Does Regeneration Precede Faith?

 

Many Calvinists teach that regeneration precedes faith. They say that a person must be born again before he believes. They argue that new life comes before faith.

John Piper, a Calvinistic pastor, puts it this way:

“We can say, first, that regeneration is the cause of faith… Having been born of God results in our believing. Our believing is the immediate evidence of God’s begetting.” [1]

Gordon Olson, a non-Calvinistic scholar, writes:

“Extreme Calvinists put the new birth before faith, since they believe that spiritually dead humans cannot exercise faith and, therefore, need to be born again before they can believe.” [2]

I would not agree with Olson that this doctrine is necessarily an “extreme” form of Calvinism because most of the mainstream Calvinists today do adhere to it. Instead, I would argue that this point has not always been uniformly understood and adopted in the same way by all Calvinists, [3] which is typical with many of the most controversial points within the Calvinistic scheme.[4]

regenerationfaithsproulThe Calvinistic teaching has wrongly exaggerated the effects of man’s fallen condition resulting in a misinterpretation of man’s responsibility in light of God’s clear revelation. Calvinists say they believe men are “responsible” but they do not mean what most people think when they hear the word “responsible” (able-to-respond freely and thus guilty for that response).

What Calvinists mean is that mankind is justly punished even though they were born “unable-to-respond” willingly to God’s revelation. They do not mean that mankind is morally capable of responding to God’s appeals to be reconciled from their fallen condition (as implied in 2 Cor. 5:20, John 3:16 and elsewhere).

Calvinists insist that man is born dead in sin and therefore “corpse-like” in his abilities to respond to God’s life giving truth. Therefore, according to their logic, God must bring the corpse back to life so that he will certainly believe God’s revealed truth.[5]

Some Calvinists will argue that the order of regeneration and faith is a logical order not a temporal one, meaning that the two happen simultaneously within time. They teach that at the moment a person is born again he will come to faith. The moment he is regenerated he also places his trust in Christ. It all happens in an instant of time. Yet logically as we think about this transaction, we must put a causal order to it. Does the Bible indicate that a person must be regenerated so that he can believe or does the Bible teach that a person must believe in order to be regenerated? Do we need life in order to believe or do we need to believe in order to have life? That logical order is what is in dispute.

What is not in dispute is that regeneration is the sovereign act of God whereby He imparts His very life and His very nature to the believing sinner (John 1:12-13; Titus 3:5). Man’s first birth is natural; his second birth is spiritual and supernatural. His first birth makes him a member of a fallen race; his second birth makes him a member of a redeemed race. His first birth gives him a depraved nature (Eph. 2:3); his second birth makes him partaker of the divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4). The moment a person is born again he receives a new life (John 6:47; 1 John 5:12) and a new position as a child of God (John 1:12; 1 John 3:1-2). In short, he is a new creature in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).[6] We can all affirm these truths.

But what does the Scripture actually say about the logical order of new life and man’s responsibility in attaining it? Which comes first, new life or faith? Let’s observe:

Ezekiel 18:30-32

“Therefore, you Israelites, I will judge each of you according to your own ways, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel? For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live!”

The order clearly laid out is as follows:

“Repent, Turn away…Rid yourselves…”
“…get a new heart and a new spirit.”
Verse 32 makes it even more simple:

“Repent and…”
“…live!”
Life comes from repentance, not the other way around.

Acts 11:18

When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.”

The order clearly laid out is as follows:

“Repentance unto…”
“…life”
The Gentiles were not granted life unto repentance, but just the opposite according to the text. And the gospel is the means God grants mankind the ability to believe. He sent the gospel first to the Jews and then the Gentiles which enabled their faith response (Rom. 1:16, 10:14-17).

John 5:40

“yet you refuse to COME TO ME TO HAVE LIFE.”

The order clearly laid out is as follows:

“Come to me…” (through faith)
“…to have life.”

John 6:53

“I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.”

The order clearly laid out is as follows:

“Unless you eat…drink” (by faith)
“…you have not life in you.”

John 6:57

“so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.”

The order clearly laid out is as follows:

“the one who feeds on me…” (by faith)
“…will live”

John 20:31

“But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”

The order clearly laid out is as follows:

“these are written…” (scriptures)
“…that you may believe…”
“…by believing you may have life…”
Life clearly is a fruit of faith and repentance, not the other way around.

Acts 15:9

“He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith.”

The order clearly laid out is as follows:

“He purified their hearts…”
“…by faith.”
It does not say He purified their hearts by regeneration so as to make them have faith. Clearly a purified heart is a fruit of faith, not the other way around.

John 1:12-13

“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

The right to be born of God is given only to those who believe.

The order clearly laid out is as follows:

“…all who did receive him…who believed…”
“…he gave the right to BECOME children of God…”
You are not even given to right to become a child of God, much less be born again as his child, UNTIL you “receive him” and “believe in his name.” And while placing our trust in Christ is man’s responsibility, the work of regeneration is all of God’s doing. It does not come by way of inheritance, marriage, works or striving (Rom. 9:30-32).

Galatians 3:26

“You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus…”

The order clearly laid out is as follows:

“You are all sons of God…”
“…through faith in Christ…”
Obviously, becoming a son (born of God) is a fruit of faith, not the other way around.

John 12:36

“Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.”

The order clearly laid out is as follows:

“Believe in the light…”
“…so that you may become children…”

Ephesians 1:13

“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…”

The order clearly laid out is as follows:

“when you heard the message of truth…when you believed
“you were included in Christ…you were marked in him…”

Galatians 3:2, 5

“I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard?… So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?”

The order clearly laid out is as follows:

“…received the Spirit…”
“…by believing what you heard…”

2 Corinthians 3:14-16

“But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away.Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.

The order clearly laid out is as follows:

“…anyone turns to the Lord…” (by faith)
“…the veil is taken away.”

1 Timothy 1:16

“But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.”

The order clearly laid out is as follows:

“…those who would believe in him…”
“…may receive eternal life.”

Colossians 2:12

“…having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.”

The order clearly laid out is as follows:

“…baptism, in which you were also raised…”
“…through your faith…”

James 1:18

“He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.”

The order clearly laid out is as follows:

“…give us brith…”
“…through the word of truth…”

Calvinists teach the word of truth will certainly be rejected by the unregenerate, thus how can the apostle say that the word may be the means of new birth? Birth must precede the word if Calvinism is true, and that is not what the text clearly indicates.

The Philippian jailer inquired, “What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30). If Paul was Calvinistic he should have replied, “You can do nothing to be saved. You were born corpse-like dead in your sin and a dead man can do nothing. If God makes you alive then you will be convinced to believe our gospel.” But Paul does not hesitate to simply say, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). Believe so as to have new life. Repent so as to live! That is the gospel appeal sent for all to hear it and respond.


[1] John Piper Sermon: Accessed online here.

Consider this article from Dr. David Allen of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1 John 5:1:

1 John 5:1

First John 5:1 states: “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God . . .”29 “Whoever believes” is a present tense participle. “Born” is a perfect tense verb. Some Calvinists suggest the perfect tense indicates completed past action with continuing results and draw the conclusion that faith is the result of being born again. The argument is that the verb “born” is in the perfect tense denoting an action that precedes the faith in the participle “whoever believes.”

This is an unwarranted and erroneous interpretation. Consider two examples. John 3:18 states: “He who believes is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already. . .” “He who believes” is a present participle. “Not condemned” is a perfect tense verb. Yet, here it is clear that the “believing” precedes “not being condemned.” Consider 1 John 5:10, “he who does not believe God has made Him a liar. . .” “He who does not believe” translates a present participle. “Has made” translates a perfect tense verb. Here again, the perfect tense verb, “making God a liar,” is a result of the present participle, “not believing,” not its cause.

Many Calvinists argue that the use of “born” in the perfect tense produces a range of results expressed by present participles, and faith is one of them. However, exegesis always trumps systematic theology. Likewise, context and sentence structure trumps theology. Let’s compare John 3:18 with 1 John 5:1 to see if the use of “born” in the perfect tense produces the result of faith. Notice the order of events in John 3:18 is A then B. In 1 John 5:1 the order is B then A. Both make use of the perfect tense. The same grammatical structure that places being born of God before faith can also be used to describe justification as occurring after faith. See Rom 5:1. The grammar of the verses does not address an ordo salutis. The use of the perfect tense in Greek provides no support for the notion of regeneration preceding faith.30 To suggest otherwise is to fail to distinguish between tense and aspect in Greek verbs and verbals.

Furthermore, with respect to 1 John 5:1, contextually the simple initial act of believing is not under consideration by John. John is talking about the ongoing life of faith as a believer. Obviously, the new birth precedes the ongoing life of faith. But that is something altogether different from saying the new birth precedes the initial act of faith. John’s use of “born” nowhere precludes the possibility of faith preceding regeneration. One may argue for regeneration preceding faith, but one cannot argue against faith preceding regeneration. The most that can be said from the Greek present participle and perfect tense verb combination is that the actions are contemporaneous.

The broader context of John’s writings indicate he would not teach that regeneration precedes faith and elsewhere teach that faith is a condition for life as he does in John 20:31. This precludes the possibility of regeneration preceding faith.

Three conclusions, then, are in order:

1. There is no Biblical text that connects faith and regeneration in a grammatical structure that prescribes an order that supports regeneration preceding faith. Nor is there any statement in Scripture which precludes faith preceding regeneration.

2. There are biblical texts connecting faith and regeneration that support faith preceding regeneration.

3. There are texts that would seem to preclude the possibility of regeneration preceding faith. There is no Scripture anywhere that directly says regeneration precedes faith. That is a theological deduction made by some Calvinists that is driven more by their system than it is by Scripture. The Scripture says things like, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved,” as Paul said to the Philippian jailor in Acts 16.

***********************************************************************
29 For this section, I have relied heavily upon the excellent work of Brian Abasciano, “Does Regeneration Precede Faith? The Use of 1 John 5:21 as a Proof Text,” 307–22. Abasciano provides the best and most substantive Greek grammatical analysis of the issue with respect to 1 John 5:21 I have seen anywhere.
30 A point well-made by Dan Musick in his post on this subject at [link removed]. Musick examines several texts to which Calvinists appeal in an effort to support the notion of regeneration preceding faith. <Source: http://baptistcenter.net/journals/JBTM_11-2_Fall_2014.pdf&gt;

[2] C. Gordon Olson, Beyond Calvinism and Arminianism, p. 39.

[3] R. C. Sproul believes that regeneration precedes faith. But in spite of his doctrine, he once wrote the following: “Once Luther grasped the teaching of Paul in Romans, he was reborn” (R. C. Sproul, The Holiness of God, 1993 edition, p. 144). He must have written these words in haste because to be consistent with his theology he should have said it this way: “Once Luther was reborn, he grasped the teaching of Paul in Romans.” If regeneration precedes faith, then this would make faith unnecessary since the person would already be saved. If a person is regenerated, then he is born of God, a member of God’s family and a possessor of eternal life. If you are a member of God’s family and a possessor of eternal life, then you are already saved. So what need is there for faith? Charles Spurgeon recognized the folly of saying that the sinner must be regenerated before he can believe: “If I am to preach the faith in Christ to a man who is regenerated, then the man, being regenerated, is saved already, and it is an unnecessary and ridiculous thing for me to preach Christ to him, and bid him to believe in order to be saved when he is saved already, being regenerate. Am I only to preach faith to those who have it? Absurd, indeed! Is not this waiting till the man is cured and then bringing him the medicine? This is preaching Christ to the righteous and not to sinners.” [Sermon entitled The Warrant of Faith].

[4] Examples of other points where Calvinists simply do not agree among themselves:

(1) Atonement: Phil Johnson, President of Grace to You ministries, writes, “But second, don’t imagine that there is just one view for the Limited Atonement position and another view for the Unlimited Atonement position. As if there are two polar opposites here and they compete against each other. This is not really an either/or position even among Calvinists. And in fact, historically, the most intense debates about Limited Atonement have come over the past 400 years, they’ve all been intramural debates between Calvinists, among Calvinists… There are at least six possible Calvinists’ interpretations of it [scripture]… I want to encourage you read Andrew Fuller and Thomas Boston. Read what people like Robert L. Dabney and William G. T. Shedd and B. B. Warfield and Charles Hodge wrote on the subject of the atonement. Read John Owen too, but don’t imagine that John Owens’s book The Death of Death in the Death of Christ represents the only strain of Calvinist thought on the issue. It doesn’t. In fact, far from it.”

(2) God’s Love for all: John MacArthur writes, “I am troubled by the tendency of some-often young people newly infatuated with Reformed doctrine-who insist that God cannot possibly love those who never repent and believe. I encounter that view, it seems, with increasing frequency… Unfortunately, Pink took the corollary too far. The fact that some sinners are not elected to salvation is no proof that God’s attitude toward them is utterly devoid of sincere love.”

(3) Lapsarian Controversy:

Calvinists are seriously divided among themselves and always have been. There is Supralapsarianismvs. Sublapsarianism vs. Infralapsarianism. ‘The Supralapsarians hold that God decreed the fall of Adam; the Sublapsarians, that he permitted it’ (McClintock & Strong). The Calvinists at the Synod of Dort were divided on many issues, including lapsarianism. The Swiss Calvinists who wrote the Helvetic Consensus Formula in 1675 were in conflict with the French Calvinists of the School of Saumur. There are Strict Calvinists and Moderate Calvinists, Hyper and non-Hyper (differing especially on reprobation and the extent of the atonement and whether God loves all men), 5 pointers, 4 pointers, 3 pointers, 2 pointers. In America Calvinists were divided into Old School and the New School. As we have seen, the Calvinists of England were divided in the 19th century.

Whenever, therefore, one tries to state TULIP theology and then refute it, there are Calvinists who will argue with you that you are misrepresenting Calvinism. It is not so much that you are misrepresenting Calvinism, though. You might be quoting directly from various Calvinists or even from Calvin himself. The problem is that you are misrepresenting THEIR Calvinism! There are Calvin Calvinists and Thomas Fuller Calvinists and Arthur W. Pink Calvinists and Presbyterian Calvinists and Baptist Calvinists and many other sorts of Calvinists. Many Calvinists have never read Calvin’s Institutes of Christian Religion for themselves. They are merely following someone who follows someone who allegedly follows Calvin (who, by his own admission, followed Augustine).

(4) God’s genuine desire for all to be saved: Watch this CLIP

(5) God’s permissive decree and his implication in bringing about moral evil: See <LINK>

(6) The “order salutis” (the temporal vs. logical order)

[5] More on this point is discussed HERE and HERE, with many references.

 

[6] See http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/reformed/regenera.htm

 

270 thoughts on “Does Regeneration Precede Faith?

    1. I am leaving town for about 7 days, but this one has truly got my attention, I will start with Dr. Flowers article itself and work my way down to the comments. So many monomers, misunderstanding leading to misrepresentations. Not to mention a wrong understanding of God’s word such as 1 Peter 1:23-25.1 John 5:12. Romans 8:9 and many others. I just love how we cherry picks the ones that seemingly look on the surface to say Non-Calvinism, but once one does due diligence and studies to show himself approved so that he will not be ashamed. Just putting down single verses and saying, well there ya go, that settles it. That…..Just…..Won’t……Do…… We just seem to evade the Holy Scriptures all together where it does speak of man’s inability to do anything spiritually good or pleasing to God or to Contribute anything to His salvation. Responsible, I like the word Obligated, fallen sinful man is obligated to keep the whole law of God that is representative of His Holy nature. But we know Romans

      Romans 8:12 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

      Look at verse 13 Dr. Flowers, there is that word “Obligation” We are not response-able. That is silly nonsense and one of the most absurd illogical things I have ever heard.l Dr. Flowers got this out of a dictionary, not from Holy Scriptures. He is a Professor who teaches at a Seminary.

      Romans 8:7 the mind of the flesh [with its sinful pursuits] is actively hostile 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.

      This my brothers in Christ is a plain as the nose on your face. But please tell me. Why is it we are accused constantly of reading to much into? Reaching too far with it? Could somebody please answer that for me? We are just performing Biblical exegesis and reading out of it exactly what God’s word says.

      The sinful man with the mind of the flesh (flesh representing all that is wicked and evil, the old man apart from Christ) is actively hostile to God. He hates God and spits in the face of God daily. Why was this verse not brought into the discussion?

      Not only does it not submit to God’s Holy Law of commands that He or She is obligated to do, verse 7 says they cannot submit to the Holy law of God. Now we learned this in Grade school. So this is something even a schoolboy knows. A student lifts his hands and asks his teacher, “can I go to the pencil sharpener and sharpen my pencil.” She replies to him, “I am sure you can, that is you are able, you have the ability, but the correct way to ask that question is to say, “May I go a Sharpen my Pencil?”

      In Romans 8:7 the sinful wicked sinner who hates God and is actively hostile toward a Holy God is cannot, is not even able, does not have the ability to submit or meet his obligation to obey the Holy commands of God’s word.

      Then verse 8 Dr. Flowers, so plain that I repeat words I heard Brian Wagner says to Ruthin, “why do you refuse to believe it” It says in verse 8 those who are still in the flesh, evil, wicked, hating God and actively hostile to Him cannot please God Other translations say, “those in the flesh cannot do anything pleasing to God.”

      But there it is again, “Cannot” But we Calvinist reach too far. How? We just read God’s word for what it says. You cannot accept because it goes against your traditions that make the word of God of no effect. Even a schoolboy knows the definition of cannot. Those spiritually dead in sin, who do spiritually dead activities called sins like pride, fornication, jealousy, murder and so on (not corpse dead Dr. Flowers, another misrepresentation) cannot, are unable do not have the spiritual ability to do anything that they are obligated to do that is pleasing to God.

      One last thing:

      John 3:16 New King James Version (NKJV)
      16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

      Dr. Flowers seems to think that John 3:16 is talking of some ability or exercising power that the free will of sinners have in this verse. This verse talks nothing about ability or free will or the power of free will and he should be aware of that

      It is simply saying that God has a love for the cosmos, in this context I would say it is talking about mankind, Jews and Greeks, that he gave his only Son Jesus to die on the Cross,

      Then his is where the Biblical Greek comes in that the Non-Calvinist wants nothing to do with or I don’t know has never looked at. Have you Brian?

      The reason God gave His only Son to die on the cross was for this reason, so that, (this is what it actually says in Greek, I kid you not) “that every believing one or every one believing (present tense) should not perish but have everlasting life.

      Nothing about the mystical fictitious idol of free will exercising its almighty power and executing a natural innate faith to believe in Christ. This is what the Non-Calvinist reads into the verse.

      Look at the Interlinear Bible online at Biblehub it will say, “everyone, believing” everyone believing in a state of present tense. My own Interlinear Bible says, “everyone believing in Him” “In order that everyone believing in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.:

      And it speaks of a particular people too, not everyone in the whole wide world without exception. The Non-Calvinist like to focus on the word, “who…so….ever….!!! I can hear a Non-Calvinist thundering it from the pulpit now and saying that is anyone without exception. Wrong. It is “everyone believing in Christ” A particular group of people.

      The verse does not read “whosoever shall not perish but have everlasting life.” I hope you guys caught that without me having to explain it.

      Let’s let our favorite Greek theologian break down John 3:16 through proper Biblical Exegesis

      You see guys, you prepare articles that support your articles and leave out the difficult passages of Scriptures that rebut your tradition and position easily. The Calvinist is not afraid to take the verse you have given here by Dr. Flowers and next Below Brian Wagner and show how they have been misunderstood and make them say what their position and tradition says.

      I will start will Dr. Flowers article. One paragraph at a time. Then proceed to the comments down below. Sorry, Brian, this is not private email. I am not here to be a man pleaser I am here to please the God who saved me. I will not compromise the truth for the sake of unity. Although I think with the Christlikeness of Dr. Flowers and Brian Wagner who I esteem very highly in the faith in their godliness, we can discuss in love, gentleness, and reverence. But I will address your difficult verses. But I want to know why you guys write about a subject like this and ignore and evade the obvious other passage of scriptures that easily refute your position. Brian, you will be surprised at the true meaning of your verse and how you have misunderstood them and seen them through the glasses of Non-Calvinism. This is just a primer, something to whet your appetite. You guys want a real discussion without quarreling and bickering right. Being gentle, loving and speaking in reverence. I think we can do it. We have got to stop writing these articles and comments and patting ourselves on the back as if well that it, that settle it, without any iron sharpening iron.

      God bless and may the Grace of Christ be with you always

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  1. Helpful discussion Leighton. Let me add that Peter clearly puts the new birth after hearing, understanding, and believing the preaching of the gospel. The reformed view of a “regeneration” that is a receiving of a life without receiving Christ yet or receiving a birth without becoming a child of God yet is a complete eisegetical fantasy.

    1 Peter 1:23-25 NKJV — “… having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever…Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.”

    1 John 5:12 NKJV — He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

    Romans 8:9 NKJV — But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
    *************
    But God sovereignly planned that the new birth would be upon the condition of faith as an active personal reception of His mercy. It is Light then Faith then Life… clearly taught – John 1:4-13, 12:35-36, 20:30-31.

    Peter called it being born again by the word of the gospel preached. 1Pet 1:23-25. Preaching the gospel is not just some magical incantation… it is preaching the truth in an understandable way (light) to persuade for faith and repentance, like Jesus was doing with unregenerate Nicodemus… and then the new birth is given, grace through faith.

    Faith does not merit or cause the new birth, but fulfills the condition set by a sovereign God. Who are you to question God’s methods, o man!

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  2. Regarding this topic, consider the following quotes…….

    “Thus, in the complex process by which the Spirit applies, and the believer receives, the benefits of Christ’s redemption, there is the change of nature usually known as regeneration, the mystical union with Christ, the source of spiritual life, and saving faith, which is the sinner’s act of appropriating Christ and his benefits. The first two are implied in effectual calling, and the third grows out of it. Effectual calling viewed Christ-wards effects spiritual union with him; viewed man-wards it produces regeneration, and in the sphere of man’s activity it evinces faith in Christ.” – (Westminster Shorter Catechism Project: The Presbyterian Standards; Chapter 15: Effectual Calling; Union with Christ; Regeneration)

    “But, when thus quickened and renewed by the effectual call which results in regeneration and union with Christ, the sinner is able to answer the call by the response which his personal faith gives.” – (Westminster Shorter Catechism Project: The Presbyterian Standards; Chapter 15: Effectual Calling; Union with Christ; Regeneration)

    “Yes, men believe the gospel to be saved. No question about it. I believe it, I preach it. I call all men to do it. I just know that no man will do it unless and until the miracle of regeneration takes place first. God must open the heart. God must enlighten the mind. God must grant faith. And when God draws one of His elect to Himself, He draws them to Christ through the gospel. The unfailing result of being drawn by the Father is looking to, believing in, coming to (all present tense actions) the Son. It is the nature of the new creature in Christ to believe in Him.” (James White: Debating Calvinism, page 305)

    “Regeneration, the work of the Holy Spirit which brings us into a living union with Christ, only refers to the first step in the work of God in our salvation. It is universally agreed among evangelicals, myself included, that the second step, faith in Christ, must be exercised by the sinner if one is to be justified (saved). Therefore, justification is conditional (on our faith) … but our regeneration (or spiritual birth) is unconditional; an expression of God’s grace freely bestowed, for it is unconstrained and not merited by anything God sees in those who are its subjects. Regeneration and Justification, although occurring almost simultaneously are, therefore, not the same. Regeneration has a causal priority over the other aspects of the process of salvation. The new birth (regeneration), therefore, is what brings about a restored disposition of heart which is then willing to exercise faith in Christ unto justification…. Regeneration is one of the redemptive benefits of Christ’s work.” (John Hendryx: Monergism Vs. Synergism: monergism.com)

    So according to Calvinism, the sinner is “in Christ” BEFORE he even believes in Christ. One must be a “new creature in Christ” BEFORE he can believe. In their line of thinking, it is the unbelieving, Christ rejecting, God-hating sinner who receives one of the spiritual benefits from Jesus Christ’s death on the cross BEFORE he even looks to the cross for salvation. Since, according to Calvinism, regeneration grace is a redemptive benefit, elect sinners are, apparently, partially redeemed, before they even believe.

    The scriptures teach that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). Perhaps that is why some Calvinists come to this obvious conclusion…..

    “A man is not saved because he believes in Christ; he believes in Christ because he is saved (Boettner: The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination, 101).”

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    1. Thanks Phillip for the series of popular and authoritative Calvinist quotes. It shows how they are not all in agreement on the effects of what they want to call “regeneration”. Some say it saves immediately others don’t. Some say it joins one to Christ and others believe they were in Christ before creation and still others not until some time after regeneration.

      These varied views show that in Calvinism the doctrine of regeneration is not really that important as long as they all believe and agree that the fix is in eternally immutably for specific individials to be saved (which includes them of course) and the rest to be damned. Very sad.

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      1. Brian,

        Precisely.

        They just have to make it up as they go along. Its instantaneous when it needs to be and occurs over a period of time for others. They just force in the concept when (and how) it suits them.

        Blessings.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Salutations to my friends and brothers in Christ. Especially to Philip and My friend Mr. Brian Wagner who this comment will be addressed to specifically. I come in peace to discuss this topic in love, gentleness, and reverence, I will strive not to enter into sinful quarreling or any personal attacks. Only on the substance that has been written and also where the people individuals, Calvinists have been called out by name by Philip and confirmed and gave his blessing to.

        By the way, this is KEVIN KLOSSKI. I am writing from the State of Ohio. i am using another account due to the fact that I could not bring my desktop and it has my password plugged in so that I can automatically log in, I forgot to bring the book that has my passwords so I was not able to log into my primary account, So I ask all to forgive me and hope there is no confusion, Once again I am Kevin Klosski,

        I am still not going to jump deeply into refuting this false teaching of Non-Calvinism until I return Home tomorrow. But I will make a few comments on Phillips comment here and to Brian Wagner comment below,

        First of all, I so in all due respect to Philip and Brian Wagner, This is an argument that is nonsense, completely absurd and illogical. Do you think that there are not different FLAVORS, VEIWS, BELIEFS, DOCTRINES, UNDERSTANDINGS, in Traditional Southern Baptist who hold to a mystical fictious idol of free will that executes an innate faith from the wicked sinner’s idol of free will. This Almighty power that is invincible and irresistible (once it makes the right choice) is the trump card that effects the sinners salvation, Praise be to God a little bit but all Glory, Power and Dominion to the wicked sinners’s idol of free will that is in bondage and enslaved to sin,

        John 8:34-36 Amplified Bible (AMP)
        34 Jesus answered, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, everyone who practices sin habitually is a slave of sin.
        35 Now the slave does not remain in a household forever; the son [of the master] does remain forever.
        36 So if the Son makes you free, then you are unquestionably free.

        The constant, consistent, and committing of sin is a complete lifestyle of sin that includes the Traditional Baptist Idol of Free Will

        Romans 8:7-8 – 7 the mind of the flesh [with its sinful pursuits] is actively hostile 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.

        19 This is the judgment [that is, the cause for indictment, the test by which people are judged, the basis for the sentence]: the Light has come into the world, and people loved the [c]darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.
        20 For every wrongdoer hates the Light, and does not come to the Light [but shrinks from it] for fear that his [sinful, worthless] activities will be exposed and condemned.

        The whole spiritually dead sinners committing spiritually dead sinful activities (not corpse dead, sigh) are habitually living sinful lifestyles of chareristic of personified son. Their hearts are desperately wicked and deceitful above all things, This includes their enslaved mystical idol of free will that is nothing more than the Heresy of Pelegianism, THE BOOGIE MAN!!! Now you are all my brothers in Christ, You are not heritics as I have stated before, I just believe you have went to the extreme left to disprove Calvinism (just a nickname for some spiritual truths contained in Holy Scripture) that you are espousing in mistaken ignorance the heresy of Pelegianism, You mention nothing of the Power of Christ, The power of grace, the Power of the Holy Spirit in intimate connection with the instrumentality of the Word of God, Not remembering the “Word of God” is the “Sword of the Spirit, Ephesians 5.”

        Why do I have to keep bringing these and other verse up that are in complete, emphatic contradiction to the Traditional Baptist Belief. Among other verses? Maybe I just answered my own question, Why is it said we go to far with these verses, or read to much in to them when we are just reading out of them what they are saying? Could someone please answer me? Why are these verse seemed to be evaded, ignored or shyed away from by the Traditional Baptist? The answer is pretty much a Rhetorical one at that.

        But like I said there are different FLAVORS, BELIEFS, UNDERSTANDINGS among the TRADITIONAL BAPTIST, , ARMINIANS, AND THE COMPLETE CONSISTENT ARMINIANS SUCH AS BRIAN WAGNER, As I will give an example down below of the different “flavors, beliefs, understandings and doctrines of the “Complete Consistent Understanding of Arminianism, also know as “OPEN THEISM”

        Open Theism is a heretical doctrine. I was not sure but after further study have come to the conclusion that it is a”GOSPEL ISSUE” It is the “HUMANISTIC, HERITICAL god of OPEN THEISM. But it has different FLAVORS, UNDERSTANDINGS AND BELIEFS. It is not consistent, right down the line as each individual even as their own views and opens in serving this heretical god of Open Theism. Now I do not judge the heart of any one “who has called upon the name of the Lord to be saved” I do believe there can be some true believers deceived for a time in this heritical doctrine.

        Let me say a few things about Philip’s quotes from above. Very shabby and disgenenous way of doing things if you ask me. He did refer you to the entire article. I give him credit for that. But the quotes he gave you were not even entire paragraphs. They were parts of pararaghs, meaning you did not get the entire context of what was being said. But I do not even believe everything a Calvinist who is giving his commentary on the Westminister Catechism has to say. I do know this one thing for certain Brian and Philip, Before you two get on your high horses and start patting each other on the Back, Know this, that what Philip wrote, and what Dr, Flowers wrote, the majority of Calvinist or Reformed Believers are on the same page when it comes to “Regeneration and Effectual Calling. You just cannot pick out a few quotes and say there ya go, they are all mixed up, they must be wrong, I can do the same thing with the writing of Open Theism, Traditional Baptist, and Armianism. So this is a very weak, shabby vain empty argument to disprove Calvinism that Brian Wagner should have once again never gave his blessing to. A man of his stature (he knows what I am talking about) should have done his homework, but his ill-will and hatred of Calvinism will have him jump on anything like a chicken on a bug, while holding tighlly to the heritical humanist god of Open Theism. I firmly believe Brian is a Brother in Christ who is just deceived by this heresy that is a gospel issue.

        But let’s look at the flavors, different beliefs and different understanding of Open Theism:

        It is difficult to get a firm grasp on this novel dogma for two reasons. First, there are different varieties (levels) of Open Theism, and a generalization is scarcely possible. One size does not fit all. Second, the vocabulary sometimes employed in reflecting the ideology is so intentionally technical (hence obscure) that only those initiated in the “code” jargon can grasp fully the ideas being advanced. A couple of examples should suffice.

        One source has segmented the Open Theists (i.e., their ideas regarding the foreknowledge of God) into the following categories: Voluntary Nescience, Involuntary Nescience, Non-Bivalentist Omniscience, and Bivalentist Omniscience.

        Try to fathom this statement from John Sanders, one of the leading advocates of the New Theism: “God is everlasting through time rather than timelessly eternal” (http://www.opentheism.info/). If this statement does not conflict with the biblical doctrine of the eternality of God (cf. Psalm 90:2), I would not know what to make of it. In the same article Sanders says, “[T]he future is not entirely knowable, even for God” (emphasis added).

        One of the key issues in the Open Theism controversy has to do with whether God is omniscient, i.e., does he know all things—past, present, and future? Some allege that he knows nothing of the future. The future has not happened, thus is not “real.” Consequently, according to this view, not even God knows the future! Sanders asserts:

        Though God’s knowledge is coextensive with reality in that God knows all that can be known, the future actions of free creatures are not yet reality, and so there is nothing to be known (1998, 198-199).

        Elsewhere in the same volume the author concedes that this view “does leave open the possibility that God might be mistaken about some points, as the biblical record acknowledges” (132; emphasis added).

        Others allege that God’s knowledge of the future is select. Boyd says that God “foreknows that certain things are going to take place” (2000, 30), but other things he does not know. Let us briefly respond to the idea that God does not know the future—to whatever degree that limitation supposedly is.

        For more on the many flavors of Open Theism go to the Original link below: Open Their is just one big mutt with every flavor of ice cream you can think of and then the Non-Calvinist will try and use this straw man argument on the Calvinist, Burn it to the grown!!!

        How about the Southern Baptist Convention, do they have the same beliefs, understandings of Holy Scripture? This is an easy one. We all know and have heard of the division and disarray within the Southern Baptist Convention. Each Sect struggling for power. Even within the Traditional Baptist themselves there are differing beliefs, Oh, it is true, I have read it. Just ask Dr, Flowers, Better yet just read Dr. Flowers on his rather new, recent, odd and ambiguous understanding of Romans 9, You can bet that is not the leader of the pack on that chapter when it comes to biblical exegesis. Especially when Dr, Flowers Biblical Exegesis is made up of stores like, “people being on football teams, or Dr, Flowers in a very firm strong tone of voice telling Sean Cole, “Sean, YOU JUST OFFENDED ME!!!” Sean was taken back by this illustration, Dr, Flowers explained to him that this is how the power of the Word of God is effectual in the sinner who hears it. It did not sound as if Dr, Sean Cole was to convinced. Due to the fact the Word of God is made powerful with its intimate connection with God the Holy Spirit who is Omnipotent and gives life to the dead through the instrumentatiality of the Word of God or the Preaching of the Gospel.

        I came out of Armianism with God the Holy Spirit opening the eyes of my heart to the Doctrine of Election from all Eternity in Christ (Surely not a doubtful thing when God’s word says so, FOH says no one comes to know the Reformed Faith unless they are taught it by another man. Has FOH interviewed every Calvinist who has ever existed, who is existing and ever will exist? Another rhetorical question that does not deserve or need an answer. Just an absurd assertion to try an disprove Calvinism. I am one who was not taught by man and there are many others who have been taught the God the Holy Spirit and some that I know. So another Straw-man burned to the grown!!! This is unethithical as Philip’s rebuttal comment and Brian Wagner’s appraisal comments of what Philip wrote/ Burned to the ground!!!!

        I I know someone might say, “Kevin you are saying a lot of the same things and using the same verses. You are arguing in a circle. I agree I am arguing in a circle. You guys want the truth, I am trying to give you the truth, but it seems you cannot handle the truth. Excuses like, “its to long” Well you do not have to answer the whole thing in one day. I think you have an “inability” You just cannot do it’ Just a pararaghs at a time, a sentence at a time. How about a verse or two I have quoted.

        Because Philip, you have been thoroughly refuted here my friend and brother in Christ as I refuted you concerning Abraham and the Doctrine of Justification.

        Then you Non-Calvinist keep saying that the Calvinist excuse is we keep saying that the Non-Calvinist does not “UNDERSTAND CALVINIM AND THUS MISREPRESENTS IT. There is a reason for that. YOU DO!!!

        I will give you a perfect example from you leader Dr. Flowers who claims he was completely in the waters of Calvinism with his head under. But in this article I think into he completely contradicts the Reformed Faith and thus Misrepresents what the Calvinists believes. Then the Calvinists on this site begin making comments patting Dr. Flowers on the back about his great article on Calvinism not even noting that he misrepresented them. Which emphatically out of necessity implies and proves you guys do not understand the Reformed Faith and misrepresent Calvinism as we Calvinist often assert you do,

        Let me show you how Dr, Flowers Misrepresented the Reformed Faith in this article:

        “Calvinists teach the word of truth will certainly be rejected by the unregenerate, thus how can the apostle say that the word may be the means of new birth? Birth must precede the word if Calvinism is true, and that is not what the text clearly indicates.”

