The Role of the Holy Spirit

by Leighton Flowers

One reformed scholar has explained the role of the Holy Spirit in this way:

Theologian Herman Bavinck wrote an important volume called An Introduction to the Science of Missions. Drawing from the word translated “convict,” he coined the word elenctics. His argument, written in the context of the mid-20th century, was that missions’ strategies and methods of his era had fallen short of the Great Commission mandate. He wrote:

“When we speak of elenctics we do well to understand it in the sense that it has in John 16:8. The Holy Spirit will convince the world of sin. The Holy Spirit is actually the only conceivable subject of this verb, for the conviction of sin exceeds all human ability. Only the Holy Spirit can do this, even though he can and will use us as instruments in his hand.”

The Holy Spirit, using the biblical message of the Cross, “awakens in man that deeply hidden awareness of guilt. He convinces man of sin, even where previously no consciousness of sin was apparently present. The Holy Spirit uses the word of the preacher and touches the heart of the hearer, making it accessible to the word.”

When the Holy Spirit convinces people of their sin, of Jesus’ righteousness, and of certain judgment, He awakens the human heart to hear and see truth in a new way. Upon seeing and perceiving (cf. Isaiah 6:10; Matthew 13:15), the human heart cries out for God. [LINK]

I would like to draw our attention to a few important points that may be easily overlooked if one is not aware of what to look for:

1. He wrote, “Only the Holy Spirit can do this, even though he can and will use us as instruments in his hand.”

This brings up the issue of “means,” something Calvinistic scholars are careful to affirm. But, what are the human means actually accomplishing within the Calvinistic framework? Does the use of a miracle, the proclamation of truth, or the persuasive use of argumentation in an apologetic discourse actually accomplish anything that is not inevitability accomplished by the work of “effectual/irresistible grace” (otherwise known as “regeneration”)?

I have yet to find a Calvinist who is able to show me one thing that the human means actually accomplish that is not sufficiently taken care of by the effectual work of regeneration. In Romans 10:14 when Paul asks the rhetorical question, “How shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard,” the clearly implied answer is that hearing is sufficient for believing. But, according to Calvinism, it is not.  If Calvinism were true Paul would have certainly asked, “How shall they believe what they hear unless God regenerates them?”

2.  He teaches, “The Holy Spirit, using the biblical message of the Cross, ‘awakens in man that deeply hidden awareness of guilt. He convinces man of sin, even where previously no consciousness of sin was apparently present.’”

Keep in mind, for the Calvinist this is only being done for a select few, “the elect of God.” God is not awakening every man and making him aware of his guilt and making him conscious of his sin. For the Calvinist, God is only doing this for His chosen ones, though there is nothing preventing Him from doing this for others as well.  So, while these words may sound appealing one must look closer to see the difficulty of the meaning that hides just below the surface.

God, for some unknown reason, chooses not to ‘awaken’ everyone yet speaks to everyone as if they might respond and then condemns those who refuse to accept a truth they were born unable to understand and accept. According to Calvinism, God is holding everyone equally accountable (punishable) for their rejection of the truth, but He is only sufficiently revealing truth to His elect.

3. He continues, “The Holy Spirit uses the word of the preacher and touches the heart of the hearer, making it accessible to the word.”

Notice what is being said here. He is subtly making the argument that the heart of the hearer does not have access to the clearly revealed truth of the word apart from the Holy Spirit ‘touching’ him. Allow me to reword this statement just slightly to make it biblically accurate, “The Holy Spirit uses the word of the preacher to touch the heart of the hearer, making the heart accessible to the truth the word clearly reveals.” 

Now, that change may seem inconsequential but it is not.  It speaks to an important doctrinal issue: the sufficiency of scripture, God’s Holy Word. You see, the Reformed author was subtly teaching that the word proclaimed by the preacher remains insufficient unless and until the Holy Spirit “touches the heart” and makes those words “accessible.” This assumes that mankind is born unable to understand and accept clearly revealed truth, a concept no where taught in scripture.  It also assumes the proclaimed truth of God’s word is not sufficient to accomplish the purpose for which is was sent (John 20:31).

Objectively consider this perspective for a moment.  According to the Calvinist, [and some classical Arminians who have bought into this way of thinking] all of humanity is born unable to believe the clearly revealed truth of scripture, but they are able to believe the lies of the Koran or other false world religions.  Yet, God holds us responsible for believing lies of false religions and rejecting the truths of scripture.

Now, to be fair, the classical Arminian at least goes on to say that God graciously re-enables every man’s otherwise disable will by means of “prevenient grace,” but this is a completely unnecessary concession. The gospel is a sufficiently gracious work of the Holy Spirit, there is no reason to invent another one. Plus, there is nothing in scripture which remotely suggests that God has confined all of humanity over to a condition of total inability due to the fall of Adam.  What is there to “re-enable” if the ability to respond to God’s powerful truth was never lost?

Everyone knows the old phrase “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” is nonsense. Why? Because words do have the ability to wound much deeper than sticks or stones ever could. Moreover, words reveal truth and truth is said to “set us free”. Words cannot be dismissed as powerless and ineffective at accomplishing the very purposes God said they were meant to accomplish. Especially as the Calvinist also acknowledges that words are powerful and effective in leading people astray.

(This goes back to our discussion over the sufficiency of the gospel HERE)

The natural man is held responsible to the very words of Christ because the natural man is able to respond to the very words of Christ.  As Jesus explains,

“If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day. For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say” (John 12:47-50).

And in John 6:63, Jesus says,

“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.”

The author of Hebrews puts it this way,

“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account (Heb. 4:12-13).

Are we to take from these verses that the words of God are only powerful, life-giving and sufficient to enable the lost to respond if and when the Holy Spirit “touches the heart” and effectually regenerates the soul?  Where does the bible teach this kind of inward mystical working of the Holy Spirit? (More on this subject HERE)

4. He ends by saying, “When the Holy Spirit convinces people of their sin, of Jesus’ righteousness, and of certain judgment, He awakens the human heart to hear and see truth in a new way. Upon seeing and perceiving (cf. Isaiah 6:10; Matthew 13:15), the human heart cries out for God.”

This is the Calvinistic doctrine of “Irresistible Grace” in a nutshell (the “I” in the popular acronym TULIP).  Calvinists teach that God effectually awakens or “regenerates” the heart of His elect so that they will certainly see the truth and accept the truth of scripture. But consider the reverse side of this coin.  Those who remain in unbelief do so because God refuses to “awaken their human heart to hear and see truth” and then sends them to eternal punishment for rejecting spiritual truth they were born morally unable to see or hear.

This is blatantly unbiblical.  The scripture clearly teaches that mankind is born responsible (able to respond) to the clear revelation of God (see Romans 1). Mankind is not born hardened, calloused and unable to respond to clearly revealed truth.  They may grow calloused if they continually trade God’s truth in for lies (Acts 28:27; Romans 1:25).  They may be “given over” to the lusts of their flesh and their stubborn pride if they refuse to love the truth so as to be saved (2 Thess. 2:10; Romans 1:24).  But they are not born completely blinded and incapable of moral choices in response to God’s clearly revealed truth.

The Holy Spirit works through human means, which indicates that the means actually accomplish the work of the Holy Spirit.  Conviction is brought by the Holy Spirit inspired truth being proclaimed.  He makes his appeal, “Be reconciled to God,” THROUGH US:

“Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.” (2 Cor. 5:20)

Therefore, anything and everything the proclamation of the gospel accomplishes should be credited to the Holy Spirit. When you preach and someone gives their life to following Christ, the glory goes to the Holy Spirit because He is making His appeal through you. You are merely the tool in the carpenter’s hand. It is not this idea that the Holy Spirit is working independently from His appointed means to make those means sufficiently effective (i.e. the Holy Spirit regenerates the heart so that the preaching is effectual).  No, the Holy Spirit is accomplishing His work THROUGH His appointed means. The Holy Spirit calls people to repentance and faith through the proclamation of the gospel therefore that calling is sufficient to enable whosoever hears it to respond to its appeal.

For more on this topic listen to the Podcast: The Holy Spirit’s Work in Salvation

192 thoughts on “The Role of the Holy Spirit

  1. Thanks Leighton for systematically taking the “spin off” and revealing what is actually meant by the fine sounding arguments and words that are carefully chosen to mislead the non-suspecting.
    We really do appreciate your diligence in this matter. I believe this (Calvinism) is one of the major errors inside the church leading so many people in the wrong direction. It has devastating consequences that will be more fully seen in the second generation of Calvinists. This first line who are older now…had lots of Grace influence in their lives before they became hard line. I have seen the second generation that only have known Calvinism are actually living out Calvinism and they bring a very different attitude with them, which is consistent with Calvinism but they only have Calvinist influences and it shows.
    Thank-you for systematically dismantling what is so carefully covered up by those who stealthily use words to smuggle in false assumptions. Just one false assumption can cause massive damage to the authentic gospel of grace. You are an answer to prayer!!!

    1. GA, I would agree that error comes from bringing false assumptions to scripture, which, sadly, are not only plentiful within the world of Calvinism, but pretty much throughout christendom. Being persuaded to buy into what some authority teaches as ‘true’ essentially leads one to turn off their own mind. I love this quote from Tolstoy:

      “When people blindly believe teachings that are presented to them as the law of God, they deprive themselves of their God-given ability to reason, which is the only way they can know the true law of God.”

      Sounds like Tolstoy understood Paul’s praise of the Bereans, who refused to simply take him at his word but took responsibility to carefully examine all that was taught.

  2. Leighton,

    I agree that the doctrine of the direct operation of the Holy Spirit in conversion is absolutely false.

    In the N.T. times the Holy Spirit operated on the hearts of men and women to save them from sin. This, no one should deny! The question at issue is not over the fact of the Spirits’ work, but over the manner of operation. How does the Spirit operate in the conviction and conversion of sinners — directly or through some medium? The Scripture teaches that the Holy Spirit operates through the medium of the Word in conversion, yet it is possible to say that the conversion was accomplished by the Holy Spirit or by the Word.

    Illustration: A man is drowning; a man on the shore throws a rope; the drowning man is pulled to shore. What saved the drowning man? The man casting the rope? The rope itself? The man taking hold of the rope? All had a part! The Holy Spirit convicts and converts, but He acts through the agency or instrumentality of divine truth (Eph 6:17). And it’s a sharp instrument indeed (Heb 4:12)

  3. Thank you Dr. Flowers!

    Yes Calvin’s god designs the creature with a specific attribute – so that he can punish the creature for having that attribute.
    And the poor Calvinists end up becoming a guild of defense attorneys for Charles Manson, reciting exculpatory arguments.
    I thank the Lord I’m not in their shoes!

  4. Great summation here, “It is not this idea that the Holy Spirit is working independently from His appointed means to make those means sufficiently effective (i.e. the Holy Spirit regenerates the heart so that the preaching is effectual). No, the Holy Spirit is accomplishing His work THROUGH His appointed means.”

    This really is an important distinction which you have stated well. God in His sovereignty ordained/decreed to regenerate the heart of man through the proclamation and hearing of His revealed truth, not through some separate unseen and unknowable mystical work of the Holy Spirit. To believe otherwise makes the proclaiming of the gospel an ineffective exercise in futility, and denies that the gospel IS the power of God unto salvation for everyone who hears and believes. Faith comes by hearing His truth, which affirms the regenerative power of His truth, and believing that truth provides justification (Rom 10:10a).

    It does not say faith comes through divine enlightenment (Calvinist regeneration) before or after hearing, because the regenerating power of the Spirit of Truth resides in, or is embedded in, the Gospel itself. It is like saying I need to have someone shove an Ibuprofen tablet down my throat after taking an Advil to be effective against my pain. The Ibuprofen is IN the Advil. It is sufficient.

      1. THE HOLY SPIRIT CONVERTS THROUGH THE INSTRUMENTALITY OF THE WORD.

        What the bible attributes to the Holy Spirit in conviction and conversion is also attributed to the Word of God. Note the following:

        1) BORN, BORN AGAIN — SPIRIT John 3:5,6,8 — WORD OF GOD 1 Pet. 1:23-25; 1 Cor. 4:15; Jas. 1:18.

        2) MAKES ALIVE — SPIRIT John 6:63 — WORD OF GOD Ps. 119:50,93

        3) SAVED — SPIRIT Titus 3:5 — WORD OF GOD Jas. 1:21

        4) POWER OF — SPIRIT Rom. 15:13 — WORD OF GOD Rom. 1:16

        5) SANCTIFIED — SPIRIT 1 Cor. 6:11 — WORD OF GOD John 17:17

        6) WASHED BY — SPIRIT 1 Cor. 6:11 — WORD OF GOD Eph. 5:26

        Illustration: A man is seen cutting down a tree with an axe. One observer says, “see how easily the axe cuts down the tree?” Another observer says, “see how easily the man cuts down the tree?” Which one is right? Both are right, because the man cut down the tree through the instrumentality of the axe.

        “…And the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Eph. 6:17)

        Hopefully, this chart will hold when I upload it.

      2. Hi Aidan, would you say that the instrumentality of the Word is contingent on the presence of personal faith and the existence of God’s own faithfulness to His Word? Maybe the Holy Spirit always uses His axe to cut down the trees on the property of those who invite and trust Him to do so, because that is what He promised to do for them. 😉

  5. Leighton has a gift of making things clear that others try to subtlety twist whether knowingly or unknowingly twists are twisty😄.

    This is a great question below; for both the calvinist’s irresistible grace, & the arminian’s prevenient grace which is within each of these theological systems;

    [ Where does the bible teach this kind of inward mystical working of the Holy Spirit? ]

    Nowhere I’ve found🤔, because His Word is sufficient & the vessels sent out and the Holy Spirit is not only here for the elect or why does Jesus Himself say this;
    John 16:8 NASB — “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment;

    What Leighton says below makes great sense;

    [ It speaks to an important doctrinal issue: the sufficiency of scripture, God’s Holy Word. You see, the Reformed author was subtly teaching that the word proclaimed by the preacher remains insufficient unless and until the Holy Spirit “touches the heart” and makes those words “accessible.” This assumes that mankind is born unable to understand and accept clearly revealed truth, a concept no where taught in scripture.  It also assumes the proclaimed truth of God’s word is not sufficient to accomplish the purpose for which is was sent (John 20:31).]

    We can’t gloss over that statement..” assuming God’s Word isn’t sufficient Wow danger!!
    John 1:1 NASB — In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

    I’ve mentioned this before I was asked to read an article 3 times, “the pelagian captivity of the church” written by RC Sproul and then pray about it… I don’t think I’d say that, but maybe our reformed brothers and sisters should read this, because it has supporting Scripture with it.. I’m grateful Leighton brings these things into the light subtle twists are harder to pick up. Sometimes something that is false isn’t as subtle as what we find in calvinism… someone on this site has mentioned this before…
    Thank you🌻

    1. Agree Reggie— My lawyer friend said it well…within Calvinism -“what the large print giveth the small print taketh away.”
      BR.D uses the phrase- Calvinism is full of double-speak, the bible says: Gen 3:1  Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast…
      It all seems to come from the same place. Knowingly or Unknowingly it is a system that attacks the character of God, His Holiness, His Love and His Truthfulness… It goes right back to Gen. 3

      1. I absolutley agree with this! GraceAdict!
        Knowingly or Unknowingly it is a system that attacks the character of God, His Holiness, His Love and His Truthfulness… It goes right back to Gen. 3
        So thankful we have those who aren’t afraid to point out these subtle twists and give us affirmation, since this does seem to be so prevalent not only in churches, but deterministic thinking by mainstream respected former physicists Stephen Hawkings who believed in a hard deterministic universe. How unfortunate to have such a hopeless view!

  6. Hi Brian,
    The question has to do with ‘how faith is produced’ in view of the doctrine of Calvinism concerning the direct operation of the Holy Spirit. Faith is produced not by a direct operation of the Holy Spirit on the hearts of men, but through the medium of the Word. How effective that Word is, is dependent on the hearts of men.

    The parable of the sower (or soils — the hearts of men) answers three of the doctrines of Calvinism, including total depravity, the basis of their need for a direct operation of the Holy Spirit (Mt. 13:1-9; 18-23; Lk. 8:5-15).
    1. Seed falls on a good and honest heart — not a depraved heart. There are four types of soil (hearts), not just one. Not one of them is depraved.

    2. Notice: When one hears the word, the devil steals the word that he “may not believe and be saved” (Lk. 8:12). Faith is produced by the Word; not by a direct operation of the Spirit.

    3. Some “receive the word with joy” but in time of temptation — “fall away” (Lk. 8:13). This shows the possibility of apostasy.

    When the doctrine of total depravity is shown to be false the whole basis falls for the direct operation of the Holy Spirit. Neither is true!

    1. Aidan, we agree all four soils have the ability to believe and be saved. Two of the soils don’t bring forth the fruit of the Word they received, which appears to be salvation if the Word is the gospel, but they both did express personal faith in a positive way.

      But I’m guessing you think those two soils were “saved” even though they had no real fruit. That however seems to go against your view of having some obedience (works/fruit) to have real salvation.

      You also need to consider that believing is an ability, used and misplaced even before the Word is planted in the heart. People believe about and in all sorts of things from early age. So I ask again, is there the instrumentality/condition of personal faith and faithfulness of the HS to His Word also involved in producing salvation?

      1. Brian, can you explain for the unlearned what you mean by ‘the instrumentality/condition of personal faith and faithfulness of the HS to His Word also involved in producing salvation?’ I think I understand what personal faith means, 😉 but I am a little befuddled by ‘faithfulness of the Holy Spirit (right?) to His Word’. Is the Holy Spirit ever not faithful to his word? If not, (which I would assert) I struggle to understand what you are suggesting. It’s probably obvious and I just don’t get it. Thanks ahead of time.

      2. TS00, I was suggesting that the ability to believe exists before the Word is heard, and that when it is heard there must be a personal choice to believe, the instrumentality/condition of personal faith is thus met before the instrumentality of the Word in the “hands” of the Holy Spirit takes effect. And there is a personal decision, not a robotic response, by the HS to be faithful to the promise in the Word. His “hand” takes the Word and applies its life giving force like a key, opening the door of the heart and personally entering that life with everlasting life.

        Think of Rev 3:20 – Christ is on the outside calling out to us and presenting His Word – His promise to unlock the door we are imprisoned behind and come in to stay with us forever if we will trust Him.

        We trust what He says and beg Him to come in. So, true to His Word, He unlocks the door and comes in, and His presence confirms our trust in a way that causes us to never doubt again.

      3. You are correct, Brian, only 3 of the soils were receptive to the word, believed, and were saved. The shallow soil had no depth and soon “fell away,” while the thorny ground hearer had the “Word” choked out of them. Jesus is obviously talking about initial salvation we avail of here and now, as opposed to the eternal salvation we attain to through perseverance, (by remaining faithful) unto the end. Nobody wants to “fall away.”

        God’s word is the means/instrument by which “faith”— unto salvation is produced (Rom 1:16, 10:17). I know of no other way! And certainly, God’s promises and faithfulness to His word motivate us to believe in Him, and to growth in that faith.

      4. So Aidan, it seems you are talking about two salvations, one without root in the heart or fruit to maturity in the life – which you called “initial salvation”, and one with fruit, which you called “eternal salvation”. Or does the fruit bearing heart (producing good works) also only have “initiail salvation? I am guessing you think the good soil could still be lost. Or do you think the good soil reaches a point where it could never go back? I am seeing the teaching of this parable as really posing problems for your proposed and professed view of salvation.

        You profess to be self taught from the Scriptures… but I am guessing there are teachers, whose teachings and writings have influenced your thinking about these texts. I hope you will continue to allow other teachers to share evidence from grammar and context that is contrary to what you may have thought correct, and that you will be willing to reconsider to be taught by Scripture itself.

      5. I would have to respectfully object to what Mr Brian Wagner is saying here. Mr. Wagner has told me in the past in email that he does not believe than anyone who has been genuinely and really saved by the power of the Holy Spirit in intimate connection with the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ can lose their Salvation. Even though he believes in Autonomous Self-Governing Libertarian Neutral Free Will (that is independent and separate from God, Flowers words) meaning that an individual can accept or reject an option at any given moment. So when a person is truly saved and converted to Christ through his Autonomous LFW that is Separate and Independent from God he should be able to reject and apostatize from Christ. But Mr. Wagner told me that, “Once a person is truly saved by the believing in the message of the gospel, God takes away “his option of rejecting Christ.” God violates his Autonomous Self-Governing LFW. Which is absolutely in Contradict to its very definition to begin with. After all for love, worship and adoration to be genuinely real and free, that person has to have the option to reject that which he is doing freely. Is he now irresistibly being forced to be saved.

        And it was the Seed (the Word of God) “sowed upon the Good ground”was the one who heard and understood and brought forth much fruit.

        The others were just a temporary false faith effected by the preaching of the Gospel that will manifest itself in time.

  7. No Brian, there are not two salvations, only one. But we must remain faithful and bear fruit in Him, in order to enter into the eternal (phase) of His kingdom. Not everyone who says to Me , Lord, Lord, shall enter in but he who does the will of the Father. I think you might have less of a problem with this parable if you were to take it at face value, just as Jesus explains it.

    I am sorry that I gave you the impression that I am self taught, certainly not; but I do strive to get my teaching from the scriptures. I believe in the need for teachers (Eph 4:11), but also in the need to examine everything carefully, because there is always error being taught. In fact, I wish all of us were more like the Bereans, ” examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.”(Acts 17:11). Is it not the scriptures that — “are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus?”(2 Tim 3:15). I’m sure that’s what you believe too, and would encourage others to do the same.

    I hope you understand that Christ was speaking to Christians, not ‘Unbelievers’ in Rev 3:20 — and that these Christians were being called to repent in (vs.19)?

    1. Aidan, The two soils never produced fruits, so if good works accompany salvation… they had none. Those who said, “Lord, Lord” did some good works, but Christ said, “I never knew you” to them. So they certainly never had salvation.

      As for Rev 3:20, local congregations have unsaved members.

      The identity of those Jesus is speaking to in this verse, doesn’t sound like they are saved, imo – “you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.” 3:17

      His counsel in verse 18 sounds like for salvation, doesn’t it? Revelation 3:18 NKJV — “I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.”

      That makes me think verse 19 tells me Jesus loves all those unbelievers in that local church in Laodicea, and wants then saved – Revelation 3:19 NKJV — “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.”

      So 3:20 would make most people think, using normal rules of context and grammar that Jesus is desiring an inside salvation relationship of love with those He is currently loving and calling from the outside.

      Even Calvinists believe Jesus calls the so-called “reprobate”… they just don’t think Jesus actually means that call with a heart of love. Very sad!

      1. Brian, All of These 3 other soils “believed”. Jesus said, one “believed for a while” and then “fell away” in time of temptation or persecution. So, they certainly had salvation in Jesus’ book. And He said they, “bring no fruit to maturity”. Why? because they “get choked” and die. They become unprofitable for the time of harvest. And if anyone does not “remain” in Him, and bear fruit, he is “cast into the fire” (John 15:6). They certainly had salvation, but forfeited it.

        Those who said, “Lord, Lord” NEVER did good works, but Christ said, “I never knew you…YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’”
        Was the problem a lack of belief on their part? Certainly not; they seem shocked at the judgment. They called on Him throughout their lives, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and did many things in His “name.” Therefore, they thought they had a relationship with Him, and they were zealous in ‘their faith’.
        But Jesus pinpoints what the problem was in v.21, they did not do the will of the Father.

        They had faith, they had zeal, and they had works; but it was the wrong kind of works. Why? Because they did not do what “He said” (Mt 7:21-24; Lk. 6:46). This was the only reason Jesus gave, as to why they did not have salvation. But, take note to who Jesus is addressing here in the sermon on the mount. He is addressing His disciples, and, any ‘would be-disciple’. He is speaking to “everyone who hears Him” (Mt 5:1, 7:24). That includes you and me!

        As for Rev. 3:20, the context shows that Jesus is calling the whole church here to repent. Instead of injecting your own opinion into this passage, you need to keep it in context of the seven letters to the seven churches.

      2. Thank you Aidan for the interaction. Others will be able to judge which of us handled the parable of the sower and Jesus call to those in Laodicea the best, based on grammar and context, and which of us was trying to push our theology into the text. Blessings.

      3. It was said and I quote respectfully: “Those who said, “Lord, Lord” did some good works, but Christ said, “I never knew you” to them. So they certainly never had salvation.”

        Jesus also said to this Group “why do you call me “Lord” and “do not do what I say”

        So were they really doing good works that were pleasing and bringing glory to God?

        I do not think so.

        Especially when Jesus said, “Depart from me you workers of iniquity I NEVER KNEW YOU!”

        If they did anything that resembled good works I would say it was “sin from defect” It lacked the right motive. The Word of God tells us, “That whether eat or drink, or whatever we do, do all to the glory of God.” We are to be godly Fathers, Mothers. employees and so forth. Filled with fruit WHICH IS BY JESUS CHRIST to the praise and glory of God.

        1 Corinthians 10:31 – So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

        Philippians 1:11 – filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

        Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

        22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

        23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

        Blessings in Christ

    2. Hi Aidan,

      Thanks for your input, my reply might be out of sync, as I couldn’t see how to reply directly to the actual message from which this quote comes from:

      “Those who said, “Lord, Lord” NEVER did good works, but Christ said, “I never knew you…YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’”
      Was the problem a lack of belief on their part? Certainly not; they seem shocked at the judgment. They called on Him throughout their lives, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and did many things in His “name.” Therefore, they thought they had a relationship with Him, and they were zealous in ‘their faith’.”

      I am a believer from the scriptures that a Christian can indeed cast off their Faith. The same faith which puts us in Him and also keeps us with \ in Him. It is not that we loose our salvation (a such), but we stop putting our Faith in that Salvation and therefore to not recieving the end of our Faith ie The Salvation of Our Soul

      I have always been (sincerly) confused when I have been told that scriptures that seem to be talking to Christians were talking to unbelivers\unsaved. I still up till this day have been unable to see it whenever I read the verses, for instance the book of Hebrews, and many other verses.

      But: I just wanted to touch on the verse you mentioned above reference I never KNEW you. I actually think that the people He was talking to here where not disillusioned Christians, but FALSE workers for His Kingdom. Those that can do miracles etc but do not KNOW the Lord. If you look at the list, it was all about gifts. God can use anyone/people to some degree not in Him to do miracles in His name. Like one can be a church goer in ministry , doing gifts but not saved

      Jesus caught right to the chase when He said they were workers of inquity, Just like those in the scriptures that use the gospel for personal gain, They name the name of Christ and lead people into error.

      The word Knew is of the same word KNOW: Which I have come to learn about by Mr Leighton Flowers, and Brian Wagner ( both have been a blessing in bringing much understanding my way) is that this word in the greek is:

      g1097
      γινώσκω ginōskō and refers to relationship. Knowing a person.
      It is the same word used in
      Rom 8:29
      For whom he did foreKNOW, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

      In the Romans case talking about The OT believers, whom where in the Faith and were also predestined as the belivers of Rome were etc, and therefore they couldhave confidence that just as God was faithful to them, He also would be faithful to them the current KNOWN

      Gal 4:9
      But now, (THAT THEY HAD GOTTING SAVED)after that ye have known God,OR RATHER ARE KNOWN OF GOD, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?

      So there is a KNOW that comes after we are saved :
      1Co 8:3
      But if any man love God, the same is KNOWN ( g1097 γινώσκω ginōskō ) of him.

      So I have said all that to say that their “suprise” was a masquarade I think, similar to the man who tried to come to the wedding with His own clothes. Christ saw right through and got to the heart of it: we were NEVER in relationship, and You are LAWLESS , WORKERS OF INQUITY.

      To me they had never been saved. or had never put their Faith in Christ, they had carried on in unrepentant sinning or using the gospel for personal gain whilst using the name of Christ

      I think if they had cast off the faith at some point, Christ might have said words to the fact of them denying Him or not abiding in Him.

      What do you think?

      Regards In Christ
      Clare

      1. Hi Clare,

        Sorry, I have just spotted your post and it’s 01:15 am here in Ireland. I won’t be able to get back to you until Thursday. You have made some interesting points and I look forward to responding to you then.

        Thanks Clare.

      2. Hi Clare,

        I hope all is well. First of all, I just want to say thank you for your thoughts on this matter of losing one’s salvation. I believe that you are absolutely right to hold to what the scriptures teach on this issue, no matter who says otherwise. We can see the truth, if Jesus said we can know the truth in His word, then we can know the truth, (John 8: 31,32). This is not a matter of the intellect, but rather, a matter of the heart — that wants to know the truth.

        What you are seeing in the book of Hebrews is bang on the money. They had been made “partakers of Christ” and just needed to hold fast the beginning of their confidence to the end (3:14). The Hebrew writer is writing to them because of those who were in danger of apostasy in leaving Christ. The besetting sin/danger in chapter three was “unbelief” (3:12).

        Regarding Mt 7:21, I think you are right to question if these were ever saved, certainly if they never did the will of the Father they could never be saved. And that’s the critical question here all the way down from (v.21-29). Only those who do the will of the Father are going to heaven (v.21).

        This is not some sort of self-righteousness and perfection. That has already been eliminated at the start of the sermon. The people who are going to come to the kingdom of God, are people who need mercy, who hunger and thirst for righteousness, because they are empty, and they need it, and they want it. But perfection is not before us here! But the people who want to do God’s will are the people who are going to go to heaven; not the people who simply say, ‘Lord, Lord. In Luke’s account Jesus said to them, “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46).

        So there are a lot of people in the world who believe in Jesus, people who are always saying, “Lord, Lord, and oh! How I love Jesus.” But when it comes to facing up to what Jesus has taught — “Don’t bother me with that, that’s just doctrine, I love Jesus.” But you can’t know God, nor can you serve Him if you don’t do His will. Only those who abide in His word are His disciples: “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.” (John 8:31). And so, “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.” (Mt. 7:21). That’s the critical issue, and it must be the critical issue with us too, namely, that if we want to go to heaven, we must do the will of the Father.

        Would you be willing to read through Mt. 7:21-29, and tell me what you see in this passage; perhaps, it’s not all that different than mine?

        Thanks Clare.

