Choice Meat & Bad Form

Dr. James White released a broadcast today where he played a 44 second clip plucked out of its context from someone off twitter, in which I used the example of “choice meat” to illustrate that calling something or someone ‘choice’ or ‘chosen’ doesn’t mean they were chosen for no apparent reason.

In the original video, I was replying to a young RC Sproul who was using the word election as if it exclusively referred to the unconditional election of individuals for effectual salvation, when in reality, God makes many choices and He usually does so for well established reason, which is what I go on to demonstrate in the rest of my presentation that went unaddressed by Dr. White.

In response to my clip, ripped out of its context (something he regularly scolds others for doing), Dr. White erroneously concluded that I was saying God chose to save us because of our good qualities, in the same way you might choose meat from the choice section because of its higher quality. Here is what White egregiously reported,

“Do you understand what that analogy was meant to communicate? He is saying that people are chosen because they are choice. Because they are obedient, faithful.  It is the exact opposite of unconditional election; it is conditional election. You are chosen because of who you are. There is no way around the obvious conclusion that comes from that statement and that is that you get to heaven because you a better than someone else. That just all there is to it…so much for ground of boasting…Someone says, ‘You’re picking on Leighton Flowers again!’ He represents a particularly uncorrectable form of traditional synergism that fundamentally compromises the grace of God. If you can’t see how dangerous it is to think you were the choice meats and that’s why God chose you, you’re in the choice meats section. You weren’t over in the 80/20 fat section, ha ha, you were in the choice meat section, that’s why you’re getting into heaven.”

White goes on to call my view “semi-Pelagian on my best days and full on Pelagianism on my worse days.” Bad form, Dr. White, very bad form!

While it is true that I reject the Calvinistic concept of individual unconditional election to effectual salvation (along a majority of Christendom, mind you), I was not attempting to argue that God chose to save us based on the condition of our merits or because we are inherently better than others (i.e. that we are the ‘choice meat’ and others are the fatty meat). If one where to actually listen to the full context of that broadcast, instead of a small sound bite purposefully plucked from its context by someone with an obvious bias on twitter, they would have heard me teach that we are not saved through our merit, but only through faith in the merit of Christ, the ‘CHOICE ONE’ (1 Pet. 2:6). And that ANYONE, not just uniquely selected individuals picked out for no apparent reason before the world began, can be saved if they trust in Christ because He has died for the sins of us all (1 John 2:2)!

If White sought to understand my actual view before slandering me in front of a large audience, he would have learned that I believe God chooses to save those who come home humiliated from the pig sties of their life (Lk 15:11-32), those so broken by their sin that they cannot even look up to heaven while making their confessions (Lk 18:12), the weak and heavy laden (Matt. 11:28), the fearful and contrite of heart (Is. 66:2), those who confess their bondage and addiction to sin and trust in the Chosen One (1 John 1:9; Rom. 10:9-10).

If I were to continue with the original analogy, God chooses the rancid meat that fell on the floor in the back of the store house, not the ‘choice meats.’ And in His grace God covers them with the perfect righteousness of the Chosen One, Jesus the Christ–not because He has to on the basis of their humble confession, but because he wants to on the basis of His goodness and love.

While some, like White, from more extreme side of the Calvinistic camp would like to treat faith, as understood from the non-Calvinistic perspective, like a meritorious work that earns salvation, other Calvinists are a bit fairer in their assessment.  For instance, I encourage you to read this article by John Piper who makes a strong case for why faith would never be considered meritorious:

  • ADDED NOTE: In a Twitter exchange Dr. White was linked this article and has declared “it’s just a distraction.” I guess the scriptures which talk about why God finds favor with some and not others is a distraction unworthy of White’s attention? Those passages must not fit his narrative.
  • It’s also disheartening that a fellow brother in Christ will not relent in spreading false information after being corrected regarding the intentions of another brother. Regardless of what YOU THINK is someone else’s intention in a video, you should take them at their word when they bring clarity.

83 thoughts on “Choice Meat & Bad Form

  1. Ouch!

    Another James White moment showing the Doctrines of Ungraciousness!

    But…. who can blame him for taking what you said out of context, right? They dont often worry about context.

  2. I don’t understand why Dr. White is so strident. It is not difficult to understand what you mean. You are careful. Two books.

  3. You used a poor analogy, and like always you play the poor me card. Admit it was a bad analogy, and move on, but unfortunately you won’t

      1. Really?

        Wait….you are tired of it? There is an easy way to get around that. You can just not spend time on the site, right? Leighton feels that he needs to set the record straight…. and you are “tired of it”. Okay…. dont look.

        It sounds like you are going out of your way to re-visit a site that you “are tired of.”

        And it also sounds like you are angry.

      2. So changing the analogy after the fact is “setting the record straight” got it. Watch the Video in context, and you will find the argument made by Dr White is in fact correct.

      3. That was painful. I had to wade through 45 mins of James White (I find it a snarky, arrogant style) to get to the clip.

        Not only is the clip short and out of context, but James even cuts up the 44 seconds and interjects commentary, steering it where he wants.

        Matt…. are you guys just so used to the “bullying” type speaking that you cannot hear it? Or is it okay—- as long as “it’s for the truth!”

        Again, you guys just sound so angry.

        And I find it curious that you are saying that Leighton is playing the “poor me” card and you are”tired of it.” It’s kind of like you are whining about him whining.

        Why the aggression? Especially since anyone who looks into Leighton’s teaching can see that he is not saying what White is making him to say.

    1. Dr White uses the anology from scripture about the dry bones coming to life to proof his point of salvation (being made alive like dry bones)…that specific passage is about Israel being restored/healed….its one thing to use a bad analogy but whole different matter to use a WRONG analogy!

      1. Thanks for clearing this up! I remember reading this a little while, and thought huh? this is about Israel not salvation

  4. Addressing public attacks is very tricky business for a Christian’s testimony, whose speech is always to be with grace and speaking the truth in love, especially to brothers and sisters in Christ.

    Though difficult… there is wisdom I think in responding personally and privately when a rebuke is needed (Luke 17:1-10), and clear affirmation of love in any public response (Col 4:6). The world is watching, and also childish saints who like “fights” too much.

    I have also failed in this area too often in my past… and still need help from good examples of other Christian leaders. May our Lord raise up some strong ones!

  5. quote
    If White sought to understand my actual view before slandering me in front of a large audience,…..etc

    And that’s the rub now isn’t it. Unfortunately for Dr. White – his emotions get the better of him – and he rushes headlong into the first emotionally driven unfounded conclusion he thinks will stick. There is little to no attempt here to “understand”. The motivation appears to be to strike at the light being shown on the LOGICAL cracks. Which – under the light – can be seen spread everywhere on Calvin’s man-made foundation.

    One can clearly identify Dr. Whites gets emotional when he doesn’t have a LOGICAL answer. He did the same thing in his interview with N.T. Wright. Although he tried to control it more then – for obvious reasons – it still became evident.

    1. Did you watch the Video, before charging in? The analogy had nothing to do with Christ being the choice meat, and everything to do with explaining why God has Chosen some and not Others. This article changed the initial analogy, and then baselessly accused Dr White of slander.

  6. Matt no I have not watched this video yet, but at some point I will, but curious did you miss this point at the beginning of the article???
    [[[“he played a 44 second clip plucked out of its context”]]]
    I of course don’t know where the clip came from yet, but I think it’s reasonable to assume 44 plus seconds can be misunderstood it happens frequently.. Leighton has always been gracious in playing James White in his entirety on a point hmm wonder why James doesn’t do the same??? Again no I haven’t viewed, but how can you deny that it is possible to twist the contexts of a 44 second dialogue.

