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.

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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>

[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

 

593 thoughts on “Does Regeneration Precede Faith?

  1. Daily reading NT is in 2 Cor 7:8-16.

    14 I had told him how proud I was of you—and you didn’t disappoint me. I have always told you the truth, and now my boasting to Titus has also proved true! 15 Now he cares for you more than ever when he remembers the way all of you obeyed him and welcomed him with such fear and deep respect. 16 I am very happy now because I have complete confidence in you.

    ——-
    Paul is proud of them and tells them that they did not disappoint him (right in God’s eternal Word!). That certain is a “matter that can cause them to boast.” They had to “muster up the behavior” that Paul brags about. But…. we don’t boast. We just thank God for helping us. But still Paul says it was their actions and “gives them credit.”

    Titus cares for them more because of their obedience and respect.

    Paul is happy now and has complete confidence in them. All this sounds so “man-centered”.

    Does any of this “count”? I mean did they do anything? Or was all their obedience and faith given to them irresistibly. I mean… does what we do matter or is it all planned about before time began and this is just Paul’s way of saying “good job” (or rather “kudos to you”) to people who had nothing to do with any of it?

    Of course we all live our lives like what do matters! Spend time with your family! Help your kids with the homework! It matters! It can change their direction and help them make wise choices in life!

    We all believe this…but some theologies dont teach it.

    1. FOH writes, “Paul is happy now and has complete confidence in them. All this sounds so “man-centered”….does what we do matter…It matters! It can change their direction and help them make wise choices in life!.We all believe this…but some theologies dont teach it.”

      This is “believer-centered.” Paul here speaks to believers and speaks to their growth in sanctification. All theologies teach sanctification – don’t they?

    2. “We all believe this…but some theologies dont teach it.”

      ———Here’s My Response to the statement above———–

      NO. Not all believes. I think they are only those who belongs to the antagonists in the doctrine of Regeneration Precedes faith.

      The verses cited are directed to believers already and there is no need for them to exert for more effort in order to be saved. Calvinism believes in a Permanent Salvation that is maintained by God Himself in the believer, not vice versa. If it sounds “man centered” due to the commendations made as regarding performances, it has nothing to do with earning Salvation. But, if it referred to the achievement of future rewards of the believers, Calvinism has nothing to oppose with it.

      How do you operate the Christian life? Are you operating on your own strength and might? Calvinists always recognize that It was God who had began a good work in the believer’s life and that God will also finish it until the day of Jesus Christ. This can be read in Phil. 1:6 which says: “Being confident of this very thing that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ”.

      It is God who gives the believer the desire to accomplish the will of God according to — Phil. 2:13 “For it God who which worketh in you BOTH TO WILL and TO DO of Hid good pleasure.

      Regeneration precedes faith. The fallen man [dead spiritually] cannot enliven himself. He needs to be revived first before he can engage with the gospel offer.

  2. Reading Acts 17-18 for an article I am writing.

    2 As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah,” he said. 4 Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and quite a few prominent women.

    A. Paul reasoned with them….. what does that mean if they are “too-dead” to hear anything? You cannot reason with a corpse…. but you reason with a person can respond.

    B. He was explaining and proving the Messiah. Why? They would be given faith or not given. You cannot prove anything to a “too-dead” man.

    C. Some of the Jews were persuaded. Persuaded? Persuaded to what? To believe? It is interesting how Calvinists want to take a spiritual-sounding, high-road and say man has nothing to do with it (faith is given, belief is given), yet Scripture keeps putting it this way everywhere.

    Is the Scripture deceiving us that Paul’s “reasoning” had something to do with it?

    Is the Scripture deceiving us that Paul’s careful “explaining a proving” had something to do with it?

    Is the Scripture deceiving us that them “being persuaded” had something to do with it?

    Nope.

    If no reasoning, explaining, proving, can do anything to “persuade” a “too-dead” man until he is given faith, and once he is given that faith, he is “irresistibly made” to believe, then why are there all of these verses that sound so contrary to that idea?

    Let’s take the Scripture at what it says. Beautiful were Paul’s feet to take the good news to where they could hear it, and be reasoned with, and be persuaded.

    1. A. Paul reasoned with them….. what does that mean if they are “too-dead” to hear anything? You cannot reason with a corpse…. but you reason with a person can respond.”

      ———-Here’s My response to the above statement———–

      That is too literal, ” a dead corpse” – that is not the intended meaning of “dead in sin” from the view point of Calvinists. The commenter seems to me that he just do it in order to paint an ugly idea to the readers. Man has no whatsoever counterpart in obtaining the free gift of Salvation. It is the total work of God given free without any condition to undeserving regenerated sinners.

  3. In Acts 18 I am reading….

    18:5 When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah. 6 But when they opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent of it. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”

    7 Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God.
    ———
    A. He says your blood be on your own heads…. which means this was their fault, their choice. Surely Paul would/should understand that they are not believing because “they were not given faith!” Why make it look so much to the contrary? He could have said, “Okay, well, looks like they have not been given faith.” Nah, never says that kind a thing.

    B. Because they are resistant, he will now go to the Gentiles.

    C. Paul goes to the house of a Gentile who is a “worshiper of God.” What does that mean? It does not say he is a believer in Christ; it just uses that “God-fearing Greek” idea. So Paul goes to the house of a Gentile who is open to the things of God. Does not sound like he is “too-dead.”

    1. “A. He says your blood be on your own heads…. which means this was their fault, their choice. Surely Paul would/should understand that they are not believing because “they were not given faith!” Why make it look so much to the contrary? He could have said, “Okay, well, looks like they have not been given faith.” Nah, never says that kind a thing.”

      “B. Because they are resistant, he will now go to the Gentiles.”

      “C. Paul goes to the house of a Gentile who is a “worshiper of God.” What does that mean? It does not say he is a believer in Christ; it just uses that “God-fearing Greek” idea. So Paul goes to the house of a Gentile who is open to the things of God. Does not sound like he is “too-dead.”

      ———Here’s My Response to the above statements———-

      The Commenter, knows that Israel has been purposely blinded by God. Refusal to the pleadings made for them concerning the gospel could not be the right time for them to respond. It is God who is responsible to unblind them [not the subject themselves] in His own time frame so that as part of the elect, they may be able to know the truth and be able to accept the gospel offer too.

      Their being resistant is a clue that they are “spiritually dead” and this thing can only be remedied by God Himself to regenerate them before Faith is given to them at the perfect time they hear the gospel call – Romans 10:17 says: “So then, faith cometh by hearing, and hearing the word of God”. —- [Faith comes, not self-produced by the sinner. It means being sent by God to those who are regenerated]

      The commenter must stick on his mind and heart that the “old man”, “old nature” must be changed first before precious spiritual thing be given to them. Openness from among the Gentile world could have as a clue that God must have been already prepared them the [good soil] as recipients of the gospel offer.

  4. I have been thinking about a Calvinistic idea I promoted when a young Calvinist.

    Calvinists say the God grants faith to a tiny few while He “passes over” the rest.

    I went to monergism.com to see what they did with “pass over” (not Passover).

    They had 3 articles talking about how God passes over unfortunate ones and gives faith to a few.

    There was one article on the biblical moment when God DID “pass over” His people. When the angel of death came by he passed over those who had, in faith, applied the blood on the door. Phew! Good! In the Bible, being passed over is a good thing! Christ died during Passover, reminding us all that applying His blood means you will be “passed over.”

    I wonder why Calvinists felt the need to take this great idea of “pass over” and make it that God passes over and denies people faith?

    1. FOH asks, “I wonder why Calvinists felt the need to take this great idea of “pass over” and make it that God passes over and denies people faith?”

      Calvinists should have used Romans 9, “God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.”

      1. FOH
        “I wonder why Calvinists felt the need to take this great idea of “pass over” and make it that God passes over and denies people faith?”

        br,d
        It comes right out of the parable of the good Samaritan.

        Calvin’s god is the un-loving one Jesus describes – who passes over the man bleeding and dying on the Jericho road.

  5. Here is a bit more reflection on the idea of Calvinists saying God “passes over” denying life to people.

    Sometimes Calvinist will take a verse in Romans 9 out of context to explain this. In addition to the myriad commentators that disagree with the Calvinist rendering of this verse, there is also another good reason that this out-of-context, go-to idea for Calvinists does not work.

    In the Bible where it speaks of hardening heart it is in the context of the person who is already existing. If that person is already automatically “too dead” to be able to respond why does the heart need to be heartened?

    It’s like when the Bible says that “Satan blinds the minds” of people less they would understand. Why does he need to blind them if they’re already “too-dead”?

    In places like Mark 8 “hardening” is not even about salvation and certainly does not appear to be brought about by Christ:

    8:17 Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? 18 Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember?

    Nah. A verse in Romans 9, about hardening, taken out of context, has nothing to do with the passing-over-most-of-humanity idea that Calvinists propose.

    When the angel of death passed-over, he didn’t harden hearts, he saved them!

    1. FOH writes, ‘In the Bible where it speaks of hardening heart it is in the context of the person who is already existing. If that person is already automatically “too dead” to be able to respond why does the heart need to be heartened (hardened)?”

      That God hardens a person is not to make someone something they are not but to expose that which they are. In Romans 1, we read of the lost who, “even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God.” And then, “Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, – i.e., God hardened them. Rather than continuing to restrain the lost and limit the evil in which they engage, God removes His restraints thereby hardening them so that they can pursue even more evil and further revealing their character.

      Then, “It’s like when the Bible says that “Satan blinds the minds” of people less they would understand. Why does he need to blind them if they’re already “too-dead”?”

      The reference is to 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 – “…if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving,…” The gospel is veiled from those who are perishing – the lost – the unbelieving. it is the lost, unbelieving whom Satan blinds – this only at the decree of God even as Satan could not touch Job except by God’s decree. How hopeless is the situation of the reprobate. Paul describes the gospel as “…the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” How terrible is the situation of the unbelieving whom God gives over to Satan to blind to the gospel. Their destiny is sealed – there is no hope of salvation for them. So, we see that salvation “…does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.”

      Then, “In places like Mark 8 “hardening” is not even about salvation…”

      That is why Paul instructs the believer, “I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” The believer is not set free from his old nature but is set free to put off that old nature. The believer can still be hardened by that old nature. So, Paul instructs, “…that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

  6. Does Regeneration Precede Faith? — The answer is YES.

    Man is dead spiritually due to SIN according to Romans 5:12 says: Therefore just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men (includes the non-Calvinists here), because all have sinned.

    Already possessing a dormant sinful nature beginning from the mother’s womb. His sinful nature is then activated when he come out of this world and by the time he commits mental and actual sins.

    Due to his spiritually dead status, he is unable and morally incapable to reach out to God.

    How can the fallen man be able to come back to God if he is spiritually dead?

    He needs to be regenerated (spiritually enliven) first so that he can exercise his God given faith to place his trust in Christ by the time he responds to the gospel offer.

  7. The writer of the article starts with the error of semi-Pelagianism, that fallen men still retain some spiritual power to seek God, in spite of the explicit statement in Scripture that NO ONE seeks God (Romans 3:11), such that we can come to Jesus only because the Father draws us to Him (John 6:44). The Spirit must give a person a new heart before he is able to believe (Ezekiel 36:26-27).

    1. Some eventually seek God… and God must take the initiative to make that happen. You say its through irresistible grace, I say its through universal grace that can be accepted or rejected. God is even giving that kind of grace to “dead people” in Ezek 36:26-27, to draw them to repentance. I wonder why He wasted His time talking to them, if they couldn’t hear Him and respond freely.

      And John 6:44 is not a gotcha verse if one recognizes that the one drawn is not logically guaranteed in that grammatical construction to either come or to be raised up just because he is drawn. Only the one drawn and who comes is promised to be raised up. Even if “drag” is used here or in John 12:32… the meaning is only to drag to a location… There is no guaranteed change made in the person’s nature just by being drawn. Once they are brought to the location or before the person, like Christ… they have to make a decision what to do next and how to respond to the options and information they now have in that location or before that person!

      The same Greek word for “drawn” is used in the LXX in Neh 9:30… and that group of Israelites, though drawn by God to the opportunity to obey Him, did not do it. The Hebrew word for “drawn” used in Neh 9:30 is also used in Hos 11:4-5, which again is showing that Israel was “drawn” by God with love to Himself, but they refused Him. Paul recalls this kind of drawing with love, using the words of Isaiah where God said – “All day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and contrary people” Rom 10:21. Does God only play act His love already knowing it only can and will be rejected? Not my God.

      Paul and Silas were “drawn” before the rulers of Philippi and then thrown into prison (Acts 16:19)… There they were free and able to either groan and complain or pray and sing! We know what they freely chose to do! I actually prefer the idea of “drag”. God graciously “drags” us to a place of decision. We cannot escape that “grace”, and we are now able and responsible for how we freely respond to it… making us clearly without excuse at the final judgment of God!

      *********
      Are you familiar with identifying distributed and non-distributed terms when premises are being evaluated as to what is logically valid to prove from them? In 6:44 the “no one can come” is a distributed term… but “the Father draws” is a non-distributed term. The “will be raised up” is non-distributed also.

      In brief Jesus is saying that all who come will be raised up. But the verse is not logically proving that they are the only ones to be raised up (deceased infants maybe also).

      And being drawn is necessary to enable coming, but the premise doesn’t prove it is the only thing necessary to enable coming (the context reveals looking at the Son and believing is also part of those coming). Nor does the verse guarantee that all who are drawn, and therefore enabled to come, will actually come.

      The emphasis on coming and believing is throughout this passage. It fits the purpose of the book…that unbelievers reading would be enabled/drawn to come and believe and then receive the everlasting life of the new birth (20:31). But reading doesn’t cause coming and believing.

      Reading determinism into these verses that don’t clearly prove it and whose purpose even contradicts determinism is just sad!

      1. brianwagner writes, “Are you familiar with identifying distributed and non-distributed terms when premises are being evaluated as to what is logically valid to prove from them? In 6:44 the “no one can come” is a distributed term… but “the Father draws” is a non-distributed term. The “will be raised up” is non-distributed also.’

        What, in the text, tells you that one term is distributed and the other non-distributed.

      2. Distributed terms are statements with “all” or “none” them. Non-distributed statements do not have universal modifiers so the idea of some is indisputably true.

      3. brianwagner writes, ‘Distributed terms are statements with “all” or “none” them. Non-distributed statements do not have universal modifiers so the idea of some is indisputably true.”

        Yeah, but the rub is in the application. You apply both terms to John 6:44, thereby claiming that the context of the first distributive term does not rule over the following (allegedly) non-distributive terms. My question is how you determined that the second terms were not to be taken in the context of the first term (I think that decision is just eisegesis on your part). Certainly, the “no one” in the first term can be tied to the “him” in the second two terms and I think that was John’s point. However, you don’t. The natural way of reading the text would seem to identify the “him” with the “no one” given that the “him” is the exception to the rule (“No one can…”)

      4. Of course, Roger, there is a connection between all the phrases, but Calvinists try to disconnect them and say dogmatically treat the “drawn” non-distributed term as if it means the distributed idea that “all” drawn come and “all” drawn are raised up. But they are reading that into a non-distributed term.

        And the context clearly indicates that other things besides being drawn are necessary to finally coming. Being drawn only makes coming possible (“is able”). The verse does not teach that it guarantees coming.

        And other passages show those who were drawn but did not come. Neh 9:13

      5. Brian,
        I read today on Ligonier’s site, Paul Helm’s smack down of Molinism.

        Yeah… not good enough he says since that would mean that God did not decide / decree man’s every thought, action, sin (uh…oh sorry, not sin….everything but the sin…but the sin too, really, in a compatibly-mysterious way).

        I am afraid your dialog with RH does not move the needle with him or most Calvinists since they START with a man-made definition of what “God must-be like.” If you start with that as a “given” ….no verses are gonna dent it for them

      6. brianwagner writes, “Calvinists try to disconnect them and say dogmatically treat the “drawn” non-distributed term as if it means the distributed idea that “all” drawn come and “all” drawn are raised up. But they are reading that into a non-distributed term. ”

        Calvinist understand the obvious. John establishes a truth – “No one can come to Jesus.” Then, John identifies an exception to that truth, “Except God draw him.” The exception applies to any single person (to any “him” and to each and every “him”) out of the universe of all people to which the truth applies. Finally, Jesus makes a promise to that “him” drawn by God (and to each and every “him” so drawn) – “I will raise him up.” The clarity of John’s statement is obvious – If God draws a person; Christ raises him. The exception applies to any, and all, whom God chooses to draw and Christ’s promise is to any, and all, whom God chooses to draw. The distributive/non-distributive distinction that you seem to make is an effort to make the verse say something it does not. It is a position forced on you by the verse. In the end, it defines the difference between the Calvinist understanding of the verse and your understanding of the verse.

        Then, “And the context clearly indicates that other things besides being drawn are necessary to finally coming. Being drawn only makes coming possible (“is able”). The verse does not teach that it guarantees coming. ”

        The verse does not negate other factors involved in coming to Christ, so being drawn to Christ is a necessary, but not sufficient condition, for one to come to Christ. This denies the philosophy of Dr. Flowers that denies this.

        The verse does provide a guarantee – “I will raise him up on the last day.” Can’t get a better guarantee than that.

        Then, “And other passages show those who were drawn but did not come. Neh 9:13”

        Different context. Nehemiah 9 refers to the law given to Israel and obedience to that law by Israel. John 6:44 can be applied to all Israel – No Israelite can come to Jesus. What is the remedy – Except God draw him. Thus, Paul argues in Romans 11, “In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice.” Earlier, Paul had written, “Isaiah also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:…Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodom, and been made like unto Gomorrah.”

      7. Thx Roger. You just illustrated my point how a Calvinist reads too much into this verse. You just went from the “any” now “can come” by being drawn to they must come. But you even admitted later that drawing is a not sufficient cause.

        I’m sorry you can’t see that drawing is not sufficient in itself, even though you said it. And it can be rejected after it has enabled coming, just like in the case of Neh 9:13. Your loyalty to determinism seems stronger than your desire for consistency even in your own argument.

        Take the last word in this thread between us here, if you wish. Blessings.

      8. brianwagner writes, “You just went from the “any” now “can come” by being drawn to they must come. But you even admitted later that drawing is a sufficient cause. I’m sorry you can’t see that drawing is not sufficient in itself, even though you said it.”

        Let’s clear up this confusion. My position is not that “any” can come. It is only “him” who is drawn by God who can come. I agree that God’s drawing is a necessary but not sufficient, condition for a person to come to Christ. Thus, Paul writes, “[God] who began a good work in you…” where “[God] who began” encompasses His “drawing.” It is true that those whom God draws will most certainly come to Christ because Christ has promised, “I will raise him up on the last day.” Thus, we can join v37 w/v44 to get, “All that the Father gives Me – He shall draw to me and they – shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out – but raise up at the last day.”.

        Then, ” And it can be rejected after it has enabled coming, just like in the case of Neh 9:13.”

        The language of 6:37, 39, 44, 45 preclude any rejection. Nehemiah 9 is a different context.

        Then, “Your loyalty to determinism seems stronger than your desire for consistency even in your own argument. ”

        If you can point to an inconsistency in what I have said, do so. So, far, you have avoided a direct confrontation with John 6.

      9. I did show the inconsistency… I only did not edit my response correctly, for it should have said – “you even admitted later that drawing is *not* a sufficient cause.” I did clarify that in the very next sentence. And that is the main inconsistency… for you want the him that is drawn to necessarily be the him that comes and is raised up. That is not necessary!

      10. brianwagner writes, ” I did clarify that in the very next sentence. And that is the main inconsistency… for you want the him that is drawn to necessarily be the him that comes and is raised up. That is not necessary!”

        Why not? When we read, “unless the Father who sent Me draws him;” followed immediately by “I will raise him up on the last day,” the term, “him,” does not change its character. They are one and the same, “him” – with this “him” being the exception to the rule, “No one can come to Me.” No one reading this verse would naturally understand the second “him,” to be different from the first “him.” The ‘him” who is drawn is the same “him” who is raised up – their is no inconsistency in this. I understand the difficulty of this verse for the non-Calvinist, but the extremes to which the non-Calvinist must go to negate the obvious meaning of the verse are not warranted.

        Dr. Flowers argued against the Calvinist position by changing “him” to “them.” Obviously, Dr. Flowers understands the difficulty the term, “him,” presents. His problem is that the verse does not say, “them.”

        You argue “Non-distributed statements do not have universal modifiers so the idea of some is indisputably true.” All you are saying is that God is the one who must draw a person to Christ and God can draw one person, “him,” or more than one, “some. But, you throw out “him,” to get, “unless the Father who sent Me draws some of them; and I will raise some of them up on the last day.” That is not what Christ was saying which is obvious from Christ’s use of the singular, “him.” Both you and Dr. Flowers seem to understand the difficulty presented by the use of the singular, “him.”

      11. We’ve been around this barn before, and I’m surprised you don’t see you had said necessary but not sufficient… been then argued for necessity that those drawn will come and be raised up. That is only possible if being drawn is a sufficient cause in and of itself.

        John 6, 44 addendum. My thoughts from once before. Take the last word.

        Drawing is necessary to be “able” to come. But the “him” that is raised up is not logically connected to just being “able” to come, but to the one who actually comes.

        There is an assumption being made by both sides who argue this verse. One side thinks drawing must result in coming and the other side thinks drawing only enables coming but that there are also other conditions that must be met before his coming and being raised up. The context reveals those other conditions.

        John 6:40, 44, 54 NKJV – “I will raise him up at the last day”
        40 “And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” …
        44 “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. …
        54 “Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.

        What are the prerequisites for being raised up at the last day? Seeing the Son, Believing in Him, Having everlasting life, Being drawn by the Father, Being able to come to Christ, [Coming to Christ], Eating Christ’s flesh, Drinking His blood, Having everlasting life… right?

        I added in brackets, Coming to Christ. Was that appropriate and assumed in Jesus’ words? Isn’t it false to assume just being drawn by the Father guarantees being raised up, and just being able to come to Christ guarantees being raised up? Isn’t Jesus saying those drawn who do come are the ones that will be raised up? And is He really saying that all who are drawn and made able to come must irresistibly end up coming, or is that open to question in Jesus’ words?

        I believe the listeners would have never thought – “Oh Jesus just promised that all who are drawn will have to come and then will be raised up”. They would have thought, I believe, “Jesus just said the Father must draw if we are going to be able to come… and if we come (responding to and not resisting that drawing), we will be raised up.”

      12. brianwagner writes, “you had said sufficient but not necessary… been then argued for necessity that those drawn will come and be raised up.”

        That one be drawn by God is necessary but not sufficient in itself. The promise of Christ – I will raise him up – referring to the “him” who is drawn guarantees the final result and is sufficient to ensure the intermediate steps between the drawing by God and the raising by Christ.

        Then, “…the “him” that is raised up is not logically connected to just being “able” to come, but to the one who actually comes.”

        Agreed. God draws thus enabling the “him” to come and the “him” drawn is the only one who can come and actually will come. If one is not drawn by God, he is not able to come to Christ – this the essence of Total Depravity that Dr. Flowers denies.

        Then, “One side thinks drawing must result in coming and the other side thinks drawing only enables coming but that there are also other conditions that must be met before his coming and being raised up. The context reveals those other conditions.”

        That is not a problem so long as the final outcome – I will raise him up – is seen as settled. Obviously, faith is required and faith requires that one hear – in the spiritual sense and not just the physical sense – the gospel.

        Then, “What are the prerequisites for being raised up at the last day? Seeing the Son, Believing in Him, Having everlasting life, Being drawn by the Father, Being able to come to Christ, [Coming to Christ], Eating Christ’s flesh, Drinking His blood, Having everlasting life… right?”

        Agreed. All of these steps are ensured under the promise – I will raise him up. Thus, Paul, “[God] who began a good work in you [by drawing you] will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus [when Christ will raise you up].

        Then, “I added in brackets, Coming to Christ. Was that appropriate and assumed in Jesus’ words?”

        Yes, per v37 – “All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me…” That God gives requires that God then draw after which one comes.

        Then, “Isn’t it false to assume just being drawn by the Father guarantees being raised up, and just being able to come to Christ guarantees being raised up?”

        Yes. Just being drawn does not guarantee anything. The guarantee is conveyed in two promise – (1) All that the Father gives…” and (2) “I will raise him up.” Take away those two promises and being drawn accomplishes nothing by itself. Add those two promises and the final result is absolutely certain.

        Then, Isn’t Jesus saying those drawn who do come are the ones that will be raised up?”

        No. He is saying that those drawn will be raised up. “All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me…” Those whom God gives shall come to Christ. For God to give presumes that He will also draw as the end result is the same in each case – “the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.” and “I will raise him up on the last day.” Both statements say the same thing.

        Then, “And is He really saying that all who are drawn and made able to come must irresistibly end up coming, or is that open to question in Jesus’ words?”

        The link between God’s drawing and Christ’s promise to raise is solid and unimpeachable.

      13. FOH writes, “I read today on Ligonier’s site, Paul Helm’s smack down of Molinism.”

        Assuming that you actually read the article by Helm, you know that his problem with “Molinists” is there use of the example of David at Keilah recorded in 1 Samuel 23. What the Molinist defenders do is bring God into present time and allow that God knows future possibilities but not necessarily what people will decide. This is akin to Brian’s view of God’s foreknowledge of future events.