      3. Hello Aidan I’m curious when you said this below in your earlier post to Clare;

        [That’s the critical issue, and it must be the critical issue with us too, namely, that if we want to go to heaven,]

        This brings up a question in my mind since I’ve read some of your posts… if for you losing your salvation is a daily thought/ concern, or if trying to prove this particular opinion is absolutely sound occupies your thoughts?? If so, that seems off to me! Sorry if that comes across wrong or too simple. I’m just curious, because for me, if these were major daily concerns I think I’d have fear every day.. Not to mention I wouldn’t be certain of the hope I have in Him, because I’d always be wondering if my performance was good enough that day, or if I stepped too far over the line by not listening… & I also don’t think I’d believe perfect love casts out fear since I’d be fearful… 
        Of course this doesn’t mean I don’t have a desire to do His will, because I do!! Just not out of fear of not going to heaven or losing my salvation for not obeying perfectly…

        I trust His love is perfect!!! I’m absolutley certain our hope comes from Him & that this world is fading away, as I’m sure we both agree… if we are working, because our desire is to go to heaven or fear of losing our salvation, then it’s not about a relationship with Jesus anymore.. It would then be about our efforts, so rather work based salvation in my opinion. Maybe I’m off in what your saying and forgive me for interjecting into your dialogue with Clare..

        But for me this sounds a little legalistic again maybe I’m wrong! I know we don’t agree on a couple things one is, correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought you mentioned you don’t believe we are born with a sin nature.. So after the fall in Genesis 3 we are  born sinless in your understanding🤔 which I disagree with!.. & if that’s not you sorry! However I’m sure we both agree that the pharisees of Jesus’ day recieved His harshest criticism, so I sure don’t want to be one, nor do I want to be a fool… 

        Luke 11:42 NASB — “But woe to you Pharisees! For you pay tithe of mint and rue and every kind of garden herb, and yet disregard justice and the love of God; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.

        Anyway this is just my opinion of the comment above about heaven. I absolutley think it matters who we allow to be our teachers..

        2 Peter 3:16 NASB — as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.

        I see in this verse studying under a biblically sound teacher is a very good idea!.. I once had a pastor say to me after a comment he made about a certain thing he called sin on the pulpit that I thought sounded like, something the mormons taught, or just an added rule! So after questioning him a bit, because it didn’t sit well with me.. he finally says to me, “I’d rather error in my doctrine than the way I live!” Hmm… what a very odd thing for him to say!! and very dangerous to me.. So is he counting on himself & how he lives to save him or is he looking to Jesus…. How can he be a sound teacher if he doesn’t mind if he errors in doctrine!! needless to say it was a guest speaker at a church I was trying out… I don’t attend there anymore… It seems there are many ways people add or subtract from the Word of God, but sitting under a teacher who desires the harmony of His Word apposed to the dissecting of it would be wise for all of us who are not called to teach! He alone is faithful and His love is perfect!!! agape love..

        Hebrews 13:5-9 NASB 
        Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,”
        6 so that we confidently say,
        “THE LORD IS MY HELPER, I WILL NOT BE AFRAID. WHAT WILL MAN DO TO ME?”
        7¶Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.
        8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
        9 Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, through which those who were so occupied were not benefited.

        Romans 5:5 NASB — and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

        Romans 15:12 NASB — Again Isaiah says, “THERE SHALL COME THE ROOT OF JESSE, AND HE WHO ARISES TO RULE OVER THE GENTILES, IN HIM SHALL THE GENTILES HOPE.”

        1 Corinthians 13:13 NASB — But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

      4. Hi Reggie,

        I hope all is well, and I thank you for your thoughts. You brought up some concerns about Jesus teaching in Mt 7: 21-29 and what I said, namely, [That’s the critical issue, and it must be the critical issue with us too, namely, that if we want to go to heaven,].

        Your response, Reggie, was:
        “Of course this doesn’t mean I don’t have a desire to do His will, because I do!! Just not out of fear of not going to heaven or losing my salvation for not obeying perfectly…”

        I’m sorry, Reggie, that you think I’m teaching we will lose our salvation if we don’t live perfectly. I thought that I had made it quite clear that I was not saying that, especially when I said:

        “This is not some sort of self-righteousness and perfection. That has already been eliminated at the start of the sermon. The people who are going to come to the kingdom of God, are people who need mercy, who hunger and thirst for righteousness, because they are empty, and they need it, and they want it. But perfection is not before us here!”

        I think we can still sin (Eccl. 7:20), but a righteous man is one who does not remain on the path of sinners, but continues to repent of his sins in order that he might continue to pursue God’s will. Can I ask you, what is your reading of Matthew 7:21-29? In that passage, who is the one Jesus says is going to heaven, and who is the one who is not?

        Also; If you can show me the verse that clearly teaches we are born with an inherited sinful nature, I will gladly change my view. I just can’t find any scripture that teaches this!

      5. Good morning Aidan thank you for your clarification on not living a perfect life. I did indeed read Matthew 7, but I  started in verse 1 and continued to verse 29. I imagine we all can see ourselves in this, especially needing the plank removed from our own eye. I think verses 21-29 that you asked about refer to our foundation and what it’s built on. So to me if our foundation is off we’d be on shifting sand. I’m no scholar but it seems straight forward to me what is our foundation built on?

        Ephesians 2:20 NASB — having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone,
        Hebrews 9:26 NASB — Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

        If you think we don’t acquire a sin nature after the fall, then couldn’t we have perfect people walking around if all variables lined up perfectly? To me that very thought is not on solid ground… Why did God give His promise of a messiah and how He would come into the world 700 plus years before His birth?
        Isaiah 53:5 NASB — But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.
        Isaiah 53:9 NASB — His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.

        This is a great article by Henry Morris from ICR on reconciliation;
        “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” (Romans 5:10)

        It is interesting to note that as important as is the doctrine of the atonement in Christian theology, the word itself occurs only once in the King James New Testament. It is in the very next verse after our text. “And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement” (v. 11).
        The Greek word is translated “reconciliation” in 2 Corinthians 5:18: “All things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.” Thus, the doctrine of atonement is the doctrine of reconciliation. Men are separated from our holy God both by their sin nature and also by their actual guilt of committed sin. But through the substitutionary death of Christ for our sins, “we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son.” That is, God has already reconciled sinners to Himself by the sacrificial death of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. The problem is that sinners are not actually reconciled to God until they personally accept this free gift of God’s love to them.

        But we who “have now received the atonement [that is, reconciliation] . . . joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:11). A part of that joy should be in the fact that God has now “given unto us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:19). Thus, it has become our great privilege to tell others that they can be completely forgiven and eternally saved. “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:20-21). HMM

        Who we sit under matters, but first we need to look to Him and His Word! He’s not a God of confusion thanks again for clarifying🌻

      6. Hello again Reggie,

        Several hour time difference, I think, between you and me here in Ireland. In my last post I asked you in Mt 7:21-29, “who is the one Jesus says is going to heaven, and who is the one who is not?” And you have answered by saying; “I think verses 21-29 that you asked about refer to our foundation and what it’s built on.” Making reference to having been “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone,”(Eph. 2:20).
        Indeed, Reggie, there is no question that this passage refers to our foundation and what it’s built on. But in that same passage Jesus explains how to build on the proper foundation. Therefore, according to Jesus’ explanation in (v.24), how does one build on the rock? And in (v.26) how does one build on the sand? And according to Jesus’ explanation in (v.21), how does one enter into the kingdom of heaven?

        The second question I asked you was, “If you can show me the verse that clearly teaches we are born with an inherited sinful nature, I will gladly change my view. I just can’t find any scripture that teaches this!” To which, Reggie, you expressed your opinion saying: “If you think we don’t acquire a sin nature after the fall, then couldn’t we have perfect people walking around if all variables lined up perfectly? To me that very thought is not on solid ground…”
        I have no doubt Reggie, that you are genuine in your opinions, but that is not a solid ground for determining truth. What might seem reasonable to us, or even logical, our ‘think so’s, are not the basis for truth; but rather, what the Lord thinks, and what the Lord says is true. We must therefore trust in the Lord with all of our heart and not lean on our own understanding, (cf. Prov. 3:5). Its not what I say that matters, but what His Word says. And if you can’t find any scripture that actually teaches inherited sin nature, then no matter how you — feel — the doctrine is not from heaven, but from men. And, you still haven’t produced a scripture for it.

      7. Aidan you are correct we are in different time zones I’m currently in NY I agree that this view is reductionist view of the truth this 4 minute 13 second video explains ot much better than I can in a post. Not to mention his credentials as apposed to mine!

        Watch “The Bible never mentions original sin; Jesus never mentioned the trinity. So why believe?” on YouTube
        https://youtu.be/fhjsSHKxSHM

      8. Reggie, I looked at your video and again no evidence is presented for inherited sin nature. The only verse presented is Rom 3:23 which says nothing about ‘how’ all have sinned, except to state as fact that all have sinned at some point. Notice that it doesn’t say that all are born sinners, nor does it mention inherited sin nature. Just as Adam and Eve sinned, we all have sinned and consequently fall short of the glory of God. And you still haven’t answered these critical questions in Matthew 7. If you believe that the bible teaches something, then you need to know where it teaches it, and how it teaches it. I hope you can come back with some scriptural answers, because these are critical questions concerning salvation.

      9. Aidan sorry, but I don’t agree with you I can’t prove the trinity I’ve never seen Jesus personally, but I trust and believe in both! And I can’t prove this to you, but I disagree and I trust our foundation matters. I have no desire to push this with you sorry you need to prove it’s true, but I do not agree!!

        2 Corinthians 3:3 NKJV — clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.

      10. Reggie, I’m sorry that you disagree, but you were the one who contacted me and pushed these things.Things should only be foundational if you can prove them from the scriptures. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Rom. 10:17). Therefore, we believe in Jesus and in the concept of the trinity, because we can prove it from the scriptures. But, when we cannot scripturally defend concepts like, “inherited sin nature,” or, “salvation without obedience of faith,” then we must completely reject them as false.

        Col. 3:17, says, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” To do something in the “name” of Jesus means to do it by His ‘authority.’ Therefore, this verse tells us that whatever we do in word or deed, we must have His authority for it. And so, we must have book, chapter, and verse, for all that we believe, teach, and practice in religion, otherwise we have no authority to do it in His name. I would encourage you to examine everything carefully, before you decide to accept or reject it. But if it is coming from the Lord, you need to hear and accept it as true.

        Kind regards, Aidan.

      11. Aidan you are corrected I did indeed engaged you, but I can still say sorry I disagree with your belief that we do not inherit a sinful condition after Genesis 3 aka the fall. To me the issue of a sin nature after the fall is implied throughout the entire Bible through the lives of those we see in Scripture. This is the very reason Jesus came

        John 1:29 NASB — The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

        I hope you see that is the reason we ALL need a Savior

        Hebrews 9:26 NASB — Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

        Once when I knew the Lord was speaking to me about cleaning a sink counter in a church, because it was a complete mess. And the verse you say here was on my heart from Him.
        Col. 3:17, says, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”

        I had someone say to me, “What are you trying do here get a job as a janitor?” I didn’t responde..

        Galatians 1:10 NASB — For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.

        Enjoy Ireland it is a beautiful part of God’s creation!

      12. Reggie, you said, “sorry I disagree with your belief that we do not inherit a sinful condition after Genesis 3 aka the fall. To me the issue of a sin nature after the fall is implied throughout the entire Bible through the lives of those we see in Scripture.”

        I would like to know, Reggie, what you believe Ezekiel 18 is teaching in regard to “inheriting” the guilt of our father’s sin?

      13. There is a lot in Ezekiel, but I’m not talking about generational sin or the culpability of each individual for their own choices. But once I was blind, but now I see & therefore;
        Romans 8:1 NASB — Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

        I’m talking about a condition after the fall that effects each human being and each individual gets a choice! I do believe there are consequences for choices, but I know I needed a Savior!

        Romans 5:12 NASB — Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned—

        1 Corinthians 15:45 NASB — So also it is written, “The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

        Good day to you and since I’m not a scholar I will leave it to those who are, but I see the implication of this nature even within animals.

      14. You don’t need to be a scholar to know the truth. Sometimes too many differing scholars blind us to the truth.

        There is a very simple statement in Ezekiel 18:20, namely: “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.”
        This means that Cain would not die for Adam’s sin, but for his own sins. And also, that only Adam would die for Adam’s sins. But if Cain would not die for Adam’s sin, whose sin would Cain’s sons die for? Well, according to this verse, they would only die for their own sins. Notice again that it clearly says, “The soul who sins shall die,… the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.” Therefore, God will not hold you responsible for anyone else’s sins but your own. This means that the guilt for your sins cannot be passed on. You alone will be held accountable for your own sins, your own wickedness, or your own righteousness.

        Hence, the guilt for Adam’s sin could not be passed on down the line to us! We can only be held accountable for our own sins. To say otherwise, is to violate this scripture. And if Adam and Eve did not need a “sin nature” to commit sin, neither did we.

  8. First off I do believe Aidan is the more consistent arminian,it only reasons if a man can free will himself into Christ than surely he can choose to leave Christ and finally perish,which I believe the parable of the sower teaches neither.

    Brianwagner wrote :Aidan, we agree all four soils have the ability to believe and be saved.

    Where in the text does it teach that all four souls have the ability to be saved?
    1)First I think we might agree that the condition of the four soils represent the human heart of humanity?
    2)We need to understand that though we four soils of different conditions they were of one field of course?
    3)We need to study Israel historically and that there was a preparing of the soil before sowing the crop which is still common today everywhere called plowing, which the other thorny ground and wayside certainly lacked and wasn’t before prepared,then there are rocks which are natural to common soil and must be removed by the farmer to produce.

    If free will salvation is true then the ground has the ability to prepare itself which we know is IMPOSSIBLE as it takes a cultivator which in scripture is the Holy Spirit.
    Heb 6:4 -8 For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit,
    5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come,
    6 and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.
    7 For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God.
    8 But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned.

    Grace

    1. Brian, I think it is enough that the Lord will judge between us. What really matters is that we know the truth and hold it fast. All the so called grammar in the world cannot trump context, which I have shown you ignored in these passages (Rev. 1-3; Mt 7:21-29; and Lk 8:11-15).

      Anyone who cares to read through those first three chapters in Revelations, will see it stated, that this is being sent to the seven churches in Asia. Of the seven churches in chapters 2 & 3, only two (Smyrna and Philadelphia) escape condemnation.The other five congregations are rebuked for their shortcomings.

      And believe it or not, Laodicea is the only church that receives no praise, nor does He single anyone out, as He does in some of the other churches. Jesus tells them to repent because their spiritual condition was severe. I can only pray that people will read for themselves and allow the Word to convict them.

    2. Shawn
      if a man can free will himself into Christ ….etc

      br.d
      Here is a classic straw-man argument.
      What main-stream Christian theology teaches that one can “will himself” into Christ?

      Shawn
      If “free will” salvation is true then the ground has the ability to prepare itself which we know is IMPOSSIBLE

      br.d
      Firstly:
      If “Libertarian Freedom” does not exist – then Libertarian thinking does not exist.
      The LOGICAL consequence being – you don’t have the ability to discern between multiple options and make a Libertarian choice.
      But instead every neurological impulse occurs in your brain outside of your control.
      And thus you have no ability to discern TRUTH from FALSE.

      Secondly:
      Scripture says “break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD” – Hosea 10:12

      We do know that according Calvinism that is NOT POSSIBLE
      The LOGICAL consequence being – Calvin’s god does not PERMIT the very things he commands.
      We must leave it to the reader to decide whether that conception is Biblical

      1. Thank you Br.d I agree… I also have a great reading for today from ICR, because I believe truth plus love matters!!!! & If you remove one there’s distortion;

        July 22, 2019
        Shutting the Kingdom
        “But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.” (Matthew 23:13)

        Our Lord Jesus pronounced eight “woes” in Matthew 23 on the religious leaders of His day. This one condemns them for refusing the liberty that Christ was bringing with the new covenant.

        The first “formal” message that Jesus preached was taken from the great prophecy in Isaiah 61: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised” (Luke 4:18).

        Later, the apostle Paul noted that “before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed” (Galatians 3:23). These self-righteous leaders were so enamored with their positions and prestige that they refused to rejoice in the “liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free” (Galatians 5:1) and kept the prison doors of legalistic self-righteousness shut fast—even against those who were responding to the good news of the Kingdom!

        It is interesting to note that Jesus condemned both groups (Pharisees and Sadducees) for the same problem. Yet they were much different in their positions. The Pharisees would be analogous to the legalists of our day and the Sadducees to the liberals. Both camps claimed belief in “inspiration” and both camps prided themselves on their knowledge of Scripture.

        Their common error was distorting the truth of God with interpretations that clouded the message—thereby shutting up the doors out of unbelief that led into the “glorious liberty of the children of God” (Romans 8:21). May God keep us from such confusion. HMM III

    3. Hi Aidan I’m off in my sequence sorry I agree I will not die for someone else’s sin. As you say here;
      (Therefore, God will not hold you responsible for anyone else’s sins but your own. This means that the guilt for your sins cannot be passed on. You alone will be held accountable for your own sins, your own wickedness, or your own righteousness.)

      I guess I’m not articulating myself correctly I’m new to this, but I know we are separated spiritually from God. When Adam sinned he died spiritually and hence his relationship to God severed. So without a new birth (created a new) no one can enter life John 3:3 So therefore we are sinful and cannot please God by our own good works alone. We can NEVER be good enough.
      Romans 3:10-11 you need to read that!!! So how can we be born not separated which is what sin does therefore we are not born pleasing God our righteousness comes from Christ alone! So until the new birth comes we are separated!
      Philippians 3:9 NASB — and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,

      1. Reggie, you are contradicting yourself! First you say, “I agree I will not die for someone else’s sin.” And then later you say, “So how can we be born not separated which is what sin does therefore we are not born pleasing God.” And again, you say, “So until the new birth comes we are separated!”

        Reggie, you don’t agree that we will not die for someone else’s sin, because you believe that babies will die for someone else’s sin, namely, Adam’s. You believe that babies are born separated from God, which means dead in sin. Therefore, it stands to reason that babies who die, die separated from God. And so babies will go to hell. If not, why not?

        But notice again that Ezek. 18:20 clearly states, “The soul who sins shall die,..” What sin has a baby committed? Does Ezekiel 18:20 not contradict what you are teaching, namely, that baby Cain shall not bear the guilt of his father (Adam)? But, Reggie says, ‘No, but baby Cain did bear the guilt of his father (Adam)’! But according to (v.18) only the father would die for his iniquity. And in (v.20) everybody will be held accountable only for their own wickedness.

        And what you teach is the direct opposite to what Jesus taught, who said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”(Matt 19:14). That certainly doesn’t sound like they are born separated from God, but rather, in fellowship with Him. What you are teaching, Reggie, is false! Yes, we all eventually go astray, we all turn away from God because we sin (Isaiah 53:6). But how could we turn away, and go astray, unless we had already being in fellowship with Him? That is the only thing that makes logical sense.

        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 (Isaiah 53:6).

      2. Aidan I’m not contradicting myself I’ve given you my belief on the age of accountability before & I attached a link to read an article from Leighton’s site before so this statemen below is false!!! I will attach again & I will be done and don’t worry about me not trusting God’s Word, because I trust Him way above any man!

        Reggie, you don’t agree that we will not die for someone else’s sin, because you believe that babies will die for someone else’s sin, namely, Adam’s. You believe that babies are born separated from God, which means dead in sin. Therefore, it stands to reason that babies who die, die separated from God. And so babies will go to hell. If not, why not?

        The Age of Accountability – SOTERIOLOGY 101
        https://soteriology101.com/2018/06/21/the-age-of-accountability/

        Defending the Age of Accountability – SOTERIOLOGY 101
        https://soteriology101.com/2017/05/09/defending-the-age-of-accountability/

      3. Reggie, no offense intended, but I think AG is trying to gently point out how sometimes our beliefs are contradictory and we do not even realize it. I also find the belief in an inherited sin nature, a la Calvinism, antithetical to either an age of accountability or any accountability at all. If my sin is due to a nature I was born with, then it can be no fault of mine. If I am born with sin as an inherent part of me, it is like being born with a birth defect – who can blame me for what I never desired or chose? I consider the belief in an inherited sin nature one of the holdovers from early Calvinistic Protestantism. Calvinism is the Father of Protestantism, after all.

        I have not engaged with the ‘sin nature’ teaching enough to have studied the proof texts and have a ready rebuttal, but I find the concept of inherited sin cruel and unbiblical as per Ezekiel 18. I find no reference to sin being due to a curse of God, as Calvinism wrongly asserts, but always the choice of the individual. God is the source of our redemption from sin – he is not the cause of sin itself.

      4. Thank you for your response TSOO and I don’t want to come across knowing it all, because clearly I don’t and I absolutley agree with what you say here;
        (God is the source of our redemption from sin – he is not the cause of sin itself.) And I want to keep learning from the Scriptures and sound teachers.
        It absolutley stands to reason & I do believe Scripture clearly reveals humans are able to respond to His clear revelation, but seeing a disconnect in humans relationship after the (fall) doesn’t in my estimation put the blame on God I just see it as not living in a perfect world therefore a fallen world in all aspects.
        Ephesians 2:2 NASB — in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.

        I don’t believe God authors the evil either

        1 John 5:19 NASB — We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

        And children’s brains don’t even become fully myelinated until much later in life.

        [Myelination is the process of coating the axon of each neuron with a fatty coating called myelin, which protects the neuron and helps it conduct signals more efficiently. Myelination begins in the brain stem and cerebellum before birth, but is not completed in the frontal cortex until late in aadolescence.]

        Our frontal cortex is like our (control panel) and I believe it has been found it doesn’t develop in a child until much later than they originally assumed.

      5. Where there is no law or knowledge, there is no sin. No one will be held accountable for breaking a command they never heard or understood. Sin is not being less than mature or perfect – it is deliberately, knowingly rebelling against God. Thus, but it’s very definition, a child or an ignorant adult cannot be held accountable for not breaking a law that they did not know or understand. In other words, your very explanation of why a child cannot be held accountable for sin contradicts your claim that we are born sinners.

        I know this is what Calvinism, and much of Protestantism teaches the curse of Adam means, but I no longer accept this to be logical or true. Adam introduced sin into the world of humanity. From thenceforth, no man will be born into a sinless world. This is the curse. And as time has progressed, and generation after generation has contained countless men and women who choose to sin, it becomes increasingly difficult for men to know what righteousness would look like if they saw it. Sinning becomes ‘second nature’ to us, as it is what we see all around us, from the moment of our birth.

        I absolutely reject the assertion that God cursed man with a sin nature, making a physiological or psychological change to his once perfect creation that from thenceforth made him incapable of not sinning. How utterly inconceivable that God would do such a thing! And then hold man accountable for it! I do not mean to be unkind. I was brought up on this so-called logic, and it was only when I broke away from ‘orthodoxy’ and started thinking for myself and examining scripture and logic that I could begin to see the errors of what I had long believed.

        This also has led me to become much less ‘certain’ about what I think I know. How many other ‘truths’ do I hold dear, having merely been spoonfed them all of my life, without truly examining scripture myself to see if they hold up? I suspect I will uncover many more.

      6. TSOO thank you for your passionate response I will continue to seek out His truth as well! I appreciate your sharing your experiences with me and others. I did not grow up in church I was baptized as a mormon when I was a child & attended primary school I’m assuming they still use that wording. Anyway I’m telling you this just to say… yes I want to be a life long learner of truth His truth, because He alone is perfect. So I trust we will both learn things on our faith journey and continue to trust that He is recognizably good! Blessing to you sir🌻

      7. Reggie, thank you for taking my comments in the spirit they were intended. When I see something contradictory, whether in my own beliefs or others’, I think it is important to confront it head on, find out where the thinking came from, examine scripture, seek out the opinions of those who think otherwise, and so on. I certainly don’t fear being proven wrong – I am used to that by now! 🙂 What I fear is holding unexamined beliefs that are faulty and potentially destructive to my maturity and faith.

      8. Sorry if this comes in twice but I think I hit cancel…
        I’m not contradicting myself and what you say her below is incorrect;
        (Reggie, you don’t agree that we will not die for someone else’s sin, because you believe that babies will die for someone else’s sin, namely, Adam’s. You believe that babies are born separated from God, which means dead in sin. Therefore, it stands to reason that babies who die, die separated from God. And so babies will go to hell. If not, why not?)

        I’ve stated before I believe there is an age of accountability and I’ve given the link to you before, but maybe you weren’t able to read it yet so here it is again. I will be done now and don’t worry Aidan I do trust God’s Word way!!!!!! Above a man’s word….

        Defending the Age of Accountability – SOTERIOLOGY 101
        https://soteriology101.com/2017/05/09/defending-the-age-of-accountability/

      9. Okay Reggie, but saying that you believe that we are born separated from God, and that you also believe in the age of accountability, are not the same thing. They are both opposite and contrary to one another.

        But thank you for your time, Reggie, and I wish you all the best.

        Regards, Aidan.

      10. Interesting conversation here about the age of accountability and sin nature and all that. I myself am trying to work through the specifics of what I believe about all this: what the Bible says vs. what I grew up hearing or have simply assumed all these years. And so far – for me, myself, and I – it helps me to think of it this way (Humor me here and just let me share it, but I am still working on it so I cannot defend it to those who want to challenge the specifics of it. It’s just food-for-thought.):

        I think we are all born with the ability to choose between disobedience and obedience, between believing and not believing, between sinning or obeying, including Adam and Eve. I don’t think our “nature” changed after Adam and Eve sinned. It’s the same as it’s always been – we can make willful choices and we are accountable for our choices. Adam and Eve weren’t “perfect” (as in “all good and totally incapable of sinning”) but they were innocent because they hadn’t yet sinned, because they didn’t yet have the “knowledge of good and evil.” And their sin didn’t destroy all the good in us or our ability to choose good over evil, so we are not born “totally depraved, unable to think about or seek God,” like Calvinists believe. We have the same nature Adam and Eve did – the ability to choose right or wrong.

        I think that what happened when they sinned is that mankind was separated from the presence of God that they had in the Garden. And this “separation” is part of the human condition now. (It’s like if an ancestor of yours moved from Ireland to the United States. The generations that follow would be born in the United States, citizens of the USA. It’s just a matter-of-fact.) Because they were expelled from the Garden and they lost that close fellowship with God, we are all born that way – separated from God but with the ability to seek Him again and to make a conscious decision to get back into fellowship with Him.

        And because they sinned, they introduced the “knowledge of good and evil,” something they didn’t previously have. So we are all born now with this knowledge of good and evil. And this knowledge is what convicts us, what makes us guilty of sin. We are no longer “innocent,” like Adam and Eve were. We now know that there is evil and we know we need to choose right over wrong, and so we are accountable for when we don’t. (And like TS00 pointed out, the world is steeped in sin and passes this on to the next generations. There are no “pure, innocent” people groups left, not like the way it was for Adam and Eve in the Garden. It’s just a matter-of-fact, not a condemnation or criticism.)

        And all this has led to separation from God, to the propensity to sin, to the need to repent, and to our need for a Savior who will save us from the effects of sin, from the separation of mankind from God. And God has been working to get as many people as He can back into fellowship with Him.

        I agree with TS00 that there is no sin where there is no law or knowledge. And as I said, Adam and Eve’s sin introduced the knowledge of evil, and this knowledge of evil in now inherent in mankind, and we are held accountable for it … when we become old enough to understand it. And so, therefore, before we become aware of our sin and of our need for a Savior, we are considered “innocent.” It doesn’t mean we are perfect or don’t have that human propensity to sin, it just means we are not held accountable for the fact that we haven’t repented of our sins and haven’t accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior … because we are not even aware of our sins yet or of our need for a Savior. But once we reach the age/condition where we are now capable of making decisions, of seeing our sin, of realizing we are separated from God, and of our need for a Savior … well, then we are accountable for it we don’t do it. When we’re old enough to realize that there is a gap between us and God that only Jesus can close, then we are accountable for not taking the steps to close that gap (for not repenting, for not accepting Jesus).

        For what it’s worth, this is just how I see the balance between human nature, the age of accountability, the Fall of Adam and Eve, and our responsibility to repent and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. I don’t know if this is clear and understandable, though. I may have just muddled the issue more. But it makes sense in my head. Blessings!

      11. Hi Heather, thank you for your response sorry it took me so long to respond and I know we got off track in this thread earlier, but that happens. TSOO is correct it seems clear what you are saying & I’ll try to answer from my view.  I want to preface this post first with this, this is only part of my journey so far & I pray I’ll be growing until I die or He comes back.

        I do come from a different background in regard to hearing about the Bible and when I first came to Christ none of this really mattered to me I just knew when I cried out to God I could see my pigsty, that I needed rescued from. My current husband was different his was more like a childlike faith. I had all kinds of superstitions/beliefs & actually before Christ, my go to line about the universe or even God was, “I’d be crazy to say with absolute certainty there weren’t aliens living out there”. So the point is, I believed nothing was set & there was no absolute truth!.. And after coming to the Lord I realized this wasn’t the case there was purpose in our lives not just an aimless self centered existence.. One of my first encounters with a worldly view opposed to the Bible was with my kids school. They attended  a “gifted school” (this is ironic to me now) shortly after becoming a believer this so called tolerant school decided to do a mock trial about, the Bible vs evolution. At the time they were reading & doing a play on the book “inherit the wind” the scopes trial. Needless to say I started researching and seeking God’s help in it. This was a very painful time in my life, and unfortunately I had actually been the one to pick this school for both my kids, hence the irony. But then (testimony here) I was alive & born again, so this gifted school seemed soooo irrelevant to me, but non the less here I was & my exhusband fought to keep them in this school. Me a former pto president room mom etc. So I wasn’t shy… I spoke up over these issues & tried to bring in experts from our side, but they wanted nothing to do with the God I had come to know. I guess I’m telling you this, because to me I realized if I couldn’t trust the first book of the Bible then I would have a problem.. This school even tried to convince my son that string theory at the time could prove the phenomenon of a psychic!! I mean really what part of theory do they not understand it is not set. Scientific ideas change over time as our evidence improves. But I knew God’s Word did not change.. Thankfully that became my constant!  I admit I don’t have all the historical knowledge nor have I studied each of the 66 books in depth etc.. But to me the Bible is clear death is an enemy 1 Corinthians 15:26 and I don’t believe this is present before Genesis 3 I’ve attached an article regarding the tree of life below to show God’s Word doesn’t contradictt this word olam that is mentioned in Genesis 3 verse 22. 