  7. Sounds like White’s mistake is that he is interpreting what Leighton says from his own Calvinist basis of “God chooses our eternal destiny for us.” But instead of it being Calvinism’s view of “God arbitrarily chooses us based on nothing but His own whims,” he is twisting what Leighton says (making a straw-man argument that he then tears down) to make it sound like Leighton is saying that God chooses us based on how good we are or on some other quality about us, as if we “earn salvation” by being “good enough” that God picks us.

    But from what I can tell, that’s not what Leighton says or believes at all. What Leighton is trying to do (in that clip and on his blog) is to counter the idea that God does the choosing for us based on anything at all. What he is trying to get across (by addressing White’s misrepresentation of him) is that God hasn’t chosen only SOME people based on some qualification or other or on nothing at all, but that God has basically “chosen” ALL people. (He might not put it this way, but I will, for sake of the argument.) That God has chosen to die for all people and that salvation is offered to all people, but WE decide whether to accept His gift of salvation or not.

    White is trying to make it sound like Leighton is saying something he’s not, that Leighton basically believes in a Calvinist’s view of election (that God predestines who goes to heaven and who goes to hell) but that our election is based on something different than God’s own whims (as Calvinism would claim). And so Leighton is justified in clearing this up, in clarifying what he really says and believes. It’s not that God predestines whether we go to heaven or hell based on some quality of ours, and it not’s that we “earn salvation” in any way, like by being “good enough” so that God chooses us. It’s that we have to simply, humbly reach out and accept the gift He’s already made available for all people. And anyone can do this because the price has been paid for all!

    1. A page from the “Calvinist Playbook”: If you can’t adequately and biblically tear apart someone’s view, then misrepresent what they believe and tear the misrepresentation apart. Then you can appear to have “won” the debate. (At least to those who aren’t really paying attention or being discerning.)

  8. Dr. White wrongly said, “He is saying that people are chosen because they are choice.” And “You are chosen because of who you are.”

    What should be said is, ‘people are chosen BECAUSE they are ‘in Christ’. And that, those who are in Him are now “choice.” This is what is being taught in Ephesians 1. The subject there is not about God choosing select individuals, but about “Christ” and what God had “purposed in Him” since before the foundation of the world. It was the plan that was foreordained, not the individual: So ” that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.”(Eph. 1:10).

    Paul does not say to the Ephesians, “He chose us TO BE in Christ” but rather, ” He chose us in Him..”
    “In Christ:” This is the location of the spiritual blessings (1:3). One must be “in Christ” to enjoy the spiritual blessings. Note the blessings which are enumerated in verses 4-14. He chose us in Him (vs.4). In Christ is the place of His choosing or election. Christ is God’s elect (Lk. 9:35; 1 Pet. 2:4), and the saints are elect or chosen in Him (1 Pet. 2:9). This expression, “in Christ,” is the most common expression to be found in the Ephesian letter, and it is worth noting and studying. For example, in Ephesians (1:3,4,6,7,9,10,20; 2:10,13,21,22; 3:6,11,12,21; 4:21,32).

    I Hope this is helpful.

    1. Aidan – You are soooo correct when you say:
      Paul does not say to the Ephesians, “He chose us TO BE in Christ” but rather, ” He chose us in Him..”
      “In Christ:” This is the location of the spiritual blessings (1:3). One must be “in Christ” to enjoy the spiritual blessings.

      The Calvinist rewords it in his mind to say “You were in Adam and God chose you while you were in Adam TO BE PLACED in CHRIST.” The passage does NOT say that but that is how they are taught to read that passage. Classic example of Eisegesis – reading his own bias into the text even though the text does NOT say that. They are so good at twisting scritpure

  9. Jim,
    What was White’s “great point”? I listened a couple times and did not see it.

    As a former Calvinist myself, I can tell you that I find enormously more Scripture contra-Calvin than for Calvinism.

    Have a look! These posts and comments are FULL of Scripture…..but most of the Calvinist rebuttal is the same repeated over-n-over 30-40 “gotcha” verses (which must be interpreted their way).

    No Calvinist ever used the following as a “gotcha” verse:

    Heb 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.

    Of course if you bring TO the Scripture an idea and filter that verse (and thousand of other verses) through Aristotle and (Mary-worshiping) Augustine’s imposed Total Depravity filter, you might be able to wrangle a Calvinist interpretation.

    Nah….many more Scriptures speak against Calvinism. But we are used to Calvinists using 40 verses and then telling others that it’s the others who do not look at the “whole counsel of God.”

  10. GraceAdict, I’m not overly familiar with the nuances of Calvinism:
    But do they not realize that man is a creature of volition? To some Jesus said: “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.” (John 5:39-40.) From this passage we learn that the ones to whom Jesus spoke did not have “life,” and it is also evident that they could have come, but refused. There was no irresistible force making it impossible for them to “come.” Therefore, the man in sin has the power to accept Christ and have “life”, or, he can refuse the Lord’s invitation and continue in sin; the choice is his to make.

    Jesus said, “If anyone is willing to do His will,..” (John 7:17). “And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!”…..Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.” (Rev. 22:17).

    1. 5alive, Great verse about searching the Scriptures. I hadn’t noticed that one yet. Thank you. And welcome, if you are new here (as I pretty much am).

    2. Hi 5Alive,
      Great to have you here on this site…you will find there is a wealth of wisdom shared here from the likes of. BR.D… FROMOVERHERE and others. You have come to the right place to understand better what Calvinism teaches and why it is so dangerous.
      When you analyze a worldview you always want to get to the root the “Foundational Assumptions”. Calvinism is a systematic which adheres to an Augustinian/ John Calvin Systematic that is expressed today through the teaching of TULIP. If you use a tree as an analogy TULIP would be the 5 main branches of this systematic.
      However the trunk and root system of the tree would be as BR.D puts it “their absolute commitment first and foremost to the philosophical system of “Universal Divine Causal Determinism” – this is expressed in their definition of Sovereignty. To them, if God is not the source and originator of every action, thought, plan or deed then God could NOT be Sovereign and we could not depend on God for any of His promises. An illustration that Leighton uses and I have used for over a decade as well is a chess match. From their definition of Sovereignty God has to actually be playing both sides of the chess board in order to assure His desired outcome. For instance when God makes a move God then has to pre-determine and cause His opponent to make that particular pre-determined move, God has to render certain that particular move to occur other wise God would lose control and God would not be God, He would not be Sovereign and His desire victory could not happen. Man would become the Sovereign and NOT God.
      We however, believe that man actually has the freedom to choose his own moves (this freedom was given to us by Sovereign God) and that God is SOOOOOO BIG and SOOOOO WISE and SOOOO POWERFUL that it really doesn’t matter which move his opponent makes God has many, many ways to defeat that move without taking away man’s freedom. We believe GOD will ALWAYS win every “chess match”, not because He is the cause of Evil man’s choices but because He is SOOO much greater than any man.
      Through their understanding of what is required in order for God to WIN ie (Universal Divine Causal Determinism) they have actually made God out to be MUCH weaker than He is, MUCH less Wise than He really is, Much less resourceful than what He really is and they turn God into the Author of Evil, profaning His Holy name…they make God and His Word untrustworthy, because they say God has His “revealed will” but His “Secret will” can be in total opposition to His revealed will. In other words God has His revealed TRUTH but His SECRET TRUTH can contradict His Revealed Word, and much of TULIP depends on this “Secret Truth”.
      My objection is: If we can’t depend on God’s REVEALED TRUTH we have NOTHING…. What part of Scripture can you really depend on? This is actually a satanic tactic to undermine our TRUST in what God has clearly revealed. Gen 3 – Satan did exactly this in the garden.
      By the way determinism is very much a pagan concept found all over the world, some branches of Christianity have incorporated this pagan concept into Christianity as – Universal Divine Causal Determinism – they label it Sovereignty but it is NOT Biblical Sovereignty it is a pagan concept of Determinism. Now they will try to make it sound like it isn’t determinism through evasions and trying to push the Determinism back one step but at the end of the day it is ( Universal Divine Causal Determinism).
      This is the Trunk or Root system of Calvinism… there are the 5 branches that grow out of this and they affect many key doctrines in a very negative way… Starting with the Biblical portrait of Who God IS. Through Calvinism the image of God becomes contorted and deformed, God is actually robbed of His Glory. This is simply a brief look at the Root system of Calvinism there is much much more. Keep listening to Leighton, Reading the Articles and posts. God bless….