        The problem, however, is that Molinism proposes a middle knowledge of all future possibilities and this middle knowledge comes before God’s free knowledge – specifically, God’s decree as to what world He would create. Helm describes God’s free knowledge thusly, “God’s free knowledge, on the other hand, is His knowledge of His decree (of that which, in His wisdom, God freely and unchangeably ordained to come to pass). That which God decrees is obviously a subset of all the possibilities that are known to Him. His decree also has its source solely in His mind and will.” God’s decision as to which world to create among all possible worlds is, obviously, part of His free knowledge. Helm’s “smack down” pertains to the bumping God’s decisions into the future when God’s decision as to which world to create was made before He actually created the world that He did.

        Even Helm gets confused on this point saying, “Not only is middle knowledge unnecessary to an all-knowing, all-decreeing God, but the Molinists’ conception of free will makes it impossible for God to exercise providential control over his creation. Why? Because men and women would be free to resist His decree. God can only bring to pass the actions of free agents via his middle knowledge of what they would freely do if…” Helm concludes, “…in the view of the Molinists it is always possible for an individual to resist God’s grace,” but even Helm distinguishes between common and saving grace, the former being resistible; the latter irresistible.

        Helm concludes, “Reformed Christians have no good reason to accept the speculative concept of middle knowledge and strong reasons to reject it.” I think Helm’s problem is with some Molinists who conflate middle knowledge with an open future system similar to brian’s philosophy.

        Regardless, all you have to remember is that middle knowledge comes before God’s free knowledge and God’s free knowledge is His decreedal knowledge – specifically, God’s decree to create the world we now live in.

    2. Welcome Chris.

      Have a look around at this post and the others on this site.

      Biblical interpretations are given for all of the 40-ish gotcha Calvinist verses.

      Remember…. Jesus told the vast multitude on the mountainside… “Seek first the kingdom…”

      Hebrews 11:6 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.

      Many more verses in the Bible about being able to seek than the one poetic one in Romans (which also say we all have viper venom on our lips too). Do we all? That passages (which also says we ALL shed blood with our feet) must mean something different than the out-run meaning assigned to it by Calvinists (especially since God says in other places people need to seek Him…and He rewards them for doing so!).

      1. “Hebrews 11:6 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.”

        “Many more verses in the Bible about being able to seek than the one poetic one in Romans”

        ———Here’s my Response———–

        The true seeking could have just be recognized by God limited to the elect. They can do the legitimate seeking because they were already regenerated. If the reprobates would also attempt to seek, that the commenter would like to prove here, they are not recognized by God since that what they are using is their “own native faith” that is sin infected with the tendency to boast against God.

        “No one seeks God”. — Then, who can? Meaning, if there are such any, they need to be regenerated first [change their status: “old nature” to be implanted with the “new nature”] before they can do the seeking.

        If the faith that you are going to present to God is your own “native faith” , the verse in Heb. 11:6 clearly assert the implied opposite that it will not please God. The only faith that will please Him is the one that is given to the sinner at the time of hearing the gospel call when activated by the sinner. Even the cults posses in them their native faith and the demons have faith also, but it never save them.

  8. Does Regeneration Precedes Faith?- The answer is YES !
    This is supported by the following:

    1. Luke 15:4-7 – The Parable of the 100 sheep, One is lost leaving the 99 in search of the one lost. When found by the Shepherd [not vice versa] the Shepherd will carry the sheep in his shoulders and bring the sheep back home. The sheep cannot come back home on his own [the sheep is helpless, spiritually dead] needs a total rescue and needs to be regenerated-quickened spiritually.

    2. Luke 15:8-10 speaks of the parable of the lost coin. The initiative and all efforts [light a lamp, sweep the whole house] in the search were not done by the coin itself. It was all done by the woman. Regeneration is first done before faith. Faith then is given by God by the time a person engage with the gospel call. This “monergism” in God’s plan of Salvation, not “synergism”.

    3. Matt. 13:3-8 The preparation made to the “good soil” before the seed was sown to that ground – It is an expression of regeneration. No regeneration made for the other types of soil, made them all perish. Others will argue that the word alone as two edged sword is sufficient, but in this case how is it that the word alone has no power to germinate and grow continuously to the other types of soil? Why? because their former status [dead to sin, totally depraved] has not been changed first.

    4. John 6:37, 44, 65 The drawing power made by God the Father to those who will come to the Son. Even Israel who were purposely blinded by God, there will come a time wherein God will un-blind them for them to see the truth and be able to come back to God.

    5. I Cor. 2:14 Belief, Faith springs from a change of natural status which a fallen man can never exercise. He must first be regenerated [quickened his dead spirit] in order to become morally capable to access God.

    1. “Dead” people can hear God’s voice. But that voice can and has been resisted, just like the word that is heard is allowed to be taken or not allowed to take root or choked.

      But Jesus said even the hard soil could believe and be saved if the seed remained and did its work (Luke 8:12). Its the Word through humble response to it that makes the heart good soil.

      Heb 3, 7-8

      The warning is given, “Today if you hear His voice, harden not your heart.” Heb 3:7-8

      This warning passage in Hebrews makes no sense if Calvinism is applied to it. The Calvinist “elect” cannot harden once they hear, and the warning would be deceitful for they will never be lost. The Calvinist “reprobate” cannot hear and the warning would again be deceitful for it suggests there is hope for them if they repent, which they cannot do.

      But there is also a warning of judicial hardening for rejecting to believe His voice – Consider – 2Th 2:9-12 NKJV – The coming of the [lawless one] is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

      And – Pro 29:1 NKJV – He who is often rebuked, [and] hardens [his] neck, Will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.

      No-one is born reprobate. All are given a call to seek that they can understand and respond positively to. There is no excuse.

      1. Yes Brian, thanks again for a nice dialogue regarding this topic. Dead in Sin People [the reprobates] physiologically can hear. I don’t object to that. They are normal beings too with capabilities. The idea that I have with them is : “separation from God’ or a broken relationship due to sin that made them morally incapable to initiate for themselves [to do self efforts making themselves a “good soil”] to access or even win the favor of God. It so happened that I embrace Monergism as God’s plan for the Salvation of man. The grace of God for me is that work of God in Saving sinners given free to undeserving sinners without conditions [no requiring of man’s efforts] otherwise it becomes Synergism or Semi-Pelagian. We have the opposite position, but I will always respect your ideas and your identity here as a fellow believer in Christ and to avoid any personal attacks in my comments.

        Regarding giving warnings, this is also true with the apostle Paul in his Pauline letters. Warning the believers is just void or senseless because Calvinism believes in a Permanent Salvation being maintained by God in the believer. And it seems for me that you are affirming that here. It works only in regards to the issue of the rewards [not Salvation] that the believers will receive at the BEMA judgment day. Ignoring those warnings will cause to the loss or destruction of rewards.

        I also believe that there are those who were born reprobate, like : Judas Iscariot, Esau, the residents of Canaan that were annihilated by Joshua and his armies except Rahab the prosti, false prophets and even Cain who is destined as the wicked one or son of the devil [I John 3:12]. Other references used to identify them in Scripture are the following: goats, chaff, swine, tares, and also include those impostors mentioned by Christ in Matt. 7:21-23…

      2. Jtle – I enjoy our conversations also. But these warnings in Hebrews don’t just sound like a loss of rewards to me… 😉
        Heb 3:11-12 NKJV – So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’ ” 12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;
        Heb 10:27 NKJV – but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.

      3. Brian,
        I agree with you that they outrun the texts talking about “dead”.

        It is a mystery to me how they can say that man is “too dead” to hear God’s call since he (unsaved man): can (a) hear (b) respond to other calls (pleas for money for good causes), (c) do other good things (be kind, be patient, love, sacrifice for other).

        Cain was warned by God…. 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.”

        It should be obvious to all that Cain could have obeyed God (or the call was very insincere on God’s part).

        But in Calvinism, Cain did not have what it took to respond. He was “too dead” and had not been given the dose necessary. One would never get that idea from simply reading the text. You have to BRING that idea to the text.

    2. Faith comes by regeneration, then you are able to believe. No Scripture says this. It is an invention of man. Faith comes by hearing….hearing what?…..the word of God….Rom 10:17 Regeneration is able to make you wise unto salvation…another invention…..The Scriptures are able to make you wise unto salvation….2 Tim 3:15. Regeneration is living, active, powerful, no, God’s word…living, active, powerful…Heb 4:12 But for the sake of argument, let’s say you have to be regenerated first…OK, but you can still resist Acts 7:51. The bottom line is you have to make the right choice..Josh 24:15. You don’t need endless permutations of Calvinist theology. God has made it simple….Psa 19:7.

      1. Richard writes, “Faith comes by regeneration,…Regeneration is able to make you wise unto salvation…Regeneration is living, active, powerful,…”

        Where did you get these ideas?? Did you just make them up?

        Then, “But for the sake of argument, let’s say you have to be regenerated first…OK, but you can still resist Acts 7:51.”

        Acts 7 speaks to Israel’s refusal to listen to the law, given by the Holy Spirit, or the prophets, inspired by the Holy Spirit. It is not speaking of regeneration.

      2. To Rhutchin: faith comes by regeneration,,,,I’m mocking that statement. Secondly, any refusal to listen to God is ….resisting the Spirit. There is no such thing as regeneration by osmosis. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ is first, salvation follows. God’s order of operations….Act 16:30,31 Notice it doesn’t say….get regenerated, then believe in Jesus, then salvation follows.

      3. Richard writes, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ is first, salvation follows. God’s order of operations….”

        Yet, we know that, God begins the work of salvation in a person and that we are God’s workmanship. We have the example of Saul on the road to Damascus and of Lydia down by the river. God uses various means to bring His elect to salvation. In the end, all who God gives to Christ will most certainly come to Christ.

      4. Richard posted this one:

        “Faith comes by regeneration, then you are able to believe. No Scripture says this. It is an invention of man. Faith comes by hearing….hearing what?…..the word of God….Rom 10:17 Regeneration is able to make you wise unto salvation…another invention…..The Scriptures are able to make you wise unto salvation….2 Tim 3:15. Regeneration is living, active, powerful, no, God’s word…living, active, powerful…Heb 4:12 But for the sake of argument, let’s say you have to be regenerated first…OK, but you can still resist Acts 7:51. The bottom line is you have to make the right choice..Josh 24:15. You don’t need endless permutations of Calvinist theology. God has made it simple….Psa 19:7.”

        ——-Here’s My Response——-
        Richard, you said: “It is an invention of man”, because you are intimidated and don’t know what to do when confronted by Romans 10:17. You cited 2 Tim. 3:15 to counter Romans 10:17, unfortunately that passage does not invalidate the truth brought to us in Romans 10:17

        Then you go to Acts 7:51, i.e: “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit as your fathers did, so do you.”

        You said : “You can still resist” based on this verse. The verse does not refer to believers as you claim that they can still resist. The passage talks about the Jews who were blinded by God, uncircumcised in heart and ears, so how can they hear the spiritual voice of God if they were in that status? Isn’t it that there will come a time that God will un-blind them first in order for them to see the truth? How can they see the truth if they were blind spiritually? uncircumcised heart and ears that cannot hear? Can they unblind themselves?, Can you? Can they afford to circumcised their hearts and ears at their own expense? If you say Yes, then you are a Pelagian or Semi-Pelagian. The Calvinists says, It is only God who can circumcise the heart and ear, unblind them and this only happens when God cause them to be reborn in the spirit [Regenerated] because they are spiritually dead due to the sin that separated them from a Holy God, that made them incapable to have an access to God on their own accord.

        How can they make the right choice if they were blind, uncircumcised heart and ears?

        Joshua 24:15 Why did you cite this verse when this verse refers to Joshua giving a challenge to the Israelites to decide for themselves? Too much abuse of this verse that made you out of context if you may refer this to the Gentile believers and unbelievers when it was not originally intended by the time it was uttered by Joshua.

      5. jtleosala
        you are intimidated and don’t know what to do when confronted by Romans 10:17.

        br.d
        This reminds me of a woman who boasted she was the only one who knew how to pray to marry.
        She convinced herself she had the inside card to all things having to do with god and scripture – and everyone else was intimidated.
        What a hoot! :-]

  9. “Cain was warned by God…. 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.”

    “It should be obvious to all that Cain could have obeyed God (or the call was very insincere on God’s part).”

    ———Here’s My Response to the above statement———-

    1. There was no God given law [the 10 commandments was given during the time of Moses at Mt. Sinai] during the time of Cain and Abel. The reason that we cannot place much emphasis on the issue of obedience. The two brothers might have just depending on their conscience as to how they had received orientations coming from their Mom and Dad’s knowledge of Good and Evil.

    2. God’s confronting Cain telling him, “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted ?”, for me is not to demand or expect obedience from Cain, rather it is a way of God’s revealing Cain as the “reprobate” – his natural status reveals what he is as the “wicked one” or the son of the devil according to I John 3:12 , in verse 15 John said: ” …. and you that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him”.

    3. It was not a call actually for Cain to obey because that would be insincere on God’s part according to the statement above. It was God’s way of revealing the true nature of Cain as the reprobate.

    4. Cain as the wicked one [that was dropped by God while picking up Abel], was permanently cursed by God in Gen. 4:11-15. Cain sensed this separation by saying: “…. I shall be hidden from Your face. I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on earth…” Can cannot really obey because he does not have the capability to do that for himself while his brother Abel do.

    1. Ok JTLE, my counter reply is this. Rom 2:15 does apply to Cain and Abel. They did sacrifice, Gen 4:4,5 and God told Cain that sin was at the door….Gen 4:7  If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. So I don’t see what your protest is. As Rom 2:15 states, “the work of the law written in their hearts”….so how would Cain and Abel know sin? Just because something is written to a particular group it does not follow that it can’t apply to others. Consider: Rom_15:4  For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. There are scenes and judgments stated in Revelation that will apply to people all the way back to Genesis.

      1. Richard writes:

        “Ok JTLE, my counter reply is this. Rom 2:15 does apply to Cain and Abel. They did sacrifice, Gen 4:4,5 and God told Cain that sin was at the door….Gen 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. So I don’t see what your protest is. As Rom 2:15 states, “the work of the law written in their hearts”….so how would Cain and Abel know sin? Just because something is written to a particular group it does not follow that it can’t apply to others. Consider: Rom_15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. There are scenes and judgments stated in Revelation that will apply to people all the way back to Genesis.”

        ———–My Response———
        1. I deny your claim in Romans 2:15. This verse does not support your claim. The pronoun used is “Their” – referring to the Gentiles in the previous verse 14 not to Cain and Abel.

        2. You said: “… so how could Cain and Abel know sin? . My response to you is: How could they sin if there was no law existing during their time that has been violated by themselves?

        3. Next question to you:
        Where in the Bible can you find God commanding them to offer sacrifice because they have violated certain laws?
        What are those laws they have violated?
        Who told them to offer sacrifice?

        My Previous post reflected below:

        1. There was no God given law [the 10 commandments was given during the time of Moses at Mt. Sinai] during the time of Cain and Abel. The reason that we cannot place much emphasis on the issue of obedience. The two brothers might have just depending on their conscience as to how they had received orientations coming from their Mom and Dad’s knowledge of Good and Evil.

        2. God’s confronting Cain telling him, “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted ?”, for me is not to demand or expect obedience from Cain, rather it is a way of God’s revealing Cain as the “reprobate” – his natural status reveals what he is as the “wicked one” or the son of the devil according to I John 3:12 , in verse 15 John said: ” …. and you that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him”.

        3. It was not a call actually for Cain to obey because that would be insincere on God’s part according to the statement above. It was God’s way of revealing the true nature of Cain as the reprobate.

        4. Cain as the wicked one [that was dropped by God while picking up Abel], was permanently cursed by God in Gen. 4:11-15. Cain sensed this separation by saying: “…. I shall be hidden from Your face. I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on earth…” Can cannot really obey because he does not have the capability to do that for himself while his brother Abel do.

      2. Yes, he might have just pretending. He insists that Man (Paul) has a certain part in God’s plan of Salvation, and this just show that he is a Semi-Pelagian but calls himself instead as a semi-Polynesian

    2. To JTLE: You state, 3. Next question to you:
      Where in the Bible can you find God commanding them to offer sacrifice because they have violated certain laws?
      What are those laws they have violated?
      Who told them to offer sacrifice?
      I can turn that around on you. Why are they offering sacrifice? You don’t know. So you are assuming your opinion they are not sacrificing for sin. You are JTLE verifying JTLE. Reasoning in a circle. Since Paul has stated..all have sinned, that includes Cain and Abel. I assume they are sacrificing for sin, just like you ASSUME they are not. Our opinions cancel each other as to who is right.

      1. Richard posted this one:

        “To JTLE: You state, 3. Next question to you:
        Where in the Bible can you find God commanding them to offer sacrifice because they have violated certain laws?
        What are those laws they have violated?
        Who told them to offer sacrifice?
        I can turn that around on you. Why are they offering sacrifice? You don’t know. So you are assuming your opinion they are not sacrificing for sin. You are JTLE verifying JTLE. Reasoning in a circle. Since Paul has stated..all have sinned, that includes Cain and Abel. I assume they are sacrificing for sin, just like you ASSUME they are not. Our opinions cancel each other as to who is right.”

        ————Here’;s My Response———–

        1. You failed again to argue with me. Evading is a feeble attempt to conceal yourself. The bullet that I have used still will penetrate the opponent. The questions thrown to you remains unanswered.

        2. You have forgotten that Calvinists believe in the doctrine of Total Depravity and the doctrine of the original sin. What do you expect from Cain and Abel? They were the products of sinful parents, so what do you expect? No one in this world exited from their mother’s womb already righteous, are you? No one was born physically already saved, are you? I know you are one of those who does not believe in TD and the doctrine of the original Sin. Though you say here all have sinned yet for you the fallen man still has a counterpart/share in obtaining Salvation offered by God to undeserving dead to sin sinners.

        3. Who told you it’s been cancelled? Maybe it’s your opinion but not mine.

      2. Nah. He answers that his prayer is that ALL of them would become believers. Paul is not much of a Calvinist, since he should realize that ….according to Calvinism, it’s just flat out never God’s will that “all” people come to Him. So what a “wasted” prayer!

        Here’s My Reaction to that statement:

        Amen… it’s really a wasted prayer. You said : “… all of them would become believers” – This prayer is not compatible with the plan of God concerning the salvation of man. Even if how much struggle with prayer have been done, yet not all mankind will be saved. The Semi-Pelagian assumes that the word “ALL” refers to all humanity on earth, but I say the word “ALL” refers to all of the elect scattered in all parts of the world. Man’s will as used in deciding what to pray can not tamper what has been decreed by God to come to pass.

    3. jtleosala
      It was not a call actually for Cain to obey because that would be insincere on God’s part according to the statement above. It was God’s way of revealing the true nature of Cain as the reprobate.

      br.d
      with this thinking it logically follows:

      If one is NOT a reprobate – the words Calvin’s god’s speaks are actually calling one to obey.
      If one IS a reprobate – the words Calvin’s god speaks are NOT calling one to obey.

      And Calvin’s god doesn’t reveal which of these is the case to the person when he speaks.
      Therefore no one can trust to know what Calvin’s god is really saying by the words he speaks.

      1. br.d writes, “If one is NOT a reprobate – the words Calvin’s god’s speaks are actually calling one to obey.
        If one IS a reprobate – the words Calvin’s god speaks are NOT calling one to obey.?”

        As Paul affirms, “Now thanks be unto God, which always causes us to triumph in Christ, and makes manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life.”

      2. br.d
        with this thinking it logically follows:

        If one is NOT a reprobate – the words Calvin’s god’s speaks are actually calling one to obey.
        If one IS a reprobate – the words Calvin’s god speaks are NOT calling one to obey.

        And Calvin’s god doesn’t reveal which of these is the case to the person when he speaks.

        Therefore no one can trust to know what Calvin’s god is really saying by the words he speaks.

        rhutchin
        As Paul affirms, …….

        br.d
        Great example of how Calvinists superimpose the twisted system onto scripture – thanks rhutcin! :-]

  10. The Scriptures are able to make you wise unto salvation….2 Tim 3:15 Calvinism makes the gospel complicated and burdensome. The dead in Ephesians are not corpses and can hear and respond Eph 2:1. This is abuse of analogy. Choose this day whom you’ll serve….Josh 24:15….simple.

    1. Richard,

      you have failed to argue with me. The scripture passage you have cited does not confront my position, instead a reinforcement.

      1. Ok JTLE, I’ll get specific. Point 1 you say “there was no God given law during the time of Cain and Abel.” That would be wrong. God has put a sense of right and wrong in everyone since Adam…..Rom 2:14  For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: 
        Rom 2:15  Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) God chose Israel to entrust with the written codified Law, which is a separate issue…Rom 3:1,2

      2. Richard writes:

        “Ok JTLE, I’ll get specific. Point 1 you say “there was no God given law during the time of Cain and Abel.” That would be wrong. God has put a sense of right and wrong in everyone since Adam…..Rom 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
        Rom 2:15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) God chose Israel to entrust with the written codified Law, which is a separate issue…Rom 3:1,2”

        ———My Response———
        ‘1. Romans 2:14 – the verse you cited speaks in itself that the law was not intended for the Gentiles, yet you say the opposite reading into the verse that fictitious doctrine. In fact the Apostle Paul said in Galatians 3:10 that those who are under the law the Gentiles including [Richard] are still under the curse.

        2. Romans 2:15 has nothing to do with Cain and Abel. It talks of the Gentiles not during the time of Cain and Abel.

        3. Romans 3:1-2 talks about of the Jews and Gentiles. Cain and Abel was not a Jew, nor a Gentile.

      3. Richard writes, ‘Rom 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law,…”

        This means that even selfish, prideful people figure out that they can be selfish and prideful much longer if they keep their sinful impulses in check and stop killing and stealing from each other. Of course, they do this in groups that still prey on other groups. “Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.”

  11. Reading Acts 26 today.

    28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?”

    29 Paul replied, “Short time or long—I pray to God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.”
    —————

    Agrippa knows that Paul is trying to “persuade” him to be a Christian. He is obviously not “too-dead” to understand that.

    The Word of God also talks here about a person being “persuaded” (not divinely given faith). Think about it. Why does Scripture take such a great effort (here and elsewhere) to make the reader think that it is about “persuading people” when…according to Calvinism…. that has nothing to do with it at all? That appears to be misleading if Calvinism is true.

    What does Paul respond? “If God gives you faith you will believe”?? “If you are irresistibly forced to believe, you will, bro!”??

    Nah. He answers that his prayer is that ALL of them would become believers. Paul is not much of a Calvinist, since he should realize that ….according to Calvinism, it’s just flat out never God’s will that “all” people come to Him. So what a “wasted” prayer!

    1. FOH writes, “Agrippa knows that Paul is trying to “persuade” him to be a Christian. He is obviously not “too-dead” to understand that.”

      So say the Calvinists. The most hardened atheist often comes out of a church environment and can know the gospel as well, or better, than those who profess to be believers. Are they persuaded – absolutely not (at least, not without God’s help). Do we still persuade them? Yes – because God may save them without telling us. God tells the Calvinist to plant and water and He will give the increase. I don’t know what he tells FOH.

      Then, “Why does Scripture take such a great effort (here and elsewhere) to make the reader think that it is about “persuading people” when…according to Calvinism…. that has nothing to do with it at all?”

      Because, under Calvinism (and you know this even though you pretend not to or perhaps you have a brain freeze), God instructs believers to go into all the world and preach the gospel, planting and watering everywhere they go. In this manner God calls His elect to salvation.

      Then, ” [Paul] answers that his prayer is that ALL of them would become believers. ”

      So is the prayer of every Calvinist even though He knows that God will save whom He will. Who knows what FOH prays. I guess his prayers are wasted on those whom God chose not to save.

  12. I find it interesting that Paul —in addition to saying that he “persuades” men, “convinces” men, “reasons with” men— also says that he “planted” and Apollos “watered”.

    Of course that is “nothing” compared to what God does, but it is still something.

    Calvinists insists that man has nothing to do with salvation (they speak from the point of view of the person being saved). But Paul, not being a Calvinist himself, would differ greatly with them!

    He insists (and mentions often) that he “became all things to all men that he MIGHT win some”! That certainly means that he had some part to play in their salvation.

    Calvinists want to say that “man has no part whatsoever” (we can see that stated by Calvinists on this blog many times)…. but they must not be hearing non-Calvinist Paul speaking about all he and others are doing.

    1. FOH writes, “Calvinists insists that man has nothing to do with salvation (they speak from the point of view of the person being saved).”

      There he goes again – distorting Calvinism when he knows better. Calvinists say that man has nothing to do with his own personal salvation as he is God’s workmanship – God begins the work of salvation in a person and carries it through to completion and glorification.

      God has given man a role in bringing others to salvation – one plants, one waters but it is always God who gives the increase. FOH knows this but pretends not to.

  13. JTLE states: 3. Who told you it’s been cancelled? Maybe it’s your opinion but not mine…..my answer…but an opinion nevertheless. Then you state….I know you are one of those who does not believe in TD and the doctrine of the original Sin. Though you say here all have sinned yet for you the fallen man still has a counterpart/share in obtaining Salvation offered by God to undeserving dead to sin sinners. My answer…I don’t fool with terms like total depravity, Those are inventions of men with various meanings. I believe the blood of Jesus cleanses from all sin(1 John 1:7), so that eliminates your charge that I have a share in salvation. So belief doesn’t cleanse from sin, the blood of Jesus does. If you believe it, God will save you……simple…..Rom 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Again, the gospel is the power of God unto salvation. So I don’t know where you are getting that I share in salvation.