        The Tree Of Life | The Institute for Creation Research
        https://www.icr.org/article/845

        I do see after Genesis 3:14-24 (all) of the good of His creation was changed. It was because of one man’s rebellion Adam. Side note I always joke with my husband, because of 1 Timothy 2:14 Eve was deceived, but Adam just went along with it,  why didn’t he speak up… 

        Romans 5:12 NASB — Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned—

        So in Adam all die

        1Corinthians 15:21-21 NASB 
        For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead.
        For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.

        I see this decay in all of His creation & it was given after Adam’s rebellion 
        Romans 8:22 NASB — For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.

        And a physical death is required to accomplish the atonement for sin. The Bible teaches Jesus Christ had to die a physical death to pay for our sins. Hebrews 2:14 NKJV — In as much then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,

        It’s good to read through Hebrew 2:14-18 so the physical death was necessary.

        If death is good, then the physical death of Jesus Christ becomes unimportant and void of the meaning behind what He did for the world. So this is where I land on this position. I’m not a debater nor a good teacher this is just what I see and yes in some respects have been taught, but I do see it as valid. And I know this position doesn’t make me adhere to the T in Tulip.

        Blessing to you Heather🌻

      12. Ugh, I read through my comment so many times and still missed the typos. It should be “the knowledge of evil is [not ‘in”] now inherent in mankind” … and “then we are accountable for if [not ‘it”] we don’t do it”.

        But I’m sure you all figured that out.

  9. br.d
    Here is a classic straw-man argument.
    What main-stream Christian theology teaches that one can “will himself” into Christ?

    Brd your libertarian free will doctrine does teach this it just uses different words to arrive at the point to avoid harsh contraindications with certain text ,so can any man choose Christ? arminianism says yes.
    So then to be consistent he can choose to leave Christ.

    Brd quoted a verse here’s the rest

    12 Sow for yourselves righteousness;
    reap steadfast love;
    break up your fallow ground,
    for it is the time to seek the LORD,
    that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.

    This is a call for Israel national repentance, but we are all are commanded to repent keep the law though we can’t and yes break up the follow ground and weed out all of the sin in our lives but can hell bound God hating dead sinner do this?here are our differences and God does command of us what we don’t have the ability to do.

    You assume because God commands we have the ability or desire to chose to glorify God in that choice but this is not truth.
    Phill2:12 ¶ Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,
    13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

    2)Did the dead have the ability,desire or even a will to live again?
    To the dead Mark 5:41 Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.”

    3)Widows son Lu 7:14 Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.”
    15 And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother.

    Lazarus John 11:43 When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.”
    44 The man who had died came out,

    Grace

    1. br.d
      Here is a classic straw-man argument.
      What main-stream Christian theology teaches that one can “will himself” into Christ?

      Shawn
      Brd your libertarian free will doctrine does teach this it just uses different words to arrive at the point to avoid harsh
      contraindications with certain text ,so can any man choose Christ? arminianism says yes.
      So then to be consistent he can choose to leave Christ.

      br.d
      Firstly:
      Libertarian Free will is nothing more than the ability to choose between multiple options. While Theological Determinism is the thesis that that choice is already make for you by someone else – and as such you are not the one who makes that choice.
      So lets enunciate the contradictions.

      1) The Calvinist doesn’t actually make a choice for Christ – Calvin’s god makes that choice for him (along with every other sinful evil thought/desire/choice,

      2) The Calvinist doesn’t know what choice was made – because the elect status of all souls are a SECRET. He ASSUMES he is chosen for election while crossing his fingers he doesn’t end up in the lake of fire.

      3) Per Calvin – Calvin’s god deceives a LARGE MIXTURE of Calvinists into believing they are elect – giving them nothing more than – quote “The name and outward appearance” in order to magnify their torment in the lake of fire..

      4) Calvin’s god designs all of the creature’s attributes and then condemns the creature for having the attributes he designed.

      Shawn
      Brd quoted a verse here’s the rest
      This is a call for Israel national repentance, but we are all are commanded to repent keep the law though we can’t and yes break up the follow ground and weed out all of the sin in our lives but can hell bound God hating dead sinner do this?here are our differences and God does command of us what we don’t have the ability to do.

      br.d
      Right – this verse then manifests contradiction (4) above

      Shawn
      You assume because God commands we have the ability or desire to chose to glorify God in that choice but this is not truth.
      Phill2:12 ¶ Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,
      13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

      br.d
      The scripture provided here DISPROVES the claim. -quote “Therefore as *YOU* have always obeyed. ….. it is God who works in you. In order for this text to affirm Theological Determinism it would have to say “There is no such thing is disobeying the will of Calvin’s god” so fear and tremble because you’ve probably been designed for the lake of fire anyway – as that is the design of the MANY.

      Shawn
      2)Did the dead have the ability,desire or even a will to live again?
      To the dead Mark 5:41 Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.”

      br.d
      Sorry this doesn’t work – Jesus performed miracles for both the dead and the living

      Shawn
      3)Widows son Lu 7:14 Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.”
      15 And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother.

      Lazarus John 11:43 When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.”
      44 The man who had died came out,

      br.d
      Sorry this doesn’t work – Jesus performed miracles for both the dead and the living.

      Shawn
      Grace

      br.d
      Thank you – I do have grace that I can be assured of.
      And feel sorry for the Calvinist who crosses his fingers wondering whether what is designed for him is good or evil

      1. Brd, you obviously know a lot more about Calvinism than I do.

        Shawn
        You assume because God commands we have the ability or desire to chose to glorify God in that choice but this is not truth.
        Phill2:12 ¶ Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,
        13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

        Aidan

        It’s not a question of whether or not God works in men, but rather, a question of HOW!

    2. Shawn:
      Widows son Lu 7:14 Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.”
      15 And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother.

      Lazarus John 11:43 When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.”
      44 The man who had died came out,

      GA
      This is one of the classic Calvinist moves… take a miracle of Jesus raising a physically dead person and then extrapolate it to say this is exactly how spiritual Salvation, Justification and becoming a child of God happens. It is taking things out of context and applying them to a very different context. This is the only way Calvinism can survive is through these tactics.

      The Teaching of scripture is very clear… scripture gives us an order… this is not willing yourself into Christ it is simply doing what Scripture says “believe”. Let’s test the TULIP teaching against scripture…
      Act 16:30  Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 
      Act 16:31  And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 
      The order is undeniable… the lost one believes and then he is saved.

      Joh 1:12  But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 
      A specific Order – Believe then you become a child of God (born into the family of God-regeneration)
      The order is undeniable
      Rom 5:1,2  Therefore being justified by faith… we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand,

      Scripture has an order and it is laid out clearly if we are willing to see it…respond to God’s Free offer and He decisively saves,regenerates, makes you His child, gives you eternal life.
      Rom 10:9  …believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. 
      Rom 10:10  For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 
      Rom 10:11  For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 
      Rom 10:13  For everyone, “whoever shall call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 

      Joh 3:15  so that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 

      1Co 1:21  …it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save those who believe. 

      NOTICE scripture does not say: If you have been saved then believe, or if you have been given eternal life then believe the gospel.. or if you have become a child of God through regeneration then believe…scripture’s order is very clear Believe 1st…then God himself alone decisively SAVES, decisively JUSTIFIES, decisively GIVES ETERNAL LIFE, decisively PLACES US IN CHRIST this is GOD’S WORD that instructs us to simply believe the gospel and then HE DECISIVELY does ALL the saving, justifying and placing in Christ. To change God’s order is to place ourselves above what His WORD has already clearly laid out…in my books that is an affront to GOD himself…I am not willing to go there. Some folks are more committed to a man-made system, or they they are willing to twist scripture and make it fit with TULIP…rather than recognize that TULIP is simply a man-made system and it is full of errors they would rather defend the system against the clear teaching of the Word.
      The verses above lay out an order BUT I realize this is not the order that the Calv-god makes. The Calv-god reorders what scripture has plainly laid out…the Calv-god teaches that which is contrary to the plain reading of scripture. The Calv-god turns things upside down in relation to the revealed WORD and then says that it is glorifying God. To reorder God’s order is not humility in the least it comes from the one who is constantly changing God’s revealed order even in nature.

      Notice the order below: “the ungodly believes” ( this is not considered a work) God decisively justifies (credits righteousness) to the ungodly one who just believed.
      Rom 4:5  And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, 
      The order is undeniable…unless you hold to TULIP more firmly than you do the WORD of God. Then no amount of scripture will convince you will it? The Word is forcibly made to agree with TULIP

    3. GA: Yes God commands all people everywhere to repent and believe… God is not just play acting and pretending to call people to respond while under the table He is really making it so that they cannot respond.

      Act 17:30  …now He commands all people everywhere to repent, 

      The Jailer
      Act 16:30 Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
      Act 16:31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
      Yes, we are ALL told to believe the Gospel.

      Shawn: “your libertarian free will doctrine does teach this it just uses different words to arrive at the point to avoid harsh contraindications with certain text ,so can any man choose Christ? arminianism says yes.
      So then to be consistent he can choose to leave Christ.”

      GA: You might have a point if you simply ignore scripture again but scripture is clear:

      2Co 1:22  …who has also put HIS SEAL on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a GUARANTEE. 

      Eph 1:13-14  In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were SEALED with the promised Holy Spirit,  who is the GUARANTEE of our inheritance UNTIL we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

      Eph 4:30  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you WERE SEALED for the day of redemption.  

      Joh 10:28  I give them ETERNAL life, and they will NEVER perish,

      Man is commanded to believe God’s message of Salvation and then GOD ALONE Decisively Saves, Decisively Seals, Decisively Justifies, Decisively Gives Eternal life, God Decisively makes him HIS child and God ALONE Decisively GUARANTEES He will bring His Child home Unconditionally. God is the faithful one NOT man. Calvinism makes man the faithful one who works long enough and hard enough to make it.

      Calvinism is like a car sales man who is selling a brand new car and says ” This car is 100% free…it is totally free to you. This car is 0$ down, 0% interest, it is Totally free for the first two months——— THEN you pay only $ 3,000 dollars a month for the rest of your life !!!! Wow! this is a FREE GIFT…. Don’t let anyone tell you this is NOT FREE”

      In Calvinism what the Large Print giveth the small print taketh away!!! TULIP distorts the word of God and is full of Double-Speak and Double-Think.

  10. Shawn,
    “First off I do believe Aidan is the more consistent arminian..”

    Aidan
    Have you not read my posts? I’m from Ireland not Arminia . But on a serious note, I do think you’ve brought up some interesting points in terms of free will and repentance.

    Shawn
    “it only reasons if a man can free will himself into Christ than surely he can choose to leave Christ and finally perish”

    Aidan
    If you mean that he can, of his own free will, choose to accept Christ, and then choose to leave Christ and finally perish; then your reasoning is unassailable: Because that’s what ‘free will choice’ entails. If it means we can “choose to accept Christ” then we can also freely “choose to leave Christ.”

    Free will scripture:
    “Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’” (NKJV Lk 3:8)

    They were given a choice, either to bear good fruit worthy of repentance, or, to continue to bear bad fruit in their stubborn rebellion and sin. That clearly puts the choice and responsibility on their shoulders.

    Shawn
    If “free will” salvation is true then the ground has the ability to prepare itself which we know is IMPOSSIBLE. And then you quoted Heb 6:4 -8.

    Aidan.
    Heb 6:4-8, would actually shoot “irresistible grace” in the foot, at the very least. For if they were “partakers of the Holy Spirit” (v.4),..
    and then have fallen away, to a state where it has become “impossible to renew them again to repentance” (v.6). Then, no one, neither God Himself, the Holy Spirit, nor His Word and the ministers of that Word, are able to produce a renewal of the repentance that is gone: For, they were freely able to resist the Holy Spirit and fall away.

  11. Brd this is what I’m taking about.

    Aidan
    If you mean that he can, of his own free will, choose to accept Christ, and then choose to leave Christ and finally perish; then your reasoning is unassailable: Because that’s what ‘free will choice’ entails. If it means we can “choose to accept Christ” then we can also freely “choose to leave Christ.”

    If libertarian freedom can choose Christ than for it to follow through it must mean that it can choose to leave Christ or else libertarian freedom comes to a end,there a those on here that hold the first position of choosing to come to Christ but then deny the freedom to leave Him,and Brd this is a reformed doctrine of God sovereignty in salvation that they are holding too.

    Grace

    1. Shawn why do men perish under irresistible grace? Answer they had no choice! But that is false the real reason men created in the image of God perish is;
      2 Thessalonians 2:10 NASB — and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.
      That is free grace not forced grace and that to me is the clear distinction.

    2. Shawn
      Brd this is what I’m taking about.

      br.d
      Shawn – if you *REALLY* believe that Libertarian free will doesn’t exist – AND you are LOGICAL – then you will go about your office *AS-IF* Libertarian free will does not exist. Which would mean you make absolutely no decisions in life – it being the case that all decisions are already made for you at the foundation of the world – there is no such thing as you actually making a decision.

      Additionally if you are LOGICAL – then what you are *REALLY* disagreeing with is not br.d

      What you are *REALLY* disagreeing with is the fact that Calvin’s god designed br.d to believe that Libertarian free will exists – and to go about his office *AS-IF* that belief is TRUE.

      While Calvin’s god designed you to believe Libertarian Free will does not exist – and go about your office *AS-IF* that belief is FALSE.

      Also if you are doctrinally CONSISTENT – then you believe there is no such thing as disobeying Calvin’s god’s will.
      And as such you will take up your argument with Calvin’s god instead of br.d

      I feel sorry for anyone who lives in a DOUBLE-THINK world.
      The fact that the Calvinist mind yearns for “Grace” reveals it SECRETLY WANTS the very belief-system it denounces

      A DOUBLE-MINDED man is unstable.

      1. Brd this is what I’m taking about.

        Aidan
        If you mean that he can, of his own free will, choose to accept Christ, and then choose to leave Christ and finally perish; then your reasoning is unassailable: Because that’s what ‘free will choice’ entails. If it means we can “choose to accept Christ” then we can also freely “choose to leave Christ.”

        If libertarian freedom can choose Christ than for it to follow through it must mean that it can choose to leave Christ or else libertarian freedom comes to a end,there a those on here that hold the first position of choosing to come to Christ but then deny the freedom to leave Him,and Brd this is a reformed doctrine of God sovereignty in salvation that they are holding too.

        Brd we are talking about libertarian freedom in soteriology,I believe that God from eternity determined to bring to Christ and determined to keep there.I know you don’t believe in the former but what about the latter can you freely chose to leave Christ and finally perish?

  12. Aidan
    If you mean that he can, of his own free will, choose to accept Christ, and then choose to leave Christ and finally perish; then your reasoning is unassailable: Because that’s what ‘free will choice’ entails. If it means we can “choose to accept Christ” then we can also freely “choose to leave Christ.”

    Aidan that is not my reasoning I believe Christ is the good Shepherd has has never lost one!

    John 19:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
    28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
    29 My Father, who has given them to me,fn is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.
    30 I and the Father are one.”

    Had I had libertarian freedom I would have fallen away from Christ 10000 times day.

    I’m saved not by libertarian free will but by God’s amazing free grace!

    1. Shawn, I was simply agreeing with your logic, that If you truly have free will, it cuts both ways. I know you don’t believe in free will. But the passage that you gave shows that it is — conditional; and therefore shows why they are not lost. Notice what Jesus said about who His sheep are:

      “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” This defines who the sheep are. They are the ones who – continue to hear His voice….and – continue to follow Him. THAT is what defines a sheep in this verse (Jn 19:27). As soon as one stops following Him, and stops hearing His voice…. he is no longer a sheep. So, YES, no one can snatch His sheep out of His hand (v.28).

      The question is, “Do you qualify as one of His sheep who continue to hear His voice, and follow Him?”

  13. Aidan wrote :My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” This defines who the sheep are. They are the ones who – continue to hear His voice….and – continue to follow Him. THAT is what defines a sheep in this verse (Jn 19:27). As soon as one stops following Him, and stops hearing His voice…. he is no longer a sheep. So, YES, no one can snatch His sheep out of His hand (v.28).

    Aidan I will agree with you on verse :27 as this identifies who his true sheep are and yes they will persevere in the faith to the end but are you saying that one can be a true sheep and then not and finally perish?

  14. Shawn
    “Aidan I will agree with you on verse :27 as this identifies who his true sheep are and yes they will persevere in the faith to the end but are you saying that one can be a true sheep and then not and finally perish?”

    Not exactly, It might be more correct to call them — lost sheep because they’ve strayed from the Shepherd. ” “And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ (Luke 15:6). Hence the possibility of a sheep being lost and perishing.

    The following was spoken to a Christian: “But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money!… “Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.” (Acts 8:20,22). YES! A Christian can perish.

    1. Aidan wrote YES! A Christian can perish.

      Aidan you need to distinguish between physically perishing from spiritually perishing with Acts 8:20 -22

      What does this text plainly state? Can you be a sheep and then not?No,this is a Christ centered salvation based on the power and grace of God,and not a free will man centered salvation for the man to get,keep and then eventually lose.

      27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
      28 I give them eternal life, and they WILL NEVER PERISH , and no one will snatch them out of my hand.

      Will never perish in the Greek -never, certainly not, not at all, by no means

      Aidan this is a proclamation and promise of the Savior himself,while sheep may go astray and become lost for a time he finds them any where, every time.

      The only salvation that can be lost is what a man works for not what Christ earned for those who believe in His work alone.I hope you are not trusting in your efforts.

      Thanks for time and your responses

      1. Shawn
        “Aidan you need to distinguish between physically perishing from spiritually perishing with Acts 8:20 -22″

        Aidan
        In Acts 8:20, the word (” perish “) according to Vine; “of persons, signifying their spiritual and eternal perdition”

        Matt. 7:13: “…for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction..”

        John 17:12; 2 Thess. 2:3: “..son of perdition..”

        Heb 10:38, 39; of those who draw back into “unbelief”

        I think it’s clear that Peter meant his “spiritual and eternal perdition” in Acts 8:20. Without forgiveness a man cannot enter into heaven; but he needed to ” Repent and ask for forgiveness” Acts 8:22. Of course, you would have to say that the Lord forces him to repent and ask for forgiveness! Did the Lord force him to sin in the first place?

        What if you stop hearing His voice and following Him and you die in your sin? Does that mean you were never a sheep in the first place? Seems like a bit of a contradiction Shawn.

  15. Shawn
    Brd we are talking about libertarian freedom in soteriology,I believe that God from eternity determined to bring to Christ and determined to keep there.I know you don’t believe in the former but what about the latter can you freely chose to leave Christ and finally perish?

    Shawn – if this is you’re position then it is not Calvinism – which is predicated on Universal Divine Causal Determinism (aka Theological Determinism) – the philosophical position that a THEOS determines *ALL* things without exception – not just soteriological events.

    Calvinist Dr. James N. Anderson, of the Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte NC:
    -quote:
    “It should be conceded at the outset, and without embarrassment, that Calvinism is indeed committed to divine determinism…….take it for granted as something on which the vast majority of Calvinists uphold.

    Dr, William Lane Craig
    What truly distinguishes [The Calvinist’s] view is that it is a form of Divine, Causal Determinism in which God causally determines everything that happens.

    Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy – Theological Determinism
    Theological determinism is the view that God determines every event that occurs in the history of the world. While there is much debate about which prominent historical figures were theological determinists, St. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin….

    Contemporary theological determinists also appeal to various biblical texts (for example Ephesians 1:11) and confessional creeds (for example the Westminster Confession of Faith) to support their view.

    So I’m afraid if you’ve embraced Calvinism – then you are saddled with the belief that Libertarian deliberation (i.e. choosing between multiple options such as TRUE vs FALSE) does not exist for you. Calvin’s god at the foundation of the world determined everything that you will think and believe. You can ‘t come to you’re own conclusions by weighing options because doing so would entail a Libertarian thought process. Therefore on your position neither you or I have any ability to discern between TRUE vs FALSE. We simply think/believe what an external mind as determined us to think/believe.

    This is why John Calvin teaches – quote “go about your office *AS-IF* nothing is determined in any part”
    He believes EVERYTHING is determined in every part.

    Hence Calvinism entails DOUBLE-MINDEDNESS.

    1. So Brd, If God has DETERMINED that Shawn would try to convince you, with arguments that God has determined. And that He has also determined that you won’t believe Shawn. But has also determined that YOU would likewise try to convince Shawn with arguments that He also has determined. Arguments that He has determined will go nowhere, and besides, you would need a direct operation of the Holy Spirit anyhow? And God knows all of this? Then what’s the point? Is He just toying with us?

      1. Bingo Aidan – You hit the nail on the head.
        That is the whole point of Calvinism… You have beautifully captured the essence of Calvinism. Universal Divine Causal Determinism…This is at the bottom of what Calvinism teaches, this is their foundation. BUT since this is unliveable Calvin told his followers they must live *AS IF* nothing was determined, since they don’t know what is determined.
        Calvinism – makes real choices just a puppet show. The Divine hand is inside each and every puppet making them do and say whatever they do and say.
        At the end of the day Calvinism teaches: If it happened, even Hitler’s actions, were all RENDERED CERTAIN in eternity past by the THEOS Alone with no other influences at all. Everything played out or happen exactly as they were meant to happen. This includes rape, incest, child sacrifice etc… Authentic Divine permission does not exist in Calvinism but instead Only Divine Pre-determination.” God foreknows everything because God wrote the whole play himself, each and every thought and action.
        If you did it–that is exactly what God predetermined for you to do. Not what God allowed you to do.
        Calvinism makes God the Author of ALL of Satan’s activiites… If you think I am overstating their position take this clip from John Piper’s website
        Here’s the basic claim: God is an Author. The World is his story. We are his characters. Scripture points in this direction when it tells us that God preached the world into existence. … The analogy of an author and his story helps us to understand how God can be completely, totally, and exhaustively sovereign; how human beings can be responsible; and how their choices and actions can be meaningful and significant. It allows us to see layers in our understanding of causality. Why was it always winter and never Christmas in Narnia? Because the White Witch enslaved the land. Why was it always winter and never Christmas in Narnia? Because that’s the way Lewis wrote the story. Why does Aslan have to die? Because Edmund was a traitor. Why does Aslan have to die? Because that’s how Lewis wrote it. Who made Edmund a traitor? Edmund did. Who made Edmund a traitor? Lewis did.** Who killed the White Witch? Aslan did. Who killed the White Witch? Lewis did. Every aspect of the story—from plot to characters to background details—is under the sovereign control of the Author. And the actions of the characters are necessary for the resolution of the plot. This is the sort of layered causality that we see in the story.

        They make God the author of evil and distort the nature and character of God, anything Satan ever did first originated in the mind of God and was first put into motion by God Himself. That is why many are saying the Calv-god is not the God of scripture.

      2. Thanks GraceAdict, That was an excellent description of this pernicious doctrine. And no, I don’t think you are overstating things here. I’m learning more and more how hideous this teaching really is, especially since so many are caught up in it. Your use of authors like Lewis was right on the money. I think you should probably make a copy of that whole section and use it on a regular basis. And I agree with how you summed it up below:

        “They make God the author of evil and distort the nature and character of God, anything Satan ever did first originated in the mind of God and was first put into motion by God Himself. That is why many are saying the Calv-god is not the God of scripture.”

        For something evil to originate in the mind of God means that its coming His heart, for “out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, Adultries etc..” In fact this doctrine makes God worse than the devil, seeing that God is the Author of evil and that he is just a puppet on a string. But the God of love cannot have anything to do with evil.

        (1 Jn 1:5) God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.
        ( 2 Cor 6:14) For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?

        The Scriptures make clear that our wickedness is not of the Father: HE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT.
        15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
        16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

        Thanks again.

      3. Just to Clarify the C.S.Lewis illustration is taken from John Piper’s website– He is a Calvinist and this is how he/ they explain God being in control but Edmund actually made the choice in the book. They are the ones who have said the Author came up with the scene and made Edmund into who Edmund is, a traitor. This is just astounding to me. I believe satan rejoices at this hideous doctrine and I believe satan helps them propagate it because it destroys the Holy character of God…it is a doctrine that profanes the Holy name of God but then turns around and says this glorifies God…as if saying those words makes their blasphemy go away. Satan is subtle and I believe he has made his way into the church through this evil doctrine.

        The verses that you provided are perfect examples of how God has NO part in evil and yet their doctrine makes God, as you say, Worse than Satan.

    2. Brd. you still haven’t answered this question?With the view of libertarian free will,If a man with his libertarian free will can chose to humble himself believe in Christ and be saved can he chose not to believe in Christ harden his heart and then be lost again?

      Anyone else have a answer.

      Thanks

      1. Here is my response BR.D can do a much better job…

        Shawn: With the view of libertarian free will,If a man with his libertarian free will can chose to humble himself believe in Christ and be saved can he chose not to believe in Christ harden his heart and then be lost again?

        GA: Yes God commands all people everywhere to repent and believe… this is a genuine response God is not just play acting and pretending to call people to respond while under the table He is really making it so that they cannot respond.

        Act 17:30 …now He commands all people everywhere to repent,

        The Jailer
        Act 16:30 Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
        Act 16:31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
        Yes, we are ALL told to believe the Gospel.

        GA: You might have a point that a man should be able to lose his salvation IF you simply ignore scripture again but scripture is clear:

        2Co 1:22 …who has also put HIS SEAL on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a GUARANTEE.
        –God is making the Guarantee that we will be saved, NOT man’s faithfulness to live up to a standard of works
        God’s sealing Guarantee’s us…

        Eph 1:13-14 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were SEALED with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the GUARANTEE of our inheritance UNTIL we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

        Eph 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you WERE SEALED for the day of redemption.

        Joh 10:28 I give them ETERNAL life, and they will NEVER perish,

        Man is commanded to believe God’s message of Salvation and then GOD ALONE Decisively Saves, Decisively Seals, Decisively Justifies, Decisively Gives Eternal life, God Decisively makes him HIS child and God ALONE Decisively GUARANTEES He will bring His Child home Unconditionally. God is the faithful one NOT man. Calvinism makes man the faithful one who works long enough and hard enough to make it.

        Calvinism is like a car sales man who is selling a brand new car and says ” This car is 100% free…it is totally free to you. This car is 0$ down, 0% interest, it is Totally free for the first two months——— THEN you pay only $ 3,000 dollars a month for the rest of your life !!!! Wow! this is a FREE GIFT…. Don’t let anyone tell you this is NOT FREE”

        In Calvinism what the Large Print giveth the small print taketh away!!! TULIP distorts the word of God and is full of Double-Speak and Double-Think.

      2. Hi Shawn – I did answer that question in another post.
        Calvinists themselves have their positions on OSAS – 3-pointers, 2-pointers, 4-pointers etc.

        And also I remember professor Gordon Fee telling a story about being approached by Calvinists in seminary asking how they could -quote “get around” certain texts – such as the warning texts in the NT.

        So it becomes obvious Calvinists themselves have different positions – pro and con
        And have scriptures to support each side.

        No one has resolved those differences in centuries – no matter how many scriptures are quoted.

        Additionally Calvinism’s use of scripture itself represents a small fraction of the Christian population.
        So how they can be brassy enough to perceive themselves as having an exclusive ownership of scripture is beyond me.

        And I see posts going on in endless tail-chasing circles over various topics such as that one.
        And I try to avoid the tail-chasing whenever possible.

      3. Hi Shawn

        You asked: “you still haven’t answered this question?With the view of libertarian free will,If a man with his libertarian free will can chose to humble himself believe in Christ and be saved can he chose not to believe in Christ harden his heart and then be lost again?”

        I think he can, that’s what all, if not , most of the “if” verses and scripture warnings from the Apostles reveal.
        Heb 3:6
        But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we,IF WE HOLD FAST the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

        Heb 3:13
        But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be HARDENED through the DECIETFULNESS of sin.
        Heb 3:14
        For we are made partakers of Christ, IF WE HOLD the beginning of our confidence stedfast UNTO THE END

        Heb 3:19
        So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
        Heb 4:11
        Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

        WE ARE TO AVOID SIN.. NOT BECAUSE WHEN WE SIN GOD TAKES AWAY HIS SALVATION… BUT UNREPENTANT SINNING WILL LEAD TO A HARDENING, HARDENING LEADS TO A PLACE OF UNBELIEF. A PLACE OF UNBELIEF LEADS TO A PLACE OF CASTING OFF OUR FAITH. THERE IN IS WHEN THE “LOSS” OF SALVATION OCCURS.

        I still believe that there is still a place in Gods Mercy to receive such a one back, IF he repents. But I think that it is much harder at this point for such a one to come to repentance, cause to get this far is not an overnight! thing

        Other warnings include not letting the attack on our Faith by the devil, the prowling lion, to discourage us to a place of strong doubt, which leads to unbelief in Christ\God, and then faith is” cast off”… “loss of salvation. It is not relying soley on your strength in these times of trials but holding on to the ‘help’ \ way outs He gives. IE following the Good Shepherd. He comes and ministers to us etc, and we by faith must continue to hold unto Him

        In all these situation Christ by the Holy Spirit will be reaching out and giving oppourtuities to return because of the love He has\had for sinners whilst they were yet still sinners, His long suffering. But it is limited in time, and there can come a time where there is a giving over, He will not always strive with man (as it were)

        These are some of the things I have seen from scripture thus far

        Rgds In Christ
        Clare

  16. Dr. Flower said and I quote respectfully: “I have yet to find a Calvinist who is able to show me one thing that the human means actually accomplish that is not sufficiently taken care of by the effectual work of regeneration.”

    I must say that I am having a hard time digesting it and understanding the point he is trying to get across. Even in the fuller context in which he wrote it. So maybe he can clarify. But I will make a few comments about it that are confusing that I think are confusing for a former 5 point Calvinist to make. Meant with a due respect.

    It seems Dr. Flowers is saying that ‘The Effectual Work of Regeneration” does it all and that the Calvinist Christian is not admitting that second causes/means/ of ministers preaching the instrumentality of the Gospel is not necessary.

    I do not know of any Christian Calvinist who believes that Regeneration of the Spirit “sufficiently takes care of it all”

    John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

    Jesus clearly tells Nicodemus that one “must of necessity be born “from again/ABOVE and that is by the MEANS of God the Holy Spirit.

    Then God does use the means of human instrumentality of the Preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that saves his people from their sins.

    Acts 16: 14 Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul.

    Now Lydia was one who worshiped God a convert to Judiasm but not a believer in Jesus Christ until under the Preaching of the Gospel of Paul (as she was listening) (the Lord open her heart to heed and understand) the things being spoken by Paul. Just like the Parable of the seed and sower. The seed sowed on the good ground heard and UNDERSTOOD/HEEDED and brought forth fruit.

