Born Dead?

The analogy of being “dead” is seen throughout the scriptures, but can it be demonstrated to mean that mankind is born morally unable to willingly respond to God Himself, as the Calvinists presume? Are we born dead like Lazarus, a corpse rotting in the tomb (a link scripture never draws), or are we dead like the Prodigal, a loved one living in rebellion? Scripture supports the latter rather than the former:

“For this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate” (Luke 15:24).

Spiritual deadness seems to be equated with “separateness,”  “lostness,” or “in rebellion,” not as “total moral inability to respond.” Likewise, in Romans 6:11, Paul also teaches the believers to count themselves “dead to sin.” A consistent Calvinist would have to interpret this to mean that believers are morally unable to sin when tempted. Of course, that is not the case. Paul is teaching that we are to separate ourselves from sin, in much the same way we were once separated by our sin from God. “Deadness” here connotes the idea of being separated, like the son was from his father, not the incapacitation of the will to respond to God’s appeal to be reconciled from our separation.

Plus, if we examine the story of Lazarus more closely it reveals a truth that flies in the face of the Calvinistic conclusion.

“So Jesus then said to them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead, and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe…’ (John 11:14-15).

The lesson the Lord wishes to teach his followers is not the conclusion that Calvinists draw from this text (i.e. God effectually makes the spiritually dead alive in the same way He raises Lazarus); but instead, the Lord’s expressed desire is so that the witnesses “may believe.” Clearly, an outward sign is said to have the ability to help individuals believe, something that seems completely superfluous given the effectuality of regeneration on the Calvinistic system. The text goes on to say:

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?’  She said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world’ … Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?’’ (John 11:25-27; 40).

Once again, it is the faith of the eye witnesses, not Lazarus, that Jesus seems to be focused upon in this discourse. Furthermore, the responsibility is put onto the individual to believe so as to live, not the other way around. The focus of this text is on the believing response of the witnesses to Christ’s miracle and the believers eventual resurrection from the dead. Remember, Lazarus was a believer, not Totally Depraved, so this miracle more likely represents the believer’s resurrection from the dead than a irresistible soteriological drawing of the lost to faith.

“So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised His eyes, and said, ‘Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me’… Therefore many of the Jews who came to Mary, and saw what He had done, believed in Him” (John 11:41-42; 45).

Jesus expresses a desire for the witnesses to believe based upon what they have seen, something on Calvinism that is a certainty for the Elect ones and absolutely impossible for the Reprobates, regardless of what miracle either of them witness. Notice that Jesus describes the faith of the eye witnesses as being a direct response to what they saw, not a supernatural inward work of regeneration, or an unconditional choice before time began.

No where in this passage, or any other, do we find the concept of spiritual deadness as being in reference to total inability, yet the story of Lazarus is one of the most referenced proof texts cited by Calvinists in defense of this doctrine.

Let’s consider other passages which use the analogy of “deadness.” For instance, take a look at Jesus’ own words to the church in Sardis:

“To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.” (Rev. 3:1-6)

Clearly, Jesus fully expects this church to heed his warning and respond in repentance despite the fact that he called them “dead.”  The Calvinist may object saying, “But, Jesus is speaking to the church, not to the lost, so that does not apply to our point of contention.”  I disagree, and here is why:

  1. The point is simply to show how the analogy of being “dead” doesn’t necessarily imply “corpse-like inability.” This use of the word illustrates that point because clearly those in the church are expected to “wake up” and “repent.” The burden is on the Calvinist to produce examples where the analogy explicitly demonstrates the concept of “total inability” to respond to God’s life-giving Word.
  1. The Calvinistic teachings on “Compatibilism” equally applies to the choices of the Saints (the elect) and the Reprobates (the non-elect). According to the Compatibilist, a person will always choose in accordance with his or her greatest desire, which is determined by the God given nature and Divinely controlled circumstances in which that individual makes the choice.[1]Therefore, the choice of a Christian is as much under the “sovereign meticulous providence” of God as are the choices of the Reprobates.  So, according to a consistent Calvinist, the “dead” believers in Sardis were as incapable of response to Christ’s appeals to repent, as were the “dead reprobates” being called by the gospel to repentance for the very first time.  In other words, if Compatibilism is true, then both the “dead” believer in Sardis and the “dead” reprobate is equally incapable of repentance apart from God’s gracious work to effectuate that willing response. Thus, the burden of proof is still on the Calvinist to demonstrate that the analogy of being “dead,” in both instances, equals “corpse-like inability.”

Paul is known to use the analogy of being “dead” along side the concept of being included “in Him,” as we see here:

In Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions” (Col. 2:11-13).

Here Paul seems to relate circumcision to being made alive. Deut. 10:16 says, “Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer,” which strongly seems to indicate it is man’s responsibility to humbly repent, as seen repeated in Jer. 4:4:

Circumcise yourselves to the LORD and remove the foreskins of your heart, Men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, Or else My wrath will go forth like fire And burn with none to quench it, Because of the evil of your deeds.’”

This parallels Paul’s teaching in Ephesians 1 and 2, which likewise references the saints as having once been dead but being made alive by God. Both Calvinists and non-Calvinists affirm that we were all once dead in our sins and have been made alive together with Him.  The point of contention is over whether the dead sinner has any responsibility in his being raised up. Is the concept of “deadness” meant to suggest that mankind has no responsibility (ability to respond) to God’s appeal to “repent and live” (Num. 21:8-9; Ezk. 18:32; 33:11; John 6:40; John 20:31).

The text indicates that we are “made alive together with Him,” and it is mankind’s responsibility to be included “in Him,” through faith:

“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory” (Eph. 1:13-14).

When were you “mark in Him?”

“When you believed,” according to the text.

Clearly, one must believe in order to be marked “in Him” and receive the Holy Spirit, not the other way around.  It is “in Him” that we are “made alive” or “raised,” according to the texts quoted above.

No where in the Bible is the concept of being “dead” connoted to mean that mankind has no responsibility to humble themselves and repent in faith so as to be “made alive together with Him.” As Paul teaches in Romans 8:10, “If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.”

The theme of being “raised up,” “made alive,” “exalted,” or “lifted up” is carried throughout the scriptures, and it is not difficult to see the expectation God has for those who He will graciously raise up:

1 Peter 5:5-6:  “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

James 4:10: “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”

Matthew 23:12: For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

Psalm 18:27: You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.

Psalm 147:6: The Lord sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground.

Matthew 18:4: Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Luke 18:14: “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Not once in scripture does it teach that God is the one responsible for humbling us so that we would be “lifted up,” “raised up,” “exalted” or “make alive together with Him.”

In James 1:14-15, it states, “But each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” Likewise, Paul says in Romans 7:9-10, “I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died; and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me.” Yet, Calvinists teach that we are born dead already. So, which is it? Clearly, the analogy of “death” can carry with it different connotations, none of which can be shown by the text to mean “total inability” from birth.

Finally, if spiritual deadness is taken in a woodenly literal way by the Calvinist when it comes to mankind’s moral inability to respond willingly, then why can the “corpse-like dead man” respond unwillingly? A corpse could not “grab the life preserver when it is offered,” as the Calvinist likes to point out, but a corpse also could not actively swim away from it either, as is the rebellious response of many to the gospel. In fact, there are all different kinds of responses to the life preserver.  Some swim around it for a while and seem genuinely interested. Others mock it angrily. In fact, no two “dead” people respond in the exact same way to the life preserver, which obviously would not be true if they literally responded like a corpse.

Once again, the Calvinistic presumption is just that, a presumption they read into the text that is simply never substantiated by any explicit biblical teaching.

For more on this subject, CLICK HERE.

504 thoughts on “Born Dead?

  1. As much as I am on your side of this topic, I find it to be too wordy, too confusing, irrelevant train of thought, lack of scripture to prove the point, so that a 2 year old could understand it, so it does not hit the home run. A good place to start is at the word “AGAIN” in the phrase, BORN AGAIN. We were ONCE Born of God, that is, SPIRITUAL birth. Then the next process is that we spiritually died. Then the next process is AGAIN BORN of God. Life, death, then life again, which is the exact order of events of a NATURAL life.

    What is life? Spirit in a body.
    What is Spiritual life? Spirit in a body PLUS God’s Spirit in same body.

    When God’s spirit departs, you are spiritually dead, hence, separation from God. That separation is the result of KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL, not before that. Not in the womb. The name of the tree in the garden had something to do with KNOWLEDGE.

    Simple explanation, and there are lots of bible references to prove that.

    One reference, you did mention. Romans 7. But that was just the surface.

    Gotta explain it like we are two year olds.

    Ed Chapman

    Like

    1. Here is an EASY way to understand this:
      WHERE were YOU created?
      Spirits of man was created. The Body is what was formed in the womb. Plant a spirit (SEED) in a body (DIRT), you became a living soul.

      Now, if you say that you were CREATED in the womb, I will retort that God has been out of the creation business since day number 6 was completed. Hebrews 4.

      But ya gotta first understand that you are a spirit first and foremost. A body was formed LATER. Life requires a body, but existence does not require a body, hence ghost, aka spirit, meaning that you existed prior to conception in the womb.

      So, when and where were YOU created? When you realize this, you will KNOW that you were with God before birth, and God never departed you until you got knowledge of Good and Evil.

      Ed Chapman

      Like

    2. The parable of the LOST KEYS. You once HAD those keys, THEN you LOST them. You OWN those keys. But now you are LOOKING for your lost keys.

      So how can we say that the keys originated already being lost?

      The sheep belongs to God, THEN they strayed, thereby becoming lost. Some will stay lost, others will be found.

      Did you find your keys?

      Ed Chapman

      Like

  2. Spot on, as usual. Calvinism’s assertion that ‘dead’ must be interpreted in one and only one manner, and that they get to decide, is presumptuous and false. Along with many other interpretations they attempt to demand as unchallengeable. One can begin to see why Calvin was compelled to use tyrannical despotism to ‘sell’ his ideas – they only work if they are forced upon men who are forbidden to think for themselves or ask hard questions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just want to very gently in the love of Christ mention something about Reformed Believers and John Calvin. John Calvin was never as far as I know compelled to use tyrannical despotism to “sell” his ideas, and to say they only work on men who are forbidden to think for themselves or ask hard questions is a very harsh and would definitely need proof to speak of any man in this capacity. It was said of John Calvin in the history of his life, “the most Christian man of his generation. a man very tender of heart, never ceasing to helping the afflicted and more can be read from the article below of the History of John Calvin’s Life. Before Michael Servatus is brought up to destroy this godly man’s reputation let me first say that John Calvin did not kill him by fire. I do not have time here to tell the real story but will if ask to. But let me mention one person on here and I think that will settle the argument. King David. lust after another man’s wife, Bathsheba, King David commits adultery with her and then has her husband killed because he was dominated by the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes which we all are guilty of. Then King David had Bathsheba’s husband killed. King David was a murder also. It was approximately 9 months before God sent a prophet and confronted David to tell him a story and David wanted to know who the man in the story was and the prophet with the Holy anger of God pointed His finger at David and said it is you King David. David repented immediately in ashes and prayed that God would have mercy on his new baby whom God said he would punish David by killing the baby for the terrible wicked sins David did. Let me say that again, God killed a baby because of the terrible wicked sins his daddy did. Was the baby innocent without sin not deserving this punishment. Hmmmmmm Read the article below to see how John Calvin in love labor continually doing good works by the grace of God for the Lord glorifying The God of Heaven.

      http://www.reformed.org/calvinism/index.html?mainframe=/calvinism/jc_character.html

      Like

      1. John Calvin in the history of his life, “the most Christian man of his generation. a man very tender of heart, never ceasing to helping the afflicted and more can be read from the article below of the History of John Calvin’s Life. Before Michael Servatus is brought up to destroy this godly man’s reputation”

        br.d
        While the spirit of this post is one of kindness and that is always appreciated, I think its a mistake for a person to get their information from biases sources. From an observers perspective, there is no such thing as a historical representation of John Calvin authored by a Reformed writer that is does not seek to portray John Calvin in a biased complimentary light.

        If one wants to find out the sins and weaknesses of politicians (for example), one does not read books written by and for politicians.

        There are numerous arguments as to why John Calvin’s participation in the murder of numerous people in Geneva was justified and sanctified. If however, Paul, or John, or Peter were to address these arguments they would be appalled. That is not the spirit of Christ at work – but another spirit.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ralph,

        Thanks for the sincere dialog. Calvin ruled Geneva with an iron hand as the article even states…..”but inexorably severe when he saw the honor of God obstinately and malignantly attacked.”

        Was he nice to some people? Did he write nice letters to some people? Likely.

        Was he severe to anyone who fell outside his interpretation of the rules? Yes, and that is not debated by anyone.

        Did Augustine venerate Mary? Did Jonathan Edwards stridently defend slavery and own slaves? Yes and Yes.

        Did David sin? Yes, we have his sin and his repentance, but we dont have whole systems of belief called “Davidism.”

        Calvin does not deserve the devout following that he has today, with man-made philosophies (Calvinism), schools, and seminaries named after him.

        Like

      3. The Apostle John divulges to the world in Revelations 19, that he προσκυνῆσαι (prostrated) himself before an angel.
        That angel must have been something awesome to look at!

        But notice the Angel’s response – is to rebuke John.
        “See that you do it not – for I am just a σύνδουλός (fellow servant)”.

        I don’t think any Christian today would dare to argue he is more spiritually mature than the Apostle John must have been at that time.
        And yet John is rebuked for giving even the appearance of honor to someone other than Christ.

        It has sickened me to my stomach to read some of the ring-kissing worshipful adoration given to John Calvin by Reformed writers.

        This is called “vicarious boasting” (i.e., boastings towards an outward target designed to camouflage self-aggrandizement).
        The Apostle Paul would instantly categorize it as σαρκικοί (carnal).

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Ralph, I appreciate your generous comment earlier. I would tend to agree with br.d., that the slant given John Calvin is rarely objective, as could be said of much of history. Nor should one be surprised to find pleasant sounding words written by Calvin, who obviously sought to present himself in the best light possible. (Some suggest he had the sort of political skills that modern politicians often display, speaking in a manner that allowed multiple interpretations and always provided plausible deniability.) It was my former Calvinist pastor who tipped me off, admitting once, ‘John Calvin was not exactly a very nice person.’ The way he said it, I knew he meant it as an understatement. It was some time later that I decided to do some research for myself, rather than relying on hearsay.

        I have read much on Calvin in the last several years, with most of the more ‘honest’ scholarship taking place many decades ago. The Marilyn Robinson propaganda is pretty standard today, but the book I found most helpful was by a Reformed minister, who traveled and studied for a year in Europe after documents that had been long off limits to scholars became available for study. The book, which I highly recommend, is ‘The Reformers and Their Stepchildren’ by Leonard Verduin. It was presented as a series of lectures sponsored by the Calvin Foundation, so one would be hard-pressed to call it anti-Calvinist. Fluent in multiple languages, including French, Verduin had access to many historical documents, including the official records of all trials, punishments, etc. kept by the Council at Geneva during Calvin’s reign. This man, with no axe to grind, was honest and insightful as he presented what he discovered. Give it a read – it will open your eyes to much about the history of the Reformation that is not well known, and I believe you will find that the author was well-informed, intelligent, honest, and willing to discuss hard truths, along with being fully Reformed in his worldview. It is a book worthy or repeated readings.

        Like

      5. I’m adding Leonard Verduin’s book to my reading list!
        Thanks TruthSeeker for the great reference!

        I’ve found that many of the authors of Calvin’s period who created biography’s of Calvin’s behavior, wrote either in French or in Latin, and many of their writings do not appear to have ever been translated into English. So unfortunate!!

        Like

      6. You will love the book. If I had only one to recommend to those wanting a more objective view of the Reformation – The Reformers and Their Stepchildren would be it. He also wrote a very interesting follow up on Church-State relations : The Anatomy of a Hybrid.

        Like

      7. RJ writes, “God killed a baby because of the terrible wicked sins his daddy did.”

        Technically, death is referred to as sleep as no one really dies or ceases to exist. God sustains His creation and this includes sustaining the lives of people from day to day. Should God withdraw His life sustaining hand, a person would fall asleep and then stand before God who would tell the person whether he should enter heaven. We should be upset when any person interferes with God’s plans (regardless that God knew it would happen) and brings to an end a life that God gave. The unsaved reprobates in society have no regard for God or the sanctity of life and while they willfully take the life of others, it is under the sovereign rule of God that they do so and therefore their acts of evil are subordinate to God’s purposes.

        Like

      8. rhutchin:
        God sustains His creation and this includes sustaining the lives of people from day to day.

        br.d
        This is a good example of Calvinist double-think (i.e., Calvin’s *AS-IF* thinking)

        The statement obfuscates the fact that in Theological Determinism the THEOS determines every activity in a person’s life including every neurological impulse.

        So if the THEOS determines the person at time -T will raise his right hand – then obviously the THEOS is going to “sustain” that activity.

        A THEOS that determines X to infallibly occur – and then “sustains” the negation of X – is a THEOS that is irrational working against himself.

        Welcome to Calvinism’s world of double-think. :-]

        Like

      9. br.d. – You mean, if you string together enough big words and meaning-hiding euphemisms that it doesn’t count for anything? I mean, we can’t all be logical and consistent.

        Like

      10. Good one!!
        Its humerus to observe the love-hate relationship Calvinists have with their own theology.
        They love waxing eloquent – asserting nothing can come to pass unless Calvin’s god determines it.
        And then communicate *AS-IF* things happen without Calvin’s god determining them.

        I like you’re response:
        Determinism is your belief system – so own it! :-]

        Like

  3. Well done!

    A lot of action verbs done by “dead” people in the moving away from the Gospel. No need to do that…or way to do that if you are no-response-possible dead.

    Like

  4. Calvinists say that man is born dead because of Adam’s sin and they use Eph. 2:1-3 as a proof text. But Paul does not say there “You were dead in Adam’s sin” but “in your transgressions and sins.” I take ‘dead’ here prolepticly i.e. doomed to die (the second death). They also think that “we were by nature children of wrath” means ‘by birth’ we were such. While the word for “by nature” can mean that, it can also mean ‘by practice.’ It should be taken this way because Paul already mentioned “your transgressions (plural) and sins (plural). The passage does not say what they want it to say.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. TroyS,

      Yes! And Genesis 2:17 would back you up.

      “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

      He did not die…but was doomed to die. Obviously he made good and bad decision from that point on.

      He we “so dead” that he could not save himself, but not so “dead-men-don’t-make-choices” that he could not respond to a Savior.

      There is no biblical evidence for such a position. It is just forced upon a few texts because it is so needed by determinists.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No, Adam did die THAT day…a spiritual death. KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL. Adam and Eve was going to die a natural death ANYWAY, regardless, and you can find that in 2 Corinthians 15 in the discussion of the resurrection, regarding the BODIES that we have now, bodies that die, vs. bodies that WILL NOT die. In order for Adam to have had a body that does not die, he would have had to have eaten from the Tree of Life and that tree was blocked after the fall, so that Adam would not have eternal life in a fallen state. But God showed Adam and Eve how to TEMPORARILY restore the relationship between God and them by SACRIFICING an animal, for which clothing was made.

        Ed Chapman

        Like

      2. Ed,
        I am not sure what your point it.

        Let’s stick with what we see in the passage.

        You say ….No, Adam did die THAT day… “a spiritual death. KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL”

        1. The passage does not say (like you) in what way he died. Let’s not bring things to the passage.

        2. So you are saying he DID or did NOT have knowledge of good and evil from then on?

        3. I am not sure in 2 Cor 15 where it says Adam was going to die anyway.

        4. If you are correct that Adam “died that day,” in what way does that prove his inability to make a wise choice, or follow the commandment of God, or call out to God?

        just a few verses later God tell Cain this….

        4:7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

        It sounds very much like God is saying that “dead Cain” is able to make the right choice.

        Like

      3. FOH writes:
        ‘“but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

        He did not die…but was doomed to die. Obviously he made good and bad decision from that point on.

        He we “so dead” that he could not save himself, but not so “dead-men-don’t-make-choices” that he could not respond to a Savior.

        There is no biblical evidence for such a position. It is just forced upon a few texts because it is so needed by determinists.’

        Yes! It is time to acknowledge that the ‘curse’ of sin was ‘death’ – not ‘Total Depravity’. It is this error upon which Calvinism perches, hence the necessity to twist verses into unnatural meanings which could easily have been avoided by looking at the rest of scripture to see if such meanings fit the narratives.

        In truth, it is impossible to ‘prove’ one interpretation over another, which is why the typical Calvinist tactic of playing prooftext wars is pointless. The best way to try and understand – assuming that is the reader’s agenda – the difficult concepts of scripture is to study the narrative passages, which demonstrate ‘truth in action’.

        If men are born totally depraved, none of Israel’s patriarchs could have responded to God without the magical transformative ‘gifting’ of faith and regeneration, which are never described. If Cain was predetermined to sin, God was deceiving him when he suggested and urged that Cain could choose to resist sin. The key is to look at the narratives, the stories set forth in scripture to see if what some ‘teacher’ asserts as the ‘true meaning’, formerly unrecognized, of scripture. The proof is in the pudding. Words can be manipulated and twisted to mean nearly anything – even the exact opposite of what the speaker intended! That is why the wise teacher tells stories to illustrate. The stories remain as illustration of God’s workings among men, and can be examined again and again, to see if the claims of ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ teachers stand. Including the ones who gain mighty reputations and followings.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. TS00,
        There used to be a YRR Troy commenting in favor of Dordt-confession determinism. He would say “look at ALL of Scripture, Sir!”

        I would always read that in utter amazement because in reading ALL of Scripture (note my many commentaries as I read through the Scripture—not cherry-picking) we can easily see the truth in the narratives (as you say).

        Cain. God is telling him that he can and should dominate over sin. No special dose of faith required. Just do it with what you have!!

        Is God then a liar? Deceiver?

        For Fatalists (Calvinists) He must be because (1.) He did not give Cain the special ability, but (2) it appears to any average reader that God is clearly telling Cain it is possible and desired by God. Commanded, called, and told to do it but not given the ability. How deceptive!

        Narratives like this (hundreds of them) are God’s way of communicating with us…His way of telling us who He is.

        What right do we have to (mis)interpret 40-50 verses and turn all of these clear teachings on their head?

        Liked by 1 person

      5. FOH, not only do we have no ‘right’ to misinterpret scripture, we will be held accountable for such misinterpretation, whether it is due to ignorance, arrogance, laziness or worse. Everything we need to understand God’s Word (as much as we are able) is granted, including the Spirit of God, who is eager to assist us. Coming to the Word with a desire to maintain our preconceived notions will never lead to greater understanding. I try to hold everything I believe somewhat loosely, and allow God to lead me into ever greater understanding. This often requires a great many factors, such as more knowledge, more humility, more recognition of all of the baggage we carry, etc., hence, is rarely a quick, easy or painless process.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Well, let’s be clear on one thing first. I am not a Calvinist, so my argument is not at all related to Calvinism. I am fighting against any and all forms of Calvinist thinking and teaching.

        Now, you want to stay with “the passage”. I REJECT expository study. I have to read the whole book first, in order to make a decision regarding things. I am TOPIC driven.

        Knowledge of Good and Evil is the means of spiritual death.

        Adam was going to die a natural death anyway, whether he ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil or not.

        Why was the Tree of Life in the Garden, and what would have happened if Adam had eaten of that tree?

        If you are not asking questions, how can you find the answers, unless you read the whole Bible seeking?

        Ed Chapman

        Like

      7. Thanks Ed.

        Just curious how they would know the difference between obeying God and following Satan’s tempting if thy had no knowledge of good and evil prior to eating. On what basis could God tell them “do not do this” if they had no understanding of right/wrong?

        Like

      8. That is a good question. My only response would be to put a chocolate candy bar in the middle of your child’s bedroom, tell them not to eat of it, and see what happens.

        But let’s look at the BIGGER picture. Why did God never tell Adam about the Tree of Life? He only told them not to eat the chocolate bar, but never told them of the trip to Disneyland.

        Why is that?

        Heaven is in ETERNITY. Earth is in TIME.

        Adam was in TIME, not eternity.

        Angels were kicked out of eternity, into TIME. Time was originally created for the devil and his angels…Hell, that is, and where is Hell? In the heart of the earth, which is in TIME, not eternity. And Satan wants to take as many humans with him as possible to his final destination.

        We don’t fight against flesh and blood, but with spiritual forces. This war…it’s really against God and Satan. In heaven, there is NO CONCEPT of evil. But the demons are here, on and in and around TIME.

        TIME was never to be our ultimate destiny. This earth is TEMPORARY. It was always meant to be temporary.

        All I know is I’m not HOME yet, THIS IS NOT WHERE I BELONG.

        Ed Chapman

        Like

      9. Ed,
        I appreciate your upbeat attitude. You realize of course that you are speculating in some of this of course?

        You might be right, but you might not.

        That is why I am inclined to be text-driven. Less likely to speculate. Your “eternity and time” idea is speculation. You also add into the text that Adam and Eve made sacrifices.

        Likely that is the case, but we still have no biblical proof. I tend to not be authoritative on ideas I am speculating about.

        Like

      10. No, I’m extremely confident that I am not guessing. I can indeed back up everything that I am saying. Problem is, that takes a LONG LONG LONG time to do. Been studying this for many many years.

        Expository Study will never work, because you miss tons of nuggets of gold.

        Expository study will tell you that the name of the Messiah is Emanuel, not Jesus, for example.

        Expository study will ONLY tell you that the promised seed is Isaac. Expository Study will ONLY tell you that the Promised Land is a small piece of real estate in the middle east.

        You don’t get very far in expository study.

        Ed Chapman

        Like

      11. Ed writes:

        ‘No, I’m extremely confident that I am not guessing.’

        Here, is where you fall into error. There is much in scripture about which we cannot claim to be ‘certain’. Most of what passes for ‘orthodoxy’ or ‘official’ truth, is, in reality, often speculation, traditions of men, passed on for centuries, without any real, serious questioning or analytical thinking allowed. As sincere as those who hold such beliefs may be, (I know, I’ve been there!) their error is in not realizing or acknowledging how ‘certain’ they claim to be about things for which scripture gives no grounds for certainty.

        I once foolishly argued ‘But scripture clearly teaches’, as if words do not require careful study, as well as knowledge of the history, character, intentions and motivations of the speaker and his audience. We are very vulnerable to deception when we are ‘certain’ that words mean what we currently believe, either because we have been persuaded, or even threatened by those who claim to be upholders of orthodoxy that it is unquestionably so. Those who insisted upon the right to dissent from orthodoxy, to question or even reject the ‘official’ interpretation of scripture are those history reveals as being persecuted and frequently murdered. Just as Jesus warned his faithful followers would be.

        I would humbly suggest that a little less ‘certainty’ is the path to greater understanding, not to mention grace towards other, equally ignorant and confused believers.

        Like

      12. Again, I am certain of what I speak. Sorry you have a problem with that.

        You see, I am coming from this from a NON-CALVINIST mindset, of someone who had no clue of Calvinism until about 8 years ago.

        And since then, the arguments that I am seeing from non-Calvinists are coming from trying to prove Calvinism wrong, by reverting back to a REFORMATION mindset, instead of BIBLE ONLY, without any knowledge of Calvinism.

        So, what you have, is a never ending circular argument in which no one in either camp will convince either side.

        Constant big words are used on both sides, i.e. REGENERATION. Your average Christian without knowledge of Calvinism does not use that word in everyday language. Your average Christians has no clue as to what an Armenian is, let alone Pala…whatever that word is.

        All we know is JESUS, the Word of God, the Bible. I could care less about the Catholics “Church Fathers”, and their interpretations, of which, the reformers brought forth with them as BAGGAGE.

        Ed Chapman

        Like

      13. Ed, we appear to have much in common, as I too have no desire to prove or disprove Calvinism vs. Arminianism. Or any other ‘ism’. I too am aware of the distraction that the Hegelian dialectic brings to nearly every question worth considering. I have grown weary and wary of jumping on bandwagons. They are notoriously easy to get on, and equally difficult to dismount.

        Like you, I dare suggest, I am a simple believer seeking grace, wisdom and a better understanding of what God wants me to do this moment, with who I am, what I have been through and what he is revealing to me. I have learned the hard way that my biggest impediment, no longer being unbelief, is ‘certainty’ in my own wisdom and ability to understand anything.

        Like

      14. I think that one thing that you missed from my original comment to you was:

        “But God showed Adam and Eve how to TEMPORARILY restore the relationship between God and them by SACRIFICING an animal, for which clothing was made.”

        Adam, Eve, Cain, Able, etc., maintained doing sacrifices and offerings to maintain the relationship with God.

        They knew Good and Evil, and, they died a spiritual death, but BLOOD shed in the sacrifices brought God back to them so that the relationship would continue.

        Please note: God sacrificed the FIRST animal FOR them. God Sacrificed the LAST animal (LAMB OF GOD) FOR US ALL.

        That’s how much God LOVES his whole Creation.

        Ed Chapman

        Like

    2. TS writes, “Calvinists say that man is born dead because of Adam’s sin and they use Eph. 2:1-3 as a proof text.”

      Actually Calvinists use Genesis as the proof text. This relates to the doctrine of Original Sin and the effects of Adam’s sin on his posterity. When Adam, sinned, he died spiritually since the relationship he had with God came to an end with the consequent loss of faith. In addition, Adam’s physical body began to deteriorate but Adam still lived for many years, but his physical body eventually died also. Ephesians 2 comes into play to explain the corruption that is observed in a person’s life – this corruption is an effect of Adam’s sin. That “dead” condition must be reversed if a person is to be saved.

      Like

      1. TroyS,

        Yes! Let’s use Genesis! Immediately after Adam became “too dead to do anything” (according to Calvinists)…. we have…..

        4:3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. 4 And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

        6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

        Abel was able to do something that pleased the Lord (not always, and only, doing displeasing—choosing evil).

        The Lord came to Cain telling him not to be angry….just do right! God says He would accept him if he did right! Does not sound incapable or “too dead” to me!!

        God tells him he must, and can, rule over the evil that is crouching at his door (not inherit in his only choice).

        There is just no way around this for Calvinism. They just wave a wand crying out “Original Sin” “Total Depravity” and make it all disappear.

        Like

  5. I had recently been thinking on the concept of dead, and decided to look into how it was defined in the bible. I started in the book of Romans, I noticed thatwhen the term dead is used, it is related to the inability of the Law to give life, and in the end sentences us to Death. Which is the judgment/sentence for anyone which breaks the Law. I saw that death then did not describe the total inability to hear because one is dead. Paul does not use the term dead in that way.

    Soon after I came across JESUS’S definition of dead.
    John5:
    24Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
    25Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, AND NOW IS, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

    THIS CLEARED IT UP FOR ME!
    THE DEAD CAN HEAR!!.

    And it is hearing…. hearing the word of God that brings faith, Faith (used unto Christ), leads to salvation!

    It is also interesting that scientifically and biologically. Hearing is the last sense to stop after being pronounced dead!!!!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clare:
      Very nice!

      So the dead can hear!

      Calvinists will say, “of course they hear, cuz God makes them alive and gives them faith.?

      But that wont work…. at all.

      Because it says the dead shall hear…. (not because they were made alive)…. and it quickly follows with “and they that hear shall live.”

      So the living is done after the hearing. Not: regeneration so that they can hear (i.e. upended Calvinistic interpretation).

      Like

    2. Clare cites:
      ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, AND NOW IS, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.’ (John 5:25)

      We see here the difference between Calvinism’s speculation concerning an imaginary state of death and what scripture appears to say.

      Calvinism starts with a made up definition of ‘dead’, which they insist all must adhere to, which leads, naturally, to a need for some imagined, convoluted twisting of all that scripture does state concerning ‘dead in sins’, faith and life. Scripture is consistent in portraying the need for ‘dead in sins’ men to believe (have faith) in order to receive new life, i.e., be born again.

      It is nearly impossible to somehow misunderstand John 5:25 to be saying anything other than that those who hear will be made alive. Granted, one must acknowledge that ‘hearing’ in scripture often means more than a physical ability to receive sound waves; ‘those who have ears to hear’ does not imply that many are physiologically deaf, but spiritually deaf, i.e. tuning out the message of the words that they indeed ‘hear’. It uses a common meaning of ‘hear’ which implies choosing to focus in on and accept the truth of what is heard rather than ignore or disregard it.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. TS00
        Calvinists of course would say “those who have been given ears to hear will hear….” and that would be consistent with what they teach.

        But not consistent with Scripture.

        In their process, people are “made alive” / regenerated so they can respond. but here we see that the “making alive” comes after the hearing. It is not what enables the hearing.

        Like

      2. This is a GREAT opportunity to have you study the story of Joseph and his “brethren”, more so towards the part where his “brethren” goes to Egypt to seek food, NOT KNOWING who the top dog was, but the top dog knew who they were.

        This is an example of why Expository Study sucks, because that story is PROPHESY of Jesus, and the relationship that Jesus has, and will have with the Jews that rejected him, who seek righteousness thru the law of Moses, instead of faith.

        But, it was God who BLINDED the Jews in the first place, for a reason, but that he will unblind them, giving mercy to them.

        And THAT is where Romans 9-11 comes into play.

        You will see that Romans tells us that God did not give the Jews ears to hear, eyes to see…but that is a reference to what Moses told the children of Israel in Deuteronomy. It was ONLY the Jews that he blinded…NOT the Gentiles at all.

        Ed Chapman

        Like

      3. TS00,
        To be fair, we have to notice that most Calvinists will attach John 5:25 to 5:28 where Christ is talking about dead people in graves.

        But that cannot negate the words of Christ….

        24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. 25 Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.

        A. Christ is saying —present tense— whoever hears and believes crosses from death to life. We know that to be even in this life.

        B. Then He says that the time has come that “the dead” hear the voice of the Son of God….and live.

        C. So we can honestly see that people that Christ calls “dead” can hear His voice…..and the “living” comes after the hearing.

        He could have easily said “the dead will be made alive so they can hear and have eternal life.” But you have to really contort the verse (of course by bringing presuppositions to it) to get it to say that.

        Like

      4. God is USING the Jews (CLAY) to SHOW US, this is where Romans 9-11 comes into play.

        Deuteronomy 29:4
        Yet the Lord hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day.

        The Lord BLINDED the Jews, so that they may NOT SEE. He did, however, allow SOME to see.

        John 9:41 DING DING…NOTE THE WORDS, “NO SIN”
        Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

        It’s up to God to UNBLIND whom he blinded.

        The Story of Joseph sums it all up, of what Romans 9-11 is. It’s prophecy of the relationship of Jesus and the Jews who rejected him.

        Jesus is Joseph, and the brethren of Joseph is the Jews.

        Ed Chapman

        Like

      5. Ed writes:
        ‘Deuteronomy 29:4
        Yet the Lord hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day.

        The Lord BLINDED the Jews, so that they may NOT SEE. He did, however, allow SOME to see.

        John 9:41 DING DING…NOTE THE WORDS, “NO SIN”
        Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

        It’s up to God to UNBLIND whom he blinded.’

        I have a very difficult time finding in Deut. 29 the message that the problem with these people is that God has blinded them and thus they are ‘unable’ to ‘hear’, ‘believe’ or ‘obey’.

        I grant that verse 4, if taken out of context, would appear to mean what you suggest. Yet all one must do to see it cannot possibly mean what a cursory reading might imply is continue reading. The entire passage emphasizes that these people have ‘seen’ all that God has done, have ‘heard’ the words delivered thus far by his messengers and have the individual responsibility for how they respond in the future. They are encouraged to continue believing what they have seen and heard, to remain faithful and not turn away to false gods and to not present God with the just necessity of punishing them for rejecting all that he has done for them.

        The entire passage would be made nonsensical if verse 4 is indeed saying that ‘the problem’ is that God has blinded them and the only ‘solution’ is if and when God chooses to ‘unblind’ them. All of the calls to what God has done, all of the pleas to acknowledge and respond to God’s promises would be silly – if they were unable to due to God’s withholding of such an ability. One is compelled to seek out a meaning that makes sense, which leads most thoughtful men and women to suggest the language used is idiomatic, as much of language is, acknowledging the fact that God has not ‘compelled’ them to believe and obey – and, apparently, never will – as it goes on to present the significant choice that is before these rebellious people. A choice that would be meaningless if the people had no ability to make a choice.

        Like

      6. If you are really a TRUTH SEEKER, then you will seek the truth. I REJECT seeking the truth by a passage only. That is, I reject Expository Study.

        That’s all I will tell you.

        Ed Chapman

        Like

      7. Luke 9:44-46 King James Version (KJV)

        44 Let these sayings sink down into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men.

        45 But they understood not this saying, and it was hid from them, that they perceived it not: and they feared to ask him of that saying.

        Luke 18:32-34 King James Version (KJV)

        32 For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on:

        33 And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.

        34 And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.

        Like

      8. Might I humbly suggest that scripture nver states outright that these things are ‘hidden’ from people because God desires them to be hidden. It is feasible to suggest that scripture infers that God chooses to ‘hide’ the truth from all who are stubborn, arrogant, and determined to do what they want. It is possible that the truth of the gospel is only visible to the little child, who is humbly willing to listen and learn. It is possible that the idiomatic expressions that God ‘blinds’ or ‘hardens’ suggests that God allows those who refuse to see or believe to continue in their blindness and hardness of heart.

        I will not demand, with certainty, that my ideas must be acknowledged as incontrovertible truth. But they might be worthy of further consideration. And, I might add, I take no credit for being he originator of such an interpretation, for it has long been posited by students of scripture. I do not appeal to the ‘authority’ of consensus, but simply acknowledge that I am claiming no credit ideas that have been circulated for centuries, however discounted by the authors of orthodoxy.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. You had me at hello, until you said:
        ” It is feasible to suggest that scripture infers that God chooses to ‘hide’ the truth from all who are stubborn, arrogant, and determined to do what they want.”

        My retort:
        They are stubborn, arrogant, and determined to do what they want, BECAUSE it is hidden, not the other way around.

        They are the clay that God is TEACHING the rest of us about, that you can’t obtain righteousness by being obedient to the law of Moses, for which they are trying to obey.

        Righteousness is being sought by them in self righteousness based on Commandments that God gave them and told them to obey.

        But God is USING THEM, as clay ,to show us that we can’t get righteousness that way. THE LAW causes wrath. Faith, does not.

        So, they are stubborn, etc., because God blinded them.

        Ed Chapman

        Like

    3. To go further, one might say the use of ‘hear’ applies to the word ‘deaf’ a spiritual, and readily understood, meaning exactly as is applied to ‘dead’. Men ‘physiologically’ hear, yet are ‘deaf’ to the spiritual truth God is presenting. God would never punish a deaf man for not hearing the words of the gospel that are spoken, but alas, he is helplessly unable to hear. Scripture can, without error, assert that many do not ‘hear’ the gospel without doing a medical survey on deafness.

      Likewise, men who are obviously physiologically alive (as they are the only sort the gospel can possibly target 🙂 ) can be, without error, described as ‘dead’ to the spiritual truth which lead to everlasting life. It is not that they do not ‘hear’ the words, or are too ‘dead’ to understand what such words mean, but that they choose to ignore the message (a ‘hearing’ which infers listening and responding). Many a spouse has used the word in the exact same way, when they sadly exclaim, ‘You never hear anything I say’.

      It really is not too difficult to understand this usage of the two words, and few would deny its legitimacy. Even those who may choose to assert another meaning was intended, must at least honestly acknowledge the validity of this as a legitimate interpretation, rather than pretending as if it is a denial of orthodox truth.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. TS00
        Yes, but Mary-worshiping Augustine and Anabaptist-drowning Calvin needed “dead” to mean incapable of anything so they could scaffold the other “doctrines of grace” on top of it.

        They could not be satisfied with the “dead” that Christ used in John 5:25 or Luke 15 (twice).

        We are “buried with Christ” and “dead to sin” but still capable of it! So that “dead” wont work either. In fact….. their concept of “dead” (the way they define it does not appear in Scripture but only in the interpretations of man.

