before we were even capable of a faith response to his grace.

          Don Johnson

          Chris,

          No, the text is not speaking of sanctification. The verse states …but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration…

          I agree the verse is not giving the whole ordo salutis, but it does show where regeneration fits in.

          One thing is sure, when one is regenerated something is washed. I believe that something is sin.

          Please show me where in the New Testament that a person is washed or forgiven of their sins before they believe? There arn’t any. Therefore faith must have preceded the washing of regeneration.

          And no, regeneration did not initiate our faith. Not only does this verse not say it, but it’s not found anywhere in scripture.

          Randall Cofield

          Don,

          No, the text is not speaking of sanctification.

          Brother, the whole context of the first 8 verses is one seamless argument for the necessity of sanctification.

          You are trying to isolate the text from its context and force a meaning into it.

          Don Johnson

          Randall,

          If you want to bring up context that’s fine. I’ll be waiting for your exegesis of the verse in its context.

    Randall Cofield

    Don Johnson,

    Next…..?

      Don Johnson

      Randall,

      Next

      Gal. 3:26 “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”

      When does one become a child of God? My answer would be when he is born of God (John 1:13, James 1:18). If this is true then once again we see that Faith precedes Regeneration, because the verse clearly states we are children by faith. It does not say we have faith because we are children. The faith came first.

      Your thoughts.

        Chris Roberts

        On Galatians 3:26, don’t miss Galatians 3:25 (once again, context is a wonderful thing): faith has come. Just as the law came to us, faith comes to us. The faith with which we believe and are adopted is faith that is given to us by God. It comes to us at regeneration. Also, speaking of faith, we do not become sheep because we have faith, we have faith (believe) because we are already God’s sheep: John 10:26.

          Don Johnson

          Chris,

          Once again you fail to discuss what the verse actually states.

          Instead of giving some exegesis of the verse, you keep giving the same old Calvinistic theology without scriptural support.

          Where in the text or even the context does it say faith was given to us by God. And where does it state that faith was given by regeneration. It might say that in your systematic theology, but it’s not found in the Bible.

          Please if you would, exegete the verse

          Chris Roberts

          Don,

          I could repeat myself but I doubt that would be helpful.

          Randall Cofield

          Don,

          “How do we become a son if it is not by a new birth?”

          We can’t.

          Is it possible for a passage to mention our being sons of God without it being a reference to the new birth?

        Randall Cofield

        Don,

        Backing up to verse 19 to gain a little context:

        The law cannot save. (19)

        The law cannot give life (21)

        The law held us captive (22)

        This was temporary until the object of our faith (Christ) was revealed (23)

        The law is a tutor to bring us to faith in Christ. (24)

        Now that we have faith we no longer need the law (25), because we are now sons and not slaves who need a tutor (4:1-2).

        The context clearly indicates that sonship through faith is in view, not the New Birth.

        Next.

        Hint: There are no Biblical texts that demonstrate faith precedes regeneration.

          Don Johnson

          Randall,

          How do we become a son if it is not by a new birth?

          When one is born of God (John 1:13), does he become a son of God at that time, or is there a waiting period.

          Am I correct in assuming, you believe a person is born of God and then sometime later he receives faith and then becomes a son of God?

          Randall Cofield

          Don,

          “How do we become a son if it is not by a new birth?”

          We can’t.

          Is it possible for a passage to mention our being sons of God without it being a reference to the new birth?

          Don Johnson

          Randall or Chris,

          Does one receive life before or after faith. You need not give any scripture, unless you want to. An answer of before or after will suffice.

          Randall Cofield

          Don,

          “When one is born of God (John 1:13), does he become a son of God at that time, or is there a waiting period.”

          I might gently point our there that Jn. 1:13 plainly states that we are not born by faith. We are born by the will of God.

          Randall Cofield

          Don,

          “Does one receive life before or after faith. You need not give any scripture, unless you want to. An answer of before or after will suffice.”

          I might gently point our there that Jn. 1:13 plainly states that we are not born by faith. We are born by the will of God.

          Don Johnson

          Randall,

          Is it possible for you to be a son of your mother and father without being born to them?

          It was God who said we were sons. I assume He was using words as we would understand them.

          Do you think He was using words that had a double meaning, so that only the theologians could understand their true meaning?