    1. Richard to JTL writes, “I believe the blood of Jesus cleanses from all sin(1 John 1:7), so that eliminates your charge that I have a share in salvation. So belief doesn’t cleanse from sin, the blood of Jesus does. If you believe it, God will save you……”

      By saying “If you believe it, God will save you,” you make God’s action to save a person dependent on the person believing. It is this that responds to your complaint, “So I don’t know where you are getting that I share in salvation.” You make your share to be “believing,” the condition you must meet in order to have God save you, since if you do not believe, God will not save you.

      1. Hey Richard,

        Dont fall for the Calvinist “belief” canard. This is the oldest trick in the Calvinist book…. make “everything come from God.” Of course we all believe that all glory goes to God and “He did it all” but not in the same way as Calvinists.

        1. They say that even after a person is “Calvinist-regenerated” he “still has to believe.” Have faith. Of course they say that the believing is irresistible. So it is just so much semantics with them. “You must believe!!” they say ….but as soon as we say that believing has anything to do with it….they say “Ah-ah-ah….not so fast….it is not your believing!” So, kind of ridiculous.

        2. I find it amazing to hear them trash-talk the idea that believing has something to do with God acting. It is ALL OVER the Bible. God says in hundreds of places and hundreds of different ways things like: “If you believe me and do this…. I will do this. But if you dont….I wont.”

        It is very arrogant of them to super-impose on all of these passages the idea that EVERY time they believed it was God who “irresistibly imposed faith” on them and EVERY time they did not believe it was God who said “Yeah, I told you that you had to believe but then I just didnt want to give you the faith.”

        Arrogance to force that interpretation on Scripture!

        Again….what would be the point of all the cajoling and warning of the prophets? What is the point of ANY of Scripture if obedience to every command of God depends entirely on whether He gives you faith for that or not?

      2. Richard,
        On another note about the Calvinist “belief” canard.

        The most spectacular event in the OT and the most cited/ recounted event in the Bible is Passover.

        God “did it all”. He provides the idea, the instructions, and the way of escape. Still they had to apply the blood in faith and stay in the house.

        Now…..when this story is repeated over and over in the Bible it always say something like “God rescued His people.” I mean, it never says “they rescued themselves.” It would be silly to accuse them of “rescuing themselves” or “saving themselves by believing.” But they still had to believe.

        How could they? They were mere slaves (like we were slaves to sin), and what’s more they had no Bibles, teachers, and for hundreds of years, no prophets.

        But obviously, with the kind of proof offered by the miracles done by Moses (just as Christ and Paul did miracles that they might convince people, or bear witness) the Israelites had enough “ability” to respond in faith.

        Calvinist answer: God told them what to do, expected them to do it, and gave miracles to provide the witness…. but that was NOT enough. God had to give each of them the faith to put the blood on the door.

        It’s the Calvinist position. It’s just not in the Bible.

        But that doesnt stop them from saying it!

      3. Yes, IF I believe, God will save me. What does the Scripture say? Rom 10:9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Notice the conjunction IF,εαν introduces a conditional clause. So yes, I must fill the condition of believing if I want to be saved. Jesus on the cross said “it is finished”. I didn’t die on the cross, Jesus did. That’s the price of sin and Jesus paid it. God by His sovereign will inspired the word IF to indicate the condition of believing to obtain the purchase which he paid. Nowhere in Scripture does it say believing is sharing in the suffering Jesus went through. That is your Calvinistic bias which you are using as a strawman. If you truly believe God is sovereign, then go by his sovereign will which states in his word, I must fulfill the condition of believing to be saved.

      4. Richard writes, “Yes, IF I believe, God will save me. What does the Scripture say? Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

        Just a few verses down, Paul asks, “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?” he concludes, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Thus, we know that faith is necessary to believing. Paul expands on this in Ephesians 1, “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.” In 1 Corinthians, Paul wrote, “no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.” From these verses, we have this series of events.
        1. The Word is preached.
        2. Faith comes from hearing the word.
        3. Faith manifests in believing.
        4. Upon believing a person is sealed by the Holy Spirit.
        5. It is by the Holy Spirit that the person then says, “Jesus is Lord.”

        Salvation is by the grace of God incorporating the natural response of the person as a little child – a response that cannot be otherwise than God intended. God’s grace cannot be resisted (why would anyone resist salvation?).

      5. Richard writes:

        “…Yes, IF I believe, God will save me. What does the Scripture say? Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Notice the conjunction IF,εαν introduces a conditional clause. So yes, I must fill the condition of believing if I want to be saved.”.

        Here’s My Response:

        1. Not all people who confess Jesus is accepted> Look at Matt. 7:21-23 they were directly denied by Jesus Christ Himself.

        2. Citing Romans 10:9 are referring to those legitimate beneficiaries of Christ’s death at Calvary. Their confessing act is the one accepted by God, Why? because they were legitimate beneficiaries, the elect.

        3. The “if” is not a problem nor a condition for a Calvinist. The will of man can be override by God anytime He may wish to do so. Man’s will if used cannot tamper/alter what God has planned for the Salvation of man that was originally decreed before time to come to pass for the elect.

        4. You place too much idolizing the “self” – the natural man, the fallen man, the carnal man. A conditional salvation is not a pure gospel. An adulterated one that is maintained by man himself and can be lost. If you disbelieve then you are lost again – That is a crazy doctrine. Calvinists don’t believe in a conditional gospel and salvation. We believe in a permanent salvation and the 5 SOLAS.

  14. “IF” is not a problem and you want to ignore it to preserve Calvinism, but It is essential to believing the Scriptures which teach that salvation is conditioned upon the response of the individual. There’s really nothing to argue….Act 16:29  Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, 
    Act 16:30  And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 
    Act 16:31  And they said, (here’s the condition) Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. So simple even a child could understand….Psa 19:7  The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

    1. Richard,
      I think you have it right and I appreciate you bringing in good verses and simple thinking.

      But Calvinists are so preconditioned with TULIP as “Gospel truth” that they cannot hear you.

      They think the message from Paul to the jailer was “A person must believe in the Lord….but he can’t!”

      All preaching of the gospel to Calvinists is “Everyone must call upon the name of the Lord…. but most of you can’t cuz He decided before time not to give you the extra potion of faith you need to do that. For the ones He gave it to…. you are gonna believe whether you like it to not!”

      Ironically the very passage that you bring up not only proves the beauty of simple Gospel faith, but it disproves TULIP.

      T means Total Depravity and man is “too-dead” and cannot even seek God (so much for Christ’s words on the hillside to the thousands: “Seek first the kingdom of God”).

      They think that regeneration precedes faith —-but only by a nanosecond. So, (according to them) the jailer must have been given faith…. in order to be able to ask “What must I do to be saved?” Right? But there is too much lag time in there between him being given-faith, asking, and him and his household believing.

      And besides the “ordo salutis” is off (they love Latin). He is “seeking and asking about salvation even before he hears the Gospel!

      TULIP does not fit this since the Reformed “ordo salutis” needs the Gospel call before regeneration…. and clearly this man is seaking before he hears.

      They just cannot force TULIP into most of the stories of the Bible.

      1. fromoverhere,
        The L is the the one that baffles me. The champions of God’s sovereignty limit God’s atonement. Amazing! He’s only as sovereign as they allow him. The coup de gras verse that refutes them and I’m amazed at their blindness is 1Ti 4:10  For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. I see 2 groups of people here, those that believe, as the subset of all persons, believers and unbelievers. If he’s the savior of all, believer and unbeliever, the L disappears. At this point they accuse you of universalism, but nowhere does this verse or any scripture teach all are saved. It’s about the extent of the atonement. No one can claim at the judgment, Dan 7:10, Jesus didn’t die for me.

      2. Richard,
        You are spot on here!

        On the day of judgement, hell-bound people will be saying, “It’s because I did not believe.”

        If Calvinism is true, they will be saying, “Are you kidding? Why am I even standing here to be ‘judged’? In God’s eternal plan, Jesus never intended to die for me. I was created to satisfy God’s wrath. So let’s just quit the ‘You never believed on Christ’ routine and get on with this!”

      3. FOH writes, “On the day of judgement, hell-bound people will be saying, ‘It’s because I did not believe.'”

        Yep – denying their sin up to the end.

        Then, “If Calvinism is true, they will be saying, “Are you kidding? Why am I even standing here to be ‘judged’?”

        Just like Paul wrote, “You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?…But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?”” The depraved are depraved to the end.

      4. Richard writes, “The L is the the one that baffles me.”

        I don’t see why. The issue is God’s intent. John Owen addressed this in his “Death of Death…”

        Then, “The coup de gras verse that refutes them and I’m amazed at their blindness is 1Ti 4:10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. ”

        Good citation – “specially of those that believe,” refers to God’s elect, those for whom Christ died.

        Then, “If he’s the savior of all, believer and unbeliever, the L disappears.”

        No. That God is the savior of all refers to God being the only means of salvation. That God only saves some and not all and it was God’s intent to save some and not all makes L relevant.

        Then, “It’s about the extent of the atonement.”

        But the L refers to the intent of the atonement. There is no issue between Cavs and non-Cavs on the extent of the atonement (at least, not that I am aware).

        Then, “No one can claim at the judgment, Dan 7:10, Jesus didn’t die for me.”

        No, no one can claim, “I could not take advantage of Christ’s atonement.” God sent Christ to the cross to die for those that God intended to give to Him.

      5. FOH writes, “They think the message from Paul to the jailer was “A person must believe in the Lord….but he can’t!””

        It was Jesus who said “he can’t” when He said, “No one can come to me…”

      6. FOH to Richard writes:

        “And besides the “ordo salutis” is off (they love Latin). He is “seeking and asking about salvation even before he hears the Gospel!”

        “TULIP does not fit this since the Reformed “ordo salutis” needs the Gospel call before regeneration…. and clearly this man is seaking before he hears.”

        “They just cannot force TULIP into most of the stories of the Bible.”

        ——-Here’s My Reaction———

        The comenter endorses faith of the fallen man that will make the spiritually dead man alive. FOH cannot afford to argue and win with the Apostle Paul. Here is what Paul said:

        But the natural man [spiritually dead man] does not receive the things of the Spirit of God [but for FOH still they can] for they are foolishness to him, nor can he know them, [sadly FOH teaches the opposite that the unbelievers are able to know and receive spiritual things, contrary to what Paul have said here] because they are spiritually discerned. I Cor. 2:14

        If they are unable according to Paul due to their old status, the “natural man”, Calvinists are correct to say that they need to be regenerated first before Faith is given to them, for how can they activate this faith if they are still spiritually dead?

        Asking and seeking about salvation even before one hears the gospel can be done by anybody else, but the problem is this: Is the one seeking a legitimate beneficiary of Christ’s death @ the cross of Calvary?. Jesus Christ have already said and telling us that He only offered His life to the sheep. John 10:11 I am the good Shepherd. The good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep and then He said it again in verse 17 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again”.

        The Father screens those who will attempt [the ones that FOH is insisting that are persistent seekers] to come to Jesus. According to Jesus is that : “No one can come to the Son if not drawn to Him by His Father – John 6:44 “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him…”

        FOH’s “Ordo salutis” is inverted [faith first then regenerated] and this is contrary of Paul’s doctrine about the matter.

        FOH said: “the TULIP does not fit”, but it does even if how much level of effort FOH will deny.

        For now, FOH can no longer see this truths, Why? Let us hear from the statement of Jesus : “…For judgement I have come into this world, that those who do not see, and that those who see [including FOH] may be made blind”

      7. jtleosala
        If they are unable according to Paul due to their old status, the “natural man”, Calvinists are correct to say that they need to be regenerated first

        br.d
        Since Calvinism is predicated upon the philosophy of Universal Divine Causal Determinism.
        And since in that system all attributes of creatures are DESIGNED by Calvin’s god and continually under the EXCLUSIVE CONTROL of Calvin’s god.

        It makes sense that the language (above) would incorporate terms like: OLD STATUS and REGENERATED
        These terms simply signify a change in the creature’s PROGRAMMING.

      8. br.d writes, ‘Since Calvinism is predicated upon the philosophy of Universal Divine Causal Determinism.”

        br.d promotes this conclusion to avoid dealing with the Scriptures underlying Calvinist doctrine.

      9. br.d
        Since Calvinism is predicated upon the philosophy of Universal Divine Causal Determinism.”

        rhutchin
        br.d promotes this conclusion to avoid dealing with the Scriptures underlying Calvinist doctrine.

        br.d
        Fallacy of Circular Reasoning (Latin: circulus in probando, also known as circular logic) is a logical fallacy in which the reasoner begins with what they are trying to end with.

        Example:
        Calvinist doctrine superimposing itself upon scripture – is called scripture “underlying” Calvinist doctrine.

        Here is wisdom:
        Never make the mistake of conflating DOUBLE-THINK with scripture. :-]

      10. Richard,
        Just a heads up here…

        You can expect that no matter how many different verses you bring up, some Calvinist will repeat that is it true….cuz….well it’s just true.

        You can expect that no matter how many different verses you bring up, some Calvinist will insist that being “spiritually dead” means incapable even though being “dead TO sin” (buried in Christ) does not mean incapable. (And dont forget that unbelievers are also called “sick” not only “dead”).

        You can expect that no matter how many different verses you bring up, some Calvinist will always return to their interpretation of 1-2 verses (over and over). All 31,000 verses in the Bible need to be filtered by (their interpretation of) those verses. Period. Rinse, repeat.

        You can expect that no matter how many different verses you bring up, some Calvinist will accuse you of being a Universalist, blind, a heretic, and a semi-Polynesian. There is no discussing for some angry-sounding Calvinists. Nope. Their way is right and all out side of it are intentionally distorting the truth.

        In regard to this last point…. in the last 35 years that I have been following this argument I have noticed more and more Calvinists taking the position that those not believing TULIP are preaching “another Gospel” and are literally from the Evil One.

        Brace yourself.

      11. FOH
        Calvinist will insist that being “spiritually dead” means INCAPABLE
        Even though being “dead TO sin” (buried in Christ) does not mean INCAPABLE

        br.d
        An interesting point!
        If “dead” is defined as INCAPABILITY
        Then if LOGICALLY follows “dead to sin” equates to being INCAPABLE (in regard to sin).

        But alas – Calvinist arguments are presented *AS-IF* man has some degree of control over any part of his attributes.
        While the underlying foundation of their philosophy totally irradiates any such control.

        And *AS-IF* thinking is just another form of DOUBLE-THINK.
        Thus the Calvinist lives in a world of DOUBLE-THINK – which serves as a RED-FLAG to discerning Christians. :-]

      12. Dont forget there are more verses saying we are “dead to sin” “dead in Christ” “buried in Christ” “crucified so that sin is brought to nothing…”

        ….than there are verses saying we are “dead in sin”. And in neither case does it mean incapable.

        But that does not matter to Calvinists since it does not fit their man-made philosophy.

        For them….. “dead” means what they want it to mean….but only when they say so.

        Let’s not forget that unbelievers are called “sick” and “slaves” also….. neither of which means incapable.

        “Seek first the kingdom” Christ said to the massive multitude on the hillside.

      13. FOH writes, “For [Calvinists]….. “dead” means what they want it to mean….but only when they say so.”

        For Calvinists, “dead in sin,” in Ephesians 2 means that condition that requires God to make the person alive – “But God… even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive…” FOH knows this but pretends not to (or maybe not!).

      14. rhutchin
        For Calvinists, “dead in sin,” in Ephesians 2 means that condition that requires God to make the person alive – “But God… even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive…” FOH knows this but pretends not to (or maybe not!).

        br.d
        To crop one sentence out of a formulating sequence of statements and simply straw-man that one sentence.
        And then claim others don’t have anything substantive to offer.

        Its called reverse attribution. :-]

      15. Oh br.d…

        You are such a sweetheart to come to my aid!

        You notice that I did not even both with RH’s straw men. Seen it so many times! As if I dont believe that Christ makes us (who were dead) alive! Silly! Of course He does!

        I just dont think that being born again precedes faith and any confession of sin or proclaiming of Savior. Calvinists do!

        “You must be born again!” (Calvinist: which precedes faith and repentance…..and being born again, again).

      16. I find it totally ironic to watch Calvinists take themselves so seriously – when the doctrine tells them their god is in all probability deceiving them into believing they are something they really aren’t.

        I suspect all of the huffing and puffing and straw-men-ing others is just a way of escaping their own internal uncertainties.
        Trying not to think about the horrible decree.

      17. FOH
        For them….. “dead” means what they want it to mean….but only when they say so.

        br.d
        Good point!
        Yes – this goes for pretty much everything.
        Like the joke:
        The Calvinist definition of “sovereign” is Calvin’s god doing everything the Calvinist says.

        Calvinism: 10 easy lessons in how to create a god in you’re own image. :-]

      18. I went to Piper’s site to see what he says about being “dead to sin.”

        Curiously he starts one paragraph like this……

        “My answer to this first question is that what God creates in the new birth is….”

        I wonder which “new birth” he is talking about?

        Does he mean the “regeneration new birth” or the “new birth” we have when we confess our sins and are “born again”?

        Cuz for Calvinists we have two “new births”. We have to be “made alive” in order to be “given-faith” so that we can call on the name of the Lord, confess our sins and be “born again”.

        So….. that’s two new births right?

        ps. By the way…..Piper’s version of “dead to sin” is very much still capable. “Buried in Christ” but “dead doesnt mean dead.”

      19. FOH
        Cuz for Calvinists we have two “new births”. We have to be “made alive” in order to be “given-faith” so that we can call on the name of the Lord, confess our sins and be “born again”.

        br.d
        Its seems to me they make these one and the same thing.

        Calvin’s god says the magic word ABRACADABRA and PRESTO! – new birth – (i.e., regeneration).
        After this magical event – the person “has faith” and “believes”

        And just think – in Calvinism people get saved instantaneously without ever having previously intended to do so. :-]
        There is no time-laps in which the person is resisting – because a dead person can’t resist anything.
        As the Calvinist says – they are “dead dead dead”.
        In this case regeneration just happens – and the person becomes aware of it after the fact!

      20. FOH writes, ‘You can expect that no matter how many different verses you bring up, some Calvinist will always return to their interpretation of 1-2 verses (over and over).”

        FOH used to say it was 40-50 verses. Regardless, they are verses FOH has expunged from his Bible because he cannot deal with them – they don’t support his philosophy.

      21. rhutchin
        FOH used to say it was 40-50 verses. Regardless, they are verses FOH has expunged from his Bible because he cannot deal with them – they don’t support his philosophy.

        br.d
        The Straw-man fallacy:

        Definition:
        Substituting a person’s actual position or argument with a distorted, exaggerated, or misrepresented version of the position of the argument.

    2. Richard writes, ‘Act 16:31 And they said, (here’s the condition) Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. So simple even a child could understand….”

      Exactly, so why aren’t all saved? This is not rocket science and the obvious response is a no-brainer.

      We should remember what Jesus said, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me,…”

      We then take Paul at his word, “Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?”

      Unless you have a better explanation.

      1. RHUTCHIN has said a lot here. First John 6:37 will be dealt with.
        All that the Father gives me will come to me….What is Calvinism trying to say? That the Father gives Jesus robots that are programmed to accept him. Yes, that’s exactly what they’re saying, of course, it is softened with the word …determinism. But in the light of other Scriptures which Calvinism ignores a different picture comes into focus. Using the principle of Act 20:27…“I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.” It can’t be determinism, because salvation is a choice…Rev 22:17  And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. So, yes, people who believe on the Lord Jesus will be given to him by the Father. Rom 10:13  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Psa 139:4 Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. Those that believe were empowered by God’s word…Heb 4:12  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword,. God wants all to believe,. 2Pe 3:9  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. People have a choice to make, Josh 24:15, will all accept..no, Mat_23:37  O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! In view of other Scriptures with John 6:37, Calvinism is overwhelmed and fades from view. Why would Jesus be lamenting over people incapable of repenting…this is the logical end of Calvinism.

      2. Richard writes, “First John 6:37 will be dealt with. “All that the Father gives me will come to me…”.What is Calvinism trying to say?”

        The Calvinist takes Jesus to be speaking the truth, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me,…”

        Then, “But in the light of other Scriptures which Calvinism ignores a different picture comes into focus. …In view of other Scriptures with John 6:37, Calvinism is overwhelmed and fades from view.”

        So, you completely ignore John 6:37 and argue your position from other verses rather than harmonize all the Scriptures together. That is called eisegesis. You don’t know what to do with Jesus when he speaks the truth so clearly.

      3. rhutchin
        The Calvinist takes Jesus to be speaking the truth, “All that the father gives Me will come to Me,…”

        br.d
        Except that the Calvinist has absolutely no idea whether a person is given or not. So whether or not this verse (all any promise of divine benevolence) is applicable to any Calvinist – (is for that Calvinist) what Paul would call an “UNCERTAIN SOUND”.

      4. No, no one can claim, “I could not take advantage of Christ’s atonement.” God sent Christ to the cross to die for those that God intended to give to Him…..Another attempt at the champions of God’s sovereignty, to limit his atonement which Scripture says covers all. “Whosoever will may come” Amazing! Again, if it’s limited, why is Jesus lamenting over those who refuse to come? One thing is certain, Jesus wouldn’t make a good Calvinist. The problem with Calvinism’s Romans 9 view is nowhere does it say the potter/clay issue is about salvation. It seems to be about nations..2 nations are in your womb…Gen 25:23, yet it’s Jacob and Esau. Jeremiah 18 1-11 speaks of the potter also, and the potter is responding to the clay, and will change what he does accordingly. It’s as though God’s sovereignty works through a dialectic of sorts.

      5. Richard writes, ‘The problem with Calvinism’s Romans 9 view is nowhere does it say the potter/clay issue is about salvation. It seems to be about nations.”

        The key phrase, “…seems to be…” Richard is looking for an out to escape the clear teaching of Paul in Romans 9.

        Romans 9 begins, “I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh,…” Even Dr. Flowers recognizes that Paul is concerned for the salvation of his brothers. This continues into chapter 10, “my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.” Then, in chapter 11, “I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not!…Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace.”

        What does Paul explain, “it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.” That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.” The “remnant according to the election of grace,” in Romans 11 are the “children of promise” in Romans 9.

        Paul’s identification of the “children of the promise ” being saved and not all Israel prompts the retorts, “Is there unrighteousness with God?” and “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?”

        That Paul has switched his attention from the salvation of the Jews to something about nations is eisegesis – and a flagrant effort to avoid Paul’s concern for the salvation of the Jews.

      6. Richard – you should be able to see how deeply entrenched the Calvinist indoctrination goes.

        And N.T. Wright jokingly calls Romans 9 the HAPPY HUNTING GROUND of reformed theology! :-]

      7. rhutcnin
        We should remember what Jesus said, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me,…”

        br.d
        In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) – all this REALLY means is: “All that Calvin’s god RENDERS-CERTAIN comes to pass”. And Calvin’s god programs every neurological impulse that will ever come to pass (i.e. appear) witin the creature’s brain.

        No wonder Calvinist interpret this verse this way! :-]

  15. Richard:
    Notice it doesn’t say….get regenerated, then believe in Jesus, then salvation follows.

    br.d
    Gnosticism but with slightly different terminology:
    “get the DIVINE SPARK then believe in Jesus – then salvation follows”

  16. rhutcnin
    In the end, all who God gives to Christ will most certainly come to Christ.

    br.d
    Because in Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) every neurological impulse is pre-programmed before the creature is activated.
    In Theological Determinism whether the THEOS gives someone to Christ or not is essentially superfluous.
    What is NECESSARY is that the THEOS determine all things – – the rest is just window dressing.

  17. rhutchin
    No, no one can claim, “I could not take advantage of Christ’s atonement.” God sent Christ to the cross to die for those that God intended to give to Him.

    br.d
    No one can think/say/be/do anything on the judgement day (or any other day) – unless Calvin’s god (at the foundation of the world) programmed that person to do so.

    1. To rhutchin: I used the phrase “seems to be” because I am not certain, not because as you say, I’m looking for an escape. Concerning John 6:37 All that the Father gives me will come to me…the quesstion is, what is the basis of the Father’s choice? My answer is that he knows the future decisions people will make…Psa 139:4 Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. God has sovereignly decreed that man has the ability to make choices….Rom 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; So it’s not people saving themselves, but rather, God’s word of power at work…Heb 4:12  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword,. Concerning eisegesis, it is not necessarily inferior. The Scriptures use eisegesis; as an example consider…out of Egypt I called my son, meaning Jesus…referring to Hosea who is talking about Israel coming out of Egypt during the Exodus. So Jacob,Esau,two nations is not without precedent. And while we’re on the subject of eisegesis, consider the glaring form from John 3:16…God so loved the Elect, that he gave his only son….you can thank Calvinism for that. And finally you say “it was God’s intent to save some and not all.” If that’s true why is Jesus pleading and lamenting over people never destined to be saved… Mat 23:37  O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Or why is God earnestly appealing to people who don’t have the ability to respond…Eze 33:11  Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? This is the logical inheritance of Calvinism.

      1. Hi Richard,
        Somehow this got posted as a response to br.d – but its clear you meant it to be a response to rhutchin

      2. Richard writes, “Concerning John 6:37 All that the Father gives me will come to me…the question is, what is the basis of the Father’s choice? My answer is that he knows the future decisions people will make”

        Of course, God knows the future decisions because Jesus says, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me,…,” with “will come to me” telling us this. If God gives a person to Christ, then God knows that the person will come to Christ. So, what is the basis for God’s choice? We see this in Ephesians 1, “God who works all things according to the counsel of His will>” You seem to want to make God’s choice dependent on man’s choice as if a person chooses to believe in Christ, then God gives the believing person to Christ, and then the believing person actually comes to Christ – that would be an eisegetical position on your part.