    The Spirit can work independently of the word of God. But I think even in regeneration The Holy Spirit works in intimate connection with the Word of God, the very preaching of the Gospel.

    Ephesians 6:17 – and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,

    The Word of God is the Spirit’s Sword and he wields it most powerfully. When the Gospel is preached by the ministers of God the Spirit blows where it wills, (Sovereignty) the Spirit is like the wind, you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it goes or where it comes from, SO IS EVERYONE WHO IS BORN OF THE SPIRIT.

    So God’s Spirit is very much involved in one being born again, no matter your idea in how you believe what that means. It is not he word of God alone and Holy Spirit anointed preaching,

    1. Amen
      1 ¶ The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley;fn it was full of bones.
      2 And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry.
      3 And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord GOD, you know.”
      4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.
      5 Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.
      6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the LORD.”
      7 ¶ So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling,and the bones came together, bone to its bone.
      8 And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them.
      9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”
      10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.
      11 ¶ Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’
      12 Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel.
      13 And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people.
      14 And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the LORD.”

    2. speakingthetruthinloveblog
      Dr. Flower said and I quote respectfully: “I have yet to find a Calvinist who is able to show me one thing that the human means actually accomplish that is not sufficiently taken care of by the effectual work of regeneration.”

      I must say that I am having a hard time digesting it and understanding the point he is trying to get across. Even in the fuller context in which he wrote it. So maybe he can clarify. But I will make a few comments about it that are confusing that I think are confusing for a former 5 point Calvinist to make. Meant with a due respect.

      br.d
      I can’t speak directly for Dr. Flower’s point – but I can share something that may be in the ball-park.

      In Theological Determinism – the only thing that is FUNCTIONALLY NECESSARY is that the THEOS determines ALL hat comes to pass.

      The means the THEOS uses to accomplish any given event are entirely at the discretion of the THEOS.

      He could for example – simply ZAP the person with what the Gnostic Christians in Augustine’s day might call the “DIVINE SPARK” and that would constitute the “effectual work of regeneration”. The rest of the circumstances around that event such as people places and things would simply be according the THEOS’ good pleasure. But none of them are NECESSARY.

      1. BR.D thank your for your response Sir. Before I respond to this what is your understanding of God’s Eternal Infinite Perfect Knowledge? Omniscience? See, you have an advantage on me knowing I am a Calvinist. I know nothing about you and your system of belief.

        Although what you described above is nothing comparable to the answer I gave to what Dr. Flowers said. I have answers I can give you but I would like to know your system of belief first.

        Do you believe in Autonomous Self-Governing Libertarian Neutral Free Will that is Independent and Separate from God?

        You don’t have to refute Calvinism in your answers just clarify these and tell me some more of what you believe. Not what you do not believe. Then we will have a level playing ground. If you do not care to then I understand and both can just move on.

        God bless Sir.

  17. Aidan as you can see the word is also used for physical death.

    perdition (8x), destruction (5x), waste (2x), damnable (1x), to die (with G1519) (1x), perish (with G1498) (with G1519) (1x), pernicious (1x).
    Strong’s Definitions: ἀπώλεια apṓleia, ap-o’-li-a; from a presumed derivative of G622; ruin or loss (physical,spiritual or eternal):—damnable(-nation), destruction, die, perdition, X perish, pernicious ways, waste
    waste, Mark 14:4 (in Matthew 26:8 without a genitive) (in Polybius 6, 59, 5 consumption, opposed to τήρησις); the putting of a man to death,

    Mat 26:8
    And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste?
    Mar 14:4
    There were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment wasted like that?

    From Peters accusation to Simeon it isn’t clear he was even saved as Jesus said whom the Son has set free is free indeed,but he appears to be enslaved in sin still.
    23 For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.”

    Aidan it’s very important to let the clear interpret the unclear here and the contradiction is the one you are assuming when you say that truly saved can perish when Jesus says they WILL NEVER PERISH.
    Remember His sheep follow His voice and this is His voice.

    Grace

    1. Shawn, the scriptures you quoted (Mat 26:8; and Mk. 14:4) have to do with ‘things’ not people. And even if Acts 25:16 is dealing with Paul’s death, the context makes clear that it would be physical. We always need to let the context determine the meaning. In Acts 8 we are dealing with sin and one’s heart not being right before God, that if not repented of would be left unforgiven. Sin separates from God (Isa. 59:1-2).

      1 Jn 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” That verse is speaking to Christians who sin. Notice that forgiveness is conditional on — “IF”– we confess our sins” He will forgive and cleanse us. But what — if — he doesn’t confess and seek God’s forgiveness?

      You questioned If Simon was saved? YES Simon clearly got saved; for it says that Simon “believed and was baptized” (Acts 8:13).
      Mk. 16:16 Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved;..” Hence Simon clearly had been saved, but now was in need of repentance again.

      Yes the promise is eternal life to those who “believe.” But what if they lose their faith, does the promise extend to “unbelief?”

      1. Aidan wrote
        1 Jn 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” That verse is speaking to Christians who sin. Notice that forgiveness is conditional on — “IF”– we confess our sins” He will forgive and cleanse us. But what — if — he doesn’t confess and seek God’s forgiveness?

        8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
        9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

        Ok Aidan this is where context is crucial as when we bring in the verse before Christians will ALWAYS have sin and when we say we don’t according to verse :8 we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.One of the genuine evidence that the Holy Spirit abides in someone is humbleness and a life of confessing,repenting and growing in sanctification which verse :9 speaks of CLEANSE us from ALL unrighteousness .The Apostle is dealing with Christians fellowship and not the sonship which can never be changed.
        God saved the soul and spirit of man but not the flesh as it returns back to dust.

        So what does this mean? Though I am saved I still live in a body of sin and I am to continue to seek God in a life of confession and knowing who I am in the flesh which I can say Rom 7:24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
        25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

        I hope this helps you understand,and I would like to ask you do you see yourself as still having sin present IN you?

      2. Shawn,
        Let me go through those couple of verses in 1 John 1:5-9. And as do, we will see that John is speaking to Christians, and that he includes himself in these verses.

        1) In (1:5-6) he affirms that the one who claims fellowship with God, while he walks in the darkness, is a liar and does not practice the truth.

        “This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;” (1:5-6).

        Notice how John includes himself when he says “if we”. John tells us in no uncertain terms that any Christian who claims to have fellowship with God while walking in the darkness, is a liar and does not practice the truth. Hence, a child of God can choose to “walk in the darkness” and thereby lose their fellowship with God.

        2) (v.7), “but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” Notice: (we) have fellowship (if) we “Walk in the Light”. Thus making our fellowship in Christ dependent on choosing to “walk in the Light.” And He cleanse us from our sins. Unconditionally? No! This is brought out in (v.9).

        3) Remember, “Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins.” (Eccl 7:20). Therefore, John includes himself, when he says, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us (v.8). But, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (v.9). Even the apostle John was included in the condition, that “if we confess our sins” then He will forgive us. What happens (if) we don’t confess our sins? It seems, forgiveness of sins was not unconditional, not even for John.

        And so, a Christian who has fallen into sin, and chooses not to walk in the Light, but to walk in the darkness again, where he loses his fellowship with God; will die in his sins (if) he is unwilling to repent and confess his sins before God.

        Is it possible? Absolutely!

        “But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity and does according to all the abominations that a wicked man does, will he live? All his righteous deeds which he has done will not be remembered for his treachery which he has committed and his sin which he has committed; for them he will die. ( Ezek. 18:24).

  18. Dr. Flowers says and I quote respectfully: ““How shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard,” the clearly implied answer is that hearing is sufficient for believing. But, according to Calvinism, it is not. If Calvinism were true Paul would have certainly asked, “How shall they believe what they hear unless God regenerates them?”

    Dr. Flowers knows that through regeneration of the Spirit, one being born again/from above, as Lydia’s heart was open by God to understand the Gospel Paul was preaching, “faith came by hearing and hearing by the word of God to Lydia.” Faith that Lydia did not have at one time. If it had to come to Lydia through the hearing of the Word of God and the fact that God had to open her heart first (regeneration) then that means there was a time that she was not in possession of saving faith.

    Hebrews 12:2 – 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

    You see Jesus is the author (original Greek, the originator, the source of our faith) and the one who bring it to a finished state of completion. Faith is given to us but God does not believe for us it is our duty to believe and that we do so willingly as we see our sinful wicked state and the wrath of Holy God and the saving mercy and grace of Christ. We flee the wrath of God and by faith we believe and embrace Christ as our Lord and Savior.

    Do you see how subtle Dr. Flowers made it seemed Christian Calvinist were changing the Word of the Living God. I do not think he meant it on purpose. But those subtle changes I will continue to show.

    The work of the Holy Spirit is His work not our Work. So Christian Calvinist exhort no one to be regenerated. That is nonsense. We trust the Holy Spirit to make the heart good ground (parable of the seed and sower) so that when the Gospel is preached and one is exhorted to “call upon the name of the Lord and you will be saved’ They will be respond.

    But this is not always so.

    Hebrews 4:2 – For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

    The Word of God did not produce faith in the instance mentioned above. The Word must be wielded by the Spirit. For the Word of God is the Sword of the Spirit.

  19. speakingthetruthinlove
    Do you see how subtle Dr. Flowers made it seemed Christian Calvinist were changing the Word of the Living God. I do not think he meant it on purpose. But those subtle changes I will continue to show.

    br,d
    Hello speakingthetruthinlove and welcome!

    Actually on the issue of subtle language – it has been a perennial observation by non-Calvinists that Calvinism as a practice incorporates a less than honest use of language in general.

    I’m not sure that Dr. Flowers would enunciate it as point-blank as that – and I don’t know if Dr. Flowers is alluding to something of that nature in this case.

    But Calvinism does have a well earned reputation for its use of strategically misleading language.
    I could probably provide close to a dozen authors over the years that have all sighted that phenomenon as part of Calvinism’s reputation.

    1. Hello Br.D and thank you for the response.

      I think Dr. Flowers would and did. But I do not think he meant anything malicious by it. It is just what he believes and even as I think that the Christian Calvinist are not being dishonest and malicious. We are just being stating what we honestly believe the Scriptures are saying. I know you think we are dishonest and I respect your opinion and I am not offended.

      Quote from Dr. Flowers using the word SUBTLY: “Notice what is being said here. He is SUBTLY making the argument that the heart of the hearer does not have access to the clearly revealed truth of the word apart from the Holy Spirit ‘touching’ him. Allow me to reword this statement just slightly to make it bibically accurate, “The Holy Spirit uses the word of the preacher to touch the heart of the hearer, making the heart accessible to the truth the word clearly reveals.” (Emphasis mine)

      Another quote from Dr. Flowers: “Now, that change may seem inconsequential but it is not. It speaks to an important doctrinal issue: the sufficiency of scripture, God’s Holy Word. You see, the Reformed author was SUBTLY teaching that the word proclaimed by the preacher remains insufficient unless and until the Holy Spirit “touches the heart” and makes those words “accessible.” (Emphasis Mine)

      I do not think Dr. Flowers is being dishonest if it came across that way. I just think subtly it is missing the truth in the way he is stating it and misrepresenting it. That’s all. Sorry if it came across as something more. I really don’t want to get into anything like this but focus on the article Dr. Flowers wrote so I will choose my words fore carefully next time so they will not be so inflammatory. Thank you BR.D for pointing this out.

      God bless.

      1. speakingthetruthinloveblog
        Hello Br.D and thank you for the response.

        br.d
        You’re welcome and thank you :-]

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        I think Dr. Flowers would and did. But I do not think he meant anything malicious by it. It is just what he believes and even as I think that the Christian Calvinist are not being dishonest and malicious. We are just being stating what we honestly believe the Scriptures are saying. I know you think we are dishonest and I respect your opinion and I am not offended.

        br.d
        Over the years I have asked Ex-Calvinists if they ever were personally convicted or aware of purposefully using dishonest language. And they have all indicated no. But along with that they acknowledged they understand why I asked the question and their answer is typically – that there are contradictions they found between their system and scripture – and Calvinism as a practice uses a linguistic pattern of “Double-Speak Talking-Points” to evade or camouflage those things.

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        Quote from Dr. Flowers using the word SUBTLY: “Notice what is being said here. He is SUBTLY making the argument that the heart of the hearer does not have access to the clearly revealed truth of the word apart from the Holy Spirit ‘touching’ him. Allow me to reword this statement just slightly to make it bibically accurate, “The Holy Spirit uses the word of the preacher to touch the heart of the hearer, making the heart accessible to the truth the word clearly reveals.” (Emphasis mine)

        br.d
        If that is a quote from Dr. Flowers – I could possibly interpret it as stating that in the Calvinist conception of the process of salvation a person must have some form of DIVINE SPARK to bring him to minimal functionality in order for the salvific process to occur.

        I can’t speak for Dr. Flowers in this case – but the vast majority of Christianity holds that God has gifted mankind with minimal degrees of capacity to respond and in most cases there is no need for any miraculous divine action. However there are certain individuals who get involved in extreme situations such as drugs or the occult who are so ensnared and need a supernatural touch to release the bonds that hold them. But of course that is totally rejected in Calvinism who conceive of the process much more like the DIVINE SPARK of the Gnostics.

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        Another quote from Dr. Flowers: “Now, that change may seem inconsequential but it is not. It speaks to an important doctrinal issue: the sufficiency of scripture, God’s Holy Word. You see, the Reformed author was SUBTLY teaching that the word proclaimed by the preacher remains insufficient unless and until the Holy Spirit “touches the heart” and makes those words “accessible.” (Emphasis Mine)

        br.d
        This may go to back to the previous post I made in response to this – where according to Theological Determinism the means of which an event is accomplished are simply according to the THEOS’s good pleasure – and are thus NOT NECESSARY.

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        I do not think Dr. Flowers is being dishonest if it came across that way. I just think subtly it is missing the truth in the way he is stating it and misrepresenting it. That’s all.

        br.d
        I’m pretty keen on keeping an eagle eye out for the language people use and I’ve never had a sense that Dr. Flowers was being dishonest – so I wouldn’t anticipate that at all.

        But I also perceive that Dr. Flowers understands the underlying LOGIC of Calvinism and he doesn’t use Calvinism’s standard pattern of “Double-Speak Talking-points” to enunciate it. So it would be quite natural for a Calvinist who doesn’t hear his doctrine being enunciated in the language he is used to – to interpret that as a misrepresentation of his doctrine.

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        Sorry if it came across as something more. I really don’t want to get into anything like this but focus on the article Dr. Flowers wrote so I will choose my words fore carefully next time so they will not be so inflammatory. Thank you BR.D for pointing this out.

        God bless.

        br.d
        No problem at all and thank you for your kindness!
        The Lord bless you also

  20. speakingthetruthinloveblog
    July 22, 2019 at 5:23 pm

    BR.D thank your for your response Sir. Before I respond to this what is your understanding of God’s Eternal Infinite Perfect Knowledge? Omniscience? See, you have an advantage on me knowing I am a Calvinist. I know nothing about you and your system of belief.

    br.d
    I think I know already where you are going with this. :-]

    The orthodox position of Divine Omniscience (stated in philosophical terms) goes something like this:
    “For every proposition [P] God knows the truth-value of proposition [P].”
    That includes Divine Foreknowledge in which there is perfect knowledge of all future events that WILL happen, all future events that COULD happen, and all future events that WOULD happen.

    The Calvinist holds to this also – but additionally asserts there is a specific WAY in which divine knowledge is procured.
    In Calvinism the THEOS FIRST-CONCEIVES of proposition [P] in his mind.
    He then makes a determination of whether or not to RENDER-CERTAIN proposition [P]’s truth value as TRUE or FALSE.
    So essentially his foreknowledge is informed by what he determines.
    And as such Theological Determinism is foundational to the Calvinist belief system.

    Also it is historically recognized that since Divine Omniscience includes perfect knowledge of things that WOULD happen (given certain circumstances) this LOGICALLY EXCLUDES the necessity of Theological Determinism. In other words, there is nothing that prevents the THEOS from creating a world in which both he and his creatures enjoy Libertarian Free Will (defined as the ability to choose between multiple options) and the THEOS still have perfect knowledge of what creatures would freely do given the circumstances he puts them in.

    speakingthetruthinloveblog
    Do you believe in Autonomous Self-Governing Libertarian Neutral Free Will that is Independent and Separate from God?

    br.d
    Firstly I don’t see how any LOGICAL Christian could hold that man can exist separate from God.

    Secondly I understand that Calvinism is predicated on Universal Divine Causal Determinism.
    And “mere” permission, and all creaturely autonomy are Theoretically SAID to be rejected
    But not really or not intellectually honestly at least.

    And this includes the rejection of ALL Libertarian deliberation.
    Which if you follow to its LOGICAL conclusion means that every thought/belief the Calvinist has is not his own – but was determined for him at the foundation of the world. Which LOGICALLY means the Calvinist has no ability to discern between TRUTH vs FALSE since doing so would constitute a Libertarian process of deliberation.

    And that is why John Calvin taught -quote “Go about your office *AS-IF* nothing is determined in any part” while at the same time believe that EVERYTHING is determined in every part.

    And that is clearly double-mindedness – so I don’t embrace it.

    1. Thank you BR.D for your response although it was not quite the response I was looking for.

      I have always seen it is hard for the Non-Calvinist to answer without refuting Calvinism which is what I politely asked you to do.

      I am not really going in any direction although as you well know with your 🙂 there directions I can go. But Dr. Flowers article is my focus at this time and I do not want to get distracted.

      I will ask few more straight questions that I would like for you two answer Sir if you would without refuting Calvinism.

      Do you believe in Corporate Election in the sense that NT Wright, and Dr. Flowers teaches it or in any sense of the Word how do you believe in it?

      If you do believe in Corporate Election when was it first taught in Church History? Can it be found being taught in the Early Church Fathers?

      In the Eternal Infinite Perfect Foreknowledge of God, did God know or see (which ever way you understand it) the decisions and free will actions of all mankind before he created the Universe and mankind came into existence?

      So I am still not sure. Do you hold to the belief of Autonomous Self-Governing Libertarian Neutral Free Will? If you do I will let you define it as you understand it.

      When I used the words (Separate and independent from God) I was quoting Dr. Flowers.

      Not meant to disrespectful but you spent more time refuting Calvinism than giving me a better understanding and clarifying your own system of belief.

      Thank you for indulging me BR.D Your patience and kindness is noted. Understanding what you believe will be of much help in any future conversations that we might engage in. God bless you Sir.

      1. br.d
        Hi speakingthetruthinloveblog – I know you asked me to stay away from refuting Calvinism – but I have learned to save 100 unnecessary posts going back and forth – by getting right straight to the resolved end of given dialog. I hope you won’t mind if by doing so – I save a lot of time and space in the process.

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        Do you believe in Corporate Election in the sense that NT Wright, and Dr. Flowers teaches it or in any sense of the Word how do you believe in it?

        br.d
        Haven’t made a decision one way or the other on that subject.
        I understand the reasoning behind corporate election and I understand the reasoning for election to service.

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        If you do believe in Corporate Election when was it first taught in Church History? Can it be found being taught in the Early Church Fathers?

        br.d
        You might be better off getting a copy of “Election in the Son” – I read it years ago and I believe it provides some of the references to the historical data. I don’t personally have any investment in it. But I do respect N.T. Wright as a world recognized scholar.
        Corporate election is certainly not something I would spend any time deliberating over here.

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        In the Eternal Infinite Perfect Foreknowledge of God, did God know or see (which ever way you understand it) the decisions and free will actions of all mankind before he created the Universe and mankind came into existence?

        br.d
        Please refer to my previous post on this – as this was really explained thoroughly by me there.

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        So I am still not sure. Do you hold to the belief of Autonomous Self-Governing Libertarian Neutral Free Will? If you do I will let you define it as you understand it.

        br;d
        Now I’m wondering why you are asking the same questions over again after I took the time to lay out comprehensive answers before.
        Please re-read my previous answer to this question.

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        Not meant to disrespectful but you spent more time refuting Calvinism than giving me a better understanding and clarifying your own system of belief.

        br.d
        Thanks but I think I gave you very comprehensive answers before and I’m wondering what aspects of those are being ignored.

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        Thank you for indulging me BR.D Your patience and kindness is noted. Understanding what you believe will be of much help in any future conversations that we might engage in. God bless you Sir.

        br.d
        No problem – but please be advised I will always look for the most comprehensive approach to resolving any dialog.
        Sometimes people get into endless back and forth dialog that goes nowhere – and I don’t have time or inclination for that.

  21. Libertarian Free Will” (LFW) as “the ability to refrain or not refrain from a given moral action.”

    Ok this is the question that I have asked as I believe there is a huge contradiction when flushed out that if someone has the ability to humble himself and come to Christ while he is sinner does he still possess the ability of choice to forsake Christ harden his heart and be eternally lost.

    The ONLY way one can be consistent with LWF is to say that we still have freedom of choice to walk away from Christ and finally perish after choosing him to be saved.If you say that once you are saved it’s a done deal as scripture does clearly testify too, you have left LWF as there is NO more important choice that could be made and you crossed over unto the most important thing of which is (salvation)that is bound and determinate to be completed.

    Here’s a consistent Libertarian free will General Baptist statement of faith.
    V. ASSURANCE AND ENDURANCE We believe that those who abide in Christ have the assurance of salvation. However, we believe that the Christian retains his freedom of choice; therefore, it is possible for him to turn away from God and be finally lost.

    Pentecostal -Salvation can be lost if one turns away from God by a human’s free will.

    Here are just a few but the list goes on,my point is there are those here that are in the Southern Baptist Convention that hold to this.

    SBC statement of faith
    God’s Purpose of Grace

    Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. …All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end.

    This statement of faith may be weak but it doesn’t contradict reformed theology at all and agrees with it .There is no way out to say that once someone has been saved they have LWF when comes to salvation.This is a determination of God too keep.

    Phil 1:6 And I am SURE of this, that HE who BEGAN a good work in you will bring it to COMPLETION at the day of Jesus Christ.

    If you trace this back It will lead to the reformed calvinistic roots of the SBC,which it’s made weaker because perseverance has been taken away.

    Grace

    1. Shawn
      Libertarian Free Will” (LFW) as “the ability to refrain or not refrain from a given moral action.”

      br,d
      Essentially is the ability to be able to choose between multiple options – and in such case multiple options must exist.

      Shawn
      The ONLY way one can be consistent with LWF is to say that we still have freedom of choice to walk away from Christ and finally perish after choosing him to be saved.If you say that once you are saved it’s a done deal as scripture does clearly testify too, you have left LWF

      br.d
      The fallacy of this reasoning is that it presupposes as TRUE a Calvinist position “once you are saved it’s a done deal ”

      Shawn
      as there is NO more important choice that could be made and you crossed over unto the most important thing of which is (salvation)that is bound and determinate to be completed.

      br.d
      The fallacy in reasoning here is conflating the importance of a decision which is essentially a non-sequitur

      Shawn
      Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. …All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end.

      This statement of faith may be weak but it doesn’t contradict reformed theology at all and agrees with it .There is no way out to say that once someone has been saved they have LWF when comes to salvation.This is a determination of God too keep.

      br.d
      Firstly:
      Consider the possibility that that statement was not intended to agree or disagree with the reformed doctrine of necessary regeneration.
      That statement is thus not going to give you the answer you’re looking for.

      Secondly:
      You’re committing the same fallacy as before – presupposing as TRUE the Calvinist position of necessary regeneration or the position of one saved always saved.

      Shawn
      Phil 1:6 And I am SURE of this, that HE who BEGAN a good work in you will bring it to COMPLETION at the day of Jesus Christ.

      br.d
      I knew a bible teacher who insisted that all men who don’t have butch hair-cuts are living in sin and going to hell because 1st Corinthians 11:14 says it is a disgrace for a man to have long hair.

      Shawn
      If you trace this back It will lead to the reformed calvinistic roots of the SBC,which it’s made weaker because perseverance has been taken away.

      br.d
      I’m not within the fold of the SBC and I don’t know if anyone currently participating here is – so I can’t speak for the history of the conflicts between Calvinists in the SBC. I suggest all Calvinists completely reject and leave the SBC and create their own group. The internal conflicts between them would then be reduced to external conflicts. And life would be better for both parties.

      1. Without refuting Calvinism please. BR.D

        “Shawn
        The ONLY way one can be consistent with LWF is to say that we still have freedom of choice to walk away from Christ and finally perish after choosing him to be saved.If you say that once you are saved it’s a done deal as scripture does clearly testify too, you have left LWF”

        br.d
        The fallacy of this reasoning is that it presupposes as TRUE a Calvinist position “once you are saved it’s a done deal ”

        Now Sir I really need to understand your understanding of Autonomous Self-Governing Libertarian Neutral Free Will. What is the definition of it for the wicked sinner alienated from Christ? What is the definition for it for the Christian who is now in Christ with the Indwelling of the Spirit of God? What is the difference if there is any at all?
        Just state what you believe. A positive affirmation without any refutation. Because what I read above has left me confused and perplexed. Also if you could answer the other questions if you want and get an opportunity. Thanks and God bless.

  22. Shawn
    Phil 1:6 And I am SURE of this, that HE who BEGAN a good work in you will bring it to COMPLETION at the day of Jesus Christ.

    br.d
    I knew a bible teacher who insisted that all men who don’t have butch hair-cuts are living in sin and going to hell because 1st Corinthians 11:14 says it is a disgrace for a man to have long hair.

    Brd this is the consistent teaching of the doctrine of eternal salvation throughout holy writ.It says what it means and means what it says.

    John 6:37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.

    1. Shawn
      Phil 1:6 And I am SURE of this, that HE who BEGAN a good work in you will bring it to COMPLETION at the day of Jesus Christ.

      This is the consistent teaching of the doctrine of eternal salvation throughout holy writ.It says what it means and means what it says.

      br.d
      In the narrative between Jesus and the Lawyer who tempted him – Jesus asks 2 questions.
      1) What does the scripture say
      2) How do you read it

      Jesus is hereby affirming that all humans interpret data in accordance to what they have been taught is true.

      For example, there was a time in history in which men believed it to be true – that the earth was flat.
      Accordingly – they interpreted scriptures to affirm it.
      Anyone who disagreed with holy writ was put to death.

      I’m sure when they passed the sentence – they said “it says what it means and means what it says”

      Bottom line – teach the human mind to see something in scripture and that is what the human mind will see.

      Bible scholars call this process “proof-texting” and all denominations do it.

  23. BR.D in your former answer of God’s Eternal Infinite Perfect Knowledge you specified “events” I asked if this involved (for further clarification)

    “In the Eternal Infinite Perfect Foreknowledge of God, did God know or see (which ever way you understand it) the decisions and free will actions of all mankind before he created the Universe and mankind came into existence?”

    One must never think that his answers are perfect and exhaustive and exactly what the questioner is seeking. I would not have asked again if you had been clear.

    I am asking about if God actually knew or seen (which ever way you understand it) before he ever created mankind there freewill decisions and free will actions?

    Maybe after re-reading I guess I just do not understand but I take it you do not believe in Autonomous Self-Governing Libertarian Free Will. Or you need to clarify because you did not explain it very well. You only explained what you did not believe. I want your affirmation

    Let’s not forget BR.D you first engaged me Sir.

    As far as “Election in Christ” You state it but give me no clarification of it. But I do know who first began to teach it. Karl Barth in the 1920’s or 1930’s is as far as it can be traced back to. He surely is not the Apostles or the Early Church Fathers or Augustine.

    Remember respectfully once again Sir. You engaged me. I have no inclination or time to continue to engage you in these matters either as long as they are clarified in a way that is understandable. So with that we can end this conversation and I will let you answer the questions since you did not answer them in clearly the first time.

    God bless BR.D Thank you for your kindness. I will return to Dr. Flowers article.

    1. speakingthetruthinloveblog
      One must never think that his answers are perfect and exhaustive and exactly what the questioner is seeking. I would not have asked again if you had been clear.

      br.d
      It would be silly for me to infer perfection – just that the answer was in fact more than thorough enough.

      speakingthetruthinloveblog
      I am asking about if God actually knew or seen (which ever way you understand it) before he ever created mankind there freewill decisions and free will actions?

      br.d
      Boy – I’ve answered that particular question in multiple posts at this point.

      At this point I think you’re working to obtain some specific language in a statement from me – and thus continuing to ask the same question hoping to eventually obtain that. Sorry I’m not interested in going down that path.

      speakingthetruthinloveblog
      Maybe after re-reading I guess I just do not understand

      br.d
      But you actually should because all of the information you are looking for is actually there.

      speakingthetruthinloveblog
      but I take it you do not believe in Autonomous Self-Governing Libertarian Free Will. Or you need to clarify because you did not explain it very well. You only explained what you did not believe. I want your affirmation

      br.d
      I affirm as before in a statement in another post to you – that God makes available to humans multiple options which are REAL and not ILLUSIONS. And I affirm that he does not deceive people into believing he has made an option available while SECRETLY not permitting it.
      All of my affirmations LOGICALLY EXCLUDE Theological Determinism so that should give one plenty to work with.

      speakingthetruthinloveblog
      Let’s not forget BR.D you first engaged me Sir.

      br.d
      Sure – but that does not make me subject to any behavior – and you eventually would have engaged with me.

      speakingthetruthinloveblog
      As far as “Election in Christ” You state it but give me no clarification of it. But I do know who first began to teach it. Karl Barth in the 1920’s or 1930’s is as far as it can be traced back to. He surely is not the Apostles or the Early Church Fathers or Augustine.

      br.d
      I think you are referring to the book “Election under the son” – and the historical data in that research book goes back way beyond Augustine whose position BTW is considered questionable among the Early Church Fathers – as it is stated – because of his inventions.

      speakingthetruthinloveblog
      Remember respectfully once again Sir. You engaged me. I have no inclination or time to continue to engage you in these matters either as long as they are clarified in a way that is understandable. So with that we can end this conversation and I will let you answer the questions since you did not answer them in clearly the first time.

      br.d
      I attempt to make my posts with as much wisdom as possible – if they don’t work for you please don’t punish yourself over it – simply put it down for now.

      speakingthetruthinloveblog
      God bless BR.D Thank you for your kindness. I will return to Dr. Flowers article.

      br.d
      Yes and thank you for your kindness also.