          Randall Cofield

          Don,

          “Am I correct in assuming, you believe a person is born of God and then sometime later he receives faith and then becomes a son of God?”

          No. I think repentance and faith happen immediately upon our exit from the birth canal.
          Right after we draw our first breath of born-again air…..

          Of course, I could be wrong. The polls show that most think they are so special that they defied all reason (and Jn. 3) and had faith before they were even born….

          Shane Dodson

          Is faith an act of the will of man, Don?

          If your answer is “yes,” then I have this as a response…

          “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”
          (Joh 1:12-13)

          Or are you saying that faith is NOT an act of man’s will?

          PLEASE tell me you’re saying that. :-)

          Randall Cofield

          Don,

          This is getting pretty silly. I’ll leave it with you.

          Peace, brother.

          Don Johnson

          Randall,

          You are correct in stating John 1:13 does not say we were born by faith. It states that in verse 12.

          Also, verse 13 does not say we were born by the will of God. It says we were born of God. Now I do believe we were born by the will of God, we’d be in trouble if not. But it’s not stated in verse 13.

          While we are on the subject, do you believe John made a mistake by having verse 12 come before 13?

          Don Johnson

          Shane,

          Am I correct in assuming from your question, you belive a person is first born of God, then he receives or believes God and then becomes a child of God?

          Shane Dodson

          Don…

          Can you just answer my question please?

          “Is faith an act of the will of man?”

          Don Johnson

          Shane,

          Yes, I will continue to answer your questions.

          It would be nice if you would answer mine as well, but I’m quite sure that’s not going happen.

          As for your question. The way in which you word the question tells me it might well be a trick question. If by your question you mean – “if a person has faith to believe the Gospel” – is that faith a will of the person, then yes that faith is the will of the person.

          Shane Dodson

          “As for your question. The way in which you word the question tells me it might well be a trick question. If by your question you mean – “if a person has faith to believe the Gospel” – is that faith a will of the person, then yes that faith is the will of the person.”

          The way in which I worded the question might be a “trick?”

          Interesting reaction. What about my wording suggests to you that I’m trying to “trick” you, Don?

          Are you concerned that the wording is a little TOO close to what John–under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit–wrote in John 1:13?

          You should be concerned. You’re contradicting Scripture.

          Man’s will has nothing to do with the new birth.

          Seek truth in Scripture, friend….not tradition.

          Don Johnson

          Shane,

          I was correct it was a trick question. Which is why I answered the way I did.

          If you would go back and read verse 13 exactly as it’s written you would see I did not contradict Scripture.

          The verse says “nor of the will of man.” The text does not say “the” man. If the text did say “the” man, you would be correct, but it doesn’t. There’s a big difference.

          Shane Dodson

          “The verse says “nor of the will of man.” The text does not say “the” man. If the text did say “the” man, you would be correct, but it doesn’t. There’s a big difference.”

          What on earth are you talking about, Don?

          This is getting entirely too silly.

          Don Johnson

          Shane,

          The will of man simply means you nor I nor anyone else can will a person to being born again.

          A person isn’t born again by blood lines, any work of the flesh or from some friend, relative or preacher trying to will it.

          A person only receives the new birth after receiving or believing in Christ.

          A person isn’t given power to receive or believe Christ. He is given power to become the son of God.

Darryl Hill

Since nobody responded above, let me repeat… the scriptural basis of eternal security is election from before the foundation of the earth. Romans 8:31ff asks “what can separate us from the love of God?” on the basis of election. Paul even States “who shall bring any charge against God’s elect?” The entire point that he makes here is that God, who foreknows, predestines, calls, justifies, and will just as surely glorify makes it so. Therefore, if God is for us, who can be against us? Take away eternal election and the whole argument disintegrates.

Traditional Baptists have held on to eternal security because it is nearly as culturally popular as free will. Trouble is it has no validity without divine decree and election- without monergistic salvation. I hope that makes sense.

    Cb scott

    “Traditional Baptists have held on to eternal security because it is nearly as culturally popular as free will.”

    Darryl Hill,

    I do not know you from Noah’s housekeeper. Nonetheless, that may be the most absolute asinine statement that has been made thus far during these TradDoc posts and comment thread debates. That comment holds less water than a five gallon bucket shot dead center with a .50 cal Barrett sniper rifle.

