Where Do You Draw The Line?

October 27, 2015

Leighton Flowers | Professor of Theology
Dallas, TX

**This article was previously posted by Leighton Flowers on his website www.soteriology101.com and is used by permission.

Leighton is: teaching pastor in his local church, an adjunct Professor of Theology, and the Youth Evangelism Director for Texas Baptists.

Learn more about Leighton, HERE.
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I recently received this question from a loyal listener, who also happens to be a pastor:

“Professor Flowers, I greatly appreciate the cordiality with which you approach our differences with the Calvinistic brethren, but I have a specific concern.  You often speak of not wishing to “run off the Calvinists” or “kick them out of the convention,” and typically I’m in full agreement with this sentiment, as I have good Calvinistic brethren in my own church who I want to stay actively involved.  But, the Calvinists I’ve been use to in the SBC are those like David Platt or Matt Chandler, who regularly affirm God’s universal love and sincere desire for everyone to come to repentance and faith (they don’t try to reinterpret John 3:16, 1 Tim. 2:4 or 2 Peter 3:9, etc).

But, this new “young restless and reformed” (neo-Calvinism) we are seeing rise up seems set on redefining “whosoever will” by making “the world” out to mean “the world of the elect”…Or “God’s desire for all” to be “God’s desire for all kinds.”  (BTW, I love the quote from Spurgeon you read debunking that interpretation of 1 Tim 2:4).

This brings me to my question.  Where do we draw the line?  With the ‘moderate’ Calvinistic teachers in my church, those who affirm God’s love and desire for all, the typical layperson doesn’t even notice their Calvinism (unless they know what to look for).  I really don’t have too much beef with these kind of Calvinists.  But the harsher, higher form of Calvinism seems to be seeping into my church. I cannot in good conscience allow for people to teach that God doesn’t really love all people and desire for their salvation.  I have to draw the line somewhere and I’m not waiting for hyper anti-evangelism to draw it, I think I must draw it at the denial of God’s universal love and desire.  What do you think?”

This is a great question and one I have had to grapple with myself. I certainly believe respect and cordiality must extend to all types of Calvinists, but I do not think it unwise to “draw the line” at requiring teachers to affirm God’s universal love and desire for every individual. If the church has a Statement of Faith which affirms this clear biblical teaching (as does the BF&M), then it is the pastor’s responsibility to ensure that all teachers hold to that standard.

If my pastor knew a teacher in the youth ministry was telling my three teenagers that God did not love and desire everyone to be saved and he did nothing to address it, I would be upset. Most Baptist parents would!

Now, if I was attending a Presbyterian church with a Statement of Faith that denied God’s universal love, I would expect this, but as a Southern Baptist I would insist correct Baptist (biblical) doctrine was upheld.  That truth can be defended with firm conviction but still with a loving and gracious spirit.

What are your thoughts? Where do we draw the line with differences on theological perspectives?

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Jon Estes

“If my pastor knew a teacher in the youth ministry was telling my three teenagers that God did not love and desire everyone to be saved and he did nothing to address it, I would be upset. Most Baptist parents would!”

I know of no Calvinistic youth pastor who is teaching such a thing. Names are mentioned of some Calvinistic men who are well known and do not teach such things, so who are we specifically speaking of? Who are these pastors and churches not finding out on the front end the theological position of their new hires?

Where I serve, I signed a statement of agreement withthe church. I fully stand in agreement with the church in their doctrine (this is not a reformed mindest church, whereas I would be put in such a camp). We discussed these things early on and I believe Christ came to offer salvation to all, though not all will be saved. I have no problem with election but I do not hang my hat there when it comes to reaching the world for Christ. Who He has chosen to be saved is in God’s mind, not mine. I approach all men with the same pretext… They need Jesus. The Calvinist friends I chat with believe the same way. Leave the election to God and become all things to all men that we might win some.

    Donald

    Jon, I have a feeling your lack of acquaintance with these guys has more to do with redefining terms and double-speak than a lack of this happening. I would guess that you would you say that the non-elect are given a well meant offer of salvation even though they don’t have a choice and cannot under any circumstance accept the offer. The misleading nomenclature of the Calvinist is part of the problem.

    Donald

      Jon Estes

      “your lack of acquaintance with these guys has more to do with redefining terms and double-speak than a lack of this happening.”

      In this discussion I can only speak to what I know. I hear a lot of people making accusations and wanting everyone to believe them. I am not saying it is false information but Ihave been in ministry a long time and heard stories but never head names.

      I could accept that there may be some (like there are some racist cops) but the conversation makes it sound like an epidemic (like the Black Lives Matter retoric).

      “non-elect are given a well meant offer of salvation even though they don’t have a choice and cannot under any circumstance accept the offer.”

      You know youth pastors who are saying this? Or is it grapevine / convention hallway conversations? We Baptists have been known to blow things out of perportion.

        Donald

        I hear every Calvinist I ask about the well-meant offer saying this. Are you a Calvinst and, if so, would you answer any differently?

    norm

    Jon:
    With all due respect, I do know of such pastors and other leaders who are actively propounding that God does not “love all in the same way — a seemingly common semantical strawman among such men. I left my former church because of the pastor who taught this fallacy. I also recall from another web based forum the account of a pastor who left a FUGE event because the SBC-related employee had voiced such an opinion of God’s love in saying he was not sure why God sent people to hell, but that God did do that. If the leader does not know the theological underpinnings of why God sends people to hell (i.e., judgement for rejecting Christ), then why is he instructing our youth? The pastor gathered the youth and wisely left that meeting.
    It remains a mystery to me as to why Calvinists can read after the likes of Flowers and Rogers and Sayers — thinking, Sprit-filled men, all — and not see what these former Calvinists have seen, and that is the complete fallacy of Calvin’s view of soteriology. Numerous essays at this blog have plucked the petals from the so-called TULIP as defined by Calvinists. Yet, some still refuse the testimony, the study, and the scholarly writings of these men who abandoned Calvinism. A real head-scratcher, for sure.

      Jon Estes

      “With all due respect, I do know of such pastors and other leaders who are actively propounding that God does not “love all in the same way”

      I think a position from scripture can support this if one wants to make the case.

      “Yet, some still refuse the testimony, the study, and the scholarly writings of these men who abandoned Calvinism”

      It seems that many of the learned Calvinists, though well read, choose to use scrfipture first and let it interpret itself rather than the writings of mere men, no matter how great we find them.

Steve Williams

What is the referenced quote from Spurgeon in relation to 1 Timothy 2:4?

    Steven

    Exactly Steve,
    supply the quote from Spurgeon that favors the Arminian position in 1 Timothy 2:4, we frequently get statements without any foundation from the free willers.

      norm

      Those of us who are neither Calvinists nor Arminians, but are Baptists, do not appreciate your use of pejorative terminology.

        Steven

        Then Norm let me ask you this, do you follow what John Wesley taught, or what George Whitefield taught?

          norm

          I try to follow Jesus, but too often fail miserably.

      norm

      From Spurgeon’s own pen as found at spurgeon.org, and from a sermon on 1 Tim 2:4 ff.
      Here is one calvinistic Baptist who has the biblical view:
      =============
      … It is quite certain that when we read that God will have all men to be saved it does not mean that he wills it with the force of a decree or a divine purpose, for, if he did, then all men would be saved. He willed to make the world, and the world was made: he does not so will the salvation of all men, for we know that all men will not be saved. Terrible as the truth is, yet is it certain from holy writ that there are men who, in consequence of their sin and their rejection of the Savior, will go away into everlasting punishment, where shall be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. There will at the last be goats upon the left hand as well as sheep on the right, tares to be burned as well as wheat to be garnered, chaff to be blown away as well as corn to be preserved. There will be a dreadful hell as well as a glorious heaven, and there is no decree to the contrary.
      What then? Shall we try to put another meaning into the text than that which it fairly bears? I trow not. You must, most of you, be acquainted with the general method in which our older Calvinistic friends deal with this text. “All men,” say they,—”that is, some men”: as if the Holy Ghost could not have said “some men” if he had meant some men. “All men,” say they; “that is, some of all sorts of men”: as if the Lord could not have said “all sorts of men” if he had meant that. The Holy Ghost by the apostle has written “all men,” and unquestionably he means all men. I know how to get rid of the force of the “alls” according to that critical method which some time ago was very current, but I do not see how it can be applied here with due regard to truth. I was reading just now the exposition of a very able doctor who explains the text so as to explain it away; he applies grammatical gunpowder to it, and explodes it by way of expounding it. I thought when I read his exposition that it would have been a very capital comment upon the text if it had read, “Who will not have all men to be saved, nor come to a knowledge of the truth.” Had such been the inspired language every remark of the learned doctor would have been exactly in keeping, but as it happens to say, “Who will have all men to be saved,” his observations are more than a little out of place. My love of consistency with my own doctrinal views is not great enough to allow me knowingly to alter a single text of Scripture. I have great respect for orthodoxy, but my reverence for inspiration is far greater….”

        Steven

        From Spurgeon’s own pen as found at spurgeon.org, and from a sermon on 1 Tim 2:4 ff.

        Then comes the question, “But if he wishes it to be so, why does he not make it so? ” Beloved friend, have you never heard that a fool may ask a question which a wise man cannot answer, and, if that be so, I am sure a wise person, like yourself, can ask me a great many questions which, fool as I am, I am yet not foolish enough to try to answer. Your question is only one form of the great debate of all the ages,—”If God be infinitely good and powerful, why does not his power carry out to the full all his beneficence?” It is God’s wish that the oppressed should go free, yet there are many oppressed who are not free. It is God’s wish that the sick should not suffer. Do you doubt it? Is it not your own wish? And yet the Lord does not work a miracle to heal every sick person. It is God’s wish that his creatures should be happy. Do you deny that? He does not interpose by any miraculous agency to make us all happy, and yet it would be wicked to suppose that he does not wish the happiness of all the creatures that he has made. He has an infinite benevolence which, nevertheless, is not in all points worked out by his infinite omnipotence; and if anybody asked me why it is not, I cannot tell.

          norm

          ” … and if anybody asked me why it is not, I cannot tell.”

          Perhaps Spurgeon needs to read after Piper, et al.

Braxton Hunter

Jon Estes,

You’ll have to take my word for it I guess, but I experienced exactly this in 2004 when I pastored a church in McMinnville, TN. A man in our church who I greatly admired was having teens over to his house for Bible studies. Little did I know he was dismantling my messages and teaching that God does not love everyone and Jesus did not die for everyone. The parents of our youth (who understood the theological symantica of what was going on) were bothered about this.

I’m glad that you don’t see it happening. That’s encouraging. Nevertheless, it is happening.

Great question to bring up Leighton.