      3. rhutchin
        You seem to want to make God’s choice dependent on man’s choice as if a person chooses to believe in Christ, then God gives the believing person to Christ, and then the believing person actually comes to Christ – that would be an eisegetical position on your part.

        br.d
        Perhaps – if one denies the attribute of DIVINE MIDDLE KNOWLEDGE.
        Which provides total knowledge of what a person would LIBERTARIANLY freely choose, given that person’s circumstances and attributes.

        In such case divine omniscience is un-compromised, and Libertarian Free Will is the world divinely created.
        Rather than a world in which creatures only do what they are made to do by factors outside of their control.

        As Dr. Alvin Plantinga says:
        “All things considered a world based upon libertarian free will is a much better world for God to create than a world of creatures who only do what they are made to do by factors outside of their control.”

        And that would eliminate the need Calvinists to live in a world of DOUBLE-THINK – and speak DOUBLE-SPEAK :-]

      4. br.d writes, “Perhaps – if one denies the attribute of DIVINE MIDDLE KNOWLEDGE.
        Which provides total knowledge of what a person would LIBERTARIANLY freely choose, given that person’s circumstances and attributes.”

        Middle knowledge is just a subset of God’s omniscience. Of course, “that a person would LIBERTARIANLY freely choose,’ is a presumption that is not proved by Plantnga – it just makes things sound good to him.

      5. rhutchin
        Middle knowledge is just a subset of God’s omniscience.

        br.d
        Which someone didn’t take into consideration.

        rhutchin
        Of course, “that a person would LIBERTARIANLY freely choose,’ is a presumption that is not proved by Plantnga

        br.d
        And a person holding as a TRUE proposition – that a THEOS determines all things in every part – then goes about his office *AS-IF* that proposition is FALSE.

        “mere” permission doesn’t exist *AS-IF* it does
        Adam was not permitted to obey *AS-IF* he was
        The Calvinist doesn’t have an escape from sins that are RENDERED-CERTAIN at the foundation of the world *AS-IF* he does.
        And Calvin’s god authors events in order to prevent them.

        In contrast to Calvinism’s world of DOUBLE-THINK Dr. Plantinga certainly proves his thinking is COHERENT.
        “All things considered” :-]

  18. BR.D, thanks, yes, you are correct. Why do only some posts have a Reply prompt? It needs fixed. So I just post to the closest one and hope people figure it out.

    1. I believe its programmed into the system to close down a post (in terms of showing a reply) after certain activity or lack thereof.
      Thanks for asking – I’ll look into that.

      1. Rhutchin writes “You seem to want to make God’s choice dependent on man’s choice as if a person chooses to believe in Christ, then God gives the believing person to Christ, and then the believing person actually comes to Christ – that would be an eisegetical position on your part.” Yes, I am guilty of eisegesis….but with good cause. God does respond to our choices…that’s his sovereign way of doing things. Consider: Jer 18:7  At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; 
        Jer 18:8  If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.  The same principle applies in our choice to accept or reject the Gospel. Joh 1:11  He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 
        Joh 1:12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
        Calvinism says that the reason they didn’t receive Christ was that they were passed over and were left in their incapable state. To preserve this Calvinistic theology, you put Jesus in the ridiculous position of pleading with the Jews and lamenting their rejection of him…. Mat 23:37  O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! That would make Jesus a deceiver which cannot be…. Heb_7:26  For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; So I would modify that thinking if I were you. Instead of defending Calvinism, defend Scripture.

      2. Richard
        Yes, I am guilty of eisegesis but with good cause

        br.d
        I’m having a hard time believing you really meant this?

  19. Richard posted this one:

    “Calvinism says that the reason they didn’t receive Christ was that they were passed over and were left in their incapable state. To preserve this Calvinistic theology, you put Jesus in the ridiculous position of pleading with the Jews and lamenting their rejection of him…. Mat 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! That would make Jesus a deceiver which cannot be…”

    ——–Here’s My Response———

    Matt. 23:37 as quoted by Richard does not prove the capability of the fallen man, the spiritually dead man’s ability to reach out to God on their own, rather it was a way where Jesus unveils and confirm to the audience/readers their inability to come. It does not show inconsistency or insincerity on the part of God. The comenter must have been cautious of charging Jesus a deceiver due. He could have done this due to his inability in confronting the doctrine of the TD or TI.

    1. jtleosala
      Jesus unveils and confirm to the audience/readers their inability to come. It does not show inconsistency or insincerity on the part of God.

      br.d
      Matthew 23:37 – The Calvinist version:

      Jerusalem, Jerusalem you whom I RENDERD-CERTAIN to kill the prophets.
      And you whom I RENDERED-CERTAIN to stone those I sent to you.

      How often I have longed to gather your children together – NOT!
      Knowing “wink-wink” I RENDERED-CERTAIN the opposite.

      Cuz that’s the way sovereignty works!
      For my good pleasure – I get to punish man for not doing the very things I don’t permit him to do.

      1. Not only that br.d., but unfortunately JTL cannot even hear himself. Here is what Christ says….

        “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.”

        1. He is saying clearly that He wanted them to come! (Not “passes over and makes them reprobate for His own good pleasure”).

        2. He is saying clearly that prophets were sent so they would come. (They were sent to call them to repentance, not to “reveal their inability to come.”) (Did Jeremiah spend 40 years calling people to repent or just reminding them that they can’t come cuz they are not chosen….. oh wait…. they were “the chosen”!!)

        3. He is saying clearly that they were unwilling to come. (This of course means that their “will” was involved…. If you are “unwilling to do something” you COULD have done it….. you were not too-dead to do it.)

        But all these Scriptures do not mean anything to someone who say Calvinism is true…. cuz, well, it’s just true!

      2. Yes – in the OT God told the people of Israel that they blasphemed his name among the heathens.
        An image of a diety who presents something as TRUE after having RENDERED-CERTAIN it FALSE – is just a new version of that.

      3. Yes, the Sovereign Lord of the Armies of Israel (repeating in 3-fold His name) says many times in the OT…… I did not want you to do that…I did not tell you to do that….it did not even cross my mind to….(for example) to have you (the “Chosen people”) sacrifice your babies in the fire.

        But if Calvinism and determinism are true… well… yes He did.

        So never mind with the “I never told you to.”

      4. FOH Posted this one:

        3. “He is saying clearly that they were unwilling to come. (This of course means that their “will” was involved…. If you are “unwilling to do something” you COULD have done it….. you were not too-dead to do it.)”

        ——-Here’s My Response——–
        Even if they made themselves to come in a spiritually dead status, that does not guarantee FOH’s claim of man having the ability to access Salvation from God. Unless FOH will recant his fallacious claim. Listen to what Jesus have said:

        “So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but One, that is God” – Mark 10:18

        “They have all turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is none who does good no, not one”. – Psa. 14:3

        1. Christ have said no one is good except God alone, but for FOH, he claims that Man is not totally bad, maybe for him partially depraved only. There is still goodness that is left for the fallen man. He is always offended by the TD/TI.

        2. Jesus is compatible to what Paul have declared in Romans 3:10-11 “There is non righteous, no not one”. There is none who understand [including FOH] ; there is non who seeks after God”. [but for FOH, he keeps on insisting those thousands who were seeking yet are all failure and still perishes]

        3. FOH, has a huge load of dispute with both Jesus Christ and Paul on the issue of the TD/TI. He maintains a “Partial depravity” denying “total depravity” . This made him a Semi-Pelagian but he is comfortable to be called as Semi-Polynesian according to him.

        4. Regeneration Precedes Faith. This is due to the spiritually dead condition of the fallen man. The fallen man’s dead spiritual status must be first be enliven by God so that he may be able to engage. If not then they are destined to perish.

      5. jtleosala
        “So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but One, that is God” – Mark 10:18

        “They have all turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is none who does good no, not one”. – Psa. 14:3

        br.d
        Here you go Richard – here are two good examples of Calvinist eisegesis.

        Eisegesis is the process of interpreting text in such a way as to introduce one’s own presuppositions, agendas or biases. It is commonly referred to as READING INTO the text.

        In this example the interpreter is reading HUMAN INABILITY into the texts. A conception no where stated by the author of the text.

        jtleosala
        1. Christ have said no one is good except God alone,

        br.d
        Another example of eisegesis – where HUMAN INABILITY not stated by the text is READ INTO the text.

        jtleosala
        but for FOH, he claims that Man is not totally bad, maybe for him partially depraved only. There is still goodness that is left for the fallen man. He is always offended by the TD/TI.

        br.d
        Calvinists sometimes have very little to work with.
        Forwarding a personal attack against someone using a straw-man caricature.
        Rinse & repeat – rinse & repeat.

        jtleosala
        2. Romans 3:10-11 “There is non righteous, no not one”. There is none who understand [including FOH] ; there is non who seeks after God”. [but for FOH, he keeps on insisting those thousands who were seeking yet are all failure and still perishes]

        br.d
        This one back-fires on the Calvinist
        Calvin teaches a -quote LARGE MIXTURE of Calvinists are deceived by Calvin’s god into believing they are elect. Yet they go about accusing others of the very INABILITY their own doctrine indicates would be their condition with them UNABLE to discern it.

        jtleosala
        FOH, has a huge load of dispute with both Jesus Christ and Paul on the issue of the TD/TI.

        br.d
        Manufacture straw-man caricature
        Rinse & repeat – rinse & repeat.

        jtleosala
        4. Regeneration Precedes Faith. This is due to the spiritually dead condition of the fallen man. The fallen man’s dead spiritual status must be first be enliven by God so that he may be able to engage. If not then they are destined to perish.

        br.d
        Here we have an attempt to making a claim FORCIBLY.
        This reveals there was never any REAL EVIDENCE behind the claim in the first place.

      6. Thanks br.d,

        I never worry about JTL too much. He never provides any new information. Just repeats that it must be true cuz….well we are dead and that’s true! True cuz it’s true.

        All the dozens or hundreds of verses we present here are not dealt with cuz they dont have to be….. just whisk them away “Cuz Calvinism is true!”

        But in that “Jerusalem” verse, it is clear that Jesus is saying He wanted them to come…. He called them to come….. but their will was overriding His will. So at a bare minimum that at least negates “Irresistible Grace” since they are pretty much resisting.

        So did the rich young ruler when Christ said to him (in compassion) “Come follow me” —- but he didnt.

        Obviously Christ’s grace was resistible….. but they cant see that since they come to the table with a man-made idea (based on Greek Philosophy), then make 40-ish verses back that up in the Bible…. then ignore the rest!

      7. FOH Posted this one:

        “All the dozens or hundreds of verses we present here are not dealt with cuz they dont have to be….. just whisk them away “Cuz Calvinism is true!”

        —–Here’s My Response to the Semi-Pelagian——

        Even this single verse [Mark 10:18] that Jesus is telling FOH, he cannot afford to refute. Jesus said: No one is good except God alone, but FOH is so proud here to oppose what Jesus have said to him just to defend his denial of the TD/TI.

        The man cannot follow Jesus simply because he is the reprobate. Calling him to come was God’s way in order to reveal/expose his very nature as the reprobate. FOH is assuming here that the will of this man is superior than God’s will because this man was able to refuse God’s invitation. Noticeably this is to scaffold his being a Semi-Pelagian, giving the fallen man so much power rather than God.For FOH, Jesus became impotent and was helpless about the will power of this man.

        FOH is claiming hundreds of verses, but even this single verse the very words of Jesus, he is so quick to spew it out from his mouth. His hundreds of verses is nothing when he cannot afford to engage and refute the 40-ish verses he keeps on complaining with RH and Myself.

      8. JTL,
        Please dont be guilty of smearing my name, calling me too proud etc.

        I will try to explain my position one more time.

        In the context of this verse Jesus is not saying that no one ever does even one good thing. He lists the things the young man is to do and the man says he has done these. Christ does not refute that. It is clear that the young man has obeyed much of the law. He has done some good things. There is no doubt about that in the context of this story.

        Christ is not establishing Total Depravity with this rhetorical question to the young man. He is simply saying that God’s goodness is humanly unobtainable and above any human goodness. God is good. Man is not that kind of good.

        Certainly Christ’s question “Why do you call me good?” did not mean that Christ Himself is not good. He is using irony and a rhetorical question to make a point to the man. The young man counters by saying that he has actually done a lot of the good things that Christ listed. [That would negate “Total Depravity” since he is obviously able to do some good things, right?]

        I believe I can speak for most of the non-Calvinists on this site. We believe that man can do some good things (your unsaved neighbor can do a kind gesture, correct?). We admit clearly that no matter how much good a person does (notice in the case of the young man who had done many good things) we cannot…ever…. ever…. do enough good to be “good like God” or to earn our salvation.

        I am afraid that Christ saying “No one is good but God” is not a way of establishing Total Depravity. That makes no exegetical sense.

        What Calvinists do (and I know, cuz I did it) is establish straw men. You say I “deny this verse,” when actually I am simply saying that I do not agree with you that it establishes Total Depravity.

        Interesting that you would choose a passage where a man is compassionately called by Christ (“Come follow me”) and yet he resists that call. What does that say about someone resisting Christ’s grace? That does not look like “Irresistible Grace.”

        Christ is saying (with compassion) “Follow me!” —- He is not saying “you cannot follow me cuz I did not give you faith.”

        What are we to learn from this passage? The man approaches Christ with a spiritual question (he is obviously not “too-dead” the consider such things). The man wants to do good works to be in God’s kingdom. He has done many good works. Christ says good works are not enough….. “Follow me!” But the man does not want to since he has many things in this world. Any simple reader of the story would conclude that the man could have followed and Christ wanted him to.

        He just does not want to humble himself before Christ. That is a condition that God (in His sovereign plan) has put on salvation.

        Contrary to what you say, this position, this idea (that —in His sovereign plan— God has placed a condition, personal faith, on salvation by grace) is an acceptable interpretation of Scripture held by millions of followers of Christ today. We dont like to be called Universalists, or heretics, or semi-anything! You can continue to try to bully us into submission, but it is not a good tactic.

        Salvation 100% by grace offered to all, and given to those who willing put their faith in Christ.

      9. FOH posted this one:

        “Certainly Christ’s question “Why do you call me good?” did not mean that Christ Himself is not good. He is using irony and a rhetorical question to make a point to the man. The young man counters by saying that he has actually done a lot of the good things that Christ listed. [That would negate “Total Depravity” since he is obviously able to do some good things, right?]”

        —–My Response—-

        No, it actually supports the TD. Why? Because Jesus even told him that his goodness still lacking [partial only] and he was told to sell his possessions. His refusal to do what was instructed him to do establishes the fact that he is a TD. Why give too much recognition of his good accomplishments when it has nothing to do with obtaining salvation as what you also claim here? Let us focus on the grace of God not on what man the fallen man can brag before God. The Gentiles are no longer under the law so why you ever keep on mentioning that when it is irrelevant to the Gentile unbelievers?

      10. FOH writes, “The young man counters by saying that he has actually done a lot of the good things that Christ listed. [That would negate “Total Depravity” since he is obviously able to do some good things, right?]”

        Total Depravity says that no one does that which is “good” in God’s eyes, i.e., done to glorify God (He just does not want to humble himself before Christ as he did not humble himself before God.); people do that which is “good” in FOH’s eyes because FOH seems impressed by such things (We believe that man can do some good things (your unsaved neighbor can do a kind gesture, correct?))..

      11. FOH
        “The young man counters by saying that he has actually done a lot of the good things that Christ listed. [That would negate “Total Depravity” since he is obviously able to do some good things, right?]”

        rhutchin
        Total Depravity says that no one does that which is “good” in God’s eyes,…etc

        br.d
        Richard – here is an excellent example of a SEMANTIC argument.
        Here the term “Total Depravity” is being re-defined temporarily with an AD-HOC definition custom fit for this particular argument.
        You can see how this new definition is custom fitted to answer FOH’s question.

        The standard definition in Calvinism for Total Depravity is TOTAL INABILITY – DEAD DEAD DEAD.
        A DEAD person has absolutely no ABILITY to desire or do anything that is good or godly because they are TOTALLY DEPRAVED

        So you can see what I was referring to about Calvinists playing EQUIVOCATION games with words, terms and phrases.
        Where TOTALLY DEPRAVED means TOTALLY DEPRAVED one minute and something else the next minute.
        Whatever definition works for the Calvinist at the given moment is what he will use.

      12. br.d writes, “The standard definition in Calvinism for Total Depravity is TOTAL INABILITY – DEAD DEAD DEAD.”

        Then, let’s define TD by the words of Jesus, “No one can come to Me,…”

      13. br.d
        The standard definition in Calvinism for Total Depravity is TOTAL INABILITY – DEAD DEAD DEAD.”

        rhutchin
        Then, let’s define TD by the words of Jesus, “No one can come to Me,…”

        br.d
        That would be a silly mistake! I never conflate the intrinsically IRRATIONAL with scripture.

        BTW you’ve defeated your original argument here.
        Because the example FOH used was the rich young ruler coming to Jesus.

        So now I can already anticipate what the next maneuver is going to be.
        Manufacturing yet another SEMANTIC argument.
        This time re-defining the meaning of the phrase “come to me” with some inventive AD-HOC definition.

        Thank you Lord for the blessing of a discerning mind!

      14. br.d writes, “BTW you’ve defeated your original argument here. Because the example FOH used was the rich young ruler coming to Jesus.”

        LOL! Yes, he did asking, “Now behold, one came and said to Him, ‘Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?’” This is FOH’s way of salvation, So, what “work” could the young man do to gain eternal life – “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” The key phrase, “come, follow Me.” Many people want to come to Christ on their own terms, and Christ says of them, “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”

        What is the true way a person comes to Jesus?
        – “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him;…”
        – “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me,…”

      15. br.d
        BTW you’ve defeated your original argument here.
        Because the example FOH used was the rich young ruler coming to Jesus.

        So now I can already anticipate what the next maneuver is going to be.
        Manufacturing yet another SEMANTIC argument.
        This time re-defining the meaning of the phrase “come to me” with some inventive AD-HOC definition.

        rutchin
        What is the TRUE way a person comes to Jesus?

        br.d
        Just as I anticipated! Too funny!
        Apparently the rich young ruler didn’t TRULY come to Jesus to ask of him.
        The conversation took place by osmosis from a great distance! :-]

        William Lane Craig:
        -quote
        On the deterministic view, the whole world becomes a vain and empty spectacle. There are no free agents in rebellion against God, whom God seeks to win through His love, and no one who freely responds to that love and freely gives his love and praise to God in return. The whole spectacle is a charade whose only real actor is God Himself.

        Universal, divine, causal determinism cannot offer a coherent interpretation of Scripture. And the classical Reformed divines recognized this.

      16. br.d

        Curious that Calvinists will use certain verses to show that some people are not called:

        “Now behold, one came and said to Him, ‘Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?’”

        “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?…..”

        But the glaring inconsistency is in the “dead” idea. None of this looks like it is coming from people who are “too dead” to even move in a spiritual direction.

        You cannot approach Christ and ask what to do for eternal life……and still qualify as “dead spiritually”.

        Calvinists are constantly wanting it both ways.

      17. FOH
        Calvinists are constantly wanting it both ways.

        br.d
        A double-minded man is unstable.
        But he can teach you 101 easy lessons in how to twist scripture, language, and logic into a contorted pretzel. :-]

      18. One of the Calvinist bylines that was fed to me as a young man….as I moved into Calvinism…. was “Dead men dont make choices.”

        Later…. while reading the Bible…. I saw many “dead men” approaching Christ about Spiritual matters. Take the rich young ruler asking how to obtain eternal life (many others: Lydia, Nicodemus, etc).

        Now…. Calvinists will say this young ruler story “does not count” since he is …. “only asking selfishly” or some such made-up idea. Who are they to say who is “dead” or not? To say who is asking selfishly or not? I mean, this is a man who has followed well the Law that was given to the “Chosen people” right?

        Now he was —- on his own— approaching Christ asking a very spiritual question.

        How is that “dead”? Why is that “selfish”? Why do Calvinists get to impose that on the Scripture?

        Christ looks at him with compassion (so we do know that he was loved by Christ—- not one of those “unloved” by Christ) and commands him “follow me”.

        TULIP

        Totally Depraved? Nope. He is following the Law and approaching Christ with a spiritual question.

        Unconditional Election? Nope. Since Christ tells him to follow Him, so in that sense he was “being elected”.

        Limited Atonement? Appears that Christ is telling him that he would/ could follow Him and be saved. Pretty viciously deceptive if all along Christ is thinking: “I will tell him to follow me…but I made it impossible for him to do so.”

        Irresistible Grace? Most definitely not! The man clearly resists Christ compassionate call!

        P (not covered in the story)

        Now….if there is a response to this, it will be some convoluted idea based on the foundation that Calvinism is true….so this has to fit somehow.

        Calvinists should let ALL the Scriptures speak for themselves. The whole counsel of God. We cannot allow ourselves to use 40 verses (and 3 main verses) of the entire 31,000 verses in Scripture to be the filter for all the rest. That is surely what I was doing when I embraced Calvinism.

      19. FOH
        Calvinists should let ALL the Scriptures speak for themselves. The whole counsel of God. We cannot allow ourselves to use 40 verses (and 3 main verses) of the entire 31,000 verses in Scripture to be the filter for all the rest. That is surely what I was doing when I embraced Calvinism.

        br.d
        I’m so grateful for your testimony here FOH!

        Yes I think Calvinist thinking is all twisted into a thousand self-contradictions.
        They must have to compartmentalize their minds in order to survive in a world along side mostly rational people.

      20. jtleosala
        Jesus said: No one is good except God alone

        br.d
        More eisegesis – READING inability into the text where it isn’t there

        jtleosala
        but FOH is so proud here to oppose what Jesus have said to him just to defend his denial of the TD/TI.

        br.d
        Personal attack by manufactured straw-man.
        Rinse-repeat, rinse-repeat

        jtleosala
        The man cannot follow Jesus simply because he is the reprobate.

        br.d
        Fallacy of claim without valid evidence

        FOH is assuming here that the will of this man is superior than God’s ….For FOH, Jesus became impotent and was helpless about the will power of this man.

        br.d
        Personal attack by manufactured straw-man.
        Rinse-repeat, rinse-repeat

        jtleosala
        FOH is claiming hundreds of verses, but even this single verse the very words of Jesus, he is so quick to spew it out from his mouth. His hundreds of verses is nothing when he cannot afford to engage and refute the 40-ish verses he keeps on complaining with RH and Myself.

        br,d
        Here I need to tell you to be careful with your terminology – you’re language on this statement creeps over to the edge of impropriety!
        Please examine your language on this last statement and make the appropriate adjustments.
        Using language that goes over the edge – is a defacement of a Christian web-site.

      21. I very much like the way you’ve described it. 40+ verses used to out-weight and over-rule the rest of the whole of scripture. And then rinse & repeat. I’m glad you don’t get drawn into their spider’s web of personal attacks!

      22. br.d and his god, the neurological impulse man posted this one:

        “br.d
        Manufacture straw-man caricature
        Rinse & repeat – rinse & repeat.”

        —–Here’s My Response——

        The neurological impulse man’s statement : “Rinse & repeat-rinse & repeat” is an outcome of his own favorite lines, i.e.: “double speak”; “According to Platinga”; “as if” ; “rendered certain”; “circular reasoning” ; The Theos rendered certain”. These lines of the “neurological impulse man” suffocates the readers that made them uninterested to read his posts.

        Does Regeneration Precedes Faith? – The answer is YES. The lost coin cannot seek after God on his own. Why? – Because this lost coin was spiritually dead and cannot come back to the woman’s possession without being regenerated first.

      23. It’s interesting to me how the Calvinist misses the main truth Jesus was making in the three parables of lost things! That main truth is that there is joy in heaven, among the angels, and by the Father, when lost sinners repent! Repentance is defined as “came to himself” and going to the Father in the last parable. The Calvinist should wonder why Jesus didn’t make the Calvinist perspective more clear by saying – “And there is joy in heaven when God converts another one of His elect!” 😉

      24. Yes Brian, the Bible never says that about conversion or faith.

        But many, many times we see things like in John 20 when Christ says to Thomas:

        27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

        Calvinists have to wonder why the Bible spends so much time giving physical affirmations / signs/ wonders/ confirmations so that people can “have faith”…. so they can “stop doubting and believe.”

        The Calvinist version of this verse would be:

        27 Then he said to Thomas, “Here, let me give you faith so you can stop doubting and believe.”

        Nah….we never see that…anywhere!

      25. Repentance for me is an outcome of being regenerated. Not possible to be done if one is still under the “natural man” status. This is supported by the many verses like:

        I Cor. 2:14 “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness unto him, because they are spiritually discerned”.

        II Cor. 4:3-4 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost. In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ who is the image of God should shine unto them.

        Considering the verses cited above will make one impossible to engage in any spiritual activity without being first restored to spiritually alive status.

        I totally agree to what was said in the parables “And there is joy in heaven when God converts another one of His elect!” 😉
        Thank you my big brother Brian.

        If all humans are lost then it also follows that even the remaining 9 coins in the hands of the woman were also lost by the time it was entrusted to her. Just like the elder brother in the Parable of the Prodigal son, he was also lost in the sense that he was not able to connect to his Father’s heart of rejoicing of his younger brother’s restoration. The elder brother seems to me represents the hard headed Israelites whom God has blinded for a purpose.