      1. speakingthetruthinloveblog
        One must never think that his answers are perfect and exhaustive and exactly what the questioner is seeking. I would not have asked again if you had been clear.

        br.d
        It would be silly for me to infer perfection – just that the answer was in fact more than thorough enough.

        You seem to have this overwhelming obsession and inability to answer questions without refuting Calvinism. That is not what I am asking you to do.

        Maybe I should not have used the word perfect or exhaustive but the words of “making it clear to the questioner” is something you failed to do even though you think you accomplished this task. No disrespect meant. We all have are limits and not to admit and adjust. In your estimation it was thorough but it was lacking and needed more clarification. Maybe I need you to condescend to my level so that I can understand. I am not to proud to admit that.

        Let me make it a little more simple for you on the LFW question so you can understand.

        Does the sinner when he or she hears the gospel have the ability to accept or reject Christ at any given moment when he or she hears the gospel preached.

        If one is a Christian and it does seem you adhere to autonomous LFW does that mean the Christian has the liberty to reject Christ and apostatize from the faith that was once delivered to the Saints? Being able to still choose between Christ or to reject Christ. LFW Do you understand now?

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        “I am asking about if God actually knew or seen (which ever way you understand it) before he ever created mankind there freewill decisions and free will actions?”

        This is a simple “yes or no” question. I am trying to tighten and clarify your answer. That is all. Could you please give me that answer without saying I am trying to corner you into a Calvinist trap which I am not. From all eternity Yes or no. That simple. It seems your trying to evade it for some reason. I am not even going to discuss any of these issues with you at this time and maybe never.

        br.d
        Sure – but that does not make me subject to any behavior – and you eventually would have engaged with me.

        This is very presumptuous of you BR.D. You have no way of knowing that. I am just simply asking for some affirmations. But getting a lot of refutations. Only God knows what will happen between you and me. To be honest. I see you as very difficult and to be very lop-sided. There would be no reason for us to discuss my reasons for refuting the false teachings of Non-Calvinism. I would discuss some of your affirmations but will not because of your obsession and inability to not refute Calvinism.

        br.d
        I think you are referring to the book “Election under the son” – and the historical data in that research book goes back way beyond Augustine whose position BTW is considered questionable among the Early Church Fathers – as it is stated – because of his inventions.

        Even here is very vague BR.D. Who wrote this book you are talking about? It seems you say it goes back beyond Augustine and is questionable among the ECF. I am not to interested in mere assertions. What do you mean by “as it is stated-because of his inventions

        If you will go back to your previous post you referred to “election in the Son” I was not referring to any book under the title “election under the Son.”

        It was Karl Barth in his Church Dogmatics: The Doctrine of God (the Election of God and the command of God) who began to develop and teach “The Eternal Will of God in the Election of Jesus Christ” He also began to teach what is commonly known as corporate election. Which is not found in the ECF. This book first edition was published in 1957. Election in Jesus Christ as you said previously.

        br.d
        I attempt to make my posts with as much wisdom as possible – if they don’t work for you please don’t punish yourself over it – simply put it down for now.

        Chuckle 🙂 I do not feel punished at all. I just asked for some clear affirmations and it was like pulling teeth as I got a jumble of refutations mingled in with it. Don’t assume Sir you know how I feel, I just do not think it is possible through mere typed words. Do you?

        As always BR.D thank you for your kindness and your straight forwardness and that you are not easily offended. I think we can let this one rest. I do hope you can answer my questions now that I have simplified them for you

        God bless Sir.

      2. Speakingtruth in love,
        Sorry to say your name isn’t coming across as it should… This site is about refuting calvinism and you push and push to understand the “eternal now” of God which is a finite impossibility! We don’t believe we are determined as does the calvinist systematic & there is much within this site to read further on this position. I find your tactics a bit condescending… I’m absolutely no scholar in this area nor care to hide this fact… but you ask br.d;
        (If one is a Christian and it does seem you adhere to autonomous LFW does that mean the Christian has the liberty to reject Christ and apostatize from the faith that was once delivered to the Saints? Being able to still choose between Christ or to reject Christ.
        LFW Do you understand now?)

        My simple non scholarly answer is; why would I & where would I go He has the Words of life and He first loved me the Creator of all things… Wow now that is really good news🌻

        Below is my reading for today from ICR

        “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.” (Matthew 23:14)

        Among the eight “woes” in Matthew 23 is this awful condemnation on religious leaders for misusing their office and misleading their followers. What they did was pretty serious, but the emphasis in the passage is on the “greater” result of their impact on many lives. James certainly had this incident in mind when he said, “My brethren, be not many masters [teachers], knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation” (James 3:1).

        Paul’s second letter to Timothy listed a series of wicked attitudes that would characterize religious leaders in the last days, warning us about the prevalent conditions. They would have a “form of godliness” but would deny “the power thereof.” Those of us who love the Lord are told to “turn away” from them, “for of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:5-7).

        The overriding principle is this: “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required” (Luke 12:48). The Pharisees and Sadducees of Jesus’ day knew the Scriptures. Therefore, their hypocritical and destructive behavior received His harsh judgment.

        Just so, all those who use their platform of leadership to distort truth and seek the praise of men (John 12:43)—whether in religious environs, in positions of political authority (as were the Pharisees and Sadducees), or merely the “masters” of academia—will reap “the righteous judgment of God” (Romans 2:5).

        May the Lord give us the discernment to avoid “them which cause divisions and offences” (Romans 16:17). HMM III

      3. Maybe you can read my re-ply to this as I think you are being somewhat biased. I was trying to make the question more simple so BR.D could understand because it seemed he was not understanding specifically what I was asking. But look at my reply and some of the things BR.D said to me. I was not offended. But I will be more careful with my words. BR.D likes control in my opinion and it seems you have to push back on him in kind. But I will leave it at that as I have no desire to discuss anything with anyone on this site but only interact with Dr. Flowers article So my apologies and your point is well taken. Just let it be taken across the board to all offenders

      4. Thank you speakingtruthinlove for that, and I will try not to have a bias slant when I read posts. I just happen to agree with this site, that is why I read the articles and sometimes respond. I know one must be born again, but I just disagree that God forced it upon me.

        Blessings & in Him alone we can stand🌻

      5. “Always remember I am open to what you have to say. If you engage directly what I am currently talking about.”

        This whole interaction made me very uneasy. The poster comes across as controlling and passive aggressive, in my opinion, despite attempts to hide it behind artificial niceness. Maybe it’s just me.

      6. TSOO I agree the poster does come across as a passive aggressive or something because in one moment he’s saying something kind while in the next breath implying your a fool… I don’t care for condescending attitudes like when speakingtruthinlove says this;

        [Let me make it a little more simple for you on the LFW question so you can understand.]

        I don’t believe God needs those who speak up for Him to act in such away it’s a turn off for learning.. Also a person can have all the knowledge in the world, but they will still be finite!!!. I pray for godly leaders who have a heart for the Word of God for teaching and training God’s people.. Not to wield it like they’re superior!

  24. br.d
    The fallacy of this reasoning is that it presupposes as TRUE a Calvinist position “once you are saved it’s a done deal ”

    speakingthetruthinloveblog
    Now Sir I really need to understand your understanding of Autonomous Self-Governing Libertarian Neutral Free Will. What is the definition of it for the wicked sinner alienated from Christ?

    br.d
    I don’t use your terminology so I will focus my response to the human will as it pertains to the wicked sinner who is alienated from Christ.

    The vast majority of Christianity holds (contrary to Calvinism) that God makes available to human beings multiple options which are REAL and not ILLUSIONS. For example when God commanded Adam to obey – God made available to Adam the ability to obey and also to not obey – without withholding one or the other option to Adam (which is not the case in Calvinism where the THEOS deceives Adam into believing he is making obedience available to Adam while SECRETLY not permitting it).

    After the fall of man – he is lost – dead in trespasses and sin. But for the vast majority of Christianity it is still the case that God makes available to human beings multiple choices that are REAL and not ILLUSIONS. And among those choices are choosing to believe in Jesus Christ as one’s savior.

    Calvinism holds that man is incapable of doing this without a DIVINE SPARK – but I don’t embrace that.

    speakingthetruthinloveblog
    What is the definition for it for the Christian who is now in Christ with the Indwelling of the Spirit of God? What is the difference if there is any at all?

    br.d
    If I understand your question here the basic premise (as in the answer above) does not change. God still makes available to believers multiple options that are REAL and not ILLUSIONS (which is still not the case in Calvinism). He does not deceive believers concerning any aspect of his will for them in any way (as is the case with Calvinism). People have degrees of liberty based upon choices they make. An unbeliever who becomes ensnared in the occult is going to meet consequences which inherently limit options. Obviously ensnarement equates to lack of freedom. And this again is the same with the believer – every time a believer becomes ensnared in sin there are consequences which work the same way. However, the believer by virtue of salvation, conviction and prompting of the Holy Spirit, and by virtue of following divine principles becomes increasingly free.

    Essentially you are asking if I believe in the Calvinist doctrine of the DIVINE SPARK – and the answer is no.

    1. I have read it and know that he does not go to the Scholar and Commentator John Gill and his Classic “The Cause of God and Truth” and the comments made by the ECF that Dr. Flowers did not mention in Part 4 of Of this John Gill’s classic Work. I have found ECF to have bits and pieces of truth, lots of false teaching and even heretical teaching. I think ultimately we need to just stick with the Word of the Living God. For now I think I will return to Dr. Flowers article in the future if the Lord is willing. But thank you for talking to me BR.D Always remember I am open to what you have to say. If you engage directly what I am currently talking about.

      God bless

  25. Words that could be considered condensing by BR.D

    “I feel sorry for anyone who lives in a DOUBLE-THINK world.
    The fact that the Calvinist mind yearns for “Grace” reveals it SECRETLY WANTS the very belief-system it denounces”

    “But Calvinism does have a well earned reputation for its use of strategically misleading language.” As if Calvinist are intentionally lying about what they believe.

    br;d
    Now I’m wondering why you are asking the same questions over again after I took the time to lay out comprehensive answers before.
    Please re-read my previous answer to this question.

    Notice he said his answers were “comprehensive” which means “complete answering nearly all aspects of the subject in view” It was not (that makes me condensing) I just ask BR.D to be more direct and specific on a question of God’s Eternal Infinite Perfect Knowledge.

    It was comprehensive to brush me off and just say, “Go re-read my comprehensive answers” that did not address my question.

    br.d
    Thanks but I think I gave you very comprehensive answers before and I’m wondering what aspects of those are being ignored.

    Once again BR.D declares his answers are comprehensive, complete, answering nearly all aspects of the subject being addressed. Then he charges me of just “ignoring” what he has written.

    If that is not condensing I do not know what is. When I was only asking for more clarification because he was putting more refutation of Calvinism in his answers (which it seems he cannot resist) and all I wanted was an affirmation of what I believe. THEN HE WOULD END HIS COMMENTS WITH SOMETHING KIND.

    I am seeing a double standard here on this site when it comes to “condensing” I was not offended or taken back. I just figured it was his style.

    br.d
    But you actually should because all of the information you are looking for is actually there.

    This comes across as condensing and even egotistical. He still thinks he addressed my specific and direct question in his answers which he did not. That is all I am saying. But once again in no way was I offended as you guys are about me. I think the click or chicks are spreading out the wings to protect one of their own, You don’t have to guys. I will re-word my responses. Re-read what I have written.Because the way someone like BR.D writes will make you respond in kind. So my apologies in advance.

    br.d
    I attempt to make my posts with as much wisdom as possible – if they don’t work for you please don’t punish yourself over it – simply put it down for now.

    br.d
    Yes and thank you for your kindness also.

    Notice he in his condensing way tells me not to “punish” myself. I chuckled when I read it. I asked him how through typed words he can tell that I am punishing myself. That is being presumptuous. Then in ends in nice kind words as you can see above.

    When I said to BR.D, “Do you understand now? I was only asking if he understood the direct specific question I wanted him to answer. Guys it is tough to read into typed words. And when you are talking with BR.D you have to be thick skinned and be ready to answer back to his responses and comments that come across in a way that you have to push back on him. He likes control in my opinion. But I have nothing against BR.D Like I said I do not figure we will ever discuss anything. I do not have any desire to. Just wanted to know his affirmations if we ever did. Which he seems a little wishy washy on that. In my opinion. I really do not want to discuss anything with anybody on here. I just want to engage and interact with Dr. Flowers article. You all are welcome to respond. I will not be responding back. I will let my comments stand on their own.

    Thanks and God bless.

    1. Hi speakingthetruthinloveblog

      Consider this as a possibility.

      Consider that Calvinism has two layers of doctrines. I know that sounds a little strange to you – but bear with me. One layer of doctrines I consider to be SURFACE layer doctrines.

      When one builds a house – he will make sure the lawn is groomed, and things like window shades, etc are all fixed and set in place. These are the things which accent the house. They are designed to HIGHLIGHT what makes his house DISTINCTIVE.

      For me, the TULIP is such a set of doctrines. These were developed later on in the building up of Calvinist doctrines. And they do function as I’ve described above – to HIGHLIGHT what makes the house of Calvinism DISTINCTIVE.

      But such things cannot exist without the house itself. They cannot exist without the frame-work of the house. And the house cannot exist without a foundation.

      In Calvinism – the foundation – the “corner-stone” doctrine is Universal Divine Causal Determinism.

      The word “doctrine” evolves from the Latin “doctrina” – which means “a body of teachings”. And a body of teachings is inherently made up of PROPOSITIONS. And every proposition comes with its own set of LOGICAL CONSEQUENCES.

      And this is no less true than for the CORE doctrine within Calvinism – Theological Determinism. In other words this doctrine comes with its own unique set of LOGICAL CONSEQUENCES.

      And as I am pretty familiar with its LOGICAL CONSEQUENCES – and since I find it a waste of time to focus on SURFACE things – you will find in all of my posts, the foundation is what I will always be focused on. So my posts will always go straight to the CORE FOUNDATION of whatever issue is begin addressed.

      Now the Calvinist will quite naturally blind himself to the LOGICAL CONSEQUENCES of his doctrine because of emotional investment. This is quite natural. People daily lose money in the stock market because of emotional investment. When it comes to emotional investments we put on rose colored glasses.

      So it makes perfect sense that a Calvinist reader of my posts who is invested in his doctrines – and consequently evades its LOGICAL CONSEQUENCES is going to find my posts difficult to understand.
      Especially if that Calvinist is primarily focused on its SURFACE doctrines.

      1. BR.D. I think you so much for engaging me once again.

        I stand ashamed as I have re-read my responses to you. I have never personally ask you to forgive me as of yet and I do so now Sir.

        You are a very intelligent man. I already knew that as I have read many of your posts in other places. Yes, you are right, at times they are hard to understand

        But, without sounding braggadocios, I am a deep thinker. Sometimes it takes me a while but if I concentrate I can break down one’s argument, dismantle it and put it back together again. Sometimes I am wrong and have to be corrected.

        Unfortunately I will not engage you at this time Sir. It is tempting to do so. I will explain why.

        I do not trust myself going back and forth. Let me say you were very gracious in your comment. But when I first came on here. I was new and wet behind the ears and I was very sensitive. Mr. Brian Wagner took me under his wing I guess you could say. His help and constructive criticism helped to temper my moodiness and to not be so sensitive. But the pride in me was still to strong.

        I ended up alienating Brian and dissolving a good friendship from a very kind and gracious man.

        I even said things to Eric Kemp that were not in accordance with what would be considered Christ honoring. I have asked him to forgive me.

        The same goes for Dr. Flowers and we both know this man’s character and reputation is very strong in the Lord.

        I stepped back from all of this because I knew I needed time with the Lord alone and personal study in Christian living. I do not even attend a Calvinist church although the pastor quotes predominantly form Reformed, Calvinists and Puritans all the time.

        I began following Dr. Flowers on Twitter and to my surprise he did not block me. We even talked a couple of times briefly. I only observe and make sure I never do any personal attacks against Eric or Dr. Flowers any more.

        What really affected my life was a video that Dr. Flowers did about Dr. James White. On the video he said that James White was his brother in Christ, That he loved James White and that Jame White was a warrior for the body of Christ. Although he disagreed with him in the area of Calvinism. Dr. Flowers made it clear that he still believed strongly in his beliefs and rightly so.

        It made such an impact on me that day from a man of God, called of the Lord to humble himself and do that in front of everyone. I actually felt that was a turning point in this discussion where there had been animosity and ill will feelings and division. It was like the winds of change as God worked through Dr. Flowers in my opinion. It impacted me and I said I wanted to be like Dr. Flowers and follow him as he is following Christ.

        Now I am disappointed that James White did not respond to that. (maybe he did and I just do not know) I am asking everyone to not start throwing stones but to follow Dr. Flowers example here in showing the love of Christ. I will be the first to admit that Dr. Flowers is rough around the edges and gets out of hand at times

        Then something else happened. Braxton Hunter and another fellow made a video that attacked Dr. White in a very malicious way. But they immediately put out another video apologizing for their conduct and were very sincere. Many were contacting Dr. White he needed to expose them and make a big deal about it. Dr. White refused to emphatically. He said these are my brothers in Christ. They have sincerely apologized publicly and that is the end of it.

        Then I start posting here again and immediately notice that the environment has changed from what I had noticed before. You guys will settle for nothing less than a cordial respectful conversation. You are policing yourself.

        When Reggie called me out he did it firmly but he did it in love. What does Proverbs say “Open Rebuke is better than concealed Love” But then when I finally quit defending myself and pointing my finger at you and owned my sin Reggie gently reconciled with loving forgiveness with me. That made an impact on me. Then you wrote kind words also.

        I broke my own rule when I first started posting. I actually engaged with Mr. Wagner because a couple of things he said reminded me of our email discussions.

        Something I want to say about Brian. Not trying to puff him up or to give praise to man. But have you guys ever seen any of this man’s back and forth conversations with people other than here on this site. Trust me, Brian, brings it down to our level so that we can understand. This man is Brilliant. His back and forth argumentation are over my head. His comments here are well argued although I do not always agree with his conclusions.

        So, BR.D. What you wrote is interesting and good. I will meditate upon it I give you my word. I only ask that you please give me some time. I have even looked as some of the comments thus far I have made about Dr. Flowers article and seen how I could have worded it differently. Even as you showed me I should not have used the word subtle. Maybe as I continue to interact you can respond directly to what I have said and maybe I will respond back. But I do not want to go off on a dozen rabbit trails or be hit with the scatter gun tactic. I like to hit one point at a time and stay there. But right now I want to stay focused until I can trust myself more with interaction. You would be interesting to do so. I am not sure you would find me a worthy or boring though.

        I think I am here more to test what I believe against what Dr. Flowers is saying. He is the leading individual in this area today. And there are some very intelligent people on here whose comments I have read that are informative also that I can test what I believe against also

        Hey did you say you sat under Gordon Fee. I have his book on God’s empowering Presence and His commentary on 1 Corinthians

        This was long. I use to be long all the time. This will not be as I go through Dr. Flowers article. That is another reason it is hard for me to interact with people. I don’t know when to shut up..:)

  26. speakingthetruthinloveblog
    You seem to have this overwhelming obsession and inability to answer questions without refuting Calvinism. That is not what I am asking you to do.

    br.d
    And I’ve already explained that – I’m afraid you’ll have to accept my manner for what it is.

    speakingthetruthinloveblog
    Does the sinner when he or she hears the gospel have the ability to accept or reject Christ at any given moment when he or she hears the gospel preached.

    br.d
    As I’ve stated in another post – the vast majority of Christianity believes that God makes available to humans multiple options which are REAL and not ILLUSIONS. And after the fall this does not change. But humans still retain the capacity to respond to God – yet in varied degrees. The unbeliever ensnared in the occult for example will face consequences. Ensnarement equates to lack of freedom. And the ability to accept or reject is logically entailed in “the capacity to respond”.

    As I’ve also stated before – this question appears to be pin-pointing whether or not a human requires a DIVINE SPARK in order to “hear” – (which in Calvinist vernacular equates to “respond”). And as I’ve said multiple times – i do not embrace that.

    speakingthetruthinloveblog
    If one is a Christian and it does seem you adhere to autonomous LFW does that mean the Christian has the liberty to reject Christ and apostatize from the faith that was once delivered to the Saints? Being able to still choose between Christ or to reject Christ. LFW Do you understand now?

    br.d
    This question is IRRATIONAL.
    You may not believe that you have the liberty to sit in a chair.
    But that belief is limited to PERCEPTION – it doesn’t transfer to and limit ACTUAL liberty.

    I don’t think you realize your questions are all centered around Theological Determinism in which the THEOS determines every movement of every event. And I’ve already told you I do not embrace that.

    In this case your question appears to represent the Calvinist doctrine of “irresistible” election.
    And that doctrine is simply window-dressing on the house of Theological Determinism which of course I don’t embrace.

    speakingthetruthinloveblog
    “I am asking about if God actually knew or seen (which ever way you understand it) before he ever created mankind there freewill decisions and free will actions?”

    This is a simple “yes or no” question.

    br.d
    I did give you the answer here before – on your question of Omniscience – and answered in the affirmative.

    I also went beyond that anticipating where it would lead – and also affirmed that there is perfect divine knowledge of all future events that WOULD happen. Which LOGICALLY EXCLUDES the necessity of Theological Determinism.

    See – I did answer this question before :-]

    speakingthetruthinloveblog
    This is very presumptuous of you BR.D. You have no way of knowing that. I am just simply asking for some affirmations.

    br.d
    Here presumptuous is projected – where I am focused on wisdom.

    speakingthetruthinloveblog
    To be honest. I see you as very difficult and to be very lop-sided. There would be no reason for us to discuss my reasons for refuting the false teachings of Non-Calvinism. I would discuss some of your affirmations but will not because of your obsession and inability to not refute Calvinism.

    br.d
    Sorry – as I’ve said – you’ll simply have to accept my manner of dialog.
    If one does not want to dialog – I’m happy either way – but I do enjoy the right to respond to posts here.

    speakingthetruthinloveblog
    Even here is very vague BR.D. Who wrote this book you are talking about? It seems you say it goes back beyond Augustine and is questionable among the ECF. I am not to interested in mere assertions. What do you mean by “as it is stated-because of his inventions

    br.d
    As scholars point out – Augustine synchronized pagan doctrines into Catholic doctrine.
    Augustine was a disciple of Plotinus throughout his Catholic life.

    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy – Neoplatonism and Christianity
    -quote
    It is an undeniable fact, although nowadays rarely acknowledged, that the general outlook and the principal doctrines of the Neoplatonists proved exceedingly influential throughout the entire history of western philosophy. Through Augustine (354–430) in the west and the 4th-century Cappadocian Fathers (Basil, Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory of Nazianzus) ….

    Wikipedia online encyclopedia
    -quote
    Neoplatonism was a major influence on Christian theology throughout Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages in the West. This was due to St. Augustine of Hippo, who was influenced by the early Neoplatonists Plotinus and Porphyry…..

    Sparks Notes:
    -quote
    “Augustine’s lasting influence lies largely in his success in combining the Neoplatonic worldview with the Christian one. In Augustine’s hybrid system, the idea that all creation is good in as much as it exists, means that all creation, no matter how nasty or ugly, has its existence only in God. Because of this, all creation seeks to return to God, who is the purest and most perfected form of the compromised being enjoyed by individual things. Again, then, any story of an individual’s return to God is also a statement about the relationship between God and the created universe: namely, everything tends back toward God, its constant source and ideal form.”

    See also:
    Augustine, Manichaeism and the Good – by Kam-Lun E. Lee
    Where remaining elements of Gnosticism are observed throughout Augustine’s writings.

    This is what is referred to as “Augustine’s inventions”

    speakingthetruthinloveblog
    If you will go back to your previous post you referred to “election in the Son” I was not referring to any book under the title “election under the Son.”

    It was Karl Barth in his Church Dogmatics: The Doctrine of God (the Election of God and the command of God) who began to develop and teach “The Eternal Will of God in the Election of Jesus Christ” He also began to teach what is commonly known as corporate election. Which is not found in the ECF. This book first edition was published in 1957. Election in Jesus Christ as you said previously.

    br.d
    I have only name recognition of Karl Barth. Never thought much of him.
    If I remember correctly – Gordon Fee in a seminary lecture once stated something like “Barth turns Paul into Barth”.

    speakingthetruthinloveblog
    As always BR.D thank you for your kindness and your straight forwardness and that you are not easily offended. I think we can let this one rest. I do hope you can answer my questions now that I have simplified them for you

    God bless Sir.

    br.d
    I will consider this the last round on your line of questioning.
    As I’ve previously stated – I’m concerned that your trying to get me to state something using some kind of specific language – and I’m not going down that path.

    1. BR.D God bless Sir. I will honor your request as some of your friends think I am being unkind to you. Please forgive me if I was being a little to pushy in getting to the actual specific answers I wanted. But I did not any secret agenda. Just asking for your affirmations on certain aspects that you believe. So we will leave it at that. I am going to comment only on Dr. Flowers article. I am sure you will respond. If you respond directly to what I have written I will consider it but I will not respond back.

      God bless Sir

      1. I certainly don’t mind if you want to respond to a post I make.
        Dr. Flower’s intention is for participants to have freedom and liberty here.
        But of course that comes with all parties functioning as adults and remaining within Christ-like boundaries.

        We do occasionally have someone who pushes it close to the edge – and falls into attacking select people.
        But we gently give them the opportunity to make the appropriate corrections.
        And in most cases that is all that is needed.

  27. BR.D God bless Sir. I will honor your request as some of your friends think I am being unkind to you. Please forgive me if I was being a little to pushy in getting to the actual specific answers I wanted. But I did not any secret agenda. Just asking for your affirmations on certain aspects that you believe. So we will leave it at that. I am going to comment only on Dr. Flowers article. I am sure you will respond. If you respond directly to what I have written I will consider it but I will not respond back.

    God bless Sir

  28. Reggie, thank you for your kind comments.

    Also your open rebuke of me is taken well. I will do my best to phrase things so that they are in more of a spirit of cordial dialogue and respect Thank you for calling me out on it. I am still sinful and prone to pride even as I tried to defend myself in my last couple of post. Forgive me brother. Keep a watchful eye on me also. Call me out. But like I said I really do not want to dialogue with anyone. I found it is more or less an exercise in futility.

    Like I did not interact with any of BR.D’s opposition and refutation of Christian Calvinism or the remark you made in your last post. I do not defend Christian Calvinism. I only refute the false teaching of Non-Calvinism. That does not mean all things Non-Calvinism are false teaching. BR.D mentioned Gordan Fee. I am a huge fan and have a few commentaries and a book by him. He is brilliant. Also I do consider Non-Calvinist my brothers in Christ.

    I just want to interact with Dr. Flowers article. If you or anyone responds of course I will read it and take it into serious consideration if it is interacted directly with what I have said. But will probably not respond directly back. If someone shows that I am wrong about something I will not hesitate to say that I am. As I did in a discussion with Eric Kemp in private email on John 6.

    So thank you and God bless in Christ

  29. speakingthetruthinloveblog
    BR.D. I think you so much for engaging me once again.

    I stand ashamed as I have re-read my responses to you. I have never personally ask you to forgive me as of yet and I do so now Sir.

    br.d
    Thank you for this kind response. Actually we are all subject to being human – so we all have the same exact strengths and weaknesses – yet in different measures.

    As scripture says:
    We rejoice in our difficulties, knowing that they produce endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.

    What we strive for is not unity with one another because that is simply human unity. But each of us is to strive as a bride – for union with a personal loving caring husband and a loving savior who shed his blood and died for us! In that union we have TRUE unity with one another.

    Let us press towards that mark together! :-]
    br.d

  30. I thank God that I don’t follow their pagan influenced Gnostic and Manichaean god!
    Augustinian was a false teacher through and through and led many astray. The Church should have long ago should up against it.

    1. Thank you Skyline for your post – and welcome!

      Any info of academic source you think might be informational and you would be willing to submit on that subject would be beneficial.

      Thanks

      1. THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE APOSTLES

        In studying the Bible, it is always necessary to note who is speaking, to whom he is speaking and the general context of that which is spoken. We must certainly follow these principles in studying the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the promise of Divine guidance.

        THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.

        A. The baptism of the Holy Spirit was a promise, not a command (Mt. 3:11; Lk. 24:49; Acts 1:5). Promises are to be enjoyed, but a promise cannot be obeyed as such. Commands are to be obeyed; for example: Salvation is conditioned upon faith expressed in obedience to God’s will (Mt. 7:21; Heb. 5:8-9; Acts 2:38; 10:47-48).

        B. The baptism of the Holy Spirit was a promise made to a few, not all men. The words of John (Mt. 3:11), were addressed to a mixed group, a few of whom would receive the baptism of the Spirit, while others, the “brood of vipers,” would receive the baptism of fire (vss. 10-12). Note carefully, that the statements concerning the Holy Spirit found in John 14-16, Luke 24:48-49, and Acts 1:1-5 were addressed to the eleven apostles after Judas had departed. Many of the words concerning the Holy Spirit and His work were directed to the apostles only, not to all men.

        C. The Holy Spirit, when He did come upon the apostles, was seen and heard (Acts 2:33). His coming was not something “better felt than told.” as some claim today, and who were not meant to be the recipients of this particular promise.

        CONCLUSION:

        Holy Spirit baptism was promised only to the apostles, and they received it (Acts 2:1-4). To apply the promises of Divine guidance spoken of in John 14-16 to all men, is to misapply them and to overlook the basic rules of Bible study.

    2. Let me just say first to BR.D and TSOO that I pray that I have been gracious and respectful. If I at anytime get out of line call me out on it. I have admitted it is my weakness at times. I enjoy discussing things with you BR.D and I really mean that. You are an intelligent man. Very Philosophical and a deep thinker. A definite challenge that is good and I hope we can continue discussing with respect and being cordial. If someone thinks I have stepped out of line please ask me and give a chance to explain. I think it is clear that from previous post that I will admit if I am wrong and have in pride sinned. I am actually concerned about it right now. Probably too much. Just when I respond BR.D and TSOO please do not think I am being mean or disrespectful and if you do ask me. I am actually checking myself right now by writing this, because my fear of interacting and becoming disrespectful.

      Let’s don’t forget that Augustine came out of the Manichaean cult and its beliefs and wrote against it and denied it even on his death bed. I am not much for saying Calvin, Augustine ect. I like Jesus, Paul, Peter etc. Please don’t make me have to prove it. If you do some honest non-biased research you will see this is true.