Blessings,
Braxton

    Scott Shaver

    Braxton:

    The modus operandus of the “admired” man in your church is an all too often repeated story these days among Southern Baptists.

    One of the greatest lessons I learned while pastoring, especially in a new church setting, was to beware of those who first came bearing gifts.

Dennis Lee Dabney

Leighton,

Brother we can thank God for drawing the line in His Holy Word for us. For me personally, it was when I was introduced to this notion, by a couple of well meaning brothers, that John 3:16 and other great passages on the love of God had another meaning. Up to that point I was all ears.

I did my best to present the Church position concerning both Old and New Testament teaching regarding the indescribable love God. They were well versed on their position and when I held my ground, they tagged me with a few labels I might add and broke off fellowship with me.

The Holy Scriptures are clearly the dividing line. Luke 12:51 can also apply here with our brethren who differ, who abide in the Household of God. Our local New Testament churches must remain faithful to teaching not only our children but all concerning “What thus saith the scriptures” and continue to love our brethren who hold another viewpoint no less.

Preach!

Christian johnson

So if God loves everyone the same way then why are there ppl in hell?

    Robin Wexell

    Exactly, Christian Johnson! And if Jesus died for everyone but not everyone is going to heaven then we are saying that Jesus failed. His blood was precious, not a drop of it was wasted. It accomplished everything that it was supposed to do. Everyone is offered the free gift of salvation because only God knows who the elect are. Even the BF&M says this:
    “IV. Salvation – Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord.”
    It is offered freely TO ALL WHO ACCEPT Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and his blood OBTAINED eternal redemption for THE BELIEVER. Mr. Flowers just doesn’t see that and continues to misrepresent what a true understanding of what Calvinism (and the Bible) teaches.

      Andrew Barker

      Robin Wexell: This is an interesting comment you’ve made and one which I’ve heard before …. “His blood was precious, not a drop of it was wasted.” You speak as though if the blood of Jesus was spilled for those who subsequently reject the offer of salvation then it would have been wasted. I appreciate this may sound logical and correct, but I can’t find scriptural support for this view. Could you please help me? Thanks

        Robin Wexell

        Here are a few:
        Hebrews 9: 27-28 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
        Hebrews 10:12-14 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
        Matthew 27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
        The blood for many, not all. If his blood was sacrificed for everyone in the whole world, don’t you think these verses would say “all”? His sacrifice actually attained salvation for all those who would believe.

          Andrew Barker

          Robin Wexell: You missed my point somewhat. What you are suggesting is that for the blood of Jesus to be spilled but not to be effective would be a waste. As you put it “not a drop of it was wasted”. What I’m pointing out is that while this may seem very logical if you come at it from a particular point of view it has limited strength as an argument because it has no definite basis in scripture. I’m all for sola scriptura so please provide chapter and verse. Thanks.

      Robert

      Christian johnson asks:

      “So if God loves everyone the same way then why are there ppl in hell?”

      I am not sure that “God loves everyone the same way’, because He does not treat everyone in exactly the same way throughout their lives (this is true of both believers and nonbelievers). I think Christian meant to say: “If God so loved the whole world (which is everyone, as everyone at some point was part of the world system that opposes God) then why are there people in hell?”

      The answer to that question is that people end up in Hell only after they have rejected God’s grace towards them for an entire lifetime (someone could accept the grace of God on their death bed).

      I also believe the more important question is: if people choose to reject the grace of God throughout their lifetime, is this due to them freely choosing to reject God’s grace over and over, OR is it due to the fact that God predestined them to hell before they were born, desiring that they go to hell, never having had any chance to be saved during their lifetime???

      Robin Wexell seems to like Christian Johnson’s inaccurately stated question, and writes:

      “Exactly, Christian Johnson! And if Jesus died for everyone but not everyone is going to heaven then we are saying that Jesus failed. His blood was precious, not a drop of it was wasted. It accomplished everything that it was supposed to do. Everyone is offered the free gift of salvation because only God knows who the elect are.”

      No, then we are not saying that Jesus failed (i.e. Jesus’ death was intended to provide a provision of salvation for the whole world but it is only applied to those who trust God for their salvation).

      If a person goes to hell they go because THEY freely chose to reject the grace of God towards them for their entire lifetime.

      The blood of Jesus did accomplish “everything that it was supposed to do”. But the atonement of Christ on the cross will not save a person unless they believe.

      No belief = no salvation.

      Now if you want to argue for the idiotic and unbiblical view that able minded persons who hear the gospel can be saved even if they never believe it during their lifetime on earth (i.e. some form of universalism in which the person “suffers” hell as remedial punishment and then eventually is saved despite the fact they rejected God for their entire lifetime on earth), you go right ahead. But if you want to be biblical: the blood of Jesus on the cross will not save an able minded person who hears the gospel UNLESS THEY BELIEVE.

      “Mr. Flowers just doesn’t see that and continues to misrepresent what a true understanding of what Calvinism (and the Bible) teaches.”

      Leighton Flowers understands the Calvinistic view just fine, and your claim that non-Calvinists are just misrepresenting what Calvinism really involves: (1) is false, (2) gets really, really old, as you folks repeat this false charge so many times whenever your Calvinism is challenged.

        Lydia

        “…..and your claim that non-Calvinists are just misrepresenting what Calvinism really involves: (1) is false, (2) gets really, really old, as you folks repeat this false charge so many times whenever your Calvinism is challenged.”

        The big irony is because they do not take their beliefs to their logical conclusions they end up encouraging us to not take them seriously. They admit they have no volition and are totally unable which means no responsibility for their actions. Not exactly a ringing endorsement for trust or credibility . Perhaps they think they have special knowledge we can’t have?

          Steven

          Lydia writes,
          They admit they have no volition and are totally unable which means no responsibility for their actions. Not exactly a ringing endorsement for trust or credibility . Perhaps they think they have special knowledge we can’t have?

          Typical Lydia method of operation. Claim that a Calvinist says he has no volition and is totally unable is deception.
          No Calvinist claims they have what an unregenerate believer has prior to regeneration. This is a typical hit job.
          Sorry Lydia, it is called discernment, and if this special knowledge you do not have, it is time to pray to the Holy Spirit to provide this discernment.

        Christian johnson

        Well I’m not saying Jesus died multiple ways. When we say God loves we need to be careful to not make it generic. I get that feel alot when ppl say God loves you. Especially since I see alot of liberal christians.

        When I say if God loves everyone why does anyone go to hell? Do you think God sends his loved ones to hell?

        God lover us(christians) with a covenantal love. We are no longer His enemies but His children. Not His enemies but His friends. No longer children of the devil. It may be an original sin issue that needs to be discussed.

        I believe God has chosen His elect before the foundation of the world. He chose to initiate, regenerate, and propitiate His elect ppl. Ephesians 1

        We can’t make the Love of God shallow.

          Dennis Lee Dabney

          Where else is there for them to Go? Or as Dr.J. Vernon McGee used to say, “God can’t slip sinners into Heaven in the cover darkness nor will He let down the bars of Heaven and bring them in because He loves them.

          No, I tell you He will cast them from the state of spiritual blindness of the mind due to Satan’s deception and darkening of their understanding due to their own unbelief, out into Outer darkness. Why, because there is nowhere else for them to go after rejecting the love of God.

          Those who die in darkness after rejecting the Light of the World who happens to be the Only True remedy for spiritual darkness do so not realizing that the same ONE who finds them is the Only One qualified to save them by the same Light which is the life of men.

          Preach!

          Scott Shaver

          Christian:

          God prepared a place of separation and torment for the devil and his angels before he called the world into existence. Why do Calvinists keep raising this question of people going to hell as if it’s something God wills or wants to see happen? Hell was never intended for people but those who wind up there do so by CHOICE. Yes I said “choice” as in exercising the volition to either accept or reject the free offer of God in Christ Jesus.

          God is NOT WILLING THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH, BUT THAT ALL SHOULD HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE.

          Put that in your deterministic pipe and inhale deeply my friend.

      Andy

      Probably a side discussion, but…

      It is interesting, as a thought exercise, that a firm non-calvinist could potentially hold to limited atonement/particular redemption, provided he/she agreed with God’s exhaustive knowledge of future events.

      God could have, while at the same time giving man truly free will to accept or reject him, have caused Jesus’ blood to only cover the sins of those he KNEW would Believe. That would retain the unnecessary idea that “None of Jesus’ blood was wasted.”

      Of course, I think the idea is unnecessary. It’s not as if “5 liters of blood = salvation for 2 billion people” …but if it’s only 1.9 billion, then a milliliter was wasted. There’s no biblical reason to think it works that way.

        Robert

        Andy,

        Many Calvinists forget that in order to be biblical you have to include both elements of the atonement (its provisional element, which means whom it is provided for, the Bible says the whole world, and its applicational element, it has no effect upon an individual unless it is applied to that individual, the Bible says the person must believe, if they believe then the atonement is applied to them, if they do not believe but reject the atonement is not applied to them). You present a false dilemma, it is true that God knows to whom the blood would be applied as he knows who will believe. But that is speaking only of the applicational element. The provisional element involves all those clear verses that Jesus died for the whole world, that God so loved the world that He gave the Son for that world, etc. Andy you are trying to simplify things, but you may be oversimplifying as you are focusing only on the applicational element when in fact the atonement involves BOTH the provisional and applicational elements.

          Steven

          Robert writes,
          Many Calvinists forget that in order to be biblical you have to include both elements of the atonement (its provisional element, which means whom it is provided for, the Bible says the whole world, and its applicational element, it has no effect upon an individual unless it is applied to that individual, the Bible says the person must believe

          Stop the madness, there is no forget, the Word of God is clear, the whole word is Jews and Gentiles, faith is a gift of God and those that are the Elect of God are regenerated in time, and the fruit of regeneration is faith and repentance. Christ died for those that the Father have given him. Christ propitiates for His sheep.No one else.
          Let’s go Robert provide your best biblical evidence of your claims.

            Scott Shaver

            Deja Vu:

            Steven, you keep using that term “biblical”.

            I don’t think it means what you think it means :0

            Dennis Lee Dabney

            Steven,

            Wrong,

            Faith cometh by hearing, hearing by the Word of God.

            Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
            2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
            3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
            4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
            5 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.
            6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)
            7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)
            8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
            9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
            10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
            11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
            12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
            13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
            14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
            15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
            16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
            17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

        Scott Shaver

        Good point Andy, the problem is with five-point Calvinists believing the events of Geneva also left it’s historical prodigy (humans) with the ability to understand, comprehend and declare either the limits or infinitude of God’s foreknowledge.

        Their arrogance, both theologically and practically, in this area smacks of desiring to become “gods” themselves.

        That spirit is always open to exponentially greater realms of deception and idolatry.