        Like

  6. When it is said “dead means dead” that is a little vague I believe all would agree with that biblically speaking or I think they will after I finish with these few short thoughts. Now one

    Like

  7. Continuation— can be biology or physically “dead” and I guess you could say in that sense “dead means dead” But we are speaking in a spiritual manner here are we not. Those that are Biology and physically alive but walking around spiritually dead in their sins. They are still active in their sins and God saves them in their sins, Let’s look at what that final authority says, God’s holy word. Ephesians 2:1 – 2 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,——Now this first verse of God’s word is so amazing I am smiling as I am writing it. It actually that while we were STILL “DEAD” IN TRESPASSES AND SINS, God made us alive. that is spiritually alive in Christ.
    (English Standard Version ACTS 2:47
    “praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”
    People who were sinners, who had the holy wrath of God upon them, living unto themselves, living in trespasses and sins, although biology and physically alive were “dead spiritually” until God made them spiritually alive and has continued to do so until this day . But wait, there is more to this passage of scripture that brings authority and proof to thevery the fact that sinners are spiritually dead and have no desire to to Christ but hate him. But let us continue in Ephesians 2. Verse 2 was only half of a sentence as the translator with God orchestrating things deemed it so. Actually verses 1-3 is one very long sentence and is wonderful and give praise to the God of heaven for its truth. Let us read verse 2 now. Ephesians 2:2—-“2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,” Verse 2 connects directly to verse on in a most emphatic and important way that most just miss it and keep on reading. “VERSE 2 DESCRIBES THE SPIRITUALLY DEAD ACTIVITY, (THAT BEING DEAD IN TRESPASSES AND SINS Eph, 2:1b) God gives Spiritual life to us while we are still in that state of walking in that spiritually dead activity, of being dead in trespasses and sins, although being biology and physically alive. We have to be biology and physically alive for which sin and Satan to express themselves when they have a strong hold in their power and influence over us. Verse 2 says we once walked in spiritual deadliness expressing itself through our mortal bodies, ‘WALKING ACCORDING TO THE COURSE OF THIS WORLD” The sinful world described by the Apostle John in 1 John says do not love the world or all that is in the world, that being “THE LUST OF THE EYES, THE LUST OF THE FLESH AND THE PRIDE OF LIFE.” God have mercy on our souls. It was then God made us spiritually alive, when we spiritually dead in “trespasses and sins” “walking according according to the sinful world that manifest itself in the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, Not only that, it gets intense and spiritually worse, we walked and did according to the prince of the power of the air that being Satan and his demonic spirits the same evil spirits that are now at this time still working in the sons of disobedience. God did not save us with a prevenient grace that makes us neutral or gives us the ability to make a choice to accept Christ or reject Christ. According to what we have read right out of the Scriptures above it was when we were Spiritually dead in out trespasses and sins, walking according to the sinful world, which the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and pride of life and walking and doing what the prince of the power of the air (Satan and Demons) we did through their power and influence for even sin a principality had dominion over us, it was then God through his almighty power quickened us and made us alive (KJV) while we were still spiritually dead in trespasses and sins and doing wicked things that those who spiritually dead and walking with the Satan do for the wrath of God was upon us. God had mercy upon us and having mercy upon someone described in Ephesians 2:1-3 means Salvation in Christ. Let us read verse 3 now. Ephesians 2:3—-“3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.” Look what also we were doing before God the Holy Spirit by his Almighty Sovereignty and Love did while we hated Christ and wanted nothing to do with him, “WE FULLING THE EVIL DESIRES OF THE FLESH AND OF THE MIND, (GOD HAD SAVING MERCY ON WHILE WE WERE IN THIS STATE)

    Like

  8. CONTINUATION—-The next part of verse three I would love to hear Dr. Flowers comment and exegesis as to what it means and when. “IT SAYS WE. BEFORE WE WERE MADE ALIVE IN CHRIST, WERE BY “NATURE CHILDREN OF WRATH, JUST AS THE OTHERS” Dr Flowers goes by this “age of accountability” which is no where taught in the bible but it is taught that we, Christians, before we were saved, “WERE BY NATURE CHILDREN OF WRATH, WHEN WE WERE SINNERS JUST LIKE THE OTHERS” I know a person nature begins at birth and it is sin that brings death to giving them a spiritually dead nature which immediately “WERE BY NATURE CHILDREN OF WRATH. Romans 5 Paul explains this quite nicely, I do not have time to do it here now but I will because I know Dr Flowers does not agree Paul, Evil King David said the baby comes out the with a lying spiritually dead spirit. I know Dr Flowers you would say that is impossible for babies to tell lies as soon as they come out of the mother’s womb. Do you disagree with God’s word here Dr. Flowers. Let me try and tell you what David was really trying to say. You are right and I agree babies don’t start telling lies as soon as they come out their mother’s womb. I think he was speaking symbolically that when a baby is born and comes out of the mother’s womb he or she baby is already spiritually dead in Christ. The principality of sin and it’s dominion already reign in them (he or she baby) because of Adam fall into sin being man’s representative head of all mankind. You cannot deny what David has said about infants at the moment of their birth, in no place in scripture does say they are righteous or holy or innocent or free from the sin until a man made up teaching called the “age of accountability. Let us see what David said about the infant and his nature as soon as he is born from his mother’s womb.
    Psalms 58:3 – English Standard Version
    “The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from birth, speaking lies.” But there is more. Psalms 51:5 – “5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. KJV. David said inside of his mother’s womb he was shapen in iniquity and then he was brought forth in sin. David’s whole time of being in his mother’s womb was one of sin, trespasses and spiritual death and he comes forth with a nature of God’ of God’s wrath being upon him Eph 2:3. So yes I so this with confidence and boldness but not with gladness in my heart but with thankfulness for God showing me the truth that babies are shapen in iniquity in their mother’s womb, she brings them forth in sin from her womb and they go astray and lying before God as wicked babes when they come forth from their mother womb. “OF COURSE THE LYING AND GOING ASTRAY IS JUST THEIR WICKED NATURE THAT WAS PASSED DOWN BECAUSE OF ADAM BEING THE REPRESENTATIVE OF ALL MANKIND SINNED AND DEATH PASSED TO ALL MANKIND BECAUSE ALL HAVE SINNED IN ADAM AND IN HIS LIKENESS. I cannot go fully into proving this here which is taught by Paul in Romans 5. We are were all children of wrath by NATURE (FROM IN THE WOMB UNTIL WE WERE BORN UNTIL WE GROW OLD AND DIE OR ACCIDENT GOD HAS MANY WAYS OF TAKING US OUT OF THIS LIFE OR UNLESS HE HAS SAVING MERCY ON SOME POOR SINNER THAT THE SPIRIT OF GOD HAS BROUGHT TO A PLACE OF GODLY SORROW AND SEES HIS NEED TO BE SAVED FROM SIN FROM A SAVIOR, JESUS THE LORD OF GLORY!! PRAISE THE LORD!!!! Well this could go on and on as I see the need to explains Romans 5 so Dr. Flowers will agree with the Apostle Paul But God bless to all.

    Like

  9. Dr. Flowers,
    All I say to you now is that Jesus said if a man comes to you ask for forgiveness 7×70 you are to forgive him. What I wrote earlier was I lot. I copied and saved on my computer and on my WordPress site. I realize you might have forgiven me but may I ask why you are just determined to ban me and will not allow to interact anymore. The things I have read on your website from those professing to be Christians about James White are like tongues set on fire from hell and I know I never said anything about you as bad as that as far as I know. If you will show me I will repent and with humility publicly confess my sin. I have always as you know spoken how humility personifies your character and when you are talking with another Calvinist you are always Christlike. I desire to be that way so much like Jesus. Is it because I am a Calvinist. Please tell me what I did so terribly wrong even if you do not let me back in to interact. I am just a man, I am weak, I fall down many times but it is on my knees and I get back up. I am sure what I did to you must have been something extremely terrible for you to ban another brother in Christ to this manner and he is not really sure what he has done that would be so bad. I am not saying I didn’t I am sure I did or you would not have banned this long. Just please let me know so I can pray about this weakness and that Christ will cause it to become a strength in him. Be blessed Dr Flowers

    Like

  10. When it is said “dead means dead” that is a little vague I believe all would agree with that biblically speaking or I think they will after I finish with these few short thoughts. Now one can be biology or physically “dead” and I guess you could say in that sense “dead means dead” But we are speaking in a spiritual manner here are we not. Those that are Biology and physically alive but walking around spiritually dead in their sins. They are still active in their sins and God saves them in their sins, Let’s look at what that final authority says, God’s holy word. Ephesians 2:1 – 2 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,——Now this first verse of God’s word is so amazing I am smiling as I am writing it. It actually that while we were STILL “DEAD” IN TRESPASSES AND SINS, God made us alive. that is spiritually alive in Christ.

     (English Standard Version ACTS 2:47 “praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”

    People who were sinners, who had the holy wrath of God upon them, living unto themselves, living in trespasses and sins, although biology and physically alive were “dead spiritually” until God made them spiritually alive and has continued to do so until this day . But wait, there is more to this passage of scripture that brings authority and proof to thevery the fact that sinners are spiritually dead and have no desire to to Christ but hate him. But let us continue in Ephesians 2. Verse 2 was only half of a sentence as the translator with God orchestrating things deemed it so. Actually verses 1-3 is one very long sentence and is wonderful and give praise to the God of heaven for its truth. Let us read verse 2 now. Ephesians 2:2—-“2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,” Verse 2 connects directly to verse on in a most emphatic and important way that most just miss it and keep on reading. “VERSE 2 DESCRIBES THE SPIRITUALLY DEAD ACTIVITY, (THAT BEING DEAD IN TRESPASSES AND SINS Eph, 2:1b) God gives Spiritual life to us while we are still in that state of walking in that spiritually dead activity, of being dead in trespasses and sins, although being biology and physically alive. We have to be biology and physically alive for which sin and Satan to express themselves when they have a strong hold in their power and influence over us. Verse 2 says we once walked in spiritual deadliness expressing itself through our mortal bodies, ‘WALKING ACCORDING TO THE COURSE OF THIS WORLD” The sinful world described by the Apostle John in 1 John says do not love the world or all that is in the world, that being “THE LUST OF THE EYES, THE LUST OF THE FLESH AND THE PRIDE OF LIFE.” God have mercy on our souls. It was then God made us spiritually alive, when we spiritually dead in “trespasses and sins” “walking according according to the sinful world that manifest itself in the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, Not only that, it gets intense and spiritually worse, we walked and did according to the prince of the power of the air that being Satan and his demonic spirits the same evil spirits that are now at this time still working in the sons of disobedience. God did not save us with a prevenient grace that makes us neutral or gives us the ability to make a choice to accept Christ or reject Christ. According to what we have read right out of the Scriptures above it was when we were Spiritually dead in out trespasses and sins, walking according to the sinful world, which the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and pride of life and walking and doing what the prince of the power of the air (Satan and Demons) we did through their power and influence for even sin a principality had dominion over us, it was then God through his almighty power quickened us and made us alive (KJV) while we were still spiritually dead in trespasses and sins and doing wicked things that those who spiritually dead and walking with the Satan do for the wrath of God was upon us. God had mercy upon us and having mercy upon someone described in Ephesians 2:1-3 means Salvation in Christ. Let us read verse 3 now. Ephesians 2:3—-“3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.” Look what also we were doing before God the Holy Spirit by his Almighty Sovereignty and Love did while we hated Christ and wanted nothing to do with him, “WE FULLING THE EVIL DESIRES OF THE FLESH AND OF THE MIND, (GOD HAD SAVING MERCY ON WHILE WE WERE IN THIS STATE)

     
    The next part of verse three I would love to hear Dr. Flowers comment and exegesis as to what it means and when. “IT SAYS WE. BEFORE WE WERE MADE ALIVE IN CHRIST, WERE BY “NATURE CHILDREN OF WRATH, JUST AS THE OTHERS” Dr Flowers goes by this “age of accountability” which is no where taught in the bible but it is taught that we, Christians, before we were saved, “WERE BY NATURE CHILDREN OF WRATH, WHEN WE WERE SINNERS JUST LIKE THE OTHERS” I know a person nature begins at birth and it is sin that brings death to giving them a spiritually dead nature which immediately “WERE BY NATURE CHILDREN OF WRATH. Romans 5 Paul explains this quite nicely, I do not have time to do it here now but I will because I know Dr Flowers does not agree Paul, Evil King David said the baby comes out the with a lying spiritually dead spirit. I know Dr Flowers you would say that is impossible for babies to tell lies as soon as they come out of the mother’s womb. Do you disagree with God’s word here Dr. Flowers. Let me try and tell you what David was really trying to say. You are right and I agree babies don’t start telling lies as soon as they come out their mother’s womb. I think he was speaking symbolically that when a baby is born and comes out of the mother’s womb he or she baby is already spiritually dead in Christ. The principality of sin and it’s dominion already reign in them (he or she baby) because of Adam fall into sin being man’s representative head of all mankind. You cannot deny what David has said about infants at the moment of their birth, in no place in scripture does say they are righteous or holy or innocent or free from the sin until a man made up teaching called the “age of accountability. Let us see what David said about the infant and his nature as soon as he is born from his mother’s womb.
    “The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from birth, speaking lies.” But there is more. Psalms 51:5 – “5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. KJV. David said inside of his mother’s womb he was shapen in iniquity and then he was brought forth in sin. David’s whole time of being in his mother’s womb was one of sin, trespasses and spiritual death and he comes forth with a nature of God’ of God’s wrath being upon him Eph 2:3. So yes I so this with confidence and boldness but not with gladness in my heart but with thankfulness for God showing me the truth that babies are shapen in iniquity in their mother’s womb, she brings them forth in sin from her womb and they go astray and lying before God as wicked babes when they come forth from their mother womb. “OF COURSE THE LYING AND GOING ASTRAY IS JUST THEIR WICKED NATURE THAT WAS PASSED DOWN BECAUSE OF ADAM BEING THE REPRESENTATIVE OF ALL MANKIND SINNED AND DEATH PASSED TO ALL MANKIND BECAUSE ALL HAVE SINNED IN ADAM AND IN HIS LIKENESS. I cannot go fully into proving this here which is taught by Paul in Romans 5. We are were all children of wrath by NATURE (FROM IN THE WOMB UNTIL WE WERE BORN UNTIL WE GROW OLD AND DIE OR ACCIDENT GOD HAS MANY WAYS OF TAKING US OUT OF THIS LIFE OR UNLESS HE HAS SAVING MERCY ON SOME POOR SINNER THAT THE SPIRIT OF GOD HAS BROUGHT TO A PLACE OF GODLY SORROW AND SEES HIS NEED TO BE SAVED FROM SIN FROM A SAVIOR, JESUS THE LORD OF GLORY!! PRAISE THE LORD!!!! Well this could go on and on as I see the need to explains Romans 5 so Dr. Flowers will agree with the Apostle Paul But God bless to all

    Like

    1. Dead means dead is indeed vague. The 7th Day Adventists believe in annihilation, that after you die, you are dead, hence, dead means dead…or, more better, dead means you don’t exist until the resurrection…according to the 7th Day Adventists. I once had a 7th Day Adventist tell me that Dead Means Dead.

      So, I came back to him with, well, now that we have got that all cleared up, what does dead mean?

      In order to find out what dead means, you must answer what LIFE is.

      Life REQUIRES a BODY. Life REQUIRES YOUR spirit in THAT BODY. When YOU are NOT in YOUR BODY, you are DEAD.

      James 2:26 answers it well.

      So…what is being spiritually alive? That is where God lives in your body with you. Hence, spiritual death is when God’s Spirit does NOT live in you.

      Oh and I see that you mention Romans 5 quite often. So, I am going to show you something, and I want you to identify which one is a Romans 5 verse from the following:

      1 John 3:4
      sin is the transgression of the law.

      Romans 3:20
      the law is the knowledge of sin.

      Romans 5:13
      For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

      Romans 4:15
      where no law is, there is no transgression.

      Romans 4:8
      Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

      Romans 6:7
      For he that is dead is freed from sin.

      Romans 6:11
      Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead

      Romans 7:4
      ye also are become dead to the law

      Galatians 2:19
      For I through the law am dead to the law,

      Romans 7:8
      For without the law sin was dead.

      Galatians 2:21
      if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

      Romans 3:21
      But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested

      Romans 4:5
      faith is counted for righteousness.

      Romans 4:13
      not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

      Romans 4:16
      Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace

      Galatians 3:12
      the law is not of faith

      Galatians 3:21
      if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.

      Romans 4:2
      For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

      Romans 4:5-6
      But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,

      Romans 11:6
      And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

      Faith is NOT imputed.

      There is ONLY two things that can be “IMPUTED” to us.
      1. Sin
      2. Righteousness

      Righteousness can only be imputed in two different ways.
      1. Works (DEEDS/OBEYING/OBSERVING) The Law of Moses
      2. Faith

      For all have sinned (NOT OBEYED THE LAW OF MOSES). Then how are we made righteous? Faith alone without the Law of Moses. We are now under the Law of Christ, which is the Law of Faith, which is the Law of Freedom (liberty) and the COMMANDMENTS of Jesus is a singular commandment: Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself. Now, some will say that we have two commandments, and I left out the Love God part. However, the way that 1 John explains it, is that we prove that we love God by loving people. For Love fulfills ALL, not just the parchment, but the stones, too, the law of Moses. The singular commandment of Love is the delight, the joy, not obeying the Law of Moses, which is a curse.

      Galatians 4:21
      Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?

      Why was the Law of Moses instituted? Was it to bring about morality, so that sin would decrease? Many seem to think so. They call it “God’s Standards”. Really?

      Romans 5:20 (NIVr)
      The law was given so that sin would increase.

      Did Abraham really need a law that stated, “Thou Shalt Not Steal” to know that it is wrong to steal? Think about that.

      Romans 2:14-16
      For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

      By nature, they obey laws that they don’t even have. It’s called a conscience. And Jesus judges them by what they know, not by what they don’t know, and Paul calls that good news (gospel), and these people don’t even know God, or Jesus. So, do people who don’t know God, or Jesus, automatically go to hell because they are sinners? NO. But some seem to think so.

      Again:

      Galatians 4:21
      Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?

      Bottom line:
      Faith is KNOWING that we are going to get what we are waiting for. Obeying the law of Moses is earning your way, not knowing for sure.

      —————————————–

      Abraham did not have the law. Why?

      Romans 5:13
      For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

      Romans 4:15
      where no law is, there is no transgression.

      Romans 4:8
      Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

      Abraham sins just like the rest of us, BUT SIN WAS NOT IMPUTED.

      Righteousness was imputed…NOT FAITH.

      Pay close attention to the word IMPUTED here. Abraham sinned, too, for all have sinned, but not one sin was ever IMPUTED to him. He did not have the law of Moses telling him how to live his life.

      And NEITHER DO WE, as Gentiles. ONLY the Jews. The LAW to us, was just a schoolmaster to show that we have sinned, and THEN WE make a decision. That decision is not forced upon us by a TYRANT god of Calvin.

      Ed Chapman

      Like

    2. We should all know that the Old Testament, aka, Old Covenant, First Covenant, begins in Exodus 20, NOT GENESIS 1. This is where God spoke to ALL of the children of Israel at Mt. Sinai. After God Spoke the Ten Commandments to ALL of the children of Israel, they were afraid that if God continued to speak to them, that they would die, so they asked if Moses would speak to them about what God wants of them, instead of God himself.

      Exodus 20:19
      And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. So, Moses continued to listen to God, and Moses gave the word of the Lord to ALL of the children of Israel.

      Exodus 24:3
      And Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the Lord hath said will we do.

      Notice the last word in that verse, “do”. Later, in Deuteronomy 5, Moses once again reiterates what was spoken in Exodus 20 – 24. After that review, the children of Israel responds:

      Deuteronomy 6:25
      And it shall be OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS, if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as he hath commanded us.

      Again, notice the word, “do”. That is works of righteousness. Obedience to the law of Moses is known as works of Righteousness. If anyone can keep the law perfectly, then they have “earned” a wage, and God “owes” them eternal life. That is why it is called “works”, or “deeds”. JEWS are trying to gain RIGHTEOUSNESS by BEING OBEDIENT to a law that they cannot keep, and GOD KNOWS THAT ALREADY.

      Romans 4:4
      Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

      Romans 3:20
      Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

      Romans 3:23
      For all have sinned.

      Self righteousness is works that requires a wage, and that wage is eternal life if you can do it. If you can’t, the wage is death.

      The Jews are trying to establish what they call “OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS (JEWS righteousness)…SEE DEUTERONOMY 6:25

      Romans 10:3
      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.

      Ed Chapman

      Like

    3. qballinthehouse

      You had said:
      “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. KJV. David said inside of his mother’s womb he was shapen in iniquity…”

      My retort:

      This is a huge favorite for the Calvinists. But the interpretation is OH SO WAY OFF BASE.

      For example…

      The GENEALOGY line of a JEW runs thru the MOTHER, not the FATHER.

      Davids MOTHER was NOT a NATURAL Jew. She was a GENTILE who BECAME A JEW.

      That is LEGAL, however, it caused major contention, because here is David, a JEW…or is he?

      Do you see what I am getting at? You gotta see it from a JEWISH standpoint, and I have, from Jewish websites.

      The question is…WHEN did Davids mother BECOME a Jew? What is the History of Davids mother?

      Is it worth researching from a Jewish standpoint, or just a Calvin standpoint?

      Ed Chapman

      Like

      1. Hey Chap,
        Nice to talk to by you, to be really honest you must be wiser in the scriptures than me because I really do not understand what you are talking about in you reply. I am sorry chap. I will read a few more times and maybe I can figure it out. Not sure what David being a Jew has to do with him being shapen in iniquity and brought forth in sin and in another place says all go astray from the mother’s womb with lies on their tongue. Now I know a baby cannot do that so I know David is speaking symbolically here of a death sinful nature, and a nature of holy wrath upon the baby, (Ephesians 2:3) This is spiritually dead nature dead in trespasses and sins Ephesians 2:1-2 but manifest its wicked works and sinful desires though out biological and physical body that also has not been redeemed yet as Jesus’s glorified body. But one day we shall be like him. Thanks for the interaction Chap and God bless

        Like

  11. Dr Flowers says there is no where in God’s word that it says God humbles anyone but that they humble themselves. There is some truth to what Dr Flowers is saying but only a half truth which leads to error and false teaching. A man or a woman may humble themselves but I ask Dr Flowers something he may have never been asked or thought of or maybe he has. Who or what causes a man or woman to humble themselves before God. I know personally when I am chastised, tested, brought under great trial and godly sorrow this always seems to lead me to humble myself and instills more of the peaceable fruits of righteousness in me as I am trained by God’s humbling process. I think of Job and all that he went through he felt so vindicated and then God began to question him and when God was done Job put his hand over his mouth and said, “I have heard of you with the hearing of the ears but now my eyes have seen you” What a humbling process that must have been for Job and he was exalted in due time as God’s word promises. Yes we do humble ourselves but it God causing the humbling of our hearts to take place.

    Lets Look at 1 Peter 5:6 – Humble yourselves, (Or be ye humbled before God) therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,

    Look at the command, ‘HUMBLE YOURSELF, OR BE YE HUMBLED BEFORE GOD. We are talking about the MIGHTY HAND OF GOD HERE NOT THE MEEK POWERLESS HAND OF MAN SELAH. IT is the Mighty all-powerful Hand of God that is causing the humbling process to take place in the man or woman So a person, male or female had better humble themselves under GOD’S SOVEREIGN MIGHTY HAND OR THE FACT THAT THE STUBBORN PRIDEFUL MAN OR WOMAN WILL BE HUMBLED UNDER THE MIGHTY HAND OF GOD. GOD GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE BE HE RESIST THE PROUD, PRIDE CALLS OUT THE ARMIES OF GOD AGAINST THE STUBBORN AND PROUD, Who thinks they can throw the ALL-POWERFUL MIGHTY HAND OF GOD OFF OF THEM OR BEAR UP UNDERNEATH IT FOREVER. So many do, they think they can resist God and outlast him and they will get their way. No my friends they are under the Mighty hand of God that nothing Can resist and will eventually become weak and fall under the weight of His might and power, so be humbled under the MIGHTY HAND OF GOD. The only reason God does not crush them immediately is he is loving and merciful God and desires the one he is causing to be humbled cry out and repent and embrace Christ as their Savior

    John Gill–Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
    Humble yourselves therefore,…. Or be ye humbled before God, and in his sight; quietly submit to his will; patiently bear every affliction without murmuring, repining, or replying against him; be still under the rod, and despise not the chastening of the Lord; mourn over sin as the cause, acknowledge your vileness and unworthiness, and stand in awe of his majesty, considering yourselves as
    under the mighty hand of God a phrase expressive of his omnipotence which cannot be stayed, and it would be madness to oppose it; and which is able to cast down the proud, and dash them to pieces, as well as to exalt the humble. His hand, upon men, in a way of chastisement, presses sore, and, in a way of punishment, presses down, and crushes to pieces; but to be under it in an humble manner is safe and profitable; such are hid as in the hollow of his hand, and are safe as in a pavilion, and comfortable under the shadow of his wings; and such humiliation and submission to him, and putting themselves under his mighty hand and care, is the way to exaltation:

    that he may exalt you in due time: the Arabic version reads, “in the time of exaltation”: when his time to exalt is come, either in this world, or more especially at the appearance of Christ and his kingdom. The Vulgate Latin version, and two copies of Beza’s, one of Stephens’s, and the Alexandrian, read, “in the time of visitation”; and so the Ethiopic version, “when he shall have visited you”; which seems to be taken out of 1 Peter 2:12 sooner or later such who are humbled shall be exalted; it is the usual way and method which God takes to abase the proud, and exalt the humble; for humble souls honor him, and therefore such as honor him he will honor; and this he does in his own time, in a time that makes most for his glory, and their good; oftentimes he does it in this life, and always in that which is to come.

    Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
    6. under the mighty hand—afflicting you (1Pe 3:15): “accept” His chastisements, and turn to Him that smiteth you. He depresses the proud and exalts the humble.
    in due time—Wait humbly and patiently for His own fit time. One oldest manuscript and Vulgate read, “In the season of visitation,” namely, His visitation in mercy.

    Clark’s Commentary —Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
    Humble yourselves – Those who submit patiently to the dispensations of God’s providence he lifts up; those who lift themselves up, God thrusts down.
    If we humble not ourselves under God’s grace, he will humble us under his judgments. Those who patiently submit to him, he exalts in due time; if his hand be mighty to depress, it is also mighty to exalt.

    John Calvin
    But he adds, in due time, that he might at the same time obviate too much haste. He then intimates that it is necessary for us to learn humility now, but that the Lord well knows when it is expedient for us to be elevated. Thus it behoves us to yield to his counsel.

    Like

  12. This is to EVERYONE:

    The following link is IMPORTANT for EVERYONE on EITHER SIDE of the Calvinist debate to READ, concerning David, and his, ““Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me” STATEMENT in Psalms.

    It will DEFINITELY clear the air of the REAL explanation of what he meant by that, and I can tell you, that it has NOTHING to do with the Calvinist teaching of it.

    https://www.chabad.org/theJewishWoman/article_cdo/aid/280331/jewish/Nitzevet-Mother-of-David.htm

    Like

    1. There are, of course, all sorts of ‘possible’ explanations for the meaning of “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” There is no necessity to assume that this is asserting that David is a sinner at birth, but that he was ‘shapen’ in the womb of a sinner who was married to a sinner, and acknowledging the sad fact that he too, all too often, succumbed to the deceptive lures of sin. It also might suggest that he was an illegitimate child, conceived out of wedlock to one who was not his mother’s husband. None of these ‘possible’ explanations can be declared ‘certain’, but we might be better served to acknowledge that, while we can entertain ideas, we may or not may be correct about what scripture fully means.

      What most would grant is that David admits to serious, shameful sin, which he genuinely regrets, and is seeking forgiveness, cleansing and a fresh start with God, which he fully believes that God will give to him.

      Surely this takeaway message is accessible without fully understanding every nuance of every word, every piece of the puzzle that was written in a peculiar language, in a far different setting and culture than ours, pertaining to much of which we are completely ignorant. Perhaps that is what scripture intends to ‘give’ to us – all that we need to trust and follow the One who loves us, desires to have everlasting fellowship with us and has provided all that we need to be able to attain the great salvation he has made available to us.

      It seems to me that much was said about the foolishness of those who sought, and believed they were capable, of acquiring full ‘knowledge’ of all things concerning God, scripture and his workings in the midst of his creation. It is a mistake I have frequently made; overlooking all that I need – and is readily given to me – in search of ‘full knowledge and understanding’ of things which have not been given to me. Just a possibility.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The ONLY one that matters, however, is what comes from a JEWISH perspective. Christianity did not REPLACE Judaism, Christianity is an extension of Judaism. We worship their God. It’s their book.

        The main problem with Christians…is Christians themselves. What do I mean by that? Many Christian sects CAN’T STAND THE JEWS, therefore, they don’t listen to the Jews, all because Jews rejected Jesus.

        But what I have learned, is that you can LEARN a lot about Jesus, thru the unbelieving Jews.

        I’d rather listen to a Jew than a Christian, because, hey, what do Christians know anyway? Christians think that they are experts, all because they earned a degree in Cemetery?

        I don’t think so! Dr. Paul, um, I mean, the Apostle Paul did not tell anyone to go to college. Did he?

        Ed Chapman

        Like

      2. Hi,
        I really like your name truthseeker. I enjoyed your blog comment also. You seem to have the ability to just flow with your thoughts. You said a few things truthseeker in what you said that really blessed me and made me take a look at myself. You can almost say you spoke the truth in love with a gentle rebuke to us all but if your not a truthseeker you might miss it. You said in the first place after you gave a few ideas of what David could be talking as to what “being shapen in iniquity” ” None of these ‘possible’ explanations can be declared ‘certain’, but we might be better served to acknowledge that, while we can entertain ideas, we may or not may be correct about what scripture fully means.

        I thought to myself that is true humility of someone who is really striving to be a truthseeker. Instead of being dogmatic and asserting the Reformed Believer is wrong (which I am sure you do but that is ok) you in a refreshing manner of respect godliness, holy reverence and love which is rare on a log of blogs that you can easily become a part of.

        Then you spoke from your heart of the love and intimacy you have for the God of your salvation. That is really rare on blog boards but I smiled when I seen you loving God and worshiping Him from your heart. You said, ” all that we need to trust and follow the One who loves us, desires to have everlasting fellowship with us and has provided all that we need to be able to attain the great salvation he has made available to us.” Thank you brother for the blessing.

        All though there are a few things I do disagree with I am not going to engage them tonight. Sometimes it is just right to bless the best in Christ.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Ralph:
        Nice post. TruthSeeker00 speaks often for a lot of us here. Sometimes he sounds angry though (he will be the first to say).

        You are also posting nicely and we appreciate it!

        If you are a real Calvinist, in theory you should NOT like the name TruthSeeker, since according to reformed philosophy, no one can seek the truth. That comes from a misinterpretation of Romans 3:10-11, despite numerous calls by Christ and others to “seek first the kingdom”….”draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (and on and on!).

        Many of us (former Calvinists) are truth seekers and have been willing to go where the text leads us. I regret the years that I came to the text with the answers….making it then say what I needed it to say.

        Please read well and long the dozens/ scores of responses that this site offers to the 40-50 gotcha Calvinist texts.

        Like

    2. I read the article Chap, please tell me what to call you Sir, but I stand unconvinced. I know if you will ask many on here and even Dr Flowers they will tell you King David is of Jewish Descent. Still not sure how it is related with what I said, that is what you said and your article which I give you my word I did read. It was interesting but unconvincing. Have you took the time to see the documentation at the bottom of the article to actually read and study to see if what this person or persons are saying is true. I will give you another article that refutes the article and I think is much stronger in it’s evidence. I also noticed in your article that David’s mother was not shunned but it says “she shunned herself.” Hmmmm Interesting. And we must remember this does not come to us from the Sacred Words and Authority of God’s Bible which makes it suspect. The article also reads that you posted: “To understand the hatred directed toward David, we need to investigate the inner workings behind the events, the secret episodes that aren’t recorded in the prophetic books but are alluded to in Midrashim.4” And I do think the Prophet Samuel would anoint a King (David) of Jewish Descent. God did not send Samuel there to be deceived. I think you article actually proves David is of Jewish Descent. Unless I am misunderstanding what you are actually trying to say in connection with David saying he was “shapen in iniquity” in his mother’s womb. More of that later. Another comment from the article: “Her twenty-eight long years of silence in the face of humiliation were finally coming to a close. At last, all would see that the lineage of her youngest son was pure, undefiled by any blemish. Finally, the anguish and humiliation that she and her son had borne would come to an end.” Notice what David’s true mother says in the article which I find very suspect and this article as very lacking of God’s truth of King David. David’s Mother said quoting Holy Scripture: “Facing her other sons, Nitzevet exclaimed, “The stone that was reviled by the builders12 has now become the cornerstone!” (Psalms 118:22)” I would hope that Samuel would have corrected her as to who the Chief Corner Stone was, Not David But the Lord Jesus Christ. Your right this nothing to do with the Reformed Faith we would reject it entirely.
      You know what I think I just figured out what you were trying to say in your reply to me and in the article. That David’s real mother was not a real jew so because of that that caused him to be shapen in iniquity. I think that is what your saying Correct me if I am wrong Chap.
      Maimonides writes[1] that once King David was anointed as King, his family acquired the right to remain the kings of Israel forever. Only descendants of the Davidic dynasty have a legal claim to the kingship in Israel. What an interesting subject, thanks Chap. In the last article the same author who wrote being Jewish proves King David Jewish Heritage and that being Jewish is passed on from the “MOTHER OR THE FATHER”. I realize Chap I may still be completely wrong as I do not put my faith completely in these articles and you could very well be right. But at this time my friend in Christ I see King David as being of Jewish Heritage sitting upon the Throne of David as God promised that there would be a descendant of David on the Throne of David forever and now that has been fulfilled in Jesus Christ our Lord who I believe was Jewish. Thanks so much Chap for making look and investigate this subject. Something new. Now I want to see this verse in its surrounding context straight from God’s word through exegesis. I know comment to long but you really whetted my spiritual taste buds and got me looking. God bless In Christ my friend. Hope you read the articles I found on the subject at hand, Thanks my brother.

      http://www.beingjewish.com/identity/whoisajew.html Who is a Jew

      Comment from the article:The original and current Jewish definition of a born Jew is someone whose mother is Jewish. Even though the Torah forbids a Jewish woman to marry a Gentile man, if she does, her children will still be Jewish.

      http://www.beingjewish.com/identity/whoisajew.html Being Jewish

      http://www.beingjewish.com/identity/kingdavidjew.html Was King David Jewish?

      Like

      1. Ralph,

        Ya ya ya…blah blah. If you don’t see things from a Jewish perspective, then you are missing out. Seriously. The Law and the Prophets are a JEWISH book. Not a Christian Book. Let’s not forget that. There is a story behind David’s life that is spoken in heartfelt words about his youth as a reject in his family. And we need to know that.

        David was made fun of by his own brothers…LONG BEFORE Samuel came on the scene to anoint him as King. And there was a reason that had to do with his own mother, and factual genealogy that David’s father had a problem with…knowing that a non-Jew female was in that line, who became a Jew, but that it was unlawful to mingle a Moabite in the mix. David’s dad had a problem with that, and did not want sexual relations with David’s mom, but she tricked him, not letting him know, then she was pregnant…by whom, daddy wondered.

        So please don’t give an impression that David was LOVED BY HIS FAMILY. He wasn’t. Except by MOM.

        I’ve read the story before…from others, too.

        I’d rather listen to Jews than expert Christians. LISTEN TO JEWS…yes, unbelieving Jews. You will learn a lot more about Jesus from unbelieving Jews than from any college educated Christian. Fo shore! Or is it, FUR SHUR!

        Ed Chapman

        Like

      2. Ralph,

        My best friend is Jewish. He is a Christian. Genealogy for a Jew is NOT thru the father, but thru the mother. I knew that long before I met my best friend who is a Jewish Christian.

        Ed Chapman

        Like

  13. Much of the underlying confusion of this debate is a byproduct of Calvinism’s doctrine of double-think.

    -quote
    Doublethink is the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct.
    Doublethink is notable due to a lack of cognitive dissonance—thus the person is completely unaware of any conflict or contradiction.
    -https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doublethink

    The Calvinist is to:
    1) Believe that all things (including every neurological impulse) are determined in every part (i.e., fated to occur).
    2) Go about his office *AS-IF* (1) is false – and nothing is determined in any part.

    Thus the Calvinist is taught two mutually contradictory beliefs.

    In regard to being “dead” the Calvinist is to
    Believe that post-fallen man (Cain for example) for any choice – can only choose evil.
    Even though God clearly tells Cain that he can choose the good – and holds Cain accountable *AS-IF* he can.

    So Calvinism’s concept of “dead” is simply a byproduct of Calvinist double-think.

    If Calvin’s double-think is true, then the God of scripture is a deceiver.
    Because throughout scripture he says one thing yet holds to its mutually contradicting opposite.

    If the key to understanding scripture is to think doublethink and speak doublespeak.
    Then you require Calvin to DECODE scripture for you.
    And Calvin becomes the premier priest–interpreter–mediator between man and God.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. br.d
      You are right about the double think and that AS-IF.

      Adam/Eve and Cain are the perfect examples (as of course these examples are early on in the whole Bible to let us know how it works).

      King David is another. Told not to take a census and then given a choice (imagine that!) about the punishment for it.

      But in response we will hear some kind of weak not-in-scripture explanation based on a human definition of omniscience. So, the ‘ol “omniscience band-aid” applied to thousands of scriptures…… and somehow the Word does not mean what is says in thousands of places.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Cain Discovers Calvinism

        “In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. The Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is couching at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.’” Genesis 4:3-7

        I have often struggled to square the narrative of God’s brief conversation with Cain with the doctrines of Calvinism. Perhaps, the Calvinist might propose, Cain – for some inexplicable reason in a meticulously controlled universe – thought like an Arminian, thus God spoke to him AS-IF he was an Arminian.* This does not strike me as reasonable, for it leaves God open to the same charge that he is being, at the very least, less than honest in scripture.

        In my attempt to come up with some semi-reasonable Calvinist-friendly explanation for Genesis 4:3-7, I tried to imagine what the same passage might look like if the conversation took place today, with a (somehow) similarly confused modern-day Cain:*

        “In the course of time Cain came to church, thinking of all of the good works he had done in order to please God, and Abel came to church with a humble confession of his sin and a desire to do God’s will. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering of confession, but for Cain and his offering of self-righteous works he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. The Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, and turn from your wickedness, will you not be accepted as well as Able? And if you do not do well, sin is couching at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.’

        Cain, however, had received a link from a friend to Soteriology101.com, and he had read how God was supposedly a Calvinist, while presenting himself as an Arminian. Cain, upon Googling and reading Calvin’s Institutes for himself, was ready when God confronted him.

        “In the course of time Cain came to church, thinking of all of the good works he had done in order to please God, and Abel came to church with a humble confession of his sin and a desire to do God’s will. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering of confession, but for Cain and his offering of self-righteous works he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. The Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, and turn from your wickedness, will you not be accepted as well as Able? And if you do not do well, sin is couching at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.’ (Paraphrase of Genesis 4:3-7)

        To this, Cain responded, quoting Calvin: ‘Were not all men ‘previously predestined by God’s ordinance to that corruption which is now claimed as the cause of condemnation? When, therefore, they perish in their corruption’, do they not ‘but pay the penalties of that misery in which Adam fell by the predestination of God, and dragged his posterity headlong after him’? Are you or are you not ‘unjust who so cruelly deludes his creatures’?

        Cleverly unmasked, God was forced to acknowledge what Calvin had (for some inexplicable reason)* revealed: ‘Of course, I admit that in this miserable condition wherein men are now bound, all of Adam’s children [including you] have fallen by [my] will. And this is what I said to begin with, that we must always at last return to the sole decision of [my] will, the cause of which is hidden in [me].’

        Cain then angrily replied, ‘You lie! Instead of admitting that I am ‘bound in this miserable condition’ by the ‘sole decision of [your] will’ you urge me to turn from wickedness and do well, as if I have a real choice in the matter. If it weren’t for your more honest prophet, John Calvin, I would never have known that it is utterly impossible for me, my father, or any other man to make a free choice. Why do you mislead me, if you are so good and just? Why not just come right out and admit what Calvin explains: ‘If such a barren invention is accepted [that Adam sinned because he had free choice], where will the omnipotence of God be whereby he regulates all things according to his secret plan, which depends solely upon itself?’

        ‘Isn’t it bad enough that you have predestined me to corruption by your own ordinance? Why do you leave Calvin to tell the truth, to try and make excuses for your cruelty and injustice? What are you trying to hide by not admitting to my face that ‘predestination, whether they [the objectors] will [admit it] or not, manifests itself in Adam’s posterity.’ That means me. ‘For it did not take place by reason of nature that, by the guilt of one parent, all were cut off from salvation…. Scripture proclaims that all mortals were bound over to eternal death in the person of one man [Adam] (cf. Rom. 5:12 ff.). Since this cannot be ascribed to nature, it is perfectly clear that it has come forth from the wonderful plan of God’.