      1. Thanks, GraceAdict, for your help and great efforts here. This is Aidan McManus, (AKA. 5alive).

        Just curious; If they believe God has to determine everything, then would that not mean that He also orchestrated the temptation and fall of man in the garden of Eden? Not only that, but He also “Determined” what Satan would do! Otherwise, how could He be Sovereign?

  11. Thanks Heather, and thanks fromoverhere,. I am 5alive. I accidentally put in the wrong name when responding to GraceAdict. Thanks for all of your encouraging responses. But don’t ever employ me as a spy, I think I would mess it up fairly quickly. I came out of Catholicism to become just simply a Christian, which meant that I never went into Calvinism either. I think it’s crucial that we get away from all these various ‘isms’ and get back to New Testament Christianity. After all, Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;..”
    Also, I watched the video above, and believe that Leighton has done the right thing in holding out the ‘olive branch’ so to speak. In regards to this matter; the other tree will now reveal itself; whether it is a good tree or a bad tree. The choice is his! Or is it? (Because he’s a Calvinist).

  12. My daily Bible reading gets me to: 1 Kings 20:1-21:29; Acts 12:24-13:15; Psalm 137:1-9; Proverbs 17:16.

    Everybody knows the story of Ahab…. 1 Kings 21

    25 ​”​(No one else so completely sold himself to what was evil in the Lord’s sight as Ahab did under the influence of his wife Jezebel. 26 His worst outrage was worshiping idols just as the Amorites had done—the people whom the Lord had driven out from the land ahead of the Israelites.)​”​

    ​The Lord had just told him …..​ (21​)​ ​”​So now the Lord says, ‘I will bring disaster on you and consume you.​'”​

    ​Then what happens? ​

    27 “But when Ahab heard this message, he tore his clothing, dressed in burlap, and fasted. He even slept in burlap and went about in deep mourning.

    28 Then another message from the Lord came to Elijah: 29 ​’​Do you see how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has done this, I will not do what I promised during his lifetime. It will happen to his sons; I will destroy his dynasty.​'”​

    What? God tells Elijah (and us) that He is going to alter His plan. Even the Calvinist ESV says “Because he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the disaster in his days​…”​

    Calvinists would have us believe that:

    God caused Ahab to sin horribly.

    God told Ahab, you’re gonna get it!

    God caused Ahab to repent.

    God told Elijah…. “Did you see the way he is repenting!?”

    God then tell Ahab…. “Okay, I wont do what I said to you.”

    Not only is that scenario ridiculous but it leaves us wondering…. What’s the point?

    ​I can never see what a ​Calvini​st thinks we are suppose to learn about God from the many passages like this. ​

  13. My daily Bible reading gets me to: 1 Kings 20:1-21:29; Acts 12:24-13:15; Psalm 137:1-9; Proverbs 17:16.

    The other day on another string we discussed Sergius Paulus and now I come to him in the text of Acts 13.

    Remember…. the text tells us that he was seeking to hear the Word of God.

    7 “He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God.”

    Of course for Calvinists, he would have to be “regenerated” to seek the Word of God (but the problem is too much time elapses before he hears it and calls on Christ).

    I linked and quoted Piper saying that he is a “pagan who wants to hear the Word of God” on “The Initiator of Salvation” page of this site.

    But what is also interesting is what it says further down…

    8 “But Elymas the magician (for that is the meaning of his name) opposed them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. 9 But Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him 10 and said, “You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? 11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and unable to see the sun for a time.” Immediately mist and darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking people to lead him by the hand. 12 Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had occurred, for he was astonished at the teaching of the Lord.”

    Then this pagan who is seeking the Word of God believed — because he is given faith?? Nah. He believed because he was astonished at the teaching of the Lord and because he saw this gnarly miracle performed by Paul!

    We have many passages explaining why people believe…. and NO passages saying they believe because they were (irresistibly) given faith.

    1. FOH,

      It’s a little ironic, brother, that you would mention the example of Sergio Paulus in one comment and then refer to Roger Olson in another. Olson, being an Arminian, who also adheres to TD/TI, would tell us that Sergio Paulus’ desire to hear the word of God could have only happened as a result of prevenient grace. The Calvinist believes Paulus would have to be regenerated. The Arminian believes that Paulus would have to be released from the bondage of sin. The example of Sergio Paulus rebukes TD/TI and thus takes down both Calvinism and its offspring, Arminianism.

      I can point this out because I used the example of Sergio Paulus at an Arminian website once. It wasn’t well received there either. While they agreed with me that Paulus had not been regenerated, they insisted Paulus’ “desire of the word of God” could only happen as a result of prevenient grace. When I challenged that, I was immediately labeled a Pelagian (or semi-pelagian) and treated as such.

      1. Phillip:

        The two comments are unrelated so no irony intended or should even be addressed.

        Roger Olson brings a lot of good information to the discussion (and as I said he was a guest of Leighton recently). I do NOT (perhaps you do) put Arminians and Calvinists in the same camp.

        One of your things (in addition to “elect is only Israel”) is that Arminians are just Calvinist-lite. I disagree, but dont care.

        They say it takes a special grace —- but they add that God does that for all…and it can be refused…. so I really have never understood your aggression to them.

        In the same way you and I would say that Christ died for everyone —but they people can say no thanks, Arminians say it takes a special grace…but God grants that to everyone (and is not irresistible).

        Anyway…. as far as Sergius Paulus goes I have no problem saying that God was calling him and extending His grace (an Arminian would say “prevenient Grace open to all”). Then….he was wowed by the miracle of Paul and the Word of God and was convinced.

        I have no need to argue/ discuss this with you. Blessings only.

      2. FOH,

        Brother, I didn’t mean that Roger Olson cannot be referred to on some topics. Even Vincent Cheung can have some good observations as well, whose thoughts I have posted in the past.

        I just thought it a little humorous that we (and I’ve done the same) were going to refer to a 2 point Calvinist (or Arminian if you prefer) to debate a 5 point Calvinist belief.

        Still, if we are going to swing at a Calvinist for embracing TD/TI, then we can’t help but hit the Arminian too. That was my point.

        You already know I stand with you regarding Sergio Paulus.

        Blessings to you as well.

  14. The Calvinistic concept of the predestination of men apart from their will and choice, whatever form that might take, issues from the false assumption that men “are born in sin,” having inherited the original sin of Adam, and “being wholly inclined to evil,” dead or with a corrupted nature; such a condition required an “unconditional election” on the part of God. Now, since their whole system is built upon this false doctrine centered around “original sin,” we need to keep asking the question; “Where in the bible does it teach “inherited sin,” or that we are born either “dead,” or with a “corrupted nature.”? This will show that the foundation is built on nothing but sand.

    1. AM,

      I have been making a case for a while that the whole house of cards is built on the idea of TD/TI. If you affirm TD/TI …. and most Calvinists accept/affirm that with only 5-10 mins of reflection….. then you have to construct the rest of their system to make it work.

      For instance: everyone is Too-dead and a God-hater. You gotta regenerate them! Total Depravity.

      Hummmm…. which ones? (cuz you wouldn’t wanna save everybody now would you?). So Unconditionally Elect a teeeny few.

      Okay….. I guess that means the rest arent covered (and were never even wanted or loved) by Christ. So you get Limited Atonement.

      Hummmm… since they are “elected” and if they are gonna be covered by the Atonement…. we cant just “let it happen” and leave them with that choice (that could really mess things up)…. so dont give them the choice and make it “irresistible” = Irresistible Grace.