          Steven

          Scott writes,
          the problem is with five-point Calvinists believing the events of Geneva also left it’s historical prodigy (humans) with the ability to understand, comprehend and declare either the limits or infinitude of God’s foreknowledge.

          It is no surprise that the Holy Spirit leads the ‘Elect of God’ to the knowledge of the truth and it offends you.
          The ability to understand and comprehend is only achieved by what God has revealed to His ‘Elect’.

          Scott writes,
          Their arrogance, both theologically and practically, in this area smacks of desiring to become “gods” themselves.
          You seem here to be afraid of the Mormons.

          The arrogance you perceive is ‘confidence’ and ‘boldness’ of those eager to witness God’s truths to those lost and deceived.

          Scott writes,
          That spirit is always open to exponentially greater realms of deception and idolatry.

          The deception lies with you, Scripture interprets Scripture, yet you take a simple reading of the text and declare it so,
          you have not been able to walk consistently through a chapter and show proper context to back up your interpretations.
          That is proof texting and not rightly dividing the Word of God.

          You bring up idolatry, try a good read, ‘The Idol of Freewill’ by john Owen.

            Scott Shaver

            Sorry Steven:

            When I do read theology I prefer not to drag refuse from the garbage heap. It’s a time management thing :0

              Steven

              Scott writes,
              When I do read theology I prefer not to drag refuse from the garbage heap. It’s a time management thing :0

              We can see here by his response that Scott has no ability to properly handle opposition to his failed
              Arminian beliefs.

            Scott Shaver

            Based on your contributions thus far, Steven, I wouldn’t be willing to stroll through the city zoo with you…much less a “walk though chapters of the bible”. Would go against my better judgement.

            My father always encouraged me to avoid being around drunks with guns.

              Steven

              Scott writes, Based on your contributions thus far, Steven, I wouldn’t be willing to stroll through the city zoo with you…much less a “walk though chapters of the bible”. Would go against my better judgement.

              My father always encouraged me to avoid being around drunks with guns.

              Again Scott method of operation is ad homimen and to divert from any reasonable response, typical of Roman Catholics when presented with the truth of Scripture.

                Scott Shaver

                If “ad hominem” is all it takes to break up your arguments Steven, why not use it.?

                I’d say you’re working from an extremely weak foundation if “ad hominem” comments are the only responses necessary to expose your mishandling of Scripture.

                With guys like you hanging around the camp, I can understand why Moses got angry/frustrated enough to break the tablets of stone. LOL

        Dave Cooke

        What I find interesting is that non-calvinists reject the notion that God unconditionally elects some to salvation, and leaves others in their sins. But, unless you hold to open theism, you end up with the issue that God knew before he created a person, that they would reject Him and go to hell, but He created them anyway.

          Lydia

          David, So you think it is better He created some to be damned? Because the converse of your belief is that He unconditionally elects some to damnation.

            Scott Shaver

            Lydia:

            I’m firmly convinced, not only do they believe God’s heart from the foundation of the world was to arbitrarily save some and damn others, THEY ENJOY THAT BELIEF!

            The root of Calvinist arrogance is a false, caste-system belief that they’re more precious in God’s eyes than all other human beings. Consequently, we’ve often seen in history, and in the church, the disastrous consequences of their error. upon both Christian and non-Christian.

          Andrew Barker

          Dave Cooke: What you may not find so interesting, is that you comment demonstrates your inability to spot a logical fallacy of your own making. People who do not hold to unconditional election do so for a very good reason. That reason is that it doesn’t appear in scripture but originates in and from the mind of man.

          Scripture is clear that salvation is through faith and that there is a free choice to exercise that faith, or not. Whether God knows how a person is going to choose is actually a red herring, because if that choice is made freely, whether or not God knows the outcome it is still a free choice. It is the determinists’ assumption that foreknowledge is equivalent to predetermining the outcome.

          So your question “What I find interesting is that non-calvinists reject the notion that God unconditionally elects some to salvation, and leaves others in their sins.” is based on a false dichotomy. It’s another problem which originates solely in the mind of the Calvinist.

          Paul N

          Unless you want Robots you cannot have it any other way. No one is suggesting that God is not right to judge those who willfully reject Him. The problem is suggesting that somehow a person is responsible for believing a message that God has ordained them from eternity past to reject. Calvinists are suggesting that God makes people blind, refuses to give them sight then punishes them for rejecting His “genuine offer” to give them sight. Surely you can see that this is folly.

          norm

          Dave: Do you have a biblical definition of unconditional election?

          Scott Shaver

          Dave Cooke:

          Just because God knew who would turn and who would burn doesn’t mean, in his infinite wisdom, he excluded the possibility of a salvation offered to all.

          Once again, the axiomatic and operative principle is an individual and volitional exercise of faith in the promises and hope of Christ.

          Calvin be hanged.

          What arrogance to presume the mind of God in eternity in such a way that contradicts everything Jesus disclosed on earth about redemption.

          Steven

          Dave writes,
          What I find interesting is that non-calvinists reject the notion that God unconditionally elects some to salvation, and leaves others in their sins. But, unless you hold to open theism, you end up with the issue that God knew before he created a person, that they would reject Him and go to hell, but He created them anyway.

          Dave, you have presented God’s freedom to elect some to salvation very well.
          What you are experiencing is the rejection by the Arminian hit squads, they are repulsed that God would reveal His Will according to HIS PLEASURE, and not man’s expectations, and it does not give everyone a chance, and this makes God
          an evil God in their eyes. MAN-CENTERED TO THE CORE.

          Dave, keep posting that glorifies God, this here on this site is just persecution.

          Steven

          Dave writes,
          What I find interesting is that non-calvinists reject the notion that God unconditionally elects some to salvation, and leaves others in their sins. But, unless you hold to open theism, you end up with the issue that God knew before he created a person, that they would reject Him and go to hell, but He created them anyway.

          Dave, you have presented God’s freedom to elect some to salvation very well.
          What you are experiencing is the rejection by the Arminian hit squads, they are repulsed that God would reveal His Will according to HIS PLEASURE, and not man’s expectations, and it does not give everyone a chance, and this makes God
          an evil God in their eyes. MAN-CENTERED TO THE CORE.

          Dave, keep posting that glorifies God, this here on this site is just persecution.

    norm

    That’s a rhetorical question, right, Mr. Johnson?
    Christ did not die in two different ways.

    Paul N

    Ironically, atheists ask this same question. John 3:16 says it all, believe or perish.

    Steven

    Leighton writes,
    if I was attending a Presbyterian church with a Statement of Faith that denied God’s universal love, I would expect this, but as a Southern Baptist I would insist correct Baptist (biblical) doctrine was upheld. That truth can be defended……………

    The synergistic doctrines of those proponents in the Sbc are sub biblical and CANNOT BE DEFENDED, as he claims using consistent biblical exegesis and not dodging the true context of these proof texts of the Arminians. This was clear when we saw a futile attempt by Leighton in the debate with Dr. James White.

    Anyone can read two books and get the biblical truth to all these freewill claims of universal love, “Chosen but Free” by Norman Geisler, and “The Potter’s Freedom” by Dr. James White, this book refutes the claims made in “Chosen but Free.
    see what side lets the authors of Scripture and the Scriptures speak for themselves.

      Robert

      Steven,
      While I have both books that you mention.

      We really do not need either of these books to determine what is true regarding these issues.

      We need only OUR BIBLES. In our Bibles we are told that Jesus died for the WHOLE WORLD, that God desires for all to be saved, etc. Now you can try to reinterpret those verses away from their plain, simply and intended meaning, but you will fail in your reinterpretations of these clear scriptures. It should be noted that there are some four point Calvinists who also recognize that scripture properly interpreted yields the conclusion that Jesus did in fact die for the whole world, whether you five point Calvinists want to believe that or not.

      It is non-Calvinists who let these scriptures speak for themselves, it is five point Calvinists who must engage in all sorts of eisegetical gymnastics in order to defend their false and unbiblical views.

        Steven

        Robert writes.
        We need only OUR BIBLES. In our Bibles we are told that Jesus died for the WHOLE WORLD, that God desires for all to be saved, etc.

        Wrong, Jesus DID NOT DIE for the WHOLE WORLD, and God does not DESIRE ALL TO BE SAVED.
        Show us in God’s Word where you pervert the Scriptures to validate your claims.

          Scott Shaver

          I would interject John 3:16 as a starting point for the “whole world” “kosmos”.

            Steven

            Scott writes,
            I would interject John 3:16 as a starting point for the “whole world” “kosmos”.

            When people today see that word ‘world’ in John 3:16, they automatically think ‘every human being that has ever lived or ever will live’. But nowhere in the New Testament is the word ‘kosmos’ used to describe ‘every man, woman, and child that has ever lived or ever will live’.
            That is the ‘universalistic way of interpretation’ that is read into the text (eisogesis).
            The word ‘kosmos’ is always used by John in either in an ethical sense or in an ethnical sense.

            Either in the ethical sense of 1 John 2:15,
            Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

            Or in the ethnical sense of 1 John 2:2,
            and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world -not meaning every man, woman, and child that ever lived or will ever live.

            Not at all, we can look to Revelation 5:9 to see the word ‘ kosmos true meaning,
            And they *sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.

            But meaning ‘all kinds of people’ from ‘ every tribe’ and ‘ tongue’ and ‘ people’ and ‘ nation’ – not just ‘Jews’ only.
            Each one who is believing – ‘ha pas pisteuo’

            All Glory to God Alone in Salvation

              Paul N

              Rev 5:9 is saying that people from every tribe, people, nation etc will trust in Christ thus Christ has redeemed them. It does not tell us what world means in John 3:16 or any of those other passages. There is nothing to suggest that world means any other thing than world apart from adding to scripture.

              Scott Shaver

              Filled to the brim with deterministic theological indoctrination while both scripture and Christ become subservient…..All Glory to STEVEN alone in his division of the word of the truth.

              Nah. on second thought, probably not.

              norm

              1 John 2:15, ala Steve
              Do not love the elect nor the things in the elect. If anyone loves the elect, the love of the Father is not in him.

          Dennis Lee Dabney

          For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

          For the bread of God is He which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

          I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

          My little children, these things write I unto you that ye may not sin. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world.

          Preach!

          Paul N

          Luke 2:10

          Dennis Lee Dabney

          Steven,

          One of the things the first man Adam had in common with the Last ADAM is “ALL”. Every soul is rightly related to the first man of the earth and the Second Man, the Lord from glory death, seeing He tasted death for All men according to the Scriptures. The first man Adam happens to be the “figure” of Him To Come. Romans5:14

          Who did Christ come seeking to save Steven? Never mind, hold that thought, we’ll take His Word since He’s the One who said, I Am come not to call the righteous but SINNERS to REPENTANCE. Again, for the Son of Man is come to seek and save that which was lost. All is in view because He died for all even those false prophets whom He bought with His precious blood.