        ‘If this is such a ‘wonderful plan’ why do you not boast about it, or at least inform me honestly that I am one of the unfortunate ‘non-elect’, cut off from salvation by you – not by my own unfortunate choices? Why do you try to heap the blame on me, and even worse, urge me to make choices that you know full well I cannot make, thanks to your ‘wonderful plan’? Are you too ashamed to admit, as does Calvin, that ‘The decree is horrible indeed, I confess. Yet no one can deny that God foreknew what end man was to have before he created him, and consequently foreknew because he so ordained by his decree’.’

        ‘Obviously you knew that in speaking so deceptively, countless millions would ‘deny that [you] foreknew what end [I] was to have before [you] created [me], and consequently foreknew because [you] so ordained by [your] decree’. Yet Calvin archly suggests that no one should make such a denial, that ‘it ought not to seem absurd for me to say that God not only foresaw the fall of the first man, and in him the ruin of his descendants, but also meted it out in accordance with his own decision. For it pertains to his wisdom to foreknow everything that is to happen, so it pertains to his might to rule and control everything by his hand’.’

        ‘We will, presumably, fall to our faces at such ‘wisdom’ and ‘might’. We must, without challenge, accept that ‘it is not in itself likely that man brought destruction upon himself through himself, by God’s mere permission and without any ordaining.’

        In fact, if Calvin is right, we don’t really have any other choice but to keep our mouths shut and do whatever you have ordained we must, do we?’*

        God responds sadly: ‘Cain, Cain, who are you to reply against me? You simply don’t understand my need for glory. Calvin explains that ‘[your father] fell because [I] judged it to be expedient; why [I] so judged is hidden from [you]. Yet it is certain that [I] so judged because [I] saw that thereby the glory of [my] name is duly revealed’. Isn’t it enough for you that my glory be revealed, or are you only concerned about yourself?’

        ‘The reprobate [like you] wish to be considered excusable in sinning, on the ground that they cannot avoid the necessity of sinning, especially since this sort of necessity is cast upon [you] by [my] ordaining. But [I] deny that [you] are duly excused, because the ordinance of [mine], by which [you] complain that [you] are destined to destruction, has its own equity [or justice]—unknown, indeed, to [you] but very sure.’

        Of course, no such conversation exists, nor could it, because if all men are ordained to do exactly as God has ordained, and he has determined to keep this little truth under his hat, no man could ever possibly lay such charges at God’s feet.*

        Then again, why did God need Calvin to make his excuses, and why have countless men and women throughout the centuries challenge and deny the truth of Calvin’s assertions? Why would God come up with the perfect plan, hide that perfect plan, reveal that perfect plan through Calvin, then attempt to hide it again under the Compatibilism of a reinvented Calvinism? God just can’t seem to make up his mind whether he wants man to understand his plan of salvation or not.*

        I guess God’s ways are hidden from pretty much everyone but John Calvin, and those he has enlightened.

        *Note: Pondering Calvinism inevitably demands a departure from logic; you just have to go with it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. And thus we have the ugly, problematic side of determinism….

        We show this …..as you did with Cain…. and they cry “you misrepresent Calvinism” (heard it many times!!).

        I simply say….. C’mon guys, just own it!

        Just own that God told Cain to not sin…and to dominate over sin, but never gave him the power—in fact, determined that he would sin and be judge for sin that God immutably foisted on him (oh yes, I know “he is doing what he naturally would do”). But there is no “naturally” when it is God who “necessarily” has determined all things.

        Just determine to own determinism!

        Like

      3. We could co-author a book on Calvinism

        OWN IT: The Camel-Swallower’s guide to double-think, self-contradictions, and the bible verses that prove them.

        Now more than ever, you need the Determinist’s ultimate guide-book on tail-chasing and circular-logic.
        Learn the art of pointing in two different directions at the same time.
        Learn the 49 golden bible verses guaranteed to keep you double-minded.

        Order your copy now!
        Coming to Reformed book-stores near you. :-]

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yeah. It could be one of those kind of books that you “flip” over and read the other direction. This site calls it a double-side book.
        http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DoubleSidedBook.

        Adobe talks about how to do it…..here …..

        “Remember those children’s books that read from both directions? Read to the middle from one cover. Flip the book over and read from the back/”upside down” cover to the middle.”

        1.That way they can “flip” back and forth all they want.

        2. They can be double-sided and double-minded.

        3. First half of the book tells how God “necessarily” pre-determined everything. Flipped over version (the “man-centered” part) tells how man makes all the bad decisions that his nature tells him to.

        4. At the end of a chapter in the first part, we can say, “If you are still doing well with the God-ordained-and-desired-all-sin idea, please keep reading. If you are not, flip this book over and read the same chapter in that half.”

        5. The other sided book will have chapters ending, “If you are now disgusted with man having a free will, being created in God’s image, having to make any decisions at all, please flip over and read what sovereignty and omniscience really mean.”

        Then they can just flip-flop and read this book all day (preferably while on a rocking horse!).

        Like

  14. Hey chap/
    Just one last thing you can call me qball for short and I do not understand your comment to say that it would be my Reformed Believer Favorite. I say Reformed Believer because i think non-Calvinist and that is what I am discussing on here when I am talking is the false teach of non-Calvinism not Calvinism, but back to what I was saying I prefer Reformed Believer because I think many who are not Calvinist you look down upon the word and see it as a curse word to those who hold to the Doctrines of Grace it represents so I do not deny I am a Calvinist but I prefer Reformed Believer if the board does not mind. I do not follow Calvin I follow the Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching and principles I adhere to can be found in Holy Scripture from point of view I know you see it different but that is ok that is why Dr. Flowers has graciously provided us a place we can in a Christlike behave ourselves and discuss this bringing pleasure to the heart of God. Both sides I believe the other is in Christ so I really don’t think we are too far off. People get saved in Reformed camp and in the non-Reformed Camp. The Lord adding daily to the Church those who are being saved. ACTS

    Like

    1. Dr. Flowers has graciously provided us a place we can in a Christlike behave ourselves and discuss this bringing pleasure to the heart of God.

      br.d
      Well said! :-]

      Like

      1. Just remember, Paul wasn’t such a nice guy at times when he was scolding people about doctrines. I hope by Christlike that means turning over tables in the temple???????

        Like

      2. br. d.,

        White robe, sandals, lashing out at Pharisees…Telling Peter that Satan desires you…Ya, I got it. Christ like.

        Jesus was not a mamby pamby, as some Christians wish to portray him as. He got down! My man! He told it like it is!

        Ed

        Like

      3. Very correct!
        And I would anticipate lashing out at Pharisees and calling a spade a spade are not all one recognizes as what “Christ-Like” means. :-]
        John Calvin lashed out at believers who refused to kiss his ring – assuming himself the golden-standard, judge and jury.
        We can learn from his bad example!

        Like

      4. Sorry it’s been a few days…anyway, I’d lash out at Calvinists for being Calvinists. You see, while Southern Baptists call Calvinists BROTHERS, while there is a HUGE difference in the Character of God between the two sides, the Southern Baptists DO NOT call Lutherans brothers, all because of a procedure of Baptism and magic water that washes away sins. So, Calvinists are brothers, huh? Makes no sense to me at all.

        Like

      5. Hi chapmaned24,
        Can you elaborate on the issue you mentioned about different groups refusing to call each other brothers?
        Thanks

        Like

      6. Let me preface that with a question back. Are Lutherans Christians? If so, what does it matter regarding the Baptism PROCEDURE? I KNOW someone who WAS a Lutheran. She got married to a Baptist. THAT Baptist church MADE her get Baptized ALL OVER AGAIN, as if membership in Christianity was NULL AND VOID as a Lutheran. Now…you tell me if Lutherans are BROTHERS. Sure don’t sound like it to me, since Baptists are STRICT to the iota regarding a SPECIFIC procedure that must be followed. Yet…CALVINISTS ARE BROTHERS??????? Where does this make sense?

        Like

      7. Ok, if I understand you, there are some Baptist churches which have something called “the procedure” – which they use as a requirement for what they consider as salvation. Perhaps some kind of confession and liturgical ritual. And if one does not process through that with them, they don’t recognize that person as part of their body. I’m sure they have scriptures they interpret in such a way as to support that. And further, they are instructed to not consider someone a “brother” or “sister” without it.

        And yet – I’ll bet that if the pastor that teaches that goes to a convention and meets with a Lutheran pastor he will consider him a brother.

        It may be a derivative of Catholicism which teaches that an infant must be baptized by a consecrated priest. And what does “consecrated” mean? Consecrated to the Lord, or consecrated to an earthly power-base?

        If you’ve ever read much of F.F. Bruce’s historical works on the Jewish nation before and at the time of Jesus’ ministry, you will know that the high priests were not really “consecrated” to the Lord. They were “yes men” for Rome. They were the sons of the most wealthy families who bribed the Roman empire to put their sons in the position. Rome selected the man that would ensure its interests.
        In other words, they were ordained by an earthly power-base, while presenting the appearance of operating in God’s interests.
        This became the Roman template for ministry – and we still find derivatives of it in Protestant groups. In fact the ordination ceremony has its roots in the pagan ceremony in which the Romans ordained their rulers.

        You’ll find this kind of stuff in some shape or form in many groups. Its human nature. But I understand your frustration.

        Like

      8. Your explanation here I find to be of a Catholic tint of the explanation. I see that every time I see a Catholic rendition of a movie regarding Jesus, or one of the Apostles. However, there is no indication from the Bible alone about High Priests being political advocates to Rome. Hebrews discusses the Role of a High Priest, in that they were the ONLY one’s authorized in the Holy of Holies, and they were the only ones authorized to ever use the word, Yahwey, which is why you won’t find your typical Jew use that word. The Jews had their Religious and Civil laws, Rome had theirs. The priests may have used the notion that Jesus claimed to be King, wanting to replace Caesar, but he was convicted of blasphemy, a religious law. And Pilate was going to let him go. So the High Priests didn’t have much sway politically regarding Jesus being King to replace Caesar. I’m not a fan of Catholic tints or renditions of history. Otherwise, Peter was the first Pope, and I don’t believe that for a moment. Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles, not Peter. Peter was the apostle to the Jews, and where would Jews be in those days? From a Jewish website, you see that MORE JEWS were STILL in Babylon than the total number of Jews who returned to Israel, and in Peter’s epistle, it is clear that Peter was indeed in Babylon. So, I don’t buy into Catholic history lessons, for which much of the Reformation folks brought forth with them as baggage.

        Like

      9. Yes – I agree – that’s exactly my point.
        What I believe we are seeing is that the world in some ways has “salted” the church more than the church has “salted” the world.

        Catholicism represents the beginning of massive compromises in Christianity – embracing the monarchical system of ruler-ship.
        And ordained a pope who said “the myth of Christ has served us well”.

        The N.T. authors, I believe, carefully distinguished the difference between the two words ἄρχων (ruler) vs. διάκονος (servant)
        Let he who would be greatest among you be a διάκονος (servant).

        The weakness of the church is human nature which frequently seeks its own.
        I don’t believe that God excuses the church for that.
        But obviously he understands the cause.
        And we are all subject to that in one way or another.
        So the Lord is to be thanked for giving you a heart that sees compromises and a heart that seeks not to repeat them.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Did I use the word Heretic? I will repeat what I just told Br. D.: “Let me preface that with a question back. Are Lutherans Christians? If so, what does it matter regarding the Baptism PROCEDURE? I KNOW someone who WAS a Lutheran. She got married to a Baptist. THAT Baptist church MADE her get Baptized ALL OVER AGAIN, as if membership in Christianity was NULL AND VOID as a Lutheran. Now…you tell me if Lutherans are BROTHERS. Sure don’t sound like it to me, since Baptists are STRICT to the iota regarding a SPECIFIC procedure that must be followed. Yet…CALVINISTS ARE BROTHERS??????? Where does this make sense? The god of Calvin is not the God of NORMAL Christendom. Two different natures. Non-Calvinists generally have no problem calling that god a tyrant. Yet, Calvinists are brothers? Again, where does that make sense?

        Like

      11. Taylors First Baptist Church. So, are you saying that Lutherans are not required to be baptized all over again when they become Baptists? If so, then I stand corrected. However, how are Calvinists brothers?

        Like

      12. Well, that explanation leaves a bad taste in my mouth. We can lump the cults in there, too. JW’s, 7th Day Adventists, Mormons…they also believe in Jesus for the forgiveness of sins and that salvation is by faith. They are just wrong in their doctrines, but use the same Bible, all believe that the bible is the word of God, with no errors, only that man is in error of interpretations. It would make more sense to have Lutherans in the Southern Baptist Convention than that of Calvinists. At least the God of Luther is the same God that the rest of Christendom believes in, because as I said before, some of us Non-Cals have no problem calling the Calvin god a tyrant. Two different natures. Two different gods. But they believe in Jesus, huh? Got it.

        Like

      13. I’m reminded of the joke in which an angel is taking a new-be through the various rooms in heaven.
        They stop and look into a doorway at a church service.
        And the angel says “shhhhhhhhh – these people think they are the only ones here” :-]

        Liked by 2 people

      14. Your joke prompted a reminder of a Catholic joke, where one of the Pope’s made it to heaven, and his desire was to seek out the Heavenly library. In his study, he began laughing really loud, and the angel wanted to know what was so funny. The Pope replied, “The word was CELEBRATE, not Celibate!”

        Like

      15. On a more serious note, however, Luther (I’m not a Lutheran, by the way…just using him as an example), began the so-called Reformation, which officially split people away from the Catholic Church. If Calvin was smart, and he wasn’t, he would have piggy backed on Luther’s coat tail. But Calvin comes along and turns everything upside down, THUS bringing a split in the Reformation itself. A splinter of a splinter. And people actually gravitated toward Calvin.

        But as the conversation here continues, and I read them, it’s obvious that many of us here are agreeing that the so-called “Church Fathers” had no clue as to what they were even talking about, because we have a better understanding than even they did. I will never forget the first time that I debated a seasoned Catholic. He didn’t want to give his own opinion. He wanted to give the opinion of a Church Father, because he trusted their word. I thought to myself, what an idiot this Catholic is.

        I also find that in the Reformed circles, that they are more concerned about Historical context, too. If the Bible is a living breathing Word of God, historical settings and context matters not. Sin is the same today as it was back then. Nothing new under the sun. Capital punishment was by hanging on a tree back then…today it’s still capital punishment, just a different method. Donkey vs. Car. Still transportation.

        Ed Chapman

        Like

      16. I read an interesting biography of Calvin years ago – (wished I could remember what that book was).

        Anyway you know that there were no such things as Hollywood movie stars in Calvin’s day.
        People who were renowned in those days tended to be well educated or academics.
        In Calvin’s day Erasmus was a celebrated figure with his Latin and Greek editions of the New Testament, which would be influential in the Protestant Reformation.

        The author believes Calvin in his early 20s had his sights on being a shining star like Erasmus was.
        Unfortunately the power and position given to Calvin by the constables of Geneva can be somewhat likened to the power and position given to David Karesh.

        Calvin was only 26 when he wrote the first institutes and they for the most part constituted his study of Augustine’s writings for about 3 years.
        The bible warns about putting people of immature or aggressive disposition into positions of eldership.
        Calvin was given such authority and unlike Erasmus it served as a platform for his aggressive disposition.

        Like

      17. “JW’s, 7th Day Adventists, Mormons…they also believe in Jesus for the forgiveness of sins and that salvation is by faith. ”

        No, they don’t. They believe in faith + certain works just like you’re saying salvation is faith + correct doctrine. And the being they have faith in is demonstrably not the Jesus of the Bible. JWs and Mormons have different sacred texts. You’re just demonstrably wrong about the beliefs of these cults and your comparison of them to Calvinism.

        Like

      18. Eric Kemp,

        But yet they SAY that they believe in faith, denying works, showing that they just don’t interpret it correctly…see what I mean? Wrong doctrine, but they say the right things. We know the difference. My point is that Calvin’s God is NOT the God that the rest of us worship. They worship a tyrant, we don’t. Brothers? Really? We know that the doctrine of Calvin speaks of faith differently than we do. We know that 7th Day Adventists speaks of faith differently than we do. But they believe in Jesus…hmmmmm. You just can’t seem to acknowledge that Calvinists are not brothers. Same with Peter Lumpkins, a major problem that I just can’t seem to wrap my head around. Stealth activities to change a NORMAL church into a Calvinist church? That is dishonesty, lying, deceitful and, if I am not mistaken, that is an EVIL DEED, not a noble one. Evil does not belong in any church. Period. Let them be their own cult. Why keep them in your church?

        Like

      19. Oh I think I get what you are saying here – you don’t believe that Calvinists should be called “brothers” by the rest of the evangelical or the protestant church. Well I have to agree with you on the degree of dishonesty I find in Calvinism. And I must admit that I’ve pondered whether or not Calvin was actually a genuine Christian or not.

        I certainly think that other evangelicals – when they see dishonesty in Calvinist talking points – should call a spade a spade and not seek to cover it up. Dishonesty in any form works against the church that seeks to be the light of the world.

        Liked by 1 person

      20. br. d,

        Now we can debate another time regarding the beliefs of the author of the Declaration of Independence, who became president, but this is what Thomas Jefferson said about Calvinism:

        Letter from Thomas Jefferson to John Adams
        Thomas Jefferson
        April 11, 1823

        “DEAR SIR, — The wishes expressed, in your last favor, that I may continue in life and health until I become a Calvinist, at least in his exclamation of `mon Dieu! jusque à quand’! would make me immortal. I can never join Calvin in addressing his god. He was indeed an Atheist, which I can never be; or rather his religion was Daemonism. If ever man worshipped a false god, he did. The being described in his 5. points is not the God whom you and I acknolege and adore, the Creator and benevolent governor of the world; but a daemon of malignant spirit. It would be more pardonable to believe in no god at all, than to blaspheme him by the atrocious attributes of Calvin…

        “So much for your quotation of Calvin’s `mon dieu! jusqu’a quand’ in which, when addressed to the God of Jesus, and our God, I join you cordially, and await his time and will with more readiness than reluctance. May we meet there again, in Congress, with our antient Colleagues, and recieve with them the seal of approbation `Well done, good and faithful servants.’ “

        Like

      21. Oh I missed this part – some Baptist have a requirement they put on persons to be considered “brothers” or “sisters” – which they would apply to Lutherans – but not apply to Calvinists. I think I would consider that a political decision on their part. Calvinists have been trying to dominate other denominations for years – and have a major foot-hold in the Baptist assembly. I suspect there would be hell to pay if a pastor required such a thing of a Calvinist. This might be more about politics than anything else.

        Like

    2. Ralph,

      I’m always confused when Calvinists say that they don’t follow Calvin. Seems like an oxymoron in my eyes. It’s like they are purposely trying to distance themselves away from the PERSON, yet keep his doctrines. HIS doctrines do not fit ANY other protestant sect. So why distance yourself from him? Own it qball. LOL. I joust, but don’t take it personal. You are a very respectful guy.

      Ed Chapman

      Like

  15. Ed, I have frequently used that to get a laugh from my semi-Calvinist children. (They think they are Calvinists, because they were brought up under a double-talking pastor who never honestly taught what Calvinism really demands. The old ‘both are true’ stuff. So they say, with straight faces, ‘Well I don’t believe that God predetermines who will be saved or not, but . . .’ and have no idea that this makes them De facto non-Calvinists. I give them time – they’ll figure it out.)

    Like

    1. I’ve also found that in a lot of Christians outside of Calvinism. They believe what they have no clue of what they believe. But it’s true, whatever it means. All I know is that it’s true, but I can’t tell ya why. Just believe it.

      Here is one to an atheist, tho…Why reason why when there is no reason why?

      Like

  16. (An Israelite that believes he is saved by being born a Jew & and that he further believes is proven by his outward conformity to his election – standing before God on Judgement day)

    The Lord – Why should I let you into heaven?

    Israelite – Because I was one of the chosen people Lord, didn’t I prove it with my conformity to the religion.
    The Lord – You fool, do you think that you were more advantaged than anyone else in regard to salvation. In fact, you thought nothing of evangelizing because you thought you were either born into it or not born into it by some mysterious decree. Yes, you evangelized! But this was only to prove to yourself that you are worthy of your “mysterious” election – you didn’t actually believe that any one can be saved through faith. You didn’t believe my grace was sufficient for all. You didn’t believe My intention for sending my Son. You believed in another “mysterious” gospel whereby you believed you were saved.

    The Lord – Next! ……….. Please step up – what is your name sir?

    Ummmm – John Calvin Lord.

    Like

    1. There is only one small minor problem with that.

      Did Moses give them the law of God?

      Acts 10:28
      And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

      Even Peter thought what you laid out…until…

      Gentiles didn’t start getting “saved”…until God revealed it to Peter in the book of Acts.

      Then the next major argument regarding Gentiles was Acts 15…circumcised AND AND AND keeping the law of Moses, both of which got shot down.

      Ed Chapman

      Like

      1. I haven’t got time to start on this bandwagon, but I disagree with you Ed. You will have to discuss that one with people like Melchizedek.

        Like

      2. How can you disagree with a quoted scripture? It was unlawful for the Jews to “evangelize” their religion to other nations.

        And Peter thought the same until God revealed it to him.

        I can’t figure you out here.

        Ed Chapman

        Like

      3. You make an argument and then you gotta go? Got better things to do? Drive by? Dude, please. If you post an argument, get ready to a counter argument, but don’t back out. Drive by’s are not cool.

        Like

      4. You are right Ed, I’m stopping the car, I’m not going to drive by, I’m getting out of the car as we speak, I can see a group of young people and I’m going give them all a gospel tract. Chow

        Like

      5. Why don’t you get offline and give it a go bro, I’ve listened to many a testimony of people who were confronted first with a gospel tract which led them to Christ. You should try it brother. Better than meaningless garb spent online babbling about nothing. (From the heart) 😊

        Like

      6. You started this argument, not me. Like it or not, I’m here. I know the phoniness of self righteous Christians “evangelizing”. You sound like one of them. Seriously, gain a relationship with someone, then tell that person FROM THE HEART how God changed your life.

        Doing it “by the book” is doing it the Pharisee way. Let it flow from the heart…not a tract.

        Like

      7. How God changed YOUR life probably won’t get anyone saved. The gospel is power of God unto salvation, not YOUR life, no matter how much heart you feel YOU are putting into it. I’m happy to do it by the book which has the heart of Christ not mine. Chow

        Like

      8. Tell that to the Apostle Paul. How did God CHANGE his life? Give him the gospel? Sure, you go ahead, you GIVE ‘EM the Gospel.

        The Law is the schoolmaster that brings you to Christ…and you just want to start off with “Jesus Loves You!”. Good Luck with that!

        Like

      9. Thanks Ed, I’ll to be more heart felt like yourself and tell them all about MY life, and how wonderful it is……..I won’t worry about telling them that Jesus loves them because that won’t do anything will it. It’s all about me …..pfffffft what’s the gospel. (Said with my “self righteous” tongue in my cheek)

        Like

      10. Good News, aka Gospel, has NO MEANING without the EXPLANATION and reason of the BAD NEWS FIRST. For by the law is the knowledge of sin.

        The law is the school master to bring you to Christ.

        It’s always good to start at he beginning of a book, at the beginning of a movie, at the beginning of a lecture.

        Like

      11. For I am ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for the law is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth ……..
        hang on just getting out my pen to make a few changes in my bible…… thanks rabbi Ed.😁

        Like

      12. Galatians 3:24-25 King James Version (KJV)

        24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

        25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

        How can ANYONE repent if they have NO CLUE as to what sin is? I’m not so sure that you even know.

        Like

      13. The passage is talking about the law of Moses. The “us” is Jews in the context of Galatians which Paul is addressing. He is addressing that the law of Moses was the schoolmaster to bring them to Christ. He is addressing the people getting sucked into keeping the Law of Moses. That’s the context!

        The gospel has it all. It is the good news that Jesus paid the sin debt for our sin. So of course the gospel includes this, but I can guarantee you Ed that it does not include keeping the law of Moses to bring us to Christ.
        Stop using texts out of context to float your boat 😉

        Like

      14. You have been DISQUALIFIED to evangelize. You have no clue. No one needs to repent in your explanation…knowledge of sin is NOT IN THE GOSPELS at all. So, you can make up your own definition of sin.

        1 John 3:4
        sin is the transgression of the law.

        Romans 3:20
        the law is the knowledge of sin.

        Like

      15. Did I say say that no one needs to repent? Of course they do! But I can guarantee you that they do not need to be aware of their sin by trying to keep the law of Moses.
        The gospel is enough to make people aware of their sins, it brings conviction no doubt.

        Can I be allowed back in, please rabbi Ed pleeeeaaase pretty please 😂

        Like

      16. i never said anything about keeping the law of Moses. Not once. I said that the law is our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ.

        That schoolmaster tells you what sin is. And you can’t tell anyone to repent without giving them that knowledge first.

        Bad news comes first before good news makes any sense.

        The bad new is the penalty of sin.

        the good news is Jesus.

        Ed

        Like

      17. No the Law of Moses was the Jews school master, not ours. We are Gentiles, and Gentiles were never under the law of Moses. Under sin disobeying God yes! but under the Law of Moses – no.
        Yes both are under judgement Jew and Gentile alike unless they repent. But you are out of context when you use that passage in Galatians. That’s all I’m saying………..,unless you believe in replacement theology. But we won’t get into that.

        Like

      18. NO…it is OUR schoolmaster.

        Tell me, MASTER DEMON, I mean Damon, tell me WHERE in the gospels tells you what sin is? I already told you that sin is the transgression of the law, and that the law is the knowledge of sin, so that concludes that you most open up the book of the law to show them what sin is.

        The problem with Christians evangelizing, is Christians with NO KNOWLEDGE of what that entails.

        Repent…FROM WHAT? Picking my nose in public? IS that a sin?

        I have NO IDEA where you bring up replacement theology. I have no idea where you get the idea that I am telling you to obey the law of Moses.

        You are an uneducated Christian, and you want all Christians to be ignorant…just blindly follow Jesus, huh? Without really knowing why.

        Ed

        Like

      19. Wow Ed! Settle down and take a chill pill.
        Read Romans 2, the Jews couldn’t keep the law of Moses, the Gentiles couldn’t keep the laws of God written on their hearts, that’s why nobody has an excuse before God (Romans 1:21)
        I hope your “heartfelt” delivery when you evangelize isn’t anything like your delivery online, I’d be running for the hills. Don’t worry about people throwing gospel tracts in the bin if this is how you deliver the gospel in your “heartfelt” way.

        Like

      20. You keep reverting to the unsubstantiated accusation that I said that we must keep the law of Moses. STOP. I never said that.

        But everyone needs to know that they have sinned against God, otherwise, Jesus means NOTHING.

        Jesus died on the cross to save sinners, and every human is a sinner. But WHAT IS THEIR SIN’s (PLURAL).

        The only way to know, is to GIVE THEM THE BAD NEWS PORTION that the penalty of sin is death.

        But they ONLY place that sin is defined…is in the Law of Moses.

        Bad News comes first, and that MUST be explained, otherwise, Jesus makes NO SENSE. He would be NO DIFFERENT than following BUDDHA. A wise man that said some wise things.

        Give to the poor.

        Ya, even the most evil person says to give to the poor.

        Like

      21. So are you saying Ed that if someone dies before being shown that they have disobeyed the law of Moses they would be excused? Because they were unaware of sin? Cmon brother, that’s a stretch. If we say that we have no sin we make Him (God) a lier.
        Gentiles do not need to see the law of Moses to know they are a sinner, the convicting Holy Spirit does that, yes the law does as well which only solidify’s it.
        There will be plenty of people in Hell that didn’t hear the law of Moses. There will also be plenty of people in Heaven who didn’t hear the Law of Moses too.
        The law of Christ yes! Galatians 6:2

        Like

      22. Did Abraham really need a law that stated, “Thou Shalt Not Steal” to know that it is wrong to steal? Think about that.

        Romans 2:14-16
        For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

        By nature, they obey laws that they don’t even have. It’s called a conscience. And Jesus judges them by what they know, not by what they don’t know, and Paul calls that good news (gospel), and these people don’t even know God, or Jesus. So, do people who don’t know God, or Jesus, automatically go to hell because they are sinners? NO. But some seem to think so.

        Like

      23. You just proved my point that people are accountable without the law of Moses being known to them.
        Yet you said before that unless they are aware of the law of Moses they wouldn’t know they are sinners.
        Which is it Ed? Do Gentiles need the law of Moses pointed out to them to realise that they are sinners? Yes or no?

        Like

      24. Is it a sin to sleep with your sister? YES

        Abraham slept with his sister.

        So since Abraham slept with his sister, no one needs to know that it is a sin to sleep with his sister?????????????

        Really?

        Just tell them about Jesus, and they can continue to sleep with their sister, and that is OK.

        That is YOUR LOGIC.

        Like

      25. Is it? Did I say this? No I didn’t. You don’t need the law of Moses to see this is a sin. The law of Christ is sufficient in the epistles. Many a person got saved reading a Tyndales New Testament without the law of Moses in it. I’m not saying the Old Testament shouldn’t be in the bible, it should be and I wholeheartedly believe it. But the Law of Christ is sufficient enough to bring conviction of sin apart from the law of Moses.

        Like

      26. dude, you are missing the point altogether.

        You will be talking to SINNERS. You must tell them what their sin is. This is not a guessing game. They MUST HAVE KNOWLEDGE.

        You can’t assume that they know what sin is. The GOOD NEWS can’t be good until they know the opposite of what that is.

        You want to tell them good news without telling them the bad news. You can’t do that.

        The Gospel of Christ is that Jesus died for your sins…WHAT SINS? Where do you find INFORMATION of what sin is? The Gospels?

        Man…dude…please get educated.

        Like

      27. “Dude” I realise they need to know they are sinners but it doesn’t have to come by the law of Moses, that’s my uneducated point. Peace out dude.

        Like

      28. The law of Christ and the law of Moses Huh? Not the same thing. They have similar things but not the same thing.

        Like

      29. Wow…no wonder Christians have a bad name in America. Novices like you who have no clue.

        br.,d
        This dialog is moving towards the edge of animosity giving the appearance of a fist fight.

        Liked by 1 person

      30. IF YOU are going to tell them about Jesus, YOU NEED TO SHOW THEM.

        Christians do not need the schoolmaster. But non-Christians need it until they become Christians.

        NO ONE knows what sin is, without it.

        Ed

        Like

  17. So I’m struggling at the moment and want to know your best advice/opinions. I fully believe that the Bible is true and that Jesus Christ was the son of God and believe in the trinity. I believe that his death and resurrection was the once and final payment for all sin. I believe that true saving faith and faith alone in Jesus Christ are the only means by which we are saved and that we must be born again, which happens when we truly believe. Here’s my predicament. I believe those things I listed with all my being. However, I have no fruit or no peace or no joy whatsoever in my life. From my perspective, I was born again 4 years ago and have truly pursued a life of obedience to God not out of trying to earn favor or certainly not earn my salvation but out of love and thankfulness to him. I went from being a guy who partied with drugs and alcohol and slept with many different women to being the exact opposite, putting Christ at the center of my life and picking up my cross and following him daily to the best of my ability because I hate my sin and truly believe the Jesus is the Way the Truth and the Life. All throughout this time I have suffered from depression in varying degrees but for the first three years enjoyed a peace and love that truly did surpass all understanding. Ironically I think my depression is what led me to faith while at the same time now seems to be the very thing trying to destroy it. You see I still believe in my mind all of those things. But I now feel broken, I have no conviction, no hope, no peace, no joy and I don’t know if it’s a spiritual issue or physical/chemical issue. If it’s a spiritual issue, how? I’ve sincerely tried to follow Christ with all of my being and praying that the Holy Spirit would lead me in doing so. Now if it’s a physiological/chemical issue my concern is how can that effect the soul so much that it seems to be overriding the Spirit itself? Shouldn’t the Spirit be far and away stronger than any disease or ailment the flesh can experience? I should also note that I do have physical ailments I’ve been dealing with this whole time as well and so firmly believe they are causing my issues of the mind, such as poor attention span, poor short term memory, headaches, low energy, low mood, trouble concentrating and finding the right words. But again how can a disease of the body/mind alter the soul/Spirit because I know at the end of our days we will shed these bodies and the scars that sin has left on us. It seems to be doing everything it can to lead me from Christ. The thing now holding me on is simply the fact that I still with all of my mind believe that the death and resurrection of Jesus took place. A lot of the worst came on when studying apologetics and obsessing over science and philosophy. But Now I can’t get away from that line of thinking and overanalyze every single thought and trying to explain to myself every little thing to its finest point of logic. I even felt at the time when studying apologetics that I was grieving the spirit and feeding the mind/flesh but continued anyway because I felt that it would benefit me as a Christian in the future. I thought apologetics was a great thing for Christians and still think it is but for me personally it seems to be a stumbling block to true life giving faith. I so wish I never had come across apologetics because my faith was so much more robust and fruitful before this and now I fear I can never get it back. The apologetics themselves isn’t what’s hindering my faith because there is all sorts of evidence for the existence of God and confirms God. But I’ve also concluded that all philosophical and scientific logic and reasoning is circular which is why two smart people can argue for days at a time and not convince the other and why apologetics never saves anyone and only the Gospel does. But like I said now my mind just try’s to explain everything away and leave no mystery, which I know is wrong. It’s like I’ve gotten into this obsession of having to fully flesh things out and have gotten away from just pure faith at times. I’m scared I can’t get back to where I was which was a beautiful relationship with Jesus and a peace and love which surpassed all understanding. I’m afraid he’s given me over to a carnal mind. I believe it but I can’t feel it and I know as well as anyone that faith in Christ is not based in a feeling but man it sure makes the Christian walk incredibly difficult and thats even an understatement. Please pray for me and please any help or response would be very much appreciated!

    Like

    1. Hey Taylor, my name is Eric and I help Dr. Flowers with this ministry. What you’re struggling with must be incredibly difficult. I do not think there is such a separation between the flesh and the spirit. I do not think this is how the ancient Hebrews who wrote the Bible saw the human person. I think they saw us as fleshly souls. That your soul is made up of both flesh and spirit and you can’t separate the two.

      On that view, it makes all the sense in the world that what you’re struggling with physically would affect your spirit. God, in his wisdom, created us with these limitations, these weaknesses, so that what is going on physically would have power over us. Then, in his wisdom, he sent his Son to become one of us with all those weaknesses too.

      I agree that science and logic can hinder our experience of God. An experience that is real even if those things cannot explain it. I do think apologetics can help save people but you’re right they have to encounter God at some point.

      I would encourage you in two things: Find a good counselor. I’ve gone through counseling myself and it changed my life. Past drug abuse often leads to depression and anxiety since it throws off the chemicals in the brain. I would also encourage you to look up “Dark Night of the Soul” by Saint John of the Cross. What you’re experiencing could truly be both.

      Please do not hesitate to email me. You’re not alone. traineralakemp@gmail.com.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. wonderful post!
        Yes I agree on counselors making a huge difference!!
        Over many years, I’ve discovered that pastors – even though they mean well – are not uniquely equipped for this.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Hi Taylor,
      Thank you for your wonderful post!!

      When any soul makes the statement “I hate my sin” that soul is manifesting fruit.
      Perhaps someone is influencing you to be looking for a specific type of fruit.
      And what that person is emphasizing is simply not what the Lord is building into your life.
      At least at this time.

      Secondly, there is an old saying:
      It took God a few months to get the people of Israel out of Egypt
      It took God 40 years to get Egypt out of the people of Israel.

      The world each of us comes out of makes a huge difference in what things the Lord has to deliver us from.
      And these things take time.
      But the fact that you are crying out the way you are is the best indicator of good things to come.
      If you were predisposed in the opposite direction – then it would be reason for concern.

      If I were you I would be seeking out brothers who are walking strong – but who are not pharisees.
      Brothers whom you can relate too and who understand internally the personal challenges you face.
      Brothers who not only can help your steady walk towards the Lord, but also brothers full of compassion.
      Stay clear of those who manifest self-righteousness or pass judgement over others.

      I’ll be the Lord is doing marvelous things in your life which are perhaps simply not that apparent.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Fromoverhere,
    thank you so much for you kind words in your post. You guys have really shown me respect and the love of Christ unlike that debate Dr. Flowers was in with his Christian brother against their opponents who were Calvinist at least professing Calvinist. I was so ashamed and thought they were so rude to Dr Flowers and his co-partner. I never seen so-called professing Calvinist act like that before. Now I have seen both sides act rude and disrespectful even as I have got out of hand at times but nothing like that debate. But did you notice how Dr. Flowers was so patient, never got upset, said anything rude or disrespectful although he did have to say one time, brother can I just please finish what I am saying. Perfectly effective and necessary in Christ if the non-Calvinist were going to even get to be heard. I think the debate was on free-will. This does not represent the majority of Reformed believers and I hope someone does not get on here and disagree with me or I will show them a place to go where they have probably been where the tongues of non-Calvinists have been set on fire by hell. I call you all my brothers and even sisters in Christ. We have all believed upon the Lord Jesus Christ and we are saved by grace in Christ to the glory of God. Both sides have their professing ones in Christ they are ashamed of and we should pray for them and not judge them. Yes open rebuke is better than concealed love as long as we speak the truth in love. But it is easy to judge and be hypocritical towards people. It is harder to get on our knees and pray that that area that is lacking godliness and the virtue of the Holy Spirit, and to persevere in prayer without gossiping and cursing that person, but blessing and perserving in prayer in effectual (James 5:16-Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective., It will bring forth God’s desired results sanctification) prayer to God Father in Christ through power of the Holy Spirit until that area of sin and wickedness blossoms forth in Christlikeness and the beauty of Holiness.
    So be patient with me my brothers in Christ and rebuke me in love when necessary. God bless you and the grace of Christ be with you always

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Fromoverhere I responded to your post on April 17, 2018 where you said that I could not be a truthseeker because I believe in Romans 3 10-11 I think that there is none righteousness and no one seeks God. The post is long so I could not put it here. It is on my site and I do hope as a truthseeker you take 5 minutes out of your time to read it. After all it is an article devoted directly to you, your beliefs and understandings of the Reformed Believer. God bless my friend and may the grace of Christ be with you always.

    https://wordpress.com/post/tulipnotflowers.wordpress.com/15

    Like

    1. QB

      A few things here.

      First, I was responding to a post by “Ralph”. If you are going to change names on this site with multiple posts (and comments sections) going then it will get confusing, okay?

      Second, I could not get that link open that you posted. But let the record show that I tried several times.

      Third, I am a former Calvinist, so I have seen the “no one can seek idea” proposed by Calvinists.

      Fourth (and perhaps most important). ….. you misquote me. I said this—————

      If you are a real Calvinist, in theory you should NOT like the name TruthSeeker, since according to reformed philosophy, no one can seek the truth. That comes from a misinterpretation of Romans 3:10-11, despite numerous calls by Christ and others to “seek first the kingdom”….”draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (and on and on!).
      ——————

      Your misquote of me could lead to a lot tiny little “shots across the bow” like we see sometimes in these discussion and I dont want to do that and clog up all these pages.

      My point is simply that Calvinists (mis)interpret the passage in Romans 3 about ALL of us having venom under our tongue (do we all?) and use that to wipe out the multiple verses in the Bible that tell people to “seek and you shall find.” Christ was talking to thousands of people on that hillside when he said (and millions /billions more who read it now!). His words are insincere if the invitation to seek is only good for, say, 6 people or so on that hillside and .015% of the population who read it now.

      His invitation to “seek first” is sincere. To all who hear it—-not just a select few.

      Like

      1. Good comment…I’d also like to add that Romans 3 is in regards to:

        Romans 10:3 King James Version (KJV)

        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.

        Self Righteousness by the law of Moses = Jews = No one Righteous, no not one.

        Therefore, Romans 3 has a context. Law vs. No Law. And that is the story line in most of Romans…Law vs. No Law.

        Abraham = No Law = Faith
        Jews = Law of Moses = Works
        Christians = No Law = Faith

        FROM FAITH TO FAITH.