        This is a quote from Dr. Flowers in this article. A complete contradiction of what the Calvinist believes and understands of Holy Scripture. So he is Misrepresented by Bible Scholar Dr. Flowers with the approval of in just my opinion from the comments I have read, most of the Non-Calvinist. Some trained in the Word of God, Former Pastors and Seminary Trained.

        THe Calvinist, contrary to what Dr. FLowers asserts in this quote above, never, ever assert or teach the “unregenerate will certainly reject the word of truth” Why would the Calvinist say that. Preaching the Gospel through broken vessels saved by grace is the means God uses to saved wicked sinners dead in sin doing sinful activities the desires of the flesh and mind living a lifestyle of sin while being in a spiritually dead state *not physically corpse dead Flowers, please stop using that, it is a misunderstanding{

        If the Calvinist believed the unregenerate wicked sinner who hates God is hostile to God and can do nothing pleasing to God will never most certainly not respond to the Gospel then why do we preach the Word of God, Because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God and the Gospel is the Power of God unto Salvation unto the Greek first and to the Gentile. A complete misrepresentation. But you guys read it and do not correct Dr Flowers as if he can do no wrong and THAT IS A BIG MAGOR MISTAKE THAT REALLY BUTS A BLACK EYE ON CALVINISM. I want to say it is just a mistake and not what it might be.

        One more from Dr, Flowers that the Non-Calvinists swallowed on here hook line and sinker: This is how I know Dr Flowers was only enamored by Calvinism and never really understood it or he would never say that a Calvinist believed a passage of Scripture like this,

        Dr. FLowers says: “The Philippian jailer inquired, “What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30). If Paul was Calvinistic he should have replied, “You can do nothing to be saved. You were born corpse-like dead in your sin and a dead man can do nothing. If God makes you alive then you will be convinced to believe our gospel.” But Paul does not hesitate to simply say, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). Believe so as to have new life. Repent so as to live! That is the gospel appeal sent for all to hear it and respond.”

        First of all, this is silly nonsense, completely absurd and terribly illogical and hopefully not disgegngous. coming from someone who claims to be a former 5 point Calvinist. Knowing a Reformed believer would never believe this passage in this manner. Absolutely ridiculous.

        Of course all Christian Calvinist Ministers of the Gospel Command all men everywhere without distinction to repent and believe on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. To Call upon the Name of the Lord and be saved even. This is what the word of God teaches. Not sure why a former 6 point Calvinist would assert we would do otherwise. Baffling to me.

        News Flash Dr, Flowers, once again, the name Calvinism, is just a nick-name for some truths found in Holy Scripture. I could just as easily say to you, “if Paul were a Traditional Baptist, he would not need the internal working of the Holy Spirit in intimate connection with the proclaimed gospel of Jesus Christ. Because he already has innate faith from Birth. Although Holy Scripture says evil, wicked and perverse men do not have faith

        2 Thessialians 2:3 -And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith.

        And this is just one verse, I could multiply, enlarge and increase the proof and evidence within God’s word that the sinner does not have within himself inherently saving faith and that faith is a gift of God’s grace produced and created in regeneration in connection with the preaching of the Gospel.

        Romans 10:17 Amplified Bible (AMP)
        17 So faith comes from hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the [preaching of the] message concerning Christ.

        The sinner was not born “born corpse like dead”. If that was so then why is a sinner physically and biology alive, God’s word speaking of our physical life says in the book of Acts, “in Him we live, move and have our very being.

        Now we are born spiritually dead in trespasses and sins, Spiritually unresponsive to God, With a complete inability to add or contribute anything to our Salvation. Because while we were still sinners weak, dead in sin, alienated from the life of God, without strength, unable to take one step toward Jesus and having no desire to do so because we loved the sin we were in bondage to and took great pleasure in it, It was then Christ died for the ungodly,

        You contribute one thing to your salvation Dr, Flowers and anyone who might read this, YOUR SINS!!!

        Even as Christians in John 15 Jesus told His disciples that {without Him they could do nothing, and nothing does not mean a little something) and that only by abiding in Him they would bear fruit that would be pleasing and Glorify their Father whip is in heaven.

        Where does that leave the sinner and his enslaved idol wicked free will who is outside of Christ, completely alienated from the life of God. Even the Christ can do nothing with Christ and abiding in Him!!!!

        The Christian Calvinist Minister of the Gospel Dr. Flowers does not know who God is going ot make spiritually alive. So they preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all without distinction and let God do the distinguishing. The Sovereign Holy Spirit blows where he wishes.

        The sinful man is passive in the work of God the Holy Spirit in Regeneration, quickening and making alive. This is all Paul says as he sows and water with the word trusting God to give the increase to add to the church daily those who were being saved.

        Acts 16:31 New King James Version (NKJV)
        31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

        John 3:8 Amplified Bible (AMP)
        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.”

        God prospers the preached word so that it produces its intended result and does not return void. God the Holy Spirit is sovereign, he blows when, where and upon and within who he wishes. John 3:8

        Sounds a little like the Boogie Man to me My Brothers in Christ, Dr, Flowers, Philip and Brian Wagner,, Selah, Pause meditiate and think calmly and prayerfully on this.

        God bless to all and may the Grace of Christ be with you always.

        Like

      3. Salutations to my friends and brothers in Christ. Especially to Philip and My friend Mr. Brian Wagner who this comment will be addressed to specifically. I come in peace to discuss this topic in love, gentleness, and reverence, I will strive not to enter into sinful quarreling or any personal attacks. Only on the substance that has been written and also where the people individuals, Calvinists have been called out by name by Philip and confirmed and gave his blessing to.

        By the way, this is KEVIN KLOSSKI. I am writing from the State of Ohio. i am using another account due to the fact that I could not bring my desktop and it has my password plugged in so that I can automatically log in, I forgot to bring the book that has my passwords so I was not able to log into my primary account, So I ask all to forgive me and hope there is no confusion, Once again I am Kevin Klosski,

        I am still not going to jump deeply into refuting this false teaching of Non-Calvinism until I return Home tomorrow. But I will make a few comments on Phillips comment here and to Brian Wagner comment below,

        First of all, I so in all due respect to Philip and Brian Wagner, This is an argument that is nonsense, completely absurd and illogical. Do you think that there are not different FLAVORS, VEIWS, BELIEFS, DOCTRINES, UNDERSTANDINGS, in Traditional Southern Baptist who hold to a mystical fictious idol of free will that executes an innate faith from the wicked sinner’s idol of free will. This Almighty power that is invincible and irresistible (once it makes the right choice) is the trump card that effects the sinners salvation, Praise be to God a little bit but all Glory, Power and Dominion to the wicked sinners’s idol of free will that is in bondage and enslaved to sin,

        John 8:34-36 Amplified Bible (AMP)
        34 Jesus answered, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, everyone who practices sin habitually is a slave of sin.
        35 Now the slave does not remain in a household forever; the son [of the master] does remain forever.
        36 So if the Son makes you free, then you are unquestionably free.

        The constant, consistent, and committing of sin is a complete lifestyle of sin that includes the Traditional Baptist Idol of Free Will

        Romans 8:7-8 – 7 the mind of the flesh [with its sinful pursuits] is actively hostile 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.

        19 This is the judgment [that is, the cause for indictment, the test by which people are judged, the basis for the sentence]: the Light has come into the world, and people loved the [c]darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.
        20 For every wrongdoer hates the Light, and does not come to the Light [but shrinks from it] for fear that his [sinful, worthless] activities will be exposed and condemned.

        The whole spiritually dead sinners committing spiritually dead sinful activities (not corpse dead, sigh) are habitually living sinful lifestyles of chareristic of personified son. Their hearts are desperately wicked and deceitful above all things, This includes their enslaved mystical idol of free will that is nothing more than the Heresy of Pelegianism, THE BOOGIE MAN!!! Now you are all my brothers in Christ, You are not heritics as I have stated before, I just believe you have went to the extreme left to disprove Calvinism (just a nickname for some spiritual truths contained in Holy Scripture) that you are espousing in mistaken ignorance the heresy of Pelegianism, You mention nothing of the Power of Christ, The power of grace, the Power of the Holy Spirit in intimate connection with the instrumentality of the Word of God, Not remembering the “Word of God” is the “Sword of the Spirit, Ephesians 5.”

        Why do I have to keep bringing these and other verse up that are in complete, emphatic contradiction to the Traditional Baptist Belief. Among other verses? Maybe I just answered my own question, Why is it said we go to far with these verses, or read to much in to them when we are just reading out of them what they are saying? Could someone please answer me? Why are these verse seemed to be evaded, ignored or shyed away from by the Traditional Baptist? The answer is pretty much a Rhetorical one at that.

        But like I said there are different FLAVORS, BELIEFS, UNDERSTANDINGS among the TRADITIONAL BAPTIST, , ARMINIANS, AND THE COMPLETE CONSISTENT ARMINIANS SUCH AS BRIAN WAGNER, As I will give an example down below of the different “flavors, beliefs, understandings and doctrines of the “Complete Consistent Understanding of Arminianism, also know as “OPEN THEISM”

        Open Theism is a heretical doctrine. I was not sure but after further study have come to the conclusion that it is a”GOSPEL ISSUE” It is the “HUMANISTIC, HERITICAL god of OPEN THEISM. But it has different FLAVORS, UNDERSTANDINGS AND BELIEFS. It is not consistent, right down the line as each individual even as their own views and opens in serving this heretical god of Open Theism. Now I do not judge the heart of any one “who has called upon the name of the Lord to be saved” I do believe there can be some true believers deceived for a time in this heritical doctrine.

        Let me say a few things about Philip’s quotes from above. Very shabby and disgenenous way of doing things if you ask me. He did refer you to the entire article. I give him credit for that. But the quotes he gave you were not even entire paragraphs. They were parts of pararaghs, meaning you did not get the entire context of what was being said. But I do not even believe everything a Calvinist who is giving his commentary on the Westminister Catechism has to say. I do know this one thing for certain Brian and Philip, Before you two get on your high horses and start patting each other on the Back, Know this, that what Philip wrote, and what Dr, Flowers wrote, the majority of Calvinist or Reformed Believers are on the same page when it comes to “Regeneration and Effectual Calling. You just cannot pick out a few quotes and say there ya go, they are all mixed up, they must be wrong, I can do the same thing with the writing of Open Theism, Traditional Baptist, and Armianism. So this is a very weak, shabby vain empty argument to disprove Calvinism that Brian Wagner should have once again never gave his blessing to. A man of his stature (he knows what I am talking about) should have done his homework, but his ill-will and hatred of Calvinism will have him jump on anything like a chicken on a bug, while holding tighlly to the heritical humanist god of Open Theism. I firmly believe Brian is a Brother in Christ who is just deceived by this heresy that is a gospel issue.

        But let’s look at the flavors, different beliefs and different understanding of Open Theism:

        It is difficult to get a firm grasp on this novel dogma for two reasons. First, there are different varieties (levels) of Open Theism, and a generalization is scarcely possible. One size does not fit all. Second, the vocabulary sometimes employed in reflecting the ideology is so intentionally technical (hence obscure) that only those initiated in the “code” jargon can grasp fully the ideas being advanced. A couple of examples should suffice.

        One source has segmented the Open Theists (i.e., their ideas regarding the foreknowledge of God) into the following categories: Voluntary Nescience, Involuntary Nescience, Non-Bivalentist Omniscience, and Bivalentist Omniscience.

        Try to fathom this statement from John Sanders, one of the leading advocates of the New Theism: “God is everlasting through time rather than timelessly eternal” (http://www.opentheism.info/). If this statement does not conflict with the biblical doctrine of the eternality of God (cf. Psalm 90:2), I would not know what to make of it. In the same article Sanders says, “[T]he future is not entirely knowable, even for God” (emphasis added).

        One of the key issues in the Open Theism controversy has to do with whether God is omniscient, i.e., does he know all things—past, present, and future? Some allege that he knows nothing of the future. The future has not happened, thus is not “real.” Consequently, according to this view, not even God knows the future! Sanders asserts:

        Though God’s knowledge is coextensive with reality in that God knows all that can be known, the future actions of free creatures are not yet reality, and so there is nothing to be known (1998, 198-199).

        Elsewhere in the same volume the author concedes that this view “does leave open the possibility that God might be mistaken about some points, as the biblical record acknowledges” (132; emphasis added).

        Others allege that God’s knowledge of the future is select. Boyd says that God “foreknows that certain things are going to take place” (2000, 30), but other things he does not know. Let us briefly respond to the idea that God does not know the future—to whatever degree that limitation supposedly is.

        For more on the many flavors of Open Theism go to the Original link below: Open Their is just one big mutt with every flavor of ice cream you can think of and then the Non-Calvinist will try and use this straw man argument on the Calvinist, Burn it to the grown!!!

        How about the Southern Baptist Convention, do they have the same beliefs, understandings of Holy Scripture? This is an easy one. We all know and have heard of the division and disarray within the Southern Baptist Convention. Each Sect struggling for power. Even within the Traditional Baptist themselves there are differing beliefs, Oh, it is true, I have read it. Just ask Dr, Flowers, Better yet just read Dr. Flowers on his rather new, recent, odd and ambiguous understanding of Romans 9, You can bet that is not the leader of the pack on that chapter when it comes to biblical exegesis. Especially when Dr, Flowers Biblical Exegesis is made up of stores like, “people being on football teams, or Dr, Flowers in a very firm strong tone of voice telling Sean Cole, “Sean, YOU JUST OFFENDED ME!!!” Sean was taken back by this illustration, Dr, Flowers explained to him that this is how the power of the Word of God is effectual in the sinner who hears it. It did not sound as if Dr, Sean Cole was to convinced. Due to the fact the Word of God is made powerful with its intimate connection with God the Holy Spirit who is Omnipotent and gives life to the dead through the instrumentatiality of the Word of God or the Preaching of the Gospel.

        I came out of Armianism with God the Holy Spirit opening the eyes of my heart to the Doctrine of Election from all Eternity in Christ (Surely not a doubtful thing when God’s word says so, FOH says no one comes to know the Reformed Faith unless they are taught it by another man. Has FOH interviewed every Calvinist who has ever existed, who is existing and ever will exist? Another rhetorical question that does not deserve or need an answer. Just an absurd assertion to try an disprove Calvinism. I am one who was not taught by man and there are many others who have been taught the God the Holy Spirit and some that I know. So another Straw-man burned to the grown!!! This is unethithical as Philip’s rebuttal comment and Brian Wagner’s appraisal comments of what Philip wrote/ Burned to the ground!!!!

        I I know someone might say, “Kevin you are saying a lot of the same things and using the same verses. You are arguing in a circle. I agree I am arguing in a circle. You guys want the truth, I am trying to give you the truth, but it seems you cannot handle the truth. Excuses like, “its to long” Well you do not have to answer the whole thing in one day. I think you have an “inability” You just cannot do it’ Just a pararaghs at a time, a sentence at a time. How about a verse or two I have quoted.

        Because Philip, you have been thoroughly refuted here my friend and brother in Christ as I refuted you concerning Abraham and the Doctrine of Justification.

        Then you Non-Calvinist keep saying that the Calvinist excuse is we keep saying that the Non-Calvinist does not “UNDERSTAND CALVINIM AND THUS MISREPRESENTS IT. There is a reason for that. YOU DO!!!

        I will give you a perfect example from you leader Dr. Flowers who claims he was completely in the waters of Calvinism with his head under. But in this article I think into he completely contradicts the Reformed Faith and thus Misrepresents what the Calvinists believes. Then the Calvinists on this site begin making comments patting Dr. Flowers on the back about his great article on Calvinism not even noting that he misrepresented them. Which emphatically out of necessity implies and proves you guys do not understand the Reformed Faith and misrepresent Calvinism as we Calvinist often assert you do,

        Let me show you how Dr, Flowers Misrepresented the Reformed Faith in this article:

        “Calvinists teach the word of truth will certainly be rejected by the unregenerate, thus how can the apostle say that the word may be the means of new birth? Birth must precede the word if Calvinism is true, and that is not what the text clearly indicates.”

        This is a quote from Dr. Flowers in this article. A complete contradiction of what the Calvinist believes and understands of Holy Scripture. So he is Misrepresented by Bible Scholar Dr. Flowers with the approval of in just my opinion from the comments I have read, most of the Non-Calvinist. Some trained in the Word of God, Former Pastors and Seminary Trained.

        THe Calvinist, contrary to what Dr. FLowers asserts in this quote above, never, ever assert or teach the “unregenerate will certainly reject the word of truth” Why would the Calvinist say that. Preaching the Gospel through broken vessels saved by grace is the means God uses to saved wicked sinners dead in sin doing sinful activities the desires of the flesh and mind living a lifestyle of sin while being in a spiritually dead state *not physically corpse dead Flowers, please stop using that, it is a misunderstanding{

        If the Calvinist believed the unregenerate wicked sinner who hates God is hostile to God and can do nothing pleasing to God will never most certainly not respond to the Gospel then why do we preach the Word of God, Because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God and the Gospel is the Power of God unto Salvation unto the Greek first and to the Gentile. A complete misrepresentation. But you guys read it and do not correct Dr Flowers as if he can do no wrong and THAT IS A BIG MAGOR MISTAKE THAT REALLY BUTS A BLACK EYE ON CALVINISM. I want to say it is just a mistake and not what it might be.

        One more from Dr, Flowers that the Non-Calvinists swallowed on here hook line and sinker: This is how I know Dr Flowers was only enamored by Calvinism and never really understood it or he would never say that a Calvinist believed a passage of Scripture like this,

        Dr. FLowers says: “The Philippian jailer inquired, “What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30). If Paul was Calvinistic he should have replied, “You can do nothing to be saved. You were born corpse-like dead in your sin and a dead man can do nothing. If God makes you alive then you will be convinced to believe our gospel.” But Paul does not hesitate to simply say, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). Believe so as to have new life. Repent so as to live! That is the gospel appeal sent for all to hear it and respond.”

        First of all, this is silly nonsense, completely absurd and terribly illogical and hopefully not disgegngous. coming from someone who claims to be a former 5 point Calvinist. Knowing a Reformed believer would never believe this passage in this manner. Absolutely ridiculous.

        Of course all Christian Calvinist Ministers of the Gospel Command all men everywhere without distinction to repent and believe on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. To Call upon the Name of the Lord and be saved even. This is what the word of God teaches. Not sure why a former 6 point Calvinist would assert we would do otherwise. Baffling to me.

        News Flash Dr, Flowers, once again, the name Calvinism, is just a nick-name for some truths found in Holy Scripture. I could just as easily say to you, “if Paul were a Traditional Baptist, he would not need the internal working of the Holy Spirit in intimate connection with the proclaimed gospel of Jesus Christ. Because he already has innate faith from Birth. Although Holy Scripture says evil, wicked and perverse men do not have faith

        2 Thessialians 2:3 -And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith.

        And this is just one verse, I could multiply, enlarge and increase the proof and evidence within God’s word that the sinner does not have within himself inherently saving faith and that faith is a gift of God’s grace produced and created in regeneration in connection with the preaching of the Gospel.

        Romans 10:17 Amplified Bible (AMP)
        17 So faith comes from hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the [preaching of the] message concerning Christ.

        The sinner was not born “born corpse like dead”. If that was so then why is a sinner physically and biology alive, God’s word speaking of our physical life says in the book of Acts, “in Him we live, move and have our very being.

        Now we are born spiritually dead in trespasses and sins, Spiritually unresponsive to God, With a complete inability to add or contribute anything to our Salvation. Because while we were still sinners weak, dead in sin, alienated from the life of God, without strength, unable to take one step toward Jesus and having no desire to do so because we loved the sin we were in bondage to and took great pleasure in it, It was then Christ died for the ungodly,

        You contribute one thing to your salvation Dr, Flowers and anyone who might read this, YOUR SINS!!!

        Even as Christians in John 15 Jesus told His disciples that {without Him they could do nothing, and nothing does not mean a little something) and that only by abiding in Him they would bear fruit that would be pleasing and Glorify their Father whip is in heaven.

        Where does that leave the sinner and his enslaved idol wicked free will who is outside of Christ, completely alienated from the life of God. Even the Christ can do nothing with Christ and abiding in Him!!!!

        The Christian Calvinist Minister of the Gospel Dr. Flowers does not know who God is going ot make spiritually alive. So they preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all without distinction and let God do the distinguishing. The Sovereign Holy Spirit blows where he wishes.

        The sinful man is passive in the work of God the Holy Spirit in Regeneration, quickening and making alive. This is all Paul says as he sows and water with the word trusting God to give the increase to add to the church daily those who were being saved.

        Acts 16:31 New King James Version (NKJV)
        31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

        John 3:8 Amplified Bible (AMP)
        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.”

        God prospers the preached word so that it produces its intended result and does not return void. God the Holy Spirit is sovereign, he blows when, where and upon and within who he wishes. John 3:8

        Sounds a little like the Boogie Man to me My Brothers in Christ, Dr, Flowers, Philip and Brian Wagner,, Selah, Pause meditiate and think calmly and prayerfully on this.

        God bless to all and may the Grace of Christ be with you always.

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    2. Sorry Kevin, but you are just ignorant of the nature of man. In the flesh, man can never serve God is true. The flesh is the “id” of man .. the instincts God gives man in order for man to survive and replicate the human race in the earth. These instincts are good for the man but are not God-serving. In addition, when we respond to this instincts in ungodly ways (Re: Ro 7:8-9 — the commandment said don’t covet but the flesh cannot resist), we die spiritually and our heart becomes sin-natured where it had been innocent and alive.

      But God gave us another good instinct .. we all seek Him (Acts 17:26-27). We are His spiritual offspring .. we inherit nothing spiritually from our parents. All that we become spiritually, we learn from parents, society, from church, and hopefully from God, Himself, in His Word. We were not created adults like Adam but we are pretty much like him at our birth — innocent.

      So what this all means is that we LEARN the gospel (Acts 2:36-40) and decide for ourselves whether to believe it or not. And if we believe, we have to decide whether to obey it or not. You may not be aware of it but the gospel commands (Acts 17:30) to REPENT of our sin-nature heart and our sin-guilty conscience (together they make up our soul) and ask God to save us and become Lord of our lives. You see, it is our soul that needs to be saved (Jas 1:21, 5:20, Heb 10:38-39, 1Pet 1:8-9) .. and God is not pleased with those who “draw back” (Heb 10:39) as Calvinists are won’t to do.

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  3. Dr, Flowers quotes Sproul in footnote 2, “Once Luther grasped the teaching of Paul in Romans, he was reborn” (R. C. Sproul, The Holiness of God, 1993 edition, p. 144). He must have written these words in haste because to be consistent with his theology he should have said it this way: “Once Luther was reborn, he grasped the teaching of Paul in Romans.”

    Let’s clear up a misunderstanding here. We should all agree that the preaching of the gospel precedes and precipitates the appearance of faith – “faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” It is also true that the preaching of the gospel precedes and precipitates regeneration as Brian notes above in citing 1 Peter, “… having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever…Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.” Thus, the gospel is the means that God uses to effect regeneration and give a person faith. Sproul expresses the manifestation of the gospel in a person’s life as “Luther grasped the teaching of Paul…” It would be erroneous to say that Luther was reborn prior to grasping the gospel as the gospel is the instigator of regeneration. The quibble here is with Sproul’s use of “grasp.” Here is meant no more than that which is said of Lydia, “the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul.” So, once the Lord opened Luther’s heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul (Luther could grasp these things), God then used the things Paul wrote to effect regeneration that then enabled the gospel to create faith in the person.

    Regeneration is not salvation (despite what Spurgeon said) in Calvinist theology. It is one part of the salvation process – “by grace you have been saved through faith;” The grace of God offsets the depravity of the heart that resulted from Adam’s sin – it affects the quickening described in Ephesians 2. Only after quickening (says Calvinism) does faith find a home in the heart and affect justification and salvation.

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    1. Roger… Luther believed in regeneration after faith and even believed faith existed in so-called elect infants before they received the sacrament of regeneration – baptism.

      And one day you might see that understanding the gospel and accepting it freely in a positive way in one’s mind is necessary before a commitment of faith is possible and then regeneration takes place.

      The preaching of the gospel is not a magical incantation that the hearer has always rejected and misunderstood intellectually but now those spoken words, still misunderstood and rejected, somehow causes, like magic, a change in someone’s will causing it to now irresistibly understand everything said after that spiritual “incantation”, at least unto justification and the receiving of the life of Christ.

      The Calvinist has to have it this way for they have to God’s salvation limited to an eternally immutable set group of individuals that includes them, of course, but guarantees that no-one else can get it! It’s a shame they see God as being so unmerciful and unjust.

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      1. brianwagner writes, “Luther believed in regeneration after faith and even believed faith existed in so-called elect infants before they received the sacrament of regeneration – baptism. ”

        Guess Luther got some things wrong.

        Then, “…understanding the gospel and accepting it freely in a positive way in one’s mind is necessary before a commitment of faith is possible…”

        We are agreed on that.

        Then, “…and then regeneration takes place.”

        OK. So what does regeneration accomplish in this scenario?

        Then, “The preaching of the gospel is not a magical incantation…”

        Agreed. Don’t we both agree that the preaching of the gospel is a tool wielded by the Holy Spirit to accomplish God’s will?? Does not the HS excite men to preach and then open the hearts of hearers to respond to that preaching.

        Then, “The Calvinist has to have it this way for they have to God’s salvation limited to an eternally immutable set group of individuals that includes them,…”

        And that is what drove you to reject absolute foreknowledge of God.

        Then, “…of course, but guarantees that no-one else can get it! ”

        People are still free to exercise their “free” will to obtain salvation. They just have to do it without God’s help to change their desires.

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      2. Roger: Soteriology101…. regeneration is a spiritual birth giving immediately everlasting life and immediately making one a child of God, with immediate justification and indwelling of the Son.

        1 John 5:12 NKJV — He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

        Regeneration is given to those who personally and freely express faith in the truth God presented to them about His mercy. Praise His Name.

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      3. brianwagner writes, “regeneration is a spiritual birth giving immediately everlasting life and immediately making one a child of God, with immediate justification and indwelling of the Son.”

        This comes from your unique view on John 3. John 3 tells us, “…unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God….unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” You say that the “Kingdom of God” does not refer to salvation but to a future kingdom. In Calvinist Theology, the “kingdom of God” in John 3 refers to salvation and the new birth enables a person to see salvation and then to enter into salvation – the new birth does not confer salvation but provides for the person to freely choose salvation.

        We know from John 1, that “as many as received Christ, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,…” One gains the right to become a child of God by receiving Christ. One receives Christ through faith a faith that manifests as belief in Christ and the works of Christ. That faith also justifies and I don’t think you can squeeze regeneration between faith and justification – regeneration must come before faith/justification or after faith/justification.

        Then, this citation, “1 John 5:12 NKJV — He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

        Agreed. Thus, the new birth, under the Calvinist understanding of John 3, does not confer eternal life – it makes eternal life possible; “whoever believes in Christ should not perish, but have eternal life.” So, under your system, a person is given faith by which the person believes and receives eternal life at which point the person is regenerated. As before, what then is the purpose of regeneration??

        Then, “Regeneration is given to those who personally and freely express faith in the truth God presented to them about His mercy.”

        Such faith is expressed in believing and receiving Christ and in doing the works of Christ. Then, you say, God can regenerate them. What then is the purpose of regeneration??

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      4. Roger, I answered your last question, which you can find in your first quote of mine in your last response.

        Even if the new birth must be before “seeing” and “entering” God’s present kingdom (His rule) in one’s life, that still does not remove the prerequisite that sovereignly was placed before the new birth, which is trust in God’s Son… which Jesus was consistently pointing unregenerate Nicodemus to in His explanation of the new birth.

        I think Nick knew that he was supposed to trust in Christ before he would be able to experience from God’s Spirit a new birth. It’s a shame you refuse to see it!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. brianwagner writes, “Even if the new birth must be before “seeing” and “entering” God’s present kingdom (His rule) in one’s life, that still does not remove the prerequisite that sovereignly was placed before the new birth, which is trust in God’s Son… which Jesus was consistently pointing unregenerate Nicodemus to in His explanation of the new birth.”

        Does that mean that you now recognize that the “kingdom of God” in John 3 refers to salvation? At least, we both now have regeneration and faith both coming before salvation.

        Now, we can follow the argument Paul makes in Ephesians 2 – When we were dead, God quickened is (by grace we were saved). and then Paul extends this to, by grace through faith. Both grace and faith contribute to salvation and Paul puts grace first and then making faith the grace of God. So it is as the parable of the sower – the soil is made good by regeneration so that the word buried within it could produce faith.

        Then, “I think Nick knew that he was supposed to trust in Christ before he would be able to experience from God’s Spirit a new birth.”

        I think he might have grasped that to be so, yet still found that he could not do so and would not until he was regenerated. He did not grasp what Christ was saying about this – “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not understand these things?…If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how shall you believe if I tell you heavenly things?”

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      6. Roger, regeneration after faith immediately and contemporaneously causes that entrance into an everlasting relationship with God. It is the salvation experience.

        The main issue remains that you choose to believe God gives it all to few for whom He supposedly had an eternal immutable fantasy love that He was locked into before they were even created, which was a necessity for Him to do.

        And you choose to believe God had for most an eternal immutable fantasy hatred that He was locked into before those He would create, predestined to sin, be unable to be saved, and get tormented forever.

        …not the God of Scripture… and not my God!

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      7. Oh no Brian….that would be “double predestination” and only “hyper-Calvinists” believe that!

        He predestined 0.15% to eternal salvation and only “passed over” the rest. They deserve torture cuz they didnt repent. And He would have accepted them if they had. See how nicely it all fits together?

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      8. brianwagner writes, “regeneration after faith immediately and contemporaneously causes that entrance into an everlasting relationship with God. It is the salvation experience.”

        My question was actually to have you describe what regeneration does. Calvinism says that regeneration changes a person enabling a person to receive and express faith. In your scheme, regeneration does not seem to affect any change in a person but is a “salvation experience,” whatever that means. A more complete description of regeneration would be nice.

        Then, “…God gives it all to few for whom He supposedly had an eternal immutable fantasy love that He was locked into before they were even created, which was a necessity for Him to do.”

        This reflects the notion that all will not be saved which even you seem to hold. The issue is to define the difference between those who are saved and those not saved and God’s role in this. Certainly, God loves those who become saved (regardless how they are saved). I think you oppose the notion that God’s actions end up determining who is saved. You actually don’t know why one person is saved and another person lost – it’s a mystery.

        Then, “…God had for most an eternal immutable fantasy hatred that He was locked into before those He would create, predestined to sin, be unable to be saved, and get tormented forever.”

        If all are not saved through their own actions and God refuses to save those who reject salvation (knowing the implications of their decision), then doesn’t this say that God hates that person?

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      9. Roger… I’ve answered this before… I’m starting to get the feeling that you’re no longer trying to understand, when before I sensed at times you really were.

        The new birth causes everlasting life for it is God’s gift of the Son’s resurrection life after He sees the condition of faith in His mercy was freely met in the unregenerate heart. The Son’s life includes His righteousness (the two are inseparable) which is immediate justification. The birth is also into God’s family which immediately makes one an everlasting child of God.

        The life of the Son enters one’s spirit to dwell there forever and thus makes an immediate change in the will (on this we agree) so that this will is no longer able to stop believing Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God… which is the truth that will had started to freely believe before the new birth took place.

        Your phrase “not saved through their own actions” is a smokescreen “denial” of the logic of determinism. You know they are not saved because of God’s eternal immutable predetermination of their not ever being saved before they or their “own” actions (also predetermined) even existed. Put on your big boy pants and logically stand by the “truth” of your theology. 😉 In it God is the direct source and the direct cause for the creation, ability, and outcome of every sin.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Brian,

        This is once again your demonstration of kindness and patience.

        Also, you may feel like some that letting rhutchin have the last word means “he wins.”

        I am more content to let him have the last word….. rather then engage him in the merry-go-round.

        This was demonstrated once again today when he spoke exactly like an Arminian to avoid take the full import of determinism. Of course all of us would agree that God “gets what He wants” by creating a world in which man can do what God does not want. But true determinism, the (non-biblical) philosophy he defends on these pages, says —– and clearly —- that everything that happens is what God plans and wants.

        Notice the nuance. I believe everything that happens is what God wants in the sense that He created a world where man can do what God does not want. But true determinism (and they will side-talk their way around this to the death!) says that all that happens “to the falling of every dust particle” is what God has planned from eternity past. Calvinists cannot truly say (but they do say it!) “He allows man to sin while He watches and does not stop him”

        That last phrase is what most people believe, but is not determinism. And to my surprise, determinist rhutchin says it over and over….. of course proving that he believes A and not-A to be true.

        Have we discussed this a hundred times on these pages? Yes.

        Will rhutchin always say some non-Calvinist thing to have the last word? Yes.

        Should we care? No.

        Liked by 1 person

      11. FOH writes, “Calvinists cannot truly say (but they do say it!) “He allows man to sin while He watches and does not stop him”
        That last phrase is what most people believe, but is not determinism. ”

        Of course it is. We both know that God was present and watching as Satan tempted Eve and as Eve gave the fruit to Adam and he ate. In the same way, God is present at every sin. Even you must agree to that or deny the omnipresence of God.

        Under Calvinism, determinism says that God has the power to alter any outcome that He does not want – God can intervene to prevent any sin. When we see that God does not intervene to prevent a sin, we know that God had to make a decision not to do so – this because God is sovereign. When Calvinists say that God determines all things – or works all things – they mean that he does so after the counsel of His will so that God makes wilful decisions not to intervene to prevent sin. As a former Calvinist, you surely read Calvin’s paper on Predestination and probably read some RC Sproul. Both describe this the same way as I have (since I obviously got it from them).

        So, did you sleep in class; or are you purposely distorting Calvinist positions; or have you just forgotten your earlier knowledge of Calvinism over the many years since you subscribed to Calvinism.

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      12. Determinism ala Roger – God “decides” in human history to stand back and permit every sin to be committed that He predestined eternally immutably before creation must be committed! And then blames man for committing each one but takes no blame for permitting what He had determined and created should happen.

        Not my God!

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      13. brianwagner writes, “God…blames man for committing each one but takes no blame for permitting what He had determined and created should happen.”

        What God determined was to allow Brian to do what his heart desired without interference from Him and Brian desired sin more than he desired God, and now Brian looks for an excuse to shift the blame for his sin to God. Even if God was not omniscient and really did not “know” in eternity past how evil Brian would be, God could have easily predicted it because Brian is so transparent and God could have then decided not to prevent Brian’s sin to see if Brian could be humbled by the evil that he saw in himself.

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      14. Roger… “permission” is a smoke screen word… for Brian eternally immutably never chose to sin… it was all eternally immutably predestined for Brian by God according to determinism and foreknowledge of it was created from that predestination… It was not just God observing something that He never willfully predestined that must happen only one way! The sooner you admit “permission” logically contradicts predestination the better.

        Does the mob boss who planned the murder, recruited, arranged for some to be trained as killers, and made sure they carried out the plan just as He had thought it up… does he tell the judge he’s not guilty of any wrong doing because they carried out the murder and because he just permitted it? Really?

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      15. Brian,
        “Permission” “allow” “tolerate”….. these are all the words that a true Calvinist should never use in regard to God. But they do.