          Preach!

          Scott Shaver

          Wouldn’t it be easier, Steven, if you just listed all your paraphrased, heavily notated and self-rewritten passages of Scripture?

          That way the rest of us have a heads-up on your nebulous demarcation lines between truth and fiction :0

        Steven

        Robert writes,
        It is non-Calvinists who let these scriptures speak for themselves, it is five point Calvinists who must engage in all sorts of eisegetical gymnastics in order to defend their false and unbiblical views.

        Robert make a grandiose claim without any foundation for this blanket statement which has been shown repeatedly in history and in the Potter’s Freedom by James White. Buy several copies and give them to new believers.
        All Glory to God Alone in Salvation.

          Scott Shaver

          Why would one buy the book if they’re already convinced James White couldn’t find seat of his britches with both hands?

      Dennis Lee Dabney

      There is no Potter, nor Potter’s Touch in view in the creation account of Genesis 1:26 and environs. Man was created in the image of God and after His likeness.
      None of us can find fault in the creation of man and all mankind was visible and known by Him without sin before the foundation of the world.

      The Potter’s Touch involved the Lord working with man after the Fall beginning with the pair in the Garden of Eden.

      And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

      27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

      28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

      Preach!

        Steven

        Dennis writes,
        There is no Potter, nor Potter’s Touch in view in the creation account of Genesis 1:26 and environs.

        Avoiding Romans 9, Dennis wants us to believe that God is not speaking through his inspired Word through Paul.

          Dennis Lee Dabney

          Steven,

          We could never avoid Romans 9, because we can always count on someone attempting to raise this important portion of pericope to satisfy the dogma of Calvinism.

          Deal with the post regarding God the Creator before Genesis 3 and God the Potter and His Touch afterward. We all know the Holy Spirit reason for speaking through the apostle in Romans 9 and your interpretation violate Biblical Hermeneutics.

          Listen, the Potter works with the Clay of obedience Steven or the lack thereof in Fallen humanity.

          Preach!

          Dennis Lee Dabney

          Romans 9 belongs between chapters 8 and 10.

          It doesn’t belong to Calvinism in order to abuse to make theological talking point. The contextual content has absolutely nothing to do with this ideology.

          Preach!

            Paul N

            In fact Paul states exactly the point he is trying to make in these verses of Romans 9. Nothing at all to do with any individual election to salvation.

            30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; 31 but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness.[n] 32 Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law.[o] For they stumbled at that stumbling stone. 33 As it is written:

            “Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense,
            And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”

        Steven

        Dennis, you are quite right here and there are no objections to what you wrote.
        The fact is Genesis is God’s revelation of creation, not the revelation of His plan of Salvation that God shaped before the foundation of the world, hence prior to Genesis. God chose to save a particular people for himself prior to the Fall in eternity past.

          Scott Shaver

          Steven:

          God chose (not based on merit) a people through whom He would bless the earth (send His Christ). The book of “Generations” (Genesis) traces the early history of Jehovah worshippers. God’s plan of salvation is first mentioned in Genesis chapter three, the “protoevangelum”.

          Have no idea what Bible you’re reading.

    Andrew Barker

    Christian Johnson: You could also justifiably say since God loves everyone the same way, then why are there ppl in hell?

    Both statements involve making an assumption. Yours is that God doesn’t love everyone the same way. Mine is that he does.
    So I would suggest you start the other way round and simply ask why are there people in hell?
    My answer would be because they rejected God.
    Your answer (I suspect) would be because God rejected them?

    Your initial statement cannot be used to support the idea that people are in hell because God didn’t love them in the same way. (If that is what you are suggesting)

      norm

      Precisely, Andrew. The assumptions by some of these neophytic theologues do not reveal academic or intellectual prowess, but reveal a penchant for what is, in reality, failed forensics.
      I would challenge any of the detractors to go back several days on this blog and raise their questions with former Calvinist, Pastor Ronnie Rogers. But then, that would be like taking a pen knife to a sword fight. When Ronnie writes, the Calvies remain mute. I would also challenge the drive-by commentors to read Ronnie’s book, “Reflections of a Disenchanted Calvinist: the Disquieting Realties of Calvinism.” Digest that deeply thoughtful and obviously scholarly work first, then pose your objections to our traditional Baptist and biblical views of soteriology that are not rooted in Greek fatalism.

        Dennis Lee Dabney

        Steven nor Christian wanted no part of Pastor Ronnie’s ” provocative presentation regarding Calvinism and they weren’t the only ones. He is well versed on the talking points from his own personal experience. This tells us all we need to know about the subject.

        They know . . .

        Preach!

        Preach!

      Steven

      Andrew writes,
      You could also justifiably say since God loves everyone the same way, Mine is that he does.
      We have yet to see your biblical foundation for these claims

        Scott Shaver

        Why bother? Steven, you don’t handle scripture any more reliably than history or academics.

        Andrew Barker

        Steven: In response to your ‘statement’ I would just use the word of God. “God is love” 1 John 4. It’s a blanket statement but I would say God cannot do anything which would go against this. He cannot do anything except out of love, because that is at the very heart of the nature of God.

      Christian Johnson

      Do you believe that’s the only reason ppl go to hell? What about their sins? Jesus will tell many ppl on the day of judgement “turn away you worker of iniquity I never knew you.”

      So what of ppl in the jungles who never hear the Gospel?

      Well yeah if ppl don’t put their faith in the gospel and repent of their sins then they will go to hell.

      Jesus rejects. He tells them to turn away. He said if you love your family over me you are not worthy to be my disciple.

      Jesus will not only reject but he will deliver unbelievers with His sword when He returns.

      In all actuality I was thinking abt this. But when you go through the book of Revelation how can you day God loves everyone the same?

        Scott Shaver

        Christian:
        The first three chapters of the Book of Romans answers your question about “people in the jungles not hearing” far more precisely than any of us (on either side of the line) can express in our own words.

          Scott Shaver

          I don’t know what God will do with the little guy in the jungle wearing a banana leaf and worshipping a stump, I DO know what he’ll do with me and ALL OTHERS who’ve heard what we’ve heard, handled what we’ve handled, and not exercised faith in it.

        Lydia

        “Jesus rejects. He tells them to turn away. He said if you love your family over me you are not worthy to be my disciple.”

        But in your construct people are not capable. They are unable to love Him unless they were chosen.

    Scott Shaver

    Ask the folks in hell….they’ll be able to tell you clear-eyed and specifically. Failure to exercise faith in Jesus Christ when given the opportunity.

    See Lazarus and rich man.

      Scott Shaver

      Would you love two sons any less if one wound up the pulpit and the other in an electric chair?

        norm

        “Jesus loves the little children” ….. well, only the elect ones. He hates the rest of them.

        “Suffer the children to come unto me” ….. well, only the elect ones?

        “If you have faith as a child …” but not just *any* child — only an elect child. Non-elect children are completely incapable of having/exercising faith.

          Steven

          Sorry to break this to you, Norm. God has a common love for his creation and those he has not chose before the foundations of the world. God has a convental love for those he has chosen and will and have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit. That includes infants, so your emotional plea does not stand up to the revealed will of God.

            Scott Shaver

            In order to be practically consistent with the theological position you’ve just stated clearly, Steven:

            You should have no problem, or at best a 50 percent problem, with the wholesale of infant body parts by abortion clinics for profit.

            I mean, they’re bound for the fire anyway…..right?

              Steven

              Scott writes,
              You should have no problem, or at best a 50 percent problem, with the wholesale of infant body parts by abortion clinics for profit. I mean, they’re bound for the fire anyway…..right?

              Not even close, all life is precious, and only God knows who the ‘Elect’ are, I treat everyone as if they could be an ‘ Elect of God’. So sorry to disrupt your probable statistics illusion.
              You are quite the twisted word crafter,
              and clueless (no discernment on the doctrine of God’s freedom to Elect.)

              The London Baptist Confession of 1689 summarizes God’s Word in
              Chapter 10 on Effectual Calling, paragraph 3.

              Elect infants dying in infancy are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit; who worketh when, and where, and how he pleases; so also are all elect persons, who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word. ( John 3:3, 5, 6; John 3:8 )

                Andrew Barker

                Steven: Since you mentioned it “Elect infants dying in infancy are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit” where do the scriptures talk about ‘regeneration’ in John 3 ?

                  Steven

                  Anyone who wants to get a good footing on Regeneration can visist
                  http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/packer_regen.html
                  Regeneration by J.I. Packer
                  Do not listen to the naysayers.

                    Andrew Barker

                    Steven: I’ve had this conversation before, but the facts remain this. Regeneration is mentioned twice in scripture. The main text for you is Titus 3: and the word could be translated “new birth” because that’s what it means. There are no other references to the word ‘regeneration’ in scripture.

                    Theologians use the term to describe the complete process of being born again and changed into a ‘new creation’. This is why I would prefer not to use the word regeneration because most people (like yourself) use it incorrectly as though it refers to the being ‘born again’ element of salvation. It plainly doesn’t. We are not regenerated! We are created as new creations, born again of the spirit of God.

                    Andrew Barker

                    Steven: PS Somebody referred me to Packer re adoption so I read what he said. He (Packer) gets that wrong too. We are neither regenerated or adopted into God’s family. We are born into it, as new creations.

                    There. That’s got that off my chest! :)

                    Dennis Lee Dabney

                    Anyone who wants more than “footing” regarding Regeneration don’t just visit the Holy Scriptures, trust the Author of Regeneration and rest in Him who gave His Life to “fulfill” the Holy Scriptures.

                    Why settle for bread from men, when we can partake of the Word of God who alone has the Words of this life who alone is the Living Bread.

                    Preach!

                Scott Shaver

                The London Baptist Confession, referred to constantly by the children of Calvin, IS NOT SCRIPTURE AND IS NOT INSPIRED.

                Consequently, it carries absolutely no weight with many Southern Baptists who don’t even recognize the “authority” or “commonality” of the 2000BFM (a deficient theological overstatement for political purposes).

                If Calvinists are going to get ANYWHERE in their attempt to reason with unclean Arminean types…..they’re gonna have to jettison the idea that their creedalism provides any leverage or rationale whatsoever.

                They return to their creed like dogs to their own vomit.

                  JD Barker

                  Moderator? Seriously?

                    Scott Shaver

                    Appeal to the source of the “crime”, not the moderator :+

                    JD Barker

                    “In order to be practically consistent with the theological position you’ve just stated clearly, Steven:

                    You should have no problem, or at best a 50 percent problem, with the wholesale of infant body parts by abortion clinics for profit.

                    I mean, they’re bound for the fire anyway…..right?’

                    and…

                    “They return to their creed like dogs to their own vomit.”