        Ed Chapman

        Like

      2. I am going to extend that, then I gotta go to work:

        Abraham = No Law = Faith = RIGHTEOUS
        Jews = Law of Moses = Works = NO ONE RIGHTEOUS, NO NOT ONE
        Christians = No Law = Faith = RIGHTEOUS

        Like

      3. I am going to extend that, then I gotta go to work:

        br.d
        I would alter this slightly so that we don’t have what the author of the book of James calls “Faith without works”.
        And also bring in Paul’s emphasis: περιπατεῖτε Πνεύματι (walk by the spirit)

        Abraham = No Law = Faith with Faith-works = RIGHTEOUS (via attribution of God)
        Jews or Gentiles = Law of Moses (i.e., works of the flesh) = Works-Righteousness = NO ONE RIGHTEOUS, NO NOT ONE
        Mature Christians = Walk by the spirit = Faith with Faith-works = Fulfill the Law = RIGHTEOUS (through Jesus Christ)

        Like

      4. Fromoverhere you really need to read my post because I can tell you did not. And hey I am sorry if I offended in anyway you sounded a little perturbed. “Shots across the bow” I don’t think is any need for that Rhetoric. You got to understand I am here to expose the false teaching Non-Calvinism so I will be saying things that you may not like but not to quarrel but to have an honest brother to brother in Christ discussion. If I misquoted you it was an honest mistake that I will go back and take a strong long meditated look at. As far as my different names on this site, Not sure why this and other things are making you sound so hostile today Fromoverhere. Brother when I began making this site I really was not sure what I wanted it to be so that is why the difference, but since it really has bothered you I will try and see if I can see that it is all matched up and the same. I was going to do that anyway so you could say my site was incomplete and under-construction. I seem to be getting it from everyone hard and firm but that is ok I am hardened in battle but I know if I turn in that direction which I can that is be firm in love there will be many offended just from me not practicing speaking in a calm understanding way and that is how I am going to continue no matter how I am responded to. I think you are a good man Fromoverhere. I can understand why I have frustrated you and I am sorry. I will try and do better sir. You said you could not get the link open but stats to me someone viewed it. Maybe you found another way tho my friend. I will check the link so thank you for pointing that out to me. Ok Fromoverhere I just tried the Link I left on Dr Flowers site Soteriology101 and it worked perfectly. But I believe the best of my brothers until I know otherwise, so when you say the link was not working I believe you. I appreciate you for letting know about misquoting you that i am going to get on right away because I know that in no way serves a discussion well. If I look at it and I do not understand how I misquoted you I may and will ask you to qualify what you are saying and how I misquoted you. I am sure you understand it is just respect. Your still misrepresenting the Reformed Faith in what you have said above I guess round two for you in Romans 3. This misunderstanding (which I cleared up in my response and you should now be understanding what we believe) leads to raw misinterpretation so I have to assume but could be wrong that you did not read the response I gave I will send it to you and then you can make an educated response. But I will respond to what you wrote above also forevermore it is more False Non-Calvinist Teaching that must be exposed. Remember you are my brother, we are just having a discussion, (at least I think you believe I am a Christian I do not think Ed believes I am but that will not offend me) So please do not be offended and let’s in gentleness and love speak back and forth to each other. Yes still call me out on the mistakes I make like misquoting you, I am a big boy I can handle and I sure you can to I only ask we don’t get offended and start shooting shots across the bow in an unChristlike manner. Remember ultimately it does not matter who is right or wrong in this issue. It has been going on for centuries and you or I are not going to figure it out more than likely. But we can treat each other with grace, love and kindness like Dr Flowers does and that is what will glorify the Lord. That being whatever we eat or drink, or whatever we do, do all to the glory of God. I am happy that I have met you Forevermore and pray that our conversations or lively debates will be productive and a blessing and we both will learn as I will change anytime I am wrong. God bless and may the grace of Christ be with you my friend.

        Like

      5. QB,
        I don’t think I can continue with this, just letting you know.

        I am not perturbed in the least! … and cannot see in my posts where that may have come across. I have studied seven other languages, but English is my mother tongue. I am guessing that English is not yours (no offense intended at all). To you there may be a “perturbed” feeling in my language, but I assure you, there are no bad feelings whatsoever!

        Notice I said it “could lead to ‘shots across the bow'”— I in no way accused you of that.

        I said as kindly as I could that multiple names on multiple pages could lead to confusion. Again, friend, that was not a hostile statement in the least.

        I did try several times to open your site, and could not, and told you that. Later, using a different work-around I was able to see it.

        But I hasten to say here: I will not be reading that post or any of your other ones. This is not meant to sound perturbed or hostile. It is just too difficult to read with the little spare time I have. Tips for you: Sentences are a bit too long or run on; Paragraphs are too long. A few too many bumpy syntactical constructions (leading to my comment above). After a while it is just too hard to read.

        Your passion is commendable and you have a great spirit about it!

        Your English is better than any of my other languages!

        But I am afraid with work, and family, and outside ministry opportunities I do not have the time to deal with your long letters. Sorry.

        Like

      6. I had a feeling that was going to happen, Fromoverhere I am not sure why you would say English is not my mother tongue because I speak it very well. I may not write in the way you like and that is fine because if you read all my response I sincerely let you know I was not offended but did sense a little hostility, but maybe it was just frustration because of my long post and I am not an expert writer that you require of me to be it seems. There are no bad feelings here at all. Other than I am a little let down that you are not willing to dig in to my response because I know it is not superficial it it meaty and I am just not going to write one or two small sentences and short paragraphs. I can at times and will. You try to lead me to think that I am upset with you and I am sure that was very kind to you in my response. Maybe a little firm here and there but it was needful and done in love and as you said you have said no bad feelings in the least.

        Then you said, “Notice I said it, could lead to shots across the bow” I did not say anything Fromoverhere about any accusations. English may be your first language but seem to me you have a problem reading in to what people are saying to much. I only asked why would it do that, that is “lead to shots across the bow” So not sure what you are talking about there. I felt no accusations, read closer on these comments and articles and you will find you will not make those mistakes. Or just ask for clarification.

        Then you said, I did try several times to open your site, and could not, and told you that. Later using a different work around.”

        I feel like on everything with you I have to quote you directly and I am not allowed to just paraphrase a little to get on with it or you will be offended for being quoted wrong.

        Like “shots across the bow” their was no misquoting or offense taken by me. I just wanted to know what you meant by that.

        As far as my link not working and you not getting into my site. Fromoverhere you seem to misquote often to or do not read well enough. Not meant to offend. You know me by now friend. I said I believed you when you said you could not get in through the link. Then I said I would check on it and I did and it was working fine. I even said almost the same thing you said. That you must have found another way to the article or my site. Do you see what I mean. Is my English that bad or do you have some problems understanding and I do not mean to offend. Because I am talking about the way I write which is not very good according to you but I promise my friend and brother in Christ I am not offended. But I speak blessing of love in Christ to you. Yes you are right, my sentence are a bit long and run on. I will work on that. I take that criticism with grace even now but still think you could have read it. You spend a lot of time on here brother and it would have took 5 mns to read it. Wow now I am worried about putting mns. I feel like I am in a writing course and you are my instructor, I understand if you do have little spare time and praise God for your ministry opportunities and I know family is very important.

        But now here is where the firm part in love comes in my friend. Like I said you spend a lot of time on here and like to say superficial things and take pop-shots at Calvinists. Your understanding of the Scriptures is way off brother and I think that has a lot as to why you do not want to read that article. It is meaty and weighty and will mean time and having to think. You see that I am well-versed in the scriptures (not being braggadocios) and knowledgeable. I know what you believe, that being Non-Calvinism, I better than you do yourself. Because you exposed yourself Fromoverhere, (remember firmness but in love and not meant to offend) and you are terrible in your understanding of Reformed Soteriology101. I tried to help you but your desire it seems (just my opinion) to hang out and say a few things you think tear down a few bricks on the Calvinists wall, but they do not. You need further study and interaction with those who are trained and skilled in the word of God. Am I an expert in the word. Far from it. I have been told by someone on here who is not a Calvinist that I am very strong in Scriptural understanding and I would consider myself intermediate. I know you are going to retaliate toward me about this. but your excuse about article just does not fly because of the time you spend on here. Yes it would take commitment and leaving out some of the fun stuff you like to do on here but you would finally be seriously engaging a Reformed Believer. I also will not be continuing to read or respond to you Fromoverhere. I may like what you say at times, but just are not serious and I think this is just a hang out for you and that is ok and your prerogative. But if ever really want to have a lively debate in Christ under his umbrella of love, let me know. God bless my friend, the Lord bless you in your ministry efforts and the grace of Christ go with you. If I have offended or just given my own opinion that is not true of you please forgive me.

        Like

      7. Here it is fromoverhere,
        Hi Fromoverhere,

        I am sure we will enjoy talking to each other as Proverbs says as “as iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another. Let me say also in Christ and I to believe I have the Spirit of God if I am show to be wrong on any issue by you or any Non-Calvinist I will admit it and repent right away. I will do away with the whole (Calvinist system) immediately because I know how true Christians can be self-deceived or even blinded by Satan to the truth. So let’s all pray for each other as engage and strive with all our hearts not to offend and be quick to forgive when offended and quick to ask for forgiveness when offended. We are only human still growing in that process of sanctification and becoming like Christ so please remember there will be times when I and us all which I know you all already know all this will blow and sin against each other. I guess I am just saying I am really going to try to do this right, as Dr Leighton does.
        Anyway, in respect, and the love of Christ Fromoverhere I will interact with you now. You are probably saying it is about time. 🙂 I love truthseekers name and I am also a truthseeker. I will start with the positive as to what we do believe and why Reformed Believers are truth seekers and believe because it it communicated and commanded in the word of God.
        Do you remember in Acts 17 where it talks about the people being diligent to search the scripture. Let’s look at it.
        Acts17:10-12 Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews.

        11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.

        12. Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men.
        As Reformed Believers we adhere to this, encourage this and practice ourselves daily, hopefully that is. so many times we all become to lazy or spend to much to doing other things which become idols. One more scripture and then I will address what your misunderstanding that comes from Non-Calvinism (which I am addressing its false teaching) and this has led to a great misrepresentation across the board towards all Reformed Believers. I have told you what we believe and out of respect I ask you to believe that what I have said is true and I am not lying even if you believe I am wrong. But I would ask you to reply in detail saying I believe that you believe what you are saying although I think you are wrong.
        2 Timothy 2:15 – Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
        What a mighty Scripture of the Word of our Holy God of heaven. With great responsibility, we are to present ourselves approved to, studying and being in God’s word day and night with prayer and asking for the assistance of the Holy Spirit, that you will not be ashamed, but rightly handling the word of truth. Other than a couple of other verses that really stick in my mind most of time this is one that really brings fear and reverence to me and makes me see how serious and the great responsibility we have as Christians and Ministers of God in communicating the Word of God’s grace and truth. I like the scriptures that says “live a quiet life and mind your own business and the one in Psalm 119 that just simply say but is staggering in its importance in holiness and sanctification before God. It says, “do no wrong” Then there is this verse which brings Holy Fear on me when i read it because I know that right doctrine or teaching renewing the mind by the Spirit of God leads to right living that pleases the Lord Jesus Christ and brings pleasure to the heart of the Living Holy God of Love. Brother you have to believe I am a truth seeker or at least think I am mixed up or something but I truly hope you do not think I am on purpose trying twist the scriptures.Now for what you communicated. I will analyze and meditate on it to see if you have represented the Reformed Faith Correctly which I do not think you have at this time. But let’s see. I would reject immediately to you calling the Reformed Faith and its System of Belief a philosophy, we believe that the Reformed Faith is the closest and purest to the actual Scriptures, the very word of God. Now I am not saying there is no philosophy within what we believe, but we are satisfied that our System of belief predominately is based on the truth of the word of God. All systems of belief have their form and basis of philosophy within them including the False teaching of Non-Calvinism. I probably need to come up with a different name other that false or express it another way because i do not believe all that Non-Calvinist teach is man’s wisdom and twisted philosophy. There are a lot of things I agree with you Fromoverhere and other Non-Calvinist but in the area of Soteriology there is this same conflict that has been going on for centuries and it will continue.

        Verse 9 starts off with Paul anticipating a questions or one that had already been asked of him. The question ask Paul is “what then, are we Jews any better off?” The apostle Paul answers emphatically with a negative by saying, “No not at all” This can also be translated, “God Forbid or away with such a thought or may such a thing never be.” The Jews have no advantage at all when it comes to God’s impartial judgement of every person (Jew or Greek) “according to his or her work” Paul was saying in a sense, “we have already accused all people, Jew and Gentile alike, THAT ALL ARE UNDER SIN. Remember this that all people even to this day Jew and Gentile are under sin, condemned, under the curse of damnation and hell if they are not a CHRISTIAN BEING IN CHRIST. Paul is making a comprehensive indictment of humanity in Romans 1:18-2:29 I did not leave our verse. Remember we can talk about the verses immediate surrounding context and the larger surrounding context before we import other Scripture. Let the Word of God Speak for itself I am only making a quick reference as to what has been going on and what the Apostle Paul has been teaching. You will see all Jews who are sinners will be brought before God Romans 2:1-29 and the Gentile first in Romans 1:19b-32. And both, Jew and Gentile will be brought before the Divine bar and found they are all under sin and found wanting. All people who have not experienced God’s righteousness by Faith In Christ are “under sin” leading to some serious consequences as we will see down below. This shows the desperate message for the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be preached indiscriminately to every man, woman , boy and girl no matter what nationality or orientation. The problem is not that people just commit sin they are enslaved to sin, willing slaves, loving and taking pleasure in the lust of the flesh and desires of the mind and the wrath of God is on all the sons of disobedience.

        Like

      8. I will be awaiting your response and rebuttal to my post my friend. Sorry for the mix-up I am going to check my misquoting of you now. Probably me just getting to much in a hurry. I ask your forgiveness and thanks for the rebuke.

        Like

    2. QB,
      I responded about the “seeking” idea and the misquote.

      Much of Romans was written to show that no one gets a free pass just cuz they are from Abraham’s Jewish line. In Romans 4 Paul reminds us all about Abraham’s faith, and he states very clearly that faith is not a work (that is also a must in Calvinism: human faith must be a “work” for Calvinist philosophy).

      So the point in Romans 3 is not that we all have ‘venom under our lips!’ It is a poetic composite of several OT passages that remind us that no one would seek God or deserve God (not even the Jews). We all know that. He needs to call us! And He does!

      We see Christ later saying “when I am lifted up I will call all men to myself.”

      We see Him saying to a huge crowd, “Seek first the kingdom of God.”

      Now….. when I was a Calvinist….. I could look at this passage and say….. that does not seem like a very sincere invitation from Christ. He knows He is only inviting a very, very, very few people and yet He makes it look like the invitation is to all who can hear Him (and all who read the passage after that).

      Is that a sincere invitation from Christ….When He says “seek first the kingdom” ?

      Can you read your Bible with an unbeliever and say —— “See, Christ is calling you to ‘seek first the kingdom.'”?

      If you are a Calvinist, technically you cannot say to your friend “seek first the kingdom” since that person is “too dead.” The invitation is insincere unless (according to Calvin) that person is regenerated first, then “allowed” (which is irresistibly forced) to seek.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. FOH, Good work trying to get comments back on mark. There appears to be some serious effort being put forth to derail and misdirect. Came on awfully quick. Too quick to be a coincidence. I try to ignore hijackers. My goal is to discuss the the vital points presented in this blog that frequently confuse and deceive those confronted by Reformed Theology in its newest incarnation.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Fromoverhere my friend I do not mean to keep bothering you but you said something about multiple post on my site. I know I made a mistake and posted one article twice but as far a more than one post on site of course there are going to be more it being my site and I like to write as you can see I am long-winded my friend and I hope that does not frighten you away but challenges you to dig in. Thanks for your understanding as always and hey I think I fixed the names on my site, there will be Ralph and QB that will not change. 🙂

        Like

      3. Hi qballinthehouse

        On the length of posts – over the years we have seen participants post what would be in document form – many pages.
        Expecting someone to drudge through a post the size of a small booklet is counter productive.
        I think you’ll observe a much higher level of participation to posts which concentrate on one or two specific points.

        You can always review the size of posts already here at SOT101 to get an idea of what is generally thought of as considerate and answererable.

        Thanks,
        br.d

        Like

      4. yes thanks br. d I will take your advice into consideration. I was trying to just link my longer responses to my site but Fromoverhere said the link was not working. I find that one or two sentences or small paragraphs are just superficial and do not benefit anyone. If you really want to engage a Reformed believer you have to be ready to dig in to what is meaty and weighty. So I would say that little paragraphs and small sentences are counter-productive especially when one person uses what I call the scatter-gun technique meaning many assertions, much scripture without any exegesis, So maybe this sight is just not for me. I want to engage with people deeply and not superficially. Do not mean to offend and I think you know me by now that I came in the Spirit of Christ with words of kindness and now I guess I will leave and depart the same way. You guys seem to have a good little hangout here where you can pat yourselves on the back and tell Dr Flowers how great his articles are but there is no real lively debate in godly love under the umbrella of Christ. God bless and the grace of Christ always be with you brother. Sorry to disagree with your advice but I have to be honest. Elvis has left the building 🙂

        Like

      5. Oh one last thing, if you look at what I wrote it would have took 5 mns to read. So it was not many pages long. Yes it would have to some time and effort to engage but I thought that is what you guys wanted, my bad

        Like

      6. No problem – its all a mater of social dynamics.

        We get feedback from others.
        We learn what is effectual.
        And sometimes we can be surprised at what others can discern about our maturity in the Lord.

        Like

      7. br.d It is way more than social dynamics my friend. I am sure you do get feedback and I am happy for you all. What is effectual for some is not for others so no offense taken my brother. But your being effectual is 50 gotcha Calvinists assertions. I just realize I do not belong here. I have been the first to say that Dr Flowers is a very godly Christlike man. During the free-will debate he really impressed me how he was so firm in patience and kindness and those two professing christian Calvinist were so rude to Dr Flowers and His co-partner. Also I will be the first to admit I have a lot of maturing in the Lord and the grace of holiness myself but so do those on this site Sir. Think about what I said if you want true interaction with Reformed Believers or you just want Calvinist bashing and false accusations that we are just following John Calvin. Even I was accused of that and other things but I have been battled hardened and those things just role right off my back like water off a duck. So I would say in love that maybe someone needs to start maturing a few on here because I did not come here doing that. But not willing to seriously engage in conversation. that I cannot tolerate. You should monitor this site and only allow Christlike activity operate here. But you seem satisfied that you and those on your site are mature in the Lord. I know there are good brothers here but I just misjudged what kind of site it was. A site for Dr Flowers articles so he could be praised and then I hate to say it but misunderstandings and misrepresentations of the Reformed faith and everyone patting each other on the back. God bless and Christ grace be with you always. So adios amigos God bless and Christ grace be with you always

        Like

      8. Hi qballinthehouse

        Let me address the highlights

        qb
        But your being effectual is 50 gotcha Calvinists assertions.
        br.d
        This comment doesn’t make sense.

        qb
        I just realize I do not belong here
        br.d
        I don’t see the validity of this statement.
        Its my observation that participants here don’t’ have time or interest if they suspect their dealing with a game player.
        And participants here have seen a few of those come and go.

        qb
        interaction with Reformed Believers
        br.d
        This is the difficult part.
        Sometimes difficult quite frankly because of the degree to which Reformed believers rely upon dishonest language tricks.
        Sometimes difficult because Reformed believers can auto-magically assume themselves the high and mighty ones.
        Sometimes difficult because non-Calvinists are often not prepared or interested in dealing with the games Reformed believers play

        qb
        false accusations that we are just following John Calvin.
        br.d
        We’ve heard this alot – Calvinists want to argue they are not following Calvin.
        And it simply turns out to be false – they’ve just convinced themselves – for the sake of their self-image.

        qb
        Even I was accused – maybe someone needs to start maturing a few on here because I did not come here doing that.
        br.d
        Perhaps this is a reference to dialog with Truthseeker I think he already dispelled this as inaccurate.

        qb
        not willing to seriously engage in conversation. that I cannot tolerate
        br.d
        This is simply a cop-out
        There are rules for civil engagement and people don’t appreciate religious gamers whether Calvinists or otherwise.
        So if people suspect someone is playing games, their going to discontinue dialog in that context.

        qb
        misunderstandings and misrepresentations of the Reformed faith
        br.d
        We’ve heard this all to often and it always turns out to be the pot calling the kettle black.
        Calvinism has been very precisely analyzed within Christian philosophy.
        Theological Determinism and its psychological byproducts existed before Christ, with the Stoics, and then with NeoPlatonism – which Augustine synchronized into Catholic doctrine and which Calvin made popular in the 16th century.
        More than one of the participants here at SOT101 were serious Calvinist ministries who came out of her.

        qb
        God bless and Christ grace be with you always
        br.d
        Yes thank you – that is appreciated! – Christ grace be with you also! :-]

        Like

      9. Did not mean to get under your skin and I can see I did. As far as a game player you cannot see my sir only God can as I truthfully came there to interact in a way that would be glorifying to God but you seem to think you have me figured out and judging before it is time is a no no in the bible br.d. I was just calling like I seen it and you got a little angry so I ask you to forgive me and pray the best for this sight. I am sure you have heard a lot of what I am may have said like “misrepresentation” so why could we not just have a civil conversation about it. Like your Determinism shot is not true and is something you do not understand we could have discussed that. Listen to Chris Date and Dr Flowers on Youtube concerning compatablism which includes Determinism and you will see that Chris Date explains it very well answering all of Dr Flowers misunderstandings and misrepresentations. I hope you feel better now after a post of accusing me falsely of just wanting to play games. br.d I promise that is not what I wanted to do. Brother please believe me. Saying that I am just copping out?!?!?!? Br.d did you even read why I wrote that, because I seriously do not feel you can discuss the False Teachings of Non-Calvinism in a couple of short sentences. That is not a cop-out that is reality and that was you in hostility or frustration knowing that I am right or just wanting to have something to say because they got offended from my post. If you suspected me as a religious gamer why did you not just call me out on it immediately. I would never do that sir. I showed respect that was genuine. So you without any idea of Fromoverhere heart or being able to see my heart start playing God and say that I was just playing games so he discontinued the dialog or something to that effect. That is not right for you to say in the eyes of God my brother. I have not come in here falsely accusing any of you the way you are doing me and you all are always complaining about how rude and disrespectful the Reformed Believer. Your right the pot is black said the kettle. Their was no reason for you to even answer back I said nothing but what I felt was true, but your flesh could not handle it. Is that maturity? I do not think so. I am sure I will be banned because the pot is black said the kettle. I already said I will not be posting here anymore so please stop sending me post i do not want to do this it is not worthy of the Gospel we both are sinning against God. So I ask you to forgive me and why did you have to say that Christ grace be with you also with a smiley face knowing that I would know you are just a gamer being blasphemous with the words of God. Please brother only so those words when you mean it. I am sorry that I have offended and said things I should not have. I had high hopes here. I tried to bow out gracefully but you would not allow me to but attacked me in the flesh with the prince of the power of the air influencing you all the way. So let’s just let their be silence now so that God will not be offended anymore or blasphemed. I have confessed that I have sinned and asked you to forgive me and ask that you please do not attack me again. God bless and the Grace of Christ be with you always

        Like

      10. I’m going to take the time to answer this – with the hopes it will be helpful – but its obviously going in circles.
        And I’m not sure it isn’t counter productive.

        qb:
        Did not mean to get under your skin
        br.d
        You certainly didn’t get under my skin – don’t know why you thought that – no need to worry about it.

        qb:
        you seem to think you have me figured out and judging before it is time
        br.d
        No judging – I’m familiar with most of the angles and games Calvinists are mentored in.

        qb:
        hope you feel better now after a post of accusing me falsely of just wanting to play games
        br.d
        No accusation on my part – just familiar with the games Calvinists play.
        But if someone argues they are not a follower of Calvin – then it logically follows they wouldn’t assume this would apply to them anyway.

        ab:
        your Determinism shot is not true and is something you do not understand we could have discussed that
        br.d
        If you think a statement I made about Theological Determinism is not logically valid – I’m happy to entertain a logical dialog concerning it.

        qb:
        Dr Flowers misunderstandings and misrepresentations
        br.d
        Again – we’ve heard this strategy ad nauseum – it always turns out to be false.
        Most of the time when a Calvinist says “you don’t understand Calvinism” what he really means is “you don’t enunciate it using Calvinist euphemistic double-speak.”

        qb:
        I hope you feel better now after a post of accusing me falsely
        br.d
        See my previous response to this false appeal

        qb:
        I have not come in here falsely accusing any of you the way you are doing me and you all are always complaining
        br.d
        No complaining – see my previous response to this false appeal

        qb:
        your flesh could not handle it
        br.d
        This strategy is not worth a reasoned response

        qb:
        I ask you to forgive me
        br.d
        I don’t think you’ve done anything worthy of needing my forgiveness.

        qb:
        you are just a gamer being blasphemous with the words of God.
        br.d
        To make personal attacks on others while arguing that others are doing that to you when they aren’t is self-defeating.
        This tactic doesn’t serve well.

        qb:
        I am sorry that I have offended and said things I should not have.
        br.d
        There appears to be a pattern of swinging between two excessive extremes here.
        Accusing one minute and then asking for forgiveness the next – odd behavior.

        qb:
        I tried to bow out gracefully but you would not allow me to but attacked me in the flesh with the prince of the power of the air – God will not be offended anymore or blasphemed.
        br.d
        More of the same pattern of excessive extremes – this tactic is ineffectual.

        qb:
        God bless and the Grace of Christ be with you always
        br.d
        Again this is appreciated – and the Grace of Christ be with you always also! :-]

        Like

      11. Very Superficial and childish ,time to grow up dude. may the Grace of Christ be with you and the Spirit if need be Sovereignly regenerate you 🙂 Time for bed, I get one smiley face comment

        Like

      12. qb:
        Very Superficial and childish ,time to grow up dude. may the Grace of Christ be with you and the Spirit if need be Sovereignly regenerate you 🙂 Time for bed, I get one smiley face comment

        br.d
        This is called reverse attribution. :-]

        Like

      13. You make a lot assertions my brother in Christ without one bit of biblical support. I wish you would have used the word of God. I am still looking for the misquote. Not to mention a scatter-gun technique where a person would have to write a book to answer every subject. Reformed Believers have to be long-winded. Your post is full of the False teaching of Non-Calvinism. But we are not longer responding to each other. So be it. God bless and may the grace of Christ be with you

        Like

      14. Just one last thing since you belittled me about my English although I am not offended but you need to be more kind and not speak in that manner in the future, I just don’t understand with your high intellect of knowing 6 or 7 languages you cannot understand what the Reformed Faith is saying and you actually being one. I guess that is one language that will take the Spirit of God to teach you. But your many false assertions above not understanding audience relevance, historical relevance, who is a Christian and who is not in the passages of Scripture makes your understanding and ability to interpret the Scriptures suspect. Actually from what I see and I do not mean to offend you just cannot do it unless you can just write a couple of short sentences in English. They have many free Christian classes you take online Fromoverhere I would encourage you as a brother in Christ to let that be the next language you learn. God bless and I will now leave you alone and look elsewhere I am actually preparing to minister to two JW in a couple of weeks so pray for me that they will come to Christ and the door will be opened for more ministry. I will now take some time away from here because I am sure I will now be seen in a different light because I am a Reformed Believer who stood up for himself and firmly rebuked my brother in Christ.

        Like

  20. I think my editing left much to be desired. IMO, this blog sheds light on things that confuse and deceive, it does not confuse and deceive. But y’all know what I mean. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I wanted to raise the flag again concerning Calvinist’s use of the label “Reformed Believers” or “Reformed Faith”.

    The Reformation officially started, with the first dissenter who was able to survive being murdered by the Roman church.
    And that for all practical purposes, would be Martin Luther.
    Generations of dissenters of various stripes followed Luther, including John Calvin – some 20 years later.
    Martin Luther was not a follower of John Calvin’s doctrines and there were other “stepchildren” also not followers of Calvin.

    So the argument” I’m not a follower of Calvin I’m a “Reformed Believer” when made by a Calvinist – is simply a camouflage tactic.

    Like

    1. Open rebuke is better than concealed love. God forgive me because i said I would not post on here again but br.d speaks from a sinful lying heart out of sinful zeal without true knowledge. It seems you have not done your homework on Luther and Calvin br.d and do not understand that they had much in common when it came to their beliefs and understanding of Holy Scriptures. You sinfully assert without knowledge or from the sinful lying knowledge of your heart that basically their “doctrines’ or teachings were not related. Of course Martin Luther was not a follower of John Calvin but followed the Lord Jesus Christ as Reformed Believers also do which you sinfully lie and say we co not but that “we say were not a follower of John Calvin but a Reformed Believer which is is simply a camouflage tactic.”

      Was I right about this site or not. You love to just lie and play God as if you can peer into our hearts and say WE FOLLOW JOHN CALVIN EVEN WHEN WE SINCERELY TELL YOU IT IS THE WORD OF GOD AND BEING CHRIST CENTERED IS WHAT MOTIVATES US, May the Lord rebuke your lying tongue BR.D for cursing God’s people. Also you do know (no in my opinion you do not know) Luther was much older than Calvin. I have read much of Calvin and Luther and they say much of the same thing. They both for the most part line up with God’s word. So take down your flag and repent in the name of Christ BR,D. You will not because of to much pride you will think you are bowing before a caaaaalllllvinnnist. And I just think you are a brother in Christ who is just deceived a little but who i will worship forever in heaven and throughout eternity. Yes there is two patterns because I know I am sinful and I am not blameless in this and I just read your last post and your little one liners are so ridiculous. You think you have the Reformed Believers figured out (or Calvinist) but you do not, what is in your head is deceptions and lies and I sense much hostility. Which I know you like to deny but brother it is there. You have a strong distaste for Reformed Believers. I am a Reformed Believer who followers Jesus Christ not John Calvin. Am I a liar BR.D or are you going to say I am just deceived. I have heard that one to many times so please don’t go there. OWN IT!!

      Like

      1. qb – I won’t replay any of this post as it isn’t content I would feel to repeat.
        I was correct – this dialog is going in circles – and with this last post it degraded to a lower level.

        br.d

        Like

      2. No the last post was true of your demeanor Sir. If you are insisting we are just following John Calvin then you are calling us liars and I asked you to come right out and say it. It is not going in circles. That is just a debate tactic you are using to evade this real issue at hand. When you said about it not getting under your skin but I must have meant my skin that was childish and your one liners I chuckle at most of them because of the evasion and the fact that you are bankrupt and you know you do not believe Reformed believers are orthodox in the faith and you need to quit lying about and just say it and quit being so silly and superficial with your one liners.

        br.d I really wish it would not have come to this. You said I was going back and forth, well that is what our flesh does. the flesh fights against the Spirit and the Spirit against the Flesh so that we cannot do the things we wish. I usually for terrible if a conversation goes in this direction. I know I am not without sin and I do ask you and God for forgiveness. but you needed to be firmly rebuked in loved and not gently talked to where the truth is concealed. No it did not go in circles. get rid of your rehearsed one line debate tactics, grow up and really get serious about the word of God and this topic if you really care. But do not let it consume your life. I have other ministry opportunities coming up in my life. Soon with the JW’s and I am excited that the God of heaven may save some souls. I also will have so preaching opportunities and then in 2019 or 2020 we will be going back to the Philippines to feed them and preach the gospel so please pray for God’s blessing upon that. I have been there seeing kids, little kids sleeping under cardboard on the side of the road in Manila some were dying and others I seen were dead and being removed. I immediately began to weep because I realize how good God has been to us here, then here me and you are fussing are how a person is saved. God have mercy on us!!!!!

        Like

      3. br.d please stop, this is just not right from either of us. You see why I used the word childish. Christ is not glorified by most of what both of us have written and you keep using your short one line debate tactics that have no effect on me. How old are u any way? Yes none of my business just curious so no need to sarcastically respond if u do not want to tell me. It is not tactics you are wrongfully and disingenuously telling Reformed Believers or Christians who do not believe the Bible exactly the way you do they are followers of John Calvin. You have no way of proving that and when they tell you Christ is the center of their lives you out of the abundance of your heart which comes lies fornication and all sin accuse them of being liars when it is your sinful zeal that makes you a liar. You did not answer my question br.d, are Calvinist, Reformed believers, Christians , real believers in Christ. Since you can peer into the heart as God can and not only see the outward side of man what do is your judgement on that. Do not contradict yourself. I bet your to afraid to answer that. May the grace of Christ be with you always. I am on to your tactics also

        Like

      4. At calling us liars, you have done a tremendous Job br.d, it took you that long to come up with that. Wow you are definitely not ready for a real debate my friend

        Like

      5. qb:
        At calling US liars,

        br.d
        I have two questions on this one:

        1) Who is “US”?

        2) Please provide the quote here where I called someone a liar.

        The rest of this post was just more anger and I won’t carry that forward.

        Like

      6. Come on BR.D are Calvinists real genuine born again Christians saved by the blood of Christ who will be in heaven with you some day? Quit evading the question and answer it? But be careful how you answer and I am writing just a short paragraph.

        Like

      7. qb:
        Come on BR.D are Calvinists real genuine born again Christians saved by the blood of Christ who will be in heaven with you some day? Quit evading the question and answer it? But be careful how you answer and I am writing just a short paragraph.

        br.d
        These short posts are a good improvement – the others contained too many points to respond to.
        Sorry qb – you’re not going to goad me into making a statement I can’t make.

        And besides I’m surprised you would assert it as unquestionable that all Calvinists are REAL genuine Christians – when Calvin himself teaches – quote “In this church are mingled many hypocrites who have nothing of Christ but the name and outward appearance”.

        According to Calvin no man knows (and that includes you) if you’re REALLY saved or not because that is the -quote “Secret will of God”.
        One either believes Calvin is right on this point or not – but I’ve seen Calvinists who exhibited double-think on this point also.

        Like

      8. I am sorry for that last comment, maybe you just do not know how to type, yes I make a lot of typos but I can type

        Like

      9. I’m starting to see that is the case.
        I was hoping the anger tactics would settle down – but that may not be realistic thinking. :-]

        Thanks for the nudge!

        Like

      10. Most people get pretty fast even with the one finger method typing but for you well I just don’t know. If anything else is said here tonight by you I just want to know do you believe Calvinist are true genuine Christians like you saved by the blood of Christ and will be in heaven one day? Please do not evade anymore. it seems as if you are scared to answer the question. Cmon be a man and stand up for what you really believe. Christ grace be with you always Br.d my complicated friend

        Like

      11. Please answer the question, now you are starting to look like a coward, do not be afraid to defend the faith once delivered to the saints. If Calvinists are not true genuine Christians like you saved by the blood of Christ and will spend eternity in heaven you have a responsibility to let the true Christians know and to explain from Scriptures why. But it seems you are to cowardly and afraid and will evade this question for some reason. I am speaking in small paragraphs.You know God will cast the cowardly into the lake of fire including liars.

        Revelations 21:8 – But to the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and sexually immoral and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their place will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. This is the second death.”
        If you are ashamed of Christ before man he will be ashamed of you before his heavenly and the Holy angels. So are the Calvinists genuine Christians. Don’t give me a big evasion speech, just tell me yes or no

        Like

      12. qb:
        You did not answer my question br.d, are Calvinist, Reformed believers, Christians , REAL believers in Christ.

        br.d
        A person is either a professing Christian or not.
        Whether they are a REAL believer or not is not for me to judge.
        That doesn’t mean they are without sins – so it can be the case the a professing Calvinist can be intellectually dishonest (which a lot of them are) and still be a REAL believer. But whether he is a REAL believer or is not – is not for me to judge.

        qb:
        Since you can peer into the heart as God can and not only see the outward side of man what do is your judgement on that. Do not contradict yourself. I bet your to afraid to answer that.

        br.d
        Peer into the heart of God – too funny!
        I think you are referring to my observation of Calvinists and the games they play.
        One does not have to peer into the heart of God for those observations as those fruits are not that difficult to identify.
        But you’ll notice I don’t state that observation concerning “Reformed” believers – just Calvinists.

        Like

      13. Why are you a follower of Leighton Flowers and not Jesus Christ, don’t try to get out of it. You know it is true. Thou shalt not no other gods before (in my presence) me whatsoever) yet you are a Leighton worshiper of the false teaching Non-Calvinism. Not a tactic the truth. Leighton has made this the crusade of his life. I do think he very Christlike and godly in his interactions with other Reformed Believers but I bet he does not preach (just an opinion) one sermon without bringing the false teaching of Non-Calvinism in somewhere.

        Like

      14. I figured you would be faster with those empty one liners and since you address very little of what I write any way. Do I need to light a fire under you. Just kidding I should be sleeping but you have made this interesting with your one liner empty lying deceitful tactics always saying yell we heard that one before or now were going in circles. Don’t have to be if you really want to engage in a real lively debate under the umbrella of Christ Love. But that you will not do, it is safe on Dr Flowers site where you can thrash and bash and be patted on the back and not really have to engage in a real discussion that would take time, thinking and study.

        Like

  22. Dr. Flowers writes, “can it be demonstrated to mean that mankind is born morally unable to willingly respond to God Himself, as the Calvinists presume?”

    I think Dr. Flowers means to address whether people can respond to Christ. Depraved people can respond to God as we see in Romans 1. depraved people also can respond to the gospel as we read in 1 Corinthians 1. In each case, the response is negative. A positive response to Christ can only be made through faith and this can happen only after “hearing” the gospel. Jesus often said, “Let he who has ears to hear…” Not everyone who physically hears the gospel has ears to hear.

    Like

    1. rhutchin:
      A positive response to Christ can only be made through faith and this can happen only after “hearing” the gospel.

      br.d
      This point is superfluous to Theological Determinism – which posits that all human activities including every neurological impulse are predetermined before that human was borne.

      With Theological Determinism, it logically follows:
      A positive response can only be made at time-T where it was the case (at the foundation of the world) that the THEOS determined that specific (neurological activity) occur at time-T. And this obviously includes the neurological activity of “hearing” as well as every other neurological impulse/activity.

      Hence the robot theology. :-]

      Like

  23. Conclusion to this article

    I know will not get on the main web site of Dr Flowers because it will show you to be one BR.D who is full of sinful zeal against the Reformed faith even willing to lie about Luther and Calvin, but here is the ending to that article I thought you should read it. It is short and not to hart to understand so maybe you will

    “In conclusion, with brevity, George succeeds in detailing the similarities and differences between the lives and theologies of Luther and Calvin. As shown above, George believes their similarities in the Reformation essentials are greater than their differences. He argues that Calvin received the Reforming baton from Luther, and fleshed out Reformation theology more than his predecessor (166). Calvin however built upon a foundation laid by Luther. According to George, both of these men were used by God to restore the gospel to His church (166).”

    Like

    1. All of this because br.d stated Martin Luther was not a follower of John Calvin whose doctrines came some 20 years after Luther.

      Obviously Lutherans don’t consider themselves followers of John Calvin – and yet consider themselves “Reformed Believers” and of the “Reformed Faith” as do the Anabaptists and today the Baptists – and followers of Jacobus Arminius whom history classifies as a Dutch “Reformed” theologian.

      So there is an obvious distinction between followers of John Calvin and followers of other groups classified as “Reformed”.

      Calvinists often seek to evade the implications of their association with Calvin – by arguing they are not following the unique distinctions of his doctrines – when they actually are. This functions as an example of the games Calvinists play.

      Like

  24. This is a little off topic, but still very much connected to the big concept of God’s sovereignty. I was reading Proverbs 20:24 in the NASB version, and it says very clearly that, ” Man’s steps are ordained by the Lord , How then can man understand his way?”
    Even if my ordained steps include God allowing me to freely choose Him for salvation, it doesn’t allow much wiggle room for free will in most of our life decisions if we are to take this verse seriously.
    How are we to properly understand this, without doing spiritual gymnastics to please our free willing slant?

    Like

    1. It’s a good question, Ellah. The Proverbs are a genre of literature known as wisdom literature. They are not meant to be teaching absolute theological truths, but wise sayings that are generally true. For instance, in that same Proverb, Solomon writes, “Do not love sleep, or you will become poor; Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with food.” Is it an absolute theological truth that if I open my eyes I will be satisfied with food? Or if I love sleep I’ll be poor? Of course not. I just better watch my love of sleep so that I do not become lazy. So if you don’t take those sayings with the same weight as “Man’s steps are ordained by the Lord” then you’re being inconsistent with your hermeneutic.

      So how should we take the “Man’s steps are ordained by the Lord”? I think the very next phrase in the couplet explains it. “How then can man understand his way?” Solomon is using an illustration of the Lord’s knowledge as a contrast to our knowledge. That seems to be a theme of Proverbs 20. Man should have a healthy doubt that he understands his own way, since only God knows fully.

      Further, what would you do with a passage like Deut 30:19-20, wherein the Lord claims to lay a choice before Israel, “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, 20by loving the LORD your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”

      So, is God lying then? Or just being tricky? I don’t think you would say so. So in what way has God “set before [Israel] life and death” and exhorts them to “choose life in order that you may live” if He ordains all of their steps?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. EK writes, “{Proverbs] are not meant to be teaching absolute theological truths, but wise sayings that are generally true.”