        I watch some young guys that I baptized (in our foreign country of service) get closer and closer (via internet feeding frenzies) to Calvinism and eventually get on the wave. They insist that “sovereignty” and “omniscience” mean that God knew and planned everything…. but they are equally adamant that all the original stuff they learned (responsibility and choice of man) is still true. A real disconnect.

        Even Piper is notorious in his “God ordains all sin” type messages for using words like “allows” “permits” “tolerates”. A true cake and eat it too scenario. It is just too hard for him to stay completely with the ordain/ planned/ willed all evil shtick….. so he “permits” himself to say “permit” about God.

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      16. FOH – Indeed! I just read Edwards discussion of God’s decreed will and his concession of the obvious “seeming” contradiction with God’s revealed will in Scripture… but Edwards, like Piper tries to do, assured his readers the problem is not will the theological premise of the predestination of all things eternally immutably, but the problem is with us and our weak understanding… for it all truly “harmonizes” with God.

        Of course people want to trust their guru even if it means professing contradiction as true!

        But I’m still waiting for a Calvinist to show me one clear verse that everything is eternally immutably predestined from before creation. I’ll give them $100! 😎

        And no – Is 46:9-10 or Lam 3:37-38 or Eph 1:11 do not say anything about before creation or the predestination of everything. The Calvinist reads both before creation and the predestination of everything into each of those texts… Both of those ideas are not there in black and white but must be imposed as informal inferences upon those verses.

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      17. FOH writes, ” They insist that “sovereignty” and “omniscience” mean that God knew and planned everything…. ”

        What do you say it means?

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      18. brianwagner writes, “permission” is a smoke screen word…”

        I agree. That is why I do not use it except where someone else uses it and then I use it to maintain context in a train of thought. Those instances are rare. Generally speaking, it is not a word that I use or want to use. Nonetheless, I see where Calvin saw it necessary to distinguish between “permission” and “bare permission.”

        Then, ” it was all eternally immutably predestined for Brian by God according to determinism and foreknowledge of it was created from that predestination…”

        That determinism incorporated the actions you currently take, have taken, and will take. Determinism – in the Calvinist sense, and not in the naturalistic sense that br.d promotes – does not compel you to act against your desires; rather it provides opportunity for you to express your desires and act on those desires thus revealing your true character.

        Then, “does he tell the judge he’s not guilty of any wrong doing because they carried out the murder and because he just permitted it?”

        No, the mod boss tells the judge that he trained one person and told him not to kill anyone but that person defied him and killed in order to become like him. From that point, all others have been trained to kill by that first killer.

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      19. Roger… Thanks for the concession. It’s like when you use the present tense “God decrees” when you say God permits. I wish you’d be more consistent and always say “decreed” and never say “permits”.

        You want to side step the issue that the desires are predestined by God as much as the actions that follow after those desires. You must know that you have contradicted yourself by saying that God only “provides opportunity for you to express your desires”. You believe He predestined those exact desires before creating the one who would feel them.

        And you can’t make Adam into some kind of sovereign god responsible for all the specific sins that happened after he was created but were actually all specifically predestined to happen before he was created. I appreciate that you tried to use my illustration to explain your view… but you must see how your explanation fails.

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      20. Brian,
        One more thing on letting determinists talk like Arminians.

        I have several children. I love them and I “created” them with my wife. I want them to do certain things, and often I stand by and watch them do the things I do not want. In one sense “I am getting what I want” in that I have created free beings that can make bad choices. But in the determinist sense, I am NOT getting what I want. They do not always do what I want them to do.

        TS00 has demonstrated this many times. We cannot, and do not, dictate every move to our kids. We cannot make them love us or do everything just the way we want (that would not be a personal relationship).

        Dictators try to do this. Robot creators do this.

        The God of the Bible is neither.

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      21. FOH… I also don’t care if Roger gets the last word in threads of conversation with me… but I do try to prayerfully decide how many rounds of the merry-go-round to ride with my online friend, of over two years, Roger, before getting off each “ride” first. 😊

        I believe the truth still sets free and that even hard hearts of believers can start to believe a truth they have rejected for a long time, based on their trusting the wrong authority during that time, and they can then start to bear the fruit of that truth that they previously rejected with great tenacity.

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      22. Brian,
        Do NOT take my words as a nudging for you to do or not do something. Do as the Lord leads.

        As per a testimony of the freedom of coming out of Calvinism, I think that several of us have given that. I crushed many a spirit in my early Calvinist days with repetition of non-biblical ideas. Sensing much more freedom now following a loving God.

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      23. It’s hard to nudge this ole “hard head” to do anything he doesn’t want to do… but nudge away, for I sometimes rightly try to see if the Lord is speaking through such “nudges”. 🙂

        Your testimony is a blessing. Were there any “Brians” that the Lord used in your transition away from determinism, or was it only possible through your personal decision to read the Scriptures through without any pressuppositions, except that it was the truth and should confirm clearly whether determinism for salvation is true or false?

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      24. Brian,
        Remember that this was before all the popular websites (YRR stuff, books etc) and authors were big, so Pink, Boettner, and vanTil were what we had. Dry and not attractive. Now it is hip to be a Calvinist and many young, Caucasian, Western, educated, males have jumped on the wave. It is all the rage!!

        I jumped on, rode for a while, and jumped off. I might have stayed on the wave had there been all this populist stuff (books, videos, sites) at the time. But again….. Pink (in hard back!).

        No Brian’s around for me…..just putting it all down and reading huge chunks each day. Comparing what the Scripture says (every day) to what Calvinism told me “must be true.”

        It just fades away if you open your eyes.

        I was still stuck with the presuppositions and the 40-50 go-to verses (notice the only ones our Calvinist friends quote). Then….I went on a campaign to see what they “might mean” besides what Calvinism says. Believe me, it is easier to “find alternative interpretations” to 40-50 verses (John 6:44, Eph 1:11, Roms 9, Roms 3:11, etc) than to have to explain the ENTIRE rest of the Bible through the Calvinist lens!

        Calvinism renders ridiculous so much of the Scripture. See my 3-4 posts yesterday on simply reading Acts 17!!

        They were “more open-minded,” they “listened eagerly,” “They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.” Paul “reasoned” with them. God “planned that men would seek Him” ….

        All that Calvinism-crushing in just one passage!

        But truth be told, Piper would exegete that passage the same way you and I would, and then go on his merry way…oblivious to (or ignoring) the fact that out of one side of his mouth he preaches like an Arminian while the other side “theologizes” like a Calvinist.

        Proving another of my points, that it changes nothing for them to say they are Calvinists. They still live like Arminians.

        Everyone knows our personal decisions matter and change current and future events.

        Liked by 1 person

      25. brianwagner writes, “The new birth causes everlasting life…”

        And I thought that you were with me on John 3. Maybe not. So, 3:16 tells us, “whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” So, are you saying that the new birth causes belief that then causes everlasting life? Maybe we do agree on John 3, after all. I think that I don’t understand you all the time, because I find you so confusing. Perhaps you are saying that faith induced believing qualifies a person for the new birth and everlasting life but does not produce everlasting life.

        Then, ‘The life of the Son enters one’s spirit to dwell there forever and thus makes an immediate change in the will (on this we agree) so that this will is no longer able to stop believing Jesus is the Christ…”

        I thought that believing in Christ occurs before the new birth. I guess the initial believing is temporary as one believes (somewhat shakily) then gets the new birth that changes the will producing a more permanent believing.

        Liked by 1 person

      26. Brian,

        I would just clarify and say the new birth is everlasting life because it is at that point/moment when we become a permanent member of the family of God. Also, when His spirit dwells in us, He brings to us His righteousness by which we are justified (made righteous) which grants the new birth/salvation. While I agree that the two are inseparable, they appear to be distinct. One leads to the other.

        I find it hard to understand how Calvinists, in this case rhutchin, can’t see “being born again” as not the same thing as becoming a child of God (Galatians 3:26). In their scenario, two soon to be parents are at a hospital when after the mother has given birth the Doctor turns to the man and says “Congratulations. You’re a Father.” The Calvinist parent would say “O no! Not yet! Time will tell.” How can a person that is “born” not yet be your child?

        Liked by 2 people

      27. We’ll just have to disagree Phillip on the imputation of righteousness as contemporaneous with regeneration. I see the life of Christ as inseparable from the righteousness, love and truth that characterize it. If you have possession of that life, you have possession of those other things, imo.

        The manifestation of those possessions in our earthly life is sanctification through faith, in my view, but those possessions are there forever.

        Like

      28. Brian,

        Sorry for any confusion that I might have caused.

        I agree completely that they are inseparable. I am just suggesting that each serves a distinct purpose. We are “made righteous” by His righteousness. And we are “made alive” with Him because of His righteousness. Both are the result of His presence living in us.

        Romans 8:10 (Phillips)…..
        Now if Christ does live within you His presence means that your sinful nature is dead, but your spirit becomes alive (via regeneration/the new birth) because (because of what?) of the righteousness He brings with him.

        Romans 8:10 (Hendriksen)…..
        But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the Spirit is life because of your justification (made righteous by His righteousness).

        This verse alone flies in the face of Calvinism, because, for them, it is life that leads to justification (New birth. Faith. Justification), when this verse plainly states that it is His imputed righteousness that leads to life (Faith. Justification. New birth).

        Romans 5:18 (NIV)….
        Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification (made righteous by His righteousness) and life (via regeneration) for all people.

        Blessings, brother.

        Liked by 1 person

      29. Yes, Phillip, It is the imputation of the righteousness of God that ends the “dead” condition, the separation (not inability) from the life of God (everlasting relationship that includes His indwelling). But since they happen simultaneously, and both after the expression of humble faith, the bigger issue is your point that is must be after faith, since justification is clearly taught as after/through faith.

        Like

      30. phillip writes, “I find it hard to understand how Calvinists, in this case rhutchin, can’t see “being born again” as not the same thing as becoming a child of God (Galatians 3:26).”

        Galatians 3 tells us, “you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” This accords with John 1, “as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,”

        John 3 tells us, “unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God…unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” This also accords with John 1, “as many as received Him…who were born…of God.”

        The new birth precedes one receiving, believing in, Christ which precedes one becoming a child of God.

        You dispute the Calvinist understanding of the kingdom of God in John 3. You understand the Calvinist position; you just disagree with it.

        Like

      31. Rutchin writes…. “The new birth precedes one receiving, believing in, Christ which precedes one becoming a child of God.”

        And there you have it. Your child is “born”, but not yet your child. The illogical (and unscriptural) conclusion of Calvinism.

        Why do I get the feeling that every time someone here provides scriptures to the contrary, rhutchin runs to his reformed brothers in hopes of finding a rebuttal?

        In other words, while Brian, FOH, Br. D, TS00, and others grab their bibles to see “what sayeth the scriptures?”, Rhutchin, in turn, grabs other books to see “what sayeth the reformers?”

        Proverbs 12:1 (NKJV)….
        Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction is stupid.

        Liked by 1 person

      32. Phillip,
        It’s not that they dont use Scripture….it’s just the same old 40-50 verses.

        Truly the weight and tenor of Scripture comes against Calvinism.

        You have to want to believe it…and be taught it.

        Like

      33. FOH,

        “It’s not that they don’t use Scripture….it’s just the same old 40-50 verses….”

        Agreed. But even those “40 to 50 verses” are interpreted/translated thru the reformers. They don’t let those verses speak for themselves, but rather see what the reformers say about those verses.

        Would just any normal person who picked up the Bible and, on his own, come to accept total depravity/total inability? Would a casual reader come to the conclusion of limited atonement? Would a novice reader believe in “regeneration precedes faith”?

        Nope. Those beliefs have to be taught (to the point of beating it into your head; even to the point of questioning your salvation if you challenge their teachings).

        If all these Calvinistic beliefs were the plain teachings of scripture, then why did the reformers believe it was necessary to publish so much material? Wouldn’t we all just come to the same conclusions via the scriptures? Were the reformers able to do something that the Holy Spirit couldn’t?

        Liked by 1 person

      34. Agreed Phillip,
        I just posted the “you must be taught Calvinism” in my “daily reading” post (2 Kings) at the bottom.

        With that said, I do remember being a new believer (non-Calvinist of course) and coming across words like “chose” “elect” and “predestined” and wondering. And we do need to address those words.

        As I have stated in my own journey…. while I was a Calvinist, I encountered hundreds, no thousands, of verses that did not make sense. It became much easier (more biblical) for me to interpret 40-50 verses via non-Calvinism than EVERY day encounter/understand large passages via Calvinism.

        Like

      35. FOH,

        “With that said, I do remember being a new believer (non-Calvinist of course) and coming across words like ‘chose’, ‘elect’ and ‘predestined’ and wondering. And we do need to address those words.”

        And I have attempted to offer an alternative for those concepts as well, only to have it disregarded. If I am right about elect/election only referring to the people of Israel, that would be a death blow to Calvinism. But it seems I am fighting tradition as well. How can we expect our reformed brothers to reject what they have been indoctrinated with for hundreds of years, if we are not willing to do the same?

        Think about it FOH. “I’m elect, because I elected to believe.” Really? Seriously? But that is what most are taught and what most have accepted. Israel, Mine Elect (Isaiah 45:4). “Nah. There has to be more to it than that.”

        Liked by 1 person

      36. phillip writes, “Would just any normal person who picked up the Bible and, on his own, come to accept total depravity/total inability?”

        “No one can come to me…”
        “…unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
        “…the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”
        “…remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.”
        “…we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness,…”

        Well…….YES!!

        Like

      37. Well……NO!!!!!!!

        Because you have perverted those verses as well (though you have been taught otherwise).

        Proverbs 15:32 (NKJV)….
        He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, But he who heeds rebuke gets understanding.

        Like

      38. Phillip,
        First of all the verses quoted are part of the 40-50 verse that serve as a filter for the rest of the Bible.

        Why? Cuz they must for the their system to work.

        Secondly —-and this is the best part —- even those 50 verses can have alternate interpretations, so that in fact they have nothing to stand on.

        A concept such as determinism would be much more clearly laid out in the Word…. and Brian is still waiting to pay someone $100 to show him one verse.

        Like

      39. FOH,

        “First of all the verses quoted are part of the 40-50 verse that serve as a filter for the rest of the Bible.”

        Only after those verses have been read out of context, twisted, and perverted.

        However, I regret to say, that many non-Calvinists haven’t done much better. I read Arminian literature a lot and they are reek with error as well. Both are wrong on Total Depravity/Total Inability. Both embrace some form of irresistible grace (though one, unknowingly). They are both wrong on election. And both believe they have a monopoly on the scriptures. I really believe most Arminians are in that camp by default, really believing that Arminianism is the only safe haven outside of Calvinism.

        Like

      40. Phillip,
        I am aware that this is your position. I will just say to you in a friendly fashion, that I have never heard you state it in such an arrogant-sounding way. A kind of “everybody is wrong but me.” You can imagine who that reminds me of!

        Like

      41. FOH,

        I am sorry if it came across that way brother. I apologize. I should have been more careful.

        Like

      42. Yeah, we all do it. No worries.

        You should have seen how people-crushing I was when a young YRR Calvinist…..worse than anything you did!

        Like

      43. FOH,

        Again, I want to thank you for pointing this out to me.

        A little background.

        It was some 12 to 15 years ago that I started interacting with others on the internet (the blogspheres). My first interaction was with those of the reformed faith. I questioned their beliefs and, naturally, wasn’t treated all too well. I thought to myself “What a mean spirited and arrogant bunch.” My next encounter was with Arminians. Everything was going fine until the subject of TD/TI came up. It didn’t take long before I realized I was back talking to Calvinists. Same attitude. Same smugness. I was quickly labeled a Pelagian (at the time I was clueless what that even meant) and now my salvation was even being questioned. I immediately learned that it wasn’t enough to just reject Calvinism, but that one must embrace Arminianism, because they are/were the only two viable options. Everything else is basically heresy (even damnable heresy).

        The one thing I learned early on was that I didn’t want to treat others the way these two groups treated me. Now I am not suggesting that all Calvinists/Arminians are this way (I’m sure most are not), but that was my initial experience (an initial experience covering 5 to 7 years).

        So my point is “thank you” for pointing this out to me. Honestly, I proof read everything before I post it. I didn’t see anything offensive in it, because that was not how it was intended. But, how it can be intended and how it can be perceived are two different things. My post was to convey assurance, not arrogance.

        God bless.

        Liked by 1 person

      44. FOH,

        Would you be willing to exchange email addresses? To discuss things off-line?

        If not, that’s fine. No hurt feelings, brother.

        Like

      45. FOH writes, “Brian is still waiting to pay someone $100 to show him one verse.”

        Yeah. Anyone can risk $100.00 on words like “determinism, or “trinity” and probably a few others.

        Like

      46. FOh writes, “First of all the verses quoted are part of the 40-50 verse that serve as a filter for the rest of the Bible.”

        Truth is always a filter for truth.

        Like

      47. Rhutchin’s masterful exegesis of 2 Timothy 2:10…

        “…I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, that they, like myself, may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory.”

        Perhaps rhutchin would like to take the same attempt on Roman 5:18. Here are 4 different translations to help you out.

        Romans 8:10 (Amp)…..
        If Christ lives in you, though your [natural] body is dead because of sin, your spirit is alive because of righteousness [which He provides].

        Romans 8:10 (NLT)….
        And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God.

        Romans 8:10 (Phillips)….
        Now if Christ does live within you his presence means that your sinful nature is dead, but your spirit becomes alive because of the righteousness he brings with him.

        Romans 8:10 (Hendriksen)…..
        But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the Spirit is life because of your justification.

        Come on, Rhutchin, enlighten us brother.

        Like

      48. Romans 8:10 (Hendriksen)…..
        But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the Spirit is life because of your justification.

        Let’s frame out understanding of this verse by other Scripture (other truth).

        “But if Christ is in you,…”
        – “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.
        – “to [the church] God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
        “…no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed”; and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit….”

        “the Spirit is life because of your justification.”
        – “…having been justified by faith,…”
        – “In Christ, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation–having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,…”

        God gives a person faith by means of the preaching of the gospel and that faith manifests as belief in Christ and thereby justification for their sin. At that point, Christ is said to be in the person meaning that the Holy Spirit has taken up residence in the person. The life that the person now lives is directed to righteousness by the Holy Spirit recognizing that the body is still corrupted and wars against the spirit.

        That is a start to our understanding of this verse. You can suggest additional verses that you think help our understanding of this verse and tell us what those verses add. Help us out here.

        Like

      49. Okay. A somewhat convoluted response, but probably well intended. Can’t the verse stand on its own two feet? However, I will play it your way.

        Romans 8:10 (Phillips)….
        Now if Christ does live within you his presence means that your sinful nature is dead, but your spirit becomes alive because of the righteousness he brings with him.

        “Now if Christ does live within you….”

        Ephesians 1:13b (NKJV)…
        ….having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise

        “….his presence means that your sinful nature is dead”

        1 Corinthians 15:22 (NKJV)…
        For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.

        “….but your spirit becomes alive….”

        Both Ephesians 2:5b (NKJV) and Colossians 2:13b (NKJV)….

        …made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)

        …hath he quickened together with him…

        “….because of the righteousness he brings with Him”

        Romans 3:28a, Romans 5:1a, Galatians 3:24a, Colossians 2:13c, Romans 5:19, Romans 4:23-25 (in order)…

        “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith…”

        “Therefore being justified by faith….”

        “…that we might be justified by faith.”

        “…..having forgiven you all trespasses.”

        “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.”

        “Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.”

        Now putting it all together.

        Romans 8:10 (Phillips)….
        Now if Christ does live within you (via His permanent indwelling) his presence means that your sinful nature is dead (the old Adam is dead), but your spirit becomes alive (made alive together with Christ/by grace you have been saved) because of (for the reason that/due to the fact that) the righteousness he brings with him (because of His imputed righteousness to those who believe).

        This verse does not teach that our spirit is “made alive” so we can become righteous thru faith, but rather our spirit becomes alive because of His righteousness that we receive thru faith.

        Thus, faith….justified/made righteous….made alive together with Christ/by grace you have been saved.

        Like

      50. Phillip writes, “Romans 8:10 (Phillips)….
        Now if Christ does live within you (via His permanent indwelling) his presence means that your sinful nature is dead (the old Adam is dead), but your spirit becomes alive (made alive together with Christ/by grace you have been saved) because of (for the reason that/due to the fact that) the righteousness he brings with him (because of His imputed righteousness to those who believe).

        This verse does not teach that our spirit is “made alive” so we can become righteous thru faith, but rather our spirit becomes alive because of His righteousness that we receive thru faith.”

        I don’t think Phillips is correct when he interprets “the body is dead” as “your sinful nature is dead.” Before and after this verse, Paul speaks of the “flesh” and we understand that Paul means the person’s sinful nature. In v10, Paul refers to the body, not the flesh. Phillips sees body as the sinful nature, but others understand it to mean the physical body. Adam’s sin resulted in the death of the body (even if through denial of access to the tree of life), so Paul says that the body is dead.

        Phillips translate the verse as the spirit is now alive because of righteousness. There is disagreement on the translation. KJV has, “the Spirit is life.” Translations go both ways on this.

        There is also the issue of the meaning of “spirit.” Apparently, some see this as the spirit of the man and others as the Holy Spirit (which seems right to me).

        So, we disagree because we understand this verse to be saying two different things. You take the verse to say, “the human spirit is alive.” I take the verse to say, “the Spirit is life.”

        Like

      51. Romans 8:10 (NASB)….
        If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive (via regeneration) because of (His imputed) righteousness.

        Romans 8:10 (NIV)….
        But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life (via regeneration) because of (His imputed) righteousness.

        Neither one changes the clear meaning of the text. Believers are granted spiritual life because of Christ’s imputed righteousness.

        So we still have: Faith…..Justification (made righteous)……made alive together with Christ (saved).

        Like

      52. Phillip,
        It will do no good to go ’round and ’round on this.

        Even when he clearly contradicts himself, he cannot see it…..

        ——“So we still have: Faith…..Justification (made righteous)……made alive together with Christ (saved).”

        Calvinists need the “made alive” part to be first—in order to have faith.

        So, they are “made alive” twice???

        Like

      53. FOH,

        I understand, brother. But my response (with all the scriptural evidence) is not for rhutchin’s benefit, but for on-lookers with a heart of flesh.

        Until rhutchin jettisons that heart of stone, he will continue to be blinded.

        Liked by 1 person

      54. FOH,

        “So, they are ‘made alive’ twice???”

        Actually, I have a friend who asked a reformed pastor the same thing.

        He asked… “So you are saying that we have to be ‘born again’ so we can be ‘born again’?”

        The (reformed) pastor answered… “Yes”.

        Needless to say, my friend found another place of worship.

        Liked by 1 person

      55. Phillip has, if I understand his position, “Romans 8:10 (NASB expanded by phillip)….
        If Christ is in you, though the human nature is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive (via regeneration) because of (His imputed) righteousness.

        Against this, we can have–
        Romans 8:10 .
        But if Christ is in you, then even though your physical body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life that pleases God (via sanctification) because of (His imputed) righteousness. Thus, “…by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body…For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”

        You and I read this verse in two distinct and different ways.

        Like

      56. Roger and Phillip… in my view only one of those views is being taught by Paul in that specific passage, but actually both of those views are true… though I would change one word in Roger’s – changing “gives” life in sanctification to in sanctification “reveals” the life given in regeneration. 😉

        Like

      57. Rhutchin writes…. “You and I read this verse in two distinct and different ways.”

        That’s putting it mildly. We read almost the entire bible “in two distinct and different ways”.

        Romans 8:10 (RSV)….
        But if Christ is in you, although your bodies are dead because of sin, your spirits are alive (where they were dead before/separated from God) because of (His imputed) righteousness.

        Romans 5:18-19 (NKJV)….
        Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in (spiritual) condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of (new spiritual) life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

        Romans 5:9 (NKJV)…..
        Much more then, having now been justified (made righteous) by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.

        Romans 3:25a (NIV)….
        God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith.

        Remember, rhutchin is already on record of saying that the “new birth” is a way of providing a “fresh start”. And a guilty sinner can only be given a “fresh start” after he has been resolved/pardoned of a crime.

        So, again, we have…. Faith……Justified (declared “not guilty”/pardoned/ made righteous)…. Saved (made alive together with Christ/born again child of God/fresh start).

        Liked by 1 person

      58. phillip writes, “Remember, rhutchin is already on record of saying that the “new birth” is a way of providing a “fresh start”. And a guilty sinner can only be given a “fresh start” after he has been resolved/pardoned of a crime.”

        So, in context with John 3, the person is first pardoned (presumably at the cross), then comes the new birth, and then the person is able to see/enter the kingdom of God (be saved) through faith. Actually, you don’t say that. So, how does John 3 fit into your order of events?

        Like

      59. phillip writes, “…you have perverted those verses as well (though you have been taught otherwise).”

        Of course. Those who don’t think like you always pervert the verses.

        Like

      60. Phillip,
        Of course they would not come up with Calvinism on their own!

        There are way too many (hundreds, thousands?) verses like:

        …..why did you not?

        …if you had only…

        …if you do this, I will do that…

        …I longed for you to X but you would not…

        …I expected this, but you gave me that…

        …come to me all who labor…

        …seek first the kingdom…

        …ask and it shall be given you…

        …persuade men…

        …the bereans were open-minded…

        …Cornelius (Lydia) others…. were God-fearing, worshipers of God…

        …Cain should have and could have resisted evil…

        …if they turn, I will repent from the destruction I have planned for them…

        …if they [they chosen] do not follow me, I will repent from the good that I have planned for them…

        …draw near to God and He will draw near to you…

        I (The Lord) have done this because you have not done X for me…

        …when the [prodigal] son came to his senses, he returned…

        On and on the list goes (I could write for hours).

        The Scripture is mostly full of this kind of terminology/ rhetoric. None of which makes any sense in the determinist-Calvinist system.

        Like

      61. phillip writes, “Your child is “born”, but not yet your child.”

        The import of the new birth is that it gives a person a fresh start. As Dr. Flowers would say, it conveys response-ability to the person.

        Like

      62. In rhutchin’s own words…. “The import of the new birth is that it gives a person ‘a fresh start’.”

        Hence, my analogy of our own judicial system. A prisoner must be acquitted/pardoned/justified of the crime, before he is granted “a fresh start” (new life).

        Only in Calvin-land is the prisoner given “a fresh start” when he hasn’t even been resolved of the crime.

        Again, for the reading impaired…

        Romans 5:18 (NIV)……
        Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification (acquittal/made righteous) that brings (spiritual) life (via the new birth) for all men.

        The verse, in plain English, inspired by the Holy Spirit, states that it is justification that brings/leads to spiritual life. Yet rhutchin continues to insist that it is life that leads to justification.

        Isn’t it ironic (and somewhat pathetic) that rhutchin refuses the plain teaching of scripture (and common sense apparently), while yet at the same time perverts others passages to his own advantage?

        Like

      63. Brian my friend and Brother in Christ,
        Once again you fail to do your homework and look as a mere schoolboy who claims the dog ate his home work other than being the teacher.

        FIrst of all, Calvin and Luther and many others from Church History understood the word “Regeneration” completely different than we do today Sir. As the Calvinist today, and I mean the majority of them believe that the sinner is passive in regeneration but in intimate connection through the instrumentality of the preaching of the Gospel, that is though life and grace, faith is being created and produced through the preaching of the Word of God, with the result of conversion taking place. Life and immortality being brought ot life thought the preaching of the Gospel.

        2 Timothy 1:10 Amplified Bible (AMP)
        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 ministers of old, church History held the word “regeneration” for the most part for all of Salvation. Justification, Sanctication, Adoption and Glorification and anything I might have missed. But here below is actually what Luther believed and is in complete contradiction to what you said and has to make one wonder. One has to ask you to start documenting at least. Please.

        “Martin Luther

        Sproul also states that Luther supports the Calvinist ordo salutis. Here, as with Augustine, this is simply not the case. For example, in his Preface to the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans, Luther wrote, “Faith is a work of God in us, which changes us and brings us to birth anew from God (cf. John 1). It kills the old Adam, makes us completely different people in heart, mind, senses, and all our powers, and brings the Holy Spirit with it. What a living, creative, active powerful thing is faith!” 10

        And, in his commentary on Galatians Luther wrote:
        Paul as a true apostle of faith always has the word “faith” on the tip of his tongue. By faith, says he, we are the children of God. The Law cannot beget children of God. It cannot regenerate us. It can only remind us of the old birth by which we were born into the kingdom of the devil. The best the Law can do for us is to prepare us for a new birth through faith in Christ Jesus. Faith in Christ regenerates us into the children of God. St. John bears witness to this in his Gospel: ‘As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (John 1:12.).’ 11″
        http://danmusicktheology.com/faith-precedes-regeneration/

        This is worse than Philip’s vain empty attempt above to discredit Calvinism and all he did was discredit himself for not thinking his assertion and comment though before typing it out.

        God bless my friend in Christ and may his Grace be with you always

        Like

      64. I know my comments are long, but they are strong. This is the excuses for not engaging them. I beseech any of you in Christ, TAKE ONE SENTENCE, ONE PARAGRAPH ONE VERSE A DAY OR A WEEK AND ENGAGE AND RESPOND TO IT. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO ANSWER IT ALL AT ONCE MY BROTHER AND SISTERS IN CHRIST. NOT SHOUTING FOH. Peace be still. All is Calm.

        You, the Non-Calvinist on here say you want the truth. I say we are giving you the truth but you cannot handle the truth

        I challenge, slowly, work through this, one sentence at a time, a paragraph at a time, a verse at a time. I will wait until you are completely done until I respond.

        But you will not, because even though I am challenging you and giving you the truth you the truth the Non-Calvinist on Soteriology101, my brothers in Christ cannot handle the truth. They are unable to accept the challenge and show that they have the truth of God’s word that will triumph over my false teaching. So I sit and listen to the dead air of Non-Calvinism and refute their absurd and illogical arguments.

        In Christ. I bless you all, but yes, I am trying to stir you a little and get you to engage. Read my response to Philip who Brian Wagner Blessed. His argument was empty, void and bankrupt. Sounded good until it was exposed for what it was. Just a futile attempt to disprove the truths of God’s Word that the Reformed Faith believes. Oh yeah, if ya want to know the difference between the “Reformed Faith and Calvinism” just ask. Similiar, but can be distinguished. Just another misunderstanding from Non-Calvinism and Mispresenting.

        And do not forget, I am always here to expose the false teaching of Non-Calvinism by teaching the truth of God’s Word.

        So who will it be? Sorry if I sound prideful, do not mean to. But go back and read your own post against Calvinism before you throw rocks and judge me. Let’s do this in a spirit of love, reverence, and gentleness if any of you have the courage that Non-Calvinism is the truth (but it’s not 🙂

        Great job Roger, you soundly refuted Brian Wagner and he evaded and ignored the majority of what you said and it is high time someone said it.

        Roger beat me to the punch and actually used one of the verses, Brian, you used in your first comment to prove faith precedes regeneration when actually it was saying the exact opposite that regeneration precedes faith. I am baffled my brother in Christ. How in the world can a man of your stature, learning and what you know, and able to do with the Word of Christ miss that?

        Roger soundly refuted brother. I do not mean this to offend you. But your resistance to Roger. due to the wisdom and knowledge God has given him is futile.

        His remarks on Luther are misleading and His own misunderstanding that I aim to try and clear up.

        I tried to reply to this last night my friend and brother in Christ Brian but I think my Sanctified Sarcastic Humor probably did not allow it to be posted. But that is being biased and we all know that Brian I the King when it comes to Sanctified Sarcasm. He has even been accused of being condescending and I am afraid he has been. Not once have I ever seen Brian take a step back and say, “you know what I may need to take a second look at that. Thanks for pointing that out to me.

        As for as MARTIN LUTHER Brian, what I said was this. I will say the same thing again and I do not mean to offend but to shake and awake you to the fact that you are speaking and asserting without doing your research and homework.

        Brian, you are like a student going to school telling his teacher, I do not have my homework because my dog ate it, and you, in fact, are the teacher, my friend.

        “MARTIN LUTHER BELIEVED EMPHATICALLY THAT REGENERATION PRECEDES FAITH”

        The dog did not eat your homework you just failed to do it.

        First of all, without me having to do the research for you, early in church history. You must be aware, as Dr. Flowers is not, that early theologians understood the word REGENERATION in an entirely different manner than we do today. I wonder if the Non-Calvinist does no this and they are just being disingenuous or they are just ignorant of this fact. To Calvin and Luther and many others, “regeneration” stood for the whole of the salvation process in Christ. Meaning this, deliverance from the dominion of sin, justification, sanctification, adoption, glorification and maybe somethings I even left out. I know in Calvin’s Commentary on 1 John he says God regenerates us by faith in 1 John 1:5, but if you read elsewhere, such as in his Institutes on John 1:12-13 and other places he makes he clear that one must be born again before they are converted and come to Christ in faith. He is right on and making clear statements that are in complete agreement with what is taught today that regeneration precedes faith. Funny how Calvin is wrong until the Non-Calvinist finds his commentary on 1 John 1:5 and then they Love John Calvin and see there. The Non-Calvinist knowing all the long that that is not what Calvin is saying or means. It meant something completely different in his time as the word “regeneration” had a different definition at that time.’ Dr. Flowers failed at this point also big time. But like a chicken on a bug, the Non-Calvinist, who wants to exalt the flesh and his idol of free will jumps at any chance of disproving Calvinism without properly researching it first. Funny thing it seems Dr. Flowers understanding of Calvinist is growing dimmer and less clear the more he pursues to destroy what he believes is false teaching. His use of analogies as Biblical Exegesis is unbecoming of a Christian University Professor and Dr.

        So what did Martin Luther believe?

        “I say that man, before he is renewed into the new creation of the Spirit’s kingdom, does and endeavours nothing to prepare himself for that new creation and kingdom, and when he is re-created has does and endeavored nothing towards his perseverance in that kingdom; but the Spirit alone works both blessings in us, regenerating us, and preserving us when regenerating, without ourselves…”
        – Martin Luther from Bondage of the Will, pg. 268

        Check Mate Brian. You need to admit publically you were wrong about Martin Luther, and publically ask Roger to forgive you for not doing due diligence in researching this issue before properly researching it. But like I have said. When it comes to Bible knowledge or theology I have never seen Brian Wagner back-peddle on anything or admit he was or is wrong and I do not think that will begin now. That would put a crack in the Non-Calvinist armor and we just cannot have that and would lend credence and proof to the fact and truth of God’s teaching of the nickname of Calvinism in the Bible.

        Then there is “Infant Baptism” This has always been a strong sticking point with Brian Wagner. Brian, really??? Are you kidding me, Sir? Right now you lean to and heavily believe in a doctrine called “Open Theism” that is “Gospel Issue” and most of Orthodox Christianity as designated as a heresy. Brother, I think I would worry a little less about infant baptism and follow the command of Scripture that says to, “make your calling and election sure”.

        Brian Wagner clearly rejects the teaching of the Word of God’s insistence and absolute necessity upon “regeneration precedes faith”

        Just to define terms and definitions here:

        “Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God’s grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace.”

        John 3:3 – 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.”