                    Lydia

                    “Appeal to the source of the “crime”, not the moderator :+”

                    That is what grown up’s do…deal with each other. But the Neo Cals appeal to human “authority”. They are very caste system thinkers. They really would love a magisterium.

                    Scott Shaver

                    I see you’ve quoted me correctly.

                    Now, what exactly is the nature of your problem/complaint JD Barker?

                  Andy

                  “If Calvinists are going to get ANYWHERE in their attempt to reason with unclean Arminean types…..they’re gonna have to jettison the idea that their creedalism provides any leverage or rationale whatsoever.”

                  I agree here…

                    Steven

                    Andy writes,
                    “If Calvinists are going to get ANYWHERE in their attempt to reason with unclean Arminean types…..they’re gonna have to jettison the idea that their creedalism provides any leverage or rationale whatsoever.”

                    Andy, it is not about winning or losing here, it is about broadcasting to the audience of the Elect, the Statements of Faith, that best represent the doctrines expressed in God’s Word.

                    Andy

                    STEVEN: “Andy, it is not about winning or losing here, it is about broadcasting to the audience of the Elect, the Statements of Faith, that best represent the doctrines expressed in God’s Word.”

                    Based on this statement, I would LOVE to know how exactly you expect your comments to be effective. You seem to be denying the use of MEANS for God to accomplish his task. You seem to be saying that IF there were an Arminian who believes wrongly, that if he is truly elect, Quoting a human statement to him will cause him to see the error of his ways; ignoring the fact that those same people are telling you a BETTER way to reason with them: Namely using Scripture.

                    Are you saying that reasoning with someone (as Paul did often) is not the goal, but rather quoting man-made, possibly fallible creeds is going to be MORE effective in convincing the elect? What biblical justification can you have for thinking this?

                    To take it a bit further, if I were a Presbyterian seeking to convince you of the validity of infant baptism, If I eschewed any logical debate in favor of quoting Presbyterian Confessions to you, would you believe me to be using the best, most biblical and effective means in communicating with you?

                    Scott Shaver

                    Andy:

                    Now ask Steven what he means by “the audience of The Elect”. The target audience becomes the “target audience” only following carte-blanche acceptance of reform calvinist theology.

                    Go into all the world really means go only to the “target audience” if possible.

                Scott Shaver

                Steven:

                “Discernment” of Calvinistic theology is precisely the reason I DESPISE it.

                Shove the confessions.

            Paul N

            Common love? Where is that found in scripture?

              Dennis Lee Dabney

              In football it’s called a Hail Mary.

              Preach!

          norm

          Not intended to be emotional. Though a little facetious, it represents the position of many self-proclaimed Calvinists who have commented at the blog previously.

      Steven

      Scott writes,
      Failure to exercise faith in Jesus Christ when given the opportunity.
      See Lazarus and rich man.

      It was Jesus’s ‘irresistible grace’ that brought Lazarus to life, Lazarus had ‘no choice’ in the matter. Would he have resisted?
      The rich man was not ‘ordained to believe’ and so would not give up his riches.

        Andrew Barker

        Steven: You’re suggesting “It was Jesus’s ‘irresistible grace’ that brought Lazarus to life, Lazarus had ‘no choice’ in the matter. Would he have resisted?”

        1. You seem to forget where Lazarus was …. in heaven.
        2. In truth, Lazarus was ‘alive’ ….. it was his body which was decomposing and brought back to life? Yes, no?
        3. Lazarus died twice, or at least his body did!

        Jesus raised Lazarus to show he was the resurrection and the life. That’s what Jesus said. If you’re suggesting that the resurrection of Lazarus has anything to do with being “born again”, please provide some scriptural authority for doing so. Nobody has done so as yet, including all the ‘big’ name Reformed theologians, so this would be a first!

          Steven

          Andrew writes,
          You seem to forget where Lazarus was …. in heaven.

          Andrew is just wrong here, and the way he projects himself you would think otherwise.

          Prior to Christ’s resurrection, no one entered heaven.
          Hades was the destination and was divided into two realms: a place of comfort where Lazarus was (Abraham’s bosom or Abraham’s side) Lazarus’s place of comfort is elsewhere called “paradise”
          We see in Luke 23:43,
          And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

          The place of torment is called “Gehenna” in the Greek,
          where the rich man was ‘hell’.

            Jim P

            Steven,
            You are literalizing a passage that is parable and falling in the the trap of using scripture to support your argument. This is not that uncommon. This is not ‘rightly dividing the word of truth.’ and because of that people remain confused about the will of God in their lives.

              Steven

              jIM p Writes,
              You are literalizing a passage that is parable and falling in the the trap of using scripture to support your argument. This is not that uncommon. This is not ‘rightly dividing the word of truth.’ and because of that people remain confused about the will of God in their lives.

              This will be interesting, Jim enlighten us on this parable, we are ready to hear it.

                Jim P

                Steven,

                The ‘we’ is just not the case. I’ll give to you what I can here. I wrote a paper on just this. I will summarize it but honestly the richness of the parable is overwhelming and needs much more than this summary.

                Jesus was traveling from the north toward Jerusalem knowing what would take place there. Before making it into Jerusalem He will pass through Bethany a couple miles outside Jerusalem where the true to life Lazarus had died and where Jesus would raise him from the dead. Prior to this in the North, on his way toward Bethany, one of His last Parable was the one about Lazarus and the Rich Man. The Hostility toward Christ was raising to its hight point during this time. This parable sealed it. The rulers, Pharisees and Priests realized the parable was toward them. Christ had plainly foretold the coming judgment and in the Parable God’s plan was displayed for the nation of Israel. He is opening up His plans to all the people the Pharisees and Priest reject, like the rejected Lazarus ‘outside the gate.’ This would probably include Gentiles who the rulers could never imagine a ‘friendship’ with Abraham they thought only they deserved. Hades is not hell. It basically means ‘hidden.’ The ruler where on display with their linen and purple robes. No more. Abraham’s bosom is ‘friendship’ with God. Those who where once rejected now share the ‘friendship’ with God that Abraham shares. The raising of the real life Lazarus just confirmed what the parable said, “Even if someone raises from the dead” won’t be enough ‘for them to believe’. It wasn’t. It gave the leaders more reason to get the crucifixion going.

                Steven, that’s a start. Hope it grabs your attention to look into it more. To reduce this majestic parable to something it is not is irresponsible and placing ‘tradition’ before the Word of God.

                Peace, Jim

            Scott Shaver

            Steven:

            Your obviously novice way of handling the biblical languages makes you a very loud, but extremely loose cannon, IMO.

              Steven

              Scott writes,
              Your obviously novice way of handling the biblical languages makes you a very loud, but extremely loose cannon, IMO.

              Once again, no ability to respond to what has been posted.

                Scott Shaver

                Steven:

                I’m responding to the nonsense of what you write, not the substance…..there’s none there.

            Scott Shaver

            Steven:

            Once again you reveal woeful ignorance, this time regarding “Prior to Christ’s resurrection, no one entered heaven.

            You can consult any preferred guru-theologian-academic of your choosing to discount the fact THERE IS NO FULLY DEVELOPED THEOLOGY OF THE AFTERLIFE CONTAINED IN THE OLD TESTAMENT. You see the first GLIMPSES of it’s actual nature through the words of Christ in the NEW TESTAMENT and apostles following.

            Consequently, who made you God to determine what did or did not occur (heaven, hell, “limbo” or insert option) in reality free of the time-space-finitude spectrum? Specifically if you truly want to discuss foreknowledge in an intelligent, non-automatic and unfiltered fashion).

            God must certainly have a sense of humor over our arrogance.

              Scott Shaver

              I would add that however you interpret “The Bosom of Abraham”, it was place of peace, healing, and rest.

              Quite the opposite occurring in the rich mans post-mortem reality.

              Sounds like heaven to me.

            Andrew Barker

            Steven: Heaven, paradise, who cares. It’s got to be better than the alternative. The point is, he wasn’t being changed from death to life, darkness to light or a state of sinfulness to a state of being right with God, or any of the other ways in which the Bible describes conversion, was he? Or perhaps you don’t see conversion as being any of these changes? Perhaps next time you hear one of the ‘greats’ using the picture of Lazarus you ought to ask them where their scriptural authority comes from for doing so.

          Steven

          Andrew writes,
          Jesus raised Lazarus to show he was the resurrection and the life. That’s what Jesus said. If you’re suggesting that the resurrection of Lazarus has anything to do with being “born again”, please provide some scriptural authority for doing so. Nobody has done so as yet, including all the ‘big’ name Reformed theologians, so this would be a first!

          Oh Andrew, everything Jesus does is irresistible grace,

            Andy

            “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often WOULD I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not WILLING!”

            (FYI, the 2 words I have put in all caps have the same greek root, meaning “to wish, or to will” something. So in this verse, we have Jesus, God almighty, WILLING something to happen, but the rebellious citizens WILLING that it not happen, so it doesn’t happen. Jesus certainly COULD overwhelm their resistance, but for some reason doesn’t.

              Scott Shaver

              Reason = Love, IMO Andy.

              Dennis Lee Dabney

              Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

              6 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. 7 So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’

              8 “‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’”

              Repent isn’t a suggestion by The High and Lofty One, it is a Command with implications and far reaching repercussions.

              Just one Word from the Lord, whether to sinner or saint, makes all the difference in this life and the Life to come.

              He told Peter to “Come” even when wasn’t sure that it was the Lord and Peter walked on water.

              Obedience is truly better than sacrifice and to listen than the fat of rams.

              Preach!

              Steven

              “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often WOULD I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not WILLING!” Matthew 23:37
              Andy writes,
              (FYI, the 2 words I have put in all caps have the same greek root, meaning “to wish, or to will” something. So in this verse, we have Jesus, God almighty, WILLING something to happen, but the rebellious citizens WILLING that it not happen, so it doesn’t happen. Jesus certainly COULD overwhelm their resistance, but for some reason doesn’t.

              Andy’s response to Matthew 23:37 is right out of Norman Geisler’s, “Chosen but Free”, which has been totally debunked due to Scriptural Malpractice.

              What is clearly seen here is:
              Jesus is condemning the Jewish leaders,
              It was the Jewish leaders who killed the prophets and those sent to them,
              Jesus speaks of “your children” differentiating those to whom He is speaking
              From those that the Lord desired to gather together.

              The context refers to the Jewish leaders, scribes, and Pharisees.

              John Gill, an early Reformer and thorough commentator on the Word of God,
              Writes,

              “The opposition and resistance to the will of Christ, were not made by the people, but by their governors.

              The common people seemed inclined to attend the ministry of Christ, as appears from the vast crowds, which at different times and places, followed Him.