      But I will respond here. It is said all this “false Calvinism” started with Augustine and cannot be found in the Early Church Fathers.

      Dr. Flowers as everyone of you most of you all know believes in the “Messianic Secret: The motif in 1901 by William Wrede.”

      It seems Non-Calvinist want to say that Augustine invented all this false calvinism teaching, then Dr. Flowers believes in a man-made invention by William Wrede that he said he discovered in 1901. That nobody else before him (William Wrede) had ever seen in the Word of God.

      But Flowers says what Augustine teaches the Early Church Fathers did not teach.

      Well I am sure everyone here will agree with me that what William Wrede discovered in 1901 and taught of the “Secret Motif, Messianic Secret” is not taught in the Early Church Fathers. So if that is the principle we are using then what Dr. Flowers advocates here is to be rejected because it cannot be found in the ECF. I would even say it is not found within the Word of God.

      It is not accepted by the majority of Orthodox Christians today, “but keep in mind it is by “the select few” Joking guys. Moved on from that.

      Dr. Flowers does a great job in his articles in articulating what he wants to convey although I disagree with the conclusions he draws. I know one man he rebutted Dr. Flowers very well on the Messianic Secret of 1901 right here. See link below:

      Jesus’ Parables as Judgment: A Response to Leighton Flowers’ View of the Purpose of the Parables
      JANUARY 4, 2016 / DREW MERY

      https://reformedbaptistdaily.wordpress.com/2016/01/04/jesus-parables-as-judgment-a-response-to-leighton-flowers-view-of-the-purpose-of-the-parables/

      We cannot believe Augustine because it was not taught in the ECF. It is on record he renounced Manichaean teaching but we are to believe a man discovered a new teaching in 1901 that is not found in the ECF.

      Now I would call that NEW, RECENT, and SUSPECT. I am not arguing for Augustine here I am just trying to show a principle that has been used by Dr. Flowers that he does not apply to William Wrede and the Secret Motif of 1901. This teaching is imperative to his understanding of the Bible.

      Then briefly, we have “Corporate Election” When was it first began to be taught in church history. Did the ECF teach it? Dr. Sean Cole has traced it back to Karl Barth in the 1930’s and it can be found in his Church Dogmatics (don’t remember the exact volume right off hand) published in 1957.

      I know BR.D said he has not given much thought about corporate election. But there are a lot of Corporate election Non-Calvinists out there who need to answer this question. When did it first begin to be taught? They will say in the Bible. That is what the Calvinist says about “individual election” and he does not get a pass.

      So I give no passes on “Corporate Election” or the Messianic Secret of 1901 if the ECF did not teach it.

      Thanks guys.

  31. Aidan I’m wondering what you do with a text as?

    1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
    14 ¶ For the body is not one member, but many.

    1. Hi Shawn,

      Before I answer, answer me this: The statements concerning the Holy Spirit found in John 14-16, Luke 24:48-49, and Acts 1:1-5 were addressed to whom specifically? To all believers or to the apostles? And, who then received that “promise” in Acts 2:1-4? What was it that was seen and heard there?, And what signs accompanied the baptism of the holy Spirit? Answer me these things from the context, and then we will discuss what 1 Cor. 12:13 is talking about.

      Regards, Aidan.

      1. Aidan I don’t won’t to get to far off topic with the the main topic on the role of the Holy Spirit,but where in this text that you offered say that the Baptism of the Spirit was only promised to Apostles when clearly 1 Corinthians 12 :13 was for the whole church?

        Thanks Shawn

      2. Shawn, you need to slow down and take a little time before jumping to conclusions about a verse. There is probably no subject more grossly misunderstood and misapplied, than baptism in the Holy Spirit. The question is, do you want to know the truth, or have you made up your mind already? The passages I gave you explain — the what, the who, the where, and the when, of that “promise.”
        They explain that Jesus was speaking only to His apostles, what He promised them, where and when this “promise” was to be fulfilled, what powerful signs accompanied this event, namely, their baptism in the Holy Spirit, and also its purpose.

        If then, you can read and understand these passages, you will understand that baptism in the Holy Spirit was not a common occurrence in New Testament times. The only other time that something similar happened, was upon Cornelius and his household in Acts 10; when God brought in the gentiles. This was to show the Jews that He was now accepting the gentiles in Christ, through the gospel. But, in Acts 11:15,16; Peter couldn’t find any other event to match this, except when they were baptized in the Holy Spirit way back in Acts 2, ten years earlier. This showed that baptism in the Holy Spirit was a very rare and unique event, and not an everyday occurrence . But it also implies that 1 Corinthians 12:13 cannot be speaking about, ” baptism in the Holy Spirit.”

        But if we are determined to ignore the clear teaching of these other passages, we will never be able to come to a knowledge of the truth concerning this issue. The question is, are you willing to examine these passages to see whether these things are so? (Acts 17:11). I hope so!

      3. And, by the way Shawn, a proper understanding of those passages speaks right to the heart of the main topic concerning the role of the Holy Spirit today. It means that He is no longer active in a miraculous, supernatural way, as He was primarily in the first century.

        Regards Aidan.

  32. Continuing Examination of Dr. Flowers Article Entitled “The Role of The Holy Spirit

    Dr. Flowers quoting from Theologian Herman Bavinck and his response: 2. He teaches, “The Holy Spirit, using the biblical message of the Cross, ‘awakens in man that deeply hidden awareness of guilt. He convinces man of sin, even where previously no consciousness of sin was apparently present.’”

    Keep in mind, for the Calvinist this is only being done for a select few, “the elect of God.” God is not awakening every man and making him aware of his guilt and making him conscious of his sin. For the Calvinist, God is only doing this for His chosen ones, though there is nothing preventing Him from doing this for others as well. So, while these words may sound appealing one must look closer to see the difficulty of the meaning that hides just below the surface.

    Before I begin to respectfully examine and give my response to Dr. Flowers I would like to give Theologian Herman Bavinck full quote in this section that Dr. Flowers mentions.

    Herman Bavinck: “The Holy Spirit, using the biblical message of the Cross, “awakens in man that deeply hidden awareness of guilt. He convinces man of sin, even where previously no consciousness of sin was apparently present. The Holy Spirit uses the word of the preacher and touches the heart of the hearer, making it accessible to the word.”

    Notice in Dr. Flowers first sentence he says something that I would agree to disagree respectfully with him about. As would most Reformed/Calvinist Christians.

    Dr. Flowers wants us to keep in mind that this is only being done for “a select few, the elect of God.” This is respectfully a misnomer.

    A few passages of Holy Scripture will confirm this fact. I will start and build with the first and build on this issue showing that it is not a “select few”

    John 11:50 nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish.” 51 Now this he did not say on his own authority; but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52 and not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad.

    Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

    Notice in Revelation 5:9. God by Jesus’ death on the Cross, and the very shedding of His blood redeemed (Original Greek: Purchased, out of the slave-market of sin) (OUT OF) every kindred, tongue, and people and nation. The Holy Precious Blood of Christ purchased people from every kindred tongue and nation, the very children of God (John 11:50) scattered abroad).

    Acts 15:14 hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. KJV

    Once again notice how God is selective here as Dr. Flowers mentions. How God did first visit the Gentiles to “TAKE OUT OF THEM” a people for His name. I have read many other translations that say the same thing and this verse is very similar to Revelation 5:9. The words “out of” being used in both verses.

    But now I have to show that is it not just a “SELECT FEW” as Dr. Flowers said we must take note.

    Revelations 7:9 – After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,

    This is what the Christian Reformed/Calvinists believes to the Praise to God’s glorious grace in Christ Jesus. Compare this verse to Revelation 5:9. The same words tribes, peoples, languages/tongues are there. (But is says there is a great multitude that no one could not be numbered, because God though the Blood of Christ purchased them OUT OF every nation, tribe, tongue and peoples. Glory to God.

    Yes I know there is the verse, Matthew 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.” But that verse must be taken in context as it relates to the “Parable of the Marriage Feast and the First Century Jews. The book of Matthew is basically an indictment against the Jews leading up to their judgement ifn 70 AD. Read through Matthew and see. But this verse cannot be used.

    The rest of Dr. Flowers words goes with is following comments to I do not want to separate them and take it out of context. So until next time God bless in Christ always.

    1. I do not believe the concern of the non-Calvinist regarding’the select few’ is that the number chosen is too few, but that only a select number – whether one or billions – is alleged by Calvinism to be offered the love, grace, mercy and gift of life.

      Non-Calvinists assert that God provided atonement for the sin of all men, with the only limitation being belief/acceptance of this offer.

      I am fairly sure most Calvinistd are aware that the difference between them and the vast majority of believers is a limited atonement., which indeed limits salvation to a select few.

      I don’t know if you are simply strawmanning or ? People do not quibble over whether too few are saved, but whether the choice is predetermined by God or offered freely to all – and legitimately, not the ol’ sneaky, wink/wink ‘offered to all who will believe, but God has to enable you to believe’, which still limits this offer to the select few God chooses to enable.

      1. TSOO thank you for your comment and reply.

        speakingthetruthinlove:
        I would like to respond and then I will let you have the final word.

        First I would like to respond to what it seems to be a question you are asking of me.

        TSOO said and I quote: “I don’t know if you are simply strawmanning or ?”

        Speakingthetruthinlove: I cannot respond to the “or” part of the sentence because it is shrouded in mystery as you would admit I cannot read minds. But I will respond to the first part.

        Am I “strawmanning? Making a straw man argument of what Dr. Flowers said is what you are asking me since you ended the sentence with a question mark. My answer Sir respectfully. Is no I am not. At least not intentionally and I am not aware of it.

        This response is going to long as I will have to review what I said about Dr. Flowers comments and respond to yours also. I will set out to prove why I was not making a straw man argument, Which as you know is refuting what someone said and and they actually did not say it. I do not think this happened. I may be wrong but I did respond exactly to Dr. Flowers what Dr. Flowers said and in context.

        TSOO said and I quote: “I do not believe the concern of the non-Calvinist regarding’the select few’ is that the number chosen is too few, but that only a select number – whether one or billions – is alleged by Calvinism to be offered the love, grace, mercy and gift of life.”

        I would only say with all due respect TSOO that if you have read Dr. Flowers article (and I believe you have) then you would know that is exactly what Dr. Flowers asserted and was saying in his comment about “the select few, the elect of God”

        Dr. Flowers said responding to theologian Herman Bavink and I quote: “Keep in mind, for the Calvinist this is only being done FOR A SELECT FEW, THE ELECT OF GOD.” God is not awakening every man and making him aware of his guilt and making him conscious of his sin. For the Calvinist, God is only doing this for His chosen ones, though there is nothing preventing Him from doing this for others as well. So, while these words may sound appealing one must look closer to see the difficulty of the meaning that hides just below the surface.

        Whenever Dr. Flowers is specifically refuting a well known theologian such as RC Sproul, Dr. White, or as here Herman Bavink closely linked to John Calvin he is refuting Calvinism Universally, across the board as a whole. That is the reason for the ministry of this site.

        So you see TSOO, contrary to what you said in your above comment. Dr. Flowers was wanting those who read his article to know that in response to Theologian Herman Bavink’s comment, and all Calvinist’s (as he puts in his response) for everyone to,

        “Keep in mind, for the Calvinist this is only being done for a select few, “the elect of God.” Dr. Flowers Comment

        Speakingthetruthinlove:
        Now I understand TSOO that this may not be your stance and Dr. Flowers may not be speaking for you. I understand and respect that. But you do seem to be speaking (if I am understanding you correctly) for all Calvinist in your comment above.

        TSOO said and I quote: “I do not believe the concern of the non-Calvinist regarding’the select few’ is that the number chosen is too few, but that only a select number – whether one or billions – is alleged by Calvinism to be offered the love, grace, mercy and gift of life.”

        Speakingthetruthinlove
        I do not believe Dr. Flowers as a Non-Calvinist falls within your category as you stated above as he says in his own comments “keep in mind, for the Calvinist this is only being done for a select few, the elect of God.”

        TSOO said and I quote: “People do not quibble over whether too few are saved,……

        Speakingthetruthinlove
        Dr. Flowers did bring the issue up and I respectfully responded to it. I will not go back and respond again as my last article is sufficient I think. Refer back to that please. I only responded to that which you directly interacted with my response to Dr. Flowers. Do not want to do down a lot of rabbit trails. It is an exercise in futility. But I will just add one verse that I included in my last verse to show the Calvinist believe that a multitude, to great to be numbered will be found in eternity to the praise of God’s glorious grace found only in the Lord Jesus Christ.

        Revelations 7:9 – After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,

        God bless you my Brother in Christ TSOO.

      2. You continue, in my opinion, to misunderstand what Flowers was stating. His concern over ‘the select few’ was not a quantity issue, but a selection issue. His concern would not be abated if he believed God chose a few more. He is not quibbling over the number being ‘too small’ – he is challenging the false claim that God deliberately set a limit on the number of who can and will be saved. The issue is that Calvinism’s God chooses ‘some’, a limited group – the select few rather than all – whereas scripture declares that God loves and offers salvation to ‘all’ men.

        Again, the problem is not that Calvin’s God did not select a large enough quantity, but that he deliberately, determinitively withheld the possibility of salvation from anyone – whether one or millions – before they were ever created and for no reason found within the individuals, but simply due to his own good pleasure. He wanted, even needed, some to be forever damned to get himself glory.

  33. TSOO, I know I said I would give you the last word, I just wanted to tell you that in your last comment your words are very similar and mirror the next set of comments that I will be examining of Dr. Flowers article “The Role of the Holy Spirit. So in a sense I will be answer you indirectly.

    I do not think I misunderstood because Dr. Flowers and you also used a word that indicates quantity which leads a person to believe that Dr. Flowers is talking about quantity. Flowers said the “select FEW, the elect of God.” So Dr. Flowers seemed to be steering the conversation in that direction. Now he does go on to indicate the concerns you also assert in your comment that I do admit.

    Few used to emphasize how small a number of people or things is. Dictionary.com Dr. Flowers could have just said those “selected of God or the “elect of God” So I will answer the rest of you comments section on Dr. Flowers article. But I want to leave you with this.

    2 Samuel 24:1 – 1 Again the anger of the Lord was aroused against Israel, and He moved David against them to say, “Go, number Israel and Judah.” 2 So the king said to Joab the commander of the army who was with him, “Now go throughout all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, and count the people, that I may know the number of the people.” 3 And Joab said to the king, “Now may the Lord your God add to the people a hundred times more than there are, and may the eyes of my lord the king see it. But why does my lord the king desire this thing?”

    2 Samuel 24:10 And David’s heart condemned him after he had numbered the people. So David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done; but now, I pray, O Lord, take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have done very foolishly.”

    Notice above in verse 1 that the anger of the Lord was aroused against Israel and He (the Lord) MOVED DAVID against them to go number Israel and Judah. This was a sin. Something that God had forbidden earlier. Even Joab in verse 2 tries to talk David out of it. Remember it is God moving David to to this sinful act. I now go to verse 10 but you are more than welcome to read the whole chapter.

    In verse 10 after the THE LORD MOVED DAVID TO NUMBER Israel and Judea which was a sin David heart condemned him after he numbered the people. And he prayed to the Lord, I have sinned greatly in what I have done, take away my iniquity for I have acted foolishly. But it was the Lord who moved David to do this very thing.

    Now let’s look at the parallel passage to see how the Lord accomplished this and how the Calvinist see it but the Non-Calvinist would see God getting His hands dirty and still guilty of sin by association.

    1 Chronicles 21:1 Now Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel. 2 So David said to Joab and to the leaders of the people, “Go, number Israel from Beersheba to Dan, and bring the number of them to me that I may know it.” 3 And Joab answered, “May the Lord make His people a hundred times more than they are. But, my lord the king, are they not all my lord’s servants? Why then does my lord require this thing? Why should he be a cause of guilt in Israel?”

    1 Chronicles 21:7 And God was displeased with this thing; therefore He struck Israel. 8 So David said to God, “I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing; but now, I pray, take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have done very foolishly.”

    Look how closely the two passages are related with the exceptions that in 2 Samuel it was God moving David and in 1 Chronicles 21 we find it is Satan moving David, When you read the whole of 1 Chronicles you see David repents of numbering Israel the same way he did in 2 Samuel 24. So yes God moved David’s heart to sin through the agency of Satan. This is what the Christian Calvinist is accused of all the time that God cannot and will not do because it makes Him the author of Sin. Or it is said sometimes God does it. This does not let the Non-Calvnist off the hook because God is still doing what they say makes Him the very author of Sin. In 2 Samuel 24 it emphatically says God moves David to number Israel. 1 Chronicles says Satan moved David to do it. Once again God used the agency of Satan to accomplish a sinful activity through David. Which according to the Non-Calvinist would make God the author of Sin or at least here and it cannot be denied, guilty by association. Something the Christian Calvinist denies. In Him (God) there is light and no darkness at all) He is the thrice Holy God.

    Speak directly to these two passages TSOO and tell how you vindicate God of using Satan to move David to accomplish his Will (2 Samuel 24 says God did it) to to do a sinful activity)

    God bless in Christ TSOO

    1. Deliberately or not, you simply avoid the major issue, while pretending to address an essentially non-issue, as my earlier comment suggested. Were your assertions correct, that Flowers makes a distinction between ‘the elect’ and ‘the select few’, he could be placated as long as Calvinists could demonstrate that God actually saved a ‘select many’ rather than a ‘select few’. None of his many writings, however, indicate he would embrace Divine Determinism if only the number of those predetermined met with his approval.

      Non-Calvinists use ‘the elect’ and ‘the select few’ interchangably, as both describe Calvinism’s false teaching that God saves a predetermined select number of people, however large or small that number is. You are simply blowing smoke by emphasizing the ‘few’ as if quantity was the problem. The real issue is few vs. all being offered salvation, not few vs many actually being saved. All but universalists grant that few are actually saved. Calvinists assert this is because God only wanted those few, only chose those few, only atoned for the sin of those few, only regenerated those few and will only save those few. Non-Calvinists assert that whereas God offered atonement for all sin, only the few respond to God’s universal call for repentance (turning from that sin) and faith in God’s goodness and mercy. This is a distinction I am fairly sure you understand, which is why I assert you are simply blowing smoke, as Calvinists are wont to do in order to hide the ugly, cruel and niggardly nature of their God.

      It is much like one Calvinist’s attempt to distinguish between ‘permission’ and ‘mere permission’, when in general usage, there is none. The words ‘mere’ and ‘few’ simply provide amplification of the meaning of the noun, they do not indicate that a permission that is not ‘mere’ or a ‘select’ that is not ‘few’ would be perfectly acceptable to the speaker.

      Granting permission is antithetical to authoritative determinism, and a limited elect who is irresistibly redeemed is antithetical to ‘all’ being offered salvation with only a few accepting. As I believe God is indeed the omniscient, omnipotent, sovereign ruler over creation, and that he is perfectly good, loving and just, I assert that he tolerates evil on a temporary basis, granting Satan ‘mere permission’ to have his way here on earth. A Calvinist, however, cannot legitimately make that assertion; he must assert, however much he dislikes doing so, that his all-determining God is the author, source and cause of evil, as he is the author, source, and cause of whatsoever comes to pass.

      I do believe that there is a category of ‘the elect’ who will indeed be saved, rather than universal salvation. God offers salvation to all, but only grants it to those who meet his requirement of faith. The ‘few’ are not ‘selected’, as in randomly chosen, predetermined and irresistibly granted faith and salvation. Rather, ‘the elect’ are those (few) who God foreknew would trust in him and gladly receive the grace offered to them. In other words, there is a distinction between being ‘elect’ and ‘select’, a la Calvinistic Determinism.

      1. Hello BR.D and thanks once again for your comments.

        BR.D said and I quote: “Were your assertions correct, that Flowers makes a distinction between ‘the elect’ and ‘the select few’, he could be placated as long as Calvinists could demonstrate that God actually saved a ‘select many’ rather than a ‘select few’. None of his many writings, however, indicate he would embrace Divine Determinism if only the number of those predetermined met with his approval.”

        I can agree with that Sir and never meant that he would do otherwise.

        BR.D said and quote: “Non-Calvinists use ‘the elect’ and ‘the select few’ interchangeably, as both describe Calvinism’s false teaching that God saves a predetermined select number of people, however large or small that number is. You are simply blowing smoke by emphasizing the ‘few’ as if quantity was the problem.”

        I don’t smoke any cigarettes so I do not think I am blowing any smoke here. 🙂 If the Non-Calvinist are using the words “the elect” and “the select few” interchangeably then they just need to remember that we do not embrace that language. As I have quoted the verse from Revelation several times now that at the end of time there will be a “great multitude that no man can number” So you may be right I may be making a big deal over one word that is not necessary. But it is not Modern Day Calvinistic Language. It can be a little misleading and I am not suggesting that Dr. Flowers is trying to intentionally deceive. I just think that the Non-Calvinist has a tendency to to beyond what the Calvinist says and thinks at times. So, I concede, I will let that one go and so no big deal. Your clarification is well taken.

        Thanks BR.D

    2. I am astounded that you believe God moved David to sin. If it was what God wanted, and brought to pass, how can it be called ‘sin’? This shows the utter misunderstanding you – and Calvinism – has of the meaning of sin. If something was ordained and brought to pass by God, it cannot possibly be sin, unless God is a sin producer. Sin is disobedience to God – it cannot possibly be ordained or brought to pass by God. It is logically, not to mention morally, impossible.

      1. TSOO, I am astounded that I have to say that in no way did you read what I wrote in its entirety. I did not assert God caused David to sin. I actually said that God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all. God is the Thrice Holy God.

        But in 2 Samuel 24:1 it does say God moved David to number Israel which was a sin. Those around tried to convince him not to do it. Then in verse 10 King David repents of the sin saying he has sinned against God and done foolishly In verse one, God was angry with Israel and it does say he moved David’s heart to number Israel to sin. I understand that this is what the Non-Calvinist has been rebuking the Calvinist for, for a long time.

        Then when you look at the parallel passage we see how God did this.

        In 1 Chronicles 21:1 it says that Satan moved David to number Israel. The same people try to convince David not to do this because it was a sin. Then in verse 7 David is convicted of his Sin. Once again he prays to God that he has sinned and acted foolishly and asks God to take away his sin as he did in Samuel 24:10

        2 Samuel 24:1 Says God moved David’s heart to number Israel which was a sin

        I Chronicles 21:1 Says Satan moved David’s heart to number Israel which was a sin.

        God used the agency of Satan to accomplish his purpose, (that being David number Israel, which was a Sin) because God was angry at Israel. If you will read in 1 Chronicles God gave King David three options of punishment.

        Once again God used the agency of Satan to number Israel which was a sin. It accomplished God’s purpose which was David committing an evil act. (1 Samuel 24:1 The Lord moved David’s heart to number Israel) It was the will of God.

        Danial 4:35 – all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”

        TSOO, what I would like for you to do if you wish. Respectfully, Is try not to say something I have not. Also read what I have wrote here and in the last post. Then with your own system of belief, and not WITH CALVINISM, show me how God is not the author of sin or at least guilty by association. I am going to say something they may seem a little disrespectful but I think you know I do not mean it that way. Without using Calvinism as your defense or hiding behind it. How do you reconcile this with your system of belief?

      2. See former comment. I am pretty open to trying to understand various interpretations of most things. I reject, without question, any interpretation of scripture that alleges God caused anyone to sin. You believe that aligns with all that scripture declares to be true about God, you will have to answer to him, not me. Never, ever, does God desire or cause any person to sin. Does he use the individual determined to sin for his own better purposes, moving them in a direction that is more redeemable than another? That I grant you. Thus, when Joseph’s brothers were determined to do evil against him, God moved them to do less evil, and created a situation he could redeem for great purpose. If David was motivated by selfishness, greed, arrogance, etc., might God move him to do a lesser evil than he might otherwise have done? Scripture affirms this as so. Would God himself ever deliberately move a person to do evil he otherwise would not do, so that he can bring good of it? Scripture utterly denies this as possible. I’ll leave it at that.

    3. I would assert an error in translation, which, btw, I have heard many a Calvinist acknowledge exists in modern translations. Many of the errors we stumble over in asserting that God did this or that appear to derive from a misunderstanding of the Oriental usage of idioms. The ancient’s assumed understanding that God’s sovereign control meant that God must at least ‘permit’ all things often leads to confusion that this ‘mere permission’ means ‘determinitively ordained’.

      1. TSOO, I just want to say I really appreciate you interacting with me. It is something I have been timid to do for reasons you may have read. I do hope that I have remained respectful with you. I know Reggie is watching me as I have asked him to do so, I am sure Mr. Eric Kemp is keeping an eye on me to see if this is just a pretended humility or not. That is why I took a break for about 5 days before yesterday before I began commenting again. I do not want this to consume me. I want my other personal studies to be about Christian Living and so forth and actually practice it.

        I also want to say that I have read other things you have said on here. And without seeming to blow smoke or pretending to puff up your ego, you do have a good aptitude and familiarity of God’s word. It is the work of the Holy Spirit within you.

        I know there are other things you want me to interact with. I am going to as I continue to interact with Dr. Flowers. Although when I interact with the next section (which I said reflected and mirrored your comments and concerns to me) it may not exactly be in the way you may think.

        But a few last comments my brother on what you said above. Then I will leave you alone. I know these two parallel verses are really difficult for the Non-Calvinist.

        But for you to assert (and I say this in all due respect) “I would assert an error in translation” That is a big assertion without any concrete proof or documentation from experts in the field of Translation. Then you did (what seems to the habit of Non-Calvinist that they cannot seem to resist) you went back to Calvinism as part of your defense.

        You said and I quote: “btw, I have heard many a Calvinist acknowledge exists in modern translations.”

        This may be true but I would like to know the sources. This is also much different than the case in 2 Samuel 24:1 where it says God moved David’s heart to number Israel which was a sin and David repented of it in verse 10. Then we read in 1 Chronicles 21:1 that Satan moved David heart which was a sin and in verse 7 David repented in the same way as he did in 2 Samuel 24:10

        So you are probably correct that Calvinist Translators and Non-Translators have found mistakes within many of our Bible Translations. But let’s see how the many of Bible translations translate 1 Chronicles 24:1.

        First a few words about the word “permit” Did the Thrice Holy, All-Loving God allow from all eternity, before he ever created, in His Divine Eternal Infinite Exhaustive Perfect Foreknowledge, (speaking as if you believe this orthodox stance) know not only the possible actions of all people who will ever exist. But the actual actions of all men that will ever exist. That is evil and good actions. The ones who will accept Christ or reject Christ.

        Do you believe in the Divine Eternal Infinite Perfect Foreknowledge of God. That God knows past, present and future all at the same time. That is and never will be a time that God has not known something. That God does not have to look into the future to retrieve or obtain any information. Because that would mean there was a time when God did not know something.

        So even from eternity, (not speaking from the Calvinist view) before God Determined to Create. God knew the evil and good actions of every individual who would ever exist. Who would accept Christ or who would reject Christ.

        But he chose to create anyway. Knowing there would be wickedness and evil beyond imagination. Causing pain, sorrow and suffering to billions upon billions of people Billions of people have died in their sin that have never even heard the Gospel. God before he created those who would reject Him and forever burn in the Lake of Fire in hell for all eternity. God knew from eternity those who would be murdered, children abused in terrible wicked ways, and much more evil.

        But this Thrice Holy God who is All-Loving chose to create anyway knowing what would be of the evil and good actions of men. Is God the Author of Sin or at least guilty by association for knowing this from all eternity and creating anyway.

        Still as a Thrice Holy God and All-Loving God is also Omnipotent, He is Almighty, all-powerful. He could stop this wickedness and end the pain, sorrow and suffering. He will one day but does not. Why would a Thrice Holy God who is All-Loving and All-Powerful just sit on his Throne and do nothing. Also the “Free Will Defense” just will not do. I am ready to refute it if I have to.

        If you heard a child being abused next door to you and heard that child’s cry. I know you would run next door while calling 911 and go into the house and violate that man or woman’s free will to stop them from wickedly abusing that child. Are you more loving, holy and powerful than God?

        Now of course I do not believe that God is the author of Sin or even guilty by association. But what I am saying is that (every system of belief, every denomination, has great difficulty and problems with the Existence of Sin and Evil and its relationship with a Holy Loving All Powerful God. Not just the Calvinist.

        The word “Permit” in the Dictionary means this: “give authorization or consent to (someone) to do something, allow let” Either way in the synergist system of belief God has given permission or allowed one to do that which is contrary to His Holy Nature And God with His Divine Eternal Infinite Exhaustive Eternal Foreknowledge knew the exact action they would take among all the possible options. God does not believe in Autonomous Self-Governing Libertarian Neutral Free Will. To God every person’s free will decision and action of will is fixed because he knew from eternity because he is the all-knowing God. Unless you are an Open-Theist. And you do not believe that God knows the future actions of men. Which gives questions as to how God predicted prophecy and came to past perfectly just as he did with all the free will actions of millions of individuals involved. Open Theism says God knows all that can be known and He is in the process of learning, I gave away my next response to Dr Flowers. It is not exactly the same though.

        Brother, these back and forths can go on forever So this time I will not respond and absolutely not change my mind and let your final words stand. Thank you for the exchange and God Bless

        2 Samuel 24:1 -Again the anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go and take a census of Israel and Judah.” NIV

        2 Samuel 24:1 – Again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go, number Israel and Judah.” ESV

        2 Samuel 24:1 – Again the anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and He stirred up David against them, saying, “Go and take a census of Israel and Judah.” BSB

        2 Samuel 24:1 – Now again the anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and it incited David against them to say, “Go, number Israel and Judah.” NASB

        2 Samuel 24:1 – And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah. KJV

        2 Samuel 24:1 – The LORD’s anger burned against Israel again, and he stirred up David against them to say: “Go, count the people of Israel and Judah.” CSB

        2 Samuel 24:1 – Later, God’s anger blazed forth against Israel, so he incited David to move against them by telling him, “Go take a census of Israel and Judah.” ISV

  34. TSOO my brother I am not avoiding the issue at all. I only interacted with a statement that Dr. Flowers actually said. A word he used (few) that denotes quantity. I understand there is more to come after that that of what Dr. Flowers says. But he is not correct for saying for everyone “to keep in mind that this is only for the “select FEW. the elect of God. I stand by what I said. He could have just said those “selected by God” or the elect of God”

    You said Calvinist use the “elect of God” and the “select few” interchangeably. That is an assertion that I would like some documentation for. I am sure there are some hardcore Calvinist who do. But the stream of the Majority of Christian Calvinist do not take this stance.