        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.”

        infants do not induce, or cooperate in, their own procreation and birth; no more can those who are “dead in trespasses and sins” prompt the quickening operation of God’s Spirit within them (see Eph. 2:1–10). Spiritual vivification is a free, and to man mysterious, exercise of divine power (John 3:8), not explicable in terms of the combination or cultivation of existing human resources (John 3:6), not caused or induced by any human efforts (John 1:12–13) or merits (Titus 3:3–7), and not, therefore, to be equated with, or attributed to, any of the experiences, decisions, and acts to which it gives rise and by which it may be known to have taken place.http://www.alliancenet.org/mos/1517/regeneration-and-conversion

        John 1:12-13 has got to be one of the most simple verse to understand in the Holy Scripture that emphatically supports and proves REGENERATION PRECEDES FAITH but the Non-Calvinist in his ill-will and utter hatred of Calvinism will twist this passage of Scripture and turn it on its head. Just to make it fit into their false system and twisted system of synergism.

        Let me use the Brian Wagner accused Calvinist Bible Version ESV so I will have the upper hand. Just a little-sanctified sarcasm my friend and brother in Christ Brian. But I am ready to lock horns on your comments on the Calvinists being disingenuous on Revelations 13:8 anytime my friend. For once again through a like of research and just mere assertion, you are wrong on this issue also.

        John 1:12-13 – 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,

        13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

        What has been terribly misunderstood by the Non-Calvinist here is that verse 12 is talking about the Doctrine of Adoption. Being saving and giving the authority to become sons and daughters of God.

        Then in verse 13, it says so precisely, crystal clear, looking back to verse 12 about those who were already saved, that they were born, past tense, born first before they were saved. Born again from above not of the will of the flesh or of the will of man. This so easily shows that the mythical fictitious idol of free will that is enslaved and in bondage to sin personified did not or does not cause or affect the sinful wicked sinner who hates God and loves his sin to be Born again. No, Verse 13 says. the sinner is. “BORN OF GOD”

        Look again at Holy Scripture saying the same thing:

        1 Corinthians 1:30-31 New King James Version (NKJV)
        30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— 31 that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”

        Simple, IT IS OF GOD, OR BECAUSE OF GOD WE ARE IN CHRIST, NOT BECAUSE OF ANY EXERCISING OF FREE WILL OR ANY PREVENIENT GRACE THAT IS NOT ANYWHERE TAUGHT IN SCRIPTURE. I CHALLENGE ANY NON-CALVINIST TO SHOW ME WHERE IT IS.

        Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born uagain.’ The wind5 blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
        Here Jesus uses the word pneuma which can be translated as “wind” or “spirit.” He is comparing the mystery of the Spirit’s work in regeneration with the mystery of the wind. We can no more command and control the Spirit’s work in regeneration as we can the wind. Further, in regeneration, the Spirit is not responding to something we do or a commitment we make any more than the wind responds to our will. For the one wanting to be told what to do in order to get born again, Jesus offers no answers. Quite the opposite. “The wind blows where it wishes…So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” http://www.alliancenet.org/mos/1517/regeneration-and-conversion

        Yes, once we are regenerated, quickened and made alive while we are still dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1), God the Holy Spirit, with is Sword, through the instrumentality of the word/Gospel, creates or produces faith within sinner by taking out the heart of stone that was stubborn and rebellious and puts in a heart that is pliable and willing Then conversion takes place. Repentance from a lifestyle of sin and a placing of the sinner’s faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Just the empty hand of faith, receiving saving grace, remission of sins and eternal life.

        “Faith in the living God and his Son Jesus Christ is always the result of the new birth, and can never exist except in the regenerate. Whoever has faith is a saved man.”
        – Charles Spurgeon

        “Regeneration is monergistic: that is, entirely the work of God the Holy Spirit. It raises the elect among the spiritually dead to new life in Christ (Eph. 2:1-10). Regeneration is a transition from spiritual death to spiritual life, and conscious, intentional, active faith in Christ is its immediate fruit, not its immediate cause. Regeneration is the work of what Augustine called “prevenient” grace, the grace that precedes our outgoings of heart toward God.”
        – J.I. Packer

        “Why do some people repent and respond by faith in Christ to the divine summons to faith while others do not? Concerning those who believe in Christ’s name John immediately says in John 1:13: “[These are they] who have been begotten [egennēthēsan], not by blood, nor by the will of the flesh, nor by the will of a husband, but by God.” By this particular reference to God’s “begetting” activity John refers to regeneration, and clearly suggests by his statement that, while faith is the instrumental precondition to justification and adoption, regeneration is the necessary precondition and efficient cause of faith in Jesus Christ. In short, regeneration causally precedes faith.”
        – Robert Reymond

        A Few Relevant Scriptures:
        1. “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace, you have been saved…” (Ephesians 2:1-5)
        – Regeneration (“made us alive”) happens before any faith response on our part.

        2. “And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live…Then you shall know that I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the LORD.” (Ezekiel 37:14)
        – Notice that God says through the prophet that he will make his people alive and THEN we will know that he is the Lord.

        3. “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is of no avail. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me [i.e. believe in me] unless it is granted him by the Father.” (John 6:63-65)

        4. “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God.” (1 John 5:1)
        – Those who believe do so because they have been born of God (regeneration).

        God bless to all and may the Grace of Christ be with you always

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      65. Martin Luther – “Instead, faith is God’s work in us, that changes us and gives new birth from God. (John 1:13). It kills the Old Adam and makes us completely different people. It changes our hearts, our spirits, our thoughts and all our powers. It brings the Holy Spirit with it. Yes, it is a living, creative, active and powerful thing, this faith.”
        An excerpt from “An Introduction to St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans,” Luther’s German Bible of 1522

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      66. brianwagner writes, “Martin Luther – “Instead, faith is God’s work in us, that changes us and gives new birth from God.”

        Luther describes faith as a monergistic work of God in the life of a sinner. God uses faith to change the person – to quicken the person; to give the person a new birth. God’s work of faith in the person to change the person precedes the outward expression of faith by the person to believe in Christ and repent.

        Luther is using “faith” in a different sense that meant the phrase “regeneration precedes faith.” Luther identifies “faith” as the means whereby God gives the new birth and then by infusing a person with faith, it becomes the means whereby a person believes in Christ. Even as Luther describes it, the faith of regeneration precedes the faith of belief.

        Liked by 1 person

      67. Thanks Roger for adding some clarification of Luther’s interesting, strange, unbiblical, and unique view of faith among reformers. We should add he also believed regeneration and justification happen at baptism through that personal faith given to the person by God, even to infants.

        I’m guessing however that this personal faith given to the “elect” in his view would be what frees the will… not the fantasy regeneration that other reformers held to. So an adult with this so-called given faith would be seen in an outward expression before baptismal regeneration.

        Liked by 1 person

      68. brianwagner writes, “I’m guessing however that this personal faith given to the “elect” in his view would be what frees the will… not the fantasy regeneration that other reformers held to.”

        I doubt that there is as great a divide as you describe. I suspect the reformers would agree with Luther’s “Bondage oft he Will,” and would see “regeneration” as a freeing from that bondage – the restoration of that freedom of will possessed by Adam and lost when he ate the fruit. I don’t know what you mean by the “fantasy regeneration” of the other reformers as they viewed the new birth as regeneration – not exactly fantasy.

        Then, “So an adult with this so-called given faith would be seen in an outward expression before baptismal regeneration.”

        We have to remember that the reformers were seeking to reform the church and not destroy it. There were issues to work out. However, look at the NT. After the death of Jesus, the apostles did not deal with circumcision until forced by Paul to do so somewhere around 50 AD as we read in Acts 15. The apostles never made an issue of the sacrificial system and that system came to an end only when God sent Rome in to tear the temple down. So, yes, there were issues that the reformers were working through and it wasn’t easy. If issues were easily resolved, we wouldn’t be engaged in these discussions.

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      69. Roger – thankyou for confirming indirectly that you agree Luther saw an expression of what he believed was God-given faith before what he falsely saw as biblical regeneration.

        His was also a fantasy regeneration though closer to the biblical definition because he put faith before it. I use the word fantasy justly since it is an imagined regeneration that the reformers think they see in the Scriptures, which actually clearly put faith before it. So many verses I’ve shared show that. And the Scriptural faith is a sufficient enabled response that must be personally made, rejecting the idea of Luther’s imposed faith upon infants or needing baptism to cause it.

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      70. brianwagner writes, “thankyou for confirming indirectly that you agree Luther saw an expression of what he believed was God-given faith before what he falsely saw as biblical regeneration.”

        Let us concede that we are dealing with two types of faith here. Kind of like our discussions of omniscience where we each have different definitions of what it is.

        Then, “So many verses I’ve shared show that.”

        With a little waffling on John 3 and Ephesians 2. When you get it all harmonized, let us know.

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      71. So says the one who waffles on all those clear Scriptures I shared that show faith before the life of Christ! But thanks for confirming that Luther taught faith before new birth, even if you also disagree, like I do, though for different reasons, with his view of that faith and that new birth! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      72. SORRY I AM STUCK IN CAP MODE FOR SOME REASON. I HAVE POUNDED ON THE KEY WITH NO SUCCESS, I AM AKSING AGAIN ERIC FOR THE SAKE AND MERCY OF CHRIST MY BROTHER THIS BE POSTED. PLEASE, I HAVE BEHAVED AND WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO.

        I repeat what I said before I answer you, and then ask do we have a contradiction. Or did Luther express things a little different than we do today and you are reaching and twisting to make those words fit your tradition and false teaching of Non-Calvinism. I say it is the latter. Even in what you wrote Luther is staying true to the Reformed Faith of Soteriology. The Spirit just has not opened your eyes to it. But it is ultimatley what thus saith the Lord, or it is written.

        “So what did Martin Luther believe?

        “I say that man, before he is renewed into the new creation of the Spirit’s kingdom, does and endeavours nothing to prepare himself for that new creation and kingdom, and when he is re-created has does and endeavored nothing towards his perseverance in that kingdom; but the Spirit alone works both blessings in us, regenerating us, and preserving us when regenerating, without ourselves…”
        – Martin Luther from Bondage of the Will, pg. 268

        Oh Brian, you set yourself up my friend and Brother in Christ. Martin Luther is saying the same thing that the Reformed believers/Calvinist. He does call it ” the work of faith in us” which is very scriptural language. Luther was very inconsistent in what he said a lot. I am sure you know that. Even with Limited Atonement, also known as Definite Atonement, or Particular Redemption or seemed to go back and forth on that. So for either of us to use Luther it would be a negative. Although my quotation clearly says Luther believes in Regeneration before faith and conversion to Christ/eternal life/ Your quotation which I am yet to research to check the veracity of it seems to imply about the faith being God’s work with in us. The Non-Calvinist would refute this until the day he died because they do not believe these three verses. Brian we cannnot cherry pick Martin Luther. He was not a Calvinist but he falls very much into the same camp and leans strongly to regeneration preceding faith and conversion. We must take the whole counsel of Luther, or a larger portion that just a quote from the introduction to hia commentary on Romans. After some Scriptures I explain down below if you are willing to read them you can have a field day of Luther’s quotes and then you will have to decide and I look to see if you will make a public retraction or not. Something I have never seen Brian do. Brian I have seen some well researched work on Academia. But you are blowing through this without using the gifts God has given you and I know you know what I mean my brother in Christ.

        I found your quote, but only in what is called the preface to the Epistle of the Romans. Yes I give you my word the exact same words you quoted. Here is the link below. But why did you stop there Brian. The next couple of pararaghs would have cleared this confusion up. They have a word for this my brother now you have to make a public apology for taking Luther out of context. Or will pride be blind to itself, because it can manifest itself in many faces. I do not believe that of you Brian. You have always seemed to humble, godly and a man of God to me. The quote that comes after your quote is below.BUT YOU TOOK LUTHER OUT OF CONTEXT, AND YOU KNOW THAT IS A NO NO MY BROTHER IN CHRIST, HE ACTUALLY MEANTIONS ABOUT GOD CREATING FAITH WITHIN US. THAT WOULD BE GODWORKING FIRST BEFORE THE SINNER HAS FAITH AND BELIEVES IN CHRIST.

        https://www.coretraining.com.co/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/295_Luther_Romans.pdf

        Martin Luther’s
        Preface to
        The Epistle
        to the Romans
        This English translation is taken from
        the edition produced by
        Lutheran Publishing House, Adelaide, 1966

        ” 16. On the contrary, faith is a divine work in us, which
        transforms us, gives us a new birth out of God, John 1:13,
        slays the old Adam, makes us altogether different men in
        heart, affections, mind, and all powers, and brings with it the Holy Spirit. Oh, it is a living, energetic, active,
        mighty thing, this faith. It cannot but do good unceas-ingly.
        There is no question asked whether good works are to be
        done, but before the question is asked the works have been
        done, and there is a continuous doing of them. But any
        person not doing such works is without faith. He is groping
        in the dark, looking for faith and good works, and knows
        neither what faith is nor what good works are, although he
        indulges in a lot of twaddle and flummery concerning faith
        and good works.
        17. Faith is a living, daring confidence in the grace of
        God, of such assurance that it would risk a thousand
        deaths. This confidence and knowledge of divine grace
        makes a person happy, bold, and full of gladness in his
        relation to God and all creatures. The Holy Ghost is doing
        this in the believer. Hence it is that a person, without
        constraint, becomes willing and enthusiastic to do good to
        everybody, to serve everybody, to suffer all manner of
        afflictions, from love of God and to the praise of Him who
        has extended such grace to him. Accordingly, it is impossible
        to separate works from faith, just as impossible as it is to
        separate the power to burn and shine from fire. Accordingly,
        beware of your own false thoughts and of idle talkers, who
        pretend great wisdom for discerning faith and good works
        and yet are the greatest fools. Pray God that He may create
        faith in you; otherwise you will be without faith for ever and
        aye, no matter what you may plan and do.

        2 Thessalians 1:11 – for which also we pray always for you, that He may count you worthy of the calling of our God, and He may fulfill every good pleasure of goodness and work of faith with power,

        It is not a “work of faith to us” It is God the Holy Spirit’s work of faith within us that he will complete and bring it to fruition in power, not by the mythical idol of free will or human effort, but by the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God dwelling richly within us.

        John 6:29 – Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”

        I used the biased Calvinist Bible on that one. The ESV. I hope that is ok. JK 🙂

        Philippians 1:29 -For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

        Brian my friend and brother in Christ, you know what is so cool about Philippians 1:29. I know you can check it out yourself. I have read many Greek Scholars now and checked out in the Intinleaner Bible on Biblehub and my own personal one. The word translated into English “believe” from the Greek is the word is “pisteuw” It means it is a gift of God’s grace, the word is intimately related to the Greek word that can be found in 1 Corinthian 12. Where the Word of God talks about the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

        We know faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God, so that means there was a time when the wicked sinner did not have saving faith until the Sword of the Spirit worked powerfully in his life. Yes, the Power Holy Spirit in intimate connection with the preaching and proclamation of the gospel.

        2 Thessalanions 3:2 – And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith.

        Simple Brian, Evil, wicked and perverse sinners do not have within them innate saving faith as Ephesians 2 declares that while we were still dead in trespasses and sins God quicked and made us alive in Christ Jesus. It does say we believed before he quickened us and made us alive. It says he did this while we were spiritually dead in sin doing spiritually sinful activities. Not corspe dead. Please tell Dr. Flowers to stop saying that, he does not understand the analogy and thus he Misrepresents.

        Read this slowly and prayfully Brian I beseech you in Christ

        Ephesians 2

        2 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the [a]course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 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.

        4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

        See Brian there is there is spiritually dead activity in sin revealed in these verses before we came to Christ. It also reveals were we made alive while we were still dead in sin, not in a state of believing but walking and fullfulling the lust of the flesh. It goes on to conversion, “by His Mercy he saved us. Then we are saved by grace though faith, it is the gift of God, not of free will or of works lest any Non-Calvinist should boast. It goes on to say We are “his very own workmanship created in Christ Jesus, for good works, sanctification, becoming like Christ which we have been predestined to, and this being created by God and being his very own workmanship for good works was prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. The word “beforehand” in verse 10 means “hath before ordained” or prepared I will concede to that. But he chose us in Christ from all eternity that we should be Holy and Blameless in love.

        Acts 13:48 – 48 When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying [praising and giving thanks for] the word of the Lord; and all those who had been appointed (designated, ordained) to eternal life [by God] believed [in Jesus as the Christ and their Savior].

        Every major translation we have says something to this extent, that those who were “appointed or designated to eternal life believed.

        But to get around this, the Non-Calvinist espousing the Pelagianism heresy in mistaken ignorance (still my brother in Christ) have got into bed with the JW. Their translation reads “disposed” and that I know is what is pushed here on Soteriology101 at the peril and wrongfully dividing the Word of God.

        Now for Martin Luther briefly and then I am done:

        “Irresistible Grace
        In Bondage of the Will, 2.8, Luther denies that God compels or forces people to convert: “When God works in us, the will is changed under the sweet influence of the Spirit of God. . . . it desires and acts, not of compulsion, but of its own desire and spontaneous inclination.” But, of course, the most famous (or notorious) thing about his Bondage of the Will is Luther’s denial that we initiate this change: “our salvation is not of our own strength or counsel, but depends on the working of God alone.” Further, “man’s will is like a beast standing between two riders. If God rides, it wills and goes where God wills . . . . If Satan rides, it wills and goes where Satan wills. Nor may it choose to which rider it will run, or which it will seek; but the riders themselves fight to decide who shall have and hold it” (2.8).”

        The best book in English on this thorny set of issues in early Lutheran dogmatics is Robert Kolb, Bound Choice, Election, and Wittenberg Theological Method: From Martin Luther to the Formula of Concord (Eerdmans, 2005).

        Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Art. 2: “people resist God the Lord with their will until they are converted. . . . they resist the Word and will of God until God awakens them from the death of sin and enlightens and renews them. Although God does not force human beings in such a way that they must become godly (for those who persistently resist the Holy Spirit and stubbornly struggle against what is recognized truth, as Stephen said of the obdurate Jews in Acts 7:51, will not be converted), nonetheless God the Lord draws those people whom he wants to convert and does so in such a way that an enlightened understanding is fashioned out of a darkened understanding and an obedient will is fashioned out of a rebellious will. Scripture calls this creating a new heart. . . . God makes willing people out of rebellious and unwilling people through the drawing power of the Holy Spirit, and . . . after this conversion of the human being the reborn will is not idle in the daily practice of repentance but cooperates in all the works of the Holy Spirit that he accomplishes through us.”

        Luther’s language is a little different than us, but he most definitely sides with the Calvinist. At first he through the secret working of the Holy Spirit the sinner is idle, but after conversion, there is Holiness and good works of love etc,

        I say that man, before he is renewed into the new creation of the Spirit’s kingdom, does and endeavours nothing to prepare himself for that new creation and kingdom, and when he is re-created has does and endeavors nothing towards his perseverance in that kingdom; but the Spirit alone works both blessings in us, regenerating us, and preserving us when regenerate, without ourselves…”
        Martin Luther fromThe Bondage of the Will (pg. 268)

        “If any man doth ascribe of salvation, even the very least, to the free will of man, he knoweth nothing of grace, and he hath not learnt Jesus Christ aright.”
        -Martin Luther

        When God works in us, the will, being changed and sweetly breathed upon by the Spirit of God, desire and acts, not from compulsion, but responsively.
        -Martin Luther

        “Let all the ‘free-will’ in the world do all it can with all its strength; it will never give rise to a single instance of ability to avoid being hardened if God does not give the Spirit, or of meriting mercy if it is left to its own strength.” – Martin Luther

        “A man who has no part in the grace of God, cannot keep the commandments of God, or prepare himself, either wholly or in part, to receive grace; but he rests of necessity under the power of sin.”- Martin Luther

        “It is false that the will, left to itself, can do good as well as evil, for it is not free, but in bondage…On the side of man there is nothing that goes before grace, unless it be impotency and even rebellion.”- Martin Luther

        “He that will maintain that man’s free will is able to do or work anything in spiritual cases, be they never so small, denies Christ.” – Martin Luther, Table Talk

        “Even like as St. Paul was converted, just so are all others converted; for we all resist God, but the Holy Ghost draws the will of mankind, when he pleases, through preaching.”- Martin Luther

        “God foreknows nothing by contingency, but that He foresees, purposes, and does all things according to His immutable, eternal, and infallible will. By this thunderbolt, “Free-will” is thrown prostrate, and utterly dashed to pieces.”- Martin Luther

        All quotes are from the Bondage of the will unless noted otherwise.

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      73. I refuted this soundly Brian,
        I tried to post it. This was after you made your second comment. You see I have these books and references right here at my own home at my disposal. You cherry picked Martin Luther Brian!!! You know that is a no-no. I have so many quotes from Luther from his classic work the “Bondage of the Will” and other resources that puts him within or at least strongly leaning towards the Calvinist Camp/

        Do I think you were being disingenuous? No. I did say cherry picking only to wake you up because you are a teacher and will be held to a much higher standard. I believe you are just sincerely discussing and arguing for what you believe is the truth of God’s word my friend Brian. I still think in your personal writings to me, the forgiving grace you continually showed me in the past, you are a very godly loving Christian man. In my opinion, you are rushing this and not taking the time to research it out correctly. I have read your scholarly work on Academia. No, I do not agree with them all, but the ones I do show the gift of God’s teaching grace within you. Well thought out. Well, researched and edifying. But not on here.

        I am sorry but Roger is winning the day with you. I will show you why later and have already in one short comment. I am having one of my insomnia nights so I am alert and ready. I have not commented too much lately because I have been studying and praying about other things. I do not want this to dominate my life. But I have seen there is a major crack here in the wall on Soteriology101.

        FOH can say we crack him up all he wants, but before the night is done or by tomorrow I am going to show FOH, (in love and respect, not in the mocking way he does) just how cracked up he is. And that all the Kings horses and all the king’s men cannot put FOH back together again. Did he not say he was Seminary Trained and a Former Pastor? Really? Man his Biblical Exegesis on Philippians 1 back on one of Eric’s articles was just terrible. No Non-Calvinist would agree with him, much less a Reformed Believer in the Doctrines of Grace. If Brian can tell Roger to put on His “Big Boy Pants” in his use of sarcasm to win points in is arguments, I think I can say that about FOH without being banned. I am using a different account because I thought my comments were not being posted because they had been going straight into the trash bin. I hope this might help I do not know. Maybe Eric my Brother who corrected me twice Brian on two mistakes I made on the Word of God can let me know. But I now see that they are posted, I just hate that I may be causing Eric a big headache. I thought changing accounts might help, I do not know/

        And Brian I immediately, without any embarrassment or pride thanked Eric for showing me where I was wrong in my understanding of two verses of John 6. Eric has a gift but God has not blessed the truth of His word fully to his understanding. None of us understand God’s word completely or ever will. You know what else my friend Brian, I learned from Eric, how to do Biblical Exegesis better, He actually corrected me on that a few times. When we got to the difficult verse in John 6 we agreed to disagree in the Love of Christ. I am now reading a big thick book on Biblical Hermeneutics and Exegesis and taking some online classes because Eric showed me where I was lacking. That is iron sharpening iron, being honest, with integrity, no pride, only humility, as one person sharpens another. Thank you, Eric.

        Why do I tell you all of this my Brother in Christ. Because you quoted Martin Luther out of context. You cherry picked him. Anyone who wants to know the truth of this can scroll back up and read what you wrote and my responses. Like I said, I had the resources right here with me at my disposal and to your demise. So it was not hard to find that you cherry picked Martin Luther and quoted him out of context.

        Brian, you did this publically. You, I can not say this openly because I promised you I would not, but I will say this. A man of your stature and standing must publically recant and repent of what you did. Like I said I believe the best about you. I think you are just rushing it. Because Roger is witty and quick and sharp as a tack. As far as Calvinist go on here I probably have the least knowledge of all, but I am no slouch and you know that my friend. You seem to want to ignore your mistake and failing of cherry picking and taking Martin Luther out of Context. This cannot be done.

        God commands that we have truth in our inward parts. We must have integrity when we speak, make comments and assertions on here. No I know we all make mistakes, can easily contradict ourselves at times, misspeak. But we have to come clean when we do it, Sir. I believe the Brian I know will. He will not let pride or his ill-will and hatred of Calvinism make him rebel against his Lord and Savior, the one true Holy Righteous God, in whom there is no darkness at all. So please respond and refute me if I am wrong because I could very well be. I will apologize to you. But I really do not think I am Sir. But I pray that you do not continue with your silence, dead air, evading, ignoring this issue as if it did not happen. God bless my brother in Christ. The Faithful wounds of a Friend in Christ and an Open Rebuke is better than concealed love. I know you do not want to discuss the false doctrine and teaching of Non-Calvinism with Me, Brian. You have told me so personally. I agreed to that. Then I changed my mind. Did I lie? No, I did not Sir, because I am either pleasing man or God. I choose to please God by not compromising the truth of His word for the sake of unity. All though I still consider you my friend and brother in Christ, and will pursue peace with all men as much as possible.

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    2. Roger,
      You have a gift brother, I have read this response three times now and it is irrefutable. I love your opening remarks very biblical. How you took Brian Wagner own ammunition and turned it against him. You are contending earnestly for the faith delivered to the saints. I put down once again your quote that is Biblical, which makes it logical and spiritually healthy. Something that I can spiritually feed upon. Thank you, my brother, in Christ. You are in a spirit of reverence speaking the truth in love to those who are in opposition to the truth of God’s word. BR.D may be right about me, I may be a little more intense, but my God’s grace I am keeping myself under control. Self-controlled which a grace of Christ or fruit of the Holy Spirit. So in all actuality, I am being Christ-Controlled. Please Oh, God grant more grace so that I will not shame you and be reverent and speak the truth in love. Not sinfully quarreling having my tongue set on fire by hell. But only speaking things that cause people to put their faith and trust in God of heaven who does whatsoever he pleases.

      “Let’s clear up a misunderstanding here. We should all agree that the preaching of the gospel precedes and precipitates the appearance of faith – “faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” It is also true that the preaching of the gospel precedes and precipitates regeneration as Brian notes above in citing 1 Peter, “… having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever…Now, this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.” Thus, the gospel is the means that God uses to effect regeneration and give a person faith.”

      God bless my brother, be encouraged, stand firm, be not afraid of their empty words of deceit and the vain philosophies of men, but engage in love with the spirit of knowledge and understanding in Christ, which you are already doing. I just pray that God will enlarge your heart, grant you more grace, that you speak His words in a way they will not be able to resist, as Stephen did who was stoned to death.

      Like

  4. Dr. Flowers writes, “But what does the Scripture actually say about the logical order of new life and man’s responsibility in attaining it? Which comes first, new life or faith? Let’s observe:”

    Then follows a series of verses. Some verses cited apply of a person is able to believe prior to regeneration (some are a different context). Calvinists appeal to John 6 – “No one can come to (believe in) me…” to argue that a person is not able to come to Christ absent a work of grace in their heart (quickening).

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    1. Roger – You know that some “believing” and understanding and seeking happens before coming. To posit that it doesn’t is a rejection of many clear verses in Scripture. Even the good soil in the parable of the sower would be doing some believing in the word that is influencing the heart BEFORE it experiences the fruit of salvation.

      Your theology would have to posit that your “regeneration” makes the soil “good” before the Word is planted in the heart with understanding, takes good depth of root, and even partially starts developing fruit, like the third soil does. You can’t have “regeneration” happening after all of that… right?

      Like

      1. brianwagner writes, “…some “believing” and understanding and seeking happens before coming.”

        Isn’t the coming in John 6 the same as believing? But it seems reasonable that “understanding and seeking” come before believing.

        Then, “To posit that it doesn’t is a rejection of many clear verses in Scripture.”

        Maybe, those verses are misunderstood – most probably in context.

        Then, “Even the good soil in the parable of the sower would be doing some believing in the word that is influencing the heart BEFORE it experiences the fruit of salvation. ”

        Absolutely not!! The good soil provides an environment for the word to grow and flourish. It is the word that then begets faith and faith manifests as believing.

        Then, ‘Your theology would have to posit that your “regeneration” makes the soil “good” before the Word is planted in the heart with understanding, takes good depth of root, and even partially starts developing fruit, like the third soil does.”

        Of course!! Regeneration makes the soil “good” that then allows the word to be “planted” and the planting of the word leads to understanding followed by faith then believing.

        then, “You can’t have “regeneration” happening after all of that… right?”

        Right. So, how do you have regeneration happening after all that?

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      2. Jesus says in the parable clearly the hard soil can believe and be saved! It describes the soils that are not good based on hardness, shallowness, and thorns, with not indication in His explanation that those soils are eternally immutably made to remain that way. Determinism has to stick their false “regeneration” in as an assumption of what makes the last soil “good”… even though Jesus is encouraging all to hear what is keeping some from being saved… and He says nothing of it being because of predestination.

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      3. RHUTCHIN
        JUNE 28, 2018 AT 3:19 PM
        brianwagner writes, “Even if the new birth must be before “seeing” and “entering” God’s present kingdom (His rule) in one’s life, that still does not remove the prerequisite that sovereignly was placed before the new birth, which is trust in God’s Son… which Jesus was consistently pointing unregenerate Nicodemus to in His explanation of the new birth.”

        Does that mean that you now recognize that the “kingdom of God” in John 3 refers to salvation? At least, we both now have regeneration and faith both coming before salvation.

        Brian, this was checkmate right here from friend and brother in Christ. You even failed to respond to it. It is as if you ignored and evaded it all together.

        I now ask you the same question you once asked Rhutchin,

        Why do you still refuse to believe?

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  5. You guys crack me up!

    Over and over the same stuff!

    Calvinists START with the idea that man is “too-dead” . If you ignore all the “come to me” ….. and the “I Ionged for you to come, but you did not” ….and the “Cornelius was a righteous man” ….and the “Lydia was a worshiper of God” ….and the “draw near to God and He will draw near to you” ….and the “seek first the kingdom” …. and all verses that Leighton and Brian quoted….. and you START with a (non-biblical) presupposition that man is “too-dead” —-then you “necessarily” must defend this doctrine at all costs.

    Ignore Scripture.

    Ignore logic.

    Promote the idea that man is “too-dead” (never mind that prodigal son that “came to his senses in a far off land” while the father waited).

    Promote the idea that man is “too-dead” even though Cain is told by God Himself that he must and can dominate over the sinful desire he has.

    Promote the idea that man is “too-dead” even though Paul says he “becomes all things to all men to win some” and that he “persuades” men to the gospel. Why talk like that Paul? You have nothing to do with it!! (According to Calvinists—who “necessarily” know better than the Scriptures).

    Calvinists feel (honorably) that their system gives God more glory (cuz He does it all). But I wanna just believe what God established, and Scripture states many times that the condition for His mercy is human faith. Sure, you can say human faith “robs Him of His glory” all you want…. but the very fact that you are “changing His plan” (to give Him more glory) also places you over Him.

    We are not making this up. It is His plan.

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  6. Here is a quote from R.C. Sproul. I provide this because for many Calvinists, like rhutchin, this is one of their “go to verses” in support of “regeneration precedes faith”….

    “The key phrase in Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians is this: ‘…even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace have you been saved)’ (Eph. 2:5). Here Paul locates the time when regeneration occurs. It takes place ‘when we were dead.’ With one thunderbolt of apostolic revelation all attempts to give the initiative in regeneration to man are smashed. Again, dead men do not cooperate with grace. Unless regeneration takes place first, there is no possibility of faith.” (R.C. Sproul: Regeneration Precedes Faith)

    Ephesians 2:5 (NKJV)…..
    even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)

    When read in isolation (and out of context), that portion of scripture does seem to imply that even while the sinner is in an un-justified, un-forgiven state (dead in trespasses) he is granted spiritual life with Christ. However, verse 5 is only part of the sentence and has to be read in context with verse 4, where the sentence begins.

    Ephesians 2:4-5 (NKJV)….
    But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)

    “Even when we were dead in trespasses” shouldn’t be read in relation to “made us alive together with Christ”, but rather in relation to “His great love with which He loved us”. In other words, God loved us, even when we were separated from Him due to our fallen nature. Compare this with the following…..

    Romans 5:6-8 (NKJV)…..
    For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, IN THAT WHILE WE WERE STILL SINNERS, Christ died for us.

    Even Calvinist Charles Spurgeon correctly interpreted Ephesians 2:4-5 when he wrote….

    “God loved us even when we were dead in sins. His love does not depend upon what we are; it flows from his own heart. It is not love of something good in us; it is love of us because of everything good in him. Here you see the greatness of his grace, in that ‘he loved us, even when we were dead in sins.’” (Charles Spurgeon: Life From the Dead: sermon #2267)

    Finally, in Ephesians 2:5 Paul is saying that being “made alive together with Christ” is the equivalent of having been saved.

    Ephesians 2:5b (NKJV)…..
    ….made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)

    If you are made “alive together with Christ” you “have been saved”. That is how the text reads and that is what Paul meant.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Phillip,
      Using a half-verse is no problem for Calvinists.

      Rarely do they use whole verses and more rarely the verse in multi-verse context.

      This is done with Romans 3:11 (as if we ALL have venom on our lips).

      This is done with verses from Romans 9 (removing the clear teaching/comparison to Israel—-making it for all).

      Again, you start with the answer, and you can find the half-verses you need.

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    2. phillip writes, “Ephesians 2:4-5 (NKJV)….
      But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)
      “Even when we were dead in trespasses” shouldn’t be read in relation to “made us alive together with Christ”, but rather in relation to “His great love with which He loved us”. In other words, God loved us, even when we were separated from Him due to our fallen nature.”

      LOL!!! You are correct, but ignore the obvious. Certainly God loved His elect “Even when we were dead in trespasses.” God’s love was the motivation for God to quicken His elect who were dead in sin. If they had not been dead, there would be no need for quickening – would there?? There is no way to divorce the “made us alive,” from the “dead in sin.” Your claim makes no sense no matter how one reads the verse.

      Then, “Finally, in Ephesians 2:5 Paul is saying that being “made alive together with Christ” is the equivalent of having been saved.”

      No – because Paul then says, “by grace you have been saved through faith;” The “quickening” is by grace and it enables the faith that justifies, Quickening does not justify, does it??? You are misreading everything here.

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      1. Phillip,
        Dont worry too much about the “dead in sin” part. Of course we were dead in sin when He made us alive!

        And now that we are “buried in Christ” we are “dead to sin.”

        It is surely Sproul who outruns the text here since he is making “dead” go beyond our nature to our inability.

        It is not true that being “dead to sin” “buried in Christ” means unable to sin.

        It is not true that being “dead in sin” means unable to hear the call of Christ.

        This is just an wand-waving feat that they need to be true in order for their man-made philosophy to work.

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      2. FOH writes, “It is not true that being “dead to sin” “buried in Christ” means unable to sin.
        It is not true that being “dead in sin” means unable to hear the call of Christ.”

        While one is dead to sin, he still has the old nature as Paul describes, “I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind, and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. ” (Romans 7)

        When we were dead in sin, there was no joyful concurrence with the law of God in the inner man, “because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8)

        FOH reads the Bible but never seems to grasp what it says.

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      3. Typical Calvinist.

        Rhutchin writes… “There is no way to divorce the ‘made us alive’, from the ‘dead in sin’. Your claim makes no sense no matter how one reads the verse.”

        So rhutchin disagrees with his beloved Calvinist brother Spurgeon.

        Rhutchin writes…. “No – because Paul then says, ‘by grace you have been saved through faith’; The ‘quickening’ is by grace and it enables the faith that justifies, Quickening does not justify, does it??? You are misreading everything here.”

        Ephesians 2:4-5 (NKJV)….
        But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)

        Ephesians 2:8a (NKJV)…
        For by grace you have been saved (made alive together with Christ) through faith…..