        As Paul wrote, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;” Thus, even the Proverbs are “true” and not “generally true.” However, as you note, the proverbs may use symbolic language that should not be understood in a pure physical sense. “Do not love sleep” can refer to the need to work and not being idle. A person who works earns money with which he buys food. This seems to be what you were explaining so even you don’t really seem to hold to your generally true statement or else you would have immediately provided obvious exceptions to the rule.

        Then, “…what would you do with a passage like Deut 30:19-20, …”

        The promise here is certain and highly desirable. The response seems obvious – all choose life. Unfortunately, not all choose life and in the case of Israel very few chose life. It was so bad that by the time of Elijah, God told him that he had reserved only 7,000 out of a population of several million to serve Him. How is that possible? Given the incredible promises God gave to Israel, and has given to people today, what explains the high number of people rejecting God. That is the issue that Calvinism seeks to explain. The answer, for the Calvinists, is original sin and total depravity. If you don’t like the conclusion that the Calvinists came to, that is fine – give us an alternative explanation. Even the Arminians agreed with the Calvinists on this.

        Like

      2. Eric,
        Dont fall for that trap of nonsensical logic.

        Everyone agrees about Proverbs. Even Fatalist-Piper agrees saying it here:

        “Because the real nature of most proverbs is not a rule that is used the same way in all circumstances at all times.

        Rather, a proverb is often a recommended way of acting that will be wise in some settings and not in others. Or: A general observation of experience that is very often true and useful, but not always true in every situation. The same act may be wise in one setting, but foolish in another. The same fact may hold in one situation and not in another.”

        Like

      3. Rhutchin writes:
        ‘The promise here is certain and highly desirable. The response seems obvious – all choose life.’

        This is a marvelous illustration of exactly what br.d. suggested:
        ‘We comprehend [scripture] so that it conforms to what we subconsciously hold as unquestionable truth. That is how theologians in the past became convinced scriptures teach the earth is flat – and were willing to kill those who didn’t read it that way.

        If one’s interpretation of the text leads one to a false conclusion – then where is the weakness – except in what one holds as unquestionable truth, which one automatically reads into the text.’

        I do not intend to be facetious. I have made, and sadly continue to make this mistake again and again! We simply cannot trust either our own casual interpretations, nor – dare I say it? – even the revered, orthodox interpretations of this or that revered authority, be it a man, a denomination or the entire institution of Historical Christianity.

        That does not make one a ‘heretic’, in spite of the many attempts by said authorities of said institutions to declare this to be so! Rather, it makes one a ‘Berean’, and an obedient servant of God, who searches the scriptures diligently and seeks the assistance of God’s own Spirit to continually widen one’s understanding. This is only threatening to those who desire to retain ‘authority’ over others.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. ts00 writes, “If one’s interpretation of the text leads one to a false conclusion…”

        It is not the interpretation of the text that is at issue but how those who hear the words spoken in the text might have been expected to react to what was said. In this case, the text expresses God’s promise to Israel. Moses lists all the blessings of obedience and curses of disobedience The promise is such that each person who heard it should have responded positively to it – by choosing life and obedience to God. Yet, we find that Israel does not. That decision is incomprehensible, is it not?? So, how would you explain it?

        Like

      5. Rhuchin, since I, and countless others have answered that very question repeatedly here, I would suggest it is up to you to dig through old posts and refresh your failing memory.

        Like

      6. ts00 writes, ” I would suggest it is up to you to dig through old posts and refresh your failing memory.”

        I don’t really think people have answered that question. Maybe someone will have pity on me and provide the alleged answer again.

        Like

      7. I might add, were the ‘choice’ to ‘choose life’ so ‘obvious’ and irresistible, it would not likely have been presented as such a signigicant ‘choice’.

        Like

      8. rhuthcin
        What would you do with a passage like Deut 30:19-20, …” – Unfortunately, not all choose life and in the case of Israel very few chose life

        br.d
        This is in fact a good example of a view that entails a God who is either irrational or bears false witness.

        If Theological Determinism is true, then they “all choose” whatever the THEOS at the foundation of the world determine them to choose.

        And the THEOS does not empower them to “do otherwise” than what he determines them to choose.

        But then this same THEOS speaks to them *AS-IF* that is false – leading them to falsely believe they can “do otherwise”?

        Either it logically follows:
        This THEOS does not “speak the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth” when he speaks.
        Or
        The philosophical construct of Theological Determinism is flawed.

        Like

      9. Our puny little minds have enough trouble comprehending the almighty, incomprehensible God. Do we really think he would deliberately play games with us, misleading us when he could just as easily clearly state what he means, wants, desires, does and has done, instead of – according to Calvinism – choosing to hide his workings to all but the chosen John Calvin, who then revealed God’s mysteries for all to understand? Exactly what reason would God have for doing this, rather than, say using Paul to reveal the mystery of the gospel? Oh yeah, that’s what he did. Calvin just didn’t like his version, so invented his own.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. ts00 writes, “Do we really think [God] would deliberately play games with us, misleading us when he could just as easily clearly state what he means, wants, desires, does and has done, instead of – according to Calvinism – choosing to hide his workings to all but the chosen…”

        There are very few mysteries according to Calvinism. Certainly, salvation is not a mystery. John 3:16 is clear, “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” Regardless how one defines “world,” the message is clear – those believing in Christ will have eternal life. Given the choice between perishing and eternal life, the rational person will choose eternal life; they will choose to believe Christ. This tells us that those who reject Christ do not think rationally and if they are unable to think rationally, they cannot be said to have “truly free choice” as Ronnie Rogers says they do.

        Like

      11. Rhutchin writes:
        ‘Given the choice between perishing and eternal life, the rational person will choose eternal life; they will choose to believe Christ. This tells us that those who reject Christ do not think rationally. . .’

        The error being, scripture tells us exactly why people make the ‘irrational’ choice to reject God’s offer of forgiveness and life. They reject the light because they love their sin, and seek to remain in darkness. Romans explains quite well why men choose evil, and why they have no ‘excuse’, including the inability to think rationally:

        For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse; for although they knew God they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man or birds or animals or reptiles.

        Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever! Amen.

        For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error.

        And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct. They were filled with all manner of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity, they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them but approve those who practice them.

        Like

      12. ts00 writes, “The error being, scripture tells us exactly why people make the ‘irrational’ choice to reject God’s offer of forgiveness and life.”

        Actually, it does. In John 6, “No one can come to (believe in) me…” John 3, “No one can see the kingdom of God…no one can enter the kingdom of God (be saved).” So, the Calvinist concludes that the totally depraved as described in John 3 and 6 reject salvation. This is because they have not received faith.

        Then, “They reject the light because they love their sin, and seek to remain in darkness. Romans explains quite well why men choose evil, and why they have no ‘excuse’, including the inability to think rationally:”

        However, this applies to those who are without faith (as you describe in the citation from Romans, “For what can be known about God is plain to them…”). Does it apply to chose who have received faith? No, say the Calvinists.

        Like

      13. rhutchin:
        So, the Calvinist concludes that the totally depraved as described in John 3 and 6 reject salvation. This is because they have not received faith.

        br.d
        Well again what we have here is a half-truth masquerading as the whole-truth.

        In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) every event is caused by an antecedent event.
        Every event occurs within a causal chain, – so trace back up through each link of that chain until you get to the source.

        In this case the source/origin is what Aquinas called the “unmoved mover”.
        And for the Calvinist there is only one “unmoved mover” (Calvin’s god).

        So going back up each link of this causal chain:
        They are depraved and have not received faith – because a THEOS – as the causal antecedent – caused it to be unavoidable.

        Like

      14. br.d writes, “They are depraved and have not received faith – because a THEOS – as the causal antecedent – caused it to be unavoidable.”

        I guess one half-truth deserves a half-truth in reply. “…a a THEOS – as the causal antecedent – caused it to be unavoidable” by first giving Satan freedom to enter the garden and then not protecting Eve from Satan resulting in her eating the fruit followed by Adam also doing so. God (THEOS) was not the efficient cause of Adam eating the fruit as He did not force or compel Adam to do so.

        Like

      15. br.d writes, “They are depraved and have not received faith – because a THEOS – as the causal antecedent – caused it to be unavoidable.”

        rhutchin:
        I guess one half-truth deserves a half-truth in reply. “…a THEOS – as the causal antecedent – caused it to be unavoidable” by first giving Satan….etc

        br.d
        Nice trick – but simply adding another link in the chain doesn’t auto-magically alter Theological Determinism.
        Again every event – (now in this case Satan) – is caused by an antecedent event.
        So again we walk back up each link of the chain to the source.
        And in Calvinism PRESTO! – Calvin’s god.

        Perhaps the Calvinist would like to argue that Satan and not Calvin’s god is the “unmoved mover”.
        The Stoics tried to use illogical tactics like – but it just boils down to double-think. :-]

        Like

      16. br.d writes, “So again we walk back up each link of the chain to the source.
        And in Calvinism PRESTO! – Calvin’s god. ”

        It takes us back to Genesis 1:1 – “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Consequently, God is the ultimate source of all that happens. Everyone agrees to this.

        Like

      17. br.d
        “So again we walk back up each link of the chain to the source. – And in Calvinism PRESTO! – Calvin’s god. ”

        rhutchin:
        It takes us back to Genesis 1:1

        br.d
        Sorry – this is the same failed strategy as before. You can label any of the links in the causal chain whatever you like. ( Satan, Genesis 1:1 etc.) They still function as nothing more than causal links in the chain. Or as Aquinas would say “moved-movers” who of necessity must be themselves moved by the “unmoved mover”.

        The Stoics – also distressed about the logical implications of their belief system – tried to use these types of tactics as well
        But it always boils down to double-think. :-]

        Like

      18. Contrary to Rhutchin’s claims, scripture – particularly in Romans – does not explain men’s choices as being due to irrationality or inability to think or choose wisely. They were not ‘disabled’ by a curse from God, or some inexplicable power of Adam to utterly change the nature of God’s created order. All are without excuse. All know, because God has revealed it to them, who and what God is, and Jesus has demonstrated, unquestionably, once and for all, God’s goodness, mercy, love and deep desire to save all men. Unless you believe the Calvinists, in which case God is partial, cruel and unjust. But I recommend you do not believe such ugly myths.

        Liked by 1 person

      19. ts00 writes, “Do we really think [God] would deliberately play games with us, misleading us when he could just as easily clearly state what he means, wants, desires, does and has done, instead of – according to Calvinism – choosing to hide his workings to all but the chosen…”

        rhutchin
        There are very few mysteries according to Calvinism……..

        br.d
        Appeal to mysteries is a red herring –
        There was no mention or appeal of mysteries – the statement was about a view of God that entails he misleads people – which is logically entailed in Calvinism.

        Like

      20. I heartily agree
        A good dose of fallibility is good for clearing the brain of ego-inflating imaginations.

        Joseph Smith got his doctrine by translating divine plates of mori – written in the SECRET language of “Reformed” Egyptian hieroglyphics.

        The degree to which a doctrine is reliant upon divine SECRETS – is the degree to which that doctrine relies upon being unfalsifiable.

        Unfalsifiability:
        Unable to be shown as false, although possibly not true, indicates a possible reliance upon plausible deniability.
        Making unfalsifiable claims is a way to evade the unpalatable implications of one’s theories or evade scrutiny.

        Like

      21. Hutch, “As Paul wrote, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;” Thus, even the Proverbs are “true” and not “generally true.”

        This is demonstrably false and it shows your lack of training in hermeneutics.

        Like

      22. EK writes, “This is demonstrably false and it shows your lack of training in hermeneutics.”

        The hermeneutics is pretty straightforward. All Scripture is god-breathed and truth. I don’t know any hermeneutical method can avoid that conclusion. So, how do you get to a different conclusion?

        Like

      23. Hutch, “The hermeneutics is pretty straightforward. All Scripture is god-breathed and truth.”

        I truly, honestly, deeply, do not mean this to sound condescending but it I realize it does and I cannot help it. I’m honestly trying to help you here when I say that this is utter nonsense. “All Scripture is God-breathed and truth”, while certainly true about the nature of Scripture, is not a hermeneutic (a method of reading Scripture) and no one who has even rudimentary training in hermeneutics would say it is. You are claiming to know about things you do not have any training in. You should take a step back, take a few months, and read some books on hermeneutics, specifically on genre, literature, and biblical backgrounds. You can go to biblicaltraining.org (run by the Calvinistic Bill Mounce) and take one of the free classes on hermeneutics there.

        Like

      24. Also we could suggest a number of good books on literature and genre by Leland or Philip Ryken.

        br.d
        I would be interested in those suggestions – if its convenient to post them at some time.

        Like

      25. EK
        Along the lines of literature and Scripture….I often point out that Calvinists will always quote Romans 3:10,11 then stop.

        They want NO ONE to (be able to) seek God.

        They stop noticing (or being literal) when it says that ALL have throats that are open graves….and venom on their lips.

        3:14 “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.” “The poison of vipers is on their lips.”

        Like

      26. FOH writes, “Calvinists will always quote Romans 3:10,11 then stop. They want NO ONE to (be able to) seek God.”

        This is wrong. Te conclusion of Romans 3 is that no one seeks God not that no one is able to seek God. It says that all have turned aside. Paul provides more detail in Romans 1 showing that people freely and willfully reject God – “….even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.”

        Regarding Christ and salvation, the Scriptures provide a harsher testimony – “No one can come to (believe it) Christ…No one can see the kingdom of God…No one can enter the kingdom of God…”

        Like

      27. Yes – I get it!
        Calvinists don’t want to quote the whole statement from Paul because doing so would obviously show Paul’s focal-point is not what they are attempting to make it look like. Here Paul is quoting from the O.T. and the point he is making – he begins in verse 9 – is clear.

        In terms of human nature – Jews have no advantage over gentiles – all of them alike have wandered astray.

        I always get a kick out of how different groups use the bible to get what they want.
        Thanks for showing us that one FOH! :-]

        Like

      28. EK writes, ““All Scripture is God-breathed and truth”, while certainly true about the nature of Scripture, is not a hermeneutic (a method of reading Scripture) and no one who has even rudimentary training in hermeneutics would say it is.”

        Sure it is. We read Scripture as the word of God – specific communication from God to people – and we then seek to understand Scripture in that context. If one’s hermeneutic ignores that context, it is prone to give false conclusions.

        Then, “you should take a step back, take a few months, and read some books on hermeneutics, specifically on genre, literature, and biblical backgrounds.”

        If you mean that the Scriptures can only be understood through reference to non-Scriptural sources, then you have a poor hermeneutic for understanding the Scriptures. If the Scriptures are to be understood alone and genre, literature, and background are determined by what the Scriptures alone tell us, then one has the makings of a good hermeneutic. The Scriptures are unique from anything else we have and are not to be biased, watered down or challenged by sources outside the Scripture.

        Like

      29. Hutch, you are only further showing your complete lack of education on this topic. Which is fine. We all have lots of things we don’t know. The problem is, you don’t know that you don’t know it and you think that you do.

        Even if you don’t recognize it, you have been taught a hermeneutic. It comes with its own assumptions, biases, and methods. No one in the history of Christianity has ever “just read the Bible”. All of us, every time, bring our own cultural biases and experiences to everything we read. The problem is, you do not know you are doing this and you have not been trained on how to see past your own culture and bias when reading the text. You are pretending, and it really is pretending, that the Bible was not written within its own culture, in history, with writers who had their own cultural experiences and biases and your ignoring all of that and shoving your own on top of it and saying “I’m reading the Bible” no you’re not. You don’t even know how to.

        “If the Scriptures are to be understood alone and genre, literature, and background are determined by what the Scriptures alone tell us…”

        Again, I can’t help how this sounds, and I am really only trying to help you grow, but this is complete and utter incoherence and ignorance. You simply do not know anything about genre, literature, or backgrounds, like to the extent that you do not even know what those words MEAN, which would be fine except that you think you do.

        Like

      30. EK:
        I still say you are wasting your time…but I hope I am wrong!

        Let me give everyone an example. When I go to my sister’s house (in the US) and see the sweet (expensive) dogs she owns, and see the grooming/ feeding fees she pays, and see the dogs sleep on her bed at night, I realize that she does not grasp what “the dogs” means in Scripture (below).

        The years I have lived in the 3rd world have allowed me to see non-descriptive, generic, short-snouted, breed-less canines who are full of fleas, lice, and worms. Their ears are 3/4 gone from the constant flies eating them, and these dogs run around all day looking for garbage or rats…and are shoo-ed away by all humans.

        These are the dogs meant in most Scriptural references. Almost every generation of reader has understood that in the past and most of the world still does! But Americans certainly could miss the level of disgust that reference brings.

        Of course, 300-page books on genre and literature would give many better examples, but that is a personal one I have.

        Matthew 7:6
        “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.

        Revelation 22:15
        Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

        Philippians 3:2
        Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh.

        —–Oh and one further note: Does anyone think that there were real dogs outside in Revelation, or Paul is warning about real canines in Philippians?

        Like

      31. Erick I agree with you whole heartedly!

        N.T. Wright’s Hermeneutic:
        Hermeneutics is the pursuit of seeking to understand any human INTENTION which conveys meaning and invites interpretation. It all begins with an analysis of the author’s WORLDVIEW and how this WORLDIEW provides the reader a glimpse into the world and mind of that author. And by this allows the reader to understand the author’s MEANING expressed in words. This is important because one’s worldview affects their every action and word, and their every action and word makes sense in relation to their worldview.

        Take for example 1 Corinthians 11:14 “if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him”
        Using this verse certain groups stipulate – A man who doesn’t have a butch hair cut is living in sin.

        Dr. Gordon Fee, in his seminary course on hermeneutics assigned tasks to his students. They are to take a current popular Christian book on the market, which uses scripture verses to prove its points. Dr. Fee shows the student how to obtain source materials showing the author’s worldview at the time the verse was written which clearly proves the author could not have possibly meant with the popular book writer suggests.

        Liked by 1 person

      32. I want to share a description of hermeneutics from a blog post (with express, written permission!) entitled “Herman Who?”:

        “Hermeneutics. This refers to the methodology or procedure by which one interprets communication of any kind; whether it is a TV news report, a newspaper editorial, a Sunday morning sermon, or a Facebook post. Biblical hermeneutics is the process by which one interprets the text of Scripture.

        Now when we encounter communication of any kind, we have an automatic, instinctive way of processing that information. You could say we have a default hermeneutic, but this is done unconsciously. We don’t mentally and deliberately go through a process to determine the meaning of what we have heard or read. This default hermeneutic is the result of all the things that have influenced us as we were growing up. Our experiences and education have shaped our beliefs and attitude about the world. The culture in which we live has conditioned us to see things a certain way. By the time we reach a certain age this default hermeneutic is pretty much locked in place, and will remain with us unless we make a conscious decision to think differently.”

        – Troy Salinger, at Let The Truth Come Out (https://letthetruthcomeoutblog.wordpress.com/).

        I confess my own long-term ignorance of this, and admit that it took me a long time to even begin to see it. Worse, simply knowing one has a subconscious, default hermeneutic does not automatically translate into correct, analytical thinking.

        Renewing our minds is a process, which requires not only the knowledge of need, but commitment, effort and a realization that expert assistance is required. I refer here not to self-claimed experts, but to our need for the promised guidance of the Holy Spirit, given to us for this very purpose.

        Lastly, it requires a humble willingness to repeatedly admit ‘I did it again’; sort of like my many stumbling attempts to maintain an ideal weight. This is the opposite of the ‘certainty’ I once had, indeed was programmed to have, by various religious teachers and institutions. Illegitimate certainty is the tool by which brainwashed, unthinking ideologues are created. This should not be conflated with Emerson’s ‘foolish consistency’ which subtly encourages clinging to illogical and inconsistent beliefs (“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines”). I am not attacking consistency, but suggesting the dangers of certainty, or the unwillingness to re-examine long-cherished beliefs when evidence suggests its necessity.

        As long as we remain unaware that most institutions, including Religions (yes, including Christianity) are often more concerned with creating brainwashed, unthinking, obedient ideologues than mature children of God, we remain vulnerable to insidious, even if unintentional, mind control tactics.

        If we grant the scripture writers’ claims, Satan’s foremost target to deceive and devour are those who put their trust in God. The rest are rather easily deceived, but it takes some real finesse to mislead those who genuinely love God and desire to do his will.

        Sociologists have long studied why people believe and behave as they do. Much research has been done on how to effectively ‘persuade’ individuals to adopt particular beliefs and behaviors. This sort of secretive, manipulative control of people is not God’s way of dealing with men, so one might assume this research serves another’s agenda.

        Governments of every stripe have been exposed as having funded and instigated research often bordering on abuse, up to and including genuine torture. People have been and continue to be exposed to ‘necessarily unsafe’ toxic chemicals, experimented upon with various substances and/or ‘practices’ as well as relentlessly brainwashed via ‘education’ and ‘media’. The excuse is usually made that deliberate propaganda or dangerous research is ‘preventative’, an ‘unfortunate necessity’ to counter the supposed threat of alleged enemies. All too often, The Church has joined forces with The State to inflict authoritarian, manipulative measures of control upon an unwilling populace, both claiming laudable motives for their oppression and murder.

        On the other hand, in little-circulated academic and/or ‘official’ venues, these same elites acknowledge the ‘need’ to manipulate and control the thoughts and behavior of ‘the ignorant masses’ by an ‘illuminated’ elite, who claim the authority and responsibility to steer mankind into ‘desirable’ norms for ‘the greater good’. Such enlightened men and women grant themselves the power – and right – to seek, in whatever manner they deem necessary, peace on earth and ‘the greater good’, which shall be to all people.

        This ‘authority’ has led to countless abuses of gross experimentation and torture by governments upon their own people, as the historical record documents. This is far from conspiratorial, as multiple governments have been exposed and forced to confess to dangerous and deadly experimentation upon unwitting victims. There is little reason to believe that such secretive research has ever ceased, rather than merely gone further underground, for there remain individuals who believe themselves the necessary ‘saviors’ of an otherwise doomed world.

        Although I appear to have digressed far from the subject of hermeneutics, my objective is to suggest why an informed, deliberately applied hermeneutic is important, not only to scripture, but to every arena of life. The reality is that every ‘institution’, however legitimate or well meaning, has an agenda; a certain ‘creed’ of beliefs and behaviors which it seeks to engender and reinforce. Many, if not most, institutions truly believe that the acceptance and adherence to their particular creed would lead to ‘the greatest good’ for its adherents and for society as a whole; which convinces them all the more that ‘the ends justify any means’.

        This is as true of Religions as political, scientific, medical and educational institutions. One may, and indeed should, question all creeds, whatever the stated or unstated agendas of the propagating institution.

        Must we defer to the ‘science’, propagated by media, that has led to the most unhealthy population in history, along with ‘experiments’ that allowed dangerous and sometimes deadly drugs to be approved by its so-called regulatory agencies? This same ‘science’ has led to iatrogenic harm (medical errors) being asserted as the third or greater leading cause of death in America. Should that not affect our trust of ‘scientific’ claims? What about ‘official’ history, some of which has repeatedly proven to be somewhat distorted, if not outright false? Should one unquestioningly believe whatever acclaimed history books teach, or should one wonder ‘Who wrote this, at whose request and for what gain?’ When holes appear in the commonly held historical mythology, must they be credited to honest mistakes, or is it possible they represent hidden agendas?

        Should one be condemned (if not burned at the stake) for questioning the certainty of the orthodox view of history? How about the Trinity? Why were so many willing to suffer unthinkably painful deaths over such a ‘certain’ issue? Why does Amazon Books reveal a vast number of scholars that yet question the validity of this ‘non-debatable’ creed of ‘orthodox Christianity’? Is it possible that those silenced, punished and even murdered, after refusing to bow to the consensus at the Council of Nicea, were not alone in believing that some things in scripture are not so ‘certain’?

        The insightful philosopher might suggest that my theory is ultimately undermined by its own weight, for if no position can be determined ‘provably true’ then it is pointless to attempt to ‘prove’ it. Which, I might add, is my point. My suggestion, if you will.

        This is not an appeal to relativism, as authoritarian religious leaders like to assert. It is an appeal to the tremulous nature of certainty. There does exist, in my opinion, pure, unquestionable truth – I just don’t grant any expert, or consensus, the ability or right to ascertain, unquestionably, what said truth is. And I certainly don’t grant myself such authority.

        Like

      33. Hi Truthseeker – I think your thoughtful considerations are well balanced and of honorable intentions.
        And I think we all – if we are sensitive to the Holy Spirit and our own fallibility catch ourselves filtering scripture through a lens.
        Yes – the dangerous ones are those who unquestionably assume themselves always in the right and everyone else in the wrong.
        And as you say – those who will manipulate people for their own ends.

        ur frnd br.d

        Liked by 1 person

      34. EK writes, “All of us, every time, bring our own cultural biases and experiences to everything we read. The problem is, you do not know you are doing this and you have not been trained on how to see past your own culture and bias when reading the text. ”

        The objective is to remove those biases.

        Then, “You are pretending, and it really is pretending, that the Bible was not written within its own culture, in history, with writers who had their own cultural experiences and biases and your ignoring all of that and shoving your own on top of it and saying “I’m reading the Bible” no you’re not. You don’t even know how to.”

        The Scriptures were essentially written by God using people who reflect their culture in their language. However, that culture does not contribute to the understanding except to the extent that cultural elements are contained in the Scriptures. The Scriptures are complete in themselves needing no non-Scriptural resources to enhance the understanding of those Scriptures. The Scriptures are truth while non-Scriptural resources are not, so that mixing the two is mixing truth with non-truth and that is not conducive to sound exegesis.

        Like

      35. Hutch, “However, that culture does not contribute to the understanding except to the extent that cultural elements are contained in the Scriptures.”

        So then it contributes and you are unaware as to how completely uneducated and untrained to the extent of that contribution that you are. You know you know nothing about this topic and yet you continue to offer responses because you think it doesn’t matter how much you don’t know. You think that your little hermeneutical box, which you have no idea just how small it is, has all the answers.

        Not all of us can be scholars, I’m certainly not one, but you have an uninquisitive mind because you have been taught the world is a simple place and you just have to hold to simple truths and you know all the answers. There are no words I could come up with that could convince you to be curious.

        “The Scriptures are truth while non-Scriptural resources are not, so that mixing the two is mixing truth with non-truth and that is not conducive to sound exegesis.”

        Utterly and demonstrably false. I could show you a dozen ways in which cultural backgrounds and genre studies are true, on their own, and change our understanding of the Scriptures but I know you do not actually care and so I will not waste your time.

        Like

      36. EK writes, “You know you know nothing about this topic and yet you continue to offer responses…”

        God is perfect and His word is perfect. Men are imperfect and their words are imperfect. You cannot use the imperfect to understand the perfect, so you cannot use imperfect non-Biblical sources of information to understand the perfection God has given us in the Scriptures.

        Then, “You think that your little hermeneutical box, which you have no idea just how small it is, has all the answers.”

        My “little hermeneutical box” contains the Scriptures and we understand the Scriptures relative to the Scriptures. We interpret Scripture with Scripture, do we not?

        Then, “you have been taught the world is a simple place and you just have to hold to simple truths”

        The world is a simple place and truth is simple – yet still defined by God and profound.

        Then, “I could show you a dozen ways in which cultural backgrounds and genre studies are true, on their own, and change our understanding of the Scriptures but I know you do not actually care and so I will not waste your time.”

        You got that right. As I said above, we cannot use that which is imperfect to understand the perfect. Doing so leads to an imperfect understanding of the perfect.

        Like

      37. Hutch, “You cannot use the imperfect to understand the perfect, so you cannot use imperfect non-Biblical sources of information to understand the perfection God has given us in the Scriptures.”

        You just destroyed the basis upon which we can know anything, including if the Bible is true. But hey, at least you had a response, right?

        “The world is a simple place and truth is simple”

        You better hope it is, otherwise you’re imposing your culture, biases, assumptions, and traditions onto the text and are missing the height, breadth, and depth, not to mention the beauty, of what God is trying to teach you through the Scriptures.

        Everything else you said is faux-pious gobblygook that has no basis in reality. You are so dogmatically sure that your worldview is correct, while at the time saying we cannot know anything when it suits you, I’ll not waste any more time.

        Like

      38. Hi Erik,
        Just in case you haven’t seen it yet, Calvinists have various strategies we’ve come to label.
        The “Greased Pig” – designed to escape getting caught in one’s own contradictions.
        The “Dancing boxer” – dance endlessly around a point in order to avoid the appearance of failure
        The “Tail-chasing” strategy – same as the “Dancing Boxer” strategy.

        Calvinists are taught that their society is the golden standard.
        This often forces them to revert to childish tactics in dialog.
        Tail-chasing is one of them.

        When rhutchin goes into that mode I try to back off and let him do it by himself
        Sometimes a Calvinist can get a sense of efficacy by leading you around in circles. :-]

        Like

      39. EK
        I would go to that endless tail-chasing if I were you. Anyone who puts wisdom literature in the same (one size fits all) category as an epistle is really not gonna listen to you.

        I tried to help with a quote from (even) Piper’s site saying that the Proverbs are not always true….. (nor intended to be considered that way)…. but that did not help.

        Dont let one-liner, sound bites goad you into wasting your time!

        Like

      40. FOH writes, “Anyone who puts wisdom literature in the same (one size fits all) category as an epistle is really not gonna listen to you.”

        All scripture is God breathed and the word of God. God may have different purposes for Proverbs and the Epistles, but each provides communication from God to people and no Scripture is to be slighted.

        Like

    2. Hi Ellah,
      You ask a good question.

      I suspect you’re referring to libertarian free will.
      Although it might take a little searching here – there are numerous posts on this topic.

      You might be interested in searching Peter van inwagen’s, Consequence Argument.
      It originally applies to Determinism simpliciter.
      But it can be modified to apply to Theological Determinism.
      If you are interested and can’t find it – I can probably dig up a version of it.

      Like

    3. Thanks Ellah for that question and your sincerity.

      A few verses later in Proverbs we read ….

      21:21Whoever pursues righteousness and love
      finds life, prosperity and honor.

      22 One who is wise can go up against the city of the mighty
      and pull down the stronghold in which they trust.

      23 Those who guard their mouths and their tongues
      keep themselves from calamity.

      ———-
      Are we to understand these as absolutes and foundations for doctrine?

      Proverbs are sayings that are “normally the case” or “for the most part accurate.”

      Verse 21 Tells us to “pursue”…… if all our steps are ordained why are there 100s or 1000s times more verses telling us that we need to make wise choices? Pursue….seek first….. turn from…. draw near…. flee…. on and on…..

      22. Being wise doesnt not always mean we can attack a city.

      23. Certainly some who have watched their mouths have still faced calamity.

      Again we don’t really get our doctrinal foundations from Proverbs. I hope that helps and I imagine others will add some thoughts.

      Like

      1. Thank you all for such thoughtful replies. I agree that Proverbs are to be considered general truths, but it’s still important to consider all verses pertaining to God’s sovereignty when seeking to understand such a deep concept fully.

        Like

      2. Ellah,
        Thank you all for such thoughtful replies. I agree that Proverbs are to be considered general truths, but it’s still important to consider all verses pertaining to God’s sovereignty when seeking to understand such a deep concept fully.

        br.d
        Yes that seems very reasonable and appreciated.

        But from my point of view, one has to ask the question – whether or not a conception of God logically entails God is irrational or logically entails God bears false witness.

        If God in scripture communicates to his creatures in such a way as to lead them to believe they have libertarian free will (which we know is defined as the power to do otherwise) – when in fact He secretly knows He hasn’t endowed them with this power.
        Doesn’t that logically entail a view that makes God bear false witness or a view that makes God irrational?

        If this is the case, this view asserts God is knowingly leading the creature to believe something that is false.
        You’re approach to the subject – being as considered as it is – is honorable.

        Like

      3. Ellah:

        I would kindly ask you to consider two ideas.

        1. Please dont take some verse that is not clear (or in a Proverb) and make it “pertaining to God’s sovereignty.” We all have a tendency to come to the Scripture with what we think and find supporting verses. Meaning: we make one half-verse define “sovereignty”.

        Notice how the NIV says this

        24 A person’s steps are directed by the Lord.
        How then can anyone understand their own way?

        The most popular translation says that steps are “directed” by the Lord (not “ordained”). He directed Jonah to go to Nineveh —and Jonah said no. He directed David not to take a census of the people and David did it (for which God gave David —a man— 3 choices for his punishment).

        So let’s not pick a verse we like and make it stronger than all other verses about a topic such as sovereignty.

        2. Please listen to the thousands of verses in the Bible that imply or state that God created in such a way that man chooses some things.

        In another place on these pages we are discussing the “Rich young man” story in the Bible. That passage says that Christ loved him and that Christ clearly called him to follow Him.

        Now, if you use the word “ordains” from Prov 20:24 and put the whole weight of the Bible on that one half-verse, then you are left with the idea that God ordained that man to walk away from the love and call of Christ.

        It appears in the story that the man made a choice—- but a Calvinistic-imposing of “ordained” means that God ordained that the man reject Christ who is standing there, in love, offering him life.

        What message do we have from the Bible at that point?

        Christ loves men and women and offers them life….. but it is basically an insincere offer if they have not been “ordained” to accept Him.

        Like

      4. Well said FOH!

        I learned years ago from listening to seminary lectures by Gordon Fee, how the most notable scholars are those who take a very self-scrutinizing approach to their handling of scripture.

        As humans we read scripture the same way we interpret any data. We comprehend it so that it conforms to what we subconsciously hold as unquestionable truth. That is how theologians in the past became convinced scriptures teach the earth is flat – and were willing to kill those who didn’t read it that way.

        If one’s interpretation of the text leads one to a false conclusion – then where is the weakness – except in what one holds as unquestionable truth, which one automatically reads into the text.

        This is why Jesus asks the lawyer who tempted him: *HOW* do you read it.

        Like

  25. Oh dear. I fear deep rabbit holes on this site that I may not emerge from anytime soon if not careful, but I do have to clarify something.

    Asking a question about a how a particular verse might fit within a particular viewpoint, does not imply that I hold to it, nor does it implicate me in taking a verse out of context to the detriment of other scripture passages.

    I also don’t have a strict theological lens apart from trying to understand God’s Word the way it was meant to be understood. Most everything about the Calvinists’ teachings causes my spirit to recoil and go cold, but I simply want to make certain that I have wrestled through each passage and scripture that might give their perspective credence.
    Sometimes I wish for the sake of simplicity (or possibly sanity) that I did have a more fixed lens to view scripture through, but I normally walk away from a reading seeing eight different ways someone could interpret a passage.

    That is why it’s so important to find out all that His Word says on a particular topic before reaching any conclusions.
    And when I have questions about where something might fit within the topical/theological puzzle, I try to reach out to others that might have already worked it out.

    I only wish now I had the foresight to see how others would assume so much about a person’s beliefs based upon one question.

    Though this is an easy mistake to make and forgive, false assumptions do make communication more challenging, for certain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Ellah your kind hearted consideration is appreciated! :-]

      Not to worry – the topic of “libertarian” choices being false illusions comes up here often – because for most Calvinists “libertarian” choice is an illusion IN THEORY. Yet it is treated *AS-IF* its properties exist in the Calvinist’s daily life and moral considerations.

      Theological Determinism is the foundational cornerstone for Calvin.
      So this topic is guaranteed to pop up.
      Not to worry! :-]

      Like

      1. br.d writes, “…for most Calvinists “libertarian” choice is an illusion …”

        This is wrong. Calvinists say that Adam had libertarian free will, that it was lost when Adam sinned, and is restored when God regenerates a person.

        From the Ligonier (RC Sproul) website:

        “It was St. Augustine who gave the church a close analysis of the state of freedom that Adam enjoyed before the Fall. Augustine’s classic concept of freedom distinguished four possibilities. In Latin, they are:

        1. posse pecarre—referring to the ability to sin.
        2. posse non-pecarre—referring to the ability not to sin, or to remain free from sin.
        3. non-posse pecarre—referring to the inability to sin.
        4. non-posse, non-pecarre—referring to the inability not to sin.

        Considering Adam before the Fall, Augustine argued that Adam had possessed both the ability to sin (posse pecarre) and the ability not to sin (posse non-pecarre)…In his fallen state the plight of man is found in his inability to keep from sinning (non-posse, non-pecarre). In the Fall, something profoundly vital to moral freedom was lost…Since the Fall, man has continued to have a free will, but has lost the moral liberty he once enjoyed…He is naturally free, but morally enslaved to his own corrupt and wicked desires. For both Edwards and Augustine, man is still free to choose; but if left to himself, man will never choose righteousness, precisely because he does not desire it….”

        Like

      2. Wow! So much human, Latin, philosophical, man-made speculation….. so little time!

        And from Mary-venerating, saint-worshiping Augustine no less! Yum!

        Like

      3. br.d writes, “…for most Calvinists “libertarian” choice is an illusion …”

        rhutchin:
        This is wrong. Calvinists say that Adam had libertarian free will,

        The error of libertarian free will – The Calvinist Corner
        https://www.calvinistcorner.com/error-of-libertarian-free-will.htm

        Eleven (11) Reasons to Reject Libertarian Free Will
        Calvnist John W. Hendryx
        https://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/libertarian.html

        Calvinist Jonathon Edwards attempts to show that libertarianism is incoherent.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_will_in_theology

        If you ask whether a person can choose against their nature (i.e. libertarian freedom) the answer, I believe, must be “no.”
        – A Calvinist’s Understanding of “Free-Will” – https://credohouse.org/blog/a-calvinists-understanding-of-free-will

        Christians who deny free will in the libertarian sense generally fall into the Calvinist camp
        http://freethinkingministries.com/5-arguments-for-the-existence-of-free-will/

        What is today titled libertarian freedom, so that by his own strength he can equally will either, then free will is rejected by Calvin.
        https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/did-john-calvin-believe-in-free-will/

        Theological Determinism – The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
        Calvinism is predicated upon the philosophical notion of Theological Determinism which is incompatible with libertarian free will.
        Theological determinism is often associated with Calvinist or Reformed theology, – http://www.iep.utm.edu/theo-det/

        William Lane Craig – Calvinism and the Unliveability of Determinism
        A determinist cannot live consistently as though everything he thinks and does is causally determined—especially his choice to believe that determinism is true! Thinking that you’re determined to believe that everything you believe is determined produces a kind of vertigo. Nobody can live as though all that he thinks and does is determined by causes outside himself. Even determinists recognize that we have to act “as if” we had free will and so weigh our options and decide on what course of action to take, even though at the end of the day we are determined to take the choices we do. Determinism is thus an unliveable view.

        https://www.reasonablefaith.org/question-answer/P10/calvinism-and-the-unliveability-of-determinism/

        Liked by 1 person

  26. rhutchin:
    (THEOS) was not the efficient cause of Adam eating the fruit as He did not force or compel Adam to do so.

    br.
    So Calvin’s god wasn’t the effectual (i.e., direct) cause of the children of Israel throwing their babies into the fire.
    But it couldn’t have happened without him decreeing it to happen.
    And his decree had enough force to make it inevitable and unavailable.
    And his decree made them powerless to “do otherwise”.

    Anyone can see whose in control of that situation. :-]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. br.d., Apparently, in Rhutchin’s opinion, it is not ‘force’ unless one can see the strings or the guns at their backs. Mind control does not count. Perhaps that is why Calvinism so freely uses brainwashing and mind control as a tool?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This is truly a case of have one’s cake and eating it too…. twice!

        There is no free will —– but Adam had free will.

        God did not cause Adam to sin —- but God is the cause of all things.

        Maybe even a third one.

        You are “too dead” now (because of Adam’s sin) to choose a “life” thing —- but Adam was not “too perfect” to choose a “dead” thing.

        Just too many place where “both are right” is the answer for Calvinists.

        Like

      2. When I listen to Calvinists, I can never get past the image of the slithering, hissing serpent from the original animated ‘Jungle Book’ ,which my children used to watch. ‘Trust in me’ he hissed, even as his intentions were clearly – even my smallest child caught it – to devour the boy.

        Like

      3. Even though, I must hasten to add, many of these Calvinist teachers have been deceived by the serpent themselves, and put into service to pass out his calling card and invite others into his grip. They apparently do not see, as my small children did, that anyone who trusts a slithering serpent is in imminent danger of being devoured.

        Like

      4. I think it can be acknowledged without much debate – that Calvinists consistently win the prize of being the “most subtle beasts in the field”. :-]

        Like

      5. Thomas Aquinas was a noted believer in Theological Determinism.
        As a determinist, here is the way he describes events occurring in a causal chain.

        -quote:
        In an ordered series of movers and things moved, it is necessarily the fact that, when the *FIRST* mover is removed or ceases to move, no other mover will move [another] or be [itself] moved. For the *FIRST* mover is the cause of motion for all the others.
        (Summa Contra Gentiles 1.13)

        Aquinas called God the “unmoved mover” – and all of the other links in the chain “moved-movers”.