    I do not know if you have ever had one day of formal training in any theological discipline, but if you did, you did so in your sleep. For you were certainly not awake in class if you truly hold such an opinion as factual relating to the people who signed or wrote the TradDoc.

      Bob Hadley

      CB

      Never thought a post on eternal security would elicit so many responses from a calvinist bunch.

      I hate all this divisiveness!

      ><>”

        Shane Dodson

        “I hate all this divisiveness!”

        It’s called theological discussion, Bob.

        It’s been a mainstay in the church for the past 2000 years or so.

        You’re free to move on to another forum that’s not as “divisive.”

        Cb scott

        Bob Hadley,

        I “Saw the Elephant” at a very young age. Furthermore, I saw both men and animals do some strange things prior to my 21st year.

        Nonetheless, I must agree with you here. I did not actually think guys would be told they were not allowed to enjoy eternal security if they did not order everything the entire Calvinistic menu had to offer. Yes, simply amazing.

          Chris Roberts

          Cb,

          I think you aren’t understanding the discussion. No one is saying only Calvinists are allowed to believe in security, but we are looking for actual, logical, biblical, consistent reasons how one with a libertarian view of the will can come away holding to eternal security. This is how discussions work: convince me that your view is internally consistent. So far, that has not been done.

          Cb scott

          Chris Roberts,

          I do understand the discussion. I have read every comment on this thread. For you to make the comment you have just made may indicate you have not.

          In order for those who have signed the document to hold to eternal security is really simple. They know the Scripture teaches that the children born to God are eternally secure. By faith they believe it. Luther got it. The Trads did also.

          The problem here is, some of you guys do not want them to embrace eternal security unless they do so on your terms.

          That is pretty much what has transpired on this thread Chris and if you differ with that conclusion, it is you lacking an understanding of the discussion.

          Chris Roberts

          Cb,

          I usually take you as a more charitable guy than that. My interest is not forcing people to my view or my terms, though I would like it if people agreed with me since I happen to think I’m right, but in discussions of this sort, if I see someone (1) saying something wrong, or (2) ignoring logical or biblical problems with their argument, I’m inclined to point it out. Lots of legitimate criticisms have been offered in this discussion, and for the most part they have not been answered. A few have been completely ignored, other than the occasional rude and disrespectful comment directed at the person asking or raising legitimate issues.

          Cb scott

          Chris Roberts,

          I think I have been rather charitable for the most part. As I stated earlier, I have read every comment in this thread, some more than once.

          The Trad signers have, in my opinion stated their case. You do not have to agree with it, but you must allow it.

          In addition, some of those who have engaged them have made some pretty wild statements. Consider the one Darryl Hill made; “Traditional Baptists have held on to eternal security because it is nearly as culturally popular as free will.”

          Chris Roberts, you know as well as I do that statement will not stand serious scrutiny by anyone who has read what these guys have written.

          And some of the propositions have been from some other planet and you have to admit that.

          Chris Roberts, earlier in this thread I stated to you; “I must confess that I do not see an inconsistency of the TradDoc here on Article 9 wherein you obviously do.”

          I can give you no better answer than that. You and I see this differently, but in no way does that mean that I hold “eternal security because it is nearly as culturally popular as free will.” Nor does it mean I do not “understand the discussion.”

          Those dogs will not hunt and I really think you know that. I have no idea what some of the others may think. But I just think you know better than that, but maybe it is hard to break ranks for you.

          Chris Roberts

          Cb,

          It has nothing to do with breaking ranks, it has to do with me seriously believing the hard questions have been evaded, and not simply evaded but met with scorn.

        Chris Roberts

        Bob,

        Discussion is not division. Disagreement is not divisiveness.

        Darryl Hill

        Well CB and Bob, I can clearly see you disagree with me and hate what I said but you’ve given no answer. Forget the comment about why eternal security has been maintained because I am speculating.

        Instead I would like to hear an answer to the premise from Romans 8 that a biblical view of security has God’s sovereignty over salvation in view. Can you see that? Do you agree? If not how do you explain the context of Paul’s statement regarding the security of the believer there. Why does he tie it to election and God’s sovereignty?