        The reason (though there are many) rhutchin is confused regarding the biblical order of salvation, is because he puts regeneration prior to faith, when, in fact, it doesn’t even preceded justification (made righteous). Here is the same verse taken from 4 different translations, though each teaches the same truth.

        Romans 8:10 (Amp)…..
        If Christ lives in you, though your [natural] body is dead because of sin, your spirit is alive because of righteousness [which He provides].

        Romans 8:10 (NLT)….
        And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life (via the new birth) because (why?) you have been made right (justified) with God.

        Romans 8:10 (Phillips)….
        Now if Christ does live within you his presence means that your sinful nature is dead, but your spirit becomes alive because of the righteousness he brings with him.

        Romans 8:10 (Hendriksen)…..
        “But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the Spirit is life because of your justification.”

        Each is saying that the believer is granted spiritual life (via regeneration) because we are made righteous (justified) by His imputed righteousness.

        This is confirmed in Colossians 2:13 (NKJV)….
        And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him (via regeneration), having forgiven you all trespasses (made righteous/justified)

        Again, the order is clear. Believe. Justified (made righteous). New birth (made alive together with Him).

        Poor rhutchin. That heart of stone must be so heavy.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. phillip writes, “The reason (though there are many) rhutchin is confused regarding the biblical order of salvation, is because he puts regeneration prior to faith, when, in fact, it doesn’t even preceded justification (made righteous). Here is the same verse taken from 4 different translations, though each teaches the same truth.
        Romans 8:10 (NLT)….
        And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life (via the new birth) because (why?) you have been made right (justified) with God.”

        Let’s look at the larger context.

        You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them are not Christians at all.) Since Christ lives within you, even though your body will die because of sin, your spirit is alive because you have been made right with God.The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as he raised Christ from the dead, he will give life to your mortal body by this same Spirit living within you.

        So, when does one have the spirit of God living in them. Paul, in Ephesians 1, “In Christ, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation–having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.” Thus, Christ lives within the believer when that believer comes to belief in.Christ. Paul then explains in Ephesians 2 that this comes about through the grace of quickening followed by the grace of faith.

        Then, “This is confirmed in Colossians 2:13 (NKJV)….
        And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him (via regeneration), having forgiven you all trespasses (made righteous/justified)”

        Again, let’s look at the larger context.

        13 And 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,
        14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
        15 When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.

        When does Paul say God forgave His elect. It was at the cross because there God nailed their sins, together with Christ, to the cross. The transaction is completed when we, in faith, believe in Christ as Paul explains in Ephesians.

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      5. Rhutchin writes… “Paul then explains in Ephesians 2 that this comes about through the grace of quickening followed by the grace of faith.”

        What a great example of a “heart of stone”.

        Ephesians 2:5-6, 8a (NKJV)….
        But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (BY GRACE YOU HAVE BEEN SAVED)…. For BY GRACE YOU HAVE BEEN SAVED (made alive together with Christ) through faith…”

        How simple for most, while so difficult for others.

        Why does Rhutchin continue to “kick against the goads”? Because all too often, it is much easier to just “dig in” (to save face) than to admit we are wrong. This should be a warning to all of us.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. phillip writes, “For BY GRACE YOU HAVE BEEN SAVED (made alive together with Christ) through faith…”
        How simple for most, while so difficult for others.”

        Or, we could look at it this way:
        6 …seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus,
        7 in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
        8 For by grace (the surpassing riches of God’s grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus) you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;

        So, what is the role of faith? ” we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (by faith).

        Paul also writes, “I bow my knees before the Father,… that He would grant you…to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man; so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;”

        I take faith to be that part of the salvation process that guides us in sanctification.

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  7. Today’s reading in Acts 17.

    10 That very night the believers sent Paul and Silas to Berea. When they arrived there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11 And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. 12 As a result, many Jews believed, as did many of the prominent Greek women and men.
    ———————–
    A. They were “more open-minded”. Er, does not imply at all that God opened their minds. All attention is drawn to THEM and their willingness (as usual, one would have to read-into the text the idea of a special dose of faith).

    B. They “listened eagerly”. Uh, it should say …”The Lord regenerated them so they could (had to) listen.” right? What a “man-centered” passage!

    C. “They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.” When did the “regeneration precedes faith” come in? I mean, they cannot “listen eagerly” and “search the Scriptures” (being “too-dead”), right? If they are regenerated and given the ability to do it….then why is it “day after day”? I mean, how long are they regenerated-precedes-justification before they believe? Days, weeks, months? If Sproul is right that ‘dead people dont participate’ in this….when were they “made alive” and what took them so long to “search daily” and finally believe?

    D. “As a result, many Jews believed, as did many of the prominent Greek women and men.” As a result of what? As a result of being regenerated? Or as a result of “listening eagerly” and “searching the Scripture day after day” ?

    This man-made regeneration-precedes-faith idea is refuted in Scripture everywhere!

    Every day….daily reading….. Calvinism fades away.

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  8. Two things: The examples of people coming to faith in scripture don’t reflect a regeneration before faith, which is something that caught my attention just recently. When it comes to learning something, I’m a “show me, don’t tell me” person and these examples in scripture do just that.
    “So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.”
    How could it be any clearer? Repent and gain life. (salvation)
    Second: The way I have seen people respond to the gospel or not respond, including myself, shows me clearly that people can and do resist the Spirit. So, when is salvation granted? It’s not granted to the individual who continues to say in his heart that he is his own god and able to handle life on his own. Salvation is granted at the moment of submitting to God’s will. And if I might digress for a moment, I think this is where some of the Wesleyan and Methodists in particular have gone wrong. They have so embraced “free will” as an end in itself, it’s as if they misunderstood Wesley totally. Wesley understood that free will doesn’t save anyone, but salvation is by grace, through faith. So, in one sense, the Calvinist is correct that many arminians have gone too far in the other direction, in their resistance against irresistible grace, they have called salvation a mere decision. It’s much more than that. It is an act of God. But faith is required before God will act.
    And this has led also to the holiness portion of the Wesleyan church to see salvation as something that can be dropped by one sinful decision. Unless that decision is flat out rejection for the blood of Christ, this is just crazy wrong and unbiblical.
    Am I getting off track?
    The point is that grace is freely offered to all, but it requires that we cease our stubborn resistance against God’s will for us. I don’t think I have heard much preaching about what faith really is. Honestly I’m not so sure we can just “ask Jesus into our hearts” at just any point in time. The Spirit has to be working in that moment. Not saying it’s wrong to use that terminology, but previniant grace is something I believe in more because I’ve seen it then because some people teach it. Many have never heard that term but would still agree based on how they experienced the Spirit’s working. The Calvinists constantly beat the “man centered” theology drum because they wrongly think we believe that we save ourselves by an act of the will. Nope. A true arminian agrees totally that salvation is totally God’s doing. The difference is that he also believes faith comes before salvation.

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    1. ww writes, ““So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.”
      How could it be any clearer?”

      So, did you forget John 6, “…no one can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father.” So, when you conclude, “Salvation is granted at the moment of submitting to God’s will,” this doesn’t tell the whole story. Correct??

      Like

      1. Prevenient grace. I already covered this in my previous reply. Correct, we can not come without God first working in us. This grace comes to every one, with enough enlightenment, so none have an excuse.

        Like

  9. Brothers (sisters),

    Even in our own judicial system, we know the person guilty of a crime must be pardoned, or found “not guilty” before he is granted a new life. But according to Calvinism, the inmate is given freedom and a new lease on life (regeneration) BEFORE ever being resolved of the crime (justified). Calvinism would have us believe that it is life (regeneration) that brings justification (righteousness). Yet the scriptures teach us differently.

    Romans 5:18 (NIV)……
    Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.

    For more clarity……

    Romans 5:18 (Amplified)….
    Well then, as one man’s trespass [one man’s false step and falling away led] to condemnation for all men, so one Man’s act of righteousness [leads] to acquittal and right standing with God and life for all men.

    Again, the order is clear. Faith. Justification (declared/made righteous). New life/Saved (via regeneration).

    Rhutchin, please jettison that yoke known as Calvinism.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. phillip writes, “Again, the order is clear. Faith. Justification (declared/made righteous). New life/Saved (via regeneration).”

      You are confusing a new birth (and new life) with eternal life. The new life of the new birth (John 3) allows a person to see the kingdom of God and then enter the kingdom of God thereby gaining eternal life.

      Like

  10. A little more from today’s reading in Acts 17.

    V16. While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply troubled by all the idols he saw everywhere in the city. 17 He went to the synagogue to reason with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles…

    —————-
    A. Just dont know why Paul was “troubled” about what God had ordained! Of course they had idols…they are “too-dead” to do otherwise. Or are they?…….

    B. “He went to the synagogue to reason with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles…..” To “reason with them”? What does “reason” have to do with it —-if it a special dose of faith? What is a “God-fearing Gentile”? Not “too-dead” to fear God?

    V18. He also had a debate with some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers.

    —————-
    C. Why is he “debating” with people? To win them over with reason? “Man-centered” the Calvinists should cry out!

    V22. So Paul, standing before the council, addressed them as follows: “Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious in every way, 23 for as I was walking along I saw your many shrines. And one of your altars had this inscription on it: ‘To an Unknown God.’ This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about.

    —————-
    D. Wait a minute! Paul says…. you have been worshiping Him without knowing Him. He is stating outright that they are not “too-dead” to reach out to a creator God.

    Were they regenerated long ago? Otherwise, according to Calvin, how could Paul say ….. “This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about.”

    Like

  11. One more from today’s reading in Acts 17

    26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. (cited from the Calvinist ESV to show how even they cannot hide it).

    ———————–
    A. He determined periods and boundaries….. broad strokes….. but Paul could have said “He determined everything” here. Nope. It does not say that anywhere in the Word.

    B. “that they should seek God… and find Him.” What? Waaaaaaay too much mileage is made out of the Romans 3:10 “no one seeks God” (which in context is a direct reproach to the Jews). Here Paul even says that God’s plan is that men would seek and find Him.

    What a man-made idea that men are “too-dead” to seek and find Him!!!

    Here is what the ESV version should say if consistent with Calvinism:

    –26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined [everything that every happens], 27 that [the regenerated ones] [would] seek God, and [without fail] find him.

    Like

  12. Daily reading 2 Kings 17-18.

    17:13 Again and again the Lord had sent his prophets and seers to warn both Israel and Judah: “Turn from all your evil ways. Obey my commands and decrees—the entire law that I commanded your ancestors to obey, and that I gave you through my servants the prophets.”

    14 But the Israelites would not listen. They were as stubborn as their ancestors who had refused to believe in the Lord their God. 15 They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their ancestors, and they despised all his warnings.
    ——————

    I have posted this kind of thing many times (since it is in the Scripture hundreds of times).

    Here is the chosen people…. (remember that word chosen?) being told by the all-caps LORD Almighty to “turn from your evil ways.”

    It even says twice that God made decrees and they did not do them.

    How could the Bible be more clear? God wanted them to do X and they did Y.

    We need to bake that into our hermeneutic! We cannot, should not, let man-made, Greek ideas about “what God must be like” trump the clear teaching of Scripture. We follow these man-made ideas cuz (well, primarily cuz we are taught Calvinism) we want “to honor God” and “make Him big.”

    But it is more important to listen to Scripture and let God tell us how He is.

    Like

    1. FOH writes, “God wanted them to do X and they did Y.”

      God has even told you, at times to do X and you do Y. When you do X, you crow about it being all you without help from God.

      Like

  13. More from the daily reading…..

    2 Kings18:1 Hezekiah son of Ahaz began to rule over Judah in the third year of King Hoshea’s reign in Israel…. 3 He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight, just as his ancestor David had done. 4 He removed the pagan shrines, smashed the sacred pillars, and cut down the Asherah poles…..

    5 Hezekiah trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before or after his time. 6 He remained faithful to the Lord in everything, and he carefully obeyed all the commands the Lord had given Moses. 7 So the Lord was with him, and Hezekiah was successful in everything he did.
    ————-

    Why does God’s word spend so much time talking about how good Hezekiah was?

    “He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight….” “He removed the pagan shrines, smashed the sacred pillars, and cut down the Asherah poles…..”

    “Hezekiah trusted in the Lord…”
    “There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah….”
    “He remained faithful to the Lord in everything, and he carefully obeyed all the commands the Lord had given Moses.”

    All that about a man. Then….

    7 So the Lord was with him, and Hezekiah was successful in everything he did.

    It really sounds like the Lord is with him cuz he is making wise decisions. Why flip this around all the time to match our presuppositional theology?

    Calvinism: “I sure hope I get infused with a special dose of faith and obedience like Hezekiah…but then again, I have no control on that anyway.”

    Non-Calvinism: “Let’s learn from Hezekiah’s example of obedience. What we do makes a difference! The Bible says so.”

    Like

  14. Daily NT reading… Acts 20

    28 “So guard yourselves and God’s people. Feed and shepherd God’s flock—his church, purchased with his own blood—over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as leaders. 29 I know that false teachers, like vicious wolves, will come in among you after I leave, not sparing the flock. 30 Even some men from your own group will rise up and distort the truth in order to draw a following. 31 Watch out! Remember the three years I was with you—my constant watch and care over you night and day, and my many tears for you.
    ————-

    Why are this “guard yourselves and God’s people” and “not sparing the flock” and “even some men from your own group will rise up and distort the truth” and “watch out” and “watch and care” …. if a determinist God has already locked it all in?

    Calvinism just renders meaningless so many passages!

    Like

  15. Daily reading in 2 Kings.

    20:1 About that time Hezekiah became deathly ill, and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to visit him. He gave the king this message: “This is what the Lord says: Set your affairs in order, for you are going to die. You will not recover from this illness.”

    2 When Hezekiah heard this, he turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, 3 “Remember, O Lord, how I have always been faithful to you and have served you single-mindedly, always doing what pleases you.” Then he broke down and wept bitterly.

    4 But before Isaiah had left the middle courtyard, this message came to him from the Lord: 5 “Go back to Hezekiah, the leader of my people. Tell him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your ancestor David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will heal you, and three days from now you will get out of bed and go to the Temple of the Lord. 6 I will add fifteen years to your life, and I will rescue you and this city from the king of Assyria.
    ———–

    How can anyone read this passage and remain a determinist??

    A. Isaiah tells him that the Lord says “you will not recover.” (not conditional…just the present plan of God)

    B. Hezekiah prays and “reminds” the Lord how faithful he has been.

    C. The Lord tells Hezekiah (and all of us readers) that He heard his prayer and and that He will change His mind and add 15 years to his life.

    I am not making this up. I am not cherry-picking 40-50 verses and making them say what I want.

    Every day the Word just rinses Calvinism away.

    Like

    1. FOH writes, “How can anyone read this passage and remain a determinist??
      A. Isaiah tells him that the Lord says “you will not recover.” (not conditional…just the present plan of God)
      B. Hezekiah prays and “reminds” the Lord how faithful he has been.
      C. The Lord tells Hezekiah (and all of us readers) that He heard his prayer and and that He will change His mind and add 15 years to his life.”

      How could one not be a determinist?? What is the purpose of this account? “Now these things happened as examples for us, that we should not crave evil things, as they also craved….Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” (1 Corinthians 10)

      So, what do we learn?
      – What God tells us is certain (God has determined it).
      – We should always be interacting with God on His terms.
      – God hears our prays and gives us the things He has promised.

      How much more deterministic can you get? When we ask for wisdom, God gives us wisdom as He promised. God has determined this outcome – It is certain. So it is with all God’s promised to His elect. “…seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.” “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God…” …on and on we could go.

      Now, we have the 1,000’s of verses to which FOH refers. Are they not certain and sure such that if a person were to do as God instructs, God would do as He has promised?

      Like

  16. More from 2 Kings

    21:1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. His mother was Hephzibah. 2 He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, following the detestable practices of the pagan nations that the Lord had driven from the land ahead of the Israelites…..5 He built these altars for all the powers of the heavens in both courtyards of the Lord’s Temple. 6 Manasseh also sacrificed his own son in the fire. He practiced sorcery and divination, and he consulted with mediums and psychics. He did much that was evil in the Lord’s sight, arousing his anger.
    ————–

    Does this look in any way like this is the “will of God”?

    Calvinists would teach us that these “detestable practices of the pagan nations that the Lord had driven from the land” —all this evil that aroused the Lord’s anger—- was really God’s divine decree.

    Not only does that contradict Scripture, and make a mockery of Scripture, but it leaves us with no purpose and direction.

    Of course we may be offered some explanation such as, “Calvinists believe God stood by and allowed Israel to do this…” but this is the non-Calvinist response. Determinism cannot state that. It must —- and indeed does—- state that God willed/ desired/ decreed/ wanted/ planned/ gets glory from all this child sacrifice.

    Like

    1. FOH writes, “Calvinists would teach…was really God’s divine decree.”

      Shouldn’t everyone do so. God could have intervened to gain a different outcome but had decided in eternity past that He would not. Even if God were making decisions on the fly, He could have still altered the outcome. That which God did expressed His will – in this case, “…that these “detestable practices of the pagan nations that the Lord had driven from the land” —all this evil that aroused the Lord’s anger—- was really God’s divine decree.” Is there another explanation??

      Then, “Not only does that contradict Scripture, and make a mockery of Scripture, but it leaves us with no purpose and direction.”

      How so? “I know that the LORD is great, And that our Lord is above all gods. Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.” So, it pleased the Lord to let Manasseh do evil.

      Then, ““Calvinists believe God stood by and allowed Israel to do this…” but this is the non-Calvinist response. Determinism cannot state that.”

      God does nothing, even standing by and doing nothing except at the counsel of His will. Thus, to do nothing is God’s will. Why not just agree that it is the correct explanation since both Calvinists and non-Calvinists appeal to it..

      Like

  17. Thanks for this wonderful read on this specific topic Mr. Flowers. I was seriously dabbling with becoming a full-adhering Calvinist several years ago. Looking back it was mostly because I was enamored with Drs. John MacArthur, Steve Lawson, & R.C. Sproul (I still greatly respect them for their faithfulness in a lot of ways). It was in fact this very issue you quoted from Dr. Sproul that began to get my mind to rethink the whole matter. When I first read Dr. Sproul saying that regeneration precedes faith I began to have some doubts because like you laid out with the example verses, I truly believed Scripture taught otherwise. Then one time during a Q&A I heard Dr. Sproul actual state that this idea of regeneration preceding faith was more of a logical one than exegetical. That was a major turn-off to me at that point that began to lead me back away from Calvinism. Thanks for this and your ministry. God Bless.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Great personal testimony DB!

      Yes…. it is mostly “logical” (from philosophy) than it is exegetical (from Scripture). They must take some philosophical foundational positions based on their presuppositions, namely:

      –How God “must be” (their definitions of sovereignty, omniscience)

      –That man is “too-dead” to respond.

      –That God’s invitations are not really sincere since He has not quickened most of the people He invites.

      There no mystery why the T is their first doctrinal statement. If you take for a given that man is “too-dead” (total depravity, unable to hear) —-then the rest needs to happen. Of course this idea makes a mockery of hundreds of verses (listed my Leighton, Brian, me, and others on this page).

      But no matter. Based on 2-3 verses that they interpret to imply that man is too-dead they scaffold the rest of the rickety philosophy.

      Like

    2. DB,

      Brother, and that is precisely what we have to do. Discern.

      I how no doubt that folks like Sproul, MacArthur, and Piper mean well. I really believe their hearts are in the right place. But, regrettably, they allowed themselves to be “pulled in” to a corrupt theology.

      It is my hope and prayer that more Calvinists will challenge “the status quo” and do the same. Its like once the believer is willing (and that’s the key) to see just one flaw within their system, then the floodgates start to open up.

      Blessings.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Third daily reflection from 2 Kings

    21:7 Manasseh even made a carved image of Asherah and set it up in the Temple, the very place where the Lord had told David and his son Solomon: “My name will be honored forever in this Temple and in Jerusalem—the city I have chosen from among all the tribes of Israel. 8 If the Israelites will be careful to obey my commands—all the laws my servant Moses gave them—I will not send them into exile from this land that I gave their ancestors.” 9 But the people refused to listen, and Manasseh led them to do even more evil than the pagan nations that the Lord had destroyed when the people of Israel entered the land.
    ———————

    A. Manasseh made the images in the very place where the Lord planned to honor His name.

    B. The Lord says “if the Israelites will be careful….” (very conditional sounding)

    C. But the people refused. Refused what? Refused to do what God wanted. In fact they were “even more evil than the pagan nations that the Lord had destroyed.”

    What says “All this was God’s desired/ decreed plan all along” to you?

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Brian,
    Gonna need your help for a second.

    I know we are primarily discussing TULIP on these pages. But the idea of determinism comes up also.

    Now we all now that rhutchin can speak both sides of any argument without blinking, and that he must not have kids (to allow someone to do something and to force/ decree/ ordain someone are different things)…. but still I feel like other readers need clarification.

    Determinism says that all that happens is by God’s immutable, unchangeable decree (puppets, or a pre-cut video).

    Others believe that “it pleased God” to create a world where men would / could/ might choose to do wrong (like any parent does when he has kids).

    Now after all these years and all this ink we hear, “So, it pleased the Lord to let Manasseh do evil.”

    I’m confused cuz that sounds like Manasseh had a choice in the matter, and if he did, like Josiah (soon after), and did right, the Lord would record in His word that he did right. Letting men (women) do right or wrong then gives God berth to say He is “angered” or “pleased” with their actions.

    Now, determinists come along and co-opt our position that God can be pleased or angered at the free actions of a human….. when a true determinist position is that God pulled all the strings and decreed every action. ((Every action was planned and decreed by Him and Him being angry is only anthropomorphic)).

    A man designs a sports car (or hunting rifle) and is pleased to see it purchased and used in the appropriate fashion (knowing that it might be misused). When it is misused the designer is saddened, even angered.

    Another designer has the ability to make people hurt others with his designed object. He makes them misuse it and hurt others. He says he is angered while all the while being the one making it happen.

    I feel like we have been around the block a hundred times on this. Mostly what we get is “sleeping in class” remarks, when we try to stick to the determinist’s own definition of reformed-determinism.

    So, what am I missing Brian?

    Like

    1. You are not missing anything FOH, Roger is cleverly hiding his determinism and the logical culpability it places on God for Manasseh’s sins, by carefully wording his conclusion from Ps 135:6 that – “Whatever the LORD pleases, He does” – “So, it pleased the Lord to let Manasseh do evil.” Roger introduces freewill language – “let Manasseh do evil” which contradicts his all-encompassing determinism which has no “let” or actual permissive will within it.

      I also think Roger is stealthily breaking the law of logic concerning excluded middle. Let’s look at the verse Roger is getting his informal inference about Manasseh from – “I know that the LORD is great, And that our Lord is above all gods. Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.” (Ps 135:6). Roger has broken the law of logic concerning the excluded middle. He needs the premise – “God predestined eternally immutably everything” including making sure Manasseh does evil, for in determinism’s understanding God would not be pleased if Manasseh didn’t do evil.

      But that middle premise is not in the passage. The passage only says God does what He pleases, but not also He predestined everything. We actually would agree with Roger that God permits evil because He is pleased about something. We disagree on what that something is.

      The determinist tries to hijack the idea of God permitting evil, to which the determinist logically has no right, because he just wants to believe everything pleases God, even the (false) ideas of His determining of every sin and tormenting of every soul that ends up in hell. The determinist rejects the idea of God suffering disappointment, loss, grief or rejection based on freewill decisions of His creatures made in His image. It may be because they have remade God in their own controlling unmerciful image in these matters, imo.

      We, non-determinists, do believe God is “pleased” to permit Manasseh to do evil to make possible the greater benefit of covenant love in both Manasseh and others in Judah, and even among those reading his story today, when they are horrified by the evidence of his sinfulness, and then become able to see their own sinfulness in relation to it, leading them sufficiently, but not irresistibly, to an opportunity of repentance and everlasting salvation. God understands what it takes to break hardened hearts. But covenant love is only possible based on freewill and humble trust. The determinist has to reject this to remain loyal to his scholarly bedfellows.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Wow Brian!

        I knew I could appeal to you to flesh that out. It could /should be a future post on this blog.

        I have always believed that this is why the Scripture says in many place things like this:

        Heb 11:4 By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.

        Abel still speaks to us….. saying…. “be faithful!” “be obedient”!

        Speaking of Abel….how about Cain? He was told:

        Gen 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.

        Neither of those passages make any sense in a deterministic world, since these passages tell us we have choices….and we can make the right — or wrong—- one.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. And those examples your gave, FOH, tell us we have a God who is loving towards all He has made in His image,, even the Cains of this world. He is not wanting any to perish, but all to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth…

        But we know this divine love is only offered and this divine want is only fulfilled according to His sovereign plan to create covenant love relationships based on grace actively, personally, and freely received through humble faith. It is not a salvation eternally immutably decreed for a few whom He will manipulate their wills to irresistibly receive that salvation and then manipulate every other will according to an eternal immutable decree to irresistibly reject that salvation, and yet God will still torment them forever for that rejection. Not my God.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. brianwagner writes, “we know this divine love is only offered and this divine want is only fulfilled according to His sovereign plan to create covenant love relationships based on grace actively, personally, and freely received through humble faith.”

        Gee, everyone believes this. The issue is still the extent to which God must be involved and helping people to gain this outcome.

        Then, “It is not a salvation eternally immutably decreed for a few who He will manipulate their wills to irresistibly receive and then manipulate every other will according to an eternal immutable decree to irresistibly reject and yet still torment them forever for that rejection.”

        What if some people need this to be done if they are going to be saved – …”manipulate their wills to irresistibly receive…” – setting aside the “eternally immutably decreed” for the moment?

        Like

      4. Roger, of course determinists do not believe “grace actively, personally, and freely received”. You must not mean “everyone” when you say “everyone”. 😉

        They believe regeneration is passively received and also not “freely” by a libertarian freewill decision. And “God…helping” is a smokescreen for God causing a forced change of the will.

        No-one “needs” their will manipulated to produce a covenant love relationship with God, which can only exist through the expressions of humble faith. In fact, such manipulation can never produce such a relationship.

        I believe Calvinists think of God’s love with mankind sort of like a human’s love with a trained pet. As satisfying as that might feel in our culture, it is a poor and false substitute for the mutual human love that truly reflects God’s love for us.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. Brian,
        You are correct of course. I have discussed this many times with Calvinists and it is as though they have a glaze over their eyes. They live in the real world as if every choice they make has some importance (even discussing “urgency” and “strategy” when it comes to evangelism).

        In the theological world they use idealistic language like “Oh but it is true FOH; they are made alive by God so that they freely choose Him.”

        Of course the first making alive is totally passive. The “made-certain” “freely-choosing” is also passive since it is “made certain”.

        So all in all is it like you said…. a pet…. and not a personal, human relationship.

        Take Israel as the example. They would be born into it passively…. but many rebelled.

        Others (pagans) were grafted in by faith (Ruth, Rahab), and are even talked about as examples later. Kind of a “Come on reader! Be grafted into what God is doing by faith!”

        No impression in Hebrews 11 (or anywhere!) that any of the persons mentioned are acting with a “made certain” faith. That idea is brought to the text by Calvinists hundreds of times…. and used as a filter that alters a natural reading of the text.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Brian,

        Brother, I was reflecting on your second paragraph and how convoluted and distorted it must sound to the average layman. But when you “speak Calvin” it makes complete sense. 🙂

        I’m not sure if that is a blessing or a curse. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      7. brianwagner writes, “introduces freewill language – “let Manasseh do evil” which contradicts his all-encompassing determinism which has no “let” or actual permissive will within it.”

        By “determinism,” we mean that which the Scriptures describe (not the natural determinism that br.d often advocates). We define this determinism beginning in Genesis. God created (determined) the universe, and the physical laws operating in the universe. then, we come to Adam and Eve. God created then, giving them the ability to reason, to have affection for each other and for God, but not giving them complete knowledge; it was possible Satan to lie to them and they would not discern the lie. By reference to Job, we say that Satan could not enter the garden except God decreed that he be able to enter. God is present during all the events in the garden and could have intervened at any time to alter the outcome. God did not move Eve to eat the fruit, to offer the fruit to Adam or Adam to eat the fruit. God knew the outcomes even if all He could do was predict those outcomes, but there was certainly opportunity for God to intervene as events unfolded if He desired. Because God was in complete control of all that happened, it is legitimate to say that God determined all that happened. I do not see where your comment, “which has no “let” or actual permissive will within it,” is true. Where is there no “permissive will” expressed in God not intervening to prevent Adam’s disobedience?

        Then, “I also think Roger is stealthily breaking the law of logic concerning excluded middle.”

        I don’t see where the excluded middle fallacy applies here. Can you explain it better?

        Then, ‘He needs the premise – “God predestined eternally immutably everything” including making sure Manasseh does evil, for in determinism’s understanding God would not be pleased if Manasseh didn’t do evil. ”

        Let’s make it simple – God ordains everything – which even you must concede. God made sure Manasseh did evil by not stopping Manasseh even as Adam, Pharaoh, the Sodomites, etc. all did God’s pleasure – it pleased God not to stop the sin of people. If it had been God’s pleasure that Manasseh refuse to do evil, God could, and would, have intervened to prevent that evil. That God did not intervene is to say that it pleased God not to intervene so that “God would not be pleased if Manasseh didn’t do evil.” Let us not fear acknowledging that God has complete control over His creation and all that happens.

        Then, “The passage only says God does what He pleases…God permits evil because He is pleased about something. We disagree on what that something is.”

        The important part, “…God does what He pleases…God permits evil because He is pleased…” You seemed to argue against this conclusion in your comments.

        Then, “The determinist tries to hijack the idea of God permitting evil, to which the determinist logically has no right, because he just wants to believe everything pleases God, even the (false) ideas of His determining of every sin and tormenting of every soul that ends up in hell.’

        The Scriptural determinist says that God exercise absolute control over all that happens. Nothing can happen unless God first decree that it should happen. God decrees nothing that it is not His pleasure to decree; otherwise, He would not decree it. God is present when any sin is committed; God has the power to prevent any sin; no sin is consummated without God ordaining (determining) the sin. This is not an issue that relies on God being omniscient, so I don’t see how you can conclude otherwise.

        Then, “The determinist rejects the idea of God suffering disappointment, loss, grief or rejection based on freewill decisions of His creatures made in His image.”

        God is self-satisfied with Himself. he does not gain any satisfaction form His creation. Thus, nothing that happens in God’s creation can reduce God’s satisfaction through “disappointment, loss, grief or rejection.” If that were the case, then God, Himself, would not be the source of His satisfaction and He would not be satisfied fully in Himself – He would be a god who had to create in order to gain satisfaction. If that is the direction in which you want to go, then have at it.

        Then, “God understands what it takes to break hardened hearts.”

        So, can a person break his own hardened heart or must God do it? Can a person manufacture faith or must God give it to them? Must God convict a person of sin before such conviction can affect the person’s actions? Your last paragraph is so mushy as to say nothing of substance.

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      8. God is not “mushy” Roger when declaring who should break up the hardened heart, freely and humbly responding to God’s gracious call and the opportunity to do so. And that declaration is not a contradiction to some secret divine will that already has preset the outcome.

        Jeremiah 4:3-4 NKJV — For thus says the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem: “Break up your fallow ground, And do not sow among thorns. Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, And take away the foreskins of your hearts, You men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, Lest My fury come forth like fire, And burn so that no one can quench it, Because of the evil of your doings.”

        You continue to hide your determinism using present tense language … “God decrees.” You know God is not able to change what He decreed eternally immutably… which includes every sin and the torment of every person in hell before any other will than His was ever created. God is not presently decreeing anything in response to man’s freewill choices or even right before them in your theology.

        He is unable to go against His past made decree and now “control” by permitting or stopping freewill choices… because His decree made the existence of freewill choices impossible to exist. You want the privilege to profess they do in logical contradiction to you determinism, but you don’t have any right to do so.

        It is tough to converse with you when you refuse to use clear language to promote your position. As a friend, can I request that at least when you respond to me about determinism, you will only use the past tense when talking about the decrees/decree that you believe God made eternally immutably predestined from before creation, and will not say that He still decrees in the present tense? Thanks.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Brian,
        There really is so much contradiction in what he writes, and you see that and point it out. Thanks.

        Theologians (even non-Calvinists) constantly use the phrase…. “If that were the case, then God, Himself, would not be the….”

        Bringing yet another philosophical idea to the text. Kind of …”Of course God does not X or Y or Z….because we know that would mean…..”

        All brought to the text.

        God says hundreds of times in the text that He is pleased, angered, saddened, regretful….etc. All of these ideas are whisked away with some Greek understanding of “what God must be.” The Scripture is not allowed to speak, or is relegated to some sort of deceitful, anthropomorphism-laden riddle.

        Your point is important. For Calvinist-fatalists to pretend that God is interacting with man in a personal way in the present —-all the while holding that every dust particle has been immutably determined before creation—- is such a ruse.

        There is no “personal relationship” in that situation…. and they know it…. but they deny it since they want their cake and eat it too.

        Every moment that they deny it, they prove that it makes no real difference to be a Calvinist. They still feel that they make choices, that choices are important, that choices can change the outcome (“Don’t waste your life!!”), that we have to strategize so that we can ‘reason with,’ ‘win,’ and ‘persuade’ men to God.

        But I admit —openly and often—- that is “sounds” more pious to talk Calvinese. “Giving God all His glory.” I just got tired of ignoring most of Scripture in order to do so.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. FOH, I think psychologically they like the idea of a God that is already immutably set and locked in, who is never really going to respond differently that what He is limited to by His own eternal immutable decree. There is something comforting to our selfish flesh, imo, in being able to think whatever I end up doing today, even my sin, I know God is pleased… because He eternally immutably decreed it for His glory.

        But it is a clear rejection of Scripture speaking the truth in historical narrative… especially all the verses that speak of God being provoked to wrath. The determinist has to lie about those passages and say that God’s feelings never change or even that they never even exist, but God’s Word is speaking “anthropomorphically” in those HISTORY passages. In other words… Bible history lies to us. Maybe Jesus didn’t really rise from the dead physically either… but that is just an anthropomorphic expression in that historical narrative!

        I refuse to reject the truth of Scripture clearly revealing the things that are important to believe and practice… but every faulty theology has to find a way to undercut the clarity of Scripture for what it says in opposition to their chosen dogmas.

        Liked by 1 person

      11. Brian,
        Yes….there are hundreds of passages (in lots of books of the Bible and types of biblical genres) saying some sort of:

        “Because you did this I will now do this…”

        “You have provoked my anger….”

        “I asked you to do this, but you did this…..”

        “I expected this…. but you gave me this….”

        “If you had X, I would have Y…but you didnt so now I will….”

        EVERY one of these passages are dismissed/ ignored by Calvinists. Any new believer / reader takes these passages to mean what they say…. until he is taught —– “they cannot mean that, since ‘we know what God must be’ and that does not fit.”

        Of course, as pointed out on these pages many times that just mocks God’s word and make it deceptive.

        He did not REALLY “do this because you did that” since He planned both things (their rejection and His “anger”) all along. But the minute we bring this up they get the megaphone out and declare that we are “liberal” and that we dont believe God is Sovereign or Omniscient. Name-calling, brow beating, and ad hominems follow.

        I just want to let God’s word tell us who He is—- not presuppositional philosophy.