        So it really doesn’t matter how many “moved-movers” (i.e., links) there are within the causal chain. And it doesn’t matter what those “moved movers” are identified as – (e.g. Satan, Adam etc). In this belief system there is only one “unmoved mover” – who according to Aquinas is the *FIRST* mover and the CAUSE of motion for all others.

        Of course the Calvinist is going to agree that Calvin’s god is the “unmoved mover” when it comes to a salvation event.
        But auto-magically the “unmoved mover” disappears when it comes to a sinful evil event.
        And this of course is double-think.

        This is why Jerry Walls says Calvinists are like magicians – who can make their god disappear at will. :-]

        Liked by 2 people

      6. Isn’t it ironic!!! :-]

        Brain Washing is no longer a term used anymore, ever since Robert Jay Lifton published his book “Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism”, and Solomon Asch published the results of his famous experiment on group conformity, and Dr. Stanley Milgram published his experiments on obedience. BTW: The Milgram experiment provides a model that explains the murder of Michael Servetus.

        The term used now days is “Undue Influence”.

        Just consider how a doctor can convince a child she was raped by her father by getting her to believe she had subdued memories for events that never occurred. These false beliefs become extremely entrenched in a person and stay with them often for life.

        There are documented instances in which Catholic priests blackmailed young girls for sex – by the threat of convincing the town she was a witch – in which case they would burn her alive. How does a priest have that much influence over the minds of a whole population of people?

        Margaret Thaler Singer made wonderful contributions to this study. And Mary Alice Chrnalogar has a wonderful book “Twisted Scriptures” I would recommend to anyone who wants to see how group members can be manipulated without ever knowing it.

        Calvinist groups manifest the outward characteristics of what is called “Milieu Control”
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milieu_control

        Margaret Singer described this as: A control process within a group by which its authoritarian social structure controls feedback from group members and refuses to be modified. One can identify this condition with group members by observing a “closed system of logic”. And that is easily identified as a sociological characteristic of Calvinism.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. ts00 writes, “Perhaps that is why Calvinism so freely uses brainwashing and mind control as a tool?”

        That, of course, is a misrepresentation of Calvinism.

        Like

      8. Good point!
        However, ask a Calvinist if the decree has no force and then watch the pretzel logic. :-]
        Perhaps its a magical force that forces without forcing.

        If Calvin’s god holds a rock up over a baby and drops the rock so that the baby is crushed.
        He didn’t force the rock to kill the baby – gravity did – therefore he blames it on gravity or the rock.

        But is that a representation of the God of Scripture?

        In Joshua 10:11 it says “the LORD hurled large hailstones down on them, and more of them died from the hail than were killed by the swords of the Israelites.”

        The God of scripture takes responsibility for what he does.
        When he throws a rock he doesn’t blame to rock for being thrown.
        That’s one of characteristics we don’t see in Calvin’s god.

        Like

    2. br.d writes, “And his decree made them powerless to “do otherwise”.”

      This is wrong. God’s decree was not to interfere in the affairs of men thereby giving them the power to do what they wanted. Another example would be the stoning of Stephen. God could have prevented the Jews from stoning Stephen but had decreed (in eternity past) not to interfere providing the Jews freedom to do as they wanted.

      Like

      1. rhutchin,

        You do realize that this is NOT the thinking of ALL Calvinists, right? In other words, you Calvinists need to get your stories straight and agree on things. There is much dissension even in your own ranks regarding the puppeteer that you call God.

        Ed Chapman

        Like

      2. chapmaned24 writes, “There is much dissension even in your own ranks regarding the puppeteer that you call God.”

        I don’t think there is as much dissension as you imagine.

        Like

      3. Its something we’ve observed with Rhutchin for a long time.

        He will say anything that works for a given moment no mater how illogical.
        He has made statements here on other topics in which he emphatically affirms what he now denies.
        For example, in another earlier topic he asserts libertarian free will is incoherent – consistent with Calvinists.
        But on this occasion he flips to the opposite.

        Its just the strategy he chooses to use when it comes to logic.
        Affirm A now – deny A later.

        We’re used to it :-]

        Liked by 1 person

      4. br.d writes, “…in another earlier topic he asserts libertarian free will is incoherent…”

        I believe that I said that those who espouse LFW have not yet developed a coherent definition of LFW.

        Like

      5. I’m willing to concede that and in fact I think I do remember you making that statement.
        I would have to dig through a whole lot of posts since you’ve always rejected libertarian free will in some way or another.
        And that would be totally consistent with Determinism/Compatiblism which by definition rejects Libertarian free will.

        Like

      6. br.d writes, “…you’ve always rejected libertarian free will in some way or another.”

        That is wrong. I have stated that Adam exercised LFW and that such was lost when he sinned. It is only after God regenerates a person that he is then able to exercise LFW again.

        The LFW types want to ascribe LFW to people between Adam and regeneration. To do this, they use descriptors like “otherwise choice” that is no different than compatibilistic free will. They have not figured out how to get the “libertarian” aspect into choices made by people who are slaves to sin.

        Like

      7. br.d writes, “…you’ve always rejected libertarian free will in some way or another.”

        rhutchin
        That is wrong. I have stated that Adam exercised LFW and that such was lost when he sinned. It is only after God regenerates a person that he is then able to exercise LFW again.

        The LFW types want to ascribe LFW to people between Adam and regeneration. To do this, they use descriptors like “otherwise choice” that is no different than compatibilistic free will. They have not figured out how to get the “libertarian” aspect into choices made by people who are slaves to sin.

        br.d
        Actually it is true – if one is logically consistent.
        But it can be “Said” to be wrong by someone who thinks double-think.
        Your statement simply asserts you don’t acknowledge Libertarian free will as it is currently enunciated within Christian Philosophy.

        Secondly, I don’t know anyone in Christian Philosophy who “want to ascribe LFW to people between Adam and regeneration”.
        William Lane Craig, Alvin Plantinga, Peter Van Inwagen – simply state that compatiblistic free will is incoherent and cannot be rationally affirmed. And that without the properties of Libertarian free will such as “do otherwise” (PAP as it is typically called) – fits best with biblical ethics.

        Additionally your statement the Libertarian power to “do otherwise” is no different in compatiblistic free will is a ruse.
        A Calvinist either isn’t savvy enough to know the difference or doesn’t want to be honest.

        Peter Van Inwagen describes:
        The power to “do otherwise” in compatiblistic free will is based upon a DECEPTIVE COUNTERFACTUAL.

        The compatiblistic form of “do otherwise”:
        The THEOS determines one to “do otherwise” than what the THEOS *WOULD HAVE* determined.

        But it still the case that one does not have the power to “do otherwise” than what the THEOS determines.
        Else you negate Theological Determinism – which Calvinism embraces

        Therefore my statement – in Theological Determinism Calvin’s god does not give persons the power to “do otherwise” is true.

        Once people understand the trickery the Calvinist plays on this point – they get another example of how Calvinist language is designed to mislead people.

        Like

      8. Or, it is back to the good ol’ chain of causation, as you so well described earlier. God ‘determines’ to give men the necessary ‘desires’ to ensure that they inescapably do that which he has ‘determined’ they will do. Then he ignites in furious wrath at man for ‘not obeying’ his prescriptive will. ((Wink, wink), – pretending as if he did not originate their ‘desires’, but sin arose out of man’s own self-directed heart/mind, apart from God’s ordaining hand. (Wink, wink), as if anything does.) and threatens him with righteous judgment. Silly God. How does he expect to get ‘all the glory’ if he doesn’t accept all the credit? Oh, right – good means it was from God, bad means it was from ‘sinner’. So God brings about ‘whatsoever comes to pass’ – except for the evil, which arose out of those sneaky desires of ‘dead’ men. (How the heck do dead men, who can’t understand good, understand evil?)

        Is it any wonder atheists mock the christian God? It finally made sense when I discovered the God of Calvinism, whose incoherence and schizophrenia is what is scorned. The last great mission field that remains is convincing the lost that God is not who Calvinism has long taught he is, but that he is trustworthy, reasonable, just, merciful and loving.

        Like

      9. Speaking of Atheists mocking Christians due to Calvinist double-speak
        If you haven’t seen this Youtube video – here is how a an Atheist catches a Calvinist in his own double-think.

        Calvinism: Intrinsically Irrational

        My favorite parts are:
        Minute 5:37
        “Whats a Calvinist to do? – a clever calvinist will apparently *INVENT* a new divine type of causality”

        Minute 12:16
        “Such blantant contradictions are rarely seen in otherwise sophisticated arguments”

        Like

      10. ts00 writes, “God ‘determines’ to give men the necessary ‘desires’ to ensure that they inescapably do that which he has ‘determined’ they will do.”

        God determines that people can desire other than sin through regeneration. New desires are then shaped by the Scriptures as Paul instructs, “…be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

        Then, “Then he ignites in furious wrath at man for ‘not obeying’ his prescriptive will.”

        As we see with Pharaoh, “…the LORD said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go.”

        Like

      11. I increasingly suspect that children of God are going to have to denounce the so-called ‘Church’ of so-called historical Christianity in order to defend the true God. All of the hypocrites and abusers increasingly being called out do not help their case. Mahaney, Driscoll, Phillips, Gothard, Savage, Page, Hybels (and a slew of others) – anyone else beginning to think the boat is precariously close to going under? And are we going to allow ourselves to go down with it, or are we going to abandon ship while we have the chance and shout, ‘Do as they say, not as they do’. Sorta seems like someone else said that once about a doomed religion . . .

        Like

      12. Hi TruthSeeker,
        What are you referring too with these? Mahaney, Driscoll, Phillips, Gothard, Savage, Page, Hybels
        May be something I’m not familiar with.

        Like

      13. br.d. – these are all ‘celebrity’ pastors/teachers who have been charged with – and most eventually confessed to – sexual and/or spiritual misdemeanors. They abused their celebrity status and so-called ‘authority’ over their sheep by feeding on the flock, to fulfill their own personal need for pleasure, power etc. There is an accompanying #metoo going on within the church, and Bill Hybels, the celebrity pastor who counseled President Clinton and almost single-handedly changed the face of the modern evangelical church, has recently been accused by – so far – a half dozen women, many respected christian leaders themselves, of manipulating and grooming them, allegedly for sexually inappropriate interactions. He is one of the few non-Calvinist celebrity pastors among the pack. There is debate as to whether this is because the hypocrisy of Calvinism leads to spiritual and other forms of abuse, or if it is simply that Calvinism is the leading force currently behind ‘celebrity’ pastors.

        Like

      14. Thanks for explaining that – I had no awareness of these things.
        What arena of the church are these issues being discussed – is this something one would read about in Christianity today for example?

        Like

      15. br.d
        These stories can easily be found in CT, but only partly if you dont have a subscription.

        We all have to be careful with this:

        1. We need to not make people guilty until they have been proven to be (just accusing is not enough). Accusing evangelicals is not a new idea (if you know anything about the Soviet Union).

        2. We should never, ever take delight in the fall of a brother. I may not agree with Calvinism, but I certainly do not delight in the scandal of any who are said to be following Christ.

        I am sure that TS00 agrees with this and that his original point was that we should not continue to elevate men but Christ.

        Like

      16. FOH, there is definitely a balance that must be attempted. The sad truth is, narcissistic, serial abusers, whether they be sexual or spiritual abusers, are very, very clever. They will be very careful to cover their tracks, and, particularly with sexual abuse, there are rarely witnesses. It is often only after one accusation comes out that others, who maybe were persuaded that it was just them, or that it was their fault, or that they were overreacting to an ‘innocent’ behavior, become emboldened to speak out as well. Note that it is not only re-traumatizing to speak of abuse, but the victim is often not believed or condemned as being all or partly to blame. Particularly when those unfamiliar with serial abusers do not understand how they target, groom and manipulate victims in order to keep them silent.

        It is usually only when multiple accusers speak out with similar stories that the abuser is – sometimes – forced to confess. Others are ‘caught’ in their well-constructed web of lies, and things unravel. I by no means claim to be able to prove what is true or false in the case of alleged abuse. I do, however, lean towards suspicion when there arises a multiplicity of accusers with little to gain from coming forward. Often, the abused not only trusted, but highly revered their abuser, which is how such unthinkable things can happen. In the ongoing alleged accusations of Hybels, many of the accusers are well-known pastors and elders from the church, who thought highly both of Hybels and the ministry they were a part of. Another was a former president of Zondervan publications; it isn’t that her position makes her unimpeachable, but that she is putting her reputation, etc. on the line by coming forward with public accusations and not hiding behind anonymity.

        Don’t get me wrong, I take no delight in the situation. I have some history at Willow Creek, including family who were part of the ministry team, as well as members. My heart aches for the shock, grief and confusion of literally thousands of individuals who put their trust in a celebrity pastor. My greatest desire is that, ultimately, their trust and relationship proves to be with our perfect and unfailing God, and not a man or a man-made ministry. If so, though shaken, they should be able to stand should even this colossal icon fall.

        Liked by 1 person

      17. I consider my own experience a matter of spiritual abuse. I feel that I, and many others, were love-bombed, groomed and manipulated into trusting, and eventually relinquishing our own minds in response to false claims of spiritual ‘authority’, i.e. ‘When I say something from the pulpit, I speak for God’. Lest you think I misinterpret, others were bolder than myself and directly confronted the pastor, asking ‘You surely did not mean to imply that we have no right to question your opinion, or even disagree with you?’ He acknowledged that was exactly what he meant. I only wish I had known of this confrontation earlier. Instead, the involved party, who was also a founding elder, was ‘forced out’ and condemned as ‘never being one of us’. It is not only sexual abuse, but the abuse of authority which is as much, or even more damaging to trusting believers who are consumed by their so-called shepherds.

        Like

      18. CT certainly has articles – I am not sure how ‘unbiased’ – on the ongoing Hybels affair. The first, and perhaps best known ‘discernment’ blog I came across is called The Wartburg Watch, thewartburgwatch.com. This and similar blogs, are what my former Calvinist pastor condemned as ‘gossip blogs intent on harming the church’ – which of course led me to check them out. I have no way of judging what anyone’s motives are, but at least the assertion is made that the goal of the blog is to give a voice to those who have suffered sexual, emotional or other spiritual abuse and been ignored or silenced by those in ‘power’. As with all things, discernment must be used, but it has definitely been a force in bringing abuse that has long been handled ‘in house’ to the public eye. Some would say this is detrimental to ‘the Church’ (to which I would agree) but that it is essential to the health of ‘the body of Christ’, which are two entirely different things (to which I would agree). As with most ‘abuse’, it is only encouraged and enabled when its perpetrators are not called to account and held responsible for their actions. We saw this with the sexual scandals within the Catholic Church – it is no different within the Protestant Church, just a little slower in being recognized. On the WW blog one can find links to, for instance, the individual blog posts of some of the women making accusations about Hybels, as well as other pertinent blogs and/or articles. If you peruse their archives, you will find many of the other alleged abuses they have publicly challenged. Some would say abuse that would never have seen the light of day were it not for this and similar blogs. There are doubters and decryers, but I will add that I have up close and personal experience with sexual abuse within the church, and will attest that it is messy, traumatic and something that most would prefer to not know about. The victims are often ignored, condemned or shunned as being ‘divisive’ or ‘attention-seeking’. My own experience concerns a trusting child, abused by one who was not only a pastor but a relative. It proved to be part of a pattern, and the abuser was eventually incarcerated. I, like most, was initially shocked, dismayed and horrified; unable, sadly, to give the needed support to the parties involved when it was first sought. I believe most undergo this same process of shock and grief before they are able to acknowledge and face traumatic abuse, which is why abuse in the church is so slow to be recognized by outsiders, or even confessed by victims, none of whom wish to be further traumatized.

        Like

      19. br.d
        “And his decree made them [the creature] powerless to “do otherwise”.”

        rhutchin:
        This is wrong. God’s decree was not to interfere in the affairs of men…..etc

        br.d
        Look how easy it is for Calvinists to deny everything they affirm – is it double-think or is it dishonesty – you decide.

        1) If determinism is true, *NO ONE CAN DO OTHERWISE* than she does
        Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy – Compatibilism

        2) Calvinist; Dr. James N. Anderson, of the Reformed Theological Seminary:
        “It should be conceded without embarrassment that *CALVINISM IS COMMITED TO DIVINE DETERMINISM*: the view that everything is ultimately determined by God….“For every event [E], God decided that [E] should happen and that decision alone was the ultimate sufficient cause of [E].”

        3) Compatibilism (also known as soft *DETERMINISM*, is the belief that God’s predetermination and meticulous providence is “compatible” with voluntary choice. Compatibilism is directly contrary to libertarian free will. – https://www.monergism.com/topics/free-will/compatibilism

        Like

      20. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy – Compatibilism
        https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/compatibilism/

        A) If determinism is true, then the facts of the past, in conjunction with the laws of nature, entail every truth about the future.

        Therefore:
        B) If determinism is true, then only one future is possible GIVEN THE ACTUAL PAST.

        Therefore:
        C) If determinism is true, no one can DO OTHERWISE than one actually does.

        The train-track switch illustration:
        1) A train runs on it tracks approaching a switch which can direct it to turn left or to turn right.
        2) The train is free to turn to the left (if and only if) the switch is ARRANGED such that the train will turn left
        3) The train is free to turn to the right (if and only if) the switch is ARRANGED such that the train will turn right
        4) The facts of the past (the ARRANGEMENT of the switch) in conjunction with the laws of nature, entail only one future for the train.

        John Calvin:
        “God not only foresaw the fall of the first man [ADAM], and in him the ruin of his posterity.
        But also at his own pleasure ARRANGED it.” (Institutes 3-23 section 7)

        In Calvinism Adam’s disobedience was ARRANGED by Calvin’s god – to infallibly occur before Adam was borne.
        According to Calvin the switch that controls which choice Adam would make was FIXED at the foundation of the world.

        In this scheme every outcome is FIXED at the foundation of the world – and this constitutes THE ACTUAL PAST.
        And GIVEN THE ACTUAL PAST (i.e., immutable decrees at the foundation of the world) – for every event only one future is possible.

        Calvin’s god cannot decree both [A] and [NOT A] for a future event – because one negates the other.
        Therefore in Calvinism – for every event – only one FIXED future is possible.
        Adam cannot “do otherwise” than what Calvin’s god determines Adam do.
        Thus Adam cannot “choose otherwise” than what Calvin’s god determines Adam choose.

        Fallacious argument that Calvin’s god decreed Adam free to choose:
        Calvin’s god can decree Adam free to turn himself into a frog.
        But if Adam cannot turn himself into a frog, then this decree is useless.
        The only way Adam can obey – is if Calvin’s god (at the foundation of the world) decrees it as Adam’s FIXED future.
        If Calvin’s god does not decree it – then Adam can’t do it any more than he can turn himself into a frog.

        Conclusion:
        At the foundation of the world Calvin’s god decreed Adam’s disobedience as Adam’s FIXED future.

        Like

  27. The NT section of my through-the-Bible reading is in Luke 21.

    3 “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. 4 For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.”

    Calvinists would explain…. “But they were not given faith to give more….like she was.”

    Of course we dont see Christ hint at that here….or anywhere.

    It is very bad hermeneutic to impose that man-made concept onto every story in the Bible.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Today’s reading in Prov 13:20.

    “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise,
    but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”

    So…..your future is not set yet….. make wise choices and do well. Bad choices….. you will suffer.

    Like

  29. What’s up Eric my man,
    Well Ed Chap you were gonna be next again but BR.D has took your place since he has finally quit lying and come out to tell the truth. His lying and quotes will be on my site. I had asked him if he thought he calvinists were Christians or sinners and he said he could not make that call only the Holy Spirit Could. Now I read he is talking to you Ed and is really ready thinking to make that call that Calvinists are not Christians no longer leaving it up to God the Holy Spirit. Br.D becomes God himself as he was when I was talking to him when he kept accusing me of many things as if he could peer into my heart already as if he was God. He accused me of being angry. I had to chuckle, I have not had a false teaching non-Calvinist make me angry in I cannot even remember. Although I have had a godly anger when they blaspheme the Holy God of Heaven and the joke about and think we are so wise that we got one over on the reformed reader and he has no answer. Tomorrow Br.D You comments, lies, taking for granted God’s Holy word will be in my article on my site. If Eric was not so High and mighty on his throne he would alert you all that you all are being rebutted and put on every social site I can find on the net to show the lies and misunderstanding and misrepresentations of this site. Yes I know you allllll have heard it before. Drink that toxic non-calvnist kool=aid and keep being deceived

    Like

    1. Hey Kevin, will you take a look at that, I approved your comment. I did so for a purpose. I would like to accept your challenge. Go ahead and either link the article to your site (the site you wrote in to make a comment doesn’t exist so hopefully it’s another site) or write a comment that makes an argument that refutes any argument made on this site against Calvinism. The floor is yours.

      This approval comes with a restriction. I know this may be hard for you, but you’re going to have to refrain from calling people liars and other names. If your comment is another rant calling people names, I will delete and block you for good. But if it’s an argument, maybe it will actually start a dialogue.

      Like

      1. Hi Eric,
        There are a few things I think you need to know before you and I begin to have a conversation. It is about BR.D and him and I quarreling,

        Yes we said a few things and then i ask him a question as to whether or not Reformed Believers/Calvinists were true Genuine Christians. He would not answer just went on trying to funny and witty and so on,

        I kept asking him and he finally decided to become spiritual and said that only the Holy Spirit Knows that and he does not and could not even though you and I both know there are millions and millions of Calvinists out there. So know it will not be hard for to keep from calling you names Eric as long as you speak truth. I will be patient and not jump on you even if I think you are how is that but if something continues I will gracefully ask you about it. See you judge me wrongfully and BR.D is given a pass. That will be hard for you to hear but that is shameful my friend and brother in Christ.

        Now here here is where I cornered him and he started to take it personally. I told him that you say all Reformed Believers/Calvinists only follow John Calvin and he admitted to that.

        I then asked him again are Calvinist Christians and he still would not answer saying he would not let me goad him into answering a question like that although you and I both know he answered it in the paragraph above this one.

        That is when I game him the verse in Revelation 21:8 that says But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

        You see BR.D was being a coward a liar according to God’s word, it was not I who was calling him a liar but on the authority of God’s word. I told you all I am respectful and loving in speaking God;s word but I can get firm in love (open rebuke is better than concealed love) when someone is not speaking from the hearth and not telling the truth, This is when you banned me for calling someone a liar who actually was a liar according to God’s word.

        Then after further search on Soteriology I find this quote from BR.D saying “that Calvinists speak out of both sides of their mouth.” Eric right there BR.D did what you said you would ban me for good for. He called called Calvinist habitual liars he speak out of both sides of their mouth, cursing us with the damnation of God and saying we do not have salvation in Christ with those words.

        Then after you banned me for truthfully calling BR.D a coward and liar according to Revelation 21:8 I go on Soteriology101 again only to find him conversing with ED Chap (who I believe already believes Calvinists are not Christians) BR.D says something like this, just paraphrasing, that is what I was thinking and was coming around to that Calvinist are not Christians. This is right after the conversation with me and right after you banned me.

        So this was in his heart all the time. Not that the only one who knows who a Christian is is the Holy Spirit. BR.D was speaking out of both sides of his mouth Eric and you know it to be true my brother in Christ. He said that Calvinists only follow John Calvin not Christ. that they speak out of both sides of their mouth, calling us habitual liars, and saying to Ed Chapman that he was leaning strongly that Calvinists were Christians contradicting all that he told me that it was the work role of the Holy Spirit who only knows who is a Christian. I only called him those things based upon God’s word, you shall know them by their fruits, I am not saying he is not a Christian, but he is sure leaning and looking that way.

        Why did he not just tell me the truth instead of being a coward and lying and and speaking untruths Eric. What Discipline will you give to him for antagonizing me and causing me to get banned because I am a reformed believer who came in with the heart of Christ trying to speak the truth in love only to be thrashed with things like you just follow John Calvin and not Jesus Christ.

        Eric I am more than willing to have this discussion with you as I have with Brian Wagner in the past. If you ask him he will let you know I am no amateur and I know he is a Professor of the Greek language and I actually got Sean Cole to prove him completely wrong on Ephesians 1:4 at one time

        Eric I promise I am not playing games. When I first came to the site and you let me in I was sincere and wanted to be Christlike and speak the truth in love and wanted to do what Proverbs says where iron sharpens iron as one man sharpens another. There will be no name calling from me or false accusations. I only want to use the word of God. I do not need John Calvin. I promise you and I to believe I have the Spirit of Christ I am not making up what I am saying above. Please let’s do this in love. Do you believe I am a brother in Christ. If so good let’s show those on your site who have forgotten how to interact with Calvinist to do it in love respect and reverence and the Calvinist need to learn it also. If you do not believe it remember the Apostle says you are to speak to me in reverence, respect, speaking the truth in love to those who are in opposition and perhaps God may grant them repentance.

        Now for the firm part, I am not concerned that you ready to block me at any time Eric. All I was doing everyday was not trying to get back on your site but let you and others know whose comment I was going to refute next on my own site so please correct your comment on Soteriology101

        Also in the love of Christ you are walking on thin ice that is ready to break, if you do not discuss in the love of Christ but start Calvin bashing, saying I am just a follower of John Calvin, and not believing me when I say you are not understanding and misrepresenting me that ice will break and I will ban you and this conversation will be over. It is not to much to ask when someone says you are not “understanding” me to say. could please explain it another way. If I know you do understand and are just being stubborn I will call you out on it and i want you to to the same. Eric please let’s do this in love. If I am wrong I will say I am wrong and change views immediately. I have done so in the past. If I do not know the answer to something I may ask for time to and patience to get back to you with an answer and you can do the same. But for God’s sake let’s at least be friendly and show how this is to be done, don’t come with a dislike in your heart and I promise not to also.

        Where I would like to discuss is John 6:37-70. We can start at the beginning if you want but the heart of the disagreement is usually begins around verse 37. Let me know Eric my brother is Christ what you want to do. I do not want to quote from a bunch of other people, maybe a few here and there but ultimately let’s just keep this between you and I. We must stay in the portion of Scripture until it is exegeted completely before we can start importing other scriptures. We do not skip all over the chapter. John has a train of thought he is making so we need to go verse by verse as most commentaries do. If you need to bring a verse or two in just to make a point I guess that would be ok but that is something I do not want to make a habit until we have exegeted the whole passage.

        So yea or no my friend and I would like this post to be posted on the Soteriology101 website. I hope you are not going to arbitrary which of my responses gets posted or not. I understand if it is unruly and disrespectful but I think we should have complete transparency or this will not work Eric. So including this post and all future post that are worthy of gospel of Christ I would like for if to be posted. I await your response whether you accept the challenge. May the grace of Christ be with you always

        Like

      2. Kevin, just let it go. I understand how things can get out of hand in a conversation. It seems you are put off by people suggesting that Calvinists may not be Christians. I understand that. If BR.D was making a sweeping judgement like that then I can understand being angry about that. But call it what it is and move on. I agree we don’t know who is saved and a discussion about who is and who is not is not helpful and puts us in a position only God is in.

        The problem is, you’re not calling it what it is when you call people liars and cowards. You need to find another way to express that you think someone is being dishonest and skirting around the real issue. Find other ways to say it that do not make it about THEM but about WHAT THEY’RE SAYING. Do you see the difference? That way your discussions can stay productive.

        Also, I would suggest that when someone slights you, just let it go. Even if they are dodging your questions or being inconsistent just point it out and if they continue to do it just move on with your life and with the discussion. If there is no moving on with the discussion, just end it. It’s better the discussion is over than you hounding someone trying to rehash the disagreement over and over again.

        Have you listened to Dr. Flower’s podcast on John 6? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1Qxb16u2qc&t

        Like

      3. Eric,
        Those are all good points.

        I am about to go to the airport, and with my busy schedule I ready cannot afford to have my in-box clogged up with long emails that are name-calling and just repeating the John 6:44, Roms 3:10-11 type items that have been discussed over and over.

        Several of us here are former Calvinists (yes, one can leave Calvinism and stay firmly in Christ!). We know those verses. In fact that is the main reason for this blog —-to deal with the 40-50 main gotcha verses of Calvinism. So let’s keep recommending that people read/ watch the separate posts (not comment boxes) of this blog.

        Like

      4. Maybe it’s the goal, and I shouldn’t let them ‘win’, but I find myself increasingly reluctant to even open a post from Sot101. I just have absolutely no interest in the name-calling and silliness that frequently passes for discussion on many blogs, and hate to see it happening here – but maybe it is inevitable? Again, I’m not referring to the occasional snarky comment, of which I can be guilty of as well, but personal attacks and long, slanderous rants directed at individuals rather than issues.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I’m snarky. But I don’t mean anything personal regarding my snark. It’s part of my charming personality. I also respect the snark back to me. I don’t take it personal at all. I find that people today in this new generation that they are way too sensitive, which reminds me of a GEICO commercial, asking the guy on the couch, need a tissue? Debates are fun.

        My dad and his brothers would get around the kitchen table at my aunt and uncles house, and debate issues, such as the death penalty. My dad believes in it, they did not. Extremely loud voices and veins popping, but they were the closest of brothers that I have ever known in my lifetime. Their dad had died being a broke drunk who gambled their inheritance away. Their mom left them before that. All they had were each other, and the eldest brother raised the remaining brothers. But get them in a debate around the kitchen table, all hell broke loose. But their love for each other was unmatched.

        And it is in their example that I am snarky, but mean nothing personal by it to anyone. Even the Calvinist to whom I do not believe in their god whatsoever.

        Ed Chapman

        Like

      6. Ed wrote:
        ‘And it is in their example that I am snarky, but mean nothing personal by it to anyone.’

        Would it surprise you if I owned a similar heritage? Only, with me, I have spent most my adult life seeking a better way. I was thankful for the heated debates with siblings – vs. no communication at all – but desirous of more respectful and increasingly productive discussions. We all can easily succumb to old habits, but we have established a ‘new norm’. I no longer seek to annihilate who I am, but to be conformed more and more to the image of Christ.

        When I began to see how often I justified my insensitivity to others as ‘cleverness’ and rhetorical ‘skills’, I sought to harness my tongue and learn more about graciousness. It’s not like I wasn’t smart enough to understand the value of diplomacy – but one can only exhibit genuine love and compassion for others when it is an expression of one’s true heart. That’s what needed to take place first, for me. When I mourned over those who my ‘snarky’ tongue had wounded, I was more enabled to take steps in the right direction. Not claiming to have ‘made it’ but still walking the path. That’s my story.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Matthew 5:22
        …but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

        1 Corinthians 15:36
        Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:

        Galatians 3:1
        O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you,

        It’s completely possible to be Christ like, and call ’em out with words that in today’s definition of Christlike would be considered unChrist like.

        This is the same Apostle Paul that states meekness, gentleness, etc., remember? Yet he got a bit angry at people.

        I’ve read where you, yourself has been a “victim” of spiritual abuse. And ya got sheep following them, believing that how they treated you is JUST FINE, and those sheep do not see you as a victim, but as someone who is not being CHRIST LIKE, causing disruption in the ranks. So they want to burn you at the stake, thinking that they are doing God a favor. And it’s perfectly acceptable in their minds.

        Follow that type of God? Be all nicey nicey, for the sake of unity? Their unity is bondage, and we are to fight against any form of oppression, subjugation, bondage. The nicey nicey words make it sound like you give them permission to infiltrate, take over, put others in bondage.

        I’m still having a hard time wrapping my head around the notion that two different belief systems are in one organization, and you guys are fine and dandy with it, calling them brothers, being all nicey nicey. Yet slam the door on a Mormon or Jehovah’s Witness. Absolutely mind boggling. I invite them in my house, and I discuss with them why I can never be either one. I am generous to them, asking them if I can get them something to drink, eat, etc. But they know where I stand when they leave. Now, if they tried to hijack my church, I would not be so nice at all. I would be, in today’s definition, unChrist Like.

        Ed Chapman

        Like

      8. Hi Ed,
        I was curious to look into the Greek on the Matthews and the 1 Corinthians use of the word “fool” in the English translations.
        I’m not at home right now so I don’t have my BDAG to reach for so I looked at the Bill Mounce Greek Primer.

        In Matthews, the word is Ῥακά (pronounced rhaka) an Aramaic term which I believe was meant to mean “a worthless person”.
        And the 1 Corinthians word ἄφρων (pronounced aphron), I believe was meant to infer unwise, inconsiderate, or simple minded.
        But of course the English translation renders them using the same word.

        Like

      9. br. d,

        Ya, you are correct. I just looked both up in the Strong’s Concordance:

        Matthew Reference:
        G3474
        μωρός mōrós, mo-ros’; probably from the base of G3466; dull or stupid (as if shut up), i.e. heedless, (morally) blockhead, (apparently) absurd:—fool(-ish, X -ishness).

        1 Cor Reference:
        G878
        ἄφρων áphrōn, af’-rone; from G1 (as a negative particle) and G5424; properly, mindless, i.e. stupid, (by implication) ignorant, (specially) egotistic, (practically) rash, or (morally) unbelieving:—fool(-ish), unwise.

        But notice the same words in both…stupid.

        But ya, you are right.

        Ed

        Like

      10. Good Job!
        yes it would seem to me logical that since they are not the same Greek word they would have different usages. :-]

        Like

      11. Or maybe I am finding out, once again, that something that I considered good, worthwhile and of service to God is – for me as well as others – just another ego-boosting exercise in self-righteous justification? Sigh, I am so tired of ugliness. Mine most of all.

        Liked by 2 people

      12. I will do what you say Eric and let it go because I was not angry just that is what BR.D said about me and you know how easy it is to judge someone’s emotions and be wrong over the internet. I was only trying to get BR.D to admit the truth by what he had already said on here as you read the fruit of his words that came from his heart told the truth of what he believed.

        I did not call BR.D a coward and liar from own heart but will refrain from it in the future. It was based on the fact of him Calling Calling Calvinist only follow John Calvin and speak out of both sides of their mouth and he strongly leans to the fact that Calvinist are not Christians although he told me he leaves this decision as to who is a Christian up to the Holy Spirit

        Now Eric I exposed Eric for speaking out of both sides of his mouth and not telling me the truth and only used Revelation 21:8 that speaks of a coward and liar. You have scolded me twice or three times now for doing that and ask you what have you said to BR.D for calling Calvinist liars and cowards because in all reality he has done the same thing. You have done nothing sir. That is biased. But i am not asking you to do anything I forgive Br.D and I hope he can forgive me and we can move on but I do not want you to keep saying I am calling people a liar or a coward apart from the word of God and the very truth of it being right here on Soteriology101. I will do exactly what you have demanded and I will stop though because this is your forum, I just ask that I get treated the same way and not get antagonized my friend. Eric you seem to be pretty mature as you seem to calming me down and helping to see things a little clearly although I do stand by some of the thins I have said

        I am not sure what you mean by “when somebody slights you” I do not think that is true Eric. I just want truth to be spoken and as Christians I do not think that is asking to much. If you can show me where I got upset when I was slighted I will apologize and ask for forgiveness but at the same time if I slight someone as a Calvinist you cannot just up and ban me you have to let it go to Sir I am not perfect but I promise to try and not to offend. I do not agree if someone is dodging or evading a question that is being untruthful and there is no way of getting to the truth if someone will not be truthful Eric. I hope in our discussion that we both can be mature enough to say “I don’t know or I need more time to check this out please be patient with me” That has to be a rule of this discussion. Oh I agree if you come to a place where someone is evading a question or both sides have not moved from their positions and you they know they are not going to yes it is best to end it on friendly terms,

        Have you read James White’s book on John 8 Drawn by the Father or William Hendriksen Commentary on John 6

        Yes I have listened to Dr Flowers on John 6. I have said many times he is a very Christlike and Godly man most of the time more than his opponents in debates, that is with Calvinists

        Like

      13. Eric would you like me to start with John 6:37 or do you want to start at another place earlier in the chapter. My one rule is we go in order verse by verse not that we can’t skip back to a verse for explanation purposes, but I will do my best to take it in small chunks or their will be no name calling as I will only call you out if you start with silly nonsense of you only follow john calvin stuff like that, other than that I promise to to respectful if I seem to be rude please call me out on it and i will ask you to forgive me and correct myself immediately.

        Like

      14. Ok Eric that sounds great I thought you might want to start a little higher up to give it some context. Thanks Eric for another chance I promise I will do my best. I will try and keep it small to the way you guys like it ok.

        Like

      15. Kevin, I think the context of Jesus’ teaching is just fine. So he reminds them of the bread that came down from heaven that feeds them in the wilderness. Why do you think he’s doing that?

        Like

      16. I just want to say up front it seems Jesus does not really identify himself as the “bread of Life” himself that is personally until verse 35,

        I am not evading your question but it is a hard one so be patient with Eric ok

        Like

      17. Moses as God’s agent, merely gave directions to the people of God regarding the manner in which the manna was to be collected EX16

        The Father in heaven is ever the real giver

        Even if Moses be considered the giver, it remains true that he did not give the real bread out of heaven which we have already identified who the real bread is. (as I read earlier Jesus instructed the people to gather food that perishes even as the manna would perish but for the bread of heaven that would lead to eternal life. The manna was a type Eric only of Christ who was the real true bread of heaven, it was not he Anti-type.

        The Father is giving the real bread out of heaven The bread is Jesus.

        What the manna provided, as it descended from the visible heaven was nourishment only for the body,

        What Jesus, the real bread of life gives is life.

        This is my understanding Eric, not sure what you are looking for. Be interested if you have something different but after looking at the text I do think I am on the right track at least

        Like

      18. Kevin, “What the manna provided, as it descended from the visible heaven was nourishment only for the body, What Jesus, the real bread of life gives is life.”

        I’ll often quote you like that so as to help clarify which point I’m addressing. It is a habit I got into many years ago and it has worked out so far.

        I agree with the meaning as you understand it but I was more wondering “why” He felt the need to give them that teaching in the first place. John records for us the teaching and also the question, and really the challenge, spurred it. I have to think this is significant since John felt the need to include it. I will give you what I think to be the answer to the question so we can see if we agree:

        Jesus is answering their question from v. 28, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?”. This is, of course, a response to his admonition to seek for True Bread, which you rightly pointed out. So he answers their question, “What shall we do…?”. And what is his answer? “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” They ask “what shall we do?” and Jesus answers, “Believe”. That’s what starts all of this.

        They then challenge him and say “What sign do you give so that we can believe?” (my paraphrase) and they go on to cite the example of the bread in the wilderness as a work Moses did. Jesus corrects their understanding of the bread in the wilderness and says “It wasn’t Moses who gave it to you but God” as you rightly pointed out. But notice that he’s still answering the question “What shall we do?” by tying the bread as “given by God” into his original answer that they must “believe in the One whom He has sent”. Both have been given by God. His answer to “what shall we do?” is the same as His answer to “What sign do you perform?”. So his purpose is to answer the question “What shall we do?”

        Do we agree? And if not, where did I go wrong?

        Like

      19. wow not that is long and I see you are well versed in the scriptures like Brian Wagner was, He is so much like Dr Flowers a godly man who taught how to discuss and not be so offended, I know it did not seem like it when you banned me but I believe you were being a little bias it you would have read the whole issue. I also think you are more mature than me Eric, I can learn from you (and I am not just stroking your ego) I will be and have been the first to say that James White is little rough around the edges at times (at times!!) and that last debate Dr Flowers had on Free will with those so called Calvinist I am ashamed. Dr Flowers Conducted himself rightly though out the whole debate only once being firm and saying can I finish before being interrupted which he in Christ had the right to do. I am much better now thanks to Brian, but I do not like to be sinfully antagonized or have the you follow John Calvin constantly thrown in my face.

        You have not done that my friend, you have stayed with the word and for that I commend you. I do not know if I will be able to spar with you or not because I am beginning to see you are far from an amateur but so was Brian and I did well with him so we will see

        Like

      20. Eric I still believe there was a contrast going on from food that perishes whether it was food Jesus gave the five thousand or the food Moses gave from the visible heaven not the real heal the 3rd heaven because Jesus tells us this true genuine bread is eternal life to all the Father gives it to (verse 32 not given by Moses or Jesus but by the Father) and in verse 35 he identifies himself as the bread of life which we have already told is given by the our Heavenly Father.

        So I am not sure Jesus is answering a question from 28 although I could be wrong and at this point I do not think it is a big deal.

        Now that you have backed up even more this is where we may begin to disagree with each other a little so patience here is necessary

        In verse 28 they do ask Jesus what they must do to work the works of God. (But remember Jesus told them why they were really there and that was for more food that perishes Verse 26, that is the real reason they were there Eric) although Jesus takes this opportunity to teach them about the the true bread of life VS 32 the Father gives)

        So when works is mentioned it is taken in a literal sense, as indicating law-works which on performs in order to earn a place in the kingdom. That is why they said in verse 28 I think it was what must we do to work the works of God but I am not sure that is what they really want as Jesus had already exposed them early in verse 26 as to their true motive for following him.