    Also I think in your own system of belief TSOO. There are no more people being saved under your system of belief (Non-Calvinist) than the Calvinist. Even as you have admitted that ‘few” are actually saved under your system of belief and the majority of mankind seem to be headed to eternal damnation in hell to be tormented in the Lake of Fire for all eternity.

    So no, I have not missed what Dr. Flowers is saying. He was trying to driving home a point, an agenda that only a very small number, “the select few” would be saved under the Calvinist system of belief. And as I have said and I now let my earlier work stand for itself and end with this verse again that I know TSOO you and I as brothers in Christ both agree on. The great multitude, a number of the saved, clothed in white garments so great that they cannot be counted. Far from a very small group, being described by a word that is indicative of quantity, “A select few” I agree to disagree with you and Dr. Flowers on this issue but will interact with your other concerns when I examine the next portion of His article. But not in the way you may think. 🙂

    “A select few. the elect of God” Is a misnomer by Dr. Flowers

    Revelations 7:9 – After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,

    God Bless TSOO

  35. TS00
    JULY 3, 2019 AT 9:00 AM Quote from his comment that is exactly like Dr. Flowers:

    “Calvi-god can SAY that he loves the world, but it is a lie; he loves only a very SELECT FEW,…”

    Notice he says “select few” when argued this was not the point and I argued this was not even true of Christian Calvinist teaching that Dr. Flowers was trying to imply.

    Let us recall Dr. Flowers quote: “Keep in mind, for the Calvinist this is only being done for a select few, “the elect of God.”

    Notice Dr. Flowers and TSOO muddy the waters (not intentionally) by using the word “few” which is a word that denotes quantity.

    Once again I show you what the Christian Calvinist believe about the great “Multitude, a number so great that no one could be counted,”

    Dr. Flowers and TSOO use of the word “FEW” in connection with the Calvinist Christian beliefs is a misnomer. I only once again show this as TSOO challenged me on this issue that the words “Select few was not the issue. I said then Dr. Flowers could have said those “selected by God” or just the “elect of God”

    Few – “used to emphasize how small a number of people or things is.”

    Contrary to what Dr. Flowers and TSOO have said about the Calvi god and the “select few” this is what the Christian Calvinist believes we will see in eternity. Not just a “select few” but:

    Revelations 7:9 – After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,

    God bless and hope this finally clears up some misunderstand and misrepresentation of what the Calvinist believes even if we agree to still disagree respectfully.

    In Christ

    1. speakingthetruthinloveblog
      Notice Dr. Flowers and TSOO muddy the waters (not intentionally) by using the word “few” which is a word that denotes quantity.

      br.d
      It is wisdom to discern the difference between a LOGICAL statement and a SEMANTIC statement.

      For example – it may be stated of an abortionist that they make allowances for the murder of new-born infants.

      In response to this the abortionist will argue:
      “We don’t SAY that we allow for the murder of new-borns – we SAY that we are PRO CHOICE.

      But this is a SEMANTIC argument – in response to a LOGICAL argument.

      Similarly, Dr. Flowers is using LOGICAL deduction with the phrase “select few”

      The LOGIC follows:
      1) With Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) everything which exists the way it does is by DIVINE DESIGN – that design being established at the foundation of the world before creatures exist.

      2) By DIVINE DESIGN “Many” are chosen for salvation

      3) By DIVINE DESIGN “Few” are chosen for the road of perdition.

      4) The terms “elect”, “chosen” or “select” are all LOGICALLY synonymous in this case.

      5) Whether or not there is an innumerable number “selected” that cannot be counted does not negate (1-4) above

      So it LOGICALLY follows – within Calvinism – out of the total population of the “Many” – those who are the “elect” represent the “few”.

      1. This is the point that appears to escape the gentleman. It is ‘few’ vs. ‘all’, rather than ‘few’ vs. ‘many’ that is the objection of the non-Calvinist. This argument would reduce the complaint to God not electing enough. Rather, it is the entire concept of deterministically electing some, rather than offering salvation to all that is, and always has been, the contention between Calvinists and non-Calvinists. I think most people, whichever side they fall on, understand the issue.

  36. CALVINISM’S WORLD OF HIDDEN SUBJUNCTIVE CONDITIONALS

    A “Conditional” follows the form of an IF-THEN statement
    A “Subjunctive” is a hypothetical statement.

    A SUBJUNCTIVE CONDITIONAL commonly takes for form:
    IF [P] – THEN [Q]
    or
    IF AND ONLY IF [P] –THEN [Q]

    Example: “IF AND ONLY IF the THEOS determines me to desire him THEN I CAN desire him”

    youtube video:
    Here an Atheist interviews a Calvinist with the question “How do I get the desire to repent?” .

    The dialog goes in complete circles because for pretty much every question – the answer is couched in a HIDDEN SUBJUNCTIVE CONDITIONAL.

    A: Can I desire to repent?
    C: You can beg god for that desire
    A: Can I desire to beg god for that desire?
    C: You can recognize that repenting is the only logical thing to do
    A: Can I recognize that if I don’t believe god exists?
    C: You can recognize that you are fallen and in sin before god

    Analysis:
    HIDDEN within the Calvinist’s answers is the SUBJUNCTIVE CONDITIONAL (see above). The Calvinist either does not know this or is perhaps reluctant to provide an answer which would result in an immediate conclusion at the very onset of the video.

    The truth-telling answer is:
    If the THEOS did not determine you to be saved – then you CANNOT desire to repent, you CANNOT desire to beg god, you CANNOT believe god exists, and you CANNOT recognize you are fallen and in sin.

    A: But rationally speaking – in order for me to recognize I am in sin before God – I have to first believe in god – right?
    C: Right – you do.

    A: Ok – what CAN I do to make that first step?
    C: By repenting

    Analysis:
    Now the dialog has come full circle and starts all over again.

    A: Ok – but how CAN I repent?
    C: You ask god to forgive your sins and renew your mind to think rightly
    A: But do you think I have the ABILITY to do so?
    C: You don’t have the ability to change yourself
    A: Ok – if I don’t have the ABILITY to change myself – how do I get the desire to ask god to renew my mind?
    C: You get ABILITY from god

    A: Right – that is the right answer – so what you’re saying is the ball is in god’s court and not mine?
    C: Yes – god saves who he wants – he regenerates who he wants – god initiates it.
    A: OK – so REALLY there is nothing I CAN do – correct?
    C: But you are still responsible – I am a compatibilist in my soteriology – so man is still responsible
    A: Do you think god predestined my current state – it being the case I don’t believe?
    C: With the decree yes – absolutely and it is the very thing that happens when man falls – it is the consistent nature.

    Analysis:
    The Calvinist here is presenting the appearance that nature can determine what it will be – rather than the THEOS being the determiner. The condition of nature is emphasized – while the fact that that condition was determined by the THEOS is obscured. This again will be HIDDEN within a SUBJUNCTIVE CONDITIONAL.

    A: Am I free to choose god?
    C: Yes you CAN – but you don’t have the ability.

    Analysis:
    Here we have come full circle again – back to the beginning – and answers remain as SUBJUNCTIVE CONDITIONALS.

    A: So if I’m predestined to be an unbeliever am I free to believe?
    C: The glory of god is the decree that you reject the gospel – yet at the same time god has committed you to repent.
    A: Ok – if ultimately I am decreed to NOT be an elect – is there anything I CAN do to be?
    C: You can repent and believe in the gospel because god has not made known his secret will.
    A: No – that is not my question – I’m not asking about what his secret will is – in this case we are saying he has decreed that I am not elect. So in this case is there anything I CAN do to desire god? The answer is No – correct?
    C: Yes – that is correct – there is nothing you CAN do on your own.

    Analysis:
    Notice how the answer to a question can be YES in one part of the dialog and NO in another part.
    Being able to answer both YEA and NAY to the same question is normal to expect when answers are couched within a HIDDEN SUBJUNCTIVE CONDITIONAL.

  37. I do not think the Semantic Argument is going to do. I think it fails to convey what Dr. Flowers intended to convey and falls to the ground lifeless and powerless. Dr. Flowers structured that sentenced and used the word “few” for a purpose and a reason. It cast a dark shadow over the Calvinist that they believe a very small number is going to be saved. And I am pretty sure he was directing that statement towards those who already consider themselves Christian Calvinist and he was implying they are among that “select few”

    Although BR.D I can accept your explanation as you would use the word “few” through semantics but I do not think that was Dr. Flowers intention. I know I may be wrong but do not think so in this case. Because he was sure to tell us..,””keep in mind””

    TSOO said, “it is the entire concept of deterministically electing some,”

    I am not even going down that road at this time. It is not the issue of God Sovereignly saving those elected in Christ. So I will not argue that point here. That is an unnecessary add on. I am just talking about what I think Dr. Flowers is steering the reader to think and which is a misnomer.

    Revelations 7:9 – After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,

    But since TSOO brought the subject up. TSOO do you believe God in his “Eternal Infinite Exhaustive Perfect Foreknowledge” knew before creation every evil and good action of every individual that will ever be born? With that same “Eternal Infinite Exhaustive Perfect Foreknowledge” does God know from eternity, before he ever created, he would accept or reject Christ?

    I know BR.D says God knows the contingencies and the possibilities. But that also means he knows the actual choice of the individual if you believe in the Orthodox Christian understanding of Eternal Infinite Exhaustive Perfect Foreknowledge of God.

    What say you BR.D, Did God create actually knowing every actual individual that would accept or reject Christ? Did God create knowing every actual individual that would go to heaven or burn in hell for eternity?

    Or is God’s Eternal Infinite Exhaustive Foreknowledge (LIMITED) in some way which would be a complete contradiction?

    1. speakingthetruthinloveblog
      I do not think the Semantic Argument is going to do. I think it fails to convey what Dr. Flowers intended to convey and falls to the ground lifeless and powerless. Dr. Flowers structured that sentenced and used the word “few” for a purpose and a reason. It cast a dark shadow over the Calvinist that they believe a very small number is going to be saved.

      br.d
      Lets put that argument to the test.

      Lets say we have 100 wooden blocks in a card-board box.
      What number from 0 to 100 – in your mind constitutes a “few” wooden blocks?

    2. speakingthetruthinloveblog
      But since TSOO brought the subject up. TSOO do you believe God in his “Eternal Infinite Exhaustive Perfect Foreknowledge” knew before creation every evil and good action of every individual that will ever be born?

      br.d
      The Calvinist answer to this question follows:

      Divine foreknowledge in Calvinism is not knowledge via observation (where the THEOS learns).
      It is knowledge via decree.

      In other words Calvin’s god foreknows every evil action because before creation exists

      1) Every future evil event is FIRST-CONCEIVED in his mind.
      2) Every future evil event that will come to pass is RENDERED-CERTAIN to IMMUTABLY come to pass.
      3) Since the creature doesn’t exist at this point – the creature has no say in the matter.

      1. BR.D, thank you for the reply. You are a deep thinker and I appreciate that. Although I did think TSOO might reply since I directed it to him. But that is ok.

        I understand what the Calvinist believe on this issue as far as “foreknowledge and decree” goes. And how the Non-Calvinist believes it.

        I am not looking for an answer where someone uses Calvinism as their defense or (respectfully) hide behind Calvinism. The Non-Calvinist, as far as I know believes in the “Eternal Infinite Exhaustive Perfect Foreknowledge of God.” Unless they are into “Open Theism” meaning God knows only what can be known and is in the process of learning since he does not know the future actions of individuals. Hopefully no one is going down that road. So without Calvinism, I hope someone can deal with what I wrote in my previous post on God’s Eternal Infinite Exhaustive Foreknowledge.

        You have to take a position, a stance, somewhere. You just cannot float around like a butterfly and say well, “what William Craig says on Theodicy sounds good, or what this guy says is a good theory. Every system of belief and denomination has great difficulty with the problem and existence of sin and evil. You say well God permitted it. Really? Wow, a holy loving all powerful God did this which is contrary to his very Holy Nature. Just saying sin came into the world through Adam does not solve it. Because God knew beforehand that it would happen and could have stopped it because of His Holy Nature and He is all Powerful and he knew the evil and sin that would be as a result. Causing much pain and suffering.

  38. BR.D I see where you are going. But I do not think that is what Dr. Flowers meant. Even the last part of my comment that you did not paste. I said I think he is talking about those who believe they are “already Christian Calvinist” and being within the “Select few”

    When Dr. Flowers said for us “Keep in mind, for the Calvinist this is only being done for a select few, “the elect of God.”

    He had an intention, a purpose he wanted us to know and embrace. By the use of the words, “Keep in mind” This is simply not true for the majority of Christian Calvinist believers. We believe a multitude will be saved, a number so great that no one can number.

    Revelations 7:9 – After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,

    Revelation 5:9 – And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

    Notice once again the same words used in these two verse. Although in Revelation 5:9 God only redeems “the us” with the blood of Christ “out of” every kindred, nation, tongue/language, people/

    The same as he began doing when Salvation first came to the Gentiles.

    Acts 15:14 – Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.

    Not to save all, but to take (out of) then Gentiles a people for his name.

    The end result is in eternity their will be a multitude so great, that no one can number from every nation tribe tongue etc…

    This far exceeds the “select few” that Dr. Flowers and TSOO both have made statements about. “Few” is a word that indicates quantity. I believe Dr. Flowers was just pushing forth the idea that we are to “keep in mind”

    (my words) God is not trying to save everybody, only them, “the select few”

    Since synergistic-ally it is the Autonomous Self-Governing Libertarian Neutral Free Will that is independent and separate from God that PROCURES SALVATION.

    I know BR.D the words independent and separate from God you reject. I am quoting from Dr. Flowers. I am sure he will agree that he has said that.

    Man, I am starting to go back and forth.

    1. speakingthetruthinloveblog
      BR.D I see where you are going. But I do not think that is what Dr. Flowers meant.

      br.d
      It would have been instructive for you to give that number – because then you could see for yourself what a “few” represents out of the whole of humanity.

      speakingthetruthinloveblog
      I said I think he is talking about those who believe they are “already Christian Calvinist” and being within the “Select few”

      br.d
      This makes perfect sense from what John Calvin himself teaches:
      -quote “There is a LARGE MIXTURE of those who have only the name of Christ and the outward appearance”

      To these he holds salvation out as a -quote “Savor of condemnation”

      And he does this temporarily and will eventually -quote “Strike them with greater blindness”.

      So Calvin himself teaches that out of the Calvinist population a LARGE MIXTURE are deceived into believing they are saved – and will eventually be struck with greater blindness – and take their place of eternal torment in the lake of fire.

      speakingthetruthinloveblog
      The end result is in eternity their will be a multitude so great, that no one can number from every nation tribe tongue etc…This far exceeds the “select few”

      br.d
      Here it would have been nice if you had answered the question about the number of wooden blocks that constitute a “few”.

      1) Jesus says there will only be a “few”
      2) Revelations says there is an inumerable number saved

      I suspect you don’t see a contradiction there because those two statements are in scripture.
      So I think you’ll have to reconcile within yourself what a “few” represents out of the total population of humanity.

      Additionally you mentioned Dr. Flowers “Casting a dark shadow over Calvinism”
      All Christians accept Jesus’ description of a “few”
      All Christians accept Revelations statement about an innumerable number.
      And they don’t see this as casting a dark shadow over Christianity.
      Why is it specifically a dark shadow over Calvinism?

      1. Br.d I am sure you know that the Gospel does have two effects on different people.

        2 Corinthians 2:15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.

        16 To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things?

        The Apostle Paul says that “we are to God the “aroma of Christ” to those who are being saved and to others the very “aroma of Christ” to those who are perishing.

        Paul was talking about the very Preaching of the Gospel, that it spells death and destruction to those who are perishing, but to others it brings the very eternal life found in Christ.

        2 Corinthians 2:12 – Now when I went to Troas to preach the GOSPEL OF CHRIST and found that the Lord had opened a door for me,

        2 Corinthians 2:16 – To some people we are a deadly fragrance, while to others we are a life-giving fragrance. Who is qualified to tell about Christ?

        To some the preaching of the gospel is a deadly fragrance of doom and destruction the Apostle Paul said. To others, in a sense the Gospel is a “life giving perfume”

        Who are those who that the preaching of the gospel is a life-giving fragrance?

        1 Thessalonians 5:9 – For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,

        1 Thessalonians 5:9 – For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

        I gave you two different translations so you would not be taken back by the first. Either way there are the “Select of God, elected of God, who are not destined or appointed BY GOD to wrath.

        But they have been “appointed to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.”

        I quoted from the ESV and the KJV but even the NASB says “not destined” for wrath but to obtain salvation…. Some say destined, pre-destined, appointed, choose,

        Not really sure this can be argued with without putting a philosophical spin on it.

        But this all I will say about this even if you do respond. Done.

        Because just like you said, “I will have to get use to how you respond, you will just have to get use to how I believe and that I think your conclusions are respectfully philosophically incorrect.

        Thanks BR.D

  39. speakingthetruthinloveblog
    Every system of belief and denomination has great difficulty with the problem and existence of sin and evil.

    You say well God permitted it. Really? Wow, a holy loving all powerful God did this which is contrary to his very Holy Nature. Just saying sin came into the world through Adam does not solve it. Because God knew beforehand that it would happen and could have stopped it because of His Holy Nature and He is all Powerful and he knew the evil and sin that would be as a result. Causing much pain and suffering.

    br.d
    I totally agree with you that just saying sin came into the world through Adam does not solve it!
    That is very astute of you and honest of you to say.

    Because we know that in Calvinism – every attribute/thought/choice/action of the creature is determined by factors outside his control (i.e. at the foundation of the world – where all decisions are made – and creatures do not exist to have a say in the matter)

    However – for a Calvinist to say “God knew what would happen and could have stopped it” is equivocal language because it INFERS divine foreknowledge via observation – which Calvinism rejects.

    Ask yourself the question – “What was the status of an event prior to the point where he would have stopped it? You only have two choices. (1) It was RENDERED-CERTAIN to come to pass. (2) It was NOT RENDERED-CERTAIN to come to pass.

    Now any event that is NOT RENDERED-CERTAIN by default will not come to pass and there is therefore nothing to stop. And any event that is RENDERED-CERTAIN to come to pass cannot be stopped because it is IMMUTABLE.

    You rightly say “every belief system and denomination has a problem with the existence of sin and evil”
    But why does Calvinism stand out in that regard?
    Is it because Calvin states it as -quote “For his good pleasure”?

    1. The question appears to arise from the preconception of determinism. If evil exists, God must have desired and determined it. The Determinist (Calvinist) truly does not seem to grasp that the ‘good’ which God desires was freedom of choice, which cannot exist without the possibility of choosing evil, hence he permitted it to come to pass. Not desired it. Not ordained it. Not dreamed it up in eternity past (whatever that is) and foisted it upon helpless puppets who can do nothing to escape their preordained fate.

      I have stated many times that I, like most people of good will, struggle with the existence of evil. I do not like it. No, I hate it. Lacking the infinite wisdom, knowledge and power of God, I simply don’t have the ability to see past the present to the better day ahead. I greatly long for that day.

      And I trust that God knows what he is doing. That he does not tolerate evil because he secretly delights in it. That when he promises that he will wipe away every tear, that this implies a genuine, life-changing healing that will eliminate all of the scars of all of the wounds.

      This is a far, far cry from the Calvinist claim that God invented evil for his own good pleasure. Because he had such an egotistical need for praise and glory that he was willing to put people through a living hell on earth so that all would ‘give him the glory’ for it. Then send them to a literal hell for only doing that which they were irresistibly destined to do.

      Yet few Calvinists fully own their own doctrine. Their god designed, ordained and brought to pass all evil. He did not merely ‘permit’ it, allowing, as most other traditions believe, free men to do their devious will in direct opposition to his own. Oh, no, all men are merely doing as God intended for them, ordained for them, and irresistibly brought to pass through them.

      One can see why it might be more compelling to debate how many were chosen for the lucky election lottery, rather than acknowledge what a cruel, heinous, evil god they have made up who would deliberately bring evil into existence, in spite of all the suffering it causes mankind, cause, it’s all about him and his ‘glory’. You might call such a god glorious, I cannot even imagine such a monster.

      1. Hello TSOO, God Bless Sir,

        You still did not give a positive affirmation of how you deal with the fact of God’s Eternal Infinite Exhaustive Perfect Foreknowledge. That even before he created anything. From all eternity, God knew what would be the evil and good actions of every individual that would ever exist. God knew before time began, from all eternity, before he created anything who would believe in Christ and who would reject Christ and burn in the lake of Fire for all eternity. This I could say makes your god guilty by association. For he did not have to create a world that he knew would become contrary to His Holy Nature. Then he is to be All-Loving and All-Powerful but many little children are molested on a daily basis. This fact does not bring much comfort to them that your god is holy, all-loving and almighty in power but just sits on His throne (figuratively) and does nothing. I could say this makes your god guilty by association,

        Don’t be offended TSOO, I am only trying to make a point. As I have now said that every system of belief and denomination has great difficulty and problems with the existence of evil and sin. That is yours also.

        I know this site is to refute Calvinism. You can do this also by showing a better alternative and what is biblical and not always showing what you think is unbiblical. But show a better alternative. Without using Calvinism as your defense or hiding behind Calvinism tackle and engage the problem of suffering, evil and a Holy Loving Powerful God.

        In Christ

    2. Hello again BR.D,

      BR.D said and I quote: “Ask yourself the question – “What was the status of an event prior to the point where he would have stopped it? You only have two choices. (1) It was RENDERED-CERTAIN to come to pass. (2) It was NOT RENDERED-CERTAIN to come to pass.

      Now any event that is NOT RENDERED-CERTAIN by default will not come to pass and there is therefore nothing to stop. And any event that is RENDERED-CERTAIN to come to pass cannot be stopped because it is IMMUTABLE.”

      I am not sure what you said is even relevant as we both know that God in his “Eternal Infinite Exhaustive Foreknowledge” knew it would come to pass even before created anything. That is why Christ was predestined before the very foundation of the world. The fall of man into sin was no surprise to God. He new it would happen with the very world he chose to create. That is the problem and difficulty of sin and evil that you have to contend with even in your system of belief. You are not immune. God did not have to create a world (according to your system of belief) that would consist of evil and wickedness beyond imagination and people he knew before he created would burn in the Lake of Fire in hell for all eternity. But he knew all of this before he created and God did so anyway. So even in your system of belief that makes your god guilty by association.

      1 Peter 1:18 – Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

      19. But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

      20. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you.

      You see God knew the world he was creating. He created a world that would plunge into sin and evil. For Christ was foreknown before time began, from all eternity that he would be the Savior of sinners of “all will call upon the name of the Lord” with the promise they will be saved.

      1. br.d
        “Ask yourself the question – “What was the status of an event prior to the point where he would have stopped it? You only have two choices. (1) It was RENDERED-CERTAIN to come to pass. (2) It was NOT RENDERED-CERTAIN to come to pass.

        Now any event that is NOT RENDERED-CERTAIN by default will not come to pass and there is therefore nothing to stop. And any event that is RENDERED-CERTAIN to come to pass cannot be stopped because it is IMMUTABLE.”

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        I am not sure what you said is even relevant as we both know that God in his “Eternal Infinite Exhaustive Foreknowledge” knew it would come to pass even before created anything.

        br.d
        That’s why I asked you to ask yourself the question.

        How was that Foreknowledge derived – by observation?
        No – Calvinism rejects that.
        So lets be TRUTH-TELLING and stop using language that INFERS it.

        1) If you are honest then you know that before he created anything – he decided what events would come to pass and what events would not come to pass.

        2) In that regard he either RENDERS-CERTAIN events come to pass – or he does not.

        3) If your honest you know that any event which is RENDERED-CERTAIN is IMMUTABLE and cannot be stopped.

        4) You should also know that any event NOT RENDERED-CERTAIN is not going to come to pass – so there is nothing to stop.

        That is the relevance. – stop for a minute and think it through.

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        God did not have to create a world (according to your system of belief) that would consist of evil and wickedness beyond imagination and people he knew before he created would burn in the Lake of Fire in hell for all eternity. But he knew all of this before he created and God did so anyway. So even in your system of belief that makes your god guilty by association.

        br.d
        Again – you’ll have a hard time proving that claim.
        As I have said – for a Calvinist to speak honestly – he must acknowledge
        (1) That all evil is FIRST-CONCEIVED in the mind of the THEOS at the foundation of the world
        (2) All events which come to pass are RENDERED-CERTAIN to come to pass at the foundation of the world.
        (3) No creatures exist at that point – and so the creature has no say in the matter.

        If you are honest – then you know in the Calvinist system there is no such thing as “mere” permission.
        And in the non-Calvinist system there is.

        At this point I don’t think you’re even trying to prove your claim using LOGIC.
        I think perhaps you may be speaking out of emotions.

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        He created a world that would plunge into sin and evil.

        br.d
        Here again is language that INFERS divine foreknowledge via observation – AS-IF the world simply plunged into evil all by itself. Is that really honest language for a Calvinist?

        For this statement to be a TRUTH-TELLING representation of Calvinism it should say:

        “He decreed every sin and every evil in the world – and in such a way that the creature has no say in the matter.”

  40. Br.D thank you again for replying.

    But respectfully you failed the test. You had to use Calvinism as your defense and hide behind it. I asked that this “difficulty” be resolved just from using your system of belief. Not sure what it is. But I will know when you engage with what I said without using Calvinism as your defense and hiding behind it. Like I said and I am saying all of this respectfully. Every system of belief, has great difficulty and problems with the existence of evil and sin. That means yours also.

    BR.D
    You rightly say “every belief system and denomination has a problem with the existence of sin and evil”
    But why does Calvinism stand out in that regard?
    Is it because Calvin states it as -quote “For his good pleasure”?

    Because the Christian Calvinist always tends to defend that position instead of saying, “hey dude, Non-Calvinist, did you not know you got the same problem and all you want to do is talk about the Calvinist issues with it.” That is why it is so high lighted with the Calvinist and is is every system of beliefs problem whether they want to admit it or not. This is Dr. Flowers “go to position” against the Calvinist when he is in debate. When all else fails this is where he goes not knowing he as the same problem within his system of belief.

    So I am doing it right now. Turning the table if you will.

    God bless BR.D

    1. br.d
      But why does Calvinism stand out in that regard?
      Is it because Calvin states it as -quote “For his good pleasure”?

      speakingthetruthinloveblog
      Because the Christian Calvinist always tends to defend that position instead of saying, “hey dude, Non-Calvinist, did you not know you got the same problem and all you want to do is talk about the Calvinist issues with it.

      br.d
      Your going to have a hard time supporting that claim using LOGIC.

      The non-Calvinist doesn’t conceive of sin and evil as existing simply for DIVINE PLEASURE.

      The non-Calvinist doesn’t embrace Theological Determinism in which the creature’s every attribute/thought/choice/action are RENDERED-CERTAIN by factors outside his control.

      The non-Calvinist can LOGICALLY embrace what Calvin called “mere” permission – which Calvin rejects.

      The non-Calvinist can believe that God sets before him multiple options which exist as REAL and not ILLUSIONS.

      So your going to have to overcome those problems in order to show how they don’t supersede Theodicy as held within the general population of Christianity.

      1. Very good explanation, br.d. I am not sure why the Calvinist asserts that all people have the same problem explaining the problem of evil. Certainly we all have a problem with evil, and most people of good will hate it and wish it did not have to exist; but we do not all have the problem that Calvinism does with explaining why it exists.

        We do not have to say, as does the Calvinist, God chose to make evil exist, for his mere good pleasure. We do not have to say he who determined every single jot and tittle of what shall come to pass dreamed up and brought into existence some horrific, unthinkable evils for his predetermined plan for his creation. We do not have to explain why the God who hates sin and in whom there is no evil, thought up and brought so much evil to pass.

        In case the Calvinist does not yet understand, this is exactly why most people reject Calvinism. The deep, wide, cavernous difference between creating men who, in their magnificent godlikeness have the power to freely choose evil and creating men who have no option but to do evil. Cursing men, who supposedly were once ‘very good’ and making them very, very bad and irresistibly so. Cursing them with a total inability to do good, and then threatening to punish and condemn them for this state for which they have absolutely no responsibility or power to escape.

        Anyone who doesn’t have a problem with that has a really big problem. And it is a problem that those who rightly condemn Calvinism do not have. Oh yes, we all share the current sorrow and suffering that evil creates; but the non-Calvinist has hope. Hope of escaping the power and curse of sin, which is death. A hope that is not limited; not to a ‘few’, to ‘many’ or even ‘most’. Ah no, my friend, the non-Calvinist can state with great joy that ALL men can escape the horrific destruction of sin and death, if they only choose to put their trust in God and his freely offered grace. (Not to be confused with the hideous, man-made Doctrines of Grace.)

      2. Hello BR.D and thank you once again for your comments

        BR.D said and I quote: “speakingthetruthinloveblog
        Because the Christian Calvinist always tends to defend that position instead of saying, “hey dude, Non-Calvinist, did you not know you got the same problem and all you want to do is talk about the Calvinist issues with it.

        br.d
        Your going to have a hard time supporting that claim using LOGIC.

        The non-Calvinist doesn’t conceive of sin and evil as existing simply for DIVINE PLEASURE.

        You think that Calvinist believe God conceives of sin and evil existing simply for DIVINE PLEASURE? I do not think so and I would be like for you to show me that one. I do not even care if Calvin said it. We do not believe everything He says as the Word of God is our final authority.

        God takes “no delight” in His Holy Commandments being broken. Nor does he take any pleasure in the death of the wicked. These are God’s we call God’s “Will of Command”

        But let me show you something. You give earthly illustrations and philosophical ones quite often. I like to go to the Word of God.

        Exodus 20:19 – Thou shall not kill.

        We know this does not mean that killing is never justifiable. Because God commanded that Israel kill the Canaanites and several nations and to even bash the heads of the babies in. Most do not know that the Law of God was in effect before Moses gave the “Written Law” to the nation of Israel. I can give so many verses from the OT to prove this before Moses. The very reason God commanded Israel to kill these nations is because of their rebellion against the True God and worshiping other God’s and not the one true living God.

        But we now this verse is talking about “MURDER”

        Isaiah 53:10 – But the LORD was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand. NASB

        Isaiah 53:10 – Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.