      26. JTLE – Was the older brother one of God’s elect? The Father actually went out looking for him too! 😉

        The things of the Spirit of God that unregenerate people are made to “know” and that are “manifest in them”!
        – the eternal power and Godhead of God, Rom 1:20
        – God, Rom 1:21, 28
        – the truth of God, Rom 1:25
        – the righteous judgment of God, Rom 1:28
        – the goodness of God leads to repentance, Rom 2:4
        – the work of the law, Rom 2:15

        Therefore, when Paul said, “the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God”, he is not talking about all unregenerate individuals having an inability to be taught by God before regeneration, but about those “naturalists” who by their worldview reject the supernatural, like the evolutionists of today.

        They are those of Rom 1 and 2 who have suppressed the truth that they were made to know about God. God then gives them over to their chosen God-rejecting, anti-supernatural worldview. They become the “natural man”. Paul is not talking total depravity or inability from birth in 1Cor 2:14.

      27. Brian,
        You know…and many of us know that far too much mileage is gotten out of the “foolishness” verse. That is one of their 40 gotcha verses that can easily have a different interpretation than the one they force on it.

        Paul “reasons with” people who find it to be foolishness. The Bible says Paul “convinces” people.

        Like I have said before…. Of course it is foolishness, until it’s not!

      28. brianwagner to JTL writes, “They are those of Rom 1 and 2 who have suppressed the truth that they were made to know about God. God then gives them over to their chosen God-rejecting, anti-supernatural worldview. They become the “natural man””

        Or the “natural man” could be that described in v21, “although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful,…their foolish hearts were darkened.” 1 Corinthians 2 explains how they came to be this way, “the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

        Then, “Paul is not talking total depravity or inability from birth in 1Cor 2:14.”

        Paul is describing a characteristic that we ascribe to the person who is TD. Only your erroneous conclusion in Romans 1 enables you to now claim that “Paul is not talking total depravity or inability from birth in 1Cor 2:14.”

      29. They are those of Rom 1 and 2 who have suppressed the truth that they were made to know about God. God then gives them over to their chosen God-rejecting, anti-supernatural worldview. They become the “natural man”. Paul is not talking total depravity or inability from birth in 1Cor 2:14.

        ——-My Response to Brian——

        1. General Revelation through the vehicle of the Creation of Nature is still insufficient in obtaining awareness concerning Salvation. These was made for them to know in Romans 1. Special revelation on what the only begotten Son has done on the cross was not mentioned in the context and was withheld for those whom by nature are reprobates since birth.

        2. God’s action of giving them up in verses 24 [God also gave them up to uncleanness…”] ; v. 26 [God gave them into vile affliction] and verse 28 [God gave them to a reprobate mind] is a very clear judgement concerning their destiny.

        3. “- the goodness of God leads to repentance, Rom 2:4” – But despite of God’s goodness, how come that they refuse to repent? It is because – they are still in a spiritually dead status and they were also insensitive to any spiritual things concerning God. This only supports I Cor. 2:14 on the doctrine of the TD/TI.

      30. jtleosala
        1. General Revelation through the vehicle of the Creation of Nature is still insufficient in obtaining awareness concerning Salvation. These was made for them to know in Romans 1. Special revelation on what the only begotten Son has done on the cross was not mentioned in the context and was withheld for those whom by nature are reprobates since birth.

        br.d
        Please provide scripture which EXPLICITLY affirms this claim.
        And please don’t bother quoting scriptures that don’t

        jtleosala
        2. God’s action of giving them up in verses 24 [God also gave them up to uncleanness…”] ; v. 26 [God gave them into vile affliction] and verse 28 [God gave them to a reprobate mind] is a very clear judgement concerning their destiny.

        br.d
        Since in Calvinism a person’s destined is RENDERED-CERTAIN at the foundation of the world – here the term “destiny” equates to what Calvin’s god predestines.

        So please provide scripture which EXPLICITLY affirms this claim.

        jtleosala
        3. “- the goodness of God leads to repentance, Rom 2:4” – But despite of God’s goodness, how come that they refuse to repent? It is because – they are still in a spiritually dead status and they were also insensitive to any spiritual things concerning God. This only supports I Cor. 2:14 on the doctrine of the TD/TI.

        br.d
        Please provide scripture which EXPLICITLY affirms TOTAL INABILITY – which is what is being claimed here.
        And please don’t bother quoting scriptures that don’t

      31. Brian:
        Some further thoughts on John 20…

        28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

        29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

        [Jesus says right there that Thomas believed because HE SAW. Not because he was given-faith!! Then Christ goes on to say that those who do not see—yet believe— are blessed….not that they are given-faith.]

        [Then, to top it all off…. John goes on to say this……]

        30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

        Why does the Bible say “these are written (many signs) that you may believe…” ? Why not…. “You who have been given-faith will believe.”?

        Said no one ever.

        Calvinists just cannot exegete these verses. They mean nothing to a Calvinist. Out of Jesus’ own mouth comes “Because you have seen me, you have believed” Never out of His mouth in any way or form: “I have given you faith.”

        Nope. Signs are done so that you may believe (that is like Paul’s “persuading” and “reasoning with”…. like the Prodigal Son “coming to his senses”). All these passages mean nothing since— according to Calvinism faith is just distributed ….or not.

      32. brianwagner writes, “The Calvinist should wonder why Jesus didn’t make the Calvinist perspective more clear by saying – “And there is joy in heaven when God converts another one of His elect!” ”

        Maybe because Jesus thought He made it clear when He said, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me,…”

        Notice that the parable reads, “‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!” Then, Jesus also said, ““But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep,…” Notice,the parable does not say that the sheep came to him but that he went out and found the sheep and brought it back.

      33. Thank you Roger for giving that great example of how Calvinists don’t affirm Christ’s clear emphasis on repentance of the lost sinner bringing joy, but rather eisegete their theology into the text.

        Yes, God must take the initiative and seek man! Praise the Lord that He goes out calling all sufficiently so that they can freely choose to seek and trust His voice!

      34. brianwagner writes, “Thank you Roger for giving that great example of how Calvinists don’t affirm Christ’s clear emphasis on repentance of the lost sinner bringing joy, but rather eisegete their theology into the text. ”

        And thank you, Brian, for showing us that you don’t have any way to respond to that which Jesus said. When Jesus said, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me,..” and then “you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep,” He proclaimed truth.

      35. We’ve been through those verses before… I’m surprised you have forgotten already. Let me refresh your memory so you won’t falsely accuse me again. 😉

        John 6, 37
        John 6:37 speaks of the Father’s giving (present tense) to Christ. Therefore it would be calling Jesus a deceiver to suggest all had already been given to Christ, unless, of course, Jesus did not know the determinist doctrine very well.

        If determinism was true, Jesus would have known it and He would have said – “All the Father already gave to me will come to me.” The context of John 6 clearly indicates what kind of people the Father was actively giving to the Son… They were those who were looking to the Son and believing in Him (6:40). There is nothing in this chapter about pre-creation decrees or individual election. The determinist forces those ideas into these verses because he wants to see them there.

        The response of freewill is a condition that God sovereignly made part of the “giving” requirements to be met before the coming. No-one is given to Christ before creation. Remember the word “gives” in John 6:37 is present tense which clearly contradicts the determinist idea of some being eternally immutably given before creation.

        The context points to drawing, looking at, believing in, and other things in that are in the process and responses of whom the Father’s gives. Jesus is explaining these things to unbelievers because He wants them to keep seeking Him, but not just for food that perishes.

        If you can’t see that Jesus is being used by the Father in this context to draw people to a decision to trust Jesus for everlasting food, everlasting life… I certainly can’t share the context any more clearly than Jesus has.

        John 10, 26
        For John 10:26, Jesus is not discussing how to become a sheep, He is exposing the truth that they were showing how they were not one of His sheep by the evidence that they were not having a continuing faith (present tense) that He was the Christ (cf. vss. 24-25). If Jesus wanted to emphasize how to become a sheep, one would expect the Greek Aorist tense with “believe”, to emphasize the start of faith or the act of a faith commitment to Jesus Himself.

        Your appeal to John 10:26 is a little misplaced if you are trying to prove faith happens after regeneration. It is true that true faith “in” Christ continues after becoming a sheep and helps others identify the true sheep, but this context is speaking about another type of faith, not salvation faith, though essential to it.

        Certain Jews were taunting Jesus to plainly say He was the Christ (vs. 24). It was faith in that truth, not faith in Him that Jesus was pointing to first (vs. 25). Then Jesus was saying to them that it is obvious that they are not openly believing “that” He is the Christ, because they are not of His sheep, like His disciples.

        It would be wrong to think that Jesus does not want them to become one of His sheep, but right to think that He is using their rejection for a redemptive purpose. Many in that crowd had rejected the invitation of John the Baptist and were now being judicially hardened to aid in the divine redemption plan. They will get another chance to believe and become one of His sheep after His resurrection, especially after Pentecost (Acts 6:7).

        But the inference that everyone somehow becomes a sheep BEFORE even starting to believe “that” Jesus is the Christ or BEFORE starting to believe “in” Jesus is not a necessary inference, and is only brought to this context because Calvinists are desperate to prove belief comes after regeneration. That contradicts the clear teaching of Scripture in so many passages that clearly show that active personal faith in Christ precedes God’s gift of salvation life (cf. John 1:12-13, 12:35-36, 20:30-31, Eph 1:12-13, 1Pet 1:23-25)!

        So it’s personal active faith in God’s gracious enlightenment and conviction that precedes God making one His own sheep. He then confirms in them that faith by that regeneration and the sealing of the Spirit, so that they become recognizable to all others as His people who are hearing, following, and believing Jesus is the Christ. Hope this helps.

      36. Brian, Brian, Brian,

        Just because you have “been through this before” and explained your position (and it is a legitimately accepted position in the wider evangelical world) that does not mean that someone is not gonna accuse you of never having ‘splained it before!

        I get told all the time that I am misrepresenting Calvinism, despite my earlier allegiance to it, despite still being a member of a Reformed church, despite being sent out as a missionary from a Reformed church (after marrying a daughter of one of the pastors!).

        I get Calvinism! I just dont think it is the message of the Good News of the Bible. It’s more like Bad News….. very likely you were created before time for a torturous end through no doing of your own!

        Bad News!

      37. FOH… some have gotten tired of their own giving of false accusations and have also repented of their unbiblical theology… there is still hope more will let the truth of God’s Word set them free from such loyalty to such a harmful teaching about God!

      38. brianwagner writes, “John 6:37 speaks of the Father’s giving (present tense) to Christ. Therefore it would be calling Jesus a deceiver to suggest all had already been given to Christ, unless, of course, Jesus did not know the determinist doctrine very well.”

        I agree. No one uses this verse to make that point. That. of course, has nothing to do with this 6:37.

        Then, “If determinism was true, Jesus would have known it…”

        A non issue. We have the words that Jesus spoke and need to deal with those words.

        Then, “The response of freewill is a condition that God sovereignly made part of the “giving” requirements to be met before the coming.”

        That is your hypothesis. Now all you need is supporting Scripture tying that condition to John 6:37.

        Then, “Remember the word “gives” in John 6:37 is present tense.”

        And “will come” is future tense, So, we have the order of events – an order that you have yet to challenge.

        Then, “The context points to drawing, looking at, believing in, and other things in that are in the process and responses of whom the Father’s gives.”

        I agree. We know that the giving by God precedes the person coming to Christ. If we take “will come” to be believing, as some commentators do, then we can put that after God’s giving.

        Then, “I certainly can’t share the context any more clearly than Jesus has.”

        Except that you really haven’t deatt with 6:37 in its context. From 6:37, we see the following:
        1. God’s giving of people to Christ precedes those people coming to Christ.
        2. All whom God gives to Christ will come to Christ.
        3. The definition of “all” does not matter. Whether one defines “all” to be each and every person given or to be Jews and non-Jews given, they all come to Christ.
        4. Jesus guarantees that He will not cast out those who come to Him – all whom God gives are preserved.

        Do you agree on these points as you surely must? There seems to be no disagreement between us on what the verse tells us.

        Thank you, Brian, for showing us that you don’t have any way to respond to that which Jesus said in 6:37 that would set you apart from the Calvinist. I think you know that.

      39. brianwagner writes, “For John 10:26, Jesus is not discussing how to become a sheep, He is exposing the truth that they were showing how they were not one of His sheep…”

        I agree.

        Then, “Your appeal to John 10:26 is a little misplaced if you are trying to prove faith happens after regeneration.”

        Not trying to do that. Only showing that Jesus knows His sheep and His sheep know Him (even granting, for now, your position that some non-sheep could later become sheep).

        Then, “Then Jesus was saying to them that it is obvious that they are not openly believing “that” He is the Christ, because they are not of His sheep, like His disciples.”

        I agree. The same point in Jesus’ words, “”you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep.”

        Then, “It would be wrong to think that Jesus does not want them to become one of His sheep, but right to think that He is using their rejection for a redemptive purpose.”

        Perhaps. The issue then is whether Christ knew His sheep or only came to know them when they believed. However, Jesus says, “you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep.” Thus, being sheep precedes believing. Jesus does not say, “You are not my sheep because you do not believe” – which seems to be the way you are looking at it given that you say, “They will get another chance to believe and become one of His sheep…” You turn around that which Jesus says.

        Then, “the inference that everyone somehow becomes a sheep BEFORE even starting to believe “that” Jesus is the Christ or BEFORE starting to believe “in” Jesus is not a necessary inference,”

        Jesus said, “you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep.” Jesus made being a sheep a condition for believing. The inference is correct. You need to find a way to reverse the wording if you are to make your point.

        Then, “So it’s personal active faith in God’s gracious enlightenment and conviction that precedes God making one His own sheep.”

        That is what you believe but John 10 does not tell us that. The key phrase in John 10 is, “you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep.” You don’t seem to want to deal with that.

        So again, thank you, Brian, for showing us that you don’t have any way to respond to that which Jesus said in John 10.

      40. There are two great examples of what I call – “fingers in the ears” fallacy. The person claims a response was not given because the response that was indeed given was freely and willfully not accepted/understood/”heard” by them! 😊

        Others will benefit from the interpretations I provided for John 6:37 & 10:26 that fit well both the context and grammar even if the one who provided the “fingers in the ears” fallacy didn’t benefit.

      41. brianwagner writes, “Others will benefit from the interpretations I provided for John 6:37 & 10:26 that fit well both the context and grammar…”

        Oh, Brian. Surely, you jest.

      42. Brian
        There are two great examples of what I call – “fingers in the ears” fallacy. The person claims a response was not given because the response that was indeed given was freely and willfully not accepted/understood/”heard” by them! 😊

        br.d
        The funny thing is – everyone here knows who this is in reference to!
        Everyone experiences the same thing with said person :-]

      43. brianwagner
        The Calvinist should wonder why Jesus didn’t make the Calvinist perspective more clear by saying – “And there is joy in heaven when God converts another one of His elect!” ”

        rhutchin
        Maybe because Jesus thought He made it clear when He said, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me,…”

        br.d
        Brian – Erich Von Daniken in his book “Chariots of the Gods” believed (just like rhutchin) that God “made it clear” in Genesis 6:1-2 aliens populated the earth.

        Taking verses and READING INTO them – what one is taught to see – looks to me like the same mindset.
        With the mental process at work here – bible verses become like ink-blots – interpreted as real shapes! :-]

      44. br.d writes, “Taking verses and READING INTO them – what one is taught to see – looks to me like the same mindset.”

        LOL! Even br.d is unable to address the truth that Jesus spoke. Those statements – “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me,…” and “you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep,” – have a simplicity and directness that even br.d can understand.

      45. rhutchin
        LOL! Even br.d is unable to address the truth that Jesus spoke. Those statements – “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me,…” and “you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep,” – have a simplicity and directness that even br.d can understand.

        br.d
        Funny – that is the exact same argument I would expect to hear from a faithful and devout Jehovah’s witness.
        In his mind I would be unable to address his “so called” truth which he was taught to READ INTO his 40+ proof-texts.

        The fact that Calvinists make an industry of manufacturing SEMANTIC ILLUSIONS of IN-determinism – while claiming everyone else has it wrong – simply gives the whole thing away. :-]

      46. br.d writes, “Funny – that is the exact same argument I would expect to hear from a faithful and devout Jehovah’s witness.”

        So, we have the best br.d has to offer. No attempt to deal with the Scriptures but plenty of other stuff.

      47. br.d
        Funny – that is the exact same argument I would expect to hear from a faithful and devout Jehovah’s witness.”

        rhutchin
        So, we have the best br.d has to offer. No attempt to deal with the Scriptures but plenty of other stuff.

        br.d
        Like I’ve said – language is easy to manipulate – and that includes the language of scripture.
        But LOGIC has extremely rigid rules – and those rules cannot be manipulated.

        I understand the Calvinist contribution is DOUBLE-SPEAK
        Along with goading, personal-attacks, circular-thinking, question-begging, straw-men, imaginative-inventions, etc

        My contribution is highlighting the FALLACIOUS and IRRATIONAL
        So that makes for a win-win situation for everyone at SOT101 :-]

      48. Thank you jtleosala for pointing out that my posts are LOGICAL.
        And thank you for linking me with the ranks of Dr. Alvin Plantinga – I’ll take that as a compliment.

        And on the last comment – we would be much better served if you could provide irrefutable evidence – rather than making the same claim over and over – while trying to use scripture verses that don’t support what is claimed.

        Something to think about if the motivator is a love for truth. :-]

      49. Br.D and his god, the neurological impulse man, posted this one:

        “Richard
        Yes, I am guilty of eisegesis but with good cause”

        “br.d
        I’m having a hard time believing you really meant this?”

        ——–Here’s My response——–

        Richard’s heart somehow have been moved, but to the other ally it seems his heart has been destined to become so hard. The ally is now in a stressful mode.

      50. jtleosala
        Richard’s heart somehow have been moved, but to the other ally it seems his heart has been destined to become so hard. The ally is now in a stressful mode.

        br.d
        JT you are some times – just TOOO funny! :-]

        BTW: Paul – in Galatians 5:12 says he wishes the Judaizers would go the whole way and emasculate themselves.
        That would make Paul’s heart very-very-very hard – as I certainly wouldn’t write that about anyone! :-]

    2. I have not charged Jesus with being a deceiver. Calvinism does. Calvinism can’t have it both ways. It’s either Jesus is lamenting over people who rejected him, or Jesus is putting on a charade, since Calvinism says these people are not able to respond by decree of God for his glory. Sounds ridiculous, because it is. That is the fruit of Calvinism.

      1. Richard,
        Get used to the “having it both ways” with Calvinists.

        Christ died for everyone….but not really…only in “certain way”.

        Christ loves everyone ….. but not really.

        People are too dead to hear God’s call…but they still approach Christ with spiritual questions (Lydia, young ruler, Nicodemus, Zaccheus, etc).

        People need to be regenerated (born again) before they can think about spiritual things, so a person attending a seeker Bible study for years is talking about spiritual things for years as a dead person (but only inquiring “selfishly”).

        Lydia was a “worshiper of God” before coming to Christ, but also a “God-hater” since not regenerated yet

        Zechariah and Elizabeth were both God-haters (since not regenerated) even though Luke 1 says, “Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly.”

        God has to regenerated dead people before they can hear, respond, decide, have faith, but Paul talks about persuading, convincing, and reasoning with people.

        Man is “free” to do anything he wants (which is what God has planned that he want before time).

        Christ laments over people who do not come to Him, but Calvinism declares that He plans and desires it that way since before time.

        All of the OT references of God saying that He “did not want them to do that” take a back seat to Him really wanting it and decreeing it.

        I could go on for days….. but, yes…. get used to Calvinist wanting it both ways. Scripture says one thing..but they say Calvinism says another.

      2. FOH posted this one:

        “Zechariah and Elizabeth were both God-haters (since not regenerated) even though Luke 1 says, “Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly.”

        ——–Here’s My Response——–

        1.Foh’s desperate anger towards the doctrine of the TD made an accusation based on his statement above, that Zechariah and Elizabeth were both God haters.

        2. I say as a Calvinist, that their righteousness does not qualify them to be saved.

        2.1 I say as a Calvinist that their “righteousness” has something to do with their quality life testimony on earth but never teaches that they were sinless persons, otherwise they were already gods. If there is One righteous according to Jesus Christ that is no other than God. “… Why do you call Me good?, no one is good but One, that is God”. Mark 10:18

        2.2 If their righteousness qualifies to save themselves then, they no longer need Christ’s atoning death at the cross of Calvary.

        2.3 FOH’s Trying hard making use to play of these bible characters can never collapse the TD that he embraced before. If these bible characters were still alive today, I’m sure they will protest against FOH.

        3. FOH is embracing a soteriology that is not purely the Grace of God. He is wittingly inserting the fallen man’s righteousness to display before God – but surely he denies this. So… what is the relevance of insisting the fallen man’s righteousness when it has nothing to do with obtaining Salvation from God? Is this Foh’s attempt to collapse the doctrine of the TD? Wow… It is a desperate attempt that never works.

        Does Regeneration Precedes Faith? – The answer is YES. The fallen man needs to be spiritually revived first before he can actively engaged to any spiritual activity and be saved. These bible characters mentioned by FOH were still sinners, thus they were dead in their sins. Their acknowledgment of the coming Messiah indicates an inner previous experience of being spiritually revived.

      3. FOH
        “Zechariah and Elizabeth were both God-haters (since not regenerated) even though Luke 1 says, “Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly.”

        jtleosala
        Foh’s desperate anger towards the doctrine of the TD made an accusation based on his statement above, that Zechariah and Elizabeth were both God haters.

        I say as a Calvinist, that their righteousness does not qualify them to be saved.

        br.d
        So why not answer FOH’s question – were they Totally Depraved God haters?

        The rest of the comments were simply personal attacks – nothing worthy of being repeated.

      4. br.d,

        Thanks for clarifying about my “God-hater” remarks.

        One of the problems when dialoging with a Calvinist is that they do not always remember what “they stand for.”

        What Calvinism stands for is that ALL persons (even “the elect” and God’s “Chosen People”) are officially and unequivocally “God haters” before they are regenerated.

        The doctrine does NOT say “they cannot do things that are good enough for salvation.”

        The doctrine says they cannot do any good thing and they are “God haters”.

        This concept is easily found and affirmed in their books and sites. It is the Calvinist position.

        Now….. when you point out what the Bible actually says about people (Zaccheus, Nicodemus, Lydia, Zechariah, young ruler)…. that they are in fact doing some good things and seeking God and seeking spiritual answers…. a Calvinist with sling mud at you and say “you believe in salvation by works.” What? What a deflection!

        My point is (as you know) that the Bible does not display all people as God-haters and too-dead to think about spiritual things (look as the great things Luke 1 says about Zechariah and Elizabeth!! pre-Christ!).

        The point is simple: these biblical examples obviously do not fit the Calvinist (must-have) doctrine that all people are God-haters until they are regenerated.

      5. FOH
        One of the problems when dialoging with a Calvinist is that they do not always remember what “they stand for.”

        br.d
        Thanks FOH – and as is consistent with you – you very kindly and gentlemanly attribute Calvinist patterns of duplicity as non-volitional.

        When I am convinced they must have at leas some minimal cognizance of the duplicity they exhibit – since those patterns are antithetical to Biblical ethics.

        I find it hard to believe they don’t recognize they are being two-faced – at to some degree.
        But I think they have been taught a host of justifications – which outweigh the pricking of one’s conscience.

        I watched a documentary on the war of the pacific this week – where psychologists outlined what they call SOCIALIZATION processes. The enemy was depicted as sub-human in a number of different ways and by the time U.S. soldier got on the beaches and started facing the enemy he was mentally prepared for allowing himself hideous atrocities he would utterly condemn if done to his own people.

        I think we’ll find that the social structure within the Calvinist society also deploys forms of SOCIALIZATION processes – which similarly condition Calvinists to justify various forms of intellectual dishonesty. Seeing themselves as solders defending the world they have been taught to embrace works to justify many of the duplicitous behavior patterns we observe with them.

        Using language in a deceptive manner can be justified for the sake of an honorable cause.

      6. True.
        You and TS00 think they are being purposely deceptive. I do not. I was not purposely deceptive when a Calvinist.

        But what I realized when I added one Calvinist doctrine to another is that it “necessarily” makes God the designer, decree-er, want-er, delight-er in all things, even evil, malicious, torture and rape. Holocaust? No problem…. God wanted that.

        That is why I ask that simple question to Calvinists: Can YOU do anything that God did not want/ordain you to do?

        So, all of last month, did you sin? Lust? Watch something you should not have? Rest easily. God ultimately wanted you to do that.

        Not in the cheesy way that RH describes “He did not stop you.”

        No, not in that cheesy, “God did not intervene to stop you” way. God ORDAINED that you do it.

        Back to my question for Calvinists:

        Can YOU do something that God did not want/ordain you to do?

        If they say “Yes, I do sin and He does not want/ordain it” then we know they believe that God did not ordain all things. (which is not Calvinism).

        If they say “No, even when I sinned that was God’s ordained, decreed plan,” then we see that they believe fully (no cheesy “didnt intervene” smoke screen) that God is the author of evil.

        It aint rocket science.

      7. FOH
        You and TS00 think they are being purposely deceptive. I do not.

        br.d
        I wouldn’t say it so strongly. I don’t think in their minds they perceive themselves as being deceptive.

        Dr. Bella Depaulo, Social Scientist, in her book: The Hows and Whys of Lies writes:
        “Altruistic dishonesty occurs when a person is working to protect a ‘target’. A high percentage of people who rationalize the use of dishonest language, experience some sub-level degree of discomfort, but which is effectively outweighed by rationalizations. And they generally do not regard their lies as lies. And this is especially true with people who are working to protect a ‘target’.