      Woah…dude….what if they are covered and elect…and irresistibly pulled in and then “dont want to stay in the house”? (Think Passover: stay in the house with the blood on it). Aha! we’ll fix that with Perseverance of the Saints (misleading, cuz they dont persevere at anything…. but whatever.).

      Is that about right?

      1. Yes, Fromoverhere, that sounds just about right.

        If you come up with a doctrine that we are born “Totally depraved / wholly inclined to evil” or “dead” then we are helpless and would require God to do everything; hence “unconditional election,” and “Irresistible Grace.”

        Then, in order to explain why the whole world isn’t saved, the next logical step is to come up with the doctrine of “limited atonement.” This election limited the atonement of Christ to the “elect,” who are saved eternally by the “irresistible grace of God,” and will, therefore,(even if they could try) never be able to forfeit their right to eternal life, hey presto, “perseverance of the saints.”

        Of course, all who are not of the “elect” are completely shut off from the grace of God which He has extended to all men through Christ, and are eternally consigned to condemnation and separation from God in the world that is to come.

        Both revelation and reason rebel against this false doctrine of predestination!

      2. AM,
        So true….. but hey….they deserve it!

        Some of the one-visit-wonders that come on here and shoot a shot across the bow…. say things like

        “It’s a miracle He doesnt just wipe us all out!”

        “It’s crazy that He even saves one of us sinners!”

        “We all deserve to be punished but at least He saves some.”

        This of course makes no sense in a determinist world since all of us were just determined to do what we do ….. no choice.

        This of course makes no sense if we got both a sinful nature and a “dead” nature from Adam (automatic sinners, and too-dead to do a thing about it).

        Hey….. but Calvinists just rejoice in the fact that at least they are “in”…. and will spend eternity with the God that purposely determined/planned that many of their friends and relatives be “reprobate” and vessels of His wrath (cuz He needs that).

        Good News!

      3. “Hey….. but Calvinists just rejoice in the fact that at least they are ‘in’…. and will spend eternity with the God that purposely determined/planned that many of their friends and relatives be ‘reprobate’ and vessels of His wrath (cuz He needs that).”

        Exactly. And if you question it, they fall back on…

        “But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God?”

      4. Yes and that “who are you?” statement is actually in the Bible….but in context (context….what Calvinist cares about context?) it is God saying that He has the right to open salvation up to the “non-elect” “non-Israel” and who are they to fuss about it.

        But ….. remember their motto ….. “never waste a good half verse out of context.”

      5. “never waste a good half verse out of context.”

        Now that is hilarious. And so true. We see it here all the time.

        In the rhythm of “Old MacDonald”….

        Old man Calvin had a system… T.U.L.I.P.

  15. Can anyone tell me: Where in the bible does it teach “inherited sin,” or that we are born either “dead,” or with a “corrupted nature.”? I can’t see the proof for these anywhere.

    1. Hi Aidan, The verses leaned on the most for inherited sin nature and/or guilt from Adam’s sin are –
      Romans 5:12 NKJV — Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—
      Psalm 51:5 NKJV — Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.

      The verses I believe that teach we have no guilt from Adam but do have a dormant sin nature until our conscience mature enough to be confronted with God’s law are these.
      Ezekiel 18:20 NKJV — “The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.”
      Romans 7:9 NKJV — I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died.

      1. Hi Brian, this has been a good talk. But you believe that it is “superfluous.. as to whether one is born with or without a sin nature.” You asked: “So what difference does it make if they were born with or without a nature inclined to sin?” If this was just an ordinary conversation about worldly matters, I might agree with you, but it’s not. We are dealing with the word of God here, matters of life and death, and He warns us about how we treat it (Prov. 30:6). Even if we were inadvertently teaching a lie, is that superfluous? What are the consequences of that lie? God certainly knows, and I’m sure the devil does too.
        To say that we are born with a nature inclined to sin, a sinful nature; is to say that you are born with a nature positively inclined to evil, a wicked nature! You did not choose your nature. Consequently, the sinful nature you have is yours as a judgment, inherited by the decree or law of God, making it ‘natural for you to sin’. Is such a law just, a law which brings one into the world with a corrupted nature? This flies in the face of who God is, and His word! When God says,…”the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself,” it’s not just the guilt, but the punishment for that wickedness or guilt. This means that only he will bear the punishment for his sin, no one else will! “…The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself”(Ezek. 18:20). Yet, you insist that men ought to bear the punishment for Adam’s sin in the form of the curse of “a sinful nature;” a nature which positively leads men to sin, and then God condemns you because you do the very thing that nature He gave you leads you to do? God has no place for this (Ezek. 18:25,29).

        The following scriptures clearly show we are born into this world in the image of God and not with a “wicked sin nature.”

        Heb. 12:9 “..Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?” If God is the Father of our spirits, then we are made like Him.

        Eccl 7:29 “Behold, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices.” God made us all upright. We are born upright and then go astray by seeking out many devices.

        Isa. 53:6 “All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Again, having made us upright we then turn from Him, we “go astray,” we turn away.”

        Rom. 3:12 “They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable;..” From the Father of spirits we have “all turned aside”…”become unprofitable.”

        Rom. 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Notice the order: We all sin and then fall short, which means we were all in fellowship with Him before that.

        Rom 7:12 “So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.” Take note for the next verses.

        Rom. 2:14-15 “for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves,
        who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them)” Notice: the Law (written by Moses) was “holy, and the commandment holy and righteous and good”; and the gentiles who had not the law (written by Moses) did by NATURE the things contained in the law. Again supporting the fact that we are all made upright and not with a corrupted sin nature. Thanks for your time.

      2. I’m sorry Brian, but you need to go back over my last two responses and you will see that your point has been answered comprehensively. Again, Rom 3:23 “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” is why God was able to shut up all under sin/disobedience. No escape for anybody there on the basis of ignorance, or law, or works, or father Abraham etc.. But from the beginning you have been in the affirmative, isn’t it up to you now to try and prove what you’ve affirmed?

      3. Let me try a different tack, Aidan. Believing man is born without a sin nature, and pointing to James 1 as part of your justification of how sin comes into existence in everyone, including Adam, are you suggesting that the nature of man was created with a weakness that once an outside temptation is presented to that nature, it cannot resist but must be drawn away and enticed and sin? If not – how does it become certain that God commits them all to disobedience?

        If yes… how is that created weakness a good thing in Adam, and how is it not very much like what I believe is the sin nature already inclined to sin. Thanks.

      4. Brian, you asked the following questions:

        “Believing man is born without a sin nature, and pointing to James 1 as part of your justification of how sin comes into existence in everyone, including Adam, are you suggesting that the nature of man was created with a weakness that once an outside temptation is presented to that nature, it cannot resist but must be drawn away and enticed and sin? If not – how does it become certain that God commits them all to disobedience?”

        Brian, I have presented many scriptures which show that we are not born with a sin nature; you need to believe them. And where are your scriptures that clearly teach “inherited sin nature”? Isn’t it because you cannot prove that which is not true?
        Regarding your first question about Adam and the rest of us: The answer is no. Otherwise you are talking about the false concept of “irresistible temptation”. I don’t know if that’s what you believe, but it is just a false as “irresistible grace”. God created man a ‘free moral agent’ able to freely choose between right and wrong. He wants us to freely choose to love Him, which means that we are not compelled one way or the other. Otherwise, how would He be perfectly just in committing all to disobedience/Sin? But can I ask you; could Adam and Eve have resisted their temptation to sin? If so — could Cain also have overcome his temptation to sin in Gen. 4:7? If so — how would you answer your second question ” how does it become certain that God commits them all to disobedience?” A question that I have already answered by the way. And how then do you explain a ‘sin nature’ that cannot resist sin? I think it’s time that you did some of the heavy lifting. Thanks.