      Darryl Hill

      Cb your response in no way addresses the content of my post. You can look at who I am by clicking on my name. I am not posting anonymously. If you’re interested in my theological training you can find it there. There is basis from my speculation by the way. Baptists were originally very Calvinistic- the vast majority were. The doctrines of grace have slowly slipped away but Perseverance of the Saints has stuck around. Why? My theory is that it is the least offensive to ourhumanity and most agreeable to our culture. It’s an opinion. And my studies, by the way, had nothing to do with this statement because it had yet to exist. I think the only thing yourresponse left out was nanny nanny boo boo or some such. Why not respond to the content of my post rather than just getting ticked off?

      By the way I grew up a traditional Baptist and argued that POV until 2005 when an honest debate with a friend sparked some serious study- and God and Scripture took over from there. I know your point of view and appreciate your passion to defend it. I would do the same, I did defend it, And I’m still defending what I believe.

        Cb scott

        Darryl Hill,

        I contend the comment you made of which I issued a challenge and rebuke was out of bounds and beneath your theological education now that I have viewed your profile.

        Cb scott

        Oh yeah, Darryl Hill,

        You may not actually know “my point of view.” It is probably not what you think it to be.

          Darryl Hill

          I was merely offering an opinion and I think it is, at the very least, an educated guess, and it is coming from someone who grew up and spent 33 years immersed in traditional Baptist thought and understands the mindset. I think that’s the reason I embraced Perseverance while rejecting the rest for 33 years. I was a product of both my religion and my culture. I was mostly a-theological like the rest in churches I attended and served in.

          And you still haven’t offered any answer to the primary content of my post.

          Cb scott

          Darryl Hill,

          You are only half correct here in stating that I did not respond to the primary content of your post. The statement you made in judging the motives of those who you described as Traditionalist came to the forefront and took the primary position in your comment as far as I am concerned. You must admit that I did address that.

          As to your statement of Rom. 8:31 being written by Paul and seemingly to me, as he looked through the lens of Calvin is debatable.

          In truth, from a theological perspective, the security of true believers in an eternal state wherein they can never be lost in founded in the Triune decree to save sinners prior to the existence of any created matter in the universe.

          Your desire to lock eternal security into a specific soteriological dogma is your opinion based upon acquired theological presuppositions and your opinion does not necessarily reveal the intent of God to do all things according to the TULIP.

          I realize that it has often been stated by some that Paul was and Jesus is a Calvinist.

          That is simply not true. Paul was a bond-servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ and Jesus was, is , and always will be God. Calvin, on the other hand, professed Christ and read Paul. In that respect, he was no different than you and I.

          Darryl Hill

          Cb, thanks for beating up on all those straw men for me. Forget systems and looking through lenses. What does the text say? That is what I am asking. Forget “Jesus was a Calvinist” and other nonsense. Paul is saying, in context, that our reason for having eternal security is based upon God’s choice of us from before the foundation of the earth. I would just challenge anyone to read Romans 8 and reconstruct Paul’s arvgument.

          Cb scott

          Darryl Hill,

          You are the one who built the strawmen. I simply responded.

          Nonetheless, let’s once again compare.

          You stated; “the scriptural basis of eternal security is election from before the foundation of the earth.”

          I responded; “In truth, from a theological perspective, the security of true believers in an eternal state wherein they can never be lost is founded in the Triune decree to save sinners prior to the existence of any created matter in the universe.”

          It seems that you are determined to confine God’s saving of sinners to a specific soteriological dogma.

          I am not willing to do that. Yet, I do recognize that God has decreed to save sinners. I absolutely believe (know) He has sent His Son to make that effective in human history by the atonement. Therefore, any person who recognizes himself a sinner before a just and righteous God, repents and believes the biblical gospel shall be saved and that such sinners as are saved shall, by Triune decree, be forevermore secure in the hands of God as His children.

          Darryl Hill

          Cb I’m not trying to fit anything into anything. I’m reading scripture in context. You are saying that I stated that Paul was looking through the lens of Calvin. (Straw man). You said that I stated that God desires to do everything according to the tulip. (Straw man) You said that I believe that Jesus was a Calvinist. (Straw man) And your previous post above was filled with ad hominems accusing me of everything from outright ignorance to intentional deception. That’s at least 5 logical fallacies in 2 comments.