        These are called “other-oriented” or “altruistic” dishonesties. Protecting the ‘target’ allows them to perceive themselves as honest rather than dishonest. For the sake of protecting the ‘target,’ a high percentage report they would have felt worse if they had been honest, because honesty would have revealed things about the “target” they do not want people to see.”

        I think altruism is an excellent way to understand this issue with Calvinist language. A battered wife may choose to restrain herself from communicating anything that may paint her husband in a bad light – even if she knows what she is communicating is false rather than truth-telling. She is simply protecting the ‘target.’

        How much more would a Calvinist refrain from communicating anything that would in any way reflect badly on God or the gospel. He would feel worse if his language were truth-telling – because it would reveal things about the ‘target’ he doesn’t want people to see.

      8. I see your point, but I’m sure I have seen TS00 express it much more aggressively.

        But to that “protect the target” point….. They love Calvin. JTL refutes infant baptism. Calvin allowed ONLY infant baptism (and persecuted those who “re-baptized”). JTL should call Calvin out on this. But he wont. They just ignore me on this topic.

        Calvin himself was only baptized, Catholic as a baby. So much for a reformation! He declared to all that his infant baptism by a Catholic priest was sufficient. That is terribly wrong according to what many Calvinists believe…. yet they follow him blindly.

        I just dont get it.

      9. There is a reference in the Belgic confession where they believed being baptized twice would be wrong because it would symbolize being born again twice.

        Think about it using JTs way of thinking concerning what Calvin’s god communicates to people in scripture.

        Take Calvin’s god communicating to Cain for example
        Where he says to Cain “you can do well you can conquer your sin”.

        In JTs mind if Calvin’s god at the foundation of the world designed Cain to be a reprobate – then the meaning of those words would be turned upside down and in JTs mind would be interpreted as Calvin’s god passing judgement and condemnation on Cain.

        If however Calvin’s god at the foundation of the world designed Cain for election – then those exact same words would be taken at face value.

        So consider how that pattern of thinking would apply to someone who was baptized as a baby by a Jehovah’s witness.

        In the Calvinist’s mind if that person was assigned to election then even though the baptism they received from a Jehovah’s witness would be interpreted as a true baptism.

        Perhaps their thinking follows something along that line?

      10. The Reformed Church in America boldly posts the Belgic Confession on their site. The Christian Reformed Church also. Many others hold to this confession.

        https://www.rca.org/resources/belgic-confession-article-34-sacrament-baptism

        Some excerpts:

        Having abolished circumcision,
        which was done with blood,
        Christ established in its place
        the sacrament of baptism.

        By it we are received into God’s church
        and set apart from all other people and alien religions,
        that we may wholly belong to him
        whose mark and sign we bear.
        Baptism also witnesses to us
        that God, being our gracious Father,
        will be our God forever….

        For this reason we believe that
        anyone who aspires to reach eternal life
        ought to be baptized only once
        without ever repeating it—
        for we cannot be born twice.
        ——————–

        Received into God’s church!

        I guess that explains why Calvin clung to his own infant, Catholic baptism.

        It also explains my point that all the young bucks running around saying “I am Reformed” dont really know all they are claiming.

      11. JTL,
        Didn’t you tell us in a post that you are a Presbyterian minister?

        Does your denomination hold to the “become part of God’s church” with infant baptism confession?

      12. FOH
        JTL should call Calvin out on this. But he wont. They just ignore me on this topic.

        br.d
        I think we’ll find that Calvinists do disagree with each other – but only behind closed doors.

        Its my understanding they’ve developed a “gentleman’s agreement” concerning this – for the sake of defending and promoting the doctrine.

        rhutchin went against this policy one time here – claiming that one of John Calvin’s teachings was -quote “just his opinion”.
        It was Calvin’s instruction to his disciples to -quote “go about your office AS-IF nothing is determined in any part”

        But I think rhutchin understood the vulnerability of doing that in an open forum.
        He later began trying to invent ways to defend it.

        What a great example of how extremely inventive some Calvinists can be – in the art of camouflaging Calvinism’s DOUBLE-THINK :-]

      13. FOH distorts Calvinism again. Let’s help him:

        Christ died for for Jews and non-Jews….really…only in a “certain way” on a cross.

        Christ loves Jews and non-Jews ….. really.

        People are too dead to hear God’s call without being regenerated…but they still approach Christ with spiritual questions (Lydia, young ruler, Nicodemus, Zaccheus, etc). Had God not opened Lydia’s heart, what would have happened? The others also?

        People need to be regenerated (born again) before they can respond to spiritual things, so a person attending a seeker Bible study for years is talking about spiritual things for years as a dead person (but only inquiring “selfishly”). That is why some people spend years only talking about spiritual things.

        Lydia was a “worshiper of God” before coming to Christ, but also a “God-hater” since not regenerated yet. As Paul would describe her, “she had a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For she being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish her own righteousness, had not submitted to the righteousness of God.” Thus, it was necessary for God to open her heart.

        Zechariah and Elizabeth were both God-haters (since not regenerated) even though Luke 1 says, “Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly.” They were righteous in “observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly.” FOH thinks the law could save them. He needs to read more Bible.

        God has to regenerated dead people before they can hear, respond, decide, have faith, but Paul talks about persuading, convincing, and reasoning with people knowing that God was regenerating some by the word he preached.

        Man is “free” to do anything he wants (which is what God, having perfect understanding, had planned that he would before time).

        Christ laments over people who do not come to Him, but Calvinism declares that God planned and desired it that way since before time.

        All of the OT references of God saying that He “did not want them to do that” are consistent with God really wanting it and decreeing it.

      14. rhutchin
        FOH distorts Calvinism again. Let’s help him:

        Christ died for for Jews and non-Jews….really…only in a “certain way” on a cross.

        br.d
        Not quite – In Calvinism Christ died for A LIMITED NUMBER of (Jews and non-Jews) out of the total population of (Jews and Non-Jews)

        Remember – out of the total population of Jews and Gentiles in the world – Calvin’s god desires ALL of the ones he saves to be Jews and Gentiles :-]

        rhutchin
        Christ loves Jews and non-Jews ….. really.

        br.d
        Calvinist A.W. Pink
        -quote
        GOD DOES NOT LOVE EVERYBODY

        rhutchin
        People are too dead to hear God’s call without being regenerated…but they still approach Christ with spiritual questions (Lydia, young ruler, Nicodemus, Zaccheus, etc). Had God not opened Lydia’s heart, what would have happened? The others also?

        br.d
        OH! Now Total Depravity has changed form DEAD DEAD DEAD god haters – who are INCAPABLE of desiring anything having to do with God. Now they can ask questions but can’t hear the answers.

        But notice they still don’t COME to Christ – they just “approach” him!

        Too funny! :-]

        rhutchin
        Lydia was a “worshiper of God” before coming to Christ, but also a “God-hater” since not regenerated yet.

        br.d
        I think by now everyone knows Calvinism is DOUBLE-SPEAK.
        Here a person is a God worshiper and a God hater at the same time.

        And if you buy that one – there’s a deal on a bridge in Florida you won’t want to pass up! :-]

      15. Richard
        Either Jesus is lamenting over people who rejected him, or Jesus is putting on a charade, since Calvinism says these people are not able to respond by decree of God for his glory. Sounds ridiculous, because it is. That is the fruit of Calvinism.

        br.d
        Well said!

        Dr. William Lane Craig agrees
        -quote
        God would be like a child who sets up his toy soldiers and moves them about his play world, pretending that they are real persons whose every motion is not in fact of his own doing and pretending that they merit praise or blame.

      16. Yep that Craig quote has it about right.

        Simple questions for our Calvinist friends:

        Can you do anything that God does not want you to do?

        Can you do anything that God did not decree you to do?

      17. FOH asks, “Can you do anything that God does not want you to do?
        Can you do anything that God did not decree you to do?”

        God says, “Thou shalt not kill,” and then He watches as Cain kills Abel, so people can do what God tells them not to do. However, God had decreed the outcome having already decided not to stop Cain which explains His not stopping Cain.

      18. FOH
        Can you do anything that God does not want you to do?

        rhutchin
        God says, “Thou shalt not kill,” and then He watches as Cain kills Abel, so people can do what God tells them not to do. However, God had decreed the outcome having already decided not to stop Cain which explains His not stopping Cain.

        br.d
        Jesus says let your communication be Yea Yea or Nay Nay – for anything else comes of evil.
        But the Calvinist answer to this question is all to often YEA-NAY

        This is where one of their INVENTIONS comes into play – where Calvin’s god has a DECLARED will and a SECRET will which is the total opposite of his DECLARED will.

        That invention allows the Calvinist to communicate a YEA-NAY answer to this question – despite Jesus’ command to the contrary.

      19. FOH
        Two simple questions for our Calvinist friends:
        1) Can you do anything that God did not decree you to do?

        br.d
        Any Calvinist who answers YES to this question is either lying, not a Calvinist, or is totally confused.

        2) Can you do anything that God does not want you to do?

        br.d
        Jesus says let your communication be Yea Yea or Nay Nay – for anything else comes of evil.
        But the Calvinist answer to this question is all to often YEA-NAY

        This is where one of their INVENTIONS comes into play – where Calvin’s god has a DECLARED will and a SECRET will which is the total opposite of his DECLARED will.

        That is how the Calvinist can produce a YEA-NAY answer to this question.

  20. BR.D said:”I’m having a hard time believing you really meant this?” Eisegesis, if it is logical and doesn’t contradict Scripture is just as legitimate as Exegesis. My bias is I don’t buy TULIP. If I can use Scripture to verify my presupposition, then so be it. If I’m wrong, someone objects, they can present their case too.

    1. Richard
      Eisegesis, if it is logical and doesn’t contradict Scripture is just as legitimate as Exegesis

      br.d
      I see your sincerity and honor in this statement – but personally I don’t know anyone who would dare to agree with it.
      I just hope you’re not putting yourself in a position of unnecessary vulnerability.
      But I will understand – if that’s your position.

      1. br.d
        Well, you seem like you are educated in this area. If you don’t know anyone that would agree, maybe I don’t understand eisegesis and am willing to change my position. Nevertheless, TULIP distorts the character of God and the Gospel. In its extreme forms, it takes on a life of its own and smothers the Gospel.

      2. Yes I totally agree with you that Calvinism is a distorted doctrinal position.
        And you are very wise to examine it from the stand point of logic – because that in fact is its primary weakness.
        That is why John Piper counsels Calvinists to stay away from debating Calvinism using logic – the end result is always failure.
        He counsels them to always move the conversation to scripture – and there is a reason for that tactic.

        Calvinism’s strong suit for many generations is the manipulation of language.
        As you probably know, there is a difference between a LOGICAL argument and a SEMANTIC argument.

        If you were to take a text-book course in classical rational reasoning – you might see a text-book example.
        There is one in which a bear in the woods is debating with birds over which creature can navigate the fastest through the forest.
        The birds argue they can – by virtue of being able to fly.
        The bear’s interest is not in TRUTH but in WINNING – so he looks for a way to APPEAR to win the argument.
        He jumps off a rock while waving his arms and then defines that action as flying – to then claim that the birds loose the argument.
        That is called a SEMANTIC argument.
        The birds are not savvy enough to know they were fooled by a SEMANTIC argument – presented with the facade of being a logical argument

        I think if you observe Calvinist arguments carefully you will discover 99% of them follow that model.

        The bottom line is that over many generations of debating – Calvinists have learned what Immanuel Kant called “The art of word juggling”
        99% of Calvinist arguments are SEMANTIC arguments – where words, terms and phrases are strategically re-defined.
        And in many cases the Calvinist definition is hidden or amorphous, in order to play equivocation games with words.

        That is why – for example – rhutchin always works to draw people into arguing over scripture verses.
        Language is extremely easy to manipulate – but logic is not.
        So the Calvinist will try to steer people into dialogs over scripture – because manipulating the language of scripture is what they’ve’ done for generations.

        In contrast to that – the rules of LOGIC are FIXED and cannot be manipulated.
        You’ll notice Calvinists committing a host of logical fallacies – which when you point them out makes the argument void.

        So you are on a level playing field when focused on LOGIC – but when focused on language – you’re being drawn into a spider’s web.

      3. br.d writes, “99% of Calvinist arguments are SEMANTIC arguments – where words, terms and phrases are strategically re-defined.
        And in many cases the Calvinist definition is hidden or amorphous, in order to play equivocation games with words.”

        Here are the basic Calvinist arguments:
        1. God is omniscient and knows all events including future events perfectly.
        2. God has an infinite understanding of all things.
        3. All God’s decisions reflect His perfect wisdom/
        Thus, when God created the universe, He rendered certain all that would follow and did so with infinite understanding and perfect wisdom.

        Contract this with br.d’s god:
        1. br.d’s god is not omniscient in the sense of knowing all events including future events perfectly.
        2. Logically, being ignorant of all things future, br.d’s god cannot have an infinite understanding of all things.
        3. Further, br.d’s god cannot make decisions that reflect perfect wisdom.
        Thus, when br.d’s god is alleged to have created the universe, he could not have rendered certain anything that would follow because he lacked infinite understanding and perfect wisdom.

        Call them logical or semantic, they distinguish the God of the Bible from br.d’s god.

      4. rhutchin
        Here are the basic Calvinist arguments:
        1. God is omniscient and knows all events including future events perfectly.
        2. God has an infinite understanding of all things.
        3. All God’s decisions reflect His perfect wisdom/

        br.d
        Not unique to Calvinism – so no need (in this post at least) for a Calvinist us deploy a SEMANTIC trick

        rhutchin
        Thus, when God created the universe, He rendered certain all that would follow and did so with infinite understanding and perfect wisdom.

        br.d
        Here the philosophy of Universal Divine Causal Determinism is PRESUPPOSED.
        But the big RED-FLAG is where the Calvinist must create FACADES of IN-determinism in order to APPEAR b biblical

        rhutchin
        Contract this with br.d’s god:
        1. br.d’s god is not omniscient in the sense of knowing all events including future events perfectly.
        2. Logically, being ignorant of all things future, br.d’s god cannot have an infinite understanding of all things.
        3. Further, br.d’s god cannot make decisions that reflect perfect wisdom.
        Thus, when br.d’s god is alleged to have created the universe, he could not have rendered certain anything that would follow because he lacked infinite understanding and perfect wisdom.

        br.d
        And you say that I make CLAIMS! What a hoot! :-]
        Why don’t you try showing these to be the case using LOGIC – and see how that goes :-]

        rhutchin
        Call them logical or semantic, they distinguish the God of the Bible from br.d’s god.

        br.d
        More precisely Calvin’s god is distinguished from br.d’s god.
        Saying it the other way around equates to boasting the god of scripture is on my side and not you’res.
        And such boasts are for the immature. :-]

      5. br.d writes, “And you say that I make CLAIMS! ”

        Well, given that you said, “More precisely Calvin’s god is distinguished from br.d’s god,” we have the description of your god correct. It is obvious that your god and the Biblical God are not the same (regardless what you think of Calvinism).

      6. br.d writes, “And you say that I make CLAIMS! ”

        rhutchin
        Well, given that you said, “More precisely Calvin’s god is distinguished from br.d’s god,” we have the description of your god correct. It is obvious that your god and the Biblical God are not the same (regardless what you think of Calvinism).

        br.d
        You know LOGIC requires one know what a claim actually is.
        Here is an attempt to back up an observation of a claim without evidence – with just another claim without evidence.

        You could attempt to make a LOGICAL argument if you thought it would help.
        But circular thinking won’t take you anywhere but in a circle.

  21. br.d and his god, the Neurological impulse man posted this one:

    “jtleosala
    3. “- the goodness of God leads to repentance, Rom 2:4” – But despite of God’s goodness, how come that they refuse to repent? It is because – they are still in a spiritually dead status and they were also insensitive to any spiritual things concerning God. This only supports I Cor. 2:14 on the doctrine of the TD/TI.”

    “br.d
    Please provide scripture which EXPLICITLY affirms TOTAL INABILITY – which is what is being claimed here.
    And please don’t bother quoting scriptures that don’t”

    ——–Here’s My Response———-

    The comenter tries a tactic that he thinks might scare the opponent and be intimidated by the challenge, hymnnn… I know where I firmly stand. The wisdom is this: Listen to what Jesus Christ have stated: “… don’t cast your pearls before swine, lest they [this include br.d, the Neurological impulse man:] trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces”.

    1. “br.d
      Please provide scripture which EXPLICITLY affirms TOTAL INABILITY – which is what is being claimed here.
      And please don’t bother quoting scriptures that don’t”

      jtleosala
      The comenter tries a tactic that he thinks might scare the opponent and be intimidated by the challenge, hymnnn… I know where I firmly stand. The wisdom is this: Listen to what Jesus Christ have stated: “… don’t cast your pearls before swine, lest they [this include br.d, the Neurological impulse man:] trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces”.

      br.d
      The human mind interprets data by mental association. It looks at an ink-blot and sees a butterfly – when that butterfly doesn’t REALLY exist in that ink-blot.

      The human mind can be taught a doctrine. And then taught to look at a Bible verse and see the likeness of that doctrine in that verse. But the doctrine doesn’t REALLY exist in that verse any more than the butterfly exists in the ink-blot.

  22. Can our Calvinist friends help me understand Reformed baptism?

    Most Calvinists do not realize that Calvin believed EXCLUSIVELY in infant baptism. They do not know that he persecuted (yes, physically) those in his area for re-baptizing as adults (Anabaptists and others). Not only did he discourage “believer baptism” —he forbade it and punished it.

    Most Calvinists do not realize that Calvin was perfectly satisfied with his own infant, Catholic baptism. The leader of Calvinism only ever had an infant, Catholic baptism. I can just imagine someone coming to John MacArthur’s church, getting saved, and telling John M, “I was baptized as a baby in the Catholic church.” Oh, yeah, enjoy picturing that!

    So…. infant baptism anyone?

    ps. While you are at it tell me what it accomplishes. I mean I know it makes a baby “a child of the covenant” but to what end since he may not even be “an elect”? What part of the covenant is he then?

    1. FOH
      Can our Calvinist friends help me understand Reformed [infant] baptism?

      br.d
      I think this is a doctrine that during the time of the historic confessions there was internal disagreements between Calvinists on infant baptism. The Belgic confession and the Westminster confession have a lot of gobel-dy-goop language about infant baptism which appears to show infant baptism was an unresolved doctrine in those days.

      So a Calvinist who adheres to one of the confessions is going to be pro-infant-baptism – while other Calvinists won’t be.

      Here are some STRANGE statements in the Westminster confession on infant baptism
      -quote
      The EFFICACY of baptism is not tied to that moment of time wherein it is administered; yet, not withstanding, by the right of this ordinance, the GRACE PROMISED IS NOT ONLY OFFERED BUT REALLY EXHIBITED AND CONFERRED BY THE HOLY GHOST.

      There is, in every sacrament, a spiritual relation, or sacramental union, between the sign and the thing signified: whence it comes to pass, that the NAMES AND EFFECTS of the one ARE ATTRIBUTED to the other.

      Not only those that do actually profess faith…..but also infants of….believing parents, are to be baptized. ….it is a great sin to condemn or neglect this ordinance.

  23. FOH posted this extract:

    “So…. infant baptism anyone?”

    ——Here’s My Response——-

    Does Regeneration Precedes Faith? – My answer is YES. So how could I baptize an infant?

    I only baptize those adult converts whom Christ redeemed at the cross of Calvary. If FOH is doing that when he was still a former Calvie seems to me that he is now now being haunted by his own conscience. JMac is against infant Baptism and you know that.

  24. I made a couple of comments on this thread a while ago and got a lot of reaction.

    1. My point (with Lydia, Nicodemus, Zaccheus, Zechariah, etc) was NOT that they earned salvation (straw man!) but that they were obviously able to think and decide about spiritual things. Calvinist answer: just shout a little louder “regeneration precedes faith”. Missed my point…. but we expect that.

    2. I asked Calvinists if “you” could do something that God did not want you to do, and got a convoluted answer. Never a simple answer to a simple question.

    3. I pointed out that Calvin persecuted people for baptizing adults…. and he himself NEVER had anything but his infant, Catholic baptism. I mentioned that MacArthur would never accept that! But Calvinists still venerated Calvin!

    Okay….. another simple question:

    If Calvin were alive today would you tell him to be baptized?

    Repeat: Can you do something that God does not want you to do?

  25. FOH Posted this one:

    “If Calvin were alive today would you tell him to be baptized?”

    “Repeat: Can you do something that God does not want you to do?”

    ——–My Response———

    When you are still a former Calvie, how did you react to your question? Could you reveal that here?

    Does Regeneration Precede Faith? – The answer is YES. Faith is a gift from God and is given to the elect sinner at the time of the gospel call. If he had already faith before Regeneration, then why is there still a need for God to provide faith?

    Faith is Provided by God. This distinguishes the Calvinists’ faith from FOH’s man-made faith. i.e:

    1. Phil. 1:29 “For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him [this is faith granted] but also to suffer for His sake.

    2. Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith …” [who is the creator/author of faith? = The Answer is Jesus, yet FOH is in great dispute with this. Why? He brings before God man’s native faith that is sin infected]

    3. Luke 17:5 And the apostles said to the :Lord, “increase our faith”. [The Apostles were acknowledging Jesus as the source of faith, and yet FOH denies this]

    4. I Cor. 12:9 “To another faith by the same Spirit…” {Paul is saying here that faith is one of the gifts. I don’t know where did FOH gets his faith since that he is allergic of the term I often used “native faith of man that is sin infected]

  26. Romans 12:3 “For by grace given me I say to everyone of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the FAITH GOD HAS DISTRIBUTED to each of you.”

    According to the verse cited above, God is the distributor of faith. This reveals to us that Faith is from God. He is the origin of faith and according to the verse God distributes this faith. If they have already that faith with them then, why is there a need for God to give them faith? FOH openly deny God’s giving of faith to the regenerated sinner. Where does FOH gets his faith? – This he cannot explain that makes him scratch his head. Did FOH produced his own faith since birth that he can brag before God?, surely he will deny this. He claimed that he is not “too dead” to sin. [maybe partial dead only because he is always offended with the letter “T” in the doctrine of the “TD”] He is also in dispute with what I say that Salvation is totally the work of God and that man has no whatsoever share in it.

    FOH also claimed that Salvation is conditional. It is offered to sinners with condition and this condition according to him is man’s capability to trust or distrrust Christ using man-made native faith. The truth that FOH cannot argue is that God offered Salvation unconditionally to sinners that he elected a people of His own before the foundation of the world. God have done this so that no one can boast before Him by the time they will have an actual engagement with Christ as the means of Salvation. His goal for them is to make them blameless before God according to:

    Eph. 1:4. “According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.

    For FOH, man is in hell because he refused Christ. For a Calvinist a person was in hell, because God from the beginning before time decided not to include their names in the book of life according to Rev. 17:8. Even if FOH will protest to this Action of God outside of time he will just come to no avail. God’s blueprint Plan for the Salvation of man does not commence at the refusal of Man to receive Christ. It begins at the time of Election for God to decide whom to write/not to write the names in the book of life.

    “The beast that thou sawest was and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition; and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder WHOSE NAMES WERE NOT WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF LIFE FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD …” Rev. 17:8 [If God can create out of nothing from the foundation of the world, then He can also decide for himself unconditionally whose names He shall not include in the book of life-the reprobates]

    This is also supported by Rev. 13:8 “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”

    In the “Ordo Salutis” of the Calvinist, Regeneration Precedes Faith.

    1. jtleosala
      Romans 12:3 “For by grace given me I say to everyone of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the FAITH GOD HAS DISTRIBUTED to each of you.”

      According to the verse cited above, God is the distributor of faith. This reveals to us that Faith is from God.

      br.d
      This verse does not stipulate how, where, when, or to what degree at any particular time faith is distributed.
      The Calvinist ASSUMES information external to the verse and READS that information into the verse claiming the verse as a proof-text for concepts external to what the verse actually states.

      jtleosala
      He is the origin of faith and according to the verse God distributes this faith.

      br.d
      This verse does not speak concerning ORIGIN of faith – simply that faith is distributed.
      Eisegesis is the process of READING external presuppositions into a given text which that text does not by itself support.

      jtleosala
      If they have already that faith with them then, why is there a need for God to give them faith?

      br.d
      You had faith as a baby – that when you cried your mother would come and tend to your need – where did that faith come from?

      jtleosala
      Eph. 1:4. “According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.

      br.d
      The information conveyed in this verse is limited to what the verse actually states.
      The Calvinist ASSUMES information external to the verse and READS that information into the verse claiming the verse as a proof-text for something it doesn’t actually state.

      Jehovah’s witness do the same thing with Scripture

      jtleosala
      God’s blueprint Plan for the Salvation of man does not commence at the refusal of Man to receive Christ.

      br,d
      This statement is IRRATIONAL

      jtleosala
      God’s blueprint Plan for the Salvation begins at the time of Election for God to decide whom to write/not to write the names in the book of life.

      br.d
      This is the information external to the text which the Calvinist ASSUMES – and READ INTO the text.
      Notice a Bible verse is not quoted here – but simply a philosophical claim.
      Eisegesis is the process of READING external presuppositions into a given text which that text does not by itself support.

      jtleosala
      If God can create out of nothing from the foundation of the world, then He can also decide for himself unconditionally whose names He shall not include in the book of life-the reprobates]

      br.d
      And he can create the moon to shine by day and the sun to shine by night – but the scripture doesn’t support that either.

      jtleosala
      And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”

      br.d
      The information conveyed in this verse is limited to what the verse actually states.
      The Calvinist ASSUMES information external to the verse and READS that information into the verse claiming the verse as a proof-text for something it doesn’t actually state.