      5. Actually, Aidan, Adam and Eve were not committed by God to disobedience. We agree. And their nature was able to freely resist disobedience. Again we agree. Disobedience changed their nature… I think we agree there also. (Their eyes were opened)

        Where we disagree is that change was passed on to their children and created a propensity in them for further sinning. Cain would have sinned earlier in his life when his conscience came to maturity. But he was certainly given grace to make right his sin of anger against God and did not have to murder his brother.

        You gave rhetorical questions that inferred that I gave no Scriptural evidence for being born with a sin nature. You should have at least conceded that I had given evidence, and you did not agree with my grammatical/contextual conclusions. And you still did not prove how all (except Adam) are committed to disobedience by God. I saw no evidence except your agreement that all have sinned… why, if no sin nature or if not irresistibly tempted?

        I have no more to share. Take the last word in this thread. I wish you the best. We agree (I think) all whose consciences are matured do inevitably sin and need to be saved. Praise His Name that He gives mercy to all to draw them to seek that salvation by grace through faith.

      6. Brian, I thank you for your time and that you behaved as a gentleman throughout this discussion. First of all, if Rom 3:23 “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” includes Adam and Eve, then so does Rom 11:32 “For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all,” also include Adam and Eve. Why? Because unless the scriptures said that Adam and Eve were excluded, (All means all) and that’s all all means. And yes, (Their eyes were opened), signifying that they could now see that which they had not seen before (cf..Acts 26:18). Be careful not to make an inference, unless it’s a (necessary inference).

        In regards to Cain in Gen. 4:7, you said,–“But he was certainly given grace to make right his sin of anger against God and did not have to murder his brother.” Brian, I agree that he did not have to murder his brother. And, if by saying he was ‘given grace’, you mean that here God gave him counsel, I agree (cf. Titus 2:11-12). Which meant that it was completely up to him whether or not to implement God’s counsel. Unfortunately, Cain chose not to, and ended up killing his brother. But if you mean something other than this — I can’t help you.

        In regards to Rom 7:9 and Rom. 5:12, there is actually no mention of a “dormant sin nature” or of ” Inherited sin nature”, nor could you conclude such from those verses by “necessary inference.” Therefore, I still see no scriptural evidence for being born with a sin nature.

        Definition of the term “necessary inference”:

        Inferences — mere inferences — do not establish truth. There is a world of difference between an inference and a ‘necessary’ inference. One is only possible or even reasonable, but not altogether conclusive. The other is conclusive beyond all doubt, a conclusion from which there is no escape, hence, absolutely necessary.

        Brian, I too wish you the best and would welcome any further discussions in the future.

    2. Aidan, I will take a shot at answering a couple questions you asked. But I’m sure others know more than I do. (And they may have been rhetorical questions, but I’ll answer anyway.)

      My Calvinist pastor (ex-pastor, because we left that church last month) would say that Romans 3:10-12 explains our human nature after the fall. “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one seeks God. All have turned away … there is no one who does good, not even one.” He says this verse shows that we are absolutely “dead” inside – unable to seek God or to even think about Him or desire Him, unless God makes us do it. But I think he is reading into the verse things that aren’t there. It doesn’t say we are unable to seek God, just that we don’t. And don’t I think this chapter is about “Total inability” (as he says – being unable to think about or seek God) but that it’s about mankind being unable to work our way to heaven or to “earn” our way into heaven through our bloodline (the Jews). Two totally different things.

      And earlier you asked: “If they believe God has to determine everything, then would that not mean that He also orchestrated the temptation and fall of man in the garden of Eden? Not only that, but He also “Determined” what Satan would do! Otherwise, how could He be Sovereign?”

      My ex-pastor says that God “ordained” (by which he means “caused”) that Fall for His purposes, that He planned from the beginning for Adam and Eve to sin. (I would say that He knew they would sin and planned a way to redeem the sin, but not that He wanted or caused the Fall.) I have read from a Calvinist who said that God planned for Jesus to die for “elected” sinners and to have “unelected” people in hell for His glory, and so He had to cause the Fall so that Jesus had people to die for and so that God had people to send to hell. (WHAT!?! And talk about putting the cart before the horse!)

      And John Calvin himself (in his Institutes, though I can’t find the actual quote right now) says that God gave Adam a temporary will so that Adam would willingly sin so that he could earn death so that God could condemn him. (Friggin’ nonsense!) He also says in Book 1, Chapter 6, Section 1 that the reason God reveals Himself in nature is “in order to bring the whole human race under the same condemnation.” Whereas most of us would say that God reveals Himself in nature to draw us to Him, not to make us guilty so that He can condemn us for not seeing Him.

      Calvin also says that Satan (and all beings) are controlled by God so that they can’t do anything He doesn’t command them to do (not just “permit” them to do, but “command” them to do): “… the devil, and the whole train of the ungodly, are, in all directions, held in by the hand of God as with a bridle, so that they can neither conceive any mischief, nor plan what they have conceived, nor how much soever they may have planned, move a single finger to perpetrate, unless in so far as [God] permits – nay, unless in so far as he commands …” (Institutes, Book 1, chapter 17, section 11)

      The things with Calvinists is that you have to listen to them for awhile to figure out what they really believe and to find the contradictions in what they say, because they will say things right one time but then subtly throw wrong things in later or add things that contradict what they just said. John Calvin does this too, stating something right, only to state the exact opposite later. Br.D and others point this out a lot in their comments on this blog, how Calvinists say one thing but mean another. So if we stop critically listening to Calvinists when they say the “good” things, we’ll never notice the bad things. That’s how they slip in quietly and trap people unaware.

      The following is a look at some of Calvin’s contradictory nonsense. (It’s in two posts on my blog – “The Anti-Calvinist Rant” – click on my name to get to the blog. The posts are and It’s long, but it helps explain what Calvinists believe and why it’s nonsense.

      Book 1 of Calvin’s Institutes, Chapter 17 and Chapter 18 are about Calvin trying to make sense out of how God can be the “cause” of evil yet not be held accountable for evil, how we are “controlled” by God yet can be held accountable for what we do.

      In Chapter 17, section 5, Calvin addresses the dilemma of “If God controls us and we do the evil He wills us to do, why is He not accountable for it? Why are we?” As I said before, Calvin’s problem is his view of sovereignty and God’s control. Calvin causes his own theological problems by assuming that God causes all things – even sin – and so he has to then try to explain how we can be held accountable for the things God causes and how God cannot be held accountable for the sin/evil/unbelief He causes.

      But you can’t make sense out of nonsense! So it’s just ends up being a bunch of rambling, round-and-round nonsense, trying to rationalize a belief that shouldn’t be rationalized.

      Calvin also flops back and forth in what he teaches. He teaches that God controls all we do and that everything happens according to God’s Will and by God’s divine decree. Therefore, as Calvin acknowledges, we have to conclude that those who commit crimes are simply operating in God’s Will. But then he tries to explain how we can punish those who are simply doing the evil that God has predestined them to do by saying that they are not really doing God’s Will after all.

      About the actions of wicked people, Calvin says “I deny that they serve the will of God.” He says that we cannot say that “he who has been carried away by a wicked mind are performing service on the order of God” because the evil person is “only following his own malignant desires,” not acting in obedience.

      Wait just a second, Calvin! You say that everything – even our utterances, every bad natural disaster, all evil, everything we do – is controlled by and ordained by God, according to His Will and purposes and pleasure. You even say in section 4 that “prudence and folly are instruments of divine dispensation,” that God either causes us to be prudent and safe or to be foolish and to bring disaster on ourselves.

      But now you are going to say that wicked men doing wicked things are not controlled by God!?!

      Basically, Calvin’s theology is “Everything that happens is done by the Will of God, by the hand of God. We can’t do anything, even evil things, unless God wills it to happen. But if we do evil, it’s not God’s Will because only obedience to the Word is God’s Will, even though God controls all we do and we can’t do any evil unless God wills it. And if you don’t agree with me then you are a bad, unhumble Christian who dishonors God, and I will burn you at the stake with green wood that takes longer to burn.”