          Meanwhile I quoted a Scripture and interpreted it according to orthodox and historical

          Darryl Hill

          Meanwhile, I quoted a Scripture and interpreted it according to the orthodox position, which also happens to be the historical Baptist position. If that is a straw man argument, then the entire debate over this topic which has been going on for centuries is one huge straw man, and it woul appear that some of the greatest theologians in history have been engaging in them as well.

          As for your comment I agree that God’s eternal decree is the beginning point of eternal security but read the rest of Romans 8. Those whom (the people he foreknew) he predestined and those predestined he called, justified, and glorified. At least 2 of those actions of God happen in real time. Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? Nobody can and make it stick. Therefore what can separate us from his love? We are secure, to borrow from Ephesians 1, because we are in the hands of Him works all things after the counsel of his own will, so that it is not of him who wills or him who runs, but of God.

          Who cares what any man’s system says? What does the Scripture say?

          Darryl Hill

          By the way CB, one final thought. You accuse me of attempting to make eternal security fit into a particular soteriologocal dogma, yet in my argument I have only quoted Scripture. Meanwhile your argument consists of extra-biblical terminology and philosophy. Who is systematizing the topic?

          But hey if you don’t like Paul how about we go to Jesus? “The reason you do not believe is because you are not of my sheep. My sheep hear my voice and they follow me. I give to them eternal life and they shall never perish and no one will snatch them out of my hand.”

          So what is the basis for security in that text? The basis is being one of the sheep who is able hear the voice of the Good Shepherd and follow Him.

          Cb scott

          Darryl Hill,

          The one and only reason I engaged you is because you made this absurd statement:

          “Traditional Baptists have held on to eternal security because it is nearly as culturally popular as free will.”

          That comment is simply not true of the men of whom I know who signed the TradDoc.

          In addition, it does not matter what text you bring forward here to try to make the point that you are correct in making such a statement. The revelation of the whole of Scripture makes it evident that God has decreed to save sinners. I absolutely believe (know) He has sent His Son to make that effective in human history by the atonement. Therefore, any person who recognizes himself a sinner before a just and righteous God, repents and believes the biblical gospel shall be saved and that such sinners as are saved shall, by Triune decree, be forevermore secure in the hands of God as His children.

          It is because God has decreed it to be that a person who does receive the grace of God to the saving of his soul will be eternally secure in his position as a child of God.

          That is just a biblical fact, Darryl Hill and there is no real need to seek to make it so according to any specific soteriological position. Whether a person believe Calvinistic soteriology or not does not change the reality that any person who is made a child of God through the atonement of Christ will be forever secure in his Father-child relation with the Triune God. Never can that be changed. If a person believes in irresistible grace or not, he is still secure in Christ forever.

          Why you guys attack these fellows with these silly “how many angels can dance on a pin-head” arguments about eternal security escapes logic for it is impossible to be separated from Christ if He has saved your soul and made you a child of God.

          Tell me what sense it makes to argue as to why they believe it? They believe it. They are right to believe it. So praise God and agree with them. And if you are not able to do that, why not are you? Consider seriously your answer to that question.

          Darryl Hill

          CB, I do not disagree with what you have stated. In fact I do not disagree with article nine in any stated way nor do I begrudge my brothers for preaching eternal security. I am happy they do. Furthermore, that “absurd statement” wasn’t even directed at the writers of this 10pt statement. What they have stated in article 9 is accurate in describing my experience growing up in a traditional Baptist home and church and having served on church staffs in about 6 different churches which are all traditional Baptists, including the church I currently serve for over 12 years. My statement is based upon reflecting on my own beliefs for 33 years as well. It is speculation on my part, which I happen to believe is accurate.

          Security of the believer is cherished greatly but the reason I’m making this argument is because of what scripture says. I am simply pointing out the inconsistency in the line of thinking here, as have others.

          It is unwise of you, by the way to compare this discussion to “angels dancing on a pinhead.” When you say such things you betray yourself. If Scripture addresses it, it DOES matter, even if you’d prefer it not be discussed. Dismissing scripture in general is unwise.

          I do rejoice that they believe it and my preference is to keep unity despite our differences. But the trads went on the attack here to root me out, so I just want consistency and to point out only what the Word teaches, which is that eternal security has its basis in the fact that God is sovereign over salvation and that it disintegrates without it.