      Jehovah’s witness do the same thing with Scripture

      jtleosala
      In the “Ordo Salutis” of the Calvinist, Regeneration Precedes Faith.

      br.d
      Yes – we all know the Calvinist tradition and philosophy.

      1. br.d,

        Thanks for taking the time to deal witj JTL’s assumptions. Calvinists (named after only-Catholic-baptized, infant-baptizer Calvin) make Scripture say more than it does.

        If we look at this verse in context (most Calvinists refuse to do that with their “gotcha” verses) we see that it is not talking about “saving faith” but the faith that the Lord builds up in His believers.

        Verse 6 says, “If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith”

        So, nah….. another “silver bullet” Calvinist “gothca” verse taken out of context just does not refute the hundreds and hundreds of verses we develop here.

      2. I think perhaps someday the Calvinists and the Jehovah witnesses are going to combine their doctrinal systems.
        They both handle scripture the same way! :-]

      3. FOH writes, “If we look at this verse in context (most Calvinists refuse to do that with their “gotcha” verses) we see that it is not talking about “saving faith” but the faith that the Lord builds up in His believers.”

        Saving faith is the least, most basic, faith given to a person and that faith is placed in Christ (In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise); it is that saving faith hat God then begins to build up in the believer through the transformation accomplished by the renewing of the mind.

      4. FOH “If we look at this verse in context (most Calvinists refuse to do that with their “gotcha” verses) we see that it is not talking about “saving faith” but the faith that the Lord builds up in His believers.”

        rhutchin
        Saving faith is the least, most basic, faith given to a person

        br.d
        And from where does that conception come from?
        If from scripture – them please provide the verse which EXPLICITLY states it.
        And don’t bother to cite a verse like “And Mahalaleel lived sixty and five years, and begat Jared”

        rhutchin
        it is that saving faith hat God then begins to build up in the believer through the transformation accomplished by the renewing of the mind.

        br.d
        Or it may start with faith one already has – (and following the divine principle revealed in the parable of the talents) – the Lord rewards that degree of faith a person exercises towards him – and uses it to further bless that individual.

      5. rhutchin: “Saving faith is the least, most basic, faith given to a person.”
        br.d: “And from where does that conception come from?”

        Romans 10 Paul asks a series of questions, “For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent?…So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

        This tells us that the first act of faith is to believe. In Ephesians 1, Paul says, “In Christ you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,” Here, Paul ties in trust with faith and believing as the first response of a person to hearing the gospel. In Romans 12, Paul says, “do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” The renewing of the mind is accomplished through the hearing of the word and is accompanied by increasing faith by which one “may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” In Hebrews 11, we see that faith is “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” That assurance and conviction (faith) increases the more a person hears the word and that word renews the mind.

      6. rhutchin: “Saving faith is the least, most basic, faith given to a person.”

        br.d: “And from where does that conception come from?”

        rhutchin
        Romans 10 Paul asks a series of questions, …..etc
        This tells us that the first act of faith is to believe. In Ephesians 1, Paul says,……etc

        br.d
        Sorry!
        This is called the FALLACY of AD-HOC INVENTION – via NON-SEQUITUR.
        A very common phenomenon when a child tries to argue his/her way into getting something

        Example:
        The Barbie doll is the LEAST and most BASIC doll because it has hair, two arms, two legs and comes with dresses that can be taken on and off. Therefore if you love me you will buy me a Barbie doll.

        There is nothing in any of the verses quoted that indicate “saving” faith is the LEAST or MOST BASIC form of faith
        And there is nothing in these verses that treat faith like it is a hex or a spell that must be applied to a person

        This treats scripture the same way JT does – by quoting verses while forcing AD-HOC concepts onto them.

        P. T. Barnum said: “A sucker is born every minute”
        And Proverbs says: “Fools believe every word they hear”

      7. br.d writes, “There is nothing in any of the verses quoted that indicate “saving” faith is the LEAST or MOST BASIC form of faith”

        the verses in question is, “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,…” together with “…faith comes by hearing…”

        So, faith comes by hearing and people believe after hearing – the common theme is that one must hear the gospel before one can have faith and believe.. Romans 10 asks the question, “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?” The answer, in part, “So, faith comes by hearing…” The implication is that one hears the gospel preached, receives faith and then believes. Because faith precedes believing, there is a clear indication that it must be the least or most basic form of faith because it is the first to arise from hearing.

        br.d seems to have blown the analysis of this one.

      8. br.d
        There is nothing in any of the verses quoted that indicate “saving” faith is the LEAST or MOST BASIC form of faith”

        rhutchin
        the verses in question is, “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,…” together with “…faith comes by hearing…”

        br.d
        Right – nothing in that verse speaks of any qualtities which compare the faith mentioned from any other form of faith – e.g. LEAST vs GREATEST. or MOST BASIC vs MOST COMPLEX.

        All that intent to impress with jabber – is simply relegated to AD-HOC INVETIONS – via NON-SEQUITUR

        rhutchin
        So, faith comes by hearing and people believe after hearing

        br.d
        As does faith that the earth is NOT flat and is in fact round comes by hearing.

        rhutchin
        the common theme is that one must hear the gospel before one can have faith and believe..

        br.d
        Basic understanding of human cognition – one must hear any information before one can believe it

        rhutchin
        Romans 10 asks the question, “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?” The answer, in part, “So, faith comes by hearing…”

        br.d
        Basic understanding of human cognition – can’t call on something or someone if you don’t know what it is!

        rhutchin
        The implication is that one hears the gospel preached, receives faith and then believes.

        br.d
        There is where one imposes a foreign concept onto the text.

        The interest here is to somehow get a verse affirm something it doesn’t

        The implication is simply nothing more that one hears the gospel and chooses to believe – thus faith comes by hearing.
        Again there is nothing in these verses that liken faith to being passed to a person like one finds with a hex or a spell which is the model we find in Calvinism.

        rhutchin
        Because faith precedes believing, there is a clear indication that it must be the least or most basic form of faith because it is the first to arise from hearing.

        br.d
        FALSE – here is the AD-HOC INVENTION via NON-SEQUITUR
        You’ve simply made up two abstract nouns that fit into the Calvinist system and applied them to verses
        You might as well try to argue that salvific faith is the most EXTRAVAGENT of all forms of faith – using these verses.
        The concepts of various attributes such as LEAST vs.MOST or BASIC vs.COMPLEX are no where to be found in these verses.

        rhutchin
        br.d seems to have blown the analysis of this one.

        br.d
        Too funny!

        What we have here reminds me of a little girl trying to persuade her mom to buy her a Barbie doll – by arguing it is the LEAST and most BASIC of all dolls.

        A smart mommy knows better :-]

        And P. T. Barnum said: “A sucker is born every minute”
        And Proverbs says: “Fools believe every word they hear”

      9. br.d writes, “[Romans 12:3]…This verse does not stipulate how, where, when, or to what degree at any particular time faith is distributed.”

        The information conveyed in this verse is limited to what the verse actually states – “…in accordance with the FAITH GOD HAS DISTRIBUTED to each of you.” God distributes “faith” to a person. That is JTL’s point.

        We all seem to agree that the verse does not stipulate how, where, when, or to what degree at any particular time faith is distributed. The verse only stipulates that faith is from God.

        In Romans 10, we discover that faith comes from hearing the word.

      10. br.d
        [Romans 12:3]…This verse does not stipulate how, where, when, or to what degree at any particular time faith is distributed.”

        The Calvinist ASSUMES information external to the verse and READS that information into the verse claiming the verse as a proof-text for concepts external to what the verse actually states.

        rhutchin
        The information conveyed in this verse is limited to what the verse actually states – “

        br.d
        Thanks for repeating what I just said! :-]

        rhutchin
        …in accordance with the FAITH GOD HAS DISTRIBUTED to each of you.” God distributes “faith” to a person. That is JTL’s point.

        br.d
        JTL’s normal process is to quote a verse and use is to assert something which is actually external to it and what it in fact does not state. Every adult Christian knows that divine gifts are distributed – nothing new there.

        rhutchin
        We all seem to agree that the verse does not stipulate how, where, when, or to what degree at any particular time faith is distributed. The verse only stipulates that faith is from God.

        br.d
        Actually you’ve done it again – added a concept to the verse the verse does not state.
        If you were being honest about JTL’s point – you should have stopped there with it – that faith is distributed.
        But again every adult Christian knows that divine gifts are distributed.

        rhutchin
        In Romans 10, we discover that faith comes from hearing the word.

        br.d
        Hope you didn’t just discover that! :-]

      11. rhutchin
        In Romans 10, we discover that faith comes from hearing the word.

        br.d
        I always get a kick out of how seriously the Calvinist takes himself

        Years ago I had faith that the earth wasn’t flat – but is in fact round – that came by hearing also :-]

  27. br.d and his god, the Neurological impulse man posted this one to respond to Romans 12:3:

    “This verse does not speak concerning ORIGIN of faith – simply that faith is distributed.
    Eisegesis is the process of READING external presuppositions into a given text which that text does not by itself support.”

    “Actually you’ve done it again – added a concept to the verse the verse does not state.
    If you were being honest about JTL’s point – you should have stopped there with it – that faith is distributed.
    But again every adult Christian knows that divine gifts are distributed.”

    ——-Here’s My Response——–

    br.d, the Neurological impulse man denies God as the origin of faith in Romans 12:3. He is simply saying here that God is distributing something that is not of His own. So… where does br.d’s faith originates. Did he created a faith of his own? These that he cannot argue with his ally FOH that both of them cannot do away of scratching their head.

    Br.d, the Neurological impulse man also stated that according to him: “when the baby cries for him “is an expression of faith”. Faith to whom? did you ask the baby?

    What I can smell now from br.d, the Neurological impulse man is the “aroma of the fallen man”, not the “aroma of Christ”.

    In his soteriology he thinks See, If I did not open the door of my life, you cannot come into my life”. It seems that Christ still owe the sinner and God’s work of redemption is still incomplete.

    But as for Brian, I can smell the “aroma of Christ’s love” extended to the Calvinist commenters.

    Does Regeneration Precedes faith? = The answer is YES. The elder brother in the parable Jesus told was also lost. The Father needs to go out of the house to entreat him to come in, yet he refused. This means that this elder brother is spiritually dead, he is unable to comprehend what is transpiring in the Father’s heart concerning the younger brother’s restoration. His refusal is by nature a proof of God’s revealing to us his status, so that someday in God’s timetable in the unblinding the rest of Israel, he is going to be unblinded/regenerated by God for him to see the truth and then to trust the Messiah.

    1. jtleosala – I removed out of your post the comment about someone idolizing fallen man.
      I realized after responding to your post that I should have simply done that rather than let it besmirch the SOT101 environment.

      I will remove my response also and re-post.
      br.d

    2. jtleosala
      br.d, the Neurological impulse man denies God as the origin of faith in Romans 12:3. He is simply saying here that God is distributing something that is not of His own.

      br.d
      “not his own”
      Sorry – those are not my words

      jtleosala
      So… where does br.d’s faith originates.

      br.d
      Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above. Lets let each verse speak for itself instead of FORCING a verse to say something it does not say.

      jtleosala
      Did he created a faith of his own?

      br.d
      Eyes rolling!

      jtleosala
      These that he cannot argue with his ally FOH that both of them cannot do away of scratching their head.

      br.d
      Another straw-man argument – such strategies don’t speak well for anyone.

      jtleosala
      Br.d, the Neurological impulse man also stated that according to him: “when the baby cries for him “is an expression of faith”.

      br.d
      What br.d d stated is – “when you were a baby you had faith that when you cried your mother would tend to your needs”
      Perhaps that is not true for you – but it is for most babies.

      jtleosala
      Faith to whom? did you ask the baby?

      br.d
      Perhaps you did not cry because you did not believe your mother would tend to your needs.
      If so – I’m sorry for that – but that is the case for most babies whom God designed to be nurtured.

      jtleosala
      What I can smell now from br.d, the Neurological impulse man is the “aroma of the fallen man”, not the “aroma of Christ”.

      br.d
      Three manifestations of the flesh to take note of here are Enmities, Hostility, and Strife.
      By the pointing of the finger – God allows a person to judge himself with his own words.
      Proverbs tells us that God allows people to fall into their own snares.

      jtleosala
      But as for Brian, I can smell the “aroma of Christ’s love” extended to the Calvinist commenters.

      br.d
      Brian is Christ-like I agree
      But that doesn’t remove the issue of aggressiveness, name calling, and/or false accusations – posted towards those who disagree with you.

      jtleosala
      Does Regeneration Precedes faith? = The answer is YES.

      br.d
      This doctrine is unique and limited to a small percentage of Protestants – who follow the doctrinal tradition called Calvinism

      jtleosala
      The elder brother in the parable Jesus told was also lost. The Father needs to go out of the house to entreat him to come in, yet he refused. This means that this elder brother is spiritually dead, he is unable to comprehend what is transpiring in the Father’s heart concerning the younger brother’s restoration. His refusal is by nature a proof of God’s revealing to us his status, so that someday in God’s timetable in the unblinding the rest of Israel, he is going to be unblinded/regenerated by God for him to see the truth and then to trust the Messiah.

      br.d
      The way a person brings such suppositions to the text of scripture is – firstly – to be taught “regeneration precedes faith”
      And then taught that certain scriptures “supposedly” affirm that conception.

      A person who has not been under that doctrinal influence does not READ those things INTO the text.
      Its just that simple

  28. In this excellent article (above) Dr. Flowers quotes Dr. David Allen of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, who approaches the subject from examining the Greek grammatical structure within NT authorship. This brings him to three conclusions which I have divided out into four, and added a few logical comments.

    1. There is no Scripture anywhere that directly states regeneration precedes faith. The Calvinist simply arrives at his position via theological argumentation driven more by their system rather than by Scripture.

    2. There is no statement in Scripture which precludes faith preceding regeneration. This indicates the NT authors did not see this idea as troublesome or to be warned against. And thus we have a Calvinist insistence that is not shared by NT authors. And this serves as a differentiator between the two.

    3. There is no Biblical text that connects faith and regeneration in a grammatical structure that prescribes an order that supports regeneration preceding faith.

    4. There are biblical texts connecting faith and regeneration that support faith preceding regeneration, as well as texts that would seem to preclude the possibility of regeneration preceding faith. Statements such as: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved,” – Paul to the Philippian jailor – Acts 16.

    If in fact the Calvinist’s “ordo salutis” were a theological distinction for Paul as it is for Calvinists, he could have stated it as: “You shall be saved – and then you will believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ”. Yet again we do not see this, and instead Paul actually frames his statement in the reverse. And this again serves to differentiate a Calvinist distinction from NT authorship.

    I agree with Dr. Allen – the Calvinist starts first with a theological position – and then looks for ways to get scripture to APPEAR to affirm it.

    1. br.d writes, “If in fact the Calvinist’s “ordo salutis” were a theological distinction for Paul as it is for Calvinists, he could have stated it as: “You shall be saved – and then you will believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ”.”

      Regeneration is not salvation; it enables salvation. Regeneration enables a person, who otherwise could not come to Jesus, to hear the gospel, be given faith, and express that faith in believing.and then can be described as ‘saved.”

      1. br.d
        “If in fact the Calvinist’s “ordo salutis” were a theological distinction for Paul as it is for Calvinists, he could have stated it as: “You shall be saved – and then you will believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ”.”

        rhutchin
        Regeneration is not salvation; it enables salvation. Regeneration enables a person, who otherwise could not come to Jesus, to hear the gospel, be given faith, and express that faith in believing.and then can be described as ‘saved.”

        br.d
        Point well taken – thank you.

        In this case Paul wouldn’t have reversed it – he would have missed the necessary first step.

        So we can amend accordingly – Paul could have thus stated it as:
        “You must be regenerated – and then you will believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ – and then you can be described as saved.”

        But of course that brings us back to Dr. David Allen’s points (1-3) where nowhere in the NT does that language exist without a theological system READING ITSELF INTO it.

      2. br.d,

        For Calvinists, the regeneration is being “born again”. However that is not the common understanding (of “born again”) in the evangelical world.

        I dont think people use that term that way. People usually say and think that they heard the Gospel, responded in repentance, and were born again.

        So in your scenario Calvinists would need Paul to say to him.

        “Obviously since you are asking about spiritual things and asking how to be saved, you have been regenerated/ born again.

        Now I will present the Gospel to you and you will believe.”

        So for the rest of us Calvinists are saying that he was born again so he could be given faith and believe…… and be born again (again).

      3. FOH writes, “People usually say and think that they heard the Gospel, responded in repentance, and were born again. ”

        People have been known to be wrong. That is why Paul instructed, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” and “I charge you, [Timothy] …Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”

      4. Just an open question to our Calvinist friends.

        Am I correct that you are stating that all of the verses that refer to being ….

        born again
        a new creation
        made alive
        born of the Spirit

        All refer to a “pre-salvation” time when a person is made un-dead, so that he can then be given faith, and then repent?

      5. FOH writes, “Am I correct that you are stating that all of the verses that refer to being ….
        born again
        a new creation
        made alive
        born of the Spirit
        All refer to a “pre-salvation” time when a person is made un-dead, so that he can then be given faith, and then repent?”

        With a couple exceptions,” Yes.” In addition, as it applies to salvation, each of those terms refers to a work of God on the person – an irresistible work.

      6. FOH
        “Am I correct that you are stating that all of the verses that refer to being ….
        born again
        a new creation
        made alive
        born of the Spirit
        All refer to a “pre-salvation” time when a person is made un-dead, so that he can then be given faith, and then repent?”

        rhutchin
        With a couple exceptions,” Yes.” In addition, as it applies to salvation, each of those terms refers to a work of God on the person – an irresistible work.

        br.d
        What are the exceptions – which ones do not apply for you?

      7. br.d writes, “What are the exceptions – which ones do not apply for you?”

        Whatever exceptions you think to exist from your study of the Scriptures. I left it open ended in case you studied the Scriptures and found what you considered to be an exception.

      8. FOH
        Am I correct that you are stating that all of the verses that refer to being ….
        born again
        a new creation
        made alive
        born of the Spirit
        All refer to a “pre-salvation” time when a person is made un-dead, so that he can then be given faith, and then repent?”

        rhutchin
        With a couple exceptions,” Yes.” In addition, as it applies to salvation, each of those terms refers to a work of God on the person – an irresistible work.

        br.d
        What are the exceptions – which ones do not apply for you?”

        rhutchin
        Whatever exceptions you think to exist from your study of the Scriptures. I left it open ended in case you studied the Scriptures and found what you considered to be an exception.

        br.d
        Lets try this again:
        FOH Am I correct that you are stating that all of the verses that refer to being ….

        1) born again
        2) a new creation
        3) made alive
        4) born of the Spirit
        All refer to a “pre-salvation” time when a person is made un-dead, so that he can then be given faith, and then repent?”

        Now since you said a “couple” of these are exceptions for you — then which two numbers from the four above are exceptions for you?

      9. br.d writes, “Now since you said a “couple” of these are exceptions for you — then which two numbers from the four above are exceptions for you?”

        I had nothing specific in mind. You took my use of “couple” to mean more than I intended. So, delete the word, “With room for exceptions,” Yes.” In addition, as it applies to salvation, each of those terms refers to a work of God on the person – an irresistible work.”

      10. br.d
        Now since you said a “couple” of these are exceptions for you — then which two numbers from the four above are exceptions for you?”

        rhutchin
        I had nothing specific in mind. You took my use of “couple” to mean more than I intended. So, delete the word, “With room for exceptions,” Yes.” In addition, as it applies to salvation, each of those terms refers to a work of God on the person – an irresistible work.”

        br.d
        Ok just so that we have clarity – here is FOH’s question

        FOH
        Am I correct that you are stating that all of the verses that refer to being ….

        1) born again
        2) a new creation
        3) made alive
        4) born of the Spirit
        All refer to a “pre-salvation” time when a person is made un-dead, so that he can then be given faith, and then repent?”

        Your answer is then YES to all 4?

      11. br.d writes, “Your answer is then YES to all 4?”

        No. That awaits a study of those phrases to see if they fit that which FOH says. So, generally I agree, allowing room for exceptions pending a study of the Scriptures.

      12. br.d
        “Your answer is then YES to all 4?”

        rhutchin
        No. That awaits a study of those phrases to see if they fit that which FOH says. So, generally I agree, allowing room for exceptions pending a study of the Scriptures

        br.d
        I get the picture!
        With a couple exceptions,” Yes.” – yet not having any specific exceptions in mind – even though the number of exceptions in mind were described as “a couple” of exeptions.
        It fits perfectly! :-]

      13. FOH
        “Obviously since you are asking about spiritual things and asking how to be saved, you have been regenerated/ born again.
        Now I will present the Gospel to you and you will believe.”

        br.d
        AH! That is right!
        A person who is a DEAD DEAD DEAD God hater isn’t supposed to be able have the slightest interest in any kind of spiritual question. But wait – that brings us back to the rich young ruler.

        And rhutchin’s last INVENTION was that DEAD DEAD DEAD God haters like the rich young ruler can’t TRULY “come” to Jesus
        These people instead -quote “approach” Jesus – asking spiritual questions concerning salvation etc.

        Which of course totally contradicts “The reformed doctrine of predestination” which emphasizes the person -quote “hath wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation……being altogether averse from good”

        So it seems to me that Total Depravity is one of those ACCORDION terms which Calvinists stretch and twist in order to make it fit from one context to the next.

      14. br.d writes, “And rhutchin’s last INVENTION was that DEAD DEAD DEAD God haters like the rich young ruler can’t TRULY “come” to Jesus”

        Meaning that a person can come to Jesus on his own terms as the rich young ruler did. When Jesus challenged the rich young ruler to accept Him on His terms, he was exposed for his true self. Many come to Jesus of whom Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”

        Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless…” By saying, “unless,” Jesus allowed only one way for people to come to Him.

      15. br.d
        And rhutchin’s last INVENTION was that DEAD DEAD DEAD God haters like the rich young ruler can’t TRULY “come” to Jesus”

        rhutchin
        Meaning that a person can come to Jesus on his own terms as the rich young ruler did.

        br.d
        Here “Come to Jesus on his own terms” is being READ INTO the text – for the sake of making it fit a system.

        Actually Jesus was impressed with him – in contrast to those whom Jesus criticized for coming to him for food etc.
        He was actually pretty close – but not willing to pay the price Jesus asked.
        His response to that price was sadness – which indicates he did not come fixated on pre-defined terms.

        There is nothing in the text that indicates he came with anything less than sincere seeking.

        But in any case – that blows the DEAD DEAD DEAD God hater who is totally adverse to anything good :-]

      16. br.d
        It also blows away Irresistible Grace.

        The passage says that Christ looked on him with compassion (He loved him) and then called him “follow me.”

        It that is not Christ extending His grace I do not know what it.

        And yet…. the man resisted.

      17. Calvinists have to put on some pretty STRONG glasses to get scripture to look the way they need it to look.

      18. br.d writes, “Here “Come to Jesus on his own terms” is being READ INTO the text – for the sake of making it fit a system.”

        No, it’s not. Jesus’ primary complaint against the Pharisees was that they kept the letter of the law as the means of salvation. These are the people who taught the rich young ruler to do the same. Thus, Jesus said, ““You know the commandments:…” Then, Jesus said to him, “You still lack one thing.” What did the guy lack – a desire for Christ.

        Then, “There is nothing in the text that indicates he came with anything less than sincere seeking.”

        Sure, just like all those people through who were sincere in seeking salvation through a means other than Christ.

        Then, “But in any case – that blows the DEAD DEAD DEAD God hater who is totally adverse to anything good :-]”

        Actually, it reinforced TD. Absent TD, the decision was a no-brainer and the young man would have left all to follow Jesus just as the new believers down through the ages have left all to follow Jesus. As in Hebrews, “But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings: partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated; for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven.”

      19. br.d
        Here “Come to Jesus on his own terms” is being READ INTO the text – for the sake of making it fit a system.”

        rhutchin
        No, it’s not. Jesus’ primary complaint against the Pharisees was that they kept the letter of the law as the means of salvation. These are the people who taught the rich young ruler to do the same. Thus, Jesus said, ““You know the commandments:…” Then, Jesus said to him, “You still lack one thing.” What did the guy lack – a desire for Christ.

        br.d
        Sorry this BLACK & WHITE thinking designed conveniently to fit the mold of a system doesn’t work and doesn’t fit the text.
        He obviously had desire – the text states he ran to Jesus and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
        That is not a picture of someone who lacks desire.

        What we have here is degrees of seeking and degrees of desire – matched with a degree of the price Jesus set for him.
        Which was higher than he wanted to pay.

        rhutchin
        just like all those people through who were sincere in seeking salvation through a means other than Christ.

        br.d
        Sorry – you’re still working to hard to try to make this round peg fit into your systems square hole

        But in any case – that blows the DEAD DEAD DEAD God hater who is totally adverse to anything good :-]”

        rhutchin
        Actually, it reinforced TD. Absent TD, the decision was a no-brainer and the young man would have left all to follow Jesus ….

        br.d
        FALSE – there is nothing in the text that states this man was totally adverse to anything good and did not come to Jesus with a degree of sincerity. Actually the author goes out of his way to describe actions that display deliberate earnestness.

        But the Calvinist has a mold which the text must fit.