        Liked by 1 person

      12. FOH writes, “EVERY one of these passages are dismissed/ ignored by Calvinists.”

        Given that you claim to have been a “Calvinist” at some point in your life, you know that you have made a false statement (presuming that you were not sleeping in class that day or that you have just forgotten what was taught). We know that God has given us specific promises – “If you had X, I would have Y…but you didn’t so now I will….” For example, if you lack wisdom, do this; seek first God’s kingdom and God will do Y; how much more will God give good things to those who do X; “Now it shall be, if you will diligently obey the LORD your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you will obey the LORD your God;” “So all these curses shall come on you and pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you would not obey the LORD your God by keeping His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you.”

        God in many places guarantees that He will reward people who do X by doing Y. Somehow, in your muddled thinking, this argues against Calvinism. Is it any wonder that your claims of having been a Calvinist seem more imagination than reality?

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      13. brianwagner writes, “You know God is not able to change what He decreed eternally immutably…”

        We both know that God is not able to change what He decrees/decreed regardless the timing of that decree. In addition, we both know that God’s decrees are the same whether made in eternity past or in present time – a present day decree is no more than the restatement of a past decree.. Whatever God decrees under your system is the same as He decreed under my system, so I don’t see any confusion between the two. While FOH may get confused about Calvinist Theology, I don’t think you are.

        Then, ‘He is unable to go against His past made decree and now “control” by permitting or stopping freewill choices… because His decree made the existence of freewill choices impossible to exist.”

        Could you explain how you think God’s decrees made Adam’s free will impossible to exist. What do you see as the specific decree(s) that God made that voided Adam’s free will?

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      14. Brian, Brian….
        With the patience of Christ you stay with it.

        It is this very dogmatic, brought-to-the-text speech that I have been referring to….

        —-(rhutchin) We both know that God is not able to change what He decrees/decreed regardless the timing of that decree. In addition, we both know that God’s decrees are the same whether made in eternity past or in present time – a present day decree is no more than the restatement of a past decree.. —–

        Just assuming something to be true (that is never even hinted at in the Bible) and building on it…. will not bring a good outcome.

        However, we can listen to the very speech of God when He clearly says (Jer 18):

        7 If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, 8 and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. 9 And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, 10 and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.

        Liked by 1 person

      15. “7 If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, 8 and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned.
        9 And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, 10 and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.”

        A great promise by God. But universally treated with contempt by those who heard it.

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      16. Roger, you continue that cognitive dissonance that your view and mine have exactly the same outcomes, even though you constantly disagree with the specific outcomes that I say are playing out in this world according to God’s plan. Interesting.

        I am also surprised at your lack of memory concerning my answers to questions similar to your last one – “What do you see as the specific decree(s) that God made that voided Adam’s free will”? I doubt you will accept any further answer, because I just think you are now just deflecting by asking again.

        Contra-causal free choice does not exist in a fully predestined immutable world. That, my friend, is a logical tautology, that you must reject to feel good about your loyalty to determinism. Changing the definition of “free” in “free will” is not going to help.

        Take the last word in this thread. Thanks for using the past tense – “decreed” in you last post to reflect your view.

        Liked by 1 person

      17. brianwagner writes, “you continue that cognitive dissonance that your view and mine have exactly the same outcomes, even though you constantly disagree with the specific outcomes that I say are playing out in this world according to God’s plan.”

        I don’t remember disagreeing on specific outcomes. We do disagree on whether God is disappointed etc. with people’s choices but that is a different issue. How could we disagree on specific outcomes – we both have God making decisions based on the same information. Would you be up for giving me an example.

        Then, “I am also surprised at your lack of memory concerning my answers to questions similar to your last one – “What do you see as the specific decree(s) that God made that voided Adam’s free will”?”

        I did a search on “Adam” in this thread and did not find anything you said that fits. Guess you were thinking of a different thread

        Then, “Contra-causal free choice does not exist in a fully predestined immutable world.”

        Contra-causal free choice is rare in a world not fully predestined immutable.

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    2. FOH writes, “Determinism says that all that happens is by God’s immutable, unchangeable decree (puppets, or a pre-cut video).”

      Didn’t you go to Calvinist school?? Let’s take a present day example. God knows what you will do tomorrow. That is because God sustains your life including all your desires. Your desires determine what you will do tomorrow. God also determines what you will do because of His foreknowledge of your actions which reflect His decree to close doors, etc. or His decree that you should be free to do exactly what you desire. Your actions are consistent with your desires so that you determine your actions and God, through His sovereignty, also determines what you will do because you cannot act on your desires unless God agrees. Now, go back to eternity past, and God already knows all this. You are not a puppet because God does not force your desires on you – except that He doesn’t fix what Adam broke.

      Then, “…we hear, “So, it pleased the Lord to let Manasseh do evil.” I’m confused cuz that sounds like Manasseh had a choice in the matter,…”

      You have forgotten so much since Calvinist school, assuming you were a bright kid. Manasseh had a choice – but that choice was limited to doing this evil or that evil. His strongest desire prevailed. Then God decides if He will accept that evil or close the door on it. In all a person’s actions, the person self-determines what he will do. However, God is sovereign so the person’s will is subordinate to God’s will – meaning that God can always close the door on any action a person desires to pursue. Of course, all this was finalized in eternity past.

      Then, “Now, determinists come along and co-opt our position that God can be pleased or angered at the free actions of a human….. when a true determinist position is that God pulled all the strings and decreed every action.’

      The true determinist position based on the Scriptures does not have God pulling the strings to force a person to act. It has God imposing His will on a person even as the person strives to do whatever he desires. In most cases, God chooses/decrees not to impede the freedom of a person to do what he desires.

      Then, “Mostly what we get is “sleeping in class” remarks,…”

      I have offered two other possibilities.

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    1. RCP,
      Are you referring to this:

      A. Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God’s grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace.
      ———————-
      It says that regeneration is becoming a new creature in Christ. (Calvinist says regeneration is bringing the too-dead person alive so that they can then have faith, repent, and be made a new creature).

      It is poorly worded imo. The second sentence should come first. The HS convicts, the sinner responds in repentance and faith. He then experiences the new birth.

      I have asked this question many times of Calvinist and not rec’d a response. Those who seek the Lord at Bible studies (sometimes for years) —are they regenerated? They would have to be (according to Calvinists) to even “seek” or ask biblical questions (otherwise how can they in their too-dead condition?).

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      1. FOH writes, “They would have to be (according to Calvinists) to even “seek” or ask biblical questions (otherwise how can they in their too-dead condition?).”

        Not exactly. Jesus had much interaction with the Jews who asked many questions and were seeking to discover the authority He had to do the things He was doing. In John 6, Jesus responded to the crowds, “Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves, and were filled.” The people were seeking Christ in the same manner that people can seek Christ today. At the end, we read this, “As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew, and were not walking with Him anymore.” In Romans 1, we have this testimony, “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.”

        We do have Paul’s testimony in Romans 3, “We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. As it is written: “There is no-one righteous, not even one; there is no-one who understands, no-one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless;”

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    2. RCP,
      Or are you referring to this….

      Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is the glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility.
      ————————————————–

      “It is consistent with the free agency of man” ….. but it does sound like the author might want to keep it vague enough to have his cake and eat it too.

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      1. FOH… “a work of God’s grace whereby believers become…” sounds like one must be a believer first before the grace starts doing its work. Discussion of regeneration in the section in the Holy Spirit seems to confirm this.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. ruraletc writes, “The BFM 2000 teaches that regeneration precedes faith.”

      Let’s say that it is a little wishy washy. In Section 5 – God’s Grace; it has, “Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners.” This same order appears in Section 4 – Salvation. Given that order, regeneration comes before “justifies,” but doesn’t say where faith fits in. At least, it has regeneration and faith preceding salvation (i.e., justifies). If faith precedes regeneration then we have faith regeneration justifies and that makes Romans 5 a little confusing, “…having been justified by faith,…” but it could work.

      Under Section c – God the Holy Spirit, it has, “Through illumination He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He calls men to the Saviour, and effects regeneration.” The vehicle for calling people to Christ is the preaching of the gospel that, coincidentally, is the vehicle for conveying faith. One is able to read either position into this.

      Then, it has, “At the moment of regeneration He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ….He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption.” If we have two unique events, “baptizes every believer,” and “seals the believer,” then that would seem to put regeneration first because of Ephesians 1, “…you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation–having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise…”

      Then, under the Salvation section, we read, “A. Regeneration…s a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace. ” I read this as putting regeneration – through conviction of sin – as the initiative for a response in faith.

      Alos, under the Salvation section, we have, “C. Sanctification is the experience, beginning in regeneration, by which the believer is set apart to God’s purposes,…” One can easily read this as coming after faith, but it still allows for different views on “beginning in regeneration.”

      Overall, I think the framers of the BFM 2000 were careful to provide the ability for people to see whatever they wanted to see on the regeneration/faith issue.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. I haven’t commented for a while, but I just can’t help myself with this one.

    Rhutchin Writes – “Let’s make it simple – God ordains everything – which even you must concede. God made sure Manasseh did evil by not stopping Manasseh even as Adam, Pharaoh, the Sodomites, etc. all did God’s pleasure – it pleased God not to stop the sin of people. If it had been God’s pleasure that Manasseh refuse to do evil, God could, and would, have intervened to prevent that evil. That God did not intervene is to say that it pleased God not to intervene so that “God would not be pleased if Manasseh didn’t do evil.” Let us not fear acknowledging that God has complete control over His creation and all that happens”

    “God would not be pleased if Manasseh didn’t do evil.”

    I mean……..this guy Rhutchin has got to be kidding right?

    So what Rhutchin is saying if I am understanding him correctly is – Whatever wicked, detestable, abomination which God abhors that comes to pass is God’s will because God didn’t stop it. Or as Rhutchin says – God would not be pleased if all these wicked men didn’t do evil.

    Letting something happen does not equal wanting that something to happen. “Letting” does not equal “ordaining”

    Let – To permit; to allow; to suffer; to give leave or power by a positive act, or negatively, to withhold restraint; not to prevent. Websters 1828.

    Ordain – Properly, to set; to establish in a particular office or order; hence, to invest with a ministerial function or sacerdotal power; to introduce and establish or settle in the pastoral office with the customary forms and solemnities. Websters 1828.

    It’s easy to see and understand the difference………however Rhutchin will not see it. That I can be sure of!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. DG writes, “Letting something happen does not equal wanting that something to happen.”

      Why not? If you had the ability to prevent X and you did nothing to prevent X, then I conclude that you wanted X to happen. If you really did not want X to happen, you would have stopped X from happening. Did not Christ say, “…you will know them by their fruits.” You argue one position with words of indignation but then turn around and do that which you claim to abhor. Actions speak louder than words, as the proverb says.

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      1. Rhutchin, are you saying God cannot let something happen that he never intended to happen? If you don’t think think God is capable of this then you have a very low view of God’s sovereignty.

        I guess that’s why you blame God for intending all evil because you do not believe he is capable of letting evil happen without intending it.

        I suppose that’s what happens when you don’t believe God is able to give his creation responsibility for their free will actions.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. DG writes, “re you saying God cannot let something happen that he never intended to happen? If you don’t think think God is capable of this then you have a very low view of God’s sovereignty.”

        The term “sovereignty,” is specific and there is no “high view ” or “low view.” Nothing can happen unless God decides that it will happen. Thus, Satan cannot enter the garden or molest Job without God first decreeing it. Nobody does anything and nothing happens without God’s decree. Unless you explain how you define sovereignty, no one will know. So, perhaps you can explain your view of sovereignty.

        Then, “I guess that’s why you blame God for intending all evil because you do not believe he is capable of letting evil happen without intending it.”

        I don’t blame God for anything; I attribute all things to God who works all things after the counsel of His will. Nothing happens unless God intends, thereby decrees, it to happen. There is no way around this.

        Then, “I suppose that’s what happens when you don’t believe God is able to give his creation responsibility for their free will actions.”

        In the exercise of His sovereignty, God can certainly give His creation freedom to behave as they want. Did not God give Satan freedom to molest Job and to tempt Eve? Does not God give Satan freedom to travel the world like a roaring lion? How could Satan do these things without God saying that he could? In Deuteronomy 28, God spells out what He will do if Israel obeys or disobeys Him – then He gives Israel freedom to do as it wants. So, it is today. God tells you that He will give you wisdom when you ask; if you don’t ask, you don’t get wisdom.

        That God can exercise His sovereignty any way He wants does not detract from His sovereignty – necessarily, God is always in control of what happens.

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      3. Being in control of everything that happens is not the same as being at the controls of everything that happens.

        Can God choose not to be in control of something? Of course I believe he can because He is God and can do whatever He pleases. Whereas you seem to think this is impossible for God.

        Your faulty reasoning leads you to attribute every evil wicked thing that comes to pass to God’s good pleasure.

        Where in the bible does it say that God decreed that Satan will molest Job?

        It says in my bible
        “And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord.”
        ‭‭Job‬ ‭1:12‬ ‭

        It sounds like He “let” Satan do it. Not “decreed”. Notice he didn’t give detailed instructions to Satan “only upon himself put not forth thine hand”

        You could say the same for anything. For instance God could “let” me commit a wicked act. Just because God let me doesn’t say he “decreed” it to come to pass and wanted it to come to pass. He “let” it come to pass because He is a good God and gives people responsibility. If God didn’t give responsibility then no wickedness would happen.

        I’ll let the dictionary define “sovereignty”so you cannot refute it –
        1. Supreme in power; possessing supreme dominion; as a sovereign ruler of the universe.

        2. Supreme; superior to all others; chief. God is the sovereign good of all who love and obey him.

        3. Supremely efficacious; superior to all others; predominant; effectual; as a sovereign remedy.

        4. Supreme; pertaining to the first magistrate of a nation; as sovereign authority.

        Websters 1828.

        Funny that, it says nothing about determinism or the way Calvinists like to define it.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. DG writes, “Being in control of everything that happens is not the same as being at the controls of everything that happens.”

        As sovereign, God is both in control and at the controls of all that happens.

        Then, “Can God choose not to be in control of something? Of course I believe he can…”

        You are not arguing against God’s control here; you are arguing the extent to which God controls events. God cannot choose not to be sovereign – not to be in control; God can choose how much He will control directly any event. For example, God directly causes the flood of Noah, the confusion of languages at Babel, the impregnation of Mary, etc. God does not impel Eve to eat the fruit, David to jump into bed with Bathsheba, or the Jews to stone Stephan. Those events occur right in front of God’s eyes (so to speak) and God is both in control and at the controls. It is God’s decision to exercise His power to prevent the event or to do nothing and allow natural forces to play out. God’s decision in these cases is a decree by Him – He decrees to intervene or not to intervene..

        Then, “Your faulty reasoning leads you to attribute every evil wicked thing that comes to pass to God’s good pleasure.”

        All events, including evil events are under God’s absolute control so that God is in control of such events. If God can prevent any evil event and does not prevent that evil event, it is because God has chosen not to do so. All choices made by God tell us that God is pleased to have that event occur. If not, then God would have acted to prevent that event.

        Then, “You could say the same for anything. For instance God could “let” me commit a wicked act. Just because God let me doesn’t say he “decreed” it to come to pass and wanted it to come to pass. He “let” it come to pass because He is a good God and gives people responsibility. If God didn’t give responsibility then no wickedness would happen. ”

        What is your definition of “let”? You have produced an imaginary argument that says that God “lets” things happen rather than decree and this requires that you define what you mean by “let.” Because God is sovereign, there is no inherent difference between “let” and “decree” as the definitions you cite affirm. So, what difference are you trying to make here?? What, in your argument is the difference between “God lets,” and “God decrees”?

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      5. It’s not hard Rhutchin. “Let” means exactly what the word definition says it means, and it doesn’t mean “decree”. Decree means decree and let means let. That is why they are two separate words because they have different meanings…….It’s just weird that you cannot see this. I don’t know how to be any clearer on this matter.

        I think your problem maybe that you cannot make the distinction even when it is glaringly obvious. Or just downright refuse to make the distinction.

        Thanks for another prime example of your faulty reasoning.
        You say – “If God can prevent any evil event and does not prevent that evil event, it is because God has chosen not to do so. All choices made by God tell us that God is pleased to have that event occur”

        So when a rape happens God is pleased is he? So when a drunk gets behind the wheel of a car and mows down an innocent pedestrian God is pleased is he? When a man straps a bomb to his back and runs into a kindergarten and blows them all up God is pleased is he?

        I can tell you Rhutchin, and I will keep telling you until the cows come home that God hates this stuff; I said God HATES this stuff!
        It saddens me brother that you think that “God is pleased to have these events occur”. All because you cannot make a distinction between the words “let” and “decree”.

        Liked by 2 people

      6. Damon,
        Rats. Your post reminds me that I forgot something.

        I just posted that Calvinists spend their whole effort declaring that Christ did not die for 90+% of the world (good news!).

        I forgot that is only half of what they go to battle for. The other half is to declare that God delights in bombs strapped to maniacs who run into kindergartens. Also good new!

        Liked by 1 person

      7. FOH writes, “I just posted that Calvinists spend their whole effort declaring that Christ did not die for 90+% of the world (good news!).”

        Actually, Calvinists say that God never intended to save each and every person in the world. You make up the percentages – don’t you?

        Then, “God delights in bombs strapped to maniacs who run into kindergartens.”

        At least, we agree that God is present and watching as it happens and doesn’t stop it. I guess we disagree whether God “delights” in not preventing that which He could prevent.

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      8. DG writes, ““Let” means exactly what the word definition says it means, and it doesn’t mean “decree”. Decree means decree and let means let. That is why they are two separate words because they have different meanings…….”

        That’s fine. Under your theology, where God is sovereign, how does “let” differ from “decree”? Either word can be used to describe an action God takes – God can “let” X occur or God can :decree” that X occur. What is the difference??

        Then, “So when a rape happens God is pleased is he?”

        The rape occurs in front of God who sees everything that is happening and knows the thoughts of the victim and perpetrator throughout the ordeal. God could stop the rape but makes a conscious choice to “let” it happen. God’s choice is according to the counsel of His will. Calvinists say that God’s decisions reflect His pleasure – it pleased God to allow the rape lese He would have stepped in and stopped it. (For Biran’s benefit, we understand that all this played out in eternity past in God’s mind and God not executes, in time, the decisions He made at that point.)

        Then, “God hates this stuff; I said God HATES this stuff!”

        I agree, God hates all sin. At the same time, God is pleased to “let” sin take occur – God decided that sin would accomplish His purposes, so He does not stop sin.

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      9. Roger, you said, – “…we understand that all this played out in eternity past in God’s mind….”

        You want to sound, it seems to me, like a Molinist, as if God chooses what is played out in His mind by others, as if He’s a innocent observer. His decree created that “played out”. He is responsible and culpable for that rape happening… logically… and not the rapist who was created in God’s mind by God’s so-called decree.

        And there is in Calvinism no more real ability for God to stop that rape against His own decree as there is, they think, any real ability in an unregenerate person to trust in God’s mercy.

        Liked by 2 people

      10. brianwagner writes, “You want to sound, it seems to me, like a Molinist, as if God chooses what is played out in His mind by others,…”

        We don’t know the mind of God but I think Molinism offers a means for us to visualize the completeness of God’s knowledge about what we now see happening. If we go back into eternity past, we cannot pick a point before which God is considering what to do and after which he has decided what to do. We think in terms of boundaries – the universe has a boundary; God has a boundary – and we think in terms of time, past present and future. None of this exists with God. I agree with those who say that there is no past, present or future with God and no boundaries. God describes Himself as “I am,” and we fill in the gaps based on our limitations. I don’t think we can deny that God can think logically and visualize a sequence of events, one precipitating the next. We cannot separate God’s thinking about sequences from His other thoughts and put them in sequential order. Everything occurs at once in God’s mind, and we put logical order to what God thinks because we think in logical order.

        Then, “…as if He’s a innocent observer.”

        God cannot be an innocent observer. God creates, sustains everything that he creates, and intervenes in whatever events occur. God is always an intimate participant in His creation – never oblivious or unconcerned.

        Then, “His decree created that “played out”. He is responsible and culpable for that rape happening… logically… and not the rapist who was created in God’s mind by God’s so-called decree.”

        Not exactly. God created people to be self-determining. God did not have to think for Adam; Adam could think for himself. Adam could learn, reason from what he knew, and made decisions about his behavior based on his reasoning. God could be hands-off giving Adam freedom to do as he desired or saw fit (as when Adam ate the fruit) or God could jump in and change things (as when God kicked Adam out of the garden). Everything plays out according to God’s decisions to let everything play out naturally or change the scenario.

        Then, “And there is in Calvinism no more real ability for God to stop that rape against His own decree…”

        Same as in you system. Once God decrees not to stop the rape, He will not change that decree.

        Then, “…as there is, they think, any real ability in an unregenerate person to trust in God’s mercy.”

        Not without faith – Correct??

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      11. God revealed the truth of His eternality, not in the title “I am” that neo-platonists try to grasp to support the pagan concept of “timeless” as a contradictory description of reality that Scripture consistently and comprehensively describes as sequential for God and man.

        Reality comes from His nature and He clearly describes His eternality as sequential, “from everlasting to everlasting”… “who was and is and is to come”. But determinists ask us to reject clear Scriptures again. They would rather trust the “scholarliness” of pagan philosophers and the fawning scholars of Christianity who through the centuries bowed at the altar of those philosophers in forming their own theology.

        Liked by 1 person

      12. Brian,
        Yes, we all encounter this “given” that “God is outside of time.” RH states it as fact (no biblical proof) and that is the problem. We come with so much Greek philosophy to the Bible.

        In his recent post (about seeing heinous evil in the world—which is ordained by God and “pleases” God according to him) he says we should “be proactive and start petitioning God to do something.”

        There is an element of disconnect. God ordained it and is pleased by it (and of course decreed it immutably before time began —no change accepted) but we are to petition him “to do something.”

        Of course He obvious answer to any petitioner in that case….. “I am doing something, so quit whining.” Or better yet…. “This is what I planned; how dare you pray against it.”

        Or better yet… “I am pleased by this evil….but ordaining (immutably decreeing) you to pray against it… so I can say no.”

        It is all so much artificially staged theatrics.

        Liked by 4 people

      13. brianwagner writes, “God revealed the truth of His eternality, not in the title “I am”…”

        I was looking for a “BUT….” and then some statement of how/where God reveled His eternality. So, I guess that comes in your next paragraph. It was a nice intro.

        Then, ‘Reality comes from His nature.”

        I take you to mean, “The reality of His eternality comes from His nature.” Then you go off on your sequential time tangent that you love to do.

        Then, ‘determinists ask us to reject clear Scriptures again.”

        Not exactly. Determinists , especially that subset known as Calvinists, do not ask that we reject clear Scripture, but that we consider all Scripture. So, the “I am” Scripture should be included in the Scriptures that we consider to discover that which God has made known to us. God describes himself as the everlasting God, everlasting light, everlasting rock. The point is that there is never a point where God is not. If that is not mindblowing, I don’t know what is. God is from “everlasting to everlasting” that God shortens to “I am.” However, what does “everlasting to everlasting” mean when God has no beginning nor an ending. Are we talking a two-, three-, four-, or other dimensional references or all at once. The point of the phrase is not to convey anything about time or sequence as time and sequence aren’t even factors unless you are thinking of everlasting before He creates the world and everlasting after He creates the world. How can you even measure time prior to the creation when only God is and there is way to institute a time keeping system? The phrases to which you give such importance are like looking at the moon in the night sky and trying to figure out the universe. Much fodder for imagination.

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      14. Nice try Roger… I do wonder why you start replying before reading the whole argument… it shows a weakness in wisdom, imo 😉 … It seems close to what Solomon said – Pro 18:13 NKJV – He who answers a matter before he hears [it], It [is] folly and shame to him.

        Liked by 1 person

      15. brianwagner writes, “I do wonder why you start replying before reading the whole argument…”

        Actually, I read it about 5 times and still didn’t know where you were going or exactly what you were arguing – other than it related to your usual time/sequence thing. Sorry, but it was above my head – I did the best I could do.

        Liked by 1 person

      16. You agree with me that God hates all sin, but in the next breath say “Calvinists say that God’s decisions reflect His pleasure – it pleased God to allow the rape”.

        I don’t think it “pleased” God to allow the rape. It would GRIEVE God to allow the rape.

        Liked by 1 person

      17. DG,
        You are working from the paradigm that God does not always get what he wants (like it says in the Bible). You are taking the Bible at its word when God says things like…

        I wanted you to …but you did not.

        I expected you to….but you did not.

        If only you had….but you chose to do….

        If my people had….I would have ….

        Saul, I would have made your family rule forever but you did not…

        (Christ) O Jersalem….. I would have gathered you …..but you would not

        Hundreds and hundreds of verses like this in God’s Word tell us what He is like. Likely that is your paradigm (as that is the one that most Bible readers naturally find).

        Their paradigm is that God ALWAYS gets what He wants and that all that happens is what God want. They have no other choice but to say that God decrees/ ordains/ delights in/ agrees with/ is pleased with/ plans/ wills all evil, rape, violence, and torture.

        Another irony is that all the while He is “ordaining and willing” all that, He is telling us not to.

        Liked by 1 person

      18. FOH writes, “You are working from the paradigm that God does not always get what he wants (like it says in the Bible). You are taking the Bible at its word when God says things like…
        I wanted you to …but you did not.”

        The context for the verses you cite is that God says what He wants people to do by choice and then gives them freedom to choose whetehr they will do what God wants (complicated by the sin nature with which they are born). This is the “let” side of God’s decrees.

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      19. DG writes, “I don’t think it “pleased” God to allow the rape.”

        Then we have a semantic argument in describing God’s actions with regard to sin. We agree on God’s involvement in sin.

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      20. I’ll let you petition that one to God on your own. I hope it goes well for you.

        I refuse to involve God in sin.

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      21. DG writes, “I refuse to involve God in sin.”

        LOL!!! Even you cannot dispute that sin takes place right in front of God and God has the power to stop any sin He wants. There is no way you can remove God’s involvement in sin. Unless you are delusional.

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      22. DG writes, “I will let you take that one up with God”

        God has already taken this up with us: “…there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.’ (Hebrews 4) You do not deny this even though it’s something you don’t want to believe.

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      23. Damon,
        Of course most of us on this thread would agree with you that there is a difference between “let” and “force/decree/ordain/orchestrate”. I am afraid, at this point that your discussion with RH will be in vain. So many people have laid out verse upon verse and logic only to go around in circles.

        RH is demonstrating that he must have no kids. Any of my kids who came to me and said, “Hey you let me do this Mom and Dad, so you must have ‘willed/decreed’ me to do it,” would get a quick lesson in logic from me!

        Anyway, Tozer agrees with you too as seen by the quote below.

        “Here is my view: God sovereignly decreed that man should be free to exercise moral choice, and man from the beginning has fulfilled that decree by making his choice between good and evil. When he chooses to do evil, he does not thereby countervail the sovereign will of God but fulfills it, inasmuch as the eternal decree decided not which choice the man should make but that he should be free to make it. If in His absolute freedom God has willed to give man limited freedom, who is there to stay His hand or say, “What doest thou?” Man’s will is free because God is sovereign. A God less than sovereign could not bestow moral freedom upon His creatures. He would be afraid to do so.”

        Liked by 1 person

      24. FOH writes, “Of course most of us on this thread would agree with you that there is a difference between “let” and “force/decree/ordain/orchestrate”.”

        The problem here is that no one can define a difference between “let” and “decree” for one who is sovereign. As God is sovereign, all His acts – whether acts of comission or acts of omission – are decrees. God is as responsible for what He does as for what He does not do – that is the force of sovereignty.

        Then, “Any of my kids who came to me and said, “Hey you let me do this Mom and Dad, so you must have ‘willed/decreed’ me to do it,” would get a quick lesson in logic from me!”

        Such ignorance. Your child does X right in front of you and you make no effort to stop him when it is within your power to do so. He is right to conclude that you were OK with what he was doing. What logic (or argument) voids that conclusion?

        Tozer’s quote is on the mark. It identifies God’s decree to give people freedom to act without coercion by God. It does not relieve God of the responsibility to act (act of omission) to stop a person from doing something that God does not want to be done.

        You guys want God to be sovereign at times and man to be sovereign at times. It doesn’t work that way. God is sovereign all the time.

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      25. Damon,
        I agree. Theirs is a very low view of God’s sovereignty (see the Tozer quote). God must rule everything, micromanage everything, ordain everything or He will never be happy or show His power.

        They bring the definition of “sovereignty” to the text (notice they will never give precise verses). They provide broad-stroke, vague, “He is great” or “He turns the hearts of the king” verses that say nothing about ordaining or micromanaging every decision.

        Hundreds of times……God says “I the Sovereign Lord…..” followed by some kind of the following…

        “Why did you not…”
        “If you will…. I will…”
        “You did not….so I did not…”
        “If you do that I will repent of what I plan to do…”

        The Calvinist says “He controls everything or He controls nothing.” Yet, in His Word, He clearly states (in so many places!) that He leaves some things up to man. Didn’t He let David decide from the 3 types of punishment He offered? Why would the Lord even do that if His goal was to show everybody that He has already made all the decisions? Why does He take the time to put in His eternal Word that man is making choices? Why even give the appearance that man has any control? Only to make us think that?

        These (brought to the text) presuppositions and definition of sovereignty make thousands of verses misleading or downright deceptive.

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      26. Two more things Damon.

        1. The starts with choices and responsibility by men….. Adam naming the animals, Adam choose to eat the fruit, Cain being told by God Himself that it was God’s will that he could and should resist evil (but he doesnt).

        No explanation is ever given about why God says it is his will that Cain do the correct thing, but Cain does not. Which one was the will of God? Was it God’s will that Cain could and should do right, or that Cain would do wrong?

        2. It has become obvious that RH has no kids since he cannot distinguish between “letting” a son do a thing and “ordaining/willing/wanting/ being in agreement”.

        Tozer takes a non-Calvinist approach saying that the “sovereignty” came in when God decided (sovereignly) at the beginning to let man make choices that He (God) did not want. Not that He sovereignty decreed every act but that He sovereignly decided to allow these actions (meaning allowing man free will). Calvinists will try to agree with Tozer, but in the wider context of his quote it is clear that Tozer is saying that man does things that God does not want…..or God does not get everything He wants. Something a Calvinist cannot say.

        Any reading of Reformed councils will show that they declare that “every dust particle” falls exactly where He tells it. (Calvinist)

        To most of us that is clearly different than saying something like “He created dust, and sovereignly decided to let it fall where it will…. even in places that He does not want.” (non-Calvinist).

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      27. FOH, Yes it seems to be one of the things that Calvinist try to rationalize with human understanding. They just can’t let God be God. They have put a limit on God.

        They have basically said that there is something too hard for God; That being that he cannot be God without meticulously controlling every detail. The word “let” has absolutely no meaning whatsoever in the Calvinist vocabulary.

        Even when they give “let” its true meaning it is then cancelled out in another tier of their theology. Everything is argued from within a hypothetical that their bottom line does not allow.

        It really is a deceptive merry go round to take the focus off the real gospel in my opinion. The true gospel demands that every person has a choice to make. The false gospel takes that choice away.

        Liked by 1 person

      28. When I was a young Calvinist (like many YRRs today) I thought that I should take the “high-view” of God. Calvinism makes Him big….I thought.

        But you are correct. As Tozer says…. it makes Him small. He is so afraid of anything going awry that He has to micro-manage where every dust particle falls.

        And those who take this “high-view” grasp at broad-stroke, vague verses (we all love) like “God is great in the heavens. Who is like Him? Who can oppose Him,” —- to “prove” that He manages everything.

        All because they must have Him be the way they want Him to be. An all-controlling despot. Which is not at all what we see in the person of Christ.

        Liked by 1 person

      29. DG writes, “They have basically said that there is something too hard for God; That being that he cannot be God without meticulously controlling every detail.”

        This is wrong wrong. Calvinists say that God cannot be sovereign without meticulously controlling every detail.

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      30. DG writes, “Why not? If he can’t then your god is not all that sovereign after all.”

        What definition of “sovereign” are you using?

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      31. DG writes, “The dictionary definition.”

        So, God, as sovereign exercise the greatest control – everything is subordinate to Him. That gives God the final say in all that happens down to the smallest unit – the atom, the thought, etc. – so that God decides to allow natural forces (which He instituted) to operate without interference from Him or to intervene to obtain a different outcome that would be obtained when natural forces are not constrained. As God must always decide one way or the other, necessarily, He exercise meticulous control.

        Can you explain how you think God would not be exercising meticulous control?

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      32. DG asks, “Can you please tell me what dictionary you got from?”

        Dictionary.com – “a person who has supreme power or authority.”
        Merriam-Webster – “b : one that exercises supreme authority within a limited sphere” With God, “limited” is removed.
        Free Dictionary – “b : one that exercises supreme authority within a limited sphere”
        Oxford Living Dictionary – “Possessing supreme or ultimate power.”
        Cambridge Dictionary – “having the highest power or being completely independent:”
        Wikipedia – “An important factor of sovereignty is its degree of absoluteness. A sovereign power has absolute sovereignty when it is not restricted by [any force outside itself].

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      33. And………….this bolsters your position of determinism how? Not once do any of these quotes you have used imply determinism. Not once.

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      34. DG writes, “Not once do any of these quotes you have used imply determinism. Not once.”

        If you remember, the issue is to understand “sovereignty” and not “determinism.” At least you now have a better understanding of sovereignty – if only by seeing the uniformity in definitions across dictionaries. You can build on that.

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      35. Yes but your non-dictionary description which you said first was determinism not sovereignty. You only pulled out the dictionary version after….which does not line up with what you said at first.

        Ho Hummm I think I need to get off the Rhutchin merry go round.

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      36. DG wrote, “FOH, Yes it seems to be one of the things that Calvinist try to rationalize with human understanding. They just can’t let God be God. They have put a limit on God.”

        I responded, ” Calvinists say that God cannot be sovereign without meticulously controlling every detail.”

        DG then responded, “Why not? If he can’t then your god is not all that sovereign after all. ”

        I asked, “What definition of “sovereign” are you using?” Thereby, we were trying to nail down “sovereignty. The specific issue was to distinguish between “let” and “decree” as they relate to God exercising His sovereignty.

        Now DG says, “your non-dictionary description which you said first was determinism not sovereignty. You only pulled out the dictionary version after….which does not line up with what you said at first.”

        DG seems confused at this point. Perhaps, he is getting his discussions mixed up.

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      37. DG,

        I do recommend that you get off the RH merry-go-round. Very soon the discussion will stop and the denigration will start “you are just so confused” “poor little DG” etc.

        Anyway, one big problem is that you are using different meanings for words. Words don’t mean the same thing to everyone.

        And your point about “your faith” appearing all over Scripture is well taken (by most of us). It is a huge linguistic feat to substitute in “the faith that God irresistibly gave you” (faith that you cannot have on your own and cannot NOT have if God forces it on you). Just outright non-sensical if you read the verses that way.

        But they have to make Scripture says things it does not say—- for their ideas to work.

        But be comforted in the fact that no one really lives like that is true. Even Calvinists constantly urge people to “put your faith in Christ,” “believe and you will be saved” (not already saved by by the limited atonement), “trust the Lord with all your heart,” “don’t waste your life!”

        All of these —-and many more like it—- demonstrate that they live just like we do: our decisions matter; we can change our direction; we can appropriate God’s promises or ignore them; we can pray for what God promises or not.

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      38. FOH writes, “they have to make Scripture says things it does not say—- for their ideas to work.”

        Romans 10 seems both direct and clear, “…faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ..” Don’t see how you get around that.