                Andy

                Interesting point, but does that mean that although an individual’s own resistance cannot overcome God’s irresistible grace…the sinful actions of ANOTHER PERSON can prevent that person from being gathered by Jesus, even if he wills it?

                Dennis Lee Dabney

                Steven,

                They were as their fathers before them, they do always resist the Holy Ghost. They counted themselves like all who perish unworthy of everlasting life.

                Preach!

                Scott Shaver

                Historical Fact #1

                Gill was A SHILL for JOHN CALVIN. Read any one chapter of his work and this is obvious.

                Dennis Lee Dabney

                Here is an excellent example of Biblical Hermeneutics run amok. What overreach, grasping for what is obviously not there and clearly violating the meaning in other text.

                Preach!

            Scott Shaver

            Hey Steven:

            I can’t speak for Andrew, but if this BRAND of “grace” you keep pushing is so “irresistible”, why is it not having any significant effect on myself or some others commenting here? Where’s the drawing power?

            What, in essence (and preferably 20 words or less) do you feel to be the “unpardonable sin” (other than the rejection of Calvin).

              Steven

              Scott writes,
              I can’t speak for Andrew, but if this BRAND of “grace” you keep pushing is so “irresistible”, why is it not having any significant effect on myself or some others commenting here? Where’s the drawing power?

              This possibly?

              The basic fact is this: fallen man demands to be in control and his vanity, worldly pride, and self-will are ASSAULTED by limited atonement and predestination and the doctrine of election and reprobation. When these hard truths are accepted (when they CAN be due to regeneration) they effect an internal reorientation from being man-centered to being God-centered. Arminians and others similar demand the Bible remain comfortable to their man-centered demands. These are voices from hell, soft spoken, usually, who would affect to be more loving and more wise and more good and more just than God Himself. Don’t heed them.

                Scott Shaver

                Well, so much for 20 words or less Steve, and still the biggest pile of extra-biblical and disjointed logic I’ve read today.
                I will give u this; you certainly have a gift for saying LESS with MORE.

      Jim P

      Wrong interpretation = Wrong application

      Oh well.

      Jim P

      Here is an excellent illustration of the existing conundrum: two camps on two different sides of the railroad track doctrinally and both interpret incorrectly the same passage in the same way and thereby applying that interpretation incorrectly. Wow de Wow de, that agree on something together. To bad it happens to be on an essentials they both get wrong, i.e., scripture.

        Scott Shaver

        When it comes to accurae “theology” Jim P. There’s only one “camp” in my conviction….5 point and reform Calvinism ain’t in there.

        Wrong interpretations can be shared by more than two parties as you’ve adequately and often demonstrated.

          Scott Shaver

          typo correction = “accurate theology”.

      Jim P

      Welp, that’s just plain enlightening: wrong interpretations can be shared and that’s not a big deal. And not one reaction to that statement.

      Yeap, another Person faced the same dilemma and said: “Because of your “traditions” you invalidate the Word of God.” In the end they crucified the one Who Said it.

        Scott Shaver

        Looks to me, Jim P, that instead of wasting your time trying to “re-educate” those of us who think your theology is crock, you would rather discuss these things with other birds of a feather.

        Fly along now. You are obviously above and beyond the vermin your trying to mix with now.

        Another person also said that if “I or an angel of light should preach unto you any other gospel than that which you have received…”

    Dennis Lee Dabney

    They refused to Repent, something God required and expected.

    Repent or else. . . .

    Preach!

      Jim P

      Without the main ingredient, “a noisy gong and clanging cymbal.”

        Dennis Lee Dabney

        Jim,

        In your estimation what is the main ingredient?

        Preach!

          Jim P

          Dennis, A bit of humility, good for you. 1 Cor. 13:1 is a good place to start.

            Dennis Lee Dabney

            Jim,

            That’s a good place for All of us not only to start but also finish.

            Preach!

              Jim P

              Alright Dennis, this time you hit the nail on the head.
              But it seems too much ‘taking up our cross daily’ for most of us to do it as our usual practice and also finish there.
              This time you got it though.

              Peace.

Lydia

“I mean, they’re bound for the fire anyway…..right?”

Thomas Paine wrote, “belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man”

It is such a shame and waste that was his experience. A God that loved the caste system aristocrcy as rulers over others. But we see that thinking too, these days….in certain circles.

    Scott Shaver

    Believe me Lydia.

    Steven is not grounded enough yet in his own theological template to be “cruel”. At this point, he’s just boisterous.

    Well on his way, however, down the road of deterministic delusion.

anonymous

guys, where do you draw the line? Right now, in the church I pastor, my reformed youth guy has started slipping in his Calvinism. Though when I have gone to him about it, he assures me that “I would never disrespect you and push Calvinism.” This is real life, happening right now, not some theological musings that these comment streams seem to devolve into. My teenage son came home after Bible study the other night and said that as the youth guy was teaching, ‘God’s plan’ came up. My son asked “it’s not God’s plan that I shoot someone is it?” Youth guy said: “I HOPE it’s not God’s plan” then turned to show how the murder of Jesus was God’s plan, and thus implied that murder could be… down the slippery slope of God ordaining sin. He brought up Hitler and how it was God’s plan, he implied to these YOUTH that people in hell were there by God’s plan. Just last Sunday with the pre-Teens his topic was how they were born sinners. My daughter was one of these students. (before the cals ask me: do you not believe we are born sinners? – yes, I believe with a sin NATURE, but you know what a Calvinist means when he says born in sin: sin guilt. my only point here is that I believe original sin is hard to grasp by 10yr olds, and I don’t trust a Calvinist teaching on original sin to anyone.) Again, this is REAL Life, right now, and I truly am at the end of my rope. I have lovingly confronted him more than once, but need you guys to help me here. As a pastor, what would you do?

    Rick Patrick

    I would confront him and give him one last warning. Let the Personnel Committee and Deacons know you have serious concerns with him. He may not realize he has been pushing Calvinism, since he has not been talking about the TULIP per se, but the deterministic theodicy by which he attributes acts of murder as part of “God’s Plan” is straight from Piper. It is consistent with High Calvinism and Pink’s view that God does not love everyone. It is abusive in denying that God’s nature is love. Draw that line, Pastor. No one under my spiritual authority is permitted to push such Calvinistic ideas. I agree with the author of this essay that they are horrific: http://evangelicalarminians.org/essay-in-a-book-edited-by-john-piper-claims-that-god-brings-about-the-sexual-abuse-of-children/

    Lydia

    “Youth guy said: “I HOPE it’s not God’s plan” then turned to show how the murder of Jesus was God’s plan, and thus implied that murder could be… down the slippery slope of God ordaining sin. ”

    What is up with the declaration that Jesus was murdered? It is everywhere.

    I thought it was a sacrifice. I did not realize another angry god murdered him.

    Seriously, are the teens being taught a Greek Pagan religion?

      Scott Shaver

      Lydia:

      The “sacrifice of Christ” as a divinely pre-meditated murder indicates that you’ve got folks running around with a lot more piety than either biblical grounding or COMMON SENSE.

      Our seminaries bite to the bone if this is the kind of thinking they’re responsible for. Makes the so-called “liberals” of the CR days look like a bunch of amateurs.

      If we’re just patient, a lot of em, fortunately, already have and will continue to follow this Pied “Piper” off the nearest available cliff.

      Andy

      He was likely referring to the PEOPLE who killed Jesus…

        Scott Shaver

        Andy:

        I’m of the opinion, based on my reading of scripture, that we all share responsibility, past, present, future, for the barbarism committed against God’s Christ on the cross.

        Jim P’s recent comments reveal a tendency, when his theological framework is questioned or has him boxed-in, to start pointing a finger of anti-semitic emotion/blame against Jews collectively. Hitler did the same thing.

        Jim P

        Jesus’ disciple, Peter, said, “let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom YOU crucified…” Peter said this, not Hitler. Those who heard were cut to the ‘heart’ and said ‘what shall we do?” Seems some of Israel took responsibility. Definitely not all.

        Those who have an ear let them hear.

          Lydia

          Does no one remember the convo with Les a few threads ago? He was mapping the “murder” of Jesus to God breaking His own commandment to us by having Jesus murdered.

          I am hearing this theme all over Cal circles.

          Scott Shaver

          Nice passage Jim:

          The problem is with the way you’ve eschewed it for your own purposes/agenda there Jim P.

          For example, YOU AIN’T PETER and you’re over 2000 years removed from the original context, audience and event in which the words were uttered.

          Among the many problems I have with Neo Calvinists is their total disregard for context and accurate history. CONTEXT is what they say it is, not what it actually is. In the words of a great theologian, Mr. Ed…..”Horse-Feathers”.

          Dennis Lee Dabney

          Those who do not have ears to hear will be responsible for both “what” and “how” they heard the Word of God.

          For the Word is quick and powerful sharper than any two-edge sword, piercing to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit and of the joints and marrow and is a discernerof the thoughts and intent of the heart.

          All are accountable to Him, to whom we all have to do.

          Preach!

          Dennis Lee Dabney

          Jim,

          King Saul had ears and he heard Samuel but he had excuses for not obeying the Lord of Glory.

          Listen Jim, all who have heard are responsible for what they have heard and shall be judged accordingly.

          Preach!

            Jim P

            Dennis,
            Someone once said, “keep things as simple as possible but no simpler.” You’re oversimplifying the problem. Makes for good clanging though.
            Peace.

              Scott Shaver

              The “Gnostic” at heart rarely prefers to keep things “SIMPLE” :)

              “special knowledge” is the gong they “clang”.

                Jim P

                and that’s how excuse-makers find excuses not to think. Gong.

                  Scott Shaver

                  Jim P:

                  If what you do on this website can be defined as “thinking”, I, for one, PREFER TO REMAIN STUPID.

                  By the way, “GONG” worked much better for Chuck Barris than for you my fuzzy little friend. :)

                    Jim P

                    Have it your way Mr. Shaver, absent a smiley face.

        Lydia

        “He was likely referring to the PEOPLE who killed Jesus…”

        Who, in deterministic ST, are controlled by God.

    Lydia

    ” I don’t trust a Calvinist teaching on original sin to anyone.”

    Amen. ESPECIALLY children.

doug sayers

Tuned in late to this one, Leighton, but you ask a very practical question, to which I do not see many helpful suggestions in the comments, thus far.

I will suggest one place where we can draw the line (although I think there are some others). A good place to start in distinguishing real Calvinists from wannabes is the word “irresistible.” We can ask those who may be trying to promote some kind of Calvinism in non-Calvinistic churches if they believe that the eternal destiny of every soul has been irresistibly pre-determined, by God, by the time we are born.

We can ask them if they believe there are any *essential* aspects of salvation that can be resisted by the elect. (And the same for the reprobate).