        Professor Gordon Fee a leading expert in textual criticism of the New Testament describes this aptly in one of his lectures:
        -quote
        Our minds are already informed before we ever even approach the text. And our tradition dictates that which we’ve been informed.

        For example – invariable at the beginning of a semester I will have a few young students who’ve come from a reformed background. And its consistent – they never ask me “how do I best approach this text” – they invariably ask “how do I get around this text”.

        This is a clear indicator I’m approaching the text already loaded with theological presuppositions, and I can’t let the text mean what it says – because its going to contradict what I’ve been taught to believe. Therefore I’ve got to help the text out.

      20. This passage (rich young ruler) refutes both T and the I.

        What does Christ first respond to the man?

        19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’”

        And the young man replies….

        20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”

        Jesus never refutes him. He never says “You are totally depraved. You have never done a good thing.” Nope. Christ simply agrees that …. yes, he may have done all those good things.

        This young man is following all the OT/ godly truth he has up to the moment.

        Is that the definition of Catholic-baptized Calvin’s “Total Depravity”? What a weird definition if so!

        Christ says to this good-doing, law-keeping, not dead, “chosen-people” young man….. “Come follow me.”

        The good-doing, law-keeping, not dead, “chosen-people” young man then resists Christ grace and personal call.

        Is that the definition of “Irresistible Grace”?

      21. FOH
        Christ says to this good-doing, law-keeping, not dead, “chosen-people” young man….. “Come follow me.”
        The good-doing, law-keeping, not dead, “chosen-people” young man then resists Christ grace and personal call.

        Is that the definition of “Irresistible Grace”?

        br.d
        NOPE!!
        What I find intriguing from a sociological point of view – is the kind of “blind-faith” mental conditioning I observe with Calvinists.
        In your experience do you see it that way – and if so how do you explain it?

      22. In their minds they have labeled and black-balled non-Calvinists so strongly (Universalists, heretics, Semi-Polynesians) that they cannot see themselves going that way. A kind of “I could never go back to that” (I say “go back” cuz they all started as non-Calvinists).

        So….we put up great biblical examples (rich young ruler, jailer, Lydia, God-fearing Gentiles, Cornelius, Zechariah and Elizabeth)…. and in stead of pondering and considering ….. “Humm… indeed that does not look like they are as dead as our Catholic-infant-baptized leader says all people are,” they just say ….

        “These cases only confirm TD” (followed by words, words, words, man-made ideas, presuppositions …. capped off by their interpretation of ….. ready……. wait……. wait for it…….

        Scroll……..

        John 6:44.

        So basically 5, 10, 15, 20, 100 examples from Scripture which should at least cause one to PONDER….. mean nothing to them. Nope. Just double down….. and say this is true….. cuz….. well it’s true! (repeat 6:44….their way).

      23. I was wondering if you have thoughts on what processes cause the mental conditioning in all of that?
        There has to be something within the Calvinist society structure – it would seem – designed to corral the human mind and lock it into a tiny doctrinal box? How do you explain the “locked in the indoctrination” phenomenon?

      24. br.d writes, “There has to be something within the Calvinist society structure – it would seem – designed to corral the human mind and lock it into a tiny doctrinal box?”

        Yes, the Scriptures.

      25. br.d
        There has to be something within the Calvinist society structure – it would seem – designed to corral the human mind and lock it into a tiny doctrinal box?”

        rhutchin
        Yes, the Scriptures.

        br.d
        Well there we have the Calvinists view of scripture. :-]

      26. br.d

        I cant really answer you about how they think. They are not all the same.

        Many deal in black and white with their interpretation ALWAYS being the right one. Now that is not true of the fellow missionaries that I work with (some Calvinist, some Pentecostal Arminians). They understand that since there are different ways to understand / interpret passages then any one of us might be wrong on some issues.

        There is no “I might be mistaken” coming from our resident Calvinists…. just rinse and repeat…. double down…claim they have the proper interpretation on all things. No ….absolutely no attempt to say “that might be possible” even to Brian (after 5 times explaining from the Greek how a certain passage could EASILY mean something different).

        Another thing puzzles me is that they quote Catholic-infant-baptized Calvin like he is a hero. He was a scoundrel, pure and simple. He refused to be baptized as a “reformed” adult believer (insisting that his Catholic-infant-baptism was perfect!). When others understood that their Catholic-infant baptism was not enough, they wanted to be baptized. What did he do? Persecute, humiliate, and torture them. Yet they still quote and revere him.

        Now they want to add Luther….who has also has a Catholic-infant baptism, Catholic understand of the elements, and also persecuted Anabaptist and Jews.

        So… those are some of the reasons that I dont bother answering the same old merry-go-round, rinse-n-repeat.

        No matter how many hundreds of Scriptures we bring up….same ol’ thing. “We filter it all through this verse or two that must be interpreted our way.”

        Believe me. Not all Reformed theology people are like that. I just preached Sunday in a Reformed church (John Knox pulpit!) and they know where I stand. They understand that we are allowed to have differences.

        Our local Calvinists are not.

      27. FOH writes, “Just double down….. and say this is true….. cuz….. well it’s true! (repeat 6:44….their way).”

        Yep, and Calvinists will do so until you show that Jesus did not speak the truth.

      28. rhutchin
        Yep, and Calvinists will do so until you show that Jesus did not speak the truth.

        br.d
        Sorry can’t help you with that – you’re on you’re own there.

      29. FOH writes, “And the young man replies….
        20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”
        Jesus never refutes him.”

        Yet, Jesus knew and we know that he had made a false statement. So, Yes, “This young man is following all the OT/ godly truth he has up to the moment.” Truth he had been taught by the Pharisees – a truth that based salvation in keeping the law. Thus, he says, “What can I do.” He had been taught that it was up to him to keep the law and he was asking Jesus to give him a law to keep that would gain him eternal life.

        Then, “Christ says to this good-doing, law-keeping, not dead, …“Come follow me.”

        All the time knowing that the young man is clueless. As is evident by the simple requirement Jesus places on him.

      30. I just realized that Catholic-infant-baptized Calvin had one definition for Totally Depraved…. and today’s comfy Calvinist has another.

        Today’s Calvinist says that nTnDs means: Not-Totally, Not-Depraved sinner.

        Luke 1 tells us Zechariah and Elizabeth “were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly.” So this too is the definition of a not-Totally, not-Depraved sinner. Calvinists have to impose at least one sin on these “righteous blameless” people.”

        So Catholic-infant-baptized Calvin denies the Scriptures and says they are God-hating, Totally Depraved, and selfish (only doing those good things for themselves).

        The rest of us Bible-readers who have not been taught good doctrine could believe that perhaps they had sinned in some small way…. but for the most part they were righteous, God-fearing, God-following.

        But if we are a Calvinists we must follow Catholic-infant-baptized Calvin and say they are God-hating, Totally Depraved, and “only selfishly blameless.”

      31. FOH writes, “Today’s Calvinist says that nTnDs means: Not-Totally, Not-Depraved sinner.”

        Actually, today’s Calvinist says that TD is defined by Calvin together with Luther’s “Bondage of the Will.” I think Luther preceded Calvin on this point and Calvin agreed with him (assuming Calvin had read Luther’s work).

      32. FOH
        “Today’s Calvinist says that nTnDs means: Not-Totally, Not-Depraved sinner.”

        rhutchin
        Actually, today’s Calvinist says that TD is defined by Calvin together with Luther’s “Bondage of the Will.” I think Luther preceded Calvin on this point and Calvin agreed with him (assuming Calvin had read Luther’s work).

        br.d
        Along with whatever color of magical TD rabbit the Calvinist can pull out of his magician’s hat – for any given moment. :-]

      33. br.d writes, “Sorry this BLACK & WHITE thinking designed conveniently to fit the mold of a system doesn’t work and doesn’t fit the text.”

        Black and white thinking is the best way to approach, and understand, the Scriptures. I can see why you would object.

        Then, “He obviously had desire – the text states he ran to Jesus and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” That is not a picture of someone who lacks desire.”

        You need to read comments. I said, he had no desire for Christ. Of course, he had desire. Note what he said, “what shall I do.” That is desire, just not a desire for Christ. It was easy for Christ to place before him a desire too high for him to grasp.

        Then, “FALSE – there is nothing in the text that states this man was totally adverse to anything good and did not come to Jesus with a degree of sincerity. ”

        Right – a sincerity consistent with his desire. No wonder you don’t like black and white thinking.

      34. br.d
        Sorry this BLACK & WHITE thinking designed conveniently to fit the mold of a system doesn’t work and doesn’t fit the text.”

        rhutchin
        Black and white thinking is the best way to approach, and understand, the Scriptures. I can see why you would object.

        br.d
        Only when one needs to constrict scripture to get it to fit into one’s mold :-]

        He obviously had desire – the text states he ran to Jesus and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” That is not a picture of someone who lacks desire.”

        rhutchin
        You need to read comments. I said, he had no desire for Christ. Of course, he had desire. Note what he said, “what shall I do.” That is desire, just not a desire for Christ. It was easy for Christ to place before him a desire too high for him to grasp.

        br.d
        Same as the Jailer in Acts 16 – so that argument fails.

        There is nothing in the text that states this man was totally adverse to anything good and did not come to Jesus with a degree of sincerity. ”

        rhutchin
        Right – a sincerity consistent with his desire. No wonder you don’t like black and white thinking.

        br.d
        Now you’re chasing you’re tail again – his desire was described by the author of the text as a desire for eternal life.

        And as I said – that blows the DEAD DEAD DEAD God hater who has no ability towards anything good.
        But I already know – you’re going to try an weasel your way around that.

        I thank the Lord – the authors of scripture don’t live in Calvinism’s tiny little BLACK & WHITE world. :-]

      35. br.d,

        This is a classic case of “having one’s cake and eating it too,” but they cannot even hear that.

        1. On the one hand they insist (non-negotiable) that a man is too-dead, totally-depraved, dead to spiritual things, “all things are foolishness.” This means—- or should mean if they could hear themselves and were consistent—- that a man cannot in any way originate a spiritual contact or pursuit.

        Their (mis) interpretation of Rom 3:11 (“no one seeks God”) is used on a gotcha basis to prove this very point. They are intractable and clear on this point. Man cannot seek God. Period. Thus…. any “seeking of God” or “seeking of spiritual things” would have to mean that God was at the root of it. And de facto mean that this person has been regenerated (or else how could he do such a thing?).

        2. On the other hand, they explain away clear Scriptural examples disproving this very point.

        The Scriptural (in-context) examples of someone asking Christ-oriented, spiritual questions (rich young ruler, Philippian jailer)…. or someone being called a worshiper of God who is at a place of prayer to hear the Gospel (Lydia)…. or someone called “blameless in every way” (Zechariah and Elizabeth) ….. are referred to as simply unregenerate, God-haters “approaching God.”

        To Calvinists these are “God-haters” who are unregenerated and dead….. yet “approaching God”.

        Truly this is having it both ways.

        Now …. we can expect JTL to attack me and say something like “FOH thinks man can earn his way to heaven.”

        Nah…. not my point.

        Just simply making the point that Catholic-infant-baptized Calvin declares absolutely that unregenerated men are too-dead to do a thing…but the Scripture shows them quite capable of seeking God.

      36. Yup I totally agree.
        Total Depravity is pretty much whatever colored rabbit the Calvinist wants to pull out of his magicians’ hat at any given moment.

        I think the Calvinist strong suit is all about making things APPEAR to be whatever the Calvinist needs on an AD-HOC basis.

      37. br/d writes, “Total Depravity is pretty much whatever colored rabbit the Calvinist wants to pull out of his magicians’ hat at any given moment.”

        TD is supported by the same Scriptures by all Calvinists and it’s meaning never changes.

      38. br.d writes
        Total Depravity is pretty much whatever colored rabbit the Calvinist wants to pull out of his magicians’ hat at any given moment.”

        rhutchin
        TD is supported by the same Scriptures by all Calvinists and it’s meaning never changes.

        br.d
        AS-IF :-]

      39. FOH writes, “Their (mis) interpretation of Rom 3:11 (“no one seeks God”) is used on a gotcha basis to prove this very point. They are intractable and clear on this point. Man cannot seek God.”

        Jesus said, “No one can come to me…” Then, Paul says, “no one seeks God,” further explaining, “the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing,” and “we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness,” and “the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned…” The argument is consistent and it is a gotcha argument.

        Then, “2. On the other hand, they explain away clear Scriptural examples disproving this very point.”

        No, they just make those verses subordinate to the argument above.

        Then, “…but the Scripture shows them quite capable of seeking God.”

        No, it is your philosophy that you introduce to gain this conclusion and not the Scripture.

      40. br.d writes, “Paul could have thus stated it as:”

        Paul could have, but he did not. So, what does that prove?

        Paul could have added, “For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

        Paul knew that ” I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.” When God is at work, a full doctrinal explanation is not necessary.

        Every Pastor knows that you don’t have to explain everything in every sermon because God does not require that believers have their doctrinal Ph.D. before they believe.

      41. br.d
        “Paul could have thus stated it as:”

        rhutchin
        Paul could have, but he did not. So, what does that prove?

        br.d
        Already one step ahead of you with the last statement in my last post.

        -quote
        But of course that brings us back to Dr. David Allen’s points (1-3) where nowhere in the NT does that language exist without a theological system READING ITSELF INTO it.

        Sorry if you don’t get that – but I know how that works – Calvinists can only see what they’ve been indoctrinated to see.

        The rest of your comments follow the same path – so a comment would be a waste of space.

      42. br.d writes, “Sorry if you don’t get that – but I know how that works – Calvinists can only see what they’ve been indoctrinated to see.”

        Indoctrinated by the Scriptures, of course.

      43. br.d
        Sorry if you don’t get that – but I know how that works – Calvinists can only see what they’ve been indoctrinated to see.”

        rhutchin
        Indoctrinated by the Scriptures, of course.

        br.d
        If that were the case you would have seen it – and Calvinism wouldn’t represent a small fraction of Christianity! :-]

      44. br.d writes, “If that were the case you would have seen it – and Calvinism wouldn’t represent a small fraction of Christianity! :-]”

        Yet Paul says, “God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, “LORD, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life”? But what does the divine response say to him? “I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace.” In the time of Elijah, only 7,000 out of a population of several million were saved. So, it is today, isn’t it. How many of the world’s population claims to follow Christ and how many of these are true followers of Christ? Is it not God who has reserved His elect for His purposes?

      45. br.d
        “If that were the case you would have seen it – and Calvinism wouldn’t represent a small fraction of Christianity! :-]”

        rhutchin
        Yet Paul says,…(quoting scripture verses to make a show of it)….is it not God who has reserved His elect for His purposes?

        br.d
        Now you’re just going in circles – and we’re right back to where we were before

        Nowhere in the NT does the language exist [The Calvinist assumes] without a theological system READING ITSELF INTO it.

        Dr. David Allen
        -quote
        The Calvinist simply arrives at his position via theological argumentation driven more by their system rather than by Scripture.

      46. br.d writes, “Nowhere in the NT does the language exist [The Calvinist assumes] without a theological system READING ITSELF INTO it. ”

        No, it reflects the Calvinist black and white thinking and your desire to color everything you read.

      47. br.d
        “Nowhere in the NT does the language exist [The Calvinist assumes] without a theological system READING ITSELF INTO it. ”

        rhutchin
        No, it reflects the Calvinist black and white thinking and your desire to color everything you read.

        br.d
        But I know how Calvinism works – they always assert [NOT X] and then look for 1000 ways to smuggle in [X] in camouflaged form.
        Just like they do with “mere” permission and no creaturely autonomy :-]

  29. FOH
    Christ [expressing acceptance and approval] says to this good-doing, law-keeping, not dead, “chosen-people” young man….. “Come follow me.”

    The good-doing, law-keeping, not dead, “chosen-people” young man then resists Christ grace and personal call.

    Is that the definition of “Irresistible Grace”?

    br.d
    Its a good thing Calvinists don’t apply their UNSTABLE THINKING PATTERNS to their personal finances – which they’ve been conditioned to apply to theology! The poor things would all be homeless! :-].

  30. FOH posted this one:

    “Christ [expressing acceptance and approval] says to this good-doing, law-keeping, not dead, “chosen-people” young man….. “Come follow me.”

    “The good-doing, law-keeping, not dead, “chosen-people” young man then resists Christ grace and personal call.”

    “Is that the definition of “Irresistible Grace”?”

    ——-Here’s My Response——–

    FOH said that Law keeping is a proof of not being dead, But the Pharisees as the teachers of the law were also dead to sin like this young ruler. Jesus compared the Pharisees to white tombs with foul odor inside.

    Jesus said to the young ruler : “Come follow Me” is a way of exposing the very nature of this man as the reprobate. There was no insincerity on the part of Jesus for uttering that invitation. It was just an exposition of this man as the reprobate.

    The reprobate cannot resist the grace of God, why? because it was not actually offered to him. For FOH, he can see this from his mantra as an attempt to dismantle the letter “I”. Unfortunately it just fired back to his face.

    Law-keeping is nothing to Christ, it will never earn any merit in obtaining Salvation. Using this to prove that the young ruler is not dead to sin is just a fictitious dream of FOH. The man as a reprobate has no capacity to respond to any spiritual things on his own. Sadly this man has not been regenerated. Regeneration is only done to the elect not to the reprobates.

    1. FOH posted this one:

      “Christ [expressing acceptance and approval] says to this good-doing, law-keeping, not dead, “chosen-people” young man….. “Come follow me.”

      “The good-doing, law-keeping, not dead, “chosen-people” young man then resists Christ grace and personal call.”

      “Is that the definition of “Irresistible Grace”?”

      jtleosala
      FOH said that Law keeping is a proof of not being dead,

      br.d
      Not necessarily – the problem here is the ACCORDION definition for Total Depravity which changes from one context to another by Calvinists. For example sometimes defined as “wholly unable and averse to anything good”. Scripture does not equate the keeping of divine commandments as NOT good and neither did Jesus. That is why he showed approval towards the rich young ruler

      jtleosala
      Jesus said to the young ruler : “Come follow Me” is a way of exposing the very nature of this man as the reprobate.
      There was no insincerity on the part of Jesus for uttering that invitation. It was just an exposition of this man as the reprobate.

      br.d
      This is of course the only interpretation the Calvinist is left with in order to force the text to conform to a system.
      In similar fashion Calvin’s god commands Adam to obey while NOT permitting him to obey.
      Thus Calvin’s god’s command to Adam was a way for him to expose the fact that he designed Adam to be a reprobate.

      And the poor Calvinist is forced to make-believe that communication of this sort are not insincere.
      There but for the grace of God go !

      jtleosala
      The reprobate cannot resist the grace of God, why? because it was not actually offered to him.
      Regeneration is only done to the elect not to the reprobates

      br.d
      For all SOT101 readers – this is something VERY SERIOUS you should take not of.
      Here we see a totally contorted view of divine ethics.
      Calvin’s god designs creatures with an attribute and then punishes them for the attribute he designed

      This position also holds that telling an unbeliever God loves him *AS-IF* that statement is TRUE is not deceptive – because if the person is not elect that statement does not apply to him and is therefore FALSE.

      Calvin’s god communicates as TRUE what he SECRETLY knows to be FALSE.
      And scripture tells us – we become like unto what we worship.
      So don’t be surprised when you find the Calvinist following this model of communication.

      1. br.d

        Thanks for taking the time to show the many ways that JTL’s theology and explanation make no sense.

        I would like to deal with just one phrase of it:

        “There was no insincerity on the part of Jesus for uttering that invitation. It was just an exposition of this man as the reprobate.”

        1. Amazing that someone can sit there and claim that the Calvinist version is not “insincere”!! They are saying that Jesus’ only purpose was to expose him as reprobate. That does not match the verse that says he had a love for the man. Jesus is not “sincerely” asking him to follow Him —- if His only purpose is to expose him as a reprobate.

        Calvinists are so used to the harshness of their Catholic-baptized-burn-the-Anabaptist hero Calvin that they cannot even hear themselves. Their message is that the most humble, loving Person to ever walk the earth was NOT loving this man (even though the verse says He was)…. was NOT calling this man (even though the verse says He was)… but was really only trying to expose him as a reprobate (kind of “in your face”).

        If I had been alive at the time of Calvin (and had insisted on being baptized as a believer) I am sure I would have been drowned in the river like the others! What a harsh unloving system!!

        Scripture gives us no indication that Christ was “exposing that man”! That is only imposed on the text because they have no other explanation that fits their man-made system.

        2. Let’s say Anabaptist-drowning Calvin was right. Let’s say that Christ’s goal here was not loving and calling but only “exposing a reprobate.” We have to ask ourselves the question: “What for?”

        I mean if all people are reprobate until and unless they are mysteriously regenerated and given faith…. then what is the point of Christ pointing that out? I mean are those looking on supposed to “learn” from this? Be humbled? Be afraid? It makes no sense. In the Calvinist system NO ONE can learn anything? I mean “exposing the man as a reprobate” achieves what? Draws others? Nope. Is a lesson for others? Nope. Helps others put their trust in God? Nope. Nothing. It achieves nothing in the Calvinist system.

        So let me summarize the Calvinist point:

        Jesus was not loving or calling the man….just “exposing him” as a “reprobate”. No one looking on (or reading about it for 2000 years) can learn from this since we can do absolutely nothing about being either reprobate or “elect”.

        Once again…. another great biblical story rendered useless by Mary-worshiping Augustine’s ideas.

      2. FOH
        So let me summarize the Calvinist point:

        Jesus was not loving or calling the man….just “exposing him” as a “reprobate”. No one looking on (or reading about it for 2000 years) can learn from this since we can do absolutely nothing about being either reprobate or “elect”.

        br.d
        Excellent summary!

        Life and scripture in Calvinism always remind me of a Walter Hitchcock script.
        You can check out any time you like – but you can never leave

      3. ​​I needed to go to Piper to get an explanation for Irresistible Grace.

        Piper: “And when I say it’s irresistible grace, I certainly do not mean you can’t resist it….. pointing to obvious texts in the Bible that say we do resist the Holy Spirit, and they’re all over the place, right? For example, Acts 7:51 says, ‘You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you.’ …… all it means is whenever God pleases, he overcomes your resistance. He can let you resist him as long as he wants, but when he decides, he triumphs…. I think this is the way it works: He can make Christ look so compelling that our resistance is broken, and we freely come to him, and receive him, and believe in him.”

        So….let’s apply this to the young ruler.

        A law-abiding, “chosen people” man comes to Christ and asks what he must do to have eternal life. The passage says Christ loves him and calls him. The man resists that grace and that call.

        So according to Piper and the definition of “Irresistible Grace” God was “pleased” to let this man resist. God did not “decide to triumph” over this man’s resistance (that man was “thwarting” Christ’s call). God did not “make Christ look so compelling” so as to break this man’s resistance, so that the man could freely come to him. (God made Christ look only semi-compelling?)

        So…even though Christ is standing next to the man “having compassion for him” —when He tells him “follow me” He is actually “pleased” to have the man resist Him longer and not follow Him. He is “pleased” to have the man “thwart” His loving call.

        And… we learn what from the passage?

        And …in general all our discussion of this is irrelevant anyway since we cannot “learn” from it and according to Piper’s determinism it has all been decided anyway.

      4. Thanks for doing that homework FOH.

        I think its pretty clear Calvinism is a system which needs to find ways to MAKE scripture conform to itself.
        In this case scripture is simply co-opted and used for the sake of bolstering the system.

    2. jtleosala
      The reprobate cannot resist the grace of God, why? because it was not actually offered to him.
      Regeneration is only done to the elect not to the reprobates

      br.d
      So we see In Calvinism irresistible regeneration only exists for the “elect”.
      And for the individual who is not “elect” it does not exist – so it is IRRATIONAL to call irresistible that doesn’t actually exist.

      However in the case of the “elect” they are not even cognizant of a regeneration process until after the fact.
      Because the phase of belief is said to follow the previous phase of regeneration which precedes and facilitates belief.

      And it is questionable how a human can be said to resist something he is not cognizant of.

      Perhaps it would be more precise for Calvinists to call it “imperceptible” grace

      Additionally in Theological Determinism it LOGICALLY follows that EVERYTHING – including every neurological impulse occurs imperceptibly to the human at the time it is generated. And the human is only aware of any given thought/choice/desire by observation – after the fact.

      Which would make every attribute of the creature occur irresistibly.

      1. br.d writes, “However in the case of the “elect” they are not even cognizant of a regeneration process until after the fact.”

        That agrees with what Jesus said, “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 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.”

      2. br.d
        However in the case of the “elect” they are not even cognizant of a regeneration process until after the fact.”

        rhutchin
        That agrees with what Jesus said, “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 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.”

        br.d
        You need to re-examine your LOGIC on that.
        You have 2 problems:
        1) It contradicts LOGICAL tense (present tense vs past tense)

        “you hear the sound of it” is only LOGICAL in the present tense (while the wind is blowing)
        One cannot hear the sound of the wind AFTER THE FACT.

        2) Calvinism holds that no man has cognition of one’s “elect” status because that is a SECRET.
        in reformed vernacular the “invisible church”
        So the Calvinist doesn’t have VALID cognition of regeneration at all
        He goes about his office *AS-IF* he is elect
        But so don’t all of the rest of the Calvinists whom Calvin says “Have nothing of Christ but the name and outward appearance” .
        So all Calvinists ASSUME they are elect – crossing their fingers hoping they won’t end up in the lake of fire.

      3. br.d writes, “You need to re-examine your LOGIC on that.”

        rhutchin
        LOL!! This response was meant as a joke – Right??

        br.d
        I don’t use the words of Jesus as part of a joke

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