      “Hi, my name’s John Calvin. And I’m a schizophrenic megalomaniac with irrational thinking, delusions of grandeur, and a messianic complex. Would you be my disciples?”

      Calvin says that “Obedience is when we are instructed in his will and hasten in the direction he calls.” But that if we act wickedly, God didn’t commanded it.

      First of all, doesn’t needing to be “instructed in his will” imply that there are things that happen outside of His Will? Hmm, let’s see what Calvin says about this elsewhere …

      — God completely controls and causes every little thing that happens, “down to the minutest detail, down even to a sparrow.”

      — “it is certain that not a drop of rains falls without the express command of God”

      — “Therefore, since God claims for himself the right of governing the world, a right unknown to us, let it be our law of modesty and soberness to acquiesce in his supreme authority regarding his will as our only rule of justice, and the most perfect cause of all things…”

      — And according to Calvin, Solomon “derides the stupidity of those who presume to undertake anything without God, as if they were not ruled by his hand…”

      — And we commit blasphemy if we “refuse to admit that every event which happens in the world is governed by the incomprehensible counsel of God.”

      — And it is “insipid” to say God is just the originator of all things, but not the controller of all things.

      — “The counsels and wills of men are so governed as to move exactly in the course which he has destined”

      — “everything done in the world is according to His decree”

      — and “the devil, and the whole train of the ungodly, are, in all directions, held in by the hand of God as with a bridle, so that they can neither conceive any mischief, nor plan what they have conceived, nor how much soever they may have planned, move a single finger to perpetuate, unless in so far as he permits – nay, unless in so far as he commands”

      So … everything that happens in this world is “by His Will,” yet there is still some need to be “instructed in his will,” as if anything can happen outside His Will!

      Ha-ha-ha! Oh, that’s rich! Calvin (Calvinists) constantly contradicts himself and expects us not to notice.

      And how exactly can we “hasten in the direction” of anything if God controls the direction we take? How can we choose obedience if, as Calvin says, God controls everything we do? How can Calvin say that everything happens by God’s command except wickedness, after already stating that God controls all evil?

      In Chapter 18, section 2, Calvin says, “The sum of the whole is this, – since the will of God is said to be the cause of all things, all the counsels and actions of men must be held to be governed by his providence; so that he not only exerts his power in the elect, who are guided by the Holy Spirit, but also forces the reprobate to do him service.”

      Hold your horses there, mister …

      You said, “I deny that [wicked men] serve the will of God. For we cannot say that he who is carried away by a wicked mind performs service on the order of God …”

      But now you say “the reprobate do him service”!?!

      Hmm? Which one is it?

      Calvin says God controls all evil when he’s trying to uphold God’s “sovereignty” (by that, he means “micromanaging control”), but he denies that God controls all evil when he’s trying to figure out who to “blame” for it.

      “Confused, inconsistent theologian, table of one!”

      Make up your mind, Calvin! You can’t have it both ways! God either does cause everything or He doesn’t cause everything!

      If God is so “in control” (as Calvin says) then how come He’s only in control of the obedient people and not the wicked people? So we are responsible for our disobedience, as if we ourselves choose disobedience … but if we are obedient, it’s because God caused us to be? Wouldn’t us having some sort of responsibility for our disobedience somehow negate God’s “sovereign, micromanaging, control,” as Calvin defines it? Didn’t Calvin himself just say that the greatest arrogance ever is to utter one word against God’s authority? That even Solomon would call us stupid for presuming to undertake anything without God, as if we are not fully ruled by God? According to Calvin, aren’t we “defrauding God of His glory” if we say there is something He doesn’t control?

      And yet now Calvin is going to say that those who are carried away by a wicked mind are not doing the will of God?

      Round-and-round, nonsensical, rambling hogwash!

      (It would be comical, laughable even … if it wasn’t such a destructive, widespread, faith-damaging theology.)

      Of course, God doesn’t command that we do evil, and doing evil is not obedience to God. Calvin is right about that. It’s what we should believe, based on the Bible. But Calvin cannot make that truth mesh with his belief that God is the cause of all things and that God controls the course of everything. And that’s why these are such rambling, nonsensical chapters.

      One thing we learned in my graduate school psychology classes was that the more words people use, the less truthful they are. And I think Calvin’s 1000+ pages of trying to describe his theology are 1000+ pages of trying to make nonsense into sense. And since that’s not possible, he has to constantly add more words and ideas to try to make his errors and inconsistencies sound reasonable and biblical. By comparison, the Bible’s book of John – which pretty much contains the foundational things we need to know about mankind and Jesus and the path of salvation – is only about a couple dozen pages long. Interesting!

      This mixture of truth and error is why it’s so hard to fight Calvinism and to detect the heresy of it. They say enough truth to get you to think they are accurately teaching the Word of God and they make you feel humble for accepting it. But you have to always view their “truth” through the lens of their fundamental theological errors, which completely discredits even the “true” things they say.

      Aiden, I am sure this is more than you wanted to know, but I figured I’d post in anyway. It’s worth knowing why you can’t trust Calvinism and how they sneak around theologically.

      1. Wow, Heather!

        I just saw this now, but only after I had replied to Brian. I commend you for your zeal, and the great effort you put into this. I’ll tell you what I’m going to do: I’m going to sit down in front of my computer with a cup of coffee and a snack in hand, and happily read through the letter you’ve written. I have a lot to digest, but I really appreciate it. Then, I hope to get back to you sometime in the near future, hopefully with plenty more to talk about on this important issue.

      2. Hi Heather,
        “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent,,..(Acts 17:30). First of all, I think it’s fair to say that God’s will is for everyone to repent. I think it’s also fair to say that most haven’t, which would suggest that God is not overriding our free will. How else could we explain man’s ability to stubbornly refuse God’s heartfelt calls to come to Him?
        “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!”(Mat. 23:37).
        It is quite clear then, that Calvinism is a human theological system, designed according to the commandments and doctrines of men. These are the ones who are pushing their, ‘self-imposed religion’ on the scriptures and onto the unsuspecting.
        How do you now counteract the 5 points of TULIP?

  16. Ok sorry back to the video above and your comment Matt… Wow Matt Ok I mean Wow I did finally watch this and what a boastful bully!! Sorry for that comment, but James White how in the world can he call what he’s done here research or sensical???? I would be embarrassed if I sat under him for teaching please recant your comments if you don’t want to appear to be aligning with a bully who thinks he has it all figured out!!! My friend James even with all his books education critical thinking skills etc….has absolutley no better standing with the apostles Jesus’ choses to finish the Word of God through inspiration of the Holy Spirit these were not all educated men.. And his point is only valid in that 44 seconds if you bury your head in the sand or purposefully plug your ears and only hear that discourse… I’m embarrassed that someone who claims to love our merciful God would misalign a fellow brother in Christ as he clearly has done!

     I loved how Leighton continued the video and it showed how James then play’s the poor me card🤔 and was so upset by someone playing him out of context it can only make you wonder, does he forget what he sees in the mirror when he looks at himself???  Again this video above should upset anyone who follows James White.. so he claims I’m not a critical thinker especially if I don’t agree with him hmm seems a bit arrogant to me! As well as any logical minded individual hearing him say this statement for me with his bully tactics I find it difficult to take him seriously at least I can listen to Piper even though I do not agree with him at all… If you have this man’s ear you ought to tell him how he comes across to most rational people who refuse to take a man’s word for what God’s Word says sorry, but I find after viewing this it’s hard to take him seriously. But he probably wouldn’t even care, because I’m not enlightened enough to understand what he’s saying Nahh I don’t trust that conclusion. I’m sure glad Leighton & David Alan aren’t thin skinned, but reallly really really how divisional is pretty much what most of James White says in these statements. Great unity Mr White

    1. Reggie,
      Thanks for commenting and showing us your zeal! And thanks for exposing Matt and James White.

      Two things: You will not hear back from Matt. He is a drive-by shooter….shooting across the bow (no real dialog). For Matt…. anything that James White or Piper do is right…period! That is because he knows they are card-carrying Calvinists, so he gives them a wide berth.