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  21. Thanks for pointing out the connection to infant baptism, Brian. A little dim light bulb just went off in my head. I never really considered that infant baptism makes perfect sense in Calvinist thinking, as faith is just dumped on certain people by God, regardless of their understanding of the gospel. If that is the case, why can’t infants be given faith magically as they are dipped in or sprinkled in water?
    Never mind that it is completely unbiblical.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ww writes, ” I never really considered that infant baptism makes perfect sense in Calvinist thinking, as faith is just dumped on certain people by God, regardless of their understanding of the gospel.”

      As Paul states in Romans 9, “…God says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.” So, God does dump faith onto some and not others. If God dumped faith onto each and every person, then obviously, each and every person would be saved.

      Infant baptism seems to be a response to the emotional appeals of parents to church leaders for comfort relating to their children. Baptists resolve this be appealing to the age of accountability before which God must treat all children as being in a state of innocence comparable to Adam before he ate the fruit. Others, resolved the issue by having the infants baptized. Mostly, parents are not as concerned as David was over the child born to Bathsheba, and David’s confidence that God would respond to his prayers Instead, they and seek an easier path to the salvation of their infants without all the sackcloth and ashes

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      1. “As Paul states in Romans 9, “…God says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.” So, God does dump faith onto some and not others.”
        This, along with the potter and clay seems to be the calvinist go to verse. In context, I have no idea why they think it trumps non calvinists. We all believe that God has the right to show mercy to anyone he chooses. We all believe we are saved by God’s mercy and not our own effort. But most of us don’t stop there. We read the rest of Romans and find out what is required for God to give mercy to us.
        :” 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

        Far from being a system where God just dumps faith on some select people, Paul is spelling out the truth, that God saves whoever calls on him.
        I’ve been reading Tim Keller’s Book “The reason for God” Great book, so far, I would recommend it to anyone. But when explaining the gospel to non believing readers, it is startling how absent his Calvinism is. Some of the time I wondered if he really believes in the system at all, or only accepts is as the historic faith of his denomination.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. WW,
        Two things.

        Keller, and most Calvinists like him, will regularly say both are true. They only get kudos from each other cuz they are “card-carrying.” I have demonstrated many times how Piper’s book “Don’t Waste Your Life” is consistently non-Calvinist (even the title!!!). It matters not to them since they are —-at the foundation— “reformed” so they can then say whatever they want.

        They constantly say things like “God loves all people” when that is a fundamental no-no for Calvinists. To real Calvinists He clearly does NOT!

        Per your Potter and clay (Romans 9) example….. yes ripping verses out of context is their specialty. The original Potter in Jeremiah 18 sets the tone for Romans 9 showing the conditions for God to show mercy.

        He is telling the Jews that they do not automatically get mercy just for being Jews…..they must now trust Christ. That is also Paul’s lesson in Roms 3 where he is saying that “no one seeks God”. He is contrasting both in Roms 3 and Roms 9 the idea that no group receives God’s mercy automatically. He show mercy on who He wants—- including previously-excluded pagans and Greeks.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. ww writes, “We all believe that God has the right to show mercy to anyone he chooses.”

        Romans 9 says much more than that God has a “right.” It is emphatic, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”

        Then, “We read the rest of Romans and find out what is required for God to give mercy to us.”

        Not exactly. It says, “the righteousness based on faith speaks thus…if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved;” There is the presumption here of faith – and this a gift of God.

        Then, “Paul is spelling out the truth, that God saves whoever calls on him.”

        And who calls on God? It is the one to whom God has given faith.

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      4. WW,
        You are expecting of course a response that says that only those “whosoever will” that have had faith dumped on them will (irresistibly) respond. Never mind that not one time (not one) in all of scripture is there any example of anyone being “given faith.” They bring that idea to the text and state/ proclaim it as true!

        They get so used to stating this as gospel truth that they do not hear what they are saying.

        They are saying that the gospel was never intended –in any way— for the 98.5% of humanity that “reject” it. No true rejection (despite scripture putting it that way) since it was NEVER intended for them.

        It means that the other 1.5% are not “forced ” to accept it, they only “irresistibly come” to His call.

        Good news! (if you are part of the 1.5%)

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      5. FOH writes, “…not one time (not one) in all of scripture is there any example of anyone being “given faith.”…”

        You purposely ignore 2 Thessalonians 3, “…pray for us…that we may be delivered from perverse and evil men; for not all have faith.” Here, Paul ties “evil men” and the descriptor, “not all have faith.” The conclusion is that “evil” people have no faith.

        Then, Hebrews 11, “…without faith it is impossible to please god,…” together with Romans 8, “…the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God…those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” This supports the conclusion that evil people – those whose minds are set on the flesh – have no faith and cannot please God.

        So, if faith is required for an evil person to be saved, where does this faith come from? “…by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;…” Here, faith is a gift of God. Given that it is evil people whom God saves, we conclude that God must first give faith to these people. Of course, you rejected all this when you left your earlier infatuation with Calvinism.

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      6. 2 Thessalonians 2:11 (NKJV)…
        And for this reason God will send them (the Lost) strong delusion, that they should believe the lie

        And here Calvinism teaches us that a “dead man” can’t believe anything.

        Rhutchin writes…. “Then, Hebrews 11, ‘…without faith it is impossible to please god,…’ together with Romans 8, ‘…the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God…those who are in the flesh cannot please God.’”

        And here, once again, we have a Calvinist combining two half verses, out of context, to formulate their twisted thinking.

        2 Thessalonians 3:2 (NKJV)….
        …and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked (ungodly) men; for not all have faith (in Christ).

        Romans 4:5 (NIV)….
        However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly (the wicked), their faith is credited as righteousness.

        Notice “the ungodly” or “wicked” have faith. They just need to put their faith in Jesus Christ.

        Romans 8:7-8 (NKJV)….
        Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God (by keeping the Law).

        Galatians 2:16 (NKJV)….
        …knowing that a man is not justified (made righteous) by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified (made righteous) by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified (made righteous).

        Poor rhutchin. Wrong on 2 Timothy 2:10. Wrong on Romans 8:10. Wrong on 2 Thessalonians 3:2. Wrong on Romans 8:7-8.

        Rhutchin, again, please jettison that heavy heart of stone. Put down the reformers and pick up the Bible.

        Liked by 3 people

      7. Phillip,
        You said well what needed to be said. You and others take the time to answer him. I wasted many, many a post on that, but not any more. DG is now seeing how RH can talk in circles.

        Good point about Satan blinding them or sending delusions (why? They can’t believe anyway right?). Good point about half verses. It is very much a connect the dots thing for them….one presupposition leading to another….

        Uh….. if man is “dead in his sins” that means he is….uh dead and needs to be “made alive” before he can be made alive in Christ.

        Uh….. if Christ died for everybody and everybody is not saved, then He was a “failure”.

        Uh….. if God calls someone and that person is able to refuse, then, well, that makes him stronger than God!

        All of these “what we know must be true about God” things [presuppositions] allow us to just scaffold together whatever we want with half verses…”

        All this despite hundreds, no thousands, of verses to the contrary.

        I challenge anyone to skim the pages of all these threads and see if the Calvinists have quoted more than 40-50 verses (or half verses I should say).

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      8. FOH,

        Understood.

        But actually, rhutchin’s presence, though annoying at times, is a blessing. Its convenient to have his comments here, because they allow us to avoid creating straw-men arguments. It also allows other on-lookers to realize that we are not making this stuff up.

        That said, I, too, sometimes ignore his comments, understanding the question at hand has already been biblically addressed; some multiple times (even when he frequently implies it hasn’t).

        Still, it breaks my heart to see a brother interpret the scriptures so badly and then share that twisted view with others. All one has to ask is… “Who does it benefit if you can convince Christians that God never intended, nor desires, to save most of mankind?” I’ll give you a hint. The answer starts with an “S” and ends with an “n”.

        Maybe for the sake of time and space, we should get rhutchin to post verses that we actually do agree with. Can’t be too many of those. 🙂

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      9. Phillip,
        I am very often struck by exactly that fact.

        Calvinists (often aggressively) write books, blogs, and posts to make one point abundantly clear:

        The good news of the gospel is that Christ did NOT die for 90+% of humanity and that God never intended to save any of them.

        They will dance on the head of a pin and quote and re-quote their 50 go-to verses…. for one goal. Defend the idea that the gospel was never intended for most of the people we know, likely including family members.

        We are giving an innate ability to bond to family and yet we live with the idea that it is quite possible that God never intended to save them. Good News. Lets spread the word!

        Liked by 1 person

      10. phillip writes, “Calvinism teaches us that a “dead man” can’t believe anything.”

        Not exactly. Calvinism teaches that “dead man” can’t believe in Christ (this because they have no faith). “Dead men” certainly believe lies. Of the Jews, Christ said, ““You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies.” Obviously, the Jews believed the lies told them by their father.

        Then, “…once again, we have a Calvinist combining two half verses, out of context, to formulate their twisted thinking….”

        No, we have two universal truths (at least that is my claim):
        1. Without faith it is impossible to please God.
        2. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

        We know that the statements are true within context because they are Scripture. I claim that these statements are true within any surrounding context. You may dispute this conclusion, and voice your opinion. If you actually have an argument to disprove this, that would be interesting.

        Then, “Notice “the ungodly” or “wicked” have faith. They just need to put their faith in Jesus Christ.”

        LOL!! It says that some people “…trust God who justifies the ungodly (the wicked),…” That describes all believers. So, where did these people obtain faith? God gave it to them.

        Your Romans 8 and Galatians 2 citations show the need for faith. We all agree to that.

        Like

      11. However, most of your claims are unbiblical.

        For truths we have…..

        1. Without faith it is impossible to please God.

        2. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God by keeping the Law.

        3. It pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

        Liked by 1 person

      12. Phillip,

        Yes….and looking at the wider context of #1 we see this….

        For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. [for his faith, right?] 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Heb 11:6).
        ———–

        All these people —all these names —- all these real stories….. and with the wave of a wand, the Calvinist says “Irrelevant!” “God gave them special (irresistible) faith, then praises them for it.”

        So much of the scripture becomes meaningless.

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      13. FOH writes, “All these people —all these names —- all these real stories….. and with the wave of a wand, the Calvinist says “Irrelevant!””

        Poor FOH. Even he knows, or knew at one time, or maybe never knew, Calvinists see Hebrews 11 describing people who had faith and could please God while stating the universal, and obvious, truth that, “without faith it is impossible to please God.” It does not answer the question, “Where did these people get faith”? Paul, however, tells us in Romans 10, “faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.”

        Like

      14. phillip writes, “For truths we have…..”

        I don’t see anything here that negates the truths I noted. Apparently, you did not either as you were careful not to explain supposed deficiencies.

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      15. Rhutchin writes…. “I don’t see anything here that negates the truths I noted.”

        Other than clarifying the context of “those who are in the flesh cannot please God ‘by keeping the Law’” and exposing your weak (and desperate) attempt to blur the biblical meaning of Hebrews 11 with Romans 8, no. No deficiencies explained.

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      16. phillip writes, “Other than clarifying the context of “those who are in the flesh cannot please God ‘by keeping the Law’”

        Clarification?? Hebrews 11 states a universal truth on which we both agree – “1. Without faith it is impossible to please God.”

        You then added to Romans 8 – “2. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God by keeping the Law.” However, this is a subset under Hebrews 11, and while more specific does not negate a Hebrews 11 influence – “Those who are in the flesh cannot please God without faith regardless of efforts to do so by keeping the law.”.

        You then added “3. It pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.” We both agree on this. Nonetheless, because of Hebrews 11, we would understand, “It pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe through faith.” This because of Ephesians 2, “…by grace you have been saved through faith;”

        I don’t understand what you are disputing here.

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      17. And the reference Paul is making is to Exodus 33 where moses bargains with
        About whether God will have mercy on his people, and God changes his mind….not exactly a gotcha Calvinists proof text.
        Yeah we know you think faith is a gift that can’t be refused. And you read that into every passage.

        Liked by 2 people

      18. ww writes, “the reference Paul is making is to Exodus 33 where moses bargains with
        About whether God will have mercy on his people, and God changes his mind….not exactly a gotcha Calvinists proof text.”

        Sounds reasonable as even the Scripture says that God changed His mind, but some versions have that God relented. Given that God destroys those 20 and over in the wilderness, it doesn’t seem like He changed His mind. So, what was the purpose for the interaction between Moses and God. Perhaps, it was no more than God challenging Moses to help him grow.

        Like

    2. It’s like a loop hole isn’t it. It’s like they have pondered the implications of their belief system and thought “Oh no! the kids! What about the kids!

      So then they come up with a way that the kids can become elect without ever being elect. They say their own election covers the kids………..Phew!

      Or silly things that cannot possibly make sense within their belief system, like Rhutchin says – “God must treat all children as being in a state of innocence”. How does that make sense within Calvinism? You were either elect or non elect from before you born right! Guilty or not guilty before you born, Saved or not saved before you were born, rejected or accepted before you were born. Yet Rhutchin has a nice little loop hole for his Calvinism for kids.

      Rhutchin now would have us believe that all kids are non-elect until the age of accountability. How does that change the fact they all were either non-elect or elect before they were born……….doesn’t make sense at all.

      For the record I do believe in the age of accountability too, but it doesn’t run at odds with whatever else I believe. But for the Calvinist it can only be one massive contradiction to say kids are not held accountable until they reach a certain age. I mean to say – what is God waiting for if it is not the kids making a decision? He is going to either irresistibly save the ones He decided to save in eternity past or reject the ones He decided to rejected in eternity past; which was done and dusted in eternity past without any foresight of anything in the future according to Calvinism.

      The age of accountability argument from a Calvinist is just trying to push a square block through through a round hole.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. DG writes, “The age of accountability argument from a Calvinist is just trying to push a square block through through a round hole.”

        That is why the Calvinist does not use it. I got the impression that you misread my comment on this.

        Like

  22. Rhutchin, It wasn’t clear which position you were promoting. I’m still not sure whether you believe your election will save your kids? Hence child baptism.

    Some Calvinists like John MacArthur do use “the age of accountability” argument.

    Like

  23. Damon,
    By the way….any effort from RH to co-opt the Tozer quote demonstrates his relentless willingness to say anything (even contradict himself over and over).

    Tozer says….
    “God sovereignly decreed that man should be free to exercise moral choice, and man from the beginning has fulfilled that decree by making his choice between good and evil.”

    In dozens of post RH has said that man is free to choose….. evil. Never, ever good.

    Clearly that is NOT what Tozer is saying…..and yet RH wants to say he is in his camp. It’d be funny if it weren’t so sad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. FOH writes, “Clearly that is NOT what Tozer is saying…..”

      Tozer says that people choose to do good and bad in a worldly sense. That is not the issue. The issue is whether people can choose anything that is “spiritually” good (i.e., salvation). When an unsaved person chooses to do “good” he does so for selfish or prideful reasons and never for the glory of God. Paul says, “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you,…And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father…Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men;” This applies only to believers.

      Tozer said, “If in His absolute freedom God has willed to give man limited freedom,…” By “limited freedom,” I understand Tozer to say that man’s will is still subordinate to Go’s will. God reserves the right to limit that freedom – e.g., not letting the Jews stone Jesus – to accomplish His purpose.

      You really have forgotten a lot.

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      1. Rhutchin writes – “The issue is whether people can choose anything that is “spiritually” good (i.e., salvation)”

        No one can do “(ie, salvation)”. Not even the Calvinist can do that. Only God can do salvation. And He promised to save the repentant believer.

        It’s the same old problem for the Calvinist, equating believing with saving. Yes you can choose to be saved by faith, it’s called beleiving. But only God can save and when He says he will save the believer He most certainly will.

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      2. DG writes, “It’s the same old problem for the Calvinist, equating believing with saving.”

        Actually, the argument against Calvinism has been that they do not equate believing with saving. As you note, only God can save. He does this by giving people faith (i.e., a hope in Christ). It is this hope that results in a person believing.

        The, “Yes you can choose to be saved by faith, it’s called believing.”

        We agree. However, even you must understand that this happens after God gives faith. No one can be saved without faith – Correct??

        Then, “But only God can save and when He says he will save the believer He most certainly will.”

        As John 3, “…whoever believes in Christ should not perish, but have eternal life.” we also seem to agree that belief cannot happen until after God gives the person faith.

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      3. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17

        That’s the biblical order.

        Now lets go backwards – You need the word of God, You need to hear it.

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      4. DG writes, “You need the word of God, You need to hear it”

        God uses the preaching of the gospel to convey faith to His elect. With that faith, people then believe. we agree on this order. Your original comment was, ““It’s the same old problem for the Calvinist, equating believing with saving.” That erroneous view on your part has been corrected.

        Like

      5. Change all the “YOUR” in the below verses to “The Lord’s”.
        Actually read it that way. It’s quite funny when you do with some of the verses. Then you will have Rhutchins bible.

        Matthew 9:29 Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to YOUR faith be it unto you.
        Luke 8:25 And he said unto them, Where is YOUR faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.
        Romans 1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that YOUR faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.
        1 Corinthians 2:5 That YOUR faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
        1 Corinthians 15:14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and YOUR faith is also vain.
        1 Corinthians 15:17 And if Christ be not raised, YOUR faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
        2 Corinthians 1:24 Not for that we have dominion over YOUR faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.
        2 Corinthians 10:15 Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men’s labours; but having hope, when YOUR faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly,
        Ephesians 1:15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of YOUR faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
        Philippians 2:17 Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of YOUR faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.
        Colossians 1:4 Since we heard of YOUR faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,
        Colossians 2:5 For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of YOUR faith in Christ.
        1 Thessalonians 1:8 For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place YOUR faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.
        1 Thessalonians 3:2 And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning YOUR faith:
        1 Thessalonians 3:5 For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know YOUR faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain.
        1 Thessalonians 3:6 But now when Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of YOUR faith and charity, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you:
        1 Thessalonians 3:7 Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by YOUR faith:
        1 Thessalonians 3:10 Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in YOUR faith?
        2 Thessalonians 1:3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that YOUR faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;
        James 1:3 Knowing this, that the trying of YOUR faith worketh patience.

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      6. DG writes, “Change all the “YOUR” in the below verses to “The Lord’s”.”

        I don’t see the point of this comment. Elsewhere, we agreed that faith comes from hearing and hearing from the gospel. So, in the verses you cite, we are dealing with situations where God has given people faith and we see how that faith operates – “YOUR faith is spoken of throughout the whole world; YOUR faith should not stand in the wisdom of men; after I heard of YOUR faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,” You again seem confused. Perhaps too many discussions at one time and you are getting mixed up.

        Like

  24. Rhutchin reply’s to FOH

    FOH – ““Any of my kids who came to me and said, “Hey you let me do this Mom and Dad, so you must have ‘willed/decreed’ me to do it,” would get a quick lesson in logic from me!”

    Rhutchin – “Such ignorance. Your child does X right in front of you and you make no effort to stop him when it is within your power to do so. He is right to conclude that you were OK with what he was doing. What logic (or argument) voids that conclusion?”

    I think that Rhutchin must not understand parenting. Example – My 15 year old daughter comes to me and asks if she could sleep over at her friend sally’s house. I know sally and she is a good girl, so I say yes that’s fine.
    I also know that there is going to be a party down the road that my daughter knows I would not let her go to.
    I call Sally’s parents to make sure that they know. They tell me that Sally asked if she could sleep over at my daughters house the same night.
    Now I know that she is lying. I have a choice to make. Yes I could stop her because it is in my power to stop her; but I think no, as much as this is going to hurt me I want her to learn a lesson.
    I let her go. I am on my knees praying that night in tears, heart broken, devastated. I want to see if she will admit to me the next day where she went. Yes punishment will come but I want her to see how heart broken I was, and how much she hurt me. I want her to realize that I am loving and that it grieved me to let her go.
    Just like I thought she went to the party got drunk and terribly sick vomiting everywhere. I boy tried to have sex with her, and she accidentally got king hit by stray punch.

    Yes I could have stopped all this from happening, it was in my power to stop it. My daughter came back in tears the next day and I was already still in tears and hadn’t slept all night. We embraced and hugged, my daughter bursting into tears pleading for forgiveness.

    Do think that because I let her go that I was ok with what she was doing? Rhutchin you need a reality check!

    Like

    1. DG writes, “Yes I could stop her because it is in my power to stop her; but I think no, as much as this is going to hurt me I want her to learn a lesson.”

      The key points you make, “I could stop her” and “I think no.” You think – or you decide (i.e., decree) not to stop her. It is by your decree not to stop her that your daughter continues as she wants. That is what I am saying about God. You are in control and it is your decision to stop her or do nothing. That is what God does with regard to rape, the stoning of Stephan and any other sin. I do not see you arguing against my position here. If you were truly like God, you would be by her side as she went to the party, got drunk, etc. At any point, you could have stepped in and stopped her, so you were constantly affirming your original decision.

      Then, “Do think that because I let her go that I was ok with what she was doing?”

      Absolutely. Even you admit it. You were OK with it because, as you said, “I want her to learn a lesson.” You were pleased to put your daughter in a difficult situation because you wanted her to learn a lesson. It is impossible for you to abdicate your responsibility as much as you try. It was only with your decree – the decision not to stop your daughter – that the ensuing events unfolded – just as you wanted them to unfold because you wanted her to learn a lesson.

      Like

      1. Damon,
        You articulated a passionate story but I think it did not say all that you want.

        You “let” it happen and were “in agreement” in that it would help her (your daughter) learn something.

        Now, Calvinists are gonna agree with you—on the “that will help people learn” basis. But a couple things:

        1. That begs the question that we can “learn” —therefore do right (or not) the next time, leaving the whole “choice” and “change my future” question for them to answer (we learn so we can alter our direction). (((I mean a person can only do what he was ordained to do, right, so “learning” anything for a true determinist is a non-starter.)))

        2. Let’s take your example outside of your own daughter and you caring that she learn. What about the abandoned child in Sri Lanka who is forced into prostitution at 5 years old, only to die of disease and malnutrition at 12 years old. God “ordains” all that too (for a Calvinist). But there is no real “do it for her own good” aspect involved there. There are no children learning, parents learning, community learning…. no good to come from this. Just pure misery and evil.

        That is why the question of “If there is a God, why is there evil?” is so prevalent and often stated.

        For Calvinists it is simple…. just tell everyone that God ordained it all —- so quit whining.

        For non-Calvinist we wrestle, and cry, and ponder….. and we are left with the Bible, that tells us that God created a perfect world that could choose sin. Now we have a sinful world that can choose right. All the right-doing will not redeem a man before God—- but acts of charity are still good things. Still possible. Still laudable.

        Acts of evil and violence are still condemn-able…. and should be. No one should pull out the “this rape and torture is for your own good card.” Neither should they play that card in God’s name (for Him either). He is very clear that He hates evil.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. FOH writes, God “ordains” all that too (for a Calvinist). But there is no real “do it for her own good” aspect involved there. There are no children learning, parents learning, community learning…. no good to come from this. Just pure misery and evil.”

        Your example is a vivid portrayal of a world without God. Remember Genesis 6, “…the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” What do you think was going on??? If that is not incentive for Believers to pray, what is?

        FOH writes, “For Calvinists it is simple…. just tell everyone that God ordained it all —- so quit whining.”

        Better yet, be proactive and start petitioning God to do something. Even a non-Calvinist could figure that out.

        Like

      3. Rhutchin, now this is where it gets interesting. According to Calvinism it was my “decree” before she was born that she will go out and get drunk, my decree before she was born that the boy will try to have sex with her, my decree before she was born that she will get punched in the face…….. all for my secret glory because it secretly pleased me to decree these things to happen before she was born, and I’m not telling you why. Just believe it it brings me glory.

        Every minute detail of what happened was decreed to happen by me before my daughter was born.

        So Rhutchin, don’t accuse me of only decreeing that I would “let” her go. I decreed everything! Actually nothing could have happened any differently.

        That’s Calvinism folks.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. DG writes, “Every minute detail of what happened was decreed to happen by me before my daughter was born….Actually nothing could have happened any differently.”

        OK. This is not unique to Calvinism; it is true where God is omniscient (in the classical sense encompassing all future events.).

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      5. DG writes, “I agree it is also unique to Gnosticism as well as Calvinism. ”

        That may be, but it has nothing to do with our discussion. As I said, it is unique to those who hold that God is omniscient.

        Like

  25. Rhutchin writes “Better yet, be proactive and start petitioning God to do something. Even a non-Calvinist could figure that out”

    What? Petitioning God to change what he decreed to come to pass before the creation of the world; that cannot be changed or altered.

    Now that would be a silly prayer for the Calvinist wouldn’t it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. DG writes, “Petitioning God to change what he decreed to come to pass before the creation of the world; that cannot be changed or altered. Now that would be a silly prayer …”

      The purpose of prayer is not to change God’s mind or to satisfy one’s selfish desires. It is to appropriate the promises God has given to us and to reinforce the faith of the one praying in the promises of God.

      Like

      1. Rhutchin writes –
        The purpose of prayer is not to change God’s mind or to satisfy one’s selfish desires. It is to appropriate the promises God has given to us and to reinforce the faith of the one praying in the promises of God”

        Who said it was to satisfy one’s selfish desires?

        You rattle this stuff off like it’s bible without one biblical reference to back up your claims.

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      2. DG writes, “Who said it was to satisfy one’s selfish desires?
        You rattle this stuff off like it’s bible without one biblical reference to back up your claims. ”

        From James 4, “…You do not have because you do not ask (in prayer). You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.”

        Like

      3. Be careful. This verse has just refuted your last claim where you said “The purpose of prayer is not to change God’s mind”

        This verse says “you do not have because you do not ask” which goes against what you are claiming.

        With what you claim it should read “you do not have because you cannot ask”. Because as you say “The purpose of prayer is not to change God’s mind” .

        You have to be consistent but that’s not happening.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. DG writes, “This verse says “you do not have because you do not ask” which goes against what you are claiming. ”

        No. The purpose of prayer is to receive that which God has promised to give. If one does not ask, one does not receive; if one asks amiss, one does not receive. In neither case, is the purpose of the prayer to change God’s mind.

        Then, “With what you claim it should read “you do not have because you cannot ask”. Because as you say “The purpose of prayer is not to change God’s mind” . ”

        This makes no sense to me. My claim is that the person can ask. He asks to receive that which God has promised – e.g., “if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”

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      5. Rhutchin, you say –
        “My claim is that the person can ask. He asks to receive that which God has promised”

        Why would you ask for something that was promised? That’s just dumb Rhutchin. Wouldn’t you just thank God for what was promised……unless you don’t believe He is good on His promises.

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      6. DG asks, “Why would you ask for something that was promised? That’s just dumb….”

        I am at a loss to understand your issue on this. James 1, “…if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” We respond to this promise by asking so as to receive that which God has promised. Why you would think that is “dumb” escapes me.

        Then, “Wouldn’t you just thank God for what was promised……unless you don’t believe He is good on His promises.”

        Of course. When God fulfills His promises, we are always thankful. In the above example, we still have to ask for wisdom, don’t we?? With such a promise, what believer would not ask??

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      7. DG,

        A list of some of the verses that we find in Scripture about the Lord changing His mind. Of course NONE of these verses work for Calvinist because (1) they cant have that, and (2) they quote the 2 verses in the Word that say God does not (both are contrasting Him to the fickleness of man, and stating that God does not lie; see the Numbers 23 and 1 Samuel 15 verse below).

        Exodus 32:14, So the LORD changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people.

        Jeremiah 26:19, “Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him to death? Did he not fear the LORD and entreat the favor of the LORD, and the LORD changed His mind about the misfortune which He had pronounced against them? But we are committing a great evil against ourselves.”

        Numbers 23:19, “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? [in the context it is clear that He is saying—- this time no, He will not change His mind.]

        1 Samuel 15:29, “Also the Glory of Israel will not lie or change His mind; for He is not a man that He should change His mind.” [see above]

        Jonah 4:2, He prayed to the LORD and said, “Please LORD, was not this what I said while I was still in my own country? Therefore in order to forestall this I fled to Tarshish, for I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity.

        Exodus 32:12, “Why should the Egyptians speak, saying, ‘With evil intent He brought them out to kill them in the mountains and to destroy them from the face of the earth’? Turn from Your burning anger and change Your mind about doing harm to Your people.

        Amos 7:3, The LORD changed His mind about this. “It shall not be,” said the LORD.

        Amos 7:6, The LORD changed His mind about this. “This too shall not be,” said the Lord GOD.

        Jonah 3:9, “Who knows, God may turn and relent and withdraw His burning anger so that we will not perish.”

        Jonah 3:10, When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it.

        Jeremiah 18:8, ….if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it.

        Jeremiah 26:3, ‘Perhaps they will listen and everyone will turn from his evil way, that I may repent of the calamity which I am planning to do to them because of the evil of their deeds.’

        Jeremiah 26:13, “Now therefore amend your ways and your deeds and obey the voice of the LORD your God; and the LORD will change His mind about the misfortune which He has pronounced against you.

        Jeremiah 42:10, ‘If you will indeed stay in this land, then I will build you up and not tear you down, and I will plant you and not uproot you; for I will relent concerning the calamity that I have inflicted on you.

        2 Samuel 24:16, When the angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD relented from the calamity and said to the angel who destroyed the people, “It is enough! Now relax your hand!” And the angel of the LORD was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.

        Jeremiah 18:10, …if it does evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will think better of the good with which I had promised to bless it.
        —————

        Do these verses mean what they say to a Calvinist? All you have to do is go on their monergism and Piper sites and see them do gymnastics to say…. nah…. we know better

        Liked by 1 person

  26. FOH

    Now that’s what I call backing up claims with Scripture, good job! It makes sense too. It gives God character. It makes God lovable. it makes God compassionate, It makes God relatable.

    Like

  27. Daily reading, now in Acts 28.

    Paul comes to Rome and assembles the Jewish leaders….

    28:23 So a time was set, and on that day a large number of people came to Paul’s lodging. He explained and testified about the Kingdom of God and tried to persuade them about Jesus from the Scriptures. Using the law of Moses and the books of the prophets, he spoke to them from morning until evening. 24 Some were persuaded by the things he said, but others did not believe.
    ————–

    I mean, how clear does Scripture have to be? We try to persuade men (that would be considered “man-centered” by a Calvinist… I mean you dont persuade anyone—God has it all baked in). Again Calvinism directly contradicting Scripture.

    “Some were persuaded by the things he said….”

    How much clearer can Scripture be?

    How did they believe? By the things he said (very “man-centered” for a Calvinist). No mention here (or anywhere!) of a pre-ordained special faith. Just another plain ol’ can-believe-if-they-want biblical passage.

    All their man-made ideas are brought to the Word: no mention of pre-ordaining, regeneration before faith, special giving of faith. Nope. Paul just used the Scriptures to explain it to them and some believed. You really have to be taught all the reformed theology, cuz you dont see in plainly in the Word.

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    1. FOH writes, “We try to persuade men (that would be considered “man-centered” by a Calvinist… I mean you dont persuade anyone—God has it all baked in). Again Calvinism directly contradicting Scripture. ”

      Is this the same Paul who said, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.” Then, the Baptist said, ““A man can receive nothing, unless it has been given him from heaven.” Man persuades; God convinces.

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  28. A brief word about Romans 9-11 for all who have ears to hear.

    Paul is constantly reminding the Jewish people that they are not saved just by being Jewish (must trust Christ) and that non-Jewish people can also be in God’s kingdom. That is why in Romans 8 it says….

    11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

    ——–believing, calling, that’s what is needed

    16 But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” 17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.

    —– some would use this verse to say special faith is given, although it a mystery how that would teach that. Faith is personal…. and when we hear God’s word we have a personal choice to make. Oh that Calvinists were right!! All we would have to do is have ANYONE “hear the message” and that would generate this special-given faith!

    21 But concerning Israel he says,

    “All day long I have held out my hands
    to a disobedient and obstinate people.”

    ———-Here again we see God saying that He is holding out His hands (inviting) to people who refuse and reject. Once again, God not getting what He wants. Or …. offering an insincere invitation.

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  29. Daily reading Acts 28. Paul is still talking to Jewish leaders in Rome….

    28 So I want you to know that this salvation from God has also been offered to the Gentiles, and they will accept it.

    —–Why does Paul (who allegedly gives us Calvinism) say “they will accept it”? Why not “the chosen ones of the unchosen people will accept it….” or ” If God has chosen them, they will be drawn (irresistibly) in….”

    Nah….. always put in terms of man’s “accepting,” “believing,” “turning,” “putting trust in” —-all actions men must do. And yet, we are told they are all impossible.

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  30. Today I read an article in the Evangelical Mission Quarterly (EMQ).

    Quoted is Dr Ralph Winter, life-long Presbyterian missionary.

    “Mission mobilization activity is more crucial than field missionary activity. Wouldn’t it be better to awaken one hundred sleeping firemen than to hopelessly throw your own little bucket of water on a huge fire yourself?”

    These words from a Presbyterian (thus, alleged Calvinist). We hear this all the time. More proof that Calvinists do not live like what they theologize. They live like what we do matters. We can alter an outcome.

    Can something “be better” in the Calvinist world? Does that mean “more people” will come to Christ. How can the set number of people be altered (in their world)?

    Determinism is not a way of life.

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    1. FOH writes, ” More proof that Calvinists do not live like what they theologize. They live like what we do matters. We can alter an outcome. ”

      Why do you write stuff like this when you know better (or are all your claims of having been a Calvinist mere bluster?) Calvinists are not out to alter an outcome; they are out to fulfill God’s outcome. Did you forget 1 Corinthians 3, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.” God has a plan and we are carrying out God’s plan.

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  31. BRIAN WAGNER
    JULY 10, 2018 AT 2:23 PM
    Nice try Roger… I do wonder why you start replying before reading the whole argument… it shows a weakness in wisdom, IMO 😉 … It seems close to what Solomon said – Pro 18:13 NKJV – He who answers a matter before he hears [it], It [is] folly and shame to him.

    You know my friend Brian I am not sure you really think when you write stuff. Although I think this is after the fact I believe. But I use the old quote here, “the pot is black said the kettle” Your weakness as I have always told you is your intellectual wisdom IMO :)…It seems close to what Solomon said – Pro 18:13 NKJV – He who answers a matter before he hears [it], It [is] folly and shame to him.

    You were wrong about Martin Luther, yes I keep reminding you because you cherry picked what you wanted. Took Luther out of Context. If you would have just kept reading you would have seen where he talks about God creating faith within us before conversion. If God created the faith, then it had to be a work of the Spirit, it definitely was not a work that we did. I also give you plenty of other quotes from Luther Bondage of the will and other Resources that I note clearly that show Luther emphatically believed in REGENERATION BEFORE FAITH AND CONVERSION.

    You cannot just pull a partial quote out of context and say there ya go. Brian that is…… Fill in the blank Sir. I am sure you have changed your mind and no longer agree with Martin Luther. But the fact remains, this one bit you in the butt, so as you told Roger, PULL UP YOUR BIG BOY PANTS AND DO THE RIGHT THINGS, MY FRIEND. I am waiting to see the godly man I know to appear. Faithful wounds of a friend and open rebuke are better than concealed love.

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  32. You know one thing I really love and get a blessing out of is when I hear a Non-Calvinist pray for the lost like a Calvinist.