We can (and should) take them into the church nursery and/or toddler rooms and ask them: “Emotions aside, do you believe that some of these kids could have been born *irresistibly* reprobate, with no actual hope in the gospel?”

If they admit that it’s possible (and try to run and hide behind the sovereignty of God) they may really be convinced. If not, they will likely back off and we can then try to teach them the difference between an explicit teaching of Scripture and an inference.

It’s all about that word “irresistible,” which is not found in the Bible.

    norm

    Doug:

    Absolutely irresistible. But I expect some will find your comments easily “resistible.”

    Norm

Les Prouty

The Reformed refer to salvific grace as irresistible or efficacious grace. I have seen many here talk about “sufficient” grace, as if God gives all men everywhere enough grace for man to be able then to cooperate via his free will with this sufficient grace. One Reformed writer said, “They [classical Arminians] argue that Christ died for all men without exception and that by His death Christ provided sufficient grace to all men to believe and repent. Men are required to cooperate with this sufficient grace. Men of their own power, their own free will, either cooperate with this grace or reject it. In the Arminian [Traditional] system, salvation is based on the free will of man. Arminianism [Traditionalism] does not permit God to be sovereign over the salvation of sinners because that would intrude upon their concept of the sovereignty of the will of man. Man “is powerful enough to obstruct or resist the [special] grace of God who desperately wants all men to be saved!…If God is doing everything within His power to save all men, and if Christ died a sacrificial death for all men, then it is argued that the Holy Spirit must also work equally upon all men to save them. What makes the difference as to who is saved and who is not is the cooperation of the human will. Each person has the ability to reject God’s special grace or to act upon it and be saved.”

Girardeau on this sufficient grace: “The Evangelical Arminian not only admits the fact, but contends for it, that every man in his natural fallen condition is spiritually dead—is dead in trespasses and sins. The problem for him to solve is, How can this spiritually dead man make his possible salvation an actual salvation? It must not be done by the impartation to him of efficacious and determining grace, for to admit that would be to give up the doctrine of a possible salvation and accept that of a decreed and certain salvation. Nor must it be done by regenerating grace, for two difficulties oppose that supposition: first, this regenerating grace would necessarily be efficacious and determining grace; and secondly, it could not with truth be maintained that every man is regenerated. A degree of grace, therefore, which is short of regenerating grace, must be conferred upon every man. What is that? Sufficient grace—that is to say, a degree of grace imparting ability sufficient to enable every man to make a possible salvation actually his own. Now, the argument is short: a degree of grace which does not regenerate, would be a degree of grace which does not bestow life upon, the spiritually dead sinner. If it did infuse spiritual life it would of course be regenerating grace; but it is denied to be regenerating grace. No other grace would be sufficient for the dead sinner but regenerating or life giving grace. How could grace enable the dead sinner to perform living functions—to repent, to believe in Christ, to embrace salvation—without first giving him life? In a word, sufficient grace which is not regenerating grace is a palpable impossibility. An ability sufficient to enable the dead sinner to discharge living functions but not sufficient to make him live, is an impossibility. The Arminian is therefore shut up to a choice between two alternatives: either, he must confess sufficient grace to be regenerating grace, and then he abandons his doctrine; or, he must maintain that grace is sufficient for a dead sinner which does not make him live, and then he asserts an impossibility.”

You can read more here on irresistible or efficacious grace http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/irresistible.html#f106

Hope this helps.

SDG!

    Scott Shaver

    Les:

    How come when you guys get serious about being “biblical”, instead of turning to Christ or Scripture you use gurus like Girardeau to buttress your points.

    Who cares about the opinion or theology of Girardeau ….. with the possible exception of a 30 year old seminary student with a back-pack and bow tie?

    Girardeau ain’t Christ, sure as shooting. He can write and receive the acolades of academics until the world looks level…..still garbage to me.

    Les Prouty

    Scott,

    “How come when you guys get serious about being “biblical”, instead of turning to Christ or Scripture you use gurus like Girardeau to buttress your points.” I suppose the same reason people here appeal to ““Flowers and Rogers and Sayers” and Dr. Allen, and so on. Apparently some of us on both sides of the divide think some men past and present have said some things on these matters worthy of consideration.

    “Who cares about the opinion or theology of Girardeau ….. with the possible exception of a 30 year old seminary student with a back-pack and bow tie?” Well certainly not you. But hey, it’s your loss, not mine.

    “Girardeau ain’t Christ, sure as shooting.” And pray tell who ever said he was?

    “He can write and receive the acolades of academics until the world looks level…..still garbage to me.” Well not anymore since he’s one of those ‘dead theologians.” Garbage to you? I expected no other kind of response coming from you. :)

    SDG!

      Scott Shaver

      Well, so much for 20 words or less Steve, and still the biggest pile of extra-biblical and disjointed logic I’ve read today.
      I will give u this; you certainly have a gift for saying LESS with MORE.

      Scott Shaver

      Glad I did not disappoint your expectations Les. your tenacity is admirable if not insane.

      Scott Shaver

      Les:

      If you’re so reactive and worried about folks reading my comments, why would you waste a four-paragraph consisting of nothing but verbatim quotes from me?

      Whatever the reason, appreciate the repetition as it enhances memorization.

Les Prouty

More on this irresistible grace from John Newton (author of that beautiful hymn I suspect everyone on this site loves to sing, Amazing Grace):

“Do I think that God, in the ordinary course of his providence, grants this assistance in an irresistible manner, or effects faith and conversion without the sinner’s own hearty consent and concurrence? I rather chose to term grace invincible than irresistible. For it is too often resisted even by those who believe; but, because it is invincible, it triumphs over all resistance when He is pleased to bestow it. For the rest, I believe no sinner is converted without his own hearty will and concurrence. But he is not willing till he is made so. Why does he at all refuse? Because he is insensible of his state; because he knows not the evil of sin, the strictness of the law, the majesty of God whom he has offended, nor the total apostasy of his heart; because he is blind to eternity, and ignorant of the excellency of Christ; because he is comparatively whole, and sees not his need of this great Physician; because he relies upon his own wisdom, power, and supposed righteousness. Now in this state of things, when God comes with a purpose of mercy, he begins by convincing the person of sin, judgment, and righteousness, causes him to feel and know that he is a lost, condemned, helpless creature, and then discovers to him the necessity, sufficiency, and willingness of Christ to save them that are ready to perish, without money or price, without doings or deservings.”

    Andrew Barker

    Les: I see you’re reverting to type again, or to be more accurate, copy & paste. It suggests you really don’t have much to say which somebody else hasn’t already said. Plus nobody reads past the first few lines …… do they??

    As for John Newton you can sing “Irresistible Grace” if you like. The rest of us will stick with “Amazing Grace” thanks. Fits better with the tune …… and also scripture. IMO :)

      Donald

      “nobody reads past the first few lines …… do they??”

      Truth!

    Les Prouty

    Andrew,

    “I see you’re reverting to type again, or to be more accurate, copy & paste. It suggests you really don’t have much to say which somebody else hasn’t already said. Plus nobody reads past the first few lines …… do they??”

    Well Andrew feel free using your “LFW” to just skip over what I post. I’ve heard it’s very frustrating to be faced with the truth when people copy and paste the truth in posts. Makes them just stop a few lines in.

    “As for John Newton you can sing “Irresistible Grace” if you like. The rest of us will stick with “Amazing Grace” thanks. Fits better with the tune …… and also scripture. IMO :)”

    Ha. No one sings “Irresistible Grace” when singing that wonderful hymn. Don’t need to. It’s already built in when he penned the words, Newton being Reformed and all. And IMO? Yep. Everyone has one.

    SDG!

    Steven

    Excellent Les, very much appreciated by some of us who have deeper convictions.

    SDG

      Scott Shaver

      Therefore, Jesus said unto them, “Let your DEEPNESS so shine that others see the light”.

      Psuedo-Intellectualism is kind of like “Grape Nuts”. They ain’t grapes or nuts and “DEEPNESS” is not neccessarily spiritual or intellectual.

      “DEEP” in what? I have some ideas.

Scott Shaver

Les:

In the new SBC, John Newton would be denounced and avoided like the plague because of “racial reconciliation”, the sins of the fathers, and his pre-christian vocation as a slave trader.

Only Mohler and Moore can grant final absolution (i.e Broadus and Boyce) on such issues. Don’t think John Newton would make the cut. He would be much to great a distraction from the image they want to present.

Consequently, the only thing Newton is useful for any more in Southern Baptist life are the words of “Amazing Grace”. “Grace”, by the way, that neo-reformers like yourself are constantly trying to pervert.

    Andrew Barker

    Scott, I very much doubt if Newton would gave gone along with some of the Reformed rubbish we hear from the likes of Piper et al and copy/pasted by Les. The idea that it was God who determined his actions as a slave trader/murderer (plenty of slaves died in transit) do not sit well with the words of his song. Not that singing his song implies an acceptance of Reformed theology either. Sone kids round our way thought Madonna wrote it (seriously) :-)

      Scott Shaver

      I’m right with you on John Newton’s analysis of Neo-Cals were he still alive, Andrew

      From what I’ve read about the man, he was radically saved and spent his post-conversion life with the “ghosts of a thousand souls” fueling the fire of his passion for Christ. He must not have been indoctrinated or convinced enough by Calvin to accept that shipping captured souls across the ocean was in God’s “foreordained” plan for his life.

      I tend to think that a man of his reported spiritual caliber would have easily been able to separate precious metal from dross in this current quagmire of “evangelical” theology. The neo-cals who like to hang out in here he would make short work of for sure.

      Les Prouty

      John Newton on the believer:

      “And his faith upholds him under all trials, by assuring him, that every dispensation is under the direction of his Lord; that chastisements are a token of his love; that the season, measure, and continuance of his sufferings, are appointed by Infinite Wisdom, and designed to work for his everlasting good; and that grace and strength shall be afforded him, according to his day.”

      Of course one coulee incorrectly that he didn’t really mean to say that “every dispensation is under the direction of his Lord.” Or that he means the Lord only directs every dispensation of the believer and not the unbeliever. Or whatever else one could concoct to assuage themselves that Newton doesn’t mean what he obviously means.

      SDG!

        Scott Shaver

        LOL Les:

        I don’t think Newton’s use of “dispensation” in the selected context comes anywhere close to the meaning you imply. Laughing so hard it’s causing tears right now.

        Have you ever taken a class in British Lit?

        Les Prouty

        “I don’t think Newton’s use of “dispensation” in the selected context…”

        Predicted. Hankies work when overcome to tears.

        SDG!

        Lydia

        “And his faith upholds him under all trials, by assuring him, that every dispensation is under the direction of his Lord; that chastisements are a token of his love; that the season, measure, and continuance of his sufferings, are appointed by Infinite Wisdom, and designed to work for his everlasting good; and that grace and strength shall be afforded him, according to his day.”