        So we see here in Isaiah 53:10 that it was not only God’s will but it pleased the Lord to crush Christ. How did this take place. By the very MURDER OF CHRIST ON THE CROSS WHICH PLEASED THE LORD AND WAS GOD’S WILL. Through the death of Christ the Word of God tells us that Christ will “see his offspring” the result of his murder upon the Cross.

        How did God accomplish what was His will and what pleased Him in crushing/murdering Christ. Through the wicked agency of sinners.

        Acts 4:27 – “For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel,

        28. For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

        It was pleased God and was His will to crush/murder Christ. But he did so though the agency of wicked men.

        All described in Acts 4:27 did exactly what pleased God and was his will in crushing/murdering Christ and they did whatsoever HIS HAND AND COUNSEL DETERMINED BEFORE TO BE DONE. As mentioned earlier the death of Christ was predetermined before the foundation of the world. Before time began, from all eternity.

        Acts 2:22-23 – 22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know—

        23 Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;

        Further confirmation that it did please the Lord and was His will of Decree to crush/murder Christ.

        Christ was delivered by the DETERMINED PURPOSE AND FOREKNOWLEDGE OF GOD, WAS TAKEN BY LAWLESS HANDS AND MURDERED ON THE CROSS.

        There is no internal delight in God when his Will of Command, those that we see within the Word of God are broken.

        But it cannot be denied that God’s Will of Decree was that Christ be crushed/murdered and it PLEASED THE LORD TO CRUSH HIM AND IT WAS HIS Will of Decree as we see the evidence shouting at us from the roof tops in Acts 4 and Acts 2. Look again at Isaiah 53:10 – “But the LORD was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.”

        The other translation said it was God’s will for Christ to be crushed/murdered not that it just pleased him. If it was God’s will and it pleased Him who can deny that God desired the murder of Christ which is a sin, that breaks one of the ten commandments.

        But God did not do it. It was done by “the agency of the hands of wicked men who “did whatsoever thy (God’s) hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.”

        Thanks BR.D and God bless

    2. speakingthetruthinloveblog,

      Forgive me for entering where I shouldn’t, but…

      You had said:
      “Every system of belief, has great difficulty and problems with the existence of evil and sin. ”

      My response:

      I don’t have any difficulty or problems with the existence of evil and sin.

      I’ve never ever been one to ask or ponder, “what kind of a loving God would…?”, or “Why does God permit evil?”, or the like questions.

      A little background:

      I never heard of Calvinism until about 8 years ago. Never knew it even existed. I have no idea what an Arminian is, nor do I care to. I also have no idea what a Palagian is, nor do I care to.

      But…

      When I first became a Christian, shortly after, I was proselytized by a Jehovah’s Witness who was trying to teach me that Jesus is not God.

      I had to reconcile that, and in order to do so, I had to read their claims, and study my bible. Well, I did settle it. It took about a year, but I settled that Jesus is indeed and in fact God.

      But then, I was curious as to why the 7th Day Adventists insist on going to church on Saturday, and their claim that if I go to church on Sunday, after knowing their claim, that I am hell bound, all because I sinned by not OBEYING the 4th commandment.

      Well, I also settled that one, and it took about a year. They think that they are obligated to OBEY the Ten Commandments of Moses. I, however, am obligated to obey the law of Christ, not Moses.

      That being said…evil.

      Scripture tells us that God kicked Satan and his demons to the earth. This happened long before Adam was formed of the dust of the ground. God never kicked Satan out from the earth to Jupiter. THIS is Satan’s KINGDOM, and he can do what he pleases, and he needs not any permission from God.

      God had a plan, and that plan involved Satan in our lives.

      THIS is where FREE WILL comes into play. Evil is necessary for free will.

      NOW, whether God knows who will be saved and who isn’t, that’s NOT my concern. Why should it be our concern of what God knows or doesn’t know? All I know is that we have free will to choose God (LIFE) or choose evil (Death). And God does NOT interfere with that choice at all.

      Now, regarding Romans 9, the Pharaoh, I’m sure you’ve read my take, so that I don’t have to explain again. But the Jews were blinded by God in order to crucify Jesus. Remember Peter cutting off the ear of a soldier? Peter tried to defend Jesus, but Jesus wasn’t having it. He HAD TO GET TO THAT CROSS. He had to be falsely accused to get to that cross. It was foreordained in SCRIPTURE. No secret there…except to the Jews, for Jesus said, Father forgive them and WHY?

      Because they knew not of what they do. None of the Jews will ever suffer punishment for killing Jesus.

      But evil was necessary to get Jesus to that cross. What kind of a loving God would kill Jesus? MINE. Otherwise, my sins would not be forgiven and abolished.

      Evil is necessary. Hell was made for Satan, and Earth is the location of hell…in the heart of the earth, but Satan has full reign until it’s all over. Evil is necessary for free will to choose Good.

      I know that br.d agrees with this, as we just had this discussion about a week or so ago.

      So, I’ve never ever pondered the difficulty or problems with the existence of evil or sin.

      But, IGNORANCE IS BLISS. If you have no knowledge of good and evil, you are INNOCENT, regardless of the evil you have done, all because you have no knowledge of it even being evil to begin with. My generation calls that FREE SPIRITED. Innocence. Adam and Eve, naked in the garden, NO KNOWLEDGE of being naked…innocence. They didn’t get KNOWLEDGE of evil or sin until they SUPERNATURALLY got it by eating of a tree that God told them not to eat. THEN sin entered the world.

      But, every person falls under Deuteronomy 1:39 and Romans 4:15 and Romans 5:13, and Romans 7, so that our life pattern is JUST THE SAME AS IT WAS FOR ADAM AND EVE both before and after obtaining knowledge of good and evil.

      Is the promised land a small piece of real estate in the middle east? Or is it something else? Or is it both? What is that something else? How does one GET THERE? Is it only for an exclusive club, or does everyone get to go there? Why do the Arabs want to wipe Israel off the map? Is there a BIGGER spiritual picture regarding that?

      This whole thing is a battle between God and Satan. God being good, and Satan being Evil. God does not tempt, Satan does. He wants to take as many humans with him as he can, knowing he’s already judged, but has yet to begin his punishment.

      Ed Chapman

      1. Ed, you have some novel ideas. I do not share all of them, but I can take that which is profitable and agree to disagree with the rest. I always find some nuggets of truth that are thoughtful and helpful, and I have long ago given up the practice of rejecting anyone with whom I do not agree with 100%. I hope you can do the same with me and my journey of growth. 😉

      2. I’m still trying to learn what you suggest of me. It’s not easy, that’s for sure. I can’t agree that the sky is green if I see it’s blue. But I do have to recognize that some are still drinking milk, while I enjoy a t-bone steak. I so much desire to wean you guys off the milk.

        Ed Chapman

      3. Not to be unkind, but most people who discuss theology base their views on scripture. Of course, it is our interpretations that vary, not the verses we read in scripture. If we are humble and wise, we realize how much of our beliefs are made up of interpretations that may be slightly, greatly or completely wrong. Thus, we will be humble and gracious. We will not be too certain that we have arrived at ‘the truth’ and all others are in error. We are all in error, to one degree or another, and frankly, will be so until Christ returns and reveals all truth to us.

        For example, believers can be in agreement that Jesus died, arose from the death and promised to return. But you are surely aware that there is room for a great deal of disagreement on exactly what will take place in that process, and you have people who are all over the map on their thinking. Who would dare to presume to understand everything clearly, perfectly? When God promised that the woman’s seed would crush the serpent’s head, who would have been able to interpret from that all that would some day come to pass? Likewise, we can cherish the hope of many other promises, even while only dimly surmising how they might come to pass.

        I believe you and I cling to the same, basic promises and hope. We may have quite different expectations of what those promises mean for the future. Frankly, I hold all such expectations pretty loosely, knowing how little I can truly claim to know. But I do ‘know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that Day’.

        Forgive me for poking at your certainty from time to time. Personally, I found it a great burden to be relieved of.

      4. TS00,

        You had said:
        “most people who discuss theology base their views on scripture.”

        My response:

        I don’t see that as being the case at all. i see most people using philosophers to base their beliefs, such as Calvin, such as Augustine.

        Calvin was a former Catholic. So was Luther. They didn’t ditch everything Catholic when they left. People tend to use their talking points, instead of independent study without outside influence.

        They go to church and use the preachers teaching instead of independent research to see if what they are being taught is true or false.

        They believe in ORIGINAL SIN cuz that’s what the Catholics taught, not because it’s what they themselves concluded.

        I see way too much of that.

        For example. I show that 1 Cor 15:36-end PROVES that Adam was gonna die a natural death anyway, whether he ate of the tree of knowledge or not.

        But others think that he ALREADY had eternal life, but that he lost it, thereby concluding original sin. And no one talks about THAT OTHER TREE that he never ate from, the ONLY tree which would have changed him from MORTAL to IMMORTALITY.

        No one talks about Abraham, either, regarding WHY he didn’t have the law of Moses, OR about him being married to his sister. It’s like that’s a big no no to talk about that.

        Again, I provide Deu 1:39, Romans 5:13, Romans 4:15, Romans 7, and I usuall7 quote them, but because of the Calvinist and your take on Romans 5, regarding an INHERITANCE that we received from Adam, concluding Original Sin, as taught by the Catholics, the other verses I provide gets kicked to the curb. And THAT’S not what we are to do.

        We must take those verses into account in order to CONFRONT the false belief in original sin. It does not exist, but people are falsely lead to believe that Original Sin is real.

        Also, you guys are not seeing the promised land as HEAVEN, EITHER. Eternal life is the PROMISED LAND. We are heirs to THAT promise. It’s not about a small piece of real estate in the middle east. But the land is a portrayal of the BIGGER PICTURE…it’s a TYPE OR SHADOW.

        Abraham being told to kill his son, that’s a type of Jesus. Abraham was gonna obey, cuz he believed God’s promise that in order to fulfil it if he killed him as to resurrect him from the dead, showing that Abraham was preaching the resurrection of the dead.

        There is SO MUCH that expository preaching leaves out that it is impossible for you to remove the milk and add the steak.

        Ed Chapman

      5. You perhaps presume too much about what you think you know about me as well. 😉 I tend to agree with more of what you said here than not. But I am not going to insist that all of it is 100% verifiable correct interpretation and anyone who disagrees with me is ignorant or immature. They actually may be more correct, and only time will tell. 😉

      6. TS00,

        Well, this is where we are supposed to engage with scripture to show WHY you don’t believe in what I believe…then we can solve the problems. Instead, what I see is opinion based stuff from “institutes”, etc. How does that solve the problem?

        We see what Augustine said, what Calvin said, etc. What do YOU say, and what do you use as evidence? Augustine? Calvin? Luther? How about what Jesus said? He is the WORD of God…he’s living. Calvin is kinda dead right now.

        This is why I could care less of what the church fathers said. I attempted to debate a Catholic once many years ago. All he wanted to do was talk what the church fathers said. But I asked him, “WHAT DO YOU SAY?” He didn’t want to go down that road.

        Ed Chapman

      7. I’ve seen that as well. Anyway, just suggesting a little humility never hurt anyone. Good day to ya! 😉

      8. TS00,

        Yes, I agree. The educated needs to humble themselves….lol. I’m uneducated. The only Doctors that I know where stethoscopes around their necks, ask you to stick out your tongue and say “ahhhhhh”.

        Just a little humor to lighten things up. Don’t forget to tip your waitresses, I’ll be here all week. Oh, but wait, Baptists can’t drink. No wonder I’m not a baptist. I like White Russians. Is that racist?

        My point…see my humor in my sarcasms. I’m not arrogant, as what I get accused of being. I’m just trying to ENLIGHTEN those who already have their mind made up by philosophers, who don’t use scripture to counter a belief, but use philosophy instead.

        Belief is always based on SOMETHING. We might be better by going to the source.

        What I get accused of, because I am not educated, is “You don’t know anything, you don’t have any seminary degrees!”, all because they took a GREEK course of study. Good. That and $1.20 might get you a cup of coffee at Denny’s.

        See…there is humor in that! Humility not needed. Just a sense of sarcastic humor.

      9. Thanks Ed for your comment and the spirit of respect it came in.

        Ed, I would still have to challenge you as I have done BR.D and TSOO to take a position on where you stand with God’s Eternal Infinite Exhaustive Perfect Knowledge.

        God is all-knowing. There is never a time that God did not know something. He knows past, present and future all at the same time. If God ever has to look into the future to obtain some information that would mean there was a time when God did not know something.

        Do you believe in the Eternal Infinite Exhaustive Perfect Foreknowledge of God Ed?

        Is so do you believe that before he ever created God knew the sin and evil actions of every individual that would ever exist. God knew before he ever created he would accept Christ a Savior and Lord and who would reject Him and burn in the Lake of Fire for all eternity.

        That means God knew of all the murders, molestation, terrorism evil actions, rapes and evil beyond imagination and God determined to create anyway. God did not have to create a world that would become contrary to His Holy Nature. Now God who is Holy, All-loving and all-powerful just sits on his throne and watches that which he always knew would be before he ever created. Calvinist have been accused of making God the author of sin. I say this understanding that is the orthodox Christian position on God’s foreknowledge I could say this makes God the author of sin or at least guilty by association.

        Like I have said before and I will keep saying it. Every system of belief and Christian denomination has great difficulty and problems with the existence of evil and sin.

        I just want someone to answer this problem from their own system of belief without using Calvinism as their defense and hiding behind Calvinism. So far no one has even attempted it. Because they know they have a problem here.

        I appreciate your comments Ed. God bless

      10. Speakingthetruthinlove,

        If you re read my comment to you, I already explained what you ask of me here. God kicked Satan and his angels on this earth, and formed Adam also on this earth. Free will can’t take place unless Satan is here. If all we had was “good”, then we could not choose “evil”. There would be no sin. Of course God knew we would sin.

        1 Cor 15:36-end of chapter shows that Adam’s earthly body is planted as a body that is already corrupt, dishonorable, weak. Adam was not strong enough to stand up to temptation, and neither are we.

        That same reference shows that Adam was made to die anyway.

        The death that is discussed in both Romans 5 and 1 Cor 15:36 is the death of the body… not spiritual death.

        However, the death discussed in genesis and Romans 7 is spiritual death.

        Big difference. So, Adam was gonna die a natural death no matter what. The only way to obtain eternal life is by eating of the other tree, called, tree of life. And Adam still could have eaten of that tree even in his spiritual death and still could have lived eternally, but God blocked access to that tree so that Adam would not obtain it.

        So what did we inherit in Romans 5? Death of the body. That’s it. Not spiritual death. None of us is born spiritually dead. We die a spiritual death when we ourselves eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. It’s called, the law of Moses. Romans 7 explains.

        Abraham… He didn’t have that knowledge. It is my argument that Abraham never spiritually died.

        It is my same argument that children do not die a spiritual death either, until…

        So, babies that die, they are not in need of a saviour, cuz no sin is ever imputed to the ignorant.

        In regards to David, and in sin did my mother blah blah… his mother sinned, not David.

        God planned “for all have sinned” due to our weak corrupt bodies that he made, and that he formed Adam on the same planet that he kicked Satan to.

        But God does not interfere with our choice.

        It’s not my concern whether God knows that from before the foundation of the earth.

        If you’ve ever listened to the bible code documentaries, the bible is full of options based on man’s choice. I’m not saying I believe in it, but it’s interesting.

        Now, when you accuse Calvinists of having a god that is the author of sin, that’s a distortion of the scripture in the first place. God is the only one who can define sin. He’s the only one who can define evil. He made Adam weak, dishonorable, and corrupt.

        God did not force Adam to sin, but knew that he would sin, because Jesus was the plan to save those WANTING TO BE SAVED, and that plan was before Adam was formed.

        Yes, God knew of the evil that would take place. This life is but a vapor, and was intended to be just that anyway, right from the start. God is just, and he judges. But the worst evil that you can think of is forgivable, is it not?

        Ed Chapman

  41. One last comment for I have stayed up way to late as it is.

    Dr. Flowers once said in one of his earthly illustrations. Which we know that these all come short when it come to the Eternal Living God.

    Romans 11:33 – O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

    I am convinced now more than ever that the “will of created man is determined” I am not talking about being enslaved to sin before being saved and being released from sin’s dominion.

    I am talking about the fact that I have asked for an answer concerning the Eternal Infinite Exhaustive Perfect all-knowing God in relation to God knowing the evil and good actions of every individual that will ever exist. The Fact that God knew before He ever created who would reject Christ and burn in hell for all eternity and who would accept Christ and live with Him in eternity in Heaven.

    This is my point respectfully. My observation and opinion. BR.D and TSOO cannot answer this question without using Calvinism as their defense and hiding behind Calvinism.

    I think it is impossible for them. It is their prevailing desire that determines them to answer back to this problem and difficulty of evil/sin and a Holy God only by using Calvinism and hiding behind it. They cannot defend their own position without Calvinism.

    Because it is their prevailing desire to always answer back by shielding their difficulties by hiding behind Calvinism. I do not think they could even send me one comment that did not refer to Calvinism at all. Their greatest desire will always prevail and determine they will answer by refuting Calvinism. Their wills are determined. No disrespect just an observation and an opinion.

    God bless and good night.

    1. Let’s see, how many times did br.d and I answer your questions, only to have you respond that no one can answer your questions? Too many. Not interested in your games. Maybe you can find someone else to play.

    2. speakingthetruthinloveblog
      I am talking about the fact that I have asked for an answer concerning the Eternal Infinite Exhaustive Perfect all-knowing God in relation to God knowing the evil and good actions of every individual that will ever exist.

      br.d
      And I have pointed out multiple times now that this language for a Calvinist is not TRUTH-TELLING because it INFERS Divine knowledge via observation – which Calvinism rejects.
      And still you continue to use the same language over and over.

      Perhaps you’re not a TRUE Calvinist?

      speakingthetruthinloveblog
      The Fact that God knew before He ever created who would reject Christ and burn in hell for all eternity and who would accept Christ and live with Him in eternity in Heaven.

      br.d
      This is another example of the same language. AS-IF he forenkew who would reject Christ by observation.
      If this were a TRUTH-TELLING statement it would say

      “A the foundation of the world he chose those souls who would be non-elect and CAUSE them to reject Christ as his MEANS for bringing that about”

      speakingthetruthinloveblog
      This is my point respectfully. My observation and opinion. BR.D and TSOO cannot answer this question without using Calvinism as their defense and hiding behind Calvinism.

      br.d
      The answer for me here is simply – I’ve told you multiple times I don’t believe in Theological Determinism.

      speakingthetruthinloveblog
      I think it is impossible for them. It is their prevailing desire that determines them to answer back to this problem……ryv

      br.d
      Are you really sure you are a TRUE Calvinist?
      If you were a TRUE Calvinist you would know that my prevailing desire is RENDERED-CERTAIN.
      And you are complaining about the very thing that was RENDERED-CERTAIN at the foundation of the world? Not very LOGICAL!

      BTW:
      You’ve stated that people here are hiding behind Calvinism – but you don’t seem to realize the language in many of your statements hides behind conceptions which Calvinism totally rejects.

      At this point I think this dialog is just going in circles.

      1. BR.D, You think we are running in circles that is because we both think the other is not understanding what the other is saying. I am not playing games, I am truthfully engaging but I think since I have it seems offended someone it is time for me to disappear for a while.

        You said and I quote: “br.d
        And I have pointed out multiple times now that this language for a Calvinist is not TRUTH-TELLING because it INFERS Divine knowledge via observation – which Calvinism rejects.
        And still you continue to use the same language over and over.

        Perhaps you’re not a TRUE Calvinist?

        BR.D, Sir I said before and I will say it again. I understand the Calvinist comes at this issue because GOD DECREES it and not by DIVINE FOREKNOWLEDGE.

        I have been arguing from the position of the Non-Calvinist who unless he has put limitations on the Eternal God and His Eternal Infinite Perfect Foreknowledge that He knew all that would be before He ever created anything.

        That includes the evil and good actions of every individual that will ever exist. That includes those who will reject Christ and those will accept Christ. Do you believe that BR.D. Sir without sounding disrespectful there is a reason the Open Theist has rejected God’s Eternal Infinite Perfect Foreknowledge. I hope you do not fall into that camp.

        Once again without making it so difficult, could you just please be clear and say yes I believe God knew before He ever created what the evil and good actions of every person who would ever exist would be. And I believe that God knew before he ever created every person who would accept Christ or would reject Christ.

        Or just say no I do not believe God is capable of this. Please just do not say you have told me multiple times, I am asking you respectfully to please answer the two questions above.

        speakingthetruthinloveblog
        The Fact that God knew before He ever created who would reject Christ and burn in hell for all eternity and who would accept Christ and live with Him in eternity in Heaven.

        br.d
        This is another example of the same language. AS-IF he forenkew who would reject Christ by observation.

        BR.D to say that it is by observation? What do you mean by that? If God’s foreknowledge is Eternal, Infinite, and Perfect God does not have to look down though the corridors of time to obtain or retrieve some information. That would indicate there was a time God did not know something and is in a learning process through observation. God knows past present and future all at the same time. He knows the “end from the beginning”

        God just knows infinitely and perfectly from eternity, He does not have to have the limitation of observing like you and me. He is the Eternal God.

        br.d
        The answer for me here is simply – I’ve told you multiple times I don’t believe in Theological Determinism.

        I am not arguing Theological Determinism. That is the whole point of the misunderstanding and going in circles here. It is just something you feel compelled to go back to because of your strongest compelling desire determining you to do so.

        BTW:
        You’ve stated that people here are hiding behind Calvinism – but you don’t seem to realize the language in many of your statements hides behind conceptions which Calvinism totally rejects.

        Thats because I am not making my point from a Calvinist point of view. I have said this many times. I know Calvinism rejects a lot of what I am saying. I am arguing from the Non Calvinist system of belief concerning God and the Existence of evil and suffering. Asking that the problem be solved using your own system of belief without having to always refute Calvinism. Do so with a positive affirmation of your own system of belief and give a better alternative. I do not think you can because every system of belief has great difficulty with the existence of evil and sin. Yours included.

        BR.D I give you my word I have not been playing games or just leading along but actually trying to engage in a way I think that is not familiar with here. When one challenges the Non Calvinist on his system of belief.

        Thanks BR.D We can just let this go. The back and forth as I have always said ends up in an exercise of futility. Your welcome to have the last word. I do hope you answer the two questions specifically without using Calvinism.

        Good Night Sir.

  42. TSOO I think you have stepped beyond the bounds of cordial conduct and respect. I am not playing games. I am just asking difficult questions that you are having problems answering without using Calvinism as your defense and hiding behind Calvinism. A positive affirmation and alternation without saying anything about Calvinism is still refuting Calvinism.

    Your tone is one of disrespect. I hope others will join with me and ask you to come back within the boundaries of Christ when conversing as they did with me and rightfully so.

    Please mediate on this and pray Sir. That is what I did and I repented publicly and I think I have not personally attacked anyone or been disrespectful. I have made some observations, opinions and challenges. But nothing malicious or of ill will.

    But the Calvinist is pushed very hard on here to defend his position without being disrespectful. I hope that you and I can do that together without making personal attacks of “playing games”

    Sorry if I have offended you. It was not intended.

  43. BR.D, sorry but I had to respond to a misunderstanding you have of the Calvinist Faith and what we believe.

    br.d
    Are you really sure you are a TRUE Calvinist?
    If you were a TRUE Calvinist you would know that my prevailing desire is RENDERED-CERTAIN.

    A prevailing desire does not make an action “rendered certain.”

    I will give you a real life example I had with a Non Calvinist one time.

    I told him the same thing I told you that our actions are determined by our greatest prevailing desire or motive at any given moment. Of course he denied this.

    I then asked what his favorite flavor of Ice Cream is. He told me Vanilla. I told him that because of his strongest prevailing desire he will always choose vanilla ice cream.

    I then said let’s pretend I have a vanilla cone and a chocolate cone in my two hands. I then told him there is no way he could reach out and take the chocolate cone because his prevailing desire would determine that he would choose vanilla.

    He without hesitation reached out and pretended to take the chocolate cone. Then smiled as if he had proved his point.

    He was surprised when I told him that he just proved my point. He asked me how. I told him because another desire that was stronger and more prevailing moved you to do something different. That something was to prove me wrong.

    So your rejection of what I was saying is not logical. Because we have desires and motives determining what we do all the time. Some are stronger than others. But they are not rendered certain just because we do according to our greatest desire at any given moment. Because some circumstance, or surprising situation could arise that would cause us to change from that prevailing desire to another.

    God bless Sir

    1. speakingthetruthinloveblog
      A prevailing desire does not make an action “rendered certain.”

      br.d
      Never said it did – but a prevailing desire cannot exist without being RENDERED-CERTAIN to exist.
      And no creature has any say about what prevailing desires they have since all prevailing desires are determined by factors beyond the creature’s control.

      speakingthetruthinloveblog
      our actions are determined by our greatest prevailing desire or motive at any given moment.

      br.d
      Which were all determined at the foundation of the world – and as such we have no say in the matter.

      speakingthetruthinloveblog
      I told him that because of his strongest prevailing desire he will always choose vanilla ice cream.

      br.d
      If you say he determined his own desire then you deny Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism)
      And then you are not a TRUE Calvinist.
      His every desire was determined for him before he was ever created.

      speakingthetruthinloveblog
      I then said let’s pretend I have a vanilla cone and a chocolate cone in my two hands.

      br.d
      Unless you embrace Open Theism – where a future event can be left OPEN.
      Then you must acknowledge that a PREDESTINED event can only resolve to *ONE* psychically possible future. So if at the foundation of the world you were RENDERED-CERTAIN to choose vanilla – then you CANNOT do otherwise.

      Perhaps you should do a little reading on what Theological Determinism is?

  44. Hello speakingtruthinlove I do trust you are engaging to get an understanding of what a non calvinist sees in terms of God’s exhaustive infinite knowledge sorry if that’s not exact. I have know idea how to articulate this but here is a novice attempt from my perspective. God in speaking this world into existence is beyond human explanation & that doesn’t make it not the truth!! I think it stands to reason that, because He is in the present, past and future there are multiple options, because He is that Amazing!! I think many complicate His forgiveness which is not limited, but rather something to be remembered and reflected on daily!! Even the apostles were willing to die for what Jesus did on the cross to spread the good news to the world & for me that’s something to think on. I don’t believe it is implying God has to look down the corridors of time to know what will happen, because He is able to Create as the Creator!! I just except it, because my trust is in Him just as I can except we’ve all been given true libertarian freedom so recieve this free gift or reject it for lies. I believe the heart behind the apostles willingness to die for the good news is all about love 1st and most important their love for God and then for others to also know the truth. Here is a great reading from ICR today; God bless

    August 4, 2019
    Knowledge of the Truth
    “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:3-4)
    The phrase “the truth,” referring to a certain vital body of doctrine, is found often in the New Testament, and the text quoted above is one of the most important, indicating as it does that fully understanding “the truth” is equivalent to being saved.
    The theme of “the truth” is especially emphasized in Paul’s two letters to Timothy, the first reference being in our text. He next points out that, in his capacity as an apostle, he must “speak the truth in Christ,” teaching “in faith and verity” (same word as “truth”—1 Timothy 2:7).

    The church is called “the pillar and ground of the truth” (3:15). An attitude of thanksgiving is proper for those who “believe and know the truth” (4:3). On the other hand, those false teachers who teach with selfish motives are “destitute of the truth” (6:5).

    In the second epistle, Paul urges believers to be diligent in studying the Scriptures, because they constitute “the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). Then he warns of teachers “who concerning the truth have erred,” teaching false doctrine and destroying the faith of some (v. 18). Those who are faithful teachers, however, are exhorted to help the unsaved come to “repentance to the acknowledging of the truth” (v. 25).

    Then, in his prophetic description of the humanist teachers of the last days, Paul says they will be “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (3:7). This is because they “resist the truth” and “turn away their ears from the truth” (3:8; 4:4). Thus, “the truth” always emphasizes its vital importance in salvation and the Christian life. Most of all, the Lord Jesus said: “I am . . . the truth” (John 14:6). HMM

  45. speakingthetruthinloveblog
    You still did not give a positive affirmation of how you deal with the fact of God’s Eternal Infinite Exhaustive Perfect Foreknowledge. From all eternity, God knew what would be the evil and good actions of every individual that would ever exist.

    br.d
    I can give a positive affirmation to this.
    My answer is YEA

    Now its your turn to give a positive affirmation
    But first let me remind you that Jesus commands
    -quote
    “Let your YEA be YEA and your NAY be NAY for anything else comes of evil”

    So if you give a YEA to this question and I find a later post allows for a NAY to the same – then I promise to be faithful to Jesus and highlight that as an evil communication.

    If you are ok with that then here is the question:
    In Calvinism Divine Foreknowledge is NOT derived from or by observation
    But is rather the byproduct of knowing what he exhaustively decreed for every future situation.
    YEA or NAY?

  46. Yes and amen. The Lord is behind his word to perform it. But they take away THE WORD, from every single natural format. In this way does the Spirit then act on a person. It again seems to be a gnostic argument against nature and means, to dismiss these as insufficient, unspiritual, not adequate, mere words on a page or in the preachers mouth. Yet Jesus himself comes as flesh, word spoken through a voice box, written on a page by disciples. These are the means he uses. To remove all of these leaves the Spirit acting indipendantly apart from the fleshly Jesus. He seems simply to do as he wishes, without. This is Spirit that does not say the things of Jesus ,,,but seems to float around carrying out a decree before Jesus even came. And what of the verse that ” you were not a people, but now are a people.” How can they have been elect if they were not a people , outside, etc. There is no legal right for the Spirit to regenerate if we make nonsense of the means. Sorry but for me this be conversion by reception, choice and belief. It is not Christian, and cannot lead to salvation.

    1. Hello Grant and welcome

      Grant
      Sorry but for me this be conversion by reception, choice and belief. It is not Christian, and cannot lead to salvation.

      br.d
      It is good to be LOGICALLY consistent. And that statement is LOGICALLY consistent with the philosophy of Universal Divine Causal Determinism – (i.e. Theological Determinism).

      So then – take that LOGICAL CONSISTENCY and bring it to its FULL LOGICAL CONCLUSION
      That reception, choice and belief cannot be a part of any aspect of your life.

      That position would then be FULLY LOGICALLY CONSISTENT with Theological Determinism.
      Otherwise one finds himself as Elijah said: “Halting between two opinions”.

      Blessings!

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