      Secondly (please accept this as a friend), please try to use periods (not run-on sentences) and shorter paragraphs. You have good things to say, but I am afraid that people will not take the time if the sentences are too long and run-on.

      Pleeeeeeese keep commenting, but make your posts as user-friendly as possible so many readers will be encouraged to read them!

      1. FOH Thank you for that honest feedback. Once sent I did see that, and I need to stop using swipe to text method on my phone to responsed.. and finally get my computer hooked back up. But I do truly appreciate your honest feedback🙋‍♀️

  17. Thanks Brian, I too, would look to passages like Ezekiel 18:20, and Romans 7:9, as evidence that we are not held accountable for Adam’s sin, but rather, we die for our own sin. But I don’t see a “sin nature” necessarily taught in any of these verses? Do you mean we inherit a “sin nature” from Adam that is dormant? Would you be able to explain what you mean by “a dormant sin nature,” and why you believe these passages teach this? Hopefully I’m not putting you too much on the spot, because you’ve have been quite helpful, and these are not always easy things to answer.

    1. You’re welcome Aidan! From Rom 7:9, “sin revived”, I believe means from within. Also, that our physical flesh is subject to death (Rom 5:12) indicates that the curse/judgment Adam received in his physical flesh because he sinned was passed onto us. In that curse, physical weakness, lie the appetites and desires which make up what Paul calls the “flesh”, which is the synonym sometimes for sinful nature.

      1. Hi Brian, I appreciate the quick response.

        So that there’s no confusion on my part, I hope you don’t mind me pulling together what you’ve said?
        Romans 7:9 NKJV — I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died.
        You believe that in Rom 7:9, “sin revived”, is talking about a “dormant sin nature” being revived from within?

        Also, you believe that the judgment Adam received in (Rom 5:12) and then passed onto us, was physical death and a sinful nature?
        I know that I this is short and to the point, but does it basically reflect what you are saying?

        Regards, Aidan.

      2. Yes, Aidan… that sums my view up pretty well. But more important is the clear verse – Romans 11:32 NKJV — For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.

      3. Hi Brian,
        I was just thinking: Would you consider that these verses are not talking about an inherited sinful nature? And, that we don’t actually need a sinful nature in order to commit sin? Consider Adam and Eve for example:

        (A) Man’s original condition was one of innocence and purity. He was a free moral agent, capable of choosing right and wrong.
        (B) Sin is defined as a transgression of law (lawlessness, NASB) (1 Jn. 3:4). John explains that the various avenues through which Satan tempts one include the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 Jn. 2:15-17). See also Jas. 1:13-16. Eve was tempted in these ways (Gen. 3:6).
        1. The tree was good for food.
        2. The tree was a delight to the eyes.
        3. The fruit of the tree would make one wise.

        (C) Seeing that we are tempted in the same way as Adam and Eve were, and they did not have a sinful nature when they committed sin; we do not necessarily need to have a sinful nature in order for us commit sin.

        Secondly: The New Testament twice compares Adam and Christ (Rom.5 and 1 Cor. 15). In Romans 5, Christ is seen to be the answer to the problem of spiritual death. In 1 Cor 15, Christ is seen to be the answer to the problem of physical death. One is conditional, the other is unconditional. Death, both spiritual and physical, came into the world through the sin of Adam and Eve.

        A look at Romans 5:12. Paul said, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.”
        The context of Rom. 5:12 favours the idea that spiritual death is under consideration. Paul argues that through one transgression (18) or disobedience (19) sin entered into the world (12; cf. Gen. 3). The sin resulted in death which passed onto all men (12) and many were made sinners (19). The reason given for this consequence: ” for that all sinned” (12). Death became universal; because sin was universal (Rom. 3:23).
        The death mentioned here was passed unto all men who sinned. Adam sinned by eating the forbidden fruit and death entered into the world. Others sinned, not in the same way Adam did, but by transgressing other Divine laws. As a result they died spiritually (14).
        Also, Romans 5 shows that man can have spiritual life through obedience to Christ. Through one act of righteousness (18), obedience (19; cf. Heb 5:8-9), the free gift of God resulted in life unto all men (many are made righteous, 19). In order for an individual to share this life he must obey (Rom. 6:16; Heb. 5:8-9).
        One may share in the spiritual death brought by Adam through disobedience: one may share in the spiritual life brought by Christ through obedience. The answer to spiritual death is conditioned upon obedience to Christ. But the answer to physical death is unconditional; all will be raised from the graves.(1 Cor 15:21-22; cf. John 5:28-29). Hopefully I will discuss Rom. 7:9 with you at a later date.

      4. Thank you Aidan for your reply. Of course Adam proves one does not need a sinful nature to commit sin. But he certainly got one after he sinned, and so the issue is whether that change was passed on. Physical death was passed on because of Adam’s sin, and Rom 5:12 grammatically supports that “all sin” as a result of what Adam did.

        As I said, I believe Rom 7:9 supports indwelling sin as a nature, for one’s first experience of guilt doesn’t result from sin reviving universally, but only reviving personally. I look forward to your take on that verse.

        And I also want your view on Rom 11:32, which I think makes explaining what we received from Adam a mute point, imo.

      5. Hi Brian, thanks for clarifying that Adam proves we do not need a sinful nature to commit sin. It is also true to say that man began to die physically as soon as he was separated from the tree of life (Gen. 2:9). Spiritual death is the result of man being separated from God, the source of spiritual life. (See Eph. 2:1-5: dead in relationship to God while alive in regard to the lusts of the flesh).
        Man died the day he ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil when he was driven out of the presence of God (Gen. 3:22-24). Sin separates man from God (Isa. 59:1-2).
        The issue is what kind of death is Romans 5 talking about. Again, you can’t keep ignoring the context of the chapter, which tells us that we are dealing with spiritual death and spiritual life, not the physical. And, yes, it is true; Rom 5:12 supports that “all sin” is a consequence of what Adam did. Because Paul tells us it was through Adam that, “sin entered the world, and death through sin..” But then he tells us how that death spread to all men, he says,…” and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.” There is no mention of inherited sin nature in the verse, either by direct statement, or by necessary inference. Also, how could this only be referring to physical death if men only die after they have committed sin? How then do sinless babies die?
        Just like Romans 3:23, and Romans 6:23, Romans 5:12 is dealing with spiritual death, not physical death. Humans will die physically whether they sin or not.

        Romans 3:23; “.for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
        Romans 5:12; “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.”
        Romans 6:23; ” For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

        Is it not quite plain to see, that the subject is spiritual, not physical?

        I haven’t forgotten Romans 7:9, or 11:32.

      6. Hi Brian,
        Romans 7:9 NKJV — I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died.
        Let’s apply it first to Adam and Eve, who were without a sinful nature, as pure and innocent as the driven snow.
        One notices how often sin is personified in the bible.

        1.They were alive once without the commandment (no knowledge of good or evil)
        2. But when the commandment came, sin was now able to come in through the commandment.
        3. With Satan as the driving force, sin took it’s opportunity by the commandment, deceived them and killed them spiritually.

        Let’s now apply it to us, who were born without sin, or a sinful nature, pure and innocent as babies. Therefore,
        1. I was alive once without the law (no knowledge of good or evil).
        2 But when the commandment came (age of accountability), sin was now able to take opportunity through the commandment.
        3 With Satan as the driving force, sin took it’s opportunity by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me spiritually.