        So his quote means the slaves on his ships were there under the direction of the Lord? That their torturous abuse was a token of his love and appointed by Infinite Wisdom and designed to work for his everlasting good?

        If that is so, it makes no sense Newton stopped slaving. It was all part of God’s plan. He was doing God’s predestined will according to his own quote and your pasting it here to prove his determinist bonafides.

        I do understand though. You guys need Newton to counter act your man centered worship of your other heros who showed down right rotten fruit.

doug sayers

Les, your posts do help but not in the way you would have hoped. They helped to show that you do not have any clear biblical texts to defend the Reformed teaching of irresistible salvation. You called upon a Reformed writer, Girardeau, monergism.com, and John Newton. You have assumed a definition of “dead in trespasses and sins” that is not clear in Scripture, an inference, at best. (Col 2 is a good place to go to understand what it means to be biblically quickened – that is having our sins forgiven.)

Remember also, that the point of this post was to ask where we draw the line with those who would try to teach Irresistible salvation (and irresistible reprobation) in churches that do not believe it. (And some would be taking a salary while doing it.)

I think I know what would happen if I joined a Reformed Presbyterian church and tried to tell the young people that they have not been baptized properly and that God desired everyone to be saved.

    Les Prouty

    Hi Doug,

    “They helped to show that you do not have any clear biblical texts to defend the Reformed teaching of irresistible salvation.” Not clear to you. Clear to many today and throughout history.

    “You called upon a Reformed writer, Girardeau, monergism.com, and John Newton.” Well I can’t very well call on Finney or as Norm said, “Flowers and Rogers and Sayers” to bolster my case. :) Often commenters here call on others to buttress their case (Norm e.g. contra Scott who says we should be “turning to Christ or Scripture” and not gurus). I still can’t tell for sure if the Trad ish folks think it’s bible alone or if they like some theologians/preachers/writers to call to the defense.

    “You have assumed a definition of “dead in trespasses and sins” that is not clear in Scripture, an inference, at best. (Col 2 is a good place to go to understand what it means to be biblically quickened – that is having our sins forgiven.)” And you have assumed a definition of “dead in trespasses and sins” as well. And I already have a good definition of what it means to be biblically quickened. Multiple places as in “giving life.”

    “Remember also, that the point of this post was to ask where we draw the line with those who would try to teach Irresistible salvation (and irresistible reprobation) in churches that do not believe it. (And some would be taking a salary while doing it.)”

    I remember. I think each church in the SBC should be able to set the parameters and no Calvinist should withhold his views prior to getting there. He should make full disclosure. I was just trying to add some Reformed definition to the “irresistible” references.

    “I think I know what would happen if I joined a Reformed Presbyterian church and tried to tell the young people that they have not been baptized properly and that God desired everyone to be saved.”

    Well we’d love to have you, with your immersion and all. I’ve actually been immersed 3 times over the years. And we do have a surprising number of former Southern Baptists in the PCA. One of our best SS teachers over the years is a Baptistic dispy brother who graduated from DTS. He does not hold to covenant baptism and is a dispy, but is a Calvinist. He has much insight in the scriptures and taught often over the years until his son came back to the area and planted a church. But he is honorable. He agreed on where his teaching boundaries were and honored them.

    And perhaps you could teach. But not tell the youth that their baptism is wrong and such. And neither should a Calvinist stealthily do that in the SBC.

    SDG!!

      Scott Shaver

      Three times immersed doesn’t give me much confidence in either your theological stability or continuity, Les.

      Don’t think I’d of offered that information up….even if true.

      Les Prouty

      3 times immersed. Yup! I was a Trad back then before Trads had an identifier and was in Trad type churches who convinced me that I must be baptized again and again to “just nail it down!” After 17 stanzas of an altar call and hymn each time. I’ve grown up in the faith since then though.

      ” doesn’t give me much confidence in either your theological stability or continuity, Les.”

      I’m pretty sure that fact has not lowered your “confidence in either your theological stability or continuity” in me one iota. How could it?

      SDG!

        Scott Shaver

        Les:

        Now you’re sounding like the theological version of Obama and Hillary. Deflect the blame for personal choices.

        You’re multiple baptisms were the result of “traditional baptist teaching”. Okay, fine. Regardless of whether they occurred at the hands of “Trads”, “Liberals”, “Reform” “Taufers” or “Um Taufen”, the scenario speaks to me personally of a theological mindset constantly in flux due to placing greater weight on the words of men than those of Christ.

        Hence your impasse.

        Les Prouty

        Scott,

        Two sayings come to mind as you write (and I assume read) here:

        “I’m sorry. In order for you to insult me, I must first value your opinion. Nice try though.” Me

        “You can’t handle the truth.” Col. Jessep

        SDG!

          Scott Shaver

          This is no revelation Les.

          No secret to anybody here that the only opinion in the world that matters to Les….is the opinion of Les.

          What is “truth” Les? And if my opinion (or those of others) is not valued by you, why do spend so much time in fruitless, and futile attempts at rebuttal of those views and opinions every time they scorch the seat of your deterministic and thrice-dunked carcass. A real piece of work.

          Isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results?

          Andrew Barker

          Les: I’ll answer for Scott if I may (I’d let him do the same for me!) Please don’t flatter yourself (for that is what it is) that anyone’s main aim is to insult you. Point out your many inconsistencies, yes. But insult? Since you don’t value Scott’s opinion, I wonder why you respond at all? As for truth, I’m not sure I’d turn to the likes of Col. Jessup (correct spelling?) for my quotes. Most of what he said would be decidedly off limits on this blog, even with expletives deleted!!

          I trust you don’t feel insulted by this comment. Contending for the truth, yes! Insulting comment? There is no need for that. The question is not whether or not you can “handle the truth”. It’s whether you can handle the word of truth correctly! From where I’m sitting, you are sadly lacking in that department. (But that is of course said IMO)

            Scott Shaver

            Not to mention, Andrew, that “Col Jessup” doesn’t exist, he’s a cartoon character played by Jack Nicholson in a Tom Cruise movie.

            Don’t be too hard on Les, however, he’s making progress. This is the very first time I’ve read him quote anybody that wasn’t a flaming hyper-calvinist.

            Hope you and yours are well across the pond.

          Les Prouty

          Andrew,

          “I’ll answer for Scott if I may.” Please. Maybe you can make some sense. Oops.

          “Please don’t flatter yourself (for that is what it is) that anyone’s main aim is to insult you.” Oh for sure. Who would think they were being flattered to be insulted? Main aim? I have not idea. Unlike others here, I don’t presume to be able to read motives and intentions.

          “Point out your many inconsistencies, yes.” It certainly has been tried.

          “Since you don’t value Scott’s opinion, I wonder why you respond at all?” Hmm. I don’t value Obama’s opinions, but I do watch the news and see them and sometimes make comments about his goofy and liberal opinions. Same with Scott.

          “As for truth, I’m not sure I’d turn to the likes of Col. Jessup (correct spelling?) for my quotes. Most of what he said would be decidedly off limits on this blog, even with expletives deleted!!” Oh, I wasn’t citing Col. Jessep for a truth source. Only the excellent on liner where appropriate.

          “I trust you don’t feel insulted by this comment.” Not at all.

          “Contending for the truth, yes! Insulting comment? There is no need for that.” Would that others here shared both of those statements.

          “The question is not whether or not you can “handle the truth”. It’s whether you can handle the word of truth correctly! From where I’m sitting, you are sadly lacking in that department. (But that is of course said IMO)”

          Oh I can. When it has been pointed out to me that I am wrong, and I see that I am wrong, I will stand corrected. Where you’re sitting? Well you’re just sitting somewhere without a good view.

          SDG!

            Scott Shaver

            I love being “goofy” Les. As to being “liberal”, you wouldn’t know a “liberal” even if the government mandated labels.

            Mr. Goofy here at lest had the resolve to start and complete formal theological training. Very apparent that you SHOULD HAVE.

            Les Prouty

            “I love being “goofy” Les. As to being “liberal”, you wouldn’t know a “liberal” even if the government mandated labels.”

            Really. I do wish you and the others here who know so much about other people, motives and knowledge and such, would put your gifts to better use.

            “Mr. Goofy here at lest had the resolve to start and complete formal theological training. Very apparent that you SHOULD HAVE.”

            Oops on the knowledge thing there Scotty. I completed two seminary degrees. Now queue up the “trash Les’ seminary degrees” thing. That’s fine. But at least get your facts straight.

            SDG!

              Scott Shaver

              Why didn’t the degrees “take” would be my next evil question. Perhaps non SB degrees?

              But the level of one’s academic achievement is not a guarantee of apprehending biblical Christianity. Continued discussion in this vein is overkill. readers can judge at this point from our previous exchanges.

            Scott Shaver

            I don’t think anyone needs to READ your mind and motives, Les.

            You make both painfully obvious with each and every post.

          Les Prouty

          Scott,

          “This is no revelation Les.

          “No secret to anybody here that the only opinion in the world that matters to Les….is the opinion of Les.” Ha ha.

          “What is “truth” Les?” Oh Scott. You and Pilate. “Pilate said to Him, ‘What is truth?’”

          “And if my opinion (or those of others) is not valued by you, why do spend so much time in fruitless, and futile attempts at rebuttal of those views and opinions every time they scorch the seat of your deterministic and thrice-dunked carcass. A real piece of work.”

          I never said that others’ opinions don’t matter to me. As for why I read your opinions, well you’ve heard, have you not, about how people just can’t pass a wreck without slowing down to take a look? That’s it.

          Isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results? Scorch “the seat of your deterministic and thrice-dunked carcass?” Only on your dreams Scott.

          “Isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results?” Yep. Perhaps I am insane. Perhaps you have it backwards.

          SDG!

            Scott Shaver

            I AIN’T Pilate Les.

            And you, sure as snow in winter, AIN’T Jesus. Once again you mishandle The Word for less than honorable purposes.
            I asked YOU…not Jesus, what is truth? But now I rescind the question, don’t feel like reading 500 words of reconstituted Reform theology.

            Scott Shaver

            If you can’t pass wrecks without looking, it speaks to your state of mind, not the acceptability nor safety of the practice ;)

Clif Springer

Your “loyal listener” pastor is living in a dream world. If he has Calvinists teaching in his church, then it will be only by God’s grace that the church does not end up with a split or as a Calvinistic church. He is like the homeowner in The Firebug, who denied that the arsonists living in the attic were a problem. We might survive for a while as a mixed denomination, but a church cannot survive as a Traditional/Calvinist mix because someone has to teach the youth! Once you decide who will teach the youth, you have defined your church and determined your future!

    Scott Shaver

    Love “The Firebug” analogy Cliff and agree 100 percent. Russell Dilday called it right almost to the timeline.

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