        Jesus said this is the work of God (not man) that you believe on Him who He (the Father ) sent. In this passage verse 29 does not Jesus call the exercise of faith a work? And if a work which man must render, then is it true that a man is saved by grace and not by works. There is no doubt that salvation is entirely a work by God’s grace. It is the work of God VS 29 and of his Christ, it is a gift, the whole process of being saved by grace through faith, not of works and not of yourselves it is the gift of God worked inside of the believing sinner.

        Then in verse 30 the multitude of sinners go right back asking for a sign like Moses gave manna in the wilderness. I agree with you and stand corrected that Moses did not actually give the manna out of heaven but the Father did thank you for that Correction Eric, So yes we agree on that and I was partly wrong and partly right but I do not think you see the significance of verses 28-29 as if the sinners can work the work of God of believing on Jesus.

        Like

      21. Kevin,

        I appreciate the kind words and my head did just grow another hat size. Not that I wear hats…

        “I still believe there was a contrast going on from food that perishes whether it was food Jesus gave the five thousand or the food Moses gave from the visible heaven”

        I agree. I mean to say that along with this contrast Jesus does draw a connection between Himself and the mana from heaven.

        “So I am not sure Jesus is answering a question from 28 although I could be wrong and at this point I do not think it is a big deal.”

        That’s fair enough but I do think it is a big deal since it is the question that instigates the teaching and we must keep it in mind no how far down the passage we go. We would need a clear exegetical marker to tell us that Jesus has stopped answering this central question and has changed subjects.

        “Jesus said this is the work of God (not man) that you believe on Him who He (the Father ) sent.”

        Where does Jesus say that it is a work of God that they believe the works of God?

        “And if a work which man must render, then is it true that a man is saved by grace and not by works. There is no doubt that salvation is entirely a work by God’s grace.”

        Even if this is true, isn’t this #1: jumping way out of this passage and #2: importing theological assumptions onto the text? Why don’t we get through the entire context of Jesus’ teaching before we start making conclusions about it?

        ” It is the work of God VS 29 and of his Christ, it is a gift, the whole process of being saved by grace through faith, not of works and not of yourselves it is the gift of God worked inside of the believing sinner.”

        But you said you weren’t going to jump around to other passages.

        ” I do not think you see the significance of verses 28-29 as if the sinners can work the work of God of believing on Jesus.”

        I’m not making any sweeping theological conclusions yet, I’m just saying that the common Jews that followed Jesus for more actual food are asking him a question about what they must do to get the food that endures (even if they are completely wrong about what that means). I’m trying not to import anything on to the text when I say “they are asking for what they are supposed to do”, I’m just taking their question for what it is. Conclusions have to come much later.

        Anyway, I think the central question we must agree on is this one: Are they or are they not asking for what they must do?

        Like

      22. My response will be take a little while Eric although you convinced me again that yes the connection was a big deal and I was wrong again, Thanks for teaching me that and I will get back to this asap. Your logic I see is not going to easy to deal with as I need to slow down and mediate and think better, I think you are higher than a an intermediate in God’s word and that puts me at a disadvantage. But I will not stop but will continue to admit when I am wrong.; Eric I do love the Lord, My Savior and my God. If I am wrong I will change immediately. But I do think it will become harder for each of us to convince each other. Thanks your kindness in the way you talk to me in letting me know when I have been incorrect. I do not feel offended but rejoice that I know the truth better and someone with maturity is not throwing it in my face

        Like

      23. Kevin, take your time. My goal isn’t to convince you and I will not hold this discussion hostage on a single point until you agree with me. If, in the end, you understand where I get my view (though I received it from men much smarter than me) and you still end up disagreeing that will be mission accomplished. Again, I appreciate your kind words. Take us much time as you need.

        Like

      24. I did say were not going to jump around to other passages except occasionally to prove a point and but I did not want to make a habit of it and to stay right in the context of scripture we were reading. So if you re-read what I said you will see it is true Sir.

        I want to correct my self on the assumption that God works faith in sinners because even Calvinists do not believe that. I mean like a puppet causing them to believe.

        When the people ask Jesus in Verse 28 what must we do that we may work the works of God. They misunderstood what Jesus was talking about thinking he was calling for more labor from them to keep the works of God that no man can keep or be justified by the works of the law. Even when a sinner is a good mom or father or good employee or employer it is still sin in the eyes of God from defect because they are not trying to be these things out of love for God. Godly mothers and fathers, employees and employers. Our righteousness are as filthy rags before a holy and righteous God. So sinners outside of Christ can be good before man outside of Christ but not before God so they cannot work the works of God as they have this innate inability unless you are the boogie man pelagin who believes you can do right and wrong whenever you want, libertarian free will and that autonomous.

        For in asking this question they do not consider that God bestows upon us, by the hand of God the Son, all that is necessary for spiritual life.

        They ask what they ought to do not what they necessarily can do as we will see as we move farther down in John 6 of a sinner’s inability. In this manner here in these two verses 28-29 they manifest their ignorance of the grace of God. But if you will look closely in verse 28 it is as if they are murmuring groundlessly What must we do to be working the works of God? As if they are saying do you expect us to do what is beyond our power and ability. Eric, by the works of God we must understand those things which God demands and commands and of which he approves. Christ reminds them of one work which is FAITH, because this alone does God require from us, that we believe. I am sure we can agree upon that.

        But here is an implied contrast between faith, works, and the efforts of men and we both know that without faith no one can please God. Faith here is what Jesus wishes and requires? When a sinner though faith receives Christ by grace though faith and that not of themselves or any kind of works, it bestows on them that blessings and alien righteousness outside of ourselves.

        Actually if I understand you right Eric the common Jew was not asking Jesus for the food or bread from heaven that endures. Jesus plainly says in verse 26 that they followed for the food that perishes, but they should seek and labor for the bread of life that the Son of Man gives that leads to eternal life.

        After Jesus explains this to them about the bread of eternal life they ask of Jesus to “give us this bread” but they still did not understand like the woman at the well when Jesus told her of the he could give her water and she would thirst no more. She did not understand. Then he revealed himself to her. As he does to the murmuring Jews here in John 6:35 revealing to them that he is the bread of Life. saying he who comes to me will never hunger and he who believes in me will never thirst. Coming and believing I am sure we both know are synonymous

        No they are still in a state of ignorance as we will see as we continue and advance in John 6. They do not understand Jesus being the eternal bread of life That is my conclusion so far my friend Eric. Sorry so long Eric my friend this one was difficult because yours was a little long in itself.

        You said something I always tell my opponent and I think that is good. My goal is not to convince your or persuade you of what I think is the truth. That is the work of the Holy Spirit.

        Like

      25. Kevin,

        “Eric I do not see this assertion in my post, could you please show me so I can repent of it.”

        I do not expect you to repent but I am happy to try to clarify. In a previous comment, you had summarized v. 29 like this: “Jesus said this is the work of God (not man) that you believe on Him who He (the Father ) sent.” I took this as asserting that it is a work of God for the Jews to believe in the works of God. I paraphrased you and asked, ““Where does Jesus say that it is a work of God that they believe the works of God?” I do not see that in the text. Instead, I see the Jews asking Jesus how they can “work the works of God”. And Jesus is saying (my paraphrase), “Here is how you can work the works of God; believe in the One whom God has sent”. Do you think this is an accurate paraphrase of Jesus’ answer?

        I agree with a lot of what you’re saying in re: to John 6 and in order to get to the heart of the matter I’m going to cut down my response as much as I can. I do not mean to ignore a point you’re making, I just want to stay with what I think is essential to understanding this passage.

        “No they are still in a state of ignorance as we will see as we continue and advance in John 6. They do not understand Jesus being the eternal bread of life”

        I completely agree. But let’s stick with my above question for now because I think everything flows from there.

        Like

      26. I think you misunderstood because I quoted Jesus exactly Eric, from verse, that this the work of God, so it cannot be a work of man, that your believe in Him, that being Jesus who He, being the Father sent.

        I do not see the problem there. Your assertion I think may be a misunderstanding of what I am saying because I quoting the verse directly as Jesus did maybe adding who I think the pronouns are and that the work of God is not the work of man which is common sense.

        So there is no where in there that I can find and have to disagree you sir respectfully that I said anything close to your assertion of, “Where does Jesus say that it is a work of God that they believe the works of God?|

        I just don’t don’t think I said that unless you can give the link to the post I said it in. I seemed to have said this is the work of God that “you believe in the one whom he sent and that being the work of God.”

        So in my opinion I respectfully think this question of yours is a misunderstanding unless you can clarify better and show me from a post where I actually said that or we should just move on. What do you think Eric?

        Yes I do believe that you give an accurate phrase of what the works of God are as you state it and I have stated it also so I think we are agreeing on this issue. That the works of God are that the common Jesus people who were grumbling and murmuring in verse 27 saying to Jesus what must we do to work the works of God. (that must be where you got that at) you see in verse 27 Eric the Jews do ask Jesus in a condescending way murmuring how can we work the works of God like you. To me and other scholars that is what they are saying. But one cannot have eternal life outside of a proper understanding of the one who gives it and Jesus is the one who gives eternal to as many as the Father has given Him Verses 37-39. The unbelieving Jews were complaining and murmuring all through this chapter of their inability to do what Jesus was commanding of them. Jesus said this the work of God that you believe in the one whom He the Father Sent and this does not imply ability that is reading into the text. This is not what they can do but what they ought to do.

        And I am not sure when I quoted verse 29.”Jesus said this is the work of God, that you believe on Him whom the Father sent” How do you get out of that that I was asserting it is a work of God for the Jews to believe in the work of God

        I agree with you but still not see where I said or asserted your questioned other than the Jews themselves said in verse 28 “what must we do to work the works of God” They were already grumbling and complaining in their disbelief. Because after all Jesus says to the Jews he says in John 6:36 – 36. But I spoke to you because you have seen Me and have not believed. and on down he begins to rebuke them for their grumbling and complaining.

        So I think (I think) you may be mistaken about me saying the quote you feel is wrong I may have been quoting scripture invs 28 where they do say exactly say what assert I say and ask me why they would ask that. They actually do ask that in verse 28 but are helpless, weak and unable to work the works of God apart from Christ even as we as Christians can do nothing apart from Jesus that is fruitful to the glory of God.

        Like

      27. Kevin, “So in my opinion I respectfully think this question of yours is a misunderstanding unless you can clarify better and show me from a post where I actually said that or we should just move on. What do you think Eric?”

        Fair enough, let me ask a clarifying question and then we can move on even if we disagree. When Jesus says in v. 29, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent”, you take this as saying that this something the Jews ought to do, correct?

        Like

      28. Eric I am ok with “disagreements” but you still never showed me where I made that assertion and you know respectfully and kindly Sir I will admit i am wrong and be corrected without any arrogance. Could you please show me, if it is a matter you want to move on from we can I understand and will not make a big deal about it.

        Yes I do this in verse 29 as something the Jews ought to do, “that is believe on Jesus whom the Father has sent, not necessarily that they can in and of themselves, but a work of God as repentance they are responsible for, but I am importing something that is not there so my simple answer to your question is yes it is something the Jews ought to do.

        Like

      29. Kevin, “you still never showed me where I made that assertion”

        Let’s move on from this. I attempted to, and obviously failed to, accurately paraphrase you to your satisfaction. I’m sure we’ll have many such disagreements as to how we understand one another. I take you at your word that you do not think “It is a work of God that they believe in the works of God”. Indeed, I’m glad to hear it. But let’s move on.

        “Yes I do this in verse 29 as something the Jews ought to do, “that is believe on Jesus whom the Father has sent, not necessarily that they can in and of themselves, but a work of God as repentance they are responsible for”

        OK great. And for the record (though this is outside the text we’re on right now) I agree repentance is a work of God that the Jews are responsible for. But let’s get back to the text. In v. 29, in response to their question, Jesus tells the Jews what they ought to do, which is to believe in Him. In v. 30 they ask for a sign and in v. 31 they give an example of a sign they could believe in like bread from heaven. They sure do like to be fed without having to work for it. Jesus corrects them (v. 32) and says it wasn’t Moses that gave the bread but His Father that gives TRUE bread. In v. 32-33 he switches from talking about earthly bread to talking about True Bread, namely Himself, and says this bread “gives life to the world”. v. 34, they respond with “always give us this bread” because they are still thinking he is talking about earthly bread that they can eat and he’s about to do another sign and give them more food.

        How are we doing so far? In agreement?

        Like

      30. Yes I agree absolutely with you Eric. Not much more to say than that because summed it up quite nicely

        They, like the first century listeners, cannot see past the symbol to the reality beyond

        Like

      31. Your doing excellent Eric, I like the way you teach and go through scripture. You have already shown me two mistakes I made. You remind me of Brian Wagner who is a little sarcastic in good kind way that use to make me laugh. Only Brian could get away it.

        Liked by 1 person

      32. Who said a Calvinist and a Non-Calvinist could not agree, to bad we are only a couple a verses away where I think the disagreements will begin. I will let the text do the speaking Eric and not import anything that is not necessary to the text. I know I have been making that mistake and you have called me out in a kind way and I think you for it Sir. You are teaching me to this much better and I think you for it.

        Like

      33. Kevin, yes, we’re probably going to get into where the disagreements will begin. Let’s just go another two verses, 35-36:

        OK, so Jesus is telling them what they ought to do, which is to believe in Him, and He likens Himself to the sign of the bread in the wilderness, but in contrast, He is True Bread. They say they want this bread, but probably they’re still thinking they’re going to get fed for free so they can live. Instead, Jesus goes right back to equating Himself with the bread but does so more explicitly now. In v. 35 it’s “I am the bread of life” and he claims “he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst”. We don’t know exactly what he means by that yet, but he’s making some statement about the True Bread being eternally fulfilling. But then He challenges them about what they ought to do again in the next verse, v. 36, “But I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe.” They requested a sign so they could do what they ought to do, which is believe, and Jesus says, “You’ve seen the sign, me, and you still do not believe”. I take Jesus as saying that everything they need in order to do what they ought has been provided them. Jesus is standing in front of them, which is the sign they requested, and yet they still don’t believe.

        How are we doing? Still good?

        Like

      34. Yes I am still with you Eric although I do not think verse 36 is a “challenge” it is a “statement of fact” made by Jesus as you led up to this verse so beautifully.

        “36. But I spoke to you because you have seen Me and have not believed.”

        This is not a challenge but an accurate fact of their spiritual state at that time. The true bread which is really the spiritual bread is Christ. Jesus had spoke to them and they had seen him but they were still in a spiritually dead disbelieving state.

        The Lord knows their hearts, their thoughts, their minds. He knows they have not “believed” in Him – though they confessed He was a prophet (v. 14) this is not enough – this is not the highest, truest level of faith as used in John. Though they have looked upon the bread of life, they have not believed. They are faced with God’s very revelation of Himself, but they don’t ace It. In verse 40 He will say that all who “look” upon the Son might have eternal life. Here He says they have seen (heorakate) Him – later in verse 40 He will say that all who look (theoron) will be saved. Again more dualism for John. What follows, through verse 47, seems to be an explanation of the rejection of even those styled “disciples” (v. 66) when faced with the reality of His person. The difference between those who will stay with Jesus and those who will walk away is simply this – the drawing of the Father.

        Like

      35. Kevin,

        ““36. But I spoke to you because you have seen Me and have not believed.” This is not a challenge but an accurate fact of their spiritual state at that time. The true bread which is really the spiritual bread is Christ. Jesus had spoke to them and they had seen him but they were still in a spiritually dead disbelieving state.”

        It is certainly an accurate statement of the state of affairs, they do not believe. But what I mean by “challenge” is that they asked for something else, a sign, so that they could believe. Jesus is saying “There is no other sign I need to give you, I AM the sign”. He’s challenging their assumption that He needs to do something for them, in front of them, so that they can believe. And he’s saying he doesn’t need to do anything else cause His arrival is the same as the manna in the wilderness, except this time he’s giving True Bread. Does that help?

        Like

      36. Yes that does help but I am still not sure my friend I see the challenge but if you see I am not gonna say it it not in there. I am now reading the whole text again because I have noticed you have very good observation skills so give me a few minutes and I will give you my thoughts.

        27. Work not for the bread which perishes but for the bread which abides unto eternal life which the Son of Man will give to you; for this one the Father, even God, has sealed.

        I think Jesus here is not issuing a challenge but a warning because the Jews have been grumbling and complaining. He is warning them to get their spiritual issues straight and quit looking for the food that perishes and but instead for the bread that abides unto eternal life, and we both know this bread is found in only on place Jesus the Son. So no challenge but a warning in my view. We know that Jesus will continue to connect himself to eternal life throughout this discourse and one cannot have eternal outside of the one who gives; the Lord Jesus Christ.

        I see no challenge in verse 28 but I do see the Jews challenging Jesus in verse 30 saying give us a sign that we might believe in you. That is the only challenge I see thus far.

        No I do not think that Jesus challenged them especially in verse 36 or any place we have covered thus far. In 36 I still see it as a statement of fact in Jesus seeing the unbelief of their spiritually dead hearts. He calls on them to belief they remain in their unbelief challenging Jesus to show them a sign so they can believe on Him and continue in spirit of grumbling and complaining as we will see becomes more evident as move through this discourse.

        What do you think Eric, Do we agree?

        Like

      37. Kevin, sure I can go with v. 36 being a warning. Like, “Hey, the sign you’re asking for is right in front of you and you’re in danger of missing it” even if they’re not totally sincere in the asking or don’t fully understand what they’re asking for. He’s equating Himself with the mana in the wilderness and just as the Jews touched it during the Exodus and believed in Yahweh so too are they now to see Jesus and believe in Him. I’m with you.

        Here is where we’ll disagree I’m sure. All I can ask is that you do your best to resist importing theological baggage onto the next two verses and let us just discuss what they are saying in their context. We can add the theological baggage later. Let neither of us make broad theological conclusions nor import theological assumptions onto it, but strive only to understand the passage in its context. How does that sound? Here we go:

        So Jesus calls himself the bread of life and those that eat this bread are filled eternally. But then he warns them that they are in danger of disbelieving in him even though they see him. Then he says, v. 37 “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.” So there is some sort of giving that the Father is doing, though we don’t know what that means yet. And all that the Father will give Him, He will not throw away. That seems like it needs tons of explanation and Jesus begins to do just that, starting the next sentence with “for”, which means “because”. “For” is a purpose statement, he is about to tell us why “all that the Father gives Me will come to me”. He says, v. 38 “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” So the reason God is doing the giving to Jesus is that Jesus is not here to do His own will but to do the will of the Father. OK, again, so far, we don’t exactly know what any of this means, we’re just following Jesus line of thought.

        How are we doing?

        Like

      38. Eric said: “Here is where we’ll disagree I’m sure. All I can ask is that you do your best to resist importing theological baggage onto the next two verses and let us just discuss what they are saying in their context. We can add the theological baggage later. Let neither of us make broad theological conclusions nor import theological assumptions onto it, but strive only to understand the passage in its context. How does that sound? Here we go:”

        Eric I copied and pasted this quote of yours before you got into verse 37 because I wanted to make a comment or two. I give you my word I can perform exegesis straight from the scripture without importing anything. That is just letting Jesus speak for himself. Now what you might thing is baggage I might believe is what Jesus is actually saying and I will hold you to that respectfully. I will now finish reading what you wrote as I am very very anxious how you exegete this verse in connection with all we just went through because this no disconnect from what was previous or what is to come . Thanks Eric. So I hope you have quoted Jesus as he has spoken and have not imported what you think he has said or any theological baggage also and I am not saying just because you did I promise I still want to be friendly as possible from here on, let’s show these guys that a Calvinist and Non-Calvinist Can Debate in the love of Christ.

        Eric says: “So Jesus calls himself the bread of life and those that eat this bread are filled eternally. But then he warns them that they are in danger of disbelieving in him even though they see him.”

        This verse partly correct and partly incorrect . Your right Jesus does call himself the bread of Life vs 34. But then Eric you say THAT JESUS SAYS THEY ARE IN DANGER OF DISBELIEVING IN HIM EVEN THOUGH THEY SEE SEE HIM. This is not what Jesus actually said. In verse 36 Jesus actually said YOU HAVE SEEN ME AND DO NOT BELIEVE. “36. But I spoke to you because you have seen Me and have not believed.”

        Yes Eric in verse 37 I agree there is a “giving” by the Father to Jesus, but we cannot disconnect this from verse 36 from the unbelieving ones who Jesus spoke to and said you have seen me and do not believe. Remember Jesus is putting forth and argument here and it all goes together. So verse 36 is essential to understanding verse 37. Because he actually speaks verse 37 to the unbelieving ones who had seen the true bread from heaven in verse 37 and told them that “Everyone or all that the Father gives me will come to me and I will in no wise cast them out. This is not baggage what I am about to say it is in connection with verse 37. Why did those in verse 36 who actually seen the bread of life remain in an unbelieving state and not come to Jesus. This is what you were trying to prevent me from doing but it just cannot be done because 36 and 37 are connected and contrast each other. But Jesus declares to those in verse 36 who are grumbling, complaining and disbelieving that everyone or all the Father gives to Him (Jesus) will come to Him. Guaranteed, no chance of not coming if you believe what Jesus is saying and his Holy words from Scripture, I know those in verse 36 he was talking to did not or even understand. So we know that there are some that will be given by the Father to Jesus in this verse who will come and He will in no wise cast them out. Why will they come and those in verse 36 remain in state of disbelieving and actually leave and abandon Jesus at the end of this Chapter.

        Eric you cannot deny in verse 37 that when the Father gives these persons identified in verse 37 it says they will come. No chance of not coming. That is straight from the text brother, me just reading out of it, exegesis, and not reading into it. Jesus says they or he or she will come speaking of human response to the drawing of the Father in verse 44. I know we are not at verse 44 yet but there has been some jumping around here and there from both of us. I am still staying within the text of scripture and ultimately showing how all this fits together. The person given to Christ from the Father comes (human response) to Jesus as a result of the gracious working of God in their life.

        Jesus continues by saying that when the many or one of the many comes their relationship is secure with Him and the Jesus as we will see explains that even more as we continue. He will never cast them for he as loved them with an everlasting love.

        I want to introduce a small quote here concerning the security of those given by the Father who come to Jesus. “The aorist subjunctive of strong denial makes it clear that rejection of one who seeks refuge in Christ is a complete and total impossibility. What words to a sinner’s heart! Those who come to Christ will find Him a loving Lord who will never cast out those who trust in Him!”

        Remember the “many cannot come unless they are first “given” by the Father to Jesus. And when a person comes to Jesus he experiences Salvation. I will not say who I think the all, everyone or the many are at this time because that would be baggage you do not want but I think it is clear to anyone who really wants to see, although it does take the Holy Spirit to see Spiritual truth and . For I admit I could be wrong. I think we do know what Jesus is saying in contrast with what he has already said especially verse 36 and verse 38 you mention. I actually believe there is a contrast and a distinguishing going on between verses 36 and 37 for they cannot be disconnected and Jesus does not mentioned verse 37 right after 36 without it giving some feedback to 36.

        Eric said: “So the reason God is doing the giving to Jesus is that Jesus is not here to do His own will but to do the will of the Father.”

        I do not think I can agree with that quote either Eric. Verse 38 does say for this reason I have come down to do the will of he Father. And verse 39 not verse 37 tells us what the will of the Father is although they are connected the same “many” Look at verse 39

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

        THE WILL OF THE FATHER IS THAT ALL THAT THE FATHER HAS GIVEN JESUS (REFER BACK TO VERSE 37 HE WILL LOSE NONE) Jesus still speaking of the security of the many who the Father will give to him resulting in them coming to him and Jesus securing them salvation as coming is synonymous with believing. Not to sound boastful Eric but the GIVING OF THE FATHER IS IN VERSES 37 AND 39 AND THIS HAS TO BE A GREAT INSIGHT FOR YOU TO SEE WHAT THE REAL WILL OF THE FATHER WAS IN VERSE 38. With all respect and love brother.

        38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

        Verse 38 is confirmation of the preceding statement , that we do not seek Christ in vain

        We will see the as we continue with the discourse of Jesus’s argument the many are individuals and verse 37 in intimately related to verse 36 and the verses above it and those that come after it. And that verse 37 is trying tell us something about faith and the will of man but I know I cannot insert that here at this time.

        I know you will think I have imported things such as theological baggage. But that is not true. I cannot just copy and past the passages and say here ya go. I have to explain that is perform exegesis and perform interpretation to some degree and I hope you will agree with that. I feel you were staying to generic with your exegesis but maybe you will add more to it next time, I still believed I stayed within the passages just connecting them and performing exegesis and no baggage. What do you think. You may think I am being biased, yes in a way I am because I feel this is the true interpretation of the passages of scriptures we are studying. If I am wrong please show me my friend. If I have got ahead of where we should be slow me down although I do not think I have as I stayed with verses 36-38

        I kinda feel your tying to keep it to generic Eric when we can see what line of argument Jesus has been taking with the Jews and actually what he is saying in verse 37 in connection with verse 36 and verse 38 for they are not isolated from 37 but intimately connected with it. I think we have now seen verse 36 and above it is connected with 37. Eric I need to know what you really believe verse 37 is saying in connection with verses 36 and verses 38

        Thanks Eric. Please show me if I am wrong where I corrected you. I am not wanting to show boat but I want us to be truthful and open so all can see a friendly debate and not one who will just try and cover up where they missed it. Not that I think you will but I think you made a few mistakes this time, but that is ok my brother in Christ so have I and this is how we learn.

        Like

      39. Kevin, “Eric you cannot deny in verse 37 that when the Father gives these persons identified in verse 37 it says they will come. No chance of not coming.”

        I don’t deny it, I agree. I’m fine that the drawing happens and I’m fine with the absoluteness of the drawing. Where we are going to disagree is HOW the Father does that drawing, but we’re not there yet.

        I had said: “So the reason God is doing the giving to Jesus is that Jesus is not here to do His own will but to do the will of the Father.”

        You replied: “I do not think I can agree with that quote either Eric. Verse 38 does say for this reason I have come down to do the will of the Father.”

        My argument is that the word “for” that begins v. 38 begins a purpose statement which explains the purpose for v. 37. I agree that each verse flows into the next because the verse placement is not inspired but a later addition (as I’m sure you’re aware). If the “for” does not begin a purpose statement, what is it there for? What is your alternative reason for why the “for” is there?

        “I have to explain that is perform exegesis and perform interpretation to some degree and I hope you will agree with that. I feel you were staying to generic with your exegesis but maybe you will add more to it next time, I still believed I stayed within the passages just connecting them and performing exegesis and no baggage.”

        I don’t disagree with much of what you’re saying re: v. 39 but I’m being “too generic” on purpose. We haven’t even finished going through Jesus’ flow of thought. We haven’t even read his whole argument. I feel as though you want to skip over certain parts of the exegesis, like the tiny little “for” in v. 38, to get the weightier verses you think support your final interpretation. But you can’t just pick certain verses to focus on. You have to take into account every sentence, every word, in a flow of thought to make sure you understand that flow correctly. THEN we can discuss conclusions, implications, and theology.

        Let me give you an example of what I mean. About v. 39 you said, “Jesus still speaking of the security of the many who the Father will give to him resulting in them coming to him and Jesus securing them salvation as coming is synonymous with believing.” But Jesus hasn’t told you from what he will “not cast out” those that come to him. Jesus hasn’t told you what “raise it up on the last day” means nor what “eternal life” means. Where in the context of this passage has Jesus defined these things? When in the heck is the “last day”? It is easy to import all of our prior understanding to relieve the tension of not knowing what Jesus means but if you do that then you’ve stopped doing exegesis. See, part of exegesis is restricting yourself only considering what is actually in the passage until you get through the entire flow of thought.

        Like

      40. I do not think I was wrong just hurrying things along and not following the flow of the argument as we agreed upon. There are no parts of the exegesis I want to skip over I am not sure why you are thinking that. We are in the heart of it now. I think I took into account the little tiny word “for” Eric and actually told you that that was why I kinda disagreed with you that it was because it was primarily the giving of the Father. I do think and agree with you that it is connected with that but it more intimately connected with verse 39 where Jesus says, 39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. So yes I think we both are right about that and I think if had read closer you would have seen I brought this truth out so I am not skipping over anything to get to other verses. I just brought the will of the Father for which Jesus was sent of those in verse 37 and 39 in a much clearer light. As a matter a fact I performed much exegesis on verse 37 and on down in the passage it does not say that coming is synonymous with believing. This is something that is done when the call of the Gospel is given commanding the sinner to repent of sins and come to Jesus, we know the preacher we say also believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. So once again I do not think I was out of line. I do not see where I am not taking into account Eric every sentence, every word in a flow of thought. I have actually told you the same thing along those lines my friend that in verse 37 everything before it and after it is intimately connected to it and must be considered highly relevant most important. So I think because we cannot really talk to each other your feelings have lead you astray about me wanting to skip over verses to get to what you call “weightier verses” I have not just picked certain verses to focus on my friend Eric. I followed in flow from verse to verse. Yes I did give verse 37 a little more attention because it is a verse that is highly contested between the Calvinist and Non-Calvinist but I know I stayed in the text. I think we have been doing that already Eric, discussing conclusions, implications and theology after we finish a verse or two there is not getting around it Sir. I did not expound on “casting them out” Eric I could have because we were discussing the verse. I did not expound on “raising them up on the last day” You need to be careful of what you are saying when replying back because I will have to say that when I am guilty I say and you know my brother in Christ I say I am guilty but when I am innocent I must stand firmly in love hoping i did not offend my brother in Christ. I did not even expound “eternal life” my friend Eric. I mentioned because it was in the text. Are you saying I did these things or have I done the opposite for the most part of what you have said in your most recent response. Why do you ask me where in the context has Jesus defined these things because I surely did not? I am not sure what is going on here Eric or why you have gone in this direction but my friend in Christ it is a little confusing unless you can shed a little more light on it. Did not even mention or expound the “last day” Since I have not done what you have seemed to accuse me of in your article I would have to say I have not “restricted myself by only considering what is actually in the passage until you get through the entire the flow of thought” Since I only focused on verses 37-39 anyway.

        Eric my friend. I hope I did not offend. This is the first time I guess I went on offense but in love. Knowing I could still be wrong but man there are a lot of things there you say of me that are just not true my friend.

        I would ask you to re-read my last response again and maybe rewrite another response without all the accusations that I think I have shown are just not there or we can just move on brother. I did not expound on any the things you said i did or anything like that before at least not to any large measure but let me ask you. Where does Jesus expound and let us know what all these things are and what they mean. How bout earlier in the book of John is that a chance. Remember it really all flows together. I bet Jesus speaks on eternal life earlier in the book of John before he gets to John 6 and that would be how I would know. Think about it Eric and think about a Re-write that is a little more flexible and gives me a little more (I don’t want to say intelligence) but understanding of what is going on and how to do exegesis. Because I have been trained in that area Sir it may not be to your liking but neither is Dr Flowers way of exegeting to my liking.

        Like

      41. yes Eric that would be fine, whatever would make it easy and best for you. I am responding to you from where it says I have a post, you know where it lights up. But my email is rayklosski@gmail.com. Hope you are doing good Eric and I pray that my last reply did not offend you because it was not intended to after meditating on some of what you said I could see what you were saying. Sometimes I pull the trigger a little to fast put I thank you for correcting in love and reverence. I do want to say though that you can in the text through prayer and study and mediation come to the place of knowing that coming and believing are synonymous. Have a good one my friend. I am tired just got done putting together a whole kitchen table and 6 chairs for my wife. I am 50 I should not feel like this 🙂

        Like

      42. Hey Kevin, for some reason wordpress has decided that no matter how many of your comments I approve (which has been all of them for a week) that each of your comments should be thrown automatically in the trash folder. I have to pull each of your comments out of the trash folder and I don’t know how to make it stop. That means I do not get the notification in the upper right when you respond and it’s not sending your responses to my email. That frustration is what is leading me to ask to take this discussion to email so that even as we get busy and a day or two goes by, the responses don’t get lost in a sea of comments on this page when we want to respond.

        Go rest up. I’ll start working on a response later today. And no offense was taken, I haven’t even fully read them, I had a Hebrew final on Monday and it consumed my soul for a few days leading up to it. I’m just now coming up for air…slowly.

        Like

      43. Eric I also want to remind you that when I made the rules which you could have rejected and made some yourself I said we could look to other scriptures in the same passage to prove a point. For you have done it yourself. Where we began you actually when even higher in the book of John and one time when jumped down lower. So I think we can afford each other some grace. Yes I did mention verse 44 but I do not think that is to big of a deal, I only mentioned it and we will come to it soon and see it my mentioning it is correct or not and then i said at then end of the chapter all the so-called disciples of jesus forsake and abandon him except the twelve and one of them was a devil. See it is ok I said one of them is a devil we both know that from our bible study and reading, I am trying my best brother and I promise in the love of Christ to follow your rules in staying only with the text although their may be some disagreement on how that is done God bless and sleep well. having one of my insomnia nights.

        Like

      44. The Interlinear Bible on Bible Hub actually reads it this way Eric on verse 37. “All that gives me the Father to me will come and the [one] coming to me no not shall I cast out.

        Like

      45. Sorry Eric I broke the rules I used extr-biblical material, I forgot and will not do it again, I am like you most of what i know is from study from learned men of God

        Like

      46. You know what Eric I think I was wrong and made a mistake about your quote.

        Eric said: “So the reason God is doing the giving to Jesus is that Jesus is not here to do His own will but to do the will of the Father.”

        I think we are actually saying the same thing but you put it in a very peculiar way that I have never seen before that through me off until I meditated on it a little.

        So sorry about that my friend, I think we for the most part are correct although verse 39 does give a fuller picture as to why Jesus came to to the Father’s will it does exceed the “GIVING” as you put it. But all in all you are on the right track

        Like

      47. Eric said, “Where does Jesus say that it is a work of God that they believe the works of God?” I absolutely do not know. I do not remember saying anything to this extent. But I am sure somewhere in the bible it tells us to believe the works in Christ for his works sake or something to that extent. I will have to review that response to see if I actually said anything like that because I do not know I would say. “Where does Jesus say that it is a work of God that they believe the works of God?”

        Like

      48. Eric I do not see this assertion in my post, could you please show me so I can repent of it. Because you are right it is wrong and I just do not see myself saying that. The quote you say I said is this and I quote you. “Where does Jesus say that it is a work of God that they believe the works of God?”

        Jesus only said in verse 29 “this is the work of God believe in Him whom he sent.

        Like

      49. I also mentioned about using quotes from other here and there but also not to make a habit of it, So here is a quote dealing with verses 27-28 which is very close to what I said.

        “28, Therefore they said to Him, “What must we do in order that we might work the works of God?’ 29. Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God: that you believe in the one whom He sent.’

        Commentary: The usage of the term “work” in verse 27 prompts the question of the Lord, what must we do to work the works of God?’ There seems to be a shifting of proper focus here, for it is likely that the crowd is still stuck on the sign rather than its meaning – how can they do the things that Jesus does? Jesus’ answer, much like His answers to the woman at the well, masterfully redirect the conversation toward His goals. The work of God, Jesus says, is to believe in Him! This is the work of God. Our senses are frequently dulled to the tremendous impact of such statements as this due to our familiarity with the person of the Lord Jesus. But it is important to try to understand this kind of statement against the backdrop in which it was originally uttered. No prophet of Israel had ever dared utter such words! They always pointed away from themselves and solely to God. To equate the “work of God” with faith in the person of Jesus of Nazareth – how brash! Unless, of course, Jesus is as He claims to be all through John. The modernistic concepts of a forward-looking prophet/teacher from Galilee who was a good man but certainly no divine Messiah are made ridiculous by such statements as these, for no “good man” equates the very work of God with faith in himself! The immensity of this Divine Person is clearly portrayed here, though so often missed in a casual reading!”

        I know I need to slow down and stop because this is not fair to you so I will not post for a long time Eric until you give me the go ahead. Please forgive me.

        Like

      50. I just want to let you know you did an excellent job in correcting me on that last issue. I was wrong. I think I wrote down the right answer but I had in my mind the Jews considering Moses giving them manna from the visible heaven, Thank you brother and I see I need to look closer at the text before answering you. Good job

        Like

      51. Also in verse 27 Eric Jesus makes it clear that “the food that endures to eternal life, the Son of Man will give to you. A gift. They shall call his name Jesus for he shall save His people from their sins. Because Jesus did not die for the Jews alone but for the children of God scattered abroad and he will gather them into one when he works the work of faith in them and they willing believe, embracing Christ as Savior and repenting of their sins and turning to the one true living God. This goes with verses 28-29.

        I will let you rest and contemplate on all that i have written which has been to much and wrong to you I will do better in the future Eric.

        Like

      52. Hey Eric,
        How are you my friend? Doing well I hope. I want you to know I am not here Sir to plead for you not to bann me for I know that is at your discretion as always, You know how I feel about you Eric, very Christlike, godly, I can tell you fear and love the Lord and that is the work of the Holy Spirit sancitifying you through the Word of God. Your sanctification has far exceeded mine and FOH in written debates and conversations that should be holy, speaking the truth in love and correcting one another in gentle and reverence at all times,

        Anyway, as you know, FOH accused me of directly saying NON-Calvinists on Soteriology101 are hertiics in the Pelagians. Which I deny, I only made the possible charge, in a sense I arrested him but he was innocent until proven guilty, I then asked him to clarify but for some reason (and I think I know why) he would not) But I do not think anyone of you are heretics as I have continued to call each and everyone of you brothers in Christ and that in truth and not in pretence or a pretended humility and I to believe I have the Spirit of God and by that same Spirit you have Eric I confess by the Grace of God through faith that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior.

        FOH used many Examples Eric but I will use only one tiime sake since I do write to lone having more time than Eric being disable. Two bilateral hip replacements from a disease called Avasculer Necrosis and have now been informed that I have to have both knees replaced by my Orthopedic Surgeon. Been having injections for about 5 years now with X-Rays. My ORTH Surgeon brought into his office as my last X-rays were had been taken and he showed me what was wrong. My left lower extenion where my knee is at. the upper and lower parts that the knee separate are not in alignment and there are big gaps around my knee and big gaps around my right knee also. Not looking for pity. Just thinking I had way to much time on my hands and more time than (I hope still) my brother in Christ FOH, That was not fair to FOH and I should have realized that maybe I was overwhelming him in my zeal and not using knowledge and love for him in that respect. For that I ask forgiveness and wish I could tell him mysef.

        Back to charge of being everyone on Soteriolog101 being a heretic. I never made that sweeping comment. I do think FOH was being a little disengenous there but maybe he was not really understanding what I was up to and I should have clarified a little more. I opt for the second reason as I choose to believe the best about my brother in Christ.

        The one example that FOH used among many was Abraham “had faith”, Not that he had been given faith, and because he had faith from birth naturally innate within him he used it and believed and God counted it for righteousness or was right with God.

        You and I know that in and by itself is works based faith. FOH, never mentioned nothing about the power of grace, the Father, the power of Christ, power of the Holy Spirit in connection with the word of God.

        Ephesians 6:17 – and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,

        That’s why I told FOH that sounds like Pelagianism and asked him to clarify and he would not. so I kept calling it Pelagianism (in a sanctified manner) trying to get him to clarify his stance on this serious subject. I thing is true Eric, I never stopped calling FOH a brother in Christ and never really believed he was a Pelagian, only that his words sound Pelagian. I told FOH that in John 15 Jesus tells us, “that without me you can do nothing”. Yes even Christians can do nothing of any worth, or that pleases and brings glory to God unless they are abiding in Christ and then they will bring forth much fruit and Glority their Heavenly Father.

        Philippians 1:9 – And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,
        10. so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,
        11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ–to the glory and praise of God.