        (James 1:14-15), ” But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.”
        ” Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”

      7. Thank you Aidan for your reply. I wonder if you felt any discomfort in trying to make Rom 7:9 fit your view. The main thing I noticed is that you admit “sin” is personified. But you said “sin was now able to come in”… Paul never said anything about sin entering, but reviving/coming alive. Later in the chapter he talks clearly about sin dwelling in him, in his flesh.

        You also want this “sin” to be something connected to Satan as its “driving force”. Paul makes no mention of Satan using the commandment and causing sin to revive and causing his spiritual death. I remain unconvinced by your discussion and remain with the idea that we are born with indwelling sin as a nature (not guilt) that lies dormant until the law confronts our matured conscience.

        Now what about Rom 11:32, which I said makes this “what we got from Adam” seem superfluous? Thanks.

      8. Thanks Brian for your quick response.

        Brian, you said “Paul never said anything about sin entering,”… But he did when he spoke about Adam, and so did I. Let me quote him “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin,…”(Rom. 5:12). This is precisely what I meant when I spoke about Adam and Eve. But when speaking about “us”, you never mentioned that I said: “But when the commandment came,.. sin took it’s opportunity by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me spiritually.” This is what I said, and this is also what Paul said in (v.8, and v.11) the verses just either side of Rom. 7:9! I always believe in looking at the scriptures as the safest and best way of interpreting a verse.

        You said, that (v.9) teaches “we are born with indwelling sin as a nature (not guilt) that lies dormant..” But Paul makes no mention of inheriting a “sin nature,” or to quote you earlier, “dormant sin nature”. Where are they mentioned anywhere in scripture? “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God…”(1 Peter 4:11).

        Please look at the next verse which talks about how sin comes about for all of us:….

        But notice first, that nowhere is the word “inherited sin nature” ever mentioned here, except that you might be reading it into the text. But then that becomes even more impossible when you apply this verse to Adam and Eve. Everybody agrees that they certainly did not have an “inherited sin nature.” And yet sin was given birth in them in exactly the same way as it is was produced in all of us!

        “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”(James 1:14-15)…. Yes, this happened to Adam and Eve too, who were created good, proving that even from “within Adam’s desires” sin was produced and brought forth his death.

        4 questions on (James 1:14-15):
        (A) Did sin arise differently to this from Adam and Eve? No!
        (B) Did sin arise differently to this from Paul ? No!
        (C) Has sin ever arisen in any other way for anyone, period? No! How then do you prove “inherited sin nature”, something never mentioned, and something that each of us never needed in order for us to give birth to sin, and bring forth death? You don’t need it Brian, give it up.
        (D) Who is the one behind our temptations? See..(Mth. 4:3; and 1 Thess. 3:5). Therefore Brian, you cannot disconnect Satan from the temptations we have to sin.

        Again, if we read into the verse what we want to see, we end up adding to, or taking away from, the word of God. Here’s what God told Israel, “You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.”(Deut. 4:2). That is still a good principle to follow. I don’t know yet, what the ultimate effects are concerning this doctrine of an “inherited sin nature,” even so, I do see a lot of similarities between us on this matter. Maybe we could enumerate them at some point and see if I’m right on this?

      9. Thanks Aidan for further explanation which did not seem to add anything new. And I remain unconvinced. I await your take on Rom 11:32. Blessings.

      10. Brian, I’ll see if I can talk to you on Thursday or Friday. I’m not sure where you are going with Rom.11:32, but I will do what I can. Perhaps, afterwards, you could do a more detailed exegesis on that passage to explain where you are coming from? And, maybe at the end of this thing, you and I could give a summary of what we believe. Who knows, perhaps some good will come of it.

        Regards, Aidan.

      11. Hi Brian, I hope all is well with you.
        Okay, you wanted my understanding of Rom 11:32, “For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.”
        First of all, this passage as much as any other, should be viewed in terms of his overall development of the entire book. Since the theme of Romans was very specifically stated by Paul in Romans 1:16, we will do well to consider how his discussion in our text relates to that theme. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Paul is addressing the plan of salvation. The gospel is God’s power to save. This salvation is for all, for both Jew and Gentile. It is to everyone who believes.
        But of course, in order to be saved, you need to be convicted of your sin and how you stand before God. Whatever one might say about the state of the Gentiles; the Jew, especially, thought that he was righteous under the Law boasting in it and in God. And he had not subjected himself to the righteousness of God: “For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.”(Rom. 10:3).
        In the first three chapters of Romans, the charge is made and established that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; “THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.” “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,…so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God..”(Rom. 3:9,10,12, 23,19).
        But again, it was God’s purpose and plan to save everyone through the gospel, not condemn. Therefore, without getting into the specifics, suffice it to say, that it was ultimately for this cause that “God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.”(Rom 11:32). Furthermore, “..if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law. But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.”( Gal.3:21-23)

        Hopefully this helps.

      12. Thank you, Aidan, once again for your thoughtful reply. And as usual, I agree with most of what you write. But I think you missed discussing the point I had made earlier about Rom 11:32, that this verse makes superfluous our discussion as to whether one is born with or without a sin nature. Whichever is true, does it really matter if God has committed us all over to disobedience? The verse is very intentional on God’s part. No one escapes being “shut up in disobedience” by God, now do they? So what difference does it make if they were born with or without a nature inclined to sin? Thanks.

  18. Have any of you seen

    Fantastic ministry! One of their recent posts is a former Muslim from Central Asia found here:

    Notice in the first minute how this guy is disgusted with the Determinist aspect of Islam. This is called Qadr in Islam. God determined everything.

    Try to tell this recent convert to Christ about Calvinism-Determinism. I can just hear his likely response:

    Are you kidding! I just left that in Islam!

    1. Question FOH do you know why it’s coming up blank when I click on your thread?? Again I’m on a phone, but usually I’m able to go to other threads so just curious..

      1. The link seems to be working fine. try it on a computer…or change your settings

    2. I guess this “Determinist-God of Islam” is why my Calvinist pastor focuses his missions trips in the Middle East. They’re easy pickings for Calvinism because they are already used to the idea of a Deterministic God. (How different – personality-wise – is Calvi-god from Islam’s God anyway? Isn’t my Calvi-pastor just substituting one oppressive, irrational “God” for another?)

      He even uses the “humility” of Middle Eastern people to try to shame us into Calvinism, reminding us of how willingly Middle Eastern people accept and bow to a “Sovereign God” (read: harsh and micromanaging God), compared to us shameful, proud, resistant, unhumble Americans who “can’t accept God’s sovereignty because we like our independence and choice-making abilities too much.” It’s disgusting.

  19. Should James white and Leighton Flowers have another debate, this time with no notes, no English text, Greek only with a 30 minute opening. Then we (Arminian and Reformed Calvinist) can decide who is properly Exegeting scripture?

    1. Welcome Gilbert! Leighton has always been open about his need to rely on the exegesis skills of others in the Greek language for various passages. So that debate format you suggest is a no-go… I think it would be interesting to hear White discuss various passages in the Greek text with someone who also has studied sufficiently to be conversant about the Greek issues in those passages. I would love the opportunity in private with White. I am not a fan of his public debate style, which I deem very low on reflecting a desire for the edification of his opponents.

  20. Can anyone from the administration of this blog tell me what the rules are concerning copying quotes from the commenters here? I see some good ones that I would love to add to posts I might write (with credit to the commenter, of course), but I don’t want to cross any lines or break any rules that I am not aware of. Thank you.

    1. I’m no longer in admin, Heather, for this site. But you are free to copy and reference quotes from this public site without fear of plagiarism. You can always feel free to copy, edit, and use anything I have written without needing my permission or even referencing me.

  21. White more and more shows his true colors. It’s ad hominem attacks after another. dishonest critiques. but he does this because deep down calvinism is off and people like Mr. Flowers keep exposing the falsity of calvinism and this is what happens when you are obsessed with defending an ideology instead of biblical truths

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