    It usually goes something like this:

    Oh most Gracious Heavenly Father, I thank you that you sent Christ your son to die on the cross for sinners. That through the body of his death and the shedding of his blood there can be forgiveness and remission of sins. (it varies) I pray Lord that you will SOFTEN MY (LOVED ONE, FRIEND, CO-WORKER) HEART. Convict them of sin with a godly sorrow that leads to repentance unto salvation in Christ Jesus. Help them to hear and understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ that is the power of God unto Salvation to everyone who believes. Lord take out the heart of stone that is rebellious and stubborn and give them a heart of flesh that is willing and pliable. Even as in the book of Acts my Lord and God, add to the Church daily those who are being saved. Let us see many souls Glorified in the salvation of Jesus Christ.

    There is some guy if you scroll up, He keeps implying that we have to on our own take the heart of stone and get for ourselves a heart of flesh. That is so contrary to what the word of God says. So typical of the Non-Calvinist who wants to take the initiative of God in Salvation that precedes man’s responsibility. That he is only able to perform after he is enabled to perform once he receives that heart of flesh and is born again then he has faith to receive Christ/enter the Kingdom of God/Heaven.

    Ezekiel 36:26-27 New King James Version (NKJV)
    26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

    27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.

    Seriously, who puts His Spirit within you,

    John 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born [a]again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

    4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

    5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

    6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

    7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

    8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

    9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?”

    10 Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?

    Yes, even old Nic did not understand about Regeneration preceding faith and conversion to Christ as the Non-Calvinist do not seem to have a clue.

    But we read clearly it is God that puts his Spirit within us in Ezekiel 36:26. We read it is God who takes out the heart of stone and gives the heart of flesh. “You must be born again/from above of the Spirit, Jesus said in John 3.”

    Then look what happens after one is born again of the Spirit of God, that is God gives the sinner a new heart (new motives and desires) and a new spirit, and takes out the heart of stone.

    In verse 27 we read of faith, implying justification, sanctification, becoming like Christ, showing loving obedience to Christ by keeping his commandments. For the verse reads;

    27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.

    God is the one “causing us to persevere in faith, holiness, and love” by Jesus in the Peron and power of God the Holy Spirit dwelling with us.

    Philippians 2:12 – So then, my dear ones, just as you have always obeyed [my instructions with enthusiasm], not only in my presence but now much more in my absence, continue to work out your salvation [that is, cultivate it, bring it to full effect, actively pursue spiritual maturity] with awe-inspired fear and trembling [using serious caution and critical self-evaluation to avoid anything that might offend God or discredit the name of Christ].

    13 For it is [not your strength, but it is] [c]God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work [that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfill your purpose] for His good pleasure. 2015 Amplified Study Bible (I seen FOH or Philip quote the Amplified above)

    Philippians 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now 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 do for His good pleasure. NKJV

    You see, we have the responsibility to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. To bring our salvation to its ultimate conclusion, Christlikeness.

    But it is God working within us, lining up completely with Ezekiel 36:26-27, both to will and to do of His good pleasure. That is God is producing or creating within us, as he did initially when he regenerated us and created faith and repentance, the holy desire and willingness and the ability to do those things that are pleasing in his sight or bring pleasure to His heart.

    Salvation is all of Grace. Salvation is of the Lord. It is of God we are in Christ Jesus.

    It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God: our righteousness, holiness, and redemption.

    “Because of the Lord, the God of our Salvation. Not because of the Non-Calvinist mythical powerless enslaved to sin free will. It is not because of you Non-Calvinist as much as you want it to be. Or at least you want to say praise be to God a little bit, but all Glory and Power to my Free-will that engaged and actuated what Christ did on the Christ. Christ did not come to bring a theory or idea of what you guys have come to call “possibility salvation” No, Jesus is a real and actual Savior. He even died for the sins of unbelief and rejecting Him.

    Matthew 1:20-23 New King James Version (NKJV)
    20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is [a]conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.

    21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name [b]Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

    22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

    You see, Jesus was the God-man, Immanuel, God with us, His name was called Jesus which means Savior, and 21 does not say Jesus the Savior maybe, might or possibly save, BUT HE SHALL SAVE HIS PEOPLE FROM THEIR SINS. All the Father gives Jesus will come to Him, no chance of not coming, it is guaranteed because no man can come to Jesus unless the Father draws Him with effectual power, (refer back to Ezekiel and Philippians and get the robot or being forced scenario out of your mind) and will raise the same Him up on the last day. Jesus will lose none the Father gives Him, it is the Father’s will, It is impossible for Jesus to fail to do the Father will. We fail every day, But Jesus’ obedience was sinless to the point of dying on the Cross. John 6:37-40, John 6:65

    God will finish the work of faith he began in us with power. But the Non-Calvinist says faith is not a work. Your right to us it is not a work it is a privilege and our responsibility and God’s work that gives us the enabling ability to do so.

    2 Thessalonians 1:11 – for which also we pray always for you, that He may count you worthy of the calling of our God, and He may fulfill every good pleasure of goodness and work of faith with power,

    You see the sinner can do no good work according to Philippians 2:12 until God is working within him both to will and to do of His good pleasure. That is once again God giving the Saved sinner the holy desire and willingness and enabling the ability to do those things that are pleasing in God’s sight and bring joy and pleasure to His Holy heart. Those in the flesh (in an evil wicked unsaved alienated from the life of God state) can do nothing (which does not mean a little something) but nothing pleasing to God whatsoever to God. A sinner does according to His wicked nature. a sinner sins.

    From the beginning to the end, Salvation in Christ is of the Lord and everything in between is all of the grace alone apart from who can do nothing apart from the Spirit of the Living God.

    Why do you still refuse to not believe, Call upon the name of the Lord and you will not be disappointed, you will find Him to be a perfect Savior who is the Author, originator, and source of your faith and will bring it to a finished stated of completion in HIm? Praise to His glorious name!!!!

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  33. Christian Calvinist Hymn so beautiful and sweet to my soul. Sings of Regeneration preceding faith of God creating faith within. But also of the most lovely part of all. The beauty and love of our Savior Jesus and that while we were sinners without strength, powerless. no ability, contributing to our salvation but our sins that made it necessary. Oh the precious and holy blood of Jesus, as powerful and effective today as it ever was thousands of years ago. Praise to His Holy Name!!! Oh and do not forget about the most famous Christian Hymn ever written, Amazing Grace, written by a Calvinist, John Newton.

    Why do you to still refuse to believe God’s word????

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  34. So determinism is not real of any kind or type with God Brian, FOH or Philip. I could multiply verses from the bible that prove it. But you guys like to spin it in your direction, but this one example you cannot. The murder of Christ on the Cross.

    27 “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.

    The Calvinist calls it Soft Compatibilism which I am sure you all are aware of. Joseph mistreated and abused by His brothers, sold into slavery. Imprisoned although innocent. Reconciled with His brothers and family, the written word of God says this. Joseph speaking to his brothers, “you meant it for evil, but God intended it for good.”

    Now listen as Chris date soundly refutes Dr. Flowers on this Subject in a two-part debate on Youtube. To be honest I am not sure why he Dr. Flowers posted it, just like the Romans 9 Debate with Dr. White. Dr. Flowers is very cordial, godly and Christlike whenever he discusses these issues. I have said in the past, the “Free Will Debate” with the so-called Calvinist Christians. (God forgive me I know I not to judge the heart, but the fruit of their heat was manifesting very clearly. Dr. Flowers was so patient, so self-controlled. Although being disrespected by these men and they were so rude to Dr. Flowers and his debate partner. It was uncalled for and I can see why the Non-Calvinist can see that and judge all Christian Calvinist in the same box across the board. Finally, Dr. Flowers, firmly in love spoke up and said, “can I please finish my sentence without being interrupted. I was glad for him and he was in the right to do so. Because the moderator was basically not there. And I will say that once Dr. Flowers was able to speak more often without rude disrespectful interruptions, this was the best debate I have ever heard him in. He actually made me think a little and I had to meditate on some of the things again. I listened to it again although fast-forwarding past the rude Calvinist to hear Dr. Flowers again. I do not think his partner added anything beneficial or helpful to the debate. So Dr. Flowers can bring up some good points when he is not using his over-active imagination. Those allegories for Biblical Exegesis have got to go. I think I was fair to Dr. Flowers in the Pros and the Cons. This was a good two-part debate. When Dr. Flowers is in the zone he can ask some hard-hitting questions and you can hear Chris struggling with some of them. Listen to how kind Dr. Flowers is to Chris in this debate. I am listening once again. That is one thing I will always rave about as Paul gloried about his babies in Christ. Dr, Flowers, Brian Wagner and Eric the Admin have always spoken to me with respect and without sinfully quarreling. Dr. Flowers only spoke to me once briefly, just probing me I think but then banned me from all his sites because I did not have the character of Christ as the Holy Loving Triad in Christ here possess. But Brian helped me and forgave me often. So please Brian I beg of you, do not be offended by me my Brother in Christ. I know you did not see or want us discussing this due to our friendship. But nothing has changed as far as I am concerned.

    Let me say this real quick. everyone here who is a Non-Calvinist except Brian Wagner who is a consistent Arminian which equals Open Theism. Which the majority of Orthodox Christianity has labeled a heresy. Brian is not, and I say this emphatically a heretic. I just cannot believe that because of his testimony and love for Jesus on here. He has a right understanding of the Gospel. I say that in the sense that both camps believe close enough to say to the sinner belief upon the Gospel of Jesus Christ and you will be saved. We just disagree with how God brings this about. We are right and you guys are just not wrong and barely saved. 🙂 Joking.

    Every Non-Calvinist (actually including Brian on this point and this kind of baffles me) believes God is infinite in understanding.

    Psalm 147:5 Amplified Bible (AMP)
    Great is our [majestic and mighty] Lord and abundant in strength;
    His understanding is inexhaustible [infinite, boundless].

    To me, I may be wrong, to be infinite in understanding implies necessarily to be infinite, inexhaustible and boundless in knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. So Brian believes this verse and I am not sure how he can deny the rest.

    Isaiah 40:28 – Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.

    Pulpit Commentary
    Verse 5. – Great is our Lord, and of great power; or, “mighty in strength” (comp. Nahum 1:3). His understanding is infinite. He is at once omnipotent and omniscient.

    The Pulpit Commentary agrees identically with what I stated above..Hold on guys. I am going to show, THE NON-CALVINIST GOD IS THE AUTHOR OF SIN!!!!

    Psalm 145:3 – Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.

    God’s greatness you cannot fathom Brian, and you would not include His knowledge of future events, or his understanding and wisdom. Why do you, a finite creature limit the infinite God

    Psalm 147:4 – He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name

    That is infinite knowledge I would say, but if think not and hold on for the journey as I show you eventually the Non-Calvinist God is the Author of Sin as we are so often accused of.

    Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
    his understanding is infinite] Lit. to his understanding there is no number, it is incalculable. Number is substituted for searching of Isaiah 40:28, perhaps to suggest a contrast to Psalm 147:5. He numbers the stars: His wisdom cannot be numbered. The Heb. of Sir 39:20 “Is there any number [i.e. limit] to his salvation” [or according to Schechter’s conjecture, understanding] may be borrowed from this passage.

    Ecclesiasticus (Sira) 39:20
    Parallel Verses

    He seeth from everlasting to everlasting; and there is nothing wonderful before him.

    He seeth from everlasting to everlasting; and there is nothing wonderful before him.

    Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.
    His understanding is infinite – To his intelligence, there is no number: though he numbers the stars, his understanding is without number. It is infinite; therefore, he can know, as he can do, all things.

    Colossians 2:2 that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, [b]both of the Father and of Christ,

    3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

    Verse three says in Christ is hidden ALL TREASURES OF WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE. This means without question, of necessity and emphatically the wisdom and knowledge of God is boundless, knows no limit and is infinite as is his understanding. All wisdom and understanding are found in Christ… Brian would try to reduce God and limit him and make you think he is altogether like one of us. As if Brian could sit down and have an intellectual conversation with God, just not on his level though. He is God and we are not. He is infinite, the uncreated, the self-existing God and we are the finite created dependent creatures. God knows the past, present and future all at the same time. There is never a time God did not know something. If God had to look into the future to obtain some information that would mean there was a time when God was ignorant and was not infinite and boundless in his understanding, knowledge, and wisdom and greatness.

    So this I say My Non-Calvinist Brothers/Sisters in Christ. You make accusations that the Calvinist God is the author of sin. I throw that same assertion and accusation back at you this day and firmly ask you in love to stop with this illogical nonsense. Because you are in the same boat.

    Even in eternity. God knew he always (hard to put God and eternity in mere human words, see how the Calvinist thinks different of God than the Non-Calvinist) God always knew from eternity he would create a world of human beings (mankind) (I am speaking in the only way a non-Calvinist can view this) yes from eternity he would create mankind, people who would fall into sin, become murders, rapists, molesters of little children, serial killers, homosexuals, same-sex marriages, murdering of little babies, and all of the most God awful unfruitful works of darkness you can think of.

    But that is the way God created the world to be. The fall of man into sin did not shock God and take him by surprise. He is infinite in knowledge and understanding and knew exactly what he was creating. Even if the Non-Calvinist cries “liberterian free will, it is still a lame excuse. God still created it knowing it would all happen just the way it is happening when he did not have to.

    SO THE NON-CALVINIST GOD IS THE AUTHOR OF SIN!!!!!!!

    and FOH, you crack me up, a trained seminary ex- pastor…really??!?!?!?!?!? I repeat what Rhutchin said, did you pay attention in class or did you fall asleep???!?!?!?!??!

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  35. An audible message from Kevin Klosski from a devotional book on the OTB of Deuteronomy

    I read this to the Non-Calvinist on Soteriology101 as I feel it is a perfect description of them crying of their God, love, love love, mercy, mercy, mercy. This is so an incomplete and inadequate description of the Holy God of the Bible.

    My first time so the audio is a little low, so if you decide you want to listen, which not too many people listen to me on here but I do not mind. I will keep on posting and speaking the truth in love. Just make sure you turn your audio up. If Eric does not want me to do this he can let me know but Dr. Flowers does it all over the Net talking about the teaching of almost every Calvinist Reformed Believer in Existence. Even those who have fallen asleep in the Lord. R.C Sproul. has now entered into his rest and joy in the Lord, and he has looked upon the face of the one who saved him by his Grace. I cannot help but have a Godly envy.

    The actual video of me speaking is about 8 mins 22 seconds long but it runs for another 10 mins or so with so pics of regeneration preceding faith. For my first time was not good at all, but I am not too concerned about it. The program was very hard to figure out.

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  36. “And Can It Be” by the Arminian Charles Wesley:

    Long my imprisoned spirit lay,

    Fast bound in sin and nature’s night.

    Thine eye diffused a quickening ray;

    I woke; the dungeon flamed with light.

    My chains fell off, my heart was free,

    I rose, went forth, and followed thee.

    permalinkembedsave

    [–]terevos2:sgc: SGC – The son of man came to seek and save the lost 1 point 1 year ago
    Indeed, that is my favorite hymn of all and one of the best Calvinistic hymns… and by an Arminian. 🙂

    A Hymn by the man of God, Arminian Charles Wesley. It seems God the Holy Spirit was working Charles Wesley on this Hymn “irresistibly” lol 🙂 I thought Dr. Flowers might get a kick out of that one as he is always saying everything is done “irresistible”

    In the song, we see clearly regeneration preceding faith. A favorite of Calvinist Christian and Arminian Christians, but the latter baffles me???

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    1. One of my favorite songs. But I would disagree that we clearly see regeneration preceding faith. As with many other songs, the one singing perceives it through his theological lense.
      There is a modern worship song that goes like this:
      Like a tidal wave
      Crashing over me
      Rushing in to meet me here
      Your love is fierce
      Like a hurricane
      That I can’t escape
      Tearing through the atmosphere
      Your love is fierce
      ( Jesus Culture )
      When I sing this song, I do not imagine that God’s love is irresistible, but that God always pursues me even when I run from him…and we sing it happily in our very non calvinist church.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ww… God’s love for those who are already in Christ is that way. His love for those not yet in Christ is sufficiently offered to enable them to pursue seeking His mercy that could eventually lead to being joined to that everlasting love. But an unsaved person can’t sing that song.

        There some modern worship songs that sound like they are being song by a lost person feeling God’s drawing… like the old Just As I Am invitation hymn. But many worship leaders today don’t take the time to actually lead in worship with helpful explanation of a song’s meaning or purpose, imo.

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      2. Well, no, an unsaved person couldn’t honestly sing it, because he has not yet fully experienced that love. But, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t apply to our experiences before salvation. I have looked back and been amazed that the hound of heaven continued to pursue me when I rejected his callings again and again.
        I happen to be a music person, even though not very talented at playing music, it’s a big part of my life and worship.
        Here’s another one, that might sound very Calvinist when read a certain way:
        Before I spoke a word, You were singing over me
        You have been so, so good to me
        Before I took a breath, You breathed Your life in me
        You have been so, so kind to me
        Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
        Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
        I couldn’t earn it, and I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
        Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God, yeah
        When I was Your foe, still Your love fought for me
        You have been so, so good to me
        When I felt no worth, You paid it all for me
        You have been so, so kind to me
        And oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God.
        I see it as a testimony of God’s faithfulness to us, someone else might take it as God’s Spirit being irresistible.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Definitely ww! That second song has a deterministic message… and is also a song being sung by an unsaved person, imo… the lost sheep being chased down now… not having been chased down before.

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  37. Hello, my brothers my Non-Calvinist brothers in Christ,

    I think there is something I need to clarify that might have lead to a misunderstanding.

    I have ended a lot of my comments with the words, “Why do you still refuse to believe, Call upon the name of the Lord and you will not be disappointed, For he is a perfect Savior!!

    I do not mean this to say that I think any of you are not saved in Christ. Christians washed in the Blood of the Lamb. I only mean that for the purpose you Non-Calvinist of coming into a fuller knowledge of their present salvation which is a new reality in Christ. Just like Cornelius did. I know that is what you guys are doing and believing also of mine. So I do not mean it to offend.

    God bless and may the grace of Christ be with you always. Thank you for understanding that we are being saved daily,

    1 Corinthians 1:18 – For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

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  38. WW.
    Brother in Christ, I appreciate your perspective on this and it is not absolutely wrong as Brother Brian says down below. I do want to explain the word “irresistible” to you as it is really used in the reformed/Calvinist faith. It does not mean that a sinner does not and cannot resist the work of God the Holy Spirit when the Spirit is bringing about the conviction of Sin and Godly sorrow that leads to repentance from a lifestyle to God. Sinners do resist, but God the Holy Spirit’s power is effectual, almighty and powerful that is overcomes the resistance of the sinner. Not forcing the sinner against His will or making him a robot. Irresistible is not really the best word. Effectual is a better word that is now used in the working of the Holy Spirit.

    John 6:44-45 New King James Version (NKJV)
    44 No man 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.

    WW, you will notice in verse 44 of John 6 Jesus, our Lord and Savior, whose word I will take over any man-made philosophy or deceit any day, says, “No man can come”

    The word “can” speaks of “ability” You either “can” or you “cannot” do something’ You either have the “ability” or you do not have the “ability” to do something.

    Let God be true and every man a liar. What does Jesus say a man, still a sinner can do in his coming to Christ? Did Jesus say that he had the ability? WW, if you are honest, and just read out of the scriptures, you will see that Jesus said, “No man can come (has the ability, can mean to be able).”

    We learned this early in grade school. When we would raise our hands and ask the our teacher, “Can I go to the pencil sharpener and sharpen my pencil?” The teacher would respond in a way to teach us a lesson, I am sure you can, that is you are able, you have the ability to get up and walk over to the pencil sharpener and use your hands to sharpen your pencil.” Then she tells us the proper way is to say, “May I go and sharpen my pencil.” We have the ability, so we do not say “can” We ask for permission, so we say “may”

    Even a schoolboy knows this and yet the Non-Calvinist refuses to see it.

    I will get to the Christian Hymn by Charles Wesley I posted at the end and tell you why it is a favorite of Christian Calvinist and how they see the wonderful way God brings the saving grace of Christ into their lives.

    So in John 6:44 Jesus speaking says, “No man can come to me” He is saying that sinners do not have the ability, not even the desire WW if you look at John 3:18-20, there they hate the light, they love darkness and are voluntary slaves of sin. Sinners are not able to come to Christ on their own. This should be no surprise to us.

    In John 15, Jesus speaking to His disciples about the vine and the branches tells His disciples “that without me you can do nothing” Nothing does mean a little something” Jesus had already declared the disciples were clean and Peter said Jesus had the words of eternal life. So they were Christians. He told His disciples that only by abiding in Him they would be able (there is that word able, ability) to bear fruit that would bring glory to God.

    If Christians can do nothing without Jesus, Nothing does not mean a little something. And only by abiding in Him can they bear fruit by Jesus Christ to the praise and Glory of God. Tell me WW, Where does that leave the sinner who is completely wicked, evil, love the darkness of sin, takes great love and pleasure in evil, hates Christ and is hostile toward God. They will not take one step in the direction toward God in Salvation unless God does an effectual/irresistible work of grace within them.

    So once again as we progress, Jesus said, “No man can come to me unless the Father draws Him” See how it is taken out of the hands of the sinner who has no ability or desire for Christ, and it is the Father who effectually draws him to Jesus. Not against his will, but the sinner comes willingly. The Holy Spirit changes His heart, produces repentance and creates faith within him, he now sees he is a sinner in the hands of an angry God, As he hears the Minister proclaim that the wrath of God is upon him, that he must repent of his sins and flee the wrath of God into the loving merciful arms of Christ and embrace Him in in Saving Faith and he will receive the free gift of eternal life, which actually is Jesus.

    In John 6:44, the same “him” that is drawn by the Father is the “HIm” that is raised up on the last day” So he does come willingly with a new disposition of the heart. Notice in the next verse 45.

    “everyone that has heard and learned from the Father, Jesus said, they do come to me. The Holy Spirit always works in intimate connection through the instrumentality of the Word of God or the Preaching of the Gospel. For the Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God and the Spirit wields it in a most powerful way so that the word of God does not return void or fruitless but accomplishes the very purpose for which God intended for it.

    WW, Look at Ezekiel, this is what God does, Once again it is of God that we are in Christ Jesus. Salvation is of the Lord.

    Ezekiel 36:25 -26 – I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

    26. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.

    God gives us a new heart and a new spirit, A new disposition, new desires, what we once hated and despised, rejected, we now see we desperately need. That is Jesus is the remedy for our sins and the propitiation for the wrath of God that was upon us. That means Jesus took our place on the Cross, our sins were imputed to Him, he suffered our punishment and the wrath of a Holy God and Justice for sinners and now God can show saving mercy and grace to all who call upon the name of the Lord.

    So in verse 25 of Ezekiel 36 this new heart and new spirit we come willingly when we are drawn effectually to Christ. The same verse says God removes or takes out the heart of stone, that is stubborn and rebellious and puts in a heart of flesh that is pliable and willing, God puts His Spirit within us and he causes us to obey Him, to show our love to Christ by keeping his commandments and be conformed to the image of His Son Jesus which we have been predestined to.

    You see God does not force us or drag us to Christ against our will. We become willing in the day of His power and mighty work within us. We once resisted and rebelled against Christ. We now see the beauty and how much we desperately need him.

    A good metaphor for this can be found in the book of the Song of Solomon.

    Song of Solomon 1:4 – Draw me, we will run after you: the king has brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in you, we will remember your love more than wine: the upright love you.

    “Draw me and I will run after you”

    “Jeremiah 31:18 – “I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus: ‘Thou hast chastised me and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke; turn Thou me, and I shall be turned, for Thou art the Lord my God.”

    “Turn me and I shall be turned, for thou art my the Lord my God”

    Jonah 2:9 – But I will sacrifice to You
    With the voice of thanksgiving;
    I will pay what I have vowed.
    Salvation is of the Lord.

    “Salvation is of the Lord”

    1 Corinthians 1:13 – It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption.

    Notice is of God, or because of God, that we are in Christ Jesus, then all the wonderful blessings are yes and amen in Him through us to the glory of God.

    Now for the Christian song that I think most definitely shows God taking the initiative in the salvation by quickening and giving new life than saving the soul. The Christian Hymn by the man of God Charles Wesley,

    Long my imprisoned spirit lay,

    Fast bound in sin and nature’s night.

    We see here the sinner still imprisoned in bondage, enslaved to sin and darkness

    Thine eye diffused a quickening ray;

    Then suddenly, God’s eye diffused a quickening ray, The word “diffused” means to “radiate” or “permeate”

    with a quickening, “Quickening” means “vivification or life-giving” Regeneration, Being born again/from above by the Holy Spirit.

    John 3:3 – 3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born [a]again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” The Kingdom of God is Salvation in Christ but you must be born again, experience the New Birth of the Spirit and then Faith and Conversion to Christ.

    John 3:7-8 – Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

    8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

    Ephesians 2:1 -And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, While still walking in wickedness, dead in trespasses and sins, completely passive to the work of God the Holy Spirit, we are quickened and made alive, then next comes conversion

    Them repentance from sin and faith in Christ, conversion takes place as described down below

    I woke; the dungeon flamed with light.

    My chains fell off, my heart was free,

    I rose, went forth, and followed thee.

    Freedom and emancipation from the bondage of sin, Satan and the sinful deceitful system of this world.

    Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

    Romans 5:6 – You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.

    Notice in Romans 5:6 WW. it says “when we were still powerless” I just do not understand the Non-Calvinist boasting in some power or something that contribute to their salvation. Powerless once again indicates necessarily and emphatically the inability of the sinner and points to the necessity of the truth that Salvation belongs to the Lord and that it is because of God that we are in Christ Jesus.

    Romans 3:24 – being justified [a]freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

    No WW, I do not think it is due to the glasses I have on. It is right there in the song my brother in Christ.

    God bless and may his Grace be with you always

    Like

  39. WW.
    Brother in Christ, I appreciate your perspective on this and it is not absolutely wrong as Brother Brian says down below. I do want to explain the word “irresistible” to you as it is really used in the reformed/Calvinist faith. It does not mean that a sinner does not and cannot resist the work of God the Holy Spirit when the Spirit is bringing about the conviction of Sin and Godly sorrow that leads to repentance from a lifestyle to God. Sinners do resist, but God the Holy Spirit’s power is effectual, almighty and powerful that is overcomes the resistance of the sinner. Not forcing the sinner against His will or making him a robot. Irresistible is not really the best word. Effectual is a better word that is now used in the working of the Holy Spirit.

    John 6:44-45 New King James Version (NKJV)
    44 No man 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.

    WW, you will notice in verse 44 of John 6 Jesus, our Lord and Savior, whose word I will take over any man-made philosophy or deceit any day, says, “No man can come”

    The word “can” speaks of “ability” You either “can” or you “cannot” do something’ You either have the “ability” or you do not have the “ability” to do something.

    Let God be true and every man a liar. What does Jesus say a man, still a sinner can do in his coming to Christ? Did Jesus say that he had the ability? WW, if you are honest, and just read out of the scriptures, you will see that Jesus said, “No man can come (has the ability, can mean to be able).”

    We learned this early in grade school. When we would raise our hands and ask the our teacher, “Can I go to the pencil sharpener and sharpen my pencil?” The teacher would respond in a way to teach us a lesson, I am sure you can, that is you are able, you have the ability to get up and walk over to the pencil sharpener and use your hands to sharpen your pencil.” Then she tells us the proper way is to say, “May I go and sharpen my pencil.” We have the ability, so we do not say “can” We ask for permission, so we say “may”

    Even a schoolboy knows this and yet the Non-Calvinist refuses to see it.

    I will get to the Christian Hymn by Charles Wesley I posted at the end and tell you why it is a favorite of Christian Calvinist and how they see the wonderful way God brings the saving grace of Christ into their lives.

    So in John 6:44 Jesus speaking says, “No man can come to me” He is saying that sinners do not have the ability, not even the desire WW if you look at John 3:18-20, there they hate the light, they love darkness and are voluntary slaves of sin. Sinners are not able to come to Christ on their own. This should be no surprise to us.

    In John 15, Jesus speaking to His disciples about the vine and the branches tells His disciples “that without me you can do nothing” Nothing does mean a little something” Jesus had already declared the disciples were clean and Peter said Jesus had the words of eternal life. So they were Christians. He told His disciples that only by abiding in Him they would be able (there is that word able, ability) to bear fruit that would bring glory to God.

    If Christians can do nothing without Jesus, Nothing does not mean a little something. And only by abiding in Him can they bear fruit by Jesus Christ to the praise and Glory of God. Tell me WW, Where does that leave the sinner who is completely wicked, evil, love the darkness of sin, takes great love and pleasure in evil, hates Christ and is hostile toward God. They will not take one step in the direction toward God in Salvation unless God does an effectual/irresistible work of grace within them.

    So once again as we progress, Jesus said, “No man can come to me unless the Father draws Him” See how it is taken out of the hands of the sinner who has no ability or desire for Christ, and it is the Father who effectually draws him to Jesus. Not against his will, but the sinner comes willingly. The Holy Spirit changes His heart, produces repentance and creates faith within him, he now sees he is a sinner in the hands of an angry God, As he hears the Minister proclaim that the wrath of God is upon him, that he must repent of his sins and flee the wrath of God into the loving merciful arms of Christ and embrace Him in in Saving Faith and he will receive the free gift of eternal life, which actually is Jesus.

    In John 6:44, the same “him” that is drawn by the Father is the “HIm” that is raised up on the last day” So he does come willingly with a new disposition of the heart. Notice in the next verse 45.

    “everyone that has heard and learned from the Father, Jesus said, they do come to me. The Holy Spirit always works in intimate connection through the instrumentality of the Word of God or the Preaching of the Gospel. For the Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God and the Spirit wields it in a most powerful way so that the word of God does not return void or fruitless but accomplishes the very purpose for which God intended for it.

    WW, Look at Ezekiel, this is what God does, Once again it is of God that we are in Christ Jesus. Salvation is of the Lord.

    Ezekiel 36:25 -26 – I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

    26. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.

    God gives us a new heart and a new spirit, A new disposition, new desires, what we once hated and despised, rejected, we now see we desperately need. That is Jesus is the remedy for our sins and the propitiation for the wrath of God that was upon us. That means Jesus took our place on the Cross, our sins were imputed to Him, he suffered our punishment and the wrath of a Holy God and Justice for sinners and now God can show saving mercy and grace to all who call upon the name of the Lord.

    So in verse 25 of Ezekiel 36 this new heart and new spirit we come willingly when we are drawn effectually to Christ. The same verse says God removes or takes out the heart of stone, that is stubborn and rebellious and puts in a heart of flesh that is pliable and willing, God puts His Spirit within us and he causes us to obey Him, to show our love to Christ by keeping his commandments and be conformed to the image of His Son Jesus which we have been predestined to.

    You see God does not force us or drag us to Christ against our will. We become willing in the day of His power and mighty work within us. We once resisted and rebelled against Christ. We now see the beauty and how much we desperately need him.

    A good metaphor for this can be found in the book of the Song of Solomon.

    Song of Solomon 1:4 – Draw me, we will run after you: the king has brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in you, we will remember your love more than wine: the upright love you.

    “Draw me and I will run after you”

    “Jeremiah 31:18 – “I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus: ‘Thou hast chastised me and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke; turn Thou me, and I shall be turned, for Thou art the Lord my God.”

    “Turn me and I shall be turned, for thou art my the Lord my God”

    Jonah 2:9 – But I will sacrifice to You
    With the voice of thanksgiving;
    I will pay what I have vowed.
    Salvation is of the Lord.

    “Salvation is of the Lord”

    1 Corinthians 1:13 – It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption.

    Notice is of God, or because of God, that we are in Christ Jesus, then all the wonderful blessings are yes and amen in Him through us to the glory of God.

    Now for the Christian song that I think most definitely shows God taking the initiative in the salvation by quickening and giving new life than saving the soul. The Christian Hymn by the man of God Charles Wesley,

    Long my imprisoned spirit lay,

    Fast bound in sin and nature’s night.

    We see here the sinner still imprisoned in bondage, enslaved to sin and darkness

    Thine eye diffused a quickening ray;

    Then suddenly, God’s eye diffused a quickening ray, The word “diffused” means to “radiate” or “permeate”

    with a quickening, “Quickening” means “vivification or life-giving” Regeneration, Being born again/from above by the Holy Spirit.

    John 3:3 – 3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born [a]again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” The Kingdom of God is Salvation in Christ but you must be born again, experience the New Birth of the Spirit and then Faith and Conversion to Christ.

    John 3:7-8 – Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

    8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

    Ephesians 2:1 -And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, While still walking in wickedness, dead in trespasses and sins, completely passive to the work of God the Holy Spirit, we are quickened and made alive, then next comes conversion

    Them repentance from sin and faith in Christ, conversion takes place as described down below

    I woke; the dungeon flamed with light.

    My chains fell off, my heart was free,

    I rose, went forth, and followed thee.

    Freedom and emancipation from the bondage of sin, Satan and the sinful deceitful system of this world.

    Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

    Romans 5:6 – You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.

    Notice in Romans 5:6 WW. it says “when we were still powerless” I just do not understand the Non-Calvinist boasting in some power or something that contribute to their salvation. Powerless once again indicates necessarily and emphatically the inability of the sinner and points to the necessity of the truth that Salvation belongs to the Lord and that it is because of God that we are in Christ Jesus.

    Romans 3:24 – being justified [a]freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

    No WW, I do not think it is due to the glasses I have on. It is right there in the song my brother in Christ.

    God bless and may his Grace be with you always

    Like

  40. Getting ready for a message I preach on Sunday. The passage I was asked to preach on includes these verses in 2 Timothy 3.

    14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
    ————–

    Notice that He “learned” about Christ, and even more “became convinced of” Him.

    Notice also that the Holy Scriptures were able to make him “wise for salvation” through faith. Once again…..Another place where no special extra dose was needed. The Word can make you wise and “convince” you.

    Why does the Bible say “convince” so often if we are actually just given the faith?

    Like

    1. FOH writes, “Notice that He “learned” about Christ, and even more “became convinced of” Him.…..Another place where no special extra dose was needed. The Word can make you wise and “convince” you.”

      As Jesus explained, and FOH forgets, “Everyone who hears and learns from the Father comes to me.” Did FOH also forget Paul, “I am sure of this very thing, that the one who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Are we to discount or ignore God’s role in bringing a person to salvation?

      Then, “Why does the Bible say “convince” so often if we are actually just given the faith?”

      “Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught FOH, saying to him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’”

      Like

  41. In my daily reading Romans 7.

    Three times Paul says he is a slave to sin. Dead to sin. Buried in Christ, but still a slave to sin.

    14 So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin….makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me….but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.
    —————-

    Calvinists say that man cannot respond to the Gospel because it is foolishness to him.

    It is foolishness to everyone…. until it is not.

    In our sinful minds it looks foolish at first. Then, as Paul says many times, people reason with us, or the Scriptures make us wise unto salvation.

    Calvinists says “dead men don’t make choices.”

    Just like Paul was dead to sin, but he calls himself a slave to it.

    Believers are dead to sin, buried in Christ…. yet still sin. So I guess “being dead” doesnt mean what Calvinists say.

    Like

  42. Actually today’s reading went into Romans 8 as well….

    5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. 7 For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. 8 That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.
    ————–
    A couple phrases here (of course taken out of context) are used by Calvinists to say that the sinful man can never please God (thus has to be regenerated first). This is one of their 40-50 verses used to scaffold together their philosophy.

    Any reading of the context of this passage (verses before and after!) will show that this is not at all what Paul was saying.

    Besides …..he says “letting your sinful nature” and “letting the Spirit control,” so he is implying that man has some control on this.

    Like

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