        Eric if the Christian can do nothing apart from Christ who said without me you can do nothing. “So abide in my and you will bear much fruit that will glorify your Father in heaven,, and Philippians says that. “we are filled with the fruits of righteousness which “are by Jesus Christ” (not us be we do execute them by His power) to the praise and glory of God. For it is God working in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure. This simply means with fear and trembling we are working out our Salvation. God giving us Holy desires and the willingness to what is pleasing in His sight which are works of rightness to the praise and glory of God. The ultimate conclusion of “working out out “Salvation with fear and trembling.” CHRISTLESS. Image is everthing. 🙂

        This should be our attitude toward one another as we have this conversation and I think you will agree as for the most part you all ready practice it the very precence of Christ in your life even here on Soteriology101:

        Philippians 2:1-9 – So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy,
        2.Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. ( I so wish God would open our hearts and show both sides which is the real truth so this could happen, I do not want to be right, I want to be pleasing to God, I want Holy truth Eric my brother in Christ)
        3. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
        4. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
        5. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,
        6. who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,
        7. but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
        8. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
        9. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,
        10. so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
        11. and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
        12. Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,
        13. for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
        14. Do all things without grumbling or disputing,
        15. that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,

        I am going to memorize the passage of scripture above, pray about it for understanding, have prayful study and mediation of it, practice it daily in my life by means and power of the Holy Spirit while all the times praying that God will burn the truth of it in my heart so that I will not be a hypocrite having knowledge with zeal and being filled with fruits of righteousess whiich are by Jesus Christ. God has promised to give me the Holy desires and the willingness and the powerful ability of His ability to do those things that are pleasing in His sight. That being working out my “Salvation to its Ultimate Conclusion” with fear and trembling. “Christlikeness” After all it is the ultimate destiny of the Christian, the main purpose and and sanctifying work of Christ and power of the Hoily Spirit in the life of the Christian. The very process of Sanctification, being changed from one degree of glory to another, mortifying and killing sin and putting on Christ and his holy virtures and cultvating the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives as we cooperate with Him, yes syergysm. For this is the will of God, even out Sanctification. It happens slowely, gradually and sometimes it seems it is hardly notices and even retarded at times, This can be all so frustating at times (Romans 7.) The things I want to do I just don’t do, and the things I hate I find myself doing. Who will deliver my from this body of death, I thank God through Jesus Christ my Lord. But Christ who started this Good work in us will bring it to a state of finished completion. For, the called out of God, have been predestined to be conformed to the image and likeness of His Son, Jesus Christ.

        Romans 8:29 – For those God foreknew, (meaning loved intimately with an everlasting love) He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers.

        2 Corthians 3:17 – 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty [emancipation from bondage, true freedom].
        18. And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are progressively being transformed into His image from [one degree of] glory to [even more] glory, which comes from the Lord, [who is] the Spirit

        8 Therefore there is now no condemnation [no guilty verdict, no punishment] for those who are in Christ Jesus [who believe in Him. as personal Lord and Savior]. (I truly believe this Eric with my whole heart)

        Romans 8:7 the mind of the flesh [with its sinful pursuits] is actively hostile(hatred to God. It does not submit itself to God’s law, since it cannot,
        8 and those who are in the flesh [living a life that caters to sinful appetites and impulses] cannot please God.
        9 However, you are not [living] in the flesh [controlled by the sinful nature] but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God lives in you [directing and guiding you]. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him [and is not a child of God].
        10 If Christ lives in you, though your [natural] body is dead because of sin, your spirit is alive because of righteousness [which He provides].
        11.11 And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you.
        12 So then, [a]brothers and sisters, we have an obligation, but not to our flesh [our human nature, our worldliness, our sinful capacity], to live according to the [impulses of the] flesh [our nature without the Holy Spirit]—
        13 for if you are living according to the [impulses of the] flesh, you are going to die. But if [you are living] by the [power of the Holy] Spirit you are habitually putting to death the sinful deeds of the body, you will [really] live forever.
        14 For all who are allowing themselves to be led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
        15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading again to fear [of God’s judgment], but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons [the Spirit producing sonship] by which we [joyfully] cry, “[b]Abba! Father!”
        16 The Spirit Himself testifies and confirms together with our spirit [assuring us] that we [believers] are children of God.
        17 And if [we are His] children, [then we are His] heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His spiritual blessing and inheritance], if indeed we share in His suffering so that we may also share in His glory.
        18 For I consider [from the standpoint of faith] that the sufferings of the present life are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is about to be revealed to us and in us!

        We belong to Christ if the Spirit of Christ dwells within us, There is no condemnation (judgement of wrath hell or damnation) to us who have believed in Christ as our Lord and Savior, Our bodies are dead because of sin but we are alive because of the righteouseness Christ provies, If the same Almighty effectual power, omnitpotent Spirit lives in you because of Christ’s atonement. God promises to give life to our dead mortal bodies through that same Spirit that dwells within us. As brothers and sister in Christs, we have no constraint or obligation to our flesh, (our human nature, our wordliness, our sinful capacity) to live according to the evil wicked desires of the flesh or evil impulses of the flesh because we have the Spirit of the Lord living within us. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is Liberty, freedom, emancipation freedom from the bondage and power and voluntary love and pleasure of sin. God promises if we live by the means and power of the Spirit of God we will be habitually as a daily habit and holy routine in Christ mortifying, killing and putting to death the sins of the body we will live, if not we will die. This is descriptive of those who are in Christ, of those who are really Christians. The next verse gives understanding to the verse I just quoted. Meaning it describes those who are really in Christ and what they will be doing to glorify God. That whether they eat or drink, or whatever they do, they will do everything to the glory of God. That verse was and is, “those who are the children of God, (brothers and Sisters in Christ) are led and will keep being led (present tense) by the Spirit of God dwelling within them. In connection with the previous verse, the HOLY SPIRIT will lead us to mortify, kill and put to death the sins of the body daily as our Holy routine. I know this is done by degrees, sometimes to a lessor or greater degree, depending on our cooperation with the Holy Spirit, Prayer, Church. Fellowwhipwith other brothers and sisters in Christ, and time spent Studying and Mediating in the Word of God and just daily reading of it. Do we have a daily Holy routine time set apart for Studying the Bible and Spending Time with The Living God in Prayer. Pouring out our hearts to Him, Crying out to the Living God, praying for others ect. The Love of Christ compeles me.

        Romans- 28 And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.
        29 For those whom He foreknew [and loved and chose beforehand], He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son [and ultimately share in His complete sanctification], so that He would be the firstborn [the most beloved and honored] among many believers.
        30 And those whom He predestined, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified [declared free of the guilt of sin]; and those whom He justified, He also glorified [raising them to a heavenly dignity].

        Like

      53. Eric said, “Kevin, let’s start with the bread analogy from v. 32. What does Jesus mean by it?

        John 6:32 – Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven.

        We know Jesus had just fed the five thousand with five pieces of bread and two, and then Jesus departed to the mountains because he knew they would try to make him king by force, His disciples start to cross the sea to Capernaum. It was then they seen Jesus walking on the water and thought he was a ghost and he told them do not be afraid it is I. Then they glad and took him in the boat. With that back ground I will move to the actual verse of 32,

        The crowd of 5 thousand Jesus fed got into their boats and followed Jesus to Capernaum. Jesus Told them, I say to you, you are seeking me because you not because you saw signs but because you ate your fill of the loaves. This next verse is critical to understanding verse 32. Jesus said, Do not labor for the food that perishes but for the food that endures to eternal life FOR WHICH THE SON OF MAN WILL “GIVE TO YOU” ON HIM THE FATHER HAS SET HIS SEAL

        Moses gave bread from heaven, BUT MY FATHER GIVES THE TRUE BREAD FROM HEAVEN. That word true means genuine or real. It goes back to what we read earlier where it said that Jesus is the one will GIVE you eternal life. Jesus is the true Bread of Heaven that the Father gives and all Jesus gives this Bread to will have eternal life and live everlasting in heaven. I hope it was not to long Eric

        Like

      54. Kevin, that’s a great length. I wrote my question again before I knew you were responding but I still think it’s relevant. Why is Jesus reminding them of the bread in the wilderness and telling them to seek true bread?

        Like

      55. Remember though Eric questions can be written a lot quicker than responses although I did think my response was to long so i agree with you on that and will tone them down

        Like

      56. Hey Eric you did not have to post that Video about James White I was hoping everyone would find it on their own. I do not want anyone to think I am trying to cause trouble or Dr Flowers who i greatly respect even though I disagree with think I am trying to annoy him because I know Dr White and Dr Flowers have not always been on best of terms to you can delete that if you want. I just want to stay in the right behavior with you guys ok

        Like

      57. Eric just so I know, am you waiting on me or am I waiting on you, I know you probably have a lot more things to do than debate with me all day, just let me know so I will know what to do Sir. Or is it we can just go our own ways when we want and then if their is a notification we can respond. Right now I consider you in the driver’s seat asking the questions. There will be a time when I take the initiative but I am willing to let you drive right now. I know we both are anxious about the next verse as I know you may think it will be a difficult one for me but I will answer it without leaving this passage of scripture. So I await for you to let me know how this is working. Should I go on and do something else or wait for you to come up with your next question on verse 32 or maybe 33 or question my last response

        Like

      58. Kevin, I’ll respond a bit later today. I think we can extend one another grace regarding the pace of the discussion as I’m sure we’re both busy. Let’s hope the notifications keep us up to date on the latest entry from one another. The system of comments WordPress has is not the most intuitive to navigate.

        I’m also not too hung up on the length of replies, but it does help to break responses into paragraphs so that it is easier to read and follow. I certainly appreciate the tone so far and think we’re off to a good start. I’ll respond when I can!

        Like

      59. Ok Eric I promise I will do my best to keep it short, looking foreword to see if my last response was at least adequate in connection to your question about Moses and the Manna .
        I promise I will try and keep my responses much shorter and do what you have to do brother, no hurry. This discussion has been going on for centuries and you and I both know we are not going to break it wide open 🙂

        Like

      60. Thanks Eric – you are always kind and thoughtful.

        I was thinking about pointing out that the claim br.d asserted “Calvinists are not Christians” is a manufactured strawman.
        However, perhaps I need to be sensitive to the fact that doing so may simply reinforce the current huff.
        Thanks again!
        br.d :-]

        Like

      61. Accidently hit the send button again, I know this long Eric and for that I am sorry but I want you to know my heart in sincerty and in love. The fact that we do not Calvinize every verse of the Bible.

        Christ dwells in us by the Spirit, Paul in Ephesians prayed that we would come to know the Almighty power that is Omnipotent and raised Christ from the dead and is “available to believers or to those who believe” and that God would give to us the “spirit of widom and knowledg in Jesus Christ” Man how we need to prayer these Godly Biblical prayers for ourselves, others and our Church. But the Spirit will lead us to Sanctification in killing and mortifying the deeds of the bodly in its manifestion of wicked and evil deeds giving us Holiness of Heart and Life. Walking worthy of the Gospel and conducting ourselves in a way that is please to Christ and adorning the Gosple with the beauty of holiness and the very beauty of Christ Himself. We have this promise in God’s word and all the promieses in Christ is yea and amen, so let it be to the Glory of God through us. Christ id the Spirit (within us) because he with the life-giving influences of His grace. The very fountain of grace or living water that strengthens me, forgives me, heals me, restores me, shows me mercy and gives me grace in time of need, so I go boldly with confidence without any hesitation through Jesus my high priest to the very Throne of Grace to recieve grace and mercy in time of need.

        This “Liberty of the Spirit is not only freedom and emancipation from the love and pleasure of sin, put Spiritual Adoption in Christ as His own Sons and Daughters where we now cry out “abba Father” Praise to the Glory of His grace by which we have been made accepted in the beloved, in whom God is well pleased. So he is well pleased with us as we wear (Spiritually Speaking Christ’s Robe of Righeousness) and God’s sees that and no more wrath but love, grace mercy and acceptance, abba Father.

        This implies that the covering which had been extended over the heart of the people might be taken off, and that the spiritual face might thus be freed from the veil which prevented its vision of the glory. (Lord) furthermore implies that the Lord not only has or possesses the Spirit, but that He has complete power in this matter to direct in the dispensation and communication of the Spirit according to His pleasure in ever growing fulness. If we so construe it as to make this Spirit the same as the Holy Spirit, even that Divine agent is His Spirit. For the Spirit is shed forth or sent, by and through Him Jesus). “Paul has before his mind in this passage the whole course of the Christian’s progress, commencing here on earth and attaining its perfection in the heavenly world.”

        Titus – 3:6 For we too once were foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various sinful desires and pleasures, spending and wasting our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.
        4 But when the goodness and kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared [in human form as the Man, Jesus Christ],
        5 He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we have done, but because of His own compassion and mercy, by the cleansing of the new birth (spiritual transformation, regeneration) and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out richly upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior,
        7 so that we would be justified [made free of the guilt of sin] by His [compassionate, undeserved] grace, and that we would be [acknowledged as acceptable to Him and] made heirs of eternal life [actually experiencing it] according to our hope (His guarantee).
        8 This is a faithful and trustworthy saying; and concerning these things I want you to speak with great confidence, so that those who have believed God [that is, those who have trusted in, relied on, and accepted Christ Jesus as Savior,] will be careful to participate in doing good and honorable things. These things are excellent [in themselves] and profitable for the people.
        9 But avoid foolish and ill-informed and stupid controversies and genealogies and dissensions and quarrels about the Law, for they are unprofitable and useless.
        10 After a first and second warning reject a divisive man [who promotes heresy and causes dissension—ban him from your fellowship and have nothing more to do with him],
        11 well aware that such a person is twisted and is sinning; he is convicted and self-condemned [and is gratified by causing confusion among believers].

        Like

      62. Man I just cannot keep hitting than send button. So long I know Eric. Read if you want. Do not if you want. Wish I would have saved it for my website. maybe you could send it to my email please. I know we read another long message, The Word of God, The Holy Scriptures. I am just making a defense, that Calvinism does not rule my life, that I am ruled and carried along by the whole counel of God and least I strive to be my brother in Christ. I know we have to redeem the time and priortize and I am far from your main purpose in life. Just want you to inisde a Calvinist’s head a little and see the other side and not what you guys consider the “dark unbiblical side”

        What you have been reading (if you are reading it) is from Lange’s commentary. I find him very interesting on 2 Corinthians 3:16-18

        The effect of the beholding is, “we are metamorphosed into the same image” (accusative without a preposition to show the immediateness of the transition, and the present indic, to show the beginning but not the completion of the change, Webster, Syn., pp. 81 ff.). All become like their Lord, and of course like one another. 5. The reason for the change, “as by the Lord the Spirit.” Suitably, as might be expected from the Lord and efficiently from Him as the source of influence. We add that Paul had been preparing us for the expression: the Lord the Spirit (apposition, the Lord who is the Spirit) by expressly showing that Christ was both the Lord and the Spirit of the Old Covenant (2Co_3:16-18). Such an expression seems as grammatical and suitable as “from God the Father” (ἀπὸ θεοῦ πατρὸς) in Rom_1:7; Eph_1:2; Php_1:2, et alic. comp. 2Co_1:2].

        2Co_3:13. Why should any now be kept back by a slavish, timid and hesitating spirit, when they have a right to claim all the blessings of divine grace?

        2Co_3:14. “They have eyes, and yet they see not.” It is all the same as if they could not read. This is a righteous judgment upon them for shutting themselves from the light, and refusing to be drawn by the Father. “Ye search the Scriptures, and ye do well; but ye will not come to me”—(Joh_5:39-40). Thus it is among many at the present day; indeed a double covering is now in their way, for it rests not only upon the Old, but upon the New Testament. They have never been anointed with the Spirit; they will not humbly bow before the Lord, and their own righteousness always stands before them as an idolatrous pillar. 2Co_3:15. Let us by all means get out of that old Judaism which receives nothing but what pleases us—for it is under the influence of such a spirit that the hearts of many are hardened, and hypocritically indulge in a thousand prejudices against the truth and its proper spirit. “Are we not Lutherans,” they exclaim, “have we not been baptized, etc.” Those who resist the truth, tell us much of certain intellectual powers with which man is endowed (reason). We would not despise these, but we dare not appeal to them as the final arbitrators and sources of religious truth. And yet this is what has bewitched multitudes of our learned men.
        2Co_3:16. Let men cease to prescribe barren rules and institutions for the Lord, and let them turn to Him prayerfully and with all their hearts, and they will soon find that their light will brighten, a host of prejudices will vanish, and darkness and error will be cleared away—(Isa_25:7). Though the covering may have wrapped itself completely around our spirits, if wo will but turn to the light and seek wisdom from God in sincere faith, it will be torn away. (Eph_5:14; Act_9:11; Act_9:18).—Oftentimes when an intelligent man imagines that he has attained a permanent and lively conception of sacred mysteries, he receives the Divine anointing, and finds that a number of coverings had been formed upon his heart; he is surprised to gain entirely new views of God’s word, and as the salve of God’s Spirit gradually extends over his mental eye, one film of legal and figurative forms after another falls off.

        2Co_3:17. The Lord the Spirit who gives us spiritual life, and delivers us from all constraint of external authority, all unwillingness, indolence and feebleness, etc., in the performance of our duties. (Joh_8:36). The glory of the Lord then sheds its beams upon an open face.—Whoever truly looks into the ministry and law of liberty, can never be out of harmony with the Divine will, for the Spirit directs him and supplies him with all he needs. He can have no fellowship with any thing which is impure, for the Spirit is always directing his mind to those higher and better things which satisfy him. Such is the spiritual freedom which withdraws us from the slavery of sense, and not only subjects the body to the spirit but the spirit itself to God’s Spirit.—The way by which we reach it is very likely by a painful experience of what a legal bondage is. Under such sorrows faith in Christ puts forth its power and finds deliverance in Him. Then the humbled heart knows how to appreciate the freedom of a pure service, and yields a cheerful obedience. Without making a sinful conscience of any thing, it will indulge in no sin, and will rather renounce its own freedom on account of another’s weakness.—What before seemed a severe discipline and torment, is now a light which drives away all darkness. The soul is in the light and walks in the light.—Where the Lord is, He has a sanctuary in which He and His Spirit dwells; a glorious ministration of the Spirit is carried on; God is worshipped in the beauty of holiness; and a new life, and a new freedom, and a blessedness never known before, is enjoyed.

        2 Corinthians – 18 And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are progressively being transformed into His image from [one degree of] glory to [even more] glory, which comes from the Lord, [who is] the Spirit.

        John – 36 So if the Son makes you free, then you are unquestionably free indeed.

        Eric the word “Liberty” also implies “New Life, quickening, regeneration.” in 2 Corinthians 3:18.

        Titus – 3:5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration (rebirth) and renewal of the Holy Spirit,

        John 1:12 -13 12 But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the right [the authority, the privilege] to become children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name— 13 who were born, not of blood [natural conception], nor of the will of the flesh [physical impulse], nor of the will of man [that of a natural father], but of God [that is, a divine and supernatural birth—they are born of God—spiritually transformed, renewed, sanctified].

        What is historically mised in these two verses by NON-Calvinist is that there are two truths being explained, but both are essentially and intimately connected.

        First part: “But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the right [the authority, the privilege] to become children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name— ”

        We read that Jesus gave them the right or authority and the very spiritual privilege to become the children of God. This is speaking of the Doctrine, Spiritual Teaching and Principal of Adoption of Sons and Daughters who begin crying out Abba Father. But how does this take place, The next verse tells us.

        This shown in the second part of these two verses:

        “13 who were born, not of blood [natural conception], nor of the will of the flesh [physical impulse], nor of the will of man [that of a natural father], but of God [that is, a divine and supernatural birth—they are born of God—spiritually transformed, renewed, sanctified].

        It is not by the “wicked will of the flesh. being a sinful impulse as the entire man is in enslaved to sin. John 8 says he that commits sin (as a lifestyle, habitually) is a slave (in bondage) to sin.

        But rather, they are spiritually born by God, which is a a divine and supernatural birth—they are born of God—spiritually transformed’

        That how they believe in Christ and have the right and privilege to become the Adopted children of God. It is called the Doctrine of Conversion.

        It is of God, being born again, regeneration, yes through the instrumentality of the word of, the very preaching of the Gospel, for faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God) that we are in Christ Jesus.

        1 Corinthians 1:26 Just look at your own calling, believers; not many [of you were considered] wise according to human standards, not many powerful or influential, not many of high and noble birth.
        27 But God has selected [for His purpose] the foolish things of the world to shame the wise [revealing their ignorance], and God has selected [for His purpose] the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong [revealing their frailty].
        28 God has selected [for His purpose] the insignificant (base) things of the world, and the things that are despised and treated with contempt, [even] the things that are nothing, so that He might reduce to nothing the things that are,
        29 so that no one may [be able to] boast in the presence of God.

        30 But it is from Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God [revealing His plan of salvation], and righteousness [making us acceptable to God], and sanctification [making us holy and setting us apart for God], and redemption [providing our ransom from the penalty for sin],

        31 so then, as it is written [in Scripture], “He who boasts and glories, let him boast and glory in the Lord.”

        You see Eric God selected us and sanctified us (set us apart) for His Holy purpose. So that no one will be able to boast in the presence of God. Verse 29 just like John 1:13 tells us that it is of or because of God we are in Christ Jesus. We were born again, regenerated, quickened by the Spirit, who created or produced faith and repentence in us though the instrumentality of the preaching of the Word of God or the Gospel and Conversion takes place. Life is brought to light.

        John 3 : 3 Jesus answered him, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, unless a person is born again [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, sanctified], he cannot [ever] see and experience the kingdom of God.”

        Look at the necessity of being born again, regeneration or get this Eric, BEING BORN FROM ABOVE, See how serious Jesus says it is how it is an absolute if you are to ever see (appreciate), experience, or even enter the Kingdom of God. It is required and indespensible and a absolute necessity to be born again. Jesus said in the beginning of this verse, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you.” Other translations say Truly, Truly I say to you, When Jesus says this it is of Great spiritual significance and importance. Notice the being born again does not happen from the individual who is in the flesh but from the Holy Spirit or “from above”

        John 3: 8 The wind blows where it wishes and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it is coming from and where it is going; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

        You see Eric, being born-again, regeneration is the work of the Holy Spirit. This is why some people who are sinners in Church are unaffected by the preaching of the Law and the Remedy for breaking God’s Holy Law which contains His commandments. That Remedy being the Good News, The Gospel. The wind of the Spirit is not blowing upon them for the Spirit blows where he Wishes, Speaking of the Sovereignty of the Spirit of God. Then in back of the Church or on the other side of the church some poor wretched sinner who who weary a heavy burden of conviction and guilt of sin towards God, knows the wrath of God is upon Him, knows his comdemnation and punishment is one of everlasting hell and damnation from the presence of the Lord forever. Then they hear the good news of the Gospel. The remedy. the see the need for a Savior. They hear that Jesus came to save His people from their sins and that whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. Only those who are willing will drink of the water of life and only those who are believing will flee from the wrath of God in true genuine repentance into the loving and accepting arms of Jesus, embracing Him in faith having their sins forgiven and cleansed and their minds washed to serve the Living God. Old things passed away and all things become new.

        I mentioned about life (regeneration, being born again) being brought to life through the gospel message. Let’s see if we can verify that through God’s word.

        8 So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord or about me His prisoner, but with me take your share of suffering for the gospel [continue to preach regardless of the circumstances], in accordance with the power of God [for His power is invincible], 9 for He delivered us and saved us and called us with a holy calling [a calling that leads to a consecrated life—a life set apart—a life of purpose], not because of our works [or because of any personal merit—we could do nothing to earn this], but because of His own purpose and grace [His amazing, undeserved favor] which was granted to us in Christ Jesus before the world began [eternal ages ago], 10 but now [that extraordinary purpose and grace] has been fully disclosed and realized by us through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus who [through His incarnation and earthly ministry] abolished death [making it null and void] and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,

        Like

      63. Yes I did it again, let me Eric I know this long, but I want you to say that I was accused of charging and arresting everyone on Soteriology101 with speaking the Pelagian Heresy. Although I kept calling FOH my brother in Christ. I was only asking him to clarify his assertions as he said Arhaham had faith naturally and innate, was not given faith that he had natural ability to do. FOH kept talking in this manner so I in a sanctified manner kept calling it Pelagian and asking him to clarify and he would not. Like I said before he never mentioned God’s grace, Christ’s Power, The Holy Spirit or the word of God which is the “Sword of the Spirit in Ephesians 5.

        And seriously Eric, and new Calvinistic who came onto the Soteriology website and read what was wrote about them would think they were being called a Heretic without a second thought. That what they believed was Heresy.

        Even FOH questioned my salvationed when I first arrived if you remember and was leaning towards damning the Calvinists beliefs as heresy as BR.D. It is said on the site we lie on purpose, twist the scriptures on purpose, we really know the truth but just do not want to admit it, Brian Wagner has accused the Calvinist as being disgeneous more than once on the site when he holds to Open Theism. FOH even conversed BR.D and told him he was leaning towards believing the Calvinists were not saved that would make what we believed heresy. We are said to folow John Calvin and not the Word of God and worship the god of John Calvin. That would make us Hertics and our system of belief Heresy. I HAVE NOT SAID ANYTHING EVEN CLOSE TO THAT IDEA TO FOH, I was trying to reason with him and get him to think and clarify his position. I on purpose went out of my way to be respect to him and kept calling him a brother in Christ which I sincerely believe. So I do not know if you have banned me I do not know, but if you have that is ok , because this has been so long because I think if the Lord is willing this is my farewell address. I have witnessed and I will let the Lord do his work in my life if I am wrong or in Soteriology101 if you guys are wrong. I just want the Holy truth of God’s word and do not want to be self-deceived or be found proudly in stubborness holding onto a fasle truth that may be teaching that is not of God or even worse, heresy. So no hard feelings if you have banned me Eric. But take a long hard look at what I just wrote about what is on that site and ask if you at times have banned in sinful partiality, playing favortism. Not meant to offend my brother, but I do know that there are other on the site who have said things that far outweigh what I have said. Who of us do not offend with their tongue.

        I sin with my tongue, FOH sins with his tongue, you sin with your tongue, the Apostle James sins with his tongue.

        2 For we all stumble and sin in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says [never saying the wrong thing], he is a perfect man [fully developed in character, without serious flaws], able to bridle his whole body and rein in his entire nature [taming his human faults and weaknesses]. 3 Now if we put bits into the horses’ mouths to make them obey us, we guide their whole body as well. 4 And look at the ships. Even though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the impulse of the helmsman determines. 5 In the same sense, the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. I only ask that in humility you receive my words and that this site be administrated by the direction and correction of the Word of God that is the rule of faith and conduct for everthing in life. When anyone says something bad about Dr. Flowers on Dr. James Whites’ sites the comment is deleted immediately and the individual who made the comment is blocked permanently. That is holy respect and godly love for a man who is always being accused of being otherwise. Who I do admit is a little rough aroud the edges. But I think it is just the fact Dr. just has a strong personality and he is being sanctified just like the rest of us and instead of judging him which is easy. Do the hard part, pray for his sanctification until you see that part which is sinful and lacking blossom for in the beauty of Christ and Christlikeness. We need to quit sinfully comparing ourselves to others which pride and start seeing ourselves according to the word of God. God’s Holy standard none of measure up to, Thank God for the gift of righteousness in Christ. God has not lowered his standard of Holiness. Christ said in the Gospel, “be perfect as my Father in heaven is perfect. We strive for that perfection everyday knowing we will not acheive it in this life, looking away from ourselves to another, Christ and His robe of righteousness that he has metamorphically clothed us with.

        See [by comparison] how great a forest is set on fire by a small spark!
        6 And the tongue is [in a sense] a fire, the very world of injustice and unrighteousness; the tongue is set among our members as that which contaminates the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life [the cycle of man’s existence], and is itself set on fire by [b]hell (Gehenna).
        7 For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and sea creatures, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race. 8 But no one can tame the human tongue; it is a restless evil [undisciplined, unstable], full of deadly poison.
        9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God. 10 Out of the same mouth come both blessing and cursing.

        James says in this passage of Scripture that Eric, Kevin, FOH, the Apostle James himself and every Christian for that matter “stumble in many things.” James says the “tongues is a small part of the body and that if we can tame it we are perfect and mature.” But then James goes on to say. “the tongue boasts of great things” God says he that boasts let him boast only in the Lord” James continues to say, “the tongue sets on fire the course of our life, the very cycle of man’s existence.” Man is not that so true Eric. Does not Proverbs say so much about the power of the tongue. “Death and Life is in the Power of the Tongue” “A word Spoken in due season how good it is.” Then James says, “the tongue itself is set on fire by hell (Ghenna)” Oh the wickedness of the tongue as James continues, he says , every animal or beasts of the earth can be tamed, BUT NO MAN CAN TAME THE TONGUE. it is a restless evil, wicked, undisplined and unstable.” Set on fire by hell. Wow, does that suggest demonic influence in some way, I do not know. But God’s word says be angry and sin not, giving no place to the devil. In studying that out, I found out that holding onto anger opens the doors to demonic inroads or influence to your life. We forget about our advesary the devil who walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he man devour, We are to watch constanstly and be on guard for he comes to kill steal and destroy, always in close communion with Jesus. Because for this purpose was the Son of God manifest to destroy the wicked works of the evil one. The tongue is a world of injustice and unrighteousness and contaminates the entire body and spirit I think. For God’s word says cleanse yourself for all defilement of sin, body and sin, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord. The tongue is full of deadly poison, more poisonness than the most deadly poisoneness snake bite with its death bite injecting its venom. With our tongue we bless God our Father in whose likeness we have been made, a created rightness not God’s uncreated holy righteousness. But with the same sinful wicked tongue set on fire by hell we curse men. We are hypocrites. Sinful bigots, imposters phoneys, bscksliders, decievers, fake in our Christian profession, frauds. gossipers, backbiters, and pharisess. God’s word says if we cannot bridle or have some self-control over what we speak then our relegion is vain. empty and void of Holy truth, Godliness and true possession of Christ. Out of our same mouth comes blessing and cursing. Is this not so of Calvinist and Non-Calvinist? That is a rehortical question that does not need an answer my brother. We both no it to be so. The Lord has said that what ever we speak let it be seasoned with grace that it may minister blessings to the hearer and cause them to put their trust in God. God forbid, away with such a though that we do not love Christ enough to keep His commandments and fear the Lord knowing that when one fears the Lord he will depart from sin and that without Holiness no one will even see the Lord. Only the pure in heart will see God. Out of the same mouth James says comes blessing and cursing, now that is “double talk hypocrsy at its worse” God forbid and may great fear of a Holy God come upon us and true repentance and God heal our backsliding and come with healing in His wings. If not may he displine us unto we are broken, humbled and brought to nothing and then we will call upon His name to save us.

        2 Timothy 1: 8 So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord or about me His prisoner, but with me take your share of suffering for the gospel [continue to preach regardless of the circumstances], in accordance with the power of God [for His power is invincible],
        9 for He delivered us and saved us and called us with a holy calling [a calling that leads to a consecrated life—a life set apart—a life of purpose], not because of our works [or because of any personal merit—we could do nothing to earn this], but because of His own purpose and grace [His amazing, undeserved favor] which was granted to us in Christ Jesus before the world began [eternal ages ago],
        10 but now [that extraordinary purpose and grace] has been fully disclosed and realized by us through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus who [through His incarnation and earthly ministry] abolished death [making it null and void] and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,

        Paul encourages in verse 8 to continue to preach the word of in accordance with the power of God that is invincible.

        Verse 9 says he saved us and called us ( I thought everyone was called though the Gospel and they are but not all come) this is speaking of the effectual Holy calling of God. Saved and called with a holy calling. Not of works or man’s effort, or natural innate faith, or personal merit, nothing they could do could earn it. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift (with no strings attached) of life is eternal life in Jesus Christ God’s Son, Romans 6:24). Why then? What was the one and only absolute reason? Paul tells us it was because it was because of God’s own Holy purpose and grace (undeserved favor, those who are not saved get what they deserve justice, so there is no injustice with God) What or whom is the source? “Paul says which was granted to us in Christ Jesus” When did this orginate in the mind of a Holy God? Paul says, “before the world began [eternal ages ago], Other translation say before “Times Eternal” It was in the mind of God before the foundation of the World, from all eternity. This cannot be disputed if one just simply reads God’s word.

        Now I said Life, (regeneration, being born again) was brought to life (conversion, being saved by faith through grace, not of works). This is revealed in the next verse of 2 Timothy 1.

        10 but now [that extraordinary purpose and grace] has been fully disclosed and realized by us through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus who [through His incarnation and earthly ministry] abolished death [making it null and void] and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,

        The life giving Spirit, The regenerating Spirit who gives life, that life is brought to light including immortality through the gospel.

        2 Timothy 1:10 – but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

        It was God’s eternal purpose.

        9 and to make plain [to everyone] the plan of the mystery [regarding the uniting of believing Jews and Gentiles into one body] which [until now] was kept hidden through the ages in [the mind of] God who created all things.
        10 So now through the church the multifaceted wisdom of God [in all its countless aspects] might now be made known [revealing the mystery] to the [angelic] rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.
        11 This is in accordance with [the terms of] the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him [that is, our faith gives us sufficient courage to freely and openly approach God through Christ].

        Verse 10 calls it the “eternal purpose in Jesus Christ our Lord. God always intended for mankind to fall into sin and Christ to die and became the Lamb of God, the very sacrificial offering for our sins, his very eternal purpose. More verses and passages could be acculamated to support this spiritual principal.

        Now we

        have boldness and confident access through faith in Him [that is, our faith gives us sufficient courage to freely and openly approach God through Christ]

        John 6:63 – The Spirit gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.

        You see Eric, it is the Spirit that gives life, regenerates, quickens causes one to be born again and he blows where he wishes for he is God and Sovereign. Jesus says the words he speaks are spirit and they are life. 2 Corinthians 3:16-18 told us the “The Lord is that Spirit” Not that they are the same person but same in essence. Christ also possesses quickening power. The will of the flesh, (remember John 1:13) profits nothing. How could it, it in its wicked evil impulses that loves its voluntary enslavement to sin personified and not only does not want to come to Christ that it hates and is hostile but cannot come. Jesus says in John 6:44 – No man can come to me unless the Father draws Him and I will raise up on the last day. Next verse 45: all that have heard and learned from the Father come to me. John 6:37-39 – all the Father gives me will come to me (the drawing power of the Father) and I will not cast them out. 28. I have come down to do the will of my Father and not my own…..39. and this is the Father’s will, that all that He HAS GIVEN me I will lose none but raise them up on the last day.

        28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
        29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
        30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

        I take great courage and confidence in verse 28 knowing that God my Father who is an ever present help in the time of trouble an gives mercy and grace to help in time of need at the very throne of grace through Jesus my high priest works all things for good who love God. There is nothing present or nothing future that can seperate me from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. You see Eric, this is difficult for the Non-Calvinist to see. God there is a special love in Christ for Chrisians who are in Christ that sinners are not experiencing.

        Who are those who love God in verse 28. Well the Aposte Paul says they are “The Called according to His Holy purpose. Rembemer earlier we read we were called with a Holy calling for a Holy purpose. It is not just for any one. It is a Universal call. Universal call in a limited sense as John 6 , 17 and even here tells us. It says, “The called, according to is purpose and grace. Once again we read about this Holy Calling to God;s Holy Purpose taking place before the world began, from eternity, before times eternal. Ephesians 1:4 says he chose us in Christ before the foundations of the world that we should be holy and blameless before Him in Love. We also read about the “eternal purpose of Christ” being kept hidden but is now revealed and life and immortality is brought to life through the gospel.

        Romans 8:28…..”The Called…use of the definite article identifying a particular select people.

        Matthew 25:34 – 34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father [you favored of God, appointed to eternal salvation], inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

        We were appointed, chosen or elected to salvation before the foundation of the World, but the kingdom we are to inherit was prepared from the foundation of the world. Let Brian Wagner know this please. Not being sarcastic, just something he as missed, because he wants to prove Calvinism wrong.

        Ephesians 1:4 just as [in His love] He chose us in Christ [actually selected us for Himself as His own] before the foundation of the world, so that we would be holy [that is, consecrated, set apart for Him, purpose-driven] and blameless in His sight. In love

        From eternity, before the foundation of the world, we were chosen or elected in Christ Jesus that we should be Holy and blameless in His sight in love. Brian Wagner says impossible we did not exist. First of God is not a man and Brian’s Open Theism sees God as altogether like one of us. Second of all nothing is impossible with God who all was existing and all ways will be a self existing Deity. I cannot fathom that so I think he is able to what he clearly say in Ephesians 1:4. Third of all Revelation 13:8 says the lamb of God was slain from the foundation of the world. This verse does not say it was a prophecy or anything like that it just says Christ was slain from the foundation of the world. From the foundation of the world, Jesus, the second person of the Trinity was still a spirit. The incarnation had not taken place yet. How are you going to crucify a spirit on a physical cross. Impossible. Of couse I do not believe that but it shows how you can make the bible say whatever you want it to say. Jesus said he knew one of the magor Prophets before he was in his mother’s womb. That means before he was even existing. This is God and we cannot fathom the unsearchable riches and power of this infinite God with our puny finite minds. We can understand by His Spirit from the word of God that which he teaches us.

        Verse 29 the Apostle Paul says whom he forknew (speaking of people, individuals, not actions or will they believe or not) he predestinded to be conformed to the image of His Son.

        The word Forenew is very important. God forknew people in a loving an intimate way, not future events of believing or not believing actions. A Greek word study will show this. He said of Israel, of all nations, only you have I known. Of course he knew about the other nations but God set his favor upon Israel. On the day of Judgement God will say to some, “depart from me you workers of iniquity I never knew you. Of couurse he had knowledge of them being wicked sinners who never believed in Christ through faith like Christians, “verse 28. “for whom (people individuals not actions) forknew (in a loving intimate everlasting love) he predestinated them to be conformed to the image and likeness of Christ His son. To a Christ Image is Everything.

        30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

        Then verse 30 the chain of redemption that cannot be broken. Number one if everyone is called then why is everyone not justified and glorified.

        Because there is an external call of the gospel that everyone hears and there is an internal call of the Spirit mixed with the Word of God and faith which was created within him by the Holy Spirit and so he comes to Christ John 6:44-45.

        John:644 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.
        45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who [a]has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.

        John 6 is the effectual calling because whoever the Father draws they come to Christ because they cannot come because of their inability in the beginning of that verse. “No man can come Unless” God’s word always looks away from evil wicked man and back to the powerful sovereign Almighty God John 6:65

        And then the internal call of the Father through instrumentatility of the Word of God, the preached Gospel the verry means God uses to create faith in connection with the Spirit (the word of God is the sword of Spirit Ephesians 5)

        But that internal call where the Lord opens the heard to and gives spiritual ears to hear and spiritual eyes to see so that they can see and hear what the Spirit of the Lord is saying through instrumentality of the Gospel. Verse 45 says, He that has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. The internal calling and effectual drawing really are one and the same and cannot be distinguished.

        John 17:2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.

        Jesus gives eternal life to all the Father has given Him. Compare that with John 6:37-39 and where Jesus talkes about the sheep the Father has given Him he gives them eternal life. The doctrine of eternal election. This doctrine the Spirit of God showed in the Holy Word of God before I ever heard of Calvinism that is the Holy truth and I to believe I have the Spirit of God. So FOH paints with a broad brush by saying no one would ever know of the Doctrines of Grace unless they were taught about it. I know of many people who have the same testimony as me and I bet there are millions more. For FOH to make sweeping assertions like before interviewing everyone calvinists existing and that ever existed is strawman argument that I just set fire to and it has burned to ashes immediately. No facts no proof and should never been spoken. Only was to prove Calvinism is wrong. Like they said of Hillary Clinton who was always using a double standard, changing her mind on political issues always. She was asked, “will you say anything to get elected” I ask, “will the Non-Calvinist on Soteriology101 say anything to prove Calvinism is wrong even if is not the truth. God forbid Thou shall not lie. Speak the the truth in love and lie not.

        Those whom (people indivuals) foreknew (loving intimate relationship, not of future actions of believing or not believing) he predestined, those he predestined.

        Those he Called he justified, those he justified he glorified as if it was a completed action, we had already put off this mortal body of corruption and put on our new glorified bodies and we were seeing Jesus face to face, the one who saved us by His Holy Grace, Oh Lord I am so ready to depart and be with you so you can take by the hand and lead me though the promised land. Oh for grace to trust you more. My heart is strangly warm Eric and my eyes are watered with tears and I have poured out my heart to to the Living God.

        Interesting in Lange’s commentary he translates 2 Corinthians 3:16 in this manner. Not saying it is right, just saying interesting.

        2 Corinthians 3:16 – But the Lord, to whom their heart thus turns, is the Spirit.’

        hat every thing which is certainly the work of the Spirit, must be exclusively from Christ (Neander). But such a virtual identification of Christ and the Spirit, can have reference only to Christ in His state of exaltation (comp. 1Co_15:45); for it is only in that state that He is the independent source of all divine light and power to the bodies and souls of believers.

        Hence, we may say of Him: he is the Spirit, (not merely quasi) because he is glorified in the spiritual world. From this it moreover follows (for the idea is essential to that of the Spirit of God), that the new birth, (in which what is here called liberty, i. e., the free action of the mind, a free intuition of the divine glory, and