          By the way you STILL haven’t addressed Romans 8 directly. Nobody else here has, either. I’m beginning to think you’re afraid to exegete that text. I would settle for the one from John’s Gospel quoting Jesus. Any takers?

          Cb scott

          Darryl Hill,

          About all I can say to you at this point is maybe the churches you grew up in were just pitiful and not what they should have been. I know that to be true of many Southern Baptist churches and especially during the time you were growing up.

          Nonetheless, I continue to stand on my contention that the men I know who signed the TradDoc are not men who would lead churches of the ilk you describe.

          Not one of them and I mean not one of them would be as you described when you stated:

          “Traditional Baptists have held on to eternal security because it is nearly as culturally popular as free will.”

          That is my rub with you Darryl Hill. As I stated it was due to that statement that I engaged you. I really have no problem with the position of any text you referenced in this thread. Nonetheless, there was no reason for you to make such a statement about “Traditionalists.” You used that descripter to identify them. Who else would I have thought you meant? The name Traditionalists was born upon the writing of the statement we have been debating in these threads for a while. Normally, I never venture over here to SBC TODAY for several reasons. But when I read the names of the men who signed that document and read what some of they were being accused of in these threads, I just naturally came to their defense.

          There are some fine and sound theologians and educators in that group. Some hard working pastors who are serious about their calling are in that group. I have been knowing some of those men a long time. They are not theological dwarves, my brother. And you and other guys here on these threads have no real and credible reason to insult them as you have. Frankly, as a SBTS guy, you owe some of them a great deal. Had it not been for them and others like them SBTS and the other five seminaries would probably be in the hands of social gospel liberals and sodomites by now. And you can take that to the bank. For that is where the SBC was headed.

          So maybe just a little respect is due here, you think?

volfan007

Darryl…Randall…Chris….and others,

We dont agree with you. We’ve pointed out why we dont agree with you. We’ve shared what we believe. And, asking the same questions over and over again, in different ways, with different words; is not gonna change our answers….and, it will not make us go”Ooooooh, now I see it. What a moron I’ve been. Now, I can understand, because Darryl-Randall-Chris-Shane have philosophically asked questions, which changed EVERYTHING!” lol

David :)

    Chris Roberts

    David,

    I’m curious as to what you think it means to have a discussion.

    rhutchin

    We would not expect you to agree. What we have done is to define the differences between us. Across the 9 articles, the non-Calvinists deny that God is omniscient, deny that man is totally depraved, and make salvation ultimately dependent on man and not God’s grace.

    Shane Dodson

    Are you under the impression that this is one big game of “Gotcha!” David?

    Is this how you usually interact with others?

      volfan007

      oh brother. lol.

      David

      Tom Parker

      Shane:

      You said to 007:”Are you under the impression that this is one big game of “Gotcha!” David?

      Is this how you usually interact with others?”

      You are a very wise person–you have figured out him to the T.

        volfan007

        Tom,

        I thought you’d died.

        Tom dont know me, at all. No, not at all.

        David

        Cb scott

        Tom Parker,

        I don’t want to be mean to you, but as you know I have been reading your comments for a few years now. So, let me help you.

        A). This is not a “Bash All Things That Brought About The CR” thread.

        B). This is not a “Bash all CR Personalities” thread.

        C). This is not a “Group Hug for Wild Geese” thread.

        D). This is not a “You Were Mean to Us Liberals When You Were A Trustee” thread.

        E). This is not a “Give Us Back Our Convention” thread.

        F). This is not a “Yes Muslims And Mormons Do Go To Heaven” thread.

        Tom Parker, this ‘is’ a “Root Hog Or Die, No Holds Barred Theological Debate” thread. And it is a debate between conservative, inerrantist, Baptists with differing opinion of soteriology. So maybe you would be better off sitting this one out.

        Vol and I promise we will make some pro-CR comments on a later post and you can join in and bash on us then. What do you say? OK?

          volfan007

          CB,

          :)

          David

          PS. CB, some of these kids should have been around in the old days…in the CR days. Those were some fun times in Dallas and Atlanta. lol.

    Mike Davis

    I don’t think we are expecting to turn all the Traditionalists into Calvinists (after all, the Trad/Cal debates at SBC Today help keep traffic up here) :^) –One reason I was pointing out that an affirmation of eternal security is an acceptance of irresistible grace/compatibilism at least after salvation is to show that compatibilism is not, in fact, deterministic nor does it turn believers into “robots”. The Traditionalist theme in the discussion of Article Eight seemed to be compatibilism=no real choice=determinism=absurd. I just want to point out that while you may not agree with our soteriological view of campatibilism, it is not a view that denies choices, is deterministic, or is absurd.

    Beilieve it or not, I’m growing rather fond of a lot of you Trads as we engage in these discussions :^)

    Darryl Hill

    David I admit much of the commenting here has been philosophical but what I have asked is Romans 8. Can you see the point of that text and, further, can you see the basis for my saying that eternal security has its root in God’s sovereignty over salvation from beginning to end? That is the entire point of the end of Romans 8.

    As a matter of fact, one of our most oft quoted verses (Romans 8:28) discussing God causing all things to work together for our good has its basis in God’s sovereignty over salvation. We find comfort in that verse because nothing but our good can result from God being in total control of our salvation. All things are for our ultimate good because God makes it so. That gives me great peace but it is rooted not in my choice but in God’s ability to CAUSE it to be for my good. Read it again my friends. I am secure for the same reason I am saved- because God has graciously made it so. I can have NO confidence in the flesh.

      volfan007

      Darryl,

      I have not only read that passage many times, but I’ve also preached it. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Romans 8:28. And, I have no confidence in the flesh, either. I’m trusting completely and solely in the grace of God.

      David

        Darryl Hill

        Excellent! Same here.

        Now why does Paul tie eternal security to predestination and election? Can you see how I have come to that conclusion?

          volfan007

          Darryl,

          I’m too sleepy to care, right now.

          David :)

    Darryl Hill

    By the way David, it was through a debate just like this one that my mind was eventually changed. No I didn’t state to the person “what a fool ive been!” On the contrary, like you I was arguing the Trad line of thinking but began to see the possibility I could be wrong. When I did I went back and deleted 2 months of comments because I was mad. Even after I. Could no longer deny these things I still didn’t accept them but bated them all the more. It took over a year before I accepted these things and even longer before I would talk to people about them. So I do have hope here.

      Darryl Hill

      I meant to say “I bated them all the more.” Sorry.

        Darryl Hill

        *hated … I also hate auto-correct. :-)

          volfan007

          Darryl,

          I, too, was challenged to become a Calvinist by some very, zealous Calvinists. I read thier books…listened to thier arguements….seriously considered becoming one…but, I couldnt due to my study of the Bible.

          David

          Don Johnson

          David,

          You won’t find Calvinism in the Bible. You need to study one their systematic theologys.

          Silly you, for thinking you could get the correct theology from the Bible.

          Darryl Hill

          Thanks for the kind interaction David. By the way, I’m a Vol fan too. :-)

          Don, want to hear something ironic? You say the doctrines of grace have no basis in Scripture, yet I am just about the only person here using Scripture to make my points.

Harry Rakes

Everyone is making this to complicated. Ephesians 2:8-9, clearly state that salvation is by faith. When you place your faith in Jesus according to scripture, you are eternally saved. If you had to keep yourself from apostasy, even a willful changing of mind, then salvation would be based on works. That cannot be true if Ephesians 2:8-9, is true.

1Corinthians 5:1-5 and 2 Corinthians 2:26-8, is clear example of eternal security.

Harry Rakes

I am really saddened that Calvinism has crept into our churches and seminaries. This is a Trojan Horse form hell. It is another gospel, a heresy and cannot be tolerated. There can be no consensus statement of agreement with a doctrine that is contrary to what scripture teaches. Why not join hands with the Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, Catholics and whom ever says they love Jesus. How can we give up our doctrine for the sake of unity, a false unity? How can it be? For me and my family, I will start a home church before I will be part and party to Calvinism.
It is time to stand up for the truth, unashamedly resist the apostasy that will come and is upon as scripture prophesied for the last days. Will Jesus find faith when He returns? We don’t have long to decide who we will serve.

Dear SBC Today and "Traditionalists," I Just Don't Get It | Jared Moore

[…] people, one thousand signatures is a very low number. On June 27, you shared at SBC Today how many people had viewed the document after four weeks. In this post, you said that 60,000 people had viewed the document online. Add to this the […]

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